Categories > Anime/Manga > Dragon Ball Z > Illumination

Interlude: On a Learning Curve

by SilverArmada 0 reviews

"But it's not a mission!" you say? That's right! No action in this one. I call it an 'interlude' as it's between missions. Expect many more of these (and some to contain major plot movement). ...

Category: Dragon Ball Z - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Trunks - Warnings: [!!] [V] - Published: 2006-02-11 - Updated: 2006-02-12 - 2271 words

Interlude: On a Learning Curve
"Think you could move those accelerators to the left a little?" Laiserta asked, leaning over and looking to the floor beneath the console that controlled the Verdandi's flight patterns.
"Yes, your /highness/," came the muffled sarcastic reply from below the console. Armada moved back to grab another tool when a large metal object fell hard on her hand. Gritting her teeth through the pain, she turned to look at what exactly had happened.
"Move your goddamn foot!" Laiserta jumped at the order and lifted both of her feet up into the chair she currently sat it.
"Geez, sor-RY!" she said back mockingly to her superior.
Armada sat up and faced Laiserta. "Why am I doing this again?"
"You said it yourself," Laiserta beamed, "I'm a good pilot. Better than you even," she smirked slyly at the blonde woman in her midst.
"Really?" Armada smirked back. "Is that some sort of challenge?"
"I'd stomp all over you A, so don't even try it," Laiserta pointed at her fellow mercenary, using the pet-name she'd devised in the week she'd spent so far on the /Verdandi/.
"So what makes you a better pilot than me? I designed and built this ship-I could fly circles around you with it," Armada bragged back.
"For one, I have way better vision than you," Laiserta began to list the reasons she was the better pilot. "Hell, I can even see outside the ship!"
"What?" Armada asked, giving her a cocked eyebrow. "You lie like a dakkar," she told her friend jokingly.
"Nah, I'm serious!" Laiserta replied in honesty. "It's just something I can do with my eyes," she said.
"Yeah, I know it's weird that you have red eyes, but...seeing through walls? Are you serious?" Armada asked doubtingly.
"Of course I am! Just watch," Laiserta said partially annoyed as she turned to face the door of the Verdandi. She focused her eyes, and her pupils dulled moved in a strange circular motion while adjusting. "Hey, there's the boy wonder!" she called out to her comrade sitting beside herself. "He's just coming up to the door," she continued.
Armada stood, shaking her head. "Whatever you say, Lai," she rolled her eyes at her employee while heading towards the back of the ship to find a specific tool for adjusting the accelerator pedals.
The door opened and Trunks walked in, looking towards Armada. "Hey, I went down to the shop, but Jamil said they didn't have any of those wrenches in right now, so where do you want me to try for it?" he asked, explaining the reason for not having the tool she'd requested he go retrieve.
Armada stood in shock and blinked at Trunks. "What?" he asked, giving her a strange look.
"Told you so," Laiserta said with a smile, her eyes losing their dull appearance.
It had taken several minutes for Armada to recover from her shock, and for Trunks to understand just what was going on. The three of them now occupied the bridge, two awaiting an explanation from Laiserta.
Armada leaned back against part of the flight console, her arms at her sides as she looked to Laiserta, who still held up residence in the pilot's seat. "How do you do that?" she asked with a very serious yet concerned tone.
"I told you, I do it with my eyes," Laiserta replied, giving her commander a shady look.
"I don't think that's what she meant," Trunks explained, he himself leaned back against the navigational console to the left of the two women, arms crossed over his chest.
"I can't really explain how I do it," Laiserta answered truthfully. "I"
"Any normal person can't do it, how do you even have this ability?" Armada questioned, beginning to become annoyed with the vague answers given so far.
"When I was young, about seven, my mother left my father and I," she began with a softened and more compassionate voice. "Another year later, my father was in a terrible accident and became crippled; he had to use a mobilechair," she explained. "Unable to take care of me, he sadly gave me up to an orphanage. However, the orphanage was not what it seemed.
"The men who ran the place were scientists-who called themselves doctors-and hid behind the image of a children's home to gain free test specimens for their experiments. When I first arrived, they tested my vision and since it was near perfect, they put me into the 'eyes' program.
"You see, they had different 'programs' where we were put, depending mostly on our own natural physical abilities. So, being in the eyesight program, they tested and slowly, painstakingly enhanced my eyesight. They used living and non-living materials, so my eyes are, what's the word...bionic? I'm not sure of everything they can do. I don't have a manual, you know-so I just try different things and see what happens. And when I discover something new, I work at it until I have control over it, and can do it on command."
"Experimentation on living people?" Armada asked rhetorically. "I've never come across it myself, but-it's so wrong."
"How'd you ever get away?" Trunks asked curiously.
"Only about two years after staying there, the police found the place and shut it down. I," Laiserta continued, "I ran off on my own. Been that way ever since."
"What kinds of things can you do with your eyes?" Armada asked in wonderment.
"Well, besides some minor see-beyond-what's-there stuff, I can do a heat sensitive type thing, 'night vision,' infrared and ultraviolet vision. There's some other stuff that I can sometimes do, but since I don't have much control over it, I haven't figured out what they do yet, let alone what to call it," Laiserta finished with a laugh.
I don't see how she can joke about this stuff, Trunks thought to himself. Who knows what kinds of 'other' research went on. She acts like it's one big joke though. Is it some kind of way of coping?
"Anyway," Armada stood up fully. "There's a junkyard on the north side of town," she started, looking towards Trunks, "go there and ask for a neese-wrench. Tell that old moron Juke that I'm asking for it. He should give it to you. If not," she added, shifting her weight to her left foot, "just give him a few betas as a bribe. He'll cave somewhere between seventy-five and two hundred."
"All right," Trunks nodded to her. "Be back in a while then!" he called out with a slight laugh while heading out.
"Now Lai," Armada began, turning to face the dark-haired woman, "you need to know a few things about the /Verdandi/..."
"Command line: decrease x value," Armada stated, once again beneath the pilot's console, working at the gears and controls on the floor.
"Wait...which is the command line?" Laiserta asked, now seated at the navigational console. She scratched her head while looking at the screen.
"It's under 'cfdl-config,'" the younger woman growled.
"Oh, there it is!" Laiserta exclaimed, hitting a few buttons on the board. She stared at the screen as nothing happened. "Crap; I can't find it."
"Lai, that's the FIFTH time I've told you!" Armada sat up in a hurry and smacked her forehead against the bottom lip the dash, which caused her to drop the tool in her left hand and reach for the injury site.
"Hahah, maybe you should calm down and watch where you're going," Laiserta taunted back, thoroughly amused.
After rubbing the sore spot for a moment, Armada leaned back and reached for her tools, continuing to make adjustments for the mercenary that had just mocked her. "Look, stop touching things, okay?" she grumbled annoyingly.
"Fine, give up on me then why don't you?" Laiserta rolled her not-so-normal eyes and moved to the weapons console on the right side of the pilot's seat. "What're you looking at?" she shot at the man standing behind everything else in the bridge.
"It looks like squabbling, but one can never be too sure," Trunks joked at the woman with odd yellow sunglasses.
"Hmph," she pouted, turning away from him. "You're almost as useless as a Shera councilman," she grumbled, annoyed.
"Councilmen are useless?" Trunks asked as Laiserta had piqued his curiosity. "But aren't they at least doing their jobs?"
"Hah!" Laiserta spun the chair around to face him, a finger pointed towards his face. "Those guys don't know the first thing about running a government! I doubt any of them even know what 'shera' means!" she half-shouted with an irritated countenance.
"What does 'shera' mean?" Trunks questioned innocently.
"Ah!" Laiserta smacked her forehead.
"It means 'five,'" came the muffled response from the third mercenary as she continued her work.
"Five? What, are there five planets in the Shera system or something?" he asked.
"No you dork," Laiserta insulted him with a large sigh. "Don't you know anything?" she asked annoyed.
"Hey, at least I know how to use the navigator," Trunks crossed his arms, mocking the eldest member of the group.
"HEY!" Laiserta screamed, a vein beginning to show in her forehead.
"That's enough children," Armada voiced in from beneath the pilot's dash area. "And no; there are eight planets in the Shera system, all habitable."
"Well, besides Bmyhad, what are the other planets?" he asked, getting back to the 'important' matters at hand.
"First off; there's Taydr-the largest planet by mass AND the largest empire. It's also where I'm from," Laiserta said pointedly and with enthusiasm. "Then there's Ceva."
"Ceva is very close to Taydr; the two countries are rivals even. Ceva is much smaller than Taydr and Bmyhad-probably closer to the size of your Earth," Armada chimed in, switching the tool in her right hand while she held another item in place with her left.
"There's also Euphoria and Stapel, but they aren't much of anything anymore," Laiserta added.
"And why not?" Trunks asked.
"Because they nearly destroyed one another over forty years ago during the Dreyfus War," Armada stated factually.
"They're both pretty bare places now," Laiserta continued, "but the two of them used to be the most powerful empires in most of this galaxy."
"Okay, so Bmyhad, Taydr, Ceva, Euphoria, Stapel...that makes five," Trunks repeated each of the names given. "So what about the other three?"
"Tyron's one of them," Laiserta added. "It's like a giant military that occupies a planet. Other than that, nobody really knows much of what goes on there. It's not a real tourist-y location or anything."
"And Lylen and Dirra," Armada added, once again switching tools. "Two places you never want to set foot on."
Trunks was about to ask 'why' when Laiserta began the automatic response. "Yeah, see Lylen has had political troubles since the dawn of time-although it's been quiet recently because of Blake, the latest ruler-and Dirra is, well, a bunch of sappy little kingdoms led by inbred families," Laiserta said flatly. "Not a fun place to go."
"'Inbred?' Don't you think that's a little harsh?" he gave Laiserta an almost pleading look.
"No, she's right," Armada said, pushing herself out from under the console and sitting up-without harming herself this time. "The ruling families of Dirra seriously /are inbred/-one reason the place has gone down the drain in recent years."
"That's a scary thought," Trunks said aloud to himself.
"Seriously! Just imagine if they had the kind of power Taydr has. Who knows how those morons would use it," Laiserta said with a secretive look. "I mean, the people running Dirra are only slightly worse that those on the council."
"What do you mean?" Trunks questioned, feeling as if he were playing some sort of 'Q&A' game after asking so many questions.
"The Federation's setup of government is fucking crap," Laiserta said darkly, her partial humor completely fading with the change of subject. "They expect civilians to be able to the run the government for everybody-civilians! These people don't know the slightest thing about running a government!" Laiserta continued on her rant for a while, explaining exactly why and how the Alliance was wrong. In every way, shape, and form.
"Lai," Armada interrupted her after standing. "Try it now," she motioned towards the pilot's seat.
"Yeah!" Laiserta exclaimed excitedly, dropping into the chair with ease. "Where to?" she asked her commander.
"I just wanted you to test the fit. But, I guess we could go out to the SOMA station. I need some more repair parts for the engine since I used the last fixing it from our most recent endeavor," she said, specifically looking to Laiserta.
Laiserta shrugged as Trunks asked yet another question. "What's 'SOMA?'"
"Ah, do you have to ask?" Laiserta whined.
"Just shut up," Armada laughed while scolding the two. "We're going; so you'll see it anyway," she said looking towards Trunks.
While flicking switches here and there and preparing for flight, Laiserta spoke with a rather large grin on her face. "All right, let's see what this thing can do!"

P.S.: SOMA station is just a random name for a spaceport where people can buy all kinds of interstellar crap. ^_^ Heehee. And will somebody out there let me know they're reading this! For the love of Odin! I DO plan on continuing this story, for a lot more chapters, but if nobody's reading it then I won't be compelled to post it for good authors to read and mock me! Do you know how scary it is for me already? Hides! So please, if you don't review at least email me or something. Thank you.

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