Across The Universe

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


Chapter 32 (v.1) - 32

Submitted: September 17, 2018

Reads: 24

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 17, 2018



Sitting on her bed, Daisy couldn’t force herself to focus on the words written in front of her.  She closed her eyes and fell back on her bed, grabbing for music.  She clicked it on, sighing as Rob Zombie started playing.  It was old music, but she had always liked it.  Adrian hadn’t.  He said it was ugly noise.  He never seemed to get that was the point, and it didn’t seem worth explaining, because it was like the punchline of a joke.



She felt something in the atmosphere shift, and she opened her eyes, looking at Adrian, who looked out of place standing there.  He didn’t seem sure of anything these days, and his awkwardness made her unconsciously wary.  She turned down the music and propped herself up on her elbows.



“You shouldn’t have done that,” he told her, and she sighed, falling back on her bed.  “I don’t think you’re aware—”



She sat up, feeling like pins were being stuck in her.  “I am.  Today, everyone is assuming my thoughts and my feelings.  I’m over it,” she told him in a low voice, frowning.  “I realize the divide, I have been blamed for it on both sides, and I am sick of seeing the looks on the faces of the one side.  I’m tired of people playing tug-of-war, I want them to be sensible.”



  “They’re people, it’s going to be hard for that to happen,” he told her, sitting down on her bed.



“You promised me that they would be,” she reminded him, and he slowly closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  “This has gone too far, Ari,” she told him.  “People have died!  People are trying to kill me, and others are having their lives threatened.  Max had his room destroyed for speaking out against Niemand, and you’re telling me that I shouldn’t chastise Charlie for saying he doesn’t see me as human.”  He looked at her a moment.  “I know.  I know, I’m not human, but do you know what happens when someone is no longer seen as human?  They lose their agency, their intelligence, their personhood.  A technicality should not keep me from being treated with respect, it shouldn’t leave me looking over my shoulder, afraid of being murdered or raped!”



“I know,” he promised her, taking her hand, and she squeezed his fingers spitefully.



  “They might mock you, but we’re in danger, and you’re sitting on the sidelines, doing nothing.”



He made a clicking sound, and she saw his colour rise.  “And what am I supposed to do?  Please tell me, since you have all the answers!”  He snapped.



  “You could do anything, but you don’t want to make waves, just like before.  I’m begging you, Adrian, please!  More people are going to die if this is not brought to a close.  You could do anything, even if it’s just refusing to work on the serum, you could speak to Evers and tell him that we need to have the others mutated.”



“It’s not that easy,” he shook his head, and she felt like strangling him.



“I never said it would be easy,” she told him, putting his hand in her lap, petting the back of his fingers.  “They won’t listen to me, but they will listen to you because you’re still human, they think I have an agenda, but I just want it to stop, Adrian.”  She sighed and leaned her head on his shoulder, pressing her face into his neck, but there was nothing, it was like touching something dead but still warm.  “Five people know I’m pregnant right now,” she said.  “But the rest will find out soon enough.  Do you think the malice will stop at adults?”  She pulled back and looked in his face, seeing that he knew where she was going with this.  “They will kill it, because they will see it as an abomination, there will be no mercy.”



He covered her mouth with his hand and leaned against her, squeezing her tight, unable to listen to the horror story any more.  “I’ll do my best, but they won’t listen to me, you know it,” he told her.  “They don’t want to lose what little they have.”



She pulled away so that his hand fell from her face.  “Then do one thing for me,” she pleaded.  “Take it yourself.”  She saw him hesitate, knowing what it would mean, the risk of ostracization at the time was dangerous, yes, but they would certainly stop listening to him what little they had.



“I can’t.”



  “I can’t keep living like this.  It’s like I see you on a screen, but you’re not here, I can’t feel you, and it’s driving me insane.  It’s this barrier I can’t move around, and I see you, I hear you, but it’s not enough!  I need you too, but you’re somewhere I can’t get to.”  She wrapped her arms around her middle, feeling like she was about to break into a thousand piece.



Adrian held her close, but the contact felt numb, like a thousand layers of fabric between them, like she was filled with a nerve blocker.  She pulled away, shaking her head at his assurances that he was still there.

  “It’s just not enough.  I—I—you can’t understand it, but it’s like . . . it’s like there’s no air.  When I’m with you, there’s no air, and I can’t breathe.  I touch you, and I don’t feel anything, and there’s supposed to be something there, but it’s just dead air.”



  “Maybe you should have listened to me on the station,” he told her, and she grabbed his hands, internally recoiling at the senseless touch.



“I don’t want anyone else, and I don’t need them, I just need you to take the plunge,” she said, and kissed him.  “I need you, Adrian.”



He petted her hair out of her face, running his fingertips over his cheek.  “I’ll do it,” he promised.  “I’ll talk to Evers first, see if he’ll forget the deadline, and make them listen.”  He sighed, then half-laughed. 



“Charlie’s not going to be happy.”



Daisy closed her eyes, not liking the way he just seemed to disappear when she did it.  “I don’t care,” she declared, leaning into him.



There was a problem with Charlie, but not in the way that had been suspected; Charlie was assaulted and his attacker had forced the needle of a hydraulic syringe into his neck, forcing him to take the serum.



Max had been talking to Evers about the investigation, and Daisy had been with Adrian.  It was well-known that Charlie hadn’t wanted to change, but since he was on friendly enough terms with the supras, it was just as likely his attack had been from either side from people wanting to finish waiting for peace, or from a more malicious mindset.



He hadn’t seen his attacker, and he had been shoved to the ground as soon as the injection happened, never seeing them as they ran away.



The hub was put on lockdown, everyone who was upright was ordered to the main body of the hub, the exception being Nymadawa and Nunia, who were watching over the recently changed.



It was plain to see that Evers was in over his head.  Even as he explained what had happened, little tells told of an underlying anxiousness.



It was dubbed a violent assault, and he said that Charlie had been violated, which Daisy agreed with, though she couldn’t help but feel some small relief that there was one more down.  There were only nineteen humans left, and soon it would be eighteen.  She squeezed Adrian’s hand, as she listened to Evers talk about not resting until the culprit had been found, and punished for harming Charlie as well as ignoring his rights.



There were cameras, but they weren’t set up, so there was nowhere to start except to ask everyone, and hope that the innocent had verifiable alibis.



After the announcement, Daisy went to the medi-centre, followed closely by Adrian.



Charlie was sitting on the table, looking thoroughly shaken, looking like he was waiting for his last moments.



“I’m so sorry,” Daisy told him, taking his hand, and he smacked her away.



“I would have thought you’d be happy,” he said bitterly, not looking at her.  “This was what you wanted, isn’t it?”



“Not like this,” she told him, shaking her head, frowning.  “Never like this, Charlie, you know that.  I never wanted you to get hurt.”



  “Well, it’s pay back for you being my fault, isn’t it?”






“She didn’t do this, you know she didn’t,” Adrian told him.  “She was with me.  Daisy would never do—”



  Charlie spat. They just think she’s better than Jesus, why on earth would they ever listen to her—”



  “I’m sorry you were attacked, I hope they didn’t hurt you.”  She left the room, feeling sick.  She looked around the hub, at the people who were being interviewed.  Somewhere in this mess, there were at least two people who couldn’t be trusted, and at least one of them was deadly.



She saw Max, and he noticed her, hold up his hand in greeting.  “I didn’t do this,” he said, when he was close enough to not be yelling.



  “I know,” she assured him.  “I just wish I knew who did.”



“Well, at least we know that it’s down to forty-seven possible people,” he said, then looked at her.  “Do you still think I’m an asshole?”



  We all have our flaws,” she said, looking around, waiting to seem some glimmer in someone’s face or some quirk that pointed out who it was.  If it had been a human, it was more sinister, it was a violent act that would start the war, and with them being outnumbered, they would lash out more and more.



  How did you come to that number?”  She asked, shaking her head, trying to think.



Because there’s us four,” he nodded back at the medi-center, and Daisy looked in time to see Adrian and Charlie yelling at each other.  “And then there is the eleven out sick, and then there’s Evers.”  She looked at him for a moment.  “What?  You think Evers would do this?  I don’t think he’s that kinda guy.”



  “No, he’s not,” she said, and Adrian cocked his head, well aware that she was leaving something out.  He touched her arm, and she looked away.  “He’s one of us,” she whispered, just as he felt that it was true.  “He changed as soon as we got to the station, and he had me cover for him.  He didn’t want people to know because he was worried that this sort of situation would arrive, and he wanted to be able to keep the peace.  It’s just you and me that know, so don’t tell.  Can you imagine the hell that’ll break loose if the rest find out?”



She felt a flash of something go from her to him, and he frowned.  As he tightened his grip to get a clearer picture, she pulled away from him.  He looked at her.  “You’re keeping secrets,” he said, and she took a step back, out of reach.



  She asked, her tone tight, the message clear.



“I’m just wondering why you need to,” he said, holding up his hand.  “I thought we were all in this together.  You know me, so why are you keeping secrets?”  He held out his hand and she sighed, letting him pull her close.



“But that is mine,” she told him, and he nodded, touching his forehead to hers, and she felt the little sparks jumping from one body to the other.  She felt shaky and relieved, at peace with the connection.



  A voice said so suddenly that they jumped, quickly letting go of each other as if they had been caught doing something wrong.  She looked at Adrian, and he walked away, leaving her to chase after him.  He grabbed her arm when she was alongside him, and pulled her into her cubical, her hip hitting her desk.  Quickly, she set her hand on the pod, stabilizing it.



“If you can’t get it from me, you’ll get it from someone else,” he said, and she stared at him.



“I thought you were through with this,” she said, clenching her jaw.  “You know what that was—”



“Yes, I do.”



  She all but shouted at him.  “Why do you have to do this?  Why are you jealous, when time after time, I tell you that it’s you?  Not an hour ago, I was begging you to join me, and you think I’d just run to Max moments after?!”



  He asked, crossing his arms, coming closer.  “You pretend that you don’t, but I think you enjoy it, having so many admirers.”



  “And he knows how I feel about you.  Heaven help me, I don’t know why I feel anything for you when you treat me like this!  Why do you do this?  I don’t give a rat’s ass about ‘admirers’, but if it wasn’t you, do you think I would have kept this?”  She pointed at her stomach, and he took a step back.  “Do you think I plan to keep it for a science experiment?  Or maybe you think I rather complicate my life further than it already is, despite it being an unbearable mess!”



He looked at his feet, and she felt a stab of guilt, but she couldn’t always be chasing after him, making him feel better for his jealousy, assuring him that he would always be the only one.



“If you don’t want it, don’t keep it,” he told her, and she felt a tear slip loose and she angrily wiped it away.  “I don’t want to be the cause for your unhappiness, but I think you blame me for that already.”



“You miserable, little man,” she said quietly, putting a hand to her face.  “I kept it, because it’s part of you.  I kept it, because even after all of this, I still love you, and you never believe me.  You didn’t believe me when I first said it, and I don’t think you believe me now.  How could you, when you can’t see to it to trust me?  I’ve trusted you with my life, over and over again, and all I ask is for you to trust me with the truth . . . why can’t you?”



“I do trust you,” he told her, and she looked him over, before shaking her head.



“No, you don’t,” she sighed, resting her hand on his shoulder before walking away, her head bent, feeling like she was suffocating.

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