30 Years Ago
30 Years Ago
"Kark kark kark!" Triam screamed as the flames of atmospheric re-entry licked its way across the hull of the Junk'd Up Ship.
"WE ARE THE HARBRINGERS OF YOUR EVOLUTION."
A massive droid roared from the back of her ship, the one responsible for blowing out an engine block, but thankfully wedged and vacuumed sealed so tightly around the hull as to be utterly immobile. It's own thrusters on the outside of her hull must've been firing too, either that, or its back end was creating an incredible amount of drag against the atmosphere. Hopefully the rising temperature was enough to melt it into her ship, and hopefully she still had enough fuel that wasn't leaking out to correct for the disturbance in her flight path on their downward descent... otherwise spinning out of control would be the understatement of the past century.
All around her these swarms of similar droids were descending into the atmosphere of Zeltros, like evil space-locusts. The rest of them weren't paying her any mind. It was either because they assumed she was doomed already, and/or she looked like one of them due to her impromptu passenger stuck half way through her freighter. Whatever the reason, she would have time later to be grateful to the grace of the universe for such unlikely circumstances coming to pass, right now she was still spewing out a constant stream of curses as she put everything into her mediocre piloting skills to hopefully control her descent into a non-lethal trajectory.
Suffice to say, it didn't look good, and the landscape was an utter nightmare... or least the landscape she could see through the hellish flames obstructing her view in the cockpit. Cloudcutters crumbling, fires everywhere, death and destruction on a scale not even her fathers "war stories" could do justice to. Looking for a body of water to land on (and hopefully skim across instead of scattering into debris on the surface), she tried to steer the great hulking fireball that was currently her home, trying very hard to ignore the terrible sounds of her unwanted companion through this awful journey to Zeltros. It looked like she was going to make a controlled descent, coming over a city into a large body of water. Her speed was slow enough now that despite the drag, she was no longer on fire... but then, there was a small explosion and her fuel dropped immediately to zero.
"Oh no," Was all she could manage before her ship began to plummet. "Oh no," Her elevation control went completely out of her control but thanked the force that there was still some steering capacity. "Oh no no no!" She exclaimed as it appeared she was nose diving towards a pair of cloudcutters. She tried to steer one way and it failed to respond, then the other way, and she realized her steering wasn't going to be fast enough to miss them. "Feirfek!" She screamed as she had to make a decision with only moments before it could kill her. She steered the one way that she could, and aimed for the gap between the half-desolated buildings. She had no idea if she was going to survive this, but she let out a prayer to whatever would listen before the scraping impact rocked her world into unconsciousness.
The view over the city and the sea was incredible, if not for the terrible scent of burning flesh and toxic fumes wafting its way even thousands of meters high as she was. Fires still burned, every so often a building would collapse, drones still flew, blasters were still going off far in the distance... but Triam was alive. Stuck, trapped, and without a safe means of escape, but alive.
"WE ARE THE HARBRinGERs oF YOUR EVOLUTIon."
So was her passenger, unfortunately. Or fortunately, depending on how she looked at it. She'd made a pros and cons list while observing it, having little else to do, stranded in the precarious situation she was in. On the plus side, if the Omni-droid hadn't impacted her ship the way it had, the other droids may have opted to destroy her, and if it wasn't around now the Omni-droids would have likely found her ship to snuff her out of life. All they had to do was be curious around her ship, and she was sure it would come loose and tumble the rest of the way to the dead streets of Zeltros. On the con side...
"WE ARE THE-"
"By the hells, shut up!" It was a bit overly talkative, and not terrible creative with its choice of conversation piece. Also, it was primarily responsible for her current position in life. She had considered at least a dozen times every hour the benefits of shooting out the brains of this infernal contraption, but every time calculated it as too great a risk. Change any single factor in her position, and it could lead to a swift and terrible demise. This ship was her home, she didn't want to inadvertently make it her tomb because she couldn't deal with a chatty killer droid.
The best she could do, was hope she could survive long enough that this crisis might resolve itself. She imagined the Republic had to respond, Zeltros had a significant civilian population, surely they would answer its plight. Assuming they even received a communication from Zeltros, the droids may have blocked out communications ahead of their invasion, and then killed anyone who could do any contacting. Triam briefly considered the origin of the droids, if they might be created by the Sith Empire. She decided against it after getting brave enough, to approach as close as she dared to her mechanical terror. It gave its usual missive as she inspected it, and determined despite its lack of creativity and heavy damage, the droid was of a highly sophisticated nature that she doubted any nation leaving the Dark Era held the industry capable of producing one, let alone the thousands, perhaps even millions she saw clouding the skies of Zeltros.
Over the course of a week, she continued to study the machine, gradually getting braver with her closeness, marking off how far she had dared go. Even in the dilapidated state of her ship, she was thankful that most of the kitchen had survived, and that her supplies would more or less last her for a long while. Still finite, and something to be conserved, but at least she wouldn't die thirsty or hungry. As her fear lessened, and her boldness increased, one day, she got a little too close to her curiosity...
"Gah!" She recoiled away as a huge gash formed on her prosthetic arm, which she had brought up to protect her body from a tentacle she had believed to be inert all this time. Counting once again her lucky stars, she ran to the front of the ship, and observed her now damage prothesis. In the open mechanical wound she saw... movement within, though she couldn't make out the individual nanites, she recognized the liquid-like metallic sheen of material seeping in and around her mechanical hand, and slowly felt herself losing control of it. Fear gripped her heart, so she detached the limb as quickly as she could manage before losing total control over it. As it lost power disconnected from her body, she watched in amazement as the nanites seemed to mend the gash in her prosthetic over the course of an hour.
"Fascinating." She exclaimed to herself, before she risked picking up the repaired prosthetic with a pair of tongs and placing it into a containment box. She brought it to a workbench for further study and observation. Seeing the nanites work, she reasoned that was how the Omni-droid's previously inert tentacle had come alive. These micro-machines were capable of repairing the droid, and even her prosthetic (a design they likely never encountered previously to their exposure). A curious thought entered her head ominously wondering if the same could be true of flesh. Looking at the stump of her arm, and remembering the loss of control she had with the prosthesis quickly banished the thought away. It was an absurd thought, it couldn't be possible. But you could make it possible.
"It's been two weeks now, I think I've successfully pulled out the source-code for the Omni-nanites, and re-configured them into a more useful form. I've been sitting on the innovation for a couple days now, because I'm not sure exactly what they will do, and I'm short of any subjects to test it on. Other than myself. I'm running out of time, however, as I'm pretty sure that my companion, whom I've come to calling Cyclops, is starting to repair itself more thoroughly. I may not have enough time to wait around to see what it does, before Cyclops moves the wrong way and causes us all to fall to our deaths. Or at least mine, anyway. I'm also running out of useable water. I've been getting by with rain water buckets, but I'm pretty sure the rain has been toxic since the invasion now, not been feeling too well lately, almost like I'm not entirely myself. Foods going to run out soon too, if I don't ration it even further. Any hope of the Republic coming has been lost, so either they realized intelligently they can't face this threat and it's localized to Zeltros for some reason, or the whole galaxy has been effected and the Republic is gone already."
Triam was talking to herself, and to anything listening. She didn't have a recorder, but felt like she needed to speak what she'd come to terms with out loud. If nothing else but to sooth herself with the sounds of a human voice that wasn't loudly obnoxious about its artificial mission. Trying to sleep through that was a nightmare, but she managed after the first handful of days without sleeping. Why did she bother anyway, she should just let the droid kill her, all hope was lost.
"I mean, at this point what do I really have to lose? I'd say there isn't anything much better to do except die slowly, why not go out doing something no one else has done before?" Hesitantly, and a bit weakly considering her survivor circumstances, Triam lifted the containment of her Prosthesis. As if what it contained was a great evil to be treated with respect and care, she lifted and applied the arm back to its rightful place. As power was applied to the device, she felt a surge of energy pour into her body through the prothesis. Terrible images flashed through her mind and pain filled her body. She became aware of a greater consciousness than herself, the reality of a galaxy-sized brain slaughtering billions and billions of people, while other powerful minds joined the collective. Omni is everywhere. Omni is everything.
As the pain left, the weakness she felt before her left as well, and in its place there was a strength like never before. After so many days of not feeling herself, under the gaze of Omni and its subtle guidance directing her experiments with Omni's nanites, her intellect was put to its best use and felt like herself like never before. She felt the flow of nanites within her, repairing her faulty organic body to the peak of health, and looked to the machine she had called Cyclops with renewed understanding. An evolution had occurred, and she had it to thank for it. She felt the nanites flowing between her prothesis and the rest of her arm pause for a moment, as if awaiting command. Interpreting the mechanical hesitance, she realized there was the question of whether or not she needed the prothesis any more. She could have her "real" arm back if she wanted, to restore what was taken from a Jedi. With a smile, she halted their progress. The arm she possessed was her real arm, the distinction between organic and machine didn't matter any more. For Triam Akovin, it was one in the same, and the shiny chrome of her digits represented to her a symbol, the acceptance of Omni's gift of life.
At this point, her Supreme Intelligence indicated to her that what she had modified in Omni's nanites could do so much more than simply repair her body, and that she would be needed soon to assist the Great Evolution. This precarious position simply wouldn't do. In a sudden massive burst of energy she outstretched all her limbs and a swarm of nanites flowed from her like the flames of a phoenix and began to put the old Freighter back into order, pushing out the Omni-droid but keeping the ship aloft nonetheless between the Cloudcutters.
"Zztsyaaaa!" Triam screamed suddenly, with pain across her entire conscious being, as Omni - an almighty intelligence spanning almost the entire glaxay -ceased. Her ship plummeted and Triam along with it, and there was a sense of impact.
Then absolutely nothing.
"Ma'am, are you alright?" A voice greeted her for what felt like the first time, as she opened her eyes to a bright sun overlooking the horizon of a vast sea. She shielded her eyes from the light with a chrome hand, and smelt faintly the scent of death, but also strangely a sterile smell mixing along with it. She recognized the armor the owner of the voice carried, she began to recall. Where was she again?
"Ma'am?" They question her again. Right, I'm a woman. She thought.
"I'm-" She struggled with a name. Tr... Tri? That wasn't quite right, so she settled for letting them know that she felt... great actually. Like she was waking up from a nap. "I'm okay."
Triam Akovin. She recalled finally, but seeing the insignia on the medics uniform, she realized that probably wasn't a good idea to let them know. Why? Why shouldn't she... former Republic Soldier, A.W.O.L. Right, that was why. Though she felt that they probably had bigger priorities right now.
"Can you stand?"
"Yeah, I can thanks." As if to prove the point, she stood herself up, and realized that her clothes stuck to her damply. Looking down she recognized dried blood, and lots of scratches. She looked behind her and noticed a ship, a freighter... Junk'd Up Ship. That was her ship, and it looked like the way she had left it, if not a little worse for wear.
"Come with me, we need to evacuate the area in case the buildings collapse. We're looking for survivors, do you know of anyone else who might be in the area with you?" The medic soldier asked her, and she couldn't recall. She didn't really know how she ended up here. She vaguely recalled some kind of disaster, and it must have caused her to go unconscious, but she couldn't remember. She intuited, however, based on her history, that going on their medical care due to mental issues was not in her best interest. If she were able bodied, she could help them maybe, and they wouldn't ask her too many questions.
"No, I was alone. That's my ship over there, I think I just fainted from all of this... destruction." She gestured around. "Sorry for worrying you, I guess my stomach wasn't as strong as I thought when it comes to this stuff... if you need help, I can offer up my ships services to ferry survivors out of here?" The soldier looked hesitant for a moment, and then looked around to the rest of the medics scattered about rummaging through the ruble, or pulling out scanners looking for signs of life. Medical frigates floated in the air, and hover vehicles were all around. There weren't too many in the immediate area though. Finally, they turned back.
"We have the situation covered, but if you're ambulatory, and level headed, fly this out of here. I'd hate to see your transport get buried for nothing. Try to keep your fluid intake high, don't need you fainting in any place weird again." After a few more words exchanged, Triam was able to get back on her ship and take off from Zeltros. If she could help it, she would avoid the planet for the rest of her life. Hopefully to avoid gaining any more memories of such an unpleasant event...
"What a fight. I thought for sure she had him at the top of that building."
A few years later, after the Tournament of the Cauldron Finale Duel between finalists Mikhail Shorn and Triam Akovin...
A few years later, after the Tournament of the Cauldron Finale Duel between finalists Mikhail Shorn and Triam Akovin...
"Ye, damn shame fer me wallet. I put my vacation savin's on 'er winnin'! Now lookit 'er."
"She lived up to her name though, she never stopped moving even after it was clear she was dead. Not till that final moment. Relentless to the end."
"Whatev'r, just get her body to the pile, like the others. Still gotta get to deconstructin' that arena stage-"
"Water." She said.
"WHAT THE F-" She didn't catch the last part as she was dropped into the dirt. She slowly tried to press herself up with her hands, and felt pain shooting up her arms, her face meeting the ground again.
"You-You--Y-yer 'posed to be dead!" One of the exclaimed.
"I feel like it. Water, please." She said in the dirt. She'd figure out how she survived later.
Grey sky. Rain. No sun visible. Sky cars zip by. The scent of refuse.
Now, 864 ABY...
Now, 864 ABY...
Sirens blare in the distance. Pain pokes in the back, the legs, and both arms. Little scrapes cut the flesh.
Breathe enters suddenly, filling lungs which feel fresh and new. The heart pumps audibly in the ears. There is a dampness around the stomach and breast. It feels bare, open to the wind.
She lifts up from the garbage, pushing away the refuse piled on top of her body and climbs out as if her legs were new to her. She impacts the pavement, the splash of a puddle cooling her face. She lets her face drip as she looks in the puddle. The ripples go on for some time, but she sees a face in it. She waits till the ripples subside enough to see who is looking at her.
The face of a woman appears. The colors are muted and hard to make out, but she is blonde, with light colored eyes, and fair skin.
"Who are you?"
*As seen for the first time here:
OOC/ Some events and also Events have shaken the galaxy, but many of our writers weren't around for them and many of our characters didn't exist yet. This thread is a dumping ground for vignettes or unconnected little stories that take place twenty-nine years ago during the Clockwork Rebellion...
Thank you Jend-Ro Quill for the inspiration, you're awesome.