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About Skysong

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  1. Sorry for the delay. I'm trying to work around a whole lot of things; life isn't getting any less complicated. I feel about as tired as Zak does.
  2. As soon as the old superhero's eyes were shut, Zakitaj's face became blank; he looked weary in both body and soul, slumped there, watching the drawer retract. It nearly took his hand with it, his fingers still interlaced with those of a dead man. Heaven? He didn't know whether he believed in any such thing, and from his point of view it didn't really matter. Physicus had been passed on, and Herbert had passed on. He didn't look up even after Dead Head's words for some time, but his face became screwed up in concentration. I have not cried since I was twelve, he told himself, and I will not cry now. When he finally did look up, his features were smooth again. "Yes," he replied, "I'll be okay. I... don't know how to thank you. You didn't have to do any of this. I started out fighting you and thinking you were totally insane, and you go and do more than anyone else possibly could... If you ever need anything, look me up. I owe you." Pushing himself off of the wall and back fully onto his feet, Zakitaj extended a hand for Dead Head to shake. After a moment, he spoke up again. "We'd best be getting out of here before someone starts asking awkward questions."
  3. Zakitaj wasn't exactly enjoying being pulled around like some sort of doll, but beggars can't be choosers, and at least he wasn't being eaten anymore. He couldn't really get a good look at whoever was fighting at the door, and he stopped trying when Fulcrum unleashed her breath of fury. His eyes grew wide; even from this distance his suit shimmered in anticipation of kinetic energy absorbtion. "You never told me you could do that," he said, awe in his voice. Several of the zombies, metal bones or no, staggered backward, and as soon as they did they were lost. The wee lifted into the air and slammed into the far wall of the warehouse, where they lay unmoving. Determined to make a contribution, Zakitaj aimed his recharged kinetic projectors at the ceiling beam he'd indicated as his target. With luck, it would be just enough to rip free the bolts holding it in place without taking all of the beams down and collapsing the building on the heroes. The accuracy wasn't perfect, but the damage was enough. The jiggled when the first shot hit it, then tore free with the second, smashing into the ground and crushing several of the survivors of Fulcrum's attack. ------------------------------------------------------ Lukos wasn't having tremendous difficulty keeping the zombies back, even if he wasn't killing any of them either. Behind him, however, the door gave way; one of the packet-bearing zombies began to lumber toward the maze of alleyways that meant escape.
  4. Heh... good memories of the DMV... not. So, getting toward wrapping things up; this has gone too long because I'm slow. A solitary zombie survived both Zak and Fulcrum's ingenuity; there are still four surrounding Lukos, one of them badly damaged, another about to escape.
  5. Skysong


    Initiative: 15+4=19 Star Wars provided an interesting explanation for sound in space: when a ship raises its shields, it traps a bubble of air through which sound can travel. Probably still not scientifically sound, but pseudo-sciencey at least.
  6. Zakitaj raised an eyebrow at Jack, especially at being called "Zak-Attack", but found himself chuckling at the man's words despite the awkward half-hug. He was not, at heart, a serious person, which was why his new responsibilities weighed on him so heavily. He hoped that the superhero's way with words wasn't his only good quality because it would not save them from enemy starships, though it certainly might provoke them into making a mistake. Turning back to the shapechanger, he pondered once again just how many laws of science were being broken by his existence. And then he burst out laughing, his formerly grim demeanor breaking entirely. "What a shame you can only throw a car a few feet," he said as he tried to wipe tears of mirth from his eyes only to discover that his suit was active when his hand bumped his transparent faceplate. Realizing that he had just divested himself of his dignity, he drew himself back up. "Er... sorry. People expect me to be able to do that sort of thing, and I can't at all, so your statement... nevermind."
  7. Zakitaj didn't understand, really; his people had always been so desperate merely to survive that both sexes had been hardy and gender equality was an unquestioned necessity. He almost laughed out loud at the thought of anyone telling Mona how she should run her life; such a person would have to be very foolhardy or very zealous, since the truly brave knew discretion. Still, he understood that it wasn't an easy topic for her, and regretted bringing it up; she'd brought back his less fond memories, to put it mildly, and it seemed he'd unknowingly returned the favor. His heart dropped a little bit when she said "multiple lovers", but his mind saw the irony: he, the son of a man who slept with any woman with a pulse, was a virgin; she, the daughter of a woman who was very conservative on the subject, was not. Each was a rebel in one way or another, and the fact that the universe had brought them together across six light years was deeply amusing. If he believed in a higher power, he would've complimented its sense of humor. He waved away her apology. "That's alright. My people have a proverb: if you make a road from mind to sound, there will always be bandits on it." He thought for a moment; there was a question he was interested to have answered, but he didn't want to push Mona further into memory than she wanted to go. "As the child of a single parent, I have to ask: was your father involved in your life? If you'd rather not talk about it, I understand; this is meant to be a pleasant time, not an interrogation." He smiled, his eyes containing interest and cautious friendly concern.
  8. I'll give Fulcrum an HP for pulling Zak's arse out of the fire, but it's your call as to what you want to do, Dariusprime.
  9. Zakitaj cut him off again by raising the little film capsule, and his mentor grinned again. "See? You'll get on fine without me." A lump formed in the young alien's throat, and he did his best to swallow it. "I thought I had to. I guess I still do." The quiet didn't last long before he remembered something else. "Erik wants you to know that he didn't understand back then, but he does now. He's sorry; he misses you." Physicus nodded, and some of the tension eased from his features. "Thank you for telling me that, Zak. It makes this all a little easier." The old man raised up the hand Zakitaj wasn't holding and used it to turn his face toward Dead Head. "Thank you for this chance," he told the zombie-man quietly. "I don't know what's waiting, but I think... I think I'll get there more easily now, no matter where it is." He turned his head back to his student. "Zak, I want you to know that you have my blessing. Be the next Physicus. Zakitaj always sounded more heroic than Herbert anyway." His final grin crossed his features. The alien nodded in reply; he didn't know what to say. Turning back to Dead Head, the aged superhero spoke one last time. "I'm ready."
  10. Briefly the young alien summarized his flight from Khalados and arrival on Earth; two days past, it was still vivid in his mind. With some hesitation he told of his visit to Physicus's family earlier that day, and of the honor he had asked for. "But now that you're here, I won't need to do that, will I?" Physicus was quiet for a moment, then spoke with a more level and subdued voice, the voice of wisdom that Zakitaj had long respected and heeded. "I don't think it works that way, Zak." Both of them fell into pensive silence. Zakitaj broke that silence. "What... what was it like?" "Being dead?" Physicus laughed nervously. "Until now, I had no idea of what was going on. It was like... like a bad concussion. I was out like a light; no thoughts, no knowledge of the passage of time, but this vaguely uncomfortable feeling in my head. I... hope it won't always be like that." He laughed again, trying to keep the fear out of his voice. Zakitaj clapped him on the shoulder, and he reached up and grasped his pupil's hand, giving it a quick squeeze. They were quiet again, but this time Physicus spoke first. "Zak, you should know something. The reason I left Earth... it wasn't just the Moore Act. See, I never told you, but when I teleport..." "It ages you," Zakitaj supplied as the older man's words slowed. "Erik told me." Physicus nodded. "Maybe it was selfish, though I had myself convinced that it wasn't, but I was looking for some way to.. to turn back the clock, to give me more time. And I almost found it, too. I left something behind when I left, something I want you to have..."
  11. It was the moment of truth. Silence weighed heavily on Zakitaj's ears, threatening to tear them from his head if he himself did not first out of the unbearable anticipation. And though the corpse's mouth remained peacefully set in the crooked head that held it, Dead Head began to speak. It was strange, listening to the seemingly one-sided conversation, stranger even that the reading of the photograph. But there was no more time to question whether all of this was madness. It didn't matter anymore. He tensed as Dead Head touched the body, but forced himself to remain as calm as possible. It might yet all be worth it. Surely it had to be. Fire was a bringer of destruction, a primal, uncontrollable force, or so the alien prince believed. And yet, when it seeped into the corpse's pale, chilled face, it was a bringer of warmth, a bestower of life. It was a further twisting of a mind that had already been twisted sideways and backwards in the course of half an hour, a rubber band drawn so taut that a tenth of a newton of force would shatter it like ice. And when those eyes, those eyes of stunning sea green snapped open, they weren't the only thing that snapped. A wave of pain dragged at his heart like a falling anvil. It had happened. Triumph, and yet despair. "Zak!" Physicus laughed, the hearty sound his student remembered distorted by his bent windpipe. "Fancy seeing you here! You're looking well!" "You're not," Zak joked back, a slight quaver in his voice. Physicus reached up one hand to tap the jagged gash that had ripped through his spinal cord at the base of the neck. "No," he replied, wincing, "I bet I'm not. What happened, exactly?" "It didn't go as planned." "We had a plan?" Zakitaj laughed; there was no doubt that this was his old friend.
  12. The wording is fine. Everything looks good! Thanks again for setting all of this up; I hadn't initially planned for this thread to accomplish everything it has, but I'm very, very pleased with the way it's turned out. Just goes to show that this sort of writing really is meant to be a collaborative effort.
  13. Zakitaj's eyes got really, really wide as Atlas shapechanged. He half-muttered half-sputtered something about the law of matter conservation, then shook his head, agape. He should know by now that science rarely applied to metahumans as it did to everyone else, but he was still shocked every time he saw something like this which he couldn't possibly explain. He was distracted a moment later, however, by Arrowhawk's words; the man was clearly agitated, but they were going to need him, and that meant that he needed to be calmed. "I understand your qualms here," he began cautiously. "My people banned slug-based weaponry three hundred years ago because such weapons cannot easily be used to subdue but kill all too easily. I have my own code against killing even my most hated enemies, because to do so is to become like them. I know a thing or two about computers and starships; perhaps I can take a sensors position and help identify crippling but non-lethal targets?"
  14. Zakitaj suppressed a laugh at Dead Head's description of his friend, trying to stay serious; the situation was, after all, hardly a laughing matter. Still, he wasn't the sort of person who could remain grim forever, which was one of the reasons his newfound responsibility weighed on him so heavily. Turning his thoughts back to the immediate problem, he wondered what his zombified companion meant; surely talking to each body would take just as long as merely looking at each of them, and they really didn't have the time for either. There were going to be awkward questions if the two of them were spotted. And then, as one, they rose. Zakitaj's stomach turned, and he wondered whether all of this had been some sort of hallucination. What if Physicus had left behind a safeguard along with his hidden film capsule? Maybe he was just seeing what some twisted part of him wanted to see, because things just kept getting more and more impossible. Dead flesh shouldn't be able to move or speak, much less make other dead flesh do the same. He wasn't afraid of what was happening, but it definitely made him feel more than a little sick. Still, he was going to take advantage of it if he could. He walked along in front of the bodies, witnessed their death wounds; he had seen worse, and in greater quantity, but it saddened him that the first morgue he visited on this new world was full of the violently slain. He could only hope that none of them held some sort of lingering danger; they were, after all, in a special chamber designed to hold the abnormal dead. Midway through the circuit, he spotted Physicus. The old man's eyes were closed peacefully, his mouth set in a vague smile as he sat up through unknown means. "That's him," Zakitaj said, as levelly as he could. His mentor had short hair, more white than grey now. His head lolled at an odd angle on account of his broken spine, the injury that had slain him. He looked so different than he had all those years earlier, as though whatever he had done between departing Khalados and returning to it had weighed on him heavily. If he had anything to say, now was the time to find out.