Drifting for the first time was always a terrifying affair. It was worse if the two participants had drifted before. There was always an inclination to hide something from the new partner out of fear of being a traitor. Drifting was an intimate affair, and hiding something was out of the question, of course. The minute someone held something back it would mean the end of the trust between co-pilots and the deterioration of the neural handshake.
As Scott eyed the man across from him, half of his face a scarred and misshapen mess, he felt unease. Soon he would be sharing his entire life—and Allison’s—with this man. The reverse would be happening and Scott would soon know all there was to know about the man. Peter Hale, they told him. Well, Scott would soon now and he tried to push his reservations away deep inside of him.
“Are you ready, McCall, Hale?” Marshall Deaton asked, looking at the glass visor of the Jaeger. Scott nodded, his knees feeling weak. Peter said nothing but stared straight ahead. “Initiating neural handshake.”
It was a trickle at first, which was odd. The first time with Stiles it had been like being in his own brain staring back at him. The first time with Allison had been a flood brought on by their love for each other. There were no secrets between them, not then and not now. So this thin trickle made Scott curious and lower his guard in invitation. Peter’s eyes flickered and the trickle grew stronger, turning into a stream, and then a gushing. Scott felt assaulted as his memories mingled with Peter’s.
Burning, dying, screaming. Scott had been trained not to chase the rabbit but he realized rather suddenly that he had no idea if Peter could do the same thing. It was shown in vivid detail, the way the woman was screaming as sparks flew around, the fire that burned despite the surrounding water. Peter’s anguish flooded Scott and he gasped for air. Finally he saw Peter’s hands reach out and strangle, killing his co-pilot for her air supply. While he was still engaged.
Scott was thrown out of the memory with a jerk and their minds were synced. Their breathing matched and their pulse slowed as they lifted their arms. As Scott closed his fist and Peter followed suit, Scott saw a glimpse of fire in Peter’s eyes.