To The Stars...Chapter 2

If he kept his eyes closed he could dream.

Dream of the rocky outcropping where he and his mate, Niuske, would stand basking in the warmth of the globe as it appeared over the far horizon. They would linger in the first dawn's pale yellow light, waiting for the second dawn's globe to rise and mingle it's orange rays with the first's.

He would dream of holding her close to his hearts, chin resting lightly upon her surprisingly smooth scaled head, arms wrapped around her small frame, loving the feel of the spawn who wrestled and played within the birth sac that had only just erupted on her back a mere two spans before he was scheduled to depart.

A noise intruded on his dream, harsh and demanding in its intrusion, forcing him to relinquish the vision that held him captive. Reluctantly his eyes opened, and he knew another instance of despair at the harsh reality that awaited his awakening.

He neither blinked, nor turned his head, when the grating scrape of the door on the little slot opened to admit what he had determined to be his rations. Instead, he stared at the ash-grey wall in front of him, his stomach repulsed by the rancid odor that assaulted his senses. But he would force himself to consume the alien rations they gave him. To eat would mean a chance to escape. To escape would mean Niuske.

His neck undulated in his native expression of grief as he once again realized that he would miss The Celebration. He should be there! He should be there to share in their joy, to help prepare the nesting capsules. He should be there to welcome his spawn into the world of the living! His hands clenched in his anger and frustration.

He had lost all sense of time locked in this cubicle. He had no idea how many spans had passed since his Pod had malfunctioned and sent him spinning toward the forbidden planet. Then they had come. Those smooth, scaleless creatures who drug him into captivity. Who poked and prodded and stared at him, speaking gibberish until his internal translater came back to life, giving him access to their speech and it's meanings. They intended to keep him here until he expired.

Quickly he rose from the floor where he had crouched and grabbed the flat iron that held his disgusting rations. He dipped a finger into a brown gelatinous liquid dripping over a tastless white concoction and grimaced. He scooped out a portion into his hand and lifted it to his mouth, hesitating when his homing beacon suddenly began to blink.

They had come!

They had heard the message he had sent out before plummeting through the atmosphere! The false globes flickered once, then again, before descending into darkness. He blinked and his lenses took over, allowing him to see in the darkness. Then he noticed the constant hum that had plagued his hearing orbs was gone, and in that moment he heard a soft click from the portal.

Gingerly he reached out and touched the silver knob, giddy with joy when it turned easily in his hand.

Things happened quickly after his release.

Hurrying through the portal, he allowed his sense of smell to lead him through the darkness. The first time he came upon one of the aliens he felt a moment of fear. But it quickly passed as he noticed how awkward and slow he moved in the darkness, hand outstretched to feel the wall as he shuffled along. He was tempted to expire him, but resisted the urge, giving heed instead to the burgeoning hope that beat within his breast.

Moving quickly and efficiently, he almost undulated in joy when he burst through another portal into the clean fresh air of this strange world. And despite it's strangeness, despite the fact that this world's darkness was only lit by the stars overhead, he breathed deeply and tasted his freedom.

His acute hearing, however, told him he had no time to lose. The strange inhabitants of this world were stirring, as evidenced by the small lights now bobbing in the darkness. And the whispered words, though full of confusion as to the reason their power had been cut off, betrayed their worry that he might have escaped. It wouldn't be long until he was discovered.

And so he ran.

He ran into the darkness, unafraid, his lenses allowing him to see details apparently his captors missed. From the way they stumbled about it was obvious that they did not share his dark vision, and so he rejoiced in that knowledge and ran. Every breath, every beat of his hearts, pounded out the rythym of his thoughts. Niuske. "I am coming," he whispered to himself, grinning.

The flimsy metal barrier was hardly more than an inconvenience. He scaled it easily and dropped to the other side. For just a moment he stood, scanning the horizon, searching for any sign of his rescuers. There was none. His mood deflated a little as his eyes took in the barren landscape before him, and he felt the tendrils of despair reaching out to ensnare him again. Where would he go? How would he find his damaged Pod, where they most assuredly were waiting?

But the sounds behind him gave him no time to answer these questions. The search had begun, and unless he wished to live out his life in the cold grey cubicle he must continue to run. And so he ran forward into the darkness, hoping that he was headed in the right direction.

At the edge of a large watering hole he stood, frustrated and weary, his breath huffing out with the exertion he had just put himself through. The cold hands of fear now clutched him in their icy grasp. He glanced back and groaned. There were now a multitide of lights bobbing in the darkness, and though he was too far away to hear their voices, he knew that their one focus was to recapture him. It was only a matter of time until they accomplished their goal.

"Ah, Niuske," he moaned, falling to his knee's in the muddy bank, dropping his face into his trembling hands. It was over. His energy was spent. And he had no idea where to go. Lifting his eyes to the heavens, he prepared to cry out the Chant of Expiration. He would rather expire here, now, than face a future without her.

Then suddenly, as if a bolt of fire had struck him, his back went rigid and his eyes blinked, trying to determine if what he was seeing was real. There, just across the water, two lights had appeared, glowing in the darkness, beckoning to him with their promise of safety. Could it be them? Somehow, someway, he had managed to run in the right direction.

Despair and fear beat a hasty retreat as sudden hope broke upon his soul like the first dawn shining upon the land. He was saved! He had been found! Eagerly, energy renewed, he quietly slipped into the water and swam towards his salvation.

But as he neared the opposite shore, Tosk began to feel the familiar icy clutch of dread reach in and squeeze all of his three hearts. The figure in the light was not a friend, but a foe, one of those smooth skinned aliens who had held him captive.

What kind of trickery was this? How had they know he would run this direction? Why was he doomed to spend the rest of his years trapped like a reglat, forced to endure endless tests and torture until he expired?

As he stepped dripping from the water, Tosk's emotions snapped. He had had enough. He took a step forward, flinching at the slight sucking sound his foot made as he lifted it from the muck.

It was enough to alert his foe.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there! So glad to get a message from you. Just give me a minute to look it over before posting it. Thanks so much for understanding.

Blessings, Kathy