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    kat's cradle chapter 1

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    Alethearia
    Jaynestown resident

    Fleet Rank : Captain
    Serenity Starfighter Corps : FSC Flight Commander
    Number of posts : 2149
    Location : STILL in a giant metal robot bent on DESTROYING the world! sigh
    Ship Name : USS Valiance
    USS Windsong
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-74109
    ....
    Ship Class : Intrepid
    Stormcrow
    Fleet Division : Starfighter Corps (The Fireflys)

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Angelina Eli

    kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:58 pm

    Joppa, the main port on Anodalii greeted them with the same respect that it greeted all others: rain, and lots of it. The arrival of an undistinguished Phillipia 63991 Rising Falcon didn’t seem to change its mood in the slightest. Sana’, swimming in her husband’s trench coat, was the first off of Phoenix.

    “I hate the rain,” she grumbled, “almost as much as I hate Anodalii. Not much here, is there?” Kip walked up behind her

    “Nope,” Kip answered without even thinking, “Nottin at all.”

    “Are you out of your mind?” Ace sauntered into the hatch to load a few empty crates onto a trailer behind the pod, which was now a gleaming shade of silver, instead of the yellowy dust it had been two weeks before. “Anodalii is full of culture, and color.”

    “Both of which being inside, and neither of which we get to see on this trip,” Kip said resentfully.

    “Spoil sport,” Ace grumbled, loading the last of seven crates onto the trailer behind the pod. Colton walked down the stairs at the back of the cargo hold, black leather coat billowing behind him.

    “Sana’, you’re staying behind with Kip this time. Lona, Hawkins, and Ace are coming with me this time,” Sana’ huddled herself tighter in Kip’s trench coat and walked inside next to him.

    “I hate the rain,” she grumbled, “at least on this planet.” Kip, being Nan Kari couldn’t disagree.

    Ace was sitting contentedly on the back of the pod, facing the crates.

    “You alright there, Ace?” Colton asked as he sat in the drivers’ seat and leaned back to talk to her, his arm over the back of the chair.

    “Right as rain,” Ace breathed deeply. “Not that that has anything with the fact that it’s raining. An here comes Lona!”

    Indeed, Lona floated down the stairs wearing an emerald green robe around who knows what she was wearing, presumably something elegant, seeing as how that was what Colton had asked her to where. In fact, he had asked Ace to wear something nice, which she did; a billowy pair of gray pants, and a fitted blue shirt tied together on either side of her waist and flowed to her knees. Lona slid into the passenger’s seat next to Colton.

    “Hawkins is on his way, he’s having a hard time trying to figure out what you meant by…” the sentence didn’t need to be finished. Hawkins was wearing what appeared to be a pair of black trousers, a green and blue striped shirt, a black vest, and a long tailored trench coat. He climbed on the back of the pod next to Ace, and declined his head to Colton.

    “Sir, I’m hoping that this will suffice.”

    “Yeah, that’ll do just fine. You clean up right pretty, Hawkins.” Hawkins gave a little bow again. Colton seemed more surprised, however, not at how nicely Hawkins dressed up, but at how much his human side showed when he did. “Let’s just hope that you meet up to Sheridan’s standards.”

    Colton revved up the engine. The pod slid out of the cargo bay into the rain and then swiftly to the dryness of the covered streets. Joppa was more or less a clean white city of spires and domes with no need for exterior cleaning, due to the almost constant rain. The main plaza, which on any other planet would have been out of doors, was covered by an enormous high fiber-lace Plexiglas dome. Due to some miracle of science the rain could physically be seen falling through the glass, but didn’t make contact with anything below the sixth story up. Colton continued to drive the pod in silence through the not-so-crowded streets around the corner to a large gray building that stuck out like very sore thumb on a bubbly, liquid looking hand. They pulled around the back of the bubbly building and Colton parked the pod with the empty crates near the back of the building’s parking complex.

    “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out,” Lona said to herself as she got out of the pod.
    “Raw hide!” Colton answered, Lona giggled, but she seemed to be the only one who got it, for Ace stared blankly at the two of them, and Hawkins was setting the alarm on the trailer’s security system. “You heard the lady,” said Colton taking an irate tone, “get a move on it!”

    Hawkins helped Ace out off the pod and offered her his arm in a gentlemanly fashion. She refused. “You take his ruddy arm, he’s to be playin the part of an honest gentleman, an’ he can’t very well do that if he don’t have some kinda respectable lady on his arm, can he.” He turned to Lona. “Milady?” She took his arm gingerly, but glanced behind his back at Ace with a look that clearly read “Yeesh!”

    “Yes sir,” said Ace in an undertone, though it was unlikely that Colton heard her.

    “Ace,” Hawkins said testily, “what’s…”

    “Shh,” she interjected, “does Cap seem different to you?” Hawkins took a moment to look him over. Colton seemed to be the same old Colton, as far as Hawkins could tell.

    “Yes, he seems just fine to me,” Hawkins answered.

    “Look at the way he walks,” Ace suggested. Hawkins looked more closely. Indeed, Colton’s usual swagger was replaced with a strut that said in an underhanded way: “I’m the supreme overlord, now if you’d please get out of my way; I’ll try not to hurt you…too badly.”

    “What do you suppose…?”

    “Shh,” Ace interjected again. The four of them had just walked into the elevator on the other side of the parking garage and all went quiet, that is, until Ace started asking questions, lots of questions.

    “Hey, Cap?”

    “Yes Alimah?” Ace stepped back and cocked her head at him.

    “Cap?”

    Colton said in an agitated tone, “That’s your name, and that’s what everyone will be calling you until we’re safely out of the city, yuh hear?”

    “Yes sir,” Ace nodded, slightly confused. “Erm...Cap?”

    “Yes Alimah?” This time his tone was flat.

    “Who is this Sheridan, that we’ve gotta be getting’ all dressed up like this?” Ace let go of Hawkins’ arm.

    “Just…an old friend,” was all Colton answered. Ace stepped around Colton and pushed his shoulder until he was looking at her. He stood a full head over her.

    “Who is he that he scares you into being a gentleman?” Colton’s hard chocolate eyes met Ace’s soft compassionate blue ones and everything seemed to make sense. Lona and Hawkins migrated away from the two of them by the door, and awaited the conflict in the far corner. Ace pushed the button that stopped the elevator, her eyes never leaving his; it came to an abrupt halt.

    “Sheridan…well…he…he was the one that convinced me to join in the war. It’s…well it’s…” Colton was at a loss. How could explain the deep seeded bitterness that stood between the two men? Luckily Lona interjected, in a short timid tone.

    “Then why did we take the job?” Ace asked in her innocent way. Colton breathed deeply, closing his eyes in agitation.

    “Because we got a direct K-line from an old friend sayin that there was good work to be had at Anodalii, and that the guy with the job was a real classy type of guy. Ruddy traitor! Never woulda suspected him to make it this far in anything.” Colton opened his eyes, Ace was still staring gingerly up at him, and he couldn’t help but smile.

    “Uh…” was all he managed to say, he was fairly unskilled at semi-touching moments like this. Ace feeling the sudden impropriety of the moment – seeing as how they were about to meet a new and disposable employer – looked away.

    They were then greeted by a calm voice that was slathered with a lithesome sweetness that said: “Please do enter.” Ace cringed at the sound of it, hunching slightly and staring at Colton’s navel. Then abruptly Colton cleared his throat, and Ace looked up at his face once again. He gave her a look that clearly read, “Oh boy, here we go,” and offered her his arm. She took it gracefully.

    “Please,” the sultry voice spoke again, “come in, come in. Have a seat.” Oddly enough his voice sounded similar to an old friend of hers, which threw her off slightly.


    Last edited by Alethearia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Alethearia
    Jaynestown resident

    Fleet Rank : Captain
    Serenity Starfighter Corps : FSC Flight Commander
    Number of posts : 2149
    Location : STILL in a giant metal robot bent on DESTROYING the world! sigh
    Ship Name : USS Valiance
    USS Windsong
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-74109
    ....
    Ship Class : Intrepid
    Stormcrow
    Fleet Division : Starfighter Corps (The Fireflys)

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Angelina Eli

    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:06 pm

    Hawkins, leading Lona by the arm, walked first into the well-lit room. The room itself was large, covering nearly half the gray building, but was divided into sections by folding curtains. In the center of the room was a squat round coffee table upon which was placed a large vase filled with water and two small water frogs and a rather leafy plant. Set at symmetrical points on the side of the table closest to them was a pair of steely blue armchairs. On the other side of the table was a wide sofa in the same steely blue hue. Behind and to the right was a large work area complete with desk and monitor. The whole back wall was a massive slanted window with a sweeping view of the rain-covered city. In the middle of the sofa was a tall thin man, thinner than Colton remembered. He stood as they entered; placing the mug he had just been drinking from on a perfectly placed coaster on the coffee table. He was smiling. Apparently he had expected a bit more of a cheerful group than this one.

    “Sheridan,” Colton said stoically, offering a stiff hand for him to shake.
    “That’s who I am,” there was a moment’s silence between the two men. Ace stepped back; Lona grabbed her arm and pulled her closer. In an instant Colton and Sheridan had each other at gunpoint. “Dowenwarr.”

    “It’s always nice to know that an old friend remembers his own.” Colton’s demeanor relaxed slightly, “Not that I’m categorizing myself with the likes of you.” Sheridan raised his wrist and cocked his pistol. Colton straightened. “Alright, I guess you’re not in the talkin mood. You see, if we have no talkin we have no business.”

    “I guess not,” was Sheridan’s short, curt reaction.

    “After all this trouble of getting all gussied up to meet you?” said Colton in a falsely polite tone. “Come on Reg, no time to talk to an old war buddy?”
    Sheridan’s voice became more of a growl as he said, “Your services are no longer necessary!”

    “Hang on,” Ace interjected, “so you went through all that trouble a requestin someun to work this job, an now that you’ve got someun to do the job fer yuh, you won’t take ‘em because of a tiff you had several years ago? Do I have that right?” Sheridan stared at her blankly.

    “Excuse me miss, but you seem to have a little Ausie in yuh. Any chance that you might be from the old homestead?” Ace looked slightly confused.

    “I don’t know about any homestead, but if you mean the way I talk, I’ve been speakin like this fer as long as I can remembuh.”

    “I see,” Sheridan lowered his pistol. Colton did the same. Then Sheridan walked around the couch to the desk and withdrew a small silver sphere. He returned the table and handed it to Ace. “All of the instructions for the job are in there. If there are any slip ups, it’s on your head.” Ace took the sphere and pocketed it automatically.

    “Thank you,” she said with a little curtsy.

    “Just get it done quick and clean.” Ace nodded again.

    As they left the room Sheridan and Colton exchanged a look that might have been mistaken for throwing darts with all the hatred between the two men, but Ace tugged at Colton’s arm, pulling him out of the room. Lona likewise glared at Sheridan, though her reasoning was a little less obvious than Colton’s loathing.
    “Let the Zaichanan do the loading,” Sheridan shouted as the doors closed. They all gave a collective sigh of relief on the other side.

    “I knew we kept you for something,” Colton said with a note of triumph. “Lucky for us Reginald’s family originated in Australia.”

    “Where?” Ace asked with an honest air of no knowledge whatsoever.

    Lona leaned over to Ace and said, “I’ll show you later.” Ace nodded. At the bottom of the elevator there Ace withdrew the silver sphere and tossed it to Colton. He caught it and toyed around with it trying to figure out how it worked. Lona walked up behind him, snatched the ball out of his hand, and turned it over. She then spun the top half of the ball while holding the bottom. It clicked around three times before she stopped it and spun it vertically in the same manner. The sphere hovered slightly in her hand and opened like a flower to reveal a small hologram of Reginald Sheridan. He began to speak, but was hard to understand because Hawkins, Ace, and Colton were crowding around Lona and the sphere making an awful amount of ruckus.
    “Hey, if you even want to hear what he’s gotta say, yawl had better hush up!” Lona finally blurted out in frustration. She then took the knob on the bottom of the blossom and twisted it back which effectively rewound it. “Here we go,” she announced.

    “Excuse me current and/or temporary employee of my company, I would like to thank you for taking this your precious time to do a basic transport for me. As you may or may not know already I have hired you because of your extraordinary skill not only with people, but also with handling cargo as delicate and …shell we say classified as this.” There was a brief moment where in Colton and Lona snickered, but it was generally ignored.

    “This supply of cargo is well counted; if any are missing I will know automatically: tracers, you know. The crates are in a storage room just outside of the city. The unit is Jaded Arms number K-13, the password to enter is aquamarine. Be sure to remember well my advice.” The blossom closed itself and Lona pocketed it.
    “You heard the man,” Colton announced, “let’s get outta town.” Hawkins helped Ace onto the back of the pod and hopped on next to her. Lona beat Colton to the driver’s seat, to which he grumbled.

    Lona’s driving was a little more haphazard than Colton’s collected driving. She zipped out of the parking garage with an abruptly sharp turn into the plaza.

    “Yeah,” Ace hollered as they nearly hit a shrubbery.

    “HO!” Hawkins called as the trailer nearly tipped. “Lona, watch what you’re doing!”

    “Sorry!” she yelled back. “We’ll be there in a minute, and then you can all pile out.”

    “No,” Hawkins replied in agitation, “the trailer!” Lona glanced over her shoulder with a look of total shock, but received a greater shock when she turned back to the warm and smiling face of a shabby dog. Luckily for her Colton had hit the brake on his side.

    “I knew that I installed that thing for a reason,” he said a bit exasperated. “You’re movin.” Colton continued, hopping out of the pod, “I’m drivin.” Lona obliged her brother. “There is also a reason that I never let you drive with that trailer.” Lona rolled her eyes. It was not often that she got lectured on her poor driving skills.

    “Hypocrite,” she mumbled as she walked around the craft. Colton drove calmly the rest of the way and needless to say they made it to the Jaded Arm Storage unit in one piece. The four of them piled out of the pod and, Ace leading the way came to the unit K-13.

    “Aquamarine,” Ace said softly in her clearest accent. The door to the unit slid up revealing a large quantity of bread box sized wooden crates well stuffed with cotton and straw. “I think that it’s gonna take more than one trip.” Colton looked at her with the straightest, and yet the most comical look of duh Ace! She just smiled to herself. “Well, let’s get to moving.” Colton made to pick up an armful the crates. “Wait!” Colton nearly dropped the lot of them on his feet.
    Colton turned on her. “What you yellin at me fer?”

    “Didn't you hear our employer?” Hawkins interjected. Colton looked at him as if he didn't know what he was talking about.

    “He said that Ace should make sure that I moved the merchandi...” Colton passed by Ace and Hawkins, handing the miniature crates to Lona who promptly tossed them into the trailer.

    “I ain't never gonna listen to anythin Sheridan says...aside from getting the shipment in.” Ace cocked an eyebrow.

    “Whatever you say, Cap.” Lona returned to the group, and withdrew a pack of gum. She carefully unwrapped one end, drew a stick, unwrapped it and folded it onto her tongue. She then stuffed the wrapper in her pocket. “Anyone else want one?” Ace raised her hand, Colton gestured that he wanted one.

    Hawkins declined with, “I don't understand what you humans find so wonderful about sugar glazed rubber chew.” Ace stopped chewing.

    “Are you serious?” she exclaimed with the gum in her cheek.

    “No,” Lona said calmly between chews, “at least not the kind I get. It's made from the Helmite gum trees.” Ace swallowed the gum without noticing. “Well, not the whole tree. The saps what it's mostly made a.” Colton – who was not paying attention to there talking – had loaded another armful of the small crates onto the trailer.

    “Lets get 'er finished,” Colton grunted. The three of them finished the first load and Colton drove them back to Phoenix at a slow and steady pace. The ride took all of a silent twenty minutes. Hawkins was the first to begin the unloading process, the only one in fact. Lonna left for the engine room. Colton and Lona left the second that Hawkins unloaded the last crates.

    Alethearia
    Jaynestown resident

    Fleet Rank : Captain
    Serenity Starfighter Corps : FSC Flight Commander
    Number of posts : 2149
    Location : STILL in a giant metal robot bent on DESTROYING the world! sigh
    Ship Name : USS Valiance
    USS Windsong
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-74109
    ....
    Ship Class : Intrepid
    Stormcrow
    Fleet Division : Starfighter Corps (The Fireflys)

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Angelina Eli

    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:07 pm

    If there was any word to describe Hawkins' mood it would have to be frustrated. The first thing that he would have done both before and after transportation would be to check the goods and what condition they were in, such was the Zaichanan tradition of trade. Seeing as how Colton did not permit him to do this in the first place, he was contented to do so after the transport. Hawkins walked to the large crate of tools and junk on the far side of the cargo bay and retrieved a crowbar. He then opened the first crate he came to. Inside of the crate, buried in a layer of straw was a bundle wrapped in soft cheese cloth. Hawkins picked up the object, examined it curiously and unwrapped it. Layer after layer of cloth dropped to the floor. Then he reached it. At the very core of the bundle was a root cluster with clumps of dirt attached, and a small leafy vine. The plant was young, very young, still barely grown from it's seed. Hawkins was so shocked that he nearly dropped the seedling.

    “Colton!” he growled in rage before bending over and placing the seedling back in it's crate. Then he set to work gently placing each miniature crate upright. In the mist of his agitated clean up act Sana' came down the stairs, her red and gold robe fluttering about her ankles.

    “Hawkins?” she asked calmly, touching him on the shoulder. He started at her touch.

    After seeing her face he relaxed a little and said, “Oh, it's just you Sana'. Colton...”

    “What did he do this time?” She asked in an understanding tone. Hawkins sighed deeply, stopped stacking the small crates, glanced at her, and picked up one of the crates opening it for her to see. “That ignorant pig!” She then took a deep breath and said, “here let me help you.” together they stacked all the small crates into a corner.

    “It would be better if we could get some of those metal tubs and line the bottom with a small layer of water or something,” Sana' suggested, but Hawkins had another idea.

    “I'm going to send a K-line to Aven. He specializes in hydroponics and should know what to do.” Hawkins then took off to either the bridge or his quarters (each containing K-line portals).

    K-lines were a unique form of interstellar communication developed around the same time that layline navigation systems started being used. It was most peculiar in the sense that it was an actual 3-D image that was then dropped out of the continuum into the wormhole guidance system commonly known as jumping. From there the message would attach itself to a predetermined destination path to the location of the nearest rally point located in jump space. From there the messages would be simultaneously shot through destination paths to their targets. The whole theory behind would have been simple enough if it weren't for the fact that the jumping wasn't invented by any of the common races. In fact it was discovered by the Nan Kari by accident, but that was in the golden age before the Nexus.

    Colton, Lona and Ace had returned before Hawkins finished sending the K-line, and started unloading the second batch of tiny crates. Ace was the only one who stopped unloading to when she saw Sana' kneeling over the neatly stacked pile of the first batch. Ace walked over to Sana' curiously.

    “What you doin?” she asked Sana' in a child like tone. Sana' didn't say a word, instead she simply cracked open one of the crates and unwrapped the tiny vine contained within. Ace gasped as she dropped the crates she was holding. Then, seeing what she had done she erected them and stacked them in the pile.

    “You've gotta show this to Colton,” Ace told Sana' in a hushed tone.

    “I'm not going to tell him you tell him!” she said a little louder than she had intended.

    “Show me what?” Colton had just dropped his armful of crates in with the pile of other crates. Then he saw the vine and kind of gawked at it until Hawkins came back with the K-line from Aven.

    “He says that the best thing to...do...is to...” he said in a voice that slowed to a stop when he saw Colton standing there hovering over the vine. “Colton?”
    Colton appeared flabbergasted, shifting his gaze between the vine and Hawkins' lack of comprehension at Colton's stunned lack of understanding.

    “Why would?...plants...i don't...what were you gonna say?”

    Hawkins took a deep breath as if about to explain nuclear physics to a six-year-old that inhabited a twenty-nine-year-old body. “I did as any Zaichanan would have done and checked the cargo to be sure that it was cared for properly. When I discovered they were vines I stood them erect and decided to send a K-line to Aven, who is in fact a hydorponicist. This is what he said.” Hawkins held out the small black disc that the K-line portal spat out at the receival of each message. He activated the message by pressing the side tab and a miniature Aven appeared in perfect clarity.
    He started by erupting: “What are you doing transporting plants?! It's illegal to transfer any plant or animal life out side of NCT authorization, especially endangered species of vine like the kind you've described. But then again I am talking to pirates...what am I saying I am a pirate. Anyway! The best thing to do would be to cryo freeze them until you can get them to the caretakers...yeah, that'd be my best bet. Good luck with the plant things, I've got work to do.”

    “Oh! So that's what the big thing in the back of the storage unit's for!” Lona exclaimed. “Well, now that I know what it is, I can figure out how it works. You guys stay here and figure out this mess, Colt and I'll go get the last load and the flash freezer.” Colton nodded absent mindedly and followed his sister to the pod and out of Phoenix. Hawkins put the plant away and started the routine of stacking the tiny crates.

    It took several hours for Lona to hook up the cryogenerator working, by that time, Hawkins had given up on trying to make anyone aside form Ace and Sana' that plants were meant to be cherished, and Colton was in one of his moods.

    ~~~

    “Ha! Finally that darn...” Lona was fidgeting with the final wiring of the cryogenerator when Ace walked in; back in her normal baggy denim pants and hot pink shirt.

    “What's wrong with it?” Ace asked as she leaned against a large crate near where Lona was working. Lona turned around with a start.

    “Uh, that Sheridan guy had this thing all rigged backwards. All that I should have to do now is...ah, there.” The tank looking thing began to hum steadily and emit a light vapor. “Do you want to help me with this?” Ace jumped at suddenly being addressed.

    “Sure.” The two of them began to gently place the plants in the machine; each one made a little hiss as it entered the chamber of the machine.
    Hawkins walked over them on the railway while they were in the middle of the process. “Did you figure it you yet?” he called.

    Lona waved him off saying, “Yeah, we've got it handled!” Hawkins kept walking up to the mess hall.

    Alethearia
    Jaynestown resident

    Fleet Rank : Captain
    Serenity Starfighter Corps : FSC Flight Commander
    Number of posts : 2149
    Location : STILL in a giant metal robot bent on DESTROYING the world! sigh
    Ship Name : USS Valiance
    USS Windsong
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-74109
    ....
    Ship Class : Intrepid
    Stormcrow
    Fleet Division : Starfighter Corps (The Fireflys)

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Angelina Eli

    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:08 pm

    The mess hall was empty, save the pots and pans hanging over the counter in the far corner. Hawkins sat at one of the tables nearest the window. He stared at what he could see of his reflection. At first glance he appeared human, but upon closer inspection he found that his eyes were abnormally large and luminous, like that of an oversized cat. His skin was a pale yellow, and on occasion the faintest streak of orange would cross his arm, leg, or back. The final and perhaps the most prevalent Zaichannan trait that he possessed could only be detected by an extensive medical exam; his skeletal structure was grossly abnormal in comparison with any humans. His bones were formed of a less brittle substance than the calcium compound that humans had. Instead they were made of a flexible, almost rubbery compound that allowed for more mobility. His spinal column was, instead of the normal separate vertebrae, a thin cylindrical tube surrounded by thousands of tiny, super condensed muscles that could in themselves carry tons. This flexibility and strength also extended into his entire major body systems, making it extremely difficult to damage them by any kind of mêlée action. Hawkins stared at himself, computing these differences for some time, not noticing Tommy walk in behind him.

    Tommy got himself some kind hot drink and walked to the table where Hawkins sat inert. He put his coat on the back of the chair next to Hawkins and sat down, placing his mug on the table. He almost looked as if he had a hang over. Hawkins jumped at the sudden movement. Tommy sighed then looked over at Hawkins as if in sudden realization that there was someone there. Hawkins looked back at him with equal shock. Then Tommy smiled, took a sip of his hot drink, and patted Hawkins on the shoulder.

    “Don’t worry kid, there’s someone out there for you,” Tommy said turning out towards the window. Then he looked back at Hawkins, “she just might not be Ace.” Hawkins hunched over in his chair, placing his hands in his lap and shaking his head.

    “Somehow, I highly doubt that,” he replied. “My entire home world was destroyed when the Mind went on their rampage, there was only a handful of ships that escaped. My mother was on one of them, she was pregnant and I was about three. It would take a miracle for me to either find one of those few females that managed to escape, or one of another race that’ll have me.” He looked up earnestly at Tommy. “I’m a drifter, remember? A Zaichannan one at that.”

    Tommy couldn’t help but feel fatherly at that point an placed his arm around the little yellow boy from a blown up world, and let him be upset about his own problems – even if it was just for a little while.

    “Zaichannans aren’t that compatible with many other races,” Hawkins admitted “…at least not the ones from our side of the verse.”

    “Then where did you get such a human name as Hawkins?”

    Hawkins breathed deeply, “My mom raised us on a human colony. A human by the name of Allen Hawkins took us under his wing. He eventually fell in love with my mother and we took his last name. My sister, Shayo, was raised as his own.” Rey chuckled. “It’s funny though, mom and I look more human than she did. Shayo definitely took after our father.”

    Tommy blinked at Hawkins. “So…did your mother and this Allen guy have any…?”
    “No,” Hawkins interjected, “Humans and Zaichannans are incompatible.” There was an awkward silence between the two of them that lasted what seemed like an eternity, but happened to be only a matter of seconds. Tommy removed his arm from Hawkins’ shoulder.

    “What’s your real name anyway? The full one I mean.” Hawkins turned to face Tommy.
    “Elturey Shirovienaska Vioshaknal.” Tommy stared at Hawkins blankly. “Now do you see why I go by Rey Hawkins?” Tommy nodded. Hawkins got tired of Tommy’s company and left for his quarters.

    ~~~

    Four hours passed. Hawkins was still in his bunk, contemplating what happened to his sister. It was brilliant timing on her part that allowed her to chance contact, even if only for a few seconds. She stood above his bed, leaning over him, her hair falling into his face.

    “Shayo?” He made to sit up. She silenced him with a wave of her hand. He lay back down on his bed.

    “Shh, I haven’t much time. The founders are getting very close to knowing that I’m not what they’re looking for.”

    “What are they looking for?”

    “Shhhhhh! I told you that I didn’t have much time! They’re searching for the Nexus. It’s not who you think that it is…A.C.E. is the first generation. A long time ago the Harmanian created the LINK on the way to creating the MIND. E.V.E. was the perfected version, and the last if you will, the only one that could destroy them. A.C.E. was the first…. neither are the Nexus! Look for…” Shayo glanced over her shoulder fearfully at something that wasn’t there. “I have to go, Tawnya…Tawnya will know…” With that Shayo vanished suddenly, as opposed to the gradual fade that she normally did. She must have been in containment…how would he explain this to Ace let alone any others of the crew? Either way, it was time to let them know.

    ~~~

    Dinner was another five hours later; it was a group meal. The smaller square tables were pulled together two make a large table that everyone sat around. Colton sat at the head, then – going clockwise – Ace, Hawkins, Tommy, Sanna’, Kip, and Lonna. The meal was something that was somewhat hard to describe: a concoction of protein of some kind. The meal was oddly silent. Most meals were jubilantly filled with chatter, laughter, and generally some kind of fight, this meal, however, was somewhat solemn.

    Once most people had finished Colton got up the nerve to ask Ace about the small sphere that Sheridan had tossed her.

    “It’s kind of hard to explain, I’ll just play it for you.” She withdrew the small sphere, turned the top half counterclockwise twice, and then turned it vertically once. A small wire came out. Ace withdrew the wire and inserted in on the opposite side of the sphere, then placed it on the center of the table. The sphere flowered open. The room dimmed when the projector opened, a small vivid hologram appeared in the middle of the flower that was the ball. Sheridan began to speak.

    “As you may well have found out due to Zaichannan inventory packing, the cargo that you are to be transporting is highly classified and it is of the utmost importance that you fly under the radar. These small plants,” the hologram turned into a projection of the vines that were now in the cryo storage unit, “are in fact vines. Grape vines to be more precise. They have been genetically engineered to suit even the most volatile regions of the rough terraforming process.” The hologram zoomed into the core of the plants displaying the double helix of the plant’s genetic structure. “My factory has been working on the exact genetic structure for years. This is the first batch,” the hologram turned back to Sheridan, “and they are to be safely transported to the New Terra system. Io is your final destination. Look for the Chief prospector, he’ll know what to do with the shipment, just tell him that it’s the new shipment from Sheridan. The rest of your payment will be waiting for you there. I entrust you with this task and certainly hope that all goes well.” The hologram folded itself back into the sphere and the room returned to normal.
    Colton stood there for a few moments. Then rested his head on his fist. “Huh,” was all that he said. Ace took the ball back. “Well then,” Colton finally managed, “Kip you have a heading.” Kip nodded.

    The room went silent again. Hawkins’s heart started racing, he swallowed hard, and stood up. Ace looked at him skeptically. Everyone else seemed to be confused.
    “Colton,” he began.

    “Hawkins.” Colton replied.

    “I also have a bit of news.”

    “What kind of news,” Colton deadpanned.

    “The kind that may affect more than just us.” Colton cocked an eyebrow.

    “Hawkins,” he said warningly.

    “We all know that you are on some kind of treasure hunt to find something having to do with the lost Harmanian Empire.” He stepped around his chair, and leaned on the back of it. Colton still looked at him quizzically. Ace shot him a warning glance, Lonna did the same, Kip and Sanna’ both seemed intrigued, and Tommy seemed…totally oblivious. “I know for a fact that this chase would eventually have led you to the heart of Earth, straight to Tawnya Holloway. She know something about what you’re looking for that we need.” Colton sat bolt upright.

    “We? Hawkins, what is going on?”

    Hawkins breathed deeply, “The founders took my sister a year and two months ago…they think that she’s the Nexus.”

    “But I thought…”Lonna said unsurely before being interrupted by Hawkins.

    “It doesn’t matter what any of us thought, the fact of the matter is that they have two more tests before they discover that she isn’t. Granted each test takes roughly two weeks, however, four weeks isn’t all that long.”

    “What does Tawnya have to do with your sister and Colton’s quest?” Ace asked without thinking. Then she stopped in mid-thought, “how do you know all this anyhow?”

    Hawkins leaned forward; this would be hard to explain. “Zaichannans have a unique ability to astroproject with compatible neuronets…sibblings fit in this category. But the Founders have a way of tracking this so she can only do it at odd intervals for short amounts of time. How she reached you,” he gestured to Ace, “is beyond me. But she reached me for what could be the last time. She said that I need to find Tawnya; that she’d know what to do. There was something about the true Nexus and E.V.E. and…” he paused. Should he mention A.C.E.? “That’s it.”

    Colton nodded, shook his head, and then nodded again. “Call up Kat,” he said flatly. “We’re heading for Earth after this next drop.”

    ~there's more but i haven't finished typing it yet.

    there's way less detailed discriptions here so it might be easier to understand. also the fact that we jump right into explaining what all's going on might actually help.

    Alethearia
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    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:48 am

    I know, it's rough. It was originally my second chapter, but it makes more sense here. So there is some sloppy chopping and words that don't fit. but basic idea.

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    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:43 pm

    Sana' Karrimah sat at teh Navigations station of th ebridge. The visor that looped around her ear displayed a acreen over her eyes which gave her face a eiry aqua green glow. Fingers working vigerously over a translucent holo-keyboard, Sana' collected the desired data.

    Words poured acrossed the wide display screen above the keyboard. They tricked fapidly as Sana' sifted through them, her visor catching key words and phrases and crossrefferencing them. The news reprots were only a matter of hours old given their proximity to Earth, but ther were millions of entries. The war with the Nan'Kari had raged for the past five years. Sana' couldn't help ut feel a strong twinge of guilt. Millions of lives spent because of her rash actions. She had to remind herself that the war would have started with or without her, that she would have died in a week had she stayed. Sana' still remembered the news vids about the bombing of the embassy. Her father had died in the explosion. She wondered that she didn't feel any remorse over him. Maybe she was still in denial.

    The humans had jumped all over the idea that the Nan'Kari government had planned the whole thing. Some roumers even traced the tyrany back to the matron mother. Truth be told that was not the reasoning behind the war just the catalist. Much like ancient Earth history witht he civil war, this war was faught over unity and slavery. Humanity was fighting for its freedom; Nan'Kari: their soverignty.

    The Nan'Kari government blamed the war, and the explosion for that matter, on the "kidnapping" of their finest pilot - not to mention the matron mother's personal property - Kipnan Kar'Imah in truth he had "kidnapped" Sana'. Both of their wanted posters had been slapped up everywhere. It if hadn't been for the Rhune, they would have never made it out of Nan;Kari space.

    Sana' mused over the Nan'Kari other reasoning for the war: the death of the Exicorlion heir. She just so happened to actually be the Pilot of the Rhune. Five years of running, no change.

    Kip entered the room the bridge. Sana' acknowledged him with a wive and a smile while still surveying the endless feeds. His long silken tale inadvertently brushing her hand. It sent shivers down her spine. Kip was one of the eliet Nan'Kari, code named Leonan. His features were similar to that of the feline complete with muzzle, fur, tail and whiskers. A light mane of fur ruffled from the top of his head tot he scruff of his neck. Sana' noted for teh missionth time how the blue of his cat-like eyes contrasted his gray fur. He walked on the balls of his elongated feet, giving him the advantage of an aditional six inches on top of his already extraordinary height.

    Slumped in the pilot's sling, Kip began to fiddle with teh pendent around his neck. His sister gave that to him, Sana' smiled and flicked off her visor, instantly saving all the data she had retrieved and locking the atricle she was scowering. The keyboard and display screen winked out, leaving a blank slate-gray terminal. Sana blinked and the terminalfor a moment, it reminded ehr of an old fashioned school desk. Shaking the thought, she walked Kip embracing him from behind.

    "Shuun ral fey, my Kiplanar."

    Kip continued to stare and the pendent in his finger. It was an eagle, or bird of prey of some kind, wings splayed up in two great arches, meeting at the wing tips. Its tallons held two small spheres. It had no eyes. The family crest of the Kar'Imah clan and undisputed Nan'Kari symbol of unity.

    "You should speak in the back of your throat, and with a flat tongue. Like the Solarian French dialects." He said flatly in impeckable American English. "Thank you though. I love you as well."

    Sana' nuzzled his soft mane. When she spoke, her voice was muffled.

    "What are you thinking?"

    Kip let out a deep sigh. "That my family crest means unity, but all I've done is widen the rift of all our worlds."

    "A rift that was already light years wide. You can't blame yourself." Sana' tried to comfort him, through, not a moment ago, the same thought had been running through her head. Her thoughts turned to a question. When will this war end? Then another question.

    "How close are we to the Valiance?"

    Kip sighed, grabbed Sana's hands, and pulled her around to sit on his lap. She situated comfortilby, curling into his chest. This was something that she did not miss about unmarried life: informal protection. But five years of married life did have its setbacks, a lack fo children not being the least of them. They had discovered soon after marriage that Kip couldn't father children on her. It was that damnable ratial barrier.

    "Tawnya, then who knows."

    "Kip? I...I feel..."

    "Feel what?" Kip completely wrapped himself around her.

    "Empty," Sana' reftained from crying.


    __________________________________________________________


    Ero found herself mourning the passing of the sandwich more than she did the smashing of the chain-linked fence via a giant ancient aircraft, much to the dismay of the chain-linked fence. And, where the fence able to convey it's sorrow over not being mourned, perhaps Ero might have mourned the fence as well...but seeing as how the fence couldn't talk, and she was too busy trying not to be run over and turned into a green and purple mess (much like her bemourned sandwich), Ero found herself quite content not mourning the destruction of the government's once pristine chain-linked fence.

    Reanna Aloi
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    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Reanna Aloi on Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:47 am

    Hrm! The dinner thing was rather awkward but you know what? It did help the situation. So I wouldn't worry about changing it. Sometimes if the reader sees something awkward, at just the right time. Well! Its good! hehe


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    Alethearia
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    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

    Post by Alethearia on Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:52 pm

    sweet! thank you. was kinda worried about that. ^^


    __________________________________________________________


    Ero found herself mourning the passing of the sandwich more than she did the smashing of the chain-linked fence via a giant ancient aircraft, much to the dismay of the chain-linked fence. And, where the fence able to convey it's sorrow over not being mourned, perhaps Ero might have mourned the fence as well...but seeing as how the fence couldn't talk, and she was too busy trying not to be run over and turned into a green and purple mess (much like her bemourned sandwich), Ero found herself quite content not mourning the destruction of the government's once pristine chain-linked fence.

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    Re: kat's cradle chapter 1

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