Authors: Colin Weldon
Barrington listened intently. Tyrell paused and looked at the captain.
“Why don’t you ask me what you really want to know, Captain?” he stated.
Barrington hesitated. He had wanted to kill Tyrell when Carrie had told him that The Black had taken control of his body. Somehow that anger was beginning to surface. He didn’t answer, but thoughts of Jennifer began to flood his mind.
“Why did you kill her and not Tyrell?” he said softly. Tyrell stared at him blankly for a moment before responding.
“The deaths of those who came before this one were not intentional,” Tyrell finally said.
“What?” Barrington said.
“Communication with your species could only be achieved by bonding,” Tyrell said, “We attempted it with several others including your wife, but the molecular cohesion was unknown to us and the attempts failed,” he said.
“So you liquefied them?” Barrington said letting the anger spill over into his voice.
“Your biological make-up needed to be ascertained. Once the information was known to us, the bonding with this one became possible,” Tyrell said unmoved.
Barrington looked at the floor trying to contain his sadness at the loss of his wife.
I’m sorry, Jen
, he thought to himself. He sighed and tried to regain control.
“It was an accident?” he asked Tyrell.
“It was necessary,” Tyrell responded.
“What do you want with Carrie? Do you know why she has her abilities?” he said focusing his eye on the doctor. Tyrell stood suddenly and moved slowly towards the glass.
“Captain, I mean you and your crew no harm,” Tyrell said, “I can help her. I can help you. If I wanted to cause harm to this vessel, this chamber would not stop that from happening,” he said.
Barrington stood and took a step towards the glass.
“I think me decompressing this deck and blowing you out an airlock would prevent that from happening,” he said forcefully. Tyrell raised his hands.
“There is no need for idle threats, Captain. Carrie is far too important for me to cause her harm. Not to mention she poses a greater threat to me than an airlock, wouldn’t you agree?” he said smiling.
Barrington thought about that for a moment and had to agree that Carrie’s ability was probably one of the only reasons that he had kept Tyrell alive at all. He sighed and stepped away from the glass turning his back to Tyrell.
“Fuck it,” he finally said moving to the control panel and tapping in a command. The glass to the brig slid apart. Tyrell frowned and genuinely looked surprised at him. He stepped out of the chamber and approached the captain. Barrington held his ground as the pair met in the middle of the quiet room.
“Thank you,” Tyrell said. Barrington watched him carefully.
“Now,” he continued, “How can I be of assistance?”
Quarters of Carrie Barrington
Carrie stepped into her quarters and looked around. It looked like someone had tossed the place, then she remembered the unsettling transition from hyperspace. A table lay on its side in the middle of the room. She walked over and slowly picked it up. The light from a passing star drew her attention to a spot of dried blood on her sleeve. She paused and looked at it before staring out at the billions of passing stars. She thought about the image of her mother she had seen during her battle with the Targlagdu. A sudden wave of exhaustion exploded from inside as she let go and began to cry. She stood alone in the centre of her room and let it happen. She was suddenly startled by a chime from behind her. It was David Chavel. She could sense him. She sniffed and wiped the tears from her face before taking a deep breath. She walked to the door catching a reflection of herself in a wall mirror. She fixed her hair and took a second before opening the door. He smiled at her.
“May I come in?” he asked. She hesitated for a moment before throwing her arms around him and hugging him fiercely in the corridor of the ship. Her tears began to flow again. She pulled back her head and holding his face with her hands kissed him gently. With their foreheads touching, Chavel laughed.
“I’ll take that as a yes then,” he said. Carrie sniffed and nodded. She led him into her quarters by her hand. The two stood in the centre of the room and looked around.
“You okay?” he said, “I thought I’d lost you.” Carrie turned and faced him again, running her finger over his face. She nodded.
She had no idea what to say to the young navigator, so she started with an apology.
“I’m so sorry, David,” she said, “I should have told you earlier, but I thought…” she trailed off.
“Hey,” he said touching her face, “Plenty of time for all that. We just escaped our first contact with a killer planet, you have super powers and we’re lost somewhere in the galaxy, but first things first. You need a shower,” he said laughing.
She laughed with him for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime. She slapped him on the arm.
“Hey, you don’t smell too great yourself, hot shot,” she said.
“Yeah, well, fighting an alien robot will do that to a man. Don’t judge,” he said.
“Shut up. No more talking,” she whispered. She smiled at him before taking her hands and undoing the top button of his flight suit. She began softly kissing him as she continued. She closed off her mind to him. She was tired of listening to thoughts and just wanted to be with him. He reciprocated slowly releasing her from her jump suit. Seconds later they stood in the small pile of clothing, before she stood back and took his hand, leading him into the next room where the shower was. She activated it and led him into the steam filled cubical.
“John, I love you, save Carrie!”
Carrie jolted upright in the bed, opening her eyes, and taking a large intake of air. She could feel the familiar pounding of her heart as the image of her mother covered in The Black liquid echoed around her mind. The sheet fell to her waist and left her naked body exposed to the dim lighting of the nearby twin star system. She felt a warm hand on the small of her back.
“You OK?” said Chavel leaning into her.
She looked around at his concerned face and pulled damp hair behind her ears. She placed her hand on his solid chest and smiled.
“Bad dream again,” she said.
Chavel frowned. She wished she could find a way to shut off her brain at night. The nightmares were starting to become second nature and she dreaded going to sleep at night.
“When are you gonna tell me what’s really going on?” Chavel said gently to her while sitting upright.
He raised his hand up to her shoulder. She didn’t answer.
“Come on, Carrie, I think I’ve earned the right to be allowed inside that fortress of yours,” he said.
Carrie smiled. He had already been inside the fortress. Many times. She sighed and flopped back onto the bed covering herself up with the sheets. The sweat that had beaded down her chest was beginning to make her feel cold.
“I have had the same dream over and over again for the last year or so. Every night. The same one. I see my mother entering the cave and discovering The Black. I see her team sink into it. I see it take her and dissolve her skin and bones. I see her scream out to my father, then I wake up,” she said bullet pointing the experience.
“Jesus,” Chavel said.
“Yep,” she replied. She sighed and decided she would lay it bare. What the hell.
“David, there is something else you should know. Don’t freak out,” she said turning her eyes to his.
“Okay?” he replied, “You mean besides the fact that you shoot lightning bolts out of your hands?” he said raising his eyebrows, “Thanks for not electrocuting me by the way. I was a little nervous that the little David down there wasn’t going to make it out,”
Carrie couldn’t help laughing. She raised her hand up and grazed it against his cheek.
“Little David?” she said continuing to laugh.
Chavel shrugged proudly. The laughter subsided while Carrie gathered her thoughts. There was no easy way to put this, so she just came out and said it.
“I am telepathic,” she said looking straight into his eyes.
She waited while Chavel took what she had said on board.
“What do you mean?” he said looking confused.
“I am telepathic,” she replied again while trying to think of a simpler way to put it. “I can hear thoughts. Everyone’s thoughts. Yours, my father’s, everyone on board if I open my mind to them.”
Chavel sat upright. His mouth was open slightly as he was clearly taken aback by it.
“I don’t get it,” he said, “you can read my mind? As in right now, you can tell what I’m thinking?” he said.
“Yep,” Carrie said expecting him to jump out of bed and run out of the room screaming.
She knew he wouldn’t of course, as his mind was telling her that, while his shock was tangible, he wouldn’t leave her. She gave him a moment in silence as his eyes looked around the room trying to process what she had just said.
“Hang on a second,” he said, “You mean this entire time you have known exactly what I was thinking even before we were together?” he said.
“Pretty much, yes,” she said.
Chavel collapsed back onto the bed covering his face with his hands. She suddenly sensed embarrassment from him.
“Oh my God,” he said behind his fingers.
She leaned over and placed a hand on his chest. It really was embarrassment she was sensing.
“Oh my God what?” she said.
“I’m just remembering Tyrell’s lab. All those visits I made trying to get to talk to you. You must have known what I was thinking when I was talking to you,” he said still holding his hands over his face, “Jesus,” he said turning away from her.
He was of course referring to the highly sexual images that would replay over and over in his mind when they would shake hands. It was something she had learned to process from many of the male members of the colonists that she had encountered. It had been a natural male reaction that she knew was mostly instinctual, so she had been able to segment it into normal male behaviour.
“Hey,” she said pulling him back to face her, “I blocked a lot of that out, you have nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t care about that
stuff. I knew you had genuine feelings beyond the physical. I would not have allowed you to kiss me otherwise,’ she said, “You don’t have to be telepathic to know a man wants to sleep with you, David.”
“Why didn’t you tell me, Carrie?” he said leaving his fingertips on his chin.
He had begun to sweat a little.
“I didn’t want you to think I was a freak,” she said withdrawing from him and lying back on the sheets.
Chavel leaned in towards her and kissed her gently on the cheek.
“First of all, I think all scientists are freaks. And second of all, I’m into hot scientist freaks,” he said smiling at her.
She frowned and threw a pillow at him striking him squarely in the face.
“Hey,” he said mockingly.
He took the extra pillow and propped up his own leaning against them.
“So, when did you know?” he asked.
“I have always known,” she replied, “Ever since I can remember, I could hear others. It was strongest with my mother. She knew when I was a baby. I would do things that other children would not,” she said.
“Such as?” Chavel said.
“Well… she would be at the dresser in our quarters wondering where an item of clothing was and I would suddenly appear with it. Stuff like that. At first she thought it was a coincidence, but then she would do it on purpose.”
“So you know everything about me?” Chavel said.
“No, it doesn’t work like that,” Carrie replied, seeing a hint of disappointment in Chavel’s eyes, “I can only sense emotional states and thoughts at a given moment. If you are thinking about your past, then yes, I can look at that, but I cannot access closed memories.”
Chavel shook his head, then frowned.
“You could sense your mother’s death?” he asked.
Carrie’s dream came rushing back.
“Yes,” she said, “Vividly.”
“And that planet thing?” he asked.
“We got up close and personal, yes,” she said recalling the battle with the core of the Targlagdu.
Chavel looked at her and slowly shook his head.
“Doc Brubaker have any thoughts?” he said.
“She thinks it’s some sort of mutation caused either by a natural change in human biology or an interaction with solar radiation while I was still in the womb en route to Mars. In truth, she has no idea,” Carrie replied.
Chavel suddenly, but gently took Carrie by the hand and placed it on his chest. He looked deep into her striking blue eyes.
“Can you hear me?”
Carrie suddenly heard Chavel’s words in her mind. She smiled and nodded. She opened up her thoughts to his and connected with him. The bond became strong.
, she thought.
“I want you to know that I am in love with you” he said leaning over and kissing her gently.
They kissed softly as the power of their connection grew. Carrie entered his mind as their thoughts began to converge in a storm of passion and free flowing ideas and feelings. Tears began to run down Carrie’s face as a wave of euphoria spread across her body. She threw her arms around him forcing him back onto the bed and wrapped her legs around his torso. They merged into one body and mind as they passionately began to make love. For the first time since Carrie could remember, in that moment, she finally knew what happiness could feel like.