A voice was speaking to her insistently and Lilo didn't want to wake up. She was warm, she was floating in warm ocean water after a long day of surfing and there was a thick layer of fog in her head. And for some reason she was reluctant to actually wake up.
Power Failure the voice insisted.
As the fog receded from her mind the first thing Lilo noticed was the nausea in her stomach and the voice ringing in her ears insisting there was a Power Failure.
Her muscles ached like time she had the flu and with her stomach rebelling she realized she was sick again.
She tried to groan and curl up but her hands were oddly unresponsive. The air was strange. No... Not air.
Her eyes snapping open she realized she was breathing water, or at least something like it. It tasted kinda metallic and it tingled against her skin. All around her a round semi-transparent walls buzzed with static. Tugging at her hands she realized she was being held up by restraints around her arms back and legs. She tried to cough as something was irritating her throat but the words wouldn't come out. Ah... Some sort of tube in her throat. As soon as she realized she wanted that thing out it retracted.
Something was blinking in the corner of her eye but she couldn't quite catch it no mater how she turned. She wondered why she wasn't panicking.
Adrenal Response is temporarily suppressed due to systems calibration.
Lilo blinked and the words echoed in her head. Also there was some sort of Power Failure somewhere. The insistent voice diminished as soon as she clearly realized it was trying to get her attention.
She wondered where she was.
External access request granted. Camera's 1 - 5 and 7 - 9 are offline. Camera 6 feed loaded.
Her vision blurred and she could see what she surmised was herself floating in a round chamber filled with the fluid she had been breathing. Almost without prompting the system outlined the chamber as: Bio Restoration Chamber '001. Looking at the it for for bit sprung up a more detailed screen and informed her among a bunch of confusing stuff that that the chamber's Class VII stealth shielding is offline due to Power Failure.
Her still foggy mind connected clues. She was likely in some sort of hospital tank. If she was kidnapped the equipment would not obey her. Experimentally she tugged harder the restraints which obeyed, letting her loose. She floated downwards and with a quiet thud her knees touched the bottom. The liquid surrounding her was either orange colored or the faint light was orange.
Last thing she remembered was the council meeting. No... Shuttle, They took a diplomatic shuttle to... Maloosa?
A flash of a friendly vaguely catlike face as something surged through her brain like an electric shock. She convulsed in the liquid tank as disconnected memories surged randomly. A chiding nip on the ear. A welcoming rub of cheeks. Small ones playing predator and prey and other more jumbled memories. Like a dream she was forgetting.
As she stopped convulsing she saw herself with her face mushed against the cool edge of the semi-transparent tank, the camera feed still overriding her sense of sight.
"I wonder If I can make a 'Status Request.' "
Numbers and status data scrolled through her brain and she clutched her head as another wave of pain assaulted her.
The torrent of information assaulted her abated after a bit and she was able to surmise something useful.
Length of stay was approximately six days. Class Sigma injuries and Delta level brain damage. Not that she could tell what that meant. Still it would explain why she was hanging around in a hospital tank. Heh. hanging around. Shaking her head to tray and clear the loopy feeling and focus and think. She was hurt so they must have landed badly.
She wondered if their shuttle had crashed or if the Malakai shot them down. And why was no one coming to check on her? She focused on the unsteady camera feed that was still overriding her eyesight. The fog in her brain was slowly melting as her grogginess cleared somewhat.
The room the Bio Restoration chamber was a mess. Lab tables overturned, plasma scorching everywhere and in one corner a totaled Royal Security Deployable Plasma Turret MK IV was hanging limply from an open ceiling panel. Apparently there was a power failure.
Lilo gasped when she realized there were two Maloosan soldiers lying to the left of her chamber. Suddenly the camera view wavered and as her eyes opened she could see around her. She looked at her hands and felt her legs and then her face.
Calibration complete. Activating systems.
The world wavered and suddenly colors she didn't know existed sprang to life around her. Everything had a weird overlay and wherever her eye focused things were outlined and named as an offer for more data hovered in the back of her mind just like from the camera. Speaking of which, the camera feed was back, but this time in a more familiar Virtual Reality 'panel'
First pangs of fear spread through her belly as she realized she had no VR glasses on and she tried to whimper, the odd liquid she was breathing preventing her.
And there were icons around the corners of her view. One of them was blinking and drew her attention. Inbox. As she focused on it a a list appeared. One message. She stared at it wondering how she would activate it when it opened up.
Priority Message from: Jumba. Read? Y/N
Shivering and grasping her nauseous stomach Lilo tried to open it.
A video screen popped open in her left eye. A worried looking Jumba was looking at her.
"Hello Little girl." He said and he looks sort of tired and puffy around the eyes. "I am beaming you this message live because we is leaving to distract them. The treaty was signed thanks to your effort but there were some... complications."
There was a booming noise and the image wavered even as Jumba stumbled and Lilo realized Jumba was walking somewhere. He started jogging.
"There is being an invasion and Pleakley and I were given a stealth ship to go bring message to council. If I am not there outside waving at you when you wake in the bio-chamber then things are a bit off schedule. Since time is short so here is short version: Little girl was hurt saving her friends and some of your short term memories may be damaged."
Another explosion shattered the wall near him and a Maloosan soldier temporarily entered the view before the camera focused back on Jumba who was getting up from the floor. Some static appeared in the image and Jumba frowned.
"Good news is my nanite vaccine helped and we are fixing you so you cannot be moved. You may find some small upgrades when you wake up, some of which we talked about when you were younger. I make your base bio-template myself as hobby over years yes?" he chuckles.
"Still: Bad news, we cannot be moving you. If you are seeing this alone... If there are Maloosans there they will help you. If you are seeing Malakai?" Jumba paused, his expression turned grim. "If you are captured... Rescue is coming, stay strong."
The static increased and Jumba looked frantic suddenly making gestures in the air even as he jumped to cover. As he dropped against a wall a wave of plasma rushing by in the background he continued to speak.
"Darn they upped the jamming. One last thing: Lilo! Find Stitch. He is being very angry, making raids all over the planet and I think he is... hurt, in the head. I am uploading his movement path up to this point in your Global Positioning System. You can help him, just find him, find a way off the planet and be s..."
Message ends. Replay?
As she his replay Lilo felt the nausea in her stomach increase.
"Ok Lilo this is nothing new. Just... Find stitch. Have him hotwire a ship. Beat up some bad guys and go home. Yeah." She took a deep breath of the surprisingly comfortable fluid she has been breathing for a while now.
"But First I have to get out of this thing."Selecting external links and finding the tank she gave the order to open it.
Confirmation of Emergency decantation request acknowledged: disengaging systems and shutting down uplink to patient Lilo on personal recognizance. Physical system recovery at 86%, Augment Integration 33%, Cognitive support active, Nervous System recovery at 12F.73ERROR%.
"What the..." Lilo had time to wonder then the walls she had been leaning suddenly slid into the floor in the blink of an eye. The fluid she was floating in sloshed around the room and Lilo landed on her face. Disoriented she got on her hands and knees and exhaled and puked up the fluid she had been in for the last week or so. The floor was freezing cold and she shivered, droplets of fluid trailing from her body.
Taking a breath of actual air was almost painful. It was dry and odd and she inhaled too hard. Still, she took a moment to take stock of herself.
"Oh crud!" She exclaimed wide eyed covering herself and looking around for people despite knowing she was alone.
The movement cost her. Her muscles, her whole body hurt like when she overdid it when playing and a low, dull throb in her bones, on the edge of perception cautioned her she was far from healthy. And she was cold. And naked.
Shakily she got to her feet and stumbled over to a table, grabbed a piece of folded, slightly dusty cloth and wrapped it around her shivering wet form. If she ever found out who left that large towel there she'd hug them so hard.
Looking around for something wear she eyed a lab coat. Drying herself with the soft cloth Lilo tore of a piece and tied it around her waist like a loincloth leaving the now shorter garment better sized for her own form. Pulling it closed around her shivering form as she dropped into a chair. A small triangle in her virtual reality overlay indicated a last known location of 'Stitch'. As she accessed her Augment Reality system she marked a few other points of interest from a series of bookmarks someone helpfully programmed into it. 'Lilo's room' 'Mess Hall.' and after a few seconds of hesitation she also selected 'armory'. Within seconds best path and general distance and direction were calculated. She smiled. It sort of looked like a computer game thing but it was practical. A purposeful blink and her vision was clear. Blink and the 'HUD' was back.
A whine in her ear caught her attention as her HUD indicated 'aural augments' had come online. Many systems were still 'pending'.
She experimented with it and realized, aside from her heartbeat and some sort of critter in the air ducts she could hear heavy footsteps coming from the outside. Lilo looked around wide eyed for a place to hide, shivering as her bare feet padded across the chilly metal floor. Helpfully their location and vector was plotted for her.
"What is going on?!" She wondered glancing around quiet as a mouse as the sound of heavy boots came down the corridor. She ducked under a table and looked around the room for something... Anything that could save her patookie.
She realized that some stuff in the room was outlined in yellow the moment she identified them as possible weapons. From scalpels to high pressure tanks complete with a small tag that estimated applicable force and material quality. Lilo blinked. 'What the heck was that.'
No. no time for that. She had to hide. The air duct was helpfully outlined even as she eyed it and then a wire frame overlay was just there with weak points displayed. Realizing it was an option Lilo looked around trying to figure out a way up there.
'Why the heck did they make the ceiling so high. How am I supposed to get up there?'
As if answering her question a set of claws popped from her fingertips.
'Whoa... That's new.' She thought and then with a shrug she rushed from where she was hiding. She at the wall. It was worth a shot. Claws scrambling from where she hid for the moment she ran across the room clambered on top of the bio pod and leaped for the wall the lab coat flapping dramatically.
Her bare feet had surprising amount of traction on the cold metal wall and she was half way up before she even realized it, Claw-tips actually penetrating just enough to keep momentum going. She made it all the way up and with a small groan the flimsy aluminum air duct cover gave way as she tugged at it. She scurried inside closing it behind her, heart pounding in her chest she leaned against the metal wall peaked back into the room even as the doors slid open.
A big hulking thing of black metal and ceramic stepped into the the room, a large, triple barreled plasma cannon in its two handed grip sweeping left and right, apparently searching the room for hostiles. It was over eight feet tall and the reflective face-plate hid any features it had behind menacing black finish.
The Malakai soldier scanned the entire area before making a hand gesture. Lilo's sensitive ears could hear the faint noise of power assisted movement as it made the gesture and recalled some videos of power armor in action over the GalNet, dreaming of one day having her own. Stitch was way better then any power armor but being able to crush your enemies into pulp would be nice. You know. To teach them a lesson about putting gum in her hair.
She knew she should leave but couldn't stop staring. Her legs were frozen and her arms would not move. Her heartbeat picked up.
With a blink the HUD was was back, her vision enhanced by icons and readouts. Whatever real-time recognition system they installed oh so helpfully named the large things as Behemoth type Power Assisted Armor, unknown model and outlined it in red. The markings on the Behemoth were indicated as Malakai. Like she needed AR assistance to realize that.
Lilo suppressed the urge to sigh even as the Behemoth gestured and started to look around the room. 'Why couldn't it be the cavalry or an extraction team sent to save me.'
Two smaller soldiers, probably not even six feet tall joined the Behemoth. They were in a more conventional armor that her systems marked as an Assault model. She saw similar suits before: fully enclosed and made of carbon fiber composites (which her systems now outlined in yellow) and the ceramic plate protecting vitals.
'Hm... Ceramics are the same shade of red the Behemoth.' Lilo mused, beginning to suspect that the color scheme was supposed to mean something more then simply Foe.
All three Malakai soldiers were now in the room. One of the smaller ones carried a sleek, scoped rifle, Avenger, Mk VII, Malakai Trans-galactic, Armaments Division. Would you like to see the stats? which he put away across his back as he moved across the room, examining the readouts on the computer screens. The other Malakai was crouched next to the half opened doors, covering the way they came from his own assault rifle. Relentless Mark VI, Malakai Trans-galactic, Armaments Division. Would you like to see the stats?
Annoyed Lilo selected the 'do not assist with armament identification' check-box and moved deeper into the shadows, fear forgotten. She had to move out of there before they started doing sensor sweeps. And then she had to teach the AR rig to moderate these annoying popups.
Duct work was a bit more difficulty these days considering she was almost twice as tall as stitch was now but it wasn't exactly hard. Moving fast and stealthy like an intergalactic ninja on a mission from Dog, excluding bouts of dizziness when she had to take quick breaks, Lilo found herself in a junction between several air ducts, leaning against the wall. It was probably far enough and deep inside enough that she was safe for the moment. Promptly she was half lost in the AR interface trying to figure things out.
Luckily the interface was more or less similar to galactic standard and one she got used to navigating with her mind things went swiftly.
She was in 'non-critical' recovery and a lot of her systems were still calibrating. She had systems. They needed to calibrate. It was... Not something she thought she'd be dealing with. Not this soon.
She knew a little something about cybernetic and biological augmentation available on the civilian market and she would count as heavily augmented. Jumba said she had the genetic and mental predisposition to handling that sort of thing without ill effects.
He explained in detail one time when she was browsing tails with Stitch and laughing about how silly she'd look and how Nani would react if she came back with a fluffy tail.
She sniffed a little as she recalled that and then took a deep breath. No. She was fine. She was still a bit woozy but the diagnostic thingy was getting better and stuff was changing from red to yellow and green by the minute.
She had to figure out what happened, find Stitch, then kick butt, maybe blow something up. Like any other time. Yeah.
But first was going through the tutorial. Always read the manual. Especially for stuff plugged into your brain.