Jago: The Millennium Galaxy Race

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 30 (v.4) - Decisions

Submitted: August 04, 2017

Reads: 36

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Submitted: August 04, 2017

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Part 6:Subliminal Stone

Chapter 30: Decisions

 

The gloom of losing Cashel hung with everyone in the Jago. It was quiet. I’d never seen everyone so devastated before. Even Tammy didn’t talk for the first few days. She sat alone on the flight deck most of the time.

On the day we left Tizarr, Kiko had taken her knife and smashed into the side of the extra bracelet I’d noticed on Tammy. She took it off her, threw it to the floor. “Better?” she asked.

Tammy nodded and Kiko left, and that was all I saw of her for the next two days.

“What is that?” I’d asked Tammy.

“It’s a stymer,” she answered with a robotic expression. “It inhibits Mechanites from communicating with electrical devices.”

She rubbed her wrist.

“Those racers had something like that?”

“They had help from other Mechanites whom I encountered on my way to save Cashel.”

She turned around to resume control of the flight deck, and that was all I got from her for the next few days.

Eventually we all wandered onto the flight deck at the same time. It was like, even though we weren’t finished grieving, we knew time wouldn’t stand still for us. Decisions had to be made. I looked around at each one of the girl’s closed off faces. “So, where are we going now?”

Kiko took the two stones from her pocket and slammed them on the table where I was sitting. “To finish the race.”

“That’s what Cashel wanted us to do,” Rei said.

The Jago hummed slightly as we all paused.

“Right, let’s finish it,” I agreed.

We all looked to Tammy who was still sitting in her chair facing the dark sun-shield. I knew she could tell we were waiting for her.

She swiveled around and declared our next destination. “I have the planet locations of the next two stones.” She opened a hologram of a planet. “Glutvagant is the closer planet to our current location.”

Rei looked surprised. “Glutvagant?”

“You’ve heard of it?” Tammy asked.

“Yeah,” Kiko answered. “It’s a common place for those who flee Drogonaaz to hide.”

“That’s understandable. The entire planet is quite vulgar, it’s the perfect place to lose pursuers.”

I didn’t know what they were talking about, so I asked, “What kind of planet is it?”

Tammy answered, “It’s an over-populated, metropolitan planet known to house the galaxy’s biggest black-market.”

That sounded like some areas that could be found on Sola. I thought about the large city and its hopefully-now collapsed slave trade, but it was entirely possible that someone else had taken up the job.

 “The third stone is there?” Kiko asked.

“Yes.” Tammy brought up a map. “I was scanning for the two remaining stones while we were on Tizarr.” The section panned out to show a blinking planet and zoomed in to enlarge it. It was a rather dark planet. “The closest one is on Glutvagant.”

“Do you know where the last one is?” Rei asked.

Tammy paused and then zoomed to a distant planet on the edge of the galaxy. It was a lot farther from us. There were two planets next to each other flashing this time.

“There’s two? What planets are those?” Rei asked.

“It’s …” She sounded bleak. “Thereon.”

Thereon? The name sounded familiar. Wait, could it be?

“Your home planet?” I asked.

“Yes.”

We all eyed Tammy as if we could read anything from her expressionless Mechanite face.

Rei stared at her. “Wasn’t there a reason you left?”

“Yes, I have my reasons.”

“Are you okay with going back? Maybe we should go without you.”

“I’ll be fine. You’ll need my help getting there anyway.” We gave her a worried look. “It’s unfortunate the stone landed there, but it needs to be retrieved. We should concentrate on the third stone first.”

The three of us nodded.

“How long will it take to get there?”

“Three days.”

Only three days? It didn’t seem like enough time to prepare, but then I realized there wasn’t really anything to prepare for.

#

It was a lot harder to concentrate on our goal with so many memories of Cashel scattered randomly throughout the ship. Kiko spent all her time in the training room, and Rei spent hers in the sky deck, leaving Tammy to pack up most of his belongings since she knew what stuff was his.

If missing Cashel was hard for me, I was sure it was ten times harder for everyone else. I’d only known him for just less than a year, but the others had been with him for years. Especially Tammy. Cashel had mentioned to me once that Tammy was his first Jago crewmember and that she had been with him ever since she was a tiny tot.

My concern for her escalated when a few days before we were to land, an alarm went off because of an electrical power spike that surged up from where her braid was pressed against her chair. Mistakes were unheard of from her. That was a red flag that something was wrong, so I made up a reason to visit her. I found her standing outside Cashel’s room, staring at his door. I knew it pained her to collect his items.

“You knew him the longest, didn’t you?” I asked while she was in front of his door, her arms full of his tools and small gadgets.

She sighed slightly and looked down at the stuff she was carrying. “Yes, I’ve known him for most of my life.”

She opened the door and walked inside. I’d only been inside Cashel’s room a few times, but every time, he had been sitting there at his desk fiddling with something new. Now it was strange seeing the empty chair. It made me feel hollow, and the ship feel hollow too. I knew Tammy felt this void the most.

She set the items in a bin and turned to leave.

“Are you … all right?” I asked.

“I’m fine,” she said simply.

I didn’t believe her. I followed her back to her room where she continued to work at her desk.

I sat at the side of her bed and ended up falling asleep. Awoken later by the flickering lights throughout the ship, I saw Tammy at her desk, asleep as well. Her hair flickered irregularly along with the lights. I quietly got up from the floor and went to move her to her bed. There was an image from a memory flasher of all of us, including Cashel, projected on her desk.

I could tell she hadn’t slept in a while because she was still in a deep sleep as I pulled the covers over her. The flickering stopped, and her hair started glowing peacefully again. It was down from her usual braids and resting on her chest.

I did something I’d always wanted to do since I’d met her. I always thought asking her would be awkward, but I was like a moth to a flame, and before I knew it I was running my fingers through her glowing hair. It was incredibly soft and silky smooth. The glowing intensified in the areas I touched, and a low electric current ran through my fingers. It tickled.

I stopped playing with her hair when I realized how weird I probably looked and sat back down at the side of her bed only to fall back to sleep.

I woke up a few hours later, trying to remember where I was. I recognized Tammy’s room, but then I felt something leaning on me. I glanced over and saw Kiko asleep on my shoulder along with Rei on hers. We were all together, trying to fill the hole left by Cashel’s death. We slept like that the rest of the nights on the ship.

#

Landing day arrived quickly. Tammy was busy on the flight deck trying to keep our ship hidden from onlookers since it was probably now broadcasted throughout the galaxy that we already had two of the four stones.

She landed the ship in a desolate area of the city.

“You think the Jago will be okay here?” Kiko asked.

She answered as she opened the cargo doors. “I’ve managed to conceal our entrance with a counterfeit identification, but we shouldn’t stay too long.”

“How long is too long?” I asked.

“A month at the most.”

“Oh that’s not too bad!” Rei said. “I was thinking like two days or somethin’ like that.”

Kiko spoke again. “You think we can find the stone within a month?”

“If we don’t digress, yes, I think we can.”

We walked out of the ship, and I got my first view of the planet. It was dark, and apparently was always dark. It didn’t have a sun; instead, the planet’s core was the sun. The farther you went down in the ground, the hotter it became. Because of this, everyone lived as high as they could. There were skyscrapers everywhere. There wasn’t a piece of land that didn’t have some sort of building on it; even where we landed was inside of a tall building, far from the baking ground.

Kiko stepped in front of us and held up a hand to stop us. “We’re going to stick together, get the stone, and get off.”

Simple, easy, and we all agreed. Tammy carried the elemental stone, and I was holding the newly named morph stone since they had low synergy with us. She said it took the stones off the radar almost completely so it was best if we held them. No one argued.

The first thing on our agenda was to buy a cheap shuttle ship since there was no way of walking to the stone.

We let Tammy choose it, since she was the only one with money. She wore a cape with a hood that hid her glowing hair, and the rest of us wore a type of hoodie that hid most of our faces and made us appear as shadowy figures. We seemed to blend in with most of the population on the planet, which consisted of shady looking travelers.

Tammy bought a ship, and we piled in. I wasn’t too sure if it would last very long; it didn’t even have a roof, but Tammy chose it so I knew it had to be what we needed.

Tammy didn’t land the Jago too close to the stone to avoid bringing attention to ourselves so we drove in the traffic between skyscrapers for hours to get there. It wasn’t too bad of a drive because I got to see many strange things as we drove through the city.

Different sections housed different classes of citizens. We drove through one area that was well lit and had many nice shuttles driving everywhere and with everyone well-dressed and orderly. I’d say we stood out in our run-down shuttle, but little attention was given to us.

Where we fit in the best were the shabby areas. I could have sworn I saw another shuttle just like ours with similar looking, hooded figures inside. These areas were the most prominent and the most dangerous. Twice, Kiko had to stop some muggers from trying to take our ship by force. It was ruthless in those parts. I certainly didn’t want to be left alone there.

We took shifts driving so we could travel through the night. I had just ended my driving shift and was sitting in the back when I saw something that stopped my heart and made me sit upright.

Lone was walking casually into the building next to us.

I knew it was her. I could just tell it was. Something inside me made me want to follow her, and without thinking, I jumped off the ship, which was sitting in traffic, and onto the building’s platform to run after her, leaving the others behind.


© Copyright 2017 Anon Amous. All rights reserved.

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