Chapter Forty Seven - Alone

Priam is Gone

It's very quiet in the yacht. It's not peaceful.
I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't think.
Priam is gone. I am dead.

I think of sending a message to my parents telling them I'm not dead.
But I can't trust them.

Why did they hate Priam so much?

Maybe the first they saw him, they thought he was coming to kill them for
turning his father over to Dalmar. If it was his father....he didn't know...he
wasn't sure. Maybe my father was sure...but there was no answer.
Priam had asked...Papa never answered.

If Priam had been the son of that man, he was coming to thank my mother
for making the last seconds of his father's life kinder.

I remember those moments.
I had been there.
I was very young.
I had seen the Dalmar fire, saw the ray hit the man in the stomach, I saw him fall.

I didn't know what the ray was, then. I've learned now. It's a kind of
microwave which destroys from inside out, so that the victim feels
every single second of agony.

I remember my mother, she had gasped, not screamed, and run to the man,
held his head on her lap while he cried out his pain, and my father covered
him with a fireproof blanket, and run me and my brother from the room.

If that man who died had been Priam's father, he died with his head on my
mother's lap, not on the deck, not alone and scorned.

But my parents never gave Priam a chance.
They'd chased him out of their home, and my father wrote;

'Get Rid of Him!'
as if Priam was a bag of trash.

When I didn't, they cut me off.
So I couldn't tell them I was alive.

I didn't know how to contact Priam. I didn't know anything except to get to Earth,
have this baby. And then, then I'd figure out what came next.

I was five months pregnant, should be six when I reached Earth.
I would reach earth as Angelina Molina.

I went to my case to get a disguise. I decided the best would match my skin
colour to how I imagined my baby would look; that middle ground between
myself and Priam.

Angelina was olive skinned, deep auburn hair. I'd start there.
Changing my appearance gave me something to do.
An activity.

In one part of me, the real part, I was as mindless as a slug.
In the other part, I was Firebird, as focused as a laser, more capable than an army.

For the time being Firebird was dead, I had to make every action, every decision
sans me. Until I felt safe, I'd be not me. So, for want of a better persona, I'd be Angie.

I was Angie flying in front of a well guarded Hawking transport.

But this ship had left Smudge shortly after the Secure Ship...if the Dal's questioned..
.I'll sell this yacht fast and buy something else, somewhere else.

Speaking of somewhere else; where would Angie live?
Earth was a well populated planet, she had to live in an established country.

I went up and down and back and forth, deciding on one of the French Caribbean islands.

I sent applications to all Aquatecture concerns I could locate. I had a degree, easy to morph it from Anntoinette Firebird to Angelina Molina.

Firebird Inc. had security clearance. I knew my father's code, used it. I'd do nothing as Ann.

I got a few dings from the Security boat motherducking the Hawking ship, demanding I fly faster, so I did. I went as fast as the boat could go, as I now had a plan.

Martinique

I docked by the New York hub, sold the yacht, got a decent price. I bought a commercial Viper, not especially comfortable, but fast.

I took the Viper out, around, and back, left it at the Venezuelan hub, caught a flight to Martinique. I booked into a small guest house, careful with my money.

I was offered a job of assistant in a small company. I was, I had been, one of
the most celebrated aquatects on the planet of Newfrance, but I'd take this
paltry position on a tiny island gratefully.

I decided my clothing style would be baggy, which would hide my pregnancy.
I made myself look fat by a stupid hair style I'd call 'cowflop' for a name.

As the company was not much, the jobs simple, the pay okay. I moved into
a little cottage after a month. Three tiny rooms and an even smaller bathroom.

I was pretty handy. I went to work on the kitchen. With wood I built myself a
counter around the sink, which I used for a table and support for a micro
and percolator. Underneath I put a tiny fridge.

I slept on a sleeping bag a week, then used most of my pay to get a
second hand bed. The next week I bought a few sundries.
I saved most of 'Angelina's' money.

I had lots of money squirreled away as Firebird, but wasn't going to touch
it until I felt safe. If worst came, I'd have to hack into a Firebird account
and steal my own money, so I lived on Angelina's salary, and made do.

Work, save, buy. No thought beyond food, clothing, work, buy.
No life.
No thoughts of life.
But I couldn't control my dreams.
I couldn't stop myself from coming to halts and crying at odd moments.
I could only wake up, start moving.

I worked hard, I kept quiet. I pretended I didn't know certain things.
Firebird had to be dead.

I'd always had enemies, sure. But not like this.
So I'd be Angie on Martinique. No more.

I lied about everything, I recreated myself. I tried to have nothing that would
connect me to Firebird.

Instead of drinking coffee, I drank tea. I became a crypto-vegetarian.
I took up yoga. I was not Ann, I was Angie.
I spoke French. My English was imperfect.

I dyed my skin as I didn't have time nor inclination to lie in the sun.

My co-workers liked me. I was a bland pudgy nobody who was good at her job.
No one any body would want to date or elevate to best friend. I lived carefully,
so carefully, as the months passed.

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