Carpathia III: Episode 135: Homeworld

The Outlands

Though Jaze didn't have to carry Oliver on the way back the the farmhouse, the going was still slow, regardless. Oliver found it rather difficult to wobble down the hills cut into the cliffs and Jaze held his hand the entire way. Once at the house, Oliver's tremors subsided somewhat, though they were still noticeable. Inside, as Jaze expected, they found Artemis at a desk, engrossed in his computer.

Jaze: Hey, Artemis. Oliver here is having some problems. Could you have a look?

Artemis turned from his computer and smirked knowingly almost immediately.

Artemis: I'll try, but I can't promise that I can do much. Have a seat on the bed.

Oliver did as he was told while Artemis turned back to his computer and tapped at the keys. As he did so, Jaze continuously looked back and forth between the two of them.

Artemis: What?

Jaze shrugged.

Jaze: I dunno... I was kinda thinking, with him on the bed and you at your computer, it looks like a real doctor's office.

Artemis scratched behind his ear before turning in his seat and glancing at Oliver.

Artemis: Yeah, it's basically been a doctor's office for several hours now. It would be a lot better if I had access to the network on Carpathia.

Artemis rose slowly from his chair and threw his arms up, leaning back in a prolonged stretch. After a grunt and a sigh, he kneeled on the floor in front of Oliver.

Artemis: Tremors. Not nearly as bad as the ones we brought back from the mines. How long has this been happening?

Oliver cleared his throat before speaking.

Oliver: A couple of months ago, maybe? I didn't want anyone to know. The sick ones get sent to the mines.

Artemis flexed his fingers.

Artemis: Well, that's not going to happen here. Let's see what I can do. I'm going to touch your head. Just hold still.

Oliver nodded slightly before closing his eyes. Artemis slowly moved in and wrapped his fingers around Oliver's head. As his fingers connected, a dim, green light emanated from the tips. It was not the vibrant light that Jaze had seen before, making him wonder if Artemis was tired.

After a short time passed, the light faded and Artemis removed his hands from Oliver's head.

Jaze: Do you feel any better?

Jaze then noticed that, while Oliver's tremors subsided somewhat, they had not disappeared completely.

Oliver: A little.

Artemis slid back, sitting on the floor and leaning up against the wall, sighing as he perched his arm on his knee limply.

Artemis: It's the same with him as the ones we brought back from the mines. It's similar even to Toma. I think something has damaged the brain and nervous system, but I don't know what. Somehow, I can fix just about anything in the body except those parts. All I can do is soothe that area a little.

Artemis sighed again and lowered his head.

Artemis: The one thing I can't do and it's the most in demand. I'm sorry, Oliver. All I can tell you is that I hope whatever caused this isn't going to progress any further.

Artemis glanced at Jaze once, and then back again, the second time, cocking he head to the side as though he had an idea. Standing up, Artemis held out his hands.

Artemis: Something just occured to me. Jaze, can I check you?

Jaze: I guess that's okay?

Artemis put his hands on Jaze's head, just as he did Oliver and then released him just a few moments later.

Artemis: I think you have the same problem, but only slightly. I don't know if this is Wishmaster's doing or if there was simply something in the water at Nekramentia.

Jaze: None of the Outlanders seem to be suffering, so that's a good sign. You might want to check Jacob, though. He spent some time at Nekramentia too.

Artemis nodded.

Artemis: That's a good idea. At his age, that should mean that whatever was happening will stop now that everyone's here.

Outside, they could hear footsteps coming up the steps of the porch. Just as Artemis and Jaze turned toward the door, Toma walked inside.

Toma: Yo. These two little buggers were looking for you. I figured this would be the best place to check first.

At that moment, Phobos and Deimos emerged from behind Toma's legs and they trotted spiritedly across the floor toward Artemis.

Oliver: What is that?

Jaze: The blue one is Phobos and the green one is Demios. Just think of them as little people for now.

In no mood to explain the exact nature of Phobos and Demios at the moment, Jaze thought it best just to leave the details for later.

Artemis: You're back! I asked them if they'd go and investigate in the Nekramentia ruins. Any sign of Thirteen or Wishmaster?

Phobos: Nope.

Deimos: Nothing to report, unfortunately.

Artemis fluttered his ears and held his finger to his mouth, taking a few moments to think.

Artemis: Are there any other Nekramentians left?

Deimos: Nope.

Phobos: We're very sure that everyone has been rescued.

Artemis let out his breath and rubbed his nose.

Artemis: That's good news, at least. Anything else?

A few moments passed with everyone waiting for Phobos and Deimos to say something more. Instead, Phobos poked Toma's leg.

Toma: Oh, right. They asked me to give you this. I don't know what it is.

Toma held out a flat piece of metal which looked like it might have been the handle of a glass door of a corporate office. On it, writing was etched in big, bold letters onto the wide side. Though it was reasonably clear that it was a language of some sort, the characters were unfamiliar to them.

Phobos: We found it buried in the dirt near the tower.

Jaze and Artemis leaned in close to the object and studied it carefully. If Phobos and Demios brought it back, it must be important, though they could not ascertain why.

Jaze: Can you read that?

Artemis: I can't. You?

Jaze: Nope.

Artemis knocked on the object, wondering if it might be hollow or contain something within, but it was solid.

Artemis: Okay, do you know what it says?

Deimos: It's an ancient nekomi language. It says "Ramewet Marine Institute."

Jaze gasped and Artemis's eyes widened as he now clutched the object as though it were as precious as solid gold.

Toma: What is it?

Jaze rubbed his forehead and leaned against the wall.

Jaze: Toma, remember when I told you that nobody knew where the original nekomi homeworld was?

Toma nodded.

Toma: I do.

Jaze: It's here. We've been standing on it all this time.

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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