"Humanity can survive, my friends. But it will take effort and it will take sacrifice. But first, we must rebuild the wheel to study these assailants from beyond. Any piece, any fragment of the Deus Pinnae that rears its head will be ours. Yamata 16 can no longer afford to linger in the shadows. If we must, we will take all of Bastion space in our grasps and ravage it until every metal sliver of the Pinnae is revealed... By any means necessary."
Ian used his abilities to flip a chair over and take a seat. It was only the second time she had seen him use his powers. She was then handed Ian's flashlight, which she set down across from Ian, aiming at the wall beside him, so that it indirectly gave him enough light to see. He had mentioned needing a sling. Iradell looked around the corridor that they were in and then down at the dead man. Moving over to him, she squatted down and drew her knife, cutting the man's ragged shirt off and pulling it off of his body. A few more cuts with her knife and she had it shaped fairly well into a large cloth square, which she then folded over to make a triangle. This could go under his arm and tie behind his neck.
“I will try not to feel too bad over your injuries,” Iradell said, then looked down at his helmet again. She moved in front of him and then went to her knees, so that she was directly in front of him. “I do not think that will seal, no. But hopefully we can find an alternate air supply for you. Do you know the procedure should a vacuum suddenly occur?” She was not sure if he had done much space traveling in his time, and most humans panicked when faced with the vacuum of space. “You need to exhale every bit of air that you can and then hold your breath... If this occurs... I will try to get you back into a pressurized area as quickly as possible.”
Iradell worked as she spoke, unfastening Ian's suit all the way down to the waist and then breaking the seal. Without the helmet, the suit was useless and it would slow him down. Plus, she needed to get to that arm in order to sling it and administer the medi-gel.
“You should try not to panic, as well,” Iradell continued, beginning the painful process of slipping the pressurized suit over his injured shoulder and down his arm. “But hopefully you know that. Here, I'll just do this,” she said, seeing how much pain he was in when attempting to remove the suit. Again she drew her knife and beginning at the shoulder, it proved how sharp it was by sliding down the sleeve of the suit, much like scissors sliding along wrapping paper. Once she was to the wrist, she moved the knife back up and made another cut, and the suit over the injured arm was removed easily with a pull on the glove.
“I think it is broken,” Iradell said, tilting her head to look at it. “Possibly upper arm fracture, which can be the most painful. Luckily, you brought medi-gel.”
Iradell withdrew the medi-gel and stuck the small gun up to Ian's arm, injecting him first in the bicep. She then moved it down and shot him again in the forearm, then she stood so that she could shoot him in the back of the shoulder. She then resumed her position in front of him, looking him in the eyes for a moment to see if that alleviated the pain.
“Better?” Iradell asked. “I do actually have another pistol,” she answered him after slinging his arm and tending to him, then motion to her left thigh. It was a revolver that was pretty large, firing .50 caliber rounds. She drew the .50 caliber revolver from it's holster and set it down on one of his legs. “It has a bit of a bite when you fire it, so hold on tight. And these,” Iradell paused and drew a quick reload from one of the pouches on her leg above the holster for the pistol. (an example of a quick reload: here ) She held it up so that the noses of the bullets could be seen. The tips were indented and within the indention, there looked to be a sharp needle poking up right in the center but not further than the tip of the bullet. “These are magnesium rounds. When they penetrate what they hit, they will burn extremely hot. But I only have this reload and one other, so eighteen rounds.”
Finally, Iradell stood from in front of him and looked towards the direction they were going to go. She waited for him to ready up and while he did, she drew her other pistol. It was much smaller than the revolver.
“I would give you this one, but it only fires for me,” Iradell said, showing it to him before shoving it back into it's holster. “Just remember if we run into anything up ahead, we need to stay as quiet as possible... so only fire if there is no other choice, I really don't like the sounds this ship is making around us.”
Pain wasn't something Ian was new to. Spend a couple decades being a brash and stupid youth and you would build up a tolerance to pain. Ian had been one such youth and, in return for his stupidity and bad choices, built up a tolerance to reward of bad choices. The old landlord spent many years getting into bar brawls and other foolish shows of telekinetic prowess to learn that fighting for no reason was silly and pointless. Or so he thought some time ago when he held a small, dark haired baby girl in his arms. The pain from all those years of foolishness vanished as he looked into the eyes of his daughter for the very first time. Even the pain of his left arm being shredded had been washed away. Faye was his new beginning.
"Perhaps some fighting skills might not have been a bad thing to pick up." He groaned as his rigid muscles relaxed into the chair cushions. Ian's body was starting to come down from the adrenaline and when Iradell padded back over to him and produced a piece of the stained cloth the man she killed had worn. It was a dull grey with a dark substance splattered across it. The substance was dry but Ian thought it held a faint smell of iron and vomit. Though it could be the pile of guts and discharge on the floor some ten feet away. Ian sat in a partial daze a Iradell spoke and worked to remove his suit. He nodded in response to her question but remained silent. The former engineer knew that the suit was useless if it couldn't seal and, if so, would only be extra weight he didn't need.
Iradell's hands moved deftly, manipulating the suit and his limb just enough to move the suit. Once she got to a point where pain would be inevitable she produced her knife and cut the suit. Ian's attention wavered and didn't hear Iradell mention the condition of his arm but from the familiar pain he had a good bet it was broken. Many people tend to exaggerate the euphoric feeling of medi-gel on a possibly broken limb, Ian thought that those people that didn't do that had never broken a limb in their life. The sense of relief that followed the swift sting of the medi-gel dispenser was like stepping into a nice warm bath after a long hard day of work. It sent waves of endorphins cascading through his body making his muscles relax and fighting off the pain for a while.
Ian's expression reflected the change and he turned his eyes to the Hepheasti and nodded slowly. "Aye. Much. Though It'll only last for a few hours. Less if we get into trouble." He said as he eyed the cannon Iradell produced. The handgun she offered was the size of a small house cat and weighed roughly as much. Iradelll showed him the ammunition for her cannon and explained that they were Magnesium rounds and could cause what they hit to catch fire. Ian had heard of Magnesium rounds but had never seen them in person. "How the hell am I to shoot this?" He asked lifting the hand cannon gingerly. "The kick on this thing would take my arm off." He knew he might be exaggerating but he had never fired anything that large before. He looked up and saw Iradell scoping out the way they were to go and looked down to his arm.
"Before we go," He said standing. "I'll need to splint the break. Otherwise I'll burn through the medi-gel faster than I intend to." Ian pointed to the chair and let his eyes flash with light. The arm of the chair he was in warped and snapped. Ian's eyes dimmed slightly as the arm turned and began to slowly split down the middle of its length. The two halves, while not exactly symmetrical, would do the job he needed them to do. "Let's get these wrapped up and get moving. I don't want to find out what's making that noise." Ian wasn't sure if he was talking to Iradell or himself but once they had placed the improvised splint in place Ian pocketed the rounds and held the hand cannon in his right hand. "What about the plasma cutter? Are we gonna leave it here?" He asked, his thought of the tool returning to him.
“It will not last if you get into trouble,” Iradell corrected Ian, the medigel being useless on her. She continued to look into the darkness as he asked about shooting the pistol. A little smile appeared on her lips and she looked back towards him, eyes glowing in a swirl of pink and violet. “Point and shoot,” was all she said, then she looked back towards the dark corridor ahead of them. Her senses were working overtime now, she had already allowed Ian to get hurt. If they could make it back to her ship then she would have a proper infirmary to have him looked at and attended to.
“A splint?” Iradell questioned as she mentioned it. She had not forgotten it but she did not think it was necessary until he requested it. Nodding, Iradell moved to his side again and retrieved a suitable piece of chair. She then removed some zip ties from one of the pouches on her waist and wrapped them around the piece of wood and his arm, pulling them just tight enough to hold the splint in place. She worked quickly and then replaced his arm in the make-shift sling.
“I'm going to have to start carrying a proper medic bag if I am going to keep running into you,” Iradell said as she finished, looking up at Ian with a smile again. Her eyes had gone dark and back to their normal color – which was a dark violet. She lingered there for a moment, looking at him, before raising a gloved hand up and wiping away a smudge that was under his eye. "I'll get your plasma cutter," she said, taking it and hooking it onto her belt. Then Iradell turned back towards the darkness and her eyes lit up once more.
“This hallway will take us out of the living quarters,” Iradell said, remembering the flashlight for Ian. She picked it up and stuck it in the hand of his injured arm, hoping that he could hold onto it well enough to use it. Then she turned and moved down the hallway, leading the way. “We will go through a set of double doors into a cafeteria area... then we can move back through the kitchen and find an access tunnel that will lead us down to the hull.”
Iradell looked back at Ian to make sure he understood and that he was keeping up, just as they approached a intersection in the hallway. She walked into the intersection and paused, raising a hand up to signal to Ian to stop. Slowly, her hand went to the pistol on her hip and she withdrew it, the creaking of the ship the only sound. Iradell looked to the right and stared in that direction.
“Ian, we are going to need to run,” Iradell whispered. “You remember how I told you to go?”
The shadows seemed to move to Iradell's left and a moist crackling sound was heard as flesh rubbed against flesh. Iradell's head jerked to the left and she reacted quickly, her pistol raising up and illuminating the hallway as fire flew from it's barrel and into the creature that had seemingly appeared right next to her. As she fired, the beast rose to it's full height, and it was so tall that it appeared to be hunched over within the corridor.
“RUN IAN!” Iradell shouted, her left arm reaching over her shoulder to draw the shotgun in order to shoot the creature point blank with a 12-gauge slug. The creature shrieked and moved forward, swatting the shotgun away with a longer-than-expected arm. The action caused Iradell to spin slightly, her iron grip not releasing the shotgun, and the creature grabbed her around the waist and lifted her up for an up close inspection. Hopefully Ian is running, Iradell thought as she came face to face with this.
The creature let out a strange shriek, filling the hallways with it's high pitched voice, and opened it's mouth wide in order to take a taste of it's latest catch. Luckily, Iradell's iron grip was still holding true and she worked the shotgun up and shoved it in the creature's mouth. The monster bite down and Iradell pulled the trigger, sending a slug directly into the roof of it's mouth. The slug traveled true through the soft tissue, moving through the creature's brain matter before exploding out of the top of it's head. The creature wobbled and fell down and Iradell hit the ground hard, narrowly avoiding the weight of the beast from falling on top of her. She crawled the first few steps and then got back up on her feet, her left arm slinging the shotgun onto it's magnetic holster on her back. Iradell turned to run in the direction she had sent Ian, but a massive paw blindsided her from the right side of the hallway. The momentum of the hit sent her flying the way she wanted to go, but she struck the wall hard and fell to all fours again.
Injury markers lit up in her vision, which she quickly cleared away, and then she sprang to her feet and began sprinting towards the cafeteria. The Hephaesti was no slouch in the running department, easily beating even the fastest of humans, and in no time she came crashing through the doors of the cafeteria. Even her reflexes couldn't stop her from crashing into several tables as she turned the corner, but she recovered fast and began running towards the kitchens. Three of those beasts came in right behind her, and all of them made the mistake she had, sliding wildly across the smooth floors and into several tables.
“Ian!” Iradell yelled as she ran into the door that led to the kitchen. She slammed the door behind her and luckily it was made of a thick metal. Outside, the three creatures could be heard howling, scratching at the doors wildly with their massive claws. It sounded just like the noises that they had heard earlier. “Ian, did you make it?”
Iradell looked around the room and then felt it, as another alarm went off in her vision. Reaching up to her neck, she withdrew her fingers and they were covered in a blue fluid. The strike on the side of her face had caught her right under her chin and a claw had penetrated her central vein, which was similar to a human's jugular. It was not an easy task, hitting that spot, but somehow the creature had managed it. Her synthetic skin was ripped away on that side of her face, exposing the metallic underneath all the way from her neckline to right under her eye.
With the splint in place Ian felt he could take more manageable maneuvers if the need arose. Iradell exchanged a quip with Ian but the old landlord wasn't particularly in the mood for the jest. He had heard that people would sometimes use humor in stressful situations to ease the tension but Ian found himself wanting to remain quiet. His mind kept playing the horrifying sound of metal against metal in his head as if on loop. He touched the back of his right hand to his forehead and sighed as Iradell led them down their path once again. She informed him of the upcoming areas and were they would need to run. The security lead even returned his flashlight to him. Ian gave her a nod of thanks and flexed his grip on his injured hand. A dull ache thumped in his arm but the pain was below something he considered a problem. Ian clicked the light on then off against the closest wall to gauge the battery life. Still good. He thought and looked back just as Iradell gestured for them to stop.
Ian stared at Iradell's back, his vision was partial blind as his eyes readjusted to the darkness. His eyes could make out the shape of Iradell's slender back as her voice pipped up into the blackness. The battle ready Hapheasti informed him of their next action and wanted to make sure he knew where he had to go. Ian, while completely against the want for going fast in any direction, could feel something new around them. A strange sense of filth far worse than the earlier guts, that permeated the air. Ian was a Pythian, a human that was able to do things regular humans weren't. Pythians had the abilities to manipulate matter with their minds and possibly the minds of others. Ian however, was not able to manipulate the minds of people so much, he was more of what the Pythian community refereed to as a mover or a pusher, someone that was heavily skilled in telekinesis. The old landlord was strong in Telekinesis but relatively weak in the other areas.
As a Pythian Ian is also able to sense the emotions of those area him. Those strong in Empathy can force emotions onto others at will. This is something Ian cannot do, instead what Ian is able to do is sense emotions as if they were colors. If he tried to force emotions onto another person he would normally find himself with a serious migraine and an emotional maelstrom swirling about in his head.
Ian saw a sudden flash a bright red across his field of vision so bright he thought it might have been the emergency lighting coming on. He knew from experience both technical and of his own abilities, that the red was not physical light. Ian had sense the hostile, murderous, blood thirty intent of someone around them. Iradell shouted an order and summoned fire to spit forth from her side arm. The sudden flashes of light hurt Ian's eyes but he didn't hesitate in executing Iradell's order. Ian clicked on the flash light and saw for a brief moment Iradell's side profile and felt a sudden dread as he left her behind.
The Pythian barreled down the corridor Iradell had told him about, the artificial light that spilled forth from hsi flashlight helped him not stumble into any large obstructions as he came to the double doors of the galley. With an effort of will Ian used his telekinesis to open one of the doors allowing him to use less physical effort to reach his destination. Ian tucked his arms close to his body, his injured arm was covered by his right and put his shoulder into the half opened door of the cafeteria. The door swung wide away from him and slammed against the wall with an echoing bang. "Shit!" He seethed and just barely stopped himself from colliding with the circular tables that filled the majority of the room. With a quick look around the room Ian saw a good spot to hide.
Ian crouched behind a large metal cabinet and listened for Iradell. He wouldn't survive without her and he would have been a fool to think he could. He had been concealed form view for a few minutes before he heard the thundering footsteps of whatever had set of his Empathy alarm. Iradell called his name as she burst through the double doors and, by the sound of it, collided with the tables he had narrowly avoided. A breath or two later Ian saw the flash of crimson red light cover his vision again and the sound of something large, heavy, and metallic scraping against a metal surface. Ian recognized the sound immediately his bowels threatened involuntary release.
Steeling his will for a brief moment, Ian stole a look from his hiding spot and saw the slim, dark silhouette of Iradell against the faint gleam of the double doors of the cafeteria entrance. Ian flicked his flashlight on and off once to her in response. "Y-you alr-right?" Ian managed to ask, his words causing a traffic jam in his throat. He saw a shine of color against her skin when he had flicked his light on her a moment before. A blue reflective substance that Ian didn't feel would from something good. Ian made no attempt to move and he doubted he'd be able to move far with the fear making his legs like noodles.
The horrible scraping sound continued for three breaths then stopped. The silence that hung in the air sent electricity down Ian's spine and another flash of red covered his vision. Instead of struggling to form words the Pythian landlord's eyes blazed with brilliant violet light and Iradell was thrown from the double doors just before the doors exploded from their reinforced hinges. Ian took cover as his eyes returned to normal and covered his head. He didn't know when but when he was able to hear again he noticed he was saying lines of prayer in a tight whimpering voice. The sound of a deep roar was already in effect and Ian could feel his chest rumble and a sense of warmth spread down his legs.
“I think I'll be alright,” Iradell said, not showing the strain that a human would as the beasts beat on the door. Her mechanical legs were dug into the ground, with her boots helping her to stay firmly locked into place. There wasn't much time for talking. He had affirmed to her that he was okay and then she focused her efforts back on the door. She was unsure how many were out there but she did know that there were other ways into this room. Hopefully they didn't know that.
For a moment, the pressure against the doors stopped. Iradell felt that maybe the beasts had retreated, or maybe they were circling around to come in another way. But that thought crossed her mind for only a brief second before Ian reacted to the coming thread. Her vision suddenly became a blur as she was launched across the room, crashing into several tables and hitting the hard floor. There was what sounded like an explosion and the doors were knocked loose from their hinges, sailing across the room in opposite directions.
The roar that sounded afterwards was deafening. The sound that sent a rumble through Ian's chest was not an after effect from the explosion, or the sound of one of those creatures, but instead it was the roar of the creature. As Iradell got back to her feet, she looked across the room towards what had entered. Easily twice the size of the other beasts, this creature had a massive prehensile tail whipping behind it. It's legs looked like tree trunks and it's arms were an abomination of muscle and claws. Whatever these things were, this was their alpha.
“Ian!” Iradell called out, also drawing the attention of the alpha male. “Move your ass down that tunnel, NOW!” Iradell removed the shotgun from her back and raised it up towards the alpha, firing off a soundwave blast that scattered the tables that was in it's path until it struck the creature. “As for you, you are going to have to deal with -”
Before Iradell could finish her threat, the alpha male moved with a speed that she was not accustomed to, crossing the space between them so quickly that even her superior reactions did little to brace her for the impact. The alpha male swatted her with a massive paw, sending her across the room and into a wall near the ceiling. Her body struck it hard enough to leave a dent in the wall and before she could fall to the ground, the tail of the alpha male whipped around and struck her in the chest.
All Iradell knew was that she saw the tail passing below her. Alarms filled her vision as they have never before and she suddenly found it difficult to move her arms and legs. The tail proceeded into her and it finally dawned on her that she was being impaled through the chest and the tail had passed about half of it's length into her body.
She opened her mouth to yell out to Ian, urging him to go if he hadn't already, but only blue fluid poured out. Her voice chirped something strange, though, but it wasn't words. It could have been a scream.
Sparks lit up the room as the alpha struck her again, ripping her from the tail and sending her clattering onto the floor below. She once resembled a beautiful woman, which was something she desired. But now she was stripped of that as the other side of her head was struck, ripping away the skin from her scalp and the right side of her face. All that remained of her synthetic skin was the narrow strip that went down the center of her face, but it was covered in a blue fluid that obscured any hint of what she was just a little while ago.
It roared again, rattling the room as it moved it's nose over her to give her a sniff. To check if she was dead. To get a taste of it's latest meal. But it retracted, the smell of metal and coolant filling it's nose where it expected the smell of flesh and blood. Still, the beast was curious and went back to her, taking her in it's jaws and picking her up and dropping her in order to give her a taste test.
System rebooting... Core intact... Right arm function check... complete. Left arm function check... ERROR: primary tendons severed. ERROR: shoulder non-functional Right leg function check... complete. Left leg function check... complete. Visual function check... complete. Caution: Primary coolant at 43% and falling
The rebooting processes continued and Iradell's eyes lit up again. As the alpha bent down to pick her up within it's jaws again, Iradell removed the plasma cutter from her belt with her right arm and activated it. The yellow energy sparked to life and Iradell locked it so that it stayed on. Lifted up in the alpha's jaws again, Iradell shoved the plasma cutter as deep as she could reach into the beast's throat, causing it to swallow the thing.
The alpha dropped her immediately and took several steps back, crashing it's head into the door from which it had entered. The creature raised it's chin and howled in pain as the cutter burned it from within, and like a scared dog, it turned and ran from the cafeteria. The sounds of other creatures running after it were heard.
“I win,” Iradell said, her voice returning, though it sounded a bit muffled with fluid. The strip of skin running down the center of her face remained, which meant that her lips (and tongue) were still there to mold the sound into words. The Hephaesti rolled over onto her belly and then pushed herself up with her one good arm, while the left arm hung limp by her side. There was also the issue of the massive hole through her chest, which was only about three inches on either side of slicing her completely in half. Still, Iradell displayed exactly why Hephaestis were such a formidable foe as she struggled to get back up onto her feet.
It was a struggle, though. Her balance was thrown off and many of the functions that were stored within her chest were offline. The most worrisome was the coolant pump, which was non-functioning. That meant that she had a limited amount of time before her core overheated, at which time she would completely shut down. In the case they were in now, it would probably mean death, since there was no one that would retrieve her core and restore it.
“Ian,” Iradell managed to say, her movements becoming even more struggled and robotic than ever before. Her feet dragged as she walked, her left leg twisted slightly so that her foot fell awkwardly every time. But somehow she moved forward, walking towards where she had told her friend to run to. She only paused to bend over and retrieve her pistol, which took her much longer than it should have. “We have to move down. There is no going back... my ship... it's the only way off this place.”
Don't think. Can't think. Just move. Run. Escape. Survive. Ian's instincts repeated in a mantra as he tried to get his legs under him again. He could hear the sounds of struggle from just beyond his concealment. He sat listening as the terror welled inside him. His instincts demanded he leave to find safety, to somehow get home and never leave it again. However, Ian's legs were like limp noodles and all he could do was tremble on the floor in his own mess. Iradell's voice rang out, though it was touch to make out every word as his ears were filled with the fast thud-thud-thud of his heart. The sound only seemed to increase Ian's fright as a brief image of him having a heart attack flashed in his mind. For a moment he wished he were like Iradell and didn't have a heart to listen to.
More commotion happened outside of Ian's vision and the creature released another body shuddering roar. Ian was far more scared than any other time in his life and for a moment he thought he could see his life flash before his eyes. Images of his parents telling him good bye, him being adopted by his uncle and his family, the feeling of disappointment of messing up his first engine and the immense swelling of pride and accomplishment of building his first working engine. His time on the Icarus, the loss of muscle and skin on most of his left arm.
One scene that played was one with a Chimeran Mercenary name Tavera Nar. She was a hard edged woman with questionable moral standings and made no apologies for it. Ian and Tavera met in a bar one night on the Icarus and ended up getting into a heated discussion, over what Ian couldn't recall, though their talk ended with Ian losing part of his left ear lobe. Ian spent a long time believing he hated the woman but as the old saying goes, "there's a thin line between love and hate". Ian had developed strong feelings for Tavera and they had an off-again-on-again sort of relationship that consisted of passionate sex whenever they were around.
Ian could even see when she showed up after a two year absence and found him drunk and in bed with a co-worker. When she turned to go he went to stop her but expertly tripped and knocked himself silly for a few minutes. By the time he righted his head he was too late. The following scene played like a holovid on fast forward. He watched as he got into drunk scuffles and picked fights with men twice his size. Telekinetic battles where Ian placed his Pythian skills against a Novae and won by using an illusion to trick the Novae into looking away.
Scenes continued to flash, he saw the birth of his daughter, THe way she squiggled in his arms and the look on his, now ex-wife, Farah's, face as she laid there exhausted but glowing with a sort of etheric light. The way his daughter, Faye, used to cry when she couldn't go on his more hazardous details of being a Landlord. Or the way she still to his day sleeps with her baby blanket when scared.
Finally his movie played through the first meeting with Iradell at the Gritaven and how things went, followed by the current events that played out before him now. Ian's eyes stared into the blackness of the kitchen and he felt something in him tighten. He could hear the beast's heavy breathing, the bubbling growl in its throat and the sound of rending metal again. Ian shakingly peered from behind his concealment to the hulking mass of violent death and made a possibly, more than likely, dangerous decision. With a small adjustment to the brightness the beam of the flashlight in Ian's hand sliced through the thick darkness of the cafeteria and illuminated the large creature.
Ian felt his stomach drop at the sight of Iradell in the thing's massive jaws. If the beast had taken notice of him it didn't show it. Calm down. Think and visualize what you want. Give it form. Sensory deception. . The creature dropped Iradell in a very graceless and impolite manner, leaving her to lie prone on the floor. The old landlord was beginning to feel a distant ache in his left arm and realized that his heart, with how fast it was beating, was making his body burn through the medi-gel faster than he thought possible. However, he pushed the ache even father away and gathered his will.
The creature tested the ichor that had been evident on Iradell's body and seemed to show a dislike for it. Ian had noticed Iradell still had the Plasma Cutter and apparently, by the way he saw her move her hand, wished to use it on the creature. If so then Ian knew exactly what he could do. He just hoped it would work on a creature he had no idea of its physiology. The Pythian gathered his thoughts and shaped them with his will. Brilliant violet light blazed to life in the darkness and instead of the beast's negative reaction, it sniffed and then moved into pick Iradell up once more.
The following scene played out as if it were a holovid script. Iradell moved with far less efficiency than he'd ever seen and force fed the Plasma Cutter to the beast. Body shuddering howls of pain erupted from the creature as it torn back through the doors, it released another howl of pain as it departed. Iradell's voice snapped Ian's attention back to her and he swiveled his light to her sending the blue fluid that covered her into an iridescent gleam. Now the the beast was gone and the colors of its intentions faded Ian felt as if he could function in a way that was almost normal.
"I kn- I know." Ian stuttered as he stepped in front of Iradell. It didn't take an expert in Hepheasti physiology to see that she was in bad shape. "G-give me a diagnostics." He said, his voice shaky. Ian cleared his throat and attempted to sound confident. "I may not have much experience with working on bodies like yours but if we don't stop that blue stuff from pouring out of you, we're both screwed. And it's not the screwed I'd like." He said in an old muscle memory attempt to lighten the mood.
A few minutes later Ian had gathered up a few things he thought he could use to patch up the most serious of Iradell's injuries and set to work. "I'm not sure if you'll feel any of this but I'll try not to damage anything." The process took about ten minutes and wasn't at all pretty but it might hold as well as they could manage for now. During the Frankenstein patch job, Ian could felt the dull ache of his injured arm returning. "O-okay. That should keep you functional for now. But we'll need to be smart and pray to the stars that we're lucky." Ian wiped his coolant covered hands on his black skintight body suit and looked at Iradell. "How're your systems reading now? Can you move better?"
“Blue stuff,” Iradell repeated the words. Her voice sounded very far away due what passed as her voice box was coated in fluid. She took a seat on one of the cafeteria chairs in front of Ian and slouched to the left a bit, allowing the blue fluid to pour from between her exposed metal jaws. There was no coughing or gagging as a human would do, it simply poured out as if coming from a container. Though she was capable of emotion and other human-like responses, her mind was going into shock from the amount of warnings firing through her system and projecting before her eyes. In the distance she heard Ian ask for a diagnostic.
“I'm suffering from coolant loss,” she said, her eyes looking past Ian and at nothing. “Levels are at 35% and dropping.” She was not giving a diagnostic like a normal computer, but rather as a living being who was aware of what was happening to her. “My heart has stopped and is not repairable with what we have on hand here. Without coolant flowing, core overheating is imminent. Shut down is imminent.”
Iradell snapped back into the world as Ian was working on her, her eyes focusing on him. From the female appearance that she had just a little while ago, her eyes were all that remained. Her underneath was exposed and her metallic skeleton shined bright with any light reflected against it. Ian asked her how she was.
“Coolant is holding steady at 35%,” Iradell said, her voice coming back slowly as the coolant evaporated from her voice box due to her internal temperature raising. “But without it flowing, it will not be long before I overheat and shut down.”
Even still, Iradell attempted to move her left arm and found it still inoperable. Instead she moved her right and pushed herself up to her feet, which felt heavy and clumsy beneath her. Iradell then started walking towards the back of the cafeteria where she had been yelling for Ian to go. She was lucky he hadn't left her. Trudging along at a much slower pace that normal for her, Iradell reached the kitchen and then the hatch that led down.
“Let's go,” Iradell said, glancing back at Ian once as she continued to lead the way down.
Down below, it was very dark. The only light came from Iradell's eyes, a faint glowing from the open wound in her torso, and Ian's light if he kept it on. The passageway that they went through was pretty tight, too, which actually gave Iradell a bit of comfort because she knew those creatures couldn't fit down them. A few times she paused, staring ahead of them into the darkness, and then she would continue forward, waving her pistol at Ian to urge him to continue. It was a long walk and thankfully, they did not encounter anyone else through the corridor.
“It's through this door,” Iradell said after about a twenty minute walk. She turned around in the corridor and looked at Ian. “When I set up this beacon, my ship will be here quickly. I haven't forgotten about your friend either. Ready?”
Iradell reached down and turned a manual door latch and the room hissed as the pressure changed. The room they walked into was enormous, with the main engines of the ship mounted in the center. In front of the engines was a large computer and it was here that Iradell stopped and set her pistol down beside her.
“I need you to go around to those four columns,” Iradell said, raising her hand up to columns around the engines. “You must pump them five times to prime and then flip the switch. On the last one, I will manually restart the engines from here. Got it?” she asked, then looked around the large room. “Do it quickly, Ian. As if your life depended on it.”