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stargate, DanielJackson

Week 1, Title: Host

Posted on 2015.12.07 at 20:28
Tags: ,
They’re just approaching the bright Bellevue sign when Aaron lets out a loud, “No!”

Sophia takes his arm and pulls him down the alley beside the casino. He follows; it seems he doesn’t want an audience for this either. He’s clutching her arm, his face frozen in fear.



“Sophia, you have to listen, you have to believe me, something is going on, there’s someone in here, in my body, they’re controlling me. Even now, they’re clawing their way back out, I can’t hold on. You have to help. You have to…”

She takes his face in her hands, forces him to look at her, “I know.” 

“What? What do you mean you know?”

“Well, I knew you weren’t you, I was waiting to see what the other guy was planning.”

“But here! You let him come here! All the people! All the damage he could do!”

“I don’t think he knows how to use your powers.”

“Yet. I can’t risk him hurting anyone. These powers, they’re my responsibility.”

Sophia makes an effort not to flinch as Aaron’s panicked grip tightens, she gestures at the side door, “Let’s go inside.”

The bouncer eyes them suspiciously but allows them in without a word.

The lights are bright and she’s unsure which century they’re trying to pull off when they’ve garnished their faux-antique furniture with turquoise velvet and silver trimmings, but her inner child takes a moment to be delighted regardless. And then she puts the moment away and watches Aaron closely, his limbs are taught but he’s trembling, clearly struggling to hold off what’s coming.

“It’s okay, you can let go. I’ll fix it. I’ll make it all okay.”

“I can’t. I can’t let him. I can’t. You have to stop me.” There’s blood on his lips. He’s bitten his cheek.

And then he’s gone. Aaron’s face is once more making expressions that are definitely not Aaron’s.

“Well that’s interesting,” Aaron’s face says, grinning.

She grips his shoulders, they’re hard, she gets the sensation that she’s trying to take down a machine gun with a butter knife, but persists, “Who are you?”

The face folds into one of soft sincerity, still somehow not-Aaron’s despite the sentiment.
“I’m Kanin. I’m sorry for lying to you. I woke up inside someone else and I was scared.”

The words are remarkably convincing, “You expect me to believe that?”

“I’m just trying to get back into my own body. I need your help. Neither of us wants me staying here.”

Sophia tilts her head, considering, she’s willing to play this out, see where it goes. There isn’t much other choice.
“What do you need?” 

There’s a pause. “I need to know how to access Aaron’s powers.”

Sophia laughs, loudly- it’s more of a cackle. Her response is a resounding no. She asks anyway,
“Explain it to me, what are you going to use them for.”

Kanin clenches his jaw, Sophia imagines Aaron fighting his way to the surface. Makes herself a promise she’ll do what needs to be done to save him; one way or another.
“My physical form has been spelled into a stone. It belongs to one of the hotel’s guests, it’s in a box they’ve had placed in the Casino’s vault.”

“You want to break into the vault.” She states it plainly, doesn’t want her voice to admit that it’s a good truth if it is one; thieves she can handle.

“All you have seen and you believe that part but not the rest? I want to not have another person scraping at my insides. I want to not be sharing the body of someone who clearly doesn’t want me here. I want to not risk being pushed down and having to crawl back up by my fingernails. What I want is to return your friend to his body and to return to mine.”

“All I’ve seen, I know it’s rarely that simple.”

Aaron reappears. “Sophia, it’s me, it’s me. We can’t let him. We just can’t.”

She sighs. “I think we have to. You’re not going to be able to fight forever. I mean I want to be all ‘you can do this and beat the shit out of him’. But I’m calling it like I see it- he’s winning. I can’t lose you.”

Aaron shakes his head, “Don’t. Don’t.”

“Trust me.”

There’s a bang, she startles. And he’s gone. There are people at the casino-hotel check-in desk, with guns. People are screaming. And the guards are all running towards the gunmen. Incompetent. But it gives them an opening, a chance to get through without Aaron’s powers.

“Come on,” she says, suppressing the urge to reach for her side-arm and instead tugging Kanin’s wrist, he follows.

They rush past the black-jack table without breaking stride, even though her eyes slip away- her power sensing someone quite extraordinary sitting there- a being waiting for them all, an ending.

Soon they’re on the other side of the casino, pushing through doors the public aren’t allowed through, and creeping down corridors. There are disturbingly too few guards. (They can’t all be dealing with the gunmen surely). She and Kanin avoid them easily. Until they don’t.

They swerve around a corner but they’ve already been seen. Sophia slides her shoes off, running silently down the hallway.

He turns back to her as they hurry down some steps. “You need to tell me how to use Aaron’s power or we’ll both be arrested.”

She whispers, “Let him out. I’ll get him to use them himself.”

“He won’t agree.”

They reach a tunnel, she stands still. “We don’t have time for this. Just let me speak to him.”

As soon as he appears, there’s a sheen of tears in Aaron’s eyes. “Don’t ask me to do this.”

“I’m sorry. But you’re killing yourself for nothing. He’ll figure out your powers anyway. This way we have a chance.”

“Yeah, give the bad guy what he wants, that always works out so well. You have to kill me.”

“Stop it.”

“No. You stop it. Did you hear all those people crying and screaming, those people have loved ones, but those are just guns. And people know what to do to counter those. People can’t counter my powers. It will be a bloodbath.”

“You don’t know what Kanin wants.”

“We both know it’s not just about getting his body back.”

Her heart is stuttering. She knows she’s wrong. “It may be selfish. But I can’t lose you. I refuse.”

“Freeze!”

Aaron turns to the guard, “We are meant to be here.”

“You are meant to be here,” the guards states.

“Our presence here is irrelevant. You won’t mention us to anyone.”

“Your presence here is irrelevant. I won’t mention you to anyone.”

“Leave this hallway.”

The guard proceeds to wander off.

“Oh, wow that was such a rush,” Kanin says, grinning. “You know, I may just have enough to figure this out for myself.”

He keeps grinning and when they come to the corner before the vault he doesn’t slow down despite the group of guards pointing Glocks at him.

“Put the guns down,” he says serenely.

It’s not just the words, there’s a wonderful moment where she thinks he doesn’t get that it’s not just the words, but then the guns go down and her heart goes with them.

Kanin gestures at one of the guards, “Give me your gun.”

She pulls out her own weapon- her hand is shaking- and aims. “Stop.”

Kanin, taking the guard’s offered weapon, is still grinning. “Come now, if you were going to shoot your friend you would have done it before I could stop you.”

“I’m guessing you’re planning on sticking him inside whatever’s in there and taking the body. He’s dead either way. All this time, you think I can’t fight his power.” 

“Well, let’s see. Put the gun down.”

Sophia lowers it, slowly. She blinks. A tear slips down her cheek.

“How does it feel, being such a failure?”

“I’m not a failure. I’m just the distraction.” She nods towards Aaron’s left hand, at the gun turned on himself.

Kanin stares in shock as the trigger is pulled.

He whispers something she can’t hear, but she swears it’s;
“I really did just want my body back.”   

But then the light in his eyes dims and Aaron is back and it’s probably just her conscience imagining things. Sophia runs to her friend, cradling his bleeding body, putting pressure on his wound. “Shit. It’s okay, it’s okay. You’re going to be fine.”

“I’m really not.” Aaron smiles sadly and jokes, “It’s okay. I’ll take my chances at the blackjack table.” 


Comments:


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morettaallstar
morettaallstar at 2015-12-07 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
All these closing lines with casino puns. I feel like I missed a trick!
(I didn't really know how to end mine...)

I really like your powers in this, and tying in Mark's stone, and my gunmen and woo!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-07 21:09 (UTC) (Link)
Endings are hard.

Thank you, glad you liked the powers and tie ins :).

tonithegreat
tonithegreat at 2015-12-08 23:25 (UTC) (Link)
I think I see the pattern developing here! I like the glimmer of noir in this.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-09 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you like :)
Raised by Wolves
sinnamongirl at 2015-12-09 00:34 (UTC) (Link)
I love the tie-in to... shoot... I've read so many entries today. Well, I love the tie-in to the other Bellevue Casino story, and the extranatural aspect to boot!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-09 18:03 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the tie-ins :)
whipchick
whipchick at 2015-12-09 10:52 (UTC) (Link)
Really cool to see the team setting for all your entries! Fun to see the stormtrooper moment with the guard :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-09 18:04 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the way we did the same setting :)
rayaso
rayaso at 2015-12-09 22:14 (UTC) (Link)
I loved all the dialogue and the ties to the prompt, as well as the story.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:26 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the dialogue and the ties :)
Your argument is invalid.
logical_fallacy at 2015-12-09 23:46 (UTC) (Link)
I like how there's just the smallest doubt at the end of whether or not Kanin would have let Aaron go.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:27 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked that. I like creating that kind of sweet spot of pain that is the niggling doubt :).
alycewilson
alycewilson at 2015-12-10 00:35 (UTC) (Link)
I really liked the twist at the end. Well done.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:27 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the twist :).
m_malcontent
m_malcontent at 2015-12-10 01:37 (UTC) (Link)
tres cool
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:30 (UTC) (Link)
Merci :). Glad you liked.

(I literally just sat here for three minutes trying to remember how to say glad in French going, I know this I refuse to google translate).
Vik-Thor
vik_thor at 2015-12-10 04:05 (UTC) (Link)
I like how all four of your stories intersect/interact.
How much did y'all plan that, and how much did it just work out?
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the intersection :).

Ah, that would be telling ;). We planned around all being in the same casino and we planned to have points for each story that joined into the others.
inteus_mika
inteus_mika at 2015-12-10 08:14 (UTC) (Link)
Nice power, that.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:33 (UTC) (Link)
It would be useful :).

Thank you :).
Teo Says
eternal_ot at 2015-12-10 12:04 (UTC) (Link)
*Standing Ovation* to all of you as a team..:) And a great end to all the four stories..you really did a good job of bringing them together..Loved the concept..Great work ! All of you.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:41 (UTC) (Link)
*Blushes* Wow, thank you so much, that means so much, so glad you liked the concept and the way we brought them together :)
ex_uf0s886 at 2015-12-10 13:07 (UTC) (Link)
i'm really looking forward to more of your work. awesome piece :D
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:42 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you found it awesome :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
halfshellvenus at 2015-12-10 20:50 (UTC) (Link)
there’s someone in here, in my body, they’re controlling me. Even now, they’re clawing their way back out, I can’t hold on.
I had such an "Uh, oh" internal response to this-- thinking the character was nuts-- and then it turned out to be true! Even better.

“I’m not a failure. I’m just the distraction.”
Best line and twist in the whole story. I didn't see that coming any more than Kanin did!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-10 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the twist and found it surprising :).
Murielle
murielle at 2015-12-10 22:11 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow! You got me, you got me good. All the way through I thought they'd make it, and they did, but sad.

Very clever wrap of all the stories, and of your own. Wonderful!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-11 17:32 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked :)
prog_schlock
prog_schlock at 2015-12-10 23:45 (UTC) (Link)
The thing that resonates with me about mind control stories like this is that I read them as sort of a metaphor for the way our brains so often push us to do things that we maybe don't want to do, for good or for ill. This sort of tale makes me uneasy, which I think is the point, so hurray!

I thought of this song for, perhaps, obvious reasons:

swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2015-12-11 17:33 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, yeah, the mind is an intriguing place especially with how it can be manipulated.
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