Hello! I know it has been far, far too long! I am sorry for making you wait so loooong! But here is some more Resplendent! I’m really looking forward to writing the next scene, too. I’m a big fan of Hale! 😉 I hope you will be too. Please enjoy!
The door burst open and Hale stood there holding his blaster out. It was pointed at me but quickly turned to train onto the prisoner. His eyes narrowed looking me over and then the man. His lips quirked faintly, amusement seeming to light in his features as he assessed the situation. I felt heat flame in my cheeks, and knew my usually white skin was turning slightly purple. Did he have to be so smug?
Hale slowly lowered his weapon and turned to call over his shoulders, “Finish taking care of that thing, get samples if you can! I found Tech Durah!”
A chorus of ‘aye, sir’ and ‘yes, boss‘ followed him. He holstered his blaster and walked toward me. I stood absolutely still unsure exactly of what his intention was. I felt like I was being stalked. His movements fluid and graceful. Like some great predator in humanoid form. I held my breath waiting for some sort of confrontation.
Behind me the prisoner shifted as if sensing the tension. Hale’s eyes turned from me and landed onto the man. He was looked over intently before Hale then turned back to me. His lips curled up in a slightly knowing smile and he asked, “Tech Durah, what happened?”
As if I was released from being mesmerized, I suddenly became aware I could move. I jolted faintly at his question. I looked toward the prisoner and then back to Hale. I bit my lower lip and said, “I fell into the previous room with a strange aggressive plant-based fauna. I found a primitive weapon-“
I realized it was in my hand and showed it to Hale, though he had certainly already seen it. He nodded at me, and then looked toward the prisoner again.
“I, uh, fought off the plant with this.” I said, raising the sword once more and then looking toward Hale. I took a deep breath and said, “then found the door. As I was going down the hall the lights turned on by themselves. Then I came in here and found this man in great pain locked in one of the cells, and then let him out and, uh, took his pain.”
Hale nodded to my summary and looked toward the prisoner once more. His gaze flicked up and down the man before returning to me once more. His hand shifted ever so slightly, his palm not quite on his blaster but close to it. He smiled at the prisoner, but it was like a tal’ya smiling at rodent before devouring it. Anxiety pulsed in my stomach.
“And you?” Hale asked of the other man, “What is your name? Why were you locked in a cell? What is this place? Where are your jailers?”
The prisoner frowned at Hale for a moment and then looked toward me. The prisoner then said, “You’re human, are you not? I thought that Helfians and Humans had a no-contact agreement? Something about Helfians being too sexual? Causing wars on Earth?”
Both Hale and I turned toward to give our full attention to the prisoner now. Tension slowly transmuting to confusion. How old was this man? I took a step or two back from him, coming to be by my team leader’s side. Hale shifted so he was slightly in front of me. As if to shield me from anything that the strange prisoner might do to us. I don’t think he realized he did it.
“Huh.” Said Hale, thoughtfully, “That was over eight hundred years ago. The human race and the Heflians have been in contact now for a long time. Most of us have given up on sexual repression. We have a few rules still, but we consider ourselves very enlightened these days.”
I snorted faintly at his words. Humans weren’t sexually enlightened at all. Ha! They were still repressed. We Helfians were just more careful about not causing wars by having romantic engagements with multiple political figures in the human governments. They got all possessive and weird.
Hale glanced at me and I smiled innocently at him. I gave a small nod as if I agreed with his words. His eyes narrowed at me, and he didn’t seem like he was buying it at all. I shrugged my shoulders.
The prisoner frowned at the two of us and said, “Eight hundred years? Damnit. That means that I was in the Elleia for at least three cycles years too long. No wonder I was in so much pain when waking up. My body has started to eat itself for nourishment.”
“What?” I asked, staring at him with wide eyes. “Do you mean to say that your race lives more than eight hundred years? How old are you? And your body will eat itself?”
The prisoner turned back to me and gave a small nod of his head, “I would need to know what year it is to tell you accurately how old I am. However, I was on my fifth cycle when I went into the Elleia.”
“What is the Ieleah? What is a cycle?” Hale asked, considering the man intently. His hand was still hovering over the blaster but not touching it just yet. “And more importantly why were you in the cell? And what is your name?”
“I am Iyan. A cycle is roughly equal to a hundred of your years. My people live approximately a hundred cycles, which is much longer than your years so we judge our age by our cycles.” The prisoner responded, frowning slightly. He continued to answer questions, “The Elleia is a long sleep. My people will go into it for five cycles and then wake up. Normally it is done for religious or personal reasons. However, if we stay in the Elleia for too long our bodies will start to take the nourishment our brain needs from our internal organs, to keep the brain functioning until we wake up. Or eventually the body kills off a vital organ. I went into the Elleia because the T’lyxna imprisoned me for killing one of their dignitaries. I was planning to simply sleep out the sentence. I am not sure what happened to them. Someone should have roused me three cycles ago when I was to be released. They thought that I would die if I were to be imprisoned for five hundred of their years.“
Hale frowned a moment and stared at the man- Iyan -and then turned toward me. I shrugged my shoulders and we both turned back to the man. He looked toward me and arched an eyebrow. I sighed and broke the silence, “Did you kill the dignitary?”
“Yes.” Iyan said with a nod, “He had raped a woman I considered a friend. When we tried to pursue justice through the T’lyxna system they told us we could have none, because she was half T’lyxna and half Rhyterian and under their laws she was not a person. They do not recognize half breeds in their law. Further, it was obvious that the Dimonin could not have raped her, as no Dimonin would risk soiling his bloodline with non-T’lyxna blood.”
There was still lingering rage in his tone. I could feel it radiating off of him like a heat wave. I rubbed the back of my neck and winced. I looked toward Hale who simply gave a small nod of his head.
His hand dropped away from his blaster, causing the last of the tension to leave me. Hale addressed Iyan evenly, “I understand. It seems your captors are gone, we have found no signs of life other than that of flora and fauna on this planet.”
Iyan wrinkled his nose and said simply, “I wonder what happened. I would not feel bad if the T’lyxna killed themselves off but the Rhyterian were generally good people. Not the smartest of species but generally good people. The T’lyxna seemed to be born corrupt.”
I frowned at him and said, “Are you an alienist? How can an entire race be born corrupt? Are all members of your race born smug and superior? Or prone to killing to achieve justice? Are you know of those who think that all Helfians are there for the sexual pleasure of other races?“
He blinked toward me and gave a small inclination of his head to me. His tone was measured and thoughtful as he said, “You are right. I apologize. I am sure there are some T’lyxna that are no corrupt, but their society seemed to breed it in their adults and especially their leaders. Their treatment of other species is deplorable and their treatment of their own poorer citizens is just barely better. I once saw a T’lyxna man beat his wife in a public square and no one did anything. When I stepped in I was fined for causing a public disturbance.”
I winced slightly at his words, but he was not done.
“In my five cycles, before the imprisonment, I saw many different planets and races. The T’lyxna are some of the worse. Their society is not or was not a good one. They had technology so advanced it seemed like magic to many other races, and they squandered it on furthering their own power. They felt nothing about taking what they wanted. They had dominated and conquered at least ten worlds in the system, this being the furthest out one. Perhaps they are still out there and simply abandoned this world.”
A small shrug of his shoulder was given and he looked toward me. I softened my expression a moment and shrugged my shoulders. I glanced toward Hale, unable to hold the intense gaze of Iyan. Hale simply looked back at me, unblinking, I couldn’t discern his thoughts. So I turned back to Iyan and found him absently rubbing his palm over his stomach. I frowned and winced. I had probably just masked his problem by taking away his ability to feel pain. It would come back later, much worse, if we didn’t get him help.
“We should get him back to the ship and get him nourishment. His body is probably still cannibalizing itself, he just can’t feel it.” I said, glancing toward the man with a small smile.
“Oy! Med Tech! Get in here and get this man, and then get up top and back to the ship!” Hale called. He then gestured toward me and the door at the end of the cell block. “C’mon, Durah. We have more to explore.”
He paused briefly and looked me over, “Unless you need medical attention and need to go back up?”
I gave a sharp shake of my head, it didn’t matter how badly I was hurt. I was still able to walk and think. I was not missing a chance to explore. So I said, “No, I want to go with you. I want to continue exploring and cataloging things.”
“Alright.” Hale said, and as Iyan was lead off by one of the medical techs, we went to the mysterious door.
I glanced back briefly to watch Iyan leave. His body was tall and well muscled, and I couldn’t help but compare him to Hale. Hale was lithe and fluid, where Iyan was more like a rock. Iyan didn’t look back, so I turned forward again. It was time to explore, there was a door to open after all.
I wondered what we would find behind it. I wondered if we wound find some record that would tell us what happened to the T’lyxna, or the Rhyterians. I wondered what each of those two species were like. What they looked like, what their histories were like. Iyan made the T’lyxna sound like evil in humanoid form, but I didn’t believe that every single one of them was bad.
No species was purely evil.