+It’s okay Mairi, you can keep your eyes closed. The scan works on synaptic discourse. The warmth of your skin conducts the signal and should give you a slight tingle, perfectly harmless+, intoned Dr. X aligning the red laser over the center of her eye.

Mairi gritted her teeth; her eyes closed tight, her chest fully exposed. Telepathic communication gave her the same weird sensation as giving bone marrow, neither pleasant nor painful but rather an odd sense of naked violation. The feeling was neither tickle nor itch as much as an indescribable viscous feeling of vacuum–as if the very essence of her soul was being sucked out against her will. Her hands pulled in vain against the rough scratchy rope as if they could wipe away the sensation like a pregnant bead of sweat on precipice of her brow.

+Relax Mairi. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do.+


“John, incoming message. I think you should take this one.”

Flicking his eyes to the right, the private message appeared on the inside of his dark blue visor:

Dear Johnny,

I love you. Do your job. Do it right. Hurry back.



John flicked his eyes down and left and the message faded away.

“Good news John?”

“Yeah, good news,” said John, pursing his lips into a tight smile causing his crow’s feet to take on shadow and light in exaggerated folds like heavy cloth.


“Trev, what’s the update? asked Yul.

“No change I’m afraid. I will say this, a lesser Hynerian would not have survived the punishment Rog has absorbed. How much longer is a matter between Rog and Janus.”

“And the arm?”

“We’ll wait as long as we can, but if . . .”

Yul looked down. Trev looked away.


“Taren, our visitors didn’t materialize out of thin air. Launch a patrol. I want the survivors alive since our Tearacs won’t give us that pleasure with our two guests. Consider it a little insurance in case our dear doctor runs into resistance,” said the voice.


Von looked at Kyra out of the corner of his weary eyes as if to say I’ll give you what I’ve got but don’t expect a miracle. Kyra caught the look and smiled without smiling. Standing between Von and the rising murmur she closed her eyes and lifted her arms, palms out. From light came darkness and from darkness came light and a warm sensation lifted his spirit.

Commentary: Axon Terminal

Categories: Story, Kyra, Von, The Voice, Trev, Yul, Mairi, Dr. X, John Discovery, Caitlin