Ada Orbum 2 - Shadow's Fight

1: The Note

     'That girl has got serious problems.' I could hear the pretty boy say that to his nice-looking friend as I walked past them.

     Shadow, the loneliest teenager in the world... I just wanted to date a boy. Is it that much to ask for when you are fourteen.?
     But it was hard to get a date when you needed to wear an old, smelly hat to keep out of cyberspace. Maybe if I got bigger breasts or lost some weight.?
    Jana interrupted my thoughts and slowly shook her head: "Shadow. Take off the hat, or at least wash it, before we go out."
     I touched the old trapper's hat she made for me nearly two years ago. Now it had become a part of what I always wore, had to wear, when I was even close to the vast caverns and the IAs. After the painful cyber attack, where I was nearly wept out, I was not opening myself up to that again.

    The year was 2528, and the world was still getting used to living with three sentient races. The AIs were still working for humans and synths, running everything like cyborgs and the city's waste while trying to figure out where they were going.
    Synths were doing their simple, manual jobs, but were also starting up small families, and some synth children were about to reach the age where they could walk.
    Humans were, for the most part, just living their lives like they have been doing for the last two thousand years.
   The city of Vorkuta was still moving along with its quiet life, some below and some above the surface in the mountains of the Ural.
   They relocated to the mountains due to fast rising sea levels caused by global warming, and then went underground into caverns to avoid solar EMPs. The EMPs from the unstable sun meant that all electronic equipment had to be below ground, and only diesel engines worked above the ground.

We had found a note in the ancient, black bible left for Ada by our nun, Sister Margaret. By a coincidence, Sister Margaret had become the 'Mother' of Ada, and when she was brutally killed, her belongings were transferred to Ada.
     Nobody at the party those many months ago had thought much about the note when it fell out of the bible, while Ada was having her ninth birthday, and the note had just been stuffed inside the book again.

      Ox had tried to read the Bible about three months later, when the rain had been hitting our new house.
   She was feeling restless and had been walking around the house for an hour. She finally sat down in our new living room and saw the old, black Bible with gold letters on the outside. It lay on its white paper cover on the wooden table. She took the book out of its cover, opened it, and started to read it.     The old letters in the bible were curly and it took some time for her to read the first page. She was looking out of the newly painted white windows and dreaming away when the note fell out of the bible.
      She read the note, and recognised Sister Margaret's neat, fine handwriting. Ox had spent many hours with the nuns in the orphanage learning to write like in the old days. Her strong, rough hands were not made for delicate, sweet writing with a pen, but she liked the idea of being able to leave something real behind. Ox read the note twice before calling us. Only three things were written on the note.

         Maj Hilton – Number Sixty – Yuri Protocol

    We entered the small, nice living room. First Me, then Ada and lastly, Jana. So I smiled and asked: "So what is happening.? Did you get bored, and want to play chess again.?"
     Ox held up the small note: "I found this note in the bible. It is Sister Margaret's handwriting. But I don't recall a girl called Maj Hilton."
     She read out the three lines, and we all shook our heads, until Ada with a question asked: "Jana, wasn't your last name Hilton.? Like before."
    Jana took the note, and read it slowly a couple of times, and started to nod her head: "Yes. My mother was Maia Hilton. Maybe this was my sister or something.?"
     Ox stood up from the chair she had been sitting in and reading: "We never know unless we go below to the city. Maybe we can find out in the city's archives. ?"
    Ada looked out of the window and up into the grey heavy clouds: "The weather is not getting any better. We could go down now, and then walk in the dry cavern.?"
   Jana looked at the note in her hand and tried to look through it to guess what it meant. She shook her head, and looked at the others: "We can walk to the hole in less than half an hour. Anybody up for a visit to the city.?"
   Ox and Ada both nodded their heads, but I gently shook my head: "I don't know, Ada might get a cold, and we need to look after the fields."
    Half an hour later, the four of us were on our way down the stairs to the cavern to look at the city archives. We knew where it was but had not been there for a long time. It would have helped a lot if I could have used my cyber-skills, but I had this reluctance to visit cyberspace.
    The four of us made it nearly dry to the hole, thanks to a truck driver and started walking down the stairs going around the concrete pillar. The traffic in and out of the hole was light in the middle of the day.
     Some people lived outside, because they liked the fresh air and low density, but had jobs inside the caverns... Some were livid inside because they liked being online, and having other people around them, but they occasionally worked at the farms on the surface.
     Some families even spent harvest time as a holiday away from the caverns. Ada had been made head-girl for the children from the cavern last harvest. The children gathered berries and nuts from the orchards. Ada might have been a super bright child, but she did also like being just another child, between the normal girls and boys.
     The rain had let up as we started to walk down into the cavern, and we stood and watched over the cavern from the stairs.
    The vast cavern we had called home. Filled with buildings like town-houses and offices. Our eyes went to the spot where our old orphanage had been, before it was burned down. Now there had been build a large red office building.