He was gone mysteriously and no one realized what really happened. Alexis was shocked and could perceive something fishy when all news media reported the missing of John Lloyd as follows:
…a 19-year-old girl, Sally Mumfords stayed at the resort with her family on the same day as John Lloyd and the other three young men. The girl told that Lloyd and his gang enjoyed a wild night party before they went missing. The police found some illegal drugs and mixed alcohol in their villa. As he went missing for longer than two weeks, Lloyds family said his manager just told them he was busy until he could no able to arrive home. Because of his busy schedule, they had never been skeptical. According to the primary investigation, Tim Young, Lloyds manager, tried to cover the missing in order to hide the illegal evidence that revealed the connection between the Actor and unlawful drug. However, his true intention has not been clarified if it was about drugs or worse, a murder to cover the connection to a drug dealer gang.
Carl Park, the Inspector of Riverland Police Head Office said the villa stood next to the cliff; therefore, they might have jumped into the ocean. The effect probably came from the drug hallucination. Now, the marine police also joined the investigation team in the search for their bodies while the forestry department unit of Riverland was searching the woods to find any trace of the case that they lost there.
John Lloyd, ages 20, is the new rising star from Blue Bell. The movie that led to his fame is the very hit romantic teen movie, Sunrise in the west. He becomes the face of Lexy Jeans, Rowan Watch, and Ambrosia Drink. Now, the production of The Fall of Ozymandias has been delayed, in the search of the new young King Ozymandias. ”
Alexis put down San Bosa Post newspaper and said, ”Ridiculous. ”
The girl was still in a slim t-shirt and long skinny jeans. Her backpack lay peacefully on her brothers bed. Those elegant long legs stretched chillingly.
She had the opportunity to play a minor role in the advertisement of the governments campaign Drink Milk! in which the absent John Lloyd was the presenter and the lead actor. The location was in Paradiso, the special economic zone where people would spend time on the white sand beach in the embrace of the blue diamond ocean. Alexis almost had one free day to travel around Escape Island but had to return home early because of his disappearance, (and because if she continued to stay, she had to take the financial responsibility for the excessive accommodation price and high living cost by herself.) She got paid for the waste of time but the girl hoped for full payment rather than small compensation. The campaign was arranged by the government and her face would be on-air all over New Hope. This could be a big opportunity to ignite fame.
”Why did you say that? ” asked Jesse. This 21-year-old young man just graduated and would attend the ceremony within two weeks. Now, he enrolled at the law school for a masters degree and worked as a Junior Legal Officer at a small company in Hemsworth.
”John cannot drink alcohol. Hes allergic to it. And one more thing, what did these staffs do when their customers disappeared. I mean the whole group disappeared! ” She spoke with a little bit of frustration.
e right. Its weird. ”
”Its illogical! ”
Even though John Lloyd was a superstar but he was far from those haughty celebrities Alexis had met. They became friends during the advertisement shooting for Lexy jeans on Femme Magazine. It was her luck that she could almost work with him twice. For this reason, she thought she could call him a friend. After the last shooting, the studio organized a small party to celebrate, especially for an unexpected long-time job (because the main actress was so demanding so the supervisor wanted to comfort the team). Everyone knew John could not drink alcohol and the team served him only juices, soft drinks, and water. It was the fact, not calling for attention.
”But he might use the drug, ” the brother still made a guess.
Alexis rolled her eyes. ”Many parties have pots, I admit it. No! Ive never used it. ( ”Not a good liar! ” Jesse shouted.) No! Don judge me when youve tried it. ( ”Never! ”) Shut up! Don make me out of the topic! John will never touch those things and he warned everyone not to. This is why people love to work with him. Hes not brainless. Those drugs might belong to his friends. I remember John once told me this career success is hard but to remain in the limelight is harder so he dares not risk abusing his fame. ”
”Aha, it seems like you
e close to him and he kept talking to you about his career and his dream…blah…blah. How about your Davy? Where is your sweetheart? ” The brother gave her a cunning grin.
The girl glared at his beautiful hazel eyes, the same color Davy owned. Alexis knew her brother was teasing but she did not like it. Jesse and Bryce often used the word, Your Davy in a mocking tone. It was probably because she was the only member who officially had a lover. Alexis and Davy expressed their love to the public freely like other lovebirds, causing a little jealousy in Jesse because he had to hide the romantic relationship with his boyfriend.
”Its not like that. Do you think a boy like John will fall for me? Impossible! We
e friends. Thats all. I know, I know too little about him but Im sure hes not what the news trying to make us believe. And Davy is the one… ” Alexis shut her mouth after being aware of talking too much but she could not conceal the red radish face once already mentioned her bae.
”Aha, ” Jesse stopped teasing his sister but still grinned. John might be a superstar but Alexiss appearance was not ordinary attractive. As her big brother, he saw how boys looked at her and understood how they admired her. His sister was one of the most popular girls in the school and was the recent prom queen. Impossible that this superstar would not have some feelings for her.
”Alright! I won tease you. Lets be serious. I think hes not dead but under arrest. ”
Alexis looked at her brother, confused. ”Under arrest? ”
”You know the Act 2966? ”
The girl shook her head, not because she did not know it but to deny his assumption. ”He has the allergy. ”
”Honestly, irrelevant. If he did something that demonstrate any sign of involving the Risk or the Suspect, he won survive the charge. Literally. Even if he suffers from every severe sickness in this world, it won save him from this damn law. ” Jesse threw some paper sheets onto Alexiss lap. ”Read it. ”
…Clause 1, paragraph 4, those who possess any special alienated ability which is indicated as the exclusion from ordinary humans gifts must be registered as the Risk at any local administrative organization, or the police station…..Clause 2, paragraph 1, everyone has the right to tip off the police about any clue, trace, discovery, and suspicion of those who are qualified or tend to be the Risk or the Suspect. For the case of H01 case, the Act to protect the Federation is not regarded as a privacy violation…
”This is… ”
”The Surveillance and Control of the Risks to Humankind Act 2966, ” replied Jesse. He brushed his frizzy dark hair with his fingers. It was forever messy.
”You think John has been arrested on this charge? ”
Jesse nodded. He searched for something on the desk, then smiled and submitted another paper to her. Her brother was familiar to share his thought with Alexis rather than with Bryce who always frowned at him.
”The mysterious disappearance of the celebrities who have been accused as the danger to humanity by the Act 2966: a case study of Desiree Dalka — shit! ” she cursed when seeing the stamp on the papers head written CONFIDENTIAL and DESTROYED. The date was a year ago.
”Jesse, you shouldn have it. No, you should destroy it. ”
”Yeah, I know but read it, quickly, ” he urged, a little annoyed by her over-panic reaction.
They heard the sound of the car engine, their parents just arrived home.
”I should surprise them. ”
Jesse stopped his sister and pointed at the paper. ”Bryce will tell them. Just read it, okay? No ones watching us, dummy! ”
”Okay, ” she replied tiredly and quickly scanned the document.
All the information Alexis learned was Desiree Dalka, the lone heir of Dalka corporations, had gone missing two years ago. Her parents died from car accidents when she was thirteen. Her uncle became her guardian but also died when she reached the age of fifteen. The rumor spread that she murdered him but since there was no clear evidence, she got no charges. At the age of eighteen, Desiree was mature and sold all her shares to other shareholders and spent the money on parties and travels. People said she became promiscuous, party-animal, and gone-wild as if nobody could save her soul. Two years ago, Desiree disappeared. The news reported her missing and assumed it was about kidnapping or crime, or dealing with drug dealers, but the next day, no channel or newspapers reported the investigations progress. Since then, Ms. Dalka fades away from the elite society of Futuristic Metropolis. Her name and her identity have been forgotten from that day.
Alexis returned the paper to her brother.
”Your fast reading always amazed me. ”
”You think John… ”
”Yes. Believe me. If your friend involves with this law, for another few days, we would not hear his name again, ” Jesse confirmed his thought.
Alexis leaned her back on the wall where the poster of Jesses favorite band hung on. If John encountered this case, there would be no more John Lloyd. She felt sad and hoped it would not happen to anyone. This law was against human rights. They declared New Hope, New Freedom but why did this law still exist?
Its a new freedom, not true freedom, so itll be artificial freedom. She mentally answered herself.
An e-mail popped up on the screen. Jesse hurried to his laptop. Her eyes could catch the senders name Joshua, then, she smiled mockingly in revenge. When he read his boyfriends e-mail, she thought of Elodie, her best friend who secretly got a hard crush on him since twelve years old. Elodie dated some boys but could not get over Jesse. Unsurprisingly, when Jesse was in high school, he was the team captain of the schools soccer club and one of the hottest guys. Like other girls, Elodie fell for him but all she could have was one-sided love.
”They know who you really are and whom you love. They
e just waiting for you to tell them the truth. ”
Her brother did not give any answer. He just shrugged and let the topic sink.
”I think its time to greet dad and mom. ”
”Its alright, just a mail, ” he said. ”You haven told me about the scholarship yet. How was the interview? ”
He mentioned the scholarship that she died to win it. The governments scholarship was the best financial aid and the best opportunity for the winners. It was the key to success, which meant living in the capital. Futuristic Metropolis was the capital city of the Federal Republic of New Hope, and the central technology, education, and innovation. The population mostly was the upper class. Delphi might have a top medical school but the medical school at the University of Futuristic was the best. So, if Alexis must choose, she prefers Futuristic. Additionally, after graduation, she could admit to any hospital in the capital where all equipment and salary were better and higher. It meant they stepped up from middle class to the upper-middle class, or the upper class if she could make it. Jesse and Bryce were also the candidates in their years but could not win. Alexis knew she was the last hope. Or else, they had to wait more than ten years for Charlie to grow up.
”I try not to hope but I think I get more chances. They seemed to be interested in me, quite a lot ” She told him as confident as she could feel the light shining from her eyes.
Jesse curiously arched one of his eyebrows. ”Did they ask about the government, laws, or any social issues? ”
”Of course, they did. There was one question about the newest military regime against the terrorists. I protested it. ”
”What? ” Jesse made the face as if he could not believe what he heard.
”I know its odd to voice my objection but I do and normal people do. The regime has zero concern for the citizens at the borderlands. Its too rigid and inhumane. I may disapprove but also gave them the alternative and, yes, the better. They said, My dear Ms. Davis, you speak our mind and suggest very helpful ideas to us. And thats cool, right? They also asked me about…H01 case and the Act. ”
The H01 case was the short-term word to describe those who had the special talent the government regarded as illegal and disastrous to the nation. It was the origin of the Act 2966, leading the world to the age of terror many ten years ago.
Jesse laughed out loud. ”Oh my goodness! Im sure you explained how you want it to be abolished and the new way to cope with the Risks. ”
”Absolutely ” She nodded in confidence again.
”You lose it, totally lost. No hope, I mean it. Tell Bryce what you answered them, she will tell you the same. ”
His words smashed her head. Alexis could not understand. She even remembered how they looked at her with great admiration.
”No, they… ”
”I know you
e always smart but sometimes your positive side causes you to be blind. Oh yes, your over-confidence too. Alex…think carefully. Why do they want the student who disagrees with the state policy to work with them? ”
”Its not about to find a puppet…but…but. ” Now her words opened up the eagles eyes mode. After graduation, the scholar would work in a governmental organization and Jesse had the point. ”Is…it? Damn it! ” She cursed herself more than any other time. Alexis desperately needed the scholarship.
”Oh Alex, you
e so naïve. ” Jesse messed with her hair.
The girl brushed his hands away. ”So…why don you win? ”
”Because I was Mr. Naïve like you are but now I am enlightened. ”
Alexis bumped her head into his chest. ”Jesse! ”
He chuckled, ”What? I told you the truth. ”
”No way! I still have faith in myself. Lets see the announcement next week. ” She stood up glaring at him stubbornly and challenged him. Her hands grabbed the backpack. ”I bought some local snacks. Don forget to try. ”
Her room was on the lower floor and she shared it with Bryce. If she could not win the scholarship, they would share the room again at Delphi. Living with Bryce was not the problem. They might fight for the territory sometimes but never cause big drama. Like other teenagers, Alexis loved to have her private room.
”Alex, ” her brother called.
He was thinking of something but Alexis could not find what it was. Then, he said, ”Perhaps, Im wrong. You may contradict their regime but you are an obedient girl…if they see that…if they overlook a little rebel in you. They may choose you. ”
”What do you mean? ”
Jesse exhaled. ”Nothing. Hey! ” He stopped her again. ”Don worry too much about money. Ive got a job. The masters program is tough but I still have time. And you can do your part-time job during the first and the second years, like Bryce did. After that, when Bryce and I graduate, well surely work full-time. Everything will be better. Trust me. ” He ended his sentence with his charming wink, the same trick that melted girls hearts.
Alexis smiled a little and nodded. The higher education, the higher cost, and they tried their best to reduce their parents responsibilities. They grew up and the parents got older and older. The young Davis wanted Caleb and Bianna to retire and have a comfortable living for the rest of their life.
”Hey. One last thing, its summer but dad and mom are very busy. Maybe, we can persuade Bryce to go out tomorrow. Take Charlie out and find something to eat. Take him to the park and eat ice cream. He loves it. You may invite June, your Davy, and Edie. ”
Alexis chortled instantly. ”June and Edie? You want to see a catfight? ”
”Ah, I forget. Edie and Davy or Davy and June…but I like talking with Edie more so…Edie and Davy.
” He sighed,
”I don understand girls. They hate each other but group together. And you
e standing in between. Are you alright? ”
Not only young people love gossiping.