Escape Velocity
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Escape Velocity Reply with quote

Escape Velocity

Chapter 1 - Idle Thumbs

He was sitting up straight, which in itself was unusual. His shoe tapped quickly against the floor. Was this anxiety or frustration?

He didn’t care to self analyze, the feeling made him uncomfortable and that’s all that really mattered to him.

He’d spent the day alone. He hadn’t left his Madirmillire apartment for the duration, he woke up alone and still he remained, tapping. It had reached the point at which his own tapping irritated him, he finally stopped and stood, pulling his hands from the pockets of his black trousers as he did.

The man approached the glass wall that made up one side of the apartment’s central room. It was a glossy, dark, opaque screen of sorts until he touched it, drawing his finger downwards on its surface until he had a view of the stars through a now transparent panoramic window.

He stared at them impassively for a few moments before a scowl took over his features.

Fuck the stars, fuck their secrets, and fuck everything I can’t see past their glare.

He turned away, walking briskly to the coffee table in the centre of the room where he collected a small data-pad from its surface. Tapping at it deftly he quickly sought the answer to his question.

No new messages.


He glared at the little device, as if it were to blame for his frustration, and tossed it onto a couch; he wasn’t feeling malicious or childish enough to break it just yet.

The Deteis started to button-up the higher buttons on his creased, un-tucked white shirt. He ignored the cuffs and he neglected the tie and jacket. It had been fifteen hours since he’d woken, there was no way she was just pre-occupied. She had no reason to simply ignore him, did she?

All of this made him feel like an insecure adolescent he mused, tugging at one sleeve, forcing the shirt to sit correctly on his shoulders. He didn’t know what to make of it, insecure wasn’t something he considered himself to be, but something just didn’t sit right with him.

He’d already resolved that he’d figure it out, whether it was in his head or not, and made his way towards the door, stepping on an untied shoelace and almost losing his balance a few steps from his destination.

A collection of animated gestures, swearwords and a swing of the foot later, he took a calming breath, knelt and tied the lace. Once that had been achieved he left the apartment, leaving the door unlocked.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 2 - Professional Misjudgments


Nearly all of the Intaki Vieve had known had an appreciation for art. Chaland Coleeres, FIO's senior Intelligence Agent in Everyshore, was ... not one of them. He ashed his cigarette on the ass of one of Modguliet's faceless glass miniature nudes.

The paperweight was an award for some accomplishment or another that Vieve'd forgotten immediately after he'd told her. He wasn't proud of it. It wasn't worth remembering. In truth, he himself wouldn' t have warranted remembering had current circumstances not become what they were.

FIO had, in the breath after they'd agreed that Vieve's becoming autonomous made some sense, had reasoned she still needed a Controller. Soon after, she'd learned their man in Bereye had been handed the responsibility. She'd never intended to pay him a visit.

Well, unless it was necessary.

Current circumstances suggested necessary. Had Jules not also fallen off the map, maybe it wouldn't have seemed as necessary. But he had, and every other damn person she used to be able to go to for advice either wanted her dead, wanted her humbled, wanted her leashed ... or was Trent. Or worse, Remy.

And Jonny...

Chaland sat back in his chair. His shift within the office's smoky green light made the edges of his ghostly face paint fluoresce white-blue. "When did you see him last?"

"The evening after I burst commed him from Gicodel, hmm, weeks ago? No. I did not actually see him that evening. The evening before."

"What were you doing in Gicodel?"

"Failing to meet with my former Controller." Vieve decided not to mention that she didn't remember a damn bit of the event, or anything of the four days prior or the two days after. Someone'd decided to murder her in her Mormoen apartment and dump her remains in space a few systems over. It'd been inconvenient if she hadn't kept decent notes in her planning calendar. It'd been even less convenient if she hadn't had that six day old neural backup, this made after someone in IAC decided to send her on an express trip out of whatever alphabet soup system she'd had one of her interceptors in at the time.

She didn't remember a lot of details about that, either.

The two deaths likely weren't related.

Likely.

She still wasn't sure if she ever wanted to find out what was related to the Mormoen death.

"Ah ... right." The agent smirked. "The Sisters've been keeping him busy, yes?"

"Excruciatingly so. From that, one could get the impression they are a FIO front."

"That's not even remotely funny."

Vieve smiled anyway, and failed to marvel at why she felt no need to apologize. "I know."

Chaland drew on his cigarette. "You're in a peculiar mood," he observed, as if he actually knew her well enough to know what he was talking about.

She indulged the observation. It had the benefit of being correct. "It is a good mood, which is even more peculiar, all things considered."

"And would there be new things to consider?"

"Beyond my suffering from a heart shattered by the potential father of my eventual children whom I de facto abandoned my husband for after I made a strange segue toward destroying the former CEO of Duty..." Erh? Did you just say that out loud, Vie? Huh? Wha...

"Yee ... ees, beyond the holonovela that is your ... Deputy?"

"Hmm?"

"You're mapping someone."

"Hmm." Vieve had no idea what to say to that other than 'hmm'. He was likely right, as much as she'd rather he be wrong. No one should be able to tell that much about a person's core personality from mere reports. And is my personality changing because...

"I don't recall any conversation about new targets," he said.

...well, maybe to some degree, but it is not like I am deliberately...

"He is not a target."

...I have been spending a fair amount of time around some rather strong personalities, despite my attempts to limit and dilute the exposure as I can, so perhaps this blithe cynicism ... is that a good way to describe this attitude? ... is not from...

"A capsuleer?"

"Yes."

"Then he's..."

Écoutez, cochon...

"...still not a target!" Vieve snapped. "Did we not fucking agree when I fucking agreed to this that I could have a fucking personal life outside of my fucked-up professional personal life?"

Chaland stared at her for a heartbeat. Two. Then he sneered. "Slumming, are we? Feeling a little defensive about it? That's just fucking fantastic. Careful there, Deputy. Fuck him enough, and you might start forgetting to lift your pinky when you..."

The Modguliet might have made a satisfying crunch when it hit his face.

Might have.

Vieve didn't remember yet.

Didn't remember getting up from her chair.

Didn't remember grabbing the paperweight.

Didn't remember throwing it.

Didn't remember if Chaland had even the chance to blink before his nose cracked open.

Smack. Crack. Thunk. It might have sounded like that. Or maybe there wasn't a thunk, though there was very likely a thunk as the paperweight fell, since the majority of the potential bounce angles included a second hit on the desk or an arm of his chair.

Vieve hadn't remembered yet.

Falling ash, stirred by the office's ventilation system, swirled atop Chaland's once shinier black desk.

Vieve hadn't gotten too far from where she'd been sitting.

What stopped m...

Cold metal jabbed the back of her neck.

"Oh," she whispered.

And remembered everything.

Chaland had screamed like a Caille-boy at a shoe sale, and the muscle had come out of the door Vieve'd thought was a closet.

One muscle, two muscle, three muscle ... and two more now walking in the door from the hallway. For the record, this was not one of your better ideas, Vie.

She dropped to her knees, and put her hands out in front of her, insides of her wrists together and fingers splayed apart, just like she'd needed to do when she'd turned herself in after her Amarrian exile. The paperweight's blood smeared blank face peered at her from under the desk. There was a crack in it that resembled a smile.

"Funny the things you notice when you are about to die," Vieve mumbled.

"I can't authorize that," Chaland snarled ... or rather, bubbled. Blood from his shattered nose was beginning to ooze through the fingers he had wrapped over it.

Vieve was trying her very best not to laugh. It was so hard not to! It would be harder to stop, damn it! "Lucky me," she quipped. "Saved by bureaucracy."

"Get her a room!"
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 3 - Idle Thumbs II

The Tuomuta office was not the largest or most luxurious the corporation had ever enjoyed, it was in a mining outpost after all, and the very air of the place reeked of smelted ore from the refineries. A lot of stations had refineries, but not many were focused quite so heavily around the one facility.

She’d always hated mining outposts for this very reason, and she limited her time at the station to as little as she could possibly get away with without neglecting her responsibilities entirely.

The glass-topped desk projected a holographic display that hovered in front of her. She controlled it with a touch panel, also built into the desktop. It displayed market prices for a number of weapon systems, craft, consumer goods and biotech products.

At the forefront of the colourful display was a detailed combat performance breakdown for the corporation’s combat pilots.

She browsed it disinterestedly through a pair of rectangular rimmed glasses, nothing of any real concern had happened that day, her mind was elsewhere.

A buzzing sound dragged her back to reality. She blinked a couple of times as she remembered herself and took a deep breath before tapping a small light that had appeared on the glass surface.

Her display instantly minimised and was replaced by a holo-representation of their receptionist for this office.

“Ms Li, one of your subordinates is here to see you.”

“Oh, which one?” she responded, curiosity evident in her tone.

“He says his name is Farrow.” The girl seemed unconvinced.

Yuki frowned. What could he possibly need from her, he had his orders, so unless he’d found something... Her eyes lit up.

“Let him in, quickly”

“Okay, I’ll send him through.”

The Civire watched the Deteis carefully as he came into the office, her office, at a pace of knots. She didn’t appreciate the look on his face, the messy suit or the gruff stubble that stuck out of his face. She appreciated the fact that he seemed to be in some kind of rush even less.

“You’d better have found my Uncle, otherwise you’re making a mistake barging in here like you just did.”

“No, I need a favour.” His tone was subdued, it didn’t match his actions at all, she thought.

“What is it this time? The last time you asked me for a favour it was some fucking stalking fe-” She didn’t get to finish her sentence.

“I need you to run another trace, on the same pilot as last time.” He was at her desk now.

“Are you for real?”

“Do I look like I’m here for your fucking entertainment?”

“Watch your mouth.” Her tone hardened suddenly.

“I apologise.” He softened, his eyes lowering as he realised he’d overstepped his bounds.

“Why are you following this ex-fed around anyway?” She quizzed.

“It’s personal; I’d rather not discuss it.”

“If it’s personal why can’t you find her without storming in here asking me to do it for you?”

“You know full well why” He scowled. It seemed to be his expression of the day.

She sighed, pulling the glasses from her head carefully and placing them on the desk.

“Don’t start taking this for granted, you work for me, not the other way around.”

His only response was a single, grateful nod.

“I’ll send the location to your comm as soon as I have it, the name should still be in my records. Now get out.”

“Understood, and thank you.” He turned and left almost as quickly as he came.

Yuki Li pulled up a new holo, this one contained some contact details. She didn’t know what had stirred him up, but she’d never seen him this tightly wound.

Closing any unnecessary displays, she opened a line to the person whose information was displayed. She exchanged pleasantries will the man on the other end, and then quickly got to the point.

“... That’s right; it’s the same name as last time, Vieve Tisserand.”
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 4 - A Different Front

It only took them a few hours to decide to remove Vieve's eyelids.

At least Vieve guessed it was hours. Since the first room they took her to was dark and comfortable, she decided to take a nap. She'd learned from her times in FIO custody that the more rest she got, the easier it was to get through it.

They didn't want her thinking. Just responding.

It had taken them a fair bit of research to discover that's what she did when she blinked more slowly than usual. She mentally retreated from the situation at hand. Considered it. Then returned to it. It wasn't even close to a full blown fugue state, even a light one, but it was still an absence. They didn't like those. Absences sometimes meant that her instincts told her to react physically while her brain was ruminating potential verbal reactions.

She'd been en absence when she'd broken Agent Coleeres' nose.

Retreat. Consider. Return.

Vieve believed it would be very pleasant to be en absence now.

The second room was white.

If someone didn't move the light over her head soon, it was going to burn out her retinas. The drops someone had given her were preventing her eyes from watering. She could feel them drying out, this an annoying itch that couldn't be scratched. From the angle she was at, she believed she was collared and manacled to the inclined table, if it was a table. It made sense that it was a table. She also had the vague impression that they'd left her clothes on, which was something of a relief, because she imagined the room was freezing.

Vieve suspected the kindness was more to imply that they would strip her and do rather awful things to her body, if she wasn't cooperative. Not that she could scream or wail at any abuse right now, because she couldn't feel or see anything past the edges of her itchy eyes. There was nothing within them but white light.

"I just got these," she murmured, her voice sounding far more clear to her than it should have. Perhaps she wasn't speaking at all. It seemed likely that she might be plugged in and her voice was being broadcast through speakers. "It would be annoying if I had to have them replaced. I am not certain the warranty covers damage sustained during torture."

Merde, I still have not sent Kale Ryoko the bill for that surgery ... focus, Vie.

Discounting the itching, the absence of sensation was oddly peaceful. She could quite easily take another nap. Well, if she had eyelids to shut. Bastards.

"During a medical examination, you mean?" someone said. Vieve knew the voice. She'd heard it before. She didn't remember his ... her name. She didn't ever remember hearing a name or seeing her ... his face. The accent was odd. Genderless, yes, but also foreign in the sense that it wasn't colored by an accent from any one region or system. It wasn't polished. It was just neutral. It could be synthesized. It very likely was. It seemed that she should have a difficult time hearing clearly. Her own voice was likely just as much inside her head.

"We have some concerns about your health," the someone added.

"I never call. I never write."

"And you've never directly assaulted a Federal agent before, either."

"I have not indirectly e..."

"The two agents we sent after you in Amarr would say different."

"If they were not dead."

"If they weren't dead, yes, true." Vieve felt pressure on her cheek that could have been an indulgent pat from a gloved hand. Could have been. That seemed reasonable. "Everyone loves you. Everyone wants to protect you from the large scary universe."

"Including you."

"Oh, yes. I've missed you. I was very sad when your husband convinced my superiors that your medical monitoring should be handled by his people ... ah, now there we may have an answer for some of our questions."

More pressure. This time it came from a point inside her skull. Pressure. Slick sounds. A tug.

The familiar stranger sighed. "A commercial grade nanopump? Why?"

"This clone was grown for me by the Thukkers. It is not like they have access to the non-commercial kind, unless they..."

"And the medicine? You gave them information on a classified compound?"

"No. It is ... recycled."

"And likely contaminated. Why didn't you request dosage units from us after you left Strix?"

"I did not..."

"You have resources! Why do you keep refusing to use them when you really need them?" Metal clattered on metal behind her head, as if something had been dropped into a pan. "And speaking of resources, I understand your mother's in the Republic these days?"

"She is not part of this conversation."

"You think so, do you?"

"We had an agreement. You would leave her alone, and I would work for you."

"She did become a capsuleer."

"I would have discouraged her if I had known in advance."

"You would rather she not be practically immortal, too?"

"I would rather she not be a..."

Everything went white.


***


The café space was large, pleasant, deserted and framed off from its kitchen unit wall and the rest of one of the station's quieter corridors by a bank of lush potted shrubs.

Vieve got up from her table, shambled over to one, threw up in it, then sat down on the cold floor between the wall and the large ceramic planter.

She hadn't had lunch. Or breakfast. Possibly dinner.

Her scalp itched. The bone beneath her scalp itched. Her reattached eyelids itched. Everything also throbbed. She risked a look down at her reflection in the shiny gray tile.

Yeah, it looked like she'd been on a nasty bender. Maybe she'd gotten into a fight, as hard as that might be for most people to believe. She never went out wanting fights. She had always considered patrols successful if there hadn't been anyone out there to kill. It meant that the patrols were working, didn't they? Or it meant that there was intel being leaked, and finding that out was itself a measure of success.

If she'd ever admitted that to anyone in Stimulus ... or Fate, almost anyone she knew, they would think she was insane. Or lacked balls.

Well. She did in fact lack balls.

Then again, being in a fight would be much easier to sell than she'd spent some quality time chatting with a FIO interrogator that ...

...and now she remembered everything.

She threw up in the planter again. Poor shrub. She patted it.

"Lady, you'l'right?"

"No," Vieve answered, after swallowing down some bile-flavored saliva. She hadn't heard the guy come over with his cart. Maybe her ears weren't working completely yet. Maybe she'd been louder than she'd thought. Or, maybe he was just shitty about sounding like a janitor when he walked. "I ... it ... bad reaction to some medication."

"You need sometin'?"

"Yes. A new brain. Do you have one of those in your cart?"

"I call somebody."

"That would be very kind of you. Thank you."

He left the cart on the other side of the plant, and took off at a jog. What, did he not have a datapad? Or was his station services issued internal comm unit not working? Why did he have to go get someone himself?

Oh, yes. Seemed more by the minute that FIO was graciously letting her walk away so they could see where she went. The cart was even placed so as to give her more privacy. It even seemed possible that they did not have eyes on her right this moment.

And why would they need them, if she was still carrying her datapad?

Vieve slipped it out of her trouser pocket, flicked out the data access crystal with her right thumbnail ... ow, it looked bruised, even if it didn't feel like it, then shoved the unit deep into the vomit-laced mulch inside the planter. She wiped her hand on the shrub, and took a quick inventory of her pockets when she tucked the data access crystal away. Everything else had been in her pockets was: her credit chip, some assorted hard currency for those rare times that vendors couldn't or didn't accept credit chips, a little lint, and a scrap of scribble film with "hair wax", "plant fertilizer" and "Damage Control IIs" written on it ... all there.

It wasn't going to be impossible to slip off. Impossible to get into a pod, yes. At least for a couple of days, unless she used a jump clone, in which case, they'd definitely know where she was going.

She could get on an Interbus shuttle. It was probably not the greatest idea to take the shuttle all the way to wherever she was going. Wherever she was going.

It was probably a good idea to contact someone. Which was likely part two of what they wanted right now: to see where she was going, and who she would call to help her get there.

The Interrogator had given her the advice that she had failed to get from Coleeres: the knowledge of what FIO believed she should do.

The Interrogator had mocked her trepidation about going through with Stimulus' new change of operating procedures.

'How are you ever going to be a proper terrorist if you only hit military targets?'

'I am not a terrorist.'

'You should be. You of all people should know that we are not just fighting this proxy war with the Caldari, but a very real one against the growing capsuleer oligarchies. The weaker they are, the more fragmented, the more 'free' from obligation to one another, the stronger the Federation becomes. Destroy their factories, their mines, their workers, their slaves, and they will...'

'I am not failing to follow your logic, I am just ... and the State becomes stronger. And the Empire. And the Republic. What of that?'

'Different fronts. Different wars. You have been given a unique opportunity to fight in this one. Do your damn job, Deputy! Yes, you are a monster. Quite so. It is beyond time for you to start acting like one, rather than luxuriating in fantasies of being...'


"I am human." Vieve opened her eyes. She had said that aloud. To someone.

She was standing in front of a sink in a public washroom. There was a little Jin-Mei girl, one barely recognizable as one in her large white hair bow and floofy aqua party dress, staring at her.

They hadn't shaved Vieve's head. Her still curly hair was long enough to cover the plug in the back of her neck. So, that wasn't...

The mirror confirmed why she was getting stared at. Nasty bender? Oh, no. Oh ... ow, the floor had been kind in showing her what she looked like.

"Ah..." Vieve sighed. She must have blacked out some between the cafe and the washroom. The memories of getting from there to here were coming back, but they were fuzzy. It could have been worse. She could have been waking up in a clone vat somewhere with no idea what had happened over the past six days.

Well. It'd have been less than six days. She'd been taking Ereka's advice about having backups made more regularly. A rollback would not be as wrenching, the next time it happened. Er, if it happened again.

One of the stall doors opened. Vieve covered her face with a hand. "I am sorry. I did not realize someone was in here. I will..."

It was the girl's -- Vieve hoped the Gallentean teenager was the child's adoptive sister. The greenhead let out a little shriek that was loud enough to make the lights dripping off her shimmy skirt shiver. "What happened!"

"We ... had a disagreement." Not that it was a lie. And Vieve believed the 'we' was splendidly vague.

"Fu ... are you alright? Do you need me to call someone?"

Vieve had always believed that people were inherently good. Except when they weren't. If she'd looked like a capsuleer, odds seemed better that the girl would have grabbed her sister's hand and run. Odds didn't seem high that these were also FIO employees. Related to one? Likely. FIO stations tended to have a rather large population of FIO employees. Especially on days ending in 'i', and doubly so on days that ended in 'e'.

"Actually ... could I borrow your datapad? Mine got broken when I got out of there."

"Sure, sure..." The teenager started digging in her ridiculously large bag. "...but..."

"It will be a long burst," Vieve explained. "I can pay you for the comm charges." She fumbled in her pockets, hoping she could find a Fed chit by touch. Flashing Republic and Ammatar chits might look...

"You poor thing! You don't have anybody local?"

...perfect, actually. "My family is all over the place these days. This probably would not have happened had I been with them." The weaker they are, the more fragmented, the more 'free' from obligation to one another, the stronger the Federation becomes...

Vieve picked out some of the Fed chits from the small pile in her hand, and offered them.

The greenhead lit up when she saw the amount. Vieve was fuzzily aware that it was likely enough to fill her bag full of top-of-the-line datapads. Damn it, when will I learn -- it would be rude to ask her for change, would it not?

"Thanks!"

At least she could do is suggest I keep the data... The datapad Vieve was offered the use of was very cheap, covered in cheesy holo stickers of some band she'd never heard of, and worst of all, pink. ...never mind.

She did manage a "Thank you."

The little girl was still staring at her.

She gave her a lopsided smile. "And what is your name?"

The little girl didn't answer her.

Tap tap tap. Vieve opened a burst comm window with an index finger. That nail also looked bruised, even though it didn't feel like it. She skipped the To: line. The C: line. The PC: line. No subject. One word message: NASRERI? Then she tapped back to the To: line.

Who do I send this to?

Someone who has half a chance in the hells of receiving it in time.

Someone who is smart enough to figure out the message from this datapad is from me ... ideally, also in time.

Someone who will not ask questions. Like I know anyone like that ... how about someone who would wait to ask them until I was well out of Federation space?

Someone who has seen me injured already.

But you already know the answer to that one, do you not, Vieve? Otherwise, you would have said 'Bereye', or 'Halle' or 'Ours' instead of some system just inside the Genesis border.


She keyed in his name, and tapped 'send'.
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 5 - Light Up.

He moved quickly, the message had come from an ID he didn’t recognise, but there was no doubt in his mind who it had come from.

Her disappearance, although brief, was all he’d been able think about. Now he had new things to think about; like why wasn’t she using her own data-pad, why she was where she was and what had happened.

He had already been heading for the Federation border within the Bleak Lands when he’d received the message, however unsure of what exactly he would do once he got there he may have been.

While unable to confirm whether something was wrong; he hadn’t wanted to be rash and had skirted the high-sec borderline while he considered everything carefully.

He realised now his considerations weren’t necessary. The single word that his data-pad had given him was enough for him to finally make a move.

Nasreri

The system, he had discovered, was on the other side of Everyshore. Everyshore was a Gallente Federation region; they didn’t like him in those, said he wasn’t welcome.

Regardless, he had decided he didn’t have time to go around it, so through he went. He successfully avoided confrontation with the Naval forces, the journey being as uneventful as one can be when your Corporate ID flags defence fleets in every system on the route, and had finally arrived in Nasreri.

He had disembarked from the Taranis “Urusai” and he had showered.
Now he’d wait.

He’d wait and he’d smoke.

It was his first cigarette for six years, his first cigarette since he gave up doing that. Since he gave up the life he’d been born into.

The life Omerta Syndicate had freed him from, that space had freed him from.

He decided not to think about it.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 6 - Uncertain Occasions

Vieve picked up a cheap black hooded jacket during the shuttle's meal stop at the Duvolle station in Aydoteaux. Having the hood over her head helped with her headache, some. It also helped shadow her bruised face so that it didn't look so obviously in need of anyone's attention.

Not that there were many left on the shuttle to pay her attention, after Aydoteaux. Nor had she expected many: the route she intended was a reverse of the quiet one she had taken on her way back from exile.

She had an entire common cabin to herself after the shuttle left the station. Not trusting herself to stay awake for the rest of the trip -- and not trusting boosters at all -- she wedged her aching body sideways into the corner just to the right of the intercabin door. With her ear to the wall next to the door mechanism, she imagined she'd be able to hear it open before anyone entered.

She dimmed the overhead light as low as it would go, then ... didn't even have the opportunity to tell herself she was right about dozing off.

She dozed.

Space slid by outside the shuttle's hull.

"Hello, Vieve."

It was a familiar voice. A too-familiar voice.

Unlike The Interrogator's voice, this voice was colored by gender and dialect.

Wha'?

Vieve opened her eyes. There was a small holoscreen floating in front of her, shedding a harsh glow over the shadows around her.

Jules was sitting in a chair somewhere, with a steaming cup of something in his hand. Tea. Likely tea. He enjoyed tea.

She'd had to use her real identification when she purchased her Interbus ticket. There was no time to acquire another one and ... no ready available resources to assist in that requiring. It'd been so much easier if she'd been a criminal. It would have been easier than that if she were not trying to pass as an ordinary human.

Interbus likely had seen no problem with passing the comm request right through to her.

Jules chuckled. "Considering that I am alive, and appear to be breathing, what advice did you need?"

Vieve blinked once, twice, then decided to be completely awake. "Jules..." She blinked again. Her eyelids flushed with numb-edged pain.

Jules blinked at her. "Yes?"

She sat up, and pulled at the edges of her hood, tugging it more in place over her head. "I was not expec ... is everything alright?"

"I'm fine. The corporation has been conducting strategic planning and combat training, however. One of the reasons why I've been out of touch. But how are you?"

Jules took a sip from his cup. The shimmer of a blue hologram rotated somewhere behind his image.

Despite his earlier blink at her, Jules' expression hadn't changed from an uncommitted affability. He was not smiling, nor was he frowning. Nothing about his expression suggested to Vieve that he was finding anything wrong about having found her huddling hooded in a dark corner of a deserted Interbus shuttle's common cabin.

Granted, he had spoken with her during other uncertain occasions, but...

Vieve had the impression that he knew more than he was telling.

"F-fine, all things considered," she said. "Jonny's resigned as CEO, and has quit the corporation."

He didn't react. "Hmm. Do you know why?"

Vieve didn't. If Jonny had told her anything, it had been during those six days that the murder'd taken from her life. If Jonny had told her anything -- which she doubted, because she would have made a note of something that important on her calendar.

Unless he'd told her right before he'd killed her.

If he had been the one who'd killed her. There were entirely too many scenarios where that could have happened.

"...uncertain," Vieve mumbled. "It ... well, he advised me to stand down from being a combat pilot, then literally walked out the door and resigned." From her forcibly edited perspective, that was quite true: when she'd emerged from recuperation and returned to Stimulus -- the news was waiting for her.

"I think he might have known that other directors wanted to turn Stimulus into a full-blown terrorist organization. Bacchanalian has already announced a new NBSI policy, one that includes low sec."

Jules didn't react, beyond a nod, deepening her impression that he already knew much of what she'd just told him.

"There is also an Alliance in the works," she added.

This bit of information elicited the first flicker of genuine curiosity from him that she'd seen. "What kind of Alliance?"

"I do not have more details beyond that the involved parties are still bickering over the name, though to the best of my knowledge, it appears to be purposed toward destroying null-sec alliances once by one."

"There are plenty of those," Jules said. "Some corps, some Alliances. Burn Eden comes to mind."

"Hmm."

"Have you stopped being a combat pilot?" he inquired.

"I have not been one for a few days. I was..." Vieve inhaled. "I had a conversation with the FIO that did not go very well."

"What do you mean?"

"I was detained for assaulting a Federal Agent."

"Which one? Or who, I should rather say."

"Is it important?" Do you expect me to believe that you do not already know, Jules?

"I suppose not. I'm just curious as to what circumstances inspired the incident. But if you feel uncomfortable about it, that's fine."

"He was insulting, and demanded personal information. I came to him for advice about whether or not I should continue with Stimulus, considering the change in leadership and policy. The same advice I was going to ask you."

"I see." Jules exhaled. "I am uncertain."

"So am I."

"Stimulus would appear to be headed down a course that contrasts with your worldview. Your goals. The possibility of you correcting its course is now greatly diminished with the departure of Jonny."

But. He is going to add a 'but'. And his phrasing...

Vieve's already gummy mouth lost its last remnant of moisture.

He knows what I am. Knows what I am capable of, and that it is not simply my being good at rhetoric. Yes? Or is it...

Naturally, this could all be in my head, and this is just Jules being Jules and I am filtering it through pain and panic.


The lights in the cabin started to brighten, heralding the shuttle's approach to a station. An announcement of that stop would be coming soon.

Vieve didn't want him to hear it. She mumbled something vaguely apologetic, and cut the comm.

He did not attempt to re-establish the connection.

***

Three stations. Vieve thought there'd just been one in Nasreri: her memory, excellent when there was something available to remember, failed her in that regard. She decided not to be hard on herself. After all, she'd remembered that the system had stations, and well, was there in the first place.

Faced with three choices, she punched her ticket through for the Kaalakiota one. It was Caldari. The other two both belonged to the Amarr Trade Registry. There was a reduced chance there'd be slavers hanging about looking for young women with vicious headaches.

She doubted she'd be able to pass as a frightened Ni-Kunni engineering student, even if station security got to a would-be kidnapper before the deed was done.

A Caldari station also seemed like the most likely place for Jake to come meet her.

If he'd gotten the message.

If he'd been able to get away.

If he'd even wanted to get away.

No, Vieve told herself. He is here. You knew he would come, or you would not have sent the message.

It did not take her very long to find him. Jake was standing at one of the observation windows outside of passenger reception, staring blankly at the crowd within. He was wearing what very well might have been the same suit she'd picked up from the bedroom floor and put aside in a pile to be sent to the cleaners before she'd left Madirmilire.

And he was smoking. Had been for a while, judging from the butts on the floor around his feet.

Vieve's nose crinkled as her nostrils filled with the smell of remembered blood. Coleeres', as it had burst through his face in his smoky office. Hers, later.

Her right foot was already beginning to hurt again. She'd kept it propped up in the shuttle, which had helped, but even the short walk from it was reminding her that it'd rather she sit her ass down.

Once Vieve'd gotten out from under the fog of disorientation and whatever sedative The Interrogator had given her, she'd began to notice what'd happened to her during custody. She hadn't fought. She had, very patiently from her perspective, let the muscle drag her out of Coleeres' office and down the hall. She didn't even swear at them too much for letting a door slam on her foot before they threw her into the Dark Room.

Well. Too much.

She may have bitten one.

Or two.

There may have been some clawing at faces and exposed inner wrists and knees to the throat before she learned the floor was not only cold but quite hard, especially during and immediately after being caught while airborne over someone's head and thrown at it.

This might have been the reason she was sedated while she was taking that nap.

"'Al ... hi?" Vieve said.

Jake turned around. His eyes widened just slightly at the sight of her, while his cigarette dangled loose between his lips.

She took in a deep breath, and reached up to push back the edges of her hood.

His near-blank expression became a contortion of relief and anger. The cigarette fell from his lips, but he ignored it as he stepped closer to her. "Let's get to a ship, shall we?" he muttered.

Vieve pulled her hood back in place. She nodded, and held out a hand, internally wincing at the knowledge that there was no way in any hell Jake was going to miss the fading cyanotic color of her nails, or mistake it for a fashion statement.

He knew her at least that much.

Jake did notice. But he didn't say anything. He took her hand carefully, and led her toward the hangars.

Vieve didn't say anything, either. She held his hand and kept her head down and her face turned toward his shoulder as she walked with him.

His Urusai was both similar to and altogether different from any other Taranis she'd ever flown. He hadn't customized the interior at all -- if anything, it looked like the manufacturer had gone out of the way to strip out what little whimsy and charm could be found in the standard Duvolle model.

The pilot's quarters were no less resolutely utilitarian. The small square room in the center of the ship was barely furnished: containing only a plain single bed. The overhead lights were dim, for which Vieve was grateful.

"Thank you," she murmured.

Jake stared at her after she let go of his hand and unfastened her jacket, his mind seemingly running through a hundred possibilities per second as to what actually happened. "So," he asked. "Are you going to tell me, or would you rather sleep while I fly us out of here?"

Vieve pulled off her jacket, and ran a hand over her badly wrinkled white blouse. There was still blood on it, albeit only small faint rust colored spots now, thanks to the scrubbing she'd given it in random washrooms since she'd left Bereye. She'd been surprised by the stain removal qualities of the caustic-smelling soap used by Interbus. Though, in retrospect, considering it felt like it was going to remove the skin from her hands when she'd used it, she shouldn't have been too surprised.

"I was detained by the FIO," she said. "And yes, I think I would like to get some sleep. If you do not mind."

Jake opened his mouth, and did not ask even one percent of what he was obviously considering. "Is back to Madirmilire good enough?"

"I can think of no better place right now."

He nodded. "Get some rest until we arrive, then I want to know why the FIO did this to you."
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 7 - Crossing Wires

He couldn’t have counted the systems he’d already passed through. The Taranis – as with any interceptor – made travelling fairly effortless, but it wasn’t the smooth sailing that had caused him to lose track of where and when, it was the odd stupor that his brain had succumbed to as it rushed through possibilities as to what had happened without a single consideration for how likely they were, or how irrational he was being.

He was sure he wasn’t being tailed; another benefit an interceptor carried was the ability to shake off would be attackers. He’d happily invite someone to try to follow Urusai as he made his way towards Madirmillire, safe in the knowledge they’d never succeed in doing so without knowing his destination.

The only thing he knew for sure was that whatever had happened could be boiled down to one word... bad.

The sense of anger he’d felt when he’d seen the state she was in hadn’t quite subsided, but it had become an afterthought, thoroughly buried beneath the question “Why?”

There were three letters other than “bad” that had set off the alarm bells in his head, they were “FIO”. Whatever she was involved in, the Feds had a hand in it, and that wasn’t good news.

Then again, it’s not as if they don’t already shoot at you, is it?

Despite amusing himself with that thought for a few valuable moments, he knew perfectly well the difference between fighting the Feds with the militia, and having the FIO trying their best to kill him specifically.

You fucking idiot.

The ship had arrived at a stargate, the wrong stargate. Controlling the ship without a clear head wasn’t something easily done, and he knew this.

As Urusai entered warp for the correct destination he checked all his weapon systems were online and loaded, checked his ammunition was sufficient, checked everything he’d already checked at least six times since undocking in Nasreri.

Just in case.

It was only another five jumps until he’d finally hit Madirmillire and he could find out just what the fuck he’d gotten himself into.

What if the FIO come looking for her? What are you going to do then hot shot?

He didn’t know for sure what he’d do, he knew it’d probably end in bloodshed though, and he couldn’t say for sure whether it’d be him bleeding or not.

With the ship back on track and his musings seemingly inhibiting his ability to do even the simplest navigational task, he decided not to think about it.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 8 - Admissions


The apartment in Madirmilire hadn't changed since Vieve'd left it. There wasn't even any new clutter to suggest that any living had gone on in her absence: no cups left on an end table, no socks underfoot, no ... only a near-sheer layer of dust suggested any time had passed at all, and yes, confirmed to her that Jake hadn't gotten a cleaning service. He had just stopped.

Just like he had stopped there at the far end of the couch.

He sat back and stared at the smooth white ceiling for a few moments. "What's going on, Vie?"

Vieve put her aching right foot back down on the floor, gingerly, and leaned to get the glass of ice water he had set down on the coffee table in front of her. "I needed some advice. I went to the wrong people to get it from."

"Well, judging by the look of you, you went to the FIO to ask them where the best place to assassinate Foritain with a rifle would be."

"It could have been worse. In fact, I am surprised it ... I ... well. I assaulted a Federal officer this time."

"That's not the most practical way to ask for advice."

"Hmm. We had not gotten to that part yet. He was insulting and ... so I broke his nose."

Jake sat forward on the couch. "While I can't say I disapprove of smashing the faces of FIO... employees... I still don't understand what the fuck you could have wanted from them."

"To know whether or not they thought I should continue on with Stimulus or leave it."

Jake didn't blink. He didn't so much as breathe for a number of seconds he couldn't have counted even if his mind hadn't just flatlined his ability to do anything apart from put the jigsaw piece he'd just been handed into the puzzle in his head.

He got up. He slowly walked around the coffee table to the panoramic window-wall. He stopped there, and leaned forward until his forehead connected with the glass with a dull thud.

"No one ever seems to remember to run background checks on me," Vieve murmured, her voice more resigned than wry.

Jake shut his eyes. "So, you work for the Feds."

"When I can. It used to be a more ... controlled relationship. Never expected I would ever need to speak with them again. Well. Something tells me that I should not have considered it a need this time."

Jake laughed, just for a second, and it sounded empty. "So, you're spying on Stimulus." He swallowed deeply, his mouth dry, and pushed off the glass, turning around to look at her. "And what about me?"

Vieve held her half-drunk glass of water in both hands. She didn't move from her end of the couch. "Should I have?"

"I don't know, Vie, you tell me."

"You have never been a target. And yes, I do know that is very hard to believe."

Jake stared at her, unblinking. "And if I become one?"

"You will never see me again."

Jake softened, weakened, even. He sank down the glass until he was sitting on the floor, his back against the window and his arms propped up on his bent knees.

Vieve looked down at the glass in her hands. "Tired of bringing my work home."

He looked up at her, his head feeling like a whirlpool of bad ideas. His tone was quiet, but he was sure of himself. "I want to trust you, I really want to trust you. But this is ... this is not great."

She sighed. "And it would make it worse, likely, if I said something like I know you want to trust me. People do. Even when I tell them straight out that perhaps they should not, it ... it just seems to make me more trustworthy."

Vieve got up, and gingerly padded into the kitchen with her glass, keeping most of her weight off her throbbing right foot.

Jake furrowed his eyebrows. Something didn't add up. "So you work for them," he called after her. "You go to them to ask them for instructions, get in an argument with someone, bust his face and they do this to you? Why are you still doing what they want?"

She finished her glass of water, dumped the ice in the sink, and wiped the glass dry.

"After everything fell apart because of my father, Maman was arrested and detained for questioning by the FIO. She was a Senate Analyst at the time, and had been for several years. Her specialty was reviewing research proposals for government funding..."

Jake pushed himself to his feet. "You told me about her."

Vieve walked out of the kitchen, but did not completely return to the living room. She lingered in the doorway, leaning against it with her right foot tucked behind her left heel. "I made a deal. And why I may do what they want me to do? Because she is not safe enough yet."

"She's no less safe than you are."

"Because I do not have a cure for me ye ... I am safe?" She found this funny, though her laugh was brief and silent.

Jake stuffed his hands in his pockets. "Well, what the fuck do I know, right?"

"You had no idea that I could be that dumb."

"I'm just the idiot you spend your off time with, the guy's who's not important enough to be a target and not smart enough to know there's a Fed spy sleeping next to him."

"Fucking ... Fate..." Vieve took in a sharp-sounding breath. "Do not call yourself an idiot."

"Why, is that another parameter for you vanishing? For me never seeing you again?"

"Because you are not an idiot, you moron!"

"You're right," Jake deadpanned. "Moron is a much better word."

"Je jure à toutes Les Pitiés que je dois être allée aliéné à un certain point. On penserait que ma tête ne blesserait pas tellement…"* Vieve pushed off from the doorway and headed back toward the couch. She flopped onto it. "Do you want rid of me or what?"

He frowned, deeply. "That's the last thing I want."

"Then stop talking about parameters. I told you the big one. The second one is impossible."

Jake meandered back toward the coffee table. "Look at me, and tell me I can trust you. Just one more time, and I won't ever ask you again."

She lifted her face so she could look at his. "You can trust me. Lady Fortune help us both, but you can."

He stepped around the coffee table and dropped onto the couch next to her. "Then I will, regardless as to how bad an idea it appears to be."

"Thank you." Vieve was silent a moment, watching him. Her eyes were a little less bloodshot, thanks to the nap she had on his ship, and her fingernails weren't as bluish. "I did not know you smoked."

Jake raised his left arm, silently inviting her towards him. "I don't."




* "I swear by all the Mercies that I must have gone insane at some point. One would think my head wouldn't hurt so much..."
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Han Renbai
Raven


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 730
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoying this unfold, keep it going Very Happy
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Han Renbai wrote:
Enjoying this unfold, keep it going Very Happy


Woot. Definitely more to come. Very Happy
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 9 - Just a Day

Kamela
Sasen Constellation
The Bleak Lands.


The Brutix shuddered violently around him as it took fire from what seemed like every conceivable direction. His focus was not on the incoming fire he was receiving from the heavy drone complement the Ishtar carried, but instead on keeping the Ishtar itself pinned to the spot.

Now he had it where he wanted it that was all he needed to do. The drones from his own ship, coupled with the rack of heavy blasters he had brought to bear were fighting through the Heavy Assault Ship’s shields steadily, though nowhere near as quickly as he’d like, he thought, watching his armour readout practically cartwheel back and forth.

It wasn’t long before his work in getting the target pinned down paid off, though, and the armour and hull of the Ishtar were seen in naught but glimpses as it disintegrated into blue light under antimatter fire.

Jake quickly began scanning the surrounding area for more hostiles as he approached the wreckage, looking to salvage what he could from it; as if on cue a Hurricane class battle cruiser left warp around fifteen clicks away, followed shortly by a second of the same class.

Not good.

The Brutix had already taken a hammering, it was low on booster charges and it was a 13km run back to the dock.

The first Hurricane was already moving in his direction, accelerating as quickly as it could manage.

Not leaving without this...

Jake finished tractoring what had survived of the Ishtar into the cargo hold of the Brutix and turned it towards the station, immediately activating the micro-warp drive.

The ship lurched forwards. The Hurricanes were in his path, so he wasn’t expecting an easy ride in, but he didn’t have a better idea.

Webbed.

The Brutix came under fire once again, this time the incoming barrage was far more devastating than that of the Ishtar and he didn’t think twice about pushing the armour repair bots to their limit and beyond.

6km

He was sure it was doable, especially after what he’d warped out of earlier in the day.

4km

Get moving you piece of shit.

The armour readout was already a cause for concern and he wasn’t fond of the idea of going down without at least shooting back, but shooting back now meant removing all doubt that the ship would go down.

2km

Everything worth breaking was being broken, the armour repairers couldn’t take much more of a beating from overheating and the micro-warp drive was having similar problems. He tried, not quite frantically, but with some enthusiasm, to get docking access as quickly as possible as the Brutix continued to plough through the multiple webifiers it was trapped by.

1km

More than one compartment was venting atmosphere by now, flames billowing out of either side of the monstrous spaceship as it pushed through into the docking bay of the Imperial Crusade station, chunks of metal crumbling from the shattered hull as it sailed in like some huge slow missile.

It had reached the safety of the station, well, most of it had.
The docking ring captured what remained of the battle cruiser and he quickly made contact with the repair facility at the station.

As expected he got sass from the lead operator there, something about Gallente ships and broken hulls, but this time Jake couldn’t argue with him. It was the second time today he’d docked the Brutix there.

It was also the second time it had been on fire. Still, it had been luckier than Renbai’s Myrmidon. If nothing else, Directors are good for providing primary targets that aren’t you, right?

What a fucking day.

Time to go home, he thought.

Since when has home been outside of a ship?

It was true he’d considered a ship quarters home for a long time, but the apartment he’d bought in Madirmillire was only a handful of jumps once he got into Domain, which was only a handful of jumps from his current location, and he wanted to see her.

He checked his local readout once to confirm the Hurricanes were still in the area – which they were - and glanced over the status of the Brutix’ systems briefly.

Best take a shuttle.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 10 - Commitments

Jake had arranged for Vieve to be taken to a doctor that morning, an acquaintance of his in Ashab who had -- or so he'd implied -- treated some Omerta Syndicate members during their war with PIE. He didn't go with her.

In some ways, that was a relief. She'd told him the truth. Not all of it, certainly, but the parts that didn't involve her being a monster. Or the part about his likely being the reason she'd assaulted Coleeres. But she'd told him the truth, and he hadn't thrown her out.

She was trying very hard to believe it wasn't because he didn't have any choice. That he hadn't gone with her suggested he had a choice about everything.

Except work.

Work still had to be done. Omerta had contracts, commitments and promises to keep -- a reality quite unlike the surreal come-and-go-as-you-like atmosphere of Stimulus, which in itself was wholly alien compared to Strix's structured environment.

Jake went to work.

This made her happy.

Everyone loves you. Everyone wants to protect you...

Fuck off.


The elderly Deteis physician was gentle as anyone could be who only had one flesh hand, thorough, and eventually, once he got around to the brain scan ... curious.

"You black out a lot?"

"It used to be more frequent," Vieve murmured. Her eyes were closed. Not that there was anything for her to see but the smooth white curved surface of the scanner hood that covered her head from crown to jawline: the State-produced piece of Lai Dai medical equipment didn't have the option to project pleasant holographic scenes on the hood's interior.

From what she could interpret from the scanner's controls before the hood was lowered over her head, the time saved in sacrificing that nicety had been used to improve core functionality.

"While you're in your pod?"

"Only twice, and evidence suggests that I blacked out before I actually got into the pod."

"So, you aren't physically unconscious when it happens?"

"Not usually."

"Interesting. And I suppose that the interface with the pod compensates for any ... might even discourage it from happening ... has anyone suggested this to you?"

"It has been implied, yes. I -- invested somewhat heavily in certain Society of Conscious Thought training packages in order to encourage this."

"Was SOCT responsible for this nanopump I'm seeing?"

"No. At least I do not believe they had anything to do with it."

"What in..." The physician paused. It wasn't a happy sort of cause. A curious sort of pause, certainly, but not a happy sort of pause.

Vieve felt the need to explain. "It is dispensing what I have been told is a long chain glycoalkaloid: a very aggressive anti-ChE."

He remained silent.

"It is meant to help clear out the neural plaques that accumulate in my mesocortical and mesolimbic pathways," she added.

"As you were told." He didn't sound convinced.

"Yes. The abnormally dense nature of those pathways causes plaques to accumulate faster, stress increases the rate even more..."

"And you black out."

"Unless I am in a pod."

"Right, right." The doctor grew quiet again, but not for long. "You aren't telling me everything." His tone was matter-of-fact, rather than accusing.

"Hmm," Vieve agreed, because she wasn't. The topics of personality mapping, inbred familial loyalty, potential repeated forced childhood exposure to psychogenic drugs or even the finer points of being en absence had yet to come up, and she was not about to suggest they should. "But what specifically are you curious about?"

"Why who put this into your skull didn't think beyond putting it into your skull."

"I do not understand."

The doctor pushed a button, and the hood lifted off Vieve's head. She kept her eyes partially closed for a few moments, wanting to adjust to the examination room's bright light before she ventured looking at him.

He waited until she did. "I don't know the particulars. Not sure I want to know. But I think whomever did this to you had a lot more invested in keeping you sick than they did in seeing you well."

Vieve couldn't argue with that. "Perhaps they do."

He watched her for a few moments, then turned away from the exam table to shuffle toward his desk, the metal half of his body moving at a noticeably different rate than the non, but not enough to damage his bland grey-brown clothing.

Vieve hadn't asked what'd happened to him. He hadn't cared to explain.

She suspected he might be former Navy.

"I want you to stay out of your pod for at least a week." he said.

"I could jumpc..."

"I'd rather you didn't. The body you're in needs to heal." He pulled over a terminal pad with his metal hand, and activated the screen with a touch of a flesh finger. "Stay off that foot as much as you can: expect it to start hurting again once the swelling goes down. I'm writing you a prescription for a painkiller..."

"I will be fine."

He snorted.
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caldi
Bantam


Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

m0ar plz?? <3

Caldi
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Vieve
Heron


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soon, I hope. Smile
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 11 - Anchored

Every alarm bell in his head had gone off when he’d heard the letters FIO. Even after several days it remained in the back of his mind, a voice of reason, or maybe an instinctive reaction to danger that insisted on self preservation.

He couldn’t justify his trusting her, even to him it seemed a terrible idea to do so, and yet - alarm bells aside - he did.

He tried to rationalise it to himself, as he travelled back to Madirmillire yet again. She had, after all, called him for help; it was too elaborate for suspicion. Though maybe, he considered, that was the idea.

No, surely not, the entire thing was too big a cluster-fuck to be some kind of organised play for trust, and he didn’t have access to information worth stealing anyway, did he?

Well, nothing worth a damn to the FIO.

If this was indeed some kind of trap, it wouldn’t seem like such a bad idea, right? Otherwise it’d be a pretty awful trap.

Then again, if it was a trap, he’d stepped right into it.

Maybe this one will kill you.

Maybe, he thought, maybe not.

Who gives a fuck either way?

He’d made his decision and he was at least solid in that, it was his decision to make, after all. Where it took him from here remained to be seen, maybe once she was well enough to leave she would, and he wouldn’t see her again.

It’d be safer that way, wouldn’t it?

No matter how he thought about it, that wasn’t what he wanted. Safety was never a thing he’d placed a huge amount of value on anyway, after all, risk versus reward right?

Right.

Today had been another day of success, ships had been destroyed and his was not among the debris. He’d drink to that, once he got home.

Home.

He still wasn’t used to thinking that way, and he cursed the idea that he’d be losing it, it being this feeling of home, before he did get used to it. After all, it was only home because there was someone waiting for him to return, wasn’t it? So what happens when she leaves?

He decided not to think about it.
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