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Dust Trails: of Earth, Chapter Seven
When two bombshells are dropped, Lauren's world is shaken
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Dust Trails: of Earth, Chapter Seven


11-12-16 10:11 PM
Eirinn is Offline
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My apologies for the lateness. I should be back up to normal speed with this now.

Click here to go to the first chapter

or here to go to the previous chapter

Chapter Seven

"For life is uncertain and ever changing,"

Instincts kick in when she hears a scream and Sanya finds herself on her feet and armed with a beam of summoned energy in her hand before she even remembers where she is or realizes what she's doing. As her surroundings slowly begin registering on her she realizes the screaming was Lauren, and it was coming from her room, just on the other side of the wall.

Rushing out of her room and into Lauren's she sees her siting up in bed, clutching her blanket tightly to her chest. It's at this moment that Sanya realizes she never put away the energy she'd summoned, and she quickly does so, letting it evaporate.

"What's wrong? Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine." Lauren answers attempting as much to comfort herself as she is to answer the question. "I'm alright."

"Are you sure?" Sanya asks, noting Lauren's still frightened expression.

"Yes, I just had a nightmare. I'm sorry for waking you."

"Well if you need me, I'll just be in my room." that sounded cheesy. Of course she would be in her room, it was the middle of the night; where else would she be?

"Thank you." Lauren says as she lies back down and finally quits squeezing her blanket so tightly.

Ashley had left only after Lauren had insisted so strongly that she would be fine, but truth be told Lauren wishes she'd have stayed. The imagery in the dream was no more intense than other nightmares but this one seemed to weigh more heavily on her. Something seemed significant about it, and that troubles Lauren even more deeply than the dream itself.

After trying unsuccessfully to fall off to sleep again for the better part of an hour, Lauren decides to just get up now since her alarm would go off soon enough anyway. Climbing out of bed she puts on her purple short sleeved robe and house shoes, places her sleeveless blue sleeping attire aside, shuffles her way across the hardwood floors as she always does in the morning, and goes downstairs to start preparing breakfast.

When she reaches the bottom of the stairs Lauren hears someone in the kitchen, but Aaron never shows up before sunrise like this, and Ashley's still in bed. Thoughts of her nightmare begin playing through her mind, but she forces herself forward. If someone is in the house, it'll do her no good to run back upstairs.

As she slowly approaches the kitchen door taking care not to make any noise, she peers around the corner and sees no one, but the pantry door is opened slightly. The intruder must be in there. Steeling herself, she slinks past the door and to the counter, then grabs a knife from the drawer and sneaks her way back toward the source of the sounds. As she reaches the pantry, she places her back to the wall and prepares to spring into action, but before she can the perpetrator emerges, armed with a spoon.

Both Lauren and Ashley scream and jump back, sending Lauren stumbling backward into the refrigerator and Ashley stumbling into the pantry door.

"You scared me!" Lauren shouts breathless.

"You sneaked up on me with a knife, and I scared you?"

"Oh, right. What are you doing up so early?" Lauren asks as she puts the knife away.

"Well I was trying to cook breakfast." she answers sheepishly.

"Oh, you cook? Maybe you could teach me how. I've just been winging it honestly. Until I came here I'd never cooked much of anything outside of microwavable food." she says, her frankness prompting a laugh from both women.

"Yeah I could tell."

"What? You said my food was good!"

"Yeah well you had that look on your face, ya know?" she teases "I had to say something to make you feel better."

"What look?" Lauren asks as she grabs a skillet.

"You know, that look."

"Oh of course. Why didn't you just say that to begin with?" Lauren says with a laugh "Was it realy bad though?"


"Crogwyl!" a deep voice barks.

"Sir?" a youthful looking man answers.

"Where is Sanya Irzorwyn?"

"Sir, I reported on her status months ago." he answers, letting his unappreciation of the treatment his superior always gives him show a bit too much. "She escaped."

"Exactly. We don't pay you to lose the target." comes the snide reply.

"You don't pay me at all. If anything I pay you."

"With a portion of the bounty earned using whose ship?"

He looks away and mutters "The company's."

"And whose weapons?"

"The company's."

"And whose radars, energy resources, tools, armor,"

"The company's!" he shouts "Look, I get it: you're unhappy with my performance on her case. Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe she's just that good? Tell me, how many hunters have you sent after her?"

The boss wears a look that says how uncomfortable the reversal makes him "Fifteen."

"Over the course of how many years?"


"And how many have managed to take her down?"

"None. But you've proven no better. I don't see her in our custody, her dead body, or the bounty on her head anywhere." he answers, looking disdainful once more.

"No better?" Rylan's really getting worked up now "I've looked at her records you know? Yeah, you've sent fifteen hunters after her, and yeah I've come back empty handed from a hunt for her five times, but I'm also the only one to survive more than two encounters with her, and only three of your hunters have survived past the first encounter."

The boss doesn't say a word, and shutting him up feels so good.

"And how many of your hunters have managed to take her ship down? One. Me." Rylan says, leaning over the desk and into his boss' face "Kuzonay. THE Kuzonay. The most famed ship in the skies. But if my work isn't good enough, I guess I'll take my services elsewhere. I think Orimenor is hiring new hunters."

"No. No, I overreacted. Your service record is impeccable. Leaving won't be necessary." he changed his tune fast, and Rylan knew he would.

"Alright then." Rylan says leaning back and turning to head for the dock. "She's without a ship though, and no ship could replace her old one. She's not likely to be a problem anytime soon, and when she does show back up, she'll be an easy target compared to last time."

Dismissing himself, Rylan heads to his ship, and boarding it, he mans the control console.

"Taenya." he calls and a deep sound calls back in reply "Do we have any new assignments?"

The monitor built into the console lights up and a new message appears. He's shocked to find that it's from the office of the Queen of Leocyn. With a touch of the icon, the message appears on the holoscreen in front of him.

"Rylan Crogwyl." his jaw drops when he sees the queen herself recorded the message "I am Gaelia Faedan, queen of Leocyn." did she really feel the need to say that? Who wouldn't recognize her?

"I have contacted you directly at the advice of my defense council. It seems you are quite the accomplished bounty hunter, and your help is called upon to protect our planet, and the entire galaxy. Leocynian intelligence has reason to believe that the infamous mercenary Sanya Irzorwyn is located somewhere in the general vicinity indicated on the star chart enclosed in this message."

Sanya Irzorwyn. Why can't he get away from that woman? He's had many encounters with her in battle and pursuit and he always comes back empty handed. These missions have been popping up off and on for the past three years, and he's grown weary with them. Besides, he doesn't even believe half of the stories told about her, which is why he always rejects any job involving her that he can.

Coming back to the present from his thoughts about Sanya, he hears the queen droning on still. "This mission, while paid, is irrefusable. You, as a subject of the crown of Leocyn, are ordered to adhere to the following: locate Sanya Irzorwyn, and bring her back to us, dead or alive. We look forward to hearing from you upon your triumphant return, Mr. Crogwyl."

Politics. How ugly.

"Taenya, head to sector N. Local coordinates C763, L935. We'll begin our search there." the ship calls back and begins it's journey.

That's an awfully wide range of planets he thinks as he looks at the area indicated on the star chart sent by the queen. It would take a year in the fastest of ships to scan that entire area, and this company ship is far from being one of the fastest out there. Guess we'll just hit the most likely places first and hope for the best.


It's been a month since Sanya's arrival here, and she's grown comfortable and happy for the first time in her life. She and Lauren have become friends, and though they still have their moments when they clash and the tension and fighting returns, they always manage to move beyond that. She's even learned to cook some, with Lauren teaching her what little she knew, and from there the two of them have learned together by watching cooking programs, looking up recipes online, and trial and error. Aaron never lets on that the food tastes bad though, even when it does, and for that both women are appreciative.

Sanya has also begun helping Aaron in the fields, despite his initial protesting. He always manages to cover more ground than she, but she still accomplishes enough to nearly halve the work load for him. Her life here is a busy one, a happy one, and most importantly to her, an honest one.

Some things still aren't quite perfect though, as she's still not revealed her true identity to them, and as such she has to pretend to understand certain things that she doesn't, such as birthdays and holidays. "Christmas", was that the one coming up soon that had Lauren so excited? Sanya tries to share the excitement with her, but she doesn't know what it is, they don't have that on Deylon or any planet she's been to so far. She's heard it explained, and the story was familiar to her, but the celebration is completely alien to Sanya. Or rather, she's alien to these people. She's tried her hardest to hide that fact from them, but her conscience can't take it much longer. Every time Lauren confides something in her, or Aaron pretends to know what he's doing while working on the car, or they do any of the many little things she's grown to like about these people, she feels the guilt grow. She can't keep this up.

Opening her eyes, Sanya looks up at the early morning light painting her walls and decides that today is the day she'll tell them. At that thought a familiar ache fills her heart, an ache she's experienced too many times, with the loss of Kuzonay being the last time she'd felt it. She's going to lose them, but it's for the best. They deserve the truth.

Climbing out of bed she gets dressed and heads downstairs to help Lauren prepare breakfast one last time.

"Good morning." Lauren calls happily as she walks into the kitchen.

"Morning." she calls back, her voice not quite matching the smile on her face.

"Is something the matter?"

"No, I'm fine." she lies. Lying: that's all she does it seems.

Together the two women make omelettes, and Sanya can't help but smile at the memories invoked by it. Aaron walks in just as they finish, just like he always does. They set the table and take the same seats as they always do. And they exchange their morning pleasantries just the way they always do. Then as she sees Aaron about to finish his food, Sanya decides it's time to break their usual routine. It's now or never.

"I have something I need to tell you two." she says as she pushes her still full plate back and folds her hands in her lap.

"What is it?" Lauren asks, but Aaron only smiles, looking almost sympathetic.

"I...I lied." she says as she bites her bottom lip "I lied about everything."

"What do you mean, Ashley?" Lauren asks, confusion and worry on her face.

"Well for starters, that's not my name." she says as she lifts her head just enough to see Lauren "My name is" she pauses a moment "my name is Sanya."

"Oh." Lauren says softly "Well, why should that matter? It's just a name after all. I certainly don't hold that against you, and I'm sure Aaron probably feels the same."

"Stop. Please." Sanya says as she looks back down "It's more than my name. I lied because I was afraid that you would turn me in."

"You're wanted?" Lauren says shocked.

"Yeah well, it's not quite that simple either." oh boy, how would she explain this? "I'm... not from here. Do you remember the things I said to you when I first awoke after you found me?"

"As though I could forget." is the response that comes from a still shaken Lauren. This woman was wanted. Why?

"Well, Milarim is" she stops for a moment, trying to think of an easy way to break this, but she can't. The plain truth seems to be the only real option. "Well I'm uh..." she draws a deep breath "I'm not from this planet."

Lauren stares in shock, and after a few moments she begins to smile. Aaron on the other hand seems unaffected by this revelation.

"Why on Earth would you make up such a strange joke? You have a very odd sense of humor."

"I'm not joking."

Lauren's smile vanishes "Okay Ashley, this isn't funny anymore."

"Lauren, it's the truth. Look, I can prove it." Sanya says as she rises to her feet and holds a hand out.

Lauren watches, eyes wide with disbelief as Sanya summons an energy beam and grabs it with her hands, moving it around freely.

"I'm from Deylon, a pla"

"Stay away from me!" Lauren shouts as she jumps out of her chair and backs away so quickly that she trips over it as it falls.

"Lauren, calm down. She doesn't seem like she wants to hurt anyone." Aaron tries to assure the panicked girl.

"How can you be so calm?" she shouts back.

"Lauren, please understand. I'm still the same person I always was." Sanya says as she turns loose of the beam and lets it dissipate.

"Ha! Same person? You're not even a person at all! You're a monster!"

"LAUREN!" Aaron shouts in surprise at the harsh words.

Sanya's expression quickly changes from one of deperation to one of shock and hurt, which she covers up as best she can with feigned anger. "Monster? You go from loving me to hating me in a heartbeat because you find out I'm different, and I'M the monster? Listen little girl, you're no better than me! I hate to shock you, but"

"Sanya." Aaron says sternly as a signal to stop.

"Oh no, you're not in control of me, buddy." she says as she shifts her angry glare to him, but to her amazement he's neither shaken by her confession, nor bothered by her anger.

"No, I can't. But can you?" he replies calmly. "For Lauren?"

"You really think I'm gonna go easy on her after that remark?"

"I think if you don't, you'll just end up proving her right."

Sanya stares silently at him for a few moments before finally relaxing a bit. "You know, don't you?"

"I do."

"How long have you known?"

"I had my suspicions all along. I knew something was up, but it took me a little while to figure out what it was."

"Wait," Lauren interjects, finding her voice again "you knew she was an alien?"

"Well, I knew she wasn't from this planet, yes. But"

"And you never bothered to let me know? You let me sleep in the same house with her unattended! How could you leave me alone with that creature like that?" she says angrily.

Aaron's never lost his temper with Lauren. He's always kept his cool, even during the most trying of situations. He's a calm man, it takes quite a bit to anger him, but that did it.

"That's enough already!" he shouts as he rises to his feet, causing her to shrink back at the harsh tone in his voice, but her reaction does nothing to deter his anger "She may be different than you, but she's hardly a monster, creature, or thing, alright? She's just as much a person as you are, and all of that name calling is getting ridiculous! Get over it already, up until a few moments ago you liked her just fine."

There's a nearly tangible shock that hangs in the air for a few moments before Lauren breaks the silence once more. "That was because I didn't know any better."

"Know better than what?" Sanya asks "Than to think I was your friend?"

"Than to think you were like me, not some...freak."

"If she's a freak then I guess I'm a freak too!" Aaron shouts.

"Aaron." Sanya says with a look suggesting he use caution.

"No. She needs to know." he replies "Lauren, I knew about Sanya because, well I'm not exactly from here either."

"What?" Lauren says backing away from him.

"It's true, Lauren."

"So you two are both...and you both knew it? And you never planned to let me know, did you, Aaron? You never would have said anything had she not spoken up first, would you? No. I guess you both probably had plenty of laughs at the little Earth girl who was too ignorant to realize, didn't you?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Lauren. Of course we didn't. We both care about you, and you know I would never"

"Ridiculous, huh?" Lauren interrupts him, tears in her eyes "Is that how you see it? Well I don't wish to bother you with my ridiculous," she turns to look at Sanya "childish behavior any longer."

"Lauren, wait." Sanya calls as Lauren walks hurriedly from the house, but she doesn't listen.

"Well that could have gone better." Aaron says as he sits back down in his chair and places his head in his hands.

"Well I hate to say I told you so, but..."

"Then don't."

Grabbing a chair, Sanya sits down and focuses on Aaron "Why? Why keep it from her?"

"That's a heck of a shock to just drop on someone, don't you think?" he says as he looks back up.

"I supose so. But how could she not know?"

"How could she know?" he answers as he leans back in his chair and looks at the ceiling "You know that most inhabitants of this planet don't even really believe in life outside of Earth."

"But what about"

"I've already talked with her about everything." Aaron interrupts her.

"Nothing, huh?"

"Not a thing." he replies and turns to look at her again "You think we should go after her?"

"You're the Milariman. You tell me." she says with a smile.

"You pegged my signature, huh?"

"I did. And you know who I am, don't you?"

"Sanya Irzorwyn, destroyer of kingdoms, most wanted of the Milariman royal family, and killer of their king."

"Alleged." she says uneasily.

"Yeah, I don't believe a word of it, don't worry." he answers with a smile "As for Lauren, I may be a Milariman, but I won't scan or tag someone without their consent."

"Principled. I like that." she says "And no, we shouldn't follow her. She won't leave your place, and she probably needs some time alone."

"I just don't understand why she reacted like that to me. It seemed so exaggerated."

A small laugh escapes Sanya and she looks at Aaron as though he were a cute child "You really don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?" he asks confused.

"You can identify the subtle energies of another being, yet you can't see the obvious emotional state of your closest friends." she answers, ridiculing his lack of observation "That girl reacted like she did because she has quite the crush on you."

"She what?"

"Don't sound so shocked." she says as though it should have been obvious "You took her in when she was homeless, showed her care and compassion like no one else had, and you're a nice looking man who spends every morning and evening with her. Any of those alone would woo the average teenage girl. How much more when you combine them all into one?"

"So that's why you didn't want me to tell her." he says, suddenly regretting his decision.

"You got it, genius. You tore apart her vision of you. In her mind that's all she had left with her mother gone, and me some alien being. Now she doesn't know what to think about anything. A teenage girl's heart is a fragile thing."

"Yeah well being a teenage boy wasn't so fabulous either."

"Boys hide their fragility though. Not like that's any better, but it explains why she acted differently than you might have in her position."

"So now what?"

"Wait. She'll come back when she's ready." Sanya says, finally stopping with the rebukes, and now speaking more sympathetically to him "Even if she doesn't know she is."

Click here to go to the next chapter
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(edited by Eirinn on 11-18-16 02:51 AM)     Post Rating: 3   Liked By: Mynamescox44, TheReaper7290, Uzar,

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11-12-16 11:48 PM
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Wow. Way to throw in a nice twist there

I expected Aaron's family to at least have some extraterrestrial ties or something, but I wasn't expecting him to be aware of it, let alone one himself lol. If he's in the same boat as Sanya, I hope we get to see what kind of cool stuff he can do (like with Sanya's energy stuff) pretty soon

I wonder what's going to happen with Rylan as well. I get the "he's a bad guy now but ends up a friend later on" kind of vibe from how things have gone so far. Maybe that's just wishful thinking though lol. I always favored the rogue-like characters in most stories XD

Can't wait for the next one!!
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11-15-16 09:04 PM
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Mynamescox44 : Sorry for the late reply. I always wait to make sure no one else replies before replying back, and I always forget. Lol

I'm glad to hear it was actually a surprise. I've been dropping hints throughout the story and I was hoping they weren't too obvious. :3 Good to know I didn't give it away.

Abilities I obviously won't say too much about, but I do want to say that I'm trying to balance things a bit more than I see in most shows and such where aliens come to Earth and they're super beings while humans are some insignificant insects or something. xD This twist entails so much that will become clear very soon though.

Ah Rylan... I actually have the next chapter written, but I may rewrite it, postpone it, or even split it because of that guy. I want to make sure his character is developed and he doesn't just get wedged in there. I know what he's like and how he works, but I need to make sure I communicate that first. He'll be fun to work with anyway.

Thanks! I'll post the next chapter soon, unless I do rewrite, postpone (make it chapter eight or nine and write a new seven), or split it. We'll see.

EDIT: derp. This is chapter seven. -__- lol
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(edited by Eirinn on 11-15-16 10:29 PM)    

11-21-16 10:11 AM
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I didn't expect that twist! Very nice job on this chapter dude!
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