Genie & Jase: A Valentine's Day Story
Jase walked slowly through the hallway of the abandoned building, staying close to the wall. She looked behind her to make sure that she wasn't being followed and took a deep breath.
"These files better be here or Amaya is going to hear an earful," she mumbled under her breath.
Jase heard soft chuckling before a sultry feminine voice came through the commlink in her left ear. "I'm sure it's there," Genie said. "Make a left when you get to the end of the hallway."
Jase could hear the smile in her voice. It was a lovely smile. A smile she would fly halfway across the universe to see as often as she could.
"I'm just happy you're on this mission with me," Jase said, looking both ways before rounding the corner. "Maybe when we're done we can go get something to eat."
There was a long silence.
"I don't know. I think after we're finished I should probably be heading back to Kala's transport."
Jase's eyebrows furrowed with confusion. It wasn't normal for Genie to turn down a food run. "Are you ok?" she asked.
"I'm fine", Genie responded. "There's someone coming to your left."
Genie turned to her left just in time to block the fist coming directly at her face. Punching him in the chest, he doubled over and she brought her elbow down on his spine causing him to collapse.
“Behind you,” Genie warned.
Jase kicked her leg backwards and felt it connect with something hard. The guy fell to the floor and she spun around to bring her boot down on his chest.
“Amateurs,” Jase muttered.
“The room should be on the right,” Genie said. “I don’t see anyone inside so the coast should be clear.”
Jase made her way carefully down the hallway until she came to a big wooden door on her right. Using her elbow, she smashed the keypad next to the door, exposing the electrical wires underneath. She reached for the knife attached to her belt and cut each wire until the door opened.
“You’ve got to be kidding me with this security system,” Jase said, rolling her eyes and entering the room.
Surrounding her were several computer servers as tall as the ceiling and one small desk with a monitor in the far right corner of the room.
“Let me know when you’re ready,” said Genie, “ and I’ll feed you the password. Hopefully, Amaya’s source is correct.”
Jase went to the monitor and tapped the screen. “I’m ready, “ she said when the password request appeared.
As Genie spoke, Jase typed until she saw the screen glow green when it accepted her password.
“I’m in,” Jase said, pulling a cord that extended from her jacket sleeve and plugging it into the monitor. She worked quickly, copying and moving files until she felt she had everything she needed.
“You have company on the way. Are you almost done?” Genie said, sounding nervous.
“...and…done,” Jase said, pulling the cord from the computer and watching the cord contract into the sleeve of her jacket. She rushed to the door and slipped out just in time to see three guys rounding the corner and running in her direction.
“Go left, “Genie said. Jase made a left and started sprinting down the hallway.
Jase ducked when she heard the sound of laser pistols being fired from behind her.
“There is a room coming up in front of you. Go inside.”
Seeing the door, Jase shifted her body driving her shoulder into the door and it gave easily under her strength.
“Do you see the window on your left?”
“Yes,” she said, turning to her left and seeing the bright red sun of the planet shining through the only window in the room.
“Jump out of it.”
Jase stopped. “I’m sorry, What? You know I’m on the 20th floor.”
“Jump out of the window.”
Pew! Pew! Pew!
Jase looked behind her to see the three men closing in. She turned back toward the window and shrugged. “All right.”
Taking a deep breath, she ran and dove through the window, glass shattering everywhere. For a moment, she seemed to be weightless, and then came the drop when she felt her body plummet from the 20th floor.
The drop didn’t last long when she suddenly collided with cold metal beneath her.
Jase rolled onto her back and realized she was on top of her transport. “Thank the Gods,” she said, breathing a sigh of relief.
“Hurry up and get inside!”
Jase sat up and saw Genie propping open the roof door and gesturing for her to come inside.
Jase turned on her side and slid over to the door, pushing herself through the opening.
Her body hit the floor hard, having completely missed the ladder. She groaned and rolled over to her side. Genie quickly shut the door and hopped down then ran to Jase.
“Baby, are you ok?” Genie said, helping Jase to her feet.
“I’m fine,” she moaned. “We just need to get out of here. Those rejects were still behind me.”
“Come on you,” Genie said, chuckling. She put Jase’s arm around her shoulders and helped her through the corridor of the transport towards the pilot chamber. “When we get off world I’ll patch you up.”
Kala’s Royal Transport, Stationed On the Outskirts of Realm 5
Jase grabbed Genie’s hand and the two of them stepped off the ramp of Jase’s Transport onto the hangar platform. Genie looked around and noticed 3 other transports the same size as Jase’s in the hangar as well.
“Looks like everyone’s home,” Genie said.
Kala’s royal transport was a mammoth of a ship. Equipped with state of the art technology, and every luxury you could possibly imagine. It contained 10 bed chambers, training rooms, a laboratory and medical facility, theater room, full kitchen, game room, transport hangar and more. It provided everything The Keepers needed for their long missions. When Genie left earth to join the girls, Kala had made sure that she was taken care of and gave her a room on the ship.
For the past few months, it had been Genie’s home away from home. But as much fun as she was having, it didn’t stop the knot in her stomach that she was feeling lately.
Jase looked over at Genie’s face and saw the sadness in her eyes. Her face matched the way she sounded on her comm-link just a couple hours ago when she asked her out to dinner.
“Güzelim (my beauty), are you sure you’re ok?”
“I’m fine, “ she said, with a small smile.
“Was it because I was away so long on my last mission?” Jase said, her eyebrows furrowing with concern. “It was really dange—”
Genie chuckled. “No, it’s fine. I completely understand.” She shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe, I just need to take a nap or something.”
When they approached the opening of the hangar, Jase put in the code and the large red metal doors slid open.
“Will you be here for a while?” Genie asked, gently squeezing Jase’s hand.
“Yeah, I’m here for as long as you want.”
“Good. I’ll go lie down,” Genie said and kissed Jase on the cheek before walking off in the direction of her bed chamber.
Jase watched Genie walk away. She knew something was wrong with Genie but didn’t want to press any further. Maybe someone else might know what’s going on with her, she thought.
Jase walked down the corridor and soon heard laughter coming from the Kitchen. She pressed the thumb pad and the door slid open to a view of Fenna and Adanna sitting at the table chatting.
“Hey, Jase,” Fenna said excitedly. “You're back already?”
Jase shrugged. “Yeah, it was a short mission,” she said, sitting down at the table. “Where is everyone?”
“Kala and Ixchel are in the lab and Amaya is in the training room.” Adanna stated, taking a swig of her drink. “Where’s Genie?”
“She went to lie down.”
“Hmmmmm,” both Fenna and Adanna said in unison.
“What?” Jase said, looking at the two of them. “Do you know what’s going on with her?
“She’s been a little homesick lately,” Fenna said. “Kala said she’s never been away from her family this long and since today is Valentine’s day…She said Genie and her family had a tradition and this is the first time she’s missed it.”
“Valentine’s day? What’s that?”
“It’s a lover’s holiday,” Adanna said. “You ask the person that you love to be your valentine and you do something romantic for them.”
“Yeah, Genie said she and her parents would get dinner and watch old black and white movies together on valentine’s day,” said Fenna. “The girls and I are going out to dinner later and we asked her to come along but she said no.”
“Poor thing,” Adanna said, shaking her head.
Fenna looked at her watch. “Welp, we gotta get going. We have an hour of training to squeeze in before dinner.”
“Looks like it's going to be just the two of you here,” said Adanna as she got up from the table. “Maybe you can cheer her up.
“Yeah,” Jase said, watching the two girls leave, “I might just do that.
Genie sat up in her bed and stretched her arms over her head. Looking at her watch, she noticed two hours had passed. Wow, I wasn’t expecting to sleep for that long.
She crossed the room to her private bathing chamber and quickly washed her face and brushed her teeth. The past couple of weeks had been hard for her. She’d never been away from her parents this long. In all honesty, she’d never been away from her parents for any real period of time.
The other girls were nice and made her feel included but she still missed coming down the stairs of her family home to see her parents dancing in the kitchen to salsa or Brazilian folk music. She missed eating her mother’s ropa vieja and going for rides with her dad on his motorcycle.
She was a mommy and a daddy’s girl and there was nothing she could do about it.
Genie touched the finger pad at the entrance of her room and her door slid open. As she walked down the corridor toward the theater room, an aroma hit her nose and made her stomach growl. She recognized the smell immediately. It was the smell of her favorite dish from a little restaurant on planet 3 of Realm 1.
She entered the theater room and immediately gasped. The theater room had 4 rows of seats with 5 seats to each row but two middle seats in the front row had two big red hearts stuck to the back of each one. A red and white decorated table with an assortment of food was placed in front of both chairs with Red, pink, and white balloons beautifully scattered throughout the room.
Genie turned around to see Jase enter the theater room with two drinks in her hand. She didn’t know what to say.
“I was just about to wake you up,” Jase said, placing the drinks down on the table. “Did you have a good nap?”
“I…I…I did,” Genie stammered, still shocked by the surprise. “This is amazing! What made you do all of this?”
“Fenna told me you were a little homesick and explained to me that it is Valentine's Day and what you and your parents would normally do together. So, “Jase said, grabbing Genie’s hand and pulling her close, “ Amaya took me to Realm 1 to pick up one of your favorite dishes and helped me cue up Casablanca on the screen for us to watch. I’ll be honest. I’ve never seen an Earth movie so I’m a bit excited.”
“I just…I don’t know what to say. You’re amazing!” Genie said with a bright smile.
“Well, I do have one more thing…” Jase said with a mischievous smile.