Across The Universe

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


Chapter 33 (v.1) - 33

Submitted: September 22, 2018

Reads: 42

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Submitted: September 22, 2018



Watching the fetus squirm in its pod, Daisy ignored the whispers going on around her.  Charlie had already began the change, it was no worse for him than any of the others, but the mystery of who attacked him was still on many people's lips.  Max had offered to help Evers with the discovery of the culprit, but Daisy wasn't holding out much hope for it.  Meanwhile, Adrian was hiding in his cubical, either trying to work out a new serum or pretending to.


Daisy wondered if anyone else had managed to alienate so many people in so sort a time.  She decided to focus on the fetus instead of contemplating her bad choices.  It seemed to have a fast gestation period, even compared to the sped up one she was forcing on it.  Normally, this level of development this quickly would only be seen in rodents, which gave her the worrying thought that such rapid growth could be the sign of a prey species, meaning that there was something worse than 'bob' out there.  She wondered what it could possibly be, how dangerous that it was that 'bob' would have to try to not only out-breed it, but out-generate it as well.


Leaning on her fist, Daisy was brought back to the fact that 'bob' wasn't seen on any of the rovers' cameras, that meant that it was able to travel by unconventional means.  A thought struck her, and she went to find Nymadawa.


He looked up from fiddling with a motherboard and immediately set it down.  "What's wrong?"  He asked, and she smiled calmly, shaking her head.


"Nothing," she said, but her smile grew, thinking, hoping, that she had the right stick.  "But I'm wondering if, when you're mapping, you've been using the sonic resonator?"


Nymadawa shrugged.  "Yeah, of course I have been, it maps the terrain better than my eyes do," he told her.  "Though, of course I like to use the drones to measure the lines and dips that aren't perceptible to our senses.  It's more accurate than the maps used to be."


She smiled and nodded.  "And, just out of curiosity, which way have you been pointing the resonator?"  She asked, and he frowned at her, giving her a look that told her exactly what he thought of her question.


"Why?"  He asked, and she leaned on his arm, explaining her hunch.  As she spoke, he began to nod before becoming as intrigued as she was.  "I'll grab it and we'll see," he promised, and she followed him to the storage area, offering to carry the motor as he carried the dispatch to the airlock.


Outside, the winds and the rains were still blowing, but had lessened enough that they weren't carried off as well.  Squinting in the storm, they turned on the motor and let it warm up before switching on the dispatch, and Nymadawa lifted it up, but instead of pointing it towards the distant horizon, he aimed it in an angle at the ground.  After a moment or two, readouts began to display on its screen, and he leaned towards Daisy, who began laughing, surprised to see that her hunch was right, or at least probably.  There were great caverns under their feet, easily six metres round, yet less than one and half down.


"Can you show below this first one?"  She yelled over the storm, and Nymadawa nodded, turning up the wattage, and the readout shifted, showing tunnels below tunnels.


"This is amazing," he murmured, shaking his head, before nodding back at the hub.  "What are we going to do?"  He asked in the airlock, and she could see that visions of underground explorations going through his head.


"How about we keep this between ourselves for now?"  She asked, and he looked at her before nodding.


"Of course," he said, knowing exactly her reasoning.  "I'll tell the others," he offered, as the door to the hub slid open.


"Excellent," she said, carrying the battery back to storage.


After setting it back into its place, Daisy ruffled her hair, straightening her back, feeling the flanges on her ribcage wiggle.  She wondered if it was just her, or if they were getting more mobile.


As she neared the door, she couldn't help her steps slowing, sensing before hearing the muted conversation.  She saw the shadows and swallowed her fear as she stepped out into the main part of the hub, not looking at the faces of the humans, even when they started laughing.  Paul stepped in front of her, his hand slapping the wall as he barred her path.


"Not even going to say hello?"  He asked, giving her an ugly smile.  She glanced at the others, before ducking under his arm, moving on, knowing it wouldn't matter if she played the game.


Someone grabbed the back of her jumpsuit and pulled her back, shoving her up against the wall.  "So it's not enough that you're freaks, you've got to start forcing us to be like you too?"  Lucille asked, and Daisy didn't look at her face.  At one point, she knew Lucille had considered her, her friend.


"I didn't do anything," Daisy said, knowing it was pointless.  "I don't know who did.  Charlie is my friend--"


"Was," Paul corrected.  "I don't think he'll want anything to do with you after this."


Daisy sighed, pushing away from the wall only to be shoved right back, a hand pinning her by the chest.  She knew the tensile strength of human bones, and it wasn't much.  She could easily break the man's forearm and leave, but she didn't want to.  Feeling a warmth spread out from the palm holding her still, Daisy closed her eyes, feeling the fear and hatred radiating into her bones from the touch.  So this was how it happened?  She saw a want for her to be bloody on the ground, possibly dying, and she hated that in that moment, she could no longer see reconciliation.  They had let it go on too long, there would be no joining them.


Not listening to the threats, the cold words, Daisy's arm shot out, her palm landing on Lucille's forehead, and soon all any of them could hear was Lucille screaming.


When they were discovered, her would-be attackers were standing as far away from Daisy as possible as Lucille convulsed on the floor.  Ignoring the  questions of what happened, Daisy silently stepped over Lucille and walked to Evers office, waiting for him to come to her.  When the door opened quietly behind her, Daisy wiped her tears away.  "I can communicate through their skin now," she told Evers, who sat in his seat quietly, watching her warily.


"What did you do?"  He asked, and she looked at his face.


"They were going to assault me," she said, then swallowed.  "Again.  I c-- I had to protect myself."


"Mercutio," he prompted, and she closed her eyes.


"I . . . made her feel every pain I've ever suffered," she said, opening her eyes, wiping her face again.  "I had to do something to make sure they didn't hurt me."


He covered his mouth, breathing into his hands.  "What you did was make them afraid of you," he stated, his gaze flicking to the hub behind her.  Already they were gathering.  "They don't need to prove that you actually did anything, your word means nothing to them, just their own."  He realized how he was talking and stopped, taking a deep breath, starting over.  "You've pushed them over, Mercutio, now you're a monster.  They were already, quietly, panicking, and now you've shown that you're dangerous.  I don't care that it was self-defence, I can't make this one better."


"Did you find out who tried to kill me?"  she asked, and he sighed.  "Do you have an idea?"


"I know you do," he muttered.


"Most people do," she countered.  "I was promised safety, and you're the one who promised.  I won't suffer any more because me lying down makes them feel secure as they abuse me-- us!  You're safe because you can hide, but most of us can't.  You hear what they saw, you see what they do.  I-- I don't care that I'm the monster any more, because at least as a monster I can bite back!"


"There are seventeen left, we outnumber them now, they're scared," Evers was almost pleading with her.


"They knew that this was coming," she said, before reaching across the desk, her palm up.  "A contingency plan has been made."  She stopped and exhaled slowly.  "A plan . . . we outnumber them, and we act like we should fear them, we let them push us around."


Evers looked at her, then at the hub, wondering if they could see outside if he touched her.  "Careful, you're starting to sound like Max," he warned.


"I saw what they wanted to do to me," she said, resigned.  "They don't deserve mercy if they cannot afford to give it." 


Sighing, Evers touched her fingertips seeing the assault that had been planned for her, then what she was thinking for back up.  "That doesn't seem pleasant," he remarked, and she blinked at him.


"Do you have a better idea?"  She asked flatly, before flexing her fingers, encouraging him to touch her again.  "You been so alone," she commented.  "How can you stand it?"


He gave her a tight smile.  "We adapt, don't we?"

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