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Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
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Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
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Derelict, Part 5 (Scary Story Month Aftermath)

22 Oct 2007, 16:23

“Shuttle Victory, this is the RDF Grace of Ledaal. We just picked up a hell of an explosion – what’s going on down there?”

“This is Corporal Kaltos, Commander. It’s… we’re returning immediately. Mark this planet for quarantine. We have fatalities.”

The crowd bunched around the comm station gasped and muttered. Commander Traken blinked in surprise. “Fatalities, Corporal? Do you have wounded?”

“No wounded.” The reply was faint. “Three dead. And one survivor of the survey ship.”

“And the captain?”

“Gave his life to stop a monster.” Everyone fell silent, looking at each other. The commander lowered her head, then toggled the comm. “Understood, Corporal. We’re opening the hatch. Welcome home.” She turned off the toggle, and looked to her right. “Ensign Jamis, draw up a map to the nearest Wyld Beacon. I want us making best possible time to Crow’s Landing.” She paused, sweeping the bridge with her gaze. “As for the rest of you… Doctor Landis, meet the security team at the docking bay. Everyone else, get back to work!” The crowd dispersed quickly in the face of her glare, quickly heading through the hatch and outwards. Doctor Landis, walking briskly down the spacious corridor to the lift, found herself matching steps with Lieutenant Ryland. He shook his head, stepping into the lift with her.

“Strange days, Janela. I can’t believe that the captain…”

“I know.” The lift fell silent for a moment. “I’m going to have to cancel tonight, Tamar. I’ll have to look over the survivors. And you know the commander’s going to want a briefing.”

“I’ll wait up.” Ryland smiled faintly. “But don’t push yourself too hard. I imagine a lot of people are going to want to talk to you – it’s almost two days’ journey back to the trade lanes. That’s a lot of time for not a lot of people to be thinking about loss.” He sighed. “I wonder who else made it?”

“I’ll prepare a report for the ship.” The lift stopped, and Landis gave her lover a quick kiss before stepping off. “Get back to work, you slacker.”

She was rewarded by a brief smile before the doors slid shut.

At the shuttlebay, she found the shuttle already docking, and waited until the doors were shut before entering. Although the ship’s powerful ships should protect them from any stray Wyld fragments, it was always better to be safe; Imperium policy was very clear on that point. Afterwards, she stepped into the shuttlebay, meeting the three people stepping off of the shuttle. “Corporal Kaltos, Private Gallen. And…”

“Galas Indira.” The woman’s voice was faint, but she drew herself together to give a bow to Landis.

“She’s a New Realm surveyor. They broke a monster out of its shell.” Corporal Kaltos’s voice was harsh, and Indira withered under the comment. Doctor Landis swallowed.

“And that’s what killed the others?”

“Yes.” Kaltos turned to Gallen. “I’m going to make my report. Think you can escort the woman to the brig alone?”

“The brig?” Gallen raised his eyebrows.

“Yes, the brig!” Kaltos glared at the woman. “She’s New Realm, Gallen. We’re not leaving her meandering around a military vessel.” He paused. “It’s the commander’s decision, of course, but as the head of security, that’s my order. Got it?”

“Yes, sir.” Gallen took Indira’s arm gently. “This way, ma’am.”

“One moment.” Doctor Landis held up her arm. “I’ll be stopping by shortly to take a look at her, Private. In case there are any injuries that might not be obvious.”

Indira smiled slightly. “Thank you, ma’am. That’s very kind.”

“Standard procedure, miss. Especially if you’re a prisoner of war.” Doctor Landis smiled, turning back to Kaltos and Gallen. “And I’ll want to talk to each of you after your debriefings. You’ve just been through…”

“I’m aware of procedure, Doctor.” Kaltos swept past her. “You don’t need to quote it to me. Is two hours enough?”

“Yes, that would be perfect.” As Kaltos stormed from the room, she sighed heavily, looking to Gallen. “Aldarus. How bad was it?”

“Bad.” Gallen looked away. “If you’ll excuse me, Doctor, I have to take the prisoner to the brig. Stop by in half an hour – that’ll give you time to look over the corporal’s report.”

“Of course.” She sighed, watching the two of them go. She imagined that fairly soon, she would know just how bad it had been. But at least it was over know.

-----

Back in his quarters, half an hour later, Kaltos Vedar let the door slam shut behind him. His future was unfolding before him, and it wasn’t pleasant.

He had failed. They had faced a threat, and he’d fled with his legs between his tail. Never mind that it was the Captain’s orders. Gallen was probably already painting a picture of him as a coward. And for what? A spy? A useless spy whose information was about a world that they wouldn’t return to?

Kaltos crossed the room, standing in front of the mirror. His head was pounding, filled with whispers at the edge of his hearing, and whenever he closed his eyes he could see Parn’s corpse, stuck to the engine like a broken toy. Dead. Just like all of them. And the truth sickened him. When it came down to it, he’d given up. He hadn’t expected to survive. Perhaps if he had…

With a shout of frustration, he slammed his fist into the mirror. It shook against the heavy wall, cracking into a thousand spiderweb lines. Blood dripped from his fist, painting his face’s reflection in a fractured light.

They have destroyed you.

It was true. Attached to a failure like this, his future was ruined. His dreams of a command, of glory and prestige, ruined. All because the Captain wouldn’t leave enemy soldiers to die. And why?

All things must die.

Everything. It wasn’t as though it was even important. No tactical value. Just a foolish decision by a foolish man.

But the crew would stand by his decision. It would be those that couldn’t save him that would feel the pain, the disgrace.

They search for a reason to hate you already.

Gallen, talking back to him. Doctor Landis, subverting his orders. No one gave him the respect that he deserved.

End them.

Kaltos broke off. In the mirror, the blood was pooling into a small hole in the cracks, forming a bloody symbol that seemed to sit atop his forehead. Why not get revenge? He had nothing left to lose.

Finish the symphony.

Almost unwillingly, he reached down, his fingers wrapping around a shard of broken glass. He raised it, looking at himself in, seeing it gradually coat itself in blood. Vaguely, he realized that he was bleeding too much.

Your life is too strong. Weaken it. And then accept the power.

It was the most reasonable suggestion in the world. Power. It was what he had always wanted, wasn’t it? To show them that he was no weakling. That he deserved respect. And fear.

With a single, vicious motion, Kaltos plunged the shard of glass into his skull. Dark strength surged through him as the mirror shard pushed into his skin, and he collapsed to the ground, falling on his hands and knees as he vomited blood onto the floor. Around him, the silence of his quarters was filled with whispers, a hundred voices murmuring a dark truth. And as the blood stopped flowing, and the mirror shard fell blackened and twisted to the floor below him, steeping in and drawing away the blood, he looked up. And he smiled a fang-tipped smile.

Power was his.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Dinosaur
Essence 10
Essence 10
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Joined: 08 Aug 2005, 00:46
Title: Social Justice Kaiju
Exalt: Lunar
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Re: Derelict, Part 5 (Scary Story Month Aftermath)

22 Oct 2007, 17:29

So it's safe to assume that when he breaks out he'll be the demons? And then he'll be an Exalt-zombie.

<^_^>
I write stories. No, really.
 
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Epiphany
Essence 7
Essence 7
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Location: Bellingham, WA
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Re: Derelict, Part 5 (Scary Story Month Aftermath)

29 Oct 2007, 18:48

Man, that was awesome. One of the best Abyssal Exaltations ever. I was particularly fond of "Your life is too strong. Weaken it to accept power."

Friv, this is a fun setting. You should write in it more often. Right along with writing more of everything else you write. Because we want it.

Thanks!
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

My Novels / My Series / My Short Stories
 
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Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
Topic Author
Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Derelict, Part 5 (Scary Story Month Aftermath)

29 Oct 2007, 22:37

If I was independantly wealthy, I totally would.

But hey, I'm still holding out for some form of lottery winning. ;)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".

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