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The Duna Chronicles: Chapter 2


Alpha 360
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After the dismal failures of several series, I am determined to purse this one to the finish. With school starting, I have decided that I need some downtime doing something semi-productive. And so, I present the Duna Chronicles!

 

Chapter 1

Spoiler

      "Macgan! What has happened to your office?!" yelled Jebvan Kerman at me. His blonde hair in unusually messy ball of curls, highlighted by his darker green skin. His eyes mostly empty, he had probably had an impromptu nap in his off office down the row.

       I put a stupid smile on my face as I replied, "Nothing, only doing a little spring cleaning.”      “It’s Autumn now! Look, science papers everywhere. Two nearly unusable copies of Issac Newton’s Principia, three dictionaries, and eight half-empty note books just on your desk. I’m not even mentioning what is on the floor.” He stamped angrily.

      “Listen, I can do what I want with my office.” I said, becoming serious.

       “Remember that I come in here every other day, please. This just stresses me out.”

       I shrugged, “Your cleanliness is what stresses me out. Blueprints stacked on the shelves, rows and rows of them all perfectly in order. Listen up, I’m not going to change my ways if you aren’t going to change yours.”

      “I’m sick of you!” Jebvan kicked over a stack of books on the floor. I lept to my feet,

       “Listen, treat me with respect, would you?!”

        Jebvan glared at me through red eyes, then stalked off to his office down the hallway. I plopped back down on my seat angrily, then set to cleaning out my bookshelves.

         My phone rang and I picked it up angrily, “Yeah, who is it?”

         “This is your boss. I heard you had your fifth argument in your block this week. Macgan, this is a part of the KSA. We are supposed to value respect and peacefulness. If you keep pushing our regulations, we will have no choice but to fire you.”

         Half of his speech went unheard by my ears until he mentioned that fatal word, fire.

         "Listen, I’ll try to, to restrain myself next time.” I slammed the phone down on the receiver. My calendar on the wall, flipped forward a couple pages. Grumbling to myself I took no notice of the large 1993 on the top of the page.

         I was still cursing under my breath when I left the skyscraper where I worked. It was so annoying for my boss to wave that undefeatable threat under my nose. I just didn’t like to get along with people. Some would understand, knowing my past. But most would hit me over the head, telling me that I was quite an idiot.

         I followed the crowd to a line of apartments two city blocks down. I entered one of the generic apartments, and stomped up the stairs to the third floor. I glanced at the elevator as I passed. It still hadn’t arrived from the first floor. I snatched the key out of my back pocket and ground it in that blasted keyhole, which relented after a minute of fumbling around.

        My flat was one of tens of thousands. Low pay apartments, all the same, all built by the owner of kerbalkind. I flung my suitcase onto my bed and shrugged out of my second-hand jacket. I glared around me, then kicked the foot of my bed.

       I collapsed on the floor grasping my foot.

       “Shoot, shoot, shoot, crap.” I rolled around onto my stomach and lifted myself up in cruel temperament.

        I looked around for the remote. It had to be somewhere in the mess on the kitchen counter.  I rifled through the wreck, and picked it up. I turned around and turned on the TV on the left side of my bed.

        A grinning green face peered through it. “Hello, kerbettes and kerbgents. It’s me, Jerry, your favorite news broadcaster. Our top news. Mr. Kerman has pronounced the space program, KSA, as the main priority for this planet. As our brave kerbals from the Duna II mission return, Mr. Kerman dared Gene Kerman, the KSA chief director, to colonize Duna in the next twelve years. Whether or not Gene has counted Mr. Kerman’s dare with a triple-dog dare, is uncertain.”

         I turned it off. All this propaganda was irritating. Mr. Kerman’s influence was visible everywhere on Kerbin. Centralization, the space program, Giant inter-continental railways which delivered thousands of tons of good everywhere on the globe. Jebvan had worked with Mr. Kerman on several different sites as the chief engineer, he had witnessed the orderliness of it all.

          “He’s just amazing, everything he says, he does is done with the least amount of energy or wordage spent. Everything is orderly, and under control.” I could remember Jebvan’s words so easily.

            Quickly I fixed myself a dinner and went out on the balcony. If there was one thing which could defuse my anger, it was the view. The sun was setting behind the skyline of Kerman City. The red light showered the other buildings, giving everything a reddish gleam. I looked down at a commotion down the room. I saw a cluster of small green dots around what looked like a sign.

            I squinted at the sign, it was probably one of those Kraken marches. They had been illegalized since Mr. Kerman came into office six years ago. Yes, the faint sound of their chant just reached me, “All fear the Kraken, all fear the Kraken, all fear the Kraken.” Ah, there were the cops, groups of green kerbs in blue were dispersing the crowd.

            I sighed, then the house phone ringed inside. Muttering angrily, the sunset lost its glamor and I stumped inside.

            “Who is it?” I muttered into the phone.

            “This is Podgar Kerman, of the International Intelligence Agency.”

            “Really? Well, I have been paying my bills and everything so why the crap are you calling me?” I rolled my eyes even though he couldn’t see it.

            “You used to know a Jebvan Kerman?” he asked in a mild tone.

            “Used to know…what in the blazes are you talking about!” I yelled at the phone, dreading the answer from the other side, “I, I was just talking to him less than an hour ago!”

            “Jebvan Kerman has disappeared, he was last seen heading in the direction of the director of KSA’s office, but didn’t arrive at the expected time of 6:10.” I glanced at the clock, it read 7:20.

            “So, you have been looking for him?”

            “What do you think this call was for?” Podgar sounded slightly strained, “If you have anything to say about his disappearance, please alert us of it.”

            “Nothing, I have nothing.” I muttered and put down the receiver. I fought with Jebvan over the silliness of cleanliness and now he was gone.

            I took several deep breaths, then fixed myself an extra strong coffee. I drank deeply from my mug and mulled over what Jebvan looked like when I last saw him. He must have been preoccupied. He almost pulled me into a fight over one of my frequent spring cleanings. I was a fool.

            Where had he disappeared to? Maybe got waylaid by a gang, or found his way into one of those illegal drug stores to rid himself of his sorrows, which I knew were plenty.

            As I stood up a breathless kerbette entered and slammed the door behind her.

 

Edited by Alpha 360
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Chapter 2

Sorry for the delay. Chapters should come every three days.

Spoiler

Without thinking I threw my mug of coffee at her large green face. It was surprisingly amusing and releasing to see the intruder shaking and beating his head on the floor, his visage displaying spasms of pain.

            “Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, hot, hot, hot.” she repeated hurriedly to the floor as she snatched at my blanket to wipe the coffee grinds out of her lidless eyes.

            I guffawed at her pain. It was always hilarious to see somebody who you didn’t give a crap for in desperate pain.

            After a minute of desperate cleaning, she quickly got to his feet, “Listen, you need to hid me. The IIA are going to be here any second!” She was on his knees begging and mumbling something about a second chance and being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

            “Alright, listen. Get under the bed.” she then fell down on the floor and rolled under the bed. The moment he disappeared the door burst open again and three agents in super cool black suits entered the room. They observed the wreck which was my apartment with the greatest severity.

            “We had heard noises of a scuffle up here. We are on the track of a young kerbal who was running away from a scene of crime.”

            The agent showed me a piece of paper with the picture of the kerbal in question. It greatly resembled the person under the bed, thin face with stringy black hair, “Have you seen this kerbal?”

            “No, no I haven’t officer.”  

            The bed trembled slightly, but just enough to pass unnoticed.

            “Alright then, well, call us if you need to.”

            The door opened again as the bed shuddered once more.

            “Ah, son.” The officer turned back, “Is your bed sick or something?”

            I tried to conceal my fear, “That’s my pet, ur, Fred. He’s a, a Pygmy Puff. He likes it under the bed.”

            The officer nodded slowly, then turned back into the hallway. I closed the door behind him, then said, “You can come out now.”

            The Kerbette crawled out from under the bed and wiped an inch of dust off of her clothes.

            “Wow, that was close.” She grinned.

            “Who are you?” I demanded.

            “Tess Kerman, I’ve been on the run for the past few years.” She added.

            “Why?”

            “Well, I managed to sneak into a big old meeting with all the big dogs in it and listen into their talk, then at the end I activated a load of seperatron fireworks into the meeting, and I have been on the run ever since. Oh, I did it for a dare.” She smirked.

            I stood aghast.

            “What, wha.” I mumbled to myself.

            “By the way, in that meeting they were talking about the possible that aliens were contacting us.” 

            My eyes crossed and re-crossed, “I’m, I’m just going to take a nap.”

            When I woke up, I was still on the floor, the room was still a mess, and now Tess was at the counter making herself some food from my stores.

            “Ah, you’re awake now.”

            “What are you doing?”

            “Making myself some breakfast.”

            “Breakfast!?” I leapt to my feet, then stumbled backwards into the door.

            “Yes, you went asleep on the floor, so I just slept in the bed.”

            I was feeling dizzy and confused, “Why are you here again?”

            “Oh, don’t worry, I’ve done this at least a dozen times. They reacted just like you. Now, I will stay the day then tonight I will head off into hiding again. Its very nice of you to have all this stuff. I should make an excellent breakfast for myself. But it will take all the eggs you have.”

            I simply stared dumbfounded at her for at least a minute, then I spoke, “I’ll, I’ll just call the police.”

            I yawned, then moved over to the telephone.

            She kept working in the kitchen, making it more of a mess if it was possible, “You know, I cut the telephone wires last night, so that phone doesn’t work. It should be easily repairable once I’m gone.”

            The was a flash of smoke from where she was cooking and what looked like an omelet flew and landed on the floor.

            I was simply stunned once more as she tread on the mess of eggs on the floor, heading for the mop on the other side of the room.

            “Just get out.” I mumbled to myself.

            “What? What did you say?”

            “GET OUT!” I yelled.

            She nodded, “Thanks, don’t worry, I’ll leave tonight.”

            The door swung open once more. My heart leapt in my chest as the officer from last night stood there.

             “Macgan Kerman.” He read off a note pad. He looked up at the pair of us frozen in our movements.

            He walked into the room and placed a hand on my shoulder, “I formally arrest you for hiding a convicted criminal in your apartment.”

            “NO!” I screamed stupidly. I realized my mistake as the word exited my mouth. The officer frowned. I shrugged my shoulders, then I picked up my suitcase which was on the floor.

            “I’ll just pack.” I said. Then I hit him over the head with it. He fell down unconscious.

            “Tess, I really hate you for this.” I shot a look at her.

            She didn’t pay any attention to my glare and started to put all the food she could get her hands on into a plastic bag.

            “Great! I was wondering when somebody would hop along my train. It has been awfully boring when I’m along.”

            A faint idea formed in the back of my mind, “Listen, I’ll come along only if you agree to help me look for my friend, Jebvan Kerman.”

            “Agreed. Now it takes about ten minutes until the police will get to this apartment, so get everything you need.”

            Five minutes later I had all the belongings that mattered in my suitcase. Tess had said that a plastic bag would have done better but I replied that I didn’t care. She took my reply more seriously than I meant and didn’t mention it again.

            “So, what now?” I asked. It was slowly getting to me that I was about to live a vagabond’s life. Away from the law. Into the underworld of crime.

            “Now we climb to the top floor, then fall down the back.” I stared at her incredulously.

            “Oh, land on your head, and everything will be okay.” She said reassuringly.

            We left my apartment. I shut the door and locked it. I sighed as I placed the key back under the mat next to the spare key and put the mat back. I must have sniffed because Tess tapped me on the shoulder, and pointed towards the stairs.

            We climbed up the stairs to the roof. I looked around, startled at the height we were at.

            “Careful, we need to fall at the same time down the back into that alley. That was the way I got in.

            We stood side by side at the far side.

            “You said we would be fine when we jump?”

            “Yes, perfectly fine.”

            “But….”

            “Jumping in 3. 2. 1. Jump!” she cried as she pushed me off the building. She followed, making a spectacular dive. The ground was rushing towards me quickly. The I spotted the police patrol heading down that same alley.

            “SHOOOOOOT!” I cried. My quick run from the law looked to be ending before my eyes.

 

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