Previous Next

Sympathy From The Devil

Posted on Sat Jul 10th, 2021 @ 12:55pm by Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant Commander BaoJun Qiao & Lieutenant Commander Finley Chu & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong & Ensign Khaiel D'hikatsi & Gunnery Sergeant Roderik Kos & Ferrofax & Lieutenant Commander Leonora Wolf MD & Lieutenant Teejay & Chief Petty Officer Reggie Hawthorn

Mission: S1E5: Symphony of Horror
Location: Central Targovista, Capitol District, Pathos BioMed Campus
Timeline: MD 2

The exterior of the Pathos BioMed building had been, in a former life, part of the original colony founding. Thick and sturdy rockcrete walls, windows set high in recessed alcoves, and doorways set into the arched armoured frames of heavy-duty pressure locks all spoke to a past designed to protect the inhabitants from a cruel untamed world. The fact it now lent itself the air of a foreboding castle, a lair if you will, was totally beside the point.

The interior, however, was quite different.

Slick white faux marble lined the walls, hidden lighting panels illuminated everything, banishing shadows to the custodial cupboards where they belonged. Even the people, real flesh and blood people were antiseptically pristine. White uniforms, that matched seamlessly with the pale Corvan phenotype, had an almost surgical gown look to them.

"Welcome to Pathos BioMedical, how may I help you?" one of the receptionists asked from behind a simple white curve of stone from which an elegant holographic display fountained. No doubt sensors were hidden away in a decorative vase. Or maybe buried in the skull of said receptionist were counting the number of lint particles each member of the hidden Memory Theta away team was shedding.

"Hi." Fin said, smiling to the lovely woman behind the counter. "We're here to speak with Mister Ingram. We're with the Corps of Engineers ship that just recently arrived and we understood that he was the man to speak to when it came to the planetary medical system. We have some questions."

Khaiel bristled at the name. He had bad run ins with a different Ingram recently and did not want to have a similar experience. He kept note to check into this Ingram and find the relation, if there was one, to the Sebastian that had abducted him and Captain Akiva previously.

The receptionist blinked slowly, dark eyes flickering with embedded data feeds, and smiled warmly.

"I'm sure that one of the Senior Managers can be contacted to fulfil your request. If you allow-" they became suddenly distracted, before smoothly returning to customer service mode. "Mr Ingram will see you shortly."

A bright orange data sprite appeared in the air, the holographic avatar flicking a little to and fro with the eagerness to direct.

"Follow this sprite to the turbolift bank, and it will guide you to Mr Ingram's offices on the 20th floor," the receptionist finished. The sprite jetted off, stopping a few meters away and spinning in the air like an eager puppy waiting for them to catch up.

All too often, Mrazak took the lead, but in this civilian environment he was more than happy to let someone else step into the floor traps and pitfalls. "Well done, Commander," he said to Fin. "Everybody remember what to do?" The plan was a simple one: be resourceful. Everyone was to identify opportunities for intelligence gathering, whether slinking off to use the facilities, access an unsecured console, wander off through an open door, whatever they might happen across.

"Just as a note," Leah offered as she nodded, "Mister Ingram is a very...colourful individual. He is however also incredibly intelligent and extremely well connected. So don't underestimate him or his staff."

"Come now Leah. With our charms and our dazzling wits we should have this Ingram truly wrapped around our finger." Fin joked as she stood next to her former supervisor.

“And if not, we can just beam him to our brig,” put in Sophie off-handedly.

The sprite ushered them into a turbolift, vanishing as it crossed the threshold. Once they were all within and the door's closed, the lift whisked them away quickly. But not quickly enough for the teeth aching sensation of a powerful scanning field flickering past them, tainting the air with ozone and probably giving the fair of skinned among them a sun burn. But before complaint could be had, the doors of the lift opened and released them into the lair of the Ingram in residence. Unlike the reception lobby, with its stark antiseptic lines and colouration, the 20th floor was a wide-open riot of colours. Floor rugs of various designs from a hundred floor's covered the floor, creating pathways through which someone could walk through the shifting garden of holographic art pieces that hovered unsupported at seemingly random points. The scent of cinnamon was upon them, before fading away to be replaced by a much more subtle touch of lilac.

"Anyone else feels like they've walked into the Coffee Table Book dimension?" Reggie asked under his breath.

“What's the book about?” asked Sophie as she glanced around. “Vampires gone off their meds or hideously clashing rugs?”

The rugs began to blush, shading into dark tones before the edges seemed to catch alight. In the blink of an eye the rugs had gone, leaving behind a grey powdery residue that sank into the floor, forming creases and folds until a tiled mosaic stretched out from one side of the office to another.

"The book is about rapid state changes in nanoscale structures."

A man walked out from behind the pillar in which the turbolift shaft was housed. He was pale of skin, with hair a half shade away from being called blonde if it was not brown. Dark eyes hid behind glasses with tinted blue lens and complimented the light grey button shirt and dark pants. He gestured to the floor.

"This is an experimental form of observational therapy. The entire room is lined in an inch thick substrate of nanomachines that can tailor themselves to fulfill any need or wish, all coupled to an AI expert system that can read body language and subconscious cues. Non replicating, of course, the room merely adjusts where matter is within its substrate, a wall or ceiling panel becomes thinner there, or here," the man said. "I'm Winton Ingram, I'd shake your hand but I would rather the young lady retract the statement concerning the laymen's approximation of the Corvans' biological blight. I don't see it as a matter of levity. Regardless of the level of distaste you have for the rugs."

Sophie winced inwardly. She knew that term was offensive. She supposed her disgust of the rugs had distracted her. “I apologize,” she said. “In attempting to be concise, I offended. This was not my intent. But you didn’t have to delete the rugs just because one person dislikes them. As long as those who work here like them, that’s all that matters.”

"Interior decorating notwithstanding," Mrazak said with a harsh clearing of his throat. "We're a hazardous assessment specialist team here to ascertain the nature of the recent detonation upon Alucard. Besides the potential destabilization of the lunar orbit, our task is to ascertain other risks such as thalaron fallout and so on and so forth." Mrazak waved his hand like a dismissive choir conductor as he spoke at a rapid cadence and monotone inflection. "If you would be so congenial, we require access to databases to parse records for medical records, climate patterns, surveillance, everything that will allow us to complete our survey as timely as possible."


Winton Ingram walked around them towards one of the glass walls of his office. As he did so his right hand fidgeted slightly, worrying the thumb and forefinger together.

"Your 'team of specialists', who did not contact me via the Starfleet command structure currently in place. I think an Admiral or some such is in charge up there, somewhere. And any engineer worth their salt knows that Thalaron radiation has a half-life of several picoseconds. It is within these fractions of a moment that the cellular damage is done. Thus leaving behind no fallout. The Romulan Senate Building, for instance, was perfectly safe moments after the Shinzon coup seized power. Not safe during the energy release, but several picoseconds later the only danger was in aspirating the desiccated remains. A hazardous specialist would know this," Winton said. He did not say it accusingly, more as though he was unwrapping a puzzle. "And as for events on the moon, and its current astronomical status, access to the confidential medical records of Pathos BioMed would hardly be of use. We are a medical technologies firm, not an engineering giant. You would want my brothers Ethan and Marcus, they run INS's industrial works out of Alpha Centauri. Ergo the desire for them must arise from another direction."

He turned, looking more confused than anything else.

"Also you didn't introduce yourself Captain Mrazak. Huum, perhaps that is the root of the rudeness so apparent in your team," Winton nodded to himself. "A failure to lead by good example. I could suggest some reading for you? Grand Nagus Nog wrote a charming monograph on the subject of the workplace and structured relationships that I found fascinating. Very insightful. You would find use of it I think."

Mrazak glowered at the man until he finished, hoping, nay, expecting him to finally come around to the end where he would comply. Except that he didn't. This Ingram went silent without giving Mrazak what he wanted. The insolence!

"If you know who I am, then you know what happens when my investigations are obstructed. Because, you see, I truly do wish to take my leave of this dreadful planet as soon as possible, you do not want me to involve the admiralty. It would waste much of my precious time. Worlds tend to burn when that happens, and from the looks of this place..." His dark eyes roved over the neo-gothic structure and out toward the semi-toxic landscape that was nonetheless hauntingly beautiful and let out a scoff that said he was unimpressed. "... I dare say nobody would miss it." Fixing his jaw, Mrazak cut to the case. "Access. Now. I will not ask again."

"Your file is most accurate. You do see every problem as a nail and reach for hammers when finer tools are available. I can see Mr Smith was quite astute," Winton said with a nod. "Those files will remain sealed until you can provide a reason why medical documents pertain to an explosion on a moon. Until then, I think, you will be asking many times over."

Mrazak narrowed his eyes at the mention of Mister Smith. It was hard to forget such a distinctive human name. The gentleman had been present at his Article 32 defense. Now he was leaking classified intelligence to this... this... civilian. Mrazak thrust a finger at Ingram. "Do you want me to order a medical quarantine and full security audit of this planet? I swear to fusion once I do, I will not lift either until long after your natural life has ended!"

"Its a very rare person who can bring a smile to my face, I will remember you well for that at least," Winton said. His smile was warm, but it was only from his eyes that the warmth seemed to glow. The slight up swing of his lips at the corners was barely visible.

During the last moment, Mrazak had been quivering with rage. When he finally managed to get a word out of his furiously contorted mouth, it was accompanied by spittle. "Team! I want this facility picked apart piece by piece. Leave no file unexamined, no crevice unsearched. Sergeant, you are to neutralize anyone who so much as flinches in an act of obstruction! And I do mean by any force necessary." His top lip curled as he stared down Ingram. "This place is under indefinite lockdown, you belligerent civilian. I'm in charge now."

Keeping silent, while taking considerable mental notes, Teejay aurally observed the conversational combat between the two front and centre Alphas though his visual focus remained entirely on this magic room. He wondered, as he saw the rugs turn crimson apparently in an anthropomorphic reaction to the dark-haired young woman's distaste of their rainbow display, if the AI had a name.

"I liked it," Teejay told the wall affectionally, tone barely a whisper. "Great depth of colour. And now I'm craving cinnamon buns." He held his hand up, palm outwards and upright as if that might be his control rather than his mind and Teejay thought about the spectacular interior of the Bylovian Temple on Hatti Jun 5. Perhaps the nanomachine AI combo craved a challenge.

Leah who had stood next to Fin and Teejay just shook her head. Suddenly she wasn't so sure that getting a Memory Theta response team was the best idea. Disastrous was more like it, the way this seemed to be going.

"Is he always like this?" She whispered quietly to Fin.

Khaiel shrugged at the question, as he was barely in earshot of the two. But was doing his best to blend into the background.

"From what I've experienced, he's being mild." Fin whispered back. "The man has an ego the size of a gas giant, and from what I've read so far has gotten away with it."

Teejay's hand bumped into solid thin air. In a moment a ripple had flared out from the impact point, turning blank air into rainbow folds of colour that flickered back to being...nothing. But for a moment a table, or the shape of a table, had been there. The ripple had distorted the carpet under it, ruining the illusion.

And the illusion that was rapidly repaired. But not before the smear of Winton Ingram's shoes had not receded from where they had bled into the carpet.

From beside the other two, Bao whispered, "Careful. The illusions cover the entire room masking what is and is not. As for Captain Mrazak, subtlety and social grace are not amongst his strong suits. Last time he did this the AI was put in a Lagashi AI cage, we were officially thrown out and ended up working with multiple double agents in a mess that makes Deathtrap look tame, and technically committed major crimes against the Lagashi state. This time, I don't have a family connection to try and smooth anything over though."

"Don't try and blame this on me," Mrazak spat at Bao. "There is no treaty here. Director Ingram has made himself a fugitive from justice! Now let's get out of this room and start finding what we came for."

While Bao and Mrazak verbally danced, Teejay discreetly noted the pathway momentarily offered up by those beautifully thorough and perfectionist nanos. Ingram was incredibly well-informed and seemingly prepared for this unwanted intrustion, but then the half-Vulcan considered, Ingram had the air of someone who was absolutely and always prepared for anything. With a laziness implied by his stance yet not mirrored in the privacy of his mind, Teejay strolled overtly in those vanished footprints, seeking to backtrack the path their host had taken. Genuinely curious, he couldn't resist the chance to see if that book really existed on that table.

Leonora followed, "Captain, who do you want to go into the field for a hands on inspection of the site?"

"I'm afraid so," Mrazak said. "Any volunteers? Don't make me draw straws."

Leah raised her hand, "I think I need to be one."

"I'm much better with my hands than I am sloggin' it through some boring files," Reggie said.

"You and me both," added Sophie. "Wherever you think I'd best suit the investigation, sir," she added to Mrazak.

"I'll join Commander Wolf in the field." Fin decided with a smile. "Unless you'd like me to join you, captain. Either place could benefit from my 'expertise'."

Mrazak paused for a moment. His team... they were actually respecting his authority and deferring to his expertise. That was absolutely refreshing. "Thank you," he whispered to them. "Commander Qiao, stay here and see what else you can get from the director before he feels the brunt of my wrath rain down on him from above, then pursue any other leads that turn up here or elsewhere in Targovista." Doing a quick headcount, Mrazak said to Khaiel, Teejay, and Rodi, "Ensign, Lieutenant, Sergeant, you assist as required." Then, pointing to Leah, Reggie, Sophie, and Fin, he said, "You lot come with me. We're going back to the scene of the crime to see what we can see."

And not for the first time, Teejay wished he could be in two places at once. The field site and the tech information trail - each as interesting as the other in their different ways. Each as likely to reveal secrets that would help resolve at least some of their current confusion and lack of understanding. Ingram, of course, knew more than he could possibly ever tell them and certainly was complicit in the backstory here. Would that be revealed now that Mrazak's cover was blown? Probably not, but then it was unlikely someone of Ingram's position and calibre would simply unveil his hidden safe for anyone's perusal.

As Teejay looked from Bao to Khaiel to Rodi he hazarded a firm guess at the skillset he'd been grouped with and grinned. This should be fun. "Looks like I'm all yours," he said, making sure to lock eyes with Commander Qiao first. "Where you want me?"

The Lagashi nodded at the Vulcan as he began considering avenues and approaches. He met TeeJay's eyes, "Let us commence with the basics," he said. "Observation, deduction, and learned inference."

However this turn of events had transpired, the Lagashi till outranked him, so Teejay played along without complaint. "I'll take observation," he replied with a gentle nod. And he wandered off to check their immediate internal landscape, the artwork and the detail. Perhaps while these guys were keeping Ingram busy, he could find something, perhaps not. It was always worth nosing around some though.

"I'm very much looking forward to seeing how you work, Captain." Fin said in a suspiciously pleasant tone and a happy smile.

Leah said nothing. Instead, she looked over at Teejay, mouthing 'Good luck!' before refocusing her attention on 'her team'.

A discreet universal 'okay' was signed back in Leah's direction and Teejay made mock unhappy face, followed by a demonstrative shrug. Luck wasn't about to come into it, he figured, but he'd take kind words from a new friend nonetheless.

In a slightly lower voice, the Lagashi did seek to reassure the half-Vulcan somewhat. "If it makes you feel any better, the Captain leaving increases your expected life expectancy in this mission by approximately 250%."

"I know I said we weren't splitting up into separate teams this time, but the situation is what it is. I'll leave you to it." Mrazak tapped his combadge. "Phantom, this is Mrazak. Commander Cassandra, Commander Chu, Lieutenant Xiong, Chief Hawthorn, and myself need to be beamed back immediately. Energize when ready."

"Copy that, Captain Mrazak," said Ryland's voice through the comm channel. "Relaying those orders to the transporter chief now."

Teejay took a moment to size up Ingram's physical presence, raised both his eyebrows and jabbed a thumb in the direction of those who had just vacated the scene. "For the record," the half-Vulcan said, unapologetically and with casual grace. "I'm not with those guys, they pressganged me." A short sigh, a flash of a bright smile and he added. "You have a theory on this whole 'kill the moon' event? Seems kinda an extreme way to brush any offending evidence under the non-replicating rainbow magic rugs."

Ingram said nothing, a little simmering scowl on his brow.

Sighing Qiao looked at those on his team and at Ingram. "While not unexpected, this has not been the most auspicious of beginnings. Kos-Sergeant, can you please secure the room, and, I guess, the detainee. Ensign D'hiktasi, no sense in being polite now, please access the local network, at root access if possible." He stopped for a moment, unsure what the ask Teejay to do. He understood the concept of Forensic science, and had worked with forensic archaeologists and even used some techniques himself, but they had little evidence so far. "Lieutenant, why don't you snoop and see what you can find."

Khaiel nodded. He was glad for the direction, because he honestly wasn't sure what to do. He moved towards the man's large desk as it appeared to have a data terminal set within it. As he pulled up the user interface, he hesitated for a moment, unsure if he should be doing this. It seemed wrong. But then again, he wasn't supposed to question superior officers' orders.

The room was more or less secure, so Rodi had little to do before resuming his sentry position.

He turned his attention back to Ingram. "Mr. Ingram, your files on Captain Mrazak seem astute and worryingly accurate. One wonders how you came to be in possession of it, and whether it extends to other members of a highly-classified organization whose existence you should not be aware of. Would you care to comment?"

"I would not," Ingram said simply.

Teejay looked over to the Lagashi as he directly addressed him, and gave a silent thumbs up in response. Already on it, he thought, but didn't say. The less attention he drew to himself the better right now, but he'd happily spend time in digging about observationally to see what he could find in this place. Start at the far point and look for the covert in the obvious. The devils and demons were often in the little details, but Ingram struck him as someone who knew exactly how to protect his secrets. Perhaps they could meet somewhere in the informational middle.... It was worth a try.

While it was undoubtedly locked and secured, there was a lockbox near Ingram's desk that was marked with terminology Teejay could immediately recognize: NOS-4-A2 Subjects Core Biopsy Results.

With a bright smile on his face as if he were merely a cleaner here to dust the shelves and run a vaccum about the place, the half-Vulcan scientist strolled leisurely over to the desk and kicked the little lockbox out into the open. "Mind letting me have a look-see in this lil fella?" Teejay asked. "Suspect this might help me with the questions I've been having since I came all the way out here."

"I'm sorry to say that those are confidential and proprietary materials. And again, I ask what the pertinence to my work on biology has to do with a moon exploding. Unless you think the box you are kicking is likely to explode with Thalaron radiation?" Ingram purred. " not kick the box again."

After a moment, the air filled with the blaring of security alarms. The local datanet broadcast the highest levels of alert: containment breach.

Teejay picked up the lockbox and shoved it into his backpack, then moved towards the door.

The doors pounded with cries for help. When they went unanswered, they were overtaken by the sounds of snarling and rent flesh.

He cursed, loudly and unashamedly, then Teejay drew his weapon and looked back to the others. "Looks like study time is over and we're already moving into the final exam," he noted, with a mixture of sarcasm and crushing inevitability. "Don't say we didn't try to warn you up front, Mr Ingram, but bit late for dancing round now. Do you have another way out of here?"

A phaser had fallen into Rodi's hand as soon as the securing order was given. He had done a lap of the area. The alarm drew him back to the group. "Everybody deeper into the office, now." The marine ordered loudly. He himself took position behind a piece of furniture facing the doors with a phaser in hand, the other tapping the combadge, "Kos to Phantom."

Everybody's combadges beeped, signalling total loss of signal.

Bao took quick stock. "We are not going down this road again," he muttered darkly. "Ensign D'hikatsi, find out what is going on out there," he added looking around the office again. "Kos-sergeant, keep at least 3 meters from the door," he added as he blinked, his eyes beginning to take on a read glow instead of their normal blue. "I must thank you, Mr. Ingram, for providing us with these most excellent weapons out in the open in your network," he continued as his mind and personal AI began ripping through the code controlling the nanomachine substrate in the office. He felt a pang of guilty as he unceremoniously shredded the poor virtual intelligence that had been controlling them, but time was of the essence. An interminably long subjective time, but in reality about 45 seconds passed before the decor of the room vanished, leaving it in its bare state as the inch-thick substrate reformed itself to provide solid covering wall for Rodi, and the rest seeming to disappear, albeit with a faint, mirage-like shimmer surrounding the entrance from which the screaming emanated.

Impressive skillset, thought Teejay silently to himself. He remained back from the door and out of any obvious lines of sight while Bao did his thing. Then, the second the decor of the room shifted, revealing the true nature of the bones beneath that tech-skin, Teejay searched for any other signs of hiding places, exits or anything else of overt interest. He moved swiftly, phaser still in hand, and he trusted the others to cover that main entry point and what he could hear trapped behind it.

"Lieutenant Teejay!" Rodi called from behind his new cover. "How resistant are these Corvans to phaser fire?" He had dialed his phaser up to a strong stun beam. But seeing as he was the only armed member he'd rather not have to find out mid-battle he was shooting proverbial blanks at their approaching foes.

"Never tried shooting at 'em," admitted Teejay, somewhat unhelpfully. Then, aware of the imminent danger of their situation, he added. "No reason they should be physically any more resilient than any other biped. Mentally though... could be an issue. Kinda assume we're in a charging apex predator situation."

And then the doors finally opened. An access card hang from the bloody hands of the first feral Corvan who lunged into the room with a hiss. He was not alone.

Three lances of highly charged Nadion particles lanced out from Rodi's phaser. They found home on the first two Corvans pushing into the room, sending them stone cold to the floor.

But despite the crack shooting, four more Corvans burst through the door and began closing the distance while their unlucky vanguards were taking the first volley of phaser fire.

Rodi jumped away from his nanite-cover towards the group as feral human-esque creatures ran towards. A half dozen shots came from Rodi's phaser as he rapidly advanced away from the enemies. "Qiao! Can you nanite punch these fuckers?!"

Teejay drew and raised his own phaser, added his own volley of stun shots to the mix, aiming to assist Rodi's main attack in keeping their feral attackers back and ensure the team's safety. His moves were subtle, quietly enacted and he kept well out of any firing arcs of line of sights the Marine was currently owning.

"Commander," Khaiel called from behind the desk, where he was just hacking into the system's network. "There are warnings all over the building. Security breaches everywhere. It seems that these creatures have infiltrated the entire building." Khaiel did his best to continue to focus on the task at hand, though his attention kept getting pulled to the invasion at the front door of the room. "I'm...I'm not exactly sure how they got in."

Bao spared a brief glance at the Ensign. "That's because they were already here, ensign," he said sharply. "Or did you miss the key card and Mr. Ingram's excessive discomfiture at the idea of us gaining access to his files. Please try to keep up or are your pointed ears just for show?"

Then he considered for a moment, thinking through options, before waving a hand, scattering Rodi's cover and reconfiguring into a web of self-directing nanoscale monofilament garottes to attack anyone advancing past the door with decidedly lethal force and effect at the neck. "Now, Mr. Ingram, you have one chance to give me a non-lethal solution to this problem before I order an advance with lethal force to clear a way out of this building for ourselves and leave you to whatever tender mercies the remainder wishes to visit upon you. Make it quick."

Khaiel's cheeks turned a slight green with embarrassment from the criticism. "My apologies, Commander," he said softly, knowing no one would hear it.

The young hybrid continued his attempts to gain access to the system, each time being disrupted by a request for a bioscan passcode. As he continued to work, he realized that the desk terminal was portable, held into place by a mounted mechanism. He pulled at the sides, releasing the large screen from its confined space. Suddenly, inspiration struck. He stood, taking the portable terminal with him, as he used the commotion to get closer to Mr Ingram. When he wasn't looking, he grabbed the man by his wrist and shoved the terminal into his palm. A moment passed and the screen blinked, suddenly allowing him full access.

"I'm in!" Khaiel yelled with delight as he ducked and escaped from the furious Ingram's reach. His history with this family sure was going down the drain at this point. "It looks like there's a back way out of this room, Commander! I'm opening it now."

A second later, the wall behind the desk shimmered and melted away, revealing another exit.

Teejay's focus was towards the inbound threat still, though he heard the call to flee well enough. He palmed a key card from one of the unconscious Corvans, then covered the door in a secondary, back-up position to Rodi. With the main door secured again, the team began to file out Ingram's escape route which took them to a private corridor that led directly to the roof. Unfortunately, it, too, was filled with feral Corvans. By the look on Ingram's face, it should've been impossible.

A large hum echoed from down the cross hall that became punctuated by reverberating rhythms and a high-pitched whine. The sickly sound of cracking bones and splattered blood did little to mute what sounded like an industrial nightclub mix that was loud enough to blow out eardrums. Almost as soon as it had begun, however, the thumping stopped and the pitched whine fell in a slow fadeout to silence. Squishy steps fell one at a time in a macabre prelude to a tall and darkly pale figure in jet-black silk and a leathery overcoat turned the corner. In both arms he bore a two-handed weapon that looked big enough to carve a hole through a mountain.

"Special Quaestor Percival Blackwood," said the civilized Corvan. "By the order of the Conclave of Corvus Prime, I am to retrieve the survivors of this facility who are to be escorted to a secure location. Come with me if you want to live."

In the aftermath of the debilitating noise, Teejay allowed his uncomfortable wince of an expression to relax, silently holstered his own weapon and looked to this new saviour. "Been a while since I've been rescued by a paladin," he said, brightly. "Thanks. You always heralded with noise rock theme music, Special Quaestor?"

"You are not the first to liken the sound of our laser weapons to musical genres," Blackwood said, the honeysweet accent and timbre of his voice a stark contrast with his gothic Corvan visage. "But as much as I would love to discuss Music Theory with you splendid individuals, this building has been overrun and is therefore awaiting a controlled matter/antimatter demolition that will send it back to the Big Bang. Your colleague has locked down all transporters, so I suggest boarding my shuttle if you prefer your atomic structure the way it is."


Previous Next