BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JAMESTHEDARK

Legacy 1:08, Trauma
Monday, November 21, 2005

Sylvia's condition worsens, and Jacob must find a way to get her into a Core hospital. He must now make a choice between every bit of profit he's made, and his crewmate's life.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1668    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Finally, we get to see what's going on inside Friday's head, a peek into Early's redemption, and a daring plot to defraud the Osirian medical system. Also, a group of old enemies make an appearance, in a manner of speaking, at the end. Of course, this admittedly being pure speculation, I could be completely off my rocker. Bear in mind telepathy is hard to write for. All your Firefly are belong to Joss. GIVE ME FEEDBACK, GORRAMIT!

Trauma

Kaylee was happy with life, at the moment. She hummed herself a little song she'd picked up while at that neat little shindig on Persephony as she danced around the engine room. She wished that Simon was here to be her partner, but he'd gone off to do doctory things at the nearby town. Sometimes she just wanted to strangle him, but he had a good heart. If only he'd show it to her more. Serenity's heart was still, and laid open, its inners as visible as its outers as she deftly tightened, replaced, cleaned and tuned. In the last few months, she'd rarely had a two-day stretch where she could strip down the engine and give it the once-over Serenity really deserved. She plucked up the catalyzer that Mal had got shot for, turning it over in her fingers. There was still blood on it. Funny how she never got around to cleaning that off. She plunked herself down with a rag and began working at the stain. Most of this ship had someone's blood on it, she realized. Jayne's was in the kitchen, Shepherd Book's was in the commons, Simon, dear sweet Simon, his was in the corridor right next to Kaylee's bunk. And Mal. His blood was everywhere. It flowed through the ship like coolant. Sometimes, Kaylee had a bit of trouble figuring where the man ended and the ship began. She hefted the asymmetrical device in her hands; good as new, and shiny besides. She leaned in and attached the part, taking extra care not to overtighten the connecters and strip the threads. When she stood up, she wasn't at first sure she wasn't in the midst of that old nightmare. Early was standing next to her, clothed in red, watching as she did her work. She felt her throat close up, and her back pressed against the engine. She wasn't rightly sure whether she was protecting the engine or if she was waiting for the engine to protect her. Something was out of place, here. He wasn't smiling, for one. In her nightmares, Early had always been smiling. And he'd been much steadier on his feet. The smell of blood was still there, but when her panic lowered a peg, she realized where the smell was coming from. Simple to say it, Jubel Early looked like hell. He swayed on his feet, his eyes were glazed with a desparate bid to stay conscious, and his posture was as stooped as an old man's. This is what she'd woken in tears for? This fragile, wounded thing? "What do you want?" she asked, proud that her voice didn't quaver. It took Early a long moment to even realize what she'd said. "Her heart isn't beating," he muttered. "In surgery. Making sure everything works, cause this is the only time for it not to beat. Making sure every one of a thousand parts works. Simon Tam may be a doctor," he said, "but on this ship, you're the surgeon." Early took a step forward from the door, and very nearly fell, only catching himself on the edge of the engine casing. He was uncomfortably close. "I..." he began, but had to stop as his voice was dissolved into a horrible sounding croup. When he was done, he wiped his mouth, and that blood smell the room held got bigger. "I done wrong by a lot of folk in my time," he said simply. "Captain'll be by any second." "Don't doubt that he will," Early said, barely even keeping his balance with a hand on her engine. "Intention isn't to frighten you. Ain't even to apologize, 'cause I ain't earned that yet," he whispered. He reached behind him and pulled a long flat box out of his belt loop. The box was simple, six sides with a sliding cover. He set it on the engine beside his hand. "This time, I brought you a little present. Don't care much how you use it. Just remember that it was given." Early turned and stumbled away. His chest, wrapped round with gauze, was pure red, but for small strips along his back. Kaylee watched as he almost fell down the stairs before she picked up the box. Its top slid off easily, revealing a small, light pistol. She'd been terrified enough to put a bullet to him yesterday, she certainly hated him enough. Guay, she said the word, both Simon and Jayne would bring her back his still drippy head. But it was as if his grasp of terror over her had vanished. She saw him, weak, wounded, vulnerable. She could have beaten him with her fists and he'd've been unable to defend himself. She slid the lid back closed, and started humming again. <> Jacob was happy with life in general. Oh, sure, he got a politician shot before he could shuffle him off, and now he had a hulking man-ape gone wrong fleeing in terror from a ninety pound girl who was trying to steal his hat tear-assing through his ship, but life was still good. Anne was curled up in his lap, her now-unbandaged head lying against his shoulder. When she was like this, so small, he wanted to just wrap himself around her like an armor, keep everything away. He smiled. She smiled back at him. Sometimes, life was good. Despite it all, though, there were still things that disturbed his calm. He thought of the badly damaged Early who'd taken to wandering despite his sorry condition. He thought of Fredesa, who had to get a bullet dug out of his thigh. Sylvia. Poor Sylvia. He heard a rap at the threshold. He spun the chair a touch, and took in Friday nodding out into the corridor. "Don't go," Anne said, her voice small and sleepy. "Got to," Jacob said. "Captainy things." He gently laid her into his spot, and she saw fit to give him nothing more than a flat glance before curling up and falling back asleep. He slid the door closed as he exited, then faced Friday. "It's getting worse," she said simply. "How could it possibly get worse?" Jacob asked. Sylvia had grown on him, onto all of them. She was Legacy's protector, a wiry little warrior with all the moves. "Has she regained conciousness?" Friday shook her head. "Not since we found her passed out in the infirmary yestarday. Still don't know rightly what she's got, but whatever it is, unless we get her to a real hospital, I can't see her living out the month." Jacob shook his head slowly, letting himself slump against the wall. "And what's the bad news?" he said dourly. "The bad news is Sylvia's uninsured," Friday said. "And ain't none of us can afford to pay for her getting into a top-end hospital like on Osiris or Ariel." "But didn't you graduate?" Greyson began. "Top of my class, on Boros," she confirmed. "That won't even get me in the door of those facilities. To them, ain't from MedAcad, ain't worth trusting." "Hopeless?" he said. He heard a shuffling walk approach. "I couldn't help but overhear," Fredesa said, "on account of my eavesdropping. You need some credentials to get into a Core hospital?" "It would help," Friday said. "Because you can't afford to send her in on the level," he finished. Friday nodded. "Keh wang hun dan, all of them," he scratched his chin pensively as he pondered. Finally, he snapped his fingers. "I know just the guy for this. Her name is Althea Mealer, on Osiris. She's a customs official who has a sideline in falsified documents. She's never done me wrong, in all the times I've snuck into the Core." "She can get us into Osiris General?" Friday pressed. Fredesa nodded. "What about your disappearance?" "I'm going back to Serenity in the morning. We'll be leaving for Three Hills, I think it was. Jubel's going to have to stay with you," he said. Friday knitted her brow. "Seems Captain Reynolds has a bit of a conflict with mister Early, the kind where he's waiting for a chance to open the man's veins. I figure he's got a lot more of a chance here than there. Besides, with Jayne around, what need will I have for Jubel," he laughed, then muttered, "or enemies, for that matter." Jacob stood up. "Any chance of you going over to Mal's ship tonight? I don't want to spend a spare second here if it can help her." "That's very noble of you," Fredesa said. "You value your crewmates highly." Jacob shook his head. "I value my friends." <> "Gorram," Friday murmured. "Never thought I'd be back in these," she pulled the medical scrubs on, remembering the harshness of their fabric against her sensitive skin. The last time she'd worn them was the day she finished her residency, gaining her licence to practice at any place in the 'Verse, and she'd locked them away since. She'd been quite adamant at avoiding them, but now, it seemed, she was being pulled back into them. Althea, surprisingly enough, was as good as her word. The price had been decidedly high, but Jacob had been more than willing to pay it. She wondered whether there was something between Sylvia and the Captain, but she had the common sense not to ask. Still, his willingness to pay any price for her seemed to lend it credence. She climbed up her ladder, and was greeted by Jacob's scowling face. "I don't like this plan," he said again. "You're not getting in there," she said calmly. "Nobody in the Core has a face like that, to begin with," Jacob scowled. "And beside that, people are less likely to suspect anything of a group of three women than of one with a man. Remember that little heist on Ariel last year?" Greyson ground his teeth. "I still don't like it," he said. "You don't have to like it," Friday said. "You just need to promise me you ain't going to try any thrilling heroics while we're in there. It'd just get us caught, and you know how these folk are when they find somebody ain't who he seems." Jacob rubbed his chin. Finally he grunted and descended into his bunk. She really thought she'd have to try harder. Hard to tell what was happening in that man's mind, though. She descended into the cargo bay, to where Sylvia had been placed in a wheelchair. Anne arched an eyebrow at Friday as she appeared, appearantly unhappy that she'd been enrolled in the role of a nurse. Friday almost laughed, seeing her in such a cute ensemble. "I don't like this plan," Anne said. She plucked a bit at her skirt. "And this thing is hideous." "You don't have to like the plan," Friday said. "You just need to push Sylvia along behind me. If anybody asks you anything, remember what I told you. "Bullet transversing the left frontal to the left occipital lobe, with perferation," Anne forced a shocking smile. Friday knew it would fly, but anybody who knew the woman would goggle in surprise seeing it. Friday almost did. "And if they ask about yourself?" Friday prompted. "Not now, I'm on duty," Anne answered. Sylvia remained silent. "And if somebody asks you anything?" Friday said to Sylvia. Her eyes were staring glazed at nothing. "Exactly. Play dumb." She motioned ahead of her. The ramp had already been lowered, and a medical shuttle was waiting for them. Anne managed to look somewhat professional as she wheeled a catatonic Sylvia into the craft. "Osiris General," Friday said, adopting her surgery voice. The pilot reached a hand back. She slipped her forged documents into his hand, and he gave them a hard look. After a few seconds, he passed the identification badge back. "What's the problem?" he asked. Friday knew he'd been instructed to do this every time, and was about to fill him in when Anne interrupted. "She was involved in a shooting," Anne said. "Perforating wound transversing her left prefrontal and occipital lobes." The pilot gave a low whistle. "Bullet to the head. Most don't survive a shot like that," he said to the person behind him. "What are you doing coming off a spaceship with a woman with a headwound?" Friday had this one down. "She was injured on Persephony, and her health plan covers admission to Osiris General. As I understand things, she stands a much better chance of recuperating in General than in some boondocks triage out on the Rim." The pilot shrugged and waved his aide out to her. The aide deftly hoisted Sylvia into the craft, and sat himself on the bench. Friday strapped herself into the Surgeon's Seat, leaving Anne having to sit next to the aid. The craft took off a few seconds later. These people surely knew their craft, and the shuttle bobbed and weaved through the air as they picked their route to the hospital. "So," the aide said. "How about after you deliver the silent one, you and I go out to have some fun?" Friday was ready to defuse him kindly, but noticed that he was talking to Anne. The small woman was grinding her teeth. Sometimes she was so contrary, that woman. "No, thank you," Anne managed to say without growling. "Oh, come on. Ain't noone in the 'Verse will look down on you, except maybe me of course," he laughed. He then launched into a detailed description of the things he would ravish upon her. Anne continued to grind her teeth. Friday desparately hoped that Osiris General was very close, because if Friday didn't get Anne off this ship, there was going to be violance. "Any chance of speeding up?" Friday asked the pilot. The pilot shook his head in the mirror he used to keep watch of the passengers. There was an unpleasant silence, save for the macho braying of the aide, which didn't really amount to anything. Friday didn't like the look in Anne's eyes. Especially when that look snapped. Anne lashed out at the aide with a hard elbow into the lung, driving the wind out of the man and bringing a wince to Friday's face. So much for the cunning plan, she thought. The pilot looked back at her, a flat look on his face. Then he burst out laughing. Friday thought the entire ship had caught some sort of contageous madness. Even the aide was laughing. "You don't know how long," the pilot said finally, "how long I was waiting for that to happen." The group had finally stopped laughing when the craft landed at the hospital's doors, and the aide removed Sylvia as deftly from the shuttle as he'd brought her in. Friday and Anne took their places outside, but she caught Anne leaning back toward the aide, with that large, artificial and startling smile on her face. "If you touch my ass again," she said, oh so very sweetly, "I will manually castrate you." The pilot laughed as the door swung closed, obscuring the aide's dejected face. When they had left, she caught Anne by the arm. "Do you have any idea how badly that could have gone?" she hissed. Anne smiled again, large and startling. "Didn't hurt. No point in worrying about it now, shr di?" She smiled again, this time smaller and much more geniune. Friday shook her head. Sylvia didn't offer her opinion. "What's the situation?" the head nurse asked as Friday walked through the door. She took quick stock of the man, from the way he lounged to the half-eaten lunch sitting on his console. This man was in the best medical facility in the world, and he was bored stiff. Friday supressed the urge to strangle him on general principle. "I am doctor Friday Yiao," she said. "We have a patient who has suffered massive cerebral damage. We are getting her a Scan before we determine what procedure to advance with," Friday greatly hoped that the day-job hacks were in place. The head nurse tapped lightly on his keyboard, then looked back up. "You are expected. Second floor, 'C' wing, room 232," with that, the nurse put Friday completely out of his mind and set upon finishing his lunch. Inside the confidenciality of her own mind, she smacked him upside his head for being so ingrateful. Without so much as another word, she motioned Anne to follow her. When the halls became clear, a surprisingly short distance from the doors, Anne grumbled. "All this because we can't afford the bill?" she asked. "We're doing a good thing, Anne. And smile if you see anyone," Friday whispered. "Smile? Why?" "Because we're on Osiris. And everybody in the Core is rich and happy," she finished just in time to give a smile to a passing doctor. Again, the halls were clear. "One thing I don't understand," Anne said. "You were at the top of your class on Boros." "Why?" "I'm just wondering," Anne said. "Even though that's cow-piles compared to just graduating from MedAcad, that sort of thing should have you set up with a comfortable career on the border worlds." Friday's jaw tightened. "I don't want to talk about it." Anne raised an eyebrow. "Don't want to talk about what? The fact that you sacrificed a life of relative luxury and independant wealth to bumble around the Black with a crew of a Firefly, quite possibly setting yourself up to get shot, stabbed or Reaved in the process?" Friday stopped and looked at her. "Do I ask you about every little detail of your history? Do I demand to know every dark secret you hold dear, every vice you try to conceal?" She held Anne's gaze for a moment longer, then turned and walked into a door. Holding her head, she looked up. The hospital schematics had overestimated the distance to the elevators. Friday growled as Anne giggled. Sylvia was stoically mum. Anne was reaching for the button when the doors slid open. A pair of Alliance soldiers stared back at them. Friday forced her hands to stillness as she entered the lift, relieved slightly that Anne didn't falter in following. The elevator was starting to smell of gun-oil and sweat and fear. Friday watched in horror as one of the soldiers leaned down toward Anne. "Hey, there, little lady," he began, and Friday braced herself for Anne's explosion. It was cut off by the other soldier cuffing the first upside the head. "Not while on duty, jackass," he said, voice rough. Friday found herself smiling at him. She liked his voice. The large man tipped down his helmet like a hat at her. The door opened. "Ma'am," he said politely before leaving. He physically dragged the other man away. The doors closed, and the elevator continued its way down. "Why is it," Friday asked quietly, "that when random men come up to you on the street and offer to pay to have sex with you, you enjoy it, but when a decent enough fellow tries to pick up, you punch him in the ribs?" Anne stared straight ahead, her voice flat. "Do I ask about every little detail of your history?" Her eyes flit into hers for a moment, a glare as hard as diamonds and twice as cutting. Do I demand to know every dark secret you hold dear?" "Point taken," Friday mumbled. The elevator must have been feeling forgiving, because it chose that moment to deposit them onto the second floor. Friday had never been in Osiris General, but by some designer's grace it had been laid out to be idiotproof. She strode along the corridors, not looking back at her charge. Core doctors never look back. The signs directed her toward the room, even as she had to weave through the crowds of patients and medical personnel. Finally, room 232 came into view, its large double-doors swinging out as a patient was wheeled out of the scanning area. Friday paused for a moment. Was it in use, she asked herself? Was it occupied? "All yours," the doctor said as she passed Friday, wheeling her own patient away. Friday allowed herself a small sigh of relief. So many things couldn't be planned for. She pushed open the doors to the wide circular room. Anne pushed Sylvia into the room, and Friday ran through her head the operation manual she'd seen years ago on how to make this monstrocity function. "Anne, you get on first. Let's take a peek at how your head's coming," Friday let her fingers dance along the controls. Even as Anne was mounting the platform, a three dimensional hologram popped into existence, mirroring Anne's movements precisely. Friday activated the filters one by one, until the image was reduced to only showing the central nervous system. She moved away from the panel and took a closer look at Anne's brain. "Fong luh," she said, manipulating the virtual organ. "This is impossible." "What are you saying about my brain?" Anne asked tersely. Friday ran her finger through the organ, which distorted to show what dwell within. No damage. Not a jot. "A bullet passing through the brain will do an incredible and visible amount of damage. You don't show any damage indicative of taking a shot to the brainpan." "Fast healer," Anne smiled. "No, you don't get it," Friday said. "Neural cells are totally unable to replace themselves. Guay, they can barely repair themselves! The only way people get new neurons are transplants from cloned cells. And only the disgustingly rich and Core-bound ever get that sort of treatment." Anne glanced around from the table. "Medical miracle?" she offered. "Medical mystery," Friday corrected. "Anyway, we should get Sylvia onto the slab. She's the reason we're here." Anne left the slab, and her disembodied brain moving over beside Sylvia, vanishing once it left the scanner's field of view. Friday reset the machine as Anne hauled the slightly larger woman onto the table. She flicked on the machine again, stripping down the layers at which it looked. Something caught her eye for a moment, but she disregarded it on her way to the brain. "Wuh duh ma hah ta duh fung-kwang duh wai-shung doh," Friday muttered. Anne prodded the floating brain, while Friday came to slap her hands away. "One medical mystery today, why not have another?" "Shuh muh?" Anne said. "What does this look like?" Friday said, pointing out a tract of unusual tissue running all the way through the brain. She plied the organ open, showing the anomaly in its entirety. "Looks kinda like..." She began, then her head snapped up, face pale. "Exactly like where you got shot," Friday finished. "Only thing is, these cells are regenerating. Again, impossible, I know. Wait a moment." "What now?" Anne asked. She leaned closer. "You have any problems with your amygdala?" "My what?" Anne arched an eyebrow. "No. Don't think so." "Then this is something else," Friday muttered. "Her amygdala has undergone an extreme amount of apoptosis," Friday said. Anne gave her a what the hell face, and she explained. "The amygdala is a part of the brain which acts as a door. If there's something bugging you, you shove it through and shut the door. Deal with it later. But her amygdala is atrophied almost to nothing. Her door's got holes in it." "That ain't good?" Anne asked. "Very not good," Friday said. She moved back to the panel and replaced several layers of the body, then moved back to the image. "This is what bugged me. You see these four wound tracts? What do they look like to you?" "Well," Anne looked at them carefully. "Looks kinda like where Jubel got shot." "Exactly. Four major hematomas stemming from injuries she didn't take," Friday muttered. "It's like she's taking the injuries of everybody on Legacy and sequestering them inside her..." The door swung open, with a nurse pushing a patient into the room. He glanced up at Friday and Anne. "Oh, sorry. I thought that you were done." "Just a minute," Friday said. She moved back to the machine and saved the scan of the brain into a mem-peg, resetting the system as Anne lowered Sylvia back into her wheelchair. "Oh hell," she heard Zane through her earpiece. "We're humped." "What?" Friday hissed as she turned away from the newcomers. "Somebody flagged Anne for her little stunt on Bernadette a few years back. She's not going to make it out those doors," Zane's disembodied voice came. Friday nodded vigorously out the door, and Anne wheeled Sylvia out of the room. Neither said a word as Friday guided them back into the elevators. "What's the news?" Anne asked. "You got found out," Friday hissed as the door closed. She punched the tab for the ninth floor. "What did you do on Bernadette?" "Well," Anne said, almost sounding embarrassed. "I... may have... stolen an ASREV." "You stole a what?" Friday shook her head. "Never mind, we're going to the ninth floor. Psych ward. Virtually deserted at this time of day, and I need some time to think." Sylvia looked between the two women standing over her. "Where in the holy hell am I?" she asked. Friday gave a start at hearing her voice again after so long. Anne squeeked. Friday couldn't help but stare a moment at Sylvia's face, at how it had suddenly regained its health and vitality. "Well, you're in Osiris General, and we need to find a way to get out of here without Anne getting pinched by the Feds," Friday explained. "So," Sylvia asked. "Business as usual?" Anne laughed. Sylvia slowly lifted herself out of the chair. "How do you feel," Friday asked. "My head aches and my ribs hurt," she said. Anne and Friday shared a look. "How are we getting out?" she asked. "We don't know yet," Friday said. Sylvia scratched her chin for a moment, then snapped her fingers. "I know what to do," she smiled. "Where's the morgue?" "What do you need in the morgue?" Anne asked. Friday simply grinned. "I'm going to need that outfit," Sylvia said, plucking at Anne's sleeve. "You can have it. Gorram go tsao deh skirt," Anne groused as she pulled the thing off. Sylvia was already stripping off her attire when the chime announced that they'd reached the ninth floor and the doors slid open. Two half naked women and a stunned Friday stared out of the elevator at a man in a blue jumpsuit, who stood stuporous, facing them but probably not seeing them. They all stood stock still, and the doors ever so slowly slid closed. "That was..." Anne began. "Yeah," Sylvia agreed. "Basement?" Friday asked. "Please," the two women asked in unison. They finished their outfit swap and Anne lowered herself into the wheelchair. The basement, as expected, was dank and smelled of sadness. As was expected, nobody wandered in this place. "Find a body bag," Sylvia said. "If we can't get her out alive, we'll have to get her out dead." Friday quickly located one, and Anne was zipped inside. With her sealed away, they moved her onto a gurney. The pair slowly pushed her out to the lower exit, where the bodies of the dead were removed to be taken into mortuaries. The light of day was tantalizingly close. "Hold on, miss," A man's voice came. The two women stopped moving. Anne, of course, was already still. "Yes?" Friday said, turning to face this newcomer. "Who is that?" the doctor asked. "Nobody was due to be exported until after six PM." "Her family wanted her remains shipped to Sihnon as quickly as possible," Sylvia said. She blushed, looking positively sheepish. "I didn't have the heart to say no." The doctor scowled at them. He moved to the side of the bag and flipped it open, exposing Anne's still face. "She looks a bit familiar," he muttered. He leaned a bit closer, and Friday's stomach dropped into her feet. His fingers pressed against her neck. His gaze returned to her, hot and suspicious. "Any particular reason your corpse has a pulse?" Friday wracked her brain to find the perfect possible response, something that would disarm him, quiet him. She was relieved of that duty by Sylvia smashing him in the face with a folding chair. He let out a thin squawk, and Sylvia hit him again. He dropped, as boneless, to the floor. Friday stared in wonder at Sylvia. This morning, she was on death's door, and now she's manhandling doctors to escape a hospital. Had the entire 'Verse gone insane? "Zane?" Friday said. "Is our ride still waiting for us?" "It hasn't been sent away, if that's what you mean?" Zane muttered. "Did you find a way out?" Friday grunted. "Sylvia opened the back door for us," Sylvia was tugging at the man's shoulders, dragging the doctor into a side room. He was obviously not a light man. "Sylvia's awake?" this was Jacob's voice. "Shiny." Sylvia returned, brushing off her hands. She shrugged and nodded toward the door. <> Agent Blue ran over the report with his eyes once more. It didn't seem possible, yet here it was, sitting in his hands. He had been sure that they had found each and every one of them. Here was another. Always, there was another. He stood from his work station, tugging straight his immaculate suit. He'd personally tracked down four of them, bringing them in to their 'academy', usually packed inside a very small box. He'd overseen the training of a great many more who came of their own volition, thinking that this place was a school of a more mundane variety. Still, he had learned to be incredibly distrustful of the outsiders that they brought in. He worried whom would be sent to deal with this. His long, ground eating strides carried him along the long, dimly lit corridors, past the hum of people working their secret lives in a secret place. He heard the screams, a quiet thing, beyond the perception of most. The children were dreaming again. The children were screaming. Once, a very long time ago, this constant din had disturbed him, unsettled him greatly. But the Coordinator had seen to his education, to his training. Now, Agent Blue was able. He was strong. And he had only one man to thank. He walked past a scientist who was buried in his work. This man would betray them. Agent Blue made a note to inform the Coordinator of this. Finally, Agent Blue slid past the masses of mundane humanity and into the deeper recesses of the building. The stairs were narrow and steep, for most who traveled here were taken down the elevator. The elevator was a public means, however, and Agent Blue had no desire to go through the time-consuming regiment required to pass by that portal. He strode confidently down the stairs, as he had many times before, down into the darkness. The first time, he had trailed his fingers along the wall, as he descended. He had not made that mistake again. The stairway spiraled into the darkness, and a scream reached his ears, thin on the edge of perception. The scream trailed and died. Agent Blue knocked twice on the door. He could have let them know he was there by other means, but to do so in this part of the facility was... risky. A slide opened, exposing a beam of light and a pair of shockingly blue eyes. "Agent Blue," the Agent said. "You are expected." Agent Blue did not wonder how the Coordinator knew he was coming, nor how he knew Agent Blue would choose this passage of entry. He had moved past such things. He stepped through the door as it opened, and did not look back as the Agent closed it. He never looked back. He never needed to. The passage here was much shorter, with four cells flanking the sides and a large chamber at the end. The Coordinator's room. A scream, on two levels, came from the last cell; it died away first to his ears, and second to his mind. Agent Blue stood before the door. It slid open the instant he stopped moving. As he expected it would. Come in, bade the Coordinator. Agent Blue stepped through the threshold into the white room. There was nothing in the circular room besides a small writing desk near the middle, and a cot opposite the door. There were no chairs. What do you have to show me? Agent Blue stepped to the table, glancing around the room. The Coordinator was here, but Agent Blue could not see him. He did not know whom to address, so he simply spoke to the open air. "We have found another." More yet exist? What is your proof? Agent Blue set the report onto the table, smoothing it with his blue-gloved hands. When his gaze returned to the cot, he saw the old man rise. The Coordinator was ancient beyond measure, yet still moved with vigor, and the guard was still a tight blue skin over his torso. His hair had gone white a very long time ago, and fallen out recently, leaving his shining pate to gleam in the seemingly sourceless light. His raptor eyes pulled in the contents of the report, the diagrams underneath it, and the addendum added as it was given into Agent Blue's custody. He had not moved either his hands, nor the report. She shows the symptoms, the signs? "Yes," Agent Blue confirmed. He knew why the Coordinator had chosen to sequester himself here. The din to him was irritating; to the Coordinator, it would have been deafening. Maddening. "Severe atrophy of the amygdala, with increased neurotransmitter levels throughout the upper brain. As well, she seems to show trauma-empathy. She may well be a biorhythmist." We have very few biorhythmists. She would be an asset. "Who will we send on this recovery?" Agent Blue asked. Send a pairing of Neophytes, bade the Coordinator. They will deal with this Sylvia. "You know her name?" Agent Blue asked. The Coordinator affixed him with a level look. I know many things.

COMMENTS

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 3:27 PM

MAANTRE


I keep thinking after reading each chapter that the next one couldn't possibly be better...
and you keep proving me wrong:)

please continue to do so, I'm such a fan of these!


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Niflheim. The world collapsed into anarchy as nature betrayed it. Today, it gets more visitors than it knows what to do with, with a cargo-drop on one hand, and a desperate and dangerous fugitive on the other. Something is going to have to give, and the 'Verse help whoever it is that's to do the giving.

Legacy 3:09, Quiet Emptiness
A new job for Legacy means that it must stop off in Three Hills, where Sylvia suddenly finds herself confronting her past.

Legacy 3:08, Running Away
On Boros, Monday begins to see the unpleasant truth that stalks her, while King Benjamin finds his breaking point on Londinum. In the end, they're just running from their problems.

Legacy 3:07, Confederation, Part 3
With the Battle for Hera coming to a climax outside, Anne find's her child's birth beset by soldiers, storming the ship. Jacob and those in the city must somehow find a way through the war-zone before they get killed, either by the Alliance, or by the Confederates.

Legacy 3:06, Confederation, Part 2
Legacy's crew is scattered across a city soon to be embroiled in a full-scale war, and time is running out before the bombs fall. In the sky, two of the greatest military minds clash, while on the ground, the best the crew can hope for is to not be crushed under foot.

Legacy 3:05, Confederation, Part 1
Finally arriving on Hera, Jacob settles down to unwind, but is interrupted by a startling revelation by a member of his crew. And not too far away, even as the Independant Planets sign their Confederation, somebody is waiting in the darkness for the perfect moment to strike.

Legacy 3:04, Definition of a Hero
With mere hours to go before Confederation, Jacob catches wind of a travesty taking place, perpetrated by his supposed allies. Will he jeopardize the conference for the sake of his principles?