Two messages in and both of them urged May Ling to come clean to Kajakh.
A part of May pitied the boy whose shoulders carried so many people’s expectations while another boggled at just how tightly knit May Ling’s relationship with the young hybrid had been, making that one name an inseparable element from her existence.
In light of this, May Ling’s predilections towards secrecy became rather relatable.
That kind of closeness would have presented a different sort of pressure, especially if Kajakh was as great and capable as everyone painted him to be. The way all of them defaulted to him as backup and safety line for a scheme that May Ling had started, it sounded like they expected her to fail without him by her side.
Or I might be reading a little too deeply into this, May dismissed the revelation along with the discomfort it evoked simply because there were more important things to focus on.
Like another message, also from Entoji Aktya only it came a few days earlier than the previous one and marked as watched.
Watched but not deleted. May thought it over, then concluded that, it might be set aside to be replied later but she’d never gotten to it.
Just as she reached out to play the message, a melodic chime and a screen that appeared without her command arrested her attention. Without prompting, words scrolled up rapidly, barely allowing her the time to read them, and mercifully stopped then they filled up the available space.
RUNNING SEARCH DETECTED BREAKING NEWS WITHIN PARAMETER [LING INTERSTELLAR FREIGHT]!
RUNNING SEARCH DETECTED BREAKING NEWS WITHIN PARAMETER [MAY LING]!
RUNNING SEARCH DETECTED BREAKING NEWS WITHIN PARAMETER [LING HEIR]!
RUNNING SEARCH DETECTED BREAKING NEWS WITHIN PARAMETER [KAJAKH MUN’AHSA]!
RUNNING SEARCH DETECTED BREAKING NEWS WITHIN PARAMETER [OZI MUN’AHSA]!
RUNNING SEARCH DETECTED BREAKING NEWS WITHIN PARAMETER [MUN’AHSA]!
“What the – ” May blinked in surprise, trying ot process the new development. “Breaking news?”
Taking her absent murmur as a cue, the screen cleared out before scrolling out new words. Headlines this time.
And with each one she read, May’s heart accelerated as her eyes widened in horror. The only thought that ran through her head at that moment, half-hysterical half-scared, was: “Kajakh won’t be making it for lunch today.”
‘THE REAL REASON BEHING LING HEIR HOSPITALIZATION’
The 18th of 6th standard month found May Ling, heiress of the Ling Interstellar Freight or commonly known as LIF, hospitalized without a definite explanation from the LIF or her closest associates, inviting not little speculations about foul play targeting the Terran adolescent.
However, recent information has surfaced that suggest the reason behind this unfortunate occurrence might be self-inflicted via abuse of substance.
Sources who requested to have their identity hidden revealed that the cause behind this lapse of judgment might be her incapability to cope with her parents’ demise in a hovervehicular accident that occurred in the Fifth-month.
“She has trouble sleeping since her parents’ death,” revealed a medical officer who refused to be identified. “We have prescribed limited sleeping aid to improve her condition. Although, historically, Terrans’ mental fortitude ranks among the lower spectrum of the…”
‘LING HEIR HOSPITALIZED AFTER SUICIDE ATTEMPT?’
The only heir to the Ling Interstellar Freight, May Ling, might have attempted to take her own life, reported a source who preferred to remain anonymous.
“She was never the same since her parents’ death,” the source said, “More reticent and subdued. Her friends haven’t had any success in getting her to open up. And there’s the LIF’s [Ling Interstellar Freight] fiasco. She’s just a kid. With everything piling up all at once, probably she wasn’t taking it as well as she should…”
Due to a quick interference from Kajakh Mun’ahsa, Ling-sa’s childhood friend and current Vice President of LIF, her life was saved. While no detail was forthcoming regarding her long stay in the Nimuth Interplanetary Hospital,
“I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I heard misprocessed Thranh leaves are involved,” another source who refused to share their identity and occupation revealed. “It might be an accident, but I tell you now I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not.”
Thranh leaves are regulated alternate medication not usually available without prescription. Though effective, its circulation is limited due to…
SUICIDE OR HOMICIDE? NIMUTH CITY GUARD REMAIN MUM ABOUT LIF HEIR HOSPITALIZATION
The Ling Interstellar Freight faced an unprecedented crisis when their President and his wife, also a major shareholder, perished in a tragic hovervehicular accident not two months prior. Not long after, May Ling, the only heir to the multiplanetary corporation was admitted to the hospital due to unknown causes.
News broke that she might be a suicidal, but is she really?
Would someone who just inherited not just one of the largest interstellar freight companies in the Al-jurba system but also a huge sum of wealth commit such a short-sighted act?
Admittedly the Ling Interstellar Freight’s current situation leaves much to be desired, but the titan is still far from unsalvageable. Not to mention the Mun’ahsa father and son, Ozi Mun’ahsa and Kajakh Mun’ahsa, leading the company in the interim, by the time Ling-sa is ready to ascend to her rightful place, the crisis will be long over.
Isn’t it suspicious though that all three of the Ling family members suffered from devastating misfortunes in such a short period of time?
Until now, the Nimuth City Guard has not released any official statement regarding the case other than the incident that put Ling-san in the hospital is still under investigation. Given that a few weeks have passed since then, can we except to find a different theory than the ones touted by the media?
Our reporter has it in good…
May speed read article after article, each one iterating the same details in different manners and from differing perspective.
“This is ridiculous,” she mumbled, a fist resting on her mouth as she considered the implication of such news. One of the more obvious ones being, “Someone blabbed.”
Her eyes narrowed at the mention of Thranh leaves, a detail that even the doctors didn’t know seeing how the hospital has yet to identified the toxic substance that caused her collapse in the first place.
“The police,” she concluded morosely. She flopped back on the bed she had been occupying during her research, an arm thrown over her eyes. “Those fuckers.”
Compounded by how the investigation team was made up of officers who were either incompetent, demotivated, or simply prejudiced against Terran…May was more surprised that she didn’t wake up with all of these already marinating for weeks during her coma.
Might be another of Kajakh’s intervention, she decided. Still the timing presented a large inconvenience to her. Had they waited another week or so, she would have an easier time convincing Kajakh to lighten his supervision on her.
Now? Well, she had a snowball’s chance in Hell.
Sighing explosively, May gritted her teeth as frustration mounted once more. It’s like the world is taking pleasure at seeing me struggle like a rat in a boxed maze.
Obstacles come one after another right after she came out of the hospital, as if her appearance was a beacon that signaled ‘yes, this lady here is free game.’
As if her appearance…
May sat up, eyes narrowed as she reopened the secret to do list, running through the details one more time.
As paranoid as it might sound, what if that article that talked about conspiracy actually held some substance? Seeing how May Ling had been independently investigating the LIF’s Nimuth-Homyu incident, and more than that, actually discovering substantial proof that something else was taking place behind the scene…
Would taking her out of the picture to silence her be that much of a stretch?
Perhaps her parents too had stumbled upon details they were not supposed to and had to be taken out of the board permanently.
I need to know more about May Ling’s parents accident. May concluded with a frown. And if anyone is benefitting from the news of May Ling’s suicide. If this is not just bad timing, then the motivation behind this might be the key to the first attack.
May had considered that she might be a target due to her status as LIF’s heir, but if whoever was moving in the background wanted to cripple the company, the Mun’ahsa father and son should also be targeted. Or perhaps they had, but she didn’t know about it.
Another thing to check.
To be honest, Kajakh as the perpetrator had crossed her mind; however, it was a possibility she discarded as fast as it appeared. Though the man stood to benefit a lot from her death, his actions, constant fussing, and overall genuine concern for her well-being did not line up with the theory that he might want May Ling dead to take over the company.
She might be a universe, a world, a time away from her home, but May liked to think that she could still read well enough to tell if they held malicious thoughts against her.
Also, if he had wanted her dead, she would never wake up to begin with. Since the hospital could not find the exact composition that destroyed her body so thoroughly, May imagined it wouldn’t be too hard for Kajakh to mess with her equipment and blamed it on the unknown substance to end her life when she had been comatose.
Yet she still lived.
So no, Kajakh couldn’t be it.
One down, an undeterminable number left to go…
May’s own to do list grew longer and longer with each revelation.
Sighing in frustration, she swiped all the screens away, revealing the incor she was about to watch just now.
If nothing else, I should strike one item from that ever-lengthening list.
With that in mind, she played the incor from Entoji Aktya.
“Ishtar,” the message began, the brown alien sounding severe, a sharp contrast to the mellow and wizened individual he portrayed in the other message. He was standing in a different room, one with an open window in the background that showed hints of neighboring buildings.
“I know you think you know what you’re doing, but as a good friend of your parents, I’m telling you to stop. The LIF – your company – has conducted its investigation and the results are out. This fiasco resulted from a technical failure to detect an anomalous weather that ended up with the cargo swept away by an unexpected meteor cascade. It was a misfortune that came from being underprepared and caught off-guard at the worst possible moment, not a man-made disaster.
“We could have done better. We should have done better. And we will learn from this.” The alien shook, pointing his finger at the screen, clicking angrily as he went on with his demand, “For once, listen to your better and get this through your stubborn head: Let. It. Go!”
Aktya-jo shook his head, pacing back and forth, the camera following his movement. Even without extensive knowledge on alien body language, May read the agitation that lined his hunched body and how his jagged tail – barely visible under the poncho – waved about listlessly.
When the alien finally collected his words, he whirled at the camera, mandibles moving rapidly in response to his emotions. “I come by this too late to stop you, but you should have known better, Ishtar! Out of all the stupid things to do, I never expected you to fly the Deneb right into the heart of space just to prove an insane theory of yours!
“It’s bad enough that none of the Voyagers escorting the LIF cargo survived, but right now, the Voyagers Association can’t afford to be seen too closely linked with the accident, and though your name conceals who you are, it still has ties to the organization.
His pointed down at the ground, snapping out in precise, crisp dictions, “If I had known this is the kind of insane plan you would hatch, I would not help you secure its licenses nor agreeing to register you as a Voyager at all! As long as you are under my mandate, you are my responsibilities. You have to play by my rules.
“There is no foul play. There is no third party orchestrating the accident from behind the scene. It. was. an. Technical. Error,” he enunciated each word forcefully as they could transfer his conviction straight into Ishtar’s head. “And I say: no more unsanctioned jaunts to controversial places! Especially not by hijacking one of my best Voyagers to be your bodyguard! Even if he agreed to it.
“You’re lucky he’s a veteran! He knows how to cover your tracks, otherwise we won’t be having this conversation because I would have voided out the name Ishtar from the VA database myself!”
His three-fingered hand moved to terminate the connection before a thought occurred to him. Mandibles making furious clicking noises, he glowered at the screen. With a tone that booked no argument, he declared, “Don’t think I don’t know about that request for guide and bodyguard you posted for a long voyage! This is my domain; I know everything that happens in it. Take it down! Stay put! Let Ozi and his son take care of this. You should focus on your education.
“Mark my words, if I get even a hint that you haven’t ceased this nonsense, consider your license suspended until further notice.”