Burning in the Void – Chapter 9

transfer _Dominic / Sera

The Fool had her.

She was pinned to the floor and, struggle as she might, the Fool held her arms in an iron grip against her chest. She screamed, spat, clawed at him. No matter how hard she fought, how bitterly she cursed, she couldn’t seem to harm the vile creature. He continued to glare at her with his one real eye, while the other eye vomited tangled wires that connected to the blasphemous black device melded into the side of his head.

She knew then that the Fool was truly a demon, and she was damned for believing his lies. There was no salvation for her. No chance to confess her sins and reveal those of Rigel, the master who had lead her wrong. She would be chained to a plinth in the center of the market and left to die of thirst. The streets would run with her blood as her rotting corpse decomposed and then, when nothing remained but leathery skin and brittle bone, her remains would be cast into the deep passages.

She would never be returned to her people. Never be united with god.

Sera screamed again, pouring all of her anger, and fear, and hatred, and pain into a ragged shriek that tore out of her throat tasting of blood and bile.

The world went black again.

“Kamon, get a suit on,” Dominic ordered, nodding to one of the emergency pressure suits hanging in the airlock locker.

“After I have her dressed.”

Dominic suppressed the urge to snap back at her that she was more important than the refugee woman, at least to him, so she’d better get her damned suit on, but he knew it would do no good. Everything was going so well, he thought as he watched Kamon and Paulo hurriedly wrap the unconscious woman in a filmy emergency pressure suit. I was bored, but we were happy together. And isn’t that what matters?

Despite the knowledge that the strange woman’s sudden arrival had disrupted what had been, until that moment, the longest single period of argument-free time he and Kamon had shared, Dominic felt the warm wave of excitement beginning to rise within him. He was finally back in the game.

“How long do we have?” Paulo asked.

Dominic looked through the viewport set into the outer hatch of the airlock, past the crystalline tube connection unit, and beyond to where the dark hull of the ship curved away beneath their feet. The hatch opened into a niche built into the outer hull of the great cylinder that comprised shaft three, designed to allow maintenance workers to step out onto the hull of the shaft without being thrown into space. Beyond the ledge outside the airlock was a wide opening in the hull, to Dominic’s perspective this hole was in the floor, originally intended to provide access to the outer hull. In this particular location, however, the Melder engineers had covered the opening in a translucent structure that formed a secondary airlock and also served as the only means of accessing the transfer tube that has been constructed between shaft three and shaft four.