Chapter 33 A Message To Decode
“Why?” I ask, perplexed. “We’re almost out of the planet. It will be allright!”
This is where I hear a loud thud, and we all fall on the floor. I hit my head on a wall, and get up slowly. Immaul is the only one who did not fall, as he was hanging in the air. He is looking at the screen.
I get up and look at it to. We’re no longer moving. We hit something in the sky, and it stopped us dead. What the heck was that?
“Domiarn, we need to talk. What you’re doing is unfair.” Yasen’s face appears on the screen. His eyes are not angry, as you would expect. They are inquisitive. “If you love him so much, then you pay for his crimes. One of you is staying here. Our rose may be crumbling, but Leot installed us the shield. I will not deactivate it until you decide which of you will return back to us.”
Yasen stares at me from the screen with his creepy eyes, and I try to prevent him from entering my mind. I close my eyes to find out if that stops him. Before I do it, I notice a necklace on his neck. It’s a medallion with a rose on it. It’s a protruding silhouette of a rose, or a plant closely resembling this Earth flower.
I sit for a second with my eyes shut, but it does not help. The painful feeling tells me Yasen got into my mind again. The situation quickly turns from worrisome to desperate. However Eva’s face is almost happy that Kallitris could not escape. Talking about being vengeful. Who needs to be taught a lesson about love?
But Immaul is way more merciful, or just wise, who knows. He is never public with his covert politics. The chronicler is sly like that. All those chronicles he wrote down must have taught him that sneaky, quiet ways are historically proven to be more efficient. He sends me a telepathic message:
“Demi, it’s a trap. Ederi wanted you to begin with. Yasen has footage of your mother being on Crumbling Rose. I saw it, but I can’t tell if that’s past or future… He senses that she is important to Leot. Go there, and see if you can exchange the information about Leozarit for your freedom. There is no other way to get out of this. If sheirer goes he will be executed.”
“Please answer while the Faith Star is still active.” Says Yasen.
“Take me!” Kallitris walks up to the screen. “There is no way I’m going to sacrifice my boy.”
At this moment I squeeze Iris’s hand and kiss him goodbye.
“Why are you so passionate all of a sudden, Demi?” Baron Leo is alarmed, and for a reason.
I smile to Yasen, find the Star in my mind and touch it, wishing to be back in the forest.
For one second I feel like I’m falling. But it’s a pleasant feeling. Another pleasant thing is that I see my ship getting released and shooting up and out of the atmosphere of the Crumbling Rose. Next second I’m back on the surface of the planet, sitting on a dune.
It smells like honey. The horizons are bright and clear… I could get used to this place. It’s not a bad planet, really. If it only wasn’t for the war on Ashtarma. I promised Asmadis to come back.
“I can’t believe you signed off your life for that scum.” Yasen sits by me with an expression of disbelief.
“I can’t believe you ran around for half a million years and never learned what love is.” I give out a tired sigh, and look at the ocean, calm and translucent.
Yasen takes me to his flying craft, smaller and faster than Asmadis’s. No wonder we could not see him chasing us as we entered the atmosphere! It is also more efficient – it runs off of the psychic power of any creature within, but it can only be controlled by the mind of ederi. There is no way this craft will cuddle up to me like the one I got into on Ashtarma.
We fly over thousands of scattered black slabs on the ground. Some of them looking like bricks, some are just flat.
“These are the collectors of information, they are indestructible. All that is left of our civilization.” Yasen says, lost in thought. “We are planning to restore it, though, and better than it was. As soon as you tell us some valuable things you happen to know.”
He lands the craft by a shapeless building. The reason I know it’s a building, is because it has windows of multicolored glass. The structure itself looks like a huge sprawling root of a tree. Or a maze of passages, protruding from the ground.
We walk inside and I can see ederi everywhere. It’s quite dark but some of the walls glow multicolored light, not enough to light up everything, but enough to see the creepy faces of these strange creatures. They look human and yet, there is something about them. Something sinister that made Leot abandon the project, and dump these things on a forsaken planet on the outskirts of Andromeda half a million years ago.
The ederi, dressed in weird rags with colored patches look at me without much expression. So different from fussy kribers, who were happy to see me. You could not tell a man from a woman, if they have that at all.
“We are all hermaphrodites.” Yasen notes.
“Stop reading my mind!” I snap.
“I can’t help it. This way.” He walks into an opening in the wall, and through a transparent veil that feels cool. Must be their version of a door. I follow.
We’re in the room, lit by the same multicolored light, coming from the walls. There is nothing in the room besides one big slab of black stone. I’m afraid of it, but I’m also drawn to it. So I just walk up and look inside. It is deep. It is very, very deep. I get past my reflection pretty fast now, and see shadows moving there and back.
Mesmerized, I touch it, and it moans under my fingers. This mysterious sound penetrates my flesh, and creeps into my heart. Then it goes away taking with it all my peace, if I ever had any.
I notice the outline of the seaside. Someone is running along the splashing waves. I look closer, and I can’t believe my eyes. I touch the stone and the image becomes more clear. There is no way!
“So, what can you tell me? We ran this image through the database available to us. We found out the creature on this footage is a human female, her name on Earth was Leozarit Gidealis. She is a daughter of Arileot14, Leot’s most favorite possession. She also happens to be your mother.”
I feel dizzy, but look at the image again. It keeps on repeating itself. Yes, it is my mother! She looks much different from what I remember, but I can still recognize her. There is something on her back – is that her hair? A bag?
“Can I interrupt you, sir? We have bad news.” A tall ederi appears in the veil of the doorway. “The war on Ashtarma started again.”
Yasen nods and turns to me. I was on pins and needles to begin with, and now this.
“Please let me go! Kallitris alone is not smart enough to stop the war! They are going to wipe out Blisperada!” I beg, fearing that this is not going to get me anywhere.
“You need to tell me what you know about your mother!” Yasen loses his cool. Somehow it is very important to him. “Do you see who’s with her?!”
I look into the stone again. Yasen touches it with his long fingers that have no fingernails and the image gets bigger. I gasp.
“It’s… It’s Leot on her back!”
“Yes, Domiarn! That’s why this image drew our attention! Leot never gets physically close to any of his creations unless they are dear to him!”
The figure of the woman moves again. She is running along the waves, and into the waves, jumping over some big shells and piles of what looks like seaweed. She is laughing as the tentacles of the squid-like being embrace her face and curl around her long black hair.
“I do not know anything about my mother. She disappeared when I was ten years old. She was never heard from since!” I feel tears running down my cheeks.
The ederi in the doorway looks at me with disdain. They are not going to let me go.