New story! - Chapter 3-4 - Truths revealed and Danger
Chapters 1-2 here: http://forum.missclue.com/discussion/880577/new-story-chapter-1-and-2-the-voyage-and-something-new#latest
Chapter 3 - Truths Revealed
Annalee Felt so happy, her footsteps were light and bouncy as she made her way down the bright corridor. Could it be possible to fall in love so fast? I'm sure stranger things have happened she thought. She was almost at the command deck when Dominic Stewart seemed to pop out of nowhere.
"Good day Miss Van Den Berg" he smirked
"Good day Mr. Stewart" She replied with a slight nod and a smile, she did not in the least like this man but her sweet spirit made her never mean to anyone.
"I see you are on your way to see your father. I must confess I expected to see you long before this. Did something keep you perhaps?" his shifty eyes seemed to narrow as he spoke.
Could someone have seen them after all? Annalee felt very uneasy now but tried not to show it, besides it really wasn't any concern of Mr Stewart, she never kept to a particular schedule since she had boarded and he'd never asked where she had been before... "Yes, I am just on my way to see father, he is probably expecting me. The stars were so beautiful today I wish you had seem them, Mr Stewart, if you get the chance you really should!" Annalee replied
"Ah, indeed, indeed. I was there a little bit ago but didn't see you, must have just missed you." He smirked again "We try to keep an eye on our favorite passenger, wouldn't want anything to happen--well I won't keep you a moment longer, give my regards to the Ambassador" with that he strolled down the hallway with his hands clasped behind his back.
Annalee ran quickly up the stairs that lead to the command deck, she was grateful to be free of Mr. Stewart so quickly, but his comments still weighed heavy on her mind. The command deck was very open with large glass windows facing forward, around the edge of the room were consoles and other equipment run by members of the crew with the center of the room raised over looking the rest of it, a railing enclosed half the platform and a panel secured to that. When Annalee reached the top of the stair she could see her father speaking with Captain McCloy in the middle platform.
As soon as they looked over her father waved for her to come over and join them, when she did so he put his arm around her shoulders and gave a gentle hug. Looking down as Annalee he began "Captain McCloy, was just telling me we should arrive a whole week earlier than expected. It seems a portion of the hyper lines that are being constructed in this section are done and we can use them to speed up our journey."
"That's wonderful news!" exclaimed Annalee
"It is Miss Van Den Berg, we are making excellent time and the voyage should be over before you know it!" declared Captain McCloy with one of his infectious smile.
Annalee's uneasiness from her encounter with Mr Stewart quickly subsided in such good company and she listened with enthusiasm as both her Father and Captain McCloy explained the intricate mechanics of the hyper lines and many other space technologies. It was clear to see how much fun they had together as boys and she could see in her father's eyes, that he was enjoying this trip immensely. To be honest so was she! Soon someone else entered the command deck and it was non other than Adrian! He approached, bowed and then joined into the conversation after a quick glace at Annalee, who tried to hide a blush.
Later on after dinner Adrian followed his father back to his quarters. "Well, out with it" The captain said abruptly as They stepped inside and the door closed. Adrian laughed "Never could get anything by you could I?"
"Never could, never will." His father smiled squeezing Adrian on the shoulder as they walked over to some chairs and sat down "You have to be observant in this business as you well know, I'm glad you came here tonight though, because I've been wanting to speak with you about something, but that can wait. What's on your mind?"
Adrian moved to the edge of his chair resting his arm on his knees "well to be honest Dad, Miss Van Den Berg"
"Got you neglecting your duties does she?"
"No, certianly not I would never neglect my duties--" "I know you wouldn't Adrian" Captain McCloy laughed "I'm just razzing you. So you think quite a lot about Annalee?"
"yeah I do, and I believe she does too, only I need to find out for sure. Unless of course you have any objections."
"None what so ever, they are a good respectable family and Barnard is the best man I've ever known... We do have a few weeks before the end of this journey, It wouldn't be at all a bad idea for Annalee to have armed protection for the remainder of the trip" his Father Grinned "What do you think, you would mind a change of duties for the next 3 weeks?"
"I wouldn't mind in the least!" Adrian smiled back This was exactly what he hoped for, he could always count on his father "Thanks Dad"
"Good, we'll bring up the matter tomorrow with Bernard tomorrow. Now what I wanted to discuss with you, I am still not satisfied this trip was entirely unknown, have you finished the background checks on all the crew members for possible plants?"
Adrian nodded "Yes and everything checks out, I've looked over everything thoroughly and I can't see where there would be a leak except..." "Except what" Captain McCloy demanded"Except the three crew members the Ambassador's Adviser brought and the Adviser, Dominic Stewart, himself. Most files on Palace staff are not readily available. It is of course assumed that they have already been checked by the Palace. I've sent a request for background files on them already, however, that is also assuming they are part of the Palace staff."
"You believe they aren't?"
"I won't know until I receive information back, the Adviser does vouch for them, although I have my doubts. If there were to be a leak, I think it is there you would find it"
"If your hunch is true, are you suspecting Stewart to be deceived or that he is in on it as well?" the Captain questioned
"Definitely the latter if it's true. He's too shrewd to bring people aboard he knows nothing about and I've been informed that he is excellent at his job, which is why the Ambassador wanted him along. Obviously this would be a serious charge and we have no evidence that an actual leak has occurred"
"Then I would keep an eye on them, restrict their access to areas as much as possible, without raising any red flags, and let me know as soon as you hear back from the Palace. If everything checks out I suppose we have nothing to worry about, but something doesn't feel right"
"I'll take care of that tomorrow first thing" Adrian thought awhile then added "If something could possibly be up would it be better to not change duties?"
Captain McCloy shook his head "Now that I've thought about it, I feel no matter what it would be prudent for Annalee to have a guard and if trust is in question I wouldn't want anyone besides you. just make sure you keep on top of it." Adrian nodded "Good" His father said as he rose "Let's hit the hay"
Chapter 4- Danger
The next day when Annalee came to see her father in the command deck he was talking with Captain McCloy and Adrian! Just seeing him again put butterflies in her tummy, "So we're all agreed" Annalee heard the Captain as she arrived at the group, "It sounds like you've been having a profitable discussion" she commented "Ah good that you're here Annalee, this concerns you" her father said
"Yes, the captain has proposed and I agree, that it would be a good idea if you had someone to accomany you around the ship for the remaider of the trip. Would you object to Lieutenant McCloy here being that person?" Asked her father
Oh he'd managed it already! Annalee thought, she couldn't think of a nicer way to spend the rest of the voyage than to get to know Adrian better! "I have no objections" she replied with a smile and she could see Adrian was smiling as well! "In fact I was just on my way to the observation room"
"Excellent, then it's all settled." Her father motioned his arm for Adrian to follow Annalee, Adrian nodded and walked to annalee's side as they set off to the door.
"well..." began Adrain as they walked in the direction of the observation room "I've kept my part of the bargain, do I have an answer?" he smiled mischievously.
"My! Never let it be said you let the grass grow under your feet" She laughed
"Definitely not" he replied "I must get it from my father, am I being too impatient?"
Annalee's eyes twinkled with happiness "I think you have many qualities from your father all of which are good. Oh, Adrian you're no more impatient than I am! You can't imagine how glad I am that the Captain let you change your duties, I would have been so disappointed! I knew yesterday but I wanted to wait a time to be certain, I do love you, though it's sounds as silly as you do!"
"Well matched then" he laughed as they walked on.
A week passed and everyday Annalee enjoyed learning more about Adrian and his family, as he accompanied her around the ship, and everyday he became more dear. The Palace had sent information that said the three crew members and the Adviser checked out and were cleared to be aboard the ship, it appeared everything were going smoothly and according to plan. However, the following day, not 4 days after the Palace had sent word of everything being in order, Adrian received a message that informed him, while the Adviser was still clear the three crew members were indeed not Palace staff and the real ones had been dismissed before boarding. "This is bad, and exactly what we feared" Adrian thought "I have to bring this to the Captain at once!"
He met Annalee outside her quarters as he had done for the past week, she wore a soft gold dress with red trim and her hair was pulled into a half ponytail with a ruby butterfly clip, however, the pleasant day that usually followed was quite different. "Adrian what is wrong you look troubled" Annalee noted as she stepped out.
"I have information which I must bring to my father right away" He took her hand and headed down the corridor at a brisk walk. "I believe something is brewing but it might already be too late" he declared as they took the steps which lead to the Command deck "And what is that?" Asked Annalee "You'll know soon enough" they had now reached Captain McCloy, who upon seeing the serious look on Adrian's face, knew something was amiss. Adrian handed his father a message which he quickly took and read "I want these men detained immediately" Captain McCloy commanded then suddenly a loud boom was heard followed by a tremendous quake!
"What was that!?" exclaimed Annalee but before they could answer someone at a command panel reported "We've been hit sir!" the captain was now looking at the display "Why wasn't this ship picked up on radar?" he demanded "Put us on Red Alert. Adrian take Miss Van Den Berg, find the Ambassador and escort them to the safe room" Adrian did a quick nod then took Annalee immediately out of the command deck leaving behind the sound of orders and reports. The lights that used to be a bright cream had turned a dull red, a siren began to come over the speakers along with instructions and Several crew members ran passed them as they made their way down the corridor. Another crash was heard and the shock that ran through the ship would have knocked Annalee over had it not been for Adrian's steady hold, she could now hear return fire which must be coming from the hidden gun ports. Luckily they met the Ambassador on the way to the safe room who had recieved the message to report to the command deck "What in the world is going on? Besides the fact we are under attack." he asked
"I really couldn't say sir, except I'm under orders to escort you and Miss Van Den Berg to the Safe room as quickly as possible. So if you will both follow me we can continue." Again they were on their way down the corridors of the ship, through the chaos and noise over the speakers. On their way they passed the service hall Adrian had pulled Annalee into and she wished very much things were as they had been and not the unknown future she was walking into now.
They had reached a less essential part of the ship and so less traveled. Adrian opened a panel in the wall and entered a code which activated a sliding door opening into the Safe room. It was heavily armored with it's own air supply and while the door could be easily opened from the inside it required a pass code to be entered from the outside. Annalee and her father stepped inside and her heart sank with the thought that she didn't know what would happen next or worse, that something might happen to Adrian! "Be safe" She said softly as the door began to close "I love you Annalee" he replied "I love--" But it was too late the door was shut. "I love you Adrian" she thought to herself and she turned to her father who put his arms around her as they waited for what would happen next.