2. My Pack

What's going on? I don't know. I don't know.

So many people. On a ship. There are the thrusters; the way the wall curves shows they're model 4.368A. But the bulge at the top right-hand corner is different; it's been modified.

How? Why? Given that-

The people are looking at me. Why are they looking at me? They have phasers. A new model, I haven't seen it before. They're smaller, the battery's more compact and without whirring. How did that work? They'd have to compress the nano-receptors, perhaps through the removal of G through M connectors…

Hang on, phasers? They've got phasers? Why? The last people I saw with phasers were on-

One of them is snarling. Guttural. I flinch back. He looks really angry, but lost as well. I feel sorry for him. His eyes flash over me with scorn. Is there something wrong with me? Of course there is. I was put on the death list, I'm not fit to live, of course there's something wrong with me. His eyes trail away. I feel self-conscious.

Kevin is his new interest. Kevin? Kevin's here? Why is Kevin here? He should be safe. Is he safe here- is here safe?

Snarler is staring at Kevin. Will he attack? I hope he doesn't. How can I protect Kevin? Do I need to? I don't want to make Snarler a threat if he's not already. What should I do?

'Pack?' Snarler asks, bewildered.

How does he- nevermind. He's not attacking Kevin, so it's okay. And if he knows of the pack, he must know of Tarsus. But he's not pitying or contemptuous, so he's a Packmate, or the like. He knew Kevin for Pack.

'Are you sure you want to do that?' he turns hostile, closing in on himself defensively. His hands fist. How can I stop this? One of the others in pointing a phaser at Snarler. I want to stop this. How can I stop this? I need to protect everyone. I can't decide. I need to be stronger, more decisive. How can I calm this down? I should be good at this- I remember being good at this. Why aren't I? I feel frozen. Snarler has turned so aggressive. The only person he softened towards was Kevin.

'Yes.' I tell him. 'All of them are pack.'

He spins his head to look at me. I'm frozen.

'I am you,' he says. What? He can't be me- I'm me. It's not like we could be split souls, either. Couldn't we? We probably could. I was injected with so many different things in the Governor's lab, anything is possible. Besides, there's no denying that my character in my memories is different from how I am now- stronger, more like Snarler.

'Yes.' I test the word. 'I am.'

He makes an abortive movement towards me. The man with the phaser aims it. I'm not watching closely enough, or my brain-eye coordination is off, because suddenly Snarler is standing over a phaser-less man who has fallen unconscious.

Kevin shrinks towards me. I hug him, not too sure how to act. Snarler has just attacked a person he didn't know for certain was a danger. On the other hand, I could see how a stronger person with my memories would react to any perceived threat. And I'd just decided Snarler was me, one of mine, my Pack.

I protect my Pack.