Template:PostIn CatH Post 55 Clear has discovered Aellisin Koure upon her ship, as in CatH Post 54, and questions him. He turns out to be a clone and Koure has been cloning himself for many years. The Hopeful has many bacta tanks filled with his clones. When Clear realises that he hasn't got his usual level of soul-chanelling power in this new body Clear attacks and subdues him. She may have killed him but he claims to know a way out of the Deep Void. She has him tied to a chair and he claims that he wants to not only kill his clones, his competition, and create new ones, which will obey him, he can still send out a mental pulse with his soul to attract attention. He does this and falls unconscious. Mother states that she did inform Clear of Koure's presence many times but Clear has been under the delirious effects from overuse of the Dreamviewer and even now she can still see Hope, the dream version of The Hopeful and Clear. Despite understanding the damage the Dreamviewer is doing to her, Clear still resorts to its use.
Clear: "I saw you die..."
Aellisin: "I have no doubt. If you hadn't, I wouldn't be standing here."
Clear squints at him.
The man was once in control of her mind with his pheromones, he made her attack people. Made her friends do the same. Because of this man Ffion Heul and Kokoro Lymn, two trusted sisters in oath, were separated. Possibly forever. He almost destroyed an entire planet, using her and her ship. He'd happily have seen Clear dead too, if not for the help of Æon knights.
Clear: "So you're, what, a clone?"
Aellisin: "That shouldn't be hard to work out."
Clear: "And these tanks have more of you in them?"
He looks around at the other tanks.
Aellisin: "If they contain clones of you, I'd be most surprised."
That was a terrible thought.
Hope: "You need to scramble those eggs, Clear."
Clear turns to see Hope, the green-skinned alter-ego of Clear from a dream. Clear frowns at her. Then at Aellisin.
Clear: "Am I still dreaming?"
Aellisin is wearing a black cloak with a massive hood, now draped over his shoulders like some kind of temple monk. She remembered he used to wear white. Apparently clones don't come with cloned clothes. He smiles at her.
Aellisin: "That would be the easy way out."
He begins to walk around her, never taking his focus away from her head as he did.
Aellisin: "It seems someone has learnt a trick or two. Datura powder, I'm guessing?"
Clear doesn't move. She's afraid. She's certainly immune to his pheromones now, able to chemically overcome them, but he was an Æon knight, possibly comparable to any Lord. She'd felt his power, breaking the pores of her skin, electricity coursing through her body. She'd seen him cause explosions throughout The Hopeful. She tries to think of a way out of this situation.
Hope: "Why hasn't he killed you?"
Clear: "My question exactly..."
Aellisin: "What is your question?"
He stops in front of her. His skin is a faint pink hue and the large flesh-mane around his head remains the same colour for now.
Clear: "Why haven't you killed me yet?"
Aellisin: "And why would I kill you?"
Hope: "Maybe he can't..."
Clear: "Maybe you can't..."
Aellisin: "I need you to control this ship. It's true. I tried to make commands of your ridiculous A.I. but it refuses to cooperate with me. I'm sure I could overcome it eventually, but it's easier if you're around to make demands of the infernal thing."
Clear looks at him. Years of controlling people with his pheromones has made him a bad liar.
Clear: "I think... you can't clone powers..."
Before he could try to protest she strikes out. Her blow, quite unexpected by him, smacks him across the cheek. He rocks back why Clear wrings her, now sore, hand. It was like punching a plank of wood. Before he could get his bearings, Clear leaps up and makes with a scissor kick so quick he didn't see it coming. Her boot connects with her chin and his head snaps back. Anyone else would have been rendered unconscious, but his think mane protected him. This made her vulnerable to a quick punch to the gut as she dropped to her feet. She gasps for breath from the sudden shock as Aellisin recovers himself. He spits a small gob of blood to the floor. The monster bleeds she is pleased to see.
Hope: "Right hook, Clear! Go for a right hook!
Clear growls at Hope. How is the dream woman even here?
Aellisin: "Alright, enough of that... you figured me out. Fine. I--"
Clear isn't interested. She makes a quick attempt at a jab but he manages to dodge to the side, apparently some of that old Æon training kicking in. He wonders how much of a proper one-on-one fight he's ever had without the use of his soul-powers.
He strikes back but Clear's agility outstrips the majority of people she's ever come across unless they're gifted with some extra-natural powers. She ducks and turns so that she can rise again in an instant with an elbow to his abdomen. She then kicks up, straight up, her boot reaching over her own head to punt the much taller man in the jaw. He yowls and stumbles back from her.
Aellisin: "That's enough of this brawling!"
Hope: "So for the chair, Clear! Use the chair!"
Clear: "There aren't any chairs!"
Aellisin: "Is that supposed to mean you're not open for discussion?"
Clear looks at Hope with frustration. Then back to Aellisin.
She jumps up. There aren't chairs but there is a console. A console filled with all kinds of weird bottles and chemicals she doesn't recognise. Maybe he's been concocting his own brewery down here? She bounces off of the console and her leg snaps around the neck of Aellisin. It's easier to get a grip on him than any human thanks to that neck mane. However that neck mane restricts how much pressure she can assert with her calf. He'd be in pain for a long longer before he succumbs. As he gasps and tries to pull her leg away she grins to herself. Better this way actually.
Clear: "How many people have said that to you, I wonder?"
Hope: "None, if they were women. They wouldn't be able to."
That makes Clear squeeze tighter. With her hand she thumps him in the nose.
Aellisin, now through wretches for breath and blood, continues to protest.
Aellisin: "You... you need me!"
Aellisin: "Get... get... out... void..."
He passes out. She releases him and is torn. Could he really get them out of the Deep Void? She doubts it.
But she'd be an idiot not to hear what he has to say.
Clear: "Mother, you should come down here. Get ALEX to bring a chair. And some rope or something."
Hope cheers, arms in the air.
Hope: "The chaaaaair!!"
Clear: "I'm not going to smack him with it! And since when did you get so violent?"
Hope: "It's not real violence. It's wrestling violence."
Clear: "I don't even know what that is."
Hope: "Sure you do! Everyone does!"
Clear thinks. She has pictures of two naked humans rolling around on a mat. A television show.
Clear: "Right... How... are you here? Am I dreaming?"
She looks up but Hope has gone again. Clear shakes her head.
Aellisin begins to wake up.
Clear: "Consider yourself I don't have a baseball bat or lighter fluid, then we'd be doing some re-enactments of Earth gangster movies."
Aellisin: "Didn't kill me then?"
He manages to groan as his senses return to him. Clear is poking around the stuff on the console.
Aellisin: "Be careful with all that."
Clear: "Or what?"
Clear: "Wow. Have you ever said that word before?"
Aellisin: "I'm only a few days old. So no, actually, I haven't."
Clear: "I never took you for sarcastic before. I'm going to kill your little friends, by the way."
She points at the other clones. Aellisin just chuckles.
Aellisin: "Then you really shouldn't mess with those chemicals. They'll do the job for us."
Clear blinks at him.
Clear: "You want to kill them?"
Aellisin: "They're the competition. They'll wake up sooner or later and then there'll be a war. Who will survive. Happened last time. I had to kill them all before they killed me. The last two of us ended up fighting on a world of lava. I cut him down when I had the high ground..."
Clear: "Back when you had your powers..."
Aellisin shakes his head in mild amusement.
Aellisin: "I have them..."
Clear: "Yeah! Sure I believe you, fella!"
Aellisin: "Now who's sarcastic? I have to build them up. It takes time. I'm only a couple of days old in body and soul. My soul is like a child's. I can refine and encourage it. It just takes meditation."
Clear: "So I just should you now, right?"
Aellisin: "You need me to get out of the Deep Void..."
Clear: "How did you even know where we are?"
Aellisin: "Your A.I. might not want me to control her systems but she has no qualm about sharing our shared predicament."
Clear: "Probably thought it'd be funny to see you cry."
Aellisin: "Actually I'm quite happy out here. Lots of time to prepare myself for my return to the galaxy. Far away from anyone that can interfere. But. I'll help you escape if you let me loose..."
Clear: "Why didn't Mother tell me you were here?"
Aellisin: "That, you'll have to take up with her. I was surprised you didn't come sooner..."
Clear: "And what have you been doing down here all this time? Singing old falleen pop tunes?"
Aellisin: "Making that poison."
He nods towards the console with the chemicals.
Aellisin: "Just have to finish it, then feed it into the tanks and they'll disintegrate. Utterly."
Clear: "Why not just open it and hit them with a rock?"
Hope: "Or a chair!?"
Clear jumps at the reappearance of Hope. Aellisin is distracted by the suddenness too but just frowns at Clear before answering.
Aellisin: "I won't take the risk that they'd awake as I opened the tank."
Clear: "Destroy the tanks?"
Aellisin: "They're very large..."
Clear: "... you're a terrible liar."
Aellisin: "I'll use the tanks to create my own clones."
Clear winces in confusion.
Clear: "What's the difference? Your clones would be clones of the original you anyway... and you said you did this before. Was the last Aellisin a clone too!?"
Aellisin sighs that he has to explain himself.
Aellisin: "Yes. He was a clone too. There have been a couple of generations. My last incarnation tried to take on an... apprentice. Of himself. It didn't work out. That's when they fought on that lava planet I told you about. It was me, but it was the previous me."
Clear: "So... so... confusing. But fine. Why reclone yourself?"
Aellisin: "Clones of me will be more receptive to me. The mistake I made last time was using one of my... brothers..."
He motions at the tanks.
Aellisin: "Using my... sons, as you might say, my apprentice will be obedient to me."
Clear: "A better apprentice than my friends then?"
Aellisin: "Ah. Yes... I do remember them. Two young women. Extremely talented, I have to say. One of them easy to control. Even wanted to be controlled I think. Absolved her of her guilt..."
Clear: "Guilt? What guilt? Ffion was... honourable. Confused by what you did to her!"
Aellisin smiles. He likes this turn in the conversation.
Aellisin: "So easy to blame me, isn't it? She was already losing herself to... what you might know as the 'Dark Side'. My presence meant she could let loose. She didn't have to restrict herself, keep her emotions in check, keep her true self locked away. She had the excuse to be free. All that pent up frustration, anger, jealousy of the young Student Lymn. It's usually ironic that the Æon try so hard to keep their feelings in check, never swaying from the neutral ground, that it causes those that do stray... to really stray."
Clear couldn't refute anything said. She remembers how Ffion had acted at the end. How she'd allowed herself, even free of Aellisin, to succumb to that terrible darkness within her. In her new life, a hero of Earth, Clear hopes she'll find her true self again... but with humans, can that really happen? It doesn't matter so long as Clear is stuck in the Deep Void...
Clear: "How do we get out of the void?"
Aellisin: "Let me go and we'll work on that."
Hope: "I wouldn't trust him."
Clear: "I don't trust you. Tell me how and I'll think about letting you loose."
Aellisin: "You beat me in a fight, remember? What harm could I do to you?"
Clear: "I don't care to find out."
Hope: "Yeah! Bozo!"
Clear looks at Hope with a 'WTF' expression on her face.
Hope: "Bozo. It means... idiot. Or something. Human word."
Aellisin: "I can emit a psychic pulse that'll alert the nearest authorities..."
Clear: "You mean... use those powers you don't have?"
Aellisin: "I have enough to do this. It's easy. I'm not going to be sending an essay. Just a quick jolt. Someone will notice and come looking. There shouldn't be even a scrap of psychic energy out here, so they will come."
Hope: "I think we should psychoanalyse him..."
Hope: "Like... who were his parents? What kind of parents does it take to make a guy like this?"
Clear: "I really don't care..."
Aellisin: "You don't?"
Clear: "Huh? Oh. And what am I going to do with you...?"
Aellisin: "Let me go. We'll do this together."
Clear: "Let's say I do. We kill your friends here, then the psychic blast gets us help... then what? I let you go?"
Aellisin: "Are you the police now? Clear the lost salmitton, saviour of the galaxy! She'll put everyone to rights!"
Clear had to admit, she must sound pretty stupid trying to hold some moral privilege over him.
Hope: "We can cross that hurdle when we get to it, Clear. Right now, let's just get out of this endless pit!"
Mother steps forward, having been stood to the side with ALEX the droid.
Clear: "Makes sure he is forever in your sights. If he leaves this room, I want to know."
Mother: "As you wish."
Aellisin: "Good choice."
She steps towards him. Then stops.
Clear: "Psychic blast first."
Aellisin: "You expect me to do that before you untie me?"
Clear leans forward.
Clear: "Yes. I do."
Clear straights up.
Hope: "Say it! Go on! Watch his face!"
Clear: "Fine. I leave you here. Then I open one of these other tanks. See if the new you is more co-operative."
Aellisin: "You wouldn't..."
Clear: "Why wouldn't I? Doesn't matter to me which of you it is! You're all the same in my eyes!"
Aellisin: "Fine. You make your point well."
Hope: "Haha! That was satisfying wasn't it? You know in my world he smells really, really bad. Everyone is driven off. And he doesn't have any voodoo powers."
Clear: "Soul powers."
Aellisin: "Yes. Souls power... now..."
He closes his eyes.
Hope: "If he falls asleep, we could draw on his face with a marker. That would be hilarious! Come on, wouldn't that be funny!? I hope he is asleep now. Poke him."
Clear: "Master villain and I draw a moustache and a monocle on him? That... would be kind of funny, yeah..."
Aellisin: "Please don't do that. It would break my concentration."
Clear: "Not asleep then, eh?"
He then strains a little and Clear feels a small sensation in her brain. It's not much, just a small flicker. As though her attention is being pulled in Aellisin's direction.
Clear: "That was it?"
He looks tired but he manages to nod.
Clear: "You think that's enough to get attention?"
Aellisin: "Nothing should be out... here... rem..ber?"
Clear and Hope watch him.
Hope: "He really is asleep!"
Hope: "Ask her for a marker pen!"
Clear: "Why didn't you tell me he was here?"
Mother: "I did. Several times."
Clear looks at her suspiciously.
Clear: "I don't remember this..."
Mother: "You have been showing disturbing signs of... psychological impairment, Clear. You haven't been this lucid in many days..."
Hope: "Harsh dude. She just called you mental!"
Clear: "I really think I am going crazy..."
Hope: "Stuck in a void, Clear. What do you expect? You just need some fresh air."
Clear: "Right... stuck in a void... I think I should lie down..."
Mother: "And your hostage?"
Clear: "Let him loose. But he's not allowed out of here. Got it?"
Mother nods mechanically. She still hasn't got physical responses down yet. ALEX moves to cut Aellisin free and help him lie on the floor while Clear, Mother and Hope leave the room. Clear's head is throbbing. So much is happening all at once and her brain is having difficulties keeping up.
Clear: "Are there ghosts in my bedroom, Mother?"
Mother: "I'll check."
Hope: "The Dreamviewer is closer."
Clear: "I need to stop using it to sleep. I'm tired. I can sleep without it."
Mother: "Your room is occupied. But the room that belonged to Cassra Terrin-Pullista is free. It is next to yours, if you recall?"
Clear nods. She remembers. Poor Pully.
She gets to the door of the Dreamviewer room.
Hope: "Do you really want to sleep with the dead, Clear?"
Clear: "Not really."
Mother: "You wish to use the machine again? I do not think it is good for you to use so often..."
Clear: "I know. But I won't sleep in Pully's bed."
Mother: "Then perhaps I can find another room?"
But Clear is already climbing onto the Dreamviewer. She lies down and pulls the blanket over her. She goes through the motions of turning it on. Hope lies beside her, far more excited than Clear feels.
Clear: "I have no idea what that is."
Hope: "Sure you do! TV show."
Clear: "From Earth right? Okay. Maybe I do sort of remember it."
She starts to close her eyes and sees Mother's face. It looks worried. Then, an unexpected voice. She feels the vibrations of her old communicator. Is she dreaming already...? She tries to reach up for the communicator but the dream is already coming and she is washed over by it, leaving the real world and entering that state of mind where only dreams lurk.