Dream Shard(2)By: Mary Wine
What a fucking way to live.
It enraged him as he moved back and watched the gasoline flow over Heather’s body. Failure bit into him and burned right into his soul as he struck a match and tossed it into the fuel. The night lit up as the helicopter closed in with the reality that Heather couldn’t live with. Devon backed up as the small pickup truck burned in an orange ball of fire and the flames took away all evidence that Heather and he had produced a child. His military escort would never know that Heather had run because she just couldn’t face her child becoming an Operative like her father.
Devon watched his makeshift funeral pyre and forced his eyes to stay on the body of his wife as it burned. It was the only thing he could give her…the certain knowledge that the military wouldn’t be able to find any evidence of their child’s birth. Her daughter would stay hidden. Heather had given her life for that, and Devon intended to make sure she got her last wish.
Even if it tore his soul in two because it meant he’d never see his daughter
The night filled with the escort he’d left behind. The men closed around him, partially out of duty but also as a precaution against any further solo missions. Their emotions bled into the night like the smoke from the burning truck. It fused into his soul, cauterizing the wound into a scar that would hurt every day for the rest of his life. Sometimes, being psychic was piss-ant hell.
But there were times it was beautiful in its insanity. Devon turned as the commanding officer of his Ranger unit stepped up next to him. Major Gennaro didn’t make a sound as his double-shined boots pressed into the gravel-coated road. He was a model of uniform etiquette from his head to his boots, but the outside picture was camouflage. It hid the razor-sharp blade tucked into the man’s boot and the backup firearm strapped to his chest. Years of intense martial-arts training had made his body far more deadly than any of the weapons on his body. That same fascination with Asian fighting forms was responsible for the fact that Garrick would rather kill with his bare hands and often did.
“I seem to have missed the part where you told me you were heading out.” Garrick was busy watching the fire burn, his eyes lingering over the body lying out on the road. Ross felt the surge of emotion from the man, just a hint of frustration that rolled through his mind like a thunderstorm. The psychic connect was unwelcome, and he clamped his control down to block out the rest of the world. He wasn’t in the mood to share anything, not even with Garrick, and any link functioned both ways to an extent. With the link open, his feelings were pouring into Garrick’s mind. Devon killed it. Control was key. It was something not a single one of his military escorts might teach him. They could train his body, his sight, his reaction time. Show him how to apply discipline techniques, but controlling the beast inside his own mind was his battle alone.
There were few real psychics on the globe, and it was his curse to be one of them.
“You didn’t miss it. I left.” He shifted his attention to his unit’s commander. “Heather was my wife. I needed to deal with her alone.”
Garrick didn’t want to let the lapse in protocol go but he pressed his lips together and nodded. He retreated, leaving Devon with the fire. He was close enough for the heat to burn his face, but he didn’t care.
He couldn’t ever care again.
Two years later
There were some places where time froze.
The interior of a missile silo was one of them. The nuclear weapons were long gone, but the concrete walls still stood strong. There was a chill that never seemed to leave the space where a missile had once waited for World War Three to begin. The cold was fitting because even decades after the Cold War was finished, another brand of global struggle was being waged inside the silo.
A phone buzzed for attention. A man reached for it with a perfectly manicured hand.
“Have you made a decision?” he asked.
“Your price is too high.”
“Should I take a moment to remind you what happened when you tried to hire a lower bidder?”
There was a curt word on the end of the line. “Turvel was her direct commanding officer. If anyone could set it up, I would have thought he could manage the job.”