The headaches were almost constant now. The Voice and its desperate, enchanting, maddening song were constant and oftentimes all she could hear. The fight against its control was becoming a never-ending struggle and she wanted nothing more than to sleep. She hadn’t had more than a few hours’ in what felt like weeks. She existed in some sort of fog where she pretended to be on Beckham’s side and pretended she could ignore the Voice.
She was with Beckham constantly now. Outside Pearce waged his war and in the control room, Captain Aaron threw all his energy into getting them to their new home, but she had no contact with them. It would have been far too dangerous. Beckham as smart as he’d always said he was. He did know what was going on all over the ship. He knew that Cassidy had teamed up with Pearce and they were waging a war. He knew that Captain Aaron was racing to get to their new home in an attempt to stop him. He didn’t know that Taryn was involved, though, and that surprised her to no end. She supposed it had something to do with the Voice, which seemed to be spending all its time trying to force her to comply with him. It needed her and she was certain that was the only thing keeping her safe.
When Pearce finally did something, Taryn had to suppress a cheer. It was a childish prank involving a lot of blue dye and old fish, but it bothered Beckham to no end. He ranted and ranted about how he would show Pearce how foolish he had been. How he would get him back.
“What will you do to them?” Taryn had finally asked.
“I will deal with them later. Right now, we’ll play their game. Nothing serious. One show of might will break them. Wait and see, Taryn. They’ll come crawling to me asking for my forgiveness and my blessing. But they won’t get it,” Beckham said with a glint she couldn’t quite read in his eye.
Taryn didn’t respond. She wondered if Pearce knew what kind of game he was playing.
Much to her relief, Beckham’s one show of might did nothing. In fact, the tides had finally started to turn against him. True, most on the ship were still terrified of him, but they finally had someone to rally behind. After weeks of scuffles in the hallways, Beckham called her and Richmond to him. He had a plan.
As Beckham laid out his plan, the Voice sang until Taryn felt she would be sick.
Make them pay for it. Make them bleed. Show them our might. Show them who is right. You are as strong as the stars. They are weak being made of flesh. Kill them all. No mercy.
“I am going to give Pearce a choice. Stop the rebellion, save his friend and all the other sleepers or go on and I will open the doors. Either way, I will kill him and the girl. They’re too dangerous, don’t you think?” Beckham asked her finally.
At his words, Taryn’s skin crawled. For the first time in a while, she felt fully like herself.
“Beckham, wait,” she started.
Beckham turned to her expectantly, but then something amazing happened. Her words of protest died on her tongue and she heard the Voice’s words come out of her mouth.
“We will need to do something about the captain,” it said.
Beckham nodded and resumed his plotting. Taryn tried to scream at him, stop him, do anything, but she was stuck. The Voice had her now. She couldn’t so much as breathe without its permission which it made very, very clear. She watched with horror as Richmond subdued Captain Aaron and put Cassidy into a deep, deep sleep that Taryn feared she would never wake from.
The moment Pearce was summoned, she tried to call out to him, stop him. The most she did was let out a strange, barely audible, cough-like sound that no one heard. It was enough, though, to give her a glimmer of hope.
“Well, Pearce? What’ll be?” Beckham asked with a broad grin on his face.
Pearce didn’t answer. He had frozen. He looked like some wild animal caught up in a net. Taryn had to speak before he made his decision. She knew whatever he said, it would be the wrong one. He would die either way and so would Captain Aaron. It would just be her against Beckham and she couldn’t win that way. She needed them.
His eyes met hers and suddenly the Voice stopped.
She didn’t know how long they had been in that room. She didn’t know how long it took her to act. What she did know is that she had punched Beckham hard. If he hadn’t been about to kill close to fifty people, she would have laughed at his face as he toppled from the chair.
“PEARCE! WAKE THEM UP!” she screamed, savoring each word.
With a nod, Pearce ran from the room and through the crowd that had gathered to watch the confrontation. She saw several of them run down the corridor with him. Good. He had reinforcements.
In the control room, Richmond made a menacing move towards her.
“Don’t! The Voice still needs me,” Taryn said, holding an outstretched palm to Richmond.
He froze. Beckham righted himself. His face was livid.
“What the hell was that?” he spat at her. What does Pearce decide to do? Please return to the top of this episode to vote on what happens next!