It was quiet. The only sound was water dripping somewhere.
Moving with Goat down the corridor between the animal experimentation room and the genetics lab, slipping carefully from pool of shadow to pool of light and back into shadow, Reaper felt a strange disquiet flutter its leathery wings at the back of his mind.
Nothing surprising in Reaper feeling worried, right now. He was on an alien planet where his parents had died; there were unknown antagonists making cool, rational scientists crazed enough to rip off their own ears and throw them, and that severed arm hadn’t been terribly reassuring.
But he was used to risk, uncertainty. Unseen killers hunting him.
It took him a while to figure out what that particular odd nagging at the back of his head was….then it hit him:
He was worried about Sam. Carmack was dangerous — hell, this whole place was dangerous. He wasn’t there to protect her. For years, he’d blocked all thought of her well-being from his mind….
But now that he’d seen her again, it was hard to go off on a mission and just assume that his sister was going to be safe here.
Stay professional, he warned himself. She’ll be okay. Duke’s with her. He’s a good man. Better behave himself though, or I’ll…
He pointed at a display of fossils — specifically at a preserved humanoid skeleton curled protectively around the skeleton of a child. “What the fuck is that?”
“That’s Lucy.” She turned to the fossil and pretended to introduce Reaper. “Lucy, this is my brother, John, someone else from the long-lost past.”
He pretended to ignore this, but the shot went home anyway. He had been deliberately out of touch with her for years, partly because of the Olduvai thing. Partly because she had strongly disapproved of his career direction. “A sad waste of talent,” was the nicest thing she’d said about it.
“Come here,” she said.
He moved closer to the hominid display, looking at it from another angle.
Sam hit another keyboard combo, and chromosome maps appeared, strata of black and white in translucent tubes. “This is Lucy’s chromosome profile. Notice anything?” He shrugged, and she added, “We both know you smoked me in biology. It’s the first thing Dad taught us to look for.”
His answer was as dry as the bones on the worktables. “My molecular genetics is a little rusty.”
“She has twenty-four chromosomes. Humans only have twenty-three.”
Doom OST — Olduvai + Facing Demons