Kai & HezekiahWHERE
Forward Passageway - Firefly Class Transport
The hallway is roughly pentagon shaped, though the ceiling curves slightly and the walls are angled in. There are no bulk head reinforcements here, only simple parallel lines of lighting set in the walls and beneath the grating on the floor.
Four panels, two on each side of the hall, bear ladder rungs and when opened lead down to the main crew quarters below. Stairs lead up to the bridge.
Kai lets out a slow breath as she steps out of the crush of people. A shudder and she mutters. "I can't stand it when it gets that crowded. Too many people." She moves towards an empty portion of the space and slides down the hull, taking a seat.
Hezekiah leans against the wall opposite her and slides down himself, until he's in a seated position. "Aye, well, at least you're after havin' your own rooms here," the Shepherd murmurs. "One've the other boats I fly with is a 'Drake, they've just got dormitory-style rooms an, well... privacy's a rare thing..." He slowly runs his hand through his hair, then looks back to her. "What's on your mind?"
Kai shakes her head. "I'm not on the 'Gale anymore. I'm on the Eurydice. Captain reassigned me." She licks the last of her sandwich from her fingers and then looks up at you. "How much do you know about Alliance mind manipulation with e-stims and lasers?"
Hezekiah's half of sandwich has disappeared into a pocket. Hopefully he'll remember it's there before it gets all smooshy. Clearly, however, the food's forgotten - the reaction to Kai's words is as though someone's sent an electric current through the man. Eyes widen a moment, and he tenses, alarmed, before finally relaxing again, and releasing a breath held. "More than I'd like," the Shepherd answers. "An, I imagine, still yet very little. Mostly I have... seen the effects."
Kai shifts and crawls forward a pace or two until she's kneeing in front of Hez. "Look, then." She gently shifts her fingers to show the tiny white scars in the flesh between eyesocket and eyeball. Marks made by lasers, needles and surgery. "They did this...and rewrote my brain. Made it so there are two brains. David has helped some, helped break some of the programming. Made it more one brain than two, but...I need to have less two brains."
Hezekiah's gaze doesn't flinch away, as he examines her with concern - concern, and active worry, as well. "I don' think this is the same type I've seen before. There's no marks on your temples, is there? An they don' have the power to... to call you back, as it were? Make you keep gettin 'treatments' from them?"
Fingers lift to touch her temples. "I don't know...could you look?" Kai asks, a little wary now. "And, he tossed my body in a dumpster on Greenleaf, Shepherd. I don't think he plans on calling me back to anything."
"They come an go," Hezekiah murmurs. His hand lifts to Kai's chin gently one way, then the other, looking for something along the sides of her face and neck. "The marks. Little red dots, you can almost miss them." The hand withdraws, and he shakes his head. "I don' see anythin though... an it doesna work if the person canna be kept called back for more. So if they dumped you, an you havena had any spans of your memory gone missin, or found yourself drawn to places you didna want to go to... doesna sound like the same thing."
Kai lifts her fingers and rubs at her temples. "What about these little bumps?"
Hezekiah blinks, and pauses. "What bumps?"
"These. Here." Kai whispers and runs her fingers over the little scars, just at her temples and running up under her hairline. there are a few just under the back of her neck, where the spine meets the skull.
Hezekiah tentatively reaches out, and careful fingers brush over the bumps she's indicated, the little scars. "I don' know," the Shepherd admits after a moment, "I don' know. It definitely seems like there's some similarities goin on, but the fact that you've not got anyone tuggin you back to their little torture chambers makes me think it's no the same thing as happened to... to the other, that I know. I've no doubt you know a lot more about this than I do..."
Kai shivers at the touches and closes her eyes. "Shepherd...who was it that had this other kind of mind-fu...fussing done to them?" She reaches up and catches his hand with hers, the palm of hers to the back of his. "Shepherd...?"
Hezekiah allows her to catch his lone hand, and sighs. When he speaks, his voice is quiet - the weary tone of someone who arguably wasn't meant to see combat, and has been on the front lines for far too long. "I don' know should I say," the Shepherd murmurs. "The people who are doin this to him, already caught him once, an... an it was horrible. We thought he got free but they've still got part've his mind, an they want more. He's dangerous. As are those who hunt him, an if somethin were to come to you an Amery from it, I couldna..." He shakes his head. "Why do you ask?"
"I ask, because..." Kai pauses. "I don't need to know. I just...I feel like a freak, sometimes, Shepherd." She presses her cheek into the palm of the hand and sighs quietly, eyes closing. "I feel so lost."
"I'll talk to him," Hezekiah murmurs a promise. "If I can get through to the real him, an have him speak to you, it might help the both've you, aye? Part of what they do is just that, mo caraidh... make you feel isolated. From everybody else. From yourself, even... but it's a lie, it's a lie... you're no alone. You're not the only one in the dark tryin to find the path home."
A soft murmur. "Mo caraidh. Gaelic, isn't it?" Kai presses a kiss to the palm and then releases the hand, both of her hands settling on her thighs and her head bowing slowly. "It really is dark in here. The belly of the snake. It swallows me and takes me from myself."
"You know Gaelic?" Hezekiah seems surprised, both that the phrase escaped his own lips and that she recognized it. "Tcha." His thumb runs briefly along the line of her cheekbone, before she releases his hand. "I ought to give you a proper name, then. Aithinne. It's dark, but you're still a fire. You're still a light, an it's only a matter of time before you burn free... hold to that. You, an the others in there, in the serpent... Snake's a force to be reckoned with, but could be you're a phoenix."
A glance up through her lashes and Kai whispers. "Aithinne. I like that." She smiles then and murmurs. "You are a mo anam cara." She bows them, hands still on her thighs. "If you will accept that."
"Fire-brand," Hezekiah smiles as he translates his name for her, perhaps unnecessarily. "Light burnin brightly, though there might as be night all round her. An... aye, it's an honor I'll accept." His hand reaches towards her face, to gently tilt her chin up, for a gaze met. "If you'll not bow your head when you're sayin it?"
Meeting his eyes, Kai gives a slowly warming smile. "I'll try, Shepherd. Anam cara...soul friend. I was a teacher, Shepherd...I know a little bit about a lot of things."
Hezekiah grins - it seems rather a rare expression for him, but it's genuine and rather like rays of sunlight parting clouds of the worry that has a tendency to hover over him. "Apparently so, muinteoir," he replies, using the Gaelic word for teacher. "Full've surprises, you are." Slowly Hez rises to his feet - it's not a graceful motion; all of his movements are sort of reminiscent of a poorly operated marionette. His hand briefly touches her forehead in gentle benediction - "Beannacht De leat, Kai," Hezekiah murmurs. God's blessing on you. "You need me, you know where to find me." The touch withdraws and then he is gone, leaving her with her thoughts.