Part 3

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:   : Screams in Space

If he was wrong why was he so afraid to look around? The tunnel was as dark as before, he could not see anything in more than six seven meters distance. And he eventually understood how strange that was. There was no logical explanation for such a long tunnel. He turned around and tingled. The scorched door was about ten feet behind. He had been walking for a long time. Maybe even hours. He turned again and this time wasnt surprised to see a door several steps ahead. While approaching it he was thinking: How is it possible to pass ten feet for more than an hour? When he reached it he realized he was asking the wrong question. It was not how slow he had been walking. It was where. *** He was staring at the small letters over the sliding metal door. Memories were coming back and he was unable to stop them. Memories of the [bigstrongfast] travel. He saw several people, their names still blank. How many were they? Six? Seven? Seven was more like it. They were a specially assembled team. But what for? They had a mission. A mission of great importance. He didnt remember the essence of it, but the preparation and dispatching of such a mission cost a shameful amount of money. Some kind of a research mission? Maybe in connection with a rare mineral? Or they were just looking for something? No, it wasnt that. It was something different. They werent looking for anything. They had found it before they set off. They had boarded the ship with the clear idea of where they were going and what they would do. He was seeing it all as if it was happening again. The preparations. Tests, examinations, more tests, simulations that even the sickest brain couldnt make up And the redhead [Romano] approached him and said *** - You seem tense, captain he was sure he felt her natural playfulness in those words but they were admixed with some unfamiliar and indistinctive for her vividness worry. Kiegan glanced at his beautiful biologist and for one long moment he couldnt tear his eyes off the inflating the uniform breast. He felt silly when he said some false excuse. His face must had been silly too because she didnt believe him. He hadnt expected such a question. But her words hit him more than he supposed. He had never felt so strange before a flight. It wasnt fear even though the uncertainty of the feeling was scaring him. And it definitely wasnt the common indisposition, even if the medic advised him to take a deep relaxing nap during the time left to the set off. Kiegan knew what it was. A premonition. Premonition for something bad. He wasnt superstitious. He had always considered superstitions an attempt to escape from real problems and therefore to complicate them. But there were no problems now, actually things were going unusually smoothly and for the first time in his practice nobody from the crew was out of the longwinded requirements for physical and mental condition (excluding his little depression). Kiegan had been thinking from the moment they were assembled in the conference room to receive information for the forthcoming mission. He had never been interested in Who is behind the scene questions, he had never thought of the real goals of the missions and even worse of their legality. Perhaps it was his loyalty that secured him the position of captain of Death Star, the Corporations ship for extremely dangerous missions. Kiegan had always been thinking he was building a career. And as a matter of fact he succeeded in it. He had annual increase of the wage; he was the best-paid pilot of the Corporation. And the magic key to his success was his belief in the goals priority. Things like moral and law were of less importance he had to accept this to survive. And more of his missions were successful. Because he acted by hook or by crook. It would be wrong to say that he was unscrupulous keeper of the Corporations interest, though. In spite of his loyalty and ambition to achieve any goal assigned (or maybe exactly because of them), he was just a pawn. And he knew it. But he was not interested in what the consequences of his work would be. He worked for the thrill; he wanted to be the best. And he knew he really was the best. He always tried to assume that his job would result in something positive and he really believed in it. He was working for the good of mankind and the Corporation was just the mediator that made it possible. Really, many of the items his team had discovered were exceptionally valuable, but it was hard to believe the Corporation would use them for the good of mankind. Deep in himself Kiegan knew he was working for someones dirty money but he didnt care. He had an adventurers blood in his veins and his job was all he lived for. But it was different now. When Romano spoke to him, he was thinking what exactly would the Corporation from the latest venture in deep space. He was feeling like some kind of conspirator in this cesspit of corporative interests, as he suddenly perceived the huge space complex. That was why he nearly jumped when he heard the exposing voice. But then he saw the playful smile on her face. - Perhaps I am still in pre-flight depression and he tried to smile. Not very felicitous, taking into account her face. - Then it is time to enjoy our beloved Whirlwind she said, - Everyone else did. It is your turn now. She caught him by hand and pulled him to the Whirlwind room. The touch with her gentle skin provoked his interest and he glanced at her tight ass. The feeling was evanescent and he quickly followed her through the white tunnel. When they reached the sliding door she suddenly stopped walking and turned around. The playful smile had disappeared and he remembered of the indistinctive worry in her words. Then he suddenly realized he felt as if he was looking in a mirror. - You feel it too, dont you? her words were timid, it was obvious that she was unable to overcome the hierarchy submission and share her feelings with him, her captain. Kiegan was tempted to deny, but the feeling she was speaking about was so strong, so matching his discomfort. He could read in her eyes that she was feeling the same. And all of a sudden he heard his voice: - Thats right, Alex. I have a bad feeling of all this. The words sounded covered even worse. It wasnt a captains words. It was the words of a scared man. But she only sadly nodded her head in response, as if she was just expecting the confirmation of something she already knew. Maybe they had to tell each other something else they had discovered a common feeling, they found an unintelligible for both of them sensation. And Kiegan was beginning to think that premonitions would be of greater importance for the forthcoming mission. And this in front of him was a chance of achieving contact with one of the members of the team at another stage the personal stag He would later regret missing it. Kiegan hesitated for only a moment but it was enough. Alex Romano turned and pressed the button to open the door. He could only follow her so he crossed the doorstep and was in