MoboReader> Sci-fi > The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow

   Chapter 25 Deep Space Nen

The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow By EJBowman Characters: 40398

Updated: 2017-12-27 12:04


It was a normal morning. The regeneration chamber would act as a carwash before spitting me out like a bad prostitute. Then I would sit on the floor with my knees hugged to my chest for the next few minutes trying to recuperate. – A good way to start the day.

The little scars from the suction cups were beginning to look a red and irritated. They were most likely infected. Maybe it would be wiser if I did not rip them from my body every morning and took time to carefully pluck out each one. Meh, I'll stick to ripping them out savagely.

The only thing that was different about this morning was the fact I could not bring myself to get off the floor. It was not as if I was unmotivated. My skeleton felt as if it was made of lead.

Time flew by as I slumped against the door to my cubicle. Breakfast did not sound appealing. I would have wanted some food if I knew it wasn't going to taste like cardboard.

In my daze I thought about Dub Cap Kel and how he had had a meltdown after our duel yesterday. It already felt like all that had happened so long ago. Seeing as every minute felt like an hour here, I guess that explained why everything that occurred yesterday felt like it had happened weeks before.

I was surprised by my own surplus of empathy for Kel at that moment. Out of all the sad sacks at Starside Academy, why did I feel the worst for the phallic? It was probably because I was ashamed of myself for being a bitch to him. Yeah, he deserved a good kick to the gonads, but I wasn't the one who was supposed to have dealt him it. It was something Ams should have done. The 'melancholy' girl deserved to give the algrin a piece of her mind.

"Dub First Off Am of Mar." A voice said from the other side of my door. It was not a question, more a demand.

I had a very long title didn't I? Only Chorst would bother to call moi by full label. What was he doing out there… and what time was it?

"Yes?" I replied. I was suddenly surprised by my hoarse voice.

"You were absent from breakfast."

"I'm not hungry."

He didn't answer for a moment. So I decided to give him a little more information on my condition: "I can't get up. I…err, just can't get up."

I waited for an answer, and yet all I heard were Chorst's boots thudding away towards the exit. The trinard's anti-socialness was becoming incredibly annoying. It was not his fault, but I wished Chorst could give me proper explanations.

In the blink of an eye I heard voices. This suggested I had dozed-off since Chorst had left. It could have been minutes since he left for all I knew.

"Am, you okay?" My science teacher asked. He sounded sincere, that was a good sign.

"Yeah." I tried to reply casually, but my voice cracked.

"Could you come out?"

"Err… No."

"Why not?"

"I'm naked."

Nudity was not an issue for either of the men outside my chamber. Frek was a scientist and had studied the female anatomy for various aliens while Chorst was simply asexual. Luckily, the harsnic understood that humans had different standards around exposing their bodies. It was not acceptable for a teacher to see a student naked even if the situation was not sexual.

"Go to class, Dub Cap Chorst." Frek ordered. "I will be there soon."

Class had already started? Crap, I had been out a while.

Chorst vanished from the scene very quickly. Now it was just Frek and I. Even if I was dying, I wouldn't let the harsnic in to help moi. I doubt he wanted to come in either. Despite his scientific background, he did not want to see somebody naked if he didn't have too. Especially if said person was an obnoxious white girl from a second-class planet.

"You sure you can't stand up?"

"Give me a moment."

My hands shook violently as I tried to rest them on each wall. I paused there for a moment before attempting to push my body upwards. The plan failed, and Frek heard moi hit my back against the door as I slumped down again. – What was wrong with me?

"I'll get a robot." He called through the door as his fingers danced across his wrist computer.

"Thank you." I muttered.

"Wow." He smirked. "I never imagined those two words coming from your mouth."

"Fuck off." I hissed so quietly that the sound didn't go past my own ears.

After a minute the door abruptly slid open. My head hit the floor at the robot's wheel. It was AI605 who Frek had called. The harsnic had his back politely turned. I gotta give Frek credit for being a patient teacher.

"C-can I get dressed?" I asked him and the robot.

"Can you get dressed?" Frek asked back without turning his head.

I looked down at my trembling body as the robot helped moi to my feet. "No." I replied.

"Get Dub First Off Am dressed." Frek ordered.

The robot moved my limbs around like I was doll. I tried to cooperate, but my shaking was uncontrollable and getting on the body-glove was difficult. The robot had to be forceful to get me fully dressed. Luckily, it was not as if a robot could complain.

My feet dragged as the robot led me down the corridor. Frek walked alongside us in a stride. Even though I was slumped-over, the harsnic was still shorter than moi. He was very good at standing his ground even though over half the cadets were taller than him. The thought of him being with Alk was kind of adorable seeing as she was a foot and a half taller than him.

In the USM, height did not affect the power of a person. Mel was not outrageously tall. She was around my height, but her dark presence made her seem taller. – That woman disturbed me.

"How am I looking?" I asked as the red light scanned my body.

Frek typed something into the tablet he was holding. "Just give me a…"

I closed my eyes as the red light ran over my eyes. Once it reached my forehead, its projector switched off and folded back into the side of the bed. "… moment." The harsnic said to finish his answer.

A long silence followed. I didn't notice, though. Keeping track of time was hard when I was trying to stop my body from trembling. I felt vulnerable not having control over myself. You can ask Sven, Geraldine, my friends and my last two boyfriends (Chorst not included. We're not dating… yet), they will all tell you I hate not having control of my body. Trusting Frek to look after moi was not fun seeing as we resented each other on some levels.

"Ah." Frek hymned triumphantly. "That makes sense."

"W-what makes sense?" I asked. I slapped myself figuratively when I hear my own stutter.

"Deep Space Nen." He said as if I was supposed to know what that was. It is not surprising that I thought he said something different.

"What?"

"It's a neurological disorder that develops in the nervous system when a person spends a large amount of time deep space." He explained. "Nen is actually caused when a person psychologically changes due to their new conditions in space. Don't worry, a lot of cadets get it when they come to Starside Academy. It is like a physical expression of homesickness."

"Oh." I tried to nod my head, but it was already shaking a bit. "It's treatable, right?"

"Certainly not on your planet, " Frek laughed, "but in the USM, most things are treatable."

"The USM couldn't treat Tamarax."

Frek shot dagger my direction. "I said most things are treatable."

"So what's the trea–?"

I was abruptly interrupted when my body convulsed. My nervous system had to be running on some serious electricity for my body to shake so much. When it stopped, I laid there like a ragdoll. My body was numb, but at least I was not shaking anymore.

"In mechanical terms; I'm giving your nervous system a reboot." The harsnic explained. "Tragically, you will be out for quite a while. So you are going to miss the sample analysing which I am sure you were looking forward too."

"Darn shame." I mumbled jokingly. "Will I miss history?"

"Yes."

"Thank God."

'God' didn't translate for Frek seeing as he had no god, yet he knew what I was saying. "Why does everyone hate history?" He pondered aloud.

"It's boring and untruthful." I said boldly.

Frek did not debate moi: "I felt the same way when I was fifteen."

Harsnics were very similar to humans. The main difference was how they aged. Their mind was developed by the time they were fifteen which was considered the age they became adults. That was why my brother, Cameron, went to Planetarymark Academy when he was fifteen. However, harsnics were lucky because after they turned fifteen their aging process slowed down majorly. Frek was most likely over fifty-five, yet he looked only late twenties or early thirties.

"I recall that your father, Sven, hated the history we tried to teach him." He continued. Wait, he knew my father? "He said our history 'more absurd than the plot of any given L. Ron Hubbard book'."

A smirk escaped me. "That sounds like my father. When did you meet him?" I asked curiously.

"I was a lieutenant-commander aboard the naval ship that picked him up when he breached the zoning laws of your Solar System." My eyes widened. "We actually became good acquaintances. But Earth was still an independent planet at that time so…"

"You weren't allowed to hang out with him." I finished the sentence for him coldly.

"Heh." My teacher acknowledged how discriminatory that sounded. "That did not stop Sven, though. He enjoyed forcing himself down someone's throat until they were his friend."

My father 'forcing himself down someone's throat' sounded filthy, but I am positive Frek did not mean it that way. He just meant my father was annoying –like moi– and would follow people around until they gave-in and spoke to him.

I squinted my eyes suspiciously: "Why didn't you say anything before?"

"I didn't feel the need too." He said without looking up from the tablet. "Lots of the cadets here have parents who are –or were– ambassadors. I know most of them, yet most of them probably do not know me very well."

"Name one besides my father."

"Donno's mother, Netto." He stated without one moment of thought. "Or Merrkai's mother, Raara. Even Chorstand's father…" The harsnic looked up in thought. "Jacoden. Yeah, that trinard's been ambassador for quite a while."

I found it interesting that Frek used the full names instead the Hey-names. Using our full first names was considered informal or even offensive. He had to know us –and our parents– very well if he felt comfortable enough to call us our actual names.

This conversation explained how most of us had become cadets; our parents were –or had been– in the USM. I needed to make Frek a closer ally. He could give me much more insight into the USM. Now I knew a little more about my father's time at Starside. He knew Frek and he probably knew Chorst's father as well. I would ask him if he knew the trinard during our call tonight. Well, if I could move my limbs by that time.

"Frek?" I asked after a brief silence.

"Hmm?" He looked up from his tablet.

"I can't move… at all."

He nodded understandingly. "Yes. That's normal."

Great.

"So am I just going to lie here for the next few hours?"

He shook his head. "No. AI605 is taking you back to your chamber to regenerate. When regeneration is complete you should be able to move again."

"When will I be waking up?"

The harsnic checked his wrist computer. "At 23:00. That way you can support your dub crew by attending."

"Do I get to fight?" I asked, now perkier even though I could not move. Missing all my other classes and going straight to combat sounded like a good idea.

"You will still be very weak… so no, but you can support your dub crew from the overview room."

"Yay!" I sang sarcastically.

"I cannot exactly stop you from attending combat." He warned me. "If you really want to be beaten to a pulp, you can be."

I thought about it for a moment; "Meh, I'll pass."

At the time, I did not know that the lessons we had today would be the last for some of the cadets… and I was probably one of them. Yes; I am foreshadowing. You read the title of this book, you knew this was coming.

"Deep Space Nen a

wander the corridors for a while and then come back to hear the end of their conversation.

Alk watched the door slide shut after me before she looked to Kel. His face was hidden behind his helm, yet his trembling shoulders let her picture his face. She felt this boy needed a healthier ritual rather than building up anger inside and then breaking down when he couldn't take anymore. Alk's kind; the rerrev, were the masters of meditation. Tranquillity was easy to find for them… If only algrins could find inner peace.

"Are you alright, Dub Cap Kel?"

He did not answer at first. Alk took it his silence as sexist. If Frek was asking him a question, he would answer. She was not mad about it. She just wished he was more open to women who could actually help him in bad situations.

The only noise came from the battle room where the cadets were getting hammered by the turrets. Although this exercise was supposedly for fun, Alk had set the turrets on 'hard'. The only people who were taking the exercise seriously were Chorst (no shock there) and Jee. Even Zand was having fun just goofing around. She enjoyed taunting the turrets by putting her hand out from her hiding spot and snapping it back before any of them had time to shoot her.

"I want to go home." A solemn voice whispered.

Alk looked back from the window. Kel had not changed position since she last looked. However, his trembling had subsided for the moment.

"Pardon?" She asked in a soft voice.

"I want to go home." The algrin repeated.

Donn dropped like an insect after he tried to fly around the battle room. Alk ignored this and instead went to sit by Kel. It was not custom for the rerrev people to place a hand on someone as comfort, and it was not custom for algrins either. The pair just sat there for a moment unmoving. There was nothing else Alk could do. The dub crew captains were supposed to be learning how to be independent and deal with their own issues. She could not push to help him if he did not want any.

"What Veck did was inappropriate." She said once the boy did not elaborate anymore on his statement. "The cultural differences in your species are large, but there are some similarities that you will discover once you and Veck put your differences aside. The argon passé are like the algrins before the genetic disorder occurred centuries ago. They are cultured, outgoing, a bit wild and most importantly… forgiving."

Kel doubted Veck was a forgiving person. She seemed like somebody who could hold a grudge. Then again, how would he know? They barely knew each other.

"That's not it." He snivelled. "H-he has them hostage."

Alk raised her thin black eyebrows, intrigued. "Who?"

"The lord of Veldaro"

It took her a moment to realize who the boy was talking about: his father and all his wives and children. The algrin boy was so sickened by his father that he could not even use his name. Alk had never seen the maniacal man, but Frek had told her a cautionary tales about him. If anything; Kel had most likely never called the man 'father', rather 'sir' or 'master'. Lord Kelmaero: a man that just proved why the algrins were not worthy of being first-class in the USM.

"I h-have to go back before h-he… he…" His words were lost in his despair.

"The USM is dealing with the situation."

"No you're not!" He screamed. He was on his feet quickly. "You don't care about them, or us, or anything. You're all just waiting for them to die out so you don't have to hear about them anymore!"

Alk was taken back. Kel addressed her as if she was the whole of the USM. She had never considered herself to be fully aligned with the body of the United Systems of Mel. Her species had only been part of the first-class USM realm for just over a thousand years. The rerrevs still had some different beliefs that they stuck by that conflicted with the ones they had been introduced to. They were incredibly democratic so to have an algrin hold her on trial for the whole of the USM was not pleasant.

What intrigued her just as much was Kel's usage of the words 'them and 'us'. Was Kel referring to 'us' as him and the algrins and the 'them' as the other cadets, or was the 'us' him and the cadets and 'them' the algrins? It all depended on who Kel thought he was now. He had far exceeded any other algrin on his planet. He may have not considered himself an algrin anymore. In that case, what was he? A cadet, that's what he was. And that is exactly what Alk told him.

"… and you're right." She continued. "The USM is not dealing with the situation with your wives. Mel herself has taken the matter on."

Although his face was no visible, the way the algrin suddenly froze suggested he was shocked. For good reason; Mel was known for ignoring things she did not care about, especially when it came to second-class matters. Like a god, she felt she could not intervene with the affairs of mortals or they would rely on her too much. Then again, she could still perform miracles.

"Huh?" The boy grunted. He was feeling embarrassed about how much he had cried in the past few days. Frek and Alk together had only witnessed a couple of his meltdowns. What happened when he was alone was another story.

"She called Lord Kelmaero herself and warned him that if the issues surrounding Jaedorra, your other wives and all your children were not resolved, then she would be paying him a visit."

"You're lying." He said with a twinge of surprise and hope in his tone.

"Mel does not lie." Alk replied. – That was a bald-faced lie.

"W-why?" He asked after his moment of hope had passed and what remained was suspicion. There was no incentive for why Mel would help a second-class alien like himself.

"None of us will ever fully understand the mind of Mel." Alk sighed. "Just consider yourself lucky that the leader of the galaxy wants to help you in your domestic problem."

Kel was not sure how to answer that. He did not trust Mel. She had ignored his planet for so long. She had watched them collapse like the Roman Empire, mistreat women and men alike, and create a new god to pray to in desperation. The algrins had been rude to the USM when they offered help. Mel had no reason to aid one simple algrin like Kel.

My original plan of eavesdropping on the final part of the conversation never worked out. I got restrained to the bathroom due to my spontaneous nosebleed. Were my brains coming out of my nostrils? No, don't worry. My body was just feeling overworked despite the fact I had been regenerating for most of the day.

The nosebleed would have most likely ended earlier if it was not for the toilet paper in the restroom. The damn paper was irritating my nose even more. I don't know what species suggested that having sandpaper rolls in the lavatories would be a great idea. Seeing as this grade was of second-class cadets, Starside Academy had probably gone cheap. That is immediately what my old middle school did when it was announced that there would be some funding cuts to education. Decent toilet paper: always the first to go.

When I finally returned, Kel had stopped sobbing and had joined the second round on the exercise. I did 'subtly' ask Alk what the conversation was about. "You seem fine now. Would you like to join the third exercise?" Alk asked to dodge my question.

I looked down into the battle room. It was chaos, but a good kind of chaos. Most of the cadets were down and the ones that were still fighting were soon to be down. – I wanted to join them.

"Sure." I replied after watching Merr dash across the battle room. Well, I did not watch him, rather his body glove-covered tail swishing as he ran like hell. The shots from the turrets missed him by the skin of his teeth.

I enjoyed the next few exercises where we all just goofed-off and tried to taunt the turrets. I was very depressed when it had to end… because something deep inside me knew it was the last time all of us would do an exercise together. – Damn my gut feelings! I should get help. Meh, too much effort.

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