Across The Universe

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 26 (v.1) - 26

Submitted: August 10, 2018

Reads: 65

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Submitted: August 10, 2018



The attempt at sedation killed the Terrian saiga, so a tent was hurriedly put up in the hub so that the scientists could study it without worrying about running out of oxygen.


Sitting on one of the stationary rovers, Max watched the proceeds, ignoring the other bodies jostling against him, fidgeting as they stared in wonder at the first alien that mankind had ever come across.


Pausing as she walked to her station, Daisy shook her head at them.  "You guys are morbid," she commented.


"No, we're just starved for entertainment," Margaret replied, eating a piece of an energy bar.


"Sorry, I stand corrected," Daisy said, continuing on her way.  "You guys are fucked up."


"I would think you'd be joining us, since you're a scientist," Max told her, and she shrugged.


"I do DNA sequencing and biology on the minute scale," she replied stopping.  "My work only goes so far as the tissue samples they give me.  I don't feel the need to see them carving out the samples I need."


Max shook his head, swallowing his squeamishness at the hide being gingerly pulled back to show the muscle layer beneath.  There had been discussion that it might have been the last of its kind, or one of the few, but after its DNA sequencing was given to the rovers' scanners, it was seen that it wasn't in danger of being driven to extinction any time soon.


What Daisy and Charlie were currently working on was cloning the creature that was still lacking in a scientific name.  The theory was that the animal would prove useful in many ways once it was domesticated, the main reason that they could study its instincts regarding the environment.  Something that was literally designed to survive the environment of Terra Mage would definitely be better than any electronic device for following the seasons and finding what was, at least to it, edible.


Unable to stand the desecration of the creature any longer, Max jumped down to see how the cloning was going and was immediately shut out because of the fear of cross contamination.  It was reasonable, but he still felt a small sting of rejection.


Wandering around the hub, Max stopped in front of the hall that lead to the pods, the individual quarters that had taken less than three days to knock up.  He cut back on himself going to the med centre to see how Ortega was hanging in there.  He probably lost consciousness a few hours previous, but Max guessed that he would be waking up soon.


As he went, he sucked in a breath a Niemand passed him going in the opposite direction.  "Fucking freak," Niemand said, just loud enough to be heard.  To his friends, Niemand said, "now they've got both of the medical staff, what the hell are we supposed to do?"


"Die," Max suggested, barely slowing down.


"Excuse me?"  Niemand said, turning on his heel.


Max grimaced and faced him.  "Yeah, sure," he waved his hand dismissively, "you're excused."


 Stomping, Niemand got right in his face.  "What's you're problem?"  He demanded, and Niemand didn't need to be a supra for Max to feel the rage, the itch for a fight, for blood.  Max was getting real tired of walking away, so Niemand was at risk of getting what he wanted.


"I was just wondering if Karin was working with you when you tried to kill Eve, or you just decided to kill her too for the hell of it," Max shrugged, watching his eyes dilate, feeling more than seeing him clench his fists.


"You better walk away, or-"


"So you don't want to talk about it?  I thought it was a fair question," Max said, shifting his weight of his left foot to his toes.  "I mean, everyone one knows you did it, so you might as well-"  He ducked under the fist, caught Niemand's wrist and turned, flinging Niemand over his shoulder onto the floor.  Stunned Niemand looked up at the ceiling of the hub.


Sucking his teeth, Max shrugged, looking at Niemand's friends.  "My dad was a mixed martial fighter, and he taught his boys how fuck people up real good," he warned, and one held up his hands, showing he didn't want a fight, the other one wasn't so sure.  "You guys are making a really shitty impression," Max added, feeling the bitter venom in his words.  "I mean, how the hell are we supposed to welcome you with open arms when you finally join us?"


The one who lingered shook his head, disgusted.  "We're not-"


"Take your garbage with you," Max said, carelessly cutting him off, tipping his head at Niemand, who was starting to cough.Max pointedly turned his back on them, walking away.  "Ever hear about, y'know, burning bridges?"  He called over his shoulder.  "I heard it's a bad thing."


Stopping outside the centre, Max saw that Ortega was sitting up and awake, looking all the world like he wished he was dead.  Blurrily, he looked up and saw Max, who waved at him, only to get a weak echo of it back.  Max tipped his head at the door, and he thought Ortega nodded.


The room had an unbearable scent, but Max kept his face impassive, stinking of everything that had come from the doctor, the ofal and bodily fluid reeking the worst. 


"Feel better now that you got that out of your system?"  Max asked, and Ortega stared at him.


"When it stops feeling like I'm going to literally puke my brain out, I'm going to fucking stab you," Ortega told him, and Max nodded.  That was fair.


"On the plus side, it should be less than a week before you're breathing Terrian air," Max told him, and Ortega shook his head slowly.


"Terrian would mean from Earth," he corrected breathlessly, pointing at his monitor, and Max went over to it.  "Up the morphine sulphate by two and the dimenhydrinate by double."  Max did as told and the machine clicked a few times, then Ortega sighed, looking slightly less green.  "It would be Magian, or something . . . Dunno."


"Still," Max shrugged, crossing his arms.  "You finally get to go out, even if it's only at night at first."


Ortega nodded.  "Then I just burn myself to a crisp like you did and get it overwith," he mused, and Max rolled his eyes.


"Nobody's going to let me live that down, are they?"


"It was stupid."


"I didn't know that it was going to be like that, there's no way I could have," Max protested.


Ortega stared him down.  "Yeah . . . if only there had been a sign on the front door, or maybe the window was screened with protective barriers that lessened on a scale that was grooved to keep it from being accidentally turned up too far," he said sarcastically.


Max put a hand on the table and leaned towards him.  "Look, the first two shades up, I didn't feel anything, so I presumed that it was an overprotective safety measure," he protested, and Ortega held up a hand.


"Sure, sure," Ortega said, and there was a clicking sound as the intercom was activated.  They both looked over at the door to where Evers was standing, his face blank.


"Vereshchagin, out here, now," he ordered, his words clipped.


"Good luck," Ortega muttered as Max walked past the table.


Looking at Evers through the polysilien, a thought struck Max, and he turned back to Ortega.  "When do you think that you'll be up to stabbing me?  Y'know, just so I have a heads up," he said, and Ortega nodded.


"I'll send you a memo," he promised, and Max gave him a thumbs up, before walking out of the room.

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