Into the Place Between

Characters: Dunstan KordiehTomás Darquin

"If you could see my mind, if you really look deep, then maybe you'll find
That somewhere there will be a place, hidden behind my comedian face..."
          – Russ Ballard, "Voices"

Monada never heard Dunstan, until he was standing right beside her as she monitored the Phoenix’s jump engines. Of course, she told herself, the Phoenix had just made the jump to hyperspace, so naturally her attention was focused on what was in front of her, not behind. Quickly she turned to face him, bringing her fingertips together and bowing. “Good day, Anla-shok Kordieh.”

He stared back at her for a long moment, eyes slowly widening as if her simple greeting had held a great revelation. She was about to ask him what the matter was when the look became one of sorrow, and he lowered his eyes, gently shaking his head. “No, I’m not Kordieh. Kordieh is dead.”

“I don’t understand. Your name is Dunstan Kordieh, is it not?”

Again it was a long time before he answered, and then he said, “I’m sorry, Monada. Never mind what I said. I was thinking about something else.”

“Is there a problem?”

“As a matter of fact, there is. I just got a message from the Chief. She says she has found out some more information about our saboteur. She asked me to start searching the upper decks. There may be explosives.”

“Explosives! In Valen’s name….who could want to do such a thing?”

“She didn’t say. I don’t know how she found out, or exactly what she knows, come to that.”

“Should we get a few of the others to help you?”

“No, she said I should go by myself. We still don’t know exactly who it is, I guess, so it’s safer this way,” he said, as he began pulling equipment out of a locker and filling a small shoulder bag. Before she could say anything else, he had slung the bag across his back and left the room.

      I've failed.  Lucius, I'm sorry.  I wasn't quick enough.  Not quick enough to understand, not 
 quick enough to put together a plan, nowhere near quick enough to execute it.  
      But no, I can't give up.  Maybe now that we're in hyperspace, there's a chance.  Even if the 
 charges I've got in place aren't enough to destroy the ship, if they all go off, it'll throw us 
 off course.  We'll be lost forever.  Gone, like all the rest.  It'll have to do.
      Until then, I've got to make sure they follow me.  Follow me, and not find any of the charges 
 I've placed.  Follow me, not the trail.  Follow me, for your own sakes.  You have to remember, 
 we're all overdue to die.

They came upon the pile of clothes in the middle of a corridor, two decks up from Main Engineering. Darquin picked up each piece in turn. They were dark outer robes, much like those he was wearing. At the bottom of the pile, resting on the deck, the silver and green of Kordieh’s Ranger pin reflected the soft light of the corridor and a blurred image of Darquin’s grim expression as he picked it up. “This is just too easy,” he said.

Tianmun looked at him, bewildered. “Why leave all this here?”

Darquin looked straight up as he answered, up at the hatchway over his head. “He’s gone into the superstructure.”

Copyright (c) 1998 Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.


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