spittle: (Default)
Flint Deckard ([personal profile] spittle) wrote in [community profile] ataraxionlogs2015-12-29 02:12 am


CHARACTERS: Etrepa Seven and Flint Deckard
LOCATION: Down by the river
WARNINGS: Language
SUMMARY: Etrepa finds a guilty conscience.

[ A large, flat slab of limestone balanced across the base of a felled tree is as luxurious a cutting board as anyone is likely to find this far from camp. The main camp, that is.

Flint works with his back to the sound of rushing acid water, needling the end of a stolen knife in under the rib cage of a freshly stolen gecko. He has a small pile of them, a few already skinned, the lot of them purloined from traps set to the north.

Part of the trick to maintaining a successful crime spree is to strike far from home.

He’s tall, rangy, long in the face and has a bad haircut, wiry grizzle chopped uneven, close to the skull. Further up the beach, a little ways past the treeline, a makeshift shelter is piled high with debris. A campfire burns low nearby, spindling white smoke, too light to see against the grey of the morning sky.

It looks like it’s going to rain. ]

corpse_soldier: (peer(hat))

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2015-12-29 09:07 am (UTC)(link)
[ The perimeter couldn't stay fixed for long, not with each new Arrival. From early on it existed in a state of flux, expanding as the dispersion of shacks, tents and assorted ramshackles, then contracting as camp-citizens sought society, safety- or simply disappeared.

Of late, however, animal attacks and thievery have called for a more proactive approach. The perimeter walk is now less a steady circuit, then, than a spiraling search pattern, a steady but inexorably broadening sphere of collected perception, of intercepted thoughts.

Densest near the center, where most of the intercosmic castaways still congregate, at the beginning it can be difficult to sort individual threads of thought from one another. But as that density drops, the few minds that can be found - those of the self-made outcasts or peculiarly private - stick out like bright-petaled flowers in the endless monotony of green.

For you see, Etrepa has never been inclined to let privacy get in the way of performing her duties, self-assigned or otherwise. And when she catches wind of the distinct brand of satisfaction that comes with a crime well-committed, her attention homes in with a strategic ordinance's precision. Moving with her habitual economy, Etrepa Seven changes course, moving towards the origin of those criminal cognitions.

Close enough to sense the perpetrator's thoughts, Etrepa is able to inject a few of her own. Transmitting with a clarity which cannot be easily mistaken for one's own interior voice, nor anything but what it is: an alien imperative.

Do not move.
corpse_soldier: (stare)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2015-12-29 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
[ What the guilty party sees when she turns to look is a kind of inverted reflection, an anti-Flint, moving towards her with measured strides. Short where she is tall, as carefully groomed as she is rangy, Etrepa Seven is dressed in the muted browns of a well-maintained military uniform, as opposed to Flint's bright scavenged blue. Where Flint's inhumanity tends towards the outcast and the animal, Etrepa's is that of authority and the machine.

She also has a gun at her hip, whereas she has a knife in her hand, a detail that does not escape Etrepa's notice. Her own hand hovers above her holster, an as yet inactive vector of violence. The infrared signature of the campfire lights up Etrepa's optical implants, competing with the jacket for brightness in her integrated perception. But it is the source of the thoughts, not the smoke, that holds the ancillary's attention.

She takes a stand some fifteen paces up the beach from her, and when she is still, that stillness is absolute. Her segment's expression is totally impassive. Her voice - for this time she speaks aloud - is equally affectless.

Drop your weapon.
corpse_soldier: (watching)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2015-12-30 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
[ These limbic calculations are not invisible to the ancillary, though they aren't as clear nor as easily interpreted as a proper internal dialogue. They tell Etrepa enough to know that this one is a flight risk, or worse. Enough to know that some physical restraint may prove necessary. And for that, too, she needs to be closer. ]

Cooperate, and you will not be harmed.

[ Not, at least, before some kind of hearing is held, some semblance of a system of justice. Who here might qualify as magistrate is impossible to say, so far are they from any source of legitimate political authority. But if she is a thief, then surely there are victims of theft. If any judgement should be made, it might be made by them.

Or it could fall to One Etrepa Seven. In some sense she is the most fit for the task. The most civilized. But that demands the punishment be a a public example rather than a mere back-woods beating.

Whatever the case, Etrepa needs her back at camp. She closes on Flint, with ever intention of detaining her, hand ready to reach and place an iron grip on her elbow. She does not disguise it. Indeed, she announces it.

Come with me.
Edited 2015-12-30 05:40 (UTC)
corpse_soldier: (aloof)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2015-12-30 06:30 am (UTC)(link)
[ She does not back off. Flint's protests might as well fall on deaf ears. Etrepa's movements are inexorable- though Flint's are not. The once-sure course plotted by her hand is jammed by the rise of a long forearm, her gloved grip finding purchase on a less pivotal piece of the suspect's anatomy. Still, even this less than perfect grasp is powerful, much more than her frame would suggest. It is wise of Flint to expect the unexpected.

When Etrepa sees that she is going for the knife, when Etrepa realizes that she cannot stop her, the ancillary extends her armor. Distinguishing features disappear beneath a layer of reverberant quicksilver. Where once there was appeared to be a woman, however uncanny, there is now a faceless silver statue.

Her voice takes on a strange, echoey quality, as if bouncing down a long hallway.

Last warning.

[ Yet she still hasn't gone for her gun. ]
corpse_soldier: (fearful)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2015-12-30 06:31 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Flint is not alone in her stunned reaction. Her expression is familiar to Etrepa. She has seen it many times before, on world after world as the defenders of innumerable Republics and Oligarchies faced legions of near-identical quicksilver soldiers, descending from suddenly hostile skies.

But in mere moments Flint manages to upstage Etrepa. She may represent the terror of the new, the herald of annexation and its vicissitudes. But there's an ancient nightmare living beneath Flint's skin, a thing of myth. And while Etrepa has no expression to match the feeling, the terror she feels in this last remaining body of hers is briefly overwhelming, loosening her grip and sending her stumbling back, reeling as much from the immediacy of emotions as from Flint's suddenly much more powerful resistance.

Etrepa Seven doesn't topple over entirely, but achieves this relative stability only by going to one knee. Her instincts, centuries old, have her pistol in her hand and pointed at the creature a split second later, but as she looks down the sights at what used to be Flint, what she sees is too impossible, too grotesque, for her to simply open fire. Hunkered down in the sand, she watches as the erstwhile suspect becomes something decidedly inhuman, transfixed by horrified curiosity.

Though Amaat knows if that thing comes any closer, she'll start firing.
corpse_soldier: (worry)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2015-12-31 07:56 pm (UTC)(link)
[ With an almost palpable severance, Etrepa cuts off her telepathic scan of the thing before her. At once that gives her a dose of stability, quieting her mind now that she is not reaching inside of its. She is not particularly curious at this point anyways. To humans, she owes some basic consideration - a consideration manifested as a certain disregard for privacy - but whatever this thing is, it is not human, not by any of her standards.

Which also means she's not quite sure what parts of it are particularly vulnerable. It looks like a terrestrial organism, but then again it transformed out of another terrestrial organism of visibly less mass, so all bets are off. It has limbs, though, and those are typically used to locomote. And she doesn't want it able to get any closer to her than it already is. Technically impenetrable though it her armor may be, it is meant to lesson the impact of bullets, not fend off tooth and claw.

Aiming for one of the creature's leg joints, Etrepa Seven fires a single round.
corpse_soldier: (glance)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-01-01 07:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[ There is an adage about the shedding of blood and the mortality it infers. Whatever this thing is, if you shoot it, it will bleed. If you burn it, it will yowl. It is a living being, and thus capable of death.

Which is comforting.

But she is not a hunter. She is not a soldier. Not any longer. Etrepa is a member of security forces. And this thing was a person, or appeared to be, convincingly enough that Etrepa was herself fooled.

She has to detain it, if only to have proof of what happened here.

Back on her own two legs, Etrepa gives chase as the creature streaks for the trees. The inhumanly swift hot after the inhumanly swift, two legs versus three.
corpse_soldier: (aloof)

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-01-13 08:15 pm (UTC)(link)
[ Though she's inhumanly fast, Etrepa Seven's body is still at root human. As the terrain grows thick, better suited for wild things, she loses ground, having to rely less on the increasingly distant sound of thrashed undergrowth and more on the material traces, the actual signs of the creature's passing. The drying blood is noted, its reduced quantity within a relatively short span of time; unless somehow the thing found time to pause and bandage itself, she can only assume it is somehow healing, what she would normally chalk up to advanced medical implants.

Out here, though- Amaat alone knows what she is really up against.

Soon rain begins to fall, precipitation mingling with the perspiration that speckles her forehead and has begun to darken sleeves of her uniform. She pauses at the bottom of the rise, peering through rain-slicked bangs up at an incline she cannot be certain she can safely scale. And while she has implants aplenty herself, she is more powerful than durable. She must always remember- this is the only body she has left. She cannot be prodigal with her selves, not any longer.

The fingers of Etrepa's segment reach into a pocket and find the bevelled edge of a mirror shard. A tacit admission that she may not be able to do this alone.
corpse_soldier: (stare)

retroactive edit - no more mirror, i want one of them smartphones

[personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-01-23 05:24 pm (UTC)(link)
[ As the stone hurtles in for its near-miss, her armor extends again, making her a woman-shaped mirror in a split second, appearing more reflex than conscious decision. It stays up, too, a guarantee against luckier projectiles.

Toggling the communicator on, she begins another, decidedly less mysterious form of silent communication, sending out a call for help, her first public claim to anything like legitimate authority after months of motions.

As she does so, she begins her ascent, more careful than hasty, more forceful than nuanced, plunging quicksilver hands into the earth and hauling herself up by handfuls of roots.