|Ghost Core: Ghost & Shadow
Author: Snow Garland PM
Alastair Kagemune. Ghost Core. These two personalities have nothing to do with each other, but when the world is threatened by the biomechanical threat that is the zeid, Alastair is forced to choose between remaining in the shadows...or striking out as the errant knight, Ghost Core.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Sci-Fi/Fantasy - Words: 1,087 - Published: 12-10-12 - id: 3081741
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"…And with us online is Commander James Morgan of the Sanctum Guard. Commander, what do you have to say about the Ghost Core incidents? Do you believe that he is a hero as people claim?"
"First off, I'd like to point out that this 'Ghost Core' is no hero. At best we can call him a vigilante, but most would agree with me that he's a menace to our city. His actions prove that he has no regard for the safety of the good people of Orcina, and the damage he has caused in the past six months is totally unacceptable."
"Now I'm not disregarding the fact that he has pulled my men out of some particularly dangerous situations and helped in dealing with the zeid menace. But the truth of the matter is that this individual's methods are hazardous and pose an eventual threat to the well-being of this city. He's a loose cannon, ma'am, and we as appointed protectors of Orcina do not like loose cannons…"
The vidstream was paused.
"'Loose cannon', eh?" Vice Commander Landreau of the Sanctum Guard said with a boyish grin.
"It'll keep the media hounds off our backs for a while," James growled back in response. "If you think you can do better, you can handle the next interview."
"That is enough, Vice Commander." The vidscreen before the two men cycled into two partitions, with the frozen visage of Commander Morgan on one side and the live stream image of a bespectacled man in a dark blue suit behind a high-density glass desk. "We must concentrate our efforts on resolving this matter once and for all. Has the Ghost Core been identified and located?"
James cleared his throat. "No, Minister Sochaux. It seems that this Core's name is…fitting, in a way."
The Orcinan Minister of Information and Security leaned back in his chair, steepling his fingers before him as he closed his eyes briefly. "Explain."
"What the Commander means is," Landreau began, swooping to his superior's defense with a subtle nod and a wink. "We have no leads to the whereabouts or the identity of Ghost Core since his last appearance in Sector Dray hours ago. He's gone back to whatever grave he crawled out of. Again."
Under his breath, James muttered a curse.
"To be honest, Minister, we did try."Landreau said.
"Well you're obviously not trying hard enough." Sochaux snapped. Despite the fact that he was speaking through an online connection, his anger somehow manage to transmit itself through, causing the Vice Commander to flinch in his chair. "Do you have any idea how the House of Orcina is breathing down my neck, demanding for the immediate capture of this Ghost Core? Do you know how much money the House has had to spend trying to repair all the damages to people's homes and shops because some idiot has gotten it into his thick skull to play the hero? Do you?!"
James found some grim satisfaction as he saw his Vice's near-eternal cheerfulness dampened for once. Landreau dropped his gaze from the large screen, shaking his head in response to the Minister's questions.
"We're sorry for the inconveniences, sir." James spoke up. "As Commander of the Guard, I'd like to personally…promise…that we will have Ghost Core within the next seventy-two hours."
"See that you do so, Commander," Sochaux sneered. "Or I will turn this entire problem to the King's Guard, with every possible resource at their disposal."
The connection terminated in a hiss of static without any exchange of pleasantries. The two soldiers sat there in silence, letting the flickering dark-grey light of the screen wash over them. After what seemed like an eternity, Landreau turned to his superior with a small smile lurking at the corners of his lips. "Good thing we didn't tell him about the other Core, huh?"
James sighed and reached into the pocket of his shirt for a smoke.
Chapter One | Dysphoria pt.1
It was raining.
It was always raining these days.
Alastair Kagemune had no idea when he woke up, or why. One moment he had been blissfully ignorant of everything except the blackness, and now-
It was cold wherever he was, and slowly he opened his eyes as a sleep-befuddled brain tried to make sense of what he was seeing. He found himself on mat laid out on a bare, tiled floor in a room as nondescript as the sand in a desert. Someone had been kind enough to lay his head on something soft and stretched out a wide but old blanket over his prone form. Overhead was a strip of mostly broken light panels, with one or two still functioning at a capacity lower than they were meant to be. Beyond the confines of the room, he could hear the rain, smashing blindly into the unforgiving solid walls-
"Ah, you're awake."
The voice was old, hoarse and barely audible against the pattering of the rain. Alastair raised his upper half up on one elbow, and almost immediately found the source of the voice; an old man who sat more or less upright with his back against the far wall to Alastair's left. He was smiling faintly at him, his chest rising and falling unrhythmically from his ragged breathing. He had milky blue eyes, the old man, and long blonde hair with grey mixed in that looked like it hadn't seen a comb in a very long time.
Alastair tried to speak, and what came out was a ragged rasp of a voice. "Who are you?"
The old man's smile grew broader by just a fraction. There was a broad patch of something wet on the front of his worn shirt that Alastair couldn't make out in the dim light, but it awoke a sense of urgency in him. "The name's…Benjamin. Benjamin Sharpe. How do you feel?"
"Tired. A bit."
He nodded. "That's good. It means that you're in the final stage."
Alastair frowned. "Final stage of what?"
"Accepting the transplant. Are you hungry?"
The old man got to his feet slowly, and once there, he seemed to sway a little on his feet. "I'll go get us dinner then. You just sit tight."
Alastair sat up properly, fighting off a growing sense of lethargy. "Wait a moment…what do you mean by transplant? What's going on? Where-?"
"You'll understand soon enough, Alastair." He said. "Trust me on that."
The old man – Benjamin – left without another word, and Alastair waited impatiently in the dimly lit room.