Chap 3

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He watched her as she held up his armor.

From his position on the slightly upright table he could see the neat stitching she did to the leather and the crude soldering she did to one of the decorative pieces in the metal. Her small face brightened as she examined her work. She was pleased with herself.

"I think this will do," she said proudly. Walking over to him she held his armor closer to him and pointed at the puckered metal she tried to solder. "It doesn't look so pretty in some spots but it feels strong. The threading I used on the leather is strong enough to-"

Behind her the lab doors opened up with a loud warning tone.

He focused in on the synthetic's empty eyes as he looked from her to him.

Izara's back stiffened at the new presence in the room. Boldly, she stepped in front of the examination table in between him and the synthetic. If her attempt was to shield him from the synthetic then her attempt was poorly executed. With his height and upright position on the table he could see clear over the short female and directly into the synthetic's eyes.

"I've just had a meeting with the commander and Dr. Perrelly," the synthetic coldly informed her. "The yautja will not be contained."

He could hear the girl's heartrate change in the quiet room and he noticed the cool satisfaction light up in the synthetic's eyes. He could pretty much guess what the synthetic's intentions for him were."

"You will leave him strapped to the table over night and," the synthetic doctor let the word drag out for affect, "you will be assisting in the procedure. The commander and Dr. Perrelly agree that our records on yautja are sorely lacking and this youngblood will be a great subject to learn more."

Not waiting for a reply, the synthetic turned and stepped back out the door allowing it to close behind him.

The yautja slid his gaze back to the girl in front of him and stopped. He noted the stiff line of her shoulders. He listened to the rapid pace of her pulse and her shallow breaths. For a full minute, she stood like that with her back to him facing the door until finally she turned around.

The overly enthusiastic personality he had been forced to endure was gone.

Without looking at him she walked over to him and stood on his left. She stared off into the space beyond him unblinking lost in her thoughts. He stayed quiet and simply observed her. Eventually she pulled herself back to reality and reached for the paper covering over his waist. Carefully and with a clinical touch she removed the paper and quickly fastened the leather strap of his loin cloth around his waist. He watched in silence as her face held no apparent emotion he could discern. Her eyes were empty as she moved about him reaching underneath him to encircle the leather strap.

Repeating the movement with the skirt armor, she stared down at her hands as she worked the leather through the buckles and snaps.

"I guess there is no real point to get you dressed like this," she announced even as she stepped back and stared at his greaves which she had never removed earlier. "But I guess it doesn't really matter, does it?" she said to herself.

He kept the muscles in his face completley motionless even as confusion simmered inside of him. Her reaction was odd. The news the synthetic shared was only detrimental to him. The strange hopelessness in her voice was not logical unless there was more factors to this procedure that involved the girl he was unaware of. He blinked as he considered this.

It did not matter. He would be gone by then.

Still, her reaction bothered him.

The girl walked over to a large crate in the corner of the room. He had seen this crate when he was first processed into this floating prison. They had taken his armor and weapons and placed it into the crate before taking him to the lab.

Waving her data pad over the crate's lock, the girl pulled the lid open. Inside the bottom of the crate lifted bringing the contents it held to the top. Immediately he noticed the missing equipment, but he did not react and simply watched in silence as she frowned and narrowed her gaze at the neatly lined items in front of her before looking back to her data pad.

"Someone has stolen your face plate and plasma cannon," she said, her voice a little less empty than before. The intricate muscles in her face pulled and her mouth twisted in dissatisfaction. "I apologize," she sighed. "Even with my short time here, I have quickly realized this is not an uncommon occurrence, especially with valuable items." Turning on her heel, she looked at him. Silence passed between them as they observed one another.

This girl was unusual in many ways that only scratched at his curiosity like a pestering itch.

She was slight in frame, almost childlike. He knew if he were to stand next to her she would come to only his chest. Tied in a neat braid her wavy dark hair stopped just below her shoulder blades. It was her narrow, youthful face that gave him pause. Her wide clear blue eyes that contrasted with her coppery skin shined with a guileless inexperience. Yet everything else about her seemed confidant and calm. Even in the face of danger from the synthetic that referred to her as a "defect" she remained calm.

Very interesting.

"All that is left are your gauntlets, two short swords," she paused and lifted up the narrow cylindrical device and turned it over in her hand, "and what I think is a spear, one right shoulder pauldron, one discus, and one...I'm not sure what this is," she whispered to herself as she picked up the last piece of his weaponry.

Running her fingers along the obvious leather hand grip, she held it safely away from her body before gingerly setting it back down onto the table.

Turning back to him, she opened her mouth to speak just as the lights in the room flashed and an alarm went off followed by an announcement.

"Warning. Warning. A level 2 alert in progress. Upcoming Cirripedia field. All zero-point energy devices will be deactivated and switched to Silver Ladium battery power sources."

The message repeated itself once more before stopping.

The girl's shoulders rose and fell with a heavy sigh. "Great," she drawled. "Latchers. Will the fun never cease?" she grumbled. "Silver Ladium," she repeated in detest. Turning back to the security crate where his weapons and armor were stored she reached up and grabbed the lid. "Might as well just use a hand crank and..."

Suddenly she paused. With her back to him, he watched the stiff line of her back as she stood unmoving. As if changing her mind, the odd girl turned and opened a nearby locker and began setting his equipment inside. Only the metallic sound of his weapons and armor being laid against the metal shelves filled the room until finally she stepped away and closed the door. He watched as the locker's panel flashed green once as it sealed close before flashing yellow twice in silent warning.


He looked back at the strange girl with a renewed curiosity. Very unusual and impossible to predict; he felt forced to watch her with an attentiveness he could not control.

The lights in the room flashed red again but this time they stayed on.

"Attention, all S class personel report to hull B5 for additional contingency support. All H1 personel report to level nine."

The girl glanced up at the lights and he watched her frown in thought. "Contingency support really just means emergency support. What do you want to bet that the group of latchers they ran into was much bigger than expected and now they want support in keeping them from chewing through section five while all the higher class officers get to cozy up in level nine which is basically a giant lifeboat?" She smirked. "Well, it looks like this is where we part ways, mister yautja. What's the saying? Chaos tends to breed new chances or something? I'm not sure. I'm terrible at my online literature classes," she laughed at that, "as well as all my other classes. Anyways, I hope I don't see you on the table tomorrow. Bye and good luck," she glanced meaningfully at his wrist before walking out the sliding door.

He didn't need to look down to see the faint yellow warning light at the base of his cuffs, he had felt the change in the power source the moment it happened.

Not everything had gone how he had planned. She had certainly been a disturbance to his careful expectations. Looking back down at his bound wrist he focused on the task at hand and the purpose of his mission.

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