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ZombieSplitter53's Island of Misfit Stories

Discussion in 'Role Play & Story Discussion' started by ZombieSplitter53, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Here I have a general thread in which I can post the various short stories I've done here or there, as well as store story and RP ideas and intros, and maybe a few bios. I would rather they be available for people to read than sit unused on my computer or phone. And who knows? Perhaps someone will be inspired by them, or ask me to one day start up a RP based on them.

    I would also like to open this thread up for discussion. I will talk about any ideas or thoughts on my postings. This can also to be a place to talk about things entertainment related. Movies, video games, cartoons, anime, and so forth.

    One important rule though; leave trouble at the door. No politics, no fighting, and no arguments (unless they're friendly ones, of course ;)) Naturally, if a bio is sad, than discussion will get a a bit sad, but otherwise, I want this to be a place of friendly discussion.

    Of course, that doesn't mean I only want positive criticism of my work. Feel free to rate my posts. It is the only way I'll grow. :oops:
     
  2. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part One

    Letting out the mighty yawn of an overworked student, Sora's bag slipped from her hand. Grasping Hitomi's arm for balance on the shaking subway car, she quickly bent down to grab it. With a chuckle, her friend asked, "What's wrong, falling asleep? You can't be working that hard with your grades."

    Grasping the overhead handle, Sora briefly stuck out her tongue. "If my grades were better, I wouldn't be so tired, duh."

    Standing across from the pair, Rei adjusted her glasses, and shrugged. "I've offered to tutor you more then once, you know..."

    "We tried that already, remember." Sora shook some dust off of her bag, quickly grabbing the handle again before she lost her balance. "It didn't work. I think it made things worse, actually."

    With a flat tone, Rei asked, "And who's fault is that? Maybe if you could put that controller down long enough to pick up a book..."

    Scratching her chin sheepishly, Sora stifled a sigh of relief as an announcement rang out for her stop. "O-Oh look... almost there! We'll have to talk about this tomorrow." With a sly smile, Hitomi started laughing, slowly at first, then hysterically. "What's so funny?!" Sora asked.

    "Maybe you should ask that American boy." Hitomi winked at Rei, who let out a laugh of her own.

    Sora looked away to hide her blushing cheeks. "I-I don't know what you talking about."

    "Please." Rei placed a hand on her hip. "I've seen the way you look at him. You've got a crush on him, don't you?"

    A wide smirk stretched across Hitomi's face. "So have you...you know, had any fun with him?"

    Her face beet red, Sora shouted, "It's not like that! Jake's family moved in next door, and my mom told me to help him out because he didn't know Japanese very well, and English is one of the few subjects I'm good at. That's it! Besides, he's seventeen. Why would he care about someone four years younger then him?"

    Hitomi and Rei exchanged a smile as the train slowed to a stop. "For you to say that, it sounds to me like you've thought about it." Rei placed her hand on Sora's shoulder. "Maybe you'll get lucky."

    "You...y-you two are perverts, you know that?!" Sora quickly exited the train before the door could fully open, the sound of her friends' laughter behind her bringing her blood to a boil. She stomped along, muttering angrily to herself. As she neared her neighborhood, though, her thoughts softened, and she wondered if Rei's words might have been more then just teasing. She looked down at her young body and sighs. "Yeah, right," she said to herself, "like he'd want a shrimp like me."

    As Sora neared her home, she slowed her stride. Goosebumps crawling over her, she couldn't help but feel that something was off. After a few moments, she realized the problem. It was too quiet. There were no people walking down the streets, no cars driving by, no sounds coming from the homes she passed, no laughing children in backyards. The unnerving feeling twisted her stomach more and more with each step.

    Sora opens her front door, noticing her parent's car in the driveway. As she closes the door behind her and slips off her shoes, she notes their shoes sitting in the genkan, and their missing slippers. As she steps forward, she hears nothing from within the home. "Mom?" She steps forward a few inches. "Dad? Are...are you home?"

    Placing her hand against the wall, she yanks it away, flinching in pain. Distracted by her uneasiness, Sora hadn't noticed the large, circular scorch mark on the wall. Feeling a bit panicked, she slowly steps forward. As she steps into the kitchen, she stops at the sight of an object peaking out behind the counter. It looks to be an arm, but charred and smoking. With a whimper, Sora's eye's start to water as she steps forward. She jumps at the sound of movement upstairs, letting out a shriek. The noise quickly cuts out, and the sound of rapid movement can be heard approaching the stairs.

    Frozen in terror, Sora suddenly feels a hand wrap around her mouth. She struggles as something drags her backwards into the food pantry. She wriggles, shakes, and kicks as the door closes. "Quiet!" Sora's eye's widen slightly at the familiar voice. She tilts her head up to see Jake's face, covered in sweat, his eyes rapidly darting back and forth. She calms down a bit, but jumps slightly as the footsteps enter the kitchen. Through the crack in the door, she sees a creature looking back and forth, it's body shriveled and grey, it's head bulbous, with eyes large and glassy. It swivels it's arm back and forth, what appears to be a weapon strapped to the wrist.

    Jake continues to hold his hand over Sora's mouth, squeezing her arm when she starts to shake violently and sob. So softly he barely makes a sound, he whispers, "I know you're scared, but you need to be quiet." The creature continues to scan the room for a minute before exiting the way it came in. After a few moments, Jake releases Sora. As she rubs her arm, Jake steps forward and glances into the kitchen. He kneels down in front of Sora, and whispers, "It's gone for now, but it'll be back. We have to..." Sora stares forward, a glazed look in her eyes. Jake lightly slaps her cheeks. "Sora! Listen, we can't stay here. You've got to snap out of it!" Unable to wake her from her daze, Jake lets out a sigh and climbs to his feet.

    Sora continues to stare at nothing, a thousand thoughts racing through her head. What is happening? What was that creature? A demon? An alien? Where are my parents? Who was that on the ground? Why was Jake here? What happened to his parents? What would have happened if he hadn't been here?

    The last thought finally brings her to her senses. She is terrified to find Jake gone. With a quivering lip, she steps forward, slowly opening the pantry door. "Jake?" she cries meekly. "I'm sorry, please don't..." She looks down a the charred body, now easier to see where she stands. To her horror, she recognizes the burned apron the woman wears. Letting out a shrill scream, she backs away, falling backwards into the pantry. The creature runs into view, and Sora screams even louder. Petrified, she can only stare and tremble as the creature approaches, slowly pointing it's weapon at her.

    Suddenly, the creature lets out a trilling shriek of pain. It looks down at the large kitchen knife sticking through it's chest from it's back, and slumps to the ground. Jake reaches down and takes the weapon from the creature's arm before running to Sora's side. "I'm sorry," he says, grasping her shoulders. "I was only looking ahead. I wouldn't leave you, I...what's wrong?"

    "M...mmmmom...." Sora starts sobbing, glancing into Jake's eyes with a pleading look.

    Jake glances behind him, his eye twitching in anger at the sight of the nearby body. Turning back, he says, "Sora, I'm so sorry, but we need to go."

    Suddenly, a male figure steps into the doorway on the other side of the room. "D...dad?" Sora asks with a hopeful tone.

    Jake glances back briefly. "Sir, we need to get out of here. This monster attacked your daughter, and I'm sure it isn't the only ARGGGGHHHH!!!!" Jake slumps to the ground. The man steps forward, tall, thin, and imposing. It levels an odd looking weapon at Sora, who can only whimper as the man removes his sunglasses. She looks into it's reptilian eyes as the world goes dark.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  3. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Two (1)

    Jake glances behind him, his eye twitching in anger at the sight of the nearby body. Turning back, he says, "Sora, I'm so sorry, but we need to go."

    Suddenly, Sora looks behind Jake, a hopeful look on her face. "D...dad?"

    Jake glances back briefly. Dad? Then who was that in the living room? He looks back at Sora. "Sir, we need to get out of here. This monster attacked your daughter, and I'm sure it isn't the only ARGGGGHHHH!!!!" Jake quickly raises to a sitting position. He looks around in confusion at his unfamiliar surroundings. He is in a large, open room, seemingly made completely out of metal. There are several pieces of equipment and monitors around him, vaguely reminding him of something he'd see in the hospital his father works for. There are four strange pods against the walls to his left and right, all but one containing a humanoid shape obscured by a thick, viscous green substance. "What...what the f...how did I..." Jake starts to hyperventilate, and forces himself to lay back down.

    After a minute of taking several deep breaths, he moves to get back up. He's surprised to find he can't move below the neck. On the verge of panicking once more, he tries to sit up again. He is able to move his upper body again, but can't move his legs. He looks in bewilderment at the strange blue field covering his legs, as well as the one that occasionally flickers on and off where his upper body had been. Realizing he's on some kind of examination table, he looks at a monitor attached to it. It sparks and flickers, as though damaged. He taps on it randomly for a few moments before the field around his legs turns off.

    Quickly climbing to his feet before the machine changes it's mind to release him, Jake looks back and forth, unsure of what to do next, and shivering as the cold room doesn't agree with his nude body. Noticing a large, red bin marked "Waste Disposal", he takes a step forward, and his legs immediately buckle under him. Barely able to catch himself, he sits on the floor, attempting to massage away the pains in his legs that make him feel like he's either been exercising for a year straight, or hasn't done so at all for a year.

    Jumping at the sound of an opening door, he quickly crawls behind the table and peaks over. Two creatures, nearly identical to the one in Sora's house, are frantically pushing buttons on several computers. They say nothing, but bob their heads as though they are speaking to one another. The image of Sora's mother burned into the back of his mind, Jake lets out a soft growl, and raises to his feet. Seeming to forget about the pain in his legs, he quickly approaches the creatures. Noticing him when he's only a few feet away, they turn to face him. Jake quickly plants his foot into the face of one, it's face caving in like a rotten pumpkin. The second raises it's weapon, but Jake slaps it away with ease. As the creature backs away in fear, Jake gives it a wicked smirk, asking, "What's wrong? Not so tough without your little toys, huh? Or when you're sneaking into peoples homes and attacking children."

    Keeping an eye on his opponent, Jake snatches the dead creature's weapon and points it at it's companion. "Now, I doubt you can understand my words, so pay attention." He points at the pods, then at the creature. He then points at the weapon, and then again at the creature. It slowly and cautiously steps up to one of the monitors and pushes a few buttons. Jake smiles as the fluid begins to drain from the pods. "Great, thanks. Now what to do with..." The creature stares intensely at Jake. "What are you looking at, ugly? I have...something...on...o-on......" An intense pain swirls in Jake's head. The world around him dims and grows fuzzy, and he feels as though his mind is about to explode. As he struggles to keep his arm from raising to his head, he can swear he hears laughter in his mind. Anger washing over him, Jake returns the creatures evil gaze ten-fold. His arm begins to lower, and points towards the creature. "I guess...I...win..." Jake fires, and the creature falls.

    Jake collapses to the ground, wiping the blood from his nose and trying to catch his breath. After the ringing in his head finally quiets down, he makes his way over to the pods, which have finished draining. He opens the red bin near them, taking a moment to look over the strange alien handwriting on it. I swear that said waste disposal in English a few minutes ago. Relieved to find an escape from hypothermia, he dumps out the contents and rifles through the pile of discarded clothing until he finds something that fits. He grabs a digital watch, curious about the time, and stares in confusion at the date; June 11th. He looks around until he finds another watch, which displays the same date. Three months? It's been three...how?

    Returning to the pods, he starts unlatching them and pulling out their occupants. A portly white man. A large, muscular Black man. A Hispanic man. Two Japanese teenage girls. As he pulls out the final two, a pair of Caucasian women, he finds his mind, and his eyes, wondering. He shakes his head violently. There's a time and a place for everything, and this is neither of those. Looking only as much as he must, he sizes out clothing for the women, and well as everyone else.

    As everyone comes around, Jake goes through the disposed-of items, looking for something useful. He finds a small knife, but nothing else. As he grabs the two alien weapons, one of the young girls lets out a yelp of pain. Jake turns to find her on the ground in front of the portly man. "Watch where you're going, you stupid little bitch!" The other girl runs between them, shouting at the man in Japanese. "You want some too?" The man raises his arm to strike her.

    As the man's arm comes down, Jake runs up and takes a blow to the shoulder. Flinching in pain, he shouts, "What the hell are you doing! They're children! And besides, if you took a moment to look at the girl's squinting, you'd know she can't see."

    "What do I care." The man crosses his arms. "If the oriental brat can't see where she's going, she can sit there until the grey's come for her."

    "Is there a problem?" Asks a deep voice behind him.

    "As a matter of fact..." He turns and raises his head, looking into the eyes of the imposing mountain of muscles behind him. He smiles nervously, and walks away without another word.

    The new man grumbles angrily, and walks up to Jake, who is kneeling in front of the girls, examining them. "Are they okay?"

    Jake nods. "Um, yeah, they're just scared. I don't blame them. And that prick isn't helping with matters."

    "Save your energy. He isn't worth your anger, and we have more to worry about."

    Jake nods in agreement, and stands up. "Watch them for a minute, will you." He walks over to the pile of objects.

    Flashing a cautious smile, the man says, "You two alright? My name is Duncan. Can, uh...can you speak English?" The girls share a look, and one of them lifts her hand, holding her thumb and index finger close together.

    "It's alright, I can translate for them." Jake returns with several pairs of glasses. The near-sighted girl looks at several of them, smiling at the sight of a red set. As she puts them on, Jake gives her a curious look.

    "Everything okay?" Duncan asks.

    "Hm? Oh, yeah." Jake climbs to his feet. "She just looks familiar. They both do. I think they might have been friends with my neighbor."
     
  4. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Two (2)

    Nodding, Duncan says, "Alright. Well, we need a plan of action. We can't stay here." He walks towards the rest of the group, and in a louder tone, says, "Alright everyone, I doubt we're safe here, so let's keep the introductions short and sweet. I'm Duncan, and this is Jake."

    He looks at the Hispanic man, who says. "Victor. Pero no puedo hablar Inglés."

    "Está bien," Duncan responds. "Puedo traducir para usted."

    The rest of the group introduce themselves in turn. Alice, the blond haired woman with a slight British accent. Alexandra, the black-haired woman with a thick Romanian accent. Frank, the other man. Rei, the girl with glasses, and Hitomi, her friend. Stepping forward, Jake says, "I got a hold of two weapons from our captors. Does anyone have experience with firearms?"

    "I do." Duncan takes one of the weapons. "I'm a cop, or at least I was until my city was overrun."

    "I, too, have experience." Alexandra steps forward to claim the other weapon. "This assumes these weapons are same as weapons I have used." She takes aim at one of the alien bodies, firing at it. She smiles. "Close enough."

    Duncan chuckles, and says, "Alright everyone, take a few more minutes to rest up. Then we can start thinking of a way to get out of here."

    As he steps over to one of the computers, Jake steps to his side, and in a low voice, asks, "How did you know my name, Duncan? I don't think I told you it."

    Duncan smiles. "What are you talking about, of course..." Noting Jake's serious look, he drops his smile and asks, "Jake, um, let me ask you a question. How many times have you woken up since you've been here?"

    Worry sweeps across Jake's face. "Well, I want to say this is the first time, but why do I get the feeling that's not right?"

    Duncan sighs. "Listen, Jake, from what I've seen, and from what I've heard from others, you were...for a lack of a better term, you were their favorite. Trust me, if you've forgotten everything, you're fortunate." Jake thinks for a moment, but decides it best to drop the subject. He turns his attention towards the computer as Duncan turns to the rest. "Alright, we better get out of here."

    "Why?" Frank steps forward. "Why should we leave? Why should we trust you?"

    Duncan rolls his eyes. "What are you talking about?"

    "What makes you think it's any safer out there?"

    "The base is under attack by someone." Jake rapidly types on the computer before him. "Maybe someone who can help us. But there's no telling when more of those things could come in here, so we're better off looking..."

    "How do you know that?" Frank looks at the computer. "How are you using that? There's no way you should be able to read that alien writing."

    "I...I, um..." Jake looks down at his rapidly typing fingers. "I don't know, I just...can. The alien writing looks...well, alien to me, but it's like there is something in my mind translating it for me."

    Frank shakes his head and gives Jake an angry look. "I saw them doing things to you. Putting things in, replacing things. How do we know you aren't..."

    "What did they do?" Jake looks back and forth in a panic. His companions avoid eye contact, with the exception of Frank.

    "These thing's medical technology is amazing if I can't even see the scar where the top of your head was removed." As Jake traces his hand along his head, Frank chuckles. "By the way, how are you feeling? Your breathing alright?"

    "Yeah it's fine, I..." Jake takes a deep breath. "I-In fact...it's better then ever. It's almost as if..."

    "Did you have weak lungs as a kid? Weak heart? Guess you don't have to worry about that any more, huh?" He nods his head towards the far wall. Jake spins around and stares at what appears to be a human heart and a pair of lungs in a large jar. As the implications hit him, Jake starts to panic. His breathing grows faster, and as he wonders how he is breathing at all, his breathing grows faster still. His eyes watering, Jake collapses to the ground, curling into a ball and rocking back and forth.

    As the girls run to Jake's side to comfort him, Alexandra steps forward. "That is enough, little man. What is it you try to prove?"

    "Don't you see?" Frank waves his hand towards Jake. "He's one of them. He's probably got a...a chip or something controlling him. And if Mr. Duncan here trust him, then he's a fool. And if the rest of you were smart..."

    "Smart like Frank?" Alexandra scoffs. "This sounds like redundancy to me."

    "Use your head, you sodding idiot." Alice kneels down by Jake and the girls. "They had us captured and contained. Why would Jake release us? Are you suggesting he plans to lead us into one trap after releasing us from another trap?" She smiles at Jake, offering him her hand. After a few moment, he wipes the tears from his eyes and excepts her hand, climbing to his feet.

    "Besides," Alexandra narrows her gaze at Frank, "Even if he is controlled, I would still rather side with this boy then long-winded Pulă."

    Victor gives Duncan a questioning look. The two converse in Spanish for a few minutes, before Victor gives Frank a dirty look and stands by Jake's side. Duncan laughs heartily, and slowly approaches Frank. "I guess you're outnumbered, Franky. You're welcome to go on your own, or you can stick with us. But if you decide on the latter..." He reaches out suddenly, grabbing Frank by the collar and lifting him into the air with one arm. He pulls him close to his face, and finishes, "...then I suggest you keep your mouth shut from now on." Frank nods nervously, and Duncan drops him.

    Jake smiles, and opens his mouth to express his gratitude, when the door on one end of the room slowly opens. As Duncan and Alexandra raise their weapons, Jake pushes the girls back and stands in front of them. Two tall men in suits step into the room. Duncan lowers his weapon and let's out a sigh of relief. "Boy, are we glad to see the cavalry." The pair of man exchange a nod, and raise their weapons.
     
  5. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Three (1)

    "...then I suggest you keep your mouth shut from now on." Frank nods nervously, and Duncan drops him. Jake smiles, and opens his mouth to express his gratitude, when the door on one end of the room slowly opens. Duncan and Alexandra raise their weapons, and Jake pushes Hitomi and Rei behind him. At the sight of the two suited men, the girls exchange a hopeful look. "Boy, are we glad to see the cavalry."

    The next few seconds feel as though they're happening in slow motion, a plethora of thoughts and emotions swimming through the girls' minds. Relief at the sight of their possible rescue. Horror at the sight of the weapons raising to point at Duncan and Alexandra. Anger at everyone's lack of caution. Confusion at the sight of a knife flying from Jake's hand. Surprise at seeing Jake run forward.

    The knife strikes the tall man aiming at Alexandra in the chest, throwing off it's aim as the two fire. Alexandra fires back, hitting her target, but taking a hit herself. After yanking the weapon from Duncan's hand, Jake shoves him out of the way, and the blast barely misses him. Knowing he can't count on his aim, Jake unloads, finally blasting the other opponent on the fifth shot.

    As the adrenaline wears off, Jake and Duncan run to Alexandra's side. Rei tries to look over them. "Is she okay? Do you think she..."

    "I don't know. Let's find out." Hitomi grabs Rei's hand and pulls her forward.

    "Won't we, ugh, be in the way?" Rei asks, but her impulsive friend ignores her.

    Duncan rips open the side of Alexandra's shirt and examines her wound. "Damn it. I can't believe I let my guard down like that. I'm sorry, I-I..."

    "Save your regrets, mister police man, I am not yet dead." Alexandra winces in pain. "But it does hurt like bitch."

    Noticing the girls approaching, Jake addressees them in Japanese. "Girls, we need you two to grab some cloths. Try to find something soft, something strong, and most important, something clean."

    The pair both nod, and head over to the pile of cloths. As they look for something to use, Hitomi hesitantly asks, "Do...do you think Jake is, um...you know?"

    Rei glances back at him for a moment. "I'm not sure. He looks like him, but I only saw him one or two times. And I'm not sure how common his name is." Hitomi sighs deeply. Reading her expression, Rei asks, "It isn't him you're thinking of, is it?"

    Hitomi shakes her head. "We've been friends since we were babies. She's like our sister. She is our sister, I just..."

    Rei wraps her arm around Hitomi's shoulder. "I know, Hitomi, but we can't think about it. We need to be strong. I'm sure they''ll need even our help." Settling on a clean looking cotton shirt, they return to the others.

    Duncan takes the shirt with a smile, ripping it in half and handing half of it to Victor so they can rip it into strips. The pair kneel down next to Jake, who is examining a strange device. "What's that?" Rei asks.

    "I, uh, I'm not sure." Jake smiles sheepishly. "I figured since we were in some sort of examination room, these things would have some kind of medical equipment. Something, I'm not sure what, told me this is what I was looking for."

    "Hey!" Alexandra looks at him, desperately trying to hide the pain she feels. "I hope you are not telling children anything to frighten them about me. I am fine. I only need bandage and aspirin, and I will be good as new."

    "I know," Jake smiles at her. "Luckily that weapon cauterized the hole it put in your side for us."

    "You are funny man." Alexandra narrows her eyes. "I remember your jokes when I am kicking your ass later."

    Jake nervously turns his head from her. He notices Hitomi's nervous look. Returning his attention to the device, he asks her, "Is everything okay?"

    Hitomi jumps, having been lost in thought, and puts on a forced smile. "Y-yeah, of course. I, um...I was just wondering..."

    "Yes?" Jake raises an eyebrow.

    "I, um...do you...did you know who, um...have you..." Hitomi trails of, too afraid to ask her question.

    Coming to her friend's aid, Rei says, "We were just wondering...how you knew about those things." She gives Hitomi a reassuring smile, and gets a nod of gratitude in response. "Yeah, that's it. Everyone else dropped their guard, but you reacted right away."

    Jake chuckles ironically. "Yeah, Frank asked me the same thing. He doesn't trust me, after all." His eyes momentarily dart at Frank standing guard by the door the tall men came in, fanning at them with a metal tray in an attempt to blow away the noxious gas that seemed to seep from them upon death. "Truth is, one of those things is the reason I'm here. I dropped my guard because I was helping my neighbor, and she mistook it for her father. Not falling for that again. Fool me once, shame on you. Try to fool me twice, I throw a knife into your chest."

    Hitomi and Rei exchange a hopeful glance. "Your neighbor? Then does that mean..."

    Before she can finish, the device lights up. "Finally!" Jake turns to Alexandra. "Are you sure about this? We can't be sure..."

    "It is fine." Alexandra moves her hand from her wound. "I am of little use as I am now, so we either try this, or I am left behind. Maybe both."

    As Jake moves the device towards Alexandra's side, Rei grabs his wrist. "What are you doing? You said you weren't sure what that is. Aren't you going to test it first?"

    Jake shrugs. "Yeah, I'd like to, but who do I test it on? I hate to say it, but the best person to test it on is somebody who..."

    "No, I mean," Rei looks around the room. "You said this was some kind of medical examination room, right? Surely there is something we could use."

    "Oh! I know!" Hitomi jumps up and grabs Rei's hand. "Come on. I have an idea." The two run over to the other side of the room. "Here we go."

    "What do you mean? Where?" Rei looks back and forth in confusion.

    "What do you mean, what do I mean? You grab the wrong glasses? Right here!" Hitomi runs up to one of the small grey aliens, and grabs it's leg.

    "What are you doing!?" Rei looks at the creature in disgust.

    "It was your idea. We need a test subject, and here it is." Hitomi starts dragging it. "Man, it's heavier then it looks. You gonna help, or just stand there?"

    Rei lets out a whimper. She grabs a discarded shirt, and she wraps it around the creatures other leg. As the pair drag the creature towards Jake, Rei continues to moan in disgust. "Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew..."

    Hitomi chuckles. "Come on, stop being such a prissy baby."

    "PRISSY?" Rei flashes her a dirty look. "Prissy is when I didn't want to dissect that owl pellet in school."

    "Same thing."

    "Are you mad?" Rei's look changes to one of annoyance. "We're dragging a dead, extraterrestrial...thing across a room, leaving a trail of blood behind us. How is this the same thing!"

    "A daikon is big and white, but it's still a radish, right?"

    "Great. So when we get out of here, I'll give you a nice, red radish to throw at me and then I'll throw a daikon at your head, and we'll see if it's the same." The pair reach the others. Duncan and Jake exchange a few words, and they both start laughing. "What's so funny!?"

    Jake shakes his head. "We were just saying that we're sure everyone's hungry, but maybe you should find something more practical."

    Rei's face reddens, and she angrily places her hands on her hips. "W-w-what are you...we...we don't want you to eat it, I...we..."

    "Relax," a laughing Hitomi interrupts. "They're joking."

    Rei turns her back to the rest, folding her arms together. Jake turns the device towards the body, saying, "This was a smart idea, you two. Really, thank you." Rei let's out a 'hmph', but a smile creeps across her face. Jake spends the next several minutes testing the device on the body, and after nearly melting it's arm off, he figures out how it works. Using it on Alexandra, he asks, "Any better?"

    Alexandra places her hand on her side. "Surprisingly, yes. I am not at one hundred percent, but I think I can walk."

    As Duncan places their makeshift bandages on her, Alice runs over from the door she had been guarding, opposite the one the tall men had come in. "Is she okay?" she asks in a low voice, "Because we need to leave. Now. There are three of those things outside the door, and they have this really big, beefy creature with them. I'm sure they'll be coming in here any minute now."

    The group quickly finish bandaging Alexandra and head for the door by Frank. Jake yanks the knife from the creature's chest and offers it to Frank, who accepts it. With the grey creature's weapon still holding ammo, Jake peaks out the door. Finding nothing, he nods at the others, and they quickly but carefully file out, Duncan and Alexandra watching the front and rear of the group with the tall men's rifle-like weapons.

    The group move slowly and methodically, stopping every few paces and at every turn or doorway to look ahead. At several instances, they wait for minutes at a time in hiding for the creatures to run by. All the while, Hitomi and Rei keep their hands clasped tightly together. Hitomi occasionally gives Jake a questioning look, but Rei shakes her head, whispering, "Not now."
     
  6. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Three (2)

    After an hour and a half, they approach a large barrier made out of energy. Jake looks it over, thinking out loud, "Now what do you suppose this is?"

    Stepping to his side, Duncan says, "Maybe it's a door. Question is, can we open it, and can we do so slowly and quietly."

    Jake takes a look at a nearby monitor. "Um...it looks like yes to the first, but I'm not so sure about the second. I think we can just touch it, but it'll probably open completely.

    "And without knowing what's on the other side..." Duncan grumbles in frustration.

    "Should we turn back?" Frank asks. "Maybe we can try that other door."

    "And lose all the progress we made?" Alice looks down at the girls. "And besides, these two look tired."

    "I am hating to admit this, but I am not feeling so good either." Alexandra sits on a ledge, lightly grasping her side.

    "One of us will have to open it while the others take aim." Duncan stands in front of the door. "Everyone stand to the sides. I'll..."

    "I'll do it!" Rei steps forward.

    "She means 'we'll' do it." Hitomi grasps her hand.

    "Like hell you will!" Duncan reaches forward to push the girls aside.

    Rei slaps his hand away. Struggling with her English, she says, "You are too big. We are little...um, small...smaller. We open door, there things that shoot, they miss us. They don't miss big man."

    Jake frowns. "I...I'm afraid they're right. It makes the most sense."

    Duncan grumbles. "I don't care for using children as bait to save my own hide." He paces back and forth for a minute, but finally nods. He helps Alexandra to the side, and hands her weapon to Victor, briefly showing him how to fire it. They take positions on either side of the door, and Jake stands behind a low ledge near the doorway, nodding at the girls.

    As they step up to the door, Rei mutters, "You know we don't have to both do this. Kinda stupid of you, don't you think?"

    "Shut up." Hitomi smiles. "We do this together. Okay?"

    Rei nods. Together, they reach out and touch the energy door. It vanishes in an instant, and three greys, two creatures hovering in the air, and a huge, bulky creature in red armor, turn their heads, then their weapons. Rei and Hitomi drop to their knees as Duncan, Victor, and Jake unload into the room. In a flurry of gun fire, the grey's and one of the floaters drop before they get a shot off, and the second floater falls after only firing twice, both shots going wide over the girls' heads. Duncan raises his hand and the firing stops. The group wait, silent and still, for the dust to settle.

    With a mighty roar, the large creature runs out, wounded but very much alive. The wide eyed girls look up at the creature, too petrified to move as it lifts it arms to strike them. As it's arms come down for the killing blow, Frank runs forward, and stabs it in the hand. Bellowing in pain, it backhands Frank. As it attempts to pull the small knife out with it's massive fingers, Jake leaps onto it's back, points the weapon at it's head, and blows a hole into it.

    The group gather around Frank, who slowly sits up with a grown, rubbing his arm. "I'm fine, I'm fine, I..." He looks around at their curious stares. "What are you all staring at? What, just because you think I'm an 'asshole', and you might be right, you automatically assume I'd just let two kids die if I can do something about it."

    Duncan smiles, and helps Frank to his feet. "Maybe, but you've proven us wrong. Good job." He glances into the room the aliens were in. "Come on. We can rest in there."

    The group file into the room, dragging the big alien in with them, and Jake fiddles with the door until he closes it. After taking a few minutes to thank Frank for his heroics, the two girls walk over to Jake. As soon as he sees them approaching, he nods for them to follow him into a side room, dimly lit by the soft glow of three green, humming lights in the back. Once there, he asks, "What's wrong, you two?"

    Hitomi shakes her head. "I...what do you..."

    Jake raises his hand to quite her. "Something is wrong. I've noticed you glancing at me for the past hour. I commend you for holding your tongue until now, but I think if you have something to ask me, now is..."

    "Where's Sora?!" Hitomi blurts out.

    Rei places a hand on Hitomi's shoulder. "Stop, Hitomi, we don't even know if we have the same Jake."

    Jake droops his head. "You, um...you do. I thought you two might have been her friends, but I was afraid to say anything. I was afraid to...to face you."

    The color drains from Rei's face. "Does...d-does that mean she...she..." The girls eyes start to water.

    Jake steps forward and says sternly, "No! I didn't say that! The last time I saw her, she was fine, and if they took me alive, then she might be alive too."

    The pair calm down a bit. Hitomi asks, "Then why were you afraid to say anything?"

    Jake sighs and sits against one of the walls. "Because I saw you at her house all the time. Because I'd heard how close you three were. Practically sisters, if not closer. How could I face you, knowing I...I failed to protect her? I failed her, I failed her parents, I failed my par..." Anguish washes over his face. "My...parents...my brother...I...couldn't, I.." Jake falls silent, placing his head in his hands, the weight of their plight hitting him full-force for the first time.

    The girls walk in front of him. Searching for something to say, but finding nothing, they take a seat by either of his sides, and place their heads on his shoulders. The trio sit in silence for a moment, before Hitomi says, "Thank you."

    "For what?" Jake asks, not lifting his head.

    "For protecting us. All of us." She gives him a reassuring smile.

    Jake shakes his head. "What are you talking about, I didn't..."

    "Of course you did!" Rei nudges his shoulder. "You released us when you could have tried to escape by yourself. You defended me when Frank was being a jerk. You saved Alexandra and Duncan from those things, and you stayed strong for all our sakes even after you found out...what they did to you."

    Hitomi nods. "Yeah, you should have seen the people on the train we were on. Pushing and fighting each other to escape the chaos, nearly trampling the two of us. When those things got a hold of us, we saw several people hiding that could have easily snuck up on our captors, no problem, but they couldn't be bothered."

    Jake lifts his head, and looks into the two's encouraging eyes. He smiles and nods. As the three stand up, Alice pokes her head into the room. "You guys okay? Duncan thinks we should get ready to move out."

    "Yeah, Alice." Jake pats the girls on their shoulders. "I just needed some help from our two little strategists here."

    "Well, why are you sitting in the dark? Afraid hitting a light switch would blow the room up or something?" Alice examines the wall for a few seconds before pressing a large, round button. The room lights up, and the group examines their surroundings. The color again fades from the faces of the two girls, and Jake stares, dumbfounded. "Dear.....God....." Alice mutters, and wraps her arms around her waist, suddenly feeling incredibly sick.
     
  7. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Four

    The room lights up, and the group examines their surroundings. The color again fades from the faces of the two girls, and Jake stares, dumbfounded. "Dear.....God....." Alice mutters, and wraps her arms around her waist, suddenly feeling incredibly sick.

    Before them sit three examination tables, the source of the green lights that had illuminated the room before. Each has someone laying motionless on them, a young man on the first, a middle aged man on the second, a girl in her early teens on the third. As Alice slowly approaches them, all her instincts insisting she run, but a morbid curiousity compelling her forward, she is for the first time grateful for her near empty stomach.

    The three bodies lay bare, in more ways then one. Each is split open from chest to hips, their inner cavities open. Alice and Jake walk in between the two men. The first is completely hollow, save for a bare ribcage, while the second is missing his digestive system. "He...he's still alive," Alice says as she stares at the man's heart, beating incredibly slow, as though in slow motion.

    "So is this one." Jake looks at a monitor by the first body.

    "How is that possible?" She looks in disbelief at the man's empty torso.

    "Something to do with this energy field, I guess." Jake's eye twitches in anger as he adds, "Probably to keep the organs they haven't removed yet fresh."

    "This is barbaric," Duncan says, having walked in with the others a moment before. "What is the point?"

    "Does this matter?" Alexandra looks back at the dead creatures in the other room with disgust. "To harvest, to study, to eat, it is all the same. They are monsters, and we are prey."

    "Maybe we should pull the plug," Frank says. "Put these people out of their misery."

    Jake shakes his head. "Far as I can tell, they're in no pain. Who knows how long they have. I say let them keep what little time they have left."

    "Then let's get out of here before I lose my cool." Duncan turns to leave, and the others follow.

    As Alice reaches the doorway, she turns and notices the girls still standing by the third body. Rushing over to them, she says, "Come on, you two, this is the last thing you need to see right now." The girls stay where they are. Figuring they didn't understand her, she kneels down next to them to try again.

    Alice is taken aback by their ghostly white faces and wide, petrified eyes. As tears fall from their eyes one after another, Alice cries out, "Jake! You better come here!"

    Jake runs back in. "What's wrong?"

    "I don't know. They look like they've seen a ghost." Alice talks slowly and softly to the girls. "I know this is scary, and I'm sorry you had to see this, but I promise you, we'll protect you." The girls continue to stand in silence. Frustrated, she says, "Say something to them, Jake, I can't speak..." Seeing the same ghastly expression on Jake, she asks, "What's wrong?"

    Jake swallows slowly, then darts over to the monitor, frantically typing, his fingers flying across the screen. He mutters to himself unintelligibly. Rei and Hitomi start to sob, and Jake says, "Come on. How do I fix this?"

    "What is he doing?" Frank asks, walking back in with the others.

    "I, um..." Alice looks back and forth between Jake and the girls. "I think they know this girl."

    "And?" Addressing Jake, Frank says, "I'm sorry for your loss, but she's gone, and we need to leave before..."

    "She's NOT gone," Jake shouts, stopping only long enough to send a cold look at Frank before going back to the computer.

    "He means there isn't anything you can do for her." Alice places a gentle hand on Jake's shoulder. "Who is she?"

    "She, um...she's my neighbor." Jake shakes his head. "Well, was my...she's also important to..." He nods his head towards the two sobbing girls.

    Trying to choose her words carefully, Alice says, "Jake...honey, I'm sorry. I know you want to help her, but we don't even know if she's...all here."

    "She is." Jake points to the screen, but remembering the others can't read it, goes back to typing on it. "According to this, she was prepped for harvesting, but they'd only had time to...t-to open her up. They must have been interrupted by whatever is going on before they could go any further."

    "Look, Jake." Frank steps forward, a serious look on his face. "If nobody here wants to tell you the difficult truth, and I have to play Devil's Advocate, then so be it. It's really noble of you to try to save their friend. You're a better man then me. But how sure are you that you're reading this stuff right? And even if you are, that doesn't mean you'll be able to interpret it, and even if you do, how long will it take to fix her, assuming you even can."

    Duncan looks down at the girls. "He's right, I'm afraid. Sometimes you have to make the tough choices, the one's that hurt now, but are the right ones for later. These girls won't do that. They can't. And they won't leave without you. So you have to make it for them."

    Jake shakes his head feverously. "No. If it bothers you so much, then leave, and take them with you. Kicking and screaming if need be. But I'm not going anywhere when I can do something, no matter how remote the chance."

    Alice grabs Jake's wrist. "Jake! Stop this! All you're doing is..."

    "What if it was Peter!?"

    Alice's eye's widen. She releases Jake's wrist. "What?"

    "What if it was your brother, Peter?" Jake turns to Frank. "Or Charlie?" He turns to Duncan. "Or Phoebe? Try a little empathy. Would you be asking me to leave them if they were the one's laying here?"

    "How do you know my brother's name?" Alice asks. "How do you even know I have a brother?"

    Jake's eyes dart back and forth in confusion. He returns his attention to the computer. "I...I-I don't know. I'm sorry. I don't know a lot of things that I know, if that makes any sense. All I know is, if there's anything I can do..."

    "Then you need to try, right?" Alice gives Jake a nervous smile. He gives a nod of gratitude, and Alice runs out of the room, returning with one of the alien weapons. "It doesn't look like we can convince him, and I'm not going to leave him here defenseless."

    Duncan and Frank exchange a look. They shrug, and Duncan says, "We'll go watch the doors. Make it as quick as you can."
     
  8. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Four (2)

    After a few minutes, the machine comes to life. A half dozen mechanical arms get to work, pushing Sora's bisected torso together. Glancing over Jake's shoulder, Alexandra says, "This is very impressive. For one so young, you are quite the skilled doctor."

    "Doctor? No." Jake's finger's dance across the screen. "But I was practically born with a computer in my hands. Granted, I couldn't get into this computer if I couldn't somehow read this weird language, but that not being an issue for whatever reason, everything is automated. I child who could read the language could figure out how to operate it."

    "Then it is good thing we have you, my child?" Alexandra smiles, and Jake gives her dirty look. "What? I can not be funny person too?"

    As a device spreads a viscous, purple liquid over Sora's torso, and a laser slowly traces the wound, the girl's watch with anticipation, the color having returned to their faces, a hopeful look in their puffy, still-tearful eyes. In a low tone, Alice asks Jake, "Is it okay for them to get their hopes up? How sure are you that this will work?"

    "Um." Jake thinks for a moment. "Sure enough to try, but beyond that..." He gives her a nervous look. "Listen Alice, about what I said...you know, about your brother. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have used him, or anyone else's loved ones, to manipulate everyone."

    Alice smiles. "It's okay. You were right. I was just surprised, is all. How did you know about him?"

    "Like I said, I'm not sure." Jake scratches the back of his head. "I just have this information, and I don't know where it came from. Sometimes it's just there, but sometimes, I feel like someone is telling me it. Like a voice hidden in the shadows."

    "We've got trouble." Duncan runs into the room. "Something is trying to open the door. Whatever lock you set up on it is keeping them out, put I'm sure it's only a matter of time until they figure out how to unlock it, or they..." The door explodes in a flurry of fire and sparks. Everyone takes cover behind tables and on either side of the doorway. The creatures can be heard scuffling in the other room. Looking around, Duncan asks, "Where's Victor?"

    A moment later, Victor walks into the room, slowly and mechanically. On the right of the doorway, Frank raises an eyebrow. "Victor! What are you doing? How did they not see you? Get down." Victor swirls around, and stares at Frank, a light purple glow in his eyes. A moment later, a hail of green energy blasts punch through the wall behind Frank, Frank himself, and Victor.

    Duncan and Jake quickly grab their fallen comrades and drag them to the back. Duncan and Alexandra take positions near the door and start firing. Jake examines Victor, but shakes his head in defeat. Alice looks over Frank. "Oh God, Frank, I...I don't know if I can stop the bleeding."

    "Shit." Frank coughs roughly, spraying blood. "D-don't...waste your...time. I'm finished."

    Jake gives Frank a look of one lost. "I'm sorry, Frank. This is all my..."

    "Bull...shit." Frank weakly lifts his hand, pointing his finger at Jake. "No guilt, understand. Charlie...my son, I never did a thing for him. I was too busy with work. And he never asked for anything, except once." Jake moves to interrupt him, but Alice shakes her head, and nods for Frank to continue. "All he ever wanted was my approval of the girl he loved...a delicate thing from poor side of town. But I didn't even give her a chance, just because she was poor. I threw her out, and my son followed without hesitation. That was two days before the aliens attacked." After another fit of coughing, he places a bloody hand on Jake's shoulder. "I failed him. If giving my life, the life of an old fool, is in exchange for saving the life...l-life of an innocent child, then...then I'm...I....."

    Frank's arm slumps to the ground. Alice closes his eyes. She takes a deep breath, and takes the weapon from Frank's side. Patting Jake on the shoulder, she hands him the weapon, and the two turn to join the others. At the sight of the seven creatures pointing their weapon at their colleges, they drop their guns and raise their hands.
     
  9. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Five (1)

    [Why would they lock it?]

    "Use some common sense, four." Noah rolls his eyes, an action he's grown to enjoy using, particularly with his more incompetent associates. "They didn't. It's the intruders." He types on the computer, and pulls up the holographic security displays. "Hm...unless the human's have become lax on their uniforms, these are likely escaped subjects. You would think our equipment would be able to contain a few, unarmed humans during a simple attack."

    [Um, sir...why are you talking to yourself?]

    "You'd be surprised at the odd traits I was expected to develop to aid my infiltration. I assure you, twelve, it is one trait I look forward to dropping when we are finished here." He turns to the Muton behind him. "Open it. Your way."

    The Muton laughs deeply. As the rest of the group take cover, it sticks a grenade to either side of the doorway. It joins the others, and presses the detonator on the computer in it's arm's armor.

    As the smoke starts to clear, the Mutons leads the charge into the room, Noah casually taking the rear. He looks down at the bodies of several Sectoids, Floaters, and a Berserker. "Hmph. Such a waste." Using hand signals, he orders the three Sectoids to check the east side of the room, and the Berserker and two Mutons to investigate the west side. As they do so, Noah hears a noise coming from a nearby table.

    Noah leaps up to ceiling, and quickly makes his way over to the table. He quietly lowers himself on to it, and slowly peaks down. Finding a human cowering, he smiles, and uses his rifle to poke the human in the back. It jumps out, and runs straight into the arms of one of the Mutons. As it wraps it's hands around the humans head, Noah shouts, "Wait! Do you have no concept of tactics beyond 'kill everything'." He points into the adjoining room. "Kill it, and you're the one who searches in there. Alone." With a disappointed grunt, the Muton drops the human. Turning to the Sectoids, Noah says, "Three, would you kindly ask our friend here to give us a little peak in there."

    [With pleasure, sir.] One of the Sectiods steps forward, and purple tendrils of energy stretch from it into the human's head. In total control, it walks the human into the room. After a few moments, it points to the wall to the left of the doorway. [There is one there.] Before Noah can say anything to the contrary, the Muton's lift their weapons and pummel the wall.

    As fire is returned from the back room, Noah takes cover. "Stupid behemoths, never thinking ahead." Raising his voice, he asks, "Three, how many of them are armed? Where are they positioned?"

    [I do not know, sir. The human I was controlling was destroyed.]

    Again rolling his eyes, Noah dashes forward, coming to rest on the right side of the doorway. Realizing the human's are firing erratically and without discipline, he motions for the others to join him near the door. Then, when the firing momentarily stops, they rush into the room, and caught with their weapons either empty or overheating, the humans give up without a fight.

    Noah slowly scans the room, noting everywhere more humans might be hiding. Satisfied they are all where he can see them, he looks down at the two dead humans in the back. "Such a waste of perfectly good resources. But unavoidable, at least with the company I am forced to keep."

    "So," the largest of the humans says, "you can talk."

    "Indeed I can. And you have a penchant for stating the obvious, a common human trait." Noah smiles. "Oh, but where are my manners. I am afraid you would be unable to pronounce my real name with a human tongue, so you may call me Noah Smith."

    "Noah Smith?" The other male thinks for a moment. "Let me guess. You're some kind of spy for the United States, and you were given the most common first and last name in the country."

    Noah claps his hands together. "How observant of you. Very impressive. That is what I like about you humans. You might be a bit of an irrational species, somewhat redundant, and more emotion-driven then I care for, but you can be quite brilliant at times. You might be surprised how rare a decent level of intelligence is in the galaxy, even among so called civilized species."

    "If you like us so much, way are you doing all this to us?" The fairer of the two female waves her hand over at the examination tables.

    "I'm afraid some sacrifices have to be made for a greater good." Noah smiles. "This is why it is usually a bad idea for humans to name their lab animals." Seeing he struck a nerve with his last comment, Noah's smile widens. "Now, what to do with you. Your escape is impressive, and I look forward to reviewing the security footage, but the fact of the matter is, we can't leave you to run around in the middle of...the little problem we're having right now."

    The Berserker let's out a roar and steps forward, eager to receive the order to destroy the humans. Craving it. The two smallest humans near one of the examination tables scream in terror. Noah turns to the Berserker and points out of the room, saying, "Did I tell you to frighten our guests? Go patrol or something. Just get out of my sight." The Berserker growls angrily, but follows orders. Looking back at the small ones, he asks, "These are children, yes?"

    The younger male shouts, "Yes, they are. Innocent children. And if you harm them in any way..."

    "Oh, don't be so dramatic." Noah kneels down next to the children, taking a moment to remember what language they would likely speak based on their appearance. "You two a quite interesting beings. Children, I mean. You see, I know what you are, but my associates here, I'm not so sure. The fact that you are female as well. You see, they've reproduced by cloning for so long, they have no concept of childhood. That big, scary thing I sent out? He was born that way, bulky and full of rage. I'm afraid he is the definition of brawn over brain. Honestly, he is only slightly more easy to control then a Chryssalid. I hope he didn't frighten you."

    The child wearing corrective lenses speaks up, saying, "They don't frighten us. Not as much as you."

    "Me? Interesting." Noah gives her a look of genuine curiosity. "Elaborate, if you don't mind."

    "At...at least we can see that they're monsters." The child gives him the coldest of stares. "You are a monster that hides that it's a monster, at least until it's ready to stab someone in the back. That makes you worse then any of them."

    Noah stands up, a big grin on his face. He turns to his companions and says, "Now did you hear that? Finally, someone who appreciates my kind and our potential. I like them. I think I'll keep them as pets." He turns back to the humans. "As for the rest...of...you..." Noah's expression darkens as he notices something he had missed before. Turning back to the Sectoids, he asks, "Four, what is that one doing here?"
     
  10. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Five (2)

    One of the Sectoids takes a nervous step back. [I'm sorry sir, but they all look alike to me. You'll have to be more specific.]

    Noah angrily walks over to one of the computer's and starts typing on it. After a minute, he smashes his hand against the wall. "Why was it scheduled for harvesting and destruction? Who put it on this list."

    [Sir, I believe Two-twenty-two-twenty-one was in charge here. Perhaps he was the one...]

    "Wrong! Try again." Noah pulls off his sunglasses and gazes at the Sectoid with reptilian eyes burning with rage. "It has some of the best potential for the cause we have seen in any subject we have found so far, a fact that has been documented. I am not brain-dead enough to believe two, or anyone else here, had the authority to schedule it for harvesting. But I know who does have such authority."

    The Sectoid takes another step back. [Please, sir, it is dangerous. It's capacity for psychokinetic growth is immeasurable. It is already as strong as this base's Commander, just from the small amount of stimulus it has received, and if it's growth rate is constant, it could even outmatch the Ethereals. If it ever tapped into that strength, it could easily destroy this base, single-handedly. I was only looking out for...]

    "That wasn't your decision to make. As the head of human analysis and research, it was mine. Now let me ask you a question." Noah leans in close, inches away from the Sectoid's face. "Let's say the Ethereals find out about this, and they don't agree with it. Do you think they'd take the time to find out who was directly responsible, or do you think they'd simply dispose of the head of the department for not preventing it? You know...me." The Sectoid looks away. "Did that cross through that bulbous head of yours. Perhaps it did, and was foremost in your mind."

    [I...I am sorry, sir. As I said, I was only looking out...]

    "Let me ask you a question, my intuitive friend." Noah stands up and turns towards the younger male. "When you look at this...this huge cranium on top of my colleague, what do you think of?"

    The male shakes his head. "I...don't know. A large brain? Intelligence?"

    "You'd like to think that, wouldn't you!" Noah suddenly shouts. "And while that may have been true at one time, I believe they have received so much genetic manipulation to their brains in an effort to amplify their psionic abilities, most of that intelligence has been lost, and that head leaves a false impression." Noah places a hand gently on the Sectoids shoulder. "Just remember that looks can be deceiving. For example, when you look at my skinny, gangly frame, would you believe I was strong enough to do this?"

    Noah wraps his hand tightly around the Sectoids throat. [Please, sir, don't!] With one, fluid flick of the wrist, Noah snaps the Sectoids neck, twisting its head 180 degrees.

    "I hate having to get my hands dirty." Noah brushes his hand on his side and turns to the others. "We're done here. Dispose of this one, as well as all of them, except the gifted one and those two. We have other things..." The Berserker runs into the room, bellowing loudly. "What is his problem?"

    One of the two remaining Sectoids steps forward. [Sir, he says he hears the infiltrators coming. They are about to break through the door. Should we take up defensive positions?]

    Noah sighs. "No. I wash my hands of this annoyance. Set this section of the base to detonate, and bring this fool with us. Where he failed in life, at least he'll make a decent scapegoat in death."

    [No.]

    "Excuse me?" Noah raises his weapon towards the Sectoid. "Are you defying me?"

    [N-no sir! That wasn't me.]

    [You won't hurt anymore people. Not like you hurt my friends, my parents, everyone here. No more.]

    Noah's eyes widen. "Destroy it!" He turns to the others, but they all clasp their heads in pain. An invisible force floods the room, pushing the humans to the side and Noah's troops into the adjoining room. As Noah tries to stand and get his bearings, he hears howls of pain behind him. Looking back, he sees his forces writhe in pain in a vortex of pure, black energy. With a snarl, he lifts his rifle and turns back towards the humans, and receives the fist of the largest human to his face.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Noah slowly comes around, the pain in his head making everything fuzzy. All around him, he can hear humans moving and speaking.

    "Looks like we missed one hellava party here."

    "You're gonna be okay. This base is ours."

    "Poor souls. Never stood a chance."

    "Careful. Don't let the children see them. They've gone through enough."

    "How did you do that. It was amazing."

    "That's just the thing. It wasn't me."

    "Sora, huh? That's a pretty name. Come on, let's get you something before anyone else sees you in your birthday suit."

    "Captain, this one is still alive!"

    "Yeah, and you have no idea how hard it was not to finish it off."

    "Well, it's a good thing you didn't. I know a certain doctor that'll be happy to see it alive. Bag it."

    The last thing Noah hears is the crackling of electricity before the world goes dark again.
     
  11. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Six (1)

    Commander Smith struggles to lift the huge stack of folders and papers without spilling them. He drops them into one of his desk's drawers in a desperate attempt to make his office look tidy before his video-meeting with the Counsel later in the day. The intercom on his desk buzzes, and a woman's voice says, "Sir, there's a Mr. Wiewiora is here to see you. He doesn't have an appointment."

    "Wiewiora?" He thinks for a moment, then touches the button on his intercom. "Yes, of course, send him in. I have some time." As the Commander throws a few last moment items into his desk, his guest walks in. "Aw, Mr. Wiewiora, come in. It's Jake, right? Can I call you Jake?"

    "Yeah, of course." Jake extends his hand. "And you're the base Commander?"

    The Commander gives Jake a hardy shake. "Yes. I'm Commander Joseph Smith, at your service." Jake's eyes dart back and forth. "Is there a problem?"

    Jake chuckles. "No, no, I, uh, I just know another Smith, and let's just say, he wasn't the nicest...'person' I've ever met."

    The Commander smiles. "I see. Well, it is a common name. Feel free to call me Joseph if your prefer. Or Joe."

    Jake scratches his chin nervously. "Wouldn't you prefer Commander?"

    The Commander takes a seat behind his desk. "Oh, no need to be so formal. You're not a soldier, after all, you're a guest. How are you being treated?"

    Jake sits in the chair in front of the desk. "Good. The civilian quarters are a bit crowded, but that you excepted me and the others when we had no where else to turn, it makes it feel like a five star hotel. About my...young friends."

    "Hm?" The Commander thinks for a moment. "Oh, of course. Don't worry about it, it's already been arranged." He leans over his desk. "I hope you appreciate the position it puts me in letting a seventeen year old boy bunk with three fourteen year old girls, even if said girls insist on it. Don't prove me wrong by doing anything...unsavory."

    "I understand, sir and I appreciate it...but there was actually somewhere else I'd like to bunk."

    The Commander leans back, giving Jake a frank look. "Let me guess. The soldier's barracks, right?"

    "So you have seen it?" Jake sits up straight. "Because it was denied. I was hoping you'd reconsider. I think I'm ready. I've seen these things firsthand. I've fought them. I know how they operate. And I'd like the chance to pay them back a hundred fold for everything they've done to me and my friends."

    The Commander taps his fingers together for a few moments. "Well...I can see you have the resolve, the spirit, and the courage...but I'm afraid the answer is still no."

    "What! Why?" Jake jumps to his feet. "I can fight! I might not have much experience, but that's what training is for."

    The Commander shakes his head. "I trust that you can fight, but experience is more important then you seem to believe. X-COM recruits the best of the best from around the world. There are few soldiers here that didn't prove their worth long before coming here. I really don't want to insult you, but if I must be frank, then so be it; there is no place in my army for a seventeen year old boy with zero combat experience."

    "Sir, with all due respect, I don't think you can afford to be so picky. I am an able-body man willing to fight, so why not let me fight."

    "Because, Jake." The Commander sits up, raising his voice slightly. "I am not in the habit of sending children out to die needlessly. I doubt your family would appreciate it."

    "My family is gone!" Jake yells. "Those monsters took them from me!"

    "All the more reason to keep you safe," the Commander yells back without missing a beat. "I don't think they'd want me sending you to them before your time. DON'T use me in some senseless act of suicide, because without years of training, you wouldn't last five minutes out there."

    Jake paces around the room, frustration teaming from him. "Why can't you understand that you don't have a choice!? Who cares how young I am? As long as I can hold a weapon, I always have a chance, and I might surprise you. How can you be the head of such an important war and not be willing to take a few risks?"

    The Commander rocks back and forth in his chair, biting his lip in thought. After a few minutes of thinking, he finally let's out a long sigh. "You're right. I've been told more then once that I need to be more lenient in my recruitment policies. If someone can hold a weapon they should be able to fight. And I did approve your two friends, the big guy and that Romanian woman. Hell, anyone who went through what you went through at that base should be more then qualified for duty, right?"

    Jake smiles. "So you except me? I'm in?"

    The Commander nods, and reaches for his intercom. "Mina? Send word to the fitters. We have four new recruits coming down there that need uniforms."

    "Four?" Jake gives the Commander a curious look.

    "The names are..." The Commander shifts through some papers. "Wiewiora, Jake, Takahashi, Rei, Tanaka, Hitomi, and Yoshida, Sora."

    "WHAT!" Jake takes a angry step forward. "You can't.."

    "The latter three are on the young side, but it wouldn't be the first time we've had a soldier that small. At least they'll save on material." The Commander sits back. "Alright Jake, you're all set. Do you mind picking the girls up on your way down to the fitters?"

    Jake slams his fist on the desk. "You're out of your mind! They're just children!'

    The Commander looks taken aback. "And? You said it yourself. Age shouldn't matter if you can fight."

    "That's different and you know it!"

    The Commander stands up. "Different? Those girls have quite the spirit, and they did make it through the same base escape that you did. Damn, this just makes me think of all the potential recruits I lost because I was so blind."

    "I...won't...let...you!" Jake practically screams.

    The Commander points a stern finger at Jake. "You can give me all the ideas you want, but at the end of the day, I am the Commander. Don't tell me how to do my job!"

    Jake reaches across the desk and grabs the Commander by the collar. "I swear, if you so much as think of putting a weapon into one of their hands, I'll..."

    Before Jake realizes what had happened, he finds himself face down on the desk, his arm twisted behind his back. Unable to move from the pain, he can only lay there, at the Commander's mercy. "I'll say it again." The Commander tightens his grip. "Don't tell me...how...to do...my job."

    The intercom on the desk buzzes. "Um, sir? Do you really want me to send those kids to get fitted?"

    The Commander's tone instantly softens. "Jake, do you mind getting that for me?" With his free arm, Jake hits the intercom switch, and the Commander says, "Of course not, Mina, don't be silly. I was just trying to prove a point."

    "I see," Mina responds in a tone that says she's dealt with this before. "I hope you've succeeded."

    The Commander releases Jake. The two take a seat, and the Commander asks, "So, did I succeed in proving my point?" Jake hesitantly nods, a sullen look on his face. The Commander sighs. "You know, I wasn't kidding about the "me being too lenient" thing. There are those on the Counsel of Nations that would have toddlers out there fighting, and they want me out of the picture. Luckily, there are also a few Counsel members that think I'm doing a halfway decent job, and as long as I have this job, no one will be sent out onto that battlefield unless they're fit to be out there."

    Jake let's out a frustrated groan. "So I'm useless. Just another homeless refugee stuck here, contributing nothing."
     
  12. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Six (2)

    The Commander shrugs. "Not necessarily." Pulling a small remote from his desk, he points it at the wall to this left. As a wall of monitors lowers into place, the Commander stands up and walks over to them. Looking at the screens displaying the security footage from across the base, he asks, "What do you see, Jake?"

    Joining the Commander, Jake answers, "Soldiers, sir. The best and the brightest the world over."

    The Commander nods. "Oh yes, I agree. Take Hernandez on the treadmill. Only woman in her recruitment class to reach an officer status, but she rose through the ranks, and not a single man was ever promoted ahead of her when she was considered." He points at the barrack hallway. "Johnson here is one of the greatest snipers of our generation." He points at the cafeteria. "Bryant here is skilled, loyal, and quite the swordsman. A man after my own heart." He points at the workshop. "Stone. Not much experience, but she was recommended by the Russian military directly, and shows great potential."

    "As I said, sir, the best and the brightest."

    "Indeed. There, pummeling the punching bag. Kasagi, I believe. Quite the skilled fighter, could be one of the best. She's also a hot head, is antagonistic to others, especially men, and the only reason she wasn't discharged for assaulting another officer is because said officer came to her defense."

    Jake scratches his chin nervously. "Well, um...they can't all be perfect going in, right. But with a little work..."

    "Jamison, in the shooting range. Likes to brag about how he put one of the two dozen notches on his knife's hilt for each person he's gutted with it. Shah. Doesn't even known he's secretly being investigated for drug possession. Romanov. Ex-Spetsnaz turned freelance mercenary. His skill with a rifle is unparalleled, but the people he used that rifle on haven't all been soldiers. Brown. Under probation for assaulting a doctor that came on to her a little too strong, and don't even get me started on said doctor. Van Dam, possible schizophrenic. Let's see, who else do I see? There's another mercenary...an arms smuggler...oh, his was on trial for rape and murder until the charges were dropped right before he was recruited."

    Jake stands silently for several moments. "I...I don't know what to say."

    The Commander turns to look Jake in the eyes, and smiles. "Don't get the wrong idea. I'd say at least half of soldiers here are the best they can be, and at least another forty percent only need a small push to reach their best. The hothead I mentioned? Word is she's acting as something of an unofficial counselor for a lot of the soldiers, including several she had previously fought with. The guy who had the drugs? If he keeps up this rate of improvement, he'll become one of my best medics. This is an organization developed by bringing together the entire world for the betterment of us all, and that brings out the best in us." The smile fades from his face. "But it only takes a few rotten apples to spoil the bunch. That's where you come in."

    "Sure." Jake nods. "I'll do what I can."

    The Commander smiles again. He walks over to the intercom. "Mina, can you get Haven for me?"

    "Right away, sir."

    Turning back to Jake, the Commander says, "How'd you like to do what you seem to do best; protect others."

    Jake lets out a nervous chuckle. "I'd hardly say I'm exactly good at protecting anyone. I couldn't protect my family, and despite my best efforts, I lost two people..."

    The Commander raises a hand to stop Jake. "What happened to your family is unfortunate, but we both know there was nothing you could do. And I've heard every side of what happened at the alien base from you and the others, and aside from you, everyone thought your actions were exemplary. In their eyes, you didn't lose two people, you saved seven, and I'm inclined to agree with them."

    "Sir, Sgt. Haven is here."

    "Good, Mina, send him in." The Commander walks over to Jake and places his arm around his shoulder. "You see, Jake, Lt. Marshall is our head of security here. Well, was our head of security. One of our other guest in the civilian quarters caught his eye, but she didn't care much for him, and...well, let's just say you can find him down in the brig if you want to hear his side of the story, but the evidence against him is pretty substantial." A man walks into the room, and the Commander waves his hand towards him. "And so, Jake, I'd like you to meet his replacement."

    "Sir?" Haven gives him a curious look.

    "Charles Haven, I'm promoting you to the rank of Lieutenant. In addition, you are now Chief of Security. Congratulations."

    Trying to hide his enthusiasm in order to stay professional, Haven says, "Thank you sir, I'm honored. Then, um, as my first act in my new position, I'd like to assign Freeman to take over my previous post."

    The Commander shakes his head. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't authorize that."

    Confused, Haven asks, "Is it not my job as head of security to assign such positions...sir?"

    "It is, and I know that Freeman would be the best choice any other time." The Commander rifles through the papers on his desk until he finds the one he's looking for. "But morale has dropped by 40% in the civilian quarters, and Freeman is under investigation for stealing from those very civilians. I'm afraid putting him in charge of the civilian quarters would only make things worse."

    Haven nods. "I...I see what you mean. Do you have any other suggestions." The Commander waves his hand at Jake. Again looking confused, Haven asks, "Him? Who is...isn't he the boy from that base? Sir, please don't misunderstand, I respect and trust your judgement, but he's young, and promoting a new recruit above all those other guards? Not to mention what...whatever they did to his head. I don't think the men would fully trust him. Are you sure you should?"

    The Commander slowly walks over to Haven and places his arm around his shoulder. "Haven, my boy, trust is what is important right now. It is why we are here today. It is why you are Chief of Security now. I'm sure you know there are a number of individuals that, based on experience and seniority alone, deserve this position more then you."

    "Yes sir, that is true. So why exactly are you promoting me."

    The Commander pats Haven on the chest. "Pay attention son, I told you. Trust!" Haven gives him a questioning look, and the Commander elaborates. "You see, I'm getting really tired of assigning "The Best" to all of these positions, only to have them turn around and take advantage of the people they are supposed to look after. There are some great people here, but as I was telling Jake, it only takes a few rotten individuals to ruin everything, especially in such a delicate organization like this one. And even if everyone here was perfect, what if the aliens find the base? Or if some of those Exalt...nut jobs infiltrate our ranks. Or already have. I need people I can trust, and I trust Jake, weird alien implants or not. If I didn't, he wouldn't be in this base, at least not outside a containment cell in the labs. Right now, the only one I trust more then him is...well, you?"

    Haven chuckles. "I'm honored sir."

    "You'll make a fine Chief, and with your tutelage, Jake will excel in his position as well." The Commander turns to Jake. "If that's okay with you, of course."

    Jake nods. "I'll do what I can, sir."

    "Good. Don't let me down. Haven, will you see to getting him set up? And don't worry about naysayers. Any you can't convince yourself can answer to me."

    "Right away, sir." Haven and Jake head for the door. As they exit, Haven places a head on Jake's shoulder, and asks, "So how did you do that vortex thing at the alien base?"

    "Well, that's the thing," Jake answers. "I'm not sure I was the one..." The door closes behind them.

    The Commander lets out a sigh of relief. Taking a seat in his chair, he grabs a thermos, takes a drink, and let's out a moan. Reaching for the intercom, he asks, "Mina, do you mind getting me some coffee that doesn't taste like pig slop?

    "Yes, sir. I'll see if I can find you some that taste like mud."

    The Commander let's out a disappointed groan, and gets back to work cleaning his office.
     
  13. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Seven (1)

    "What I don't understand is why we even need to go to school," Sora whines, walking into her room.

    The three girls thank the soldier that escorted them, and Rei shuts the door behind them. Turning to Sora, she responds, "Well, why wouldn't we? Think about it. If we were to lose this war..."

    "And that's a big if," Hitomi adds.

    "...then it won't matter either way, and if we win the war..."

    "She means 'when' we win." Hitomi adds.

    "...then we'll still be expected to have an education. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to be in High School until I'm in my twenties because it was delayed by a bunch of aliens with a superiority complex."

    Sora lets out a long sigh. "Yeah, I know you're right. But it's soooo boring!" She flops onto her bed and places her pillow over her face.

    "I don't know why you're complaining." Hitomi takes off her uncomfortable shoes and messages her sore feet. "Ever since we got here, your grades have been great. Even better then Rei's."

    "It doesn't make school any less boring," Sora mumbles from under the pillow.

    Rei sends Hitomi a nervous look, and gets one in return. Cautiously, she asks Sora, "How...how have been feeling? You're okay...right?"

    Sora tosses the pillow to the side and sits up. "I'm fine. How many times are you going to ask me that. It's been like, what, six weeks? And you've asked me that about a thousand times."

    "We just want to make sure you're okay." Hitomi sends her a nervous smile. "We're friends, and that's what friends do, right?"

    "I know, you know." Sora looks both of her friends in the eyes, and they give her a questioning look. "I mean, about what happened there. About the state you found me in." She places her clasped hands in front of her stomach and opens them to demonstrate.

    "Who told you?" Rei asks angrily. "It was Jake, wasn't it? How could he tell you."

    Sora shakes her head. "It wasn't his fault. I noticed how cautious everyone was being, so I forced him to tell me. Tricked him, really. Told him you guys you already told me. He was really mad when I told him you hadn't. But it's okay, you know. I was a little freaked out at first, but I'm in one piece now, so I'm fine. Understand? I'm okay, so please stop worrying about me. Other then that, we all went through the same thing. Same attack, same abduction. And we all lost...our families." The three girls sit in sullen silence for a moment. Sora then puts on a smile, and says, "But we have each other, right?"

    "That's right." Rei nods. "Alright, we promise we'll try not to think about...that anymore."

    Hitomi stretches. "Well, now that that's taken care of, I'm starving. Where's Jake? He's usually back by now, and I could go for some dinner!"

    "I don't know." Rei walks over to the door and peaks out. "He's usually back by now."

    Sora jumps to her feet. "Well, then, let's go look for him!"

    Shaking her head, Rei says, "We aren't supposed to leave our rooms unescorted. We could get in trouble."

    "Oh, you worry too much." Sora walks out into the hall. Spinning around to the others, she asks, "You two coming?"

    Rei and Hitomi exchange a glance. "Um." Rei scratches her chin. "Someone should stay here in case Jake comes back, right?"

    Hitomi nods. "Yeah, and I need Rei's help on...uh, some homework."

    Sora shrugs. "Alright, suit yourself. I'll be back. Have fun with just the two of you." Rei nods and closes the door. Sora raises an eyebrow. Why were they blushing? She shrugs again and starts down the hallway.

    After fifteen minutes of searching, questioning friendly looking soldiers and staff, all while avoiding or hiding from security and less savory looking soldiers, she notices Jake making his why down a hallway near the labs.
    Noticing her as she runs up to him, Jake folds his arms and, in a frustrated tone, asks, "What are you doing out here, Sora? You're going to get yourself, and me, in trouble."

    Sora flashes him her puppy-dog eyes, and in the most innocent sounding voice she can muster, says, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be bad. We were just worried when you didn't come home."

    Jake rolls his eyes. "You're act is improving. Keep working at it, and maybe it'll work on me someday."

    Sora smiles. "Practice makes purpose, right?"

    Jake starts making his why back to the room, Sora following closely by his side. "There was trouble by the labs. A dead alien was only mostly-dead, and it got up and attacked a soldier. I was asked to act on security while they cleaned up."

    Pouting, Sora says, "That's not fair. That Haven guy works you too hard. You've done such a good job, and he still treats you like a dog."

    "No, he doesn't." Jake ruffles Sora's hair. "I just have a lot to prove to the other security staff, and he's just making sure they know I can do my job."

    Sora grabs Jake's hand and pulls it off her head. "Well, that's fine if it's true. But sometimes, you're too nice for your own good. Keep that in mind."

    "I will." Jake moves to pull his hand away, but Sora keeps her hold in it. Shrugging, he asks, "So where are the other two? I'm surprised they didn't come with you, considering how inseparable you three usually are."

    "Yeah, well, the two of them had a talk with this one soldier that walks us back from class everyday, something they said they heard she knows all about, and ever since then they've been finding any excuse they can to be alone." She gives Jake a frank look. "You want to know why I think that is?"

    "Why?" Jake looks down at Sora, and reading her expression says, "Oh. Really? That's, um...that's..."

    "Gross, if you ask me." Sora chuckles lightly.

    Jake shrugs. "Well, times are different, you know. And if their happy..."

    Sora laughs loudly. "No, it's not that. It's just that Hitomi has lived with Rei ever since she lost her parents almost seven years ago. I always thought of them like sisters. And sister don't...you know."

    "Well, as people get older, feelings change. It's part of...of growing up." The pair walk in silence for a few minutes. Jake again tries to pull his hand again, but Sora only tightens her grip. "Uh, Sora? Why are you..."

    "You know." Sora interrupts. "After we had our talk the other day, I talked to Alice, down in the infirmary."

    "You did, huh?" Jake gives her a nervous look.

    "Yeah, and she told me something you left out." Sora wraps her arms around Jake's arm, and rests her head against it as they walk. "She said that most of the others gave up on me, even her. But she said you refused to. That you even told them to leave you behind. That was really sweet of you."

    Jake laughs nervously. "Well, um, Hitomi and Rei were scared, and I couldn't just..." Sora nuzzels closer to Jake's side, and he stops. He pulls his arm away from her, and kneels down in front of her, grasping her shoulders. "Sora, please. You need to stop this."

    "Stop what?" Looking into Jake's serious eyes, Sora scowls, angrily asking, "Why? What's wrong with me?"

    Jake shakes his head. "Sora, come on. You know it has nothing to do with that."

    "Then why!?"

    Sounding desperate, Jake answers, "Well, to start out, you're too young. You're only thirteen, and I'm..."

    "I'm fourteen now!" Sora practically shouts. Jake pulls her into a side hallway, away from prying eyes. "I had a birthday while we were in that hellhole," Sora continues, "And I'll have you know, we're only three and a half years apart!"

    Jake speaks in a quite tone, hoping Sora will do the same. "Be that as it may, you're still so young. Maybe three or four years is different for people in their twenties or thirties, but you're still just...just..."

    "A child?" Sora's volume stays as high as before. "So I'm not mature enough, is that it? Not some tall, big-chested bimbo? Well, I'm still growing. I've grown several inches, and I'm starting to fill out. Look!"

    Sora reaches down and starts to lift her shirt. Blushing, Jake grabs her hands to stop her. She suddenly leans forward and kisses Jake on the lips, but he pulls away. Raising his voice, Jake says, "Sora, that's enough. I know you're still growing, but it isn't just about a mature body, but also a mature mind. And how you're acting now just proves you aren't mature enough to make these decisions. You...you're acting like a spoiled brat. If you'd just wait until you older..." Sora slaps Jake hard across the face, her face beet-red with anger. Jake nearly yells at her, but instantly softens at the sight of the tears rolling down her flushed cheeks. "Sora...I'm sorry, I didn't mean..."

    Sora tears away from Jake, his pleas for her to stop falling on deaf ears. She flies past confused soldiers and staff members, her blurred vision causing her to bump into several of them as she tries and fails to wipe the tears from her eyes. Stopping to rest, she sobs loudly, until she hears two security guards yell towards her. As they run towards her, she ducks around a corner and through the first door on her right. In a room filled with people wearing lab coats rushing to and fro, she ducks under a desk. At the sight of the security guards entering the room, she crawls from one desk and table to the next, finally sneaking into a room in the back.

    Finally getting a grip on her emotions, Sora wipes the tears from her eyes. Good job, Sora, run away crying because he called you a brat. That'll show him you're mature. Stupid, so stupid. Sora looks around at her unfamiliar surroundings. She is in a large, open room, the clean, white walls and equipment indicating a lab environment. There is a single man near the door she came in, too busy watching half a dozen monitors and listening to what sounds like J-Pop on headphones to notice Sora.
     
  14. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Seven (2)

    As Sora walks towards the center of the room, wondering how she'll face the others, and how she'll get out of here without being seen, a voice behind her makes her jump. "Curious. I never thought I would see you again." Sora spins around to face the tall, humanoid creature in a suit, trapped in an alien-containment cell. "But then, in my position, I don't expect to see a lot of individuals."

    Sora looks at him in confusion. "How do you know me?" She looks at the containment cell. "You...you're one of the aliens, aren't you?"

    "I am." The alien bows slightly. "Your kind has taken to calling my kind 'Thin Men'. Quite unimaginative, if you ask me, but I suppose war-time isn't the best time for imagination." It looks Sora up and down. "You do not remember me?"

    "Were you the one that captured me? The one that...killed my parents?" Sora's eyes narrow.

    The Thin Man shakes his head. "No, I'm afraid not. I only know you from the base. Though that one was at the base. You can rest assured, unless he escaped, he was likely dispatched by your colleges."

    "Good!" Sora folds him arms and turns away. "I'm glad he got what he deserved."

    "Indeed." The Thin Man nods. "I'd imagine that brings some comfort to you. I only hope it eased some of your pain."

    Sora looks back in surprise. "Why...would you care? Aren't you our enemy?"

    "As I told your fellow humans; looks can be deceiving." The Thin Man again bows. "Even a monster like me knows of compassion. Of course, this only applies to a species like yours, one capable of having innocents."

    Sora looks up and down the cell. "Have you been here this whole time?"

    "Indeed." The Thin Man looks around at his cramped living quarters and sighs. "I was quite disappointed when I wasn't given top priority upon my arrival, at least until I finally received said priority. I've heard that your researchers have ways of probing the minds of their captives. It allows them to get us to talk, even when we are normally incapable of it. Of course, unlike my compatriots, I am capable of speech, so lucky for your base, they could use procedures that expend less resources to get what they needed from me. More enjoyable procedures too, based on how much they seemed to enjoy them."

    "What, like...torture?" Sora takes a step back. After a moment, she places her hands on her hips. "Well, I'm sure you didn't receive anything you didn't deserve."

    The Thin Man laughs. "Yes, this is no doubt true, though based on your expression and posture, I doubt you believe what you say."

    Sora raises an eyebrow. "How do I know you're not trying to trick me? Maybe convince me to let you out?"

    The Thin Man laughs even harder then before. "I am not foolish enough to believe you would have any ability to do so, nor would I expect you to do so?" It leans down, lowering its cracked sunglasses so Sora can see its reptilian eyes. "I admire your compassion, I really do. It is quite admirable. But do not let it blind you to the truth. We are the enemy." The Thin Man stands back up and slowly paces in his cell. "There are those among your people who would side with us. They see us as some source of salvation, or perhaps a way towards the future, but I do not enjoy the idea of accepting their aid. My...superiors disagree. They would claim to be above such things as pride, but I am not, and I suppose this is why my people are not in charge. Rather, my people aligned with them, and they used our adaptability to raise us as a species of infiltrators. Our people have changed skins so many times over the generations, few of us know what we originally looked like. We have become little more then pawns."

    Sora shakes her head. "I don't understand why you're telling me this."

    The Thin Man shrugs. "Perhaps I am simply bored. Perhaps these are the words of a being facing it's mortality. My point, little one, is not to forget why you fight. Despite what these people, these...EXALT would believe, this war only has three possible outcomes. Either we get what we are here for, we fail in this and destroy your species, or you win and destroy us. In all outcomes, there is no room for such individuals who would so readily sell out their own kind. If it were up to me, they'd be the first to go."

    Sora thinks for a moment, finally nodding in understanding. "So what happens now?"

    The Thin Man smirks. "They have what they want from me. I will be disposed of within the week."

    Sora's expression saddens. "But...you're no threat. They don't have to...dispose of you. Maybe if I said something, told them that you're not just some monster..."

    The Thin Man shakes his head. "Do not be so naive. They would never agree to this. And after what you've done, what you've become, the last thing you need to do is give them any more reason not to trust you, especially showing compassion to your enemy."

    Looking confused, Sora takes a step forward. "I don't understand. What do mean, 'what I've become'?"

    "You don't know?" The Thin Man nods in thought. "Then perhaps they do not either. Interesting."

    "Tell me." Sora places her handss on the cell. "What don't I know?"

    "I think it would be better if you found out on your own." The Thin Man raises a finger. "But in the meantime, I suggest you watch your temper. I have heard an expression on your world that I used to not understand; Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn. I know now what it means. I'd hate for such fury to be cast upon those you care for." The Thin Man turns his back to Sora and falls silent.
     
  15. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part seven (3)

    Sora waits to see if the Thin Man will speak again, but when he remains quiet, she steps away. She slowly walks towards the door, muttering to herself, trying to digest the alien's words. She is so distracted by her thoughts, she doesn't notice the door open. "Hey, what are you doing in here?" Sora jumps back and looks up at the young, green-haired, busty woman in a lab coat. Noting her worried look, the woman smiles. "Don't tell me they've actually hired someone younger then me. I was surprised they even let me in here."

    Sora starts to panic."I'm sorry, I didn't...I know I wasn't, I'm not supposed to...but I had this...this fight, and..."

    "Shhshhshh!" The woman raises a finger to her lips. She peaks out the door. After a minute, she looks back to Sora and whispers, "Come on. Stay hidden by my side."

    The two enter the main lab and head for the exit, Sora doing her best to stay hidden behind the woman. Halfway there, a man walks towards them. "Ms. Lockheart, did you finish the analysis of that unusual meld sample." The woman quickly turns towards the man, discreetly pushing Sora behind her. At the sight of her erratic movements, the man asks, "Is everything alright, Ms. Lockheart?"

    "Hm? Oh, yeah!" The woman smiles, being sure to position herself between the man and Sora. "The analysis showed that the only thing different about the meld was that it was contaminated with earth materials, which had caused it degrade a lot faster then normal. I'm afraid it's useless. I'll post my full report in a little bit."

    "I see." The man nods. He starts to lean his head to look behind the woman.

    "Oh! And one more thing." The woman puts her hand on the man's shoulder. He gives her a questioning look. "It's Doctor Lockheart, okay?" The man gives her a forced smile, and walks away, muttering under his breath. The two girls quickly head for the exit. Stepping out into the hallway, the woman exclaims, "Boy, that was close. Come on, I'll walk you back to your room."

    As the two walk, Sora gives the woman a nervous glance. "Um, thank you. Does this mean you won't tell the Commander on me, Ms..."

    "Call me Jessie. And no. I was your age not too long ago. I did some bad things, some dangerous things. I still do, from time to time. But why were you there in the first place?"

    As the two make their way down the hallways, Sora explains her fight with Jake. Upon finishing, she says, "I just think I'd have a better chance if I was a little more..."

    She glances at Jessie, who looks down at herself and smiles nervously. "Well, it's not all it's cracked up to be. And besides, I wasn't quite as tall or...you know, big, when I was you age. But it doesn't sound to me like this is about looks."

    "Then what is it about?" Sora asks, sounding unconvinced.

    Jessie scratches the back of her head. "Well, I'm not exactly an expert on this, but you said he's a nice guy, right? Sometimes to a fault? Well, what if he rejected you, not because he doesn't want you, but because you're young, and he's afraid of taking advantage of you."

    Sora shakes her head. "But he wouldn't be. I know what I want. I want him."

    Jessie shrugs. "Well, if you're sure you want him, and he's as faithful a person as you say, then what's your hurry?" She places her hand on Sora's shoulder. "Four years from now, and you'll be eighteen, right? Then you'll be an adult. I just hope that him being in his early twenties won't make him too old for you."

    "Of course he won't be!" Sora smiles, and nods in agreement.

    Reaching Sora's room, Jessie knocks on the door. A worried looking Jake opens the door. Jessie bends down behind Sora and whispers, "You didn't tell me how cute he is."

    "Hey." Sora turns to scowl at Jessie.

    "Oh, don't fret," Jessie responds, patting Sora on the back. "He's all yours."

    "Oh my God, Sora, where have you been?" Jake kneels down in front of her. "Do you have any idea how worried we've been?"

    "Um, excuse me." Jessie motions for Jake to follow her outside. She pushes Sora into the room and closes the door.

    Hitomi and Rei walk up to Sora. "Are you okay?" Rei asks.

    "I'm fine, really." Sora smiles nervously. "I'm sorry I worried you."

    Hitomi pats her roughly on the shoulder. "We're glad you're okay, but next time you decide to have a little tiff, could you do it after dinner? Please?"

    Sora laughs. Jake walks into the room, and Sora and Jessie wave goodbye to each other before she takes off. Sora droops her head and says, "Jake, I'm sorry. That was really stupid of me. I guess I proved your point about me being a spoiled brat."

    Hitomi and Rei gasp. "He called her the B-word?" Rei asks.

    Hitomi nods. "Yeah, a spoiled B-word."

    "That's enough, you two." Jake opens the door. "Come on, put your shoes on so we can go eat." Rei and Hitomi do so, and walk out. As Sora moves to follow, Jake says, "Sora?" She stops and turns to him. "Listen, Sora, I...I don't...I'm not...rejecting you, so to speak. It's not like I've got my eye on anyone else. I just think you're moving a little too quick. I was just thinking that we should take some time to see if you find someone your own age that you like."

    Sora smiles. "Well, do you think about four years is long enough to get to know each other? See if we're...compatible?"

    Jake returns her smile. "Sounds perfect." Rei and Hitomi stick their heads into the room to see what's taking them so long, and the four head out together.
     
  16. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Eight (1)

    "Man down!" Franklin shouts. "Patterson, shred it!"

    "I'm on it!" Patterson loads a shredder rocket. Leaning over his low cover, he takes aim, and ducks back as a hail of gunfire obliterates the spot he had just been in. "Can't! Need covering fire!"

    "I have got this!" Alexandra leaps over her low cover and runs forward. The Sectopod immediately turns towards her and fires, it's blasts barely flying past her back.

    "Captain, are you crazy!?" Burton shouts, desperately firing at the Sectopod in an attempt to keep her captain alive.

    Alexandra laughs as she runs. "Of course!" She yells. "I would not be here if I was anything but." Reaching cover on the other side of the towering opponent, she pulls out an HE grenade. Pulling the pin, she rolls it towards the Sectopod, then pulls out her machine pistol and unloads on it. As soon as the grenade explodes, she yells, "NOW!"

    "Damn, what a woman," Patterson says to himself as he runs forward. Using the enhanced muscle fiber density in his legs, he leaps onto a high ledge. Taking quick but careful aim, he fires the shredder rocket and hits his target dead-center. "You're up, Xing!"

    "On it!" With a whirl of gears and motors, Xing runs towards the Sectopod, his heavy Mech body shaking the ground slightly as he moves. Two SHIVs ride forward by his side, and the three unload on the Sectopod as they push forward. The Sectopod fires back, and in hail of fire, one of the SHIVs is obliterated. Nearing their opponent, Xing and the remaining SHIV separate. Momentarily confused, the Sectopod turns towards Xing. Before it can fire, Xing lets out an EMP. With their opponent momentarily disabled, Xing shouts, "Fish in a barrel!"

    "All right." Alexandra makes for the Sectopod, pulling out her shotgun. She unloads on the Sectopod, and as it short-circuits, Alexandra ducks behind Xing for cover as the gigantic alien machine explodes in a concofany of sparks and fire. Alexandra peaks out from behind Xing and, seeing her opponents as a pile of twisted metal, lets out a sigh of relief.

    As the dust settles and adrenaline levels drop, Alexandra scans the carnage of the battlefield, and Franklin walks up next to her. "Damn it, Captain," he says, rubbing the back of his neck. "That was hell. We lost two men and a SHIV, and for what. Just another bunch of materials and whatever computers and power sources we can salvage from this ship."

    Alexandra nods. "Yes, it is a regrettable loss of life. I should have been better prepared."

    "It couldn't be helped, Captain," Müller cuts in, spraying a plasma burn with a med-spray. Flinching, he continues, "You wouldn't have had to take out a two rookies if the alien's attacks hadn't left our troops so fatigued. And besides, we had no way of knowing this ship would be so heavily manned."

    "Yeah." Franklin lets out a troubled sigh. "Mechtoids, Floaters, Sectoid Commanders, two Sectopods. This ship had enough forces to man some of the biggest ships we've encountered, but it's half the size. I'd hate to see how many aliens we would have been facing had the ship not been shot down. Such a waste of life, just to take another ship."

    Alexandra shakes her head. "No, we are missing something."

    "Captain?" Franklin raises an eyebrow towards her.

    "It is as you said." Alexandra looks around at the bodies of their fallen opponents. "This ship is manned too heavily. Why is this? I am thinking they are hiding something. I want to know what." She turns to face her troops. "Müller and Patterson, get our fallen comrades on to the Skyranger. Xing, get that SHIV on board the ship and start repairs before we lose it as well. Franklin and Burton, you are with me."
     
  17. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part 8 (2)

    Alexandra makes her way through the ship, she and her escorts keeping an eye out for any aliens they might have missed. She stops in the room outside of the bridge, and takes a curious look at the single destroyed abduction pod. "Is there something wrong, Captain?" Burton asks.

    "I do not know." Alexandra points at the pod. "This pod, it was destroyed during the fight?"

    Burton and Franklin look at one another. Burton shakes her head, and Franklin says, "I don't think so Captain. In fact, I'm pretty sure it just...well, exploded. I remember finding it odd, because I didn't see anything hit it."

    Alexandra points at the rooms main computer, and Burton pulls a small device out of her pack. She attaches it to the computer, and after a few minutes of fiddling with it, she says, "I'm not sure, Captain. I believe I saw a Sectoid working on this computer during the middle of the fight."

    "Yes." Alexandra nods, "I believe I saw this as well."

    "It looks like it was purposely setting that specific pod to self-destruct. But why only that one, and why was it so important, it would do it in the middle of a battle?" Burton shakes her head in frustration. "It looks like the files on whoever that was have been deleted. I'm not sure if I can recover the files."

    "Well, keep at it." Alexandra pats her on the shoulder. "If there is anyone who can recover these files, it is you." She nods for Franklin to follow her, and the two walk into the bridge. Franklin stares intently at the destroyed computer, and Alexandra asks him, "What is wrong?"

    Franklin chuckles nervously. "This might sound weird, but I think this computer might have saved my life." He points at a dead Sectoid Commander in the corner of the room. "That thing burst through the door from below. Caught me by surprise. It should have had me dead to rights. We fired at each other. I hit it, but it hit the computer. I thought it was strange that it would miss such an easy shot. Now, I'm not so sure it did."

    Alexandra nods. "No, I do not think it did either. It is clear that they were hiding something. What this is, I am not sure." She examines the computer. "Whatever this may be, this pile of resturi is telling us nothing."

    "Uh, Captain!" Burton yells from the next room. "I've found something!"

    Alexandra and Franklin run to her side. "What is it?" Alexandra asks.

    "You're not going to like this." She presses a few buttons. "This translator is far from perfect, so I can't be sure, but if I'm reading this right, that human was special." She looks back at Alexandra. "Captain, you mentioned that one of the people you escaped that base from with had something done to him, right? Some kind of implants?" Alexandra nods. "And that Thin Man talked about someone being enhanced, right?"

    Alexandra thinks. "Yes. We could not hear what the Sectoid it killed was saying, but the Thin Man spoke of great potential, or something of this sort. Whatever they had done, it killed Sectoid that was disposing of the one it spoke of."

    Burton points at the destroyed pod. "I think whoever was in this pod was cut from the same cloth. Whoever they were, the aliens had spent months manipulating them, drawing out hidden psionic abilities and enhancing them. They'd made them so strong, that, um..." Burton stops to think of the best way to word her findings. "You know how the Sectoids and their larger-headed brothers can mind control people, bringing them under their complete mercy. Not only did this human have those same abilities, but they were designed in a way that could amplify the aliens own abilities."

    Franklin rubs his chin. "So with this one human, they could end up controlling an entire one of our groups, and just have us kill each other." He shakes his head. "But that doesn't make sense. If they could do this, then why didn't they? Why destroy this person instead of using him against us?"

    Burton's voice shakes slightly. "Because they weren't ready, and think it's because they didn't plan to use him against us." She types on her device, and a holographic map of the region displays over the computer. Tracing her finger along a line on the map, she continues, "On a hunch, I looked at the course this ship was on. According to this, it was on a course that takes it directly over X-COM HQ."

    Alexandra swallows slowly. "So, if they were to use this person on X-COM, they could instantly get dozens of infiltrators in base at once, and open gates for a full invasion."

    With a nervous look, Franklin asks, "So we prevented this invasion.....right?"

    Alexandra shakes her head. "Prevented? Perhaps. Or perhaps this has only delayed such an attack. We have no reason to believe they do not have more of these enhanced humans." She pulls out her communicator. "Bradford, this is Captain Matei." There is no response. "This is Captain Matei, do you read me Bradford...X-COM, do you read?" She turns to the others. They try their communicators but get no response. Alexandra quickly heads towards the back of the ship, the other two following closely behind. "There is something in this ship blocking communication. We must hurry. X-COM needs to know of our discovery. They need to be prepared in case the..." There is an explosion ahead of them. They are barely able to duck under a large metal object flying overhead. To their surprise, it is Xing's mech, minus Xing, though from the look of it's messy inside, Xing did not leave it willingly.

    Before they can react, a blast of plasma punches through Burton's stomach from behind. As she falls to the floor, Franklin and Alexandra rush into cover and draw their weapons. "Shit!" Franklin makes sure his weapon is fully loaded. "What happened!?"

    Müller runs into the room, tightly clenching his left side in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding. He crawls to the side, coming to rest next to Alexandra. "I'm sorry, Captain," he weakly says as Alexandra tries to help him. "They came out of nowhere. They must have been on their way here from the moment the ship crashed."

    "Stop talking!" Alexandra pulls the med-spray from Müller's side. As she points it towards him, she hears the terrifyingly familiar sound of something rolling behind her. She turns in time to see Franklin leap onto the alien grenade before it explodes.

    The world around Alexandra spins as the ringing in her ears makes her feel as though her head will explode. She weakly lifts her head, and sees a tall being with four arms and a large helmet walk into the room, followed closely by two Mutons in red armor. The tall being looks down at Alexandra. It points at her, and the Muton aims its weapon at her and fires.
     
  18. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Nine

    (One week later)

    "Thanks for coming," Jake says, handing Alice and Duncan each a glass of water. Smiling at Duncan, he asks, "You still drink fluids, don't you? Or would you prefer some oil?"

    "Very funny." Duncan takes the drink with his cybernetic hand. "I'm still organic on the inside, and you know it. They even said they're keeping my limbs on ice until we're done with this war." He smiles broadly. "The question is, will I even want them back. Being like this has its advantages, after all."

    Alice laughs. "Well, either way, you're still the same Duncan, metal skin or not." She lowers her head. "It's too bad...we couldn't all be here."

    Duncan shakes his head. Placing his hand on her shoulder, he says, "Yeah, me too. I know it doesn't mean much, but Alexandra was a warrior through and through, and I'm sure she fell like one, fighting to the end. I'm sure they all did."

    Alice nods. She glances at Sora, sitting on her bed and listening to music on a small, beat-up MP3 playing. Alice turns to Jake and asks, "So where are the other two? It's not everyday we meet like this?"

    "They're in the civilian meeting hall," Jake answers. "They're showing a movie. Spartacus, I think."

    Alice raises an eyebrow. "And Sora stayed behind? I know kids don't have much of an appreciation for the classics, but surely she'd rather hang out with her friends then us."

    Jake smiles. "You two are her friends, too." The smile fades from his face. "But there is a reason she's here and they're not. Sora insisted that we not worry them with why you're here. She didn't want to talk to you either, but I insisted that we could trust you."

    Duncan and Alice exchange a worried look. "Well, that doesn't sound good," Duncan grumbles.

    Jake rubs his hands together nervously. "Well, um...you remember that Thin Man at the base? What he said about a person with "potential", someone he wasn't pleased to hear was going to be disposed off?"

    Alice nods. "Yeah. How can we forget mister suave and debonair losing his cool?" She leans in closer to Jake. "Does that mean some of that potential has come out? Have you...started finding some powers or something?"

    Jake shakes his head. "Nothing more then I demonstrated at the base. But circumstances have led me to believe that he wasn't talking about me. After all, I wasn't the one who was split open like a lab animal."

    Duncan's eyes widen. "So you mean..." He looks over at Sora. "So does that mean that...vortex thing...was..."

    Jake shrugs. "Maybe, but she hasn't done anything like that."

    "And what can she do?" Alice asks nervously.

    "Nothing!" Sora shouts, still wearing her headphones. "I can't do anything."

    Jake sighs. "Then how do you know what we're talking about if you can't hear us?" He looks at the others and points at his head.

    Sora takes off her headphones and tosses them to the side. "I couldn't. I mean I-I could because...b-because I was only pretending to listen to music."

    Alice stands up and walks over to Sora. She sits next to her and gently places a hand on her shoulder. "Sora, honey, I know this is hard, and I'm sure your scared, but we only want to help."

    "She's right," Duncan says. "I can understand why you might not want to say anything, but you should know we are only worried about you. But we can't do anything if you keep us in the dark."

    Sora sits in silence for a few seconds, then finally nods. Jake stands up and walks over to an object on a dresser with a large towel covering it. "Ever since we got out of that base, Sora's noticed some changes, changes she's tried to hide from everyone. Her teachers believe she's far more intelligent then she lets on, and while she tries to act bratty, I've noticed her mentally maturing faster then you'd expect." Uncovering the towel to reveal a tank with three lab rats, he lifts the cage and carries it over to the table. "Then, about six or so weeks ago, she wandered into the labs and had a little chat with that Thin Man, and it said something about hidden abilities. She started experimenting after that, and found she could hear other people's thoughts if she concentrated."

    Duncan nods his head towards the cage. "Where'd you get this guys?"

    "They're from the labs." Sora climbs off her bed and walks over to the cage. "They're used to test meld, amongst other things. A friend of ours there let us borrow them." She reaches in and pulls one out, gently petting it.

    Alice smiles. "Are you going to tell us what the rats are thinking?"

    Placing the rat back in the cage, Sora says, "Sadly, that isn't all I can do." She stares intently at the rats, and they start squealing loudly and running back and forth. "I can send negative waves into others, harming them mentally and sending them into a panic." The rats instantly stop, and start rolling and rubbing the walls as though in ecstasy. "I can also send positive, soothing waves of energy, calming and energizing others."

    Stepping away from the cage, Sora holds out her hand. A purple orb of energy forms in it, then expands to fill the entire room. "What does this do?" Duncan asks, looking around in fascination.

    "I'm not entirely sure, but it projects energy outwards, so I think I can use it as a protective barrier." Sora retracts the energy, and turns back towards the cage. The two healthier looking rats run up to the third, an older, sickly looking rat. They stand on their hind legs, and lift the rat with their front legs, carrying it towards Sora like they were human. "Mind control...I know, just like those monsters. But I can also do this." She picks up the rat with her left hand and places her right hand over it, waves of energy flowing from it into the rat. "I'm afraid this rat has been through one to many experiments, and has cancerous cells in every part of its body." Sora closes her eyes and concentrates. After a few minutes, she places the rat back into the cage, and it starts running around with the energy of the other two rats.

    Alice stares at the rats in fascination. "That's amazing, Sora. How did you do that?"

    "I searched out the cancerous cells, manipulated the mitochondria in them, and ordered them to commit apoptosis."

    Duncan raises an eyebrow. "Can you explain that again in English, please?"

    "Programmed Cellular Death," Alice says. "She ordered the cancerous cells to commit suicide." She looks up at Sora and asks, "Sora, have you tried this..."

    "Absolutely not!" Sora looks away in shame. "And I never will. I don't want these abilities! I just want to be a regular human, not some psychic freak. And if word got out..."

    Jake steps behind her and places his hands on her shoulders. "You don't know that. We're experimenting with that thing we got from the base, trying to give the alien's abilities to our people. If we're willing to do that, why wouldn't they except you."

    "Because they weren't the ones that gave me these powers." Sora turns to Jake and stares him in eyes, daring him to tell her she's wrong. When he can't, she buries her face against his chest, crying softly. Jake wraps his arms around her and holds her tightly.

    Duncan let's out a long sigh. "I hate to admit it, but a bit of caution would be for the best." He looks down at his cybernetic hands. "I'm often surprised at how many people look down on me because of how different from them I've become, despite the fact that they're the reason I've changed. That doesn't mean I think they'd just throw her in a cell and start experimenting on her like in some sci-fi movie, but it's better to err on the side of caution. Maybe after we get more psionic soldiers walking around, we can get a meeting with the Commander. He's a reasonable man, and..."

    "Why?" Sora pulls away from Jake and gives Duncan a questioning look. "We don't have to tell anyone. I'll just stop using my powers, pretend they don't exist."

    Jake shakes his head. "But what happens if you slip up and use them? Or you lose control? Or come across a situation where you're compelled to use them?"

    Alice nods. "Jake is right. There is a good chance you'll be found out eventually. I'm sure the Commander would be a lot more reasonable if we came to him then if he found out we were hiding it from him, don't you think?" Sora doesn't answer, and Alice walks over to her. "Sora? Do you understand what I'm saying?"

    Sora remains silent. "What's wrong Sora?" Jake asks. He kneels down in front of her. She looks frozen in a state of shock, staring forward like a deer in headlights. "Sora!?" He shakes her lightly. "Snap out of it! What's going on?"

    Without changing her expression, Sora whispers, "Something's wrong. Some...something's coming."

    "What's coming?" Duncan jumps up and peaks out the door. Ducking back in, he says, "Something is going down. People are running around like chickens with their heads cut off out there."

    "They're here!" Sora yells. She grasps her head and falls to her knees, screaming in pain.

    "Sora!" Alice tries to examine her, by Sora knocks her hands away. "Please Sora, let me help you!"

    "Can't help!" Sora cries out. "Coming to destroy! Coming to KILL! Already here! In base, in us!" She clenches her head tightly. "Trying to get in me! Telling me to destroy! I don't want to hurt you! Can't keep them out! Please, GET AWAY!"

    "Sora, we won't leave you." Jake grasps Sora's shoulders. "Fight it, whatever it is. You're stronger then it."

    The door to the room slowly creeks open. In the doorway, Hitomi and Rei look at the others, their faces blank, their eyes glazed over. They lift their arms, each holding a handgun in their young hands.
     
  19. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part Ten (1)

    Duncan darts forward as the girls fire, the rounds punching into his chest. He snatches the guns from their hands and tosses them to the side. With the snarls of animals, Rei and Hitomi leap forward, tackling Duncan to the ground. "Duncan!" Alice yells.

    "I'm fine!" Duncan struggles against the girls. "The bullets didn't make it through my armor, but my body isn't exactly designed for civilian pacification. I can't get them off me without hurting them."

    Jake and Alice reluctantly leave a writhing Sora and grab the girls off of Duncan. "Damn them," Alice says, struggling against Hitomi as she kicks and punches. "They have no shame, controlling children."

    "What are we going to do with them?" Jake asks. Rei bites Jake's hand, and he drops her. She darts to the side, grabbing the pistol and pointing it at Jake.

    "NO!" Sora extends her hand as Rei fires. A field of energy momentarily forms around Jake, and the bullet is deflected. "Let my friends GO!" Purple tendrils of energy flow from Sora into Hitomi and Rei. A backlash of power flows back from them into Sora, and all three girls collapse.

    As the group catches their breath, an announcement rings out. "Attention everyone, this is Central Officer Bradford. X-COM HQ is under attack. This is not a drill. The Commander has been secured, but alien forces have infiltrated the base. All civilians and security to designated shelter areas. All soldiers to central command. Subdue anyone acting suspiciously, but do not kill them. They are under alien control, and are not responsible for their actions. I repeat, subdue anyone acting suspiciously, but with non-lethal force only."

    "I've got to go," Duncan says. "Will you two be okay?"

    "We'll be fine." Alice smiles. "Give them one for each of us."

    Duncan takes off, and Jake reaches for Rei and Hitomi. "We've got to get going too. "I'll carry these two, can you get..." He looks around in a panic. "Sora? Where'd she go?"

    Alice scans the room in confusion. "I don't know. She was right here. She looked like she was out cold."

    Jake looks back and forth as though he had missed her in the small room. Biting his tongue, he says, "We...can't stay here. We have to get these two to safety." The words feel like a punch to the gut. Alice reluctantly nods. The two grab the girls and take off for the shelter area.

    (Two hours later)

    "...I repeat, the main alien forces have been eliminated. All soldiers, report back to Central Command. All X-COM staff and civilians, remain in the shelter areas until a thorough search of the base can be completed."

    Jake let's out a sigh of relief as Haven steps to his side. "Good work, Jake. It looks like we pulled through. How's everyone doing?"

    Jake looks back into the room. "Good. They're scared, obviously, but calm. How about Stevens?"

    Haven shrugs. "Kasumi was a bit too overzealous when she was subduing him, but he'll be fine. He'll just be wondering how he broke his arm." Placing a hand on Jake's shoulder, he says, "Take a break, and go check on your friends." Jake starts to protest, and Haven adds, "That's an order."

    Alice sits the floor by Hitomi and Rei, still unconscious and laying on a pair of blankets. Jake takes a seat next to Alice, asking her, "Have they come around at all?'

    Alice shakes her head. "They stir every now and then but..." The girls do just that, but this time theyir eyes slowly flicker open. They slowly look around in confusion. Leaning over them, Alice says, "It's okay, girls. You're safe. How are you feeling?"

    The girls suddenly spring to life, sitting up and looking around in a panic. "Sora?" They both cry out. In unison, the two ask Jake, "Where's Sora?"

    Jake shakes her head. "I'm not sure, but I'm sure she's safe. She's smart, I'm sure she's in one of the other safe zones. We'll find her right after we leave here, okay?"

    Rei shakes her head. "You don't understand. She's in danger." She points to her head. "When those things were controlling us, it was like we were watching our bodies from the outside, fully aware what we were doing but unable to stop it."

    "But then we heard Sora in our heads," Hitomi adds. "It was like she was a part of us, and was practically screaming at them to get out."

    Alice nods. "Yeah, I saw her do...something to you. She drove those things out of your minds."

    "No!" Rei gives Jake and Alice a pleading look. "She didn't. When she went in our minds, the aliens, they got...I don't know, excited. It was like...like they, um..."

    "It was like they had a handful of old coins." Hitomi struggles to explain. "And when they heard Sora in our heads, it was like they found an ancient coin made of pure gold. Sora didn't free us. They left us to swarm her like a pack of wolves on a wounded animal."

    Eye's wide with fright, Jake leaps to his feet and runs for the exit. As he nears it, Haven yells, "Jake, stop, where are you going?"

    "A friend of mine needs help," Jake answers. "I think she's in danger."

    "Well, you can't go out there." Haven runs up to him and grabs his shoulder before he can exit. "There's some trouble in cargo hold four. Some stragglers our soldiers are having a problem with. If they missed them, there's no telling who else they missed."

    Jake nods. "Cargo hold four. Got it, thanks." He pulls away and takes off.

    "Have you lost it?" Haven yells after him, to no avail. As Jake disappears around a corner, Haven turns back and walks towards Alice.

    Jake jogs through the hallways, every terrible possibility going through his mind. Reaching the cargo hold, he see's several soldiers in cover halfway in. Seeing Duncan, he crouches next to him and asks, "What's happening?"

    "Jake? What are you..." Duncan shakes his head. "Whatever. A few aliens, three Sectoids, and some really tall thing we've never encountered before, holed up in the back. We're afraid to get too close. That four armed freak has incredibly strong powers. I'd bum rush them, but my mech was too badly damaged. I'd love to just end this all with a well placed rocket, but we can't."

    "A hostage, right?" Jake cautiously looks over the cover. "Is it Sora?"

    "How did you...yeah, it is, but..." Duncan shakes his head. "I'm not so sure about the hostage part." Looking enraged, Jake leaps over the cover and walks towards the aliens. "Jake!" Duncan yells. "What the hell are you doing?!"

    As Jake nears the back, a Sectoid steps out of cover and levels it's weapon towards him. "Stop." Sora steps forward. 'Let him come."

    [But what if it is a trick.]

    "It's not." Sora smiles. "I know him. And all he cares about is me." The Sectoid steps back into cover, and Sora slowly walks towards Jake. As she steps out of the shadows, Jake can see a flow of energy extending from the back of the room to Sora's head. "Hello Jake," Sora says, still smiling. "Have you come to save me? Or perhaps to join us?"

    Jake shakes his head. "Join us? Who do you think you're fooling. I know you're controlling her. I've come to get her back." His eyes soften. "Come on, Sora. Fight them. You don't have to let them control you. I beat one of those Sectoids, and you're a hundred times stronger then me. I don't care how strong that thing is, you can beat it."

    Sora laughs. "'Beat it' he says. You seemed to be confused. I probably could beat them, but I don't want to." She slowly walks around Jake, skipping lightly as she does. "We've had time to talk, and I've come to realize how wrong we've been. The aliens, they don't want to hurt us. They want us to join them. If we laid down arms and accepted them, not a single human would be hurt anymore. They can bring out the true 'us', show us what we can be."

    "That's very interesting Sora," Jake says, watching Sora as she prances around him. "It's also a far cry from what you were saying a few hours ago. You were scared. You hated these powers. And after only a few hours of 'talking', you've not only accepted your powers, but joined the aliens? I don't buy it." Jake grabs Sora's shoulders. "Sora, listen. I don't know if this is just a trick, and I'm just talking to an alien, but if you are Sora, the alien is corrupting your thoughts. If you really believe what you're saying, then have the alien release you and then tell me you still want to side with them."

    Sora jumps back and giggles. "Oh, you're clever, Jake. That's one of the many things I've always loved about you. But I'm not so easily fooled. The moment I'm released, you grab me, and the others blow up my friends, regardless of what I have to say." Sora wags a finger at Jake. "You'll have to do better then that. You forget, I've grown. Don't let my appearance deceive you. Mentally, I'm as old as you now. Maybe older." She looks down at herself. "But looks are everything, aren't they? You wanna see something neat that they showed me I could do."

    Sora closes her eyes, and a light red glow radiates from her skin. As Jake stares in shock, her body grows taller, her hair longer, her feminine features more pronounced. As the glow fades, she collapses to the ground, panting heavily in pain. Jake steps forward. "Sora? Are...are you..."

    Sora laughs, slowly raising to her feet. "They, uh, they warned me about trying to do too much at once. Said it would be painful. But I couldn't help it." She stands up straight, her body now that of a young adult. She looks at her clothes, bound tightly to her skin. "Oops, didn't really think about this, but now I'm going to need brand new cloths." She brushes her hand through her air, having grown from the middle of her neck to bellow her waste. "And a hair-cut."

    Jake takes a step forward. "Sora, what have they done to you?"

    "What do you mean?" Sora looks at him in confusion. "I did this for you. Now I'm as old as you, give or take a few months. I mean, I could have gone older, but I wanted to be your age. Or do you prefer older women?"
     
  20. ZombieSplitter53

    ZombieSplitter53 Game Master Staff Member

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    Voices in my Head: Part 10 (2)

    "NO!" Jake runs forward and grabs her arms. "Oh God, Sora, all you've done is lose four years of your life. Why would you do this? You're smarter then this. Don't you see? This perfectly shows that they're manipulating you."

    Sora's expression changes to one of anger. She pushes him away. "They told me this would happen. I said that you cared about me. That the only reason we couldn't be together is because of my age. Now we're the same age, but you still push me away. They said you were only using me. I guess they were right."

    "Sora, that isn't true. I do care about you. But I can't join these monster's, and you wouldn't want to either if..."

    "Enough," Sora says, her voice distorted and echoing. "You had your chance, but you only proved the disloyalty of your species. You may prove us wrong by joining us. Otherwise, we have nothing else to discuss."

    "Jake!" Ducan yells from behind cover. "I'm sorry man. You tried, but you have to get back so we..."

    "Bullshit!" Jake grits his teeth. He points at Sora and says, "If anyone has anything to prove, it's you, because I'm still not convinced Sora is completely on your side. You're just manipulating her thoughts, making her think she's in control so she doesn't fight it. I know, because Sora would never betray us." He turns back towards the soldiers. "Duncan, when you first entered the cybernetics program, we were all put off. But as soon as Sora saw you, she ran up to you and gave you a hug, no hesitation. Do you remember what she said?"

    "Yeah," Duncan answers. "She asked me if I was in any pain, and how brave she thought I was."

    Jake nods. "That's right." He turns back to Sora. "She was constantly checking up on Alice to make sure she wasn't overworking herself. When Alexandra died, she cried for nearly three days straight. And just a few hours ago, despite that fact that she was fighting you for control, she exposed herself in order to save her friends. And it isn't just us. We've had many discussions about how wrong she thought EXALT was for turning their back on humanity, and she was pained by every loss of life at your hands. The only time she had any doubts about humanity was in regards to her powers, and you're just taking advantage of that."

    The being controlling Sora laughs deeply. "Your words fall on deaf ears. Sora knows what she does. We have helped her see the error in her beliefs, and that includes her unconditional trust of you. Even now, you show irritation in her, just as you always have. You only seek to reacquire out of loyalty to the others."

    Jakes eye twitches, and he clentches his jaw in rage. "That isn't true. Stop filling her head with your lies."

    "Lies?" Sora chuckles. "She may be too afraid to read your thoughts, but I am not."

    "Fine, you want the truth." Jake lets out an exacerbated sigh. "There are times when Sora can by irritating. And when we first met, she annoyed the hell out of me. I was sixteen, ready to go out and meet new friend, live my life, and yet here I was, forced to be tutored by some little brat barely into her teens. And I'm sure she didn't care much for me. She was young and had friends she wanted to be with, but was forced to interact with some strange foreigner that was too stupid to learn the language of his new home on his own."

    Sora nods. "It is good to see you are honest. But with everything being as it is, I'm afraid we'll just have to destroy you and be on our way."

    "I wasn't finished!" Jake yells. "That's how I felt then. But then I got to know her, and saw underneath her attitude, Sora was a pretty cool kid. We even had a lot in common, despite our vastly different upbringings. I might not have had the same feelings for her that she developed for me, but I was happy to consider her my friend." Pleading, Jake says, "Sora, if you can hear me, did you ever ask why I was in your house the day the aliens attacked? I came home that day to find my whole family dead. I was ready to give up, to end my life and join them. Then I remembered you. The thought that you might be in danger, and that I might be able to help you, it pushed me to keep going. We've known each other for what, going on two years? And in that time, especially the last three months since we came here, we've grown closer. And now, the thought that I might lose you to these monsters tears at me."

    Sora frowns and shakes her head. "We tire of this prattle. If you will not join us, then die." Her eyes glow a deep purple. She raises her hand, a sphere of energy forming in it. The soldiers behind Jake fire, but the bullets curve and deflect around her.

    Desperate for a solution, Jake suddenly yells, "Possess me!"

    "Why?" Sora asks, the orb of energy ceasing it's growth. "Have you had a change of heart in the face of death."

    "Shut up! I'm not talking to you!" In a softer tone, Jake says, "Sora, look into me. Take me over, and you'll see what I really feel. I won't resist."

    "Don't, Jake," Duncan yells. "That's what it wants!"

    "I know." Jake smiles. "But it's the only way. If I'm not being honest, then you can have me. But I have faith in Sora."

    Sora laughs sinisterly. "As you wish." The flow of energy from the shadows to Sora intensifies, and another extends to Jake.

    Before his eyes, Jake sees a blank white landscape all around him. Several feet ahead stands Sora, her expression one of despair. Behind her stands a tall, slender alien with four arms, two of its hands resting on her shoulders, the other two pressed against her temples. As it speaks, its voice is loud and booming, sounding as though it comes from everywhere at once. "You are not nearly as powerful as this one. Where it not for those implants, you would have no power. However, if this one wishes it, we will let you join us."

    "Is that right?" Jake takes several determined steps towards them. A surge of energy erupts from the alien, and Jake falls back. Wiping away the blood that leaks from his nose and eyes, Jake asks, "What's wrong? Afraid Sora will see right through you. I might not be very strong, but hopefully I have that little extra energy she needs to kick your ass out of her."

    He pushes forward, each surge of energy knocking him back. He gets up each time, ignoring his pain and pressing on. As he reaches Sora, a final blast of power makes him drop to his knees. He vomits a mouthful of blood, and looks up at the alien, smiling. "What compels you forward?" The alien asks. "Why not concede?"

    Jake shrugs. Panting heavily, he answers, "I don't know. If I had to guess, I'd say it's one of those pitiful emotions such a superior species like yourself likely cast off ages ago. Maybe determination, maybe perseverance. Maybe even love." Sora lifts her head, her eyes gleaming with hope. Jake gives her a weak nod. "What do ya say, Sora? You wanna stay with this asshole?"

    Sora smiles. She pushes away from the alien, and crouching by Jake's side, she says, "I'd say...that this thing made a big mistake trying to control us both at the same time."

    Duncan shakes his head. "Please, Major Russo, just give him a little more time."

    An angry looking soldier wearing a Major's insignia let's out a sarcastic laugh. "You should have ended this with a handful of grenades from the start." He raises his hand to order the attack. Before he can do so, a wave of psionic power flows through the energy link between Jake and Sora, and then between Sora and the hidden alien. There is a squeal of pain from the back of the room, followed by a brilliant flash of light, and finally the sound of something hitting the floor. Moments later, the three Sectoids rush forward, weapons raised. Before they can fire, Sora turns to them and releases the ball of energy from her hand. It explodes in the middle of the group, and the three aliens slam into the walls and ceiling with a sickening crunch.

    As the energy between Sora and Jake dissipates, Jake drops to his hands and knees, blood spewing from his mouth. "Oh God," he cries out, wiping his mouth. "That hurts a lot more in real life. Taste a lot worse, too."

    Sora runs to his side. "Oh, Jake, I'm sorry." She looks him up and down. "I guess I messed everything up, didn't I?"

    Jake takes a seat on the floor and smiles. "I have no idea what you're talking about. As far as I'm concerned, that went perfectly."

    Sora laughs lightly, and she wraps her arms around Jake. The two embrace for several moments. As Sora pulls away, she stops as her face comes within inches of Jake's. She closes her eyes and leans forward.

    A loud crackle of electricity rings out, and Sora lets out a scream before falling to the ground. In a panic, Jake lifts her onto his lap. "Nice shot." The major walks up to the soldier standing over Jake and places a hand on his shoulder. "Bag her."

    "What are you doing!?" Duncan runs up. "You don't understand, sir! You didn't see everything, she..."

    "I saw enough to make an accurate assessment of the situation." Russo looks down at Sora with disgust. "This traitor, now little more then an alien in human clothing, found herself in a corner, so she double crossed her new allies in the hope that she could trick us into taking her back."

    "Please sir," Duncan pleads. "She was just being controlled. And Jake here risked his life to..."

    "And I suppose those abilities she showed after killing the tall one were just a miracle or something." Russo gives him a look of annoyance. "Don't be a fool. She's a spy. She's probably the one who opened the door for them."

    "Sir, with all due respect, I can't let you..."

    "Restrain him." The soldiers around Duncan point their weapons at him, and he quiets down. Looking down at Jake, Russo asks, "Now, are you going to give us trouble too?"

    Livid, Jake practically barks out, "You'll take her over my dead body!"

    "Oh, I don't think we have to go that far." Russo takes the Arc Thrower from the soldier next to him and fires at Jake.