Because We Are Different – Part 9

Hey everyone! I’m back with part 9 of my sci-fi serial story! Hope you all enjoy! ~ C.G

Part 9

  I’d told myself over and over again not to get my hopes up. What chance would Mr. Remington take in letting me see my sister again before the mission was accomplished? The few times I had seen him those past four years, I had begged him to let me see her, to no avail. Why would he be dumb enough to just put her as a secretary the very day we had a meeting? As further torment to me?

  Raidon and I walked down the long hall. Our boots clicked against the shiny cement as we grew closer to the meeting room, and I was surprised that Raidon had actually fallen quiet. There was barely a moment when there wasn’t something Raidon had to say. I looked at him, and saw that he was growing pretty pale. 

  “You all right?”  I asked him, hoping that he wasn’t going to pass out or anything. That was all I needed, another set back to my plan.

  He nodded silently. 

  “You aren’t acting normal,” I stated then, rather bluntly. 

 He crossed his arms. “What constitutes as normal?” 

“Oh, you know, the usual,” I said, looking upward as I listed off, “Talking non-stop from dawn to midnight, eating and talking, walking and talking, sparring and talking, sleeping and talking—”

“I do not sleep talk!” 

“Oh yes you do. You said something about… about spiders being under the covers and I just about freaked!” 

“Was that the night you hit me in the face with a pillow and I thought you were an assassin trying to—”

“Yup, that was the night.” I sighed then. “So tell me what’s up.” 

Raidon flushed pale then. “I… it’s just… well… what if they get mad at me for… for, you know, slipping up again?” 

I raised my brows. “You mean for losing your pass?”

Raidon nodded. “It wouldn’t be so bad if… if well, if this meeting wasn’t with him,” he finally stated in a defeated tone. 

“Mr. Remington?” I asked, trying to keep the bitterness towards that man out of my voice. 

  He nodded again. “I’ve always been too careless. He’s said so many times. He doesn’t like me… sometimes I wonder if he hates me and just wants to get me killed.” 

That… was chilling. Maybe he was doing the same thing with me… only pretending to “favor” me so I would be willing to go get killed? Was he just wanting us dead? Why didn’t he kill us himself then? Was he unable to do that?

Raidon still continued despite my silence. “I’ve always felt like he’s just waiting on me to slip up so he can have an excuse to shame me… or even get rid of me completely. I’m scared he’ll hurt me… or worse yet, throw me out.”

  “Throw you out?” I laughed. “Life outside these walls is much better than in here. Besides, if the secretary is nice enough to let you in without your pass, which I’m sure when they see you with me they will, Remington will never know. And even if he did, I’d stick up for you. Remington needs me, and I’d demand he not hurt you in return.” I blurted out the last part, barely conscious of what I was saying. Stick up for Raidon?! At the risk of my own neck?! Great. 

  “Huh? Needs you?” Raidon now looked as curious as a puppy dog. “Do you know what this meeting is supposed to be about?”

  I regretted saying what I had. I could get into trouble, even by mentioning it to Raidon. I had to play it safe. I quickly looked for a route of escape. “Oh look! We’re here!” I pushed opened the office doors, and we entered the waiting room. 

  It was so different from the rest of the base, I immediately noted, looking more like an office in the outside world. An office which I hadn’t seen in over five years…. The walls were yellow, and the carpet was brown and cropped. There were plush black chairs along the back wall, and in the corner was a small plant. 

  At the front was the secretary’s desk. It was high, but I was tall. Still, I couldn’t even see anyone behind it. Was there anyone behind it? A little girl of fourteen or fifteen, perhaps? Maybe… just maybe… I’d see my sister. 

  Raidon dashed in front of me and put his arms on the counter, barely throwing me off balance. “Hiya! It is you, my favorite Mai Saki! Not that there’s any other Mai Saki’s that I know, but anyway,” he grinned brightly at the girl behind the counter, and I heard a little giggle.

  I felt like my heart was about to stop. I stood behind Raidon, and looked at the secretary, who was now sitting up straighter in her chair, allowing me to see her. She had the bobbed light-brown hair, the deep blue eyes — this was my sister, I was positive, and she must remember me — she’d promised! 

“Hi, Raidon. You’re a tiny bit early, so I can’t let you in yet.” Mai then looked up at me. “Oh, hello! You must be Raidon’s friend! He’s told me about you! Mister — Mister Paine, was it?”

  I couldn’t answer. Certainly she remembered me, right? Perhaps she was only afraid. In an effort to play along, I nodded, though I was half there. She had to remember me… she had to know who I was… what I was doing… I was doing all of this for her, for crying out loud! But what would it matter if she was just a robot of the Kachinoan populace, blindly obeying their every order and wish? Our parents would rather us dead than for that to happen to us!

  “Yep, that’s Ainslyn! Anyway,” Raidon cleared his throat, looking hopeful. “Is there any way you could give me another pass? I lost mine.”

  She giggled. “Still losing things?” Her brows raised then, and she sighed, seeing his serious face. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid I can’t.”

Raidon made a fist. “Darn. Oh well.” He whistled then. “Looks like you’ll have to protect me after all, Ainslyn! We’ll just wait a couple minutes!” He walked right over to the black cushioned chairs and plopped on one, going “Whee!” as he did so. 

Normally I would have rolled my eyes, but now I was too stunned to do so. Mai was playing… she had to be. I followed Raidon over and sat down beside him as he kept getting up and plopping back down on the chair. “Raidon, please stop that.” I managed to find my voice again, but it was cold. I had a feeling I knew exactly what had happened to my sister, but refused to let that thought set in. Surely she was only hiding that she knew me.

“Sorry,” he said quickly sitting like a proper soldier beside me.

I sighed, then looked at him. “Raidon,” I said then. “I have a favor to ask you.” Perhaps this would work.

  “Yep?”

  “Ask her… ask the secretary if she has any siblings,” I said in a low tone.

  “Huh?” Raidon stared at me. “You feeling okay? What’s that have to do with—”

  “I’m fine!” I snapped, flushing pale. “Just ask her.”

  Raidon shrugged, still looking unsure. “Okay… whatever you say.” He slowly stepped up again. “Um, Mai,” he bit his lip. 

  “Yes?” She looked up from her papers. 

  “Totally random question that my buddy definitely did not tell me to ask you — do you have any siblings?”

  Mai furrowed her brow. “No… no I don’t. Why?”

  I didn’t hear Raidon’s reply. The moment I heard her say no, the realization set in. They’d brainwashed her. My sister didn’t even know I existed. 

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