Nedran and Divab stared at the splintered wood around them. Divab
voiced what they'd both been thinking.
"Now what? We've destroyed our only weapons."
"I don't know. This could be bad. Real bad."
The door under the pallet opened, and Nedran and Divab realized that things had just gotten worse.
Nadroj had been sitting in that room for seles on end, and there was
no end in sight.
"Excuse me," she said to the doctors, "I really need to get back to work."
"We're sure of that," a nurse said, "But we need to run these tests." Nadroj sighed and leaned back into the chair. The lasers flashed all around her.
Naan ran down one of the tunnel to the TeleMonitor station and asked
for time on the news. The executives told her that she could record
something and they would play it for her.
"Fine, fine," she said, "Just let me do it." She stepped into a soundproof booth and hit a button to start recording.
"People of Aldrania," she said, "By now you've heard the rumors of the ESP pwoers of my fellow high Official and I. Let me tell you that they are unfounded, no matter your source. Even if they were true, we would never use these powers for anything but the advancement of Aldrania. Thank you for your time." She stepped out of the booth and left the building.
"I hope that does some good," Naan muttered walking back down the tunnel to the UPA building.
Abruptly, the lasers stopped flashing.
"What happened?" yelled a doctor.
"A signal interrupt," replied a nurse calmly.
"Oh, great, now we'll have to start over!"
"Doctor," began Nadroj, "May I have a piece of paper?"
"I suppose." The doctor handed her a piece of paper. Nadroj scribbled something quickly and signed the paper.
"Have you ever wanted the autograph of a high official?"
"I don't see why not." Nadroj handed him the paper.
"Just sign here," she said, pointing to a line at the bottom of the paper. The doctor signed. "Thank you kindly! You should read before you sign." Nadroj handed the paper to the doctor for him to read. 'I hereby certify that High Official Nadroj Mallom is of sound mind and body and will not have to pay any hospital bills because I lengthened her stay with out need or cause. Signed Nadroj Mallom and Dr Bill Corsecze.'
Nadroj hopped off the chair and walked out of the office after snatching the paper out of the flabberghasted doctor's hand.
"I wonder what caused the signal interrupt," Nadroj muttered to herself, walking down the hall to her hospital room.
"Hi, Nadroj. What are you doing here?"
"Nothing yet. What's going on?"
"Well, the riots are ending."
"Really? Riots? Huhm. Why are they ending?"
"I think it's because of an announcement I made a little while ago."
"Did that cause a signal interrupt?"
"Then thank you very much! That ended the test early and I was able to leave."
"Well, you're welcome."
"Any word from Nedran and Divab?"
"No. I'm getting worried. Really worried."
"Hello, Seela," said Divab as casually as possible.
"What are you going out of your chairs?"
"Uh... You left us untied after our last meal."
"Oh. My mistake. Where are your chairs?" Seela looked around the room. "You lied to me. What have you really been doing?"
"Why would we lie to you?"
"I can see no reason to lie to me, so I believe you."
"But I'm afraid that I will have to tie you back up now. The voice saw what you did, and I have brought more rope with me. I will tie you to the wall."
Nedran and Divab sighed. They didn't have the energy to resist, not having eaten in over twenty seles. After Seela had tied them to the wall, Seela exited the room.
"Here's my plan," began Divab, but the wall they were tied to swiveled around. They found themselves in a green tiled room, and their hands were no longer tied to the wall.
"This is like a sequence out of a drug movie," observed Nedran.
"Welcome to your past," announced a new voice. The owner of the voice stepped out from behind a net screen. She was dressed in a long, loose white robe. The only thing that seemed really remarkable about the woman was her hair. Her bright red hair was braided. Even braided, her hair reached the floor.
"My name is Nayla. This is Ceymara," said the woman, gesturing to another woman who appeared from behind the screen. The second woman was dressed in the same way as the first, and her long black braid also reached the floor.
"Nedran, don't you remember me?" asked Ceymara.
"It's me, Ceymara." His expression remained unchanged. "Your wife," she prompted.
"What?! I'm married?"
"Yes, Nedran," said Nayla, trying to be soothing. "You are, too, Divab. To me."
"Are you sure?"
Divab looked at Nedran. "Do either of us have any children?"
"You each had a son named after yourself. Had is the operative word in that sentence."
Nedran and Divab looked confused.
"They were killed," said Ceymara, "By order of High Officials Mallom and Sansem, head of the UPA and the government."
"Until last week, your mission in life was to seek out and murder the HO's. And the voice who has held you captive will allow you to continue your venture. The door is over here."
A knock at the door brought the two High Officials out of the
conversation they had been having.
"Come in," Nadroj called. Johnson walked in and fidgeted in the doorway.
"What's up?," Naan asked, "And please come in, don't stand in the door like an idiot."
"Umm," he started, "I just came to inform you that we have found Nedran and Divab."
"That's good news."
"Not really because they are in the hands of the Great Coalition, who we assume have brainwashed them and are altering their memories." "Who leads this group?," Nadroj asked.
"Sisters by the name of Nayla and Ceymara with their brother Treynof."
"What names. Can we get them out of there?"
"Not right now, we haven't yet located the building they operate from."
"Are you assuming it's some kind of secret building somewhere?," Naan asked.
"Yes, we are actually."
"Well don't. You remember that when we didn't want to be noticed we made the building obvious, so look for something like that."
"Okay," Johnson said, "I'll get a BUSA team on it now." He turned and walked out of the room. Nadroj and Naan went back to their conversation.
"Are you absolutely sure you have to go on your intership trip?," Nadroj asked.
"Yes, there's nothing I can do about it," Naan replied, "I leave in two weeks and am there for a month. Either this thing is over before I leave, or it is when I call for my first update. This thing is going to be over soon."
"I agree with that. It would be reassuring to have shadows again."
"Are you sure you're telling us everything?," Nedran asked Ceymara.
"Why would I have any reason to lie to you?," she said.
*I can think of fifty good reasons,* he thought.
*I could add fifty more to that,* Divab replied.