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

   Chapter 32 There Goes Your Innocence

The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow By EJBowman Characters: 73728

Updated: 2017-12-27 12:04


Chorst had gotten a little side-tracked from his mission when the sirens had originally gone off. Like me and the others, he had looked at the nearest monitor and discovered that a USM Naval spaceship was attacking. This certainly changed his plan to steal one of Tamarax's ships while using the dub spaceship as a decoy. That was for the best. The original plan had too many variables for him to think of it as logical.

If you had not figured it out yet; all of Tamarax's most torturous places tended to be in the same area… and they were all in the floors below her office. There was the cellblock, bioengineering lab, torture rooms and then all the computers were running on the alien equivalent of Windows Vista. Really, it was best to avoid any of the rooms in Tamarax's main building.

With all the chaos surrounding hangar four, Chorst found it easy to go unnoticed as he crept down the corridor. There were various rooms dedicated to torture. The trinard had already walked into the wrong one and was forced to beat an employed tormenter unconscious. The little torture rooms were each about the size of an average bathroom. They even seemed similar to a bathroom as they had the 'vacant' or 'occupied' signs on them. Most of the rooms were vacant save the one Chorst had walked into before. Right at the very end of the corridor was an 'occupied' torture room.

Even from the corridor Chorst could hear that the torture room was dead quiet. He only heard the clattering of utensils. Unarmed, the pale boy tightened his left fist while his other hand went to the panel. To his surprise, the door made a hissing noise as it opened even though he hadn't even touched the panel. Chorst was a deer in the headlights when he saw the tormentor standing in the doorway holding a tray of dirty utensils. The pale red-eyed man looked surprised to see Chorst. It was lucky the trinord could not see through the helm otherwise he would have immediately known that he had an advantage over the trinard. Then again, it was quite obvious he had an advantage over Chorst seeing as he was a foot taller than the pale boy.

Unlike most of the personnel at Tamarax Station, this trinord was not a slave clone or lower-class USM citizen. He was paid to be a torturer. He had taken on the job simply for fun. Humans would think that all trinords were sadistic bastards, and they were. Like it was genetic for trinards to fear expressing thoughts or feelings, it was genetic for trinords to have sadistic tendencies. That was why the USM was less rough on trinords in court when they hurt someone. They knew it was just in their nature. You know that kid you went to kindergarten with? That little shit who practically got away with murder because the caretakers knew they had a messed-up home life? Yeah, it was like that except on a larger scale.

Chorst overcame his fear of trinords. He had to. If he was ever going to become a captain in the USM Navy then he had to extinguish his phobia. He knocked the tray out of the trinord's hands. As the utensils fell he grabbed what looked like a bloody corkscrew. The trinord was bewildered. After the alarm went off a few minutes before he had hardly expected the USM to arrive at his haven.

Frenchy could have done so many things at this moment. He could have knocked the trinord out, stabbed him in the shoulder or used his knew corkscrew weapon to threaten the taller man into submission. What did Chorst end up doing? He plunged the corkscrew into the trinord's eye. The taller man's body stiffened before he dropped to his knees. He looked like he was trying to bow to Chorst.

No one will ever be sure if trinards could feel vengeful. What went on in a trinard's mind was even beyond a telepath's judgement. The only sign that Chorst felt anything at all was how he dealt with this trinord. With the pale red-eyed man on his knees dying slowly, Chorst drew his fist back before hitting the man's temple, cracking his skull, and letting him hit the floor.

Beyond the lifeless trinord sat Nis. He was locked into a cold black chair with his head hung low. His golden complexion had faded into greyness. Even his sparkly golden hair had turned the dull colour. He was not dead, but in no way was he living.

Chorst looked at the scattered utensils of torture on the floor. In the end he bent down and picked up long slender knife. On day one he had been told what he had to do if Nis ever entered grey-state.

First, he freed Nis's wrists and ankles. His body-glove was torn in most areas to reveal the grey skin underneath. Even Chorst wondered how far into the torture it was before the little boy entered grey state. Hopefully, he had gone quickly. In the state he would feel no physical pain.

Out of curiosity Chorst gently lifted Nis's head. He looked impassive like a trinard if not a little more solemn. His clear blood looked like tears as it came from where his eyes used to be. The trinard let the head drop again. He felt no need to look at the boy's face as he put him out of his misery.

He wrapped an arm around the boy's torso and pulled him into a hug. Not an expression of emotion, he simply did it because he knew Nis's species liked being close to someone. It was comforting for them as it replicated how their mothers used to hold them when they were babies. Even though Nis was in grey state, Chorst felt it was necessary.

The boy's skin became as black as Chorst's uniform as the sharp knife tore through his heart. The final stage for bhe marcs: black stage.

Without a moment to spare, Chorst checked his wrist computer to see where the others and I had gotten to (another feature I did not know we had on our wrist computers). He roughly picked up Nis's lifeless body and made a dash for it. All security and military personnel had gone to hangar four so it was unlikely he would encounter any danger in the corridors.

Looking down at the body, he did not understand why all the cadets would want the corpse of Nis. If he didn't bring it to them they would not be satisfied. It was most likely a closure thing for them. Chorst did not understand that. He kind did not need to see a corpse to have closure. When he was born through Caesarean section his father just left his mother on the operating table and went home with Chorst. The fact the pale boy was even considering taking the body of Nis back to Starside was quite unusual for his nature.

***

"So… you think it's Cameron's ship?" Sven asked as we strode through the second part of the lab. We had to ignore all the horrendous experiments and just continue forward.

"Well, he and my science teacher were the only two I told my plan to."

Despite everything, my father had a little smile on his face that said 'that's my boy. Sure, I came into Tamarax Station and saved his life, but when Cameron comes in with the mop-up crew he's prouder of him. Typical.

Cacey turned and looked at my father with his good eye. "You have two kids?" He asked as if it was the most shocking thing in the universe.

Sven shrugged: "Yes?"

"That's legal?"

"Yes. Is it different for aldorens?" Then Sven remembered the third-class laws in the USM and swallowed.

Cacey shrugged. He would not know seeing as he had never been to his own planet. He only knew the religion of his original copy and nothing about the politics of his planet. He, like Sven, knew that most third-class species were not allowed to have more than one child under normal circumstances because of population control. If a third-class population grew too large they could not move to another planet. That was why second-class was slightly better than third. Humans could move around the whole Solar System if Earth was overflowing with people (which it wasn't).

"My son is actually a first-class citizen." Sven said proudly. I glared at him even though he could not see my eyes.

That shocked Cacey even more. "How?"

"His mother's first-class."

"You had a child with a first-class citizen?"

All the cadets were listening into their conversation. They didn't really have a choice seeing as none of them had sparked up conversations. They actually found it interesting to listen to Cacey and learn what it meant to be a slave clone or third-class alien. – And they had thought their lives as second-class citizens were bad. They found it strange for a second-class citizen like Sven to have a child with a first-class alien, but Cacey had to find it even stranger. The first-class domain was so far away from his own.

Everyone turned around when the door we had originally come through slid open. If it had been one of Tamarax's personnel then they would gotten the crap beaten out of them by eighteen pissed-off cadets. I really wished it had been a henchman instead of Chorst. I didn't have to look too hard to see what was in his arms. Only after he had reached us did I dare look at the lifeless body.

Something inside all of the cadets was lost that moment; innocence. The most virtuous creature we had ever known had been tortured to death. I say death even though he had only been tortured into grey state because I considered the two to be the same things. I instinctively looked to Kel seeing as he had been the grimmest when I rescued him. He was not crying, just staring wide-eyed at the lifeless corpse the trinard was carrying. One of the female cadets whimpered 'no' although I was not sure which one it was.

"A USM Naval spaceship is orbiting Tamarax Station." Chorst stated impassively. "We will attempt to make contact with them."

He dropped the body on one of the benches so that he had easier access to his wrist computer. All of us kept our distance save Veck. She felt the least repulsed about seeing the corpse of the innocent boy. She wanted to see what had caused his death. At first she thought it was the loss of his eyes, but then she saw the large amount of clear blood coming from his chest and understood.

"Are you alright?" She asked Chorst even though she knew he could not answer. Unsurprisingly, he remained silent.

"What is Cameron Vis Homen's contact information?"

"I'll call him, " I said with a gulp. I could not take my eyes of Nis, "providing he's in range."

"Can I join the call?" My father asked, tapping his earpiece.

"I don't know how to connect you to the call if you don't have a wrist computer." I muttered with a hint of embarrassment in my voice.

Back on Earth I was the master of technology. Out here, I was a technophobe. That was pretty depressing seeing as alien tech was not that different from technology I would find on Earth. Of course I had the iWatch 750 back on Earth that vaguely resembled the USM wrist computer, and yet I still could not understand how the stupid little computer worked.

"Am?" The image of a black helm appeared on my little screen.

"Cam?"

"You okay?" He yelped femininely.

"Hi!" My father said abruptly and moved into the view of the wrist computer. He was a little disappointed that Cameron had hidden his face, and he knew it was him.

As my father could not hear what I heard, Cameron just waved before returning his attention to moi.

"We're fine, " I thought of Nis and Cacey. ", for the most part. Ya think you could send some USM guys to come pick us up?"

"I'm coming to get you." He said before windowing my image so he could find us via the GPS tabs in the cadet suits. I heard someone muttering behind him. Cameron looked up, a little surprised. "Oh… and apparently Frek is joining me."

"Frek?" I said aloud so the cadets could hear.

The sound of guns firing came from my brother's side of the line. "I gotta go!" He said loudly over what sounded like a bomb going off. "Stay put and we'll be there in a minute!"

I tried to say 'okay' however the harsnic had already ended the call.

My father eyed me suspiciously. "What's Frek's full name?" He asked.

"Freksen Von Blooblebottom or something weird like that." I joked before I remembered that this was not an appropriate time to be making jokes seeing as I was in the same room as a corpse.

"Frekostillion?" My father asked. "The harsnic from Hashtish 8? The science nerd assassin?"

All the cadets, including moi, exchanged looks. I recalled that Frek had said he knew my father and many of the other ambassadors, but had he just called the harsnic an assassin?

"Did you just call him a… Oh no." I shook my head. "You didn't sleep with him too did you?"

My father scowled. "No. We were friends."

"I know. He told me."

"And you know Frek?"

"He's our science teacher." I gestured to all the cadets, including the corpse of Nis. For some reason I just expected him to wake up and start being his usual jubilant self. I think all the cadets did. We were so shocked that we were denying his death.

That surprised my father. The harsnic had an excellent CV. Frek had not only trained to be a science officer, he had also been trained as a personal assassin for Mel which is why he had the title of 'lord'. Why in the universe would Frek settle for just being a science teacher?

In the silence I heard someone singing almost in a whisper. It was Veck. Her hand remained on Nis's chest as she hummed. Even though I could hardly hear her it was easy to tell that she had a lovely alto voice. She mouthed the words so faintly that I could not tell what she was singing about. Like all the other cadets I presumed it was religious hymn from her planet. The song was obviously for little Nis.

All of us had different feelings about death. Argon passés had built their culture on respect of their own bodies and the bodies of their loved ones. However, they had less care for the bodies of anyone outside of their inner circle. Nis had quite obviously been deeply integrated into Veck's circle. She felt the need to pay respect to his body.

It was different for trinards who did not care for their physical bodies at all. They saw the mind as a separate entity from the body and it was the only part of a person that had real value. Then again, they understood that beliefs were different throughout the USM which was why they paid more respect to the bodies of other species. Belief-wise, I was probably more similar to trinards than I thought. I cared for Nis's body, but certainly not as much as Veck. I felt he had been more valuable alive. I would not complain if Chorst had not brought his body back from the torture room.

"What's happened between you and Geraldine?" I asked my father spontaneously after a moment of silence.

Cacey thought who's Geraldine? While Sven wondered how I could tell something had happened between the two of them. He slowly opened his mouth to answer, but then we all became distracted when the door we had originally been heading for opened. I relaxed when I saw USM soldiers. Although of their faces were hidden, I could instantly tell Frek and Cameron from the group of USM personnel. Well, mainly Frek as his armour and weapons were slightly different from the standard USM ones.

Who did Cameron notice first? Sven of course.

"Father!" He cried before sprinting across the long lab. He slowed just as he reached the Swede so that he could do the harsnic single-arm hug. My father ignored that and just used both arms.

Frek did a headcount of all the cadets before he noticed the black figure on the bench. His heart sunk when he realized which cadet it was. In situations like these the USM did not generally collect the body of a bhe marc. They could not return Nis's body to his home planet as it could send his family into grey state. Frek knew this, and yet decided that they would take the body back to Starside and give Nis a proper cremation.

"Everyone else okay?" The teacher asked as he strode towards the group. He noted Cacey's bleeding face, and then he saw Sven and swallowed. He had been the one that ended their friendship badly because he just flat-out stopped talking to the human and never told Sven why. This was a very awkward reunion.

He looked at the alien female behind him. "Help him." He pointed to Cacey.

The woman was hesitant. She knew Cacey was an aldoren and they were not supposed to provide medical assistance to third-class citizens. If she had known he was a slave clone aldoren then she would have completely gone against Frek and denied the blue boy any assistance.

After Cameron released him, Sven gave Cacey a reassuring look to tell him that it was okay to accept aid. The blue boy looked terrified of the USM soldiers. The woman had to forcefully remove the jacket from the left side his face to as she tried to aid him.

"Oh, Nis." Frek whispered solemnly as he looked down at the cold body. Veck looked to the harsnic with sadness filling her large black eyes.

"Tamarax must die." She hissed. "When the USM finds her they cannot hesitate."

Frek agreed, although he could not say it out loud.

I will avenge Nis personally. I thought coldly. This time, it was not the dark voice at the back of my mind, it we me and me only thinking that.

"What happened?" Cam asked Sven in a whisper. My father shook his head to tell him "I'll tell you later".

"We got to get you all back to the shuttles." Frek said firmly to break the gloomy atmosphere. He then looked back at the USM soldiers. There were only eight of them including himself and Cameron. "We're going to have to be careful. Stay in a tight formation."

Zand tossed the stun gun to Chorst. "You're gonna need it more than I do." She said almost as a joke. Of course she would not need a stun gun to defend herself… She was made of Jell-O.

Not to be melodramatic or anything, but looking around at the cadets I realized that Nis was not the only one who was not going to make it back to Starside alive. Damn Bennu for showing me their fates. I could not place faces to deaths. However, I had my suspicions. Due to the dreams I vaguely remembered, I suspected something was going to happen to Chorst. Whether he lived or died, I was not sure, yet he would have the same fate as everyone else in the universe if I didn't…

"Let's move!" Frek barked when his sensitive harsnic ears picked-up on footsteps in the corridor outside the lab. He picked up Nis's small body and threw him over his soldier carelessly. He felt for the bhe marc, nonetheless he had to focus on the living at that moment.

It went without saying that Chorst and I had to assist. Our armour was weaker than the standard USM armour, but at least we had some protection. The other cadets were screwed if they got shot.

"How's Alk?" My father asked Frek. It was strange that this was the first time in years that they had spoken.

Frek adjusted his grip on the corpse as they strode towards the door. "Due to the situation she's anxious. Could you hold him?"

How could my father say 'no'? Frek passed Nis's body to Sven before grabbing his cylinder weapons. My father found it hard to look down at the dark boy even though he had hardly known him. Sven was happy to look up when Cacey caught up to him after having his scars temporarily dealt with. They were still very obvious cuts that stung, however they were no longer bleeding. The lady who had treated him had done a half-ass job because she thought he was third-class. Had she known he was a slave clone she would have just let him bleed to death.

Finally, I got to see Frek use his strange weapons. I was right about them being sabers, but sadly they weren't like lightsabers. When activated, the sabers were both light purple with very visible sword outlines. Purple electricity made them alive with vibrancy. Who knew my science teacher could be a badass? Maybe the German accent did not suit him as much as I had thought.

"We're coming your way, Dek." He said into his earpiece.

"You better get here soon." Dek replied anxiously. "We're getting hammered."

Of course they were getting hammered. Despite their great ship they were shockingly outnumbered when it came to the head-on battle in hangar four. They did not expect to win the battle with physical contact, they had just come down to rescue us and then they intended to blow the crap out of Tamarax Station once all the USM personnel had been evacuated. A part of me knew I would not be joining the others on the Titonic. I had a different route to take.

"You want me to carry him?" Cacey asked my father solemnly. "I-I don't mind as much."

A bald-faced lie. Cacey hated death and he especially hated corpses. He just wanted to be nice and take stress off Sven. The Swede already had his own two children to look-out for and holding Nis would restrain him.

My father hesitated. Was it wise to pass the body of Nis to a boy with only one good eye? There was no time to discuss. Frek had already bolted out of the lab and was decapitating the henchmen one by one. Sven carefully passed the body to Cacey and caught up to Cameron who was nearly at the door. Sure, he didn't have a gun, but my father still wanted to feel like he could defend his children.

The cadets and Cacey stood away from the lab door meekly unlike Chorst and I who were just behind the USM soldiers with our stun guns at the ready. It was established that us two would be the last line of defence seeing as our guns and armour were so weak. I was okay with this; it was better than the alternative of being sent out first to be used as distractions.

"Stand back Daddy-O." I said semi-jokingly.

Reluctantly, my father got away from the door. Just in time, all the cadets jumped like they were watching a horror movie when a laser grazed the doorway and left a smouldering black mark. This did not intrigue moi as much as Frek did. Unlike the other USM soldiers, the harsnic was fighting the henchmen head-on with his sabers. I almost felt empathy for the beastly men as Frek diced them into pieces. It reminded me of the time our teacher had beamed to the terrorist spaceship and slaughtered the crew ruthlessly. He had felt guilt after murdering the trinards on that ship, th

inard out of my life.

"Bitch, I'll kill you!" I barked after striking her across the face with my fist.

Despite all her insane knowledge and awareness of the future, Tam had not predicted that I would attack her so aggressively. She stared blankly at my dark mask for a moment as I drew my fist back to hit her again. Quickly, she snapped out of her state of shock and rammed her knee into my midsection.

Why did that hurt? I thought to myself as became paralyzed by the pain. The USM cadet uniforms really needed some sort of codpiece. Yes, I know I'm a girl, but I still wanted one!

While on the floor, Tamarax strained her thin neck to the point of almost snapping it just so she could see what was behind her. The red cross was mere feet away from both of us. If she could just get me there then she could kill me properly. She could try to shoot me even now as I lay in agony on the floor, but something would stop the laser from her gun from killing me. Even if I was immobile she still would not be able to kill me if I was not on the red cross. The universe worked in mysterious ways. She had done the crazy calculations in her head. The universe would not let her kill moi unless I was in the perfect spot.

Her heavy boots made a clunking noise as she jumped to her feet. I quickly followed so that we could start 'round two' of our duel. The trinard was trying to sprint toward us, however he was having a balance issue now that he was missing a hand so he had to take it slow.

I realized I was a little screwed when I noticed that Tamarax was pointing her gun at my head. She was actually bluffing because she knew I could only die on the red cross, but I didn't know that.

"Take another step and I'll blow her head off." The witch-like lady told Chorst. Her smile bared her sharp teeth that were covered in black blood from the previous blows she had sustained.

Chorst halted instantly. I don't know how he thought he was originally gonna help me fight her. The man was missing a hand. How much fighting could he do one-armed? Then again, I recalled how he had stopped Zand's boneless, but powerful, fist with nothing but his palm back when I fought her in the cafeteria. All trinards were ambidextrous so Chorst could probably still pack a hard punch despite his missing appendage.

My eyes followed Tam's sharp black nail as she pointed at the cross on the floor. "I'm going to have to ask you to go stand on that red cross if you don't mind." She said in a mockingly polite voice.

"I do mind."

"Cram it and go stand on the cross."

My haughty darker voice kicked in. "Why should I. If I don't you can't kill m–"

I tried to step back as Tamarax's claw-like hand came at me. She grabbed my arm, tearing the fabric of my jacket while doing so, and hurdled me like discus at the red cross. I could not gain my balance as I stumbled towards the deadly mark. Embarrassingly, my hind landed right on the target. – This whole situation seem kind of crazy to you or is it just me?

BANG! I closed my eyes when the shot was fired. Had I really just died? I had spent so long mentally preparing to save the universe and now I was dead. Tamarax had won and the universe would be hers unless there was someone out there who was just as crazy as moi and knew what to do. Never in my short life had I felt like more of a failure. Not even that time I got a B- in English compared.

(Long story short about the bad grade in English: I wrote an entire essay about the character of Ross from Macbeth being a bad omen and probably a demon sent by the devil to fuck with everyone. Trust me, my English teacher wished she could've given me a lower mark, but I had all the evidence to support my claim.)

It was a strange moment when I realized I wasn't in any pain… and I was still very much alive. It was possible that Tam had not actually shot moi and had gotten Chorst instead in which case I was going to throttle her.

Opening my eyes, I quickly learned what had happened. Chorst was on his knees beside me while Tamarax stood above us with a look of moderate surprise on her face. I questioned why she was not trying to shoot me or Chorst, and then I saw the large hole right through the centre of her chest. From what I could see, her innards were disgusting. Like a thousand black beetles throwing their legs around in a panic as they tried to figure out why a part of them was missing. It suited the woman to be made up of thousands of insects, but honestly rats would have suited better.

Now there was one great question: who had shot Tamarax? It could not have been either me or Chorst. There was only one stun gun between the two of us and that pathetic little gun would basically have no effect on a deranged woman like Tam.

I followed Tam's eyes to the source of the laser shot. To all of our surprise, metres away stood a woman wrapped in grey bandages and wearing a blue tunic that had a black outlining. A bird that looked like a phoenix was printed in white on her chest. Her open red silk robe seemed to defy gravity as it hovered in the non-existent wind. It was Mel. The most powerful woman in the universe had come to my aid.

But I thought I was the one who was supposed to kill Tamarax. I thought, slightly annoyed. Then I noticed that Tam was still standing. The laser had not killed her. Mel had intentionally missed because she had wanted her to be completely aware of her failed plan before she died.

Mel's bandaged hand placed the black and red gun back in the holster that had been hidden by her robe all this time. Only then did I notice the saber on her other thigh. That woman was really armed. As an immortal, she was an unstoppable killing machine. Tam had not stood a chance even if she had not already been shot.

"But she's on the mark." Tam stammered like a confused little girl. "I did the math. I should have been able to…"

Mel had the strut of a proud cat. She would not need weapons now to finish of Tamarax. The corpse-like woman was not going anywhere. The hole in her chest and the shock of seeing Mel had paralyzed her. She could not have seen the god-like woman coming. Having a 4th dimensional mind-set far more advanced than Tam's, she could not be foreseen coming as her mind did not necessarily follow the laws of time and space. Mel, also had a better understanding of what was to come. A far better understanding. That was why she had come to save moi.

"You rounded the decimal places in your head." She said in a disturbingly calm, almost amused voice. "Never round the decimal places in the middle of an equation. Am should be here." Mel used the toe of her black boot to point to the spot on the floor mere inches from where I had been sitting. I was certainly standing now that woman who put the 'M' in 'USM' was here.

"Shit." Tamarax muttered. I doubt she actually said that, but that was what my translator picked up.

Mel turned her head slightly to look at Chorst and I. Our helms hid our faces, but she knew how measly we had to look.

"You should get that checked out." She said to Chorst, gesturing to the remains of his left arm.

"The veins were cauterized by the laser from the gun." The trinard said impassively.

"Does it really end this way?" Tam asked curiously with a hint of childish annoyance in her tone. She looked at both Mel and I as if either of us would know the answer. Honestly, I had so many questions that I could never answer. For example how was Tamarax still standing with a great big hole in her chest?

"Afraid so." Mel replied... She was one of those biatchy people.

"Well… the universe is still gonna end." Tam smirked pitiably. She doubted that any part of her plan would be fulfilled.

Oh, what the hell? The insane woman thought as she decided to go out with a bang. She pointed her gun at Mel's head, but the bandaged woman was quicker than lightning. She looked like an elegant ballet dancer as her leg flew up and struck Tam in the chin. Without hesitation, her foot then pushed the scrawny woman back onto the floor. There was a tragic moment when the corpse-like creature looked up at her assailant with the knowledge of death in her eyes. If I was Mel I would have hesitated to kill such a sad woman, but I was not Mel and Mel was not me. Using the same foot, she kicked Tam onto her back on the floor before drawing her leg back and then ramming the sole of her boot down onto the pale face. I felt nauseous when a splattering noise came from Mel's boot crushing Tamarax's face. The site was more horrendous and I have chosen not to describe it in great deal. All you need to know is that Tam no longer had a face. All that remained was a bloody black hole.

Tam was awful, she had had Nis tortured to death after all, but nobody deserved to die that way. Mel had intentionally humiliated her in her final moments. Now the only people who remained in the corridor had their faces hidden while the hekkit had no face at all. There was something very cruel about Mel, and not just based off this once incident. She seemed to enjoy the pain of her adversaries despite the fact she seemed so impassive the rest of the time. Maybe after you had lived as long as her you would become so depressed that only the pain of others could make you feel anything.

"What ship did you arrive on?" Chorst asked in a tone that felt like he was addressing her as simply a commoner. That may have just been his usual dull tone, however I believed that he resented Mel because she had let his people suffer for so long. He would never say a word to her about it, he literally couldn't.

Mel did not seem to care that the pale boy was not treating her specially. She had so many other enemies that adding Chorst to the deck would not be an issue. She understood his mind far better than I ever would. The god-like woman had watched how the trinards had developed to hate her and the USM over the years. Most species loathed her, and those that didn't still feared her.

"I took my own ship." She replied calmly. "Took me half a second to get here."

"That is impossible."

I elbowed Chorst in the stomach to hush him. It was not wise to question the immortal lady who had just kicked in Tamarax's face. He looked down at me, yet remained quiet.

"Not when you have my ship." She said sassily. Mel was more teasing Chorst than anything. Everyone in the USM was patronizing to cadets. They thought kids like us didn't know anything.

My eyes popped when something clicked inside my mind. Mel's ship. If it was as fast as she said it was then I needed her ship to reach the comet in time. My mental timer had nearly run out. You would think now, I'd be in a huge rush to save the universe for nonexistence. No, I would take my time because I was a douchebag.

"Excuse me." Mel lifted up the frail corpse of Tamarax and threw it over her shoulder like she was carrying a dead animal home after the hunt. "I must be going. The USM will be happy to learn that one of the greatest enemies is dead."

"Understood." I felt like doing a curtsy, but resisted.

I need to ask her where her ship is! I thought.

"We will follow." Chorst said.

Mel turned back and looked at us. Not us, just me. You already know where my ship is. A voice said in my mind. I was not sure if Mel had spoken to me telepathically, or if that was just the dark voice in my head.

The bandaged woman said nothing as she strode away. Chorst tried to follow her, yet when he understood that I was not going anywhere he walked back to moi. It was good he couldn't see my eyes. I had a Jack Torrance look going as I tried to access the database in my brain to understand where Mel's ship was.

"We need to go back to hangar four." He said demandingly.

"You go back. I haven't finished my mission yet." I thought for a moment and then snapped my finger when I remembered something. "The Bennu Bomb. Give it to me. I need it now."

Chorst did not move his hands anywhere near his belt. Gosh, I wonder why he did not want to give the semi-insane girl the Bennu Bomb.

"Chorst, " I began slowly, "there is something I need to do. I really need that bomb."

"Explain."

I brought up my hands and clenched them into fists. I could not get the words out. I understood why I needed them, but the logic would not make sense to Chorst. "I-I can't. But if Frek and Mel trust me to do this task then you should trust me too."

"Mel did not say she trusted you."

"Not aloud." I said icily. "Trust me. If she knows what I have to do then she will not stop me."

Chorst remained unmoving. I honestly wasn't making sense to him… or to myself. I sounded like Tamarax. Hopefully, I was not going to make a mistake she did and have my entire plan ruined. Dear God, how had that woman rounded her decimals in the middle of an equation? Honestly, she deserved to have her plan fail miserably with that mistake.

"I will assist you in completing your mission." He said, although I knew he was actually saying 'I will keep an eye on you and make sure you don't take a first-class trip to kooky town'.

"Heh." I smirked hesitantly. "No… Just give me the bomb, and then go get your arm fixed."

"No." He said sharply.

"Chorst, " I sighed, "you can't come because…"

I'm not coming back. I admitted in my head. The words hit me like a shockwave. Even though I had been aware of my future for a while now, I had just realized that it was actually going to happen. Time was up, my brain had almost turned to mush, and now I was going to die. I refused to allow Chorst to die with moi. His death would be pointless.

"I will return this Bennu Bomb to the USM unless you allow me to assist you." He said firmly.

"Bastard." I muttered. I could have just shot him with my stun gun and made and stolen the bomb from his belt, but maybe he would not die if he came with me. Also, that way someone could return Mel's ship to her once the deed was done. "Okay… You're not allowed to ask any questions, though. You just have to go with my craziness."

No reply from the trinard, so I gave him a hint about how crazy my plan was: "I'm gonna steal Mel's ship."

"No."

"Yes." I nodded. "And I'm going to need you to return it once I'm done."

"You will face execution."

"I'm not going to worry about that." I muttered.

"Mel did not say where she had parked her ship."

"I know where it is… I hope." My eyes shifted, but the trinard could not see them through the helm.

Poor Chorst. He did not like being confused. He just chose to be completely silent and watch how my insane desolation played-out. In honest fact; he was going to have to trust me. – I can see why he was hesitant.

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