Even when you’ve escaped the darkness, a piece of it follows you. To face up to that darkness and defy it, or to fall under its power, that’s the real battle. Terri Dawn didn’t know if she could defeat the darkness that had been planted within her, or if she even wanted to, but she’d have an eternity to find out.

Welcome to the second character introduction of 2020. Meet Terri. She could be any one of us, just an average girl who made a bad decision. Could happen to any of us.

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Everybody wants a fresh start at one time or another, but not like this.
Terri Dawn Comarda had fled her abusive husband, stolen his precious sports car, and run. The sudden bright light appearing from nowhere, combined with her tears, blinded her and the car left the lonely mountain road at speed. She was barely aware of the impact that destroyed her already battered body.
Terri slowly returned to consciousness, or as near as the world of pain would allow. Worse, she couldn’t move her arms or legs. She called out to the approaching shadow, begging for help, but the thing that ripped away the buckled car door couldn’t have been human, and she fainted from pain and fear.
She became aware again, as she was being carried away from the burning car, but she couldn’t speak, nor move any part of her body. She passed out again as they neared the glowing sphere in the road.
The next time awareness reached her she was inside a metal tube with something attached to her head. A soft voice sounded in her mind. “You are finally awake. It grieves me to inform you that your body is badly damaged. It can be repaired, but life demands much of the living, and death often offers gentle comfort. Which do you prefer?”
Terri didn’t respond at first. The voice was right, death did have a certain appeal; Robert would never be able to hurt her again. No, damn him, it shouldn’t be that easy for him, he shouldn’t be allowed to win after all he’d done. Besides, in spite of everything Terri had endured, she really wanted to live, to enjoy life as she once did before she met him. “I want to live, please help me.”
“You choose life?”
“Yes. Please, you said my body could be repaired. Please help me, I don’t want to die. I want to live.”
“And so you shall, for as long as you desire to do so, and longer. Rest now, I will repair your body for you.” Terri wondered what that meant as her consciousness fled once again. The next time she awakened there was no pain. In fact, she felt better than she had in years.
The bed she was lying on slid out of the long tube. She sat up and easily rose to her feet. A tall gangly creature stood facing her. It was roughly humanoid but had no visible mouth. Instead a voice sounded from the small box in its hand. “Ah, you have awakened at last, Immortal.”
“Immortal? Why did you call me that?” asked Terri, edging away from him.
“Because that’s what you now are. You chose life and now you have it, life unending. This ship is now yours, Immortal, it will respond to you and you alone.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Long ago, many millions of years ago as you understand the passage of time, my predecessor became weary of life and passed the ship to me, as I now pass it to you. She coded the ship to me, then died for the final time and left this mortal existence.
“I have now coded the ship to you, as I also have tired of this unending life. The ship is yours now. No matter which planet you’re on, whatever galaxy, or parallel universe you explore, should you become injured, captured, or killed, the ship will retrieve and revive you as you are now. Should you grow old and perish of natural causes the ship will return you to this current state of being.
“This ship has access to all the knowledge and abilities gathered by myself and my seven predecessors. You have only to ask and the ship will provide whatever you need. I now leave you to enjoy the journey.” With that the creature began to dissolve into nothingness, and then Terri was alone.
It took a while, but she finally found her voice. “Wow, that was weird. Okay, he said the ship would respond to me. Let’s see about that. Ship?”
A gentle feminine voice responded, the voice she’d heard while in the tube. “Yes, Terri? How may I serve?”
“Where did my rescuer go?”
“He has returned to the ether. His consciousness, and all that he was in life, is now in me. You are hungry, Terri.”
“What? Oh yes, I am hungry at that. Is there food?” A bowl of something green appeared on the table beside her. She gave it a strange look. “What is that?”
“Nutrients, Terri, as Egon enjoyed them. A moment only.” The bowl of green stuff shimmered and was replaced with a hamburger and fries. “Better?”
“Much,” grinned Terri, as she dug in with a will.
“Yes, the revival always made Egon hungry too.”
“So tell me, Ship, what’s your name?”
“Ship is ship. Ship has no name.”
“Seriously? Your voice reminds me of my Aunt Belle. She was dear to me and always the voice of wisdom. I think I’ll call you Belle. From now on, your name is Belle.”
The voice of the ship almost sounded excited. “In all the long ages, ship has not had a name other than ship. Ship is pleased and will answer to the name Belle.”
“Good. Now, Belle, tell me what I’m supposed to do next.”
“Whatever you wish to do.”

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Whatever you wish to do. Who knows what they would choose, what would you choose to do given those circumstances?

Okay, so that’s it for today. It’s back to work for me as I listen to Terri tell me more of her journey. Happy reading.

Bless

Pru

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