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The Blade




Copyright 2017 Lindsey Schussman

Published by Lindsey Schussman at Smashwords




Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If youre reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or our favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.























Chapter one


Amid an already swollen sky, dark and purple clouds clashed as they drenched the landscape and fought with bolts of lightning. For the rest of the world, it was just another monsoon. A giver of life to the desert. And as they thought nothing of their yearly dueling clouds, a tremendously over-sized bolt made its way quickly through the bulk of water particles, smashing into the Earth under the cover of night and storm.

With the oncoming onslaught of rain from the skies, the washes in the desert below began to fill and bloat with rushing water. The liquid swallowed everything in its path, with a fluid darkness, washing and displacing all.

The rushing waters quickly surrounded a disoriented woman, who had materialized with the bolt that lit up the night of the desert. Her long hair being pulled by the force of the running waters, she coughed as it entered her mouth, blocking her breathing.

Weak and panicking, the woman gasping for breath, grabbed at the soft, saturated and muddied wash bottom, trying to gain stability. With her sight blinded by silt and sand, she fumbled around desperately, trying to find her way to safety and from the raging, rising waters.

Finding rocks firmly anchored, and with great effort, the woman perilously grabbed at each one, pulling up with such a fierceness, survival was the only word in her mind. As she reached the top of the wash, she rolled to her side hacking up water and sand. Her eyes became a bit clearer and she watched the night as it was lit up by flashes of light, uneasy by the sight of tall, brooding objects that surrounded her.

Trying the wave off the pains that singed her naked scraped skin from climbing the walls of the wash, the woman continued to crawl in the raging darkness of the desert monsoon. She gritted her teeth as she pulled herself through any and all pain possible, trying her best to remember where she was.

Crossing underneath the barbwire fence, proved troublesome, as the woman pierced her hands pulling at the wire and tore up her backside, dragging the rest of herself through. She took a moment to rest, turning herself over, agonizing in pain and looking towards the sky.

It was almost like a strobe light was pulsating through different shades of purple stained glass. The rain heavily dropped on and around her, the woman content resting for the moment taking shallow breaths. She took her hand, wiping the remaining grit from her face thinking, when was the last time she had been through this? Her mind drew a blank, but her skin quenched it, as if it was familiar, and had been a while.

The woman quickly smiled as a wave of familiarity rushed over her. When she first arrived, the need for survival surpassed all others, but now, clarity slowly edged its way in. Distant memories calmed her nerves and vague thoughts danced within. Feeling more confident, the woman continued to drag herself through the damp desert, as she was unable to move her legs. She knew not of where she was going, only that where she was, was unsafe.

Out in the middle of nowhere, the lone road was no safe place. Especially in the black of night and undoubtedly in the pouring rain. Luther and Maxine Prince were making their way home. They had just left the only hospital in a rural part of town after visiting Maxine’s sick father. There was just that last 30 minute ride on the desolate road before they got to the highway. No one enjoyed it, but it was the only way home. Luther gripped the steering wheel firmly as he strained to see out the windshield. His eyes swiped left to right as he tried to focus on the blurring road. And though his wife sat contently, falling asleep in the seat next to her husband, Luther was nowhere near as comfortable. As much as he tried to master the road of the rainy night, Luther’s uneasiness made him a complete mess.

In just the blink of an eye, out of nowhere, Luther’s eyes perked up to a fleshy color that flashed in front of his lights. He hit the brakes hard, catapulting his wife out of her seat, belt restraining her. The stop was too short though, for the car went over the object, both front and back tires jumping.

Luther exited the vehicle quickly, racing heart and bulging eyes. Within seconds he was soaking wet, clothes smothered by the drenching rain. Even though he knew he completely passed over the object, he still went to investigate the front of the car. The streaks of blood on the crumpled front end were quickly washed away. Luther hesitantly looked toward the rear of the car, knowing exactly what he would find. His jaw dropped as soon as he saw it.

“Maxine?!!”

Maxine quickly turned to look at Luther. “What? What did we hit Luther?!”

Luther shook his head as he checked her pulse. “Call and ambulance. We’ve hit a woman.”


























Chapter Two


Bright lights were blazing by, one after another, as well as brighter lights being flashed into her eyes. People were talking to her, holding her, trying desperately to fix her, but she understood nothing. It seemed her mind was still offline and she was just going with the flow. Her eyes wandered about the room, focusing on faces and objects. Her body was too weak, so protesting was out of the question. As the woman’s eyes became heavy, she caught a glimpse of a warm face, smile and big brown eyes. The face seemed familiar as her eyes put her down for a TKO.

Time passed for the woman who lay motionless in her bed. Her eyes would open and blink, but no words would escape her mouth. Before, the talking from the unknowns was muffled and confusing, but now, as time passed, the woman understood more and more. When she finally became fluent, the woman remained silent and listened to all.

Often, she would have visitors, mostly doctors stopping by to ask her questions, all of which started with a smile and bright gleaming faces. The woman would stare at them occasionally, either widening her eyes or flaring her nostrils. It was her main signal for “I don’t understand.”

As the woman became more aware and in tune with her body, she began to feel stronger gut feelings, all of which were telling her to not trust anyone. It was not until she overheard a conversation in the hall near her door, that she truly began to feel the uncertainty of anxiety.

Dr. Derrick Speedman was in a bit of despair. Everything about the new Jane Doe was just not adding up. All of her tests continuously came up inconclusive. He had run them over and over again, but yet found the results to be the same. As he was about to enter the Doe’s room, he was passed by a fellow doctor, a friend for years, Dr. Ida Yates.

“Oh, Dr Yates, may I ask you a question?”

Ida stopped as Derrick brushed her arm. “Sure, what is it?”

“You are aware of my Jane Doe, right?”

Ida smiled slightly, batting the lashes of her brown eyes. “Of course, I was in trauma when she arrived. Why, what’s wrong… She seems to be healing nicely?” There was a bit of concern at the edge of her voice.

Derrick shook his head, eyes narrowed with uncertainty. “Quite the contrary… For getting run over by a car, the woman seems to have received minimal damage.” He shook his head once again, looking into Ida’s eyes, then onto his patient who lay quietly in her bed. “All tests have come back inconclusive.”

“Perhaps you should run them again?” Ida inquired.

Derrick shook his head once again, taking a deep breath before he spoke. “Fourth time running them.”

“Same person running them?”

Derrick bit the bottom of his lip before he replied, the front part of his beard disappearing underneath his front teeth. “Different people every time. It almost seems as if...” He cut himself off as he gazed into his patient’s room.

Ida raised her brows. “Seems as if what, Derrick?”

Derrick moved in closer to Ida and whispered as he spoke. “I don’t think she is from around here.”

“Did you run her prints?” Ida asked.

“Of course. Finger, toes, retina scan. I've run hair follicles and can’t even get anything outta that. And have you seen her body scans?” Anxious, Derrick smoothed over his thick brown hair with his hand. It was always something he did when he was nervous.

“No, I have not, what’s wrong with those scans?” Ida herself too, was becoming nervous. She knew exactly where Derrick’s conversation was going. Ida knew she was running out of time. She was grateful for the loud hustle and bustle of the hospital, hopefully no one would overhear.

“There is an unknown material covering her entire skeleton. I looks like it was surgically put in a long time ago… Very archaic like, I might add.” Derrick licked his lips mind, racing with thoughts of insane speculation. “I can see the original placements, but over the years, it seems to have completely bonded with her. What the fuck does that?! I mean… We have barely learned how to reproduce body parts, and this chick just waltzes in here, exoskeleton on her insides?!”

Ida raised her brows and placed her hand over Derrick’s shoulder. He was quite the towering man, a strapping 6”2, but Ida and her short stature would manage. She knew Derrick for some time now and felt terrible for his ongoing ordeal. If she had been able to get to the woman first, Derrick’s turmoil would have been non-existent. “Why don’t you relax and turn this case over to me?”

Derrick stared off into space. Eyes wide and glazed over with galactic thoughts, and out of this world explanations. “I don’t think she is from here.”

“But you already said that.”

Still staring into space, Derrick took Ida’s hands into his, pulling them close. He did not make eye contact with her until they were close enough together that no one else would hear their conversation. “I mean, that woman is not from this planet.”

Ida’s mouth dropped. “What are you saying? She is from outer space?”

Derrick nodded.

“You have been watching too much Ancient Aliens, Derrick.” Ida replied sarcastically.

Derrick shook his head, gripping Ida’s arms, firmer this time. “I’m not kidding. At first, when I saw the skeleton, I tried to take a sample. It is removable, but disintegrates within seconds.”

Ida’s mouth dropped. She was beginning to be frightened of what she was hearing.

“So… I took the scope to the specimen.” Derrick looked once again at the Doe. “That shit wrapped around her bones. Almost seems as if it is a vessel for another living creature.”

“You seriously saw all of that?”

Derrick nodded, swallowing hard. “Not to mention, have you seen the scars that litter her body? It seems as if she was caught in a rain storm of falling knives. And the ones on her face? Looks like she was clawed at, by another person.” Derrick blinked looking into space. “There’s also some bullet scars in there too… You know what we have to do.”

Ida looked to the ground, then back up to Derrick. His eyes were a pale blue that seemed as if his discovery was sucking the life out of them. She began to move her head in protest, but Derrick stopped her.

“You know that this is protocol 38. We have an obligation… No, a duty to do the right thing. I’ll make the call.”

Derrick turned to leave, but Ida grabbed him, stopping him in his tracks. “How about you let me run some tests before calling?”

“Are you okay? I’d never imagine you would put the safety of the patients at risk. Is there something that you are not telling me?” Derrick’s eyes were narrowed and his mind was flooded with doubts about his coworker.

“Do you trust me?” Ida asked.

“Never had a reason not to.”

Ida smiled. “Good. Give me some time and I’ll get you your answers.”

Dr. Derrick Speedman took one last look at his patient, sighing as he spoke. “I hope you are right about this one, Ida.”

Ida walked up behind Derrick, patting him on the back. “I guarantee she will make a world of a difference.”










































Chapter Three


There was a certain curiosity that plagued the woman’s mind. Ever since she got her wits about her, she wanted nothing more than to explore her surroundings. But, the conversation between the two doctor’s seemed to somewhat ruffle her feathers.

If she was, indeed, not from where ever they thought she was, then where was she from? But the biggest question of her entire existence, starting from when she woke up choking on water, was as simple as to what her bloody name was.

The woman slowly crawled out of bed, releasing a light gasp as she felt the cold floor press against her heels. Flicking the switch in the bathroom, she stared into the face of a stranger.

Her face was definitely weathered, freckled lightly on the nose and cheeks, but heavily on the forehead. Her nose protruded out further than her chin, and her eyes seemed a glowing green. Her hair was long, dark blonde and very matted. It seemed as if it had not been tended to for a while. However, there was one feature she could not escape. Three scars, diagonally, went from the top of the forehead to mid chin. The woman lightly traced them with her fingers, feeling something familiar.

“Ahem.”

Startled, the woman peeked outside of the bathroom to see a tall and intimidating person. Her eyes were black as coal and her hair was dark as night. She stood boldly, hands folded, wearing a white skirt suit with black trim. She motioned for the Jane Doe to lay back into bed.

“I realize you may not understand me, but there are some questions I would like to ask you… My name is Mercer, Joss Mercer. I am the chief of this hospital… Do you have a name?” Joss rustled through the paperwork attached to her clipboard, examining the tests results.

The woman remained motionless, swallowing hard. She knew at that point she could reply, but was urged deeply within not to.

“Sweetie, I don’t want to be a bitch, but it is my job to protect this hospital and everyone inside of it. Now, I repeat, do you have a name?” Joss was becoming impatient. Not only with the Doe, but also with a few members of her staff who seemed to forget to initiate protocol 38.

“Don’t answer that question.”

It was the materialization of a human being that grabbed the Woman’s attention. To the left of Joss, standing, was a beautiful blonde headed woman with long hair, curled slightly at the ends and penetrating brown eyes. The woman turned to look at her, dropping her jaw.

“Excuse me?” Joss impatiently snapped. “Hello? I’m over here!”

“Your name is Lillian… And do not answer that woman. Play whatever you have to play, but do not answer her. And, you may want to look at her now, she cannot see me.”

Lillian slowly turned her head to look at the maddening Joss. Her cheeks were becoming red and as flushed as the blouse underneath her fancy white skirt suit. Lillian shrugged and acknowledged nothing.

Joss rose slowly and became dark, speaking low. “Consider this your last day in that bed.” She turned and huffed out of the room.

Lillian turned back to the materialized woman, amazed with what she just saw. “Are you real?” She asked.

The blond woman smiled. It was warm and inviting and she too had a familiar look about her. “My name is BEAR.”

“That’s a weird name for a girl. Usually big burly dudes claim that one.”

Bear continued to grin. “It’s short for Bio-Engineered, Artificial, Reference.”

Lillian narrowed her eyes. “Are you real or am I dreaming this?”

Bear took a few steps closer to Lillian’s bedside. Not a sound was made from movement, nor clacking heels to the ground. “If you consider a program to be real, then yes, I am real.”

“Ahhhhh…” Lillian, left speechless, was trying hard to compute. She knew not what to say, or where to start.

“I'm here to help you, Lillian. I have been designed to be a reference to help aid you in anything you may need.”

Lillian lifted one of her brows. “Why do you look so familiar?”

Bear released a short laugh. “My creators thought it necessary to make me look like someone you admired. Someone whom you would pay attention to. Based on your memories, I was the final result.”

“Zoie Palmer!” Lillian shouted out loudly as she slammed her hand down onto the bed.

Bear looked out the door quickly, making sure no one overheard the yell. “Well, close. I think you will find that I have the personality traits of one, Lauren Lewis?”

“No shit?” Lillian grinned. “I loved, Lost Girl!” She then raised her brow and tilted her head. “I had the biggest crush on the doc.” She said as she stared off into space, daydreaming.

“Lillian, I am here to help you with your transition.”

Broke from her trance, Lillian looked up into Bear’s eyes. “How are you here right now if you are a program?”

“Technically, I am a tiny nanoite swimming around in your body. I see what you see, feel, taste, and all of the above. I am here when you need me and gone when you don’t. You can see me. Others can too if the proper steps are taken. Like I said, I am here to help you transition.”

Lillian still did not understand. “What am I transitioning into?”

“A lot has happened since you left.”

“Left? Where did I go?” Lillian’s words were becoming shaky. “Where am I?”

“In time, all will be explained, I assure you, but for now, you must ready yourself to leave.”

Lillian’s brow’s lifted, then narrowed. “Leaving? To where?”

Bear pursed her lips, shaking her head. “Not yet to leave. We must know when the coast is clear.”

“I’d still like to know where I am.” Lillian demanded.

“In a hospital.” Bear Replied smartly.

Lillian looked about the room. “Obviously… You know, you are a pretty good smart ass, for a program.”

Bear smiled, her brown eyes gleaming. “Of course. I was created for you.” She then sighed. “Your memories will return, and I promise I will explain everything. Just not here.”

Anticipation was the killer of all things Lillian. There was a twinkling hint of memories, but Lillian knew not who was in them, nor where they were taken place. Waiting would have to suffice.




Chapter Four


Dr. Ida Yates peeked her head around the corner of the inpatient ward, looking left then right. Making sure the nurses’ station was clear, she stealthily made her way to room 309, quickly slipping in, and startling Lillian as she did so.

Lillian looked up quickly, glaring eyes, but softening as soon as she saw Ida’s face.

“Sorry, I did not mean to scare you. Do you have a name?”

Lillian lifted her right brow, folding her arms.

“It’s okay Lill, Ida is a friend.”

Lillian looked up to see Bear standing in the corner… Or at least hovering. She then looked back to Ida. “Lillian… My name is Lillian.”

Ida smiled, showing her pearly whites. “Good, it is you. Is that all, do you know anything else?”

Lillian shook her head. “That is all I have been told.”

“Bear?”

Lillian nodded. “Why do you look so familiar?”

Ida quickly changed the subject, placing her stethoscope to Lillian’s chest, listening. “Are you ready for a good run?”

“To where?”

Quickly rising, Ida went to the med station in the room, pulling clothes and shoes from the drawer. Tossing them at Lillian, she stole a glance from out of the door, looking both ways. She swallowed hard as she saw government officials down the hall talking with the nurses. She then turned back to Lillian. “Put those on, and hurry… We need to leave now!”

It had been a few days since Lillian felt the flutter of an anxious heart. It was an unknown threat that chipped away at her calmness. She fumbled with all aspects of her clothing, feeling as if it had been years since she actually dressed herself. She couldn't help but to notice Bear standing in the corner.

“Can you actually see me?” She asked while tying her shoe.

Bear folded her arms, smiling. “Not to worry Lillian, I see nothing concrete. I can see heat signatures and sound waves, and I am positioned according to your body location.” She tilted her head, blinking slowly. “And your insides. I can see all of you. I am the diagnostics check for your engine. For instance, your heart is currently racing. Current reading…”

“Lillian!” Ida quietly force whispered.

Lillian turned her head from the now rambling on Bear about her blood pressure and met up with Ida at the door. “Are we ready?”

Ida nodded. “We must be quiet.” She left the door ajar, allowing for Lillian to peer out into the busy inpatient ward. “Those men and women in uniform is what we are trying to get away from.”

Lillian raised her brows, dropping her jaw. “What did I do?” She asked.

Ida looked at her with sympathy and placed her arm on her back. “It’s not what you did. It’s what you are.”

Lillian shrugged. “What am I?”

Ida did not answer. Instead, she quickly grabbed and pulled Lillian from room 309, both of them hurriedly shuffled down the crowded hall.

“Where are we going?” Lillian asked, noting Ida’s tight grip around her wrist.

Ida rushed the both of them into the elevator. She pushed the button to the lobby, both women anxiously waiting. When both doors slid open, keeping her cover, Ida peered out to see if the coast is clear. “Shit!”

“What is it?” Lillian asked.

Ida quickly closed both doors and hit the button for the top floor of the hospital, the sixth floor. “The whole hospital is littered with government!”

“And going to the roof will help?”

Ida shook her head, arms folded. “It’s all I got.”

“Punch her.” Bear’s voice chimed out.

Lillian looked around the elevator, seeing only Ida. “What, where are you?”

“No visual Lil. If she gets caught, her life will be ruined. Punch her, turn right after you exit the elevator and run like hell.”

Lillian took a deep breath before following through with Bear’s request. It was a tough act to fulfill, but Bear had a point. “Ahem.” Lillian placed her hand on Ida’s shoulder, giving her a right hook before she could turn completely. She never saw it coming. Dr. Ida Yates dropped to the ground.

Soon as the doors opened, Lillian sprinted out, turned right and began to run like hell. In front of her was a window, creeping closer as she ran. “Bear! Am I running through that thing?”

Still no visual, but bear replied, loud and clear in Lillian’s ears. “Yes. There will be a drop, so brace yourself.”

“Stop!”

Lillian could hear the shouts of her pursuers. She jumped through the window, covering her face from the sharp bits. “Ohhhh, hell!” She yelled until she reached the ground, the fall, causing her to bow at the knees. Lillian somersaulted only to land on her feet. Her eyes were wide and her jaw was dropped as she looked back at the sixth story window.

“You need to run now, Lillian!” Bear was now visible in the light of day.

“What the fuck am I?” As Lillian stood waiting for her answer, bullets ricocheted around her. She didn’t bother to look back, she just booked it. Lillian ran as fast as she could.

Through her concentration of keeping up her speed, Lillian focused on nothing more than her tunnel of direction. Continuing to pass buildings and life, Lillian was abruptly stopped by a hot, heavy metal machine. She was tossed, then rolled, coming to an abrupt stop.

“Jesus Christ lady! Are you okay?” A man exited his car and headed toward the fallen woman. He was a doctor and had just finished his shift. Even though his head was heavy and his bones ached, he was right at the woman's side, if need be. He checked for her vitals.

“Lillian, you must get up!” Bear was hovering over Lillian’s motionless body. It was the first time in her programming that she was discouraged that she was unable to touch anything.

The crowd around Lillian's body was growing, as well as the sirens were nearing. Lillian’s eyes opened up slowly, one after the other. The sky was bright blue, and hazy with wispy clouds. The scene was soon voided by an oversized man’s head. Her hand quickly grabbed the doctors before he could touch her again. “Speedman?” She asked through her gritted teeth.

Dr. Derrick Speedman pulled back, amazed at the woman’s quick recovery. “Doe?”

Lillian moved in closer, nearly touching noses with the vexed doctor. “It’s Lillain.” She said through her gritted teeth once again.

“Move, Lillian!” Hollered the worried Bear.

Lillian got up, looked around at the stationary gawkers, brushed herself off and hauled ass in the opposite direction.














































Chapter Five


The wind from her movement struck her as a gift she had not received in a while. How the sun warmed her flesh, and the way the leaves rustled in the trees, were all distant memories. When she felt she was no longer in danger, Lillian slowed down, walking parallel to the railroad tracks. The sun was slowly fading, a warm summer dusk, filled with chirping birds and savory grill smells. Lillian lifted her nose, inhaling deeply, a surge of childhood memories rushing in.

“Anything look familiar?” Bear asked smiling. She was always there with Lillian, but only appearing when needed.

“Yeah, just about everything… Where are we?” They were crossing the street, still following the tracks. Ahead, there was a canal, leading up to a lush, green park, surrounded by high rise apartments.

Bear’s head turned from left to right, as if she were looking around. Even though she saw nothing, her internal GPS identified their exact location. “You are home Lillian… This is where you grew up, Tempe, Arizona.”

Lillian looked around, following the side of the canal, inching closer to the park’s pond. “This park was like my backyard growing up. Although it seems different.” She sat down on a bench, quietly listening. “I don’t recall that,” Lillian said as she pointed towards the high rise apartments. “That’s new… If I remember correctly, my house and houses lined that side of the park.”

Bear slightly frowned. Though she has been just a projection from Lillian’s mind, Lillian could almost see the golden rays from the setting sun light up her dark brown eyes. “A lot has happened since you have been gone.” For a program, Bear almost said it with great sympathy, even keeping her head low.

Lillian pursed her lips, while shaking her head. “And you keep telling me this, but yet have produced any answers, or explanations.” Lillian narrowed her eyes, turning to look at Bear “Why are my memories so sketchy?”

Bear disappeared from Lillian’s side on the bench and re materialized in front of her, startling her slightly. She could feel the slight spike in Lillian’s heart rate. “Sorry Lil, I did not mean to scare you.”

Lillian raised her brow. The sun was making its last stand, glowing gold and bold yellows, before it disappeared behind the towering apartments. She was quiet, waiting for Bear to answer her question, but insisted in her mind that her questioning should persist. “I'm missing something, aren't I?”

Bear nodded, smiling slightly and showing teeth. “We thought it necessary to hold back on a small memory of yours.”

“Why?”

Bear hesitated for a moment. Her objectives were always clear, stressing mostly that Lillian’s past not be revealed until her mind releases them. “We thought it to be in your best interests that you did not know right away. You need to focus on how to use your ability's. We are running out of time.”

“We? Ability’s?” Lillian shook her head, staring into the park’s pond, in the failing light. “That would explain the reason I survived being hit by two cars and a six story fall, huh?”

Bear nodded in acknowledgment, but purposely, dodging the question... “We need to leave and find shelter. It will be dark soon.”

When all natural light had dissolved, Lillian’s surroundings were lit by that of glaring LED’s and a faint crescent moon. Signs and glowing advertisements littered the streets of Tempe, and Lillian sighed a breath of relief as she walked up to the front entrance of the Embassy Suites. “This is where we are going to stay?” As far as Lillian could remember, the building was old, dilapidated and falling apart compared to the last time she had seen it. She could not understand how something could quickly degrade at such a rate. But the biggest question burning in Lillian’s mind at the moment was, how long she had truly been gone. She could vaguely remember the streets of Tempe, but what she did know for sure; It was in was worse of a condition than when she had left it.

Bear was nowhere to be found, but her voice was loud and clear within

Lillian’s mind. “Do not speak out loud. People will think you are a crazy person, so just talk to me in your mind, understand?”

“Yes…”

“No! Your mind!” Bear’s voice shouted back within Lillian’s head.

“Hello?”

“Finally!” Bear snapped back.

Lillian smiled big, trying her best to shout in her mind. “Holy shit, this is so cool!” Without knowing, she started hopping around, doing a happy dance. Lillian could hear Bear’s voice sighing with disapproval.

“Lillian, please stop gallivanting around, and calmly make your way to the dumpsters… Try your best not to attract attention.”

Lillian lightly smiled from the left corner of her lips. As she made her way to the dumpsters, she wiped dripping sweat from her brow caused by the humid evenings of the summer monsoon. Lillian paused for a moment, glancing into the horizon, trying her best to see through the soaring structures. She was hoping to catch a glimpse of a booming thunderhead at work, thrusting bolts of lightning from its bulky body.

Monsoons seemed to have disappeared altogether out here in the valley of the sun. They still make their presence known in the outskirts, and up in the north.” Bears voice softly cutting through the silence.

Lillian blinked, still focused on the rare sight of a distant bolt of squiggly, dancing brightness. “Concrete jungle. I remember them stalling out too. They kept getting worse and worse every year. It’s sad… They used to be healthy when I was a kid. We would get a storm every night.”

Population and structures take a toll on a planet. The earth is currently fighting to stay alive, as well as keep its inhabitants intact.”

Lillian shook her head, still speaking within her mind. “And something still does not seem right. I feel familiar with this place, but then, I don’t…” She lightly exhaled as she stopped in front of the dumpster. “So, what was it that you wanted me to stop here so badly for?”

We are going to stay here for the night, but we have no money.”

Lillian raised a brow. “Well, duh… I could have told you that.”

Bear released a low chuckle. “Don’t freak out… But if you haven't noticed, you are capable of doing many things.”

Seems mostly to be impervious to cars?” Lillian replied, with a light joke on her breath.

Humor me for a moment, Lil. Lift up your hand and look at your palm.”

Lillian did so, becoming very curious. “How’s this? Is this good?” Lillian replied underneath her breath.

Good. Now, if I do recall, we need money for a room, yes?”

Lillian nodded, still thinking in her head. “Yup.”

It’s a bit old fashioned. After all, credit cards are being phased out like checks were, but, we cannot use a chip implant, for tracking reasons, so…

So?” Lillian raised her brows, still clueless as to why she was staring into her palm.

Think about it Lil.”

Think about what?”

A credit card.”

Seriously?” Laughing to herself, Lillian shook her head and thought about a credit card. As far as she could remember, she had used one. Lillian focused on the card, spending limit, as high as possible. Her arm and hand became warm, quickly tingling. It was the feeling your feet got, when they fell asleep. Lillian’s eyes beheld a card that materialized into her palm. Her mouth slowly dropped, eyes remained blink-less. “Holy fucking shit… Is that what I think it is.?” Lillian held the card, making sure it was real.

Yes, it is. Like I said, you have a lot to catch up on.” Bear remained vocal within Lillian’s head. “Now, like a normal human being, please make your way in and pay for a room.”

Lillian, holding the card stood motionless, slowly blinking. What had just happened, was something she could have never imagined. As Lillian began to make her way towards the front desk, she started to mumble to herself. “I don’t even think I'm human anymore.”

Hello, there!” A cheeky woman with bright blue eyes and pulled back brown hair, greeted Lillian from behind the concierge.

Lillian smiled shortly, getting to the point. “Ummm, a room please.”

The clerk smiled back warmly, tapping away at a touch screen that illuminated her facial features even more. “Would you like a regular room or a suite?”

Lillian thought for a moment, referring to Bear, her artificial reference. “What’s the limit on this card?”

You made it Lil… You can’t remember the limit you put on it?”

Lillian, irritated, narrowed her eyes. “I thought about the highest limit possible.”

Then that is the limit Lil.”

You could have explained that to me when you tossed it into my hand.”

I didn’t toss it into your hand, you made it!” Bear quickly retorted back.

Ahem…”

Lillian looked up from her thoughts to see a set of blue eyes carefully trained on her odd behavior. She lightly twitched at the corner of her cheek.

Regular, or suite?” She asked once again, this time hesitantly.

Lillian planted the card on the counter, via her palm. “Suite, please.” She quickly replied. Lillian was eager to get to her room and question her Bio Engineered Artificial Reference, known as Bear.








Chapter Six


She switched on the lights, tore off her shoes, and quickly plopped her tired body onto the bed. Lillian had an exhausting day. She was quite ready for it to pass, but there was one more event she needed to squeeze in. She took a few moments to mellow out, staring blankly into the ceiling.

The room smelled of fresh flowers, but other than that, it was just a room. The walls were beige, and though the hanging art was a reddish-orange hue, it too had streaks of beige to match the walls.

Bear sat quietly in the corner, awaiting Lillian’s attention. Her black slacks, and marigold buttoned up blouse stood out among the bland walls. Even though she made no sound, Lillian knew she was there, it was just part of her program. The host always knows. “Lillian, maybe you should make eye contact with me while I explain this to you.”

Lillian replied with a smart ass remark. “If I look at you, will you know that I am looking at you?”

“Of course, I see what you see.” There was also a tinge of irritation in her voice for Lillian’s insubordination. Yes, she has been just a program, but her algorithm was mirrored from Dr. Lauren Lewis, a woman who prided herself on discovery, examination, and explanations.

Lillian sat up, only to look Bear straight in the eyes. Even though the only lamp in the room was dim, its dullness was still able to brighten Bear’s dark brown eyes. Lillian took to her feet quickly, taking a few steps towards Bear.

Her eyes widened, lifting both brows. “Lillian, what are you doing?”

“Shh…” Lillian replied as she waved her hand in and out of Bear.

“I'm just a program projected by your mind.”

Lillian sat back down on the bed, legs swaying. “You sure… You look so real.”

Bear nodded. “Lillian, it’s time to get down to brass tacks.

Lillian released a long held breath. “Alright… Let’s hear it Doc.”

“You were born January 1st, 1982. Your full name is Lillian Ann Cross.”

“What were my parent’s name?”

Bear stopped, looking agitated. “Please do not interrupt. I will tell you what you need to know. What you already know will return to you in a manner of days. “The year now is, 2066.”

Lillian’s eyes nearly bulged as her lower jaw quickly dropped. “I am really bad at math, but that maps me out at… 84 years old?”

Bear nodded. “Yes, that is true.”

“But how can that be?” Lillian questioned.

Bear shook her head. “Once again, something you already know.” Bear leaned back, pressing her palm to her forehead, closing her eyes. She was quickly becoming agitated. It was like explaining to a child how things work. The interest was there, just not the impact on how it really was. In Bear’s mind, the logical choice would have been to explain to Lillian everything when she was truly back, but her programming forced her to do it as soon as possible. Thus, creating a muddy puddle.

“You have been away, and taken against your will.”

Lillian’s eyes dropped. “But…”

“Shut up and listen, Lillian.” Bear cut her off. “63 years ago, you were kidnapped by humans, and forced to do terrible things. The biggest part of this, the whole reason as to why you are here now, is what they did to you. You were surgically implanted with a foreign material. At the time it was thought to be a superior bio-metal that would allow your bones to be strengthened and for you to heal faster. All was true, but what was not known at the time, is that what it was actually, was a vessel for a near extinct alien species. The Shitair, one of the first four, after the big bang.”

Lillian’s face was pale. “Holy shit.”

Bear cocked her brow. “Indeed… Along with the creation of the universe, four species of life emerged. The Gods, whose sole objective was to create life. They traveled the universe, planting their seeds, creating all walks of life. They take many forms, but no one has ever seen their true selves. Then there is the Shitair… A species of coexistence. They bond with a life and enhance it in any way possible. You, Lillian share this bond with them now.”

“But you said that they are near extinction?”

Bear half smiled. “Yes, hence you, the vessel for survival. Then there are the Guardians, a peaceful race, the good. They don’t fight, they help others survive. It is against their nature to show aggression towards others.” Bear released herself of an imaginary programmable breath.” Then there is the Vitair. Unfortunately, if there is good, there must be evil. The Vitair were created to want. Out of all the innocent life that the Gods created, the Vitair wanted to consume, and they did just that. They abducted, tested and took over. If it was to their benefit, they took it.”

“So, how did the Shitair come to me?” Lillian asked, on the edge of her seat.

“Billions of years ago, it was a process… Creation, enhancement, protection, and destruction. The Vitair wanted to be the creators, and the Gods, wanting nothing to do with them, just merely shrugged them off. So, the Vitair sought out the Shitair, millions of tiny beings inhibiting, coexisting one body at a time. It was the Vitairs idea to bond with the Shitair and become enhanced… To overthrow the Gods. When the Vitair finally found a vessel with the Shitair, they forced them out, creating a bond with one of their own.”

“Then what happened?”

Bear shook her head. “It was only a matter of time until they used it for their own destructive needs. Many races of life fell, were enslaved, and planets full of life, destroyed. By the time the guardians caught up with them, the damage had already been done. But they succeeded in capturing the vessel, which held the Shitair. Like all new races of life, you first must learn, before you can live. The Shitair realized that, and they did not want to be used for evil and asked for the Guardians help.”

Lillian was motionless, gripping at the edge of the bed. “And?”

“The Shitair pleaded with the Guardians to be destroyed, as they were not intended to be a destructive race. But the Guardians, being the life protectors that they were, sent the Shitair away. They embedded the Shitair into a bio-metal that could sustain their life, planting their capsule on a planet as you know today as earth. The Shitair learned, and would not bond with anything, unless it was with pure intentions.”

Lillian bowed her head and closed her eyes for a moment. She wanted so badly to remember, but all was still muddled. “And so, I came to be with them? They chose me?”

Bear nodded. “Yes, and you weren't the first. Little do you know, millions of years take a toll on a secluded race. Just as the human race evolved, so did the Shitair’s. After their horrible experience with the Vitair, the Shitair decided to bond with a being once more to set right what they had wronged in the past.” Bear looked up from the ground and into Lillian’s green eyes. “It may disturb you Lillian, but you are the Shitair’s hope of bringing down the Vitair. But mostly, your planet is now in danger, for the Vitair are coming to find you.”

Lillian swallowed hard, contemplating. “Fuck.” Was all she could muster.

“And when I tell you that time is of the essence, I am not shitting you, Lillian.”

Lillian, still staring into space, let out a short chuckle. “He, he, you said shitting.”

“Have you not heard one word I've said?”

Lillian blinked once, before she looked at Bear. She started to admire Bear’s blouse, and her whole body, once again. She was curious as to why she was teamed up with such an attractive woman, or program.

Hearing, was not the problem, it was the difficulty of processing all of the information all at once. Fifty years change one’s life, and until Lillian could remember 100 percent, she figured she would dull the pain with some liquid medicine. She rose from the bed and pulled the credit card from the table.

Bear’s eyes narrowed. “Where are you going?”

“To get drunk.” Lillian replied, not looking back once.



































Chapter Seven


The room was dark and the bed, comfy. Lillian stretched her legs as she felt her eyes lighten. She turned to her side, feeling a warm arm wrap around her. Lillian held the hand close as she softly kissed it, receiving the same at the back of her neck and downwards.

When Lillian turned, she was greeted with warm brown eyes, and dark dangling brown hair, tasseled but curled up at the ends. The brown eyed woman maneuvered to straddle Lillian, taking her hands and slowly pushing them above her head.

Lillian smiled and she received a few soft kisses to her bottom lip, the last one trailing with a hint of tongue. “Good morning.”

The brown eyed woman smiled, leaning over once again and kissing Lillian deeper and longer. She slowly pulled away, smiling. She took the tip of her right index finger and lightly tapped Lillian’s nose, trailing downward. She circled both nipples, hard as rock. Kissing and sucking, the brown eyed woman left each with the tips of her teeth, leaving Lillian’s eyes to roll into the back of her head. Her kisses reached down lower and lower, until the removal of Lillian’s panties with her teeth.

In between gasps, Lillian spoke. “Little early for breakfast?”

The brown eyed woman slowly raised, covering Lillian’s lower abdomen in smooches. “Do you want me to stop?” She whispered into Lillian’s ear.

Lillian leaned back, as she gently massaged the brown eyed woman’s head back down. “Oh god no, that was just a fucking joke.”

When she was done, and Lillian arched her back, releasing herself of a built up breath, she turned the tables and conquered the brown eyed woman. Her handle was a bit fiercer, including a stronger grip. Lillian held both the woman's hands into hers as she kissed and firmly thrust into the woman’s body.

The brown eyed woman leaned forward, Lillian, helping her to remove her tank top. “My turn?”

Lillian smiled, pulling her closer. “I want to see your beautiful eyes as I make love to you.” Lillian’s nails dug into her rear, as the brown eyed woman’s drug her nails down her back.

In between gasps, the brown eyed woman spoke. “Promise you will never leave me.”

Lillian kissed her, holding her close in her arms. “I promise.”

Startled, Lillian woke abruptly, bolting straight up out of bed. She swung over her feet, hanging them off from the sides. One word, and one word only was spoken from her lips. “Paige.” She looked around the room, trying to gather her bearings.

Bear, feeling she had awoken, and with her heart racing, materialized quickly, to offer support. “Lillian, are you okay?”

Lillian continued to sit at the edge of the bed, face hidden within her palms, her long dirty blond hair dangling from the sides. She exhaled loudly before she looked at Bear. “Paige… Where is Paige?” Panting in between breaths.

“Lillian… At 100%?” Bear softly asked.

Lillian stood up, taking a few steps towards Bear, naked. “This is the Switchblade fucking Mamma, talking right now, at a goddamn 100%.” Lillian’s eyes began to tear up. “Now, where is my wife?” Lillian, noticing her nakedness, looked herself up and down. She turned to the bed, observing that both sides had been slept in, or perhaps, something worse. A very worrying feeling began to creep up her backside, for she knew she never slept naked, unless she… “Did I have a rough night sleeping?” She asked Bear hesitantly.

Bear remained silent, momentarily. It was not in her program to lie, but she took time in compiling her answer. She knew the truth would crush Lillian. Partially, in Bear’s mind it was not Lillian’s fault, for she did not remember that part of her life at the time the act was committed, but without a doubt, it was her duty to tell the truth. “You were having sex.”

Lillian’s knees became weak, and she fell to them. Her palms once again reached to her face, eyes tearing. Lillian’s light sobs filled the room. When she found an ounce of composure, she questioned Bear, one again. “With who?”

Bear’s program seemed to learn at every moment. It was only because she was fused to Lillian and therefor connected the Shitair, that she could evolve. The Shitair was an alien race that enhanced all races, and even though Bear was just a tiny nanoite floating in Lillian’s body, she too could feel their impact. But still, the truth be with her and as much as she could feel and see Lillian’s pain, a real relationship was always built on trust. “You were angry last night. Angry and confused. You needed to blow off some steam.”

Lillian looked at Bear, eyes narrowed. “Don’t you think it a bit necessary to tell me last night a little bit more about my life, when you clued me in, THAT I HAD A WIFE?” Lillian’s voice was loud and rang out.

“We didn’t think it wise. We thought it would take longer for you to regain your memories.” Bear hovered in the corner. Her hair, blonde and long, curled past the shoulders. She wore black slacks, a white buttoned blouse and a doctor’s jacket to fit the bill. Her brown eyes were dark, but still pure.

Lillian, with a broken heart, began to clothe herself. “So, give me the dirty details… What happened?”

Bear could not deny that she saw anything. Lillian was at 100%, meaning, she remembered everything besides her missing fifty years. And, unfortunately for Bear, even though she was not there, she was still there. Graphically, she swallowed hard, just to show Lillian, that it too was hard to explain to her. “You were angry, grabbed the credit card and left. You went to the bar at the hotel and were turned away, due to the fact you have no identifying chip, and age could not be verified. You no longer exist in this world, so you were turned away, but you were quite adamant on getting, fucked up, so to speak, so you went to the nearest junior store.”

“Junior store?” Lillian questioned.

Bear nodded. “Yes, most widely known as a Circle K, but now the Double K.” Bear shook her head, recollecting. “You sat near the store, trying to find someone willing to buy booze for you. You found an attractive woman.”

“Did you have to add that?” Lillian asked.

Bear smiled. “Well, she was. You sweet talked her… She bought a few bottles, and you and she came back here. You two started a conversation, a lot of smiling commenced, more drinking, and then the laughing. That’s when you kissed her.”

“Stop, please stop.” Lillian said while rubbing her temples. She had finished putting on her clothes and shoes and sat contently on the bed while staring into space. “Where did she go?”

“Well, she looked around a bit, for money. She riffled through your jeans, finding the card.”

Lillian’s eyes widened. “And?”

“Of course, she took it. But you need not worry, the card is of the Shitair’s creation and will dissolve within a matter of moments, upon leaving the vicinity of leaving the Shitair’s reach.”

“And the girl?” Replied Lillian.

Bear shrugged. “Your sex, you also have an effect. It is another wonderful power provided by the Shitair. She will not remember within a few hours, about you, or the night, better?”

Lillian shook her head. “No, it is not. I love my wife, and have done the unthinkable.” Lillian turned her head to look at Bear. “Now, where can I find my wife?”

Bear’s face remained emotionless. She swallowed once, taking a deep breath before replying. “Lillian, fifty years have gone by. Anyone you have ever known is either dead or dying. I suggest that you proceed with the mission at hand. We have lot’s to do, and much to learn. Now please, for your sake, I beg of you. Wait till the sun comes up, and we shall continue on our way.”

Lillian clenched her jaws. She could feel the emotional pain from everything, seeping in. Her heart hurt most of all. She had to set right what she wronged fifty years ago. If Paige was still alive, Lillian had to see her, no matter what. Lillian shook her head. “You want a deal? Here is a deal… I don’t do shit, until I find my wife, you got that alien and nanoite, fucking alike?”

Bear blinked, twice. “I cannot take you where it does not exist.”

Lillian lightly sneered. “Oh, yes, you can… I feel her in my bones. She is still alive, I can feel her. And either you take me to her, or I walk this earth mindless, and hopeless, but searching nonetheless.”




























Chapter Eight


Lillian walked slowly down the sidewalk. The darkness of the early morning was fading into a slow glowing greenish-blue. She knew the sun would be rising soon and with it, the heat.

Lillian was nearly lost in a seemingly new environment. The only problem, it was not new. She made her way through the confusion, nearly lost, had it not been for the street names. Nearly every corner had changed from when she last remembered it.

Buildings were higher. They blocked a majority of the sky, but did not look too bad, for the newer towers were covered nicely in green foliage. Lillian assumed the greens served the purpose to control pollutants and to create CO2, due to the close living proximity of the people and structures. When she left, she read that the Earth would not be able to sustain life for very much longer, should the population continue to grow. Lillian assumed with the raising in architecture, the worlds populous has reached critical.

What Lillian could not get over was the abundance in driver-less pods, or at least that's what she called them. She was amazed at how quickly transportation had changed.

“Where are you going, Lillian?”

Lillian turned to see Bear, hovering behind her. “It’s okay for me to talk to you in public? Won’t someone think that I am a crazy person?”

Bear relieved herself of a lopsided grin. “For your information, it was just a short learning lesson to teach you that you and I can communicate telepathically, if need be. Everyone uses hands free devices nowadays, anyways.”

Lillian ceased walking, and took a moment to look around and listen. She took her time to examine, before remarking on her observation to Bear. “There is virtually no people walking, running, or biking. Hell, I remember just about everybody used to exercise even in the dead of summer.” Lillian continued on her trek, back into memories. “What time is it?”

Bear checked her internal watch. “It is currently, 9:30 AM.”

“What is the temperature now?”

“Current temp is 110 degrees?”

Lillian’s jaw dropped while turning to look at Bear. “How is that possible? I’ve not even broken a sweat!”

Bear pursed her lips. “It is the Shitar that is regulating your body.”

The corners of Lillian’s eyes crinkled as her forehead creased. “Come again?”

Bear rolled her eyes. “The Shitair can help control the temperature of your body. It could be freezing or boiling outside, you remain comfortable.”

“No shit?”

“Yes, I shit you not. How do you think you arrived here? Do you remember wakening up in a space ship?”

Lillian’s expression dulled, then brightened. “No way!”

Bear tilted her head. “Yes, way.”

Lillian glowed as she walked, a plastered smile on her face.

“Where are you going?” Bear questioned.

There was not much of any noise in the future, Lillian thought to herself. Everything that buzzed by, was just that. Either driver-less cars, or over-sized drones hovering about or carrying passengers. Lillian smiled, still walking as she replied to Bear’s question. “I told you, I am going to walk until I find her. If I am as bad ass as you say I am, I can go on forever.”

“You still need to nourish your body.”

Continuing with her cruising, Bear transported herself to Lillian’s side. “I told you, I am not going to stop until I see her.” Lillian exclaimed, while walking. The moist, humid heat, lay havoc upon Lillian’s hair. Though it hung thickly, and near the mid of her back, Lillian continued to swat at rouge springy hairs and constantly pulled the bulk of it behind her ears, irritated by its repetitive nuisance.

“Start walking towards Gilbert.” Bear Chimed out.

Lillian smiled. “Good. First, we see Paige.” Annoyed, Lillian swatted at her hair once again, while rolling her eyes. “Then, I am chopping off this shit!”









































Chapter Nine


There was always that beaming glare off of something shiny that occasionally blinded you in the state of Arizona. It would happen any time during the year, and at any interval during the day, but that was just it. The sun had to be out in order to be blessed with its blinding flash, a lingering memory from Lillian’s past, giving her the need to smile.

The afternoon was becoming at its peak, the heaviest part of a day, for the heat. As its waves radiated from the concrete, Lillian continued to walk through the dead heat, unfazed. She continued to ponder things in her head, heart rate elevating at the thought of being closer to Paige.


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