The Machine

PART SIX: THE KICKER

Avery wrapped her arms securely around Emre’s sturdy neck and thanked him for catching her before she fell. She wanted to plant her own feet firmly on the ground but Emre was far too concerned about her personal safety to let her go just yet.

“Avery, are you okay? Where’d you come from?” he asked in surprise.

“I was… working on something… It uh, kinda didn’t work out according to plan. Just… an occupational hazard, I suppose. What time is it?” she asked cautiously, feeling faint and disoriented.

“It’s about 7 O’clock. Should I call a Healer? You don’t look so good,” Emre stated worriedly.

“No, no, I’m fine. Please set me down on my own feet,”

Emre gently placed her back on her feet but she soon stumbled and he ended up carrying her back into the house, into her own room before setting her down and tucking her in bed. He checked her vital signs and checked to see whether she had a running fever or was suffering from any other physical discomforts.

“Papa, is Mama okay?” their son asked worriedly, hanging back at the door to his mother’s room.

“I think that Mama is just a little tired and just needs her rest,” Emre reassured their son.

“Mama?” Blaize called out to his mother worriedly.

“Your Papa is right, Blaize. I’m fine. I just feel really tired from work. Emre, please call my mom, okay? I’m sure she’s worried about me,”

“Aurora? Was she working with you on that Project?”

Avery nodded but did not reveal any further details which only heightened Emre’s suspicion. He got in touch with Aurora just as his son rushed in to lie next to his mother.

“Hello Emre, this is a pleasant surprise. Are you alright?”

“Good evening, Aurora. I am fine but you sound distressed. Is everything okay?”

“Yes, Emre. I suppose I am just exhausted. I had a long day at work so to speak,”

“Oh yes, Avery informs me that you were working on a Project together,”

“Avery did?” Aurora asked trying unsuccessfully to mask her relief.

“Yes, she just popped in a few minutes ago. She isn’t feeling very well so I just put her to bed. So, what kind of project are you both working on?”

“Oh… well, this and that. I’m afraid I cannot divulge any information as it Top Secret,”

“I get it, Aurora. It’s just that… well… I think that if it’s going to be that dangerous, maybe notifying me as the next of kin would be best. I don’t mean divulging the intricate details; I’d just appreciate having a rough idea of what the Project is about,”

“Emre, I’d love to divulge the information but I… I really can’t. A Healer from the Department shall be there shortly to assist but thank you for all your help so far,”

“Aurora, you know that Avery is everything to me. Please, if there is anything that could endanger her life due to this Project… please let me know,”

“It’s nothing like that, Emre, really so it is no cause for concern. It’s just that something we had not predicted would occur happened which is, again, Top Secret,”

“Well, okay then Aurora. I trust you. In case of anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, okay?”

“I’ll bear that in mind, Emre. Thank you,” she stated and hastily disconnected the call.

Immediately the call ended, Emre got in touch with Leal.

“Hey Em, what’s up?”

“Hey Leal. I was wondering if I might have a word with you. It’s about Avery… And Aurora,”

“Oh?” Leal asked curiously.

“Has Aurora informed you of the Top Secret Project work she is doing with Avery by any chance?”

“With Avery? No, not that I know of. I do know that she and Dr. Paisley Clarke have been working on some Top Secret Defense work on Space-Time but I have no idea how Avery has been involved in it. Why? Did something happen to Avery? Is Aurora there?”

“No, Aurora isn’t here yet but she is on her way and well, Avery is feeling sick and I was worried. I called Aurora and she confirmed that she and Avery have been working together on a Top Secret mission. She didn’t tell me that there was another partner in their project,”

“Well, I wasn’t supposed to know either but well… Aurora tries to keep me in the loop sometimes. What’s wrong with Avery?”

“She just sort of fell out from the sky quite literally and she has been generally very weak. It’s weird that she’s sick because nothing seems to be out of place but I’d rather a Healer confirm that everything is in order,”

“I’m coming over, Em. I hope you don’t mind,”

“Not at all. I appreciate your concern and thanks for updating me,”

“Sure thing, Em. I’ll be right over,”

In a few minutes time, Aurora and Dr. Clarke had arrived with a small team of medics. The team asked that the room was cleared while they performed a check on Avery and then advised Aurora and Dr. Clarke accordingly.

“Her Biotech is fried so she needs to get that fixed up right away and she will need some time to readjust. It is suggested that she takes at least a week off to recuperate,” Aurora explained to Emre.

“Where did she come from?” Emre asked her curiously.

“What do you mean?”

“Avery literally just fell from the sky. Had she been traveling? What happened so that she fell from the sky rather than coming through a portal of her own making?”

“Well, Em, we don’t know the answer to that quite yet so we need her to recuperate first before we can tell for sure,” Aurora answered wearily.

“Aurora, I can tell that you are hiding something huge from me. What is it? If it endangers Avery’s life, you need to tell me. I need to protect her- sometimes even from herself. She is often times stubborn and stuck in her ways, sometimes at her own detriment, you know that…”

“Please just spill the beans already. I’d never tell a soul. What Space-Time related experiments are you conducting on Avery and why does it have to be her? Can someone else take her place? Can I?”

“Emre, there is nothing to worry about. Today’s experiment just worked differently from what we had anticipated as can sometimes happen but we know better and we can keep her safe. Avery is just doing her job so please let her,”

Emre shook his head. He knew something dangerous was happening in Aurora and Dr. Clarke’s lab and he wanted Avery withdrawn from whatever experiment it was. Emre was surprised Aurora, who was like a mother to Avery, would put scientific progress ahead of her own daughter’s life. It seemed too out of character for Aurora.

Leal soon came along and asked Aurora if she was alright.

“I’m fine, Leal and so is our daughter,”

“What happened this time?” he asked.

“We pushed the envelope a little too far today but we’ve learned our lesson,”

“What envelope are we talking? No need to worry, we’re all friends here,” Leal asked Aurora.

Aurora shook her head and thanked Emre for his hospitality before leaving with Leal hot on her tail, badgering her about the experiment. Emre continued to monitor Avery closely, even taking time off work. Within 24 hours, she was back to her good old self and though he tried, Emre was unable to get her to spill the beans about what had truly happened.

“You’re going to quit the project though, right?” he asked her.

“Yes. I am obviously not the suitable candidate to run the experiment,”

“You are a lousy liar, Avery Alison,”

“I’m not lying Emre,”

“I know you and I know you aren’t going to quit even though it’s risky. My only advice is to think about Blaize. Do you really think he can take losing you? He needs you and… and I need you too, Avery. You know that I love you,”

Avery sighed.”I know that, Emre but you’re worried about nothing. I’m in no more danger than I usually am,”

“Then why won’t you tell me what danger we are dealing with?”

“Because it is Top Secret, Emre. Please stop insisting,”

“Fine, Avery. Whatever but don’t you dare die on us,”

“That’s rich coming from you considering you died on us once,”

“And I would do it again if it meant that both you and Blaize got to live,”

“So you’re the only one allowed to die for your cause?”

“Avery, please… don’t die,” Emre stated desperately.

“Fine, I won’t die. I promise,”

Emre was far from reassured but there was nothing more he could do. He watched Avery walk out the door and he prayed that she would be safe.

Avery went back to Dr. Clarke and Aurora and excitedly stated, “I think I’ve gotten a hang of this thing. I’m ready to get back on that saddle,”

“Avery, Dr. Clarke and I have come to a decision. We’re canceling the experiment,”

TO BE CONTINUED?

Is this truly the end of the dream for the Machine? Shall Dr. Clarke and Aurora find another solution to continue their project? Stay tuned to find out!

Links to previous parts:

  1. The Machine Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4
  5. Part 5

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