PHD #311: Lost in the Flood
Lost in the Flood
Summary: What dreams may come to Maggie Quinn?
Date: 03 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: The Gods Must Be Crazy; The Bull and the Sparrow
Quinn Hydra 
Observation Deck - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Stars. Couches.
Post-Holocaust Day: #311

The observation deck is, actually, one of the more ideal places for Maggie to be dozing these days. While she doesn't mind her bunk, the reclining, plush chairs in the front of the obs deck are so wonderful to support every bit of her too-pregnant frame, so she's snuck up here after her shift and shower to catch a few hours a stiff sleep. She's stretched out, legs up, a stolen blanket stretched over her pregnant belly and up beneath her arms. She's got an extra pillow beneath her back and is, over all, as comfortable as she can get at the moment.

It's just past 17:00 by the tick of the chronometer. Not that time, or regular definitions of night and day, matter on a battlestar. The crew takes sleep whenever they can get it. And when Quinn fell asleep she was stretched out on a couch on the Observation Deck. Starfield out the viewport window, the rock-brown orb of Tauron below them. Yet when she opens her eyes, all is dark. Cold. There is not even the feeling of the sofa anymore, or the familiar deck. Just darkness. Still, save for a voice. The distant voice, high and lilting, of a little girl with a heavy country Aerilon accent. "Mumma…mumma…" it calls. Not afraid, but beckoning.

Quinn opens her eyes onto what should not be there. The darkness. The sound of a voice she does not know and yet sound so familiar. Her brows furrow, walking forward into the pitch as she calls into the strangeness around her…"Kalle?" She asks, questioning and doubtful. No, her daughter cannot talk yet. Her daughter is not even born yet. But she walks on, trying to hunt for the that voice she hears.

There is no flash of light. The darkness doesn't so much break as suddenly evaporate. And then it is daylight. And Quinn most definitely is not on Cerberus anymore. Not that the surroundings are unfamiliar. Sunlight, filtered through the greenery outside, streams through the windows of the living room of her girlhood farmhouse on Aerilon. And on the braided rug on the floor sits a little girl with a shock of bright red hair, and wide blue-green eyes very much like those of her father, Clive Tillman. Five years old perhaps. "I want to go home, Mumma," the little girl insists. An earnest quality in her voice. Almost pleading.

A dream. It had to be a dream. Unless Maggie had lost a lot of time and something else to something unforseen, this could not be true. Still, the woman steps across the familiar carpet, her eyes falling to look for the hand prints of blood she last remembered being there, until she leans it to try and pick up her daughter. "We can go home, Kalli… but… Where's home?" Maggie asks of the girl gently, pulling her onto her hip.

"I want to go home," the little girl insists again. "It's not safe here." Yet there is not particular fear in her voice. Only earnestness. She points one short arm toward fireplace in the corner. Where, curled up in front of it for all the world like a family dog, is a great green serpent. Coiled, forked tongue protruding in soft, sibilant hisses from its mouth. Slitted eyes closed, but is it asleep? "It isn't safe here anymore."

Outside, the formerly sunny skies darken to gray. A flash of lightning, followed by a slow roll of thunder, and the sound of rain coming down upon the farmhouse. The storm comes as suddenly as blinking, and in an instant it's pouring.

Protectively, Maggie tucks her entirely too grown daughter against her hip, one arm beneath her buttocks and the other supporting her back and head. She knew how to carry young children all too easily, having done it so much growing up, but having Kalli in her arms now felt even more natural. She gasped as her eyes laid on that serpent, treading backwards and away from the thing instinctively as her heart suddenly pounded in her throat. "No, no, baby… it's not safe. We'll go home. Tell me about home, baby, alright? Pretend you're there… Tell me about it." She cooed reassuringly as she backed slowly across the room. The worsening weather makes her blink, eyes instinctively moving out the window to check the horizon. This reminded her of tornado weather.

Outside the window the rain is buffeting this little path of Aerilon in a torrent. It's almost impossible to see anything beyond a flurry of raindrops. The storm has come. A storm unlike anything this region ever saw when the worlds were whole. And as it rages, over the sound of the battering rain and thunder…there comes a knock at the door. Three times. Knock, knock, knock. Then three more. The little girl tries to squirm out of Quinn's arms, to rush to open it. "We have to go home!"

By the fireside, the snake remains coiled. One slitted yellow eye opens. Staring at Quinn. But still unmoving save for the sibilant rhythm of its breathing and forked tongue.

Quinn tightens her grip on the little girl a bit more, moving to the door, "We're going to go, Kalli, I promise! You just have to tell me where home is!" Maggie almost begs, staring at the snake again before she opens the door. She means to just open it a crack, to see who it is in the rain, but she's only got one free arm and it could probably be forced if the person on the other side wishes.

The door is not forced. Outside, in the rain, stand an old couple. A man and a woman, bent with age into their sixties or perhaps even seventies. Wrapped in old coats that seem scant protection from the torrent outside. "'Scuse me, Ma'am?" the old man calls above the storm. "Mind if we come in and get some sanctuary by the fire for a spell. We're travelers, you see, and it's right about to flood out there." The little girl shows no unease at their appearance, smiling some at them.

And still by the fire, the snake waits.

Quinn stares at the pair, confusion dancing across her own freckled, pale face. But in this area of the country, well, they'd never turn someone aside. "O-of… of course, come in. We were thinking of leaving soon, but I suppose not quite yet. Not if it's flooding." She opens the door for them, letting the pair in before she ducks out and looks around her familiar home farmstead. The snake keeps her nervous, Maggie's whole far more svelte body a total line of tension, but she's tryign to keep her cool.

"Oh, can't wait, can't wait," the old man says, coming inside and shaking some of the rain off his coat. "Flood's coming this way. Just needed to get some warmth in our bones before we kept going. Headed home, aren't we Cass?"

The old woman smiles at the old man. "Sure are, Tom. Sure are. Why, what a pretty girl you've got here. What's your name, darling?"

"Have to keep our head above water. It's spreading to all points of the country now. Whole thing'll be under soon…" Tom stops speaking when his eyes fall on the fire. On the snake. He chuckles, but it's a grim sound. "Well, tarnation, dearie. Looks like the flood waters are already high here."

Quinn is so caught up in things the entire, brief thought of it being a dream at the beginning of it all is now gone. Maggie's just confused, scared and protective now, holding her baby girl in tight against her. "…This… this is Kallistei… and what do you mean the water is coming in here?" She looks back to the snake, peering around for any water that might be seeping in around the edges of the thing. "There is a second story, if things start rising." She bounces Kalli on her hip just a bit, trying to keep the girl far more calm than she is feeling.

"Nope, can't stay here. Already late. Do you know God, m'dear?" Tom asks Quinn. "Time's drawing closer. Waters're rising. Best find your way home before you get swallowed up. C'mon, Cass." And the old man turns back around, to head back out into the storm.

The old woman follows, though she reaches out to grab Kallistei's hand as she does so. "C'mon then, sweetheart. Time to go home." The little girl shows no fear of them. If anything, she seems eager to follow.

By the fire, the serpent finally stirs. Coils shifting, twining, its green, slim, pointed head raising. *HISS* The sound loud enough to be heard above the pounding storm.

Quinn stares at both of them, hugging her daughter just a bit closer against her. "No, no… this my daughter, she'll be staying with me. And yes, we know the Gods." Maggie gently corrected their grammar, definitely not familiar with any one true God. She kisses her daughter's hair protectively, trying to keep the girl calm even as the older woman reaches for her. "No, Kalli, we're staying here." And then the snake hisses and Maggie jumps, her heart in her throat. "Shoo! Go! Go away!" She waves one hand at the thing.

"I want to go home!" Kallistei cries, pulling toward the old woman.

"Where you worthy, darlin'?" Tom asks Quinn, tone almost philosophical. "Were any of you worthy to fly away, while that there creature swallowed up everything? Or will you just fly into his jaws again?"

"Tom, we have to go," Cass says. "Pity the girl. But the waters are rising." And she lets go of Kallistei, and ventures with Tom back out into the roaring storm.

Outside is no farm, but a field of water. Waist-high, but they walk through it. "Got to get to the Falls," Tom says. "Lampridis Falls. Got to go back to go forward. Falls are above water, but you've got to follow the lightning…"

Off they go, into the storm which is fast becoming a flood. The waters creeping into the old Quinn farmhouse, whatever floor they're on. Yet the fire does not go out, and serpent seems unperturbed by the water. It slithers toward Quinn and her little girl, belly seeming to skim across the rising waters.

Quinn looks back to the pair, confusion in her face as they wade through the water. Lampridis Falls. That was important. -Why- was it important? She breathes raggedly, but it's too late. Was she worthy? She didn't know. And then she looks back to her house, the stairs which are already beginning to flood. The house wasn't that strong, it'd float away, it wouldn't hold them. And the damn snake was right by the stairs anyway. "Be gone!" Maggie cries at the snake, before she looks back out the door, towards where the fleeing couple was… and then she begins to run. After them, into the water, "Take us!" She cries. A leap of uncertain faith.

Tom and Cass keep walking now, backs to Quinn and her little girl, walking purposefully through the storm. Toward a waterfall in the distance, but one that does seem beyond the clouds. Somehow, the sun has broken there. But outside the waters rise, the rain pounds, and a wave crests as if from an ocean come to earth. Not touching the old couple. They walk on, unimpeded. But the wave crashes toward Quinn, toward her farmhouse. As it descends it takes on a shape. Long body, pointed head, forked tongue. A serpent, crashing toward them.

And the green snake still in the farmhouse, slithering across the water toward Quinn, toward her child. They're caught between them, between the crushing waters and its fangs.

The wave falls, swallowing the farmhouse, smashing it to splinters. But not before the snake leaps, toward Quinn, mouth open, fangs bared…

"Are you worthy of life?"

And then it's all gone. Awake in a jolt, Quinn is back on the Observation Deck. And it's just getting on 18:00.

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