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chapter_14 [2009/12/11 18:28] (current)
doan created
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 +“Miss Anna! Miss Anna! There's a funny looking stranger in the yard!”
 +
 +Paula sighed. She had had it up to here with funny looking strangers. They always meant that something from her earlier life – her quest – had come back to haunt her, or had never really gone away. It wouldn't be too bad normally – she was confident that she could protect herself and Ness was always a phone call away – but she couldn't afford to have anything follow her to the school, where it could threaten the children. The last time she had been visited by something from her past, two of her children had disappeared shortly after. She had always sensed something a little unusual about those two. They had appeared in mysterious circumstances – they simply turned up on her doorstep with no identification papers, unable to tell her anything about their background. The boy clearly had no ordinary education and the girl seemed to know far too much about things she shouldn't know about. The Starman had been asking for them personally – well, for a 'Garrickson baby' it had clearly mistaken for them anyway. Martha had said she had been planning to move on – she felt like she wasn't safe in Polestar any more – but Paula was still worried about her. If anything had happened to the children, she wouldn't ever be able to forgive herself.
 +
 +She looked out of the window. To her immediate relief, the stranger wasn't a Starman or anything else she knew to be an enemy. Around the same size as herself, its skin was pale blue-grey and leathery, it had a gaunt feline face and a long tail. Mittens, the school cat, was growling and hissing at it, his back arched and his fur standing on end. The stranger's tail thumped against the floor as it stared the cat down. In his arms he held an unconscious young man.
 +
 +Paula stopped by the kitchen and picked up her special extra heavy cast iron frying pan. Hefting it over her shoulder in a businesslike manner that left no question about her intentions, she noted that several of the children who saw her were now running away from her screaming. She pushed open the front door...
 +
 +“Paula.” said a voice inside her head. It made her jump.
 +
 +“Who are you?” she demanded, responding with telepathy, “What are you doing in this school? Are you a threat to the children? Does that person need healing?” However much she did not trust the stranger, she could not refuse to help an injured man.
 +
 +“Do you not recognise the man?” responded the stranger, “He seems to know you from some place.”
 +
 +Paula squinted at the man. She was quite sure she had never seen anyone like him before. He didn't look that unusual so she might have mistaken him for someone else, she supposed. There was a vague hint of a memory there. Not a picture, but...
 +
 +A voice. That was it. A voice echoing through the cold darkness of the void. Praying, pleading over and over, listening out for anything, anything at all that was human or warm or sane, she knew she was stretching herself too far, wandering into places she shouldn't, but she had to keep on going. There was something... some faint sound, a spark... a sign of life...
 +
 +The voice had been just as pleading as her own...
 +
 +“Children, the young man is very ill, so he needs to go and see the school nurse.” Paula explained out loud, “Its nothing any of you need to worry about. Could you just get on with whatever you were doing without me for a while?”
 +
 +“Yes, Miss Anna!” yelled a boy.
 +
 +“Miss Anna, shouldn't you take the man to the hospital?”
 +
 +“Actually, hospitals are really silly places to take sick people.” explained Paula, smiling sweetly as she reverted to teacher mode, “They're full of diseases spreading around because too many ill people are in the same small space and the nurses are too busy to help you because they're so overworked.”
 +
 +A confused look passed across the little girl's face, then she laughed at the silly teacher and resumed her game of running around and around in a circle.
 +
 +“Take him to the medical room.” Paula telepathically prompted the stranger. They walked back into the building together. Mittens, seeing that the nasty Cat-But-Not-A-Cat was finally gone, shot back up onto the roof and refused to come down for the rest of the day.
 +
 +They lifted the young man onto a hospital bed and Paula examined him with her psychic healing powers. He didn't seem to be physically hurt. He had suffered a few nasty psychic blows but they were already healing. Mostly, he seemed to be exhausted. Exhausted and struggling with the memory of some traumatic event. Probing subtly, she encouraged his mind to relax and gave it a gentle nudge to heal itself a little faster.
 +
 +“He'll be okay.” she reassured the stranger. He shrugged.
 +
 +“I am merely acting under orders to deliver him to you. Apparently, you two need to talk.” said the stranger, “I think he may be a very important person. You should keep him safe.”
 +
 +“All people are important.” said Paula,  “And they all need to be kept safe. You don't need to worry.”
 +
 +“Paula, there is something I need to know about Ness.”
 +
 +Paula glared at him, “What do you know about Ness? For that matter, how do you know I'm Paula?”
 +
 +“You are extremely badly hidden.”
 +
 +“I'm not hiding.” said Paula.
 +
 +“Then why do you not fight?”
 +
 +“Fight against what? I don't know what's going on.” admitted Paula, “Nobody does. Unless you do. Do you?”
 +
 +“I am attempting to find out.” said the stranger, “But to do so, I need to learn how to enter Magicant.”
 +
 +“Oh... I wasn't there when Ness did that. The Sound Stone started playing all the melodies and then he started acting funny and then he passed out and...”
 +
 +“A sound stone?”
 +
 +“A stone that records melodies. You take it to all the power centres of the planet and...”
 +
 +Pain returned to Gyiiyg's head. His vision blurred. The song was back. Maria... why does everything good have to go away forever? No, he had to concentrate... where had he heard the song before? Ninten had been holding something in his hand...
 +
 +“A pink shell.” said the stranger.
 +
 +“Er... I can't remember what it looked like. He's still got it, I think...”
 +
 +“The girl and the boy were hiding a pink shell in the pram.”
 +
 +“Tom and Martha?” it was always one or other of those two!, “Do you know where they are? Are they safe?”
 +
 +“I do not know.” said the stranger. Then he stood up and turned his back on her, “But I am going to find out.”
 +
 +“Don't you hurt them!” Paula yelled, brandishing her frying pan.
 +
 +“Paula... protect the human children. Your race is doomed without them, in more than one way.” said the stranger.
 +
 +“Get out of my school.” she growled.
 +
 +Twirling his tail in a gesture that she suspected was mocking her, he started walking out.
 +
 +“The delivery man.” she said, “I think I saw the delivery man with them. They may have travelled via Escargot Express. Its a stupid way to travel, but some people do it.”
 +
 +“Yes... yes, I remember now.”
 +
 +Nodding, he walked out. Had he been blushing?
 +
 +“Paula...”
 +
 +She span around, her frying pan raised to strike. The man looked up at her, his eyes now open. He looked slightly resigned to his immanent death.
 +
 +“I'm sorry.” she returned her weapon to her belt.
 +
 +“Its okay. I surrender.” he said. She gave him an odd look, “Our people always act like we're gods. Like your world is something we control or even that we made up. They don't know what the hell they're talking about. Its time one of us was humble. Because you saved my life, Paula. You did a lot more than save my life. A lot more.”
 +
 +“... what?”
 +
 +“But its okay, right? Because we're repaying each other's debt.” he smiled, “Answering each other's prayers.”
 +
 +“You... you really are that person, aren't you? Moor Ecivres. The name I heard that day was Moor Ecivres.”
 +
 +“Yup, that's me.”
 +
 +“You said I did something back for you. What did I do?”
 +
 +“Brought me here.” said Moor Ecivres, “Led me home from exile.”
 +
 +“You're an exile? Where from?”
 +
 +“Earth.”
 +
 +“Well, of course Earth, but...”
 +
 +“You don't understand.”
 +
 +“No, I guess I don't.” said Paula, “But thank you for helping us defeat Giygas.”
 +
 +“Paula, the defences you've got set up won't help you against Giygas.”
 +
 +“What do you mean?”
 +
 +“By walling yourself up... by keeping yourself safe... you're making yourself more open to attack.”
 +
 +“That doesn't make any sense.”
 +
 +“Giygas is feeding off it.” said Moor Ecivres, “Let me tell you what happened to my world. We had the perfect defenses. We were a completely isolated world in the galaxy. We were underdeveloped, - that means we haven't invented starships yet – and we were too far away from the closest world for them to contact us. There was a virus scare, so the local branch of the interplanetary government decided to close the borders to our world. Nothing ever came to Earth, nothing left.”
 +
 +“But the virus was Giygas and it got trapped inside?” guessed Paula.
 +
 +“Kind of.”
 +
 +“How can something 'kind of' be Giygas?”
 +
 +“It hadn't been Giygas at the time. It was just a very powerful system that didn't work.” said Moor Ecivres, “But the thing that was supposed to happen to make it not be Giygas couldn't get across the border. Destiny couldn't happen. A consensus reality... sort of grew, a system where there was no destiny, a system that firmly believed it was the only reality and that no other world, no other way of being, even existed. The world was trapped within a system that had got faultier and faultier. And all the inhabitants began thinking like that. They all went insane, and the Giygas mind grew from them. Objects, too, because the laws of physics had been warped.”
 +
 +“I still don't understand.”
 +
 +“Paula, there's something I want you to remember. Defenses aren't supposed to be a barrier. Defenses are supposed to be a sanctuary. Sanctuaries let people in. And its important that you leave yourself an opening so that you can all attack when you're ready. Paula, its always children that defeat Giygas, isn't it?”
 +
 +“Are you saying my children will be the next Chosen Ones?”
 +
 +“No, its beyond that fight now. But it works in the same way. Remember the way it works...”
 +
 +Suddenly, his gaze became fixed on something behind Paula. He looked worried. Paula looked around. The Starman in orange was standing there. 
 +
 +
 
chapter_14.txt · Last modified: 2009/12/11 18:28 by doan
 
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