Once again, I want to express my thanks to those who give me the inspiration to keep on writing. Your reviews and responses help me to remember that there are people out there actually enjoying this, and nothing encourages me to write more than that. So, for those of you who have been faithfully waiting for this character, I present to you the next chapter…
Chapter 6: Aelita of the Stones
The passenger jet was impressive. There were three seats per row, each extending out five lines. These were made of red velvet and about the most comfortable seats one could purchase. Each had a miniature TV and portable video game system attached to the seat in front of it. There were also expensive $100 headphones that looked as comfortable as anyone could possibly imagine. A small number of men and women sat in these seats, only five in all. The rest of the area was empty and unused. Behind all of this was a black silk curtain. If somebody were to push it open, they would have been stunned by what was behind it.
There was an arcade, with several of the most famous games that had ever been invented, such as Pac-Man, Tetris, and Asteroids. There was also a clear table that appeared to have been made out of heavily hammered gold. The chairs around were such that they wouldn't have looked out of place in a mansion. A plasma screen TV, about 40 foot wide and 20 foot tall took up one entire wall of the room. Leaning back, eyes closed, on the couch that had been positioned on the far other end of the room, as far from the TV as possible, was a beautiful Canadian girl.
She had a soft, kind, yet exhausted face. Her eyes, a dark green, looked worn out, tired and tense. Her long silver hair was wiry and scattered, as if she hadn't bothered to brush it since getting out of bed. Her hands were curled up behind her head, and she looked to be asleep. In reality, she was too worried and apprehensive to do anything of the sort. For the first time since leaving Paris five years before, she was truly disconcerted. It had been purposeful, avoiding that city, despite the fame she could easily have garnered there. She pushed the memories out of her head, as she had been doing for years now. There was nothing left to gain from them.
The only other person in the room was a man, likely in his early thirties, was busy playing Frogger. His hair was white, solid white, bleached so frequently during his younger years that it looked naturally so. He wore a red dress shirt with the words "THE STONES" written on it in large silver letters that perfectly matched the celebrity's hair. He wore long black pants into which he had tucked the dress shirt. He wasn't entirely comfortable with this set-up, as he used to enjoy orange cargo pants instead. However, as manager for the famous Aelita Schaeffer, certain sacrifices had to be made.
Chris Morales, as his name happened to be, was the only one on the plane who knew anything at all about the past that Aelita had been running from. This was due, mainly, to his actions in getting her a part in his previous band, The Subdigitals. If it hadn't been for him, Aelita often found herself wondering where she might have ended up today. He'd been the epitome of kindness to the young woman, even when she had accidentally and foolishly ruined his dreams. As such, he had become both her best friend and her manager.
The plane's current direction, Paris, was also his idea. As such, this was the first time in their years of friendship that she was seriously cross with him. He had given two reasons for going, neither of which being disputable from Aelita's point of view. Firstly, it was time to stop running, face her past and finally throw it off once and for all. The only way to truly be free of her old life, and not have to spend the rest of her new one running, and filled with regret, was to head to Paris. If she could face the city, then she would be freeing herself of that terror.
The second reason was even more indisputable. Chris was unwilling to leave Aelita by herself, due to reliance that she always placed upon him. As such, he hadn't seen his uncle in years. When that had been brought up, Aelita had admitted that she would rather go with him then be without him for the weeks he'd want to spend in Paris. It was Chris's belief that it truly would be healthy for Aelita to perform a concert while in Paris, and she had reluctantly agreed. So, as they made their way to Paris, Aelita found herself unable to relax and Chris acted as if he didn't have a worry in the world.
That is, until Aelita's cellphone rang and sealed the world's fate. The moment this happened, a chill of fear ran down Chris's spine, and he spun around. Aelita, who had stood to her feet, was staring at the phone in stunned silence, sweat pouring down her face. Only one person in the world had ever been given Aelita's number, and he was standing next to the Frogger game looking pale. His carefree smile was gone. The only reason Chris had it was so that he could contact Aelita from anywhere, something she only wanted him to be able to do.
"Should I…?" Aelita began, not willing to take her eyes off the phone for a moment. It was a rather creepy thing to have happen, but could it really be a stalker? What kind of dangerous stalker called their victims to alert them that they are stalking? Besides, even if it was, surely answering a phone was totally harmless, right? For a moment, an old memory pushed itself to her head… an evil being who could control all things electric. She quickly shoved the idea out of her head however, scolding herself for being ridiculous.
Chris reluctantly nodded his head. Maybe, he told himself unconvincingly, it's just the phone company. It was unlikely however, since they tended to text or email, and had never once called in the two years that Aelita had the phone.
"H… H… H…Hello?" Aelita asked, swallowing hard as she did so. "Who is this?"
Chris couldn't hear the answer, but could most certainly see the reaction. Her face paled and then she fell over, hitting her head on the ground forcefully. Dashing over to Aelita, abandoning his game, Chris checked to make sure that she hadn't been harmed. After confirming she was ok, he violently grabbed the phone and snapped, "Who are you!?"
There was a silence on the other end of the phone, the person obviously taken aback by the sudden verbal attack. "Uh… who are you?" the voice finally stammered out. "I was trying to speak to Aelita Stones... I mean, Aelita of the Stones." Chris stared at Aelita's collapsed body and then back at the phone. His frown grew deeper.
There was absolutely no doubt that this had to be one of the people that Aelita had been hiding from for years. Chris was the only person around who knew that was her original name, besides the people who had known her at Kadic Academy. He was tempted, for a moment, to tell the pilots to alter course. However, with the concert already booked and the gas money that had already been invested, even Aelita Scaeffer could afford to back out now.
"You, sir, have no business calling this number," Chris said coldly into the phone. "You couldn't have possibly gotten your hands on it legally. I will know your name, by your will or not! Now tell me who you are!" He nearly screamed the last words into the phone. Aelita's accident, and then mysterious man that had broken the law by contacting her, made Chris wish to reach through the phone and strangle the person.
There was silence for a moment on the other side of the phone, before the person reluctantly responded. "My name is Jeremie Belpois." Chris's eyes widened as he listened more intently to the rest of the explanation. "I went to school with Aelita, and need to discuss some things with her. It's important."
Jermeie Belpois. There was nobody at Kadic that Aelita wanted to avoid more. This was very well known to Chris. He was the epitome of everything that Aelita had been running from. Now here he was, contacting her out of the blue, after over five years of silence. This could very likely only mean one thing. It truly was important. Either that… or he was just a stalker who had heard she was coming to Paris.
After collecting his thoughts for a second, Chris spoke. "Important! What I find important is that you called a number only I know. This can only mean that you are a hacker, and that you are doing illegal things with this ability. Namely, you are stalking. If you try to contact Aelita again, if she complains that you are bothering her, the police will find out about this!" Then he hung up the phone and looked down once again at Aelita Schaeffer. Chris sighed quietly as he glanced out of the windows at the city of Paris stretching out in front of them. Coming here had been a very bad idea.