- Hi all,this is definitely the weirdest story I've ever written. Although it might seem that I was on crack when I wrote it, please bear with it and read to the end, it will all make sense then. The idea for it came to me when thinking about aberrant zones, and how they had to be, being completely different and all. Please let me know what you think about it, be it positive or negative. This is my first try at writing an "aberrant story", so let me know what I can make better next time if you don't understand or like anything.Anatol-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Flowings"He didn't respond to his environment at all. When a telepath tried to access patient 1024-B-83's mind, he collapsed dead on the ground. Through galacto-genetical analysis we have an idea of where he came from, but even the TFP we queried didn't know anything about the location - surprisingly he answered with "No reply.", which means that he was old enough to know about the place, but that there was some other problem. So we were forced to try to acquire further information by force. Interestingly enough, although his pain-receptors indicated he felt the pain, he did again not seem to notice it. We were unable to retain any information about and/or from patient 1024-B-83 by intruding into his mind, the use of torture and a TFP. If he is typical of his race, its members would make perfect Vestis Inquisitas."Excerpt from the report file on "Patient 1024-B-83", who appeared on an Omnet ship without an explanation* * * * *Lil'Tkuhl~brq* walked on the soft, wet grass below his feet. The wood under his feet gave him a certain security. He looked up into the pink sky and saw a few blue clouds drift by. Lifting one of his three hands he screened his eye against the suns to follow a small bird with his gaze. When the giant dragon was out of sight, he continued to stroll towards the bridge, sending out ultra-sonic screams to find the way as he did have no eyes. The bridge, which was cut out of a single stone, appeared in front of him and Lil'Tkuhl~brq* accelerated his speed as he wanted to get home as quickly as possible. He stepped on the wooden planks of the hanging bridge and the countless feet of his insectoid lower body sounded like rain erupting from the earth and racing into the sky. Below him the ice-cold water of the river roared past the bridge, and Lil'Tkuhl~brq* picked up a small stone from the gravel that was scattered all about the chain-bridge and threw it into the water. Halfway down the stick was swallowed by an eruption of the lava flowing below.Lil'Tkuhl~brq* stepped on the comforting sand he had walked on for hours again. He had set out from home just to walk around a bit, and now he was getting farther away from it with every step he made. He smelled a noise behind him and turned around to look at its source. There he was, thirty meters behind him on the bridge: Lil'Tkuhl~brq*, who had just thrown a stone into the water. He stuck his head through his liquid upper body and had it come out on top again, facing the direction he was flowing in again. What fun it would be to return home soon, when he was back in Lok'nar, the town he had set out to, and from which he had come. It was a Frig*Gkar pilgrimage, a journey without end or beginning. He was still young, almost too young for it, many had thought, but now he was underway. His handsome face looked around and spotted a fox in the bushes. Drawing his sword with his right hand, he jumped back to defend himself. The fox, which appeared out of nothing to his rear, leaped forward, his maw wide open. The bullett Lil'Tkuhl~brq*'s drawn gun ejected hit it on the last moment.Suddenly a bright flash of light raced through the blue evening sky, and had it not blinded the fox for a moment to give Lil'Tkuhl~brq* the chance to break its neck, the man would have been killed by the beast. "Next time I shouldn't miss again," he mused. Struggling to his feet after the flash of light had sent him down onto the ground where he had lain numbly for more than a minute, he saw an object entering Finsdwson's atmosphere in a great ball of fire. Lil'Tkuhl~brq* spread his wings to fly over to the crashsite to find a kind of box, which was somehow continually *not* changing its shape, but then again, everything seemed normal when it dissolved slowly in the ground. To his right stood Lil'Tkuhl~brq*, and before this other Lil'Tkuhl~brq*'s humanoid form melted into that of a bear, he said to his melting counterpart: "You're back!""I've never been away," he replied, before his paw struck out to rip Lil'Tkuhl~brq* open, and he fed on him, like bears do. Then he pulled his hat a bit deeper into his face and continued to follow the Frig*Gkar path, as humans used to when they were still young.* * * * *Ronda Bragghins sat on a small stool in a dark corner of the tiny room. Basically, it was an empty cell, except for the stool she currently sat on and the restraining seat in the middle of the room, which was permanently lighted by a lamp in the ceiling. The Vestis Inquisitas had been observing the man in the restraining seat for hours. He was a normal human, with brown hair, brown eyes and a nice face. Maybe it would even have been handsome, if the eyes weren't red and sore because the man had never closed them since he had been found on the Omnet ship almost two months ago. Now he was lying in the seat, eyes wide open, with a somewhat sad expression on his face. He couldn't move an inch, the titanium clamps around his limbs, throat and forehead assured that, but Ronda knew that even if they had been removed, the man wouldn't give as much a lifesign as raising a finger. They had already tried that. Among other things she had had to do, but didn't want to think of now. The man, patient 1024-B-83, was still a complete mystery.Sometimes the Vestis thought that the man was dead already, but when she checked his pulse, he was always well alive. It appeared that he simply didn't know how to react to his surroundings."Vestis Bragghins, report to the bridge!" cracked a metallic voice through the chamber. With a sigh Ronda lifted herself from the stool and walked to the security door that sealed the room. Her fingers flew over a numeric pad, and an instant later the door opened almost noiselessly.The bridge was, like the rest of the destroyer, dark and threatening. Dim lighting assured that you never forgot you were on a military vessel, although the energy aboard would have been sufficient enough to increase the lighting until all crewmen were blind from it. A screen opposite of the three lift-doors displayed some data in green letters, while a three-dimensional starmap floated in the mid of the room, separated from the area of the bridge crew by a half-high railing. Facing the screen were the consoles of the bridge crew, and amid them the Captain's command chair. Right now Captain Jonus was standing in front of the data-screen, though.As the lift-door closed behind Ronda and five soldiers snapped to attention, the Captain remarked without turning around to her: "Ah, Vestis Inquisitas Bragghins! We should arrive at the Quantum Front every minute now, and I thought you should be present when we cross it. After all, this is your brainchild, isn't it?""This is the "brainchild", as you call it, of the Vestis Inquisitas. I am merely carrying out the mission."When the Vestis noticed her harsh tone, she added: "Of course you could say it was me who drew the Vestis's attention towards it."The First Officer, who had approached Ronda from beside, smiled at her and nodded in approvement of the polite turn she had given her words.Suddenly a siren howled three times, and an officer announced: "Quantum Front detected in threehundred kilometers distance.""Excellent!" exclaimed the Captain. He stepped back and faced his crew, while he fingered at his mustache with his left hand. "Ready all redundant drives to take over upon crossing! Raise shields, power to maximum! Activate weapons banks!"Ronda Bragghins had frowned upon that last order, but it was the Captain's ship, and she had no word in how he ran it."Would you like to give the command that may change the history of Omnet's struggle for complete control of the galactic knowledge?" It took Ronda a while before she realized she was meant, and even then she only reluctantly said: "Go ahead!"In fact she was far too pre-occupied by her thoughts about what they were about to encounter. Entering a new, unexplored Q-Zone was always risky, and the stoic man who was locked away in the ship's innards was no help either. She had strange feelings about the prisoner, and much alike she had strange feelings about this Q-Zone. By all means the man Omnet had discovered lying on a floor *inside* one of their ships was healthy and sane, but his autistic attitude belied that. It was simply inexplicable.The Captain was smiling confidently while he was watching his officers preparing the crossing. The Omnet destroyer was a mighty ship, and it would be able to cope with virtually anything that would be on the other side. Its drives were able to propel the ship throughout the known universe, and its armament was impressive. Even if it encountered hostile aliens, the destroyer would be able to escape unharmed due to its extra-inforced shields. Indeed, the Captain was very proud of his fine vessel."About to enter Quantum Front... no readings from the other side... all systems normal... Quantum Weather inconspicious..." the various officers reported. Then the ship rocked violently and the lights flickered for a moment. They were crossing the Front. For a while, there was nothing. Then there was chaos."Exiting front... Captain, we're directly inside a star system!""Sir, energy dropping!""Sensor readings down!"Ronda felt strange, as if she didn't belong here. The feeling got worse, and she began to feel sick and swindly. She didn't belong here. It was wrong... panic struck her, and she became hysterical when she sensed the ship was not the ship anymore. An officer cried out aloud: "The star system... impossible... it's... no... hehe..." then he broke out into a manical, cackling laughter. "Pool balls... it's only pool balls..." he repeated, while he tried to read a screen that wasn't really there anymore. It should have been, and it was, but somehow everyone, including the officer, felt it wasn't there anymore. As if it had flown away.The Captain fell to his knees and clenched his head with his hands. They belonged to a stranger. The floor beneath him wasn't metal anymore. His senses broke down. He screamed in his low, reverbrating voice.The high-pitched scream pulled Ronda away from the image of the chuckling, crying officer, who, for some reason, now really held a pool ball in his hands. The high-pitched scream? The Vestis stumbled towards the lift, she just wanted to get off the bridge, as her senses weren't able anymore to process the contradictory information. The lift-doors opened (Doors? There had been only one?) and she threw herself into the lift, and at least the pain that erupted in her head when she forgot to catch herself told her she was still alive. Ronda pushed the round button of Deck 4. The corner of the button stung into the sensitive skin of her finger, and she lurched back from the sensation that shouldn't - couldn't - be. Deck 4. That was were she needed to go. To the man in the restraining seat.She exited the lift when it halted and ran into a gangway she reckognized, but didn't know where from. The rubble on the floor irritated her. A wooden door stopped her, and as soon as she had opened it, she knew she was wrong: this was the engineering, not Deck 4. Turning around she tumbled back into the gangway, but this time she seemed to be on the right way, although this still had to be Deck 6 instead of 4. Underway she met a crewman who cowered in a corner and tried to nestle his beltcase open, where his weapon was. Finally he managed to rip it open and produced his gun. The man looked almost happily into the nozzle of the blaster and pulled the trigger. Blazing energy consumed his head.For a brief moment Ronda considered doing the same, but something urged her to go on and look for the man. After a few steps, or some hundred meters, she couldn't tell anymore, Ronda reached the prisoner's room. The doors swished open immediately and she fell onto her knees on the floor inside. The man was there, sitting in a comfortable ear-chair and smiling at her. His eyes were sore, but filled with life, and he smiled. On the opposite side of the room was a second door, and someone lay there, apparently dead. Ronda touched her breast as if to support her breathing and looked at the former prisoner in awe. He was alive again. The restarining seat was gone. And he smiled... he looked happy. The light above him went out. Suddenly the ground below her seemed to lurch again, felt soft and hard at the same time, and Ronda wasn't at home in her body anymore. She clenched her head with both hands and screamed in pain. The last thing she saw before she passed over into afterlife was herself coming through the door on the other side of the room, falling down.* * * * *He was home. The flow of life, the flow of constant change was there again. The nightmare-world that had held him prisoner within his own mind, catched in a constant state of immobility and depression, had gone away. Slowly and carefully he stepped out of the wreckage that was the last remainder of his cage beyond the barrier. Flapping sounds made him aware of the being that approached him rapidly. Lil'Tkuhl~brq* landed to his left and looked at the cage, which was dissolving already. He looked at Lil'Tkuhl~brq* and recognized his own face. Lil'Tkuhl~brq*, who had just emerged from the wreckage, savioured in the feeling of dissolving into another form. Lil'Tkuhl~brq* threw him a startled look and said: "You're back!""I've never been away," replied Lil'Tkuhl~brq* and struck out with his paw to rip Lil'Tkuhl~brq* open, as he was hungry and had to gather strength for the remainder of his Frig*Gkar pilgrimage.