Original Content Transcripts 2: Chapter 17

#1
Previous:https://arkmuse.org/threads/transcripts-2-chapter-16.473/

Edited by Steve32 and B3CRE8TVE


Xant looked over Jasmine’s unconscious body.
He reached out to hold her hand, it was lifeless but warm to the touch. Micromovements under her eyelids and the gentle rise and fall of her chest were the only indications she may not be completely lost.

“I need to speak to Laandi,” Xant announced more to himself than to Pa.

“What?!” the poor assistant yelped as her previously comatose patient was now barreling toward the ward’s door with an uncompromising determination.

“Dr. Xant please! I need to get CMO Krydon to-” Pa tried to stand in his way, but he simply went around her. She had no hope of stopping him physically, he was almost three times her mass!


“I don’t have time.” Xant growled, frustrated with how hard it was to focus his thoughts.

“But Doctor!-”

“I need to speak to Laandi NOW! (I need to speak to Laandi NOW!!)” Xant snapped, freezing Pa in her paces. “(Too much, too far) I don’t have time…” Xant left the stunned Pa as he ran down the empty station halls.
“(I shouldn’t have yelled at her, it wasn’t her fault.)” His guilt echoed loudly, “(She was only doing her job-)” Xant shook his head violently, “Nako is trying to take Jasmine off station; I don’t have time to waste on protocol,” he responded making his way to the elevator.

(Protocol exists for a reason! It will seem like you’ve gone rouge acting like this!)”

It will be fine, I just need to speak to Laandi”

Xant scrambled into the elevator, knocking his tail on the door as he ordered the machine, “Hab level!”
Speak to Laandi, find out the Lieutenant’s plans, figure out our next move.

Gather info. Plan. stay calm.

“(Has the elevator always been this slow?!)” Xant was not fond of his new found impatience. Nor the echo of thoughts clogging his planning processes with panic and unnecessary observations. His brain was now searching for things to think about as though the matter at hand was not pressing enough.
The elevator doors opened and Xant stormed out not even waiting for the computer to announce his arrival.
White walls on empty halls, moving forward towards the larger offices in the back.

“(That used to be Foorlan’s room...)”

The doctor stopped in his tracks, staring at the empty room. Memories of his poor assistant suddenly came to the forefront. The way she was always so thorough in her research, was eager to have her work double checked for mistakes. Was there anything he could really do for her now? Or any of the others-

“(Wasn’t Laandi’s office this way?)”

Xant shook his head.

Laandi’s office was this way.

“(Is it?)”

Xant hesitated.

Yes, of course it was why would it be any different?

“You alright there, Doc?”

Xants ears and tail stood up on end, he was so engrossed in correcting himself he had not even noticed Captain Rynard’s arrival.
The Captain had his arms folded, tapping his forearm armour.

“You look a little… distracted.”

“Captain!” Xant rushed up to the behemoth. “I’ve been asleep too long! I need to speak to Laandi about-”

“Pa said you weren’t ready to leave the medical wing,” Rynard interrupted. “Do you think you should be moving around in your condition?”

A sudden rage built up inside Xant.

“(<Indignant>) I will NOT be talked down to Captain, my condition is beside the point. The Lieutenant is trying to take Jasmine from the station, I can’t let that happen while she’s unconscious.”

“Cause that means you’ll be left behind right?” Rynard assumed.

Xant stared the giant sulin down.

“Yes, I am a part of her Entourage, I will NOT be left behind.”

“Heh, you got some fight in ya, that’s good!” Rynard chuckled, showing teeth in his smile. He unfolded his arms and took a left down the corridor. “I’ve got a meeting with the Director, care to listen in?”
Surprised at how quickly Rynard was to accept his unbecoming attitude, Xant followed the Captain eagerly down the hall.
They didn’t stop at Laandi’s office however, but at Xant’s own habroom. Rynard pulled off his arm mounted dataslate and handed it to Xant, syncing it up with his own collar comm signal.
“The other station guards are on high alert looking for you, stay put inside your office until I come to ‘escort’ you back to medical. I’ll run our conversation through the ‘slate. Got any questions you wanna ask her through me?”

“I was going to ask Laandi more pointed questions about the time frame of the Lieutenant’s departure.

“Right, easy enough, just sit still and listen in.” Xant nodded and looked down at the small black dataslate as the captain took his leave. Xant fingers squeezed the edges in anticipation of their conversation, he felt the nerves rise up and knot in the back of his throat. Why was he so nervous to hear what they would be saying? They were both good friends, allies even, perhaps it was just to keep up appearances. It had been a while since he had sat on his rug, Jasmine was right, it was wonderfully comfortable. Would he be able to take it with him aboard the REFINED? He had always planned to live out the rest of his days aboard the Uleesia station, that was why he had the terrarium installed… His plants, surely bringing them would be too much?
Rynard’s voice came over the comms.

CPT Rynard: Director I’m here for our meeting.

Xant’s ears stood up curiously, what could Rynard be needing to see the director for?

ED Laandi: Come in, I must say it’s unusually prompt of you Captain.

CPT Rynard: Well, it isn’t really a lengthy matter, so might as well get it over and done with, gotta make sure the Security Department is left in reasonable shape. Have my requests been processed yet?

ED Laandi: Ah yes, everything has been accepted and accounted for. The REFINED has reinstated your service number while Esaander has transferred your credits out of company stock and into your own accounts. I must say Captain, it has been a pleasure working with you.

CPT Rynard: Same Director, never thought I’d be jumping ship again, let alone doing it pro-bono.

ED Laandi: But it does set my mind at ease knowing you’ll be accompanying her on her journey.

CPT Rynard: Ha, she’s not exactly someone you can say no to after all! But I can keep in touch if you’re really that sentimental.

ED Laandi: If you would? I know that you won’t be able to give me specifics across CivNet, but I can go into retirement without regrets then.

CPT Rynard: Has the Lieutenant stated his departure time yet?

ED Laandi: Unless Miss Howe’s condition improves the REFINED is set for departure in [12 hours].

CPT Rynard: Right, I’ll speak with you soon, Director, balanced universes and all that.

ED Laandi: And may the universe sway in your favour captain.

Link Terminated

-*-

Xant shuffled in his seat as Rynard returned.

“You’re leaving with Nako…” Xant stated.

Rynard clipped his Dataslate back onto his arm and chose a comfortable wall to lean on.

“I’m keeping an eye on Jasi, just like she asked me to. The Lieutenant will be taking her back with him in a matter of hours. I put in my resignation with Esaander and re-enlisted with the REFINED.” The veteran let his body slide down to a squat, so he could talk with his friend at head level. “Stiffed or not, can’t help her if I’m not there,”

“(What about me?) Perhaps I could do the same?” The doctor offered up the suggestion, “I have experience working alongside Military assets, the Lieutenant already thinks I’m a part of her entourage and I have military issue armour now. The idea isn’t entirely inconceivable.”

Rynard sucked air in between gritted teeth.

“I mean, I don’t think the Lieutenant is going to dismiss you outright, but you understand how ridiculous your request is right? You can barely walk in that armour and nothing on the ship is going to fit you right. You could get accidentally spaced, freq-fried without your suit on or crushed by vat-freshies and or basic equipment, and that’s not even counting if the ship comes under fire…” the Captain scratched the back of his head “and, you’re not exactly… coherent.”

Xant’s ears flattened on his head.

“(<Anger/Insulted>) You’re acting as though I’m some Jitterjacked fool.”

“Yeah, I know, Doc, but you’re double talking like Jasi,” Rynard said bluntly. “Pa sent me and the other security guards out to find ya and bring you back to medical, saying something like ya shouldn’t even be awake. Then I find you disorientated in the hab halls, double-talking and broadcasting emotions like you’re high on Glass or something. Jasi did something to ya and well, it ain’t like most Rangers have the patience for citizens at the best of times. You’re a walking liability, Doc.”

Xant snorted indignantly. “Jasmine requested I be at her side as well, and I’d rather be a jitterjacked, double talking mess than to leave her side (and to go through this alone).”

Rynard licked a tooth in the back of his jaw. “Right, well, in all honesty, Doc, your best chance at getting on the REFINED is if Jasi brings you with her. So,” he folded his arms, “got any big ideas on waking her up?”

Xant pushed his anger aside and gave the captain the closest thing he could to a smirk. “Where are they keeping the dogs?”

-*-
Rynard led the way down to the docks.
The dogs were being prepared for transfer onto the REFINED, the three were actually restrained, legs, chest and snouts, strapped down. Even so, Spades, Kimiko and Sieglinde were making the geneticist assistants and their guards’ lives very difficult.
Rynard walked over with a smile.

“Salutations!” he greeted. “You all look as though your tails have been pulled off!”

“They might as well have been!” Initaas exclaimed at his wits end “I’ve NEVER come across such unwilling specimens! We should have had them loaded HOURS ago!”

“Well, I came down to say goodbye to the bunch of walking teeth,” he rested a giant clawed hand on the doctor's shoulder. “But if you and your men need a few [minutes] to reassess the situation, I can keep an eye on em, make sure they don’t do any more damage.”
Spades let out a particularly aggressive growl, while Kimiko straight up snarled viciously at Initaas, it was impressive considering both their mouths were almost strapped shut.

“Your offer is generous, Captain, I’ll see my men return with some stronger chems. Maybe we can mellow them out enough to listen to reason.”
The rookie guards didn't need to be ordered to follow Dr. Initaas out; Rynard even spotted a few teeth marks on armour as they walked past.
Rynard waited until the coast was clear, before leaning over to talk to the dogs.

“Where is the Namegiver?!” Spades growled so harshly, Rynard had to be sure he wasn’t going to break the restraints in a sudden attack. The amount of Freq bouncing off the creatures was rather fierce, no wonder the staff were at their limits.

“Easy there, us older models gotta stick together. We’re tryna get Jasi to wake up, but the Doc needs to ask you some questions first.” Rynard pressed the comm’s on his collar. “You can come out now.”

As Xant entered the room all three dog’s ears stood up and their heads turned, staring at him as they greeted him.

“Hello Friends, I need your help…(I hope you have the answers...)” The fear and aggression melted away as they listened to their friend. “Jasmine has been asleep for a long time, but it is not ‘the long sleep’ and she won’t wake up, do namegivers do this often? Is there a way to wake them up?”

The dogs looked between each other, Kimiko wagged her tail.

“You do not wake namegivers, you get put outside without breakfast if you wake them.”

“You can wake them if there is danger,” Spades corrected “Namegivers are vulnerable when they rest, they need our sharp senses, their sleep is deep.”

“I protect Oskar from nightscares,” the blond Sieglinde suggested timidly, “he can’t wake himself, so I wake him,”

Xants ears perked up.
“(Nightscares?) What are nightscares?”

Sieglinde backed away from Xant a little but still answered his questions.

“Sometimes, when Namegivers and Friends rest we see night visions. They can be good, they can be scary, but they are all untrue. Oskar gets really bad nightscares, but I am there to wake him up before they get too scary.”

“But how can you tell?!” Xant begged the gentle creature, “Why can’t they wake themselves?!”

Siegline didn’t know where to look.

“They don’t know they’re resting. Night visions are like true days but untrue.”

The other dogs whined in agreement, Rynard looked to Xant.

“Make any sense of the User talk Doc?”

“I think whatever program Jasmine’s brain runs while in industrial mode, our tampering with her systems has destroyed the normal exit loop. In order for her to wake up it must be forcibly stopped, either by disconnecting her from the life-support or by resetting her systems manually.”

Rynard looked at Xant incredulously. “Nothings ever easy with you brain types,”

Xant ignored Rynard’s comment and nodded his head to the dogs in a polite bow. “Thank you Friends, I will help the Namegiver. Goodbye”

“Goodbye… Xant,” Sieglinde whispered as Rynard and Xant hurriedly left the room.

-*-

Pa was relieved to see Rynard return with her errant patient.

“Oh, thank you Captain!” She held her hands over her chest, “I’m so happy you brought Dr. Xant back unharmed.”

“Eh, he was no chore at all!” Rynard chuckled, strategically stepping into the room so Pa was not able to stop Xant walking past.

“You wouldn’t believe how fast the Doc here was! He had made it all the way to the hab level!”

“Yes thank you Captain, now then I-”

“Yeah! He was so confused, he was wandering up and down the halls lost!”

“Captain, please-”

“Talking to himself like Jasi does, but you can fix that right?”

“Captain!-”

“How many wires you gonna stick in him this time? How much you think his new brain kit is worth, huh?”

“Captain!!” Pa cried as Xant began pulling wires out of Jasmines ears. She tried to push past Rynard but there was little hope against his sheer size and strength. Xant yanked the last wire and shook Jasmine’s shoulders.

“She’s still not responding!”

“Well hurry up and do something!” Rynard shouted.

Xant began to panic again, pulling her off the machines didn’t work, physically shaking her didn’t work, there was only one other option.

Xant grit his teeth, took a deep breath and prepared for the unknown as he began to join with the unconscious human.


…..
…….
………
………..

When Xant opened his eyes he wasn’t in medical, or on Ulessia station for that matter.
Below him was white sand, like powder beneath his feet, above him the bare night sky. Stars and planets in colours he had never seen, and stretched out before him was an endless black ocean, still as a reflective pools surface yet the water lapped at the shore.
A beautiful, desolate landscape.
He could feel the grit of the sand between his toes, the chill on wind and smell of salt from the water.
It was incredible.
Then, in the distance, he saw her.
Jasmine sat on top of the water, staring into the abyss below her.
Xant walked to the edge of the shore, he knew it should have been physically impossible, but something in his gut urged him to step onto the water.
As his foot touched the surface the black waters rippled with light.
Pinks, oranges and yellows, faded rainbows with every step towards the human. As he got closer, he saw that she was different.
A beautiful, brown mane fell past her ear, she wore loose clothes, a white blouse sloped over one shoulder, blue shorts barely covered her legs, her nails painted a bright blue as her finger traced the water.


“Jasmine?” Xant called to her, but she didn’t respond, concentrating on the water below her muttering under her breath.

“...923535897932…” her voice was dull, tracing the numbers into the water, light flickering with every ripple.
Xant touched her shoulder, but she still did not break her trance.


“Jasmine?...” Xant whimpered, his hand gripping her shoulder desperately, “Where are we?... I don’t understand what’s going on…”

“...3846264338…”

“Jasmine, I’m scared, I need you to explain this to me…”

“...3279502…”

“Jasmine,”

“...8841971…”

“I can’t do this alone, I need you!”

“... 693993…”

“You’ll be taken away, I need your help!” he shook her shoulder violently.

“...7510…”

“Stop this! Stop reciting numbers! Talk to me!” he grabbed her arm from the water, holding her tightly “Jasmine!! JASMINE!!”

The humans eyes rolled and fluttered as her gaze came into focus.

“...Xant?”
But as the question left her lips, the water gave way and they plummeted into the cold depths.
Xant felt his body fall, the water engulfed him and instinct took hold as he held Jasmine and his breath as tightly as he could.
Jasmine’s grip tightened as they fell deeper and deeper into the darkness.
They would drown here.
Jasmine’s face was red, her breath gave out, Xant felt the bubbles rush over his skin.
No! he didn’t want to die here!


“Wait.” Jasmines voice whispered. “I can breath, I’m dre-”



The bright lights of the medical ward stung his eyes, his arm craned up and resting on the pod, his body lay slumped on the floor.
Pa was in panic mode, fretting as she stood ready to plug them both back into life support. Rynard gently held her back.

“Ughhhhh” Jasmine’s familiar voice groaned, “Xant?” The Doctor scrambled to get off the floor. Jasmine’s eyes opened and she gave him a weak smile. “The Freq Test suuucked.”

Xant laughed painfully.

“Jasmine… you’re awake,” his legs were jelly, he pulled himself up to see her “where were we? The stars, the ocean, the numbers? What in creation were you doing?”

Jasmine turned her head to see him better, cracking her neck as she sat up. “Uhh, I think it was just a really messed up dream.”

Xant stared back at her.

The passing of memories and experiences through joining was said to need the highest orders of control and power.
Jasmine’s brain, while utilising industrial mode had created an alternate reality and shared it with him.
It shouldn’t have been possible, he should have been dead, in more ways than one.
And she shrugged it off as though it were nothing, no, even worse, normal!
How… how could Humans withstand such a ludicrous phenomenon?
And summarise it with only a single. damned. word?!

Jasi and Xant Dreaming Panel - 12.08.19.jpg
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#4
Another excellent chapter :)

So industrial mode is their equivalent of dreaming but in a very controlled way?? And that in turn makes me wonder what a lucid dream would feel like to them?

I'm also getting the distinct impression that humans don't really think like any other species in this universe and that could be why the Rajava didn't just break Jasmine down for parts as it were.
 
#5
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
you're back
this fills me with boundless joy
i was constantly freaking the fuck out while reading the last 2 chapters
 
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