The dunes are alight with flames, dancing in the sun as twisted wrecks of metal burn. Flames lick at my boots as I run through it, explosions adding to the cacophonous symphony all round me. Sand flies, hurled through the air by a blistering fireball. It rains around me, mixing with the sweat that stings my eyes and my vision blurs and blackens. With my vision gone my footing soon follows and I collapse on the sand. I know any moment that my doom will descend, and the bright glare of light from the sun is soon blackened as a form materializes in the sad mockery of my vision. A cold, lifeless shell of metal looking down on me with evil green eye slits raises its gun level with my head. From nowhere a bullet crashes through the helmet, splattering blood all over my face as the gun drops to the ground.
My vision shifts and I am no longer in a desert. I am standing over the body of a girl. My vision is blurred from tears and my throat is hoarse. I lose the will to stand in grief, and I crash to my knees next to her. Long, black hair from her beautiful head is soft on the curled fingers of my hand that lay palm up and lifeless.
The heat is intense as I snap back to reality, the desert beckoning me into its depths and explosions urging me on. I stagger back to my feet and press on, vision still not completely returned. What had just happened? I stop suddenly, my feet on the very edge of a vehicle wrecked beyond recognition. Another fireball careens down and detonates where I would have been in a few moments. Running around the flames, I start to cover my head with my hands as bullets flit past by the dozen. A bullet rips
through my calf and I fall to the ground with a cry.
The pain is intense, and the cold metal face glares down at me as I clutch her body to my chest protectively, desperately trying to get up with a wounded leg. What is this place? I shout "Get away from her!" The gun rises up, attached to the metallic arm and the muzzle flashes.
Refusing to give up, I rise where I've fallen and start hobbling through the sand. The sound of the gunshot reaches my ears like an echo, the full sound long gone. Time slows, and I feel every millimeter that the bullet cuts through, minute by minute, past my back and through my chest, finally bursting out of my front taking some of me with it. I fall to my knees again and hold out my arms.
There was no grin, no satisfaction in the metal face. It simply looked at me with those evil eyes, and I stagger, unable to hold the girl anymore. My arm drops her legs, useless now that I've been shot through the chest. All time stops when she makes a sound, and my heart with it. My breathing catches, my eyes widen, and the metal face snaps to her, and the gun moves with desperate speed. I scream "NO!" with all my anguish and desperation, and drop her completely, throwing my feeble remains at the heavily armored being. It bats me away and takes aim, pointing the barrel of its arm mounted gun right at the girl's temple.
As I crash into a pillar I can feel the bones breaking in my back and arm, I can feel as the bone snaps and pierces through my skin. With blurring vision I watch the girl awaken and look hazily up at the metallic demon. My vision goes red and I hear a shot.
My face crashes into sand, something has crashed into me. I lift my head and look at a piece of armored buggy lying twisted into a grotesque gravestone for me, and whimpering the girl's name I fade into nothing.
"How long has she been talking?"
"Ever since we got her semi-conscious."
"You have recorded it?"
"All of it. Her language is fascinatingly articulate. I take it she wasn't
always a soldier?"
"No. She wasn't."
"Then who was she?"
"I have my suspicions, but it isn't for me to say. She does not know, at
any rate, and if she remembers then I will find out."
"What do you know?"
"I know who the girl was, how old she was, what she looked like, everything."
"Who was she? Why did that thing kill her? What was it?"
"It was me."
Blue alert at 0247 hours. Patient was screaming and sobbing, Doctor Meyers noted that symptoms were conclusive to post traumatic memory recovery. Patient was restrained and medicated.
Personal Note: There’s no telling what or how much she remembered, I’m only hoping I can find out before Sivow does.
“Courtney.” The word pierced through her consciousness. “Open your eyes Courtney.” Light faded into vision as awareness returned. “Open your eyes.” The command was soft, but held authority. She opened her blue eyes and saw Sivow standing over her and her left hand clenched. “Where did you go?”
“Who are you?” He seemed so strange, yet somehow familiar. With a lopsided smile he grabbed her unclenched hand in both of his and sat on the bed.
“Sivow.” At hearing the name her eyes clenched shut again and she shook her head, trying to break loose the weird images that were bouncing around.
“It can’t be the last time I saw you I was…” her voice trailed off as two sets of memories collided without a bridge between them. Sivow squeezed tighter.
“Stay with me. Breathe.” Obediently she inhaled, barely noticing that she had stopped. Courtney’s eyes opened and started shifting around quickly, obviously focusing on something in her mind rather than something in the room. "Breathe deep, abandon your thoughts and focus on me."
"I- I can't." her stammering lips continued to tremble as tears began to well up in her eyes. "It's too much." Sivow leaned down and put his face close to hers and narrowed his eyes.
"Courtney." Her sapphire eyes locked onto his cold hazel ones. "Focus on me." Courtney's breathing slowed a little and her lips stopped trembling. The tears didn't stop, but she was somewhat calmed. "You are safe, you are strong. You will compose yourself."
Dr. Meyers was halfway through the door before it was halfway open. "What the hell is going on Captain?" Sivow ignored him and held Courtney's gaze.
"You're going to be fine. Get some rest, okay?" She nodded and blinked at him; he smiled back. "Good." He released her hand and turned to the doctor. "She's awake."
"I can see that." The doctors arms were crossed and his jaw set. "You woke her up, didn't you?" His voice had an edge to it.
"Sure did, Doc. Her arms were tensed."
"So you woke her up?! Get out of my lab!" Meyers' wild gesticulations and motions to the door made Sivow laugh.
"Thats okay, I'll wait here with her." While he sat down in a chair and pulled a book out of his back pocket, the fuming doctor called in security. Two soldiers burled into the room ready to restrain...nothing. They looked at the doctor with confused expressions.
"Get him out of here."
"Who, sir?" Their eyes passed over Captain Cadepoz several times.
"Captain Cadepoz, who else is in here?" The men looked right at Sivow, who kept reading his book, and back at the Doctor. "What are you waiting for?"
"He's an Imperial Commando."
"One that got backstabbed for being too good at what he does." the second soldier chimed in. Meyers anger flared. "We can't get him out of here without destroying the lab, is what we're saying."
Sivow closed his book and glanced at Courtney, who was already asleep again. "This woman was part of my unit, a comrade in arms. I'm not leaving her now that she's woken once."
"You fought with her?" The first soldier asked. Sivow nodded, and the man turned to the doctor. "There is no way in hell we're going to try and force him to leave, sir. Anything else?"
"You're up on report, get the hell out of my lab!" Both soldiers saluted and walked out grinning. Damn civilians didn't understand.
"Doc, if you keep shouting you'll wake her up again."
"You..." Dr. Meyers sputtered off and stalked out of the room. Sivow chuckled and stared at Courtney's face, remembering that nightmarish evening when he'd almost killed her. For years he'd been protecting her by putting her in danger, trying to pay off that debt. There were two questions he faced in his heart: Should he tell her? Would she forgive him?
In her dreams, now unmired by drugs and medication, Courtney sat in a chair and faced a mirror. To each side was a mirror, stainless steel and cold. The glass in each mirror had a different relfection. To her left was a woman with long, beautiful blonde hair and intelligent, soft blue eyes. Sapphires, well enhanced by her earrings and blue dress. To the right was a different woman, hair shaved off and eyes sharper, yet less bright. Her figure was muscled, toned, and she was dressed in a black skintight bodysuit perfect for sneaking around at night. She had the look of someone who was looking for something, but didn't know what it was.
The mirror in front of her held the two women facing each other, reaching out to embrace one another. Some barrier held them apart. She looked to the left again, and saw the monster from her nightmares. A metallic monstrosity with emotionless green eyes glaring back at her, its arm raised and pointed to the mirror opposite it. She turned and there was Sivow, dressed in his strange exoskeleton armor and weilding a powersword. Quickly she turned to the middle mirror to watch them face off and screamed.
Sivow had started to doze, but he jumped to his feet when Courtney screamed. His book, which had gone flying up, bounced off of his head. She hadn't screamed in pain, but in fear. He was at her side in a moment, but she would not awaken. Her body writhed, and she moaned. In an instant he had paged the Doctor, who arrived just in time to hear her scream the word "NO!"
Courtney watched in horror as her memory played out again, this time though it was not some faceless demon but Sivow. His soldiers face younger, less grieved, but broken in tears and pain. His face contorted as he lifted his gun arm to shoot the girl and her vision started to blacken. She screamed "No!" from her position broken next to the pillar. Time stopped, and the being did not move. The girl, unconscious, was also still. Trapped in this horrible moment Courtney sobbed. Then Sivow changed his target and blew off his own helmet. It blew off of his head in a shower of sparks, wires snapping and metal grinding, and by some freak chance hit Courtney in the head, knocking her out. Ironically, it was to this that she awoke.
Her vision was blurry, but she could make out two faces leaning over her. A hand grabbed her face, prying her eye open further and a light shined into it. She squinted and tried to turn her head away. "Ow."
"She's awake now." Concern and relief filled Dr. Meyers' voice.
"Are you okay Courtney?" Sivow's voice washed over her like ice. Vision clearing, she got his face locked into her sight and moaned.
"Why?" She asked, barely able to form words. "Why?" her voice trailed into a whimper as she started crying again. Sivow's face turned ghastly white and he staggered back a step. The doctor looked at Sivow expectantly.
Some of you are going to hate this, but right here another chapter for a different character is going to come in.