Long Fall — Chapter 16

Story time, peeps. Today’s episode is Chapter 16: Legacy. It’s short and completely devoid of action, but it covers an important piece of context that’s key to the story. Big wheels are in motion…

If you’re just joining Biotech Legacy: Long Fall, you can find all of the preceding chapters right here at the Oktopod Blog.

The previous novel, Biotech Legacy: Stars Rain Down, is currently available exclusively through Amazon.

Let’s get started, eh?


Chapter 16
Legacy

She’s delirious.

Legacy heard Donovan’s tiny and constrained voice through the interface, but it was dim, insignificant, and entirely lost amid the seething chaos inside of her.

She was multitudes of mind, a million facets of a single voice that worked both separately and together. She was all of those many voices, and also the singular being which arose from their chorus. Poor Donovan was just one lonesome entity connected to her through the thinnest, numbest nerve. And at this moment, he was simply too subtle to fight back against all that had become deafeningly loud within her.

Her minds screamed at one another.

After all these eons alive but detached from her Eireki, she’d grown despondent. All became loneliness and longing, salved only thinly by these new, deaf Eireki. When she screamed and howled and cried out, they could never hear her, no matter how madly she carried on. She anguished while they walked blithely around her insides, as unresponsive to her as ghosts or animate piles of mud.

Bitterness devoured her from within.

But then came a point of light. It glimmered bright like a meteor burning up on its way to kiss the ground, illuminating the entirety of her consciousness. It was all she’d longed for, the answer to an urge that had grown irresistible through the long ages of her exile.

There had never been a need for Legacy to resist it anymore than these Eireki might resist speaking, listening, singing. But without an outlet, her need had festered until the wound solidified into a great and puckered scar.

She reached out to the light by instinct, touched his mind, and realized that he could hear her.

Rapture.

Her thoughts had embraced him. Consumed him. She found within him something familiar, a point of infinite brightness that was unmistakably Eireki. But her voice had grown unimaginably loud in her cage of ancient silence, and with it she had destroyed him.

Her voice was a terrible weapon. She’d become Nemesis.

Just as suddenly as she’d touched him, she recoiled in horror. In disgust. Despite her panic, her self-hatred, her need to correct the wrong, all that remained was to comfort his faltering spirit as he died.

She cradled him softly and whispered to him. She tried to allay his fears, and waited for his light to flicker out.

But it didn’t. Through the universe’s infinitely strange will, he somehow didn’t die.

It took all of her strength to retract from the wounded child while the animate mud-clumps aboard her rushed the young Eireki to safety. They ferried him into a chamber within her which had been formed long ago to shield captured Nefrem from the demon mother’s influence, where Juliette St. Martin had wisely chosen to build her healing center.

Once Jack Hernandez was safe, Legacy collapsed into her sadness. She consumed herself with fury, open rebellion, and clawing agony, allowing her soul to plummet into a gravity well so strong that no amount of her flickering light could escape it, far across the sea of stars from the gentle touch of of Donovan’s quiet but soothing voice.

She screamed again and again into the void, but heard no reply, no echo. She heard only darkness and her own torment. She deserved that and more. She deserved to face oblivion.

Maybe there was a chance, though. Maybe she had enough strength left to reach out one more time. She would use just one mind. Just one tiny tendril with the barest of her strength borne upon its back. Maybe that last flash of desperation could escape the event horizon of her pain.

She girded herself, reached out through a connection as thin and fragile as a thread of silk, and when she touched Donovan’s consciousness, he fell to the floor and began to cry.


Next up is Chapter 17: After the Throne, coming your way in just another few days.

~Chris

Copyright 2013. All rights (currently) reserved.

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