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Chen glided across the waters towards the prone figuring laying beneath the foliage of an arbor. He’d heard the woman’s cry of distress, but before that he heard her heartfelt plea. He didn’t understand her words. The language was not his mother’s tongue, but Chen read emotions clearly. Before something caused her distress, she was calling out to the Heavens for enlightenment.
As Chen made his way over to her, he looked down into the murky depths. A wave of disappointment crashed over him. Though the only light was from the moon’s glow, Chen could see clearly that the water didn’t match any of the blue from his mother’s memories. There would be no diving into its murky stillness.
When he’d landed awhile ago, he’d seen the water clearly, though the liquid wasn’t clear. Both the light from the planet’s star and the lights from the ship’s transport illuminated the waters. Refuse bobbed to the surface along with the carcasses of dead and decaying marine life. Chen’s plans of sailing on a clear blue wave crashed, when he saw the metallic scrapings he’d meet if he dared to wade in.
Careful of the vegetation underfoot, Chen glided away from the transport and wandered around perplexed. The bottom of his long robes trailed over the plant that had closed off its petals in the absence of the light. Chen could feel them sparking to life and reaching up to the sole’s of his feet as he drifted above them.
This was his mother’s village. He would never doubt Hsing’s navigation. His brother was meticulous and precise in all things. Chen stepped out of the clearing, and came face to face with human life -not exactly face to face as he was covered with in dark robes and a hooded cloak. His kind genetically and physically favored their fathers and not their mothers’ species. Though Chen had many traits from his human mother, there were some noticeable physical differences. Chen didn’t wish to alarm the humans. Access to this planet was restricted, abduction illegal.
Chen was not typically a rule breaker. But the times called for drastic measures. But it wasn’t in Chen’s nature to go to extremes. He could bend, not break. Chen had decided he wouldn’t abduct a woman. He would take one that was willing. But not just any one. One who called to his soul.
Moving into the mix of humans, Chen felt his soul weighing down with each step. The amount of people out overwhelmed Chen. His kind were a small society, even before the war. The amount of humans out in the streets were more than the entire crew on his ship.
There hadn’t been this many people in his mother’s memories. There also hadn’t been so many structures cluttered together. The dwellings were tall and spaced close together. Smoke rose in the air coloring the night’s sky gray. The lights posted on the faces of some of the structures were of a spectrum on the light scale that hurt Chen’s eyes.
As Chen made his way deeper into the village, his nose was assaulted with the smell of various foods. But when he inhaled, his throat seized. He spluttered, coughing loudly. His hood nearly slipped from his head to reveal his face. A few humans looked his way.
Chen took smaller breaths, breathing through his mouth. Like humans, oxygen was necessary for his life’s blood. Oxygen was a naturally occurring chemical. The human food was laced with a number of chemical compounds, most toxic, others he simply couldn’t fathom why they’d allow them near their food supply. Not only were the chemicals unappetizing, the look of the food also turned his stomach. It appeared as though they’d purposely mixed the chemicals into the brown, orange and yellow mush on purpose.
Chen also noticed a lack of wildlife in the area. What animals he did see were caged or on leashes. Chen closed his eyes and reached out into the surrounding mountains. He sensed a conscious effort of animals in the wild keeping their distance out of fear and loathing for humankind. He sensed no tigers nearby.
Chen’s shoulders slumped. There would be no blue itinerary. There would be no new memories of his own. This place looked like a bad dream that he wanted to escape quickly.
How had things changed in such a short time? One thousand revolutions was not a lot of time on the Heaven’s clock. The Earth was still a young planet. It didn’t get many uninvited visitors from the Heavens. The planet was under the protection of the Neterians, the oldest beings in the universe. Since they had a vested interest in the bipedal beings, most higher beings stayed away from the planet. Or at least they didn’t make themselves known to the adolescent humankind. Chen pulled his cloak further down his forehead.
Hsing’s edict had been to grab the first woman he saw and return. As much as Chen abhorred the idea of abduction, he felt even more revulsion at taking a woman who didn’t call to his core. None of the women in the village appealed to him. They all rushed about with hunched shoulders. Many had children on their arms; Chen was completely adverse to taking a mother away from its offspring. Many of the young girls had the countenance of grown women, as though they’d lived a hard and jaded life in their short time. Chen felt the weight of their sadness. He wanted to go to them, to help to alleviate their stains, but he didn’t. He didn’t have time.
Both Chen and Hsing wanted a mate of their mother’s heritage. But none of the women he encountered in the village compared to the light in their mother’s eyes, the strength in her heart, the clarity of her mind. Chen would not condemn himself, or his brother, to a life of discontent. That’s when Chen turned and headed back to the transport. This was a decision that would affect the rest of their lives’. It would affect the direction of the lives’ of those remaining on their ship. It could not be made in haste. The woman they chose could not be random, she needed to be special.
Looking out across the water, something pricked at the base of Chen’s spine and the crown of his head. The base of the spine was the seat of sexual desire. The crown of the head was the highest point of awareness. The prone form on the opposing bank called to both points, and Chen made his way to her.
Chen stepped onto the shore. The gravel crunched beneath his feet. The first thing that caught his eye was her brown skin. It was a deeper shade than his mother’s. Her dress was different than his mother’s had been. She was clad in a small scrap of cloth that covered her sex and showed off her long, toned legs. Her waist was small in comparison to her hips and breasts. Though she lay prone, her breasts were still full and mountainous. Her long, lush eyelids rested at the tops of her cheek bone. His gaze traveled down to her pink lips and something deep inside of him flared.
Chen swallowed. There was no more distress signals coming from her. She was at peace. He reached towards her. His fingers itched to make contact.
A rustle of sand sounded beside him. Chen turned and caught a flash of blue. The small creature with many legs and external skeleton resembled the Arachnites of the planet Spenthro. Only this being was miniature. And it was a lovely color of blue. Chen smiled in greeting.
The creature reared its tail, a sharp point at its end. Chen didn’t need to reach out to know that the creature felt threatened by his presence. But Chen did reach out because he knew the creature did not understand that he posed no threat.
Chen sent a wave of compassion toward the animal, showing it that he meant it no harm or malice.
Chen showed the creature a few of his mother’s memories: blue waves, lush, green forests, the sound of laughing human children.
The creature sent back an image of the refuse in the murky waters, the shaved stumps of cut down arbors. It sent an image of pebbles turning as it scurried away from small humans with sticks swinging at it.
The scorpion just wanted to be left undisturbed to live its life in quiet. It attacked in defense. This would be an animal after Hsing’s heart. Hsing would go to any length to protect what was left of his home and his family.
It showed new refuse littering the path to its once home. Next it showed long legs towering over the entrance to its home.
Chen looked to the woman lying prone on the ground. Her long, shapely legs matched those of the creatures vision.
The creature continued sending short bursts of images. A flash of the woman in its path. A flash of the woman raising her hands large, menacing, and crowding out the night star. A flash of her large eyes as she stared at it, intent on destruction. A flash as it scurried forth and struck the woman in self-defense.
Chen saw the woman in the creatures mind’s eye. Chen saw her up close in the images sent by the creature. Chen heard her pleas once more. Chen heard her desires and it called to him once more. But, looking through the creatures eyes, Chen saw how the movements could be perceived as threatening to something so small.
Watching the creatures memories, Chen saw the fear in the eyes of the woman, as she saw the creature preparing to strike.
The woman fell.
The scorpion retreated a few steps, now defenseless after expending all of its venom.
The creature sent a final flash, a flash that left Chen cold. The last image was of refuse covering the woman’s body as it decayed in the murky waters.
Chen felt a double dose of fear. This was not a memory of the creature, it was its intention.
Chen narrowed his eyes on the small creature. Its eight legs backed away, its pincer still high. Chen was a peaceful being by nature, but anger rose at the creatures threats towards this woman.
With the creature now gone into the night, Chen turned back to the prone woman. His hands shook as they hovered over her body. Something deep inside told him that once he touched her it would change everything. A prickle of energy ran up his spine from the base to the crown. She’s the one, the energy whispered.
Chen found the spot on her leg where the scorpion struck. The skin was puckered and red. He could see it throbbing with pain. It wasn’t peace she was experiencing, it was paralysis. He could wait no longer.
His fingers wrapped around her thigh. For a moment, his eyes were caught in the contrast of brown skin and blue fingers. The pads of his fingers contacted her skin and it was as though his entire being opened up. Chen’s instinct was to latch on to her and never let go. But overriding that instinct was a self-preservation instinct; an instinct to preserve her.
The poison wasn’t life threatening. But it caused her body great distress. The distress arrowed directly to Chen’s heart. He had to make it stop.
Chen folded himself down next to her. He gently lifted her head and placed it into his lap. Her lips parted and he froze for a moment. His loins pulsed with desire. He shoved the lust away and focused once more.
He placed his one hand on her forehead, the other on the inflicted area of her thigh. Chen dug into himself, reaching deep into his well of peace. Then he reached to her, for her. He pulled against the venom, pulled against the current within her that spread the poison through her. Chen pulled against the tide. He separated the venom from her blood. He wrapped his will around the molecules that contained the neurotoxins and he pulled them until they receded from her body.
Slowly, her body began to move. First her legs twitched. Then her chest rose. Her hands clenched. Her thighs pressed together. A deep moan escaped her lips.
Chen knew he should remove her from his lap. He was deeply aroused, but the last thing he wanted was to be parted from her.
Her eyes opened. They locked with Chen’s.
Her mouth began to move. Chen couldn’t understand the words coming out. He was too distracted by her lips to reach out to understand her emotions.
Chen pushed his hood back, revealing his face.
The woman let out a blood curdling scream.