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Thread: Returning home.

  1. #1

    Returning home.

    'Attention passengers, we are preparing to disengage our translight drive prior to our arrival to the planet Rubi-Ka. Please return your seats to the upright position and trays in the locked position in front of you.'

    The pilot's archaic announcement woke Denise out of her deep sleep, and she looked out the window. The only thing there to see were the streaks of light and things never seen in normal space. Some people couldn't handle the sight, and kept their shutters closed, others enjoyed watching the ebb and flow of space as it roiled around them like a kayak on a rapid river. As she watched, the streaks of light faded into normal specks of light that signaled distant stars.

    Denise had been dreaming of him a lot recently, which had led her to leave her management position at RedCroMed, where she had responsibility for hundreds of low-budget medical facilities that dispensed aid and care to the poor and stricken. Denise looked at the window and pressed her hand against it, wondering if he would remember her, or anyone she called friend there would remember. There he was again, his face in her mind's eye, smiling at some joke or inner contentment. And there it was as well, the hollow ache in her that she tried for years to deny was there. What was the saying again? You don't know what you're missing until you've lost it? She smiled inwardly. Oh yes, that definitely applied here.

    'Attention passengers - the latest reconissance report from the Morning Star station indicates a reduced alien presence in orbit at this time, so we should be able to dock with the Star safely and then be on our way.' The pilot's nervousness obviously bled over into his speech, as the travelers around Denise started conversing amonst themselves, exchanging rumors that they had heard about the aliens and experiences, or lack thereof.

    She saw a few of them pointing out the window at Rubi-Ka, at what seemed to be smaller versions of the station they were about to dock and disembark. She turned to look out her window and just as she located one, it shot a beam of brilliant white light down into the atmosphere, where a red glow immediately appeared. Sighing inwardly, Denise put another one of her hopes away for another time. Was he down there, still alive due to the insurance policy that everyone had from arriving upon the planet? Or had he left for some distant horizon? Suddenly she thought of the friends she had left behind, were they still here as well, or moved on? The ship jerked a bit, and brought her out of her reverie. The unmistakable sounds of docking clamps resonated throughout the ship and loud hissing sounds as the pressure equalized itself with the atmosphere inside the Star.

    'Welcome to the Morning Star, ladies and gentlemen. Please remember to check for loose or unsecured baggage that may have settled during our transit, and have a nice day.'

    As the passengers around her began to stand up and move around, she was struck by a moment of fear and doubt so great that it kept her rooted to the chair. 'What am I doing?' she wondered. 'Was this the right thing to do, leaving all I had behind for this?' Inside, Denise knew she had to do this. She had to find out if he was alive, and cure this ache she had in her soul, in whatever way possible. Setting her lips in a thin line, pushing the doubts and fears into a corner of her mind, she stood up and collected her baggage. Stepping over the threshold, she was greeted by the recieving room of the Morning Star.

    'Welcome to the Morning Star. Returning citizens of Rubi-Ka need to re-register with the insurance agent and ICC before leaving the station. New arrivals will need to follow the yellow path and please pay attention to all signs,' said the PA overhead.

    There were two signs ahead that broke the crowd into separate groups. '<-- Returnees | New Arrivals -->,' it read. The line for the new arrivals seemed to stretch all the way to the back of the assembly hall, winding upon itself. She shook her head and smiled at the line of people waiting to be processed, remembering what it was like to be one of them long ago. Denise thanked the gods that the line for returnees seemed to be very short, almost empty even. If she had to wait in line like the rest, she would have probably lost her nerve and gotten on the next shuttle back to her home. 'Home is where the heart is, you left that and him here a long time ago,' a little voice inside her said. Tightening her grip on her overnight bag, she walked down the hallway to the registrar's office for people returning to Rubi-Ka.

    'Hello, may I help you? If you are a new arrival, you need to go back down the hall and go to your left, miss.' Said the young-looking male receptionist as he saw Denise turn the corner. His nametag read, 'Clarke'

    'No thanks Clarke, I've been here before. Is this where I re-register my insurance at?' she asked.

    'Yes it is, could you put your left hand on his pad please.' He pulled out a black touchpad and set it on top of the counter. Denise pressed her hand into the pad, which glowed briefly and then faded.

    'Wow, you have been gone a long time! The last time your insurance was updated was over four years ago.' he smiled at her. 'Just to confirm some of our records, could you tell me your name and profession please?'

    Denise replied, 'Denise Jeanette Sandine, Doctor.' The receptionist busied himself with some typing, and then handed her a plasi-card with her name and picture on it.

    'Ok, to renew your insurance policy, please swipe this card at the terminal to your left. That will re-activate your insurance and also make all the terminals on Rubi-Ka accept your bio-print,' he stated.

    'Thank you, one more question. Where is the ICC office at? I was told I had to re-register with them as well.' Denise asked.

    'Oh, it's just down the hall, to your right. You can't miss it, they have a *really* big sign!' he chuckled a bit.

    Denise smiled at him, picked up her bags and was about to go down the hallway when he called out, 'Don't forget to swipe your card before you go!'

    'Oh, I just forgot. Thanks!' she replied.Shaking her head at herself, Denise went back to the terminal, and studied it briefly. It had a small touch-screen, and a slot which accepted the card that she pushed in. The screen lit up and displayed a confirmation dialog for her name and profession, which she touched the affirmative icon. 'Insurance account active. Don't forget to save early and save often. Welcome to Rubi-Ka, Jeanette!,' it read. She smiled at the screen, picked up her bag, and strode down the hall to the next stop, ICC registration.

    A few steps down the hall she could see the sign on the wall, I.C.C. ----> in big black bold lettering. It covered the entire side of the wall. She smiled and muttered, 'He wasn't joking when he said that the sign was big.' Turning the corner, she saw the uniformed attendant behind the desk, typing at the computer there. Denise coughed politely to get the attendant's attention, who immediately looked up and asked, 'Can I help you, miss..'

    'Denise Sandine,' she replied. 'Right. Miss Sandine, you are here to re-register with the ICC and catch a shuttle down to Rubi-Ka, correct?' he asked.

    'Yes, I wouldn't be here if I was a new person, would I?" she shot back, a little annoyed.

    He chuckled a little and said, 'Sometimes you'd be suprised how many 'newbies' don't read the signs and come down here by mistake. Do you still have the card the insurance agent gave you?' She handed him the card which he slotted into a reader on the side of his terminal. 'Okay, let's see here. Denise Jeanette Sandine, hmm, you've been gone a long time, Miss Sandine. Affiliation is still Clan, correct?' She nodded. 'Yes, that's me.' Denise rolled her eyes inside. 'Is everyone going to be telling me that I've been gone for a long time? Not like I don't know already,' she thought.

    'Nice, security level two-hundred fourteen. We don't see very many of you leaving and returning. Mostly leaving, until recently with the battlestations coming online,' he said. 'Here's your COM unit, and have a seat over there. The next shuttle should be arriving in about fifteen minutes.' He handed her a small wristwatch-looking device with a monitor and several buttons on it.

    'It's smaller than I remember,' Denise commented as she strapped it on. Sensing her bio energy, the screen glowed white and then faded as it initalized and recieved information from the attendant's terminal.

    'There's been some changes to nanotechnology since you've been gone. One of them is refinements to the COM unit. Undoubtedly you'll find more suprises once you're on the ground,' he said with a smile. She thanked him and sat in one of the chairs on the opposite wall to wait for the next shuttle.

    Denise passed the time browsing the different functions of her COM unit, to which she found several that seemed to either be malfunctioning or missing entirely. 'Hey, I think this COM is defective, it's missing a couple things that I remember were on it before I left. Like the listing of nanoprograms I had uploaded.' She got up and showed the attendant the screen on her COM unit.

    The ICC attendant smiled and said, 'The functions are still there, they just won't be active until you get planetside. It may take a few hours or so for it all to show up as your nanobot cloud builds itself around you, but they should all be there. If not, contact an ARK immediately and they'll see what they can do to fix it.' He pointed to a singular button on the side of the unit, styled like a dna helix. Denise frowned. 'Call a greenie, huh?' she said flatly, 'I wonder if they've gotten any better since I left. The last few times I had encounters with them before I left weren't very impressive.'

    The attendant shrugged and replied, 'Be that as it may, they are the only ones who would be able to help you should something drastic happen like I mentioned. Otherwise you'd be on your own and have to find a solution yourself.' She nodded and sat back down.

    The attendant pressed a hand to his earpiece and said, 'Hey, yes I have one returnee to go back to RK. Clan.' He sighed and said, 'Yes, clan. But she's really good looking! No, I haven't. No you shouldn't. Look, just wait and see for yourself, all right?' He looked up at Denise staring at him, blushing slightly. 'I'm sorry about that. The shuttle is down the walkway behind me. Don't worry about the pilot, he's just... odd.' He shrugged again.

    Raising an eyebrow, she picked up her bag and headed down the walkway to the shuttle that would take her back home.
    -Jeanette, 214 Doctor
    Member of First Light

  2. #2
    (( This is my first time writing this stuff, so be gentle please ))
    -Jeanette, 214 Doctor
    Member of First Light

  3. #3
    ((welcome back, Jeanette! ))

  4. #4
    ((I liked reading it. Welcome back.))
    Asha Valentine

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