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Solarites Ch 11

A three foot ring of crystal plants were illuminated around us. If any Solarites were around, we would have been spotted almost immediately. The thought made me shiver, but I highly doubted there would be any lurking about.

I pause and reconsidered that last thought. They may not be out here, but the guy who set off the explosives in the mine most certainly could be. I strained my eyes, trying to see past the darkness just beyond the ring of light. From what I could tell, there was nothing out there besides me and Raven. I took comfort in that and continued forward.

Five minutes later we both halted, there was nothing ahead; not even the forest. The light from the sun crystals revealed the ground a few meters ahead, but that was all.

My voice quivered and squeaked, "should we go back?" Raven glanced at me warily. She turned back around and took a step forward. I followed regretfully.

It almost seemed like we were in the void. Everything surrounding us was black, but because of the lanterns; me and Raven were completely illuminated. My stomach sank with each step, I feared that I would fall into a hole that I couldn't see.

I then saw Raven stop suddenly and fall to the ground. She was rubbing her nose as if she ran into something. She stood up and reached her arm out. I did the same and we both touched a flat surface. I held the lantern closer and saw it was a wall. I recognized it to be similar to the walls of the town buildings. I followed it till I found the edge, and came to the front of the building.

"Pirate? PIRATE?!?!" I heard Raven cry. I went back.

"What?" I asked. She let out a sigh of relief.

"You just disappeared like that. It scared me." She came around to the front also. I laughed a bit, seeing Raven so flustered was an unusual sight. I turned away to avoid her glare, knowing she would get me back for that.

We then refocused on the building that was placed in the middle of darkness. The light cascaded over the front of the building just enough to reveal a sign. It instantly translated to, 'dormitories.' I read it outloud for Raven to know. We both hesitated and looked at each other with the 'what the heck!' Expression. Awkwardly, we continued on.

We reached another building, and beyond that another. I then realized, it was another ring of a town, just no sun stone to ignite the area into light. I crossed the threshold of darkness to the circumference of the town. Where the sun stone should be was a large gaping hole even blacker than the darkness surrounding us.

I knelt down, and opened the lantern. I carefully grabbed a small sun stone, it was warm like a hand hovering over a candle. I held it over the edge of the hole and dropped it. Raven and I watched it fall endlessly until it was swallowed by the abyss. A cold shiver ran down my spine, as my stomach lurched forward. That was a terrifyingly long drop. I crawled away from the edge.

"Raven, I think this is enough exploring for today, let's get out of here," I hoarsely whisper. She continued to lean over the edge, focused intently on the hole. She then opened her mouth and jumped back.

"Pirate get down!" She tackled me to the floor as the area burst into blinding light and searing heat. My eye burned from the sudden exposure, it took awhile for it to adjust. The world was now one massive, swirling, blur of colorful lights.

I heard Raven gasp in astonishment, "Pirate, this... This is amazing!" If only I could see it...

My eyesight cleared and all around us were bright neon plants. The shimmering intensity should be a bit extreme, but it somehow seemed to fit. I took in the whole scene and went to look at the hole. I was nearly blinded again.

Where the hole used to be, now stood a colossal sun stone radiating light as bright as a star. I shielded my eye with my hand and stood up. The area had awakened, because the sun stone powered it to life. I found the phenomenon quite fascinating.

"Time to go," Raven said quietly to me. I nodded and turned to the dormitories. A cackling laughter erupted behind us, we stopped cold, horrified to find out who was there watching us.

"Leaving so soon, Vixie?" The laughter continued loudly. We both whipped our heads around to pinpoint the source.

'Vixie?' My mind registered the name. I quickly glanced at Raven. Her expression was incredulous as she recognized the voice, I wondered who it could be.

Our attention came to an emerald colored tree and intertwined with the branches was a pale blue elf, a dark elf maybe? His gleaming orange eyes staring intently at us, a wide mischievous grin spread across his face. He cocked his head to the side as if he was examining an experiment.

"Dr. Hyde... But that's impossible," Raven whispered, frozen in shock. Her face was pale as a ghost, her hands trembled in clenched fists, tears started to form in her eyes. She was overwhelmed from her emotions, I hardly recognized her as the distant friend who was standing here moments before. Her tail lashed wildly, sudden anger erupted from her, scaring me back into seeing the original Raven I knew.

She clenched her jaw, and through her teeth she said, "Dr. Hyde... you were alive this whole time... and you didn't think to tell me. Not even a whisper, not even to Ace!" The man just kept on cackling, not taking her seriously.

"What could we do, Raven? At the time, Cain would of suspected that we would attempt to contact you. He would have found us." Another voice whispered distantly. It was dark and somber. I searched for the source of the second voice, but there was no one else around. A sinister laugh joined the constant cackle of the first.

"Are you searching for someone, girl?" The darker voice asked me. My heart froze and looked at Raven. She glared at the elf in the tree. I turned to face him, and he was now a pale cream color with silver hair. Other than the color he looked the same. He elegantly jumped down from the tree. Raven growled frighteningly, the elf simply smirked. "My dear girl, maybe if you stopped trying to force yourself to see the big picture, you may actually see something."

"Oh, remember how we used to confuse Vixen for hours switching back and forth, and she swore the other was hiding in our pockets!" The other voice was heard clearly. I jumped, hearing the voice so close, it could have been behind me. The cackling laughter increased at my reaction.

I edged closer to Raven, relying on her strength for support. Her body was tense and rigid, not even shifting away from the weird elven man.

"Oops, we scared her! Look, look, she so terrified of us!" The voice yelled with glee.

"Will you shut up!" The elf yelled, his facial expression outrage.

"How are you alive… You were selected. I saw them take you. How did you manage to escape?" Raven stepped towards him.

"Raven, how do you know... him?" I wasn't sure if to say them instead. I searched for the other one, but then I saw the dark one standing in front of us and the pale one disappeared.

"He was my... mentor. He took me in when I was little," she growled. The dark elf came closer with his arms wide open. He had on a goofy smile.

"Does someone need a hug?" He crackled. Raven punched the elf and he went soaring back. He landed on his back, and leaned up. Still smiling, "ow." Raven huffed and brushed off her hands. He opened his shirt to reveal an undersuit of crystal leaves tied together. "Ha! It works! No broken ribs this time!"

"I told you," the darker voice said. My nerves became unbearable.

"Show yourself!" I shouted. The dark voice deeply laughed, strangely in harmony with the crackle of the other voice. I stepped past Raven and grabbed the dark elf. "Where is the other one?" I shook him firmly to get him to talk. I felt my hands jolt and my covered eye felt a sharp stabbing pain. I released the elf and held the patch.

"Pay attention, missy! Because if you don't, you shall forever remain confused as to who I am!" The crazy elf said. He clapped his hands together and let out a deep breath. I stared at him skeptically. He smiled and his color began to shift. I stumbled back in shock. The high elf now stood before me. He frowned disapproving of the shift.

"I am Dr. Hyde. He... Is also Dr. Hyde. We are one of the same, yet we are not." He had the deep evil voice.

The other chirped in, "yeah! Our mother was a dark elven beauty, and our father a high elf. Now you know why, even though dark, wood, and high elves are kin, we don't mate with each other." I reproachfully stared at the elf.

Raven grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back. The elf sheepishly smiled and looked straight at me.

"What is your name?"

"You have no right to ask that," Raven butted in before I could speak.

"She's still mad..." the crazy voice piped.

The high elf looked at her. "Are you mad at us, or just taking out your fury on us? We know that, when we left, you were... defenseless against Cain. We thought he would respect the bond you shared. You were indeed friends."

Silence rang in my ears, my heart dived deep into my stomach, my throat dried and felt unbearably sticky. Raven, friends, and Cain was used in the same sentence. I eye widened and I stared at her with disbelief. Her head was bowed, and her cheeks were wet.

"She doesn't like people knowing that she was taken when she was small. Sad fate too, she worked as a maid in his home for years. Did you know that this isn't the only slave labor force? I remember those ridiculous face masks we had to wear. Solarite air is denser than ours, they breathe more carbon monoxide then we do. So we wore masks to filter out the oxygen. Raven and I were a team in his home, a very wealthy home. Unfortunately, Cain had no friends; they are a very cold and distant society. He was different and befriended Raven."

"And we now see how that turned out!" She snapped. She slapped the elf hard across the cheek. "Yeah we were 'friends' until he betrayed me! He had a snitch friend and I took the blame for him. You know, I used to have wings, that's why I was called Raven. But I was transferred here, and had specific instructions to have them removed. He called me a clever fox that fooled him, and now I have fox ears and tail. He lied, to save his own skin!" With that she fell to the ground and rubbed away the tears. "The truth is, I was afraid to escape with you, Pirate. I was afraid because, I have no home planet. My home was the Solarite planet, then again, not even. I don't know what to do."

I kneeled down and touched her shoulder. She bolted up with renewed fury.

"That is until Fei died! Cain will pay for that! I will see that it will!" She pulled me up. "We have a plan to deploy." She took one glance at the elf. "We need you too. Time for your crazy ingenious mind to create some inventions!" She towed us back to the fence.

"I'm Pirate!" I hurriedly introduced as I tried to match Raven's pace. The elf changed and shook my free hand. Raven didn't slow down until we reached the clearing. She released us and introduced Dr. Hyde to the rest of the group. Ace's jaw dropped at the site of him.

"Dr. Hyde! You- you're alive!" I never seen him so shocked before. I blushed and turned away so I wouldn't catch myself staring. "Pirate," he grabbed my arm and pulled me into the conversation. "You guys found our greatest asset! Don't you know he's probably the greatest scientist alive!"

"Oh, Ace. Your too kind. All we did was discover that certain colored crystals on this planet are explosive." I simply stared at him, in was too stunned to do anything else.

"You developed those explosives..." My mind cleared a bit, and I bluntly asked, "then, were you the one you bombed the mines?" Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at the elf.

He was puzzled, "someone bombed the mines?" We nodded. The elf shrugged and started helping Sunny and Ebony. He took one look at the little elven girl before screaming, "KIN!" and hugged her tightly. She was distressed and held up a shell pink piece of crystal, one of the poisonous ones. He backed away smiling guilty. The dark elf shifted to the high elf and began explaining how he survived while constructing weapons.

"So you are all probably wondering how I survived out in the darkness. Well I can tell you, after a week of being blind I learned to 'see' with my other senses. So the pitch blackness never bothered me. Food wise, some crystals are edible, as that may come to a surprise to you."

Sunny jumped up and pulled off a blue leaf. She held it out to him, "so I can eat this?"

"No," he replied.

"Why not?"

Dr. Hyde stuck out his tongue, it had a dark purple swollen spot and blue polka dots. "I think I know," he told her. We laughed and slowly looked at each other.

It was getting late and we had to get some form of rest before tomorrow. Raven gathered the two girls and Ace followed her out of the clearing. I looked at the elf.

"Before I leave, here's the plan."

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