Naan and Nadroj were walking to the duplex that they shared on the other side of town. It had been a long day in their offices as high officials, and they looked somewhat dishevled. They had only been high officials for a year, but they had had to pull the country back together again from scrap. They were almost done with the uniting effort. Nadroj had recently developed better telepathy abilities than the ones she'd lived with all her life. Naan and Nadroj also had personal lives, too. Nedran and Davib, two supporters, were hanging around them. The guys were actually just about in love with them. Nedran was trying to get Nadroj to pay attnetion to him, and Divab was making a fool of himself over Naan.
      Nadroj looked around. Something wasn't right. "Naan?" she ventured. "Naan?" Nadroj repeated, looking around.
      "Naan?" she screamed.
      Something hard hit the back of her head, and she fell to the ground. Nedran and Davib witnessed the attack on the high officials. They ran towards the two figures sprawled on the walkway. Just as they came to stand over the pair, Nedran and Davib were both hit on the head. They fell on top of Nadroj and Naan, respectively.
      The four laid there for at least a sele. There was no one around to yell for help. The assaulters took all their possessions of worth and left them for dead. For another sele they lay there. Eventually, someone drove by in a FM-68. Seeing the high officials laying there on the sidewalk, the core member of U.P.A. hurried to help. The core member carried Nadroj and Naan to the FM-68 and then tried to go back for Nedran and Divab. When Johnson turned back around to find them, they were gone. He had wanted to look for them, but Nadroj and Naan needed medical attention.

      On the other side of the capital city, Nedran and Divab woke up at the same time. They were tied to chairs in a dimly lit room. The room stank with the cheapness of the furnishings. They were the only things in the room that broke the monotony of the yellowed wall covering and cheap wooden chairs. There were no visible doors or window. In one corner stood a low pallet. It looked recently slept in.
      "Ahh, you have decided to rejoin the living," croaked a disembodied voice.
      "A wise choice, I suppose. But you will soon regret it."
      "Who are you," Divab demanded. Nedran glared at him.
      "Oh, no need for that, Nedran. And don't suppose you can do anything to me telepathically. No, I have a purpose for you two. Naan and Nadroj won't know what hit them."
      "Who are they?"
      "Ha! That is funny. You don't remember the 'high officials' with whom you were so deeply enraptured! I bet you don't even remember joining the UPA!"
      "The what?"
      "Perfect, perfect. I'll have to commend Caran on his brain washing job before I execute him. Your food will be brought by in a moment." A sele later, a hunched little man appeared in the room with a tray. After giving them their food, he untied their hands so they could feed themselves. Then he walked over to the pallet and fell asleep.
      Davib and Nedran looked at each other as they ate their food. They barely knew each other, also. Caran was this evil person's brain washer. They didn't remeber Naan and Nadroj, the people the voice spoke of. Brain washer, UPA, what all had been removed?

      About ten minutes before the guys woke up, Naan and Nadroj met their doctors, and their translater.
      "You suffered a bruised skull at the base of your cranial cavity," a doctor said and turned to the translater.
      "He said you suffered a minor concussion at the base of your skulls." The doctors nodded. Naan stood up, but was pushed back down by an unseen BUSAE. She was ticked off now and read the guy's mind. The clarity of it was something she'd never experienced before. His pity made even madder. Forgetting Nadroj wasn't as telepathic as her, she thought waht she'd read to Nadroj. Nadroj started, she'd never heard Naan think anything to her without thinking real hard.
      "You have also become exceedingly skilled in the 6th sense, Naan," the doctor said. "You have gained a relatively strong 6th sense, Nadroj." The translator refused to translate. Sighing, Naan read his mind. She blasted throught the mental wall of the translater to get there.
      "So basically you mean that I'm one strong telepath, doing things most can't, and Nadroj is telepathic now?," Naan asked the doctor. He nodded at them. What a turn for the better. Something popped into Nadroj's mind.
      "Were there two guys with us when we come in?," she asked.
      "Why, no, there weren't," the doctor said.
      "Then where are Nedran and Divab?"
      The person on the bed stirred.
      "Go back to sleep, Seela. It is not time to be awake yet." The voice controlled the little man, Seela, as well. Nedran, who had also woken up, hoped that wasn't how he and Divab would end up. Seela told them just over one year of their memories had been taken away and stored in the memory conservatory near the voice's office. Seela was missing 12 years of his life. But the office would be hard to find. The voice also had monitors around the rooms and halls.
      Divab woke up. He looked around the room, squinting his eyes. Nedran read his mind. Divab was looking for sound trans devices. `Did you find any?' asked Nedran mentally.
      `No,' Nedran skimmed from Divab's mind. There had to be a way for them to get out. They'd just have to be patient enough to find it.

      It took a full day for the story of Naan's and Nadroj's assault to reach the entire populous of Aldrania. Within an hour of this, the story of their enhanced telepathic power spread. Chaotic panic followed in the wake of the news. The public seemed to have forgotten the state of the planet before Naan and Nadroj came to power. They were afraid Naan and Nadroj would abuse their power, both political and telepathic. They were afraid Naan and Nadroj would become tyrants and throw the country into complete economic inflation or depression.
      Naan and Nadroj knew nothing of the fears of the public. They didn't even know the public knew. Even the press kept away. That's when they realized something was up.

      Divab was still looking for a way our when he made a vague wish. The pounding at the base of his skull returned. Nedran turned around.
      "Did you say something?," he asked Divab. Divab looked at him blankly.
      "No," Divab said. "Just thinking." Nedran shrugged and turned back to what he was working on. There just had to be a way out of that room.

      The protests started later that day. Naan looked out the window of her office and sighed. Why did this have to happen now? It was almost time for her yearly internship on Earth. Why, oh why, did they have to enact the Internship Law? Well, she would just have to do something about this before she left. At least Nadroj would have six more months. Naan ducked as a rock flew through the window.
      "Oh, great," she said. "Now we have to buy a new monitor set. Monitor set! That's it!," she yelled, jumping to her feet.

      Divab had overturned his chair. He was now laying underneath the chair behind Nedran's chair. Nedran was trying to untie the know which held Divab's hands behind the chair. They had discovered how Seela entered and exited the room--a door beneath the pallet. The small mattress also sheltered an entire interface unit. As soon as Divab was free, he was supposed to small the IU. This could take a while.

      Nadroj was still in the hospital. She had been hit with the same force as Naan, but Nadroj had tensed up at the time of impact.
      Nadroj was pouring over telepathy books, checking to see if their condition was really permanent, and also because she could think of nothing better to do. When Nadroj found that this case was almost unheard-of, but permanent, she continued with her studies. Nadroj was trying to find the method of looking, rather searching, for a certain person. By now, Nedran would've at least called. It would've been more likely that he spend every waking hour, as well as every sleeping hour, at her feet. Divab had never visited Naan. Something was wrong. Something had to be done.
      "Miss, er, High Official Mallom?,"asked a young nurse, entering the room.
      "Yes?," said Nadroj (Mallom), setting aside her books.
      "We're going to run one last scan before releasing you."
      "Fine. What kind of scan?"
      "Cranial Bone Structure Scan, CBSS."
      "How long will it take?"
      "At most, six seles. At least, two seles."
      "Fine." Nadroj walked slowly, because a nurse was watching. She knew she was fine, but the doctors could have her arrested if she tried to leave. On to the CBSS room.

      "Done," Nedran said.
      "Great!" Divab shook the ropes off his wrists. He rolled the chair with him onto their side. Getting up, Divab walked around for a few minutes. He untied Nedran. Together, they lifted the pallet. They lifted their chairs above their heads, and swung.

      Naan dashed to the elevator. A hail of rocks came through the window. Naan did a weird dance thing to avoid being hit. All the while, she was yelling at the elevator.
      "Come on," she yelled, "Stupid thing, it goes fast when you need it to go slow, and slow when it needs to go fast. "Ouch, scrib! Stupid people, they'll believe anything. Ouch!" The people were throwing more accurately now. The elevator arrived with a beep and the doors slid open. Naan dashed inside and hid by the buttons. Rocks came through the open door. The doors closed and Naan placed her fore and middle fingers by the #13 button. A small door flipped open, revealing three extra buttons.
      "Good," Naan said, "They're still here." She hit the T-M button, "Here we go!"

     

Part Two
Part Three

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