Like Minded - Series 4 - Episode 1 - Off Again

Nurmel: Any word?
Darien: Well, I’ve done some asking around. Most people haven’t seen her.
Julie: Oh, it’s hopeless! She’s gone forever! We’ve been up until the early hours of the morning searching for her!

After the pantomime had ended, we immediately went into search of Melody. Everyone was afraid, even Jessie who didn’t even know Melody that well. We’d searched all over the campus except for the dorms, which we arrived to at dawn. No one was tired; everyone was alert with anxiety.

Jessie: Julie, hun, don’t despair yet. I believe Darien said, “most”.
Darien: I did indeed.

Nurmel: So? Who saw her?
Darien: A young lady said she saw Melody about 5 minutes before the show started.
Nurmel: And what was she doing?

Darien: She said Melody left the building and then walked in the direction of the park.
Nurmel: And that’s the wrong direction; the park is the opposite way from the theatre.
Darien: (sigh) I know.
Jessie: So it seems she has done a runner after all!
Darien: Wait a second, I’m not done. The lady also told me that she saw Melody again last night.
Nurmel: At what time?
Darien: About ten I think.
Julie: But that’s when we were searching for her!

Darien: Apparently Melody was with a man.
Nurmel: What kind of man?
Julie: Yeah!
Darien: I dunno, just a man! And they were talking about something, and then…
Jessie: And then?

Darien: He did something to her and she suddenly went all floppy and still.
Julie: He murdered her!
Darien: No, she was still alive, just unconscious. He bailed her up into a black limo that was waiting outside and drove off.

Nurmel: Oh my god, she’s been taken away! Who would want to do such a thing?!
Darien: I know it’s hard to think about but it is possible.
Nurmel: But why! Why Melody? She hasn’t done anything!
Darien: Some people just don’t need a reason, babe.

Jessie: Julie, hun, come here.
Julie: Oh, I want Melody back! What kind of sick man would do this?!
Nurmel: Hasn’t anyone contacted the police?!
Darien: Well-
Voice: They did.

Nurmel: And just who are you?!
Woman: I’m the police. Well, sorta.

She was an odd looking woman to say the least, about my age. Not much clothes on for me to believe the “police” remark, and she was carrying a gun that made me very worried indeed.

Woman: Nurmel Rosetta? Is it ok if I talk to you?
Nurmel: What about? Anything you need to say to me you can say to everyone else.
Woman: Fair enough, we’d better do this inside then.

We went into the dorms and she started talking

Woman: Right. First off, my name’s Arlette Adler.
Nurmel: Nice to meet you, Arlette.
Arlette: Now, Nurmel, I came here because I had to see you. You see, you’re in grave danger.
Nurmel: Excuse me?

Arlette: You see, the people who kidnapped Melody…they’re the bad guys in this little ordeal.
Nurmel: Well I could understand that much. So why am I in danger?
Arlette: Because you’re connected to her. They will target you next, and I’m here to take you away from that danger.
Jessie: Wait, Nurmel? What does she mean that you’re connected to Melody? I get that you’re friends and all…

This was the hardest decision of my life. I was being threatened by a potential targeting, and the people I’d trusted for so long were here asking what was wrong. I knew I had to say something.

Nurmel: So…you know about the visions, do you? Of Melody’s and mine?
Arlette: That’s right, sweetie.

Darien: Visions? What are you talking about?
Julie: Yeah, what’s going on Nurmel?

I took a deep breath.

Guys, me and Melody are connected psychologically. We have no idea how or why, but we’ve been seeing each other in visions since we were little girls. I guess now that she’s been kidnapped they can use her visions to find me.

Everyone was silent.

Darien: I guess that’s why you two were so close then. You were almost like sisters to us looking in.
Julie: Yeah…I guess I was a little envious about your friendship with her…I know I could never be as good a friend to her.
Jessie: That’s not true, you’re a great friend to Melody…I think…Nurmel, I think you should go with Arlette.
Darien: Whatever your differences are, someone wants you because of them.
Nurmel: …guys…

They didn’t recoil. Neither did they call me names or run away. They accepted it. I accepted it. It was as if they already…knew.

Nurmel: Jessie, I’m so sorry I have to leave you like this…
Jessie: Are you kidding? I don’t want my top notch assistant getting herself into trouble!
Nurmel: But I will return, one day, I promise.
Jessie: Don’t say that hun. I don’t think this will be settled in a long time, and I might not be here anymore in a long time. Just keep in touch.

And with that, no time to spare, I said my goodbyes to everyone. Julie started crying again, and Darien and Jessie were both misty-eyed. I got into the car with Arlette, knowing I would see these dear friends again sometime in the future.

Another major life-changing experience.

Arlette: OK, are you ready? Sorry we have to go on such short notice, we just can’t waste any time.
Nurmel: It’s ok.
Arlette: Right.

And with that we drove away from the dorms, away from Greenwood University, another of my homes, away into another uncertain future…

But all I could think of was how Melody must be so scared.

We drove for a few days, stopping off at hotels and shopping centres along the way, buying me new clothes. I asked Arlette where I was going; she said she was taking me to the Syndicate HQ. What HQ, I had no idea. It was in the desert, quite near to the city where I was born and the first house I lived in. We arrived at a large building hidden in the rising sand dunes, somewhere so discrete even a plane or helicopter would have problems finding it.

Arlette: Here we are. The Deserted Mound.
Nurmel: Deserted Mound?
Arlette: That’s the name of our HQ.
Nurmel: Right…what HQ?
Arlette: The Syndicate, silly.

I stepped out onto a familiar substance of sand, my memories flooding back of my distant childhood living in the desert. Could it be I was closer to my first home than I thought? Or was this place just similar in atmosphere?

Arlette: OK, now you might be a little surprised at what you see inside, but we’ll do our best to help you fit in.
Nurmel: Fit…in?
Arlette: Nurmel, for a few days at least this will be your home until we can find somewhere else for you to be.
Nurmel: That makes...sense.

We entered the large building and I was greeted by a very blue reception area. We were also greeted by another girl.

Woman: Arlette! You’re back! Welcome welcome!
Arlette: (laugh) Hey, Jemima. You didn’t have to wait up for me.
Jemima: But I was so worried! The Commanders were speaking in such a hushed and serious tone I thought YOU would be kidnapped!
Arlette: Jemima! You worry too much. This is Nurmel, by the way.

Jemima: Hi, 6124.
Nurmel: Erm…what?
Jemima: That’s your code isn’t it?
Nurmel: Code?
Arlette: Jemima, leave her be.

We sat down on the comfy white sofas. No one was at reception but I kept hearing noises from the large double doors on the other end of the hallway. There were lifts along both sides of the room; I guess they must get pretty busy at times. I left Jemima and Arlette chatting and didn’t notice a middle-aged woman arrive.

Woman: Hello there.
Arlette: Sergeant Tibbs, ma’am.
Tibbs: You must be Nurmel Rosetta, 6124, correct?
Nurmel: Erm…yes ma’am.
Tibbs: So I presume the operation was successful, you’re just in time. The General is about to make a speech to the whole organisation.

What I’d gotten myself in for, I had no idea.