Monday 16 – Wednesday 18 October 2017
She’d had her suspicions. At least, she’d had them since the incident at Jericho’s sun, but it was important for her to prove them before taking action. The last few hours had handed her the evidence she needed.
‘Are you going to tell me what’s going on, or are we continuing to pretend that everything’s okay?’
He flinched as Constance tightened her grip on his shoulder.
‘Don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he replied.
‘So, we’re still pretending then?’
Toller didn’t say a word in reply.
Sweat trickled down his forehead and stung his eyes. He blinked rapidly to clear the sweat, and wiped a hand over his face, shifting the sweat from his eyes. Constance watched him closely.
‘That’s why your father in law stepped in on your behalf, isn’t it?’
‘What are you on about, boss?’
Constance tossed the carefully wrapped packet into Toller’s lap. He flinched once again.
‘How long have you been on this stuff?’ She pointed to the packet.
There was no sense lying now. She’d discovered his supply, and she was clearly determined to get to the bottom of things.
‘Look, it’s not what you think, okay?’
‘No, it’s not okay.’
Toller’s stomach turned at the thought of explaining. He wiped more sweat away from his face, and exhaled a long, laboured breath. ‘Six years ago, I had an accident. I was on a job on some dinky outpost, on a shitty, little, arsewipe of a planet. It was too far away from home, so there was no real medical help, other than the fuckwit of a med officer we had on board. Didn’t know his arse from his elbow. It’s a long story, but the short version is that the pain meds they gave me weren’t enough, and one of the guys had a Ph.D. in chemistry, and he concocted something stronger for me. Just to get me through until a proper med unit arrived. It gets me through every day, boss. Without it –’
‘You’re a drug addict. Any way you put it, you’re still a drug addict, Toller. And that’s the reason you fucked up. You were high when the hull breach came through the bridge, weren’t you?’
Toller nodded. He was higher than a kite when the alarms went haywire on the bridge.
‘Yep. Yeah. Yeah, I was.’
‘That’s all you’ve got? Yep?’
‘What else do you want me to say?’
Constance Taylor rubbed her eyes. ‘You really are a moron, Toller.’
He’d heard that comment more than once from most of the people he knew. Granted, he knew he wasn’t the smartest guy around, but he’d always thought moron was a harsher insult than he deserved.
‘Yep, probably am.’ His sullen reply caught Constance off-guard. She looked at Toller, examining his emotional state. He was a broken man.
* * * * *
Gabriel slipped away under the weight of the injection Doc had given him. He was unable to understand why, but Gabe knew he was dying, and he knew it had nothing to do with his migraine, and everything to do with whatever Doc had injected into him. His eyes fell on Weisz in the bed across from him. Had Doc done the same thing to her? Is that why she had collapsed? Of course, he’d never be able to tell anyone, or talk about it because Doc had killed him.
‘Fucker.’ The last word Gabe would ever speak fell from his lips, followed by his last breath.
Doc stood over Gabriel’s corpse. He laid a hand over Gabe’s eyes and gently closed his eyelids.
‘Goodnight, Gabriel. Sleep well.’ Doc grinned with the satisfaction of a man quite literally getting away with murder.
. . . To be continued . . .