STAR WARS:

TROOPERS

Google Doc Part One

I believe we left off with the departure of Ysanne Isard, shortly after the destruction of the town that neighbor Ro'ton, whose name I have forgotten...maybe it was Fyrestone? The disease that had been afflicting people originated from Isard's research, and to keep the operation a secret, the town was wiped out, the virus was considered a failure.  You guys got caught up in it however, and so Isard is now keeping an eye on you, or soon will be with her massive intelligence assets, but perhaps those can be fooled.  Razor had obtained some of the antidote while he was scouting out Isard's outpost, and it was used to cure the troopers, I believe it is now in Giff Nutonne's hands.  Elina Peri (that's the name right?) is still sick, Revy is still in need of surgery/bacta, and Alyssa Ceylon (the doctor I believe...) and Nahjaa Salaheem are still hiding with you all.  I think you guys still have Nine-Toes in custody as well.  This is where we left off.

The story begins again...

Isard’s ship lifts off and makes it’s way for the star destroyer in orbit.  It marks the  first few moments of peace that the Troopers have been afforded in recent times, but it is an uneasy peace.  There are the sick to be attended to, and plans to be made.  Isard has played the first hand, it now falls to the Troopers to make the next move.   

Leon retreats to the command/communications room and watches as Isard’s shuttle rendezvous with her star destroyer. I’m now in debt to an Admiral, a man hell bent on destruction, and the head of the Imperial Intelligence. What the hell have I gotten myself into? This just keeps getting more and more complicated. And Army still has his professor he claims needs rescuing... He said something about the only way to stop Allister was some kind of power. Perhaps I should look into that power? But how? Isard will surely have us under surveillance. Maybe Burt could help. Or Nahja. She has some pretty deep connections. At least it appears that way. To have data proving she is imperial intelligence. What move to make next? I’m gonna have to start thinking my moves well ahead...

Allen takes a seat right there in the lounge and furiously types away on his Frankenstein-like datapad.  Normal communication channels will obviously be monitored by Isard so a secret way to talk would be needed.  A couple hours and Space Monster energy drinks later, Allen presses a key to compile the code.

What do you think Al? Typing directly into the datapad.  A bit messy but hopefully they won’t find that bit of text in the petabytes of metadata being flung around hourly.

Allen lets out a deep sigh.  Seems like everything’s gone wrong since Gavin blew up Betsy.  Exiled to this shithole of a planet puts a real damper on my ambitions.  *crack*  Allen pries open another can of the sickly sweet beverage and gulps it down.  Not that I don’t like those rebels.  They’ve helped us out a couple times so surrendering them to Isard seems a fate way too cruel for what they’ve done.  But still the chance to get on the good side of Imperial Intelligence has its benefits.  If by the offchance, I got to join them, I could do so much more good than being trapped on this rock.  Plus I have to hurry, the professor is going to die of old age if I don’t find a suitable subject soon...

Gavin woke up in the infirmary.  Although no longer dying, he still felt like shit.  Yanking an IV out of his arm, he got out of bed and went to go find Elina and see how she was doing.  He was damned and determined that he would get his hands on some of the antidote for her.  Perhaps Giff might know how to obtain some, or even how to synthesize some.  Gavin hated having to ask the crazed medic for anything, but it was worth a shot.

-- Gavin finds Elina Peri and Revy in the infirmary.  Elina’s symptoms have lessened, and she seems to be resting well, yet another indicator of the virus’ strange behavior.  One can only wonder what would happen if Isard develops a successful programmable intelligent virus. The applications of such a weapon are vast.  (12/03/2011)

“Nahja, how is Revy doing?”

--Nahja, no longer hiding with the departure of Isard spent some time looking over Revy, but her medical knowledge is meager in comparison to Giff or Alyssa.  “She’s been through worse, or so I’ve been told, so I think she’ll be fine.  She’ll recover faster with proper medical care of course.  Knowing her though, she may not be acting....’normal’ when she wakes up, so I’d rather not be too far away when she comes too, just in case.  I really don’t know how the new arrangements will work for her, and with your situation we’ll probably need to leave soon.  I still believe you know what you are doing with Allister, but you should be careful.  It’s Creed that bothers me the most, there’s something inhuman about him that I just can’t quite understand, I felt chills whenever he was near.” (12/03/2011)

“Chills? Odd...Well, before I can deal with those two I first have to get out of this new development. I’m supposed to be a simple solider but now it feels like I’m some heavily armed spy.” Leon sighs. “In any case once Revy is up on her feet again it might be a good idea to leave. Say, where did you get that (intelligence identification cylinder)? I may end up in need of something similar with all this intrigue and deal making going on.” (12/25/2011)

--You’re right, about leaving, and well, about the cylinder too.  Let’s just say for now that I “found” it.  Perhaps if we were somewhere more private I could fill you in more completely.  Also...I’m hoping I don’t really need it much in the future, in which case you should probably take it.  You can only pull so many stunts before fate hands you snake eyes.  (02/07/2011)

"I must be getting close to those snake eyes. I mean I've had my own rifle bolt reflected back at me nearly killing me. Hell, I can't count how many times I've nearly died. I guess we can talk about the cylinder, if you want, later after Revy wakes." After his talk with Nahja, Leon moves off looking for Razor.

--Razor is nowhere to be found at the garrison.  You do find Gavin staring curiously at a bolt, and looking about a room to find it’s point of origin. (03/07/2012)

Seeing that she was resting comfortably, Gavin decided not to bother Elina.  Instead, he steeled himself to face the insanity and tracked down Giff.  [Assuming I can find him easily enough, The conversation starts thusly:]

“Giff.  How’s Elina doing?  She seemed to look better when I checked on her in the infirmary.”

--Giff proves to be very difficult to find, of all times it’s very inconvenient.  During your search however you stumble upon a young girl who has hidden herself away from the base.  You recognize her as Autumn, the young girl who had accompanied Dr. Ceylon.  As she notices you she seems surprised, in your peripheral vision you catch movement.  You hear the clank of metal and you notice a bolt on the ground, you’re certain it fell from somewhere or something.  Meanwhile the young girl is quiet, and waits patiently now that you have entered her presence.  (02/07/2012)

“Hey there, um... Autumn, wasn’t it?  What are you doing here by yourself?” Gavin asked, as he bent down to pick up the fallen bolt.  He looked at the bolt, trying to see if there are clues as to where it came from--either judging by the design of the bolt, or trying to judge where it fell from based on its location on the ground.

--She looks startled for a moment, then smiles.  “Just playing.  Lots of interesting things inside of this place.  Maybe we can play hide and seek here.  I’ll go hide and you can seek...”  she runs off without waiting a moment. (02/20/2012)

Razor, going on the cautious (a.k.a. slightly paranoid) assumption that Isard has already found a way to bug the place, does a thorough search of his own gear including his armor and the area that he is sleeping in the base. After finishing that ((whether he finds something or not he will still do this)), he heads out into town in plain clothes, making sure to carry his cloaking device just in case. (12/07/2011)

- Your search finds no bugs or other anomalies.  As you head out into town, you notice immediately that Ro’ton is a quieter place today.  You get the feeling that news has spread of the destruction of Fyrestone. (wasn’t that the town’s name?)  (12/08/2011)

Noticing that the garrison is strangely empty, Allen takes some time to relax.  Digging inside the CNC table in the workshop, he extracts the cutting implement (lightsaber) and activates it.  Lounging at his desk, he begins to absentmindedly shred a piece of scrap metal while discussing with Al what has happened since Betsy was unjustly decommissioned by Gavin.  “I wonder what happened to the Darktrooper project after they exiled me to this remote planet?”  Taking note of all the possible methods of detection and their counters, he prepares to “access” files from his old place of work... (02/08/2012)

--Getting in to the Darktrooper files was not nearly as difficult as you expected.  For the most part it seems the project has continued down fairly conventional lines.  Indeed the latest prototype looks more like a stormtrooper than Betsy ever did, with some discussion of just making the Darktrooper project an armored suit project instead of a full droid system.  Many of the debates center around which path of the project would be more cost effective.  You notice an addendum, that has more security than the rest of the project’s files.  The reason for the extra security is not obvious, as the title of the report does not give much away: Farpoint. (02/20/2012)  

Doesn’t look like much happened since I was gone except those bastards stealing my idea.  Getting back at them isn’t a top priority currently but they’ll get what’s coming to them...  The security on this “Farpoint” report seems suspicious.  I’ll go ahead and download that for some light reading/slicing material later.  After taking a nice calm while to cover any trace of his presence, he attempts to extract Farpoint and some details on the suit.  (2/20/2012)

--Getting in to the Farpoint file takes a considerable amount of effort, but you finally succeed.  You are greeted with intelligence photos of an unfamiliar planet.  Strange creatures appear in many of the photos, they look like strange hybrids of other races, humanoid, but also creatures that are more bulbous in shape.  In some of the images you can see a humanoid in what looks to be an armored suit, it’s green, with a gold visor.  You find a short video clip, which shows the armored suit in action, it seems rather impressive.  Curiously enough you think you hear a rather familiar voice, but you cannot at the time quite place it.  You also notice what seems to be a large structure in the distance, but something just seems off about it.  It’s at this moment that a large frowny face appears on the screen...and it’s also at that moment that you realize that someone is watching you. (03/07/2012)

I’m pretty sure that frowny face is a bad sign.  Allen’s calm internal dialogue attempts to mask the sheer horror of being detected breaking into an Imperial secret project.  Well since I’m already detected, let’s go for broke shall we?  With a few quick key strokes, Allen besets a tracking program on the face’s source.

--You work quickly to try and establish a trace on the origin. The initial signs start to indicate that the security system may not be connected to an external network, but you are unable to discern more as your system is completely shut off from the outside and begins to shutdown without warning.  Before you can grasp exactly what’s causing it, you hear a young girl’s voice from behind you, “I...made the face go away.  It was scary.” (03/30/2012)

D: (Allen makes this face)  HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE?!?

--She jumps, “I....I just opened the door.... that’s all....There are a lot of neat things in here...so I wanted to...uhm....see them.” She says, sounding as if she realizes she may have made a mistake.  

Allen remembers that he’s horrible with kids.  “Uh...I mean I was really busy and um...THE DOOR WAS LOCKED!  And I mean...”

--”Yes...it was locked.  But... locks don’t really lock anything, I’ve been able to open “locked” things for quite some time... it’s just a mechanism...move the right parts and it opens.  You....you never said I couldn’t come in here...but, I’m sorry...”  

Allen does a quick search for the reason why his systems shut down without his command and is baffled as to why it occurred.  “So...Autumn was it?  You said you made the scary face go away?  How exactly?”

--”I was watching for some time....and you avoided certain uhm....connections?  The face was controlling....the energy... it was trying to go somewhere away from here.  I thought that was bad...so I disconnected it, at the source... and the face....it was scary...so I made the screen go away, disconnected....it’s not broken, I promise...”

It takes a great deal of effort on Allen’s part to think of ways to communicate with Autumn. “So...the face is still here?  Can you turn the screen back on?  Don’t worry about the scary face, it looks kind of funny if it’s just trapped somewhere right?”

--”Uhm...if you say so.” She stands still for a moment, as if focused.  You notice a very slight movement in her fingers, and shortly after that the screen returns, where it was left.  The only addition is a notification that the system cannot detect the network device.

“Huh... That’s an interesting trick.  Can you show me where the face went?”  Allen rummages through a pile of seemingly junk electronics and pulls out an old droid brain.  “Do you think it’ll fit in here?”

--She ponders the droid brain for a few moments.  “It could fit but...the energy doesn’t want to go there.  It has to be forced.  I don’t know if I can do it....but maybe you can?  You know how these connections work...I just have....an intuition about them... I haven’t really been around them much though.”  

“Well okay Autumn.  Thank you for keeping that mean face from escaping and doing....uh... evil stuff.  You’re a hero!  But you shouldn’t open locked things okay?”  Allen thinks a bit then gives Autumn the Frankenstein-ish datapad from his desk.  “Here you can play with Al while I lock this bad guy away okay?  Just don’t take him out of this room.”

--”Al huh?  I didn’t know things like this had names.  Maybe I will get to know Al...” she says, shortly before sitting down in a corner, holding the datapad.  At first it seems as if she’s falling asleep, but it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s more of a trance or meditative state.  The power to the datapad also shuts off shortly after that.  After about a minute, she seems to come out of it, and the datapad also powers on again.  She then actually begins to hold it more or less correctly, and attempts to use it.  She’s actually very slow, just sort of selecting menu options to wonder at where they might go.  It becomes somewhat obvious that she’s not very computer savvy at all.  She looks up to you shortly after...”I don’t quite...um...understand what Al is for.  But...Al’s energy is faster now.  I hope you don’t mind...”  she says..looking down at the screen again.

“No I don’t mind.  Al, say thank you”

--A thank you message appears on the screen.  Autumn, noticing this reaction decides that the best course of action is to ask Al all sorts of questions.  It starts with Autumn’s first question of: “Do you like ponies?”  and continues for some time.  It seems that the datapad now keeps Autumn thoroughly amused for the time being.  (04/04/2012)

Razor spends his time out doing some investigation of the town ending with Bert’s place. (2/21/12)

--As you move around town you realize that the farther from the garrison you get, the concerned quiet of citizens has turned to discussion.  Rumors abound, and the presence of the Star Destroyer in orbit combined with a recent lightshow has people concerned.  It seems that most dismiss it as something that can’t be helped, or assume that there was a very good reason for whatever happened.  More well informed people conclude on their own that perhaps there was a connection between the Star Destroyer and the plague in Fyrestone, but are afraid to do their own investigation.  

    As you arrive at Burt’s, he welcomes you.  “A valued customer, what can I do for you today lieutenant?” (02/22/12)

“Hey, wait!”  Gavin shouts.  Okay, he thinks.  Chase down the unsupervised child, or figure out the deal with this bolt.  I’m a lot better with machines than I am with kids... I guess I’ll try to figure out where the bolt came from first.  And if it’s not important, then I can find the kid.  How much trouble could she get into on a military base, anyway?  He turns his attention to the bolt, trying to identify what it’s for and where or what it came from.

--There aren’t any immediately obvious sources for the bolt, but there are a lot of different pieces of machinery, ductwork, and electronics that follow the walls and ceilings of the garrison.  After a moment you conclude that the bolt must come from a duct somewhere, you just need to find which one.  The ducts are all located on the ceiling which means it probably wasn’t unscrewed.  As you are looking around and pondering this, Leon enters the room. (03/07/2012)

“Something the matter, Gavin?” Leon takes a seat (ooc: leans against the wall if there isn’t anywhere to sit.) and lets out a deep sigh. “Things keep getting more and more complicated. Seems like ages since things were simple. Really, Gavin, what’s with the bolt?” (03/10/2012)

“Oh.  Hey, Leon,” Gavin says, looking around for something to stand on so he can reach the ducts on the ceiling.  “Have you seen a small child running around?  Or Giff?”

“I believe he’s still in the infirmary. Little girl? The one from the clinic? I think I saw her dart down the hall. Fry my hide! Things can’t get more complicated can they? I have this bad feeling that women will be the death of me.” Leon is quiet for a moment. “You have any ideas for getting out of this mess?” (30 Mar 2012)

Razor walks into Burt’s store and takes a casual look at the wares near the desk as he responds “Yes I’m looking for... ah this will do.” He grabs a snow globe containing a scene of soldier engaged in fierce combat with a menacing Wampa. Turning to Burt he continues “I have a comrade with a birthday coming up” looking down at the globe, “he likes these sort of things.” He pauses and then looks at burt straight before saying “but I have there is a problem. Normal mail won’t do. I want something special. Hand delivered courier service, surprise him, and seeing how it’s a fragile item, a safe delivery. Perhaps you can hook me up.” (2/24/2012)

--”A Courier service eh?  I know of several.  The only thing I really need to know is how safe of a delivery do you need?  The safer the delivery, the higher the cost of course.  We can always make arrangements on costs since you are a preferred customer, however.”  Burt grins, it’s as if he is hoping something exciting is happening soon, and that he’s a part of it.  (03/07/2012)

--Razor hands over the snow globe, “Give me the best delivery possible.”  Burt takes the snow globe and heads to the back, “I’ll send you an invoice, the cost will be for a preferred customer, but to reduce it further if you are willing, I’ll put you on call for a favor.  You’ll know exactly when that favor is called for when it happens.”  While Burt is in the private section of the shop, the holonet feed is interrupted by a news bulletin.  “After several months of disagreements over the Empire’s five-year plans for Dressellian industry, open rebellion has erupted.  The Imperial Governor of the region has requested two full legions to restore order, claiming that the situation is beyond his control...”  Burt walks out while the news broadcast provided more details of violence on the planet Dressel.  Burt glances at the screen, “The fools” he mumbles, and then he faces Razor once again, “I’ll let you know when it’s been delivered safely, I’ve made the initial arrangements.” (03/30/2012)

“Which mess is that?” Gavin asks, and looks to see which grate is missing a bolt.  When he finds it, he stares at Leon, puts a finger to his lips, and motions him over.  “Yeah, that’s the girl.  What’s she doing running around here alone?”  Gavin pantomimes ripping the grate off, then points to Leon, and pantomimes giving someone a boost.  He looks at Leon expectantly to see if he understood.  “And anyway, Giff can’t be in the infirmary.  That’s where I started.”

Leon nods in acknowledgment. “Huh, then I’m not sure where he ran off too. I’m thinking we may have to go back to that world again, and find that professor Allen was talking about. If Creed is really that powerful... Just need to figure out how to slip out from under Issard’s web,” Leon says while helping Gavin.

“Yeah, I’m still a little fuzzy on all that stuff with Creed, to be... HONEST!” Gavin says, jumping up and wrenching open the grate.  “Now!”  he shouts.  With Leon’s help, he sticks his head into the duct and looks for any signs of a possible intruder.

--Peering into the ducts you notice no signs of an intruder.  The ducts are fairly clean, which is not surprising considering that a garrison has the capability of being environmentally sealed.  You notice that the bolt did indeed come from the duct, and with a little effort you realise that the other bolts are not loose.  You are left to wonder why that bolt came loose, but thankful in knowing that at least it did come up from there, and you aren’t crazy for investigating.  Though, you start to rethink that shortly after you hear a female voice saying, “No, you’re not crazy at all.  In fact of your companions you are possibly the most sane.  Care to hear me out for a bit? I can’t speak to you like this for too long.” The voice sounds alluring, but is also serious in tone. (04/03/2012)

Gavin stiffens up.  “Okay, Murphy, you can let me down now.”  Gavin gets back down, and scratches the back of his head, looking uncomfortable.  “Just real quick, did you hear anything while I was up there?”

“Can’t say I did. Why did you hear something?” Leon quickly looks around the room for anything out of the ordinary. (ooc all you)

Gavin sighs, and shakes his head.  “No, don’t worry about it.  I’m really not back up to 100% yet, and I think my mind is playing tricks on me.  I’ll just put this grate back on, and then lie down for a bit.”  As he turns back to the grate, he thinks “Okay, three questions:  who are you, what do you want, and what the hell are you doing in my head?”

--The voice returns, “Fair enough.  My name is Rias Gremory.  I want to help you meet your destiny, call me an enabler, if you will.  You have virtues that are lacking in many.  In short, I’d like you to obtain Creed’s power.  With it you could right many wrongs in the universe.  You should consider also that others know of its existence, and will try to obtain it.  Have you wondered at what your own companions might do if they were to claim that power?  Either way, as I said, I wish to help you, but we need to properly meet and discuss at greater length, and without my presence in your thoughts, it is only fair I think.  I am in your head only because it was the best way to communicate to you at this time, but it is not something I can do for long, as I said.  So I would like to meet you, the terms of such a meeting are completely up to you, though I would like to speak in private if possible, I leave it up to you so that you might trust me.”

“Alright. We can pick this up again later then. If you need something I’ll be in the CIC.” Leon leaves Gavin to fitting the grate back in the place. Instead of heading directly for the CIC, he makes his way to Allen’s workshop.

--You find that the door to Allen’s workshop is actually open, and as you look in you notice that Allen is furiously typing away.  He’s focus is so intense that he is completely unaware that Autumn is standing behind him watching.  The responses on-screen are almost mesmerizing with the speed at which Allen is working.  You think for a moment that you catch an image of a special armored suit.  At this moment you hear footsteps behind you, you turn to see Gavin heading your way.

“No, I can’t say that I ever HAVE wondered that, actually,” Gavin thinks.  “And I’d have to be stupid to meet you alone.  OR in private.  But if you want to talk, I’m willing to hear you out.  We can meet at the bar in town.  Or some other public venue.”

--”Okay, what time?  I don’t know the area that well yet, but I’m sure I can find the right place quickly enough.  My schedule is...fairly open at the moment.”  

“Let’s say 10:00.  That give you enough time?”

--Should be plenty, I’ll get out of your head now.  I’ll make it up to you for my intrusion, I promise.” The voice’s tone sounded a bit more suggestive at the end of that comment than in previous ones.

“Great.  Sexy voice hallucinations.”  Gavin sighed, and considered what to do next.  “So, who do I go to with this?  My possibly-psychopathic, rebel-fraternizing squad leader?  The insane medic?  The mad scientist?  Or the total stranger?  The one person in the squad I would have trusted with this info--whether it was real, or just evidence I was off my rocker--and he's not around anymore," he thought to himself.  “Well... when in doubt, follow protocol.”  He turned around and went to find Murphy.

--You head after Murphy to find that he didn’t make it all the way to the CIC, and is presently staring in to Allen’s lab.  Despite this he does notice your approach.  

“Sgt. Murphy.  I need to speak with you.  Privately,” Gavin says.

Leon looks back at Allen and the girl for a second and says, “Sure. Not a problem. Allen seems pretty busy right now anyway.”

“Allen, I see you made a friend.  Keep an eye on her for a while, would you?  I’ll be back later to make sure she gets back to where she belongs,” Gavin says.

“I’d like to speak with you in an official capacity.  Can we talk in your office?” Gavin asks Leon.

“In the office? Oh yeah, I forgot I had one of those. Never get to spend much time there, given how often I get injured. Let’s head that way.”

They enter Murphy’s office, and Gavin takes a seat on one side of the desk.  “Okay,” Gavin says, breathing a heavy sigh.  “I’m sure you noticed that I’ve been acting peculiarly over the last few minutes.”

“I noticed you had an obsession for a bolt you found on the ground. What’s on your mind?” Leon asks with a grin. Obviously trying to be funny.

“Okay.  I’m going to tell you what happened over the last few minutes, as best as I’m able.  I was walking around the base, looking for Giff.  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some movement near the ceiling.  Just after that, the bolt that I was, as you say, obsessing over, fell onto the floor.  Pretty much at the same time, that little girl popped up out of nowhere, and then ran off when I tried to talk to her.  I looked around for where the bolt dropped from, and saw that one of the grates was missing a bolt, around the area where I saw movement.  That’s where you came in.” Gavin pauses, to see if Leon will respond.

“Movement, huh? I’ll check the security feeds for the garrison and see if someone or something managed to get into the garrison,” Leon starts bringing up the security feeds for that area, it takes him three attempts to get the password right for the computer.

“Right, that’s what I was thinking.  I figured there might be something--or someone--up there.  Hence the pantomime.  I figured if someone was up there, and was trying to go undetected, they’d keep away from the grates to avoid being spotted... hence they wouldn’t be able to see us, either.  But I didn’t find anything.  Instead, while my head was up in the grate... I heard a voice.”

“A voice? What kind of voice? Was it over a comm freq?”

“Unfortunately, no.  It was in my head.  And yes, I know how that sounds.  And considering all the mental and physical stress I’ve been under lately, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that it was some kind of hallucination.  However, here’s what the voice said:  that her name was Rias Gremory, and that she wanted to help me steal Creed’s power.  And that she wants to talk.  She seemed to be able to hear my thoughts, and I “told” her I’d meet her at the local bar at 10:00 tonight.”  Gavin folds his arms, and stares at Leon grimly.

“Holy shit! That kid can use the force!” Leon shakes his head. “A woman named Rias, huh? Did she sound hot? Wait, that’s not a question I should be asking. Steal Creed’s power? Hmm... That would help solve some of our problems. Sounds like an excellent excuse to visit the strip club again. I take it you are wanting back up at this meeting?”

“Wait, WHAT about the force?”

“That Autumn girl has the ability to use the Force. That’s why you saw the bolt fall from the ceiling.”

“I’m... really not sure how to take that.”  Gavin stares at Leon blankly, and blinks.  Should we... uh... turn her... in?  Or something?

“I’m not sure...She is just a kid... So you are meeting your mysterious lady voice tonight, right? Are you looking for some back up for tonight?”

“But... but she’s a jedi.  They’re dangerous!  They almost took over the galaxy!  We have to do something.”

“Yes, yes, I know. Well, she’s here so we can keep an eye on her. That’ll have to do for now. Having a mysterious voice in your head should take priority at the moment.”

“If... if you think that’s wise, Sergeant.”  Gavin sighs, and rubs his face.  “As far as her sounding hot, she certainly sounded like she was trying to sound hot.  Or... seductive, I guess would be a better term.  And I said, bar, not strip club.”

“Well the strip club does have a bar. I just figured that was the place since many of our meetings tend to take place there. Good job on scoring a seductive female voice in your head. Haven’t had one of those yet. Anyway I’m guessing you want my help for the meeting?”

“That’s the idea.  But... Hm.”  Gavin thinks for a moment.  “You’re just taking all this at face value?  Not going to suggest a battery of physical and psychological tests, or anything?”

“Well, I’m sure Giff would claim something like space madness, but I don’t really know about all that stuff. Besides crazier things have happened to our unit. Like being transported to a weird planet with zombies. A voice in one’s head is almost normal.”

“I... guess.  Well, I guess we’ll find out at 10:00 tonight whether I was crazy or not.  I... aw, hell,” Gavin says.  “I just realized.  I have no idea what she even looks like.”

“Really, you didn’t ask a seductive voice what she looked like? Oh, well. If you aren’t crazy then I’m sure she will know what you look like...I guess we should prepare for the evening’s special occasion.”

“When some bitch starts reading my mind, and talking in my head, the way she looks was the farthest thing from my mind.  I was a LITTLE bit freaked out.”

“I guess I’m the opposite. I would have found out what she looked like, and if she was hot start thinking...things... But I can see how you got freaked out a bit.”

Gavin shoots Leon a disgusted look that he doesn’t even try to hide.  “Right.  Well, I guess we SHOULD prepare.  Not sure what that would entail, aside from making sure we show up armed.”

“Yes, armed is important. Civilian attire should also be on the list. Especially, given current events... We should also arrive at separate times and early.” Leon glances at the time stamp in the corner of the computer screen.

“Why seperate times?  I kinda... already “thought” that I’d be bringing someone along.  So she’ll be expecting me to bring someone.”

“I see. Then I guess separate timing will not be necessary. This will be a fun little evening. I’m hoping she is gonna be hot.”

Gavin keeps his thoughts to himself.

After arranging to head into town with Leon a little before 10:00, Gavin remembers that he still hasn’t decided what to do about Autumn.  He heads back to Allen’s room, the last place he saw her.  As he arrives, he sees that both Allen and Autumn are engrossed in their respective electronic devices.  Gavin taps on the door.

“Hey, Allen.  Thanks for keeping an eye on her.  Can you come here for a second?  I have something I need to talk to you about.”

Allen glances over for a bit then continues typing.  After a short while he gets up to talk to Gavin.  “What?  Despite what it looks like babysitting and all, I’m very busy.”  Allen crosses his arms impatiently.

“Don’t worry, this will only take a second,” Gavin says, trying to act casual.  As they exit the room and close the door, Gavin whispers to Allen “Go ahead and lock that door.  I don’t want her running off before we get back.”

“Actually that doesn’t work too well as I’ve found out but don’t worry, apparently I learned how to deal with kids”.  Allen approaches Autumn.  “I need to leave for awhile but I’ll be back soon.  Why don’t you show Al about those ponies you like?”  After rummaging around for awhile, Allen returns with a large canister of SpaceDoh.  It’s supposed to be for cleaning surfaces but I’m sure kids’ll find it fun hopefully.

--Autumn nods to Allen, and continues her project of twenty questions with Al.  From time to time she stops to look at the SpaceDoh, and seems to give it some very serious consideration, but for the time being stays with the datapad.

"It doesn't, huh?" Gavin asks, as he leads Allen out of the girl's earshot.  "What do you mean by that, exactly?"

“Door was locked before.  She can do some really weird stuff with mechanical and electronic objects apparently.  Good thing she doesn’t want to break anything so I’m kind of trying to be on her good side.”

"So, you noticed that too, huh?  Allen, the girl has force powers.  You know, like a JEDI?  What the hell are we going to do?  I really don't like the idea of having a miniature jedi running around our base."  Gavin crosses his arms and stares at Allen intently.

“You know on one hand having one of these force sensitives around is kind of dangerous but don’t you think they’re interesting?  She’s just a little kid so there’s plenty of stuff we could learn without too much danger.  Give her away to the Empire and we’ll lose that chance.”

"Let's set that argument aside for a moment.  Let's just say we did keep her around.  You, Leon, and I have already noticed her force powers.  How long before someone else notices?  Someone that DOES notify the proper authorities?  At best, we'll be the unit that didn't see the force user right under our nose.  At worst, we get court martialed for harboring her.  Is that what you want?"

“So what do you suggest we do?  Surrender her to the authorities?  That’s no place for a little kid!”  (Besides she’s kind of useful...)  says Allen under his breath.

Gavin sighs.  "Honestly, I don't know.  I mean, it would be one thing if we were taking her away from her family or something, but she doesn't even have one.  If we turn her into the Imperial Security Bureau, she might actually be better off.  And she wouldn't be a threat to us, OR the Empire."

“Look, she’s no danger to us.  Remember what happened on Giju besides you turning Betsy into a pile of scrap?  We fought one of those goddamned Jedi and won.  I think we can handle a force sensitive little girl without any training if need be.  I mean just look at her...”  Allen pulls up a video feed of the workshop.

--Probably to Allen’s relief, Autumn still appears to be in the workshop.  The datapad is off to the side now, as apparently the SpaceDoh has supplanted it in interest.  The SpaceDoh is floating, not far from Autumn’s hands, and is slowly and surely taking a form.  At this early stage it’s hard to determine what exact shape is intended.

“Well okay, admittedly that is a bit creepy but it’s nothing we haven’t dealt with before!”

"I'm not saying she's a danger to us directly... yet.  But remember the whole court-martial thing?  Just look at her.  She's a kid with powers.  She's too young to be trusted to hide them."  Gavin looks at Autumn's image, and frowns.  "Look, I'm feeling pretty conflicted myself.  I'm not even sure what the empire does with force users--especially ones her age.  Are you?"

“That is true, I don’t know.  Let’s ask Monk”.  Allen summons monk via his commlink.

--”I’m on my way.  Is something amiss?” Comes the droid voice reply.   

“No just a few questions.”

--It takes only a few moments before MNK-01 appears.  “I think I am capable of answering some questions, assuming those answers reside in my databanks.  If they do not I can always attempt suggestions or suggested answers, based on contextual data.”

“So Monk, what does the Empire do to captured Force users?  Since you were the personal droid of that one guy, surely you know something?”

--”I’m almost disappointed that such a question is necessary.  But I understand that your background has perhaps limited your understanding of politics and power.  It is very simple really.  The Empire seeks to shape those with such power into loyal tools of their own using.  Those that do not yield or cannot be shaped are destroyed, lest they decide to act against the Empire with said powers.  Forces users are not something to be considered lightly, for with proper training and focus they can become extremely powerful.  Though of course, that power does tend to have two paths, one of light, and one of dark.  The dark path is the most practical and useful in terms of being a tool.  The path of light is too concerned with morality, and things such as balance, which seem ridiculous to me based on the amount of chaos which exists in the universe.  Does that answer suit you?”

“That sound good to you?”

Gavin frowns.  “So, I’ve heard rumors that Vader is trained in the dark side of the force.  Is that true?”

--”Darth Vader.  His origins are well hidden, for even my master was uncertain of them.  He was certain however that Vader is a Dark Lord of the Sith.  Currently, the Sith philosophy ascribes to a rule of two, that there shall be only two Sith Lords at any given time.  My master often considered challenging the rule of two, and may yet do so.  To do so would immediately bring him in conflict with Vader, as well as Vader’s master, Darth Sidious.  A man you both know as Emperor Palpatine.  Who else would have the power to use Vader if he were a Sith Lord than another, more powerful Sith Lord?” (tag to whoever is next.... lol)

“I think the Empire hasn’t been completely honest with this Jedi stuff.  Autumn’s ability to use the force is a gift that the Empire wants to control completely.  On one hand, she could become a completely awesome agent of the Empire (which I’m kind of jealous of) but if she doesn’t cut it, she’ll die.  Not a choice I think we’re qualified to make.  So what do you think Gavin?  Still want to ship her off?”

“Wait, WHAT?!  Emperor Palpatine is a force user?”  Gavin starts to feel a bit dizzy.  This comes as quite a revelation, considering that Palpatine has always gone on about how dangerous the Jedi are, while never mentioning that he had comparable powers.

--”Is that a problem?  Sure there’s all kinds of stuff about force users being bad but that’s just politics.  After all, the Emperor was given his position by the Senate.  And who do you think opposed this matter?  The Jedi Order...they normally stayed out of politics, but they suspected that Palpatine was in fact a Dark Lord of the Sith.  They tried to arrest him, and failed.  After such an action, what could one really expect in response?  The Republic was already having trouble with the Jedi Order seemingly gaining power.  It was a brilliant political move.  The Emperor is no fool, and certainly deserves the position he holds.  A few lies here and there are just a part of everyday politics.  Unless you believe politicians are honest...  However I still say that isn’t really the issue here, seeing as how you are the Emperor’s loyal soldiers, it shouldn’t much matter to you.”  Monk nods assertively after this statement.  “Now on the topic of the young force user...does it matter who shapes her to the Empire’s will?  I don’t see why the resources you have available are insufficient for the task.  The missing information can be found, or even a worthy master could be found, though that would be much harder.  Sith masters would be more interested in keeping the child, Jedi would be interested in hiding her and keeping her safe.”  

“Monk says some good things once in awhile.  Personally I don’t care about keeping her safe or anything and I think it would be awesome to have all that power but you can’t force her into it.  I say we keep her here for awhile until she is competent enough to make the choice herself.  We wouldn’t be harboring a force user.  We’d be... raising an asset of the Empire!  Yeah...”  

“Back up.  You mentioned Jedi.  But... those aren’t around anymore.   Right?”  Gavin asks, somewhat dreading the answer.

--”Jedi aren’t all stupid.  The ones that figured out what was going on quickly organized in various ways.  Some chose the poor decision of fighting superior forces directly, while others chose to hide.  Of those that chose to hide, there is no definitive answer as to how many remain.  But all accounts suggest that the Empire tracked down a great many of them.  With the aid of their own force users of course, because force users can actually detect or seek each other out to a certain extent.  Essentially, only the best and possibly most powerful Jedi that were determined to hide probably succeeded.  The only others that might have survived were weak enough, and also probably far enough, from the galactic center, to evade detection.”

Gavin throws up his hands.  “Fine.  Whatever.  Leon pretty much said the same thing, so I guess it’s out of my hands.  If everyone but me wants to just keep an eye on her, I guess that’s what we’ll do.  I just better not end up arrested because of her... or you guys.”

“Don’t worry, a little thing like this shouldn’t be too difficult to hide.  Besides, all this planet is good for is sand and biological weapons testing.”  Allen shrugs. “Well I’m going to get back now that’s decided.  So who’s in charge of keeping an eye on her?”  Allen looks at Gavin.

“Ask Leon, not me.  He’s the one that’s in charge around here.”  Gavin scowls.  “I’d assume it’s you, though.  You’re the one she seems to have taken a liking to.  And with that in mind, you really need to talk to her about keeping her powers hidden.  Make sure she understands how important it is.”

“Me?  Babysit a kid?  I didn’t get my degree for this...”  Allen lets out a long sigh.  “She’s hanging out in the workshop so she can stay there for now but get Leon to do something about this.”

Something occurs to Gavin.  “Hey, Monk.  You seem to know an awful lot about this force stuff.  What’s the penalty for harboring a force user?”

--”I’ve not been required to know most Imperial regulations.  Assuming you have no connections with higher authorities, and the investigation were to be against you, I imagine you’d disappear, in one way or another.  Such incidents aren’t allowed to become common knowledge.  That’s speculation on the data I have more than working knowledge of regulations.  I am also assuming that actions may be taken outside of the regulations.  Either way, it would be a rare and special case, which would probably bring in an Inquisitor, both to gather the girl, and to determine what everyone really thought or believed.  Inquisitors are rather frightening to most individuals.  If they can recondition Jedi..perhaps they might even be used to help recondition normal soldiers if they were considered useful.  But most soldiers are expendable...so I doubt that.  If the intention is to harbor the girl, I do recommend that every precaution be taken until such time as you can resist any such investigation, or have a powerful enough ally to make the action legitimate.  All else fails, maybe you can make the girl strong enough to fight even an Inquisitor....but I don’t see that as a likely outcome.”  

“So...what precautions are you talking about?  You said force users can sense other force users?  What material would be best to block these...force waves or whatever?”

--”I know of nothing to counter or limit that ability.  I only know that the relative strength of force users involved is a major factor.  Force users with enough ability can “hide” themselves.  More than those details, I do not know.”

“Skrog.  I don’t want to get disappeared over this.  Allen, I’m going to go find Leon, and get some more specific orders regarding the kid.  You keep an eye on her for now.  I’d also like to borrow Monk for a minute.  I want him to tell Leon all the things he told us.”

“Good idea.  I’m going to find out what we can do to keep those Inquisitors off of us.  I hope she knows how to hide...”

“Let’s go find Leon, Monk,” Gavin says, and starts walking.  “On the way, I want you to tell me more about those inquisitors you mentioned.”

--Monk follows Gavin on the way to find Leon.  “The Inquisitors...from what I know they are the best, brightest, and...most determined of all of the converted force users.  They are experts at interrogation, and the more successful ones tend to convert more Jedi than destroy.  Most of the information on the Inquisitors is hard to find, probably on purpose.  Their reputation is more important than their facts.  Fear is a powerful tool.  Beyond that I know little, other than the name of the most well known high inquisitor, Antinnis Tremayne.”

“Okay.”  Gavin files the name away for further research, if necessary, and continues tracking down Leon.

--After a short while you conclude that Leon must be in his office, which has suddenly seen a lot of use lately.  You head over there and press the buzzer upon finding the office door closed.

Hm... Turn a child over to the Empire now or keep an eye on her. She doesn’t seem to be dangerous, but the last two we fought nearly killed us. We only survived against Mordra, because of the one we captured...If myself and Gavin have noticed her abilities then Doctor Ceylon should definitely know. Perhaps speaking with her will help to provide insight into the girl’s potential. Leon uses the security system to locate Alyssa in the garrison. Finding her in the infirmary Leon activates the intercomm to the infirmary, “Doctor Ceylon, its Sergeant Murphy, when you have a minute could you come by my office? There’s something I need to talk with you about.”

--Alyssa’s voice comes over on the intercom.  It’s obvious that she is very tired, and has been busy working with Giff on synthesizing the cure as well as treating the various wounds and symptoms of the quite full infirmary.  “Yes...I think we are almost done here.  I’ll be there soon.”  

After a minute or two, the door buzzer of the office sounds.

“Come on in and have a seat.” After she takes a seat, Leon continues, “I wanted to talk to you about Autumn. She’s a very gifted child it seems. Not many people share her gifts either.”

--Alyssa’s expression doesn’t change, perhaps many years of delivering diagnoses in a stoic manner, “I’ve been very busy with the plague...is Autumn okay?” She pauses, “And yes, she is a very special girl.  It’s why I’ve spent my time looking after her.  But you must tell me...is she okay?  Did something happen?”

“Autumn is fine. She is playing in the workshop right now with Allen. Her gift is what concerns me. I don’t know very much about Imperial laws regarding force users, but I do know they can become very dangerous. I was almost killed by two different users, and saved by one of those that tried to kill me. Perhaps, that, or her being a child, is what is keeping me from making a quick decision. I’m assuming you have been helping her hide her gift, correct? So she doesn’t use it around people you don’t know well?”

--Alyssa pauses for a moment, and sighs.  For all the times you have seen her, and all the desperation of the plague, you have never seen her looking as vulnerable as she does now.  “That...is correct.  She...has rarely ever used her powers, even around myself.  I don’t understand why she would start now.  There must be a catalyst.”  She then strengthens her resolve to some degree, but the vulnerability still shows.  “Many people have already died to see this girl live...I will do whatever I can to keep her safe.  I....notice that you are giving some thought to it..and I cannot understate how much I appreciate that.  I will do whatever to help you in your decision, or whatever I need to to keep her safe.  That I swear.”  She thinks, “If only we find why she decided to disregard my insistence that she not use her powers, then I’m certain she can hide them once more.”  As soon as she finishes speaking, the buzzer sounds again...

Leon looks away from Alyssa toward the door, “Enter.”

Gavin opens the door, and stiffens as he sees Alyssa.  "Ah... sorry, Murphy, I didn't realize you were busy.  I was hoping to talk with you some more about that problem from earlier.  It turns out Monk here has some valuable information on the subject."  He eyes Alyssa, wondering if the two of them are already talking about Autumn.

“Information? Come on in and have a seat then.” Leon motions to the other seat next to Alyssa’s. “What kind of information do you have Monk?”

"Ah, you know, it's pretty sensitive stuff.  Might be better to keep it, hm, confidential for the moment."  Gavin sweats nervously.

Leon considers for a moment, “If this is about Autumn, please go ahead. She is the topic of this discussion at the moment. Unless it is an Imperial secrets, I would like Doctor Ceylon to hear as well. It seems Autumn has been hiding her abilities till recently and your information could help determine why she started using them actively.”

“Hmm.  I see.  Okay, Monk, what percentage of what you told us would be considered “Imperial secrets” or otherwise classified?”

--Monk looks around for a moment.  “Percentage?  I don’t completely know what is and is not classified in the Empire, but if I had to guess, I would say...98.2% of it.  Though I suppose it depends on how you catalog the information.” He nods assertively.

Leon frowns, “That much, huh?” He pauses for a moment more, “Go ahead with the information, carefully.”

Gavin winces but says nothing.

“Lots of people taking risks today.  Seems appropriate given what I’ve observed so far.  Before I divulge any information though, I do have to wonder just how much is relevant...at the moment.  Certainly I could give a long monologue now...but what would be the point of divulging sensitive information that wasn’t necessary.  But if it’s still wished I can discuss that which I discussed with Corporal Ragdos.”

              

“Yes, let me bring you up to speed on the current issue. We have a force sensitive child among us. I know that the general mandate is to turn over force users to the Empire. However, I'm not entirely certain as to what the Empire does with such people. What is it that happens to them?”

“That’s an awfully important question among you, even though I feel like the answer is obvious.  I have a feeling that the good Doctor here is aware of it already.  I’ll keep it short...force users taken by the Empire have two fates.  They are either turned to the dark side and made loyal to the Emperor, or they are destroyed.  Power is therefore either gained for the Empire, or denied to anyone else.  It’s a very practical way of operating...if not for all the problematic Sith ideas that get involved, but that’s another topic entirely.”

“That does seem very practical. And I’m to assume those that shield force users or try to develop them for their own purposes are destroyed as well? That would be just as practical.”

“Affirmative.  The only way to get out of that situation is to have a somewhat convincing reason...but you have to convince some very...unsympathetic individuals, or to have connections with a powerful person.”

“I take it that is the gist of what you wanted me to know, Gavin?”

Gavin shrugs.  “More or less.  Technically less, but the rest of it should really probably be for your ears only.”

“Well, that, and Monk also told me about the inquisitors.  They’re force users that work for the empire, and they hunt down and convert other force users.  The most worrisome part about them is that they can actually sense force users, so Autumn wouldn’t even need to use her powers to be found by one of them.”

“That is troublesome. I don’t want to turn her over to the Empire, just yet. There’s more I want to know before I make that decision. But, I do feel that it is necessary to keep an eye on her dangerous or not. Keeping an eye on her could prove beneficial to helping us battle dangerous force users later. I also want to know why she started using her powers her of all places. Monk, do you know of anything catalysts that would trigger someone who has been hiding their force nature to start openly using the force?”

“I must disappoint here.  Child psychology is not a strong point of mine, and I have no knowledge of anything inherent in force users, be it jedi, sith, or neither, that make someone suddenly choose to use their powers when they were previously avoiding them.  The only thing I can suggest is that many force users are known to specialize in certain things, perhaps a certain affinity for a type of force use caused the girl to want to use them.  Or maybe it was just the stress of the situation, and the Doctor had to deal with patients and wasn’t around.  As I said, I believe a psychologist could give a better answer.”

“To specialize in certain things...” Leon looks over at the monitor feed of Allen’s lab. “This specialization...can it apply to mechanical things?”

“You know, we could probably just ask her,” Gavin says.

“I do intend to speak with her about her gifts. I’m just trying to get a better understanding, I guess.”

“So what’s the plan, Sergeant?”  Gavin crosses his arms.  “No offense to Alyssa or the kid, but I really don’t want to get killed over this.  Or whatever they’d do to us for harboring a force user.”

“Nor do I want to get killed over it. I do believe that keeping her under surveillance would solve that problem and allow us to gain a better understanding of force users. I want a tactical advantage when I go to kill Allister. What better way than observing another user? Monk, can these specializations apply to mechanical objects?”

Before Monk can reply Alyssa decides to speak again.  “If I may...there are other options.  So far you seem to be only deciding between keeping her or turning her in.  Wouldn’t it be less dangerous to you, over harboring, to just let us disappear...and go far far from this planet.  Or at least let her go...” She trails off for a moment.  “It seems you must have some sort of objections to the idea of turning her in that considering other options could actually be worthwhile.”  Monk decides to hold his response until this new input is resolved.

Gavin cocks an eyebrow at Leon, waiting for him to respond.

Leon glances back and forth between Gavin and Alyssa. “I hadn’t intended to keep her around as a...prisoner. Letting her go entirely could be dangerous for us as well. And I’m still uncertain as to the type of surveillance that may now be placed on the unit due to the events at Fyrestone. I still consider surveillance to be the best option. Anton could watch her and make reports. That should allow you Doctor to perform your role as the area’s physician and not place undue pressures on the girl. An acceptable compromise?”

“So basically, we’re looking at three options here:  turn her in, keep her here, or send her away.  Turning her in is obviously the safest for us.  Whereas keeping her is the riskiest.  Sending her off is still pretty risky--and we could get in deep poodoo for it--but it’s not quite as risky as keeping her.  It would seem to me that sending her somewhere else would be the ‘compromise.’”

“From my point of view the first option actually has two options with in it. Disregard what we know about her gifts, or as I have suggested surveillance. Which could be looked upon as Imperial custody. To me that option is the least risky, aside from turning her over.”

“You’re only fooling yourself if you think our superiors will consider it “imperial custody” if we keep her here for our own purposes.  I mean, if we made sure she didn’t escape, and turned her over as soon as someone comes sniffing around, we might--MIGHT--get off easy, and just get assigned to spend the rest of our careers scrubbing toilets.  But I’d call that the best case scenario.”

“Gavin you are a glass half full kinda thinker when it comes to the gray areas. I prefer to think that the glass is just twice as big,” Leon shrugs. He turns to Alyssa, “I take it you would rather leave then?”

Alyssa thinks for a moment.  “Honestly...I had hoped I’d never have to leave here...it’s generally always been quiet.  I’ve always known that someday I might have to make some tough decisions, just as those before me.  Since you’ve given me this much...if it were practical I could try to keep the life I’ve had here.  At the very least it might be a sign of good faith towards your unit... you could always change your minds...a risk that I have to carefully consider.  So yes, the safest option I believe would be to at least get her out of here.  I’d only need to contact one person to make it happen, an acquaintance of someone who knew Autumn’s mother.  I’m ready to exercise any option that keeps her safe though.”  

                         

I never really had the intention of turning her over, but I can't necessarily say that given my position. And Gavin would have a field day if he knew that. I suppose the only option I have is to let them go their own way. Could I trust their travel to Nahja? I'm still uncertain as to her allegiance. “Fine. I won't stop you then. Take the time you need to prepare to travel.” Leon manipulates his terminal for a moment, then says, “If you need help leaving I may know someone that will at least take you off world.”

Gavin looks somewhat relieved.

Monk decides to interject here.  “I guess you don’t have a use for the girl’s powers then?  Well, I suppose training her would be troublesome, I can only provide combat and style training as well as philosophical knowledge, but I lack many other aspects that make someone a proper master.  Though, maybe somewhere down the road...we can call in a favor.  I think that the girl and the doctor would owe us a great deal following this.”  

Alyssa doesn’t really wait for that discussion to continue.  “I can make arrangements immediately for Autumn, but I will have to stay behind until I can find a replacement doctor.  That might also help make things less suspicious.  Sergeant Murphy, I thank you both for your decision, and for your offer of help...I should really thank all of you, or at least those in the know.  So as it were, the droid is correct in that I shall be indebted, and perhaps Autumn, knowing of this, maybe one day be able to repay the favor as well, but it’s perhaps for the best if the paths do not cross again.  I’m far less concerned about myself though.” She stands, ready to move out.

“Don’t feel you have to make the arrangements right away. You do look terribly exhausted from the recent events. Since it’s a long drive back to the clinic the two of you may stay here. You did help treat my wounded troops with Giff.”

“I think leaving her here longer might just complicate things.  Wouldn’t you agree?”  

“I don’t things can get much more complicated than they already are.”

“Regardless, moving quickly is what I want.  I only risked having her here because I felt like fighting the plague was more important.  Thank you again though, it means more than you can imagine.  If you’ll excuse me..” She heads towards the door.

“Hang on.  I haven’t been able to find Giff anywhere, and I know you were helping treat people, so maybe you know.  How’s Elina doing?”

Alyssa stops.  “She should be fine...we managed to synthesize the cure in decent enough quantities.  So far it’s proven to be effective, though I think the patients should be checked regularly for a while to be sure.  There is the possibility that the plague manages to evade destruction...but I think we may just have been able to beat it because we worked quickly.  I will still be here for a while, so you can expect me to aid in those check ups and be ready in case something comes up. As far as where Giff is....I think he complained about a “space headache” and wandered off.  I assumed you would know where he went.”

“You... you synthesized a cure?  That’s great!  Skrag, nobody tells me anything.”  Gavin glares at Leon.  “How the hell did nobody see fit to mention that to me?

“Anyway, I have no idea where Giff went.  Maybe his space headache made his space head space explode.  Anyway...”  Gavin sighs.  “Good luck.”

“Sorry, guess with all that’s been going on I forgot to pass that on to you. Razor managed to acquire some extra for Giff to synthesize, while Issard allowed for your’s and Anton’s treatment.”

“Well that’s good.  I’m glad they gave you some.”

Alyssa smiles.  The signs of exhaustion and stress are obvious, but she exits the room with a sense of definite purpose.  It’s obvious she won’t rest until she’s done what she must.