Knome: The Forbidden Zone

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

Chapter 11 (v.1) - Chapter Ten

Submitted: February 22, 2017

Reads: 204

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 22, 2017



Upai Dunes (Knome)


Teric was running as fast as he could.  He had to get to Khewin, he had to save him.  As he ran and panted, he blocked any thought regarding Khewin’s fate from entering his mind.  He just ran, and he ran hard.

Kore, Jasen and Wilhelm caught up to each other and they silently continued to walk in the direction they saw Teric running.  Jasen felt sick and doubled over, vomiting.  The others turned away from Jasen not wanting to witness his pain.  

Wilhelm still in pain himself, was numb from this terrible and tragic event.  He wished that he had never left Akadia, if he had just stayed home, this young man would be.  He didn’t want to think it.  He hoped, hopelessly.

Teric stopped completely out of breath, just a few yards away from the body of his comrade, his friend.  Teric, panting, doubled over looking at the body, watching for movement.  He stood there a long time, but he saw no movement from that still body.  He fell to his knees, wanting to go to the body of his friend, fearing what he might see.

Tears began to pour out of Teric’s eyes as he spoke and panted at the same time.


“Khewin, get up,”

“Khewin,” he screamed.

Teric rose to his feet and he slowly walked towards the body of his friend.

He was now close enough, to see and he immediately dropped to his knees again and vomited.  He rose and screamed long and loud.

Teric could not look at the mangled corpse partially buried in the sand.  Pieces of his friend were missing.  He sat with his head in his hands in the sand with his back to the corpse of his friend.
Kore, Jasen and Wilhelm arrived, but gave Teric a wide berth, none of them wanted to see the body anyway.  Jasen looked around watching the smoke from the shuttle some distance away.  He worried that they soon may be discovered.

“Teric,” Jasen called, “Teric.”

Teric lifted his head, noticing the others for the first time.  At first he was puzzled, seeing three people, he immediately looked behind, seeing the body of Khewin, he began to come to his senses.  He looked back at the group, isolating the person that did not belong, the person that never should have been there, the person who took Khewin’s jump suit.  Teric rose, his anger rising with him and he strode right for Wilhelm.

Jasen could see the anger and resolve in the face of his friend.

“Teric,” Jasen yelled, trying to break through his obviousintentions.

Wilhelm saw Teric coming towards him, his face stoic, but his eyes on fire.  Wilhelm began to step back, but not fast enough, as Teric pulled back with all his might and hit Wilhelm hard on his left check, knocking him backwards and Teric was still coming.

Jasen jumped on Teric knocking him to the sand and he laid on him, calling for Kore to help him.  Kore just stood there, unclear as to what he should do.

Jasen was finding it difficult to hold Teric down.  “Kore, get over here, help me hold him down,” Jasen yelled.  Kore obeyed, dropping on Teric while Teric continued cursing and threatening. 

Meanwhile, Wilhelm had gotten to his feet and was running away.

“Teric, stop, Teric, I know how you feel, but you can’t kill the King’s son.  Listen to me, Teric, he’s the King’s son.  Now you could go to prison for what you have already done, but I think he won’t say anything, considering. you have to calm down."

Teric was exhausted, exhausted from piloting the shuttle, from the jump, from his run and he was emotionally exhausted from the death of his friend.  He stopped fighting, and began quietly weep.  Kore, and Jasen got off of Teric as he rose and walked away.

“Where’s Wilhelm,” Jasen asked.

“There,” Kore replied, pointing.

Wilhelm was still running.

“Wilhelm,” Jasen shouted.  “It’s OK, you can come back.”

Wilhelm stopped, and dropped to the sand, he could not run anymore.

Jasen turned and watched Teric as he continued to walk away.


Tannis (Kessel)

AIA Ghost Site


“Sir, I requested that we meet here, because, well you understand.”

Kenton knew, as did Jak, that their offices were not clean. It was possible that listening devices were concealed, even in the office of the head of the intelligence agency.  For highly sensitive deliberations, an outside location was always advantageous.

“Sure,” Jak replied, a little impatient, since he had to attend another security briefing at the Palace.  “What do you have.”

Kenton pulled a number of pictures from his folder and handed them to Jak.

“Sir, we retrieved these images from our PSEs.” Kenton put down his folder, and walked to Jak side, kneeling beside him.

“This is outside the Toremark Estates, where Wilhelm’s friend Blaze Marcoon resides. Notice the clothing of the individual who leaves.  Now,” Kenton switched images.  “this is outside the Knomen Embassy.”

“Same clothing,” Jak acknowledged.


“Wilhelm?” Jak asked.

“Yes, and now look at this one,” Kenton switched images. “this is at Canton. There was an incident involving a member of the Code and…”

“Wilhelm,” Jak interrupted.  “So, what’s he doing at Canton?”

“Well, he went to the Knomen Embassy looking for the Lady Anya Yemen, which led him to Canton, for her shuttle departed from Canton to the Corbellis.”

“Did he board her shuttle?” 

“The images we have, don’t reflect that.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” Jak sighed.

“Well, let’s just look at the next image.”

“So, we know that this is Wilhelm, he is walking into this bay, now you can clearly see the docking bay number.”

“53,” Jak answered.

“Our shuttle was stationed in dock 53,”

“The mission shuttle?”

“Yes, sir.”

Jak sat back in his chair, analyzing the implications of this terrible revelation.

“Sir, we have to contact our guys,” Kenton suggested. 

Jak, banged on the table uttering an unintelligible curse.

There was a very long period of silence as Jak sat with his head in his hand.  Kenton did not want to interrupt, although he was not finished, he still had more to communicate.

“Sir,” he called finally breaking the silence.  “Sir, we are getting request for access from other agencies, it’s only a matter of time before they have this information.”

“You’re right,” Jak replied.  “Here’s what we’ll do, I will cut off any request for access by presenting this information to the Council at our security briefing at the Palace.  However, we’ll hold off presenting, that last image, we’ll explain that we are searching through the huge volume of data from Canton.  In the meantime, you contact our guys, to confirm, if Wilhelm is onboard, or not.”

“OK, will do,” Kenton rose as Jak did.

“Out of all the possible ships he could have wandered onto, how did he pick ours.”  Jak shook his head as both men left the room.


Upai Dunes (Knome)

Teric returned from his long walk.  Jasen, Kore and Wilhelm had completely buried Khewin's body in the sands, along with any body parts they found.  Teric found them seated on the sand.  Jasen rose as he approached.

“Teric, we have to get moving,” Jasen implored.

“It will be dark soon,” Teric offered.

“It will be cold, soon,” Kore stood, ready to get moving.

Wilhelm was the last to stand, still in pain, he said nothing. He avoided Teric’s face, not because he was afraid of him, which he was, to be sure, but, because he felt indicted by his eyes, they accused, tried and sentenced him, all in one look.  And Wilhelm truly felt bad.  He assisted Jasen and Kore, in the grim task, of searching for pieces of Khewin.  And as he found pieces of the man who gave up his jump suit to him, it devastated him.  ‘Why should he give his jump suit to me,’ Wilhelm kept asking himself over and over.  ‘What makes me better than him? Why shouldn’t I suffer the consequences of my own bad decision?’

“Thaingor Mountain is north, so let’s head north,” Jasen advised.

In silence the group began to walk. All around them were sand dunes, dunes as far as the eye could see. Thankfully, the weather was cool with a gentle breeze sweeping across the moaning sands.  It seemed to Teric, that the land, was moaning for Khewin, singing a dirge for his friend. 

Jasen, ever calculating, was trying to resolve the difficulties facing them from their tragedy.  The ship and the small transport inside of it, were destroyed, as were, all of their surveillance equipment. Most of their supplies were destroyed. And they were accompanied by the heir of the Akadian throne, whom they could not risk in continuing on with the mission. Each of them, except Wilhelm, had a backpack with water, food and a few personal supplies.  But how long would it last and how long will they have to walk.  It was getting cold fast as the Knomen star was setting.

As they reached the peak of one sand dune with hopes heightened, those hopes were dashed as more dunes confronted them, touching the horizon.

Wilhelm, who walked slower than the others, first on purpose, now, he was having a hard time keeping up.  He was freezing and his shivering body was sending sharp pains to his ribs.  He wanted to stop, but he hadn’t spoken since they began their hours long trek, and he did not want to bring any more attention to himself, but, he was so miserable that the option to speak out was winning.

“Let’s, break here, between these two dune hills,” Jasen decided as he took off his back pack. “We’ll escape those sharp winds here.”

“I agree,” Kore replied as he too took off his backpack.

Teric did the same without a word.  Wilhelm was relieved, he did not have to say anything and he so wanted to rest. he laid down in the sand clutching aching ribs.


Maessa (Knome)

Krestlin Palace

Anya was standing, looking out of the balcony window as Yuri entered the room.  She did not turn to face him.  The silence in the room was stifling.  

"Do I get a proper greeting from my loving daughter?" Yuri asked.  

Anya turned around, walking towards Yuri, "Do I get an explanation from my loving father?" 

All Anya’s pent up frustration came out in her question and Yuri was a little hurt by the exchange. He walked over to her, placing his hands upon her shoulder. "You're right, I owe you that much, for sure," he admitted.

"Where should I start?" Yuri asked rhetorically.  Anya’s eyes began to fill with tears, "Pa, what's going on,” 

The sight of his daughter in tears and the affectionate expression she hadn't used since she was a little girl, struck Yuri so unexpectedly that he almost stumbled.  

"Oh, my dear," Yuri said, taking her in his arms.  "My princess!"  He felt bad for putting his daughter through this emotional strain, but he knew it could not be helped.  He knew that in time his daughter would heal and she would forgive him.

Anya, stepped back from his embrace to look at him.  "I don't understand what's happening,” she pleaded.  

"I will tell you, please sit down" he said gesturing for her to sit on his divan.  She complied. Yuri stepped away, trying to compose and gather his thoughts.  As he formulated a line of reasoning, he approached and took a seat opposite of his daughter. 

"Some time ago, we, received some disturbing reports.  We had heard rumors in the past, but, nothing to confirm those rumors.”
"What reports," Anya interjected.  

"Please!" Yuri stopped her. "listen, let me come to that at my pace."  

"OK, I'm sorry" she replied, wanting to know the whole story, impatient in the telling.

“My dear, I had a full account of our investigations, written, just for you, with the details, I know you will demand.  But for brevity, let me just say, that for years, decades even, we have been cheated and manipulated.  And the cost to us have been very grave.  The cost to us have been the precious lives of our people. We could have improved life for millions, under a fair agreement.  But, from the start of our independence, the Akadian Government, has been actively sabotaging our efforts to create a stable and fully functioning government for our people.”

Anya stood up to object, but Yuri stopped her.  

"Anya, hear me out!  I know this may not be pleasant for you to hear, but you must hear me out.”  

Anya sat down, without a word.  Yuri, after a brief pause, continued.

“You know this to be true Anya.  After Independence, the Akadian government sabotaged our infrastructure, they poisoned thousands of acres of agricultural land, much of it, to this day, remains unusable. They destroyed our means of mass communication, and implanted disruptions in our intelligence systems, one thing after another, they tried to cripple us.”  

Yuri stopped, to regain his composure. Anya sat clearly uncomfortable, she knew the things her father spoke of were true.

“The things they did to us, they are just too numerous to relate here, but it is in the report, every detail, that we know of. Anya, what they did to us, was criminal, and if it had not been for the assistance of Nova, we would have never recovered.  These many decades later, we are still recovering.”

Yuri, stood up and began to pace the floor.

“We also learned, that in the chaos of those formative years, those early attempts to destabilize our government, were funded by Akadia. The opposition groups, tribal uprisings, the challenges to my office, they even funded terroristic acts that killed thousands, funded, my dear, by the Akadian government.”

Disturbed, Anya stood again, if only to the disrupt her father’s disheartening account of Akadia's crimes against her people. 

"That was so long ago father, its history.  Such things happen in conflicts, it is the nature of war? Are we not guilty of similar actions? Did we not kill many Akadians? She asked. 

"What do you know of war, apart from the pages in a book." 

Yuri mocked his daughter.  He was incensed at Anya's comparison.  Knome’s struggle for freedom in no way compared to Akadia’s greed for dominance. Yuri controlled his thoughts and would not be distracted into a useless debate. 

"It may be history for you, but I was there, it remains an open wound for me! An open, festering, wound, as long as Akadia believes she has gotten away with it.”

The tone of the discussion was disturbing for Anya, she had never heard her father speak with such contempt for anyone.

“Do you not understand? I am father to these people.  They looked to me, to relieve their suffering, and, to improve their lives.  And everything I tried to do, everything I tried to accomplish for our people, was being secretly sabotaged by our enemies.”

"Enemies?" Anya objected. "Father, The Akadians are not our enemies.  I know you lived through those things, and I apologize for my insensitivity, but it is, history, father.  

"Do not mock me child! Yuri screamed.  "I am not one of your students! You cannot whitewash history from those who have experienced it!"  Yuri was livid.  Did she want him to forget history, and the thousands of Knomen lives crushed by it, he thought. 

Anya cowered under her father's display of indignation, she sat back down, apologizing. 

"As I said, it remains an open wound for me. I can still, see the death and the suffering that we were forced to endure.  Such things are only letters and sentences for you.  But for me, my darling, I still smell the stench of burning flesh.  And to discover, that such things did not have to happen."  Yuri paused, unable to continue.

"Forgive me, please, pa," Anya pleaded.  It disturbed her greatly to witness her father’s emotional intensity against Akadia.

“And you think it's history,” Yuri added, referring to her earlier statement.  

“Do you think that such cruelty, exhibited by a criminal government would ever end?  Do you think they could act against their own character? My dear, they continue their meddling and manipulation to this day! To this very hour!  They have never, ceased."  

Anya started to speak, but she caught herself, and just suppressed it.  She wrestled with the conflicting images of Akadia in her mind.  She knew the history of the Knomen Akadian conflict. Thousands of Knomens died, including women and children. The acts of sabotage, committed by the Akadians against her people were devastating and they were unanimously condemned by Nova.  But hadn't things changed?  Many Knomens live and work in Akadia, and besides the few incidents of bias, most were doing well.  She had even fallen in love with the next ruler of the Akadian government, and he was in love with her.  Things can change, she thought.  

"Father,” she asked, “what is your proof that this continues today?”  

“Balarium,” he replied.  

“What do you mean?” she asked.  

“Balarium.  We have a monopoly on Balarium, the most sought after fuel source in all of Moorbia. With that kind of Advantage, you would think that we would be the richest nation in Moorbia, yet, we are one of its poorest.  Why do you think that is?”  

Anya, had studied economic theory in Hamlin, and could easily relate the various theorems of market forces, but she remained silent, even in her mind the thought of such theories, seemed hollow against reality.

Yuri, sat down across from Anya and explained. "Akadian refineries process our Balarium, mined by our people. The Akadian government extracts a heavy toll on us for this, it is the largest expenditure of our national debt, structured in such a way, that it will take another decade or more before we are relieved of it. Of course, that is not what the Akadians want, so more loans are offered for the improvement of our infrastructure, work, which by the way only their companies can perform, so in reality, we do not even see those funds.  The sub-par work by Akadian companies guarantees repeated repairs at our expense, and more loans. Then, the Akadians manipulate the markets to hold down prices, so that our Balarium returns are meager, especially in comparison to what the Akadians have been receiving in the black markets, something, our investigation, has also uncovered.  They have carefully concealed these efforts from us, and have involved other nations in this conspiracy against our interests.  Yes! Enemies, my dear.”

The room fell silent as Yuri nursed his emotional wounds and Anya struggled to understand it all.  Surely the Akadians were not involved in such a hostile conspiracy, she thought.

“Father, what I don’t understand, is,  if the Akadians, are, as you say, our enemies, and they are engaged in a conspiracy against us, why the Ingression talks, why join with our enemies?”  

Yuri stood up, walked a few steps away from Anya.  He turned around with a slight smile on his face.  “We are not, joining them!”  

“We're not?”   Anya asked.  “Then why the talks, they have been going on for almost a year now.”  

When Yuri looked at his daughter, she almost did not recognize his face, she had never seen that look on her father, she could only regard it as sinister. 

“We have learned a thing or two about manipulation from the Akadians over the last few years.  The talks are a ruse."

“A ruse? But why, for what?” Anya asked cutting Yuri off.  

“The Akadians had become curious with some of the things we have been doing here.  To put them off the scent, we applied to join the union.”  Yuri, laughed.  

Anya was shocked, "What are you doing? You are purposely deceiving our friends” 

Yuri squared himself with Anya.  "Haven’t you been listening, the Akadians are not our friends.  And in no way, are we seeking to join the United Kingdom of Akadia, instead, and very soon, we will cut off all diplomatic relations with the Akadian Government, and, with those nations, that have conspired with the Akadians, against us.” 

"You're going to do what!" Anya screamed rising to her feet.  

Calmly, Yuri answered, “You heard me, we are going to sever all ties with that criminal government, all ties, diplomatic, trade, political, humanitarian, whatever it is, we will cut it.  We will have no more dealings with the United Kingdom of Akadian.”

“Father please tell me you aren’t serious. How, can you do this”, Anya protested.  

“Very carefully, it is already at work. We have been slowly recalling our citizens back home.”

Anya began to recall the blue letter she had recieved from Yutiro. She also recalled seeing those letters before, in the hands of fellow Knomens.  “The blue letters.”  

“Yes,” Yuri confirmed, “for some time we have been alerting every Knomen citizen to leave Akadian territory without delay, including the territories of those nations in league with Akadia against us.  The plan would have taken several months to complete , however, we’ve had to move up our time table due to an incident involving an Akadian spy.  That is why we had to cut short your stay in Akadia. My dear, we will no longer be manipulated, or dictated to by the Akadians, we, will do the dictating.”

“I can't believe this!  You must have been planning this for years.  Why haven't you told me?”

Yuri took Anya's hand.  “It was not easy leaving you out of this.  But you had your schooling to complete, and,” Yuri hesitated, “my dear, you are more Akadian, than Knomen.”  

Anya took her hand away. "Don't say that!"  she insisted. 

Yuri took her hand again, "it's true, even now, you are conflicted, I know you are struggling with this.  I know it. I've watched you, and it has pained me to see you become one of them.”

“I'm not one of them,” she replied stumbling over her words.

Yuri, squeezed her hand, “Even that, was a struggle, for you to say. Anya, I have carefully, and painstakingly, prepared a report for you with the realization of your dual loyalties.  I know where your soul is, but I also know, where your heart is.”

Anya felt ashamed about the truth her father had uncovered in her, she was, conflicted. However, it was hard for her to accept that she had dual loyalties.  She was Knomen, and no matter how long she resided in Akadia, she would always be Knomen.  But, why was it so hard for her to accept her father's conclusions. ‘You are more Akadian than Knomen, she recalled.  Was she?  Anya began to cry, covering her face with her hands, she felt ashamed.  She tried so hard to be Akadian and she failed, and now she was failing as a Knomen. Yuri held her and kissed her, gently stroking her hair.  

“I'm sorry, pa,” she pleaded, “I'm so sorry.”

“My dear, I placed the report in your room, it's quite comprehensive, you can read it at your leisure.”  

Anya freed herself from Yuri's embrace to wipe her eyes. It was still hard for her to accept all of this.  Something was seriously wrong.  She had to find out before it was too late. A question entered her mind. 

“Father, how did you find out about all of this?” she asked.

“An informant.”  

“An Akadian informant?” she asked.  

“No, an informant came to us, someone we have been dealing with in another capacity.  He has had dealing with some of the other governments involved in Akadia’s conspiracy and had learned of it.  Of course, at the time it was speculation at best.  We asked him to secure proof and then we would look into it.  A few months later he gave us a few disturbing documents which prompted a full-blown investigation.  That investigation uncovered the whole disgusting plot.”

But, who was the informant? Anya asked.

Yuri paused, determining, whether to release this bit of information or not.  

“Father?” Anya asked.  

“The informant was an official with the Myan trade delegation.” 

"What!" Anya barked in disbelief.  “Father, the Myans.  You can't believe anything the Myans tell you.”

“Now that's the Akadian in you," Yuri asserted.  

Anya continued to object, “You can't seriously believe anything they say, conquest is all they know, it's all they're after.  I don't believe this, that, is your source.”

“Forget the source, read the report,” Yuri demanded completely frustrated.

"The source is tainted father,” Anya said grasping at her last straw.  

“You are going to cut off relations with the Akadians, based on a report from a Myan government official, a government that is dedicated to the overthrow of the Akadian government, of course there going to uncover something against Akadia."

“Anya, calm down,” Yuri demanded, for Anya was now yelling.

“What we received from that official was just a start, we did our own investigation thereafter.  Read the report.”

As if she did not hear him she continued, "What do you think the Akadians are going to do when we cut off relations and trade with them? What will we do without the Akadian refineries?

“Anya, Stop it!  Yuri grabbed her, shaking her.  She pulled away from his grasps.  

“How will we exist without Akadia?

“We don't need them!” Yuri objected.  “We don't need them anymore.  We have two refineries partially online of our own, with five more soon to be completed. We don’t need Akadian refineries!”

Anya was stunned, "What are you talking about, what refineries?”  

“The refineries, on Knomen soil that the Myan government has helped us to acquire and construct.  Our people are operating them, our people, our resources!”  

Anya was completely stunned into silence.  

“When all of our facilities are online, we, will dictate the price of Balarium, we, will own the market. And the first thing we will do, is place an embargo on the Akadian government.”

“I don’t believe this.  Father, if you do that, do you know what that is going to do to their economy?  Anya asked in disbelief.  "You can't be serious!  Do you want a war?”  

“If it comes I don't fear it,” Yuri said confidently.  “But I doubt it will.  Anya, the day we announce that we are severing all ties with the Akadian government, we will also announce the establishment of full relationship ties with the Myan empire.  We already engage in joint military operations with them.  They have helped us to developed and establish our own defensive capabilities.  I doubt the Akadians will seek a military resolution to their dilemma, I doubt that very much!”

Anya sat down and stood up again, she was mouthing words without sound, she was near the breaking point in her mind. Repulsed by what she was hearing, she backed away from her father until she was stopped by a wall.  Yuri concerned began to call her, “Anya, are you alright, Anya.”

Startled from hitting the wall she began to run out of the room as Yuri called after her.



© Copyright 2020 James Washington. All rights reserved.


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