Awakening (extended)

From the Story Arc: Rebirth

Next Story in the Arc: An early night by Krasnaya Zvezda (Thursday, May 04, 2006)

(posted Thursday, May 04, 2006)

Kheldians and Quantum energy weapons.

At their purest, Kheldians are beings of energy and light. It is surmised that they join with the host and, somehow, attach to their nervous system. Quantum weapons have a similar effect to a Kheldian as a power surge can have to an electrical device. At low levels, this can cause the device little permanent damage but at the higher levels can result in a blown fuse or damaged circuit board. Unfortunately, in the case of Kheldians, this ‘power surge’ can have disastrous consequences on the symbiosis, resulting in a sundering of this joining or even death to one or both of the participants.

Extracted from the book: ‘Aliens amongst us: The Truth about Kheldians’ by Dr Samuel Monrow.


That was all that Krasnaya Zvezda could feel. Naturally, he’d been hurt before, but even in his past as Alexander and Red Star, nothing had ever come close to this.

There was a memory, from what seemed an eternity ago: sweeping over Council troops, as they struggled to rise in the aftermath of John Murdocks explosion; dropping out of his Mefnanim form and then leaning down to administer some Kora essence to the exhausted Peacebringer. Then it all changed, his world faded, replaced with this soul-destroying pain. One part of Kras attempted to react, to work out what had happened, but that part was quickly overwhelmed. Something was ripping into him, tearing Alexander and Red Star apart, tearing them in two and it hurt.

Alexander felt like he was in Hell. He was burning/freezing/being skinned alive and he couldn’t even scream. He was aware of the symbiosis he shared with Red Star disintegrating and the growing distance between them. Reaching out with his remaining strength, he tried desperately to grab hold of her.

Through the intense pain, Red Star could feel herself diminishing; feel the connection she had with Alexander fading. Alexander was losing consciousness and without his help to push back the pain and hold them together…

She couldn’t, wouldn’t let that happen. As darkness enveloped her, instinct took over; she hung on and fought back the only way she knew how.

Opening the blinds, Amberlee gazed at a glorious blue sky.

It’s too nice a day for all this. Being a nurse was fulfilling and she wouldn’t swap it for the world, but sometimes you just see too much pain and suffering. After the last few days, with all the funerals and eulogies on top of everything else, it was just too much. She needed some time off.

Casting a wistful look outside, she turned her attention back to the patient’s chart. Everything seemed normal, but he’d been unconscious for a couple of days now and the doctor was starting to become concerned.

A slight stirring alerted her. Glancing at the monitors, she quickly checked his vitals, they all looked good and it seemed like he was finally waking up.

“Hi there, sleepyhead. How are” She jumped as, what was his name again, Krasnaya?, sat up with a start.

“Easy tiger, you’re in the hospital. It’s okay, you’re safe now, you‘ll be fine. You were injured in that fight with the Council, but were brought here along with….”

Looking around in disbelief, Red Star let the woman’s voice wash over her. No, it wasn’t okay and wouldn’t be fine, ever again.

“oh Alex, what have I done?”

She stared down at her, his, hands. Everything felt some much… more. The sensations as she flexed his figures; the texture of the hospital sheets against her skin; the only thing she couldn’t feel, that she so desperately needed to feel, was Alexander. “what have I done?” she repeated softy. “What’s happened to us?”

Feeling sick to the pit of her stomach, another new sensation, she looked around. This wasn’t right, she had to do something, she needed to do something, she needed Alexander back, she needed… clothes. Throwing back the covers, she got up, out of the hospital bed and threw on Krasnaya’s costume.

“What do you think you are doing? The doctor needs to take a look at you before you get up.” Concern echoed in Amberlee’s voice and she started to make her way around the bed towards Krasnaya. “Are you ok?”

This was all getting too much, the new sensations, new feelings, Red Star couldn’t take much more of this. “No, I have to get out. Now.” The walls seemed to be closing in; she needed some space, some air.

“Well, why don’t you wait for the doctor? I’m sure he’ll be along soon. Anyway, you can’t leave yet, you’d have to at least sign these release”

Red Star looked around again, her gaze settling on the window. With a flash, she teleported outside, changed into her Hulmanim form and flew up into the sky.

“papers.” finished Amberlee. She sighed, “I hate it when they do that.“

The next few hours were a blur. Red Star flew around the city, her mind reeling with the possibilities of what had happened, what she may have done. When she became aware of her surroundings again, she found she was in Independence Port; where the last rays from the sun were disappearing and the stars beginning to make an appearance.

This flying around wasn’t helping her, it was too easy to get lost, distracted. She needed to settle down and think about what had happened. Spotting a nearby rooftop, she landed, transforming into her Ruktur form; she didn’t need any distractions that may come from using Alexander’s form right now. Thinking hard, she sat down.

“It must have been a Quantum weapon that hit and forced the joining to break.” She shuddered with remembered pain; that was an experience no-one should have to go through. She remembered Krasnaya disintegrating and Alexander losing control and then, just before passing out, she... did what? Would she have tried to get it? Did she wrestle control from him? She couldn’t have, he must have passed out as well and must still be unconscious.

“That’s it, he’ll wake up soon and we’ll be okay again!” Even as she said it, she doubt reared up in her mind.
If that was the case, why didn’t he wake up when you did?
She had no answer.
Because you possessed him, that’s why, her voice whispered back.
“No! I couldn’t have done that, not again, not after all I went through!”
Come on! You’re a Nictus, you know you could have done it! Running scared, about to die, what else would you have done?
“Alexander was different, he wasn’t like the cattle I fed upon! You can’t just possess humans!”
Unlike ‘Peacebringers’ you mean? He was a part of you, a willing part, it would have been easy just to push him aside.
“No! That didn’t happen!”
Are you sure? Really sure?

His, no, her argument was interrupted by the bleeping of the PDA and whilst Rukturs are useful for many things, handling PDA’s isn’t one of them. She dropped into human form and stared at it. It was a request on the CCCP private channel, Komrad Vex had just come on duty and was checking in, asking if everyone was alright. Krasnaya was showing as ‘on duty’, she’d have to answer. But Alexander was the one who was good with computers, Red Star didn’t have the faintest idea how to work this thing. The PDA bleeped again, the other members on duty were calling in with greetings. She had to make that call, but how?

“It has to be one of thes.” Panicking, Red Star started pushing buttons at random. “Come on, which button was it again? Damn it! Hello? Can you hear me?”

“Heya, Kras” Komrad Vex replied.
“Privyet Comrade Zvezda. How is going the hunt today?” Another voice, Petrograd.

It worked! Still, that was the easy part, they mustn’t guess that anything is wrong. So, how to avoid any awkward questions? Best way to do that would be to impersonate Krasnaya and keep the conversation short, she reasoned. Petrograd shouldn’t really notice anything, Krasnaya had never really talked to him before. Komrad Vex could be trickier as they’d worked together before, so, relax and keep it natural.

She took a breath and then spoke. “Hello Komrad Vex, Petrograd. I, uh, I’m fine, just… fine.” Not exactly relaxed and, as for natural, ’hello’? What are you, some Amerikan wannabe? Right, Krasnaya spoke mainly Russian.

Thankfully, Petrograd then announced “Tovarischi! Am now hunting for Council vampyri with interesting enhancements. Care to join?” Komrade Vex was happy to assist and a relieved Red Star begged off and was able to end the call.

That relief didn’t last too long though as she was now back to square one, attempting to find out what had happened to Alexander. Further speculation was useless, help was needed, help and answers. But from whom?

With a thoughtful look on her face, she looked down at the PDA again. With only some mild swearing, she managed to find a list of the contacts that she, Krasnaya, had had dealings with. However, upon scanning the list of names, all but one could be discarded. Whilst most, she imagined, would be willing to help, they would lack either the knowledge or ability to help her. This just left the one person who could possibly help, but wouldn’t necessarily understand. Shadowstar.

Shadowstar is the legend all Nictus who start down the road to being a Warshade hear about. She was the first to escape from her Nictus background; the first to join with a human; the first in just about everything. If anyone could help, then she could. Unfortunately, she is also very protective of all Warshades and doesn’t look kindly to anyone or anything threatening them. Would she consider this a threat? A Warshade who may have relapsed, destroying the host personality and inhabiting the body? Quite possibly.

The only other people she could talk to were the CCCP. Red Star couldn’t afford to show weakness to any of the warriors like Komrad Vex, but maybe one of the medics would be able to understand and offer some help? Belladonna Aura and Social Medicine sprang to mind and with Belladonna being a commissar as well, she was the obvious choice.

But is this the best time? she hedged. What with the recent turmoil they have gone through, they probably have enough to deal with. I mean, how do I tell them that Krasnaya Zvezda has gone; Red Star, a former Nictus, is here instead, may have suffered a relapse and destroyed the part of Krasnaya they knew as Alexander?
You don’t know that though, do you. Not for certain anyway.
I know he isn’t there. Maybe if I just wait and leave it for a while…
Like that’ll work. You know you have to talk to someone, you don’t have the answers, you need help and now
But could they really help?
Only one way to find out and it’s either them or the Shadowstar.

In the end it wasn’t even a contest. As scared as she was of telling her colleagues, she was even more scared of Shadowstar. Consulting her PDA for a final time, she transformed back into a Hulmanim and set off for Atlas Park and, hopefully, some answers.