Template:PostIn CatH Post 64 Clear travels through The Special Zone of the kinetic harness to emerge back into reality within Sega's Room. She tries to sneak off but is caught by Sega himself who makes good on past threats and tries to eliminate her. Clear is saved by Kimleigh who uses her powers to shut down Sega. Sometime later Clear is recovering in the medical bay of Kalor Varkesh when she is finally allowed to leave and Kimleigh wants to take her back to The Hopeful. Once in the Deep Void, however, Kimleigh decides to go on another joyride using Hoopa and jumps through hyperspace. They arrive at an Earth-like planet and fly down to skim the oceans.
Hospital and Hyperspace
Clear staggers back, reeling from the belief she is about to be engulfed in fire from massive rifle the soldiers fired. She is now, however, in the eclectically coloured Special Zone. She wonders what would happen to her, here, if the ship is destroyed back in real-space. She's not huge on science and isn't entirely sure if she's outside of reality, in another dimension or what, even after all of Kimleigh's explanations.
As Clear hadn't set any pre-set coordinates, she assumes that the harness will use the previously set coordinate - the Bridge, or the location it was last used, Sega's room. She hopes for the Bridge. Being caught by Sega, alone, is a worrying prospect.
She an indulgent smirk, she activates the jet pack and flies down the orange half-pipe. There and then she decides the pack is officially stolen and Bug is never getting it back. 'Salvaged' she corrects herself.
She reaches the goal and the harness starts shaking again, reverting her back to reality. The room wobbles into clarity and she is, after all, in Sega's room. It's dark and he's absent. Probably off dealing with The Indigo Shade. Clear peeks out. Nobody.
Clear: "Maaaaaaaybe it's time to prepare for a swift exit..."
She tries to gain access to the news relay of the imperials through her PIP, trying to see how the battle went after her quick exit, but the security is too tight. She, instead, accesses the communications and sends a quick message to Kimleigh, requesting an update. She could head to the Bridge but if the ship is going to be blown up from within then being close to her getaway ship is a better option. Seeing that Indigo Shade could create blackholes, Clear thinks the battle is well out of her league. She thinks she might even find Bug likewise seeking a way off the ship in the hangar.
As she nears the hangar her PIP rattles with an incoming reply.
Kimleigh: "Battle's over, Clear! I'm coming to get you!"
Clear slows her walk to a stop. A part of her still wants off this biological crate. She's thinking she's had enough of this High Empire, regardless of a budding friendship with Kimleigh. Space dragons, robot fleets, and sisters that could wipe Clear off the face of the universe with the blink of an eye. It's all best avoided.
Sega had come round the corner suddenly, leaving Clear in full view and totally alone. The man stomps towards her, his robotic legs falling heavily to the floor and raising, to Clear's eye, somewhat mechanically, though trying to simulate natural movement. He holds his massive hand out, palm facing upwards. Clear sighs. Though she thinks the harness is more useful than the jet pack, it's not as cool, so she's only mildly upset that she'll have to return it.
After some fumbling she manages to get the thing off, having to take of the jet pack first. The whole process only serves to aggravate Sega more. When it's finally in his grasp he then lunges out and grabs Clear, his whole hand holding her face. She squirms, suddenly shocked and in fight, and feels his fingers begin to crush her skull. Screaming she throws her legs up and straight into his chin, knocking his whole head back. He stumbles back and his grip loosens enough for her weight to free her. She lands on her backside but she's up just as quick and activates the jet pack.
She turns to make a quick escape but he grabs her ankle and the momentum from the pack throws her forward and down, slamming her face into the metal floor.
Auto-collision detection enabled in the pack, it shuts off and she lies there in a complete daze. Her face is bleeding, her head is pounding and she isn't quite sure what her name is. She's lifted off the floor by the pack and she dangles there, trying to see straight. She feels large, cold fingers curl up to her throat. The sudden presence of death surges energy back into her and she clutches as the hand, trying to tear it away. His robotic strength wins out though.
Managing to get a moment of timely thinking she reaches down and turns on the jet pack again. The sudden acceleration throws her out of his grasp and she flies down the corridor to freedom. It doesn't last, however, as she instantly crashes into the wall and is sent spinning down the passage as the pack shuts off. She rolls along the floor and she sees, through her blurry eyes, Sega stomping towards her.
His black boots stop before her head. Once raises. She knows what comes next and she can barely manage to shuffle her head out of the way.
Nothing happens though. Clear is able to scramble away, spitting blue blood from her mouth as she goes. She isn't sure why he's stopped but he has - his body frozen, leg poised. She coughs and winces from the pain in her nose, but her vision is restoring. She pushes herself up to her knees and tries not to topple over.
Kimleigh: "My poor Clear, are you okay?"
The girl kneels down with her and cradles Clear's head.
Clear: "He got off lucky..."
Clear manages a joke but she doesn't really feel like laughing.
Kimleigh: "He did. He really, really did. I was tempted to make his circuits explode! How dare he hurt my friend like this!? My father be damned, Sega is out of a damn job!"
Clear: "You shut him down?"
Kimleigh: "Yes. I forced his spark into hiberation. Most robots have one. It's the thing that makes them... people. I guess. But I think you'll be fine, Clear. I think it looks worse than it is. And wow. Your blood is really blue."
Clear: "I'm an alien. Got to have blue blood."
Clear cracks her stiff neck and groans from the sudden pitch of pain. She's been in the medical bay over night and now she's ready to leave, even if the doctors are trying to get her to stay. Since there are genuinely wounded soldiers around, having bore the brunt of Indigo Shade's attack, Clear wants to free up the doctors' time.
Just as Clear is thinking of breaking out and making a run for freedom, Kimleigh skips in.
Kimleigh: "So! I have permission to award you with an honorary medal for bravery and service, Clear!"
Clear: "Because I got my arse whupped by Sega?"
Kimleigh: "For helping us blast my sister with a big-ass gun, actually."
Clear nods and sits on her bed.
Clear: "Did she..."
Kimleigh: "No, no. She'll be fine. But it was enough to take her by surprise and force her to fly out of the ship. Actually we're having to repair the holes in Kalor's body now. It's pretty difficult repairing organic tissue instead of just throwing up new metal walls. But anyway. It was enough to get her off the ship and we ran away. Managed to smash half of that robot-fleet though. So I consider it a great success!"
Clear scratches her head. She's not certain she deserves this medal, especially since she'd been planning to ditch them all to their death and save her own skin afterwards.
Clear: "So what will you do next?"
Kimleigh: "Call in support, I suppose. If she has a fleet, I want one too!"
Clear: "And... my ship?"
Kimleigh: "Shiiiiiip? What shiiiip?"
Clear is unimpressed.
Kimleigh: "Aww, come on! You know I'm just joking! We're at your ship now. I came to get you."
Clear hops off the bed eagerly and they leave, Kimleigh overriding the concerns of the doctors. Kimleigh explains that she'd had Sega put in a cell. She could have left him deactivated but she wants him to know he's in trouble. A communiqué had already been sent to the High Empire and she would await further correspondence. Clear had been given her clothes back already, but she's now wearing a spare (and clean) suit from the medical bay. It's not the kind of thing Clear would ever have chosen to wear if she'd had the option; a dress of silver with a low-cut to show off her bust. It has thick, though soft, shoulder pads and comes with a pair of tall, knee-height and white leather boots with high heels. Clear had to learn to walk all over again with his ridiculous heels. With no other footwear she has to make do for now. She was more grateful that the staff had, after she'd washed, trimmed her hair. After it was partially ripped down so long ago by the plant-worm it had regrown lobsided.
On her way out the doctors gave her her pack of trading cards and the jet pack. Kimleigh didn't say anything about the jet pack, instead she asks about the cards;
Kimleigh: "Still not opened them?"
Clear: "You want me to?"
Kimleigh: "Yes, yes, yes! I want to know what shiny you get!"
Clear hangs the jet pack loosely on her shoulders while she fumbles with the foil of the trading cards pack. She tears it open as they walk towards the hangar and Kimleigh watches, a kind of hunger in her eyes.
Clear: "Syrene The Magistrix?"
Clear looks at Kimleigh with concern. The picture is of a mature woman wearing a very tight business suit, glasses with a red tint and her shirt open to show off her massive chest.
Clear: "And the... revealing clothes? Standard attire for university teachers?"
Kimleigh nods without any sign of understanding the problem.
Kimleigh: "Normal fashion for the High Empire. I actually think my sister is quite conservative to be honest."
Clear shakes her head and tucks the card to the back. She then sees what Kimleigh meant as the next woman is wearing what looks like nothing but red strips of leather. She has incredibly long, blonde hair and is power posing with some kind of mystical lantern.
Clear: "I'm not sure I even want to ask..."
Kimleigh: "Actually I think there's a description on the back of each card anyway. But if you want the inside story--"
Clear: "Is this the shiny?"
Clear waggles a card at Kimleigh. The card is made from a thin cybernetic strip that literally lights up and glows in Clear's hand. It's a card named Iriana Emp. Kimleigh pratically falls over herself as she reaches out to snatch it.
Kimleigh: "Lucky, lucky, lucky! This is a very rare print! I already have it myself, but still! Never let this one go, Clear! You hear me? It's worth lots of credits!"
The word 'credits' instantly makes Clear extremely interested in this card business all of a sudden. Iriana Emp appears to be a young woman with dark, curled hair, white skin and a pink dress of cotton and lace. She's holding up a china teacup with her elbow-length gloves on her hands. The whole thing looks very old Earth to Clear.
Kimleigh hands the card back as they pass into the hangar and Clear sees soldiers clearing up debris and patrolling.
Kimleigh: "Is that your ship?"
She points towards the red Æon ship towards the left of the hangar.
Clear: "I call it Hoopa."
Kimleigh runs ahead towards it and admires the small craft. After a barrage of questions about where she got it and is specifications, most of which Clear is surprised a girl like Kimleigh understands, they have the hatch open and Kimleigh is leaning inside to look at the controls.
Kimleigh: "I wanna drive!"
Clear just shrugs and gets into the second seat behind the pilot's seat. Here, if she wanted, she could control some of the weapons systems. Without pressing any buttons, Kimleigh powers up the craft and brings in its landing legs. The hatch closes with a hiss and the ship turns. Instantly it's out of the hangar and they're in space. The blackness of the Deep Void is broken only by the massive structure of The Hopeful. Clear's heart jumps as she sees her home again. It feels like it's been years.
Clear: "You should have no trouble docking with The Hopeless, Kim."
Kimleigh is suspiciously quiet.
Kimleigh turns with a wicked grin.
Kimleigh: "Spaceship Joyride!!"
Clear: "No! Not that you can go anywhere an--"
Surprisingly the ship is suddenly in hyperspace, that dimension of space-time where both are condensed and thus made shorter.
Clear: "Kim! What are you doing!? This thing doesn't have the power to jump anywhere except more void! You're going to get us lost! In this stupid, poxy ship!"
Kim wiggles her fingers at Clear.
Kimleigh: "Here's the power, Clear!"
Clear: "You mean you--"
The ship slows and Clear's stomach lurches. The stars cease to elongate and reality returns to show them a planet. It appears much like Earth, blue and green, but it's bathed in the red glow of the small red dwarf sun. It's orbiting another planet, the somewhat larger gas giant, much like a moon. Clear is excited to see a planet to the point she could cry and forget that Kimleigh just kidnapped her.
Clear notices that the console's information matrix restores and she has access to the Imperial Database of the Galactic Empire again. They're back in the Milky Way and somewhere within range of the Perseus Arm. This may even be a world of The Empire or the Republic.
Unfortunately information on the planet, its name or its faction are not available.
Kimleigh: "Let's fly around the planet! I bet it'd be great to fly this thing close to the ocean!"
Clear: "Kim, can you jump The Hopeless here? The same way?"
Kimleigh: "I certainly can! I did tell you I could. It just requires the right amount of energy. And I'm like a walking battery!"
She flies straight for the planet. The ship is fast yet it still takes them an hour to get to the lower atmosphere, burning in the upper atmosphere like a comet. They fly below the clouds and see a world of greens and blues and, from what Clear can see, settlements. Someone certainly lives here.
Kimleigh nosedives the ship towards the ocean and, as they reach the waves, she pulls up to spray ocean water up into the air with a great rush of displaced air. She flies along the water, seeing the liquid kick up around the nose of the craft. She laughs with excitement and Clear, likewise, can't help but feel the rush with a smile.
Ahead of them they see a mountain and a large building atop of it. They circle around the mountain several times before zipping off again.