Who Are You, Part 1

Characters: Ryath Oaks

Ryath had left Minbari space. She pointed her flyer in a direction and ordered it to keep going. She disassociated with her flyer moments before it jumped to hyperspace, and paced the bridge. Images of Olyn’s decimated body flashed before her eyes. Emotions ran from deepest sadness to total rage and revenge. She had no thoughts for the Rangers and their trails, her only thoughts were of herself, Olyn and revenge.

She found herself walking around the flyer, cursing then breaking down in tears, only to hit and kick at the walls moments later. Her time was spent like this for what seemed like hours. She only became aware of time when the Flyer chimed its’ readiness to jump to normal space. Having no recollection of giving it co-ordinates, Ryath associated with it to see where she had sent herself.

She was shocked to find herself within Mars space. She had spent at least 2 days mourning, and threatening revenge. She had not spent them preparing, eating and sleeping as she should have been. She knew now that subconsciously she had known what to do. Now she had to do it unprepared and exhausted.

She gave her Flyer the command to jump. The sensors went out; a few seconds later the dizzying effect of them returning struck her. She held onto the console to steady herself, but she didn’t lose focus. “Not a bad test of control,” she whispered.

The Flyer was far enough away from Mars to not be detected. She sat and watched several ships arrive and leave the planets surface before picking the one she would get a lift on. It was a Drazi cargo ship, large and ungainly. Ryath quickly turned and flew so her signal would be lost in the signal of the Drazi ship. When they were low enough Ryath parted company with the ship and flew her Flyer away from Mars Dome.

Before exiting her ship Ryath needed to get something from her quarters. She tried to not look at herself in the mirror when she entered. She knew she must look terrible, enough to frighten even adults. What she was after was in a large music box she had made in her first year with Olyn. It was oversized, 12x5x5 inches, and looked like it would fall apart if you picked it up. But it was actually quite sturdy. The box sat on her set of drawers; the light making shadows in the carvings on the sides.

She hesitated for just a bit before opening it. The musical mechanism Olyn had made; it played her favorite tune, “Love Story.” Olyn had shown her an oldies vid of it shortly after she finished the music box. He had said it was because she was a hopeless romantic. She remembered now, her reason for the box being so large. “To hold all the items that will remind me of special times.” She had told him.

The music echoed around her quarters. Tears were just below the surface, but now she must force them back. Inside the box sat a single item; the present from Olyn at her ‘Becoming.’

She remembered now that she had been upset by it. Thinking it belittle their Order; for he had made her a wand. To this day she had never used it. Had only associated with it once, and found it lacking in excitement. However, he had always told her she would find its’ use one day.

Today she would take it with her and hope it was useful.

Ryath exited her Flyer, covered by a shield trapping oxygen for her. She sped across the deserted land to the closest airlock. Using a probe to interface with the airlock controls Ryath soon was inside Mars Dome. She found herself amid people who didn’t give her a second glance, the ‘low life’ of Mars. Here she could hide; here she could find Olyn’s body without anyone noticing.

Then she felt it, a slight push inside her head. “A Telepath!” she thought. She calmed herself. This would be a true test of her abilities. She brought up her walls and slowly turned to try and find the Teep scanning her. She knew she couldn’t use her Mage gifts here. They would be too easily detected. The pushing in her head increased, she calmed herself more by controlling her breathing. Then the pressure was gone. She hadn’t found the Teep, but she would remain alert for that same feeling.

Mixing with the locals, Ryath soon found that they knew more than they let on. She had discovered that there had been three ‘strangers’ like her around recently. “They left one at a time though.” “No, no-one saw them leave, but things calmed down, so they must have.”

She had managed to find someone who could show her where they had stayed. She thanked them, and told them not to come back.

She unlocked the door, and entered. Straight away she knew she had the right place, the stench was nearly overpowering. The lights were broken, and casting was out of the question, so she felt her way around the room. When her hand hit a cold stiff item, she flinched. “Nothing for it!” she whispered and a globe of light appeared above her head.

Before her sat Olyn’s body. White and red, the eyes closed, the mouth clenched. Even in death Olyn would not betray the Order. Still the reason Sherina had done this eluded Ryath.

Ryath reached out to touch him again, this time prepared for the feel of his skin. Slowly she managed to lay him out on the ground. She found a sheet and threw it over him. With her hood up she formed a platform below him and made it lead the way out of the room. She knew the act of casting would attract Psi Corps attention, but had no other way of removing him.

She was surprised by how far she had traveled before she felt the familiar pushing in her head. She could see them this time. There were three Psi Cops, dressed in their black uniforms. They stood between her and the airlock. She stopped a few feet from them. Now it became a staring contest, and she was in no mood to lose.

Soon the Psi Cops stood to one side, this act completely stumped Ryath. She was not sure of their plan, she couldn’t see it clearly. As she took a step forward though it all became very clear. There was one more Psi Cop behind them. She hadn’t been scanning them, hadn’t been listening for instructions or thoughts about their next move. Quickly she corrected this and kept all four of them in eye line. She didn’t move any further, and she kept Olyn between then and her.

Her hand reflexively went to the pocket her ‘wand’ was in. She associated with it. A menu came up in her mind’s eye. The first few were standard, but the bottom two intrigued her. Olyn had named one ‘Denn’ and the other ‘Veru’. She knew neither terms, and due to her lack of use of the wand didn’t know what they did!

The three Cops moved towards her, PPG’s out and ready.

“Why use such primitive weapons when you are a much better and more accurate one yourselves?” she asked, her voice very calm and controlled. This stopped the trio. They looked at each other, but didn’t say or think anything. The one at the back gave them another silent order. This one she picked up on. The trio did as they were ordered and retreated behind the Cop in charge.

“Well. You are either very brave. Or. Very stupid Ryath!” he said smugly. His black hair falling a little out of place. His pale features more glaring in the dim light, and his left hand a little deformed.

His use of her name made Ryath start, and it must have shown either on her face or he was scanning her, for his next comment was “Yes, I know who you are. And I’ve been expecting you.”

Ryath was confused, the exhaustion was taking its toll. She was struggling to have a clear thought.

She didn’t want to know how he knew her, she just wanted to leave. But something made her scan him. At first she felt nothing, then a slight resistance, and then it was as though the dam had broken, just for a second before her realized what she had done. The one thought that had escaped was a picture of a little girl staring down from a ship, at him. Tears streaming down her cheeks. Ryath realized the girl was her, and this man–This withered man was the Psi Cop sent to retrieve her from her parents.

The look on his face as she took the thought from him told her he wasn’t expecting it, or if he was, he thought he was strong enough to keep her out. He stumbled backwards, bumping into his entourage. “Get her…..Get her!!” he screamed.

Ryath was ready now; she selected ‘Veru’ on her wand as she withdrew it from her pocket. At the same time she cast the shield spell Galen had sent her. Her skin was covered in a dark red, black skin. And the wand had done nothing.

The trio were firing at her, the shots turning the skin orange and bright red, absorbing the shots. Ryath moved forward and formed fireballs, sending them one after another at her attackers. It was now that the wand took over. It duplicated her instructions, forming fireballs and sending them to the same locations her first ones went to.

Why he had called it ‘Veru’ Ryath didn’t know; she would think on that another time. Fireballs exploded on the chests of the trio of Cops. Leaving only the dark-haired one alone with her. She cancelled ‘Veru’ and moved closer to him. He didn’t cower as she thought he would, instead he stood very erect.

“Either you’re very brave or very stupid. Either way you will survive this day. But be warned. If you see another of my kind, they might not be so generous!” her voice carried clearly, with menace and venom.

Ryath walked past the Psi Cop, Olyn in front of her. Once in the airlock she relaxed. She was shaking from exhaustion and nerves. “Damn! That was good!” she looked closer at the runes on the wand. Some glowed more than she remembered. Now she couldn’t wait to see what ‘Denn’ does.


 

Once safely on her Flyer, Olyn in a cryo-unit, Ryath set course to re-unite with the Phoenix. She was unsure as to where exactly they were. She accessed FTL probes dotted about Centauri space. That was where she had been sent. If she had been defeated or sent somewhere else, there would be a recording of it.

Scanning through the hundreds of recordings Ryath finally caught a glimpse of the Phoenix. She is making her way away from Quadrant 37. The battle she saw previously over and the sorrow could almost be felt from this distance. One of the Phoenix lost to this time, this place. Ryath cursed. If only she had stayed with them, if only she hadn’t been so selfish!

With a sad heart, Ryath instructed her Flyer to rejoin the Phoenix. It chirped its acceptance, and sped away from Mars, formed a jump point and exiting Mars space.

Copyright (c) 2003 Niki Hipwood. All rights reserved.