I walked slowly back to the bridge, silent and contemplating what I had found out.
"I found out about Adily," I told Cassie quietly.
"Did she give you the database access code?" she asked, not looking up from the star ship's computer display.
There was a moment where neither of us spoke; but one question kept weighing on my mind.
"Who are the Judgers?"
"You can't know that; not yet," she replied, not looking up from what she was doing.
"TELL ME!" I yelled at her, tears streaming down my face, "Adily DIED!"
"Adily died protecting her true identity, died saving me and my friends. I deserve to know," I snarled angrily.
"Adily didn't just die protecting a secret; the Nordic invasion--" Cassie tried to explain it away.
"I KNOW!" I screamed, sobbing uncontrollably.
Cassie was looking at me now, and I saw something inside of her snap. Remorse, pain, sorrow, and sympathy poured across her face before being shoved behind a mask of anger.
"The puppet doesn't decide what play he's in, doesn't decide the script, and doesn't need to see it. The master pulls the strings, not the puppet. Puzzle pieces don't need to know the big picture; they just need to be placed where they go," she said.
"Is that all we are to you? Pawns?! Puppets?! Puzzle Pieces?!"
"Katelyn, you know--"
"NO I DON'T!" I screamed at her.
I felt all the pain welling up in side of me, the pain of losing not only Adily, but Aidan as well. The pain left behind left bleeding gashes across my heart. I barely noticed when Cassie wrapped me in her arms, comforting me as I cried.
"Please," I choked out between sobs, "Please, just tell me."
Cassie softened, and drew in a deep breath.
"The Judgers were a race of people with Human brains encased in android bodies--well, the first generation, anyway," she began, "The next generations just looked like regular Humans. However, their technology was very advanced, and they discovered a dimension overlaying our own. From this dimension, one could interact with ours, invisibly controlling events to their will, without being seen by someone in ours. The Judgers used this, reverting to their primary function during the Thousand Year War; they judged the criminals of civilized space. They settled disputes between stellar empires, interfered to keep the peace.
"But eventually, as the Judger race continued, the newer generations felt that the Judgers should no longer interfere with events that didn't concern them, that not even their passive interference using the overlay dimension should continue.
"Unfortunately, others felt the same way, and all Judger units were recalled to the home planets. But Rakor, Jahari, and Adily were a few of the Judgers who felt that to sit back and do nothing while evil was allowed to grow unchecked was wrong. So, they needed someone who could..." she stopped herself before she said anything more.
"But that wasn't us, was it? How could that be possible?" I barely whispered.
"It was you and your friends," Cassie soothed gently, "Think about it. What is the probability of all of you being together, in a housing development with almost no houses, right in the neighborhood of a genius computer scientist, who just 'happened' to discover the secret to telepathics and brainwave technology? Let alone you and your friends involvement in New York City at the age of thirteen, Project Erase with the US government at fourteen, and all those other impossible things that happened after that over the past year. You and your friends are also all around the same age of fourteen.
"Your very existence was planned, and everything that's happened since. Even the death of everyone's parents; think about that. Any of the mafia that knew who all of you were got killed when New York City was nuked; how could they have found you guys to attempt to kill you all?"
"So the Judgers, they..." I was too afraid to ask.
"No. But they had to let some information leak out..." even Cassie seemed uncomfortable discussing this part of things.
"What's all this for? Why are they tampering with every area of our lives?" What do they want?" I questioned, finally getting my composure, taking one step back so I could look her in the eyes.
"I can't tell you that. But, if you keep following what they've instilled in you, you'll find out further down the road," she said, "And, if it's of any consolation, you and your friends have turned out far better than the others Rakor and Jahari tried this on before."
"I don't think I want to know what happened to them," I told her as I moved to the control console, Cassie making adjustments to the navigation system.
"No, you don't. Rakor and Jahari will have a lot to answer for, one day," she said, her voice grim, "But right now, we need to get Jaydon and Rebekah out of that camp."
"How long have they been there, trapped?"
"About three days since their week of camp ended," she said.
She looked over to me.
"I guess the puppet needs to pull its own strings, once in a while."
"Even a pawn can kill the king," I smiled, "Thanks Cassie, and I'm sorry for getting angry with you."
"I understand, Katelyn. I was once very much like you," Cassie accepted my apology, "very much like you."
The above was an excerpt from one of my books, The Delta Records Volume 1, which I hope to finish soon.
[ (c) copyright Jadon M. Burchwell, 2017 ]