The Osgord: Eye Opening

You’re running. You aren’t sure where you’re running or why, but you are most definitely running. Looking around, you see nothing but dark. There are no distinguishing features in your vision to tell you where or even what anything is, and you see no landscape or trail, yet you keep running, focusing on silent breathing. Only there’s no breathing, either. You listen for the sound of your own feet and hear nothing. You feel for your own heartbeat and feel nothing. You stop running only to realize you hadn’t actually been moving. From the inside of your own mind, you scream, ‘No! No, please! Not again!’ But there’s not even a whisper of sound.
‘Keri, dear, don’t be frightened.’ That voice… You know that voice, but it’s impossible. You hear it in your mind once more, ‘Oh, sweet little Keri, it’s alright. Don’t cry. Open your eyes, sweetie.’
You open your eyes. You’re not yet a cycle old, and you look up out of your crib into the peering eyes of a beautiful woman. She’s not young, but neither is she old, though the creases in her face imply an age far beyond that of her shining, green eyes. Her expression is one of concerned fear. She turns to one side and calls out, “Plua’die, come quickly! Keri is awake, and I have to feed her.’ Her words, you notice, run a bit long, but this is normal. She’s always been like that.
A man you always find to be exceptionally tall walks into the room and reaches down into your crib. You reach up and begin grasping your fingers at his face, so far away and yet so close and so wonderful. He smiles at you, and picks you up, grabbing you under your armpits and spinning you around him until you coo and grin at him. He smiles broadly, his graying whiskers lifting like the great big, well, lifting things. You giggle at the thought, and he pulls you into a gentle hug. You wrap your arms around his neck as much as you can, but it isn’t much.
He begins to lower you down, and you turn to see your mommy reaching out from her seat to hold you. Her grey-blue hair spills over her shoulders as she leans over her frail legs to grab you. Her hands are a bit bony, but they’re mommy hands, so you don’t mind. You look up into her eyes and are entranced by the green light emanating from them as she whispers, “Open your eyes, Keri. Don’t be frightened.” You don’t understand and simply coo again, reaching your hand–
You awake to a great booming sound. You unstrap yourself from your bed, moving away just in time for a great crashing vibration to go through the ship.  ‘Shilo,’ you think, ‘what’s going on?’
Another boom precedes a great groan of metal as the rotating semi-cylinders through the central fuselage of the ship come to a halt, and the little simulated gravity that was left vanishes with the rocking of the compartment. ‘We’re probably under attack. I’m not sure who would be attacking this far into the core, though. This doesn’t bode well. I need to think.’
Shilo retreats into your mind once more while you prepare for the possibility of battle. You shed your nightgown and petticoat and pull out the tight garment used as the primary neural interface with Valkyrie armor. You step into the gelatinous material and zip it up. Despite your best efforts to avoid it, the zipper snags twice, and it takes you a full milliday to zip it all the way. Once you’ve finished, you wrap your hair tightly and pull the hood of the undergarment over your head.
Another crashing sound is heard, and you kick away from the bulkheads to prevent yourself from being knocked around while you pull the main armor pressure suit on, sealing the suit once you get the choker around your neck, a rush of air passing over your face as the suit removes all pockets of air between itself and you, at once expanding inward slightly to apply standard pressure across your whole body. The cool sensation of your undergarment’s inner gel layer warms slightly, maintaining appropriate skin temperature which will lower if it detects your muscles warming. Bracing yourself for your least favorite part of donning the armor, you twist the release on the choker indicating that the seal has been formed comfortably, and there is a slight whirring sound as plasma needles insert sterilized intravenous catheters to monitor your hormone levels, to allow fast transfusions if necessary, and to allow you to maintain proper nutrition and hydration without removing your armor. You make a face as the excretory interfaces are carefully placed with an awkwardly gentle seal.
Once that ordeal ends, you begin attaching equipment to the pressure seal, servo motors squealing and humming as the various pieces of equipment are latched and screwed into place. You add canisters of blood, water, and various nutrients, vitamins, and proteins in solution. A box full of smaller canisters attaches to your chest, the canisters inside containing various drugs and hormones for automatic emergency treatment. Swinging it over your back, you attach the main DPU and air supply system. Once you’ve finished attaching the various weapons and such that you may need, you begin adding the armor segments that fit over it all.
Another crash as you place the final segment over your back startles you a bit, but you ignore the noise and finish setting it in place, and the segments all press inward, connecting to one another and creating an appearance that would prevent the uneducated eye from seeing that the armor is, in fact, more than one piece. You pick up Shilo’s sword and swing it around to an inverted sheath on your back, the sheath over a head taller than you despite extending almost a whole arm’s length to your side. You turn around to grab your helmet.
A long, grinding sound approaches you from the forward external direction, and you quickly pick up the helmet and shove it over your head, the main seal coming into place with the visor still deactivated just as the sound accumulates to a roar as your bulkhead is torn apart, and the compartment instantly depressurizes along with the area immediately surrounding your eyes, your sight taking in the sight of a rounded ship sweeping past followed by an opening to the dead of space, into which you are immediately pulled, your eyes screaming in pain. You close them as tightly as you can, your voice joining your eyes in their scream when your boots fail to magnetize in time to prevent you being vented into space. You feel yourself tumble as your eyes begin to boil, and there’s a thud as you hit the other ship.
The plasma visor finally initializes just as your breather kicks in, air rushing over your burning, frozen eyelids, and pressurized air works its way into your lungs. You can hear a thunk as your magnetized boots fix themselves to the hull of the enemy ship. Through the metal, your audio sensors begin to pick up the sound of alarms and shouts, though there is no sense of panic. The shouts seem to be a simple attempt to speak over the sound of the proximity and impact alarms. You feel your way across the hull, still refusing to open your eyes as tears and blood work their way through your tightly shut eyelids. You feel what seems to be a bioswitch and engage it by using one of the intravenous catheters to draw blood and pump it through a pipette in the thumb of your armor. The switch retreats into the hull to reveal a handle, which you turn to open the hatch into an airlock. You work your way inside and close the hatch, air filling the airlock with a whooshing sound.
You press your eyes tighter in pain, concentrating as much as you can on bringing your glow up and feeling outward into the ship. There are only two people inside. As soon as you feel them, however, they both turn toward the airlock and start advancing toward it purposefully. You feel their focus on you and realize that this wasn’t meant to be an
attack. It was a search and rescue. She may not know you, but you recognize the feeling of Keliar’di from Shilo’s memories.
The door to the airlock opens, and you manage out a weak, “Stop the fight. I can explain everything,” before losing consciousness, your small body too weak from the ordeal.
You coo again and pull at your mommy’s hair. She smiles gently as she removes your hand’s grip. “Everything’s going to be just fine.” Your bottle comes into view, and you immediately go for it. Your mommy’s hand caresses your head, and she looks to your daddy with a joyful face. It’s a face you’ll never forget. After all, it’s one of the last faces you’ll ever see on your mommy.
You awake and remember the pain over your eyes, which you squeeze more tightly closed immediately. Tears squeeze their way out into the air, and you realize you don’t have your helmet on. Then, a soft hand presses against your forehead gently, and an impossible voice says, “Shh, it’s alright. Don’t cry. Open your eyes, sweetie.”
In an act of almost sheer incredulity, you release the pressure over your eyes and open them to a sight unlike any you’ve ever seen. The world around you is a mass of multicolored light, and you feel like you can see through the very bulkheads into the vastness of space. And staring down into your eyes is a light brighter than any of the others with eyes as bright a green as you’ve ever seen. You realize now that your eyes aren’t actually working. Your glow, however, is seeing for you.
A figure of light moves over to the green-eyed light and whispers something. You can see their minds lighting up, but you don’t know how to make sense of it. The green-eyed figure speaks with that same, impossible voice, “No, that can’t be right.” The other figure nods slowly as if to assert that whatever she was just told is, in fact, very true. The green-eyed figure becomes brighter and looks to you again, her thumb caressing your brow.
“Keria’Ledrii, is it?” You nod, and she continues, “I’m your mother’s sister, Qzcia’Ledrii. I’m so sorry about your parents and Shilo, but its all going to be alright. You’re on the Osgord again, sweetheart, and we’re all at the dock orbiting the planet Osgord. You made it. We’re going to do what we can to fix your eyes, but I’m afraid I can’t make any promises. I’ll talk to you more on the other side, alright?” You nod again, and a dim light is placed over your face. A few moments later, and you’re out again.

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