Knome: The Forbidden Zone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Chapter Nine

Submitted: February 22, 2017

Reads: 112

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Submitted: February 22, 2017

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Tannis (Kessel)

Tamden Royal Palace

 

“Where is my son?” King Wilhelm demanded as he slammed his hand on the table.  He was beginning to panic.

No one answered. The silence in the room was deafening and accusing.  What could anyone say, no one knew where the young prince was and for every hour he remained lost, it was an indictment against all those whose duty it was to protect the Royal Family.  The assembled group, the Prime Minister, the Royal Secretary, The Chairman of the Governor’s Council, Chancellor of the Senate, the Ministers of the Interior, State and Defense, the Chancellor of the King’s Council of Advisors, the Director of the Royal Guards and the Chairman of the assembled group, all very powerful persons, felt helpless in the face of the King’s desperation.

“Someone tell me something!” King Wilhelm yelled as he looked over the solemn faces in the room. 

“My Lord, we are pursuing every lead and I assure you we will find him,” Rigor Lumus replied. As Director of the Royal Security Guards he felt most responsible, it was his men who carelessly let Wilhelm out of their sight, it was his failure.

“I don’t want assurances, I want him found!”

 RSC Chairman Havek Poul rose, “Gentlemen, the purpose of this meeting is to inform his majesty on what we have discovered, not on our lack of discovery.”

The King’s Prime Minister Kolosk Weldon added, “This is a matter of National Security, this must take priority over everything else.”

“Let’s reconvene in one standard hour, with answers,” Havek demanded.  “Bring along your respective Intelligence Chiefs, and your Secondaries,” Havek added as the Group began to break up.

King Wilhlem looked lost as if he was not even in the room.  As the room cleared, Havek approached the King.

“Two sons, Havek,” the King uttered almost incoherently, “two sons.”

“My Lord, you mustn’t lose heart, I am confident we will locate him.”

“He is my Heir, my son.”

“Yes, my Lord, we will find him.”

“It is my punishment, Havek,”

“My lord, you really must get some rest, skip the next meeting, I will come and inform you personally on our progress, please my Lord.”

The King rose to his feet.  Havek signaled to the Royal Guard stationed at the conference room door.  The Guard opened the door to the King’s aides, who entered and began to care for the him.

“See that he gets rest,” Havek advised the group.

As they helped the King out of the conference room, Havek took out his communicator.

“Can you meet?”  Havik asked the individual that answered his call. He listened for a response. “I will be there in a few minutes.”

 

Knome Air Space

Setcha

 

Anya rose in response to the chime at her door.  She triggered the open switch.

“My Lady, we are making our approach, you wanted to be alerted.

“Thank you, Yutiro. How long before we land?

“Within the hour,” Yutiro replied as he stepped through the doorway.  “Will you be requiring anything?”

“No, thank you.”  Anya approached Yutiro, touching his arm.  “Yutiro, you have been a good friend to me, far and above your duty.  I appreciate everything you have done for me.”

“That’s kind of you to say, my lady.  I, I am very fond of you, it really has been my pleasure serving you.”

“And I have not always been on my best behavior, but you have always been kind, accommodating, I’m sorry for that.”

An alert from inside the bridge captured their attention.

“Would you like to make our approach from the bridge?” Yutiro asked.

“Yes, I will there in a minute.”

“Very well,” Yutiro replied as turned and walked towards the bridge.

Anya was now anxious to get home, she needed to know why her life had been so drastically disrupted. Her questions were so close to being answered and she had a sense of dread in what those answers would reveal.

Anya picked up her tunic and left her room.  She walked through the hall and onto the ships bridge.  Her pilot and co-pilot were busy negotiating with Ground Control.  Her guards were seated as was Yutiro.

Yutiro, turned as Anya entered the bridge and gestured for her to take the last available seat on the bridge.

Anya sat down and engaged her harness.  She braced herself as the ship entered Knomen atmosphere. 

Why had she’d been allowed to return to Akadia, only be recalled within a month.  Allowed to teach at Hamlin and then to have her employment revoked.  So many questions cluttered her mind and now she would have them answered.

Destined for the Walvali Cavern Gate, the Setcha entered Knome’s stratosphere, traversing over the barren Dunes of Upai. Soon she would have answers.

 

Neutral Region

Shuttle Vulton

 

Alarms, sirens, warning lights and emergency strobes were blaring and flashing all over the console and throughout the ship.  Critical mechanics and systems were failing affecting the stability and navigation of the shuttle.  Teric was trying hard to compensate for the failure of the stabilizers as the shuttle would bank starboard and then portside.  Jasen, Koreleon and Khewin although secured in their seats, they were finding it hard to remain so.

Wilhelm was being thrown every way possible in the medic closet. He had nothing to grab onto, he slammed back and forth against the walls, each time sending a jolt of pain to his cracked ribs.  He could barely take anymore and he screamed in pain.

Jasen, puzzled, looked at Khewin, who was returning his own puzzled look.

“Did you hear that?” Jasen asked.

“Yes, someone screamed,” Khewin answered.

“Did you hear it, Kore,” Jasen asked.

“Yes, it came from the rear of the ship.” Kore informed.

Teric was oblivious to anything other than piloting the ship.  He had managed to stabilize the shuttle somewhat by increasing the starboard engines, while decreasing those portside. 

Once the ship was stable, Jasen, Khewin and Kore, released their harnesses and headed to the rear of the shuttle from where the scream originated.  They separated to inspect the ships compartments.

“In here,” Khewin called to the others. They came running and entered the medic room.  The closet door was open as Wilhelm was on the floor writhing in pain.

“This explains everything,” Jasen mumbled.
“So, we have a stow a way.”  Kore stated.

Wilhelm was aware that he had been discovered, but he no longer cared, he was in such pain, he just wanted it to end.

“Who is he?” Kore asked.

“How did he get here?” Khewin asked.

“He must have boarded when we were on the Corbellis,” Kore concluded.

“No, before that, he initiated the life support system after we boarded the Corbellis,” Jason reasoned.  “That’s what happened.”

“Surely not,” Khewin replied, “That would mean he made the hyperspace jump here in the shuttle.”

“And he survived?” Kore asked rhetorically.

“Look at him,” Jasen replied.

Wilhelm could hear the sound of voices, however, the comprehension of those noises did not penetrate his pain.

“Help him up,” Jasen ordered.

Kore and Khewin proceeded to lift Wilhelm to his feet.  Holding his ribs, Wilhelm kept bending over from the pain and wincing. 

“Who are you?” Jasen asked just as the shuttle began to sway violently, causing everyone to grasp for something to keep from falling.  Khewin also held on to Wilhelm, managing to keep him, from falling.

A feeling of uneasiness swept over Khewin as he watched Wilhelm, there was something Khewin recognized about the man.  

As the shuttle began to stabilize, Jasen asked again. “Who are you?”

Wilhelm did not answer, still bent over.

“Prince Wilhelm,” Khewin said to himself and then he repeated after he felt sure.  “He’s Prince Wilhelm.”

“What,” Jasen asked, disbelieving.  He lift Wilhelm erect so that he could get a good look, and although the man did resemble the Prince, Jasen just could not get it out of his mind the it could not possibly be Prince Wilhelm. 

“You’re Prince Wilhelm, aren’t you,” Khewin asked.

There was silence as everyone waited for confirmation from the man, that he was indeed, Prince Wilhelm, son of King Wilhelm of the Akadians.

“I am he,” Wilhelm spoke up.

Again, there was silence as all began to wrestle with that fact.

You’re King Wilhelm’s son?” Jasen asked still unsure.

“I am Wilhelm, the King’s son.  Wilhelm answered.

“What are you doing here?” Jasen asked.

“I wanted to get to Knome,” Wilhelm explained.

“You’re Prince Wilhelm, you could go wherever you want and in comfort,” Khewin replied.

“You would think so,” Wilhelm replied.  

Just then the shuttle banked so hard toward starboard that no one had time to grab onto something and they all lost balance and fell over.

“Hey, we’ve got a problem,” came Teric’s voice from the bridge.

Everyone managed to get up and balancing themselves using whatever was close by.

“Let’s get to the bridge.” Jasen yelled.

Teric was no longer at the ships console, he had engaged the Auto guidance system, while he rummaged through the shuttles emergency supplies.  He had managed to pull out the shuttle’s four jump suits, he put one of them on as the others arrived.

“What’s going on?” Jasen asked as a result of seeing the three jump suits on the bridge floor.

“We may lose the ship on reentry,” Teric replied as he retook control of the ship. “You need to put on one of those jump suits.”

“You think we’ll need to make a jump.” Khewin asked nervously.

“The ship was damaged more than I thought when we escaped the Corbellis, I’m afraid reentry will finish her off,” Teric replied, still not aware of one extra person on the ship.

“There’s only four?” Kore stated.

“Is there another?”  Khewin asked, and he walked over to the emergency storage to check.

“What,” Teric asked.

“Teric, we have a stow a way.” Jasen explained.

Teric turned to look, noticing an additional individual, but he couldn't deal with that now,he quickly turned back to the controls.

“There’s only the four,” Khewin stated.

“Teric are you certain we can’t land the ship?” Jasen asked.

“No, not one hundred percent,” Teric replied as the ship swayed hard portside prompting everyone to brace themselves.

“You need to suit up,” Teric ordered.  His maneuvers were now having little effect on the shuttle as it headed for entry.

“How are we going to do this,” Khewin asked

“Well, Wilhelm should have one,” Jasen advised.  “Help him put this on,” Jasen handed the suit to Kore.

With two suits left for three individuals, Jasen and Khewin looked solemnly at one another realizing that a tough decision had to be made.

Khewin picked up one of the remaining suits and handed it to Kore after he helped Wilhelm put the suit on. 

Jasen held the last suit and offered it to Khewin, he refused it.

“Put on the suit, Jasen,” Khewin said resolutely.

“Khewin,” Jasen replied.

“Put it on,” he yelled.

The communication light flashed on, but Teric ignored it.  “Brace yourself,” he warned and the shuttle breach Knome’s atmosphere.

Jasen, put on the suit and secured it.  

The ship again shook violently on entry as a new warning siren began blasting throughout the ship.  

“Get to the shuttle door and hold on to the hand rails, as soon as we break through, if we make it, I will open the shuttle door.” Teric yelled above the sirens and creaking of the shuttle.

The men all did as Teric instructed, even Khewin held on to one of the hand rails.

“Khewin, why don’t you hold on to me, we’ll jump together,” Jasen suggested.

Both men knew that there was a very slim chance that both of them could make it with one jump suit.

“Sure,” Khewin replied.

The shaking became so violent that no one spoke, they just held on as tightly as they could, even Wilhelm though in pain he suffered through it as he held on with both hands.

The heat in the shuttle was becoming unbearable. Fires began to ignite.  Jasen began to wonder if they would even make it.  Then all of a sudden it stopped and they were in free fall.  The alarms and warning lights stopped as the shuttle went dead.

The shuttle door had begun to open and then stopped half way up.  Teric now arrived and began to work on the shuttle door.  The rush of air through the shuttle door made it difficult for everyone to hold on to the rails.  

As he gave up on the door, they heard a loud ripping sound as the shuttle the door was ripped away, jolting the ship as it now began to spin out of control.

“We have to jump now,” Teric called out. “Kore, you go now.”

Kore pulled himself towards the door with Teric's help, but before he could position himself he was sucked out.

“Khewin, go,” Teric called.

Khewin, pushed Wilhelm towards the door and he too was sucked out.

Teric now realized the dilemma and he started to take off his jump suit.

“No, Teric,” Khewin screamed, “I’m going with Jasen.”

Jasen now walked towards the door as Khewin held on to him.

“No, wait, Khewin, wait.” Teric demanded, but they were gone.

Teric now leaped for the door and was sucked out.

 The rush of the wind made it hard for Teric to breathe, he tried to force air out of his lungs.  Every inch of his body felt the pressure as he spun in free fall. Trying to catch his breath was hard, but what was harder was trying to see.

The ground, the sky, the ground, the sky, that was all he saw as he waited for the auto chute to engage.  

The shuttle crashed into the desert sands below, with a loud explosion.

Jasen, too was disoriented as he held on to Khewin by his arms, the pressure had pulled them apart and Jasen was screaming and holding on to Khewin as tight as he could, but he could feel Khewin, slipping away.  And then, he was gone.

Kore, whose chute had opened could see Khewin free falling from the sky.  He closed his eyes as Khewin hit the ground.  He kept them closed all the way down.

Jasen’s chute opened and he looked all around and could not see Khewin.  He witnessed Wilhelm landing and saw Teric drifting down.

Teric, looked down and saw Jasen below just before he landed, but he did not see Khewin with him.  He looked over the surface and saw what looked to be a body.

Jasen, landed and just laid on the ground in tears.  

Teric finally landed and he took off the jump suit and began to run in the direction where he saw the body.

 

After landing some distance away from each other, everyone, noticing approximately where Teric landed, all headed in that direction.

 

Maessa (Knome)

Maessa State Port

 

Anya’s anxious heart besieged her for relief. As her shuttle approached the landing platform, she released her harness amid the timid protests of her security detail.  As the shuttle landed, she tried to walk, but began to lose her balance.  One of her guards released his own harness, and stood up just in time to prevent her from falling.  She thanked him.  The shuttle doors, were just too slow for her as she impatiently waited for them to open.  As she stepped off the plank and on to land, she could see her father, mother and sister waiting for her.  As usual, there was also a crowd, waiting, just to get a glimpse of ‘the blessing’.  Those crowds, however, did not even skim the periphery of her consciousness, as she strode toward her parents, with purpose. Anger, began to take control of her, quickening her pace, and her breathing.  

Anya wanted answers, she needed answers, answers to calm the unsettled emotions churning inside of her, sickening her.  Noticing no reciprocating smile on her face, the smiles on the faces of her parents changed as Anya got closer to them.  Anya was in no mood for pretense, her world had just been overturned, with no explanation or reason.  She had to endure, the worst feelings she had ever experienced in her young life, and she just could not pretend to be happy, not even for her parent’s sake.

With every step towards her parents her emotions boiled and her eyes began to water, but not from sadness.  She was most afraid that she would never see Wilhelm again, and she could not see his face, already she could not picture him and it angered her.

As Mura approached Anya, she was unintentionally snubbed by her daughter. Anya, fixated on getting answers, completely oblivious to her approaching mother, walked straight up to her father.

"Father, what's going on?" she asked, barely containing her emotions.

Mura, turned toward Yuri, speechless and hurt by Anya's action.  Ignoring Anya's plea, Yuri sternly maneuvered his daughter, to face her mother.  

"What's wrong with you, greet your mother," he demanded.  

Anya was momentarily stunned by her father's rebuke, and the anger she felt was completely drenched in her shame as she realized what she had just done. Anya saw the hurt in her mother's face and she cursed herself. She embraced her mother tightly, apologizing repeatedly for her actions.  

“Ma, I’m sorry, I am so sorry, Ma,” she pleaded as she lingered in her mother’s embrace. Anya cursed herself again. “Forgive me.”

“Always, my daughter,” Muur replied kissing her on the cheek.

Still, foremost in Anya's mind, as they walled arm in arm, was her need for answers. But her needs, had to wait, as she and her mother, entered their nearby transport, talking and embracing.  Yuri and Korah, Anya’s younger sister, entered the second transport, amid the wild screams from the crowds.  The entourage of vehicles sped away.

Conversing with her mother was difficult for Anya, for she was now in the presence of someone who could relieve her burdening anxiety but she had to wait.  His focus drifted in and out, leaving her unable to answer a question posed by her mother.  Muur waited for Anya to answer. But Anya, could no longer hold back.

"Mother," ignoring her mother’s question which she did not hear anyway, Anya asked. "Do you know what's going on?"

It pained Mura to see her daughter in such a state, and she truly wanted to help her, but she could not, she could not do anthing to bring relief to her suffering child. Clearly unsettled by the question, Mura did not answer her question directly. 

"I'm sorry, Anya, you will have to seek your answers from your father." Muur said as she grasped her daughter's hand.  "I am sorry."

Anya was not satisfied, she knew that her mother was holding back information, even if she did not know the whole story, she must know something, any small detail would be enlightening compared to the utter darkness of unknowing that she suffered under at the moment.

"Surely father has spoken to you about his plans, about what he's doing,” Anya asked.

Mura sighed, "My daughter, speak with your father about this matter, he is prepared to reveal everything to you."  Taking both of Anya's hands and pulling them to her chest, Mura begged. "Please, let me have this moment with you, please!"  Moved by her mother's plea, and the tears welling up in her eyes, Anya halted her interrogation and again embraced her mother. "As you wish," she relented.

In the second vehicle, Korah took her father’s hand, “I can see that this is not going to be easy, she said smiling at him.  

“No, my dear, I’m afraid it’s going to get much worse, before it gets better, but it will get better, you’ll see,” he said trying to reassure her.  

“Do you really believe that, father,” she asked him.  

“Child,” he raised a hand to stop her, “we are not going down that path, Korah.  Your sister is home, let’s be happy, please?  

Korah sat back in her seat with a sigh.  "You are ever the optimist father, forgive me for my pessimism."  Korah was, pessimistic, Anya was more like a relative to her, than family, a visitor.  They were not childhood companions, close sisters. She really didn’t know her sister.  Anya dressed differently, her speech, her manner and even her opinions, were all foreign to her.  

"Don't be so hard on your sister my dear, she will come around, you'll see." Yuri too sat back into his seat, his face betraying the confidence his words expressed.  This was going to be the hardest hurdle in this whole endeavor he thought.  He worried over his decision to have Anya educated in Akadia, he wondered if it was really the best decision.  His worrying turned into an obsession after Anya revealed her relationship with Wilhelm.  He loved his first-born daughter, but he feared her also.  She used to adore him, but now, no spark glittered in her eye, when she saw him.  Now always anger and disappointment.  He wanted her approval again. He sighed.

“Father,” Korah touched his hand, “Are you alright?”

“Yes my dear,” Yuri replied.

He held onto Korah’s hand, “You are my star Korah, I Love you, I hope you know that.”

“Oh pa, I do.” Korah replied as she embraced him."


As the vehicles arrived at Krestlin Palace, servants approached, taking their various stations, to welcome the Royal family home, especially, to welcome Anya.  As she departed, she was quickly surrounded by all of them.  As they greeted and embraced her, Yuri and Korah departed their vehicle without the fanfare confronting Anya. Mura exited and joined Yuri and Korah, as they all watched the spectacle. Flanked by several guards, Yuri, Mura and Korah entered the Palace.  It took much longer for Anya, as she genuinely spoke to all who approached and greeted her.  

“My lady it’s so good to see you,” a servant woman spoke as she took Anya’s hand, “this way my lady,” she tugged and pulled on Anya’s hand trying to get her through the crowd.

“We’ll talk later,” Anya spoke out to all.  “Thank you, Luna.”  As Luna finally got Anya to the door and the guards had cleared the portico, She and Anya embraced.

“Oh, Luna, I missed you.  You were not here for my last visit,” Anya scolded her.

“I’m sorry Anna, I was visiting my pa.”

“Oh yes, I remember, how is he?

“He past.”

“Oh, Luna, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”  Anya embraced her childhood friend.

“You could raise him,” Luna said smiling.

“Luna, don’t joke,” Anya laughed embracing her friend again.

Through a window, Korah watched Anya and Luna embrace, and she felt an urge, a longing in the pit of her stomach, and she could not identify a reason for it's presence, but she hated it ,and turned away from the window.

When Anya finally entered the Palace, she was exhausted.  But her exhaustion did not stop her, she quickly approached her father, demanding, "We need to talk."  

"Yes, we do," Yuri replied, feeling exhausted himself.  'Let’s meet in my meditation chamber,” he stated.  

"Now?" Anya asked.  

"If you would like," he replied.  

Anya immediately headed in that direction.  Yuri, lingered, watching her until she turned out of sight down a hallway.  Then turning to Mura, he pleaded with his facial expressions for support.  Mura did not comply as she usually would have, and she actually turned, slightly away from him.  Korah, seeing Yuri's disappointment, approached and embraced him, whispering to him.  

“Would you like me to come with you,” she asked.
“Oh, no, my pet,” Yuri sighed.  “But thank you.”

Yuri turned, and walked reluctantly down the hall.


© Copyright 2019 James Washington. All rights reserved.

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