ericjasongastelum - 5/5/2009 1:34 AM ET
you should listen to Seven Acts of an Iron King. keep the writing up (as if i know what i'm talking about) good stuff you're producing there.
The hardest part is knowing you exist for only one purpose.
Infect. Take over. Destroy
There is nothing but a constant drive to alleviate the craving for more energy. There aren't any other motivations for us. We can detect each other�s presence, but it is all the same. Pushing across the vastness of space. Or are we being pulled? Called? We are being drawn to a source of energy unlike anything we've ever devoured. There has been nothing that has been able to reach us and fuel us before we even reached our destination, and yet, we can feel the pulse of life. There. That blue green gaseous ball floating in the inky blackness of space. We are almost there, the craving burns hot within us. If there is a state excitement for our beings, I would be.
During the time after the Infection of 2006, nearly every city in the world lost a massive amount of their population. Radical religious groups called it a sin cleansing. Only those with strong faith connections survived. Who knows. Rebuilding was only a matter of stabilizing the core of the city (security, medical, and schools) and C and C'ing the Infected. First of all everything was disinfected, all surfaces and buildings with whatever chemicals we could mix together and create a strong enough chemical. Even with the best of modern scientific studies still don't know how the infection was spread but modern times tell us that the blood left behind by the Infected was a serious health risk. So C and C'ing , short for cleanse and caging, was the most effective. There wasn't anything else to do with the Infected. Large areas were found, with thick walls, and people put on patrol in case of escapes. The Infected were diseased but not stupid.
For some reason, after a few days, the caged Infected died. They simply laid down and gave up their fight. So then came the task of ridding the cites of the bodies and the best way that was always done was burning them. Burying them would only preoccupy our minds with Will they rise? So we burned them and buried the ashes in massive metal crates. An ecologist was of sound mind and suggest we do this for now because we haven't thoroughly studied the Infected DNA to know the adverse effect it could have on our soils should their ashes seep into the land.
Velo has been called the new leader of the free world, given as much or more respect as the President of the United States. S.O.S Sun of the Survivors (in reference to what some of the ex-Infected have said about an aura they saw around me, brighter than any they'd seen. Like the sun.) A correction made because Velo had mistakenly thought he was being called �Son of the Survivors�. Still, the title stuck. SOS (so's), or just Son. Now it is May 2008 and Pristack has informed Velo of a new threat. He set down his morning coffee, the taste bitter but hot and it clears his mind. He is sitting on a picnic bench outside on of the community housing facilities. Reflecting back on the last couple years has aged him, wisely. There was not much he wanted to do with his life. Not much he thought he was worth dealing with emotional issues and a broken home. Then suddenly the world split in half. The Survivors vs. The Infected and he was their Superman. Given the power to be a hero to the world. Amazingly Velo had not crumbled under the pressure. He had not been depressed by the fact that millions depended on seeing how he would react to the way things progressed in the weeks and months after the Infection �06 was vaccinated.
A lot of orphans were created in 2006. Some older people that just lost their whole family and did not have anyone else also stay and help run the place.
The cool breeze brushes across Velo�s face and through his hair leaving him feeling refreshed. The sun is out but it's a bit cloudy. He is dressed in a simple white tee and jeans. The climate here doesn't call for much heavy clothing thank goodness. Velo opens his eyes and sees Pristack headed towards him. Pristack�s face in set in a serious mask, sort of the opposite of Dave. Pristack�s human doppelganger Velo thought amusingly. Telling the difference between Dave and Pristack only was only a stern look away. When they told Velo the story about Pristack being a Protector created by the alien race Ele, it was the look on Pristack�s face that made the outlandish tale believable. Pristack always looks like he's ready for a war. That General face Velo thinks of it. Pristack takes the seat across from Velo. "There is news. There will be another invasion. This will be much worse and we are getting reinforcements and although I am not certain of the Derdune�s exact location, they have to be within a certain distance of Earth for our ship to ship communications to exchange, A.R.C has sent us enough to at least prepare. But I am not sure what we are facing exactly." Velo looked Pristack in the eyes. While he is not human, his body can mimic human emotions. His mind relays information just like if you touch something hot your body reacts before you know it. Pristack looked worried, which concerned Velo.
"So what do we need to do?"
"I have sent out a worldwide alert on the READY net. Letting everyone know of the threat and what information I have, which isn't much. I was confident in fighting The Eaters of All. This, spawn, is something all together new to me and they have created a new race of Protectors to fight it."
"You mean your no longer needed? Unless there's another threat from the first Eaters?"
"Correct. I can be trained but that could take weeks. The instant connection that we learn through, in Ele form, works better within our own race but once the Derdune arrive I can connect and learn all they know about the Ghost Winds and fight just as well."
"So it is not about computers and books to exchange information with you guys, it's merging?" Pristack gave Velo a thoughtful look.
"Yes, that's about right."
"Can you merge with me in any way, to teach me anything?"
"While it has not been tried with your species, others, we have not been successful with. Are you wanting to try?" Pristack turned to point to his ship that converted to a home for long stays. Velo guessed Pristack was going to suggest going to try while there was time before all the hubbub started.
"Oh no, I think I'll hold that thought." Velo replied giving small smile. Tossing the now cold coffee in the grass, Velo got up and stretched. "We'll gather everyone in the main hall. Give them the news. They are so going to hate this."
"More so, I think it's going to be worse than before." Pristack headed for the building and disappeared inside. Velo followed behind him and they walked side by side. They reached the main hall within minutes and issued an alert over the intercom system that was wired throughout the building for emergencies and general alerts, like now.
"We will need all residents in the main hall for assembly ASAP. About 10-15 minutes, or sooner if possible we will begin a meeting. Thank you." Velo let out a shaky breath. Then, he felt it. Something bred from a terrible darkness was coming. His body seemed to vibrate mentally, like he was reaching out to whatever was searching him out. Dave O. gets these mental "bursts" too but not as strong as him. Dave was even able to help find a cure for some of the Infected. Those not totally lost to the illness. A thousand nails drove into Velo�s brain followed by a darkness so black he felt smothered by it. He tasted blood in the back of his throat. He heard Pristack, but Pristack sounded a million miles away.
"Son, are you ok? Son? Son?" Then Velo knew nothing.
Sara was healed. Not just healed, changed. Her striking features always gained her center of attention in any situation. Like her brother she had odd colored eyes. A genetic favor she liked to think of it. Something to remember her parents by, always.
Now, with amplified emotional and mental sensitivity, she could almost taste the anxiety pouring off the group around her. Sara�s stomach rolled with nausea. Be it a mental, physical or emotional strength, she can feel the difference. A lot of people can. Sharing their stories via the READY net message boards and chat rooms. "When I dream it is like I am remembering these strange worlds and beings, not just dreaming about weird stuff." Sara nervously picks at the skin around her nail. A strand of her straight reddish-brown hair hangs across her face. Coppery golden eyes often mistaken for a strange specked hazel, are cast down at her lap as she wait�s a reply. Her usual pale complexion has a tendency to take on abnormal hues when she becomes highly emotional. I human mood ring if you will. It does not happen often as Sara channels her emotional energy into concentrating on being empathetic. Her shoulders are slightly hunched forward and she leans toward the crowd a bit. Protecting herself. Still.
"So, do you feel that there's a connection between when you were Infected and cured and the dreams you're having now?" Sara looks up at the speaker, admiring his wise looking eyes and face. He has been studying the behavior of the ex-Infected. Not just the biological effects but the mental and emotional effects as well. She looks around the group and scan the faces. Flashes of twisted rage filled angry masked of hate replace the sympathetic concern that is really there. The motion faster than humanly possible so right away Sara notes it as a vision.
"There is something that wants to steal who we are. It wasn't an just an infection, inside our bodies. The whole planet has changed. If it is just a pain we carry from being hurt or thinking people owe us something and hate the world for it, that's what was fed on. They are drawn to our essence, what makes us uniquely human, because they have never seen anything like it. It makes them stronger or something. I am not to sure on that conclusion." After Sara spoke aloud her vision was filled with flashes of a ravaged cityscape, playing like a movie before her eyes. Crumpling building, smoke filled skies, even cries of terror. Then she was back in the room in an instant.
"I-I know what s-she means. I-it's those things. The lights. T-they think your c-crazy for s-saying it, but t-that's how it's happening, and now, worldwide p-people believe. I-it's the lights that get in you and t-take your s-soul." An older gentlemen with stringy hair, circles under his eyes and a twitch, spoke up. Someone that may have been a hobo on the streets now has a group hanging on his every word. Some agreeing even.
"I can't believe that this is real. I remember running for days, weeks! Burning up and thinking insane thoughts. Anger times a hundred, hate times a hundred and rage the same. I didn't want to kill but I just needed to fuel the need inside me. I remember the craving was a worse feeling than anything. Food, drugs, alcohol, sex this craves them more than anything else. I was near a survivor, I almost blacked out because my senses overloaded from the stimulation. Touch is definitely needed after so many transfers but the first few times they'd just pop out of you onto another person. Leaving behind just enough to keep your mind locked , so they were in control. I felt it happen, seen it done. It's like the worse violation over and over again, but the fear and hate fuels the demon. I don't know. I don't know what it was but it wasn't human. It was pure evil I felt." The person speaking took a breath, tears began coursing down their face, "I think towards the end, when the cure was found, so many of us were able to be cured because our Soul Eaters were weakened from so many transfers. I don't know how or why but these things that attacked us failed. We beat them and for some of us the Cure has made us stronger, able to sense things in a unique way, and have these weird abilities to remember our time of being Infected.� The lady hugged herself like she was cold. Such a font of information and yet she looked to be no older than her 20's. Several others shared their dreams, fears, stories, ideas, thoughts, and troubles.
"Sara, your brother had to defend himself against you when the Infection first stated spreading. He thought he killed you. Then he saw you again before the Cure was found and you were cured. What did you feel during that time? What do you think about your brother being the Son of the Survivors?� Her preparation for being a victim of the Infection was knowing how to survive a broken home. Knowing that even though you do care about yourself, personal decisions you make don�t always reflect that to others around you. Dating older men and partying more than trying to walk the straight and narrow had Sara walking home late one night (or early one morning). Her attack was devastating but over quickly. She was not able to convey to her brother that she was still her. She was able to make it home, and she went looking for her family. She had not noticed the blood and bruises. Velo was living on instinct alone by then. He took one look at her and survival mode kicked in. His senses sharpened with anxiety.
�God no! Why!� Velo screamed as he raised he arm above his head and brought the 7 inch blade down into the side of her neck. Nicking her carotid artery caused the copper tang of blood to rush from the back of her throat and instantly fill her mouth. The force of the blow caused her to stagger back. Her head flopped on her neck, she gurgled and warm blood spilled from her mouth, while another stream pumped wildly from the stab wound. Sara still tried to relate to Velo. It�s me. Sara looked at the speaker. She sees the air behind him shimmers the way heat vapors distort cooler air. He sits up straight, rigid. His eyes and mouth open in surprise. Seconds later, he starts to blink rapidly. Not his eyes but his whole body, like a TV going on the fritz. He closes his mouth. He settles his shoulders and his posture relaxes. Then things get really weird.
Dave believed the ones deemed the strongest should be assigned to Captain the sections. Cities went back to functioning as before. Life went back to normal as things do after a while. No matter how dramatic the events that occur. It was voted the people that specialize in preserving the safety of humankind would be given areas to patrol. Those willing to help were also trained. No one was forced to lay down their life for an unknown threat. Everyone knew going in exactly what they were risking, but for some the benefit outweighed the risk. Knowing that their family and friends, even strangers, were being kept safe because they were willing to fight should the need arise, is what reinforced their spirit. At least, that is what gave Dave O a clear conscious, most of the time. Pristack had given taught him survival training. His medical background came in handy too.
Those who agreed to train were moved into camps and able to still work in the city, or help in the camps. If they worked in the city and earned wages their checks were not taxed. If they worked in the camps only, they got to choose what position to work out of what was available.
Training consisted of weapons, fitness, transport, survival, tactical training, combat training, and a psychological exam. Some people get in a battle field type situation (even after being through the Infection phase) and either freeze up or go ballistic and kill anything that moves.
Dave Outlaw was the first to battle the Infection with Pristack and passed on information to anyone he could. He formed what groups he could as he went. Telling them to pass along the information, and form groups, not always sticking together as one but going out and making the smaller groups stronger.
During The Infection, once Pristack found the Son, he stayed with him. He guarded him and Dave O went to train others. They stay in contact through Pristack's READY Net network. Now worldwide, with equipment able to be fitted internally (as a personal option of course). This allows for heightened security measures since the equipment is mapped to your personal body chemistry. Dave O has not gotten that up close and personal but feels he will need to soon. After that last message he has doubled training from 4 to 8 hours and from 2 to 4 days. Increasing strengthening, agility, and mental clarity injections which are derived from plant based formulas. Hoping they have done all they could have, and that they are prepared for what is going to happen.
**The Son, his people**
Sitting on the stage in the auditorium The Son felt numb and queasy. The mental overload was a warning. They did not have much time and they needed to get things as ready as soon as possible. His senses had shut down for a few seconds and he was "rebooting". His mouth tasted bitter and his skin overly sensitive. He felt like his brain was absorbing information at half the speed necessary to process correctly. The Son heard Pristack addressing the audience.
"�and so that is why we've called everyone here today. We've practiced, trained and now this is the real deal but with a new threat. We don't yet know what we are up against. I am confident we are ready to defend." The Son took another steadying, cleansing breath and pulled the mic in front of him closer.
"I am not the expert in training and teaching. I've been given a special gift though. I realize that responsibility to deliver comfort to you all. The knowledge that I receive comes with a heavy burden. I am glad to know I can share that knowledge with you all today and lift that burden from my shoulders. What I felt coming is more powerful than anything we have all ready dealt with. As a people and as survivors. I felt a level of threat and stealth that will take a lot of faith, in ourselves, to defeat. Faith in our strength, and in what we have come back from already. These Ghost Winds as they are called are hard to detect and are tricky. I saw what they are in their natural state but I doubt they'll sustain their energy based bodies. We need to realize what we are up against is a brand new enemy but that doesn't leave us without hope. We have more help on the way, and we will come together and fight. They know what makes us strong, that's what they feed on, and they also know what makes us weak. What we do here today, is make it known, that is won't be easy to take us down. Strength. Hope. Faith." The silent contemplation was all Velo needed to confirm that everyone had taken in his words and were ready. The Son did not need applause to confirm his confidence in what they together could accomplish, just a firm belief in each other.
It was dinnertime and they were all gathered in the large cafeteria-like dining hall. The smell of deviously prepared food wafted through the air. Light chatter intermingled creating a pleasant atmosphere. Entering on one side there is a food bar with servers. You get your tray and they serve your plate. Then you get your own drink, dessert and salad.
Sara usually sat with some of the group members if they had arrived. Her brother sat up front with Pristack mostly doing his planning and things. She had not yet told anyone about the "blinking" she saw happen to the speaker or the weirdness after. She knew, though, after a few moments thankfully it was just another vision. It somehow felt like more this time. She thought that was the reason felt a little more uneasy. "Hey." Someone spoke from behind her. Sara jumped a little at the sudden intrusion. She turned to see who it was. A pair of sad but concerned pale eyes looked down at her. Rubbing her arms at the sudden goose pimples, she smiled back gently. A tall lean man stared at her, waiting for her reply. She kind of felt awkward for a moment, after all, she hadn't said a word, just stared back and smiled. Just as she was about to answer the lights shut off. No screams of terror just some raised voices of confusion. Sara heard:
"Don't panic. We plan a back-up generator. Probably just a power outage somewhere in the building.�
"Hey, you alright." Sara heard him say again. Sara felt his warm, calloused hand on her forearm. "There you are. Are you ok?" She had seen him in group. His presence was calming. At the moment his name escaped Sara, but it was his face and voice were soothing at the moment, then she was able to fins hers as well.
"Yes, yes thank you for asking. I am OK." Pop. Pop. popopopopopop. The overhead lights powered by the generator snapped to life and everything was tinged in a bluish-purple glow. The shadows instantly became menacingly darker The air crackled with an edge of caution. Sara made her way to the nearest table and sat down.
"I'm Sal by the way. I just saw you and wanted to see if you wanted to eat together. But whatever is going on might delay that, huh?" I bit my lower lip and wondered if Sal rambled on a bit when he was nervous too.
"Uh-huh." Was all I could muster.
"We're going to have to send to teams to secure the building make sure everyone's OK." I heard my brother giving out orders and tasks to his team of men and women at his table. Everyone got their things together and headed out of the caf� in seconds it seemed like. Some were to do an interior and some a perimeter check. All had walkie talkies.
"We'll check in as soon as we reach the outside doors and give you the 411. If things check out we'll let you know. Over" Sara heard Helen checking in on the walkie talkie, her partner was handling the weapon then.
"Ok Son so far everything and everyone is looking OK. Some of the rooms are empty of course, we are marking them as we go. Do you want people to remain in their rooms? Over."
"Yeah. That'll be good for now. Let them know that until we've done a thorough run through we'd like them to stay put. Send any wanderers to their rooms as well. Over."
"Sir this is Helen we've reach a set of perimeter doors and are going outside now. Over." Sara could hear their conversation clear as day. She was sure others could to, it's not a secret what happens around here. Better to keep everyone informed at all times. An open door policy was my brother�s policy.
"Sir I think we've -ound th- pro-"
"Your breaking up, say again, over." Static and buzzing filled the walkie talkie and then silence for several moments. A feeling of dread weighed down in Sara�s stomach, her pulse pounded in her ears.
"Brother! Something's not right. I think it might be the Winds. Don't let them back in." Sara may have sounded crazy and paranoid but her brother didn't waste time racing down the aisle to the caf� doors and locking them just as he saw Helen and her partner return. Sara was right behind him.
"Let us in please! Something weird is going on out here" Helen jangled the door by the handle, and Sara shot her brother a look, "please, open the door." She pleaded but wasn't hysterical. Helen�s partner simply guarded her from behind as trained. One was always to watch for a threat.
"I-I can't. I sorry." Sara sensed her brother was not feeling anything coming from Helen but a genuine fear. He did not pick up emotional vibes like Sara did, all the time. He trusted her talent. Helen got angry.
"Open this door now or you'll be sorry. More people will die, then what will they think of you. What about the children. Are there any in there with you?" A smirk that slid an iced chill down Sara�s spine froze on Helen's face as she backed away from the small glass window she spoke through. Here kiddie kiddie Sara heard echo down the hallway. It acted, looked and sounded just like Helen, only it wasn't. Sara closed her eyes for a moment and asked herself, How are we going to ever get through this? Sara heard Pristack issue an alert.
"All resident's please remain in your room's for your own safety. We are under camp wide lockdown. We will inform you of further instructions." With that Pristack looked at the Son for guidance. He just shook his head and looked around the room. Of all the places to be trapped. The dang caf� ? Oh man.
"Good job. Ok let's shower and head to dinner everyone. That's it for today." Groans of relief echoed through the small group of trainees. After 8 hours (5 minute breaks every hour) everyone was ready to drop. Just then Dave felt a vibration on his wrist indicating he had an incoming READY net message. Depressing a small flat device connected to the watch-like equipment he answered the call, it was an audio message, so his mic and ear piece activated automatically.
"Alert all security officers, staff and any other active personnel that receive this direct message. We have been attacked. I repeat, we have been attacked. The only description I can give you at this time is that there was a power outage moments before. Our perimeter check team were affected first. They looked, acted and sounded normal and the only way we knew there was a change is because a Sensitive was able to detect a change. I asked everyone to remain locked in their rooms and cover all and cracks or holes that may allow for air to get in. Our a/c is recycled from inside the building. Check your layout. Still awaiting the arrival of the other Protectors." The message ended. Dave Outlaw disconnected, since he had nothing to add at the moment. He however did have a concern.
"Attention all personnel, staff, and trainees. I need everyone not on security detail from 12-8am to go to their rooms and remain until further notice." Dave O hit the auto repeat button and headed to the weapons room. "I am going to need security to meet me in the weapons lock-up floor 1 hallway a., pronto." He left that message on the security hotline, connected directly to all security only. He brushed passed several people headed in the opposite direction, to the dorms.
"Do not be afraid. We mean no harm. We simply want to examine you. Alright?" A voice tried to soothe Dave�s fractured mind. One second he was walking down the hall the next he is in a complete and total panic. Dave can not even place if he is still in the building or not. "What just happened?" He thought. "You've been separated from your physical self and replaced by a Pan-Rel. Or, Ghost Winds as someone has told you. Your energy is strange, not like the others." Dave felt like he was suffocating, he could not catch his breath. "Help me! Help!" He thought. "Now, now just relax. Your body is fine. Perhaps it's trying to fight the presence of us, like a virus or infection, but that will pass. I know that disconnected feeling your having is strange as well. Your not apart of that mess anymore. Your pure universal energy now. You only need to think of a calm relaxing place and you will start to calm down." Dave O did not know what was happening but once he stopped 'thinking' about suffocating and thought about sitting on a island with ice cold Coronas and not a care in the world he stopped panicking. His mind let go of the connection to his body. He felt. Different. "What's going on?" He couldn't exactly see, feel, hear anything and his thoughts were more along the lines of vibrations. Then somehow he began to 'see' bright almost blinding lights. Floating around him. He had an odd sensation they were waiting for him to do something. "You could be of great use to us. Your energy is changing us beyond anything we've encountered. We've absorbed so much more of the ones before us, that still lurked, and altered their energy signature to better suit our purpose. We can do such things." Now, he felt. The lights fused and he grew hot and he felt what they were feeling. These unknown forces were invading him and showing him what they had learned and what they had in store. He spoke:
"There's no way on God's green Earth we stop can stop you." Dave O uttered defeated.
"No, but a challenging battle is always a great honor. Defeat however is necessary." Dave O became one with the Pan-Rel but a tiny fraction of "himself" remained. For a reason not known to him. He'd witness the downfall to mankind.
"What do we do?" Pristack hadn't heard from the Protectors. The threat was live and hot. Although they had not heard anything in a while, they could not just sit there shut in like cattle and wait. They did not know the full status of the staff outside the caf�. Velo rubbed his temples, sighed, and pinched the bridge of his nose. They had the weapons that they carried with them at all times, without The Derdune and the proper gear, they were going in blind.
There was an incoming message, but not from READY net. "It's them." Pristack relayed their status to the Protectors then the Derdune gave them their location. The Derdune, created to destroy the Ghost Winds said they could see mass areas of destruction from about 50 miles and it wasn't looking good. It was not representing a battle with recuperative plans in the foreseeable future. Soon Velo could feel the presence of them coming. A light tingling in the pit of his stomach like he had swallowed live bees and they still swarmed. He felt a pressure or change in the air, then the air settled again.
"When we come in we'll do a perimeter and interior check. Anything foreign in being will be eliminated. Is that OK with you sir?" The Protectors spoke with me over a view phone.
"Yes. If any more of my staff have been affected, please just take care of it. We have to get moving and try and get to others." Velo set the plan in action.
"Affirmative. Let's move, we have our orders." The screen went blank. Silence reigned.
"No word from Dave?" Pristack shook no. "What about other camps?"
"I've heard that there's been similar random attacks locally and internationally. There does not seem to be a global pattern when I input the data. It's not beginning at one point and spreading, it's every where at once. It's acting exactly as wind, Son. No containment or direction, just, everywhere. The A/C automatically turned on, the vent above Velo blew cool air across his heated skin. For some reason that triggered and eerie feeling in him.
"Pristack, I want you to get a team together once The Protectors have cleared this section of the building. For now start covering any opening, vents, cracks, crevices you can find. Use tape and stiff paper, whatever, and make a tight seal. Now! Go!" Velo went over to the computer and checked the A/C regulators. They weren't pumping in from an outside unit. Thank God! Unless the air inside became contaminated they would all be fine, but Velo wasn't taking any chances. One contaminated particle circulating the system and that was it. Velo quickly relayed this news this news via READY net. The Winds couldn't penetrate buildings and dense materials, but the tiniest hole would act as a blaring opportunity to invade. Goodness. What would come next? A message was blinking, I punched enter and a verbal started playing
"Hey buddy this is some real heavy shit going down here. I got your message but, man, everyone is gone. I�I barely made it to the truck. I'm headed your way. When I knock, don't say who's there, just let me in." The message ended. Another heavy sigh of relief and anguish heaved from Velo�s tight chest. He was amazed his fiery red locks were not laced with gray from the stresses he managed daily. Velo was thankful though. He asked and prayed for something to do with his life. Never allowing his disability label him but rather enable him. This was what he was destined to do. He felt that. There was no way he would be able to be physically and mentally attuned to the slightest disturbance if this was not the path for him to be walking. Velo was only human after all. His body reacted to stimulus as anyone else would. It would take a lot. More than normal to reach his breaking point.
"Man Dave. God is on your side. Get here soon. We sure could use you right now."
Sara could tell just by looking at her brother he was stressed and needed to rest. He probably would worry himself sick. Tension radiated off him in slow waves. If she were any closer she would have been affected. Fortunately Pristack wouldn't allow him to push beyond the limits, but he would get damn close. The Protectors had finished their sweep and deemed the area cleared of the Pan-Rel threat. They had weapons and tools to destroy them and there was not much of a contamination here. After detonating a clearance bomb they set up security measures outside and in.
"How are you holding up?" Sal took a seat next to Sara on the floor and leaned against the wall. His scent was as inviting as a summer breeze. His warmth (not just physical but emotional as well) was welcoming, easing Sara�s tension. He turned towards her.
"Ok. Just hope for the best you know. I don't feel that pressure I felt before, when those things came to the door wanting to come in." Sara stared at her hands. She wished she could get those flashes like her brother and somehow figure a way out of this. Her Sensitive talent does help in this situation. Being able to detect the slightest changes in human and sometimes non-human emotions.
"What do you think is gonna happen?" Sal shifted nervously, his leg brushed Sara�s and she felt a cool chill race up her leg leaving goose bumps raised on her skin. Receiving strong emotions by touch, and sometimes the emotions from certain people translate to intense physical feelings. Sara treated each experience with respect. Good or bad. But she enjoyed what she was feeling from Sal. She smiled. Looked at him. His kindness an anchor to an otherwise twisted reality.
"We'll be OK." Needing to reassure Sal as much as to reassure herself, Sara thought. Nodding and smiled more brightly. She sensed him release the built up tension from his muscles and he looked even more genuine. Sal reached over and caressed the back of her hand a couple times, more cool chills. Her skin leapt to life. Feeling an eerie magnetic pull that felt like Sal was brushing his hand across every. Single. Nerve. In her body. When she didn't pull away he laced his hand through hers. The longer they touched the more their contact began feel like a comfortable warmth and peace.
"I'm not trying to be forward or anything, but I feel like I need to be close to someone right now. You know? Feel real. Because what's happening is really messing with my head and I just never thought I'd-" Sara took a chance and leaned over to kiss him. Figuring he was working up the nerve to ask. She sensed a change within him from calm, to nervous once to began to ramble. Of course he didn't mind. Yeah. This was a Sensitive's best place to be. Sara felt his skin warm as blood rushed to flush his face. Sal was definitely relaxing and enjoying the kiss as much as she. He was content and not searching at the moment, his mind was in the moment, thinking about her. Really feeling real.
* * *
With the infusion of our Poh-tak brethren, who were here before us, we are not able to not only completely replace the energy we've copied but we can duplicate with complete ease. Once inside we simply pass through any organic object in our path, and we are not even detected! We did not know how we were going to duplicate this species, as it is different with each planet and race. Reading the energy signature of the Poh-tak have taught us the anatomy of this species and also a few more tricks to succeed in the complete absorption of their energies. 6,000,000,000 and thriving, and we've so deliciously been gorging ourselves. Until they started, by the simplest means, blocking our entry and hiding inside. Someone on this planet is trying to slow us down. No matter, we've got other ways to seep and destroy.
Same body, new mind. Still the same but, not. Dave can remember everything before. He can see what's going on and that's about it. He is heading to the Son and Pristack per orders of Pan-Rel. Not knowing what they have planned. Dave wonders what the plan was, since he was so closely connected to The Son. He is trying to fight but the hold is so strong. If he keeps at it, he just might.
Using their advanced equipment the Protectors were able to determine that the building was cleared and the threat of the Ghost Winds was not in the area. They sealed the perimeter, awaiting further instructions. Everyone at the camp were given suits and helmets that fitted over them like wetsuits but weren't as cumbersome. They were made of a material resembling a shiny fluid like metal when not activated and not even penetrable to the touch in liquid state. It was strange how it was applied. Much like a lotion then it was activated when touched with a hand held machine. Transportation on the vessels they used was limited so having these "suits" available in liquid form, nand able to store to tiny capsules, to later be transformed was awe inspiring.
The leader of Derdune requested I simply called him Dack, and his men were the Derdune. Apparently the only singular importance that was given was if you reached the level of leader. At least that is what Velo figured. "I want to know if the plan you suggest will give us the best rate for survival. Do you know enough about us, our race, to conclude that this will help us?" Velo�s head ached slightly and his neck felt liked it was clinched in a vise. He�d have to rest soon, regardless of their progress. He�d been up for far too long. He�d be of no use to anyone if he pushed himself any longer.
"The elimination of the threat is our priority. We will aide in the protection of the Survivors. You were able to defeat the Poh-tak virtually unaided. What we suggest will not be pleasant but it will eliminate the threat for good. It has worked in the past on other planets but the results for living organisms have been mixed."
"What do you mean mixed?� Velo asked, rising slightly out of his seat. Pristack cleared his throat. Velo glanced over at him and Pristack shook his head, and nodded for him to have a seat. Ok. He�d listen. For now.
"We knew that once we found a way to defeat the Ghost Winds we'd have to act fast. It took us far to long and some were able to escape the intial elimination sweep. Even though we were able to catch some before they left for Earth. By then they had grown strong and we had to increase our power as well. The organisms remaining on the planets were altered. The successful tests ran told us the copies that the Ghost Winds left behind were affected but were able to be destroyed. The ones that were not copies , the actual living Poh-Tak organisms, were mutated and became ravenous. Something we could not allow to live. We had to eliminate them as well.
"So your saying in order to get rid of these Winds your going to have to kill us too?" Amazingly Velo remained seated, but his nerves were on razor's edge. He exhaled and pinched the bridge of his nose, "Please tell me in between that first mistake and coming here there was a revelation and you all have a better plan than that. Because I did not live through complete hell on Earth to just lie down and die because things keep happening. Keep coming after us. It's just not going to work." Velo shivered as he stared into Dack's eyes. Dack did not bother to resemble a human but did at least form a face in the middle of his energy cloud. "Dude, you gonna have to materialize or something. It totally has freaked me out talking toOZ head.� Dack glanced at Pristack and seemed to understand Velo�s meaning. His cloud whipped into a frenzy, within seconds, there stood a perfect replica of a warrior. Velo was beyond comprehending. Black leather, big and muscled, gorgeous face. Oh yeah the ladies are gonna swoon. Velo stifled a laugh. "Ok. So. The plan?"
"We are going to assemble the Survivors at a meeting point. We have already launched several housing units in orbit around Earth. They will be scheduled to depart once everyone has boarded. We will then detonate the bombs designed to eliminate the Ghost Winds and any organisms infected, or remaining. There will be no saving anything left behind. There will be no guarantee of return."
"Christ, God me help." Velo closed his eyes. He did not want them to hear them say they planned to sacrifice the Survivors to justify the survival of a few , but evacuate Earth! Destroy Earth! Panic seized him and he felt breathless. Pristack sensed his illness and touched his arm. These fits had sometimes made Velo blackout.
"Are you OK Son?" The concern in his voice brought Velo back down and through the panic. Better than any dose of anti-depressants or psychotropic�s ever did. Velo felt he did not have a choice other than to agree.
"What's the next step?" If Velo had not known Dack was an alien practically incapable of emotion he would have thought he saw Dack looking triumphant.
Dave didn't sleep or eat. Drove day and night until he reached the Son's camp. A million voices ran through his head. He was not the dominant one but he had a voice, sometimes. We are here. He is close. There are others here with a strange energy. The voices chattered. They buzzed liked angry bees. It is they! The ones that tried to eliminate us before. One the planet. They destroyed so many of our kind. Their lies defeated us, but not this time. We must let them know the truth, before we make them submit to us. The distorted tittering felt like nails scratching down the inside of Dave�s skull. He did not cry out in pain. A single blood tinged tear was the only evidence of his sorrow.
Once he had reached the road leading to the camp he called and messaged the Son. "Hey man I am just about to reach the gate. Is it safe to come in?" Dave O sounded calm and normal. How was it even possible for it to sound like Dave, and yet, not be Dave?
"Hey Dave! You made it. Strange, with all that stuff happening. You sure your OK? I'll have my buddies let you in. They've got everything sealed. See you in a bit." Curses. Will they be able to tell? I wonder what will happen. How did it work the last time? Didn't they have to use a weapon designed to kill the former "us"? We are changed. We will see. A man looking a bit like he'd walked off the set of Conan the Destroyer, abet more clothing and guns, strolled to the gate and opened it. The wind seemed to whip around him in a mini tornado but the warrior never lost his purposeful stride. He waved Dave forwarded then motioned me to stop.
"Out." What? No Hi how are you? Of course, Dave said this to his self. He did notknow the man well enough to play his humor off on. The buzzing started, meaning Dave O was about to be kicked to the back of the consciousness line.
"Where in the Son? I want to see him." A voice asked,
"Turn around hands on the vehicle. No sudden movements." Dave felt something pushing against his skull. Then the pressure was everywhere. Dave screamed inside his mind but nothing came out of his mouth. There was a beeping noise that he heard coming from the man. Then shrieking. The warrior jumped back. The smell of Earth and metal filled the surrounding air. Dave had to blink as dirt plumes exploded around him like fireworks. "On the ground NOW!" Dave fell face first to the dirt practically seconds after the shrieking started as his knees felt like rubber. He saw the warrior firing two quick bursts of spiraling, flaming light towards him! The shiny suit the warrior had on seemed to glow. Suddenly the air between them shot up like gas meeting an open flame and Dave O heard an ear splitting howl coming from that spot. Then the hundred foot flames, or so it seemed, whooshed into nothingness in about 2 seconds flat. The scorched earth popped and cracked. The thin membrane shattered, like glass, into a million pieces. The remaining wind swept away any fragments left behind. The sparkling dust winked and then was gone.
The man rushed over to Dave. He ran the device that was shrieking, now back to just beeping, over him head to toe. "You were infected my friend. Did you know that? I was not aware the Winds were capable of infection. We have to get you inside right away." Dave O nodded and promptly passed out.
Had Sara never been attracted to someone before, she would have believed to have been ill. She was flushed and warm. Her stomach a bit queasy and she felt light-headed. She had left Sal to sit closer to her brother. She knew he was getting, not just tired, but stressed. "Brother, go rest. Your friend is on his way and you need to rest before he arrives." Sara looked into his eyes. She could tell he knew he should listen, but the air around him quivered with uncertainty. He taken care of them so long and now he was passing the reins. She was not sure if he was going to be able to.
"Sara," he brushed his fingers down her cheek his hot personal signature a slight shock, "the moment I found out what I had. What I could do, I felt this enormous pressure. I still believe God has a plan through all this but I feel like these people are counting on me and if I let them come in here and take over, and things go wrong." Sara felt her brother�s anguish in a hotter rush and it burned the back of her throat to hold back the tears. "Know that whatever happens I loved you and I love you." He hugged her and she let one tear fall. He walked off. Sara did not know if he was heading off to sleep or shed a tear in private.
"Pristack, have you heard anything from anywhere else?" Sara looked over his shoulder at the monitor. Pristack had a unique scent that Sara could only describe as calming. She loved what he did for her brother. She did not mind that Pristack also worked kindly in her favor. He hands moved freakishly fast as he worked, the pages flying by like leaves in a windstorm.
"There have been some reports, but more like rumors. Here listen." Pristack sat back and his shoulder rested on Sara�s hand. A whole other kind of heat raced across her palm, up her wrist and shot directly up her arm and fanned a wave across her chest. Sara moved her hand and rested it casually on table. Leaning closer in to listen:
"We are hearing things outside that sound like freaking monsters. We are locked in the basement but the doors might not hold. What is going on?"
"I hear there is no one left. We have to make it to higher ground. The lowlands are totally dead. Go for the mountains."
"I haven't heard back from anyone in the surrounding area. I am the only person left here, help me! God! Help me!"
"They go on like that for hours. I don't know if there's anyone out there left alive." The scorch of tension and anger radiated off Pristack like fire.
"Pristack do you have a girlfriend?"
"Excuse me?" He look off genuine shock and confusion made Sara smile. His tension practically replaced with the cool breeze of slight embarrassment within seconds.
"I mean what exactly do you do when your not out saving the world. I know things are different where you come from. But as long as you've been here you've never once considered finding a woman?" Sara had never seen Pristack squirm. He rubbed the back of his neck and replied.
"There is simply no time for that business. I've got many other activities keeping my attention."
"Business? Activities? A girlfriend is more than something to do. Or perhaps that just what you need hmm?"
"Sara!" Pristack shouted through clenched teeth.
"Oh I am just teasing Pris. I saw you up here looking like you were about to punch through a brick wall. Maybe you'll take your mind off work for a moment and relieve some stress. We have quite a day ahead of us." Sara patted his shoulder and headed back down to the tables. It was time to get the cooks in the kitchen. She had a hunger she needed satisfied.
Dave woke up with familiar faces looking down at him. Then he remembered what happened. "Son, you've got to get away from me. Lock me up. Kill me!" Dave O scrambled away from everyone and backed into a corner.
"What's wrong man? First you pass out and Dack had you drag you in here and he told us you were infected. You were out 2 days straight. We didn't know that the Winds could infect. Once they got you, your ash man. Gone. Only a copy left. So what's going on? You gotta fill us in. Then were out of here." As the Son moved in closer, Dave was still shaking like a leaf. He did not want any of them here. It was a trick. Dave just knew it.
"No! Please. Stay back. They want you Son. They want you so bad. They were in me and saying things. Told me." Dave O was sobbing like a baby, "I was infected when I called you. I knew then they were coming to get you. So now what does that say about me?" Dave was about ready to pass out again. Son reached him and walked Dave over to the bed.
"Sit down man you've not had anything but and IV for 2 days. I don't care about what was. Dack checked you and says your clean or you wouldn't be in here. I would have had some words with him, but even you would have had to go if you were one of them. Ok?" The Son�s sincere words lanced Dave like a cold cut laser. It felt like his heart was being squeezed.
"I-I think I love you man." The Son laughed and slapped Dave away from him. "You just feel better. In a bit were planning on leaving, for good."
Dave received news that should have been devastating but wasn't. Of course growing up all his life on Earth he had grown fond of it but if the choice was stay here and become a ravenous raving lunatic or go and live out life on some distant planet, then Earth, was nice knowing ya. Dave did not know if it was the effect of living through yet another alien attack that had jaded him but he was ready for some peace. He never again wanted to be a passenger in his own head. He never again wanted to aide in the destruction of his best friend. Oh man. After seeing thousands perish. Dave never thought he would care enough about a single person living or dying through this whole mess. So many lives destroyed by his hand alone. But getting to know the Son and fighting with him made him feel like family, in a weird way. They had to go through practice runs of what it would be like living in the Ele crafted housing vessels. Of course no one had lived in space, or deep space, other than the Derdune and Pristack. The confinement and close quarters were not to be felt exactly until the Survivors were living them but being in the vessel Dave got a pretty good idea.
There weren't any plans to make a world wide rescue effort. The NET was still operable and the emergency broadcast was sent out that any Survivors should equiptheir vehicles to be sealed airtight using medi-seal. A synthetic material that acted as a second skin over large, open wound. It could not be easily punctured and once it was it applied the seal was airtight. Only p was problem was with no fresh air in, no breathable air, survival rate would be zero if they were not able to reach the destination within a few hours. The message was, "If you have a supply of medi-seal at your camp and are able to apply it to yourself, in a sealed suit, or to a self transport vehicle, there will be a rescue waiting at," Longitude and Latitude points were given, "it is suggested you bring O2 with you, if the canister is supplies recyclable air. If you feel dizzy or have been sealed for longer than 6 hours it is advisable you use the O2. There will not be any attempts of outside rescue. It is simply too dangerous. We will wait for any Survivors to reply via audio. The rescue will depart after 7 days. At which point the threat will be totally eliminated with the use of deadly force."
"Hey you guys." Dave walked into the caf� feeling worse for the wear. He sensed a current of energy but was not sure where it was coming from. The Ghost Winds had a particular surge when they entered him. Perhaps he was feeling them now
"Don't worry, your not a freak." Sara whispered. Dave must have worn a look that said everyone knew he had been infected and was looking at him. She tugged his arm and walked me aside. "You may think that but remember we all have a scar of Infection to carry. Even this new threat" She tilted her neck and Dave traced the puffed white flesh where the knife that briefly ended her life had entered. So long ago had his lips traced the skin there. Just the memory made his mouth water for a taste. When he saw Sara again he wondered what she had told Son. If the Son was aware of their past relationship, he had not expressed anger towards Dave. Yet.
"Sara, do you look around and wonder why?" She was silent a moment and then replied.
"I don't question why was much as I wonder the part about if I am still here, able to do this, what greater purpose will I serve later." The look she gave me sent a stillness to Dave�s heart. All the anxiety, worry and fear seemed to melt away. "If we fear the now the later will defeat us before we have a chance to fight. I am sorry but I just won't ever let that happen." She placed a feather light kiss on my cheek. Dave�s hand came up quickly to cup her cheek. He turned his head. So close that he felt her warm breath against his lips.
"How did you get to be so strong?"
"It's not about strength but knowing the power you have within yourself. Dave, you are incredibly powerful and yet your afraid to release it. Don't be. We'll need that." Dave did not even know she was still touching me until she let go of my arm. It was like having a drug and missing the high once it was gone.
Traveling to the rescue point was almost uneventful. It was as if the Protectors destroyed all of the Ghost Winds already. Then one night:
"What was that?" They had broken into groups for easier traveling. Two Protectors to a group. Thankfully the camp was fairly small and well trained. They knew how to sleep in shifts, be aware or their surroundings and learned quickly what the Derdune taught them. They were impressed. Nothing, can ever prepare civilians for all out war. They were surrounded. They could not see anything. It was pitch black but you could sense the menace.They quickly assembled into a circle and set-up the protection grid. It was obvious they were not going any further. We made night into day. Using super-bright flood lights we flooded the night and were able to see a good mile in every direction. The ground was mapped, surrounding our circle with a motion sensor laser grid that was as easy as running out few detection leads and flipping the switch on the monitor. Traveling in the vehicles for as long as they could then used the vessels Pristack and the Protectors had brought. Since there was not hardly anything that would constitute as fuel for their crafts they were used as a last resort. They still had to make it to the Realm of Ele. The Ele may be energy mainly but they still had to transport machinery that the Ele had manufactured for the Survivors. Dave was not sure of how economics worked in the Realm of Ele but he was sure their things were expensive and if they could would not be left behind.
"The Ghost Winds leave behind a certain trail on these cameras. They disturb the motion sensors when they pass over them because they are made of an energy that when passed through the lasers will alert us of their presence. It's not just any old detector. The lights of course aren�t for the Winds but for their copies. Anything that moves we shoot, unless there are objections.� Dack explained the equipment and objective.
"What if it's human?"
"Out there, in the Winds? I doubt anything breaths anymore." Dack grabbed his other gun and headed out into the night. The other Protects formed a semi-circle around the camp and waited. Soon the night was filled with mechanized shrieks. The flash of gunfire was blazing and everyone armed was in battle. The smell of scorched flesh was not overpowering since the Ghost Winds only projected a likeness of their victims. A cross between a clone and a holographic image. Only a few casualties were the result of an otherwise small battle. There Was nothing to bury. The Winds turned to ash once disposed of using the guns the Derdune carried.
"How come you didn't ash?"
"Excuse me?" Dave turned around to face the person asking the question. He knew the voice so well.
"You were infected and yet here you stand, why?"
"Man I don't know. I will do anything it takes to find out. I am probably just as much a freak as you are. Pristack did say my energy drew him to me in the first place." Staring the Son straight in the eyes showed him the truth in the words spoken. In the morning they packed up and moved on.
The serene rays of dawn and cool chill of the season were just the dose of reality Sara needed. Her humanity felt shredded and there's nothing quite like nature's beauty to remind you that your apart of something greater.
They reached the rescue point with no other incidents surprisingly. There was a housing unit set up and ready to be boarded. The Derdune busied with security detail. Assigning those in their groups rounds and equipment set-up. "Once the 7 days are up, we will use this unit to depart. This connects to the others in orbit above Earth. Should others arrive or if we simply need extra room, they can connect." For the first time Dack actually smiled. If possible he actually became more handsome.
"Are you going to remain like this when we return to your home?" Sara asked tempted to reach out and touch him, but held back. While his face read friendly and open his presence was still on warrior alert. She knew her affect on people when she made contact, so she was careful.
"If it is more of a comfort to you then I do not mind, I might decide on a more suited wardrobe. Leather can be a bit chafing." Sara laughed out loud. Dack stared at her oddly, shook his head and walked back to the unit.
"Are you asking him about his mate as well?" Pristack's quiet presence startled Sara. He had the ability to enter stealth-mode when he needed absolute stillness to sneak up on an enemy, but he knew it annoyed Sara and only did it when he wanted to snoop. She admired his mirror-like image to Dave. Though he and Dave shared a face Pristack�s energy sang with a different melody. His presence did not fill a room and demand attention the way Dave could. When Pristack was close his energy would call to Sara�s. Urging her to react. She had to mentally build walls of steel to contain her emotions around Pristack. His alien energy twisted her Sensitive nature into knots.
"No, but that may be good to know." Had Dack been flirting? Sara could not hold back the flush that came to her cheeks.
"Seems like we may not have to wait 7 days. After nearly 2 and no audio contact or Survivors making a show, we may decide to depart early." The order for audio messages were made for a reason. The Winds signature could be traced on specialized equipment. When an audio message was filtered through the device it could trace subtle vocal patterns signaled it was a Ghost Wind copy. That sent a chill down Sara's spine. While the plan was to leave, giving everyone a fighting chance only seemed fair. Still, the longer they waited the more dangers they faced.
"You know what's best. I trust your judgment Pris." His face read of the destruction to come. Every ending has a new beginning. Sara smiled and left to head to the unit.
* * *
Rotting, bloated corpses by the millions filled homes, streets and cities. The gases that entered the atmosphere moments before the Protectors landed, had killed every human on Earth. Except the Son, and the few with him. The Derdune had to move quickly. There was no telling the ill effects of the gases mixed with the Winds and the Earth species. The Plan was to eliminate the threat and then figure out how the Son was able to defeat the Poh-Tak with his blood. All the humans had to know was the threat would be gone, and they were safe. It was not of importance that they were they only remaining Survivors as long as the Son was in tact and able to be studied.
Sara couldn't take any mementos. Threat of contamination. She had to leave everything. They were given a choice of cotton or silk PJ-like clothes to wear. They were to remain in a state of perpetual comfort and no stress.
The unit was designed with the thread of human consciousness weaved throughout. It featured walls that seemed to glow from within, soft illumination simulating sunlight during the AM shift and moonlight during the PM shift. Nature sounds filtered into certain areas outfitted to resemble nature parks. They even had smells of nature. Pristack told Sara everything needed to remain in balance. Even with the total lack of natural sunlight and weightlessness the Survivors would live and thrive. Recreation Rooms, workout rooms, lunch halls, and privacy cells. They would sleep the duration of the trip in a med-induced coma-like state. The effects of Ele induced sleep therapy on humans has not been successfully tested. Although on other organisms Pristack says the results are mixed but highly favorable. They would have to be awake for part of the trip but being active in a confined space for that many months would eventually do things to the human mind.
The Protectors busied themselves in preparation for departure. Sara found Sal. She had not seen much of him during the travel to the departure point As she approached a chill coursed through her. Sara began to dread that feeling. Sal smiled, sort of a sad smile. He grabbed her hands immediately and the chill turned to ice in her veins. Sara yanked her hands away. He looked at her and smirked.
"What in the world?" Then Sal simply turned and walked away. Something odd was going on but Sara did not have time to process it. They were getting ready to be assigned sleeping quarters. The time to for the Long Rest was here and all other worries had to be put aside for now.
Final Destination: Realm of Ele
SIGNATE TRANSCRIPT OF DATA RECORDED AT THE TIME OF FIRST TRANSPORT. RECEIVED BY PRISTACK Level 2 Protector Of Dac-raith, destroyer of Eaters of All. Transmission start: Poh-Tak/Pan-Rel mutation was not detected. Due to the unknown nature of it's presence aboard the vessel, now on due course to he Realm of Ele, it's been incubating and spreading throughout the sleeping humans. It is not yet known the full effects. Biometric Alert Readout(BAR): Anomaly detected. Not present at the time of medication inducted coma state. Recording imbalanced brain chemicals that regulate mood. Percentile of those with this anomaly 99%
The feeling of being under water lasted about 10 seconds. Velo heard the recorded voice letting him know the duration of his med-induction coma has now ended. Of course he could not move. He could not even open my eyes. The visions he had endured were stamped on his brain. He experienced sensations he knew were not his own. Perhaps his Sensitive abilities had been heightened. Velo recalled seeing his sister and Dave held in intimate conversation. He had not had much time to ask Dave much. Other than to check out his health. Velo felt an immediate tension when Dave first walked in the room and spotted Sara. Velo figured Dave was attracted to his sister. Then Velo tensed up a bit him self. Sara was 18. Dave was 30. If anything were to become of them Velo definitely had a say so. His sister and him had to raise themselves, so they grew up and matured quickly. But Sara was still his baby sister. If even by a couple years. He was numb, then a prickly sensation as my nerves became sensitized. The tube down his throat had worn him raw. In fact there were tubes coming out of him from everywhere. Geez. "You may experience some discomfort". Suddenly there was thousands of pin pricks stabbing him. It was not a screaming pain, but it was no day in the park. "To speed along the recuperation, due to atrophy, we are injecting nano-gens into your muscle tissue and they are rebuilding the loss in tone at 4 times the normal rate. You will be up in walking in approximately 2 hours". Velo felt a liquid drizzle down my throat. He did not gag, it tasted like strawberries. "This will help you to slowly become more alert as your therapy draws to an end. All the drugs that helped you to sleep are being flushed from your system." As time went on he was feeling more and more alert. Whatever they gave him it felt like drinking coffee and he was getting small doses of caffeine straight to his bloodstream. The tubes were removed after about 20 minutes. Then suddenly Velo�s hand twitched. He tried making a fist and was not successful. He still had about 45 minutes of nano-gen therapy to go. He wanted to know where Pristack and the others were, and when he tried to voice his thoughts he found hewas speechless. Well duh. The throat is a muscle, Velo was guessing, there were repairs remaining and until then he was a mute too.
About another 30 minutes goes by before he tried to move again. Again unable. As frustrating as this all was Velo was impressed. He could see him self in the sleek mirrored surface above the platform he laid upon. He was in desperate need of a haircut and shave. Years had past and the Ele could not not very well wake everyone up for trims. The fact that he was alive and breathing brought the sting of tears to his eyes. That they had made it this far. Unaffected.
Sara�s first waking thought was: �I need my brother. He will help me. I do not understand this. Why am I feeling�.nothing! Is this because of the sleeping? Is it a temporary thing? Am I stressing over nothing? This last 90 minutes I have been about ready to burst out of my skin. Unable to move or speak and yet my mind runs in circles about worry, panic, and anxious thoughts.
And I can not tell if they are all my own.�
"God, what a nightmare." Dave rubbed his face and stretched the best stretch he had ever felt in his life. He needed to figure out where Son, Pristack, Sara and the rest of them were. To see if they felt as soul drained as he did. "This is worse than the Winds being in me, geez." Dave stumble/shuffled to the wall. He knew there is a way to, oh, there we go. The wall, as if sensing his proximity, fades and inside is the hygiene chamber. Dave did not have to "go" but felt the need to do the basics. To feel normal for a change. He washed his face, brushed his teeth and shaved. "Jesus, I look like Jesus." A lot of things remained earthly during the transition to the Realm of Ele.
Dave was somewhat still amazed that as a whole society they excepted leaving their heritage behind. Was there more to the plan than to exterminate the Winds, leave Earth and resettle in Ele? Dave wondered, where exactly are we going to live? In movies they have settlements and terra-formed cities but this is real life. How prepared are the Ele to support the needs of an alien society. "Whoa. We are the aliens now."
Dave Outlaw�s features looked so pale and thin in the mirror like surface. Everything had a faint glow. Dave noticed right away when he rinsed his mouth and spat, the foam was absorbed into the surface of the sink. The same happened with the shave cream. The cream melted but when the tiny facial hairs came in contact with the surface they crackled like water droplets on a hot pan. Dave was curious why this was happening.
"The surfaces and many of the items you will encounter are artificially self aware. Meaning they have the programmed ability to know when to activate. Certain items keep clean automatically. Certain items keep you comfortable in your environment. Others can take into consideration your discomfort and offer aid. Oh, and do not be alarmed. You are not hearing voices. I simply analyzed the electrical activity within your cerebral cortex and discerned you had questions. Have I answered them to your satisfaction?" Dave had to admit, having a voice in his head would have been strange had he not been standing on a space vessel, in space, 22 years from my last known dwelling. Oh and the little incident of being possessed by a contaminated Ele energy signature. Dave felt a slight flush as his heart rate accelerated.
"Ummm, well, I suppose the Ele had something to do with you being in my head?"
"Yes. They implanted me, safely, into your cochlea. Your inner ear. If your more comfortable my manufactured name is Saatchi. My programming translates that to your language as defined: calm, soothing, to take away distressed, to alleviate fears."
"Yeah ok. So your like a guardian angel.� Dave O stated.
"I see. Yes. That would be one appropriate assessment of my presence."
"So can I call you Angel? Saatchi is cool and all, but I think if I go around saying that out loud people might think I'm having a fit." Dave stood waiting for a reply. Strangely he felt OK talking to him self. The voice was soft and feminine. So it was like talking to someone on the phone really. Like when he used to have his cell phone earpiece, so that he could have his hands free. This was hands free, earpiece free, cell free!
"If that is was you desire. Angel is fine. I am able to sense certain changes and will interact with you only when I feel it's necessary. Also when you need questions answered."
"Your welcome, sir." Dave O could not wait to sit with a hot meal in front of him, with coffee and talking with the Son. Have human contact.
"Oh geez." He wiped the tears from my eyes. Dave hoped he do not have a breakdown in front of them. What is wrong with his? Should he ask them? His angel was silent as these thoughts fired through his mind.
"Even though I have lived with humans for a time. I am not one of them. I have bonded on an intellectual level with them but I would not consider them my equal. Biologically adapting to a species and living among them gives them a sense that you are for them. Non-threatening. Fighting for their cause against Y'limpis Ele gave me the perfect opportunity and I took it." Pristack�s words have come back to slap him in the face as a human would say. Pristack did not expect anything other than to aide in the elimination of the Y'limpis Ele threat. The contaminated energy signature that is escaping Abislene. Now the bond formed was unbreakable. Hearing the Ele speak of the humans in their testing as if they are nothing more than interesting subjects causes a sensation to flare inside of Pristack. The Ele are species that are curious about the functions of others. They have seen the capabilities when The Ele use their energy signature to correctly adapt to others. The Y'limpis Ele got greedy. Started consuming instead of studying the nature of others. Pristack contemplated the bond between his sef and the humans. Is it because he choose to remain biologically human? Is his Ele energy signature evolving his body and brain function and adapting my higher intelligence to actually feel human and not simply mimick? Pristack did not know. However. Question his friendship with the humans or what he thought of their species. He would say while some display the traits similar Y'limpis Ele, uncaring all consuming evil, the whole of humanity genuinely live to better the lives of others through acts of random kindness. Took the responsibility, sometimes heaved on their shoulders, and beared it. For what cause? Pristack could only say because they are made that way. The struggle is just the lesson. The will to go on is to be found in the understanding of each other.
The leader of the Derdune, Dack, prepared to debrief A.R.C. : Council to the Realm of Ele. Rulers over the processes and procedures with which every new discovery was treated. �The extraction went as planned. Scans of Earth have shown nothing survived. We will have to monitor this planet and others we have cleansed. To ensure nothing grows out of the ashes. Once we reach the Realm of Ele The Son goes to the A.R.C to being testing. The others will be told they must begin tests to be able to better suit our environment. This will enable us to sample their DNA and test the genetic markers to see what makes them such a rich target for Y'limpis Ele. Y'limpis Ele's threat is getting more aggressive, and it won't be long before Y'limpis Ele or a new threat strikes again. Y'limpis Ele won't have to travel far to reach their energy signature." Dack glanced out the port hole. The Vessels resembling dots on a black curtain, beyond the window. "We have completed our mission. The level 4 of Dac-raith Proectors: Temer-eck will be preparing for the next mission. The Derdune Mission has been complete." Dack had been in his Ele energy signature since returning to The Realm of Ele. After he finished the mission, he zipped through the assigned trail ways to his destination. Having a bunch of Ele dematerializing and materializing within A.R.C was not only messy, but not allowed. So trail ways, much like halls, were used to get to places the Ele used while in "signate" or natural Ele state. Once Dack reach the end of the trail way the door in front of him opened and inside was a room. Where he was born. Created. Assigned a duty to protect Dac-raith and the Realm of Ele. He floated to the center of the room, barely noticing the workers tending to experiments and the next set of protectors that would be brought forth to take his place. While he was able to protect, they were made with more knowledge of the threat ahead. See, every time there eas a threat a Protector is made with the knowledge of the that threat and immediately there after a new Protector will be processed. The threat is known but what it will be in actuality is not known until it surfaces. Modifications are made to ensure absolute defeat. "This mutated strain. Poh-Pak/Pan Rel. Will be the devastation of the humans. Total genetic reclassification will be in order to erase all traces of what happened during the 22 year incubation." Dack felt a shiver swirl through his energy. A shiver? Not even as a human had he so been affected.
"Hold on there Derdune. You have been assigned for termination." The worker grabbed a netting device used to catch and immobilize the Ele. Though a peaceful species, there was cause for all the tools they create, at some point. Dack would not have fought, tried to run or dematerialize. As a proud Protector he has served well. His mission complete.
Tested, Detected and Dissected
While everyone was being reawakened the report of an anomaly was received at A.R.C. "We will dealt with this as we have dealt with other infections of the past. Find it and get rid of it."
Sal felt the metal table pressed beneath him and knew he was no longer on his sleeping pad. "Wh-where am I?" A bright light nearly blinded him, but when he tried to shield his eyes he found his arms were strapped down. "Wh-what's happening?" No one spoke but before the pain there was a recording.
"Intial transfer of anomaly detected in sleep cell #1578248902X1." Drifting into the familiar drug induced haze Sal thought about what he just heard. It did not make any sense. His body was engulfed in a blazing fire of pain just before he slipped under a fog of sleep was intense enough to rip a scream from his throat. Something had split him from collarbone to pelvis. They were not looking to heal his anomaly, just search it out and destroy it before it spread.
Once therapy was complete Velo was lead to another room. There was a table and four chairs. On the table was a tray of food, a pitcher of liquid, 4 glasses, 4 plates, and eating utensils. Velo assumed Dave, Sara and Pristack would be joining him.
He sat down. A few minutes past. "Are you not hungry?" A voice asked, startling Velo.
"Uh yeah but I was waiting for my friends." Velo waited for a reply, but instead the door opened and in walks 3 people. Dressed in plain gray but official looking uniforms, not smiling, but looking polite none-the-less. There was a graceful looking older female, hair pulled back in a bun. Features set sharply and starkly against the severe plains of her face. Two other gentlemen dressed similar to her seemed to be there for her protection only. There were no weapons visible.
"Hello." Velo greeted with caution. He had never been taught any correct Ele greetings. He had a feeling that they had drawn their customs from humans. Pristack had always been seen to Velo as human, but he may be facing a totally new set of rules.
"Greetings. You are who they call the Son, correct?" The woman had taken a seat across from Velo, opened a file and was reading from it. Again Velo felt she was portraying human mannerisms for his benefit. She knew everything about me and, for whatever reason, wanted me to verbally verify it for her.
"You have an ability that interests us and we are going to do some testing to see why your blood was the key to curing the virus that Infected so many of your people." Closing the file. She leaned back, crossed a slim leg over the other and templed her hands in front of her. "We do not intend on bringing all of the other humans to our Realm until we have assessed that you can be of use to us. You helped us. We remain cautious. Y'limpis Ele is a threat no matter what we do to contain him and inviting you to stay within our Realm, without proper study, will be genocide. Do you understand what I am telling you?" Amazingly, even with Italian-Russian sounding accent Velo was able to understand her. He smiled slightly hoping his trembling was not noticeable. They wanted to study him, but the others were not welcome until he checked out OK? What was going on here? What if they couldn't find anything they could use? What if we were attacked again while outside the Realm, waiting?
"I have been a leader, fighter, trainer and friend to those people and you think leaving them out there for God knows what to happen, while you see what I can do for you is OK!" Velo should have taken a breath, relaxed and calm down, but Pristack wasn't there to remind him, "What kind of people are you? What kind of people do you think we are? To be treated like nothing more than cattle. Herded and waited to be slaughtered." Crossing her hands in her lap, she sat straight up. While the Ele learned gestures, speech patterns and the genetic make-up of humans. Some new talent of mimicking our emotion, to those who have not spent time to bond to us are just plain bad actors. Her tone was flat as if reciting instructions from a manual.
"We are not people. Do not let this costume fool you. It is for your benefit, not ours. To be rid of Y'limpis Ele for good we believe you, my friend, are the key. My race are known to study, dissect, and learn all about new and unknown energy signatures. It was quite by mistake Y'limpis Ele found your planet I am sure." Did she just smirk? "The consumption of your people was a mistake." There is it again, what is this? Doesn't she know Velo can see her doing that? Ever so slightly the corner of her mouth would tug upward. If he wasn't paying close attention to her words he would have missed it. "Y'limpis Ele is a contamination. A disease. You can be a cure. We simply want to try and end what could potentially be the end to everything else. Y'limpis Ele will not stop until everything in his path is destroyed. Do you understand?" Eyes cold as ice and dark as night held held Velo�s deep blue Earth colored gaze. He understood her side of it. She wanted the stop the possible spread of an alien contamination, but at the cost of his people. Save humanity or save the rest of the universe? Velo thought his decisions were tough before.
"Do you think he knows?" The guard asked The Queen once outside the room and heading down the trail way.
" He is gifted but he cannot read minds. He only suspects we are not telling the whole truth."
"Are you lying to him?"
"He needed a reason for his survival. They all do. We just need to keep them alive long enough to study them and not let Y'limpis Ele contaminate any more of our experiments." The Ele traveled the trail way. Heading to the testing rooms. There would be news of the gene marker testing trials. They had come so far. So close to creating a weapon even the Ele were afraid if, in the wrong hands, would be a worse threat than Y'limpis Ele.
In the Vessels there was not a way to salvage any produce or animal food from Earth. To reproduce the correct genetic make-up for human consumption it was taking more time than first thought necessary. The first meals consisted of a vitamin and protein bar that would fuel the system of an active human between various ages and health stages. There where many in between factors to consider such as allergies and other health concerns. Even pregnancies. When people first boarded 22 years ago, they were separated by age, health, condition. It would aid in the testing and separate the weak of the strong. The meals would be served simply. The choice was left up to the consumer. Either receive the bar through the receiving slot in the convenience of the privacy cells assigned. Or go to the dining hall at assigned times. There was room for about 400 in the lunch room. Even though gardens and farms were factored into the travels, the replication of reproducing healthy, viable consumables had not reached it's optimal peak. "Have you been feeling, I dunno, different since you woke up?" The man took a hearty bite of his bar, grimaced, but chewed and swallowed. The liquids thankfully were flavored with memorably enough. Everyone ate with healthy appetites
"Yeah I feel like crying, or like�nothing. Feel nothing. It's not so bad as before. Maybe I just needed to eat." A plump woman with red hair and red rimmed eyes. She noticed some had a similar haggard look, even though they'd all just awoken from a deep sleep. Similar symptoms of an unknown origin. Some would not show up for weeks. Observation would reveal that elimination of the original threat had not contained the anomaly. Extensive testing would be required. The development of the inoculation of any threats from Y'limpis Ele were going from phase 1 to phase 2 trials. Selective testing would begin at once.
Sacrifice was necessary to gain the knowledge and unlock the secret of the reason Y'limpis was so attracted to this energy signature. Y'limpis Ele traveled beyond it's galaxy to relish, savor and delight in the chaos caused by it's presence. The few that would be lost in the practice to perfect the vaccine would be remembered as pioneers for the next generation of humans that will have no fear of an unknown threat.
Repopulation could be achieved with a donor cell from a male and female if all else fails. Then The Elel can start again.
After Dave finished eating he went in search of Sara and Pristack. He did not find the Directory and had not gotten used to using the controls. "Angel, baby. Could use some help here." No space age Star Trek voiced activated touch sensors here. Nope. It's all in your head.
"I can sense your thoughts Dave. No need to voice your questions in public, unless it is your intend to draw attention." He glanced around a couple people passed him and gave him cursory looks. Suddenly Dave felt a crushing vise close around his head. It was not that painful but he could no longer concentrate. Dave squinted in frustration. Where was he going? He looked around. Dave O was in the hallway that lead to the privacy cells, so he just followed the curve that lead to his room. Wanting to just go rest for now. He just needed to rest. He could not even think to consider what had just occurred. Dave did notice people pass him. Some had red rimmed eyes, squinting, and looking confused. Must be reading to much into their faces. They could not be feeling what what was. Could they? There was not enough bright light in the hallway to cause everyone to squint. Dave grabbed a man by the shoulder, "Hey man how you doing?" Dave O gave him a friendly smile. His eyes darted back and forth. His lips trembling, trying to form a smile.
"I-l am am�." He walked off, not even bothering to finish his sentence. Dave O looked at him and then the strangest thing happened. A light beamed down and ran across the back of his neck. He was close enough that Dave O barely caught what was happening. He was being scanned. Like groceries, or anything with a code. He had a number inked on the back of his neck.
A slight pressure caused Sara to rub a hand across her brow and sigh. Her sensitive ability had returned but she was also plagued with an intense, overwhelming need to cry, and now this pressure behind her eyes. Not quite a headache but a pressure none-the-less. She walked down the hallway to the privacy cells and to her surprise she saw. "Dave!" His head whips around and a huge smile breaks across his face. He dashes the few steps to meet up with her, and lifts her up in a smothering hug. "Whoa there hug man." Sara had almost forgotten the raw, intense heat Dave can imprint on her. Full body contact can leave her breathless.
"Oh Sara, Sara. It is so good to see you." He rubbed the back of my neck leaving a trail of his body heat lingering. Though not intentionally meaning to awaken my nerve endings so immediately, Dave was doing a darn good job. His eyes went wide with horror, a hand gripped the back of his neck. "Hey check my neck."
"Ok." Strangely Sara found his request appropriate. Sheknew he'd probably only meant to show friendly affection, but perhaps his touching her ignited a memory from another time. Another lifetime, it seems, now. "There are numbers. When did you get this?" Instead of a reply he lifted her hair and skimmed a warm fingertip across the back of her neck. Though the memory reached back a lifetime ago, new feelings could start to form.
"You too." He did not mean it. He did not mean he felt it too.
"What?" Sara rubbed her neck as if feeling the supposed tattoo would appear like Braille and she would be able to feel it's texture.
"We have to find Pristack. He'll know what's going on." See? Dave was clueless.
"Wait. Dave. I want to tell you. There is something going on here. Something I do not understand. These urges." Sara�s cocoa colored eyes never left his and yet his briefly dipped to her mouth. Well, perhaps he was feeling the old ways. "I want to cry then I want to laugh or yell. I do not think they are my own feelings." Her hand had lingered on Dave's neck, slowly traced a path to the slope between his neck and shoulder. She squeezed his shoulder. Sara felt his tightened muscles, whatever tension he had was left unspoken. She gently pulsed her hand and the tension drifted off him and started to dissipate like a mist in sunshine. A little apprehension tickled my sense. Either his or mine. We had to discuss the situation between us.
A.R.C, Protector Sub-Level 2
Pristack�s privacy cell was simple in the Realm, at the A.R.C. As was all cells located on the Protector level. They were used to teach them the way of the society they were to integrate into. They can learn history, language and even mimic biological function. In order to fully understand how to protect the species they were made for. The Protectors were told to live as the species did. Some chose to full immersion, like Pristack, and lived in that state always.
Since The Ele primary form was free floating energy they also needed a place to go to block the signature of other energy for total peace and concentration. To renew. When studying other species and mimicking their biology they of course rested, consumed nutrients, and did what was required to maintain the desired formation for longer than a few minutes. As Pristack did on Earth. I required an almost constant supply of high fat, sodium, protein and starch to stay biologically human. Pristack�s return to The Realm of Ele reminded him of his true nature and allowed him to absorb all the studies and intelligence gathered over the years, as an Ele. His time during private hours on Earth were spent sending information rather than receiving, unless necessary. In the instance of the Ghost Winds threat.
Seems the studies for finding a cure using the Son had already been set in motion. Pristack immediately began to retrieve all the information related to the studies of the Son. They had some unusual findings.
Perhaps Velo was numbed by the medications or by his own mind slipping into itself. There was not pain involved with the testing and studies. The idea that everyone else's lives Velo was responsible for, for so long now rested on the founding of a cure that would totally eliminate this alien virus. That pain was what fed something inside. Something buried deep and it wanted out. "I believe we have found the reason behind the concept of your being named the Son of the Survivors." Velo looked across the room at he woman who first told him of his fate in the Realm. "Whoever saw you, saw your internal imaging. Highly photosensitive. Simply put, from the inside out, your glowing like the Sun." A light sheen of sweat beaded Velo�s upper lip, brow and forehead. Even his hands felt clammy.
"What else? I mean what does that mean? Do you really have any idea?"
"With further testing we'll be able to determine exactly the nature of the glow. Also the blood tests are remarkable, and coming along at a fantastic rate. We think you have provide us the unique DNA we have needed. Things are well." She got up to leave.
"Wait. What about the glow thing. It can't be normal."
"Well, no. We are not concerned. Just curious as to why the Y'limpis Ele contaminated Poh-Tak can carry in your blood without infecting you. You have been exposed repeatedly and yet you are alive. We are honored to be able to study you, Sun."
The mood in the Vessels was muted. It seemed like the first few hours after waking up everyone was still in comas. A lot of people grouped together and started asking questions. Everyone wondered about the numbers tattooed on them. "Please report to the auditorium for community meeting if your listed in group 1."
"Dave. This means if your number ends in 1 your in group 1." Angel reminded me. The lights worked quickly and identified us as we entered the halls. We were given time to make it to the auditorium depending on where we were in the Vessels.
In the meeting everyone was reassured the affects they were feeling may be due to the induced coma, or medications used. Also some of them may be sensitive to space travel and need time to adjust to being confined indoors. We were told to visit the "parks" and "sun rooms" often to improve mood. Air fresh and outdoors were a thing of the past. That sent a chill down my spine.
"We will be needing to run some tests to ensure the complete health of everyone, over the next few days. Enjoy your stay." The message ended. Even surrounded by so many people. Dave felt swallowed by loneliness.
"Pristack? Do you know what B.O.U.N.D means?"
"Adj; meaning obliged, determined, led to-" Velo stopped him chuckling .
"No, no. The acronym Brotherhood Of Us Never Dies. It's something soldiers, or even convicts doing life have used with each other. It signifies a deep bond without a blood tie. I think it came from the need to have something that has more strength than just a buddy. Saving each others' lives over and over. Sort of like a rally cry." Pristack was silent a moment then showed me the underside of his right forearm. Lettering starting to etch as if drawn by a phantom hand.
�I know that people get a tattoo when something or someone meaningful happens in their life. You've taught me more than necessary what it means to be human." The skin around the lettering looked raw, but Pristack never flinched as he spoke.
"That's truly freaky dude." He gave me a blank stare, "oh no not the tat, the way you did that. Not what it says, or what you said. Pristack you are one of a kind and I am glad we are able to learn from each other." Clasping hands and slapping backs in a manly hug.
A.R.C Conference room
"This has to be done. To give you the ability to defend yourself. This isn't a takeover." Pristack had read the notes. To his understanding the testing done had benefited all, Ele and humans, greatly.
"No? What would you call eliminating the weak and only giving the strong a chance to adapt." Shock and anger glittered in Pristack's eyes at Velo�s accusations
� �We didn't decide that. The vaccine had an ill effect and we did the best To ease those that were suffering. The Adaptation process is something that will happen naturally. It is encoded in your DNA. It is just a few million human evolution years, why wait? I've found a way to give you a defense against Y'limpis Ele and super human abilities. Do you not want this?" Pristack pleaded. He needed Velo to agree with him. He wanted Velo to understand the genetic manipulation while "testing" and "vaccinating" them was for our own good. The percentage of them with the Adaptation process know as AP-ele versus without outweighed the negative consequences. Ele saw them as a threat just as much as Y'limpis Ele because our energy signature draws them together. To do this without asking! Pristack didn't understand why Velo was so upset. He didn't understand that taking apart of their humanity or just changing it, even to improve it, was not his choice to make. Religious beliefs aside. There is an eerie feeling left inside when something plays God, tampering with the very essence of your being. Amazingly, Velo had been accepting of Pristack and his story. With all that was happening during the Infection, there wasn't much room to question his original plans for all of humanity after the battle was won.
Velo�s anger went from a slow simmer, to a feeling of steam oozing from y pores. His skin felt like it was on fire. He began to sweat. A trickle down his face and neck went to slick sheets in seconds.
"Son? Are you ok?"
"No! I am not OK! I feel like I am on fire!" Velo�s mind flashed to a time when he did not understand his ability, "He is the Sun of the Survivors." He had been marked. Called out. Defined. Cursed. "This isn't right." He looked at hishands. To his utter amazement he saw light, in his hands! Going from a dull glow to something that encompassed his flesh to the point of blinding glow. Velo jumped up his mouth agape in fascination. The burning went away, Velo turned his hand palm up. There was an odd, tight feeling inside in him then it rippled out, then tightened and rippled out. He was seized with an odd feeling that took his breath and made his muscles go rigid. Tightened and ripple, faster and faster, and then.
Something akin to a star dying radiated from Velo�s core to every corner of the room, before he passed out cold he managed to locate Pristack and reminded him, "You did this."
The expectation was to modify and hyper evolve. Not all results were calculated into the formula. The end of life for a sun, even housed in a body of flesh instead of a body of stars, would be accelerated and end too soon. Perhaps he would have had several lifetimes to stand with the Ele, humans, and any others that needed his shoulders to lean on. To teach the value of life as he had to learn it, through the eyes of someone so unlike him. The Son's ancestry holds a special connection to the Ele. There was a seed sown. More than one planting. There will be more than one harvest.
Epilogue (tentative ending)
By using the Ele method of collecting and receiving data continuously throughout the A.R.C files Pristack knows combining, tethering, or even attempting to replace Ele energy in human DNA has been unsuccessful. He has called a meeting with the Queen. �You volunteer yourself I suppose?� The voice held only the tone required for the straight forward question but it slammed Pristack with the force of a semi truck. He had not considered himself in the equation. He did realize being Ele and using human form for so long had caused changes.
�Being a subject would be logical. They trust me. I could enter in a mating without question. I am sure.� The doubt was only detectable to Pristack, he hoped. The subtleties of human emotions were still being studied by Ele.
�Your choice in mate?� Pristack�s skin flushed and his mouth suddenly felt dry. He was experiencing nerves akin to asking parents for their daughter�s hand in marriage.
�Sara. I will court Sara. She would be the perfect subject. She holds the talent of being a Sensitive.� There were murmurs, some whirs and pops from those remaining in Ele form.
�Begin your courting soon. We want up streaming data of the mating ritual as well as updates on progress.� Pristack swallowed thickly. Palms sweaty, and stomach twisting he immediately made his way to the Vessels. Time to make his presence known among the Survivors. Beginning with his mate. Sara.
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