Yeah, I’m definitely taking Zig’s side in this, sorry boys. Well.. at least in a way. It just seems kind of gross that they’d assume Zig would automatically be on board??? To use him as leverage to get the scholarship accepted? Like I think they obviously had good intentions but I cannot believe they never discussed this with him beforehand.
How would the crew react to having a Xenomorph (the alien from Alien) somewhere on the ship?
Considering it’s obviously not friendly, first priority is having SAIL track it down. Sonny’d be pretty helpful for that too, actually, since she can “see” through solid objects like metal and stone by sending energy pulses through them and reading what comes back, like echolocation. After that, it’s contain and kill, which sounds far easier than it would actually be. Nyota, Namina, and Hadley would be working together on that, with Aggy and Lumen providing ranged support if necessary, though Lumen’s first priority is dealing with severe injury and any… infestations. Sonny, Oldarva, and Arjun are not suited to combat with something that nasty, so they’d be keeping well out of the way.
If they can’t kill it, then the backup plan is force it to the teleporter and warp it into space, anywhere it can’t kill someone. It’s going to be messy, whatever happens. Even with superior numbers and considerable skill, power, and experience between them, they’re not getting out of that encounter unscathed.
Yeah, I don’t know what exactly that post is about. Gul’s certainly the queen of drumming up curiosity and driving people into a frenzy! The comment section is EXPLODING. RIP Gul’s notifications.
Thing is though, there’s NOT just the one ASR associated with Gul! There’s also Arjun Suryakant Rawte(played by Shaleen Malhotra; Siddharth in Ishqbaaz, Rajveer in Koi Laut Ke Aaya Hai), from another 4 Lions show, called Arjun. (Fun fact: Sana Makbul, who played Lavanya in IPKKND, played the love interest in Arjun!)
Now lets see which ASR (or maybe a completely new one?) the hype turns out to be about!
Arjun Mk.II - new Indian MBT. The machine is a continuation of the attempts of the Hindus to create a “national” tank, which, obviously, is that it needs to be developed by Indian designers and produced within the Indian forces of Indian industry with a minimum amount of foreign components.
“Hey! Visitors!” An orange-haired man waved at Nyota’s crew.
“It’s been a while since we’ve seen anyone friendly. You wanna stick around a
Nyota glanced at the sky; it was hard to tell with the
constant red lava glow brightening the lowest clouds, but she was pretty sure
it was getting close to nightfall. “If we’re not imposing,” she said. “I admit,
I had not expected to find humans out here.”
The man grinned. “Yeah. In all fairness to you, though, we
didn’t exactly intend to end up here. We got lost and needed to resupply, then
just kind of decided to stick around. Hang on… Is that a Matter Manipulator you’ve
got?” His grin widened, actually reaching his eyes. “Nice to see someone from
the Protectorate. How’d you get away?”
“Luck, really,” Nyota said quietly. “I do not remember much,
just the sounds and…” She shook her head and looked away.
The man’s expression turned sad. “You were in the thick of
it, huh? I didn’t know anyone had gotten out of the middle. We were miles away
when the evacuation order went out. Tentacle monsters, though, who’d’ve
Nyota shuddered. Horrible
red mass, smoke and fire, stink of blood, of bile, feet pounding on steel, dead
dead dead all —Sonny’s hand on her elbow and Arjun touching her shoulder
snapped her back to the present. “Sorry,” she whispered, gripping her wrist
tightly to stop her hands from trembling. “It’s been a while since I thought
“Oh. You get the nightmares, then?” the human asked, looking
embarrassed. “Uh… Yeah, sorry about that. I shouldn’t have mentioned it. Good
news, though! We’ve heard rumors lately that someone’s working on killing that
thing! No idea how they’ll do it, but there’s still hope, right?”
“Yes. Thank you.” Nyota smiled, though her heart wasn’t in
it. “Please excuse me.”
“You okay there, Nyota?”
Nyota looked up as Arjun walked over. She gave him that same
brittle smile she’d given the man from earlier. “Yes, I—” She checked herself,
swallowed the lie. “I could be better.”
“At least you can admit it.” Arjun sat down beside her and
passed her a bottle of water. “I sent Sonny to go play with the humans. She was
a bit worried about you. It takes a lot to worry our Sonny.”
The Apex sighed, seeming to almost literally deflate. “I’m
sorry… I was not ready for that. It has been so long, but he mentioned it and
I—I was not here anymore.” The water
sloshed inside the bottle. Her hands were shaking again.
Arjun nodded and pulled off his hat, running a hand through
his eternally unkempt grey hair. “You don’t have to apologize, ma’am. I know. Didn’t
realize you were there for Earth,
but… It was a lot like that for me, after the Foundry.” He turned his arm over
so she could see the long, knotted scar running almost from his wrist to his
elbow, its edges uneven from the burns that had marred it more than a decade
ago. “Nothing I could have done. Nothing any of us could have done. We were
damned helpless. A meteor got the main boiler. Worked there for years. I left
after that. Had to. Couldn’t stand seeing the place, remembering how it had
been, who had worked there.”
Nyota froze. “You told me about this,” she said slowly. “Last
night, on the ship. …Stars, Arjun,
“Don’t start apologizing,” the mechanic interrupted, and she fell silent. “It was
years ago. That’s the good part. It does heal. Like the physical scars,” he
said, tapping the old gash. “Gnarled and knotted up, but the hurt’s not fresh.
Nothing either of us could have done, Nyota, that’s the truth. It’ll haunt us.”
He took a swig from his own water bottle and looked up at the smoke-drowned
stars. “I was a bit selfish, asking to come here,” he admitted. “Not mended yet,
know I slowed you down in that last fight. I wanted to face it. Needed to know
if I could come to the fire worlds again.”
Nyota studied him. “Are you
Arjun shrugged. “I’m still here, at least. Couldn’t have
done it alone, though. I see you and that bright spark, I can face it.” He
pulled his cap back on. "You don’t have to take it alone, is what I’m trying to say.”
The captain regarded him for a long moment. “And you think I
can face this?”
Arjun smiled a little, like a teacher amused by a foolish question.
“Would you be grabbing these relic things to face that monster again if you
Nyota nodded slowly. She took a sip from the water bottle
and passed it back. “Thank you, Arjun. I think I needed that.”
“I’m an old man, Captain,” Arjun told her. “No point living
through all that if I can’t pass it on, eh?”
Nyota watched him go. She had thought to ask, do you remember them? She didn’t need to
now. She knew the answer already, from the pain she’d read in his clenched hands, the tightness of his jaw. Her
hand found the flower in her hair and pulled it free, twirling it absently
between her fingers. How it had survived everything she’d been through, she did
not know, but she was grateful for that small miracle. Watching the petals
sway, she was on Earth again, sitting under the Tree. She could almost smell the breeze, feel the
familiar warmth and light sitting beside her… but when she looked over, the feeling
vanished. Nothing but barren, dead rocks.
She slept badly that night, her dreams spent searching for something that would not be found.
Krishna stood beside Maharaj Drupad, watching his two best friends exchange wedding garlands. He smiled knowingly at the shrewd King’s obvious satisfaction at having his daughter married to the young man he had coveted for so long. Krishna himself smiled for another reason. Yes it was true that Draupadi’s marriage also included Arjun’s four brothers, yet Krishna felt a special kind of satisfaction seeing Arjun take his beloved sakhi around the sacrificial fire. What they didn’t know…what may take them a lifetime to realise, was that they were both a special part of him. Arjun was literally half of his soul. Krishna knew that their friendship would transcend normal levels and come to be thought of as a relationship between man and God, but the love which he held for Arjun couldn’t be measured in human form.
Krishna chuckled as he remembered their past life as Nara-Narayan, the twin incarnations of the four-armed Vishnu. Their time at Badrinath had been beautiful indeed, but they had spent most of their time immersed in penance and austerities. Their relationship in this life was going to be very different. Krishna openly laughed in anticipation of the adventures he would share with Arjun. Drupad furrowed his eyebrows and turned to glance around for the source of the commotion, but seeing it was his daughter’s beloved sakha, he smiled and continued throwing flower petals over the bride and groom.
Krishna watched as Draupadi took Arjun’s hand for the last phera. Draupadi or Krishnaa as she was named at birth, was no less important than Arjun to him. It was solely for her benefit that he had brushed aside his never ending political conflicts and come to stand protectively beside her. Her primordial being was that of his Lakshmi, yet in the Dwapar Yug a grand design had been wrought, one which, this time, entrusted her human form to him in a brotherly fashion. Yet he knew that this partial form of Lakshmi would find her Vishnu one way or another. And thus she had. While Arjun won both Draupadi’s hand and heart, destiny sought to match her with Vishnu in his entirety, namely with his Sudarshan chakra, Kaumodki mace, the Padma lotus and his Panchajanya conch-shell. Arjun’s four brothers were those 4 attributes of Vishnu, Krishna mused. His face clouded when he recalled all that they would have to suffer in this life. But as Draupadi and Arjun bent to touch his feet for the customary blessing, he felt his resolve multiply. They wouldn’t be alone. He, Vasudev Krishna, would stand beside them, holding them dear in his heart. They were his most vital elements for the Leela he would perform in this world, yet more importantly they were his best friends.
Nyota gagged as a wave of heat rolled over her. This was far
worse than the tropical planets she’d been to before. The air reeked of sulfur
and scorched rock. Her body felt impossibly heavy; sweat was already starting
to soak into her clothes.
“You, uh, alright over there, Captain?” Arjun seemed to
waver as hot air distorted her sight.
“There are days when I hate having fur,” Nyota panted as she
fiddled with her EPP. Even set as cold as it could go, she still felt like
she’d been stuck in an oven. “Why would anyone
want to live in a place like this?”
“I dunno, it’s kind of cozy for me,” Sonny called, spinning
around cheerfully. She had refused to stay behind when she heard they were
looking for Glitch again. “Then again, I’m probably a bit hotter inside’n most
of the stuff around here. Ooh, chilies!”
“You sure you’ll
manage here?” Arjun asked as Sonny darted over to collect some of the bright
red peppers. “If I’m feeling the heat, it must be awful for you.”
“I will adapt,” Nyota said as she shrugged off her over-shirt
and stowed it. She hated having bare arms; living around humans for five years
had left her acutely aware of just how comparatively hairy Apex were. But this
was not a good time for self-consciousness. Her armor would have to be enough.
Ash fell thick and hard around them as they traveled west.
Nyota gave up trying to shake it out of her hair after a while; the weight was
enough to drag it out before it set, at least. Arjun had to stop occasionally
and knock it off his hat. Sonny danced ahead, dodging geysers and snagging any
chilies she spotted. Ash flakes stuck to her, hardening into a kind of glass
that she shook off with an almost musical clicking. Watching the Novakid play
made Nyota forget the oppressive heat, at least a little. “Be careful, Sonny,”
she called, unable to hide a smile.
“I am being—hey,
there’s a building here,” Sonny called back. “Wonder what—whoa!” She dropped
flat and scrambled back as a javelin whizzed over her head. “Heads up! Er,
Falling ash turned to falling flame as the three fought off
bone-clad hunters. Nyota hissed as an ember caught in her fur and smothered it
against the wall before it could spread. But the sparks were falling too fast
now; the very air was alight. The hunters shrieked and fled as their small fort
went up in flames. Sonny grabbed Arjun with one hand, Nyota with the other.
“Come on! Run!”
They hid in a small cave as embers rained down outside.
Nyota’s cloak covered the entrance and kept the smoke out as the fort smoldered
into ruins. “This sure brings back memories,” Arjun said, chancing a peek
outside. “It should pass in a few minutes.”
“It’d be real purdy if it didn’t set everythin’ else on
fire,” Sonny remarked as she applied salve to minor burns on Nyota’s arm and
shoulder where she hadn’t managed to put the sparks out fast enough. “Wonder
what those spikey goons were thinkin’, makin’ their house of wood in a place
Now that the initial danger was over, Nyota was actually
enjoying the sight of the embers, much to her own surprise. “It reminds me of
fireflies,” she said. “I haven’t seen any since Earth.” The quiet crackling of
the burned fort was strangely calming.
Sonny giggled. “These’re real literal fireflies, Captain.”
They set out again when the firestorm faded. Sonny caught a
little skittering bone crab by coaxing it out of its crevice with chilies. “I’m
namin’ him Jim!” she told Nyota proudly as she held up her new pet.
Nyota forced a smile. “Sonny, Jim is wearing an Apex skull.”
“Eh? Oh.” Sonny dimmed a bit. “Sorry, Captain. Should I let
“I don’t mind him,” Nyota said, her smile turning genuine as
she held out her hand and the little critter skittered up her arm. It tickled.
“Just, ah… do not show him to Eldie.” She handed Jim back. “Arjun, are we
getting—” She stopped as she noticed Arjun’s expression. “Is something wrong?”
“I don’t believe it,” the mechanic muttered, removing his
hat and checking the lenses for damage before looking again. “Captain, there’s
an RV over there.”