Chapter 10: Water 3.0
Vander-Kelp did not send me back to my ship right away. He tried to walk fast, but due to his crooked body, our pace was quite slow. I followed the Kelp-man-leader to a large room full of freezers—yes freezers. Vander-Kelp pulled one of the large, white freezers open.
“Grab three of those, marked 3.0, if you please.” He commanded.
I walked over and peeked into the freezer. It was lined with bottle after bottle of—you guessed it—frozen water. They were labeled very beautifully as Glugenal Water. There were different colored labels. Yellow labels were marked 1.0. Blue labels were marked 2.0, and green labels were marked 3.0.
“Why 3.0, Sir?” I asked.
“It’s a very potent solution of the Glugenal water. It has a high concentration of the special healing chemicals the Glugens release back into our water. You will need it to save your sister.”
“You’re not coming with me?” I asked. Up to this point, I’d assumed the Kelps would be coming with me. You know: a whole force of intimidating sloths to bring the Deceivers to their knees.
“No. This is your fight with the Deceivers. We stay out of their way as much as we can. The less they know about us, the safer we are. It will be the same for you. Once you rescue your sister, go home—and stay there.”
Vander-Kelp rummaged around in a nearby cabinet and handed me a cooler large enough to hold the three frozen bottles of water. “Whatever you do, my boy, DO NOT let the Deceivers see this water. We do not want them to know about our water. Should they learn we will surely have to go to war over it. We’d like to avoid that.”
Again, I nodded. “Yes, Sir.”
“Now, this is what you must do…” Vander-Kelp proceeded to take me to three other rooms. He gave me a fake Glugenal suit. It was made of plastic, but looked quite real. He told me to fly back to alter-Earth and demand to have my sister in exchange for the suit. He gave me a small green ball. He told me it would, if thrown on the ground, explode and issue a gas that would put a good size crowd of Deceivers to sleep. “Then, get your sister and get out of there. She is likely dead by now or extremely hurt. The Deceivers have all sorts of unkind ways to interrogate aliens. If that doesn’t work they use them for other things…in-human things… But, if she is alive enough, you can give her this water and she will eventually get better. Do you understand?”
I was speechless for a moment. Then, I pulled myself together. “Did you say, she was likely dead?”
Vander-Kelp nodded. But, then he smiled. “It will be okay. I’m sure. But, you must hurry. Now go!”
Two military Forest-Kelp sloths came and took me back to my spaceship. I threw in the fake Glugenal suit and the cooler full of frozen Glugenal water. In one of the bottles of the frozen water was already melting. I started up the spaceship and flew off of the Kelp’s landing pad. No one stopped me from leaving. No lasers to dodge on my way out.
It occurred to me as I headed out of orbit that Vander-Kelp had been so trusting. He was lucky I was not an alter-Earthling. He gave me the Glugenal Water without a second thought. What a gift!
Inside my ship were the instructions and button-combo to return to alter-Earth. I entered it slowly, determined to get to the right place the first time. I needed time to go slowly, but instead, I was back orbiting alter-Earth before I could even collect my thoughts. Here goes nothing!
I carefully pushed my cooler under the control panel and grabbed the Glugenal suit. I held it in my left hand. Then, I put the sleeping ball-weapon Vander-Kelp gave me in my right hand and then punched in the landing sequence into the control panel. The ship plummeted down through the alter-Earth atmosphere. I put a big smile on my face. Now that I knew all about the Deceivers, it was going to be hard to pretend to be helping them.
When I landed, a small crowd of alter-Earthlings were waiting. I saw George and Hugh’s dad among them as well as Betty, his mom and his three sisters. I didn’t see Daisy anywhere. My heart rate increased to a panicked state of hyper-rhythm. I thought it was going to pump right out of my chest.
The glass dome of the spaceship popped back. The crowd cheered as I held up the fake Glugenal suit. But, as I looked in their eyes, the cheering sounded insincere. They looked at the suit—hungrily.
“Where’s Daisy?” I asked. I tried to sound like I couldn’t wait for her to see I’d been successful, but inside, my stomach was full of adrenalin ready to do anything to find her—even kill. This feeling surprised me, because I honestly never thought I would ever feel that way about Daze. Strangely, in this life and death scenario, all her annoying –isms were all the things I loved about her. I’d have given anything to have her sticking her tongue out at me from the crowd and say, “Just like you to take all the glory.”
George came up to the spaceship. “She is asleep. Do not worry, Kyle. Now, give me the suit.”
My first thought was, how asleep?
“I need to see her,” I said as kindly as I could. “Where is she?”
George reached up for the Glugenal suit, but I pulled it back. “No suit until I see Daisy.”
“How rude, Kyle. She is sleeping. We didn’t want to wake her.” George said. Then he smiled.
“No Daisy,” I said. “No suit.” The whole crowd of alter-Earthlings frowned. “Now!” I added, even though I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do.
George laughed. “Now Kyle…”
Something in my head told me I had to act now or never. I threw the sleeping ball out onto the landing pad and hurriedly closed the glass dome of the spaceship. The ball exploded on the yellowy concrete and gas blew out like the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb. The force of the gas explosion shook the spaceship. For a moment I thought it was a real bomb.
It took forever for the sleeping gas to clear. When it did, I saw hundreds of Deceivers passed out on the ground. I tentatively opened the dome of the spaceship. My eyes watered from the remaining chemical in the air. It made me feel a bit dizzy. Still, I jumped out of the ship and looked around. Where would they be keeping Daisy?
I ran down the walkway from the landing pad and headed straight for the grey military building. They’d taken me there first. If they were worried about Daisy or wanted to hurt her, I thought they would’ve taken her there too.
I crashed into the doors of the building and searched every door. They were all locked. Then, the last door down a long hallway was open. Residue of blue powder was all around the doorframe and on the floor. I turned the knob and looked inside. I nearly passed out at what I saw.
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Hi! My name is Angela Tempest. I write fiction that entertains, takes you to another world, and fills your life with truth. I hope you’re enjoying Copy Cat Earth. If you love it, there’s more. Check out my author page to read my other stories!