The hover craft slowly made it way through the clouds. I turn over to Remus. He has been quiet the entire time. He seems a little nervous but I’m sure it’s just because he’s young. I’m not sure whose driving the hovercraft but I assume that it’s robots. That’s the thing about the gays. They were too fabulous to drive themselves in this world. Robots did everything for them.
Remus crossed his arms and leaned back at the chair. He looked out of the window at the clouds.
“How much longer to get to the Breeding Grounds?” I ask him.
Remus shrugs, “Maybe an hour or two left sir.”
“Jesus. You mind if I put on the television?” I ask.
“Sure sir. Do whatever you’d like sir.”
He really wasn’t much company. He was a quiet escort. A part of me was already missing Natasha and Latosha. If they were escorting me back to the breeding grounds by now I would be having a dramatic in-depth conversation about my love life.
I look at the screen. Television with Gay technology is a lot different. A hologram fills the room with a reporter speaking on what’s going on in New Jerusalem. I’m not surprised he’s covering the presidential race. He talks about Nazarius. He talks about Regula. He talks about Lexus Lucius. Then all of a sudden he gets to Marcel.
My heart races as an old video of Marcel and I appear. Memories flood into my head.
“In our hot topics today we are getting reports that Marcel Anthony and his popular 6 Marxis Anthony are getting a divorce. The alleged divorce papers were filed earlier today. There’s a lot of confusion as the marriage between Marcel and Marx was such a popular topic for 2084 presidential race. We reached out to Marcel Anthony but the presidential hopeful refused to answer. We did however also reach out to Nazarius…the father of Marx Anthony for comment and here’s what he had to say.”
I look at the screen. My father is on the screen. He looks upset.
Nazarius has this fake look of concern as he’s speaking to the reporter, “I’m absolutely devastated to hear of the divorce of my son.. What do you say? Marcel has no comment about the divorce. Of course he doesn’t. WelL I know for sure the reason why my son decided to divorce Marcel. As you know Marcel was having an affair with my husband Florian. Both my son and I have been victimized by Marcel. How can we expect a man to hold public office and stay loyal to New Jerusalem when he can’t even stay loyal to his own husband. None-the-less, I’ve talked to my dear son Marx and know that he’s in good spirits. Together Marx and I will come out a stronger and happier family than ever before.”
I’m shocked to hear my shady ass father say these things.
He doesn’t know why Marcel and I broke up.
Nazarius NEVER reached out to me.
“Can you believe him?” I ask Remus.
The intern shakes his head, “People will do anything to win…”
“I left Marcel so that he can win the primary and get the president on his side. Nazarius is flipping this and making this about him. He’s playing the fucking victim. Maybe…maybe I should go back. You know? I can go back and tell the media that me and Marcel breaking up isn’t his fault.”
Remus shakes his head and his eyes get wide a little bit, “Now sir. That wasn’t part of the plan. Cid let me know to take you back to the breeding grounds.”
“I’m not saying I don’t want to go to the breeding grounds,” I reply, “I have no issues returning to my old life. I’m just saying that I don’t want Nazarius making this about him. Let’s go back. I’ll talk to the media and then we can leave.”
“Sir…we won’t be allowed into New Jerusalem. The scanners will detect an anomaly with your sexuality. You’ll be arrested.”
I look over at Remus. I’m not sure what he’s talking about with scanners and anamolies. I honestly don’t care either.
“Listen, turn this thing around or I’ll go tell them to turn it around.”
“I’m not going to ask again.”
My voice is demanding and firm. I’m trying to channel my inner Marcel. Remus seems to be convinced though. He nods his head at that moment.
“One moment. I’ll go program the robots to head back,” Remus states.
Remus walks away at that moment. He goes to the front room. I look back at the television to see what the reporter is reporting now. I’m still on the screen but this time they’ve changed the subject. The news in New Jerusalem seemed more rumors than fact. I had to admit. It was really entertaining however.
I look at the screen and now Marcel is back on the screen. He isn’t alone. Florian is with him.
The reporter seems to speculate about this immediately, “Marcel has also been spending a lot of time with former lover Florian. A lot of people are wondering. Does this mean that Marcel is getting back with Florian? Even though neither party has confirmed or denied these claims it seems as though Marx is no where to be found and that Florian may just be the next Mr. Anthony.”
The speculation makes my stomach growl.
I can’t stand it. He’s right. I have no doubt they were feeding these pictures to the paparazzi. I had no doubt that maybe Cid was testing the waters before they released a statement to the media about Marcel’s intentions to marry Florian.
One thing I notice though is Marcel’s body language. I notice his facial features. He stands away from Florian. He crosses his arms. He isn’t the usual polished Marcel. He has bag underneath his eyes. He looks tired. Worried.
Could it be because of me?
Suddenly the door opens.
I don’t look at Remus because I can’t help but to stare at Marcel, “Maybe we should stop by and check on Marcel. You know? Make sure he’s ok. I mean, not that I’m going to stay. No. I’m not going to stay. I just want to make sure he’s ok. That’s all. Is that ok?”
I am nervous. I want to stay away from Marcel. I made this decision for his political career but I’m worried as well. What if Marcel hates me? What if he never wants to see me again.
“That won’t be possible sir?” Remus states.
I turn to Remus, “What? ---Oh shit!”
Remus has a gun pointed at me! He shoots! I am shocked as the gunshot barely misses my head and hits the projector behind me. The video of the news goes off. Remus has a fucking gun! He’s fucking trying to shoot me!
I can’t believe it. Luckily the intern is nervous. He’s sweating profusely. He’s shaking. He tries to steady his hand and reaim. He has both hands on the gun.
I find myself charging at him as fast as I can.
I put all into it!
My heart races in my chest. Remus steadies his gun! He locks his eyes on me. He has his hands on the gun. He’s ready to shoot! He’s ready to kill me. I can see the intention in his eyes. Everything happens so fast as I manage to jump at him. I jump from the side. I punch him in the side of his ribs.
Remus struggles and coughs!
The gun falls on the ground. He swings at me. The first punch misses. He’s weak though. He’s not like me. He never probably had to fight a day in his life in New Jerusalem. I’m from the Breeding Grounds. I’ve had to fight for everything.
Maybe that’s why I see his punch coming a mile away. I block the next punch and toss him to the ground.
In the next second I have the gun in my hand. I’m pointing it at Remus.
“You don’t know how to use a New Jerusalem gun.”
He’s right. I’ve never used a gun in my life. This gun is so different. It has all these strange buttons I’ve never seen before. However as I hold the gun and look down on him I’m not shaking. My hand is steady.
“You willing to bet your life on it?” I ask him.
He seems to struggle at the moment. He looks deep in my eyes. Then he just puts his hands up…giving up.
“Don’t shoot,” he says, “Please…”
“Why’d you try to kill me?” I ask him.
He struggles. He doesn’t answer. In the next minute the only thing that comes out of his mouth is a weak and desperate, “Erm.” I find myself moving forward and delivering a hard boot into his chest.
He falls over. His back hits the ground hard. He coughs again. This time his cough is harder and stronger than before.
“Why’d you try to fucking kill me?” I ask again.
“He sent me a message. His message was to kill you and make sure that you don’t get to the breeding grounds. He didn’t want you around any longer.”
“Why? Cid was the one who brought me around in the first place.”
“That was when things were still in his control,” he stated, “You believed that you were asexual. Meaning that you have lack of sexual attraction to anyone. Dr. Cid realized that isn’t the case. You are actually what is called a demisexual.”
“A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. In general, demisexuals are not sexually attracted to anyone of any gender; however, when a demisexual is emotionally connected to someone else, the demisexual experiences sexual attraction and desire, but only towards the specific partner. Is that what happened with Marcel?”
Remus was sounding a lot like Cid.
“Cid was able to manipulate your sexuality due to the fact that you and Marcel had an immediate emotional connection to one another. It wasn’t good to begin with. Matter of fact it was the opposite. It was anger and possibly distaste at first. I think the emotional connection was something that Cid thought he could control, but he can’t.”
“Because we fell for one another?”
Remus nods, “Yes.”
“So why kill me? Why not just let me leave like I wanted to?”
“This isn’t the first time he’s attempted to kill you. He programmed Silk to kill you as well. He wants Marcel to believe that you were killed by the Straight Agenda. There’s no such thing as the straight agenda.”
“He’s trying to make me a martyr.”
“Marcel isn’t going to win unless he hates straight people like the rest of the party. If you die…it’ll give him a good reason to hate straight people.”
“Turn this thing around.”
I had to warn Marcel. I had to let him know just how shady Cid was. Even if Marcel didn’t care about it.
“You won’t get through…”
“Turn this around.”
Before long we were back at the border. They don’t check you leaving New Jerusalem but they are tough about entering New Jerusalem.
“You’ll never get through.”
“Shut up,” I tell Remus.
He’s already tied up. I have no plan. I have no way of getting through the check point but I notice the hovercraft has stopped. I hear a ruckus outside of the door.
My heart races, “What’s happening?”
He shakes his head, “They are ordering the robots to dock.”
“Order the robots to keep going.”
“They can’t. The cyborg sentinels any order I give,” Remus explains, “You can’t go back to New Jerusalem. You aren’t a 6 any longer. The cops will shut you down.”
I gag Remus. I put him in a closet. I can see him struggling but once I close the door I can’t hear him for the most part.
I realize that Remus is right though. We are docking somewhere.
My heart races as the doors of the hovercraft open. Two men board. I look in their hands. I can recognize the device anywhere. It’s a Kinsley scale used to measure sexuality. There are two men. I look at their hips. They have weapons on them as well.
“Good afternoon,” I say.
“Good afternoon,” one of the men tells me, “What’s your business in New Jerusalem?”
“I live here…”
“Johnny, Johnny that’s Marx Anthony,” the other man said.
The two men look at me all of a sudden. Both of their faces light up with recognition. The original man who is holding the scanner squints in the darkness as he stares at me.
“Holy shit…it is!” the man said, “What brings you past the border sir?”
I don’t know what to say. He’s smiling at me for some reason.
“Just some…uh…missionary work … that’s all.”
“Of course! I’m a big fan of yours,” The other guard said, “I plan on voting for your husband this year. I hope you know that. We’re huge supporters of you and Marcel.”
I smile trying not to seem nervous at all, “Aw, thanks. I really appreciate it. I’ll be sure to let Marcel know. That’ll make him happy.”
“Maybe you can mention to Marcel about the wages for cyborgs. You know. It’s getting tough out here.”
I smile again, “I’ll make sure to do that. Actually I’m late for a meeting with him now.”
The two men smile. They seem like they are generally fans of Marcel. The fact that they recognize me calms me a little bit.
The man smiles, “Of course sir. We should let you get going.”
“Thank you so much.”
“One thing first. Do you mind taking the Kinsley test?”
My heart races at that moment. Shit. This isn’t happening.
“You guys know who I am,” I reply.
The guard looks embarrassed, “Yes. I know. It’s just. You know. Procedure…”
“I’m sure you can make an exception sir. I’m really really late…” I say and grab at the mans name tag, “What’s your name. Let’s see. Jonathan Cilia. Jonathan, I’m in a little bit of a tough spot. You see…my husband’s been spending a lot of time with another man. I really have to get back. You know. Save my marriage.”
I’m making this shit up as I go. Jonathan and the other guard look at one another. They look at me. My heart is beating so fast. Sweat is dripping down my forehead.
If I’m caught I would be in trouble. If they test me. I’d be in trouble.
I’d be sent away almost immediately. I’d never been to prison but back in the day Silk told me how horrible the prisons were. He told me how dangerous it was.
“Well. I suppose we can make an exception,” Jonathan says, “That guy Florian. No one likes him. We love you and Marcel together.”
“Thanks so much.”
Jonathan smiles, “Of course sir. Have a nice day.”
My heart clears at that moment. I exhale.
“Have a good day,” I reply.
The two men turn and start walking off. Then all of a sudden something happens. A loud thump! The thump echoes throughout the hoovercraft. It’s so loud that I try to clear my breath. The two men stop all of a sudden and then turn around.
They are looking around in the vehicle.
“Did you hear that?” the other man asks Jonathan.”
Another thump comes from the closet. It’s louder than ever.
“It’s coming from the closet,” Jonathan says.
“It’s nothing…”I reply.
I try to stand in between them and the closet that Remus is in. No doubt that Remus is trying to get the guards’ attention. I have no doubt that Remus is trying to get me out of jail.
“Stand aside Mr. Anthony?” Jonathan instructs me, “Please sir…”
“Jonathan I thought we had an agreement,” I say.
“Stand aside. Now.”
The next time he says it he isn’t nice about it. His eyes glare at me. It frightens me a little bit. The recognition seems to fade. He’s looking at me with the strangest look right now. For a moment I am so sure that it’s over. I stand aside stepping behind the two men.
Jonathan is the one who goes towards the closet.
He grabs the handle of the closet door. He opens it slowly.
And before Remus falls out of the closet. I turn and I RUN LIKE HELL off of the hovercraft and onto the patio.
I can feel my heart racing as I am running. The wind is behind my back. I’m running faster and faster. My heart is really getting the best of me.
As I run onto the platform I don’t make it far. In the next few seconds cyborgs are surrounding me. Guns are pointed at me.
“PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!”
All of a sudden I realize my situation has gone from bad to worse.
To read the next chapter go to www.crushedcrown.com