He opened his eyes. The world was blurred, but undoubtedly real—he was aboard Covenant again. All around him were slight details that he had not noticed before, but which now glared at him from seemingly every surface—minute imperfections that somehow suggested reality.
Morning came in a haze of memories from the night before. Leon savored the feeling of relaxation that blanketed his mind, the way his bed seemed to embrace his body in a comfort he never wanted to leave, the warmth of Elle beside him. He glanced at the clock face set into the opposite wall—it... Continue Reading →
Leon was hovering in that strange world between sleep and waking, where sounds cannot be placed, and true experience begins to meld into the dreamscapes of the mind. The first knock at the door seemed a distant echo out of those drifting half-dreams and did not rouse him. The second, more forceful, pulled him unwillingly back to what was surely reality. He groaned as he raised himself to his feet and shuffled out to the main room of his quarters. Another knock, and the abrasive sound grated against him.
Elle could hardly breathe as her eyes drank in the blue lines like so many delicate veins branching across a bare arm. They reminded her with striking fierceness of the etchings on the surface of the sphere itself. Here, they were surrounded by black stretches indicating land, as well vast black deserts...
Leon knew that he was small, but he had never before felt the truth of it so deep within his bones that it sent his thoughts scurrying into dark corners of his mind to hide from that fact.
Coming out of that first vision, out of a world of fire that had scorched his eyes, his skin, filled his lungs with burning air, he had feared it. Over time the fear lessened, then morphed into the curiosity that now brimmed within him.
Before he could look away, she opened her eyes and he became acutely aware of those two spots of storm. When open, they transformed her face entirely from softness to something intense and focused. He felt certain she could see straight through him—his thoughts seemed to be laid out like an open book.
Leon focused somewhat more intensely than he had before, holding onto each item a breath longer, feeling it as his father must once have done. He didn’t notice the single sheet of cellfilm that made Damien’s eyes light with a strange fire, and which was quickly slid into his thin jacket before he continued his work as though nothing had happened.
Leon’s quarters were dim, but enough light bled from the edges of the table at the center of the room to see Damien’s face, his eyes closed as he approached the world within the sphere. Only a few seconds passed before the sphere fell from his hands onto the table. He looked up into Leon and Lena’s waiting faces, their unspoken question the same, hovering on their lips.