Icarus – April 17th, 2099

April 17th, 2099

Anne is dead but we don’t know how long she’ll stay dead. I don’t know what to say, I can’t think straight. Nothing I write will make this whole thing make sense. She just went crazy and attacked her, biting and clawing at her.

After, we watched the whole thing on the cameras. When it happened, Anne was just there with Kira’s body in Medical, talking to her like she was still alive. I felt for her, it was the saddest thing I’ve seen in a while.

When it happened, there was no warning. Kira’s body jerked and suddenly she was up and screaming, biting at Anne’s face and shoulders, her fingers flailing, tearing. The worst of it was the blood, but it wasn’t Anne’s. It came from Kira’s mouth or eyes, we couldn’t tell.

Evan and Jennie both went in when they heard the Anne’s screams. They couldn’t have known what they were walking into. They managed to get Kira away from her but she turned on them too. Jennie has a good gash on her cheek and Evan was bitten so bad we almost lost him right then. Kate shot her, right in the head.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but she didn’t die. We thought it was over, the damn flechettes took half her face off. They’re wood, made to splinter against the Icarus’s hull rather than punch a whole through, but at that range it should have killed her. It didn’t and Kate just managed to pull Evan and Jennie out before she was up and screaming again. Kate locked and sealed Medical from the outside and we set up the same thing we’d done with Kate’s room. She’s still in there, banging on the door and wailing like a damn banshee. I can’t shut it out.

Jennie and Evan are in Quarantine and Alex is doing what he can for them but Kira and Anne were the medical people. They’re both restrained too, in case what happened to Kira happens to them.

We need to get out of here.

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Icarus – April 16th, 2099

April 16th, 2099

Kira’s fever spiked over 106 before she died. That was when Anne started screaming. I heard them outside the room, trying to calm her down. When I finally was able to bring myself to open the door, Jennie and Bree were keeping Anne back as Alex and Rich brought the body out.

The eyes were wide open. I’ll never forget what I saw in them, what was happening to them. It was like dropping a dark liquid into a lighter liquid. The darker liquid begins to draw itself out, seeping towards the bottom with long, sinewy tentacles. That was what was happening with Kira’s eyes. This black ichor was seeping its way in from the corners, wriggling like something alive.

They were becoming like those other dead men.

I stood with Jennie while Alex and Bree worked. Anne should have been the one to really do the autopsy but she was in no state of mind for it. Jennie grasped my hand the whole time and I held on firmly, too afraid that if she let go I’d turn away and run back to the room. I’m such a coward. Poor Anne just wants to see her, keeps screaming that she’s still alive.

I hope she’s wrong. I saw Kira’s dead eyes and that blackness wriggling through. It’s the ichor from the brain stem, I’m sure of it, and the thalamus and hypothalamus controls a good deal of the body’s primal functions, but nothing happened. She just died. Yet something is still happening in that body. Alex doesn’t understand it either.

Kira’s brain is still functioning.

Icarus – April 15th, 2099

April 15th, 2099

They didn’t die from radiation poisoning, Alex confirmed that. They killed one another. There was foreign blood in the corpse’s teeth and skin and blood beneath his nails. Those rends we saw in their bodies? Those were done with human hands.

He also found something else: a foreign protein in the blood. According to Alex it didn’t match a single known entry in the computer’s database. What’s worse is the body’s immune system was suppressed to a point where it was practically destroyed. He thinks it happened rapidly, maybe over just a few days.

There was something else too. Just above the brain stem, a tumor grew right into the thalamus and hypothalamus. Unlike the other tumors in the body, it wasn’t filled with blood, just this protein and a black, inky fluid.

I watched from beyond the screens of Quarantine, feeling sick to my stomach as apprehension took hold. One of those tumors burst on Kira. This morning she had a fever of 102F. Those corpses killed each other. I couldn’t help but think of Kira doing the same and so I ran, ran back to my quarters and sealed the door.

That was hours ago and Alex must have told the others. Now there are noises in the hallway. People are shouting, voices angry and scared at the same time. I can’t make out their words because I can’t bring myself to approach the door.

Sarah. It’s so stupid but she’s all I think of now. I close my eyes and there she is, walking away and I’m too afraid to reach out and stop her. The shouting is worse and I can’t go out to help. I just can’t.

Especially now that I hear screaming.

Icarus – April 12th, 2099

April 12th, 2099

I visited Kate today. She couldn’t stay in her Can forever of course, so instead they locked her in her quarters. Evan set it up so she couldn’t unlock or even open the door. One of us has to bring her meals and today was my turn.

We talked and of course she tried to get me to let her out. She tried to explain that this was all some kind of horrid misunderstanding but she knew it was useless. Where could she go if I let her out? After that she just asked about the body.

I told her what I knew, that the tumors were not cancer like Kira initially thought. The theory was that the Chinese ship came too close to Alpha Centauri’s prime star and the radiation made the crew sick. That theory was put to bed with a quick visual scan of the ship. Its ablative armor was intact.

The questions I wanted to ask were hard, but I asked them anyway. Why weren’t we told about the other ships? Why so much mystery and intrigue for a simple science experiment? She didn’t say anything at all, wouldn’t even open her mouth for me. All she did was look away.

As I got up to leave she did ask me one last thing. She asked how Kira was. It was such an unexpected question that I didn’t know what to say at first. I told her the truth. One of the tumors burst on her today and she put herself in quarantine for a few hours. Anne took her vitals and she appeared fine. The tumor was just a sack of blood.

Kate didn’t say anything and I was just about to cycle the door when she called my name. She told me to send a beam to Earth and when I asked what to say, she gave me a code. I didn’t understand it but it sounded military. I’ll go over it with the others later, but I doubt they’ll trust her enough to send it.

Trust is a word we hold like a dagger to each others’ throats.

Icarus – Unknown

Unknown

Something has gone horribly wrong.

Jim is dead. Bree hasn’t said a word since it was done. Kira dosed her an hour ago to make her sleep. It was Alex’s suggestion, he said some rest would bring her around.

Kate is trying to get something out of that damned logistical computer so we can figure out what year it is. Once we figure that out, we might find out what went wrong with Jim. It seems that he came out of hibernation early, before the Can was ready to eject the fluid. He drowned. The question is, how long ago did he drown? There was not much left of him in there. The decay was excessive. I’m not going to describe it, but there was blood on the Can’s door. He tried to claw his way out.

It gets worse, much worse. After we found Jim, Kate went to the bridge. The rest of us sat around Medical while Kira and Anne prodded Jim’s remains. When she came back, she ordered us all up to the observation deck. We didn’t know why, but I think we were too shocked to ask questions.

She opened the windows and there we were. Alpha Centauri. Two bright stars staring at us like beacons in the dark. There are planets too, but we can’t tell how many, we are still too far away. And then, as our rotation brought us around, we saw the Chinese ship.

It was right in front of us, slowly spinning end over end like a giant white bullet. We were so close that we could tell there were no lights on it. Kate said there were no energy readings from it at all. It was dead. At first, I assumed that the Icarus’s lasers had hulled it but Kate said it had no damage whatsoever.

So we’re waiting now, waiting to hear what year it is and waiting to hear what we’re going to do about the Chinese ship. I don’t feel any older, don’t look any older either. There’s a pain in my chest when I breathe too deep but other than that, no change.

What had happened while we were asleep and, more importantly, how long were we asleep? The Cans should have brought us out at the correct, subjective time, but what if it didn’t? What if the Time-Vortex did something? What if the extra-long burn shorted something out in our timetables?

We are time travelers without a sense of time and men and women stranded and fearful. One of us is dead and nine more that all want to know why and how. I thought of Sarah and all those words she wanted me to hear. Had I really not lived then?

And will I ever live to find out?