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another snippet

I'm feeling kind of regretful because last night we turned around while deep in Virginia and missed our annual Schooner Faire concert at the Barns at Wolf Trap. The snow was coming down something fierce and the roads getting icy. D wanted to continue on and I screamed at him and cursed and he got mad at my doing that in front of the kids. He was right about roll models but the stubbornness just floored me and I lost it. We made up later. I do miss hearing those guys.

Snow is deep this morning and still falling. Peaceful. Quiet. Now, if I could just quiet my own heart, I'd be in heaven.

Here's another snippet of It's Cold in Here.

Waves slappling against the pier made a staccato beat the echoed the rapid beating of his heart as he lay prone on the cold pavement next to his red '67 T-bird. So close, yet so far away. He blinked his eyes.

Zhaan looked around in curiosity. She was standing next to a body of dark water on which bobbed various boats at rest in the late evening. Dots of light bounced on the water making it sparkle. The concrete pier on which she now stood was pitted with age and algae and bordered by a dilapidated wooden fencing. The air was humid and warm and smelled of fish and diesel fuel. The only sound was the rapid panting of the man lying flat on his stomach a fiew yards away from her. The silver spike glowed eriely in the darkness where it rose from the back of his neck.

Zhaan approached John where he lay stretched out her hand towards his shoulder but could not touch him. She tried again with both her hands palm first, pressing, but met a resistance that pushed back no matter how hard she leaned. She circled around her friend and pushed up and down searching for an opening and discovered that the invisible "box" surrounded the man closely, like a coffin entombing the paralyzed human.

"John, can you hear me?"

"Yeah, Zhaan, I'm still here. You come to join the wake? To pray over my corpse? I'm not worth the trouble." John murmured into the asphalt, his saliva dripping from his mouth to join his sweat and tears in small pools.

"Goddess preserve you. You are not dead yet, John. There are many reasons to live…friends who need you…things to discover…don't give up hope. You are the strongest being I have ever met, show me that strength now."

"Oh, Blue, I don't think I have anything left to give. Can't pull it together. That freak has taken everything I have…my friendships, my health, and now my humanity. How can I fight him like this?"

"Hello, Delvian. Have you come to rescue your friend? the black cadaverous form said as he leaned over Zhaan's shoulder and peered at John where he lay trapped in the force field of his making. "I'm almost done here. John has been most… uncooperative."

The Scorpius clone John had named Harvey gestured to the right and showed Zhaan the grave that cut a raw gap in the grass to the left of the car. "I figure some time in isolation should finish John's resistance to my probes and let me conclude my work and report my findings to Scorpius. Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust."

"Not if I can help it! This is an abomination. To entomb a soul who can't fight back. I will not stand for this." Zhaan's hands circled her head and pressed together with a snap of energy as she grounded herself for the psychic battle to come. She reached down and lay one hand on the field and the other over her heart.

John felt a surge of energy thrust through the field and fill him with hope and renewed strength. He didn't know how Zhaan did it, but somehow she was reaching him. He smiled in gratitude and yelled to the best of his limited ability, "You get 'im, Zhaan! "

Zhaan stood before Harvey, her eyes were fierce and concentrated but her demeanor spoke of calm and control. She placed one of her hands on her heart and stretched the other out palm first towards the demon in black leather. Blue lightening crackled from her fingers and shot out, striking Harvey in the middle of his chest and sending him flying only to hit the railing that bordered the pier. Harvey righted himself and closed his eyes, pulling in energy from the chip and causing John to gasp in pain. The force field shimmered with energy drawn out from his body. "Oh, Jesus, Harvey, why not just pull my heart out through my mouth and be done with this!" John cried in agony.

Harvey just smiled and gathered the resulting yellow light in his fist and shot it straight back at Zhaan. She warded off the blow with her palm, backtracking slightly at the force of it.

****

D'Argo, Aeryn, and Chiana caught Zhaan as she suddenly collapsed beside Crichton's bed, her face ashen and her body trembling and laid her gently on the floor. The lights on both neural controllers flickered red, blue, green, and yellow. John's body resonated with Zhaan's tremors, his muscles clenching and unclenching as he moaned in pain. D'Argo looked at his stricken friends and back at Chiana and Aeryn, "Should we disconnect them?"

Aeryn watched the changing colors on the control display as well as the tortured faces of Zhaan and Crichton. John's face was rolling in sweat and pale as Chiana's while Zhaan had now turned a strange green while small nodules began to blossom on her head. "No, I think it would kill them at this point. Chiana, go get the portable scanner from the Med Bay. I wish I know what was going on in John's mind. I truly don't know what to do. So we'll wait."

D'Argo nodded his reluctant agreement and sat down against a wall, Qualta blade ready in his arms, to wait. Aeryn scooted down beside her Luxan friend, arms around her knees. All was silent except John's strong exhalations.

*****

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