Title: Spies Like Us

Email: wotan_anubis@yahoo.com

Part Six

NOTE: Note… note… damn, can't think of anything. Sorry, no note this time. This note does not exist.


SAM VOICE-OVER: Previously on 'Spies Like Us'.

Scene opens on McQueen/McPherson kitchen.

SAM and BROOKE present. BROOKE in the grip of a psychic mindworm assault.

SAM: {gentle} "Brooke?"

BROOKE: {whispering} "Oh God no. Not again."

SAM: {more forcefully} "Brooke, snap out of it!"

BROOKE: {nearly hysterical} "Oh God, please don't die on me!"

Cut to SAM, who's standing up and starting to leave the kitchen.

Cut to BROOKE.

BROOKE: {hysterical} "Sam, stay with me! I need you!"

Cut back to SAM who turns around with a look of stunned amazement on her face.

SAM VOICE-OVER: And now the continuation.


Sam looked at Brooke, doubting her very own ears. Did Brooke just say she _needed_ her? It couldn't be. She sat down on her chair again, ignoring the waves of fear and anxiety that constantly tugged at her mind. Brooke had her eyes firmly shut and was rocking back and forth in her chair. She whispered incoherently and Sam assumed that to Brooke she was now dead. And had probably died a very horrendous and painful death. Sam decided to wait for the assault to be over before doing anything else. She calmed her mind once again and shut down her emotions. It was a skill she had practised on for years and it was one you needed if you wanted to survive a mindworm encounter. It seemed like Brooke had accidentally missed that class somehow. That or the fact that what she was experiencing was so overpowering that she was helpless against it.

Which again raised the question: Why her? They hated each other's guts, right? Mere days ago Sam had broken into the central computers to alter Brooke's status from Talent to Drone. Payback for putting her in a cell for a night on the false accusation of shoplifting.

The sirens stopped blaring and terror stopped invading Sam's mind. The boil was destroyed and everyone could live to see another day. Sam heard the casualty reports coming in. No-one was killed, only a few who had inflicted injuries on themselves out of panic. Sam waited patiently for Brooke to open her eyes again and look at her.

"How are you feeling?" Sam asked

Brooke stared at her like the proverbial deer caught in headlights.

"What did I say?" She asked nervously.

"I want to know how you're feeling first."

"I'm OK." Brooke said as she stroked a few hairs out of her face with a heavily trembling hand. "Just need to recover a little, is all."

"When exactly were you planning on telling me?" Sam asked calmly.

Brooke tried to swallow, but found her throat to be completely dried up. "Tell you what?"

"Don't play games with me Brooke. I _heard_ you. You were completely hysterical and it had something to do with me."

"I-I can't deal with this." Brooke stood up and backed away. "Not now, not yet."

"Brooke!" Sam shouted in an attempt to stop her, but it was already too late. She could hear the door slamming shut. Sam buried her head in her hands. Her life had rapidly become very complicated.


*Corridor 3471 of the habitation zone; Gaia's Landing*

Nicole Julian found the corridors to be very empty. It was very understandable, of course. After a mindworm attack non-essential base operations usually shut down for a day. Which meant that she had no school today. But Nicole, unlike many others, was determined not to waste it cowering in her quarters. She was well on her way towards the recreation commons when she passed a small huddled figure sitting against the wall. Nicole ignored and walked past him or her until her brain kicked her in the head and told her who it was. Nicole turned around again to take a closer look at the form.


The figure looked up at her. It was indeed Brooke and her face was covered in tears.

(Oh, great.) Nicole thought. (Just what I need. More emotions.)

She sat down next to Brooke, knowing that she was not going to spend the rest of this day doing something that was actually fun. "What's wrong?" Nicole asked in what she hoped was her most gentle voice.

Brooke tried to say something. Instead she uttered a few sounds that were even more distorted by her tears.

"OK, hon, get up." Nicole said. "We need to calm you down first before we're gonna make any progress here. And I just happen to know a non-alcoholic way to do it."


*Gaia's Landings Tree Farm*


It was the first thing that came to Brooke's mind when entering the tree farm. And it remained for quite some time as well. She was walking down an irregular dirt path through a thick maze of trees. It wasn't like anything she had ever seen before. There was green all around her, and Brooke could almost hear the rustling leaves whisper soothingly.

"What is this place?" Brooke asked in awe.

"It's the tree farm." Nicole explained, clearly used to the wonders all around her. "We grow genetically engineered trees here before the formers plant them outside. They're designed to yield much more than regular plants without harming Planet's ecology."

"You make it sound like a research lab." Brooke accused playfully.

Nicole shrugged. "That's the farm's primary function. The fact that it does look very beautiful is just a nice bonus."

Nicole and Brooke walked silently through the seemingly endless rows of trees. Brooke's eyes were large and filled with an almost childish admiration for everything around her. Nicole wasn't paying attention to the surroundings. Sure, it was a nice place, but she wasn't here to admire the plant life. Instead she carefully observed Brooke. Many people thought of Nicole as a heartless bitch, but, while that might be partially true, she also had the ability to feel emotions. And recently she was feeling them a lot more than usual. She waited a while until Brooke was again able to focus on something else.

"So, what's the deal?" Nicole asked.

"What?" Brooke asked, suddenly interrupted in her musings.

"Why were you crying your guts out?" Nicole clarified.

Sadness instantly appeared on Brooke's face again. "Oh… that."

"If you're not going to tell me, I'm going to guess it. And I always guess right."

Brooke glared at Nicole for a moment, who simply smiled back and raised an eyebrow expectantly. "I'm in love if you must know."

"Yeah, I gathered as much." Nicole said. "But with who? That's the big question."

Brooke remained quiet, making it very clear that she wasn't planning on answering.

"Alright, alright." Nicole said. "I'll guess." Nicole walked with Brooke for a while, seemingly paying more attention to the trees around her than before. "Now, it has to be someone in this base, otherwise you wouldn't be so heartbroken."

"No it's not." Brooke quickly said.

"You're a terrible liar Brookie." Nicole said. "Now then, since it you haven't been here for very long it has to be someone you already knew." Nicole eyes went wide and she gasped. Not because she was actually surprised or shocked, but simply because that were the dramatic actions required when stumbling across the solution. "It's that girl you came here with. What's her name again? Spam or something?"

"It's Sam. And no."

"I already told you, you can't lie to me. So, Sam, the girl who's about to become your sister and who's your hated rival since kindergarten. And I take it she found out about it?"

Brooke shrugged. No point lying about this any more. "I guess. During the assault I had this terrible vision of her dying in my very own arms. I felt my heart being ripped out of my chest. Figuratively speaking. I might have said something then that she obviously overheard." Brooke paused for a moment. "You're not freaked or something, or are you?"

"Why should I be?" Nicole said. "You're a lesbian, so what? It's not like we're the Believers around here."

"So… you're OK with it?"

"Of course. I mean," Nicole said with a mischievous smile. "She _is_ a hottie."

"Nic!" Brooke shouted.

"What?" Nicole said with her best innocent smile. "It's true, isn't it?" Nicole took a deep breath and became serious again. "So… when did it start?" She asked.

"Start what?"

Nicole rolled her eyes. "You know… you loving Sam?"

"I don't know. Pretty early come to think of it."

"How early are we talking about?"

"About the same time we became hated rivals." Brooke said with a small smile.

"OK, explain."

Brooke sighed. "I didn't know at the time of course. I mean, we were just kids. She had her little group of friends and I had mine and the two of us couldn't really get along. But after a while I started teasing _her_ relentlessly. Not because she was part of some other group, but because she was her. I wanted her to pay attention to me, to notice me and it was pretty much the only idea I could come up with without leaving my own close circle of friends. And that's how it started. I just wanted her to see me and I did by making her hate me." Brooke chuckled humourlessly. "When I grew up I realised what I really felt for her, but it was already too late. We were stuck in this pattern of screwing around with each other's lives and I didn't know how to break it."

Nicole whistled through her teeth. "That's harsh. Well, I'm not exactly the right person to give advice, but it seems to me like you just got your second chance."

"What do you mean?"

"You know, a change of scenery, you're living with her and of course, and this is the most important one," Nicole paused for extra dramatic effect. "You two are the only teenage Data Angels around here."

Part Seven

NOTE: For everyone who's given me feedback:

"I thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank you."
---William Shakespeare, 'Much Ado About Nothing'


*The McQueen/McPherson quarters; Gaia's Landing*

The one thing that always helped to clear up a confused and foggy mind was hacking into something. At least, it had always worked for Sam. Until now, that is. There were just too many things bothering her, that prevented her to focus. First there was the mysterious disappearance of that damn chromosome, then she had that night filled with nightmares and now Brooke! Of the three of those she didn't know which one was the worst.

She looked at the screen and faintly saw herself reflected in it. Normally she saw what the screen was actually showing, but the way she was now, she couldn't even get into the datalinks. And they were open for the public! Sam took her hands away from the keyboard and leaned on the small table with her arms. Somehow this strange darkened version of herself was more real than when she looked into a mirror.

She was a Data Angel.

And that meant she was an expert on lurking in the shadows, buying her time until she could make her move.

Sam shook away her thoughts and with a few annoyed movements turned off her computer. If she was getting philosophical over a computer-screen she definitely needed some rest. She leaned back in her chair, trying to decide what to do next. She felt a pair of arms moving past her neck, holding her close. It was a very nice feeling.

"Hi." Brooke whispered affectionately.

Sam quickly broke free from the arms and the image disappeared again. She leaned on her desk, taking several deep breaths. This really couldn't be chalked up to a mindworm attack, or some bad dream. Someone was playing with her mind, Sam was sure of it.

But who? And how?

The door to her room burst open and a very distressed looking Brooke came storming in.

"Sam, we've got a problem."

"Not now Brooke." Sam said.

"No, it's really, _really_ important."

Sam sighed. "OK, what is it?"

"It's Nicole. She knows who we are."

"Yeah… so?"

"I mean, she knows we're not Gaians."

Instantly the colour drained from Sam's face. "Tell me you're joking."Brooke shook her head.

"FUCK!" Sam shouted. "How much more are you gonna throw at me!" She shouted at any deity that just might be listening. She slumped back in her chair. "OK, first things first. How did she know?"

"I don't know."

"Come on, Brooke. There's got to be _something_."

"I don't know Sam, honestly." Brooke said as she sat down on the bed.

"Is she planning on turning us in?" Sam asked.

"I don't think so." Brooke answered. "It seemed like she just stated a simple fact."

"Any suggestions?" Sam asked.

"Well… either we do nothing and hope she doesn't rat us out, or we kill her." Brooke simply stated.

"Those aren't options Brooke."

"If you have any better ideas, I'm all ears."

Sam sighed and put her head in her hands again. Simple fact was, she knew that Brooke was right. There was nothing they could do.

"We do nothing." Sam said. "If she turns us in, we're probably going to spend some time in interrogation before we're returned to our territory."

"They could kill us, you know." Brooke said.

"No, they're Gaians. They're not gonna kill a couple of kids."

"I hope you're right Sam."

"So do I."


*The recreation commons; Gaia's Landing*

Nicole carefully inspected the different variations of eatable stuff on the menu. She knew that there was only one thing she was going to eat, but that didn't stop her from considering other possibilities. After all, this was the finest restaurant in the base -if you could call it a restaurant- and she was going to take her time selecting something. After a while she closed the menu and gave it to the waiter. Well, he wasn't exactly a waiter, he was just some guy who happened to deliver the menus and the meals. Probably some Drone who wanted to make a few extra credits. It didn't bother Nicole of course, as long as she got what she wanted.

"Just a plate of xenofungus, please." She said.

"If you eat fungus, then why bother checking the menu?" The Drone asked unfriendly.

"I don't have to answer that." Nicole said. "Just go get it."

"Fine, fine." The Drone said. "I'm going already."

Nicole was waiting for her order to arrive when someone sat down in the chair opposite to hers. Nicole briefly nodded to Lily in acknowledgement of her presence.

"Here's your xenofungus." The Drone said as he smacked a plate filled with the red stuff in front of Nicole. "Enjoy."

"Could I have that too?" Lily asked.

The Drone looked at her, shrugged and said: "Sure, just a moment."

"You know, I've heard rumours that back on earth waiters were supposed to be polite." Nicole said as she watched the Drone make his way back into the kitchen.

"This isn't earth Nic." Lily said.

"Thank the Goddess for that." Nicole said.

"Daily." Lily replied smiling. After a few moments a second plate with red fungus on it was smacked on the table. "So, how did it go?" Lily asked as she grabbed her fork and started eating.

"Better than I thought." Nicole answered. "It's not gonna be too difficult."

Lily shook her head smiling. "We barely know them and already we're playing matchmaker."

"Hey, if you have a gift, use it."

They ate in silence for a while until Nicole started snickering.

"What?" Lily asked.

"We're having a civil dinner." Nicole answered. "Could you've imagined that a few months ago?"

"And it's all thanks to C-21." Lily said. "Speaking of which, Carmen went to the genetics yesterday."

"What did they say?" Nicole asked.

"They said she had the 'optimal genetic configuration' for a fighter pilot."

Nicole almost choked on her food. After managing to swallow it down she took a few breaths and started laughing.

"That was pretty much my reaction too." Lily said.

"Carmen… a pilot?" It took Nicole a whole five minutes to calm down again. "So… what did she say?"

"The first thing she said was 'that's not funny, Lily'." Lily answered smiling. "Then she said 'well you know what, I think I'm gonna do it too'."

Nicole shrugged. "She got the genes for it." She said. "Just not the attitude."

Lily silently finished her plate. "Well, I've gotta go. Me and Harrison promised Carmen to take her to the theatre. See you later."

"Oh, Lily, I almost forgot." Nicole quickly said. "There's something you need to know."


"Brooke and Sam, they're Data Angels."

"How did you… Dumb question. Anything else?"

"Well…" Nicole started hesitantly. "I might have kinda let Brooke know I knew."

"What did you say Nic? Exactly."

"I kinda called them Data Angels."

Lily groaned and sat back in her chair. "Things were just going so well." She complained. "Now they're gonna be too worried." She looked up at Nicole again. "Why did you do a stupid thing like that?"

"I couldn't help it." Nicole said sheepishly. "I just wanted to see how she reacted."

Lily sighed. "They might kill for you that, you know that? They are Angels after all."

"Maybe," Nicole admitted. "But I don't think so. They're not very… assassin-y."

Lily got up again and started heading for the exit, whilst shaking her head. Nicole was just too much to deal with right now.

"Oh Lily!" Nicole shouted through the restaurant.

"What!?" Lily shouted back.


"Yeah, yeah, we still hate each other with a passion, can't stand each other's presence and most certainly didn't meet here." Lily said. "Can I go _now_?"

"Yes, yes, you're dismissed." Nicole said, dismissively waving her hand.

Lily rolled her eyes, turned around again and left.

Part Eight

NOTE: Sorry it's so short, it's just that it's getting late and my inspiration seems to have taken a vacation a little too early.



She was running. That was pretty much the first thing she came aware of. She didn't know why she was running, didn't know if she was running towards or away to or from something. She just knew that she was running. After a while she noticed that the main reason why she was running was the fact that someone in front of her had a firm grip on her arm and was dragging her along with her. She looked around her, but didn't find anything interesting to see. Just a long grey corridor. She could be anywhere. Then she noticed the sounds. There was a strange humming in the air that just couldn't come from any kind of machinery. The sounds constantly changed tone and rhythm, and she almost thought she could hear someone speaking to her. Then the sounds changed for subtle background noise into a loud piercing scream. With one quick pull she freed her arm and brought her hands to her ears. It didn't help. The scream resonated throughout her body, filling her with pain. She closed her eyes and clenched her teeth. It was an instinctive reaction and she didn't think it would help any.

She suddenly felt a pleasant warmth surrounding her, muting the scream and taking the pain away. She smiled and leaned backwards into the embrace. A hand gently stroked through her hair.

"I love you Sammy."

"I love you too Brooke." She answered.


*The McQueen/McPherson quarters; Gaia's Landing; The following morning*

Sam was really, really pissed off. She was convinced that screwing around with her mind and it was driving her nuts. She wanted to know who did, how he did it and most importantly why he did it. She felt helpless and powerless and decided not to sleep until she had figured it out. She quickly scratched that idea, tired people were just as vulnerable to psychic stuff as sleeping people.

She entered the kitchen and found Brooke already eating. She looked up at her and smiled briefly. Sam angrily willed the butterflies in her stomach to stop fluttering. If she was going to love Brooke it was _not_ going to be because someone made her dream stuff.

Wait, what was that?

Love Brooke?

Sam managed to lessen her anger enough to replay her thoughts. She looked at Brooke, carefully studying every feature she could see. There was no denying that Brooke was indeed very beautiful. Sam had also realised that Brooke was actually a nice person somewhere deep down. Sam suddenly found the notion of loving Brooke not as absurd as it seemed a few seconds ago. But she decided to force down any feelings she might have for her. Brooke deserved to be loved by someone who loved her for her and not because someone got influenced into loving her. Sam quickly opened a small pack of something-or-the-other, sat down, gobbled it away, stood up and left for school.

Brooke looked at the door Sam had just left through. Confusion was evident on her face. Then she shrugged and diverted her attention back to her food. She smiled as she replayed her dream in her mind again.


*Faction Class; Gaia's Landing; one-and-a-half hours later*

"Hey Sam, how are you?"

Harrison was answered by an angry glare.

"Whatever it is, I didn't do it." He said, raising his hands in a peaceful gesture.

Sam sighed and the anger disappeared from her face. "I'm sorry. Just a little on edge today." She sighed again and looked around, hoping to find a new topic. "So… what kind of class is this anyway?"

"Faction class." Harrison said.

"You're kidding, right?"

Harrison shook his head.

Sam let out an annoyed groan. "You know, we didn't have stuff like this at Razorbeak Wood. Too much mindworms to actually worry about anything except the really necessary stuff."

"Well, know you're enemy and all that."

"Yeah, OK, that might be useful." Sam admitted. "But there are only eleven factions on Planet. Twelve if you count us. How the Hell are they gonna fill an entire year with that?"

"Beats me." Harrison said. "We'll just have to wait and see."

"OK class, shut up!" A voice said loudly. A… creature… walked in, looking very bored and un-teacher like.

"What is that?" Sam whispered.

"Bio Glass. The teacher."

"Yes, you two, I also included you when I said the phrase 'shut up'." Glass moved over to the desk and sat down behind it. "Now then, I wouldn't be giving you this class, but unfortunately for all of us Mr. Senate got sick. So that means that I'm stuck with you." Glass grumbled something inaudible and many students thanked the Goddess that it was indeed inaudible. "Alright, I think this complete waste of time is going to go by faster if I just showed some slides." The lights dimmed and the school board lit up. On it quickly appeared a hexagonal with a thick black rim and a downwardly pointing black arrow in the centre.

"Now then," Glass started. "As all of you already know this is the symbol of the Spartan Federation." The next slide appeared, showing a South-American woman -or at least she would be described as South-American if anyone in that class had heard of South-America- wearing fatigues. "This is their leader, Colonel Corazon Santiago, a real nutcase. But then, they all are except our enlightened Lady Deirdre of course." Glass' tone was most definitely sarcastic, almost cynical, and in many other factions she would be hanged for this. Or worse, put into a punishment sphere. Sam quickly zoned out, not wanting to hear what the teacher said. She knew enough about the Spartans to know that never wanted to get into Spartan territory except perhaps to sabotage them.

A few rows behind Sam someone else was also not paying attention. And she was mightily upset that her quickly-formulated plan was not going as she hoped it would.

Part Nine

NOTE: I'm really not happy about this part. The solution is too easy and there are too many loose ends that need to be tied up. This calls for a sequel!


*Sam's room; Gaia's Landing*

Sam _tried_ to focus, she really did. She would love to be able to focus. She just couldn't. For whenever she set her mind on something different it invariably drifted back to Brooke. Normally those thoughts would be accompanied by rage and payback-plans, not the strange mushy feelings that accompanied it now. Sam's anger and frustration quickly increased. She tried to be angry at Brooke for existing, or perhaps whoever it was that gave her nightmares. But she couldn't, because she knew somehow that there was nobody else but her who was provoking these thoughts. It made her all the more angry. She couldn't understand it, nor could she explain it, but she just _knew_ that she was falling for Brooke.

Sam got up and headed out of her room. She needed to get away, clear her head, get less angry, whatever, she just needed to get out.

"Where are you going?"

Sam glared at Brooke who sat in front of the 3Dvision, completely oblivious to what Sam was going through.

"Out." Sam growled.

"Why?" Brooke asked.

"Because, alright!" Sam shouted. "I'm going out because I want to go out!"

Sam winced when she saw hurt flashing over Brooke's face. She quickly turned around and left. As the door slid shut behind her Sam thought she could hear someone sobbing. She repressed the urge to go back in and comfort Brooke and almost started running.


*The recreation commons*

"Hey, isn't that…?"

"It is. She looks upset."

"She's confused. And angry. And in love. And in denial."

"Are you sure we've done the right thing?"

"I'm starting to have my doubts. Maybe you should've been a little more subtle."

"I can't be more subtle. I just encourage her subconscious a little. Whatever follows after that is completely her own creation."

"Still… maybe there's some other way."

"No, there isn't. Either she finally listens to herself or she's going to tear herself apart."

"Right now it looks like it's going to be the latter. What should we do?"

"Nothing. Let her figure it out by herself. If we do anything now I think we'll drive her over the edge."

"You're right. I hate it when you're right."

"Sometimes I hate it too."

"They love each other, they care for each other, they can make each other happy. It sounds so simple."

"But it isn't simple. Because we're not simple. And she has hated her for so long that she really can't deal with it."

"We humans are very strange creatures, aren't we?"

"Yes we are."


Sam paused in the middle of the corridor. She couldn't keep on walking without knowing where to go. She walked over to the nearest information panel to see if there was anything interesting around here. There wasn't much. A temple, a preserve, a tree farm -whatever the Hell that was-, a restaurant, couple of shops, not even a decent arcade. Sam briefly glared at the panel, turned and walked away from it.


Sam sat down on a reasonably comfortable chair. She had decided to go to restaurant simply all the other options were even worse in her mind. She picked up the menu, briefly looked through it and discovered she didn't recognise anything on it. She was about to leave again when she noticed a small line all the way at the bottom.

Xenofungus, 10 credits, WARNING: PSI ONLY!

Still wanting to know what the big deal was about eating xenofungus Sam decided to order that, ignoring the warning. The Drone who took her order didn't ask about it, so it probably wasn't important anyway.A few minutes later Sam stared at the plate in front of her wondering what the Hell she had been thinking. She grabbed her fork and prodded the red stuff with it, half expecting to see mindworms to crawl out of it. Nothing happened so Sam decided that maybe it was safe to eat after all. She put her fork in her mouth, swallowed, gasped once and slumped down her chair unconscious.


*The research hospital*

Two hours later Sam had been committed to the hospital. After she had fallen down the Drone who had served her quickly ran over to her. Fortunately this one of the few Drones who knew a little about first aid and after quickly administering something to slow Sam's metabolism he had quickly made sure that someone was to transfer her here.


Xenofungus was highly dangerous and utterly poisonous to humans. But it was also the most common form of life on Planet and over the centuries mankind had been here some had managed to adapt to it. Obviously, Sam was not one of them.

She lay on the emergency ward, balancing the fine line between life and death. The xenofungus had been removed from her stomach, but nobody knew if it was really enough. But the grim reality was that the few cases of xenofungus poisoning on Planet had all been lethal. Unfortunately nobody had ever bothered to tell Sam all this, since xenofungus had most definitely not been on the menu where she had come from.

And now here she was, lying in bed, slowly slipping away.

That is to say, her body was.



There she was again. That vast xenofungus field in the middle of nowhere. But there was something different about it this time. She didn't quite grasp what it was, but she felt more in control of things somehow.

"Well, I must say, you really screwed up didn't you?"

Sam turned around to look at the source of the words. "Nicole?"

"That would be me."

"What is this place?"

"I haven't got a clue."

"Me neither."

"Lily? What are you doing here?"

"Same as me. Trying to prevent you from dying."

"I'm not dying."

"Look over there, tell me what you see."

Nicole pointed at someplace behind Sam. She turned around to see that the field was no longer endless. In the distance she could see nothing. There was this line where the world suddenly stopped and went over into nothingness. And it came closer.

"I don't have a lot of time left." Sam concluded calmly.

"No you don't." Lily said.

"You've got to decide." Nicole said. "And better don't wait too long."

"Decide what?" Sam asked.

"Do you want to live?" Lily asked.

"Do you want to die?" Nicole asked.

"That's a pretty ridiculous question!" Sam shouted.

"Apparently not." Nicole said. "We're still here."

"What are you?"

"Human." Nicole answered.

"You both eat fungus. I did it and now it turns out I'm dying because of it. You are not human."

"I didn't say we were Homo Sapiens." Nicole said.

"I like to think of us as Homo Sapiens Centauri." Lily added. "The next stage in human evolution."


"We're on a completely alien world Sam. How long do you think we're gonna stay completely the same?"

"It was you." Sam said. "You influenced me! You screwed with my mind!"

"Hey, don't look at me. Nicole's the one who does all the mind-screwing."

"And I didn't. Not really. I can't put thoughts in your head that aren't already there."

"Whatever." Sam said. "It doesn't matter anyway." She looked back, the nothing was a lot closer now.

"Doesn't it?" Nicole said. "And why would that be?"

"I'm going to die, that's why!"

"And why exactly are you going to die again?"

"Because, in a moment of temporary insanity I ate fungus! I figured if you could eat it than so could I!"

"That's not why you're dying." Lily said.

"It's because you're looking for an easy way out." Nicole said.

"I'm not suicidal."

"We didn't say you were." Lily said. "But look at that." She said, gesturing towards the rapidly approaching nothing. "It looks calm and peaceful, doesn't it? So entirely different from yourself right now."

"I don't want to die."

"You have a funny way of showing it." Nicole said.

"Why don't you want to die?" Lily asked.

"I like living far too much to die!"

"And why do you like to live so much?" Lily asked.

The anger and frustration slowly flowed from Sam's face, making place for an almost serene calm. "Because of her."

Lily and Nicole looked behind them and saw Brooke, standing rather awkwardly, not really knowing what to do.

"Did you…?" Lily asked.

Nicole shook her head triumphantly. "She did."


"It's her mind. She can do with it whatever she wants."

Sam ignored the two Gaians and walked over to Brooke. Sam knew that this was only an image, that she wasn't really here.

It didn't really matter.

Because she knew that she would be waiting there.

"Hey Data Angel!" Nicole shouted.

"What?" Sam asked.

"You do understand that if you spread word about this I'll just have to give your subconscious another warning again."

"Don't worry. I have more important things to think about."


*The research hospital*

It was dark. Sam didn't know exactly what time she got brought in, but she knew it had been day then. It didn't matter. She was alive and breathing and the first thing she was going to do was tell Brooke she loved her. That, as pathetic as it may sound, she was the reason she was still alive.

Sam's eyes adjusted to the dark and when she looked around the room a little she decided that telling Brooke could wait.

Because Sam was more than happy to just watch the girl sleep in the chair next to her bed.

The End

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