She held onto the toilet with shaking hands. The worst of the vomiting had passed now, thank God! Taking a deep breath, she flushed it away. Falling back onto her buttocks, she ran her hands over her forehead and through her hair.
God I forgot how much I hated doing that, she thought, groaning.
Closing her eyes, she replayed the fight in her head. Six people, she told herself, were dead now. Why? All because Ferini wanted to make money! The most important thing in the universe, human life, meant nothing to him.
All for him to make a buck, she chided herself for participating. Which you helped him make too!
Soundlessly, the world around her started to fade away. She opened her eyes, finding herself on Earth’s moon. Looking out across a plain, she saw its blue and white globe floating before her.
With a sigh, she looked from Brown. That was the only explanation, she told herself. Who else would take her from Necko to the moon?
She didn’t have to wait long. Appearing before her, Brown didn’t say a word. She walked past Kate, moving with a mission. Kate slipped in behind her, questions brewing in her head.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“Wait and see,” Brown said.
“This is getting damned annoying,” she said. “When you just ‘poof’ whisk me away from what I need to be doing.”
“What ‘you need to be doing,’” Brown said, looking over her shoulder. “Is noting what I show you…it all ties into your life.”
“It all ties into me, how?”
“Didn’t you notice your mother’s role in this?” Brown said. “She found the tech that was used against your ship. The very same tech that is behind the prototype you’re out to stop.”
“I didn’t forget that,” Kate protested.
“Then watch what’s happening,”
Kate fell silent. As they walked, she noted that neither one of them were wearing suits. This had to be a dream, she told herself, because there was no way they could be suit less and live.
“It’s not a dream,” Brown reminded her. “We’re just not in synch with their time.”
“You’re giving me a headache,” she complained.
“You and I are slightly out of synch,” Brown explained. “Which means the laws of physics doesn’t apply to us.”
“I you say so,”
Crossing over a ridge, they came upon a suited figure. With a motion of her arm, Brown brought them to a stop. Kate raised an eyebrow as she noted that the figure wore a twenty-first century space suit. The American flag patch on the arm made her smile.
“Are we looking at you?” she asked.
“What are you digging up?”
“Something that changes the course of both our lives,”
She fell silent as the figure struck something metal. Looking over at Brown, Kate noted the look of sadness on her face. It must be tough, Kate told herself, to see something that lead to your own death.
“Brown,” she said. “What did you find?”
The suited Brown before them continued to clear off soil. As she exposed it, Kate could tell it was a weapon. What kind of weapon, it was impossible to know, but it was obvious to be one.
“Brown,” Kate said, annoyed at the lack of response. “What did you find?”
“A fusion beam,” she said, finally.
“A fusion beam?” Kate said. “I don’t even know what that is!”
“It was part of the weaponry that nearly destroyed you cruiser,” Brown said.
“And it took Earth three hundred years to make it work?”
“No,” Brown said. “Because it disappeared.”
“The Syndicate took it,” Brown whispered.
“The Syndicate?” Kate made a face. “Never heard of them,”
“They are a secret society of mercenaries and killers,” Brown said. “They specialize in hunting people.”
“Yes,” Brown said. “They killed me. After they stole the technology, of course.”
Brown turned to face Kate, her blue eyes blazing. Firmness crossed her face that Kate had only seen in herself. With pursed lips, she began to speak.
“The Syndicate has been around for thousands of years,” Brown said. “And it will target you, too.”
“How do you know this?”
“Because they have killed the last four of us,” Brown said. “And you are going to have something they want: the prototype.”
“They don’t want to come after me,” she said. “I’ll kill them.”
“Don’t be so overconfident, sister,” Brown said. “I was good; and they killed me too.”
The world raced past Kate again as it changed. Opening her eyes, she found herself back on the floor of the bathroom. With a sigh, she stood back up.
Crossing the floor, she approached the bed. The same bed that she had slept in before, she realized. Ferini must have been dreaming about getting her back for five whole years!
She pulled the silk sheets back and crawled in. Everything that Brown had shown her filled her head. Earth had the weaponry that nearly killed her three hundred years ago? And who was this Syndicate that stole it, and killed Brown?
Sleep rolled over her as soon as she hit the pillow.
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