This one takes place a couple hours after Conditioning. And it's PG-13. Nothing major here folks! Just setting the mood!

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Beginnings and Endings - Tatakai

The nurse was doing her customary rounds, it was late and her shift had been long but all thoughts of fatigue let the woman's mind as she saw the door to one of the isolation wards standing open. With hurried steps she took herself over to the door and peered inside. There was no one. On the floor, in a crumpled heap, was a straightjacket. Quickly she grabbed up the clip board that was in the slot beside the door and ran to alert one of the doctors.

* * *

The medics scattered. They had been briefed on the escapee. And warned that he was very dangerous as well has unpredictable! The doctor hadn't been able to tell them what to expect when Ensign Tatakai was found. So each man had been armed with tranquilizers.

Jim Forbs, one of the long time Black Lions members, had seen it all. With his hand resting easily on the gun strapped under his left arm he took himself off towards the recruit's quarters. If nothing else his partner should be told. And with luck the Lindemman kid might have some idea where he might have gone...

Long strides quickly brought him to room #2278. Depressing the toggle beside the door he waited for it to be answered. The door opened slightly a moment later and a thin boy with dark hair and gold flecked violet eyes stood there.

"Ensign Lindemman," the medic started. "I've come to warn you that Ensign Tatakai escaped from medical confinement and we are looking for him now--"

As the man talked Khamryn opened the door all the way. Forbs struggled to keep his jaw closed at what he saw. There, sitting on the bed as though nothing was out of the ordinary, was the missing Ensign, busily cleaning a gun. The young man was paying meticulous attention to the task, and none at all to him or his partner.

Forbs grabbed Lindemman's arm and pulled him quickly out into the hall. Neither man noticed the sharp look Tatakai gave them. His hands stilled on the gun as his eyes fixed on the now closed door. A cold, expressionless face hind nothing and everything.

* * *

Out in the hallway Forbs looked the Ensign over. He seemed to be all right. "When did he get here," was the first thing the medic thought to ask.

"About 40 minutes ago," the German answered quietly.

"And did he hurt you? Was he violent?"

Khamryn shock his head. No. If Tatakai -had- been violent that would have been a relief. It was something he could have dealt with. But instead the boy had come in, sat down and started cleaning his weapons as though his life depended on it. And during the entire time he had been utterly silent. The few times the assassin had looked it him he had fought down a cold shiver at that chill, dead expression.

He couldn't reconcile the man would had said he'd be his friend with the cold stranger that was before him.

The medic was talking again...

"...I'll have to tell the doctor. I can have a half dozen orderlies here in ten minutes. Can you keep him here that long?"

Khamryn nodded. "But I don't think you should try to take him back to the infirmary," he said quietly. Somehow he just knew that wouldn't go over well!

The medic gave him an odd look. "I'll tell the doctor. Are you going to be okay with him? Maybe it would be safer if you were elsewhere right now."

The boy shook his head. No. He couldn't do that to Tatakai.

With that he left the medic standing in the hall and went back inside his quarters.

[fin]