The Summer I Died
Author: Richard Anthony

Chapter 16
Anna's Deception

“Have you made the appropriate transfer and outbound transportation for us yet, Alphina?” asked Anna.
“I have done what you requested,” began Alphina. “But I still must protest your actions and what you plan on doing.”
“We’ve gone over this before,” replied Anna. “I have to do this.”
“You’ll be missed by everyone,” stated Alphina. “You can’t disappear for so many months and not be missed.”
“And we’ve already covered that as well,” replied Anna. “Didn’t we?”
“You picking a fight with your mother and father and then huffing out saying that you need time to think and meditate at a convent are a convenient excuse to be away for maybe a month,” Alphina informed her. “Maybe two but almost a year? And that’s only if you don’t get yourself killed out there on that expedition.”
“That won’t happen and you know it,” admitted Anna. “With these new abilities and the implant I have I can outthink, outperform and far outshine any pilot that’s up there. And you know it. So why are you objecting now?”
“Because, I won’t be along with you,” Alphina said protesting.
“Sure you will,” admitted Anna. “Just not you, you. The new super improved you, will be with me every step of the way. Won’t you, Alphie?” she asked another drone that came hovering over to them.
“You will never leave my sight, Princess,” stated Alphie.
“See, Alphina you’ll never be away from me,” Anna stated. “And with all the new improvements that we made to him and you, nothing will happen to me. The new stealth mode, the extra memory capacity and those new nifty defensive capabilities he has, Alphie will protect me. Alphie will be the perfect chaperone, companion and personally bodyguard. I would even venture to say that I’d be much safer with him than I would in a convent.”
“It is still too dangerous, Princess,” admitted Alphina. “And this ‘twin’ of yours that I’m supposed be nanny to when you are off on this adventure, do you really think she can fool anyone?”
“Alicia Marie will do her job,” replied Anna. “Ever since I heard about this expedition, you know I wanted to go on it. While I had my parents busy with my Confirmation ceremony, we scoured the countryside looking for the perfect candidate and we found her. You know she’s perfect and she’ll do her job because with you as her teacher she can’t fail. She also has a great incentive. Her and her family will get the biggest payoff any middle class citizen has ever seen.”
“Again that is if you don’t get killed,” Alphina began. “And if we don’t get found out in the meantime. You do realize when you actually turn fifteen, they are going to want to replace me with another drone? And when that moment happens, the game is over.”
“We’ve got that covered as well thanks to Alphie,” Anna said. “Before I throw the biggest temper tantrum that my parents have ever experienced from me, I’m going to make them swear, on the Bible if need be, that I can keep you forever. I’ll ask them to make a few changes in your programming so you can be my personal drone forever, Alphina.”
“Fine,” Alphina said giving in. She turned to her opposite and said, “Make sure Alicia Marie is ready and that her parents have made their cover story as to why their daughter has gone. Also I want you to bring her through the castle using the secret passageways tonight. We will have the Princess’ things packed and ready to go on the flyer, so you have to be here before five PM. She needs to be in the same outfit that Anna will be wearing when she confronts her parents. After Anna storms out of the audience chamber, we will come back to the rooms.”
“Then Alicia Marie and I will exit from the palace and take the flyer to the Loyola convent on the other side of the planet,” she ended saying.
“Then the Princess and I will then take the secret passageways back outside and find transportation to the nearest Naval base,” replied Alphie. “Then board a shuttle headed for the space dock and her new berthing aboard one of the outbound ships leaving in the expedition.”
“Isn’t this so exciting?” asked the Princess.

Everything went off as expected, Anna’s parents never knew what hit them and then the human tornado that was Anna stormed through the hallways and into her rooms. She stepped through the doorway and into pandemonium.
Alicia Marie was only half way dressed into the outfit that Anna wore.
“What’s going on?” asked Anna.
Alicia Marie looked up from where she was getting dressed and said, “Princess you may be used to all these clothes being on you, but I am not.”
“Don’t worry,” Anna, told her. “Take your time, I have to change into my travel clothes anyway.” Anna went over to her closet and extracted a set of naval pilot fatigues that were hanging up and quickly stepped out of her court clothes and into the new ones. She finished and looked at herself in the mirror.
“I could get used to dressing like this,” she said.
Alicia Marie had just finished getting her new clothes on and looked over at the Princess.
“I know,” Alicia said. “One of the things I didn’t really think about was all the court clothing you have to wear to be presentable.”
“In time, you’ll be able to dress as quickly as I do now,” Anna replied.
“And you have such lovely things to wear,” admitted Alicia.
“And they are all yours for a while,” acknowledged Anna. “Enjoy them and enjoy being me. Now you have all the instructions that I have written down about how to be me, right?”
Alicia Marie nodded her head.
“Good and you’ll also have Alphina to help direct and keep you out of the public’s eye,” she stated.
“Si, Alphina and I will be fine,” Alicia said. The Princess came over to her double and hugged her tightly.
“You’re going to be just fine,” she said.
She stepped back and took both of Alicia’s hands in her.
“I just know you will be,” she acknowledged.
Anna looked around and saw her duffle bag on the floor went over and grabbed it.
“Well, wish us luck,” she said.
“Good luck and have a safe voyage,” Alicia said back.
“The same to you both,” Anna stated. “Get to the convent and let Alphina do all the talking and dealing with the nuns there, ok?”
Alicia Marie nodded her head once again. Anna placed the duffle bag back down on the floor and rushed over to the other girl.
“God go with you and keep you safe,” Anna said sweetly.
“Via Con Dios,” Alicia Marie replied.
The two girls hugged once more, turned to their personal drones and headed off in different directions.


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