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

   Chapter 28 Saved by the Bell

The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow By EJBowman Characters: 48340

Updated: 2017-12-27 12:04


It was strange to think that my last supper was a cold steak sandwich that tasted somehow even plainer than cardboard. My fellow cadets were also not enjoying their meal. While watching them eat, flashes of their deaths blinded me every few seconds. My mind was becoming mush. I knew my sanity was depleting by the second. That tear in the space time continuum had really messed with me, and yet I refused to get help. It was really my own fault if I fell apart, but according to Frek I just needed to keep it together for 'the next few days'.

I was a little concerned when Sven and Geraldine did not respond to my call. Maybe they had other plans or had just forgotten. No, something was wrong. Either it was the Bennu or the daughterly instinct, but I could sense that my father was in trouble.

With only a minute left before I had to get out of the booth I quickly called Cameron. I had not scheduled in a call with him, but hopefully he would pick up.

Ten seconds passed before I got a response. "Amelia?" He said. His image moved up and down as he walked through a corridor. He had responded to moi on his wrist computer instead of the booth. I was just happy I got to talk to him.

"Hey Cameron." I said with a smile.

Somebody said something incoherent behind Cameron. He turned back and smiled. I could tell it was not a truthful smile and he was probably embarrassed to have his little sister calling him. Having annoyingly embarrassing siblings was a galactic problem. The personnel who were smirking behind Cameron's back all had humiliating siblings as well

"What's up?" He asked to hurry along the conversation.

"Not much." I muttered. "Have you heard from dad recently?"

He thought for a moment. "No. Why?"

I shrugged casually: "Don't worry. He just missed my call."

"Oh." He looked as anxious as moi. Sven had never missed a conversation with him. "Should we exchange wrist computer IDs so that I can message you if he contacts me?"

I nodded. "Wait… I thought I could only message people from the academy off my wrist computer?"

"No." He shook his head. "You can message anyone."

"Why didn't you tell me that before?"

More crewmembers behind Cameron laughed. He shrunk below them. Poor boy. What a horrible sister I am.

"Because… err… um… your cadet wrist computer was not made to have long range contact and because the Titonic is always away it would not make much sense."

"Right." I nodded suspiciously.

"Would you like to exchange contact information with En Cam?" Data asked when Cameron sent me the request. Of course, I said 'yes'.

"Thanks Cam, I'll talk to ya later." I smiled sincerely.

"Bye-bye!"

I could not tell if the personnel walking with Cameron were his friends or enemies. Seeing as he had previously stated that he had no friends I doubted it was the first option. Hopefully they were not his enemies and just some associates that were teasing him.

Despite my lack of belief in gods; I prayed that Sven contacted me or Cameron sooner or later. The thought of my father being in trouble made my stomach churn. Was his endangerment related to Bennu and Tak? Was there anything in my life that was not related to Bennu and Tak? Am I incredibly paranoid?

My nightmares were becoming progressively worse. This one I had that night was the worst of all. It was nothing; no light, no colour, no sound, just insanity. This was the problem with sleeping in regeneration chambers; you could not wake up. I just had to continue the dream no matter how much it made moi want to scream.

Finally, the dream calmed. The room I stood in was dark, but still visible. It was made of what looked similar to limestone yet it was more luminescent. There were painted symbols etched into the walls and ceiling. Due to the darkness I could not tell what they were, but they looked familiar. I could only really make out that the wall to my right was slanted inwards. Either the work of a bad contractor or the building intentionally had a slant.

There were two exits from the room. The one behind me was closed. It most likely led through the dark interior labyrinth of this strange building. The archway in front was wide. Airy white curtains made it impossible to see what was on the other side. I could make the presumption that because the wind was coming from that direction that it led to a balcony. There was a figure waiting for me on the other side of the curtains. The same figure that had been waiting for me for a long time now.

My feet stung as I walked forward. Looking down, I realized that my skin was charred. Only my feet hurt, nothing else. I reached up to feel my scalp. My hair had been burnt off. There was no point in questioning what had happened to my body, I already vaguely knew the answer.

I lost my footing when the building shook thunderously. A crack formed in the slanted wall, and yet the building remained strong. The ground continued to vibrate for seconds after the first rumble. An earthquake? Air strike? Both?

The figure beyond the curtains seemed to have remained firmly planted. I quickly got back up and continued my slow journey to the balcony. The curtains brushed against my singed skin as I reached the archway. I would have continued if the door behind had not opened. Flat black creatures slithered along the ground from the darkness. I lifted my left foot up to let one of them pass, but it snapped up and strangled my ankle and started to wrap itself around my leg. I stumbled backwards as more began to wrap themselves around my limbs. Resistance was futile. They continued to spread across my body until they had covered everything below my head. In the dark room, my body had become invisible. Finally, one of the inanimate black creatures glided up to my head. I remained surprisingly calm as it wrapped itself around my skull.

Sadly, this dream was interrupted when icy water sprayed my body. Darn shame, I was really looking forward to where that nightmare was going. The dream had probably been some dramatic foreshadowing that could affect my future, but I had already forgotten most of it. Save the flat black snakes; those things were damn creepy.

I was enjoying my usual 'car wash' routine before I opened my eyes and was met by two amethyst ones staring back. Holy crap. What was Chorst doing out there?

The regeneration chamber hissed as it opened. A long silence followed as Chorst and I stared at each other. He was just standing in the doorway of my cubicle with his arms behind his back. Like usual; he looked like he had a stick up his butt.

Most girls would have screamed if they woke up to a man standing in front of them (unless they were fans of some sort of vampire series where it was usual for the female protagonist to wake up and see her creepy boyfriend standing above her). I did what I had been trained to do: leapt out of my chamber and tackled Chorst. Pain filled my chest when I realized that I had jumped out of my chamber without carefully removing each needle suction cup. Blood trickled from my little wounds. Damn it! Was I ever going to take those stupid suction cups off properly?

I had always been taught to have no exceptions for men who could potentially try and sexually assault me, but the trinard did not fight back. He just took my blows like a punching bag. Once I realized this, I quickly stopped and jumped off him. The Frenchy got up after moi and wiped a little bit of purple blood from his nose. If Chorst thought his beating was bad, he should have seen what I did to a boy called Ronald King when I was thirteen. The stupid boy tried to grab my breasts –despite the fact I was practically flat chested at that point– and I broke his wrist and his nose. That boy never caused me trouble again.

"Err… Sorry." I said awkwardly. "It's impulse."

"As it should be." He replied calmly.

If there has ever been a more awkward situation than this; than I would like to hear about it. Could anything be more humiliating than standing naked in front of your semi-attractive dub captain who you had just beaten up? Right then, I would have preferred to be back in my nightmarish dream than there.

Obviously it was still very early. None of the other cadets were up yet and the lights were switched off. The only light we got was from Chorst's wrist computer and my regeneration chamber. Why would Chorst wake me up so early? He had to know that I needed my sleep or I'd be very aggressive during the day.

"So, " I allowed my arms to slither in front of my torso to shield my privates, "what do ya want, Chorst?"

"I found some intriguing information on Lieu Com Feb that is related to his death."

This, did interest me, but not while I was naked. "That's great. So… couldn't it have waited till morning."

There isn't going to be time in the morning.

"No." He said impassively. "The way I was able to retrieve this information was not through legal measures."

I smiled. "You hacked a library computer, didn't you?"

"Yes."

"Excellent." I snickered demonically.

Chorst turned to leave and expected me to follow, but I remained put. He turned back after a second and looked at me questioningly. My body was now feeling the chill of the icy habitat we lived in. Streaking would not be easy to do at Starside Academy seeing as you would become an icicle before you had even done your 'run'.

"Come." He commanded. I knew he did not mean it aggressively, yet that was how it came across.

"I've gotta get changed first." I muttered as I slowly stepped backward into my cubicle. Turning around would expose my behind, and I was not going to let that happen.

In a short amount of time I stepped back out still zipping up my jacket. Chorst was waiting for moi at the archway to the corridor. His face glowed above his wrist computer. Walking in the dark to meet him was a little unnerving. I knew there were no objects that could trip me over, but I liked to see my feet when I walked. Chorst did not have these problems. His nocturnal eyes had adjusted to the darkness.

"We could get in trouble." I told him.

"I could get in trouble." He emphasised. "I hacked the library computer, you are merely a witness."

A thought popped into my head: "Wait… So what level access privileges do you have?"

"The same as access as all other cadets. However, convincing the computer that the information I sought was available to level 0.5 privileged cadets was not difficult."

I bit my lip. "Could you help me get some other information from off the computer?"

"What information?"

"Bennu and the atoms that form it. Also, some information on Lady Tamarax Deloro could be nice."

Chorst was silent as he stared at me. He was probably trying to figure out why I would want to know about those two topics. He did not ask, though.

The stars acted as our primary source of light once we reached the corridor. I forgot just how beautiful the universe was. Most of my time at Starside was stolen by classes. Just stopping to look at the billions of stars was extravagant. Chorst stood beside me silently. I had a haunting flash to the dream where we both stood in a field in Wyoming and watched the universe come to an end. I looked down quickly to make sure Chorst's hand was still there and had not been burnt on. Luckily, he was fine.

"Our planet has a lot light pollution." I told him. "We cannot see this many stars from Earth.

He glanced at me once, but continued to look forward before asking a question that had apparently been bugging him: "Did you surgically have your breasts reduced in size? They look disproportionate to your body."

"Hey!" I snapped. Apparently he had glanced at my body when he saw me naked. "You've crossed the line Chorst, please step back."

He literally took a step back. I smiled; he was so cute and he didn't even know it.

"It is not acceptable among humans for a male to see a female's breasts or other genitalia." Chorst stated. I presumed that was his way of apologizing.

That sounded sexist, however it was true. Maybe I should have taken it easy on Chorst. He came from a planet where men and women were not differentiated in any way. Even in my times it was taboo for a woman to show her breasts. I had no intent of showing off my mosquito bites, but I do not think women should have to cover up more than men.

"It's okay." I patted him on the shoulder. "I'll make you return the favour one day."

"How so?"

I did not tell him what I meant. I was 'joking' after all.

We continued our walk down the dark hallway. The stars could only provide so much light which is why I stuck close to Chorst. His black uniform made him hard to follow. All that stood out in the darkness was his ghostly white skin and amethyst eyes. My own body was hard to see. Everything below my head was black… just like in that dream I had except the snakes were more like ribbons or bandages instead of spandex (or whatever alien material the uniform is made out of). I quickly changed this by making my wrist computer's screen brighter. – I feared the dark at this point.

I squinted my eyes as the library computer monitor switched on. My eyes needed to adjust to such brightness again. Chorst himself was having trouble. He blinked his eyes until he could face the screen properly.

"Why are you up so late anyways? Didn't you go to bed?"

"I did." He said while typing into the computer panel like a madman. "I have reset my regeneration chamber timer so I can choose when to wake up. Trinards do not need as much sleep time provided at Starside. One hour is adequate."

"One hour?" I gasped. "Shit. What do ya do while everyone else is asleep?"

He said nothing, but I think what he was doing right then gave me a hint about what he did in his spare time.

"How did you figure out how to hack the computers?" I asked to break the silence.

"Jacoden. He has experience with USM computers."

Jac: his father who probably knew my father if they had been second-class ambassadors at the same time.

"So your father is at Starside right now."

"Yes. On the other side in the government sector."

"Your mother must be lonely if she is back on your home planet."

How rude of me to assume Chorst had a mother. It was not exactly a norm to have a mother. I certainly did not have one.

"No." Chorst said coldly. "Levilli died during the caesarean section."

The cat got my tongue for a moment. Ch

se. "But I do know that stopping Tamarax is something I need to do today… You know that too." He folded his arms. "I only need your help for one thing, " I paused to let him mentally prepare himself for the worst, "I need a J14-7."

Frek certainly wasn't prepared for that. "What? How did you even know what that is?"

He answered his own question by looking at Chorst. Of course that boy knew how to hack the computers. His father had been the same way.

"That is certainly not going to happen." He rebuked. "You think those cadets are in trouble? Wait till you two are in real trouble with the USM."

"Frek." I said icily.

There was no way I could explain to either of the men what was happening inside my mind. Thoughts ran through my brain at a million a second. Everything was connecting. I truly was insane. Not like Tamarax, though. I was well-intentioned.

I put my stun gun back in its holster and took a step closer to the harsnic. Unlike before, he had his fist bent slightly upwards in case he did have to end up stabbing moi with his concealed knife.

I bit my lip as tried to get out what I needed to tell him. I had all this knowledge, and yet understanding it all was still difficult for my primitive brain. My mind could not sort out what information was important and what information was irrelevant.

"You remember when I said 'if I don't die, then everyone dies'? This is that situation." I whispered softly so that Chorst could not hear. "I swear on my father's life that I know what I'm doing. If I don't do what needs to be done, then you can say goodbye to this universe because Tamarax has some serious plans for it."

The harsnic was silent for a moment. "I think the mind wipes I gave you did not work." He sighed.

I was a little surprised when he started talking, but he was not speaking to me or Chorst. He was talking into his earpiece, and within moments a golden glow started at his feet. He did not say where he was being beamed away. He just left me and Chorst alone in the eerie cadet quarters. My first thought was that he was going to report me and the trinard to USM security. This annoyed me; there were obviously bigger issues to deal with.

"How are you going to get to Tamarax Station?" Chorst asked. None of the madness had really fazed him. All he cared about were our fellow cadets.

I thought for a moment. I then remembered that Cameron and I had exchanged contact information. He usually would not be awake at this hour, but the security alarm had rung throughout the naval part of Starside so it may have woken him up as well.

"My brother is aboard the Titonic."

"The Tit." Chorst reiterated.

"Yes." I cringed. "He's aboard… that spaceship."

"What would contacting him accomplish?"

"Err… Maybe I could hitch a ride on his ship?"

"That seems illogical."

"You seem illogical." I muttered as a pathetic comeback. Chorst did not reply to that.

"You are correct about Lieu Com Feb's last known location. Tamarax Station is almost certainly in the same area. It is peculiar that Mel did not allow the USM personnel to inspect the region."

"Wait, " I pointed at him, "what are you saying?"

"If the USM is not going to do a proper investigation to find the cadets, then we need to save them."

I beamed under my helm. Alas, I needed a Bennu Bomb to complete my mission. Even if we somehow managed to save the cadets we would still lose the universe to Tamarax if I did not stop that 4th dimensional creature from reaching my Solar System. Yeah, I still do not understand that part of my objective, but it was probably the most crucial part.

"Do you have a suggestion for how we could get there?" I asked cautiously, hoping that I was not offending him by asking about his thoughts.

"There is no rational way." He said. "However, we could travel to Lieu Com Feb's last coordinates using the dub ship, Mar. The dub ship has no cloaking device or proper weapons, however it can travel at light speed."

"I like it, " I said cheerfully. Having Chorst want to aid me on my insane quest was endearing. "But I think I'll call my brother first just to check with him." I quickly remembered the fact I was without a Bennu Bomb. "Wait… no. We cannot do it without that bomb."

"Why is the bomb necessary?" The trinard ask. "It the most dangerous weapon at Starside and has been proven inefficient."

"Chorst, " I began slowly, "there are some things I can't explain right now, but I need that bomb."

"There are simpler ways of defeating Tamarax."

It's not for Tamarax. I thought solemnly. I was still not exactly sure who it was for and why, but the bomb was part of the algorithm in my head. "Trust me on this one." I told him firmly.

Despite everything that was improbable, impossible and ridiculous going against us, Chorst still trusted me. I do not think he trusted moi because he thought I knew what I was doing, he only trusted me because my blood was red. It was instinct for trinards to follow anyone with red blood. That was why their species had never been able to revolt against the trinords on their own. They had required help from the USM. I knew this, but I was going to need Chorst's help so I did not comment on the matter.

"There is a good chance that we will be killed before we reach the cadets." He said just to remind me.

"Yes." I nodded. "But nonetheless, we have to try."

Without a word, Chorst vanished into his own cubical. Obviously he was trying to put on his own armour in the cramped cell. Had he forgotten that he could have put his armour on in the armour chamber inside the hangar? Having the pieces of armour slap your body in such compact conditions was incredibly painful. Oh well, no point in telling him now.

"I'll give my brother a call." I told him when he stepped out. "Even if we do not get to ride the Titonic, maybe he can help us get a fast shuttle or something. Otherwise…"

"We will have to steal our dub crew spaceship." Chorst said to finish my sentence.

Both of us looked in the same direction when we heard a familiar noise. Someone was beaming into the room. We automatically drew our weapons despite the fact they were pathetic stun guns. Maybe one of Tamarax's soldiers was coming back seeing as they forgot to pick up moi.

My trigger-friendly finger eased when I realised the person beaming was far too short to be a brutish soldier of Tamarax. It was Frek. His face was still concealed, though his body language was tense. That is not was interested me, I was intrigued by what was in his fist.

"Welcome back." I joked.

He did not respond for a moment. The harsnic tightened his grip on the small black device in his hand. Finally, he stuck out his hand and showed me and Frenchy the little rectangle: the most dangerous weapon in the known universe.

I gasped. To an average person that would just look like a black rectangle. To me; I could see inside of it. The beautiful seven atoms that together formed the most beautiful element of all. Truly, the power of the universe was currently in Frek's hands… and I wanted it in mine. I understood I needed it.

"How did you get it?" I whispered.

"Why do you want it?" He waved away my question and replaced it with his own. "Tell me that."

I took a step toward him again. Chorst was probably getting annoyed with all my secrecy. If he knew exactly what bomb was needed for he would refuse to let me go.

I opened my mouth to tell Frek what I needed it for. Alas, no words came out of my mouth. I knew what I needed to tell the harsnic was on the tip of my tongue but it was stuck there.

"I don't have to tell you." I said instead. "I'm pretty sure you already know the answer better than I do. Be honest, you already knew you were going to have to get me that bomb, didn't you?"

No answer. Frek was working for a higher force, he had no incentive to tell me anything.

"Understand this, " He began coldly, "I'm not giving this to you by choice."

I shuttered as he put the little weapon in my hand. It was as heavy as a moon rock. There was only one prominent switch on it. For some reason I had the extreme urge to flip the switch. Yes, I know all three of us would die, but when I saw a button or switch impulse told me to hit them.

"You gonna come with us?" I asked. "I think it will be a difficult task without some help."

"Who's the 'us'?" He asked before he noticed Chorst standing silently behind me. "Wait, " Frek pointed at the trinard, "you're making him go?"

"He's going by choice." I said cheerfully. "Wanna join us on the perilous quest which we will most likely die on?"

"No." He said simply. "If you have not realized; Alk and I have to explain how eighteen cadets were stolen right from under our noses. In the USM; you can't do shit till you have explained what's happened."

"Then why are you letting us go?"

"I'm not."

Before I could question anymore, the harsnic was striding out of the cadet quarters. If the USM learned that he was going to let two cadets go off to try and find Tamarax Station, he would face a fate worth than death. Hopefully that would not the last time I saw Frek. A part of moi wanted to tell him 'thank you'. He had faced a lot of madness initiated by yours truly. The least I could do was let him know he was appreciated.

Without a second opinion, Chorst swooped in and snatched the Bennu Bomb from my hand. I watched him put it in the little pocket on his belt. The trinard had agreed to go with me on this psychotic adventure, but that did not mean he trusted me with the most powerful weapon in the known universe. – Fair enough.

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