(Story continues from where Psychic Leech left off. )
~ ~ ~
Anurevin reached out across the link to warn Sarcosi about the deceased psychic leech’s dragon. But he found only silence. Her mind was gone. The broken link fluttered around in some kind of psychic ether, its tether gone.
No! He screamed. Grief hammered him until he shattered. He lay on an iceberg like a beached whale reeling from the waves of blackest grief that threatened to wash him off his precarious perch into the Star Sea’s suffocating depths.
She just couldn’t be gone. It wasn’t possible. Anurevin scrambled after the frayed ends of their link and struggled to find some sign that she lived, some hint of what happened. But the thread disintegrated as fast as his mental hands worked to reel it in. She was gone, and he was not. How was that even possible?
No answer, just the whipping of the wind as the rotors churned and the enemy vessel hovered, a bulbous black shape interrupting the sky shield’s glow. Tubes extruded from its belly. Shielding fired up to protect hardware from the corrosive touch of the sea and technology from the trans-mutational kiss of the magical entities who dwelt under the Star Sea and gave it its name.
He should do something about that. It was his job after all. Years of training and fighting ganged up on him. The enemy had presented him with its belly; he should oblige it with an attack.
Concentrating, he let his consciousness’ tether stretch and then snap. It fell away like the broken link between him and Sarcosi adding more litter to the psychic plane. What did he need a link back to his body for anyway? Sarcosi was dead. Why should he bother living on? So what if he was only in his twenties. Death came to all men eventually. Why not now?
Death from starvation and thirst would take days. Death due to a failed psychic attack would be instant, and he could take some of the enemy with him. A bonus that and enough points in that plan’s favor to make it viable.
So he let himself drift out of his body, rising, arrowing towards that rounded hump above him. Then he slid through its unshielded hull to float like a specter in a dim, tubular corridor. Hoses as thick as his abdomen sucked up sparkling seawater and pumped it into a filtration system. The Andurai bobbed, and their glowing motes clumped together to clog the hoses.
Their silver light drew him, and he laid a spectral hand on the rubber tube over one such glowing mass. The Andurai seized him; they’d formed a rough colony with a kind of hive-mind, and it seethed with anger over its capture.
“Okay, I get the point. You want out. Let go of me and I’ll see what I can do,” he said or rather thought at the Andurai holding his consciousness immobile. No reaction. He yanked on his arm. It was just a projection of his mind, not a real limb but he could neither budge it nor cut it off.
Silver light gathered around his arm, climbing it as the colony merged with his consciousness. A million children scream for him to fly and then he fell, arm burning from their touch into winnowing darkness.
A dragon screamed; her voice bled raw agony from a gaping wound in her heart. He recognized that full-throated roar. Last time he’d heard it, he was thirteen, and a white flash had taken his brother.
Sarcosi? No answer, just a rising tide of black as he slammed back into his body and the afterimage of two tiny shoes.
To be continued…
For #BarAThon, day 5 of the 7-day challenge. Click here to join us.