Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

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Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:31 am

Sosie's expression hadn't changed from the first time she saw Pinkie's biometrics dip. Despite her still growing ICE system, she gave into the little bitter stab of worry and went down to the Mungo. She didn't know why she felt dread; she'd seen Pinkie take more damage, but it was there just the same.

Her day had gotten worse, after that.

Now in back in Seoul Waste Away, the one place Pinkie had felt truly safe, Sosie's strange expression stayed fixed on her face. There was a very distant look in her eyes, her movements deliberate and slow, her lips slightly twisted into something almost like a smile. She'd had the foresight to bring Dusty, and it was her son that carried the broken body of his mother's girlfriend, her head tucked to his chest, her footless leg dangling. Distantly, Sosie was aware that she had prepared the stasis cabinets for just this reason, but it was hard to think. To form words. Dusty was reverent and silent as Sosie helped him lower the empty body into the casket, standing by his mother and she touched buttons, moved wires. The lid lowered with a hiss. Dusty made nervous eye contact to the medbay door, where his sister met his stare. Bell, normally so doll-like and inanimate, moved a little flightily, as if spooked. Her mother had not stopped her faint rictus grimace.

Sosie ignored her children and looked at the stasis chamber without blinking, and appeared to be thinking hard.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ace Nizky on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:40 am

Ace had changed out of his Cyberframe by the time he got home. Although he had given Parvati a lift he was not the best of company. He had barely said anything in The Room and had said much less than that on the way home. Getting out of the Mungo he crossed the threshold into SWA and crossed the training room, eyes forward. Ignoring everyone around him, as if he didn’t even notice them, he climbed the stairs, entered his room and closed the door behind him There was the click of a lock engaging and then silence from the room that was never locked.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Parvati Comoros Sharma on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:52 am

Parvati hadn't cried. She'd wanted to but she hadn't let herself. It was easy to talk of reincarnation and the immortality of the soul when everyone was alive. And then you lost someone. Parvati had not known Pinkie well but her death had hit her hard. She wished that she could have done more.

She moved stiffly. She pauses in the living area and stares for a long moment at the closed door of Pinkie's room and something deep in her throat began to rise. Parvati turned away unable to focus for a long moment. She gazed after Ace's departing form.

She considered seeking out the others but she had no idea what she would have said to Sosie anyway. So she fell back on what had always been her greatest port. She moved to her room and fell to her knees before her shrine and began to prey her quiet words chanting in hindi, sorrow in every word as tears start to slip through her control. she prays to Shiva, she prays to Yuma and she prays to Vishnu. She prays for Pinkie's soul and she prays for Sosie. She prays that pain and sorrow do not harm those she calls friends.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:55 am

Nearly a thousand kilometers away, in the city of Nanjing, Darya was standing on the roof of an apartment building, telemetric vision focused far away on a factory. Wrapped around her was a long coat, protecting her from the slight chill in the air, that blew slightly in the breeze. She had not moved for almost an hour, ever since Pinkie's biostatus crashed, and for a while before that. She bit down on her smeaker, but, being out of range and not wanting to talk to everyone at once anyway, she pulled out her PDA and sent a message to Ace, asking what was going on.

While she waited for a reply, Darya stood there, and wondered why in her worry and grief, she was also relieved.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ace Nizky on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:06 am

In his room Ace's PDA buzzed. For a long while Ace did nothing. When he eventually pulled it out of its pouch and looked at the screen it was difficult to read the blurry text. Ace blinked a few times to clear his vision and read the message on the screen. It took him a few long moments more before he started writing an answer. He stopped several times, deleting words, phrases and the whole message before he had a completed set of words before him. He looked at it and the screen blurred up again as a few small tears splashed down on the surface of the little device.. Then finally he pressed sent and collapsed back on the bed.

[Pinkie is dead, Darya. Some people attacked the factory while we were there. They shot everything with plasma, but she was fine. She destroyed a MAG tank by herself and leapt from the burning wreckage. But then she wouldn't leave. She stayed behind to kill two UIG officers and I didn't try to stop her. I just ran from her. The Melenbrach killed her, and it's my fault.]
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ida Salcedo on Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:47 am

Around this point, a message from Ida appeared on the SWA residents' PDAs. It read:

I'm going to get even. I'll be back when they're all dead or when I am.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:06 am

Darya read the message twice, before looking up from her PDA. Walking to the entrance to the roof, she walked silently down the stairs of the apartment building, before getting into her van. As she drove, she arranged for a private flight to Seoul at short notice, and a few hours later, she was back in her home city.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:22 pm

Sosie stared at Pinkie through the cold glass top of the stasis chamber. She did not move for about thirty minutes, not even when her PDA blipped, not even when Dusty reached a tentative hand toward her shoulder and thought better of it. Not when her son left, not while her daughter stared unblinking.

Eventually her arms moved, feet shuffled, body moving as if manipulated by too tight strings. Cords were produced from walls and instruments and plugged into X-pin sockets. The scientist produced her PDA, plugged it into the stasis case. Her eyes seemed blank, strangely distant. The main computer rig began to very very softly click in the other room. She removed her PDA. She moved her hand to touch the top of the clear casket, but stopped halfway, her fingers curling. Her head snapped up.

"Bell, intercom." There was a soft click from the house speakers as her daughter silently obeyed. "Everyone, you have until tomorrow morning at eight AM to move out."

Message delivered, Sosie walked wordlessly and with mechanical speed to her room, door closing quietly but firmly behind her.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:01 pm

Darya had just entered the door when the message came. Her face, which had been completely blank , twisted into a weird mix of panic, concern and...possibly some anger as she immediately headed for the stairs, not bothering to remove her coat or unholster her weapons. Taking the steps three at a time, she jumped down and in front of Sosie's door. She raised her hand and knocked sharply, before she realized that turning up in front of her grieving friend with plasma rifles may not be the best idea. Throwing them to the side, she knocked again and spoke gently but loudly "Sosie. I want to talk to you."
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:24 pm

Sosie did not respond, and in fact, no noise could be heard from inside her room.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:29 pm

Darya cursed, before running back the way she came, calling out as she did so. "Bell! Dusty! Are you there?". She dashed around the entire house, either until she got a reply or until she had searched everywhere.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:38 pm

As Darya walked upstairs to the ground floor, Bell stuck her head out of the little crevice in the main rig that opened up into Dusty's room. Her eyes were wider than normal. Once she was sure she had caught her aunt-in-law's eye, she moved back into the space where Dusty could have privacy. It hadn't changed much since his birth, with just a small amount of clutter added on flat surfaces... Namely, comics. Dusty rose to his feet when his aunt entered, and he immediately wrapped her in a hug. Of course, he had not changed since he carried Pinkie inside, and his jacket was sprinkled with tiny droplets of blood and ichor, but he didn't seem to notice. "Auntie Darya!"

Bell took a seat on the bed, Smallest clutched in her arms like a ragdoll. Except for the slight stare and her grip on the cyberlynx, she appeared as normal.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ace Nizky on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:48 pm

Ace looked at the PDA again as it buzzed in his hands. He read the message and wrote a reply that was very to the point.

[Do. Not. Die.]

It had been hours, but Ace hadn't moved. The tears had dried up some time ago, now there was just pain and regret. He just sat there thinking about his life and the lives of those around him before a very important message came over the intercom. He sat there for a moment longer, all his thoughts disappearing, then the slowly stood up. He reached under the bed for the mule-tech there and started to fill it with all his belongings. Ace had never owned very much in the way of material possessions so it didn’t take very long and the bag wasn’t even half full. When he was finished the room was exactly as it was before he moved in, it was as if no-one had ever been there.

The door unlocked with another click, very audible in the silence of the house. He started walking, slowly and without his usual purposeful stride. He stopped suddenly as the bottom of the stairs as he spotted Darya being held in an embrace by the artificial man with the mind of a child. He tried not to catch her eye as he shuffled past wordlessly.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:50 pm

Darya gently hugged Dusty back, before breaking it and sitting down next to Bell, putting her arm around Bell's shoulders. "Hey. Are you two...okay?" she asked, looking between them. "How about your mum, what's she doing?" she continued, looking between them and gently running her fingers through Bell's hair.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:06 pm

Dusty and Bell made eye contact for a moment, and it was the older sister who spoke first. "She wants everyone to leave." Bell's voice was still soft and collected, but there was the a tiny tremor around the last few syllables. She squeezed Smallest closer to her chest very slightly, her silver fingers scratching the lynx's furry chin. Despite her massive strength, she was still gentle with the tiny cyberpet even as she clung to her. "Pinkie looked... ..very damaged."

Dusty spoke next, eyes still on his sister's face. His voice was a bit warmer, careful, before he turned his gaze back to his aunt. "I don't think Mom wants anyone to bother her."
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ace Nizky on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:51 pm

Ace tried to leave without saying anything, without disturbing anyone. He tried to do it quietly and if Darya wasn't there he would have managed it. He put his bag in the back of his Mungo and was behind the wheel, but he couldn't start the car. Darya was in there, and if Waste Away was not going to be his home any more it wasn't going to be hers either. She wasn't on the mission; she wasn't there when Pinkie died. Ace couldn't just leave her. He owed her an explanation. He didn't sit in the van very long before he opened the door and got out. Nervously he stood in the doorway of the training room and watched Darya and the replecants interacting, listening to their words and not realy understanding. How had they seen Pinkie? Was she... here? Had the UIG let Sosie take her body away? Ace couldn't pluck up the courage to go any further so he just stood there and watched, not hiding but not taking any active part. Just watching and listening.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Parvati Comoros Sharma on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:17 am

Parvati looked up from her prayers at the voice over the intercom and then lowered her head once more. She didn't pray. She just sat there. She had always been taught by Comoros to stand by your allies in good times and bad. She wanted to grieve with her friends and then in their unity allow the healing to start.

This... this was an ending. It took her back to the last time she'd had to pack her stuff over night. Then it had been in secret, moving under cloak not awakening her room-mate and that had hurt. she had always wondered how betrayed, how alone M'tekali had felt when she had left without a single word. She'd wanted to contact her, to let her know that it wasn't her fault, that their was some way of letting her know that she... but that was behind her it had to be. She had thought that she had come to terms with it. With leaving Comoros.

She looked down at her hands and wondered. Would they take her back? she'd learnt much but she'd hurt the corporation here and there. At least when you knew you served the greater good death was... death was part of the sacrifice. It was regrettable yes but at least it meant something. It was the final act of a life lived in service to an ideal, far greater than any one of its parts. But here... it was what? simply the end. Simply loss without rhyme or reason.

Parvati rose, It would take time to gather her cooking things and as she stepped out she wondered to herself. Had she done the right thing accepting CEO Lee's offer. Had she been right to join Oracle but mostly she wondered why had she ever left Comoros...
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:42 am

Darya hugged Bell to herself tightly. Eventually she whispered "I'm sorry Bell. I'm really really sorry."

Biting down, her smeaker activated on the Oracle channel. "Sosie? Are you there?" she asked "Can we...can we talk?". Upstairs, she looked down at the replicant in her arms and sighed. Sosie wasn't the best parent at the best of times, and now...she looked up at her nephew, the overgrown child who might as well be her son. Would Sosie look after them properly? Would she look after herself properly?

Sosie had always been tettering on the edge. Darya didn't know how far over she'd gone, but she was determined to drag her back as far as possible.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:51 am

"Say what you have to say."
Sosie's response was brief, halting. Dusty tilted his head as he heard his mother's voice, obviously listening to it. His eyes looked around the room, settling on Smallest, his nemesis. The cat looked up at him and opened her mouth silently, but he wasn't really paying attention. His mother was acting.. weird.

Bell did not respond to Sosie's words, still petting the lynx. She moved easily in Darya's arms, putting up no resistance. She had no real reaction either way... Though she did blink a few times.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:55 am

Ace felt like he was eaves dropping. He wasn't welcome in the warehouse any more, yet he lingered, and he might be about to hear a private conversation. Then again he still couldn't bring himself to leave, not to leave the people who had been so good to him when he had no-where to go. He stood still in the doorway and closed his eyes, better to hear what was to come, and if need be interject.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Darya Demeter on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:02 am

Darya began speaking, hesitantly at first, but becoming firmer as she went on. Sosie...when I told you about Natasha, all that time ago, you asked me who's going to take care of me. You said you'd left Dusty to me in your will, if anything happened to you, to take care of him. But... Her hands began to clench into fists. What about you? Who will take care of you? I don't mind if you want us to leave, if that's what you want, I'll go. But I don't want to leave you and the kids alone. Not like this. I want to make sure everyone is looked after. I want to make sure everyone is okay. I don't want to lose anyone else, or for anyone else to get hurt. I...I just want you to be okay...or as close to it as you can be, given what's happened."

Even over smeaker, her voice sounded wobbly at that last bit, and she was beginning to cry. Darya had buried a lot of people close to her. She didn't want to bury anymore, or for anymore to bury themselves.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Parvati Comoros Sharma on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:18 am

There was a crash from the kitchen. The unmistakable sound of breaking crockery. Parvati stood staring down at the broken china of her mortar, the shards of it scattered across the floor of the kitchen. She didn't move. She couldn't move.

If she moved she was going to lose control.

She wanted to run. She wanted to hide. All she could do was stand there staring down at the ruins of the mortar, words and fear echoing and bouncing around inside her head.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  SosieTerrehaute on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:30 am

There was a long pause.
"...I don't care if Dusty goes with you, or you feel the need to check on him. SWA will be open to you--provided you stay out of my way." Dusty tilted his head at this, unsure of how to take the information. Bell's free hand gripped her shirt and squeezed it tight between her metallic flesh fingers, and kept her eyes on her brother as her mother's voice continued. "I will not die. I have work to do."

She believed what she said; her voice was determined, a shiver of anger ringing through the last few words. "Ace will look after you. You look after everyone. But I no longer want a part of it. Leave my home, Darya."
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Ace Nizky on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:32 am

Ace heard the crash. Given how tense he was the sudden noise made him jump. He didn't know who was up there, but he didn't like the sound and his combat instincts overwhelmed his grief. Quickly he drew his gun and hurried up the stairs, to find Parvati filling a bag with cookery equipment and standing in the wreckage of some unidentifiable piece of shattered equipment. He lowered the gun and stood and stared for a long moment while Sosie's reply echoed in his ears. Finally he holstered the weapon and wordlessly walked over to help Parvati pick up the pieces.
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Re: Week 29, First Monday after the Mission: Finality

Post  Parvati Comoros Sharma on Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:05 am

Parvati didn't move. She watched as Ace approached silently and she turned her gaze back on the broken crockery. She wanted to say something, She wanted to provide some comfort to those around her but it stuck in her throat. not a single word escaped her lips which opened slightly at her unbidden command.

She gulps, unable to make any other sound. Her body wanted to give in, her mind wanted to let the emotional wall collapse but Parvati had it nailed down hard. She wasn't entirely sure why but she knew that it was important, far more so than anything else for this one moment in time.

"I broke it." She whispers. Fear and pain bubbled up in her gut. Everything that had been growing here was falling apart. Everything she had built since leaving Comoros. All just splinters on the floor. Shattered from one single destructive blow.

"Why did I leave?" she asks softly.
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