Chapter 7: Alone
TW: Suicidal Thoughts, Sadness, Symptoms of Depressions
One year later
Turns out you can go to the mall and getting imprisoned into an high-tech Union prison.
Even if I was in an apartment, it felt like a prison to me without them.
I once more mentally got over the details on how I spent the last year of my life into this prison this was my most cherished memory I couldn’t forget it, so I forced myself to go over all the details once again, I don’t care about the pain I just couldn’t forget it.
Just after the last chapter
We were in the mall and I was kissing back Sylvia, they broke the kiss and we were just in the aftermaths of what just happened, we were kissing, together?
- “I love you” we simultaneously said before kissing once again
and again, and again, and again, and again.
About half an hour later we took off the dress, paid, and just wandered in the mall hand in hand, everything was perfect. A new body, with a new perfect soft airy and high voice I was just so content with and a perfect partner who I loved dearly and who loved me dearly. Everything was just so perfect.
We were shopping in another boutique trying to find matching shoes for our dress as we did not like the shoes displayed in the previous boutique, I was alone in the corner of the bathroom fixing my makeup while Aarin was with Sylvia trying new shoes. Just as I turned myself away from the mirror I saw movements, I barely noticed what was happening before I woke up in a cabin no different from the one Syl and I had in Aarin’s spaceship, but I was alone. And the door was closed. The ship’s AI did not responded to my commands and the ship’s monitor were not translated in my language.
I didn’t have time to overthink as the door opened and a tall, big man entered the room. He was impressive, I was a bit terrorized. I quickly deduced it was on purpose, this ship looks like an Union ship and I’m sure they can customize their disguise. Lastly I knew it was not Aarin, despite being apparently cold he has a kind heart, he helped me and took us under his guidance even if we knew it was surely not legal, but the person before me was not. He radiated an aura of cold ruling.
- “Pardon me for my language, unlike Aarin I did not learn your language I use the universal translator” I nodded “Welcome to the admiral ship of the Union Navy miss Luivon, may I call you Ariana?” I nodded again “Thanks you Ariana, I am Admiral Nass, you can call me Nass, you should be able to pronounce it, commanding officer of the admiral ship of the Union Navy, I oversee the action of the Union Science Fleet and the member of its roaster, including your friend Aarin.” I nodded, again.
- “Why am I here?” I tentatively asked, even if I knew it had to be related to the fact Aarin took me under his guidance and helped me, I wonder where is he, did he got caught too?
- “You’re here because you’re under arrest under the Article 70 of the Union Convention on Outside Worlds, well technically he’s under arrest but we failed to catch him, you were spotted with him walking on Europa a few months ago, as you’re human and not a citizen of the Union you should not have been here. You will help us track and capture Aarin to punish him for his crimes.” That answered my questions about him.
I was dumbfounded, there was another team of scientist present on Europa at the same time? And they missed that? Damn it that was bad, they even took photographs of them on Europa.
I will not help them track Aarin, he gave me this body he helped me and was kind, but do I have even a choice in the matter?
- “And if I refuse to comply?” I asked, also softly as to not anger the big man on the admiral ship.
- “You will be imprisoned on a high-security facility pending trial, if Aarin shows up you’ll be pardoned, your memories of him and the Union will be wiped and the body alteration he did to you will be reverted”
This was bad, I could not let them revert my “body alteration” as he phrased it, I much rather preferred to be imprisoned in his place.
- “And what are the usual penalties for this crime”.
- “Death” He said, calmly, coldly, like my death to him was as meaningless as the death of a bacterium to me, well I guess that my death was as meaningless to him as the death of a bacterium to me to be honest.
I faked taking time to think as I just tried to calm myself, I finally get the love of my life and I had them for a couple hour before being capture by a powerful alien government and threaten of death.
- “Ok, I, Ariana Luivon, refuse to comply” I said confidently, knowing I couldn’t led them to Aarin if he risked dying by my fault
After this interview they did not came again, my room had a bed, a miniature kitchen with an ingredient replicator so at least I would not die of hunger, it has a terminal that refused to boot up, I guessed they denied me the access to their internal network. If only I listened to Syl when they told me to follow this course on computer science in New Paris University, it was more of a wishful thinking as I doubt human computer science could teach you how to hack a high-tech alien ship network.
I missed them. Badly.
What could I do without them in my life? I don’t know… maybe the death penalty did not sounds so bad after all, it would be soon over?
No I couldn’t think like that, I know Syl and Aarin won’t stay immobile in this game, they’ll act I have to trust them as they must act silently to avoid detection.
I leaned back in the bed, and tried to sleep in that room.
3 months later, Union Central Arrival
Finally, we were in orbit of Union Central, the view was incredible up there, millions of artificial satellite were buzzing around, the incessant travels of various shuttles were clouding the darkness of the vastness of space. I learned that there is other shapes of vessels than spherical one. I saw a cube vessel. A cylinder one, all sorts of geometrical perfectly smooth vessel. There was also some science fiction grade ships with big engines and huge head, one day I spotted one that was exactly like the Battlestar Galactica from a 2000 TV show I loved. Others were right if someone pulled them off of a Star Trek show, I came to the conclusion that even alien, big nerd were universal.
The quiet rumbling of the fusion reactor eventually came to an end and I knew what that meant, I was to be debarked and would be imprisoned on the planet. The door suddenly opened and Nass entered with two big guards, it’s funny how they always wear their human disguise while talking to me. And I wonder why he came with two big armed guards, Nass was pretty big himself, what can a barely five foot (153cm) nineteen years old girl could do to him? They put cuff on her and she was escorted to the shuttle bay, Nass piloted using the human mode, what was going on why are they all in human form?
Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to see the surface of the planet as I was blindfolded and I was allowed to see again as we entered a big building, big was an understatement I could not comprehend the sheer size of this building. It appears to be more than ten kilometers wide, fifty kilometers long and almost five kilometers tall, all in a gray colour. I was blindfolded again and the cuff were unlocked in what seemed like an observation room, made for human physiology too, it was weird? Maybe they have automatic adaptative furniture.
- “Hello Ariana, I think you hadn’t change your mind on the subject of the collaboration” I nodded “So be it you will be detained into this prison for the time being, pending trial, as a non-citizen of the Union you do not have the right to have a lawyer to assist you.”
So much for an advanced civilization they deny access to a lawyer for foreigners, I have a feeling The Union is a lot less utopic as they initially appeared to be.
I was once again cuffed and escorted into a room that was nearly identical to the one on the admiral ship, the cuff were unlocked and they quit my room. Fortunately they seems to be somewhat human in their manner of treating prisoners, I have a terminal with access to some basic information such as teaching material, a table, a full-fledged kitchen and a bed. It was bigger and more luxurious than my dorm room back home.
I found myself thinking of this day again, the day everything happened, I missed Syl so much, I hope they’re okay, fortunately they was not on Europa with us so it’s a reasonable assumption to think they’re okay on earth, probably trying but failing to forget me. I knew them so much and here I was lying in a bed, more than eighty light years away from them and I was missing them more and more each day. Please be alright Syl, please be alright.
6 months after the capture, Union Central Criminal Court
- “And by these information provided to me by the military, the science military and Ariana herself, I declare Ariana to be guilty of lying to the military in the efforts to find Aarin, she is however declared not guilty of the other charges”
I sighed at least I could not be executed now, I spent the last three months reading and preparing myself for this trial, now I just had to wait and see what would happen,
- “She is hereby sentenced to work for the public government of the Union, she can’t quit Union Central, a permanent union citizenship must be issued to her to be recognize at part of the Union and provided an apartment.”
I was surprised, did I just got sentenced to… be a citizen?
3rd person POV
6 months after the trial, one year after the capture
She sighed as she finished the recapitulation of everything that happened, life was not so bad here in Union Central, she was officially a permanent citizen of The Union, She could even quit Union Central and go work elsewhere, but she was banned from space travel outside of the major lines between planets of the Union.
The lack of Union-wide easy to use interconnection of network made trying to contact Aarin impossible, she was sure that he knew she was okay and was trying to save her, but what saved meant here? She was technically almost free, she was a full citizen of the Union, could travel in the Union territory provided that there was a major line here and provided she kept her tracker on her, well it was in her so it was difficult not to take it.
But it felt like a prison, she was going to work, grading papers, came back home and rest. Sure she had one or two friend but she was alone, Sylvia was not here. And she started to doubt she will ever gonna see them again. She refused to date, she declined the simplest of social invitation, she was alone so she made sure to stay alone.
She worked as the head of the Union University Earth Studies, she created the department a month after she graduated from the Union University Accelerated Professorship Program, to be honest she had native knowledge of earth. Life was not awful but life was tasteless without Sylvia, she did not see the point in living it, she continued to push forward in life, just for her student, who became the only reason to live.
Speaking of student, she just received an email, yeah the email protocol was so robust it was used by an alien high-tech organization such as the Union, with the absence of an internet the routing was a bit different but the spirit was the same. Emails survived every instant-messages app or protocols.
It was a picture, no a painting, of one of her student, Uyuk his name was, she had to admit he was kind of handsome, and he tried more than one time to offer her to go out, she refused stating that as his professor she couldn’t do it, but she just didn’t want to, she couldn’t do it, Sylvia was her life.
She was depressed, and she knew it, but unfortunately, or fortunately for them she thought, depression was not a thing in previous Union species, so she lacked support and appropriate health care, even if it was pretty scary how medical professionals of Union Central perfectly knew the human anatomy, human doctors take years to learn just human medicine how on earth do the union one learn hundreds of different anatomy, this level of knowledge scared her.
However, she did found a counselor not affiliated with the government or the military, and began telling them her story, it was refreshing talking with someone, and she had access to human-compatible medication if need be.
6 months later (1 year and a half since the capture)
I tried to keep track of time on the ship but it was impossible, and now that I was on another planet? I could only work with their time system, I guess it’s been a bit over one year and six months now? But I can’t remember where we are on the earth calendar. Huh funny “earth” calendar, I’m already thinking of myself as more of an Union Citizen than as a Earth Citizen, it was bound to happen after a year living here I guess.
My apartment is significantly better than my various prison cells, and I decorated it well I thought, my study was decorated with student art work, my art work, or student’s children drawings, it was really similar to an elementary teacher room to be honest, and I was teaching in college.
Life wasn’t more tasty than before, life was still gray, dull, useless, only these pills kept me alive for this many time, I used to use my university pass to learn, and I learned a lot about computer science (thanks Sylvia!), propulsion theory even if I was far from good and from the level of Sylvia in this field I should now be able to understand them!, I learned art theory, philosophy, mathematics, physics, theology, history of the Union, I absorbed a lot of information about the world I was living in.
But nothing would numb the pain of missing Sylvia. The pain was everywhere, omnipresent, always here to disturb me.
2 years post capture.
It’s been two years! I think ? I miss Sylvia so much, the pain is still there, more painful than ever, but I will not kill myself, I already took way more pills than I was supposed to but it didn’t matter anymore
I was in medical mandatory work break because of my mental state, my body is frail, I lost every muscle definition I had, I lost so much mass I was on the verge of dying each time I tried to get up.
The end was near I could feel death coming for me, it was time! I suffered for two years, waiting for that moment to happen, the moment I would finally be allowed to die, to stop existing, the moment my consciousness will slip and the moment the last spark of life in my body will die.
- “I’m sorry Sylvia” was the final thought I had the energy to form, my energy now completely depleted the spark did not had fuel anymore and quietly I slipped into the eternal slumber, 3….2….1…. and everything went black.
End of Chapter 7: Alone