Written by Danielle E. Pasqua
Copyright © September 12, 2018
Eight years had pass, since my friends Xavier, Ian and I discovered “The Rock” in the woods behind my former house. I sat on this car-sized asteroid, recalled my pre-teen years when its’ mystery had captivated my attention. “The Rock” glowed more than ever, since the sun was stronger and global warming was a culprit in today’s world, how humidity rippled the air of the “Sound” where I used to live. As I drank some ice cold water out of my thermos, I thought of the “Unfolded Truths” about my family that we were alien refugees from our own world.
In my hands I held “The Heirloom,” the GPS tracker developed by my family and a sacred artifact that was programed for my people to travel across the universe. At one time I thought it was a seashell, but I learned there was more to it, because hidden inside was a recording of all the adventures my friends Xavier, Ian and I had been through. My friends and I became a “detective brotherhood” ever since we took a hot air balloon adventure in “The Ride.” They both were a part of me, though they were human, and I evolved as a reptile, managed to stay together with any dilemma we found ourselves in.
But I as I sat here I debated about ‘The Truth’ and I needed an answer.
Then I received a text message from my father.
’The Official’ is up for parole, Noah.
I almost fell off “The Rock” because of the announcement.
“The Rock” even shifted a bit, which I found quite odd.
Why? I don’t want a retrial I texted him back.
Then my phone rang. My father had decided vocal conversation was better.
“He is up for good behavior.”
“Wasn’t he tried on our home planet?”
“Yes, and he was sentenced after we arrested him at his Arctic base.”
“Then why here?”
“There would be too much tension on our planet.”
“Tension?” I demanded as I jumped off “The Rock.” Helicopters flew overhead, that I once thought belonged to “The Official,” but he was chained so that puzzled me.
“There have been protests on our planet,” my father mentioned,” We need a jury that can examine the evidence based on truth, not judgement.”
“’The Truth,’ that’s what I want,” I realized just as an EXIT ship flew overhead or known as EXpress Interstellar Traveler Ship.
“Noah, I think it’s time you start training to be ‘The Dealer,” my father suggested and then added,” That is after this retrial. Meet me at the education facility.”
It was with that apprenticeship of being “The Dealer” I would travel to different star systems, gathered wreckage that planets wanted to destroy and use that material to better the universe. That was a field my father had started in and eventually became its’ entrepreneur.
Though I saw my reflection in “The Rock,” the metal brought out my human features, but slowly my face changed. I was now a lizard from another planet on a nation that had been brutalized by asteroids. As soon as “The EXIT’ ship landed I hopped in and it took me to Heirloom Island where the future of technology was stated.
The “Earths’ Heirloom Island Education Facility” or known as EHIEF was a massive structure built by recycled parts from the disaster “The Official” had left as revenge when I defeated him by caging a deadly asteroid in “The Homecoming.” The building was raised out of a crater, tall and narrow, much like the Defense Center found on “The Move,” which was my home where I lived with my parents and my sister Lacey.
But I wasn’t the only one here, there were other beings from our planet who learned and taught other classes. My sister Lacey had been with the education facility for three years now, her classes on the top floor, parallel to where my classes were to be. It was there, where she mastered how to design small devices such as a compass, which she carried with her in “The Lock,” our last adventure where she kept track of “The Invitation’s” whereabouts.
Downstairs to the bottom right of where I would begin my education, Xavier was recruited where he drafted the ships of the future for earth as well as other planets. On the opposite side of Xavier, Ian was there where he learned to be a photographer, optimistic he would somehow locate all the pictures in his photo gallery that disappeared, but I didn’t assume that they were gone, they were just protected from “The Official.”
In the lounge we gathered for a brief meeting about the retrial. There was a grim feeling in the room, when my father told my friends Xavier and Ian what we were up against,” I’ll have to give you some background on the reason for this retrial. Since there was a secret jury on our planet for ‘The Official’ there had to be one earth.”
“Who was on the jury back home?”
“Those who witnessed our planet from afar,” my father clarified,” And couldn’t see dangers due to their current technology.”
“How could that work?”
“There was an intergalactic law past by the justice department of the universe,” my father explained,” The earth wasn’t aware of this. Since ‘The Official’ had a base on earth there was a loop hole that stated, ‘Any being that causes damage on a planet not their own, can be tried again for punishment there.’”
“So, but why now?”
“The sentencing on our planet is twelve years,” my father said,” But in earth years it is six. That has to do with our position to the sun.”
“But it’s been over six years, almost seven since he was arrested. Why so long?”
“The case was put off because they couldn’t find a trusting jury,” my father noted,” On this planet there were earth’s government officials, people who knew you in school, and people here from our own planet. So, we had to gather inhabitants from other worlds. That’s why there was a delay in the months after the scheduled retrial.”
“Such a long process,” I admitted as the tension in my chest grew stronger. I didn’t want “The Official” to succeed. I was aware my friends felt the same way.
Far below “The Move,” a crater had been built, that staged a replica of an American courtroom, that presented to me, law buildings were universal or unless my people had become accustomed to the judicial system on earth, which I believed was my people’s true intentions.
The individuals in the courtroom were all from my planet, in exception of the jury, creatures from worlds I didn’t recognize.
Then “The Official” was brought in.
Fear caused my blood to boil.
I believed he sensed it.
He just stared at me as security sat him down.
“’The Official’ was more than just a villain. He was a demon,” the prosecutor, a reptile native of my planet’s country, spoke to the jury as he held a printed document in his webbed hands that he moved across the room like a search light only to stop it in front of the blank face of ‘The Official,” In fact this legal document I’m holding in my hands is ‘The Unfolded Truths’ and I am ready to reveal it to everyone in the court room right now.”
“I’d like to break down ‘The Unfolded Truths’ into three categories. First his spying, secondly his attacks, and finally his stolen ideas,” The prosecutor introduced his speech while he shuffled the pages like a deck of cards,” Mind you the legislator did a thorough investigation on ‘The Official.’”
“Let’s start from the beginning,” the prosecutor spoke, turned to look at ‘The Official’ and then back to me,” When Noah first discovered ‘The Rock’ in his backyard it was ‘The Official’ who maneuvered it for take-off and tried to poison Noah and his human friends with fumes. Months later ‘The Official’ followed Noah and his friends back home while carrying “The Globe,” a model used to test asteroids. Somehow, he did this without Noah or neither of his friends knowing.
“I didn’t notice anybody following us,” Ian whispered to Xavier. They were both behind me, Ian to my left and Xavier to my right.
“Just let the prosecutor talk,” Xavier reprimanded Ian,” I’m sure ‘The Unfolded Truths’ are legitimate.”
“Gentlemen keep your voices down during this trial,” the judge, a humanoid, spoke with a robotic pronunciation,” Unless you have something to say.”
“They have nothing to say your Honor,” my father spoke,” We’ll continue to listen to testimony. That way we can find out more about ‘The Unfolded Truths.’”
“Now that ‘The Rock’ and ‘The Globe’ is a hazy memory to Noah and his friends possibly other things may be familiar,” the prosecutor continued with the “spying”’ tactics,” When the ‘The Bridge’ was constructed ‘The Official’ and his team uncovered its’ purpose, how ice water was used for fuel. It was there he was also able to hack into the recordings Noah had produced so far. In the ‘The Invitation’ nothing was physically stolen, but ‘The Official’s’ headlights spied upon Noah’s room, where ‘The Invitation’ contained, a database of Noah’s life and his stories. At this point Noah believed his narrations were his and that ‘The Official’ was where his opposition lied.”
I only nodded my head to the prosecutor. I couldn’t understand how ‘The Official’ had tracked me down from the very beginning. Then the prosecutor brought up my first encounter with “The Official.’
“’The Official’ surprised Noah with an isolated storm, where Noah thought he was to play a baseball game with his friends. It was there he stole both Noah’s key and smart phone, his mission to confiscate all information it had.”
“But it didn’t stop there because in ‘The Dealer’ he inserted a camera in a basketball to film Noah and his friends. Then later he decided to be clever, by using an EXIT robot, an allied machine of Noah’s family to follow them in “The Move” and that was one place on earth they presumed they were safe from the enemy.”
‘The Official’ only gave me a blank stare, no words or remorse, but I had a hunch his silence spoke louder than words.
“The attacks, which I believed was just a foreshadow of what this planet earth and others alike will be up against someday. But this case is about Noah and his adventures,” the prosecutor pointed out as he brought up a map of the earth, as well as the sky around it. There was even my planet in the right corner, above the earth’s the northern latitude,” It all started with ‘The Tour’ when Noah’s father said government officials were spying on them while they were in space and that caused his ship to move in circles. What he meant was ‘The Official’ and his team. He was trying to hide the enemy from the boys. “
The prosecutor gazed at my father. I knew after all this time he tried to protect me, despite the peculiar “Unfolded Truths” that had gone on for almost a year in a half of my life. But I listened to the prosecutor and understood the evidence that poured down like the rain of a hurricane.
“During the ‘The EXIT’, even though the control panel in the “I” building at his parent’s company called High Tech Star Gateway Machinery recognized Noah, initiated an electric current that caused the building to go off line and rise from the ground, Noah’s father still feared that ‘The Official’ might be have been involved with this chaos. I know I mentioned ‘The Invitation’ before, but ‘The Official’ also had some intellectual control with ‘The Invitation,’ exposed its’ files during Noah’s birthday party at his parent’s company. Noah’s father took the boys through an escape route out of the N building terrified of ‘The Official’s’ presence. But ‘The Official’s’ cleverness increased because in ‘The Trip’ when Heirlooms developed by ‘The Official’ attacked the boat Noah’s mother had navigated and left her unconscious. Attacks became prevalent in “The Homecoming’ on Noah’s home planet, though he defeated ‘The Official’ by catching a deadly asteroid. But then ‘The Official’ took revenge on Noah and his family by attacking Heirloom Island.”
The recollection of the confrontations my family and friends took of this enemy were obvious indeed and true to say the least. My father always reminded me “The Official” didn’t want to kill us, but somehow, I believed his will was to hurt our conscious, so we couldn’t persist with our inventions.
“I will proceed with the last topic, stolen ideas,” the prosecutor said, glared at ‘The Official’ as if he was determined to isolate him forever,” This all goes back since Noah’s father used ‘The Lightning Rod’ for a power source at his company on the ‘Sound.’”
I knew this was possible because in ‘The Dealer’ ‘The Official’ used our ‘resources against us’ when we tried to take him down from stealing my father’s I.D. The prosecutor had mentioned this when I was in my train of thought, but my attention was strong, when he brought about the topic of “The Heirloom.”
“‘The Heirloom,’ a branded GPS tracker by Noah’s parents, was the goal of ‘The Official’ and his team to design ones of their own. ‘The Official’ claimed that robots in ‘The Ride’ were his ideas, but in Noah’s father’s defense he had tinkered with these machines and made them adaptable to their liking. In ‘The Drawing,’ ‘The Official’ used a robot to spy upon the sketch of the long-term project to stop Noah and his family from returning to their planet. In ‘The Lock” he stole ‘The Invitation’ so he could position it to ‘The Lock’ constellation that way Noah and his friends’ relationship would end.”
I took in account of all the stolen ideas that ‘The Official’ had taken from my parents. But the prosecutor picked up “The Unfolded Truth’s” document and skimmed to the last page. But there was a jagged thread of paper which made me realize it had been torn.
“I was going to show you ‘The Truth’ or should I say the visible truth,” the prosecutor’s embarrassment astonished the courtroom,” But I don’t know where it is now.”
“’Mr. Official, do you know where the last page is?’” the judge asked.
“It’s in ‘The Rock,’” ‘The Official’ grunted.
“And why is it there?”
“That’s where it belongs,’” ‘The Official’ answered,” Soldered shut inside.”
I just wanted to vomit.
“Your Honor, I suspect we have enough evidence to prove him guilty,” the prosecutor admitted as he placed the unfinished document of “Unfolded Truths’ on the table in front of us, “That’s all I have.”
Then the judge ordered a break disgusted at ‘The Official’, while she reviewed the unfolded facts of my tales. I watched the clock on the wall tick slowly, as I waited for this retrial to be through. I didn’t want to go outside, I just wanted to free my emotions and spit hatred towards this creature that haunted my mind like negative energy. Then those who left the courtroom returned as I waited for the judge to speak.
There were no witnesses of these adventures, only my friends and I, but we weren’t called to speak since there was enough evidence. Then were heard loud footsteps, that broke the temporary stillness of courtroom and interrupted the case.
“I know where the missing page is,” announced a human, middle aged with a balding head, a gray beard and wearing a navy suit.
“You may sit,” the judge ordered as the man took a seat in the witness stand.
“He looks familiar,” my father admitted,” I remember him taking off in a helicopter during ‘The Invitation’ at the N.”
“The government officials had no intention to interrupt Noah’s stories,” the man winked at me and then frowned at ‘The Official,’ “You stole our helicopters. Every time we would try to catch you, you would disappear off radar.”
“The Official” only shook his head and his lips curved into an exquisite smirk.
“Your Honor ‘The Official’ is not lying. The last page is in ‘The Rock,’” the ‘pronounced’ witness confessed.
“How do you know this?” the judge asked.
“This morning while we flew over ‘The Rock’ we got a good thermal view of it,” the witness drew a circle with his fingers, indicated the exact path their helicopters took,” With the technology of these times we zoomed in and saw it. Why it’s the answer to Noah’s tales.”
The judge then told the witness to be seated, as the defense attorney took over.
“Ultimately all my client ‘The Official’ had was a profound interest in Noah’s tales,” a humanoid spoke, though not as robotic as the judge,” His spontaneous actions were a product of how he was raised in his nation and he didn’t know any better of his actions. Noah somehow provoked him in a way, so he couldn’t be tied down. Noah was the creator of ‘Unfolded Truths’ and ‘The Official’ was a part of him. “
The judge took a moment to take this all in. She then hammered her gavel and the court room were adjourned. But it didn’t take long for the jury to reach verdict. The presiding juror spoke,” This verdict is based upon the safety of Noah, his family, his friends, the earth and the universe. We find the defendant guilty of all accounts.”
“I’m afraid you are not obligated for parole,” the judge decided,” You will spend your life in prison.”
‘The Official’ put his head down and was escorted to the long-term project or as my father had now called LTP, that would once again take him on a prisoner’s ship. But I didn’t know where or even care, I just wanted to find ‘The Truth.’
I was relieved at the verdict, but I told my father it was my destiny to go back ‘The Rock” and find ‘The Truth.’ He seemed hesitant about my decision, but he couldn’t stop me, since I was now an adult and free to make my own decisions.
I wanted to bring Xavier and Ian. But they were gone.
They never left without me.
But I had no time to think about it.
I stood outside the courthouse and waited for an EXIT ship to pick me up and take me to “The Rock.” And as I did for some reason the sun had passed its’ noon position, only to move high above the Western Sky.
This aerial view I had over my old neighborhood from “The EXIT” ship had me question if this cul-de-sac was real or not. But all the houses were in the same spot as they had always been. So “The EXIT” ship took me “In the hills behind my house” where I expected “The Rock” would be, but it wasn’t there. So I had “The EXIT” ship circle around the wooded area and still no sign. I even had “The EXIT” pilot zoom in closer, but still “The Rock’”had vanished completely. Then I decided to land next to the empty spot. It was as if a part of me was missing. I admitted to myself ‘The Official’s’ team members had caused this.
But what I couldn’t understand how it could had disappeared for it was plastered to the ground as a monument or a statue that represented my friends’ and I adventures.
Then I contacted my friends telepathically and they promised to help.
Now technology had brought us closer every year.
An EXIT ship flew overhead and the lights on “The EXIT” ship I had been on, responded in a language that only a computer could understand. It gradually lowered itself to the ground, landed next to where my ship had been. But the peculiar thing was the spot where “The Rock” had once been formed a triangular geometrical shape with the two EXIT ships. When the hatch opened, my friends Xavier and Ian climbed out. They were all smiles, in which I couldn’t understand, and I questioned if they were robots.
“’The Rock’ is not missing,” Xavier promised,” It’s at the EHIEF. In court when we found out that the last page of ‘The Truth’ was in ‘The Rock’ we knew we had to move ‘The Rock.’”
“So that’s why you snuck out,” I had realized as the communication between the two EXIT ships had ceased,” But why so suddenly?”
“Your father didn’t think it was safe here,” Ian spoke for Xavier and pulled out a bottle with a folded page,” So he had your mother send an EXIT ship to help move ‘The Rock’ and bring it back to the facility.”
“But why would ‘The Truth’ be buried it in there?” I questioned as a memory came back to elementary school when Lacey a middle school grader had buried a time capsule with ‘The Drawing’ of the long-term project, an action possibly done against her will.
Before any of us could speak, the ground in front of ‘The Rock’ opened and the human witness at the retrial stepped out. Ian still held the message bottle in his hand and Xavier blocked in fear the witness would take it.
“How did you get here so fast?” I demanded,” And where did you come from?”
“The courthouse,” the witness answered and then explained,” The underground sea tunnels your father built is really a wormhole, unearthed recently. It is proclaimed to have been there since the beginning of time.”
“So you are here to take ‘The Truth,’” Xavier shook his head.
“I am not here to take it, but “The Official’ was,” the witness answered.
My friends and I returned concerns with each other, but the witness only added to his reason his unexpected attendance,” ‘The Official’ buried the bottle in there, because he thought he was going to get off. That way he could steal it and you would never find out ‘The Truth.’
“He’s not going to find out ‘The Truth,’” I announced my voice echoing in the woods.
“Do you know how to read that?” the witness questioned,” It’s not just paper.”
“Ian take it out of the bottle,” I ordered as I watched the witness follow my gaze to Ian’s hands. With the help of Xavier, the paper fell out of the bottle. The bottle began to glow and shot a neon pink light to the paper. The paper, now a computerized device, unfolded itself seventeen times, which I had counted the seventeen adventures my friends and I had been on. Then the paper stood mid-air, opened like a secret scroll from a knight’s castle, only this one was for me. My friends and circled around, along with the witnessed as I read “The Truth.” It was clearly “visible.”
‘The Truth’ is you are a writer of the stars. No one will stop you from pursuing your dreams. ‘The Official’ is an antagonist haunting your every move. He doesn’t want anything positive to come from your adventures, but you always managed to win. This gift of storytelling allows you to create a world that is yours. So what else is ‘The Truth?” Well, you are a living being inherent with survival that can soar with any fight imaginable. That’s a defeat that only a true narrator can have. Good job Noah.”
“Where did ‘The Truth’ come from?” I inquired, just as the paper started to fold itself down. But the ground opened, and the witness stepped down. Just as that opening closed, another hole evolved erratically. It was hard to keep track, but I counted seventeen openings, where ‘The Official’s’ duplicated robots climbed out of these tunnels that surrounded my friends and me.
“’The Truth?’ the robots all spoke together, loud enough that the woods around us began to shake, “‘The Truth’ is from your mind, I am a part of it and I want to take you down.”
Just as the robots went to grab my friends and I by our necks, a fireball crossed the sky and I really thought it was my father who was here to rescue. But it was “The Rock,” and as it landed it kicked the stones around us, knocked “The Official’s” robots down.
“How could ‘The Rock’ be a space vehicle?” I misunderstood,” I thought my father retired it.”
“He let us practice on it,” Xavier shouted over the noise,” Ian remodeled the inside.”
“We have been working on it for a while,” Ian explained,” Remember we still live here.”
“But you had an EXIT ship tow it?” I was bewildered.
“We didn’t want anyone to catch on. That’s if it moved on its’ own,” Ian made clear as he pointed out the destroyed robots,” As you can see.”
I was proud of what my friends had done with ‘The Rock’ and carved it into a vehicle and one that could travel without the use of a human’s controls.
“Can we take it for a ride?” I requested.
“Where do you want to go?” Ian smiled.
I don’t know,” I reckoned, “Unexplored territory.”
“Do you have a name for the ship?” Xavier was curious.
“’The Rock’ Traveler or TROT for short,” I answered, “Only this, rides faster than a horse.”
“What about your planet?’ Xavier reminded me how I would name it once I became ‘The Dealer.’ But my actions spoke to soon.
“I’d like to call it Super Earth,” I beamed with pride,” We are not just larger than earth. We are survivors of war.”
As we took off, ‘The EXIT robots follow us to the porthole in the “Sound.” All the earth’s deadly asteroids were pulled by the gravity of the TROT as I took my friends on a cosmic adventure.
“We have school,” Ian reminded me.
“Don’t worry I’ll take you back,” I promised,” This is part of our internship.”
Then a few lines of thought showered me like cosmic rays.
“The Truth” is we all fear the unknown.
We want to be accepted.
Maybe my friends were a part of me.
That my imagination was how I sorted through my dilemmas.
And that was “The Truth” after all.