IoM: Before the Kalends_Endé 8

WALKING HOME, Sophia lets her frustration go by hacking at the jungle brush with her long, curved knife. Crys wants to ask her what’s wrong, but she’s an angry woman with a long knife. His gut instincts tell him to leave her alone. Still, if there is anything he can say or do to make her feel better, he will do it.

“My mother! I can’t believe her!” Sophia huffs.

She’s talking… that’s a good thing… maybe… hopefully.

“She says I can’t trust you. She says you’re lying about who you are. How can that be? Uncle Mo wouldn’t put us together if you couldn’t be trusted.”

Crys knows he can’t trust Stigmo. He wonders if she knows Uncle Mo’s real name. Of course, now isn’t the time to ask. Crys is lying about his name,where he comes and who he is… more like what he is. Her mother is a good judge of character. Crys can sort of judge character well too by feeling what others feel. However,  he can’t feel what Stigmo feels because he’s not in a real body, and from what Crys recalls of last night,  he couldn’t feel the emotions of Sophia’s parents either. They laughed, and her mother cried a few times, but Crys couldn’t feel any of that. He only felt what Sophia and he felt the whole night.

Crys noticed in his time on the surface that he couldn’t feel what bionics feel.Why was that? Bionics are technically still human, aren’t they? And the people on the surface, he couldn’t read their emotions either… But they are all humans?

They are replicas, son, not humans.

Sophia stops walking and turns, facing Crys. “She is right, I don’t know anything about you. You barely know me.” 

She spins back around and starts walking.

Crys feels compelled to speak this time. But he needs to have Sophia’s full attention. He grabs her upper arm. Reacting to his sudden action, she spins towards him and holds her blade to his throat. Crys releases Sophia’s arm. Sophia bats her eyes, surprised that she did such a thing. She lowers that blade and apologizes.

Crys attempts to express his opinion to Sophia. 

“We are strangers to each other… But we have a lifetime to get to know each other… And a person’s home, or family, or job doesn’t make a person who they are, it’s what that person does in everyday situations that makes them who they are… if that makes any sense?” He wants her to know that he won’t go anywhere.

“My home and my family made me who I am today.” Sophia says with a hinge of irritation. 

Crys feels how irate she is. She’s holding back all her rage to protect Crys from her wrath. 

She has a temper problem. Her mood changes at the drop of a leaf. If he’s not careful, she could kill him.

WHEN they got back to the treehouse, Crys discovered the experience is more exhilarating when Sophia is angry. His urge fed on her anger and it made him aggressive. In between breaks, they did it until Sophia wasn’t angry anymore. Crys knows how to cure her temper: get her into bed, if she doesn’t kill him first.

APPROXIMATELY a week later, two security guards came to the treehouse. They were there to lead Sophia and Crys to the surface. Everything looked the same on the way up. The elevator balcony was the same. The narrow hallway was the same. The elevator was clean and rode the same to the surface. The only difference was that the remains of Sophia’s replica weren’t all over the wall.  It was the surface that changed. It was a whole different world.

CRYS has shared the surface world with Sophia for a while. People wear clothes with color in all kinds of styles and varieties. His apartment is different. Instead of being boring and white, the kitchen walls are ruby red and the rest of the walls are a light violet color. The bathroom is a powder blue with a yellow tile floor. Life finally found the dome city. What took so long?

The people are different too. More people have families. People have jobs now, they aren’t just Stigmo’s puppets doing the same boring routine every day. There are shops where you can buy clothes, food, and books. There are places other than cafeterias to eat, called restaurants. In fact, the cafeterias are only used for the human employees in each building.

Crys has a real job now, he’s a security guard, but not like the bionic security guards. He sits at a desk in the lobby, in the center building that covers the jungle valley below. He observes security camera footage and occasionally walks around the first floor, checking the perimeter. Three days a week, he works from 6 am to 6 pm.  Another two days a week, he works 6 pm to 6 am, and he gets two days off.

Sophia won’t let Crys take her to a restaurant to eat. She always insists on cooking and he likes it. They sit together at the bar and eat side by side each morning and night, based on his schedule.

A few days ago they stopped having sex, that’s the term for the experience, and Crys is relieved. He’s kind of bored of it and doesn’t care whether or not he has it for a few months. He figures the sex schedule can be on Sophia’s terms.

Crys wakes up at 8 am, and he doesn’t have to work for the next two days. He wonders what he and Sophia are going to do today. They could walk around the city and look at the shops. Maybe today,  he can get her to try a restaurant. He turns to face her in bed and she’s not there. He sits up and he doesn’t see her anywhere. She isn’t on the couch reading or in the kitchen cooking. It’s unlike Sophia to not tell him she left. She always wakes him up to tell him if she’s leaving.

Suddenly Crys feels queasy. No, Sophia’s the one that feels that way. He looks at the bathroom door. It’s closed but he can tell she’s in there. He senses her, and Crys hears an extra heartbeat. He looks around the apartment, but doesn’t find anyone. He goes to the bathroom door and presses his ear against it. Crys tunes out Sophia’s hurling and hears two hearts, nearly beating in sync, like the same pattern of blood flow courses through each heart. 

Crys has to check and see that there isn’t another person in the bathroom with her. He presses the bathroom button to open the door. It slides open and Sophia is alone, vomiting into the toilet. Crys doesn’t understand what’s happening.

Interesting…

What mother?

Stigmo lied to you.

Why?

He used you.

For what?

Without permission, a swarm of bionic guards and a few bionic nurses entered the apartment. They crowd around the bathroom. A red-headed nurse with a big bust stepped forward. She looked a little familiar.

EmyaHow can she be here in her human form? She’s at home with you... She’s here to rescue me? I hope…

No, Geocrys. Emya’s here at home.

“Our readings indicate your wife is pregnant, Mr. Alan.”

“I am?” Sophia asks, surprised.

Not as surprised as Crys is, he doesn’t understand how it happened… He exists… It’s possible, but how?

Crys remembers a conversation he had with Tayla when they were expanding the creek into a river. He asked Tayla how she decided what she would look like in human form. She said she didn’t choose, that whatever human DNA they infused hers with had determined what she would like. As advanced as Amalli DNA is, it can’t create its own state. Amalli DNA has to replicate what’s already been ordered to adapt into a Zonian’s DNA structure. In a sense, Amalli DNA only helps the Zonians adapt by changing them into shells of humans made from pre-existing DNA, which it reconstructs. In other words, the DNA of the human who was  Stigmo replicated to create the red-headed nurse was also used to help Emya take human form. All the Zonian’s human forms are replicas, meaning Stigmo uses Amalli technology.

Yes, Geocrys. You’re right. Isn’t it interesting?

Crys can tell something isn’t right. He has to get out of here. He has to protect Sophia.

Beams of light, from the red-head’s eyes, scan Sophia head to toe. Crys knows he can’t take all of them down. He’ll be dead in a second, and now that he’s done what Stigmo wanted, he’ll have no use for him.

That isn’t true Geocrys. I have use for you yet.

What? Mother?

By link, Crys hears his mothers laugh turn into a man’s laugh. What’s going on?

I don’t sound like you’re mother anymore do I? Stigmo’s voice says in Crys’ head. Go ahead Crys. Fight! But you won’t get anywhere, even if you make it home.

How? Crys asks through the link.

“How?” Crys asks again, shouting.

He grabs the red-headed nurse and tosses her into the wall of bionics that awaits him and Sophia outside the bathroom. The nurse knocked down the other nurses. The guards hoist their guns and put the drop on Crys.

Sophia stands up afraid, “Why did you do that?” she asks with terror in her voice. “How did you do that?”

Crys had displayed superhuman strength then, and he understood her fear. He wished he didn’t have to feel. In that instance, with that thought, he disconnected from Sophia emotionally. He could tell by her facial expression she feared him, but he couldn’t feel.

“What’s going on?” Crys asks.

No one says anything. He just wants answers!

The row of guards parts in the middle and Stigmo, in his neat, black suit walks forward. Sophia runs into his open arms.

“Uncle Mo!” She whimpers in relief.

He tells her everything is going to be alright. That he’s going to set everything right.

“What did you do to my mother? What did you do to my family?”

He passes Sophia off to the guards and tells her they will take good care of her. They leave with Sophia and Crys is left alone with Stigmo. Stigmo steps into the bathroom and the door shuts behind him. The walls fade to white and the floor slowly becomes white as well. Gradually the walls of the bathroom expand as Stigmo talks.

“I’m really tired of explaining everything to you. You know, in every scenario you have screwed up this perfect life I built for you. I gave you a beautiful wife. I brought variety and color into your world. I give you a chance to be a father. I gave you chance after chance to make the family you never had.”

The bathroom has transformed into a vast, empty white room. Crys can’t see anything but white for miles in every direction.

Stigmo says, “I allow the others to think life is perfect. Like you, they have no memory of the invasion of your colony. In your mother’s world, she got out of Alikah duty and she lives with her one true love.”

Vivid, lively images appear of his mother in her human form living with Brad in the house he built. It’s just the two of them day after day and they are happy. Crys doesn’t exist and neither does his sister. His mother has no children.

Next, Crys sees flashes of his father’s life, Samses’ world. He’s the first male Alikah to take the throne without being united to a Kwab. His lineage will be the first royal line Kwab-free. He is half Kwab, but by the time his grandchildren unite with any clan but Kwab, enough of the Kwab gene will be eliminated from his gene pool to count.

When Crys sees Aunt Emya’s new life, she’s the leader of the Kli’san’doi. They have been battling the Zenty for years. It all seems hopeless for the Zonians, and Emya is loving every minute.

Crys doesn’t understand. He feels like Stigmo is stalling. Crys thinks he doesn’t want to tell him the truth.

“Everyone has a normal life. A day could be a year and a week could be a minute. Time is what your mind makes it!” Stigmo exclaims.

“Let’s start from the beginning, Crys. I’m going to try something new. How about you stay because that’s where you want to be, isn’t it?”

Crys’ thoughts become incoherent to himself. Stigmo becomes bleary and Crys’ vision doubles. The white vastness starts spinning and as Crys falls over he passes out.

CRYS HEARS his dad’s voice saying, “Wake up Crys! Wake up.”

He feels a  rough, calloused human hand smack him in the face. Crys opens his eyes, and Crys’ dad is hovering over him. Crys looks into his dull blue eyes, confused. He isn’t sure how he ended up on his back on the ground. He was in a tree. His dad’s black, wavy, shaggy hair is rustling in the wind. Crys doesn’t remember it being a windy day.

“What happened dad?”

“You fell six feet from the tree you were climbing down. You hit your head pretty hard.”

Crys tries to sit up, but his father holds him down. “Grandpa’s coming to check on you. Your mother went to get him.”

Before doomsday and before Crys’ birth, Grandpa Pavel was a doctor. He healed sick people.

Crys hears a little girl crying to his left. He looks that way and sees his sister, Odel. She looks so much like mom to Crys.

He hears Grandpa Pavel ask, “What happened?”

“He fell out of a tree,” His mother says.

“Why was he climbing a tree Emmy?!” Grandpa Pavel asks furiously.

Crys’ father, Brad, moves out the way so Grandpa Pavel can examine Crys.

“Help me sit him up,” Grandpa Pavel orders Crys’ dad.

Together they gently and gradually lift Crys into a sitting position. Grandpa looks at the back of Crys’ head as Crys observes the crowd around him. Mom is standing behind Odel. Uncle Sam and pregnant Aunt Chloe are embracing each other next to mom and Odel. Beside Uncle Sam and Aunt Chloe are Mya and Thatcher, and next to them are Grandma Lola and Uncle Josef. Last is Honza, pregnant Raja, with Inka, and Carla standing beside them. Crys’ entire family is crowded around him out of concern. Crys doesn’t know what he would do without his family. Fortunately, he’ll never have to find out.

:)(: Paart Siks 

It’s been a year since the invasion. Odelta can’t forget that day. When she dreams, she relives that day, again and again. 

Alikah, her mother, just wanted to bring her and her brother, Geocrys, home. They didn’t belong among the humans. The humans were fools and believed Alikah’s lies. They believed Geocrys was that man’s son, but he wasn’t.

Alikah had all Zonian knowledge. She knew everything that all the colony members knew. Odelta’s father, Samses, wasn’t Geocys’ father, but neither was Brad. As the Alikah’s child, Odelta could occasionally tap into her knowledge. Odelta wasn’t able to dig deep enough to find out why Geocrys was fatherless. Alikah’s defenses would always go back up before Odelta could go further.

Alikah’s plan went as she intended. They swiped the humans’ memories of her and her brother. They left them behind to wake up the next day like nothing happened and it was just another day. Odetla’s father had Geocrys in his arms, and Alikah carried her as they traveled home. 

Halfway home, out of nowhere, explosions flooded everyone’s ears. The perimeter of the land that Odelta’s people had secured was ignited with plumes of fire and clouds of smoke. The blue, cloudless sky faded to purple. Odelta suddenly saw a few, horrific pictures from past Alikahs’, one of which was their perfect, natural beautiful skies fading to purple after explosions. A thought came to her mind… the ZENTY. The greatest enemy of the Zonians.

Humans dressed in uniforms, with weapons, came. They shot people.  The Zonians protected the innocent humans with small, fist-sized, blue spheres of lightning. The people would tremble to the ground and pass out. Her parents phased back to Zonian, and so did Odelta. The lightning sepheres didn’t affect them. The attacking humans came in groups using hand to hand combat. Odelta fed on her mother’s knowledge, fighting off her attackers with ease.

Her mother surge-linked to her to run in human form. Odelta began running. The invaders were fast, possibly faster than Odelta, but she was small and she was able to out maneuver them. She lost the invaders that were pursuing her. After running for what felt like forever, she found a cave to hide in. It led to depths below the surface, where she found an underwater creek. She stayed inside the deep cavern until her terror diminished to caution months later.

…Alive…

Eventually, Odetla had the guts to resurface. She was tired of feeding on roaches and slugs. The trees were charred, the majority of them now leafless, burnt logs on the ground. The sky was still purple with dark clouds. Odelta had a hard time breathing. She felt like she was inhaling through a straw, but she managed.

The host was in ruins on the ground. Her connection to the host was gone, meaning it was dead. All the grass was dead or scorched to dust. Odelta wept. She lost her home. She couldn’t sense her mother, and she was alone.

Odelta went to the river, to the spot her brother took her to the day before the invasion. Dead fish floated on the surface of the brown, red-tinted water. The invaders destroyed everything. Odelta had nothing…

Then Leah appeared from behind a rock across the river. She had tight, curly black hair, hazel brown eyes, caramel skin, and a strong build. She held a wooden spear. There was a young man with her. He held a hatchet, which is a small axe. Odelta thought it was brother at first, but she knew it wasn’t when she saw his dull, blue eyes. He looked like a young, teenage Brad. They crossed the polluted river to meet Odelta.

At first the young man said his name was Brad, but he corrected himself and said that it was Stan. They took Odelta below ground, to the host’s roots. Odelta was wrong. The host’s roots ran deep enough to preserve it’s life. Odelta wasn’t going to tell them who she was, but Leah came right out and asked her, “Are you one of them?”

“One of what?”

“Are you an alien?”

Odelta got a weird vibe from them, like the two were hiding something. Odelta felt she could trust them, because whatever they were hiding was for their own benefit and not to deceive Odelta directly. She told them the truth by showing them her true form.

Stan was creeped out. Leah was thrilled that she was right. Odelta felt a little better. She didn’t have to hide who she was.

AS THEY live in the cavern, the host provides them nourishment from the roots’ walls. They don’t have to drink any fluids or eat nasty creatures. They just have to eat small doses of lavender goop that they scrape off the walls whenever they get hungry or thirsty.

Each day they go out and look for survivors, but since Odelta, they haven’t found anyone. They pass the time by sharing stories of past experiences and as well as ones they make up. Odelta waits for the host to get stronger, so she can link with it and read the archives about the Zenty. She enjoys the company of Leah and Stan as she waits patiently.

…Time Isn’t Kind…

Four years have passed, and Odelta is eight Earth years old. She looks 16 years old in her human form, and in her true form she’s taller than Leah and Stan. She explained to them countless times that she ages differently than them. Her aging won’t slow down until she’s fully matured in two years.

The sky above the host’s remains is blue. The host is getting its strength back, but Odelta still can’t link with it. She has {dissected} every piece of remains that the host has on the surface, trying to see if she could rebuild it,  like a surgeon reconstructs the human form with mechanical limbs. She could do it if all the trees weren’t killed by fire, or if the fish carcasses weren’t eaten by flies. Even if she had 100 dead human bodies, she could use them to restore the host enough to operate.

Odelta may not be able to see the change every day, but she knows the host is getting stronger. She just has to bide her time, which is getting harder and harder to do, especially since each day that passes means she has less chance of saving her family.

…Leah + Stan = ?…

Hooray… Odelta’s the big 1-0 and she still looks like a freshly sixteen-year-old. Leah and Stan look their age, or around their early thirties to Odelta. She may not be thrilled looking like a kid while being a grown woman, but at least she doesn’t age like a human.

She feels like a lazy schmuck! When she isn’t meditating and trying to link with the host, she’s lying around, living in her memories. She misses her mother terribly, along with her whole family, including her colony. A lingering, tiny, sucking vortex is rooted in the pit of her soul, slowly draining the life out of her. She isn’t sure how much longer she can live in a place where time doesn’t move! The cave was livelier than hanging out in the hollow roots of the host.

Currently, Odelta is on the surface, by the barren riverbed, looking for remains of the host to plant. Odelta feels stupid for not thinking of it six years ago. The riverbed is filled with nutrients and the acidic pH level may help a new host grow fast. It wouldn’t be healthy to eat from right away, but it would have needed information from the archive of the original host. That’s all Odelta is after. Now Odelta remembers why she didn’t do this six years ago. For one, she lives underground in the cave, and two, the river still flowed. It finally dried up last year, but still, she should have had this in mind sooner.

The dormant branch of the host, cold, gray and textured like stone, only pokes three feet out of the riverbed. Its roots are three times longer. It took Odelta from dawn until noon to get that part of the host planted properly. 

Heading back down to the original host’s roots, Odelta is thinking of ways she can help the new host grow. She could give it goop, but the original host isn’t making as much as it used to, and Odelta isn’t sure if it’s because the host is healing or if it’s finally dying. Time will tell, but the three of them may not have it.

As Odelta gets to the base, she listens to make sure Leah and Stan aren’t being intimate. Those two have been like wild animals in heat all year. They weren’t always sex beasts. It just happened this past year and Odelta has no clue why.

She didn’t bother to ask them; it’s their business, not hers. This time she doesn’t hear the intense sounds of passion. She hears fighting. Not verbal fighting, which is what Leah and Stan often do, but clinched-fists and hand to hand combat. The closer Odelta gets, she can hear a tiny regiment of heartbeats. At least five or six other beings, excluding Leah and Stan, are present.

Odelta rushes to help Leah and Stan, but when she enters the shallow root basin she calls home, Leah is practicing combat with a Zonian. Stan and five other Zonians surround them, watching Leah and the other fight.

The Zonians have male Yeodi markings: yellow skin, with green hair and eyes. The Yeodi crest is on their chins, a pure white. It’s five talons clutch down towards the chin from the center, and emerging from the middle talon is a thorny rod with a spiked dagger at the tip, which peaks at the butt of the chin. Odelta’s grandfather has the exact same crest on his chin. All male Yeodi forearms are marked with silver oval pit-patches. Starting on the back of their  hand up to their elbow, about five oval pit-patches are embedded in their arms. The blinding, silver patches are like shallow, even craters in their arms. They feel different from their skin,  having the gamey texture of soil. They {secrete} a lavender {phelgm} occasionally. Yeodi’s are gross. They are the second Zonian clan to be male driven and the only one known to treat females terribly. Odelta’s grandfather was the exception.

Odelta continued to watch Leah fight. She fights with finesse, but it doesn’t match the Yeodi’s combat intellect. He counters every jab and kick that Leah throws at him. Leah obviously wants to knocker this fighter out. It’s clear from her facial expression and the way she swings her punches with aggression, from start to follow through. The Yeodi pokes fun and slaps her in the face when he chooses to attack, and every time Leah is a sucker for the slap and forced to take it.

Where did these Zonians come from? They’re not from Odelta’s colony. She can’t naturally link with them, and the colony never had so many Yeodi.

  She can also tell by their wardrobe that they are strangers. The Zonian from her colony are quite modern, and only the Alikah dresses in sacred drab styled after the ancients. The Yeodi males are wearing leg wrapping, like many ancient Zonian, under a tunic that goes from the waist to the knees. They wear an open, tunic-like, short sleeve jacket that leaves their bare chest and chiseled abs exposed. For some weird reason, they wear a matching collar that covers their entire neck. Their colors of teal and turquoise are a giveaway that they aren’t Odelta’s people. Odelta’s colony isn’t against those colors, but her people aren’t likely to wear it.

Odelta notices that the Yeodi Leah is fighting is avoiding easy points of attack, like blows to the neck, gut, upper thigh, and kidney region. If he hit her in the gut or the kidney, the play fight would be over and everyone could get down to business and figure out what’s going on. 

Leah has caught on to the slap attacks now. She counter-smacks them away. She is worn and tired, but isn’t giving up. The Yeodi makes a planned attack to hit her behind the head. Leah grabs his hand as she spins around behind him and begins to strangle him with his own arm. He ducks his head down, and twists away from her. He had the perfect opportunity to elbow her or back kick her but didn’t. Instead, he looks like a little one trying to run away from his mommy, wiggling and trying to pull his arm free. Leah spins into him, and somehow twists his shirt off. He finally breaks free from her grasp as she goes hurtling back towards the ground. The Yeodi acts fast and  jerks his shirt on as Leah flops forward into his arms. Once she gets her footing, she shoves him away, but before she can make another move, he says “Stop!”

His backside faces Odelta. He has the purple, jagged, crazy Kwab markings and the Kwab crest at the base of his back. The Kwab sign is the cosmological sign of Zoi’Kai. It is said that it is why the Kwab’s were made royalty. The planet chose them to rule over the nations through their birth crest.

Leah wanted to keep fighting, but Odelta stepped forward out of the darkness. Leah looked past the Kwab-Yeodi, and said, “Finally…you’re…here.”

The Kwab-Yeodi turns and faces Odelta. He says, “So you’re the extra heartbeat I heard. I thought-,” 

Odelta may not be Alikah, but this is her host, not his.

“Who are you?”

):::( Da-igh’mai’kay ”Clu’Coi”Sah-igh AHT-KWADI YEOB ):::( He surge links to Odelta.

):::( Oi’del’tai Ec’mai’ah Voh’Sah AHT-KWAB ):::( Odelta surge links back.

Demikae introduced the rest of his search team. The only way Odelta could tell them apart was by their hair styles. Demikae has all his hair shaved clean off, except for a patch of hair in the middle, towards the left side of his head. His hair patch is pony tailed in three places, and the tip of his ponytail touches his shoulder. Wifcleus has a thick, spikey mohawk with a thin layer of hair on the sides. Xucobi has short, shaggy hair. Sabius has long hair that flows down his back to the base. Helliseus has clean cut hair with stout sideburns. And Caleth only has hair from his forehead to the top part of his head. The rest of his head is clean shaven. Other than that, they look the same to Odelta.

“Where is that tenth heartbeat coming from? Is there anyone else in the shadows?” Demikae asks towards the darkness. 

Odelta knows where the tenth heartbeat is coming from.

“It’s coming from her,” Odelta says, pointing at Leah.

Leah defensively snaps, “I don’t have two hearts! I’m not that much of a freak.”

“You haven’t been sick, you’ve been pregnant, Leah,” Odelta says, approaching Demikae.

“I was right the first time,” Demikae gloats.

“That’s why you fought like a punk,” Leah snorts towards Demikae.

Demikae’s face cringes with a tinge of rage. He suddenly smacks Leah across the face. He points a finger in Leah’s face, “You’re fortunate I value life, you pathetic excuse for a human. Replica!” He shouts.

Leah lunged forward to attack Demikae, but Odelta stepped in between the two, interceding for Leah. Odelta latched her eyes onto Demikae and apologized on Leah’s behalf through the link. Demikae accepted the apology. 

By surge links, Demikae began interrogating Odelta. He questioned why and how the host was destroyed. He wanted to know whether or not she was the only Zonian within the area. Lastly, he questioned if Odelta was an heir to the Alikah because he noticed her Kwab traits.

Odelta told him the truth through a surge link. He then mentioned that he had heard of her colony and Odelta’s young mother. He thinks Alikah Armeus should have never been replaced.

Allowing emotion to control her like a human, Odelta blurts out, “My mother is a great Alikah! You know nothing.”

Predictably, Demikae goes to slap Odetla, but she grabs his smacking hand in motion. With her opposite hand, she smacks him. She releases his caught hand from her grip.

“You will not disrespect me or my colony.”

Helliseus steps forward and informs Odelta of why they are there through surge links. He explains that they come from an underground colony, which is why they survived the worldwide attacks against the Zonian colonies six years ago. Since then, their colony organized search parties to find survivors of the attack. They didn’t plan to come here because of the close proximity to a dome city, because they didn’t think anyone could survive. However, a few months ago, their host sensed a faint distress call coming from Odelta’s host. They waited for the link between hosts to get stronger, and when Odelta’s host reached a level just below operating, they decided to come search for survivors here.

“My host is healing?” Odelta asked Helliseus.

Sabius approached Odelta. “Sending the distress signal has put much strain on your host. It’s difficult to know whether or not the host will heal entirely.”

Wifcleus suggests that everyone gather their belongings so they can set out together. If Odelta’s host is healing, she doesn’t want to go anywhere. Before she speaks her mind, Xucobi says, “We really should be going, who knows how close the savages are.”

Odelta remembers that term from when she was a little girl and she and her brother stayed with the humans for a night. They mentioned savages. She knows she’s going to sound like an idiot, but she wants to know.

She asks what or who the savages are.

Helliseus explains that the savages are U.N.W. soldiers from before the Zonians arrived on Earth. The government thought the soldiers were strategic geniuses because of an implanted computer chip placed on their temporal lobe, but the Zenty, who got here long before the Zonians, had implanted a member of their race into each of these human brains. The Zenty were patient. They were waiting for the perfect time to strike, ending the human race’s pointless war and taking over, but they waited too long. Like with other species of higher life forms, the Zenty can’t use a human host for long without becoming toxic to it. As the human body begins to shut down, the Zenty inside goes insane. The Zenty acts erratically, foregoing all logic. Blinded by pure anger, it destroys everything in its path. Normally, the human body that the Zenty exists in would die within a few days. All the war and destruction has changed the Earth’s atmosphere and the savages can live for years. The Zenty and the human’s body chemistries fuse, and the savages are able to sustain their bodies through the sun’s rays, like some sort of plant. Savages are hard to kill because they heal at an accelerated rate.

“Your only chance of survival is coming with us.” Helliseus adds.

“They haven’t bothered us yet. We’ll be fine. Now go,” Odelta hounds.

Demikae laughs. “Fine, you all heard her. Let us leave them in peace.”

Demikae takes the lead, Wifcleus and Helliseus stand behind him, and the last three form a row and follow behind. In that arrow formation, they began to exit where Odelta came in, and as Odelta watched them, she thought about the savages. Leah’s in no condition to fight, and Stan is a wimp.

 Odelta sighs and says, “Wait, we’ll go with you.” 

Odelta doesn’t understand how Replicas can reproduce. Surely, whoever made them could have created them without reproduction capabilities. Unless that was the creator’s intention.  The creator of the Replica wants them to reproduce, but why?


*Edited by Aly Fry

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