The life death and life.., p.8
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       The Life, Death and Life of Amelia Hollow, p.8
 

          
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  ***

  Chorst and I found Frek in the corridor just beyond the cadet regeneration chambers. He had full armour on with Alk following behind with a rather large gun. Our third teacher, Wes, was nowhere to be found. She was not a fighter. The intruders would have crushed her with one boot.

  Frek swore incoherently when he saw us. “Where’d you come from?” He asked aggressively. “Were you in your regeneration chambers?”

  “No.” Chorst replied.

  Frek did not push for an explanation. He had bigger things to focus on.

  We jogged alongside Alk and Frek. On Earth teachers would tell the students to stay safe and hide in an intruder situation, however at Starside Academy our teachers wanted any help they could get. The academy was so separated from the rest of Starside that help was not easy to come by in these situations. To make matters worse, the security force at the outpost was in no particular rush to come to our aid seeing as we were second-class cadets. Sure, they could have just beamed to the academy, but that would have been crazy wouldn’t it?

  “Could you turn off that alarm or something?” I screamed over the siren. I know this was an emergency, but the loud noise was certainly not helping the situation.

  Alk complied and contacted security on her wrist computer. Just as we reached the cadet generation chambers the alarm stopped. My eyes had trouble adjusting when the normal fluorescent lights came on.

  The regeneration chambers were deserted. There was no point calling out ‘hello’, I knew the cadets were gone. Chorst ran his boot across a spot of silver blood on the floor and smeared it.

  “It is Veck’s blood.” He said.

  “They were beamed off Starside.” Frek said coldly. He was able to track the body glove of each cadet before they were too far out of range. Sadly, the cadets were long gone.

  Alk answered a call on her earpiece. After listening to the message for a few seconds she turned to Frek. “Mel wants us to contact her.”

  “I’ll be right there. You go give her a full explanation.” He said. The rerrev nodded and sprinted out of the room. Being late to a holographic appointment with Mel was not wise.

  “What do you want us to do?” I asked as Frek inspected each chamber with a scanner.

  “Stay put.”

  “Are you sending out a ship to go save the other cadets?”

  Frek shook his head. “We have to figure out who took them first and where.”

  “It was Tamarax and she took the back to her station.”

  He looked back at moi. Although I could not see his face behind the helm I knew he was looking at me suspiciously. “Why would you think that?”

  I don’t think that… I know that. I snarled internally.

  I was no long speaking for myself. The dark voice in my mind took over. “Tamarax wanted me, but I was not regenerating when she sent her soldiers in.”

  “Why would she want you?” Frek asked. There was a peak in his voice that suggested he already knew the answer. He shook his head to brush off his own question. “You don’t know that Tamarax took them.”

  “Yes I do.” I said. “We both do.”

  I do not know who the ‘we’ was. It was either Frek and I or the dark voice in my head and I. The harsnic noticed this as well. He had a strange expression that I could not read. It was as if he had heard the voice before.

  “Even if Tamarax took them,” Frek began slowly, “her station has never been found.”

  “Lieu Com Feb died near where her station is.”

  Both Frek and Chorst stared at me. I probably should not have said that. Now Frek knew what Chorst and I had been up to so early this morning. The science teacher squinted his eyes. “Indeed.” He said inexplicably.

  “You know I’m right.” The dark voice said. “That is why Feb was captured and killed in the first place. He was too close to her station.” My natural voice kicked-in. “My gosh, didn’t you guys send an inspection team over to where his spaceship sent its last GPS signal?”

  “Mel did not allow it.” He muttered.

  I blinked. No, I did not blink… I passed-out. A burst of knowledge filled my brain. I understood what was going on. The thing that ate Feb, it was 4th dimensional and it was heading for my Solar System. I do not know what it was going to when it reached the Solar System, but I was going to get some answers out of Tamarax when I confronted her. Three words ran through my head: ‘Tak’, ‘Bennu’ and ‘Bomb’.

  I awoke on the floor with Chorst and Frek staring down at moi. The harsnic looked surprised. That was either because of the fact I just passed out, or the deranged look in my eye. I jumped up like an energetic puppy and dashed into my cubicle. Both men followed me with their eyes before the door closed. Before I could do anything, I had to wipe the blood from my nose. It was not too much blood, yet it was enough for me to realize that this was a sign.

  Frek tensed when he heard the sound two suitcases being opened followed by slapping noises. The look on his face was priceless when I came back out fully dressed in my armour.

  “I’ve gotta go get them.” I said semi-insanely. “It’s my fault Tamarax came here and took them.”

  Frek laughed so hard that his sides split. He was not exactly expecting me to pull out my stun gun and point it at his chest. “I’m gonna need your help.”

  Not only did Frek have the two weapons on his belt at his disposal, he also had a sharp knife concealed in the cuff of his black armour that he could have exposed at any moment, but he had been told to let this situation play out. Who told him that? Well… finish the book and you’ll figure it out.

  “Am,” he began slowly, “do you honestly want to do this? You’ve lost your sanity.” My eye twitched at his accusation. “Even if you were right… Tamarax would crush you.”

  Okay, he was right about my loss of sanity, however I knew what I was doing. My plan made sense to moi, yet if I tried to explain it Frek would have me wrapped up in a straightjacket and thrown me inside a padded room.

  “Tamarax is one problem.” I hissed. “There’s a bigger issue I need to deal with.”

  “And what would that be?” He asked patronizingly.

  “The 4th dimensional monster that she dispatched.” I said casually. “It’s heading for my Solar System.”

  “How in the name of Amori would you know that?” He snapped.

  “I had a dream about it.”

  “That is not proper evidence.”

  At first I thought it was Frek who said that, but it turned out to be Chorst. I had almost forgotten the Frenchy was here until he spoke. Obviously he disapproved of my insanity. Oh well, I knew what I was doing.

  I ignored his statement and turned back to Frek. “You know I know things I’m not supposed to know.” My random sentences did not help plead my case. “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 fo
r 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 wou
ld 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.

  29: When a Stranger Calls

  Chorst and I chose not to stay in the cadet quarters. They were too creepy and quiet. Out of the corner of my eye I kept thinking I saw cadets, and then when I turned there was nothing there. We instead went to the dub ship hangar and sat next to the Mar ship. I intended to call Cameron first, but Chorst insisted that we be ready to hop on a dub spaceship in case USM security came looking for us.

  Data’s blue screen had three blue dots running across it as it tried to contact my brother. The harsnic was probably asleep, yet something in my gut told me he would reply.

  There are pros and cons to wearing a helm when you’re losing you mind: A pro is that the trinard could not see my constantly twitching eye or my blood-stained nose, the con was that I had a bleeding nose and could not deal with it properly. I just had to keep sniffing and hope it would soon go away. The Frenchy seemed to look up every time I sniffed. He probably thought I was crying. – He didn’t know I was not the ‘crying’ type. The last recorded time I cried was when I watched the Phantom Menace back when I was still single digits. I was more or less crying out of pain than sadness.

  “Amelia?” I smiled when Cameron’s jaded image came up. “Are you alright? Why are you in armour?”

  His panicky questions suggested that he had heard about the security breach at Starside Academy. He had just been planning to contact moi before I called him.

  I sniffed. “Sorry Cam. Did I wake ya?”

  The harsnic shook his head. “No. Well, in one sense you did.”

  “Eh?”

  “I was specifically awoken when there was a breach at Starside Academy. After all, I am your brother.” He ran his fingers through his hair before they reached his beret. There were subtle voices coming from behind him. Luckily, they were less aggressive than usual. “Where are the other cadets?”

  “That’s what I’m calling about.” I muttered. He looked confused. “They’ve been captured. Only me and one other cadet are safe.” I adjusted my wrist so the camera lens could see Chorst too. “Tamarax Deloro has the others.”

  “What?” The harsnic yelped before he realized he was being too loud for such an early time in the morning. “Tamarax?” He tried to say more modestly, but still very anxiously.

  Now there were more voices behind Cameron. They hadn’t heard what I had said –due to the fact I was speaking into Cameron’s earpiece only– but they had heard him say ‘Tamarax’. That name was enough to concern anybody.

  “And I need your help t–” I stopped talking when another person came into view onscreen. It was First Off Tek of the Titonic. You remember the one who looked like a jellyfish fairy?

  Although I could not hear her as well as I could hear Cameron, I had no doubt she was angry. My poor brother. I just repeatedly humiliate him don’t I?

  “One moment,” Cameron looked at me meekly, “Cap Gor and First Off Tek want to talk to you.”

  He could not see my expression, so I subtly shook my head to tell him ‘no’. The harsnic gave me a sympathetic look. He did not want to have Gor and Tek joining the conversation either. He feared he would get in more trouble than I would.

  “The captain and first officer want to talk to me.” I told Chorst before sniffing again.

  “I will join the conversation as well.” He said.

  Hesitantly, I sent Chorst a call request. The screen split in half to fit him and my brother as well. Shortly after, Tek and Gor’s faces split the screen into four windows. For some reason the windowed screen reminded me of the Brady Bunch opening. I hummed the theme quietly. Tek looked angry, and Gor looked just as anxious as Cameron. It was obvious who had real power in the Titonic.

  “Dub First Off Am,” Tek began slowly, “we heard about the tragic incident with the cadets, but we also hear you mention Tamarax Deloro. Explain!” She demanded aggressively.

  “I did.” I admitted while sniffing. “But that’s not why I called.”

  “Where is your supervisor?” She asked coldly.

  I shook my head. “I just need to speak to my brother… Preferably privately.”

  “Why did you say Tamarax’s name?”

  “Err…” I sighed, I would just tell her the truth. Who knew? Maybe she would help if she knew Tamarax was involved. “Tamarax Deloro has captured the cadets, and the USM cannot do anything because they do not know the coordinates of her station.”

  “We have found the obvious location of Tamarax Station.” Chorst said.

  “Yeah.” I nodded. “So… we were wondering if we could have some help going to get them.”

  The looks on Cameron, Gor and Tek’s faces were hilarious. I decided it was best not to tell them about the whole ‘Bennu Bomb’ thing. If I told them about that they would think I was crazy or something.

  “Is this a prank call?” Gor asked. For good reason I suppose. It was a strange request.

  “No.” Chorst and I said simultaneously.

  Gor sighed: “That explains why you kids are in armour.”

  “How do you know Tam has them?” Tek asked suspiciously. “We don’t even know if Tam has them!”

  I bit my lip. Lying was now the best option. “Well… I saw her.”

  “No you did not.” Chorst said. I shot him a glare which he could not even see.

  Cameron rubbed his left temple. He was going to be in so much trouble once this was over. Now he would never be promoted higher than ensign. If Tek had her say, Cameron would probably be demoted back to midshipman… or even lower if it was possible.

  “Cam,” I began, “I can’t exactly explain how I know it was Tam. You just have to trust me.”

  My brother could not do that. He bit his lip and looked at me solemnly.

  “This human is insane.” Tek said harshly. “End transmission!”

  “She has Sven!” I told my brother just as Tek was trailing her finger over the ‘end call’ button. “That’s why dad did not call me back. She has him.”

  Cameron’s eyes widened. “You don’t know that.” He said to hide his fears from his superiors.

  “I do know that.” I said sincerely even though it was the first time I had admitted it outloud. “And you’ll find out I’m telling the truth if you go to the coordinates of Lieu Com Feb’s last GPS transmission.”

  “Lieu Com Feb?” Gor and Tek both questioned.

  Hastily, I switched on mute for Tek and Gor so they could not hear moi. There was no point in muting Chorst, he was sitting next to me and could hear everything I said.

  My brother shook his head. We were both going to be in so much trouble. His light green complexion drained when he saw that I had sent him the coordinates to where Lieu Com Feb’s shuttle had sent its last GPS broadcast. He knew very well that I had not gotten those coordinates legally.

  I could hear Tek and Gor talking loudly in the background of Cameron so I had to be quick: “I don’t expect the Titonic… or the USM to help, but I’m heading to those coordinates.” He did not reply. “Our father is there. I know he is.”

  “You have no proof.” He shook his head again. “You’re being absurd, Am. P-please stop it.”

  Before I could reply to his sad plea, the call was ended. Tek was pissed that I had muted her. A wave of guilt passed over me when I realized that I had just pulled Cameron down with me.

  Chorst ended the call when it was just my face on his screen. “We should get in the Mar. Now that you have told Cap Gor and First Off Tek your intentions, they could contact Starside security and lockdown the hangar.”

/>   “We did not tell them we intend to take a dub spaceship.” I reassured him.

  “They can assume that is our plan.”

  I complied and hastily followed him into the ship.

  “Data?” I asked into my earpiece.

  “Yes, First Off Am?”

  “Send these coordinates to the dub spaceship Mar’s computer.”

  “Coordinates sent.”

  “Thanks.” I muttered even though the wrist computer could not accept a compliment.

  Chorst was already in his seat setting up the dub spaceship. He was a trustworthy captain… and a trustworthy friend.

  “Heh.” I smirked before sniffing again to control the small amount of blood in my nose.

  He looked up at moi questioningly.

  “It’s nothing.” I shook my head. “I just find it funny that we, two cadets, are hijacking a dub crew spaceship and flying out to the most feared woman’s space station and our only weapons are stun guns… and the Bennu Bomb of course.” I pointed to his belt where the bomb was being kept in his pocket. “Most people would think we’re crazy.”

  “Your sanity is depleted.” He said icily. “However, you have a plan. It does not seem like a logical plan, however that is because you have not explained it fully.”

  “You trust me, Chorst?” I asked calmly.

  He could not answer that. Answering would require him to express his thoughts about moi. I could assume what his answer would be. No, he did not trust me, he trusted my red blood. Disturbing, but true.
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