Thursday, September 6, 2012


Advent Next
By Christian Alexander

                Child sized hands stretch out before elder eyes. Emotional responses weren’t exactly her forte, but it was a moment of intoxication. She felt her heart rate increase drastically, her arms tingle and waver, vision blur and refocus. The tiny hands began to grip and prod the skin of her face. Then, she reeled back and cackled youthful laughter to the metal walls until she was out of breath. When oxygen was finally sucked deep back into her pubescent lungs, tears flooded down the soft creaseless skin of her cheeks.
                There was still instability of cognition. Long after the fluid was restrained from pouring down her face, she remained heaped on the small cabin floor, attempting to collect herself. Such an idiom, collect yourself. She had never thought it could be so literal. To sit and try to gather in your head, that which is you. A kin to frantically trying to hold one more stone than physically possible. In the attempt to grasp the very last, the first would slip and tumble out. After several minutes, she brushed this issue aside temporarily. She was prepared for this. At any rate, she still felt like herself.
                She stood resolutely. The regal finality of her movements clashed with the adolescent body.  The young girl strode to the wall to wave her hand past a glowing panel. A closet revealed itself as the wall telescoped into the adjacent wall. Inside the closet was a single uniform: sleek grey jumper with orange trim and silver markings on the shoulder to identify rank, utility belt, standard issue female boots, underwear, training bra, and an officer’s hat. Though the clothing had never once touched her skin, it fit perfectly. After the uniform was on, she attached the blade hanging on the wall to her belt. The blade was worn only as a symbol of distinguished service in combat. The many jewels inlaid into the blades tang specified a great number of achievements. In the slim mirror, the rooms only ornament besides the closet and medical capsule she had recently emerged from, she inspected her dress, making minor adjustments to ensure its stateliness.
                Finally, she approached the glowing panel next to the cabin’s only exit. Mechanically, her fingers entered a code they had never before entered on a light screen they had never before touched. Upon completion, a high pitched tone sounded and a thin halo snapped out of metal surface. She took a deep breath and placed the halo carefully on her head. As she exhaled, she centered the objects only button on her forehead and pressed it. The ring immediately tightened around her skull, and became alive with lights and whirring. After a few seconds, the panel in front of her sounded a low pitched tone and switched from glowing green to red. Simultaneously, ceiling tiles slide back and three triangulated weapons dropped down and targeted her.
                “Brain wave identification failure,” a prerecorded voice said indifferently from all directions, “failsafe protocol initiated. Pod jettison in thirty seconds. Pod implosion in five minutes.”
                Chances were not to be taken with this. She didn’t move a muscle other than her left eyebrow, which rose ethereally. She attempted again to focus her thoughts, to harness the nondescript wisps of personality that made her, her inside her brain. This would still take work, but a silhouette was beginning to form in her mind’s eye.  Then, her right arm moved calmly to the device constricting around her head, and pressed the button again. After a few seconds the high pitched tone sounded again, the panel returned to green, the weapons went back into hiding, the prerecorded voice spoke again, this time informing her of the successful brain read, and the door in front of her slid open. She carefully replaced the halo that was now slack on her head, and stepped through the doorway.
                Outside her room was a man dressed in uniform whose eyes went tharn upon witnessing the girl strut through the doorway he had been guarding. As she passed, the child did not slow or even turn her head. She did salute the soldier, which wrought his posture into something much more formal. The slight heel of her boots tapped a familiar cadence down the corridor as she left.
                She stopped saluting gawking subordinates to return them to presentable soldiers shortly, it was no use. Their lack of discipline in this particular situation was excused, though she made a mental note to fix this phenomenon. With haste.
                She made her last turn through the metal mazes of corridors leading to her destination, realizing only now that she hadn’t needed to think even once where to turn. It was, natural. She marveled, without redirecting the fixed gaze she held on the path in front of her, the blank sterile walls of the ship. So much function, so little form. Then, the walkway unwrapped into the grand scene of the bridge.
                She paused, for a blink, at the entrance to allow the crew and officers to revel in the sight. After, she proceeded unwavering to the seat of command.
                “Sara?” questioned Fane, her second in command, with a slight fire of awe in his eye.
                Sara gave the slightest of nods, this gesture was immensely personal, though brief, “at ease crew,” she commanded and they saluted her vigorously. Then, she sat into her chair.
                “Olga, ETA?” Sara asked the display in front of her.
                “Welcome back Commander Sara Halleck, ETA is 8 years,” the display answered.
                “Perfect,” Commander Sara whispered, incapable of holding back all of her pleasure. Wonder what that bastard will think when this face leads an army against him. She grinned with sick elation and opened her training schedule.

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I'm Christian. I'm a ninja. When I can, I write.


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