At Every Turn

Characters: Dr. Kim Matsumoto

“Attention you are all ordered to meet with Captain Narsh and myself in the Conference room in exactly 56 minutes. DO NOT BE LATE!” Commander Shaver’s voice blared from the recording.

“All right, all right,” Kim muttered, glancing at the chrono. “45 minutes to feel human again.”

There was nothing like a week in a cramped, two person ship to make a person appreciative of even a warship’s amenities. But she didn’t have the time to savor it or the moment of privacy. Not even time to stop by her department and see how it had fared in her absence. Or even time to check the load of messages waiting for her not that that was a bad thing after the first. It appeared encounters with Commander Shaver would be… interesting.

But concern about it could wait until after a shower.


Clean and freshly dressed, Kim entered the meeting room in far better spirits. Seeing her friend Margaret in one piece only improved that, but there was no time to talk, and there were only two more seats to fill and it would begin. She sat next to Margaret and nodded across the table at the unexpected sight of Darquin before making herself comfortable.

It didn’t last very long though. She glanced over at the one person she didn’t recognize — he had to be the Commander — and froze.

Fledgling as her control was, the noise of other’s thoughts were hard to push out. Each presence was sharply made known to her, with almost painful clarity. Except the Commander’s…. but he wasn’t a telepath.

What the — ?

Then another person entered, a tired woman whom Kim didn’t recognize, and she was a telepath. Kim felt it the moment her senses brushed against the other woman’s rigid shielding, and Kim carefully walled up her own mind. What was going on around here?

And then the other telepath looked at the Commander….

What the hell happened while I was gone?