I'm Here...So now What?

(Alex intro fic ^^;;;)

Kuriyamimizu

11/30/00

 

 

                Alex stroked an errant bang out of her eyes, closing the exotic violet

orbs the world. The ship was almost there. She was almost to her

destination. In her lap her laptop laid open, it's screen casting a soft glow

on her front. Her red hair was acting up, moving about her head in the

slightly lighter gravity of the shuttle that she was sitting in. She

turned her eyes out into the starscape passing by her window.  They would

be reaching the atmosphere soon. Her destination, Yggdrasil, the planet

where she would be living for the rest of the foreseeable future.

 

//Right Alex girl, you finally pulled yourself out of monotony, now

let's make something of yourself ne?//

 

                The planet was coming into view, their vector took them in on the

night side. She sighed, the hope of seeing the base diminished with the

lack of lights.

 

//I suppose there's time for that later...hmm, wonder what's gonna

happen when I get there?//

 

                Excitement and anticipation had curled up slowly in her chest, holding

her in a spellbinding grip. Ever since she had been contacted that

feeling had been incubating inside of her, growing into full-blown

anticipation and anxiety all at once. From looking at her companions on the

shuttle she was looking to be one of the elder members of the ranks.

Everyone looked years younger.

 

//Since when was that ever a problem for you Al? You're short enough to

pass for a High School student and you get along with just about

anyone...You're just looking for a way to set yourself up to fall.//

 

                She knew she was right, the only thing stopping her from being

sociable was herself, but she couldn't bring herself to speak to her

companions. The rational voice inside of her said she would have all the time in

the world to speak to them when they were all in the mess hall together

and around the base. There was plenty of time to make friends.

 

                Her nails clicked slightly against the keyboard as she typed out a

short poem, trying to keep her mind and clamoring muses occupied. She

could find inspiration in the strangest places. With another set of clicks

the laptop went off, the poem trashed.

 

//Never was good at poetry anyway.// 

 

                With a  sardonic smirk she put the machine away, considering her nail

polish as the lights caught it. Perhaps she shouldn't have painted them

silver-certainly it was -not- regulation, but she liked them that

color, and if there was major contention about them then she could just take

it off. With a  sigh she leaned back against her seat, thinking about

what she had been told, thinking about how it had all started.

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

                It had been an innocent enough day, there was almost nothing going on

in the shop. Bear, her tiny little cat had been prowling around,

chasing at just about anything he found amusing enough to pounce at, she had

been sitting at the counter, filling out insurance renewal information.

Allen had been kind enough to send her the forms, they wouldn't have

gotten to her otherwise, she had been under the assumption that they were

to be mailed to her.

 

                Thinking of her tall mentor a smile graced her lips. Allen, big, wide,

a behemoth of a man with the temperament of a schoolgirl. Thinking of

his kindly brown eyes sent a pleasant feeling of friendship over her

stressed mind. There was so much going on, she was almost positive that

she was going to explode from the tension of it all. When the door bell

had rung she had glanced up, to find someone in the store. She supposed

she ought to be grateful for the fact, no customers meant no money

earned, it was the cold equation of business. Yet with all of the things

she was juggling she didn't feel like stripping down another system right

at the moment. A laptop was placed on the counter, breaking her

reverie. She blinked and looked at it, thanking whatever primitive deities

came to mind at that moment. It was a -very- small system, small and

manageable.

 

                She clicked her smile into the 'on' position and spoke, her tone

business-like and pleasant, a practiced art.  "What can I do for you sir?"

                The voice that replied was toneless, rather droll sounding. She

couldn't help raising an eyebrow slightly, try as she discretely might, she

couldn't get a good look at the guy. From his voice tone she could

conclude that he was male, other than that she couldn't say  much, he was in

black with a hat and bangs hiding his eyes.

 

"I need this fixed by tomorrow morning, I'm coming in to pick it up

regardless at 7:00 tomorrow."

 

                Alex blinked slightly. "Al-right then, are you aware of the nature of

the problem? It would help.."

 

                "Hard drive's scrambled," said the hatted man. She nodded, inwardly

making a face, that didn't tell her much.

 

"All right, thanks...I'll see if I can have it ready for you, the flat

rate is 300$, it's a small machine."

 

                The hatted man nodded again and took his leave. Alex let out a long

and exasperated sigh, hopping onto the counter and looking at the

machine. It was a fairly recent model. Bear jumped up, his legs fashioned out

of springs, and rubbed against her, getting in the way, as was the

nature of cats. She shoo-ed him away and took another look at the computer.

 

"Who was that guy? This machine...I thought I recognized it, but it's

nothing that's readily available to the public..."

 

                She trailed off, frowning slightly, then shook her head. "It doesn't

matter...I get paid don't I?"

 

                In the background Bear gave his agreement, giving a mighty 'MEW!' She

snorted and smiled, scratching him as she set the computer on a shelf

and closed up so she could go to lunch.

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

                The next morning at around 2:00 an epiphany of such force struck her

that she fell over backwards in the chair she had been perched in.

 

"I GOT IT!"

 

                Bear looked at her, showing a gaping maw full of pointy teeth as he

yawned. He didn't look to interested in whatever she had just realized,

he looked interested in sleeping. She ignored the small fuzzy thing and

started clicking on things enthusiastically.

 

"Okay hat-dude, I have the system figured out now...this little

son-of-a-bitch is encrypted, three times over too! DANG! All that time working

codes and I can't even make sense of two of them, though one of the

minor strands is something I do know...if I clear out those words and

unscramble that.."

 

                She clicked away furiously at the laptop, ignoring its protesting

beeps. A graveyard full of empty coffee-cups and soda cans had formed

around her. She was -sure- she could break the thing, she had five more

hours to do it.

 

                On the screen small animations followed her progress as bits and

pieces came out of the giant mass of encrypted data.

 

"There, got rid of the variables.."

 

                Pausing she read one of the sentences generated by the mass of random

words she had just pulled out of the puzzle. It read: KOI-CHAN HAS A

NICE ASS

 

                She giggled, the lateness of the morning getting to her. A fish had a

nice ass...that was just funny-unless koi was the shortened version of

koibito in which case it might apply to a person. She didn't know, she

didn't care, they -were- supposed to be random variables after all, it

might just be her imagination. A few more clicks, a sip of coffee, the

minutes slid by in liquid stillness, permeated by the sound of nails on

keys. A beep, a curse from her, another sip of coffee, another flurry

of typing. Who was that bastard? What was so important that he had to

tie his whole system into knots to keep it secure?

 

                With a sigh she pushed a random button, her finger landing on the 'D'

key in exasperation. The laptop chimed.

 

"Access granted, welcome."

 

                Slowly Alex took her finger off of the 'D' key, looking at the monitor

in pure astonishment. Then a laugh wiggled it's way up her throat to be

let out in a full blown whoop of triumph. Before she even knew what she

was doing, she was standing on the chair, dancing, hips swaying and

chuckles trickling forward from her mouth.

 

"Oh, Oh, who is the woman? I AM THE WOMAN! There is not a system that

can resist me!"

 

                Bear looked at her, idly wondering if she had lost what small bit of

sanity that she still had seemed to possess. After another round of

shouting triumph he decided that she was no longer the possessor of such a

thing. Somewhere a neighbor banged against the wall, muttering bloody

murder if she didn't shut up.  She looked down at the laptop and smiled,

typing in with tender triumph, "NO, I DON'T HAVE A PASSWORD TO LOG ON,

SHUT YOURSELF DOWN"

 

                A drunken grin rested on her lips. The computer shut itself down with

a small ding. She closed it and walked it down to the shop and put it

on the shelf. The clock read 6:43.  With a non-committal sigh she

pranced down the stairs to make herself another cup of coffee, the guy would

be there in seventeen minutes, and for some reason she didn't see him

as the type to be late.

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

                The hatted man had come in exactly on the mark. She smiled at him

pleasantly, quite aware that she looked frightening. His monotone broke the

stillness of the shop.

 

"Is it fixed?"

 

                 She nodded, leaning on the counter, weight balanced on one foot and

spoke conversationally.

 

"Uh-huh, thought that system is something unmentionable-I mean-you've

got it encrypted three times with variables-I know you're no more likely

to tell me what's on that machine then I am to figure it out but DANG! 

My advice, if you had to keep that level of security, is to simplify

one of the minor codes a little bit more. All of the encoding confused

your hard drvie, to use layman's terms...anyhow...money is good and sleep

is even better, I assume you have places to go so I won't keep you any

longer."

 

                She knew that her usual, jaunty, the-devil-may-care smile was still

firmly in place. He brought out the payment, 'cash' no less, and took the

computer, no words passing his lips. She smiled and waved, locking the

bills into the register and watching his retreating figure with mild

interest.

 

"Wonder who that was...voice seemed kinda familiar, for a monotone."

She laughed and grabbed her coffee mug, downing the contents in a gulp

and locking the store again, she was going to sleep a little while before

anything else came her way. Bear trotted along beside her, just as

triumphant as his mistress and then some. While she hadn't been looking

-he- had eaten some of the roast beef.

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

                Alex started slightly as the descent into the atmosphere started, a

smile resting on her lips as she remembered Bear. He was the nosiest and

rudest little Siamese she had ever known, and she had loved him like a

brother. He was gone now and she was off to yet another destination. It

seemed to her that everywhere that she had been in her life was always

a waystation for the next destination.

 

//Now will this be the final one I wonder? Or will I be spirited off

somewhere else or killed?//

 

                Pointless thoughts, absolutely and completely pointless for they would

give her no rational conclusion. When her mind started wandering like

that it was time to break out the CD player and free her thoughts, she

didn't allow them to roam too much. Instead she looked outside, watching

the shadowed landscape beneath her and reveling in the lights of the

heavens above. The planet was gorgeous, and it was to be her new home of

all things. A smirk fell onto her lips, things were beginning to look

up.

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

                The landing wasn't too rough, everyone was only jostled slightly. She

blinked, trying to clear the haze from her mind, and the sudden, even

if slight increase in gravity. Looking out the same window she had often

stared out of in the past hours she was treated to the sight of

absolute chaos. People were coming and going, suits were lounging about in

various states of repair and the clamor of voices could be heard through

the glass.

 

//Home...sweet home....I hope to God someone can tell me where I'm

supposed to go, I was told to go to the ship and get on. I've reached the

end of instruction, so now what? Ask somebody? I guess I could...//

 

                With a sigh she pulled her bag off of the floor, swinging her laptop

over her shoulder and filing out with everyone else, wincing as her

cramped muscles protested to movement after standing immobile for so long.

The laptop hit her hip every time she took a step and some of the

things in her bag were threatening to fall out and onto the floor. Once she

got off the shuttle she watched dispassionately as the others filed off

elsewhere, melting into the crowd, headed wherever. She turned and went

to retrieve her duffel bag, grunting under it's weight.

 

//Probably should have packed a tad lighter...I really didn't need to

brink the easel...//

 

                It was a little late for regrets at that point anyway. Once again she

faced the masses, and sighed inwardly. Couldn't there just be a sign or

something? She supposed she must have missed a memo or a notice of some

sort, because the others looked like they knew where they were going.

Something caught her ear. Someone was singing, it didn't surprise her in

the slightest considering the eclectic mix of people around her, but

the tune seemed familiar.

 

"War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin'...nothin!"

 

                She smiled, finally finding something that was familiar to her.

Following her ears she came to stand in front of a broken down shuttle.

Sparks flew and the smell of ozone joined the other mechanical smells that

filled the hangar. Someone was behind a soldering iron, mask down,

belting it out with a hint of a sway to their hips. Looking carefully Alex

noted that the young woman was the one behind the voice. Blue hair

blinked in and out of view from behind the bright flashes of sparks and

molten metal.

 

                The person at work dropped the gear, apparently moved too much to hold

it in, with a deep breath she belted out the next chorus, dancing

around, eyes closed and moving with the beat. Alex smiled, if she was going

to start speaking to people this woman might as well be one of them,

they seemed to share a similar mold. She joined the voice of the

blue-haired woman, singing out in a clear, if accented, voice.

 

"-what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! NOTHING!"

 

                She smiled, unable to keep it in. The singer stopped, mid-move,

pulling off the mask and looking as if she felt like a complete idiot.

 

"G'Day..."

 

                Alex smiled broader, her grip on the duffel bag tightening slightly.

She inwardly chastised herself for that, whenever she got nervous she

tended to clutch whatever was in her hand, be it a wrench or a cat. Bear

could have attested to that fact.

 

"Hallo..." she couldn't seem to find the words to form a coherent

sentence so she let her first statement hang dead in the air. With a

slightly trembling hand she brushed her ever-persistent bangs out of her eyes;

still keeping the death-grip on the bag with her other. 

 

                The other woman smiled, covered from head to toe in soot, ash and

various mechanical runoffs. Pulling a red rag out of her back pocket she

smiled a broad and warm smile, extending a hand.

 

"You must be new here, name's Flynn."

 

                Alex nodded, various things jangling with her movement as she reached

out to shake the proffered hand.

 

"Yeah, I guess it shows..." she smiled within her pause, suddenly

finding her ability to speak filtering back to her.

 

 "I just got in, I've been assigned to the R & D department. And

frankly," she threw her hands up in an exasperated gesture, "I have -no idea-

where I'm going in this maze. I was told to get on the shuttle and

come. I must have missed a memo or something somewhere back along the

line."

 

                Inwardly Alex took a look at the person before her, analyzing,

measuring up the threat to her person. Flynn didn't seem to present too much

of a threat. All of them were soldiers, that was something that would

always have to be taken into account now that she was here.  The

blue-haired woman certainly seemed friendly enough though; and it was genuine

warmth that she was extending and not a façade. For now she seemed

fairly trustworthy, and she might be able to help her get around this

forsaken labyrinth of a base.. Her watched chimed, idly informing her of the

hour.

 

                Flynn nodded amiably, stuffing the rag back in a toolbox resting

behind her. "You could try asking around, someone's bound to know.." with a

glance at her watch she smiled apologetically.

 

"I have to get going."

               

                A random thought reminded her that she might want to adjust it for the

time difference.  She smiled to Flynn and nodded.

 

"I think I'll go and try to find where I'm supposed to be. 'twas a

pleasure meeting you Flynn...I'm sure I'll see you around."

 

                The blue haired woman nodded and Alex took her leave, hauling her

things and cursing her own inability to pack intelligently. She spied the

entrance that most of the new people had taken and she smiled, finally

(thinking) she had a direction to go in. She paused for a moment to pull

her CD player out of the travel-bag and stick it into her pocket, a

much more accessible location. With a silver-tipped finger she turned the

volume all the way up, a latin beat spilling from the abused speakers.

With a slight twitch of her hips she started into the halls. And

stopped, there were so many corridors that it made her dizzy.  

 

//Whooo boy....if I find my room in this mess it'll be a miracle...//

 

                With a smile she shrugged, walking down a random hallway, following

the sound of voices. There were lots of people in the place, she couldn't

get too lost could she? The sound of the latin music continued as she

hummed along, footsteps filling the relative silence of the hallway.

 

~owari~

 

he he notes:

 

Alex hasn't got a room assigned yet, but I wanted everyone to get a

taste of her personality so I wrote this out. She can wander around for a 

while until she gets assigned somewhere...And I would like to say

 

I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY...

 

Alex: Yes it is...

 

You shut up now or you're going to be wandering around for a small

eternity...

 

Alex: *shuts up*

 

Alex's motto: if there's a hard way to do it, them damn it I'll find