Because We Were Different – Part 20

Hey everyone! I’m back with Part 20 of my sci-fi serial story, Because We Were Different! Thank you all for sticking with me thus far! For any of you who might be new, or would like to go back to the beginning to start over, just click here! Also, if you’d like to find any of the other parts of the story, please click on the sidebar “Short Stories” where you can find all the previous parts and older stories! Again, thank you all for reading, and please like and comment below! ~ Kay Leigh

Part 20

Raidon chatted throughout the evening meal of Chinese takeout, and I wondered how he ever ate anything with as much talking as he did. Natalia talked with him, but I remained silent, unsure of how to spring my knowledge of her Shiarizian background to her, without her reacting. Sure, if she pulled her gun on me, I was a quicker shot, but that would just mess everything up. I had to find a way to breech the subject with no violent outbursts.

Clearly, Natalia didn’t want anyone knowing she was Shiarizian. Why, though? Sure, Kachino was at war with Shiarizi, but she could have been Remington’s special pet. A girl from Shiarizi, working for Kachinoans — she would be the perfect spy, because she would have blended right in. Why had she hidden it from everyone… unless Remington knew the truth and was using her to spy on me…?

I motioned Raidon over. “Raidon, I need to show you something with this bathroom,” I said, making an excuse up off the top of my head to get him away from Natalia so I could talk to him.

“Oh sure! What is it?” Over Raidon came, like a loyal puppy to his master.

I led him into the bathroom, then motioned toward his holster. “Look, I’ve found something on Natalia,” I said in a low tone, “and I don’t know how she’ll react when I confront her with it. So when I give you the signal, I want you to hold your gun on her. Is that clear?”

By the look on Raidon’s face, it wasn’t. “What did you find on her? I’m supposed to pull my gun on her? Why?”

“I just told you why! Now just… do as I say, and I’ll explain later. Now go out there and act normal.”

Raidon looked bewildered. “How am I supposed to act normal to someone I’m going to pull my gun on?”

I glanced up to heaven, praying for patience. “You’re. A. Spy. Act like one!”

Raidon frowned, but turned and left the bathroom, resuming his cheery act… albeit, I could tell something was up with him. Either Natalia didn’t know him very well, or was just plain stupid, as she didn’t catch on. I liked to believe the latter.

I fumbled with the case of contact lenses inside my pocket, before starting out of the bathroom over to where they were sitting at the two-person table, Raidon forcing himself to act cheerful.

I finally nodded at Raidon, and the guiltiest expression flashed over his face as he pulled his gun on her, the action clean and smooth. And here I’d been worried that he’d accidentally pull the trigger on her.

Natalia stared at the gun for a second as if it was a joke, and then I cleared my voice behind her. “Answer me one question truthfully, Natalia, and I won’t have Raidon pull the trigger. Are you a Shiarizian?”

She turned to face me, her gaze icy. “Is this any way to—”

“I said answer me.” My fingers itched to pull out my own weapon, but I forced myself to refrain.

Her tone turned sullen. “What makes you think I am?”

I pulled out the case of contacts and opened it, revealing the two pairs of colored lenses. “Care to explain why you have one pair of red lenses and one pair of green?”

Raidon’s mouth dropped, and he leaned forward in his seat to see them. “Wow, Natalia, why did Remington give you so many lenses? He gave you two red and a green! Lucky you!”

I glared at his apparent denseness. “No, dummy, Remington only gave her one pair, the red ones, like he did me.”

Raidon furrowed his brow. “But then where did she get the green ones and the red ones she’s wearing now?”

Natalia sighed before I could answer. “Raidon, I’m not wearing any contacts right now. The green ones are the ones I usually wear.” She turned to me, crossing her arms. “You had no right to snoop through my things.”

“I wasn’t snooping; It fell out of your bag. Now answer me — are you Shiarizian?”

Her face darkened, and her gaze fell, but she nodded.

“And are you a spy for the Shiarizians?” My tone turned icy, and for once in his life, Raidon seemed to realize what dire straights we were in, as his eyes locked onto Natalia, and he held his gun steady.

She raised her head, her gaze haughty. “If I were a Shiarizian spy, you wouldn’t still be walking free.”

“Well, we’ll see about that,” I said, coming over and plucking her pistol from her holster. “Does Remington know about your ethnicity?”

Natalia scowled at me. “Do you think I’d have worn those contacts all the time if he had?!” She crossed her arms. “But it doesn’t matter now. You’re going to tell him, aren’t you?”

I rubbed my chin, just to make her wait in suspense that much longer. “Well… I don’t know. Maybe if you’re a good girl and do as I say, I’ll… keep it quiet for you.”

She glared at me, but I could tell her desire to keep her lineage hidden was strong. “Do what?”

I gave her a smirk. “You’re a Shiarizian. We don’t know much about this planet, but you do. You know the best places to go to hear the… juiciest gossip. You know the customs and the ways of the people. And you know the history better. I’ll give you a chance to prove you’re not a Shiarzian spy yourself. Find out, say, something not widely known about the… royal family, how about? If you succeed, and no retribution falls on us, then I’ll trust you. But let me warn you, at the first sign of betrayal, I won’t hesitate to do away with you.”

Natalia’s eyes widened. “But… the royal—”

“The royal family shouldn’t be that hard of a subject to find something on, especially if it’s something that doesn’t really mean much. Like, look for something on one of the kids or something; that can’t be hard.” I couldn’t let on it was the crown princess in particular we were looking for… not yet, anyway. If she was an enemy spy, then that wouldn’t help us out at all. “So, are you going to do as I say and prove yourself, or shall I call Remington right away and tell him you lied and may be a Shiarizian spy, something he won’t take nicely to?”

Natalia remained silent for a moment, her gaze dark. Finally, after a few seconds of deliberation, she looked at me, then nodded.

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