Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 6
The Princess

In a long rectangular office with a table matching the width of the room were those who made up the Lunar Interplanetary Administration. On one end of the table was Madam Zyra. There was an empty seat next to her. On the other end was Madam Naira II. Both were looking at several portfolios containing various reports each given to them by their subordinates.


“Mr. Lance.” Zyra’s tone was stern. Looking over the Administer of Cybernetics’ report on the station’s life support systems she saw something in the report that caught her attention—A spike in one of the bar graphs.


“Yes Madam Zyra?” Mr. Lance looked up from his position. The man was sitting in a chair a few seats down from Zyra to her left. He saw that look she had on her face. Something was wrong.


“This spike in the life support systems. Carbon-Monoxide?”


Mr. Lance cleared his throat, hesitant in explaining himself. “We’ve pinpointed where it came from. In Sector C.”


“Need I remind you that the life support systems can’t filter out harmful substances if there's too much of them in it!” Zyra cautioned.


“On the last page are the schematics of a better filter.” Mr. Lance was more confident in his words. Believing that what the students had developed could work.


Madam Zyra turned to the last page. Her face now softened as she looked over the blueprints inquisitively. “We should get started on this immediately. Have them build a prototype and have it ready in two months.”


Mr. Lance quietly exhaled in relief, “Yes Ma’am!”


“Okay, what’s next on the agenda?” Zyra pulled out a tablet underneath the portfolios and tapped on the screen a few times. A notepad was shown. She took a quick look at it and set the it down on the table. “Ah, yes. Earth’s Global Warming issue.”


Naira raised an eyebrow at Zyra mentioning Global Warming. Her eyes still down on her tablet. She lowered it and sighed with grumbling, “They still don’t get it.”


Zyra looked at her Defense Administer with certain hopelessness. She shook her head, hanging it low as she said, “Mind you Naira, Earth is trying the best they can.”


Naira II looked away and shook her head. “Those DE’MS fools don’t try hard enough.”


The other cabinet members looked at Naira as she mentioned the word “DE’MS”. Whenever she did, it wasn’t good. Everyone knew it was her word for someone who was an evildoer. Instead of calling someone demonic, immoral or what have you, Naira used this word to mean all of them at once. Yet it was her mother, Naira I that invented the term.


“What makes you think that they aren’t?” Zyra looked at Naira more intently.

“Am I not the one keeps in contact with the UN?” Naira reflected.


“Yes?” Zyra’s tone changed to curiosity, wondering where she was going. Yet in the back of her mind, Zyra believed she knew where this conversation was headed. She shook her head.


Naira wasn’t a person you could take lightly. Zyra sighed at the similarities between both Naira I and the II. Like mother, like daughter. It was the UN that gave the late General William Raylor Mellis Sr. the okay to start a new society on the Moon and to construct the Lunar Space Station.


The Queen, as what Naira I was affectionately called, turned her back on Earth. Certain environmental issues that were always brought up in their meetings with the UN were trivial to her. The current global recession made the task nearly impossible. When Naira I finally helped, Earth’s recession ended. However, the same situation happened again years later as it seemed Earth never learned it’s lesson the first time. Zyra sensed a negative vibe coming from Naira as she said her family’s favorite catchphrase. It was a sign of being ‘fed up’. The Hill-Adegas were deeply spiritual. So being ‘fed up’ was against those who weren’t God fearing.


“They think the Earth is going to burn up.” Naira rolled her eyes.


“Yet we don’t.” Zyra smiled. It was common knowledge on the Space Station thanks to the preaching of the Hill-Adegas and other denominations.


Most in the Raylorian society were believers in the word of God. Those who didn’t believe dared not to speak such blasphemy in fear of the government. To speak against God, albeit deny his existence, was considered a misdemeanor.


“It’s a conflict of interest. Why should we waste resources on something that isn’t life threatening? The Earth’s climate is changing and there’s one thing it will never do—burn up!”


“Did we not give them the blueprints to a machine that regulates Earth’s temperature from the north and south poles?” Mr. Lance interjected.


Naira laughed. Sorely sarcastic in her gesture as she retorted, “and you really think they’d put the time and effort into building something like that? Dang Globalists!”


“They could.” Mr. Lance shrugged.


Naira looked at him, appalled at his answer. “Don’t be naïve Mr. Lance. Earth plays too many games! Maybe if they had their eyes opened, they wouldn’t be bringing up such petty issues.”


“Maybe you could help them?” Zyra grinned.


Naira sighed hopelessly. “For how long, Madam Zyra? They sit on everything we send to them!”


Zyra shook her head. “Not everything.”


Naira waved her head, now remembering. “Right! At least they accepted our help to deploy the NanoChemical to clean up that giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Eh… They only accept stuff when a blue moon appears, anyways! Even then, we funded everything and had to do it in secret because some government officials wouldn’t act fast enough!”


“Then let it be this time they’ll listen to us seeing that when they do, Earth becomes better and much like the Lunarian and Raylorian societies!” Zyra’s optimistic tone received agreeable responses from her other cabinet members. All except for Naira—She didn’t change in her annoyed facial expression.


“Right, Naira?” Zyra continued to look at her. Naira sat there unflinching, motionless and silent in her cold gazing across the room.


Suddenly, someone knocked on the door. All eyes looked to door behind Naira.


“Come in!” Zyra called.


Leon Tori walked into the room in his all blue-pressed suit. He had light blue folder in his hand, swinging it in rhythm as he walked down the aisle toward the empty seat near Zyra.


“Ah, Mr. Tori! Welcome!” Zyra greeted him. The two shook hands as he sat down in his seat.


“Aren’t you a little late, Mr. Tori?” Naira barked.


“Calm down, Naira. I had him show up late.” Zyra laughed. Naira looked at the both of them coldly.


“Please excuse Naira, Mr. Tori. She’s very punctual and enforces that with all of us!” Zyra apologized.


“I understand.” Tori nodded at her.


“So you’re the new guy, huh?” Mr. Lance grinned.


“Yessir Mr. Lance!” Tori nodded at him.


“Is this the assistant Defense Administer you were talking about in the last meeting?” Naira’s voice sounded more condescending.


“It would help you be a little less stressed out.” Zyra looked at her with concern.


“I have a handle on things. We don’t need anyone else. Besides, none of the other cabinet members have assistants—only subordinates!” Naira argued.


“Yeah, but their job doesn’t require as much as yours!” Zyra countered.

“And what about yours?” Naira pointed out, raising her eyebrow at Zyra.


“This isn’t about me. It’s about the defenses of the space station being top notch! It wouldn’t hurt to have extra help, now would it? Someone that could finally help you clean out Sector C after hours!” Zyra explained.


Naira sat up in her chair, adjusted herself and sighed. “I guess.”


“Good!” Zyra smiled warmly at Naira before turning her attention to Tori.  “Mr. Tori. I’d like you to work closely with her and learn all you can! Got that?”


“Yes Ma’am!” Tori’s tone of eagerness seemed to make Naira uneasy. The two had met eye to eye a couple of times as the meeting continued. Naira kept looking at him grudgingly, almost starring. Yet it didn't seem to faze Tori who continued to talk amongst the members about his accomplishments and current findings as Naira's supposed "assistant".


“So what about the latest on those terrorists?” Zyra looked to Naira.


Naira flinched, breaking her from her evil gaze at Tori. Zyra was about to say something, presuming Naira was sleep deprived. It was standard for her to stay up all night when the space station’s safety was at risk. Since the resurrection of Alene’s so-called vigilante group in recent years, Naira didn’t sleep much.


“I’m fine. Just had something on my mind concerning those…” Naira muddled the last part of her speech, mumbling her catchphrase under her breath, hoping Zyra would buy her excuse.


“Okay, what’s on your mind?” Zyra nodded.


“We found one survivor in the aftermath of the casino’s suicide bombing. 3rd degree burns but he’ll live.” Naira explained. She had a smirk on her face resulting from Zyra’s believing.


“Name?” Zyra continued.


“Vincent Worrak. He’s not talking at the moment but we’re thinking on finding a way to make him talk without actually talking.” Naira’s grin simmered to a forced smile.

“The Truth Nanites are still in the experimental stage, Madam Naira.” The Science Administer said with hesitation.


“Oh?” Naira looked at the lady dressed in all white with certain skepticism in her voice.


“98% of the test subjects either comatose or have a fatal brain hemorrhage.” The Science Administer’s voice was shaky. She cleared her throat. The sound of it resonated in the room from her seat two spots away from Naira.


“And what of the 2%, Ms. Williams? Perfect I presume?” Naira raised an eyebrow at her.

“We—” Ms. Williams looked down and paused.

“Then I suggest you get to work on perfecting it!” Naira interrupted.


Ms. Williams looked down in dismay for a few moments before looking at Naira again. “With all due respect, Ma’am, the problem we keep having is with the subjects! Not the nanites themselves!”


Naira cocked her head at the lady.  “Which is?”


“All of them resist. It makes the work load harder for the nanites.” The lady explained.


Naira sighed, shook her head, and looked away from her.


“We’ll try the best we can., ma’am.” Ms. Williams said surely.


Naira twisted around to her. “You better. Or maybe we should just kill him and get it over with?”


Zyra shook her head as she intervened, “Not advisable, Naira. He holds information we may need in stopping Z.I.”


“I see.” Naira just looked at her with apathy.


The room was silent for a few moments before Zyra spoke again. “Well, if there isn’t anything else. This meeting is adjourned.”


Zyra’s cabinet rose from their seats and headed out. Naira quickly headed out of the office toward the parking lot. She heard Tori calling her name but ignored him. Naira looked behind a few times as she walked ahead of the man, hoping to lose him in the crowd of government officials walking through Sector A’s capitol building.


Naira reached her car in a secluded area away from the main parking lot. Her car was a green and black striped Bentley. There were a few other cars parked next to hers. Some were more luxurious than hers.


“DE’MS fools living this world to the fullest. And over half of them are going through their 5th marriage!” Naira grumbled as she dug into her purse for her keys.


She wasn’t married, though had boyfriends. All of them were jailbirds from her days in jail as a teen or left her for some other woman. She planned to stay single mainly because no man in today’s society met her expectations. For her to marry a man, his main qualifications involved being in sync with her every move and have the guts to tell her when she was wrong—something her own father failed at. Naira demanded perfection and no man has yet to satisfy that need. What Naira’s parents saw in each other often baffled her. Even so, her father supported her mother’s evilness and paid with his life.


Naira stopped in her thoughts for a moment and smirked at getting the feeling that someone was behind her. She knew who it was.


“How’s it been, cuz?” She turned around to a tall dark skinned man with jet black tinted shades. His trench coat was dark brown suede in the collar but light brown cotton everywhere else. His clothing attire was maroon with his shirt and pants matching.


The man just looked at her with a warm smile as the two came up to each other and embraced.


“Good. UMOTE’s doing great.” The man answered, pulling away from her.

“So who should I refer to you as? Ivon or Wongo?” Naira teased.

“Feel free to call me either one. I haven’t lied lately.” Ivon shortly laughed hysterically.


“Not to me. You’ve kept me on top! But—” Naira looked away, afraid to finish her sentence.


Ivon turned Naira’s head around toward him and looked her in eyes. “Alright. Who is he? Another person trying to follow in your footsteps?”


“Leon Tori!” Naira cried.

“I’ll make sure that he goes away.” Ivon let go of her.

Naira’s voice cracked, “Please do!”


“Not to worry. UMOTE will make sure no one replaces you. We know what Zyra has planned in this situation before and has for the past couple of years.” Ivon explained.


“So what else is new?” Naira changed the subject. What Ivon said was true. If it weren’t for him, Zyra would’ve replaced Naira a long time ago. This alone brought Naira more stress than the uprisings in Sector C and Z.I. combined.


“We found another one of Lunningham’s projects creeping around SC.” Ivon grinned.

“Great! Who?” Naira looked at him, curious.

Ivon sighed, quite jokingly. “Or should we say—it?”


Naira laughed. “Maybe. My mother had problems with those monsters for years. Dem DE’MS fools are the real reason why we can’t get a grip on things in Sector C!”


“And they keep on multiplying!” Ivon shook his head.

“So they aren’t neuter?” Naira raised an eyebrow at him.


Ivon shook his head. “Lunningham’s main chimeras are but his Genese aren’t.”


“And it’s too risky to send more robots.” Naira sighed hopelessly.


“You forget UMOTE and the Zyran Police share the same technology.” Ivon waved his index finger at her.


“Only in the present!” Naira grinned.

“True,” Ivon nodded but then smirked as he added, “but only because we have help!”


Voices were suddenly heard in the distance. Ivon quickly dug his left hand up his right sleeve and revealed a silver watch. His hand was over a button on the side of it.


“You take care, cuz. Oh, and don’t worry about him anymore!” Ivon quickly said as the voices around the corner came closer.


“Stay hidden. Don’t meet with me at this location anymore.” Naira urged.


“You know me.” Ivon boomed in a joking tone as his figure faded from existence. The conversations became louder as a few conversing government officials turned the corner into the parkinglot.


They waved to Naira who had just got into her car. Niara ignored them as she drove off.


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