Emblems Saga: Call of the Emblems
The Katti's Chosen
"Where do you begin a story? To say a story has a beginning is to say it has an ending. This is a lie, because no story truly ends…"
A man stood over her. She couldn't see him clearly, only his silhouette and the fiery orbs of his eyes. Behind him lay the smoldering ruins of a once great city, creatures of some kind running amok over the rubble. The man didn't move. Instead he stared at her with those eyes of fire, like he was focusing a laser on her soul. No matter how hard she tried, she could not look away. A pain grew in her head until she cried out. This only made the man grin, revealing dazzling white teeth.
"You'll be handing that over to me now, I think," the man said, his voice sickeningly sweet. She knew that she didn't want to, that if this man got what she had, the universe would end. She'd die. But she couldn't stop herself from walking forward. "That's right. Soon, it'll be all over. Just hand it over to me."
She stretched her hand out, palm up, holding out a medallion of some sort that was covered in blue flames. This fire emblem wasn't burning her skin, instead it felt cool, like water running down a stream. Her arm and body trembled as she held the flaming emblem out toward the man. She stop shaking, not matter how much she tried. Just like she couldn't stop staring into the man's flaming eyes.
Just as the man reached out to grab the flaming medallion, a piercing screech penetrated the fear that had fogged her mind. The man grinned at her again, seemingly leering at her despite how he was currently dissolving into blackness. And then all that was left in her mind was the screeching.
Like reacting to boiling water being thrown onto her, she leaped out of her bed, stumbled over the reading chair sitting next to it, and fell ungracefully to the floor. A sharp pain blossomed in her shoulder from the impact causing her to hiss through her teeth. She twisted her face as she pushed herself back to her feet and smashed her fist into the off button on her alarm. The screeching noise fell silent and the ambient lighting from above the ceiling panel flickered to life, illuminating her room in a soft white glow that was just bright enough for her eyes to see in without blinding her.
"Ouch," she said as she felt around her pained shoulder. "Damn it! Why am I always hurting myself? And what's with that dream again?"
A panel on the wall with a small monitor embedded into it crackled for a moment. "Master Lyndis," it said, "I'm sorry to wake you from your slumber at such a time, but there has been an anomaly that you programmed me to wake you for."
"What's wrong, Bee?" she asked, trying to keep the stress from hurting herself and the annoyance of being woken out of her voice.
"An anomaly has been detected. Please come to the bridge, Master Lyndis."
"Ugh," she groaned. "Stupid AI. I knew that junk dealer in Bulgar was ripping me off."
"Master Lyndis. There is an-"
"Yeah, yeah, hold your horses," Lyn grumbled, not bothering to keep her annoyance from creeping into her voice. "You know, nothing's happened for the last ten years. Why is it as soon as I get a software upgrade I'm suddenly getting so many more problems?"
"What is it now?" she asked. She was already in the corridor leading from her quarters to the bridge. The path was well worn on the floor making any carpet not warn away a rarity. The walls were dingy, covered in a layer of dark dirt. She'd been meaning to clean it off, but never seemed to find the time. The ceiling was in no better condition, what with the lights half blown and enough dust to scare away any possible spiders.
She punched the door activation with a quick jab and strode onto the bridge. There were six stations, all of them empty. The seats for three of the stations were clearly in need of new cushions and the rest were in worse shape. She moved to the center of the bridge and slumped into the large and mostly uncomfortable captain's chair.
"Initial passive scans have detected minimal heat emissions from the anomaly. Shall a hail be sent?"
"Put it on the main viewer first."
The screen at the front of the room flickered once, and then an explosion of sparks erupted from the behind the screen. She jumped from her seat with a shout. She had been halfway back to sleep but now her heart was racing as she watched the fire suppression systems kick in and spray the flaming monitor with a hyper condensed stream of nitrogen. The sudden drop in temperature that accompanied the hyper rapid expansion of the nitrogen immediately reduced the temperature of the fire until it went out.
"Fire extinguished. Main viewer offline. Notifying the repair personnel."
"Ugh!" she moaned, pushing her face into her hands. "Great… Just wonderful."
"Master Lyndis. Further scans of the anomaly have confirmed it to be an observer class shuttle craft. No response from foreign ship computer or pilot. It appears to be inactive."
"At least the sensors are still working," she mumbled to herself. "Probably only a matter of time until they break too. Father, Mother, I know you said I could do this, but even Nandor couldn't keep a bucket of bolts like this together for much longer. I can barely feed myself, clothe myself, and keep a ship together. Some Sacean I turned out to be."
"Oh don't you try and cheer me up."
"A life sign has been detected within the Observer Class shuttle."
"Not like a stupid AI like you could have emotions anywa- Did you just say there was someone inside the shuttle?"
"Affirmative. And for the record, I'm not stupid."
A spark of something came to life within her when she heard what Bee said. Whether it was fear or excitement, she wasn't sure, but it was coursing through her veins like liquid fire. It made her heart pump faster her breathing pick up.
She quickly turned and left the bridge. As she walked down the corridor she picked up speed until she was nearly running. She slid to a stop next to a hatch built into the wall with the words "Port Side Dock" written in faded paint above it.
"Bee," she said, "bring the ship along side the shuttle and dock with it."
"The shuttle computer is not responding to friendly communication. Now switching to aggressive communication. … … … Connection established. Bringing shuttle online."
She moved to the side of the hatch and pushed several keys on a similar looking console to the one in her room. The screen flickered for a moment before showing a small arrow shaped craft slowly coming about and heading toward the camera. She pushed some more keys and the image switched to another camera, one with a wider angle and a good view of the docking port.
"Warning, shuttle power dangerously low. Damage to ventricle engine node causing power loss. Life support failure imminent."
"What?" She looked down and crossed her arms as her mind went into overdrive. "Those old shuttles are pretty sturdy. It would take something pretty strong to rupture an engine node… It's a wonder it hasn't exploded yet. How is anyone even alive in there at all? No, that's not important right now. I've got to get them out of there before they die. Computer, deactivate all systems on the shuttle and let inertia propel it forward. When the craft is close enough, spin it around using thrusters and use the docking clamps to make sure it doesn't bounce off our hull."
"Those orders are not within safety parameters. Safety restrictions released. Executing orders."
"Bee, do you have to mention every time I order you to do something dangerous that it's against your safety programming?"
"Safety parameters are part of my core programming. It would be impossible to circumvent them."
She fell silent as she went back to watching the screen. The black and white image flickered every now and then but it was clearly showing the slowly approaching shuttle. As it got closer, she could see why it was so close to death. The hull of the shuttle was covered in the distinctive pock marks of hyper laser fire and what looked like the score marks of a Vibro-Sword. Whatever the pilot had gotten into, it must have been some pretty heavy duty stuff.
Seconds before the shuttle was about to slam into the side of her ship where magnetic docking clams waited to catch it, a stray fear entered her mind. What if the being on board was a rabid dog or bad person? What if it were a serial killer or convict who barely escaped from a prison ship?
The loud thump of the shuttle smashing into hers and the sudden clunk of the docking clamps brought her out of her fear induced reverie. Swallowing loudly, she apprehensively watched the five lights on the door that indicated air seal quality until all of them went green, indicating a perfect seal.
With a loud hiss, the pneumatic hatch lock released and the round metal door swung inwards. On the other side was a small tube that stretched for about fifteen feet from the edge of her ship's inner hull to the outer hull. There another hatch waited, with five green lights lit, but was to remain sealed until she opened it herself.
"Master Lyndis. Time to complete power loss in the shuttle is calculated to be 2 minutes."
"What if it's a criminal or a pirate or something?"
"One minute and fifty seconds."
"Great… I have to decide whether to save this person or to let them die. Mother, Father, what would you do?" She clutched her hands together as she stared down the tube at the outer hatch.
"One minute and thirty seconds. Life support failing."
"Oh… Damn it! I have to save them! Bee, open the hatch!" She sprinted into the tube, her worries seemingly forgotten behind her. The hatch opened and she dashed into the small compartment of the shuttle. The air was musty and stale, but there was a distinct odor floating in the air that she wasn't quite familiar with.
"Sixty seconds," echoed the electronic voice of Bee down the tube.
"Damn… I have to find them quick," she said, panic induced adrenalin flooding her system. She looked left, scanning that side of the small cabin and studied the dead computer console over there. No, nothing living on that side. So she turned right and studied that side. Nope, just more lifeless computer consoles.
She moved to the front of the compartment and looked in the pilot's seat and found what she was looking for. Slumped in the seat was a man, dressed in fine clothing, with a breathing mask over his face. The long tube extending from the breathing mask plugged into the console in the front of the ship, which was also dead. Clearly, no air was getting to him and the seal on his nose and mouth was air tight.
The voice of Bee sent her hand rocketing forward to pull the mask off the man's face. It released with a small hiss, indicating the loss of suction and the last of the air escaping from the now depleted life support system. Fortunately for the man, the cabin of the shuttle was quickly filling with oxygen rich air from her ship and he unconsciously showed this by suddenly gasping for a deep breath
"All power in the shuttle has been spent, connection to shuttle computer lost."
"Bee, I think the man here is alive, but he looks in bad shape and he's unconscious. I'm going to put him into the crew quarters until he wakes up. While we wait, I want you to scan this shuttle to see if there are any parts that can be salvaged or repaired to get it back into working order. What's wrong with this ship?"
"Affirmative, Master Lyndis. Shall I activate the repair droids to assist in the scan?"
"Yeah, might as well," she said. "Not like I ever need them otherwise… I was definitely screwed when the junk dealer said I'd need them." She pushed her hand underneath the man and tried to lift him, but no matter how much she grunted, groaned and strained to lift him, he wouldn't rise more than a couple of inches off the seat. "Holy Nondor! How much does this guy weigh?"
"My scans indicate he weighs approximately 255 pounds or 115.67 kilograms."
"That was a rhetorical question, Bee. You didn't need to answer that."
"It is in my core programming protocols to answer all questions asked. Circumventing these protocols is impossible."
"Yeah, yeah," she said, grunting as she tried to pull the guy up again. "I've been neglecting my strength training too much… Ugh. Bee, lower the artificial gravity to 25 percent." The strain on her muscles suddenly lessened so drastically that she nearly tossed the unconscious man into the ceiling of the shuttle. Once she had a grip on him in her arms, she turned and slowly made her way out of the shuttle.
Progress was slow as she moved out of the tube and into the corridor. She turned and went back toward the bridge, taking long steps and light using little push to move forward. Too strong a step and she'd jump into the ceiling and smash her head. But she eventually made it to the crew quarters, a room just down the corridor from her own. Once inside, she put the man down on one of the beds and pull the covers up over him.
"Okay, Bee, put the gravity back to normal." Immediately, the flighty almost weightlessness went back to the normal pull of 1 G. She shivered slightly from the sensation and looked at the man lying in the bed. There were other beds in the room, enough to house fourteen people, but since there wasn't anyone to sleep in them, they were all kept in tip top shape, sheets made and ready to be used.
"Master Lyndis, it has been determined that the shuttle is repairable and can be scrapped for parts if need be. What are your orders?"
"For now…" She turned away from the man and headed toward the door, not wanting to look at him anymore nor have the thoughts that doing so inspired. He was the first person she'd interacted with on her ship, her home, in ten years. Sure, she'd had dealings on the different planets in the region, but those trips didn't happen often. And she still couldn't be sure he'd be a good person. Better to play it safe for now.
She walked out of the door and turned to the control panel. After typing in some commands, the door slid shut and beeped twice. Then a dull thud reverberated through the metal walls of the corridor indicating that the heavy duty locks had engaged, sliding thick metal bars into the door's internal supports.
"For now, monitor the stranger's vital signs and notify me when he's woken up. I'm going to repair the bridge monitor and I want you to continue to repair the shuttle and keep an eye out. Move the ship out of this area of space, just in case whatever did that to his ship comes back looking to make sure they finished the job."
"Affirmative, Master Lyndis."
A/N: First off, I'd like to say I don't own any of the copyrighted property referenced and used in this fic. Those properties that I have not come up with belong to their respective owners.
Second, this is a belated birthday present for Regina Ricae Mortis (now called Lady Starwing). Thank you great whole planet sized bunches for being so patient.
Third, I've never seen anyone take Fire Emblem in quite this direction, let alone twist it with other game continuities. This is an experiment then, to see if it's possible. If anyone should know of a fic done in this vein, please let me know.
Next Chapter: A strange man found unconscious. A lone girl living in the depths of space. What twist of fate is in store for this meeting?
Constructive criticism and other comments are appreciated. Thank you for reading.