Chapter 2: Survive the Day
~The motto spoken by ancient Warriors and Intellects before setting off on a dangerous mission.~
Tanagura search and rescue staging area...
The newly upgraded force fields by Lord Felix were all in place, and as the ground no longer shifted beneath their feet, Tanagura began to breathe once again. There were many buildings that would need to be repaired if not completely rebuilt, and streets and venues to be cleansed of the stench of death. Three days after the awakenings, every able-bodied person was assigned an area to work in, others assigned to manage the injured, and still others to feed the throngs of homeless. It was an intricate dance as citizens, regardless of station or rank, passed one another to their assigned duties.
But even as life appeared to be chaotic, and rest would be hard to find, those around the Royals were falling into their former roles. Newly awakened Blondies, recognizing their past roles as Sentinels, now began to report to Lord Raoul as Sentinels, while the members of the Firm reported to Lord Raymone. Lord Kai raised their status to Lords, for they were now the present-day foundation of the Warrior Clans. Though many of the present-day population had little if any gifts from their Warrior ancestors, there was a working theory that some could develop inner powers with so many awakened Lords and Ladies in this new environment. Katze was just one example.
At least, that is what the empath in him wondered. Kai and Erin were taken by shuttle throughout the regions in order to keep the lines of communication open, and to find more survivors. While Kai felt the pulse of the population, his Queen felt their anguish. But unlike Riki, they did not manifest the injuries of others. The fact that not all of Jupiter's delicate scanning functions had returned, made the role of empaths that much more important. Hand held scanners, and those in shuttles would be spread thin, considering the planet as a whole needed to be searched. But no one complained about the large ship visible in low orbit, as shuttles came and went around the clock. They would land in Tanagura once they were at capacity, only to return for more survivors on the opposite side of the planet.
Lord Valcor and Yui Fai, Raoul and Rene Am, including Katze, being strong empaths, became vital in the search. Rene, who was far more physically ready than Monique, was able to move about, while his mate, the Lady Annabelle, was not yet ready to join the search and rescue, until her acclimation was finished. Monique was no longer using a hover seat, but was limited in her activities, and this was very frustrating. But Omaki and Argent were never too far from her side. Of course, Kai would find them, and after yelling a bit, they were sent out again to assist in the recovery of survivors.
“If I catch either of you in this building again without an injured survivor, I will have you two assigned to the opposite side of the planet!” Kai bellowed as the two men looked at their feet. He knew Omaki was sweet on Monique, and wondered how that was going to work out, knowing Raoul would skin him alive.
“Yes, my Lord.” Omaki sighed. Then when Kai was not looking, gave Argent a mischievous look. One his lover knew well.
“Omi! What are you thinking?” Argent whispered as they they flew away from Kai's position.
“Well, he did say we can only enter this building if we have an injured survivor, right?” Omaki snickered.
“Yeah...” Argent looked back at Kai, who had his hands on his hips as they flew overhead.
“I guess we'll just need to keep finding more survivors.” He pointed down and suddenly swooped to the surface, scooping up Katze who was having a smoke...again. His shuttle was being refueled as he was standing against a wall.
“Gah!” Katze gasped, his cigarette falling from his opened mouth. “Lord Ghan?!”
“Omi!” Argent began to laugh. “You're going to get your ass kicked!”
“No, my love, Lord Kai said we can only go to the hospital if we're bringing the injured. And well, neither of us is an empath, and our good friend Katze is....right?” Omaki swung Katze like a bride.
“The hell are you two up to? Put me down!” Katze wiggled in Omaki's arms.
“Now, now, Lord Katze, it is Lord now, right?” Omaki grinned. “I'm so happy you were given a title by the Lord of the Warrior Clans.” Omaki spoke sweetly, “Look, I know your brain has been awakened, thanks to Lady Erin, but I know for a fact you can pick up the thoughts of the distressed, no? I know Raoul was impressed.” Omaki flew over a fallen building as they entered the area of Midas and Ceres.
“Well, not as good as the others, I'm still new at this!” Katze grumbled as Omaki flew lower. “I mean, it's hit or miss with me-” Katze grew silent, then looked down. He could hear voices in the rubble. “There!” He pointed as Argent flew ahead and signaled for men to join him.
Omaki gently landed with Katze, who kept staring in the direction of the voices. “How many do you hear?” Omaki whispered as he signaled for the men to be quiet.
“I hear several, maybe four or five. No. There's more!” Katze became excited and ran toward the rubble anxiously pointing, recalling Riki's words to begin in Midas and Ceres. “Here!”
Omaki gave the group of Intellects a nod, and together with Argent, began to slowly move the rubble. Omaki and Argent raised their shields, as large pieces were slowly removed, exposing the pocket which was in fact, the underground parking. Several people could be heard coughing and yelling for help.
“W-We heard Lord Riki! W-We heard Lord Riki!” One of the survivors sobbed as he emerged from the rubble.
Those able to walk rushed out into the open, while several men rushed in to bring out the wounded. There were far more than four or five that Katze heard, there were dozens. The building was in fact an apartment complex that collapsed when the shields failed. They would also find many dead, however, the dozens that were rescued gave them reason to cheer.
When no more could be detected, Omaki and Argent slowly lowered their shields, and let the building settle once again. Others would come to remove the rubble and retrieve the dead. A large transporter shuttle came down to collect all the wounded, however, Omaki and Argent each took one of the severely injured, and along with the others, flew towards the Medical Center. The men extended their healing powers as they flew, while the others watched and followed their lead.
As they landed in front of the Medical Center, they took their severely wounded straight to the triage center, where Heiku and the medics assisted in sorting them out.
Heiku was taken aback, “It's been three days!” He quickly began to work on the most serious patients. He stopped momentarily, curious as to why Omaki and Argent were grinning as they walked away. He watched them sneak into the center, no longer doubting as to where they were going.
Lady Monique was sitting in a chair behind a reception terminal in a private room, away from traffic. She was shocked to see them all bloodied, recalling their former appearance when they visited her with all the specimens. She gave them the same sweet smile she's always given them. “It appears that you two will never change.” She laughed softly, as the two men looked around to make sure Kai was nowhere to be seen. She was entering patient's information as it arrived, hoping to reunite families.
“We found dozens!” Omaki smiled, as he looked down at Monique. His eyes never left her own.
“Yes, Lord Katze spotted them with his new super powers!” Argent imitated Katze's pointing down, then his face changed, as he recalled something important. “Oh no! Omi! We forget something...er I mean, someone!” Argent became animated.
“He's going to KILL us!!” Omaki giggled. “Well, this visit will be short, my dear, but fear not, we shall return with more!!” Omaki ducked behind her terminal as he heard Kai's voice down the hall.
“Let's hope we Survive the day, Omi...” Argent whispered as they flew out the window.
“Where are those two!” Kai bellowed, as he poked his head in Monique's room.
Monique shrugged her shoulders innocently, as he glanced at the opened window in her room. “Who, my Lord?” Monique could barely keep from laughing out loud.
“Well, they did just bring in a large number of survivors I suppose.” Kai winked at her. He was just as dirty as they were. “I do hope you know what you're doing, young Lady.”
Monique blushed. “I just hope they don't become sad again.” She whispered. “Their visits were always exciting to us, because they always brought us gifts, and we enjoyed their company.” She straightened out the blanket covering her legs. “They were always smiling when they were around us, but in their hearts, I could always pick up their sadness, their heartache. Mother always made sure they were warmly welcomed, with love and a good meal, because their load was unbearable.”
“They were very strong, little one. While there is much death out there, this was not caused by the same madness. No, the dead here can be returned, though we may mourn their temporary deaths. This rescue and recovery will lift their spirits each time they find a live one. This is something they didn't have in the past.”
“Yes, this time, we have real hope we can actually see, and touch. If you ever want to see their story as we saw it, I will show you.” Monique whispered.
“Well, we've seen quite a bit, at your awakening,” Kai gave her a reassuring smile. “So let us celebrate the present. There will be many that you, and all of us empaths will see, when the lost are reanimated. And you must become strong in mind, and body. So listen to your doctors, and do not do anything to set back your acclimation, alright?” Kai came close and stroked her hair. “You are most precious.”
Outside her window, Omaki and Argent had been listening. Their eyes moist with tears, knowing the women always made them feel at home. And it was very hard on the three, but they also knew it was difficult for the women to stand watch so far away from home. Omaki gave Argent a nod, and they flew off to find Katze, who no doubt, was as angry as his hair was red. Omaki scooped him up, and they were off to find more.
Lady Erin spent some time with Lord Heiku and the medical staff, when she returned with more survivors, for there was no shortage of injured citizens. With the force fields back to working order, Lord Felix had a team of men go out to inspect the larger buildings to make sure they were secure. There were many times he and Ahura crossed paths in those critical first hours, for he was needed to assist the awakened, some who had difficulties adapting their present-day lives with their past.
“My Queen,” Felix bowed as she approached. “The main hospital is sound, as is Tanagura Medical. But the adjoining medical buildings are not safe yet. The outside triage center will need to remain for at least another day or two.”
Erin sighed, “Alright, at least the main surgical centers are up running, and the ground has stopped shaking. Thank you, Lord Dion, it's been three days, and I know you've had little rest. How do you fare?” Erin's eyes searched his own.
“It feels like I'm walking through an endless number of doors. Every door I enter, I see glimpses of the past in the faces I recognize, and in the next moment, they are the people I've always known in my present life. I am shocked to see the lives we've had up until now.”
“I'm certain that will pass, as you acclimate. It is easier for those who've had two lives to merge. You don't feel so out of place as we Ancients, who've been reanimated. It's like we've stepped out of a familiar room for a moment, and when we return, everything and everyone has changed. Especially our world.”
Felix gave her a nod, “Yes, it all has changed.” He turned to look at the large tents in the meadow, where countless of injured survivors continued to arrive and were being treated. He cast his eyes down to his feet. He was feeling guilt, and remorse for his part in all that happened, then angry and frustrated that many lives were lost because of his selfishness.
“Now, we'll have none of that, young Lord.” Erin raised his chin to see into his eyes again. “There is a point where you must allow yourself to accept that your former life, and your ancient life ran two separate paths. Even my own prince was once a detested pet in your society. He also experienced guilt, remorse, and much anger with a large measure of frustration as to his place in the world. Yet he rose to reclaim his life once he woke from his own nightmare. So will you. In fact, you did just that once you awoke, no?”
“See? Now, we will have plenty of time to ponder our actions, and our place in the world as we rebuild. You are a vital part of this world's infrastructure, and you won't be alone. I happen to know that a certain Instructor of the Inner Core is quite sweet on you.” Erin smiled, as she tilted her head. “And also, you have a direct descendant of your mother on Amoi.”
Lord Dion was surprised, “I do?”
“Yes, don't you remember? I suppose you were quite out of it, but you see that rather tall, handsome specimen of Alphazean Nobility?” Erin pointed in Commander Voshka's direction. “He is the direct descendant of your uncle, Lord Conrad Khosi. I swear it is like looking in a mirror.” She grinned, as she waved at the Commander. “So if you find some time to spare, have a chat with him. You will feel much better.”
Felix bowed, as Lady Erin was being called for by Lord Heiku. There were so many injured arriving, thanks to Omaki and Argent, who made a quick stop and then flew into Monique's window once again.
“Boys will be boys...” Erin smiled, as she waved at Lord Felix.
“My Queen,” Heiku spoke out of breath. “Your escorts are looking for you. They've found several buildings in Ceres that need an empath to assist in the rescue and recovery.”
“Ah, then I must be going.” Erin looked up, as Omaki and Argent swooped down. Argent had a grumpy Katze in his arms, and Omaki landed only long enough to pick up Lady Erin. In the background, Kai was heard yelling from a window.
“You've been naughty, young Lord.” Erin squealed, as Omaki caught up with Argent.
“It can't be helped, my Queen.” Omaki gave her an innocent smile. “Your Lord Husband mandated that we can only visit Lady Monique if we have injured survivors in our arms. I just felt we could double the effort if you joined us!” Omaki laughed, as a shuttle flew behind them.
Inside the shuttle were Odi and Ayuda, who were to be Erin's escorts. They had Selene with them, as she often shadowed the young queen when she was out and about. “He's too fast.” Ayuda grumbled, as he tried to keep up with the two.
“Katze looks pissed.” Odi laughed.
“That's Lord Katze.” Ayuda laughed. “Lord Odi.”
“Shut up. I'll never get used to being called that, Lord Ayuda.” Odi grumbled
Selene laughed. “It looks like our young queen is having a good time.” She pointed at Erin, who kissed Omaki's cheek before she suddenly turned her head in the direction of Ceres.
“I think she and Katze have picked up more survivors.” Ayuda followed them down, to the remains of of several high risers near Omaki's Taming Tower. The entertainment district did not fare as well as Omaki's and Xiam's private buildings. They spotted him and Lord Megala moving debris with a group of Intellects.
“Stop!” Lady Erin shouted over their heads, as she transformed. Omaki and Argent watched, as she and Katze began to point out survivors. “They are right beneath your feet, gentlemen!”
“The underground tunnels!” Omaki yelled to Xiam.
“Underground what?” Argent looked down. “What tunnels?”
“There is a network of underground tunnels beneath Midas and Ceres, to transport merchandise to and from the Black Market to a great number of entertainment establishments.” Katze spoke, because he ran the Underground for Iason, before things changed. “Not only supplies and booze, but pets and attendants!” Katze tilted his head downward. Riki was right. He thought, as he looked down. “They're coughing, I hear them coughing!”
Erin was completely transformed as she walked, pointing under her feet. “Here!” She powered up and sent those trapped underground a message within their minds: “Quickly! Move back, we're about to punch through!” Erin walked in one direction and Katze in the opposite, showing how much they moved away from them. Then Erin gave Omaki and Argent a nod, and together with Xiam and Megala, they blasted the road, opening a huge hole. There was a lot of smoke.
“That's why they're coughing!” Omaki shouted as he, and Argent flew into the hole, followed by Xiam and Megala, who began to toss people up into the air, where every Intellect around them began to catch them. Omaki quickly cooled the underground tunnels with a blast of cold wind, and even a bit of snow.
“There's no end to them.” Argent yelled, “They must have thought the underground was safer than the buildings.” Argent noticed the large number of pets, laying on the ground. They were more fragile than the average citizen, many were overcome with the smoke.
Omaki stopped to pick one up. “He's weak, but alive.” He looked down at the great number. “We have to move them quickly!”
Above ground, Erin was placing her hands on the wounded, giving them energy to respond, as many of them were unconscious. It's been three days! She shouted in her mind, as she looked at the number of Intellects holding the injured. “Give them just enough to make them stir, and move on to the next one! You there!” She pointed at a large man, recalling he was the owner of The Rusty Nail. “The most injured go into the shuttles, and off to the triage center! “Ayuda-”
“I've already called for more shuttles, my Queen.” Ayuda and Odi were moving bodies as fast as they were being brought up from the hole.
“These tunnels go far in all directions, Katze-” Omaki spoke, “how far do they go?”
Katze could hear Omaki's voice in his mind. “They stretch as far as the space docks. They are very long, and very old. They were built out of stone, that is why they ran to them for safety. I'm sure that's why Jupiter's scanners don't detect them.” But Riki did... Katze thought to himself.
“My Queen,” Omaki spoke from beneath the surface, “This is going to need more hands.”
“What do you propose?” Erin answered back.
“The four of us will open up holes down the main street that leads to the space dock. Please position men when we surface so they can help the wounded, there appears to be dozens, perhaps hundreds.”
“I see.” Erin bit her nails, then began to point to the men to line up, when Kai arrived with the shuttles. “Kai...”
Yes, my love, I heard them. Kai began to yell commands, as men flew down the length of the main street, as Omaki, Argent, Xiam and Megala began to blast holes in the ceiling of the tunnels. The ground rumbled, but it was not due to a quake, but the power of the four awakened Intellects.
There was a large wall of smoke, and dirt that covered everyone, and as it began to clear, survivors were seen exiting the underground tunnel. Kai and his Queen were stunned at the great numbers, but were relieved they were all alive. Most of Midas and Ceres had already been destroyed, and it was a shock to see them streaming out of the holes.
Suddenly there were cries of a different type coming from Omaki and Argent, who were tossing bodies out of the holes. “Out! Out! Out! Catch them!” Omaki shouted. “The sea is breaching the tunnels, there's a large crack near the seawall, and it will not hold!” Like rats jumping off a sinking ship, the four were lifting and tossing the remaining survivors out the holes and into the waiting hands of those on the surface.
“They're out!” Argent shouted, as he looked back in time to see Omaki freezing the seawater entering the tunnels. “Omi!!”
The loud rush of water could be heard, as the last of the survivors were climbing out. They all waited for Omaki and Argent to exit, but only Xiam and Megala flew out, as the rush of the sea was heard roar past everyone. Kai panicked, as he could hear Omaki and Argent's gasps for breath.
“Where does it end?” He looked at those healing the wounded, then called to Katze. “Where do those tunnels end?”
Katze thought about it, then his eyes lit up. “The space dock's underground stations. There's a large distribution center, more like a very large underground market.”
“Kai! That's where they're being carried off to, Omaki is freezing the seawater behind them.” Erin's eyes grew wide. “Take me there!”
Immediately Xiam and Megala picked up the royals, flying so fast, they arrived to find that Omaki had frozen the sea between the tunnels and the distribution dock that had many survivors running out of the space dock's main doors. Omaki was on the ground, being dried off by Argent's fire power. He was pale, and his teeth were chattering, his hair frozen stiff.
“H-H-How m-m-many?” Omaki tried to speak, as Argent gently melted the ice in his hair, waving a hand over Omaki's body, sending waves of warmth.
“I blasted the large doors that led into the tunnels, because there was debris blocking them. But by doing this, there was nothing to hold back the seawater. There was a number of pets who were too weak to run, that washed out, delaying Omaki's freezing of the entrance. Omi rode the wave as he froze it behind him.”
The pets were being lifted by rescuers who flew in and out of the large market. Kai shook his head. “I don't know, my friends. It's as if all of Midas and Ceres came out of those holes you made. They must have become trapped underground when all the rumbling began. That was quick thinking on your part.” Kai gave them a nod, as he placed his hands on his hips and took in the sight of a thick wall of ice plugging the water inside the tunnel. “But to answer your question, Omi, many. You all saved many lives.”
Omaki grinned, as Argent fussed over him.
“Take him to Tanagura Medical.” Kai spoke to Argent as a blanket was placed on Omaki. “You both need some well-earned rest.” He gave the two men a sideways look, “I'm sure a certain young Lady has worried herself sick.” He added. “And Omi, I am glad you both Survived the day.” Kai spoke as his expression softened.
Kai remained to organize the evacuation, while Erin, Omaki, and Argent were heading for Ayuda's shuttle. As he walked, Omaki noticed a small bundle of fur lapping water from a piece of ice Omaki had made. He bent down and picked it up, wrapping it in his blanket.
But something was off. And no one picked up on it.