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Tera rushed from the room and Rhea once again thought she might have some peace. She was so tired… There was close to no energy left in her. All she wanted to do was close her eyes and sleep. Perhaps that would stop the tears too. If not, she was going to wake up frightfully dehydrated. Still, she forced her eyes to stay open as she stared off at the dark pink, almost red, crystalline structures sitting on the floor. She paid little attention to what Jax was doing, it still hurt too much to look over at Dante.
[+lightcoral “Kashia,”] she called for the girl’s attention, which she got almost immediately. Kashia must have been looking for a distraction too. Too bad, as this wasn’t it. [+lightcoral “Bring… them here please.”] Subtly nodding with her head, Rhea got her point across. [+lightcoral “It is safe now…”]
Despite her aunt’s assurance that all would be fine, the Shelvi woman was still hesitant to go anywhere near those things. That whole thing was nasty, and she did not want to even think about what could have happened if that stuff was contagious in some way. They would all be melting into disgusting piles of gunk. Kashia had to shake the image from her head. Even still, she wanted to refuse, but the desperate look on Rhea’s face kept her from doing that. Eventually she nodded and made her way to scoop up the rather weighty red gems. Walking a tad faster than normal, she made it to the tired woman as fast as she could without looking like a scaredy-cat. Then she offered them up.
Rhea could just barely stick her hands out, but that was fine. She wanted to hold them close anyway. [+lightcoral “They will come back faster if we keep them warm.”] It usually took anywhere between one week and three for Pyrenian’s to reiterate, but things like temperature and light level were proven to have effect. Given that timeframe, this was more an excuse to hold them and feel that they were still there. Even if they weren’t going to be exactly the same, that thought helped Rhea calm herself at least a little bit.
It was not long after that, that Jax came trotting over to show her what he had found. Funny that he would say she had better eyes when she was the only one on this ship who needed glasses to aid her. That being said, she had to readjust her spectacles to see the thin wire he was shoving in her face. She did so with her shoulder, as her hands were full.
It was indeed not anything one would normally find in an organic life form. This went along with Dante’s vague mentions of being in between, but still conjured up question. What in the hell was he and why was he hiding it so fervently? It was a pondering that she kept to herself for now. And maybe forever, she was not expecting an answer out of him dead or alive.
[+lightcoral “Yes, Jax. Looks to be some kind of fiber-optic cable.”] She could tell that much by the sheen of it. In her time with Atlas she had picked up a thing or two, but it was very basic. She wouldn’t be able to do much more than recognize standard parts and equipment.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Tera listened to her intently, nodding slowly though it took a little time for this information to sink in. So Dante wasn’t entirely organic? Then perhaps that explained the lights inside the muscle like fibres of his arm. And from her initial inspection, something had been removed from the limb. She could tell given there was a cut to begin with and the strands about a certain area were frayed. It was all quite curious but she snapped to attention and immediately dropped the arm, darting out the room in a flurry of fur and pink hair.
Jax was left alone with the two women, though he was a little bewildered like Tera. Having witnessed the disappearance of the twin’s part of his limited though capacity was assigned to trying to figure out that mess. The rest of him heard what Rhea had said and he shuffled slowly over to Dante’s lifeless form. It was odd that the man would never mention that he and Jax were so similar, that they shared enhancements, especially given Jax was continually tinkering with his own and it would have been fun to test out Dante’s systems too. But the man was quiet a lot of the time, so he would not question why it had never come up. And he looked so.. normal too.
Stepping up however he lifted the man’s arm to inspect. Cybernetics and implants were a forte of his people and their desire to improve themselves. Yet immediately on seeing the frayed muscle-like ligaments within, and the sparkling black blood that had slowed a lot from before, he knew this was different.[+darkgoldenrod “This not like Jax. This more.. difficult.”] It was tough for him to convey his thoughts with the longer and precise words of the others.[+darkgoldenrod “Jax has the metals and wires. But they were put in him after he was born. Not Cappy. These built in.”] He used his large index finger to prod at the open cut, pressing against the white cords within with a knowledge he had not shown with anything else before.
His inspection went on a little longer, using the cut cord that Tera had looked at and seeing the same flashing lights from the end.[+darkgoldenrod “Not like Jax at all.”] He looked up the man’s arm but the sleeve was obscuring it. Thus within a quick moment he had ripped it off at the shoulder and thrown it behind him, just narrowly avoiding Kashia. It seemed with Dante gone he was free to be cut and his clothes torn with no repercussions. He nodded as he lifted the arm up and looked all around it.[+darkgoldenrod “This not awe—awe—bah!”] He slapped at the side of his head as he could not get the word out. It seemed to do the trick.[+darkgoldenrod “Augment! No cutting. No scars. This here from beginning. This part of Cappy all along.”] Jax was beginning to suspect something much more fishy was going on as he reached back down to the open wound.
Again fishing inside he managed to pull free a section of the pristine white ligament without tearing off the entire arm given his strength. With it free of the shining black fluid he stared at it closely before moving over toward Rhea.[+darkgoldenrod “Miss Rhea have better eyes. This not alive right? This looks like.. erm.. that fancy cable in computer.”] Crouching down next to her he offered the piece to her to take, and should she do so, and should she inspect it, she would indeed find this was not tendon, muscle, anything organic. The lights that flashed inside were waning now they had been taken from the arm, but even someone with only moderate knowledge of computers and the like would see this was fibre-optic cable. A unique style but at its base that is what it was.
Just when she thought her part in all this would be through, Rhea was being yelled at again. Why did everyone all of a sudden think she was an expert on everything? She was an anthropologist for crystal sake. And she was the second newest member onboard. They all knew Dante longer, and probably better, than she did. She shouldn’t be the one to tell anyone what to do in this situation, let alone while she was still bawling her eyes out over the twins. But Tera was persistent, more so than Jax had been. She brought up their recently failed relationship and Rhea felt like she had been stabbed in the chest. Why did she have to bring that up?
As the pink-haired woman lifted his arm, the last Pyrenian was able to get a better view of it. It was dripping with glistening black liquid and from within shining a pure white. The contrast was something else, but it did spark her memory a bit. Though, there was no telling if it would be helpful or not. [+lightcoral “He said something…”] Her voice was hiccupping as her body still shook as she involuntarily cried. [+lightcoral “…about being not fully natural… that he had enhancements of some sort.”] She assumed they were something like Jax’s, cybernetics of some variety. [+lightcoral “A-a-and the black stuff… it’s from an injector shot… he uses it to flush his systems.”] It was hard to remember exactly what he said, even though it really wasn’t that long ago. [+lightcoral “That’s all I know… He wouldn’t tell me any more.”] There was a distinct mixture of sorrow and anger in that last sentence. It felt like he wouldn’t tell her anything.
There wasn’t much room to feel sorry for herself, as Tera was still staring at her like she was waiting to be told what to do. Rhea didn’t know for sure, but there was really only one idea that came to mind. So whether it was right thing or not, that was what it was going to be. [+lightcoral “I think he keeps the injection vials in his room… They are glass and the contents looks just like his blood does now. Go find some and try administering it…”] She had never seen him give himself the shot, so she was at a loss for how exactly that was supposed to go, but this was all they had.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat The girls dissolving and reforming to their respective crystals coincided with Tera's discovery. It spared her seeing the sight though Jax looked just utterly confused. It didn't scare him, just confused him. They were there, and now they were not. But their crystals were still here. So they were technically still here in a sense, right?
He looked at Rhea as Kashia's struggled slowed considerably during the process, before letting go when her fight all but ended. He did not think she would be rushing forward to do anything more and his attention now turned to Tera and Dante.
[+red “Guys there's.. something wrong with Cap.”] Only now was Tera looking up, finding Jax and Kashia behind her and seeing Rhea slumped in the corner. She saw the crystals but for now the connection did not make itself and so she looked about her as she pointed at his arm.[+red “There.. there are.. lights, or something.. weird in his arm.”] She had never been a medic or a doctor or anything of that kind. She was expected to wrap things up and keep as much blood in until they reached a real doctor, and with Rhea that had someone who knew a little more than she did.
So that was where she turned, looking directly at her as she pointed a hand at the slumped over man, drips of black falling to the floor as she did so.[+red “Look at him! What is that? What is he?”] She was shouting now, demanding answers from the pink-skinned woman, like she would know for some reason.[+red “You two were together, tell me what it all means!”] Ah, so that is why she assumed Rhea had the answers.
With no Dante, both original crew members now looked to Rhea for the answers they needed. They were not leaders themselves, they needed her to show them the way to progress, on how to deal with this. Tera stepped back forward, grabbing at Dante's arm and turning it to the white haired woman.[+red “Look! Thats not normal! What does it mean!”]
/ 1y 146d 19h 30m 53s
Continuing to sob, just on the edge of hysterics, Rhea watched as her niece continued to press on. Helpless to stop her as she sat virtually immobilized by fatigue, she tried to reason with her, but her attempts were not so convincing though her weeping. [+lightcoral “Kashia… stop… you are going to get… hurt.”]
There was nothing but yelling in return. The young woman was being blinded by what was right in front of her. She wasn’t going to stop. At least, she hadn’t planned on it before Jax came along and pulled her back. Kashia fought against him, but nothing would come of it. He had her tightly restrained and she was not getting away until Rhea said it was okay.
Seconds passed, or was it minutes? Rhea could not tell. She watched the girls, completely fixated on them. Disbelief filled her to the brim. Were they really gone? Obviously, they had already hit the point of no return for Pyrenians and with this final step it would be time to start the cycle anew.
Their bodies had fully flushed to a color just barely lighter than the cores in their chests. It was a strange sight, though not a completely unfamiliar one to Rhea. This was something she had seen before, but save Dante, she doubted anyone else on this ship had. They were not in for a treat. And in hindsight, the woman would regret not telling them to look away now.
It began. Starting from seemingly random places on the girls’ bodies, splotches of a sludge-like substance began to form on them in a color matching their darkened state. In each of those places, that strange material began to eat away at them. It cut though everything in equal measure. Like acid, it disintegrated all organic matter in its path. Had Jax and Kashia still been there, they would have been caught up in it as well. This was not a self-contained system; it would break down anything and everything it could. Because of this, little was known about this process. The window for study was small, and it was dangerous to take samples. Not to mention there was no telling how tampering with the process would affect any test subject. There was no ethical way to handle it, so it remained a mystery.
Flesh, bone, and viscera were being revealed like illustrated cross-sections in the pages of an anatomy book. It was a terrible kind of body horror that one just couldn’t look away from once it started. The process continued till there was nothing left but their cores sitting in a pool of their slurried remains. There was a pause, but it did not last. The liquefied remnants soon began to shrink, almost like they were consuming themselves. But that process eventually halted too. When the concentrated pools were as small as they were going to get, the gems in the middle of it all began to glow faintly from within. Slowly, what was left of the mess was absorbed into the cores and the lights disappeared from inside.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Jax couldn't fathom what she meant by 'not that kind of doctor'. To him, doctors were doctors like cookies were cookies. They may come in different shapes and sizes but they are in essence the same thing. Staring over at Rhea as she drifted to her native tongue he looked like the scared and confused child he mentally was. Looking down on Ino he stopped with his compressions, instead taking up her small hand in his large one and stroking her cheek with the back of his other hand.
It was only when Kashia jumped up, demanding her Aunt help her, that Rhea stopped her foreign tongue and Jax heard her tell them to step away. Whilst her Niece argued against her, Jax did not. He had come to learn that Rhea could be trusted with the girls. They were like cookies, so the saying went. Cappy had always trusted her and placed a lot of belief in her and so Jax should follow that example. By that point, he stood up and stepped across to Kashia, wrapping his large arms around her and pinned her arms to her side as he pulled her away from the twins.[+darkgoldenrod “We listen to Miss Rhea. She doing her best for little ones.”] He said to her, though he was still welling up as he took her away, holding her tight to him as his gaze flickered between the girls, Rhea and Tera.
The anthro was caught up in her mystery to listen to the others. It was not that she didn't care they were dying, decomposing as it was, but that she was too caught up in the man before her to think of anything else. Having pulled back the covering over his cut she pressed at his arm, more of the black liquid seeping free though she ignored its glittering qualities as she looked closer. The skin was cold as ever and felt as it always had, yet probing fingers found the muscles beneath were more rigid than she expected.
She managed to hook a nail under one to lift it from the black fluid though seeing it better did not help her with answers. It was almost pure white in colour and the texture was very smooth – perhaps that was due to its lubricated state but she thought otherwise. Leaning in close she brought the arm to a better light and without a thought severed the muscle her nail. He was dead, right? What harm was there to cut the muscle? It was good she did anyway as she turned the severed tip upward. At first it was a little obscure to see but there were hundreds if not thousands of tiny, perhaps microscopic lights, all flashing in a random pattern as she stared at it.
Gasping audibly as she releasing the man's arm quickly she let it fall off the side of the chair and the black fluid was allowed to flow down his hand and drip onto the floor in a slow and steady tap, tap, tap.
Overwhelming… that was the word for it. Rhea hadn’t been able to completely process what had happened before with Dante. And now this was piling on top of it. She needed time to be able to take this all in and let it all out. Her chest hurt, all these emotions and heartache were causing a pain that was near physical. She was holding it together by a thread, but when Jax started to make his plea, it snapped. This was entirely too much at once for her.
All four of her eyes welled with water, they had just barely recovered from her crying earlier, and how she was at it again. She sobbed, barely able look the begging man in the eyes. [+lightcoral “Oh, Jax… I am not that kind of doctor. I don’t know how to make this better. I am sorry. I am so sorry.”] Slipping into her native Termani tongue, Rhea continued to apologize repeatedly. There was nothing else for her to do; she was utterly useless here.
Through her water logged eyes, Rhea began to try and find just about anything other than Jax to look out. He did not seem to understand her words, especially now that she had switched herself over to another language. When she found there was nothing in this room to give her any comfort, she shut her eyes tight. It didn’t make anything go away. The image of Ino and Oni lifeless on the ground with Kashia and Jax trying so desperately to save them was burned into her brain. But of course that wasn’t all. There was Dante too. He wasn’t moving either. She may have been trying to cut off her feelings for him, but she still loved him despite it. Everything hurt.
As she was spiraling, Kashia’s voice cut in. She was calling her, but she didn’t want to look. Rhea didn’t want to open her eyes and deal with any of this, but she knew she couldn’t avoid it. Not for long, anyway. So she forced herself.
[+orange “Rhea! Something is happening, what is going on!?”] Under her hands, Oni’s complexion was darkening, well reddening really. Almost as though she was growing flush, but it was everywhere and did not seem to stop.
Hands balling into fists, Rhea was shaking. [+lightcoral “How long have they been out?”]
[+orange “I don’t know. Thirty, maybe thirty-five, minutes.”] Kashia’s words were uneven as she continued to press against the child, desperate for something to change for the better.
Only that long? And this was happening already? They should have had more time; they should have had at least an hour before it reached this point. [+lightcoral “Stop, you have to stop touching them…”] She knew what the change in coloration meant, and it was not good. [+lightcoral “They are moving on to the decomp stage… It’s too late.”] Saying those words left the nastiest taste in her mouth. Rhea did not want to admit it, but they had to or else Kashia and Jax were going to get wrapped up in it.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat It was a shock to see Rhea being carried in by Kashia, but thankfully for Tera she saw the Pyrenian woman was alive if only tired. If she had been carried in like Dante had been by Jax, then it would have been time to give up. At present they still outnumbered the injured and as her arms began to ache, she decided to finally get a look in at the Captain.
Once Kashia was under way, making sure their transition was as smooth as possible and the process continued, she stood up and moved across to the figure in the Captains seat. She moved across quickly but once there she was at a loss for what to do. The man was limp, his head turned to side and eyes staring blankly to one side. She had checked for a pulse but now she pressed a soft hand to his neck again and found the skin cold. Well, colder than usual. It was a peculiar feeling and she felt a chill run down her spine.
Chest compressions would not work here with him. Hell, she still wasn't sure they would work with the girls. But for Dante, she felt it was too far along from the initial shocking for it to have any effect. She moved her hands down his arms, turning his hands over in hers but finding that the skin was much less damaged than she thought it would be for someone who had absorbed power cells worth of energy. They were speckles in fine burn marks much like the skin around his eyes had been. Looking from hands to eyes, the markings were glowing like the embers of a dying fire, pulsing lightly.
It was a most peculiar sight to behold, as if he still held some of the power that had flowed through him. Her fingers ran along his hand softly and carefully in a manner of affection. This was her Captain. Her friend. The man had taken her in and given her a home and a life and yet he sat her still. All she could do was to stroke his palm to ease her own distress, yet when her fingers became moist did she look back to them and found them coated in a sparkling black liquid. She had seen it long before, back on Atlas' planet when he was nursing his injury. His blood? Pushing at his sleeve she saw that the patch placed on his arm had come away and was slowly trickling his blood down his arm.
Out of wonder and with nothing else to try, she grasped the edge of the wrapping and pulled it back, her brow furrowing as she began to investigate the wound, losing herself to it.
Jax looked up from working on the girls, seeing Rhea sat down, his eyes sorrowful and pleading.[+darkgoldenrod “Miss Rhea help? Miss Rhea is doctor. She help girls and Cappy!”] He had made his request to Kashia and Tera, he would make it directly to her.
/ 1y 146d 23h 54m 57s
Coming up to the door she was looking for, Kashia tested it. By some strange luck, the kind she always had, it opened. Good thing too, as if she had gone back to the bridge she probably wouldn’t have been allowed to run off again.
Unlike the girls, it was just a short while after exiting the wormhole before Rhea burst back to life. It was not nearly as long as before, but it had still put an immeasurable burden on her body. Her gasps for air had just begun to subside as she heard the sound of the door. Her memory was a little fuzzy at the moment, but she had thought she had locked that door. Just barely able to turn her head, she let her opposite cheek fall to the cold floor as she saw who had entered. Despite having no real expectations for anything, Kashia was not who she anticipated to be there. But there she was and she came rushing in. She looked panicked. It made sense; the girls were probably going through the same thing right now.
[+orange “The girls aren’t waking up!”]
It took a second for the words to register. When they did, Rhea tried to refute them. [+lightcoral “No,”] her voice was soft. She lacked the energy to properly project. [+lightcoral “If I am awake, they will be too.”] Her theory was that her niece had just run off too quickly in search of her. She must have missed their rousing.
[+orange “No, they aren’t. Come on, come help.”] No one knew more about Pyrenians on this ship than Rhea, and Kashia knew that. If she saw them, maybe she would know the answer, because this had to be something different.
The fright in her voice did not sit well with Rhea. The better part of her wanted to listen to the girl and come with her, but as she tried to push her weight up off the floor, there was nothing but struggle. Without a word, Kashia came in next to her. The young woman was not exactly a paradigm of strength, but she could help with her aunt’s small frame.
As fast as she could get the both of them there, Kashia made it onto the bridge with Rhea. It was much like before; only the body count was one head higher than when she left. But for Rhea this was worse than expected. She truly expected the twins to be conscious by this point. Why weren’t they snapping out of it too? Sure, they wouldn’t be their lively selves, but they should at least be awake. She fumbled for words; she didn’t know what to do either.
Eyes snapping up to catch the last two members of their crew step onto the bridge, Tera was both relieved and alarmed. Rhea practically had to be carried in here. What in the hell was happening to these people?! But besides that, she knew she could not go on much longer. CPR was strenuous, Jax might have been able to handle it with his absurd strength, but she needed a break and she needed to check on Dante. [+red “Kashia! Switch places with me, now!”]
Straightening up, Kashia looked between Rhea and Tera, a little confused at what to do. Eventually the Pyrenian woman motioned to the wall to have her help her sit down. Then the tall woman hurried over to where the pilot was to trade positions. She had some practice with the resuscitation technique, but she hadn’t used it in real world application. Hopefully that would be enough.
From that spot by the door, Rhea could see most, if not all, of the bridge. It was not an easy sight to look upon and it was made even harder by knowing there was nothing she could do. Whatever would be would be, and it was agony.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat The confused and bewildered Jax had scooped up Dante after several minutes of moving him about, trying in a whole host of different ways to jostle him into saying something, doing something, anything at all. With his greater strength it was like watching a large animal toy with its food, permeated at times with [+darkgoldenrod “Cappy”] and [+darkgoldenrod “please wake up”] in his child like tone of voice.
Leaving the engineer hub behind he took the man up in his arms and cradled him as he made his way toward the bridge though this was not through any thought of his own, rather like an ingrained action. If he wasn't in the engine room, he was on the bridge and visa versa. So he just began to walk that way. Meeting Kashia along the way he held up the limp man, as if to ask her if she could help him, but all she did was curse and swear and he pulled Dante closer as he looked back down glumly. Her softer voice made him look across to her a little and when she suggested he take the man to the bridge he nodded. Tera would know how to fix him. If Cappy couldn't do it, Tera could. And if she couldn't, then Miss Rhea would.
Despite this new plan, he was still slow moving to the bridge as he carefully carried Dante. Each bulkhead and doorway he made sure to lift the man through and then squeeze himself in behind rather than hit his head or knock his feet. Arriving in the room with the two girls laying on the floor side by side Tera had looked up expecting to see Kashia with Rhea, or perhaps alone, having come back to help with the girls.
Seeing Jax holding the still form of their Captain was pushing her to her limits as she stood up from what she was doing she moved across tentatively. The look on Jax's face alone was enough for her to want to break down but like with the girls, some inner resolve held her together as the large man again offered him up.[+darkgoldenrod “Please help Cappy.”] He mumbled, watching Tera tentatively reach out to press a shaking hand to the mans neck. She pulled it back sharply to her chest when nothing was felt and her body tensed.
[+red “How..”] A shuddered word escaped her lips.
[+darkgoldenrod “He-he touch power thingies. Power go in him. He stop ship blowing up, but then he laying on ground.”] His butchered way of simplifying things actually helped to wash away the unnecessary detail and Tera nodded as she took very deep, very calming breaths.
[+red “Jax, I-I need you to put him down. Put.. put him in his seat. I need help with the girls-”]
[+darkgoldenrod “No! Fix him! Fix Cappy!”] His desperation bled through as he thrust the body forward eagerly at her.
[+red “Jax I can't, not right now.”]
[+darkgoldenrod “Fix him now! Fix him!”] He shouted at her now as anger rose to the surface but immediately Tera stepped forward, a hand placed on the large man's arm.
[+red “Soon. But we need to help the girls Jax. Think, what would Cap do now? He would want us to help the girls more than anything, right?”] She spoke in a soothing voice though it cracked and splintered repeatedly. She forced herself to look up at the man rather than at whom he was holding.[+red “Cap would help the girls before himself but I need you to help me with that. Then we will help Cap. Okay?”] She was practically pleading with him now but still spoke in that soothing tone.
It took a little longer than she hoped for the man to see sense, looking from Dante to the girls, back and forth several times before nodding slowly. He turned away to his chair and ever so gently placed the man down in it, having to be pulled away by Tera when he had stood there staring down in silence a few seconds too long.[+red “Jax, I need you to help with Ino, I'll get Oni. We need to do CPR. Remember like I showed you? The chest pushes and breathing? Focus on that with me okay buddy?”] She was just trying to keep him focused now. If he lost it, she would, and then no-one would be saved here.
Ship jolting as they made their exit, Kashia made sure to hold onto the girls all the tighter. Had they been conscious it might have been to the point of pain, but she was so worry filled that the Shelvi woman did not notice. There was relief as Tera called out that they were nearly through this and switched to the intercom to do the same for the rest of the ship, but it was not complete. Thin hands shaking, this was not over; at least she felt there was still reason to be concerned.
When all was finally still, the woman’s horned head went back and forth between the two younglings. Neither of them moved. Unwrapping her arm from around Oni, she turned attention fully to Ino. [+orange “Hey, it’s time to wake up now.”] She patted lightly at her face, but there was no response. Moving to check her pulse once more, there was still nothing. Panicking ever so slightly, Kashia moved on to Oni to find the exact same results.
Given the strangeness of the circumstances this started, Kashia did not know whether to chalk this up to being another Pyrenian episode or an isolated incident on this ship. Either way, she knew this was not something she could handle on her own. [+orange “Tera, they still aren’t waking up!”] There was urgency in her voice, one that struck fear into the pilot. Having already set them on a course away from the wormhole, the anthro stood to join the others. Quite frankly, she was panicking as well, but she had enough sense in her to keep a clear head and start running down the basic first aid checklist that was practically ingrained in her now.
Children now laid out on the floor, Kashia was free to stand. Doing so, she wiggled about anxiously. Her eyes flittered back and forth between the scene in front of her and the main console control panel. Giving in to temptation, she sped over to the spot Dante would normally inhabit and began flipping through the options on the screen until she found the override controls for the doors and hatches on the ship. They were not labeled in a way she would be readily able to identify, so she just looked for one that was locked and forced it out. [+orange “I am going to check on Rhea.”] With that she bolted from the room.
As the young woman ran passed, Tera tried to yell at her to stay, but it did not stop her. She was already out the door.
The anthro woman was running out of options. Normally she’d try the defibrillator, but Pyrenians didn’t actually have hearts to try and jolt back into motion. Sure, there were systems to keep everything flowing, but it worked differently, and she wasn’t sure introducing a new trauma was going to help enough to risk it. The only other thing that came to mind was to just start CPR to keep things circulating and pray for the best. There was just one problem. She was just a single person, and the one she was banking on helping just ran out... Tera had an impossible decision. She needed to choose between the girls.
Kashia had no plans to stop before getting to her aunt’s room, but then she caught sight of a rather lost looking Jax. In his arms, he cradled their Tiefling captain, unmoving. She was getting very tired of finding people like this. [+orange “Is everyone on this fucking ship dropping dead?”]
The giant man was already fairly upset with this turn of events, and the shouting did not help him. He was confused, and it showed on his face. When Kashia finally recognized this, she took a softer tone. [+orange “Hey, big guy…”] She was only half sure of his name and didn’t want to confuse him further. [+orange “Tera is on the bridge, take him there and see what she can do.”] He nodded in response, so the woman just hoped he actually did it. She was determined not to waste any more time. Practically bouncing around him, she started off down the corridor again, still on route to see Rhea.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Dante made his way back to engineering though he heard the alarms long before he reached it. Stepping inside was a shower of sparking parts and loud sounds he attributed to the power cells being overloaded. It was like the usual hum yet there was a whining undertone to them as they were being pushed beyond their usual capacity.
Jax was off to one side, trying to get the computer to respond to him but with no luck and growing ever more frustrated. Stepping over to him, Dante placed a hand to his large arm thus taking his anger and attention from the computer. Nodding for him to step aside he took the large man’s place and his fingers began gliding across the keypad with ease. Though this was Jax’s domain, it was more for his skill in fixing the machines manually. The computers were still a sticking point beyond a moderate to advanced level of knowledge. Yet Dante had no such problems.
[+royalblue “It is the sail, fitted by Mr Atlas. It is drawing in the energy charge of the wormhole like a lightning bolt in a storm. The system has been struck several times and is overloading with the excess energy.”] He had the large man on his shoulder, nodding along as he listened, keen to know what was going on with great interest – especially given if they could not fix it then it could mean the end of his own life. Dante tried several pathways he knew but shook his head when after two minutes he was left with his third ‘unable to access/comply’ message.[+royalblue “I have brought the sail offline and we will no longer be struck by the wormhole. However the current charge within the system is still enough to tear the ship apart and we are unable to expel it into the void given the high electrical charge surrounding the ship.”] Essentially he was out of ideas of how to fix the fault.
[+darkgoldenrod “Cappy, how we get rid of power ‘den?”] He asked in his almost childlike naivety, bright shining eyes on the man below him. He looked on the blue skinned man as if this figure knew everything, could do anything, and would save them from this impending demise. In Jax’s simplistic view; Dante could do no wrong. It was just fortunate perhaps that Dante knew one thing to do.
Pulling back, the big man moving to the side, he walked across to one of the power cells that were easier to reach. Protected by a large metal grill he grasped onto two of the metal bars and began to pull. Usually it was a job for Jax given the weight of the metal alone, and even he would struggle with it. Yet Dante managed to lift off the grill covering and lowered it down to one side. With it removed he could look in on the exposed power cell. It was essentially two dishes separated by a foot of space between them where the power would flow from one point to another. Yet now, he could visibly see the power sparking across the void. It was a blinding white and the sound alone was like thunder each time it jumped across.
[+royalblue “Jax, I will attempt to remove the excess power from the system. I have shielded the rest of the ship from the pulse that will follow, but you will need to step back to avoid affecting your cybernetic implants. Once I have done so I will require you to reboot primary power couplings and reengage the main power system. Please complete my orders as I have given them to you before you attempt anything else.”] His golden eyes danced in the power flashes before him and he heard a very faint confirmation from behind him as the large man wondered what he would do.
Without another word Dante leaned forward into the power cell and placed a hand atop each of the two dishes. The moment his second hand touched the charge found a new receptacle for its discharge and began to drain into him, body shaking from the sheer energy that now flowed into him. Rather like the sail, he was now the rod. Like Frankenstein’s monster the power flowed into him, a static white film covered his skin. This white film began to expand as he drew more and more from the system, Jax turning away as it became too bright, excess amounts beginning to spark at nearby metallic items and causing the lights to flicker, whipping and cracking and snapping as it lashed out. Building up, the aura about Dante seemed to have no end before finally it erupted out from the teal skinned man. The lights overhead had turned off completely leaving Jax to quickly run to the terminal that had been protected to start everything back up once more. He took a little time, perhaps an additional minute, to bring all lights back on and restore the main power to the ship. In the bridge and in all the rooms, light would turn from red back to white as the issue was resolved.
[+red “Cap, we’re coming out of the wormhole now!”] Tera’s voice blurted out of the comms system as a little turbulence hit the ship once more, her voice cutting out in static before she closed it off.
Grinning that big ol’ grin of his, Jax clapped his hands.[+darkgoldenrod “Cappy did it! Cappy did it!”] He turned around, moving over to Dante in an excited manner, ready to congratulate his Captain and saviour, the man who could do no wrong. But he was on the floor now. Silly man. Kneeling down next to him he grabbed his arm and shook him.[+darkgoldenrod “Cappy did it, fixed the ship.”] There was no response.[+darkgoldenrod “Come on Cappy, now time to celebrate!”] Again he shook the man, shaking him repeatedly but rather gently.[+darkgoldenrod “Cappy.. are you sleeping?”] Pulling the man toward him his head rolled across, the markings and scars around his eyes shining brightly though his bright golden eyes were dull and mute. Although it was not quite making sense in Jax’s mind, as he rocked the lifeless body of Dante back and forth slowly, his smile fell away and his voice fell to just a whisper. Left by himself in the engineering room, his soft voice calling out to no-one;
[+darkgoldenrod “Wake up Cappy.. wake up..”]
/ 1y 147d 15h 12m 30s
Tangerine eyes widening, Kashia could not believe the captain was being so nonchalant about this. These were his kids, right? And how did he know they would be fine? Still, she didn’t have any better solutions so she made her way over to the younglings and picked them up. It was a very similar sight to when she first met them, but this time it was a much more difficult task. Everyone knew that the easiest way to slip out of someone’s grasp was to go limp. Still, the young woman managed to hold onto them as she situated herself into the chair and tucked the twins to either side of her. There was barely enough room for the three of them, but the tight squeeze would hold them in place.
Grabbing a hold on one of the girl’s wrists, she double-checked for a pulse. Nothing. They really were dead by all means. Feeling rather negative she thought of the saying: third times the charm. What if this time was it? What if they didn’t come back? Wrapping her arms around either of them, she closed her eyes tightly as the blaring of the warning signal screamed over them.
Now the ship was failing?! Kashia knew coming here was a bad idea. She should have said something before it got to this point. So much for trying to listen to orders and not be impulsive. That was the worst decision of her life and now they were all gonna die, not just her Aunt and these little ones, all of them!
[+orange "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck."] She kept repeating the obscenity under her breath. There was really no use to it, but it kind of made her feel the tiniest bit better. It was cathartic in a way.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat They were only just passing through, the wormhole covering the bridge of the ship when the girls had began to feel different. Just as the entire ship entered he heard Ino call out and in less than a minute later she and her sister had slumped over in their seats, leaning against one another as they lost their consciousness. Dante remained seated, even as Tera looked back in panic – she had not seen it happen before.
[+royalblue “Kashia, see to the girls. I want you to sit with them and keep them from falling over. They will be fine, we need to focus on leaving the worm-”] The ship rocked violently as if hit by some powerful force. It was like being hit by a weapon as once more the ship rolled out of the control of the dampeners. Tapping into his panel at his right hand Dante seemed calm and collected, running through systems and their sub routines with amazing speed as he tried to locate what was going on. It took him a few minutes, that time interrupted by several further hits that took out the lighting. Jax did his job, turning them to auxiliary lighting, deep crimson lights that bathed them all in a blood red light.
Dante found the answer and indeed they weren't being attacked by a weapon, but it seemed they were being struck by the anomaly about them.[+royalblue “The wormhole is striking us repeatedly with energy bursts, check the main power systems and get them back online Jax.”] He called out to Jax who was making fretting noises and pushing at his monitor in a similarly quick fashion.
[+darkgoldenrod “Cappy, power down. Overloading lots.”] As he said this a shrill alarm began to sound, a klaxon and cacophony of sound that threatened to deafen them before a voice sounded, a womans voice.
[b “WARNING. POWER SYSTEM FAILING. OVERLOAD OF THE MAIN POWER CELLS IMMINENT. RECOMMEND ALL CREW TO EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. WARNING-”] And so it went on, and on, several times over as Dante worked feverishly on his tablet to work over different solutions to the problem at hand.
[+red “Cap! Turn that damn thing off!”] Tera shouted back in fear, close to swearing though she had learned to control her tongue around the girls, conscious or not. With his left hand, not looking away from his right screen, the alarm was silenced and he continued on his work. Finding that things were overloading and he was unable to affect it through his seat he stood up.
[+royalblue “Jax, please accompany me to engineering. I need to see the power cells for myself to determine the solution.”] The large man was up and through the door in no time. But the voice of Tera behind stayed Dante at the doorway.
[+red “Cap, what do you want me to do?”] She looked at him for something, anything to show that he was in control and that this was not as bad as it seemed.
[+royalblue “Keep the ship on the current course. If you wish, perhaps you can help Kashia with the children.”] And with that short phrase he was out the door, heading to engineering with Jax.
/ 1y 147d 19h 38m 48s
Buzzing. That was the first thing anyone noticed. The girls, sitting on the bridge with everyone else, tried to black out the fear of the unknown by focusing on the task they had been given. Their small hands were at the ready to start the process of gathering data. They wanted to get as many snapshots into what was actually happening in this place as they could. But shortly after the whole ship was submerged in this mysterious place, the two of them began to feel eerily tired. Looking at one another, they waited a moment to confirm. They did not want to needlessly alarm anyone, but with their stamina quickly draining, Ino called out. [+violet “We’re getting sleepy again… like when we were on holiday…”] She did not know how else to describe it, and it took so much energy just to get those words out that the child wouldn’t be able to reword it even if she wanted to.
It was a matter of moments after that before both of the girls were out cold, the same as before. Not so much as a pulse between them. Coincidentally, Rhea was in the same condition back in her room.
Kashia, who had no clue what they meant about a vacation, looked over to see a pair of very sleepy girls. A state they were not in long before falling over one another. Her anxiety went though the roof. If this was happening out here, no doubt her Aunt was feeling it too. [+orange “Is this happening again… already?”] Because of their connection with Rhea, Kashia’s family liked to keep up to date with Pyreen and its natural inhabitants. But you didn’t need to be super on top of it to have heard of this. After all, it was pretty big news when a whole race of people fell over dead. That did mean, however, that Kashia knew that what happened a few weeks ago was not the first occurrence. There had been over a hundred-year gap in between. If that was indicator to anything, and she was no expert there, then this should not be happening again so soon.
Biting her lip, the Shelvi woman was trying to think of what to do, but every line of thought came up blank. She didn’t have the experience to know how to handle this, so she found herself looking to the older members of the crew, hoping one of them had a plan.
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