The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 20

Friday, August 11th, 7:26 AM

Casper, WY


Evan looked around. They stood in the exact same positions as before they left, facing at the motel room door.

He turned back to Freddy. “Why did they put us in the same positions?”

"I don't know, man. Maybe to prevent some sort of spatial disruption to this room, this dimension."

“Yeah, well, this isn’t supposed to be here now,” Evan said, staring at the Unihertz phone yet in his hands. “This could be disrupting some spatial aspect in this room. And what was up with no windows and doors in that dungeon?”

Freddy barely glanced at the phone but then rushed over to the dresser and mirror. “You noticed that too? Probably part of their hack end thing.” Freddy carefully began lifting the coffee cups and other breakfast items out of the way. “I don’t see anything yet.” He kept at it, searching.

“Neraeh, are you okay?” Evan put the Unihertz on the bed and placed a hand on her shoulder as she walked after Freddy.

“I guess I am,” she answered, placing her hand on his, though she continued walking.

She helped Freddy, once near the dresser, even searching beneath the dresser’s broad length. Yet both of them could not find a thing. Evan did his own searching but wasn’t any luckier. 

“Must have been a swap,” Freddy said. “That Unihertz, maybe took the place for it. I don’t know.”

“I rather doubt that, seeing how advanced all of this was.”

Neraeh checked again under the cups and napkins on the breakfast tray, her hands shaking as she did so. “Maybe one of them had a handheld device that secretly brought it back, while we were talking to them. But then again, we don’t even know what we’re looking for.” She stopped searching and looked up at Evan. He could see now her whole body was trembling. “Maybe they only needed it as some sort of marker to get us there, but not to bring us back.”

"Good point," Freddy told her.

But Evan couldn’t ignore her trembling body. “Neraeh.” He gently placed both hands on her shoulders and softly passed them up and down along her upper arms. “I think you should sit down.”

“You’re right.” Her chin was trembling. She blinked several times, even squeezing her eyes shut for a few moments. “I feel like crying, but I’m not…I’m not going to. And I can’t stop thinking my whole belief system, my faith, just got completely altered.”   

“Been there, done that, believe me.” Evan took her in his arms and held her close, her body melding eagerly against him. "But It's all right, it's all right. I'm very shook up too."

Freddy stepped over and wrapped his arms around them both. “Me too, man. Me too. That was…well, heart stopping.”

Evan wrapped an arm around Freddy too. “You’d think, I would be used to it and all, with what happened in the hull.” He focused his thoughts on what Freddy had just said. “You okay though, Fred?”

“Yeah. Rather decent right now. Just somewhat exhausted and drained. I don’t think it was any sort of radiation or electromagnetic forces from that whole transfer process, just high-level stress, shock, I guess.”

“I think so too,” Evan said. “We should be all right.”

“I’m sorry, really sorry.” Neraeh’s voice showed she yet struggled to hold back crying. “I’m exhausted and drained too. But…but I had to do this.”

“It’s okay, Neraeh. Don’t worry about it,” Evan said. “After all. We’re alive, we’re okay, and we’re back in the motel room.”

She didn’t say anything more and only clung to Evan. He continued to hold her closely, warmly.

Freddy gradually released his embrace on them both. Evan could hear him slump down on his bed.

Neraeh loosened her arms from around Evan and looked up at him. She looked at Freddy on the bed. She looked back at Evan. “Thank you. Both of you, for coming with me. From the bottom of my heart.”

“Of course, Neraeh,” Freddy said. “No problemo.” 

“It’s okay, hon. I’m just glad they, well, so far anyway, seem to be on the good side.” He removed his arms from around her. “But, we need to talk.”

After picking up the small Unihertz phone and handing it to Freddy, the dude’s curiosity stare all over it, he sat down across from Freddy. Neraeh sat to Evan’s right.

“All right,” Evan began. “I don’t fully believe all that Art and Kamal told us, but I still do have a gut feeling that yes, Syrrah is alive within Dana.”

“Thank you, Evan,” Neraeh said. “I’m glad you believe that.”

“Sure, of course, hon. But. So. Here’s my plan. Yes, I want to apply for Dana’s security position. Not sure I will get it, but worth a shot.” 

“Agree, dude. But things we need to know.” Freddy kept his focus on the Unihertz phone while he talked, searching for something on his own phone at the same time. “What happens if you do get it? And secondly, what happens if you don’t?”

“Already gone there. Let’s go with the worst-case scenario first. If I don’t get it, well, then, we pack up, get in the Ram, and head back home. That’s obvious. And, if I do get the job, I’m hoping somewhere in between now and when Dana does her concert in Minneapolis, we can figure out some way, somehow, to find out if Syrrah is within Dana, for sure, and if she wants a way out.” He looked at Neraeh. “What Art said, about his cousin, Felicia. Maybe allowing Syrrah to be within her, although I don’t see how. But if possible, would you even consider it?”

“I wonder if he implied Felicia has some sort of psychological problem or something, or maybe she’s mentally disabled,” Neraeh said. “I mean, if she’s not mentally cognizant anymore, maybe that’s why?”

“I don’t know. Good point.”

“Yeah,” Freddy said, “because Art stated emphatically he wouldn’t switch Felicia with Dana, so that means Syrrah would have to take over Felicia’s body completely.”

Evan let out a disgruntled snort of air. “Yeah. Of course. Maybe that’s why he’s pushing this so much.”

“Wow, I don’t know,” Neraeh said. “But, then, if possible, where would Syrrah live as Felicia? And would she even want to be with me and my dad, now, after being someone so rich and famous, to being, well, just some relative of Art? Not anything against him, but…but she wouldn’t be her, she would not be Syrrah anymore.”

Evan nodded slightly. His heart ached again, even thinking about this. “Yeah. Like we said earlier. She’ll never really be Syrrah physically again. But she would still be Syrrah inside. But that’s even if she wanted to leave Dana. It’s too hard to speculate now.”

“Besides that,” Freddy said, “what would people say who knew his cousin, like other family members or her friends? What would they think, finding out she’s living somewhere else? Could be opening a whole can of worms no one can anticipate.”

“True,” Evan said. “No one can really say for sure.”

Neraeh gazed steadily at Evan. “But if you do get the job, then, what about Freddy and me?”

“Yes. Of course.” He directed his attention on Freddy yet playing around with both phones. “Fred. Much as it will kill me, because though I love you dude, like a brother, I hate having anyone else drive my Ram Girl. But you two will have to take her back.”

“Dude, no problem.” Freddy picked up Evan’s guitar resting against the night table. “And what about your five hundred-dollar Taylor here?”

“Yeah, I thought about bringing it with me, since I rarely go a day without practicing. But it probably won’t be allowed, and even if they did, it could get damaged somewhere along the way. Cost enough. And I only want to focus on the security job and Dana, for Syrrah. Please take it back with you.”

“Sure, yeah. We’ll bring it home.” Freddy gently rested the guitar back down. “And have you figured out what to say to Coach Romano, if you get the job? Master Ren and Bob’s will always be there, but that full ride for the year?”

“Yup. I know. Still thinking about what to say.”

“You received a full ride scholarship, really?” Neraeh asked.

“Yes, I did. But, it might be reduced to a partial-ride, so only some of my expenses are paid. Or maybe I’ll lose it altogether. But Neraeh, I have to do this.”

She smiled at him. “I know. I appreciate it so much.” 

“Dude,” Freddy said, “but what about all those EBEs supposedly besieging Syrrah as Dana? Art obviously knows, or he wouldn’t have offered to protect you.”

Evan grasped his hands together. “Honestly. All of this is so damn hard to believe. It really doesn’t bother me, though, the EBEs. If he can help me, great. If not, I’d figure something out to keep staying by Dana, to help her…if I get this job, of course.”

“Those aliens are extreme control freaks, putting Syrrah through all of this. If it’s all true,” Freddy said. “I wonder if it’s all some sort of sick experiment for them, like what happened to you with the hull.”

“Better not be,” Evan said. “I swear, those responsible…not sure what I would do to them.” He laughed a little. “Like I could do anything.”

“Here, dude.” Freddy leaned across and handed the Unihertz to Evan. “Checked online. Yes. A legit phone. We just never heard of it before.”

Evan took it in his hands. “That we know of.”

“I’m going to do some online research, on Art and Kamal,” Freddy said. “See what I can find.”

“Sure. Thanks, Fred.”

Freddy reclined back on his bed until resting his head upon his hands, on the pillows. “Speaking of traveling, I got a question for all of us. Do Art, Kamal and their gang live around here? They said Wyoming. Because I could have sworn it was only ten minutes or so after we left the Ram and walked in here that they decided to teleportal us out to their concrete abode. Riverton is around two hours away, don’t forget.”

"Oh my gosh, you're right," Neraeh said.

“I thought about that too,” Evan said. “They probably do live around here, and were scoping out the Riverton base, two days ago, at the same time we showed up.”

Freddy took on his inquisitive face. “Or, maybe, they can transport themselves to wherever. Maybe they were right outside the door, and once they got Neraeh’s call, they transported themselves there first. And then got us there too, some seconds later.”

“Yeah, who knows, could be, except I doubt they’d do it out in public, reveal their secret.”

“True that.”

“But, we need to get moving here.” Evan glanced at his iPhone, ignoring the Unihertz for now. “It’s seven thirty-five. Need to get to that interview, before Dana’s tour takes off.” He glanced around the room. “We need to pack up first. I want to be ready to go with whatever answer we get. Okay you two?” 

“Sure thing.” Freddy stood up and reached across the bed, grabbing his clothes and stuffing them into his backpack. He stopped, and looked at Evan. “But we have a third option. What if Dana’s tour already left by now? Then what?”

“I guess same as if I didn’t get the job,” Evan said, standing up, with Neraeh doing the same. “We just head home and figure on meeting her in Minneapolis, or maybe even another city in her tour that’s close enough.”