Hi again! I kept my promise this time and updated in one week! I'm asking (once again) that you review this because I really need the feedback! Thank you so much for sticking around!
Before we start, a quick recap of the end of the latest chapter.
Alexa and Violet hear an angry pounding at the door and Dr. Silvers decides to handle it. But it wasn't anything they imagined. Arlott, the ruler of the world of 3879, and his guards stand at the door with authority.
"Where is Alexa Silvers?" Arlott demands. They had found her. And standing by his side was a very afraid Ryan.
They may have had the upper hand, but they weren't going down without a fight.
So here you go! Enjoy!
I snarled at two of Arlott's guards as they handcuffed me with blue, electric handcuffs. I rolled my eyes when I realized they thought I was so dangerous that I needed two guards.
"These are specially designed to prevent escape. If you try to outsmart the handcuffs, they will electrocute you." one of the guards warned, handcuffing the others.
Violet, who was very unfamiliar with our technology, stood with her eyes wide open. For trying to help, she was arrested right along with us. But I couldn't say it was really my fault. I'm the one who tried to stop her, after all. Yet the voice in the back of my mind saying I could have done better kept echoing in my head over and over again.
I snapped out of my mini-spiral when I saw another guard come towards me and remove my oxygen tank, tossing it carelessly on the dirt. I had forgotten all about that thing! I guess I've finally proved my point that humans can adapt to any situation.
The same guard lathered something slimy all over my robotic hand. I looked up at him in disgust.
"This is magnetic adhesive that will absorb shock from your arm if you try to do anything… 'destructive'."
I gave the guard a piercing look that made him understand that I was definitely not okay with this. Not like any of them needed to be reminded. I didn't blame the guards though. For all I knew, they could have been good hearted people. No, it was the person pulling the strings that was to blame. And who could be better for that job than Arlott, walking proof that you don't need a heart to survive.
I glanced at Ryan and saw something shimmering. It was the time travel watch that spawns voids in time periods other than ours. It was then that I realized I didn't have any devices to get back. If there was an emergency, I would have been stuck in 2020. Maybe Ryan and I couldn't change anything. Here we were, unable to get even halfway to victory. Were we just stupid kids trying to achieve the impossible all along?
One of the guards took the watch off of Ryan's wrist and gave it to Arlott, who put it on and admired it before pressing the centered button which spawned a void on the ground.
"This is not how I planned to be returning home..." I mumbled bitterly.
A few moments later I was lying on my belly on a cold, hard floor. When I stood up, I couldn't see at first. Maybe I had spent too much time in front of the sun. After my eyes adjusted, I could see that I was at my own house. I missed it so much. Behind me stood the time machine. Before I could take advantage of being alone in the basement, Violet, Ryan, and the whole party came tumbling out of the machine.
Soon we were riding on the hovertrain in a special compartment without the buzz of robots and the annoying toddlers playing with the shades. It was eerily quiet. When I was little I thought the hovertrain was useless since we already have Influoras to teleport people wherever they want. I found out later that even our technology could not bring people far distances. It could only save them the energy of opening and closing doors, which I thought was a whole bunch of nonsense. The silence was beginning to kill me, so I tried to start a conversation.
"Violet," I said as everyone turned to look at me, surprised I had tried to start a conversation, "I never saw your father. Where is he?"
"He left for medical training a few weeks ago. He won't be back for months… but I probably won't see him for a long time by the way things are going… " She replied bittersweetly. I knew exactly what she meant. I pulled on my handcuffs a little as my hands got sweaty.
"So both of your parents are doctors?" I said in amazement, trying to ignore the tension in the room.
"Yeah, and honestly, I don't even remember the last time I had a piece of candy." She laughed nervously.
I gave her the best smile I could muster.
To my surprise, all the guards were looking at Violet with wide eyes. Everyone thought that robots have been working in the place of humans for thousands of years, only people like Arlott knew the truth. He had access to all the blocked web pages from hundreds of years ago. And he didn't have to learn to hack to gain access. After a few minutes, the hovertrain came to a stop and Violet looked ready to throw up. We all sat there in silence for a little while until we finally got the memo that we were leaving. Me, Ryan, and Violet headed towards the door, but one of the guards came out of nowhere and blocked our path.
"You two need to change into uniform." He handed us water suits. Both me and Violet were wearing pajamas since the little "situation" had taken place in the middle of the night. Ryan on the other hand was still wearing his usual uniform.
Violet and I looked around and then at each other. Then we looked at the guard. He sighed.
"It's the compartment on the right." The guard pointed. That was the changing room. It didn't have an Influora attached to it. You know, for privacy reasons. Instead, the door opened if the sensor sensed there was no one inside. That was good news for Violet, who would probably be petrified for the rest of her life if she had to go through an Influora. The rest of us have been taken apart and reassembled many times every day since birth. Violet looked clueless, so I decided to guide her in the right direction.
"Just stand here for a second." I gestured to the ground in front of the door.
Violet tensed her muscles and stood at the spot I told her to stand. Immediately, she began hopping around and waving her arms as a way to tell the sensor "Hey! I'm here!", which I guess was one way to get inside. All the guards and even Arlott probably thought she was insane. But the truth is, to her they're insane, and to them, she's insane. Notice how I said "them" and not "us".
A few minutes later, Violet shakily walked out of the room with a water suit that looked just like my old one, but red and black instead of light blue and white. I walked past her, standing in front of the door. The door opened within a second and I didn't have to glance back at Violet to know she was embarrassed.
I tossed my nightgown in the incinerator. We didn't need that anymore, plus Arlott touched it so now it was nothing more than garbage. Then I did my usual routine, stepping inside of the leg holes and letting the magnetic sides connect on their own. I walked up to the mirror, which formed when I stepped on the sensor, and my water suit wasn't as different looking as I thought it would be. It was black instead of white, but the sides were still light blue. That's when I noticed both mine and Violet's suits were black. Something told me it wasn't a coincidence.
Everyone walked out of the train and exited the station. We then entered the city. It was only a few blocks, but we all call it the "city" because it has many stores. The city and some of the big neighborhoods around it had high, glass walls, with a barely visible glass ceiling that covered it, letting citizens be able to walk rather than swim, like in my neighborhood and many others that have not been very civilized yet. After all, just over 100 years ago, the world was above water. If I had just arrived here a little earlier… everything would be a million times better.
"Great," I thought to myself, "We have to walk through the main road. Everyone's gonna see us."
Ryan and I both lowered our heads as we walked through the crowded road packed with hovertrains zooming by, robots carrying all sorts of food (synthetic milk, for instance- yuck!), and people walking past while keeping their mental swipecard handy. Violet thought lowering your head in shame was some weird criminal tradition and did the same.
Soon we were past the crowd but everything to me was a blur. I was confused as we walked by the jailhouse, where we should have been interrogated. Neither Arlott nor his guards bothered to even look the way of the jail building. I noticed that if Arlott had to come along, this must have been something far more serious. A chill ran down my spine. Suddenly, I remembered my conversation with Ryan last week about stealing the document:
"And that's a good thing. If you were to ask them for it, they might get suspicious. We can't let anyone know about the time machine." I reminded him.
"Never. That would give us a lifetime in prison… or worse." He nodded agreeingly.
My eyes widened. I had just realized what "worse" meant. How had it taken me so long to figure it out? We weren't going to jail. We were going to be executed.
"Ryan." I whispered and nudged him, "I think I know what they're going to do to us."
He looked back at me, pale as paper, "I already know."
I felt as if someone had hurled a boulder at my stomach. Violet now had to die because she chose to help us. If we hadn't done this, if we had time to plan, if we had gone back in time together, if we hadn't been kids, this wouldn't have happened.
I glanced at Violet, who must have overheard us. I could tell since she was vibrating like a phone at this point. I felt a chill down my spine. I fixed my eyes on the ground because I was way too uncomfortable to look anywhere else. For a few minutes, I watched my feet step countless times. I finally looked back up when I saw we were walking on a different ground. It was plain sand. Clearly this area hadn't been colonized yet. We began to walk downhill and my ears began to hurt from all of the pressure. I didn't see anything interesting for the first few minutes, but as we walked further into the trench, I could see colorful coral. Then sea anemones. I even saw a clownfish. I did a double-take. I thought the government had informed everyone that all animals except humans had gone extinct!
All the color drained from my face, and I glared at Arlott who, surprisingly, was already staring at me. He had a smug look on his face, as if he knew what I was thinking. I felt like smacking him silly but the handcuffs prevented me from doing so. He had lied! About everything! What was his plan? What was he trying to do, brainwash everyone? That was my bet; if it's happened before, it can happen again.
Just a few years ago, the previous leader had taken control of all the citizens' minds. Even mine and Ryan's. I remember waking up one morning while walking on the street with over a thousand people. Half of them were asleep. It was the break of dawn, after all. I should have been freaking out, but my brain had been programmed so that I could not panic. I remember doing nothing while we all were split up by age. It didn't last long though- there was a malfunction and everyone's minds were set free. The feeling of fear never felt better. After that, I knew I was powerless. But I still went back in time. At this point, I don't even know why.
To this day I still wonder what would've happened if there was no malfunction. But I guess I would never need to worry about it- I wasn't going to be here longer than today. I would have escaped my world in a way I never thought of- death.
I began to shake and tremble as we entered a doorway that took us all under the sand. I reluctantly stood in front of the influora as it separated me atom by atom. I was too scared to glance over at Violet, who had never been taken apart completely, but I found the courage to look at her apologetically.
She didn't look like she despised me like I thought she would. Her eyes were full of worry, sorrow, and I even saw forgiveness. Memories from my short stay in 2020 popped into my head.
The first one was the first time I saw Violet. She had glowing hair and a bubbly personality. Then I saw her walk out of the car with her facemask on. You could see her smile even with her mouth covered. And finally, I saw the time she called me her friend.
"No!" I cried in my head, "The world needs Violet!" Without thinking, I did the thing that could make me die early.
I tugged and ripped at my handcuffs with all my strength. I banged them against my knees, hoping to rip them in half. Soon my body was possessed with rage. The only thing I was focusing on was to free myself.
Suddenly, I came back to my senses. I could see everyone staring at me with wide eyes, I could see the giant, empty, white room we had just walked into, and I could see my handcuffs, split down the middle, with the electricity drained from it.
AAAAAGGGGHHH! Is this going to end with them escaping? I dunno! Pretty slim chance!
But they're ready to risk it all for the sake of the world.
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