Jadoree was compelled to seek out means to travel through the stars and to a new universe, but the moment she arrived, all compulsion went out the window. What now?
Diyar had always known his match waited for him in the stars, but when the pod carrying her landed a few feet away from him, he had to admit that fate was coming on strong.
Jade joins Diyar as her body begins to react to the brilliance of the world around her. No longer in the dim light of the darkest star, her body begins to develop skills and traits that not only let her thrive, they are designed to let her take over should she choose to. Decisions, decisions.
Jadoree kept her wrap on her shoulders as she moved on a VIP tour with several of the largest donors to the Stellar Science Museum. A portion of her trust went to the museum every year and that rated a special tour of the most precious exhibits.
The guide in formal wear smiled and paused, “This is a replica of the original probe sent through to the system of bright stars. The original was sent at an approximation of the same setting that we are experiencing tonight.”
Jadoree kept her cocktail in one hand as the select crowd milled around the probe, examining the details and staring at the recordings that few of the Haxos could access.
Jadoree took her turn looking at and touching the pod. “A miracle of more primitive sciences.”
The guide smiled. “It is indeed. Now, the next exhibit is the second pod built by Dr. Hynadeer Follen. She disappeared in the first pod, but this one has survived. No one can activate it. Whatever technique Dr. Follen used is lost to us, but it stands as an amazing creation designed by a young woman at the forefront of her field.”
Jadoree hung back, and as it became her turn to examine the smooth metal and enamel, she tipped her cocktail onto her wrap and backed away quickly. “Oh damn. I have to go clean this up.”
The guide nodded, and the group continued as she slipped off to the nearest lav. When she was sure that the group had passed around the corner, she walked to the security monitor and flipped the wrap over it.
Jadoree wasn’t sure that she could activate the pod, but she had to try.
With a slow caress on the metal housing, she heard a whirring within. The pod opened to expose a seat and a cockpit filled with monitors and a few toggles.
The seat was her size. It was perfectly designed for her, and she took advantage of her moment, slipping into the chair that was silently calling her name.
She stroked the armrests of the seat and jumped slightly as the pod shifted around her. She settled her feet in the grooves that were set for them and jumped again as restraints tied her into the pod. Her wrists, belly, ankles and neck were held tight while the pod shut.
She heard a cry from outside the unit but she was fixated on the whirring and the change in angle she was experiencing. The thing confining her was shifting, and it was preparing to do something.
Jadoree watched the small screen that showed her a crowd forming before they rapidly backed away. She was weightless for an instant, and then, the pod was jetting off Haxos with an unknown propellant launching it directly into the darkest star.
She watched the screen as she increased in speed until the star’s black heart was all that was visible in the small monitor.
One of the toggles lit and a chime rang repetitively, growing more urgent with every second. Jadoree extended her fingers, restricted by the band on her arms, and she flicked the switch.
The pod jolted, and a bright light expanded around her.
Her reality was ripped apart as she clenched her fingers on the arms of the seat. Whether it was a good thing or not, she had followed her instincts, now she could only hope to survive them. As her eyes were blinded by light streaming in from all around her, she really doubted her chances.