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Zukes Bla'hati


Posts : 16
Join date : 2012-03-26

PostSubject: Nearsighted   Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:37 pm

((This has been a story in the making for about the past 3 years. I've just picked it up again now that I actually have people to show it to. I've had around a year break in between writing this. I'll be posting new chapters to this frequently. Just like anything else, this story isn't perfect. There are kinks and imperfections. This story is not yet refined. Please keep that in mind as you read. Thanks. <3))

A Chance for Change
“I’m not sure what I just did...but it will help my family. That’s all that matters...” Zukes thought to herself as she walked home that evening...

Shivering, she wrapped her arms around herself and smiled happily, “I’ll finally be able to pull my weight around home...maybe everyone won’t think I’m such a screw up if I bring home a check!”

Zukes breathed in deeply as the cool evening air hit her face. Grinning, she thought about all the praise and adoration that would be rained down upon her once she returned home.

“I wonder...” she thought to herself, “...What am I going to be doing there...? They didn’t even really tell me when I start the job. Just that I will be needed soon...but how soon is soon? I hope I’ll be able to save up to afford some new work clothes..” She swallowed nervously and hoped that she wouldn’t have to spend any of the family money on actually getting into a job. “...will we still be able to pay for Zhora’s tuition...? She’s too smart to have to go through the things that I have...”

As she walked up the stairs to her home she tried to calm her breathing. “I can’t let Mama know that I’m nervous about this...if she knows then she’ll never let me take the job and she’ll never let me help...my painting and artwork just doesn’t make enough for the family to survive. Especially after papa died...” Before opening the door to her family’s apartment she rubbed her temples and tried to collect herself... ”I did the right thing...I did the right thing...I did the right thing..”

She opened the door to her family's small apartment and beamed, “Guess what?! I finally think that I’ve found a job somewhere!”

“What’s that? I hope that you haven’t gotten yourself arranged with some shady group. You’re much too young and naive at times...” Zosma, Zukes’ mother, croaked from her tiny, well worn chair.

“Well, one of my friends told me that I should sign up with this group called Angel. I’ll be able to not only help us out with the paycheck I bring home, but I’ll be helping collect valuable information for Angel. I’ll be able to help them possibly cure illness and disease!” Zukes bounced happily before leaning down and hugging her mother. “We’ll finally be able to have all of the things that papa once promised us...”

Zosma scoffed, “Angel? Isn’t that the group that has been capturing people lately...? Are you sure of what you signed up for? I’ve heard of a lot of strange goings-on with Angel...” she lightly pushed her daughter aside.

Zukes frowned, “Mama..not everyone is out to get us. Besides, the lady that interviewed me was very nice. She said that I’d be making a paycheck that was double what Papa used to get!” Biting at her lip she looked down at the floor, tearing a bit at the thought of failing her mother and sister...”I just want to try and make things better for everyone...I thought maybe this would be my chance to help...”

Noticing the disappointment on Zukes face, Zosma gently grasped Zukes’ hand and looked up at her, “I know...I guess I have to trust your decisions someday...” she held onto Zukes’ hand tighter, “I just don’t know what I’d do if I lost you or Zhora...”

Zukes laughed with a hint of nervousness in her voice, “I’ll be fine...I’m sure that everything will be all right...you worry too much Mama.”
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Zukes Bla'hati


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PostSubject: Experimental Work Environment   Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:51 pm

Experimental Work Environment


“Ungh...” Zukes rubbed at her eyes tiredly before fumbling to shut off her alarm clock. Sitting up straight she looked in the mirror for a moment. “This is it...today is finally the day I begin to work for Angel...I wish my stomach would stop fluttering...” She reached down and nervously rubbed at her belly. “I’m so happy that I was able to do enough work for the gallery this month to be able to pay for a nice suit...I’m not sure how I pulled it off but Zhora was able to continue her training at the academy as well...”

Zukes glanced over at the grey pin-striped suit hanging near the mirror of her bedroom. Stretching, she stripped off her t-shirt and made her way towards the bathroom to began readying herself for her first real day of work.

She frowned while wiping the steam off of the bathroom mirror. Zukes stared at herself in the mirror for a moment. “I don’t look too bad...” she thought as she gathered a clump of gel in her hands and began to work it through her hair. “I should probably try to look as best as possible...maybe if I do it like this...” She swept her hair off to the left.

She grinned at her reflection. “That’s better, at least they can see my eyes...” She reached down for her bag of makeup and began to carefully apply her foundation, “I wonder what I’ll be doing...being that it’s the first day I imagine that it’ll be just some simple tasks...I really hope so if I were to do or say too much I might just throw up on my boss...” While trying to be as careful as possible putting on her makeup, her thoughts raced in every direction.

Zukes then started to make her way out of the bathroom she glanced over at her alarm clock. Suddenly a wave of panic ran over her, “I thought that I had more time than this...I’m going to be late!” She rushed out of the bathroom and quickly tried to clothe herself.

Not being used to dressing up in “high couture” she panicked. Every button and every zipper was a new challenge. Finally after zipping the final zipper on her boot she grabbed her bag and began rushing towards the door. “Good luck!” her mother called out as Zukes ran into the living room. “Thanks Mama, I won’t let you down today!” She quickly gave her mother a kiss on the cheek before rushing out the door.

The world blurred in her eyes as she ran towards the Angel laboratory. Every corner and crossing was a new challenge for Zukes in her newly acquired fashion. Stumbling, she finally made her way towards the entrance of the building. Panting, she brushed her hair out of her eyes and began walking towards the front desk.

“Welcome to new trainee orientation, miss...?” Zukes swallowed hard, trying to not look too winded, “Zukes...Zukes Bla’hati”

“Ah, Zukes Bla’hati...” the front desk attendee's eyes seemed to pierce through Zukes cheap attire. The attendee scrolled through her datapad briefly, “Ah, here you are. You are to make your way to room 23.” The women pointed down a long hallway off to Zukes’ left side. “It’s the last room off to your right.” She cleared her throat before going back to her datapad, “Oh, one more thing...you’ve got a little something right here...” The lady smirked as she grabbed a tissue from the corner of her desk and reached towards Zukes’ face, wiping away some black lipstick.

Blushing deeply, Zukes quickly looked down at the floor, “T-thank you...” she said before hugging her bag close against her chest and walking towards room 23. “What was I thinking...what was I thinking...I can’t even get myself dressed let alone work for Angel...there is no way that this is going to work out...” She swallowed hard as she placed her hand on the doorknob. She tried to collect herself before she opening the door and smiling brightly into the room.

The room was full of a handful of people, all of which looking very nervous and uncertain. A balding man, in his 50s, promptly stood and pointed at a seat near the back of the room, “Please, take your seat here and we’ll begin orientation very shortly.”

Zukes nodded quickly and seated herself. “Strange...I’ve only seen chairs like this in a gallery before...” Each of the chairs that the attendees of orientation were sitting in were high-backed and egg shaped with circular grooves down the spine of each back. Awkwardly, Zukes sat down and looked forward. At the front of the room there was a very large desk where two men and three women sat. Each of them wore a crisp, white laboratory coat.

“I’m pleased to have approved all of your applications and to inform you that Angel is happy to be your new employer.” The balding man smiled as he looked out over the new employees. “Here at Angel we want you to feel like you’re really a part of the team. We plan on accomplishing big things!” He gestured towards a large screen. An image of a smiling woman in a laboratory coat flashed across the screen, “Welcome to Angel Laboratories!” was highlighted in bright blue above her head.

“Please, sit back and enjoy this small film that we’ve put together for our new employees. This film will inform you of the work that you will be doing for us. Once again, thank you for signing up with Angel to help us fight for new advances in medical technology.” Smiling, he bowed slightly towards the crowd before taking his seat in the front corner of the room.

“Wow...” Zukes thought to herself, “This seems like it’s going to be a lot more than what I bargained for at first...I thought I was just going to be answering calls and delivering packages...” She sat back in her seat and stared forwards at the screen. Images of recent strides in medical technology flashed across the screen. “Mmm...Angel really has done a lot to help out the nation...I didn’t realize that they had accomplished this much...”

Zukes perked a bit as she heard a sudden whirring noise followed by a faint hiss. “Hmm...must be the air conditioning unit or something...It is a bit stuffy in here...” she thought as she shifted uncomfortably. The room began to grow cold as the faint smell of lavender filled her nostrils, “Mmm...the air freshener here smells great...nothing like a hospital at all...” Closing her eyes, she began to drift off. Slowly falling back against the egg-chair. Suddenly, Zukes felt a dozen tiny stabbing pains in the back of her spine. She tried to jump out her chair... ”Why...why can’t I move...what’s going on...I...can’t get up...” At the base of her neck she suddenly felt a large puncturing object burrowing its way into her flesh. She began choking for air as she struggled to scream. All control from her body slowly faded away as the room around her spun out of control into a blur of darkness...

“I just...wanted a chance...”

Last edited by Zukes Bla'hati on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Zukes Bla'hati


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PostSubject: Awakening   Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:05 pm


It’s cold here. Time moves differently...much slower than before.

“Is this a dream...where am I...”

Pain...the cold doesn’t make it any better.

“Why is it so dark...”

Light, very dim at first and quickly growing brighter. This light is followed shortly by a voice. Choppy and unclear at first and growing stronger. Footsteps echoed throughout Zukes’ mind as she struggled to open her eyes...finding it impossible to do so...

“This is an experimental test unit from group #23. She’s been in cryopreservation for around 2 years or so...”

Warm...slowly at first and growing increasingly warmer floods through Zukes’ body.

“We didn’t have a real use for her at first...she came in too malnourished to really be of any use... It’s probably going to take her a while before she is completely functional. She needs to be able to breathe on her own before we begin the testing.”

Heavy...every movement is a struggle. Zukes’ eyes flutter as she struggles to regain awareness.
Feeling begins to come back to her body as she struggles to awaken.

“Watch her. She might look like she’s harmless but when she wakes she could possibly become very hostile. Strap her legs and arms to the table, now.”

Zukes tries to take a breath. Her chest rattles deeply as the cool, sterile air trickles in. She begins to cough violently, her eyes widening suddenly as she struggles to cough up a thick liquid trapped from deep within her lungs.

Footsteps...they’re coming close...blurs...fuzzy figures running towards her. “My head...it hurts so much...”

“Ah good, make sure that she is breathing correctly after she's finished waking. If not make sure to put her on oxygen quickly.”


“Why does everything hurt so much...did I get hurt while I was working...?”

Trying to move her legs to stand, Zukes flops against the table uselessly. Her movement is limited by the scratchy straps around her ankles and wrists. Unable to move or gather enough thought to speak, her eyes dart around the room as a state of panic begins to slowly settle in. Starting with a tiny shudder at the base of her spine an overwhelming sense of fear floods Zukes’ mind.

“Did I hurt someone...? Why am I strapped down like this...what did I do...?! I...I can’t remember...”

Managing to gather enough strength in her hand, she rubs her fingertips together. A sticky substance coated them. More feeling slowly starts to come back, every hair of her body feels heavy and weighed down by something...

“Why am I wet...this...this isn’t water...did I cause an accident of some sort...? I hope that no one was hurt...”

Her vision slowly began to clear, the only thing visible was a silver ceiling and several bright, blinding lights. Zukes’ tried to raise a hand to shield her aching eyes, only finding it impossible due to the restraints.

An unfamiliar voice echoes throughout the room; “Zukes Bla’hati...is that your name?”

“Someone is talking to me...I should answer them...they probably know what is going on...” Zukes thought to herself. She opens her mouth slowly, trying to say yes. ...Only be able to breathe out raspily at the person questioning her.

The examiner noticed her difficulty in speaking, sighing exhaustively he replied to her noise, “Blink once for yes and twice for no.”

Zukes managed to blink once slowly while trying to smile up at the examiner.

The examiner moved closer beside the table that Zukes was laying upon, “You’re needed now. We will be doing experimentation on your eyesight once you have regained consciousness.”

“Experimentation...but...why? I thought...what’s going on...did I do something wrong?” Zukes managed to catch a glimpse of a tall man with short, slicked hair standing beside her. Wanting to have some kind of contact with the person next to her, she tried to touch his side. She only managed to wiggle her fingertips against his leg.

“Please, save your strength Bla’hati. We need you to be healthy and strong. After two years of being in cryopreservation it’s going to take quite a while for you to come around...”

“Cryo...cryopreservation...?” Zukes mind flooded with questions, suddenly finding herself very confused. “...what happened? Did I get hurt...?” Unsure of what she had just heard or where exactly she was...she figured that being as pleasant as possible would probably be for the best. Zukes managed to pinch her index finger and thumb together, grasping lightly at the examiners coat, she looked up at him with a weak smile.

“Hah..haha. Hey, come over here a minute.” The examiner waved towards his colleagues. “This one is smiling...have you seen that before? I wonder what she thinks is happening.” Laughter filled the room. Footsteps could be heard fading away and a door closing promptly after.

Silence shortly followed after.

Zukes began to quiver as she tried to gather her thoughts together.

“...what..what did I do...?”

Last edited by Zukes Bla'hati on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zukes Bla'hati


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PostSubject: Testing   Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:24 pm


Over the next few days Zukes slowly started to gain her strength...as well as confusion. Try as she might no would would tell her anything other than she was needed for an experimental procedure. It was frustrating to be under such close watch, especially when there were so many questions that needed to be answered. She quickly grew restless...it was no use. No matter how fast her mind was racing, her legs wouldn’t keep up with it even if she wanted them to. Standing was a challenge...walking was impossible. Zukes wasn’t sure if this was because she was so tired or because no one would let her move on her own. Under constant supervision, she was a prisoner of a tiny white cell.

“Why won’t anyone tell me anything...I just want to know what’s going on...” she thought to herself while staring up at the ceiling of what appeared to her as a hospital. “I wish that they would just let me do things by myself...I feel so disgusting. They won’t let me up to take a shower or to even walk around...my legs ache so bad.... My back is so tense... I wish someone would at least talk to me about what is going on...that doesn’t matter though I guess. I’m here to help others and to help my family...I just hope that the money I was promised is being wired to my account...I can’t remember if...well...I just can’t remember...all I know is I’m here working...helping my family. I did this for Mama, Zhora and Papa...Papa would be proud of me for at least trying...”

Seeing as Zukes was such a complacent and calm candidate, she was left alone momentarily. Earlier, she was told she would be needed today for the beginnings of an experiment.

Zukes sighed as she shakily reached up to the back of her neck. She winced as her fingers brushed against something cold and metallic. Her heart began to race as she slowly arched her back and felt along her spine.

Bumps...metal implants were replacing what once was soft, smooth skin.

She began panting as she continued to feel at the metallic ridges along her spine. Each of the ridges seemed to have a tiny opening in the middle...”what...what are these for...?”

Suddenly, the door to her room opened. Terrified of what she had already discovered, Zukes panicked and quickly laid back down.

“Miss Bla’hati...?” a soft feminine voice cooed.

Zukes nodded, coughing hoarsely before responding, “y-yes...” She looked up to see a tall, thin women before her.

“Ah...Miss Zukes, we plan on starting the operation today. This is an experimental operation that will affect your eyesight. We are in hopes that you will see better after this experiment.”

Zukes tilted her head and thought to herself, “I see fine...why would they be messing with my eyes...? If anything they should be concerned about these things on my back and why I can’t walk...I...I can’t remember how they got there...or why I can’t walk...”

Busy, the women occupied herself with a datapad. She looked up at Zukes for moment, then back down at the datapad. This happened for what seemed like an hour before she walked towards a closet in the corner of the room. Searching through the closet briefly she came back with an IV full of purple liquid.

“Your arm, please.” She gestured at Zukes.

Zukes nodded and complied with the women’s request. She thought to herself silently while wincing at the sudden shooting pain up her arm, “This is okay...yeah...this is okay. Maybe this is some kind of medicine...yeah medicine. It’s going to help me get better so I can help them instead of laying around here...I wonder what kind of clumsy mistake I had have to had done to get like this...”

“This medication will sedate you so we can operate. You will be “awake” during this operation due to the delicateness of this procedure. You will not be able to move or talk during this experiment...” The women suddenly smiled eerily down at Zukes, “Unfortunately though, this is going to be very painful...we don’t have any medication to help with the pain. Please bear through this as we are experiencing difficulties in sedation.”

“Ah...well...it’s for the best, right?” Zukes croaked while smiling wearily up at the women.

“...yes...for the best...”

She turned away and busied herself with a datapad once again.

“Yeah...for the best. Maybe I’ll be helping to cure blindness...or...perhaps some kind of degenerative disease. As long as I’m helping...it doesn’t matter.” Zukes thought to herself as she settled back against the bed. Her body began to feel heavy...her heart beat slower...her muscles began to relax. “This...this isn’t so bad...it won’t be that bad. I really do wish that they would tell me what is going on...but...it can’t be helped I guess...yeah...it can’t be helped. They’re busy...”
Humming weakly to herself she looked around the room. A table of medical instruments were sitting next to her. They all looked rather odd and invasive... Some kind of clamps...another object that looked similar to a spoon...the other looking like a corkscrew. “I wonder...what exactly are these for...?”

Her humming stopped abruptly.

Taking this as her cue the examiner glanced over at Zukes for a moment. “Hmm...”

She walked towards the hospital bed and placed a hand on Zukes’ face. No reaction.

Zukes stared up at her with a dazed expression.

“I think she’s ready...” the women called over to a group of two men. They promptly walked towards the bed and looked down at Zukes.

“Ahhh yes...” a man’s voice agreed. “It’s about time she becomes useful...this is probably going to be the highlight of her life.” He laughed a little while tracing down Zukes’ tattoo’s on her cheeks. “I wonder what exactly these are supposed to mean, they look like tears of some sort...how ironic... I don’t understand why they all have them. After all, “The Dark Ages” are over.” He said as the others laughed.

“Let's begin, we can’t waste anymore time on this one.” He announced while bending over Zukes. The other man from earlier bent over her other side.

“Here Sabik, you place the speculum on one eye while I do the other.” The man to Zukes’ left reached over and grabbed the instrument before bending down and opening her eye forcefully. He pulled back the lids and snapped the speculum into place. The other man did the same. “I wonder what that feels like...” he laughed, “Wait..I don’t really care!”

Pain intense and seering flooded Zukes senses. Unable to close her eyes or tear she laid against the cold bed and looked up at the men in terror.

“So, we’re removing the eyes and replacing them with the test implants?”

“Yes...I’m not sure as to if they’ll work on the first try. They worked well on the first candidates...but the first candidates weren’t as frail as she is.”

The noise of metal clinking against glass filled the room.

“We need to sterilize her eyes before extracting them...hand me the sterilizing drops.”

Stunningly sharp pain filled Zukes’ nerves. She felt like she was vibrating...shaking...panicking...

While she felt like every muscle in her body was crawling, she was completely stiff.

“Mmm, let those sit a while before we continue with the removal. They need at least a couple of seconds to take effect. After that, you know what to do. Scoop ‘em out and stick in the new ones. After that give her the anesthesia. She’ll need those to heal for a couple of days before we can really begin our testing...”

The room grew quiet...

“All right, that should have been enough time. Start extraction. Remember, be careful not to hit her optic nerve.”

A buzzing noise filled the room.

Zukes felt like her entire body was racing. “Extraction” echoed and repeated over and over again in her mind.

A bright red light was suddenly shone in her right eye.

“Starting extraction.”

The buzzing noise became clearer and clearer...

An object that appeared to be a screwdriver drew nearer and nearer Zukes’ right eye.

A sharp stabbing pain filled her entire body as the sickening noise of flesh being ripped apart reverberated throughout her head. Darkness flooded her senses.

“Looks good, scoop out the remains and put in the replacement.”

A heavy pressure weighted down on her eye. With every scoop and gesture of removal a wet, moist noise filled the area.

“Good...good...attach the device to her optic nerve. Then, place the device into her socket.”

Hot...stabbing...sutures connected her optic nerve directly into the “eyesight improvement” device.

Zukes felt a hard shoving sensation in her socket...

Suddenly, she felt her heart racing and her body quaking. She began to seize as the pain from the procedure overtook her completely.

“Shit! Shit! She’s seizing. Quick...make sure she doesn’t fall off the damned table!”

A pair of strong hands clamped down onto her shoulders.

“Hold her, hold her! Let me get the shot...keep holding her down!”

She continued to seize as a bubbly foam oozed from her lips.

“I can’t hold onto her any longer, hurry up with that fucking thing!”

Sharp, stabbing pain flowed into her leg.

A loud rushing sound filled her ears.

She felt as if she was falling...falling into a deep, dark hole...


“Papa...I’m coming home...please be waiting for me...”
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Zukes Bla'hati


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PostSubject: Re: Nearsighted   Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:25 am


Who are you...?

“I am you. The you that has been trapped...”

What do you want...why are you hurting me...

“I’m not hurting you...but you need to wake up...”

It hurts...its too hard...there isn’t anything left for me anymore...

“You need to wake up anyway. People need you.”

Need me to what...?

“Need you to fight.”

I can’t...papa didn’t get anywhere as a fighter...why would I...

“We need you...”

I hear rushing...rushing water. Did someone leave the tap on? No...no this doesn’t sound the same. Rustling...rustling of people coming and going. I can’t move. Pain...deep pain...burning from the back of my head all the way down to my toes. Unbearable...yet...can’t seem to do anything about it. Breathing...heaving...struggling...is that me? Are those noises coming from me? Swaying...back and forth...back and forth...am I moving? No...no that’s not me. Someone is moving me...I feel like I’m being carried...where...where are they taking me? It’s dark...is it night time? No..no it’s been too dark for too long.

Did Zhora graduate...she was doing so well with her training. I think that she would make a fine capsuleer. She’s smart, cunning and fast. That’s what they are looking for. She’s got it...I’m so proud of her.

Mama...how is she? Age isn’t a kind thing...it takes the things that we love the most and renders them into something we can’t recognize. Time moves so quickly when you begin to grow older. She still had time...time to become well.

Fighting...why did Papa fight for us? Working for the Republic Fleet was hard on him...we never seen him very much when I was younger. He worked hard for us...so hard. Until...until one day he fought too hard. There was a mistake...he couldn’t come back to us... After that...we had nothing left. Mama says that it was no one’s fault... Sometimes I think that the spoiled us too much... We had everything that we could have ever wanted. Shiny trinkets, expensive trips, fancy vacations...it was too much...

Moving...it was difficult on all of us. To be in such a rich and lush environment to suddenly be in a housing complex...I’m still not sure what happened. We struggled...all of us. All that mattered was Zhora. So young...so talented. She was much braver than I... Getting her to a good place in her life was important. She worked so hard...

Painting...the only thing that mattered other than family. Pictures of the past, present and future. Combining the three was challenging... Art made me feel unique, especially since it was hard to tell people about my feelings. Holding things inside is best for everyone... There is too much pain in the world to cause suffering on others.

My tattoos. A symbol of who I am. Voluval... I was young...15 maybe? Mama and Zhora were so proud that day... I felt proud too...I finally belonged. I meant something. I just...I just wish I could remember what I meant...

What is that noise...is it me?


Am I...still...alive?


Zukes struggled to open her eyes, a thick, heavy crust kept them closed. Shakily, she raised a hand to rub at her face. A deep, stinging pain penetrated throughout her head as she rubbed. Slowly, her eyelids managed to crack through their encasing. The world around here was blurry, bright and sketchy. Squinting, she tried to get a better idea of her surroundings.

For the first time in what seemed like ages, Zukes managed to climb to her feet, shakily standing to walk. Making out an entrance, she stumbled into a small room. She felt around until feeling something cold and metallic. A handle...a faucet...a bathroom. "I need to wash my face...I’ve got to get this stuff off so I can see better..." Feeling her feet starting to give out beneath her, Zukes scrambled to prop herself up against the sink. Turning the faucet to the sink was challenging, after what seemed like ages the sound of rushing water hit her ears. Holding herself up with her elbows, she cupped her hands together underneath the water. Trembling, she raised her hands to her face.

It was a relief to feel the cool water against her skin, but soon the stinging pain from her eyes quickly became overwhelming. Exhausted from this minor task, Zukes collapsed against the floor. ”I need help..someone has to be here to help me...” Desperately, she tried to call out into the next room.

“Help...please...help me...” her small, shaky voice bounced off the walls and echoed back at her.

”No one is here...”

Zukes laid back, ”Someone will come...someone will help me...” her thoughts began to slow down...her breathing more shallow...exhausted, she drifted off into a deep sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: Nearsighted   Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:38 pm


Snapping awake suddenly, Zukes gasped for air. The floor around her was damp with her own sweat. Wiping at her forehead, she managed to climb to her knees.

Hazy...everything looked as if it were surrounded in a heavy fog. As much as she rubbed at her eyes, nothing changed.

She started to crawl out of the bathroom. A dull, blue light shone in the middle of the room. Squinting, Zukes crawled towards the light.

“Hello...is someone there...?”

After she spoke, the light grew brighter. Zukes lifted her head slowly to see a hologram flickering before her. It was hard to exactly make out what the hologram was...

“Good evening Zukes Bla’hati you have been at Angel Laboratories for 2 years and 3 months.”

Zukes’ mind boggled, she struggled to sit up, continuing to stare at the projection.

“Your contribution has been greatly valued to Angel, unfortunately your eyesight improvement procedure has failed. You will be released from Angel Laboratories shortly.”

“Released...where...where am I supposed to go...? Mama...Zhora...?”

The projection flickered, the voice changing.

“Zukes Bla’hati. Within the time of your stay with Angel your mother has died.”

Her throat tightened, her eyesight blurred more as tears formed in her eyes.


“Your sister's whereabouts are unknown.”

Zukes shook her head side to side, “What...what am I supposed to do...”

“Arrangements are currently being made for you to become a capsuleer. You will begin training.”

Her eyes suddenly widened, fear overtaking her, “Training?! ...I can’t be a capsuleer I don’t know the first thing about being a capsuleer!” she choked.

“Please await transport to your new location. Goodbye.”

The hologram flickered off.

Zukes sat back, trying to absorb everything that she had just heard. She curled into a ball and laid on her side, sobbing as she tried to make sense of all the information.

”I can’t be a capsuleer...I can’t do anything...I want to go home...”

She shook as emotion swelled around her.

”I no longer have a home...”
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PostSubject: Re: Nearsighted   Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:28 pm

Surprise Mission

Opening the door to her tiny living quarters, Zukes sighed heavily. She made her way into a tiny bathroom off to the left side of her room. Turning on the faucet, she stared at herself in the mirror a moment. A grossly scarred eye and one seemingly robotic one stared back at her. Still not used to her ghastly appearance, she shivered and glanced down at the sink quickly.

9 months had passed since she had began her training. Every day was a blur as the only thing that she could think about were her mother, sister and what exactly had happened to her during her stay at “Angel”.

Most of the other students at the academy didn’t have much to say to Zukes. She was considerably weaker than the other trainees; cryopreservation didn’t do her any favors. It also didn’t help much that she was Minmatar going to a Gallente training unit. While most of the old stereotypes had died out, many of them were still held strong. Fortunately, Zukes was naive enough to not realize what was being said about her. She assumed that most of them didn’t want anything to do with her due to her appearance, even though it wasn’t uncommon to have the “technological advances” that she had bestowed upon her.

Splashing some cool water onto her face, Zukes turned to grab a towel, she rubbed at her face for a moment before looking up at the mirror again.

”Am I really that ugly that no one would talk to me...?" she thought to herself as she briefly touched her cheek.

Feeling her emotions welling in her throat, she quickly turned away from the mirror. Zukes trudged out of the bathroom before sitting on the edge of her bed. She glanced out the window of her quarters, staring at the hostile environment of space.

“When will this be over...” she said aloud while roughly tugging off her uniform and slipping on an ill-fitting tanktop.

She reached over at a side-table for her datapad, squinting as it powered on. Zukes scrolled through it before stopping shortly. A message, different than what she had seen before, flashed on the screen.

Tomorrow you will be transporting goods to Sahtogas. Arrive promptly at 0800 to the hangar to be briefed on the details of this mission.

“A mission...but I’ve never been out on my own!”She panicked, her eyes darting around the room, she was trying to find a way to escape.

Zukes laid back, she breathed deeply, her stomach churning nervously as she thought to herself.

”I’ve really got no choice...do I?”

She pulled the covers around herself before laying on her side. Zukes swallowed hard, trying to fight back the negative thoughts bouncing in her head.

”No turning back...I need to face the facts...I’m lost here...”
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Zukes Bla'hati


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PostSubject: Re: Nearsighted   Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:29 pm

A Chance Encounter

“Congratulations Pilot, you didn’t do too bad for a rookie.”

Zukes beamed as she looked down at the message on datapad. For the first time in 3 years someone was proud of her.

As she had done so well her first time out, she was granted a small leave. One month. This was the longest time that Zukes had had to herself in what seemed like forever. It was a daunting thought that she would be by herself for that long...

"What am I going to do with myself for that long...I don’t even know anyone...or anywhere to go...I guess maybe I can just catch up on sleep." she thought to herself as she walked out to the hangar.

She looked at the Prowler for a moment, then back down at the floor. "I never thought I’d be in control of something so big...or so many people..” The responsibility was still something that was difficult for her to get over.

Zukes climbed into her pod, reaching back to connect herself to the system. Even though this didn’t hurt, it still sent shivers down her spine that she was plugging something foreign into her body. As the capsule began to fill with pod goo, she held her breath. Of course this wasn’t really necessary, but it was a habit that was hard to break.

It was still difficult for her to control ships. As much practice as she had at the academy, it still was a process that she wasn’t used to. It was an unsettling and eerie feeling to Zukes to know that she basically was her ship. Even more so to know that she was carrying around 20 other people with her. Responsibility was something that she could never fully get used to. Of course she was responsible before...but mainly for sister, her mother and herself.

Zukes began to settle, the slow feeling of movement from the ship calmed her, she slowly started to doze off.

Suddenly, a voice crackled in her ear.

“Captain! Captain we have a problem!”

She instantly snapped awake, terrified of what could possibly be going wrong.

“Y-yes?! What’s going on? Are you all all right?!”

“We’re all fine, but we’ve found someone!”

”What the hell...how could they have gotten in here?!” she thought to herself, thinking of not only her safety, but the safety of all the others around her.

”Trap them! We can’t risk the lives of anyone here!”

“They don’t appear hostile, captain...are you sure that’s what you want to do?”

”Y-yes! Please just listen to me, we can’t risk anyone here! Have security watch them until we have gotten back to the academy!”

“Yes, Captain Bla’hati.”

Worry filled Zukes’ head, she started to tremble.

I’ve failed again...
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PostSubject: 1st Encounter (Meeting Aphoxema)   Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:41 pm

1st Encounter (Meeting Aphoxema)

Zukes wiped at her brow momentarily before climbing out of her pod.

”This can’t be good...why would someone be on my ship?", she thought while walking out of the hangar, every step that she took her heart throbbed in her throat.

She turned the corner quickly to see two of her crew members dragging along a very skinny and grimy female.

Trembling, Zukes swallowed hard and tried to regain some composure before reaching down for her pistol. Shaking, she slowly pointed the pistol towards the strange infiltrator.

She squinted, staring ahead, before pointing her pistol directly at the stranger’s forehead, “W-who are you?!” she choked.

Aphoxema frowned at the capsuleer, her eyes still burning from chicken broth, “I’m not anyone special, just looking for a ride.”

Zukes slowly let down her weapon, scanning the stow-away while trying to size up her intentions, “Why are you here...? How did you get aboard my ship?!”

“I’m not here to hurt anyone, and I just walked on. Nobody around to stop me, I was hungry, and wanted to get out of Amarr space...”

“Amarr space...what were you doing there?! ...and why wasn’t my crew paying better attention....” Zukes frowned before putting her pistol back in it’s holster.

Hey, I can’t help your crew or what they do.” Aphoxema sighed, quickly building a story, “I’m an escaped slave, I just want to get out of here.”

Guilt began to overwhelm Zukes as she quickly looked down, thinking about what horrible things the Amarr had possibly done to the woman standing before her, she gestured for her crew to let her go, “What’s your name, friend...?”

Aphoxema reached back to her neck, smearing potato soup on her interface to hide her capsuleer status, “Uh, oh... Jade, my name’s Jade Con... Jade Conbubbles.”

Zukes wrinkled her nose, “Conbubbles...?” she shrugged before walking closer to Conbubbles “Well...Jade how about we get you cleaned up...you can’t be very comfortable with all that grime and filth on you...” she smiled weakly at Jade before slowly extending a hand out towards her.

Aphoxema hesitantly shook her hand, “I... appreciate it, and I’m happy to help. I didn’t want to stow away, I was just afraid.”

Zukes began to let her guard down, assuming that the person before her couldn’t possibly of any harm. “I know what it’s like to be afraid...let me help you...”

Aphoxema smiled tiredly, “If it’s not asking too much, can I sleep somewhere? I’ve had a crazy day.”

Zukes laughed slightly before nodding towards Jade, “Of course...let me help you...” she moved towards Jade, putting an arm around her before smiling warmly.

Aphoxema held her back. She knew she was still in danger, but she could finally relax.

Last edited by Zukes Bla'hati on Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Connecting   Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:35 am


(This is a collaboration between Aphoxema and I.)

Zukes woke up abruptly, the thoughts of yesterday's encounter still swimming through her head. ”I could have been killed...” she thought as she climbed out of bed before going to shower.

Lathering her hair with shampoo, she scrubbed roughly at her scalp, ”I should have handled that differently...what would have happened if Jade was a threat...” Zukes finished washing up before getting dressed.

”I should go check on her...if anything...she’ll be someone to talk to..” she thought, giving a slight smile.

Slipping on her boots, she opened the door of her room and began walking towards the room Jade was staying in. Zukes swallowed hard as approached Jade’s temporary bedroom.

Trembling, Zukes raised a hand and nervously knocked on her door, “H-hello? C-can I please come in...?”

Aphoxema jumped from her half sleep, sitting up in her bed and pulling the collar of her borrowed jacket up, “Yes! Yes... come in.”

Slowly Zukes opened the door, closing it gently behind her. Shuffling her feet slightly, she smiled at Jade, “D-did you sleep well?” she said before sitting on a corner of the bed.

Aphoxema pulled her knees to herself, “As well as I can, I guess...”

Zukes frowned, “I...I’m sorry...it’s not very comfortable here...” She looked down at the floor quickly, “C-can I get you anything?!” she looked up hopefully at Jade.

“You’ve done more than enough for me already.”

Zukes quickly looked down, slightly disappointed, “Ah...ah...okay.” Biting at her lip, she thought to herself briefly, “D-do you have any family to go back to...? I can help you...”

Aphoxema leaned to Zukes a little, “I have options, I’ll be fine. Are you okay?”

Shocked, Zukes looked up at Jade, “M-me? W-why do you ask?”

“You’re about to supernova. What are you so nervous about?”

Closing her eyes, Zukes exhaled slowly, “I...I just don’t get the chance to really talk to anyone...I’m always busy...” she smiled painfully.

Aphoxema turned, letter her legs off the bed and moving closer, “My idea of busy is having too many people to talk to.”

As Jade moved closer, Zukes blushed deeply, “W-well...I just...I’m just a trainee...and I don’t really know anyone here.” she looked down, “It’s hard to make friends.”

“We all start new, I remember my first days as...” Aphoxema paused, catching herself, “With a new holder, new rules, and you have to catch up quickly.”

Noticing Jade’s pause, Zukes arched a brow slightly, “Yes...change is always difficult...”

“Yeah, a lot of change. Everything’s changed, I’ll just have to hope I can find someone who can still trust me...”

Zukes nodded slowly, questioning Jade’s statement “Well..I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t trust you..you’re just a slave after all...” she squinted and tilted her head, scanning Jade briefly, “...right?”

Aphoxema coughed, “Of a sort.”

“Of...a...sort?” Zukes thought to herself, Jade’s story didn’t exactly line up. Longing for any kind of human interaction, she slowly placed a hand on Jade’s knee, “You can tell me...”

Aphoxema blushed, frustrated, “I’m not a slave, I’m just an idiot. I really screwed up and then I got sucked into I-don’t-know-what. Now I’m probably a fugitive in Amarr space and I’m not very popular in Republic space either.”

All color quickly drained Zukes face, shocked, she quickly recoiled her hand, “...W-what? I...I don’t know what to say...” she put her head in her hands, tearing at the thought of her punishment for letting someone like Jade into the academy.

“Don’t worry, it’s not like anyone’s really going to be looking for me. I guess I’d better get out of here, though.”

Zukes stood quickly, a new feeling began to overtake her, she began to shake as tears streamed down her cheeks, trembing with anger, she looked up at Jade, “Why would I believe that no one would be looking for you? ...what else have you lied to me about...”

“Everything, I guess. My name’s Aphoxema Jeehiro, I was a pilot for an Amarr paramilitary corporation. I’m a blood traitor and then I betrayed the Empire. I’m sure if I get to work now I can have the Federation out for my neck by week’s end.”

Zukes shut her eyes tightly, turning away from Aphoxema, “Why...why did you leave...why are you here now...”

Aphoxema sighed, “There was an attack by Minmatar freedom-fighters, they killed everyone around me but let me go. Somewhere in all that, I just realized that I ruined everything when I joined, when I left Star Fraction to support the Empire. Now I just don’t know what to do.”

Zukes nodded slowly as she absorbed this information, rubbing at her temples she sat down next to Aphoxema, “I...I don’t really know what to do either...but...”, Feeling quite alone desperate for a chance at some kind of acquaintance, she swallowed hard before slowly extending a hand towards Aphoxema “...for some reason...I want to help you...”

Aphoxema looked up and stared at Zukes, slowly raising her hand to hold hers, “How much?”

Zukes squeezed Aphoxema's hand tightly before locking eyes with her, “...as much as I can possibly help...”

Aphoxema looked back into her eyes, drawn in, trapped, “I’m not... even sure what to do. I guess I just need time to rest and think.”

Zukes nods slowly, smiling gently at Aphoxema, “...I could use a rest myself...”

Aphoxema smirked, jokingly spoke, “These ships get pretty cold...”

Zukes blushed deeply, scooting away from Aphoxema quickly, “J-just what are you implying?! You don’t even know my name!”

“Hey, there’s a lot of names that I didn’t know that... actually shot me down but it’s good to keep trying, right? What is your name?”

Zukes looked up at Aphoxema, forcing a slight smile “Zukes...Zukes Bla’hati...”

“That’s a cool name. So...” Aphoxema moved aside, “Come here and tell me about your eyes.”

Almost having forgotten, Zukes’ heart leapt into her throat, having never being asked before about her appearance before, she was taken aback. Zukes swallowed hard, “...It...it’s a long story...and...I’m sure you wouldn’t want to hear about it...”

Aphoxema smiled genuinely, “Nothing could possibly be more interesting to me right now.”

Zukes nodded slowly, “Well...it all started with me taking a job for Angel Laboratories...”
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PostSubject: Friendship   Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:04 pm


(Collab between AphoxemaG and myself.)

Wiping tears away from her eyes, Zukes looked up at Aphoxema, “...and...that’s why I’m like this...” she briefly pointed at her face with a weak smile.

Aphoxema looked over Zukes, unconcerned, “You’re pretty brave.”

“B...brave? I’m a coward...” Zukes shook her head, looking down at the floor. “I’ve just do whatever people tell me to do...because I don’t want to disappoint them.”

“That’s a brave thing to do, to take on the risk, to put yourself in a place where you can fail.”

“I guess you’re right...but...I fail so often.”

“Sometimes you can’t win, but it’s worse to not try.”

Zukes nodded slowly before looking back up at Aphoxema, “Yeah...you’re right.” she smiled weakly, “T-thank you...”

Aphoxema smiled back, “Want to have dinner with me somewhere?”

Zukes swallowed hard, staring at her feet, blushing at Aphoxema’s request, “D-dinner? I...I’m not sure of where we could go...but...if you have a place you’d like to go...” she looked back up at Aphoxema, “I...I think I’d like that.”

“Any station’s got a good place to go. Some got them so good they’re the only reason people travel lightyears to eat.”

“I see...well...you pick wherever you want to go and I’d be happy to accompany you...”

Aphoxema grinned, standing, “Look by the hotels, that’s where the good ones are, or the ones that look pretty enough to get people passing through.”

Zukes blushed deeply, she was still unclear of Aphoxema’s intentions but longed for a friend so desperately that she was willing to listen to whatever Aphoxema had to say, “I...I haven’t been to anything around here...let’s pick something together...maybe? If...that’s okay with you.”

Aphoxema smiled certainly, walking out of the passenger cabin with Zukes.

The academy station had many places to offer, featuring many cuisines, some offered almost anything. Neither of them wanting to choose a place with a lot of company, they chose a small restaurant. The food wasn’t anything special, but at that time it didn’t really matter to either of the two.

Her stomach fluttering and her mind chattering, Zukes found it very hard to eat anything. Not wanting to offend Aphoxema who had paid for her meal, she picked up a small fry and began to nibble.

She looked up at Aphoxema who was clearly satisfied with whatever it was she was eating. Zukes nervously decided to interrupt her, “Ah...how is your meal?” she said softly, trying to muster her sweetest smile.

Aphoxema smiled at Zukes softly and stared attentively a moment, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever ate in my life. I never planned on living forever but it came as a surprise I’ve lived to see today, and being here with you makes it every bit of perfect.”

Zukes swallowed hard as she felt her cheeks blazing. She still wasn’t sure exactly what Aphoxema’s intentions were, she was probably just being nice because of the previous circumstances. Nevertheless, Zukes was happy to have the attention.

“...I’m...glad that you are enjoying yourself.”

“For months now I haven’t bothered to enjoy myself, too busy serving God, making my superiors... well, satisfied. They couldn’t be happy with me, it’s all just a well-oiled machine and anything less than that is unacceptable. I thought I was doing the right thing, but yesterday I realized that there is nothing about morality in The Reclaiming, only duty to God.

I’m not even sure... if that God exists, if any do, but especially that one. It is in us to feel rightness and wrongness but the only thing that they insist God wants us to feel is the privilege to serve. I felt it at first, at first when they told me I did well, when I needed to hide from myself the fact I was a traitor to my blood.

All I would ever be is a tool for the tools, as Minmatar they could individually give me respect for the things I accomplished, but as a whole I must be the lesser, lower than the bottom Amarr caste. The only thing that got me around it, that elevated me despite every unspoken and spoken rule that dictated I must be inferior is my being a capsuleer.

I wish I’d seen it sooner, before I murdered so many of my people, supported slavery and terrible things...” Aphoxema stopped suddenly, smiling at Zukes awkwardly, “I’m on a tangent, forgive me.”

Zukes stared at Aphoxema, wide-eyed with interest, “No...no no! Please...tell me more...” feeling more at ease, she picked up her sandwich and started eating.

Aphoxema took a drink and reflected a moment, “Star Fraction, after they picked me up, I learned a lot about philosophy, about government and its impact on people, about memes and the danger they pose. Memes, though... I didn’t understand how pervasive they could be, I didn’t understand how I was getting wrapped up in the Amarr faith in subtle ways.

I had a girlfriend, in Star Fraction, and she wanted to join Ubiqua Seraph. I didn’t want to leave... I mean, I didn’t want to stay terribly much, I didn’t know how happy I was. I mean, happier. She was important to me, so I went with her, and then everything got very strange and she treated me very differently.

Then we split up, then I managed to piss off some really reputable holder, and then my hangar was assaulted and since I was the only one left alive there was a lot of doubt that I wasn’t involved. Nothing by Ubiqua Seraph itself, but it was enough to have me arrested by Imperial Navy police.

Then I got away thanks to someone in Aegis Militia ordering my release and... I snuck onto your ship to escape.” Aphoxema breathed deeply, overwhelmed with the reality of her situation. “All I really have right now asset-wise is a few million isk.”

Zukes sat a moment, staring down at her empty plate, she looked up at Aphoxema and smiled, “Well...at least you have experience...even though the way you got it may have been bad...you have at least had it. That’s important...at least...that’s what I think..” she looked down quickly, hoping that she hadn’t said too much.

Aphoxema sighed in a sort of surprised relief, “You have a good way of seeing things. I guess what I really have a lot left of is an interest in new things... new people... Marie, that girlfriend, she was so happy and interested in growth, art, seeing things improve. Somewhere she... was corrupted, I think. I wish I could have turned her away from it. I wish I could turn anyone away from it, from neglecting their own will to think...”

Zukes stared at Aphoxema, searching for the right thing to say, “Well...well it’s not your fault that people change. Sometimes...we can’t help the things that people choose to do...” she paused, seemingly coming to a realization of her own, “...we...we really can only try and help...after that...we have to help ourselves...”

Aphoxema looked down a moment, the weight of the statement taking her boldly. She looked back up to Zukes hopefully, “I’ll have to fix some things, then. Tomorrow I’ll contact the Republic Justice Department and ask what my record looks like and see if there’s anything I can do to separate myself from the Empire now.

I’ll talk to someone in Aegis Militia, tell them I can’t come back if they want me to. They’ll understand, the people who matter will. See if I can get any of my belongings back.”

“Well...if there is anything I can do to help you...please let me know!” Zukes looked up at Aphoxema anxiously, leaning in closer to her with a hopeful smile.

Aphoxema grinned, leaning up to kiss Zukes’ lips before sitting back down to finish her meal, “Keep looking so sweet.”

Shocked, Zukes blushed and looked around quickly, hoping that no one had seen their sudden exchange of feelings. Not really knowing what to do, she sat back dumbfounded. ”I...I shouldn’t be doing this...I don’t even know who this person really is..."She looked back at Aphoxema, resting her cheek on hand while looking dreamily towards her, ”...but...it’s okay...she’ll probably be gone soon anyway...”
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