Chapter 62 Lierance
TENSARTIS. I hold my breath and do not open my eyes. This might be liquid nitrogen. In this case my eyes will be burned. I must rely on my biosonar. Somehow my creator put in that feature – me being able to survive in liquid nitrogen. It is sian’s native environment, so I carry his nostalgia. Figures.
It is just waves and waves on the biosonar. I have no idea of the difference between water and liquid nitrogen by just feeling it with my ultra-sound wave when other feelings are shut down. I guess nitrogen is more dense, right? It is scary. If I make a mistake I can go blind.
“Arte. This is Salix. I’m tracking your movements. There is no liquid nitrogen on Lira, are you crazy? You are safe to open your eyes. The worse danger is that you’re very close to Polinas. There is a high wave of unknown radiation coming from there. You might not be able to handle it.” The voice in my mind sounds familiar, but I forgot who Salix is.
I finally emerge, and feel the bottom under my feet. I open my eyes and walk out of the water into a big cave. It is dimly lit with greenish stones all around. Moro’s energy now fills me up so much it makes me dizzy with joy. I realize I’m back into the human form. It begs the question on how does that happen?
The floor of the cave is all rock, but walls, though, are not. They look like many branches, intertwined, glued together. I watch the intricate pattern of those branches – just that – no leaves, no trunks, and then my glance falls on a small figure squeezed in between an especially thick protrusion.
I recognize him immediately. I want to address him by his name, but the wild run across the labyrinth had damaged part of my memory. It does not matter.
“Nothing personal, buddy.” I say. “I must take you to Fern.”
I walk up to the man, comparing his face with the image downloaded by Fern into my memory, making sure it is really Moro. Oh, yeah, here is the name. He hasn’t changed at all. He can’t escape now. He knows it. He is very scared. I can see it in his face, his frown. He is done for. It was almost too easy.
Amused with my own prowess and the target so within reach I fail to notice that the branches move from the wall and crawl towards me.
Moro says nothing, but then I make another step towards him, and as the tension builds up, he smells my determination and his own demise, and whispers:
“Lierance, please protect me.”
Whoever that Lierance is, I’m going to stun them both into submission. I get ready to release the blast of energy just to show them who’s boss, when the branches bulge from the wall and a figure appears between me and Moro. The figure turns into an ederi with dark long hair. He looks like Alare, the same youthful traits, I swear. But this one is greenish in color.
He stretches his hand, touching my biosonar, taking away my control over the organ, so I can’t produce a devastating wave of energy. Then I try to turn into oeve, but he grabs my wrists, somehow preventing the transformation. Moro wastes no time running away, and there is nothing I can do, just watch him helplessly.
“Greetings, Arte. I am Lierance. Please do not resist.” With that the man starts kissing me.
It’s outrageous. I appreciate him introducing himself, but jeez!
He eases me to the floor, kissing and undressing. I want to resist, but suddenly I have no more will. Or strength. His touch is pleasant, and his face changes from the unknown features to Alare’s. I must be dreaming. It’s a sweet dream. I earned this feeling. This love. I can relax now…
My life bleeds out of me as I bathe in the warm and sweet touch of this man. Every part of me is relaxed, and I feel like I’m floating on air. Lierance hugs me tightly, he seems so perfect for me. He is a delightful, perfect partner. Why am I thinking that? Are these my thoughts?
“You deserve this.” He whispers in my ear.
That, my friends, is a hell of an ambiguous comment that can be read both ways.
Suddenly his body slams against mine, pressing me to the rocky ground in one powerful motion. Then those greenish lights across the walls just go out.
I wake up on a sandy patch of ground in the forest with duhis around me. Their foliage reads “Love”. Then “The path is open.” The last one is just one symbol of a raised hand with its palm facing whoever is in front of you. Now, in a human language that gesture means “stop”. But everywhere across Andromeda it means “way, or path open”. Whereas “stop”, or “path closed” would be the same gesture with fingers down.
This seemingly pointless information flashes through my mind with a ton of other stuff from Salix’s downloads. His voice calms me down, and says I’m going to be allright. He says I was exposed to the radiation from Polinas. What is “Polinas”? He tells me to get up and walk to the office.
So I do. It really is not far away. When I walk in, three or four ederi by the screens jump up and leave into the hall by the opposite wall. I stand there, not sure what to do, or who I am for that matter.
Then a man walks in. He’s got something on his face, totally blocking his eyes. He comes to me and shakes me by my shoulders.
“Where were you? How did you get here? You were gone for two weeks. With our 49 hour days that’s quite a bit of time, Arte.”
“M-mmm…” I answer, and it seems thoughtful, and wise.
“Tell him what I told you.” Salix urges me in my mind.
“I was… hmmm…” I’m looking for words, and they escape me.
The man with a device on his eyes is watching me intently, if at all possible. Another man comes up. He’s got the most amazing bright green eyes.
“I got in a cloud of radiation. And I was in the water. And… hmm… Then I passed out, because my parasite was unable to handle the energy. Nothing remarkable… I woke up and got here… ” There, I said it. Whatever Salix told me, I repeated.
Both men are suspicious. But I do not care. I’m simply blank.
“See, Levir, everything you do is wrong, because you are stupid. Your Emperor is stupid, too. You will listen to me. Your data on the beast’s genetic compound is corrupted. Or your whole operation here is corrupt! How did he survive the radiation?! I will test his tissues myself.” The green-eyed man says, and I swear, his eyes are flashing angry lightnings.
“Yes, sir.” Says the one called Levir, but something tells me, that Levir does not agree, but is just playing his game and biding his time.
“You, ugly beast, to the lab, now!” The green-eyed tyrant orders me.
“Hmmm…” I say. This profound answer seems to be working. It gives me an aura of being smarter than I really am!
Then there is commotion and screaming outside. The sounds are more like screeching in high and low tones, and pounding against the walls of our office.
“What do we have?” Fern turns to the door, It swings open, and what I see outside is the weirdest thing of all.
“Unrest from the West again!” Levir answers. His voice is alarmed, but his face is satisfied, if at all possible. “Get into the inner rooms, Arte!”
But I do not follow the order. What I see is eerie and magnetic. It literally draws me outside. Possibly both because of curiosity, and because there is a voice asking me to come out. Away from Fern. Towards many answers to my multiple questions.
Something extremely fast flies into the room. I see wings, the rest is impossible to discern. It attaches itself to the wall behind Fern and then flies away. Apparently it was so fast no one could see it, but me. However Fern looks at the spot on the wall where that thing just was. It is beginning to leak and decompose. This spot crumbles, and a chunk of it falls off.
“One flinger got inside! Everyone into the inner rooms! Lock the doors!”
And they run. Levir makes an attempt to grab me, but no one can hold me when I need to go. I make several big steps to the door, then run outside. You have got to be kidding me. I struggle for words to describe what I see, but there is no fear. It’s just a magnificent view. I’m awed… and shocked.