The Almost-Heroic Tale of Y'lynne Dirhorn

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The Almost-Heroic Tale of Y'lynne Dirhorn

Post by Y'lynne on Thu May 14, 2015 6:38 pm

Y'lynne Dirhorn was born in 3005 and raised on the planet Ngmora to a wealthy merchant tribe. Her parents, A'kar and Vorá, stood as leading distributors amongst the Ngmoran people; with the birth of a child, the small tribe flourished with pride, as the young one was destined to take reign of the trade ring her ancestors had built through blood, war, and persistence.
  She grew in the village like a wild flower, and the people watched as her mother gave birth to a noble son just one year later. The leaders were proud to have borne such a strong lineage to their empire, and all were at peace.
  Y'lynne and Niko were inseparable from birth, running through the streets as visitors from afar lifted their legs while the tykes darted through the bustle of the trading pier. The pier was stocked with exports from Ngmora, as the planet was prosperous in the rich minerals used to craft state-of-the-art weaponry unlike the galaxy had seen before. Ships from all sectors docked at their port, their neon headlights reflecting off the sparkling earth below; Y'lynne's mind sparkled at the thought of one day sailing through those stars with her family. Her lineage called to her.
  At the age of five [the human equivalent of age 10, as Ngmorans develop faster at a young age and fully mature at 14], her father made the decision to introduce her to her first vehicle — a Sand Skirter. The large disk fell perfectly into her hands, its mirrored, coal-colored surface reflected her skin, making it appear darker than night itself; an engraving from her parents etched across the ridge; "May you always find home in your dreams amongst the stars," it read in her native tongue. She traced the edges, feeling the cooling freedom brought with them. She practiced balancing that week, traveling in a wobbly manner across the field behind her home. Within weeks, her riding skills drastically improved, and soon the running along the docks turned to soaring a good foot above the ground as the metal reacted with the powerful core of the planet.
  Soon enough, Niko learned the same, and she taught him all she knew; each day, the two raced through the dockyard, admiring the large-scale ships brought by merchants. It was soon after that she convinced her father to purchase her a small ship of her own — a Tether Fighter, one of the fastest ships at that time. He instructed his top flightmaster to instruct her on how to operate it and swiftly maneuver through the crags and spires of Ngmora.

  As had been with the Sand Skirter, at 12 years old Y'lynne took quickly to the Tether Fighter; she named it Lacewing, after the small species of birds that swiftly darted across the terrain that she used to race with. The girl cared dearly for the machine, cleaning it daily and reading stories while sprawled across its wingspan; she breathed life into it and made it her own. She spent her hard-earned allowance on upgrades and would come home to supper with grease-stained clothes and ears. Inside, she felt closest to flying than she had known before, and her thoughts soared with dreams of the worlds beyond the atmosphere. She awaited the day when she turned 14 and could finally see beyond that hazy, looking-glass atmosphere.
  Niko received his first ship one year after — a Piston Core — the newest top-of-the-line model that became military standard. He constantly invited his sister to fly with him in his new ship, yet she preferred hers. He became disgruntled, possibly jealous, at her love for Lacewing compared to his for his ship, and purchased a newer model that later year.
  Still, Y'lynne preferred Lacewing, and moved furniture into the ship. Spending long days in the hot sun, her skin absorbed its rays and glowed with color; she tied back her hair, inviting in the warmth as she worked on the ship, her arms growing taught with each yank of the wrench. Soon it became time for the ceremony.

 Soon came the year 3014 At the age of 14, when a tribe member has reached adulthood, a first trade voyage is made as a sort of pilgrimage to the stars. One additional passenger may be selected by the one coming of age; Y'lynne selected her brother, despite him not being of age. Her parents reluctantly agreed — despite him not being old enough, his skills were above-par when it came to piloting. The two readied their bags for the voyage, packing rations of multiple varieties. The mission was set to last two weeks, with the cargo being a store of minerals from the soils below.
  Y'lynne, Sand Skirter clung to her back, and Niko loaded the last of the stores onto Lacewing's deck.
  "You bring pride to Ngmora," A'kar smiled warmly as he placed his broad hands on her shoulders.
  "Both of you, be safe," Vorá advised as she handed Y'lynne a small pin — a ring with the outline of a starship within — made of the finest Adaran, the prized mineral of her people. Its fuchsia coloring glistened, a reflection in the young pilot's eyes.
  The two boarded Lacewing and Y'lynne brought the spacecraft to a hover. She glanced through the window; her mother was crying as she waved. She soon disappeared from view, and the village grew smaller and smaller until it also vanished. She felt the rumble of the exit of the atmosphere, its wide maw opening into a yawn as it reacted to the components within the machine, and the ship was tossed into space.

  Y'lynne breathed deeply, a sigh of relief as she gazed into the vast expanse about her — the swirling colors of the galaxy wrapped themselves around the ship in a close embrace. The planets shone, and the stars sparked like gemstone dust sprinkled across the black. Niko grinned enthusiastically and placed his hands on the rail behind her.
  "You're a true pilot now," he laughed as he swung himself upward to sit on the rail behind her, perched as if in deep thought.
  "Not until we get there!" Y'lynne teased.
  "If we get there!"
  "You shut up now!" Niko found himself off-balance as his sister shoved him lightly in the chest.
  "H—," he trailed off as a large light erupted far from view, but in a flash it had vanished.
  With no conflict, nor clue what had happened, the two set off for their destination — The Capital.

  A few days and solar systems had passed, and the dark planet finally came into view, a large, round shadow amongst the twinkling stars; as they approached, the blackness swallowed them, and they descended. The ship lowered, and a series of bright orbs created a tunnel downward toward the dockyard. Lacewing landed safely with a light bump; the stairway down led onto a monolith bridge lit by tall, glowing street lamps. As they descended the rails, an eloquently-robed figure stepped before them, arms stretched in greeting.
  "Welcome, Y'lynne and Niko, to our home." The soft voice was deep and dark in tone, but had an air of luxury. Bowing slightly, the figure's hood lowered to reveal the features of a human female. Her eyes glowed faintly, the beauty in them marked by a lineage of genetic enhancement. "Come," she gestured as she turned; the heels of her shoes ticked against the aged brick, dark as the sky above. With each foot fall, the cracks between the stones pulsed with light, slightly illuminating the way ahead. As the trio traversed, the thickness of the haziness pressed against them; it was quite apparent that a local escort would be needed in order to traverse these areas.
  Through twists and turns, the duo descended deeper into the docks; the sounds of the less privileged cried from the black around them. After an eternity, the space widened before them, and the darkness lifted enough to glimpse that they were enclosed in what appeared to be a dead end. Y'lynne braced her arms preparing for the unexpected, when the woman beside her waved her palm slightly; a faint whirring was heard as the hand withdrew into the folds once more; the faintest light emitted from the sleeve, then faded to nothing.
 It was then that the ground shifted, tilting into a stretching void below. They descended, and the maw of the entrance rose again; lime lights from above flicked on, and the passage before them became clear. Upon reaching the end, a black door with no seals barred access; with one wave of her hand, that also clicked open. The three emerged into what appeared as a hub of cargo storage; workers garbed in uniform hauled crates to and fro. A loud, clunking noise sounded from a distance, its beatings repetitive and metallic. Banners strewn above proudly waved a green and silver crest that matched the colors of the worker uniforms.

  They boarded an industrial elevator and descended; Y'lynne wondered to herself how large this place truly was. The woman stopped the lift almost abruptly, then uttered, "Off." Y'lynne and Niko stumbled into a small room, lined with odd sculptures and an odd smell.
  Another coal-colored door opened, and a stooped man hobbled from it. His rodent-like face widened in surprise at the glimpse of the two, and waved them inside.Behind them, the door thudded shut.
  "At last," the man grinned madly as he loped ahead. The corridor ahead echoed with cries of agony; Y'lynne cringed as they grew louder and repetitive, sobbing and choking with each breath. Her head throbbed, the pounding of anxiety ebbing away at her ears. "I am Doctor Ravnik," she heard above the noise. "You were set to meet with me today." The cries grew to a shriek that lingered in the air, chilling the spine.
  "Wh—!" she began before being interrupted.
  "A hobby of mine," the doctor smiled as he glanced up at her, his eyes crinkling at the edges. "An experiment, if you will." A few doors ahead, a large man emerged, his forehead beaded with sweat and his sleeves bunched above his elbows. The crying had stopped, and the silence that followed felt much more disturbing.
  "We lost this one," the tall man uttered, his hands wrung before him, as if prepared for scolding.
  "A pity," Doctor Ravnik shook his head. He turned his mousy gaze toward Y'lynne, almost scanning her before squeaking, "but this one will last far longer."
  The vast arms of the larger male reached for her, catching her forearm and twisting it behind her back. Before she could speak, his hand clapped across her face, muting her. She pulled against her captor, her arms twisting against his firm grip; his body lurched, unable to hold his ground. Swinging her leg broadly, she landed it into his knee with a satisfying crack as the two fell to the floor. As Y'lynne untangled herself from the hostile man, she turned in time to see a needle plunge into her upper arm. The room around her grew fuzzy as her head lolled to the floor — above her the figure of her brother holding an empty syringe.

  The insides of her eyelids burned as light faded from them; her veins pumped burning tar through her chest, and outward through her fingertips. Trapped within herself, she felt her muscles stretch as her bones grew heavy like stones; they jabbed at her insides, cutting into her like large needles. Soon after, Y'lynne's body was a furnace. With teeth brandished like knives, she felt the metallic tang of her own blood running down her throat; her muscles had lost control, and she had bitten part of her lip from her mouth. She reached out her fingertips to feel nothing but eternal agony, her head near splitting open as the tide of distress flooded in. She felt herself choking, gurgling, sputtering as the hurt drowned her inside — her stone bones weighing her deeper into the muddled mess confined within her. Feelings of cracking and splintering followed by the shrieks of suffering were confined within her thoughts. Along the way, she must have lost consciousness.

  Y'lynne awoke, her body swollen and bruised. she bled from her right shoulder, a massive hole revealed beneath the skin. The thick, sticky murkiness of her blood spilled and pooled across the floor as the stench of iron clung to the air. Eyes burning, she opened them slowly; the dim light left her searching as her body lay motionless and numb across the icy floor. Shivering, her skin prickled as the last of the sizzling feeling inside subsided, leaving her hollow. She lay motionless, her veins searing with the haunting promise of a bruise.

  It was then that the door opened and the male that had held her captive earlier entered, his face brooding. Tears swam in Y'lynne's dark eyes as he loomed over her in pensive contemplation.
  "Nice to see you're finally awake," he crooned as he lowered his arms to lift her; grunting, he lifted her from the hole she had lived and carried her from the room. "Had to feed you all week," he snorted.
  All week? How long have I been out? Her eyes flashed with a faint memory. Niko. The Ngmoran positioned her jaw to speak, but merely a small gurgling came from deep within her throat. The man paused, his eyes searching before opening the door to a room filled with vials, machinery and lastly, a medical table. Her appendages were strapped in — not like the could move anyways — and the sound of a pencil tapping on paper reminded her of the doctor.
  Managing to roll her head to the side, she faced her captor as he lifted a small vial and shot a dosage of...something foreign into her right arm. With it, the burning sensation subsided and she felt slightly stronger.
  "Estrogen." Doctor Ravnik uttered before making more markings. "You need full dosages now in your state."    

  The large man continued to speak. "No need to thank me for feeding you now. You can do that later." He paused. "You are mine, after all."
  The words pierced Y'lynne's heart. His? " She opened her dry mouth, coughing before forming the hoarse words, "I belong to no one..." She trailed off as he put his wide hand across her jaw.
  "I," he laughed forcefully, "will father the next generation of Gamma Centurion's soldiers." His smirk turned to that of a wide grin. "I've seen it. The power in the next generation of Phantasmics. On the planet Kuktchh, a princess born from death." He breathed heavily, his lips trembling close to her ear. "And you will help me realize this dream. Your father has assured it."
  Y'lynne choked, her mouth tasting of blood once more. Father? Help? Her pulse faltered as the realization dawned upon her. The banners she had seen at the entrance — she had seen them before, tethered to ships in  the dockyards on Ngmora.
"Father...Sold me?"
  "Jaqre," Doctor Ravnik orated. "Be careful with this one; it's rare for one to survive a strain." He glanced over Y'lynne once more. "Especially the one that one has been through. Let her rest."
  Her heart plummeted as 'Jaqre' huffed, plucked her from the table and carted her down the hall once more into the cell she had been in before. "Brand her." he called over his shoulder as the whirring of doors became background noise. Y'lynne was later awakened by the sharp pang of a gun punching ink into her shoulder.

  Two weeks had passed, and the hole in Y'lynne's shoulder had subsided when Doctor Ravnik came to call on her. His rodent-like eyes searched hers before murmuring, "come." The Ngmoran eyed him cautiously before proceeding to stumble into a stunted walk behind the lab-coated lab rat.
  His steps pittered and pattered before the flat trundles of her own large feet slapped the ground. Her skin was bare, and the hallway sent chills down her shoulders as the cold ebbed its way into her bones. She felt lumbering and exposed, her large arms forming goosebumps from both the shivering and nerves. She felt the crackle of dried blood against shoulder and began to brush lightly as the small clumps of mahogany fell like dust to the floor.

As the door behind them shut tight, an eerie feeling of solitude followed. Ravnik fidgeted and scurried to the far left corner of the room; the stunted metal clink of nails on filing cabinets gave clue to his frigid behavior.
"Doctor, I--"
Y'lynne was cut off a sharpened dagger of a stare from the mousey man; his glasses flashed a silent warning before he grunted, as if reassured, and slammed a large file folder atop his desk. His fingers fumbled as he hurriedly thumbed through its content pages and pulled a thin sheet from the bundle. He nodded, then shrank from the stool on which he stepped — the door to the cryogenics area thudding shut. Clinking and twinkling noises were muffled by the thick door covering the area, but Y'lynne's large ears allowed the sound to carry farther into her ears. The light sound of the class felt like the sound of stars falling to the earth and bursting into ten thousand sparkling diamonds

Her image was cut off as the man once more appeared from behind the corner, and tossed a loose shirt and pair of cargo pants toward the waiting Y'lynne. He bobbed his head with fervid intent as she hurriedly changed and crept closer, eyebrows furrowed in confusion. He dropped a black satchel on the table and slapped the paper down, the cracks between his bony fingers revealing a large amount of foreign text between his fingers accompanied by the depiction of a small vial — its contents of a deep and milky white.
"Your brother," he began, "has betrayed me."
It took all of Y'lynne's might to keep herself from snorting. That certainly makes two of us. She crossed her bulky arms, a small smirk brimmed from her lips. The doctor, in his stammering, continued.
"He took this from our stores. It's worth more than the earnings he could make in his life twenty times over." His nose twitched as he ran his little finger across it and sniffed. "It's probably been used or sold by now, this PR...So, Jaqre wants his head." His eyes shot a sharp note through her own. "Or, rather, his heart. Bring it to him and you will be liberated from your holdings."
Y'lynne laughed softly. "On a stake or platter?"
"Preferably intact."
The Ngmoran extended her large hand in a gesture of agreement before her vision clouded. She slumped to the floor, biting her lip as her insides writhed. She tasted blood before feeling a small, sharp puncture in her right thigh. Her eyes grew hot and red before they cleared; the figure of the doctor stood over her, syringe in hand, the black satchel flung open with one slot empty.

"If you want to live, then do what I say," he pipped. "You will use your power to take your brother's life, and then you will return."
Y'lynne narrowed her eyes. But what power do I have?
Bluntly put, your bones have been restructured due to the production of some new chemical in your body. We don't know much about it, but it stunted your estrogen production. In return, your skeleton is more durable, being made of 'Borazon', which is used in many industrial-grade tools.
The Ngmoran sighed. "So I can protect my inner organs. Great. So useful for a weapon.
Doctor Ravnik huffed. "I wasn't done yet, damn you! Remember how you had that crater of a hole in your shoulder? Healed pretty quickly, huh? You can make your bones come out of your body. They're a tool and a shield, and soon your body will become accustomed to where the entry will not pain you in areas you use frequently. Here, try to concentrate on moving one from your shoulder."

Y'lynne eyed the man warily, but placed one hand on her arm, exhaling loudly. She concentrated her gaze on the spot, eyes straining; huffing and clenching her muscles, she tried with all her might to no avail.
"I...*gasp*...I think this is a load of bull," she sighed.
"Think of it more like moving another appendage."
And just then, a silver shard shot from the root of her arm, piercing the surface with a sharp jab.
"EFFING OW! $#!%!" She cursed as she slammed her fist against a testing table, denting it as it was sent flying into another desk.
And that inner skeleton helps you pack a much better punch, thank you very much," the doctor nodded. "Anyways, you best be going. Thinks to do and stuff." He nudged her as she clutched at her shoulder, crimson pools pouring from the open gash. He shoved the black satchel into the crevice made by her arm. "And use one of these once every three days," he shrugged. Or you'll die. Got it?

Y'lynne gritted her teeth as she was shrugged to the elevator and dispatched through the warehouse. She traced her steps back out to the streets, feeling abandoned and awkward in the dim light.
...I guess I should find my ship or something... She sauntered off in the directions that she remembered coming from on the way there a long while prior. Thank the gods she was not a map person.


Several days passed before she reached Ngmora. All the while, she had practiced shifting her skeleton and swiftly puncturing her skin, creating caverns for the bones to come out of in a split second; the bleeding had lessened by now, and the wounds closed up promptly. As she approached the orbit of her home planet, she felt dread in her heart. What if I encountered father? What do I say to mother? She kneaded her hands in anguish.
She neared an abandoned port on the northern side of town; the hour was not yet late, but everyone would be home at this time. As Lacewing drew close to the moorings, she shot a leather tethering to secure her ship. Taking her Sand Skirter from the seat beside her, she leaped from the ledge and pulled the board beneath her feet in a steep fall toward the surface. As she neared impact, she swooped her legs below her and she was surfing above the sands of Ngmora once more. As she drifted soundlessly, the night felt cool and dry against her skin, and she smelled the cooking of her people — roasted vercymfish and steamed oumcora beans. Her head swam as if in a dream as her home rose into view.

It felt distant and simple, the way she floated on a straight path up to the large home. She crouched on the front edge of the board in contemplation as the first floor window came into an arm's reach. No lights shone from the work room as she dismounted from the disk and clicked it into place on her back. Placing her hands on the edifice, she pulled herself upward without noticing the watchful eyes from behind the pane of glass as she ascended.
Y'lynne swung her leg over the balcony area and straddled the ledge, gazing over the vast expanse that engulfed their little village. Above, the stars swirled deep shades of purple, blue and yellow — the deep expanse of where her travels could take her one day. She sighed as a cooling breeze hit her face; she edged over to the window and pressed her fingertips against the glass. The hinge squeaked softly and she hesitated before pushing it further inward.

The phantasmic stepped over the threshold and into her old room; she had little want for possessions and no attachment to the contents inside. On her floor, she found the greasy tank top she has slaved in all summer before she left. Wadding it up, she stashed it in the small pouch she carried as the faint padding of footsteps was heard creeping up the stairs.
As she turned to flee, the door to her room swung open, and the bent silhouette of Niko stooped through the doorway. It seemed as if he had grown slightly taller in stature, but it was most likely due to Y'lynne's panicky state. Her brother calmly stepped into the room with a wide grin plastered across his face.
"Ah, dearest sister," he crooned. "I thought you had been lost..." He took a step closer, stretching his arms into a half-open embrace. His skin made contact with hers as he extended his grasp across her back.
She felt awkward, to say the least. And then the fury bubbled within her — the great mass of lava near spewing from her tongue like venom as he had the audacity to speak to, let alone touch her. Y'lynne wanted him to burn a million times over for his transgressions, but stopped when she heard a click from downstairs. Her parents. She stood stark still as she whispered:
"Where is the vial?"
"Bite me," her brother chided. "You're a second-rate mechanic. You haven't the nerve to —"

He paused as his chest ripped with pain; Y'lynne cried in anguish as her rib cage expanded, gashing into Niko's torso, digging for its trophy. It ate at his insides, writhing and retching as he coughed a steam of scarlet onto the floor; the sound made a sickening splat against the old wood, and it seeped into the grain as it was stained with the taint of betrayal. The bones twisted around his heart, constricting it like a boa as she heard the stammering in his voice.
"H-h-h-here. T....take it from me," he gasped as she carefully sliced an artery. Blood oozed slowly from his lips, dripping from his trembling chin. The sign of weakness from this self-proclaimed man sickened her. He had changed. And he had also changed her. With one final twist, she wrenched his beating heart from its settlement, and his contorted body fell to the floor — a tiny vial tinkered to the floor and rolled beneath the bed.
The corpse's eyes bulged but no longer saw, though, he had not seen correctly for years. Silver spires poked through her chest, clutching the dripping mass before she held out a dark leather pouch and let it fall into its maw. She took the old shirt from her bag and quickly wiped she tips with care before allowing them to recede; she stuffed the sodden shirt back in its place before reaching beneath the bed to retrieve the stolen content.
"Worth his life twenty times over?" she sniffed. "Probably more than that."
Y'lynne stuffed the vial into her pant pocket and started. There were baffled murmurings followed by the patter of footsteps up the stairs. Turning swiftly, her ankle accidentally caught on Niko's entrails; she pulled hurriedly as it came free with a spattering rip, and she darted to the window, took a great leap, and withdrew her Sand Skirter once more, bringing it to a hover in a similar fashion to before.

She left her planet that night to never return. Y'lynne returned directly to The Capital in disarray. Of all the rotten luck, she happened to dock in an unfamiliar yard — which happened to belong to the Rebellion, who had been in operation for just under a year. They confronted her and seized her for questioning upon recognition of the Centurion emblem across her right upper back.

She was reluctant to inform the strangers of any information on herself, but when confronted with impending estrogen deficiency, she informed them of how she had come to obtain power and of her forced service of the Gamma faction. With this information, she was encouraged to join the Rebellion's cause and was offered protection and research development on her ailment in return.

Under the simplistic alias of 'Strato', Y'lynne works anonymously with the Gamma Centurion trade hub as an agent of the Rebellion. At the moment, she risks being discovered as an illegitimate member of the cartel and seeks to rescue other victims from facing treachery.
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