Saturday, May 21, 2016

Second Stage of Something Started: Rush (Part VI)

Click here for the first series (Seeing is Becoming).
Click here for the previous installment...
Click here for the entire story.

Saga struggled to turn from her back to her side so that blood could drip out of her mouth. There was a way to survive this. Gutshots are deadly, but people survive them a long time before succumbing to death. Well, maybe that means she wouldn’t survive this. She was alone on a remote island in the South Nowhere Ocean. Hell, she didn’t even know if she was on Earth. She looked up and scanned the clearing behind her. It was upside, but why? Oh yeah, it was because she was lying on the ground, bleeding out from a G-S-W, as the say on TV. Vearden had disappeared with Makarion in thin air. There was no way to know if and when he could come back to help. She was going to have to fix this on her own.
Crawling. That was the only way to get out of this. But it was less of a crawl, and more of a slither. About twenty feet into her journey, she encountered a snake. It was passing her by, but also daydreaming, so it wasn’t paying any attention. Where was she going again? The stargate, that’s right. That was the only way off the island, and even then, it might not be operational. This was a very bad plan either way. Why was her brain so screwed up today? Slithering was no way to get around, especially after Makarion had literally torn her a new one. But she also felt incredibly lethargic, and unable to stand. Vearden wasn’t particularly strong, or at all combat ready, but he had emulated a special kind of fighting from a race of aliens they had met years ago. The first step to this was engaging an adrenaline rush. That was what she needed right now, at least that’s what made sense. It’s not like she was a doctor, or anything.
She lifted herself to her hands and knees and began to hyperventilate, occasionally punching herself in the chest. Okay, so that was not a good idea. It wasn’t working, and it was only making blood leak out of her stomach faster, so why couldn’t she stop herself? The blood loss was damaging her mental faculties, and making decision-making decisions problematic. And she also had this sneaking suspicion that it was making her repeat herself, and she was also having trouble making decisions also. Then Saga opened her eyes and realized that it was twilight. She had been lying on her back for what was probably hours. Someone had taken her shirt off and wrapped it around her stomach to keep pressure on her wound. It took her a few minutes to remember that this mysterious stranger was herself.
A different stranger entirely came over her, preparing to attack. He wasn’t technically a stranger, though. She and Vearden had met him earlier in the day. They played a round of golf together, which was a lot of fun, but resulted in her having to murder him in front of his brother. Sevastian, that is, not Vearden. How Sevastian was alive and kicking...literally, was something she couldn’t understand. He didn’t look hurt, or at all weakened. He was, however, enraged from having been this close to death. His parents probably should have named him Karma.
“You goddamn bitch!” Sevastian towered over her like a bear, arms raised and everything. He dipped down, trying to scratch at her, but it was like he wasn’t quite sure which direction the ground was.
Saga crabwalked backwards, desperately trying to get away from him, like a pretty girl in a horror film. “I’m sorry!”
“No, you’re not!” he yelled.
“I didn’t want to kill you! Makarion made me! It was either you or us, and I chose us! You made the same call!”
“But you’re a good person! You’re not supposed to hurt people! You were a nurse!”
Saga was even more confused than before. “When did I tell you that?”
“I know everything,” he claimed.
“How could you?”
“Because I’m Batman,” Sevastian answered in a raspy voice. He finally seemed to have figured out exactly where she was. A hundred and eight arms reached down to her, clawing at her skin, but never tearing it and drawing blood. The arms weren’t just trying to kill her; this was torture.
“No, please no!” Saga pleaded, but was met with nothing but disgust.
Vearden’s loud whispery voice rang out from all directions, “It’ll come back around.”
Saga woke to find herself flolloping and globbering, her heart racing towards quadruple digits. She was pumped. Adrenaline rushed throughout her body and pulled her into standing position, eventually allowing her to start running through the jungle. She knocked into trees and tripped over roots, but nothing ever stopped her. She always righted herself and kept going without missing a beat. In her heart, she knew that Sevastian had never really been there, that it was just a dream, but she kept believing in the fear of him. It was the only thing keeping her from curling into a ball and drifting away. The torn shirt that was wrapped around her torso was soaked through with blood, but there was nothing to do about it now. Getting to the stargate was her only shot. Hopefully there was a way to make it work without help from Makarion.
Finally she was at the beach, stargate in view, lit up partially by a set of safety lights along the side of the ramp leading up to it. Oh, and there was also a polar bear. It was just standing on the ramp, staring at her. “Is this the part where you attack?” she asked politely.
It didn’t answer, because it was a bear.
“Shall I not pass?”
It still didn’t answer, but it did move out of the way, so maybe that was an answer.
Saga nodded cordially. She just about reached out to pet its fur, but caught herself just in time. No need to push her luck. She placed her hands on her hips and examined the piece of machinery before her as the bear slowly headed for the tree line. It felt real; not like a prop. The ring itself could spin around, which was probably true to the mythology of the show. There seemed to be no way of activating it, though. There were no buttons or switches. The characters probably just spun it around like a rotary phone, but what was the phone number? Makarion didn’t so much as snap his fingers when he first left them alone on the island. He was a powerful time traveler, so maybe that was what it took. No, that can’t be it. He wanted the two of them to transport building material to the island from God knows where, and he surely didn’t want to have to open the door for them each time. Besides, they were freakin’ door-walkers. This was their thing. Though, come to think of it, Vearden was more the door-walker. Saga was often transported to other places just by walking forwards, sometimes without even realizing it had happened. Oh. That’s the walking part of door-walking. It’s a pun! Sort of. She took a deep breath, keeling over a little under the returned pain of the gunshot wound. “One chance,” she hissed.
As Saga walked across the event horizon, the scene changed. She was on the edge of a battlefield. Gunshots, explosions, and other death noises polluted the sky. Men screamed out of rage in her right ear, but out of pain in her left.
“Hey!” she heard, but was too delirious to care whether the voice was calling to her. “Hey, are you hurt!” he cried.
“I’m...” Saga began as the figure of a man came up to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I’m not part of this.”
“Yes, I can see that, but you’re bleeding. I can help.”
“Can you?” she asked. “It looks pretty dangerous here.”
“Yes,” the man replied. “This is World War I.”
Even through the delirium, Saga knew that that was a strange answer. “If it’s the first great war, how do you know there will be another one?”
The man laughed. “What’s your name?”
“Saga Einarsson, why?”
“Pleased to meet you, Saga.” He started to lead her towards the tent. “My name is Doctor Baxter Sarka. We better get you patched up and into new clothes. That kind of bra doesn’t really exist here in 1918, but you’ll be safe with the salmon battalion.”
By the time Saga had sufficiently recovered from her wound, the war was practically over. The salmon battalion was gradually sent back to the future, leaving her and Baxter alone. She ended up following him to his next assignment to assist him with treating infamous salmon Mateo Matic after he donated a kidney to his partner. A much earlier version of Vearden showed up to heal Mateo after a bad reaction, but she managed to stay out of sight. After that job was done, she continued as Dr. Sarka’s nurse for the next six years or so. Click here for the next installment...

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