Aug 26, 2013

Vega and Centari sitting in a tree - pt 1

This month, I'm sharing extra scenes from my WIP Strella PAX.


It took three years for Vega to be able to walk around Habitation. Three years of training with Rigel, three years of locked doors and only leaving her room when she had permission – which was only when she and Rigel were working with a witness. Three years of isolation, of sitting on her bed, staring at her slipper socked feet or the metal walls, of a silent room and a silent mind.  Three years of what started as boredom but was now the normal procedure of her life, indifference towards everything.

It didn't stop her from spending hours walking around Habitation, just because she could. She had no direction, no aim, no true understanding of why she was walking around.  But she did.

During one of her strolls, Vega ran into a red headed child.  His uniform said Centari, and the emotional handler by his side meant he was currently on a case. She nodded at them both, an acknowledgment of their presence, nothing more. There was no reason she should feel happy to see them, or curious towards the new face. Emotions had no place in the minds of Stars.

But recognition sparked in her mind, and Centari caught it.  He turned to look at her but Vega couldn't tell if recognition in his head was an echo of her own or the boy's actual reaction to her.

He walked past with a blank face and Vega continued to look ahead while walking.

It was only once she was in her room did she remember where she had seen Centari.  It was before he was Centari, before she was Vega, back when she had been taken from school screaming.  When Strella PAX had heard of the voices in her head and come to collect her for the program, and two others.  She had glimpsed them briefly, but had seen into their minds more than that.

Vega hadn't expected to see either of them again.  Both the toddler and the four year old had done nothing but cry.  The toddler had been taken away first, and then the red headed four year old.  The latter had completed training, was now wear two rings around his neck.  The former was probably where all those who went missing were.

She had looked into Centari's mind all those years ago and had seen nothing but terror, a collection of faces, and a house.  Back then, such images brought up memories of her own home and her desire to return.  Now, she just pushed them aside. That was an old life.

Still, next time she noticed Centari in the halls Vega took note of what room was his.  And a week later she knocked on his door.

The seven year old look up at her when he opened it and said “I know you.”

Vega nodded. “We were brought in together. We meet before we received our rings.”

The child nodded.  Vega absently noted the rat tail he had years ago was now gone, his hair shorter.

They stood, staring at each other.  There was no reason for Vega to have come knock on his door, there was no feelings between them that would warrant a conversation, nor a mutual activity.  Neither was there an growing unease at the silence, for Stars had no emotion. They could stare at each other for days, though that rarely happened.  Contact with others was rarely sought out.

And yet, Vega had.  If pressed for an answer, she might have said it was because she wanted to see if close quarters with someone she spent an turbulent time with would bring up such feelings again.

Such feelings didn't resurface, Vega did not feel a rush of emotion, a desire to go home and throw herself in her parents' arms, to yell at them for allowing her to be taken away, or the protective urges toward the younger two who had been taken with her.  But she did feel a connection to Centari, more so than other with other Stars.  They had come to this place at the same time and had both successfully completed Solidad's training.  They both had knowledge of each other pre-Stardom.

“I wanted to say congratulations on completing your training.” Vega told Centari.

The boy nodded. “As to you.”

She turned and left.


Vega liked her connection to Centari.  It was a reminder of the outside world, but that was all.  It did not make her happy and it did make her sad. It just made her...different.

She wanted to keep tabs on him, but knew that would look suspiciously like emotions and she did not want anyone to get the wrong idea. So she asked her Emotional Handler once a year for updates on the other Stars.

Sharon was startled by the request the first time and had asked her reasons.  Mentioning her connection to Centari, as one sided as it was, could get her in trouble.  Instead Vega said she wanted to keep up with the work of PAX as a whole, how effective the program was, learn who was the best and ask for additional training from them in order to improve the numbers.

“Estrella PAX is my home,” she said, using the official title Solidan Anrus had named the organization and not the popular version of 'Strella PAX', “and it is the one place I may safely live. Ensuring that us Stars, and thus PAX, operate efficiently will ensure that for the future.”

During Instruction, every Star was taught that concept.  But Vega apparently was the first to ask for data on it.  Sharon complied and gave her yearly reports on the cases that came to PAX through the Chicago City Police Department.  Number of robberies reported, number of burglars arrested, percent of stolen good recovered, and on and on.  While CCPD broke down the cases by officer assigned to it and the Star who did the Readings, Sharon only gave her the Star breakdown.

Centari did not stand out, the witnesses he Read sometimes resulted in a successful result, sometimes not.  Vega was pleased to note though that many of the younger Star's witnesses had not seen violent crimes.  At least until Centari turned thirteen.


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