Part 5: Morph Stone
I didn’t leave my room for days. I didn’t feel like doing anything. When I did finally come out to eat dinner, it was quiet at the table. It was Cashel’s turn to make dinner and he made himself busy in the kitchen as everyone sat at the table, putting food on their plate and eating quietly.
I focused on my food but I could feel eyes glance at me once in a while. I ignored them and stood up to leave the table with most of my plate still full.
“Are you done? You barely touched your food.” Kiko asked in a disapproving tone.
“I’m full,” I answered simply, still avoiding any eye contact.
“I think you should eat at least a little–”
“I’m full all right! Don’t pretend like you care what happens to me!” I snapped at her.
“Fine! Then starve to death!” she yelled back before storming away.
I glared at Tammy and Rei who were still sitting at the table, their mouths full but too shocked to move. Tammy just stared at me with a blank face but I could see Rei’s eyes begin to swell as she forced herself to swallow her food. Cashel simply ignored our commotion and continued working in the kitchen.
All of my pent up emotions were leaking out and I was furious as I stormed away from the kitchen back to my room.
I was lying on my bed when the door slid open. It had to be Tammy because I had just locked it.
I sighed, “What do you want?” without bothering to give my full attention to her.
“You miss them,” she said.
“What does it matter? They’re all dead.”
She paused, and then pictures of Breccan and his crew began appearing on the wall I was staring at.
“What are you doing?” I said, raising my voice. I got up from my bed and stormed over to the door to leave, but it slammed shut and locked itself. “Open the door Tammy!” I started banging on the door, hoping it would open.
“You liked her didn’t you?”
I kept banging on the door, my anger leaking out onto it and a picture of the kiss Lux and I shared, appeared on it. I couldn’t hold back the pain any longer and I cried as soon as I saw the picture.
“We all liked the Breccan crew Sarth,” she said, then she put up other pictures of both the Jago crew and Breccan crew enjoying each other’s company in the brief two weeks we spent with them. “We all feel the same pain, but you’re trying to ignore it completely. It’s not good to push away your emotions.” She spoke in a sincere voice, one I’d never heard from her before.
I slid down against the door, huddled there, sobbing like I hadn’t done in a long time. Losing friends was something no one should ever have to go through.
She walked over, sat down next to me, and leaned her head against my shoulder, consoling me in her own way.
I felt so stupid for acting the way I had been since the incident. Tammy was right. I wanted to ignore the pain of losing our friends completely. I couldn’t stand the thought of it, but it was changing me and I was lashing out at the others because of it.
We sat there until the tears stopped pouring out of me.
I sniffled. “You think she’ll forgive me?” I wondered aloud. I knew she would know that I was talking about Kiko.
“Yes,” she responded, reading my mind. “She knows how you feel; she just doesn’t know how to approach you.”
I knew I had to make up with the others somehow.
“I’m sorry,” I said genuinely.
“It’s all right. That’s what friends are for.”
I found Kiko and Rei in the sky deck and tried to think of the best way to approach them without getting myself killed.
My mouth opened, but no words came out. This was harder than I thought. I rubbed the back of my head as I paced back and forth from the hatch to the others, trying to decide what to do.
“You don’t need to say it,” Kiko said first.
I suddenly felt weightless, like the gravity binder had been turned off and the darkness around my heart was lifted.
“You gonna join us?” Rei asked from the bed.
“Yeah,” I replied with a thick throat.
The next day, I remembered that I had the stone the entire time since I first grabbed it on Fargon and yet no one had asked me about it.
I went to the jacket that I went through the two week journey with and took out the illuminated red stone. It instantly reminded me of my kiss with Lux as I stared at the spot where I pressed my lips against it.
The door opened. “Hey you busy?” came Rei’s voice.
I gripped the stone in my fist with fleeting thoughts. “Uh, no not really.” I said.
“Ohh is that the stone? I wanna see!”
I gave her the stone and it stopped glowing. Instead it looked like a regular red ruby stone.
“Aww I guess it doesn’t like me,” she frowned, and I shrugged my shoulders. “Let’s go show Tammy!”
She walked the stone over to Tammy who was working on the now-thrashed-thanks-to-Kiko PSL in her room.
“Tammy! Hold out your hand!” she ordered, hiding the stone behind her back.
Tammy turned in her chair with her usual straight-working face and held out her hand. Rei placed the stone on her palm and we all watched as the stone turn jet black as soon as it touched her.
“Uhh...” said Rei and I in unison.
“What happened to it?” I asked.
“The stone doesn’t resonate very well with me,” she explained as she picked up the stone to examine it. “I knew this would happen.”
“Aww, why doesn’t it like you?” Rei asked with pity.
Tammy ignored her condescending tone, “Considering this is an elemental stone, I figured it wouldn’t respond well to someone who lacks most elemental genetic makeup.”
That made sense. Tammy was more suited to technology rather than nature. She gave the stone back to me and it illuminated with life once again.
“Then why does it work so well with Sarth?”
“Humans are one of the most basic beings,” Tammy explained and a hologram of what looked like a tree with many branches appeared. “Almost all species in the galaxy began with humans.” She pointed to a figure that looked like me at the bottom of the tree. Then she pointed to figures that looked like Kiko and Rei further up, and one that looked like her towards the top of the tree. “So it shouldn’t just work well with Sarth, but with any human. He was the only one in the expedition group who would’ve been able to activate the stone.”
So I guess it was a good thing I went on the expedition trip after all.
“How did you know this was an elemental stone? Are they all like this?” I asked.
“I was able to take a look at all the research that Breccan had accumulated about the race. I was surprised at the extensive work they had done. It must’ve taken them years to collect that much data, but they lacked someone who could piece it all together.” She brought up panels full of text in front of her. “Apparently each stone exhibits a type of theme that seems randomly chosen to be the center of its power. It can be anything. I simply put it into a category I thought would fit it best.”
“So there are four different types of stones somewhere in the galaxy?”
“Yes, and I won’t know more about them until I can better assess where it’s located.”
I glanced at Rei, and Tammy went back to working on the PSL again.
“How’s the tracker coming along?” Rei asked this time.
“It’ll be a few days until I can find another signal, other than that it’s working perfectly.”
“The PSL, however, needs extensive work. But I knew it would come back in this condition after having Kiko carry it.”
Rei and I laughed.
Weeks had passed on the ship and still no word from Tammy about the next stone.
The only interesting part about drifting along in space was stopping at a few nearby planets to re-stock or just to take a break for a day or two.
Each planet we stopped at was completely different and the others had been to most of them during their bounty hunting years. I wish I could’ve been there with them, they always had some sort of story to recall at each planet.
“Hey Aki, remember when we crashed the ship in one of those hasin holes?” she burst out laughing and Kiko giggled with her as they pointed to a large hole with brown filled substance in the ground. We were on one of the planets they had stopped at before.
“Yeah, it took us all day to clean the ship, and Tammy wasn’t happy when she got back with Cashel,” she recalled.
Rei was rolling around laughing now, “That’s right! She left us on the planet for three months after that.”
Tammy joined in, “It was cheaper to just leave you both there. I wanted to leave you longer but Cashel insisted we pick you two back up.”
I thought about the time I’ve spent with them. I wasn’t sure exactly how long we’ve been together, but I’ve made many happy and sad memories with them already. I couldn’t imagine myself being alone anymore. We were like a family and I wanted to be able to recount memories along with them in the future.
I was meditating with Kiko in the training room one day when I asked without thinking, “Do you have family on your home planet?”
There was no response. I figured she was ignoring me.
“I used to.”
I opened my eyes. She sounded different, unlike her usual self. I saw her sitting there meditating, eyes still closed.
Interest got the better of me and I asked again, “What happened to them?”
Again it took a moment but this time she answered in an ominous tone, “I killed her.”
I had an itch that something was wrong, but I kept going anyway, “You… killed her?”
Something was going on, I knew the normal Kiko would never answer me so simply like that about her past. It must’ve been because she was meditating, then I remembered her number one rule she told me after allowing me to meditate with her. ‘Do not talk’ she said specifically. I see why she said that now.
“Yes. It was my fault… I killed her… my fault…”
Something was definitely wrong. Her aura was starting to change.
A loud beeping noise rang in the room and it started to darken. The room began removing the obstacles that were scattered about. I had no idea what was happening when Rei exploded into the room.
“AKI!” she cried out.
This jolted Kiko back to reality and she opened her eyes, looking around. Rei was by the door still trying to catch her breath, probably from running all the way from the flight deck.
The alarm and room stopped moving as soon as Kiko opened her eyes and her gaze found me.
“What did you say?” she asked with a stern look.
I was caught red handed. “I-I didn’t–” I stammered.
“It doesn’t matter Aki, he won’t do it again.” Rei interjected as she walked over to me and dragged me out of the room.
She dragged me all the way to her room before finally letting me go and a second later Tammy joined us.
“Are you crazy? Do you really want to die?” Rei got straight to the point.
I didn’t know my questions would lead to my death at that moment.
“He didn’t know the consequences Rei,” Tammy defended me.
I was still slightly confused, “I don’t even know what’s happening.”
Rei plopped in her chair and explained, “Aki meditates for a reason, not just because she likes to.” She thought about how she should explain this. “You know her species is bred to fight. It’s in her blood to kill, but she doesn’t want to. It’s hard for her to fight against her natural urges and meditating is one way of helping her to keep her instincts under control.”
Ok, that made sense.
“You do not want to be around if she loses control.”
“Have you ever seen her… lose control before?” I wondered.
She didn’t like that question but she still answered, “I’ve seen what she’s capable of, but I’ve never seen her lose complete control... nor do I ever want to.”
I must’ve brought back bad memories, her eyes down drifted to the floor.
“I’m sorry. I won’t bother her again,” I said honestly.
She shook off her sorrow, “Its fine. No harm done. I’m just glad we caught it in time.”
I left her room and headed to mine with Tammy following me there.
I turned to her, “Did you need something?”
“Let me see your hand,” she requested.
I didn’t really understand but I held out my hand for her. She put one of her glowing braids on top of it and it flickered sporadically.
“What’re you doin’?” I asked curiously.
She was still fixated on my hand when she answered, “A check-up.” Her eyes met mine and then to the top of my head. “Can you bend down a little?”
I gave her a weird look before bending over so she could clearly see the cusp of my hair.
“What’s this about?” I asked, staring at the floor.
She responded by pulling a hair off my head. “Ow!” I lifted my head, rubbing the spot where she pulled it. “Was that necessary?” I grumbled.
She held up my hair to examine it in the light.
It looked like a regular strand of black hair until it suddenly turned a bright purple.
“Does this color look familiar?” she asked.
I stared at it a moment before it hit me. “We were on Naraka… something fell on my head… I ran my hand through my hair and this purple powder came off.” I scratched my chin in thought, “Hm, I checked in a mirror though and I looked just fine. I can’t believe it’s still on me.”
“I can help with that,” she said before whisking around and walking away.
An hour later she found me in my room and handed me a small bottle.
“Use this when you shower,” she told me.
“What is it?” I held the bottle up. It had a thick white substance inside.
“It’s for your hair.”
“For that purple stuff?” I asked, running my hand through it again.
She just blinked at me before turning around and leaving.
I did what she said and used it for my hair in the shower without a second thought.
Afterwards, I walked into the kitchen for dinner and sat down in front of Rei. She was the only one there reading something and she took a sip of her drink. When she saw me she spewed her drink all over me, laughing hysterically.
“Ugh! Gross! I just showered!” I fussed, wiping the sour juice from burning my eyes. She was still laughing hysterically so I had to ask, “What’s so funny?” with I had to wait for her to catch her breath.
“What’s with the new look?” she finally managed, pointing to my hair.
I remembered what Tammy gave me and ran to look for a mirror. My eyes widened at the sight of my snow-white hair. It was affecting all of my hair, even my eyebrows were white and I couldn’t remember washing my eyebrows. It made me look ten years older, like I was Cashel’s younger brother or something.
“Tammy!” I yelled angrily. Rei took out her memory flasher and I heard her taking many images of me. I ignored her as she tried to get every angle.
A hologram of Tammy appeared in front of me. “Yes?” she asked, nonchalantly.
“What did you do to my hair?!”
I heard Cashel suddenly burst out laughing behind Tammy in the hologram; he must’ve just received Rei’s holo-images.
“It’s not permanent,” was all she said.
I was speechless. Dang it, she got me good.
© Copyright 2017 Anon Amous. All rights reserved.
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