Assigment to White Planet 8069 chapter sixteen COUNTDOWN
Commander Randstat: ::calls AJ's plasmagin:: Captain McPhearson
AJ: ::sleeping, hears the buzzing:: Wha? ::grabs her handheld looks at it:: Great!
Commander Randstat : Captian McPhearson, are you there?
AJ: ::answers:: Yes. I'm here.
Commander Randstat : Good morning.
AJ: ::checks the time:: Not yet it isn't. Can I help you? ::yawns::
Commander Randstat : Yes. You promised to get back to me on the progress on WP.
AJ: I gave you my report. The books we found were properly stored and documented. There hasn't been any other progress that needed reporting. You on the other hand have some answers to give me.
Commander Randstat: Yes, the books. Did those books seem to be in use by the WP people?
AJ: I believe certain books were used for... research purposes.
Commander Randstat: What type of research?
AJ: Now.... What exactly did you expect us to find?
Commander Randstat: ::sighs:: Captain, we have been over this. You were looking for illegal activities. Things such as the religious books being used improperly.
AJ: Commander, I looked for illegal activities, we found what we found. Again, I want to know exactly WHAT you were looking for when you sent us.
Commander Randstat: Captain, last time we spoke you mentioned some "rocks". These are one of our concerns. It is suspected that these rocks are illegal drugs that are being smuggled all over the universe.
AJ: Oh? So are you saying you knew about the rocks?
Commander Randstat: We did not know. That's why you were sent. Now we know that they do, indeed, have these drugs. Next we are looking to find more information about their smuggling activities.
AJ: Well, I really don't know much about them. It's not my area of expertise.
Commander Randstat: That is why you are a team of four, Captain.
AJ: Who said anything about drugs? As far as I know, they are rocks.
Commander Randstat: You said they were pink rocks. That fits the description of a very rare drug. One that is, I might add, highly sought-after in the underworld.
AJ: If you say so. To my knowledge, the people here weren't aware of the rocks existence until recenlty. Thus, I doubt they were smuggling them.
Commander Randstat: ::nods and types::
AJ: Commander, I still feel I'm working blind here. If you expect cooperation from me, I expect some from you.
Commander Randstat: What exactly is it you want?
AJ: I want to know what information you have about WP and I want it now or you don't hear from me again.
Commander Randstat: ::laughs:: Oh? You are planning on going AWOL from the UU?
AJ: You heard me. I'm retired from the military. I'm a private citizen.
Commander Randstat: ::smirks:: I don't know what information you want or think we have. You are highly capable of searching the computer records.
AJ: I have searched and ran into some interesting data....
Commander Randstat: ::raises her eyebrows:: Interesting? Most civilizations have interesting data.
AJ: Yes. This is true.
Commander Randstat:Captain MacPhearson, your duties are nearly complete.
AJ: As far as I'm concerned, they are complete. I'm just waiting for you to be honest about what YOU already know.
Commander Randstat: Captain MacPhearson, if we already knew everything there was to know, we would not have needed to send a group.
AJ: Commander, I think you were looking for something specific. I think you're disappointed that we didn't find it.
Commander Randstat: ::raises her eyebrows:: Oh you do?
AJ: Yes, I do. I'm tired of working blind and being lead on a wild goose chase.
Commander Randstat: Well, for your information, we were indeed looking for something specific and you DID find it. I believe we just went over that.
AJ: No, I don't think that was everything.
Commander Randstat: Are you not listening to what I say?
AJ: I'm listening. You're avoiding and ignoring me. You're hiding something.
Commander Randstat: ::still a bit amused, but starting to get angry:: Oh really? And what might that be? I have answered every question you have asked me. I do not like what you are insinuation, Captain.
AJ: There are more things here on WP than meet the eye. But, I'm sure you are already aware of that.
Commander Randstat: CAPTAIN, that is exactly why you are there. To find out those things.
AJ: I'm not insuating anything. I'm saying that you, Madam ::a bit of contempt in her voice:: are a liar.
Commander Randstat: Captain MacPhearson, it does little good to throw names around when you have no argument to stand on.
AJ: I'm not throwing names around. I'm calling it as I see it.
Commander Randstat: What exactly is it you are seeing? I have answered every question you have asked. I have no more information to give you and, quite frankly, no more patience.
AJ: Commander the dome has been found to be full of dedicated people. They are hard workers. In fact, an interesting thing; the surveyor found--
Commander Randstat: ::involuntarily:: What?!
AJ: ::Smiles:: I was right!
Commander Randstat: ::calmly:: The surveyor found what?
AJ: You know very well what they found. You just confirmed it. Never play poker with a marine, Commander.
Commander Randstat: ::narrows her eyes:: Maybe I have heard what they found. Maybe I am doing some research on it myself.
AJ: That would be some trick, Commander. You would either have to have foreknowledge... or a plant?? Commander. I do believe our business is finished.
Commander Randstat: Surely you, of all people, know that the UU has ways of seeing Everything. That would, Captain, include you.
AJ: Commander, everything but the truth. Unless it suited their purposes of course.
Commander Randstat: ::conspiratorially:: It seems that the UU itself has been hiding things. I am just starting to find a few things out. Perhaps we can work together. What do you know of this finding, Captain?
AJ: Enough. This conversation is over. MacPherson, Out! ::Slams her handheld down::
Narrator: Karrina and Mikko stop by Meinta's...
Meinta: ::opens door:: Oh, hi Karrina and Pastor Mikko! Come on in. ::gigles and pushes at her hair:: Sorry, I haven't done my hair yet...
Mikko: No problem. Sorry to barge in at this hour, but we have to meet with some of the other residents.
Meinta: I was just writing an email to Astraia.
Karrina: Great. I hope she's doing well.
Meinta: I think she's doing okay. I got a chance to talk to her some about God
and reading the Bible last time we chatted.
Mikko: We've been praying for her.
Meinta: Thank you.
Karrina: You're such a good friend.
Mikko: We need all the help we can get ministering to our own...and others.
Meinta: ::smiles:: Yes. ::glances at the clock:: Oh, did you two get the message that Dad wants us to come for breakfast this morning?
Karrina: Yes, we did. But I'm afraid we'll be a bit late.
Meinta: Oh, all right, I'll let Dad know.
Mikko: We must be going, but we'll see you later, Meinta.
Meinta: Oh, you know what?
Karrina: What's that?
Meinta: ::flashes a big grin:: I got to talk to Damain about God last night.
Karrina: Really? I never would have guessed.
Meinta: He didn't make a commitment, but he listened...
Mikko: That's a start.
Meinta: Yes, now it's up to God.
Karrina: ::big smile:: It always is.
Meinta: ::smiles back:: Yes.
Mikko: Blessings, Meinta!
Meinta: Hope your meeting goes well. See you later.
Karrina: Thanks. We pray for wisdom daily with all that's going on around here.
Meinta: Yes, we need it.
Karrina: Bye for now.
Meinta: ::returns to her letter to Astraia::
Hi cousin! Hey, you know that “importer” guy that was asking questions down there? I think he’s here now! Last night I couldn’t sleep and I went to the planetarium to pray (I kinda forgot Dad said it wasn’t safe for me to be wandering around alone…he wasn’t too happy with me this morning…). Anyway, after I had been in there for a few minutes, Damian came in. He didn’t realize I was there. We talked for a long time about God…
But while Damian and I were in there, this guy came in. (The planetarium is a popular place in the middle of the night, I guess, lol) I thought we left without him seeing us, but then he came up and started talking to me. It scared me. It was then I remembered what Dad had said about me being careful… So I’m standing there praying I wasn’t going to get kidnapped, and this guy who claims to be an importer is asking really weird questions about Damian. Thankfully he let me go without any trouble. He called himself Estorn. Is that the same guy that was there?
Things are getting weird around here, Astraia… I hope you’re still thinking about what we talked about last time… ;-) Keep in touch.
AJ: ::in quarters, looking over data, still annoyed at her conversation with the Commander. picks up her handheld, checks it for damage:: Good, I think it still works. ::heads for the computer center, determined to crack those files:: I have to get the proof, or it's my word against hers, based completely on my gut feelings about this mess. ::nods to the tech:: Good morning. One more time should do it.
Jason Patterson: ::Wakes up still tired from the long trip.. Heads to find something to eat..::
Gabrielle: :: walking down the hall, sees Jason turn the corner and runs to catch up with him.:: Morning, Jason.
Jason Patterson: Well, hi there Young lady.. how are holding up.
Gabrielle: Good, I think. A bit scared, and I really miss my little girl.
Jason Patterson: I bet... Hey I am headed for breakfast ... would you like to join me.?
Meinta: ::comes up behind Jason and Gabi.:: Hi guys! Headed to Dad's?
Jason Patterson:Hiya Meinta... Breakfast still on you..?
Meinta: At Dad's, yup.
Jason Patterson: Good it will give me chance to go over this Clip... i am stumped...
Gabrielle: Sounds good! I'm starving!
Meinta: ::knocks on her Dad's door lightly and opens it.:: Morning Dad! We're here. ::to Jason and Gabi:: Come on in.
Jason Patterson: Where's the waffles..?
Gabrielle: And orange juice! Can't have a breakfast without orange juice!
Jason Patterson: And lots of coffee...:: Yawns. :: I need it this morning.
Governor: Morning folks.
Jason Patterson: Hiya Beren. How are you this morning?
Governor: Pretty good. Come on in and sit down.
Meinta: Did you get my plas about the "importer", Jason?
Governor: ::frowns at Meinta:: Yes, she tried to get herself kidnapped last night.
Jason Patterson: Yes... wondered if it was the same from the Out Post.
Meinta: That's what I was wondering...
Gabrielle: ::puts chin in hand and listens intently, brows furrowed::
Jason Patterson: It was not safe, you going out like that, Kiddo. Something could have happened.
Meinta: I know. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking...
Jason Patterson: Maybe your dad should keep a Guard around you.
Meinta: ::gives Jason a look::
Jason Patterson: Oh come now Meinta, you know what I mean... no one wants anything to happen to you.
Narrator: In the computer room...
AJ: :: types angrily on the keyboard:: One last trick.... ::to tech:: Do know anything about the older styles of operating systems?
TECH: :: shakes head:: No, I'm sorry, I don't.
AJ: ::types some more:: Ah... what's this? ::looks at the screen and sees a directory of files:: Hooo Yah! ::downloads the files into her hand held:: I was right! She knew all along....
Meinta: Oh, Karrina and Mikko stopped by on their way to a meeting this morning. They aren't sure if they'll be able to make it here or not.
Governor: OK, hopefully they'll be able to make it later...
Jason Patterson: Is something wrong... or are they just busy.
Meinta: They had another meeting already schedualed...didn't say what it was.
Gabrielle: Is this a meeting?
Governor ::smiles at Gabi:: Well, we just wanted talk over what all has been going on.
Gabrielle: And boy has there been stuff going on! What a mess!
Jason Patterson: I have been out for a while ... need a lot of catching up. I did get something about those Rocks of yours being taking.. Is that true.?
Meinta: Yes! They got stolen.
Jason Patterson: How? They were locked up weren't they?
Governor: ::sighs:: They were being annalized in the lab.
Gabrielle: Have we had any leads on finding them?
Meinta: It hasn't been that long since they were taken...nothing yet.
Governor: Someone must have know what they were doing...the cameras didn't catch anything.
Gabrielle: Do you think it was an inside job?
Governor: ::grimly:: I suspect Mr. Wagner has something to do with it...
Jason Patterson: ::Mumbles to himself:: Need more security around here .
Jason Patterson: Oh, I had a word with him last night... just as I got back.
Governor: Really? What did he say?
Gabrielle: Why on earth?...I mean, why on, ah, white planet would he do that?
Governor: His story isn't checking out. Something is fishy with him.
Jason Patterson: ::To Governer.:: I asked him a few simple questions, and proved more to myself that he was not part of that Old colony.
Gabrielle: So he's really not the confused, lost man he seems to be?
Jason Patterson: I doubt that very much Gabrielle.
Narrator: ::Karrina and Mikko knock on the Governor's door.::
Meinta: I'll get it. ::opens door:: Oh, you aren't much late after all. Come on in.
Mikko: Thank you. Glad we could make it.
Governor: Good morning Pastor Mikko and Karrina!
Gabrielle:Good morning. Couldn't resist the lure of waffles, orange juice, and really strong coffee, eh?
Gabrielle:::Looking at Jason:: Do you think Kristof was one of the destroyers and not the destroyed?
Governor: That is our fear.
Jason Patterson: He may have been here.. but I don't think it was as a lost colonist as he claims.. not sure what yet.. But I know he was not in that dome.
Karrina: ::listens intently::
Jason Patterson: ::Pours another cup of coffee.. and sits down near the Governer:: I asked Kristof a simple question on how many floors there were in the old dome. I made it as far down as 8 floors below damage level, that would be the 10th or 11th floor... but he said their were only 5 floors below ground, he thought...
AJ:::Places a call to Meinta:: I have some information you may be interested in.
Meinta: ::checks her plas:: Hmmm.... ::types back:: Really? What kind of info?
AJ: I'd really rather tell someone in person. Where could we meet? This is really important.
Gabrielle: What's up, Meinta?
Meinta: ::speaks aloud to the room:: AJ says she has some important info for me.
Meinta: She wants to meet...
Karrina: Things are certainly getting interesting.
Governor: You can ask her to come here, if she's willing.
Gabrielle: Is it safe, I mean after all that has happened. I really like her and all, but she has seemed a bit, well, hostile?
Mikko: ::chomps on a danish::
Jason Patterson: I think if she has info it could help... I may have a question to ask her on this Clip as well.
AJ: ::to Meinta:: Well?
Meinta: ::to AJ:: Can you come to my dad, the governor's, apartement?
Governor: Just be careful what you say around her, ok?
Jason Patterson: I did try opening the infomation on that clip, but it is locked good... tried a few passcodes but nothing seems to work.
AJ: ::to Meinta:: Yes, on my way.
Governor: Be sure you don't mention that Gabi is a Christian or that we suspect Kristof, or the Importer.
Meinta: She's headed this way.
Gabrielle: ::exibits her classic lip biting behavior::
Narrator: AJ arrives at the door shortly and knocks.
Meinta: ::opens door:: Come on in.
AJ: ::enters and looks around at the gathering:: Hello, everyone.
Governor: Hello, come on in and grab some breakfast.
Jason Patterson: Good morning Captain... Umm.. AJ. Sorry, I keep forgetting you are retired.
Gabrielle: Hey, AJ. The strong coffee lure you in too?
AJ: ::looks at the food:: I'll eat in a bit. I have some very imporant files that I finally found in the computer system. I had to "downgrade" the system to get it.
Governor: Oh good, are those the ones you were trying to get to before?
AJ: ::nods:: There is a lot more going on than meets the eyes on White Planet.
Jason Patterson: Yes... what did you find in those blocked files?
AJ: I had to open up an old operating system and I found some documents that show that UU established a colony here years ago. The Commander knew all about it. I wasn't sure at first, but I knew she was hiding something.
Karrina: ::Karrina and Mikko look at each other with confused looks::
Meinta: ::Meinta shruggs::
Jason Patterson:Great... did it give any information as to who ran that colony?
AJ: :: displays the information for the governor to see::
Gabrielle: ::leans in to see::
Governor: Wow... Take a look at this, Jason.
AJ: The UU knew about the rocks, and the original dome was to be a research and development plant. There are dates, names, everything to prove that it was UU mission.
Meinta: So it proves that the UU destroyed the old dome? Does it say why?
AJ: The Commander knew about this, and my best guess is the illegal activities we were to investigate was simply a red herring to keep the original dome from being discovered.
Jason Patterson: ::points at the screen:: T. Elijah... that's the name I got from the old guild master, and look at this.. There were near 1000 people there..
Governor: What other info did you get, Jason? You said something about a clip.
AJ: From what I can see, it may have been an accident that the dome was destroyed. It's possible that the rocks were more powerful than they thought.
Jason Patterson: Accident my foot... you should see the way that place looks..
Governor: I don't think that was any accident...
AJ: I haven't read all the documents. But there was definitely a coverup.
Governor: I thought as much. Good work, Ms. MacPhearson
Mikko: Well, AJ, you've done your homework.
Karrina: Yes, thanks for telling us.
AJ: My theory was that once we discovered your "illegal books" they would say case closed, and remove everyone from the colony and finish clearing up the mess they left behind, with no witnesses.
Jason Patterson: But we only had those locked up By their Law in the first place...
AJ: Right, but WE didn't know that. We were lied to from day one about what we were looking for. They knew we'd find those, and make it look like you did something wrong and that would be their evidence.
Jason Patterson: I found the personal records room in that old dome. But they had been emptied... the whole place had been.
Gabrielle: ::Speaks under her breath::Now it makes sense why I was chosen for this assignment - it wasn't real!
Jason Patterson: Looked like they had cleaned it all out before the actual bombing took place.
AJ: ::nods:: That is quite possible.
Meinta: Are they going to come after us and do the same now?
AJ: I wouldn't be surprised. Let's just say the Commander and I didn't part on.... the best of terms.
Gabrielle: We've got to fight! We can't let them do it again!
Governor: ::to Gabi:: I wish we could, but there is no way we have the manpower or resources to fight the entire UU.
Jason Patterson: Ok, the Clip I found may have some information on it... but... I don't seem to be able to open it. It is passcode locked in some way.. ::Heads to a computer station and plug the clip in . Starts typing in codes to bring up the clip's program message.::
Gabrielle: We have to outsmart them.
Governor: Our only option is to get the people of WP to saftey
Mikko: What about the others? How will we do it?
AJ: Yes, sometimes retreat is the only option.
Gabrielle: Just disappear?
Mikko: I can help get the word out.
Gabrielle: Do you have a plan?
Karrina: Just tell us what we need to do.
Gabrielle: I mean, is there a place you have in mind? I can't leave my baby! I have to get back to Earth!
AJ: Just let me know what I can do to help. I've pretty much cut myself off from going back to Earth.
Governor: ::to AJ:; How do we know we can trust you?
AJ: Governer, your people have been talking about faith, right?
AJ: Didn't I keep some of my findings private from the Commander?
Gabrielle: :: with excitement in her voice:: You did, AJ!
AJ: I guess you'll just have to decide if you can trust me now or not.
Mikko: Trust is very important now.. on both ends.
Governor: ::glances at Mikko thoughtfully:: Well, I don't think we have much choice... ::smiles a bit:: All right.
AJ: If nothing else, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The Commander and I are hardly friends, now.
Karrina: I know Allara would've welcomed you, AJ, with open arms. You too, Gabi.
AJ: ::looks to Karrina:: Thank you.
Gabrielle: Thanks, Karrina. I will help however I can, but I have to go home.
Jason Patterson: ::plays with the computer controls trying to open the message stored on the Clip once more... notices a side link for voice active programs.:: Hey Beren look at this... the message is coded, but to a voice command think.
Governor: ::looks:: Humm...
Mikko: So, what is this information?
Meinta: What is that, Jason?
Karrina: Yes, we must know everything. It's vital to our survival.
Narrator: After much work and exasperation at trying to find the code to open the message encrypted on the "Clip" found at the old dome, they have found that it is some kind of Voice Activated response, yet without the right spoken words it will never open.
Gabrielle: Can you get into it?
Jason Patterson: It seem there is a lock placed on it that can only open to a certain message.
Gabrielle: Who created this clip again? It might help us crack the message.
AJ: So, if I'm going to help plan an escape route, I think I need to have some idea of how much we need to move.People, equipment...
Karrina: Do we have time to crack this code?
Meinta: How long do you think we have?
Mikko: ::lips move silently::
Jason Patterson: We can use the ore carriers to move anything and every thing, even people. They are the largest thing we have to do that with.
Gabrielle: When was the last contact with the commander, AJ?
AJ: It depends on whether or not the Commander has spies around or if she's dispatched another team.
Jason Patterson: I think the UU does have... don't forget that emporter.
Gabrielle: It would be in her character to have spies for the spies that are spying on the spies. You know what I mean. I bet we haven't much time.
Meinta: I'll bet that Estorn guy is a spy!
Governor: ::nods:: Could very well be...
Jason Patterson: Exactly... why else would he be here asking questions.
AJ: I wouldn't be surprised. I also wouldn't be surprised if our mystery man was involved also.
Meinta: They could just bomb us with a dirty bomb and we would have no warning.
AJ: Yes they could. We need to get somewhere safe ASAP.
Kristof says: ::sends message to Estorn:: Meet me at the location Randstat discussed with you. We need to talk.
ESTORN: ::replies:: You got it.
Narrator: Kristof checks out the hallways, watching to see who's watching him, then slips quietly away. Minutes later, he arrives in a dark storage room filled with supplies, and a few moments later a lone figure enters the doorway, looking cautiously from left to right. Kristof receeds into the shadows and waits until the stranger gets nearer. The figure walks just short of Kristoff and stops.
Kristof: ::Kristoff steps out.:: You must be Estorn. I'm Wagner.
ESTORN: ::Looks nervously at Kristof.:: I know. I watched you walk in. You need to be more careful, we're being watched.
Kristof: ::surprised:: How...where were...never mind. I'm way out of practice for this stuff. Frankly, I just want to get this over with. I have what Randstadt wants, I think. They're definately some kind of cult.
ESTORN: Ok. Well, we're clear on that issue. This kind of thing could seriously undermine the UU. We don't need any rogue free-thinkers running around. This time, we're going to do it right. Randstadt is sending in a ground team. Actually, most of it is already here in place. The next shuttle arriving will complete it. We will personally kill each one. No second guessing.
Kristof: ::Looks into Estorn's cold, black eyes, wondering if he is seeing his reflection or his ghost.:: At this point, I don't care anymore. I just want to go home. You have no idea what I've gone through to stay alive here. I'll do anything to get back home. I want to see my baby sister while she's still alive. ::Laughs to himself:: Baby sister. She's an old woman dying in a nursing home. ::Looks out beyond the boxes and crates:: You would never believe how close we used to be. I'm sure she thought I was dead all these years. Maybe I was.
ESTORN: Well, we have a mission to complete. Hopefully you'll get it right his time. ::Looks sharply at Kristof:: I've been told to keep you in my sight at all times. Are we clear?
Kristof: ::Looks Estorn straight in the eyes:: Crystal.
ESTORN: ::Laughing at Kristof:: Speaking of...do you have one? I mean, if they can do what I've heard...
Kristof: Look at me. Do I look like and old man to you? Yeah, they'll do that and more. I'd be dead a hundred times over if it weren' for them. I wonder if it wouldn't be better that way.::Sigh :: OK. I'm ready. Where's my weapon.
ESTORN: You just do what you're told. I'll take care of the rest. You had your chance, old man. Remember: I see everything. One slip up and you'll be like one of them.
Kristof: ::Looks at Estorn suspiciously, yet understanding his words, all too clear.:: No worries. I'm committed. I want to go home. Period.
Mikko: ::softly:: Lord Jesus, we ask you to help us now. Give us wisdom.
Gabrielle: ::in agreement with Mikko:: Please put your hand of protection on us. Blind the eyes of the enemy.
Narrator: A static-fuzzy image of Thomas Elijah appears on the screen,, maybe in mid 40's dark hair with a slight beard, Jason messes with the screen and the picture and sound clears up as the man smiles peacefully and speaks...
Thomas Elijah: Greetings to those that speak the name of the Lord. My name is Lt. Colonel Thomas Elijah, Commander and acting Colony Governor of Project Horizon. For you to be hearing this message, you would have to speak the name of our Lord Jesus, as such I welcome you as family in the Lord to The White Planet of the New Horizon.
Meinta: It's working!
AJ: ::looks at the image and listens::
Jason Patterson: ::Mumbles out-load:: Speak the name of the Lord...that's it...Mikko's prayer. The program must have heard him speak the Lord's name.
Thomas Elijah: As you will have found, the colony is no longer in the dome it was built in, as we fear the Universal Government will be coming soon to destroy this colony, we have taken it as warning to flee to safety. If you have found this message, you would have known the cross for what it is, the governing body, or any others that deal with them, would see it as an offence and cast it aside, but the one who knows it, I call brother and friend in the Lord.
Jason Patterson: ::laughs:: And I did... wouldn't have found it otherwise.
Karrina: ::Karrina and Mikko smile at each other::
Thomas Elijah: The following information deals with the mineral known in files as WP9068PD. The Universal Government has code named then Pink Diamond. As we have done analysis on the minerals here, we have found they have many side effects of varying degrees, from a heightening of senses to extended longevity, there for we have called them the Rocks of Youth.
Narrator: A printer automatically starts printing the mineral analysis for the "Rocks".
Thomas Elijah: It seems that the government wishes this mineral to be held from the public, and as we were not willing to do so, greater investigations have arisen, even to the finding of our Faith in the One True God. We are now being termed as outlaws for not handing the minerals over, and we fear they will come for them regardless. Therefore we are going into hiding within the planet itself.
Meinta: ::Looking at the printed sheets:: So it is the rocks...
Jason Patterson: And they were true Christians as we thought.
AJ:::nods and says quietly:: And this is more proof that the UU knew all along.
Thomas Elijah: Many caves had been found and some that we have been mining go rather deep within the surface. It is our hope and prayer that we will find a place deep enough they will never find us. As there may be a chance they might, we have separated into two groups. Both locations shall be marked out so that if by chance those that do find this message, find themselves in the same position as we are they will know where to go.
Jason Patterson: In the caves...?
Narrator: ::The printer again automatically starts printing the area coordinates for the location of the caves that were used, one of which is the cave Kristof was found in, the back of which was destroyed and no way into it.::
Karrina: Are any more of them still down there?
Governor:: ::grabs the papers and stares at them::
Jason Patterson: Hey wait... I know that area... but it is nearly 500 miles from here.
Thomas Elijah: For you to be hearing this message, I will take it you are a follower of Christ, as you knew to speak His name, and knew also the secret of the cross to find this message hidden there. If so, beware. United Universe is not to be trusted. If you find yourselves in need also, use these maps. Perhaps there are yet some of us still alive in the caverns below ground, but at this point I cannot even pray it to be so. But if the Lord wills it so, it shall be so. God bless you, whomever you are.
Narrator::The screen fades to black....::
Meinta:Wow! ::beams:: That's our answer! Thank You, Lord.
AJ: Well, we have a destination, now we just have to form an evacuation plan.
Karrina: We've got to get everyone to those caves. It's our only hope.
Jason Patterson: ::Thinking out loud to himself.:: How long would it take the maintanence people to refit the ore carriers to hold people..?
AJ: We need to set up an infirmary, just in case...
Gabrielle: :: starts to cry:: Aleha,
Meinta: What about Gabi?
AJ: Gabi, I have connections... We may be able to get her here safely. But, it will take time.
Governor: We may not have time.
Gabrielle: Is there any hope for me to go home? If not, I accept it. My baby is in God's hands.
AJ: We have to get us safe first. ::to Governor:: Can you get a secure message to her family? I have a feeling that even my handheld's frequency will be monitored.
Governor: Yes, I'll do everything I can.
Mikko: I have a few contacts on earth. Gabi, I'll do my best to help your daughter.
Governor: ::to Gabi, gently:: But, understand that we must do what will be best for all.
Gabrielle: ::tears continue to pour down her face, but she nods in the affirmative:: I would never jeapordize an entire planet for my own self.
AJ: If she can warn her family to get her daughter to a safe location until we can send for them, that's probably the best we can do for now.
Karrina: Sounds good
Jason Patterson: ::Taps into Plasmagin to the maintanence crews... recieves message in responce, then turns to the Governer.:: They can have things ready in about 4 hours.. How much time do you think we have.?
Governor: I have no idea. They could bomb in the next second....or they could never bomb...
AJ: The key is to take the bare essentials and everyone to stay calm.
Jason Patterson: I will get on the refitting now... let me know how things go on this end.. ::Heads for the door and out to the servicing area to refit ore carriers into personel carriers.::
AJ: ::nods:: Yes, the panic induced by the thought of an attack can sometimes cause more damage than the actual attack.
Mikko: Shall I plas the congregation?
Governor: Let's do as much as we can by word of mouth. We have scramblers, but I don't want to take any chances.
Gabrielle: We must have a prayer team to cover this all in prayer! God is still in control and he can do the miraculous! I have all the confidence in His ability to see us to safety!
Meinta: Amen, Gabi.
Karrina: Gabi, take my hands. We'll start the prayer chain.
Gabrielle: ::grabs Karrina's hands::Father, just as you shut the mouths of the lions, we ask you to close the eyes of the enemy. Thwart every attempt to harm your people
AJ: ::looks around, notices eyes closed and heads bowed, listens, watching with one eye open::
Gabrielle: Give us wisdom and speed as we do the things needed.
Karrina: I agree with my sister and thank you for bringing her here for such a time as this, as well as AJ.
AJ: ::raises eyebrow at the mention of her name::
Gabrielle: ::her voice catches:: ..and be with my dear Aleah and Momma. Father help me to trust them to you for you love them even more than I ever could and you have good and perfect plans for them.
AJ: ::clears her throat, feeling uncomfortable::
Gabrielle: May all that we do bring glory to your name and make you known.
AJ: ::clears throat again and whispers:: I hate to interupt your ..prayer... but we need to get moving.
Mikko: In Jesus Name...
Narrator: ::they chorus:: Amen.
Mikko: Let's go then.
Governor: ::looks at AJ:: All right, let's get on it.
Meinta: Let's roll.
Narrator: The people of White Planet worked late into the night, preparing for the exodus. They tried to work as unobtrusively as possible, but there was no mistaking that the place was a hive of activity.
Except in one place. On the far end of the space station, the guest quarters were eerily quiet. For now.
Jade: ::Jade wakes up and pops her head under the bed:: You awake?
Damian Raen: I am now. ::unzips the bag:: It gets so hot in here… I could probably do without it... Meinta said the governor isn't looking for me
Jade: I got the urge for munchies, want anything?
Damian Raen: ::rolls over:: I've got a stash of chips and stuff in my room
Jade: Cool, I'll be right back ::Jade slips quietly out of the room::
Narrator: Estorn moves down the hall toward Damian's room, stealthy and quiet in the shadows. He drops to the floor outside Damian's room, and peers under the door. He sees no movement in the room beyond. Gently, he eases the door open, finding it to be unlocked. He creeps inside and moves toward the bed.
Estorn: Where is he… ::Pulls a gun from beneath his shirt and looks toward the adjoining bathroom::
Jade: ::Walks down the hall towards Damian's room. She sees the door partially open and hesitates:: Those snoopy religious freaks! ::bursts into the room and switches on the light::
Estorn: ::Spins toward the door, gun drawn:: Don't move! Get inside. ::gestures with the gun:: What are you doing here? Who are you?
Jade: This is my room, I was planning on going to sleep
Estorn: ::Scoffs:: No, it's not. Get inside. Shut the door.
Jade: I demand to know who you are!
Estorn: The name’s Estorn. But I'll be making the demands here. Shut the cussed door or I'll shoot you now!
Jade: ::Closes the door:: If you're looking for the rocks, I can help you get them.
Estorn: ::Arches an eyebrow:: Right now I'm looking for something else. The man whose room this is.
Jade: ::Goes pale:: I already told you, this is my room.
Estorn: It isn't. I've been watching this place for a while. I have access to records. I know who sleeps where and I know whose room this is. Now where is he?
Jade: I don't care what your stupid records say. I didn't like my room and switched with someone for this one.
Estorn: ::Hits her across the face with the gun:: Don't lie to me! Where is he?
Jade: ::Falls back on the floor, blood dripping from her temple::
Estorn: ::Sighs wearily:: You know who I'm looking for. Tell me where he is.
Jade: He's in lockup. He pulled a gun on the governor's daughter. But he escaped and no one knows where he is.
Estorn: You want me to believe that.
Jade: It's the truth. Ask the governor.
Estorn: I find it quite noble of you to try and protect your friend this way, but all games come to an end. This one is getting old ::Grabs her up off the floor:: Tell me where I can find Damian Raen Haden.
Jade: ::Ignores the pistol and stares into hate-filled eyes. She knows he has only one intent: to kill the kid:: Fine, I'll take you to him ::she backs away just enough to slam a fierce kick between Estorn’s legs::
Estorn: ::Crumples to his knees, still clutching the gun, cussing in pain:: Arrgh! I'll kill you!
Jade: ::Makes a run for the door::
Estorn: ::Pulls the trigger::
Jade: ::Falls to the ground as the bullet rips into her leg::
Estorn: ::Gets to his feet, fires again at Jade's sprawled form::
Jade: ::The bullet misses Jade's heart and lodges in her shoulder::
Estorn: ::Stoops and grabs her shirt collar:: Tell me where he is!
Jade: ::Elbows him in the face, shoves a table at him with her good arm, switches out the light, leaving Estorn in darkness, and bolts from the room::
Estorn: ::Falls to the floor:: Ugghh...! ::Scrambles to the door::
Jade: ::Reaches her room and collapses:: Damian ::gasps for breath:: Estorn. Stay in the bag!
Damian Raen: ::Damian wakes up, hears Jade's message, and immediately gets out of the bag:: What? Who? ::Notices Jade:: Jade! What happened?
Jade: Get in the bag, you fool!
Damian Raen: ::Rushes to her side:: Where are you hurt...? Who did this?
Jade: ::A crimson pool of blood seeps from beneath her crumpled form::
Jade: It's Estorn. Get in the bag. Please.
Narrator: ::Damian looks up, staring into space:: Estorn... But how did he… how did he get here? ::hears running footsteps in the hall. He grabs his gun from the bedside table, checks to see that it's loaded. He looks up and sees a shadowy figure enter the doorway. In the dim light, he recognizes the face of a long-forgotten rival::
Damian Raen: Estorn! ::Rapidly takes aim and pulls the trigger. The bullet hits Estorn in the leg, sending him stumbling back a step::
Estorn: ::Fires off three wild shots into the darkened room::
Damian Raen: ::Is hit in the shoulder and falls back, then scrambles to his feet, gun held out before him::
Estorn: ::Strides into the room, limping a bit on his bad leg, holding his own gun forward:: Here you are. After all this time.
Jade: ::Crawls across the floor to a small wooden desk in the corner::
Estorn: And just as bad a shot as always.
Jade: ::Pulls herself up underneath the desk and gropes for something in the dark::
Damian Raen: ::Stares Estorn down:: I really wish I had killed you back there in Delver.
Estorn: ::Staring back:: But you didn't. Now I get to do the honors.
Narrator: ::Jade’s bloodied fingers find what she was looking for: the gun she confiscated from Damian which she had reloaded and taped to the underside of the desk::
Damian Raen: ::Livid with anger:: It's your fault Nicole is dead. You sold us out! You told the UU where we were!
Estorn: That's a shame. It was good for business. I made quite a bit of money importing the supplies needed for their bombing run. But you got away, somehow. And I can't have you telling on me. ::Pulls the trigger::
Damian Raen: ::Ducks to the floor and fires off a shot::
Narrator: Both rounds miss.
Estorn: ::Frowns:: Quick as ever, I see ::Suddenly pulls out another gun and fires off two shots. A bullet hits each of Damian's forearms, sending him stumbling backward and making him lose his grip on his own weapon. It falls to the floor. Estorn levels his own gun at Damian's head:: So long, friend.
Jade: ::Mustering all the strength she has, she stands up and points the gun at Estorn:: Hey psycho!
Estorn: ::Surprised, looks away from Damian:: What! You!
Jade: ::Shoots him in the back of the shoulder. Estorn whips around. She shoots him in the chest as his gun fires into her chest. She fires again and Estorn falls to the floor::
Damian Raen: ::Bleeding, Damian moves to Jade's side, eyeing Estorn's fallen body:: Jade?
Jade: Hey, kid ::tries to smile:: I told you to stay in the bag
Damian Raen: I told you not to call me kid... ::winces, but smiles:: You don't look so good.
Jade: ::Tries to laugh but chokes up blood::
Damian Raen: ::Looks around for her plasmagin:: Got to get help here...
Damian Raen: What?
Jade: Maybe those freaks aren’t so bad… ::tries to smile:: At least they don't want to kill you.
Damian Raen: Yeah, maybe not...
Jade: ::Her voice gets very faint:: Take care of yourself, kid
Narrator: Jade's hand goes limp in Damian's and her eyes close.
Damian Raen: Jade?
Narrator: ::The room is silent, filled with drifting gunsmoke::
Damian Raen: ::Cusses and leaps to his feet, scrambling toward the door:: Hey, help! Anyone?
Narrator: In the room, Estorn slowly opens his eyes and looks around. His torso is covered with bruises from where the bullets hit his armored vest. He slowly gets to his feet. He notices Jade’s limp form. Wincing, he staggers out of the room and away into the darkness.
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Sweet. This is one of my favorite chapters. ~Karri