I slammed the flier on the oakwood desk making Korin jump. She was a med student from the Mother planet that dropped out of college and defected from the United States because of the propaganda instated by The Syndicate, thank my lucky stars everyday that she decided to be my Control.
“What’s this?” She asked setting aside the pile of paperwork she was doing, picking it up and slipping her silver half-moon spectacles over her nose. Her asymmetrical bob covering the left side of her face.
“A moon Race.” I answered quickly. “It’s on Io, and the winning prize is huge, it’s enough to bring Eun home.”
“Three-hundred and ninety- seven million Xan.” Korin whistled.
“Yeah, it looks like the competition has been blown away by that ace pilot from Bazaor.” My mouth curling into a grimace balling my fists so that my nails dug into my palm. “He’s still waiting for competitors to join him, and it’s high time I got back in the races.”
“Do you think you can win, Lin Chun ?” She asked me skeptically.
“I have to try.” I replied shortly, Korin sighed.
“We still have your old racer, but it’s repair is imperative before Io.”
“Are you saying I can do it?” She nodded reluctantly tucking her platinum blond hair behind her ear.
“But Io is even more dangerous than anything you’ve ever done before, it’s a treacherous prototype course.” She said typing a few keys on her computer, I peered over her shoulder. She had pulled up the moon’s profile on the world wide database. Io was yellow and orange with volcanic activity and a sulfuric atmosphere, the picture was a livefeed from the moon, the clouds looked to be an evil yellowed color.
“I figured it would be something like this.” I muttered.
“Not only is it volcanically active, but it’s so cold that the air alone would freeze your flesh right off,” my Control stared at me. “Are you positive that you want to race again? I’m not sure if you can mentally handle it after-”
“I can race.” I replied quickly, “I have to bring Yuu home.”
“I will support your decision if you can fix the kinks in your racer in time before the race.” Korin said taking off her glasses so that they dangled like a talisman from her beaded strap. I hadn’t seen my craft since Antarctica, the motor was probably shot along with a plethora of other problems. “Do you think you can fix it in a week and be up to par in two?” Korin moved the flier to the side of her desk.
I nodded firmly.
“I see, then I will submit you into the contest.”
“I don’t know what I’d do without you, Korin.”
“I wouldn’t even want to think about that.” She said sarcastically rolling her eyes. “Let’s go to the market. I’m sure Vlad will be happy to see you again.”
They checked the tubes that protruded from a large tank which snaked across the floor plugging into a large power generator in the middle of the cold dark laboratory. Other hostages had been set up in their own prior to her arrival. Many of them had succumbed to the sedative and were serenely floating asleep. The girl’s fists hammered against the glass as the liquid level rose, she would not be so easily silenced.
Her mind began to drift as a white liquid in the IV that was stuck in the crease of her right elbow began to slide into her veins. The girl tried to tear it out of her arm, but the medicine was a little stronger than she anticipated.
She screamed as the blue fluid went past her chest, “stop this!” The girl shrieked reaching for the ceiling of the tank with her working arm and wrapped her fingers around the pipes. The fluid was up to her chin as she sucked in a few desperate breaths.
“Cut the lines.” The girl heard shadows in white lab coats say from outside.
“No!” She cried making a gurgling sound as the fluid went past her chin, spitting it out of her mouth the girl gasped for her last few breaths of untainted air.
“Miss. Song, you will be able to breathe. It’s liquid oxygen.” Said one of the scientists, putting a white gloved hand against the glass.
“You’re insane!” She yelled, “my sister is going to find you and you’re going to regret it when she does!”
The girl was submerged under the liquid oxygen, her arms failing momentarily until she found that she could breathe, a trail of bubbles came out of her mouth as she screamed but could no longer speak. The senior scientist shook his head.
“She’s convinced that her sister will save her.”
“Not if the Hand has anything to do with it,” The other scientist said adjusting her red horn-rimmed glasses.
The senior scientist met the girl’s glare in the tank. Something in those eyes suggested to the contrary, as if she knew full well that her sister would come and that she would be their undoing.
Vlad was a tall man, but he wasn’t human. He’d told me once that he was from a galaxy about twelve million lightyears away from the solar system. In his native language, his planet was called Etheria, or “Sacred Land”.
He’d shared so much about his homeland with me that it felt like I’d been there before. Unfortunately, I could never see it. The planet had long since been submerged in war and destroyed by the Black Hand because they refused to comply with the races. I wished that Earth had been above the persuasion of The Syndicate, but there was no denying them the power they sought unless you were making a death wish.
Vlad’s repair shop was about two miles away in Endymion Crater. That’s where most of the more expensive parts stores were located, it was reminiscent of a Terran car garage.
“It’s been a long time, Lin Chun.” He called sticking his balding head out from under the craft he was working on. His eyes were almond-shaped and a dark hazel color.
“That it has, Vladimir.” I said strolling inside with Korin lagging behind looking skeptically at a little more than slightly overpriced nitrate dioxidiser. I’m seeing about fixing up my craft. Would you want in?” His sharp eyes glinted.
“Like hell. It’s going to be a monster to fix.” He spat with a laugh.
“You know how I love a challenge.” I couldn’t help smiling.
“It’s a comfort that some things don’t change.”