Original Content Transcripts 2: Chapter 10

edited by steve32 and B3CRE8TVE

Previous: https://arkmuse.org/threads/transcripts-2-chapter-9.448/

Xant was escorted back to the security office by one of the new recruits with a professionalism that only Suk seemed to uphold on the station. He returned to the unseemly sight of Jasmine and Rynard devouring their equivalent bodies’ weight in Waurdess Ah’tau. The captain had seen fit to dump an entire mound of the dried protein strip on the training room floor and the pair had sat down happily munching away talking between mouthfuls. The dogs were snapping their jaws taking piece after piece without any signs of stopping.
While the meal arrangement in the security office they had previously was an enlightening cultural exchange, Xant could not bring himself to join them in their current state; Arc and Suk especially looked uncomfortable.
The illusion of their dignified princess shattered.
Xant took this moment to go over the notes Nu had downloaded for him to examine the true extent that Jasmine's translator had on her as well as himself. The organ had threaded itself beyond the seamless surgery, growing thick veins and intruding in the original grey matter, but as Xant read the notes it appeared the translator was only working at 80% capacity. Human blood did not contain the same levels of oxygen and nutrients as the species of the Galactic Council, the organ was driving itself deeper in order to get the sustenance it needed. There was a great possibility the translator was stealing blood away from vital parts of Jasmine’s processing capabilities.
He was a little hesitant to properly examine his own brain scans; he couldn't quite believe how deeply the human's influence had infiltrated. Strange then, how so little nerve growth had appeared in the human’s own system.

Xant began forming a hypothesis, checking the notes for every detail he could before calling over to his charge. “Jasmine?”
“Muh-rha?” she called back with a mouth full. Xant visibly cringed as she swallowed before wandering over. “What's up?”
“I was looking over the medical reports and I believe I might be able to help you with your erratic pulses.”
“Oh? How?”
“You have been put under an incredible amount of Freq stress with no way to relieve it. I propose a meditation session, to help ease these concerns.”
“Really?” Jasmine asked sceptically, folding her arms.
“With every emotional outburst the translator learns to expel Freq, but it has no resistance or means to prevent an outburst because you have no feedback…,” the doctor held up his four fingers, wiggling them as he exposed his nerve tendrils, “unless the input is given to you manually.”
“So, you’re saying that because the translator can only send out an emotional signal, it's learning to send out every emotional signal?”
“More than that, it is increasing the emotional response inside you. If you are not careful another emotional outburst like that one could overload the translator and Freq-fry your entire nervous system.”
“Freq-fry? Is that as bad as it sounds?”
“Freq-frying burns the nervous system irreparably, causing either erratic signals, jitterjacking the patient or freezing communications completely leaving them stiffed.”
Jasmine didn't like what he was insinuating, ever since finding out her translator was actually an alien organ, she was a little on edge about alien tech. She stared pointedly at Xants nerve tendrils.
“You know, our last mediation session ended with you comatose…”
“Dr. Krydon has assured me of my new found strength, thanks to the continuous exposure to your Freq.”
“Exposure…” She raised an eyebrow, before shaking her head and burying her face into a hand. “You guys really have to stop treating me like a biohazard,” she sighed.
“Would you prefer we treat you as a radhazrd instead?” Xant replied offhandedly. His mind fretted, realising how harsh his joke was and began to apologise, but then he noticed the sardonic smile under her half hidden palm.
“Heh!” Rynard laughed, “You're getting more and more military by the [minute]!”
“If you think the meditation session will help, then we’ll do it,” Jasmine replied, the smile on her lips wide and sly. “Just as long as you promise not to give yourself ‘Jasmine poisoning’ okay?”
“Of course.”

They both sat down quietly in the corner, Jasmine cross-legged and closing her eyes, Xant on his knees with a hand extended to her ear.
“Are you ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.” She grimaced
Xant’s nerves entered Jasmine's vacant ear while she braced for the connection.
It was slimy, warm, and uncomfortable, the alien presence melting as it brushed up against her eardrum,
and then came the remarkable bit. It was like she had gained another limb, Jasmine could feel Xant with her, but not just that he was physically there, she could feel his shallow breathing, his slow heartbeat, his low body temperature, as though he was a part of her.

(<Calm>)Can you feel me, Jasmine?

When they were joined like this Xants voice didn't echo, it was confident and calm and was always accompanied by the strange sensation of running water, like the trickle of a stream around her ankles.

Yeah, I can feel you, it is hard to mistake that wet feeling- (<embarrassment>)oh my god I can't believe I thought that out loud- (<shame>) please forget I thought anything.

(<Calm>) It is alright Jasmine, it is that erraticness that we are here to solve. Please, try not to focus on me, but on yourself.

You know that focusing on myself is just going to make me feel more self-conscious about spiralling out of control right? It’s this nifty little self destruct mechanism humans have, tell us not to think about something and we’re eventually going to think about it to our detriment.

(<Calm>) When I asked you to focus on yourself, I was referring to your memories.

My, my memories?

Yes, after our time together I know now that you simply cannot ignore the stimuli around you. So, I propose that you find a memory that centres yourself, one that embodies the best aspects of you.

So, you're asking me to find my happy place?

It was weird feeling Xant laugh, like small splashes of water lapping at her legs and fingertips.

In a manner of speaking, yes. A memory of yourself, of who you are, relaxed and unthinking of the concerns of life.
Xant always made these things sound easy even when they were as vague as possible.

Finding myself? Maybe I should mention that people can take their entire lives to ‘find themselves’- no no, you're getting snarky for no reason. You ate, you shouldn't be snarky. Right, okay centre myself, centre myself, who am I?... What defines me, what memory defines me?

She decided to start with the obvious, who she was.
She was Jasmine, human, female, with ten fingers and ten toes, long brown hair, dark blue eyes, and a slightly crooked right tooth.
She liked food, summer, swimming, she loved her family, music…

You are doing very well Jasmine, hold onto that warmth.


Her home was warm, perfect blue skies and white sandy beaches, the best in the world they boasted. She imagined her home, the too small apartment that ‘technically’ overlooked the river so the landlord charged a fortune. She remembered sitting out on the balcony, soaking in the weekend sun and cooling off with a whisky and dry ginger ale. She remembered the cool, afternoon winds rolling off the ocean and over the city, bringing with it the smells of the sea and summer.
Her legs dangled over the edge of the wrought steel railing, squished between the spaces of the bars.
Purple Jacaranda flowers fell from the branches at the slightest gust and onto the handwoven rug of her balcony.
The beer bottle wind chime clinked and prompted a sip of her drink.

… Is that the sky?

Such an innocent question, Jasmine couldn’t help but smile.

Yeah… The endless blue sky.

It’s so bright and empty and… blue! Jasmine, I can see your memory as if it were my own!

The cool water of Xants presence swirled in wonder, flowing down her shoulders and back.
It made her shiver.

Wait, you can see it Xant? I thought that it was supposed to be hard to do that?

It is, it can take years to be able to share memories but, I can see the colours of your sky. It is beautiful.

Water fell from the balcony like a stream, a blackish green blob sat next to Jasmine, staring up at the sky.
The concrete of the balcony began to crack and weather.
The bright sunlight faded to a single spotlight, the sounds of wind and open-air fell silent.
Dark green moss and damp,
Fine droplets of water,
Large red leaves.
Running water.
Cool air.

Jasmine pulled back. The shock was enough to sever the connection between the two of them.
“What was that?!” She exclaimed.
The alien doctor withdrew his tendrils safely back into his fingertips as quickly as he could.
“That was my attempt to give you some feedback as it were.”
Jasmine rubbed her ear, sticking her pinky in to rid her canal of the sensation, before shuddering and holding herself tightly
“I’ve never felt anything like that before.” It was upsetting honestly, thoughts and feelings that weren't her own, another voice inside her head. “(It was awful)”
Xant nodded.
“Perhaps I did come on a little strong, you do have little to no experience with receiving Freq. It may come as even more of a shock with the new translator.”
“Is that what it's like with my Freq? You can feel me like that?”
“Not quite, a person’s Freq, their personal signature if you will, is defined by their strongest memories and how they will that memory. When I ‘feel’ you Jasmine, you are warm, bright and welcoming.”
She thought for a moment.
“But, you’re nothing like what I felt, it was cold and dark and… scary.”
The alien doctor smoothed the ears upon his head and spoke to her in a gentle voice.
“Unfortunately, my strongest memory is an unpleasant one. From a time before I worked for Essander on this station.”
“What happened?”
Xant took in a deep breath and made himself comfortable.
“Do you remember the red plant specimens in my office?”
Jasmine nodded in reply.
“I was a part of a government research team sent to investigate the newly reclaimed planet of Jothram. My team found the specimens in an overgrown and damaged biome, a natural mutation not found on any of our scanners or audchives. Our team was so excited about the discovery, we did not pick up the Vassal’s presence in the facility.”
“Vassal?” Jasmine asked.
“A Rajavan ‘soldier’,” Xant used the term loosely. “A creature engineered to kill and consume any sentient being not connected to the Rajavan network. The minimal amount of genetic matter needed to be a threat.”
“The minimal amount?...” Jasmine asked, and instantly regretting it.
“A vassal has arms, legs and a head. It has no eyes, ears or nose, it has no need of them, just a mouth and a gut to hold organic material. It has no sense of self-preservation or indeed of self, it would be wasted, as the Rajava control them through Freq. Once the creature has filled its cavity it is torn down and rebuilt empty again.”
There was a pause as Jasmine realised the horrific implications.
“I, I watched my team be devoured by the Vassal, while I used what little strength I had to hold the creature in place, almost stiffing myself in the process. If it were not for the Ranger security team tackling and melting the Vassal, I would be as my teammates are now.”
“God… I'm sorry,” Jasmine breathed.
“It is quite alright. If it were not for those events I would not have found myself here at Uleesia station, and I would not have met you,” Xant replied jovially.
Jasmine shook her head.
“God I don't think meeting me quite makes up for that horrific experience.”
“You underestimate yourself, Jasmine,” Xant replied, “I would happily stand by your side for as long as you wish it.”
Jasmine blushed. “Whoa, where's this coming from? I’m not that great really...”
Xant folded his arms behind his back. “You do not remember the events in the Executive director's office do you?”
“Well, I remember drinking waaay too much but everything is a little fuzzy after that.”
Xant then turned to Rynard, who was still eating from the pile of Ah’tau. “Captain? Might I request a Dataslate to view the security logs?”
“Sure, go right ahead!”
One of the new guards handed the doctor a slate, looking over Jasmine curiously before heading back on his side of the quarantine line.
Xant then proceeded to show Jasmine the footage, of her crying and greeting him and Rynard.
And then she heard the speech.
It was surprisingly eloquent and moving, considering how much she was slurring.
“Wow, that was, kinda cool...”
“I believe the term you are searching for is, profound.” He encouraged “You and I were served a similar set of dreadful circumstances, and while I shut down and isolated myself, you charged on with the fury and brilliance of a star.”
Jasmine smiled. “Xant?”
“Yes, Jasmine?”
“Don't ever let me drink that much again,” She laughed. “If I am ever that ‘profound’ a second time, I want to be able to remember it.”

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