Across The Universe

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

Chapter 39 (v.1) - 39

Submitted: November 07, 2018

Reads: 34

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Submitted: November 07, 2018



It must have been miles, the salvage team taking turns to carry the girl, while Trick and Nova walked far behind the rest.  When they could no longer smell the scent of the bomb, or hear the clean-up crew coming to the scene, they rested.



Destroying Trick’s jacket, Nova created a haphazard wrap for his arm, the pressure first escalating the ache before letting it dwindle into almost nothing.  She put his other arm in a sling, moving the chain to his belt.  He could get free by undoing his belt, but at the moment it seemed implausible to even think about it.  Besides, he had a feeling Nova would have noticed him struggling to get his belt off in a bid to escape.



Somehow, it was spoken between them when food was to be shared, and Nova prepared for this by undoing whatever she had done to his face.  Trick moved his mouth around, trying to get rid of the pins and needles sensation in his tongue, lips, and cheeks.



When he stopped making faces at her, Nova pressed some dried sheets of food into the hand of her better arm.  If he leaned awkwardly forward, he would have been able to feed himself.  Instead, he decided he’d rather be a nuisance.  “Why are you dragging us along?”  He demanded, pointing at the little girl.  Nova ignored him, pointing at the food in his hand.  “No, I know you understand me, so what’s the plan?  Did you look for survivors?  Or were you content with the damage your bombs did?”



Nova grimaced at him, a look of confusion on her face as she tipped her head to the side as she watched him.  “Those were your bombs,” she stated with absolute authority, with no hesitation or doubt.






She tugged on the front of her rotting shirt.  “We don’t have bombs, not the things to make them,” she said.



“Then you stole them,” he said, and she frowned at him.



“I would imagine your weapons would be better protected,” she said, pointing at the rest of the group, some of which were staring at them.  “Do you think we could steal from your compounds and soldiers?  It doesn’t speak much of you if you think so.”



The leader came up and a heavy hand landed on her shoulder.  She flinched and slapped the hand away, nodding irritably.  The leader stared at Trick a moment, leaning down to put its face in his before going back a safe distance where the others were sitting.



“You could pass for human,” he told her, and she didn’t look impressed.  He wondered if he had just insulted her, he wondered if supras strove to look as far from human as possible.



“We’re taking you to feed Stella,” she said finally, opening her mouth wide to tap her fangs.



He had a feeling that she was presuming that he knew who the hell Stella was, but he had to admit he was drawing a blank.



She jerked her head at him.  “Eat, it’s your last chance for a long time,” she told him, picking up the chain.  To be spiteful, Trick threw the food on the ground and she smacked him in the side of the head.  “Stupid,” she said, getting to her feet and hauling on the chain until her joined her.



They walked a fair distance, the sky dimming as the sun finally, mercifully, began to lower, after seventeen hours of it bearing down on them.



Spotting the girl in the many arms of of one of the supras, Trick was concerned about how her head lolled on its shoulder.  She looked dead.



Speeding up slightly, Trick, came abreast Nova.  “What’s wrong with her?”  He nodded at the kid.



“You talk too much,” Nova declared, ignoring him until he got in front of her.  “It’s called sleep, I imagine it’s not a completely foreign concept to you.”



“She just saw her whole life, family included, get nuked, and she’s just going to go comatose in the arms of a monster?”  Trick said, nearly swallowing his tongue as he came to the belated realization that its not smart to call monsters that to their faces.



Nova leaned in.  “Shut up, or the chain will go around your neck,” she advised, turning on her heel, dragging him along after her.



Walking deep into the night, they stopped one last time, this time in front of a lake, and Trick presumed that they were going to stop for the night, until he saw one come out of the water, pointing at a certain spot in the lake.  One by one, they adjusted their hauls so that they sat high on their shoulders and heads, before wading in.  Watching, Trick saw that the water was ridiculously deep, but that didn’t stop the first ones.  The tall ones stood up straight but the water came up high on their faces, sometimes leaving only their eyes above water.  Shorter ones lifted their things up in the air, never slowing as the water totally engulfed them, rushing over their heads.  When they got to the other side, they just kept moving, as if they had never even touched water.



When it came time for their turn, the girl was woken up and lifted high above her carrier’s head, her back in its hands, not struggling or fussing, seeming completely fine with the precarious position.  Going through the water, it just barely missed touching her back.



Then it was their turn, and Trick didn’t like the idea of going in.  It was deep and rushing, not to mention the fact that if something went wrong, he wasn’t going to be the best swimmer.



Nova took off his sling and wrapped it around her waist, before tugging at his leash to get him moving.



“No,” he told her firmly.  “I’m not going in.”  Tired of talking, she wrapped her long fingers around his forearm and pulled it straight out in front of him, making him nearly double up from the pain.  With the chain and his arm to lead, she guided him into the water.  It was shockingly icy after the painful heat of the day.  Wading deeper, when the water was at his hips, he felt something solid underfoot.  It felt like a rounded beam.  Feeling further, he realized it was a bridge of sorts, but underwater so that it was hidden, but those who wanted to cross were safe if they knew where to step.



It was reassuring to have something solid under him, until the water reached his neck, and he still wasn’t halfway across.  Stopping again, he caused Nova to look back at him.  As if expecting what was causing his apprehension, she played out his leash as she turned and walked backwards, letting the water engulf her completely, showing him that it was safe.



The leash pulled taut, and against his will, Trick was pulled forward, his shoes catching on the beams beneath him.  Something went wrong, and the bridge disappeared from beneath him.  Plunging into the icy water, Trick kicked at the water, trying to find something solid as his half-good arm flailed uselessly, turning him over.



As he began to panic, Something solid wrapped around his middle, wrenching him back and up.  Breaching, he coughed even as he struggled to breath.



A thought electrified him as he was hauled backwards, and he listened to it, slamming his feet down, jarring his ankle when his shoes made connection with the bridge.

Stand, a thought came to him, and he pushed away from Nova to find that the water didn’t come past his middle.



“Thanks,” he coughed, wiping the salty water out of his eyes.



She looked at him a long moment, then shook her head.  “I’m an idiot,” she told him, shaking her head before continuing on, dragging him after her.

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