This was a story I wrote when our GM asked us to fill a gap of twenty years when we ascended. Amarissa was a social chameleon and a master of poison. She infiltrates and destroys from the inside. The background to this story is that she was paired with a new partner and set to take down a large sector-spaning organization that smuggled some form of new dangerous xeno drug. They spent two years infiltrating a space station, a hub central to a lot of the trading and smuggling in the area. And this story is about the days before the organization is taken down.
She left a husband (another acolyte) and four children when she started on this new journey to become an inquisitor. She is also mildly insane and her mind has broken into several aspects of her self. there is an episode at the end where her thoughts talk to each other. There is a eight year old child, a religious fanatic, a pragmatic killer and a survivor who will do anything to survive.
Also I would like to add that English isn't my native tongue but I'm trying to improve so I welcome any comments or corrections of you spot any faults in the text.
Amarissa woke at the beeping sound of a loading truck backing up somewhere outside their window. She rolled over and stared into the sleeping face of her partner Ahaz. He was sleeping on his stomach snoring lightly. They had been on this station together for almost two years now and the big day was closing in. Amarissa enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction at a job well done. She rolled over to her back and stared up at the rotating fan inside the ventilation vent just above their bed. Some time next week would be her day of triumph.
She savoured the feeling a few minutes before she sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. The chrono by the bed showed that it was just past noon. She stretched her arms above her shoulders and yawned. It had been another late night of gambling and fun. This job wasn’t so bad. You were allowed to do drugs and sleep half the day away.
She looked around for some clean clothes but they hadn’t done laundry in a long while. She would do it later. Just one pipe and then she would do it. Where was the pipe anyway? She scanned the room and found it lying on Ahaz’s bedside table. Typical. That man really couldn’t sleep without it.
She climbed over her partner and reached for it. He might not be able to sleep without a smoke but she sure as hell couldn’t wake up without one. She grabbed the pipe and the bag of stars and as she rolled back to her side of the bed Ahaz stirred. He opened one eye and gave her a confused look.
“We’re home?” He croaked.
“Yep.” She stuffed a few leafs into the bowl of the pipe and leaned back against the wall while she lit it.
“How?” He rolled over on his back and grabbed his head with both hands. “Could you dim the light for **** sake.”
She sucked in deep from the pipe and rested her head against the wall. “Give me a moment. I’m busy.”
He snorted and rolled off the bed. “You’re enjoying this way too much.” He fished up his clothes from the floor and headed towards the bathroom.
She sat there in the bed grinning at his back. “I was not the one who was up on stage taking hallowseeds and roaring love to the world last night. It was very touching.” She blew out a cloud of bluish smoke and sucked in another from the pipe. Thoughts of breakfast drifted through a fuzzy mist in her head. She climbed out of bed and headed for the kitchen, still with the pipe stuck between her teeth. The refrigerator contained an open can of… She turned the can to read the label. Ugh… Beans. She hated beans. The rest of the shelves contained a half bottle of soda, a flask of mushroom soy and a dataslate.
“I don’t have any recipes for cooking a slate.” She muttered and chuckled at her own joke but left the dataslate where it was. She would look for it later when she had forgotten where it was. She continued to search the cabinets until she found some cereals and milk powder. She blended it with water in two bowls and stuck spoons in the mixture. “Breakfast is ready!”
Ahaz came back throwing the towel he had been drying his hair with on the floor. He gave the bowls a sceptic look as he took his place on the high chair at the counter they used for table. “This again?”
“Ah, but you’re forgetting the most important spice!” She said with a grin and handed him the pipe. “Take some stars and it will taste all sort of colours.”
He chuckled as he took the pipe and jammed it between his teeth. “You should get dressed.”
“Hu?” It took her a while to find her way in the mist of thoughts before she understood what he was talking about. She looked down at her bare legs. She was dressed in nothing but his shirt from last night and her underwear. “What’s wrong with it?”
“I’m sure the smugglers will be pleased enough but I’m looking out for your dignity.”
“I’ll find something later. Nothing is ever bloody clean.”
“I don’t think you can have them both bloody and clean. Try and pick one.” He said and scooped a few spoonfuls of breakfast in to his mouth.
“So what brought you here?” Ahaz looked at her. He was leaning against the wall looking out of a window to her right.
“What do you mean?” They were in the office by the loading bay they usually used when they worked. She was sitting at the desk forging a shipment clearance.
“You’re doing this with so much passion. Why?”
“What? One can’t take pride in doing a good job?”
“Fine. If you don’t want to tell me, don’t.” He gave a deep sigh and turned back to the window.
She continued her work for a minute before his restlessness spurred her to answer. “If you must know… They took something important from me.” They were always careful not to say anything that could identify them. It was how they always talked. They knew a lot about each other yet they really knew nothing at all. No names except their aliases and no places. She wasn’t even sure how old he was.
“What was it?”
“They completely ruined my home.” Pain and anger seeped in to her voice.
“Yeah… I get where you’re coming from.” He sighed heavily again.
“Why are you bringing this up?”
“Because I’m not sure I know what I’m doing here.”
“What?” She said and frowned at him.
“It just feels like I’m working my ass of but this is as good as it gets. I’ve been stuck here for a long time. I doubt I will ever get a promotion. Not even sure I want one anymore.”
“Don’t be silly. What’s with the melancholy anyway? That’s not like you.” When he didn’t answer she peered at him searchingly. He was staring out the window with a far away look. “Has something happened?”
“No. I just feel that something is missing. That’s all.”
“Well hopefully this deal will go through and we can both return home.”
“Mhm.” He gave her a long look and pushed himself off the wall. “I’m going to grab a pipe. You want some?”
“I’ll catch up with you later. Need to finish this seal before I can relax.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
It was just two days until the big heist. The day that everything her enemies had built would go down in flames. She felt good and if anything warranted a celebration this was it. She looked out across the crowded club. They were in a private booth on the second floor with an open railing so you could look down at the dance floor. Lots of people were here tonight
Ahaz was already busy drinking shots from a woman’s belly. Amarissa sipped her drink and savoured the feeling of revenge. This was what she had been working for. This was what made it all worth it. It was the best feeling in the world. She turned around, held her drink up to the people gathered in the booth and shouted a wordless cry of exaltation.
Ahaz grinned at her and emptied a glass, then gestured for one of the men at the table. “You have the seeds?”
The man grunted. His attention fixed on the woman in his lap. He dug in to his pocket and produced a plastic bag that he threw onto the table. Ahaz pushed the woman he had been drinking from off the table and she got back on her feet unsteadily.
“Since we’re celebrating…” He held up the plastic bag and shook it a few times.
“Mmm… Set me up, hot stuff.” She emptied her glass and took a seat next to him. He took her hand and poured the contents of the bag into her palm then he brought her hand to his face and dipped his tongue into the seeds. She followed his example and licked the rest of the seeds of her palm. You had to chew hallowseeds carefully or they would have no effect. The seeds were slow working but well worth the wait.
The rest of the night was a haze. They partied and she was high most of it. It wasn’t until early morning that the high was wearing off. She was up on the balcony looking down at the waning crowd, at the people who didn’t have enough sense to go home. Ahaz came up behind her and put his hands on either side of her on the railing.
“Was the night all you hoped for?”
“It was one hell of a celebration. I love the smell of success.”
“You know that when this is done we might not see each other again.”
“We work well together. People will realise that.”
“What will you do after this?”
“Se my family again. If I can.”
“You have a family?”
“Mhm.” She turned around to face him, leaning back against the railing.
He got a sad expression on his face. “I didn’t know that.”
“Does it matter?”
“Well you must have been gone form them for some time. We’ve been here for two years.”
“Some of them wont even remember me. Why are you so sentimental all of a sudden? One might think you don’t want us to be done with this.”
“Maybe I have been enjoying it. I sure have been enjoying the company… but everything must end sometime.” He pushed himself of the railing and gave her a sad smile. “Time to go home?”
“Oh yes. Looking forward to it.” Indicating that she wasn’t talking about their apartment.
The morning after was not as pleasant. Amarissa woke up with a headache and feeling nauseas. Ahaz was already up and moving about which she found a bit odd. She was usually the one up before him. He hated mornings. But she was in no state to complain. It sounded like he was making breakfast and it smelled fantastic. She slowly sat up and waited for the room to stop spinning. “You’re up early.”
He was in the kitchen putting things in order on the counter. “Well the celebration didn’t end last night. This is the last breakfast we will have together. Figured we should make it special.”
Later she would reflect on his words and realise it had been a warning. It was the day before the heist and there would still be one breakfast tomorrow. But in her dazed state she failed to recognize it for what it was. “Aww… That is so sweet.”
She moved from the bed and took a seat by the counter. He had prepared quite a breakfast. Probably the best they had eaten since they got here. Eggs, bread and recaf. He took the seat opposite to her and they started on the food. They ate in silence and she noted that he didn’t seem to have much of an appetite. He just stirred his recaf with a spoon and stared lost in thought at his plate.
“What’s wrong?” She said between bites.
“What?” He looked up at her confused for a moment. ”Oh, nothing. Nothing. I just can’t believe it’s going to end. After so long…”
“Will you really miss it that bad?” He raised his eyes and looked in to hers. After a few seconds his stare made her uncomfortable and she gave him a suspicious look. “Wat?” She said but her tongue felt numb, like it had fallen asleep.
“I’m sorry. I can’t go back…”
The feeling spread to her jaw and a burning pain radiated from her throat. She looked up at him in panic but he just sat there looking at her despite the fact that her distress must be plain for him to see. “Wa ave u one!?” Tears streamed down her cheeks as the pain spread to her stomach and chest.
“I wish it didn’t have to end this way. I really do. But I’m done with the inquisition. I can go back. I’m tired of being every ones *****.”
She recognized the poison, detox wouldn’t work but she had antidote for it amongst her stuff. She had showed him this poison long ago but she had never told him about the antidote. She had never thought they would need it. She stood up to rush for her bag but fell to the floor as the numbness had spread through her body to her legs and she lost control of them. She hit the floor hard but hardly felt it. The pain was excruciating and burned her from the inside. It had spread to her lungs and made it hard to breath.
A pair of feet appeared in front of her as she lay on the floor clutching the rug. “For what it’s worth I wish there could have been another way.” The feet disappeared and she heard the door close behind him.
She clutched the rug and cried. Her body felt numb and there was no way for her to reach the bag. It was all the way across the room. She gasped for air and curled up in to a tight ball trying to combat the pain.
– Is this how it ends?
– Depends… Are you choosing it to end this way?
– Please. Please don’t die! I don’t want you to die! Sob. Sob.
– I don’t want to die.
– You need to take them down! For the Emepror! Get up!
– Listen to me… You will never see them again. You will never see him again… You need to get to that bag. Tomorrow is the day for revenge. Get that bag…
She reached out as far as she could and clawed herself forward. One arms length at the time. She figured she probably didn’t have more than three maybe four minutes before she couldn’t breath anymore. She looked over at the bag and was horrified to see that she hadn’t made it further. Every move of her arms was so painful she wanted to scream.
Do it for them. For him. He will be waiting for you.
She reached out and got another arms length closer. She was sweating heavily from the effort to keep her limbs moving and she was shaking from the pain. Another arms length. And another. She was moving forward. The bag looked much closer now. She would soon have it within reach. Three more arms length and her fingers touched the strap to the bag.
She clutched it tight in her slippery fingers and tugged. The bag moved and tipped over spilling its contents across the floor. She managed to get the front of the bag opened and reached inside hoping it would still be there. She felt books and papers but not what she was looking for. Then her hand felt something cold and smooth, the handle for her injector. The thing she had been looking for. She gripped it and pulled it out. It was one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen. Clutching it tight she sifted through the vials on the floor until she found what she was looking for. The antidote. She fumbled with it before she managed to push it in place in the injector.
She injected herself with the antidote mere seconds before she lost consciousness. The last thing she saw before she succumbed to the blackness was her wedding ring lying on the floor not far from her. She clutched it and wished it wouldn’t be the last time she saw it.