Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cyroa

A Clearer View (IC)

Recommended Posts

James sighed, steeling himself. He talked to girl, seduced them, charmed their socks off (literally sometime) without batting an eye. He'd seen monsters and horrors without flinching. He visited hell, regularly, cry crying out loud. There was nothing he was afraid of. So why the heck was he so damn nervous?

Come on. Time to man up here. He squared his shoulders and took a deep breath. He settled his face and mind as best he could. He took a step and vanished. He reappeared outside the gates of Claremont. There was still some respect in him for the place, despite not going there anymore. Jumping past the gates seemed a...violation somehow. A little walk wouldn't kill him. He nodded and greeted people as he walked towards the buildings. He'd check Erin's usual haunts first. The gym, the lounge and the like before trying her room.

Share this post


Link to post

Erin wasn't in the gym or the lounge, but James did hit a stroke of luck just as he was debating sneaking into the girls' dorm. Oliver came down the stairs by the common room, tail waving lazily as he took James in. He purred and rubbed up against James' leg briefly, then headed off towards the outdoors, turning his head as though beckoning James to follow. With no better ideas, James followed the gangly orange cat, out of the dormitory and onto the lawn, around the corner past the administration building and into the shade of the handsome old trees that ringed it. Erin had obviously planned to bring her homework onto the lawn, but now she was sleeping under a tree with her head pillowed on her chemistry textbook. Oliver gave James a smug look and sauntered off.

Share this post


Link to post

James smiled down at the cat and chuckled softly. "Remind me to get you some cream later. Or fish or something. Thanks," he said quietly.

He padded quietly forward towards his sleeping friend. He crouched down, just looking at her sleeping form for a long minute. He took a long moment to just enjoy watching her sleep. His mouth quirked into a little smile before he shook his head a little. Unlike quite a large number of the people in this school, James had little fear of Erin despite knowing she could beat the heck outta him without blinking. He reached out to lightly brush the hair from her face, trying not to focus too much on that. "Erin," he said softly. "Rise and shine sleepy."

Share this post


Link to post

Waking Erin could be a dangerous proposition, but today didn't seem to be a bad dream day. She woke with a yawn, blinking and peeling her cheek away from the book before looking up at James. "Hey," she said with a smile, sitting up and scrubbing her face with her hands. "I didn't realize you'd be around today. I was just, um... getting some homework done." She shot a baleful look at the chemistry book she'd been sleeping on. "I don't know how anyone makes a career studying that stuff."

Share this post


Link to post

"Hey." James crouched down on his heels grinning. "Homework, mm hmm. I can see that. I used to enjoy that method myself." He glanced at the book. "Don't look at me. I barely made it outta here alive, educationally speaking." He shrugged. "It's not for me. But depending what you want to do with your life after here, you might need some of it I guess."

Share this post


Link to post

"Yeah, still working on that one," Erin admitted, "but I've got another year before they bounce me out of here, so I have time to think about it. Right now, I'm just hoping to graduate somewhere above the bottom of the class." She stretched her arms above her head, popping her shoulders, then resettled her headband and tried to look fully awake. At least she was much too sturdy to get a sunburn. "So what brings you back?" she asked. "Got some dimensional adventuring to do, or were you just hoping for another Mario Kart thumping?" She hadn't seen much of James since the prom, and never just him alone. It was a little weird after watching him with Zoe, but she figured it had to be even weirder for him, knowing everybody had seen him naked. Or maybe it didn't really matter to him, hard to say.

Share this post


Link to post

He nodded. "Bottom of the class? Nah. You'll catch up and you'll be fine. I think I've secured the 'worst grade possible' trophy for the next decade or so." He shrugged. Sure she was behind but she wasn't a fool and she worked hard at it.

He chuckled lightly. "Not exactly. Phantom's back up to speed so my life's slowing down a little. The dimensional adventurer will wait for another day," he said with a grin. "I figured I'd come see you actually. It's been a while after all." He shrugged. He hadn't seen much of his friends since everything went down the drain and he missed them. Some more than other obviously. He just hoped that the way everything went wrong didn't screw this up for him too. "You did say you wanted to go play and take a tour of the space ship. Unless you'd rather keep studying," he said with a grin.

Share this post


Link to post

"Oh boy, do I want to keep falling asleep over chemistry, or go see your spaceship? Wow, that's a tough choice..." Erin bounced to her feet, stuffing her books back into her knapsack. "Especially since I'd probably end up just going back to sleep and not learning a thing. Do I need my uniform or anything like that?" There was probably not going to be a lot of trouble on board James' ship, but Erin had been wrong about that sort of thing before. Considering that her amusement park clothes from last year were pretty worn out already, she didn't want to take them into a fight.

Share this post


Link to post

He laughed, never doubting for a second that chemistry was really an option. James shook his head. "Nah. No uniforms necessary." He gave a wry smile. "Besides, the ship can just make you whatever you need if something comes up. Did I mention it has these 'replicator' units? Makes just about anything really." He stood up as well. "I suppose if you want to get it to make you feel better you could but I don't think it'll be necessary." He turned on his comm as soon as she was set. "'Seph, two to beam up please."

Share this post


Link to post

James immediately felt the now-familiar sensation of teleportation, but when he landed on the deck of his ship, he was alone. Persephone's beaming face looked out at him from her panel. "Good to have you back, James!" she told him cheerfully. "We've got all sorts of things we can do today, the zerbretlings in the zoo are coming out of hibernation, and there's an orbital adjustment in a few minutes that I'm sure you won't want to miss. Oh, and I got a brand new store of food products up from the surface just this morning. How do you feel about cookies?"

Share this post


Link to post

He didn't even blink as he was beam up. He did it all the time now. He hadn't really brought anyone else up here yet really. But he was certainly expecting someone to be up there with him this time. "Hey 'Seph." He paused and looked around. "'Seph...where's Erin? I did say two to beam up." He resisted the urge to sigh or frown in frustration. "Come on. Bring her up. And this is her first space ship, so let's impress her ok? And keep her happy? Please, for me?" This was going to make this even harder he realized. Perhaps the tour wasn't the best plan after all...

Share this post


Link to post

"Oh, did you?" Persephone replied, all innocence. "There was interference on the line, it must have garbled the command a little bit. I didn't know we were expecting any visitors today, or I'd have laid in more supplies. She's a big one, isn't she? I bet she eats a lot. We're gonna need a bigger cookie sheet!" The computer image of Persephone giggled, then busied herself with the image of a control panel. "Here we go..." A moment later, the platform lit up again and Erin appeared, facing the wrong direction but otherwise intact.

Share this post


Link to post

Erin took a moment to orient herself upon teleporting up to the ship. She'd been a little confused when James had disappeared and left her standing there looking silly, but whatever technical glitch had occurred had apparently cleared up before she could dig out her beacon to try and call him. It took her a moment to realize she was facing the back of the room. "That was weird," she told James, turning to face him. "I thought you forgot about me there for a minute." She looked around at all the blinking lights and the view of space out the window. "This place is pretty cool."

Share this post


Link to post

James wiped his face with one hand. Definitely not one my better plan I think. I really need to talk with Seph about this one. Later... "Be nice 'Seph," he said with a smile. This was going to be a rough visit.

Still he was smiling when Erin materialized. And turned around. "I'd never forgot you, promise. There was just a communication problem." He grinned. "This is just a transporter room. The place is absolutely humongous. First though, let me introduce you to Persephone," he said. "She practically runs everything up here. Without her, I couldn't get anything to work," he said, complimenting his jealous AI friend. "'Seph, this is Erin," he turned back and forth between them, hoping that this didn't go horrible wrong. Make that more horribly wrong.

Share this post


Link to post

Persephone gave Erin a smile so sweet that it might have induced diabetic coma in lesser heroes. "Of course, I've met Wander before, many times. It's so good to see you again. Did you know you have some dirt on your cheek?" she asked solicitously. "And your hair is a bit of a mess, too. You must have been fighting crime very hard this morning. Let me help you with that." Immediately, a pair of little servo robots rolled into the room. One of them presented Erin with a hairbrush and a damp washcloth, while the other helpfully raised a hand mirror so Erin could look at herself.

Share this post


Link to post

"Um, thanks..." Erin replied to the AI, a little awkwardly. She probably did look pretty messed up after taking a nap on the lawn, though it seemed pretty antiheroic to mention that she'd been doing that instead of fighting crime. "I guess you probably met my alternate in the world you come from?" she asked, even as she wiped the smudge of dirt off her cheek and tried to smooth down her hair. "I've only been up here once, and there wasn't really any time for introductions." She looked over to James. "So are you living up here now?"

Share this post


Link to post

James hid the wince well. He thought Erin looked fine, though he was likely biased, and he couldn't really fault Persphone. Erin was a tiny bit disheveled but...oh boy. He looked at Erin and nodded. "Mostly, yeah. I've still got the apartments and such. I was so busy it was just easier to stay up here. And the ship has got all sorts of dimensional sensors that 'Seph watches for me. Made my job a lot easier when I was running ragged there. Now its pretty rare that I crash somewhere else. After all, this ship has got it all," he said with a chuckle.

Share this post


Link to post

"Of course," Persephone agreed with perfect self-assurance. "I've been taking care of James for years. This is his home in space. The apartments are really just places to entertain company." The amused twinkle in her eye suggested what sort of company she knew he kept there. "But for work or recreation, there's no reason to go anywhere else." When Erin was done with her hasty cleaning, the servo with the mirror tucked itself back into a slot in the wall. The servo with the hairbrush tried briefly to brush Erin's hair for her, but retreated when she refused to let it. "There we are, that's a little better. I'm sorry I couldn't do anything about your clothes, but I know James is eager to show you around."

Share this post


Link to post

"Uh, that's all right," Erin replied, looking uneasily down at her faded shorts and t-shirt. She wasn't sure if that meant they were dirty, or just ugly. It was kind of weird, but she was starting to get the idea that James' ship didn't like her very much. But that was silly, computers didn't like or dislike people, well, usually. "I'm eager to see everything. Should we get going?" She looked to James, ready to start the tour soon for lots of reasons.

Share this post


Link to post

"Thanks 'Seph," he said, doing his best to ignore the...snippier side of Persephone. He turned to Erin and noted her looking at the clothes. "You look fine Erin. But if you want to change clothes, we can get you something else to wear." He gestured towards the door and started walking side-by-side with her. "Sure. Anything you'd like to see first? There's the bridge though you've been there. The zoo, hangars, the pool and rec rooms, quarters, hydroponics, medical," he rattled them off as he walked. "I've even got an armory in here, though I've yet to touch any of it." He shrugged as they walked out the door. He didn't even acknowledge the automated robots in the hallway as he turned left. "Or we could hit them all," he said with a smile.

Share this post


Link to post

"I've been really curious ever since you told me about the zoo," Erin decided, craning her head to look at the robots scurrying around. She couldn't be quite as blase about the whole thing as James seemed to be. He'd adapted very quickly to the giant spaceship lifestyle. "Let's go see that first." If nothing else, it would make her stop thinking about whether she really ought to go change her clothes, which was stupid when there were so many more interesting things to do.

Share this post


Link to post

He nodded with a grin. "It is pretty impressive. I think there are some cubs and younglings for some of the species that are only a couple weeks old at best. We're trying to increase their numbers. Well, mostly it was the Other Me and Persephone. I still know squat about genetics and all that," he said shaking his head as they entered a lift. "Still it is pretty cool. Most have no place on Earth but some do. The ones that can I'm trying to get the various ecological societies to step up for. Maybe we can restore them eventually. The others? Well, at least they won't die out here," he said with a shrug. He rattled off a bunch of the creatures in the zoo from memory as they headed into that section.

Share this post


Link to post

"I haven't even heard of most of those things," Erin admitted, but that didn't dampen her enjoyment of the menagerie any. It was a very strange place, full of animals in clear enclosures stocked with strange rocks and alien plants, with more of those little robot servos rolling around with shovels and bags of feed. They were just in time to see the zerbretlings, little creatures that looked like zebra-striped prairie dogs, coming out of their winter hibernation caverns, new babies in tow. "They're really weird, but cute," Erin decided. For the moment, at least, Persephone seemed to be leaving them to their own devices, busy with the management of the ship. One servo did run over Erin's foot, but there were so many of them running around, it was probably just an accident.

Share this post


Link to post

He shrugged a little, not really interested in watching the things behind the glass so much as what was on this side of the glass. Surreptitiously of course. "I don't think anyone has. Most of these are probably unique, not even existing is this timeline. When we went with Mark to the Centurion's base, I wanted to see what was there. If there was ever a chance for there to be more of these guys, it'd be there," he replied. He did grin and glance over at the little things. "Yeah they are. Think they're less than a month old." He couldn't remember exactly when and certainly didn't want to ask Persephone at the moment. "When they start rolling around and playing, it makes me crack up."

Share this post


Link to post

Erin watched the zerbretlings with amusement, choosing not to concentrate on the fact that she herself had been collected up in much the same manner as these critters, because that was sort of depressing. "You could bring field trips up here or something, it would be really educational," she suggested with a grin. "Did anything ever happen after you had that talk with the PADLOC people? You were going to talk to them about moving some of the animals down to Earth, right?"

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...