Knome: The Forbidden Zone

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 14 (v.1) - Chapter Thriteen

Submitted: March 02, 2017

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Submitted: March 02, 2017

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Maessa (Krestlin Palace)

 

Her hands were trembling with every turn of the page. She clenched her jaw trying to restrain the mixed emotions rising inside of her.  As she struggled to suppress the rage she felt it poured out through her breathing, her skin and through her eyes as they began to water.  She clenched her fist so hard that her nails dug into her skin, piercing it, drawing blood.  When she saw the blood, she snapped, screaming she picked up the book and flung it across the room, crashing into a decorated corner table.  Anya began pounding her bed, she had never felt so angry in her life.  There was a tap at her door, which caused her to pause as she composed herself enough to speak.

“Yes,” She called out.

“Anya, are you alright?” Mura asked through the door.

“Oh, mother.” Anya rose immediately and opened the door.  She embraced Mura. Holding Anya, Mura stepped into her room, closing the door behind her.  She looked around, seeing the overturned items on the floor.

“Anya, my dear, what is it?

“Oh, mother, I’m a fool.”

“Now why would you say that,” Mura asked, her hands caressing Anya’s face.

Anya took her mother’s hands and led her to her bed, guiding her to sit.  She walked over and picked up the book that her father had prepared for her.  She sat next to Mura holding the book in her lap.

“This,” She answered, holding up the book.

“Why did you and father send me to Akadia,” Anya pleaded. “Ma, I’m so confused.  I wished you had never sent me there.”

Mura sat silent for some time, she took her hand.  “I never wanted you to go, you were my firstborn, my precious.  We almost lost you.  You were unconscious when you were rescued, you had been injured.” Mura began to cry, trying to hold back enough to continue speaking.  “We kept that from you, but we couldn’t risk another incident, I’m sorry my dear, maybe we made the wrong decision.”

“Oh, ma, I’m not accusing you,” Anya embraced her mother. “Reading this, has been revealing to me, I should have been here, with you, with my family, with my people. I got lost in Akadia, I tried to be just like them, but they never accepted me, I was a curiosity, tolerated, as long as I didn’t cross certain boundaries.”

Mura brushed Anya’s hair from her face, “I was deprived, from developing a closer relationship with you, believe me, I have regrets, your father also.  He’s struggling Anya.  this,” Mura put her hand on the book, “is driving him mad, he feels like a failure, and he wants to do something grand for our people,  to improve things here, before he dies.”

“Before he dies?” Anya repeated, stung by those words.

“Your father’s not a young man. I could be his daughter,” Mura laughed.

“Ma, I just can’t deal with that right now,” Anya replied, closing her mind to any consideration of that thought.

“I’m sorry, dear, but that is what’s driving him at the moment.  He doesn’t want his legacy to be a list of failures.”

“He’s not a failure,” Anya replied, frustrated and hurt by the thought.

“We know that, and no matter how many times we tell him, if he doesn’t believe that, then our words only serve to accuse him.”

"What can we do for him?"

"Support him, Anya.  He's trying to do right by our people."

“Ma, the things in this book, frighten me, to think that the Akadians are doing this to us, is heartbreaking, it’s hard for me to believe, but the proof is here, I’m forced to accept it.  But I struggle, because, I know many of them, and they are kind, and decent, and I can’t believe they know of this, and are accepting of it.”

Mura wiped the tears streaming down Anya’s face.  “I know this is hard for you.”

“Ma, do you love papa?”

Mura was caught off guard by the sudden question, she thought for a moment.

“Anya, I love your father more than life itself, I would follow him into error if he asked me, He is such a good and kind man.”

“Ma,  I am in love with Wilhelm.  He too, is a good and kind man. I can’t believe that he is aware of these things,” She held up the book again.  “To be honest, that is my greatest struggle with this.  If Wilhelm is false, then I have no faith in love.”

Mura kissed Anya’s cheek, “I know you love this man, I see it in your eyes, I hear it in your voice, I feel it in your being, I know this love.”

“Ma, what can I do,” Anya burst out in tears, covering her face with her hands.

“Oh, my child,” Mura embraced her and just held her as she cried without restraint.

 

Tannis (Kessel)

Tamden Royal Palace

 

Ambassador Thames Horak, and May Yamay, waited in the formal reception room of King Wilhelm II, for what seemed like a full standard hour. The reception room was large and intimidating, most likely designed that way for effect.  Official visits with dignitaries and other rulers and heads of state, began in the King’s Reception room.  It was extravagantly decorated with every inch of the room, covered with intricate designs woven into the walls, ceiling, and even on the floor. Prominently featured, in front of one wall, were dozens of life size sculptures of Wilhelm’s ancestors.  The deep royal red hall was so large, it made the visiting occupants, feel small. May felt very small, and she was completely intimidated, especially, since they were they only persons in the hall.  King Wilhelm’s schedule had been cleared once it was discovered that his son was lost.

The large floor to ceiling doors, began to open. Two, immaculately dressed Royal Guards stood by the doors.  Lord Havic walked through the doors,  and greeted the Ambassador.  May, thoroughly intimidated by the experience, nervously bowed to Lord Havic.

“Oh, Please, don’t,” he pleaded as he reached for her hand, helping her to rise.  Thames clearly embarrassed by May's display, gave her an irritated look.

“No need to bow before me, I am the King’s servant,” Havic explained.

“I’m sorry,” May replied, again eliciting an irritated look from the Ambassador.

“Please, shall we proceed,” Havic added. He led the pair into the Throne Room.
The Throne Room was just as large as the Royal reception room, however it was very plain.  The Throne and its occupant appeared at the far opposite end of the entrance.  There were several rows of empty chairs lining the length of the room, creating a path to the Throne.  Every step made an echo in the large hall.  May tried to walk as softly as she could, with little change in the resulting echo.  It seemed to take forever before they finally reached the Throne.

Wilhelm rose and approached Ambassador Thames, who bowed before him. The King moved in front of May who bowed nervously.  Wilhelm said nothing.  He looked to Havic.

“My Lord, we are inconvenienced today, by the Knomen Ambassador, Thames Horak, and May Yamay.  My Lord they are here to present information important to the Royal person.  Will you here it My Lord?”

May held her breath so long, that she needed to take a breath, or faint.  She tried unsuccessfully to exhale, silently, causing Havic to glance her way quickly, while he waited for the King’s word.

King Wilhelm walked back to his throne seat and sat down.  He signaled to Lord Havic.
“You may proceed,” Havic directed to the Ambassador.

“Your Grace, we come bearing information that we hope will bring some relief to your royal person in this time of great crisis.  We hope that a resolution to this crisis might begin with what we have to present.”

King Wilhelm, rose to his feet.

“Your Grace, in regard to your son, he appeared a few days ago at the Knomen Embassy Residences, inquiring after the Lady Anya Yemen.  He was informed by the Lady Anya Yemen’s personal assistance, May Yamay,” Thames gestured towards May. “He was informed that the Lady was scheduled to depart Canton Space Port for the Corbellis.  Miss Yamay, spoke with him and tried to disway him from his intention to follow the Lady Anya Yemen to Knome.”

Wilhelm stepped off of his throne and walked directly to May.

“You, spoke with my son?”  The King eagerly asked.

“Yes, your Grace,” she said, bowing again.

“What did he tell you?’

“He had a note,” she revealed.

“Do you have it?”  Wilhelm asked.

“No, I returned it to him, it was a note of apology for an offense known only to them. He wrote that he loved my Lady, and wrote that he would make everything right.  And then, there were more confessions of love.”

“Did he speak to you of his plans to follow the Lady to Knome,” Havic asked.

“He did. After, I informed him that my lady’s shuttle had already most likely departed to the Corbellis, He indicated that he would find a way to get to Knome.”

“And then,” The King called out a little more forcefully than he intended. 

Startled, May looked to Thames, who indicated for her to proceed.

“And then, he left, and I have not seen him since,”

“Mr. Ambassador, I must ask you to relay this information to Maessa.”

“I have already communicated to my Superiors in Maessa, they are investigating.”

The King, took May’s hands, “Thank you, thank you both.”

“Your Grace, we are happy to be of assistance," Thames replied.

“My Lord, we will direct all our efforts in this direction,” Havic informed the King as he began to lead Thames and May out of the throne room.

 

Upai Plains (Knome)

Pogo's Ranch

 

Not long after he laid down, Wilhelm quickly fell asleep.  It had been a long and exhausting day, and he felt sick, after devouring a steaming bowl of ja-racks, and downing a cup of an alcoholic drink stronger than anything he had ever drank before.  He was happy though, to stretch out on a soft cot, instead of a bed of sand.

Teric, Jasen, Kore, Pogo and Dru had remained in the common room finishing off one of Pogo’s bottles.  Pogo had lit some candles for light.  Dru was sprawled out on the floor, almost asleep himself.

“How long have you lived out here,” Kore asked Pogo.

“About twenty years, I hated the crowded cities.  My wife, followed me out hear when this opportunity came up. We had Dru, but she couldn’t take living out here anymore, so she went back to the city.” Pogo took a long drink to drown out his rising emotions.

“So, it’s just you and your son,” Kore asked, looking at Pago’s sleeping son.”

“Just us two, and we've been making it work.”

“How do you deal with the Gaia Cloud? Surely, you don’t remain on the surface?” Kore asked.

Pogo pounded hard on the floor with his boot, almost waking up Dru.  “We have a shelter below, we hibernate there for about three months.”

“What about your ja-raks,” Jasen asked.

“Sometime before Gaia, those Surface Riders come here and they round up the remaining ja-rarks, they have a place for them. We suspend the embryos for the next season.” Pogo sat down his empty cup and rubbed his hands together. “So, I still don’t know, who you are? And what brought you here?”

Teric, Jasen and Kore, glanced at each other.

“As Teric told you,” Jasen spoke up, “we are from Akadia. Our shuttle crashed, and we’re looking for a way to get back home.”

“Pogo looked over the faces of the three and smiled.  “You must think that I am some backward uneducated dope.”  Pogo laughed.  “It’s evident to me that you guys are soldiers or military, your armed, and you have a killing machine with you,” Pogo pointed to Teric.  “And you seemed very interested in that man who turned up here some time ago.  Was he a comrade?" 

“Yes, he was one of us,” Jasen admitted after a long silence.

“After we nursed him back to health, he told us about his mission.  We told him about the strange things that we’ve been witnessing.”  Pogo said, sitting on the edge of his seat.

“What things,” Teric asked.

“Surface Riders carrying weapons.  In all my years out here, I’ve never seen one of them with a weapon, there was no need.  Now there are many more of them and they’re armed, and at times they try to intimidate us.  And we’ve seen aircrafts speeding across the sky faster than lightening.  Something’s going on, but I don’t know what. But, I guess that is what your comrade was trying to discover.”

Jasen looked at Teric, his eyebrows rose.

“Pogo, the man you helped, was on a mission, he was investigating some of the things you’re speaking about.  We believe he was killed, after transmitting a report back to our intelligence agency. We were sent here to retrieve him,” Kore explained.

“Well gentlemen I’m willing to help out as much as I can,” Pogo offered.

“We appreciate, your letting Wilhelm stay here, it’s a huge weight off of us,” Teric added.

“He didn’t seem to want to stay,” Pogo offered looking around for a reaction.

“No, but it is for his own good, that he must stay here,” Jasen replied.

“He is an important man, his life must not be risked,” Kore added, then noticing the disapproving look on Jasen’s face.  “I mean to say, he can’t join us, it is too risky,”

“OK, sure, He is welcomed to stay here with me and Dru.” Pogo noticed the different accent in Kore’s voice.  “You’re not Akadian?

“No, I am not, Kore answered quickly.  “I am Nuemidian.”

“Nue… What?” Pogo asked.

“Are you uneducated, I am from the planet Nuemidia,” an astonished Kore replied.

“Well, there are so many planets and civilizations in Moorbia, can’t know them all,” Pogo said, ignoring Kore’s slight.

“Nuemidia is the first civilization, all others descend from it,” Kore added truly appalled by Pogo's lack of basic history.

“If you say so, I can’t challenge you on that, I’m no scholar,” Pogo added throwing up his hands.

“You can’t challenge what is true,” Kore replied ready to give a needed history lesson to this ignorant man.

Jasen and Teric, glanced at each other and just sat back.

“Aspects of Nuemidian culture, language, practices can be seen in every civilization.  The word moorbia is derived from the name of the first Nuemidian King.  It was he, who seeded the planets, with life.” Kore was now lost in the glory of his culture.

Pogo, was amused and smiled widely while Kore spoke.

“This planet, the planets of Akadia, and every planet in all of Moorbia, owes its development to Nuemidian culture.” Kore continued.

“For what purpose?”  Jasen threw out the question, baiting Kore.

Kore, took the bait, “For what purpose? Dominion.  As the saying goes, “HE SOWED SEED AMONG THE STARS AND PREPARED HIS PEOPLE FOR THE DESTINY TO COME.” Dominion is the Destiny of all of Moorbia.

Pogo was now lost, but he continued to find amusement in Kore’s animated delivery.

“So, is it the destiny for the Nuemidian people to dominate, to rule Moorbia?” Jasen asked continuing to bait Kore.

“In an unbalanced state, that, will never happen. It is what I tried to explain to you earlier. Dominion, will not come until KyDune is reached. All past attempts for Dominion were unsuccessful because the prophet had not appeared.  Once he appeared, and his words were written and collected.  KyDune becomes possible.

“And the Guardians?” Jasen asked.

“It was hoped that the Guardians would be the fulfillment of KyDune, but it was not to be,” Kore admitted dejectedly. 

Pogo shook his head, “I am lost, I don’t mind telling you."

“The Guardians, If I may,” Jason asked Kore, for the chance to explain.  Kore, gestured his approval. " The Guardians tried to fulfil KyDune, but they, became the opposite of what they sought, they became corrupt.”

“I’m still lost, what is KyDune,” Pogo asked.

“It is hard to describe," Kore admitted, "it is the final condition, Disciplined, if I may, for lack of a better word. A step beyond self-mastery.”

“I read the Books of KyDune,” Teric spoke up.

“You have,” Kore replied surprised.

“Yes, in my studies of fighting styles, I researched the techniques of dojojaru. That led me to its creator Jakob Jaru, he was a Guardian, I believe. Anyway, I didn’t understand many of his references, which led me to the seven books.  I read them all, not from the viewpoint of a devotee, mind you, but, as a reference, for Jakob’s dojojaru manual. But, I read them all.

“I’m impressed,” Kore added,

“I am too,” Jasen replied.

“Why didn’t you say?” Kore asked, now very much interested, in Teric and his opinions.

“Was there a need?" Teric asked, "Jakob Jaru speaks of ‘The quiet Man,”

“Yes, I know this,” Kore replied, excited to have someone with which he could debate.

“The Quiet Man, does not divulge what he knows, for it can be used against him. His words, are a roadmap to his defeat, I guess I agree somewhat with that.” Teric added reflectively.  “However, I don’t think KyDune is possible,” He admitted.

“On what basis do you come to that conclusion, “Kore asked, ready to debate him.

“Well, you, Nuemidians, believe that Jakob was the first to reach KyDune, but, from what I read, and I’m no scholar by any means, but, it seems to me that his, was the first divergent path away from KyDune. Dojojaru, for example, it’s a style rooted in ruthless deception, that seems divergent from the principals touted in the seven books. How could one be disciplined, with such thoughts?"

Kore was surprised and very impressed with Teric, his statement was the subject of internal debate among Nuemidian scholars, most non-scholarly Nuemidians fail to even see the subtleties, that Teric just explained.

“You truly amaze me,” Kore, was at a loss for words.

Pogo took advantage of the momentary silence, he clapped his hands and reached for the second bottle on the floor, he held it up as an offer.

“No, I think we’ve had enough, we have to be up before dawn,” Jasen replied to Pogo’s offer.

“OK, I will make sure Dru prepares three ja-raks for you in the morning,” Pogo said as he sat the bottle back on the floor.

 

Amodi Territory (Knome)

Amodi Refugee Camp

 

Anya’s visit to the Amodi Refugee camps on the Soma Plains in the Casca Cavern was emotionally taxing.  She knew of the camps, but this was her first visit.  She had opportunities to visit the camps before, but she made excuses at the time, she didn’t want to be a voyeur of people’s misfortune, but now she just cursed her privileged life.  Amodi was one of the smaller camps caring for over one hundred thousand people, mostly children. Amodi for that reason was called the Children’s Camp.

Anya was accompanied by the Camp Administrator, his staff, several observers as well as her security detail. It made for a conspicuous group.  Anya was exhausted long before the tour began, as she waited, for what seemed like hours while the Camp workers and her security ironed out the details and logistics.  She was, the Lady Anya Yemen, ‘the blessed,’ which carried with her a host of other problems.  It was not lost on her that the last time she appeared among a crowd, was when she was abducted. For that reason, she did not inform her father of her visit to the camps, for he would have made it worse.  He would have demanded a vehicle for her, and a ton of security.  She didn’t want that, she wanted to walk, among the people, among the children.

She was discouraged by the crowd of workers and security surrounding her, but she knew it could not be helped.  As the group walked towards the camp, they became an object of interest, many young children began running towards them, all speaking at once with their hands out, asking for food or money, Anya didn’t know which.  She was at the center of a group of workers and security guards and they were now being surrounded by children.  They barely made progress as the camp workers tried to move the children from their path.

It was all a blur to Anya, voices were speaking to her, explaining things she thought she should hear, but all she heard were the pleading cries of children, observing their dirty gaunt faces.  She watched as other children tried to reach her entourage, but because of various disabilities they were unable.  She felt a strong tug on her arm and it startled her, her security guard had grabbed her to make sure of her position as he was finding it difficult to make any progress as the crowd surged upon the group.  Anya began to wonder if her father’s plan might have been best.  Just then, several vehicles pulled up, as policemen began pouring out of them.  The police carried small whips and began to whip the children, and they began to scatter away from the group, crying out in pain.  Anya was appalled.  She instructed her security guard to stop the police from abusing the children.  They tried, but the whole scene was complete chaos as dozens of police cleared the way for Anya’s group.  She was now sorry for coming, watching children screaming from the merciless whips from those policemen.  

Although she hated what they did, it had worked.  The policemen formed a large perimeter around the group as they proceeded to the first tent.  Before she entered the first tent, several camp workers entered first, rousing the people to their feet.  Then they invited her to enter.  The air was awful but Anya did not want to cover her nose.  There were several dozen girls and young women standing, many of them obviously sick.  Anya walked over to the girls who were all smiling with eager anticipation of meeting this beautiful woman.  Anya asked for a chair and one was provided upon which she sat, and invited the girls to come to her.

Slowly the girls approached and began to touch Anya’s fair skin, her soft hair.  The smallest of the girls, Anya lifted and sat upon her lap.  The young girl hugged Anya tightly and Anya began to cry.  The children concerned for Anya began to wipe her eyes and then began putting their hands in their mouths tasting Anya’s tears, they all surrounded her, hugging her, tasting her tears.  It was explained to Anya that the girls were sharing in her sorrows.  Anya sat there for so long, crying, with the children around her sharing in her sorrows.  Soon the Camp Administrator began to insist that the tour should continue on.

The camp workers began to peel the children away from Anya as a guard helped her to her feet.  It was difficult for Anya to turn away and walk out of that tent.  However before she could do so, one  young woman began calling to her.  A camp worker tried to stop the young woman, but Anya turned and walked towards the woman. She talked to her privately as other women began to surround her, speaking to her.  When Anya return to her entourage, she was no longer sad, instead she was filled with rage.  She walked out of the tent, trying to contain herself.  

“Those women, girls, tell me, that they are being abused by Camp workers and even policemen,” Anya uttered firmly, trying to contain her anger.

The Camp Administrator began talking with his colleagues out of Anya’s hearing.  After speaking the Administrator came over to speak with Anya.

“My Lady, I assure you that we knew nothing of this, but we will investigate this matter.”

“You need to protect those girls,” Anya demanded.

“My lady, this is one tent out of several hundred in this camp alone, and this is one camp out of thousands throughout Knome.  How do you propose we protect them all?”  The Administrator was fed up with all the dignitaries demanding changes but doing nothing to facilitate those changes.  

Anya was at a loss for words, she felt the administrator’s frustration and she did not want to lash out at him.  “I’m sorry, I know you are doing the best you can.”

“We are, doing all we can, My Lady, we are stretched to the limit in funds and staff. Decent help is hard to acquire, when you can't fund them properly.  Now what I want to know is, what can you do personally for us, we need the help as you can see.”

“I am truly sorry,” Anya asked embarrassed by the well-deserved dress down.

“I am sorry too, My Lady, now shall we continue your tour?” The Administrator asked.

“Please, Thank you.”

Anya continued her tour for the better part of the day.  It was an utterly depressing day, but it was only a day for her, it was days, weeks, years for the camp's occupants.  She was beginning to understand why her father felt so bad about the conditions of their people. The conditions of the camps were appalling.  Anya wondered how Wilhelm would feel if he knew what the Akadians were doing to her people.  She had to do something personally. Her father was right, it is time for her to do something for her people.


© Copyright 2018 James Washington. All rights reserved.

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