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Chapter 6 Transcendence

A brown violin played and the light cast Cassidy’s shadow on the wall as she moved with the rhythm of the music. The bow moved and her fingers pressed against the strings. Her gold star sparkled as the light shined from the ceiling and from the depth of her spirit she moved her soft lips, singing a song. The singing was beautiful, and goosebumps would appear on the skin as you heard it.

The wind blew from the ceiling fan and papers from a desk flew toward Cassidy’s face, causing her to stop playing. She removed the paper and on it were sketches of drone designs filled with notes and numbers.

She placed the papers on a dining table and played again, moving her legs with the beat, but her mind wandered and played wrong notes. Someone knocked on the door, and the distraction caused her legs to twist, and her feet slipped on the wooden floor. She stumbled, and the violin flew from her hands.

Dakota, a brunette, athletic woman, opened the door. The violin soared, and Dakota yelled as the violin slammed into her stomach, causing her to fall. She laid there and held her violin.

Cassidy got up and ran. “Dakota, are you alright?”

Dakota took a deep breath and said, “My god. Next time I’ll just wait until you open the door.” She grabbed Cassidy’s hand and wiped the dust from her clothing. She walked into the room with Cassidy and said, “Are we going to deliver the food and the clothing?”

She put her violin in her case and walked toward the mirror. “Yes, let me just put my contacts on.”

Dakota crossed her arms and paced around the house, and her shoes tapped a blue violin with a broken neck and with strings sticking out. It leaned against the wall and fell as she tried extending her hand to save it but the violin chipped, revealing a green color from the cracks. She turned, and Cassidy was behind her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t ...”

Cassidy’s blue eyes twinkled, and she said, “It’s ok. It used to be green, but I painted the violin blue. Mostly cause it’s my favorite color. In the past, it was a gift from Donovan on our first anniversary, and at that time we were sitting around a campfire together, but that violin has been broken ever since Donovan lost his job. He said he would fix it but hasn’t had a chance.”

Dakota said, “How’s he doing in his job?”

Cassidy doesn’t smile, and she said, “He’s doing good, but I sure wish he would have taken the job you offered him that same day.”

Dakota said, “Well, it was his decision. He didn’t wait, and he could’ve got a better job from me.”

Cassidy said, “Well, why don’t we head out then.”

They left the house and walked to a bridge carrying large plastic bag with clothes and bags of food. While they were walking, the cold air blew and stung their faces, and when they arrived, a group of people with tattered clothes ran toward them. Their fingers showed from the holes of their gloves and smudges of dirt covered their faces.

The sight of them touched Cassidy’s heart, and she gave them bags filled with containers. A big smile crossed her face as the parents and the children took the food.

Dakota gave them the bags of blankets and clothing, and her heart warmed as Cassidy hugged a child who drew her a drawing. It was stick figures of people gathered around Cassidy playing music and the rays of the sun shined on her.

They took the hot steamy soup and sat with Cassidy and Dakota near a fire from a barrel. Their conversations and laughter echoed from the bridge, and the people asked her to play a song for them.

Cassidy smiled and took her violin from her case. She played, and they danced to the beat of the music.

Dakota smiled as she leaned on the wall with her arms crossed.

A strange stocky man with a hole in his shoe walked toward the bridge, and a couple of other strong men followed. He stood and said, “Hey you, aren’t you the wife of Donovan?”

She stopped playing the music, and the crowd turned.

The veins on his neck bulged, and he said, “Your husband ruined my life as well as others. He got us all fired, and now most of us live on the streets because of him. We were framed, and now no one will hire us.”

Heat moved toward Cassidy’s eyes, and she gulped.

He said, “We’re not traitors. Your husband Donovan is a traitor to this country and your nothing but a ...”

Dakota shouted, “That’s enough. Another word leaves your mouth, and I’ll slam your face into the cement.”

He said, “Your threats mean nothing to me. You’re only a woman.”

Dakota’s muscles stiffened, and she uncrossed her arms. Scars and cuts covered her fists as she walked toward him with a fire burning in her eyes.

Cassidy said, “Dakota, stop.”

Dakota’s eyes widen, and she stopped.

The man laughed, and he said, “Why don’t you listen to your friend. You’re only going to get yourself hurt.”

Dakota clenched her fist.

Cassidy said, “Dakota, please let’s just go.”

They walked away and went to a restaurant together. Dakota cooled down and said, “Why did you stop me?”

Cassidy said, “Because I know where you’re from and what you can do. It was best not to intensify the situation.”

Dakota slurped her drink and said, “How could I let someone insult you. I won’t let someone attack a kind person like you. I’ll never forget what you did for me in the past. You’re my best friend, and I’ll protect you.” Dakota then told funny stories to Cassidy, but she didn’t smile or touch her food.

Cassidy’s eyes watered as two people flew a drone together outside the window. She interrupted Dakota and walked to the bathroom, wiping her tears from her eyes and looking downward. Her chin touched something cold, and it was the star that hung from her necklace. She grabbed the star and covered the ruby, and as the heat from her hands traveled to the star, the ruby glimmered its red light on her wedding ring. She walked from the bathroom and sat with Dakota at the table.

Dakota said, “Are you alright?”

Cassidy said, “I’m fine.”

Dakota asked for the check, and they left, walking toward Cassidy’s car in the parking lot. A man stumbled in the alley, touching his stomach as blood dripped through the cracks of his hands, and he dropped to the ground.

Cassidy ran toward the man.

Dakota said, “Hey, wait.”

They arrived, and it was the man who insulted Cassidy. He had been stabbed multiple times.

Dakota crossed her arms and said, “Serves you right. Come on, let’s go.”

Cassidy mouth hung open and said, “How dare you say such things. Don’t be cold.” She started to take care of his wounds.

Dakota said, “He insulted you and your husband. He got what’s coming to him.”

Cassidy said, “Bitterness doesn’t help our world, and there’s no way I would abandon someone bleeding to death. Where is your heart, Dakota? Didn’t I help you one time?”

Something gripped Dakota’s heart, and she didn’t say another word.

A cold wind blew, and Cassidy put her coat on the man’s body. She said, “Call the ambulance.”

The man awoke and saw Cassidy taking care of him. He gasped for air and said, “Why... why are you helping me?”

Cassidy said, “You’re injured, and you needed help.”

The man said, “I don’t understand you.”

Cassidy said, “People’s heart change as long as you show them love.”

Tears slid down the man’s face, and he said, “I’m... I’m sorry. Please for ... forgive me for what I said to you.”

Cassidy said, “It’s ok. I forgive you.” The ruby on the star glowed and its lights shined on her white blonde hair. She placed the star in her hand and scratched her head, wondering why it shined randomly.

The man smiled as he closed his eyes and the ambulance arrived, taking him on the stretcher. As the ambulance drove away, the outline of the man’s body glowed the same color as the ruby.

Dakota lowered her head.

Cassidy tapped her shoulder and said, “It’s ok, Dakota. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re a strong and good friend.”

Dakota smiled and thought, You’re so kind to me no matter what. I will always respect you.

As they walked to the parking lot, Cassidy went to throw away some garbage. When she arrived at the trash can, a damaged drone with wire stuck out and laid in the waste. She put her hand on her chests as her heartbeats tapped on her fingers.

They entered Dakota’s home where her furniture was sleek and organized. Pictures hung on the wall and Cassidy and Donovan was in many of the photos with her as well as a few of Cassidy friends. Dakota’s arms were crossed in most of the pictures, and she barely smiled only when Donovan and Cassidy were there. Only one photo had a picture of Dakota smiling more than usual, and it was with another brunette with green eyes who was her friend in the past.

Dakota sat on her leather couch and said, “You’re quieter than usual. What bothers you? C’mon, you can tell me.”

Cassidy said, “It’s Donovan. We’re okay now, but for the past couple of days, I feel like he’s been hiding something from me. I feel like I’m in denial telling myself that he’s ok. However, this week he has been avoiding me and has been waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes I find him passed out somewhere in the house. He keeps telling me everything is alright, but I really don’t believe him.”

Dakota said, “Don’t worry. He’s probably stressed out about work, or maybe he’s just working on one of his hobbies. You know those silly hobbies.” She mimicked Donovan’s voice and said, “You just watch Dakota, I’m going to change the world, and everyone’s going to know my name.” She stuck her tongue out and crossed her arms.

Cassidy laughed and said, “Yeah, but I’m sure he could fulfill that dream.” She drunk her water and smiled. “I don’t know. Maybe I was overthinking this. But I hope things will get better than they are now.”

They talked till the evening and Cassidy drove home as Dakota waved. She arrived home and walked into the house. A buzz saw sounded in Donovan’s work area, and he sketched and wrote notes with his muscle shirt on as she stood by the door.

Donovan wiped his sweat from his forehead and said, “Hey, love, how are you?”

Cassidy said, “I’m doing alright. I just went to hang out with Dakota.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and said, “Your home early. Did you finish your work on time?”

Donovan cleared his throat and said, “Not exactly. I just decided to come home early because I thought things would get done quicker.”

Cassidy leaned over the desk and said, “Well, what is it that you’re working on?”

Donovan said, “Well, I’ve been asked to develop new security bots. I have also been working on other things, but this was before I got this new job. I’ve been working on it for some time already.”

Cassidy replied, “That’s cool. Could you show me?”

Donovan opened a cabinet with a bunch of his designs, and different types of drones in strange shapes covered the paper.

She turned the pages, and something different appeared. It was a detailed sketch with lots of notes on the side. The sketch was a design of the human body, and Cassidy said, “Why did you draw these drawings?”

Donovan scratched his head and said, “Oh, I didn’t know I left those there. These were designs that I messed around with. They’re too advanced, complicated, and dangerous to even create at this moment. I was just using my imagination of what could be, but it’s nothing serious.”

Donovan walked to the window and put his hands on his head as he looked into the city. “Back then I thought it would be cool to somehow upgrade the human body. We could extend our lifespan and finish more things than in our current state. We wouldn’t even have to deal with cancer or diseases. These are just idea that I thought would be cool to see happen. But I don’t know. It’s just probably a silly idea.”

Cassidy said, “That would be cool, but I enjoy my current state. I wouldn’t want to be a machine.” She chuckled and said, “I wouldn’t want to be a robot. I would look funny.” She massaged his back and said, “I wouldn’t be able to feel your warm touch. I think you’re amazing, and I’m glad I’m with you. I believe that you’ll make a positive difference in our world, but never forget me.” Her beautiful blue eye stared into his, and she said, “I love you, Donovan. Always and forever.”

Heat rushed to Donovan’s heart, and he smiled. “I love you too with all my heart.” He kissed her and wrapped his arms around her body.

It got dark, and Cassidy was asleep in her bed, but Donovan was not there. In the living room, he sat in the dark with his hands on his forehead and touched his chest as he thought, Why does it feel like there’s a giant hole in my heart? Why won’t it go away?

His brain pulsed and stung as tears streamed down. Something gripped his heart, and it stung his chest. He trembled and said to himself, “What have I done? Why am I such a fool? Why do I always try to take matters into my own hands?” He clenched his hands and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I going to leave the Trioscepters before it’s too late. I’m done with this.”

Something fell in Donovan’s work room, and he walked, tripping over a gray hoody, but Cassidy didn’t wake up.

Donovan was inside his work room, but there was nothing unusual, and while he was there, he gazed at everything he worked on. He stepped forward, and a damaged drone was on the floor. Donovan put the damaged drone on a shelf but realized that the hidden door was left open and the light from the room shined on him. He thought, I don’t remember opening this.

As he stood, he stared at his invention in awe and said, “You’re my masterpiece, and no one will ever know what you are until I pass away. You will leave behind my legacy.” He closed the door, and his invention went back into the dark.

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