Wow. It's been a while... I've been working hard on the rewrites of my 'Seer' series, and finally, the first chapter is ready! Thanks to everyone who reviewed/favorited/alerted the originals, and much thanks to Vince and Lynx for checking things over for me. I'll be posting a chapter a week, to give people time to let me know what they think, instead of one huge dump, so please review, and enjoy the fic!
A Pitch Black Alternate Universe
I woke up to find a half-packed duffel on the bed in front of me and a package of emergency rations in my hand.
"Not again." Tossing the food onto the rumpled covers, I rubbed at my temples. At least it explained the antsy feeling I'd been having for the last few weeks. Even the Sergeants who ran the local dojo had commented on it. I dumped the bag to examine the contents, and then sat on the floor with a miserable sigh.
It was all desert survival gear, and for multiple people. Still, the nagging sensation that I didn't actually have everything that would be needed prodded me into action. First order of business was to call my boss.
A pillowcase-creased, half-asleep face appeared on my comm screen, yawning. "'Sup, 'Leen?" With a scowl, I stomped on my usual response to that particular shortening of my name. "You been letting birds into your place?" Startled by the question, I ran a hand through my short, dark blonde locks and encountered several knots.
"You don't look much better." Jamie responded to my retort by pointing toward the corner of the screen and the time stamp there. Six thirty in the morning. No wonder I felt like shit. I pinched the bridge of my nose. "Just had an extremely strong one. I was putting together an emergency kit for several people."
"Damn." He knew about my hunches and the rare occasions when I did something in my sleep and woke up partway through. He wasn't just my boss, but also my best friend and the closest thing to family that I had left. The redhead knew all my secrets. "We can spare you at the office for a while. As long as you keep cracking open gems like the Carver case, even Mr. Trent won't care."
I smiled a bit, remembering. Our client, the defendant, had faced charges for the torture and murder of her husband and daughter; it took three months for me to get my hands on the police's crime scene evidence and footage. In the end, Mrs. Carver had walked, and the neighbor who had accused her was convicted.
Shaking myself back into the present, I looked steadily at the lead lawyer for the Icarus branch office. "It feels like the shit's gonna hit the fan. God only knows how long I'll be away."
"Lives in the balance?" I nodded solemnly at my pseudo-brother's guess. "Then you have to go. I'll cover for you, you know that. But I want to hear from you whenever you get the chance."
"Of course." As if I'd leave him in the dark on purpose. "I think I have enough time to get properly outfitted, though." Then I smirked. "Don't miss me too much, Cartwright."
"Every damned minute, Bergenhaus." The familiar exchange lightened his countenance. "If you get any more information on where you're going, let me know." With a nod, I cut the data connection and headed for the single bathroom in my small apartment.
Once the hot water had pounded the tension out of my muscles, I dried off and sat on my bed, legs folded in the lotus position. The pen and pad of paper in front of me would permit my subconscious to convey what I needed to take, and hopefully how long I had to get it all together. It was a risky process, though; if I sank too deeply into the meditative state, I'd have to fight to regain conscious control of my body.
I 'zoned out,' as Sergeant Callahan had once called it, for two hours, and then spent another hour examining the packing list. What I read twisted my back into knots again and made my gut roil. Terror ran through me, an eerie echo of what I'd seen in my sleep but couldn't remember.
Much of the list I could get easily, but I'd need the help of my martial arts instructors for a few things. Drift and Callahan had been in the Company for several years and taught SpecOps soldiers before quitting and setting up their dojo on Icarus Station. They stayed in touch with their former comrades, though, and could get a surprising variety of military-grade equipment. The rifle they kept for me in the private salon's safe was just one example.
The assortment of blades I needed to get out of my arsenal locker there didn't bother me. The medical kit did. The idea that I might have to deal with battlefield-type injuries worried the hell out of me. I couldn't be sure my training was up to it, though Drift assured me I was good.
Eleven pairs of polarized sunglasses, two sized for young teenagers and two for older teens, posed no problem, nor did the high-SPF sunscreen; easily purchased from an outdoor-adventure outfitter I knew of. And they'd probably have the oxygen capsules, water jug, and canteens. But the twelfth pair needed to be as dark as my own shades, and strung on an elastic strap. Thankfully, I could order them from my usual optometrist and have them in twenty-four hours. They'd dealt with my light-sensitive eyes for years.
There was no question whether I'd take my rifle; it had been equipped with a bio-lock coded to me and the Sergeants, and no one else would be able to fire it. A pistol would join it, and as many clips of ammo as I could wheedle out of my instructors. Some of the blades I'd bought piecemeal over the last couple of years were listed specifically, and I could pick and choose a few more.
Over a year earlier, I'd bought a pair of interestingly-shaped knives that Sergeant Drift called 'swingblades.' I couldn't use them, though, the grips far too big for my hands and almost too big for either of my senseis. But they could handle them well enough to teach me how to defend against the razor edges that covered the wielder's knuckles and the viciously serrated curves between blades and grips.
No matter what they threw at me, my preferred style of twinned long daggers, held in a reverse grip so they laid against my arms, could withstand their worst assaults after a few initial sessions that gave me an idea of how the 'brass knuckles with a bad attitude,' as I called them, worked. A typical lesson pattern, though, and Sergeant Callahan was constantly searching for new ways to challenge me. Both of my instructors considered me the second-best student they'd ever had, behind a man who'd been tapped for SpecOps during their last year with the Company. They didn't talk about him much, so I figured 'Rick' had gotten killed somewhere along the line.
Interestingly enough, Drift already had a field medic's kit to hand, and drilled me for two hours before he was satisfied that I knew what to do with each item inside it. I hated the idea that Anestaphine might prove necessary. The drug was formulated to give the fatally injured a few minutes without pain before delivering a swift and supposedly painless end. Used on a healthy person, though, it caused a slow and agonizing death. I didn't want it to be used in either way if I could avoid it.
It took me two days to get everything on the list and pack it into two duffel bags. With each hour that passed, the urge to get going ratcheted a little higher. I locked up my Spartan flat and headed for the Icarus Station spacedocks.