Amethyst Station (closed)

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Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:35 pm

”Ridahne, don’t you know what time it is? Ai! And since when have you been home?”
“Shh, Hadian. Quiet.”
“Ridahne…” Hadian’s voice was more sober now, alert. “What’s going on? Why are you here? Ai, turn on a lamp, would you? Don’t lurk in the dark!” Her brother stood and flipped on a lamp despite his sister’s sudden and soft cries of alarm. “Ridahne what got into—“ And his breath caught in his chest, stolen by some other force that was reluctant to return it. What he was seeing couldn’t be true, it couldn’t…

In the faded light he beheld his sister, red with days of dust in her hair and smeared on her russet face. She was harried, short of breath and glistening in the dim light with a sheen of sweat. Her eyes, like two circlets of amber set in polished white marble, were wide with fear, or was it panic? Urgency? All of them, probably. She looked worse for wear, but what truly broke his heart was the new tattooed mark on her face, just above her nose. He reached out to touch it gingerly but she pushed his hand away and shook her head.
“No, Hadi, don’t touch it.” Her voice quavered.
“Ridahne, what did…what did you…do?” He could only whisper.
Tears in her eyes now, Ridahne shook her head. “No. Don’t ask, please don’t. I can’t tell you, not here. Not anywhere—if you’re seen with me it will only mean trouble for you. I shouldn’t have come here at all but…I had to say goodbye. You’re all I have left.”
Hadian had tears in his honey eyes now, too. “No, you can’t do that. You can’t just…” But the words died on his lips, because he knew his sister had to run if she wanted to live. Run and never look back.

Hadian touched the rest of her tattoos gently with the tips of his fingers; he couldn’t help thinking that the beautiful patterns and markings were now somewhat marred by the newest addition. “I understand,” he said resignedly. “Here.” he reached into a drawer and pulled out a sleek red money card and pressed it into her slender hands. “Take it.”
She did, reluctantly. “I’m so sorry Hadian. I’m so sorry.”
“I know Ridahne.”
“You can’t tell anyone. I have to go now. I’m so sorry Hadian.”


---------

“Next stop, Amethyst station.”

The artificial, cooing voice of the train car made Ridahne sit up and blink stupidly as she tried to figure out how long she’d been asleep. Amethyst station…She looked at he “A line” map—Asteroid, Annabelle, Arbor, Anchor, Amethyst. She meant to get off at Arbor station, but the gentle oscillating of the metro car had lulled her tired body to a heavy sleep. People were looking at her, and had been for some time, she gathered. They usually did. A tattooed face was not highly unusual in this part of the system—locals rarely ever had anything on their faces, but there were many travelers who frequented the area or drifters who had settled far from home that had tattooed faces of some sort or another. They all were different styles and most were easily distinguishable between cultures. But she found they were usually simple, blocky, and more of just a pattern rather than a whole sequence. Hers were ornate in comparison, a swirling, tangled mess of black, white and blue that made sense to no one but Ridahne, or so it seemed. More than that, she had some unusual piercings, including only one gauged ear on the right side with a bone hanging design that looked hand carved, a nose ring and a few silver hoops in her ears, both of which were quite normal even here, and on the inner cup of the helix of each ear was a silver plate that followed the shape of her ear perfectly, and was pierced in place.

Ridahne shook the sleep from her and began to shoulder her pack, the kind hikers use on long trips. She’d get off at Amethyst, and then see if she could catch the next “B Line” train to Borealis. From there, she’d just ask around until she found the nearest hostel, or if she got lucky, an interspace captain with a ship and some quick work. The car stopped, the doors slid open soundlessly. She, among a river of other people, stepped out onto the platform as she looked around for her next ride. Borealis…Borealis…A projected screen showed that he next train to Borealis station would be in fifteen minutes. She sighed. She could wait; it was worth it if the tip she had about that area having a lot of decent and cheap hostels was a good one. So, dutifully, she plunked down on a bench and waited.

No sooner than she did, she began to feel suddenly uncomfortable, like something was out of place somehow. What was it? Nobody was really staring at her—glancing maybe, but that was normal enough. Nobody was speaking to her, she hadn’t forgotten any of her things…what was it?

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby stealthpanther on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:52 am

ImageIvarr stirred his morning concoction in a steady rhythm, allowing all the components to blend smoothly into his ideal cup of coffee. The dark caffeinated liquid was accented with no more and no less than four tablespoons of cream, two spoonfulls of sugar, five generous squirts of chocolate, and a drop of vanilla.
Ivarr didn't care what any of his friends or coworkers said, there was absolutely nothing wrong with liking (overly- their words, not his) sweet coffee. Taking a test sip, he deemed his brew perfect, and sealed the thermos for transport. He had actually made it home the night before, but now it was time to haul his ass back over to the precinct and chip away at the never-ending pile of paperwork.

Friggen paperwork. It was the least enjoyable part of the job, but a neccessary evil in regards to the law. And to endure it, he needed coffee.

Such were his thoughts as he boarded the metro, melting into the crowds and taking his usual place near the front of the car. He recognized a majority of the faces, and exchanged the occasional greeting with the other patrons whose daily commute involved the metro, 'A Line'.
As usual, the ride was thankfully uneventful, aside from an unfortunate spill of a teenager's drink when they fell asleep with the beverage in hand. Barely even listening to the automated voice, the detective mentally ticked off the number of stops until he reached Amethyst station, inching his way towards the door mere moments before the metro car came to a complete stop.

He stepped out with several other passengers, moving down the platform with briefcase in hand- his thermos just peeking out the top of the bag. It was a day like any other, and Ivarr let out a sigh at the thought of going such mundane pieces of paperwork. Sure, some of it was interesting, but with all the mandatory forms and required documents that had to be in the right order with the right details, the specific terminology, it got to be a bit ridiculous. Why couldn't he just write up a report of what happened, what the evidence was, and hand that over with any lab results, autopsy reports, and a list of all items gathered as evidence and witnesses? Why did they get in a tizzy if he didn't explain who he interviewed in what order, how he handled each piece of evidence (the same as always- the correct way), and why he chose what method to approach the persons involved at what time? All interrogations were recorded, everything had photos, and he had all the information someplace, so why did it matter the order or how he got it? Sure, if there was reason to suspect an officer or detective was ignoring proper protocol and ethics, he could see them tracking their actions and methods to make sure everything was being done legally and with due justice. But if he had never been underhanded, and all his cases were clean of any misconduct, why jump through so many hoops?

"Beaurocracy" he muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes. Government was neccessary in functioning society, but they sure liked to meddle and insist on having things done a certain way (regardless if they had any clue how something worked or not). So annoying.

His walk was suddenly interrupted by a loud bang, followed by shouting and screaming along with the acrid smell of smoke. An explosion?!

Spinning to face the sound, Detective Ivarr cursed under his breath, running towards the source and dodging crowds as they fled. In mere seconds, the platform and the peaceful monotony had been turned to chaos.

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:54 pm

She couldn’t wait to get her shoes off. Being a transient, she rarely had the chance to take her shoes off and feel the comfort of unrestrained, bare feet. Apparently it wasn’t exactly proper here to waltz around downtown without any (she learned that the hard way once when she tried to buy some food in a store and they kicked her out). So Ridahne suffered through them being cramped in there and sweaty, and feeling like she had big huge weights on her feet. She had to admit though, hiking boots did make for good long-distance shoes.


Ridahne shuffled the weight of her pack a little, tightening one of the straps around her hips. Ten minutes. Ugh, it felt like such a long wait when she knew that there was (hopefully) lodging at the other end of the metro. Maybe she’d go to her old standby of people-watching. That always passed time well, and she learned a lot too. There were businessmen and women in suits, all of them horribly drab and blocky looking for Ridahne’s tastes, and then there were young people she learned to identify as students. Most people under the age of twenty five, she just assumed were students of some sort. There were elderly couples shuffling through the station towards the exit. There were a few children, too. A little girl with dark brown skin like chocolate was playfully fighting with her older brother; both were giggling.


She missed her brother. Missed being able to fight with him and race and chase and tackle him. He had always been there to get out of trouble. Or at least, he had been long ago.


Another group of people caught her eye, and alarmingly so. She didn’t believe it at first, but her eyes were not mistaken. Standing around near the exit was a cluster of men with olive-tan skin like her own, black hair, each with some kind of large, dangling earring adorning the right ear, similar to her own bone one, though theirs were of many shapes and materials. The tattoos on their faces were of the same style and color as her own. Her heart turned cold and icy in her chest. They were Taja.


Taja were more than just soldiers. Eija were soldiers. But the Taja were an elite group, always of exclusively men, trained and bound by blood oaths and undying loyalty to serve and protect their respective Sota, who were the matriarchal leaders of her land. Like special agents, they did her bidding, sacrificed their lives for her, and often spoke for her when she would not be so polite as to offer a verbal reply to an offensive party. They were the hands and feet of the five Sota, and of the Sota-Sol above them. The ‘woman king’, if it was to be translated. There they were, huddled together in a purposeful fashion. Now staring at her.


Ridahne turned to bolt but another one came out of nowhere and grabbed her arm. She did not move. He leaned in close and spoke into her ear in soft Azurian, the language of her people,


”What good fortune to find someone like you here, you’ll do perfectly. Struggle and I’ll kill you.”
Ridahne, despite remaining still, was fuming and she snarled, “You’d like that, wouldn’t you, Taja? But not here. I am outside of your borders as I have been commanded. You have no obligation to kill me.”
“No. Doesn’t mean I can’t. But not today, traitor. You will prove useful to the Sota-Sol yet.”



Before she could ask what he meant, the cold bite of steel around her wrist told her she’d been cuffed to something, and in dumb confusion she looked down to find the other end attached to a small black box, clearly homemade, with a little metal switch. He tripped it and moved swiftly away like a fleeting shadow to join the others, and it was then that Ridahne realized there were more of them lurking around the station. They were gone in seconds, but before Ridahne could have time to process this, a deafening sound like a rip in the very fabric of the universe tore through the concrete tunnel, followed by a flash of hot fire and a wave of uncomfortable heat. And then the black, choking smoke flooded the tunnel as people screamed and tried to dig their way out of rubble, or tried to find legs that had now gone missing.


She’d been knocked back on her rear by the shockwave and she was able to sit up; she had no idea if she was injured or not, she couldn’t feel anything due to the rush of panic and adrenaline. Numbly, she looked down at the thing now cuffed to her left wrist. Why did they do that? Why did--oh. OH. The Taja set explosives and planned to frame someone else with the detonator. Out of chance and spite, they chose her.


Ridahne’s instincts of survial kicked in suddenly and she scrambled to her feet, clutching the stupid box so that she could run more freely. She had to get out of here. Someone was going to get the wrong idea, or maybe that wasn’t the last of the explosives, or maybe the Taja would find her...no matter what, she had to get out. Off she went like a gazelle, swift and tireless despite the pack on her back with long legs that found the next step with ease.


But the air was thick. Even her sharp eyes couldn’t cut through the black smoke that squeezed at her lungs and burned her eyes. At full speed, she ran directly into a man, blonde and tall, dressed as if he were on his way to work. They collided and warm liquid flowed down her front; Ridahne didn’t know if it was blood or his coffee. The impact made her stumble and lose her balance, and she tilted off to one side and fell over, smacking her head against something hard and cold. She blacked out for a second, but then was back to something like consciousness, but she was in far too much pain to be anything but completely dazed and in a throbbing stupor. Blood began to trickle through her hair and face where she made contact with the concrete and she couldn’t compose herself enough to rise to her feet just yet.

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby stealthpanther on Tue May 23, 2017 7:42 am

Ivarr held up his free arm in an attempt to preserve his throat and nose from the noxious smoke filling the platform, coughing and sputtering as some of the blackened air slipped past his meager defense. His eyes burned as they came into contact with the hot air covering the place in a thick, burning fog. The male squeezed his eyes shut and paused in his run, nearly tripping over his own feet as the effects of the explosion screwed with his senses. Lowering his arm from it's position as a makeshift mask, he fumbled blindly in his jacket for a radio, turning the dial to the 'on' position. The device came to life with a momentary squeal of static before familiar white noise took over.

"This is Detective Ivarr Hansen, I need an emergency response team at Amethyst Station! I repeat: I need emergency response at Amethyst Station, platform 8!" he called into the device as he depressed the call button, managing to hold in his cough until he released the button. The acrid smoke burned his lungs, prompting another painful wheeze before he could compose himself. Terror and pain-filled screams urged him forward, the detective ducking and trying to keep from inhaling any more burning air. He had to do something dammit! He needed to start helping the injured- bringing them out or trying to keep them calm and stable until the medical personnel arrived...

And then, he was gonna find out just what in the seven hells happened, because it sure didn't look like an accident. Ivarr approached a fallen figure, cursing as he realized he was too late. His fingers felt no pulse from the man's neck, and the blood loss alone would have made his odds slim indeed had he lived. One of his legs had been crushed by rubble, and the detective could only hope the injury was secondary and the man passed quickly beforehand.

Ivarr stood back up, heading aimlessly into the carnage when something- or rather, someone collided into him. Nearly stumbling backwards at the sudden force threatening his balance, the man caught himself, but his briefcase was not so lucky. His thermos of coffee dropped to the ground and splattered over both himself and the stranger who had crashed into him. The briefcase itself fell to his feet, somehow only tossing a few pens, a notepad, and his audio recorder onto the concrete.

A thunk alerted him that whoever ran into him had lost their balance completely and fallen to the ground, the sound of a head slamming against the solid platform enough to make him wince. That would definitely leave a hell of a bruise at the very least. "Oy! You alright?" he asked instinctively, dropping to one knee beside what he now noticed was a young woman. The smell of blood was, unfortunately, a familiar scent to him, and he knew even before he saw the slowly growing pool of it that she had gotten a decent cut on her head. A concussion as well most likely. "Miss! Can you hear me?" he asked, trying to assess her condition when a particular object caught his attention. Immediately, he froze, frowning in distaste and anger.

Cuffed to her wrist was a highly suspect box- a box that just so happened to have a switch and a little light (no longer illuminated, but probably blinking not long before).

A detonator.

Bombs were not a commonplace weapon, but they weren't unheard of. And for this woman to be carrying one strapped to her own arm- that was more than just a little too damn convenient.

"Hansen!" called a male voice, a younger officer rushing over to the scene. Ivarr was glad to see a familiar face; two other officers in his building commuted via public transit as well, and it was times like these he was glad he wasn't the only loser taking the metro.

"Help me get her up! And get your cuffs out, we're taking her in."

"But sir, why? She needs to see a doctor-"

"She's a potential suspect, and I am not about to let her get away." interrupted the older detective, frowning as he watched her regain consciousness. "Can you stand yet? You're coming with us." he said briskly, fully ready to take this stranger with him as soon as it was physically possible.

"Don't you think that's a bit-"

"No Trevor, it's not rude or harsh. A suspect is a suspect, be they a man or a woman. No special treatment."

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Tue May 23, 2017 11:58 pm

The world felt like it had plunged into a great ocean and she no longer knew which way was up or down. There was something hot and something cold, but she couldn’t tell exactly what parts of her body were feeling what. Everything spun in darkness, a caustic, ugly darkness that made her throat burn. There was danger. Danger. What happened? Some distant part of her thought for a moment that she’d tumbled out of her boat and into the raging surf and was now caught underneath the waves. Maybe she hit her head on a reef? No. That was home. She’d left home a long time ago and this was certainly not home. There was a train...Or something?

She heard a voice speaking to her but the words meant nothing to her. Ridahne tried to answer but the only thing that came out was a raspy grumble. She had to get up and get moving because...explosion! Right! There was a bomb in the train station, the Taja had planted it. She had to get out of there in case there was another detonation. Ridahne struggled to get to her feet and though it felt like she completely failed, somehow she felt a pressure around each of her arms and then her feet found ground again. Dirty, gravelly, debris-littered ground. Someone had lifted her up.

Ridahne lifted her head a bit, blood dripping into one of her already smoke-hazed eyes. The dark world flooded half red as her eyes showed her two different worlds--one, a black swirl of gritty smoke and people running amidst flickering lights, and the other a surreal realm of sticky, blotchy red. The two combined to make a disorienting nightmare. Somehow in all this, her first thought was that there was blood all over her face, covering her tattoos.

“My Ojih...” She muttered. “Need to clean...my Ojih ai….ai…” And then she felt the first clear thing since she came to: the ratcheting snap of cold metal cuffs closing tightly around her wrists. No! In her foggy state and with the lack of visibility she assumed that it was more of the Taja, come back to complete their cruel stroke of fate against her. They’d take her, they’d imprison her, torture her. The last wail of ‘ai’ turned sharply into a ferocious war-howl, the kind of chilling sound one only expects to hear in an over-the-top action film. “AAAIIIIIIAAAAH!”

Ridahne thrashed in a sudden jerk, swinging her battered head back in an attempt to hit one of her captors in the nose, but she missed by a broad stroke. She held a surprising amount of fight in her considering the injury to her head and the obvious concussion, but she was no match for two coherent men with an already solid grip on her cuffed arms. Ridahne paused her flailing to catch her breath, rambled a good sentence or two in her own language, and then struggled again. The sound of her native tongue was almost jagged--this, her tattoos, and her accent marked her as an Outer Rimmer, though it would not be obvious where exactly she came from without some prior knowledge of her native Azurei.

The Outer Rim had always been a somewhat uncouth part of the System, mostly consisting of a few artificial space stations, asteroids, and two planets, each with at least two moons. It had long been a haven for outlaws, anarchists, organized crime, and a host of other types that did not do well in the more polished society of the Inner Ring or sought to escape it, though there were a handful of deeply-rooted peoples that had made the more easily-habitable portions of the Outer Rim their home for generations upon generations. Outer Rimmers, often called simply ‘Rimmers’ were often hardy people that did things a little differently than the majority of the System, and some could be considered antiquated or primitive by more advanced societies.

Ridahne strained to get a good look at her captors. If she was going to be captured, tortured, and killed, then she was going to go down fighting and she was certainly going to know who was doing it to her. She wanted to get a good look at their Ojih, to remember them and find a way to haunt them from the afterlife, or at least to curse them with her last breath. Doing much physically turned out to be more of an endeavor than she had planned, as her head seemed to make everything hazy and fragmented, and her body lagged like there was some disconnect between her brain and her limbs. But with considerable effort she twisted around at the right angle to catch a bloody glimpse of two men, one older, and one blonde, both dressed as if headed to work. Neither were Taja.

At first, Ridahne relaxed. It wasn’t the Taja. She would not be tortured, and probably not killed--she was certain that around these parts, you had to have a trial before they could do that, or something. But then the idea of having cuffs on her wrists sunk in. Whoever they were, they were probably officers of some sort (thus the cuffs) and they probably thought she had set all this up. And then panic set in again and she thrashed once more, this time giving a wild growl of frustration. Everything still spun.

Ridahne coughed, each hack exacerbating the throbbing, squeezing pain in her skull. “A’ae’je okoi’ij nehai! Ma tejh a’ae!” She repeated this multiple times, and when they did not comply with her foreign request, she would shout in between frustrated sighs of “Ai!” But even that was getting her nowhere. Of course. She had to be speaking the right language--no wonder they weren’t letting her go. But her mind struggled to find the translation, despite being very fluent in both languages.

“It’s not...me... Let go of...I didn’t do it! Believe me. It’s not me!” Ridahne was not begging, though. No pleading tone came from her lips, but instead a demand, like she was offended and compliance was the only way to make it right. “I didn’t...Wouldn’t….I…” Dust and stone, what she wouldn’t give for a glass of water, or even a quiet moment to gather her addled brain. Physically, Ridahne couldn’t fight anymore. She hurt everywhere, particularly her head, and the caustic air wasn’t doing her any good, either. A new pain was beginning to surface near her elbow, one that she hadn’t noticed before in all the chaos. She’d been burned somehow and was only just now realizing it. So she stumbled on where she was guided, but there was no quenching the fire in her spirit, which had the same effect as a person would have when holding a chunk of hot, yellow-white steel by a pair of long tongs.

“Where are you taking me? It’s not me! It’s not me so LET ME GO!”

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby stealthpanther on Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:29 pm

Attempting to detain and escort a struggling individual was hard enough, but doing so while simultaneously trying to scope out clues, direct emergency personnel and figure out what in the hell was going on without having a decent cup of coffee was just maddening. Ivarr looked at the woman in concern for a moment as her body grew tense. She was understandably on edge and he almost could imagine her an innocent victim in the chaos. The male shook his head to clear such thoughts, eyes once more lingering suspiciously on the box attached to her arm when she began to fuss. She was a suspicious person- and he couldn't let first impressions cloud his judgement.

Before he could reiterate to his fellow detective the need for caution, a strange dialect escaped her lips in a frantic cry of urgency.
Her foreign cries fell upon uncomprehending ears, the detective rapidly trying to search his brain for any hint as to her meaning. She needed to clean something- and it was causing her considerable distress, this Ojih of hers. What was Ojih? Face? Eyes? It was something like that if he were to guess.

Before Ivarr could further ponder the mysterious word, his suspect let out a piercing howl- causing even him to flinch at the volume and ferocity with which it was delivered. It was as if the act of cuffing her had been as traumatizing and horrific as if she were being dragged to torture and death. Over-dramatic in his personal opinion, though he didn't say as much. Somehow he managed to refrain from voicing what he wanted to say. Which, simply put, was for the young woman to stop fighting and to speak the common language. She had sounded normal when she initially spoke- using common tongue without any noticeable deficiencies. But then again, who knew with these Outer Rimmers? He fought an annoyed sigh at her foreign and indecipherable retorts, even though he was secretly curious to know what in the hell she was saying. Bracing himself, Ivarr held fast as the tattooed woman attempted a head butt and further struggling, her movements strong despite her injuries. She paused again, and while Trevor relaxed his hold, Ivarr watched her closely, wary lest she once more go berserk. The strange dialect met his ears again, this time full sentences that were no more helpful at giving him insight into her origin or her meaning.

To his pleasant surprise, as soon as the woman craned her head to glance at him and his fellow officer, she seemed to relax in their hold. For a second, Ivarr would've sworn he saw something akin to relief in her eyes, though it quickly faded. Before he could appreciate her sudden calm, she began to struggle again, angrily spouting out more of her foreign dialect. Plus, she growled at them. The detective arched a brow at his suspect, feeling a growing headache at the thought of having to deal with her for a proper investigation. He chose not to comment on her cough, though Trevor glanced at her in concern. "Miss! Try to relax. You're hurt, so please try not to struggle so much! You'll make it worse..."

"If it is uncomfortable as she flails around, sooner or later she's bound to realize why it continues to hurt or become worse." Ivarr muttered, inwardly hoping she'd tire soon. It was too damn early in the morning to be dealing with difficult suspects without coffee in his system. He was careful not to agitate her injuries, but he was no less careful of her wriggling away and potentially becoming violent. Better to be safe in situations like this.

Finally, after more of her squirming and undecipherable shouting, the young woman began to use the common tongue. And as he noticed before, it didn't sound as if it was the first time she'd ever used it.

Her proclamation of her innocence wasn't anything he hadn't heard before, though he could easily recall in his mind the times a protest was delivered in such a tone (which was to say, rarely); Insistent, demanding. He'd even go so far as to say she sounded insulted. Despite this, it was obvious her body was starting to succumb to her injuries and growing exhaustion. He could almost feel bad, but she did bring it on herself.

"Alright. If it isn't you, then surely you'll have no problem coming with me to the precinct to answer some questions." Ivarr stated, giving her a pointed look. "You know, like why you're fighting officers of the law. Why you've got that device strapped to your wrist." Starting off almost as if they were having a casual discussion, his voice grew harder as he escorted her towards his workplace. While normally one to walk, he decided a cab or a policeman would be more prudent in his circumstance. No need to have rubber- neckers, and he wanted to hurry on back to the interrogation room for a proper chat with this wild foreigner.

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:01 pm

Typical Ridahne.

She never did like listening to just any authority figure, though she found out the hard way in her childhood what happened to people like her. And somewhere in the back of her mind she could hear Hadian groaning and telling her it would just be wiser to be cooperative with these two. Hadian always was the more sensible one...

If she was perfectly honest with herself, she would admit that she was actually terrified. Her day had gone from routine to an effort of survival, and now these people were dragging her away in chains, basically, and she had very little idea what they’d do to her. It was not the first time she’d been detained by law enforcement, though she’d never really been charged with much of anything, or at least not anything important. More often than not, she would get harassed at a bar and some drunk hot-shot would pick a fight with her. Ridahne would end it. Barfighting or something similar were her only real crimes, not terrorism. Not murder of hundreds of people. For being disorderly, she might get a stern warning, maybe a small fine or a night at the police station. But this...? If they thought she did it, who knew what they’d want to do to her?

Despite her primal fear and the adrenaline and her instinct to kick and scream until she could run far away from this mess, she knew she had to calm down. Besides, her head felt awful, and she’d done some serious damage to it. She needed help. Ridahne stopped struggling and begrudgingly stumbled on under the two men’s guidance, but she was not happy about the situation and made that clear enough with her facial expression, which looked grim and gruesome underneath all the blood, both wet and dry, that streamed down from her forehead. Her black hair was glued to her face by sweat and blood, and ash collected lightly on her skin.

“A’ae yo elohai ke—“ Ridahne grimaced and took a deep breath. Wrong language. She knew they didn’t speak Azurian and she knew perfectly well how to speak Central (or at least, that’s what her people called the language spoken here, as it was common amongst other cultures in the System). Why wasn’t it coming to her as easily as it usually did? It occurred to her then that she might have hit her head very hard, hard enough for her to be concussed and to be a little foggy, and that worried her. She knew it hurt, but didn’t think until that moment that she might actually have a concussion.

Ridahne tried again. “I nearly died. And you just come and grab me and drag me away in cuffs—I don’t even know who you are. I thought you were them. You’re not them, but I dont’ have any idea what you’ll do to me and I don’t want to find out. If you were me right now, you’d be fighting law enforcement too. Fighting for you life. And it’s not mine. This thing is not mine, they set me up. I didn’t want this...” She coughed again, the smoke burning her throat and eyes. “Promise me—fucking swear—that if I go with you, you won’t hurt me. Give me some fucking water...and my...my head...Do that and I’ll tell you who did this. But it wasn’t me. And if you have any humanity, as soon as we get out of here, please clean my face. My ojih, my tattoos, they need to show. And I’ll tell you who did this, and then you’ll let me go.” That was not a request, but the terms of her cooperation.

They made it outside, back up onto the street level. She’d never been more hungry for clean air in her life, but the light felt bright in comparison to the smoke of the ruined subway tunnel. All around them were people, some still screaming and running, some crying, and some that had fallen and would never get back up. Distantly came the wail of sirens closing in, a high pitched, manufactured echo of the terrified cries of young children. Children.

Ridahne stopped walking, and though she made no further struggle, for a moment she simply refused to walk any further. Her mouth hung open as her stinging eyes took in the horror and chaos of the scene, of the grief-contorted faces and the blood and the gaping pit of rubble where once there had been a road, a sidewalk, the remains of a bus-stop. “Ai...” she breathed, struck by the magnitude of it all. Looking with now dazed eyes at the hole where the road used to be and where there used to be a subway below, Ridahne realized with grim certainty that there were still people down there. Some alive, some dead. Some dying. Whatever fire was burning in her a moment ago felt doused and cold. Ridahne had seen a lot of terrible things in her thirty two years, but not this. Nothing like this.

The ground seemed to tilt underneath her, bucking her off her feet as she slowly sank to her knees, eyes vacant. And then her head lolled forward and her eyes fluttered shut. From the blood loss, the concussion, and the pure shock and adrenaline, Ridahne was out cold.

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Blackfridayrule
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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby stealthpanther on Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:44 am

The strange language met his ears again, and the detective had half a mind to scold her or ask if she was daft. Clearly he didn't understand a damn word she was saying, so what good would talking in her native tongue do her? He thankfully didn't need to bring it up, his suspect correcting herself without any prodding.
The woman's angry retorts and excuses earned an incredulous arch of Ivarr's brow, the man finding it extremely hard to sympathize with someone with a detonator attached to their arm. Sure, it was possible to frame someone for murder- he had seen it before. But this was an obviously strong willed young woman, and she was fighting them hard enough-while she was hurt no less!. Why would she not fight against someone trying to frame her? And how could someone be so convincingly set up in broad daylight with so many witnesses? It didn't add up in his mind, and her resisting did nothing to assuage his doubt. Were she any normal person panicking as she was, he would most likely have tried to soothe them.

This one he just wanted to shut up and cooperate.

"Swearing at me is not going to earn you any favors, miss." Ivarr snapped at last, shaking his head even as Trevor looked about ready to comply with the stranger's requests. The younger officer kept quiet, looking uncertainly at his superior. Usually it worked out better in the long run to try and get suspects to let their guard down and try to make them relax. Even pretending to be on their side and making small accommodations usually went a long way. It was usually not until much later into interrogation that they became firm, and by that point they usually had enough evidence to bring out a confession. This was a more unorthodox way of dealing with a serious suspect. It was one thing to scold stupid thugs and troublesome teenagers. This was a grown woman.

"You'll tell me regardless. If you know something and don't tell me, it's obstruction of justice, you understand? So I'd mind my 'P's and 'Q's If I were you." Ivarr continued, only to find she had suddenly stopped, leaving him and Trevor trying to all but drag her along.
Now what was wrong with her? About to snap at her again in a less-than-professional manner, the blonde paused upon turning to face her. Had she not been dragging along the device on her arm, he'd have sworn he was looking at a shell shocked innocent. She put on a damn good act. Staring in stunned silence at the carnage before and below, her expression seemed genuinely stupified. It was unnerving how convincing her body language was.

"Come on, you need come with us to the station. Then, you can tell us your-"
Before he could finish, Ivarr had to drop down and catch his handcuffed suspect before she hit the ground. "Crap."

Wiping sweat from his brow, the detective lowered her to the ground carefully, muttering in annoyance under his breath. Not only were there still more people to attend to, but now his suspect was out cold, and he would not be able to talk with her until after getting treatment. Which would delay the process. Which meant more people could get hurt. If this was a one time attack, and she had the sole weapon, that was fine. But if there were any accomplices, this was highly unlikely to be the last attack. And things like this were never simple.

Finally seeing one of the medical response team heading in their direction during the rapid search for survivors, Ivarr motioned the fellow over, indicating the unconscious woman. "Here, she needs attention. Keep her secure." he instructed the paramedic, the responder in question giving a quick 'yes sir' before placing a neck brace and loading the strange woman onto a stretcher. Ivarr swiftly uncuffed her hands from behind her back, and re attached one wrist to the now raised rails of her gurney.

~~~~

Having called other officers to attend to the scene along with the first responders, Ivarr now sat in the sick bay of the emergency room beside his suspect, waiting to hear the doctor's verdict and to be ready to take her in once she was discharged. He had a member of the bomb squad inspect and remove the detonator on her wrist, the specialist in question ensuring it was safe to do so. Now it was a waiting game. The detective merely stared at her currently handcuffed right wrist- the metal restraint device keeping her attached to her bed.

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:38 am

The emergency room was a wild, chaotic place. Some people that came through on fast gurneys were screaming in pain or crying, lamenting the loss of friends, or family, or...everything. Some were completely still and silent, now unaware of their surroundings. Some never would be again. The triage began and the staff did the best they could to manage the influx of people being admitted, but still the Doctors were perceptive enough to realize that the unconscious woman cuffed to the gurney and being watched by an officer was of some priority. They'd put just a couple stitches in the head wound, checked her out for anything else, and for the most part left her and Ivarr alone. Someone had come by to check on her, and mentioned to the officer seated beside her that she had a concussion but would be coming around soon. Aside from that, they gave them privacy.

---

Ridahne was under water. The sun was shining somewhere above her and the water was comfortably cool; below her lay still ripples of pinkish orange sand piled in tiny dunes, not unlike their darker, more russet desert counterparts on land. She was checking the traps for crabs--if she got many, she would consider keeping one for herself, but generally she sold them for a decent price. The soft sway of the current was like a soothing hand caressing her body, familiar and comfortable. Free-diving down to the bottom, she found her first trap was filled with only two crabs. Not a great haul, but that was fine. Ridahne reached for the wire cage, but before her hand made contact, the scenery morphed and shifted in a way she couldn't track to a dark, ominous version of the subway station.

You'll prove useful to the Sota-Sol yet.

She could hear his voice like a magnified echo, reverberating off of the black, distorted walls of the tunnel. The snap of cold steel on her wrist. The roar of fire. The crack of breaking stone. The screams of the dying. Their ghostly hands were reaching out to her as she seemed to float through the wreckage, feeling outside of herself. Their cold, insubstantial hands grasped at her ankles, trying to drag her down with them, to make her join in their painful keening and eerie howling. And then there was one in front of her, face mauled by fire, and its hand was hard, cold, and substantial as it actually grabbed her wrist and held it still. It had no eyes anymore, and through its ruined lips passed the whispered word, Traitor.

-------


Ridahne had started making soft noises of unease, her tattooed brow folding in slightly as her breathing began to quicken. Then, all of a sudden, Ridahne's cuffed hand jerked hard against her restraint and, when her arm was successfully pinned in place, her eyes snapped open with a cry of sheer terror and Ridahne sat up, scrabbling and tearing at the handcuff like it was a piece of hot metal burning into her skin. It was only a moment before she realized the cuff was neither a bloodied hand nor the chain that bound her to the detonation device, but just a band of metal that held her pinned to a hospital bed. With a huge sigh as she tried to catch her breath, Ridahne lay back and shut her eyes to try and compose herself, but despite her best efforts to pull it together, she already had tears down her face. Not in front of him, she thought as she became aware of the detective in the room.

"I wouldn't do that," she said to him, though she spoke towards the ceiling. "I was a soldier once, but I'm not a murderer. All those people..." Another few steadying breaths and she opened her eyes again. Ridahne did a quick assessment of her physical condition, making sure she had no other injuries than her head, which strangely felt numb. Local anesthetic, she concluded as her fingers brushed over the small bandage that covered her couple stitches. She was just thankful the injury was up near her hairline and did not interfere with her ornate facial tattoos which were, blessedly, clean now.

Ridahne sat up slowly this time, reaching over with her free hand for the plastic cup of water beside her bed and downing it all in one long chug. Despite being handcuffed to a hospital bed, Ridahne had to remind herself she was safe. Removed from the shock and adrenaline of the moment, Ridahne could now reasonably assume that they wouldn't hurt her and that if she told what she knew, she'd be able to go free. It was obvious that she was still a little nervous, but it didn't take an overly perceptive person to realize that her fear was not of the detective, but of someone else.

She sighed, finally actually looking at the detective. "I know you have your presumptions, but it wasn't me. I might be a poor, shitty transient, but I'm not a criminal. Check my records. All I've got on me in this part of the System is drunk and disorderly. I'm homeless, not some political terrorist." Her lack of a living space was not something she liked to admit, but she figured all her cards needed to be on the table now. Besides, she was not a poor, destitute beggar panhandling outside of shopping centers--Ridahne did odd jobs to earn money for herself to eat, or would trade favors for a few nights of room and board. Really, she preferred the term transient, as she saw herself more as someone without any roots rather than a dirty beggar.

"You won't believe me when I tell you the truth, but I can see you're the sort that wants it anyway, so here goes. I was set up. I fell asleep on the train and got off at the wrong station. I was never supposed to be at Amethyst Station. And I see one of my people--Azurian, from the planet Theta-- and he comes up to me and he says that apparently 'I'll do just fine" and says I'll be of use to the Sota-Sol, and claps that box on my wrist. Next thing I know, everything's falling apart and you and your friend are hauling me away. And I know," she said before he could respond, "It's very convenient, isn't it? But think about it. What kind of idiot would I have to be to bring everything I own--including all my identification papers and interplanetary transit records--in that backpack," she gestured to the large hiking backpack that was now propped up against the wall, "And then, after committing a horrible crime, strap the only evidence to myself and run straight into an officer of the law, as if to wave it in your face? If I was a terrorist, why would I put myself in the way of harm? If I'd done something wrong, I'd be asking for a lawyer and choosing my words carefully. You have to admit, it just doesn't add up."

Ridahne picked up the now empty plastic cup with her left hand and held it out towards him unceremoniously. "There. That's my story, that's the truth, now get me some water, for decency's sake, and then you can ask as many questions as you want."

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby stealthpanther on Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:52 am

The detective did his best to keep out of the way of the hospital staff, knowing that people's lives depended on them, especially during a tragedy like this. As soon as he knew his suspect was stable (which, thankfully, was not a long wait to determine), he thanked the one attending to the strange woman and made himself as comfortable as he could be in a chair beside her bed. Now to wait until she regained consciousness...
-----------

It was as Ivarr debated for the fourth time whether he wanted to get up and risk coffee he could only minimally doctor to his tastes that the foreign woman finally awoke with a shrill cry. Jerking upright, the detective's eyes flew to his suspect as she flailed on her hospital bed in some sort of panic before settling down. She awoke as if from a terrible nightmare, and he had half a mind to try and soothe her. Thankfully, the impulse died quickly before he could act on it, shaking the notion away as she let out a sigh upon coming to her senses. The man said nothing as the young woman lay back down, but he noticed with some surprise that her cheeks had tear tracks along with one or two fresh drops mere centimeters from the corners of her eyes. She had cried? During her sleep only? Or was she still teary? And what on earth was she sad about? Surely everyone else had more of a right to cry than she. Even so, she was really damn convincing- she looked and acted every part an innocent victim.

Taking out a small recorder, Ivarr pressed the 'Record' button once before placing the device back into a shirt pocket, soon following up with a pen and pocket notebook to write his own observations as she talked. Soldier, huh? He wasn't surprised; she certainly showed she was capable of putting up a fight. This statement, at least, he could believe. He no sooner put his pen to the paper before she stopped her train of thought (and consequently, her sentence).

Despite her pause, he didn't interrupt, knowing from experience that to do so risked losing the opportunity he was being given. 'If someone wants to talk, let them talk. You never know what pearls of knowledge they may inadvertently hand over.' he recalled, his mentor's voice playing as if on cue in his mind. How he missed that bastard. It took a sharp inner reprimand to regain focus as the woman resumed her explanation.

Dark blonde brows arched again as she deemed to tell him what he wanted and believed. She was correct in her assumptions, of course, but who the hell was she to say what he thought? He almost said as much, but instead found himself puzzling over what looked like anxiety in her eyes. He had seen the eyes of many a criminal facing the fear and possibility of getting caught, but this somehow seemed different. But again, assumptions and jumping to conclusions were dangerous things to do in his line of work. For the guilty and the innocent alike.
His pen scribbled across the page as she talked, and somehow it was legible (at least to him) despite his eyes almost never glancing down at the notepad in his hand. Her words and his accompanying descriptions of her body language would eventually form a clear picture to replay in his mind when he reviewed the case later. He was careful not to convey too much in his facial expressions as she talked, and he was particularly careful to remain neutral in regards to her housing situation (or lack thereof).

The more she spoke, the more questions he ended up having. Ivarr frowned, inwardly admitting she did make some good points. It would be reckless- foolish, even- to connect oneself with a detonator. No sane criminal would keep valuable and identifying documents on hand. However, her version of events had about the same amount of validity and plausibility as the alternative. When she finished speaking, Ivarr stood, snatching the now empty plastic cup from the Azurian (a race he wasn't particularly familiar with, though he had of course seen and heard of them). He regarded her with one slightly arched brow, trying to recall in his mind where the water cooler was located.

"You're right. It doesn't add up..." Ivarr began, shaking his head slightly even as the corner of his lips began to form a humorless smile. "A clearly experienced former soldier being framed in broad daylight at the hub of public transportation? No one sees you struggle? I highly doubt you'd let yourself be handcuffed without some form of resistance. Sure, I'll admit anything is possible, but that's a bit of a stretch, wouldn't you say?" Taking a single step closer to her bed, the detective maintained a safe distance between her loosely restrained body and himself, stopping half a foot away. "However, there have been criminals throughout history who have placed themselves directly into investigations to dispel suspicion, or even because their arrogance leads them to play at some game that boosts their ego- thinking they're oh so clever."

Holding up another finger as he ticked off his counter arguments, Ivarr tried to gauge her reaction to each of his movements and statements. "While it may not exactly be easy, it is still not rocket science to forge documentation. And third, if someone framed you as you said- they sounded awful specific. If you were never meant to get off at Amethyst station, how could they have had such a perfect scapegoat at just the right time? Pretty convenient. Also, not every criminal asks for a lawyer straight up. That behavior also generally makes us more interested in what you have to say. And finally-" Ivarr's false smile was gone now, a look of anger and disapproval replacing it. "Even the most exemplary of individuals can turn up being the most heinous of criminals. If anything, criminals with clean histories are the best hidden and most dangerous."

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Re: Amethyst Station (closed)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Blackfridayrule on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:23 pm

The large cat looked rather pleased with itself as it had the unhappy child pinned underneath her, and kept looking back to her human as if for approval. Look, I got her. See?
"MITAJA!" Ridahne was furious, but her small frame was no match for the 120 lb aedicar cat, who held her firmly to the ground in a prison of warm, soft fur and some...not so soft claws. "Off! Get off! A'tenii!"
Ridahne's mother, a mid-sized hardy woman with hair like pale shells, golden and reflective, stood with her hands on her hips, chuckling to herself. She might not be Azurei herself, but she sure knew how to deal with one. "She won't unless I tell her to. That's how she hunts, you know. If you keep struggling like that, she might bite you."
"Je! Mitaja would never bite me!" The young Ridahne protested, hair sticking to her lips despite her futile attempts to brush it away without the use of her hands.
"Alright, maybe not. But she still does listen to me and you know it. Look. I mean it, look at me." She squatted down to stroke Mitaja's head, earning a rumbling purr in return. "I know you're upset. And I know he was being nasty, but you can't just fly off the handle every time someone makes you mad. That's how you get into trouble."
"But the things he said!" she protested again. "About you! He--"
"Just wants to piss you off."
"Well it WORKED." The young girl scowled deeply, giving a frustrated huff.
"And that's fine. But you can't go back out there and punch out his teeth just for saying things about me that made you mad. You don't see me going out there and punching out his teeth, do you?"
"...no..."
"Right. You have to learn control, Ridahne. There are times when you have to defend yourself, and you let all that anger come out and work for you, but sometimes you have to put it away. Sometimes it's better not to stoke the fire..."


--

If her mother was still alive, she would have given Ridahne a smug 'I told you so' look as she thought about this moment, even as she was cuffed to the hospital bed. She hated to admit it, but her mother made a good point that day. She had every inclination to exercise her full colorful vocabulary upon this man--after all, she had given him the truth. And it wasn't the truth he wanted, so it made her efforts futile. But she knew at a time like this, she needed to remain calm. Reasonable, even, if not amicable. That was the only way he was going to listen, if he would at all.

She gave him a nonplussed stare, practically calling him an idiot with just her amber gaze. After a while of this, she gave a mirthless laugh--the kind one gives when their bad day gets markably worse--and shook her head. "Seems like I can't win, can I? You seem bound and determined to have me...perse....pros...prosecuted...that's the word, yes? You want answers, I understand. I would too. But the more time you waste doubting me, the less time you'll have to catch up to them."

Ridahne let that sink in a minute before she continued, though not without chugging about half the cup of water first. "Here's what happened. I'll tell you again, and maybe this time you'll listen. I ran into these guys after getting off the train. They were all...conspiring with each other like they were on duty--I mean, I guess they were. Their plan was already in motion, but then they saw me, and thought, grand, this bitch will be the sprinkles on top of the cake. They were already going to frame someone, but then they saw me. And they...how do I explain this...? They knew things about me, they can read this," she pointed to the intricate tattoos on her face. "It is who I am, and they can see it. We had a tense standoff. I was a little too concerned with not getting killed to notice that one of them swept up and just popped that thing on my wrist. And then it was too late, and my instincts turned to running, not fighting. Part of being a soldier is knowing when to run."

She drained the rest of her cup and held it out to him again unceremoniously. "But there's another flaw in your theory. Sure, fake papers can be gotten, but you have to have money. What dirty vagrant do you know who has money? You think I'd still be wearing these shoes if I had money? And yes, I can prove I'm a transient. Track down the cargo ship captain Kovira Lee. Her ship is licensed here in Epsilon, and she does imports and exports. I stowed away in her vessel and she caught me. You can ask her yourself. The ship's name was...ai...The Stardust? Also, do you think I'm the sort that would stroke my ego by putting myself in danger?" She gave an unhappy laugh again. "Does it look like I'm having fun to you? Yeah," she snorted. "Just a day at the beach."

Experimentally, she felt her bandages again and gently prodded the three stitches; the anesthesia was just beginning to wear off and she would be sore soon. "Plus, you're making a lot of assumptions here. The truth is, you don't know anything about Azurei or Azurei culture. So I'll forgive you for not knowing that I can't be one of them. I am a woman, there are no female Taja. And even if they were going to be working with a non-Taja, I swear to the dust that they wouldn't deal with the likes of me. I'm not exactly what you call...popular at home. They'd rather see me dead. But since we haven't been at war, they are not required to kill me. Except now they committed an act of war, which, by our laws, means they are obligated to kill every traitor in sight. SO," she huffed, growing frustrated now, her calm control slipping. "If for some reason they find out you brought me here, they'll assume I'm gonna spill secrets and so they will literally come and kill me if they find me. And here you have me chained down like some kind of ANIMAL, when there are people out there who want me DEAD. SO, tell me more about how I'm the one at fault. I'm listening, asshole."

Okay. So maybe that wasn't so reasonable. But truth be told, Ridahne was terrified. She did fear being discovered or tracked down by the Taja. Even if they weren't coming for her, if she even ran into them again they would be honor bound to see her dead. This man in front of her with his handcuffs and confidence did not scare her, not like they did. Not to mention, she still hadn't been given the chance to emotionally process what happened and what she saw. Experienced. Felt. Survived. The detective was the least of her worries.

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