• 3- Devil's Trap

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    - Ophideus from the Black Knights has returned from the underworld, Faeri declared.
    - You sure Fa, is he not supposed to have died during the Great War? Styx objected.
    Faeri’s predictions, whether they augured good fortune or bad omen, often came true but this time, four sceptical glares were set upon her neck, wondering if her sayings were or were not believable, in one or another case, Ophideus’ return from the dead portended another era of doom, which condemned humanity into exile across the universe all over again.
    - Problem, when he’s gone hunting, he never fails to find and kill mercilessly his target. He has proved to be an obstinate mercenary, harbinger of chaos in the past: never, any of his preys have gotten out alive from his fangs once captured.
    - Ah! So? Styx queried and restrained a noisy yawn, leaning back in his chair.
    - You lazy crow, get hold of yourself! Sylvestre reproached him harshly
    - He has set sail to the human world, back to the year of 2055 exactly.
    - Sheesh!

    May 20th, 2055:

    - Gentlemen, are you from the police?
    Styx and Lancaster stared blankly at the dazed-looking elderly in her late seventies standstill in front of them, wondering how to introduce themselves.
    - Nope, however it would be a long story Madam, Lancaster responded with embarrassment, to their interlocutor who glared at them with suspicion. My name’s Lancaster and my colleague’s Styx.
    - Have a seat and tell me more about what’s going on. I don’t even know why and how you’ve got into my flat in the first place.
    - We’re actively searching for the men who harassed you earlier today around the area Styx intervened. We’ve been summoned here to carry on further investigation if you may forgive our intrusion.
    - If so, I won’t hinder your enquiry any longer. Sadly, I can’t be of any help, I do neither remember anything about their looks nor their circumstances. It feels like I’ve just awakened after a deep slumber as if nothing happened earlier.
    - Did they force you to take any drugs?
    - I can’t remember either.
    - Amnesia pills, Lancaster affirmed arms crossed over his chest. Which means we shall come back to the headquarters to report now Styx, don’t you think?
    - I object, we should go and fetch a certain dull rabbit first.
    - Free beings travel out of this world Sty, he surely have his reasons for not coming back, Lancaster commented whilst he casted a second class memory spell on Danielle Mc Madonea before summoning a time portal towards the fourth millenary: “At your service Madam, have a nice evening!”

    July 13th, 2035:

    - Honey, dinnertime!
    - I don't want to eat, Isha responded from her bedroom upstairs.
    Pissed off by her daughter’s misconduct, Danielle barged in Isha’s room arms crossed over the chest. “Haven’t I told you to get your luggage ready by tomorrow’s morning? We must leave no matter what!” she admonished her offspring with eagerness, eyeing on disapproval at her undone travel bag.
    - I’m not going anywhere!
    - We have to talk!
    - There's nothing to explain.
    - There are plenty of other fishes in the sea. You might as well find a better party once arrived at your new faculty.
    - Be the gentle, high-educated wife of the vicinity's renown surgeon from a wealthy family background? Not for me!
    - He'd make you feel much more happy than this ... this ...
    - "This"?
    - Failure of a would-be minister, clowning around when he should be studying to make a name in politics!

    Isha stood up abruptly:
    - I dare you to insult Hitori in that manner! What has he done wrong to stir up your anger and your contempt whenever I talk about him with you?
    - Don't you answer back to me, insolent! You exactly know what's the problem but you keep ignoring my advice till you'll ruin your career stupidly because of a reckless idiot who is not cut out to become a fine politician devoted to serve his country! Put yourself together, you've already got a long list of pretenders head over heels for you to choose from. What on earth is wrong with you, lucky girl?
    - Like I care for money and fame, only to become someone's caged bird in the end. My heart will belong to the one I truly love, whom I deeply trust and respect for who he is provided that he respects me as well.
    - All that matters to me is your happiness, however this guy's only going to cause you trouble, even to found a family, if he constantly gets in the target line of the current government.
    - Who else has the guts to do so?
    - Come downstairs to eat something at least, the meat's getting cold.
    - Later', I have to work on my PhD's bibliography tonight if you don't mind.
    At eleven when the streetlights were all extinct and the weather had cooled down after a stifling hot summer day, Isha put her work aside and came to the balcony from where she could admire the bay extending beyond the crown of the trees.
    “Bzzt~” Indifferent she let her smartphone keep on vibrating inside her pocket till the screen turned blank after a few seconds. She would have to leave too, sooner or later, better do it here and now, she stated to herself looking with nostalgia at the city below.
    Her dashboard displayed a new text message when she checked her phone back inside: “Things’ alright, dear?”
    - I’ve ... I’ve made my decision ... I ... I should leave town ... by tomorrow...
    Entangled in the blankets, Isha held her pillow close to her chest like a shield, curled up on the bed’s edge: “I’m sorry Hitori ... I’m so sorry!”
    - Knowing you safe and sound overseas is my sole redemption.
    - We never shared anything in common! We never got to live together like any normal couple of our generation! Back then, why have we started dating in the first place, I wonder! she screamed at him, on the verge of crying. Contrite, he kissed her nape with tenderness, his hands caressing lightly her shoulders: “Let... let me go” she stammered between her cries, turning back on his dazzling olive pupils which implored her to stay for the night.
    - If I had to, I’d lay down my life for you.
    - It does not make any sense if we can’t fulfil our engagement.
    - I promise we will, whatever it takes.
    - The members of the government were not that stupid by co-opting Danielle and Mathias Mc Madonea today’s greatest physicians in order to assess their leadership. One issue remains, if you decline their offer, you’re sure to be registered in their records as the first public targets, which forces you into exile to escape the dark pits of jail. As their daughter, I’m also at risk so I’ve made my decision. This is probably the last time we see each other in a while.
    - I swear you’ll be forever safe by my side.
    - Only words.
    Hitori’s grasp around her chest lightened, letting go of her waist. He looked blankly at the ceiling for a few seconds: “Do you consider me as an untrustworthy person that much? If so, have I unnecessarily endured the worst for saving your life when you were in trouble against those policemen, huh?”
    - Egoistic conception of love. You did what was right to do in the context of an unjustified arrest for questionable motives by the police, that’s all. There is no point in arguing over it again and again, Isha whispered eyes low.
    Her face clouded over: “I wish I had not to leave.” She could feel his heart pounding against her nude skin when he wrapped his arms around her breasts. This time, she could no longer fight back, overwhelmed by emotion when he laid his head on her clavicle. She felt her resolve to depart tore up to shreds at the idea of being forced to run away for her life, abandoning cowardly the one she loved so dearly on the side of the road, a path they were meant to follow side by side.
    - Come over there, Hitori whispered compassionately, drawing her close to his torso under the blanket, kissing her on the forehead: “If anything, I can’t afford to live on carelessly if I know my loved ones in danger.” Isha nestled her head in the curve of his throat with a pale smile: “Stop playing the hero you’re not in the end” she responded clung to his shoulder blades, their lips bounded together by a passionate goodnight kiss before they fell asleep in each other’s embrace like young lovebirds going out on a midnight date for the first time long after had rung out the curfew.

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    Cries. Shouts. Threats. Around her only obscurity remained behind the bars of a four-wall cage, trapped in the anteroom of hell. All to be heard were soldiers’ footsteps trampling down the basement. The sound of their chatter blasted painfully through her eardrums, from afar their jeering laughter resounded strangely sarcastic in the wholeness of the silence. Dissociated pictures, nameless faces flew before her eyes unsubstantial as if these shards of memories did not belong to her, meaningless, holding them prisoner behind her eyelids before they vanished into void, that fearful numb feeling that paralyzed her body and hindered her soul. However, a recurrent dream resurfaced every time she intended to fall asleep in which she met with a faceless stranger who yelled accusingly at the soldiers who tormented her, himself held prisoner by police officers at gunpoint. Every time she awoke abruptly screaming, cheeks overflowed by remorseful tears unable to recall his name. Every time the memory of him faded in the distance, unreachable. She felt dizzy attempting to put her thoughts into order, gradually lost notion of space and time as if jailed inside the black depths of the underworld: “Who am I? Where am I?” Find the answer to these questions obsessed her mind for some reason provided I seem to be in great danger and so I shall get out by any means she thought for herself, trying to break free from her shackles to no avail.
    - Don’t even try.
    She startled at hearing someone else’s voice for the first time since she had recovered consciousness. “Someone?” Her own resounded so light and feeble, almost extinct after a long and deep slumber. “Welcome aboard to the future, princess.”
    “Eh?” When her eyes accommodated to her surroundings, she could perceive an old man’s silhouette leaned back against the opposite wall. “Shame we can’t even introduce ourselves properly.” She crackled a pale smile: “At least we’re together in trouble.”
    He let out a raucous laugh, pointing a fingertip at the ceiling: “This pit’s the Black Sun.”
    - There’s really no way to escape?
    - Fool, want to die?
    - Not yet, I guess.
    - Then, all we can do is hope for this dumbass to come and rescue us just in time.
    - You must have tight grudges against that person.
    - Back then, he pretty messed up things to a point of no return!
    - That’s how you ended up down there, I suppose?
    - Partly yes. Let’s talk about you, why would they capture and hold a damsel in hostage?
    - God knows, I wonder about it too!
    Her interlocutor shrugged his shoulders: “They must have unreasonable motives.” His eyebrows furrowed over his lightless anthracite irises. He clenched his fists with resignation, looking down at the ground: “Mockery!” he mumbled between his teeth angrily. The silence came again, interspersed by his rowdy snores.
    “Lucky girl, you’ve got to spend the rest of your days with a weirdo as sole company until someone’s going to save you from your misery” Isha remarked with bitter. “Be glad you’re still alive for today!” he retorted while sleeping.
    Once arrived aboard Odyssea, Styx and Lancaster summoned their colleagues for a crisis meeting:
    - The Party has indeed declared war to us. Knowing our strategy, they’re attacking innocent civilians to make diversion but their real goal is quite obvious, find out Odyssea’s location across the universe in order to kill any opposition to their leadership in the egg, Lancaster affirmed.
    - In other words, the thousands of exiled earthlings sheltered aboard Odyssea, including us, are in imminent danger of extinction if we remain obstinately neutral by avoiding battle as much as possible, Styx observed leaned back in his chair.
    - That’s because we cannot sustain another Great War whatsoever, Sylvestre objected.
    - It’s even more troublesome if they modified the past in some way, Zoe added.
    - Humanity will be decimated once again if we don’t intervene, someone observed.
    - Back on radars, you slacker! Styx responded harshly to the newcomer without turning around to greet him. “Styx, you better...” Sylvestre growled between her teeth, interrupted short by Zoe. Lancaster shrugged his shoulders wearily. Faeri remained silent as usual, expressionless. She looked pensively at the stars beyond the panel windows of the council room then the glassware destiny holder between her hands that emitted a faint blue light from time to time.
    - Let’s hope to be awaked soon by the light of dawn.


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