Across The Universe

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

Chapter 30 (v.1) - 30

Submitted: September 05, 2018

Reads: 53

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Submitted: September 05, 2018

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"You knew," Adrian said, and Ortega shrugged, as he leaned against his supply cabinet in the back of the storage room.

 

"Of course I knew," he said.  "She knew something was abnormal, so she came to me.  The thing I didn't know what who the father was.  I would have never thought you were so sneaky."

 

"How-- how--"

 

"Not long," Ortega told him, then smiled.  "How could it be long?  You might have a more accurate guess than me."

 

Adrian leaned on his knees, still trying to take it all in.  "And nothing's wrong . . . with it?"

 

Ortega's cheerful air shrunk.  "You see, I'm not an obstetrician.  I know enough to use it in a pinch, but all said and done, I really would rather you two had waited for the second team to arrive," he stated.  "As far as I can see, there has been no ill effects, but I am dealing without countless unknown variables.  What is healthy for a supra fetus?"  He hesitated.  "From one scientist to another, maybe this is why you were the last to know?  She can be too logical about certain things, but she does try to spare people their feelings."

 

Adrian put his face in his hands.  "I understand it's not your field, but do you know," he stopped, holding his breath.  "How likely she'll . . . she'll go to term?"

 

Closing his eyes, Ortega thought about it.  "I would say, despite recent happenings, she's a strong, healthy young woman, so she would have as good of odds of any human female in her condition," he said.  "I will be willing to risk saying that as far as I can see, she's going to be fine, and so is your kid."

 

The word stuck in Adrian's head as well as throat.  They had never really talked about it, but-- He smiled to himself as he shook his head.  This was just the worst time for them to become a family, especially with someone trying to kill Daisy.  The thought struck him, and he got up.  "I'm just--"  Ortega waved him off.

 

"Tell her I'm going to give her hell later for being stupid again," he called after Adrian, as he was running for the door.

 

Sitting on her cot, Daisy stretched her back, running her hands over her bandages to feel how bad or deep the wounds beneath were.  She looked up when she caught a flash of him outside the room, and gestured for him to come in.

 

"You bastard," he said, the door barely shut in time.

 

"What did I do this time?"  She asked, and he sat heavily beside her.

 

"You nearly died," he told her.  "Again."

 

"That's not my fault," she said.  "The arm broke as soon as it was maneuvered into place."

 

"What?"

 

"I was stuck," she said, looking at him.  "If Max didn't pry me out, I'd be dead right now."  She shifted uncomfortably.  "It had been tampered with, Ari, same with my suit."  She looked at him long and hard, daring him to call her a liar, but he didn't doubt a single word.

 

Adrian was just about to tell her about the calcium nitrate when there was a deafening sound of an alarm.  They both reacted, to it, but Daisy was too unsteady to go see what it was.  She gave him a little push, and he went, following the crowd to find that the main airlock had been tampered with.  To keep from someone accidentally opening the outer door, there was a two part lock system so that there was someone opening it from the safety of the hub, while someone in the airlock placed a card over a reader or punched a code.  Someone had bypassed both of them.

 

The chatter of the crowd ended as Karin's body was carried in, her body badly burnt where it had been exposed, her face mottled purple from suffocation.  Those carrying her moved slowly.  There was no need to rush, that was clear.

 

Watching her go, Adrian wondered if Ortega was at least trained a little in autopsies.  Adrian found himself watching Niemand who was right across from him.  Niemand stared back for a moment or two before shifting uncomfortably and leaving with the last of the crowd.  Despite his gut instinct telling him to go after Niemand, Adrian went to see Evers instead and tell him about what Daisy had said about her suit.

 

Adrian had just barely finished speaking when he was ordered to keep it under a tight lid.  "AN investigation is needed before we make any hard calls," Evers stated emphatically.  "These people were your friends- are, but as awful as what happened is, we need proof, not prejudices and contempt."

 

"But that's the thing, you're never going to have proof," Adrian said, agitated.  "You will have bodies, instead.  We have nothing to use for a murder investigation, no resources of that nature.  The locking mechanism . . . it-- it is not in Karin's field, it's in Niemand's.  You and I both know that."

 

"We don't know what happened," Evers insisted.  "And Karin might not have been working on the tech of the hub, she was by no means ignorant of how to manipulate electronics."

 

Adrian ran a hand over his face, his ears ringing with Charlie's words.  A thought occurred to him.  "Everyone thinks Daisy is the unspoken leader of the supras, right?"  He nodded.  "Well, what would happen, do you think, if she died under suspicious circumstances?  You might not want to think that there's a person behind this, but that calcium nitrate didn't get in the suits by accident, and with the rest it is just too much of a coincidence, wouldn't you say?"

 

Evers nodded slowly, tapping his fingers on his desk, thinking.  "I'll tell her not to travel around alone," he sighed, and they both knew that was a feeble defense.  "It's the best I can do right now without causing an outright divide or riot."

 

Knowing it was the best he was going to get, Adrian left.  He swung by the med centre on his way back, finding that Max was in no better shape than he had been before.  When it became apparent that he wouldn't wake up any time soon, he went back to Daisy, wondering if it was an appropriate time to broach the subject of her pregnancy.  He thought about Karin and decided not.

 

He told her what happened, and at first there was a glimmer of emotion before she swallowed it.  She leaned on his shoulder, not saying a word.  He knew they had been friends, even though they had been distant lately, Karin unable to figure out how to bridge the growing gap between the two of them.

 

Feeling a touch of dampness on his shoulder from his shirt, Adrian wrapped an arm around her middle.  There were few that knew that absolute agony that Karin had gone through, and Daisy was one of them.

 

"I don't think she did it to herself," Adrian found himself saying.  "I think someone carried her out and then abandoned her."

 

"The shock," Daisy mumbled, shaking her head.  "She wouldn't have made it far."

 

Turning slightly, Adrian watched Ortega coming towards them, ready to discharge Daisy so that he had a place for Karin to rest until they figured out what to do with her body.


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