The Academy

Chapter 8

Simons POV

“Simon Tam?” A bored looking guard asked from outside the holding cell.

“Yes?” I stepped forward.

“Daddy’s here.” He grinned. “Time to go.” He pulled me out among taunts from the other men in the cell. At the entrance leading to the station he handed me to others who led me through to where Father stood. He didn’t waste anytime before starting to reprimand me.

“Have you completely lost your mind?”

“Pretty nearly,” I answered like a brat, but I was disgusted him.

“We got the wave at the Friedlich’s. I had to leave your mother at the dinner table.” He showed more emotion about that than in had in the past week as I tried to explain what was happening to River.

“I’m sorry, Dad.” I stress the word because he prefers to be called Father. “You know I would never have tried to save River’s life if I had known there was a dinner party at risk.” I no longer cared if I angered him, it meant nothing to me.

“Don’t you dare be flippant with me. I just spent two thousand credits to get you out of here, and I had to walk through that door which goes on my permanent profile.” He looked at me, searching for any sign of remorse, there was none to find. “Are you trying to destroy this family?” I knew enough not to point out that his lack of compassion for his daughter had already destroyed our family.

“I didn’t realize it would be so easy.” He looked almost hurt and for a minute I felt bad. “Father, I-I didn’t do anything.”

“You were in a blackout zone!”
“Talking! To someone who might be able to help River. And I’m going right back there.” He’ll would never understand, he had too much faith in his precious alliance. He whispered in Chinese too quickly for me to catch his meaning.

“This is a slippery slope, young man. You have no idea how far down you can go, and you’re not taking us with you.” His voice was full of fear and hatred.

“Meaning what?”

“I won’t come for you again. You end up here, or get mixed-up in something worse; you’re on your own. I will not come for you.” He paused, but I only stared blankly at him. “Now, are you coming home?” I looked at him for a minute, then stepped forward, pulling him into a hug.

“Give that to mother for me,” I said before stepping back and turning around. “Thank you for getting me out.”

“What? Simon,” he called commandingly after me.

I stopped and turned. “Tell her I’m sorry that she’s lost both her children now.”

“Simon Tam,” he yelled, but I turned again, striding out the front door of the station.

The alley in Shaiming was dark, and seemingly deserted. I walked through quietly, looking for any sign of the man I had meet with earlier. I still didn’t know his name. I was afraid either he had taken off with the money, or hadn’t escaped the officers.

“Simon Tam.” I almost smiled to hear his voice.

“What is your name?” I asked, turning to him.

“They call me Adam.”

“Adam?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“The first.” He nodded.

“And your real name?”

“They took it away from me at the school. I no longer have any recollection of who I was before. We should hurry.”

I followed him as he led me down a twisting path through alleys I couldn’t tell apart, all the while worrying about River. My loving mei mei. Would I find her as odd as Adam was. Had Adam been a fun child, eager to learn? How much had the school broken him?

“Here.” Adam lifted a rusted gate enough for me to crouch under, and then followed me. The gate shut loudly behind us, or maybe it just seemed loud in my terrified head. Adam led me through a dilapidated series of hallways until we stepped into a giant warehouse room. Three men stood as we entered, guns drawn.

“You,” one of them shouted. “Arms up!”

“Huh?” I glanced at Adam who kept walking to them. Apparently I was the one being ordered.

“Ma shong!” He cocked his gun and I immediately threw my hands in the air.

“Check him,” he ordered one of the other men who, quickly searched my pockets and patted me down.

“Nothing.”

“Watch him.” The man to the right if me cocked his gun and pressed it to my temple.

“I think there may be some misunderstanding, if you just.”

“Shut up,” the man shoved the barrel of the gun against my head. I swallowed, and shut up.

“Let’s see the money.” The man took the bag from Adam, dumping the bills on a bent dirty table. He scanned the bills, and smiled. “Let him go.” The gun was pulled away from my head, and the man stepped back.

“Sorry about that,” the one in charge apologized stepping forward. “Name’s Thomas, nice to meet you. You met my boy Adam already, and fellow you were up close to with the gun, that’s Jacob. Quiet man over there is Shinji.”

“Um…hi.” I gave them all a slight wave.

“You understand we need to be cautious, make sure you weren’t playing us for a fool, you know.”

“Yes, I understand.” I nodded, because I did know that.

“Right then. Seems you’re on the level, and Adam here says you may be in a bit a trouble with the big law makers.”

“I would wager that, yes,” I agreed.

“Well then, shouldn’t take more than a week or so for us to get things together, we’ll give you a place to sleep through then.”

“Thank you.” I wouldn’t turn down the offer, though I thought I might sleep with one eye open.

“Hate to have to take your money like this, but you understand the greater purpose.”

“Just get my sister back; I don’t care about the money.”

“Family man.” He clasped my shoulder. “I like that. Adam!”

“Yes?” Adam stepped up beside him.

“Make up a second bed for our friend here. He’ll be staying with us.”

“Yes,” Adam nodded. “Come with me.” I followed him down another hall to a small room. I assumed it used to be a storage room. Two cots sat in it and Adam began to put sheets on the second cot.

“Here let me.” I took the sheets from him and he backed up to sit on the other cot.

“She’s very important to you.”

“Yes,” I answered, sitting on the half-made bed.

“That’s good.” He nodded to himself. “When I, when I first got out. It wasn’t good for a while. The things they do to you. It’s,” he paused. “It’s hard getting used to the real world again. Things seem, askew.”

“I’ll do my best for her.”

“That’s good.” He nodded again, laying back on the bed and shutting his eyes. With a sigh I followed suit, not bothering to finish making the bed.


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