Extra Perceptory

Updated every Thursday.

Thursday, May 22

Installment M

The hull of the ship was a metallic gray. Wires and lines littered the walls. The dark pungent oder of machine lubrication and 6 sweaty men mixed together in my nostrils as the transport ship continued soaring towards our objective.

We were all packed like canned preserves. No wonder everyone back at psyboot called combat transports canned soldiers. My left arm itched, but there was nothing I could do. There was barely enough room for my elbows in the first place, perish the thought of actually moving them. The other troops were deep in conversation, they talked about guns, homes, wives, responsibilities. Things I knew nothing of.

The squad commander suddenly looked over at me. All the other men fell silent.

"So what are you doing here, boy?"

"I'm Issac Erlenmeyer."

"Pffffft. You think I don't know that? So what are you doing here, boy?" He chuckled briefly after having reiterated what he saw obvious.

"I have no choice."

"Why'z that?"

"I'm a psychic."

The men all used what little space they had to turn their heads toward me for a better look. I was lucky enough to have my mask on, the last thing I need right now is to let everyone know I'm Russian too.

"Good!" the commander exclaimed. "I thought those guys back at HQ were basket-cases sending us on this FUBAR stunt. Looks like we got some protection after all!"

The commander was Irish. He was fat with a long red beard, and an age that fit his words. I had no idea what half the words he used meant, but I suppose that comes from spending so much time on the French Foreign Legions. He's one of the few men to survive the initial Russian attack. He's earned a fierce reputation on the battlefield, and refuses to rank higher than a squad commander.

The rest of the crew are elites from the lunar Boadridge Military Academy. Not top of the line, but very prestigious all the same. Prestigious enough to be worth something, but still expendable enough to throw at the Russians like candy.

"How old are you, boy? Do you have a lady waiting for you?"

"I'm 18, sir. And yes."

"Ha ha! Good! What'ser name?"

"Lena, she's a psychic working for the technology institute back on Earth." I knew full well that Lena could never be mine, but a little white lie couldn't hurt.

The other men started conversing, and this time I joined in. We still had a few hours to kill before touch-down.

Because of the extremely powerful Russian Esper Military Force, as well as the Psychic influence back on Earth, being an American spy to Russia was, in every aspect, an impossibility. So, instead it's our job to steal information by force. The Commander started our briefing about half an hour before the scheduled touch down at the landing zone.

"Good evening, the name's Commander Russ. This mission is simple. We land, infiltrate the enemy work force, see what they're digging for, then get out with everything we can carry. If we meet any psymen along the way, try to capture them. We want them alive. To help us with that is our very own Issac Erlenmeyer. A Class III barrier wielding psychic ensign with a year of special training from the Brigadier General herself. This boy caught three Russian spies working at the Marshal's office that had been working there for years without anyone noticing!"

The troops around me started clapping. Two gave out some hoots and hollers, which I thought were unnecessary.

He knew this whole time? That's one way to rally the troops, I guess.

We naturally decided upon groups of two to check each other's pressure suits while the commander continued to go over the details of the mission.

In exactly two hours we would rendezvous with two marine squadrons, each with their own Esper. One of the espers was to stay back with the troops.

I'd love to stay with the troops, but I'm sure they'd love to have a girl.

The other two espers are to infiltrate the actual base and survey for the possible threat. Once the threat assessment has been made, it's up to the chief, our commander, to make a decision on whether or not to go in.

Our vessel came up on the dark appendage-like structure rising from the ground. It was tall, and obviously unfinished. Several moving parts, wires, lines, and internal components were easily visible from the outside, almost to the extent that the inner corridors would appear to be uninhabitable. I grabbed an extra oxygen cell from the first-aid kit, just in case. Getting trapped within that thing was not an unlikely possibility. But then again, it's still possible that I'll get the job of protecting the troops.


"Alright, and that leaves you two to go asses the situation." The commander said as he pointed towards me and the nearby esper after the squadrons met up.


"Hey, so what's your name?" The other esper asked me over the radio-link as we began to slowly make our way to the extrusion.

"Isaac. You?"

"A boy? You're a guy?"

"Yeah." I lifted the sun visor from my helmet so she could see my face. She responded in kind. I couldn't see much of her hair, but she appeared to be older than I was. I looked a little closer.

No way, there's no way it's . . .

"Pink, it's me. It's Ashley!" Shocked, I abruptly stopped to stare. I couldn't believe it.

"So what have you been up to?" Ashley asked with an excited tone.

"Not much, a lot of meditation. A few assignments here and there."

"Got yourself a girlfriend yet?"

"No, I doubt that will happen."

"What do you mean? You must be surrounded by women all the time. At least one of them must-"

"No," my cold tone echoed briefly through the radio. "Some people aren't made to marry, and I'm one of them. I'm too obsessed with my work to spend time with another person. Mira made me an ensign, and ever since I've either been meditating, researching, or training. I haven't even seen my father since our original landing here on the moon."

"But Pink, that was three years ago. You haven't left the moon since then?"


"What in the world do you do?"

"I told you, meditation and training. Mira has high expectations of me."

"It must get really lonely."

"As lonely as I make it."

It had been so long since I left the girls of Psy Academy. Everyone graduated and went on their way, Claire and I decided to go into the one year Military Academy on the moon. However, once I enrolled it became clear that I was no ordinary Psychic. Mira wanted to keep me away from everyone else, and she was good at it. I remembered back to Amman, Atticus, Sigmund, and all the others I've been deprived of in my isolation. I've been holding their memories back for so long, even the thought of their kind faces shot through my chest like a spike.

You'll get over it, Isaac. You always have before.

We were at the entrance of the facility. I was beginning to seriously doubt that anyone lay within, but there was only one way to know for sure. So, I grabbed the handle and swung it down reveling a new, perfectly operational, well-kept air-lock. A Russian soldier was staring me in the face, he immediately pulled out his pistol and held it to my nose.


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