Heaven's Nova

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ochalla, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Lesha exhaled and in her breath was born the twins that are space/time, Olstran and Dehme. Together they bore the multitude of gods. We know not all of their names even now, but some we do; Hom that is light, Keshken who brings of attraction and of course Gohdem that is creation. It is because of Gohdem that stars and planets and black holes and comets exist. It is that gift of creation that we each were born, thanks to Gohdem. Inspiring us and teaching us, so that we can do the same.
    ~ Wendumber, Child Prophet

    Aboard the ship most holy Kamke sat Almeria not knowing her destiny. She had been taken into protective custody from her parents. A student who had not taken any public vows she was seen by the Church as still a child despite her age. Had she taken vows of marriage, of the priesthood, of missionary work, of a healer or a half score of others she would not have considered under her parents protection.

    Almeria had taken vows though, just as sacred as any of the others that the Church recognized, she just hadn't made it public. She had made the first half of her vows, the same vows her grandfather and her true mother had uttered before, at the age of thirteen. A direct petition to Gohdem. She felt the blissful peace of knowing they had been excepted but knew it was not the time to complete her vows that day.

    Five years later Almeria finished her vows of protection, a knight's vow most people would call them. She could not have done so as those before her had, for they were now all dead. If there were others that had taken the vow that were alive she did not know of them, as far as she knew though she was the only one.

    Twelve years ago Almeria was orphaned and instantly became her uncle's daughter to hide her connection with those that were slaughtered, the Church's own protectors betrayed!

    Sitting aboard the ship, Almeria wasn't sure why she was there. The Church took custody of children only in a few cases. Were her parents now being accused of betraying the teaching of the Church? Was she being presented to the priesthood? Almeria didn't know and the uncertainty was driving her nuts. What did they want with her?

    "I suppose I'll know soon enough," she whispered to herself in dread as she clutched her pendant in one hand.
  2. I am neither light nor dark, sun nor moon. I am servant, I am balance. I am a rock in a sea of turmoil. I am truth amongst the lies. That which is acts through me. I am a vessel. I am.

    The prayer did little to soothe the turmoil that rocked the priest. Kidnapping, no matter how noble the reason, was not something he agreed with. He had argued for other courses of action, but the crew was set in its collective mind. The church wanted whoever was on that ship, and they couldn't be allowed to have them.

    Tra'eve Deleshanda paced his quarters, hand occasionally running through his long hair. Tra had eventually allowed himself to be talked into the gambit. It wasn't as though this was his first raid, or even his first kidnapping. It was for a noble cause: if they could trade their prisoner for several of the prisoners the church was holding, it would be worth it. Perhaps he would even see her again. With any luck... His thoughts trailed on for several moments before the comm beeped.

    “Alright, boys and girls. We have visual. Boarding party, assemble near the tubes. Everyone else: stations!”

    Tra'eve would have to put aside his priestly reservations for the moment. The boarding party needed a doctor and he was the most skilled one they had. Tra pulled on his body armor, praying softly that there would be few deaths. He tied his hair back before strapping his gunbelt on, fitting the blaster snuggly in its holster, and making sure that his boots and vest were on securely and pockets were full of necessary tools and weapons. He grabbed his medkit, making his way down the hall and taking the lift to the boarding tubes. It was time.

    The boarding group waited, anticipating as the ship shuddered softly with the firing of the Stellar Flare's shipboard guns. With any luck, the Kamke would be quick to surrender.
  3. There was a sudden lurching, Almeria did not know why. She'd go out of her quarters to ask what was going on, but of course it was locked. For her own protection was the excuse. A prisoner was what she was, either directly or indirectly. Was she being held to keep her parents in line? She hoped that their names had not reached the Prophet's ears. That man was quick to punish, though most saw his alteristic actions. They would defend his actions pointing to all the good.

    Good at what price?

    There were more lurches and then things were steady once more. Maybe there had been engine trouble. Almeria wasn't accustomed to long interstellar flights, s she couldn't be sure. Then there was shouting and she knew finally what was happening.


    Almeria looked around to see if there was anything in the room she could fight with as the door opened. Fight and die, or surrender and fight another day. She chose life for a second time. It was not time to fight yet!
  4. As soon as they had the go ahead, the pirate group boarded. Tra hung back, firing only when necessary and pausing now and then to spray a coagulant on wounds his crew sustained. He tried to remain calm, but the element of danger had him tense. A shot splattered against the wall by his ear. Before he could get his needler up, one of his allies had shot the attacker down.

    “You didn't have to kill him,” Tra growled. He pushed forward; they had to be getting close to their target. Ah, there! The room that intelligence had indicated the passenger was staying in. “Tessa, get this door open!” The young woman nodded to him, moving to press an overrider onto the door locks. In but a few seconds, the doors hissed open.

    Tra raised his gun, as did the others, ready to fight to take their prisoner if it was necessary. The pirates were imposing, dressed in combinations of body armor and garish clothing. Tra, standing at six foot four, had long brown hair and deep blue eyes, which were currently narrowed slightly. He was broad shouldered and dressed similarly to the others, but for a scrap of tattered white cloth he had pinned to his body armor. Scars crisscrossed the backs of his hands. He blinked a few times. Apparently, whatever he had expected to see, the girl in the room was not it.

    “You're to come with us,” Tra said, needler trained on the girl. “Tess, Alshon, stay here and find anything that can prove her identity to... others. Meet up with the hacker group when you're done and get back on the Flare.” Two pirates ducked into the room, moving past the girl. Tra grinned, relief flooding him. This had been relatively easy. He approached Almeria, pulling a pair of restraints from a pocket. “Don't try anything, girl.”
  5. Oh but she wanted to try something, badly! She was outnumbered and out gunned however and if she had had any thoughts before of eluding the pirates they would have been squashed. The insult to injury way the giant of a man they had. At a petit five feet and three inches, this man dwarfed her. She held her arms out in front of her as her amber brown eyes looked at him with scorn. She wasn't going to bother to say anything to him though.

    As he placed the cold restraints on her wrist, Almeria could hear the other pirates rustling around her quarters, likely grabbing all her personal items. At least she might still have her change of cloths. It wasn't all that comforting a thought, but she was trying to keep her mind on the mundane.

    As Tra lead her out of the room and into the hall she whipped her head up, her brown curls bobbing almost as though gravity meant little to them. "I'm a popular girl this week," she concluded. So maybe she couldn't stay quiet after all, though that might have been because she was distracting herself from the body in the corridor which she wasn't sure was still breathing.
  6. Tra chuckled softly. Strangely, it was an almost warm sound. She wasn't crying, or trying to escape, or attempting anything idiotic or foolhardy. He gained a smidge of respect for her. It was rare that a prisoner acted with such dignity, especially without knowing their fate. His hand rested on her arm, restraining her to his side without trying to harm her.

    They made their way onto the sleek little pirate ship and he lead her to the holding cells, sending one of the others to inform the captain that they had their prisoner.

    “Here we are, home sweet home.” There was a subtle shift in pressure as the boarding tube retracted and sealed. He took her restraints from her, gesturing to the cell with his gun. “Make yourself comfortable. Dinner's in a few hours. Until then...” he paused, looking her over. He seemed ready to say something, but simply turned and took out his comm, muttering something in it. After a few moments, he grunted softly and took a seat facing her cell.
  7. Almeria sat upon a bench and curled up so that she could lean her chin upon her knees and watch Tra. This was indeed worse then when the Church took ahold of her, though at least she knew the pirates didn't want her dead. Why they wanted her was just as much a mystery as why the Church did. The only thing she could guess was they found out the Church had someone they wanted in the ship and figured they'd just take that person instead. It was erriely reassuring that something so simple could be the reason.

    Upon the ships intercom system someone alerted the crew they were now creasing away from the site of the hijacking. Almeria wondered if this was just to generally update the pirates or was to ensure they knew they could relax some now. She was tempted to ask her giant jailer.

    With a sigh she put her feet down. "it's my first time kidnapped by pirates. Do I get to ask what your name is, or do I get slapped around for talking?" She was mostly being sarcastic. She hoped he'd not actually say yes!
  8. For a time, he was silent, turning to a screen and reading whatever was on it. He then watched her carefully for a moment, then stood, picking up his medical kit. The man set aside his gun before approaching her. He opened the door, slipping into the cell with her and taking out a scanner. He held it a few inches from her, taking readings.

    “Ah, well.” His soft baritone was definitely gentler now than it had been before. He put the scanner away, extending his hand to her in greeting. “I'm Tra. You're lucky, you know. Others might not have been as gentle with you. I trust you aren't going to attack me and try to escape only to be restrained by one of the ruffians waiting outside the door?” He raised an eyebrow, looking her over as though inspecting her. “What's your name, anyway?”
  9. "I'd only consider that if I thought I could actually hijack this vessel from all of you," she replied feeling a bit more relaxed. He was a pirate of course, but he wasn't going to be a monster. Still she was a bit weary, an order from his supervisors could change things quickly.

    Almeria tilted her head when Tra asked her name. "You don't know?" she asked with much surprise. "Do you just pick random Church vessels and pick up any pretty girls you find?" It was false bravo that did not last very long. Perhaps he didn't know who she was, but someone thought they knew something about her among the pirates.

    "Almeria.... My name is Almeria," she told him softly. "So what happens now?" Maybe at least with the pirates shed be given a few straight answers.
  10. He chuckled at her comment about taking the vessel for herself, the mental image of the small woman doing so quite entertaining. He slipped out of the holding cell, shutting the door and flipping on the force field just in case. One never new when the heart of a tiger lurked inside a kitten. He dragged his chair over, sitting down and facing her again.

    "Well, Almeria, we knew you were important to the Church, but how important and who you were was sort of a gamble. Ah," and he paused a moment, pushing a few strands of his hair back out of his face, " as for plans, you won't be harmed. Just kept, til your rightful owners pay what we're asking." He held up a hand to forestall any reaction. "And by rightful owners, I mean the Church. As if anyone could own anything without them getting their grabby hands on at least part of it, yeah?" He put his elbows on his knees, letting his arms hang and cross at the wrist.

    "You were rather well guarded. If we hadn't had help, well. Let's just say there's a lot riding on our demands being met, Almeria. Pray to Gohdem that our message gets all the way to Namir himself, or you're in for a long stay." When he spoke the High Overcleric's name, it was clear he was full of contempt for the head of the church, his voice twisting the word into a sort of swear.

    Tra held up a finger as his personal comm chimed, pulling it out and listening for a moment before whispering back. "Well, Almeria, seems you are who you say you are. The message has been sent, so don't worry your pretty head. Soon enough, you'll be back where you belong." He looked as though he felt almost sorry for her, for some reason or another. Seeming to only just remember it, he slid his gun back in its holster.
  11. "Where I belong?" That was a mystery all in its own. Where did she belong? And where were people trying to take her? They were not one in the same she feared. Something else struck her as odd though. The absolute contempt in Tra's voice when he spoke Namir's name. Most people were enamored so much that the stark difference was shocking to Almeria.

    "You do not... um.... like his holiness?" she asked hesitantly. Years of having to be guarded with her thoughts and words had built up to the point where she couldn't easily express her own feelings, instead having to play a careful game of Devil's Advocate to get people to open their eyes and their minds. To see what really was going on in the universe, and yet still not overtly saying anything against the High Overcleric.

    Almeria hadn't even realized she'd risent to look at Tra closer, as though proximity would affect his answers. Like so many others she assumed the pirates were simply in the business for quick money, caring little about anything else.
  12. Tra sighed and shook his head, several strands of hair falling to frame his face. "Look, maybe you're too young to remember how things were before the decline started. Maybe you don't realize what's happening. Yeah, His Holiness may have looked just like what everyone needed. But anyone, anyone, who puts their personal politics above the good of those in need... look, forget I said anything." He gave a lopsided grin.

    "As for where you belong, well, I hate to say it, but if you belong to Namir... you're a bargaining chip." He didn't seem happy about this, the smile leaving his face. His jaw tightened slightly and he stood to pace the room, masking the action by rummaging through the few flimsies and datapads lying around. He found himself drifting in thought. It was for her, after all. Once he had her back... well, he'd see then.
  13. "No!" Though her voice was quiet, the defiance was sharp. Almeria shook her head for emphases. "You do not get to make a half remark about someone's politics when you're playing games yourself. Why should you care if he's good or bad for the faithful?"

    Right now her own fate she had little control of. Later, later she might be able to do something, really something finally, but right now there was only her and her guard, a man that as distasteful as I was for her to admit, sounded like he actually thought the same way as her. But maybe not. Maybe all he cared about was there were less ways to bully people put of their money. He could be spouting on about politics to nothing more then justify his own crimes.

    While he paced, Almeria stood still, watching him with a frown. She wasn't ridged though, she was almost laid back, but that was nothing more then repressed fight training. You had to be flexible to adapt to the unexpected after all.
  14. He paused, shoulders sagging.

    "You have no idea what you speak of. Look, you won't be harmed, you will be set right back on your merry little way without so much as a scratch. In the process, you can save the lives of several innocent people who've been imprisoned and tortured because they felt that one's morals should not dictate whether or not they were medically treated." He looked at her, one hand reaching up and rubbing at his temples. "There is no black and white. We live in a world of grey and we just have to fight on sometimes." The depth of sorrow in his voice was nearly tangible.

    When he lowered his hand, his face was creased with sorrow. "I wish we could have done this another way. But this was honestly the way to do it with the least loss of life, and the biggest benefit." For a moment, instead of a man in his late thirties, he had the air of a scared child. That passed, though, and he seemed to regain his calm. "Are you hungry?"
  15. That was not what Almeria was expecting and she tilted her head to look at Tra as realization slowly dawned. "You're doing a prisoner exchange to get the doctors who's ethics have been question released?" She knew about it of course, everyone did. The story though was not likely the truth. Everyone knew there was a rogue vein of doctors out there, that despite their vows where treating patients unethically. It was always a surprise for those in a community to find out. "He always seemed so nice." "She was so gental." In the media they were played out as monsters, but Almeria always wondered what their real crimes were.

    It was true they were living in a world of greys, but there were still some things that were white, and others that were black still.

    "you've given me a lot to think about, but I suppose I'd better eat to keep my strength up." Almeria weight out the risk and benefit of saying more, and realized since she wasn't going to be called out as a blasphemer that the risk wasn't a concern. "It's refreshing though."
  16. He pondered saying more, but reasoned that she'd likely not believe him. He certainly wasn't going to tell her about his sister. "I'll get some food for you, then." He slipped out of the room rather gracefully for someone his size. A few minutes later, he returned with a tray, all the dishes clipped into place and sealed. Unlocking the door, he handed the food to her.

    "I want to say, I really am sorry you had to get mixed up in all of this. I hope you go on to lead a happy life, and that we never have to darken your doorstep again, Almeria." He shut and locked the door, looking at the timepiece over the door. "You probably have time for a nap before we get to the rendezvous point."
  17. Almeria took the food, and found she really wasn't hungry. Despite that she ate anyways.

    Tra's assessment that she'd have time for a nap was accurate. While she didn't truly sleep, she was as rested as one could be for such an adventure. Once more her hands were restrained and she was escorted out into a corridor. As they walked a pair of pirates stood to the side so they could pass, giving Tra a nod but still engaged in their conversation. "Apparently the whole campus!"

    "But isn't St. Whakeen University one of the largest in the galaxy? How does a place that big blow up?"

    "Well, not the whole university..."

    All the blood in her face drained away. They were talking about her school! The place she'd spent the most time for the last eight years! Having been up til now cooperative, her sudden pause in the hall must have been unexpected. She didn't give it much thought though, she looked at the two pirates in horror. "How many?"
  18. Tra frowned, tugging gently on her to try to urge her along. Those two weren't the most gentlemanly on the ship, after all. "Come along, Almeria, we have places to be."

    But something seemed wrong, out of place. If she was taking that much interest in the tiny snippet of conversation they had overheard, then it had to have been relevant to her. And if it was, then it was best that he knew just what was going on. He stopped trying to pull her, but still held gently onto her arm.

    "Alright, gents, what happened? And answer quickly, I have to get her to the captain so he can make the exchange." Sweat was breaking out on his skin. Something was very wrong.
  19. The scrawny Conway shrugged his shoulders. "Multiple field explosion or something took out most of St. Whakeen University. You know the big one on Kolatus. Don't know all the details, but it was bad. Really bad. You know if it was energy fields failing they'd usually collapse, cause an explosion... Yeah!" He shrugged again, feeling very uncomfortable with Almeria's gaze upon him. "Tragedy is the only way to sum it up."

    Almeria had a better word to sum it up, massacre! At this point she was shaking. Everyone she knew was at the University. Not only her friends, but her aunt worked there, as did her cousins. It couldn't have been a coincidence! It just begged one question, what did Namir want with her! She was scared for herself at the moment much more then anything, the shock of everyone she held dear being gone taking a slower time to sink in.

    Closing her eyes she didn't much care if Tra dragged her to his captain. "Why?" she muttered.
  20. Tra nodded to Conway, indicating that he should leave them. He took Almeria by the shoulders, looking down at her. "Hey, now. What's the matter, Almeria?" His voice was tense but clearly concerned. The feeling that something was off was growing and he needed to figure out what.

    He was also trying to fight off the desperate urge to comfort the clearly distraught young woman. Again, his vows and beliefs were at war with the necessity of rescuing his sister. Just for the moment, concern and vows won out and he patted her awkwardly on the shoulder before drawing the shaking girl into a hug. "I need you to focus. Tell me what's happening, Almeria. If you are in danger, we need to know."