Welcome to another week of Wednesday Briefs. I hope you’ve all had a great week so far, and are looking forward to some good reads.
Check out the other Briefers’ works below:-
My Brief this week is a continuation from my upcoming sci-fi romance story. This is the third part of the first chapter, so I hope you enjoy it.
Regeneration – Chapter 1, part 3
“Save that for the wildlife.” I frowned at her pistol as she halted a couple of meters from the door. The woman glanced around her, but returned her gaze quickly to my face as she lowered the gun.
“What kind of place is this?”
“It used to be a weapons factory. It’s been deserted for years. My ship crashed here six months ago.”
“How many of you are there?”
“Just me. Some of the others died on impact. The rest were killed.”
“Killed by what?” The gray-haired guy was the one who asked. He stepped forward, giving his prisoner a rough jab with his pistol.
“If we stand out here much longer, you’ll find out first hand. They don’t like the sun, but as soon as there’s cloud cover…” I glanced at the big man at the back of the group and he stared back, deep brown eyes unblinking. His gaze slid insolently down my body and back up, and when his eyes met mine again, his lips curled at the corners. A rush of heat rose from my belly into my chest, and my heart stuttered. I switched my attention to the woman instead. “Let’s move this inside, shall we?”
She stepped past me as I moved aside, quickly followed by the young redhead and the blond man. The gray-haired man turned and waved his weapon at the big guy, then jabbed him with it as he walked by me.
“So what’s your name?” The gray-haired guy’s quiet husky voice sounded seductive, and I glanced at him as I reached for the door handle. His expression was that of someone who’d seen something he’d like to eat, and a chill crawled up my spine. I slammed the door closed and shot the bolts, not taking my eyes off him.
“I’m Kim Fortune.”
“Neil Ross.” He leaned in closer, bringing his face to within inches of mine. “Are you human?”
“Uh huh. Are you?” I swallowed and backed up until the wall stopped me. Neil nodded slowly and offered me a sly smile. I reminded myself I had a weapon in my hand, and I lifted it to lay the barrel across my stomach. Maybe it had been a mistake to let them in. I pushed away from the wall and waved my pistol in the general direction of the galley. “Go ahead.”
The five people walked ahead of me, turning off the corridor after twenty meters when I called out a direction. They moved into the galley and stood around the table. The young redhead’s gaze darted around the room, her eyes lighting up at the sight of one of the huge boxes of sustenance packs.
“Looks like you could all do with a meal.” I kept most of my attention on Neil Ross. “How about you tell me who you are and where you’re from first?”
“You know my name.” The gray-haired lech winked at me. “This piece of garbage—” He prodded his prisoner again with the barrel of his pistol and earned a feral-sounding growl from the man. “—is Novak. Keep your distance if you know what’s good for you. He’s a convict. I was taking him back to S.K.18 for adjustment.”
“S.K.18?” My gaze flew to Novak’s face. “You’re a regenerate?”
He made a slight movement with his eyes to indicate agreement. This puzzled me. I was of the first batch, and yet he looked older than me. I turned my attention back to Neil.
“If he’s a convict, why isn’t he in prison?”
“Was. Escaped.” Novak grinned suddenly and his eyes glinted. “Ain’t no holding me in.”
This time Neil rammed his pistol into Novak’s stomach, and the man let out another growl but continued to grin. What had Novak done to earn adjustment? That practice hadn’t been put in force until after I’d escaped the lab, but I’d heard about it. It involved a prehistoric form of electrical currents to the brain and electronic programing, in effect turning the victim into a mindless robot.
“What about the rest of you?” I glanced at the brunette and gave her a faint smile.
“Susan Spangler. I’m… I was the captain. We were heading for S.K.18 with these two.” She indicated Neil and Novak. “After that, our destination would have been S.K.914.”
“Home.” The redhead spoke for the first time. “I’m Geraldine, but everyone calls me Dina. I was born there and I wanted to go back. My parents were killed two years ago and I ran away with a couple of other kids, but I miss it. Susan said she’d go with me.”
“And I’m Johnson Thacker,” the blond man put in. “Simple explorer, me. I go where life takes me.” He smiled and nodded.
“Kim Fortune.” I wasn’t sure if the others had heard me when I gave my name to Neil. “I’m an explorer too. How badly damaged is your ship?”
“Bad enough to stop us getting off this rock again.” Susan sighed and sat down at the long steel table. “The ship had some navigational problems before we made this trip. It was repaired, or so I thought. There didn’t seem to be an issue, but we came out of cryo to find the controls going crazy. I couldn’t do much other than try to guide it to the nearest land mass and hope for the best. We’re lucky we got down in one piece. As it is…” She cleared her throat. “I lost the other two members of my crew. We came down hard on the port side. They weren’t strapped in, and…” She frowned and squeezed her eyes shut for a second.