Chapter 12: Roadside
~And tell me how I'm supposed to feel, And I don't think you see the places inside me that I find you, So leave me at the roadside,
When all these nightmares become real;
'Cause I don't know
And I don't know how we separate the lies here from the truth;
And I don't know how we woke up one day and somehow thought we knew
Exactly what we're supposed to do.
And hang me up and out to dry~
And I don't think you see the places inside me that I find you,
So leave me at the roadside,
It was late at night and Justin was just leaving with Dr. Schaller from visiting Nicole that day, the nursery rhymes playing to lull the children to sleep.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!"
Nicole started to twist and turn in her sleep for the first time since she has gotten to the Higan. Something was causing her discomfort…almost like she was in physical pain.
"When the blazing sun is gone,
When the nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night."
As Dr. Schaller and Justin walked further down the hall, the sudden sound of screaming erupted from the Children's Ward.
"Dr. Schaller! It sounds like Nicole's voice!"
And they both ran back to the Children's Ward and when they entered they found Nicole in the main lobby of the ward screaming and trying to be held back and calmed but the nurses.
"Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your little spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so."
"Nicole! Nicole please calm down! Listen to my voice, it's me! Dr. Schaller!"
But it was no use, she wasn't listening but she kept screaming things like, "NOO!", "Make it stop!", "Get it out of my head!", and "Please no! Mommy!"
And when Dr. Pershall walked in with a few nurses of his own and some needles filled with a liquid, no one knew what was in it but Dr. Schaller seemed to know.
"Carlos! You can't be intending to sedate her!"
"Yes Vinnie I am. We have no choice. She is going crazy."
"No! Do you know how much sedative it would take to sedate her?! Enough to where with her tiny frame she could easily overdose!"
"We will have to take that risk. Now hold her down and sedate her."
"In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky."
Justin was too scared to do really anything but stand there, frozen in his place. Nicole was acting scary but what was making her scared. And he didn't even come out of that trance until guys with needles started to inject her with something that didn't have an effect at first but slowly made her calm down, A LOT!
"Finally she has stopped. I told you Vinnie that she was trouble."
"Carlos…you're over reacting. She's a child that just came from the Ishimura…"
"Exactly. And she could be dangerous ad seems to be proving me right. She is a danger to others."
"As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveler in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,"
"Take her to the Psych Ward," Dr. Pershall ordered the medics who had sedated Nicole.
"No!" Justin finally spoke out against the whole situation. "She got scared that's all! She doesn't belong there Doc!" Justin knew she was scared, bad memories after something as traumatic as what happened on the Ishimura were common, he knew that and he wasn't even a doctor. He pulled on Dr. Pershall's arm so hard, trying to make him listen but he pulled his arm out of Justin's grasp so forcefully and fast that poor Justin got flung to the floor.
"No! Now take her to the Psych Ward. She obviously has mental problems and is a danger to herself and others."
And Nicole was whisked off while Justin lay helplessly on the floor watching her limp, sedated body be carried away.
"NO! Let her go! Nicole!" But she was already gone with the men.
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star…."
"LET HER GO! NICOLE!"
-Several weeks later-
Justin walked to the psych ward once again; he visited her everyday if he had the time. Sometime he was accompanied by Dr. Schaller since he declared himself as her official doctor, since she shrunk away from the other doctors and she was terrified of Dr. Pershall.
As he got to Nicole's room he noticed that Dr. Schaller was already there, checking her deep wounds that were almost done healing.
"Very good. They are healing up nicely Nicole; I think you'll be able to get out of here and to a normal room soon."
Nicole smiled so brightly and Justin hadn't even seen her smile since her escape pod crash here about 5 weeks ago. But it soon faded as Justin noticed Dr. Pershall was in the room as well when he started talking.
"I don't think so. She is probably mentally unstable so she can't leave."
"But she isn't insane!"
Both doctors turned to the doorway when they heard Justin, his fist balled into small fist and a determined and serious face.
"She was just scared! And something happened on the Ishimura to make her afraid of the song Twinkle Twinkle and that's why she spazed!"
"Vinnie don't you dare elaborate on why she should be released. I'll allow it but if she freaks out one more time she will be put right back in here. No questions."
And after that Dr. Pershall walked out, arms crossed and obviously not happy.
'Why did he become a doctor in the 1st place?'
"U-uh…Dr. Schaller? W-where will I stay at? I only know Justin here…"
"I know!" Justin shouted excitedly and a smile on his face now, "I stay with Beth and her family, remember? What if we ask if they could take her to? We have a hug room and her and Beth could share a bed."
Dr. Schaller smiled at the young boy who was eager to help out his new friend. "Sure you stay here and I'll go ask them ok?"
Both nodded, even if Nicole did it hesitantly.
-7 years later-
"Ah really? You have to take this long to get ready? Last time I checked the training starts in…30 minutes and it take at least 20 to get there."
"Geez I know will you let it go?"
The 2 12 year olds looked at each other then back to the boy, the smiled. "Nope."
"Ahh you 2 are really creepy when you do the twin thing you know that?"
"Of course we do," the 2 girls said at the same time as they finally left the room to go to the training rooms.
"Now I know how you 2 can creep out you brother so bad Beth," the boy said to the one girl with shoulder length straight blonde hair with green eyes.
"Well it is our specialty isn't it now Justin?"
Justin just angrily pouted and sighed, pushing his dirty blonde hair back and out of his eyes while glaring at the other girl with straight mid back length hair and brown eyes.
"Shut up Nicole."
The three busted into laughter and they manage to make it to make it to their training rooms with 10 minutes to spare. Beth had already entered the flight training room ahead of Nicole, but just as she was about to enter a hand wrapped around her wrist pulling her back and jump at the same time.
"Ah sorry did realize you still startled that easily still," Justin said to Nicole with a half smirk, half smile.
Beth knew only that she had fled from the Ishimura somehow when the "terrorist attack" happened but not the full truth, not about the necromorphs or the mass deaths of Aegis VII that lead basically the death of the Ishimura. That seemed to be reserved for Justin and Dr. Schaller.
Nicole just raised her eyebrows at him and said, "Really? Don't tell me your memory is finally going."
"Haha no way is it. But do you want me to wait here for you till you get done?"
Now a confused expression crossed her face. "Ok you really must e losing your memory Justin."
"No. you have your pilot training with Beth and then you alone have to go to your engineering class after."
"Right. Our flight training and your tech training are both 3 hours and then my engineering goes for 4 hours. You really want to stay around for an extra 4 hours just for me?"
"Yeah. What's wrong with that?" Justin asked while shrugging.
"Nothing you're just going crazy instead," she said while chuckling at him, causing Justin to smile again. But they headed off to their training rooms and after 7 hours for Nicole, she came out and Justin was in fact waiting for her to get done, which was a nice surprise.
-7 years later- (A.N. so this is 7 years since the last 7 years so they are 19)
"Will you stop that you sound and look like a moaning corpse."
"Well gee thanks Justin for the lovely complement," Nicole said sarcastically from her position of her head in his lap.
Over the past years they had grown steadily closer and eventually, sometime 2 years ago, Justin got the courage up to ask Nicole out and ever since then things in Nicole's life had been great, minus the occasional accident of hearing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and having to quickly leave wherever she was at.
When Nicole was 14 almost 15, she obtained both her CEC Heavy Weight Pilot Class 3 License and her engineering license as well. She got it so early, instead of the minimal age of 16, because she was so smart, like both her parents.
A year later, when they turned 16, Justin received his technician license and soon became the lead/head technician of the Higan and Beth got her pilot license too but it wasn't as high as Nicole's. Beth was a CEC Pilot Class 3 so she could only drive your everyday ships not cargo or heavy weight ships.
"You know what I mean… but seriously, stop being so fucking antsy."
Nicole sat upright and faced Justin in the blink of the eye that Justin swore his eyes went on a spinning spree. "I can and you know why! Beth's and her crew were supposed to be back hours ago and here they are, not here and not answering any of our calls to them. How can you be so fucking calm?"
"Well with you being all irate about the whole situation, someone has to be calm out of the 2 of us."
Suddenly Nicole's walkie that she had went off and a gurgled voice came over the walkie.
"Nicole. You need to get to the flight deck ASAP!"
Nicole gave Justin a very confused look as she replied into the walkie, "On my way."
Both her and Justin sprinted over to the flight deck, not sure what to expect the emergency or reason they needed her there ASAP.
"Sir, what do you need?" Nicole said as she approached her commanding officer who had called her in.
"A rescue crew is coming in with a destroyed ship and they cant land here in the hanger with it attached to their ship's arms. We need the arms to be used and you're the best at them and one of the few who are on board right now that knows how to use them."
"On it sir."
Nicole went over to the control and started to prep everything, 1st thing being powering up the arms since they took a few minutes to fully power up. She then went directly over to the radio controls and grabbed some headphones with a mic attached.
Nicole started turning a dial on the left side of the headphones, without even having the need to take of the headphones to do it.
"Higan to Conjur do you copy?"
"Conjur to Higan we copy."
"What is your status?"
"Were closing in on the Higan, we are almost set to land."
"Come on in, the arms are ready to grab the ship."
Nicole moved what seemed to be lightning speed to Justin and within a minute, the arms were functioning and preparing to grab the destroyed ship. The Conjur used the short arms on their ship to extend the ship to the arms of the Higan and get it closer and soon the destroyed ship was in the grasp of the Higan and the Conjur landed on the flight deck safely.
Nicole pulled off her headphones and ran over to the captain 0f the Conjur while a rescue crew, that had been called in as soon as the Conjur had let the Higan know they were bringing in a destroyed ship, ran over to the destroyed ship.
"What happened to this ship?" the flight deck manager asked the captain as soon as he was face to face with him.
"I don't know. We need someone to investigate it."
Nicole knew that they needed a technician and she knew one, who was with her now.
"What?" Justin asked as he walked over to where she was standing with the captain and flight deck manager.
"Can you and the other technicians take the main flight box to see what happened to the ship?"
"And whose ship this is?"
"Yes we can. No problem. I'll go get it and get right on it."
But before he left he put his hand on Nicole's shoulder and whispered into her ear, "She's ok," and ran to retrieve the box.
'But I don't like this feeling I have in the pit of my stomach…it's the same as the one I got on the Ishimura when we were retrieving that marker. And look how well that went.'
-Few hours later-
"Sir! The technicians have figured out what happened to the ship and whose it is."
The Flight deck manager looked at the young girl, Jae, who was approaching him on the flight deck with Justin and a few other technicians along. Everyone in the hanger quickly gathered over to them to hear what they had to say, very curious.
"Well whose is it?"
"It is ours, Sir. It's the Viager."
'Oh no…that was the one Beth was piloting!'
Murmurs of things like "What happened to it?" "Why was it all destroyed?" and "Was it a new enemy?" went around the people of the flight deck when they heard this.
"No, according to the flight box and the video surveillance that was somehow salvageable, there was a problem with the ship. There was a problem in the fuel chamber and that in turn caused a part in the engine to slowly burn away and after stopping at the other colony, the rest cause that engine part to cool substantially and therefore after driving for a short amount of time, it went from being really cool to very hot in a short amount of time causing a small explosion but that then spread to the other parts of the engine and ship. It eventually exploded into a fireball which is why the ship looked more destroyed that exploded into pieces," Justin concluded since he was the main technician and much like Nicole and the other flight crew members, the technicians knew the ship, especially the technical stuff but most knew about the part to run the ship since it was very technical and sometimes the mechanics needed help.
Jae was the one to talk next. "All 12 members aboard the Viager we killed and all 12 bodies are currently in the morgue and blood and dental records are being checked to make sure it really is all the assigned members on board."
The next day the whole ship was told about the lose of all 12 crew members after their families were informed, which for some was just close friends or siblings only.
On many of the screens were the names of all the members aboard the Viager:
Hani-bi Eun Bluede
Both Nicole and Justin didn't take Beth's death easily. For Nicole she was her twin, they did everything together and completed each other's sentences and thoughts, plus said the same thing at the same time. They were close and Justin and Beth were close as well since they had grown up together, she was like his sister and it hurt to lose another sister.
"Justin?" Nicole spoke up a few days later which was impressive since she had been like a robot the past few days.
"Hey, you're finally talking, but what is it?" Justin had his arm wrapped tightly around her shoulder as she laid into his side, head on his shoulder.
"How am I supposed to feel?"
"What do you mean how?"
"How am I supposed to feel and live when all these nightmares become so real again?"
'So that's what has been wrong with her. The nightmares are back?' Justin thought, tightening his grip on her shoulder, pulling her closer at the same time.
"You just have to remember that something better is always waiting for you on the other side of these nightmares."
"I don't think you've seen the places that reside inside of me, from inside the Ishimura, and I don't know how I am supposed to separate the lies here from the truth anymore. Will everything have a better side? I really don't know how everyone woke up one day and somehow thought we knew how to tell lies from the truth. Everyone now is still basking in the glorious lie of the Ishimura, that it was an act of terrorism when it was a horrid infection and outbreak of the man eating and infecting monsters. What are we supposed to do?"
Justin was amazed at how deep Nicole was and how troubled she still was after all these years.
"I feel like I have been left at the roadside of some random street on a random planet or even on the Ishimura. It all seems so dark no matter what."
"But that may all be an illusion, appearances sake and no one wants to listen to what is the truth. Lies are what comforts everyone cause does anyone want to really hear the truth?"
"I feel like…by everyone I every loved and lost that…"
"Like what Nicole? That what?"
"I've been hung up and left out to dry…"
(A.N. ok didn't get any reviews for the last chapter but I am going to post this next one since it is done. But no next chapter for at least 2 reviews on this chapter and the previous chapter ok? ^^ fair enough? :3)