Category: Animus


Not Good

Animus in action. No known case on record showed this deep a penetration into a live patient. Trev couldn’t explain why Kieran was still alive nor could he offer Kyra any hope the agent of retribution would work. In fact, it appeared not to be working at all.

DNA and Q-scans and K-rays

Kieran’s DNA reading. Why Trev found this interesting is not known.

Q-scan Trev took of Kieran’s one functioning heart. Dark colors are good. Light colors signal disease. V-rate was off the charts. How this heart was surviving defied explanation.
Red is good. Green is bad. This is the last known K-ray Trev took of Kieran and the effects of the animus virus prior to injection of the agent of retribution.

Unstable

“Rog, don’t you ever do that again,” said Emy.

“Do what darlin’.”

“Scare the bejulius out of me, that’s what!”

“Hey, we’re all still in one piece aren’t we. I think you need to have a little more faith in ole Rog’s abilities. I was–”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. You’ve told the story a hundred times. Let’s get that medicine, the agent of retribution as they call it. I’ve got a bad feeling about that sudden change in atmosphere,” said Emy.

_

“Welcome to Quastra,” said the chief medical officer. “Sorry about the landing beacon. We’ve been having some technical difficulties of late.”

“No problem,” said Rog. “We’re in a bit of a hurry, do you have the agent?”

“Yes, but there are some things you need to know. Once the agent leaves the controlled environment of this base it starts to deteriorate rapidly.”

“What?” said Rog, more with his eyes than his voice.

“The Animus agent of retribution is highly unstable outside of our controlled environment. As you know, the Animus virus is one of the most lethal in the known scientific journals.” The chief spoke in even measured tones, the way one does when responsibility leaves one’s hands and enters another’s.

“Okay, doc, what the hell does unstable mean?”

“Two things,” responded the chief. “First, the agent starts to lose its effectiveness within twelve hours of removal from the vault.”

“No problem there doc. If we don’t get back to Bravo-Four Zero in twelve hours we might not need the damn stuff anyway.”

“Well, not exactly,” said the chief.

Rog just stared. His eyes narrowed in a seriousness rarely seen on his face.

“As the agent starts to deteriorate it becomes highly unstable. We don’t have precise information, but with deterioration the agent becomes volatile.”

“Volatile,” said, almost whispered, Emy. “What exactly does that mean?”

“Well, as I said, we don’t have exact information, but with deterioration, the agent has a high probably of implosion. If this happens in a confined environment . . .”

The chief didn’t need to finish his sentence. Rog looked at Emy. Words not needed.

“Load it doc. Time’s a wasting.”

“Oh Rog,” said the chief. “Be careful. Sudden extreme movements of the vial can speed the deterioration and increase volatility. May the Tears be in your favor.”

“Thanks Doc. Emy, lock and load.”

Commentary:

this is an audio post - click to play

So Close, Yet So Far (This post picks up from Unstable)

Vector Beacons or Back to Neraj (Next post in the timeline)

So Close, Yet So Far

“Rog, this is Kyra, come in.”

“Rog here darlin’, how might I be of assistance?”

“We have new information. Kieran has stage one manifestation of the virus. For whatever reason the soup appears not to be working on him. That means –”

Rog interrupted, “That means we’ve got less than 48 hours. Anyone else showing signs.”

“Not yet Rog. Have you secured the medicine we need to fight this thing?”

“We got the goods darlin’. ETA, twenty minutes. Remind me to . . . you . . . these . . . Nerajians.”

“Rog, you’re breaking up on me. Can you repeat that last bit. Rog, come in. Rog?” Kyra starred at the communication panel. Nothing but static. No picture, no sound.

“Yul, any idea what just happened?” asked Kyra.

“Atmospheric Tear on Neraj is closing in. Without that opening, nothing can get in or out, including communication,” said Yul. “Openings are unpredictable. Pandoras are reporting we could see the next one in a matter of minutes or,” Yul hesitated, “or a matter of days.”

Kyra starred straight ahead at the gorgeous globe before her ship. So beautiful a sight and at the moment that beautiful world was threatening her entire crew. A dense and impenetrable atmosphere held Neraj and its diminutive inhabitants captive most of the time. Fortunately, a natural phenomenon, locally called Tears, allowed passage to and from. Pandoras, giant airborne creatures, acted as beacons, guides and overall guardians of the Tears.

“Kyra, can you hear me? Damnit! This is not the time for this fricken atmosphere to shut down on us. Emy, what are the Pandoras reporting,” asked Rog.

“Too early to know when the next Tear will appear. Apparently could be minutes or could be days,” said Emy.

“Holy mother of Janus, what the frick is that!” He had never seen an electrical storm of this magnitude. The damn thing seemed to emerge from the thick purple atmosphere without warning and was heading directly towards his ship.

“Strap in!” shouted Rog. “And if you know a few prayers, now would be the time.”

Commentary:

this is an audio post - click to play

Reading:

this is an audio post - click to play

Neraj

“Beautiful sight isn’t it. Would you have ever thought we would be privy to such a magnificent view?” Kyra asked.

Standing in front of the picture window in Kyra’s quarters Rog couldn’t disagree. He had seen plenty on Hyneria, but had never gotten the chance to travel off planet. Views like this reminded him of looking out over the ocean. One felt both small and at peace all at the same time. Deep space, like the ocean, seemed to put everything into perspective. Little worries actually did seem little.

“Nice view pumpkin, but I ain’t figuring you brought me here to wax philosophical about the cosmos,” said Rog.

Kyra laughed. “Cut the crap Rog. That view blows you away, you know it, but ain’t got the balls to tell this little pumpkin that there might actually be a sentimental bone in that leather saddlebag of a body of yours. Speaking of which, how are you feeling, not that I really care,” Kyra quizzed with a sly smile knowing she had disarmed her navigator without ever lying a hand on him.

Rog cleared his throat. “I’m feeling just fine. Why do you ask?” he queried, trying to gain some sense of control of the conversation he had lost so quickly. Kyra saw right through him. The anti-charm shield seemed to be working both ways.

“Has Trev said anything to you this morning about his discovery in the lab?” Kyra’s piercing blue eyes boring a hole right through Rog’s forehead. She had a natural ability to read faces for truth. Papa always said she would have made one kickass interrogator. No one on board would have disagreed with that view, nonetheless Rog at this moment.

With Kyra looking at him that way, he couldn’t have lied if he wanted, such was the power of her look. “Uh, nada. Got no idea what you’re talkin ‘bout darlin’,” Rog replied kinda smugly, feeling like he had found his balance again. Besides, it was the truth, he had no idea what was going on.

“Rog, you know anything about the animus virus?”

“Only that you get it just one time. If not treated with the proper antiviral vox within forty-eight hours . . .” Rog stopped in mid sentence. His eyes locked on Kyra’s and her’s locked back on his.

“Damnit, what do you need me to do,” Rog shifted gears. He was in full serious mode now. Playful banter jettisoned like a bad date on the front porch. Their small ship was sharing space with the most hostile virus known to Hynerians. Death rate exceeded ninety percent.

“I need to know as much as you can about Neraj. Download everything the Metalunans told us. Prepare the pod for launch and pick two other mates for a journey to the surface,” Kyra barked like a hardened master sergeant. Times like this her natural leadership ability rose to the surface. Papa always said leaders were born not made. Kyra was proving the point.

“Oh, and Rog,” purred Kyra.

“Yes ma’am?”

“Make sure everyone has their Golden Tree soup. That’s the only thing buying us time.”

Commentary Part 1:

this is an audio post - click to play

Commentary Part 2:

this is an audio post - click to play

Reading:

this is an audio post - click to play

Animus

“Morning Kyra. Did you sleep well,” said Trev, his eyes quickly and self consciously breaking eye contact for fear she would see right through him. Surely she must know his feelings. Then again, who couldn’t look at her brilliant blue eyes, coal black hair, and high cheek bones and not be mesmerized. The thought of hiding in the crowd, of being another “deer in the highlights” gave him some nervous comfort of anonymity.

“Like a baby Trev,” cooed Kyra with a wink. She knew Trev had feelings for her and quite frankly had no patience for his inability to speak directly and speak from the heart. Then again, she had always been rather cool toward Trev and she could understand him not wanting to put his chin forward only to have it whacked back into reality. Perhaps we all need our little fantasies to ease the friction of daily life she thought.

“You mentioned to Goldie an urgent matter. What’s up,” said Kyra, her playful tone gone as quickly as the wink. She was not one to beat around the bush. Small talk was just a waste of time. Her Got something to say, then just say it, attitude earned her both respect and dislike in equal measure. No nonsense is how most would describe her style of interaction. She enjoyed philosophical conversation with someone who could match her passion and knowledge. Otherwise, her pragmatic side had a way of hitting you over the head when you weren’t looking.

“Come take a look at this and tell me what you see,” monotoned Trev, subconsciously matching Kyra’s change in tone. He stepped back from the microscope and motioned her to step in. The sight of her lithe body moving with the grace of a cat stalking its prey sent the customary shiver down his spine, not to mention the sudden spontaneous and audible intake of breathe she must have heard.

Kyra, heard, but had long since filtered out such responses from males. Bending over the scope, her long agile fingers found the focus knob. Slowing rotating the knob with precise pressure and application she could have swore she heard another spontaneous intake, which brought forth a wicked grin she hoped her position concealed. No sense in torturing the boy for no good reason she mused.

Ahh, there it was, focus. “Holy cow, Trev, how long have you been sitting on this?” her tone firm but without accusation or blame. Time was the question, not blame.

“I notified Goldie as soon as I saw it,” Trev responded like a like a bucket of cold water had just hit him in the face.

“Trev, do you know what we have here?” again her tone was flat, without emotion that betrayed her concern.

“Looks like the animus virus,” Trev shot back with a false sense of indignation. He had the medical background, why wouldn’t he know. “How it got on board, . . .”
Kyra cut him off. Time was not on their side. There would be time later to explore how, assuming they were still around that is.

“Prepare Golden Tree soup for everyone on board ASAP.”

“Rog, can you hear me,” Kyra spoke into her comm.

“Rog here darlin’.” No one could take the piss out of Kyra quite like Rog. He seemed to be the only male inoculated against her charms and he knew it.

“Meet me in my quarters, pronto.”

“Yes ma’am. One question darlin’.”

“What would that be Rog,” Kyra deadpanned with a slight roll of her eyes to Trev.

“What took you so long to ask,” Rog teased.

Commentary Part 1:

this is an audio post - click to play

Commentary Part 2:

this is an audio post - click to play

Reading:

this is an audio post - click to play