Entry for the November Galactic Challenge, regarding the young girl on Zarus.
About this creation
01 November, 2097
The sands of Zarus shifted as a gentle breeze flowed through the hair of the young woman as she walked down the concreted street, taking in the buildings around her.
Drentlio had never been huge, but it had always been prosperous. Mining was Drentlio’s lifeblood, like so many others all over the planet, but despite its minerals and riches, it had stayed mostly the same over the years.
That was what Omen West liked about the place. That unchanging nature. Even after Aurelia had occupied the planet, even after their forces marched through these same streets and stuck their name on everything, Drentlio had barely noticed. Like a tired old man, it had blinked twice, shifted slightly, and gone back to sleep.
And she loved it.
She breathed in the city as she walked along, drinking in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee that someone nearby was making. Sure, it wasn’t like the gleaming towers of Qoter, and every building gave off the look that it was held together with just a touch of faith, but it was all so…genuine.
Omen sighed to herself as she flicked her dark blond hair over her shoulder, eyes going to the police station directly ahead. It was easily one of the biggest structures in the town, and definitely the most modern. Aurelia had seen to that. Soldiers and officers patrolled outside, their red armour glinting in the sun.
Two watched her as she walked up to the doors of the station, nodding as she passed. They didn’t stop her; they knew who she was.
There were few in the station who didn’t.
Once inside, Omen strolled passed the receptionist, who waved in greeting. Then it was through the main hallway, into the building proper. A checkpoint approached, but the man merely nodded as she passed, her ID remaining deep within her pocket.
The station had been new when she’d arrived here, all those years ago, and after Aurelia’s renovations, well, it hadn’t lost any of its charm. Glass windows flanked her as she passed the call centres, operators chattering into phones, dispatching officers or soldiers, depending on the crisis.
After a few flights of stairs, she found herself on the upper levels, calmly walking toward one of the few doors on the level. She smiled at the man standing in front of the door she was after. Galan returned her grin with a bow of his head. He’d always been quiet, the young police chief, but she’d rarely seen him without a low smile on his face.
Omen: “So, she’s in there?”
Galan: “She is.”
Galan: “As safe as she can be. We had a small chunk of Ossillium remaining, which we’ve put in the room. She should be okay.”
Omen: “If by okay, you mean terrified. She killed her parents Gal’. Blew up a police station”
Galan: “I know. We’ve… tried to get her to open up about what happened, but she doesn’t remember much. Or won’t tell us, we’ve not sure.”
Omen: “Alright. Do you at least have her name?”
Galan: “Omen, c’mon. I’m not that hopeless. Her name’s Nesarin Smythe, but she prefers Nessie. Barely nine years old.”
Omen: “Okay…okay, thank you. Am I right to go in?”
Galan: “Whenever you’re ready. And good luck.”
Omen nodded and opened the door with a gentle nudge, not wanting to surprise the occupant within.
The small room was spacious enough, and very clean, but…it was cold. A cold that seemed to linger, like it hadn’t been built to hold the single life that was its current resident. Omen smiled softly, warmly, as she took in the girl before her.
Nesarin Smythe sat on the floor, her arms around her knees, a frown on her face. But even from this distance, Omen could see how forced it was, how her eyes were still red from crying. It had been nearly a month since the police brought her into protective custody, and only a week since she’d killed everyone in a neighbouring town’s station.
Experiences that Omen couldn’t imagine going through.
Collective powers, wild, untamed…and not a single clue how’d she gotten them.
Omen spoke in a gentle tone, a soft voice, like a cat’s purr. She’d practiced that voice for months until she’d gotten it just right.
Omen: “Good morning Nessie, how are you feeling today?”
Nessie reluctantly shifted her gaze to Omen, the frown fixed to her lips.
Nessie: “I already told the others, told them all. I don’t know why I did it, I don’t know how I did it. So don’t bother…just don’t.”
Omen: “I’m not here to talk about that Nessie, I’m here to help.”
Nessie sniffed at that and turned away as Omen sat on the ground next to her, bracing her back against the wall.
The girl still smelt too clean, too sterile, as though the experiments that had confirmed her seed had been activated had only happened hours ago.
Nessie: “That’s what they all say. Just…leave me alone.”
Omen: “Why? Do you want to be left alone?”
Nessie: “I…yes…just leave me. Please.”
Omen: “What if I say no?”
Nessie: “Then I won’t talk to you.”
Omen: “At all?”
Nessie: “No… at all.”
Omen: “Are you sure? It’s just, well, you looked awfully lonely in here by yourself.”
Nessie: “Yeah…so what! I…I deserve to be left alone.”
The conversation stilled, and Omen let it hang in the air, let the weight of the girl’s words fill her mind. Holding onto that despair over something she had no control over. And she was lonely.
Omen knew the story, knew how the police had accused her of murder, arrested her and tried to force a child into cells meant for criminals. Knew how she’d ended their lives by instinct, fear, and a lack of control.
Her family, or what was left of it, had abandon her. Disowned her. Her old school friends were terrified, operating on vague rumours and little else. The people that had picked her up from the ruins of the station and transferred her here only saw the danger that she was.
She had no one left.
Omen sidled closer and put her hand on Nessie’s arm. She kept her touch light, kept it careful. But it was unmoving, even as Nessie tried to brush it off, that sad frown meeting Omen’s eyes.
Omen: “Nessie, can I tell you a story?”
Nessie shied away again but gave a reluctant nod. Omen sighed at the chance.
Omen: “When I was your age, I wanted nothing more than to be able to fly. My father was a pilot, you see, and a very good one. I had friends too, and all of us agreed that one day we’d become the best damn pilots the galaxy had ever seen.”
A shrug from Nessie was her only response. “So?”
Omen: “So when I could, I trained. And I trained as hard as I could for as long as I could…but one day…one day my friends ran away. They left me behind, and I didn’t know why…not…not for a long time. And you know what happened next?”
Memories flashed through Omen’s mind, flashed like a vicious light had torn through her brain, but she pushed it down, forced herself to look at the girl before her.
Omen: “My father, he forbade me to step foot in a shuttle again. He locked me in my room for…months. Years. He wouldn’t let me see anyone, meet anyone. I grew up in darkness, all I had were the books he’d left me. He was the only family I had, and…and I had no one else.”
Nessie was staring intently now, her mouth hanging open slightly. Omen nodded in satisfaction, shifted her position and flashed a smile.
Omen: “I had no one except myself, and my own wits. I got out of that room, eventually. I escaped, and hid from my father. I came here, eventually, stowed about an inbound cruiser. I’ve been here ever since.”
Nessie: “Why…why would your dad do that to you?”
Omen: “Because he was scared, Nessie, scared that I’d see his true colours before too long. So, he showed them before I could react, and split me from the world. No one came looking, he told them that I was dead, or missing…something along those lines. I screamed at him until I couldn’t speak for the pain, but he still wouldn’t let me out.”
Nessie: “But…but surely….”
Omen: “The point I’m making Nessie, is that I know what it feels like to have everything stolen from you, have everything ripped away in an instant, and be left with no one but yourself. And I know that it sucks, but you try to tough it out, because you don’t know what it’s like to feel anymore. To feel close to anyone anymore. It took me… a long time to realise that. I just don’t want you to take that long either.”
Nessie gaped at her, but Omen stood gracefully and took a step toward the door. Her ears almost sighed when they heard Nessie’s small voice whisper around the chamber.
Omen turned and faced the young girl, her young eyes wobbling as tears filled her eyes.
Nessie: “I…I…I killed people, Miss-“
Nessie: “Mum and Dad…I killed them.”
Omen: “Did you want to?”
Omen: “Then you didn’t kill them. Someone, somewhere, activated your seed and watched as you lost control. Someone very, very cruel. But that power didn’t kill you. You’re still here, still fighting. And I can help you fight, if you want. Would you like that Nessie?”
The young girl’s face swayed, the thoughts in her head clearly a mess. But she was near where Omen needed her to be, near to the place of accepting a friend, a guide, who could help her through the storm that her life had become.
Omen stepped to the table, to the small rock that rested there, glowing gently. The Ossillium seemed to hiss as she picked it up and carried it out of the room, dropping it in Galan’s waiting hand. He nodded to her as she closed the door, meeting Nessie’s horrified look.
Nessie: “NO! Omen, NO! I…I can feel it again! It’s bubbling up, it’s…. it’s hurting!”
The girl’s sobs fill the chamber as the lights began to dim, her palms lighting up with violent orange enregy. A little worm of fear wiggled into Omen’s belly as she contemplated what would happen if this went wrong.
So Omen didn’t think anymore as she stepped forward and gripped Nessie’s shoulder
The girl raised her tear-stained eyes as Omen held out her opposite hand and whispered, the words ancient and powerful.
Omen: “Asiik, uin schezzen…”
A light bloomed from her fingertips, a gentle warm light that caressed the young girls face. The colour bathed the room in a soft purple light and Omen let it fill the room, gently beating against Nessie’s own power. The girl’s face split in surprise as Omen slowly got her sitting on the floor again, the hand on her coercing her down.
Omen spoke again, this time in words the girl understood.
Omen: “You are not the only one. There were hundreds of us during the Collective War. I’d been running from one of their mages, during on of their raids here. I’d thought I’d gotten away but he did…something. And suddenly I was glowing all over, a light that couldn’t be contained. But I had a…friend who helped me through it. Taught me what words to say, how to control it, this power. I’m not as powerful as you, not even close, but I can help. Trust me on that.”
Nessie gulped furiously as Omen dropped her hands with another string of words, the bright colour expanding before fading back into her palms. Nessie just stood, mouth hanging open, her arms shaking. Omen could feel the power there, that raw, unchecked power, held on its leash by one of the strongest little girls she’d ever met.
Omen met her eyes and spoke again, the ancient words on her lips.
Omen: “Sape uin schezzen.”
Omen: “That’s what I need you to say. It’ll decrease the energy in your blood. Say it loudly and firmly, put your weight and power behind it, and it will listen.”
Nessie: “Sa…Sape in schezzen?”
Omen: “Louder, Nessie!”
Nessie: “Sape uin schezzen!”
Omen: “Louder! Fill the words. Imagine they’re empty bowls, waiting for your power. Mean it!”
Nessie: “S…Sape uin schezzen!!”
Immediately, the power that gleamed in her eyes slowed, a slice of it cleaved away.”
Omen: “That’s it! One more time.”
Nessie: “Sape schezzen…”
Omen: “Nice work! Now, repeat after me. Mean every word, fill evey word. Understand?”
Omen: “Okay…arrst uin schezzen.”
Nessie: “Arrst uin schezzen.”
Omen: “Ess'y, uin schezzen.”
Nessie: “Essay uin-“
Omen: “These words are bowls remember, little bowls for holding power. Fill them up. All of them.”
Nessie: “Okay…okay…es…ess'y, uin schezzen.”
The young girl’s eyes returned to normal as the energy crackling inside her slowly dissipated like a summer breeze. She looked at her own hands, turning them over, as if she was looking for a trace of her power within.
And found nothing.
Omen grinned as Nessie started crying again. But the smile on the girl’s face was genuine, was a sign of relief that Omen knew all too well. After she’d met Galan, after landing on Drentlio, after her friend had calmed her glowing skin almost two years ago.
It was the look of freedom.
Nessie raised her eyes and met Omen’s, her smile huge and grateful.
Nessie: “Thank you! Omen, thank you!”
Omen: “Don’t worry about it Nessie. Just remember the phrases when the power bubbles up again, and no one else will get hurt. I’ll even get Chief Galan to write them down for you.”
Nessie: “Wait…are you leaving?”
The grin began to fade, and Omen waited a moment, letting the words hang in the air again, so different to the ones she’d said mere minutes ago, about wanting to be left alone.
Omen smirked as she opened the door, her eyes filled with the compassion only a survivor would know.
Omen: “Of course not! I’ll be back tomorrow, and the next day and the next. You’ve got some training in store young lady. See you then.”
Nessie beamed back at her as Omen gently shut the door. Galan stood there, waiting patiently. He’d know she could do it, bring her back to the place they needed her in. He dropped the Ossillium back in his pocket as he spoke.
Galan: “Nice work beautiful.”
Omen: “Oh shut up Gal’.”
He grinned as she planted a kiss on his lips, wrapping her arms around his muscled body. It’d been a gamble, but it had paid off.
She kissed him once more before stepping away as her husband walked into the room. He knew that ancient language as well as she did, though he had no power himself. He’d help her out.
I'm just gonna be blunt...it was very touching and heartwarming. I will be honest, I had a slight shed of tear forming in my right eye lol. That was so well done and quite the introductiom to a brand new character in The Insurgency universe. That little girl qas something, and gave me quite a few ideas for our future chapters. Again Mr. Werewolff, you did an outstanding job on this. Very well done ;) - Director K.W.
Quoting Traykar Pawfoot
Great Episode! Brilliantly written, with well thought out dialogue, and good minifigure and set designs. My only issue with this episode is that you beat me to the punch. =P
Good luck in the GC.
Oh no! Sorry for beating you out my friend (especially if you already had an episode ready to go). But I'm glad you liked it, and thank you :D