I DEDICATE THIS TO WONDERFUL FAMILY WHO SAY YOU’RE NEVER TO YOUNG TO START YOUR FUTURE AND TO ALL MY AMAZING FRIENDS WHO READ MY STORY AND HELPED ME OUT ALONG THE WAY. THANKS TO YOU ALL!
“Watch out!” the young girl called. A massive explosion erupted immediately beside her, shattering the glass floor. Fire and smoke ruptured into the atmosphere. The long narrow path, in this case, the bridge, was no safe place to be. Immense groups of mechanical beings shoved their way nearer. Each foreign step made squeals of compressing metal as they approached.
Along the bridge-like path, there were tall structures cut to look like the shape of one fourth of an egg. On the flattened side were small contraptions for producing light, which were not on at this time. It was unneeded with the light source being the sun.
The girl, Yohni, quickly stumbled off to the side and slapped her back to the wall of the structure, avoiding the impending robotic creatures. She dropped her arm, gun in hand, by her side as she tried to slow her breathing and pulled the opposite hand to her ear. “Master,” she huffed with her diminutive voice into the small oval shaped object ejecting from the inside of her ear. “There are too many of them. There is no way we can break through.”
“Just hold them off long enough for the prisoners to escape.” replied the voice from the other side of the device.
“How are we suppose to know when they’re all out?!” A voice shouted from a distance. Yohni turned to the side and poked her head out a bit to see Kazi behind the same construction on the opposite side. He was crouching with his gun pointed upward by his head. His other hand just released itself from a similar device in his own ear.
“I guess he’ll contact us!” She shouted back over the noise. Yohni swiftly tossed her long white-blonde hair, which was loosely fastened in a ponytail at the left side of her head, and peeked around the structure. She aimed her weapon, more related to an mp5k, and took out a few of the enemy robots, sending them off the edge into oblivion.
There was no visible ground below the area of the city other than the white pathways that were slippery like polished marble. The path was part of a series of paths that connected several important places, one being Lossëhelin, now being run by invaders of the outside world. The palace of Lossëhelin had been lost to alien artificial intelegence units and other robots known as regadroids, along with several other places around the world of Ingolia. They are using it as their base here on this planet to continue building their robot army to take over Ingolia, as figured by the government, which isn’t much help, some abandoning this one along with the people who could not afford to leave. As for the rest, are dying in battle, for they have not realized yet, that their weapons are ineffective among these enemies. Amroth was one of the first places invaded, but the people of this city haven’t given in just yet.
“Hey Yohni! How many you got?!” Young little Mizu shouted as he skipped hastily toward her with a smile on his face and soot in his light brown hair. His small voice was barely loud enough to be heard over the loud noise of the falling architecture and gun shots.
“Hey Mizu. I’m not sure. I’d say about a hundred,” Yohni joked.
“Ha, you wish!”
“I think we can move in closer now.” A mature feminine voice broke through.
“Desnae,” she said acknowledging her, “Master Saeros said we just need to hold them off.”
“Well, he probably didn’t expect us to have an opening anytime soon.” She marched forward beside Mizu and Yohni, keeping her black eyes on the enemy lines. A soft breeze kicked through, causing her black hair to frolic in the wind and softly caress her face which painted a fierce expression just before the enemies.
A sudden buzz went off, a distress call. Desnae glanced down at the pager-like device clicked onto her belt. “It’s IRuka!”
“What?!” Yohni bounced up from behind the statue and seized hold of Desnae’s arm, covered in her slick black agent suit. “Where is he?! What happened?!” she cried in horror.
“I don’t know. He just sent a call.”
“He must be in there still, trying to get all the prisoners out!” Kazi shouted, sprinting over to them, dropping his gun by his side.
A bright red flash sizzled through the cloudy air and erupted high in the sky.
“The flare! He must be stuck in the middle of that mess of robots!” Mizu observed pointing his finger toward the large dirty white mass of machines. A group of them were forming in the middle of the narrow path, clogging up the trail and causing some to tumble off the road into the white void below.
“We’ll keep them busy. Kazi, you go in and get IRuka out of there.” Desnae demanded slipping out her gun and instantly firing away as she stalked closer to the chaotic mob.
“”What? Why can’t we help him?” Yohni whined.
“If he’s injured badly, you’re not big enough to carry him out…sorry honey.”
Kazi was already on his way into the horde by this time, anyway.
“Come on, we need to help Kazi.” With that, Desnae charged forward, blasting off robot appendages and smashing machine heads with her two high tech hand guns.
Yohni sighed and went in closer to follow, but she had always been the long range shooter, so she stayed close behind the many decorative structures that lined the path. She climbed hastily up the slippery backside of one for better view, dropping her first gun and flipped out a couple of mini Uzis. She was careful when she saw Mizu enter the crowd.
One by one, rivals of theirs were tossed aside to fall forever into the beyond. Desnae, suddenly, came crawling awkwardly out from the mob, holding her side, dragging herself out with one arm. After adjusting herself behind the light contraption beside Yohni, she made contact with her fellow agents through her earpiece.
“There are way too many. We need to get out as soon as we can. Just get IRuka out, even if not all the prisoners have escaped. Chances are a majority of them have.” Desnae breathed and then winced, looking down at her hand which began to leak blood from the wound behind. “Ugh. They just keep sending more and more out right after they’re made. There’s no way we can hold them off for much longer without one of us getting killed if not yet.” She glanced over at Yohni with worry.
“No…” Yohni shook her head with devastation. “No. Don’t say that. IRuka’s fine. He’ll be okay. Kazi will save him.” Her voice trembled as the words she spoke were positive, but uncertain how true they might have been.
Mizu ran out with Kazi not far behind and IRuka drapped over his shoulder like a wet rag. An immediate feeling of relief shot through Yohni. She anxiously jumped down and dashed after them once they passed by. Desnae dashed, sprinting, the best she could, right behind them. The multitude of robotic figures fixed their direction on the slender lane and swarmed after the team.
The bridge-like way fanned out onto streets of the city. The green grass followed in the wind as it sprouted from the small flower beds that decorated the bare whiteness of the city. Several large black machines remained dormant on two flat cylindrical objects that rested underneath the motorbike-like vehicle. They were relaxed up on the side of a pair of tall never melting glacier buildings in the distance.
At this time, the robots were nearing but still quite a ways away, spending most of their time trying to shove down path at the same time without one falling, but of course there were the occasional ones that did.
Each oof the agents seized a bike of their own, hastily switching it on. The bike rose a foot from the ground. Yohni’s heart was rapid as the vehicle picked up and turned to speed after the others. Zooming down the city, there was no way the army could catch them. They were safe for now.
Master Anärion Saeros was standing silently by the large mural of infinite windows. His hands were relaxed in the pockets of his dark pants that reflected a soft light from its fancy material. His eyes were intently gazing out through the trees that made up the forest around their base, or as some call it, the institute.
The trees were calmly dancing in the wind; their yellow tipped leaves were trickling away from the now fading green as it welcomed more color with time.
The members of the agency were comforting their injured friend beside the fancy bed, more similar to an expensive unique cot. IRuka was dressed in a few bandages that immersed around his arm and torso area. A faint red liquid leaked through the off-white material.
“IRuka, I’m so glad that you’re okay.” Yohni said softly. Her voice tended to be lighter than average, but occasionally raised it when she was in immense fear for IRuka or any of her friends for that matter.
He released a soft moan and shut his dark green eyes from the bright sunlit room. His neatly fastened blonde hair was dented from lying down. It regularly sprayed out from the back of his head and let his bangs fall loosely around his pale face and down in front of his ears, which were decorated with many different metal rings on both sides.
“Ha, what a waste of hairspray, huh,” Kazi laughed from the end of the bed. He was casually sitting off to the side, careful not to accidently hit IRuka’s leg, even though it wasn’t his leg that was injured.
IRuka usually had his hair up in a unique way as well as everything he does. Yohni had always admired him. She had always loved how free he chose to be, a little out of the norm. Even the makeup he wore was eccentric. His eyeliner comes on a little thick, but with eyes like his, he can pull it off while still looking moderately masculine.
“Master Saeros…We apologize for coming back so soon.” Desnae said quietly in the direction of their leader. He said nothing. “They were releasing a massive number of them and we couldn’t hold them all off…especially when we had injured?.”
“I understand. You saved a majority of the prisoners and helped them escape safely, that I know of.” He continued his watch out one of the windows, though it didn’t look as if he were looking for something, he was just thinking, so it seemed.
“Yeah, Master, we would never give up completely.” Kazi chimed in. “We haven’t done so in seven years when those alien robots first came to our planet…Well, I guess eight for you, Desnae.”
Mizu giggled childishly and started off down the far hallway.
Kazi smiled after him and then turned toward Yohni and IRuka— who was fast asleep now.
Kazi sure was an interesting fellow, Yohni thought. He never seemed like the type to have piercings, not that there is a specific type. He had two on the right side of his bottom lip, one on the left and a double piercing at the end of his left eyebrow, not to mention the hundred pairs injected in his ears.
He had a great smile, which he did often. Yohni also had an admiration toward Mizu and Kazi, the way they are always smiling, even after being invaded by the mass of regadroids, losing their parents, and leaving their home as well as their old lives behind, which seems to be the same story for everyone. Their positivity even after such events is remarkable.
“Mizu’s hair is getting darker.” Yohni observed quietly as the young boy vanished behind one of the tall wooden doors. “He’s starting to look a little less like you.”
“Ah,” Kazi tossed his arm in a careless motion. “It’s just a phase. It’s a warning saying he needs more sun, haha.” He laughed. “I bet it’ll be as light as mine once he’s my age.” He said gesturing to his light brown hair.
Yohni giggled softly then added a light smile. She couldn’t refuse when looking at his carefree blissful expressions. With a sigh, she moved herself from the bedside of IRuka, and continued on toward a small back door that was embellished with a glass pane that let in whatever light that passed through the trees.
“Uh,” Desnae sighed, walking slowly away from Master Saeros. “Sir, may we just take a break?”
“Yes, of course.” He replied quietly. “I apologize. Sometimes I forget you are all just kids still.” That was the last Yohni heard as she passed through the door.
The exit lead open to beautiful nature covered scenery. The forest’s trees came about a wooden construction that had been painted a warm welcoming color of red. The paint was staring to wear away in a few spots on the stiff rail of the small bridge that crossed a small pond. The stream of water was tapping deliberately on the grey pond rocks it passed as it circled like a moat around the small piece of land that held the mini temple. The little garden bridge literally went up then back down within only a few steps.
The sun sprinkled down to warm the air. A soft breeze blew through the trees and the few decorative wind chimes that sang from all around. There was a small wooden shelter similar to some sort of ancient temple or shrine. It was tall and hugged the tree limbs. The rest of the wood that wasn’t painted red, were all shades of lovely light and dark browns, blacks, and beiges. The matting that covered the floor of the shrine was made of rice straw to form the core with a covering of woven juncus effusus straw.
The building was open to all four sides. The only thing holding up the roof was the four pillars of wood in each of the corners. Many charming decorations fell from the ceiling such as more wind chimes, and wind instruments that whistled as the draft swam through. The openings about the upper left column was let out to an open field of light green lushes grass that sped on for miles. Flowers of all sorts had popped up every which way, bringing even more color to scene. Another bridge leaped over that way as well as another to the right that led to a trail that prowled through the forest.
The light that shone in reflected off the dark waxed stones, which were located in the front side of the temple along with flowers that took years to wilt and other colorful embellishment objects.
Yohni felt at peace out here as she crossed the bridge and came to stand in the center of the mat within the shrine. My favorite place…she thought as she let her legs lower her onto her knees to then sit on her heels. The birds were conversing high above in the trees and the forever ongoing of the blowing wind whisked tranquilly through her extensive pale blonde hair that fell gently down her back and then rested lightly on the floor.
Leisurely, she closed her eyes with her hands placed adequately in her lap. Blackness stormed across her vision for a moment but even with the sweet smell of the flowers and calming wind and soft music, she couldn’t find the peace she was looking for to calm her mind. A second later, her eyes reopened. Her mind wandered as she took in nature’s beauty. Out in the plain field in front of her, she could see not one, but two pekatelope prancing about in the distance, which brought a smile to her face. Their horns had stripes so dark, she could still see them even from this distance. Their many lengthy fluffy tails bounced with each gallop on their four strong legs.
A noise sounded from behind, the sound of footsteps. A tall girl in a thin plain black agent suit, that resembled more of a spy suit, stepped up beside her. She had three leg sheaths that hugged her thighs over the slick leather. Two were on one leg which she used for more guns and a small dagger. Her high heels clicked to a stop when she dropped lightly to the floor beside Yohni. Her position fell more casual and relaxed compared to Yohni’s.
“Desnae…” Yohni whispered a little startled.
“I know it’s hard. It is for all of us.” She said in her more raspy voice.
Yohni followed her gaze as she peeked down at her chest to see she had involuntarily taken hold of the small pendant around her neck. “Oh I…”
“That’s your mother’s right?”
Yohni only nodded. Though it happened so long ago, she didn’t like to talk about them. It always made her choke up and feel a queezy feeling she never liked experiencing.
Desnae followed the silence as she turned to face out at the field of pekatelope. She was so pretty. She, being a twenty-eight year old, was also very mature, unlike Kazi. Yohni loved her style and thought it was pretty unique, too. Her hair was dark, even in the bright light of day, which only made it more distinguished. Her bangs came to hover about her eyebrows, just above the long lashes that exaggerated her dark eyes.
“But it’s okay, right?” Desnae finally said. “I mean, we have each other, do we not?” She said turning back to Yohni.
“Yes. This is my family now, and I’m very thankful.” She agreed.
“Alright,” Desnae groaned as she shifted herself to her feet. “Master Saeros said Posco’s just about done with our new outfits and wants us to meet everybody inside.” She placed out a hand to help her friend up.
“Desnae…” She hesitated, slowly turning to take her hand. “I’ve been thinking…well, dreaming actually. I’ve been having some scary dreams lately that wouldn’t usually even cross my mind…you don’t think they mean anything, do you?”
“I guess that depends. What kinds of scary things are you dreaming up?”
Yohni was at her side now and they were slowly creeping toward the short red bridge. She could recall the vivid dream clear in her mind, but didn’t know how to put it in words. “Well, I don’t know how to describe it…but I see a face.” She started.
“Yes. It has skin so silver, and bright eyes that glow in the dark like the moon. Its mouth is like that too when it opens it and it’s screaming at me. That’s all that really happens. Oh, and it’s tremendously dark out wherever me and that creature are at.”
“Hmm. Have you, perhaps, been eating too late at night during the nights you have these scary dreams?” Desnae began to propose.
“I don’t…believe so…” She whispered trying to think back.
“You shouldn’t worry too much about it. I would be surprised if any of us could actually get some decent sleep with everything that’s going on.” She announced as she held open the door to the small main room.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Yohni laughed, relatively sarcastically.
Everyone was sitting around chatting in a few of the chocolate brown leather couches that were placed in the room that did not match well with the grey carpeting. IRuka was still in bed, but sitting up with a bit of a dizzy expression.
Footsteps reverberated through the dark hallway as a figure started to emerge from the darkness.
“Perfect timing.” Desnae smiled at Yohni then glanced back up at the aphotic corridor as Posco emerged emphatically. Posco: a tall slender colorful young man. He had dark black hair with dark magenta and purple colored highlights. He was wearing an intricate outfit that consisted of black and violet colored articles such as pants, boots, and a small tube top showing his midriff. He had many accessories and little buckles around his arms and across his chest forming a sort of x-shape. What was most intriguing was his elaborate eye make-up. Posco had on dark eyeliner, mascara, and also tiny little gems and sparkles that started at the far corner of his eyes and got smaller as it neared the inner canthus.“I have something here for you all.” He asserted delightedly. A clothing rack rolled out from behind him and rested at his side. Many detailed items garnished the rack with too much to tell anything apart.
“Wait…” Mizu swiftly absorbed a view of the room from his seat on the soft cushioned couch. “Where’s my brother?” A few seconds ticked by while everyone swung around to see, too, that he was absent from the room.
“Has anyone seen where Kazi had wandered off, too?” Master Saeros requisitioned with tender composure, his arms relaxed across his chest in a corrugated demeanor.
“Where is that boy always running off too?” Yohni questioned aloud to no one specifically. “This has been like the fifth time within just this past week, am I right?” She turned to Desnae who was staring outward with the look of thought regulating across her concerned face.
“Posco, you’ll just have to provide him with his ensemble at another time. Continue, please, for now.” Master Saeros urged without haste.
“Alright…” Posco murmured merrily, turning to the rack in search of the first outfit. “Before I begin,” he announced. “I will like to announce that I’ve been working hard these past several weeks and hopefully came up with an outfit to your liking. Any of these are better then those boring black suits.” He chuckled. “Okay, so how to do this…” He muttered to himself as he shuffled through the outfits. “Let’s see here…How ‘bout Desnae first.” He held up a unique navy blue top with silver metal which lined patterns and held the material in place. “This was a fun little top I threw together for you, my dear. The material is strong and slick making it quite difficult to damage.” He explained turning it around to the back to show it off from more perspectives. He lunged over quickly to hand it to her as she accepted it, twirling to look at it in awe. “And here are just some shorts to go with it.” He added, slipping out another clothing item from the rack. “I hope I made it stretchy enough for easy physical movement. You can add this belt for carrying equipment or whatever in the pockets. There is also a creative backside…” he twisted the shorts around to the back wich looked more like a skirt from the new point of view. “For each of you, I sketched each assemblage of materials so you can see how I had set it up for your wearing. So it’s pretty much like a direction sheet, plus you can keep track of your things because I added a lot of random bangles and such for appearance.” He chuckled, handing Desnae the bottom part of her outfit.
“Oh, wow Posco. Thank you so much.” Desnae smiled. “This must have taken forever.”
“Didn’t it feel that way?” He agreed. Posco turned back to the rack and looked at it as if it were a pile of unclean dishes that needed washing. “Okay…how about if I just hand you all each of the drawings and you can find your own stuff and try it on and see if you have everything and all that good stuff.”
“Yeah!” Mizu agreed excitedly.
“This would just take too long and you all probably really don’t care about each other’s outfits so…haha here.” A couple of laughs sounded from Posco’s audience in what might have been agreement. “Desnae, you can find the rest of yours…” He said handing her her paper while snatching the rest of the pile into his hands, passing out each page with his thin fingers and silver painted nails.
The rack was then mobbed with each smiling face as they explored the items until emerging with theirs. Posco mimicked them and smiled, too. “I’m so happy you all like them.”
“Oh, Posco, my outfit is beautiful!” Yohni exclaimed lightly taking a majority of her things down the hall and into the nearest room.
Desnae helped with IRuka’s assemblage once hers was done. IRuka slipped the jacket into his hands. “Nice. My jacket looks nice. Thanks.” IRuka said from the cot holding it up. The thick dark jacket detailed in beige patterns sharp like sunrays. Four decorative strings of fabric fell down the back for extra appeal. With help from Master Saeros, the rest of his uniform was piled up on the sheets in front of him. Desnae had already disappeared and returned with her new look looking for anything missing that she noticed in the picture. She was a speed dresser, Yohni knew, no doubt.
“It’s so cute!” Yohni cheered, twirling into the lobby. Her dress-like top was a faint pink and gold that matched her upbeat personality.
A sudden alarm shrieked through the halls like hundreds of screaming banshees. The walls were then lit up with flashes of blue and green, washing the walls in a different coat every other second.
“Aw, man. What’s going on, now?” Mizu glanced around the room at the other agents for answers.
As serene as he had before, Master Saeros stood from his seat and stalked over to the back wall and flipped on a switch that projected a screen onto a large plain wall. The images that moved across the wall were similar to the scenes they all witnessed earlier that day. Alien robots were again on the loose, tearing through buildings and slashing away the lives of many people nearby trying desperately to escape. “Looks like another raid on the outskirts of Unomia in the small town of Mobirus.” The master had observed, reading from certain texts on the news site. He turned back to face them. One eye was faintly hidden behind his wavy brown hair which fell in thinning layers around his shoulders. He slipped his hands into his pant pockets and leaned back, cool, calm and collected. “Looks like you guys got some work to do.”
More urgent and actively, the agents dashed down the hall. “Sorry Posco! Got to go! Show us the rest as soon as we return!” Desnae called sprinting past the other members into the garage. IRuka rapidly shuffled the blankets off of him to be released from its hold. He stumbled out and after the others. He must have been feeling up for the mission.
There were about ten vehicles lined up in the lot. Each sprung onto a vehicle which was similar to that of a motorcycle, but was made of celekorbidium, allowing the bikes to be somewhat transparent like glass. All started their engines and caused them to leave the ground’s surface and began to hover. Quickly after, they each fled the garage one after the other, Desnae leading the way.
Not before too long, Kazi’s voice came through the speaker that was attached to the bike just above the handle bars. There was a switch to the side to keep it on for wireless communication.
“Woah, hey, got the call. What’s going on?” He shouted obstreperously over the noise of the streets and other interesting vehicles on the roads.
“Kazi!” Mizu cried joyously into the speaker from his smaller vehicle. “Where are you?!”
“I’m not too far behind you guys.” Yohni heard him say through her own speaker. “I was already on my aceR when I got the call. So, what’s happening? Where are we going?”
“Don’t worry about it, just follow us and kill robots.” Desnae replied with a smirk followed by a light chuckle. “We’re headed toward Mobirus, if you really want to know.”
Immediately after arriving, the agents zipped off their bikes and yanked out their weapons. Desnae was first to do so. Her vehicle slid backward under the force of her jump and it skidded on its side across the dirt surface.
The small village had already almost been completely destroyed by the time they reached to town. People were running around chaotically, mechanical monsters chased them through the small municipality that had no streets to flaunt. The only thing that made up this village was the several small buildings, many of which were destroyed.
“Get out of here, you…,” Desnae bustled closer, firing her guns. One of the mechanical enemies reached a long arm-full of sharp ‘fingers’ to claw at her. She hastily reacted to the enemy, dodging it then snapping off its limb while being out and off guard.
Gunfire retaliated between the two sides. Some of the more well built looking bots shifted around their several parts, building up a more destructive figure. Soon enough, they had bullets flying from the Gatling cannons on their shoulders. Machine guns were exploding with rapid fire from their chests.
“Careful,” IRuka whispered to himself while hastily triggering the device that warped his forearm for his instrument of defense. A large, round, transparent blue shield impelled itself against the army’s ammunition, cracking down bullets like a light zapper for bugs.
In the middle of chaos, a lady in the distance had scrambled as fast as she could in the direction of the agents, bellowing toward them. Her face reflected a fear beyond anything imaginable. After her were two lifeless machines with long sharp blades for hands that curved downward like a preying mantis. Before a rescue was able to be made, a slick silver blade pierced through her skin. Shortly after, another blade slashed across her back cutting through to her chest.
“Mom!” Suddenly, a boy of about nineteen or twenty, charged out after the fallen woman. The creatures responsible for her death had already started their way toward the agents who were quickly lashing through their small militia.
The boy dropped beside the lady with tears scuffling down his dirty cheeks. All the bots were after the agents now, leaving the boy alone alongside the dead body.
Yohni ran through her mind thinking of battle strategies like the ones they practiced during their training. Her head wanted to turn after the dark haired boy. When she noticed his dreadful expression, her terrible thoughts were revived and she could remember instantly of the pain she felt when the regadroid creatures raided her home. Anger echoed in the boy’s expression now. He whipped around as if looking for something and urgently crawled toward a fallen gun. Aggressively, he held it up, blasting away at the invaders. The boy angrily tried to get to his feet, sliding around as if slipping on ice. He ran to the nearest regadroid, smacking it with his impaired gun, and ramming the weapon at its hard, dirty, metal body. He angrily beat his way through them, taking his revenge.
Many of the robots near him were only dented slightly, but never fazed. They didn’t turn to even challenge him. They continued proceeding after the agents.
The boy paused, his breathing was heavy. He looked confused and hurt. Blood and gashes lined his face and arms as well as many dark smudges that dirtied his sweaty tanned skin that glittered in the faint sun that was enthusiastically blocked by the flying dust.
He turned and aimed the gun at IRuka, the nearest agent, but not for long.
“No! Please! Please don’t!” Yohni was quick on his back, yanking the gun upward trying to snatch hold of the dangerous object in his possession from behind as she had been taught by Master Saeros in a similar training exercise. He aggressively fought back, releasing a bullet or two into the air high above. She kicked the back of his knees, causing him to topple forward and Yohni tackled him to the ground. Afraid, the boy let go of the weapon. Yohni tossed it aside and pulled him backward holding him from behind while awkwardly situated in the field of dirt.
“Ssssshhh, it’s okay, it’s okay.” She hushed. “Please be calm…” She said to him gently trying to quiet him down, but the loud gun shots and screaming in the ambit of the small settlement were of no help.
“Get off me.” He said tensely and sternly as he pushed away from her, sliding in the sand until he was well enough away from her.
“What’s your name?” Yohni asked in the same light voice.
“Why does it matter?” He spoke with a rich irritated tone, looking down in the hot sparkly sand, patting it off his pants.
There she was trying to be helpful and friendly and he had to go on being a brat about it. He wasn’t the only one going through this. Yohni decided she didn’t want to keep her thoughts to herself. She had an opinion that he needed to hear. She could tell his heart was kind if he only let it be. She could read people that way. “Okay, listen, I know no one’s having exactly the ‘best day ever’ kind of days, anymore. I lost both my parents to these junkbots when I was very young, but I don’t let that keep me from growing up and doing something with my life. It’s hard times right now. We’re all going through this. Please don’t be a jerk about it. Kay?”
After a meager hesitation he answered, “…Alleth…my name.”
“Thank you, Alleth. Now, do you have any place left to go? …Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents?”
Sweat dripped along the sides of his hair by his cheeks and down his neck. He was still shaking from this tragedy he had just witnessed. His sleeves were rolled up on his shoulders. He had a white shirt draped around his torso, and even though dirty, it contrasted with his tanned skin.
“No…I…I am all alone now…” He whispered quietly but just loud enough for Yohni to hear. She gently settled a hand on his leg, just above the knee.
For a moment, Yohni glanced around at the others and happened to notice Kazi had made it to Mobirus and was, thankfully, helping out the others. They seemed to be handling the small mechanic militia with ease. She turned back to Alleth who was still looking down. Yohni looked over him a second, thinking about the agency. This was how each of them joined—when they were found parentless because they were killed by the metal mass of regadroids. “Well, I think we might have a place for you. It’s up to Master Saeros, though, but I think he’d be willing to let you join.” His deep blue eyes glanced up from under his long lashes which were probably quite helpful in a sandy environment like Mobirus.
Yohni felt her cheeks burn for a moment. It could have just been the sun. She shook her head as if to shake away her color and change the subject. “You aren’t in anyway related to a kutaiba are you?”
“I didn’t think so. Don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine. Unless…you don’t want to stay with us. You wouldn’t rather be out on your own, would you?”
“No, no, I couldn’t. I have nothing to even start that. No money, work, everything is so scarce around here. Anywhere else would be too expensive anyway. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d really appreciate it…Just for a while, until I find work or something.”
“Well, you could work for us.” Yohni suggested joyfully. “We all work for Master Saeros.” She gestured to her friends in the distance. “And we get paid, well, sorta. He pays us in food, shelter, clothing, and so on, if you wouldn’t mind that. He also gives us actual credit, or money, when we want to go out if we deserve it.” She laughed. “It’ll be fun. It’s been a while since we had another member join.”
“Is the money system the same wherever you guys live?” Alleth inquired curiously.
“Um…I’m not sure. In Amroth we have these symbols…” Yohni took off the black glove that covered her left hand and held it out. There was a simple design that decorated the back of her hand. There were two small feint green circles with a few strange shapes next to them that looked like cartoony flower petals. “All our earnings are entered into our symbols. When we go to pay, they just scan it. Each time we gain payment, we get the set amount scanned onto our permanent symbols.”
“Cool, yeah, it’s the same.” Alleth unraveled a bandage that had been fixed around his hand layered several times over his knuckles. As he was doing so, Yohni slipped her glove back on and glanced back over to check on the others. The rest of the agents were finishing up the battle with only a few machines left. Families that had survived had escaped and all that was left now were the robots and a destroyed village with only one or two standing buildings.
“I’m sorry about your town…your home.” Yohni said coming to a stand. “I should probably help my friends out with these last couple of guys. You wait here and we’ll see about you staying with us.”
“Uh, no, nothing. Never mind.”
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