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|Fan Fiction Other forums talk about Trek. We make it.|
|October 21 2011, 12:20 PM||#1|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
Anyway, I have an original sci fi I've been working on. So far I've gotten three stories out of it, and this one is my favorite. And considering the time of year, I figure this is the best time to share it.
It's still pretty rough, I'm working on polishing up the two earlier ones though so this ones kind of on the back burner. Still, I'm hoping you guys will like it.
|October 21 2011, 12:23 PM||#2|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
She picked up the pace; turning the corners she could barely see. What happened to the lights? She stopped by the lounge, peaking her head through the doors. No one there. Where is everyone? There was a noise behind her, the sound of gnashing teeth, that struck fear into her heart and caused her to run again. I have to face this, I can’t run forever… No! It will kill you! Keep running!
She made it to the lift and sighed with relief as the doors slid closed behind her. She hit the controls to make the lift move and waited for it to reach the bridge. There had to be answers there, had to be someone there. She couldn’t be the only one on the ship.
What seemed like an insurmountable amount of time later the lift finally opened onto the bridge, letting her step into what felt like a crypt. She walked around to the front of the room and saw him; the leader of the ship, the one that everyone onboard was loyal too, the dead Rikugan Taii Ken’Daichi Yakamura. She couldn’t breathe as she moved to his side, denying what her eyes told her to be true. It was then she noticed something in her hand, a knife… It was covered in blood, as were her hands and clothes. There was a thud against the lift doors, the creature was back. No where to run now, no where to hide. This was it… The knife, the blood, Ken’Daichi, the crew, had she killed them? Was this her punishment… The beast broke through the doors and she screamed…
Aideen sat up in her bed, soaked with a cold sweat. The images faded so fast, but the terror was still there. She did a swift check around the room, flinging the blanket aside and moving over to the door way… and just stood there as the door slid opened, watching the crew member chat at they walked down the hall. She backed up into her room once more, rubbing at her face as the door slid closed. She peered over at the clock on the wall and frowned. It was still early in the day, but there was no possible way she was going to get back to sleep after that. That had been nearly on par with the first couple of days after she had gotten on ship… so many dead. She shivered slightly and scowled, wringing her hands together almost absent mindedly as she tried to think back to dream, but nothing came to mind, just a vague sense of terror.
“Shower, coffee, food.” She said as she gave up on trying recalling her dream for now, strolling across the room.
Kaidah looked up as the door to the med bay opened and Aideen walked in, finishing off her coffee.
“Aideen? What are you doing up?” Kaidah asked with a slight frown.
“Eh, couldn’t sleep, came to see if you wanted anything to eat before I went to the mess hall.” Aideen replied with a slight smile.
“Oh, um… well…”
“You haven’t eaten at all today… have you?”
“…No ma’am.” Kaidah said with a pout as she noticed Aideen’s scowl and then squeaked as Aideen smacked her on top of the head.
“I’ll be back.” Aideen called over her shoulder as she exited the med bay and went down the hall… pausing as a faint cold chill went up her spine as she peered down the hall way… she flicked her tails as her ears flattened against her head and stalked down the hallway in a huff.
She was glad it was late in the afternoon, most everyone had already eaten so the mess hall was mostly empty. She didn’t mind the crew, kind of liked them, but at the moment, didn’t really want to deal with anyone or play twenty questions. She wandered over towards the kitchen, peeking inside before she went in and set about the task of making two simple meals with whatever she could readily find.
So was so focused on that task, trying hard not to think about what she had seen, she didn't notice anyone else walk in until they politely greeted her, making her jump slightly.
"Hello Ma'am," Musevni said quietly as he moved over to one of the large coffee tanks.
Her tails gave a hard flick before she looked over at him and smiled slightly.
"Hello Musevni. How are you?" She asked, turning her attention back to the meals she was making.
"Didn't sleep well," he muttered groggily, “Times like this I wish I could just take this tank with me. And you Ma'am?"
Aideen chuckled, "I could always hook you up to a coffee IV." She said with a slight smile, “Also couldn't sleep. Should be though, several hours till my shift begins."
"You're the doctor though," he replied sarcastically, “Cant you give yourself a sedative? As for a coffee IV... well Ma'am, that would be an affront to nature."
"Pfft, the only one, aside from Laruen, who needs sedated is Ken'Daichi. What good would it do to sedate myself only to be woken up an hour later because someone decided to go and break their arm?" She laughed and then sighed, looking up from what she was doing to look at him, “I was only kidding about the IV fellow coffee addict." She smiled at him.
"I suppose that is true. So what has you up Ma'am?"
Aideen turned back to the meals with a scowl, “Nothing pleasant. But I will be fine. What about you?" She asked, changing the subject away from her.
"No time," he replied as he took a sip of the coffee, “We're too busy with the ships systems, as well as the Aaranen ship."
"I'm surprised Laruen hasn't gutted that thing while cackling like a mad woman." Aideen said with a smile, wrapping up the meals and turning to find another cup, getting more coffee for herself.
"She's more interested in gutting the Katana," he said with a chuckle, “She's determined on finding out every little detail about this ship the hard way. So we have to keep up with her, and familiarize ourselves with the other ship at the same time."
She smiled, "Sounds like you should tie her down to get her to sit still and explain things. Anyway, I need to go feed a certain medical hand that hasn't eaten all day, you're welcome to come along if you like, Musevni." She said as she balanced the meals in one hand.
"Duty calls Ma'am, another time." He nodded politely as he headed towards the door, leaving her with her food, and her thoughts.
Aideen watched him go before she left the mess hall, heading back towards the medical bay, her ears a constant twitch on top of her head.
"... Paranoid. And I'm only twenty seven...bah." She huffed out. Kaidah had finished off the meal she had brought her and had listened to her babble about what little she could remember about her dream.
"Aideen, it was just a dream..." Kaidah offered; a thoughtful expression of her face.
"I know that Kaidah, really, I do. But that's the part that bothers me. I know it was a dream, and yet I can't shake it... Maybe I just need more sleep. I'm sorry." Aideen said as she sat on the corner of the desk, rubbing her forehead.
"That might be it, considering you are getting just as bad as Ken'Daichi is regarding sleep, ma'am." Kaidah scolded with a smile.
"I so am not." Aideen scoffed.
As she denied Kaidah's accusation the comm. panel on her desk beeped. She sighed as she walked over to it, and activated it.
"Med bay, you stab'em, we stitch'em."
"Aideen?" Ken'Daichi's voice came over the speaker, “Shouldn't you be asleep?"
"Maybe..." Aideen chuckled out, "You can rag at me later. It's Kaidah's turn right now," Kaidah laughed from where she sat, "What do you need Ken'Daichi?"
"We might need those drugs we used to counteract the Aaranen mental abilities, how quickly can the stuff be made?"
“Give me about fifteen minutes to get enough ready to go around. We going in for another round of questioning or just keeping things in check?” Aideen asked as she was already moving around the room, gathering things with Kaidah two steps ahead of her.
"Not quite. The records from ES refer to a region of space that can affect people, supposedly even make them homicidal. Not sure I buy it, but I'd rather be safe then sorry."
"Fair enough, give me a hour then, I'll make enough to go around for the entire crew." Aideen replied, swatting at Kaidah as she presented her with all the hypos she needed, “Never mind, I'll be down there in about five minutes, thanks to miss busy body." Aideen snorted out, smiling at Kaidah as she giggled.
The bridge was busy as usual, not that anything was going on at the moment. Ken'Daichi sat in his chair looking over what information was to be had about the region, and every scanner they had was focused ahead of them trying to gather more as Aideen walked out of the lift.
Aideen paused at the back of the bridge, looking around, her ears perked forward, her tails giving a thoughtful flick before she started forward, telling herself to stop acting like a spooked little kid.
"I've got Kaidah covering the lower decks, figured I'd start from the top and work my way down, meet her somewhere in the middle." Aideen said as she walked over to Ken'Daichi's side.
"Thanks," he replied as he offered his arm, “Are you alright? You look like you've seen a ghost?"
"I'll be fine." She replied, sounding slightly bitter although it was covered up with a slight smile, "Besides, I'm the doctor here, not you." She quipped as she injected him with the hypo before she turned and moved onto the next person.
"Well, we can't have the doctor running herself into the ground," he replied as he turned back to the report he was reading, “This reads more like a myth then anything else."
"Says the captain who hasn't properly slept in days." She retorted, almost sarcastically, “What are you reading over there?" She asked as she continued to move around the room.
"Data we received from East Station," he replied thoughtfully, “A terrible beast stalks the stars, fanning the flames of darkness within the hearts of men."
"And I thought the Kitsune legends were out there." She mused, "According to the old lore, kitsune's are actually demons, tricksters, trouble makers. But they are granted reprieves, through the act of doing good deeds, they earn tails, and once they gain nine tails, they can ascend to nirvana and to the afterlife. According to the old lore, what you are reading about sounds like a oni or a yoma."
"Well to me this just sounds like superstition," he muttered as he looked up at her, “I mean maybe there's an anomaly or something out there, but a creature? I doubt it."
"... I have two tails and fox ears. Anything is possible." She said as she gave Ken'Daichi a blank look and then laughed, “Regardless, anything else you need before I move onward, mon capitan?"
"No, just let me know if anyone starts acting strange," he replied.
Aideen nodded and then moved to the lift. She didn't think about much beyond that for the next hour or so, simply going about her business. She finally made her way back to the med bay, but was stopped cold when she heard a scream. Oh my god, she thought as she dropped her tools and ran. That’s Kaidah. A thousand thoughts ran through her mind, and feared the worst as she ran through the doors.
"Aideen?" Kaidah asked as she stood there running a few tests, “Is everything alright?"
Aideen just stood in the door way, starring at Kaidah, all of her fur standing on end... she propped her arm against the door frame and leaned her forehead on her arm. Kaidah moved over towards her, "Aideen?"
"No, no. I'm fine, I swear just give me a minute." Aideen waved her off with a hand. Kaidah scowled but hovered near by until Aideen pushed herself away from the door frame and smiled at her deep scowl.
"Kaidah, I'm fine."
"You don't look fine, you look spooked."
"Yes well, it was just my imagination getting the better of me. Your shift is almost over, go get some dinner." Aideen insisted, trying to change the topic.
"Only if you get some food as well." Kaidah gave up with a sigh.
"Bring me something; I'm going to stay here." Aideen smiled at Kaidah as she sighed and walked past her.
Aideen's ears flattened against her head as she walked into the med bay, and plopped down behind the desk, crossing her arms on the desk and dropped her forehead to her arms with loud grumbling.
Some time later, she wasn't sure how long, she heard the doors to the med bay open.
"Doctor, I need some help, this crewman is a killer," she heard the person say. Instantly she sat up, trying to decide if this person had really said it or not.
"Headache," she replied. It was Kagome, “It's a killer. Got anything for it?"
"Sure...Give me a second." Aideen said as she got up and moved across the room. She returned to Kagome a moment later, and handed her a pill and a glass of water, “Here, sorry about that, I'm a bit distracted."
"You certainly seem distracted," Kagome replied, trying to muster a sympathetic smile. It was difficult to do with someone you didn't know at all, “You want to talk about it?"
Aideen once more flopped behind the desk with a snort of laughter.
"Considering I don't want to make myself sound insane over a dream, no, not really. Thank you for the concern, though." Aideen smiled at her thoughtfully, “I just need to drink myself into a stupor and pass out, getting the sleep I need... like a certain captain of yours should be getting. I swear; I'm going to make a tranq gun and start hunting him down on the off shifts."
"I know, as a doctor, you feel the health of the ship is on your shoulders at times," she said thoughtfully, “But you have yourself to worry about as well, don't forget that."
“You’re talking to a woman who went into condemned and collapsed building and other dangerous sites for nearly ten years… I worked in search and rescue for the longest time, only getting the jobs that everyone else refused to take. They were biased against me for some reason; perhaps it was because I’m not exactly human. I never did have the gall to ask. The work was hard and rewarding when I could find people alive, people who were unbelievably grateful for my presence and help. When I found corpses I had no one to turn to but my books.” Aideen said, “I… just make sure I’m fed and get decent amount of sleep. My primary concern has always been of those around me, even if they don’t know me or care about me.”
"Just think about it," Kagome said quietly as she turned to leave, “Holding all your troubles in can make you crazy if you aren't careful."
Aideen only chuckled to herself. Far too late for that. On a ship, in the middle of nowhere, playing doctor even though I'm a thief. If that isn't crazy... She thought to herself with a smile, looking up as Kaidah walked back in and accepted the food from her that she offered.
"Aideen, you sure you don't want to go and lay down for a few hours?" Kaidah offered. Aideen sighed, loudly.
"Will it get you off my back?"
"Fine, just let me eat first woman!" Aideen huffed at her, scowling as she smiled happily, “I can torment myself if I want to." Aideen said with a pout
"Of course you can, miss."
"...Don't mock me!" Kaidah squealed with a giggle as Aideen threw an empty file folder at her.
|October 21 2011, 12:24 PM||#3|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
"Is something wrong?" he asked as he looked at her. Before she could respond there was a whisper in the back of her mind. Mind your own business, a voice said, sounding like her own. What do you care anyway.
Laruen paused in front of her wrench; a strained looked on her face before she bent down to snatch her wrench off the floor, “Nothing." She snapped, stalking back across the room, making a bee line for the panel she had been working on.
"Are you sure? You seem upset." God damn it! Stop interrogating me!
She didn't answer, starring down at the panel. Shut up. She snapped at herself, a deep scowl working across her face, her movements and posture betraying the anger that was building up.
"Ma'am?" he tried once more, being careful to not get too close. Get away, the voice pleaded. Get away before I hurt you! I hate you. I hate everyone on this ship!
"No!" Laruen exclaimed, actually hitting herself rather hard in the head with both of her fists. She liked Mu, she liked Aideen and Kaidah. She wouldn't hurt anyone, not anymore. Revenge was a bitter monster she didn't want to play with anymore. No, she wouldn't be like her goddamn people.
They don't trust me, the voice, her voice said. They're scared of me. They think it's my fault because of what my people did.
"Shut the fuck up!" She howled, flinging the wrench once more across the room, now furious with herself.
Musevni stood there, momentarily in shock over what he just witnessed. He knew she was short tempered, but this was something different. Before he could try and say anything else, Laruen collapsed, leaving him barely a fraction of a second in which to catch her as she fell. The last thing she heard was him calling the med bay, and then it was dark.
"Laruen..." A soft voice filtered through... sounded like Aideen, “C'mon pointy ears, open your eyes."
"Who the hell you calling pointy ears, fur face?" Laruen murmured as she opened her eyes with a groan, squinting at Aideen's grinning face above her, “My head hurts."
"Yes, well, that's fixable. How are you feeling?" Aideen asked as she moved across the room, leaning over the comm. to let Ken'Daichi know Laruen was awake as Kaidah pressed a hypo into her arm.
"Like I've been in a two hour torture session... am I in med bay?" Laruen asked, looking around with a thoughtful scowl.
"Yes, Musevni brought you here." Aideen answered as she moved back over to Laruen's side, “What happened?"
"...I don't know?" Laruen answered with a question of her own as she let Kaidah sit her up.
Musevni was still there, almost hiding in a far corner of the room and keeping an eye out for flying wrenches, “Is she alright Ma'am?"
Laruen leaned around Aideen as she heard Musevni's voice and tried to get off the table to go over to him. She only ended up narrowly avoiding falling on her rear as her legs refused to work.
"Shit!" Laruen hissed as Aideen caught her and helped be back up onto the edge of the table.
"Stay." Aideen ordered more firmly this time and Laruen just sighed at her, looking over to Musevni.
"I-I'm sorry Mu, I don't know what the hell that was... just... so angry all the sudden. But... it wasn't right. Wasn't my kind of anger..." She offered, trying to figure out what had happened.
"Honestly Musevni, I'm just as uncertain as she is." Aideen said as she too looked over at him.
"And the collapse?" he asked quietly, “Any idea what caused that?"
"I don't know. It was like an over load... too many things screaming at me all at once." Laruen answered as she looked away from him, feeling ashamed.
"Things?" he questioned. Before she could answer the doors slid open. Musevni instinctively snapped to attention as Ken'Daichi walked in, “Doctor, any news?"
"By what I can gather, it might have been an outside influence. Beyond that, I'm not certain." Aideen answered, looking over at Ken'Daichi. Laruen wanted to crawl into a corner and die. She thought she had a handle on her anger. Hell, she had even made a few friends. And now, all she felt was shame. But the shame did not last, as she covered it up with a sad anger that left her hands trembling finely.
"Doc, if you'll excuse us, I'd like to talk to her."
Aideen sighed thoughtfully, “Just... don't rile her up." She said cautiously, ushering Kaidah into the back office. Laruen just continued to look down at her hands.
Ken'Daichi tried to put on his best, sympathetic face as he stepped closer to the woman, who was obviously upset over what happened, “Laruen?" he asked calmly.
"What?" Laruen bit out, scowling down at the ground.
"I wanted to see how you were doing," he replied, “And see if there was anything I could do for you."
She looked up at him, quite for the longest of time... before she sighed and pushed herself off the edge of the medical table, standing steady on her own two feet. She dusted herself off, frowning at nothing.
"I highly doubt there's anything you can do considering I don't even know what the fuck is going on... but thanks... I guess... If you need me, I'll be somewhere quite, where I can't make myself look like a ass, in front of Mu, again. Tell Aideen I'll check in periodically." She said as she tried to move towards the door, intent on avoiding a problem she didn't know how to fix with anger.
Ken'Daichi, either through determination that whatever was wrong would be resolved, or stupidity for thinking it could be, stepped in her way, “Just tell me what you remember, give me at least that much."
"Why! So I can make myself sound insane on top of my anger problem? Lot of bloody good that would do me." She growled out as she stepped right up to him, toe to toe, and glared up at him.
"No, so we can figure out what happened," he replied more sternly, “No one thinks you're crazy, be we do think something else might be wrong."
"Bullshit." She said, but strangely left it at that, “I got pissed off, as per usual, threw a wrench, Mu asked me a question and I got cranky. I didn't say anything though, but my thoughts... at least it was my voice speaking to me in my head, went from cranky to 'I'm going to hurt you' in short order. They weren't my thoughts, I wouldn't just hurt anyone. Not without reason, not without just cause anymore, just cause they made me mad. It started going on and on, I don't know what the hell happened... but I passed out somewhere along the way."
"Strange," he muttered thoughtfully as he glanced at a file he had been carrying with him, “You said you heard your thoughts, but they weren't yours?"
"Yup." She said as she took at step back and crossed her arms, looking at him, “Sounds insane, but I know my thoughts, and those weren't mine."
"Three other crewmen have claimed that their own thoughts, their own voices were trying to convince them to hurt another person." he said in an even, unfeeling tone.
"Great, we're all on the crazy boat." Laruen sighed, “Aaranen’s couldn't do that, just to clear that up. They have two things going for them, a hive mind set, and the ability to torture people with their brains. But they didn't fuck with thoughts, just outright hurt ya. Killed ya quickly if you were so lucky."
"Was there anything else you can think of?" he asked, giving Laruen the feeling he was fishing for any minute detail that might help, “Even if you think it doesn't matter."
"Not much, otherwise then I couldn't shut it up, no matter how much I wanted it to." Laruen said with a thoughtful shrug.
"Alright, if you think of anything, let me know. Please?"
"Yeah, sure, now if you'll excuse me, I'll be hiding under a panel, cursing." She said as she moved to step around him.
"Get some sleep at some point too." he said as he watched her leave.
"Ha! Sleep. How's that old saying go... 'No rest for the wicked'?" She called over her shoulder with a cackle, the most mischievous grin working across her face. Ken'Daichi felt a pinch to his rear even as Laruen made a run for it cackling all the way down the hall like a mad woman.
Aideen peeked her head out of the office, “... do I even want to know what she just ran out of here cackling about?"
"I'm not sure..." he muttered as he turned to Aideen, “I'm concerned though. Four people now have claimed to hear their own thoughts trying to get them to fight, yet were certain they wouldn't truly feel or think that way. Can you think of anything?"
Aideen stepped out into the main room, her tails flicking thoughtful as she walked over to him.
"Honestly, no. But obviously, something outside or perhaps inside, of this ship is influencing people's thoughts... but why, and for what purpose?"
A look of deep thought crossed Aideen's mind... but it just as quickly passed as she briefly thought on her dreams and the things she had thought she had been hearing. They didn't seem connected at the moment, but it would be something to ponder, in private, she decided as she returned her gaze to Ken'Daichi.
The question was left unanswered as Ken'Daichi turned to leave.
"I'll be in my office if you need me," he said as the med bay doors shut behind him. Kaidah reappeared soon afterwards, looking sternly at Aideen.
"Doctor or not, I'm going to sedate you if you don't go take a nap." Aideen looked at her for a moment, wanting to protest but eventually thinking better of it. She just hoped she wouldn't have that dream again.
Aideen had retreated to her room after telling Kaidah she was a terrible influence on her, exhausted. All she wanted to do was sleep, a dark… dreamless sleep where none of those haunting images could find her. Although as her eyes closed and her mind slipped away, she had the gut feeling she wouldn’t be so lucky.
The door’s to her quarters slid open to let her into the corridor, or she thought it was the corridor at any rate. Instead she found herself in the medical bay. Kaidah was there, standing over one of the consoles with her back towards Aideen.
“Kaidah?” she called. Her voice sounded like a distant echo even as she spoke it. Aideen walked up to her and gently placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder.
“Kaidah, you in there?” she asked again as she turned the young nurse.
Aideen had to step back when she saw Kaidah’s face. It was distorted, in agony. Like she was in pain, but couldn’t scream. Her body convulsed as a shadow moved across the woman’s face, and Aideen heard it.
“I hate you all, you deserve to die. You all do, everyone…” The whispers continued as Kaidah’s body convulsed again, followed by her lunging for Aideen.
“Kaidah! No!” she called out, pleading for her to stop.
She felt a blow to her side as she closed her eyes, wishing this would all stop. When she opened them, she was in her quarters again… on the floor. She looked around, nothing had changed. She hadn’t gone anywhere. Aideen slowly got up and walked over to the door, poking her head out as it opened. It was the corridor, just like it should have been. A crewman walked by, one she hadn’t met before. He glanced at her as though wondering what to make of her but apparently decided it was best not to ask as he continued on by without even a second glance back at her. She walked back into her quarters and sat on her bed, trying to figure out what that was, or where she could go as she ran her fingers through her hair as her ears flattened against her head. She definitely didn’t want to stay in her quarters, alone. Not after that. No, she needed to be around people. That she was sure of.
Kaidah looked up from the paper work she was looking at as Aideen walked into the room, wearing her uniform pants and a tank top, her hair had been pulled into a tight pony tail that sat on top of her head, looking slightly haggard and uncaring about the fact she wasn‘t in uniform. She walked past her before she could question her and rummaged around for something. Kaidah got up and moved over towards her, frowning as she injected herself with something, and then turned to her with a smile as she tossed the hypo as Kaidah reached for it to see what it was.
“What was that?” Kaidah asked, huffing at Aideen as she put her hands on her hips.
“Have you eaten yet? By the looks of it, I’d say no.” Aideen said as she peered over Kaidah’s shoulder.
“Aideen, what did you inject yourself with?” Kaidah repeated, a little more firmly this time.
“A stimulant. Now then, have you eaten?” Aideen said as she looked at Kaidah, smiling.
“… No, I haven’t.” Kaidah sighed out slowly, realizing that that was all she was going to get at the moment, but she made a mental note to bug her about it later, and if she got nothing, she’d privately speak with Ken’Daichi about it perhaps, if it proved to be a problem anyway. Lack of sleep wouldn’t hurt anyone, but it almost seemed like more then that.
Kaidah let Aideen lead them out after she informed Ken’Daichi of where they would be in case there was some kind of emergency.
“Ya know, I don’t really know much about you.” Aideen said thoughtfully as she wandered over to the table Kaidah had chosen, tucked away in a corner, nursing a large cup of coffee to stay awake a little longer herself, with two trays of food, handing one to Kaidah before she sat down.
“What is there to know? By what little I’ve heard about you, I’m a dull wall flower compared to all that and whatever secrets you may have.” Kaidah said with a smile of thanks as she started eating.
“Wall flower? Who uses that term anymore? How old are you?” Aideen questioned.
“Twenty seven thank you very much.” Kaidah chuckled out, “I was raised on a rice farm. My folks were old fashioned, blame them.”
“Nothing wrong with that, better to know your folks then not know them at all. And don’t apologize, I can’t remember them, so there’s nothing to be sorry about. My childhood… was crummy, and that’s that.” Aideen murmured thoughtfully.
“Yes well, it left me at a loss when I joined the academy. I however, was a diligent worker, all my mentors and teachers noted that, and told me so, several times over.”
“I would agree with them.” Aideen said absent mindedly as she poked at the food in front of her with a fork, not truly interested in the food in front of her.
Kaidah just watched her for a moment before sighing.
“Aideen, you look like crap. You look like you’re about to jump out of your skin and leave all your fur behind. What is going on?” Kaidah asked,
Aideen was slightly taken back. Kaidah usually left her alone if she avoided things, or changed the topic, and the sweet woman usually never talked about the issue again unless she brought it up again.
“I’m not talking about it here. And that’s final.” Aideen said, her ears flattening against her head.
“Then when?” Kaidah asked, making sure Aideen wasn’t closing off the topic and avoiding it as per usual.
“Whenever I feel like it.” Aideen actually growled out, sneering, her tails flicking behind her… and then she deflated, pushing aside the tray to cross her arms on the table and dropped her forehead to her arms as she noticed the alarmed look on Kaidah’s face as she growled.
Kaidah starred at her for a moment before she got and walked around the table and sat back down next to her, rubbing her back.
“Aideen, something is bothering you, you… don’t…”
“Make animal sounds?”
Kaidah winced, at the stinging bitterness in Aideen’s voice.
“No, you don’t get upset unless there is truly something wrong.”
Aideen sat up, running her fingers through her hair, looking over at Kaidah, trying to decide what to do or say… and just simply drew a blank. She shook her head and looked over at Kaidah.
“I’ll tell you what… if this get worse, I’ll come talk to you about it… but… I know you care, I really do Kaidah, and I know you’re concerned, but let me deal with this. I need to ‘put my best foot forward’ and you know that.” Aideen said slowly, causing Kaidah to sigh loudly as she made a face.
“Yes… I do… But Aideen, you look-”
“Like crap, I know. I don’t like the uniforms.” Aideen said thoughtfully as she peered down at what she was wearing.
“You’re very good at changing topics…”
“I know, and it would be easier if you would let me.” Aideen gave Kaidah a slight smile as she scowled at her.
“Fine. You win. For now… but I’m watching you. Any further signs and I’m going to Ken’Daichi if you refuse to talk to me.”
“And I’ll lynch you if you do.” Aideen huffed out, causing Kaidah to smile at her.
“Found a weakness did I?” Kaidah ribbed slightly, smiling at Aideen.
“Shut your mouth Ms. Yomatta.” Aideen said as her ears flattened against her head and she jabbed Kaidah in the side with her finger.
“Yes’m.” Kaidah giggled.
|October 21 2011, 12:25 PM||#4|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
"Rikugan Taii, the Aaranen ship."
Ken'Daichi looked up at the screen, unsure if what he was seeing was real or not. The ship was turning to face the Katana, and he could see the beam cannons begin to charge.
"Charge the screens, evasive maneuvers!"
The ship rocked under the barrage of the Aaranen fire, nearly knocking Ken'Daichi to the ground.
"Defensive fire, try to knock out their weapons without collateral damage!" They attacked, they should be destroyed.
"Forward screens down 10%" Kagome reported.
"Open a channel." No point in talking, we should just destroy them.
"Channel open sir."
"Laruen, what the hell is going on!"
“Just give me a goddamn minute! Don’t you dare fire! Dodge, dance, do the hell something other then firing! Mu’s got the helm! He’s lost his fucking mind!” Laruen hissed over the radio before she moved away from it, hoping they‘d listen, “C’mon, Mu.”
Laruen edged closer towards the man again. She already had a nice bruise on her face from where he had landed a good hit when she had tackled him stupidly when he had started babbling Russian, making aggravated gestures at her. He then went for the helm even though she was right on his heel. He had swung at her when he noticed how close she was, she ducked and tackled him… and promptly got socked in the face for it.
“What’s going on Mu? What the hell is wrong with you? And I don’t understand Russian, so don‘t start babbling at me again.” She teased lightly, trying to draw his attention back to her and away from the controls as she moved closer to him.
"Заткнись," he yelled as he waved her off and spit on the floor in front of her, “Пусть ваша водка быть слабыми"
“Yeah, yeah, sure. I’m totally going to agree with whatever the hell you said. Just… c’mer. I promise I won’t jump your sorry ass again if you do.” She murmured, still moving closer towards him.
Musevni's eyes moved around the console, trying to decide what his action should be. Destroy them, no, they want to hurt you, kill you. He pounded commands into the navigation controls, hurling the ship at the Katana as fast as it could move. His vision turned white as a sharp pain drilled into his temples, causing him to fall to the ground and pass out.
Laruen lunged forward, and caught Musevni with a grunt before she lowered him to the ground. She inspected him briefly, brushing some of his hair out of his face before she stepped over Musevni with a stream of cusses, smashing on the radio as she violently fiddled with the controls.
“Fuck! He jammed the controls Ken’Daichi! And DON’T you dare fire! I’d much rather not die on this piece of shit.” Laruen hissed loudly and kicked the control panels, “Any suggestions are welcomed!”
"You're going to have to rewire the console," Ken'Daichi replied as he looked at his screen, “He's set the ships autopilot to follow us, we can avoid collision for now but you need to work quickly."
Laruen dropped down to one knee, leaning into the control panel. She owed Mu a slap upside the head if they made it through this. And he owed her a drink, several drinks. She decided as she grabbed at a hand full of wires and started reconnecting them, and hoping they weren’t connected with something other then the controls… An idea suddenly occurred to her as she got up, smacking the backside of her head against the controls before she jogged towards back end of the ship hissing loudly, rubbing the back of her head as she went.
“Sorry, but I’m still learning to rewire shit, this is gonna put repairs on delay… but fuck if I know what else to do!” Laruen exclaimed, even as she grabbed a wrench and a screw driver as she headed into the engine room… and poured all her anger and frustration into attacking the engine, pulling out anything that was loose, ripping apart anything she could actively get her hands around. It wouldn’t stop the ship right away, but rather, she hoped, it would coast to a stop… providing they didn’t go sailing off into space.
“Ken‘Daichi, if we don’t stop, do something. The engine’s gonna be a piece of useless shit when I’m through with it!” Laruen cackled over the radio.
"You’re crazy..." Ken'Daichi grumbled over the radio, “Fine, Xt'n'ktl, once the engines cut out bring our heading to 121 mark 55. Launch the cables and grapple her."
“Irrational! Not crazy!” Laruen corrected with a grin, stabbing the screw driver into something.
Engines weren’t her thing. She decided as she ripped several pieces of tubing off, too many loose ends, too many things that could be assaulted or sabotaged. Perhaps that was why the more advanced ships had shielding around their engines. She’d have to look more into that. She yelped loudly as she managed to shock herself rather badly, backing off several steps as she watched the engine struggle to hold onto life, before giving in with several shuddering mechanical sounds.
“That should do it!… I hope.” Laruen sighed out, inspecting the burn mark on her hand before she retreated to Musevni’s side, making sure he was, more or less, still alive.
The Katana turned sharply on her axis, dropping below the Aaranen ship and launching cables to latch onto the hull.
"Teleporter room, lock onto Musevni and beam him to the med bay. And tell Laruen I want to talk to her, now," Ken'Daichi ordered as he stormed into his office.
A while later, Laruen appeared in front of his office doors, starring at them a while, fiddling with the burn gel pad Aideen had wrapped around her hand. She was trying to think of reasons why Ken’Daichi would want to see her aside from ripping her a new one over the Aaranen ship’s engine now being a useless pile of junk. She sighed inwardly, before reaching out for the door chime.
"Enter," he said harshly as his stare burned a hole through the door.
“Do I have to?” Laruen muttered under her breath before the doors slid open and she stepped inside, “Let’s just get this over with, shall we?” She said with a weary frown.
Abuse, both physical and verbal, was something she was used to. That didn’t mean she liked it.
"What happened over there?" he asked, not moving his eyes off of her as she sat down.
"I really don't know. Everything had been quite for the last couple of hours. I was mucking with the navigation system when Mu started babbling in Russian. When I asked him what was wrong, he got aggravated. I tried to touch him, he shoved me off. He yelled at me… though now that I think about it, I don’t think he was yelling directly at me… He then started making a bee line for the controls… I tackled him, and got socked in the face for my efforts. That’s about when the ship turned towards the Katana.” Laruen said with a slight frown on her face.
She's probably manipulating him. Ken'Daichi sighed as he tried to push the headache away, “Any chance it's related to what happened before?"
"I... don't know." She said cautiously, an even deeper frown working across her face, “Whatever the fuck is on your mind, spit it out." She said with a slight sneer. If someone had a thought, they should share it, especially when it seemed to be heading in the realm of getting her into deeper shit then tearing apart the engine should have.
"I don't know what’s on my mind right now," he replied, “All I know so far is that you and Aideen seem to be the most affected. Now Musevni. And we need to figure out what’s going on before someone gets killed."
"Then is there any reason you're trying to glare a hole through my head?" She asked with a slight grin as she relaxed slightly, “Aideen's affected? Really... She hasn't mentioned much of anything. Course I haven't really been around the Katana..."
"Of course she hasn't mentioned it," he snapped as he looked away, “She's as bad as me in that regard."
Laruen snerked, shaking her head.
"I need to go Ken'Daichi. Before I put my foot in my mouth." Laruen said wisely, keeping the thought to herself that Ken'Daichi should probably see about getting laid.
The man was so damn touchy all the sudden... not that the man would probably understand unless she threw herself at him naked or something like that, but even then... She questioned if he would get the hint. That thought made her smile.
"Unless there's something else rattling around in your head. I'd like to go check on Mu; I owe him a slap upside the head." Laruen said as she got up, pausing to look at him.
"I'll go with you," he replied as he stood up, “I think I need to have a little chat with the dear doctor."
Kaidah looked over her shoulder as the doors to the med bay slid open, Laruen and Ken’Daichi walking in.
“Ah, hello Captain. Laruen. You two have good timing, Musevni just woke up.” Kaidah said as she gestured to Musevni who was sitting on a med table next to her.
Before Musevni could say anything, Laruen walked up to him and slapped him upside the head, hard. All with a warm smile on her face.
“That was for socking me in the face you jerk. You owe me drinks, many, many drinks.” Laruen chuckled out as she crossed her arms.
Ken'Daichi watched them for a moment and then moved over to where Kaidah was standing, “What’s his status?"
"His adrenal gland was producing massive amounts of hormones, almost like a fight or flight mechanism. Aideen had to give him a mild sedative to calm him down and get things heading back to normal." Kaidah said as she looked over a data pad before she looked up at him, “Beyond that and stress... He'll be fine, I think. Just needs rest."
"Any indication of what caused it?"
"Without being present when the episode started... We can only venture educated guesses." Kaidah sighed.
"Then be adventurous."
“You volunteering?” Aideen’s voice suddenly came from the door way as she walked in. She hadn’t bothered fixing her ruffled state from earlier, but had tamed her hair into a workable mess. She walked past them both, nursing a cup of coffee.
“My guess is that it’s a outside stimulant.”
“Speaking of stimulants, give me that.” Kaidah said with a scowl, snatching the cup of coffee from Aideen, “You don’t need that on top of whatever you’ve already taken.”
Aideen scowled back at the woman, tempted to snatch her coffee back but dismissed her with a wave of her hand as she moved towards the back office, glancing over at Musevni and Laruen as she passed them by. Kaidah sighed, eyeing the cup ruefully, almost taking a sip of herself but thinking better of it as her shift was over in another hour.
"Already taken?" Ken'Daichi questioned, “I know you haven't been sleeping, but how many stems have you taken?"
“I’ve only taken one hypo so far! You have no room to lecture me on sleep or stimulants mister ‘I haven’t gotten more then three hours of sleep in the last two days.’” Aideen said with a slight frown at Ken’Daichi before she disappeared into the back office.
“She’s only taken one hypo in my presence.” Kaidah said with a scowl.
"Which means she's had more," he replied as he followed her, “There's a difference, if I run my self into the bulkhead keeping this crew together, you can patch me up. You do it, and we have a problem. Now, why aren't you sleeping?"
Aideen’s ears flattened against her head as she looked at him over her shoulder for a moment.
“It’s nothing I can’t deal with.” And making myself sound insane in front of you is not what I need right now. Aideen shook her head as she moved to sit on the couch in the office, ignoring him briefly while she did so.
"You aren't dealing with it," he stated flatly, “If you're using drugs to stay awake, you're running from it."
Aideen made an irritated sound as she reached up to rub her forehead, “Just... Leave me alone, alright? I'll give you the same deal I gave Kaidah, if it gets worse, I'll talk to you about it, alright? In the mean time, I'd rather not make myself sound insane at the moment."
Ken'Daichi's stood there for a moment, looking around the room to make sure nothing heavy was in her reach.
"You know what sounds crazy? People hearing their own voices telling them to attack their comrades. An officer who has served with me for six years suddenly trying to drive another ship into this one. If what you're going through is just as crazy, then for all we know it could be a clue."
After he finished he turned and left, standing in the corridor just outside the med bay. He wouldn't force her to talk, but he was fairly certain one of them would follow him to say something.
"How about dreams so real that you can't tell the difference between reality and when you are actually asleep? I'm afraid of the next damn thing I'll see when I close my eyes. First time there was something after me, I found everyone dead on the bridge, you included Ken'Daichi. I was covered in blood... and had a knife in my hand. Then whatever was chasing me came back and I woke up... second time, Kaidah attacked me. I heard a voice talking to her, it was her own voice but it didn't sound right, she wouldn't think those things... She was in pain, but couldn't hear me and then she turned and attacked me. I woke up at that point." Aideen muttered from where she stood next to him, only speaking once she was sure the med bay doors had closed behind her, “I'm the doctor. How am I supposed to function as such if my dreams are making me wonder if I'm losing my mind?" She asked at no one in particular.
"They say if you question your own sanity, it means you're not insane," he said thoughtfully, “With...Kaidah, what exactly did you see?"
"She was at the consoles, in the med bay. When I went to her, she appeared to be in agony... but made no sound, not even an outcry in pain. There was a shadow the over came her, she convulsed. I heard the voice... Kaidah's voice then. She convulsed once more and then she attacked me." Aideen said, rubbing her forehead as she did so, “I believe the voice said 'hate you all, you deserve to die, you all do, everyone...'"
"The same kind of thing people keep hearing," he muttered, “There's got to be a connection."
"Maybe, maybe not. All I know is those dreams... feel real. And it makes me sound insane... and cranky. So excuse me while I take a stimulant or two to avoid sleep for a while." Aideen sighed out, lowering her hand and looking over at him, “It may be possible. I really don't know."
"It's just too much of a coincidence," he replied thoughtfully.
His train of thought was abruptly broken as the comm. lines crackled to life.
"Rikugan Taii, you are needed on the bridge."
What now? He wondered as he glanced at Aideen. He wondered if she'd be ok, if he should tell her to go to her quarters. Hell, he wondered if she'd even listen. He... sighed and pushed that thought away, now was not the time.
|October 21 2011, 12:26 PM||#5|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
"What is it?" he asked as he looked to his executive officer.
"The stars sir," Kagome replied as she gestured to the screen. It was black. Not the normal blackness of space, but just... black. No stars, no planets, no nebulae. It was completely devoid of any light, “They're gone…"
"That's not possible." Was all Aideen's voice muttered even as she wandered forward, starring at the screen in front of her as her ears flattened against her skull, her tails drifting between her legs once she came to a stop.
"It never rains, but it pours," he muttered quietly as he moved to stand next to Kagome, “All stop, divert all the power you need to the scanners."
"Yes sir," Xt'n'ktl chimed.
"Aideen, you need to get some sleep. Have Kaidah give you a sedative," he said as he sat down, “Oh... and use a neural scanner. I want everything that goes through your head while you sleep analyzed."
Aideen gave Ken’Daichi a dirty look, even as her ears flattened against her skull even further. The idea of sleep wasn’t appealing, in the slightest, even if there seemed to be some linking coincidence. She couldn’t argue that… but wanted to put it off none the less.
“After my shift. Kaidah needs to get some sleep.” She muttered, turning on the ball of her heel, and slinked off of the bridge before he could say anything more to her.
The med bay was quiet; there didn't seem to be any more incidents among the crew and Musevni had been sent to his quarters with Laruen latched to his side to make sure he didn't get into any more trouble. Somehow the quiet didn't help Aideen's nerves as she tried to focus on paperwork. Although her constant glances at the time piece didn't do much good either. She knew her shift would be over soon, and Kaidah would be back to watch her sleep.
Aideen really didn't like the idea of going to sleep, not with those dreams. Maybe she could find a way out of it, or maybe get the upper hand and sedate Kaidah instead.
No, she thought. That wouldn't be right. If there's any chance this is related we've got to find out.
Or they’re experimenting on me...
The doors opened letting Kaidah into the office, who seemed to be cheerful enough to make someone sick.
"Hello Aideen," she said with a smile, “How are you feeling?"
Aideen’s fur stood on end, her tails giving several aggravated flicks behind her as she simply watched Kaidah with an expectant gaze, not responding to her greeting. She was irritated now and on edge. She couldn’t begin to pin point why either.
“Stay right there. Don’t move.” Aideen’s voice warned with an edge of a growl on her voice, “Give me a moment to calm down or I am going to bolt.”
Kaidah stopped and looked at her, unsure what to do.
"Aideen, what’s wrong?"
“Be quiet.” Aideen replied, closing her eyes and drawing in a breath.
The thought that she was certain she was stronger then Kaida and faster to boot went through her mind. And on its heels was the thought that she hoped she wouldn’t have to test that theory. That sounded more like her. That thought comforted her and she opened her eyes with a deep, drawn out sigh.
“Antsy all the sudden… Sorry Kaidah.” Aideen offered up a half truth, still not completely at ease with the situation.
"Um... ok," she muttered, still looking puzzled, “I spoke to Ken'Daichi, he told me what’s going on."
“Ah, yes. That.” Aideen sighed out, scowling at nothing in particular.
She got up, closing the files in front of her, ones she had barely gotten any work done on.
“Must a sedative be used? I haven’t slept in over twelve hours.” Aideen murmured under her breath, not really caring at the moment if Kaidah heard her or not.
The idea of not having a way out of the dreams until the sedative wore off or unless her body went into over drive and kick started itself was not an appealing one. She was already high strung, being kick started awake would probably start a fight and flight mechanism.
"No, I suppose not," she replied quietly, “But...it might be safer to use the bed restraints."
Her voice sounded uneasy, giving Aideen the impression that she really didn't want to do this.
Aideen’s ears perked over at Kaidah as she looked over at the woman… Before she walked over to her and just simply hugged her. She wasn’t much of one for personal affection, but would go as far as calling Kaidah her friend. Her and Laruen, as much as the woman irritated the hell out of her… It was also nice to have someone who felt as apprehensive about this as she did.
“I don’t like this either Kaidah. But it’s practically the only lead we might possibly have at the moment. If it is even a lead.” Aideen reasoned, taking a step back and looking at Kaidah, “I wouldn’t know about restraints. All I’ve managed so far is to fall off the couch.” Aideen smiled, trying to lighten the situation a little.
"Still, the neural scanner will push you deeper into your subconscious. There's a chance it could trigger a somnambulism."
"Ah, point. Yeah, attacking someone out of self defense from something in a dream isn't something I want to add to my list of 'how I kicked that person's rear'." Aideen snorted, vaguely amused, “With that in mind it might possibly be better to use the sedative... Just have a mild one standing by in case I happen to wake up in a panic."
"Alright," she replied as they walked over to one of them beds. Aideen sat there and watched as Kaidah got ready, tentatively placing the scanner on her temple.
"Aideen, I..." she stammered a bit, not sure what to say about this, “Sweet dreams?"
Aideen laughed. There wasn’t anything sweet about her dreams as of late. But it was oddly funny coming from Kaidah.
“Sweet is hardly the word I would use. And tell Ken’Daichi he’s a jerk.” Aideen sighed out.
She never felt this high strung when it came to stealing pieces of art work, it was always get in, get seen, become invisible by blending in with the crowd, the steal the piece and get out. Really simple, always worked like a charm. Well… it had until Ken’Daichi had thrown a wrench into her works.
“A sedative it is. Can’t stop thinking.” Aideen sighed once more, interrupting her own trail of thought, looking over at Kaidah.
Kaidah just stood next to her quietly for the longest of time, just starring at nothing until Aideen sat up and reached out to touch her hand. She sighed slowly, shaking her head, reaching up to take the device off of Aideen’s head. One of Aideen’s ears gave a questioning flick that Kaidah just shook her head at once more.
“Just go Aideen. I’ll take the blame. Just bring me coffee later.” Kaidah said with a scowl.
“Kaidah, it’s my shift in about two hours…”
“But you don’t really want to do this… right?”
“… No, I don’t.”
“I understand being scared… more so then you know. I also understand bravery is just a front you put forth. There is no being brave in front of the unknown. So go, I’ll do a double shift, just lay low and I’ll take the blame, alright?”
“Ken’Daichi is going to skin you alive…”
“Yeah, he’s no where near as scary as Laruen.” Kaidah smiled as Aideen chuckled.
“Go, and don’t get caught.”
Aideen perked at that statement… that she could do, that she could definitely do and then some. She slid off the table, looking at Kaidah briefly, before she disappeared out the door. She made her way down the hall way as quietly and quickly as she could, making an effort to avoid area’s where there were voices, taking the long way back to her room with the intention of locking herself in her bedroom with a large block of clay.
‘It’s all your fault,’ his minds voice muttered to him as he walked to the galley. It didn’t tell him anything that he wasn’t already thinking though. Everything they had been through in recent weeks was his fault, being drug into this other galaxy, the attacks by the Aaranen, the death…
So many of his crew had died in the trip through the portal, more in the proceeding attacks. Every one of them was a stab at his heart, and there was nothing he could do to relieve the families.
‘Don’t forget the ones that aren’t your crew.’
Aideen disliked him, he knew it. If it hadn’t been for his orders to question her, she wouldn’t be in this mess. If he had handled the attack better, if he had been able to avoid the portal… if…
And Lauren, the closer they moved to home, if they were at all, the further from her home they would be. She acted like he had done her a favor, but had he? She’d likely become homesick at some point.
‘They’d be better off without you, that’s for sure.’
Maybe that was true. Maybe he should…
Ken’Daichi looked up from his thoughts, finding himself no where near the galley. He was standing in the Airlock, hand over the controls.
‘How did I get here?’ he wondered as he looked around, looking down at his hand.
There was a clatter across the room, followed by a loud crash and a string of cussing that ended in a loud sigh. Laruen stood there in front of a ship, a tipped over tool box at her feet, tools everywhere. She had a wrench in one hand, her hands on her hips, a scowl on her lips as she eyed the ship in front of her. Her hair was covered by a white bandana that already had grease stains on it, and she was in uniform pants, shoes and a white tank top, which had grease hand prints on it. She turned to look down at the tools on the floor, suddenly looking up as if she had suddenly noticed him across the room.
“Hm? Ken’Daichi? What the hell are you doing here?” She asked, sounding tired, as she bent down to sort through the tools, “If you’re looking to throw yourself out of the air lock, give me about ten minutes and I can do that for you.” She joked, a slight smile on her face.
Ken'Daichi turned and looked at her, a blank expression on his face. He wasn't sure what happened, feeling more confused as he mentally retraced his steps.
"How...I was headed for somewhere else..."
“Oh I see how it is,” Laruen said, pointing at him with the wrench in her hand as she stood up, “Wander into my dock, making excuses. Eesh, am I that lousy company?” Laruen snorted, amused at something before she turned her attention back to the ship in front of her.
She couldn’t say much really, she believed herself to be bad company and had been avoiding Mu like the plague since she had hauled him off to the medical bay. Despite the fact she considered Mu one of the few people, if the only one, she could call friend. She sighed, reaching out to rest her hand on the ship.
"No, I..." he thought for a moment as he started to walk towards her, “I was on the bridge, and was headed for the galley. Then suddenly I'm..." he glances back over his shoulder, still puzzled by what happened, “Here."
Laruen let her hand slide from the ship as she turned to face him, crossing her arms across her chest, her finger tapping against the wrench in her hand as she seemed to be considering something.
“… I’m not good with people Ken’Daichi. But I’m good at listening. I may not have much to say, but I can at least offer you an open ear.” She said thoughtfully, wondering exactly what was on his mind.
"I was just thinking I guess," he muttered quietly, “About the people who've died in coming here, and since then. The fact that we're stranded." Ken'Daichi walked over to a crate and sat down with a sigh, “The fact that I'm responsible for it."
“How?” Laruen asked, squatting down as she tilted the tool box upright and started picking up the tools, “It’s not like you made the portal to engulf the ship, or killed those people.” She muttered thoughtfully.
"There was something I could have done, there had to be. I'm supposed to protect my crew, not get them killed."
“Like what?” Laruen asked, closing the tool box and standing up, “Begged harder? Screamed louder?” She sneered, seeming to be referring to herself, not him at that moment. She sighed, turning her attention back to him, “They didn’t die in vain, but if you keep on thinking that way they might as well have. By my understanding they all died doing what they could to help people, to protect people. Doesn’t that mean anything?”
"It's complicated," he replied, “And don't take this the wrong way, but I don't expect you to understand. Your experience is different. A captain’s first duty is to protect the ship and crew, I failed."
“Maybe, maybe not. I still want to kill them all. For what they did… for what they still are doing. For myself and the people they’ve murdered… and for the those they will slaughter because they fell for the same trap. Revenge sucks, but this isn’t about that. My race is dead. Replaced by a mass of mindless walking corpses that are praising to some kind of gods of destruction.” She looked away from him, “Do you have any idea how many people I’ve watched get tortured to death because they fell for the same damn trap you did? Do you have any idea how guilty I feel about my inability to save them? I got lucky with the group before you, despite what they did to me, and was able to save them. I knew a second rescue attempt would get me killed if I got left behind…. So… try me. I might understand better then you think Ken’Daichi.” She looked back at him, a fierce look in her eyes.
"I am sure that must have been hard, and I didn't say your life was easy, just different. They weren't your responsibility, and even now the only one you need to worry about is you. Same with..." he paused again, guilt washing over his face, “I know Aideen blames me, I've been half expecting her to blow up and openly accuse me of trapping her here."
"Worry about me…“ She snorted again, motioning him over as she headed to a small set up she had in the corner of the room. It was a cot, a couple of blankets and small desk she had obviously taken from somewhere else, “I don't want to think about me. I've got way too many fucking problems that I don't even know how to begin how to address." She sat down on top of the desk, gesturing to the cot for him, “And Aideen? I don't know what to tell you about her, I feel like there's a lot more going on with her then she lets on. And she creeps around like she's walking on pins and needles lately... can't blame her with that, bunch of weird shit going on lately."
"Yeah, I suppose," he muttered as he walked over, “I just... I wish I could tell them we'd be ok, that we'll make it home. But I'd feel like it was a lie."
"I don't think it is. I think there's another way back. Just got to find it, that's all. And that might take time." She looked at him and sighed, "I wish I knew where home was. I don't really have... anywhere to call home. The room I was given feels sterile and empty. Reminds me way too much of the prisons on Aaran... So I made a small corner for myself. No one really visits me. Probably has something to do with the fact no one knows where I am anymore... not that I've done anything to fix that." She smiled thoughtfully.
"How is Musevni?" he asked, “You two seem to get along, I'm sure he knows where you are."
"I don't know. I haven't had the gull to visit him since he tried to make the Aaranen ship make friends with the Katana... and I hauled him off to the medical bay. Been busy trying to figure out how to fix the engine I trashed. But engines aren't my thing, so it's been a learning experience." She answered, "I like Mu because he doesn't look at me like I'm a freak. And don't say your crew doesn't because I've seen the looks some of them give me when they think I'm not looking... they aren't exactly friendly."
"They're curious, unfamiliar, scared," he replied, “I'm sure it will pass." Ken'Daichi looked at the Aaranen ship sitting there, “I was thinking about a name for this hunk of scrap metal."
She chuckled, “Oh you mean besides piece of shit?" She leaned back against the wall, looking over at him.
He laughed, it felt good to laugh, and it was in very short supply, “On my world there is a story about a monster. A terrible creature called a Chimera. It is said to have three heads, each of a different animal. A different body, and a serpents tail."
Laruen looked thoughtful as she looked over at the Aaranen ship.
"Seems fitting, considering the means that were used to construct it." She sat forward and looked at him, “I hope you're right about your crew. I know what the stare of malice feels like; sometimes I think it's itching at the back of my neck. Maybe just my over active imagination... but anyway... talk to your crew Ken'Daichi, with all the weird shit going on, they could use some hopeful news. And it's not a lie if it's true. If the means are out there, I'll see this ship back where ever you came from.”
"Which would put you in the same situation we're in now. Alone in an unfamiliar space."
Laruen sighed and looked at him, “I know that Ken'Daichi. But helping get the ship back seems like a bigger problem then mine, doesn't it?"
“I have to take everyone’s problems into account," he replied, the weight of it obvious on his voice, “That’s what captains do, but this... they didn't teach us anything like this in command school."
"No, no you don't Ken'Daichi." Laruen said as she hopped off the desk and walked up to Ken'Daichi, standing in front of him with her hands on her hips, "So Aideen's got a bug up her ass and I've got problems. So what? Those things can take care of themselves, in time, hopefully. Just like Kaidah, we, and I'm probably guessing Aideen as well, want to help you and your crew."
"All I mean is that everyone on this ship is my responsibility," he said as he stood up, “In any case, I should be getting something to e-" The room spun around him as his vision blurred. Ken'Daichi wasn't even sure he was falling, or what direction till he hit the floor unconscious.
Laruen made a choked sound, reaching out to catch Ken’Daichi… which only brought her to the floor with her legs squished between him and the cold metal of the deck. Her arms and hands wrapped around his chest, holding onto him, holding him to her to prevent him from going to the floor. She sat there for a moment, nearly dumbfounded at what had just happened, before she gave herself a mental kick and wiggled her legs free.
|October 21 2011, 12:28 PM||#6|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
“Considering the state of his body, the stress he’s been putting on himself and the lack of sleep… well… but this cannot continue.” Aideen’s voice sighed out.
“What needs to be done?” Kaidah’s voice spoke up.
“Speak to Kagome, I’m sure she knows how to run this ship, just tell her that Ken‘Daichi needs rest. Doctor‘s orders..” Aideen said and Kaidah nodded before hurrying out of the room.
Laruen had found Aideen quickly and quietly, banging on her bedroom door until the woman finally submitted and came out. She dragged her off without any explanation and took her to Ken’Daichi. Aideen and Laruen had a simple moment of understanding without saying a single thing, he wouldn’t want the crew to see him like this. Together, with a bit of struggling, they got him to his room where Aideen left him in Laruen’s care before running off to the medical bay for Kaidah and supplies.
Laruen sat in the corner of the room, being helpful when Aideen seemed to need her help, but otherwise she stayed quiet.
“Laruen, I need you to do something for me.”
“Keep him in bed, for at least twenty four hours, I don’t care how you do it, I don’t care if you have to bodily knock him down every time he gets up. I will be back as soon as I can; I need to get some supplements and sedatives for him.”
Aideen left the room as Laruen got up and moved to stand over Ken’Daichi, watching him intently.
“nnnggg…” Ken’Daichi murmured as he shifted on the bed, slowly opening his eyes, “Where?”
Kaidah rushed to the said of the bed to check on him, with Laruen right behind her. Lauren peaked over Kaidah’s shoulder smugly.
“You passed out, like a pansy, and now you‘re in your room.”
“You passed out, sir,” Kaidah replied as she glanced at Laruen, “The readings show you’re stressed, but not really enough to cause what happened. Something else seems to be happening to you, but either was Aideen wants you to take some time off.”
Ken’Daichi sat up, fully intending to walk out of there.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t afford to rest right now. I have work to do,” he replied, “Go over the readings again and let me know if you find anything out.”
There was a sharp prick to his arm... and Aideen stood behind him, a look of defiance in her eyes.
"As I recall, you said my orders, as your doctor, can surpass yours. You are on bed rest for the next day, give me that, and I'll let you get up. Don't, and I'll plug you with another sedative, a much larger dose this time."
"You know, that was never officially entered into the ships log," he said calmly as he fought off the sedative.
"Ask me, as of this moment, if I care Ken'Daichi. You'll find the answer is a resounding no. I am simply going to take you at your word. Kagome seems perfectly happy with my orders." Aideen retorted, her tails flicking in a agitated movement behind her as she prepped another sedative.
Ken'Daichi considered protesting, even claiming that in the current situation he needed to be on duty. Somehow, as he looked at each of the three of them, he knew it would end up being futile.
"Fine, but give me a counter to the sedative," he said finally, “At least long enough to get something to eat, which is where I wanted to go in the first damn place."
"Supplements." Aideen said, dropping a package into his hands, “The sedative I gave you was mild enough it'll just simply make it a little hard to think and impede some motor control. I have had enough sneaky lessons from Laruen that you can deal with it." Aideen snorted out, grabbing a chair and pulling it over.
"Damn...remind me to try to behave a little better." Laruen murmured to Kaidah whom simply nodded in agreement with the statement she had made. Aideen pretended not to hear a word they were saying, focusing on Ken'Daichi instead.
"Supplements," he echoed as he looked at them, “If I didn't know any better I'd say you'd always been a doctor. Will there be anything else?"
He hadn't meant to, didn't even realize he had done it. It was the stress probably, or exhaustion, maybe whatever else may have been affecting the crew that had caused it, but whatever it was caused a glare to accompany that last sentence.
"When squeezing into tight cracks to find someone trapped, someone you can't get out on your own and have to await help for up to three days because some asses think you aren't good enough to work on a team, supplements became a highly useful tool to have on hand." Aideen replied, frowning at him, “And no, not really." She got up then, almost seeming...angry as she disappeared out of the room as quietly as she had come in.
Kaidah looked to Laruen, and handed her a hypo before leaving the room after Aideen, to try to see what had her upset.
"Sorry Ken'Daichi, doc’s orders. I'm your baby sitter for the next day." Laruen said as she settled herself down into the chair Aideen had been in.
"Joy," he murmured quietly as he looked at the supplements again, “What’s wrong with her?"
"I don't know." Laruen sighed out, "But she seems mad at you for some reason. Maybe it's not mad, maybe frustrated. Eh. I don't know." She gave a aimless shrug eyeing the supplements as well before she reached out to take the bag from him. She got up and walked across the room, fidgeting with something before she returned to him, offering him a thermos full of stew, “It's hot. Got to be tastier then this stuff though." Laruen mused as she sat back down, “I always keep that on hand... kind of like you. I won't remember to eat until Mu or Kaidah yells at me. So I keep that around to wave at them to get them to leave me alone." She smiled slightly.
"I'll have to remember that," he said as he took it from her, “You don't really have to stay here. I'm sure you have other things you'd rather be doing."
"Work on an engine I don't exactly know how to fix? Oh sure. I'd love to be doing that." Laruen scowled, “Besides that, I really don't want whatever Aideen's frustrations are on my head... it would just end in a violent fight." She sighed, looking at him as she crossed her arms across her chest.
"I still say she's over reacting," he stated as he looked out the cabin window at the still unfamiliar stars, “Something is happening to the crew, and I need to figure out what it is. Not sit here like a caged animal."
"Won't know until someone talks to her." Laruen said with a aimless shrug before she got up and paced around the room... she stopped and then turned to Ken'Daichi, “Four hours, get four hours of sleep and I'll see about sneaking you around to where you need to go. But if Aideen gets wind of it, you may possibly be on your own. Think you can handle that?" Laruen offered, as she understood about feeling caged, better then she should have.
"Do I have a choice?"
Kaidah studied the readings she had collected from various crew members, looking for any clue that may lead to an answer. Aideen would be back soon, but somehow Kaidah suspected this was outside of her medical training. Hell, it was outside of her own training.
Nothing like a good cram session, she thought ruefully.
She heard the med deck doors slide open as Aideen walked in, and collected what she had been looking at.
“Aideen, I think I may have found something.”
Aideen made an unintelligent sound, taking a long drink of whatever was in the cup in her hands, before she sighed loudly and walked over to Kaidah.
"What is it?" She asked, peering over Kaidah's shoulder.
"Right, well it got me thinking that maybe that’s exactly what it was. Some one, or something else," she started rambling again, but more coherent this time, “So I checked the neural scans looking for anything out of place, but nothing really stood out. There was some variance in Musevni's brainwave scan; and I believe Laruen's too although I don't know enough about her physiology. Anyway, there was some variance, but nothing outside normal parameters. Then Ken'Daichi passed out, I think the effect and the stress caused the more severe reaction. This time I saw the variance again, but it registered as a distinct and separate brainwave. Like it was a completely different consciousness.”
Aideen blinked and had a far off look on her face. She was quiet for the longest of time before she peered at Kaidah.
"If I am understanding this, and it makes sense, there's something... fucking with us, as Laruen would put it." Aideen scowled deeply, "How are my dreams connected?" Aideen asked, almost absent mindedly as she finished off the drink in her hands and set the cup down, “We've got to tell Ken'Daichi. Until then, keep this quiet. The crew doesn't need to riled up just yet."
"There could be something about your race that is causing the effect to manifest as dreams instead of waking thought," Kaidah commented, “Oh I wish Dianae was online... There is one thing though. The neural stimulants... I think they might be making us more susceptible."
"...that's not what I want to hear. C'mon, we need to go talk to Ken'Daichi." Aideen said rubbing her forehead, "Bring your findings with you. And radio for Ken'Daichi's location, I would bet one my tails Laruen let him out of bed."
Kaidah tapped the controls on the console, “He's in the hanger bay, Laruen is with him."
"Let's go." Aideen replied, heading for the door.
|October 21 2011, 12:28 PM||#7|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
"Over here," he called as he came from behind the Aaranen ship with an engine component in hand, “And before you get angry with me, you told me to relax. This is relaxing."
"I can't muster any anger right now." Aideen said with a smile, which quickly faded away, “We have a problem. A couple of them. Kaidah was busy while I was away, and she found out some things. There is something out there, what it is, we're not sure, but it's messing with us, not sure why it's doing that either. And the neural stimulants aren't helping."
"I think they are making it worse, by making the people who are taking it more susceptible to this things influence." Kaidah said, offering up her findings to Ken'Daichi.
Laruen listened in, choosing to stay quiet for the time being, even as a deep scowl worked its way across her lips. Ken'Daichi looked over the data in silence, trying to piece it together.
"Medical science is not my area of expertise, but what might this... influence be?"
"Emotional, mental perhaps." Kaidah mused, "Not completely certain at the moment. Aideen is the only person, thus far, who hasn't lost it after being affected."
"I don't understand my dreams, and also, cannot be completely certain that they are connected. But it would make the most sense that they were. But the question is, if I'm affected, why is it only affecting my dreams, and not my mind like it did Laruen and Musevni." Aideen said with a frown, "You'll also have to pardon my earlier running away.”
"There is a story in my home land," he muttered calmly, “About the Amatsu-Mikaboshi. They have no body, no face, no physical form."
Aideen's ears perked at that.
"I recall restoring a collection of beautiful scrolls about that. All of them were drawn in such haste, two of them were half finished, but the words were so desperate, what little I could understand. By what little I could gather, Amatsu-Mikaboshi was a he, and was depicted as a god."
Kaidah looked at Aideen with a frown, now realizing her hunch that there was far more going on with Aideen was true... but knew full well that now was not the time to deal with it.
"Yes, many of the cultures we've encountered have similar tales," he replied, “The Amatsu-Mikaboshi was said to feed on the darkness within all men. Love would turn to jealousy, ambition to greed. I never believed such a creature truly existed, but the coincidence is a little much to ignore."
"This still leaves us in a great unknown. How do we search for something that we aren't certain what looks like? And how do we get away from it if we can't find it? We are still very much trapped in this void." Aideen mused with a frown.
"I can take the Chimera out, once it's up and running. I wouldn't be against the risk of going even further then Mu did. Someone's got to start branching out else we're all going to go mad and probably start killing each other." Laruen said from where she sat.
"No, too dangerous. If this thing gets to you while you are there we might not be able to avert disaster this time."
"Then what do you suggest?" Laruen sighed out, frowning at Ken'Daichi, "The longer we stay here, obviously, the worse things are going to get."
"There has got to be a way to track it," he muttered, “It says here you detected a distinct energy pattern when you did my neural scan?"
"Yes. And I don't suggest putting yourself under those conditions again." Kaidah said.
"Glad she's on my side," Aideen said as Kaidah gave her a slight smile, "If I'm affected, but not actively suffering aside from nightmares, it would be most likely to track whatever it is through that. I of course, would have to-."
"Man up." Laruen injected with a slight grin, earning a snort of amusement from Aideen.
"Yes, for a better lack of words." Aideen looked back over at Ken'Daichi.
"I was thinking of something else," he replied, “It might be possible to isolate the energy pattern itself and track it to its source."
"Maybe." Aideen mused, "we can only hope it's that easy. With that in mind, I am going to take Kaidah back to her room, and then get to work, if you want to be involved in this, meet me back up in the medical bay in about ten minutes."
"But I-" Kaidah started up.
"You haven't slept in nearly twenty hours; your shift is more then over. I'm sure I can hold the fort until you get back up Kaidah." Aideen stopped her, smiling. Kaidah scowled at her, putting her hands on her hips.
"Fine, but if you need me for any one reason... you better call for me."
"I will, I promise. Now, if you'll excuse us." Aideen said, canting her head at Ken'Daichi and ushered Kaidah out of the hanger.
Officers Log, Rikugan Taii Ken’Daichi Yakamura commanding;
It has been 6 hours since the last incident with the entity. Aideen believes that its hold on us is weakened now that the neural stimulants are out of our system. How long this will last is uncertain.
Aideen was able to isolate the energy pattern, and with Musevni’s help has reconfigured the sensors to track it. It seems to be leading us deeper into this void. While going further in is not an ideal choice, it is my opinion that it is our best chance to find a solution to the problem.
“Sir,” Musevni called as he stepped onto the bridge.
“What can I do for you Musevni?”
“Since I am assuming you are planning on following the energy signal I’ve been thinking about the issue of going deeper into this void.”
“What have you got in mind?”
“Yes sir, like Hansel and Gretel.”
“I’m not very familiar with your native stories Musevni.”
“Hansel and Gretel were two children who got lost. They had some bread with them and left bread crumbs along their path to find their way home.”
“I see, so we leave something along our path to find our way.”
“Yes sir, I can have half a dozen probes reconfigured as signal buoys in half an hour, more along the way.”
“Good work, carry on.”
Ken'Daichi tapped the comm. panel and called the med bay.
"Aideen, I intend on taking us to the source of the alien influence and finding a way to stop it. Any idea's on how we might be able to block its effect?"
“We’re working on that now sir; Aideen is unable to answer at the moment.” Kaidah’s voice answered, “She’s done something to herself, I’m not entirely sure what but it’s like she’s caught between a waking nightmare and reality… I can’t get near her sir. She gets angry and agitated when I get near her. But… She’s working. Clumsily and badly, but I think that’s what she’s trying to reproduce-” The comm. suddenly clicked off.
"Get a security team down there," he barked as he stormed across the bridge to the lift, “Kagome, you have the bridge." Ken'Daichi met the security team outside the med deck and, after having to override the lock, entered the room.
Kaidah looked over as the doors slid opened. She was standing behind a medical table… and the place had been complete upturned on the other side of the room, the desk was turned over, papers where everywhere, there were hypos spread out all over, some of them broken.
“She is… was in the back office… but… is there a vent or something back there?” Kaidah asked, swallowing a few times before she spoke up, “She stopped mumbling a few seconds ago… but…” She left rest of what she was going to say out there, but her expression said everything. She was afraid of going back there.
"It's ok," he said as he moved closer to her, “What happened?"
"She called me down. Saying that she needed me. She wouldn't go into details and turned the comm. off when I asked her what was wrong. I came down here as soon as I could... she was babbling, injecting herself with things, I didn't get the chance to figure out what. But through her babbling I gathered that she was trying to make something to ward off the effects of the creature... but I didn't realize she was doing a live test on herself... I..."
She shook her head as she wrung her hands together, "She kept on weaving in and out of reality... Torn between being frightened, reasonable, and agitated. I think she's trying... Maybe, possibly, to develop some kind of resistance in herself and go from there... I tried to help, but this happened.." Kaidah gestured to the medical bay.
"Check the back," he said to the security team, “Kaidah, do you have any idea what she injected herself with?"
Kaidah took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the medical table, walking across the room to the mess of hypos. She sorted through them, carefully picking up the broken ones and examining them.
“Stimulants, mental and emotional. Relaxer, mental and muscle. Hyper stimulants, mental and physical. Chemical accelerators, and dilates .” Aideen’s voice came from the vents and it sounded like she was getting further away.
“She’s in the vents…” Kaidah said as she searched the ceiling, “Where do the medical bay vents connect? It would be a very bad idea for her to drop in on people…”
"Everywhere," Ken'Daichi replied, “We'll have to flood the conduits with anesthetizine gas. Kaidah, I need you to release the locks on the atmospheric controls."
"On one condition... someone gets to her, very quickly. If her dreams are as bad as she says they are and she's affected by that thing... all those chemicals in her body..." Kaidah trailed off, "But this may be what she wanted... running scans on her while she's like this..." She shook her head, "The controls, right." She went up to the control console and adjusted the controls, “That should do it."
Ken'Daichi moved over to a storage bin and retrieved and oxygen mask, then looked over his shoulder as he approached the vent.
"Once I'm inside lock down the vents and flood them with the gas. It will cut off everyone's air supply, but I should have hours before it becomes a problem."
“Right. Here.” Kaidah handed Ken’Daichi a hypo, “It’s empty, but I have a feeling Aideen called me down to help her with this test of hers… and to do that I’ll need a sample. Don’t be surprised if she refuses to let you near her until she’s completely out… Just come back in one piece…” She scowled at him and then sighed.
"That, as well as the sample, is up to her," he muttered as he climbed into the vent. He heard it lock behind him as he fixed the mask to his face and started moving forward.
The vent sealed shut behind him, leaving almost not light save for the dim glow of the occasional console. He traveled in darkness and silence for a while before he came to a large intersection… and he was aware of eyes watching him from the darkness.
“I could have still been on earth, minding my art, minding my dust.” Aideen’s voice hissed followed by a low whimper of distress.
"Aideen, it's all right," he said calmly, “Why don't you come out and talk."
“Talk?” Her voice growled, almost seeming to move around him, “Isn’t that what we are doing?”
"I usually prefer to see who I'm talking to," he replied.
"You would like that, wouldn't you?" The hostility in her voice sounded defensive... but there was a faint rattling, followed by a thump.
"You've sealed off the vents." She uttered in a moment of clarity. She appeared then, on the edge of the darkness, hanging out of a vent, her hands braced against the wall, hanging in the dim glow of the consoles. She looked... spooked, frightened and angry all at the same time.
"What do you want, thief of thieves?"
"I want you to come back to the med bay," he said calmly, “We can have Kaidah take a look at you, make sure your ok."
Her ears flattened against her skull, “I am fine." She stated firmly before scooting back into the vent she was hanging out of, “I... just don't like the dark... There are things... things." Her voice trailed off, a low sound coming from where she was, “What have you done?" It was an accusation, the edge of hostility in her voice changed from defensive to aggressive, but she spoke in barely a whisper.
"There's light in the med bay," he replied as he moved closer, “Come on Aideen, you know this isn't you."
"How do you know? You haven't taken any time to know me." Her speech was slurred and slow.
"You... You told me, remember?" he asked thoughtfully, “About the art, the person you told me about wouldn't be acting like this now."
"How... How should this person act when you've all but stolen her home away from her? And... then... expect her to be... okay with it?" Aideen murmured, “I am just the doctor. I have no... home anymore..."
There was silence then, followed by a low whimpering. She was there, laying just inside the vent she had crawled in, lost to a fevered dream. She was impossibly warm to the touch, and would occasionally twitch in response to something within the dreams she was lost in.
Ken'Daichi moved closer to check her, finding her unconscious. He quickly took a sample then pulled her onto his back. It was slow, but he managed to find his way back to the med bay and bang on the hatch.
The hatch opened after a moment and Kaidah let him through, helping him get her onto the bed.
“It’ll be a short bit before the vents are cleared out and opened back up.” Kaidah said as she started running scans on Aideen, “Are you alright?” She peered over her shoulder at him for a moment.
"I'm fine, she didn't wound me," he replied as he turned away. Not physically, he added as an afterthought, although not verbally, “Here's your sample."
Kaidah took the sample even as she gave him a weary look... but let it go, moving over to the medical devices.
"Of course it would really help if Aideen was awake to tell me exactly what I should be looking for... but it's probably best she sleeps off the stimulants and chemicals in her system."
"Keep me informed," he ordered as he walked out of the med bay. His place right now was on the bridge.
|October 21 2011, 12:30 PM||#8|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
|October 23 2011, 07:39 AM||#9|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
It was hot, unbelievably hot… She walked among the ancient buildings and felt the fire that was once there. She could hear the whispers of those long dead souls that once lived here. And it frightened her…
Fire burning, brimstone of the hell mouth…
Death, Destruction, Damnation….
“Stop it!” She yelled, knowing there was no one there to hear her. She knew what was happening, this was just another dream right? Nothing can really hurt you in a dream.
”What are you doing here?” A disembodied voice asked. She spun around, trying to find where the words came from before she answered.
“You do not belong here, get out!”
“Wait!” she pleaded. She needed to find out what was going on.
“OUT!” A dark shadow passed over the buildings, blocking out what little light there was. There was a blast of heat from all around her, so hot she felt like her flesh was burning. Fear ran through her as she could smell the flesh burn, and she tried to cry out in pain.
“Aideen!” A distorted voice came to her, making her wonder if she was still in that dream world.
The doors to the bridge slid open and Kaidah stood there, looking completely worse for wear. She looked like she hadn’t slept for a day or more. She scanned the bridge, not addressing anyone that was now curiously starring at her. She made a low frustrated sound, not acknowledging Ken’Daichi as he stood up and pulled at her own hair even as she turned, disappearing quickly off the bridge as she had appeared.
She jogged down the hall way, avoiding people like they were the plague, going as far as pressing herself against the walls of the corridor to slide by them, ignoring them even when they questioned her. She slapped away any hands that reached out towards them, fixed them with the nastiest sneer she could manage before she went on. She knew there was something wrong with her, knew that she was most likely touched by whatever was out there as her thoughts had been taking on a more irrational trail of thought… but she had been doing a decent job of ignoring them when she had been in the med bay, just simply watching over Aideen.
But the lack of sleep had caused her to pass out on top of the paper work she had been working on, and when she had woken up, Aideen was gone. She had almost set off in a impulsive panic, filled with dread that the source of her focus was gone. But instead she made herself become fixated on finding Aideen. But it didn’t exactly keep the whispers away.
“Shut up!” She snapped at seemingly no one, throwing her hands out wide in a irate gesture, as the beginning of the whispers started in the back of her skull like a distant hum.
She had to find Laruen. She would help her find Aideen. And she wouldn’t ask so many questions. Like the person who was hovering over her now was doing. She wasn’t listening to him in the slightest, so she turned and fled down the hall, intent on making her way down to the hanger. With her fixation set, the whispers turned to a dull hum in the back of her skull.
Laruen scowled at the back of Musevni’s head for what had to be the hundredth time. She was hovering over his shoulder, watching him closely as he inspected the Chimera, and he seemed to be either tolerating it, or ignoring her. She didn’t care which, she didn’t exactly trust his judgment right now concerning the Chimera due to recent events.
“Laruen…” Musevni started up, looking over his shoulder at her,
“No. Stuff it. You’ve earned a evil eye from me for as long as I want, Mister.” She huffed at him, crossing her arms across her chest, smiling at him slightly. “I might consider forgiving you if you-”
Laruen and Musevni looked over as the hanger doors slid open and Kaidah ran in. She stopped, looked about frantically for a moment before she finally spotted Laruen and ran over, grabbing at her hands. Laruen, on a knee jerk, yanked her hands out of Kaidah’s grasp and took a defensive step back, which earned her a sneer.
“Don’t touch me.” Laruen said with her own sneer, something about Kaidah was off, and it made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end.
“I need your help.” Kaidah stated.
“I need you to help me find Aideen.”
“What? What do you mean find Aideen?”
“She left the medical bay. I don’t know where she is, she’s not answering any of the comm., and I have the feeling she’s not exactly herself, still.” Kaidah explained even as Laruen frowned at her, not pointing out to Kaidah that there was something obviously wrong with her.
Laruen glanced at Musevni as he stood up and Kaidah snarled at him.
“You stay out of this! You cannot help me find her! You don’t care!” Kaidah growled out.
Laruen reached out and took Kaidah by the arms, distracting her from Musevni, turning her away from him and towards the hanger doors.
“C’mon, let’s go find Aideen.” She pushed Kaidah forward even as she leaned quickly over to Musevni and told him to get Ken’Daichi before leading Kaidah out into the hallway.
Aideen sat in a corner of the mess hall, near the vent she had crawled in through, starring mindlessly at the tray of food in front of her. Hunger had driven her out of the vents, but now that she had the food, she wasn’t entirely sure she wanted it. Her mind was else where, her ears nervously ticking in every which direction, seeming to focus on only things she could hear. There had been something wrong with Kaidah, she noticed it when she had woken up… The looming sense of dread that lingering about the woman as she toiled over her paperwork had made her nervous and twitchy. She had barely been able to sit still long enough for Kaidah to pass out. But once she had, she had made her way towards the med bay doors… and stood there.
She could hear the voices on the other side of the doors. They weren’t talking to her, but to other people on board the ship. She could hear the malice and hate in the voices. Some of it was directed, some of it was not, and none of it made any sense, the words unclear. She took a step back from the door, starting when Kaidah made a sound in her sleep and made for the vents, grumbling names directed at Ken’Daichi as she struggled to get the med bay vents opened.
She picked up the fork on the tray and stabbed at the food, no longer interested in it. She slowly looked up, frowning at the north doors to the mess hall. Something… something was coming. She could feel it, a nagging feeling she couldn’t dismiss. She got up slowly, afraid that any sudden movements would draw attention to her, unaware that she was doing exactly that as the few crew members in the mess hall were giving her funny looks. Her eyes went wide as the doors slid open, revealing Laruen, whom looked impossibly relieved to see her.
“Goddamn it Aideen, why do you drive everyone buggy?” Laruen asked with a sigh as she started forward.
“You stay away from me!” Aideen exclaimed, seeming to point at Laruen, but was actually pointing at Kaidah when she noticed her behind her.
Aideen flattened herself against the wall and made a dive for the south doors of the mess hall, slipping between them and disappearing down the hall once the doors were opened.
Laruen was confused for a second but reached out to grapple with Kaidah as the woman tried to run past her, going as far as kneeing the woman in the gut to bring her down to the ground when she started to struggle against her grasp, uttering at Laruen to let her go, now. Laruen was absolutely convinced there was something not right now. Aideen was obviously frightened of Kaidah, but why? And what was wrong with Aideen? The drugs still? She was no doctor, and thus could only speculate that that was it. She picked Kaidah up off the ground and held her firmly by the arms.
“What is going on Kaidah? What did you do to Aideen?” Laruen questioned with a deep scowl even as Kaidah fixed her with a glare.
“Nothing! Now let me go! You obviously don’t care either! I’ll find her myself!” Kaidah struggled hard against Laruen’s grasp.
“Bullshit you did nothing! She was afraid of you Kaidah, why is she running away from you?” Laruen questioned, giving Kaidah a slight shake to bring her attention back to her.
“I… What? What are you talking about?” Kaidah questioned, looking dazed and confused all the sudden.
Laruen took a deep breath and calmed her quickly rising anger. She hated it when she didn’t get the answers she wanted, but what would be the point to getting angry right now. Nothing, as it would only cause Kaidah to scream right back at her… at least that was what it seemed like.
The doors at the other end of the mess all opened, Ken'Daichi barging through leading a security team. People were going crazy on this ship, and in a way he could feel it was driving him down that same road.
"Laruen, Kaidah, what’s going on? Musevni called me on the bridge saying something was wrong."
Laruen opened her mouth to respond, looking over her shoulder at Ken’Daichi and only a grunt came out of her mouth… even as a dark sneer appeared on her face.
“Why did you just kick me?” Laruen asked as she turned her attention back to Kaidah, who’s answer was another kick to Laruen’s gut, causing her double over even as she yanked her arms out of her grasp.
“None of you care!” Kaidah exclaimed even as she pointed at Ken’Daichi and took off running towards the south door.
"Kaidah, wait!" Ken'Daichi called as he started after her. "Laruen, lets go. Tell me what you know on the way."
Laruen grunted again, straightening up, muttering something about ‘the bitch can kick’ under her breath before she moved to keep pace besides Ken’Daichi.
“I don’t really know, Kaidah came into the hanger and insisted that I help her find Aideen. She got all touchy about Mu getting up and I dragged her off before she could throw a fit at him. There’s something wrong with her… It’s like she’s there but not. Anyway, we found Aideen in here, but… she seems completely out of it and afraid of Kaidah for some reason. I couldn’t get a straight forward answer as to why… but I think we need to keep Aideen away from Kaidah.”
“Aideen’s using the vents again… But… I don’t think it’s a good idea to stop her first, rather stop Kaidah first then worry about Aideen.”
"Very well," he replied as he turned to the security personnel. "Laruen, take B team and check from section 28 forward, I'll take A team and check aft." He paused a moment as if thinking about something, then faced Laruen. "You do know your way around by now, right?"
“Uh…no. Not yet, anyway. Might be better if I just follow along… And I don’t think Kaidah’s going to listen to reason, she’s fixated on finding Aideen.” Laruen sighed out, putting her hands on her hips.
"Alright, you're with me then. B team, take 28 forward. Alert me directly if you find anything."
"Yes sir," replied the team leader.
Ken'Daichi led Laruen and the rest of the team in the other direction, unsure what might be around the corner.
They continued down the halls in silence, Laruen wasn’t making any commentary that was normal with her. But appeared to be intently listening. She slowed to a stop and waved at Ken’Daichi, pointing up at the vents and started following them. She stopped again in the middle of the hall, starring up at the vent, dead silence filling the area.
“Aideen?” Laruen called.
“Is she gone?” Aideen’s voice answered.
“Yeah, don’t know where she is though.”
“Not right.” Aideen’s voice uttered even as a loud clang echoed through the vents, “She’s not right.”
"What is it, Aideen?" he said calmly, silently signaling the security team to stay out of sight. "What’s wrong?"
"Kaidah. She's wrong. There's voices. I can't understand them..." Aideen's voice was trailing off even as Laruen bit out of a muffled sound, following the vents.
"Wait, wait, wait! Aideen, we won't let her get to you." Laruen pleaded.
"She's already here." Aideen's voice answered.
There was a loud crash echoing in the vents followed by a almost deafening silence, before the sound of someone rushing through the vents echoed through the area and Laruen ran after the sound.
“Where do these vent join at? Is there a place where they dump out?” Laruen called over her shoulder, fully expecting Ken’Daichi to be following.
“It’s the main ventilation shaft leading to the landing bay,” he replied as he started in another direction. “Stay here, and whatever you do don’t go in there.”
Ken’Daichi sprinted from the room and down the corridor, his mind racing trying to figure out what might be going through Aideen’s mind. It had to be the signal they were receiving from the near by planet the Katana was approaching.
‘I wonder how far we are’ he thought for a moment as he approached the inner doors for the landing bay. The status display made him stop, almost shocked by what he saw.
[Depressurizing: Atmospheric Containment - 82%]
Ken’Daichi knew he had to act fast. The air inside the bay was thinning fast, and he had to get to the main controls to stop the process. He feared that in Aideen’s current state, there was a chance she didn’t have a suit on, nor in one of the shuttles.
‘Then again, she could be trying to take one and get away from the ship,’ he thought as he entered his override code for the door. There was a rush of air into the room as they slid open, equalizing the pressure for a moment as he jumped through the doorway.
Aideen slammed her hands down on the controls of the shuttle, fervently trying to get the craft to spring to life. She had managed to get the outer doors to start their launch protocols, but the craft was proving to be less then cooperative.
“Have to stop it,” she muttered as she continued to hit buttons. “I’ve got to stop it before it kills them…”
Finally, as though the craft sensed her will, it powered up. She looked up, and out of the window in front of the shuttle. The outer doors began to open, finally letting her out.
Ken’Daichi had just made it to the control room, one last gasp of air in his lungs, as the outer doors began to open.
“Damn!” he exclaimed as his eyes gazed on the control panel, then out onto the bay deck. “She smashed the console… Ken’Daichi to bridge.”
“Bridge here,” Kagome’s voice answered.
“Track the shuttle, and what’s our status?”
“Entering orbit of the planet Sir, and…” There was a pause that seemed to hang in the air for an eternity. “We’ve got the shuttle on a trajectory that leads directly to the surface. Who’s on board sir?”
“Aideen is; have a landing team meet me here, I’m going to prep the Chimera and go after her.”
‘What a week this has been,’ he thought as he started to rewire the console and repressurize the bay.
“Let the fun begin, I’m going with you.” Laruen stated firmly as she stepped onto the Chimera walking over to where Ken‘Daichi was, “Couldn’t have you having all the fun… and we can’t find Kaidah. It doesn’t really matter at the moment, with Aideen off the ship anyway.”
Laruen snorted as she noticed what he was doing, the Chimera was her baby, he wasn‘t taking it anywhere without her… Besides, she wanted to see Aideen safe, not that she would even admit that out loud. She stepped up besides him, and bumped her hip into his, a completely unexpected move on her part that made him move out of the way, more out of surprise then anything. She dropped down to her knees and leaned into the panel, and began working on the wires, quickly.
“Lemme know when it’s up.” Laruen’s voice called out from under the panel.
Ken'Daichi sighed as he watched her work, wondering if there was a point to arguing. "You aren't trained Laruen... It's to dangerous for you to go."
"Not trained? OW!" Laruen hissed as she bashed the back of her head as she sat back. "Does that really matter Ken'Daichi? I know what I'm doing and I want to help... And the Chimera is mine, it's not going anywhere without me." She huffed, frowning at him before she leaned back under the panel.
"Has anyone ever told you that you have a stubbornness issue?"
"Has anyone told you that you protest too much?" Laruen retorted, smiling, although he couldn't see it.
"That’s my job," he grumbled. "Fine 'Captain,' when will the ship be ready?"
"Captain? Bah." Laruen sat back and scowled at him, "If you'd quit fussing, get on your knees and ass up in the air and help, it'd get done a lot faster." She jabbed him in the leg with her finger before she leaned back under the panel.
He sighed, then muttered something she couldn't quite hear before starting to work on the systems again. "Most of the work is already done, just need to plug things in here or there."
"Basic work, yes, otherwise it's just a mess... give me about ten minutes." Laruen murmured thoughtfully, leaning further into the panel. "And get a extra suit for me."
|October 23 2011, 07:40 AM||#10|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
“Well shit…” the comm. unit in his suit crackled, relaying Laruen’s voice as she gazed outward. “This… looks oddly familiar.”
He turned as the others stepped off the Chimera, and with exception of Laruen, Musevni, and himself all were fully armed. He had his side arm, of course, and who knew what was in Musevni’s tool kit that could be used as a weapon, but Ken’Daichi suspected it wouldn’t be needed. With how thin the remnants of the atmosphere were, it was unlikely that anything was alive down here.
“What do you mean Familiar?” he asked as he approached Laruen. She hobbled about awkwardly in the EV suit, like a child just learning to walk. She had never been trained for this, or anything else for that matter. But of course she had to be stubborn. She dug clumsily through her satchel, searching for something for a minute before looking up.
“I mean, like I’ve seen something like it before,” she snapped back. “What else would I mean?”
“Care to, maybe… elaborate?”
“Not really,” she said as she continued digging, pulling out a holo-camera and beginning to take pictures. “I’ll have to study these later.”
“We aren’t here to sight see.”
She dismissed him with a wave of her hand, an irritated flick, before she took more images of the surrounding structures, and the markings on the ground. Ken’Daichi went over the plan with the others, and she listened in with a half ear. They would have to move quickly to search for Aideen, and he didn’t want to take the time to play tourist.
“Any readings?” he asked, turning towards Musevni.
“I’m picking up multiple power sources,” reported Musevni as he looked at his scanner. “Could be automated, possibly defensive in nature.”
“You heard him folks, we might have a few surprises.”
Ken’Daichi walked to the edge of the platform and looked out over the city. It was pristine, quite, clean, an in his opinion damn creepy. The landing pad had four great towers spaced along the outside edge, giving him the feeling that he was being held in the palm of some great beast.
“Those look like control towers,” he said as he pointed to the nearest one. “It’s a long shot, but let's see if those power sources also supply a terminal we can interface with.”
The group made their way to the base of the tower, led by the security escort just in case. The building rose straight up in perfect angles, looking almost more like a cathedral then a control tower. Yet it was functional too.
Inside the building was much the same. The passageways arose high above their heads making the area seem cavernous, and with what little light there was, the team could not see where the walls ended in the distance. Laruen took images of every detail along the way, mumbling to herself as she did so. Some of the markings looked vaguely familiar, although she wasn’t sure from where. She would have to remember to lock herself away with her books upon their return to the Katana.
“Sir?” one of the guards called as he turned to Ken’Daichi. “Shouldn’t there be bodies?”
The guard looked around the area, as though making sure it was safe to talk. There was an obvious look of worry on the man’s face.
“Bodies, bones, signs that people used to be here… It almost looks like they cleaned up then, just vanished…”
“Calm down,” Ken’Daichi said, trying to sound reassuring. “For all we know the whole race could have backed up and left when their star began to die.”
Eventually the passageway lead into an equally cavernous room. If the outside of the building reminded them of a cathedral, the inside solidified the feeling. The walls curved gracefully upward, giving a striking contrast to the perfect angles they had seen outside, and eventually came to the point of a vaulted ceiling. The dull red hue was gone, showing the buildings material for what it really looked like. At a glance it appeared to be white marble with veins of gemstones, yet as Musevni passed his scanner over the walls he had a different report.
“It’s a metal alloy, harder and more flexible than anything I’ve ever seen sir.”
“We should try and get a sample, see if we can reproduce it. For now, let’s get these consoles online and get some information.”
“Let me take a crack at them, this all seems terribly familiar.” Laruen murmured as she moved past them and to the consoles, once more ignoring Ken’Daichi’s questions of what she meant and what she was planning on doing.
Elsewhere in the city Aideen stumbled through the streets. The world was shifting around her as she walked, as though someone was throwing a switch between the dead world the Katana orbited, and the living breathing world it used to be. She could see the people that used to live here, hear them. Was this just another dream?
The people of this world weren’t too different from most of the races she had met, with the exception of the striking bronze color of their skin. They seemed to be a happy people, and yet Aideen could feel some sort of darkness looming over them.
She had to step to the side as a child ran by, followed shortly by another. It brought up memories of her own childhood, before she became such an outcast and used to play tag with other children. As she watched, two adults appeared and grabbed the two children.
“You must come with us,” the adults said, and Aideen could see the fear in the children’s eyes. “Eyasha has deemed you a dangerous element.”
“No, we haven’t done anything,” one of the children pleaded, but to no avail.
Who is this Eyasha? Aideen wondered as she watched, her view switching once again the dead world.
Aideen looked around, her ears flicking this way and that, listening to things that only she could hear, nonsensical whispers… that were actually starting to make sense. She frowned slightly and tried to concentrate on the sound. And realized it was Ken’Daichi and Laruen’s voice, broken up heavily by static, that she could hear over the suits radio. What were they doing here? They should have stayed back on the ship. It was dangerous to be here… But…
She looked back towards the direction she had been wandering and felt a irresistible and irrational draw to continue in the direction that called to her… and so she went, thoughts of Ken’Daichi and Lauren escaped her mind almost immediately as she started forward again.
“Well shit!” Laruen exclaimed, almost wanting to throw the suit off and work with her bare hands… but knew full well the repercussion of such an action. She sighed loudly, pushing herself up onto her hands as she starred down at the panel. The logistics and formulas were escaping her, mashing everything into one giant mess in her head, she was having trouble deciphering her own thoughts.
She looked up as a hand landed on her shoulder, and blinked as everything fell quiet. She starred at Ken’Daichi and then looked over at Musevni as he walked over.
She shook her head and looked away.
“Not sure what’s going on, it’s… hard to focus. More so then it should be, even for me. Anger usually makes it easier for me to think… now it’s just making everything muddled.” She explained with a frown on her lips… before she saw it, the brief flicker of the math formulas she had been studying. “What is this place?” She asked absent mindedly, at no one in particular as she once more leaned over the console, working based off what little focus she had left.
Laruen made a small sound of triumph as the console flickered briefly before giving up. She snorted and frowned.
“Something’s cutting me off.” She said, looking over at Ken’Daichi and Musevni, “I can try to make this work all I want, but all it’s gonna do is flicker. Something or someone knows we’re down here…”
“Sir,” Musevni interrupted. “I have an idea.”
“It… It’s like with the stimulants sir, they made us more susceptible. I’m no doctor, but my guess is it was due to our minds being more active.”
“So then what?” Laruen asked. “Knock each other over the head till we’re drooling all over ourselves?”
“No, but…” Musevni paused, contemplating what he was about to say. “If I remove my helmet, oxygen will be cut off from my brain and effectively do the opposite of what the stimulants did.”
Laruen jumped up from where she was sitting and approached Musevni. Her first reaction was to hit him, but she wasn’t sure it would do anything through the suit.
“Are you insane!?” she demanded as she glared at him through the visor. “Do you want to die or something? Is that it?”
“No, I just think-”
“You just think removing your helmet in a place you can’t BREATHE is a wonderful idea!?”
Musevni turned to Ken’Daichi, trying to ignore Laruen’s ranting. She’s just being unreasonable, he thought to himself.
“Sir, the atmosphere is thin, not non-existent. It’s not much, but it should hold off the effects of hypoxia.”
“You can’t seriously be considering letting him do this?” Laruen asked, turning her sights to Ken’Daichi.
“She’s right Musevni,” he finally answered. “It’s too dangerous.”
“Two minutes, that’s all I’ll need sir,” Musevni insisted. “And I’ll have you all here to monitor me. Aideen doesn’t even have that much.”
They were all silent for a moment. The two security men stood by the entrance watching for anything, but couldn’t help but glance over their shoulder occasionally. Laruen was obviously agitated by the idea, and made no effort to hide it.
But then, Ken’Daichi thought to himself. She’s always agitated.
“Very well,” he finally said, not entirely happy with the idea himself. “Two minutes, not a second more.”
“You’re as crazy as he is,” Laruen stated as she moved to the other side of the room. She didn’t want any part of Musevni getting himself killed, clenching her hands into fists before she took a deep breath as a horrible idea occurred to her.
“You touch your helmet and I’ll kick your ass Mu, suit or not. I will do it.” She threatened, her voice clear as they turned to her just in time to see her remove her own helmet.
“Damn it Laruen,” Ken’Daichi yelled into his suits com system. “Get your helmet back on now!”
“Shut up… Just… lemme… do something good…” Laruen uttered, her speech getting strained and wispy as she leaned over the panel. Her fingers danced over the panel for a moment, but hesitated for what seemed like forever before she shook her head, hard.
Her fingers moved over the panel once more before it flared to life and she reached out for her helmet, but she was already staggering backwards, the helmet slipping from her grasp.
Musevni dropped to her side grabbing the helmet as she began to panic. She gripped onto him hard as she tried to draw breath, making it difficult to replace the helmet.
"Calm down you damn fool," he barked as he fought with her. He finally managed to get it back on her and sealed before she slumped to the floor.
"Give her a minute," Ken'Daichi cautioned as he watched. "Let the air get back into her lungs."
Aideen stumbled and fell down onto her knees, catching herself on her hands as she made a low sound. She sighed and sat back onto her knees, moving her hands to her knees to push herself up but paused.
For a moment… she couldn’t see. She blinked hard against the darkness, even reaching up to rub at the front of her helmet, wondering if she hadn’t gotten something on it. She frowned slightly, realizing she hadn’t and just waited for her eyes to adjust to the sudden onset of darkness.
She felt a shiver ripple through her as a scream echoed off in the distance. She looked around and wondered where she was… everything was so dark…
She got up slowly and moved forward, her hands out in front of her, starting slightly as she came into contact with a building and moved along side it, her hand sliding along the side of the building. She tried to step out of the way of two people as they flung themselves past her, but they slid through her, further back, fighting over what looked like a food package.
She could sense their anger, although she didn't understand how that could be. Every where around her was anger, and it was frightening. She began to wonder if this is what ended these people, consumed in the flames of their own hatred.
No, this was not the end, but it could have been, a voice echoed in her mind, one she heard before but couldn't remember. She turned to see who was there, and was back in the present, stumbling through a dead city.
Aideen shivered, but it wasn’t because she was cold, before she started forward once more, ignoring the nagging feeling that there was something terribly wrong with this place, more so then it seemed to her…
|October 23 2011, 07:42 AM||#11|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
“S-shit… didn’t’ die… kill me… anyway.” Laruen croaked out, her face drawn up tightly as she winced.
"No more field trips for you," Ken'Daichi said as he knelt down to check on her. Musevni was studying the display on the console, looking over his shoulder to see that she was ok. "Not if you're going to pull a stunt like that again."
“And if… I hadn’t… Mu would’ve… And you… would‘ve let ‘im.” She murmured, “Lady my head…” She whimpered out, reaching up to grasp at her helmet with her hands, “fingers feel funny.” She squinted, peering at her hands through the visor of her helmet.
"Musevni and I both have had training to deal with that," he replied. Once again it seemed to come to that, as he reminded himself that she was not familiar with living in space. "The feeling will pass, just relax for now. And take deep breaths."
“Fuck training… and everything to do with that. You… you don’t let people you care… about do things like that…. Dizzy.” Laruen uttered, her brow knitting together in a deeply concerned scowl, even as she closed her eyes and forced herself to relax, taking deeper breaths. "Do the same for you... you jerk of a captain..." Laruen murmured quietly, uncaring at the moment if he heard that or not, it was just simply the truth in her world, as small and as narrow as it was at times.
“Get anything Mu?” Laruen asked, directing attention away from her as she noticed where Musevni was standing.
"What am I going to do with you?" he asked as he stood and moved over to the console.
"Translation is coming through now sir," Musevni reported. "Most of it looks like garbled communications, but listen to this. It's the last thing recorded through this terminal."
The display came to life, showing a woman with dark copper colored skin. She looked over her shoulder several times, as though expecting something to attack.
"The last ship is leaving, our world is dying. We never expected this to happen, it was supposed to make our lives better damn it! I've stayed behind to set the final sequence, someone had to but oh how I wish it wasn't me. But we have to shroud this area of space and make sure It can't get to anyone else..."
The screen filled with static, then went dark leaving everyone in silence.
Laruen frowned before she attempted to get up and found out the hard way, toppling over back onto her rear, that her legs were not up to co-operating yet.
“Hell… Aideen is probably connected, literally, to whatever the hell happened… somehow.” Laruen sighed out, “Supposed to make everything better… since when does that ever work.” Laruen murmured, reflecting on her own people for a moment before she reached out and slapped Ken’Daichi on the back on his leg. “Tired of sitting on my ass here, help me up. I will make my legs co-operate, one way or another.”
Ken'Daichi sighed as he walked over and helped her up as he thought about what they just saw.
"See if you can find out what 'It' is."
Laruen grunted as she got up to her feet with Ken’Daichi’s help. She held onto his hand with both of hers, using him to stabilize herself for a while before she let go, wobbling her way over to where Musevni was, leaning heavily against him and peering over his shoulder.
“You understanding the coding okay? I’m seeing a lot of recognizable things…” She questioned, looking up at him before she looked back down at the panel.
Musevni nodded as he looked through all the information he could find.
"There are certain constants with most technology. Even our computers on the ship are little more then more complex versions of the simple binary computers used hundreds of years ago."
“Speaking of our ship…” Laruen murmured as she looked over at Ken’Daichi. “They holding up okay?”
He looked at the time piece on his suit and grunted. "It is about time to check in. Yakamura to Katana,"
"Katana here," Kagome's voice came over the suites speakers. "Everything alright?"
"Other then a rather foolhardy action, how are things on your end?"
"Kaidah is missing sir. No one can find her."
Ken'Daichi paused for a moment before responding again.
"Very well, search the ship, but for now we're going to assume she's down here somewhere as well. Yakamura out."
"Things just keep getting more interesting," Musevni commented as he turned towards Ken'Daichi. "Don't they sir?"
"I believe the phrase you're looking for is 'It never rains, but it pours.'"
Laruen made a odd sound.
“I bet the Chimera she’s going after Aideen… while I don’t think normally Kaidah would hurt Aideen… I wouldn’t put it past her when she’s like this. But we don’t know where Aideen is either. Lovely.” Laruen grimaced.
"We can't worry about Kaidah right now," Ken'Daichi said flatly. "We look for Aideen, and whatever the source of this influence is. We find Aideen, Kaidah will surely be near by. We find the source, and we can end this nonsense."
Laruen peered at Ken’Daichi and sighed, realizing he was right.
“Fine. Get back to work Mu.” Laruen said, smiling at him slightly, leaning on him a bit more before she stood upright, cautiously supporting herself with one hand on the panel.
Another figure moved through the city, search for something important. Aideen had to be found, and have her despair and pain taken from her. And Kaidah had to be the one to take it from her. She was the only one that cared enough, and she knew it. Everyone else wanted Aideen to live with her misery, facing each day without a shred of hope. They’d probably try to stop her, but she’d make sure they didn’t no matter what the cost.
It was not long before Aideen began to feel she was being led somewhere, even through her current state. She had seen two different versions of life on this world, but something seemed off about them. It was almost like she was seeing completely different worlds, different cultures. Yet the people were the same in each one.
The first vision had been with the children playing, then getting taken away by what she assumed was security. But why? And who was Eyasha?
The second one was of a dark time, where every one on the planet was out for themselves. Hate and anger filled the streets, but had that been from before or after the first vision?
Now she was seeing something, a speech she thought. The people gathered, excited at what they were hearing. She followed them to a man standing on a platform, sounding very much like a politician to Aideen.
“For too long have we seen suffering on our world because of our aggressive nature,” the speaker said. “For too long have we hurt ourselves, our friends, and our loved ones. Our world is nearly torn apart by constant war and destruction. And I ask you, when does it end? And I answer… The time… IS… now!”
The crowd cheered reverently at the speakers words.
“We’ve created a tool,” he continued. “That will allow us to curb those dark impulses. It will bring light to where there has always been darkness. Ashak and her people will be whole again.”
The crowd cheered again and began chanting a single word. “Eyasha,” they cried, over and over.
Eyasha? Aideen pondered. A tool to control emotions? But how are they connected?
After doing some digging through the computer systems, Musevni thought he had found something. There was technical information, which he could understand, but then there was what appeared to be a great deal of neurological information as well. Musevni wasn’t sure what it meant, but he felt Ken’Daichi should see it.
“Sir,” he said, calling his superiors attention over. “I think I have something.”
Ken’Daichi stood up and walked over to him, leaving Laruen sitting on the ground. He had made her take a break after she nearly fell over multiple times after her little stunt.
“What is it?”
“To be honest sir, I haven’t a clue,” Musevni admitted as he pointed to the screen. “I can somewhat understand to technical information, but even that is far beyond anything I’m familiar with.”
“Just walk me through it one step at a time,” Ken’Daichi replied as he looked at the screen. “Wait… that pattern…”
“That’s what caught my eye too Sir.”
“It’s the same one that was found in my neuroscan,” he muttered as he studied the readout. “Is this a schematic?”
“I believe it is sir,” Musevni replied as he pressed a couple controls. “And according to this scale…”
His voice trailed off as the image on the screen changed. The technical schematic zoomed outward, showing more of it. Eventually it was something more recognizable, something they had seen just a couple hours before.
“The city…” Ken’Daichi stared unbelievably at the screen. “These people built the damn thing into the city?”
“Looks like every city on this planet,” Musevni answered. “Plus various satellites through out this sector. That’s how it was able to reach us.”
“But we still don’t know what ‘It’ is…”
“No sir, but I’ll keep looking.”
“Good, Laruen,” Ken’Daichi turned and stopped, seeing an empty space where Laruen was supposed to be resting.
“Damn it, where’d she go?”
Laruen looked out, over the ruined city, her arms crossed tightly across her chest, frowning at the vague sense of weakness she still felt. It was slightly worse then when she had had her arm shattered. But even then, she worked. Sitting around on her rear doing nothing but waiting to feel better didn’t sit well with her, it gave her to the itch to move, to do something. Anything. Even if it caused trouble. She smiled slightly at that… frowning even deeper as she looked at the tower that jutted out above all the city. A shadow that loomed and dominated all.
She cocked her head slightly, which wasn’t reflected through her suit, starring at the tower. Something was off about it… well, besides the fact it stood out like a black fly against a white wall. She took a step backwards as she lowered her arms defensively to her sides without thinking about it as a strange sense of panic fill her… this all seem familiar… she had seen this somewhere before… But…
Something drew her out of her stupor, something was down there. She shivered slightly before she stepped forward to peer at what had drawn her attention. Someone was down there, running amongst the buildings… but who… That had to be either Aideen or Kaidah, she had to let them know.
“Sir,” Musevni called frantically. “Something is happening.”
“What is it?”
“I’ve tapped into what I believe is a sensor grid for the city,” he explained quickly. “I’m picking up people, probably Aideen and the others, approaching the central tower, and…”
“And? Spit it out.”
“Some kind of energy build up in multiple locations, a defense grid I think… The city is waking up."
“Mu, Ken’Daichi, there’s someone down there by that tower. I think it’s Aideen or Kaidah.” Laruen’s voice came over the radio.
"Laruen, stay where you are," Ken'Daichi ordered as he started collecting the tools. "And be careful, Musevni thinks the city defense grid has activated."
“… Hurry up, Ken’Daichi.” Laruen replied, no witty retort on her tongue as that nervous feeling that she had seen this all before came over her, “We need to move.”
Laruen frowned deeply, glancing over her shoulder almost every other second, almost feeling a strange relief when Ken’Daichi came into view.
“Never thought I’d be so happy to see you…” Laruen murmured under her breath, not really caring if he heard her, “There’s a few ways to get down there, but I can’t see a direct route to the tower.”
"Gee, thanks," he muttered as he looked over the city. "Which ever way we go, we have to hurry. Aideen is out there somewhere, and we have no idea her condition."
“Yeah yeah, stuff it. I’ll buy you a booze or something later.” Laruen sighed out, eyeing the paths before her… “Shit.” She pointed to another figure down there… but this one was no where close to the first or the tower, and was moving at a jog. “That’s probably Kaidah. Aideen’s closer to the tower, let’s go.”
|October 23 2011, 07:43 AM||#12|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
Ken'Daichi and Laruen rushed through the city, making their way towards the tower as quickly as they could while Musevni guided them from the control room. The city awoke around them, and Ken'Daichi couldn't shake the feeling that he was in the maw of a great beast.
"Take a right at the next crossing and go for 30 yards," Musevni directed over the comm. unit.
Aideen slowed to a stop once more, looking over her shoulder as she passed the edge of the barrier, that lead across a bridge to the platform where the tower stood, where everything was centered and drawing her in. Her ears perked up as far as they could inside her helmet. Something drew her attention behind her. Something was coming,
She turned at a sound, backing up a few steps across the bridge as she feel a slight chill go across her skin. If her tails had been free, the would have been fluffed out to their fullest… she considered running across the bridge like the mad woman she felt like… but something made her linger as she noticed something. Someone was jogging her way. But who…?
She made a low sound and backed up a few more steps across the bridge as she realized who it was.
“Kaidah.” Aideen croaked out, coming to a stop about half way across the bridge even as Kaidah approached the edge of the barrier.
The barrier gave way for Kaidah.
“You’re not Kaidah, are you?” Aideen asked.
“I’m Kaidah, who else would I be Aideen? I’m your friend.” Kaidah said with a smile was genuine, but pushed all of Aideen’s buttons all at once, making her take few more steps back.
“If you’re my friend, you’d stop chasing me.”
“But you need me!” Kaidah exclaimed in a hushed voice as she slowly started walking towards Aideen.
Aideen shook her head.
“No. No, I don’t. There’s… there’s something wrong with you Kaidah. I don’t know what it is… but you frighten me…”
Kaidah stopped… her expression blank.
“I… frighten you?”
“Yes. So… please. Leave me alone… Let me walk away.” Aideen pleaded, her ears flattening against her skull.
“But… I want to help you.”
“You aren’t. I can help myself. You can’t and aren’t helping me right now… So let me go.” Aideen tried to reason further, noting the strained expression on Kaidah’s face.
“Let me help you Aideen.” Kaidah said, reaching out her hands towards Aideen, a strange smile on her face this time.
Aideen shook her head as she backed up more.
“No!” Kaidah yelled as she suddenly took off running at Aideen.
Aideen made a low strangled sound, turning in what felt like slow motion to her, trying to get the momentum to get running away from Kaidah… but she seemed to be closing in on her too quickly. She was turned harshly as Kaidah grabbed onto her arm. She struggled, turning to kick at Kaidah, forcing her to let her go. And unfortunately toppling herself over in the process even as Kaidah straggled backwards slightly. Aideen struggled to move backwards but Kaidah was crawling forward on her hands and knees, reaching out to Aideen once more, catching one of her ankles in both of her hands. She pulled Aideen towards her, even as Aideen flailed, reaching for anything that she could grip and pull back.
She didn’t want to kick Kaidah… as the only open spots right at that moment where her helmet and her shoulders. She doubted she could think straight enough to aim for her helmet.
“Let…let go.” Aideen whispered, struggling to pull herself away from Kaidah, “please… Kaidah…I…”
“I want to help you Aideen. Only I can help you.” Kaidah pleaded.
“No… no you can’t. Let go.” Aideen grunted out before she closed her eyes and aimed a kick at Kaidah’s helmet despite it being the last thing she wanted to do.
Kaidah moved out the way of Aideen’s clumsy kick and pulled Aideen closer with a hard yank, dragging Aideen under her. Kaidah perched above Aideen, knees spread out on either side of Aideen’s hips and reached for the clasps of her helmet. Aideen struggled in vain to keep her helmet on and realized she was running out of options.
“Kaidah…” Aideen whimpered out, feeling the tears forming at the corners of her eyes.
“Just let me help you.” Kaidah cooed out and Aideen made a odd sound as Kaidah finally got the clasps of her helmet undone.
Aideen drew in a deep breath, closing her eyes tightly as she felt her helmet come off… but opened them wide as she felt hands close around her throat tightly, fingers digging into her throat, cutting off her already limited air supply. It made her head spin.
She just starred up at Kaidah, making strangled noises as her brain struggled to catch up with what was going on… Kaidah… was choking her… Kaidah… was trying to kill her.
She was going to kill her.
Move Aideen! She hissed at herself mentally as she gripped Kaidah’s fingers and pulled the same time she bent herself in half, hooking her feet into Kaidah’s gut as she bent her knees up towards her chest… and she pushed upwards as hard as she could…
She gasped, inhaling the almost non-existent air as she turned to crawl towards her helmet… fumbling with it for a moment before she slid it back into place, shaky fingers fumbling with the clasps of her helmet before she took a deep gasp of the filtered air, coughing slightly… before she froze, a thought entering her mind, where was Kaidah.
She peered over her shoulder cautiously, looking to see where Kaidah was… but found her no where in sight.
“Kaidah…?” Aideen questioned to the open air as she got up on shaky legs.
Where was she? She… couldn’t have just disappeared. She wasn’t like what she had been seeing, right? No. She wasn’t… there could be no way she could be. She had tried… had tried to kill… She grimaced and wandered over to the edge of the bridge… unsure where else to look. She peered down into the chasm below… and starred. There was someone down there.
That someone had to be…
“KAIDAH!” Aideen cried out.
“No, no no no! Kaidah, c’mon pay attention to me, listen to me, please, by the gods, hang in there…” Aideen’s voice was a strained choke as she adjusted Kaidah’s limp form in her arms.
She had fallen…no, been pushed by her… and she was dying. Aideen’s mind scrambled for answers but she kept on tripping up on thoughts. She had no tools! She was bleeding! Internally and externally. Oh gods, Ken’Daichi.
“Hurry the fuck up, Ken’Daichi!” Aideen screamed over the radio, her voice full of guilt and pain, before she gently shook Kaidah, trying to draw Kaidah‘s attention back to her.
Kaidah made a low groan and her eyes fluttered before they opened. She tried to focus on Aideen, but found it increasingly difficult. She could see the pain and guilt on Aideen’s face.
Kaidah blinked slowly, focusing on the sound of Aideen’s voice.
“Hey-hey… There’s… there’s something I want to tell you. I’m a thief.” Aideen whispered franticly, trying to get Kaidah’s attention, ignoring the numbness that was trying to take over and the tears that ran down her face.
“Ah… I-I knew it…” Kaidah murmured softly.
“Have you heard about the art thief of the old world art?”
“Well, that was me.” Aideen admitted, a strained smile working across her face as Kaidah issues forth a weak chuckle.
“Really…? What… have you stolen?” Kaidah asked slowly, closing her eyes and letting her head lull back against Aideen’s arm.
“I’ve stolen the original Mona Lisa. I’ve got several of Leonardo Davinchi’s original sketches. I’ve gotten all of Van Gogh’s works.”
“What’s…what is.. Your…”
“My favorite one?” Aideen asked as she drew Kaidah closer, screaming mental at the voice in her head that was wailing that she was dying. She drew a shaky breath as Kaidah gave a short nod against her arm. “Starry Night.”
“I..” Kaidah made a chocked sound. “I… envy you.”
“I… envy… everything you’ve… done… bravery… fearless. I… wish.. I could have… done… what you did.”
“You did, you did. Oh Kaidah, you did. You are the bravest person I know…”
Kaidah choked out a single laugh, groaning in pain.
“No… I’m… not.”
“Yes you are, hang in there Kaidah, I’ll teach you everything I know. I’ll take you away from Ken’Daichi once we get back to earth, we’ll steal everything we can get our hands on.” Aideen pleaded softly, her helmet clacking against Kaidah’s as she bowed her head.
“I’d… like…that… Aideen?”
“Protect… Everyone… Protect… Ken’Daichi.”
“I…I promise.” Aideen stuttered out and hissed under her breath to the radio, begging them to hurry up
Aideen froze, her ears perking up right in her helmet, as far as her helmet would allow… before they completely flattened against her skull. Pain unlike anything she had felt flared up in her chest, pulling a low keening sound from her lips as she clutched Kaidah’s lifeless body impossibly close, tears now falling fast and unnoticed.
A wail of indescribable pain echoed through the area, and it drew them to her.
It was Ken’Daichi’s voice… but she didn’t respond.
Aideen sobbed, trembling as she clutched at Kaidah, screaming in a broken manner. Laruen shoved past Ken’Daichi and ran over to Aideen, hitting the ground and sliding on her knee pads over to them… her hands out stretched… but she froze as the sound of Aideen’s pain caught up with her… and she lowered her hands to her knees, clutching her hands into trembling fists as she bowed her head.
Aideen fell strangely quiet all the sudden with a deep shuddering breath as several things occurred to her all at once, this wasn‘t the time nor the place to mourn. They still had to stop the device, they still had to save the crew… her head cleared and for the first time since she injected herself, she felt like herself, yet something had changed… she would address that later. She looked up, still clutching Kaidah closely to her, looking between Laruen and Ken’Daichi for a quiet moment before she spoke up.
“Is it still alive?” Aideen asked, her voice strained.
“The device. The tower. It ruined everything here… caused everyone to kill each other. And now, is as much as fault for Kaidah’s death as…” She trailed off, choked a bit on that last stated, that was she was just as guilty for Kaidah’s death.
Aideen looked down at Kaidah, just watching the strange peacefulness on her face… wishing she would open her eyes… before she closed her eyes and scooted herself back onto her knees. She tenderly, carefully, almost as she was afraid to wake Kaidah up, laid her down on the ground, placing her hands across her chest before she got up on shaky legs.
“Don’t. Laruen, for pities sake… don’t.” Aideen pleaded, looking down at Lauren, “I can’t do this right now… there… there are people who need us to finish this. We need to save the crew. Kaidah will wait for eternity for us to return… Time has lost it’s grip on her.” Aideen trailed off, murmuring the last to herself.
She looked at Ken’Daichi as he moved over to her side… and watched him look down at Kaidah. She noticed the way his expression twisted up into one of well contained emotion of some kind. She reached out and touched his hand, sliding her fingers between his and giving his hand a squeeze.
“…Let’s go save the crew.” Aideen quietly urged, even as she let go of his hand, and moved to help Laruen to her feet.
Ken’Daichi barely noticed Aideen standing next to him as he looked down at Kaidah’s body. All he could feel was anger; pure, undiluted anger. Perhaps that’s what this ‘thing’ wanted, for them to get so angry they loose all reason.
‘Well if that’s the case,’ he thought bitterly as his gaze set on the tower. ‘It’s succeeded.’
“Laruen,” he started, without turning. His voice was dark, hostile in a way that neither of them had seen before. “Take Aideen, find Musevni.”
Laruen glanced at Aideen as she nodded her head at her and looked at Ken’Daichi before she followed Laruen.
“Shit Aideen, just go. I’ll get Mu together… I’ll…we’ll get Kaidah. You go after Ken’Daichi. Someone needs to make sure that lug make it out of here alive…” Laruen replied in a hushed voice, not even turned to Aideen, just continuing forward… feeling twisted and conflicted in ways she wasn’t used to… not even noticing when Aideen left her, slipping back the way they came to quickly and quietly go after Ken’Daichi.
Ken'Daichi approached the tower, not looking back once. He knew he wasn't thinking clearly, or at least some part of him knew it. But the rest of them, the part of his mind that was making the decisions, looked at the tower in hatred. He glared at it with such intensity that he thought it might crumble before him.
The base of the tower was sealed, thick heavy doors that could likely withstand anything.
'Now what,' he wondered as he looked towards the top of the tower, obscured in the blackness of the void.
Aideen peered across the bridge, feeling all the muscles tense in her body as she peered over the edge of the bridge… Now was not the time to feel guilty. She turned her head and inhaled, bringing her focus back to the tower as she looked at it. She had to find Ken’Daichi, she had to help him get rid of this thing for good… and save the crew.
“Musevni, what can you tell me about the tower?” Aideen asked.
Laruen peeked over her shoulder from where she was crouched near by Kaidah’s body which had been placed in a body bag, looking at Musevni.
“I’ve seen it before… and I remember where now…” Laruen murmured, zipping up the body bag as she got up and walked over to where Musevni was, standing over the computer console.
“Back on Aaran… before the gateway was built, there was a tower. I remember it vaguely. No one was allowed near it. It was the tool of the ‘gods’, as my people called it. I don’t know what the hell it was, didn’t really want to know at the time. That thing was brought here by something, probably connected somehow.” Laruen sneered. “Maybe… just like my people, who ever or whatever was here was tricked… into thinking this would make everything better.”
“Don’t matter right now, you need a lay out, right?”
“Or something. There doesn’t look like any obvious way into the tower from here… And I need to get Ken’Daichi in before he hurts himself.”
“Right. Can you do that Mu?” Laruen asked, peering over at him.
"What?" He murmured as he looked up. His focus was visibly shaken as he tried to work, and to avoid looking at the body. "Uh... maybe..."
Laruen watched him for a moment… and then reached out, standing shoulder to shoulder with Musevni, studying the console along side him.
“Have we cracked the overall layout yet? I know you were giving us directions earlier… but I assume those were just surface access?” She asked, trying to give him something else to think about.
Laruen, unselfish? Hell must have froze over… That thought brought a bitter smile to Laruen’s face.
"Yeah," he replied quietly as he started pressing keys. "Yeah, ok... Most of... Most of the city layout was easy to access, probably some part of public transportation system or the like. The tower on the other hand..."
He brought up another screen, showing the exterior of the tower.
"Access is restricted, I can't even bring up a building schematic. I found what appears to be a set of Teleporter pads, part of that same transportation system, so I think I can get someone inside... But once done they'd be on their own."
“Inside is good. I can deal with in.” Aideen sighed out… and cautiously started across the bridge, looking for Ken’Daichi as she went. “I’m sorry… for everything.” Aideen murmured, at no one in particular, unable to completely stave off the guilt she felt.
"Aideen, wait," Musevni called as he drew his weapon. "You might need this."
Aideen peered over her shoulder and sighed.
“Right. At least one of us has a good head on their shoulders.” Aideen said with a watery smile, accepting the weapon from Musevni and glancing at Laruen.
She wanted to say something… anything… but what was there to say? Nothing was okay at the moment. It would take a while for things to get back to being okay… So, she had to go, to run, as that was all there was at the moment. She turned, taking a deep breath and heading across the bridge in a run, trying not to look down.
|October 23 2011, 07:45 AM||#13|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
“Unforgivable.” She sneered up at the tower… before she brought her focus back down, looking around for Ken’Daichi, spotting him over by what appeared to be the main doors of the building. “Ken’Daichi?” She called out, as she moved over towards him.
There was movement in the corner of her eye, drawing her attention down one side of the tower. Ken'Daichi stood in front of the massive door, leaning into it as he rammed his fist into it.
"I'll tear you apart by hand if I have to," he muttered, not bothering to activate the comm. unit or noticing anyone watching him.
Aideen stopped… and just starred for a moment. Uncertain what to do. Touching him would just probably invoke his anger on her… so..
She shoved him, hard, enough to send him staggering a few steps, but she stood her ground even as he turned on her with a sneer.
“You’re going to break your hand if you keep on doing that… and I know the way in.” Aideen said curtly, frowning at him slightly.
"You were told to go," he said coarsely as he looked at her.
“And if I had, what then? You’d be here, still. And I would be no better… no better knowing you were destroying yourself. God damn it Ken’Daichi… I want that thing destroyed… it can’t do this, not ever again.” She bit out, her hands trembling at her sides.
Ken'Daichi was about to say something, but he bit his lip. It wouldn't do any good to argue here.
"You said you knew a way in?"
She simple nodded, and led him away from the door, and the transporter pad Musevni had told her about. She moved to stand on it, hovering over the console, just starring at it for a moment before she sighed.
“Musevni, Laruen… Help us out. I can’t rub two brain cells together at the moment.”
"Hold on," Musevni's voice came over the speakers. "Getting past the last lockout... now."
The world around them split as though being pulled in every direction simultaneously. The effect was disorienting, almost nauseating as the two of them stumbled off the pad on the other end.
"That was a hell of a trip," Ken'Daichi muttered as he regained his bearings.
Aideen said nothing, blinking against the harsh light of the platform they were on, before she stepped forward, trying to see beyond the light. She paused once more as she stepped outside of the circle of light, gazing out into the darkness.
She stood there, blinking against the darkness and felt herself adjust to the darkness, her pupils expanding to take in the already limited darkness. Although her night vision was not as good as some of the other creatures she had met over her life time, her vision was far better then a humans.
“There’s air,“ she said as she studied the instruments in her suit. After making sure they weren’t false readings, she removed her helmet.
The air smelled and tasted stale and dusty. The tower probably had not been opened for generations… but that probably had something to do with the fact that perhaps anyone was too afraid of going near the tower, or hadn’t had the will to even consider it. Aideen shuddered at the thought. She could see cones of light out in the darkness, seeming to illuminate panels, consoles and other platforms that appeared less then operational… but she couldn’t see where the lights were coming from. They seemed to disappear somehow up into the darkness that loomed above. There didn’t appear to be a ceiling, and the darkness up there seemed thicker and heavier then what they were standing in.
She turned her gaze back downwards with a frown, briefly wondered if there was anything they should be concerned about up there, but quickly dismissed the thought. It didn’t matter. They would destroy the tower, one way or another. A grimace crossed her face as she started almost cautious forward, glancing down to make sure there was something under her feet, finding a walk way there, peering beyond the walkway into the darkness down below… wondering if there was anything down there… or if there was a chasm, like the one she had pushed… she bit back that thought with low, pained sound, before she took a deep breath, clearing her thoughts as she stopped once more, half way across the walk way, never once looking back to see if Ken’Daichi was following her.
“This…” She peered out into the darkness, squinting even as her ears flattened against her skull. There was something off, as she peered out at the platform she was heading towards. The construction of it was different from what had been outside. It seemed… newer, more ornate then the construction outside, which had seemed fairly advanced on its own. “This is different… the construction in here, it’s newer somehow… I can’t tell you exactly how it’s different, just that I can see it.”
“This imagery looks similar to some of the myths in our own history,” he said as he removed his helmet and pointed to one of the engravings. “This figure here seems to be important. Larger then the rest, like a deity.”
Aideen’s tails gave a hard flick, showing her thought process before she walked the rest of the way across the walk way, cautiously moving into the lit platform across the way.
“Where is the main source?” She questioned thoughtfully out loud, mostly to herself as she peered around…. This thing had to die… where ever it was centrally located.
Ken'Daichi remained where he was, studying the engraving. It seemed to tell a history of this planet.
"There was once a time of great darkness," he muttered mostly to himself. "Terrible evil spread through every corner of this world, and further as they reached the stars. Then this deity, whoever she is, came and stopped it all. She brought peace to the people, and sought to eliminate the source of the darkness..."
A ear quirked in Ken’Daichi’s direction… and all of Aideen’s fur was suddenly standing on end as she rapidly began making sense of what she had seen.
“Not eliminate… no… I…” She reached up and rubbed her forehead with both hands. “It was supposed to make things better… I remember.. I remember what it was like before things went terribly wrong… It was an artificial peace..”
"Remember?" he asked as he turned towards her. "How?"
“… when I hopped myself up on all those drugs Ken’Daichi, I made it focus on me… But in return it drew me to it like a moth to a flame. I would have done almost anything to get to the planet… When I came here I began seeing things. But they weren’t exactly drug induced hallucinations. They were things as they had happened… while you walked the ruined streets of this city, I walked amongst it’s long dead people… and watched them die. She killed them all, she deemed them a threat to themselves and slowly, so slowly, killed them off.” She grit her teeth, starring out into the darkness. “They took notice eventually, but by then it was too late. Far too late. They tried to escape anyway. This thing that they had built help them deal with their problems… And for a time it did before it deemed them the problem.”
She fists trembled at her sides.
“I… I think it sent Kaidah after me… because she wanted to help me, in any way she could… even if that meant…” She trailed off, unable to finish the sentence… because her friend had tried to kill her…
Ken'Daichi took a moment to think about what he was hearing, trying to put the pieces together in his own mind.
"Their greatest salvation turned out to be their greatest damnation," he said softly as he turned to the engraving. "These markings, they look similar to a technical schematic Musevni found in the database. Maybe they hold the key to ending this."
“I don’t know how to read codex’s Ken’Daichi.” Aideen said once she composed herself, looking over her shoulder at him, “I can recognize some things that reminds me of the artwork that was associated with the codex’s or taken directly from them… But…” She grimaced.
Ken'Daichi either ignored her, or simply didn't notice what she said as he continued to study the engraving.
"My guess is this shows the inner workings of the tower. The AI isn't in the tower, it is the tower. And look here, a star sign. At least I think it is. In many cultures stars represented the source of life, heat, light. Perhaps in this case..." he said as his voice trailed off.
“What is it?” She questioned, almost going back over to him, but had the urge to continue to go forward, so stayed right where she was at the moment.
"The star," he replied, almost looking terrified of the idea. "Analysis showed that it was far to young to have degenerated into the dwarf star it is now, and we couldn't explain it. I think these people found a way to siphon energy directly from their sun."
He could see she was having trouble contemplating the idea, and to be honest he would never have imagined such a thing possible either.
"Think of it like solar energy... only on steroids."
Aideen frowned deeply, her brow furrowing in thought.
“You mean this thing is either eventually going to expand rapidly or eventually collapse in onto itself…?” She left it a question, still frowning. “How do we stop it?”
"They have to be transferring the energy some how," he commented, trying to work it out in his head. "Some kind of coherent energy beam I would assume. If we can find the receiving station, we might be able to shut it off, along with the tower."
Aideen peered out into the darkness below before she looked up again and started walking forward without even really thinking about it. One of her ears flicked off to the side as she looked all around and then stopped, her hands on her hips.
“This place is much bigger then it seemed from the outside… and the darkness… everywhere.” She sighed, before she looked over her shoulder at Ken’Daichi, “where should we start looking for the source?”
"You've seen more of this world then I have," he said as he looked around. The room seemed to branch off in two direction, although he couldn't be certain there weren't more unseen paths. "Pick one."
“Observed. Not seen first hand. I don’t know this tower… but…feel compelled…” She murmured thoughtfully and started forward once more, peering up into the darkness above as her ears flattened against her head.
"As long as you don't become compelled to 'help' me," he said as he followed. "Lets get going."
The corridor was full of more mythic imagery. In one engraving it showed this 'goddess' figure with her hands cupped and open. To many cultures this was a way to show others that they were peaceful and unarmed. Another showed her wielding a spear, seemingly to smite a group of twisted figures.
"One thing I don't understand, if they created this technology how did it end up being seen as a deity? One race seeing a more advanced race I can understand, but this was their own work. Surely they would have had historical records of it's construction."
Aideen whirled around to face Ken’Daichi, her pupils narrowing to pinpoints in anger and hurt that he could see growing on her face. She opened and closed her mouth several times, whatever she was going to say died on her tongue each time.
“..Help yourself Ken’Daichi.” Aideen whispered out, her voice strained as she turned and marched down the hall.
"Aideen, where are you going?" he asked as he followed her, only to find that she had disappeared around a corner. And with how dark it was, it would be hard to find her.
'I wonder if I can get her to wear a bell around her neck,' he pondered for a moment before dismissing the idea.
Ken'Daichi continued to explore, hoping to run into Aideen along the way if their luck ever decided to turn around. He couldn't help but be fascinated by the cult that formed around this technology. He made a mental note to see how the crew felt about studying what was left of this culture once the AI was shut down and refocused on the task at hand.
He came around another corner and stopped, almost running into some object. He moved his light across it, revealing what appeared to be an automated guard robot of some kind. It didn’t seem to be active, perhaps not having received a signal in nearly a millennia, but then he preferred to err on the side of caution instead of possibly triggering some defensive protocol.
As he backed away, the robot did the one thing Ken’Daichi didn’t want it to do. It activated. The massive arm mounted weaponry trained on him as he turned back around the corner.
“Not good!” he yelled as he ran back down the corridor, weapons fire hitting the floor and walls around him. Ken’Daichi turned sharply down a new path as the guard followed close on his heals. Ahead of him he saw Aideen, who’s back was still towards him.
“RUN!” he yelled as he passed by her, grabbing her arm and pulling her along.
Aideen resisted for the briefest of moments, forcing him to drag her along, starring at Ken’Daichi before she looked over her shoulder and suddenly went along with him. She almost asked him what he had done… But it was her fault for walking away from him, though it wouldn’t have changed anything most likely.
“What is that thing? And how do we turn it off?” She decided those were far better questions then what she had been thinking.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch it's name," he said as he ducked around another corner. "I have an idea though, we'll have to split up."
“Alright.” She didn’t ask any other questions, just simply waited for him to tell her what to do. She felt… strangely numb. Too many things were conflicting at the moment, and none of them mattered. She had promised Kaidah she would protect Ken’Daichi even though he was an oblivious ass… and protect the crew. Cooperation would get them farther and this tower destroyed then her having a break down right now, if she could help it.
They managed to get slightly ahead of the metallic beast and were able to stop for a moment, allowing them to catch their breath.
"Alright, there's two of us right?" he asked, keeping an eye around the corner.
"Yes, that’s obvious."
"Well, there's only one tin man back there, he can't follow us both."
"How does that help exactly?"
"I'm going to lead it off, get it to chase me. When I do that, you shoot it in the back. I figure you should be able to do enough damage before it can fully turn around."
She made a face, her mouth quirking off to the side even as she nodded, holding the gun between her hands. She had never used one before.
“Ken’Daichi, I haven’t used a gun before.” She murmured quickly, hoping it would be enough to get him to take the gun and let her distract it.
"Point and pull the trigger," he replied. "I'm not about to let that thing chase you instead."
Aideen starred at Ken’Daichi, her ears perked forward at him, her expression blank. She was quicker, and more agile then Ken’Daichi ever would be. It had nothing to do with training or lack there of, and everything to do with the fact Aideen knew how to move when it counted.
She took a deep breath and held it as she stepped up to Ken’Daichi, shoving the gun into him, and then shoving him in the direction she had meant to go. But she didn’t wait for him to protest, exhaling as she turned on the ball of her foot and actually moved towards the robot in a low crouching run, her hands and arms out to the sides slightly, her tails whipping to and fro, helping with balance. She skidded, actually dropping down to the ground and sliding, avoiding a swing of the robots arm and scrambling to her feet, running down the closest hall way.
|October 23 2011, 07:47 AM||#14|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
The robot faltered under the blast and tried to turn back towards him. He was right, it couldn't maneuver easily in theses corridors, it was simply too bulky. He fired again, then again. He shot off what appeared to be a panel, likely for maintenance, but before he could fire again the monster managed to fully turn to face him again.
"Aideen?" he called as he started to back away, hearing only the silence respond to him. "Aideen, I could use a hand here."
There was a inhuman growl followed by Aideen launching herself on top of the robot… and hanging on. She grabbed with both hand, pulling at anything she could get her fingers under as she planted her feet firmly on top of the robot, and began throwing her weight this way and that, forcing the robot to topple with her, letting herself fall forward when it began to roll forward, grunting when she hit the ground, struggling to hold on. The robot was now currently upside down, Aideen holding onto it as her tails trashed wildly.
“Take it Ken’Daichi!” She growled out, knowing full well the damn thing was probably going to fall on her. It probably wouldn’t kill her, hurt, yes. But kill her, probably not.
Ken'Daichi ran to her side and pulled her up, then moved to the robot as he spoke.
"Move down the hallway, quickly," he said as he adjusted the settings on his weapon. "I'll catch up."
“No.” Was all Aideen said, she wasn’t going to explain herself and she wasn’t leaving until he did. She wasn’t losing someone else today. She gave him room, but did not leave.
"That wasn't a request," he replied sternly. "I'm setting this to overload, you need to be elsewhere when that happens."
“Just do it Ken’Daichi.” Aideen said with a frown.
"Fine," he said in a low growl. "But we're going to have a long talk when this is over."
He set the weapon to overload and placed it inside the open panel. He could only hope at this point that there was something vital in there, and that the material wasn't resistant to the blast.
"NOW will you run?" he asked as he started moving away from the robot.
Aideen took his hand and dragged him at her pace, fully expecting him to keep up. She wasn’t looking forward to talking to him for one reason… she was ready to argue, and some part of her was looking forward to it. That wasn’t like her, at all. As they ran he counted off the seconds in his head. The reason he wanted her to go ahead was because he wasn't sure there was time to outrun the blast.
As the timer in his mind reached zero, he knew they had a problem. Ken'Daichi quickly looked around for an alternative, finding a small recess in the wall. He pulled on her arm and pushed her in, then blocked her from the coming blast. A moment later he heard the rumbling of the fire coming their direction, and could feel the excruciating heat at his back. They had gotten far enough that it had dissipated to a point of not being fatal, but damn if it didn't hurt like hell.
Ken'Daichi stood firm until the blast passed them, and then slowly moved out of Aideen's way. He looked around at the damaged corridor, charred from the brief inferno. Then something clicked in his mind, that his back must look just about the same as he fell to his knees.
There was suddenly someone standing above him… and it was Aideen. She just looked at him, her hands trembling at her sides as she balled them into fists. He could have died. That thought railed through her mind as she replayed Kaidah’s death in her mind, the details so fresh, the pain so raw her face wrinkled up with pain, tears pricking at the corner of her eyes before they fell down her face.
She raised her hand, opening her fist once her hand was above her head and swung at him, catching him cleanly on the cheek, the sound so loud in her mind that she flattened her ears against her skull… She dropped down on her knees and threw her arms around his shoulders, burying her face against his shoulder.
“You can’t die, you can’t. I won’t let you. They need you… I…. I told her I’d protect you. I…” She couldn’t bare to lose someone else right now. Not someone that meant something to her even though they didn’t get along half the time, not anyone.
"You hit me," he stated, almost not believing it had happened. "Of all the... I protect you from getting hurt, and you hit me."
He tried to stand, but found his legs didn't want to cooperate. Instead, they just sat there for a moment.
"We can all die Aideen," he said quietly. "We don't get to choose how or when. The important thing is that we're still alive, and we still have a job to do."
She took a shaky breath, shaking her head against his shoulder before she sat back, refusing to meet his gaze as she got up to her feet, a little shakily. She offered him her hands to help him get up.
“Your back okay?” She asked, fully aware she had nothing for him even if it wasn’t okay.
"Hurts like hell," he replied as she helped him up. "Always seem to get hurt around you. I'll live though, I have no intention of dying this far from home."
“You just…. Attract trouble Ken’Daichi. You’ll have to deal until we get back to the ship. Ready when you are.”
"Watch your step, there might be more of those things," he said as he leaned against her for support. "I'll definitely be feeling this in the morning."
The charred corridor continued for about thirty yards, ending in what used to be a three-way intersection. Now, however, the blast had opened a fourth path in the wall itself. Ken'Daichi peered through the opening and smiled. On the other side there was a massive room. Along the wall were large rods of metal shooting bolts of energy into a central point.
"If that doesn't look like a power station..." he muttered. "I'll bet this is where they convert the energy beam from the sun into usable electric current."
“Before we go, what is the plan? I… I don’t want anything of this computer left behind. Nothing. Not a single ounce that people could use to possibly reconstruct it… and that may mean taking the culture data banks here with it.” She grimaced.
"First, we shut it down," he said as he continued to study the room. "Not that I have a single bloody idea on how to do that. We can worry about clean up later."
“Should have brought Laruen along… but then again, she would have probably just started blowing things up.” Aideen sighed out, slowly easing them into the room.
"There's a console over there," he said calmly, still having a little trouble focusing through the pain. "Maybe I can find a way to shut off this power converter, break the circuit. Or redirect it away from the system to something else."
Aideen moved him over to the console, letting him lean against it as she peered around the room, her ears flicking back and forth, listening to several different sounds all at once.
"STOP!" a booming voice commanded. Ken'Daichi looked around, trying to find the source as a figured appeared hovering in the center of the room. It was the figure he saw before, in the engravings. A woman, hands cupped and open. "YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU DO!"
"Actually I have a fairly good idea what I'm doing," Ken'Daichi replied indignantly. "I'm turning you off."
The image flickered, changing momentarily. It was the same woman, but there was something more sinister about her. And much like the engraving, she was carrying a spear.
"YOU MUST NOT STOP MY WORK!" She commanded, her voice sounding different as well. The tone, and her attitude was off, almost like a different personality. But why would anyone construct an AI with split personalities?
“Your work? You killed an entire race! You… what happened to you! It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Aideen hissed at the woman, her fur bristling in her anger as she stepped forward.
The image changed again, back to the women with open hands.
"NO, I WAS TO BRING PEACE, THAT IS MY FUNCTION!"
The woman winced, as though in pain as the form carrying the spear seemed to take over.
"THE ONLY PEACE IS DEATH, LIFE THREATENS PEACE!"
"There's..." Ken'Daichi muttered, trying to understand what he was seeing. "I think there's something else in there, another program of some kind."
“…She’s corrupted. How? Why?” Aideen glanced at Ken’Daichi. “Figure it out… I am going to distract her… Don’t think there’s any saving her.”
Aideen turned back to the woman with a frown on her face.
“Life doesn’t threaten peace you monster! They trusted you to keep them alive and safe. And how did you repay them? By slowly killing them before all out slaughtering them! How is that peace! You created silence by killing, not peace.”
"THEY WERE KILLING THEMSELVES, THERE WAS NO MORE VIOLENCE UNTIL YOU ARRIVED!"
Ken'Daichi sifted through the information displayed on the console. The sophistication was like nothing he had ever seen before, and there was much of it he didn't understand.
"I think I found something," he said quietly. "I was right, there is something else here. It's acting like a virus, rewriting the core AI's code."
Aideen just glanced back at him.
“They were not killing themselves! They were trying to fix themselves, they knew something was wrong with them… and you took their lives from them. They were trying to find happiness.”
"YES," the image changed again, to the gentler form. "THAT IS MY FUNCTION, TO HELP CONTROL THEIR VIOLENT EMOTIONS."
'There has to be a way,' Ken'Daichi thought to himself. 'There must be some sort of defense system for this kind of thing.'
“So why kill them? They had found happiness, and peace. You had brought them happiness and peace.” Aideen frowned, “You changed. You started killing them… without reason. They couldn’t protect themselves against you or what you were doing. Can’t you see you just pointlessly murdered the people you were helping?”
'It was the virus' he realized as he looked up. "Aideen, the virus. It must have rewrote the protocols that detected violent emotions."
As if to confirm what he was saying, the image shifted again.
"ALL EMOTIONS CAUSE PAIN AND SUFFERING, MY FUNCTION IS TO END THAT PAIN AND SUFFERING."
“Not all emotion causes pain and suffering. Your function was to protect them! To protect them and keep them from further harm, not to kill them!” Aideen stepped forward, scowling deeply.
"LOVE LEADS TO JEALOUSY, AMBITION TO GREED, YOU WOULD BE A FOOL NOT TO SEE IT!"
Ken'Daichi felt excitement when he finally found the defensive algorithms for the AI program. It had been shut off, which would explain why the virus was allowed to move freely through the system, but there was a chance it could be reactivated.
“Then I am a fool. And you failed them.” Aideen sighed out, looking over at Ken’Daichi. “If you have something, use it.”
"I'm working on it," he replied as he manipulated the console.
"I RELIEVED THEM OF THEIR PA-AAARGH!!"
The image seemed to writhe, as though it was in pain. The two forms flickered back and forth like a pendulum as Ken'Daichi covered his ears to protect them from the noise. After a few moments the noise subsided, and the image vanished. Leaving the two of them alone in silence. Aideen’s tails gave a thoughtful flick as she stood there, waiting for something to happen, but she slowly relaxed as she looked over at him.
“What did you do?” She questioned, turning towards him.
"I fixed it," he replied as he looked at the console. "I reactivated the protocols that defend against malicious programs. There's quite a bit of damage though, I doubt the system will ever work again."
“You fixed… you know what, never mind.” Aideen sighed, rubbing her forehead. “… I want the tower destroyed. Deactivated or not, if someone smart gets their hands on the system, someone like Laruen, I wouldn’t doubt they could make something of it.”
"I told you, one step at a time," he replied as he looked for anything useful in the database.
The image of the woman returned, but not nearly as imposing. She was normal height, and appeared to be confused.
"What is going on?" she asked as she looked at the two of them. "This facility is restricted, you should not be here."
Aideen jumped and peered over her shoulder. She frowned…
“… Who are you?” Aideen questioned, puzzled and confused.
"My designation is Eyasha, tasked with the operation of this facility," She looked away for a moment, as if studying something, then turned back to Aideen. "What have you done to my people?"
"Nothing Eyasha, we have done nothing. You drew us here like moths to the flame, made me witness first hand the slaughter you laid upon the people you were tasked with taking care of... You killed them." Aideen stated simply.
"Impossible," she stated indignantly. "My protocols do not include killing of people. My-"
Her eyes drifted away again.
"There has been severe damage to my code structure. Explain."
"Aideen," Ken'Daichi said calmly as he moved to stand next to her. "She doesn't remember, any of it. All the terrible things that she did, she was being controlled by the virus."
“That doesn’t excuse what she did.” Aideen bit out fiercely, glaring at Ken’Daichi.
"Accessing viral defense history," she began speaking in an even, almost mechanical tone. "Defense protocols were activated 2.74 minutes ago, level 5 malicious program detected and removed. Analysis indicates the program was designed to corrupt and control, estimation of purpose..."
She looked up at the two of them, the shock of realization washing over her face.
"No... no, this isn't possible, I would never..."
Eyasha vanished, and at almost the same instant the alarms went off and Ken'Daichi moved back to the console.
"She's initiated an overload," he announced as he started for the hole in the wall. "She's killing herself. And I don't think I want to be around when the fireworks go off."
Aideen starred at the platform and almost felt sorry… before she remembered Kaidah’s face as she died… she shook her head and went after Ken’Daichi, grabbing his arm and putting it over her shoulders, moving them along as quickly as he would let her.
“Where are our helmets?” She questioned, suddenly remembering the air outside wasn’t exactly breathable for long.
"By that teleporter pad," he replied. "We have to hurry, if I read that right we have five minutes."
“You’re too heavy for me to pick up Ken’Daichi.” Aideen said with a faint smile on her face as she lead them quicker down the hall.
She retraced her path, avoiding the long hall way where the robot guard had exploded and leading them back down the way she had wandered off in earlier. She slowed down once they reached the teleporter pad they had come in on, stooping down and letting go on Ken’Daichi to grab their helmets, handing Ken’Daichi his before putting her on…She froze, her expression darkening slightly before she shook her head, clearing her thoughts and fastened her helmet in place.
"As I'll ever be," he replied as he stood on the pad. He clicked the last fastener into place, but noticed there was a small gap along the seem. Like from damage when the robot exploded. Ken'Daichi decided not to inform Aideen of this, there would be enough time to get back to the ships, so why add the stress.
|October 23 2011, 07:47 AM||#15|
Location: Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
Re: Non-Trek Original Work. Katana:Haunted
Laruen scowled as she walked out of the Chimera, murmuring to herself… and stopping when she noticed Musevni just standing there, starring off into the distance. Laruen frowned thoughtfully, putting her hands onto her hips and really looked at him.
He seemed lost.
What the hell was she supposed to do about it? She bit her lip and almost wiggled uncomfortably where she stood, before she started forward and moved to stand beside him.
“Mu?” Laruen called, peering at him through her helmet, waiting until he was looking at her questioningly, gathering up her already fraying bravery, “As stupid and as pointless as it sounds… it’s gonna be okay. We’re gonna haul ass, take names and then get back. Kaidah wouldn’t have wanted any of us really mourning her loss… she hated it when Aideen or I was sad or upset… So…” She sighed, looking away from him as her nerves continued to waver.
She almost tensed when she felt something squeeze her hand… but relaxed as she realized it was Musevni squeezing her hand. She squeezed his back, smiling to herself, letting his hand slide out of her grip.
He understood… That’s all she really needed. It brought a strange sensation of giddy excitement. One she couldn’t figure out.
“Thank you Laruen.” Musevni said quietly.
Musevni and Laruen both looked up as the pad sprung to life, throwing Ken’Daichi and Aideen tumbling to the ground.
"Sir!" Musevni called as he rushed to his superiors side. "Are you alright."
"Never better," Ken'Daichi replied. "But right now we need to get back to the ships, we have about a minute before that tower goes explodes."
“How much ground do we have to cover?” Aideen asked, ushering Ken’Daichi forward.
"Not far," Laruen replied. "The security team has already taken the shuttle to the Katana, and I moved the Chimera to an open field about twenty meters that way when we retrieved Kaidah."
“Alright, let’s get moving then…” Aideen just frowned, glancing back at the tower and over in the direction where Kaidah had fallen… later, this would wait until later, there was no other option.
They made there way through the city, Ken'Daichi carefully controlling his breathing as they went and counting off the seconds in his mind.
"30 seconds," he announced as they reached the Chimera and boarded her. "Get us out of here."
Aideen choose a corner and sat there, her mind racing… in several different directions at once, her hands clasping into fists in her lap, not even bothering to sit down. Laruen moved however, glancing at Aideen as she passed her by, to the co pilots seat and flopped down in it ungracefully.
“Mu, I don’t trust my skills yet, get us out of here.” Laruen looked over her shoulder at Musevni and gave him a watery smile.
Musevni dropped into the pilot seat and started manipulating the controls.
"Engines online, atmospheric thrusters operational," he muttered mostly to himself. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts, as we are expecting severe turbulence."
Even as the Chimera lifted off the ground, Ken'Daichi was still counting off the time. They had to move faster to get outside the blast radius, there were no recesses to hide in this time.
"We're exiting the atmosphere," Musevni reported after a short time. "The tower has detonated, blast impact in 3, 2, 1..."
The craft shook violently under the onslaught of the explosion, throwing Aideen and Ken'Daichi to the floor and nearly throwing Musevni and Laruen out of their seats. Ken'Daichi pushed himself off the floor and moved to the front.
"I think we made it sir," Musevni replied. "Barely. Sensors and communication are offline, but I can see the Katana from here. We'll be back before you know it."
“You better not have scratched my ship or so help me Mu…” Laruen threatened him mockingly, looking over at him with a slight grin.
Aideen only sat herself up, propping her back against a near by wall, looking over at Ken’Daichi, and then Musevni, and Laruen. She sighed inwardly before getting up.
“We can talk while I look at your back once we get back to the ship.” Aideen murmured quietly, placing a hand on Ken’Daichi’s shoulder as she walked by him. She peered into the side rooms of the Chimera, until she found what she was looking for. Kaidah’s body.
She sat down next to her friend as she took off her helmet and just starred quietly at the body bag.
“What am I going to do without you.” Aideen whispered quietly, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs.
Aideen fiddled with the various hypos, filling two of them before she walked back across the med bay, over to the exam table Ken’Daichi was laying on face down. She was in the process of peeling bits of what was left over from his suit that was partially fused to his shirt and part of his skin. She had had to cut away the rest of the upper part of his suit and his shirt.
Aideen herself had changed quickly when no one was paying attention to her during the fuss of trying to figure out what to do with Kaidah’s body until they were ready to break the news to the crew and then figure out what to do for her in a send off, she had left that to Laruen and Musevni to figure out. She wore a black turtle neck with the sleeves rolled up as high as they would go, and a pair of uniform pants and socks.
She already has a small pile of what was left of his suit and shirt off to the side, sitting on a small tray that stood near by the exam table. She pressed the hypo against his arm and sighed.
“Let me know if this hurts, and I‘ll give you the other hypo, there is no gentle way to go about this.” Aideen said softly, looking at Ken’Daichi before she picked up a scalpel and started work on the pieces on his lower back.
He winced slightly, but the pain was manageable. He thought about what he had learned in the tower.
"It's ironic, isn't it?" he asked thoughtfully. "The way the universe works sometimes."
She made a soft sound, but otherwise said nothing at the moment, reaching out for a gauss pad and pressing it against his skin as she pulled off a strip, setting that aside before she taped the gauss down, and started on another piece.
“I suppose.” She finally spoke, quietly.
"I mean, we came to stop the AI because of what it was doing," he said, talking to her but at the same time talking to no one. In a way, he was trying to explain it to himself. "But in the end, the AI was as much of a victim."
“…Victim.” Aideen froze, Kaidah’s face above her flashed in her mind before she took a shaky breath, and resumed her work, once more taping a piece of gauss to him before moving onto the next strip. “I… want to feel bad for her… but I can’t at the same time.”
"I know," he replied quietly. "I feel the same way. But one thing I'm not torn about is finding out who created that virus. They are the ones truly at fault; it was because of that virus that one of my crew is dead and an entire civilization nothing but a memory."
The doors opened as the ships XO walked in.
"How is he?" Kagome asked.
“He will need to rest after I am done here. For a few hours at most. Your back will be stiff for days to come so don’t do anything overly flexible.” Aideen replied, speaking both to Kagome and Ken’Daichi. “It will take me at least an hour to make sure I get everything out of his back.”
"Well perhaps this will pass the time," she said as she handed him a data pad. "There was a burst transmission from the tower just before the explosion, a massive download. Historical data, cultural traditions, everything about the society that once lived here. And there's a note for you."
Ken'Daichi scanned over the note, surprised at what he saw before he read it out loud.
"To the people of the Katana, you have my sincerest apologies for what happened. Regardless of the circumstances what I have done is unforgivable.
I have seen your minds, and know that you are lost. I have given you the whole of knowledge of this once great people in the hopes that, in some way it will make up for it.
Your people, and the ones that used to exist here believed in an existence beyond death. I wonder what will happen to me, as I am only an artificial entity.
Farewell, and thank you for finally releasing me from this nightmare."
Aideen canted her head slightly, considering things... but eventually shook her head with a sigh, resuming her work without further comment. There were so many things on her mind... she didn't know what to think of anything... Kaidah was dead because of her... All she supposed she could do, was bury herself in her work... and hoped no one noticed. She didn't want anyone to think anything other of Kaidah then what they already did. A scowl furrowed her brow.
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