July 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
Liz felt slightly queasy as they traveled through the tunnel linking the little, nameless world on the fringes of the galaxy to Home. Partly it was the tunnel itself. They had to link minds and focus their will to make it, which as always left Liz feeling uneasy. She didn’t like letting anyone into her thoughts, not even Belan. Furthermore, the way Belan was feeling leaked through the link, like water spraying from a bad junction of pipe or a hose improperly connected. It reminded Liz of summers spent trying to hook up a sprinkler to stay cool in a heat so dry that it squeezed sweat out of you, where even the hot dusty breeze coming off the quarry felt good. Behind her calm, Belan was terrified.
Liz didn’t scare, really. She’d spent years fighting not only her own memories, but every kind of awful thing sapients can do to one another. She’d stopped brain pirates from decapitating victims to crack their skulls open at leisure and clone the tissue for control technology or use the glands for psychoactive compounds, she’d destroyed slavers and dealt with hostile star-nations invading helpless planets. It was all part of the job, part of what she’d signed on for. Creatures that shouldn’t exist, derelict old generational ships being cracked open by pirates who killed the sleeping crew, she’d seen and stopped all and more. So while Belan’s terror concerned her, it didn’t actually reach her.
She worried that it was because she didn’t understand, and that when she did, she might actually feel fear. She didn’t want to feel fear. She caused fear. « Read the rest of this entry »