Crisis of Idealism: A Space Opera

The World is destroy. Nearly a thousand years later a sinister plot that could destroy all faith in a transcendental power is revealed. Will Good prevail, or will Evil gain power?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Inside the Beast

The Angle droped heavily to the surface of the docking bay inside the enormous ship. There was a resounding rining clang as the ship landed. It was dark inside the bay, there were no lights. Shadowy figures and shapes could be seen in the darkness. Jonathan could feel the vibrations of the great old ship through his seat. They sat in silence for about ten minutesbefore the vibrations underneath them stopped.
The lights came on and a large landing bay was revealed to them. The mysterious unmarked ships were resting in neat lines along the walls, hanging in a sort of rack. The bay passed ended in what looked like mighty metal doors. They looked as if they had long since degraded and would no longer open. They were far enough away that Jonathan theorised that they might well have been at the other end of the ship. Although some machinery seemed in good repair, there was a considerable amount of old rusted and broken machinery strewn about.
Strange things seemed to have happened to parts of the ship through the ages. Melted piles of metal refused on the surface, evidence of an accidnet of some sort - perhaps a crash of one of the unmarked vessles.
A group led by a very stern looking woman was walking towards the ship. She stopped where the crew could still see her in the port, but some of the men continued forward. Teh hatch was opened from the outside, and a gun was teh first thing through. An armored man followed looking carefully around him. He quickly scanned the four crew members. Jonathan noticed two things. The first was how professional this man looked, the second was that Norman seemed to have dissapeared again.
"Walk real slow" the man said. He stepped inside the ship and cleared the way to the door. "If I die, they blow up this ship." He kept the weapon trained on Grinder. "I want you out first. The rest of you follow, one at a time, real slow. Keep your hands where I can see them. If you try anything I will not hesitate to kill you." He kept the gun in his steady hands and watched as Grinder slowly moved out of the ship.
Marcelle looked levely at the man. She pointed at Andy and said "He can't walk."
The man snapped his arms to point the barrel of the gun directly at Marcelle's forehead. "Did I say you could talk?" He demanded.
Marcelle replied by pointing at Andy's leg. The man glanced down breifly and saw teh amputation. "Alright." He said, then mumbled something into a microphone in his armour. He looked up and said "You help him out the door."
Marcelle and Andy were out the door next. Jonathan was the only one that remained. The gun was trained at his head. Moving slowly towards the hatch, he moved through the ruined Angel. He stepped down onto the ground and was met by a squad of six people, lightly armoured compared to the man inside the ship. None of his shipmates were in sight. The squad quickly looked him over and one ran a sort of machine past him that he did not recognise.
One of the squad turned towards the stern looking woman and said "He's clean."
The woman looked at him for a moment, then said "Take him to a cell. Make sure its not near his companions."
Most of the squad boarded the Angel, put two people took him by teh upper arms and began to march him across the rusty floor of the cargo bay towards a staircase. It was beside an elevator that had lost it's cable and crashed to the deck.
They went up a floor and moved towards the relative front of the ship. Here things were a bit cleaner. By no means did it look fresh, but the metal was putting up a good fight agains the rust. It was a very stark environment. There was something very military about the ship.
Jonathan was led to a room with a solid metal door that looked new. There was a small barred window in the door and that was the only distinguishing feature about it. There was no handle on the outside or the inside, it was just a smooth flat surface that nestled to within a milimetre of the wall around it. It swung outward into the passageway. The interior of the room was funrished with a small bathroom and a cot. The furniture was moulded out of the same ceramic-like materiel as the walls, floor and roof. The room was white and very bright. Jonathan was pushed inside and the door swung closed as if on its own accord.
There seemed to be no escape. Jonthan explored the room fully, but found that there were no seams that he could try and pry apart. The few that there were were thinner even then his fingernails and would not budge apart, no matter how much force he applied.
Admiting that there was nothing he could do for the time being, Jonathan sat down on the cot. He eventually laid back and tried to sleep. He couldn't, it was too bright in the room. He sat back up, and began to pace. He was bored, but questions buzzed in his minds. Where did this ship come from? Why was it buried on an alien moon? Who were the people that had captured them? Why had they done it? Where were his companions? What was happening to them? What was happening to Marcelle? Jonathan worried about Marcelle. He stopped pacing and sat back down. A very deep unsetteling emotion passed over him as he though about Marcelle being kept by these people, whoever they were. He wanted to be with her at that moment.
Time passed, and eventually, Jonathan fell asleep. He woke up and looked around himself. There was no visible change in the room, there was no indication that time had passed. He might have slept for ten minutes or ten hours, he didn't know.
Jonathan could, however a voice in the hall. It was Grinder's. He was talking animatedly to the guards . "Where are you taking me? Where? Where are my friends? What is this place?" The questions just slipped out of his mouth. He showed great concert for his companions.
Grinder passed Jonathan's cell and Jonathan called out to him. "Grinder!"
"Quiet!" one of the gaurds said, and he beat Grinder with a club. "Don't talk to the other prisoners."
Jonathan watched the guards travel down the corridor with Grinder as long as he could. Eventuelly, they passed out of sight.
It was over an hour before he returned. Jonathan heard three people walking down the hallway. He stood up and looked out the window and saw Grinder walking freely down teh hall without the guard's hand son him. When he passed the cell, he looked up and had a horrified look in his eyes. He just shook his head a few times, and then looked down at his feet and kept walking.
The guards passed by again soon with Andy. He was leaning heavily on the two men and hopping down the hall as best he could on his one leg. He gave a brave grin when he saw Jonathan, but didn't say anything as he went. Andy was also gone for some time, but when he returned he was making no effort to walk freely down the hall. He was begin carried by the two guards and his foot was dragging behind him. His head hung down and he didn't even seem to move.
Marcelle soon passed by excorted by the two guards. She stared breifly into Jonathans eyes before being shoved forward and moved along. When she came back from whatever was at the end of the corridor, there were tears on her face. She look upset, but she was still apparently enough of a threat to be manhandled by the guards.
It wasn't a minute before the door of Jonathan's cell swung open. One of the guards motioned for him to step forward and grabbed his upper arm. The other moved in on his other side and grabbed his other arm. They walked him down a series of corridors to a wide double door that perhaps used to slide open on its own accord. Under all the grim, stains and rust, Jonathan could just make out a familiar looking logo, surrounding four very important letters: USNA. handles had been welded on the doors, and the gaurds wrenched them open with a sqeeking sound. They led Jonthan into what once might have been a conference room of sorts. It reminded him vaugely of the hall of Elders on Port Orpheus, only that the wooden table here was rotten and crumbled when touched.
A grisly, skinny, bald old man sat in one of the chairs. He looked up from a pad of paper he was holding in his hand. Hand written notes were take on it, Jonathan could see that, but the language didn't look familiar. The old man looked Jonathan up and down and said with a suprisingly clear voice "Ah, Jonathan Brooke. Welcome to the Beast. It is my home." The man was speaking english, but it didn't sound write. The inflections on the words sounded different than Jonathan was used to.
"You know who I am," Jonathan said as the gaurds released him and walked out of the room. "So I think I have the right to know who you are."
The old man looked at Jonathan critically. "Of course," he said after a moment, standing up. "Where are my manners? I expect you know me rather well, Mr. Brooke." The old man offered Jonathan a hand. "My name is Septimus. Septimus Jones."


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