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   Chapter 5 Road Trip!

The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow By EJBowman Characters: 8788

Updated: 2017-12-27 12:04


Deanna did not seem to understand how long hugs were supposed to last. I presumed five seconds at the maximum but she figured they were more around fifteen. I did not resist though. She and Clara were staying at the mansion while Sven, Geraldine and I travelled to Washington D.C. to stay at Darwin Enterprises. I had never realized we had a butler until this point when I saw him standing with Clara. I shook his hand casually before looking to my father in search of an explanation. He would tell me later that we had had Derik as our butler for over a year.

"Oh darling, things aren't going to be the same without you here." Deanna said solemnly. "I mean, who am I going to pick up after?" She laughed.

"Ouch." I said while clutching my chest jokingly.

Amazingly we were packing like usual. I hardly ever took much, Sven knew how to compact all he needed into one suitcase and Geraldine had three suitcases all for his clothing. But instead of packing my usual items (e.g. Computer, tablet, clothing), I was packing sunglasses. I had only brought one change of clothing as Darwin Enterprises informed us that I would be testing out my uniform instead of wearing normal clothing. Apparently I had to wear into it before it would be comfortable, plus there was an under layer they needed to test on me. I didn't ask much about it. Apparently it was like wearing a wetsuit. – Kill me.

We were taking the family shuttle; it required the least amount of charging up before it ran. Solar power had become the cheapest source of energy which was kind of sad seeing as it was pretty expensive. The shuttle estimated that it would take at least ten hours to reach Washington D.C. if we travelled at the shuttle speed limit. The day before I had been saying how I would use that time to sleep but now that it was the day I was so energetic for some reason, sleeping didn't seem like an option.

"I'll see you soon." Sven said impatiently to all of the servants as he sat in the shuttle with the hatch up. He was dialling in the coordinates into the GPS so we knew where we were heading. He was anxious to leave because if something happened and we were delayed, he still wanted us to reach Darwin Enterprises in plenty of time. I had already explained that seeing as the earliest we would get there was midnight, and the D.E. probably wouldn't mind if we came a couple of hours later. Then his rebuttal was that we should have left even earlier so that we wouldn't get there that late.

"Well… When you see a weird robot with a vacuum cleaner for a hand, think of us." Deanna joked as she pointed to herself and Clara.

I was almost offended. "Hell no, you do realize you guys are way more than just the cleaners right? You two are like my surrogate mothers… And Derik, well you're just awesome."

Derik, the butler, nodded before his eyes shifted slightly. Our unawareness of each other's existence had been vice versa. He thought he had been working for a childless couple, so saying goodbye had actually been saying 'hello'. I do not know how we never ran into each other. Apparently the mansion had been big enough that we would never encounter.

Sven coughed to get my attention.

"Stop rushing me." I growled. "I'm never going to see these guys again. I can say goodbye at my own rate."

He rolled his eyes. I had already said goodbye to Deanna and Clara twice this morning, but for some reason it did not feel like enough. Deanna had raised me as much as my father had and Clara was like my awesome sister from East Coast. They did not get paid as much to clean the house as they did more to sit with us at dinner and start the conversations. Yes, the maids ate with us; it was a large enough table that it didn't make any sense to send them somewhere else. This raised the question of 'where the heck had Derik been all this time?'

Geraldine looked down at his green watch. "Yeah Amy, we should be getting going before your father starts complaining about how hard it is to fly at night."

"Don't call me Amy." I said sharply. He looked a little taken back, but he knew why I was annoyed at him. The harshness of my tone even drew my father's attention. He presumed I was stressed so he let it slide.

The shuttle ride was less relaxing than I had wanted it to be. Our dear friends at D.E. had finally sent us the re-drafted itinerary for the next two weeks up

to my departure. Sven read it out and emphasised the meeting with President Harry Darwin and the interview that would be broadcast to the entire world. No pressure.

Sven wiped his lips with the back of his hand. "…Well, according to this, me and Geraldine have far too much free time on our hands. Really, it's just you who has to do all the work."

I punched the button on my armrest to lean my chair back. "Joy." I muttered before closing my eyes.

"Well, would you rather come and join us on a tour of Washington D.C. instead of getting prepped for Starside?"

I hesitated, seeing his point. "Nah, I think I'll pass."

Silence filled the shuttle for a few minutes. None of us knew what to talk about. It was best not to discuss Starside at that moment or my father may have just jumped out of the shuttle to end the madness. However, not talking about it made it seem as if we were just putting it off.

I had been able to get in one video session with my friends before we left. Even Aiden had joined the chat which was heart-warming because I knew how badly I had hurt him. The extra fun part of the week was calling my relatives in Sweden and Germany to inform them of the news. I did not call my relatives in Finland: I was not close with them.

My great-grandmother had burst into tears and started cursing my father in Swedish. She had not been exactly happy for me. She could not believe she would probably never see her only great-granddaughter again. She wasn't one of those stereo-typical grandmothers that wanted me to get married and have lots of children. No, she really did not care what I did with my future so long as I was happy… yet for some reason me moving to space was a bit of a stretch for her acceptance.

"Do you guys want to put on an audio book or something?" Geraldine asked. He hated silence.

"Just keep your eyes on the sky." My father replied. Geraldine had had some 'close calls' in the past even though the skies tended to be pretty clear. Sadly, my father had been in the shuttle with him two of the times so he did not trust him to drive anymore. The only reason he was letting him fly the ship now was because he intended to be the one to drive when it got darker.

Geraldine shot an icy glare Sven's way before violently twisting the steering wheel. The shuttle did a roll in mid-air before returning back to normal. My father was clasping both armrests and his feet were in brace position on the floor. For being a retired astronaut, my father still could not handle a sudden shift in gravity.

He released one of his hands from the armrest and used his index finger to push his glasses back into place. "D-don't do that." He stammered femininely.

Geraldine and I burst out in laughter for a moment before I remembered I was still annoyed with him and stopped. Sven was not as amused. He felt as if my move to Starside was an elephant on his chest and he did not know how to cope with it. Sven was terrified. He feared I was going to lose my life in an intergalactic war. He was sure my death was fact that was just waiting to be written into the history panels. My father would never say this to my face but I was his female clone, child, I knew these things. A part of him probably wanted me to drop out at the last moment and stay on Earth while the opposing side was proud of me. Such a conflicted man; even if I told him that I was not leaving he still wouldn't be satisfied.

"Daddy?"

He looked up. "Hmm?"

"Chill out."

"I beg your pardon? Did you just say 'chill out'?" He raised an eyebrow. Obviously he had shown moi too many films from the twentieth century.

"I did." I admitted. "But seriously you need to calm down. Everything's going to be fine." I said with a sincere smile.

"What are you talking ab–"

Now it was my turn to raise an eyebrow: "I know what you're thinking. You should have a little more faith in me."

Sven was about to object, but closed his mouth. He knew I knew him better than anyone. He just bit his lip and unbuckled his seatbelt.

"I think I'll drive now." He said to Geraldine who quickly jumped out of the seat. The autopilot was perfectly capable of driving us all the way to Washington D.C. but my father did no trust technology that much. The autopilot had failed him back when he was astronaut and he had not trusted an operating system to drive him since.

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