Assigment to White Planet 8069 chapter fifteen UNDER THE STARS
Narrator: It is late evening on White Planet and the domes are quiet...
Damian Raen: ::climbs out of the body bag, hot and sweaty. sees Jade sleeping on her bed across the room:: I gotta get some air ::peers into the dark hallway beyond, then steps out and moves toward a door down the hall, steps into the planetarium; looks up at the stars through the glass dome::
Meinta: ::sitting cross-legged on the floor:: Hello.
Damian Raen: ::steps up to one of the large glass windows, not noticing Meinta. Looks out across the snow and ice outside::
Meinta: I haven't seen you around in ages...
Damian Raen: ::notices her, steps back:: Um... no, you haven't... I've, um, been... ::steps backward, moving toward the door:: I gotta go, um, get something to eat...
Meinta: The stars seem extra bright tonight.
Damian Raen: ::glances up:: Um, yeah... ::hears footsteps in the hall, and moves back into the room toward Meinta:: Look, don't tell anyone you saw me, okay?
Meinta: ::seems not to hear him:: You know, we haven't even hardly talked since that day in the research dome...
Damian Raen: I know your dad's got security out looking for me. Of course we haven't talked.
Meinta: Security looking for you? No he doesn't.
Damian Raen: ::sighs and slumps onto a bench beside her:: Yeah, yeah. Well, he did.
Meinta: They are watching communications and exits, but not looking for you as far as I know.
Damian Raen: Maybe they've given up now. I've been... hiding.
Meinta: ::glances at him:: You kinda scared everyone running around with a gun.
Damian Raen: Anyway. ::looks away:: I'm sorry about the library. It's just.. sometimes, things happen, and you've got to be the first one to act, you know?
Meinta: ::shivers a little:: It seems like everything is about to fall in around our heads...
Damian Raen: Yeah, well, just so you know, I don't care about contraband. I don't care about the UU.
Meinta: That makes me feel a little better... But there are a lot of other people in the picture... ::silence for a time::
Meinta: What do you care about, Damian?
Damian Raen: ::looks down at her:: Those pink rocks.
Damian Raen: I told you. They're dangerous. People want them. ::shrugs:: When people want stuff, they'll do anything to get it. Even kill.
Meinta: Do you know anything about a dome here before?
Damian Raen: ::shakes his head::
Meinta: Damian, we are in danger here because of the stones, aren't we? The ones in the science lab got stolen. We almost died once because of them... I wish I hadn't found them.
Damian Raen: I told you to bury them.
Jason Patterson: ::Gets in at a late hour, unpacks his things from the Survey Drone, and heads to his room::
Kristof Wagner: ::Kristof is walking down the hallway and meets Jason Patterson as he unloads equipment.:: Hello, Mr. Patterson. Give you a hand?
Jason Patterson: No thanks, it is just clothes ... headed to bed for the night... How have you been fitting in Sir..? They get you all straight.?
Kristof Wagner: I'm catching on okay. I'm sure you folks are getting back to ...whatever it is you do?
Jason Patterson: It is a pretty slow life here on WP. ::Shakes his head as he locks the drone doors for the night, and heads to his rooms.:: Good night Kristof, perhaps we can sit down for a bit later for a chat.
Kristof Wagner: So, Mr. Patterson. Tell me some more about those pretty stones i hear so much about. Where can I get a closer look?
Jason Patterson: I have no idea.. that you would have to speak with the Governor or Meinta about. I never even found those in any of my surveys.
Kristof Wagner: I see. Those surveys providing you anything to think about? Anything interesting to share? I've been underground so long, I'm sure there are a million things we can talk about!
Jason Patterson: Mostly ore samples for mineral shipping back to Earth. Not much to be found on the Ice.
Kristof Wagner: So, Mr. Patterson...Jason, is it? What do you like to do in your free time? This place seems to be all work work work.
Jason Patterson: Yes. Jason will do. I don't have free time really and what time I do take away from work is either spent sleeping or reading.. I was curious about the other dome, but it seems I found out what I was really after .
Kristof Wagner: I see. And what did you discover? I'm very interested, since I've spent most of my like trapped in that horrible prison!
Jason Patterson: It is odd... I did find that the old colony was emptied before the attack on it... if that helps you any. But being part of it you would have known that it was empty ... Huh…?
Kristof Wagner: Well, that last day was pretty confusing. Any number of things is possible. I was not really too involved with much of the day to day operations, you know.
Jason Patterson: yes... I thought as much. Records showed you were more security engineering.. is that right?
Kristof Wagner: Records? I'd dearly love to see those records, if I may?
Jason Patterson: It was a personnel record back on Earth... stored with the union Guild for surveyors... but they could not find but a name on a list... nothing more than that.
Kristof Wagner: Well, you are certainly doing a wonderful job. Please let me know how I can assist you concerning the other dome. I was one of the original builders here, you know!
Jason Patterson: ::Looks curiously at Kristof:: Yes... you said something about that before... Can you recall how many levels there were to the old colony..? I was only able to go so far down when I was there.
Kristof Wagner: I believe five, if memory serves. The outer two were destroyed, so I was stranded within the inner three.
Jason Patterson: You mean you were in the dome itself when the attack came?
Kristof Wagner: You know, it was such a horrific day, I'm not really sure exactly where I was that day. Horrible. Truly horrible.
Jason Patterson: interesting... from the way things looked it was completely emptied out before they even got attacked.
Kristof Wagner: I seem to remember a supply ship was returning from Earth. A good chance we came out to give the crew a warm welcome.
Jason Patterson: Yes... that could account for the missing people.
Kristof Wagner: Those records you referred to...could you send me a link to their location? I'm dying to know more.
Jason Patterson: Oh, the records were not found in a computer... The old Guild master hated computers so he stored them in written form... Very interesting filing system he had, too. But, If you will excuse me.. I think I am going to catch a shower and then some sleep.
Kristof Wagner: Well, I shall not keep you from a well deserved rest. good night, Jason. We'll talk soon.
Jason Patterson: Good night, sir. ::wanders down the main hall to the common areas then on to his apartment.:
Kristof Wagner: ::Pulls out plasmagin and dictates:: Jason Patterson seems to know too much. How did he get access to those records? Could be a bluff. But he did know about the evacuation before...
Narrator: Back in the planetarium…
Meinta: You know what worries me the most about all this?
Damian Raen: ::looks at her::
Meinta: You and Jade and my cousin and the people like that. ::looks away:: You aren't ready to fight... or die.
Damian Raen: ::looks down:: I'm ready to fight.
Meinta: Not a spiritual battle. And that is what we are against.
Damian Raen: But that day in the research dome... no, I'm not ready to die. Not yet.
Meinta: You can be, Damian, if you want. Not wanting to die, but confident in where you will go, what will happen… if you do.
Damian Raen: Spiritual. Huh. I don't know a thing about that.
Meinta: Here under the stars I always feel particularly close to God. You believe in God?
Damian Raen: No way. God wouldn't have let Nicole die. ::looks up quickly, realizing what he's said::
Meinta: It wasn't God that killed her...whoever she is. It was people who are not following God...
Damian Raen: Oh no, of course not. But God could have saved her, right?
Meinta: See, we are all sinners. We do wrong things. And yes, God wants to save us...but we have to take that salvation. But only the holy can be with God, and none of us are.
Damian Raen: ::shakes his head:: It's all too confusing.
Meinta: Not so confusing... We all deserve to die. To go to hell. We aren't good enough to be with God. ::looks up at the expanse of stars:: But He wanted us...Loves us... So you know what God did, Damian? He sent His only son, His son! To earth to die so we didn't have to. That was Jesus. He was perfect, but He let himself be killed for us and offered a gift of eternal life to any who want it.
Meinta: ::leans toward him:: That's all you have to do to be ready to die, Damian. Just believe and take the gift.
Damian Raen: Huh. ::stares at the floor::
Meinta: You see, Jesus rose again three days after He died and conquered death. It no longer has dominion over us.
Damian Raen: ::looks up at the stars:: Yeah, well, all that God stuff is so... way out there. And I'm way down here.
Meinta: Yes, exactly! That's why Jesus came to earth!
Damian Raen: You know how many planets there are in the Sigma Territories?
Meinta: Trillions. And God knows them each by name. But more so, He knows you by name, Damian. He is willing to come live inside your heart. Right down with you.
Meinta: Damain, God is more than a holy, just God. He says he will adopt us as His own children.
Damian Raen: Well, there're 63 planets with colonies, and I'm from the farthest one. The deepest one.
Meinta: ::laughs gently:: God made that planet, too. And probably ones even farther out then you even know about. You ever hear of a guy named Saul? He killed Christians. That's what he was all about. Spent his life finding them and killing them--man, woman and child.
Damian Raen: Huh. Sounds like the UU.
Meinta: Yup. But one day God spoke to him, right to him. Told Saul who God was. And Saul believed. He turned away from his sin. Saul became Paul, one of the greatest apostles of Jesus Christ in the Bible
Damian Raen: Great for him.
Meinta: No, it wasn't about him. It was about God. Is about God.
Damian Raen: I'm not Saul, and God hasn't spoken to me.
Meinta: Maybe He is speaking right now, through me...and through His creation around us. ::motions toward the sky:: Think about it anyway, okay?
Damian Raen: ::laughs:: Sure thing.
Meinta: I, or Dad, or Jason, any of us will be willing to talk anytime... ::pulls her knees up and wraps her arms around them, sitting quietly, just watching the night::
Jason Patterson: ::In his room Jason picks up his plasmagin and sends a private message to the Governor and Meinta as to his return..:: Hiya folks.. Just got back, and had an interesting few words with Kristoff. from what I have found so far he has confirmed to me that he was not with the colony... I don't know what he was with but it was not them. Headed to bed for a few hours and will see you as soon as I wake up.. Patterson out. ::Before bed Jason digs out the Clip he found in the old Dome, and plugs it into the service jack in his computer. finding and entrance code screen asking for a password. He thinks for a few minutes while the shower gets hot, and taps in a few codes for old passwords he remembers, yet nothing comes up. Finally he shuts it off and heads to the shower.::
Meinta: ::stirs suddenly:: Damian, do you know who took the rocks?
Damian Raen: ::looks at her:: I have some ideas.
Meinta: Those people you mentioned before?
Damian Raen: Let's just say I hope I'm wrong. But yeah, it could be them. Some, uh, old friends from The 63.
Meinta: So what should we be doing?
Damian Raen: ::shrugs:: Just like you said. ::looks up at the stars:: Getting ready to fight.
Meinta: ::takes a deep breath and nods:: I'm ready.
Damian Raen: Maybe you're ready to die. But I'm ready to fight for real. For Nicole.
Meinta: I can fight. I'm a pretty sharp shot, actually. ::grins::
Damian Raen: ::laughs:: Maybe. What about hand-to-hand?
Meinta: Hmmm, not so good at hand to hand.
Damian Raen: ::laughs again:: Well, I am. Grew up fighting that way.
Meinta: I’ve tried fencing a couple of times…
Damian Raen: If anything happens, you can stick close to me.
Meinta: ::laughs:: OK
Estorn: ::enters planetarium, not noticing the others::
Damian Raen: ::Ducks down below the bench, whispers to Meinta:: Any back doors to this place?
Meinta: yeah, to the left...
Damian Raen: I've got to get back to Jade's room. I don't want anyone to see me yet... I think your Governor may still be on the lookout.
Meinta: ::slips down in the shadow:: This way.
Damian Raen: ::follows her:: Who is that guy? Security?
Meinta: I have no idea. Never seen him. ::stops suddenly:: Damian, there is a light in the hall. It stays on dim all night...
Damian Raen: Right, well, we've just got to slip by him...
Meinta: We'll be silhouetted when I open the door.
Damian Raen: ::glances up over a potted plant, sees the man:: He's heading back to the hall
Meinta: Wait 'til he goes, then...
Damian Raen: ::watches as the man looks over his shoulder and steps out:: Come on. ::peers into the hall::
Meinta: I still don't think anyone is looking for you anymore. Anyone from WP, I mean...
Damian Raen: Yeah, well, I gotta be careful.
Meinta: He's gone.
Damian Raen: ::looks at Meinta:: Look, I'll see you around, all right?
Meinta: OK, take care...
Damian Raen: Just answer one question for me... do the security in this place carry two guns?
Meinta: ::looks at him:: Why?
Damian Raen: That guy had three. You learn to notice... an outline in a pocket, a bulge under a shirt...
Meinta: He wasn't wearing a uniform... We do have plainclothes, of course, but something seemed weird...
Damian Raen: Yeah. So if he wasn't security, then he was up to no good.
Meinta: Yeah...I'll mention it to security I trust... ::looks at him:: I don't have to mention you, though...
Damian Raen: ::looks into the hall:: Well, see you later. ::moves away toward Jade's room::
Meinta: OK. Night.
Estorn: ::steps out of a darkened doorway:: Hey there... out a bit late?
Meinta: ::jumps:: Oh!
Estorn: Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you ::grins::
Meinta: I couldn't sleep. Who are you?
Estorn: My name's Estorn. I'm an importer.
Meinta: ::freezes, then tries to look natural:: Oh, well you are out late, too.
Estorn: Your friend there seems like a nice guy.
Meinta: What friend?
Estorn: You spend a lot of time with him?
Meinta: ::glances behind her:: Oh, him? No.
Estorn: So you don't know much about him?
Meinta: What's it to you? ::more politely:: I mean, why do you want to know?
Estorn: ::grins:: Oh, I was just hoping to make some friends during my stay here... ::looks away, as if thinking::
Meinta: Well it is rather late to be making friends right now. We just both happened to go in there when we couldn't sleep. ::pointedly:: But now I am feeling sleepy again.
Estorn: Ah, true, it is late. I'll be going. ::walks away:: Good night.
Meinta: Good night. ::pulls out her plasmagin and sends text message to the governor and Jason:: I just ran across an importer I’d never seen before who was wandering around asking questions…He gave me the creeps. I think it may be the same guy Astraia was complaining about. He called himself Estorn. --Meinta
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Ha ha ha, creepy how Estorn shows up at the end... it would have been hilarious if you had left the bit about the Paper Bag Oracle at the beginning! Ha! Good job with the editing, by the way. I really think this "book" has gone somewhere.