Sunday, 12 September 2010

Teaser #2

Another little teaser here – as promised – and this one is more of a direct lead-in to the first story of series 2 than the last one. Hope you enjoy it, and there should be another for your delectation next week...
The Warning
Dr Pallister looked out of the old-fashioned porthole, marvelling at the stars that swam in the blackness of space. He smiled, remembering the times that he and his late wife had stood in a quiet spot on one of their trips to the countryside (what was left of it in the 2470s) and stared up at the night sky. He remembered resting a hand on her swollen tummy, feeling their unborn child kicking as he held her tightly to him.
    "We'll be out there, a new life on a new planet circling another star. All three of us." He had smiled at her, she resting her chin on his shoulder, he stroking her hair affectionately.
    A sudden jolt of the ship broke him free of his memories, and he suddenly remembered where he was, and why his wife was no longer with him. An accident, they'd said, their daughter little more than five years old. He didn't fully believe it to be the truth, and he'd said as much to their child. Not at the time though; then it was hard enough explaining to a little girl that her mummy wasn't coming back, that they'd never see her again. He'd thought about Gene-Rep, but it wasn't the same. He'd never have her back, not his Jennifer.
    He felt a tear trickle down his face as he tried to suppress the memories, if only for a short while. He wiped it away with his shirt sleeve, his mind returning to work once more.
    The meagre laboratory he'd been afforded on the UK-201 wasn't much, but it gave him the basics with which to conduct his research. He headed back the way he'd come, though before long found his way blocked by a figure he recognised.
    "What are you doing here? Surely you're confined to quarters after the incident?" Pallister looked puzzled, and felt slightly afraid, but did his best to hide it.
    "The guard and I came to an...agreement." The larger of the two men smiled, his sadistic nature apparent in even the smallest of gestures. In his hand he held a blade, the artificial light glinting off the metallic surface. "It's very bad luck that you've run into me, doctor."
    Pallister drew himself up to his full height, which wasn't much past the other man's nose. "Listen Bennett, I'm not afraid of you. But I can help you, though why I should bother is beyond...."
    He didn't finish his sentence, a fuzzy sensation filling his head. He looked down to see the handle of the knife sticking out of his chest, Bennett merely smirking at what he'd done. The doctor fell to his knees, his last words unintelligible save for his last – "Vicki" – before he slumped to the floor.
    Bennett wiped the handle of the knife with his clothing and began to drag the body away towards the airlock, tossing the weapon aside now the only connection to him had been erased. The body was heavier than he thought it would be, but within moments, the inner airlock door was open, the body placed in and the door sealed once more.
    He pressed the button to activate the outer door, watching with a grim satisfaction as the body floated off into the unknown.
    He walked away from the door, busying himself with cleaning up the mess he'd left on the floor. The area clean and sterile once more, he hurried away from the scene of his crime, into the labyrinth of corridors that networked the ship.
    The only sign that any activity had taken place in the area were two words that appeared to be etched into the wall facing the airlock. The weapon that had killed Pallister lay on the floor beneath the writing, seemingly used to carve it into existence. It read:

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