Uncoverings, Part 1

Characters: Ryath Oaks

Slipping like a wandering specter from Medlab to corridor, turbolift to shuttle, Ryath had been surprised by the ease of her exit from the Phoenix. But in all fairness, she presumed the Rangers wanted her off their ship as quickly as she did. They were busy preparing a makeshift summit, a gathering of interested parties who all had a stake in the fate of the Abbai homeworld.

She now sat in her Flyer, within sight of the Centauri merchant’s abandoned mansion, itching to be away. Yet something kept her there. A feeling, nothing of substance, just a ‘gut feeling’. Still trying to establish exactly what it was that kept her there, she entered the sleeping chambers of her flyer and stripped down to her light blue t-vest and black trousers, throwing the rest in a crumpled heap on her bed. Olyn would be beside himself at that, but now she was her own woman, a full Techno-mage.

She sat on the edge of the bed and sighed. She hadn’t felt this haggard since the early days of training with the chrysalis. Looking to her hands, the tingle of new nerves growing a constant now, she wondered how she had gotten to this point.

“Damn stupid if you ask me!” she whispered. “And why do you feel like you need to hang around here! They’re more than capable of handling things from here. Now that….”

Her words stopped in her throat. That was it, that was why she couldn’t leave!

Her thoughts had turned to the creature she had received her injuries from, the part-Centauri who had Shadow tech in his head. Without knowing how, she now knew for sure the thing in his head was Shadow tech. It called to her as she had held his head in her hands. It spread its icy fingers to touch her, and in doing so it had turned the energy she had used to kill the Centauri back to her. It had also had done more. Some of what it had given her, she knew about. Another “side effect” was still to be unleashed.

The memories of the Centauri man inflicted with the burden of the tech—she had seen the images clearly, even in an unconscious state. The man had not gone willingly to the tech, like her Order (though some would argue that point with her.) The introduction of the single piece of tech was torture, much more so than what she and her peers had received.

Her body itched with the knowledge and the tech echoed the itch, demanding attention from her. Briskly rubbing her stiff hands over her upper arms, she stood and made her way to the cargo hold of the Flyer. Once there in the darkness, she conjured a globe of light above her head. Kneeling the way the Minbari do for meditation, she closed her eyes and began the mind focusing exercises Olyn had taught her.

She had been glad on many occasions past for the aid of one of her peers: Vheru, a strange Minbari and the only one she knew who had become a Techno-mage. He had spent many of his personal hours teaching her of the Minbari meditations. Eventually he had agreed that she was capable of meditating alone, without supervision. This time she would used the meditation to find the links between the dead Centauri and herself, apart from the obvious ones.

Now, her mind focused, she began the meditation. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, thrusting even the constant demands by the tech away from her mind. It took no more that a few breaths for her to relax into the meditation, and from there she fell into a self-induced coma.

Copyright (c) 2002 Niki Hipwood. All rights reserved.