BENEATH - A Novel by Jeremy Robinson

BENEATH - A Novel by Jeremy Robinson

Author:Jeremy Robinson
Format: mobi
Published: 2010-03-07T19:18:19+00:00

CHAPTER 21 -- PRESSURE

A series of questions sprang to Choi's mind all at once. How had Peterson come down to the surface? He wasn't a trained pilot. What happened to Harris? Why weren't the com systems working? What was wrong with Peterson's eyes? That was just the beginning. But she dared not speak, not a single word. Something was wrong with Peterson.

His red eyes were locked onto her. With flexed arms and clenched fingers, he stalked slowly forward. She kept moving, trying to keep the ATV between them. But Peterson moved in a wide circle, tightening his distance with every step.

Choi had no desire to make a stand against Peterson. He was stronger than she was and very physically fit. And in the low gravity she was clumsy and slow. But running was impossible. In the time it took her to mount the ATV and start the engine, Peterson would be on top of her. She would have to injure or distract him long enough to make her escape.

As she looked into his fiery eyes, she could see nothing but loathing. What happened to him? She rounded the back of the ATV, Peterson came around the front, his back to the field of Europhids. It was at that moment that Choi noticed his eye color perfectly matched the red hue of the field.

No…

Peterson seemed to notice the change in expression on her face. He stopped his advance and took on a very unnatural stance. "I understand what you are thinking."

Choi didn't say a word. The voice sounded vaguely like Peterson's, but it wasn't him speaking. Like he was possessed.

Controlled.

"How did we…get inside his mind?" Peterson twisted his lips with an expression that was a poor imitation of deep thought. "The world…all you see…was created by me. By us. All of us. Me. Do you understand?"

Choi stood her ground, but slowly moved her hand to the side of the ATV storage trailer.

"I have seen what he has seen…this Michael Peterson. I know what he knows. You are not my children and you are not welcome here."

Choi slid her hand inside the trailer. "Why are we not welcome?"

"You are a contamination."

Choi shuddered. Whatever had possessed Peterson saw them the way humanity viewed disease, germs, bacteria—the enemy, who could be wiped out without any moral qualms. To the unknown denizens of this moon, they were the foreign invaders, they were the disease.

"We only want to understand you."

"Ironic, that in taking this mind," Peterson said as he motioned to his own head, "I now fully understand who I am."

Choi waited.

"I am the father of this world. I am the defender, the protector. I give life and I take life."

A growing apprehension about what and who she was speaking to began to churn a stew of vomit deep inside Choi. She was accustomed to the microscopic world; an enemy that could not speak. What she experienced now felt entirely unnatural. It felt wrong.

It felt evil.

With the next words out of Peterson's mouth, she knew it was.



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