"She dies, and leaves her life the victor’s prize" Richard Crashaw
The Martian rail system was hooked up to every major city and settlement–if one wanted to–one could go from one end to the other–with stops in major areas. Most of the long distances were above ground–this exposed the rail system to the harsh Martian elements–but the design of the rocket powered trains were more than enough to deal with it. Archibald and Sheyouany took the first evening train to the city of Namgoy. It was one of the largest settlements in the region–it had its own subsystems and links to all the other major cities and suburbs–it was possible to go to the other side of Mars–once you entered Namgoy. Most major cities had a transdoor–though only a few existed on Mars. Some planets had only one transdoor–and it had to serve the entire planet–needless to say–in those cases–the transdoor was very large–some could fit enormous train systems through them. This allowed the import and export of materials from one planet to another–even though the planets might be hundreds or thousands of light years apart. The most distant colony known was on the opposite end of the galaxy–with some other distant colonies located deep within the galaxy cluster. Still–that counted for only a percent of a percent of the entire galaxy. All in all–just over a thousand settlements were official–though new ones popped up from time to time–this was due to the paradox of the transdoor continuum–which once a new transdoor was opened–could never be closed. It was thought by scientist–that if you were to close one transdoor–all of them would collapse–and that this would cause an anti–matter inversion in the proximity of the galaxy–causing the entire galaxy to fold upon itself.
The thought of the entire galaxy being destroyed seemed unthinkable as Archibald gazed out of the window of the super fast rocket train, "Everything always seems a blur..."
Sheyouany sat next to him–it was obvious if you were paying attention–that she like Archibald most fondly–but for some reason–feelings like that were never spoken, "What?"
Archibald took in a deep breath, "Even if you take the rocket train during the day–everything is still a blur."
Sheyouany smiled, "Unless you look way off in the distance–you might see a robot wildcat howl."
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Go for it."
"When your people–Martians came back–and found that people from Earth Prime had colonized what had once been your planet–did they want to go to war?"
Sheyouany giggled, "You mean–did we act like the people of Earth Prime acted? No–but we were surprised to see that your people had settled on Mars."
"Well–I suppose because we left it–to find a new place to live–a new solar system–this one had seemed too unstable to try and live in it anymore. It wasn’t until we started to get strange readings from the surface of Mars–that we turned our instruments to Earth Prime and discovered that there was a civilization on it. Earth Prime was in a primitive state when my people left. But a
few went to Earth–deciding to take a chance–and colonize."
"If that is true–then why aren’t humans just like Martians?"
"I believe at first–that humans and Martians began to interbreed–history at that point is vague at best–we know that there was some type of planetary shift–caused by a solar anomaly."
Through the back ways–Amy ran and her heart pounded. She ducked and dodged in between the shadows and lights–how had she gotten herself into this mess–stay out of trouble her mind kept telling her–but it was too late. She was in trouble–two mysterious strangers chased her–she ran into local residents–merchants mostly–selling things–small things and large. Any other time–she’d have stopped and looked and maybe shopped–you could get some real bargains by shopping on Mars–then bring them back to Earth Prime and sell them–if one wanted to–or just put them in your house and let your friends amaze with envy–your Martian imports.
But this was not time for that–those people–looked like two big ugly guys were after her. She tried running up to a local and asking for help–no good–the locals around here spoke some other language–Martian maybe? She wasn’t sure–there were so many languages spoken on Mars–it all depended on what area you were in. They were getting closer–she was really starting to panic–up ahead–a man–sitting at a table–it was right out in the open–if the men chasing her were going to do something–then they’d have to do it out in the light. She ran up to the table and quickly sat down–pretending like she knew the man at the table–so that the strangers chasing her would be thrown off–or at least be forced to back off for fear of being discovered.
Amy raised a hand and ordered a small Martian coffee–coffee on Mars was different than on some other planets–it was intoxicating–then she turned to him, "I’m sorry–I’m having trouble–some men are chasing me–do you mind if I just sit here for a moment–until they get the message–and leave?"
The man looked up–it was Andrew–he smiled, "Believe me–you and sit with me anytime–and as for someone chasing you–show me who they are–and I’ll do my best to discourage them!"
She was shocked–more taken aback, "You..."
Andrew nodded then took as sip of his drink, "I never thought I’d see you here–on Mars–but I can’t say that I’m disappointed. Besides people chasing you–how have you been, Amy?"
Amy was still trying to digest her good fortune–or was it–remember what Wayclose told her–this man could be more dangerous than the strangers chasing her, "I–er–I need your help–I’m in a little bit of trouble. You see–I wandered off from the tour–thought I’d get a better view of the locals–I did–I stumbled into some type of illegal activity–I think–then I started to be chased. Could you pretend like we know each other..."
Amy leaned closer then kissed him, "I mean in a romantic kind of way–so that they will think that I’m protected–I’m with someone..."
The kiss was soft and surprisingly tender–both their eyes met–Andrew said, "They are gone."
Amy’s lips were still locked to his, "What?"
"The people that were chasing you–they saw us and have decided to back off–it worked."
Amy slowly pulled away, "Yes–it worked–gee–you must think the worst of me." She tried to pull herself together–but that kiss...
Andrew sat back–a pleasant look on his face, "I’m going to be leaving in a bit–maybe you’d like to go with?"
"Yes–I’d like that–I mean–thank you, Andrew", he didn’t seem dangerous–why were Faithers suppose to be so evil? What was wrong with believing in Jesus Christ–from what she had heard–that Christ healed countless people–with a way that to this day–was a miracle.
Namgoy City was a hub–it was the place that most of the tourist come to when first arriving on Mars–there were all sort of merchants set up in it–and the city was divided into burrows–each one for a different type of selling. The whole thing behind Technoligion was that in the vast League of Worlds–everything depended on the art of buying and selling. At night–the city took on a festive feel–with lights–and signs and all sorts of things to lure out the traveler and potential customer–restaurants abound throughout the city–it all depended on what type of food a tourist was willing to brave into their stomach. For obvious reasons–Martian cooking and Martian food was the tourist favorite–but there were samples of cuisine from all the sectors of the League of Planets.
There was a small restaurant which served Earth and Martian cooking–quite good–most people that went there just loved it–but it was also a quiet place–where one could bring a date and talk and relax–a good place. Archibald and Sheyouany were instructed to go there and find a table. For children to be out at night in Namgoy–without parents–was unusual–and they did draw attention by more than a few locals and tourist who knew that while Namgoy was a wonderful place for mixing up culture–it was also a dangerous place–and children should be at home–safe in bed.
Archibald said, "I don’t think they are going to come..."
Sheyouany voiced while keeping her eyes open for trouble, "Let’s just give it a little more time–we took a risk coming down here–God knows the city is scary enough–at night."
"We were told never to come here at night–it is one of the first things we learn when we start school at Angelcross."
"Yes–I know–but lots of kids do it anyway."
"And some get lost–maybe even..."
"Don’t say it–I’m shaking as it is–wait–someone is coming over to our table."
It was a waiter–she was very worried, "Why are you two here in the middle of the night? Where are your parents?"
Archibald cleared his throat, "Er–we are waiting for someone–we’ll be going right after that."
The waitress surveyed them and then the room–couples eating and enjoying the night life–a night life designed for grownups–not for kids, "It’s the middle of the night–and judging by the clothes you are wearing–you are from that Seminary just out on the outer part of the city. I know they don’t let their kids out late at night–it’s a religious school–they have strict rules."
Sheyouany uttered, "Please–we will only be a few more moments–then we’ll hurry back and
take the first rocket train back."
The waitress didn’t like it–but motioned that she’d be keeping an eye on them–she left and shortly–someone else came up–their face was partly covered–but by the hands–the kids could tell that it was a Martian.
The stranger said, "Sit quietly–and listen–I’m being watched," that caused them all to just look around to see if someone was looking at them, "don’t be too obvious. Your teacher–the one
that was suppose to have been killed in the aircar–he’s alive."
Archibald said in excitement, "He is–where is he?"
The stranger had already began to get up, "Here take this pad–on it are instructions–your teacher is the victim of a group–a very dangerous group that hates Faithers. They are known as the Infidels. They are a branch of Technoligion–a part of the system that is not suppose to exist anymore–now that equality has been achieved in the government–and Faithers have power."
The hotel room was small but elegant–Amy sat at the open window–which had a view of open undergrown vista–on Mars the architects had a way of creating space by using caverns to build buildings that went into the ceiling of the caves. Tunnels spread throughout the city–linking one part to another–with patches of nodes–that opened to community life–buildings–walks–shops–the first attempts at designing and building underground dwellings had their draw backs–in them–you felt cramped and everywhere you looked–were walls. But as time went on–and more people moved to Mars and settled in various areas of the planet–the architecture took on a new direction–one of not just survival but of art and beauty. Centuries later–Martian architecture was renowned–in fact–on other planets that mankind settled–where he had to live underground–Martian architecture was a blueprint for cultural survival. Amy’s back was still to Andrew–who was doing something at the other end of the hotel room, "Tell me something–and if you can–be honest."
Andrew looked up–waited, "What would you like to know."
Amy’s eyes met his, "Why does the government want you? Who are you?"
Andrew nodded and came over to her–he looked out the window–the circulation of air in the vast cave and cavern systems–created breezes and cool air flowed in, "I’m not from here."
"Oh–nor am I–I’m from Earth Prime–but I first met you on Earth Prime–so where are you from?"
"I’m a time traveler–of sorts–technically–I’m from the past."
"Oh please–a person from the past couldn’t get along in this type of future–you know things–you are being chased by a man..."
Amy had messed up–she had let her emotions get the better of her and now she had gone and blown it, "Forget it."
Andrew was very serious, "No–you said that I was being chased by a man–whom?"
"I don’t know–there was this strange guy–to be honest–he frightens me–he said that you were dangerous–an enemy of Technoligion–a Faither spy."
"You know I’m a Faither–I told you that. But I’m not the enemy–he is–I am from the past. In your future–a project will be created–to travel all the way to the end of time–using transdoor technology in order to link one sector of quantum events to another. At the threshold of the event
horizon–between the end of time and the beginning of time–these explorers–will manage to bridge the gap between the past and the future–thus–linking mankind–there will be no more time as you know it."
"You are telling me that you were part of this expedition?"
"No–I was born in your past–centuries ago–but the past is the future and the future is the past. The illusion of time is that it is moving forward–but it is not–it is moving backwards–the way God created the universe–everything was created in a very short time–and in their maturity. That means that things have not been evolving–but de-evolving–ever since Adam and Eve fell from grace–and were expelled from the Garden of Eden."
"You mean that was real?"
"The Garden of Eden–oh yeah–we have documented proof. But there was an evil group of assassins–they secretly traveled through the bridge–following the expedition–they had a mission to change the future–by changing small things in the past."
"How can you change the future–I thought that it was impossible to change destiny?"
"It is–but you can influence events in the future by change little things–not big ones." The event schedule was now posted–there were events for every grade level at the Seminary–seeing that the grades went from K-12 and then on into college levels and graduate levels where students could earn doctorates in Religion and other spiritual related subjects. The purpose of Angelcross was to train young minds to become priest and ministers and pastors–spiritual leaders in the Dark Ages. The times in which mankind had managed to colonize on hundreds of planets throughout the galaxy–they were mixed with amazing technology and advancements in science–and marked with great spiritual dread. There were twelve schools like Angelcross in the United Planets–six of them were Faither driven–and six were driven by Technoligion. These schools were the ivy league of the schools like them–they set the standards for all other institutions of learning in the League of Worlds and the League of Planets–which were all subject to the Dynasty.
The three looked at the events boards–Lewanda uttered, "Our names have been placed in the Quad Soccer Events. We will be representing one of the four sectors–our school–Angelcross is ranked at the top–competing with Demonsword–no one wants to play against them."
Sheyouany said, "That’s because most schools that play against them loose–I can’t believe that we are slated to compete against them."
Archibald voiced, "I don’t think we are going to have time for this."
The two girls looks puzzled at him–finally Lewanda spoke, "This is a great honor to play for the school, Archibald. It means that everyone is going to be counting on us–the school’s honor is at risk–not to mention the fact that I don’t want that Demonsword to win–the Dark Planets in the Dark Sectors can’t be allowed to prevail."
Sheyouany nodded, "We have been chosen–called if you will–it is our duty to represent our school–and the other grade levels that are going to be playing in various events are counting on everybody doing their best."
Archibald said, "What about saving Pastor Hipshot? Have we forgotten about that?"
Lewanda shook her head, "No–of course not–but if any of the clues are right–in order to save him–we are going to have to go into the Martian Wilderness–that’s where it is said that Hipshot is being held captive."
Archibald interjected, "And now I know why–just look here–the information on the events board–they correspond to the instructions given us by the stranger that we met at the café in Namgoy. We are being called to throw the game..."
Sheyouany yelled, "What!"
Archibald looked around, "Don’t react–who knows who is watching us–to see if we are going to comply or if we are going to do something else."
Lewanda concurred, "I think Archibald is right–just look–the instructions that we were given are linked some how to the events–and we all have been put in the same event–soccer–something that we are all very good at–and something that would be easy for whoever is watching us to keep an eye on us. Pastor Hipshot has been kidnaped in order to put pressure on us to throw the game."
Sheyouany studied the board and nodded, "You are right–this has been planned–and not by rival students–the Dark Planets want to win–lots of money rides on these games–you know. The government of Technoligion is based on buying and selling–even when it comes of Faithers–we can’t escape it."
Archibald said, "But we don’t use the numbers of the beast either..."
Sheyouany spoke, "Even though I’m Martian–most of my people believe in Jesus Christ."
Amy wiggled a glass of wine as she stood out on the veranda, "Now–tell me what is going on?"
Andrew lit up a Stygonia cigar, "There is an organization that exists within the Technoligion government called NTCIS. It is their job to crush and subvert factions that oppose the Dynasty. But the NTCIS has roots that go all the way back to ancient Earth times–to witch crafts and wizardry. They are a dark organization serving the evil spirits that were forced into captivity on ancient Earth thousands of years ago."
Amy looked out onto the city lights of Namgoy, "Science has proven that there are no such things."
Andrew uttered, "Science is an instrument of the Devil! Ever notice that whatever God Almighty says–the evil ones try and counter his words. The evil ones knew that mankind–the vast majority would not accept the teachings and the words of demons–so they simply changed the wording–instead of calling the dark arts witchcraft or using other sacrilegious terms–they changed the names of the things that people had trouble with–but if you’ll just trace the origins back to their sources–you’ll see that science is nothing more than wizardry."
Amy nodded, "Okay–so how does all of this fit in with you?"
Andrew voiced, "There is a man–I’ve been chasing him throughout time–he is an assassin. You see–the Dark Powers discovered early on–that if you try and change big events–nothing gets changed at all. You can’t change the future by trying and changing key events–those things have to happen–they are pivotal in all incarnations of time and space. But they discovered–quite by
accident–that if you change tiny events–things that seemingly go unnoticed–for example–you have a glass of wine in your hand right now–but if in another Time Sweep–if I saw to it that you held a beer instead–a change would take place in the future–small–but change none the less."
Amy leaned against the rail, "So–this is a pain staking process–in order the make significant changes in our future–many people have to be affected–but only slightly. A red dress tonight instead of a green one–that I’m wearing at the moment."
Andrew nodded while blowing smoke rings, "Exactly! The time line has been permanently contaminated–no one can tell what is the original Time Sweep. And the beauty of it all is that the Holy Bible accurately records all of the anomalies."
Amy looked him in the eyes–she wanted to kiss him–but maybe it was the wine–she wasn’t sure, "I met this man–as I told you–Wayclose–he told me that you were dangerous to society."
Andrew laughed slightly, "Is that the name he’s using right now? Wayclose is a cold blooded killer–I’ve been chasing him throughout time–he has the authorities blessing–you see–to Technoligion–I’m the enemy–but to God’s People–I’m one of them. That is why there are paradoxes in the Holy Bible–someone has been messing with the time line. In an attempt to change the future."
Amy moved in closer to him, "But for what purpose?"
Andrew looked her clearly in the eyes, "To try and win the war to end all wars–the evil ones know that they have very little time left–they have been mounting a counter attack since the beginning–planning and plotting–do you think Adam and Eve’s assassination in Eden was just chance? They have been manipulating time and events since its inception."
Amy stepped back, "They think they can defeat God Almighty? That’s insane no one can stay the hand of Jesus Christ," it was then that she realized–she believed–she was a Christian–a Faither. What was she going to do–this man she had met hand managed to convert her.
I see the will of God Almighty and the things that the Lord has done
He has made the children in His image and God Almighty created the
Sun to shine down upon the Holy Hills of time and the humbleness
Of mankind for the Lord is great in all of His ways and we are blessed
Dear Lord hear my prayer and deliver me from the evilness of this sick
And perverted world for I have waded through the filth and found that
Without God no man can save himself and I have seen the false prophets
That point in all the wrong directions in order to mislead the flock
Dear Jesus Christ hear my words for I hold your Holiness sacred and I
Cling to every word of God for I can not live without the word of God
And I find no peace except within His grace and His wonderful beauty
For while sin is tempting it is the true beauty of Jesus Christ that heals
Lord forgive me of my sins for they are too many for me to count and I
Have fallen by the wayside and can’t seem to gain my balance for I write
These letters to gain favor before your Holiness and before your Grace
And I know that I do not deserve saving but Jesus Christ’s labor lives
In the Hills of Zim-ergog I saw the flying dragons was they breathed
Fire upon the children of men and the church of God offered up hope
Than not all people of the Earth would die but that there would be some
That would live and that the gorgeousness of God’s Spirit would shine
There are the caves of Tim’sihok that were the places that the Children of
God ran to hide while the evilness of this world consumed even itself
With a vast amount of sinful perversions for what is war but the perverse
Nature of the devil to kill mankind and spread hatred across the land and
The evil men buy into the evil spirit’s plans for the souls of men are food
But I looked up in a dream in the night and I saw the wonderfulness that
Is Jesus Christ and I saw the darkness running away from the Light of God
For who can be saved except that they come to the Lord with humbleness
And fear of hell-fire because it is not the proud that are won but are sold
I was once a slave in another life as my genetic memory told me of the
Story of my people’s hardships and the evil in which false-faces of white
Enslaved those who were more beautiful than themselves and the sin of
Oppression was not justified in the Holy Bible but condemned for evilness
God has freed the weak and the humble and his power is pointed towards
Those who love Him and worship his Holy Son for the Son of God is beautiful
And his power is beyond the universe for God is Almighty and his ways are
Perfect in all that come to him for salvation and the Lord is our stronghold A rather large group of children–boys and girls–mostly aliens–faced off with Archibald and his friends–Fredead was the leader of the pack, "So you think that you have a chance to win against Demonsword this year?" He looked at his friends who all started laughing at the same time he did.
Archibald glanced–his eyes falling on Sheyouany and Lewanda before seeing the others behind him, "The odds are just as good for us as your you. If everyone plays fair–anyone can win."
Now the other group was laughing so hard that they couldn’t control themselves–finally Fredead–a horrible looking alien boy with an extra set of tentacles coming out of his back voiced, "Most of our players are from the Dark Planets–we have powers that you haven’t even imagined. While just look at you and your lot–a few pathetic Martians and mostly humans–there’s no way that any of you can out play us! This soccer event is going to us–and our school will get a big fat check for a million shekels! And we’ll be famous–again." They all laughed some more.
Sheyouany couldn’t take it anymore, "The only way that you’ll win is if you cheat!"
That got Fredead really ticked off, "Oh–so the little Martian girl can speak–too bad that your people just up and abandoned your planet–only to have the humans over run the place now!"
Lewanda yelled, "Eat worms!"
Fredead smiled, "Love to–they are my people’s favorite snack!"
Archibald said, "Then we will crush you like a worm!"
Fredead’s fist hurled towards Archibald’s face but in those split seconds–Sheyouany’s articulated tail wrapped around his arm and pulled his fist back–things suddenly got very tense–then around the way came Pastor Prettyfield–the children all changed their countenances.
Prettyfield still sensed tension, "Is everything all right, children. I see that the visiting team
has met the home team–getting along all right are we?"
Archibald didn’t look at Pastor Prettyfield, "Yes, ma’am, we have met..."
Prettyfield nodded and smiled, "Good then–the lot of you need to be off to get ready for a grand feast in the visiting school’s honor–dress up for dinner tonight." Then she went on her way.
Fredead uttered before they all departed, "Next time, Archibald–your little Martian friend won’t be able to keep me from crushing your face in!"
Archibald didn’t say anything so Lewanda spoke up, "Next time–on the soccer field..."
They all started off to their dorms–the three of them walked together–Archibald voiced, "Thanks, Sheyouany–it’s good to know who your friends are in a tight bind."
Sheyouany said, "We are all friends for life. Our respected cultures forged alliances centuries ago–but it had to come from our families first finding common ground."
Lewanda uttered, "The kingdoms of our people are friends–just like we are." What she spoke of was the fact that the three of them were from royal blood–Archibald was a young prince and Sheyouany was a young princess and Lewanda was also a young princess. One day they might be called upon to rule their kingdoms–the alliances they forged in their days at Angelcross Seminary would last a life time.
Archibald finally spoke, "Still–they do have a lot of creepy alien players on their team. The Dark Planets have no controls to stop the proliferation of outlawed technology and illegal alien breeding. Some of those people on those planets are like living nightmares."
Lewanda added, "Some of them are really big for their age too."
Sheyouany agreed, "They smell bad..."
There was a brief moment of silence–then the three of them started laughing as they went.
Amy stood there looking at fancy cut precious stones in a store front, "Do you think that I’d ever be able to afford something like that?"
Andrew looked on, "To be honest–they are just rocks dug up from out of the earth or minerals forced to undergo extreme pressure in order to form so called precious stones. It really doesn’t make sense–not when you think about all the things that are going on in the Dynasty."
Amy gazed up at his handsome face, "Don’t suppose you have someone waiting for you when you get back–some woman–maybe in another dimension or time?"
Andrew kind of smiled then shook his head, "I’m not coming back."
Amy was taken back, "What do you mean? Surely after you finish stopping this man you are after–surely you will be allowed to go back home–isn’t there anyone?"
Andrew began to walk slowly away from the store front with Amy following as he told her, "Remember–this is a very complicated thing that I am involved in–there are no easy ways out of it–once a person has volunteered to do this–you can’t go back–back to what? If the bad guys succeed–the future will change and maybe your part of it will change too much for you to be part of it any more. If I and the many like me succeed–the future changes all the same–but for the better and not for the worst."
Amy uttered, "So no matter who wins in the end–the future is going to change–it’s just a matter of good winning over evil."
Andrew took a deep breath, "Something like that–already some of the people that I knew–friends and loved ones–some of them don’t exist anymore–or they have taken different
paths–due to the subtle but profound changes that Planters have been making in the past."
Amy questioned, "Planters?"
Andrew nodded, "Yes–we are called Planters–because we plant the seeds of change and ruin–we alter the course that was originally laid down–with the hope that our side will win in the end."
Amy said, "It sounds like the Planters have been going through this for a long time–just how many alternate outcomes have there been–I mean–do you always met me in all of your incarnations?"
Andrew voiced, "From my side–we don’t work like that–I’m too busy trying to keep the bad guys from doing damage to the future–while the bad guys are busy trying to do as much damage as they can–without over powering the cosmic system and having God reset the results."
Amy said, "You mean–if things get too far out of hand–the Lord will get involved in the process–that is fantastic–we need to tell the people about this–so that they will believe–as I now do."
Andrew uttered curtly, "No! No one must know about the things that I am telling you–it would make them targets for the evil Planters. You can call the good ones Sowers and the bad ones Planters–because the Sowers sow good seed and the bad ones Plant bad seed–weeds–briars of evilness."
Amy protested, "But you have told me?"
Andrew nodded and looked her clearly into the eyes, "Yes–I have told you..."
Amy suddenly felt an emotional chill run up her back, "I’m different–aren’t I–some how it is okay to tell me–because some how–I’m involved in this process."
Andrew took her in has strong arms, "Don’t be afraid–I’m here to protect you–you are my assignment–Wayclose won’t hurt you."
Amy felt comforted in his arms, "Oh my God–Wayclose wants to kill me–I’m it."
The corridor was long and wide–vaulted and full of school and seminary memorabilia–a small group of students had just rounder the corner and left when Archibald came around–then suddenly from the side came Gothatina–Fredead’s sister. She had a serious crush on Archibald ever since they were little and they met because of some diplomatic ceremony–which brought her royal family and his royal family temporarily together. Her long dark hair flung below her hips–she was very voluptuous for her age.
She cornered him in the hall, "I was wondering when we’d have a moment, Archibald Gardener–now looks like we do."
Archibald acted reserved–though he couldn’t help to be attracted to her obvious beauty, "Gothatina, I was wondering if you had come with your brother–now I guess I don’t have to wonder anymore."
Gothatina smiled, "You look great, Archibald–how have you been?"
Archibald tried to maneuver around her but she kept positioning herself close to him, "I’m fine and you look great–so let’s just leave things at that."
Gothatina took the compliment with a big smile, "You know–I’ve written you several letters–you wrote me back saying that you missed me."
Archibald sighed, "Gothatina–you know as well as I do–that if your brother or those
mindless zombies that he associates with–discover that you and I are even just having a conversation–alone–the two of us–there is going to be trouble. Our families don’t mix–you are from the Dark Planets and I’m from a Faither planet–the two cultures don’t mix."
Gothstina took him by the arm as they began to slowly–ever so slowly walk on, "I’ve spoken with the Head Soothsayer of my palace–she has told me that our destinies are bound together–that we will be married in the future."
Archibald recoiled when he heard that, "We will never be married, Gothatina–the soothsayer only told you what you wanted to hear."
Gothatina move into him and gently kissed him on the lips–looking him in the eyes she said, "She told me what has to be done–I love you, Archibald–I always have–ever since we first met–when we were little and our parents tried to keep us away from each other."
Archibald took in a deep breath, "You love what you can’t have."
Gothatina stepped back a moment, "I can have whatever I want–I a princess of Digon-tryk–I command and others do..."
Archibald said, "I’m a prince of Riner–and I’ll tell you–my parents make me do my own chores–it’s degrading–but one day–I’ll thank them for teaching me independence. We can’t all have what we want–that is the difference between our two cultures and between us–there is a dark side about you, Gothatina–and frankly–it frightens me."
Gothatina tried to recover from her emotional pride, "That is where you come in my life–you can teach me to be different–better–maybe even convert me to your ways."
Archibald uttered, "Digon-tryk women don’t easily convert and subject themselves to much of anything–not without force–it is a commonly known fact. Look–you are here to play in the Quad Soccer Event–so are a lot of other kids. But it isn’t a good idea for us to be seen together."
Gothatina uttered, "Tell me that you don’t have feelings for me and I’ll leave you alone."
Archibald lied, "I don’t have any feelings for you."
Gothatina kissed him once more and began to walk away–just before she went around a corner–she voiced, "I will have you as my soul-mate, Archibald Gardener–it is destiny."
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