The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 11

Wednesday, August 9th, 8:46 AM

Casper, WY


“You want to get up now?”

Evan opened his eyes. Freddy was standing between both beds. “Hey, Fred.”

“What happened?” he asked quietly, glancing over at Neraeh.

Must have turned during the night, Evan realized, since he was now lying on his back. He looked over at Neraeh. She was yet sleeping, her back facing him. He carefully removed his blanket, trying not to disturb her and sat up on the side of the bed. He grabbed his phone off the table and eyed the screen. 8:47 AM.

Freddy sat down on his bed across from him. “You going to tell me?”

Though Freddy whispered, his voice could be heard easily - the AC was off. “It was weird, bro.” Evan made sure to whisper too. “We both had nearly the same dream. Shook me up, and Neraeh too.”

“What dream?”

“Syrrah, as Dana Zypher. And she was asking us to help her.”

“Oh, damn.”

The air in the room felt a bit cool. Evan rubbed the sides of his upper arms a few times. “I see why you turned it off.”

“Yeah. Apparently cools off quick toward the early morning in Casper. Was fifty-five last I checked.”

“At least they get a break from the heat around here.” Evan could feel the bed moving. He turned to see Neraeh getting up.

“Hey, guys.” She stood up and stretched a moment, and then walked around the foot of the bed until arriving near them. She sat down to Evan’s right. “Sorry I’m just getting up.”

“Oh, no, you’re fine,” Evan said. “I just got up myself. How are you doing?” 

She smiled at him. “I’m okay.” She removed her phone from her shorts’ pocket and gazed at the screen. “My dad. He texted me again.”

“See what he wants,” Evan said.

After swiping the message, she read it for some seconds. “Oh. He’s just wondering how I’m doing. He wants me to call ASAP. He’s just checking up on me.”

“That’s totally understandable,” Freddy said.

“Yes, of course,” Evan said. “I’m sure my dad will be contacting me too, any minute now.”

“I think I should take a shower, get dressed.” She stood up. “And give him a call.”

Evan stood up too. He hadn’t really noticed last night, maybe from the darkened room, but she stood even shorter than he realized, without her shoes on. An odd sense of powerful dominance and cavalier protectiveness expanded within him, but he pushed it aside.  “I’ll come with you.” 

She nodded, smiling at the same time. “I know.”

Neraeh walked toward the door and Evan followed her, until he stepped ahead. He unlocked their room’s door, opened it, and walked out first. The weather was sunny but with that cool fifty-five chill and he didn’t notice any people nearby. He stayed near her as she walked to her door and unlocked the door with her room’s keycard. He emphasized his rules again, that once she was done, she needed to text or call and wait in her room until he knocked. She smiled again and promised that she would.

After her door was locked securely, Evan walked back in their room. 

Freddy was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. “So, what happened?”

“Fred, dude. Nothing.”

“Come on. Nothing?”

“Felt like she was trying to get romantic with me, but I didn’t let it go any further. I was going to have you move over, so I could sleep on your bed, but she didn’t want that. She told me she wanted to sleep next to me. She had called, was upset, and I met her at her door and then brought her here. Besides, after what happened between me and Heidi, I’m rather traumatized right now. Just trying to keep things neutral. And I told you how I feel about her. She’s simply not Syrrah.”

“Yeah, I know, I know. Which, obviously means you didn’t see her as Syrrah, I take it?”

“No. Hasn’t happened at all, not like with Heidi. And I don’t know why.”

“Hmm. I don’t know why either. But Neraeh was upset, scared?”

“She was trembling a bit. I did hold her, and, not gonna lie, I was getting rather worked up, you know what I mean, but I just told her we need to get some sleep, and, later… we ended up on both sides of the bed, though she did hold my hand for a while.”

“It’s all right, Evan. I believe you. I was just rather shocked, she was here and all.” Freddy looked at his phone and sighed. “I have to contact my mom. She’s wondering what’s going on.” He glanced at Evan. “And you?”

“Right. I guess while we’re waiting for Neraeh, might as well get it done. I’ll make sure to speak with Matti too.”

“Aww, sure dude. Can’t forget about him. Get ‘er done.”

Probably was about a good fifteen to twenty minutes, Evan figured, of the two of them texting back and forth to their families when they eventually decided to say good-bye for now and get dressed. Freddy didn’t care about shaving any beard stubble, and Evan didn’t either, although they both did make sure to wear deodorant. Besides clean socks and underwear, Evan simply wore the clothes he had on yesterday, since, honestly, they didn’t smell that bad. And Freddy wore his same clothes too. Since they had to stay another night, Freddy suggested they both pitch in to pay for Neraeh’s room. It was a great idea. They did it over the motel room’s phone. And about ten minutes after that, Neraeh texted Evan that she was dressed and done. 

Freddy stood up from his bed and stretched his arms up high, arching his back over at the same time. “You want me to go get her?”

“No, that’s okay. I feel totally responsible for everything going on here with her. I’ll go.”

“Dude. I don’t mind at all.”

“No. It’s okay. I’ll do this.”

He walked out of their room and soon faced her doorway. Good. She waited this time until he knocked. When she opened the door, Evan instantly noticed the nice scent of her perfume, and the attractiveness of her makeup, and her hair laying softly around her shoulders. She was wearing a plain, maroon-colored T-shirt with the same denim shorts. She looked great, and those stunning blue eyes sent intense desire throughout his entire body, but he forced these confused feelings away and simply made sure she entered their room promptly.

Back in their room, they all sat on the beds like they did earlier, with Neraeh to Evan’s right and Freddy across from them both on his bed.

“Okay,” Evan began, “here’s the situation. Dana Zypher doesn’t have her concert until tomorrow. And Freddy already knows about this, Neraeh, but, the event, that happened to me…and where we were sent. And I know you don’t really want to hear about this, but--”

“I’m sorry,” she interrupted. “It makes me uncomfortable, mainly what you said about Syrrah.”

“I know. And again, I apologize.” Evan gazed down at his phone, grasping the edges tightly. “When it happened, me, my dad, and those five other people were held in this underground facility. We didn’t know where, exactly, this was located.” He had to see those blue eyes again, her stare curious but distraught. “Eventually they trapped us in our rooms. But at one point, I was able to get us all out. And where I brought us…well, it was out in the country, near Riverton, Wyoming.”

Her expression shifted to distrust. “Is that the main reason you wanted to come here?” 

“No, not at all, Neraeh. Please.” He placed his hand gently on her shoulder a moment. “You have to believe me. This is all about finding the truth about Syrrah. Although, it is rather weird, very telling, that the opportunity to find out about her is close to Riverton.”

“Yeah, I’ll agree with that, for sure,” Freddy said.

“Me too,” Neraeh said. “And I do believe you, Evan. I just wanted to make sure. that the main point you’re trying to make here?”

“For years, I’ve been using Google satellite and street views to find the same area again. Once we were above ground, I was able to move us near a Walmart and convenience store in Riverton. And those street views agree with what we saw. But, I couldn’t do that for the underground base. It’s on one of those hardly traveled gravel roads. Yet, a few months ago, I think I finally found it.”

“Wait,” she said. “You mean, you don’t remember where it was, even though you all walked to Riverton?”

“Sort of, something like that.” Further details would have to wait for now. “But anyway, looks like about a two-hour drive from here. And maybe another hour to scope out the place. Probably a two-hour drive back. About five hours total. I figure you could stay here with Freddy. This motel is within walking distance or delivery of any fast-food joints, stores, and so on. Freddy could have you stay here in the room while he walks to get anything you guys need. Fred, that okay with you?”

“Well, it’s really up to Neraeh.” He gave her a kind gaze. “What do you think?”

She eyed Freddy but then focused on Evan, her eyes serious, worried even. “Why are you going alone?”

“I figured you wouldn’t want to go, because you don’t want to discuss what happened, or know anything about it. Plus, it could be dangerous.”

She sighed and stared down at her hands. “I’m just scared.” She turned to Evan, her blue eyes piercing into his gaze. “Scared to know if there’s really something wrong with you. And scared to find out the truth about my sister, even though I have to.”

“If by wrong with me, you mean certain covert government military people and certain alien-like interdimensional beings messed with me, my dad, and the others, then yes, you could say there’s something wrong with me. But if you mean there is something wrong with me because I’m a liar, an attention whore, or just plain mentally ill, then you are dead wrong, Neraeh.”

“And I can attest to that,” Freddy said. “We’ve been good friends since we were both twelve and I’ve never met a more sane, normal guy…although, to clarify, above normal explains him better…than anyone else in my life. He was just thrown into some extraordinary supernatural circumstances that were beyond his control, and yet tries to make the best of his life since then.”

“I…I see,” she said. “I’m sorry, Evan. I don’t want to upset you.”

Evan wrapped his arm around her and gently drew her close to him. “It’s okay. I’m used to it, really.” He released his hold on her. She looked at him, her eyes now softer, less intense. “Been happening for some years now.”

“I want to go with you,” she said. “Maybe it will help me understand better.”

“Oh, damn, Neraeh. I don’t know. Like I said, it could be dangerous. And, well, after what you did yesterday, wanting to go back, mid-trip, you know.”

“I’m sorry. That wasn’t like me yesterday. I promise, I won’t do that again.” She squinted a bit and tilted her head to the side. “But, why do you think it could be dangerous?”

“Because the military base where they held us was armed to the teeth. Military guards everywhere.”

“Then how on earth did you get everyone out of there?”

“Like I told you. Who I thought was Syrrah, gave me the ability to move everyone…with only my mind. Not something I can do now, unfortunately, though it would be nice.”

“I see. That’s how you moved everyone to Riverton.”

“Yes, exactly. We didn’t walk.”

“Dana Zypher, the real Dana Zypher?” she asked. “Is she some sort of alien?”

“Since you told me, I have given that some thought. Although when I actually saw her, in the other dimension, she absolutely appeared as Syrrah.”

“That’s how she appeared…when she forced my sister’s body to commit suicide.” Neraeh’s tone was angry, her eyes narrowed. “How dare she. How dare she destroy all of our lives like that.”

“Now, don’t get ahead of yourself,” Evan told her. “We don’t know that for definite yet.” 

“Yes. You’re right.” She sighed. “Look, like I said. I promise. I won’t have you turn back. You have me more interested in this than ever. I’ve got to see this place, even if they have guns.”

“Of course we’ll be careful,” Evan said. “I will make sure you are safe.”

“Honestly. Doesn’t really matter the risks. I’ve been living life in hell, since Syrrah died. And then, who knows, after seeing this place, maybe I’ll be more ready to hear the rest of what really happened to you.” 

“You sure, Neraeh? I don’t want to put you through any more stress and discomfort than you’ve been through already.”

“Yes. I have to find this out, even if it disturbs me along the way.” She stood up. “I want to get my things packed.”

“We’ll be coming back here,” Evan said. “Freddy and I already paid for another night, for all of us.”

“Really?” Her face lit up with surprise, joy. “Aww, thank you guys. That is very kind of you.” 

Freddy smiled. “Of course. No problemo.”

“Yes, of course, Neraeh.” Evan stood up. “But we should pack some food and water, and get going soon.”