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A Dreamer's Knight II - Machinations
Writer Alan T. Tryth
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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A Dreamer's Knight II - Machinations
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Chapter 2 - Medical Matey
Alan T. Tryth
Nov 8, 2016
13 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!ory3dGAdm5XhKI4awmbYposted on PENANA

One stared glumly at the space where Mixe had been standing. Something about the young man seemed oddly familiar, though he couldn't quite place it.copyright protection129PENANAP0pnstKVho

"Well," he muttered, turning back at his tree, "I'm not getting any rest until I get this settled, and I won't get it settled until Luck resurfaces."copyright protection129PENANApFQXJ4Dkh0

The Breath of Fire crossed his mind. It was badly in need of repair after the thrashing he had given it during his last assignment, and the Final Fantasy probably needed a little repair work as well. They could make for a nice distraction.copyright protection129PENANApfhaXlkuIw

One shifted out of the Dream Realm, appearing directly inside his personal workshop. His teleportation was perfect … well, almost. He hopped off the workbench and started walking to the back of the workshop where his two dreadnaughts silently awaited his arrival. The Final Fantasy stood silently in the bay on the right, while the dragon-esque Breath of Fire lay in the other, its dismembered wings lying nearby.copyright protection129PENANAsxxRV0lFVC

"Armor plating on the chest and arms is gonna need replacing." One said aloud as he surveyed the Final Fantasy for damage. "Other than that, she held up pretty well."copyright protection129PENANA4kiVi1ZWlg

As he strapped on his tek-boots, his mind turned to Mikaen, the wayward knight who had literally dropped out of the sky while One was taking a nap on the world of Vinta. The poor guy had been on the edge: no family, only a few friends, no place to truly call his own. Worst of all, Mikaen's fiancée had died some months previous, leaving the knight reckless to the point of suicidal.copyright protection129PENANAWLweVtzgXi

Of course, that was before One started poking around. Now Mikaen had a nice home in Homestead, a whole slew of friends, and a pretty, kind, and strong tigreth girlfriend.copyright protection129PENANAMqQjiLjDrf

"Or have you proposed yet?" One mused to himself.copyright protection129PENANAfwzxrSzrOU

A hologram of a young girl appeared, a look of curiosity evident on her translucent face. "Are you talking to me?"copyright protection129PENANAILGeZBHzSF

"Just thinking out loud, Rebecca. I was wondering if Mikaen and Tirinia are engaged yet."copyright protection129PENANARE6IYoti1V

She shrugged indifferently. "Meh. I never was much for the wetware concept of romance. You need a hand?"copyright protection129PENANAxhr7OTZokN

"Nah, I got it." Rebecca's skrievers could repair the dreadnaughts in less than an hour, but One preferred to do the work himself, much to Rebecca's chagrin.copyright protection129PENANAi2yYgyAY7s

"Hmpf. Fine. I guess I'll just activate the platforms and let you get to it then." Her hologram vanished, a distinctly annoyed look on her face.copyright protection129PENANAEZ7KH68boa

One locked the last strap of his tek-boots as the lowest platform rose into place. Hopping on, he began a more thorough examination of his dreadnaught's damage.copyright protection129PENANA6Wry4gr3EL

He ran a metal hand along one of several gashes in the right leg of the Final Fantasy. "Ouch. Still, easy enough to fix, I suppose."copyright protection129PENANARXOqW5Yx36

While helping Mikaen, One and the young knight had come across the Breath of Fire, a combat-model dreadnaught from Earth's recent past. Although the Final Fantasy wasn't a combat model, One had been victorious. Of course, that meant he now had two giant machines to maintain.copyright protection129PENANA0I58sNeBYD

The plating on the chest of the Final Fantasy had taken the brunt of the damage. After shearing off the rivet heads with Headache's fusion cutter, One pried one of the chest plates off and let it fall to the floor with a loud clang.copyright protection129PENANAM5AeEEv5Ha

He was just starting on the next plate when the door to the main part of One's floor burst open. Two rushed through the doorway, a croquet mallet in one hand and a bottle of booze in the other.copyright protection129PENANARz7FZ4LXCO

He walked unsteadily toward the dreadnaught bays, mallet at the ready. "Come out of there, Wong! There's no use hiding!"copyright protection129PENANA4Cx9K0WZCV

"Nice mallet." One called out, smirking. "Very intimidating."copyright protection129PENANACo1cDFQ8Ly

Two peered at him. Even from a distance, One could see that his friend's eyes were bloodshot. "Oh. It's just you."copyright protection129PENANAiC7qi6u347

One hopped off the platform and approached his best friend. "What's going on, man?"copyright protection129PENANAS8Jpiupft2

"It's Wong. He keeps messing around with the Breath of Fire. I've had to chase him out of here three times today." Shaking his head, Two asked, "What about you? I figured you were gone for at least a year."copyright protection129PENANAb5qch3S8cD

"How long was I away?" One asked curiously.copyright protection129PENANAGugNVzUqCY

"About two months. I started to go looking for you, but I figured you wanted some alone time. Besides, I'm sure you didn't want to deal with my protégé."copyright protection129PENANAxv7gUpKkFd

Two continued to complain, but One wasn't listening. As he returned to his repair work, his mind was on Luck. Teach had promised to tell Luck where One was hiding, and the elder Dreamer was usually reliable in such things. One had left his nexus point open for her, which on reflection was probably how Mixe got there. Two months was a long time for her not to have joined him.copyright protection129PENANAmQjN2BRVJ4

One's gaze fell on the Breath of Fire. Mixe suggested that the Breath of Fire could have represented something, but what? It was a broken dreadnaught that looked a lot like a dragon. It could symbolize the Rangers who built it, or Earth on a very basic level, but One couldn't see how either of those would make Luck run off on him.copyright protection129PENANAyqyPeuo8U1

"… and in the shower, no less! Fate's got enough reasons to beat the crap outta me without Wong playing the instigator! I …" Two paused, his eyes narrowing. "One? One, are you even listening to me?"copyright protection129PENANA7rwfHrEsMj

One shook his head to clear his thoughts. "Sorry. You were saying something about instigating something between Fate and Wong?"copyright protection129PENANAG9aZXcAO8k

Two rolled his eyes. "Ah, forget it."copyright protection129PENANASHKrwYVV7Q

"I'm sorry, Two." One sighed. "I'm guess I'm still a little distracted."copyright protection129PENANAWehstZU8rG

"I can tell. You just removed a perfectly good sheet of armor plating."copyright protection129PENANAs7QC7NPIBX

One's eyes darted up to the plate he had just pried off. Sure enough, it was undamaged. Rubbing his temples, he muttered, "Nice. Good job, One."copyright protection129PENANA2uENWbLS6T

A mischievous smile crossed Two's face. "This distraction wouldn't have anything to do with the Lady Luck, would it?"copyright protection129PENANAI37ZwBYqKq

"Have you seen her?"copyright protection129PENANA7dyXPGKFom

"You mean you haven't?" Two looked genuinely surprised. "I figured she was with you. Sorry, man. I haven't seen her since before you left."copyright protection129PENANADqRhdOtZGz

One sighed. "Maybe Teach or Karma has-"copyright protection129PENANASpD0p9Cnzm

A loud clang shot from the direction of the Final Fantasy. Two slapped One on the arm. "See? See what I'm talkin' about? I bet Wong's over there trying to install an arcade cabinet into the cockpit or something."copyright protection129PENANAOHznEp3p4r

One and Two ran toward the direction of the noise. Sure enough, they found Wong standing near the Breath of Fire.copyright protection129PENANALHSDZ6rs58

Two brandished his mallet as though to hit Wong, but One caught his arm. "Wait, Two! Look at his face!"copyright protection129PENANA2YxFYWPAko

Wong's face was pale as a sheet. There was no trace of his usual, fool-hardy smile either; in fact, he looked positively spooked.copyright protection129PENANAX95wwKVz90

The reason was obvious a few moments later. An overpowering acrid stench issued forth from the mass of bones and charred flesh that occupied the pilot's chair of the Breath of Fire's open cockpit.copyright protection129PENANA1VITzH00a6

"Ugh!" One covered his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt to block out the foul smell, "What the hell?"copyright protection129PENANA9d4HS3DHEY

"It wasn't me!" Wong said, his voice a high-pitched squeak, "I just wanted to look at the control panel, so I sorta hacked into the Dreadnaught's systems and opened the cockpit, and there was totally a melted guy there!"copyright protection129PENANA6B8c8EW4e6

"A likely story!" Two moved to grab the young Dreamer, but One stopped him.copyright protection129PENANA4g1MaAuaBE

"He didn't do this." One told them.copyright protection129PENANAgKRksKo6s2

Wong and Two looked at him, equally surprised.copyright protection129PENANA4yDcLLRHP6

Still covering his face, One peered at the body. There were dozens of small holes in the body, each barely a millimeter in diameter. His suspicions were concerned when he found a wire leading from the console jabbed into what had been the pilot's neck.copyright protection129PENANANUmPHwpbH1

"Impulse control system." Glancing at his fellow Dreamers, One said, "The computer tried to create a neural link with the pilot. Without the right equipment or a datajack, it essentially ripped out his nervous system."copyright protection129PENANAPXMGierGkT

"And that melted his body?" Two asked incredulously.copyright protection129PENANAIpsmCd7tUX

"No, but with no life signs in the cockpit, the Breath of Fire shut off all the shielding to preserve power, including the heat shield that protects the pilot from the power core. Do you know how much heat the generator that powers this thing puts off?"copyright protection129PENANAAISWxztXKa

Two winced. "Ugh. Sucks to be him. Hey, wait! If the pilot was fried, how was the Breath of Fire still able to function?"copyright protection129PENANAZz7Lgp0H6k

"Like I said, it assimilated his nervous system, including his brain." One gestured to the body of the Breath of Fire. "It basically pulled out his brain in data format and tried to overlay it in the Breath of Fire's artificial brain."copyright protection129PENANAAOJ2blfiPa

"That thing has a brain?" Wong shuddered. "Eww!"copyright protection129PENANAgpT8mrHPpr

"It's artificial, Wong … like a computer, though the base imprint was programmed using the imprint taken from an actual dragon." Tapping the datajack on the side of his neck, One continued, "The ICS is supposed to bridge with the pilot's mind, creating a constant stream of data between the pilot and the dreadnaught."copyright protection129PENANAZo17ahxaZD

Looking back at the pilot's remains, One said, "It's not made to hold the entire contents of someone's mind, though. No wonder the Breath of Fire went berserk; the pain of the extraction coupled with the compression to fit inside the artificial brain would drive anyone nuts."copyright protection129PENANAvzseCDASWq

One tapped the blackened console thoughtfully. It was impossible to determine the race of the pilot; what was left of the corpse was blackened beyond recognition, its clothes crumbled to ash.copyright protection129PENANA3dQWlcn31N

There was no real reason to look into it. After all, One knew it was most likely a member of either the Ronisgald Security Force or the Celestial Cathedral. Still, there was something about the body that struck One as suspect. Though he couldn't put his finger on what, he knew someone who could.copyright protection129PENANAu1bw8lNGwM

Turning back to his friends, One asked, "Where's Captain Morgan these days?"copyright protection129PENANAj1mMgZqQSm

The Dreamer known as Captain Morgan is a bit of an odd duck, so to speak. He may not be as weird as Wong Fo-lee, but he's definitely one of the stranger inhabitants of the Elsewhere Mansion. He is also happens to be the Elsewhere's resident doctor and biologist.copyright protection129PENANAhVz7SVkgYm

When he was just a Sleeper, Captain Morgan (or rather, Morgan Nathaniel Upshire) was groomed for the medical profession from the moment he first learned to read. Private schools, special tutors, and endless tomes dominated his childhood. He grew up far too quickly and settled into the life that had been orchestrated for him.copyright protection129PENANA3tneZwANd6

His lost childhood always bothered him, and naturally manifested in his hobbies. Once his practice had netted him a sizeable bank account, he used a large chunk of his money to build an authentic Spanish Galleon which he named 'The Popehat' for reasons known only to himself. On the outside, it was a faithful and sea-worthy replica of an ancient pirate vessel. On the inside, it was a technological marvel, both for medicine and for sailing.copyright protection129PENANAAw7XjnWJeP

As his obsession grew, he moved his offices inside the ship. The children loved him. The parents shook their heads at the childishness of it all.copyright protection129PENANA6wKFDDBYTz

Then Morgan became a Dreamer. For some, it is a solemn moment. For others, it is more like an epiphany. For Morgan, it was as though his childhood had been given a second chance. One day, as the last few families left his office and headed to their cars, Morgan and the Popehat weighed anchor and set sail into the Atlantic Ocean. This was quite a feat for a clinic that was based in the suburbs of Salina, Kansas.copyright protection129PENANAkX3Ic3eNRr

The Popehat appeared inside the Elsewhere Mansion a few weeks later, sailing on an endless sea located in one of the Elsewhere's many gray rooms. Since then, the Popehat and Captain Morgan have been a part of the Elsewhere Incorporate.copyright protection129PENANATrY1pipm1E

One took a moment to get his sea-legs after walking onto the deck of the Popehat; stepping out from a structurally sound hallway onto a gently rocking ship can be a little disorienting.copyright protection129PENANAb7aWNOzoMt

He glanced around for Captain Morgan, but the nautical Dreamer was nowhere to be seen.copyright protection129PENANAY6r2PD54qW

"Probably up in the crow's nest." One muttered, peering up the ship's mast.copyright protection129PENANAvkoumNML9O

The door to the captain's cabin burst open. Out strode a boy no older than eight years old, dressed in full pirate regalia including a hook and a peg-leg. Instead of the traditional avian companion, Captain Morgan had a black and white cat perched on his shoulder.copyright protection129PENANAqkVAhJpQ7b

"Arg!" The boy shouted, "It's a landlubber!"copyright protection129PENANAk6iL87oebP

One rubbed his eyes, muttering, "Oh, lord."copyright protection129PENANAbH9zcvnZhw

"Lay your booty on the deck, you scurvy dog!" The boy pulled a wobbly old cutlass from its battered sheath and took a few wild swings in One's general direction.copyright protection129PENANANHRJi9tHZA

"Yes, yes, scurvy dog." The cat said with an air of resignation. "I'm sorry, One, but he's in one of his moods again."copyright protection129PENANATkHb5Pju4u

"It's cool, Simon." One lifted one Headache-encased arm and smacked the weapon from the would-be pirate's hand. It flew through the air in a wide arc and hit the deck point first.copyright protection129PENANAkfcuOo0coh

Captain Morgan pouted. "Oh, come on! You're such a damp cloth."copyright protection129PENANAJcZBVhKoZK

"We can cross swords later, Captain. I've got a bit of a mystery on my hands that I'd like your help with … if you're not too busy, that is."copyright protection129PENANAZS4H4axnFB

"Aha! Another grand adventure, filled with treasure and wenches, no doubt!" Captain Morgan said, letting out a loud triumphant laugh. "The Popehat is ready to set sail the moment you give the word!"copyright protection129PENANASZQ4uFtuRR

"Or, y'know, don't." Simon leapt from Captain Morgan's shoulder and landed easily on the deck. After pausing to stretch his paws and yawn, he said, "We could just stay here. Nice day for a nap."copyright protection129PENANAMA3LbZ3Wo3

The head of a brown cat poked out of a coil of rope. "Did someone say nap?"copyright protection129PENANAGoVK5ZVCmA

"Like you ever do anything else, Wash." Simon sat up straight, looking strangely respectable for a cat. "I'm not saying it's a bad idea, mind you."copyright protection129PENANAdeA4j4KNyB

Sighing, One said, "Look, I'm sorry, but I really need you in doctor mode right now."copyright protection129PENANAEkcI6oIak6

"Of course!" Captain Morgan snapped his fingers. In a matter of moments, he went from a boy-pirate to a boy in a white lab-coat with a pair of spectacles on the tip of his nose … and a jaunty pirate hat on his head.copyright protection129PENANAd0v9LA9Hdv

Sighing again, One asked, "Is the hat really necessary?"copyright protection129PENANAhqKSv4WfRv

"No time for questions! Quick, to my office!"copyright protection129PENANARwQ3eXsX8N

One followed Captain Morgan into the cabin. The moment he passed through the doorway, One found himself standing in a pristine medical facility. Everything was clean and shiny, the exact opposite of what you'd expect after long-term exposure to the salt air.copyright protection129PENANA3lOyvz9Egm

Taking another moment to adjust to the change (the medical bay was well insulated from the movement of the ship), One hurried over to where Captain Morgan was preparing.copyright protection129PENANAayNVriZoxR

"Is my patient here yet?" he asked, pulling on a set of rubber gloves.copyright protection129PENANATonKsCIUzQ

"One moment." One waved his hand at the nearest bed, the burnt corpse of the dreadnaught pilot appearing there a moment later.copyright protection129PENANAIDcwcH5lmm

"My lad, " Morgan said, putting an arm around One's shoulder, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there's nothing I can do. He is, as we say in the medical profession, dead as a dodo."copyright protection129PENANAIwVvsmOrLl

"I know he's dead." One replied, suppressing a laugh, "I just need to know what he was."copyright protection129PENANAjFKGpdi88S

"Fair enough. Let's see here …" Captain Morgan looked at the corpse, his interest renewed. "Given the bone and teeth structures, I'm guessing he's human, Galden, or Tylaen. This basic form's quite common, isn't it? Of course, with this much tissue damage, I'm not jumping to any conclusions."copyright protection129PENANAYQvbmHTs3f

He picked up a scalpel from an instrument tray and started poking at the remains.copyright protection129PENANAPLMKhe75GT

Feeling suddenly sick, One turned around, One said, "Will this take awhile?"copyright protection129PENANArZycFYpY6y

Ripping out a burnt chunk of flesh with a horrible squelching noise, Captain Morgan said, "Hmm. Could be a lung. Could be a liver. Yeah, this will definitely take awhile."copyright protection129PENANAR4omfK49d8

"I'll stop by later, then. I've got someone I want to check up on anyway."copyright protection129PENANAo2UaNbpVh5

133Please respect copyright.PENANAOI4mVKklJq

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