This was weird being inside the walls while Ashley is watching my every move. I so wanted to wave up to the sky at her but than felt ridiculous and besides the AI might figure something out. Swallowing I let my eyes scan the room around me; pictures littered the desk and dresser. Ashley smiling in every picture, arms around girls and guys and no one looked sad so why did that change for her when she met me? Because she loves me, I know that.
Taking a few breaths I had to calm myself down and remember to breathe. I could feel the difference in the air, it was heavier than outside. Before I could see anything else the doors opened and two people walked into the room. One was a male. His shoulders broad, pulled back and he stood tall, graceful. His brown eye and eyes immediately alerted me to how he was Ashley's father. The woman was about the same height as Ashley actually I believe she is a few inches taller. Her nose was what gave it away and when she smiled rushing forward enveloping me into a hug I knew she was Ashley's mother.
"Where have you been 24?" she whispered holding me tight into her body like I'd float away if she let go.
Standing awkwardly with my arms dangling at my side as she held me, I was unsure what to do.
"Hug her," Ashley spoke into my ear sounding as if she was in the room with us. There was anticipation and sadness drenched in her words that made me immediately wrap my loose arms around her feeling her shake slightly within them.
"I'm fine," I whispered out to her hoping that my voice came out like Ashley's. It must have because soon her dad was holding the both of us in his large arms.
After a while the two released me letting me breathe. It felt so weird being hugged and touched but I let it go because they need to think I'm her.
"We've been looking every where for you, where were you?" her father asked letting his soft eyes raking up my body for I'm guessing damage.
"Um..." soon Ashley's voice was flowing through my ears to my mouth, "I'm so sorry 756493945576473-RD I heard some animal whining outside the hatch and opened the door to help it. I helped the animal but when I turned back the door had shut,"
"Oh my," her mother gasped rushing forward again holding me in her arms not even noticing the tenseness in my body, "Don't you ever do that again!"
"Did you meet anyone out there? How'd you get back in?" her father ranted as he paced.
Licking my lips I untangled the woman's arms taking a few steps back, "A friend let me in. I was pounding on the door and sleeping right out side, I was so scared. Finally someone opened the door and I rushed right home."
And the award for acting goes to....Spencer Carlin.
But I felt bad for lying to these people who seemed too sweet and the fact that Ashley thought highly of them even if they didn't know how to really be there for her, it was hard to be deceitful. Not that I can't deceive but it still sucked.
"Thank goodness. We thought we lost you," her father shed a tear like a real tear that fell down his cheek and pooled at his feet.
The sound of Ashley talking to her parents asking them not to cry floated into my head, unsure if I should say it or if she was just unconsciously talking to them.
"I would like it if a doctor checked you out,"
"129845789294584-CD please no I don't need a doctor I'm fine." I pleaded. Boy did if feel stupid saying all those numbers, I mean how can the rest of what I say be taken seriously after saying all of them.
"How are you not thin?"
"I...I found berries. I remembered what we learned in school,"
This seemed to satisfy them and they let me rest. Once they left with several good byes and please be here later I was alone.
"What now?" I wondered but not out loud as I flopped down on the bed.
Oh my God it's so soft. Plush and molds to my body, the covers furry but not overly just enough to make me feel like I'm floating on clouds. How does Ashley sleep on anything out there?
"Spencer," I sat up looking around but than remembered she wasn't actually here with me, "You need to get going,"
Biting my lip I stood walking out the door. Once in the living room I ran into her parents. After explaining I wanted to withdraw my money and buy a car, to forget that I got locked out they let me go.
Strolling down the side walk letting the new sight and sounds invade my mind and senses. There was so many people talking on phones, my father told me about those how it was a wireless way of communicating. There was what I think was a side walk on both sides and the street, concrete instead of dirt, had cars I believe that is the name zooming so fast down each lane. It was so different than outside, so clean and fast moving.
Ashley constantly talked to me telling where to turn and what certain things around me were as she could tell when I was curious. Buildings loomed over head so high that I thought it was funny we rarely saw them outside.
"You need to hurry," she spoke quickly making me want to run.
I was in a deadly race to the finish and if I didn't get my head out of clouds than I might not make it back to heaven, Ashley's arms. Picking up the pace I followed her directions barely glancing at anything but street names she was giving me.
"The bank should be just up ahead. It'll say National U.S. Bank,"
Licking my lips I picked up a bit more speed and up ahead I saw the name. This was it I just had to get down into the vault press a button and this would all be over.
An arm stopped me from continuing, turning my head I saw three teens about my age all with wide eyes.
"Those are the ones who locked me out," Ashley said making my hands bawl in fists ready to knock them dead for doing that to her, "Don't even think it Spence."
Sighing I released my fingers from their tight balls, "How'd you get back in?" a girl asked quietly keeping an eye on all the people walking around.
"Why'd you lock h...me out?" I asked angrily almost forgetting I was her for now.
"We were going to let you in," one of the boys swore, "...just a few hours but when we came back you were gone,"
"I could have been killed out there,"
They all dropped there heads mumbling sorry making me angrier since it didn't really sound like they were. Closing my eyes I took a few breaths, "Look forget about it okay but we're no longer friends,"
"But Ashley..." they all started but I just started walking to the bank forgetting about them.
Inside the bank there was a lot of people standing in several different lines. This was going to annoy the shit out of me.
"Just stay calm and get in the third line," I tell her noticing the twitch of her eyes when she saw the lines. One day I will teach her patience since inside that is all we had. There was rarely any fights and every one waits calmly in lines since there was always a line for ATM's, food, school, work, stop lights. You name it there was usually a line except for the restroom.
"The AI has picked up on something distorted. Its Spencer, she needs to hurry up," Sean typed in a few things looking a bit frantic.
"I can't tell her that she'll flip out," okay I'm not sure if she will but I know I will I just have to keep it together.
She got into the line tapping her foot impatiently. I hope this can go faster before...I can't think about it.
Can this line move any slower? Yes, I think it can. Finally I got up to the teller.
"Give her your hand, she'll scan the...oh shit," Ashley breathed out making my stomach flop. I don't have the bar card.
"ID please?" the teller started getting upset.
"Give her your hand Spencer," Sean spoke clear as day. Gosh it sounds so close it's scary. Lifting up the hand I knew Ashley's bar code was on since I'd memorized it by tracing it constantly while she sleeps. The teller grabbed a scanner and the red light drifted over my flesh where I now saw a bar code like my girls.
"Thank you. What can we do for you today?" she smiled warmly as if the moment of hesitance was forgotten.
"I'd like to withdraw some money,"
"Why?" she asked as if taking money out was a bad idea and was considered not normal.
"I'd like to purchase a new vehicle," the teller put on a large smile easing my mind.
"Right this way," she started getting lower and lower as if she was shrinking. Soon the floor beneath my feet dropped along with my stomach, I was so close to throwing up with the combined air of the real world and the inside world and now the dropping floor. Taking shallow breaths seemed to help settle my stomach as I watched the cement walls on all sides of me moving upward.
Eventually the walls disappeared and I was in a large opening. Once the floor attached again to the ground I was standing in front of the teller. She smiled and motioned for me to follow her.
"You do have your key right?" she asked as we walked up to a large golden colored vault door. Gulping, I slowly nodded but than Ashley told me to check my pocket. Inside I felt something that hadn't been there before. Really I so have to ask how she is doing that.
In my hand was a card, must have been the key she was talking about.
"Okay Spence put it in the slot and than remove it at the same time as her,"
"Ready?" shaking my head to clear Ashley's voice out and allow the teller's in I nodded. She smiled, I don't like that it looks so cocky, so far from the sweet innocent and sometimes sexy smiles from my girlfriend.
We put the cards in the slot and than as she pulled out so did I, god that sounded dirty. Is it wrong that I totally thought of Ashley and our first time in my room? I didn't think so as I obviously had it running quickly through my mind.
"I'll be waiting to shut the vault when you're done," she motioned for me to enter.
Stepping in a few steps allowed the door to slide close behind me. The room lit up showing me all the deposit boxes. Everywhere I scanned boxes lined the room which was huge by the way.
"Spencer you need to hurry," Sean said.
His voice sounded, I don't know, but I didn't like it.
"Go to the end of the room. Find the fifth box in the lower left corner,"
Carefully walking toward the back of the room I felt my heart sped up. Once in front of it Sean told me how to open it up. Taking the box out I saw the power panel behind it. Red lights began to flash and a loud warning sound echoed off each and every wall. I heard shouting out in the hall where the teller lady was. Probably with security guards no doubt.
"Spencer hurry up. You have to enter the code just as I tell you,"
"What are you doing?"
Sean was typing furiously on the key board toward the right, "Making sure the AI doesn't pin point her."
"Spencer doesn't look to good,"
Sean glanced at the screen I was looking at and cursed under his breath, "It's filtering in more of the computer air. Keep telling her the code so she can shut it off; be fast before it kills her."
This is so not good.
"It figured out your in there Spence," Ashley spoke quietly in my ear. Well that explains the dizziness I'm feeling and the nauseous feeling in my stomach. Man right now I wish I was in bed with Ashley's slender fingers stroking my tummy making me forget it hurts.
Need to keep going and I don't want her worrying, "5463,"
I pushed each number than flipped the switch down ward watching it bounce back up. She gave me another number and than another.
Red lights seemed to make everything look darker. My head was hurting really bad causing the numbers to become sort of blurry.
"Ash it's getting hard to see," my knees slipped out from under me as the sick feeling swept over me once again so I fell on my ass.
"Just keep going baby,"
Her voice washed over my nerves making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, "Open up this door!"
I'm pretty sure that was the teller screaming in at me. Then some mumbling went on before a loud hissing noise sounded. Soon a line of red started coming through the vault.
"They're using a torch to get through," Sean said but I know he isn't talking to me with the way his voice echoes through my mind, "I can't hold them off much longer. Hurry Ashley,"
"Spencer stay with me okay you have to finish, the next number is 8392,"
Nodding I pushed myself up off the floor and back on to my knees letting the dizziness subside before punching in the next set of numbers. The torch blowing through the metal of the vault grew loud enough to start drowning out Ashley's voice.
"I said 29138,"
"Stand back," someone yelled out as metal screeched moving forward as if they were pushing on it.
"Two more numbers Spence, 20193"
I quickly punched them in and prayed the next number would be a simple one or something easy, "Next?"
"3920..." wait I think she said a number after zero but it was garbled.
The door crashed open and three men in security uniforms busted in with guns pointed at me, I was feeling so sick that I just leaned over and threw up causing them to scrunch up their noses. Yeah I'd like them to feel the turning of their stomach and blurry eyesight and not throw up, stupid guards and their disapproving looks.
I had managed to put all four numbers in but nothing happened so I'm sure there was at least one other number if not two.
"Put your hands on your head and step away from the deposit box," one of the guards called keeping his gun faced at my chest.
Slowly I brought my hands and arms above my head. Blinking a few times I watched a guard put away his weapon only to than move toward me getting his hand cuffs out.
"...Spence can you hear me?"
"Yes," I whispered out making the guard raise his eye brow and falter for a second in his walking.
"The last number is 7..."
Knowing that if I move at least three guns were going to be fired and bullets flying toward me, piercing my skin and probably killing me dead. Ashley would kill me if they didn't for getting hurt but than again I'd be a hero. Waking all those trapped in a horrible place and let them free but than again I only know what life is sort of like on the space ship, what is it like on the planet? Better or worse, cleaner or dirtier. I should have asked questions, I shouldn't have just jumped on this chance.
I guess it's to late I've already started and the AI won't let me out again so not following through with this wasn't an option because I wanted to see Ashley again. The guard grabbed my hand twisting it behind my back; I spun on my knees and hit the number seven than as the guns flashed, loud booms echoed as the flesh burned as one, two, and three bullets entered different parts of my body. I yanked the handle down.
"Command codes accepted...shut down sequence in progress." A dull voice resounded through more than the room.
Everyone stopped what they were doing, eyes glancing around frantically trying to figure it out. Knowing I managed to get something right I rested my forehead upon the cool floor, my chest screamed at me but I couldn't get any more air into my lungs. Blood oozed down my mouth, sliming my chin and pooling beneath me.
"What's going on?" the teller squealed frightened as the images around them began to phase in and out.
"Get her out of there!"
Stupid Aiden holding me back, I want to rip his face off. How am I suppose to be calm, when I know my girlfriend was shot, was hurt and dying. Slowly the team around me pulled people out of the room, all looking so lost and confused.
Sean said they would be all put in a large room where things would be explained. Than they'd be taken down to the planet and integrated into society along with the three of us.
"Come on damn it," I screamed pushing people out of the way trying to see inside the doors but couldn't see more than five people in.
"Move out of the way," someone yelled.
A gurney came rushing out with Spencer on it. Her eyes shut tight and her chest barely rising up and down, "What's wrong? I thought you said she wasn't really shot!"
The gurney rushed past me with several of the crew members talking quickly over it, "Her mind still thinks she is, just wait out side,"
Carmen pushed me out of the medical bay doors keeping my eyes on the head of blonde hair until the doors finally blocked my eye sight.
"She'll be okay,"
Turning around at the voice I gasped than wrapped my arms around his waist, "You think so?"
He chuckled kissing the top of my head, "My daughter is a fighter remember,"
I love Arthur, such a great father.
Glancing away from his chest I saw my parents standing there with confused expressions on their faces. Smiling I released Arthur and ran into their arms which were held open and waiting for me. Both of them rocking me and saying they were sorry, I'm not sure for what, maybe for me having to be locked out side the city walls.
But I'm so incredibly happy knowing I can have both my parents and Spencer, I just hope she's going to be okay.
God my head feels like it's being pounded on a set of drums, back and forth, back and forth. They must be using bongos. My eyes are like lead and they aren't moving any time soon. Instead I just feel the pillow beneath my head loving the fact that I know I'm not dead or at least I believe I'm not.
In the quietness of my mind I can hear something that sounds so familiar but has a slight static sound to it making it hard to figure out. Focusing on the sound instead of the drums in my temples made it my head hurt a bit less.
"...The old caterpillar stretched his many arms and yawned a deep and melodic yawn. 'Ahhh! Little crickets should watch where they walk late at night,' he rumbled like a bass trombone.
'Oh, I am so sorry!' sobbed Crick-Ette. 'I wasn't paying attention. You see, the trouble is, I can't sing. The music won't sink into my head.'
'There, there,' the old caterpillar said, 'you can't make music with your head. You must make it with your heart instead.'
Crick-Ette's little cricket eyes lit up. 'Of course,' she thought. And she thanked the caterpillar and ran home to find a musical instrument that would express the music in her heart.
Bright and early the next morning Crick-Ette went out back, where the daisies grow, and tried every musical instrument she could find – the tuba, the oboe, even a rose pedal horn. None of them was exactly right. They all sounded a lot better than her singing, but there was still something missing. Crick-Ette thought and thought, and then she thought some more. 'I've tried all the horns, but they just don't seem to be right. I tried the piano and it wasn't right. Hmmmm.'
Suddenly, she remembered that in the attic was her grandpa's old violin. 'I don't need to dawdle or diddle. I can learn to play the fiddle!' With that she dashed up the stairs to the attic where the fiddle was stored."
Was that Ashley's voice? I'm sure it is and she's telling me the rest of the story. I wonder what's going to happen, is the little cricket going to finally make music.
"...Crick-Ette dusted off the violin, put rosin on the bow, and then, like a wild bugg, she let it all go. She didn't play classical as she whirled around. The song she felt had a country sound.
Later that afternoon she slipped quietly back to the musical glen where everybugg was singing along. She didn't try to join in, but gently swayed with the beat. Finally, some bugg asked, 'Crick-Ette, can you play that fiddle?'
She smiled kind of shyly and said, 'Well, just a little.' She walked to the stage, where she removed the violin from its case, tuned it very carefully and began to play. With a whoop and a cheer all of the buggs began dancing with anybugg near...So, if you can't sing...and not everyone can...remember Crick-Ette and her All-Bugg band!"
I felt the bed dip and warm heat spread around my body. A soft hand stroked my face letting me know she was near. Slowly she leaned down letting her lips grace the outside of my ear, her breath tickling me in a delicious way.
"And you know what that story means Spence," she kissed just below my ear making me shudder, "It means to put your heart into anything you do and it'll be great and Spence, you are all heart and I love you,"
She let her soft lips slide against mine in the most passionate kiss with out tongue I've ever had. Moaning my eyes finally blinked open. The white haze lasted for a few seconds before giving way to the sight of heaven. Ashley laid by my side, hovering slightly above me with her hair pulled back into a pony tail allowing me to stare into her deep brown eyes that showed how concerned she was.
She smiled big showing teeth before whispering out a, "Hey," she kissed me again, "How are you feeling?" her hand ran over my cheek her thumb brushing hair behind my ear.
"I hurt," letting my lip protrude to a pout.
She smirk and ran her hand down my chest to settle on my stomach where she began to trace circles on my flesh like she knows I like, "On the plus side you did it. You freed everyone,"
Yawning I gave her a lop sided grin, "Cause I have heart right?"
Giggling she kissed my nose, "All heart and you know the best part of this?
Rolling my head more toward her I let out another yawn, "What?"
Ashley leaned down kissing my forehead again before staring into my ears, "I get to finally wake up with you in bed because you can't get up,"
Groaning I rolled my eyes making her laugh, music to my ears, I hope to hear that laugh for years to come.
"And do you know what's better than that?"
I shook my head knowing that she probably needs to hurry cause I'm about to fall asleep again.
"It might be the first time but definitely not the last time,"
That was the last thing I heard as I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
I was born a fighter, lived a fighter but finally Ashley has fought me down. I'm ready for my new life outside the walls of the city, outside the boundaries of the outsiders and trapped inside her arms for the rest of my life.