Beyond the Darkside 34-16 to 20


“Mostly food and medical supplies, but we swiped some parts too,” Hanse said.

Debra slowly shifted her gaze to her husband. “And that is it?”

Hanse tilted his head to the side and grinned. “Well there were a few weapons and a prototype code breaker, but that’s it: promise.”

“Great.” Debra shook her head and sighed. “Well that should be enough to get Vo off my back, at least for now, but that doesn’t mean you two are off the hook. Odds are both her and Aldric Dewitt will be coming for you two soon enough, so I would just as soon get you both out of my house.”

“Easy enough. I’ll make a quick call and have someone here in an hour,” Hanse said as he stood up and walked toward Debra with a grin. “You won’t hear from me again until you are ready for another tumble beneath the sheets.”

She slapped his arm and smiled back. “So a year or two from now?”

“Ouch. That stings, Debbie,” Hanse said with a pained expression.

“It is amazing how much use a woman can get out of a decent chat room and some improvised marital aids.” Her face was straight and stayed that way until Hanse’s fell. The laughter that followed filled the room with a braying that any well-bred donkey would recognize. When Hanse recovered an joined in, the cacophony of snorts added to it and gave the small habitat a barnlike quality.

“I need to see her.” Evan’s voice was quiet, but it cut through the noise.

“What?” Debra tightened her grasp on the grip of her gun, easing it out of the holster ever so slightly.

“I need to see her,” he said again as he looked up and turned his gaze toward Debra.

“No way,” said Hanse. “You’re coming back with me to Isis and that is that.”

“You don’t understand. She was there when the accident happened. This isn’t her. Something changed. I can help her.” Evan’s words came faster, more frantic, as his voice grew louder and he was shouting. The furniture around him shook as he stood and stared at the couple.

Debra pulled her gun with a smooth motion and leveled the barrel at Evan’s face. “I can end you, little man. Now calm down or I will.”

For a brief moment it looked as though Evan wanted her to try. He stared at her. His eyes bore into hers. He could see the murderous intent. There was no hate, but cold resolution filled her. Evan did not think her gun would kill him, but she would try and think nothing of it. He could reach out with his energy field, slap the gun out of her hand, and bind her tight enough that she couldn’t move. He might even be able to do the same to Hanse at the same time, or just hit him in the forehead and knock him out. Yeah, he could do it, so why wasn’t he?

The room’s contents settled back into place, but Evan did not sit. He took a deep breath but did not close his eyes. “Okay. I need you to take me to her. Whatever happened to me must have happened to her. If I can talk to her maybe she can help with Aldric,” he said as calmly as he could manage.

“Look, Evan, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Debra said. She kept her eyes fixed on his and the gun never wavered. “You may be right. You might be able to talk with her and convince her to join the fight against DarkSide, but there is something off about her. You don’t go from being a research scientist to the head of what is now the third largest conglomerate on the moon in a matter of weeks without some help, but it looks like she has done just that.”

“What are you thinking, Debbie?” Hanse asked as he casually side stepped away from Evan.

“I’m not sure. It could be the government, or maybe some earth company trying to make a play for DarkSide’s assets, but what if it is Aldric using her to take it all?” Debra let the thought hang in the air and fought to ignore the trickle of sweat rolling down her back.

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