Dust Trails: of Earth, Chapter Nineteen
08-16-17 09:25 PM
Eirinn is Offline
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Wow it's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry for the long delay, to be honest I've had this chapter for a month or more probably, but I thought I'd already posted it. If so, I apologize for the duplicate, but I can't find it.
Also, if anyone at all is still reading this, please let me know with a comment, like, PM, or something. If not I'll go ahead and quit posting the chapters on here. I'm going to keep writing it regardless (I already have chapters twenty and twenty one, and most of twenty two written), but there's no sense in uploading the chapters here if they go unread. Either way is fine, I just want to know if it's being read still.
Alright, enough babble, let's get on with it already!
Unsure whether she should laugh, feel relieved, or be upset, Lauren stares speechlessly at Sanya. What had just happened? Was this another strange alien thing that she would have to get used to?
"You're okay?" she asks as Sanya opens her eyes finally.
"So am I. Thanks for asking." Aaron replies as he pushes himself up from off of the floor, but neither woman seems to take knowledge of either his words or current position.
How had this happened? A moment ago she had been so weak that she couldn't even open her eyes, but now Sanya's strength has returned to the point that she's able to not only open her eyes, but also speak. And even still she can feel more of her strength returning to her with each passing moment.
"What happened?" Sanya wonders aloud as she blinks and turns her gaze from the ceiling to Lauren and the now upright Aaron.
"That's kind of what we wanted to know." Aaron answers her inquiry "You were practically comatose."
"No 'practically' about it," Sanya replies as she tries to push herself into a sitting position "I was comatose. Or at least I think I was. I couldn't move, but I could hear" she turns her gaze angrily at Aaron as she adds accusingly "and feel everything."
"Hey, it was an accident!"
"Yeah well I didn't exactly appreciate the intentional part either."
"Oh so you'd rather I just leave you there to die without even trying to help?"
"Alright you two. Enough." Lauren interrupts, and notes the glare she gets from Sanya for talking to her that way. Before she can say anything about it though, Lauren continues "You can argue about it later. Don't you think our time right now would be better spent getting you rested up from... from whatever that was that just happened?"
Sanya's brows furrow as she averts her gaze from the two before her for a moment and takes on a sorrowful expression. She's not so sad about what's happening to her as she is about what it'll do to Lauren, and to some small extent, possibly Aaron.
"Sanya, what is it?" Lauren asks, her voice communicating every bit of the worry that she feels over Sanya's reaction to her last comment.
"What was wrong with me..." Sanya hesitates to continue with the explanation "It's my leg."
"I don't get it." Aaron voices his confusion after Sanya stops her explanation as though what she had said makes sense of the whole thing. "How did your leg make you go comatose on us?"
"I don't suppose you would know anything about Deylonian health, would you?" Sanya asks as she finally looks back at the man before her. "Of course you don't. Otherwise you would never have tried to take me back to Deylon for treatment."
"Sanya, you're not making any sense." Lauren replies, her voice shaky with fear again.
Turning her eyes to Lauren, Sanya grabs one of her trembling hands comfortingly and offers a reassuring squeeze before letting go and continuing with her explanation. "The Deylonians are a people of war. We're strong — you won't find one that isn't. That strength isn't by choice though; it's built into our DNA."
"What does this have to do with what happened just now?" the impatient prompt comes from Lauren, who isn't in the mood for lessons in biology. Her interruption is met with an irritated look from Sanya. "Sorry. Go ahead."
"Like I was saying, we're made strong. It's what nature dictates for us. Our purpose, I suppose. And should our bodies at any time reach a point where we can no longer be strong, they begin a sort of..." Sanya inhales deeply and releases the breath slowly before continuing "I guess you could call it a sort of self-euthanasia process."
Lauren's hand flies to her mouth as she gasps, and just as Sanya had anticipated, tears presently begin forming in her eyes once more. "Is there no way to stop it?" she asks desperately.
"I'm afraid not, sweetie. It's just gotta happen. The Deylonian body heals itself much more quickly than the average being's, and it constantly monitors the healing process to ensure that it isn't being obstructed. If it is, then the body terminates itself by releasing toxins that incapacitate the muscles and brain."
"Is...uh..." Aaron pauses for a moment and swallows hard before continuing "is it painless?"
Sanya tries to conceal her mild surprise that Aaron is quite obviously emotional about this. "Yeah, I don't feel anything... except tired. I just really want to
The room goes silent for several moments as everyone takes in exactly what that last comment means. Standing in stark contrast to her silence however, is Lauren's mind, which is host to thoughts on every part of the emotion spectrum fighting for dominance. As she struggles to push through this sea of emotion that she's suddenly drowning in, she reaches out her hand and grabs ahold of Sanya's. She tries to speak, but nothing comes out except for small squeaks and sobs. Sorrow had won the fight.
Meanwhile Aaron stands still and silent. His thoughts turn to the fight at his house; this is his fault. If he'd only stopped Rylan sooner. True, he had the right to apprehend Sanya, but that whole incident was wrong in principle and execution. He may not be able to override Gaelia, but he could have pulled a stay order to deadlock the decision sooner. Why he hadn't is beyond him. And now, the two women who had brought meaning to his life after all of the turmoil he'd been in after Caitlin's death, are here before him broken.
And it's his fault.
As he turns to leave and be alone with his thoughts, Aaron hears a strange sound behind him. Sanya?
"What is it?" Lauren nearly shouts in panic. Is this it? Is she leaving them now? She can't. Not already.
Rylan sits in an otherwise empty restaurant, his mind on the call he'd received from Gaelia. She'd actually said that she believed him. She said she'd never bought into the idea that the Milariman royal forces would permit the prince due to succeed his father to the throne at the age of maturity to die from an attack by a group of radical militants like the Ichto. She had sent intelligence agency operatives to see what they could find out about it, but so far they hadn't turned up much.
Glancing up at the clock he sees that it's time he got back to work, and so he pays for his unsurprisingly bland meal and heads back for his ship. How that restaurant stays open, he can't guess. He's stopped there a few times since arriving in the area, but only because it's always so dead. It's his chance to relax and have some peace and quiet — a nice change of pace after having put up with Gaelia for so long.
"Rylan!" Rylan hears the annoying voice of officer Kelbany as he enters the ship. Well that had been a nice two day break from him, not that the new guy who'd been assigned his case was a joy to work with, but he was less annoying than Kelbany at least.
"What do you want?" Rylan calls as he walks out of the entrance area and into the control room of the ship.
"Where have you been, Rylan? I've been calling you for ages." Officer Kelbany asks sounding decidedly less haughty than usual, and Rylan can't help but be taken aback by the familiar tone he's suddenly using.
"Can't a man eat his lunch without an entire planet having a meltdown over it these days?" Rylan answers as he takes his seat in front of the control desk.
"Sorry, I'm just in a rush today. It's imperative that the plan is executed quickly and flawlessly."
"And what plan might that be?"
"The lady has received word from the operatives that she planted in Milariman territory: it seems they've learned that the day before the Ichto attacked, word of their ships approaching at speeds above regulation had been brought to Milarim's acting king, Kovlar, who in turn had their highest ranking royal guards escort prince Aondlir off of the planet. Their ship was said to have left Milarim's orbit approximately fourteen hours before the Ichto arrived."
"Interesting." Rylan rubs his chin between his thumb and forefinger thoughtfully as he processes what he's just heard. "So then you're saying that the entire Aondlir death story was some sort of cover up? But why? What did they have to cover up exactly? And why should the Ichto care if the prince was alive or not? They're just a bunch of pirates that were looking for some more loot."
"Yes, well that's what everyone thought, but it seems they were actually hired to attack in retaliation for a failed trade deal. The Milarim government presented the Deylonian government with an offer to establish trade of planet specific resources and goods at a set rate, and days before the contract went into effect the Milariman government terminated the deal, despite having already signed it, and began negotiating with the Sephnathites."
"And the Deylonian people felt shafted." Rylan begins piecing the puzzle together. He can see where this is going already.
"Precisely." Kelbany replies, smiling inwardly. It feels good to be back in this seat. Of course anywhere would feel nice after the time he'd spent in that dungeon. "According to intergalactic law, since the agreement was written and initiated on Milarim territory it was subject to Milariman law, and as such the Milariman government was well within their right to terminate it before the date of validation. The Deylonians saw this as a breach of contract since their law dictates that all parties are bound to the contract from the moment that the last party signs it. As such they were angered but had no way to press the matter legally, so they sent in a retaliatory strike."
"With as powerful as they are, why would the Deylonians need to send in the Ichto to pull some sort of stealth attack? Have you forgotten the Tanegiri war? They could wipe Milarim of all signs of life if they so chose to. Why pay someone to do that for them?"
"Politics, Mr. Crogwyl." Kelbany answers confidently, with some disgust on his face for the system. "Politics. Had they struck Milarim for their actions, having nothing to stand on legally, they would have been the object of the scorn of every planet and kingdom in this sector. This sort of action isn't all that rare really. Uh n-not that you heard that from me, of course."
"So what exactly do you want me to do then? How do I fit into your 'plan'?"
"We need you to get the prince to come back with you to Leocyn."
Rylan can't help but laugh at that suggestion. "And just how do you expect me to convince a Milariman prince to follow me anywhere? I have no political pull, nor do I want any."
"The Leocyn internal intelligence comity is sending you the documents. They'll arrive soon, along with a personal message from queen Gaelia herself to prince Aondlir. He'll go with you upon hearing it, we're confident."
Turning around to see what the ruckus is, Aaron is horrified at the sight before him: Sanya is practically convulsing, her body doubled over, she lurches forward violently every few moments, her every muscle contracting with each movement.
"Sanya, are you okay?" he calls as he rushes back to her bedside.
"No she's not okay! Does she look okay to you?" Lauren shouts at his questioning.
Sanya mutters what sounds like 'butt', and for a moment Aaron wonders which of them should be offended. Lauren on the other hand tries to coach Sanya to say it again, in hopes that she can somehow help with whatever it is that seems so important to Sanya right now. Perhaps she's telling them what they can do to help her?
Sanya opens her mouth and tries to repeat herself, but instead of words, a foul fluid flies out and covers Laurens lap, at which Lauren screams and quickly stands back up from her kneeling position.
"I said 'bucket'." Sanya speaks clearly now, despite her body still trembling almost violently.
"Oh wow. Uh... D'ya still want that bucket then?" Aaron asks, looking at Lauren who stares down at her entire lower half mortified.
"No, I think I'm good now." Sanya answers as she slowly sits back upright.
"I'd imagine so!" Lauren exclaims as she looks up at her, disgust prevalent in her expression.
"You know what?" Sanya says looking surprised "I actually feel a lot better now. Help me up?" she holds out her hand to Aaron who helps her to her feet.
Feet? Indeed, to everyone's surprise, she's standing up on both of her feet with no difficulty.
"How...?" Aaron echoes what Sanya's thinking. "This doesn't make any sense."
"I have no idea." Sanya says softly, still mystified by the whole thing. "Let go. I wanna see if I can walk on my own."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm good. Let me try it."
Aaron listens, and Sanya begins taking small steps, which are soon
"Sanya..." Lauren's voice is full of emotion as she temporarily forgets that she's covered in the rejected contents of Sanya's stomach "does this mean you're going to be alright?"
"I... I think it does." Sanya smiles up at Lauren. "Hey, you okay? You don't look so good."
"Yes, I think I just need to get cleaned up and maybe get some fresh air." Lauren smiles back weakly.
"Oh, good idea. Sorry about..." Sanya looks at Lauren's soiled garments "all of that." she says as she waves her hand in a gesture that echoes that last bit.
"It's quite alright. I'm just glad that you're okay." Lauren answers, and her smile, while still weak, is entirely sincere.
"Right, well I'm gonna go get something to eat." Aaron offers as he heads for the door.
"Seriously? All that just happened, and your only concern is food?" Sanya teases.
"Hey, my appetite waits for no man, woman, near death experience, or vomit shower." Aaron calls back without so much as slowing his steps.
"That man is something else." Sanya smiles "You have weird taste, Lauren. You know that?"
Lauren doesn't reply, but instead grabs her clothes and heads for the bathroom to get her shower. As she nears the door however, she stumbles, and dropping her clothes, barely manages to catch herself on the door jam.
"Lauren!" Sanya shouts as she rushes to her side. What a reversal this is.
"I'm alright Sanya, calm down." Lauren laughs. "I just lost my balance."
"Yeah well it would make me feel better if you'd just settle for changing your clothes for now and rest a bit."
"Stop being so ridiculous, Sanya. I'm just tired from not
Lauren's eyes flutter open and it takes her mind a moment to register that she'd been a
Why can't they just use AM and PM like we did back home? Lauren wonders as she tries to work out what time 15:43 translates into. Let's see... 12:00 is noon, so 13:00 would 1:00 PM, 14:00 would be 2:00, 15:00... "It's almost 4:00 PM?" Lauren shouts as she sits straight up in her bed. She's slept the whole day away!
Looking across the room Lauren sees that Sanya's bed is empty and wonders where she went, and just how it is that she's been getting around so easily. As she looks down at herself, she notices that she's wearing a different gown than she'd worn to bed last night. Shaking her head to rid it of all of the confusion spawned by the strangeness of everything that's going on, she swings her legs over the side of the bed and stands up, but her feet aren't met with the soft velvety carpet, instead they land on something damp. A hesitant glance at the floor beneath her reveals that she is standing on the gown she'd worn to bed, and that it's covered with some disgusting liquid.
So it wasn't a dream. The moments prior to her impromptu nap come flooding back into her mind, and she can clearly remember now that Sanya gave her the gown that she now wears, left as she changed, then came back and insisted that she lie down. She'd covered Lauren with the blanket...and that's the last thing she can recall.
Lauren sits back down and wonders at this strange occurrence. Why had she gotten so weak? She feels perfectly fine after having rested for a few hours, but she couldn't have been that
Sanya heads back to the house to check on Lauren; she's been a
As she opens the door she finds that Lauren's bed empty and that Lauren is sitting on her bed instead. Her expression seems to indicate that she's in deep thought, but after a moment she looks up and sees Sanya standing there, and her old cheerful smile returns.
"Glad to see you finally woke up." Sanya says as she walks in Lauren's direction.
"Yes, I suppose a few hours of rest set everything right. I feel fine now." Lauren answers as she rises to her feet. She looks like her usual happy self, a look that Sanya hasn't seen since before they'd told her about her true identity. Something's different now though. There's something in her eyes that wasn't there before.
"Few hours?" Sanya laughs.
"Okay, well, several hours really." Lauren answers "Nine hours is hardly a nap."
"Nine?" Sanya sounds almost confused. "Oh honey, no, you've been a
(edited by Eirinn on 08-16-17 09:47 PM)
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