When I re-awakened, I jumped up right away in search of Kiko, just as a bright pillar of light lit up the dark sky, reaching into space itself. I averted and shielded my eyes from the immense light but continued to walk towards it. I knew Kiko was inside it, taking control of Vo to become the goddess of the galaxy. A thunderous blast of air kept me from moving forward.
"KIKO!" I shouted with all my might, but the blast merely blew away any effort to call to her.
I watched as her silhouette began to rise in the light, faster and faster until the light became a star in the sky. At first nothing happened, and then I witnessed, along with millions of others everywhere in the galaxy, a huge supernova illuminate all of space. Its blast scattered millions of tiny flying lights that flew off in all directions.
No one else in the galaxy knew that the supernova was Kiko, a girl who gave her life to preserve the peace in the galaxy. I fell to my knees and for the first time in my life, I truly wanted to die. I no longer had anything to live for. Cashel, Tammy, Rei and Kiko… were all gone, leaving only me behind to lament over their absence alone. I had only been with them just over a year but it was the best year of my life and I would no longer get to have it back or let it grow into more Jago memories.
I collapsed on my back and watched the millions of lights fly overhead. I didn't mind dying while watching her streak across the sky. I imagined her right here next to me, holding my hand as I closed my eyes, hoping to never open them again.
My wish didn't come true. Somehow I was able to open my eyes again to a place I would only recognize after hearing a familiar voice.
"Dad, I heard you found it… is it true?" came Stellan's aged voice.
Another familiar, but somber voice answered him, "Yes, it was a few miles to the west of the battlefield."
"You didn't find Kiko or the others there?"
A heavy sigh, "I'm afraid not… we'll only know more when Sarth awakens to enlighten us."
I was fully awake now and strained myself to sit up. I was alone in the room I shared with Cashel when we stayed with Vero here on Dezner. I had a few bandages wrapped around my torso, and leg which ached when I tried to move it.
Standing up was difficult but I managed to hop to the doorway and peer out. Stellan was walking back up the stairs when he saw me and his face enlightened instantly.
"Sarth! You're finally awake!" he ran up and put my arm around his shoulder to help me down the stairs and to a chair at the table.
I sat down and sighed. He watched me eagerly, waiting patiently for an explanation as to what happened to the Jago crew. I looked back at him. He already looked much older and sturdier even though only a year has passed.
"We saw the pillar of light in the sky and went to investigate and only found you lying on the ground half-dead." He explained. Then he asked with an eager face, "What happened to the others?"
I swallowed hard, hoping he wouldn't make me feel worse than I already did. I averted my eyes from his, "They're gone." I whispered.
He clenched his fists and I waited for him to start crying, but he never did.
"We brought back everything we could find," he said in the same, unfaltering tone. "This is all we could find on you…" he took something small and silver out of his pocket and handed it to me. It was the data preserver that Tammy gave me.
"Thanks…" I said to him, turning the device over in my hands. I fiddled with it again but still didn't know how to open it.
"What is it?" he asked.
"A data preserver, but it won't open…"
"What, you don't know how to unlock it?"
"Yeah… something like-" I froze. Something clicked in my mind.
I didn't know how to unlock it…I looked to my palm where Tammy had written something the night before we landed on Thereon. Her hair was still tied around my pinky and it started to illuminate along with the unlocking code she had written on my palm. I read the unlocking code, expecting some kind of numbered code but all it said was 'live'.
Stellan took a look at my hand with the same puzzled expression. "That's supposed to open this?"
"I guess so…" I replied with the same unconvinced tone.
Live? I did live, even though I didn't want to. I clanked the data preserver down on the table with obvious frustration.
Stellan was watching me. He crossed his arms and peered into my soul, "Are you happy to be alive?"
That would've been an easy question to answer a year ago.
"I have nothing left to live for…" I said gloomily.
Stellan frowned, "Do you think the others would like what you're saying right now?"
"They're dead, what does it matter?" I snapped.
I must've hurt his feelings, because he took a step back with surprise at my outburst. It was hard to remember that he was still just a kid because he'd matured so much since we last met.
"Sorry…" I muttered, feeling the void within my heart. "There's nothing left for me to live for…"
He sulked over to the doorway and said to me before walking out, "I know they would want you to live your life to the fullest… for them…"
I buried my face in my hands. No matter how much I wanted to disagree with him, I knew he was right. None of my friends would want to see me like this. Was that what Tammy was trying to tell me… to live on somehow… without them?
Click. The data preserver on the table popped open and I heard Tammy's voice for the first time since she died in my arms.
Months had passed with Vero, Stellan, and the other villagers on Dezner. I made nearly a full recovery except for every now and then I would get a pain in my leg and it would travel to my heart after remembering how I got it.
Vero and the other villagers managed to haul the Jago and the other ships and shuttles back to the village to scrap. They left my belongings to me to do what I wished with them, and that included the Jago and shuttle.
I decided to leave it in a hidden cave in the abandoned mountain. It wasn't like I knew how to pilot or operate it. I walked through it one last time. It was quiet and empty. Kiko had left a hologram image above the beds in the sky deck of all of us having dinner at the table one night before the race started. I left it there and continued through each room. Everything was left like we were about to come back and resume bounty hunting across the galaxy again.
I left and watched the cargo bay doors close, revealing the tattered letters 'Jago' across the ship's body. I said goodbye to it and made my way up the mountain to a spot where Kiko and I would frequently watch the stars at night when we were living here.
I found a small opening in the cave that faced the beautiful scenery of the entire village, and placed the few items I brought with me there. I left the same hologram image that Cashel always had displayed in his room. It was of Rei, Kiko, Tammy and I when we were all laughing together in the sky deck. I also left Rei's iconic blaster she always had with the twinulator attached, Kiko's black-bladed knife with the burned-out firestar, and Tammy's data preserver.
I set them down gently next to each other and took the data preserver back in my hand. Tammy's data strand on my pinky glowed steadily. I had listened to the contents of the data preserver so many times that I've already memorized it, but I decided to play it one last time before leaving their belongings to watch over the village… and myself.
Sarth… if you're listening to this, then that means I was unable to tell you this in person which I should've done a long time ago... There is so much I want to tell you, but unfortunately I won't have the chance to in person. What I wanted to tell you… were my true feelings.
By now you must know that Mechanites are incapable of such emotions, yet here I am, able to tell you the impact you've given me since we first met not that long ago. At first I wasn't sure what I was feeling, only that I had a longing to listen to you, talk to you, and just be around you. I didn't know what it was that was drawing me to you; until I came to my own conclusion… it had to be love.
The realization of such a human emotion only made me more curious about you. I, however, know where your true feelings are directed, and I was, and still am, hoping you tell her how you truly feel. Don't let her go. I know how she feels about you too; I've been watching both of your life-signs after all. She needs you, more than you know. We all do. If there's one thing we all want for you, it's to continue to live on. You may feel hopeless and alone sometimes, but never forget how much you mean to us… to me. Live on Sarth, and find your true path in life. The Jago and her crew will always be there for you.
Take care Sarth, and there's one last thing I need to tell you, the Breccan and its crew… they're still alive.
This is a shoutout to my very first fan SGAuthor!!
Thank you so much for being the very first reader and commenting on every chapter of the story!!
And here's to Banitt to being a close second!!
If you enjoyed this story I HIGHLY RECOMMEND checking out theirs!!
At some point this entire story will be edited and updated. Some portions might change.
July 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm
Total time word document was open: 1410:05:00