The Breezes of Heaven
Lana Tessler as Nova
Posts : 188
Join date : 2009-02-05
|Subject: Lana Tessler as Nova Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:42 pm|| |
“Someone’s come to see Nova!”
The child making the outcry scrambled up the hill, bare feet having a hard time finding purchase in the dewy grass. Several of the people outside the slim, pale-gray buildings paused in their activities to look at the small boy, who was panting and still ascending to the wide expanse at the top where the heart of the oubliette lay.
The commune was one of the larger in the country and the only one in the state of Calivada. It was a quiet place, cool in summer and warm in winter, breezy and sunny almost all year. The man who had been spotted by the young Ghost couldn’t help but feel an acute sense of peace and solitude as he slowly mounted the low-sloping hill. When he reached the summit, at least a dozen eyes were trained on him. The inhabitants of the commune were all dressed in a light, flowing style, all colors subdued. Most seemed to like greys and whites, though black was just a prevalent. Everything seemed monochromatic and very still. So when the young boy hollered again, the man jumped a little.
“Nova! No-va! A man’s here for you!” And the boy ran into one of the slim buildings. The man himself walked in that direction, still feeling eyes on him. Nodding politely to the ones who stared, he mounted the steps of the edifice where the boy had escaped, knocked once, then entered.
It was a general goods store, rustic and immaculate, the items arranged neatly and perfectly. The items were necessities that couldn’t be grown or constructed here on the commune. There were a few customers inside, but his interest lay chiefly with the woman standing behind the counter who had just set down a sketchbook and was now looking at him with undisguised surprise and wariness.
“Good afternoon, Miss…ahm, Nova,” the man greeted. He was slender and balding, with a pair of spectacles that were nested into a small metal port surgically implanted onto the bridge of his nose. “My name is Cary Tyler. I’m the CCO of Isely Corporation.”
“Hello, Mr. Tyler,” the woman replied calmly. “What can we do for you today?”
“I understand you worked for the Navy three years ago, Miss Nova.”
“That’s right. I was a consultant for them for four years – right out of school. Why? It’s not unusual; they try to hire as many Ghosts as they can.” She was not defensive, but her voice was not friendly. “But I never actually joined the service.”
“Isely is about to undergo an excursion to survey a planet in the Carina Arm of the galaxy. We’re gathering a very specific crew from both the commercial and military sectors. We’d like you to be a part of that crew.”
Nova regarded the man a long moment before replying. “Why?” But she knew why.
“Your records during your time working with the Navy are…impressive, to say the least. You have significant ability in your field, Miss Nova. And, as far as we know, you are the only Ghost whose empathic abilities extend to cyberpathy. In addition, you’re a psychometrist. You would be invaluable to use on this expedition.”
“I don’t like the military,” she stated plainly, without rancor.
“Which is why, I assume, you abandoned your contract with them and came here,” Tyler replied, and watched with complacency as she stiffened. “You violated your terms of service. That’s an illegal act, Miss Nova.”
Her lips pressed together. “I’m aware.”
“May I ask why you dislike the military? What happened to make you leave so suddenly and risk legal ramifications?”
She didn’t answer, but her head spun. It had been three years since she’d fled, and it still seemed so raw, so painful. So terribly painful to think about him. Closing her eyes, she leaned against the counter, remembering that last night when he had held her and told her how much he cared for her. They had known each other only two months, but she had loved him with everything in her. She had planned to tell him so the next morning before he went back on duty. She had planned to promise him all of herself the next morning.
But the next morning, he was gone. And she had touched the pillow where his head had rested and read fear, disgust and deceit off of it. He had lied to her. He didn’t care; he thought she was a freak.
He had lied and he had gone.
Transferred to some colonial base. She had tried to contact him, to send him messages, but they were all unanswered. Finally, broken, she had run from the Navy, unable to exist in his world any more. She had come to the oubliette and taken on the life of a communal Ghost. She learned to hate him, because the hate was better than the pain. And, through him, she’d come to hate the military.
Now, Isely wanted her to go back.
“Can I expect to face those ‘legal ramifications’ if I refuse Isely’s job offer?” she asked Tyler frankly.
“I think it would be in your best interest to err on the side of caution, Miss Nova,” Cary Tyler replied smoothly.
Nova looked around her, at the lovely, quiet store and her friends who were surreptitiously listening in. She thought of the oubliette, with its languid life and its wonderful, tender melancholy. She had been happy here, or at least content.
“How long before the expedition?” she asked Tyler quietly.
“Two weeks. We’ll be transporting you to Port Alhambra, where you’ll be part of the crew of the Valdosta.”
Nova nodded, once. “I’ll be ready to leave in two weeks.”
Posts : 57
Join date : 2009-02-16
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:40 pm|| |
Posted for Lana:
There was one thing about being outside the commune that she hadn't
anticipated. In the oubliette everyone was concious of space, of
touch, of cleanliness. It was a dry, placid, sterile existence because
for a Ghost - particularly any that were still learning control over
the various facets of the their psychic abilities - the last thing
anyone wanted was invasion of personal space.
When every object you picked up could reveal details about a person's
life, the last thing anyone did was walk around unguarded. Your
personal home was safety and sanctum all at once and everything
outside of it in the oubliette had been organized, quiet, and
well-ordered to keep the occupants as comfortable and serene as
Nova did her best to huddle away from the rush of the space station
crowds as she boarded the transport to Port Alhambra.
No one here - save for the occasional Ghost - respected personal
space. Everyone was always pressing close, touching, sniffling,
jarring, yelling. It left her with a throbbing headache both from the
noise and because she hadn't been out in far too long. She hadn't
realized how sheltered the oubliette had made her. Her psychometry was
sliding in and out of focus when she touched door handles, causing
jarring flashes of the passengers before her. Picking up her food tray
before leaving had given her a vibrant image and sensation of
precisely what the chef thought of his youthful and lithe assistant.
Nova shuddered with disgust. She didn't want to be out here again.
The peace of the commune was far more appealing, soothing, and safe.
People there understood the necessary distances and while she was not
one for picking up stray thoughts the simple rush of humanity left her
Out here everyone -felt- everything and between the people and the
thrum of the machines she could barely clear her muddled thoughts long
enough to find her cabin. As usual, crews weren't particularly
cognicent of a Ghost's limitations and it took her far longer than she
wanted to get her paperwork cleared and her cabin found. Comfortable
but almost too much so, even though she knew this was not Isley's
grandest cabin or ship. She'd gotten used to austerity, simplicty, and
the clean grey and charcoal of the cabin and the panel lights were
even more than she wanted to deal with.
The bed, at least, was comfortable and she sank into the pillows with
a half-sob of relief as the door wooshed closed. Here at least there
was only the residual impression of a bored sanitation worker that had
prepared the room and the resonance was quickly fading. She nuzzled
her face into the pillow, clean scent of laundry and absence of the
press of people around her were soothing.
She'd done this before, this act of mental clearing, centering. He'd
always laughed at her, but it had been the sort of gentle teasing
laugh of someone finding an action adorable rather than irritating.
She shoved -that- thought away with anger, felt the slow familiar
hatred trickle back in. There was no point in denying any of it. He
was gone - long gone - and she was back out in his world and away from
the centered peace she had found. Out here she had to feel things,
had to interact with the barage of humanity's emotions that she'd
quite successfully cut herself off from in the oubliette. Part of her
reminded herself that this was likely a good emotional development but
the rest of her didn't care. There was no point in any of it and if
she wasn't quite courageous enough to find death, at least there was
the peace of numbness to get back to when this was over.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: More on Nova's background - Timeline Sun May 10, 2009 8:10 pm|| |
Born - 2393, Alhambra station medical facilities
2400 - 7, Nova's mother, Celestine, is pregnant with her baby brother. the child is lost during a series of Isley experiments. Celestine's memory is erased.
2414 - Nova graduates at 21 from university with a double major degree in computer science and an additional degree in psychology. Her excellent memory aid her in both and she is a good student, though like most Ghosts tends toward being more serious than your average college student. Following in her mother's and father's footsteps (both Ghosts), she signs on as a civilian contractor with the military, serving as a computer engineer on several smaller ships and frequently also as an unofficial counselor to some of the staff. Her flexibility in both areas allows her a certain amount of job flexibility wthin the military.
2416 - Ten years ago - the colonial skirmishes begin and Nova works on a small transport ship that skims the American colonies for stranded survivors. She spends the war essentially helping trauma victims aboard the ship though her official job is to moniter the ship's technical health.
Her father is killed during the skirmishes attempting to help two opposing colonial groups negotiate a peace between French and Prez-check settlers.
Nova's mother retires from military contract shortly after this and enters the Oubliette in Calivada.
In the next several years, Nova will change assignments two more times, though she seems to prefer working with her cyberpathy after the stress of the skirmishes.
2423 - Nova is stationed aboard the Atlanta with Jackson Hazard
2426 - Voyage to Carina arm with the Valdosta
Last edited by minxlette on Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:15 am; edited 3 times in total
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Returning to the Oubliette - post game "Potential intelligence" Sun May 10, 2009 9:02 pm|| |
It had been three weeks since the Valdosta had docked back at the Alhambra station, two and a half weeks since they'd left Olympus Mons on Mars from the richest suite Nova had ever seen and all thanks to Tovar Demine on that one. Three weeks since Captain Avery Crane had married them and her life had changed irrevocably - again - because of Jackson Hazard.
As the small, solar car pulled to a stop at the head of the path that wended down into the Calivada Oubliette, Nova briefly considered just skipping this part of the trip and heading straight back to the Valdosta, her renewed contract with Isley as the Valdosta's Ghost on crew (both counselor and technical advisor), and Jackson's new post as head of security and second command. She also briefly considered begging Tovar for another week on Olympus Mons where she'd reluctantly let a civilian Ghost touch her had turned out to be the best damned massage she'd ever recieved; he later explained that he had no empathic awareness but that subtle application of telekinesis to major muscle groups was quite soothing. She'd spent a good several days in the Olympus Spa and even her now slightly shorter hair looked tailored to her.
Which of course was nothing like what she faced staring down the path to the Calivada oubliette. Jackson cleared his throat and shuffled his feet next to her.
"Ready?" she asked.
Nova just smiled. "You haven't met my mother before." Jackson had the sense to look a bit uncomfortable as Nova led the way down the path to the commune. The silence was immediate, descending on them like a thick blanket. For three years, Nova had found that silence peaceful and soothing - it was nothing like the hum of engines and the chatter of navy and marines at mess or the rough sounds of men and women training and practicing. It was nothing, in short, like she'd experienced in the past several weeks.
There was a part of her that would always miss it here, this peace, this quiet, this knowing that everything was laid out in neat order and that no one would infringe on your personal space or move your things unexpectedly or barge in without asking. Neat, ordered, soothing, zen.
And emotionless. She'd told Parr the truth - for those that lived commune life who sought solitude and mental perfection and peace, this place was perfection and heaven. You could hone your mind to the highest degree here. Your powers would never bring you pain or disquiet. You would never experience the hostility of a world that didn't yet know what to do with your kind.
But there was so little feeling here. It was present - Ghosts were still human - but it was layered under layers and layers of control and propriety and ritual, buried deep. There were families here - Nova knew without doubt they loved one another as deeply and passionately as all families did. But Nova also knew to an outsider, it would seem as if they were cold and distant, unable to pick up the tiny subtexts and nuances that made up oubliette life. And for those that came here as solace from some other pain, the numbness was a blessing. It was why she'd come here, following her mother after Jackson had left her, the only thing she could find to soothe her broken heart was solitude and distance and the numbness of the quiet.
"Hm?" Jackson looked at her with concern at her lack of response. She hadn't realized she'd been silent for most of the half-mile walk into the commune. The breeze was out, cooling both of them and Nova flashed him a small smile.
"I was thinking of the last time I did this. When I first came here."
"Good or bad thought?" As always he was having a hard time reading her. It made her smile that he never seemed to stop trying despite proclaiming that it was infuriatingly difficult.
"Neither," she replied simply, chuckling at his frustrated expression. "Brace yourself - we're just about there."
It was not that Jackson couldn't be here - there was no law or rule about it - but it was that it was so extremely rare. Visitors to Oubliettes were usually Ghosts. Regular humans found the places too discomfiting to bear for any length of time for the most part. Occasionally, a war veteran or someone badly in need of solace would show up and some Ghost would take them in for a few weeks or a few months and they would dissapear one day as silently as they arrived, hopefully healed for the effort but having left very little mark on the society itself. It was an offer she wanted to extend to Cotton Parr if her mother agreed, but that was not the first order of business.
Because it was clear from the moment that she and Jackson hit the outter most sensing range of the resident Ghosts that this was going to be something that added a little excitement to the commune's day. Several had already gathered, including Pietro, the young boy that had charged into her shop with Cary Tyler at his heels. Pietro, Nova suspected, wouldn't stay in the Oubliette much longer. He had too much energy and like most children the world was out there waiting for him.
"Nova's back!" Pietro shouted, causing some of the elders to wince and several other Ghosts to poke heads out of doors and stare. She saw their gazes slide right by her to Jackson and eyebrows arched all around.
"Hello scamp," she replied gently and gave Pietro a one armed hug. To the elders she half-bowed elegantly. "Elders."
"How was your trip?" It was a question asked out of politeness for Jackson. Elder Kovar was a telepath of immense power as well as empathic.
"Be leaving. I suspected as much from ..." he gestured rather impatiently to Jackson. "He shields terribly."
"Elder, everyone shields terribly against you," Nova replied politely. She smiled a little to the boy to soften the blow. "Mother's returned?"
"Yes. Though why she needed to go on vacation is beyond me."
Nova knew the answer to that but didn't elucidate. Like her daughter, Celestine had never fully embraced the solitude of the oubliette. She too had come here to forget, and occasional forays out into the galaxy were her way of pretending that life was normal and living a bit before the pain of her husband's loss became too great and she would return.
"Do you have any questions?" She asked Kovar instead.
"No. You'll settle your affairs I'm certain, before you go and you are welcome to go or stay as you desire. You know that."
"I'll always be grateful for your kindness," she replied honestly and was gratifid by the trace of a smile on Kovar's lips.
"We never expected we'd keep you for long. Wounds heal in time for the young." He nodded once to Jackson before he shooed the remaining watchers off. Some muttered quietly. Some stared in the peculiar way of telepaths having silent conversations.
"That wasn't too bad," Jackson sighed softly, looking relieved. She felt bad for him, sensing the nervousness that hid beneath calm marine training. He wasn't terrified but he was out of his element here and he knew it. Nova opened the door to the general store and ushered him inside. The neatly ordered rows of items were still soothing and familiar. The McCallister's damned brown milking cow was still in its pasture next door and not in her tomato plants today. The small hydroponics garden out back that was adjacent to both the store and what had been 'home" looked well tended through the back window. A fat orange cat purred lazily on the counter and meowed when she entered.
"You're back and you-" Celestine stopped from arranging a new shipment of vitamin suppliments on one shelf and turned slowly. Her grey eyes traced up and down Jackson's form without flinching, assessing. Nova shifted nervously from foot to foot. Her mother was telepathic and telekinetic. Normally very in control of her emotions, Celestine had been known to accidently clip people with heavy objects when upset. Nova assumed that missing her only child's somewhat less than traditional wedding would qualify as "upsetting."
"Hello Mother... yes I'm back and..."
Jackson Hazard? Her mother's mental voice echoed in her head.
"Yes mother, this is Lieutenant Jackson Hazard," Nova replied aloud, trying to clue her mother in that it might be more polite to speak aloud.
THE Jackson Hazard? The one that sent you crying here like a broken hearted child?
"Yes Mother," Nova replied wearily.
And precisely why is Jackson Hazard here? With you?
"The trip went..."
What trip? I go off-planet and then I come back to seventeen messages from Pietro and Kuvar stating that some Isley representative has been here and you've gone and now you're back over a month later with the man you swore you hated?
Well where did you go?
"The carina arm of the galaxy, mother."
And what did you find there?
"That's complicated, mother."
Complicated? You're not making any sense, Nova. Should I just root around in here until you tell the whole thing? Nova knew her mother would do no such thing, but the threat was not lost on her.
"Well if you'd give me a second to explain," she said smoothly. Jackson looked back and forth between them in mild bewilderment.
I imagine I should. Considering you don't seem to be killing him on sight and you swore you'd never return to GAF or military service. Celestine favored Jackson with a look usually reserved for pond scum, lawyers, and Isley coorporate executives. Nova was suddenly very glad that her mother had been off planet when Carey Tyler had arrived; he wouldn't have survived the experience and she was fairly certain that she'd even give Tovar a run for his money.
Nova sighed and put her overnight bag down, moving to pet the cat on the counter idley.
What happened to your arms? Why do you have scars? And is your hair shorter??
"Oh my goodness! Mother!" Nova cast a glare over the rows of canned tuna fish with a huff of irritation that made Celestine's eyebrows arch imperiously. "If you insist on pushing I'll do this the difficult way. I'm fine. I had a few injuries on the mission that Doctor Parr was excellent enough to take care of in short order." She tried to cast a warning look at Jackson to warn him but she saw Celestine's gaze shift. Too late. In less than the time it took to blink, her mother had guaged Jackson's emotional reaction to the word "injuries." She knew she was doomed.
"I'll put the kettle on," Celestine said finally, her voice even even though Nova could sense the turmoil of worry and protective anger from her mother. "Will Lieutenant Hazard be staying the day or should I make up a guest room?" Celestine didn't live with her daughter but the two were visitors to one another's houses enough that the offer of help wasn't uncommon.
"No. He won't need a guest room. He can stay in my room with me."
She almost recoiled from the force of her mother's shock.
She had expected that Kovar had passed the somewhat inevitable message, but it was clear that he had left all the hard work to her. Even the oubliette elders didn't tangle with Celestine; it would disturb the peace.
"Yes mother," she bit back the obvious retort but her mother caught it in her thoughts anyway. Well he is my husband.
Nova was perhaps a little bit too gratified when Celestine dropped the can of coffee beans in shock.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Exit survey Mon May 11, 2009 9:13 pm|| |
Nova tapped her fingers on her elbow, arms crossed across her chest as she often did when she was trying to keep hands from touching unknown objects and locations and avoid any extra and unneeded sympathy.
The psychologist across from her stared levelly back. He had her file. He certainly knew she was trained in psychological methedology. He certainly knew she was a Ghost. She doubted he knew that he was making her late to meet the transport to her honeymoon. The chipper smile and laughter that she'd let loose around Jackson and the rest of the crew that were rapidly becoming trusted friends was tamped down beneath a cool, calm exterior. Ghost aloofness reigned supreme.
"Miss Nova you stated in your report that the ship - spoke - to you?"
Oh boy, here we go, she thought. Her expression didn't falter.
"As you've certainly noted in my file, my cyberpathy gives me a certain degree of communion with machines and computers," she explained patiently.
"In a manner of speaking. Not with words. I'm able to pick up a certain sense of wrongness or correctness in the mechanics of the ship."
"A sense of foreboding?" The psychologist was unconvinced of her mental stability. It didn't take a Ghost to figure that out.
"Yes, sir. I recieved a sense of ...foreboding... from the ship. It was most likely a sense that the engines were about to falter combined with my own tendancy to explain the mechanical aspects of the ship in human terminology." She only fibbed a little. While Nova was utterly aware that the Valdosta was no more alive than any other ship, she also knew that Avery's connection to the ship and the ships circumstances made it more receptive to her powers. It -felt- more human to her although she certainly knew it wasn't human or alive at all - but the nuances that she could feel often sounded mad to others. She'd known the engines would come back on. She didn't know how. She didn't know if it was the Valdosta or some vague sense that something would help them, but she'd been right.
"I see," he replied, even though he didn't at all, Nova knew. "Miss Nova-"
"Mr...Smythe? I am very well aware of the nuances of my abilities. I do not believe the Valdosta is alive despite my impressions of the ship. I do state that the ship has a capacity for manuevers and missions in the hand of her Captain that allow her to be taken to the utmost of her capacity. That said, you are making me late for my honey moon. I'm fine. Quite happy even, and as you'll note in the report you will note that I coincide a great deal of the impressions recieved on the Valdosta with the cross-referenced empathic impressions I recieved from her crew. I would like to go now as I am quite obviously -not insane-."
"Uh yes Miss, I noticed that. it sounded a little..."
"The crew underwent a great deal of emotional strain given the circumstances and the effects of the anomaly. A certain amount of apprehension and giddiness are to be anticipated from that."
"I understand. Well of course I won't keep you any longer. And uh... congratulations," he gestured vaguely at her file where she, Jackson, and no doubt Avery had filed the various required papers to legalize their marriage.
"Thank you mr. Smythe," she replied politely and escaped yet another psych eval for something far more pleasant.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Fri May 22, 2009 8:27 am|| |
Some clarifications on Nova's abilities:
Since this is nice and up in the air I want to solidify.
Nova can gain impressions off machines and computers. Cyberpathy. She reads these impressions as she would human emotions tending toward humanizing ships, mechanical things, etc as a result. It's not a conversation so much as an empathic trace of how the systems are doing/feeling and problem areas.
Nova can gain impressions off of humans as well. She can get a general emotional state by standing near someone though unless the emotions are very strong it's not a terribly specific read. Using this and her psychology training she can also usually tell if someone is lieing or not. She needs to be in a generally close vicinity to do this - in the same room she can get a general impression (for example, she can get eight emotional "echos" off the eight people standing in the bridge and thus knows there are eight people present. However, she cannot sense the emotional impressions of someone on the other side of the ship or of the ship docked next to the Valdosta). She senses emotions - not thoughts and not human presence.
Nova can also gain empathic reading via touch - either of a human or an object. The readings she gets from touch are far more definitive and intense than general impressions. They -can- be misinterpreted as any emotions out of context could be.
move things with her mind
actually have a conversation with machines
Last edited by minxlette on Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Visiting Naughtshead Fri May 22, 2009 10:00 am|| |
They'd spent only a few days in the Oubliette - not too many - but enough that by the time they'd left Celestine had been at least accepting of her daughter's choice if not entirely warm to her new husband. Nova assured Jackson she'd warm up in time, knowing her mother's frosty exterior was just that and that underneath the proper and composed shell, she was a deeply caring woman who reacted strongly to the well being of her only child. Like many Ghosts, true emotion ran deep and fierce under the surface. Still waters run deep was an appropriate addage.
You love him?
"Like you love father, mom," Nova had reassured her over tea before leaving, answering unspoken questions. Celestine had simply nodded and hugged her fiercly and let her and Jackson go without further fuss. The store would remain in her care and Piotro took her cat, promising to look after him though the boy had spoken tightly and through tears of his own. She'd reassured him that she wouldn't entirely dissapear and knew that stopping back into the oubliette from time to time would help all of them.
Her affairs in order, there was only one more stop to make before heading back to the Valdosta.
Naughtshead. Where Jackson had fled to after their disasterous parting. It was a mining facility and full of marines - she knew that. But absolutely nothing prepared her for the onslaught of sound and people and stink and sweat and the tang of minerals in the air.
When they'd walked into what dubiously passed as a command center, she already had a headache from the noise. The station itself constantly vibrated, shifted, ground, hummed, and rattled. The noise itself was enough, the mining dust choking the air made it worse outside the heavily filtered command center. Jackson had warned her if she started hallucinating to let him know and he hadn't been kidding.
And then the machines themselves. Most of them had been recently reoutfitted during their trip - those were in good order. But the older machines practically screamed in agony. She tucked her hands firmly under folded arms across her chest, refusing to touch the walls, doors, lifts, anything. Jackson gave her an odd look.
"Just... I'll run my version of a diagnostic before we go. Some of your bits and pieces are rusting out and need replacement." She winced. "Badly."
She managed to keep herself intact until they'd walked on the bridge of the station and the entire group of marines inside had turned to stare. Curiosity bombarded her, turning to surprise. Some figured it out right away and the shock almost made her smile, but others were as normal suspicious of anyone new. Marines. Eesh. Her shielding was strong enough and her powers not strong enough to block out anything else without touch. Someone came forward, talking to Jackson and she realized belatedly a hand was stuck out for her to shake.
Nova inclined her head politely and bowed a bit but shook her head. "I'm sorry, but I don't. Ensign Banks? Lieutenant Hazard mentioned you."
"Who's this, sir?" the man asked as politely as anyone that riddled with curioisty could be. She realized her dress and the Isley vest were not standard marine issue and the cut of the former probably alerted them all to what she was.
"My wife, Nova," Jackson replied with amusement. Ensign Banks, to his credit, only blinked a bit and let his hand drop and smiled. Nova liked him more already. The rest of the bridge crew turned to gape as the Ensign briefed Jackson on the upgrades and the status of the station that had restarted last week.
"You'll need to have them take a second look at the third drill," she replied quietly. "They thought it was stable but it's not. It needs new...something." She risked putting a hand on the wall of the center and winced a little "rotator cuff. It's rusted out where the... shhh... it's grinding. Hurts." Her hand jerked back and she rubbed it against the soft cotton that covered her hip. She heard a soft murmur pass through the room and sighed to herself. "My apologies, I didn't mean to -"
"No, no," the ensign replied. "We're having a hard time with that one," he reassured her. "Uh... I didn't know Ghosts could..."
"Not many can." She left out the part where she was, as far as she knew, the only one that could. She glanced at Jackson who despite the stern marine exterior was about to bust out laughing.
"Ensign, see to that drill," he ordered. "I'm going to give Nova a brief tour and make sure they didn't fuck up anything else." He took the man aside and talked more quietly with him and Nova knew that he was explaining the transfer and the changes that would be come. Ensign Banks seemed nice enough but she knew by the time she'd walked to the otherside of Naughtshead the entire crew would know both who she was, why she was here, and when Jackson would be leaving.
She shifted uncomfortably, drawing her composure around herself like a shield. She hadn't been around this many marines in quite some time and Naughtshead, true to reputation, was full of marines who for one reason or another didn't do quite as well in more civilized company. Maybe they were risk-takers. Maybe they had authority issues that Jackson had a particular knack for shaking out of them. Maybe they had death wishes or had muddled a mission. But this was not where the GAF sent it's bright and shiney recruits. A number of the crew were, she knew, colonial skirmish veterans and it made for a particular brand of roughness that was both honest but also unnerving. Nova felt like she was around an entire station full of Lincolns and MacCrees and two of them had been enough for her stress levels.
She stayed close to Jackson as they walked, ignoring the cat calls and smiling a little at the hollered congratulations as he showed her around the station. She senseed mostly good natured ribaldry from everyone, though one or two were more hostile toward her than she would admit to him. She could barely hear either cat call or congratulations over the noise. Nova pointed out one or two more parts that could use an upgrade, hands occasionally fluttering over a wall, railing, engine casing, but even she had to admit Isley had done a good job. After each touch her hands tucked back close to herself.
"Had enough?" He said.
"Yes. How long are we going to need to be here?"
"Just a few days. Carter said they would try and fast track the transfers and I don't ...have much." His quarters were cramped and cluttered and didn't do much to block out the sounds of machines and motors.
"I think I'll mostly stay in here," she murmured, though she picked up a stray sock with a look of disgust and half-amusement.
"I wouldn't blame you"
She sat down on the bed - which at least was clean - and leaned back before she jerked up again in shock, tears welling in her eyes.
"Nova?" He was immediately worried but she shook her head. Loneliness. Suicidal depression. Reserve. Longing. She traced her fingers delicately over his pillow again and bit her lip. Whatever anger she could have had at him for what had happened dissipated like a memory of smoke. How many nights had he lain here beating himself up over leaving? How many nights had he lain here wondering where she was? Had he lain here wondering if the next drill slip and explosion would be enough to stop all of it? SHe had thought it was just her, suffering and alone and feeling like a part of you was missing.
"Oh...Jackson I'm so sorry." He seemed to take a minute to figure out what she was talking about before he came over and wrapped his arms around her tightly.
"I deserved it."
"No... no you just... made a mistake. We both did. Too many assumptions."
"We'll leave soon..."
"It's all right. Do what you need to do. I know you. You won't leave them half-prepared and unready. You've been here too long." And he was too loyal to the GAF to do anything else. She'd wait out the noise and strangeness in here as much as possible. She let her hands stray back to the bed and sighed softly, relaxing, expecting the residual emotions this time. Once she knew they were there she could tune them out and she fully expected to leave the bed a whole new set of emotions before leaving it again.
"But if you could find ear plugs so I could sleep again that might be good..."
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:04 pm|| |
"How often are you going to repack that thing?" Jackson asked, leaning in the doorway and peering at her with a sardonic smile that was softened by the look in his eyes. She threw one of his shirts at him in response but she was chuckling. It was the fourth time she'd rearranged their two duffel bags of luggage.
"Until you manage to recall that -I- have to fit my things in here too and we have a weight limit on cargo."
"You're going to go crazy until we're back there aren't you?"
"Not like you're any calmer."
"Well... no." Vacation was over. The honeymoon was wonderful but neither of them was built for complete inactivity and while Nova could meditate her way into oblivion for days at a time if allowed, Jackson was impatient to be back star-side. It was not an easy tension, though she didn't begrudge him that. Truth be told she was as anxious as he was. Having left the oublilette, she felt like she wanted to catch up on years of missed life and living. His arms slid around her waist and lips found her neck and ear, making it impossible to do more than fold a shirt.
"I'm helping," he insisted.
"No you aren't."
"What's that?" He asked curiously and she blushed a little at the question, squashing the small cast-iron cup into the corner of the duffel.
"It's from my coming of age ceremony. My mother gave it to me. We... tend to carry them with us in wherever our home is. Since that's now the Valdosta..."
"You have a tea cup?" He sounded confused and Nova sighed.
"It's part of the ceremony. You keep it after. The necklace was from my father. The tea cup from my mother."
"So thats what that is?" He fingered the chain around her neck, the one she never removed and she nodded. "Saturnian crystal."
"Expensive." The stone was named for the striations that mimiced the rings of saturn.
"Is it? I've never looked," she admitted. "It helps me meditate and focus and ..." She smiled wanly at him, the old ache of missing her father always present when she thought over long about him. She'd been young when he was killed but she still had strong memories of him, of when he had clasped the stone pendant around her neck and hugged her and said how proud he was of his little girl "growing up to be a big Ghost." Her father had been exceptionally gifted telekinetically and empathically - but neither of those abilities had managed to stop angry colonists and bullets. She hadn't been there, of course, and Celestine never spoke of it.
"Hey, you got all blue," he tipped her chin around to kiss her and let her fingers trace over his face, down his neck, to shoulder and arm and hand. Jackson was stable. Strong. He couldn't shield himself against her for anything worth mentioning, but whenever anything became to much, she could sooth herself from the sheer stability of his mental presence. For a Ghost about to go star-side, surrounded by too many people after so long in the oubliette, it was an invaluable and cherished source of calm.
"Sorry...I just want to get back to the ship. The space station is getting too crowded." Indeed for their last few days, stationed on the Alhambra and waiting to depart again, Nova had barely ventured out of their quarters except early in the morning when crowds and travelers were light. Jackson, bless him, never once even joked about it.
"You and me both, babe." She shook her head at the antiquated american slang. Jackson was never going to let go of being a "Georgia boy" but it made her smile. He wasn't overtly against the GAF but there was still a sense of fierce pride about him. As there was about her own "people" for her, she supposed. "So... how much does that tea cup weigh?"
"Well I can bring it... or your Eagles collection on data chips..."
"Woman, there is absolutely no contest."
"I know. That's why I'm bringing the cup."
When he tackled her onto the bed, laughing, she forgot about the packing and the desire to be back on the Valdosta and forgot to even mention that she had, in fact, packed both.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: So there I was in space tied to this chair... Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:03 am|| |
She didn't need to be an empath to know that when the two men with rifles boarded the ship, and the gas filled the air, and her knees gave out, that they were not nice or pleasant people and that they intended to harm the crew of The Valdosta. Rather, because she was an empath she knew it all the more and could feel their hostility crawling along her skin like the skittering and scrabbling of a spider's feet. The last thing she heard was Avery locking the ship down and the computer's bleep of response and then nothing.
When she woke, she wasn't surprised to be tied to a chair or blindfolded. The gas slowly pumping through the breathing masks only made her headache worse and she tried to meditate past the startling starbursts of colored pain. The process was only as successful as attempting to loosen her bonds and she stopped thrashing and fighting before the rest of the crew. There were only seven of them in the room. Her abilities swept outward as far as she could push them, making her skull throb more as she tried to push past the usual limits. The blindfold preventedher from seeing but she was concious, and a Ghost, her abilities worked.
Still only the room. Avery, closest, resolution and determination layered over fear. It had to be the captain. Jenks to her immediate left, the particular tang of his jittery nervousness around her - why was he so nervous around her when he had a self-proclaimed reverance for Ghosts? - could only be him, the emotion cranked up to highest setting given their current predicament. She could feel Sadie beyond that - there was no other person on board who's emotions would feel so raw and new in this situation. The rest were old hands and experienced soldiers but Sadie's terror was sharp and new. Denton was, remarkably, similar in feeling to Avery though his emotions had an edge of curiosity. Nova marked him up in estimation in her mind; she already liked the journalist but she could only respect someone who could face this with so much bravery. Gull high energy, straining against the bonds and more paniced than she'd have expected but he had faith and loyalty as well, keeping him in check. Parr was, she assumed, next. All of his emotions were focused on them, worry and fretting and protectiveness and a fierce desire to keep them all safe that didn't surprise her. Cotton's emotions were like the ocean - fierce and strong and as unstoppable as tides, but refreshing and soothing in their honesty. The mask he presented to the world was transparent for her; but she respected that.
Lincoln . Jackson. Nothing. Fear shot through her, making her nauseous.
Her assessment of her fellow captors was confirmed when Avery asked them to sound off. Their pilot and her husband were both missing. "Jackson?" She couldn't keep the tremor out of her voice, stopped short from saying anything else, tried to breathe.
"Nova... you need to stay strong," Avery's voice was a command in the darkness. Nova clung to the command. She wasn't GAF but she knew a command when she heard one and she knew in times of crisis that the soldiers aboard this ship would keep them as safe as they could while accomplishing the mission they all signed up for. In times like this, you listened to your captain.
A comm unit crackled to life. The voice on the other side was cultured, russian, smooth, full of the same sort of command that Avery's voice held. Nova didn't like the tone of it though. There was only cruelty behind it.
"We have your lieutenant and your pilot, Captain. You took something from me, my son. You have no children to take. So I will take your ship. I want the access codes, Avery."
The sounds that came next were hideous. She heard the sizzling crackle of a neural disruptor - Nova didn't even know where anyone would get a neural disruptor, the weapons so hideously painful that they were outlawed by both the Geneva convention's rules on cruel and unusual punishment and the Tokyo convention's later reinforcement of laws against war crimes; the weapon fired all the nerves in the body at once, overloading them much as a tazer would, but interupting the usual signals of shock with pain. While it, at first, wouldn't inflict any skin damage, it would overload both the nervous system, limbic system, and brain until the only hope for the victim would be a shut down of the nerves entirely, a deadening of the limbs, and eventual paralysis and death. If used too often, the disruptor would simply make it so that the body would feel nothing ever again save that firey, wracking pain.
She felt tears leak from her closed and taped eyes when she heard the familiar, rough growl of "Hazard, Jackson. Lietuenant Senior Grade. 47354." She felt Avery's worry reach out for her.
No one told her that he would be all right. No one lied. No one said anything for a long moment. "he won't tell them," Parr offered.
"No, he won't."
After a while the screams stopped.
I am water. Still. Deep. Calm. I am water. She felt the meditation rise up around her, the images so sharp and clear, just like father had taught her. She wrapped herself in them, sinking deep into her mind.
The door opened and closed. She could feel them in the room. When they touched her, her skin crawled. Hatred. Such hatred. From one of them at least - she assumed it was Alexander. The other was a sadist, reveling in their pain, but his emotions were as muddled and hostile and normal as any sadist would be surrounded by this. They nauseated her but it was nothing compared to Alexander's hands on her scalp. His fingers dug through her hair, trembling not with fear but with hatred and he shoved the emotion into her. She tried her best not to move, to withstand it but she cried out and jerked away anyway.
Only someone deeply trained in meditation could force emotions like that. Only someone trained by a master of the zen arts - or someone trained by a Ghost. What Ghost would help a man like this? What Ghost would so horrifically abuse their abilities? She didn't know but Nova could feel the negative emotions he forced on her as surely as if he were physically torturing her. That fate was spared her - but it didn't matter. The backlash of their pain and fear filled the room and caught in the net of her mind and filled her senses. She didn't need to be physically harmed. Jackson's absence and now silent screams, the moans and pain of her friends and crew and the turmoil of their emotions, was her tribulation. She had no rank and serial number to give.
I am water. This she repeated to herself over and over again in her mind. She didn't dare retreat fully, afraid she wouldn't come back out, but also knowing they needed the reassurance of the crews' voices to talk them through their pain and terror. She did what she could to comfort them through it, pitching her voice low and soft in the darkness. She yelled only once, when they tried to pry the ring off her finger. Her thumb, clenched in a fist, stroked the gold metal band over and over, drawing the vague impressions of love and protection from it from Jackson's long absent hands.
"You'll take my hand before I let you take that off me," she snarled, surprising herself.
"Nova..." Avery's voice again. Cling to that. Cling to that. And she did. Sweet Buddha she was drowning in the pain and fear and hurt, trying to shore up Jenk's crumbling composure and Parr's impotent rage. Listen to the captain. Listen to her.
She felt it, then, when they threw Avery on the ground and ripped her uniform away, and the slap of flesh against flesh and her captain's gasps of pain. She felt the violation of rape and the betrayal and the anger. Avery Crane was no average woman - it wasn't a violation of her body that bothered her. It was the violation of decency and rules; if she had been a man they never would have done this. It didn't matter to Nova. The blindfold, even damp with her silent tears, wouldn't move. "We're still with you , Avery. STill with you captain." She repeated this over and over, hoping her voice would give Avery Crane something to cling to herself, hoping that Avery knew that while she couldn't hear their thoughts, she could feel what they felt and the emotions were so strong that as long as Nova were with them right now, none of them were alone. She of all of them understood what they all were going through, shared it all with them, and would never ever reveal it without their permission. She sat in the darkness and shared it with them and tried to remind them because it was all she could do.
Jenks almost broke. the HSDD made his mind weak, and the revelations of the old experiments nearly pushed Nova over the edge, but in the end, bound and hurting, she didn't have room to hate Gavin Jenks or what had been done to her mother. She didn't have time to grieve for a little brother she never knew and that her mother had never mentioned. She only had time to try and hold herself together.
It was Sadie, the new greenie ironically, that managed it. They lifted the blind folds so they could watch their captain being tortured. The neural disruptor nearly killed her. The blood on her face made them all rage and weep. But none of them - not a one of them from Jackson who's silence terrified her, to Lincoln who simply swore at his captors with an honesty that made them all laugh despite themselves, to Jenks who was half mad to Gull who resented his captain's choice of having him shot - gave up the codes. Denton had enough temerity to backtalk them, his humor rallying their morale.
Alexander raged and fumed and threatened and hurt them.
But he didn't know the crew of the Valdosta.
I am water
It was Sadie who saw they left the tools. Avery's chair tipped, nudging at the case, sliding it over. They all paused, silent. And then they all moved, jerking at bonds. Sadie, still tied, crab walked her chair closer. Nova's fingers twitched, three fingers free, hard-won and aching. She caught the edge of the tensile tape and tugged and wormed and Sadie's hand popped free. They slammed their chairs into one another to get free. Denton blocked the door. Nova felt hope again and they all converged, finding whatever they could to arm themselves.
She tried. She really did. She took the flail from Avery who's limbs couldn't work but it was the sadist who held it last and the emotions that crawled over her made her want to throw up. She dropped it with a half hysterical sob and it was Cotton that soothed her into silence again. She picked up a length of tensile tape instead, deciding she could use it as a garrote if needed. For the first time in her life, Nova was willing to kill someone and that alone scared her more than she had words for. Self-loathing, betrayal of her beliefs, but all she could hear was Jackson's screams and all she could feel was her crew-mates pain and hurt.
Later, she'd have time to remember the details of Cotton barging through the door and overwhelming Alexander with Lincoln, bloody but alive, aiming guns at the rogue captain's head. Later she would remember Lincoln's shame and the missing lieutenant and the fierce protectiveness as he carried Avery to the med bay. She'd remember Gull's pain and hurt as Parr healed his gunshot leg. She would have time to fully analyze how she was on the verge of clinical shock and how she internalized her own trauma in order to talk them through theirs, because their mental and emotional instability only made her own intolerable. Later, she would realize she spent most of the day shying from contact that she did not herself initiate. Later, she'd remember all of this quite vividly.
But then she remembered only a few things - that she dropped the garrote and held to her beliefs because the desire to hurt them couldn't overcome the revulsion of how that would feel.
She would hear Sadie's voice telling her that Jackson was alive and would be fine.
And she would remember what she said when she tightened the bonds on Alexander Dimitrivich's hands and they ordered him into the brig and knocked him out.
"Do you know what a Nova is?" She'd hissed. "A star that explodes. I told you, you don't know this crew."
Avery told her she was tougher than she'd expected. Cotton had unburdened his years of pain. Nova fell asleep on the bridge with her hand flat to the floor to absorb the thrumming and protectiveness of the Valdosta and only when he snuck up on her in sleep, rousing her from the confusion of nightmares, would she let Jackson touch her and hold her as she cried herself out.
I am water. I am water. I am water.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:10 pm|| |
What is it you aren't telling me?
Celestine's voice jerked Nova out of her reverie and she opened one eye from the meditation to peer at her mother. Jackson was at Alhambra in an advanced tactics course but her own refresher in trauma counseling didn't start for another week and she'd taken a few days to go back to the oubliette. The formal dinner had passed without incident, though a few strained diplomatic moments had to be explained away by those more familiar with Ghosts when she declined to dance.
I'm going back out with them again. She didn't need to speak, just think.
I expected that. You're married to him.
As she had expected, the rancor was gone from Celestine's mental presence at the mention of Jackson now. After the last trip, after Celestine had somehow gotten word about what had happened, any hostility toward any of the Valdosta's crew on behalf of her mother was purely for show. She'd even grudgingly accepted that a diplomatic dinner for a chosen hundred was not a place to laud her daughter, though Nova had quietly and fiercely clung to the pride her mother felt. There was still so much she wanted to tell her though.
You're not telling me everything.
I ... can't.
Can't? There was puzzlement in that. Nebula and star discoveries were a dime a dozen on a research ship and the results of the "mad Russian's" capture were common knowledge except for the worst parts of it. The oubliette had, for the first time in Nova's recollection, had to turn people away when a few reporters tried to follow her onto the commune's lands.
Can't. Not...really. Just... Unbidden, the image of Gavin Jenks slid through her mind and she felt Celestine recoil. Silence lurked between them and waited... waited... if her mother remembered anything though, she did not say. Nova did not bring it up. She couldn't bear to cause her mother anymore pain, not after Father's loss and the danger she was about to go into herself. She wanted to tell her mother so many things. She wanted to tell her that she wanted a child with Jackson, but that it was too dangerous right now and she didn't want to risk that baby losing its parents to a war that no one may ever even know was being fought. She wanted to tell her about the little brother she didn't remember, about Emerald.
Instead she tried to harness all those thoughts and keep them quiet.
But her mother was still her mother.
I don't know where you're going Nova, but I have a suspicion this is more than a routine trip.
What if... what if all of this has an explanation? What if I could find where we might come from, at least in part? What if we, as special as we are, aren't alone? They had talked about this many times when Nova was growing up. For a Ghost off-planet, her childhood had been one of turmoil and conflict to the comparative peace and armor of the oubliette. Being the only known Ghost with cyberpathy, Nova had often felt alone even among her peers; machines were easier to understand than humans. Her mother had always understood and soothed away the isolation and she felt Celestine's hands fall on her shoulders now, move to her hair and start braiding it idly. She was silent a long time.
I would say that whatever it is you cannot tell me is very important for you, if not for us. That I hope you are safe out there. That I hope you come back, but that I understand when you have to go. You were never meant to live here, Nova. Not permanently. And as for children... How much had her mother heard? There's time. If you're granted a child, it was meant to be, but if not, there is time.
This was not even a conversation she'd had with Jackson yet, so aware of his opinions and while her head shared them, the rest of her had to fight off the urge to hold something small and vital and alive in her arms. Rather than answering, she let herself be the daughter for now, let her mother braid her hair, turned, hugged her, and for a while at least enjoyed the peace of the oubliette knowing that the war that would soon lay beyond it would be nothing of the sort.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Basic training - 1 Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:27 pm|| |
She was ready to curse the GAF to the ninth level of hell. Her body wasn't used to this. Physically fit though she was and had to be to even be aboard the crew, Nova had never been this tired or felt the ache in every muscle like she did when she fell back onto the cot in the women's barracks at Fort Hood.
Basic training. The GAF required it even of the civillian contractors for this mission, although she'd had no idea how much time and age and inexperience would be a handicap to say nothing of her Ghost abilities.
It was like living in hell. None of them had a concept of shielding their thoughts and the bare recruits going through regular training were systematically broken down and rebuilt into what the military required. There was nothing kind about basic training. From the drill sergants to the marines themselves, Nova was barraged with an ongoing flood of emotions that made the physical taxing even harder. She'd taken to wearing gloves for the duration, at least dulling her psychometric senses enough that she didn't go stark raving mad in the mess hall.
Despite regulations that were somewhat looser on actual vessels, she was apart from Jackson here as well, not that they'd have time to see eachother.
"Up!" She glared over her shoulder at the drill sergant glaring right back at her. Inspection time? More running? She sensed the waves of well-meant irritation and winced. It was the most confusing mixture of feelings to get both anger and pride and hope off of everyone at the same time. She knew perfectly well the drill sergants and the officers weren't pushing people out of cruelty but out of necessity. It didn't make her any less exhausted.
She had the momentary satisfaction of watching the man's face look perplexed and held up a hand to stop the tirade that surely would have followed. The bunk house was empty.
"This is ridiculous. I'm here because I'm required to be here to defend myself but not because I need you to teach me how to be in the military. I've been contracted with the GAF for years. So you can stop yelling now. I'm not going to respond."
And in fact she did not when the tirade bubbled up anyway. She meditated through the first three rounds of elemental separation before she opened one eye.
"Are you done?"
The man fumed. She smiled, gently, trying not to antagonize him. "I would like to sit for a moment, please. Thirty to be exact. My mental stability can't take anymore of you screaming at me right now."
"You think your enemies will just let you take a meditation break?"
Oh he didn't like Ghosts did he? No. That wasn't it. He didn't know what to do with her. She was a non-combatant in basic combat training. She didn't know what to do with herself either. Celestine would have been proud of the way she didn't flinch.
"Absolutely not. However, as I've been subjecting myself to you for the past five days without complaint, I believe it might now be time to realize that I also have my limits and should I push myself further without taking a brief moment to recenter -normally supplied when I have time to eat or sleep even in crisis - that I might not react well."
She was banking that he didn't have her file. Which he clearly didn't since he blinked balefully at her in response. She could not in fact melt anyone's brain but he didn't seem to know that.
"Thirty minutes and then-"
"Another three miles, yes sir. I understand quite well."
It was the first line in the sand. Thirty minutes of meditation to help re-shore her mental walls so she could go back out there and make her body hate her more. SHe hoped Jackson appreciated what all this running and climbing was doing for her physique because she certainly couldn't figure out how she was going to -use- this training against amorphous red clouds of terror.
She sat in blissful, uninterrupted silence and kept her hands folded neatly in her lap.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:20 pm|| |
Thirty minutes of meditation turned out to be the first line in the sand of many.
The next day began weapons training.
She steadfastly refused to hold the gun.
It became a stare down.
The drill sergeant, Sergeant McAllister, fortunately had the foresight to deal with her last and so all of the other "greenies" were already heading toward the shooting range.
"They sent you here for training. You're going into war."
Nova looked pained at the rifle and back to him, desperately hoping he'd pick up this was not defiance but something else. The thought of touching something that would eventually have all the resonance of a murder weapon made her skin crawl.
"You can." he snapped. Not for the first time, she wished she had her mother's abilities to share thoughts so she could show him precisely how much she could -not- and what it felt like.
"Did you bother to read my file at -all-?" she hissed back. "i'm not one of your recruits. I'm not military and while I will happily run my psychometric behind off for you, there are somethings that I -can't- do. Think of it like Mr. Jenks age, or Mr. Denton's unfortunate injuries." She waved a hand vaguely at where he held a pistol out to her.
"So your abilites are a weakness?" McAllister quirked an eyebrow and she jerked her chin up defiantly.
"That's not what I-"
"It's what you implied."
They stood like that for several minutes, each staring at one another. SHe grimaced finally. "I concur that some form of physical defense training is needed and that touching another opponant would in fact be...exponentially...worse. I am thus open to suggestions that will not drive me stark raving mad."
McAllister looked satisfied at this and nodded a little toward the weapon. She suspected that drill sergeants were not supposed to look so kindly at recruits.
"Mrs. And just Nova."
"nova," he continued with an exasperated sigh. "It's new. I literally just took it out of the shipments. Never been fired. It won't be, except by you. Commander Hazard had the foresight to explain that you pick up the resonance off of weapons and that it would be as dangerous for you to fire something used as it would be to leave you without training. I'm not even supposed to be having this damned conversation with you but clearly the GAF is sending the Valdosta on something important if they've sent all of you here. Now I don't want you to be an expert marksman, but you need something to defend yourself. THis is the best option the Commander and I could come up with."
Damn it all, she knew Jackson had been involved somehow. For a moment she wanted to march on over there and kick him in the shins. Instead she just held her hand out and accepted the pistol. Even through the gloves, her hand twitched and she gnawed on her lip to keep from throwing the thing away from her.
"Ma'am it is my utmost wish that you only ever have to use that thing on targets," McAllister avowed. "But just in case lets make sure you know where to aim it. I know this is -not- what your people do."
"Fine. Fine," she murmured and her voice came out more tired and soft then she meant it. He led her to the last target on the range, far away from the other recruits. She tried very hard not to think about what a pistol was used for and how much she didn't want to do this but knew she had to anyway. She'd keep it on the ship with her but in her heart, she knew this was a last ditch effort. If she had to go for a gun, something was heinously wrong.
She thought again of the need to shoot her captors on the Valdosta that day. Her need. Not really a need. So much so that she hadn't even been able to hold the weapons after, too horrified at the flashes of emotion and intent that peeled off the guns and knives in slick, oily waves. She knew, just as Jackson and likely McAllister knew, that this was to satisfy regulations more than much else.
Because the day Nova had to actually pick up a weapon was the day they were all well and truely out of options.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: before war Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:57 pm|| |
Nova watched the crew, minus Gull and Macree, try and relax in the silence of the oubliette. The pastoral calm was only occasionally interrupted by two small boys playing a game of telekinetic soccer and the cry of a small baby, teething and even Ghost calm unable to keep him from voicing his displeasure. Nova drew her gaze away from the crying infant and his mother for the third time.
"When are you getting the commander to settle down?" Parr joked. Nova shrugged in response, avoiding their gazes.
"Maybe after the war."
You should tell him how badly you want children, Nova Nova gritted her teeth and turned her gaze across the lake toward the rounded huts where her mother was currently minding the store.
I can't believe you're eavesdropping on us, mother
It's not as if any of you are quiet. We can hear you from here.
Celestine was correct. They thought almost as loudly as they felt and Nova knew how jarring that was to most of the well-guarded and silent oubliette. Only Avery was quiet in both sense. As always, she was difficult to read and composed, though Nova knew that was just her general demeanor more than much else. Avery had been quiet before and would likely continue to be so by sheer force of will.
So are you going to tell him?
No. Not now. There's no point. It's not feasible until after this is over.
The nebulous mission you can't talk about.
Correct mother. And don't pry.
I still think it would make you feel better.
It would absolutely not and it would just pressure him. He's not ready for that conversation . It's only been two years and Jackson's as married to his career as he is to me. Besides, I love the Valdosta and I can't particularly cart an infant into space.
You could leave him or her here with me while you're out. She could sense the almost imperious sniff in Celestine's mental voice.
While true, I'd prefer not to leave the entire life of raising a child in someone else's hands, even yours mother. It's not responsible. There was no further reply. Celestine couldn't argue with that logic. Nova went back to looking at the crew.
They were ready to go back into space, into war. She wasn't sure if she was as ready as they were but at least she'd seen some of this before. She'd seen the trauma and the blood and the pain and she was braced for it again and for the toll that would take on her own psyche. She did not share with Jackson that she hoped she was up to the task given that the last time she had ended up in therapy herself for the residual emotions she'd gleaned off the ship's crew. Then again, last time the crew had not been the Valdosta's and if they held up half as well as they had with the ship's attack and their capture then this would be easier than that particular traumatic tenure with the GAF.
Lincoln was anxious but she couldn't peg over what. Avery was her normal calm. Jackson was excited and apprehensive. Sadie likewise. Jenks wanted to get back to his studies and Parr was still acclimating to having people around to talk to again. All in all, it was a normal range of feelings from them. She could, as always, only feel it when she walked close to them, ghosting about much like the name of her people.
"We should go back up early," she said at last to Jackson and was rewarded with a smile that lit up his face. "We're just killing time here and you'll be happier once you're star-side again. besides, I want to check in on Emerald in a few days and I promised mother I'd drop off her supply requests to Alhambra for some of that Mars tea that sold so well."
"Are you sure?"
She glanced back over at the baby, now quiet in its mother's arms and grimaced. She absolutely did not regret the choice to rejoin the GAF and Isley and the Valdosta, did not regret marrying Jackson, nor did she regret the work or the aid they were going to give the Viridians and how that connection would hopefully give the Ghosts a better idea of what they were.
There was something to be said, however, for the desire to live two totally separate lives and the constant reminder was nothing, at this point, save self-torture.
"Oh yes. I'm sure."
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|Subject: Interrogation Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:30 pm|| |
"And did you approve of her decision to go after the Viridian?" The general across from her would have made her mother's glare seem amateurish but Nova simply closed her eyes and sighed. She was exhausted. The battering of their suspicion and anger and fear made her exhausted. They badgered her left and right, barely giving time for answers before they'd snap another question at her. She was tired and wanted Jackson and her crew-mates and peace.
"It was not my choice to approve or dissaprove, sir. I'm not an enlisted member of the crew."
"But you do serve as the ship's counselor."
"Then you didn't interject your objections?"
"One does not interrupt an admiral of the GAF, sir."
"Even if you disagreed." Nova paused and looked at the third man. All of them were standing while she sat. The lights were too bright, her focus was hazy. It had been what - three hours? Four? She had recounted every detail of the mission, each passing hourly account of the crew's mental health, detailed descriptions of their mental torture, of the ship's current condition, and everything down to the last stubbed toe. She hurt in every fibre of her being and her brain ached from keeping herself as shielded and composed as she could.
"I did not disagree, sir," she replied finally and felt them all tense like they were waiting to spring on her and rip out her throat. She opened her eyes again and looked at all three as levelly as she could. "Emerald is a member of our crew and a vital one at that. Her knowledge of the Valdosta's systems and the Isley systems as well as her knowledge of GAF protocol and Terra's defenses and our colonies after the past two years are invaluable to her people, but also as sincere a risk should they be taken as if any of our crew had been taken. Our enemy had stolen one of our crew and valuable information and despite breaking formation, Admiral Crane was well aware of the risk posed if we did -not- retrieve Emerald. She put the safety of her remaining crew first and we nearly did miss retrieving Emerald in order to save our nav-operator and return to the fleet but were fortunate enough to accomplish both. She made a difficult decision and I am of the firm belief that had the Valdosta been present at whatever attack occurred while we were absent, we would also be dead."
The generals conferred again and finally they turned and nodded to her.
"You may go, Miss Nova."
"Thank you sir, but it's Mrs. Hazard." She said in automatic reply. "I really wish you'd all stop leaving that off. I rather like sounding like a star-field warning sign." She had the small gratification of seeing one of them smile ever so slightly before she left.
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|Subject: Changing worlds Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:18 pm|| |
Nova was alone this time when she walked down the path toward the Oubliette. Jackson and the others were back at Alhambra, briefing and debriefing, planning. She had plans too - things she wanted to spend the next year helping prepare, both professionally and personally. The few hour flight from London to Calivada had given her time to begin thinking of strategies to help prepare future crews in this war, meditations and mental practices that she hoped might help them combat the worst part of the Crimson's - their ability to mentally debilitate a crew. The press conference had done precisely what they had all known it would - blown the entire world apart. She'd had to literally be escorted to all the various transports by armed guard to avoid being ganged up on by press and curious civilians. Jackson had offered to go with her but she needed to do this on her own. She had to be certain that it was all right for her - for any of them - to be in the oubliette now with all of the craziness she knew that it would bring from the press.
Weeks had passed since they returned but it was an entirely different world. The press conference had revealed things to everyone; Avery had been refound, and her mother had spent several days with her on Alhambra helping convince Tovar before she'd returned to the oubliette ahead of her daughter.
Nova'd spent the other few hours on transport from the air-port to the oubliette thinking about the preparations and changes she wanted to make in her personal life. There were, however, people to talk to first.
She wasn't surprised to see her mother waiting at the oubliette's main entrance. For once, no planes buzzed over trying to steal pictures -she suspected her quiet complaint to the GAF military meant the restricted air space over the oubliette was finally being enforced again. Celestine raised a hand in greeting and held it out to her daughter and Nova had to check the urge to look for the face of a little girl that didn't exist. She shuddered and pushed the dream away. It was easier having told Cotton and Avery and Jackson now to realize how she had created her own trauma, but it did not make the pain any less real. She had managed to stifle the thoughts for the weeks on Alhambra, though with difficulty given Celestine's abilities.
Her mother took her hand silently and then pulled her in for a hug. It was strong and fierce and protective and Nova stiffened in surprise with it.
She murmured, "Brace yourself. They're all here."
But when she turned the path to the main community buildings she saw what her mother had meant. The solitude and quiet of the oubliette was still intact but it was intact in the way that a buzzing hive of bees was quiet. The mental hum in the air nearly made her brain shudder in surprise. The double doors to the community halls had all been opened and everywhere she looked were the muted whites, blacks, grays, and browns of Ghost popular clothing, an occasional smattering of color or pastel thrown in. Low talking seemed to emmenate from everywhere, but it wasn't low talking - it was mental conversation, telepathic thought flying through the air.
The oubliette was full of more Ghosts than she had ever seen.
"Well, not precisely all. But when you sent your communique and the press conference went out, the elders of the other oubliettes decided to conference. They brought...others with them. We've had quite a few non-oubliette Ghosts here as well."
"Mother...I... can't talk to all these people. Lunan, Gemini, and Juno...there deaths were in part my fault. I have nothing i can tell these people today."
"Not today," celestine chuckled. "But before you go I think they'd like to talk to you. We put two and two together. You think this may be where we come from don't you?"
"Yes," Nova admitted. "I think it's a possibility and moreover I think we may be able to help fight this."
"And that is what they're discussing," Celestine took her daughter's arm and turned her down a path away from the main community hall and toward the small houses they owned. "It's against our philosophies on the oubliette to fight but... well I saw your face when the conference discussed the Crimsons."
"Nova, you used to make that face when something got hurt. Once when you were very small, your father and I got you a kitten when we were in the Mars colony. You needed a pet, a companion. Do you remember?"
"Vaguely..." Nova tried to follow her mother's logic and failed, letting herself be led inside and shushed into a chair and given a mug in waiting for tea.
"One of the other children accidently killed it. He was playing with you and the animal and dropped it over one of the transport railings. Your father had to hold you down you were so upset. You get this...look... when something you care about is threatened or hurt, when you feel you have to right some wrong. You've been like that since you were a small child. You had that look then. You brought Emerald here disguised as one of your friends and a few of us met her. Don't fret - we haven't told and aren't about to after all that nice paperwork they sent over - It's quite possible that while our ideals are extremely vital, that stopping these Crimson also falls within those parameters. They are discussing that now."
"Gemini, Lunan - especially Lunan - and Juno knew what they were doing. Your recommendation for their presence didn't kill them, Nova," Celestine said sternly. "It will be up to the elders whether or not the oubliette ghosts decide to assist fully, but you are by -far- not the only one of us with interest and willingness to assist in this. You and I both know that our particular abilities may be of great use in helping the soldiers who will go to fight. "
It left Nova with nothing to say, just staring at her mother before she nodded slowly. "Do they want to speak to me?"
"Tomorrow perhaps, not tonight. They're all abuzz and let them see how important it is. These crimsons... you've had experiences with them?"
"Several now." Nova winced involuntarily and then just dropped her mental walls and let her mother see exactly what those experiences had been. Her mother's hands tightened on her own, tears standing in her eyes. She nodded slowly.
"Malevolant, primordial, evil." Nova supplied though she did not need to.
"Different than Emerald then. She was quite pleasant, curious, polite and very respectful. She reminded me quite a bit of us."
"You weren't even supposed to know she was here," Nova replied dryly.
"May I share this information on the Crimsons with the elders?"
"Of course. I wish them to know how serious this is."
Celestine was quiet for a moment, bustling up to get the kettle and fill both of their mugs. "nova.. you know I think you would be a wonderful mother, don't you?"
"You do?" Nova could not keep the surprise out of her voice. The images of the crimson's dream flashed back in misery inducing detail.
"Of course. I also know that you'd never fully settle. Your father and I never really did either. But that doesn't make you a bad potential parent. You have options and the GAF certainly supports those. But I would never..." She trailed off and Nova realized her mother, for once, had been lost for words. "... never say those things to you," she finished softly after a moment. "You are steadfastly caring of others and always put them before yourself. I can't imagine you being anything other than a good parent. Jackson as well," Celestine admitted after a moment. "though I fear my grandchild will have a fondness for ancient american sports but I suppose I can cope." Nova didn't need to ask that her mother had seen all the sordid details of her mental trauma.
"I didn't really think you would say that," Nova soothed. "It's my own fears. They just used your face as a message. Besides, Jackson and I talked and... well we're definitly trying. It looks like we'll have a year or two of downtime and I can leave the little one with his or her grandmother for a week or two on jaunts?"
"If you left it anywhere else I'd be furious and never forgive you." Celestine turned and smiled fully at her daughter again. The smile turned knowing and wicked. "We have a lot to discuss then." Nova tried to block her particularly lucid thoughts of the last attempt to become pregnant. Marines were blessed with a great deal of physical stamina and Jackson had always been energetic. He was enjoying every last second of it and Nova had quietly decided not to tease him when she caught him peering at a toy store window in Alhambra with something more than male interest in toy space ships.
"Sadie tells me that it's routine for our powers to increase when we're pregnant?" she asked finally.
"Oh... yes. And wait until you can feel the little one start to react to you."
"Wait you can..."
"You, my dear, were an absolute chatter-box from two months onward."
"Oh dear. What if they're telekinetic?"
"Hope they aren't. Your grandmother said I used to leave bruises the sizes of grapefruits on her stomach." Over tea, the two women sat and talked quietly about nurseries and names and Ghost powers and thoroughly normal things while they waited for the council of elders to call them and for Nova to find out if the Ghosts would help her develop her somewhat grander plan of psychological preparation and offense for the GAF troops. Grander was, in the end, rather perceptive.
Last edited by minxlette on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: interview, round 314. Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:52 pm|| |
Avery was missing. None of the "brass" would say where she was but they apparantly had a great deal of time to spend questioning the entire crew. She'd been through two official meetings at this point and even her mother had decided to come up to the station at her daughter's insistence that she would be needed for the meeting to convince Tovar of her cause. Right now, however, she was sitting in a white room with bright lights and three unsmiling faces in uniform.
All three were familiar though she focused on the third, who was a slightly older man who had been genuinely amused at her resilience the first time" Nova stayed focused on him, the emotions from him less threatening and acidic than the other two. She barely recalled their names and they hadn't given them again to refresh her memory.
"Could you go over the mental state of the crew again Mrs. Hazard?"
"Which ones in particular, sir?" she replied evenly. Thus far they hadn't been able to crack through what her mother would have termed "Ghost reserve." It was in fact irritating the hell out of them that she was no more phased by their uniforms or unsmiling faces than she would have been facing down any other member of the GAF. Compared to the Crimsons they simply weren't intimidating enough to make her break. Exhaust her? Certainly. But telling the truth had advantages in that it was difficult to slip up what wasn't a cover up at all.
She was starting to heartily believe, however, that Denton had been correct. They may not shoot or kill them, but at least two of these men were intent on discrediting the Valdosta's crew or at least reminding them of who they believed was in charge. Which was when she started thinking. Part of her brain started turning on particular possibilties as she answered the questions for the fourth time in a week. They had left her no glass of water and her throat was dry but she ignored it and kept going, detailing the mental state of each of the crew, including herself, at various points of the trip.
"And you say you were depressed? Did that impair your judgement?"
"No, sir, it did not. My personal problems didn't have anything to do with the functionality of the ship or her crew and thus I didn't address them with the crew or the captain until after the Crimson's attack."
"And you said your husband serves aboard this vessel as well, commander Jackson Hazard. Does that pose a conflict for you?"
Nova paused and considered them carefully. She had to phrase her next reply carefully; it would only take one of these men to pull her off the roster and separate her and Jackson for the pettiest of reasons. She saw Grauchen smile politely but got nothing of the same from his mental impressions. He was tightly controlled and reading him was difficult, but what she could read made her dislike him the most.
"No sir, I don't believe it does. The Commander's duties are quite separate from mine and he has proven multiple times that he will adhere to his duties regardless of any risk I might be in. I will refer back to the sections of my report detailing our entrapment in the hold's potential hull breach, the attack of one of the crimson clones, and the first encounter attack. All three of those instances he maintained his post despite my injuries."
"And for you?" She thought she could hear him sneer a little and smiled back politely.
"Sir, Ghosts are nothing if not circumspect. If my personal relationship with Commander Hazard allows me to perhaps council him with more accuracy than it might someone who is not my husband, I can hardly be faulted for being -more- accurate of how much of a jack ass he can be and reminding him of his own mental well-being."
Two of three generals stared.
The third uttered a quiet chuckle and looked at the other two "I believe that willl be enough Mrs. Hazard. Thank you for your time." She could tell the others were not pleased but the limits of questioning had been reached and any further pushing would violate contractual elements. She, at least, was a civilian. Some of the crew didn't have that luxury, but she thought that she might pass to them that at least one of the brass seemed to be a bit more on their side than the others.
In the meantime, she had a possible idea to turn the tables a bit. The foundation of all of this wasn't based in any rational emotion she could percieve from either man; they were jealous of the fact that they had not discovered this world, controlling over situations rapidly spiraling out of their hands, and did not understand and thought the Valdosta's crew was incapable and incompetent at dealing with the risks involved. If they were, these two men, so jealous and ambitious and longing for the discoveries the Valdosta had made, there was really no reason other than their age that they could not see the frontier themselves. Age was extremely subjective and Nova happened to know an excellent doctor, after all. She wondered if they would be so smug if they could see hell for themselves and while it was not a particularly charitable thought, nor necessarily even one she could implement, the thought of them meeting a crimson made all of the anger and exhaustion at least seem worth it.
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|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:03 pm|| |
Timeline for my own reference since i keep crossing dates in my head.
Return from Fleet loss in Andromeda.
Celestine comes to Alhambra while the crew undergoes rounds of debfriefing and Avery dissapears.
The crew meets with Tovar to discuss Crane's absence.
The press conference is held minus Crane five weeks after return.
Celestine and the crew convince Tovar to build ships for the cause.
The crew goes to Misery to see Crane.
Nova visits the oubliette for a few days and will, theoretically, soon discover she is pregnant.
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|Subject: But you must have seen something... Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:53 pm|| |
Nova stared hard at the man in front of her, as did her mother, both of them an imposing force alone and together like facing down a hungry lioness.
"Ma'am I really don't know...just that they were taking her out on the dock for a transport to somewhere. The Doctor felt pretty smug and the toughs... well you know how they are." Saturnin looked sheepishly and ducked his gaze away from the two other Ghosts. Nova grimaced. "Thank you - for that at least. It confirms what we already found, but thank you. I trust it more coming from one of us than I would from stray thoughts." Saturnin was just a dock worker, a talented telekinetic who used his abilities to help move cargo on the station, but he was still a Ghost and the expression of slight awe when she'd come up had indicated that her new-found and un-asked-for fame extended here as well.
"She's a tough woman," he murmured.
"Those men she was with would have made most people afraid. She just looked calm."
"That's Avery," Nova smiled a little and felt her mother's comforting hand brush her own for a moment.
Tell the rest of the crew that doesn't want on-com communication?
I already have, dear. This is rather fun. A spy mission. Celestine's mental tone was dryly amused. She'd worked with the GAF and Isley for a long time and knew it was serious business but Nova also knew that her mother had something real and valid to focus on for the first time in a long time.
Just not Macree - he'll freak out if someone taps his brain.
She could feel her mother roll her eyes and sigh in reply "and tell your friend Sadie to stop shouting. I can hear her just fine."
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|Subject: Seeing a different doctor Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:13 pm|| |
Nova waited, uncomfortably, perched on the edge of the stainless steel medical table and wrapped lightly in a silk robe. The Ob-Gyn that Parr had recommended was out running her bloodwork and the silence was encompassing and not the sort of silence she liked. This was just a preliminary appointment, to make certain that she was healthy, chart potentially fertile days, and discuss various options. Cotton had been correct in that Dr. Kimberly Fisher was as efficient, calm, cool, and welcoming as they came.
It wasn't making Nova any less nervous.
"Yes?" Nova looked up at the middle-aged woman that came in and read nothing but calm assurance off her. The ghost's shoulders unhitched a notch.
"Relax," the doctor chuckled. "You're in perfect health. All your tests came back normal and I'd say that you won't have any troubles conceiving at all."
"That's excellent," Nova smiled in relief and accepted the file of papers the doctor handed her. "What's all this?"
"Your charts - these days - " the doctor flipped open to the first paper "You're more likely to concieve."
"I.. don't think timing is a concern," Nova coughed politely. "To say Jackson's enthusiastic is an understatement."
"Most men are," she smirked.
"No I ...I meant that he seems to really want this."
The doctor studied her for a moment and then nodded a little "That's good. Support is quite beneficial and healthier for all of you." The woman handed her a small meter. "This should give you a much better indication of when you succeed. It's a bio-meter. Drop of blood in the morning and tada, instant baby-meter."
"No peeing on sticks?" Nova smirked. "My mother said they used to."
"Heavens no. We're lightyears away from that at this point."
Nova nodded a little and fidgeted with the meter and file folder and the doctor reached over and took her hand. She jolted upright, startled at the breach of Ghost etiquette, but puzzled more than much else. Again, there was nothing but calm assurance and good humor.
"Nova, you're in excellent health and obviously extremely conscientious. Doctor Parr already noted that you have some concerns given your occupation but you're going to be fine and so is your husband and so is your baby. Relax. Enjoy this experience."
"Are you sure you're not an empath?"
"Entirely certain, but I've had a lot of patients and I've seen everything there is to see about birthing babies. You're in excellent hands."
"Have you ever treated Ghosts before?"
"Many times. My husband is one." Relief flowed over Nova like a wave and she nodded. "You'll have a few extra challenges - we don't, for example, know how to predict what will happen with your abilities, but just be prepared for some unusual circumstances and with your empathy you'll most certainly be able to start sensing your child after several weeks. I'm told it's a bit unusual at first. Look - I'm reachable at any time of day or night and your mother was...uh... insistent as to her involvement already. Relax. Call if you have questions, but overall, enjoy this. We don't get to do it many times and it really is miraculous. You're going to be fine and are certainly not the first nervous mother-to-be that I've ever seen."
Nova smiled, sheepishly for once and nodded a little.
"I... thank you. It's complicated."
"Doctor Parr told me that too," she smirked a little. "Well not in detail. Just that I might want to kid-glove you a bit."
Nova gathered up the meter, the files, and looked at the pictures on the vid-screens, happy mothers, happy babies, ultra-sound pictures and all of the other informational tidbits that she felt out of her depth in understanding or being fully comfortable with yet. Avery still missing. The whole crew still pushing and worried. The images of the Crimson's dream were too vivid to shake easily.
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|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:47 pm|| |
The interview with Gilda had been... curious. Nova genuinely liked the woman who interviewed her via the comm channel - she was chipper and sociable and while prying as a journalist seemed respectful enough. Whether it was genuine or born of the fact that the crew was stingy about interviews was difficult to say. The questions flowed easily enough, comments about the crew, about their camraderie, about the danger they were often in. She let some of her humor come through like Jackson had suggested, trying to breach some of the distance she usually put between herself and strangers.
It was harder than she thought, but she kept Avery in mind, kept the Ghosts in mind. If she could present a good face, then she could do a lot of good for both.
The lines about the Captain being out for a mental health observation were neatly delivered and carefully scripted. She'd spent hours trying to phrase it so it seemed like she and Cotton would approve of the captain's mental stability while she was still in observation. Make sure it came off as the GAF being cautious rather than barbaric, over-protective rather than insane. She hedged too much detail but when Gilda asked if she thought the crew would stay together, Nova had to smile.
"Oh...I think the Valdosta might have some more exploration in the future."
Because with the public eye on them, there was no way in hell that the GAF would be able to disband them now. This little interview campaign would hopefully assure that. She hung up the com unit after and looked over at Jackson "You're up tomorrow night. Here's hoping they don't terminate my contract and demote you," she smirked a little. It was worth it, if it got Crane out of Misery.
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|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:31 pm|| |
Nova stiffened as MacFadden entered the lift. Her arms tightened reflexively around the parcel of electronic titles from the Alhambra library; books on pregnancy and a volume on Ghost rituals involving new births that her mother recommended with the admonition that the elders considered her part of the oubliette regardless and would want to perform certain rituals. Nova hadn't argued - her parents had always raised her with the Ghost culture in mind, even when they had been off world.
Now, she self-conciously slid her hands over the scrolling list of titles to shield them from the general's prying eyes and tried not to look uncomfortable.
Damn damn damn.
"Sir," she replied politely. She noticed she had not moved quick enough and he had already guaged the parcels in her hands. She tensed as he turned to meet her fully, cool gray eyes assessing her.
"Do you have time for lunch, Mrs. Hazard? There are a few things I'd like to speak to you about."
"Lunch sir?" This was unexpected. She gazed back at him searchingly. He was difficult to read but she sensed no malice from him and nodded in reply. "Lunch would be lovely." He said nothing else as the lift stopped on deck nineteen and he preceded her out, heading down the Alhambra hallways to a small pub off Shakespeare Station. She followed half out of curiosity and half because there was not another option, settling into the offered booth and setting the stack of references in the seat next to her.
"You and the Commander planning on starting a family," he gestured toward the readers after she had ordered. She frowned a little but then nodded. If it worked, afterall, there would hardly be any hiding it soon.
"That's good to hear. Having my daughter was the best thing my wife and I ever did," he said, smiling. Nova shifted her perceptions again, sifting through the feelings of warmth coming from this man. Imposing and controlled, certainly, but she could feel the tentative emotional offer of welcome and truce and relaxed a little. Whatever he'd been involved in, this man did not mean her harm.
"We're looking forward to it," she admitted. "And my mother has offered to babysit when we're on missions."
"Dangerous timing none the less."
"Well...Jackson's right. If we put it off forever, we'll just find more excuses." He nodded as if he agreed with this and took a sip from his water glass.
"You had a very interesting interview with Gilda. My wife and I were listening to it on the feeds this morning." This was more careful territory and she watched him vigilantly for any alteration in his demeanor but found none. "You have a knack for careful phrasing."
"It is part of being a Ghost, sir. We're a circumspect people."
"Loyal as well."
"Was I incorrect in my honesty? I did not, I believe violate any matters of GAF or Isley secrecy?"
"No, you did not,' he chuckled. "Which is exactly why I was impressed. I suspect the rest of your crew-mates will be as equally circumspect and effective."
The general was quiet for a minute. "Do you know, I've heard that Sergeant Hart and Commander Hazard have both put in official requests to allow some of the brass out to see what you've all seen."
"That may have in fact been suggested sir. We thought it might be prudent that if there were so many questions regarding our experiences, that some of those who are making decisions regarding this process may wish to see what we have seen first hand. It's hard to believe I know," she admits. "It sounds insane. Tortured by amorphous red clouds? How bad could a few bad dream sequences be, right?" Nova had to fight to keep the edge from her voice.
"Quite bad, I would wager," he murmured. "Ghosts are not given to histrionics. How -is- your mother, Nova?"
"My mother?" The question threw her until she put the pieces together from what the General offered but did not say. Of course. Her mother and father had both served as contracters to the GAF, her mother as a civilian and her father had wanted to enlist in the diplo-corps but never had before his untimely death. MacFadden wouldn't have been a general then. What then? A captain? "As fiesty as ever."
"She and your father served aboard one of the last vessels I captained during the skirmishes. I didn't want to mention anything in the interviews obviously but she spoke of you often. You have a great deal of her verve, though you're more reserved than she was."
"You knew my father then?"
"Quite well," he replied softly. "He was an excellent diplomat. I regret his death deeply but..."
"There was nothing you could have done," she said simply. "He understood the risks. I appreciate you for not mentioning it though. It would have made the situation more complicated."
"And it is already complicated," he replied. "You've all caused quite the stir and raised quite a few eyebrows. A little bit of unorthodox procedure combined with some fame and great discoveries and they either all love you or hate you, Mrs. Hazard."
"Nova, please, sir."
"Nova," he chuckled. "Well, I believe that your collective idea might be beneficial. I'll see what I can do. I hear that Doctor Royson has returned from vacation early?"
"Who, sir?" She smiled sweetly and he looked at her for a long moment. "Dr. Parr is my physician...well...except for Dr. Fisher now."
"Oh, just a physician the brass typically use, Nova. I thought you might know him." There were a lot of pregnant pauses in the conversation. Nova knew that MacFadden knew. He also doubtlessly knew precisely why she knew and where Avery was. "You wouldn't be thinking of anything too crazy would you?"
"Not at all sir. I was thinking of possibly saying hello to my Captain, but otherwise, I'm sure that she'll be released shortly from whatever observations she's under. Dr. Parr and myself have already given our official reports on her."
"I'm sure she'll be released soon too, Nova. I look forward greatly to hearing the interviews Gilda has with the rest of your crew." He smiled, and it reached his eyes, making them merry and kind and Nova smiled back, geniunely. Whatever face this man put on for his comrades, she knew her initial suspicions had been correct. Duty was one thing, but all MacFadden had been waiting for was an opportunity to push his rank around as much as Grauchen and the other generals were. The crew had, conveniently, given him some very good opportunities/
"I suspect they'll be both enlightening and amusing," she admitted. "They're not all very good public speakers. There may be some swearing."
"There may be. Scandalous," he joked. "now...tell me... boy or girl or do you care?"
She spent the rest of a pleasant lunch, tucked away in a secluded restaurant that she was sure the other GAF brass rarely visited, discussing families and hopes and her parents with General MacFadden. She was, however, very fervently and quietly pleased to know that some of the GAF were still what Avery and Sadie had faith in.
Last edited by minxlette on Mon May 24, 2010 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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|Subject: Misery may love company, but it doesn't love Ghosts Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:43 pm|| |
(possibly to be edited pending time lines of release)
The water was so hot that it turned her skin red and blotchy and she still nudged it higher, standing in the steam and the heat and scrubbing fistfuls of exfoliating body wash against herself, trying to scourge away the feeling of so many emotions and unstable minds crawling over her, brushing madness and sorrow and horrow and a miriad negative emotions. She felt like she'd crawled through a garbage dump and had come out on the other side shaken, freezing, and dirty. It wasn't that the patients were shameful, simply that the place was so full of madness and neglect that it had been like walking into hell. The grip on Jackson's hand had helped. The grip on Denton's hand had helped. On Parr's. Their focused emotions were more solid, stable, easier to cling to. In the end though, it was not a place for a Ghost and she'd barely made it through with meditation and the touch of her crew-mates. It had been five solid days, two desperate nights with Jackson trying to forget everything, and a pell mell flight back to Earth and she could still feel the residual emotions like a film.
They had hovered on Triton for two days, waiting for Avery's paperwork to clear and then going out for the promised sushi dinner. No one really talked much about Misery. No one wanted to think about it. No one wanted to think about it or the news the captain had given them about the Ghost's prophecy. The dinner had been celebratory but Nova had remained quiet, cautious, afraid to think too much about what the captain had told them. Jackson had tried to sooth her, distract her by joking, talking, touch. Nervousness and fear had soothed away, the inevitable had happened, and despite all her reservations and fears she'd found herself falling into his arms. She was not sure whether it was desire for a child that caused it, or terror, or just the simple need to feel something other than the hollow, consuming, emptiness of Misery and the crews acidic worry and anger.
Once Avery was out, though, once they had headed back, she'd made a bee-line for Earth. Her mother had returned to the oubliette a week past. She had follow ups to do with the crew, with Avery in particular, but she couldn't do that in her current mental state. She needed the quiet of the oubliette for just a bit, the comfort of her mother, the advice of the other Ghosts, and some time in ritual Samatha meditation so deep that to those not aware of mental abilities they might worry she had died. Now, back in the quiet and solace, making love with Jackson after what Avery had told them seemed like a tragically bad idea.
"Meditation's going to help more than that,' her mother said softly as she stepped out of the bathroom in a soft robe. Meditation, in fact, had helped immensely and a day or two of deep meditation and centering and shielding had settled Nova's nerves immensely. She was so thickly insulated in her own mind right now that barely anything would get through. Hour by hour, as she felt better, cleaner, she peeled away another later of separation and re-emerged into what her normal level of functional empathy was. The cocooned state was a difficult meditation to reach, but sometimes needed and Nova had not only needed it but required it to deal with the trip, with the residual dreams from the Crimson's last torture session, with the worry over the Ghost's prophecy. Wordlessly, Celestine, worked a comb through her daughter's hair and bent forward to kiss the crown of her head. "It's a horrible place. Some of the oubliette residents that this place didn't even help went there I think. Sometimes it's just... too much."
"Mother... do you think ... have any of them had any..."
"No one's had a pre-cog about your future," Celestine replied gently. "I think anything that important they'd pick up on. They keep an eye on you now, intrepid adventuring spirit and all."
"Mother please that's just Glinda's publicity..." Celestine smirked a little and shook her head.
"Be that as it may, it still amused all of them. Erol always keeps the wavelengths searching for you, but he hasn't sensed anything like what you told me about."
"I just can't help but think it's a wretchedly bad risk no matter what the benefit. The world and human race and all of the Ghosts are most certainly not worth my desire to be a mother."
"If it even means that. You know as well as I do that pre-cognitive ability is hideously sensitive and notoriously easy to alter, mis-read, or change with the simplest alteration of events. -If- it applies to your future child, then it's not set in stone. And it may not. It's a warning. Take it as it is that you've something to look out for. I do not, as a general rule, place much stock in the abilities of schizophrenics, no matter how much sympathy I may feel for a Ghost in such circumstances."
Nova's lips compressed into a thin line, unable to find any alternative argument that was not comprised of worry and terror instead of logic. What should have been something she was looking forward to was turning into an apprehension filled set of circumstances. Celestine sighed and ducked around her daughter's chair, putting fingers under her chin to raise her gaze.
"Stop. You want this. And if anyone - if any crew - in this universe is capable of having a child that you could somehow convince not to destroy the human race, it would be you and your friends, Nova. You're going to be a wonderful mother someday."
I still think waiting would be a good idea
Celestine quirked an eyebrow and then both of them stared at one another.
"You...shouldn't have been able to pick up on that, should you," Nova murmured slowly.
"No. Not with what you spent yesterday doing and the dampening that Polaris had been doing to calm you down last night. You're still near deep-cycle and your awareness isn't going to be fully out of it for another few hours. You should be like trying to read a book through cotton batting right now." Nova didn't enter deep-trances often - and since meditation was one part calming and several parts heightening of actual and real awareness - she hadn't even considered that the exercises' effects on her abilities should have been anything other than what they were.
She mentally tore herself out of the comfort zone and sat back down heavily into the chair.
She could feel further than she should be able to, feel Pietro's emotions on the other side of the oubliette if she tried hard enough and her range had never really extended beyond a room or two before. Her mother's mind was crystaline and focused and while she could normally feel her mother inside -her- mind during telepathic communication this was different. She was inside her mothers. The effect faded as soon as Celestine's hand dropped away from her chin and they stared at eachother.
Nova didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Clearly, neither did Celestine.
They moved for the bedroom and her luggage at the same time, waited impatiently for the blood drop to penetrate the reader, and both of them stared at the small digital screen that flashed a positive sign and an overly sappy animation of falling confetti and a smiling face. Nova dropped the reader onto the bed and couldn't quite help the keening whimper that she instantly regretted making, clamping her fingers over her mouth to stop the sound and the hysterical desire to sob or scream or laugh. She wasn't sure which.
"I don't think, my love, that you've much choice left in the matter," her mother murmured. "We'll have to figure out a way to make it okay then." There was no lecture this time when Nova collapsed crying on her mother's shoulder. None was needed and really there was nothing to say. It was out of all of their hands now.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:55 pm|| |
"One month and looking fine," Dr. Fisher announced perkily as she came into the room where Nova perched, once again, on the edge of the table, fidgeting. "You need to relax a little. Really. It's little more than a bunch of cells at this point."
"It's still alive," Nova replied defensively and Fisher chuckled.
"Of course. You sound like you're getting more used to this idea." That made Nova clam up and she shook her head a little. The doctor looked worried. "What is it you aren't sharing, Nova? If I'm going to help you, you need to be up front.'
"It's nothing you can help, Doctor. Physically everything is going well."
The doctor sighed and put a med-board up to the viewer, transferring the image with a few quick swipes of her fingers. "Physically fine. That little smudge there is your little one. In another few weeks we'll have a heartbeat to see fluttering about. Your abilities are already altering?"
"Yes... telepathy with touch and an increased empathic range. it's taking quite a bit of adjustment."
"Go slow with it and don't push. I don't want you straining yourself."
"What about travel?"
"The Valdosta going back out?"
"Just a tour of conferences." She couldn't keep the edge of eagerness out of her voice. The ship would be contained and quiet and a sanctuary from all her uncertainty.
"I don't see why standard travel should be a problem. Doctor Parr's going with you?"
"Yes of course."
"Than have him monitor and send back reports and I'll be satisfied." The Doctor smiled and gripped Nova's hand tightly, making the Ghost startle and jerk back, half from the impact of another mind and half out of sheer shock at the breach of Ghost etiquette. Fisher didn't seem to care.
"You are not alone. Your child is going to be fine. And whatever is bothering you, you have a wonderful support network so -stop- fretting. I don't need to be an empath to see that in you. I wouldn't have thought a little thing like having a child would bother you after everything I've heard at the press conferences."
Nova couldn't help it. The entire prophecy just slithered out from her insecure thoughts and dropped into the doctor's mind before she could stop it. A flush rose in her cheeks but the doctor simply sighed.
"Bah, Ghosts. Don't. Just don't. I've never been a big fan of your precognitive abilities. Too many variables not enough science."
"Are you sayin-"
"No. I'm saying that if you put yourself through this hell you're putting yourself through, you may do the work for them, hurt yourself, hurt the child, hurt your crew." Nova couldn't argue with that tone. She knew it from her mother's voice and she nodded faintly. The doctor was right. Of course she was right. "I.." Fisher continued "Would take this and go home and talk to Jackson." She transferred something to the memo pad on Nova's vest.
"What is it?"
"A book on baby names. If I know anything about Ghost and non-Ghost marriages - you'll be debating it for weeks."
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Whooooops... Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:05 pm|| |
It wasn't just Jonah. I mean really it was everything. She could practically feel them thinking and it was taking a lot of work to get used to her new mental shielding and meditations. She'd be found often staring off into space on the ship and Jackson would have to come gently stir her out of reverie. It wasn't as bad as it had been when she'd first confirmed she was pregnant, but it was still distracting at points. Touching anyone gave her an instant telepathic connection that she was only marginally good at controlling and her empathic abilities were so much more sensitive that walking back into Alhambra had almost given her a migraine. Thankfully, she had managed to tone that back quickly.
Add to that, Nova genuinely felt bad about Jonah. The ship was full of a crew of enterprising and adventurous spirits that by and large, in their own individual ways, stared at the stars and wondered what was out there. For Gull it was the workings of an engine. For Avery and the other GAF members it was the thrill of the fight, defense, exploration. For Jenks and Parr, discoveries that only they sometimes understood. For her... Nova wasn't certain but she was drawn back again and again and she could certainly see the same sort of pull in Jonah's longing stare. He was smart enough to have been apprehensive... and then he was smart enough to be curious. She regretted, like they all did, the need to sever that even if she did understand.
One hand fluttered restlessly to her still flat abdomen as Jackson touched her shoulder. They were ready to fix the anomaly. "I'm sorry Jonah," she said softly. "I hope you find what you're looking for, whatever that is."
She expected the instrument panels to flicker.
What she didn't expect was the warm, familiar sense of the Valdosta to simply ....vanish.
Posts : 169
Join date : 2009-03-31
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:30 pm|| |
Nova examined the new shirt she'd purchased in the mirror. It was comfortable, loose, and she was actually surprised that much of the clothing in Morocco had been Ghost friendly. Well... not really Morocco. She contented herself in familiarizing her fingers to the softness of the material rather than thinking.
She didn't want to think about leaving Polly and Morgan and Doyle and Jonas behind; she'd liked them immensely, particularly Jonas and his enthusiasm and Polly and her grit. They were very much a fit socially with the crew. Nova grimaced as Parr hit the call button on the door, poking his head inside.
"need a checkup?"
Nova's throat closed and she nodded numbly, afraid of what he'd find. The scanners beeped and blipped and buzzed and she relaxed a little as he nodded approvingly. "Everything looks fine." Unconsciously, her hand flittered to her stomach and rested their gently, making him smile. "Nervous already?"
"no... yes," she sighed. "I can't feel him or her...yet."
"Well right now it's a collection of cells forming and barely has a heart beat. I think a few more weeks and you may start getting something." She nodded a little and then sat down at the computer console, keying her passcode in.
"What are you working on?"
She smiled a little
"Trying to find out what happened to them"
|Subject: Re: Lana Tessler as Nova || |
Lana Tessler as Nova