-Allen Pitt-Next question is when in the B5 timeline do they show up? His anti- alien bias would actually help Earth forces quite a lot if it's during the Earth-Mimbari war...
-It is set during the Earth-Minbari War but as far as his anti-alien bias... lets just say I'll be dealing with that in this chapter.
-Teutonic Knight 92-Oh and side note I hate you. You got my f%king hopes up that there was a new chapter instead of just psoting the authors note at the bottom of the page.
Reflection, Surprise, Terror
"The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body."
The air was heavy with the smell of blood, smoke and ozone. The sound of blaster fire reverberated down the narrow corridor along with shrieks of the dying. Lighting the way were deep violet streams of light emanating from holes in the rust eaten walls. Scarn made his way down the dank passageway which seemed oddly familiar to him. He felt compelled by some force he could not comprehend or resist to continue on.
As he walked an opening in the wall appeared to his left. Peeking around the corner, he saw piles of bodies of every species, gender and age spread out as far as the eye could see. Standing over them was a stooped, black robed figure surrounded by a cloud of inky smoke tinged with red flame. The figure seemed to be revelling in kicking and spitting on the corpses. Suddenly it stopped and looked up to view Scarn. Where its face should have been was only a well of darkness punctuated by two yellow, bloodshot eyes.
"The strong are the only ones fit to survive," the figure shrieked, its voice cutting through him like an icy wind. "You will be my instrument to ensure this. Only through me will the galaxy survive the oncoming storm."
Scarn quickly turned and ran down the hallway trying to escape that horrible voice that seemed to echo in his head. It slowly began to fade the farther he ran. Before too long it was a faint whisper at the back of his mind.
He finally entered what appeared to be a poorly lit cargo hold. Plain grey containers were stacked haphazardly around the entire room. Long links of chains hung from the ceiling and made the same noise as splintering bone as they came together. And from somewhere in the room, he could hear soft whimpering and crying.
Slowly making his way through the maze of crates, Scarn came across a huddled figure in a corner. It was a young Human girl of about sixteen, her clothes nothing but simple rags. She met his gaze with frightened doelike eyes and tried to retreat farther into the corner.
"I'm not going to hurt you," he said softly trying to reassure her. "I'm here to help."
"Are you so sure about that," a voice shouted from behind him.
Scarn spun around and looke in horror at what could only be his doppleganger dressed in full battle armor holding the young girl by her neck with its left hand. In its right hand was a small vibroblade, the edges gleaming brightly even in the low light. Its face was twisted with a look of pure hatred and malice unlike anything he had ever seen.
"Let her go," Scarn said forcefully, quickly regaining his composure. "She has done nothing wrong."
"I don't think so," the doppleganger spat back. It flashed an evil grin as it looked the struggling girl up and down. "Don't you remember what this little bitch did. She assaulted a soldier of the Empire. She is weak, There is only one thing to do."
It qucikly drew the vibroblade across the girl's neck, sending a spray of arterial blood gushing outward. The doppleganger released her, letting her fall limply to the deck, and wiped the blade on his trousers. It fixed him with a stern look and smiled grimly.
"For the Empire."
"No," Scarn screamed as he sat up, sweat dripping from his face. Immediately he felt hands grabbing at him forcing him back down. He struggled, trying to break free of their grasp.
"Captain relax," a male voice said soothingly yet with a hint of sternness behind it. "It was just a dream, you're safe now."
Scarn looked up and saw the elderly face of Doctor Zilliak Norals, the Vigilance's Chief Medical Officer. He let out a long sigh as he relaxed back into the bed he was occupying. A dull ache began to spread across his entire body. It also felt as if a dark cloud had been lifted from his mind. He discounted it as an effect of waking so suddenly.
"I feel like I've been hit by a hovertruck," Scarn croaked as he tried to sit up. He looked around the medical bay and couldn't help but notice that many of the bacta tanks and beds were filled with wounded crewmen. "How many?"
"Luckily there were no fatalities due to our little trip," Norals said with a hint of relief. "Mostly broken bones and mild burns. You suffered a greenstick fracture of your right ulna, a concussion and a sprained left shoulder. We reset the bone and put you in the bacta tank. You've been unconscious for roughly sixteen hours."
"Our little trip," Scarn asked ignoring the doctor's summary of his condition? "Was there a malfunction with the Hyperdrive?"
"We fell through a wormhole, Captain," Levins said as she strode into the medical bay. Her uniform was disheveled and covered in soot, grease and what looked like a fair amount of blood. As she approached his bed he could see that she was on the ragged edge of exhaustion. "Right now we have no idea where we are in relation to Imperial territory."
"Say that again, Commander," he muttered in disbelief?
Instantly, he realized that was the first time since he had met her that he had ever addressed her by her rank. In that moment he realized that not once in the three months that he had known her had he ever not made her life miserable. Why had he done that and why had it not bothered him untill now? As he thought about it more, there were so many things he had done over the last eighteen years that he was now questioning why he had done them.
"We fell through a wormhole sir," she stated again, a quick look of confusion crossing her face. "Luckily, we found the exit point and it appears to be stable. We can get back home... but I felt it best to wait untill we were able to effect repairs in case the Rebels are waiting on the other side. Also travelling through the wormhole without proper shielding is a bit rocky. That is what caused most of our damage."
"How bad is the damage?"
Levins frowned as she pulled a datapad out of her pocket and began to read off it. "We've lost long range communications and sensors, the shield generators are not syncing up properly and there is an intermittent fault in the short range sensors that we haven't been able to lock down yet." She hesitated a moment and eyed him as if she expected him to erupt into an angry tirade. "Sir, it was my decision to make repairs before..."
"Commander, I'm not going to chew your head off for making a sound tactical decision," Scarn reassured her. "I want a command staff meeting in one hour in the Main Conference Room. We need to figure out how to proceed since we may be in this area of space for a while longer."
"Yes sir," she said as she turned to leave.
"And Commander," he called out. "I want you to take that hour to get some rest and get freshened up. That's an order."
Levins stopped looking completely unsure what to say. All she could manage was a nod of her head and she quickly left the room.
An hour later, Scarn sat at the head of the conference table as his command staff were giving their reports on the ship's status and what they were doing to repair the damage they had suffered. While he was listening, he was trying to figure out what had happened to not only him but the rest of his crew. What had brought on this sudden change in his mindset eighteen years before and its subsequent reversal after they arrived in this region of space? It was as if someone had implanted a seperate personality all those years ago which overrode his prevous beliefs.
He had asked Doctor Norals to run a scan on his brain and there was nothing out of the ordinary. Norals also noted that none of the other crew members that he had scanned showed any abnormalities either. But that made no sense. Something as profound and widespread as this couldn't happen without leaving some kind of mark or remnant.
Scarn started as his attention was brought back to the briefing. Commander Vallana had giving his brief on establishing a close air patrol around the Vigilance due to the damage to the sensors. His plan included using the Vigilance's contingent of Skiprays as a replacement for the TIE fighters they had lost as well as launching probe droids to key points as an early warning system.
"The only thing I'm worried about is if we are in someone's space that they won't take too kindly to us appearing as if we are snooping," Scarn said. "But I guess it can't be avoided. Launch the probes and organize the patrols. Commander Levins if you could stay for a moment, the rest of you are dismissed."
The others rose from their chairs and exited the room. Levins remained seated at the other end of the table, eyeing him with a mix of suspicion and curiosity. Scarn waited for the doors to close before getting up himself.
"Commander...," Scarn said hesitantly. "I don't know how much this means but I have to apologize for how I've treated you this past three months. I've been disrespectful, rude and quite frankly an ass towards you."
"Fifty-seven," she whispered.
"I beg your pardon?"
"You are the fifty-seventh member of this crew to apologize to me since we came through the wormhole for the way they have acted towards me," she replied nervously. She seemed to be very uncomfortable with the whole situation. "Fifty-seven crew members, including yourself, who fifteen hours ago I thought were seriously debating whether or not to toss me out of an airlock. I don't mean to be insubordinate Captain, but that is how feel... felt... I don't know."
"I don't know either Commander," Scarn said in a reassuring tone. "I can't explain what happened before or after we travelled through the wormhole. But the best thing we can do is focus on getting home."
He extended his hand towards her. She hesitated slightly and put her hand in his and shook it.
Sorry for the long delay in Chapter Two coming out. It's definitely been one of those years. Hope you enjoy.
Please comment and keep it clean.