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Solarites Ch 5

I shouldn’t be timid anymore, but every time I could never bring myself to step up and call to attention that this was wrong. I sat by myself at the table this morning. Raven and Fei were still sleeping off the trauma of yesterday’s events. In fact, I was the only one that wasn’t asleep at the moment.

The faint glow of the sun stones casted the empty room in an eerie light that made it more ominous than before. I shudder at the thought that this place could have such a sinister vibe despite the friendly feeling in the day hours. I stand up recalling the sickening details of ‘role call’ and whatever breakfast items are available today don’t seem as appealing anymore.

I start to head out then hesitated,my eyes spottedthe back table where Ace usually sits. I curiously glanced at it then checked the door to search for any arrivals. Once I was in the clear, I cautiously crept over to his table and sat down in the chair and surveyed the room in that perspective.

It was like that one spot that let’s you spy on everyone else but impossible to be spotted. Such a powerful feeling of seclusion and mysteriousness, that the sinister feel of the room wasn’t there. It was exhilarating yet the slightest hint of trespassing. I was in someone else’s spot and that someone may not like me very much. That is at least, what my first impression of him is.

As if my thoughts had summoned the devil himself, Ace strolled into the room. My mind went blank and I sat there dumbfounded as his eyes spotted me, the intruder in his seat. He ignored me and came closer taking the seat next to me.

My heart pounded uncontrollably and the hair on my neck stood on end. I was sitting so close to this man, yet I feel so far and isolated from him. I wanted to say something, anything, but my head couldn't find the words. I had to thank him for fighting off those thugs the other day. I had so many questions that sitting in solemn silence tore me apart.

Finally, I draw the words from my chaotic skull and drew in a breath to speak.

"You don't have to thank me." He shot me down before I could start. I slump further into the seat not knowing what else to do.

Ace looked at me with curiosity, his eyes piercing through my one good eye. I rose to leave, wanting the noiseless space between us to fade. He grabbed my hand and pulled me back down.

"You know, no one ever sits back here, besides me. I heard the rumors too, the one's about humans." We both shuffle awkwardly before he continues. "Some guy about something years ago, boasted about some stuff he did and was pretty much a bully. Well, rumors started and the Solarites over heard them. Next thing we know, the whole universe thinks we're horribly evil."

I managed to squeak my voice out, "how do you know?" Ace smiled and he zoned out a little. Then his face dropped and the eerie silence returned, more menacing than before.

He went to speak then hesitated, "no, not now. I can't tell you at this moment." I couldn’t help but feel disappointed and I rose again. This time he didn't stop me as I left the room.

I stood by the sun stone and basked in it's warm comforting light. Raven came out of the dorm and glared at me. I wonder if there was ever a time when she didn't glare.

"Well, you're up early this morning." She approached, her eyes full of fire and anger. She lightly and elegantly stepped up and stood uncomfortably close.I was trapped with my back almost touching the sun stone. "How disrespectful to the 'selected.' You don't even mourn, do you not care?" Her words jabbing through me like spikes.

"I-I'm sorry, Raven. I just couldn't sleep and just sitting around is driving me crazy," I murmured and scurried away in full retreat. Before I entered the dorms, I took a glimpse of her. She was standing in front of the stone staring up at the black cloudy sky. Ace was right next to her, talking.

I didn't know he followed me out and they seemed to be having an intriguing conversation. I ran to the door of my room and pause just outside. My heart racing, not from the fact I was running, but because seeing those two together hurt for some reason. I thought Raven was with Grave. I started to ponder if their relationship went back farther than when I arrived. I shove the thoughts aside, there was no way they would be together.

The bell to signify the work period never came and I began to worry that I woke up late instead of early. I the midst of my thoughts Fei opened the door sleepily. She looked at me and laughed a little.

"Did I fail to tell you we have the day off? I’m sorry, I usually sleep in on this day because of... Well, you know why.” We took a moment of silence then left the dorms together.

Fei began her usual jabber, hard to imagine she has gone through days like yesterday multiple times. Either it’s a way to cope or she completely forgotten yesterday’s events. I highly doubt the latter, I tried everything to forget; it’s just not possible.

She led me away from the town and into the forest. She caught a quick glance at Raven and Ace right before we cleared the plants. I sensed she was kept out of the loop also on their relationship as her grip tightened and towed me farther into the crystal wilderness.

“I love coming out here! Come on, help me find more flowers for the room!” She began to explore picking off blooms of multi-colored plants. I found a nice turquoise lotus type flower and attempted to pick it. Or maybe attempt was an understatement...

It was like the the flower refused to be plucked and hardened itself against me. After a moment, I examined it and tried again, beginning to wish I has my garden clippers. I tugged and my finger brushed against the edge of the petals. I jerked my hand away as it sliced through my skin.

I sucked on my finger tasting blood on my mouth. I felt disgusted and the flower in all its brilliance, kept on looking innocently beautiful. That was before Fei came up and looked at it.

“Oh, what a lovely lotus!” And plucked it right off it’s stem. She handed the flower to me and smiled. I stared at her in disbelief, she easily picked the flower when I was at war with it. I began to watch her, trying to see if there was some sort of method.

Fei didn’t look to be doing anything special. She was just picking flowers like one of those maidens from fantasy movies right before the dragon came. I wonder if it was just in my head and spotted some irises.

I reach out to pick them but hesitated. It wasn’t the fact she could pick flowers, but the fact that this wasn’t the only obvious clue I had about Fei that bothered me. I turn around and accusingly, I yelled, “you’re not telling me something about yourself!”

Fei looked quite stunned and all the flowers in her hands fell to the ground. “What? But I tell you everything.” Tears began to well up in her eyes again. I ran over to comfort her immediately before she ran to Raven and have her chase after me.

“I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean to yell at you. It’s just... All that’s going on is stressing me out.” She looked at me glumly and nodded in understanding. There was an awkward silence between us as neither of us knew what to say.

I went to pick up the fallen blossoms and Fei shot up and hugged me tightly. I could hear my ribs starting to crack and I tapped her shoulder. She released me and took a deep breath.

“I was altered with unimaginable strength. Well, nothing good ever came out of it so I don’t like to talk about it, or even acknowledge it for that matter.” She rubbed her arms blushing embarrassed. She scooped up her flowers and weakly smiled.

“Hey, cheer up. If Raven saw you so down, she’ll demolish the town to find out why. I don’t know about you but, I don’t want to be sleeping in rubble.” I joked lightening the mood. She laughed and cuddled the flowers. She looked sweet when she tried to figure out why her face started to hurt then. The flowers left several gashes on her cheeks.

I sigh and tore a bit of my dress to wipe off the blood from the cuts on her face. She giggled at me.

“You’re acting like Raven, fussing over me and such.” I looked down, contemplating if I should ask her about Raven and Ace or not.

Shakenly, “Do you know what the deal was with Raven and... You know.” Fei looked at me and shrugged.

“Beats me. They were here way longer then I have and I don’t think they were that close.” She could a glimpse at my absent stare and quickly added, “Raven is down right head over heels for Grave. Plus their relationship seems more like they were acquainted to somebody and met that way.”

I decide to take comfort from that and decided to drop the matter. Fei hopefully glanced up at me, I could see the smile itching on her face. I gave her a questioning look.

“You like him!” I felt my cheeks flush red as I thought up a way to deny it. She crept up to me, “it’s all over your face! And you were jealous of Raven!” She began to laugh, my whole face flushed red from embarrassment. She patted me on the back and we go back to picking the flowers.

It wasn’t long before we realise we got ourselves lost. We were too absorbed in the flowers. We just kept going further and further that when we decided to head back, we forgot which way to go to get back. Leading the way, Fei spoke of conspiracies and rumors she had heard on and off the work period.

“If you walk far enough, you might find the edge of the crystals. I never seen it, but I imagine it to be black with no light.” She said in wonder. I wondered why no one has thought to run on a day like today, they were scared there was nothing to run to.

Fei continued, “There was one story of a guy who hid in one of the giant trucks. Thought he’d sneak a way out of here with the ore.” She ducked under a branch and I followed closely.

“And did it work?” I asked curious and using the knowledge to avoid mistakes.

She frowned, “We thought it did. Until he was brought forward the next day. That was a sight to see, or so I heard. The guy was screaming about these giant ships and what not. They reduced him to ashes moments later as an example to the rest of us.” She sighed sadly. there were no stories or rumors of successful escapes.

We came up into the field I officially met Ace in. I recognized it and knew we weren’t too far away from the trail to the town. Fei was happy to get home and by now we were hungry that the mere thought of food was motivation for us. I pick a direction that looked somewhat familiar and I lead the way.

I pondered over my options and thought back to how excited Fei was about ‘freedom.’ “What if we could do it?” I let the words slip. The words that could never be taken back and a taboo here.

Fei stopped in her tracks. “W-what?” She stared at me, for once silent and at a loss of words. I took a breath and turned to face her.

“Fei, no one should live like this. The fact you’ve accepted it is bizarre, so why not?” She looked at me with sad eyes not wanting to hear the words. She rapidly shook her head ‘no.’

Backing away, treating me like a poisonous animal, she told me, “You can’t. It’s impossible! I won’t help you get yourself killed!” She bolted in the the opposite direction.

“Fei!” I yelled at her trying to reason with her. “Wait, the trial is this way!” After a moment to realise she’s not coming back, I chase after her.

Trailing Fei was easy. All I had to do was follow the trail of the flowers she was dropping. I came to where the flower trail ended and looked around. There was no Fei, but there was broken limbs of crystal plants. I began to follow those instead.

Finally, I caught up with her. She was standing at a fence horrified and scared out of her mind. I tackled her and pinned her to the ground. Somehow, I managed to get her to calm down. She frantically heaved in breaths of air and struggled to get away. Annoyed, I smacked her across the face.

“Get ahold of yourself and forget I even asked. If you're going to act like this, I may as well not bother.” I got up and disappointedly turned to leave. Fei jumped up and grabbed my arm.

“Wait, I’m sorry. I panicked because of all the stories and rumors I heard.” I gave her a look and she dropped my arm. “Don’t be mad... You’re my friend and I worry about you. That’s all.”

“If we escape, you don’t have to worry anymore.” I coldly returned. She winced and shyly edged away, avoiding my person. I reproachfully looked at her, she seemed to be ashamed of how she reacted to the idea. I gave her a hug as forgiveness. She started to cry again.

Once she was finished, she cleaned herself up and was ready to go home. I, on the other hand, wondered why there was a fence in the middle of the forest. I started to follow it. Fei fretted behind me.

“What are you doing?” she asked, terrified.

“It has to lead somewhere,” I replied quietly. We carefully walked along the fence, searching around for any signs of movement. We paused at times, but it was always a false alarm.

“How far does it go?” Fei whispered to me, afraid that anything above a whisper is potentially dangerous to be overheard. She shrug and continue on.

We came up to a break in the fence. Something had peeled back just enough for a small child to slip through. Above the breach, was a sign in the unknown language. The ciphered language then translated to english and I read it outloud.

“No trespassing...” I turn to Fei, “let’s go before we get in trouble.” She was staring at me like an exotic animal again. “Come on, girl. Out with it, the theatrics are getting old.”

A smile came to her face, “You said something about escaping?”

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