|Back to the Roots
Author: Maddiel PM
Follow up to Show must go on. Stan and Xev already got used to their new companion and Plant Kai seems to be a part of the family now. But what will he do when his original family 'calls him back' and he starts to recall who and what he used to be?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 6 - Words: 14,879 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 11-23-07 - Published: 10-01-05 - id: 2601668
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Most of the concepts and characters in this fic are not my own, of course. Alliance Atlantis owns the rights, blah blah blah - usual stuff.
What you can expect if you decide to read further: Lots of plant stuff. Plant Kai will hear the "call" of his family - and he will have to decide where he belongs. In other words - he's gonna cause a lot of trouble.
„All day I cried, all night I moaned, cause my man Stan left me alone. Without a word he walked away, despite my pleads for him to stay. Oh pain of pains, oh heart of stone!
Heart-broken in my loneliness, I... I... Sorry, honey-cakes. I can't think of any good rhyme here... Should I start again?"
However unusual it was for 790 to be unable to find a rhyme, Stanley couldn't be any happier about it. This was tenth or eleventh strophe and he was already getting really annoyed.
„Have a break, 790. Just shut up for a while," he said.
Stanley had woken up about an hour before or so and couldn't fall asleep. Unlike Xev, who was now lying in her bed, sleeping like a baby. Stan felt alone and needed some company. That was the only reason why he had come to the bridge and joined 790 for a while, but he started to regret it soon.
The silence didn't last long. 790 apparently didn't feel like having a break. He went back to the first strophe and started to recite the whole thing from the beginning. Stanley had no patience for this. He stood up and „without a word he walked away".
He didn't go back to his bed though. He wasn't sleepy. He decided to roam about for a while. Maybe that would help him to get tired enough to be able to fall asleep.
After some time spent by aimless wandering through the corridors he got quite far from the bridge and entered a small cavity that seemed strangely unfamiliar. He had never been there before. For a while he pondered how he was actually able to tell, since all these chambers and cavities looked alike. It seemed that living onboard of a giant insect ship helped one to improve his sense of orientation. Just when he decided there was nothing of interest here and was about to leave, he heard a rustle and then a soft ‚thud' behind his back. He turned around and saw Kai standing there and looking somewhat confused.
„Uh... Kai? Why are you awake?" He asked worriedly.
Kai looked at him and smiled nervously. „Hello, captain Stan."
„Just don't tell me you're hungry – it's been only a week since you ate three people."
Kai was silent for a while and then he shook his head. „No. I am not hungry now... Not yet."
„So what's wrong?" Stan asked.
„I think... I think I just had a bad dream." Kai replied. „I don't feel good."
„Since when do the likes of you have nightmares?"
„I don't know, captain Stan. But I know what dreams usually look like – or feel like. This felt a lot like a dream. And it felt very unpleasant."
Stan observed Kai for a while. The plant guy seemed quite baffled and distracted by the experience.
The uncomfortable silence lasted for a while and seemed to grow deeper and even more uncomfortable every second, until Stan finally got fed up with it. „So... What was the dream about, Kai?" He asked. „If you don't mind telling me..."
Kai tilted his head and tried to focus his mind... „It's a blur..." He replied. „But I can recall that there were others like me. I remember large cavities, long tunnels. Voices... Lots and lots of voices that were in fact one voice and the voice was my own. And it called me and then it cursed me... As if something tried to possess me. It is hard to explain. But it was scary."
Stan gasped. „Others like you? Cavities and tunnels? Kai – can you remember anything else? This might be important." He wasn't sure that he wanted to hear more. He had a bad feeling about this. But he had to ask.
Kai shrouded his shoulders and gave Stan an apologetical look. „As I said. It's a blur. But it all felt somehow – familiar."
„Oh boy... I guess we should go get Xev."
„I'd rather not." Kai said. „She's having a pleasant dream. So why disturb her?"
„Because what you just told me is bad news and she should know!"
„It can wait. I suggest you get some sleep too." Kai replied in a tone that discouraged Stan from any further debate on that topic. „Thank you for listening, captain Stan. I appreciate your concern. Good night." He raised his arms and dissapeared inside his pod.
„Good night..." Stan said and left. Well – Kai was right. This could probably wait. And he was getting a bit sleepy. It was time to go to the bed.
Stanley didn't sleep well. In fact, he didn't feel rested at all, when he woke up the next day. He met Xev on his way to the bridge and immediately told her the news. Xev, of course, got a bit worried. „So... You think that he was actually dreaming about..."
„About his brothers and sisters, about giant asteroid ship, yes, I think that's what he was dreaming about."
Xev tried to be optimistic. „Well – it might be just some harmless flashback, a memory. That doesn't have to mean anything. Maybe he's a survivor from the asteroid that attacked Earth, but..."
„But what. If he is, I'm not sure I want him to remember, Xev. And what makes you think that the asteroid ship we encountered was the only one? I say that nothing good will come out of this."
„Maybe nothing at all will come out of this, Stan." Xev replied, but she wasn't sure who it was she tried to comfort – whether Stan or herself.
Stanley replied, with a sigh: „I hope this is going to be the case, Xev. I really hope so. Because if not..."
He didn't finish the sentence. Even if he was able to imagine all the possible consequences, he didn't really want to. He felt bad enough already.
When they came to the bridge, Kai was already there and waiting. „Hello," he said, trying to sound cheerful; but there was something quite not OK with his tone. Some dark undercurrent he tried to supress. „There seems to be something not alright with the inedible psycho-head. It appears to be unable to think of a fitting insult. Quite unusual. It's been like this for a while now." He pointed at 790, whose eye- and mouth-screens were blinking chaotically and who was uttering inarticulate sounds and making all sorts of weird noises, as if malfunctioning.
„Did you...hurt him, Kai?" Xev asked.
„Huge thanks if you did." Stanley mumbled.
At the sound of Stan's voice 790's screens snapped back to normal. „I already missed you, most gorgeous of men! Have you come to save me from the weedo?"
Kai grinned. „It seems to be perfectly OK again. And no – I didn't hurt it. I wouldn't touch it to smash it."
„I wouldn't touch you to smash you, either, you hunger-driven semi-intelligent stalker." 790 growled. „A can of herbicide would do."
790 went on growling and indicating on his eye-screens various possible ways of destroying Kai (some of them quite imaginative), but the others ignored him completely. There were more pressing issues to deal with.
Xev sat down on the floor, next to Kai, and gently touched his arm. She noticed him jerk a bit. „Stan told me about your dreams. Did you have more dreams, Kai? Is that why you're awake again?"
Kai nodded. Then he looked at Stan. „Yes. I had more dreams. And they got clearer and more intense after you left." His face-expression suddenly changed dramatically. He looked distressed. „I don't want to sleep anymore. I don't want to dream anymore. Those dreams are tearing me apart. Even now."
„I hope he means that literally..." 790 hissed.
Kai seemed so confused and almost scared, that even Stan was moved by that. „You're OK, Kai?" He asked. „What do you mean when you say they tear you apart?"
Kai grew even more nervous at that moment. He actually seemed to be in some kind of pain. „Great pressure in my head..." He said. „Two voices. Two minds. Both my own." His voice and tone was getting more manic and psychotic with every word he uttered. „Arguing, quarreling, screaming at each other!"
It hurt Xev so much to see him in such state. She attempted to hug him, but he pushed her away. „Don't touch me."
Stan stepped away from him instictively. „But you said you weren't hungry..."
Kai calmed down. „The alien voice... The other me... Always hungry." It was almost a whisper, but the sound of it was very disquieting.
Stanley took one more step back and found himself leaning against the command pedestal. He was quite amazed that Xev had the guts to remain on the spot. Damn – even the plant man himself seemed somewhat frightened.
Xev in fact was more than tempted to get away from Kai, but she felt so sorry for him. She took his hand. He jerked again, but otherwise did not protest. He really seemed much calmer now. „Kai? What did you see in those dreams that came after Stanley left you?" She asked. „You have to tell us. It might be important."
For a moment he did not reply. He seemed rather unwilling to talk about it.
„Kai, please... Tell me!"
If she had an idea what was going on inside Kai's mind, she probably wouldn't insist on getting an answer. He really didn't want to talk about it or think about it. When he did so, it got stronger. He didn't want that. Because he already realized what was probably going on. And the faint trace of humanity inside him made him fear it and despise it. But Xev kept on demanding the answer to her question.
„Come to think of it, Xev... Maybe it wasn't just an ordinary dream." He finally replied.
„Damn! I knew it..." Stan hissed.
„But what wasn't just a dream?" Xev asked.
Kai's eyes suddenly started to burn with hunger and excitement. „Stars, planets... Whole solar systems! Screams and squeals... Aeons among the stars... Across the galaxies... Always on the hunt!"
„That's it!" 790 screamed. „Kill it! Kill it right on the spot!"
„I don't want to hurt you..." Kai said, when he saw the frightened looks in Stan's and Xev's eyes. But it didn't sound as convincing as it should. Now even Xev stood up and stepped away from him.
„Don't believe him! He's a blood-thirsty monster!" Yelled 790. „And now he went totally nuts! Slay that thing!"
„790! SHUT THE HELL UP!" Stan shouted at him. Then he turned to Kai. „Look... Err – don't wanna seem paranoid or something. But the chatter-box has a point."
„Do you have any idea what this could mean?" Xev asked worriedly.
Kai calmed down again and closed his eyes, trying to focus his mind. „I'm not sure. But there is a source of all those weird thoughts that plague my mind." He raised his arm to indicate a direction. „There. We're getting closer to it every minute."
„Maybe Junior should scan the area." Xev suggested.
Stan shook his head. „No way, Xev. Out of question. I think it's quite clear what's going on. Junior won't be scanning anything - he will turn around and change course immediately." He climbed up on the command pedestal. When he noticed Xev's reproachful look, he almost shouted. „Oh, c'mon, Xev! Have you totally lost your common sense? No need for research, since we both know what it probably is! And look what it's doing to him! If you're willing to risk your skin, I'm not! Junior?"
„We should at least make sure, Stan. Just take a look, we don't have to go there." Xev said. Kai was silent and didn't even seem to listen. If Stan or Xev paid more attention to him at the moment, they could have noticed the deepening shadow in his eyes, but they were too busy arguing.
„Make sure? Why? If you really lost all sense of self-preservation, you might at least look at him and realize that turning away from that direction and hitting the road is as good for him as it is for us!"
„Don't waste your precious time, raisin-cakes," said 790 looking at Xev and Kai with disdain. „The space-slut has no brain to talk sense into and the weedo..."
„I told you to shut up, 790, so shut up and remain quiet for half an hour at least!" Stanley was getting really frustrated.
At that moment, Junior interrupted their argument. „Stan? I received a signal coming from a solar system not very far from us."
„What is it..." Stan asked automatically.
A very tired-looking man appeared on the monitor. „Hello, strangers... I'm sending this distress call in case some intelligent space traveller would receive it. Though I'm afraid you won't be of any use to us unless you got some real powerful weapon of mass-destruction. To hell with it..." The man sighed and laughed. „It is probably already too late, anyway. Y'see, folks – our planet is under attack. Not so long ago, our astronomers spotted this large asteroid coming. And while we tried to figure out how to prepare for our inevitable end, the asteroid started to act quite suspiciously. It was slowing down as it was getting nearer. And..." The man paused for a while as if listening to something. „Ah. Ok. I'm imagining things. That asteroid – it is in fact a ship it seems. Aliens keep coming out of it. Looks like food is all they're interested in, but the trouble is, they are a bunch of fucking man-eaters. They seem almost invincible. They are almost everywhere. And more are coming... And what is worse... It also seems that the dead come back to haunt us. It's like an apocalypse. No, wait..." He chuckled nervously. „It IS a fucking apocalypse. I'm doing some research. Looks like they did not vist us for the first time. Nevermind. Thanks for listening. Bye bye. Have a nice day..."
The monitor went back to normal.
„That's it," Stan said. „Let's get away from it. The further from it we get, the better."
Xev nodded. The mention of asteroid ships made her feel sick and caused her heart almost to break. She had coped with the recent loss to a certain extent. In the end, you just have to keep going and let time heal the wounds. But her wounds were still a bit too fresh. And this felt as if someone ripped them fresh open and poured salt into them. „You were right, Stan. Let's get away from it. Some questions should be left unanswered." As she was about to say something like „Is that OK with you, Kai", she noticed the dramatical change in him. As she looked at him, he sprang to his feet and approached Stan. „I suggest you follow that signal and go to that planet from which it came." He said authoritatively.
„But why, Kai?" Stan yelled. „It's..."
Before he was able to finish with „madness", Kai raised his arm.
„Oh no, not again..." Stan shielded his throat with his hands. „Don't..."
„I won't." Kai replied. „If you do as I say."
„Sorry, captain Stan. It's stronger than me. I must follow the call."
Stan bowed his head and sighed. „OK, Junior... Head for that planet from which the distress call came. Immediately."
„As you command, Stan."
Xev tried to protest: „Kai, this is a bad idea..."
He did not say anything and simply walked away. Stan stepped down from the command pedestal. „Xev... I need a big big hug."