Breaking through the barrierUp to now Carla’s life in her New Eden colony has been predictable, secure, and contained within an impregnable barrier. Well, other colonists may be content with their lot, but for Carla safe is not enough. There’s a whole alien world to explore out there and Carla wants to be the first one to see it. But if she can break through the barrier and make her dreams a reality, what then?
And what of the alien voices in her head?
Clem looked at his wrist compass. They were being driven back northwest towards the coast. Of course this was better than further out into the ocean, but it was impossible to influence the direction at all. They could end up miles away from the colony, dashed against the northern cliffs.
Carla did not feel afraid. Partly this was because Clem was with her, and she knew he would do anything to protect her. But partly it was because she had the strong feeling that whatever happened was meant to be. She wasn’t normally so fatalistic.
And then she heard laughter in her mind. You are very close now, Carla, Fenka said. You have never been closer.
Other voices murmured agreement. A lot of them were present at once now. A confused babble broke out in her mind as many voices fought for her attention.
...beyond the barrier/ we will show you everything / many other places / ha! / there is so much to see and feel...
Clem shouted something but she couldn’t hear over the wind and the rain and the clamour of voices in her head. She shouted at them to be quiet, but the voices were talking, not listening.
Suddenly Carla felt a hand on her hand, which made her jump.
‘We’ve done all we can do,’ Clem shouted in her ear. ‘We’d best get below. This boat is built well, though I say so myself. She won’t fail us!’
Carla scrambled into Colombia’s cabin holding her uncle’s hand.
The storm continued to rage, the sea continued to buck like a mustang, and the voices continued their assault on Carla’s mind.
...closer, ever closer...
...the edge of your world approaches...
Just then there was a deafening bang followed by a lurching impact that sent Carla and Clem flying into the wall of the cabin. The last thing Carla heard was Fenka’s voice. He said, Welcome to the edge of your world. And the beginning.