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  • 📅 September 2023 is YE 45.7 in the RP.

RP The Cell


Well-Known Member
RP Date
YE 45.1
RP Location
Recoiling into itself, Aliset's mind threw up instinctive barriers, walls against the blade's probing, though some part of her knew it wouldn't hold long. Much as I'd love to play, I need to get back to my fiance. Mind telling me where I am? Her thoughts echoed out, hoping to be heard in the din of misery. At least she wasn't alone.

Aliset's voice cracked, strained with the dryness of vacuum exposure, and she swallowed heavily, a hand instinctively reaching for her throat only to catch on the restraints as she coughed heavily. "Wh-- Where am I? I... Don't remember what happened... I'm a Tsulrati. Senti. There should be a document on the public medical servers... What happened?"

The blade, the blade was gone. The other minds were there. Except the woman standing before her. Aliset could feel nothing from the woman. More confusing was when the Doctor feel to floor in a grand mal seizure. He body stiffened and jerked back and forth on the floor for a few moments. As the seizure subsided. The doctor dragged herself to stand, clearly exhausted, tears rolling down either side of her face.

"If you don't answer my dear friends questions, there will be consequences. Go ahead Abby, why don't you ask our new friend again. We will see if she understands this game...." The child's voice rang out from somewhere in the cell.
Abigail winced as she asked again, a small trickle of blood escaping her mouth to drip down onto the otherwise spotless lab coat. "I am unfamiliar with your species nutritional needs. What are they?
"Doctor!" The word ripped free before she could stop it, her body snapping tight against the restraints as her instinct to render assistance took over her rational thought. Her mind reached out, probing where she felt the children, checking that they were okay, before coiling and lancing a white hot bolt of rage and agony where she had felt the blade before, striking for the heart of that impenetrable alloy.

Finally, she allowed herself to breathe, her fear radiating off her in waves so easily mistaken for rage and wrath. "I don't know, okay? I'm a Navigator, not a dietician. I know the basics. But not enough for you to make Shuristan food. Metallic proteins, polypeptides, and amino acids, iron based, with an ATP/PTP glucose metabolism. Just don't hurt her. She's trying to help."

Gestalt psychic entity, AI manifesting, she noted, considering her plan of attack.. The staff are victims, too. Good to know. What's the source? The children?
As Alisets words tumbled from her mouth, she knew her psychic assault had struck home as Abigail's nose began to bleed. More tears streamed down the doctors face as she tried to focus through the pain and record the answers Aliset had given her. With one last furtive look, Abigail turned and left the room.
Watching the nosebleed and the doctor's tears made Aliset's heart skip a beat as she reconsidered taking this as a straight fight. She was capable of inducing sensation and hallucinations, not causing actual, physical damage like that. But the fact that she didn't feel the telltale pull of a psionic signal controller indicated, to her, that she was not the only telepath in this place. Wherever this was. More important, perhaps, that she wasn't the only organic telepath. Which told her that others had suffered the deformity in her brain that allowed the ability on a raw, evolutionary and instinctive scale with none of the finer control that allowed her to actually do anything. Which was why she had worn the collar. To protect those around her from her leaking emotions and keep her from accidentally smiting someone.

All at once, her mind's eye was filled with an image of Sacre's smile as she asked herself what she would do. With the faces of Levente and Nicol as she considered her memories of them, thought forms of ghosts to compartmentalize herself and ask them for advice. That helped with being alone. She knew they couldn't release her from her chains. But at least they could be there while she pushed the thought out, a chorus of her voice and mind powering a telepathic beacon.

"Alright, you. Where am I? What are you? You think you can just wander off like that? Play your games. I won't be your friend if you hurt your friends like that Your mother would be ashamed. I'll make sure she knows."
As time passed in the cell, Aliset's sense of reality began to blur. Without windows or any sense of the outside world, it was impossible to tell the time of day, or even the passing of days. At times, Aliset wondered if they had been forgotten, left to languish in this empty cell indefinitely. Time in the cell became a never-ending loop of boredom, fear, and uncertainty, with no end in sight.

Her unbridled telepathy began to show her strange things. Certain minds she had sensed since she awoke in this forsaken place would blink out, gone as if they never existed. Shortly later they would then reappear. This happened for a while, then changed to multiples, at first only two or three. More recently whole groups seemed to have blinked out then back. Then, the dark times started. The blinks would be accompanied by sharp pain, anguish, loss. Emotional extremes. It was if something was testing aliset to see exactly how much she could sense.

The testing stopped. It was impossible to know for how long. Nutrient cubes were being fed to her via an apparatus on her chair. He limbs were moved against her will to maintain blood flow. There was an automated waste elimination system. The doctor had never returned. The blade never came back into Alisets consciousness.

Aliset felt something coming to her. It was like a beacon of light in the darkness. Happiness. Joy, wonder, an obvious innocence. The door to her cell opened. A human child entered. A boy of roughly 8 years of age.

"Dr. Abby said I could talk to you, would you like to talk?"

The restraints on Alisets chair released.
Finally free, Aliset considered ripping herself out of the chair, fighting her way free, causing as much damage as possible on her way out. But now there were confirmed children involved. So in stead, she leaned up carefully, rubbing at her wrists. Her thoughtforms had never dissolved, the hallucinations of the people she loved forming a comforting presence that kept her from slipping into the autophobic panic her species was known to have. She'd even managed to get some sleep, with the help of careful meditation. But there wasn't much to talk about. And a hallucination, a thoughtform of someone she loved was only ever her interpretation, and could never say something she didn't know.

"I gotta admit, I'm glad for a visitor," she offered a soft smile, rolling off the chair to get to her feet and stretch. Certainly, the movement had helped with circulation, but it hadn't done a damn thing for the way her body compressed in gravity. The way her shoulders popped back into place and her hips clicked as she stretched. When she was done, she slowly approached the child, settling to her knees in front of the boy. "My name's Aliset. Dr. Abby really worried me the last time I saw her. I hope she's okay. What's your name?"
The boy approached Aliset confidently. "My name's Theodore, but my friends call me Theo. I am gonna grow up to be a Doctor like Doctor Abby so I can help people! What do you do?" He asked Aliset as he held his hand out to shake hers while sitting cross legged in front of her. "Why is your skin a funny color?"
"That's a really great goal, Theodore. I captain a personnel transport ship, from a place called Shurista." She offered a bright smile, feeding into the child's joyous and hopeful emotional pattern. "Being a doctor is a lot of work. It's what my cousin does... My skin?" Looking down at her hands, Alisert gave a small smile. Unlike humans, Aliset was pale, her skin a matte silver with blue undertones where humans would have been pink.

"People like me are called tsulrati. It means voidborn. We're a peaceful people that live in the emptiness between stars, moving from place to place. But we're not like humans. Our bodies are built weird, with bones in different places, oil for blood, and gravity hurts us over time. In the end, though, we're just people. Not so different from everyone else. There's a person I love with green hair and a tail like a snake. Or another is a machine who can look however she wants. People get built different. Some times it makes us better at something. But there's always a cost to it."
"I know, progress requires sacrifice." The boy said matter of factly and sighed as he lifted his shirt to reveal a spiderweb of surgical scars. "Do you know any games?" He said as he dropped his hair and poked at Alisets arm with his index finger.
"I have a scar just like that. Some people thought they could make me better by giving me the power to interface with some technology. In stead, I got really sick. But I know a few games. Do you have a favorite you'd like to show me?" Aliset stayed kneeling, her hands folded in her lap as she watched the boy poke her arm. He would find the skin there to be soft, almost human in texture and firmness, if thicker, like a layer of leather or rubber lay beneath the surface.
The boy placed his hand on his chin and seemed to be deep in thought for a few moments. "My head kind of hurts. I'm not sure."

The young girls voice chimed in from a speaker somewhere in the room. "Ms. Aliset, why don't you tell me some more about yourself? I would love to hear more of this snake person with green hair, or a person who can make themselves look like what ever they want. They sound like great friends to have around! You wouldn't dare to lie to me either would you?"
The boys hands flew to his temples with an exclamation of pain as the last words came from the speakers.....
"Woah, woh, hey, you're gonna be okay." Quickly, Aliset reached out, pulling the boy into her arms to support him and keep him from hurting himself if this entity tried making an example of him like it had with Dr. Abby.

"Miss green hair is my fiance. A Separa'Shan. She's normal for her species. And the machine woman is also normal. Her body has a range of adjustments that it can go through to make it look how the being in the body wants to. It's a normal machine body. Nothing special for the world out there. I have to get back to her." Aliset let her defenses open slightly, feeling around the child for any kind of link she could detect, anything she could latch on to and either choke into submission or sever entirely to stop Theodore's pain when she smote the entity again.

"No lies. They are normal. Not human, but normal. I once had a near human husband. He went... The Navy called it missing in action. Presumed dead. The husband like me... He was there when my ship was shot. He died to save my life. Why are you doing this? You didn't need to hurt him. I'm telling you everything."
There was no telepathic connection to the child, Aliset simply felt the same broken minds she had become familiar with.

"Ms. Aliset, progress requires sacrifice. What are their names? What are their careers? Why were you at Gashmere?"

A whimper came from the boy as tears began to stream from his eyes.
"Sacre Ven Sanssinnia was there to assist in medical modernization of Gashemere's medical infrastructure in the wake of the chemical attack on the Capitol. I was her ride. I tried running from the Seventh Fleet near the system and got my ship impounded. Figured the best way to get my ship back was to help resolve the conflict. I was a Civil Service postage captain before going freelance, and went to school for xenopolicy sciences. So I thought I could handle it by talking to the parties involved. Figure out what was going on."

She continued holding Theo, gently rocking him as if to defend him. "When the Hammer launched, and the storm came, I told her father I was marrying his daughter, then I went into damage control to try to save the station. I still don't know what's happening, I never got far enough to know who would be behind these disasters. They never came forward with demands. They never seemed to want anything. Just did things that the Star Army would be blamed for. And barring them, the AXL. But the AXL is nonviolent. They're cultural preservationists, and you can't preserve a culture if there's no one left to live it. All I have is stupid conjectures from a failed hack of a political disaster. I should have stayed on the ship, parked it somewhere and just shut down my comms. But I can't not get involved. I'm Senti. And the community needed help."
"Ms. Aliset, I am not sure that we understand each other. I have to ask myself, why would a woman who had her ship impounded by the Star Army of Yamatai arrive to a commissioning ceremony, on a Star Army shuttle, dispatched from a Star Army installation, accompanied by a Star Army Admiral, who just so happens to be in charge of Task Force Piglet? I feel like perhaps you need to understand the consequences of not being honest with me. Naughty, naughty. Now think about what you've done."

Theodores body seized. Then went limp.
"Because I'm not a coward who hurts innocents to extract information from people! My ship would have been sold at auction if I refused! And my fiance's a Star Army officer! She's a doctor! I was there to get help, okay? If I rubbed a few elbows, played some games, got to know the right people, maybe I could find something useful. Get the Star Army to release my ship and maybe, just maybe save some lives doing it."

As Aliset felt Theo go limp in her arms, she drew him into her chest, supported and anchored by her arms so that he wouldn't choke on himself, or get hurt trying to move prematurely. Fear, the white hot rage and wrath Shuristans were known to have when scared, was replaced by cold venom and honey. Anger. Precise, calculating. Everything she was learning about this entity was compiling in some deep portion of her mind, constructing, deconstructing, extrapolating and elaborating. She didn't try to hide it, either. Just kept some shard of her focus on it.

"So why rescue me? What could I have that you could possibly want? Cause if I knew, then maybe I could give it to you in stead of people suffering for your incapacity to understand that my species doesn't have a concept of lies. My culture always said that the universe will destroy to make a mistruth we speak into the truth we spoke. I refuse to be someone else's cause of death. So tell me what you want, you sick coward."
"Return to your seat Ms. Aliset. Promptly. I wouldn't want you to feel responsible for any more harm to poor, little, innocent Theo." Theo's chest had stopped moving, his lips had the faintest tinge of blue to them.
In the instant that Aliset realized Theo had stopped breathing, she cursed, a sharp lance of Shuristan words trying to cut their way through the padding and the microphone as she laid him down on the floor and started going through her training to get him to breathe again.

As she worked, she cursed at the voice in mixed Shuristan, Yamataigo, Trade, any language she could reach, with variations of "rank, arrogant amateur," among others.

Eventually she shouted loud enough to nearly tear her vocal chords, "You release him right now or I will send us all to the void, and I will burn everything you can hide in!"

Aliset may only have one child, a Helashio already grown when she was adopted. But her lack of ability to safely bear children at this point in her life had gnawed at her, built an instinctive defense of children. This had grown to the point where even when instructed to return to her seat, Aliset's concern was for keeping Theo alive and safe. For him and any other child, she would burn entire worlds. And anyone with any measure of psychic capability within her range could likely feel the maternal fear and righteous fury, like a storm of fire that threatened to consume all it touched, be it metal, stone, or greater. But there was a shadow underneath, in the background of it as she glared at any point where she might be able to reason a camera to be. Greif. Hate. Half a million years of her family's pent up aggression ready to be unleashed at the first opportunity. All she needed was for that door to open. Until then, all she could do was CPR and seethe.

But gods would die before she got back in that chair.
"Ms. Aliset, you are a guest here, and guests should respect the wish of their kind host. I see that clearly, we don't understand each other."

Suddenly. the gravity in the room inverted. Aliset fell 12 feet to the floor, which seconds before had been the ceiling. Theo's body tumbled with her, rag dolling to the new floor next to her. One of his arms was now canted at an odd angle.

"Have you located your manners? The longer you wait, the more harm you cause to the boy."

The gravity inverted again throwing Aliset and Theo the twelve feet to the original floor.

"Sit. Now."
Falling twelve feet might bend a few bones if Aliset fell wrong, but she knew better than to let a human suffer the same injuries, pulling Theo close to her to shelter him with her body as oily tears streamed down her face. "Go to Hell! I gave you everything I know! I answered your questions! Your death will be celebrated! I will bathe in your blood!"

Still, she refused to get into the chair, sheltering the child as she knelt tall and proud, begging him to breathe for her.