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   Chapter 11 Titonic… Titanic

The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow By EJBowman Characters: 24943

Updated: 2017-12-27 12:04

The room was spinning and had just become one big grey blur with yellow flashing lights. My body wasn't used to being turned into billions of little particles and shot across space. A hand reached out and grabbed my shoulder just before I fell over. It was Cameron's hand.

"Easy." He said in English. "I felt bad the first time I did that too."

If you thought about how foreign of a language English was to my brother, then you had to be impressed by the fact he could even construct sentences.

The bright lighting in the room was disorienting. I grabbed Cameron's arm to keep myself from falling over. It felt like my guts were still trying to rearrange themselves after the beam up. The tip of my nose and cheeks felt icy. Blake had not lied; being in a USM spaceship was like walking down the frozen food section of a supermarket.

I was a little surprised to see the aliens running the teleporter. One was bright pink and had its eyes high above its head on stems while the other did not even have a head. The only thing all aliens seemed to have in common were the universal translators attached to whatever part of their body detected sound waves. Cameron had ears like mine –except for their little pointy tips– so the little translator was attached to his ear while the wire ran all the way to his brain. I was soon going to learn why it needed to be attached to the brain. Apparently while attacked to my brain, it would also affect my sight in some way. A part of me really did not want to know how.

Cameron carefully pulled the sunglasses off my head and put them in the side pocket of my duffle bag. He attached his own pair to his collar before grabbing the strap of the bag and pulling it off moi.

"I will hold this until you feel better." He said as he swung it over his back.

"Thanks." I mumbled jadedly.

"You are welcome."

I stayed close to my brother as we headed for the elevator. The hallways were extra-large for some of the taller aliens. On our way we passed a creature the size of Jabba the Hutt while another looked like a skeleton on stilts. I knew we were all on the same side here, but they still disturbed me a bit. These aliens were far more exotic than anything I, or any sci-fi director, could have ever dreamed up. We passed one that looked like a slithering spine with two big black eyes and a USM Naval beret on its white head. – Very disturbing.

The aliens did not seem to like moi much either. First they would look at Cameron and roll their eyes –or what I presumed was their eyes– and then they would look at the dorky cadet beside him and scoff. My poor brother, he must have been so embarrassed by me.

"How big is this ship?" I asked him to break the awkward silence in the elevator. I hadn't noticed before, but there was another alien in the elevator with us who only went up to my knee. He cocked his head up and gave me a strange look for asking a stupid question.

"Big." Cameron laughed. The little alien looked at him strangely too… maybe that was just its usual face.

Sadly, the layout of USM spaceships weren't like the ones in Star Trek. They looked more like a mixture between submarines and ships like… the Titanic, except of course they were far larger and were a lot cooler. Then there was the bridge… Yowza. The room was circular with one great window/monitor at the very front. The image on the monitor was of Earth. A very surreal feeling knowing that I wasn't on that planet anymore and that I was miles and miles away from my family. Near the front was the captain's chair with its own computer attached to the armrest. All the other computers were either attached to the walls or grouped in circles with all the other computers that performed the same task.

A tall green creature that resembled a praying mantis in a USM uniform made its way through the bridge and greeted us. Except it did not greet us in the usual human way. The creature had four arms. The higher up ones had the stereotypical alien hands while the lower down ones were like bendable swords covered by a thin black body glove. The creature raised one if its blade-like arm to draw an invisible line down both Cameron and I's chests. I stood absolutely still. One slip up and the creature could cut right through my body like a knife through warm butter. It was the way the captain greeted people on the ship. I could tell he/she/it was the captain because of the black stripe running across its chest and the black pin attached to its beret. The first officer would have something similar, except they would be missing the black pin and just have the stripe.

The captain made a strange gurgling noise fallowed with a small shriek that was just loud enough to startle me. It didn't seem like aggressive sign, but if I knew one thing about aliens, they were never what they seemed.

"He says hello." Cameron told me. "He is Captain ______." I didn't quite catch the name because it was so foreign to my ears. At least I knew it was a 'he' so that I would no longer have to refer to him as an 'it'.

The captain spoke again. Cameron translated it: "We should get your tr-trans…. translator so we can communicate better on the t-tour."

"That sounds great." My smiled seemed a little forced. I was feeling so many strange emotions. I didn't even know if I was happy or not. I was just in a surreal daze.

We passed the first officer in the hallway called Tek. She (or I presumed she was a 'she') seemed incredibly intimidating. The way she stared Cameron down did not make her gain my approval. Her blue hair-like tentacles contrasted with her bright pink skin. She was a fairy in appearance, but a hellcat in personality. I could not understand a word she said but something had made her very unhappy. Cameron hung his head, ashamed.

What the fuck where they talking about? I thought with an expression that matched my thoughts.

Tek strode off as if she was late for something very important. Although I knew she had nothing important to do seeing as the ship hadn't even started moving yet. A fascinating fact about the USM: They never 'took their time' to do things… even walk. That was why they expected me to be ready to shift my life forever in one month. In fact, they had felt like they had actually giving me plenty of notice because they usually only gave out the news a week early. I was happy to have the month, but it also felt a bit patronizing because they were giving all the new cadets extra time. They thought all the aliens from second-class planets were slower and held us all in lower standards.

"What was that all about?" I whispered to Cameron. Hopefully his captain did not have ultra-good hearing.

"Nothing. Do not worry." He put on his best fake smile. Sadly, it was not the harsnic way to lie even if he did just want to be a 'good sport'.

My God, I now knew why my father felt so protective of Cameron. A part of me just wanted to go out of character and hug the boy until he got all the feelings out. Another part of me wanted to run back down the hall and beat the living hell out of the first officer who made him feel bad.

We were led by the captain to what appeared to be the armoury and where they also upgraded electronics. It looked like the inside of an Apple store except less flash somehow. I loved a ship that was so huge that it could have its own electronic store. I was sure that if I looked at a map of the place that there would be a section

pecies are banned from interplanetary travel. They're basically considered 'independent planets' as the USM doesn't pay much attention to them." Captain Gorirtz explained. He seemed to not mind the idea.

"So third-class planets are like prisons for the people that live on them?" I asked cautiously, remembering how the same thing was happening in the USA with Florida.

"It's best not to think too much into it." Cameron reassured me. "There are so few third-class planets with third-class species living on them. Only seven-hundred and ten I think."

"Wrong. Seven-hundred and ten planets but seven-hundred and twelve species." Captain Gorirtz stated.

"Right." Cameron would've smacked his forehead in realization if he hadn't been holding my suitcases. "I forgot about simnolis and bassacs living on Ormo 34 and the kapkorts and uvens on Natarakaja. I need to go back to the academy and relearn my USM history."

"Yes you do." Captain Gorirtz laughed.

I didn't laugh. The whole class-system system made my stomach churn. The galaxy was so immense that seven-hundred and ten third-class planets seemed like a small number to Cameron and Captain Gorirtz. – It didn't seem like a small number to me. In terms of social hierarchy on Earth I would be pretty high up the pyramid, but now that I was in space I was a 'middle-class' civilian. How can humans be considered 'underdeveloped' if the USM has the exact same issues in their own government?

"So is there such thing as fourth-class planets?" I asked Cameron to continue our conversation from the elevator. We were now back in the corridor we had walked down earlier. I could tell because the alien that looked like Jabba the Hutt was passing through again except this time he/she/it was going in the opposite direction.

"Err… I don't think so." Cameron replied.

The truth of the matter was that there were fourth-class planets, yet he refused to tell me about them because he had seen my expression in the elevator during the third-class discussion. He figured telling me about them would only make me mad.

There were fourth-class planets, not fourth-class species. Fourth-class planets were battered ghosts of USM wars. There were no life forms of any kind on fourth-class planets. Most of the planets were so toxic because of the bombs that had gone off during the wars that not even plant life could grow. The USM tried to keep information about fourth-class planets concealed. Mostly because it was partly their fault the planet's life forms were gone. Most fourth-class planets were created during USM wars with space pirates or terrorists that tried to take the planet hostage as protection. They thought the USM would not dare go through civilians to kill them. – They were wrong. If the planet's inhabitants got in the crossfire between the United Systems of Mel and the pirates the USM would not consider themselves to blame for the deaths.

There were very few fourth-class planets. Only a hundred and sixty-two. They tended to be just bigger than an average dwarf planet. When they were once inhabited the populations tended to be very small due to the size of the planet. It was easy to see how poor species just got wiped out so easily with such small populations and planets where you couldn't run far enough away before coming back around again to the same spot. I was going to learn about all these bloodbaths in the USM history class I had to take, but for now I was glad Cameron had not told me all of that.

The main screen on the bridge still held the image of Earth. I stared at the little blue and green planet long and hard as everybody else continued with their work. Cameron was standing beside me. It was his shift off so he did not have to get back to his work station down in tactics. He was going to take me on a tour of the Titonic once the ship went into hyperspace.

It felt like I hadn't really left Earth at all. I was still going to have to deal with the same discriminatory issues, but now I was going to get to see how other people lived. I was going to be living without getting everything handed to me, without having people respect simply because of my last name, without my supportive friends and family, and without the benefits the first-class species got. I was a second-class alien in the eyes of the USM and they were going to treat me like one.

Earth flickered out of view in an instant. The stars stretched out like they were elastic as we shot into hyperspace.

Goodbye Earth. I thought. I'm gonna miss ya… a lot.

Sure, I was going to be treated differently and have a huge disadvantage in the USM. But there was one thing the USM hadn't counted on: my inexplicably large ego that would demand their attention. And with my ego came my bitchy side (sorry, biatchy side) because when I didn't get what I wanted I tended to make sure everyone knew how I was feeling.

I couldn't help but smile a bit. – The USM had no idea what it was in for.

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