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Tick Tick Boom... The Promenade - Rogan...when the past doesn't match the future or the present

Posted Sept. 28, 2022, 6:48 p.m. by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Commander Heathcliff Rinker (Chief of Psychiatry) in Tick Tick Boom… The Promenade - Rogan…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in Tick Tick Boom… The Promenade - Rogan…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Commander Heathcliff Rinker (Chief of Psychiatry) in Tick Tick Boom… The Promenade - Rogan…when the past doesn’t match the future or the present
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Rogan felt his hands snap together no longer holding onto Jessa’s armor. Almost as soon as the lights faded, so did the slight sensation of falling. A series of curses spilled from his lips. The klaxons and red lights were only adding tension and fear to the situation. Rogan immediately raised his weapons as he took in his new surroundings. He was definitely not where he was a second ago. His anger boiled over at the use of the light weapon against them. For all their Tech, they were defenseless against it. The combat drug-fueled this sense of rage to almost homicidal levels. This escape was not an escape but more of a test. They had used Jessa to free them from the cells but also to lure them into a fight.

A quick scan of his surroundings gave Rogan valuable information. He was no longer in a cell but in what looked like an entertainment area with tables containing various gambling games, bars loaded with bottles, drinks scattered about, a stage, dimmed lights, and music fighting to overpower the ringing out of the klaxons. The inhabitants in the area were not dressed in the uniforms Rogan was used to seeing. This means they were either civilians or off duty. A large electronic sign hung near the entrance spelling out the words CLUB LUXE. Numerous curses sprang from his lips as he realized Jessa had been correct. The verbal language of this Federation was understandable but their written form was not. The Union employed the same techniques to control the population. Translate and scan Rogan spoke within his armor. Numerous holo displays began to process his request as data appeared indicating the probability of weapons, the makeup of the humanoids in the space, and the surroundings.

Weapons - 2% of the inhabitants are armed. Females 42% of the population. Males 58% of the population. The estimated age of the population sample is thirty-six with 0% of the sample being juveniles. Environment - entertainment complex. Threat assessment- moderate.

“Quad report,” Rogan spoke into his helmet trying to ascertain where the rest of his group was. “Jessa report,” he immediately called out the Guardian by name. He was not as concerned about being separated from the rest as he was being separated from her. One way or another Jessa was their way off the ship and the only way back to Vela Astria.

Raising his arms in front of him, Rogan unleashed a barrage of fire aiming at nothing in particular. He needed to establish control of the room and the easiest way to do this was through force. If someone died so be it. Many would die today. All attention would be on him. As the bolt tore through the space, several impacted the back wall and ricocheted back indicating some forcefield was in place.

Communication systems are currently disabled. Unable to translate written alien language at this time. Armor at 72 percent. Repairs in progress. The room appears to be shielded. The AI system of his armor responded.

The firing of the weapons increased the fear and confusion of the patrons in the space. It also put all eyes on Rogan which was what he had intended. “I am the Elder Rogan. You will submit to me. Bring me the Guardian Novar or I will begin to systematically slaughter you one by one.” As if to punctuate his command, Rogan randomly picked out a person and sent a bolt of energy into the crowd. The bolt impacted a woman’s chest flinging her like a rag doll across the space and into a table. The distraction of the attack allowed him to scatter ten small metal balls around him that rolled a few inches before seeming to melt onto the deck.

“Defend,” Rogan’s voice called out as the inky, metallic black pools multiplied exponentially growing into an elongated bullet-shapped device that rose to hover over the ground taking up tactical positions around Rogan. The command Defendmade the Mech’s react as it had when the Marines were attacked on the ship. A large red circle appeared that resemble an eye that pulsed as it scanned the crowd. “Now where is she,” his voice thundered in the space. The speakers in his armor projected it as a far deep and more menacing baritone. This was intentional. It invoked the feeling of power and authority in those that heard it.

Rogan

Heathcliff hadn’t gone ‘a clubbing’ for a long while. Well it wasn’t that long, but he never was the coolest kid in the club. Hiding behind a particularly sturdy section of the club, along a support column. He pressed his back against it, sweating uncomfortably. His bladder and his bowels both competing to which would betray him first.

In an act of pseudo-confidence, he pulled a discarded drink off a table and downed it. “I know you might have been lonely in your cell, but raiding a dance club isn’t the solution.”

“You know who this is ‘Elder’ Rogan. Three dozen hostages, a half a dozen robots, and body armor. I thought you were more… potent.”

Rinker

The comment shocked the alien and it took a moment for the armor to locate the trajectory from where it came. Unfortunately, the voice was hiding behind a large decorative pillar. It was not clear if taking it out would bring down the ceiling however, the speaker intrigued the alien. “Well, you seem like a brave soul with less than average survival skills. Come out. I am interested in meeting the individual behind it,” the voice said with a charismatic purr. While the sound of the voice was familiar to Rinker the cadence to which the tone was speaking was different. It seemed almost flirtatious and utterly unfamiliar with the person it was addressing.

Rinker couldn’t help but chuckle which might have revealed his position if he didn’t already know where he was. Rinker now tossed his empty glass across the room. “Less than average, well that generous. I appreciate it.” Less than average was probably right on the nose for a star-fleet officer. He was average for the common citizen.

“Foolhardy and gracious. This is an odd place,” the alien let out a small bemused laugh. It was far different than the thunderous command tone it used to secure the room.

Rinker shrugged “Near death situations can make for weird exchanges.”

“Near death,” the voice let out a soft, brief laugh. “I do not deal in halves of anything. It is all or nothing.”

Moving their hand to the side, the Mech’s separated and flanked the alien as they walked forward a few steps. The armored alien’s gait had a sultry pace. It was as if the individual inside was a patron walking into the bar for a night of fun. The mechanical eyes on the machines surrounding the elder no longer burned red but shifted to a soft yellow. The glow pulsed in a steady rhythm that felt almost like the machines were taking calm, slow, deep breaths. It gave a hypnotic feel to anyone looking at them long enough as if the machinery were trying to bring down the anxiety levels of anyone within visual distance.

Rinker tilted his head around the pillar. They were flanking him. Standard tactics were to attack into an ambush… well he wasn’t going to do that. “Rogan this seems quite unlike you?” Rinker raised an eyebrow. He hadn’t maneuvered from behind the column. Rogan was a murderer. He was certain of that and he would take a shot to kill the moment it was advantageous. Which might keep him alive for a while as there was no gain in killing a free prisoner, which was all Rinker was about now.

“And you presume to know me or who you are speaking to? Such impudence and audaciousness. First, you talk to me as if I am your equal then you presume to know my intentions.” The alien seemed almost irritated that Rinker was challenging their claim as Rogan or was it that Rinker seemed content to accept them as Rogan?

“Well, that’s what my information says…” He said as he slid one pillar over. It wouldn’t buy him more than a second or two. He felt like Bilbo Baggins negotiating with the Dragon under the Mountain, Smaug. He chuckled again, that was the book he offered to Jessa when she first visited him. Serendipitous that he was scurrying around like the Hobbit the book was named after.

“And what information is that?” The voice now seemed generally curious instead of authoritative. “Are you saying my reputation as Rogan the Elder precedes me?” Zala Tsu let out a derisive grunt. She was just as powerful as Rogan or Da Mu. The fact these people thought she was anyone but herself enraged her.

“Come out now and stop lurking like a molecat among the tall grass,” the voice spoke sounding like a parent at wits end talking to an unruly child. “Speaking to me is a privilege that you seem to be taking very lightly.” Zala Tsu did not make any more aggressive gestures but was still trying to coax Rinker out into the open.

“Why would I want to hurt you? You seem like you have a will to survive. You have my word that I will give you ample warning before I kill you so come out before you irritate me.” While the undying confidence was familiar in the tone, it was clear they had apparently no idea who Rinker was.

“Generous. But your body armor and score of Mecha suggest my safety is not your priority. Even temporarily.”

As if on cue, all of the monitors lining the walls of the casino switched from the warning sign staying calm to another message.
Attention crew of the Altantis. Four individuals have escaped the brig. They are armed and dangerous. Lethal force is authorized. Ian’s message was followed by frontal and profile images of each of the four aliens. As the images alternated only one brought out an emotional response by the alien.

“Why would you use that picture? It isn’t even my best side? Mech’s change the transmission,” the voice thundered. Ten of the fifteen Mechs zoomed across the space and covered the screen in what appeared to be a black ooze. Instead of Ian’s message flashing a new message seemed to materialize over the surface surrounded in a yellow boarder that matched the glow of the Mech’s earlier eye.

Rinker glanced at the screen, most mugshots were glamourous. “Well armor is flattering, broadens the shoulders. If that’s something you are into.” Rinker said with more confidence than he felt.

“Shut up,” the alien pointed their weapon at Rinker but made no move to actually fire or target him. The move was a conditioned one where the alien thought the action would bring about the desired effect instead of following through with the action. In fact, the alien was not even looking in Rinker’s direction. All he would have to do to avoid being in the line of fire was take a step to the right. The alien’s attention was fixated on the screens they ordered to be changed.

Rinker waved at the armored alien, but he did shut his mouth. Escape was not in the cards.

Citizens, do not fear. We are the light in the darkness. We are your saviors. Relax and rejoice for the day of your deliverance is upon you. Replacing the mug shots, new images of the four aliens adorned the screen. One was of an older man with a long white Fu Manchu mustache. One was a roguishly handsome man with a charismatic smile. One was of a young girl with a large smile, green eyes, and long long hair. One was of an icily beautiful woman with ebony black hair, flawless porcelain skin, and exotic lavender eyes.”

“Now that is better.” The alien looked at the screen with far more interest than controlling the room. It was obvious to anyone focusing on the situation, the alien cared more about how they were being presented to the masses than any actual message.

It almost appeared that the alien seemed to relax now that the security mug shot showed something far more appealing to them. The hand holding the weapon dipped some as if they forget they were attempting to hold someone at gunpoint.

Alien in Armor

“Flattering,” Rinker looked at the picture. He couldn’t resist a level of sarcasm. Perhaps he wasn’t as scared as he thought. “I don’t know why you’d care.”

Rinker

“Because I am far more beautiful than that,” the voice replied touching the side of its neck retracting not just the face plate but all the armor. It was almost mesmerizing how the metal plates recoiled upon themselves until they disappeared to the small button on the individual’s neck in almost a blink of an eye. Now standing in place of a non-descript automaton was a woman.

“True,” She was actually speaking the truth. Not that her attractiveness was something he was considered and the fact she was a murderer and a terrorist and had the blood of innocents and children on her hands… was pretty disqualifying in terms of determining attractiveness.

All cultures had a definition of idealized beauty no matter where they hailed from. While a person’s preference might stray from this idealized image, the classic definition based on that society’s standard of weight, hair color, facial ridges, length of a tail, height, or musculature was ingrained in every culture for someone to appreciate the visual standard. The woman, hidden by the armor, at face value would be considered by the vast majority of humans as classically beautiful. Her long ebony hair was thick and long falling about her face and shoulders like a veil. Her eyes were a hypnotic hue of lavender that drew attention to her high cheekbones and delicately upturned nose. The rest of her body matched the almost Greek sculpture perfection of her face. Even the prison orange uniform she had been given did nothing to hide her perfect figure. She had a wide hip-to-waist ratio that was accentuated when she walked making it appear almost as if she were floating across the floor instead of touching it.

Walking up to Rinker, the woman stopped a few feet in front of him. “I am Elder Zala Tsu of the Galactic Union.” Her voice was an alluring soft soprano that most men dreamt of hearing whisper intimate promises in their ear. “I do not remember seeing you when we arrived on this ship which means you can not be Captain Bordeaux.” Several of the Mech’s slowly closed around Rinker and Zala Tsu as she spoke. “So who are you besides a man whose arrogance to address me directly is only rivaled by his apparent lack of self-preservation?”

Zala Tsu

“You may not have met me, but I have heard of you. Zala Tsu, stand before her and tremble in fear and desire. That is what the guards whispered to each other. I didn’t know it was true until I beheld your visage.” He wondered if this hobbit ruse was going to have any impact, but clearly she had a level of vanity.

His flattery brought at a flirty smile and sultry look indicating Zala Tsu liked and believed what he was saying. “Is that why your officers always entered my cell in pairs? To control each other.” Her voice trailed off as if she contemplating his words. Looking back at him, Zala Tus let her eyes take in every inch of his body. “So tell me about my visage Commander.....” She had no idea of his rank but clearly, he had to be in command of something to be standing in her presence.

“I am Heathcliff Rinker, humble doctor and purveyor of wisdom.” He bowed slightly as he moved from the pillar. That piece of metal wasn’t helping him any more.

Rinker

“Purveyor of wisdom,” she flirted closing the space between them as if she were a fashion model on a runway. The way her hips swayed showed she was used to getting and keeping men’s attention. Looking around she let her eyes drift back to him. “I assume this is some sort of pleasure center?”

“Well Heathcliff Rinker, purveyor of wisdom and humble doctor I am thirsty. Serve me a drink?” She was used to men and women following her every command or desire. She did not wait or repeat her question but moved to one of the plush seats at the long bar and sat down.

The bartender behind the oaken counter looked nervously at Rinker for confirmation and help. He did not relish being this close to the alien and was trapped in his spot.

Zala Tsu


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