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RP Story

edited August 2021 in Roleplay
((So this is something I used to do with a different RP crowd a few years back (Like six or so years now i think). Posting short character-centric stories, sometimes multi part/post as a way of either showcasing certain things about a character that aren't normally seen or aren't as easy to do on the fly, or as a kind of post-event reaction to something that happened in game, but also just cause it's fun to do. This is just part one.))

An Earth-styled interceptor with patchy brown and black paint slowly traverses subsector RA-4444, making small course adjustments periodically. Inside, the main view screens are dark and the area is illuminated only by the red glow of an LED strip and the navchart ticking down the distance to the predetermined destination. Soft snoring emits from the drifting form of Zarrach in the microgravity of the cockpit, slack-jawed in his slumber. A quiet chime precedes the ship’s sudden stop as it reaches its destination, and Zarrach is rudely jerked awake by the gravity in his ship suddenly restoring itself, causing him to fall back into his seat.

“<<Chert, uzhe zdes'?>> That was fast.” he muttered as he raised himself into a seated position. As Zarrach hurriedly repositioned himself a humanoid figure rose from a holo emitter on his console, her form one of hard white light. Her face was inscrutable, an intentional thing on her part as she regarded the itinerant space drifter before her.

“I told you this wouldn’t take long, the ship wasn’t that far away to get away with sleeping.” Is0beL said, her tone chastising. Zarrach shrugged, punching in a few commands to turn on the primary view screens so he could see what he had flown all this way for. A derelict ship, not the Event Horizon wreck but a different one, though this wreck too had had an encounter with some of the lingering anomalies that still lurk in the depths of the sector from that event. Most of the crew was missing, assumed destroyed or displaced by the anomalies. Enough made it to the lifepods and into safer sub-sectors to tell the tale.
Is0beL took over the fine flight controls, bringing the ship in closer in preparation for Zarrach’s spacewalk. She ‘looked’ at the viewscreen as the Vagabond Vaporwave drifted closer to a breached part of the hull.
“I am still picking up traces of anomalous pockets. Be careful, I don’t like getting towed back to Omni.”

Zarrach cracked the canopy of his interceptor, and his nanite base layer immediately went into emergency EVA status, generating a small forcefield around him to trap oxygen around his body. Is0beL closed the canopy as he walked down the nose of his ship, his footfalls thudding as the magnets in his boots kept him from drifting off before he was ready. A simple hop was all the momentum he needed to cross through the blown out hull.

He’d been tasked with a pretty simple job, get the flight data back, download the sensor data and get it all back, a physical presence was needed due to the remote uplink getting destroyed. He was going to be paid once he uploaded the information, but it was not specified what was to happen to the wreck. Should a few loose items go missing, who would be there to tell him off for it? Nothing personal, just business. The wreck’s interior was a mess of scorched hallways from overloaded systems, strange piles of sludge that he suspected might have been crew, and all systems were fried.

Zarrach reached into the space in front of him, manipulating a menu in his local commsphere. Is0beL appeared next to him, looking through security feeds.
“I thought you were staying on the Drifter.” he said, not taking his eyes off the menu.
“I can be in both places, it’s not that hard.” she replied, rewinding and scanning footage prior to the ship’s destruction and subsequent abandonment. “Besides, it’s not like anything is going to happen to the Drifter.”
“You don’t know that.”, Zarrach shot back with a growl, “Remember the last wreck we did? With the <<sboy>> maintenance drones that tried to scrap it to repair their own wreck?”
“Yes, obviously. We got through that just fine.” she said with a digital sniff.
“<<Vy zapustili korabl' v solnechnuyu vspyshku!>>”
“It worked though!”

Zarrach sighed heavily, and the door in front of him finally slid open as his slicer tool finally breached the lockdown commands on it. He felt the ice-water chill of something being very off before the air in front of him tore open and a ball-shaped anomaly came through it and then subsequently vanished as reality reasserted itself.
“<<Eto snova my>>”, Zarrach said as he shook his head and stepped into the anomaly infested wreck.
“I’ll stay here and sift through data, find anything useful and I’ll drop a beacon on it for you in your iRIS.” said Is0beL, before flickering out of view.

Zarrach passed through several compartments, heading to the command deck. It was on the crew deck, in the hallway that he realised something was up. The stairs he was on seemed to be going on forever.

“Oh you have got to be fucking kidding.” he grumbled as the realization sunk in.
Is0beL> What are you grumbling about now?
Zarrach> I’ve been going in a loop for the last maybe twenty minutes. Just realised it.
Is0beL> Took you that long to notice?
Zarrach> I thought that I’d found a straight shot to the command deck. Just get me another route, this is already looking like it’s going to be a long job.
Is0beL> Plotting. Go back to the Crew deck and go down to Engineering, then up through Crew again on the otherside.
Zarrach> Why the otherside?
Is0beL> Too much anomalous activity to go directly through Crew to the other Command access.
“Oh.” Zarrach grunted, and he turned back down the stairs following the navigation line in his display.

He felt the air tear apart behind him once more, and another ball-shaped anomaly dropped into view. Immediately it started sending out arcs of energy, scorching the walls and floor as reality tried to reassert itself again and disperse the problem. A high-pitched whine emanated from the ball, which Zarrach immediately recognized for what it was. He dove over the railing, dropping to the stairwell below.
Right into another anomaly that just coalesced into the space below him.
“Ah, fuck.” he blurted out just as he passed into it.

A distorted kaleidoscope of colors and sounds assaulted Zarrach’s senses, and he heard the telltale silent static of his connection to the general commsphere of his time going dead. This wasn’t the first time he’d been cast adrift in the timeline by one of the anomalies, so the shock was not as severe. At least it wasn’t until he saw where and when he was.

It was an empty street in a city on an arid planet, one he’d forgotten the name of, but remembered vividly. He looked up the street, and saw his old apartment. His younger self was leaning out the window, a cigarette between his fingers and a tired, bone-weary look on his face.
“Holy shit… I look like hell.” he muttered, quickly racking his mind for when this was, and more importantly, why he was in his own timeline.
A pale, blonde-haired woman joined the younger-Zarrach at the window, wrapping - more like draping - herself across his shoulders intimately.
Older-Zarrach groaned in realization, his shoulders slumping.
Not this.

As he watched, his younger self turned his head to look at the woman behind him. Saying something inaudibly, the woman recoiled slightly at the words. Seeing the interaction, older-Zarrach’s memory filled in the blanks with startling clarity.

“I think we should see other people.”
“What, bored of me already? I’m not bored of you.” the woman purred in younger-Zarrach’s ear, nibbling on the lobe playfully.
“I don’t do well staying in one spot, you know that.”
“It’s what I like about you, that restless energy. Makes things… interesting.”
Younger-Zarrach simply stares at the woman.
The woman laughs, the sound is mirthful and older-Zarrach feels his teeth grind as the rest of the memory plays out in his head and before his eyes.
“Darling, I’ve only shared my bed with you, you know that. Why in the world would I give you up?”
“This isn’t that kind of breakup. She’s back, I have to go find her.”

She…? Oh. Oh no, no don’t show me this. Don’t show me
her. I don’t know if I’m ready.

“What, so I was just some temporary hole for you to fuck?”
“I seem to recall you were the one who dragged my drunk ass back to your room.”
“You never complained.” said the woman.
Younger-Zarrach aggressively shrugged the woman off him, disappearing into the room.
“So what? That’s it? She crops up in the subsector, and you go running?”

Older-Zarrach shook his head, remembering the cocktail of feelings he had in this moment.
Anger, at the woman for seducing him, at himself for being seduced.
Joy, for finally getting a message from “her”.
Fear, over not knowing how things were with “her”, they’d parted on such a bad note.
Happiness, he finally had an out with this relationship.
Impatience, with this woman who was holding him back at this moment.

Reality shuddered around him, the scene flickering before his eyes before finally completely dissolving back into the present. Zarrach dropped to the floor, retching as his entire body tried to process the chronological whiplash it just received.

Zarrach> I fell into a time tear trying to get away from an angry anomaly.
Is0beL> Try to avoid that in the future, please. It is extremely weird to be displaced when you do that.
Zarrach> Yeah, well, you weren’t a part of me at the time, so naturally you’re disabled when I go to those times.”
Zarrach stood, knees shaking and wiping his mouth.
Is0beL> Are you expecting more displacements into your own past?”

“<<Aga>>, I got a feeling this anomaly incursion is intelligent, or at least capable of learning.”
Is0beL> What makes you say that?
“I wasn’t the only one watching.”

((Next episode coming when my life settles a bit more. Edit: Formatting, bane of my existence.))
I forgot I was going to call myself Ike while in chargen, so now I'm Zarrach.
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