Chapter 29 The Night of Decisions
I don’t believe him. I don’t want to believe him. There is no figure in the mist. I received another explanation. But before I can think about it, the flyer enters my mind and tells me of the alarming wind speed. It’s dashboard gets hot under the palm of my hand.
“Let’s go” Says Asmadis.
We lift off and we’re immediately picked up by a gust of wind that nearly slams us into one of the hills.
Kriber is startled, but he does not give up, pressing more buttons on the dashboard. We fly higher and take course back towards the city. This is not where I need to go. I need to deliver the medicine as fast as I can to the base ship.
A lightning strikes not far from where we just flew. Asmadis screams and increases speed, losing all caution. For a second I see the sky full of sparking stars. The base ship is somewhere up there. I need to be there now, but the kriber will never agree to it.
He is justifiably afraid of Kallitris, and will never willingly set foot on his territory. Frankly, I don’t have time for his apprehension. Politics had gotten between me and those I loved one too many times in my life. I will deliver the medicine to the base ship. Besides, Kallitris is not there. He is in Komkaran.
The next gust of wind hits us off course with immeasurable force and sends us up in the air upside down. The machine twists in the air and goes out of control. Just when I think we’re going to fall back into the enchanted forest, I hear the flyer asking for my help. There is no time to wonder how I could help it.
I imagine holding it with both my hands, steadying it firmly.
And it happens. The flyer levels itself. I can almost feel it breathing a sigh of relief. Also, it is mine now. Literally. My parasite overrides commands from the dashboard and I get direct access to its brain.
“Wow! I thought this was my end!” Asmadis flaps his wings. “Why do I detect another entity with us, and it is not familiar?”
“I have a living creature within me. This particular one is model Sazarn 230. It is a cloud of powerful, conscious energy, passive and parasitic by nature but it will follow orders of the host. It activated and interfaced with your flyer all by itself. Now I control your machine through my parasite. Sorry.”
I tell the flyer to move straight up. The unbreakable bond between me and my parasite extends to Asmadis’s machine. Dear Leot, the ever-exploring genetic engineer, always crossing species to see how he can create a perfect being. No, it’s not me, but I’m good enough, thank you very much.
The kriber is shocked to find out that the flyer no longer responds to him. He fervently presses buttons on the dashboard, all in vain. The flyer instead follows my orders obediently. A couple of lightnings hit to the left and to the right of us. I maneuver around, getting ever higher.
“We are going to sheirer’s base ship. Please don’t freak out. He is not home.”
There is no need to say it, as Asmadis almost faints, seeing the huge bottom of Kallitris’s base ship hanging right above us now. Well, not even kriber’s swirling vortexes of darkness can see it in its entirety. But it’s ghostly outline tells us we’re on the edge of it. I fly to the middle to take advantage of the biggest entrance door. The wind is still strong, but we manage to get into the opening unharmed.
The door slides closed. Asmadis realizes he is now trapped inside of sheirer’s ship. He is pale with fear if at all possible in his species.
We get out, and Salix runs to greet me. He is very, very fast on his thin, hairy legs.
“Demi, you are here!” He brings his face to mine, and kisses me everywhere. “I called for you. I was worried sick. I have bad news… Your friend was brain dead for over 24 hours, and his heart stopped despite or best efforts.”
“It’s OK. Restart his heart. And I brought the medicine to revert the cell mutation.”
“Medicine for what mutation? We failed to diagnose him! Wait, who is this?” Erahi looks at the kriber, and takes several frightened steps back almost falling over. “Is this a Blisp?!”
Asmadis by now shakes with fear so badly, his crest shakes with him in small wavy motions. It is so funny, I start laughing despite the heavy, uneasy cloud of suspicion these two are creating.
What a conclusion to such a stormy night! Asmadis is scared, as he thinks he is going to get it for kidnapping me, and the erahi is scared because he’d never heard a good word about any of his master’s ancestors. Why can’t we all be friends and work on saving Relemill?
“Guys, let’s go.” I urge them both to leave behind their fears. We walk down the hall in sticky, menacing silence. Each of my friends is expecting the other to do something demonic. How do you learn to trust from this state of mind??!
“Here is the stuff.” I give Salix the vial with black liquid. “You’ll have to lift the formula and synthesize a new solution.”
My voice echoes in the vaulted ceilings of my boyfriend’s flying home. I remember being amazed at these ceilings when I first came to this ship as a child. Salix was the one who assisted Kallitris in implanting the port with neurotoxin in my left shoulder.
It was so long ago. Neither of them changed ever since. But I’m now a middle aged man.
“But what is his condition?” Salix asks. He sees me lost in thought, so he nods and takes the vial. Asmadis is following us with extreme caution. It’s hard to believe for him that people of Kallitris can be so nonchalant towards him.
He thought Kallitris was the enemy of Blisperada. Apparently the situation is riddled with misunderstanding, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it. I think I know who started the war and why! It all happened when the kribers from the marshes started disappearing. Asmadis does not know it, as he was not a leader then, but the Blisps blame it on the Koms.
We walk into the room where Relemill is kept. He is on the table under a big bright light, just like I saw him in the vision. Various tubes stick out of veins on his arms, his stomach, even his mouth. By now it is essentially a corpse, but the medicine in our disposal is unbelievable advanced. He sure will be surprised when he wakes up.
Several erahis look up, as we enter. Salix shows them the vial. They shake their small head in disbelief. They are telepathic between each other. Salix always tried to do the same to me, but the frequencies are not quite the same.
I did learn to hear his thoughts in my mind though. Just not all the time. For example now there is something extremely heavy on his mind, and I can’t quite get the message. I though it was because he saw Asmadis, but now I realize it’s something else.
“Good evening. I’m here to update the situation!”
I turn around and see Pieris in the doorway.
“Tensartis! Oh!” He runs to me, spreading his wings in excitement, almost knocking over some boxes on the shelves along the walls of the room. “You escaped these vicious murderers? I’m so absolutely happy!! I’d be even happier if it was not for the devastating news of… What is this?!” He sees Asmadis, and stops dead in his tracks with his mouth open.
“How do you do, General Pieris…” Asmadis takes several frantic steps back, and knocks over some bag with liquid, connected to Relemill’s arm. It falls with a thump.
“Please take it outside, respectfully!” One of the erahis says to all of us, somewhat annoyed.
“I see, you took a hostage! Atta boy! I knew you were going to stop the war by allowing us to wipe out the whole Blisperada! Now that you’re here I can order to continue the bombing! Yes! Praise the wise Kallitris who brought you!”
“Come here. Shut up and listen.” I grab Pieris where his wings are attached to his bony shoulders, and drag him out of the room. “There will be no more bombing until we figure out where the hostages are. You knew about this all along, you as*hole.”
“What? Him?” Pieris either pretends that he does not know what I’m talking about or is still gloating about Asmadis being here, alone and helpless. But the black wells of his eyes are filled with resentment.