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Into The Silent Land (fiction)


This story was formerly Titans. It has been put through a blender, tied in three hundred knots, stuck in a crimping machine, blowdried, and trampled by three hundred pink elephants in green tutus.

Disclaimer: If we were talking tv-credit-speak here I'd have to consult my agent and a couple lawyers, because a number of these characters were originally concieved and written by others. Let's just say that the universe, people, events, and even the ship are all original and all copyrighted. It has no connection to Babylon 5, but it is an original "b5lr.com" thingy inspired in part by connections to the B5 universe and...

...ah hell, let's just get to the story.
"...There was no guilt on the part of Mr. Callenegra or those who make the decisions within the Korlei hierarchy. No, sir. No. Mr. Callenegra knew nothing and ordered nothing, except for the proper punishment and relocation of the insurgents..." - H. Carlson Saragut, VP Public Relations for Korlei Genetix, 2292 press conference

-- -- --

Jim Daly awoke to sirens and gunfire.

His first response, like always, was to dive for cover, hit the floor, get behind something that would hopefully stop the advance of the enemy's life-taking rifleshot.

Jim hit the ground with a painful, skull-cracking thud, and groaned, loosening his foot from tangled, tugging sheets. They were wet; he was sweating. Seconds later, he collapsed, breathing hard, as he realized the environs was not an alien battlefield but a grey hotel room.

There are no guns, Jim, he reminded himself. Trevayne is over.

He wadded the soaking sheets into a ball and threw them back on the bed, and went to wipe his sweaty hands on his shirt, before he realized that he wasn't exactly wearing one.

I always wear a shirt to bed, he thought, pulling himself up to climb back into the the hard bed for a few extra winks of sleep. Must have had a bit much to drink -

And then he saw his first officer, sleeping soundly, quietly, and completely unclothed, wrapped in a blanket on the opposite side of the bed. She gathered up the missing sheets unconsciously, smiling joyfully in her sleep, as if she had just been walking through a springtime meadow - or, knowing Ari, winning at any number of blood-related sports.

"Oh, God," he whispered. His mouth went dry.

He sat there dumbly for a moment, completely blank. The memories of the previous night hit him like - the Calaran freighter that had completely destroyed his ship in drydock the previous day, like the eighteen-platoon hangover that had chosen that moment to march into his foggy brain, like his zeroed-out bank account, like Ari's eyes, wet with the sorrow that he didn't know she could feel.

Like his dead crew, back for their severance pay.

Jim Daly sorely wished he could go back to that nightmare.
I wonder if this is the beginning, middle or end of the story... if such points can be defined?
Hmmm, looks like your giving Titans the tawdry TNT rewrite.
You always had that obsession with 'shippers.

>8-D Just kidding.

Let 'er rip. I'm curious to see your take on it all.
I told you I trampled on the story with pink polka-dotted elephants.

But, don't worry. They're not from TNT... /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by channe:
<font color=yellow>I told you I trampled on the story with pink polka-dotted elephants.

But, don't worry. They're not from TNT... /ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif</font color=yellow><hr></blockquote>

Pity, that means they will be wearing cloths.
I have fifteen minutes before the library closes! Can I do it? Can I write something! Hoo-rah!

-- -- --

To make things worse, just as Jim's normally-fertile mind came to the conclusion he'd be better off grabbing his uniform jacket and slipping out before she noticed, Ari's eyes opened.

She yawned. Their eyes met.

"Hello, Jim," she said drowsily, dragging the covers closer to her throat.

A smile broke across his face. "Good morning. Headache?"

A sigh. "Yeah." Ari sat up a bit. "How did I get here?"

Jim told himself not to panic.

"You were pretty damned drunk. I didn't want you on the lev back to the hotel alone."

Oops. Almost time for last call.
Ari smiled lazily, twirling the sheet around her index finger. "Liar," she said, reaching out to run one thin finger down Jim's rough, unshaved face. "You - have a problem," she continued, stopping after a spare, soft moment. She withdrew her finger - his one support - and the world crashed around him. It made a sound eerily similar to Ari's soft, exhaled breath.

She stood, and Jim glimpsed a flash of white skin before it was covered with the sheet, which Ari had made into a makeshift bathrobe. "I'm going to shoot out your goddamn eyes," she said, lowly. "After I take a shower."

Ari dissappeared around the corner. He clambered to his feet, calling after her. "What's wrong with my eyes?"

"You should know better." She had left the door to the bathroom open; he heard the water running. "Jim Daly! Beloved of women! Asshole extraordinaire!"

"I was drunk." he said, kicking a pillow aside. "You said yes."

"What was I supposed to do, asshole, let you screw the Calderan in the corner? You were about to take the place down with your bare hands!"

"Don't call me asshole, Ari, -"


Jim picked up the pillow and hurled it into the wall. "I would *not* have screwed the Calderan - and you know very well why - you're the only person I trust in this whole goddamn universe, Ari, what was I supposed to do?"

There was silence from the bathroom for a moment. "Keep your eyes off of me."

"Can't promise that." The truth. He'd never been able to promise anything. "I'll grab something for breakfast, we can talk about this like decent people."

When he heard no answer, he gathered up her uniform, cast it into the bathroom, and went to find something to wear.
By the time Jim had pulled over his rumpled, beer-stained uniform top - the uniform, of course, being the only clothing he had other than what was most likely floating in a burning corona around the twisted, half-destroyed hulk that had once been the Riyadh - someone in Dispatch had found his registration in whatever hotel they had staggered into and was listed as calling on the room's telecom.

Jim straightened his insignia as best he could, let out a string of swears, and cast a glance over his shoulder to make sure Ari was still in the shower, and leaned over to recieve the call.

"Vellie," he said. "What a pleasant surprise."

His boss's secretary, just out of high school, kept up with the latest fashions, and reportedly used nanos to keep her hair in whatever wild, impermanent style she had chosen that morning. "Mr. Daly, we've been trying to get in touch with you for hours," she said in a severe voice that reminded Daly of his eighth-grade cartography teacher. "Mr. Schneider is not pleased."

"No, I don't suppose he would be," Jim said, scratching the back of his head. An unpleasant thought came to him, and he grimaced. "How late is it?"

Vellie leaned out of the picture for a moment. "It's only seven-thirty," she replied, "but I think you should find Ari and get over here as soon as possible. You should have been here last night. Mr. Schneider was not happy."

Mr. Schneider can take a quick trip to hell, Jim thought, attempting to smile. "Vellie. Tell him I'll be over as soon as possible."

"Okay," she said, sweetly. She blew a kiss. "I'm really sorry about your ship, Jim. It was horrible. You're all over the evening news, you and Ari."

He heard a sound.
Was that - the air in the crewbay? The air! Oh God! Oh God get out of there now oh God - No, it was the shower stopping. "I - thanks. Thanks. I'll look. Thanks. Good-bye." His heart raced.

Vellie dissappeared, and he switched the channel to the local news.

"- last night's cataclysmic and terrible accident in the Saltonas docking bay was -"

"...the end of my life," finished Jim.

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