20) Open To My Soul

On the Kultaki starship, Cobishandra stepped off the down lift carrying Anadia. She found an inconspicuous spot. Looking around cautiously, she carefully laid Anadia down to catch her breath. She was on the periphery of the huge hangar area where the scout craft were berthed. Anadia was stirring a little and starting to moan, so she put her hand over her mouth.”Shhhh, my love.”

I should have picked up another pain shot, she thought, but we won’t be here long anyway.

She carefully peered around a corner. Down at the other end of the hangar, several technicians and soldiers were watching a large monitor, trying to stay abreast of the progress with the astral roach.

Cobishandra hoisted up Anadia again and quickly moved up a ramp to the platform alongside the nearest scout craft. She opened the front and put Anadia in the right seat.

She fastened the harness and climbed into the left seat. In a few microns, the scout craft was levitating and moving toward the disembarking module. As Cobishandra looked down, she could see soldiers and technicians rushing to their instruments in an attempt to keep the doors to the disembarking module from opening. They were too late. She had already set the doors in motion by remote control and was picking up speed. The scout craft went through the open doors and slowed. The doors shut behind her. Then the outer doors opened and the scout craft shot out into space.

She had no idea where to go. Behind her was the great silver triangle, the starship of her people, the only home she had ever known … gone from her life forever.

Below them, Miraba was staggering from the near miss with the angry planetoid which had passed and was now streaking toward Miraba’s sun. The magnetic encounter had caused the planetoid to break into three pieces. A cloud of debis swirled behind the broken parts. And out there somewhere above them, a tiny star … to Cobishandra, a mysterious and frightening stranger of opposite polarity with a completely unknown perspective.

Her only thought was to escape but she couldn’t bear the thought of being without Anadia. The trauma and pain must have effected her reasoning. How could she possibly think about transferring onto Pheledra’s lightship? It’s insane … or more likely, the result of muddled thinking. Perhaps we’ll go to the alien base on the darkside of Tarsenay. Or, maybe even Miraba herself. The cataclysm is subsiding and there is enough technology on board this ship to survive and survive well.

Anadia began to moan again. Cobishandra unbuckled and floated to the back of the scout craft to get medical supplies. She gave Anadia another pain shot and an intravenous bottle of fluids to bring her around. She regained consciousness.

“Where am I?”

“Ana, we’ve left the starship. We’re in a scout craft.”

“What do you plan to do, Cobi?”

“As I see it, there are two choices: the alien base on the darkside of Tarsenay, if they haven’t already packed up and left … or … Miraba herself. The cataclysm is subsiding. We could live well there, Ana.”

“Cobi, we would be alone forever.”

“But we have each other.”

“Yes, my love, but we have a destiny to fulfill.”

“A destiny?”

“Yes.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Ana.”

“Cobi, I’ve discovered something about myself.”

“What do you mean?”

“I no longer need to fear and be ashamed of who and what I am. There is a whole new universe waiting and it’s more fulfilling and exciting than anything we’ve ever imagined.”

“Oh, Ana, you are obsessed with this.”

“Perhaps, but my course is set. Like you, I can never go back but, in my case, it’s not only because I’m afraid. I simply must pursue the bliss I’ve experienced.”

“No, Ana, no! You are not thinking rationally! Pheledra and her people are not our kind. They are completely alien, a totally different perspective, an opposite polarity. They never think about what’s good for themselves. They only think about being do-gooders. They don’t understand that it all takes place inside our head … my head, your head. That’s what’s important. Me, first and foremost. That’s the only reality, the only truth.”

“But, Cobi, do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Ana.”

“Touch my soul, Cobi. Feel what’s deep inside me. Let’s find something of value that lasts forever.”

“Forever? You’re born, you die, you’re born, you die. It goes on and on. Each time you grab a few more toys to help out the next time round.”

“Do you love me?”

“You know I do, Ana. I love you more than anything.”

“Then open to my soul.”

Cobishandra began to cry. They kissed, entertwined and fell asleep.

CONTINUE: 21) Self Sufficient Monkey

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