HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Out for Repairs

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-06-10
Location : Derse, usually workshop.
PostSubject: Out for Repairs   Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:56 pm

Equius wiped his hands absentmindedly, looking over the drive systems one last time. He scooted out from beneath the massive engine, craning his head to keep his remaining horn from catching on the hanging wires. It had to work this time, it just had to. There was literally nothing else that could be wrong with this damn thing.

He tossed the hyperspanner carelessly off to the side and it landed more-or-less on the work bench. The clang echoed through the engineering bay, cutting through the silence unnaturally. Everyone else had already finished their work for today and left. It was tempting, but he wouldn't leave a work order unfinished. He'd already sunk enough time into this one that he couldn't give up now. Leaning into the cockpit, he punched a few buttons and flipped the safety before hitting the ignition. The shuttle coughed, giving off a black plume of smoke and a stray spark of pink fire arcing through. Equius swore, hastily hitting the failsafe. The shuttle screamed, grinding to a halt with an unhealthy screech. He ripped off his goggles, hurling them at the floor.

"FIDDLE STICKS! FIDDLING, FIDDLER-FIDDLE STICKS!!!"

He froze, glancing around. He'd burn with embarrassment if anyone had heard such an unprofessional outburst. It was still quiet; either no one was around or they were too polite to say anything.

"I mean...oh my...why didn't...?" He sighed and leaned against the craft, letting his head rest on the cool purpled metal. It creaked under his weight, the aging hull protesting weakly. He'd already spent longer than he'd like on this stupid thing and he hadn't yet figured out what was wrong. He'd never admit it, but the stress was starting to get to him. The Prince, hidden beneath his guardians store, the rebellion, the war...It was getting to be too much, and it was starting to affect his work.

Equius ground his teeth together, another of his bad habits. With a small crack, a molar chipped under the harsh treatment. With a groan, he spit it out and examined the sliver. It'd grow back; it always did. He'd just have to chew on the other side of his mouth for a while. He chucked the splinter of enamel away and ground a grimy fist into his eyes, working away the sleep. He still had work to do.

"Fiddlesticks..."


Last edited by Equius Zahhak on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:01 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jack Noir
Carapace
avatar
Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-05-11
Location : Derse
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:42 am

He stood in the doorframe of the colossal bay.

They were nice fireworks. One can't get enough of those. But at the cost of such indispensable machinary, pretty polychromatic explosions were unfortunately unconscionable.

The dull floor catered to his obsidian-flavored boots; there was almost no sound. Unsociable, the files had said. Maybe this one knew his place. He could be the exemplary model of a new generation of troll spawn. The generation fostered by the Archagent, into a glorious era. Children are the future.
Jack Noir felt a strange flutter in his heart socket.
But then, it'd also be the last generation. His abandoned humor muscle shuddered in excitement. He'd have an aneurysm soon if he kept exercising these unused organs.

He stopped clear of the amethyst hull, opposite the side of the labor. Maybe the thing could see the black boots if he wanted. That'd creep him out, make Noir's job easier. He hoped the kid saw him. He probably saw him. Most of those trolls are suspicious cretins. But then again, this thing was weird.
Nobody said fiddlesticks anymore.

His drawling rasp filled the space as he leisurely found his way around the shuttle.

"A little birdy told me you're the only one putting stock in these broken jalopies right now. That's very important work. Of course, you realize that. I just thought I'd commend you on, of course, what an excellent job you're doing with these desperately needed ships."


Last edited by Jack Noir on Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-06-10
Location : Derse, usually workshop.
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:47 am

Equius froze, mortified. He cleared his throat, unsure of how to proceed.

Military life had allowed him to streamline interactions. If the individual was an inferior, they would identify themselves, stating their name, rank, and purpose. If the individual was a superior, Equius would instead identify himself, name, rank, and purpose. It made things easy. It made interactions simple. There was a flow chart to follow, an order, a structure.

He didn't know what to do here.

For one, the individual did not identify themselves as either a superior or an inferior. Regardless, his navy blue eyes followed the sleek boots as they worked their way around, picking out the black spade emblazoned on the heel. The sign of the Archagent. An obvious superior.

His gut reaction was to come to attention, but he hesitated. The Archagent had not issued an order; he hadn't even given his identity. In fact, his tone was rather conversational. The flowchart of military interaction did not serve him here.

"They are still serviceable." Equius swallowed thickly, his jaw aching from his chipped tooth. "These shuttles are superior to the newer models. They are hardier. More difficult to destroy. This piece, while dealt a crippling blow, will rise once again and resume its rightful place serving the Kingdom."

He rambled, nervous fear loosening his tongue. The Archagent had enough power to....well, to do anything. Equius was technically a traitor to the new regime; he'd given sanctuary to the Prince, not that anyone outside of the rebellion knew that. Others more important than him had been executed for less.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jack Noir
Carapace
avatar
Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-05-11
Location : Derse
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:52 am

Jack brought himself to pose in front of the troll, close enough to talk. Close enough to breathe on.
Jack never once looked at him. His luminescent eyes expanded to fixate on the breadth of the ship under its repairman's words, taking it in as if it were already a starling violet flower blossoming from the corpse of rusted flora.
He stretched his arm over the engineer's shoulder to brush the hull with his own fingers.

"I like that. I like that very much." The spindly fingers shuddered over the metal, and the opal orbs fell downward, onto the troll. "You're a patriot. Patriots go far."

Each word sprawled from his lips with the seductive, dangerous aura of cigarette smoke that was not there. The opals flashed with apprehension.
What are you nervous for.

"Were you going to introduce yourself?" His bitten, curled black lip unfurled. "Zahhak?"

A calculated, knowing breath between the two syllables.
Of course I know your name.
The troll hadn't saluted. Probably too nervous. Why wouldn't he be nervous, anyone would be nervous.
But what are you nervous for.

You know who I am.
Breath short, speech stammered, pupil dilation. How dilated. Does he talk like this normally. Is this normal for meeting an agent. How could a guy tell.
What the fuck are you nervous for.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-06-10
Location : Derse, usually workshop.
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:15 am

There it was. An order; veiled and implied, but an order none the less. Equius clung to it like a drowning rat clinging to a piece of driftwood.

"Equius Zahhak, Systems Engineer Rank Three, Fifth Dersite Mechanized Division, Sir."

He stiffened, coming to attention. Order had been reestablished; he knew what to do. His entire body became rigid, adding a few extra inches to his height. Jacks arm hung awkwardly around his shoulders, the difference in height giving the Archagent a rather undignified tilt.

"My apologies, Sir. My behavior was inexcusable, Sir." He floundered, amending to his last comment. "I have been under a great deal of duress."

He stopped, casting his eyes down. The lavender hull squeaked under the agents ministrations, grating on his ears. Shut up. Just shut up. Don't say anything, let the Archagent do his thing, then get the fuck out of here. Equius swallowed again, wetting his lips.

He couldn't know...There was absolutely no way he could know. He couldn't...could he?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jack Noir
Carapace
avatar
Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-05-11
Location : Derse
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:06 am

"No, no. Stress is an appropriate state." Jack's digits clawed at the shuttle plating near Equius's ear, drawing squeaks like screams from the metal.

This was torturous. Conversation drawn out, with this thick simian gawking and sweating, close enough for him to smell its dead, gray flesh. Dressed in clothes, as if civilized. Its very existence was a mockery to the universe. How does the Dignitary endure this.

His hand came down, fingers twisting rigidly around his captive's collar.
"Your work is immaculate, soldier, I'm sure. You have a beautiful future in our new Kingdom."
Motherfuck. What the fuck is this.
The hand loosened, gentle, fondling the fabric instead.
Calm. Smooth. Where's a goddamn cigarette when somebody needs one.

"My birds wouldn't have mentioned you otherwise," said the air squeezing out of his chitinous mouth. Noir stepped back, wiping the disgust from his light-absorbent suit, and paced coolly.
"It was just interesting, I thought. I have many little bird friends, Equius."
Alien or not, first names felt wrong like animal pornography. But this should feel wrong.
"And I found it interesting, that two of them mentioned you. So, I knew you must be a special one."
Pause. Give its poor throat time to evacuate the pool of saliva. His speech slowed to a drawl.
"So special, in fact, that my second little bird was under the impression you used to fraternize with royalty. That, you and the Prince of Derse were friends even. But that couldn't possibly be."

His back was turned fully.
Let him think he has a moment of privacy. You're fine, don't worry. Jack Noir can't possibly see the surprise in your eyes.
And you can't see the thrill in his.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-06-10
Location : Derse, usually workshop.
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:43 am

A calmer person would realize that he hadn't been asked a question. A more linearly thinking individual would stay silent. A more smooth talking troll would avoid saying anything stupid in a blind panic.

In Equius Zahhak's defense, it was the Archagent he was dealing with.

It had been building the entire conversation; as Jacks finger tips fell from his collar, the roaring rush of static that had been brewing deep within his eardrums flooded forth, tinging everything the Archagent said with a buzzing urgency.

I have many little bird friends, Equius.

And I found it interesting, that two of them mentioned you.

So, I knew you must be a special one.

So special, in fact, that my second little bird was under the impression you used to fraternize with royalty.


Oh god. Oh god no.

That, you and the Prince of Derse were friends even.

But that couldn't possibly be.


This was bad. This was really, really bad. It wasn't a secret that they'd worked together. Their technical skill was known throughout the kingdom. But since the Prince had fallen from favor he'd done his best to keep that little detail locked away. No one needed to know they'd spoken. No one had to know they'd even meet. Equius hadn't done anything wrong, but there was no mistaking the veiled accusation dancing over Jack's tongue. He panicked.

"WE WERE NEVER FRIENDS!" He shocked himself with the outburst, trembling with a mixture of rage, fear, and regret. "I was skilled in machines and history, and he used me for that. He fancied mechanisms. I built mechanisms." The static had vanished, and he heard himself rambling. Unable to stop, he rushed on.

"He needed me to instruct him and that's what I did. I taught the Prince. I gave him my skill and in exchange he endured my presence." Silence filled the bay after his last remark, as sudden and as startling as his outburst. He continued on, quieter.

"The Prince admired my work, nothing more, nothing less. As long as my skills were required, he feigned comradery for my sake." It killed him to say it; not because it was lies, but because it was the fear that clawed his belly every second of every day. A fear that he'd kept buried deep down, that he'd never revealed to anyone, not even his moirail. And he was spilling it to the second most vile person in the kingdom.

"Your feather-beasts were miss-informed, Archagent. I have not seen the Prince since the overthrow."

He froze, not catching the slip until it was past his lips.

Dead.

The official word was that the Prince was dead. Of course he hadn't seen the Prince. Why would he?

After all.

He was supposed to be dead.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jack Noir
Carapace
avatar
Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-05-11
Location : Derse
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:44 pm

A wisp of breath relieved from granite lips.
Got you.
The Archagent sneered to himself. One moment of respite.

Of course you shouldn't have seen the Prince, he's declared dead, and no one believes in ghosts anymore. You know he's alive, you've seen him. You claim he used you, who wouldn't. The disowned Prince is sly and manipulative. He twisted the Queen's heart for his ends like he twisted your muscles. You were telling the truth without even knowing it. Because you believe otherwise, in your mired mind. You think he's sincere, you think he values you. Otherwise you would have coughed his life up by now, but it's stuck in your gullet. He planted you, as an accomplice, because he knew what was coming, and you bend to his absent will. The pauper protecting the Prince. How elegant, to sacrifice what he does not care about.

"I understand."

He spun, looking the magnanimous lion.

"This is all a big misunderstanding."

Three steps to come face to face with the shivering sinewy mass. Jack bent down lithely to scoop the forgotten goggles from the bay floor. He held them, an offer. With eyewear merely the least of stakes.
He spoke softly. Cooing.

"I came here with the assumption that you would betray the Kingdom. That you would betray me. But I see now that you are better than that."

A gesture of his hand. Take them, don't be shy.

"My memory is weak, Equius. I am forgetting this whole conversation already. I only need one final push."

With the speed of a predator grasping prey's tail, he snapped up Equius's shirt, attempting to pull the troll down with deranged strength so his black words slithered right into gray ears.

"Tell me where he is. "


Last edited by Jack Noir on Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:07 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-06-10
Location : Derse, usually workshop.
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:01 am

The world narrowed around them. It was Jack and Equius, face to face in a black, timeless void. His sinister words snaked through the air, worming their way into his ears where they settled in his mind with black purpose.

Tell me where he is.

He could easily push the smaller man away. He could crush his skull with the flick of his wrist, snap his bones, twist his arms until they popped sickly out of their sockets. It would be so easy he wouldn't even break a sweat. He could do it.



If it were anyone but Jack.



Equius craned over, the Archagents fingers digging into his collar. He stuttered weakly, forcing himself to say something, anything. Words set sail and sank the instant they left his lips.

"I don't-" He floundered, staring into Jacks eyes. Jack knew. He had to know. He could not not know.

"I haven't-" He tried again, stuttering violently. He was dripping with sweat. His heart bruised itself, beating wildly against his sternum.

"I-" He drowned in the stress, blinking as though each time he opened his eyes Jack would be gone. Jacks words slinked through his brain, repeating themselves over and over in the growing static that filled his ears.

Tell me where he is.

Jacks eyes drew him in and he lost himself in the darkness. A bead of sweat dripped, dangling irritatingly from the tip of his nose, yet Equius found himself too paralyzed to wipe it away. The bay was silent but between his ears the screams were deafening. Roaring white noise, trumped by Jacks insidious words, scoured the insides of his skull like steel wool, blanketing all conscious thought with the single command.

Tell me where he is.

So silent it was neigh imperceptible, three strained and rusty words tumbled from his lips.

"The Vinous Adonis."
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jack Noir
Carapace
avatar
Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-05-11
Location : Derse
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:25 am

Black. An utter void. Equius, the shuttle, did not exist. Only blind and numb, for a millisecond, his world. He was frozen, gripping something that was not there, so tightly it might hurt the darkness if darkness could feel, so hard it might hurt him if pain existed. Crippled, unused neurons sat, dead weight, still as the airless vacuum outside his shell, his invisible shell in the black. Deafening silence.

A break, in the nothing.
A word building within him.

Shadows pulsating. What opulent prize. Light, entering dimensions where light never existed. The torturous synesthesia of wanting. I think, therefore I am.

Aural stimulus, external.
A thought filling a cranium.

Such noise that erupted from colorless static.

The Vinous Adonis.

The world returned around him.



Yes.



Jack relinquished his weathered hold on the stooped juvenile and swaggered backward not without grace. His oral corners teased a smile, features relieved from focus and inebriated with reward. Minutes had felt epic journeys; this bay was the site of a confrontational odyssey. And it was his. He had him.
Burgundy sludge fell back into his veins.

You're mine.

Jack turned, in mirth. Of all the euphoric entropy to come. One behemothic blue-blood.

"Pleasure, Equius. You've been emphatically invaluable. Your Kingdom thanks you."

Oh, if one could breathe out all the stress with mortal lungs.

"That will be all. You've done enough for today. But, don't go anywhere. I'm sure you will be very useful, once again."

A tilt of the head to showcase one pupil-less white eye.

"Run along, boy."

He gazed away and upward. White lights hanging in the hanger, engulfed in his outstretched fist. Like a star, vanishing behind his gnarled fingers. One white bulb to be snuffed out.
I'm so glad I enlisted an electrician.
To snuff out the Prince of Derse.

Today was a triumph. Tonight, the war.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Posts : 20
Join date : 2012-06-10
Location : Derse, usually workshop.
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:47 am

What.

Wait, no, what just-

Jack.

No, it couldn't have just...

JACK.

No.

JACK KNEW.

Blood cells ran a crash-course through his veins, whipped along mercilessly by an unrelenting heartbeat.

JACK NOIR KNEW.

Light vied to enter the pinpricks that were his pupils, wave lengths crashing against the adjacent irises, nearly horizontal in their trajectory.

THE ARCHAGENT KNEW.

Air stood dead in his lungs, immobile and wrung dry of every ounce of nutrition.

Equius was a traitor.

He fell to his knees, watching in dead shock as the Archagent swaggered from the bay, a morbid hop in his step, a deadly black purpose coating his every action.

Hundreds of thousands of years from now, when the kingdoms had crumbled to dust, when the last carapace had sucked their final breath, when the last beating heart stills its weary task, it will still be engraved on the walls of tombs and carved into the history of time. An infamous betrayal, a blasphemy of brotherhood, a perversion of trust. Not a single sentient being will forget this moment, locked in time; an instant that will live forever in infamy.

Equius Zahhak, First Companion of the Rightful Heir of Derse, the Greatest Mechanic since the Darkleer of the Ancients, Best Friend Forever of Dirk Strider, had, in three simple words, single handedly murdered the first living thing to willingly bear his presence with a smile.

"No."

Equius Zahhak had betrayed the rebellion.

Equius Zahhak had betrayed the rightful monarchy of the kingdom.

Equius Zahhak had betrayed his friend.

Jack exited the room, a dark chuckle his final farewell. Equius slumped forward, trembling palms pressed flat against the smooth, cold floor. He wanted to puke. He wanted to scream. He wanted to chase Jack down and bury his fists in that slick, black face until the walls and ceiling were coated in his candy red blood. Instead he knelt on the floor, beads of tears and sweat mingling together as they dripped from his anguish-torn face. His goggles laid forgotten, bearing silent witness to his unyielding torment. He gulped, fingertips accumulating chips of tile beneath his nails as he tore rents in the floor, grasping as though he could still cling to what shred of dignity he had left.

"I'm sorry."

The words circled through his mind, painstakingly crystal clear.

"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry."
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content
PostSubject: Re: Out for Repairs   

Back to top Go down
 

Out for Repairs

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
The Skaian Wars ::  Derse :: High district :: Military base-