And here’s Chapter 45: In Blessed Ignorance.
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.
Time to take the blinders off.
In Blessed Ignorance
Jack stood atop the Pegasus on Amira’s insane observation deck, and he wondered what kind of mental sickness inspired a person to put an outdoor deck on a spaceship. That brought back memories of sitting by the fire with Jess, flipping through her psychology textbooks while accusing one another of having various disorders. When the memory passed, he felt pain just as fresh as the day he finally accepted that she was gone.
As he zoned out watching the multitude of Yuon Kwon rush about like bees in a hive, he felt an unusual tingle along his shoulder. He turned and saw a ghost standing on the other end of the deck, a glowing apparition made of muscles that twisted about each other like pumpkin vines.
Jack said, “That camouflage of yours is pretty effective when you’re standing still.”
The image on Kai’s uniform melted away, revealing the alien interrogator in all his fascist regalia. He said nothing, but stood with strength pent up inside him.
“What’s going on, Kai?”
The interrogator relaxed. “I had to make sure it was you,” he said.
Jack smiled. “Yeah, I haven’t even seen myself in a mirror yet. I must look pretty weird.”
Kai walked forward cautiously, watching Jack with rapt attention the whole way. He stopped several paces off and said, “Then you don’t remember.”
The whispering voice inside of Jack said, “Forget.”
An impression flashed in his mind’s eye then was gone. “Forget,” the voice commanded more harshly.
Jack saw a hallway with Kai standing opposite him, nothing but a brainless pile of mud standing in his way. He’d felt anger so acrid and undilute that it pushed all other considerations aside. Another flash revealed another hall, this one stained by the other lumps of mud who exploded so easily at his touch.
All to kill the demon bitch.
They belonged to a nightmare that had tormented him in the moments before waking up in the snow outside Amiasha. And once he had hold of them, the details began to coagulate; they formed clumps that chained together, becoming more and more complete.
“Rage,” the voice inside of Jack seethed, and under his breath, he said, “Hush.”
“Jack,” Kai said uneasily, “do you remember?”
And he did. Through a fog that tried to keep him away, he could see and feel it all. He hadn’t lost control… he’d cast it aside, and begged at the altar of a dark fire that hungered for death. Given strength beyond all reason, he’d marched across a waking dream to stab at her heart.
Jack looked Kai in the eye and said, “I’m sorry… I don’t remember.”
Disappointment slackened the alien interrogator’s body. “Why do you lie to me, Jack?”
He looked down at his red hand. He flexed the too long fingers, at once marveling at and terrified by the thing he’d become. He looked back to Kai and said, “Because the lie has to start somewhere. If they knew… if anyone ever suspected I had this power and was capable of an atrocity like that…”
Kai said nothing.
Jack looked in the tortured creature’s eyes, and he said, “I would never have a chance to atone.”
Kai ducked his head in understanding. After a long pause, he said, “I can’t pretend to understand what you’ve been through. All I know is that I’ve finally discovered the force that could cause your light to flicker, and its very existence fills me with fear.”
Memories cut through Jack’s mind, Eireki recollections transmitted from the dying and passed down from one mind to the next. Each recipient had solemnly sworn to never forget.
These memories revealed to Jack what it was like to be destroyed inside by Nemesis’ psychic scream, and it was much the same as he suffered at the hands of Legacy. The realization filled him with a purely animal hatred that caused Hush to giggle with lustful glee.
And with that, Jack knew he could never rest until he saw the Nefrem stopped.
Coming up next is Chapter 46: Midwife, which will be here later tonight.
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