I had finally made it back to the planet Tammy was on.
I ran through the building hoping to no longer run into anymore resistance. It was pointless to hope for that. All kinds of droids, machines and Mechanites were now swarming after me. I ran, dodged, evaded, and slashed my way through the swarms. I was extremely thankful for the S.E.E.S. because there was no way I could get this far without it, and I was still having trouble battling through.
My heart relieved at the sound of her voice.
"Kiko!" I smiled.
She was tearing through everything in her path with ease.
"Wow, what's with the getup?" she asked noticing the S.E.E.S. "Your sword's cool though. Rei's on her way right now." She kicked a smaller droid forward which knocked over the many droids in front of us. "Get back to Tammy. We'll hold them off for you."
She continued to clear a path for me.
"Thanks, I'll see you there."
I took off again and heard Kiko destroying anything following after me. I ran as fast as I could past the city and back into the vast desolate area we left Tammy in.
I kept praying to make it in time. I was almost back to the safe house when I saw a ship leaving in the distance. The S.E.E.S. enhanced the image for me. It was the same ship I saw earlier when I was in the Jago's blaster room. Was it possible that that was Balt's ship? It could've been. I wondered if he was able to save his crewmate, because I was for sure going to save mine.
I picked up my pace again, imagining myself getting to Tammy, giving her the antivirus, and having things the way it's always been on the Jago. Happy thoughts, that's what I kept making myself think during my hour and a half run.
When I made it to the top of the hill, I could see the small house below. Something was off though, the door was wide open.
I shot down the hill to the house. Once I passed through the doorway the S.E.E.S. broke off of me and compacted itself on the floor.
My heart sank as I saw what had happened inside. The two bodies of the old lady and man were sprawled out on the floor, their silver and red blood pooling together in a puddle.
I immediately ran over to the room where I had left Tammy. It was showing the regular room that was still empty. How did the old lady change it again?? She put Tammy's hand on the wall, so I placed my left hand on the spot where Tammy's was and the door shut itself and turned purple like last time before reopening.
I had never felt so relieved in my life. Tammy was still unconscious on the bed where I had left her. I ran up to her bedside and carefully grazed her cheek. It was blisteringly hot and her hair only had a slight glow at the ends of her braids now.
Somehow I knew what to do. I knelt down beside her and held one of her braids in my left hand with the data strand hair glowing red on my pinky. The red hair spread its glow to Tammy's hair and it slowly made its way to all of her hairs. It stayed like this for a moment before morphing back to her normal hair glowing color.
I held my breath waiting for her to respond. I wasn't sure if that's what it was supposed to do or not. Every part of me willed her to wake up. She had to.
"Tammy… please wake up…" I begged her. "Please…"
I held her hand close to my chest and gently squeezed her hair with the other. Tears filled my eyes with the thought of losing her as she remained motionless. "Tammy…"
I felt her hand move when I whispered her name, and her eyes slowly opened. They searched around before finding me next to her.
"Sarth," she uttered.
My heart fluttered with elation.
"Yeah it's me, I'm right here."
She gave me a weak smile. "You came back for me…"
I wiped away a tear that made its way down my dirty cheek with a smile, "Of course I did!"
She gave me a bigger smile and sat up on the bed looking back to normal rather quickly. Before I knew it, she had lunged herself at me, giving me the biggest hug I think she's ever given anyone before. She held me tight and I embraced her in my arms. Having her back with me, alive and in my arms was one of the happiest moments of my life.
"Sarth… there's something I've been wanting to tell you …" she whispered in my ear still holding me close.
She slowly let go of me so we were face-to-face with each other. She looked almost human with her rosy red cheeks and light brown eyes. I realized just how cute she really was as our eyes locked together, trying to communicate. She glanced down at the ground with an embarrassed smile.
"I just wanted to say…" she said, continuing to smile to the ground, "that I-"
Her hair flashed abruptly and her eyes averted to something behind me. She impulsively pushed me back, out of the way of something that came flying toward us. I glanced out of the room and saw a Mechanite standing at the house doorway, looking like he had just thrown something.
I looked back at Tammy, and my heart stopped. The object that the Mechanite threw was a purple crystal, and half of it was protruding out of her chest.
"No… this can't be happening."
She began to fall and I lunged forward and caught her in my arms. I pulled the crystal out and put my hand over the wound, but the damage had already been done. Her silver blood was spilling out from the puncture wound where the sparkling crystal was embedded.
The Mechanite was about to enter the house when something made him hesitate and then run away.
"Tammy… no… please stay with me," I choked, trying to swallow tears that were quickly building up in my throat.
Her eyes began to gloss-over as she kept them fixed on me.
I didn't know what to do. I looked around for anything or anyone that could help me, but I knew there was nothing I could do to help her, except be there with her, with tears now pouring down my face.
"Why?" I cried, "Why did you do that? Why did you save me?"
Her eyes began filling with tears I had never seen before, and it only made me cry even harder. She weakly pressed something in my hand and gave me a faint smile as the tears rolled down her cheeks, "love" she whispered.
Her hair flickered a few more times before completely dying out. At the same I watched as the life faded from her light brown eyes.
"No!" I bawled, "Tammy!"
I died at that moment, crying the hardest I ever have before, screaming my pain for the planets to hear. Let them come kill me, I didn't care, my heart was ripped out of my chest from losing the one person who was closest to me, who understood me the best. I was gone. Nothing else in the galaxy mattered anymore.
This couldn't be right, I saved her. She was alive and well in my arms a few moments ago, and now... she was gone. The sudden shift of emotions tortured my heart and mind.
I didn't notice Kiko was standing at the doorway staring, watching me agonize over the loss of my best friend, or Rei who was sobbing on the ground next to her, or the rain that was now pouring outside. None of it mattered.
I cried over Tammy's body for hours. I was content with dying right there with her. I couldn't part with her, I had failed her.
Rei came up next to me at some point and held Tammy's hand.
"We have to burn her body," she finally said, her voice filled with sorrow.
I shook my head slightly. No expression or emotion on my face and heart, just like a Mechanite.
"We can't let the Mechanites have her body… the best way to avoid that is to cremate her." I stared at Tammy in my arms. "She would want that…"
I didn't want the Mechs to have her, especially the one that spoke to me in the jumper.
"I'll build the fire…" my voice cracked.
"We'll wait until it stops raining"
I had set Tammy's body aside, but I still found myself staring into nothing in her direction on the floor against the wall. Rei had covered the other two bodies up that were in the other room and Kiko was still missing. She had apparently left after learning about Tammy's death.
I sat there like that all night, covered in Tammy's silvery blood, the silver-tinted purple crystal on the floor next to her body. PC was dead on the floor next to me, it must've died when she died. Rei stayed with me, I could tell she was concerned about my well-being, and Kiko's as well because she had been missing since yesterday now.
The rain had finally stopped and I pulled myself away from Tammy in order to build a fire to cremate the bodies. Rei had already collected some brush and stone and I helped her finish it off.
I carried the two bodies to our pit and placed them gingerly inside. I was grateful to them for not selling out Tammy's location. Then I brought out Tammy's body. Knowing that I'd never get to hold her in my arms again only brought back more tears.
I placed her next to the other two bodies, and then caressed the two lifeless braids resting on her chest one last time before kissing her hand goodbye.
I couldn't bring myself to watch her burn away from me. I let Rei light the fire and then turned to go back inside the house. I was almost to the house when I saw someone approach us from atop the hill.
It was Kiko walking back to us, down from the hill. She seemed to glisten in the light and when she came closer I saw why. She was covered almost entirely in Mechanite blood, and her cold-piercing eyes were no longer gray.