Authors: Kristen DaRay
"Do you think there is anything out there?"
"You mean like life?" He quickly threw me a glance.
"Yeah," I said sucking in a deep breath.
"Well, it's possible. Like I said before, there are so many stars out there. Why should we assume that Earth is alone in the universe?"
I smiled at his answer. Although he didn't know the truth, it comforted me to know that he at least believed in the thought of alien existence. Perhaps he wouldn't be so weirded out by it? I heard Karlie's dog, Ty, barking from the front yard, distracting me from my thoughts.
"Carson, are we going to talk about what's going to happen after high school?" His question startled me. I looked down at my hands.
"I don't know." I finally spoke. I really didn't know what was going to happen now that I knew I was another species. Still, Ty, was barking in the front yard. What was up with that dog?
"Carson, I love you. We have known each other since we were kids. We know everything about each other." A guilty pain hit me in the gut, not everything. "You have been acting funny the past few days. There's something you're not telling me."
"I..." I stammered.
"Wait, I want to finish." I felt courage build up inside him; I knew whatever he was about to tell me was big.
A piercing scream came from downstairs. We both stood up quickly in shock. Kyle bolted through the window with me right behind him. In an instant, we were both downstairs curiously watching our small crowd of friends circled around the door. Karlie was curled up on the couch in sobs.
"What's going on?" I asked. I made my way to the circle, pushing to get a look. Kyle extended his arm, shielding me from getting closer. That's when I saw it. The fluffy white fur that comforted me every time I came over to Karlie's was stained with sickening red blood. Ty laid there with his lifeless eyes staring straight at me. My stomach churned at the sight of Ty's mauled body. Then fear quickly swept over me as I realized what had happened. The Bremoir had found me.
Kyle pulled me into his chest, hiding my eyes from the mangled dog’s body. Everyone in the room was channeling fear and shock that kept stabbing me in the chest. The most pronounced, however, was my own. Nobody knew what this meant; nobody knew the danger but me. Charlie was trying his best to console a frantic Karlie. Even Meagan, who had words for everything, couldn't speak.
"What happened?" My voice came out as a whisper. Kyle shut the door, and we walked to the center of the living room.
"We,um," Meagan's voice was shaky, "we heard Ty barking. Karlie said it was probably just Mrs. Barren's cat from next door causing a fuss. Then we heard..." Her eyes weakened with tears. "An awful sound. We knew he was being hurt. Jason and a few other guys were going to go check it out, but then there was a loud thud on the door. And when, when…" The words started coming out in sobs now. "When we opened the door..."
"We know." Kyle stopped her.
"Is that all you saw?" I anxiously asked. I needed to know if they saw the
that done this to him.
"We only saw Ty laying there dead," Meagan said.
"Charlie, we need to get Ty away from the door." Kyle signaled for him to help him. Charlie gave a sad nod and pulled away from Karlie. I walked over to her.
"Karlie, you need to call your parents." I put my arm around her.
"I don't understand what that was!" she squeaked. Her eyes were puffy and red.
"Probably just an animal." I tried my best to console her fear.
"What animal could mutilate my dog the way it did?" she nearly screamed.
"I don't know," I lied. I knew what did it. "Look, call your parents. Then go upstairs and lay down with Christa." She nodded.
I grabbed my cell phone to call Aaronmon. Where was he anyway? He should have stopped this! I dialed the number quickly. It rang only once before there was a quick answer.
"Carson? Are you okay? Is everyone okay?" His voice was in a pant.
"No,not really! We are all scared to death! Where were you?"
"Look, I'm outside in the car. We need to get you home now!" Then he hung up the phone. Something was terribly wrong.
"Kyle!" I shouted. He appeared from around the corner.
"Aaron is outside to pick me up. I'm going home." He nodded in agreement.
"Let me at least walk you to the car." He put his arm around my waist. I told everyone else that I was heading out. I also added for them to be careful. They were unaware of the danger my life had brought them.
When we got to the car, Kyle pressed his forehead against mine. His emotions were very complicated to understand. Of course, he was afraid. Who wouldn’t be after that? But he was also sad, as if he was losing something.
"I love you." He kissed me.
"I love you, too." I gave a weak smile. How could all of this have triggered such a sad goodbye? It was almost like he knew something that I didn’t.
Then Kyle opened the black door for me. I slid in keeping eye contact with him. After he shut the door, he quickly went back inside the house not even looking back.
"Tell me what happened," I demanded of Aaronmon. I was so demanding of answers that shock struck me when I realized that he was clutching his ribs in pain.
"Can't I just get you home first?" He squinted at me.
"You're hurt!" My voice came out shaky.
Aaronmon quickly pulled out of the driveway and sped down the road.
"It's not that bad, really," he said. Something told me he was lying.
"What happened?" I asked trying to touch his wound, but when he flinched, my arm quickly pulled away.
"I never really left Karlie's. I parked my car a little down the road then walked back, up hiding myself in the woods, next to her house. Everything was fine, at first, but then that dog started acting up. Animals are very perceptive, even here on Earth. So I knew something or someone was out there. Then I saw something trying to make its way to the backyard. I tried to fight him off, but he was strong. He was one of their Borain Warriors. That dog ended up attacking him...." He cut his eyes at me with a grim look. "It saved my life and yours."
I stayed quiet. I couldn't help but glance over at Aaron's ribs. They were probably broken. Earlier, I was shown an image of a Borain Warrior on the abula, before we left for Karlie's. They were beyond horror movie scary. The abula described their ashen skin that was covered in dark hair. They were three feet taller than any average human. They were bred for war and raised to kill. They were the rarest of the Bremoir race, and they were the toughest. They were beasts. Something about their icy blue eyes took hold of victims who starred for too long, and they would be frozen in trance unable to move. Never look them straight in the eyes. The things they did were beyond unspeakable. They were carnivores who ate their meat fresh and from any species. They liked to torture their victims like it was a game. I read that they slowly skinned people and ate each piece of flesh, all while the victim was still alive. I didn't even want to think about what I read.
"We have to go back and warn them!" I realized that there was no way my friends could fight a Borain Warrior.
"Carson! They are safe, okay." He pulled into our driveway. I noticed there was a group of other people surrounding my aunt. They wore the same outfits that Aaronmon had worn when we first met in the memonai. Emréian Garnix's, served to protect their planet.
"Why are they here?" Shock flustered me after Aaronmon had parked.
When I didn't get a response, I looked back at Aaronmon who was unconscious in the seat.
"Aaron?" I shook him, "Aaronmon!" I screamed.
"Trish!" I opened my car door quickly, and then ran over to the driver's side. I didn't even notice when half of the men ran over.
"Help him!" I squealed with tears running down my cheeks. I felt his chest; he was still breathing. It was shallow and weak.
One of the men ordered something to the others. But I couldn’t understand the language.
"Please, help him!" was all I could manage to get out. A force of hands reached out and lifted me up from the ground, dragging me into the house. I couldn't leave Aaron! I turned, ready to yank away and run to Aaron, only to find that some of the Emréian Garnix had lifted him and were bringing him in as well.
"He will be okay," Trish whispered to me. I realized she was the one guiding me into the house. My heart was still rapidly beating from fear and shock. I watched the Emréians as they took Aaronmon up to the guest room. Trish let go of my arm and ran into the kitchen. I stood there petrified with the fear that Aaron was going to die because of all of this, because of me. Trish returned from the corner kitchen door with a brown wooden box.
Aunt Trish walked over to one of the garnix. She said something in Emréian, but I could not understand it. The garnix allowed her up the stairs. Trish had always been good with healing; her knowledge of the plants helped with that I guessed. I never once remembered even getting sick in all of my childhood. She would always give me some weird tasting drink if I ever ran a temperature or got a small sniffle. I wasn’t sure what herbal drink she thought was going to help with the wound Aaronmon had, though.
I sat down on the couch, looking around at all of the Emréian Garnix who were staring or whispering. None of them said a word to me, though. It wasn’t like I could understand them anyway. I let my head fall into my hands. I didn’t understand why all of these people were here. I didn't understand half of what was going on. All of this had turned into a mess. Why couldn't I have been born human? None of this would have ever happened. Why couldn't I have just been in the dark for the rest of my life? Before I could think of much else, the tiredness that drowned me after the shock had worn off, pulled me into a deep slumber.
The following morning, I spent most of my time in my bedroom. It was weird having all of the garnnix around the house. I woke up in my room. I imagined someone had carried me up there. When I went down to the kitchen to get some breakfast, they were all standing around the living room watching my every move. Of course, I still didn't know why the garnix were there. I didn’t care to ask either.
I had yet to see Trish either, to be able to ask. I called her cell phone, only to get no answer. I did not want to get the information from the garnix. I was actually tired of surprises by that point.
When I wasn't in my room, I was in the guest room with Aaronmon. When he wasn't sleeping, we would play games or talk. I taught him to play Egyptian Rat Screw, a multiplayer card game. It was interesting between two people, but we got very competitive with it.
I’d never actually thought of Aaronmon as the
type, but sitting with him those few hours, I saw someone other than a bodyguard trying to protect me from danger 24/7.
I had learned that the other garnix were here because they had followed a Bremoir ship to Earth’s location. They were here to give me more protection. After last night, I felt like we needed it.
After bringing him a quick lunch of mac and cheese, which he admitted was delicious, Aaronmon decided to take another nap. The herbs that Trish had given him made him very tired.
I decided, with Aaronmon asleep and Trish out and about, I should go down to the animal shelter. I had already missed my class with the kids at Titans Gym, but I didn't care. I had missed a call on my cell from Mr. Noles, the main instructor, but I figured I would wait to give him a call back. I wanted to sympathize with the animals just a bit for the day.
After getting ready, I grabbed my keys and started for the front door. I didn't get far, though. The
stopped me before I could even touch the knob.
"You know it's not safe to go without an escort," said the one with a single digital glass in front of his left eye. I was shocked he had spoken to me.
"Well, I'm tired of being cooped up in this house," I started to argue. Then I thought back to Ty and how mutilated he looked. I knew they were right. I didn’t want to run into one of those warriors. "I know the risks of being out, but I would like to ask you to come with me. I just need some relief, okay?"
The garnix lowered his head slightly and said,
"As you wish princess. I will escort you to your... destination." His voice sounded a bit robotic.
"Thank you," I said hesitantly. "What's your name, and what’s with the funky speaking?"
The garnix hesitated for just a split second before replying, "They call me Philocalundra. I'm sorry for my strange speaking, but I have to read what I want to say in Earth English through my dapler. It's this eye piece I have on my head. It catches what you say and relays it back to me on the screen in Emréian. Then, because I am an Omninus, I can telepathically send what I want to say back to you in the dapler. It will then relay Earth English back by using a Galaxia letter database that I can sound out. It takes me a few minutes to read it."
"Oh," was about all I could say. Every time I found out something new about the planet, I didn’t know how to feel anymore. A part of me thought learning about all this new technology was really cool, but then there was another part of me that knew it only meant there was a lot more about the universe that I had to learn.
Why did they want me to run the planet? I didn't know hardly anything about it. I remembered what Aaronmon said about the taeu annonun. He had mentioned that it would be good for me to go and learn about the planet Emréiana.
Maybe I should go.
I signed in at the front desk of Alice's animal rescue center. Debra looked a little confused when I had asked that she allow Phil, or so I called him, to stay out in the lobby and wait for me. Debra was a gray haired, bony and wrinkly old woman who had worked at the center for twenty years. Her eye brow rose slightly, but she didn't ask any questions about my out of place
. Philocalundra was wearing one of my aunt’s big sweatshirts over his Emréian attire. I chuckled at how funny he looked. Philocalundra didn’t wear his dapler inside, so I couldn’t tell him when I was going back. I nodded, so he knew I was heading back.
Philocalundra didn't fight to go back in the kennels with me. Instead, he shuffled around looking at all the pictures of animals on the wall. He seemed amused. I guessed they didn't have our kind of animals on his planet.
I spent the first hour checking in with each animal. They all had different feelings with stories to tell. The animals that had been here for a while were excited to see me. The dog’s tails would wag, and they would wait impatiently to
get out of
their cage. The cats, although they didn’t show enthusiasm, would release a feeling of comfort around me. It was strange how now I understood why I connected with animals so much. It was the empathy. Of course it was stronger now, but on some level it was always there.
A rush of fear swept through me. It came from the new animals. Some felt abandoned, others just felt confused. Tears nestled around my eyes. I knew they wouldn't be hurt here; this was a no kill center. Even without my special abilities, I could empathize with how they felt. How was I to know what was going to happen to me after this? I felt just as trapped as these animals.