Fiction Friday. Escape pod here! Yes, technically that is a link to a post on here, but there are a number of Banters that have been added so have a look!
Insidious - Part 5
Yverens sat eating his breakfast as he heard footsteps behind him.
"I'm sorry." his wife said as she rounded the table "I don't know what happened last night. I'm so sorry I got that drunk."
"Don't worry about it." Yverens said forcing a smile. In his head the reply he thought about was "It's not a problem. We both made mistakes last night. You got blind drunk and collapsed, I fucked our daughters best friend on our marital bed so don't beat yourself up!"
She gave a half smile and went over to the coffee maker. Yverens sipped his Caldari tea. A refreshing, if somewhat unpatriotic, choice of his. Guilt flowed through his veins like molten metal. After they'd finished last night Vysena had gathered her clothes, kissed him and slipped out the room. He assumed she went to Doure's room. She'd left by the time he woke alone this morning. He'd left his wife in the spare room to sleep it off. On his orders millions had died. Technically they were not his orders personally. Executives and directors from high up passed the orders down to him but he was the one that passed the orders to the Capsuleers, the gods of destruction. Every pirate battleship that went down in the following confrontation ended the lives of hundreds of crew. Every pirate outpost destroyed killed countless men, women and children. However he'd never known guilt like this. It burnt his very soul.
I'm going to the Med-Centre this morning. Somethings not right, you know that. Since coming planet side I'm always tired, never in the mood for...." her voice trailed off.
"Want me to come with you?" he asked.
"No. I'll go by myself, I'm sure its just the change from years of living on a station and then moving planet-side. After the way I behaved last night you just relax." she said with a smile.
"What have I done?" he thought to himself.
Doure glanced out of the shuttle's window. They were stuck in a traffic jam at one of the stargates. A gun-metal grey Raven class battleship slowly passed them. She assumed it was piloted by a capsuleer. Even when the space-lanes were so busy the stargate control team limited jumps, the Empyreans still could get through. The rich and powerful never waiting in a queue.
She could hear Bouey at the back of the small craft laughing and joking with his zero-G handball team mates. Was he talking about what they did last night? Would he tell them with half a bottle of Gallente vodka and a lot of pressure she'd, what would be the word? Made love? Certainly not that. Fucked? That sounded right. Her first time had not been special and Vysena's influence seemed to drip from every pore. What was her supposed best friend up to.
Slens stepped outside of the cylindrical scanner and put her clothes back on behind the screen. Once dressed she stepped out and sat down opposite the doctors desk. He finished reviewing something on his datapad and then placed it down.
"Mrs Catelnau. I am a tad confused. You came to me worried about your health and said you had no idea what is wrong with you recently. The data I have here makes me think you know only too well what is wrong with you." he said sternly.
Slens looked shocked.
"I don't know what you are talking about!" she protested "What is wrong with me?"
"Substance abuse." he replied.
"What?" she said in shock. The Doctor narrowed his eyes.
"Your body is saturated with Bromide compounds. A powerful relaxant, which also lowers libido. That would explain your lack of interested in lovemaking that you told me about earlier and your general lethargy. I would say last night you partook in a large hit of Crash and three or four alcoholic drinks."
"I don't know what to say. Yes to the drinks last night but Crash? I would never! I have no idea where you would get that or what was the other? Bromide?"
"Mrs Catelnau. I cannot do anything unless you admit you have a problem."
"I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM! I HAVE NEVER TAKEN DRUGS!" she said forcefully.
The Doctor paused. "You do have a problem. Either you are lying or someone is giving you these substances without your knowledge. Either way, you have a problem!"
Doure waited outside the spaceport. They'd arrived early and her father wasn't supposed to pick her up for another hour. Bouey had left already after pretty much blanking her since the previous night. He had his way with her and that was that. She sipped her juice in the cafe at the port and looked up at the vid screen above the counter. The news channel was showing a special report on Croleur III. Cloned mercenaries in their bulky armour where trading fire over some sort of building. The ticker below showed that it was a Serpentis attack on a research centre.
She thought about the things Bouey had said last night. Just snippets that seemed to suggest Vysena had put him up to seducing her. Not only that but that she suggested she was a certain thing. Why would she do that?
Doure looked at the time, another half an hour before her dad was due to pick her up.
Yverens stood there in shock as his wife screamed at him. She was making no sense at all. From what he could gather from the hysterical rant she was accusing him of slipping drugs into her food. One one side this was good, he'd not seen her this energetic in months, however the fact she was screaming at him was bad. He'd tried to speak several times without success.
"Have you listened to yourself? Why would I give you drugs to make you not want me? I've been trying it with you for months!"
"So you are saying it's Doure? She's drugging me?"
"Of course not!" he protested.
"Oh so its Winston then! The drone's AI doesn't like us getting jiggy so has been slipping bromide compounds into my food and Crash into my wine?"
Doure! Yverens looked at the time. He needed to pick her up soon.
"Look, I don't know who but...." Yverens was interrupted by the door chime. The domestic drone floated past the door.
"Someone is drugging me so who is...." this time Slens was silenced as Vysena entered the room. Yverens heart nearly stopped.
"Look Vysena this is not a good time. Doure is not back yet." Slens said calmly.
Vysena smiled and approached them. Yverens looked at her nose and noticed she appeared to be wearing nose plugs.
"What are you...." Yverens started to say as Vysena brought her hands from behind her back. She held a blank aerosol canister. The two looked at her in shock as she sprayed it towards them.
Both Yverens and his wife fell to the ground in seconds.
Doure arrived back at home. He father was supposed to pick her up at the shuttle port but hadn't arrived. She'd waited an hour then grabbed a taxi after he finally replied to one of her messages. Apparently he'd been held up. She walked into the house and into the living room. She froze. There in front of her was her father. He was bound to a chair with duct tape across his mouth. Her mother was here too. Hung by the wrists from the far door again with duct tape across her mouth. The door slammed closed behind her. She span around to find Vysena there, a large carving knife pointing at her.
"Finally! She's here. We can get started!" Vysena announced and pointed over to another chair. Slowly Doure walked towards it.
"Why are you doing this?" she sobbed.
"Oh thats the billion ISK question isn't it! Why?"
Doure sat in the chair and Vysena taped her arms and legs securely.
"Daddy is the one that can answer that! He knows me for a long time ago!" she said standing up and walked over to Yverens.
"Make any loud noise and your daughter and wife will be gutted like a fish!" she hissed ripping the tape from his mouth.
"I don't know who you are!" he replied.
"I believe you!" Vysena said casually. "In fact if I gave you my real name, my dead daughters name and my dead husband's name you'd still have no idea who they are even though YOU killed them."
Yverens knew he was in trouble. However it still didn't fit. She was far too young to have a family.
"You are a clone!"
Vysena gave a long slow clap. "Well done. Of course I am. Did you think a college girl would be able to screw you as good as I did two nights ago. No, it takes a real woman to fuck a man like that!"
Yverens saw his wife's head snap in his direction. There was no use denying it. Vysena walked over to Slens.
"You know he was very easy you know. As soon as you were passed out we were on your marital bed going at it like a couple of Furriers." Vysena purred. "To be honest though I had more fun with Doure. I like them innocent. Although between me and Bouey she is certainly not that now." She picked up a remote and turned on the TV.
A shaky picture appeared. It took Yverens a moment to realise it was shot inside a tent. His daughter was naked on top of the sleeping bag, some college jock was on top of her.
"I put Bouey up to it. Said I'd give him the best night of his life if he could secretly get me a recording of him popping Doure's cherry! Yes, daddy's little girl is all grown up now!
"Who are you then?" Yverens growled.
"This body? Well it was meant for a girl called Emanuala. She'll be OK. She was in a medically induced coma, they just grow her another. Thats the thing working for the Sisters of Eve. They are so busy rescuing people that have been maimed on orders by people like you they cannot keep track of all the clones they need. Taking one was easy. My name is Toldori . Not that it will mean anything to you. Four years ago my family escaped a terrible war in Matari low-sec space, bartering transport on a pirate ship as our city burnt. A ship that unbeknown to us was smuggling other things as well as us. You had the convoy destroyed."
"Four years ago? I remember. You were the mother who survived. The one that was badly burnt!"
"I was in hospital for months. When I was released the Sisters offered me a job. I was a qualified clone technician and they were desperate for people with my skills. Where else was I going to go? My homeworld was ablaze with war and my daughter and husband were dead. Murdered by a Capsuleer carrying out your orders. Given the millions you have ordered killed, I'm impressed that you remembered our little family."
"Of course I remembered! I'm not a murderer! The intel said it was pirates carrying a shipment of Crash. We'd have never sent an Empyrean if we'd known there were refugees on board. That was the worst day of my life!"
"Well I'm here today to make it the second worse." she snarled. "I had bigger plans than this. However with your wife finding out about the drugs I've been slipping her it would had been only a matter of time before she found it was the coffee that was laced with the bromide. It would have led to me and the coffee shop in the end. Did you know I had to screw the owner to get that job!"
She walked over to Slens. "Yes, not only your husband and your daughter, I've screwed the owner of where you buy your coffee and also the technician who updates your domestic drone. That's how I knew exactly whats been going on, I've had access to the eyes and ears of Winston. Anyway we're on an accelerated time line. Speaking of the drone, Winston!"
Yverens watched the domestic drone enter the room. It held something large in front of it. It took Yverens a few seconds to realize it was the large iron grill from the kitchen. Vysena walked over to Slens and pulled on her dress. Using the sharp knife she cut the garment away quickly followed by her underwear.
"Go ahead Winston!" she said stepping back.
"Winston deactivate!" Yverens ordered but nothing happened. The drone hovered across and lifted the grill. It was at this point he noticed a rope looped over the top of the grill. The drone placed this over Slen's head and backed off. Vysena took another length of rope and tied the grill tight against the sobbing woman. It covered her from the top of her chest to her thighs.
"What are you doing?" Yverens asked, terror in his voice.
"I'm creating that day four years ago. Do you remember what happened to me and my family? I was burnt. Horrifically, agonizingly and slowly burnt from the heatwave of a plasmatic smartbomb rushing over my make-shift escape pod. I'm going to demonstrate on your loving wife what I went through. But just not me." she said plugging the grill into a power outlet and turning on the switch. "My daughter died as the atmosphere leaked from her container, breached by the same blast. Now I cannot do the same to your daughter as we don't have a vacuum here. However, I can get close to the slow terror of suffocation."
Vysena picked up a clear plastic bag that was laying on the table.
"No please." Yverens begged.
"I'm guessing Doure will die first. Your wife will take a bit longer but it'll be much more painful. Then after you have watched your daughter and wife die I'll move onto you. My husband's body was never found. Likely shredded to biomass as he was sucked through a hull breach in the ship. So you and me and this carving knife will undertake an experiment to find how much flesh I can remove from someone before they die." she said as she pulled the bag over his daughter's head and tied it around her neck. Doure's eyes bulged in terror. The bag pressed tight against her face as she tried to draw breath.
"Winston. Alpha 1!" Yverens shouted. The drone didn't move.
"I reprogrammed your drone and removed your voice authentication. I'm not stupid" Vysena sneered as she sat in his lap.
"How long do you think Doure will last? 30 seconds? I think your wife should start to feel the heat any minute now too."
Yverens stared into his daughter's terrified eyes. Her frantic breathing was slowing and her eyelids started to droop. She frantically tried to draw breath but only succeeded in pulling the plastic of the bag into her mouth There was a crash that made everyone jump as the domestic drone fell to the floor.
"Ha! Looks like Winston got over excited. I guess I messed up hacking him. Oh well. Never...."
Vysena was cut short by a wail from Slen's muffled by the tape across her mouth.
"You think that's the grill starting to cook her or the fact she can see her daughter dying?" asked Vysena. She climbed off Yverens' lap and approached Doure who now was hardly moving. "Nearly there Yverens! She's dying slowly here." she taunted.
Suddenly there was a whir and the domestic droid started to hover again.
"Winston. Alpha 1!" Yverens shouted.
"Ha! I already told you...."
"AFFIRMATIVE!" the drone stated cutting Vysena off. The voice was different. Not the soothing upper class Gallente accent but a robotic, artificial tone.
"Deactivate!" Vysena shouted. The drone simply turned to her. A small hatch opened in its front. "Deactivate!" she said again, fear creeping into her voice. A whooshing noise swept through the room and everyone jumped as a glass vase on the far wall exploded. Vysena looked at Yverens in shock. Her gaze slowly swept down. A red stain started to appear on the front of her t-shirt. She placed her hands on her stomach. Thick red blood pumped through her fingers.
"How?" she whispered before falling to the floor. The drone moved quickly cutting through Yverens' restraints and he leaped up ripping the bag from his daughter's head who noisily gasped lungfuls of air. He then dashed to his wife, ripping the power cord from the wall and removing the grill strapped to her. The front of her body was bright pink, however he didn't think they were burns. He untied her and went over to Vysena. She was laying on the floor on her back gasping as her hands pressed against her stomach.
"How?" she repeated.
"Winston is a special drone provided to us ex-Capsuleer Agents. Anyone looking at his program would only see a normal domestic helper drone. Even the techs who maintain it. However he is connected to the dwellings scanners. If the vital signs of any of us three goes critical he reboots. His OS is then rewritten from a hidden WORM drive. Military-grade AI this time. Along with the 15mm gauss gun hidden in his chassis he is quite the guard. The 'Alpha 1' command is to tell him anyone other than my family in the home is a viable a target to be neutralized."
The girl nodded in understanding apparently accepting her fate. Yverens glanced behind to see his wife and daughter crying in each others arms. He looked down at Vysena's wound. The railgun round was never meant to incapacitate. At this range there was no other potential outcome. Her breathing had became ragged as she coughed up blood.
"Your husband and daughter are waiting for you. I'm so sorry over what happened that day." he whispered quietly as she breathed her last breath. The sound of distant sirens started to grow louder.