Title: Darkside of the Moon
The Glass Onion - January 4, 2009 10:09 PM (GMT)
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.
The Glass Onion cut through atmo tighter than an Alliance gunboat. On her bridge, Octavius Roman piloted, and beside him, Samantha tightened the safety straps of the co-chair.
Below, this part of the planet appeared deserted. Here and there, thick jungle tangles parted to allow bits of concrete blocks to show; remnants of previous civilization. The com-panel was nothing but static. The magnetic instruments spun uselessly. Once a testing ground for the madness of war, her surface was pocked here and there with molten blistered stone where nothing grew.
The jungles ended suddenly in a windswept plain, the dark hulking remnants of what may have been bunkers rising through the thick grasses. A small herd of springbok lept from the grass, dashing with leaping strides from the little ship's roaring engines.
The pattern was clearer now, neat rows of some forgotten compound stretching through the clearing. The Glass Onion dropped lower, and settled into the central square, her cargo door opening with a soft shushing sound, as though afraid to disturb the stillness of the day.
Beware, those who would seek their highest truth. Many who look upon the face of their god find themselves mad. Ah, but that is the risk we pay to find serenity, is it not?
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.
OOC: Lyrics: Pink Floyd: "Brain Damage" from Darkside of the Moon
Octavius C. Roman - January 11, 2009 05:14 AM (GMT)
The Compound - Central Square
Octavius never thought he'd hear the sounds of nature around this place, let alone see a herd of creatures frolicking amongst the ruins. When this place was built, it was built to keep the subjects in and pretty much everything else out. The outside perimeter was laced with motion sensors, hidden security cams, and pressure sensitive mines. On top of that the Compound had armed guard towers, each equipped with their own little weapon implements meant to take down those who dared to escape or sneak in unannounced. They were gone now, either taken out once the facility was closed down or reduced to ruins by the carnage that was the escape. There was a good chance though that the mines were still there along with whatever booby traps those who ran the place didn't bother to tell anyone about. Since the Onion landed in the central square however, there was no need to worry about the mines or the traps. Of course that didn't mean there weren't any around on the inside. It had been years since Octavius had escaped. That was more than enough time for anyone who stumbled onto this place and was enterprising enough to rig something up to deter trespassers. It was just a matter of if they did or not and if Octavius found them before either Sammy or him tripped them.
"Well here we are." replied Octavius, as he surveyed the duo's surroundings from the Onion's open cargo bay, mostly looking for anything out of the ordinary or waiting to hear the crack of a firearm. "Back at my old stompin' grounds. Never thought I'd live to see the day that I'd find myself back here."
He took a step out onto the ramp and dug a small patch from out of his pocket. He had found it sticking out of the pilot's chair when they left the Dingle on Bellerophon. It was a Bella Starr flight patch which had a message written on the other side. That message was:
|Fly free Octavius, quite a trip and WHAT A NIGHT!|
Take care of Sammy.
Your Bella Starr.
Upon putting it back into his pocket, Octavius smiled a little, closed his eyes, and tilted his head up, listening to their surroundings. He took a few deep breathes before turning to Sammy and saying with an outstretched hand, "Come on, Kit. Lets get this show on the road and over with. Remember to stick close to me and keep your eyes and ears open for anythin' unusual, dong ma? This place may be a pile of rubble and ruins, but that don't mean they ain't dangerous." He scanned the ruins again and continued, "Can't have you trippin' up on some wire that you didn't see only to wind up with an ankle blown to bits by a shotgun shell that was triggered by a nail, which in turn was connected to that wire." He grinned at her and added, "That would just be rude and reflect poorly on our business like relationship."
Sammy - January 24, 2009 01:48 PM (GMT)
Strange how you know inside me.
I measure the time when I stand amazed.
Strange how I know inside you.
My hand is outstretched through the damp and the haze."Well here we are. Back at my old stompin' grounds. Never thought I'd live to see the day that I'd find myself back here." "Been saying that myself a lot lately. Guess we don't always know where life takes us."
Snug in fitted white t-shirt, work jeans and boots, her wearable strapped in a backpack along with a few other 'simple necessities, Sammy stood behind Octavius, letting his body block her from the sunlight, from the shades and shadows of a world unknown and unmapped. His
With Sonya gone, the tiny ship had suddenly seemed even tinier. The ebullient, energetic pilot's absence had left Sammy in full realization that she was alone, alone as never before. Not during her youth, nor during the trials, nor even in prison had she been so singularly lost.
Her entire world now pinned on one man. A killer. No, not just a killer. She had known killers before- the war had made so many of them from such simple beginnings. Roman was a murderer
. She knew that. But he had never hurt her: A first in her experience with the 'verse, where everyone seemed to be out to hurt someone else. And he could have easily killed Sonya once her use was past, but he hadn't. He'd helped Sam keep her promise to get the pilot back safe and sound.
Under Nihalchi's bare light, in her abandoned fields, the stillness of the mid-day carried with it the musings that she had been able to avoid before, during the mad flight from the Bella Starr and in the drive to keep her promise to see Sonya safe. Now that was all over. There was nothing before her but a world left torn by a war not of it's making.
The Universe came at you with knives, both literal and figurative, and you either dodged or died. The knives it brought her were mostly figurative, but something inside her had died. Died away with Diggs. How many years can one heart grieve? The Universe had brought its war to Octavius Roman, and had crafted him. Molded him. With knives and who knew what all else.
His voice drew her from her musings, and she stepped down the ramp to his side. "Come on, Kit. Lets get this show on the road and over with. Remember to stick close to me and keep your eyes and ears open for anythin' unusual, dong ma? This place may be a pile of rubble and ruins, but that don't mean they ain't dangerous."
The light shone into her eyes, and she blinked, dropped her sunglasses over the bridge of her nose. If she'd known herself, had known her new face, she might have seen how the curve of the silver frames accented her cheekbones, masking the faint scars at her temples where the new skin had been so gently attached. She might have seen how the yellow-gold sunlight of Nihalchi's daytime brightened her white-pale skin to a warm golden glow, caught the faint red highlights in her dark brown hair.And of course I forgive.
I've seen how you live.
Like a phoenix you rise from the ashes.
All she saw was Roman.
Standing at the ramp, his killers eyes scanning the world, seeking the answers she herself might have...would have... shied from had it been her. His muscled back was to her, curved and sculpted in the sunlight. Her mind sought a classical comparison. Michelangelo's David
? No. No boy before her. A man. Fully grown, fully formed, bearing the weight of a world.The Farnese Atlas.
As haunted by the undefined as she was herself?
Certainly.You pick up the pieces.
And the ghosts in the attic?
They never quite leave. "Can't have you trippin' up on some wire that you didn't see only to wind up with an ankle blown to bits by a shotgun shell that was triggered by a nail, which in turn was connected to that wire." He grinned at her and added, "That would just be rude and reflect poorly on our business like relationship."
Sammy's smile, when it reached Roman's, bridging the gap between them, was soft with more than just gentle amusement. "Been blown up quite enough for one lifetime." And of course I forgive.
You've seen how I live.
I've got darkness and fears to appease.
My voices and analogies,
ambitions like ribbons
worn bright on my sleeve.
Her hand reached for his to guide her little jump from the lip of the ramp, but before she let go, she squeezed, just slightly. "Lead the way, R..."
Her voice stopped, and she laughed in spite of herself. If they weren't on a first name basis by now... "... Octavius. I'll follow you. This is probably a bad time to mention it, but ... I've never exactly been the hero type. If we do explode, I can't promise I'll be brave about it."
The joke hung in the air as she let go of his hand.
Before them, Nihalchi and her secrets waited for the man and woman who carried more than a few secrets of their own. Strange how we know each other. OOC: Lyrics Vienna Teng: "Eric's Song"
The Farnese Atlas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atlas_(Farnese_Globe).jpg:
BDV: The Farnese Atlas was left behind in the Exodus but a composite replica exists at the Classical Museum on Sihnon.
Octavius C. Roman - February 11, 2009 06:04 AM (GMT)
"... Octavius. I'll follow you. This is probably a bad time to mention it, but ... I've never exactly been the hero type. If we do explode, I can't promise I'll be brave about it."
"Don't worry about that, Kit." replied Octavius as he closed up the Onion. "I'll be brave enough for the both of us." As the ramp closed with a soft thump and a hiss, Octavius turned back to his companion and said, "So anyways I figure we'll mosey on down to the main complex, take a gander around, and see what we can find out. Perhaps we'll stumble upon a computer terminal in somewhat operable condition or somethin' else of importance, but judgin' from the condition of this place, that might be easier said then done."
Octavius started the trek by walking down the paved stone walkway, pockmarked here and there with craters ranging in size from a grape to that of a bowling ball. Littering the walkway was rubble of all shapes and sizes, both of earth and scorched, twisted metal. Small patches of grass and weeds poked up through the cracks. As they passed the first of the bunkers, Octavius could make out the rusted mangled hulk of a jeep resting on its side in the tall grass. Thick vines of some sort of plant seemed to snake their way through the bullet hole riddled hood and looped around the remains of a wheel bent askew, seeming to strangle it with its grasp.
He kept his eyes, ears, and nose open for anything out of the ordinary and made sure his footsteps were quiet and deliberate. He didn't want to tip anyone off of their presence by stepping on a twig or tripping some sort of motion sensing device. There came a rustling coming from the tall grass on the left side of the pathway. Octavius held up his hand to Sammy, signaling her to stop as he tried to audibly size up what was making the rustling sound. The sound became louder as whatever was making it came nearer to the two. Octavius turned his head in the direction of the grass, his muscles tensing as he got ready into a defensive position, ready to pounce at a moment's notice.
He could see the grass moving now as whatever it was that was in there moved closer. Octavius' lips formed into a snarl as he waited for it to show itself, his fingers clenched and unclenched ready to tear into whatever creature or thing was in the grass. The rustling stopped and then there was silence before the creature that made the racket that caused Octavius to tense up and get ready for an attack, slithered out. It was a brown and tan boa constrictor about ten and a half feet long. It looked up at Octavius and flicked its tongue out at him. The two looked at each other as if they were sizing each other up to determine if either was a threat to the other. There was another flick of the boa's tongue before it wound its way between the man's legs and disappeared into the tall grass on the other side.
As his muscles became less tense after the standoff with the snake left his system, Octavius relaxed a bit and said to Sammy in a low tone, "Alright lets keep movin'."
Sammy - February 28, 2009 12:14 AM (GMT)
Leaping sideways, a shriek worthy of a wounded tiger emitting from her lungs, Sammy grabbed Roman around the treelimb... oh... arm... with both hands, practically climbing him, "SNAAAAKE! OH GOD! LIKE NOT SNAKE! NINE HEADED HELL SERPENT!"
Okay. So it wasn't. It only had one head. Or was that it's tail?
Already, the computer was identifying Red-Tailed Boa Constrictor and flashing the information to her wrist unit. 'Diet of rodents, fowl, and larger mammals. Crushes it's prey before swallowing whole. '
"Yeaaahh... That's just... that's nasty." Sammy managed to let go of Roman's arm before he shook her off like a bad habit and tilted her wrist unit so he could see.
"Alright lets keep movin'."
"How much further, do you think?" Sammy was completely out of her element, "'Cause I'm not exactly Wilderness Girl here. The closest I ever got to camping was when my cell-mate locked me out in the yard overnight."
Sammy offered Roman a glance that carried more scrutiny than she wanted to admit, "Are you... remembering anything? Anything at all?"
Octavius C. Roman - March 5, 2009 01:50 AM (GMT)
"How much further, do you think?" "'Cause I'm not exactly Wilderness Girl here. The closest I ever got to camping was when my cell-mate locked me out in the yard overnight."
"Heh." chuckled Octavius at the mental image of Sammy being locked out by her cell-mate. "Reminds me of somethin' I would do. The chuckling soon faded away as the building came into view and he answered her question, "Shouldn't be any further, Kit. I can see it comin' into view now."
"Are you... remembering anything? Anything at all?"
"Now that you mention it." replied Octavius, feeling a numbing sensation ebbing up the base of his spine and slowly creeping up into the base of his skull, sending tingling tendrils into his brain. "I am."
He gave her a look right before collapsing to his hands and knees onto the stone pathway below. He was in obvious pain as his muscles tensed and he clutched the sides of his head, fighting the urge to scream as the kaleidoscope of images and cacophony of sounds came flying in all directions into his mind at what seemed like a million miles an hour. It was confusing at first as several memories replayed themselves at the same time, making it hard to concentrate on just one. A memory of him waking up wearing a pale blue hospital gown and finding himself in an all white room with nothing other than a tinted one-way mirror, played at the same time as one where he has hooked up to a bunch of sensors and machines while running on a treadmill. And yet that memory too was playing at the same time as one where he was outside with the others like him, the sunshine beating down on them as they participated in physical training and combat techniques. Finally the memories started to slow and he was able to focus on one of them clearly.
Flashback: Lab Room 47
He was laying down in an exam chair in one of the lab rooms. The light was bright and he felt disoriented and confused as they pumped his body full of drugs from the IVs connected to his arms. He didn't know what was going on, only that he felt light headed and his wrists were restrained to the armrests. There were sensors connected to wires attached to his bare chest and at the sides of his head. Those senors were connected to a myriad of machines, monitoring different things such as heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, and brain waves. There were people in the room with him. He could hear their voices, but couldn't make out what they were saying. Something or other about the "test results" being satisfactory or whatever. There were three people in the room with him. One of them was male and the other two were female. One of the females was telling the male about the patient "coming to" and asking where he was. Octavius couldn't see where they were due to the bright light in his face and the disorientating effects of the drugs in his system. He was about to raise his head up when the light was blotted out by the head of the male.
"Relax." came the man's reply, distorted somewhat by the drugs. "Everything will be fine shortly."
He wore a surgeon's mask over his nose and mouth and his eyes were obscured from Octavius's by goggles of some kind. A surgeon's gown adorned his body and Octavius could just make out stains on the front that looked like blood. Octavius looked over and saw a large syringe in the man's right hand. It was filled with some sort of murky fluid and it was coming closer to Octavius. As Octavius worked against the restraints, the man told him to relax once more and that the medicine in the syringe would help with that. When Octavius resisted some more, the man asked one of his assistants to call for some help. Just as the man turned to Octavius again, he was struck in the face by the chair's armrest attached to Octavius's arm. While the man had called to one of his assistants, Octavius had pried the armrest halfway off and waited for the man to return his attention to him before he struck. As the man clutched at his bleeding face, he called for the patient to be restrained and subdued.
It became apparent that wouldn't work as Octavius freed himself from the exam chair and went after the man in the surgeon's attire. When the two female assistants tried to intervene, they were smacked to the ground. One had been hit in the face with a metal tray and the other laid crumpled in the corner, her neck broken and blood coming out her nose. It was at that time when Octavius had backed the man into a corner, that four men dressed in black security uniforms and carrying stun batons came into the room. They issued a warning to Octavius to stand down and when he didn't listen, two of them advanced on him. When those two were tossed out of the door like broken rag dolls, the other two used their batons, at first to stun Octavius, but then when that didn't work, they switched to beating him with them. That too proved useless after Octavius took their beatings and dished out some hurt in return. Octavius's mistake was turning back to the surgeon who was cowering in one of the room's corners. It allowed the assistant who had been struck in the face with the metal tray to snag a pistol from one of the unconscious guards and fire a Halo round at him. When Octavius turned to the woman, she fired again and when she saw that the second Halo round had no effect, she unloaded the pistol's magazine into him. All those Halo rounds caused Octavius's nervous system to overload and make him crumple to the ground.
The last thing Octavius heard before slipping into the realm of unconsciousness was the male surgeon saying, "Get a security squad here and have this man hauled off to MaxCon." While holding his hand over the wound on his face, the man looked at the unconscious Octavius and added, "I think our testing on the patient has concluded for now. We'll try again when he's more cooperative."
End of Flashback
Opening his eyes, Octavius saw that he was laying on his back and staring up at the sky. Sitting up, he rubbed his temple and asked, "How.. ugh. How long was I out?"
<< MaxCon: Short for Maximum Containment. It's where the unruly subjects go when they don't "get with the program" or do as they're told. >>
Sammy - March 5, 2009 09:23 PM (GMT)
"Reminds me of somethin' I would do."]
"Sadistic freak." Sammy eyed her companion with something between disgust and sad amusement. "You need real hobbies. Maybe crocheting or doll collecting?"
Eyes flickered back to the surroundings, nervously surveying. More snakes? More deer? Grizzly bears? As if on cue a breeze rustled around them, sending whispers across the dried grass, dust fluttering around the worn concrete edges of the buildings. Ghosts?
The sudden hiss at her side lent her legs wings before she realized it was Roman. Her head twisted backwards as her flight stopped, whirling her back to his side as the huge man dropped to his knees.
"ROMAN!" Her scream echoed helplessly off the concrete bunkers as she fell beside him. "Roman? Are you hurt?"
Choking on her own panic, she could only watch as the invincible warrior was defeated by the greater enemy of his own subconscious. Shaking hands took Roman's pistol from his belt, raising the despised weapon to circle around them, a half-crouch of defense... Against what? Against who?
"How.. ugh. How long was I out?"
"ROMAN!" The gun fell to the dirt as she knelt beside his head, grabbing his face with both palms, cradling his head with her hands, "Oh, THANK GOD! You're okay, okay okay! Don't ...oh god, don't do that again!"
And she was practically hugging him? GAH! Sammy let go, rocking back on her heels, panting to regain her composure. "I mean. That's. Just. Umm... Out a minute, maybe three. Don't..."
She scraped his pistol out of the dust, pushing to her feet with a trembling chuckle, bluffing as best she could, tear-blinked gaze returning to survey their surroundings again, ".. worry about a thing. I had us covered the whole time. See? Everything's fly. Just fly."
"Uh... You okay?" And her gaze was pure honesty as she looked back at him, "Maybe we should just get outta here... You don't have to do this, Octavius. If it's too hard, I mean. I know how some things just shouldn't be faced. But if you want to, if you have to..."
With a grimace, she tentatively switched off the safety on the pistol and held it out to him, palm up, "I'm with you.."
Octavius C. Roman - March 9, 2009 10:59 PM (GMT)
He could barely make out what she was saying to him as his head still swam in the after effects of the memories that had burst through his mind. He did feel her hugging him, which was a little more than awkward for the both of them. He surely wasn't the type of guy you ran up and gave a hug to, and the Kitten, to him at least, didn't seem to be the type of girl who hugged guys like him. Especially the ones in particular named Octavius Caesar Roman, who were branded both as psychotic and a serial killer. He found it quite odd that she did it, yet somewhat comforted at the same time.
"Uh... You okay?" "Maybe we should just get outta here... You don't have to do this, Octavius. If it's too hard, I mean. I know how some things just shouldn't be faced. But if you want to, if you have to..." "I'm with you.."
"I know you are and I'm fine, Kit." Octavius replied as he blinked and looked into her eyes as he tilted his head slightly. The pain he had felt before and during his episode was starting to recede back into the abyss. "For now at least."
Standing up, Octavius dusted himself off and looked at his gun in her hands. He didn't remember it falling out, but then again he was on the ground writhing in pain as he remembered a bit of his past at the facility. It was kind of nice that she wasn't pointing it at him, although he had half expected her too ever since he found her on the Bella Starr. There were plenty of opportunities for it, from the Starr to the right here and now. Still, he knew that she needed him to find Diggs and as much as he cared not to admit it, he needed her just as much to find out about his past.
Gently taking the gun out of the Kitten's hands, Octavius held the gun downward at his side in a non-threatenening manner and said to her as he beckoned to the battered door of the building in front of them, "Come on, Kit, lets go inside. We didn't come all this way for nothin'."
Sammy - March 20, 2009 04:58 PM (GMT)
"Come on, Kit, lets go inside. We didn't come all this way for nothin'."
Sam stood staring at the ruined building that would have seemed less out of place in an abandoned lot in the back-street sections of Persephone than here, in this broken old compound.
"I... yah. Right behind you..." Cause she sure as heck wasn't staying out here by herself! Shaking her hands, she stepped to his side and reached out to shove the door open, keeping her body against the doorjamb in case something came out at them. Like rats. Or bats.
Or vampires. Vampire bats.
Training her eyes momentarily on Roman, Sammy shook her head to clear the lunatic thoughts that came on. The insane hwun dahn probably ate vampire bats for afternoon snacks.
Peering around the edge, she paused as the dust settled and her eyes adjusted from the yellow hazed sunlight to the dim interior. The stench of decay: rotting wood, crumbling cement grit, burnt plastic, and under it all the sweeter older scent of decomposition, washed over her and she nearly gagged. How could Roman stand it, as heightened as his sense of scent was?
"Rank." Sammy murmured, following him in. Her gaze lit on something on the far wall, and she moved closer, staring at it. Words, only partially legible, scattered on the wall in a dark canvas of warning. She tried to decifer them, got as far as "abandon hope..." when she realized she was nearly touching the thick brown stains. She yanked her hand back and stuffed it into the back pocket of her jeans, "Oh, god... Tell me that's not what I think it is?"
Octavius C. Roman - March 24, 2009 05:05 AM (GMT)
Inside the Main Building"Oh, god... Tell me that's not what I think it is?""I could."
replied Octavius as he studied the partially readable message in what appeared to be blood. He knew it was blood, had to be, but it was too old for him to tell if it was human or animal. Turning his head slightly away from the writting, Octavius lowered his sights onto Sammy and said with a hint of a creepy smile, "But then I'd be lyin' to you."
He turned his attention to their surroundings, letting his senses tell him what may or may not be inside with them. The first thing he noticed was the cornucopia of smells that enter his nose. He filtered out the other smells and focused on the smell of decomposing bio matter. Some of it had been around a while, but some of it was just a week or so old. That told him that there could be someone or some thing here or had been here. Instinctively he unholstered the pistol, thumbing the safety off, and kept it at close to his side. "Follow me."
Octavius said to Sammy, in a low growl. "I think I know where that dead animal smell is comin' from."
There was the intermittent buzz from a light panel not far from them. Octavius let his eyes follow his ears and looked to a set of pitted gunmetal gray double doors. One of the doors was hanging by the bottom hinge. Through the space between the door and the frame, Octavius could see long rectangular tables and chairs. Some of them were on the floor while others sat upright as if no one had sat in them. He headed down the short hallway on the right, past the bank of elevators and lifeless vending machines on his left, their unhealthy yet good snacks long gone. To his right was the deserted lobby/reception area. "Stay near the vending machines, Kit."
Octavius told her as the double doors loomed closer.
He paused by the the wall near the crooked door, his back next to one of the vending machines. Octavius slowed his breathing down and cautious entered the Staff Kitchen and Mess Hall via the right door. As he entered, Octavius methodically swept the room with his gun. It was empty of life, but not the signs of it. There were food trays scattered about here and there. Some held remains of what used to be food long past expiration date. There were a few rare sightings of utensils present. A knife on a counter and a bent fork on the ground. What caught Octavius's attention most was what was on one of the dented and abused steel tables. As he stepped closer to it, he recognized it as part of an animal carcass. It still had some meat on the one remain leg, but it had started to rot. He ran a finger through the congealed blood surrounding it and sniffed at it. It was at least four to five days old by his sniff test.
Wiping his hand on the wall, Octavius poked his head out and said to Sammy, "I think I found out what's causin' the dead animal smell. I can either tell ya or I can show ya. Your choice." OOC: Here's the layout for the Ground Floor. I know it's crappy, exercise is misspelled, and it's not to scale, but I made it in MS Paint so whatchya going to do about it?
Sammy - March 27, 2009 05:23 PM (GMT)
OOC: The diagrams look great, Pain! :)
"I could. But then I'd be lyin' to you."
Had she really been starting to think she liked him? Roman's smile suddenly seemed dangerous and eerie, but maybe that was just the dim lighting? Well, a girl could hope. "You really know how to show a girl a good time, Roman."
Sammy resisted the urge to wrap her arms around her and huddle by the empty broken machines. It was just like prison, she repeated to herself. She had to stay alert and watch her back.
Her hand twitched in her tech-bag and she set her system for all incoming. Riadon had said there was tech left from the war, signals nearly ten years out of date, and that he'd picked up bounces while working here. Flipping down her spex, she ran through the signals, mostly static, and set up a sort. If there was data coming in worth processing, the computer should catch and file it.
"I think I found out what's causin' the dead animal smell. I can either tell ya or I can show ya. Your choice."
His voice startled her and she jumped back a few inches with a dismayed yelp, "Don't DO that! All sneakin' around thing!"
So much for staying alert and backwatching, she groaned as she slipped off her spex, "My computer is catching and processing all incoming signals, could be we'll learn something, but alot of it's static. And no, I don't want to know what's dead in there... or anywhere. Unless it's us that's dead. And I don't think we are."
Impulsively, and stupidly, she later realized, she reached out and lightly pinched Roman's arm, "Did that hurt? 'cause if so, we're alive, so whatever's dead in there probably doesn't matter much." Unless it was human. Unless something here was a threat to them. Unless... a thousand reasons... "Does it?"
Octavius C. Roman - March 27, 2009 11:18 PM (GMT)
"Don't DO that! All sneakin' around thing!"
"Sorry." Octavius replied as he stepped out of the Mess Hall. "Force of habit. I'll try to be more considerate from now on. He noticed the spex over her eyes as he stood next the her and asked, "You gettin' anythin' with those?"
"My computer is catching and processing all incoming signals, could be we'll learn something, but alot of it's static. And no, I don't want to know what's dead in there... or anywhere. Unless it's us that's dead. And I don't think we are."
He felt her thumb and forefinger grab a small amount of his skin and applied pressure to it. There was a slight sensation of pain that spread out from it, traveling through the nerves and neurons until it reached his brain, where the signals told his brain that it they did indeed feel a pinch and that the appropriate response would be "Ow" or any variation thereof.
"Did that hurt? 'cause if so, we're alive, so whatever's dead in there probably doesn't matter much." "Does it?"
Octavius rubbed the spot where Sammy had pinched him, giving her a look as he said, "Yes, but only a little." He stopped rubbing the spot on his arm once the pain dissipated and looked back at the double doors of the Mess Hall. He could still smell the rotting carcass of the animal lying on the table. Turning back to Sammy, he said to her, "Depends on whatever or whoever used the Mess Hall in the last few days." He gave her a smile and placed his hand on her shoulder, "But don't worry about it much. You've got me to protect you."
Sammy - April 14, 2009 03:28 AM (GMT)
"Depends on whatever or whoever used the Mess Hall in the last few days."
Roman's heavy hadn landed on her shoulder, and Sammy flinched in spite of herself. Whoever used the mess hall... He meant someone could still be here, that there were people, or a person, or a something?. Spiffy. They were back to the boogey-man arguement.
"But don't worry about it much. You've got me to protect you."
"That," She quipped with an ironic grin, "Is exactly what worries me."
A blinking signal rolled through her system and she startled again, pulling her spex down quickly, "Roman? There's a strong signal coming through... it's scrambled like an omelette, but my system should clear it quick."
Tucking her spex back up, giving herself some clarity, she glanced around them through the gloom, "Lead the way, big dog. I'm right behind you."
Her eyes turned back towards the exit with a wistful sigh before she turned to follow Octavius Roman back into the world he had once escaped from, in search of answers. Glancing around once more, hand to her nose to hold back the stink, Sammy grunted, "Gee, Octavius, You always take me to the nicest places. I mean, it's not the Bella Starr, exactly, but I bet there's a spa around here somewhere."
Octavius C. Roman - April 25, 2009 10:41 PM (GMT)
First Floor of the Facility
"Gee, Octavius, You always take me to the nicest places. I mean, it's not the Bella Starr, exactly, but I bet there's a spa around here somewhere."
"There probably is." replied Octavius, looking at the discomfort the Kitten was having from being in this place. He looked ahead to where there was an open elevator shaft ahead next to a stairwell and turned his head slightly to the right. Through the shattered and windows in the double doors, Octavius could make out the silhouettes of exercise equipment. Turning back to his partner, he smiled and said, "There's an exercise room up ahead." He pointed to the room which was almost the same size as the Mess Hall and continued, "I'm sure there's a spa and shower inside, but I doubt they're in any better condition than the rest of this place."
He slowly walked over to the bank of elevators and examined each one. There were three total plus a service lift. He didn't know if they worked or not, but he didn't want to chance the possibility that they did. To the right of the elevator bank and next to the vacant and neglected vending machines, was another stairwell. The door had been taken off its hinges and gone who knew where. Inside there were no lights, just dim blackness and the outline of the handrail on the right wall. He picked up the sounds of water dripping from somewhere down below and it made him think of their expedition through the sewers to find Soap. He let out a low chuckle and turned to Sammy.
"Do you know which way the signal is comin' from? Up, down, left, or right? I'm iffy on those elevators over there, so we're goin' to have to use the stairs." he said to her. "It's dark in the stairwell, so you'll have to hold my hand if you can stomach that thought."
Sammy - May 9, 2009 01:56 AM (GMT)
"I'm sure there's a spa and shower inside, but I doubt they're in any better condition than the rest of this place."
"Ah, darn." Sammy teased, only half-paying atttention as she tried to sort out the signal that had come in. "All this place needs to up the horror-stats is the opportunity to get wet and naked."
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she realized what she'd said. Naked and wet Roman was NOT something she wanted to think about! EVER! NEVER-EVER! "I mean.. like in horror movies... where the girl's in the show..."
Burying herself. Oh god. Maybe something WOULD come eat her now and save her the humiliation!
"Do you know which way the signal is comin' from? Up, down, left, or right? I'm iffy on those elevators over there, so we're goin' to have to use the stairs."
Oh merciful Goddess thank you! Roman, at least, seemed focused on the problem at hand. Her own eye trailed over the elevator,. matching his dubiousness, "I hate those things anyway."
"It's dark in the stairwell, so you'll have to hold my hand if you can stomach that thought."
Sammy shook her head as she reviewed the incoming fields once more, "No luck on the signal yet... This entire planet seems to be filled with jammers and sequence breakers."
Her eyes were drawn to the darkness of the stairwell, "Uh... Don't you need both hands to ... Well... If something comes at us, I mean?"
The stairwell was dark. No, dark was an understatement. It was like staring into an inkwell. If you looked long enough your eyes formed patterns and shadows, but when you blinked they were gone. Compromising, she locked one hand through the back of Roman's belt. "I'll be right behind you."
That didn't exactly take into account that an attack might actually come from behind them. Sammy hoped briefly that Octavius couldn't feel her trembling telegraphing through the grip of her fingers on his belt.
What diff did it make if he could feel her fear. She was pretty gorram sure he could smell it.
Octavius C. Roman - May 16, 2009 05:03 AM (GMT)
Heading down the Stairwell
"I'll be right behind you."
"That's fine by me, Kit." replied Octavius, as his eyes adjusted themselves to their dim surroundings. "Lets go."
The two of them headed down into the dark abyss that was the stairwell, each step taking them deeper into the bowels of the facility and closer to the mystery that was Octavius. The sounds of water dripping overhead became louder as they rounded the corner and started down the next flight of stairs. Over the sounds of their footsteps, Octavius triangulated the dripping as coming up ahead. Sure enough after a couple of steps, Octavius stepped into a shallow puddle of water. He stopped and held out his hand under the leaky pipe, letting a few of the drops hit his palm. Holding his hand to his nose, he took a whiff of the water. It smelled of rust and algae and it felt a little oily when he ran some between his thumb and the palm of his hand. Turning his hand, Octavius let the water fall to the ground and wiped his hand off on his pants, before continuing down the stairs.
They passed a door on their right that led to the first of the underground levels. They didn't stop to investigate what was behind it as Octavius rounded the corner and down the next flight of stairs. The smell of decay came up from the darkness, assaulting both noses of the killer and the hacker. It assaulted Octavius's sense of smell the most. He could easily pick out the different species down there. There was dog, more of the local wildlife that had been hunted and killed for food, and more importantly there was the smell of dead humans. There were other smells too. Chemical smells that told him that the level below was the one that housed the kennels for the guard dogs and the veterinarian facilities to treat those dogs.
The smell of decomposition grew more dank. Octavius had no doubt that there was something dead in the stairwell, just as he had no doubt that Sammy could smell it too. Judging by the lingering stench, there was more than one body. As they got closer, Octavius could see the form or in this case, half a form of a dog or wolf-like predator.
He made a minor correction in his course and said to his partner, "Stay to the left of the stairs. There's half a dog on the right down below, but I don't think he bites."
As he passed the carcass, Octavius rounded the corner and then the pain hit again, causing him to clutch his head and let out a guttural growl of pain. It was the exact same level of pain that he felt before they entered the compound and it was slowly increasing. There were flashes of a door in between the flashes of piercing white hot pain. It was sleek in appearance and black in color. There were no windows adorning it, just an electronic touchscreen and keycard slot where a door handle would normally be. The door was attached to a room that was bordered by numerous lab rooms and medical facilities on either side. Octavius saw himself standing in front of it in the hallway. When he went to touch the touchscreen, the pain in his head increased, causing him both in his mind and in reality to fall to his knees. In his mind it was on the polished floor in front of the door. In reality it was on the pitted concrete floor next to the door that led to the kennel and not too far from the skeletal remains of a lone human hand.
Through the pain, Octavius held out his hand and said as he breathed hard, "I'm fine." Staggering as he stood up, he continued, "I know where we need to go."
He held one hand to the side of his head as they continued on their journey, waving off any offer to stop and turn around. He wanted to find out about his past and he didn't come all this way for nothing. He was willing to tolerate the increasing pain in his head to go further into the facility, even if it killed him. As they made their way down the stairs, they came upon the door that opened up into the third underground level. It was the level that housed the experimentation labs, the subject medical facilities, and the morgue where the bodies of the deceased subjects were dissected before heading below to "Waste Disposal". It was on this third level that the door Octavius saw in his head was located. As they passed through the door in the stairwell, the pain increased again, causing Octavius to stumble and fall to the floor, which was dull and scratched from abuse and lack of care.
His arms shook as Octavius pulled himself up. He looked down the hall and saw the ominous black door with the touchscreen and keycard slot. Pointing to it, he said to Sammy, "That door... there. That's where you'll find.. what you need. What.. we need." He turned to her, beads of sweat forming on his forehead as he did his best to fight the pain. Looking into her eyes, he growled, "GO!
After he said that, Octavius collapsed to the floor again, clutching his head in pain. He hoped to whatever deity there was looking down upon them, that she'd get through the door and to whatever was inside before the pain in his head drove him insane enough to kill.
Sammy - May 31, 2009 02:13 PM (GMT)
"I'm fine." Staggering as he stood up, he continued, "I know where we need to go."
"You aren't fine!" Sammy dared to argue, "I'm not fine. This place isn't fine! Please... Roman? Let's just go! Please?"
He brushed her off and kept walking.
No, this place wasn't fine! It was downright nasty. And not somewhere she wanted to hang out, especially with a convicted murderer who seemed to be coming apart. And the more he did that head-clutching groaning thing, the more creepy heebie-jeebie she was getting.
"That door... there. That's where you'll find.. what you need. What.. we need."
A swift glance to the door and then back to Octavius, "NO! I'm not doing this alone! And I'm NOT leaving you here!"
Octavius whirled on her, staring down at her, pain writ on his features like a neon sign, and something howling behind his eyes that, should she live to be a hundred and ten, she would never forget, so haunting and terrifying that she froze in place.
He went down like a cartoon anvil. She half expected to hear a resounding "CLANG". Heart in her throat, the hacker turned towards the door. Keypad, touch-screen, keycard. Kidstuff. She'd thought the government would have something more elaborate. The facility had been abandoned for at least seven years: the tech was outdated. Hooking her portable directly into the keypad, she started the bypass procedures, trying hard to ignore the pervasive stench of rotting flesh and the groans of pain from behind her.
Somehow it made her think of zombies: ugly moldy brain-gobbling zombies. Maybe that was what was up with Roman and his head clutching groaning thing...he was really a zombie... Sam had a good decent case of total freak-out well up before the keypad finally gave in and sprang up with the access code. With double beep, a green light blinked.
Sammy reached out, heart in throat, fingers trembling.
Her eyes cast a last glance back to fallen Roman, then she clenched her fist into an impractical weapon and slowly pushed open the door.
And walked into Normals-Ville. Normal as defined by underground secret military laboratory, at least. The room was lit with cool blue emergency lighting and the air smelled clean and, well, normal. The sides of the room were lined with desks and work-surfaces with wheeled lab stools still pushed back from the tables as though their owners had only just gone for a coffee. Computers blinked here and there. In the center of the room were two large glass cubes, the purpose of which she couldn't decifer, and wasn't sure she wanted to.
It was tidy and organized and held the sterile cleanliness of labs everywhere. It could have been Osiris Technical Insitute, Med-Acad R&R headquarters, Blue Sun Pharmaceuticals. The utter normality of it all was unnerving after the horror-house setting outside.
Outside. The reminder that Roman was helpless on his knees in the corridor lent haste to Sammy's movements, and she scrabbled to hook up to the first terminal. Here, the security was top-notch for something ten years out of date. The most difficult part of the hack was trying to remember protocols she hadn't had to muck with since her freshman year of college.
"Come on come on come on..." She chanted, struggling as bits and bytes flew by her fingers. Finally, the first wave broke and the data streamed into her portable unit like a sand-storm.
While it finished, Sammy moved around the room, looking for anything, other clues, other information. And as she went, she disabled every machine she found, breaking them open and removing their system-drive units. As many as she could carry she stuffed into her bag, and the rest she crushed under the heel of her boot, stomping the information encased in them to oblivion.
Whatever had happened to Octavius Roman in this room, no one should ever have done. And no one should ever have the means to replicate it again. Loaded both figuratively and literally with data, Sammy pushed back out of the door, running back to Roman without looking back.
Grabbing his arm, she tried to tug him back to his feet, "I got everything I could... Let's go! Roman, please... let's get out of here!"
Octavius C. Roman - June 10, 2009 09:35 PM (GMT)
Octavius didn't know how long he had been on the floor screaming and clutching the sides of his head in intense agonizing pain. It was eating him up inside, boring into his brain, and wanting to be let out. Octavius struggled with it as best he could, but it was a battle that he was slowly losing. While he kicked, contorted, and writhed in the pain this place was bestowing upon him, he wondered if Kitten had got what they came here for yet or if she was still in the process of getting it. Another wave of mind numbing pain hit Octavius like a loaded down hover truck and he curled up in a fetal position, a pained expression clearly on his face. He stayed like that until he felt someone or some thing grab his arm and tug.
"I got everything I could... Let's go! Roman, please... let's get out of here!"
Octavius knew from the scent that it wasn't whatever that was living here that was trying to rouse him or take him back to its lair. He opened one eye as he turned his head to face her and said in a strained manner, "Right.. behind.. you, Kit."
He willed every last ounce of strength he could muster to get on all fours. The pain racking his brain and body was great, even to the point of causing him to fall back down to the floor. His need and desire to get out and away from this place however, was stronger and it fueled him with the power to get back up. He rose shakily to his feet, using a hand to brace himself against the wall.
He breathed in and out as the pain still played in his head, each breath holding a hint that he was still dealing with it, trying to keep it in control. Closing his eyes and slowly opening them, he turned to his companion and said, "Lets get out of here and never come back."
<< OOC: E feel free to have Sammy and Octavius leave the building. :) >>
Sammy - June 11, 2009 12:40 AM (GMT)
"Lets get out of here and never come back."
Sammy didn't need any more encouragement. She grabbed Roman's hand and ran. At first, he lagged behind her, but before long she was sprinting to keep up with him.
His long legs tore up the black void of the stairwell, and Sammy felt every muscle in her body strain as he dragged her along with him. Her feet hit something slick and she slid, but kept going, gagging at the smell.
Dead stuff. On her shoes. How much fun was this?
She was panting by the time they reached the top, retracing their steps. Roman was back on alert now, his fighter's body tense, ready to fight. They reached the doors and Roman flung it from it's worn hinges, the last of the day's sunlight streaming over them.
Panting in the clean air, they didn't stop running until they reached the little Minnow and were safely onboard. "Oh .... my .... god. Oh my GOD!... Are... you oh-kay? Ro...man. No ...more...dates..." Sammy collapsed in a heap on the cargo bay floor, gasping for breath. Her lungs felt like they were on fire, and her still healing body ached all over, "Unless they involve dinner, or a concert, or ... anything but that."
There was an insistant beeping from somewhere and it was only then that she realized that her portable had finished sorting out the static. With a flick of her wrist, she slid down her spex and brought it up. And read it again.
"Oh. Gorram it." Sammy stuttered, pushing up her spex to meet Roman's gaze, "It's a distress call."
Putting it on speaker, she ran it again. It was garbled from the static, but the regen program had done a good job of filling in the spotty data.
“This is Ian Dugan of the Kasern, we’re being held against our will. Call the Fed’s and tell them to home in on this signal. This message will loop every five minutes.”
"My system had to do a three-point triagulation- The scramblers have that signal bouncing all over..." Sammy was lost in the message now, sorting it out, "We can't call the Feds! That's nuts! We don't even know where the hell we are!"
Eyes bright with frustration stared up hopefully at Roman, "We have to help them."
Octavius C. Roman - June 20, 2009 06:38 AM (GMT)
Onboard the Glass Onion
"Oh .... my .... god. Oh my GOD!... Are... you oh-kay? Ro...man. No ...more...dates..." "Unless they involve dinner, or a concert, or ... anything but that."
"I'll make a note of that for future reference." replied Octavius, sitting on the cargo bay floor with his back leaning against the wall, beads of sweat glistening on his head, face, and body. They were the telltale signs that the pain had receded and also that he was tired from the running.
He heard the beeping coming from somewhere and rolled his head in Kit's direction. The pain had left him too weak to even bother getting up and seeing what was causing it, let alone tell Kit that he heard if before she did. This was the first time that he ever felt this tired, this weak. Sure he had episodes like this before, but they were never of the magnitude that he felt today. Being near the entrance and inside the building must've acted like one giant amplifier and increased the magnitude of the pain's intensity.
"Oh. Gorram it." "It's a distress call."
"So you just goin' to announce it or are you goin' to play it for the rest of the class?" he asked, raising an eyebrow before letting it fall.
“This is Ian Dugan of the Kasern, we’re being held against our will. Call the Fed’s and tell them to home in on this signal. This message will loop every five minutes.”
"My system had to do a three-point triagulation- The scramblers have that signal bouncing all over..." "We can't call the Feds! That's nuts! We don't even know where the hell we are!" "We have to help them."
Octavius looked at her as if she were on the far side of Looneyville wearing a tinfoil hat and a matching tutu with flippers on her feet. He made an audible grunting noise as he stood up and wiped the sweat off his forehead. Wiping it off on the back of his shirt, Octavius walked over to Kit and extended his now sweat-free hand.
"Seein' as you did help me and all, I figure I'd be nice and return the gesture." he replied, giving her a smile. He held up the hand he had lent to her and added, "However I better be gettin' a new knife out of this. I seem to have misplaced my old one on the Starr."
He held out his hand to her again and said, "Come on, Kit. What do you say we go be heroes now?"
Sammy - June 21, 2009 10:57 PM (GMT)
"Come on, Kit. What do you say we go be heroes now?"
Heroes. Was that what they were? They were the bad guys. The hacker and the killer. The thief and the rapist. They were the monsters under the bed.
Sammy's ageless eyes gazed up into Roman's intense stare, the distress call still echoing in her ears.
What if the message was old?
What if it was a trap?
What the gorram if?
What if the only thing that could save someones life was the monster under the bed?
Her slender soft computer geek's fingers slid into Roman's calloused warrior's hand and the bitter woman who lived only for herself, only for the thought of staying free another day, grabbed on tightly and was pulled to her feet.
"Yeah. Heroes." A half-a-smile pressed her cheeks and she nodded, "Yeah, Let's do it."
The Glass Onion - June 21, 2009 11:01 PM (GMT)
The daylight was fading on the darkside of the moon, but the Glass Onion paid it no mind.
Here there be monsters.
And these monsters came with the whisper of freedom in their veins.
THE GLASS ONION CONTINUES IN NIHALCHI- DEVIL'S OWN PART 2