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Cadet J'ryn "Jack" Ressan - Death Is Not The Opposite Of Life, But A Part Of It


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Not all heroes have capes and not all painful and dramatic scenes are as beautifully crafted as this one.

 

((Hidden City Outskirts, Darime IV)) 

 
Ico was in serious danger, running through a pipe with a killer drone in hot pursuit. No cover. No weapons. All she had was a tricorder, which Jack suggested throwing as a last resort; it had absolutely no effect. In fact, it only seemed to make the thing, the hunter, angry. If an artificial construct could be describe as such.
 
She wasn't going to make it. Unless she jumped... but Jack's prey instincts had taught him something and taught him well; the drone only killed its second target.
 

Ressan: ::Hoarsely,:: Come on, Ena! Isaacs, she's going to jump out, so get ready!

 

Isaacs: What— 

 

Obviously the question didn't land, but there was no time to give it again. Ena burst into view at the mouth of the tunnel, reaching for Jack. Her body was hot, her legs pumping, going as fast as she could, striving to survive. He reached back, their hands meeting near the lip, her feet pushed at the lip of the pipe, and Jack gave her as far a throw as he could manage, trusting in Isaacs to catch her. Or... make sure she didn't shatter her skull in the fall.

 

Ico: IEEEEEEEEE!!!!

 

Isaacs: Let go! Jack can— 

 
Watching in mute horror as Ico flew through the air, his heart in his throat, fear soaked into every pore of his body; the distance was not too far for a Kelpien, but for a Bajoran, she was likely to be seriously injured if she landed wrong, or Isaacs misjudged his effort to catch her...
 
Far. Ena had fallen too far. She was going to be hurt; a broken leg at this distance was a death sentence. A serious concussion, a death sentence. Any number of injuries, certain doom.
 
The two collided with a sickening thump, no doubt sore and injured, sprawling out on the ground like ragdolls. But both were moving. Both were alive.
 
Success.

 

Jack stood in the pipe basking in the joy of seeing Ico survive, and in doing so, violated the first rule of survival:

 

Never turn your back on a predator.

 

The briefest, brightest flash of ultraviolet light behind him. A light which struck him in the back, a scintillating shower of every hue perceptible, ranging from deep infrareds through every shade of the visible spectrum, ending in bright, twinkling ultraviolets. The glow of the weapon's heat surrounded him as the energy cut deep into his body; so bright to his eyes that it cast a giant shadow out into the surroundings, a garish Kelpien-shaped scarecrow projected onto the massive tree trunks and the walls behind it, warped and distorted by the curves of the trunks and the jagged rocks of the shining, reflecting stone beyond... but recognisable. An outline of his body.

 

An outline with a fist-sized hole in the chest, light shining through like some kind of central eye.

 

Pain.

 

His legs no longer worked. Jack slumped forward gracelessly like a puppet with its strings cut, pitching forward and tumbling out of the pipe, by sheer luck landing in the nearby moss, face-first on the soft surface. At least he missed the water.

 

Some part of him was aware of the buzzing of the drone above, the predator inspecting the fresh kill, and then it departed.

 

Isaacs: It’s gone. You okay? Nothing broken?

 

Ico: Response

 

They were okay. They were both okay.

 

Feebily, Jack tried to stand, but all he could manage was a flop. His legs didn't respond to his call; the injury to his back felt cold instead of hot, and there was nothing below his lower back. No feeling of pain, no wet and cold of the water, no pain from his fall... just a void, a detachment that he could not adequately explain.

 

Isaacs: Jack?

 
He tried to speak, but nothing came out.

 

Isaacs: ...Jack?

 
Slowly, slowly, air came into his lungs. He croaked out a couple of words.
 
Ressan: ::Croaking,:: I swear I had something for this.
 

Ico: Response

 

Isaacs: No. No, no no—

 

The others ran over. He felt himself moved onto his back; the weapon, whatever it was, had cut right through him, but the only injury was visible on his chest. The same one that had struck down Gilbert.

 

Now he got a look at it, a decent look, it didn't look good. It didn't look good at all.

 

Isaacs: Come on, Jack. Please. Stay with us. 

 
Ico: Response
 
He wanted to give another one liner, another stupid joke to reassure them that everything was going to be okay, but he couldn't think of one. Everything was distant and muddled, foggy, like he'd had too many drinks at the Academy bar.
 
Slowly, inexorably, he felt it. He felt Death's cold hands around his throat, the cold chill of her icy breath washing over him, getting ready to send him off, her chilly hands sliding around his throat...

 

But She did not choke the life out of him. It was no violent, painful struggle against the end; his multitudinous senses could feel the damage to him, smell the ozone in the air, the singed flesh, the rich scent of blood.

 

Ressan: It's my time. I can feel it. I have to... go now. But don't worry. ::His eyes drifted toward Ico.:: Isaacs... can get you out of here. You'll be okay.

 

Ico/Isaacs: Response

 

Ressan: ::He smiled fondly and reached up, touching Ico's cheek, leaving behind a bloody handprint.:: We... will see each other again.

 

His pupils dilated, letting in as much of the light as possible, a bright, hopeful, comforting feeling spreading up from his toes and up his legs, over his body like a warm blanket on a cool autumn night; he could smell the saltwater of his home, feel the sand under his bare feet, and the sweet scent of incoming rain on the clouds as they drifted in toward him.

 

There was no fear. No pain. Nothing but a gentle joy that permitted down to his bones; the passing of one state to the other, a falling star drifting into the atmosphere and burning up, providing light and joy for just a moment before slipping away, consumed by endless tranquil night.

 

Ressan: It's... beautiful.

 

And then he died.

 
 
--
J'ryn "Jack" Ressan

4th Year Cadet

 

simmed by

 

Security/Tactical

USS Gorkon

O238704AT0

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This gave me feelings, I don't like it. ☹️

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