Sep 17, 2019 4:02 PM
audrey, not teah, in federation
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"Zari," Jean says, voice tight with frustration, "get me on a comm channel, I can't do anything if I can't talk to anyone--"

"Your recordings are broadcasting on all the available channels I am doing my best they aren't taking transmissions now shut up I am trying to get on their systems--"

"Fine -- fine -- someone, you, give me numbers fifteen through twenty on list C, maybe someone can get me an override code."

A woman starts reading off names, in a clipped tone. Jean shakes his head at the first two; then another alarm goes off, adding to the several that are currently blaring and increasing the general chaos of the room. "Fuck," Jean interrupts, "is that Vulcan? Someone tell me that's Vulcan."

The man at that terminal shakes his head. "Message didn't make it through the bounces. I'll resend, but it's not going to make it in time."

Jean curses, again, this time in French and rather more extended. "We just need to stall -- we just need time -- Epsilon, can we arrange something they can see from orbit, doesn't matter what it is, just something to make them stop and reevaluate the situation..."

"Jean," Zari interrupts, "I've got someone on-planet who might have a shuttle, we could get a couple of people off, come talk to them--"

She hasn't finished speaking before he's taken the headset from her and is talking rapidly into it, hand over his other ear.

On about half of the dozen screens in the room, the USS Orpheus continues to hang in the blackness of space, looming over the planet, with its Genesis Device prepped and armed for firing.

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A sleeping girl appears, looking for all the world as if she had just chosen to take a nap atop one of the consoles. 

In her dreams, she floats in space above a terrified planet, a sleek silver dagger pointed downwards at its heart. The weave shifts: the dream wants her to fix this, to make it right, to ward away the danger. 

She draws in starlight, pushes off against nothing, and slips in. The dagger gleams, slick with poison, life turned against life: she names it, binds it, draws arsenic from the apple seed and leaves behind that which it should have been. The gleaming dagger becomes a trowel, ready to till new earth. She looks down at the planet -

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Somethingtouchedhergetawaygetoffno! 

Her dream dissipates unremembered, more fragile than a soap bubble.

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That's ... deeply unexpected.

 

"Where did you come from?"

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The girl has scuttled away under a temporarily-unoccupied desk, hands pressed over her ears: she looks up at him apologetically, then winces as another alarm goes off. She looks like she could be anywhere from an unusually mature twelve-year-old to a scrawny, underfed sixteen-year-old: she’s not wearing any shoes, and her silver hair is tangled with dirt. 

She waves one hand at him in a shooing motion, her temporarily-uncovered ear pressed hard against her shoulder. 

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"Everybody, out. Take your work if you can. Zari stays."

 

People grab tablets and communicators and vacate the room with impressive alacritude.

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She stares at the door, then the suddenly empty room, then Jean.

“Don’t you have something more important to do than investigating me? I have no idea what’s going on, but I certainly hope you’re not putting off an entire crisis on my behalf!” 

She has a noticeable accent, a bit more lilting than Federation Standard: it’s something about the way her ‘o’s and ‘u’s are formed. 

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"They can work elsewhere," he says, amiably.

(The door opens again and Zari, having passed over her work to someone else, slips back in.)

"I'm curious about how you might have gotten here."

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“I don’t know either. I was in the backyard of the mansion, looking for fallen branches for firewood, and then I woke up here.” 

She trails off, as if she were about to ask a question and then reconsidered.

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"...I'm sorry, I'm being terribly rude. I'm Jean; this is my sister Zari."

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She manages a small smile. “Aura. No last name either, I don’t think anyone cared enough. What are you trying to protect, Jean and Zari?”

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"The people on this planet."

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“...which implies there’s more than one. There was a - spaceship - on the screens - what year is it?”

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"...twenty-one sixty-six. ... AD."

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“I remember staying up to see the green flash on the night of the new millennium. I’m... at least a hundred and fifty years later than I should be.” 

She presses her mouth to her knuckles, and hums loudly.

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"It's going to be all right, Aura. We'll figure out what happened to you. -- Zari, love, go get her something to drink, won't you?"

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“It’s utterly inexplicable and I’m likely to die before I have a chance to figure it out, but thank you anyway.” She shrugs resignedly, uncurling a little bit. “Would you like to get back to your rescue efforts, or do you think the girl who fell through time might help you save everyone?”

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"The latter, I think. Are you imminently in danger of dying?"

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“Not any more than everyone else on the planet. I’m not dumb, you know: I can put together ‘we’re trying to save the people on this planet’ with ominous pictures of a spaceship and assume nukes, or, well, whatever you have now that does nukes’ job. Probably something cleaner, that won’t leave the whole world irradiated or worse.” 

She shrugs.

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"No, you're clearly very intelligent. And I'm hopeful that you can help us figure out how you got here, and reverse that to get people away from here."

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“...oh. Oh! Yes, that would be - that would be very worth it.” 

She slips out from under the desk, takes three paces, pauses. 

“Um, do you mind? Moving helps me think.”

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"...hmm? No, of course I don't mind."

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She nods, breathes, paces. “Reflexes. Okay, so. It’s been a hundred and fifty years. I haven’t died, so that means time travel or some sort of preservation. I don’t remember any of the traveling portion, so I would have to have been snatched somehow. Is this planet Earth? Is there known time travel or cryonic storage or something like that? I was asleep and I woke up and I was in a different place, what did it look like to you when I arrived? Do you have any, I don’t know, radar sensors or something like that that might have detected something?”

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"Not Earth. No time travel, yes cryonic storage. You just appeared, a few seconds before you woke up -- it didn't look exactly like a commercial-model transporter but there's variation, that's the best guess. We've got sensors but they didn't show anything special beyond you, suddenly appearing."

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“Hmm. If it’s cryonics, then we’re proposing some sort of conspiracy to kidnap and preserve a teenage girl for a hundred and fifty years, and haul her millions of miles away, just to leave her on a planet that’s about to be destroyed. Which makes no sense. Are we very sure time travel isn’t real? Maybe I was going to be someone important...” 

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"If it were real I expect I would know. Ah .... forgive me, I'm going to be unspeakably rude ... is it possible that you are genetically engineered?"

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