CHAPTER TWENTY ONE It appeared, though, that the clock would not let her escape from its grasp. Its face and hands seemed hypnotising, but Jardena and Tarun walked away from it, unaffected. It seemed to communicate only with her, making her feel dizzy, and lost in some kind of haze. It appeared that Tarun and Jardena were walking away, into some unknown distance, and she would not be able to draw them back to her. She fell down to the ground and called desperately to Taruna and Jardena to help her. It seemed that they could not help her, or maybe they could not notice her.
Then a voice began to call her, through the haze, 'Mannie, this voice is only for you.' 'Who are you?' asked Mannie. 'I am time, come to me.' Was this really a muse trying to hypnotise her? 'How can I trust you?' said Mannie. 'You must trust me, I am the muse within the clock.' It possessed a male voice, a commanding voice that sounded like her internal one. She watched as her friends were washed away in the mirage of sand and blue sky, before her. What kind of world were they walking into, now, and how would they survive without her help?
Still, the muse commanded her to move closer to the face and hands. Then it moved around and around, in a clockwise direction, and she felt herself merging into the blueness of sky, losing important minutes, seconds, until finally she realised she was inside a room. It was the room of a strangely shaped structure, that could only closely resemble an apex or pyramid. She felt the energy generated at its very corners, and she saw just the faintest glimpse of intoxicating blue through a tiny slit, which served as a window. She closed her eyes, but she only saw her own angel, complete with her long black hair appear, and speak to her. 'Where are you, Mannie, have you forgotten your own world, and its problems? Where are the people who have helped you?' In her confusion, Mannie did not realise that she was partly unconscious. It seemed for a moment, before she had woken, that she was back in the robot laboratory, pacing its lonely corridors, alone, with only her talent and genius to guide her. 'I can'Ât go back, said Mannie, 'I have lost my way, I am lost within the worlds.' 'You must go back, because your world is at war, Mannie. Remember, you came on a rocket. Perhaps someone can help you to go back to your home.'
When she awoke, Mannie seemed lost in a daze, only the cold swell of sunlight through a crack in the wall seemed to pull her back to life. She tried to think as to where she must be. How could the people of this world understand that she was a person with memories such as hers, who had felt the feelings she had felt, and known the faces that she had seen. Mannie stood up and looked out of the window. She was shocked to see a huge sea welling up to her pyramid, surrounded by water. Then, suddenly she heard a tapping at her door. She walked over and opened it. There was no-one there. She stepped out into a small passage. There was only a mirror, standing alone, in the passage. She walked over to it, instead of seeing herself, she could only see stars. Mannie felt very at home, when she looked into them, she recognised the important constellations she had studied. She realised if she saw Venus or Mars, she would be able to travel back to Earth. She knew that Space was simply a window, a window to other worlds. Sometimes it felt that looking out at space was just an illusion. You may be looking upside down, at the bowl of space.
Nevertheless it was a beautiful sight. Soon, she was floating through space, how she was transported she knew not how. She woke up, in an austere factory room, above her she saw a window to the stars. She sat up. She was home. She walked out to her familiar room full of robots. They lay in lines, along the assembly floor. She walked past them, and noted the interesting details of their make, and construction. She did not trust them, oddly, even though she had made them. Within them lay secrets, the secrets buried within their minds. She pressed a button on the side of one of their bodies, and it sat up straight. 'Do you remember me?' She asked. 'Yes.' It stated flatly. 'Well?' She asked. 'You're the moon girl, my dear.' 'But what is my name?' 'Mannie.' 'That's right, now, tell me, how is the war?' 'The war is in action. There was an invasion. We are surrounded on all sides.' The robot stated clearly. 'You must be careful, Moon Girl, the enemy is in every part of the building.' Mannie's eyes filled with shock. 'You must be careful, my dear, they are surrounding us on all sides. You must find a weapon, and hide.' Mannie ran to a cabinet, and slid open the door. She grabbed a super charged gun, and walked softly over to the door. She could hear voices, outside. 'She must be here, somewhere.' 'Who are you looking for? We have been told to look for robots in employment, and destroy them.' 'The girl. The one he employed to make the robots. The girl genius.'
She heard their footsteps disappear down the corridor, and Mannie ran and hid inside the storeroom, behind the assembly area. She felt the necklace around her neck, which had a pendant symbol of the moon, hanging from it. She felt her heart beating rapidly, and sweat break out on her forehead. She had never been so close to death. She tried to think of the instructions which she had been given by her employer in a dangerous situation. What could she do?
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