Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Hybrid (4 and 5/x)
Writing
misaditas wrote in misaditas_fic
Characters: Bialar Crais, Aeryn Sun
Setting: Season 4. AU
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Aeryn leaves Moya and John, heads off into the unknown. But passing the site of the Carrier's destruction she receives a signal that should not be possible...

( One | Two | Three )



Bialar has never been without a plan or, at the very least, some idea of what he is doing. His current situation however defies planning and he has no idea what he is, never mind what he is doing. He watches Aeryn sort out her supplies and tries to ignore how foreign his own body feels.

Whilst her attention is on what she is doing, he pretends nothing strange has happened except that he has survived the impossible. He can ignore the fact the blackness of his hands is skin and not leather. But only when she is busy. When she looks at him, all pretence fails – her eyes hold a combination of horror and sympathy.

But she has at least stopped recoiling in repulsion.

He trails his altered fingers through the dirt. Sensitivity of touch has not been affected by whatever his skin has become, but it is no longer simply a case of feeling – his mind can detect the various elements, the minerals and particles, the very structure of the dirt unravelling in his head. From that he can extrapolate the likelihood of finding water, how fertile the ground is, what plants it can support. The result of so much information is the beginnings of a headache and he lets the dust filter out between his fingers.

Static prickles over his skin and he looks up to find Aeryn watching him, a quizzical expression on her face.

“I can feel it,” he tells her. She smiles slightly.

“You’re still Sebacean enough for that, then?”

He shakes his head. “No, you don’t understand – I can feel it, Aeryn. Every grain, its make up, I…”

“Like a sensor?” She walks over and squats in front of him, takes his hand. A volley of senses hits him and he gasps.

“Yes,” he croaks. “Would you… let go please?”

She drops his hand as if it’s gotten hot and sits hard on her rear. “What did you sense?”

“What didn’t I?” he retorts. “You hate this, don’t you?”

She opens her mouth, then closes it again, drops her head. “It’s hard, Bialar,” she says quietly. “Not just my training, the idea of irreversible contamination, but just seeing you… wondering how much you suffered, are suffering still. How little I can do to help.” Her eyes tear. “The fact I cannot even touch you without it hurting you.”

“It does not… hurt, Aeryn. It’s just… so much to process.” He smiles slightly. “Rather like receiving the transponder all over again.”

Aeryn rubs at her eyes, the motion impatient as if she is annoyed by her emotional outburst. He watches her slip back into Peacekeeper mode and sighs inwardly – it would be better for them both if she did not do that.

“It’s about control,” she says then and he briefly wonders if she read his mind before he realises she is talking about him and not herself. She gives him a sour grin. “You’re good at that, so this should be fairly easy.”

He ignores the slight. “What should?”

“Well it is like the interface. I remember how at first every system was so overwhelming, but slowly my mind could push it away until I could focus on one thing at a time. This is just like the transponder, only Talyn is in your mind now. It should be possible for you to filter out what responses you don’t need at any given moment. Like how being aware of breathing is not necessary in order to do it.”

He blinks and feels slightly stupid. “I should have thought of that,” he tells her ruefully. She shrugs.

“Too much information,” she says. “You probably can’t think straight.”

It is true – the inside of his head is so much chaos – but he closes his eyes and concentrates on his breathing. In and out. In and out. And the cacophony of noise recedes. He is still aware of everything, but it no longer dominates. He smiles and opens his eyes again.

“Thank you,” he says to her sincerely.

“No problem.” Then she holds out a hand.

He regards it warily, aware of what he had felt and that she’d kill him if she really knew, but then reaches out. Her skin is warmer, more pliable than his own. He can feel the nervous sweat on her palm, the way her fingers tremble slightly, the pulse of her blood. But those things are purely physical. This time there is no onslaught of emotion, no flurry of confused thoughts as occurred the last. He nods.

“It works.”

Aeryn grins. “Seems I’m useful for something after all.”

“I would say so.”

She seems a little taken aback by this, but then smiles again. “So if you can sense everything like that, then you must know if you’re injured or not?”

“Strangely, I seem to be fine,” he says and then shrugs. “The pain is easing.”

“Talyn said that is it probably because you were in deep space, that the coldness prevented too much damage.”

“He is probably right.” He snorts softly. “He knows more about such things.”

“Can you not access his consciousness?”

In all honesty, he has not tried as there is enough to adjust to, not least the fact he is no longer Sebacean. But now Aeryn has asked, he reaches inside himself, the process similar enough to using the transponder than he does not feel uncomfortable.

“Bialar?”

He doesn’t hear it so much as be aware of it. The sensation of Talyn’s mind stirring within his own is extremely odd.

“Talyn. I did not think I could reach you.”

“Neither did I. But it seems we can inter-communicate after all.”


His lips twitch. “Inter-communicate?”

There is a mental shrug.

“Can you think of a better term?”

“No.”
He can’t and the phrase does not truly matter if he knows what Talyn means. With him inside his head, his thoughts overlying his own, there is no room for misunderstanding. “How are you faring?”

“It is very strange.”

“Indeed.”

“But… I am adjusting. And this is better than the alternative.”


Bialar cannot argue with that. “Yes.” He opens his eyes and looks at Aeryn. “It would seem that I can,” he tells her.

“Right. Well you two need to decide what we do now. Do we bother trying to find a diagnosian? What do you want do? And where do you want to go?”

He chuckles at the stream of questions and holds up a belying hand. “One thing at a time, Aeryn.” He debates the first question. “There is nothing that needs doing medically. I am… not adverse to what has happened. Certainly not enough that I wish to loose Talyn, if indeed we could be separated now. I suspect not. What I would like to know is what this body is capable of, what strain supporting two minds the mind can take. Whether we can find someone with the answers to those queries is another matter though.”

“Well we’re not going to find anyone by sitting around on our eemas,” she notes and scrambles to her feet, holds out a hand. “Come on, Crais. You wanted a new path. Let’s go take it.”

He chuckles again, takes her hand and allows her to pull him up. He isn’t sure – about anything really – but neither is he willing to sit and let this second chance pass him by. He is alive. For now, that is more than enough.

~ ~ ~


It feels good to be at the Prowler’s controls again. This is what she what she knows, where is she confident. It is familiar, unlike the Sebacean-Leviathan hybrid that sits behind her.

Crais is silent as she flies and she wonders what he is thinking, if he is in communication with Talyn, if he regrets his decision. For herself, she is recovering from the shock more readily than she thought possible, is adapting to his strange appearance. Though it probably helps that his personality has not changed – he is still very much Bialar Crais.

She manoeuvres the Prowler on a vector, heading towards a nearby commerce planet. Though he has survived a contained Starburst his clothing has not. But going planet-side is going to bring its own dangers – he is not recognisably Crais, not recognisably anything – and new things attract attention. Fear. Trouble.

“I think you should stay with the Prowler,” she tells him.

“Why?” His tone is stiff. She tenses.

“Because you are going to attract unwanted attention. The planet is mostly Sebacean and you… well you aren’t now.”

“I thought we were going to replace my clothing?” he says then.

“I am.”

“And you know what will fit me?”

Aeryn sighs. “No but–”

“Then I need to come too.”

“But–”

“We need not use the more populated paths,” he suggests. “If we avoid the crowds, then we’ll attract less attention, no?”

“I suppose,” she says, though she still does not like it. “Just… try not to draw attention.”

He snorts but says nothing. He doesn’t need to – she knows how unlikely that will be. But the planet is ahead of them now and there is no time to talk him out of his decision. If that was ever going to be possible. Stubborn drannit, she thinks with a grimace.

She lands the Prowler at the spaceport. There are only a few people about, so she clambers down and then stands, rifle at the ready, as Bialar follows suit. He looks so different that she is immediately concerned again. He catches her expression and folds his arms.

“You’re going to have to get used to being around me sooner or later,” he says sourly. “Or you can get back in the Prowler and leave me to it. Make your decision.”

She wants to tell him that is not fair, but her words dry at the black stare – she has no right to claim unfairness here. “I’m staying with you,” she says quietly and holds his gaze unflinchingly. “I’m just worried for you.”

His eyes narrow and he frowns. Then he looks away. “I don’t need your pity.”

Aeryn feels a sudden urge to slap him and fists her hands to contain it. “It’s not about pity, Crais,” she snaps. “It’s about wanting to keep you alive. I’ve mourned you once and–” She stops, paling at her words – she had not intended to tell him that.

The look he gives her is oddly vulnerable.

“You mourned me?” he asks softly. “Not just Talyn?”

“It was brave,” she starts and then stops again. She owes him more than pithy statements. “No, not just Talyn.”

“Why?” It is incredulous, disbelieving. And it hurts.

“Because!” Aeryn closes the gap, stares into those impossible eyes. She touches him then, cups his face as she did just before she left him – to die, the thought sparks in her mind – that last time. “Because I cared about you,” she tells him. “And I am staying because I still do.”

He blinks. “After everything?”

She smiles. “After everything.”

“Oh.”

It is rare to see Bialar Crais lost for words, so Aeryn stores the current expression in her mind, grins at him and then pats his cheek. It does not feel the same as it once did, but the difference is mattering less and less.

“Come on then,” she says. “Let’s go cause a stir.”


Actually they manage to cause very little. By going the quieter routes, they avoid most people, though Bialar does garner a few wide-eyed stares. If he notices, he does not comment on it. They find a tailor shop and go inside.

The proprietor is startled by Crais’ appearance but reassured by the rifle in Aeryn’s hands. He measures Crais and dares a few questions about style and colour. Bialar looks at her. She shrugs and tilts her head, considers her appearance.

“There’s not much point trying to hide it,” she notes. “So you might as well go with it. Black and dark red.” She glances round and settles on a bolt of deep mahogany. “That one.”

“Are you sure?” he asks.

“Good choice,” the proprietor says. “The lady is right – that shade would become you very well.”

“Right.”

Aeryn stifles a chuckle at the lost expression on Bialar’s face. “It’ll be fine,” she assures him. He glances at her, his face rather doubtful. “But just to make things fair, perhaps I should choose something too. What do you think?”

It is, she realises when the words are out, something of an invitation. His eyes widen slightly and she knows he is thinking something she’d rather he didn’t but decides not to dig herself in further and just frowns at him.

“There is a nice blue,” the proprietor announces and holds up a piece. It is a watery blue-green silk.

“No,” they say as one and Aeryn notices Bialar shudder, avert his gaze. She knows why. The silk is a close match to that of the dress she wore on Valldon. Clearly neither of them wants a reminder of that.

“The grey,” Bialar says then. She arches an eyebrow at him and then glances to where he is looking. It is a dark grey and, she thinks, rather plain but then the proprietor drapes it over his arm and it shimmers like a pearl.

“It’ll do,” she replies in what she hopes is a non-committal tone of voice. In actual fact she is trying to figure out how he has such an eye for colour. She is aware of him watching as the proprietor takes her measurements and then writes everything down.

“Be ready by tonight,” he announces.

“We were not planning on staying,” Bialar says.

“No? Well… there is a hotel on the corner. Good rates.”

“Alright.” Aeryn keeps her tone brisk and decisive. He is staring at her but she ignores him. “Please deliver them there. The name is Aeryn.” She hands over half the credits. “The rest on receipt,” she tells the man.

“Yes, yes. Very good.”

She grabs Bialar’s arm and hauls him away before he can say anything. The hotel is obvious since it towers over the other buildings, and she drags him towards it.

“Isn’t staying going to attract more attention?” he asks.
“Perhaps, but I don’t care. Look at you! That uniform is falling to bits.”

He stops and glances down. “I suppose.”

“I don’t care how far down that colouring goes – you still need clothing whilst you’re flying in my Prowler.”

Bialar looks up, his mouth open. He blinks several times in rapid succession. And then he laughs.

Aeryn stares at him. She has never heard him laugh before and she finds she rather likes the way it sounds. The humour of the situation hits her then and she smiles ruefully. She grabs his arm again.

“Come on. I’m hungry and thirsty and hoping they have raslak.”

“They better had raslak,” he notes. “I really need a drink.”

  • 1
I have just read part 4/5 of Hybrid and I love it I think the idea of Crais and Talyn merging in to one being is great please post more of this story Iwant to know want is going to happen so Keep em coming.

  • 1
?

Log in