Chapter 58 – Session

Returning to our quarters after my session, I ignore the other scouts sitting at the table and head toward my bunk. There is much to review about the session. As my head touches the mat and I close my eyes, I hear a voice off to the side. “You’re called away a lot.” I open […]

Chapter 57 – Mission

My room is like a soft, dark cavern. Heavy drapes hang from the ceiling in front of the balcony door preventing any natural light from entering the room. Soft light, punctuated throughout the room from lit sconces, creates a murky glow to the room. Tapestries of varying sizes hang from the walls leaving none of […]

Chapter 56 – Session

As I walk to the room for another debriefing session with the Commander I wonder why it is that I’ve been summoned so often to review this mission. Walking into the room, I rationalize that perhaps it’s due to my extended time on the planet and that I was assigning roles to the other scouts. […]

Chapter 55 – Mission

The upper chambers of the Bormea’s compound are accessible by two large staircases near the center of the building. As Carnesol and I trudge up them that first evening, it becomes apparent which part of the stairs is the most frequently used. The side of the steps near the railing is heavily worn and even […]

Chapter 54 – Session

“I want you to think back to your initial arrival at Tastan,” the Commander instructs me at the start of another session. “Tell me what you see.” I take a moment before answering. The speakceiver box in front of me, the walls of the room and even the chair I’m sitting in, fade from my […]

Chapter 53 – Mission

I follow Carnesol through the shadowy corridors in the Bormeas’ compound.  Hand-woven rugs lay scattered across the gleaming wood floor, deadening the sound of our footsteps in the hallway. Deliberately looking away from the Caysas’ handiwork, I focus on the etchings and drawings that hang on the walls. I recognize that there other artisans at […]

Chapter 52 – Mission

Evening has arrived already. The day has been a blur, not only for me but for all of the Caysas. To watch them move about is to see them without any spark of life. The subdued nature of the adult inhabitants dampens the spirited games of the young ones who mope about as well. On […]

Chapter 51 – Session

Images of dead life-forms fill the screen in front of me. While many different species are represented in the images, some are all the more grotesque in the rigors of death. There is a theme in the sight before me. Each one, each body has been prepared for final rites in whatever shape or form […]

Chapter 50 – Mission

The sun pours heat on us in a never-ending stream. Drops of sweat pop out on the surface of my skin wherever exposed to the direct blaze of light — immediately rolling down my body in a constant dripping pattern, splashing onto the dry, hot rocks beneath me. Panting as I am, there is still […]