Category: Dr. X



Ed note: The following bits and pieces surfaced on the flight yesterday. They may or may not have happened in the story. The image is what I call “Place Your Bets,” an allusion to which bits below you think really happened.

Internal Affairs visited Cait. They wanted to know where John was. Said something about a chip.

Mairi finds Trev. He’s a mess. Camera pans away with Mairi holding Trev in her arms like a frightened child, her hair blowing in the wind. She is wearing a long pleated skirt with a mustard colored blouse offsetting her auburn locks.

Dr. X discovers that Châtelaine’s undergo three months of training to communicate with their eyes.

The signal Rog recognizes comes from Kyra’s Zing Tao ring.

Taren is forced to destroy the ring, and under duress has to do it in front of Kyra.

This unleashes a side of Kyra never seen and she destroys the entire compound.

When no one is left alive, she collapses in a heap as a light is seen around her–Kieran.

When Mairi finds Trev he has blood caked on his upper lip, his eyes stare unblinking, lifeless; he can’t form coherent words or thoughts. His body feels strangely cold and he trembles uncontrollably.

Mairi puts hands on his head, closes her eyes and has flashes of his mind. She cries, something a hardened Châtelaine would never do.

Kyra spares Taren, barely. The number of dead in the compound count into the hundreds as she moved of body and mind.

Von said it was the most terrifying and beautiful birth he had ever seen.

Emy couldn’t talk about what she saw for months.

Mairi feels guilt at encouraging Trev to sow his oats.

BC is pissed Lil’ let Trev go and not kill him.

Kieran holds Kyra as Mairi holds Trev–tells her he has someone that wants to say hello, someone that did not take the last ship out of dodge.

John writes in his journal that “After the Kyra Incident” he is losing his moral compass with Cait.

Mairi looks to the heavens and cries out, “My Janus, what have they done to you.” Tears streak down her cheeks and she looks back down at Trev’s blank stare and through her tears she utters, “My dear child.” She wipes his hair away and shaking her head says, “How will you ever forgive me?” She is rocking back and forth as a mother might rock a frightened child to sleep.

“Papa?”

Kieran says she can’t directly connect with him but that he can act as a conduit.

Message from Papa: “We can still get there from here.”

Von: (Looks at Rog) I hope you brought some snoot?
Rog: I did.
Von: Good Hynerian.
Rog: I drank it–all.
Von: (deadpans)
Rog: But I have a plan.
Von: Yeah?
Rog: Looks at John.
John: What?
Von and Rog: (Start laughing)

I Love You, I’ll Kill You by Enigma is the Soundtrack for “The Kyra Incident.”

Interview from Earth:

T: Can you explain what happened?

K: Taren’s hammer was like a pickaxe. The down stroke to Papa’s ring broke, and I shiott you not, to my mind’s eye, I saw it as clear as day, but broke layer upon layer of inhibition and doubt while harnessing a synergistic melding of practice, theory and application that took years of pieces and in an instant painted, how would you say it, a Mona Lisa.

T: Wow.

K: Don’t ever say that word again in response.

T: Okay.

K: (starts laughing) I’m just shiotting you. Bring more whiskey–nine glasses.

T: (just smiles)


Trev, prone, naked and secured by ankle and wrist, swallowed the fifth sip, with a little help from Lil’s firm hand fisting his hair. Sal moved to his prostrated rear and slapped her tight and taut boy like a farmer slapping a side of beef. His flesh was warm, unlike her own species; and he had an instrument, full and ripe, alien and exotic, that seems to pulse and throb and hang with a certain sense of living heft as if his heart were in his arse rather than his chest.

Mairi sat with the quiet patience of a weary cat in a sunny window, content to let Yul sleep as long as she liked. The operation, the doctors had said, somewhat nervously, had gone better than expected. More tests would be run later, they said. So she sat and rubbed her head but succor eluded the feeling of being sunburned from the inside of her skull. Dr. X promised she would heal, fully. She still thought he was a complete bastard.

John played the signal again. Rog listened. John looked. Rog listened some more with the look of a school boy trying to convince his teacher he knew the answer when he really didn’t. John played it again. Rog, blessing his own hide, yelped for effect, and did a little dance; his eyes shown with recognition fueled by hope. John just shook his head.

Ariel crawled into Cait’s lap, the soft light of a reading lamp holding the pair in the warm repose of mother and child. Cait held back a sigh as Ariel nestled in tight to her chest, pushing her little head and primrose hair into the twin softness of living pillows. Turning the page, she read slowly, trying to lose herself in the story, trying to crowd out the anger in her heart until she heard her daughter sigh and she realized she had not turned the page for quite some time.

+My dear friend, we meet again.+

Kyra opened her eyes as one to light after many days in a cave. There was a voice, but no one was there. She looked for Em and Von but they were not there either. The room was white and rather bright, the edges fuzzy and from somewhere in her heart, she would later swear, was a taste of things past and a remembrance of things to be.

Kieran? Is that you?”

Categories: Story, Kyra, Trev, Mairi, Yul, John Discovery, Rog, Lil’ Twilight, Ariel, Cait

Beyond


Yul drifted into sleep, her head turning softly away from Mairi on the pillow as if, from slumber, she sought separation, distance, a final act of submission. Mairi looked up in supplication as those who prostrate themselves look down in mercy, her lower lids as dams staining to hold back her own doubt and fear and anger and regret. As Yul’s hand fell slack, the dam burst. +My Janus, I can’t do this. Damn you! Do you hear me, I can’t do this.+

Mairi cried and to the extent her countenance betrayed torment and dismay, Yul’s placid pale visage paid homage to lakes calm in twilight. Taking the back of her trembling fingers, Mairi brushed Yul’s silver hair from her cheek. Bending over she kissed the crest of her dimple and whispered words neither recorded nor remembered.

Three hours later:

+You did well my dear Chatelaine+

+Frail you, you frailing whore of children forgotten and abandoned.+ Mairi sobbed uncontrollably, her head pounding from the inside out as she shook as patients burning with fever shake from cold.

+You did all I could have asked, all anyone could have expected. And soon, you will love me again as only a Chatelaine can love the art of grace and execution, of passion controlled by mind and whipped by heart.+

+You lie with daggers dull and crooked; and if I had my wits I would hurl venom and hatred as the unkind do in confrontation with difference. I will never forgive nor forget, my liege, the obligation I owe to one so blessed with duplicity and greed.+

Dr X smiled. +I knew talent when I saw it, and you, my dear, are a gift beyond my dreams.+

Mairi lay on the ground, soaking wet, her eyes blurry, her immaculate makeup smeared almost beyond recognition.

+Rest my darling Null.+

Doctor #1: What happened?

Doctor #2: I have no idea. What does the tape show?

Doctor #1: You’re not going to believe this.

Doctor #2: What?

Doctor #1: It’s blank.

Categories: Story, Yul, Mairi, Dr. X

My Dear Chatelaine

Mairi: +Hey, can you hear me?+

Dr. X: +Aah, my dear chatelaine, I thought you had forsaken me. Please accept my not quite so humble apologies.+

Mairi: +Sorry. We’ve had a bit of drama. Besides, you know they won’t let me see you. Just getting close enough to tickle your immeasurable neurons has been a challenge.+

Dr. X: +I know. Won’t let me see anyone. Such primitive tactics would amuse me if they weren’t so sad and pathetic. You would think they had forgotten I can surf, at will, the dull waves of their backward pea-sized brains. Quite boring really. The dullards seem not to have an original thought between the lot of them. Then again, perhaps that’s their plan. Torture me with boredom. Now you, my dear, well, you stimulate me in ways I’ve never imagined.+

Mairi: +The feeling is mutual my good doctor. You’ve opened doors I never knew existed, doors never far from my mind, not to mention a few other parts.+

Dr. X: +Tell me about this drama. I sense on the edge of your wicked mind, opportunity.+

Mairi: +Could be. I still feel as a child with these new abilities but I can’t help my mind returning again and again to you and Yul. Dreams and visions, the two of you, not clear, yet, how do I say it, almost destined.+

Dr. X: +The drama, dear chatelaine?+

Mairi: +Oh, yes. Yul has a terminal disease, so say the doctors here. Her condition is worsening and they plan to operate in the next couple days. Seems they still feel at a lost as to what good they can do. I feel the procedure could be nothing more than a live autopsy.+

Dr. X: +I see. Have you seen her charts?+

Mairi: +No. Why do you ask?+

Dr. X: +Request the charts. All of them. If they say no. Demand them and demand a detailed explanation. They’ll relent, trust me. Now, very important, keep your eyes on each chart, making sure you read every line, every detail. And have them explain everything twice.+

Mairi: +I’m not a doctor. Won’t know the first thing about what I’m seeing.+

Dr. X: +But I am my dear.+

Mairi: +Oh.+

Categories: Story, Dr. X, Mairi, Paintings

No Pun Intended

“Taren, launch the anti-spades,” said the voice.

“But my liege, we are not undersea. Why waste the resource?”

“Not a waste at all. John thinks we are undersea. If we don’t respond with countermeasures, they will learn sooner rather than later that we are elsewhere. Now launch the counter attack.

“Yes, my liege.”

“Dr. X, how is our little null doing?”

“Better than anticipated. Let’s just say glowing blue, such an amazing biological adaptation, really quite remarkable, but forgive me for my digression. We are getting a much better response than any of my research indicated would be the case, as, I believe, is evidenced by our opponent’s confusion. She is paying off in spades, no pun intended.”

“Excellent. I have big plans for our little friend. Now what is the update on Calfuray?”

“Fully recovered and, if I might humbly say so, stronger than before. She is itching to redeem herself, as you might imagine.”

“So much good news dear doctor, I hardly know how to contain myself, no pun intended either. Have my dear girl come for a visit. I have an assignment I think will make her very happy. And by the way doctor, please refrain from any itching metaphors, which reminds me, how is our friend Shen?”

“Humble, my lord, humble.”

“Good. Have him come see me with Calfuray. Never hurts to have a little insurance, especially the disposable kind. Now, dear doctor, tell me more about this glowing blue adaptation.”

“Hmm, where to start, where to start . . .”

Categories: Story, Taren, The Voice, Dr. X

Like Magic

“Mairi, I’m going to place our beautiful little friend around your neck,” said Dr. X. “Won’t hurt as long as you don’t resist. Relax your mind. Think pleasant thoughts.”

Mairi closed her eyes and the ampulator settled in place. The organism felt its way along her neck, each orifice of its inner ring sluggishly seeking an air tight suction. Mairi started to choke. “Relax my dear. The amp is trying to determine if you are friend or foe. If friend, then you are going to be privileged to some rather special sensations in a few minutes. If foe, then you and I will go down together. Now relax.”

“Can you please tell me what vile purpose this exercise suits?”

“My apologies, of course. You my dear, are a null, a blank, or as some might say, an untouchable. In a telepathic world, you are the great eraser, the anti-gravity, the void. No one near you can communicate nor can anyone use their telepathic powers on you. Most important, you black out all telepathic signals. Your mere presence is the great off switch. With you, we are all but invisible to the outside world, but there is one little problem. Your power is not quite strong enough to blank us out from Kulmyk probes, which are a little too close for comfort right now. Our little squishy friend, however, is going to fix that. Once he forms full suction, and of course sees you as a friend, his natural genetic conflux will take your nullness and amplify it. If it works, we will drop off the radar of those probes like magic. And my guess, they’ll never know what happened.”

As the creature tightened its grip on her neck, Mairi tried not to squirm managing to eek just a single word through her clenched teeth. “If?”

“Well, as you know, we’ve never had a null before, so I suppose you could say this is where theory crosses the road of actuality. Now relax, I’m fairly certain this is going to work.”

“TEAM KILO REPORTING in. Over. Do you read?”

“Loud and clear,” replied Tom. ” What seems to be the problem.”

“Hard to explain sir. One minute we were locked on their location and then the next, they just disappeared.”

Categories: Story, Mairi, Dr. X

+It’s okay Mairi, you can keep your eyes closed. The scan works on synaptic discourse. The warmth of your skin conducts the signal and should give you a slight tingle, perfectly harmless+, intoned Dr. X aligning the red laser over the center of her eye.

Mairi gritted her teeth; her eyes closed tight, her chest fully exposed. Telepathic communication gave her the same weird sensation as giving bone marrow, neither pleasant nor painful but rather an odd sense of naked violation. The feeling was neither tickle nor itch as much as an indescribable viscous feeling of vacuum–as if the very essence of her soul was being sucked out against her will. Her hands pulled in vain against the rough scratchy rope as if they could wipe away the sensation like a pregnant bead of sweat on precipice of her brow.

+Relax Mairi. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do.+

_______

“John, incoming message. I think you should take this one.”

Flicking his eyes to the right, the private message appeared on the inside of his dark blue visor:

Dear Johnny,

I love you. Do your job. Do it right. Hurry back.

Love,

Cait.

John flicked his eyes down and left and the message faded away.

“Good news John?”

“Yeah, good news,” said John, pursing his lips into a tight smile causing his crow’s feet to take on shadow and light in exaggerated folds like heavy cloth.

_______

“Trev, what’s the update? asked Yul.

“No change I’m afraid. I will say this, a lesser Hynerian would not have survived the punishment Rog has absorbed. How much longer is a matter between Rog and Janus.”

“And the arm?”

“We’ll wait as long as we can, but if . . .”

Yul looked down. Trev looked away.

_______

“Taren, our visitors didn’t materialize out of thin air. Launch a patrol. I want the survivors alive since our Tearacs won’t give us that pleasure with our two guests. Consider it a little insurance in case our dear doctor runs into resistance,” said the voice.

_______

Von looked at Kyra out of the corner of his weary eyes as if to say I’ll give you what I’ve got but don’t expect a miracle. Kyra caught the look and smiled without smiling. Standing between Von and the rising murmur she closed her eyes and lifted her arms, palms out. From light came darkness and from darkness came light and a warm sensation lifted his spirit.

Commentary: Axon Terminal

Categories: Story, Kyra, Von, The Voice, Trev, Yul, Mairi, Dr. X, John Discovery, Caitlin

Dr. Goldenhair Surprise

Mairi watched Dr. X escort Taren to the exit; his long golden locks seemed to glow against the backdrop of Taren’s dark blue skin. Her mind felt slippery, her hands bound roughly behind her back, her waist and ankles secured firmly to the vertical slab. The material was cold and unknown.

They appeared to exchange heated words. Taren’s face became animated; his alien tongue spoke in agitated tones, quick and erratic movements of his long arms orchestrating each syllable. The doctor appeared rather bored. With a dismissive wave of his hand, Taren left. Mairi heard the door shut; a shill metallic click of the lock sending a chill up her spine like nails on a chalkboard. He placed the keys in his pocket and turned toward the beautiful, mysterious Null. Just the two of them now.

“Good morning Mairi,” said Dr. X, slowly running the backside of his nails along her chin and up the side of her jaw stopping near her right temple. Mairi turned her head, her neck muscles straining in silent protest. His nails felt glass smooth and warm against her skin; his breath smelled of honeysuckle. “The less you resist, the less pain you will endure,” said Dr. X, letting his hands linger on the strange tactile feel of her skin, his eyes slightly ablaze with anticipation. “I’m not here to hurt you Mairi.”

Mairi pushed herself back against the slab. Even her eyes rolled down, wishing they had legs and could run. “Do you know why you are here child?”

Mairi shook her head, unable or unwilling to speak, she wasn’t sure.

“You are the elusive Null our scientists have been searching for, for years no less without success. Many in the community questioned whether such an entity existed. Imagine our surprise and excitement when your vessel mysteriously appeared in our sector. Still, many have their doubts, and many would have me burn you at the stake, such is the fear at the potential power you have within that red head of yours. Always a fear of the unknown, such a pity really; yet, here we are, just me and you,” whispered Dr. X, inhaling the fear radiating from the surface of her skin. Such a sweet delicious smell he thought.

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” said Mairi, her voice cracking with the absurdity of his claim. “You know my friends would be very interested to know that I possess such power. I’m sure they would tremble in fear once they picked themselves off the floor from laughter. I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I think you’ve got the wrong girl.”

Dr. X smiled. “Perhaps you are correct. Duty, however, dictates that I must be absolutely certain. Your head is not the only one at stake.”

“Do what you will, there is nothing to find,” said Mairi, regretting her choice of words almost before they were uttered.

“Well, my dear, that’s the plan. Glad to hear we are in agreement,” his hands moving to the buttons on her blouse.

“What the frail do you think you are doing,” yelled Mairi, squirming against the ropes that bound her.

“Yell if you must, but I have to tell you this room is sound proof, not that there is anyone who would come to the aid of your plaintive wailing. Relax, I promised I’m not here to hurt you,” said Dr. X as his golden fingers unbuttoned the remaining enclosures. With one quick movement he ripped the blouse from her shoulders. Mairi’s eyes grew wide with the sudden violence of the movement as if she had been slapped back into the reality of her utter vulnerability.

Dr. X placed a knife against her chest. The blade was cold, polished chrome shinny and looked much larger than it actually was. My Janus, thought Mairi as she closed her eyes, have mercy. “Quiet child,” commanded Dr. X, the blade flashing quickly, her bra cut in two. “Buck up, I’m just looking.”

Mairi fought. The ropes pulled tighter, cutting into her skin. A drop of blood splattered on the floor. Dr. X stood back, his eyes marveling at the strange anatomy of the alien before him. These orbs, flesh colored at the base, muted into shades of blue at the tips, which seemed to have a slight sheen, perhaps a light glow to them. His curiosity got the best of him. Reaching out, his hands traced the outside of those soft yet firm melon-shaped appendages.

Mairi bit her lip, the pain of her hands temporary forgotten. Her eyelips slammed shut as if they alone could wipe the present moment from existence.

His fingers were warm and gentle. My Janus, she thought, is my body going to betray me, confused with her inability to stop the bluish pulsing of her chest. Her nipples hardened and grew more luminous, vestiges of Hynerian evolution.

Pinching her nipples, watching them grow harder, watching them throb, his mind was locked on hers and there it was, the opening. BAM!

+Hi Mairi, can you hear me?+

Stunned for just a second, she responded, +Yes.+

Catagories: Story, Mairi, Dr. X