Welcome to another Saturday Scene for my gangsta, alien sci fi novel.  Worlds Apart is being written on Wattpad, so you can find previous chapters Here

—–Worlds Apart

The next morning Akasha returned to the exploration building and headed directly to Tuli’s office. She opened the door and stepped inside. Tuli sat at his desk , resting his chin in the palm of his hand staring at the Siom screen. Black, gray, green marks on his neck, almost in the shape of her hand, outlined his brown skin. She stepped back into the hallway. She told herself she’d come back tomorrow, and hope the shame would lessen and the marks on his skin would fade. But she couldn’t turn back. She needed to get this over with.

“Happy Sinouka,” Akasha greeted, too cheerily and too loud, as she stepped into the room. It sounded just as fake and awkward as she felt saying it.

“Explorer,” Tuli said, keeping his eyes on the screen.

Discarding her cheeriness, she decided to get to the point. “I apologize about yesterday. I wasn’t myself.”

Tuli kept his face turned towards his screen.

“Has there been any trouble with Siom?” Akasha asked.

“No,” he answered. His voice was filled with hurt and disappointment, and betrayal. How could she have let herself get so out of control. Duane. That was the only explanation. She had to find a way to get rid of him. Why was he still with her?

“Tuli, could you give me an examination? I want to make sure there isn’t anything physically wrong with me.”

Tuli looked up from the screen. “You’re not scheduled for another checkup until your next transfer. If there was anything wrong with you, it would have shown up in the scans.”

She paused, white she thought of the perfect explanation, something that wouldn’t alert him to what was actually going on. “I feel normal, but I want physical proof that I’m well. I attacked you yesterday and Meehkah is lost, I’m not sure if I trust the computers anymore. I would feel better if you gave me an examination.”

“Stay here and I’ll be back with the manual scanners.” His tone was filled with hesitation and bitterness, but above all Tuli was professional. He had a job to do, and the job always came first.

When he returned, he carefully checked her heart, pupils, weight, height, and the intensity of her aura.

“Unfortunately, you can’t blame your behavior on anyone but yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you.”

She sat back in the chair and closed her eyes. She was torn between disappointment and relief, but in the end disappointment won out. She sat up and tapped on her nails on the desk before she looked up and asked. “Has there been any documented cases of a human host returning to Paleon with an explorer?”

“No,” he said quickly. “You know that’s impossible. The host dies. And, anything like that would show up in your energy pattern.”

“How would the human’s energy signature show up?”

“Your aura would be disfigured. It would either be lower to compensate for their virtually unreadable pattern or higher as his would add to your own. Either way, your essence would be changed.”

She tapped her nails again while her thoughts raced to the beat of the tapping. She wanted to believe Tuli. She hadn’t heard from Duane today. Maybe he was gone for good. Maybe he was never there to begin with and she had only been suffering from shock and stress.

She stopped tapping. “Tuli,” Akasha said. “I have another favor to ask. I need your help finding Meehkah.”

“How am I going to help you with that?” Tuli asked.

“I need to see all the information that was recorded before the moment he was lost.”

“You’ve seen his file already.”

“The file didn’t have all of the information I needed. I have to see the complete file.”

“I don’t have that information. It was taken as soon as it happened.”

“But you can get it. If we don’t find out what happened with Meehkah the whole program could be shut down? Then you, me, and everyone in this section would be left without a job.”

“Are you going to hit me until I agree with you?” Tuli asked coldly, The marks on his face blazing anew on his brown skin.

She held is gaze, hoping he read the apology behind them. “Of course not.”

“You can’t blame yesterday’s outburst on your human host,” he said. “You’ve been doing this job far too long to let a dead human control you. You were upset about Meehkah and you let your anger take over.”

“You’re right,” she lied, “You know how close Meehkah and I were. I’m begging you to help me find him.”

“Meehkah is dead,” he said bluntly.

Akasha looked away and clenched her fists, resisting the urge to choke him out again. He needed to get over his anger. She grabbed his hand. It was just as cold as the building. It was a human thing. Touch. They were friends but had never touched unless it was during an examination.

“I need to sort through all of his data before I’ll believe that.” She encased his hand in both of hers, kneading and caressing it. He looked at their hands and then back at her. She could almost see his anger melting away. The amazing power of touch.

“Come back tomorrow and I’ll see what I can find.”

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