Monday, November 2, 2009


((23 - The Last Spartan))

The doors of the mess hall elevator slid open with a whirr to reveal Kasby and Jaz. The others looked up, continuing their conversation over the meal, bringing each other up to speed--the Shadows, their escapes, and so on.

After a moment, Jaz cleared her throat loudly and waited for silence. "So, I know you have a lot of questions, and I know you think that maybe there ARE no answers. And maybe there aren't. I -- we -- certainly have none for you, here, now."

Kasby stood maybe a step behind her, and spoke himself. "We've done our best to explain things, but at this point all of you know just as much as we do. ...That's not enough."

Jaz stepped forward, walking among the tables like a drill sergeant, examining the people gathered there. "We need to know more. We need information, and there's only one place that might --and I stress, MIGHT --have it." She stopped behind Owl, placing a hand on the woman's shoulder. "The Center."

"The Center of this Void Nebula, to be specific." started Kasby, looking like less of a drill sergeant and more of a plucky young hero giving that oh-so-rallying speech. "Half of you I rescued, the other half I've just met. I'm willing to trust every one of you now. Things have been set into motion, but that's not the end. We can do something about it--stop what happened to my base, stop what happened to your home, from ever happening again."

Jaz left Owl and returned to her spot by Kasby. "My first thought was that these powers of yours, they were the worst thing to happen to my people since they were thr -- well, since before the Logs." She turned to face them all, and matched Kasby in his hope, in his youth. "But what if they're not? What if they're a blessing, a weapon? What if, with them, you could save the world, no, the universe?"

Kasby turned a measuring gaze on every last one, stopping on Spider at the last moment. "In the end... nobody else will stop these demons. Nobody else can. And if they can escape their prisons-- if they can escape this nebula... well, I don't think I need to elaborate."

Jaz's voice was dry. "It's not all sunshine and roses. We have a lot of work to do." She shot a glance at Kasby. "The two of us - with some help from you, if you think you have the skills necessary - can combine our two ships into something that can travel that far." She swallowed. To cannibalize Oliver..."She'll need a crew, though." She swept a glance across all the faces before her.

"...And I think we've got one." said Kasby, a grin breaking across his face. "So, how about it, friends? Feel up to saving the universe?"

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