Wednesday, August 31, 2011
"Jacke!" she screamed his name as she watched him fall, snowflakes bright against the dark abyss he was plummeting in to.
The snowflakes bled into long streams of light.
"Warp drive active," the automated voice announced as her ship lurched into hyperspace, pinpoints of starlight stretching across her camera lens.
The dream shifted again; she started to fall through the inky blackness of space as her ship exploded around her.
Sitting up in bed, she laid her hand against her chest as her heart thudded loudly. Her pulse raced and her breathing was quick and gaspy as she forced herself to awaken fully.
"It's just a dream it's just a dream," she told herself over and over as she tried to calm down, trying to reign in the sea of emotions that were drowning her.
The nightmare lingered, the same she'd been having for weeks. She'd dream of dying. Of the Brutor boy. And falling. Always falling. It made little sense to her and yet it terrified her at the same time.
She glanced to the open window, watching as snowflakes drifted into the room. The sheer curtains danced on the breeze, blowing inward as gusts of cold snowy wind chilled the air.
Sliding out of bed, she neared the enormous window and gazed out into the dark sky.
She tipped her head back, half closing her eyes as she felt ice cold flakes landing against her flushed skin. Fever burned through her, her eyes were glassy, rimmed with dark shadows. She'd become exhausted to the point of getting sick from lack of sleep.
The long gown she wore silhouetted her lithe body as the stepped up onto the ledge, the hem of it rippling around her ankles.
"Always, always falling," she whispered to herself as she stretched her arms out. For a moment she entertained the idea of falling and waking up into a new world, one that made sense to her.
"Come away from the window," a voice whispered in return.
Shalee tensed, the child-like voice frightening her.
"Who is there?" she called out as she looked over her shoulder seeing the shadowy image of a young girl with long black hair.
"You must come away from the window, you might fall and your brothers will be horribly upset with you." Raven commanded.
Compelled to obey without understanding why, she stepped down to the floor. Shafts of moonlight poured into the room, illuminating Shalee by the window, casting Raven into the shadowy darkness.
"Who are you?" Shalee asked. Her brows scrunched together as her gaze narrowed. She couldn't make out her face.
"Your brothers call me Raven."
"What are you doing here? Did they send you here?"
"To protect you. To guide you."
"You're a little young to be protecting me, don't you think?"
The little girl giggled mischievously.
Shalee stepped into the shadows with a sigh, "Enough of this, go back to the nursery where you belong. Does Brystal know you're running around in the middle of the night?"
Raven laughed again, "I don't live in the nursery," she said matter of factly.
Shalee stretched out a hand attempting to grab the girl by her arm, "Now look here-" her voice faltered when the child disappeared.
"Fooled you," Raven said as she suddenly appeared behind her.
Shalee spun around and gasped as her hand went straight through the child. "Stop it!" she yelled, moving over to the holodrone equipment, "You should know better to be playing with holo devices, it can be dangerous."
As Shalee disconnected the holo receiver into her suite, she turned around expecting Raven to be gone.
The little girl smirked, her eyes lit with an eerie devilish glint. "You can't get rid of me that easy."
Shalee gasped, "What are you, some kind of...ghost?"
Raven snorted. "Ghost aren't real. I am an AI device that has been implanted within your mind. To help you."
"...okay," Shalee said, clearly unnerved.
"Your brothers assumed you would have difficulty adjusting to your new life and had me designed. I am a failsafe, of sorts."
"Why am I just now seeing you?"
"You haven't needed me until now."
Shalee glanced towards the window, "Ah. You thought I would jump."
Raven nodded. "And thus, I had to stop you."
"I see." Shalee threaded her fingers through her hair. "So...you're just sort of...lurking? Inside my mind?"
Raven nodded again, "Something like that."
"Can you read my thoughts?"
"No. But I can see what you see." She pointed to her eyelid, "Your implants allow it."
"Interesting." And creepy.
A knock at the door sent the slaver hound puppies into a whirl of barking. Raven disappeared as Shalee called out, "Who is there?"
"It's Brystal," replied the blond Gallente in a muffled voice.
"Come in," Shalee said as she pulled a beige silk robe over her nightgown. "Is something the matter?" she asked as she noticed the heartbroken expression Brystal wore.
The Gallente nodded, sniffling, "It's Jacke. He's dead. He had been in a coma for weeks after falling from the rooftop and....tonight he died. He just.." she choked up, "died."
"He didn't just die he was MURDERED don't you remember!" a tiny voice screamed inside of her head. "Raven killed him and she's going to make you kill someone else!"
Blood dripped from her nose as her eyes rolled into the back of her head. Seconds later Shalee hit the floor.