[ISS] Shakedown (Ash 1.8, Tabs 1.10)

edited April 2016 in ISS Tsiolkovsky


Corporal Rys waits for you in the hall outside the classroom. He gives you a look like "follow me", and marches across the closest t-intersection, headed towards the dorm rooms. He approaches the empty room, wipes his hand over the sensor, and gestures for you to enter ahead of him.

What do you do?


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    I'm pretty upset and angry at all this. Being picked on cause... cause I don't have special parents? Whatever. I leave the class in a black and red cloud and follow him down the hall expecting to get shouted at or threatened.

    If he had any idea...

    But by the time we reach that door I've cooled off a little. My face still feels hot and I just want to break something... but fine. I walk in without saying anything and I don't look at him.

    The room has a bunk to one side and a dresser against the far wall near the door. I walk over to the dresser and face the wall with my arms crossed over my middle.

    "Just... just get it over with..."
  • image "Of the whole class, you and Tabs are the pair that should be the last ones making waves. You ran out of class yesterday, now you're talking back to the instructor and throw stomm around. What's your drokking problem, Ash?" There's a clipped tone to his voice, Ashlee. He's going to punish you. He's already decided it, he's just looking for another word from you against him to justify it. That's all this little show could be.
    "Are you going to stow it and take your demerit, or do we need to escalate this?"
    What does "escalate this" mean? Did he escalate with Oliver, or was that something else?
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    I stand there and take it, at first, hands on the dresser. I turn around in a huff as Rys pauses for a breath and lean my butt against the edge of the dresser to face him and look down at his feet.

    It's no secret that Rys beat the crap out of Oliver. I saw the aftermath with my own eyes just yesterday. It's not the only time, either. He's a big, physical guy who happens to also be protected by the authority Malcolm put in him. I figure that's why he brought me here to this room. Where he can beat on us without being observed or recorded. Sounds all official when you call it escalating the issue. Doesn't it Corporal? I wonder if Malcolm knows, or if he specifically wants it this way. Wouldn't surprise me.

    He pisses me off. I snap my eyes up to his face for a moment and say, "just... give me my demerit already and shut up."
  • image

    Ashlee, you see Corporal Rys move towards you, but the next moment is a confusing blur. You're moving sideways all the sudden, then you're lying on the desk, your hands grasping for the edge ot keep from sliding over.

    Your face hurts. He just backhanded you, Ashlee. (Take1-Harm)

    "Maybe you should stop talking, Ashlee Rai. You don't have parents who will back you in here and we both know it. The techs can check your vitals whether you're sitting in class or not, and that's all they care about. You're just their drokking guinea pig." He stalks closer, leaning down towards you, larger than you, looking over you. "You need to check your attitude. And stop low-lifing with the junkie. Right drokking now."
  • edited March 2016
    I hold onto the desk, disoriented, vision suddenly blurred and my dull. I struggle to breathe as he talks at me. Face-down over the desk, for the first moments I just take it. I expected something from him but it's still shocking to be struck like that and it hurts more than I remember.

    Wait... did he just say!?

    I feel that knot in my chest tighten and twist. My face stings and I suddenly feel nauseous. He can't know... he can't.

    With my face on the surface of the desk, cheek on the cold laminate. Face towards him, I quietly snarl, "you don't know me... you don't understand anything..."

    What does he know? I can't ask... I can't give myself away. I feel doubt and anger inside. If he only knew what I could do to him... If he only knew! There's no way he knows that much. No way.

    I almost lash out, tense for a moment that just might make him flinch, but I can't... Rys looms huge over me, stands in the way of my escape. I can't just disappear. I have to play his game through labored breath and with eyes tearing.

    "You're right... I have a bad attitude..." I bang my head slightly on the desk, yeah it hurts... I add after a moment too long, "Corporal."

    I slowly start to straighten out and stand. My hand goes to my stinging face.
  • image He exhales a frustrated breath. "No, I don't know you, Ashlee. I won't even pretend. I do know that nails that stick out... get hammered down. You should thank me. You don't know, but you should. Regardless, I do my duty. Which, right now, is making sure you... stow it." He waits for you to stand and steps within a few centimeters, still looming over you. "There are two ways out of this room, Ashlee Rai. The first, and the best, is for you to convince me that there will be no more outbursts, no screaming in class, throwing stomm, rushing out of the room. Make me believe you can keep it cool, stay drokking boring. It's the best choice." He tilts his head slightly, still glaring, "The second way out is into an iso-cube. First offense. One standard day."

    He lets that sink in. Waits for an answer.
  • edited March 2016
    I almost laugh at that threat. Iso cube? He obviously doesn't know about the years I spent as an all but nameless test subject, sometimes locked away for weeks to test my tolerances. Worse, neglected when the lab was converted to care for the sick and the dying. No time for abnormal psychology when your world is falling apart.

    But this isn't funny. Neglect I can handle... but this is different... I've seen what he can do already to a guy twice my size. He looms over me and my face stings and wetness sticks my eyelashes together. It's already tender when I touch it.

    "I'll try to keep it together... Corporal. I just get nervous around the others... and... and I've been so worried about Pris... she... she asked me to study and I didn't go... and I'll never see her again! It's so hard... ok?" I steady myself by leaning a hip against the desk, trying to look small and harmless.

    I finally flicker my teary eyes up to his face a couple times to see if he's believing all this.

    It's kind of true. In a way.
  • image Corporal Rys isn't having it, Ashlee, he doesn't buy your routine. He shoves you back, "Don't drokking use Pris against me, Ash. I will not allow that. You feel bad for hurting her? Get in line. That doesn't excuse your behavior. Fine, option two it is then." He grabs your arm, hard enough that you'll probably have finger-shaped bruises later, starts to pull you out of the room.

    What do you do?
  • edited March 2016
    He digs his hands into my arm and that's just too much! I hiss through my teeth and for a moment I struggle against him, pull against him. Cry out softly and resist.

    But then I remember who I am and I soften, let him pull me along a step, then a few.

    Just before the door I urgently speak his name, "Rys?" Just to make him look at me. There's an edge to my voice, a danger I haven't let out for some time.

    I look up at this stupid, drokking troll, find his eyes, find my way through them to the weak gray mush that he calls his brain.

    I push into his head, squeeze myself in feel around, feel how he sees me and try to change it to something else.
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    Ashlee, let's see you push Rys.
  • Rolling Push Volatile +2
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 3. Total: 9)
  • edited March 2016
    image He lets go of your arm, his mouth hanging slightly open with the surprise of that intense gaze you just gave him. Three breaths before he moves again. He straightens, "I... I don't think, ah." He clears his throat, trying to reassemble his thoughts. "Will you keep it quiet? If I bring you back in, I mean. Just play along. I'll.... I'll get Nadja off your back. A, ah, a transfer of rooms. I'll put you in with Bea, she's a meek little mouse." His cheek twitches, once, he's never had a tic before, Ashlee. "Will that work? I mean. Do we have a deal?"
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    Takes me a few seconds to realize he's serious. A wicked little grin spreads across my face as I realize that it's working, I've still got it! (Of course I do but it's been a while, right?)

    I stand just inside the room, lean a shoulder against the doorframe and smile softly up at him. My face still stings and my arm aches. But I suddenly don't really care.

    He goes on and I realize this is better than I even dreamed. I start to quietly giggle in a slightly unsettling way as he offers to transfer rooms and have to struggle to contain my bubbling excitement as he all but begs me to forgive him.

    "Yeah!" I crow, "Bea is better... that works, Rys... uh... Corporal." I slip up his title on purpose, to see if he mentions and tilt my head to the side as I admire my "work."
  • image Corporal Rys has trouble taking his eyes off you, Ashlee. When you tilt your head and look at him, the corner of his mouth curls up in a small smile. He seems, unsure. Maybe nervous? "Zeng. Go grab your gear now and move over. I'll have Bea and Gwen's room keyed over to your biometrics. If you... need anything else, you let me know."

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    A hint of a laugh, what really?

    By now there's a red mark showing on my cheek from his hand, a red line across my temple from where he smashed my glasses into my face. It's a small miracle they didn't fall off or break.

    I have a little gritted-teeth smile on my face as he reacts... much stronger than I expected. I just wanted him to let me go... stop hurting me, maybe... let me off easy.

    But... really? Have I gone too far?

    "Uhh... yeah. But..." can I really get away with this? "What about the... the assignment?" I glance up the hall towards class and immediatley feel stupid for bringing it up. "Are... are you serious? Right now?"
  • image He takes another step to the door, reluctant to go, even though he seems like he needs to. "It's just some stomm Malcolm wanted to do to stir things up. Make the class think about having a voice." He scoffs, "Nobody on this side of containment has a voice. It's all a joke."
    He moves back to you, drawn to you somehow. A hand comes up to your cheek, suddenly gentle. His voice softens, "Zola will win, of course. As soon as Ourania picked me to run with her, the game was over. I'm sure they're already done voting now anyway."
  • image

    Ashlee, you head out to the hallway and see Tabitha. Tabs looks a little wigged out.

    Tabitha, you see Ashlee coming out of the empty room, Rys behind her. Ashlee's face is red, you see a hand print like she was slapped. She has this weird little grin on her face.
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    Not what I expected. I glance around. Where is Lucas? He might think he's being clever.

    "Ashlee, Rys? It's not good."
  • image

    Rys sees the look on your face, Tabitha, and immediately heads for the classroom. Anything you're telling him before he wades in there?

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    "I think Mark and Ourania are fighting. The whole class is unsettled." I don't hurry after Rys, so I can get a look at Ashlee. I start to reach out a hand to her, but I stop.

    "Are you alright?"
  • edited March 2016
    Weird little grin. yeah.

    Rys hurries away, though the thougth of Mark and Ourania fighting is actually kind of comforting, what Rys had to say about our place, our 'voice' as he put it. That's kind of a let down. Seriously.

    But yeah... can't stop that little unsettling smile of mine.

    "Uhhh... yeah... I'm allright, Tabitha. Everything's fine now..." She sees me glance at Rys as he hurries away. I touch my tender cheek, she's looking at it. "Don't worry about this."

    I walk out into the hall and close the door to the empty room behind me, I see that she's thinking of reaching out. "Did you... were you just here to get the Corporal? What happened in there?"

    It's unusual to see Tabitha looking unsettled like this.
  • Note Ashlee does have the creepy condition.

    And is Lucas here?
  • edited March 2016
    image Lucas comes jogging up from the rooms, holding a wrench in his left hand (he's a lefty). He looks like he maybe ran south of the classroom and all the way around the pod to sneak back to his room and grab that wrench. He slows down when he sees you're okay, then he looks to you, Tabitha, blinks, "Are you... are you alright, Ashlee? Wait, whatthedrokk! Did he hit you? Stomm. I'm..." he sticks the wrench in the back of his pants, moves up to you, hand reaching for your cheek. "I'm so sorry."

    What do you do?
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    Why is Ashlee smiling? I don't get it, Rys just beat on her.

    "Ourania asked for the same punishment. As you. Malcolm didn't give it to her. I asked why and Malcolm left."

    I look up and down the hallway, then blink at Lucas finally making it. "I came to keep anyone from getting crippled."
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    The lights in the room dim and small red and white flashers come on near the ceiling. Lucas flinches, looking up with surprise. He looks like he's stuck between bolting back to his room and staying near the two of you.
  • edited March 2016
    "Really?" Im surprised that Ourania did that, but... yeah of course. She knew it wouldn't happen... I was singled out for being different, for not belonging... conforming. Whatever. It isn't about what I, or we, actually did.

    Lucas approaches with that wrench in his hand, looking actually worried about me. Come to think of it, so does Tabitha. Kind of blowing my mind here.

    "I'm ok... Lucas... just let it go ok?" I turn my head a bit to keep him from touching my cheek. The elation of pushing Rys like that starts to fade. It's an intense feeling of being other than myself. It's hard to fit back into my head sometimes after. And the thing is, I don't really believe that everything is ok. Now that the moment is gone I'm starting to regret it. I would say... I've probably complicated my life and put myself in danger... just to avoid a day in Iso... stupid.

    But... Lucas really did pick up a weapon and was willing to fight Rys? Fight the corporal for my sake? A knot in my chest softens my smile fades a bit. The pain and worry I've been holding onto start to seep out and I shudder with an almost-cry that I'm having trouble hiding.

    I look at Tabitha, my eyes watery and red, and then Lucas, and then at the floor. "It didn't even hurt... what he did. It's nothing. But, thanks... for coming to check on me... really..."

    I wouldn't have done it for them. I know it and it hurts inside.

    Really, I am the worst.
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    The door to the classroom opens up and Rys and Mark come out, practically carrying a wounded and bleeding Jace, who has almost passed out from the pain. Rys looks at you both, then away, like he's pretending he didn't see you or something.

    Ourania comes out moments later, she looks enraged, like you've never seen her before.

    What do you do?
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    "That's what happened." As far as I know. I should probably go back to the classroom, that's the feeling that I have, but for what reason? To check on Zola. To see what happened further without relying on rumors.

    Ashlee's reaction slowly turns more natural. It must have been hard for her to be singled out by Rys for something all of us were thinking. I don't know what's waiting for me when Malcolm gets his stomm back together.

    "I'm not so good. I could have stuck up for you. At the first."

    The emergency lights come on and I meet eyes with Lucas and Ashlee. "We shouldn't be in the halls." I take a step towards my room.

    Then the classroom opens up so soon after and I tense; maybe this will be a fight. What's happened to Jace is just as intense. I don't feel like I'll be sick or anything, but it's shocking. Mark and Rys are taking him to med, obviously...hopefully Dr. Haladay can find it in his withered heart to give Jace the treatment he needs. I stay out of their way and mutely gesture to Lucas and Ashlee to do the same.

    How did Jace's arm get that way? I look at Ourania, and..maybe I shouldn't go to my room.
  • edited March 2016
    The lights come on and Tabitha starts to move, but doesn't seem to know where to go. Protocols say to return to our rooms in this case.

    Tabitha gestures for us not to interfere but that wasn't happening... the sight of a bloodied Jace makes me pale and I turn away. I don't like the sight of blood, injury... stuff like that gets to me even if I hate to admit it. I avoid looking at Rys, too, not that I'm shy just now, but I really don't like him, even if he has been pushed over to my side of things. I know it's fake.

    Ourania looks intense, too. What the hell happened in there? How did it come to something like this?

    "We should... uh... get to shelter," In this case our rooms, though protocol would probably say we could return to class.

    I head towards my room, the one with Nadja, almost forgetting about whole Bea thing.
  • edited March 2016


    You decide against heading for your room, and Zola sees you in the hall, says you could hang out with her. Pax is there, she seems alright with it.


    You head to your room, Nadja shows up a little after and tells you all the gory details about how Ourania went off on Mark and scratched his face, how Ourania threw Jace over a desk and broke his arm. She's angry and excited and completely ignores how awful she treated you yesterday.

    And you're stuck in here with her during lockdown.

    End Session
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