Friday, August 11th, 6:32
They all walked into the room. Evan made sure to lock the
door securely, like usual. But with Art, would it even matter?
Neraeh, weariness on her face, walked over and sat down on
Trying to be covert, Evan peaked out the still closed curtains,
checking to see if Art and his people were yet nearby.
“See anything?” Freddy asked, standing near him.
Evan’s eyes scanned everywhere within his available view.
“No. Truly looks like they’re gone.”
“Can you guys come over and sit by me?” Neraeh asked. “I
want to talk about things.”
Once fixing the curtain tight again, Evan headed over to
her, Freddy following.
Freddy sat next to her. Evan sat across from them both, on
“Damn, this sucks,” Evan said to her. “I’m gonna guess
you’re feeling the same. So, what do we do now?”
Freddy only shrugged, stared down, and shook his head.
Neraeh let out a deep sigh and stared toward the floor like
Freddy. She looked back at Evan. “Call me crazy, but I still want to go see
Her words rattled Evan even more than he already felt.
Freddy looked at her. “Yeah. That is crazy, Neraeh. After
all they just did to us?”
“And here I was the one who wanted to meet with them,” Evan
said. “But wow, definitely not sure now.”
“Yeah, but that’s exactly why I want to go see them. They
obviously have…some type of psychic powers, maybe even on the same level as
what was done to Syrrah in the first place. I mean, they already know about
her, and even think she’s still alive!”
“But can we believe them?” Evan asked her. “And like we
already discussed, maybe they’re involved with the people responsible for what
happened to Syrrah. It’s a terrible thought, I know, but we have to consider
“Then why didn’t they just kill us already? We’re obviously
snooping around, looking for answers, going to Dana’s concert. I’m sure they
would know. And they have to know we want to help her. So why? Why let us live
“Waiting for the right time, opportunity,” Evan said. “Or
wanting to learn more about us first. I don’t know. I just simply do not trust
“So, okay,” Neraeh continued, “say you go work for Dana’s
team, as a security guard. And you find out, after being around her, talking to
her, that she really is Syrrah. Then what?”
“Exactly, Neraeh. I have thought about this, a lot, ever
since you told us what happened to Syrrah. There really is no ‘then what’. She
doesn’t have a body to go back to. And even if she did, we certainly don’t have
the means to do anything to help transfer her back, that’s for certain.”
“But maybe they do! And I still want to know.” Neraeh’s eyes
were becoming tear-filled, hurting Evan’s heart, making him regret his choice
of words. “I still want to know if she’s okay. I want her to know that I care
about her, and love her, and so does our mother and father.” She stood up,
walked around the bed, and continued until arriving by the window at the
opposite end of the room from the door. She parted the curtain and looked out.
She took hold of the sliding window’s lock and clicked it secure. Sniffling a
few times, she stepped over to the room’s small table and plucked several
tissues from a tissue box. She wiped her nose. She turned and stared at Evan.
“Even if she doesn’t have a body to come back to, this was wrong, Evan, this
was a crime. And those people, Art and Kamal? That’s what they talk about. How
others, not just Syrrah, have been abused by those government assholes, these
evil, evil people. I want to talk to them, anyway, because…because something
has to be done to stop this.”
“I would say we should contact the police,” Freddy said.
“But been there, done that, arguing, struggling how to even present the whole
thing. Bad idea.”
“Yeah,” Evan said. “We just wouldn’t be believed, since it’s
so hard to prove.”
Neraeh pointed at Freddy, then Evan. “Well, see? See? Normal
means to stop them or even try to help Syrrah won’t work. So, I’m doing
something about this right now, so they won’t do it again.” She started
walking, with emphasis, toward the door.
Evan shot up from the bed and stepped over until blocking
her passage. “Neraeh. What are you doing?”
She looked up at him, but then grabbed his left side with
both hands and attempted to push him aside. “Get out of my way.”
He instantly wrapped her in his arms, a close bear hug.
“Let go of me!” She twisted and moved within his arms,
struggling to break free, but he was far too strong for her. “Let me go!”
“No!” He held her firmly, even as she continued to struggle.
“Only a short time ago in the Ram you wanted to leave, to get away from them.
You’re not thinking straight, Neraeh!”
Freddy stood up and walked near them. “Neraeh. Listen to
Her crying intensified. She ceased her struggle and softly
collapsed against him, limp, pressing her head upon Evan’s chest, sobbing,
heaving against him.
Evan felt his own deep, unsettling pain intensify. “Neraeh,
it’s all right, it’s all right.” He loosened his tight hold on her and gently
walked her over, yet holding on to her, and helped her sit down on his bed.
Freddy sat across from them, on his own bed. Evan held her shoulders and turned
her toward him. “I just can’t let you go to them. I can’t let anything happen
She drew in a deep breath, and then wiped her eyes and nose
with the tissue. She focused her gaze away from him, toward the floor. “You can
stop me now. But what you don’t realize is that when you are back home, you and
Freddy, you’re not going to be around me. And when my dad’s not around me.” She
looked at Evan. “Then I will still call them. And I will still meet with them,
if they want to meet with me. I’m an adult, Evan. I’ve been making decisions on
my own for a long time now. And I don’t know why, I know there is risk, believe
me, but I also felt they did want to help, for some reason, because they could
have stopped us already.” She paused, wiping her eyes again. She took another
deep inhale and let it out slowly. “I need to take this risk, to find answers,
to help Syrrah, or maybe just find some inkling of peace, and for my mom. I
have to do something.”
Evan sighed quietly. “I don’t trust them though.” He kept
holding on to her shoulders.
“I don’t trust them too,” she said, her voice softly
breaking, her eyes tearing up again, “not completely. But they’re all I have
right now. They’re all I have to find some answers, to do something, anything.”
She gently grasped both her hands around each of Evan’s arms. “I could go alone
to see them. But I would much rather go see them with you, and with Freddy.
Please. Help me.”
Evan released his grasp from her shoulders and slid his
hands down her arms until taking hold of her hands. He looked into her pretty,
tearful eyes. “Neraeh. If we go see them, Freddy and I would not be able to
fully protect you from them. They have guns. We don’t have guns.”
“We could buy one, couldn’t we?” she asked, releasing her
hands from his hold.
“No, not really. There are time consuming background checks,
and we’re all out of money, practically. Guns can be expensive. And besides,
what they did to the Ram, to us, their abilities, their powers. We are no match
for that, you know this. We would be walking into a hornet’s nest, a time bomb.
I have no idea what could go down.”
"What Art said, he had never seen powers like you
“No, hon,” Evan said, slowly shaking his head. “Like I told
you. Syrrah, or who I thought was really Syrrah, but now, actually…whatever was
inside her, and I don’t think it was something so good…at least, not
originally…gave me those powers. They were not my own. God help me, believe me,
I damn sure wish so much they were my own. But they were not. And I certainly
do not have them now.”
“Okay, I see.” She started trembling slightly, and appeared
to be struggling to cease her crying, but it wasn’t working so well. “Please.
Evan.” She gently grasped his hands. “I know we are almost out of money, but I
need to find an answer, anything, something, especially since we couldn’t meet
with Dana Zypher. I mean, how could they even know about Syrrah?”
“Well, like I told you. That is one of the main reasons I’m
“But what if it’s because they really know, because of what
happens with those government people, the bad things they do, and that’s why?
Plus they read your mind, you know they did. They couldn’t have known that
Evan could feel her desperation and determination like it
was his own. This was going in circles and not ending soon. “I know, but I
still don’t trust them.”
“How about this,” Freddy said,
leaning nearer. “We call. We say again, like earlier, we only want to meet in a
public place, and that’s it. If they really want to meet with us, they’ll
“We already tried this,” Evan said. “They’ll just show up at
the door, probably.”
“Then let them,” she said. “We could leave the door open. It
would sort of be like out in the public.”
He released her hands and stared down at the floor. “I don’t
like this, I don’t like this.”
Neraeh took out her phone.
Evan watched what she was doing.
She merely held her phone, and only intermittently touched
the screen, bringing up her apps but not choosing any particular one.
After some time, she looked at Evan. "Please. Let me
call them. If they say they won't meet in public, then I won't do it. And if
they come to the door, we could just leave the door open."
Evan sighed. Didn't feel right. Something felt wrong about
all of this. "What would your father say?"
"My father?" she said, quietly, smiling a bit.
"What about your father?"
“All of our fathers, and mothers, would have a fit if they
knew what we’ve actually been doing,” Freddy said. “Living life on the edge
here. And heck, we all have to die sometime.”
“Yeah, we sure know that,” Evan said. “Master Ren has said
that enough. But, it’s just that I’m in charge here, this was all my idea, and
I feel totally responsible for both of you.”
Neraeh kept her eyes on Evan, and then stared down at her
phone a moment. She looked back at him. “Okay. I’m an adult. We are all adults
here, though of course I’m older. We need to be responsible, too, I get that.
But I know, if I leave tomorrow, and go back home, and I didn’t at least try to
see these people, who know so much about the circumstances with you and Syrrah,
I will fall into a depression and despair I may never come out of. I just have
to do this, Evan. I just have to. Do you see what I’m saying?”
“Regardless of the risks involved?”
"Yes. Regardless of the risks involved. Because if I
don't do this, and do this now, for my dad, for my mom, for me...I'm already
dead, at least inside."
Evan inhaled a deep breath and let it out gradually. “Okay.
I understand what you are saying. No easy, safe answer to this. There will be
risks, or consequences, no matter what we do. So, go ahead. Call. You have my
“Oh thank you, Evan.” She reached up, slipped her hand
around the back of Evan’s neck, and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
Yet with the deep concern banging around in his head, he
couldn’t even properly sense what she had just done.
“But keep in mind, like I said,” Freddy added. “We only meet
in a public place, that’s it.”
“Yes. True. You’re right.” She lifted her phone nearer her
eyes. “Oh. Do you remember the number?”
Evan swiped open the recent calls on his phone and showed
her Art’s number. “Here.”
She entered the number, put her phone on speaker, and held it
Instantly Evan recognized Art’s voice.
Neraeh stared at her phone and then glanced at Evan and
Freddy. "Umm…hello. I have decided I want to meet with you, but only in a
public place. Evan and Freddy will be coming too.”
"All right. We have arranged something. All I ask is
that you stand up."
“Well, that’s an odd request,” Evan said. “Why the hell
would he ask that?”
"Wait," Neraeh said, "you want us to stand
"It would be best. Stand up, and look toward the
She looked at Evan with wondering eyes.
“I guess they never left,” Evan said to her, and he stood up
and faced the door.
Neraeh and Freddy did the same.
"Okay. We're standing, and can see our door,"
Neraeh said. "Now what?"
"I want you to relax, stay calm, and remain standing
exactly where you are."
Evan hung his arms loosely by his sides, keeping prepared.
“I’m gonna guess they’ll be unlocking the door next and barging inside. So, we
need to stay calm.”
“This is getting ridiculous,” Freddy said.
electronic humming noise passed across the room. “What was that?” Evan quickly
zeroed in on its origin. The noise came from behind
the dresser mirror by the cups and coffee packs.
Numerous white light rays, thin as fabric threads, spiked
out from behind the mirror and the mirror itself. They quickly formed grid-like
patterns on everything around them in the room, even the walls, until soon
turning in unison, in a dizzying manner, around him, Freddy and Neraeh’s
standing positions, with each of them uttering words of shock, confusion as it
happened. Then abruptly the thin lines branched out and formed an enclosing
mesh of lines and shapes around each of their entire bodies. A bright flash
filled the room, a flash so bright Evan couldn’t help but close his eyes.
Instantly he recalled the decrease events with the hull.
This could not be good.
"Evan," Neraeh said, her voice shaky. "What
Evan opened his eyes.
They were no longer standing in their motel room.
They were standing in a large, concrete-walled room filled
with electronic equipment on metal shelves. And a wide table in the room’s
center, with Art, Kamal, and their goons congregating nearby.