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Veracity: Assurance
Posted By: Shurmanator<dyshurman@gmail.com>
Date: 15 October 2009, 11:14 pm

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>>>>>>///ONI Orbital Research Platform
>>>>>>///Neptune, Sol System
>>>///June 27, 2568
>>>///1428 Hours
>///Delphi Station Recording Log

God, I must have been drunk to have taken this job. What the hell was I thinking?

Doctor Shira Covez continued to toss around on the motley collection of various comfort insurers lying on the floor behind the bar. Though her sleep shift had technically begun about an hour prior, all she had managed to do since then was give herself a headache thinking about her current situation and all the roads she could have taken to avoid it.

In the beginning, she had told herself that her inability to fall asleep was being caused by the fact that she was trying to do so while it was still 1330 in the afternoon.

Rational thought, she mused, in an irrational situation.

She glanced over the top of the bar. Kenderson and Milavech were dutifully watching the door, although she could here their exaggerated whispers rising in anger from all the way across the mess. She could almost visualize the friction between the two, and had a bad feeling that if they had to endure two more shifts together, as per the plan, something would crack.

Covez leaned back onto her makeshift pillow of tea bags, sighing. She looked over and saw Lin, sleeping quietly less than a meter away. Covez had always liked the archeologist, her cheerful manner and commanding presence was a welcome respite in the dull climate of the station. And Covez wasn't surprised that Lin was handling this situation with the same amount of calm collectedness, the lady had seen some stuff on the Ark. Had seen combat, even.

Covez couldn't say the same.

His eyes... and the blood...

She shook off the thought with a physical movement of the head.

Don't go there... don't think about it... its over...

She repeated the thought to herself... it was monotone and reassuring. So much so that she eventually drifted off to sleep.

The Inner Recesses of the Mind.

It was dark. Wasn't it?

Yes, it had to be. But what was darkness? Was it an absence of light? Was it an absence of hope? What was hope? What was light?

Darkness is you. Darkness has always been you.

Then what are you?

I am Veracity.

Are you now? What truth do you offer?

The only truth.

And what is that?

I will show you. And then you will serve. And then you will die.

"Shira! Shira! Estas listo, mi chica?"

Illena Covez was calling down the hallway, scribbling something on a holo pad with her hand absentmindedly. She was dressed for work, suit, slacks, shoes, business apparel. Her hair lay in a tousled mess, indicating a rushed awakening that morning. And her daughter's lethargy was not helping the situation.

"Shira, escuela va a empezar en viente minutos! Levantese!"

Shira Covez, small and dreary eyed, stumbled out of her room. She walked down the hall, nearly tripping over her feet, too big for her little body. She gave a wail of frustration and unwillingness.

"Pero, mama, yo no quiero ir a escuela! No me gusta!"

Illena groaned, exasperated at her daughter's uncooperativeness. She switched off the wall holo-pad and knelt down in front of her daughter.

"Shira, tu necesitas vas a escuela. Tu sabes ese."

"Pero mama!"

"Ah, ah! Hablas en Ingles."

Shira sighed.

"Yes, mom."

"I know you don't like it, but in this school, you have to speak English."

"Why can't we go back to Ch...Chry...Chri..."

"Chryibids?" Illena supplied helpfully.

Shira gave a small nod.

"Because mommy needs to work here now. And on Reach, ellos hablan Ingles, si?



"But I don't wanna go to school! It stinks!"

"This is a very expensive school, honey. Mommy is paying a lot of money for you to go, so you can get a good job and move wherever you want when you get older."

"I don't want a good job. I want to go into the army and fight aliens, like David."

Illena's composure lifted for a moment, and her face fell. Not willing to upset her daughter, she quickly calmed herself.

"David is in the army because he has to be, not because he wants to. And don't worry. By the time you're older, all the aliens will be gone. And you will need a good job, right?"

"I guess..."

"Good. Now get dressed. We need to get you to school."

"Si mama."

"Oh, and Shira?" Illena asked, turning around with her back to her daughter.

"Yes, mommy?"

The face that turned around to great Shira Covez was not that of her long dead mother, but that of nothingness. A dark void stared at her from the area above Illena Covez's shoulders, and it slowly began to spread, covering her mother's entire body in nothingness. The darkness spread throughout the room, expanding around the white and silver walls and enveloping them in the absence of color. Shira Covez continued to stare and stare, and her mouth quivered as whispers drifted into he mind.

The image broke.

Wake up.

>>>>>>///ONI Orbital Research Platform
>>>>>>///Neptune, Sol System
>>>///June 27, 2568
>>>///0150 Hours
>///Delphi Station Recording Log

Shira Covez rose from her sleeping mat in the bar of Delphi Station. She clambered over the top of the counter, and landed softly on the other side. The lights were out, and no one was keeping watch.

Just as it told her.

She walked forward, instinctively knowing in which direction to go. She quickly pressed the twelve digit code into the door panel, and felt the rush of air as the door swished open.

She stepped over a shadowy figure, lying prone on the floor, as she crossed the threshold into the main hall. This was not a surprise, it told her that the figure would be there.

The shadows of the hall lengthened as Shira Covez continued to walk away from the mess. She passed Interrogation room Omega. There was no need to look inside. It had told her what was in there, and that was not part of her duty.

She continued down the hall, passing all of the other twenty-five interrogation rooms. She walked past the crew quarters without pause as well, keeping a resolute, steady pace down the narrow corridor. Eventually, she came to the reactor room on the opposite end of the hall as the mess.

She did not have the access code for this door. But she did not worry. It had a plan.

The door opened with a hiss. Another dark figure stood motionless on the other side. It stepped out of the way when Shira entered. Then it left the room. The door closed shut.

A dim red light emanated from the center of the room. A large contraption stood in a sunken pit, and the source of brightness was being originated there. The reactor was a cumbersome object; rectangular, angular, and smooth. Maintenance panels dotted the exterior, and cables and wiring extended from the top of the object into the ceiling, where they connected with the various operating systems of the station.

The reactor was unimportant to her assignment, however. It had already taken care of that particular variable, as indicated by the lack of light on the station. Shira's job was more pressing.

She walked past the device to the other side of the chamber, opposite the doorway. There, without being to see anything except a dull red hue, she reached up and pulled on a small, rectangular panel attached to the ceiling. It came down, and she gently placed it on the floor.

The scientist then lifted herself upward into a narrow ventilation shaft. She turned to her left and saw a myriad of wiring protruding from the reactor into the shaft. Still in complete darkness, she located a certain wire. Had she been able to see, she would have read the words, "Airlock Control" printed on the side of the copper casing.

After disconnecting the wire and reattaching it to the socket labeled "Master Control", she turned back around. Before she was able to leap down from the ventilation shaft, however, the panel was replaced by an unseen figure. It clanged closed, and the sounds of a power drill could be heard as it was welded shut.

Shira Covez felt fear. It had not told her about this part of the plan.

The Inner Recesses of the Mind.

Before you die, it whispered inside her, why did you chose that one?

I thought that if I was happy, you couldn't get in. I thought if I was content, it would block you off.

Such a simple memory. And yet it stirred up such powerful feelings of joy. Interesting. You are far more complex than I previously anticipated.

Clearly the strategy did not work.

Clearly. Yet I expected you to be the weakest of the five. I am pleased to see I am mistaken, it will make this justice all the more sweet. It will make it a challenge.

I have served now, have I not?

Yes, you have. I assume you know what happens now.

Will it be quick?


>>>>>>///ONI Orbital Research Platform
>>>>>>///Neptune, Sol System
>>>///June 27, 2568
>>>///1428 Hours
>///Delphi Station Recording Log

An invisible gas seeped into the ventilation shaft, having been directed by another shadowy figure from the coolant tanks to the main reactor shaft. It flooded Doctor Shira Covez's lungs. She began to cough.

The Inner Recesses of the Mind.

If you are lucky, you will see my vengeance. Then you will understand. If you do not live that long, however, it does not matter.

I assure you Veracity will be victorious.