CHAPTER 2: NEW MEMORIES
The short blonde guy was accompanied by a beautiful chin-length hair and slightly olive toned girl. Her appearance was human but Lexa felt something more artificial than human. She wasn't flesh and blood like the blonde young man, she was artificial of some sort, yet HE called her so sweetly 'Rom-doll'. His feelings for her were strong, that much she could feel from his words, but she could also tell they were not together. His desire to have her was strong, but the pain of her rejection was more powerful.
"OK, Rom-doll, whacha need for the repaires? I say we should get a nano-welder, too, cuz my old one…"
"Yeah, I remember, Harper. I told you I was sorry about the whole thing! I thought you were just saying I had an internal error just so you can shut me down and…. have your way… And besides, I didn't mean to throw you…"
He cuts in just before she had a chance to finish her sentence.
"OK, OK, apology accepted, but I still need it…"
"…that close to Dylan, maybe he wouldn't have caught you…" they say in the same time.
"I heard that!" said Harper, outraged.
"You did install a new drive for sense of humor, looks like it's working." giggled Rommie with a smug smirk on her face.
"Har, har, veeeery funny. You know, maybe I should take it out." Harper told her with a mocking smile.
"In your dreams, Harper!"
As Lexa participated to this lovely argument, hearing the name 'Harper' something clicked inside her, something warm, something that was lost a very long time ago. Something tried to escape the wall that was her memories. Struggling to keep her emotions at bay, without remembering what those emotions were or what they meant, she asked herself why this was happening now and from where does she know him? Still undecided, she followed them into an empty machine shop. As she quickly scanned the area for any cameras, infrared sensors or any life forms, the decision is made and she allowed herself to be seen.
"Helooooo…. Anyone here? We do pay for what we buy, you know. With cash!" Harper said sarcastically impatient. "Sheesh, you would've thought they would pop out by now once you say the magic word…"
"I'm not detecting any movement, I don't think anyone is he…."
In a second Lexa was behind the counter with a welcoming smile on her lips.
"Hi! Sorry about that…" she apologizes after she sees Harper jump a little from her sudden appearance. "What can I get you?"
"Well, hello there! You see, I'm the chief engineer on the biggest star-ship and I could use… some magic from you" Harper told her, eyeing her from top to bottom and revealing a crooked smile that just stops her breath. Rommie calmly grabbed his right ear as she turned to Lexa.
"Down boy! Sorry about that, we could use some new bifocal convexe lenses. Type ACE+ for battle star-ships."
As Lexa took in this strange love display, smiling slightly, she decided to act more. After all, her visions about the death of this short blond boy were about to come true.
"Sure thing. You know, I think he suffered enough, you can let him go now." Lexa pointed toward Harper with a smirk.
"What?" Rommie said with a bored expression, looking in the direction of her hand still clinging to Harper's ear. "Oh, yeah, you're right." Suddenly remembering Harper, she let go of his ear with a pleased smile on her face.
"OUCH! Thanks for forgettin' 'bout me!" Harper pointed out sarcastically.
"My pleasure!" smiled Rommie.
Lexa disappeared in the back room listening intently as the arguing continued in the front room.
"Ha ha yet again! Looks like that drive is better than I thought!" said Harper before remembering something. "By the way, maybe I should get your sensors upgraded, you didn't detect anyone earlier…"
"Yeah, that was really weird." explained Rommie with a puzzled expression on her face.
Before they could think through the weird appearance of Lexa, she comes back with the needed parts.
"Here you go! Are these good enough?"
"Yes, thank you. Here!" as Rommie handed Lexa the money, she turned her head toward the door, from where they could all hear shooting and people screaming outside.
"Oh, it's OK, it's on the house…" Lexa explained, trying to hide the fear in her eyes with no effect. A suspicious Rommie began scanning a terrified Lexa as she grabbed Harper's hand and pulled him over her just before the door blew open and debris was scattered all over the place. The blow was so powerful it threw Rommie across the room and it would have certainly killed a puzzled looking Harper. For a moment Lexa and Harper looked into each other's eyes, being so close, their chests touching, before reality's voice echoed like a crash.
"Hey, girl! Get him out of here! I'll keep these guys busy!" Rommie yelled as she knocked a guy out cold. "Hurry up!" Rommie said one more time, as she visibly fought with her emotions for her little man.
As Lexa grabbed a hold of Harper's hand, he suddenly stopped.
"Rom-doll!" he yelled with a panicked voice.
"I'll be fine, Harper! Get out of here! Rendezvous back at the Maru!" she bellowed through all the shooting.
"C'mon! It's not safe here!" he said taking charge of the saving part, holding her hand in a firm grip, not too tight, but strong enough not to let go. So many strange feelings she couldn't remember, but now, as they were running for their life, they slowly revealed themselves. With Nietzscheans on their tail and a dead end ahead, she decided to reveal the secret she was holding for all those years since childhood. Something inside her told her to protect him and his gentle but so familiar shine as she undid her wings, grabbed him by the waist and took flight in the last moment.
"Hold on!" she yelled, dodging in a zigzag all the shooting directed at them… at her. She risked a peek at him and regretted it in the moment their eyes meet. She could read the emotions on his face, surprise, pain, shock, disbelief. With one last burst of energy she redirected the attack to those shooting, turned invisible at the very last moment, when one of the missles passes through her force field. She kept flying until the Nietzscheans were miles away from them and started to slow down, her eyes feeling very heavy as they started to descend slowly. Coming to an abrupt halt on the ground, her feet just won't move fast enough for bracing herself and Harper.
"WHOA! Here, sit down and rest for a while." Harper pointed at a fallen tree trunk near a thick forest, when he noticed some sort of liquid on his hands. With a look of horror he realized Lexa was bleeding badly. "Oh my God!" he managed to say before catching a fainting Lexa.
"I'm fine…" Lexa mumbled as she tried to get up, Harper immobilizing her gently.
"The hell you are! You're hurt!" he said as his hands checked for the wound.
"Listen…" Lexa took his hand gently, making him blush slightly. "You should probably get going… and meet your girlfriend. The Nietzscheans are after me." she confessed. "You don't have to get involved in this…"
"And what do you expect me to do? Just let you here like this?" pointing at her wounded belly. "Nu-uh, you're coming with me! It's the least I can do, and besides, I'm not gonna lose you again, Lexa!"
She stared at him for a couple of second before finding her words.
"You… know me?" she said with a shocked voice. Harper just looked at her with a pained expression before turning his head suddenly.
"They're not far behind, come on, I'm not letting you out of my sight!" he said as he grabbed her hand and tugged her slightly. He used a flexi—map to guide them through the sea of ancient trees as they ran faster toward a light clearing where they could see salvation waiting for them in the form of scrap metal glued together.
"Almost… *huff* …there… *huff*. Boss!" he said the moment he touched his neck. "I'm coming in hot! *huff huff* I've got company!" he panted, tugging Lexa through the thick forest.
"Yeah, Rommie told me, Nietzscheans all over the place" said a woman's voice. "Get your butt moving, Harper!"
"I'm not alone!"
"Yeah, I heard you the first time!"
"No, I mean prep another plate! We have guests!" Harper explained. "Harper out. Look over there!" he addressed Lexa, pointing in the direction of the Maru. They sped up as they heard missles blowing behind them, ducking from the debris of the forest and tripping on the uneven ground.
"Go hard left!" Lexa yelled as the survival instincts kicked in and her powers expanded just as the ground blowed up in a cloud of dirt, covering their exit for a brief second, long enough to make their escape and exit the thick forest. They bolted to the trap door as Rommie was shooting at the attackers but, as Lexa took charge running as fast as her legs would let her and ignoring the sharp pain all over her body, Harper threw himself in front of the shot that would have hit Lexa in the back.
"Look out! Argh!" Harper yelled in pain as the trap door closed and the Maru took flight. Lexa turned around too late, only to catch his limp body before hitting the hard metal.
"Oh, no… Harper…?" Lexa cooed as she tried to hold him up.
"HARPER!" the brown-haired girl yelled in shock, realizing the final shot hit a target.