The Legacy 2- Ghost Town

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Legacy team go to investigate a small town where all the residents have disappeared including one of their own who had gone to investigate earlier. What has happened to all the people and where could they be?

GHOST TOWN

Terry Chambers was woken in the early hours of the morning by a bright light shining through the small gap in the curtains.  She sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, trying to shield them from the bright light.

Where was all that light coming from, she thought.  Even the streetlamps didn’t produce this much light.  And the nearest streetlamp was across the road and a little further down the street.

Terry threw back the duvet and got out of bed, putting on her dressing gown.  As Terry drew back the curtains a little, she was suddenly blinded by the intensely bright light.  She covered her eyes with her hand to protect them, and tried to see what was causing the light, but it was far too bright to see anything but the light.  It was so bright it turned the street outside into the sunniest of days.  But much brighter.  Too bright to see anything but the light.

Terry tried to see what was causing the light but couldn’t see its source.  Just that it came from somewhere in the sky.  She shut the curtains again to block out some of the light and turned as the phone began to ring.  She stepped over to it and sat down on the bed as she picked up the receiver, placing it to her ear.  As she did so all she could hear was a loud high-pitched buzzing.  So loud she had to take the receiver away from her ear very quickly.  Something was interfering with the phone lines.  Probably the same thing that was causing the light.  Could this be the UFO they had been sent here to investigate?  The S.E.T.I. Foundation had thought that maybe this could be the UFO that had been seen several times in the past few weeks.  Could it possibly be the Greys?  They had been seen many times in the past.

Terry quickly stood and opened the door to see her partner about to knock.

“Terry,” Ian Peebles began when she opened the door.  “Got any ideas about this light?”

“It could be the UFO,” Terry suggested.

“That did cross my mind.”

“I was just bout to go outside to see what this thing is,” Terry added.

“You read my mind,” Ian added.  “Just came to see if this had woken you as well.”

“Who could miss it?”  Terry pulled he door to and they both began to make their way downstairs and outside, along with several other people also staying at the small hotel.

As they stepped outside, they saw what was causing the bright light, along with something else.

Terry began to scream at what she saw, something no one else expected to see.

 

Mick paced the lounge.  The waiting was killing him.  What was taking so long?  Surely it should only take a few minutes.

Nick stopped pacing when he heard the door open and saw Dael enter.

“Well?” Nick asked, stepping up to Dael.

“Yes,” Dael answered, then saw the look on Nick’s face.  Neither of them were expecting this.  “Nick, I’m keeping the baby,” she continued.  “If you don’t want this baby, I can- “

“Of course I want the baby.  I would never abandon you to bring this baby up alone.”  He stepped towards Dael and gave her a hug.

“But we haven’t been together that long,” Dael pointed out.

“It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been together,” Nick said.  “It’s happened now and I’m here.  I’m not going anywhere.”

Cai stopped when he entered the lounge and saw Nick and Dael hugging.

“Am I missing something?” Cai asked.

Nick and Dael let go of each other and turned to Cai.  “So, what are you two hiding?” Cai continued.  “It’s written all over your faces.

Nick and Dael looked at each other and Dael nodded, with a smile on her face.

“Dael’s pregnant,” Nick informed him.

“Really?” Cai asked.  “Is that a good thing?” he asked, looking from one to the other.

“Of course it’s a good thing,” Nick assured him.

“I know it wasn’t planned,” Dael added.  “But it’s happened now.”

“Are you happy about it?” Cai asked.

Nick and Dael looked at each other for a moment.  “Yes we are,” Nick finally said.

“Then congratulations.”  Cai stepped over and hugged Dael.  “I guess you two are right out in the open now,” he added.

“I guess we are,” Dael agreed.

Jack stepped into the room and stopped.  “Am I interrupting something?” he asked, glancing from one to the others.

“I’ll explain later,” Dael said, waving it away.

“Remember that UFO report in Shropshire that was in the paper a few days ago?” Jack asked.

“Yeah,” Nick said.  “Didn’t the S.E.T.I. Foundation go and investigate?”

“Yeah.  They sent a couple of people,” Cai added.

“Well,” Jack continued.  “’The Powers That Be’ have contacted us this morning.  The S.E.T.I. foundation lost contact with their people last night and the radar picked up the UFO again.  Ever since then they haven’t been able to make contact.  And not just the two people they sent there.  But with the whole village.”

“The whole village?” Cai asked.

Jack nodded.  “Nothing can get through.”

“Nothing?” Nick asked.

“Nothing.  No phone signal, nothing.  Satellite images show it looks empty.”

“And you was us to and check it out?”

“Not you, Cai,” Jack stated.

“Why not me?” Cai asked, confused.

“’The Powers That Be’ are sending someone as well and they only want Nick to come.”

“Why?” Nick asked, just as confused.  He hadn’t done a job on his own for a long time.

“They just sat it’s because you’re more experienced at this.  You haven’t been on too many jobs yet.”

“That’s it?” Cai asked.

“Afraid so,” Jack confirmed.  “You stay here or neither go.

Nick felt there was more to this than what they had told Jack.  Something wasn’t right and the ‘Powers That Be’ weren’t telling them what that was.  They did have a habit of not telling them everything.  Nick just wished he could find out who these people were that kept sending them these jobs.  He knew they were high up in the government somewhere.  The ones he had met in the beginning were in the government but weren’t the ones right up there.  Those people where top secret.

 

As Jack entered the lounge and saw Cai and Lily watching a movie on the 60-inch tv mounted on the wall.  Jack glanced at the TV for a moment to see what the movie was.

“Good film?” he asked.

“Not bad,” Lily answered.  “It’s number one on the Netflix chart.  Thought we’d check it out.  Don’t know why it’s number one though.  It’s not that good.”

Jack’s mobile phone began to ring, and he took it out of his pocket.

“Hello?” he asked.  However, all Jack could hear was static.  “Nick?” he asked again.  As Jack listened, he thought he hear a voice.  “Nick, is that you?”

Cai and Lily turned at the mention of Nick’s name.

“Nick?” Jack asked again.  He couldn’t be sure it was Nick on the phone even though the call came from his phone because of the interference. Then the line suddenly went dead and Jack stared at it for a moment.

“Jack?” Cai asked, becoming concerned.

“I think it was Nick,” Jack said.  “I can’t be sure.  I could barely hear him.  I think he asked for help.”

Cai rushed for the door.

“Cai, wait,” Jack said, rushing after him.  “You can’t go on your own.”

“Nick could be in trouble,” Cai said.  “I’m going,” he insisted.  “I can’t just sit here waiting to see if he’ll ring again.”

“You can’t go by yourself,” Jack repeated.

“I’ll go with him,” Lily said.

Jack and Cai turned to her.

“I can do this,” she insisted.  “And as you said, he can’t go by himself.”

“But you’ve never- “

“Been in the field before?” Lily asked.  “I can do more than just research.  Cai has been teaching me a few things.”

Jack turned to Cai.

“Maybe a few things,” Cai admitted, with a slight smile.  “Thought it might come in handy.”

“Okay,” Jack finally said.  “But you can’t go now. It’s dark.  You won’t get there until the early hours of the morning.”

“I’m not waiting until morning.” Cai ran up the stars to pack a few things.  Jack and Lily just watched him go.

“Keep an eye on him,” Jack instructed Lily.

“I will,” Lily answered.

“Both of you be careful,” he added.  “And if anything- “

“I’m sure Nick is fine,” Lily assured him.

Jack hoped so.

 

Lily was waiting by the main door with her own bag when Cai came down the stairs.  Jack and Dael approached as they were about to open the door.

“Be careful,” Dael said, giving Cai a hug.

“I will,” Cai answered.  “I promise.”

“Don’t make promises you might not be able to keep,” Dael added.

“We will be keeping this promise,” Cai said.  “I promise.”

“Nick explained about you,” Dael said.  “He told me everything.”

“He did?” Cai asked.  Dael nodded.  “Then he truly trusts you.  He wouldn’t have told you otherwise.”

Jack held out the keys to the Land Rover parked outside and Lily took the keys.  “I’m driving,” she said as Cai reached for the keys also.  He didn’t argue though.

“You’re very quiet,” Lily observed as they were nearing the village.

Cai glanced at her for a moment then returned his eyes to the road.

“Don’t worry too much about Nick,” Lily said.  “it might not be anything.”

“He wouldn’t’ve called if it wasn’t anything,” Cai said.

“You don’t know that,” Lily said, taking her eyes off the road for a moment.

“What else could it be?”

Just as Lily returned her eyes to the road the Land Rover suddenly hit something unseen.  The Land Rover had come to a complete stop and there was smoke coming from the bonnet.

“Cai, are you alright?” Lily asked.  At first, Cai didn’t answer.  “Cai?” Lily asked again.

“I’m okay,” Cai finally answered.

Lily unfastened her seatbelt then leaned over to unfasten Cai’s belt.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” Lily asked again.  She could see he was a little dazed.

Cai just nodded.  Lily could see he was experiencing a little pain but was holding it back.  It was probably from the seat belt pulling tight across his chest and the airbag hitting him in the face.

“What did I hit?” Lily finally asked, trying to look over the steering wheel, and pushing the airbag out of the way the best she could.  She couldn’t see anything in front of the car, so it was impossible to know what she had hit.

“I don’t know,” Cai answered.  He got out of the Land Rover.  “I didn’t see anything either.  Cai took a deep breath and felt a slight pain in his chest where the seat belt had pulled tight against him.  But he was alright.

Lily got out of the Land Rover on her side and began to make her way round to the front to see what she had hit but was suddenly stopped by something invisible.

“Cai,” Lily began, “there’s something here.”  Lily placed her hand up against whatever it was.

Cai turned to her and began to walk to the front of the Land Rover also.  “How can there be something there?” he asked as he stepped forward.

“There is something there,” Lily insisted.  “Feel it.”

Cai reached out and touched whatever it was.  “So there is,” Cai agreed, incredibly surprised as he felt the glassy surface.

“What is that?” Cai asked, also touching the surface.

“I think it’s a force field,” Lily said.  “That’s what it is.”

“Earth isn’t capable of a force field yet,” Cai said.

“Not that we know of,” Lily said slyly.

“That could only mean one thing,” Cai said.

“The Na’en,” Lily stated.

“But they’re not suppose to be here for another two hundred years,” Cai added.  “So, why are they here now?”

“Maybe something changed because you and Nick came here,” Lily thought.

“Changed the future you mean?” Cai asked.

“Maybe.”

Cai turned back to the force field.  “There has to be a way through here,” he said as he placed his hand on the glassy surface of the force field once more.

“Maybe if we follow it,” Lily suggested, “we can find what is powering the force field and find a way to turn it off.”

“Worth a go.”

As Lily continued to touch the surface of the force field, she suddenly found a weak spot and suddenly passed through to the other side.

“How’d you do that?” Cai asked, coming round to the other side of the Land Rover.

“I don’t know,” Lily said.  “I just touched it and passed through.”

“Well, it’s solid now.”

“It must’ve been a weak point.  I must’ve caught it at just the right moment.”

“Wait here,” Cai said and returned to the Land Rover, returning a moment later with one of the stunners.

“How are you going to give me that?” Lily asked, placing her hands on her slim hips.

“This force field can’t go up forever,” Cai pointed out.  “It must stop somewhere.  Let’s jut hop it’s not too high to throw this over.”  Cai picked up a few large stones from the ground and took a few steps back.  Cai glanced up, then using his telekinesis he made the stones float upwards.  When the stones were about twenty feet high, he attempted to get the stones over the top.  The stones bounced off the force field on the first try.  And the second try.  However, on the third attempt the stones went over the top of the force field.

“I knew it!” Cai said with a satisfied smile.  “Get ready for the stunner.”

“What do I need a stunner for anyway?” Lily asked.

“I don’t like the idea of you unarmed on that side of the force field,” Cai said.  “If… the Na’en… or anyone else… are responsible for this and they aren’t friendly then they could still be around.”

Lily nodded in agreement.  It would be safer.  Not that she liked the idea of using the stunner.  Whether it was on stun or not.  Cai began to levitate the stunner into the aid.  But as the stunner was halfway Cai seemed to struggle.  He held it in one place for a moment, then began to concentrate a little harder.  Slowly the stunner began to rise once more and over the force field.  Cai lost control once more as the stunner sailed over the top of the force field and it dropped towards the ground.  Lily caught it before it hit the ground.

“What happened?” Lily asked when she saw Cai had lost control of his ability.

“I don’t know,” Cai answered.  “I just couldn’t keep a hold of it,” he explained.  “Must’ve been the force field interfering somehow.”

“How are you going to get through?” Lily asked, changing the subject.

“I’ll find a way,” Cai said.  “Don’t worry.  And be careful,” he added as an afterthought.

Lily smiled at Cai.  “I’ll try and stay where you’ll be able to find me.”

Cai nodded and he watched Lily begin to walk towards the small village.

“Right,” Cai said to himself, rubbing his hands together against the morning chill, “which way do I go now?”  He looked both left and right, trying to decide which was best.  Cai finally decided to go right as left looked hillier.  Why make it hard if it wasn’t necessary.  Before he set off Cai returned to the Land Rover and picked up the remaining stunner, which he strapped to his leg, and his backpack.  He then began to follow the force field as best he could, away from the road, trying to find a way over to the other side.  There had to be a way to the other side somewhere.  Lily had found a way.  Maybe he could find a weak point also and be able to pass through.  Or maybe he could find out what was powering this force field and turn it off.  Cai didn’t like to leave Lily on her own for too long.  She wasn’t trained for this.  She worked mostly on the computers doing research.  This was her first time in the field.  Cai hadn’t been trained for this either, only what Nick had taught him over the passed few years.  However, he was getting better at controlling his abilities.

After Cai had been walking for a little while he looked u and saw a tree where the branches were hanging over the top of the force field.  Maybe he could climb the tree and along the branch to the other side.

Cai began to climb, making his way along the branch.  When Cai was far enough over the force field, he slipped off the branch and hung by his hands, dropping to the ground.  Cai rubbed his hands together to rid them of a few flakes of bark that had come away while moving along the branch.  He then began to make his way towards the village to find Lily.  And maybe Nick also.

 

As Lily entered the village after the 2 mile walk along the empty road, she saw just how empty the place was.  There wasn’t a soul to be seen anywhere.  Not even a dog or cat.  Where was everyone?  What had these aliens done with them all?  If it was them.  And where was Nick?  Could he have been taken also?  And if so, where to?

As Lily made her way passed some local shops, she glanced through the window to see if anyone was inside, but the shop was empty.  Then, just as Lily was about to go into another shop, she saw the Discovery outside the small pub that was also a bed and breakfast.  Lily just stood and stared.  All four tyres were flat, and the windows had been smashed.  The paint work looked like it had been subjected to intense heat.  Several other cars nearby appeared to have suffered the same thing.  And the surrounding buildings had been scorched also.

From where Lily stood, she couldn’t see if anyone were inside the Discovery.  She was almost too afraid to look.  But Lily had to find out if Nick or the agent he had been working with was inside.

Lily gripped the stunner heard and slowly began to walk towards the Discovery.  As she stepped up to the side of the vehicle, she saw that it was empty.  Nick or the high government agent were not there.  Lily breathed a sigh of relief.  However, just because the two of them weren’t here didn’t mean they were still alive.  Lily just hoped for Cai and Dael’s sake Nick was safe somewhere, if not in the town.

Lily turned as she heard a noise and looked around but couldn’t see anything.  Maybe it was just her imagination, or just the stillness of this village that she was jumping at every sound she heard.  Although it still made her uneasy.  This was like ghost town.  Like a new Roanoke.

 

He moved away from the door when the woman turned his way.  He didn’t want to be seen.  Not until he could be sure about who she was.  He would have to be more careful if he didn’t want her to see him yet.  He couldn’t afford to make any more noise.

Who was this woman, he thought.  And how did she get passed the force field?  It had taken him a while to find a way over the force field.  Maybe she had found a way through as some force fields had weak spots that allowed things to pass through them.  But the question remained, who was she and why was she here?  He knew whose car she was standing beside.  The same person who he was searching for.  Was she searching for him also?  He knew she wasn’t Na’en or Marubi, he had seen her eyes.  Maybe she was here to investigate the missing people in the village.  And maybe that’s where Nicaal was.  Why would a man do this to his own son?  Nicaal had come here to investigate the UFO and now they were missing.  He was just glad he had managed to escape the Na’en when he had.

 

“Lily,” Cai called when he saw her standing by the Discovery.

Lily turned when she heard her name called and was so glad to see another face in all this quiet.  She stepped up to him and away from the Discovery.

“You got here fast,” Lily said.

“Found a tree and climbed over,” Cai explained.  “Then I ran the rest of the way.”

“You ran?”

“Didn’t take long,” Cai said.  “I can run faster than humans.”  He glanced over Lily’s shoulder.  “Is that our Discovery?” he asked, nodding to the black 4 x 4 behind her.

“Yeah, but before you ask, Nick’s not inside.  I haven’t had a chance to check inside the b and b yet.”

“What happened to it?” Cai asked as he stepped closer and passed his hand over the scorched surface.

“I don’t know.  But look around.  The buildings are scorched as well.”

“Are you alright?” Cai asked when he sensed Lily’s uneasiness.

“It’s probably nothing,” Lily said, shaking her head slightly.

“What’s nothing?” Cai asked, sensing that there was more to it.

“I heard a noise earlier.  Then I had a strange feeling that I was being watched.”

“Where did you hear the noise?”

Lily turned.  “Somewhere over there.”  She pointed to the building opposite them.

Cai stared at the building and concentrated, trying to find another presence.

“Cai?” Lily asked.  Cai didn’t answer.

“There is someone there,” Cai finally said.  “I can sense him.  But can’t read his mind.”

“So, he could be Na’en,” Lily stated.

“Only one way to find out.”  Cai began to make his way towards the building.  “I think you should stay here,” he added to Lily.

“You can’t do in there alone,” Lily said.  “I can take care of myself.  I do Tai Chi.”

Cai stared at her as she took out her stunner with a smile.  They both began to walk towards the small shop where Lily had heard the noise.

Just as they were about to enter, they saw a figure move in the shadows.  Cai and Lily glanced at each other for a moment, then entered the shop.  The man stared at them for a moment then ran to the back of the shop.  Cai and Lily ran after him.  The man stopped when he came to a dead end.  There was nowhere he could go.

“Who are you?” Cai asked, aiming the stunner in his direction.  Cai took his glasses off so he could see better in the dull light of the shop.  As soon as the man saw Cai’s eyes, he knew who he was and took a step forward.  Lily aimed her stunner at him also.

“Your Highness,” he said.  “I didn’t recognise you.  You look different from the image I have of you.”  He pointed to Lily.  “But I wasn’t sure about her.”

“Your Highness?” Cai asked, not understanding.

“I saw the image your grandfather has of you as a child.  You look like your father.  That’s how I knew who you were.”

“My grandfather?” Cai asked.

The man stepped closer, seeing Cai’s confusion.  “Did your father tell you nothing of where you’re from?” he asked.

“I know where I’m from, when I was born.  But the highness thing?” Cai lowered his stunner slightly but kept alert.  “How come you are here?  Has the Na’en arrived before we thought?”

“What?” the guy asked.

“I was only five when Nick bought me here from the future.  The Na’en came to Earth two hundred years from now.  Or at least that’s what we thought.”

“So, you don’t know?” he stated.

“Know what?” Cai asked.

“Your grandfather used the same device that you and your father used to come here to find you both.  From another dimension.  This is not the same dimension that the Na’en first arrived in.”

“How did that happen?” Cai asked.  “I thought we had just travelled to the past.”

The guy shook his head.  “No.  I believe Kurn messed with the device and your grandfather came to find you both.”

“Why would he do that?” Cai asked.

“I believe Kurn wanted you both out the way.  And he knew what your father had planned so he … tinkered with the device to send you somewhere else.  Didn’t your father tell you who his father is?”

“Nick hasn’t told me anything about his father.”

“So, you have no idea,” he continued.  “Your grandfather is the leader of the Na’en.”

“What?” Cai asked.  “The leader? Like a king?”

“More like an emperor.”

“How do we know you’re telling us the truth?” Lily asked, still aiming her stunner at him.

He looked at them both.  “I am open to you,” he said, looking at Cai.  “Read my mind and you’ll see I hold no lies.”

Cai lowered his stunner and began to read the man’s mind.  He saw almost everything in his mind.

“He’s telling truth,” Cai finally said.  “But I felt there was a lot more you haven’t told us yet.”

“There are a few things.” He knew he had held some things back and knew he would have to tell all eventually.  They had a right to know if he wanted them to trust him.  “I am…was… a Na’en slave,” he finally said.  “I was captured when I was fifteen.  The Na’en trained me to be an assassin.  But I managed to escape.”

“A Na’en slave?” Cai asked.

“I am Marubi.  Not Na’en.”

***

Cai put another log on the fire as they sat around it in the pub.It had started to snow outside and was beginning to get dark.They couldn’t go wandering around out there in the dark.Anything could happen.And with no lights anywhere it was going to be pitch black.

“You say you’re Marubi,” Cai began.“But you look just like I do.”

“That’s an easy question,” Garion stated.“The Na’en and the Marubi were once one people.A long time ago.Then some Na’en developed a new talent which was considered… unsavoury.Anyone who was found to have this ability were banished to a neighbouring planet.There began the Marubi.”

“What is this ability?” Lily asked.

“Shapeshifting,” Garion explained.

“Shapeshifting?” Cai asked.

Garion nodded.“I can change into anyone or anything.The word ‘Marubi’, the name of our planet, is an old Na’en word for new form or something like that.There isn’t an exact translation.”

“How did you end up here?” Lily asked.

“Ah,” Garion began.“Well, our planet is inhabitable because of the war we had with the Na’en which also became inhabitable.The Marubi just followed the Na’en here.”

“Are you still at war?” Cai asked.

“More a cease fire,” Garion explained.“You stay away from us and we stay away from you, sort of thing.The Marubi have two bigger and more powerful Motherships and the Na’en know it.They know that if they try something then the Marubi will stop them.”

“So, how did you get captured?” Lily asked.

“My own stupid fault.I had an argument with my father and took a shuttle out.That’s when I strayed a little too close to the Na’en Mothership.But I think Laagan kept me for revenge.”

“Revenge?” Lily asked.

“Something I doubt Nicaal…Nick…knows.His mother managed to escape the Na’en Mothership and came to the Marubi Mothership.”

“Escape?” Lily asked, more confused than ever.

“The Na’en treat women quite different than the Marubi do.They have no freedom.They are considered property.All marriages are arranged, and the man can treat the woman as he wishes.Nick’s mother had the sense to escape with two other women.If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”

“She’s your mother as well, isn’t she?” Cai asked, as he suddenly realised what he was trying to say.

“Yes, she is,” Garion answered.

“Nick has no idea about you, does he?” Cai asked.

Garion shook his head.“I don’t think he does.Even though I was on the Mothership at the same time he was.For a while, anyway.”

“So, how long have you been here?” Lily asked.

“Not long,” Garion began.“I was here to assassinate a politician.It was a pregnant woman.I couldn’t do it.So, I…disappeared.”

“Have you been sent down before?” Cai asked.

“A few times.I hated doing it, but I had no choice.”

“Everyone has a choice,” Lily said.

Garion shook his head.“Not slaves.They put a chip in my head that made me do what I was ordered.But I saw who I had to kill this time and I just forced myself not to kill this time.I don’t know how I did it but it hurt like hell.”

“How can you be sure you are Nick’s half-brother?” Cai asked.

“My mother talked about her two sons that she left behind all the time.And the daughter she lost.She would have taken them with her if she could.”

“Two sons?” Cai asked.

“You didn’t know Nick had another brother?”

“No, I didn’t,” Cai answered.

“I was captured after Nick left for here, so I don’t think he knows about me.Or his mother or half-sisters.”

“Half-sisters? Cai asked.He couldn’t believe what he was learning about his father for the first time.Why hadn’t Nick told him all this?

Garion nodded.“I have two sisters.One older and one younger.My older sister is heir to Marubi.”

“Your sister?” Lily asked, surprised.

“The Marubi do things differently,” Garion explained.“First born become heir, whether it’s a boy or a girl.Females are equal to males.”

“Do you know where Nick is?” Cai asked.

Garion shook his head.“But I know he is here somewhere.Along with the man he came here with. I know they are still alive.I’m sure of it.”

“Is this my grandfather’s doing?”

“No.This is Nick’s brother, Kurn, who is doing this,” Garion corrected.

“Nick has another brother?” Cai asked, still taking it all in.

Garion nodded.“And he’s not a very nice person.He, and several other men have gone north.They came down in a shuttle somewhere.He sent a second battalion here under his father’s orders, to secure a town for later use.There are rumours that they are planning to try and take Earth soon.The Marubi are watching them closely so they are doing it slowly.The Na’en will fill this town with their own people, given the chance.”

“That’s why they cleared it.”

Garion nodded.

“Did us coming here change things?” Cai asked.

“That is possible,” Garion said.“Maybe if you had stayed where you were it might have still happened.But more in the future.”

While they were talking the lights suddenly blinked out and left them with just the light from the fire.

“Great.That’s all we need,” Lily said, putting her cup down on the table.

“It’s probably the force field,” Garion explained.“It’s probably blocking the electricity coming through the power lines.Like its blocking everything else.”

“Why now?” Lily asked.“Why not block all the electricity all the time?”

“It could be a timer,” Garion explained.“This type of force field is from the Na’en but has been perfected over the years.”

“We can’t stay in the dark,” Lily said, feeling a little uncomfortable in the dark, knowing what was out there.

“There’s a DIY shop not far from here,” Garion said.“We could get some candles and lanterns”.

“Come on,” Cai said, getting to his feet.“Let’s go and get those candles and lanterns.”

“And maybe find some food on the way back,” Lily suggested.

“This’s a pub,” Cai pointed out.“Check the kitchens.”

“Good idea,” Lily answered with a nod.“I’ll go see what I can find.”

Garion stood and he and Cai left the pub.Outside it was completely dark without the streetlights and it was difficult to see where they were walking.Garion led the way around the corner and towards the DIY shop.

“You certainly know your way around this village,” Cai observed.

“I have been here for a few days.I was here before the Na’en.I was lucky enough to be able to hide from them.Then I saw Nick but couldn’t get to him and…”

“The other guy,” Cai added.“I don’t know his name.”

“Whoever he was,” Garion continued.“Before Kurn’s people did.I’ve searched this whole village and I can’t find them.I know they are here somewhere because no shuttle has returned yet.”

“How are you so sure?”

“Because I haven’t seen a shuttle and Kurn would not allow Nick to be taken back aboard the Mothership.”

“Why not?” Cai asked.

“Because he wants the leadership for himself and will do anything to get it.”

“Anything?”

“If he can get away with it, yes.”

“So, he could want us dead.”

Garion nodded.“Anyone that stands in his way to the leadership.”

“What makes you think he hasn’t killed Nick already?”

“Because I tried to contact him.I didn’t get through, but I did feel his presence.”

Cai reached for the door handle and turned it, but the door was locked.Cai was just about to smash a window when Garion stopped him.

“I have a much easier way to open the door without making any noise.” Garion pointed his finger at the keyhole, and it suddenly changed shape, becoming a key.He inserted it into the keyhole and adjusted it so it would fit and open the door.Cai was amazed by what he saw.He hadn’t seen any shapeshifting before, and it impressed him.

“This should open the door much easier and with less destruction,” Garion said.After a moment Garion withdrew his finger and it returned to its normal shape.

“How do you do that?” Cai asked.

“Shapeshifting,” Garion explained.“Most Marubi can shapeshift in some form or another.Except for the women.”

“Why not women?” Cai asked, confused.

Garion shrugged.“Not sure why.Something to do with them having children, I think.The funny thing is that the Na’en are now starting to shapeshift.”

“They are?Then maybe Nick and I can shapeshift.”

“It’s possible.Unless you know you could shapeshift you wouldn’t thing about trying.”Garion pushed the door open and as they entered the shop, they heard a dog growl somewhere in the back.

“He’s over there somewhere,” Garion whispered, pointing in the direction he heard the dog.

Cai slowly began to approach the German Shepherd when they saw him in the dark, being careful not to show any fear.

“Hello there,” Cai said, crouching a little and holding out his hand to him.

The German Shepherd slowly came forward a little and began to sniff Cai’s hand.His scent was much like that of the others who had come here but the dog was sure he could trust these strangers.He sensed no danger or fear from them.He began to wag his tail to let them know he was friendly.Then began to lick Cai’s hand.

“He’s alright,” Cai said, patting the German Shepherd gently on the head.“You look like you could do with a good feed,” Cai added.The German shepherd gave a quiet bark.

“What’s his name, do you think?” Garion asked.

Cai took hold of the German Shepherd’s tag and read the name on it.“Trinity?” Cai asked.“Is that our name?”

Trinity barked once.

“Looks like Trinity it is then.”Cai smiled at the Garion.

“Let’s get those candles and lanterns and get back to Lily,” Garion said.

Cai nodded and stood upright.He picked up a lantern he saw on a shelf close by, then a box of candles.Trinity suddenly turned to the door and began to growl once more.

“What is it?” Garion asked.He stepped beside the German Shepherd and looked outside but couldn’t see anything but the darkness.

“Can you see anything?” Cai asked as he came closer.

Before Garion could answer a bright light appeared in the sky, blinding them both.Even Trinity had to look away.

“They’re back!” Garion said.“They must’ve known we’re here.”

“Lily!” Cai suddenly said and began to run for the door.Garion and Trinity ran after him.

“Cai, wait,” Garion called and grabbed hold of his arm.

“I can’t leave Lily in the hotel.I know Lily.She’ll want to know what this light is.”Cai freed his arm and continued towards the hotel.

As Cai and Garion neared the pub hotel they saw Lily standing within the light and a second blue light was shining down on her.

“They’re scanning her,” Garion explained and raised his stunner to the light and began firing up at the source.All Cai could do was watch.Cai’s stunner wasn’t as powerful as the one that Garion had, so it wasn’t any help.

After just a few seconds the blue light was extinguished, and Lily fell to the ground.Cai ran to her.He picked her up and carried her inside where he took her to one of the rooms and laid her down on the bed.Cai then placed one of his hands just a few inches above her head and tried to find out if she was alright.

“I can’t find anything wrong with her,” Cai finally said.“I don’t think that light has done any harm.”

“You’re a healer?” Garion asked when he saw what Cai was trying to do.

“Not exactly,” Cai answered.“But I can detect if there are any injuries.I can heal minor injuries sometimes.”

“Then can you heal this?” Garion asked and raised the sleeve of his left arm to reveal a bandage almost completely red with blood.

“What happened to you?” Cai asked when he saw the blood.

“I took the tracer out of my arm so the Na’en can’t find me.”

“Tracer?” Cai asked, confused.

“It is how they keep track of me.Laagan does the same to his family.”

“He does what?” Cai asked.

‘’You didn’t know?’’ Garion asked.

“No.”

“Nick will probably have one, too,” Garion continued.“So will you.They are injected at birth so they can be easily found.That’s what the tattoo i for.” Garion pointed to the mark on Cai’s arm.“To hide the scare.”

“I didn’t know that,” Cai said.“I thought that was a birthmark.”

Garion shook his head.“Not a birthmark.”

“So, that’s why they came here,” Cai continued.“Because they knew we were here.”

“Probably.”

“So, why not come and get us long time ago?”

“That I don’t know.”

“Why take your out?”

“I had to.I don’t want to go back to being a slave.With the implant I could be traced almost anywhere.I wanted to be free to do my own thing.”

“That must really hurt,” Cai said, nodding to Garion’s arm.

“It did.But I didn’t have a choice.It was take it out or be recaptured if I failed to carry out my orders.”

Cai took the bandage from Garion’s arm and placed his hand over the wound, beginning to concentrate, drawing on his energy to heat he wound.Garion winced as he felt the wound close.After no more than a minute Cai took his hand away.The wound was completely healed and looked like it had never bee there at all.

“You should rest,” Garion advised.“You look tired.I can guard over night.”

“I am tired,” Cai admitted.He at down on a chair and watched Lily as she lay on the bed.Garion turned towards the door.“I’ll be downstairs.” He knew he wouldn’t leave Lily now.He sensed there was more there between them than either of them were ready to admit to.

“Garion,” Cai began.“If anything happens, wake me.”

Garion nodded and left them both alone.Cai settled back in the chair, watching Lily.He just hoped that light hadn’t done anything to Lily.She was so still.She looked to be in a very deep sleep.He cared for her more than he thought.He hadn’t realised just how much he did care about her until this had happened.

Slowly, Cai began to drift off to sleep in the chair as the night drifted on.

 

Trinity the German Shepherd lifted his head as Lily began to stir on the bed.Cai saw her move also and sat up straight.Cai quickly got to his feet and stepped over to the bed.

“What happened?” Lily asked as she opened her eyes, sitting up.

“Don’t you remember?” Cai asked.

Lily placed a hand to her forehead as she felt a slight headache.She tried to remember the events of the night before but drew a blank.

“The last thing I remember was a bright light,” she said.

“You were hit by some kind of blue light.Garion fired at it and it went out.He said they were scanning you.”

Lily swung her legs over the side of the bed and that’s when she saw the German Shepherd.

“Where’d he come from?” she asked.

“Found him at the D.I.Y. shop.His name is Trinity.He must belong to the owner.”

“Trinity?” Lily asked.

“That’s what it say’s on his tag.”

 

Garion glanced up as Cai and Lily entered the dining room.He was just putting the finishing touches to breakfast.

“You alright this morning?” Garion asked.

“Apart from a headache, I’m fine thanks,” Lily answered.

“You can cook?” Cai asked as they sat down at the table and saw the scrambled eggs on toast and coffee.

“I can manage this,” he said.“Although, this isn’t the first batch, or the second for that matter.”

“Didn’t get a chance on the Mothership?” Cai asked.

“No, not allowed.Our food was brought to us.”

“It looks great,” Lily said, beginning to eat.

“Tell me that after you’ve tasted it.”

Lily smiled as she began to eat.“It’s good,” she said.She saw the look on Cai’s face.“Honestly,” she added with a nod.“It’s better than mine.”

“Well, it’s got to be alright then,” Cai said and began to eat.

Lily thumped Cai on the shoulder playfully.

“Ou!” Cai complained, and rubbed the spot where Lily had hit him.

“You can’t cook?” Garion asked, glancing at them both.

“Yes I can,” Lily said.

“No you can’t,” Cai said with a smile.“Well, not very well anyway.”

“I think I need some clean clothes,” Lily said, changing the subject.She knew she wasn’t a particularly good cook and didn’t like to be reminded of that fact.

“Our bags are still in the car,” Cai explained.“I’m not climbing another tree for clean clothes.”

“There’s another way to get to your car,” Garion said.

“How?” Lily asked between mouthfuls.

“Follow me.” Garion picked up a slice of toast and led them out of the pub and along the road out of town, snacking on the toast as they walked.

“Where are we going?” Cai asked as they arrived back at the car that was still on the other side of the force field.

“To what is powering the force field,” Garion explained.“I should’ve done this ages ago,” he added and began to follow the force field.

“You know where it is?” Cai asked.

“Yes.I left the force field intact to stop other people from wandering in while I searched for Nick.I didn’t expect you to crash into it.”

“You saw that?” Lily asked.

Garion nodded.“I stayed around long enough to make sure you were alright.But I didn’t know who you were at the time.”

As they walked through the grass following the force field, the newly fallen snow crunched under their feet.The temperature had fallen considerably overnight, and they did need something warmer to wear.

“How did you know who I was?” Cai asked.

“I didn’t at first,” Garion began.“You could’ve been anyone.Then I saw your eyes.”

“But I still could’ve been one of Kurn’s men,” Cai told him.

“True, but I didn’t think so.I heard Lily call your name.That’s when I really knew who you were.Plus, you are not particularly good at blocking.”

Cai glanced away for a moment.“Sometimes I forget to block.Nick is still teaching me.”

“You should know by now.”

“I know I should, but I wasn’t a very good student when I was a teen.”

“Is that it?” Lily asked as they came close to a silver cylinder-like object half hidden by the undergrowth.

“That’s it,” Garion said.“There’s another three.One at each corner of the village.”

“And you know how to turn it off?” Lily asked.

“No idea,” Garion answered.“But I know how to get rid of it permentally.”Garion raised his taser at the force field emitter.As he beam hit the emitter it exploded, disengaging the force field.Three more explosions followed moments later at different points of the town.“That must be the other emitters,” Garion said.“They don’t work on their own.Has to be the full set.”

 

Once Cai and Lily had showered and changed back at the hotel, they sat down at the table trying to think of where they should search next for Nick and all the villagers.

“That water was freezing,” Lily complained, shivering.

“That’s because the electricity hasn’t come back on yet,” Cai explained.“It wasn’t that bad.”

“It was bad enough.I hate cold showers.”

“I know a place that I haven’t searched,” Garion suddenly said, remembering it.

“Where?” Cai asked, becoming more confident of finding his father.

“The caves,” Garion answered.

“There are caves here?” Lily asked.

“Yes.I think the hillside is riddled with them.”

“Then why didn’t you search them before?” Cai asked.“That’s got to where they are if you’re so convinced they’re still alive and around here somewhere.”

“Because the caves were outside the force field.I couldn’t get to them.Plus, the fact I saw several guards near there and couldn’t do this on my own without being seen.If you hadn’t come along I would’ve found a way.”

“Then let’s get going there.” Cai quickly got to his feet and headed for the door.Trinity also got up and ran up beside Cai.Lily was right behind him.

“Are you sure you want to do this in broad daylight?” Garion asked.

“Yes.The sooner we find Nick the sooner we can get out of this ghost town.”

“Ghost town?” Garion asked, confused by the term.

“It means a town empty of life,” Lily explained.“Just a saying.”

“Oh,” Garion answered.

 

Cai, Lily and Garion crouched low near the caves’ entrance three miles outside the village, being carefully concealed by the bushes.Cai had to hold onto Trinity’s collar to stop him from running ahead of them and into the cave, alerting the guards to their presence.

“It looks very quiet,” Lily whispered.

“The only thing I can see inside the caves are sleeper chambers,” Garion explained.

“Sleeper chambers?” Cai asked.

“Cryogenic chambers,” Garion explained.“The Na’en call them sleeper chambers.”

“Then, they could be in one of those chambers,” Cai continued.“And maybe that’s where they’ve put everyone else as well.But why put Nick in a sleeper chamber as well?”

“Maybe they don’t know how they have,” Lily suggested.

“If that’s the case then Nick is a lucky man.”Garion stared harder into the depths of the cave.“I can’t see that many sleeper chambers, he added.“Just two.”

“Then we have to go and have a look,” Cai said, getting to his feet and headed for the cave entrance.

“Cai, wait up,” Lily said and also stood.“Trinity, stay.”Lily ran after Cai with Garion right behind her.Trinity ignored the order and followed.They entered the cave cautiously but couldn’t see the guards anywhere.Kurn wouldn’t seriously leave the sleeper chambers unguarded, would he, Cai thought.

“I doubt it,” Garion answered aloud.

Cai and Lily turned to him.

“If you didn’t want me to read your thoughts then you should be careful how you think,” Garion said.

“Nick was trying to teach me not to do that,” Cai answered.“But it’s harder than I thought.It doesn’t always happen.”

“So I’ve noticed.You can block.”

“So can you.”

“I taught myself but I cold do with a few more lessons.Slaves didn’t get teachers for our abilities unless they were useful for the job assigned to us. Like being a soldier.”

Lily stepped closer to one of the sleeper chambers and was just about to look inside when a guard appeared.Lily reacted immediately and aimed her stunner at him.Cai also aimed his stunner and both fired at the same time, stunning him.

“Where there’s one guard,” Garion began, “there’s bound to be more.Let’s hurry up and find them and get out of here.”

Lily looked in the first chamber and saw a face she didn’t recognise.“Must be one of the people from the village,” she said.“Or the guy Nick was working with.”

“Nick’s here,” Cai said, seeing his father lying apparently asleep in the chamber.

“Are they alive?” Lily asked as she stared into the chamber.

Garion stepped over and took a look at the chambers’ controls.“They are alive,” he answered.

“Do you know how to open these chambers?” Cai asked.

“Not exactly,” Garion answered.“We’ll have to guess.”Garion stared down at the control panel, reading the Na’en glyphs on the front and tried to decide which button was the right one.The glyphs didn’t really help at all.While Garion was thinking about which button to press, Cai just chose one on the other chamber and pushed it.The chamber’s lid slowly began to open with a hiss and he felt the cold air as it escaped from inside and mingled with the warmer air.

“Which button did you press?” Garion asked.

Cai came over to Nick’s chamber and pressed the button which he had touched on the other chamber.

“What happened?” Steve asked as he slowly sat up.

“That’s what we’d like to know as well,” Garion stated.

“Who are you?” Cai asked.

“I work for the government,” Steve began, getting out of the chamber.“I was sent to work with Nick.Where is Nick?”

“He’s over here,” Lily said.

Steve Stepped over, feeling a little light-headed.“Who are you?” he asked.

“I’m Nick’s brother,” Garion answered.

“I didn’t know nick had another brother.I know you two,” he added, pointing to Cai and Lily.

“Neither does Nick,” Garion said.

“Nick?” Cai said, looking down at his father.Slowly Nick opened his eyes and stared up at Cai.“Are you alright?”

“Where am I?”Nick asked, sitting up.

“In a sleeper chamber,” Garion explained.

Nick turned at the sound of the new voice.“Who are you?” he asked.

“Nick,” Cai began.“This is Garion.He’s Marubi.”

“Marubi?” Nick asked.“I haven’t heard of any Marubi for a long time,” he admitted.“What are you doing here?”

“That’s a long story,” Garion began.“But the short version of that story is that I’m your half-brother.”

Nick stared at Garion, then turned to Cai.

“He’s telling the truth, Nick,” Cai said

“How...when?” Nick stammered.

“I’ll explain everything later,” Garion said.“Your Highness,” he added.

“I stopped being that a long time ago.”

“Not according to your father.He came here looking for you.He still believes you will return one day to take your rightful place among the Na’en people.”

“That is not going to happen,” Nick informed him.No matter what my father thinks.How does he know that I am here, anyway?”

“From that tracer in your arm,” Garion said, indicating Nick’s right forearm.

“What tracer?” Nick asked.

“Oh, you didn’t know about it either,” Garion stated.“That’s how he knows where you two are.He put one in me also but I took it out.He won’t find me any longer.”

“Then, I will have to take mine out also.Don’t want my father finding me or my family anymore.”

“I understand that,” Garion said.“I was a slave on the Mothership long before you left.I saw you around sometimes.”

“I remember the slaves,” Nick said.“But I don’t remember you.”

“Not surprised,” Garion said.“He made sure that we never crossed paths.But I saw you around from time to time.”

“Did Jack send you to look for us?” Nick asked, turning to Cai.

“No.I insisted on coming,” Cai answered.“I received a part message from you and knew you needed help.”

Nick smiled and tapped Cai on the shoulder.He knew he could rely on his son.

“Can we go now?” Lily asked.“Before anyone else comes?”

“Will you two be alright?”

Nick nodded.He was feeling much better now.

“I’ll be fine,” Steve answered.

Just as they were leaving the Na’en guard began to regain consciousness and Lily stunned him once more.

“Did Kurn know he had you?” Cai asked as they began to walk.

“He knew,” Nick answered.“He said he was going to have a lot of fun watching my chamber drift towards the sun and burn up.”

“That’s what he was going to do?” Cai asked.“How was he going to explain that to your father?”

“He would find a way to explain it.All I could do was think of Dael, and of the baby she’s carrying.”

“I’ll let you in on a little secret later,” Garion said.“But first, let’s get out of here.”Garion and Lily began to lead the way out of the caves and back out into the open.

“Who’s this?” Nick asked when he saw the German Shepherd waiting for their return.

“This is Trinity,” Lily said, greeting the dog with a good fuss.“We think his owner was one of the lost people.He seems to want to stay with us.”

“Jack isn’t going to be pleased when we tell him about the car,” Cai said.

“Why’s that?” Nick asked.

“We crashed it,” Lily answered.

“Into a force field surrounding the village,” Cai finished.

“These people have been busy,” Steve said.

“My people,” Nick corrected.

“Not anymore,” Cai said.“They stepped being our people the moment we left.”

“They will always be our people,” Nick added.“We just chose not to live with them, or by their laws.”

Trinity stepped up to Cai and leaned against him, wagging his tail.

“He seems to have taken to you,” Nik observed.

Cai patted him.“He seems to want to stay with us,” he said.

“How do you know?” Nick asked.

“He told me,” Cai informed him.

“He told you?” Lily asked.

“Yeah.I can read his mind and he talks to me.His mind is very open.He talks in a different way to us.”

“I’ve never heard of telepathy between us and animals before,” Garion said.

“Neither have I,” Nick agreed.“Cai is still discovering everything he can do.”

“That is some special gift you have there,” Garion said.“Don’t lose it.”

 

“Do you know what happened to tall the people?” Lily asked as they began to walk back towards the village.

“No idea,” Steve answered.“The village was already empty when we arrived.”

“My guess would be that they’ve been taken aboard the Mothership as slaves.” Garion explained.“the Na’en are always looking for slaves.”

“So, we’re unlikely to see them again,” Nick said.

“I doubt it.”

“Kurn caught sight of us pretty quickly,” Nick added.“By the time we saw him it was too late.We were surrounded.He was going to kill Steve to show me what he thinks of humans.But I stopped him.”

 

Jack put his cup down as the phone began to ring, and picked up the receiver.

“Cai!” he said when he heard his voice.

Dael turned to face Jack when she heard Cai’s name mentioned.

“I’ve been trying to get through to you since yesterday.Did you find them?”he stared at Dael as he listened.He could see that Dael was hoping for some good news.She had been unable to sleep the whole time Cai, Lily and Nick had been away, afraid she’d never see Nick again.Then, after a moment Jack put the phone down.

“What did Cai say?” Dael asked, unable to bare it any longer.

“They’re all okay,” Jack confirmed with a big smile.

“They are?” Dale asked.“Really?”

“Really.They’re coming home.All of them.By train.The cars are wrecked.”

“How’d they manage that? Both cars?” Dael asked.

“Cai didn’t say.He said they’d explain everything when they got back.”

 

Dael ran to the door and opened it when she heard the taxi pull up outside.When she saw Nick she ran to him, hugging him tightly.

“Can you let me breathe?” Nick asked, hugging her back.

“I’m just glad you’re back,” Dael said.“All of you.”She let go of Nick and hugged Cai.

“Who are those two?” Jack asked, seeing the dog and Garion.

“This is Trinity,” Cai said, patting the dog.

“Trinity?”

“He belonged to someone in the village, but we couldn’t leave him on his own.And he seemed to want to tag along.”

“And this is Garion,” Nick explained.“My half-brother.He’s Marubi.”

“Marubi?” Jack asked.

“It’s an off-shoot of Na’en that went out on their own.”

“Let’s go inside and we’ll tell you everything,” Lily said.

Jack began to lead the way inside where it was warmer.They were all glad to be home.


Submitted: October 29, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Sharon Fletchby. All rights reserved.

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