What She Was Told: Part 1

What She Was Told: Part 1

Vasquez stared at the orb. It was held in place by a cradle of metal, boxed in by thick, hard glass. The spacious room was swarming with scientists in gray-white lab coats, observing various holographic readouts and talking to each other. The excitement over the acquisition was obvious. Speculation about purpose, material makeup and even potential applications was rampant. So far few facts had emerged. This thing was important. That's what she was told. Very important. She knew it was true. So she had brought it here like she was told. Here it could be studied, contained. This was for the best. That's what she was told.

But she'd recovered it at the cost of her team. Sent them on a mission with a false objective. Many had died. She had shot Jason herself. It replayed in her head every time she closed her eyes. The look in his eyes. Not rage. Not fear. Confusion. Then the shot. The blood. The rain hammering down. She'd left him there. She hadn't been able to bring herself to pull the trigger on his head, but she might as well have. She'd left him to bleed out, surrounded by monsters... the monsters that had haunted both of them for far too long. He'd been her only comfort after the Evening Star. She'd be dead if it wasn't for him. She knew that. They'd been there for each other plenty of times. But she knew the scales were far from even. Starting with Elysium her life had been but incident after incident, horror after horror. Sometimes her own fault, and sometimes beyond her control. The universe didn't know when to stop sometimes. But Jason was always there for her, despite her destructiveness both to him and herself. It wasn't fair. It never had been. But he loved to play the hero. And she loved him. But now she'd hurt him again. One last time. Betrayed him. Betrayed her team. Because it was necessary. That's what she was told.

Getting lost in thought made her feel uncomfortable near the artifact. She was of little use here anyway. Vasquez left the room, heading out into a crisp, clean white hallway. She passed by scientists hurrying to one lab or another, engineers so deep in their datapads she had to sidestep to not collide with them, and armored security mechs patrolling the corridors. She continued on towards her quarters. She had her own. She didn't look forward to sleep, however needed it was. She'd done what she had to. For the good of humanity. She knew that. That's what she was told. But in the nights, when she laid staring out into the dark she felt something in the back of her mind. A part of her that wanted to cry out. In rage. In pain. Over what she had done. What she had been made to do. A part that didn't believe what she was told.

But when morning came it was gone.