((22 - Hope))
Jaz leaned against the wall of the elevator, which whirred noisily as it descended. "So."
Kasby smiled at her. "Jazrill Quinn... it's nice to see another friendly face. Can't tell you how nice," he said. "But I'm a little confused. On a lot of things. Maybe you have answers."
Jaz smiled, a real smile, for the first time in...too long. "You don't have to. While I may not have been out here as long as you have...Deep void takes its toll. And they..." She jerked her chin upwards. "Well. They're questions, more than people, with no answers at all....I don't know how many I'll have for you, but I'll try my best, if you'll do the same."
The doors hissed open on the medical center. A large facility, with places to deal with all sorts of injuries, of varying degrees of trauma. It was very torn up. Shattered windows, blood splatters across the walls, burn marks everywhere.
"Of course," Kasby said as he walked into the medcenter. "Honestly, the theories have been eating away at me as it is. Nobody to talk to, and such. They mostly just get very angry at me when I bring anything up."
"YEAH. As if it's our fault they haven't an iota of common sense between them." She sighed and stepped out of the elevator. "I mean, it's not theirs, either, but..."
"So, do you want to start, or should I?" said Kasby, walking out of the elevator and weaving in and out until they reached the appropriate trauma machine. It was a medium-sized oblong machine, with a slot to stick limbs in for diagnosis and minor autosurgery. One of the more advanced pieces of equipment, kept maintained from hundreds of years earlier.
"Well, let's start with why I'm here, which was your distress call, and what caused it. I know I was a long time in coming, but..." She shrugged, half apology, half 'you know how it is.'
Kasby eased Jaz's arm into the machine. "It's like you've known me all my life," he muttered. Apparently, his fellow scientist had been having similar problems.
Jaz's nostril flared as the machine spread her fingers to begin the reparation, and she nodded at the other pilot.
"I know," he began quietly. "We're already spread thin. The other bases told me I wouldn't be getting any help anyways. I've been roughing it, mostly... I'm glad someone came at all."
"So am I. At least this way we can pool our knowledge...not sure I'm so glad it was me, with all the drama of the past few hours, but..." She opened her eyes and looked at Kasby. "I'm waiting to reach a verdict on that."
"Guess we'll see," said Kasby, occasionally flipping a switch on the machine. "So... yours have magic too. Demon magic. I saw that much."
"I guess they do. I...tried to believe it was a dream, at first. If we can have their powers...if we can BECOME them..." She gasped sharply, her arm spasming, then visibly relaxed. "It certainly doesn't bode well for the future."
Kasby tightened a hand onto her unwounded shoulder as she jerked, trying to soothe her through the process. "I know the feeling. We spent a good deal of this morning... well, let's just say there was conflict, and a bit of antigravity tackling. But I tested one of them... human. 100% human. I don't have a clue what happened, or why they can do this." He exhaled. "And I'm guessing you don't either."
"They keep mentioning the Center. Some sort of...voice, in their heads, telling them to get there." Jaz's unwounded hand kept Kasby's on her shoulder, the contact feeling so important while the machine changed her.
"The Center... the others haven't mentioned that to me." mentioned Kasby. "That's a little distressing. How'd you get this wound, anyways?"
"My own fault, by my own hand." She turned to look at him. "Like I said. I was convinced it was a dream...and I was determined to wake myself up."
He met eyes with her. "...Ah. I... think I understand. I'm very familiar with bad dreams." said Kasby, giving a lopsided smile.
The machine whirred, its job complete. "It was foolish." She shook her head and withdrew her hand from the machine, wiggling her fingers. "I'd just woken from another dream, and everything was so strange... a girl who couldn't read making her thoughts appear on the walls, ruining Oliver's insides with alien tongues...it was too strange. And to me, all they looked like were demons..." She shook her head. "No matter. Fixed now."
"They're not. Not demons." said Kasby, almost jumping on the end of her sentence. "Trust me on that."
Jaz met his eyes, and a slow smile crossed her face. "You know...I think I do."
Kasby locked eyes with her, looking past her smile. The red, glowing eyes of Spider and the others... they didn't help. He hadn't really seen into another human's eyes... not for a long while.
Jaz's smile faded a bit and she held his look, this fellow Captain of hers, and showed him her strength, and showed him her fear.
Without his hand leaving her shoulder, without looking away from her eyes, without letting out a breath, Kasby pressed his lips against hers--clumsily, nervously, but genuinely.
Jaz kissed him back, pressing her smile onto his lips, before pulling away, her newly-healed fingers trailing down his arm. "There's a lot to be done, Kasby Bellflower." But her words were more a gentle reminder than a rebuke, and there was something else in her eyes with the strength, and the fear - something that might, perhaps, resemble a promise.
Kasby let her words hang in the air for a moment, echoing gently out of their conscious before he dared to smile. "I'd say so, Jaz. Lots of adventurous exploits, and all that." He grinned. "Let's go save the universe."