[Cockroaches never die, well, not oversized alien ones called Boris. So, the saga of Holly’s adventures and battle against evil continues on Mirror World.; a universe into which she has been absorbed after hurtling through a blackhole.
FLASH FORWARD, GLENELG — 2018
Over twenty years had passed since I’d left so full hope to save Earth from Boris. I splashed down offshore near Skillets Beach, the calendar date, then, 2016. Since that time, I’ve been waiting for Commander Salome Driver to catch up with me; waiting to give her my story. I’ve been waiting…two years! What’s taking her so long? Oh, of course, she had to wait for the red spot of Jupiter to be in just the right place or she’d end up on some other world or should I say, some other dimension. Right timing is of the essence, as Frieda Thumm, Admiral of the Fleet would remind me when I got impatient. Waiting in this remote corner of Earth and surviving. And not Earth, exactly—Mirror Earth. Waiting for news, while existing in the limbo of no news from the IGSF. Waiting for confirmation of Boris’ death. Was he dead in this dimension? Did Boris exist here? Hoping he won’t pop up again somewhere and proceed to take over the planet. And hoping his son had not survived the crash-landing in the Mirror North American desert.
Meanwhile, Aunt Frieda, Minna’s mother has helped me out, guiding me through the gauntlet of government requirements, rules, and regulations, all the more complex in this reverse world. And, did I mention, French? She’s assisted me sorting my driver’s license, passport, visa, and cover story for the past ten years—twenty-three years if you count my exit from Earth in 1995—and creating a cover story for that too. I should explain that Frieda’s research had uncovered that, Mirror-Holly had also vanished on Mirror World in 1995. The aeroplane she was travelling in at that time, had also mysteriously disappeared over the vast Mirror Ocean, The Turbulent.
Then, last week a call from Commander Driver…
I waited for her on a crisp morning in September. The café where I waited was swamped with people in shorts and track suits and smelling of sweat. Jetty Road was a wall to wall mass of runners and walkers, and the obligatory onlookers. Great day to pick, Driver; just happens to be the inaugural City to Bay Run Fun.
I kept my head down and scanned the Sunday newspaper, La Liberté, for any hint of Boris activity. I’d become accustomed to the print in reverse, reminded me of Leonardo Da Vinci who wrote backwards. Was the famous artist from this world? No news, so far—just politics, the usual “ain’t-it-awful” round of crimes, gossip about movie stars (no Kirk turning up in Hollywood, thank goodness), the “Adelaide” social scene (ho hum! And did I mention this fair city is called “St. Marie”?), oh, and naturally the Run Fun.
‘There you are,’ Driver said. She edged around my table and then stood there grinning down at me. ‘I have a surprise for you.’ I might mention, here, that although we were speaking in French, as that abomination of a language, English was forbidden in this country, I will translate all conversation into English.
I caught my breath and tried to look past her still ample frame. ‘Who? What? Where?’ What if she means Günter? How would I react? Now, why am I thinking this way?
Liesel in “trakkies”, jogged her way through the crowd. She halted at my table breathless. ‘Did it in forty-five minutes. Sorry about deserting you on Pilgrim with Fahrer.’ Without waiting for my reply, she looked around. ‘Hope I don’t meet my double. Heard she’s in these parts. Anyway, I need a cappuccino, the line on Anzac Highway at the patisserie was—’
‘Liesel!’ I jumped up and hugged her. ‘So good to see you, after all these years!’
‘Hey, where’s mine?’ Driver embraced me and pecked my cheek. ‘Good to see you dear.’
Liesel cracked a smile. ‘Hey, is that Fahrer, over there? Looking like an old Fahrer, I grant you. Well, I’ll be!’
I half twisted around to see.
‘Liesel! Stop stirring!’ Driver snapped and then tapped my arm. ‘Holly, don’t be so rude. I mean, if we all start looking, the guy will get embarrassed. Anyway, I think you’re imagining things. There’s no way he could be here.’
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘Dead? Did you say, “Mort”?’ Liesel asked.
‘Yes, I’m sorry to have to break it to you,’ Driver replied.
‘How did it happen?’ I pressed. Was that the reason Günter never turned up?
‘Fahrer headed up a team saving Mutants and Morphins from the Boris planet, before it self-destructed.’ Driver swayed her head. ‘In the process of saving others, he didn’t make it.’
Liesel wiped a tear from her eye. ‘What a hero.’
I stared through the crowd, heads bobbing, colours blending and blurring into the distance beyond the banner.
‘I’m really sorry for what happened, Holly,’ Liesel said. ‘We shouldn’t have abandoned you on the planet like that.’
‘Hmmm.’ It hurt and yet seemed so unreal. He couldn’t possibly be gone. Driver’s making it up. I hoped when I could get Driver on her own, she’d tell me the truth.
‘He did it for good, for the Intergalactic Star Fleet,’ Liesel sounded out each syllable as if precious, ‘IGSF, I mean, to protect earth, I guess. Anyway, there’ll be other Fahreres. After all, if this Mirror Universe is anything to go by, there’d be dozens in other dimensions.’
‘Don’t start.’ Driver waved her hand at Liesel’s face. ‘I think what you mean to say is that we can learn from Fahrer’s example, in doing our best in this war against evil. Just so you know, we’re not rid of Boris. Rumours are, he’s been spotted in this universe. Unconfirmed, though. Maybe a Mirror Boris.’
[to be continued…]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2020
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