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Solarites Ch 10

Tags: fear, cunning

I heard a voice... While I was asleep. She was calling out to me, telling me it was okay. She was okay and waiting... For the moment, I was happy to see her and hear her voice. She was like the younger sister I never had. Then the moment ended and I opened my eyes to the silent elf that was sitting at the foot of my bed. I noticed she had horns, like Fei, but they were like a stag's and looked to be polished wood.

My dismay couldn't have been clearer, but it was unfair of me to blame her. She wasn't at fault, she didn't even know. Her face was like a gloomy doll. Her night was rough, I'm sure. I reluctantly rose and changed into fresh clothes. She watched silently, observing my every move. It kind of irritated me, the fact everything was so silent. I didn't realize how much I had become accustomed to talking. I hadn't been this quiet since before I was taken.

We walked out of the room. Well, I walked out of the room and she followed me like a lifeline. On the way to the cafeteria, I picked up another shadow. It was Sunny, and she wasn't fleeing every time I looked back at them. I guess she figured there were scarier things than humans. It wasn't just her either. Everyone wasn't avoiding me like usual. Some of them even murmured a 'hello' or 'good morning.'

I passed Ursula and she looked at me. That is, I think she looked at me; it's hard to tell with those masks the Solarites wear. She then turned away to get back to her job.

As we passed she held up her hand. We paused and came around to the front. She impassively addressed the elf, "I haven't registered you into the system yet." The elf looked perplexed at her and hesitantly took a step forward.

"Name?" Ursula asked. The elven girl looked around for help. Ursula grew impatient, tapping her fingers of one of her right hands. The elf gestured to Sunny who leaned in closer. Sunny looked at the girl strangely then turned to the receptionist.

"She 'says' her name is Ebony..." The receptionist shrugged and typed in the name.

"You shall be a water carrier, and your partner is Pirate there, as you may already know." She turned away without a word more. We took that as our cue to leave.

We walked into the next room. I went past the usual table where Raven sat alone with her head planted against it, and I didn't turn my gaze in the direction of Ace's table where I felt the direction of his eyes track me. Instead I sat at a lonely table in the back. Ebony sat beside me and sunny on the other side. Raven perked her head up and saw me. She instantly stood and joined my new table. She sat across from me and then planted her head back down. A moment later Ace sat next to her.

I clenched my teeth together, they never give up. I then made the decision to simply ignore them. Unfortunately, my resolve didn't last very long as Sunny tugged my sleeve gently. I turned and looked at her.

"I heard... Something about... A plan?" She whispered with breathless excitement. I looked down at my hands not wanting to answer her, not wanting to trust my voice. Ebony sharply turned with an expression of bewilderment. The words 'already! Great!' Could be seen and understood without her voicing them out. She must have been coming up with a plan of her own.

I was outnumbered and they all looked to me to give the word. I sighed and stared at my hands contemplating my decision.

I closed my eyes and heard the words Fei told me in the dream. "It's okay..." I whispered to myself. "Everything is going to be just fine..." I turned to readdress my group. "We have to plan out a way to incorporate these three and exclude..." I couldn't put the rest into words. Raven's ears perked up. A smile spread across her face.

"Not here. We'll all meet at the clearing... Tonight."

The day couldn't go by any slower. Ebony struggled to keep up and nearly spilled all the contents of a bucket. I did my best to help her, which proved easier said than done. It was a good thing none of the Solarites saw her almost fatal mistakes. When the day finally closed I released my breath. We're treading on hot coals now with everyone all riled up, one slight mistake would cause our plan to collapse on us.

Ebony sat her equipment down with a thud, and laid on the floor with a welcomed moment of release. I nudged her with my toe.

"Are you going to lie there, or are we going to meet up with the others?" The elf nodded and lifted herself off the floor. We made our way to the cafeteria and grabbed a quick meal. We ate in silence and rushed to get to the clearing.

I brought out the equipment and started coming up with a plan that even the Solarites couldn't prepare for. Ebony picked up a large crystalline stick and used another crystal to carve it. I gave her a questioning look. She glanced at me, lifted the stick, and pantomimed drawing a string back and releasing an arrow.

Raven and Ace finally joined us after about five minutes. Raven talked to me about how the Solarites were planning on setting up a curfew after the next ‘role call’ to prevent any more attacks. Sunny showed up then and sat by Ebony. She picked up some crystals and began to Macgyver her own weapon.

I watched them with mild curiosity before staring at the forest. I remembered the no trespassing sign Fei and I had accidentally come across when she ran away. I wondered what was beyond the fence, what were the Solarites hiding? I burst out laughing as a strange thought dawned on me.

“Hey Raven? If no one here can read, except for me, then why did I find a ‘No Trespassing’ sign in the forest? No one would be able to read it!” The thought sank in deeper and we both looked into the forest. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“We should check it out,” Raven replied and disappeared into the forest. I waved at the others and followed her.

Finding he trail was easy. Most of the shattered remains of crystal planets were still there from when Fei rampaged through. The planets, however, did start growing back, some faster then others. I had to duck and dodge sharp edges that stuck out. About ten minutes we reached the point the trail ends. Raven glanced at me to lead the way.

We reached the fence and started to follow it the same way I had gone before. I caught a glimpse of Raven's face filled with bewilderment. Her mind wondering why it was here the same way I had. I smiled to myself, still puzzled about this mystery too.

The sign came into sight and we both paused to examine it. The words were decoded instantly and I reread it out loud for Raven. She examined the sign for a moment, then peered across the fence to see what was behind it.

I looked beyond too, and only saw more of the forest. Raven then began to climb over the fence.

"What are you doing?" I whispered harshly. We didn't know if there was anything else out here with us, and wouldn't want the Solarites to find us way out here at this time of night. She didn't answer me, so I just sighed and climbed over also.

On the other side, my heart started to beat wildly. The fence was there for a reason. What if there were wild animals out here, or an armada of Solarites? My mind came up with more horrific thoughts, the further we went. I was so indulged with my wild imagination that I didn't notice the forest grow darker, until the light was so dim, I could barely see my hand.

"Maybe the stories are right and there isn't anything but black..." Raven muttered to herself. Her eyes were wide with the fear of losing her cause. She had to believe there was something beyond, or what would she be. She press forward and I followed as closely as possible. It progressively grew darker and it was easier to lose sight of her.

Finally, we came up to a wall of pitch black darkness. Raven fell to her knees, her jaw ajar. I looked at the darkness beyond apprehensively, there really wasn't anything beyond.

"Let's go Raven, we'll figure something else out-" I fell short. Something in the darkness caught my eye. Something reflected a glimpse of light inside the darkness. I pulled off a faint dark green crystal leaf and tossed it into the darkness. For a moment, I saw more plants, every single one dark, dead. What little it of light in the leaf then faded to black. "There is more out there!"

I jumped for joy and brought Raven to her feet. I was so excited, but one problem made me stagger to the ground. I didn't know what caused the planets to glow, and what was keeping the ones in front of me dark.

I paced back and forth, thinking about what it could be. Raven then pointed at something in the distance.

"There's something bright over there." I followed her finger to where she pointed and saw a patch of bright plants. Curiously, we walked over to it, and soon we saw there was a small house. "This must be a Solarite outpost," she whispered in my ear. I nodded and examined the hut.

It was a small clearing with a ring of brightly glowing plants. No light came from the windows, but along the near wall was several lanterns filled with sun stones. Then it clicked in my mind: The sun stones power the plants.

Bravely, I strolled over to the wall and grabbed two lanterns. I hurried back into the safety of the forest. Unfortunately, safety wasn't the appropriate word anymore. The plants surrounding us now glowed brightly as well and stuck out like a sore thumb to anyone paying attention. I prayed that luck would be on our side tonight.

"Let's go discover what's in the dark," Raven said with pleasure, and off we went to discover the truth of this mysterious planet.

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