"The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everything)

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Praeothmin
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:24 pm
Location: Quebec City

"The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everything)

Post by Praeothmin » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:32 pm

Just a story I started writing this week after reading all these recent and inventive crossovers.

Chapter 1

March 22nd, 2058
It was rainy that day in Seattle.
It was rainy every day in Seattle at that time of year.
But the rain didn’t bother James Reynolds, as he stood, perched over the edge of a rooftop across from his target.
He welcomed it, as even the best security systems in town would be affected by the rain, whether it was the cameras which would be almost blind, even in infra-red or low-light mode, to the thermal sensors which would become blinded by the cold rain lowering the temperature of everything it hit, including human bodies.
Yes, all this rain was going to be of great help to James when he would be ready to penetrate the highly secured magical laboratory across the street from him.
James took his time in observing the movements of the guards below; making sure the guard that emerged under the light of one lamp was the same one he had seen disappear in the shadows of the building not long before.
He had to take his time, because while the rain was a boon to him, it also hindered his ability to scan his target.
He wasn’t worried about being spotted though, for although he was a mountain of a man, around 6 and a half feet tall with broad, muscular shoulders, he was standing at the edge of a 6 story tall building, 2 stories taller than his target, and he wasn’t under any light.
No one walking in the street could hope to see him, and on the off chance someone did, he had taken the precaution of wearing dark blue clothing and a mask, so his face would not be seen.
Only his steel grey eyes were peering through the mask, their thermal and low-light capabilities being used to the max by James.
His costume was woven of ballistic fiber, offering him limited protection from small arms, which he reinforced by wearing a full form-fitting body armor under it.
While both layers offered him good protection against small arms, they would not hamper his movements or stealth abilities.
He was going in light, having only brought his collapsible baton and his silenced Colt Manhunter heavy pistol as weapons.
He didn’t plan on heavy fire being exchanged, and if it did, his mission was hosed anyways.

James wasn’t worried though, for he’d been doing this kind of work in the shadows for many years, and was one of the best of a new generation of Shadowrunners.
James preferred stealthy missions to big fights, but he had the tools to do both.
Like all top Shadowrunners, he had had augmentations done to his body to enable him to compete in the big leagues, where the big money was.
But unlike most Shadowrunners, all of James augmentations had been from Bioware, not Cyberware.
When he had started thinking about his first mod, James had also looked at Cyberware, because Cyber augmentations were usually cheaper and more powerful then their Bioware equivalent.
With Cyberware, you could go faster, become tougher, and hit targets a lot easier than with Bioware.
But you also ended up less human for it.
He’d seen many Street Samurais so disconnected from reality that they could witness a murder, or worse, kill, without even the least bit of remorse, as if what happened wasn’t really happening, but was happening only in some remote part of their mind.
James had decided he didn’t want to end up like that.
Another advantage was that for infiltration jobs, he would be better off with the more subtle, less artificial Bioware, which no scanner could detect.
Even astrally ascensing Mages or Shamans, his friend had told him, could not pick up the presence of Bioware in a man, while they had no problems recognizing a heavily Cybered being.
Only advanced medical scans - the type that no security force could do on site - would be able to show the modifications done to his body.
So that’s the way he went.
Every part of his body that could be enhanced was, so that he gradually went from a big, competent man, to a big scary shadow running beast that backed down from no job or backed off from no one.

The building he was planning on infiltrating seemed like a very normal, very regular office building.
It was, according to public records, the property of a small insurance firm.
But thorough research through the Matrix by Carkass, the team’s expert Decker, had revealed otherwise.
In reality, under a load of shell companies, the building was owned by Aztechnology, and was used for magical research, nicely explaining the presence of elementals patrolling the Astral plane at night.
These elementals reported to a Mage named Peter Lorne, who resided in Downtown Seattle.
While Peter was on location during the day, at night, he simply left his three biggest elementals to stand guard, while he went back home.
The SOP for such security was that the elementals stayed to fight, and then the Mage who conjured them would be advised of trouble once they got destroyed or banished.
He could then respond accordingly.
Such a building also had electronic security, Carkass had discovered, and this security was some of the best money could buy.
But it had a weakness, like all security systems.
This site’s weakness was its external Matrix access.
Most Megacorps protected their sites by prohibiting remote work being done by their personnel.
Unfortunately for most of them, most magically active workers were very capricious by nature, as James had discovered working with the team’s Mage.
And since good Mages or even good Shamans were a rarity, companies, even Megacorps, had to agree to some compromises in order to sway these talented people to work for them.
In this case, the compromise was that the main researcher had an external link to the building’s mainframe.
While the security was tough to crack for someone trying to go in the building directly, going through the phone lines was slightly easier, and thus Carkass had succeeded in infiltrating the building’s system through the main researcher’s access, and had taken over the external security features, such as the doors’ electronic locks and silent alarms.
While the cameras seemed to be linked to a completely internal system, they wouldn’t really matter, since once inside, James would clip a modified Blue-Tooth transmitter to the first camera he would see, allowing Carkass to communicate with the system and take it over as well.

Looking at his watch, James noticed it was almost 1 am.
“Time to go to work”, he thought, as he adjusted the grapple gun on his shoulder, and steadied himself, ready to fire right above the roof access door of their target.
He activated his Comm-Link, made sure the Crypto-Circuit was running, and asked:

-“Managuy, this is Shadowmaster, do you copy?”

-“Managuy here, reading you loud and clear. Ready for action! Copy!”

James couldn’t help but smile every time he used, or heard, his Mage’s street handle.
It sounded like the name a kid playing out an episode of “Joe Shadowrunner” would use.
He remembered the first time he met Managuy, or Daniel Bouchard, so many years ago.
The young Mage, the image of a high-class wage-Mage, wore a Mortimer of London coat for a “meet” in the Barrens, walking with the help of a cane, topped with a golden handle.
James was surprised he had even made through the front door of the bar unmolested.
But as the door closed, he had caught a glimpse of the dozen or so people laying on the ground, apparently unconscious, and the bar’s meanest bouncer looking at the young Mage with fear in his eyes.
That the Orc Bouncer who usually threw any trouble maker out, sometimes through the windows, seemed afraid of the small – barely above 5 and half feet tall – man made most of the patrons suddenly less interested in the young man’s riches, and a lot more at their drinks.
James had learned during the following years how capable the Mage was.
A high level Initiate, powerful beyond the dreams of most street Mages, Daniel was a force to be reckoned with.
He always went into a mission as prepared as can be, always with at least four powerful elementals bound to him.
He was capable of using his most powerful spells over and over again, and seemed like nothing could ever tax him.
So hearing he was ready for action once more made James as confident as one could ever get on such missions.

He contacted Carkass:

-“Shadowmaster to Carkass, ready for move one. Copy!”

-“Carkass reading you loud and clear”, came the response. “Ready to rumble. Copy!”

With the acknowledgement of his team, James took aim and fired the grappling hook at the top of the roof access door, his enhanced hearing picking up a satisfying “schtunk”, indicating the hook had sunk in the wall above the door.
Pulling the Nylon-Kevlar rope taught, he made sure it was securely fastened on his side, and then, hooking his rapelling handle over the rope, he uttered:

-“Go! Go! Go!”

The signal was given, and now everything was a question of timing.
Calling upon his augmented reflexes and reaction, James jumped up and forward and let gravity take him down at high speeds towards the other roof.
Once over the lip of the other building’s roof, James activated the brakes on his gear, and once sufficiently slowed down, he let go, and landed in a tuck and roll that brought in directly in front of the roof access door as he was getting up.
As his hand went for the handle, he saw the electronic lock LED go from red to green, and he got in.
Once inside the building, he stopped and listened for a sound in the stairwell.
Not hearing one, he immediately searched for a camera, found it, and went to work on it, attaching the Blue-Tooth device as Carkass had shown him.
The Decker sure knew his work.
While physically Carkass was pretty much everything James despised in human beings –he was fat, lazy, never exercised and ate junk food like his life depended on it – he was certainly the best Decker James had ever worked with.
He was as talented a Decker as Daniel was a Mage.
The fact he rarely found the time to bathe, or wore his old “Space Jam” t-shirt all the time didn’t diminish his usefulness for the team.
He was also one of the most generous persons James had ever encountered.
James knew for a fact that Carkass gave up half his net earnings to local charities to help improve people’s lives, something James admired greatly.
He had started doing the same, although he couldn’t donate as much as Carkass since James still had his parents to provide for.

As Carkass’s device took over the internal security system, James started down the stairs at breakneck speeds.
Hid augmented muscles and enhanced articulations allowed him to navigate the stairs like a world-class athlete, while his improved heart pumped ever more oxygenated blood down his arteries.
Once he arrived at ground floor, he stopped and looked through the small emergency door window.
Seeing no guards, he called Carkass:

-“Shadowmaster to Carkass, the mouse is in the house. See any cats around? Copy!”

-“Go ahead, little mousy, no cats around, they are all taking a catnip break. Go straight out 10 meters, then turn right for another 5 meters. The elevators shaft will be free and ready for your descent into hell. Copy!”

James opened the door, and dashed through the lobby, across the hall, and then turned right for the elevators.
And came face to face with a guard.
The guard had been leaning against the wall, sipping his coffee, right under the security camera that should have revealed him.
The guard, although surprised, reacted quickly - too quickly for a normal human, showing he had had some reaction enhancements done on him – and went for the panic button at his belt.
But he wasn’t fast enough.
James’s left hand shot out to deflect the guard’s right hand, while his right hand, fingers straightened, impacted with the guard’s right shoulder, at the junction where arm meets shoulder.
After that paralyzing blow, James’s left hand rolled over his right, thumb and index forming a “V” to smash the guard’s larynx, hard enough to silence him, yet not hard enough to kill.
James knew that sometimes, killing was part of his way of life, yet he never killed without cause, and never when he could avoid it.
He had also learned a long time ago that companies invested less time and effort hunting you down if you didn’t cost them and arm and a leg in replacing personnel and material.
Most of the times, in order not to lose face to the public, they wouldn’t even call the police, taking care of the matter internally.
A back-handed fist to the guard’s right temple finished him off.
As he started crumbling to the ground, James caught him, then whispered in the Comm-Link:

-“Carkass, I need a cat litter now, I’ve run into a stray. Copy!”

-“Cat house coming up to your left. Copy!”

Looking around to make sure no one had seen him or heard the commotion, James picked up the guard and brought him to the open elevator door, where he laid him gently on the floor.
As soon as he exited the elevator, the doors closed behind him, while on the opposite side of the corridor, the doors to another elevator opened on the empty shaft.
Suddenly, in the elevator shaft , the air started shimmering as if it was being heated up.
The air elemental Managuy had conjured was at his post, ready to take James down the shaft to the lower levels of the complex.
James stepped in the shaft, and felt as if his body became lighter than air.
He drifted down quickly, the elemental completely in control of the whole operation.
As he was about to land on top of the elevator car, the elemental started wavering, and let him go.
He landed softly on his feet, the 10 feet drop not fazing him at all.
He immediately knew the elemental was under attack, or it would not have dropped him so.
The top hatch of the elevator car was opened in seconds, and then, letting his head drop slightly in the hole, he peered through the opened elevator doors to see barely lit corridor leading to a double door at the end.
Between him and the doors were two guards at the ready, kneeling in the corridor, keeping close to the walls, weapons at the ready and aiming at the elevator.
James stood up on the car, took his gun out, then dropped through the hole to the floor, leaned right and rolled to the side wall, out of the doorway.
Gunfire erupted as bullets impacted on the back wall of the elevator, one bullet even hitting James left flank.
James felt the impact and, noticed no pain and judged by the sound of the impact his plates and Kevlar clothing had deflected the bullet.
Not wanting to serve as a target for much longer, knowing time was limited, he dove through the doorway, crossing from right to left, and rolled up on one knee and fired 4 times.
The silencer tried its best to muffle the big gun’s report, but in the narrow corridor, the gun still sounded like distant thunder claps.
He hit each guard twice, and almost got hit in return.
One bullet even whistled past his right ear, but he had been moving so fast the guards could not adjust their aim properly.
He quickly made sure the Gel bullets he’d used in his gun had simply knocked the guards out and not killed them, and then went to the doors.
As he got to them, they unlocked, and he opened them slowly, always alert for attacks.
He perceived no immediate threats, so he moved into the room.
There, in the middle of the room, seated on a dais, was the biggest piece of Orichalcum James had ever seen.
The size of a Troll’s fist, weighing at least 20 pounds, it was encased in some sort of field, and strange drawings were scribbled around it.
He was about to call Carkass when he heard a noise behind him.
He immediately plunged and rolled forward, barely escaping the immense rock-like fist that swung right where his head was.
Getting up, he saw a hulking monster, Troll-like in size, yet not fully formed, as if it was made out of solid putty.
The creature’s head turned towards James, and it started to advance, lifting its arms in a boxing-like stance.
James didn’t know where to run, as the creature was wide enough that it covered the room left and right, and James had the dais at his back.
He jumped back on the top of the dais, which seemed to spur the creature on.
From the corner of his eyes, James saw the outline of Managuy appearing, a ghostlike figure in the background of the eerie light coming from the dais.
Managuy made intricate hand movements, and something leaped at the creature, just as it was catching James’s left leg in a vice grip.
The creature howled when Managuy’s spell hit, and it tightened its grip on James’s leg.
The pressure was incredible, and James feared his leg was going to get crushed into paste.
While Managuy started enacting the movements of another spell, James took hold of the Orichalcum piece using both hands, and hefting it over his head, struck the creature’s head as Managuy’s second spell hit home.
There was a deafening explosion, bright flashes of searing multicoloured lights, all of it so powerful they overwhelmed Jame’s flare compensation and hearing dampeners.
The pain was unbearable, and James passed out.

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:45 pm

Chapter 2

Then, as suddenly as all of it had begun, it stopped.
In a bright flash of light, James regained consciousness, found his sight again, and felt all the pain he had receding, his compensators working once more.
It took a few seconds for James to regain his senses, and he realized at once he was no longer in the magical laboratory.
He was in a corridor, with calm white light, touch panels evenly spaced all along the walls, and a sterilized scent filling his nostrils.
It reminded him of the shadow Delta clinics where he had gotten his implants and augmentations.
He was making sure he was not injured when he heard the hiss of an automatic door to his right, and someone walking his way.
Looking to his left, he saw another corridor bisecting his to the left, and headed that way quickly, all the while trying to make as little sound as possible.
That’s when he noticed the floor was covered with carpet, making his stealthy retreat easier.
He noticed some doors on the right side of the corridor he was in, and when he turned in the bisecting corridor, he noticed more doors.
What was very strange was that the doors had no names to identify them, only numbers.
As he examined them, he used one of the doors’ alcoves in the new corridor as a hiding place, putting his back to it, wondering where to go, what to do, when the doors behind him hissed open.
He spun around, stepping back in the corridor in the blink of an eye to find himself facing a man wearing a black uniform with golden shoulder pads.
The man started to lift his left hand across his stomach, most likely reaching for the golden triangle pin on his chest, while his right went to his waist to what looked like a taser gun in a holster.
The man clearly had no reaction augmentations, so when James’s reflexes revved up into overdrive, he punched the guard hard in the stomach before any defence could even be attempted.
The punch lifted the man off his feet, throwing him back in the room where he lay in a heap on the floor, 6 feet away from James.
That’s when James noticed the second man in the room, standing to the left of the entrance.
His hands were almost upon their targets when James’s side kick caught him mid-torso.
He was propelled up and back, hitting the wall behind him with sufficient force to crack the translucent panel on the wall, and crumpled to the floor like a ragdoll.
The room looked like a luxury hotel room, yet it was sparsely furnished.
It was rather small, the sleeping area and eating area sharing the same space, with only an alcove to separate them.
He saw no kitchenware, no stove or refrigerator, and no trideo set.
As he was searching the room for another opponent, all senses fully alert, James’s augmented hearing made him aware of what he feared the most in his current situation: a cry for help.

“Intruder alert!” James heard coming from the corridor he had just left.

The call for help had been issued with barely a whisper, with a soft, obviously female, voice.
He exited the room he was in, bringing his pistol to bear on a small woman wearing an aquamarine jacket over what looked like a similar uniform to the security personnel he had just taken down.
She was unarmed, except for a beautiful smile, perfect features and short blond hair.
Her delicate frame showed through the tight-fitting uniform, and almost distracted James.
The first rule of any such situation as James was in was always to gather information about one’s situation and surroundings, so he ran to the woman at full speed, which made her gasp in surprise.
To her, James would have looked like a blur, and as if he had somehow teleported from the entrance in the bisecting corridor to her position, a distance of 8 meters, in less than a second.
The fact that the masked, immensely fast stranger had appeared next to her pointing a big gun in her face had also startled her greatly.
Still, she remained calmer and more composed than most people would, which made James respect her, but also fear her a bit.
No one stayed that composed unless they had an ace up their sleeve, as James had come to learn in his “active” life.
Still, if he showed her how dangerous he was, he could still jar her a bit, and probably get at least basic information.
He pulled her along with him forcefully, showing her she could not hope to resist.
He remained silent – hoping it would instil fear in her - until they reached the room where the two guards lay out on the floor, and only after the doors had closed again did he talk.

“I am going to ask you some questions”, he growled menacingly at her, “And if I don’t like the answers, I’ll have to use this gun to make very big holes in you. Understood?”

He had no intention of hurting her anymore than necessary, and his gun was still loaded with gel bullets, but James knew the act he was pulling on her would unnerve her as it had many people in the past.
He saw her flinch, and she seemed a bit more scared of him now, which made James slightly more comfortable.
As he was about to ask his first question, there came a voice over hidden speakers in the room.

“This is Lt. Cmd. Teramak, there is an intruder alert on deck 6, section 9. Seal all corridors and Turbolifts, and lock down Transporter room 4.”

Then the badges on the two unconscious men in the room chirped, and a voice, the same as in the speaker announcement, called to them.

“Security team 7, come in.” There was a pause, then the message resumed.
“Security team 7, respond.”

And then there was silence.
James knew he didn’t have much time, as he was sure the security team of the place he was in could track the whereabouts of their men through what James now knew were like Comm-Links.
So he asked the only question he thought he had time for:

“Where’s the nearest exit to get out of here?”
“That would be airlock 5, in section 8. But all the corridors and accesses will be locked down, you can’t…”
“Shut the frag up, or I’ll make you another nostril!” James said. “Just tell where I need to go, and don’t worry about the rest!”

She was about to reply, when James heard some sort of humming behind him.
Keeping his gun pointed at the woman, he turned slightly to his left to see to columns of shimmering blue light appear out of thin air.
These columns quickly coalesced into human form, although James was surprised that one of those humans was blue with white hair and antennas coming out of his head.
But what had really caught James’s attention was the two tasers held by these new arrivals.
James had no clue as to how these invisible people had succeeded in entering the room without opening the door, but his momentarily distraction allowed the women to strike.
With a well placed kick, she hit James’s wrist, snapping his hand sideways and sending his pistol in a corner of the room to his left.
James used the momentum from the impact to spin to his left, take a step closer to the human next to him.
With his right hand, he grabbed the newcomer’s wrist and pulled, all the while continuing his spinning motion, bringing the man between him and the blue humanoid.
His movement brought his quarry to James’s right side, so he side kicked the man at the same time he released his wrist, propelling him at his blue skinned colleague.
The blue skinned man skilfully sidestepped his flying colleague to his right, all the while bringing his arm up to fire at James.
Had James not been so fast, the blue skinned man might have succeeded in shooting him.
As the man was about to press the fire button, James’s right fist impacted inside his opponent’s right wrist and made his taser fly away.
But just as James had used the woman’s strike to advance on his opponents, the blue man used James’s to launch a left cross at his face.
James’s short punch allowed him to bring his right hand up for a forearm block while he stepped forward for a left punch to his opponent’s sternum.
He finished his move with a short, but powerful jab at the blue skinned man’s jaw, which knocked him down, dazed.
If the man hadn’t rolled with the punch, showing just how good he was, he would have been knocked out by the blow.
He was still falling when James turned around and headed for his gun.
Only the woman was also trying to retrieve it, and she was closing her hand on it when James hit her with an atemi to the neck.
While the blow did not knock her out, she did fall heavily on the floor in great pain, unable to put up any more resistance, which was what James wanted.
He picked up his gun, and sped to the door.
It hissed open, and James quickly looked into the corridor, first to his left, then to his right.
There was nothing to his left, but as he turned right, he saw two more men – obviously security officers – who fired at him.
He barely succeeded in ducking the first shot, but the second officer hit him in the arm.
He felt a shock that went up to his neck, and felt numb in his left arm.
His pain compensators rapidly took over and he felt his fingers again.
He shot out, shot only twice, one bullet per guard since they weren’t wearing any armor, and stood in the doorway, half concealed, while they fell down.
As he ventured out and started to go right, he was hit in the left shoulder by another beam, and another hit him in the lower back.
James fell to one knee, his whole body starting to feel numb, his compensators overloaded, and half turned to fire at the new arrivals.
His first bullet hit the mark, but his second splattered against a bulkhead next to his target’s head, forcing the female security officer to take cover.
As he was struggling to get up to take cover on the other side of the door, he was shot in the back, pitched forward and, for the second time that day, lost consciousness.
Last edited by Praeothmin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:40 pm

By the way, I'm not sure if nobody posted anything because they were uninterested or anything, but critiques and comments are welcomed... :)

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Khas
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Khas » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:23 pm

For me, it's mainly because I've never played Shadowrun in my life.

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:48 pm

Still, what do you think of the story so far?
Do you like the way it's written, are the action scenes clear enough?

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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by sonofccn » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:54 pm

Its fine. Action flows well and is clear so no worries there. We'll see where it goes.

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:52 pm

** There was an Edit of Chapter 2, some descriptions added...

Chapter 3

James slowly came to, feeling constricted and oppressed.
Not wanting to let his captors know he was awake, he did not move, and tried to keep his breathing slow with yoga techniques.
He then listened, hoping to glean useful information, such as what his captors planned to do with him.
If they were from the same company as the medical laboratory he had penetrated, things might get nasty indeed.
He heard voices close by, and used his hearing amplification to eavesdrop and learn as much as he could.

“Argh, dat ‘urts. Do ghou habe to press dat ‘ard?”

James recognized the voice as the one over the speakers, the voice of Lt. Cmd. Teramak, whom James had identified as the Security Chief.
The voice was haughty, aristocratic in its inflections, but slightly grave, though higher pitched than James’s.
The man was also speaking with a broken jaw, which immediately let James know that Lt. Cmd. Teramak, the Security Chief for this facility, was the blue skinned man James had fought with.

“Yes, I have to! He broke three of your ribs when he punched you, in addition to your broken jaw. It’s a good thing you know how to fight so well and roll with punches, or you would be in worse condition than you actually are.
Just ask your two officers who’ve been mule kicked by that man.
And since you do not want me to use an anaesthetic, being a Warrior, this means you will have to endure all the pain that comes from the insertion method of the bone bonding compound we use.
Now sit still, shut up, and you’ll be back in your quarters in two hours, and ready to work for your next shift.”

With that final comment, Lt. Cmd. Teramak became silent, except for the occasional grunt of pain.
James was satisfied with his eavesdropping, as it was very informative.
The voice of the Doctor working on the Security Chief was the same one he had heard uttering “Intruder alert”, the same one he’d taken hostage and had interrogated, the woman dressed in blue, and had a nice British accent to it that he liked.
The previous encounter also told him that Medical personnel wore black uniforms with blue shoulder pads, while security wore black uniforms with golden shoulder pads.
He knew that the standard security forces at his present location weren’t any better than standard corp security, and that for some very bizarre reason, they did not wear any armor.
He had learned that the Doctor knew how to fight, that the head of security was of a new Metahuman variant he’d never heard about, and that he was a tough man.
And since Lt. Cmd. Teramak wasn’t knocked out, it was more then certain he was the one who had shot James in the back.
Most importantly, he had learned that they had the technology to heal broken bones in a few hours, and wondered what other incredible medical technologies this Corp possessed.
It would more than likely be worth making a run or two against it, if he ever got out.
He was still listening when he heard the recognizable hiss of automated doors.

“So Doctor, how is everyone?” A commanding voice asked.
“I see our Security Chief is as solid as ever.”

It wasn’t hard for James to ascertain that this voice, a voice full of authority, belonged to the head honcho of the operations at the facility.

“Everyone if fine, Captain. The worst cases have been successfully stabilized, which was easy because our “guest” only hit them hard enough to neutralize them. I’m positive if he’d wanted them dead, they would be.
The same goes for the other guards, the ones he fired at.
The ammunition he used is akin to the stun setting on our Phasers, designed to incapacitate, not to kill.
Although I suspect that, as is the case with Phasers, too many shots can kill a man too.” The Doctor finished.

“How about our “guest”? According to Ensign Jonen, he was hit 4 times at Light Stun before he went down. Even Klingons have trouble taking three and keep fighting.” The Captain finished, his voice getting stronger, indicating he was coming in for a closer look.

“Well, Captain, the last hit injured him, if ever so slightly, and it took barely 1 minute under the dermal regenerator to heal him completely. After he was healed, I performed a full medical scan, and found a few interesting things about our friend.
One, he his 100% human.
Two, if he hadn’t already been previously injured, I suspect he would have been able to take that 4th hit and still take down security guards.
Three, his body was almost completely reworked, augmented biologically, to superhuman extents.
And four, he has more scars and battle wounds than even our fearless Security Chief.”

“What type of modifications are we talking about here, Doctor? Eugenics?”

“Well Captain, have you heard of one Roga Danar? He was a genetically altered human who was transformed into the perfect war machine. Our “guest’s” augmentations resemble those of Danar, and also those of Doctor Julian Bashir, of Deep Space 9.
They are cruder, though, less advanced then the ones we’ve seen, but he has many more than we’ve ever seen in one being before.
This man was bred for battle.
And he is extremely resilient naturally. If anyone here had as many augmentations as he did, our body would cease to function because of the biological overload.”

“How much more?” The Captain asked with genuine curiosity, as well as some shock.

“Well, if these modifications were cybernetic in origin, we would be looking at a Borg drone.”

The last sentence hung in the air for a bit, before the Captain asked:
“What modifications did he have?”

“Captain, it would be quicker for me to tell you what organs weren’t modified: the tongue, the liver and the kidneys.”

“Who would do such a thing? The Federation has outlawed such inhumane practices, and here we have the perfect example of mad science pushed to the limit.” The Captain said, contempt filling his voice.
“Doctor, were you able to recognize the type of Bio-engineering, or find out where he comes from?”

“No, but you may ask him yourself, our guest has been awake ever since I started treating the Lt.”

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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:26 pm

Chapter 4

Oh Frag!, James thought.
He knew there was only one way she could have known he was awake: magic.
That meant the good Doctor was a Mage.
James discarded the possibility of the Doctor being a Shaman because her actions were too composed, to formal, to be those of a Shaman, who tended to act emotionally instead of logically, and who tended to act more like their totem’s spirits.
Knowing there was no reason for him to fake it anymore, James opened his eyes, let them get adjusted to his surroundings, and looked at the room he was in.
It looked like no room he had ever been into, unlike the earlier room where the fight had taken place.
He was lying on some sort of bed, or table, and had restraints across his wrists and torso, as well as his legs and waist.
There were at least 6 other beds like his, except the occupants of the other beds, all of them James’s victims, were not restrained like he was, which showed the restraints were not there for his security, but theirs.
All these beds had some sort of computer display or console, and while most were raised to the side of the beds, like his, a few were switched down, and hovered over the bed’s occupants, held aloof by a mechanical arm attached to the bed.
The room had soft lighting, except over the beds, and he saw many consoles and displays on the walls, just like he had seen many times in the Shadow Clinic he went to.
But these displays were many, many times more advanced and detailed than any he’d seen before.
There were even displays above each individual bed, clearly referring to the bed’s resident.
Craning his neck, he was able to get a glimpse of his.
He quickly tested the strength of his bonds, moving in such a way as to seem to only adjust his body for a better view.

“Don’t waste your time trying, these restraints are strong enough to hold a Borg. You can’t get out.”

Mother Fragger! He thought, staring right at the Mage, stop assenssing me you slitch.
He received some gratification in the fact that his anger had not gone unnoticed, and had even unnerved the woman a bit.
Having no immediate way of escaping, James tried to relax, and decided to study the people who were in the room with him.
The first people he noticed were the three security guards at the door.
They were of average height and built, and James wondered what they would hope to accomplish against him were he loose, but then, remembering the Mage, he knew that all they needed to do was to stall him for one second and he’d be fried.
Their tasers, or Phasers as the Mage had called them, were in their holsters, and they stood guard ceremonially at the door.
One of them was of another new Metahuman type James had never seen, with its pig-like face, three fingered hands and hairy body.
One, he did recognize: the female security officer who’d shot him in the back, the one he had missed, one Ensign Jonen.
He glared at her, and though she knew he was restrained, though she had been cool-headed in the earlier fight, he took satisfaction in seeing her flinch ever so slightly under his glare.

His eyes moved to a man he had never seen, but recognized from his posture and the way people looked at him to be the Captain.
Close to 6 feet tall, athletically built with short salt and pepper hair and brown eyes, the Captain radiated authority.
His angular features made him attractive, though not like the trideo actors and models people saw every day.
This was a man who was used to having his orders followed, like many other corporate types James had met before.
James noticed his uniform had red shoulder pads, another different color for another different function.
He wondered if there were any color-blind employees working for them, and how they coped with the colour-coding.
He also noticed that each person had, in addition to their Comm-Link badge –and Phasers for the guards – small round pins worn on their right neck collar.
The Captain had four gold ones, while the Mage and Security Chief – a Lt Cmdr – both had two gold ones and one black one.
The Ensign had one black one, and the pig-like guard had one gold and one black.
James came to the conclusion these were rank insignia, and that the pig-like guard was probably a Lt second-class, or junior grade.
These ranks screamed of a navy crew to him, and so he concluded he was held by some country or company’s Navy department, but since he felt no rolling and weaving like he should on a boat, he was in one of their land facilities.
He assumed the continuous vibrations he felt and low thrumming he heard were some sort of power generator, so he was most likely in an underground high-security facility.
Then he remembered what the Mage had said about an airlock, and so glumly came to the realization he was under water, which seriously complicated any escape attempts he could try.

“I am Captain Damien Kirkinger , and I would like to know what the hell you were doing on my ship.” The Captain said with a hint of anger in his voice.

The anger was a ruse, just like James’s threats to the Mage earlier.
But his message also conveyed something else: James wasn’t in an immobile under water base, he was in a very big, and very silent submarine, this Captain’s ship.
He first thought of lying to them, of trying to mislead them, but then thought about the Mage, her ability to “read” him like a book, and in barely contained anger, he told them the truth – well, most of it anyways.

“My arrival on your “ship” was accidental. I was… working, when there was an accident. I lost consciousness, and when I woke up, here I was.”
He decided he’d let them work for their information, and see how forthcoming they would be with the answers he would eventually want.

“He is telling the truth, Captain, but he is also hiding something.” The Mage said with a smug look on her face.

“Captain, if your slitch Mage doesn’t get out of my head this instant, I will kill her, the first chance I get, and she can tell you that’s the truth too.” James said through gritted teeth, pulling at his bindings, as if he was going to rip them apart.
He didn’t mean it, of course, but he was so angry, felt so much rage at being held like he was, impotent, with no backup, no possibility of escape, that the empty boast helped him compose himself a bit.
It also revealed that the Mage could not read him perfectly, because she had reacted to his threat, if only momentarily, before appearing relieved to find out the threat was empty.
It was James’s turn to show her a smug look, quickly, just to let her know he had pierced her, and knew she couldn’t read him perfectly.

“You are in no position to make any kind of threats, and if I don’t take kindly to having my officers threatened. If you want this conversation to remain civil, I advise you to remain polite and to reign you temper in. You are the intruder here, not us, so we ask the questions, and you answer. Understood?” The Captain asked with a steel edge in his voice, this time real, not feigned.

James was surprised to see real care from the Captain for his crew, which made him re-assess his situation and believe he was in the “care” of some country’s Navy, not a corporate one, as he had never met a corporate Captain consider his crew as anything else than cannon fodder.
This made James re-assess his strategy.
Real military men were usually more honourable, and while James was indeed an intruder, perhaps by playing it a bit more straight with the Captain, he’d have a better chance of getting out of his predicament unscathed.

“I apologize, Captain! I simply don’t like being probed like a test experiment. But you are correct, I am the intruder here, and so I am at your mercy.” He said, with all the honesty and sincerity he could muster.
“I will tell you as much as I can, but first, I would like to corroborate your Mage’s assessment of my… intervention. I try to kill only when I have no other choice, and had I wanted, I could have killed each and every one of these people, including her.” He said, nodding at the Mage.
“I was doing a mission, as I said, and was in a special location, when there was this flash of light, and I found myself in great pain, which made me pass out. I woke up on your ship, disoriented, and I acted as I had been thought: find an exit, and try not to be seen.
I have no idea where we currently are, but I can tell you my point of origin: Seattle.”

All the members of the ship’s crew raised their eyebrows at this statement, and kept looking at James with incredulity, even after their Mage had nodded to indicate he told the truth.

“Seattle, as in: on Earth?” the Captain asked, incredulous.

That question, for some odd reason, did not reassure James, in fact it did the exact opposite.

“Where else?” He said, fearing the answer.

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:29 pm

Chapter 5

The Captain looked at James, seeming unsure if he truly trusted his Mage’s assessment on whether James was telling the truth or not.

“Where else indeed?” asked the Captain. “Where do you think we are, James?”
The Captain had a strange look in his eyes, which did not reassure James in the least.

“I know I’m no longer in Seattle, that the “Doctor” and the Security Chief are Lt. Cmdrs as their rank pips indicate, which makes one of your guards, the Metahuman one, a Lt., probably second class or some such.
I know you separate security, medical and command structures by uniform shoulder colors.
I know, from the airlock comment the “Doctor” gave me that I am not on dry land in any secure building.
I had thought I was under water, not above, since there was no rolling action, but now, by your reactions, I have to surmise we might be in Earth orbit.
You are not working for any Corp, because you treat me way too well for that, and are too honest with me.
This leaves a Government Navy or space agency.
Your lack of discernable accent –except for a slight German undertone - and your Doctor’s British accent makes me think the British space agency, although I had no clue they already had ships in orbit.
Clearly they are better than we thought at hiding secrets.”
James looked at each of them, taking in every reaction, every movement of an eyebrow, twitching of the mouth, and saw that he was on the mark, or very close to it.

“You are good.” The Captain said, truly impressed.
“But you don’t even know the half of it.” He said with a grin.
“Allow me to fill in the blanks.
Indeed, we do not work for a “Corp”, we work for a Governmental body: The United Federation of Planets.” Captain Kirkinger looked closely at James’s face for his reaction at that statement, and seemed very satisfied with the incredulous look that had appeared on it.
“Yes, James, I said “Planets”. You were right, we’re not on Earth, and we are in high orbit around a world.
That world is called Bajor, and is located 50 light years from Earth.
At our maximum sustainable speeds, this is a full day trip for us.
Our Doctor, or Mage as you called her earlier, is from a planet called Betazed, and her ability to “read” you have nothing to do with magic, they are simply a race of telepathic people.
My Security Chief if from Andoria, and the Lt. guarding the door is from Tellar, both founding members of the Federation.
The Federation comprises 150 member worlds, plus a few protectorates.
Human colonies alone cover over 1000 worlds, and each member has its own colonies.
We’re all part of the exploration and defence branch of the UFP, Starfleet.
While in the good old days, Starfleet was mostly exploration, some unfortunate events lately have made us become much more of a military.”
Captain Kirkinger seemed genuinely sad when he uttered the last sentence, a sadness James saw reflected in the eyes of most of the crew in the room.
“And now for the kicker, James. This is Stardate 51996.5, or in your case, June 24th, 2374.”

There was no way for James to hide his complete surprise.
The statement, apparently true, had taken him completely unprepared.
He had thought of many far-fetched explanations, for after all the original accident had dealt with magic, and James knew how unpredictable magic was, but the thought of having been transported not only far from Earth, but also in the future, had never crossed James mind.
He laid his head on the bed, not knowing how to react, or what to do.
He barely registered the restraints coming off of him, and the Captain helping him sit.
He didn’t know if it was the news, or remnant effects of the Phasers, but he almost fell off the bed, and only the Captain’s grip held him there.

“I don’t think we need those anymore.” He said, looking at the restraints.
“I think it’s safe to say you no longer represent a threat to anyone here, including our “Mage”.”
The Captain’s smile was genuine, warm, and honest.
“When are you from, James?”

“2058.” He replied half-heartedly.

“That would explain the references to “Corps” and Mages. History wasn’t well documented after the end of the third world war in 2053…”
“There was never a third World War in 2053!” James interrupted the Captain.
“Sure, there were many conflicts, but never such a war”.

“Hhmm… A parallel reality then?” Mused the Captain.

“That would concur with our findings, Captain.” Said a cold, dispassionate voice.
“Detailed scans of his intrusion area show high concentration of decaying Verteron and Chronoton particles. Thus, he apparently came onboard through a time-vortex of some sort.”
The new arrival was a woman, beautiful, yet severe looking. Her olive skin, dark hair and green eyes would have held anyone’s attention wherever she went, James was certain.
Then he noticed the ears: she was an Elf.
An Elf in space, he thought.
Which would also explain the perceived haughtiness in her voice, James mused.
“But more importantly,” she continued, “His Quantum Resonance frequency doesn’t match ours.”
She looked at the Captain as if her last sentence explained everything, and perhaps it did for these people, James thought, but it truly did not shed any light for him.

“You have instruments that can tell you I’m not from your century, or even more strange, that I’m not even from your… reality?”
James still had a hard time accepting all this, as it was far too incredible to be believed.

The Elf explained:
“Of course, Starfleet, with the help of the Vulcan Science counsel, developed a means to measure the resonance of particles’ quantum fields nearly 30 years ago. We learned that all particles in this reality had the same resonance frequency, which led to the proof, due to different resonance frequencies of certain objects – or people – that there were indeed multiple realities co-existing together in what one would call a “multiverse”.”
The Elf looked at James expectantly, leading him to the conclusion she wanted some sort of response.

“Ok,” he said, “I have to accept it because I have no proof to the contrary, and can find no logical reason for such a setup to be faked. I gather the Chronoton particles, due to the name similarity with Chronos, have to deal with time, but what are Verterons?
Do they have something to do with that “vortex” you mentioned?
Are they used to open some sort of tunnels… In space?”

“In space, or simply in what we call “reality”. You have an amazing understanding of advanced Quantum Physics for someone coming from such a primitive society.” The Elf said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, well, I catch on fast, and your explanations were actually simple. I’m pretty sure the moment you try to explain the underlying principles, you’ll lose me.”

“Perhaps you are right.”

Captain Kirkinger looked at James and the Elf with a small smile, and said:
“I think I’ve never seen the Cmdr so happy. Cmdr T’Len, perhaps when our guest feels better, you can explain to him how we plan to get him home.”

“Captain, you know that happiness comes from emotions, which I do not have. I have performed my work diligently, as always. Please do not insult me in front of the intruder.” The Cmdr said dispassionately.
“As for a way home, I do not that answer at the moment. I barely had the time to run all these tests with all the mission preparation we have to perform.”

“Ah, that is true.”
Addressing James, he continued:
“I’m afraid your voyage home will have to wait for some time. We have a critical mission to undertake, and we cannot be delayed.
Doctor, if our crewmembers are fine and don’t require your attention, please take care of our guest.
Find him some quarters, and get him some food.
I believe the Star Lounge would be the perfect place.” The Captain finished with a knowing smile.

James didn’t know what to say.
He’d come aboard these people’s vessel - still not sure if he should truly believe all their stories – as an intruder, had hurt many people, and still he was being treated extremely well, as if he were a friend.
What strange culture this is, he told himself, so caring, so very nice. What would I be today if I had lived here, instead of my timeline?
The Doctor’s voice brought him out of his reverie.

“Come!” She said, “Let’s get you some food, and then we’ll see about your quarters.”
Last edited by Praeothmin on Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Khas
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Khas » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:57 pm

Good. Except for the fact that the 1990s were the time of the Eugenics Wars. World War III was from 2026 to 2053. Sorry, I'm just a Canon Nazi when it comes to timelines and tech.

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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Admiral Breetai » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:02 am

you are good...I like keeps it up plz?

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:15 pm

Khas wrote:Good. Except for the fact that the 1990s were the time of the Eugenics Wars. World War III was from 2026 to 2053. Sorry, I'm just a Canon Nazi when it comes to timelines and tech.
Thanks a bunch, I tried finding dates for the 3rd WW in ST but found none.
I'll modify the dates.
Thanks.
Admiral Breetaï wrote:you are good...I like keeps it up plz?
Thanks, I intend to.
Let's just say I'm at the beginning of what I want to do with this story, and it will definitely be a cross-over with many universes, Sci-Fi or not... :)

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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by sonofccn » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:43 pm

Praeothmin wrote:Let's just say I'm at the beginning of what I want to do with this story, and it will definitely be a cross-over with many universes, Sci-Fi or not... :)
Nice...don't suppose we might beg a few hints at those universes could we?

Praeothmin
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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:33 pm

sonofccn wrote:
Praeothmin wrote:Let's just say I'm at the beginning of what I want to do with this story, and it will definitely be a cross-over with many universes, Sci-Fi or not... :)
Nice...don't suppose we might beg a few hints at those universes could we?
Well, there will be some "snap-hiss" sounds, we'll meet some frakkers, and some others I will keep secret for now... :)

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Re: "The long Journey" (a Shadowrun crossover with everythi

Post by Praeothmin » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:11 pm

Chapter 6

James could see the Captain’s decision did not please everyone, at least not the Security Chief, as the look he shot James as he left the room seemed deadly.
He’d have to watch his back around that one, he figured, but he was also happy that he was dealing with something he was used to: a dangerous opponent with a grudge.
As they started towards what James assumed was the “Star Lounge”, he looked at the Doctor and, in an embarrassed tone, said:

“I wanted to apologize for what I did to you. Where I come from, pretty much the only response to any kind of danger is to hit it hard and fast, else you die hard and fast.
I’d rather we started over on the right foot.” He said, extending his hand.
“Hi, I’m James Reynolds! The few friends I have call me James”

“Hello James,” she replied, taking his hand and flashing him a smile that made his knees want to go weak. He only then noticed how utterly beautiful she was, with her thin body, bronzed skin and short blond hair, her pouty lips, pert nose and enrapturing icy blue eyes.
“My name is Valis Numorr, of the Fifth House of the Bearers of Light, Heir to the throne of KelenThurk.”

She held his hand for some time, James feeling as if she was holding his soul as well, before snapping out of it and wondering, the paranoia returning somewhat, if she had perhaps used her powers to enthral him.

“Wow, impressive title,” he said, “Does this mean I have to call you Princess, or your Majesty?”

“Well, most of my colleagues call me Cmdr Numorr, but my friends call me Valis. I’d love for you to call me Valis.” She finished with a smile.
After which, she turned and resumed her walk to the “Star Lounge”.
James followed, unsure what to make of the events that had just transpired, but certain that this wasn’t the end of it.
This was fine by him.

They crossed corridors familiar to James, as he realized he had “appeared” very close to the medical room.
After walking around bending corridors, and travelling perhaps 35 meters, they arrived to automated doors that were wider than the standard room doors.
Valis stopped in front of them, and gestured to James to go through first, which he did.
He entered the room to find a mix between a lounge, restaurant and a club, with a section to the left filled with tables where patrons sat with food and drinks, to rows of what looked like sofas lining the far walls, and two bars straight down the middle, each one facing an entrance, as the room seemed the perfect example of symmetry.
It was big, almost 40 meters across, by 30 meters deep, filled with all kinds of plants and flowers, some he recognized from Earth and others the origins of which he had no idea.
But the one thing that really captured his gaze once he entered was the view.
The rooms’ far wall, the exterior wall from what he could tell, had windows 3 meters tall, and at least 30 meters wide, and through those windows, James saw a sight no one he had known in Seattle had ever seen: a planet’s curved surface as seen from high orbit.
To the left of the windows, he could see the stars, bright and crisp, and to the right, the blue and green surface of Bajor, with white, pure, unpolluted clouds lazily moving across the sky.

James stood there, transfixed, until he felt the hand of the Doctor touch his arm gently.
He was halfway into a pivot, his right hand coming up to the Doctor’s face, when he stopped cold, realising where he was, and who it was he had almost hit.
Years of living on the fringe of society, where violence was a normal way of life for all, had honed his reflexes to the point few could take him by surprise, but the downside was also that any lapse in vigilance could result in unfortunates accidents for friends and allies when one was surprised.
The startled look on Valis’s face horrified him to no end, and so he blurted out:

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” over and over, heedless to the many stares he was receiving, to the hushed voices he was hearing, even to the few officers who had gotten up once they had seen his posture, and were currently making their way towards Valis and him, determination in their eyes.
These were Starfleet officers, the finest people the UFP had to offer, and they would never let anyone threaten one of their own.

“Step away from her!” A threatening voice said.

James barely looked at the person who had spoken, solely intent on Valis and her reaction.
She seemed to compose herself, then looked around and, noticing the crowd approaching, said with as much composure as she could muster:
“Everybody, at ease! I am fine, nothing happened here. Our friend overreacted a bit,” she said, “But he’s fine now, and so am I. You must excuse him, for he is not from around here.”
She looked at the officers who had been coming to her help, and added:
“But I am happy to know I can count on such good officers to help any colleague in need. You make me proud to work with this crew.” She finished with a smile.

While to James, the compliment had seemed heavy handed, he noticed it had had the effect Valis had most likely striven for: everyone was going back to their seats, almost as relaxed as before the incident, smiling, and happy that their efforts had been appreciated.
This also meant that they would not stare at James as much as they normally would, and lunch – or dinner or breakfast, James didn’t really know – would be more relaxed.
She’s good, real good, he thought.
He also realized that one of the reasons people might look at him, even had he not almost attacked the Doctor, was that he was still wearing his dark blue combat fatigues with his form-fitting armour underneath.
And also realized something else: he was hungry, as if he had not eaten for a whole day.
For all I know, the last time I ate really was a day ago.
His augmentations placed high protein and carbohydrate demands on his body for everything to run efficiently, and so he hoped that this advanced society also was advanced nutritionally.
And he hoped above all else that they had no soy food.

“Valis,” he said tentatively, watching her reaction, “I think it would be safest for everyone if I sat with my back to a wall.”

“Agreed!” She said with a smile that had returned with full force, “As I’m not sure you’d restrain yourself as much if it were anyone else who surprised you.”

He knew he must have blushed, for her smile to over her entire face, and when she turned to lead him to a seat, her gait was almost bouncing.
After taking them to a table located in the corner of the room, next to the window, Valis indicated a seat to James that would place the wall at his back, but where he could also look out the window while he was eating.
He understood the intention, but thought he’d rather just be looking at her, when her smile reminded him she was a telepath.
Blushing once more, he looked out the window, trying his hardest to appear entranced by the view, knowing full well she was reading him plain as day.
And he didn’t mind.

“What would you like to eat?”

“Well, I’d like to see a menu first, to see what they have. Unless, of course, we only have rations since this is supposed to be a military ship.” he said, nodding towards the plants and the bars, a smile on his face.

“It is,” she said, “Except I’m certain it is like no military you’ve ever known.
As for the menu, there is none. You say what you want, and we’ll have it replicated.”

“Repli-what?”
“Replicated, as in, made with the Replicators.”
It was very clear to James she was toying with him, knowing full well he had no idea what she was talking about, but he didn’t mind, and decided that he’d like for her to toy a lot more with him.
This time, she was the one to blush, which made James proud of himself.

“Ok, let me guess,” he said, “These Replicators are life automated food dispensers, right?”

“Sort of. They actually used stored organic material to create any food you want, with the same nutritional value as the original dish or meal.”

“Yeah, sure they do. Come on, matter cannot be created, nor can it appear out of thin air.” he said incredulously.

“James, we could argue all day, but you wouldn’t believe me anyways. Just order, and let me know what you think.”
She looked at a waiter, who noticed and came to their table.

“What can I serve you?” he said with a genuine smile, even when looking at James.

“I’ll have a Chef Salad, no dressing, with lemonade, and my friend will have?” she left the question hanging.

“Ok,” he said, looking at her with a wry smile, “Let’s play it your way.”
He looked up at the waiter “I’ll have a 12 ounce sirloin steak, medium, with basmati rice and steamed broccoli.
And I’ll have lemonade as well.”

“Right away sir. Doctor.” The waiter replied, and he left to get their orders.

“Valis, I still have some questions for you about… well, everything!” James said.

“Go ahead, I’m all ears.” She said, laying her head on her hands, looking right into his eyes.
James had some trouble concentrating, but he shook it off, and asked.

“Earlier, in the medical room…”

“It’s called SickBay.” Valis interrupted.

“Ah! In SickBay then, the Captain and the Elf…”

“Lt. Cmdr T’Len, and she is Vulcan.”

“Thanks! Anyways, they mentioned a possible way home for me, and while they didn’t have it yet, they didn’t say or infer in any way it was impossible. Is Time Travel something you have experience with?”

“James, here at Starfleet, time travel is a way of life.” She said with a smile.
Noticing his surprised expression, she quickly added:
“Seriously, it’s not something we deal with often, which is why we can’t just send you home right now, but it’s a common enough occurrence that we had to create the Temporal Integrity Commission to monitor Time Travel and its effects on our timeline.
Don’t worry, if there’s a way to send you home, Cmdr T’Len will find it.
She’s as talented as she is persevering.” She ended, taking James hand in hers to reassure him.

The waiter arrived with their food and drinks, so Valis let go of his hand, and made James wish a vortex would appear and take the waiter away.
The loud growling of his stomach reminded him that he truly needed to eat though, and so he did.
The food tasted great, everything seemed fresh, as if just prepared by a cook, and best of all there was no under taste of soy permeating the food.
James felt as close to paradise as any man from his lifestyle could be, with great company, great food and the best view one could ever hope for.

They ate mostly in silence, James almost sucking his food in his mouth because he was so hungry, a few times remembering he was not alone, and that he was not eating in the company of Trolls, and so he slowed down, wiped his mouth clean with a napkin, and resumed at a more normal pace.
But his eating habits had not seemed to daunt the Doctor, who smiled all through the meal, sometimes looking straight into James eyes, as if she were trying to see his soul.
After the meal, she got up, and beckoned James to follow her.

“We need to find you some quarters. I believe there are some that will do nicely.”
As they were walking, in silence, she hit her Comm-Badge and said:
“This is Cmdr Numorr to security. Please bring our guest’s belongings in quarters 95B. Numorr out.”
She turned and smiled again at James as her badge let out a “Security here, understood.”

They arrived at the end of a corridor, and as the doors hissed open, James noticed they were entering a small cabin.
Most likely an elevator, James thought.

“How big is the ship?” he enquired.

“440 meters long, 300 meters wide and 82 meters high. It has 22 decks, some small, some big. Deck 7.” She said, and James was so entranced by her eyes it took him a full second for him to understand she was speaking not to him, but to the elevator.

“It’s a big ship.” He said with admiration. “I guess it must be one of your biggest, right?”

“Hardly, the longest ship class we have is the Sovereign-class, a Heavy Explorer, at 685 meters, but our most voluminous is the Galaxy-class ship, at 640 meters long, with a mass of 4.6 million tons.
What makes the Akira-class special is that it is the first Starfleet Gunboat/Fighter carrier.”

James couldn’t believe this, but then, in a society with over 150 member worlds, 600 meter ships should not be surprising, he figured.
The lift stopped softly and the doors opened on another corridor which resembled the one they had just left.
James knew if he had been alone he would more than likely have gotten loss.
The Doctor led him through another corridor, and they finally stopped in front of a door.

“Here you are. Let me show you in and, more importantly, show you how everything works.”
They entered the small, but comfortable looking room, and James noticed his equipment had been laid on the bed.
The room resembled the first one James had seen after he had woken up, and so this room also reminded him of a small hotel room, with a sleeping corner, and a work desk complete with personal computer.
While listening to Valis explain how things worked, he absentmindedly went to his gun and checked if everything was secure.
He froze in his track when the Valis said:
“And here’s where you can get more 12 ounce steaks, if you wish.”
He looked up, and saw a small recess in the wall, about 2 feet wide, by 1 foot tall and 1 foot deep.
There was a control panel above it, and he expected the Doctor to hit a button as she went up to it, but she simply told it:
“Sirloin steak, medium”.
A woman’s voice replied, stating:
“Please state the type of animal meat you wish to consume, and the type of cooking.”
The voice even had a semblance of emotion.
It sounded nothing like the voice-recognition software James had seen in corporate enclaves.
“Cow, Earth animal, on the grill.” Valis answered.
And in a golden-yellow light show, a plate appeared out of thin air, with a grilled steak sizzling on it.
Valis noticed James’s surprised look, his gaping mouth, and smiled smugly.
“When you’re done, you put the empty plate back in and order: Return.”
In the same golden-yellow light show, the entire plate vanished.

“What the Frag? You have matter converters?” James asked, almost disbelieving what his eyes had shown him.

“Oh, we have much, much more.” She replied in a tantalizing way.
She pointed to a small doorway at the back of the room, and explained that it was the bathroom, with a sonic shower, another piece of technology James couldn’t believe, and the basin where he could brush his teeth and wash his face.
Everything came out of the wall as needed, and went back in when you were done.
The water, Valis explained, was purified using extremely powerful filters, and returned to the system.
Then she showed him the crapper, and explained how it worked, including the three seashells situated on the right side of it.

They exited the bathroom, and she showed him the computer, explained it too was voice activated, and that James was free to peruse the contents of all historical, scientific or even alien databases.
All he had to do was ask, and the computer would show him.
And whenever something was restricted, it would let him know.
Looking at all these wonders, James had a question pop up in his mind.

“Tell me,” he asked Valis, “With all your technology and gadgets, life must be so easy. But does everyone have equal access, or do the poor wait in line while the rich take what they want?”

“There hasn’t been poverty, pollution or famine on Earth in over 250 years. Or even on any Federation member planets. There are no “poor” in the Federation.”
She had stated it proudly, as someone who profoundly believed in what she was doing, what her leaders were doing.
And standing there, as proud as she was, James thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
He was completely enraptured by her eyes, her lips, her skin, he couldn’t stop thinking about her.
“What about work, then?” he said, almost absentmindedly, slowly getting closer to her, “Do people still work since they don`t need to?”
She didn’t back away, simply looked up into his eyes when she answered:
“People work to better themselves, they do what they like, and never feel the pressure of having to, but simply of wanting to.”

For a long moment, there was silence.
James had so many other questions he had wanted to ask, but at the moment all he could think of, all he wanted was to touch her, to feel her body against his, to kiss her passionately.
He was looking in her eyes, she was looking in his, slowly getting closer, their lips seemingly drawn together by some unknown force.
Last edited by Praeothmin on Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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