Because We Were Different – Part 16

Hey everyone! Happy New Year’s Eve! I’m sure everyone’s excited for the new year coming upon us, and I hope its wonderful for everyone! But before this year is up, I wanted to post another part of my serial story, Because We Were Different. Sorry it’s been so sporadic, but I’m hoping to get a part out a month come 2022, so there’s that! I hope you all enjoy it, so let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading! ~ Kay Leigh

Part 16

When we arrived at the Rent-A-Ship, Natalia had taken it upon herself to show her helpful side by getting us a ship. A ship that, though it was in working order, and clean as could be, was… well… it looked like a piece of junk.

“Yes, it used to be a ship that transported junk,” the salesman said, and I glared back at Natalia. A junk ship. Great. Just great. “You can use whatever junk they left in there, if you need it. Don’t know if it’s worth something or not, but you can have whatever you need.”

I looked at this man as if he was insane. It was called JUNK for a reason.

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!” Raidon’s cheery voice broke my torrent of annoyed thoughts, and I sighed.

“Come on, let’s go check it out.” Annoying Natalia. I felt like slamming her against the wall and telling her just who WAS in charge of this mission.

As I stepped aboard the back of the ship, my eyes widened at the amount of junk piled in the back storage area. There were cans, wires, sheets of metal, papers, foil… say, I could make a lot of stuff from some of this! I even spotted some rubber and some plastic wheels hiding behind a large black bag.

“Whoo boy, this is junk,” Raidon said with a laugh, shutting the back door behind us.

I went to the door leading to the middle of the ship. Well, it wasn’t too bad in here. Some beds, a micro kitchen, and a little bathroom in the corner… seemed like it had everything. Even a little desk with a fax machine and a computer set up in the corner.

Natalia walked out of the cockpit then. “Well? I figured we’d want a non-conspicuous looking ship. Plus, it had lots of nice things in it, besides the junk in the back. We can dump that somewhere on the way.”

“No, I think we should keep it. It might be useful,” I said, heading over to the computer desk and sitting down on the single chair there.

“Useful? That junk? You’d have to be insane to think of something that could be useful for!”

“Or resourceful!” Raidon chimed in, then glanced at me and cleared his throat. “Right, Ainslyn?”

I raised my brows, then remembered Natalia didn’t know my penchant for inventing. “Right,” I said with a nod. I glanced outside the little window behind the computer to see a fellow delivering pizzas to the workers at the Rent-A-Ship.

I looked back at Natalia and Raidon then, and narrowed my eyes as they gabbed on about something or another. Who were they? Raidon had the reddish-brown eyes of the Shiarizians, and Natalia had the popular white hair of one. Did Remington know something about them that he didn’t? Were they both really… no, impossible. Why would Remington tell Raidon about the mission if he were a Shiarizian? And why would he have Natalia go along?

Still… I wanted to know more about them. I looked back out at the pizza guy driving away. That was it! “Raid, Natalia, go down and get something to eat. Bring me back something; I don’t care what it is. I’m going to check around the ship and make sure everything is okay, and then after we eat we can get going.”

“Yupiee!” Raidon clapped his hands and started out quickly. “Come on, Natalia! Good food awaits!”

Natalia hesitated. “You sure you don’t want to come with us?” She asked. Why, I had no clue. She hadn’t waited for me to go find a ship at any rate.

I shook my head. “You go on,” I said quickly, waving my hand. “Go on.”

I watched them go outside via the little window, and when they disappeared, I turned on the computer. After it booted up, I hit the calling app and typed in a code Remington had given to me with which to contact him should I need anything. He had given it to me privately, not wanting Raidon or Natalia knowing I had it. It made sense — I was the only one who needed it, anyway.

I could barely believe I was actually calling him… it was ridiculous — I couldn’t wait to get away from the man, but now I was CALLING him. Well… I had to find out more about Natalia and Raidon.

“Paine? That you?”

I winced when I heard the voice, but I didn’t show it in my voice. “Yes, it’s me. I need you to fax me Natalia and Raidon’s portfolios. It’s important.”

“What on earth do you need their portfolios for?” I could hear the surprise and suspicion in his voice as he spoke.

“I can’t explain it other than an… intuition. Inventor’s intuition, you know,” I said, half smirking. He knew what I was. “It’s usually right. I promise you, it has something to do with this mission. Please, just fax them. I’ll give you the code.”

Remington sighed on the other end after I gave him the code I found on the machine, then I heard him telling someone to get their documents. I was sure that if it had been something bigger, he wouldn’t have let me have it so easily. “You best explain this to me when you are finished with your mission, Paine,” he said in a slightly tense tone.

“I will,” I said, my tone much more calm. “Thank you.” I hung up then, and a few minutes later, the fax came.

I looked at the forms. Both seemed neat and in order. Natalia’s parents were the owners of a fishery, and Raidon’s parents were unknown, being an orphan. He had been found living on the streets when he was about eleven and had eagerly accepted a place in the Kachinoan Military Post.

I looked back on Natalia’s form then and furrowed my brow. Her parents were fishers? There weren’t any fisheries on Kachino — how had Remington missed that? Unless… unless he knew where she was actually from. I looked down at the date of her entry into the academy. It was the same year they had kidnapped me. She too was eleven when she had entered, but she had volunteered. I made a face. I would never understand her.

But where was she from? Unlike Raidon’s, which had merely the name “Kachino” written in the “From” box, Natalia’s was blank. Why? Or was Remington hiding that from me? I perused down the page a little more until I found her “About” box.

“Hmm… Daughter of Percival and Darlene Atticus… who own a fishery on Marni. Ahh, I see. So she is a Marniesian,” I said to myself, recalling learning about the distant planet in geography class. So that explained the white hair. Marniesians were also famed for their white hair, but unlike the Shiarizians, they had light eyes, but mocha-colored skin. There had been a few Marniesians in the academy with us, and I could always tell who they were by their white hair and darker skin. But Natalia didn’t have that dark of skin… maybe she was just a little lighter skinned one? Besides, she had the light eyes. She most definitely wasn’t Shiarizian… she would have to have the reddish-brown eyes.

But Raidon could be… even if he was born on Kachino, maybe he had roots in Shiarizi? As I looked up from the machine, I saw the two returning with a couple of pizza boxes in their arms. I quickly snapped off the machine and went up into the cockpit to make it seem as if I’d been looking around.

“Hey! Ainslyn! We brought back pizza! Pepperoni and pineapple!”

I just about gagged when Raidon mentioned pineapple pizza. I could never stomach it, even as a kid. And pepperoni… ughh. I was sick of that. Guess I should have gone with them after all.

2 thoughts on “Because We Were Different – Part 16

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