Kals looked Rachel up and down. “Your sister?” Then she said, “It’s not that I’m not pleased to meet you, but how did you get here? Have you been staying on the ship?”
Rachel glanced to the right and left, barely moving her head. I couldn’t give her a full costume like I had everyone else, but I had been able to improve hers. That glance had been enough to use her HUD to check around nearby.
“This isn’t the sort of thing you should tell people about, but I have to tell you and this is as good as anywhere. You called for help from the Cosmic Ghosts and it turns out that Nick and I are indirectly descended from the Ghosts through Grandma Vander Sloot.”
“Indirectly?” I thought I knew the answer, but hoped she’d confirm it.
Rachel shrugged. “The Abominators used some Cosmic Ghost genes from when they took human form. Even weirder, we’ve got genes from Lee’s people in our family and they mixed with the Ghost genes. In fact, they filled in some of the gaps. So I’m almost a Ghost—not quite, but closer than I ought to be.”
“It’s weird that Lee’s people’s genes mix with the Ghosts at all,” I offered.
Rachel met my eyes. “I know. I asked them about it and they told me that the Ghosts are related to Lee’s people somehow. It’s kind of like us and Neanderthals—if the Neanderthals survived somewhere else. And it’s not like it’s the first time either. The way I understand it they were uh… cross-fertile.”
I thought about the implications of that for a second. There were far too many and they led in too many sometimes contradictory directions.
I didn’t even get very far in when Marcus stepped up next to me and said, “What are the Cosmic Ghosts all about and how did you get here? I’m glad to see you but it’s pretty weird to have you show up.”
“Tell me about it,” Rachel said. “I was in bed sleeping when they told me you all needed help. When I agreed to help them, they showed me how to use my ability to turn intangible to fly faster than light. You know how I can slip into alternate realities? It’s like that.
“So I flew with one of their fast response teams. They’re scouts. The main force is behind us. We just have to be ready to tell them what’s going on when they arrive. They’re not always an army, but they are when they have to be. The Ghosts think of themselves as a police force that defends against Lee’s people and whatever else shows up. I don’t think they’re as powerful as any one of Lee’s people, but they are more of them.
“I’m here because they think I’ll do a better job of communicating with you than some random Ghost.”
“Sure,” I said. “We’re more likely to listen to you than someone we don’t know.”
Marcus laughed. “You know what you are? You’re a Green Lantern. You’re part of a big police force that’s also an army. You can fly through space. Basically, you’re a Green Lantern. Do you have members from all kinds of different planets?”
Rachel shook her head. “Not really. There are a lot of us, but it’s not like everyone’s from a different planet. I think more of them are fully Ghost, but I’m not the only one from a more recent race.”
“That’s all pretty strange, but, I’m glad you’re here. We need one more voice of reason in this crowd,” Jaclyn stepped up and gave her a hug. Rachel let her, growing fully solid for the first time since we’d seen her.
Kals turned to me. “Your sister is a Cosmic Ghost and you didn’t know?”
I shrugged. “Our world has a lot of people with unpredictable genes from just about anywhere. I feel like the Abominators were using our planet as some kind of big experiment where they threw in everything they knew how to do and waited to see what would come out on top.”
She laughed. “I wouldn’t put it past them to do that for real.”
Marcus, meanwhile had stepped in to talk with Rachel and Jaclyn. Tikki had stepped up and stood next to me. She watched Rachel with undisguised interest. Noticing that I’d seen her, she said, “She is quite close to a young Ghost. She reminds me of many that I knew before our peoples fully diverged.”
Kals frowned. “What did she say? I missed it.”
Tikki grinned and stepped forward to put her hand on Marcus’ shoulder.
I shook my head. “I don’t know. I missed it too.”
Meanwhile, from the other side of Kals, Cassie said, “Hey Rach, I’m glad to see you too, but we ought to get moving. We were going to go find a couple of people and go try a plan that we’ll probably regret immediately.”
11 thoughts on “Planet in the Middle: Part 14”
Please do vote on TWF. It helps attract new readers to the serial.
with unpredictable with genes
I know you like to be with it, but I think you were two with it there.
from when they took they took human form
*interested commentary on Cosmic Ghosts and Lee’s people*
“Marcus, meanwhile [had] stepped in to talk with Rachel and Jaclyn. Tikki had stepped up and stood next to me.”
I shrugged. “Our world has a lot of people with unpredictable  genes from just about anywhere. I feel like the Abominators were using our planet as some kind of big experiment where they threw in everything they knew how to do and waited to see what would come out on top.”
Grandma Vander Sloot and/or her ancestors were getting busy with Lee’s people. Hmmm…. why do I keep thinking about this….
Nick is getting better at deflection. Good for him. And interesting that Rachel is leery of someone overhearing her. Like she was cautioned.
Not as powerful as Lee’s people is still pretty powerful if it’s a fight at all. I wonder how many other applications there are for Rachel’s abilities beyond just turning intangible. Maybe the Ghosts will send her to some kind of training camp.
That’s a distinct possibility for the future.
Well now, very interesting tidbits here on the Ghosts and how they are related in some way to Lee’s people I wonder how that works and the relationship between the two species as a whole.
The fact that it IS known that the two are fertile with one another is very interesting as it means they DID interbreed at one point and more than just once, I wonder if some of those hybrids are still around given how long lived both groups seem to be it is likely, but then Lee’s people might have tried to get rid of them so all bets are off on that.
So the Ghosts can also take bodies the way Lee’s people do which also have DNA that can be used for genetic modifications, that’s good to know. Their abilities seem very powerful more than it looks like at first glance, I wonder what more Rachel has learned(and also how people will react on Earth to her not being there). Oh and I still maintain that Guardian and Portal are some offshoot of the line carrying Ghost DNA with Guardian having been enhanced.
As for Nick’s and Rachel’s ancestry I find it rather odd that the line carrying Ghost DNA and the line carrying Lee’s people’s(Most likely the Vandersloot one)met and had offspring together, this is just too perfect methinks Lee or someone else had something to do with that.
The other VERY interesting bit is how Kee refers to Rachel as being very very close to a Young Ghost just as she previously said that if she did not know better she could have mistaken Nick for one of her people’s young and how Rachel commented on each of the Ghost of Lee’s people’s DNA filling blanks in each other.
The implications of that concerning Nick are quite something…So yeah Nick most likely has power, hell he showed it when he materialised the sword, granted he had Amy’s magic to help but still. This almost makes me think that if Lee taught him Nick could pull quite a bit of bullshit, and following that line of thought I also would think that when training with Nick Lee makes sure Nick does NOT tap into that part of his potential so as to not draw unwanted attention from his people and finally still following that thread: When Lee made his pact with Joe he saw some of his people’s DNA in Joe as well as what Nick would be and THAT would be why he specified the duration fo his pact until Nick’s generation, hell if that’s the case one can wonder if Lee was genuinely capture back in 1943 of it was an act, part of some kind of plan.
Anyway this is great can’t wait for more!!
Thanks for the chapter!
Great that Rachel is there now, though kind of surprising that she would brain dump in front of two people she didn’t know. Maybe she figured that she was being sufficiently vague?
Also, do you have a rough idea of how many chapters/sections are left in this arc? Great escalation so far!
While it’s not something she wants to share with the Human Ascendancy, the fact that “Artificer” and Cosmic Ghost DNA can be found in humans is something that knowledgeable people in the Ascendancy already know.
So it wouldn’t be good if they found out what she was, it wouldn’t be a disaster either. She’s assuming that Tikki and Kals are colonists, so she’s not too worried.