#1: just after Scarecrow attacked Niko
She's getting restless again. Zozo looked, worried, at sleeping Niko. Quietly he left the room, crossed the hall and knocked on Goose's door. The door opened and the barrel of a laser rifle vanished sideways. Gooseman wore only uniform trousers and socks. Since Scarecrow had forced his way in this afternoon all of them were tense. "You have to come. I can't calm her. Every time she falls asleep, she wakes up seconds later, screaming. I don't know what to do." The little Kiwi wrung his hands in despair.
"On my way." Already running, he threw on a shirt, but didn't take time to button it or to take his boots.
Niko hid her face behind her arms in unconscious repulsion. She trembled. She cringed, her rigid muscles tugging at the blaster wound between left shoulder and breast. "No!! No..." Her cry ended in a half-telepathic sound of confusion that resonated in the room. Goose fell to his knees beside her bed, grabbing her wrists and pulling them with controlled power from her face. Zozo, standing near the door, hesitated. It wouldn't have occurred to him to touch her that forcefully. Obviously not needed for the moment, he climbed into a chair next to the door and tried to rest.
"Niko, it's me, Goose. Gooseman. Niko, look at me!" He pressed her hands down. She fell silent, hands and shoulders still tense, but the shivering had stopped. Finally she opened her eyes. Slowly recognition dawned. "Niko. It's all over, over. You understand me?" Goose still held her hands on the quilt. It was difficult for her to sit up, but she managed it. Her body twitched as she finally answered.
"It isn't over, Goose." Her voice was faint, hard to understand. "It's never going to be over." He noticed tears in her eyes, and her lips trembled. She sniffled, leaned forward, almost cringed down. He took her in his arms, held her, let her cry. Her terror was almost physical between them. She pressed her face to his shoulder. "It's like... like a perverted kind of telepathy." She swallowed convulsively. "But it's powered by death not life. I felt the death, Goose... I felt everyone dying... everything... hatred... rage... lust..." Her voice faded. She sensed his hands on her back, the tension of shock in his body. And nevertheless he still held her, kept his breathing calm. How is he doing this? She looked up. Her eyes hit his...
...the sudden tension between them seemed almost visible to Zozo. Did they actually remember him sitting there? Should he leave the room? He shook his head and jumped silently down from his chair. Humans... Zozo slipped out of the room and quietly shut the door. I thought I was done being surprised by this species.
Gooseman gasped. Niko kissed him with considerable intensity. Her tongue forced her way between his lips, touching his teeth, his palate, getting caught with his own. Her hands burned on his chest. She flung an arm around his neck, pulled him down to her, while the other hand fumbled for the fastenings of his trousers. He managed to slow down his fall, felt her hand on his thigh. He couldn't, wouldn't fight against her. Following her almost insane passion, he gave in, burying his face in her chestnut-red hair. A fever seized him, and he felt his body react, as if making a choice his mind could not. The movements of Niko's body beneath his dragged him. He felt her nails digging into his back. She slung a leg around him, to pull him in entirely. "Niko, we shouldn't..." Her kiss silenced any objection.
It got cold in the hall outside. Zozo tried to open Goose's door but it was locked. Annoyed, he looked around. Finally, he decided he'd been polite enough and opened Niko's door slightly. His big Kiwi ears twitched: Silence. He slipped into the room and climbed again into his chair at the door, trying to ignore the two shadows huddled together in the tan twilight of a moonlit night.
A knocking at the door roused Goose out of sleep. A little disoriented he shook his head. What happened?... He felt Niko's warmth at his side and remembered: her panic, her desire... He propped his head on his hands, rubbed his aching eyes.. Finally he ran his hands through his hair to push it back and got to his feet in one motion. The knocking repeated. The doctor's voice demanded entry. The violet light of a Granna morning played on the quilt. Niko's hand searched for him, but she didn't wake. He wrapped the blanket closer around her and fastened his clothes. Zozo slept on the chair next to the door, a rifle across his knees. If he...? Irrelevant now! Goose carefully lifted the gun from Zozo's limp fingers and opened the door.
"Gooseman. What happened last night?" Zozo looked quite nosily at him. His innocent blink got on Goose's nerves.
"I don't know, what you are talking about, Zozo." Hard lines showed up on his face. "Get the alarms checked. There's a murderer out there. Don't forget that!" He turned once again at the Kiwi. "And never mention a word to anyone about this!"
"It's personal." His voice lowered to a growl. "And I don't like people talking about my private life. Understand?" The little Kiwi hopped backward. Briskly Goose pushed him through the door, took another short glance around the quiet room where Niko still slept, and then he left, too...
#2:At the end of Scarecrow, before they enter Ranger-1:
They were awaiting their clearance for takeoff in the pilots' lounge at the Granna spaceport. Zozo kept an eye on the ship, which was already prepared for launch. Niko had already had a serious conversation with him, telling him what would happen if Fox – or even worse, Walsh – were to hear anything about the events Zozo had witnessed. She reminded him that Goose had to fear the cryocrypt if he acted against his SuperTrooper training, as the Board of World Leaders wasn't very liberal when it came to SuperTrooper matters. And she herself would have to face disciplinary action, or even worse, for her own behavior. Finally he had understood. It had been a hard conversation for her, but the one ahead was even more difficult. Gooseman sat at a small table working on a first draft of his report. Her cheeks flamed at the memory of his body collapsing beside hers. She paced the room, finally stopping abruptly. Now or never.
"Goose, we've got to talk." She closed her trembling hands around her elbows, taking a seat on the second chair. He continued writing.
"Let me finish this first," he said. She took a deep breath. He had seemed totally normal during the past day, but she knew him well enough to know he had just buried the memories so they wouldn't interfere with his duties. She couldn't let him continue that way.
"It's important." She sighed. "I am sorry I lost control, and I wanted you to unterstand why. Please let me show you what happened in my eyes."
"I can't express telepathic views like those in words, Shane. Maybe in Xanad, but never in Standard-English." She held her hands out, ready to activate her badge. After a moment he took them...
...he saw the events again, this time through her telepathic eyes: fibrous black nothing crept towards him, a total void lacking any kind of substance, devouring everything everywhere. The whole room had a telepathic layer, like an additional dimension... He never had the faintest idea that psionics were like that. And then the void stirred again, streaking out for him, encircling him. He wanted to scream in terror... He saw himself, saw his gleaming aura of blue-golden vitality like a wall of flames between him and the darkness, felt the overpowering desire to touch this life, to wrap the memories of sulfurous death in his soul with this feeling of vitality to make it bearable... The memories of pain and death were dwarfed by the light, covered in a gleaming cocoon of telepathic silk...
She looked uncertainly at Goose, trembling again in the memories of death, of him, of what she'd done with him... He looked up, showing shock and bewilderment in his eyes. "Shane..." She felt deep sorrow now, starting to recognize the real nature of his trouble - not her actions but his physical reactions to them.
"I didn't know your gift was like this."
"It's not my powers I feel sorry about." she said quietly.
"I know." The moment of weakness vanished. "Give me time to adjust to it."
He noticed the expression on her face and took on one of his cynical smiles. "And maybe you should remember something: you didn't use your powers against me, so I'd have been capable of stopping you whenever I wanted by just pushing you off me." At that moment a bell rang to grant them clearance for takeoff.
#3: just after Scarecrow's Revenge during hyperspace travel back to BetaMountain.
Niko leaned back in her seat. "I'm really glad you were the one assigned to that cartography mission. At first, Commander Walsh wanted Doc to do this job." She grinned weakly. "Don't get me wrong: I just think you were more helpful with dealing with Scarecrow on Tarkon than Doc would have been."
"Oh. Doc will be glad, too."
"What do you mean?"
"'cause I know how Scarecrow can affect you. And then you and Doc on the same planet? Now there's a horrible image!" He grinned provocatively. "I'd have had to fix him after you got back."
"You–" She stopped herself and settled back into her seat. "Arrogant bastard."
"That's one more parent than I've got."
She couldn't help but laugh.