(A/N: Exams are finished and the school term is about to end. I apologise for not being able to upload this chapter any sooner. I'm actually uploading this from school, so if there are many mistakes, I'll be sure to fix them when I get home. For the mean time, please enjoy my story.)
Take My Hand - Chapter 3
To The Moon
Eva found herself smacking something off her bedside table.
Her vision was a little fuzzy but her room somehow seemed a little quieter. She rubbed her eyes and tried looking down at the floor.
A small defenceless alarm clock sat dented on her floor. Prodding it with her finger she noticed that it was most definitely out of operation.
"Dammit... I'll have to buy another."
She moved her hand across her bed sheet and pulled out her phone. She flicked it open; the time was 7:04 AM. Her eyes shut and she felt like she was drifting back to sleep.
Eva almost fell out of her bed as her phone started ringing. She pushed answer to shut off the madness.
"What do you want?"
"We've got a job today you know."
"Yes, I know."
"Uh ... You should get ready at five, we're leaving at six."
"This isn't a date you know ... Also; didn't I tell you this like a day ago?"
"You told me this already?"
"Alright then ... Just keep your phone on in case I need to call you."
"Sure thing ... Bye."
Eva shut her eyes again.
"Ack ... I'm so tired ..."
She dropped down and relaxed on her bed again, bringing her sheets back over herself. Just barely opening her eye she took a peek at her phone.
"Just half an hour more."
Eva felt something move next to her arm.
She did in fact fall off of her bed this time.
"What in the-"
A small buzz could be heard as a blue light glowed under the blankets. She reached under and grabbed her phone.
*5 unread messages!*
Moving down the menu she opened a second tab.
*7 Missed Calls from Dr. Neil Watts*
She quickly opened the first message.
*Eva, the patient's condition has been fluctuating and we are to leave immediately, please get ready.*
*Eva I'm on my way now, are you ready?*
*I'm outside now, where are you?*
*Why aren't you picking up?*
*EVA! What are you doing? Open the door, we have to leave NOW! :(*
Eva threw her coat over the clothes she was wearing and ran through her apartment door, dragging along the heavy equipment case. She left the door unlocked and opened, not caring if someone were to enter. Running through the corridor she was able to see a figure with his arms over the building's steel door.
"Eva? What were you doing?!"
Eva opened the door and stepped outside.
The two stood in an awkward silence.
Neil rubbed the back of his head.
He gestured to a car that was parked in the middle of the road. He then walked towards it taking the equipment from Eva's hands. She followed slowly and entered the car.
"Why weren't you picking up?"
"... Are you okay?"
"Yeah ... Just tired..."
Neil almost missed a turn.
"Wait... Is that why you weren't picking up?"
Eva didn't respond.
"C'mon, this is one of our first jobs... We need to perform well to secure our positions and currently the patient is in an unstable state... Boss will kill us if we are unable to carry out our job."
"... Don't worry about it; I'll make sure we're there on time."
Eva's eyes shot open as she heard the familiar ringing of a phone.
"Hello, this is Dr. Watts speaking."
Eva could only hear inaudible muttering.
"We'll be arriving shortly sir."
Neil slipped the phone back into his pocket. Eva felt the car turn. The crunching of gravel sounded.
"Are you awake?"
Eva rubbed her eyes.
The car came to a stop in front an old looking house surrounded by trees and a lush garden. The land it stood in was secluded and quiet. No other homes could be seen before the horizon.
Eva stepped out and began to follow Neil towards the house.
"It's pretty quiet out here, huh."
Eva brought her arm up to the door and knocked gently. She was greeted with a short elderly man.
"Good afternoon, young lady. I assume you're from the..."
"Yes, I'm Dr. Rosalene."
"I am Dr. Watts. We will be taking care of the patient today; you are Mr. Roland, correct?"
The man nodded and gestured them to come inside.
"But do call me Walter."
He was fairly short and had light grey hair; he had a rather frail body and seemed to rely heavily on his walking stick. He kept a forced smile on his face as he spoke the next few words.
"Her name is Clarise ... My wife that is. She's in the room to the right of the stairs on the second floor. Would you two like anything before you begin?"
"No thank you, Walter."
"Alright, you two should go up, I'll follow soon. After all I wouldn't want to slow you down."
Neil began to lug the heavy case up the stairs. Eva followed slowly, the wooden floor creaking under every step. A large group of paintings adorned the walls, as well as a long line of photographs.
"Actually... Walter, could you please tell me something. It's rather important."
"What was her wish? We can't exactly begin without it."
"Oh yes... She wished that her sister came back."
"What do you mean?"
"She wishes her sister was still alive."
Eva began inspecting the photos, each one seeming to go farther back in time. One photo in particular shows two young girls boarding a train.
"I see ... Could you tell me about her?"
"Her name was Claire. She was Clarise's younger sister. She would have been sixty one by now, but fifty years ago she was involved in a train accident."
"That's most unfortunate."
"Clarise never took an eye off of her, she was very protective and the two actually looked quite a bit like each other. Same golden hair and blue eyes."
Eva looked at rest of the photos pinned to the walls; she could see two cute girls in almost every one.
"Is that them?"
Eva continued walking along the room; she soon noticed a few pretty yellow flowers sitting on a table. Walter seemed to notice what she was looking at.
"I got those for Clarise."
He took a seat at the table and picked up one of the flowers.
"These flowers are her favourite; we used to pick them together in the fields outside the house. She said they remind her of Claire."
"I can imagine why, these flow-"
"EVA! Get over here now."
Eva heard Neil's voice bounce around the house.
"I think your colleague needs you."
"Yeah, I'd better hurry. Uh ... Thank you for your time Walter."
Eva ran up the stairs and was led into a room by Neil. It was large and full of old wooden furniture. In the centre of the room stood a bed, where an elderly woman laid. Beside the bed was a small mass of medical equipment and what appeared to be a doctor crouched in front of them. She then stood up and turned towards Eva.
"I'm Dr. Margaret, pleased to meet you."
The woman seemed to be in her late twenties and sported long black hair. She was undoubtedly beautiful even though she wore glasses. Neil stepped forward.
"I'm Dr. Rosalene."
"It is good that you two were able to make it here earlier, as you may have known already, Clarise's condition has been fluctuating lately. A few days ago we thought we would even lose her, but luckily she's held on up until now. You two should probably get started."
Neil walked back to the other side of the room and flicked a few switches on the machine. A few luminescent panels folded outwards. Neil then picked up a strange looking helmet.
"Dr. Margaret, we will have to establish a link now, this helmet will allow us to do so."
"Carry on then."
Margaret nodded and Neil gently placed the device over Clarise's head. He then brought a seat next to the machine and chucked a helmet towards Eva.
"Eva here's yours."
"Whoa! Way to toss thousands of dollars worth of equipment around."
"It's fine, as long as you catch it."
Eva sat down and placed the helmet over her head.
"Ready when you are."
"Ready, let's go."
The world slowly unfolded, plates of light came together, merging to create the landscape.
"Where are we Eva?"
"Just outside the house."
"Wait no, I mean, whenare we?"
Eva took a brief look at her surroundings, she spotted a newspaper lying in the grass in front of her.
She picked up the paper and checked the date.
"This memory is recent, only a few days ago."
"Hah, that's funny actually; I was reading this paper earlier."
"Neil, you only ever pick up the newspaper for those cartoons in the very back."
"Hey, I get them for the cross words too."
The creaking of a door sounded behind them.
"You can keep that newspaper if you like, I'm sure my husband won't mind."
A short lady with white hair stood by the doorway. She seemed just as frail as Walter but didn't seem to need a walking stick, she wore a peaceful smile on her face.
"Uh, how did you-"
"We are from the Sigismund Corporation."
"Strange that, I... Haven't... Even called... Them up yet..."
"I am Dr. Rosalene and this is Dr. Watts. Sometime in the future you call for us at the corporation. We have come now to grant your wish."
"You have come... To grant my wish? But doesn't that mean I'm-"
"Please, do not worry; we will take good care of you. We have been told that you wish your sister was alive, correct?"
Clarise walked a little closer to the two.
"Okay, in order for us to make this happen, we are required to enter your memories and alter in events that will bring your sister to you."
"You will be going through my memories?"
"Yes, it is the only way."
"We are asking for your permission to do so, is this okay?"
"... Yes, if you can bring my sister back."
"We always succeed."
Eva and Neil began to walk towards the house.
"Doesn't all this mean... I'm dying?"
'Eva... Should I tell her?'
'Neil, you can tell her the truth... She is just a program.'
'But it just seems wrong.'
'Don't worry, I'll do it then.'
Eva turned around, to face Clarise.
"I'm afraid, yes ... It does. While I'm not entirely sure, what one should say in this situation, do not worry. We have never failed."
'*Freeze all programs and simulations*'
The Earth suddenly felt still, all ambient noise had shut off. The world felt dead.
"Neil, we should hurry and find the memory links."
Eva turned in the direction she expected Neil to be at.
Eva heard a faint murmur from inside the house.
"I said, I've already found two! Come inside now, help me find the memento."
Eva walked in and looked around the house, exploring the living room. She quickly spotted the yellow flowers sitting on the table.
"This has to be one..."
She walks around a little more and spotted the picture of Clarise and Claire. She picked the frame from the wall.
"Should've expected that..."
Eva placed the frame back on the wall.
"Eva! Found another one!"
"It was in the bathroom!"
"Why would you even?!-"
Eva sighed at the thought.
"I really have no idea what goes on in your thought process.
Eva went to the second floor and approached the room she found Clarise in.
"Psst, Eva. Come look at this."
"What is it?"
Eva walked across the corridor, trying to follow Neil's voice.
Eva took a right turn and saw Neil standing by a door.
"It says Claire on it."
"Claire was the name of Sister right, Eva?"
"Yeah... Open the door."
Inside, the walls were covered with a bright shade of yellow and the room itself was covered with decor and photos. A small red train sat on one of the shelves.
"Looks just like a girl's room."
"That's exactly what it is Neil."
"Walter told me that Claire died around fifty years ago, in some sort of train accident."
"Look at that train."
"Your sister died in a train accident, go and buy her a nice small train why don't you?"
Eva stepped inside the room, the air was stale but cool. She continued on and reached the shelf she had her eyes on. She picked up the small train.
A clear bubble surrounded it.
"Alrigt then, seeing as though I got the most memory links, I'll break it this time."
"FUS RO DAH!"
"What the hell was that Neil!?"
"It was my Thu'um!"
Eva engaged the memento.
Snow crunched under Neil's feet as he tried contain his excitement. A wonderful shade of white covered nearly everything in sight.
"How come we never get snow like this back in he city?"
He brought his hands down to feel the perfectly formed, crystallized water particles.
"I think it has something to do with all the pollution from the cars and stuff. Though the snow in an area like this would normally fall much slower, the end result is almost always much better. Hey! Don't-"
Eva fell backward onto the ground as a well made snow ball landed directly into her face. The sound the impact made, would have had any bystander's face cringe. Neil burst into a fit of laughter.
"Argh! What the crap!?"
"Haha, don't worry, you can't get hurt within the machi-"
Neil made a very satisfying yelp as he fell back and landed in the snow. The impact of Eva's laser death ball was reassuring, producing a very nice sound. Neil was dazed as he tried to pick himself up.
"Okay, okay, okay. Snow balls at point blank range aren't a very good idea."
Eva let out her hand.
"There isn't too much time left..."
She pulled Neil up.
"Let's grab the memory links."
"Into the house, I guess..."
The two made their way closer to the house. The door was wide open and a small train laid half buried in the snow. It sat next to a pair of tracks into the snow.
"This memory seems to extend behind farther..."
Eva made her way around the side of the house. There was a long trail leading into dense woodland. The two sets of foot prints running down the entire length.
"We should probably check this out instead."
Eva stepped forward and snapped a twig which had been concealed within the snow.
"Well, we're headed in the right direction."
They continued to follow the trail into the woodland.
"What the hell were they doing all the way out here?"
Turning around Eva saw that the house was only a mere spot in the landscape.
"If they wanted to get sick and bedridden."
"Meh ... Lets just find out where this trail leads."
The track continued on for another fifty meters, there they found two figures standing in the distance. As they moved closer, they could hear the two people talking, but not only that, the sound of flowing water also reached their ears.
"Clarise ... Why did you come all the way out here?"
Eva crept in closer, peering behind Clarise and Walter she was able to get a better view of what she had heard earlier.
A large stream sat at the bottom of a small slope.
"I just came ... To get this."
Eva turned back towards Clarise, she held in her hands, a yellow flower.
'2nd memory link, Neil.'
'I assume this is going to be a recurring thing.'
"Clarise ... You can't keep coming out here like this. It's far too cold."
She steeped back.
"But ... I ..."
"We're getting old Clarise, we have start taking care of ourselves."
Eva and Neil watched as the incident occurred.
Walter attempted to leap forward but cringed as he felt a pain in his left leg. He bent down on his knees as he watched Clarise plunged into the river.
Walter stood up and began his chase along the stream but at his current age he knew he wouldn't be able to go for long.
Tears began to well up in Walter's eyes; the pain in his leg was too much to bear.
He opened his eyes, Clarise held tightly on a branch at the side of the river. Using his remaining strength, he carried on forward.
Walter was only five meters away, when his foot landed on moss-covered rock. His body flew forward into the snow.
He brought his face up, fighting all the pain he felt in his ageing body. Managing to crawl the distance he threw his hand out to grab Clarise and in a matter of minutes he had taken her out of the water.
"I'm not sure what to say about that Eva."
The two walked up to Clarise and Walter.
'She'll get very sick if she stays outside much longer.'
'I think that's what happened.'
Walter stood up and did his best to pick up Clarise. Slowly they started to walk back into the direction of the house.
"What a cop-out, we just got all the memory links."
"Because that's what you say when something serious happens."
"What could we have done? Anything we do here will be erased as soon as we leave, our orders are different."
"Meh, you're right..."
"Let's just get the memento, we've seen enough here."
Eva pointed to something behind Neil.
"You think it would be that, over there?"
Neil turned around, a brown walking stick laid still on the snow's surface.
"That was the pinnacle of difficulty."
"Just go and place the memory links already."
"IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZER BAH!"
"Oh dear god..."
End Chapter III