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So, to begin with, a bit of time has passed since we last were on board the Nightflyer.
In fact, eight months have gone by and things are … different. Thale is way out of quarantine and cozying up to the crew with some fun, new, terrifying games that he is creating with his telepath powers. They are all pals and passing the time with some scary play-pretend mind games. Matheson doesn't love Thale's new hobby, but she has been keeping herself busy by spending a lot of time with D'Branin. Oh, and she is also telepathic and D'Branin now knows it. Rowan and the bee-lady, aka Tessia, have become a couple and she is VERY pregnant. Meanwhile D'Branin is working very hard at communicating with the Volcryn and failing while Lommie is spending a ton of time in a fantasy world she has build in the computer system. And Captain Eris is still making time with Jhirl.
Matheson tells D'Branin she's a telepath who has been on suppressants most of her life, and the current dosage isn't working anymore. She's having visions and doesn't know how to control it. Lommie is in the computer system with her fantasy world and family, and things aren't going quite as planned – things are appearing that she hasn't coded for. And D'Branin is obsessively running tests on the organic material that emerged from the space probe. Which now seems to be moving, vibrating and growing independently. Oh yuck. The Volcryn are getting closer, and things are getting even weirder on the Nightflyer.
Tessia and Rowan are having a baby scan when D'Branin rushes in and wants Rowan to help him run some tests. D'Branin has been putting probe material into the memory sphere to attempt communication with the Volcryn. D'Branin seems a bit unhinged – it probably doesn't help that he believes the Volcryn is trying to talk to him through the form of his dead daughter – and he is pressuring Rowan, who is not rushing to help since he's got other things on his mind. Plus Lommie has discovered that the problem in her fantasy creation is that little Cynthia, part of the Captain's mother's consciousness trapped in the ship's computer, is on the loose.
Tessia asks Thale to listen to her unborn baby to hear if he can sense it. Then, he has a reaction and says it reminds him of the bees. Hmm...Thale starts having telepathic visions and projections that he can't control. And then Tessia and Rowan's baby comes early and is tragically stillborn. Rowan is devastated and it is heartbreaking. And then it's more awful when Rowan reveals to D'Branin that he and Tessia were planning to name their daughter Skye. It's terrifying and twisted. And it's going to get worse.