The world we live in now - my very own series 6
Smoke was amanting in ringlets from some places in the city. Screams echoed through the air and faded over the ocean. People ran around like ants, except they didn’t seem to have a track to follow. It was pandemonium. “All those people…people like us…” the young woman with long blond hair whispered with tears brimming in the corners of her eyes. Another blond woman with zulu styled hair put an arm around her shoulders and whispered “Its okay to cry Ellie…” Ellie looked to their leader. Amber. Image of a tough female. Survivor of so many fatal times. But now her face was slurred with make up and grime from the streaks of tears as she looked back to the cities harbour they just left an hour ago on a tiny trader speed boat.
“Good bye Bray…” she whispered in a very low voice and Ellie felt her heart clench. Of course. For Amber it was not only leaving their home. For Amber it meant leaving places of happiness and memories of the big love of her life - Bray- behind. “Amber! We´re all taking our loved lost ones with us. They are here!” she said, laying a hand over her friends heart.
Amber sniffed “I know Im stupid. I just feel like I am betraying him and everything he believed in… and not only him but all of them. We have fought so hard for a life in this city. We have lost so much… Im taking away my son’s chances to ever see the same places like his dad. Cross the same streets as him. See the same ocean.” She looked sideways where Trudy and Salene sat with Brady, little Bray and Lottie playing some silent teddy bear theatre. Both adults looked worried enough, Lottie was outright confused about being on a boat all out of sudden, but together they managed to keep the little ones entertained. Ellie closed her eyes, feeling more tears burning her eyes. Loosing Bray had changed Amber. Like loosing Alice had changed herself. But while she herself had gotten tougher, more the fighter like her sister had been, Amber had become sensible and emotional. But of course she had become a mother aswell. That changed women a lot. Bray had been a fighter, as had Alice. Both had never given in to threats and injustice. Gripping control back over her, she openend her eyes “Dont be stupid! You - we that is- had no choice! You’re giving him and all of us a chance to survive, to live a better life! Im sure… Im damn sure…” she laid all her strength in her voice to prevent it shacking with emotion “…Bray is watching over us and is proud of you! Its all he ever wanted…the tribe sticking together. The place we live won’t matter as long as we stay together. As mall rats!” Amber looked back at the younger woman “Youve become more an adult then me!" she said with a weak smile and hugged Ellie "Youre right Ellie… we will do this!” “Together Amber!” “Always!”
“Guys?! Erm…guyyyyyys? is this…erm…a mountain in the ocean? If it is, were in trouble!" a young voice screamed from the other side fo the boat and they broke off sharing a puzzled look “A mountain?” Ellie mouthed to a non plussed Amber. Both turned around, a young man with shoulder long black hair came running from the front “Dont be stupid Sammy! Were not the Titanic!” he joked sarcastically, but he stopped dead in his tracks “Erm…RAM?! JAY?! What the fuck…?!” Jay, his blond hair flying softly in the breeze, came running. Due to the fact that the sun burnt so intensely he had rolled up his black cargo pants and changed the usual tight black functional shirt for an armless shirt that once might have been red, but now was more a light pink. His face was set and concentrated what stopped Lex to say something, so he just goggled at the other and raised his eyebrows taking in the summer holiday edition of the ex-techno general. Jay put a binocular to his eyes “Its…fuck…its an aircraft carrier!” he shouted, not able to contain a tiny bit of excitement to his voice "And it’s moving!” “An aircraft carrier? Like…like in Top Gun or what?” Lex asked with even higher raised eyebrows. Amber and Ellie moved beside him “Thats weird…” “No…thats damn impossible! An aircraft carrier? Whats next? Tom Cruise jumping down on us screaming APRILS FOOL! ?”
“Tom Cruise? Oh I would love that! He is so gorgeous!” A girl in all pink and violet squealed. Taking a deep breath Amber said “Gel! Get a grip for heavens sake! Tom Cruise was already old as we were born. His movies had been old classics then! And now he is by the ashes anyway due to the fact that he was an adult…you remember? The virus?” Ellie stiffled a giggle and Amber grinned at Trudy who joined them with a smirk.
“I am having kind of De-ja-vu here…” The two of them burst out laughing “Zandra…” Salene grinned aswell, even more happy that it seemed that her old friends could overcome the episode of Jay and Trudy. Ellie looked a bit confused, she never got to know Zandra and didn’t know what the others where revering to. Jay on the other hand looked annoyed, he could not see how they could make jokes now. “Hey…its no time for jokes…or bitch mode!" he shot warningly at Gel, sensing that she was getting ready for a dramatic tantrum. Gel puffed her cheeks and turned around to move back to the other side of the boat, not caring for aircrafts or whatever. She bumped directly into a beautiful woman with long braids in a tight black and red leather pants and a red polka dot bikini “Beware where you go Barbie girl!” the woman hissed and Gel stuck her nose even higher, ignoring the other. “Talking about bitch mode …” Lex huffed annoyed, Amber took a glance at the other woman “You could think she is on a fancy yacht in St. Tropez…” “Thats Ebony… always take the advantges out of even the darkest moment!” he sighed, but unable to stop himself he asked “Hey Ebony, where did you get that bikini?” Grinning in a sexy sort of way she answered “Zac has a few things down there… but I fear Jay got the best male shirt…” wiggling her eyebrows she looked short at her ex boyfriend in pink “But maybe you’ll want to try a bikini? There is a nice one with violet hearts…” Amber rolled her eyes “Heaven if that aircraft carier caries no danger to us… surely staying on that little boat with all of those is going to kill me!” she hissed moving closer to Jay, who embraced her grinning “I will find a way to disctract you…being on a tiny boat can have advanteges!” “Mr general! Stay focused!” she said with a small smile "Whats up?” “I don’t know but I am sure well find out, if we want to or not.”
Suddenly the radio set inside the boats cabin echoed “Olympus calling all boats on the flight…stop your engines, pull in your sails… stay where you are! You’re contaminated and will be brought straight back into the city due to quarantine. Dont worry, you all will be vaccinated and any of you who shows any signs of illness will be isolated and medical trained personal will take care. No one has to die, were here to help you!" All on board shared irritated looks till a booming noise sounded up. Three aircrafts and two helicopters were taking off from the carrier and heading for the city. A message sounded over the ocean towards the city "Stay where you are. Youre under quarantine and we will help you… do as we ask and no one comes to harm…” Amber felt goosebumps errupt on her skin. What if someone didn’t do as those people asked?
Back on board of the aircraft carrier named Olympus, people in navy blue cargo pants and shirts in different shades of blue ran around. All of them knew what to do, following a strictly worked out military routine. “Pegasus 1 and 2 left for the city… followed by Falcon 1 to 3, Lieutnant General Athena!” a young man shouted to a woman dressed in a light blue high waist coat, taking position and saluting her “It’s okay private…please go around and make sure everyones wearing their masks.” Taken aback he lost his strict position and tumbled away. With a sigh she watched him go. Most of their privates still werent used to the six highest ranks of them being friendly. But the general insisted that being organized and strict doesnt mean to boss people around and treat them like they were dirt on your shoes. And right he was. They were the mos efficient union of their organisation. A dark skinned girl with a long, thick plait made of many small braids, lots of them in all possible shades of blue, joined her.
“Liuetnant General…” “Captain…” they greeted each other and shared a grin. They went along with the military structure but didn’t approve of it for real. It just made operations like that easier, a strict command structure helped to nake missions clean and successful. A young blond the age of the captain in an also long coat came hurrying over to them “You wont believe it! Here! LOOK!" unceremosly he pressed a binocular into the captains hands “Ouch…thanks dear Colonel!” he ignored her sarcastic tone and all military protocol and urged her “Go on sweetheart! LOOK!” Wondering what on earth could make her boyfriend so eager she let the binocular swift over the many boats that had came to an halt once they had made their appearance. Many were already returning to the city. One boat caught her look. There was no mistake. “AMBER!” she breathed watching the zulu haired leader discussing with other familiar and unfamiliar persons on board “Oh its them. The Mall Rats! Oh they are alive… seems they pretty got away early… hopefully none did catch it… Oh quick lets get a speed boat, before Amber and your brother form one of their figting plans! They dont know its us… they might think were just like the Technos or even worse…” Together and without another word to their superior they left for one of the boats. She sighed again. She could understand their friends joy, but she also knew there would be problems awaiting them. Two other people joined her. A strong built guy and an asian woman. Their majors. “Were going with them…” the guy spoke “You’re coming too Tara?” She loved that he never cared to use her operation code-name, she was Tara to him and that was better then anyone she could be. "No you four better go alone…they know you. Dont explain too much when the soldiers are with you. We can have a long talk tomorrow. No one has to know about the generals condition! I am joining you later together with him!” “Of course… see you darl…” he kissed her hand affectionately and hurried off after the others, just jumping on board right in time. Smiling she watched them speed off to a meeting that surely would be surprising and emotional.
Suddenly she noticed the silence around her. The therefore busy noise of clearing off the standings of the three jets and the two helicopters after their departures to the city moments ago had faded and the soldiers had retreated to their usual working areas.
“This was close…” a soft and calm, but yet strong voice said to her. She turned to see a man, almost two heads higher then her, dressed in a dark blue cargo pants, a tight well fitting white shirt, a soft short brown leather pilot jacket, completed with a navy coat. With his stricking ocean blue eyes, his wavy brown hair and his athletic built he just seemed to be made for their uniforms. It werent uniforms strictly sopken, but more a way to show unison by wearing same colours and tribal, but giving your own outfit a unique twist. They all wore dark blue cargos and a shirt a different shade of blue depending to their working unit. He as their general wore a white shirt, so he stood out even when he wasnt wearing jacket or coat. But he would have stood out anyway due to his physic, charisma and his brown wavy hair that reached his neck lightly, decorated with some blue bands and feathers bound into one braid on his left side. They all had army styled jackets, silver and golden strips on their shoulderblades showing their rank, but apart from that everyone styled his/her jacket the way they wanted. Some did glittering buttons and decorative stones or paintings, some did nothing, some studs, spikes or even nails. Their tribal was a lightning bolt on their right temple, nothing more. Everyone was allowed to use more make up to if he/she wanted. Tara herself laid her eyes with a white eyeshadow and blue glitter. Some even had a tattoo. The general had one himself. A simple pentagram on his right hand. She knew the history behind it, as their captain had told her. Seeing it alwas made her believe that he hadn`t lost everything due to the Technos.
“Yes we just came right in time. An hour later and the people might have been lost and the virus might have been on the way in other parts of the world by those who went on boats…” she answered him, by taking the mask he gave her. Every city they had been sent to so far had been in danger of a virus. No matter if it was some hundred years old epedemic or a new, they mostly managed to prevent deaths and the spreading of the virus. It was everytime the same routine. Arrival, convince people that they were there to help, seperate ill from healthy, vaccinate the healthy, heal the ill if possible. They then taught the people medicinal knowledge, installed real working electricity, built up a hospital and the start of a school. Before they left, the general made some of the troop to be stationated at the city for further help, but all in all the city was then left to its own pace of thriving. This was the fith city they were sent to save, this time because of an artificial mutation of the virus that killed all adults and changed the world forever more nearly six years ago. “That Mega guy must have really lost his marbles!” she said headshacking. If the organisation wouldnt watch all cities with military significance , no one would have known. This new virus could have settled in for real and spread in the whole area, if not the world. The generals eyes fixed on the speed boat with his other high ranking officers. He nodded “Dont know how far into crazy world one must be to create and unlash a deadly virus onto the world… in full purpose and accepting that people will die. On innocent people… children!” he gribbed his mask tight “This crazy maniac could have killed everyone in my hometown! My…my tribe…my family…” he mumbled. Surprised she looked at him. Till now he had been quiet indifferent about that this was the city he came from. The others have been excited to come back home and finally meet their friends again. Even more so as they just rescued two of the other people of their old tribe that had been kidnapped by the Technos. For him it was different. Or had been. She noticed that he had changed by meeting the other two. Something had openend in him, there had been a horror in his eyes as they told them of their ordeal as if he knew exactly what they had went trhough. And she knew he did. Even more. But still he wasnt too emotional aboput going home. He was different, they had told him that he always had been emotional and passionate. Well you still could call him passionate, but in a distanced way. Controlled. Always controlled. She knew that deep inside him, he knew himself that he was changed. It was shown in his eyes when he talked with the others and they remembered the old times with them. It was always like he never fully could grab why they were sad or why they laughed about a particular memory. She felt so ashamed knowing that it had been her old tribe - the Technos- who did that to him. Whatever experiments they did on him, changed him deeply. But she also knew that he wasnt lost. Somewhere inside was his old self. Deep inside was everything of him and they just had to break it free. Right now every try they did, started a big fight and ended him having fits and attacks, making him scream in pain and agony. He never remembered on the next day. Luckily,because she was sure it would make anyone insane. But maybe they would be able to break whatever block he had in his mind, here, surrounded by his friends and family.
The general shook his head as if he needed to focus himself back “Shall we get going? The others have enough of a head start… I want to be there in person before they tell them…” “Dont you trust your troops?" she joked. Raising his left eyebrow he smirked “Trust? Me? You know I never trust…if you want something done the right way, better do yourself…” he twinkled at her, taking away the earnest message of his words. Of course he trusted them. He trusted them and only them with his life.
“Get that mask on liutenant general Athena, weve got an appointment with the Mall Rats!” “Aye, aye general Zeus!” Putting on the mask she followed him to a magnificent speed boat that was only to his use. It`s white surface was kept spotless clean at all times, the silver letters of its name “Lighting arrow” gleaming in the sun.
“Are we going alone? No extra guards? No driver?”
"What? To a meeting with my old friends? Taking away the fun of driving myself for a while?” he said starting the motor of the boat. His eyes sparkled mischivious as he drove on “Keep yourself save…” she laughed as she fell back into the squashy sitting bank as he drove off in high speed…
Amber was having trouble tp keep her tribe focused. Everyone was confused, everyone shouted questions at each other. “Lex…Lex… please…Trudy calm down! Jack…Jack! I dont know if there adults among those people…" she tried answering and consoling three at once AND I TELL YOU,IF THERE ARE ADULTS AMONG THEM I AM SO GOING TO KICK THEIR ASSES! she thought in a mix of fury and worry to herself. “Lets just stay calm and wait whats goping to happen…”
“Pff…waiting? Amber really when did waiting us any good? Like…well ever? Also I know whats going on… Amber! Its some of his…their nasty world conquer shit!” Lex said outraged, showing his best I-AM-SO-DAMN-MORE-THE-LEADER attitude while looking accusingly at Ram and Jay. Jay put his hands up “Whooaaa…wait a minute?! World conquer shit? Really? How old are you? Five? Come off it! That is a high class air craft carrier!” he pointed his forefinger to the now that o far away big ship. “That…” he moved his fingers into the air “…are two high class military helicopters and three jets! JETS Lex! J-E-T-S!!! You dont just on board of a jet and start it…nnormally people used to have years of training to even get the chance for Jet piloting… it was like the top job you could do at air force! Every Techno equipment we had looks childish against that!”
Amber was happy her boyfriend was fighting back, but looking at Ram she saw something in his eyes she didnt like. Knowledge. He wasnt surprised… or at last not as much as they were. Ebony met her eyes and she knew that the ex Loco and Techno queen thought the same. They often stood on different sides, but both were used to lead people and see through them, both excellent readers of others behaviour. But before either she or Ebony could start on Ram, Lottie screamed “There is a smaller boat coming to us…” They ran over to the side, the sudden movement of that many people making the little trader boat swaying dangerously on the waves “Damn it you horde of landlubbers…!” Zac the owner of the boat appeared from his stearing cabine “Thats no damn cruise yacht here…keep a bit of balance in weight, or some of you have to swim!" Jay shoved some tribe members back, while Jack held the binoculars to his eyes and looked at the upcoming boat
"Its a small speed boat… four of them looking impressive in long coats, for more like soldiers…kind of military tribe? Blue seems to be their color… look a bit Techno like but still different…, more individual…” “Their age?” Salene asked with a certain stray of hope. “Our age I´d say… hard to tell exactly, they are wearing masks… but young hands… the way they hold each other straight looks young…” Some moments later the boat stopped beside them and the four soldiers jumped effotlessy on board “Stay calm, were here to vaccinate you..." Lex moved up in front of his tribe "Wait..no one does anything here to any of us without explaining...!" before he could finish one of the soldiers had moved swiftly and pressed a small titan tube to Lex's neck and shot a golden liquid into it. “Hey… what…” he screamed outrageous , clapping a hand over hte place where the tube had touched him. “Lex! Keep calm and let the guys do their job…” a soothing voice came from one of the highher ranking strangers “…and you…” he turned to the soldier “…better take care to be more polite or the general will have to hear about you acting rude and respectless to people!” the soldier blushed which they could even see under his mask. “Sorry mayor Herakles…” the guy was of strong built and something on him really let Lex keep his mouth.
With a raised eyebrow Jack whispered “Herakles? Like the hero of the greek mythology?”
“Talk about being humble…” Ellie whispered back. The starnger smirked, being used by such reactions to their chosen mission names.
Ebony - just getting ready to fight off anyone who dared coming near her- asked “Why or better HOW do you know his name?” Amber was happy she had asked because that was the most pressing question she had aswell “We know all your names and more EBONY…” one of the two females snorted " and we also know your many little bitchy tricks… so spare them!” To a sign of her two of the soldiers grabbed Ebonys arms, crossing them behind her back so that a third could enter a shot into her neck. " Well done mayor Gaia…ntalking about politness!" the guy growled “She deserves no politness!” The other Mall Rats watched the exchanged stupidfied, all too confused to even consider to protest to someone acting on a member of their group that way.
“You see we mean business… we can do that in a friendly and painless way or…” one of the soldiers started, but was cut short by the female “Private… Ebony is a different character… but the rest are more sensible… be polite to my friends or you can swim back to the Olympus!” she hissed sharply, making the soldier jump a little “Yes maam!" She turned back to the even more confused Mall Rats “Mall Rats, please…that is just the antidote for the virus Mega released over the area. Really it means no harm! When you all had it, we can take off those stupid masks and face you…and say hello like FRIENDS should do!” Something in her voice rang a beel in Ambers mind, so she nodded “Do as they ask…”
“But Amber! That is insane! Our children…” Trudy started “TRUDY! Neither Lex nor Ebony seem to be harmed in any way…they seem perfectly well. We are way behind what is insane…”
"Yeah Trudy…remeber as we made the first antidote to the old virus? It was you who told worried mothers and older siblings to save the children by taking out antidote…thatt all we ask you to do now…” the younger female now spoke up. Trudy could just make out that she was dark skinned and as an exciting thought crossed her mind she gave in, steped forward and let herself and Brady get a shot. Soon all Mall Rats queded up and got a shot from the mysterious antidote.
“So now after thats done…WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHERE DO YOU COME FROM? WHY NOW?" Jay rounded on the starngers, now suddenly completely in the role of the leader. He was - after all- the ex general of the technos and used to commanding people. Those starngers reminded him so much on the technos that he found it really easy to flip back into his old military behaviour. He stood straight, legs lightly parted, shoulders square, armes crossed. Yes they seemed a bit techno like, but very different to the same time. There were no obvious weapons or laser tags on them, but he had a feeling that they all could fight. The sound of an anchor left to water made them all jump. Even the starngers had be so engrossed by the happenings on board that they didnt notice the second speed boats arrival. “Whoaaa…call that a boat! Holy moly!” Slade said silently and Ruby and Sammy beside him nodded stunned, Sammy even with an open mouth. “General Zeus! Liutenant general Athena!” the fours soldiers shouted saluting, standing straight, facing the two new comers. The Mall Rats looked at each other in wonder, some with a certain amusement. The so called general saluted back “Thank you privates…please return back to the Olympus and journey on to the cities harbour… the others and me will follow with my boat…!” “Aye sir…” the soldiers left with the first boat and the Mall Rats now looked unsure. The general seemed to be very respected. There was something about him that even kept them quiet. Curious they waited. The whole situation seemed so weird “So what is going on here? Secret military mission?” Jack tried a joke, no one laughed about the feeble attempt.
“Why are we still wearing those stupid masks?” one of the guys asked and took his off at the same time. His resemblence to one of them was striking “VED!!!” Jay screamed, a scream that didnt fail to touch everyone. All questions and most of all, all carefulness and dignity forgotten, he stumbled forward and pulled his younger brother into his arms. Hughing him tight he spilled silent tears “Oh god if thats a dream, dont let me ever wake up!” Ved laughed and pinched his older brother hard into the stomach “Not a dream…and I love you too, big bro!” he said and hugged tightly back. “he was talking about this moment since days!” the younger of the two females said, revealing her face by taking of her mask “Oh my…god…CLOEEEE!” Salene could no believe it, pressing her hand to her mouth she touched the other girls cheek wiith a shacking hand "Its me Sal…really…” Squealing Salene hugged and kissed Cloe, Trudy joined in and Cloe giggled hugging both older girls back. The second male took of his mask “Nice to see that you havent forgotten us…” “RYAN? Is that really you?” Lex spoke in a hushed voice, looking as not daring to believe. As the other one nodded all coolness was forgotten and Lex pulled his long lost friend into a tight hug. Amber was watching with tears in her eyes, a hand over her heart. It raced in her as she turned to the other older female on board. She had a feeling who she was, but still as she took off her mask and turned out to be Tai-San she couldnt help not to break down crying on the asian girls chest. Tai-San hugged her, also crying and Lex just looked like someone had hit him with a brick stone. Even Ebony seemed to be so lost for words that she made no snide comment.
Ellie was looking round “Did…did any of you…dont get me wrong I am happy to see you…but did any of you maybe…?" “Your sister is safe on the Olympus. We rescued her and KC some days back on our way …” the general spoke up. His voice sounded strangely famliar without the military tone in it. Ellie put her hand over her mouth and stared at Amber "Amber doesnt he sound like…” Amber stared at him. Frozen in time it seemed. “Youve been so brave…dont break now…” Tai-San whispered, making Amber give her a quizzical look . Amber walked closer to the other boat. There was something on this man. The third woman was stanidng beside him. She alrady had taken off her mask to reveal long mahagony colored curls, green piercing eyes and a stunningly beautiful face with sweet freckles. A stranger. But him. The general. His position. The way he held himself. His body. It was if someone had pressed a button inside of her. The thought that whirled in her seemed so wrong. It couldnt be. He was dead. Well, did you ever see his dead body? a nasty voice spoke in her mind. No she had taken Rams word. And Jays. But she couldnt blame Jay. Not when he obviousily was so overwhelmed himself that his younger brother, who they had thought to be dead aswell, was well and alive. So this could be him. Meaning that deleted did not mean dead. They only ever assumed that. “Who…?” she asked, her voice only a faint whisper.
“You ask why we are here? Its our hometown…and we have the antidote to save you…why shouldnt we help… its what we always did or?” The general said, taking finally off his mask. A collective mask ran through all on board. His brown hair flew gently in the seas breeze, his ocean blue eyes sparkling, a so well known warm smile on his lips. Amber felt her heart stop a beat only to start pounding like mad directly. “Bray…” she wailed losing consciousness, before she hit the ground two strong arms closed around her “I am here Amber… don`t be afraid, everything is alright… I am here…”