Writing Relay by Karl, AmyJ & Toadie
Spoilers: Yes, please!
This is the second writing relay attempted by some of the staff writers at Karlsweb. Each section's beginning indicates the guilty party. <G> The name of the game is... someone starts with a scene and passes it along to the next writer to add onto.
up, as always, at the main airlock door. D'Argo conducted his usual protesting.
John stood close to Aeryn. The chattering Jool with her thousand questions stood
John tried to
shush her, but it was no good. He questioned his resolve to even keep her on the
ship. It was a bitter thought, once again proof the man he once was had gone
ready?" D'Argo grumbled.
pulled himself from the mire of guilt.
as I ever am."
the doors." D'Argo repositioned himself, his stance became as if he was going to
hold back some evil force about to enter the ship. The squeal of his Qualta
blade's compression chamber holding back a maximum charge ringing in his
slowly parted as they had countless times before, bringing the same fears and
the same loathing of what lay beyond.
frell ..." he gasped slightly as a cold shiver ran down his spine. At first John
thought it was some kind of statue. If he didn't know better it almost looked
like some alien representation of Christ.
It hovered in
the doorway, its arms outstretched to either side of its body. The body was
humanoid, made of a material that to John looked more like concrete than
anything. Yet its slight movements seemed a contradiction for such a
thing moved forward, its outstretched feet never touching the ground. Its legs
never moved as it slowly hovered forward into the hangar. Its head scanned each
of them. Black slits located where a humanoid's eyes would have been located.
They seemed to open larger as it regarded each of them in
No this was
no statue. It was a robot!
slowly lowered to its sides as it approached. "I am Sentinel Carellen. "
The emotionless face of the robot did not change as it spoke. Only its mouth, another black slit of an opening, seemed to grow in size as it spoke. Its jaw never moved to match the words.
Like bad kung fu movie
"OK, my mechanical freak, you're here now." John stepped forward raising his pistol to target the robot's head. "What do you want?"
reacted to John's aggression. It moved its fingerless hands in front of its body
as if to shield it from the pulse gun. They were all surprised by this
"As I had
stated to your Pilot, bring me to the coordinates that I requested and I will
transfer a full database of the entire area that you Sebaceans call the
Uncharted Territories." Its head tilted slightly. If John did not know better it
"What are you?" Aeryn asked calmly. Her
steady pulse rifle did not budge from its target.
Sentinel Carellen." Its slightly mechanical voice announced more
what is a Sentinel
is a mediator for the Ciax Realm. Carellen is my designation." Its head turned
to John. " It is believed that having a name allows us to interface better with
scratched his forehead with his pulse gun. "Alright Carellen. What is the
dead stare fell on a far wall. Its arms stiffened. "I am sorry that information
is not available."
Impossibly its hovering form became even more still.
"What are you
doing out here?"
"I am sorry
that information is not available."
"OK. Well I
guess we won't play then, either." John sighed. "Pilot open the hangar
doors. Our friend is leaving..."
D'Argo moved up next to him. "Do you know what maps to the Uncharted Territories
would be worth?"
care..." John snapped, haphazardly waving his gun in the machine's general
direction. "If Robby the freaking
Robot ain't gonna answer a few questions then it's
"I am sorry.
There are areas of information that I cannot
continued. The meter of his words seemed to hasten.
can you tell us?"
in the Keurig-N'Dex system negotiating for an object of interest. The
negotiations were terminated and I was attacked as I tried to leave. The
aggressors were neutralized but my craft was severely damaged in
the retaliation. That is why I contacted your pilot." Its head moved back to
face John. "I need to return to the realm."
John chided. He uttered a small laugh. "Don't tell me your batteries will run
"I am sorry I
do not under stand the last statement. Please restate differently."
are you doing?" Aeryn asked in a smooth yet irritated manner that only she could master.
He turned to
her. "You sure you folks have never heard of robots before?" His was receiving
that same look as always when they had no clue what he was saying. " Robots?
Mechanical men? Machines capable of replacing humans?"
John did not
bother to look back at them. He folded his arms and
stared at the thinking machine in front of him.
Aeryn allowed her tone to soften
slightly. "John, mechanical
augmentation of Sebaceans has been researched." Her eyes never left the
machine's. She could not allow John's distraction to lower her defenses. "But
self-supported mechanical beings would be considered. repugnant."
you, Big Guy?"
It would be considered. cheating. How can such a beast be a true
"That's robots! Ya know? Warning! Warning!
Danger! Danger!" John flailed his arms about. "Aw. forget it! Here we are deep in
space and you guys have never heard of a freaking C3PO!"
D'Argo just looked at each other for a microt. John could see the crack of a
smile on each of their faces.
"Hey.wait a microt,"
Chiana purred. With her own brand of feline grace she slid next to John,
purposefully inserting herself between him and Aeryn.She greeted the Sebacean's
casual sneer with a stellar smirk before turning her complete attention onto
"Pip, what's going on in
that devious little brain?" he sing-songed, canting his head in a small parody
of her own fluid movements.
gray lips pulled into a larger smile. "D'Argo's right. nav maps to the
uncharteds could be worth--"
"Lies! Myths!" Stark
blurted stalking closer to Carellen. They all watched one of Moya's resident
turn a slow circle of their
strange visitor. "The uncharteds are uncharted because they're
Stark stopped in his
tracks. He rolled his eyes upward as though to recall the statement, check it
for its veracity, and decide it was correct before nodding in complete agreement
with himself. As always, he was oblivious to their bewildered silence as he
leaned closer to the hovering body of the sentinel and craned his neck, turning
his ear to the torso like an eavesdropper.
strangled a small anguished
cry and backed away, muttering. "Many. many. many. many."
"So. anyway." John turned back to Chiana as
though Stark's small outburst had never happened although the Banik's
continued gibbering echoed
through the bay.
prove it." Chiana said, jerking her chin at the automaton.
quit that." John snapped his fingers at Stark. "Down boy!"
seemed to drift away from Stark, giving the impression that "he" did not care
for the scrutiny. The black slits regarded John as he spoke. "I may provide a small data crystal that
your leviathan's navigator may access."
mighty nice of you, hoss." John stepped closer, hooking the thumb of his
available hand in the band of his holster. "You're offering a free
"Enough information to
safely navigate the system and avoid the flax traps manned by the local criminal
organizations.yes." Carellen intoned. "To be considered partial payment. When I
reach my destination I shall provide the remainder."
"No. absolutely not."
Aeryn said, stepping forward. Her brow pinched thoughtfully as she fully
considered the offer. Her pulse gun was no longer trained on Carellen, yet it
was not pointing away from their guest either. "We don't know a thing about
John raised the gun once more. "No dice, Tobor."
Crichton. Ka D'Argo. your attention!" Pilot's urgent call suddenly sounded
across all of their comms at once. "Moya is detecting the approach of an armed
ship. It is closing distance with great speed."
fabulous." John muttered. "Frell!"
sparked the crew into their, by now, well practiced routine. John, Aeryn and
Chiana ran for command, followed by a loudly complaining Jool.
But this was not before a brief argument
with D'argo to make him stay behind to keep an eye on Carellen. Stark lingered
in a corner, content to mutter to himself and make small swatting gestures at
the thin air. Rygel had other priorities, if he were going to die, he wanted to
do it on full stomachs.
"Any ID on
that ship yet pilot?" John yelled as he came barreling round the corner into
Command, barely avoiding a DRD in his path. He was swiftly followed by Aeryn and
Chiana. Jool had been at their heels, stopping to complain two levels ago, but
soon gave it up when she realized that the others had swiftly left her behind.
With an exaggerated pout, she slowly stomped her way to Command.
commander but it doesn't match anything in Moya's data-stores." Pilot's image
appeared on the clamshell in reply to John's enquiry.
"You sure it
is coming at us pilot?" Aeryn asked as she moved towards the overseer's console
and started punching buttons.
"Of course it's coming
towards us. It's armed, moving at high speed and heading in our direction.
Either it's someone is really desperate to deliver his pizza before the
thirty-minute limit, or it is someone wanting to say hi to us, and with our
track record I sure don't want to be waiting." John cut in before Pilot could
reply. He stepped up beside Aeryn and started manipulating the sensors to try
and get a better idea of what they faced.
asked from her place by the door, just in case a quick exit was
"Yeah. You know, dough
Oh never mind it's not
important. Pilot, I know this is going to be extremely unlikely but I have to
ask, any chance we can Starburst?" John's voice held no hope for that option
even as he spoke, still punching buttons trying to make the data he had
scrolling over the screen in front of him make sense.
"I'm afraid not,
Commander. Moya's reserves are still greatly depleted. It will be several
until they are built back
up to their previous levels." Pilots voice was full of apology, as if it were
something for which both he and Moya were responsible.
"It's alright, Pilot. We
understand." Aeryn said calmly. Frowning she glanced over at what John was doing
and finally elbowed him away from the console.
you able to display the approaching ship?" Aeryn asked even as John grunted and
began rub his stomach in accusation behind her back.
Officer Sun, at once."
On the screen a ship
appeared, details slowly becoming clearer as it moved closer. It took John
several microts to realize that the approaching ship was huge, bigger than huge.
bigger-than-Moya-huge. But what was stranger was that it made sense to John. He
didn't recognize it, but its design spoke to him of engineering principles that
he had not seen before in the Uncharted Territories. He couldn't put his finger
on why, but, the ship just made sense.
recognize it?" he looked around to the faces of the others. Aeryn and Chiana
just shook their heads mutely as they watched the ship steadily
" I do," Jool
said in as she finally walked into Command.
"We have no
time for this," Aeryn reprimanded. She did not bother to look back at the young
"It is an Imperial Onyx
Hegamon. My uncle had tenure on one when I was a child." She moved up to the
projection and placed her hand on the screen, her hair turning a violet red. She
stood transfixed as if afraid she would wake up and it would all have been a
John looked to Aeryn
then back to Jool. "Then it's a Interion ship?" He found it hard to believe. "I
thought you said your race had no military?"
Chiana moved forward.
"That means you will be leaving." Her stance wilted slightly, her fluid motion
seeming to halt.
John too felt a twinge of loss. Jool for all of her tantrums and screaming was still just a little lost girl. He connected with her on that level. He realized it was his fault that she had been stranded with them. He remembered what it was like to be so alone in such an alien place. He was saddened that she was leaving but the cold in the pit of his stomach was not the pang of loosing Jool but the envy that she was going home. This bitter thought burned him. He should be happy for her but. His thoughts were interrupted by D'Argo.
"Crichton! Aeryn! Get down here! Carellen is move--" D'Argo's barking was replaced by static.
Then the soft even tone
of Carellen echoed through Command. "I am sorry to interrupt. But all is not
what it appears. That ship is..."
"Cri. Aeryn! Carrel. Has
erected a.. Field I can't. Its hea. for.. ommand."
"No!" Jool whimpered as
she stepped back from the screen. "How did you get that ship?"
John spoke quietly to
Aeryn not taking his eyes off the clown
on the screen. "Jesus! The
guy's not to too full of himself is he?
I don't get it. He has a
hedge trimming accident and he ends up on a ship like that out here owning a
large piece of the Uncharteds?"
She raised her hands
showing that she had both her trigger fingers. "We are merely
passing through this sector
if we had known that it was under your jurisdiction we would have asked for
passage." She bowed her head slightly. The wisp of a smile came to her face. She
knew how to play this game. "How does a Peacekeeper deserter come to own a
system like this?" Allowing the slight smile to grow.
A tall thin woman
stepped into view. She brushed Lucien's cheek with her hand as she turned
towards the image of the Leviathan crew. She seemed almost cat-like. Her smile
"Luc some times you are
so Null headed." She giggled. "You are speaking to the Peacekeeper renegade
officer Aeryn Sun. The pretty man behind her is a Humum from a world called Erp,
named John Crichton."
the Luxan and Delvian?" She asked the question sarcastically. Neesa really
didn't care. Her intention was to demonstrate that she, more then any of them,
knew what was going on.
John shifted to the side
of his console, annoyed. "Will
get it right! Look, lady!
It's human from Earth. E! A! R! T! H!"
"That's enough Neesa!"
Lucien stood from his throne. He was more than angered by her entrance. He
turned his attention back to Aeryn. His smile returned. "I have to thank you
taking out that pest Natira.
down her pitiful operation has made my business in this sector jump by thirty
percent." He laughed slightly. "Now, please, don't tell me you are planning on
taking me on?"
don't you go help D'Argo!" Aeryn yelled over her shoulder. She turned back to
the screen. "NOW!"
She softened her annoyed
tone. "No, As I said we were only passing through
to the beautiful blond on the screen. "Aeryn I don't need cat woman over there
spreading the name wrong! Names are important!"
"Really, John?" She
finally looked at him. "Tavloids!
Plakavoids! Scorpians! "
"Stop it both of you!" Jool's outburst stopped the bickering between John and Aeryn. It also took out three illuminators on the command tier. Her anger grew as she lost control. "How did you get that ship? Ships like this would never be sold or traded. How did you get it!"
"That is not
important little girl." He stepped forward. Although he was surrounded by
wealth, Lucien looked more like a common foot soldier. His clothing was dirty
and care-worn. He looked at Jool with a smug grin. "Let's say I acquired it."
His smile was that of a predator about to pounce.
"Now back to me." His
smile drained from his face. "You
have one of my belongings. I want it back."
That's easy! Give it to him." He smiled yet a portion of him knew it couldn't be
back to the screen. "This item is a large floating mechanical
crossed his arms on his chest expecting a negative response.
John moved up
next to Aeryn. "Sure pal, Robby is all yours."
to Aeryn. She read the nervousness in his expression. "What is it,
"This is just
way too easy."
"Sometimes things just work out, John." She smiled.
"And you say I am paranoid."
screamed over the com. "Crichton! Help! The machine, Carellen is choking Dargo."
There were the sounds of pulse fire and the comms went dead.
from Aeryn and ran out of the command. "I told you Aeryn. It's never that
Goto: The Sentinel - Part Two