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The Ghithorian

When the life of a planet ceases to exist, will Za'kyia be able to survive?

The universe is a cold, dark place. It goes on, forever, and ever, and there's nothing we can do about it. There's nothing that can change the fact that one day, the stars will go out, one by one, dying as they fade from the sky we so desperately love. We look up and see death, the slow death of the universe as stars explode, or get swallowed up by black holes, or get overrun by alien races we know nothing about. And yet, we wish upon these stars. We look up, and we see hope. We see life. We look up at the stars to escape the lives that are so desperately clouded in darkness.

"We need to evacuate now!" Zeryn was shouting at me, but I couldn't hear him. The sky was on fire: a mixture of red, orange and yellow zipped across the sky, filling us with hopelessness. Our beloved planet was dying. We hadn't been given much notice. I had been shaken from my bed in the middle of the night, two nights ago, but our attempts were futile. We could not stop our beloved planet from beginning the process of imploding on itself. Already cracks were shooting across the ground in a spiderweb-like manner, opening the ground to the fiery core below. My people were screaming as the ground claimed them, and I stared up at the sky in horror. Why now?

"But our people!" I cried, staring out at our civilization. We were Ghithorians, a blue skinned race that was known across the galaxy for our advanced technology that coincided with nature. We managed to grow cities around nature, thriving on our planet and the means of technology simultaneously. Apparently, that wasn't enough to predict the fact that our planet was now killing itself.

"They are lost," Zeryn reminded me softly, his eyebrows pushed together to express sadness. He was my husband, the king of our civilization. A rather lovely specimen of our race: tall for our kind at 8 feet, he had the loveliest dark blue skin with lighter blue spots crossing over his bare arms and legs. His hair was black, pulled into a loose ponytail, and his smile was contagious, making him a lovely king. Today, though, he was going to fail those people he so desperately loved.

"And what of us? How do we know the Soul regenerators work?" I whispered quietly, allowing his grasp to pull me alongside him, towards the science center. Several of our people were running, trying to flee the chasms that were growing wider by the second. Soon our beloved Ghithor would be consumed by fire and lava, and then it would be nothing more than a black hole. Little did these people know that it was hopeless to run, that they were only delaying the inevitable.

I felt tears run down my face at the thought. Here we were, running to safety, while our people ran to their deaths. How was it fair? Who decided that we were more important, that we were allowed to live?

"The scientist that created them was confident in his ability," Zeryn assured me, running his thumb along the back of my hand as he pushed the button that opened the door to the science center. The door dissipated and we stepped inside, reappearing when we were a safe distance down the hall. Several scientists were flurrying around, waving tablets with holographic measurements and findings about. They still had hope they could save the planet. I did not.

Zeryn ushered me through another door at the end of the hall, hand resting on my back as he spoke to one of the scientists. I couldn't understand much of what they were speaking of, because I hadn't studied the art of science, but I eyed the equipment that was laid out in front of me. They appeared to be pods; there was an area for one of us to lie down, and there was a lid that would close us in. It was white in color and the door had clear glass on it. The end thinned out to a point. Some sort of computer was connected to the door as well.

As the ground of the science center started to shake, red warning lights started to go off, casting a foreboding light on the room. Zeryn ended his conversation with the scientist, who nodded his head at me and then walked past us to prepare the machines. Zeryn turned to me, eyes holding the uttermost worry as he stared at me. For a moment, it was silent, save for the sounds of splitting earth and warning bells. Then Zeryn pulled me into him, crushing me to his chest before pulling away and placing his lips against my forehead. It was an extremely intimate gesture, something that wasn't proper to express in public, but right now I didn't care. Both of my hearts fluttered anxiously as I realized that if these soul machines didn't work, I'd never see Zeryn again. The thought scared me, and I pulled him in for another hug. "You honor me," I whispered, gazing up in his eyes.

"And you me," he finished the common declaration of adoration, sighing heavily and pulling away, heading towards the soul machine closest to us. It appeared ready for him, because he climbed into it and laid down, watching me the whole time. "Hurry, denonai,(love)," he whispered, and I nodded, complying as I hurried over to the other machine, claiming it as mine.

The padding kept the pod exceptionally comfortable, and I forced myself to control my breathing as the scientist quickly closed the door of my pod, shrouding me in machine. I realized that the scientist was sacrificing his life for my safety, and I prayed to our gods that these soul pods would work so his death would be honored.

The machine roared to life, and I had a fleeting moment of panic. Would it hurt? My race was highly resilient to pain, but what I was about to undergo was something we never thought possible until recently…

I didn't get another moment to ponder it, because all of a sudden the machine was pulling my soul from my body and sending it through the top of the machine, through the outside of the science center. It was a momentary burst of pain, and then I felt weightless, like I would float away, if the machine hadn't kept me on track. It was sending me to a faraway planet, one which I could thrive on. I watched my planet implode on itself, and then I was shrouded in the darkness of the universe. I would be for many, many more light years…

I woke up in a field of gold. I was disoriented. I sat up, noting that my chest felt light. I only felt one heartbeat, and it caused a moment of panic. However, after a few moments of realizing that I wasn't dying, I figured that it must have been normal on whatever planet I landed on to have only one heart. I glanced down, studying my hands. They were an off-pink, a color that I didn't recognize, as it didn't belong to my planet's color spectrum. I tugged at the strands of my hair, which were long now, noting that it was a dark, brilliant red. Ghithorian's only housed black hair, so this was a change for me as well. I was closed in jeans and a white t-shirt, both of which were made from materials unknown to me. This planet was going to take some time to get used to. It was nighttime, and I saw the most brilliant sky when I looked up. It was similar to my sky, when it had been calm.

The memories were starting to fade. The scientists, when explaining the functioning of the soul pods to us a few months back, had explained that this would happen. If one were to journey to other worlds, to place themselves in the shells of their alien neighbors, they were to give up any knowledge or memory of where they came from. I had already forgotten the name of my planet and my people.

There was someone standing not far from me in the field, gaze cast upwards as they looked at the stars. They looked to be somewhat young, but older than a child among human standards. That's what this race was called...humans. Memories and knowledge of this world was coming in fragments, but I knew enough to know this person had to be in their mid-twenties. And they were...female. Yes. Blond hair flitted around her face in ringlets, and she bore baby blue eyes. She was tall and lanky, with no shoes and simple clothes. She didn't even glance at me when I walked up to her, mirroring her gaze and looking up at the stars.

"What are you doing?" I wondered aloud, my voice like a musical note in the night sky.

"Wishing upon the stars. They give me hope when I have none." What an odd thing to believe in. Hope was supposed to thrive. Stars died; they didn't thrive. So why wish upon death?

"Oh," I said, noting how the stars twinkled brightly. I wondered how many stars I looked upon that were already dead. Light traveled so slowly. Some of these humans wouldn't even see the deaths of the stars they wished upon in their short lifetimes.

"Look! A shooting star! Those are extra lucky. Make a wish," the girl exclaimed, pointing at a white light that shot across the sky. She squeezed her eyes shut, and I found myself doing the same, even though I thought the act silly. What did I wish for? Who was I, and what was my purpose here?

I want to find him. The thought occurred so suddenly, without warning. Who was he?

The name appeared like a wandering light in my consciousness. I did not have a face to the name, nor did I know what the name meant to me, but I did know one thing: I needed to find the man named Zeryn.

AN: Considering turning this into a sci-fi novel. Got an idea of where it could go if I do, but for now I am putting it as completed as it was meant to be a short story. I was bored and didn't feel like working on my other projects, so I came up with this on the spot. Reviews are lovely! Thanks for reading.

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