Swarm

As soon as Sasha put the call into command with the authorisation code she and Lyra had been given their pickup had been set at ten minutes. Frank and Josh had still been in shock when Sasha had told them, but it at least gave them plenty of time o gather their gear for the arrival of the Bear. All four of them had been shocked to see the heavily armoured dropship, with its six mounted guns and array of air to ground missiles, even as they’d boarded it.

Josh had asked Lyra why this was all happening, but she hadn’t really known what to say to him. What could she of said? She contemplates such a notion as she sits aboard the Bear, which is currently racing up through the atmosphere of Terra 3, heading for the fleets command ship.

Frank, on the other hand, had been quieter and elected to instead sit and watch from afar to see how this plays out. Lyra knows he has his questions, but it had never been his style to point blank ask them. He’s a career soldier twenty two years and more than twice that many scars to prove it. He’d always been the strong silent type. Lyra guessed that was a result of his age, but she still didn’t like Josh and Frank not understanding. The issue is she just can’t think of anything she can say that would not only explain but that will also actually make sense. Even to her the idea of this gift, precognition the scientists call it, makes little sense. She doesn’t understand why her, or how it even works really. It just either works or doesn’t.

“Command in five.” The pilot calls over the Bear’s onboard speakers.

Most of all Lyra is worried about Sasha. Her older sister has that same face she always has after hearing about a vision. Lyra knows her sister believes her, it’s just Sasha always has the look of someone who wishes Lyra didn’t have this gift. Lyra has always wondered why, but she’s never asked her, though she doesn’t know why.

“What is this?” Josh asks as he comes to settle in a seat across from Sasha.

“You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you.” Sasha replies not even sure she believes it herself. Sure she understands the outcome, but no one has ever explained the how and why this happens to her baby sister.

“Try me.” Josh replies confidently.

“Ly sees things.”

“What, like dead people, sees things?”

“No. More like sees the future. Or what could be the future. It’s all kinda messy.” Sasha says trying to explain.

“The future? You mean like how tomorrow will go? That kind of future?” Josh asks his head lost in how insane this all sounds to him.

“Not day to day. It happens…sometimes, and command said when it happens we have to call in.” Sasha says struggling to explain.

“But why?”

“Cause Ly is special. They know more than us. They just won’t tell us.” Sasha concludes as Frank drops into the seat as Josh’s side.

“Stop asking now. Brass will give us what we need to know.” Frank then says to Josh. The oldest of the squad can see that Sasha can’t or doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. He’s pretty sure it’s the former, but then he wonders how well he actually knows the sisters. He thought he knew them and then this revelation comes along. He, like Josh, has a thousand questions, but he’s also sure that neither Sasha nor Lyra can, or may be will, give him answers.

“I just…” Josh begins but stops as Lyra appears at their side. They all look at the young woman stood there.

“I…I don’t know how to explain in a way that will help.” Lyra offers finally.

Sasha responds by simply standing and putting her arm round her sister as Lyra feels her frustration threatening to bring tears forth.

“No, it’s ok. Don’t worry about it.” Josh says apologetic.

“No. I want to explain. I’m just not sure it’ll help.”

“No pressure kid.” Frank says reassuringly.

“Are you sure?” Sasha whispers into her younger sisters’ ear. Lyra is still able to see the moments in which each of her squad die, according to her vision.

Lyra simply nods in response to her sister, who guides her into the seat next to her own, still with her arm wrapped around her.

“When…when I was little…I used to have dreams.” Lyra starts nervously.

“Except they weren’t dreams. They were…the future. Some of them were mundane. But, as I got older they started coming true. And…I didn’t know what to think. It was like I was watching small sections of my life again. Like they were on repeat.” Lyra says sounding more confident now as she finds the right words for what she is trying to say.

“Eventually I joined up to serve, like we all did. It was during psych tests that Command found out about these visions. They’ve never been consistent. There can be years between them, and I don’t know why they suddenly occur.”

“Scientists were tasked with getting Command answers.”

“Ly was the best in her class.” Sasha says butting in now that her younger sister has stalled.

“They didn’t want to lose me. I went through test after test. Then they pulled Sash in and ran us both through the details. I have precognition. It means I see a possible future. And that’s what happened today.”

“Command said if and when it happens again we are to immediately contact them for debrief.” Sasha says continuing for her sister as the flashes of death fill Lyra’s vision again.

“Why though?” Josh asks.

“Cause the aliens spoke to me.” Lyra then answers without thought, the deaths gone from her vision. She feels relief at that, as well as in telling Josh and Frank. They deserved to know. She only wishes she’d told them earlier. She just hadn’t known how.

“Docking.” The voice of the pilot comes over the onboard speakers again.

The ship shudders to a halt as the docking arm clamps and locks into place.

“Disembark is green.” Pilot says for the last time as the ramp at the rear of the Bear transport cycles open to reveal an entire welcome party. Some of which are doctors and medics with a gurney, most soldiers, some armed, a few of high rank. Upon seeing the four person squad in one piece the collective welcome committee breathe a collective sigh of relief. The doctors, medics and armed soldiers disperse to leave only a trio of high ranking officers, who continue to wait patiently.

“Captain and Lieutenant Jones, follow us please.” The soldier at the tip of the spear formation orders with authority.

“The whole squad are coming.” Sasha, a Captain who is outranked by this Major, fires back without thought for the man’s superior rank.

The Major turns his head left and then right. Neither of the men either side of him seem to have any objection.

“Agreed.” The Major then offers with a curt nod.

“Follow me.” The Major then demands as Lyra, Sasha, Frank and Josh step off the Bear transport and fall into line behind the superior officer as they leave the landing bay of the command station.

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