Part 2: The Dueanian Cycle #4

Post date: Mar 19, 2017 3:02:01 PM

Part 2: The Dueanian Cycle


Fisher glared at Lark as he walked away.

The jerk had called her pretty in one breath and then in the next insulted her.


Fisher squeezed her eyes shut. She sighed heavily. “Tell me you aren’t hoping the two of us will fall in love.”

Baylee snorted.

Fisher opened her eyes. “We’re from two different worlds, Bay.”

“That’s precisely why.”

Fisher sighed again. She sat back down on the log.

She didn’t believe in love, not really.

The concept of two people loving each other enough to share the hardships of life and weather the storms together against all odds? She didn’t believe that kind of love existed.

Having a mate to fulfill all her needs? No, she didn’t believe in that either.

But Baylee did and here lied Fisher’s dilemma. She would do anything for her friend. Anything at all.

Fisher wet her lips and swallowed. “Okay, I’m listening.”

“About a year ago, while coming back from Facility 2, I spotted Dewey,” Baylee began. “The first time all I could see was a large orangey mass off in the distance. I thought it was some form of light refraction. I didn’t think much of it until I saw the mass again. Only this time it appeared to be more defined. I can’t explain it exactly, but the mass seemed to be keeping pace with the convoy. And then when I saw the same mass again, twice more, I knew I had to investigate.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

Baylee laughed. “What was there to tell? That some strange orange mass was following me every time I left the facility? Come on, Fishy, I’m ‘Crockpot Wright’. The weird girl who thinks she can save mankind.”

Hurt flashed in Fisher’s eyes. “I would have believed you.”

Baylee’s laughter turned into a soft sigh. “I know and I love you for it. But things happened and then everything started to spiral.” She lifted a shoulder in a half shrug. “Before I knew it I was in too deep and lying to protect Dewey.”

“How does Lark fit into this?”

“As I’ve said, he’s Dewey’s translator.”

“What does that mean, Bay?”

Baylee glanced over her shoulder toward where Lark was rummaging through the trunk of the trike. She looked back at Fisher. “It’s difficult to explain how he translates. It’s better for him to show you.”

Fisher’s eyes narrowed momentarily. She didn’t like that her questions surrounding Lark were remaining unanswered.

A victorious hoot from the disturbing man had Fisher chewing at the inside of her bottom lip as she watched Lark hold up a container of what she assumed was coffee grounds.

She returned her eyes to Baylee. “Does your discovery of Dewey backup your theory?”

Baylee’s eyes brightened. “Incredibly yes! I was right in thinking that the deforestation and the destruction of plant life throughout the world has had a negative affect on the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. If there are no trees and plant life, then the carbon dioxide in the air cannot be absorbed and converted into oxygen. And vice versa. If there is no carbon dioxide to convert to oxygen then the living die. I’m still working on the hypothesis that the lack of oxygen in our blood and the lack of plant life in our diet directly decreases the levels of thiamine and biotin. Resulting ultimately in our reduced ability to produce children.”

Fisher wet her lips again “Sounds promising, Bay, but mankind will be dead long before you can regrow the amount of forests needed to put a dent in the abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Baylee smiled. “That’s where Dewey and this little miracle comes in.” She held up the tiny vial she’d been fidgeting with.

Seeing the mixture of hope and concern in her friend’s eyes Baylee questioned why she hadn’t trusted Fisher with her discovery much sooner.

Fisher held out a hand, palm up.

Baylee immediately placed the tiny vial in her friend’s hand where Fisher looked at it closely. A frown of concentration puckered between her brows.

“You mentioned this is water, but not drinking water, so what have you added to it?”

Baylee smiled, glad of Fisher’s insight.


Fisher glanced at Baylee. “Why are they not visible?”

“With nanotechnology I manipulated them down to the size that, unless activated, you’d have to use a microscope.”

Fisher nodded. “So what activates them?”


“Any form of light?”

“Direct light, yes.”

Fisher shifted her weight. Positioning herself close to the fire she held the vial between her thumb, middle finger, and forefinger.

Pinpoints of light began to appear in the vial. Then the light started to expand.

Baylee moved quickly to snatch the vial from Fisher’s fingers.

“Sorry.” She pocketed the vial. “I didn’t want the vial to shatter.”

Fisher sat back onto the log. The nail of her baby finger of her right hand picked at the rough, peeling bark.

“What’s the significance of water expanding that quickly? And why is light the activator?”

Lark rejoined the two women. “Because Dewey dissipates in darkness.”

Fisher frowned but she didn’t say anything when it was obvious that Lark’s statement did nothing to answer her questions.

Lark was in the process of fashioning a grate with a few strips of scrap metal when Fisher finally spoke.

“Explain to me how Dewey works.”

“I’ll need plenty of coffee and sugar first.”

Fisher looked to Baylee. She tilted her head to one side. “Is that a prerequisite? He needs to be jacked-up on caffeine.”

Lark snorted. “Pretty much.”

“Hydration.” Baylee sighed and shook her head at Lark. “Must you give her the worst possible view of yourself?”

Lark shrugged. “It’s the truth.”

“Caffeine is a diuretic.”

Lark glanced at Fisher. “Also true.”

Baylee huffed a growl.

Lark started to chuckle. He placed an old and battered coffee pot on top of the metal grate. He added a few more pieces of driftwood to the fire underneath the grate and then sat down on the other end of the same log Fisher was perched on.

“Caffeine is also a stimulant as is sugar. But I’ll need the sugar more to boost my glucose levels.”

“How high?”

Lark turned his head to Fisher. “For someone my size and weight…off the charts.”

Surprise flashed in Fisher’s eyes. “That can’t be healthy,” she said.

Lark nodded seriously. “Make no joke, ‘translating’, as Baylee puts it, is dangerous.”

Fisher wet her lips and swallowed. “How dangerous?”

Lark’s eyes dilated slightly. “Afraid for me now are we?”

Baylee jumped to her feet and gave Lark a swat on the shoulder. “Stop making fun of her.”

“Who says I am?”

“The only danger you’ve ever been in while ‘translating’ for Dewey has been you gnawing your arm off from hunger.”

“I’ve never been into cannibalism, especially myself, but now that you mention hunger.” Lark got to his feet.

“There’s a tin of cinnamon twists on the driver’s seat,” Baylee said.

A devilish grin spread across Lark’s lips. He hugged Baylee and then made a beeline for the trike.

©Human in Inhuman Worlds by Janet Merritt