The magnetic tracks whistled smoothly as the elevator rushed upward at a rapid pace. After a few seconds it slowed down and shifted in a horizontal direction. Evila steadied herself as the momentum changed in the small cabin. She was thinking hard about the supplies they would need to gather for the mission. She whispered quietly to herself and rubbed the tips of her fingers together. She often did this when she was faced with a big problem or a really hard test.
Tony looked at her and studied her intense features for a minute or two. Evila looked really cute when she was focused and concentrating on something. Her long pointed ears would move back and forth, like two aerial antennas searching for a signal in the bleak atmosphere. Her nose would crinkle slightly and her brow would get all knotted and tense. Occasionally, she would flip her sparkling hair from side to side, as if throwing off one failed idea and switching to another.
To Tony, her nervous habits seemed like poetry in motion, and he stood thinking about her for a moment. He wondered if all Tenatians were just as complex as Evila. He wondered if this is how things were supposed to be from the beginning. Maybe his fate was never to fall in love with an Earth woman like Jessica, but with a woman from the stars; a woman more complex and sweet than he could have ever hoped to imagine. At that moment, he felt something powerful take his senses by storm. It stirred in his chest like a whirlwind and wouldn’t let up. He identified the feeling instantly; it was the feeling of good fortune and luck. Chance had dealt him a winning card with Evila. He felt like the luckiest Tenatian man in all the known universe. He smiled proudly to himself and let out a contented sigh. He was on top of the world right now. He felt invincible for some reason unknown to him; he just felt it.
Evila has repaired my world and my universe, he thought blissfully. She is the constant that I had hoped for. I feel such a strong connection to her and this new way of life. I feel like I belong here. Tony paused and changed his thought pattern quickly… his brain was heading straight for a wonderful epiphany. He said the words slowly in side his head as they came to his hearts. Could this be love? Could this be what infatuated fools feel when they are smitten with desire? Have I fallen prey to my senses?
He looked over at Evila again and felt the feeling even stronger. It was burning like a bonfire in his mind. He wondered if she felt the amazing feelings also. He was go-ing to say something romantic to her when there came a stabbing pain in his abdomen. He looked down at his bare chest with confusion. He lifted a hand and held it over his growling stomach. It was rumbling and hurting.
He looked over to Evila. “Are you hungry?”
Evila came out of her deep thoughts and looked at Tony. She raised her slender green eyebrows. “What did you say?”
“I asked if you were hungry because, man, I am really hungry.”
Evila laughed softly at Tony’s spontaneous statement. Tenatian men were all the same, constantly thinking about their stomachs. She spoke up. “I bet you’re way hungry. You probably haven’t eaten in at least 24 hours. The cloning labs usually don’t feed their test subjects any food before they enter the grand arena. It tends to slow them down and make them more vulnerable to being killed and eaten. Our people want time to study these subjects in action; we want enough time to collect data. Although, if you ask me, I think it’s a cruel way to treat the humans we work with.”
“Wow!” said Tony with a grin. “That sounds a lot like what we do on our planet with the lesser rodent species. We tend to experiment on them in our science labs, and the environmentalists go crazy about it. They call it animal cruelty. I never thought humans would be placed in the same category as a lesser experimental species. It’s just weird to hear you say stuff like that.”
“What is an environmentalist?” asked Evila with curiosity. The word almost sounded made up and fake. If Tone’i was trying to trick her it wasn’t going to work. She was as sharp as a root laser. She could cute through false statements just, like, that. She was determined to get to the heart of this matter, “Is it one who watches your ecosystem very closely? Are they good?”
Tony chuckled. He couldn’t believe he had to explain this to a high being. He cleared his throat, “Yeah, they watch the ecosystem all right; maybe just a little bit too much if you ask me. They think humans are destroying the Earth one petroleum product at a time, but I think they are full of crap when it comes down to it. Yeah, they have good points on the subject of treating animals right, but I doubt a mouse has the same rights as I have when it comes to living and dying. I would save another human being before I would save a pet mouse, or bird for that matter.”
Evila looked confused. “What do you mean?”
“Well…” Tony thought for a minute. He wanted to make his comparison count. He was searching for an example to show Evila what he was getting at. “I guess it’s a lot like saying that humans have all rights that Tenatians men and women do. That humans are equals with you guys in every way possible, and you should treat them with the same respect and admiration that you would show unto any other Tenatian. I guess that, that is what I am kind of getting at.”
Evila laughed suddenly and shook her head. She leaned over and pushed Tony into the elevator wall. That had to be one of the funniest things she had ever heard in her life, “That’s a good joke, Tone’i. I have never heard that one before. Humans having the same rights as we do. Yeah right, you guys can’t even live by the simple standards that your own governments have established. How could you even live by ours?”
“I am serious Evila, that’s what it’s like,” said Tony bluntly, “it’s just like saying if a science lab on this ship were burning down, and you had to choice between saving a human and another Tenatians, what would you do? Would you save the human or the Tenatian?”
Evila stopped laughing. She lifted a hand to her mouth and thought quickly about the question. She responded, “I would save the human most definitely without question.”
“What?” exclaimed Tony. “What!”
Evila laughed at his surprise. She continued, “If, and only if, that human were you Tone’i, I would save him in a heartbeat.” She smiled really big.
Tony shook his head. Evila wasn’t getting it at all. She was missing the point he was trying to make with her, “But what if it wasn’t me in the science lab. What would you do then? Would you save the Tenatian?”
“I don’t like talking about weird hypothetical situations that will never happen. It’s redundant to even think about something like that occurring on this ship. This ship is completely fire proof in every way. You could throw this thing into a Gorgoon Sun and it would never even come close to melting. It can’t burn down, we are safe.”
“But what if it happened by some weird chance and you had to choose. Just tell me, stop playing around with me! Please!”
Evila sighed, “If I had to, I would save both of you.”
“What if you could only save one?”
“Oh, I believe I could save you and the other fairly easily,” said Evila as she winked at him. “I am a pretty strong girl. You would be surprised.”
Tony laughed and shook his head. He could see that his stacked reasoning was not going to work on someone as intelligent as Evila. He dropped the subject altogether and leaned against the elevator wall. He lifted a hand again and held his growling stomach. It was still hurting a bit.
He looked up at Evila. She was still studying him with her big green eyes, no doubt wondering why he was so frustrated at something so small.
“So, basically you’re saying that I haven’t eaten in like a day or so?” asked Tony rhetorically. He wanted to get off the subject they had just been on, “No wonder I am hurting here. I am so hungry I could probably eat a whole horse. Can we get something to eat on the way to -C- Deck? Are there any fast food places around here?”
“Nope, nothing like that. We can’t stop for anything. All the food places are either on -D- Deck, -F- Deck, or -A- Deck, and I have no reason to go to either of them right now. We have to pick up the formula and the catalyst and head to -Z- Deck; that’s our main objective. I don’t want to be late. If we are late that means the worst for our people. Do you understand?”
Tony nodded his head and looked away. His stomach was still gurgling with pain and unease, “Is there anything else we need to do before we go to -Z- Deck and switch things up? I mean the sooner we do this, the sooner we can eat, right?”
“Of course; as soon as we are done, we can eat,” said Evila with assurance. “But before we can eat, we need to gather the stuff. All we need is the formula and the catalyst from my science locker. Once we have them, we can use this key card to access the lower Decks of the ship.”
“Okay, whatever you say.”
“We need to be careful, though. We can’t afford to get caught by the space officers who patrol the science labs. This ship is very big, but it’s not uncommon for a patrol unit to be walking up and down the halls. We could get caught. We need a good story to tell the officer.”
Tony felt anxious as he thought about getting caught. He pushed himself off the wall and stood by Evila. “Well, we’ll have to be very careful, now, won’t we. I don’t want to go back to Deck -X- with that crazy guy.”
“We have to be extremely careful. I have been thinking about what to say to the guards if we are stopped in the hallway.”
“And did you think of what we should say?”
Evila smiled and shook her head. “No, I didn’t. It’s pretty hard to explain what has happened to you, Tone’i, with out giving everything away. You stick out like a cosmic supernova. What with the neon blue eyes, and the lighter skin, and the streaks of blue in your hair; it’s like walking with a human all over again. People will notice.”
“I’ll tell them I am sick!”
“I don’t know; a moon virus!”
Evila laughed. “There is no such thing as a moon virus.”
“We can make it up, or something?”
Evila sighed. “No, we honestly can’t make it up. All Tenatian viruses are dangerous! We would be quarantined in a heartbeat.”
The elevator stopped at that moment and the display screen flashed Deck -C-. The steel doors slid away revealing a hallway that was perpendicular to the lift. One side of the hallway went to the left and the other side went to the right. Bright yellow lights were flashing everywhere as Tony and Evila left the elevator. A robotic voice was repeating the same message again and again over the intercom system. Evila paused for a minute and listened to the bizarre announcement. When it finished she looked over to Tony and smiled really big. She started to get excited.
“This is good news!”
“What is good news?” asked Tony.
“What the message has just said. It’s good news.”
Tony looked up at the dome shaped ceiling with all the speakers. He hadn’t paid attention. “What did the message say? What’s this all about?”
“The Dean is having a big meeting with the whole school in a few minutes. That means everyone will be on Deck -D- for his lecture. We don’t have to hide quite as much. We can grab the stuff and get out of here more easily! All the space officers will be patrolling Deck -D- for any radical human activists that want to cause trouble. It’s usually that way with conferences.”
Tony smiled. “That’s good news indeed. Why is he having a meeting right now? What’s he going to be talking about?”
Evila shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe he’s going to tell the whole school about the mass extinction of the human race. It’s policy that the Dean tells the faculty and auxiliaries his plans before he carries them out, but it’s also very strange.”
“I didn’t think he would make a public announcement about a subject so touchy as human genocide, I thought he would keep all this crazy stuff a secret. He must fear investigation from the T.E. He’s trying to save his butt right now. If the majority of the ship approves he won’t go before the T.E. council. He’ll just write off his decision as a majority vote. The T.E. can prosecute a majority vote from the space academy.”
“What the heck is the T.E.?” asked Tony.
“It’s our main system of government. The Dean has violated a few laws.”
“Wow indeed!” repeated Evila forcefully. She turned and started walking down the hallway to the other end. In silence Tony watched her go. He studied her slender hands as they swayed gracefully back and forth by her hips. She had a cool locomotion about her that couldn’t be beat by any creature on earth. To Tony, She was everything rolled into one. She was beauty. She was intelligence. She was elegance, and she was all his in some weird powerful way that he couldn’t explain.
Tony smirked slightly as he followed her down the hall. He breathed in her sweet smell and shuddered lightly as it filled his mind. His hearts started acting up again. They were pumping at what seemed to be a hundred miles per hour. Suddenly, something strange happened to Tony that he couldn’t explain. All the emotions he was feeling leap-ed from his chest and went somewhere else. It felt like he had just packed up all his love and desires and mailed it off to somewhere.
Evila stopped suddenly and put a hand over her chest. Her hearts were fluttering all over the place. They felt like two supercharged electrons in a small box. Her mind suddenly filled with happiness and joy. She almost felt like singing. She almost felt like exploding into a million emotions at once. Her mind went all over the place. She went from wanting to be in Tone’i arms, hugging and kissing him, to wanting to get something to eat on the food decks. She almost couldn’t separate her feelings from Tone’i. She let out a deep breath and spoke up softly. “Tone’i…you need to control yourself.” she bust-ed into a school girl giggle as a feeling of worm love hit her. She concentrated and tried to regain her composure, “are you thinking about me right now?”
Tony blushed and shifted on his feet. “Uh… umm… No! Okay, yes!”
She turned and looked at him with her wondrous green eyes. A few strands of hair fell over her vivacious face. She looked like she was trying to stop herself from run and jumping into his arms. She looked gorgeous. “Let’s try and focus on the mission at hand, okay. I can’t have you driving my senses crazy right now with your thoughts! It’s hard enough to focus as it is!” she flexed her muscles and turned around.
Tony nodded slowly. “I agree.”
“Okay, good. I’ll talk to you later about what’s going on with us.” Evila waited for the whirling feeling in her chest to go down. It didn’t go down at all; as a matter of fact it got stronger. It was almost becoming too overwhelming for her to handle. She wanted to be in his arms now. She looked back over to Tony and smiled really big. “Are you still thinking about me? Are you even trying to stop?”
“It’s hard! Sorry, I just like the way you walk.”
She smiled and suppressed a giggle forming in her throat. This was going to be harder than she thought. She had to distract him in another way. “Okay, I understand what you’re going through. Humans can certainly be creatures of strong passion. Why don’t you come over here and walk next to me. We’ll talk about something else for a little bit. Would that help?”
Tony nodded his head and quietly moved up beside her. They started walking down the hall again.
“How did you know I was thinking about you?”
“It’s the way we are designed, Tone’i. Our Tenatian bodies respond harmoniously to love and romantic feelings. What one feels, the other feels, it’s as simple as that. We are like two tuning forks vibrating at the same frequency. What one feels the other feels also. If you feel love, I feel it also. If you feel hate, I feel it also; if you feel cold, I feel it also. We are connected in some powerful way. It’s what comes with being soul mates and it will only get stronger as we progress through time. Pretty soon you will think and I will understand, and vice versa. We will begin to change one another, and make each other better. You are not human anymore, Tone’i, your body holds powers you don’t understand yet. You have to keep it in check. You have to focus!”
“You mean that we are becoming one? Is that what you mean?” asked Tony with wonder.
Evila smiled. “Yes, we are slowly becoming one.”
Tony felt a burst of joy enter his chest suddenly. He could tell that it was from Evila’s brilliant soul. Her presence inside his hearts and mind felt warm and amazing. He didn’t want it to end, but sadly she pulled away.
“We have to focus. Okay? We can talk about all this stuff later. It’s driving me crazy with desire having you inside me now. It’s also very distracting!”
“Okay, will talk about it later,” said Tony as he let out a deep breath. His mind continued to think about the amazing feeling Evila had sent him. Evila gave up trying to keep him focused and in check, Tony was going to think about her whether she liked it or not. He was still human on the inside.
They continued down the long hallway until they got to the proper cloning lab. Evila ran the key card through the pad and stepped back. The silver door dropped away and revealed a dark room. The smell of harsh chemicals poured into the hallway and caused Tony’s eyes to begin watering. He held his nose as they stepped into the dark room. The door shut behind them.
“I have to find my locker and pull out the stuff,” said Evila. “It shouldn’t take long.” She walked over to the far wall and started reading through the closed cubbies that sat mounted in the steel. She came to her locker and punched in the code. The steel door swung open, revealing her lab clothes and equipment. She shuffled quickly through it all and found what she was looking for. She pulled out the catalyst and the formula and held them in her hands. Each monochromatic solution was in a long, hard, cylindrical tube. She shut the door and looked over to Tony.
“I found them.”
“Good! Can we go now?” asked Tony as he looked around the room at all the weird devices. The equipment resting on the steel tables looked more like torture devices than anything else. He hated the whole atmosphere in the room.
“Yes, we can go.”
Tony looked over to her. “Let’s change the world.”
She giggled at the choice of words and headed for the exit. In moments they were heading down the hallway and to the elevators. Their next stop would be Deck -Z-.