Last Chapter! Thanks for the support everyone, and especially Karone-Sakura, who has never given up on me or my writing. I can't thank you enough for everything!
I was barely aware of moving back through the tunnels, getting out of the underground caves, and back on solid land.
We met up with Robert, Ciara and Caylin. Like us, all their opponents had just collapsed, after a terrible earthquake had interrupted their fight. Their eyes had turned milky white, and then... they all fell, lifeless.
We rested for a moment, before we all took off towards the town.
So... what happened down there? Ciara asked.
Tell you later I muttered before anyone else could answer.
And where's Pilot? I know he was with Damarion, so-
He's gone Robert, okay?! I snapped, almost loosing altitude, everything in me just wanting to dive down to the ground and stay there. Hide in the bushes or something. But... I knew, I had to make sure my family was okay... and the others...
He... he gave his life... Amanda sounded solemn.
Gave his life? What the he hell did he do?! Caylin sounded just as surprised and angry as Robert.
He was the only one who could touch the sword. Ithiell tried to explain everything as best he could, but I wasn't sure any of them really understood.
My heart hurt again, half wondering if Steve had died too. But... no, Pilot would have made sure he'd... unless he...
The thoughts went around and around in my head, until we finally reached the town.
As we flew over, I noticed scattered people, all heading towards what looked like a larger group. All through the town, I saw what was left of more Terinan bodies, wondering again about Steve... I hope he hadn't...
And if he had... how could I tell him about Pilot?
We reached the large oval near the back of the high school, finally seeing the rest of the people there. They were all surrounding, to my relief, Steve and the rest of Ciara's team. Some of the townspeople looked like they'd been injured, but others were taking care of them.
We all landed inside the big circle, beside the others, shifting back and looking around at everyone.
"Jade! Jade!" Steve ran towards me, wrapping me up in some kind of awkward hug, before letting me down and grinning his weird Terinan smile. I tried to smile back, realising what Pilot had actually done...
It had all been there, in my mind, but it had been in pieces. Now that I saw Steve was alive and well, it all finally came together in my head.
"Glad to see you're all okay" Aaron stepped forward, smiling at us. Around us, the townspeople muttered in agreement.
"So...what happened?" A guy I knew who worked at the ice skating rink ask. Ricky? Randy? I couldn't remember...
I felt almost numb as Ithiell spoke, and then Damarion and Robert... Ciara...
Words seemed to fade in and out as I looked around at all the people I'd grown up with. Good, bad... then looking up at Steve. I was kind of surprised that he hadn't asked where Pilot was...
"My baby girl!" A shout, then someone pushed through the crowd, tears springing to my eyes when I realised it was my dad.
I tried to smile back, instead letting out a sob as dad wrapped me in a big hug, hearing the rest of my family following. Soon, we were all in some kind of awkward group hug. I was so glad to see all of them were okay.
I heard Amanda cry out, and then hearing her dad and brothers responding, knowing they would probably be doing the same thing my family was.
"So... you found it then?" Came a voice I was dreading, managing to move away from my family to see Pilots dad coming up to us, a hopeful look on his face.
"Yes, but... Mister Jones..." Ithiell trailed off, looking at me, and I sighed, nodding back. I had to be the one who told him...
"Sir, I have some... bad news" Tears started blurring my vision, but I could hear the confusion in his voice.
"What is it? Did someone get hurt? I can try and help if you have any injuries... not sure how good I'll be... alien physiology is really not-"
I stopped him, taking his hand in one of mine and trying to wipe the tears away with the other.
"Pilot... he sacrificed himself to save everyone. He... he was the only one that could..."
I could now see even more confusion on his face. He covered the hand that was holding his, squeezing gently.
"I am sorry, that is very sad to hear. But... who is Pilot?"
"He... he..." I wanted to tell him that it was his son, but instead I looked at Ithiell. He looked equally confused, before stepping forward to stand beside me, and in front of Pilots father.
"You really don't remember who Pilot is?"
He shook his head, and I turned to Ithiell.
"Wait..." I turned, moving to Steve and looking up at him.
"Steve, do you remember Pilot? Pie?"
The blank look on the poor Terinans face made tears spring to my eyes again. They... no one remembered Pilot?
Not even his own dad?
"It appears he has been wiped from all existence, besides our own memories" Damarions voice made me look over at him, his eyes now on me. He looked almost like he regretted saying it when he saw my face...
He looked at me, his arms folded, raising an eyebrow.
"Do you remember Pilot?"
He let out a strange chuckle "Hard to forget a guy falling out of a tree smacking me in the noggin"
"So... it's only our groups that remember" Ciara shared a look with Ithiell, who sighed and nodded.
"But... he saved all of us! He... he gave up everything!" I protested, unable to keep in another sob, my heart aching again. Pilot...
An arm landed on my shoulders, and I jerked, looking up and surprised to see Robert half smiling down at me.
"Don't worry, I wont forget the little turd as long as I live... or what he did"
My lip trembled, and I swallowed a lump in my throat as I nodded.
"Is anyone going to tell us if it's safe or not now?!" A woman called out "Are they all gone?"
"Yes. And hopefully they won't be back"
"What the hell happened to all of them?" Another person called "They just dropped dead all of a sudden"
"They..." I stopped, looking at the others, suddenly hearing everyone go quiet. I looked around at all these people, my eyes landing on my family for a moment before continuing.
"Pilot... you may not remember him, but... he used the sword. He... he made it so that any animal on this planet was poisonous to them. So... anything they ate... or had eaten... well, it killed them all"
"All but Steve" Alicia looked up at him, smiling a little "He's a smart Terinan"
Steve responded in some guttural manner, smiling at her, and she patted his arm a little.
"So.. we're... its okay now?" My mum asked, and I looked at her.
"Yes... the Terinan threat has been neutralized" Ithiell confirmed, and a cheer went up from someone in the crowd.
Soon, everyone was cheering, and happy... and everyone was thanking us.
I know I should have been happy... should have been glad it was over...
But... all I felt was numb.
It was strange, now everyone in the town knew about us. Everywhere we went, we were thanked and waved at and given some sort of praise. I kind of preferred to be just another teen girl walking the streets.
As for the townspeople, they had all returned to their homes, and surprised us by giving Ithiell, Rtaia and Steve their own kind of house to live in. I thought it was nice, but I half wondered how they'd do in a human home, and all together...
Ithiell soon took Ciara and her team back home, not before making sure we could all keep in contact. We knew it was better to have more allies, and we also kind of owed them. They'd been able to help us keep fighting... and it was nice to have some new friends, who could do what we could. And who could understand the struggles of shifting.
From what I'd heard as well, Robert and Caylin had hit it off and were now talking almost every day. It was nice to hear...
But... my heart still ached. Pilot... he'd saved everyone, and yet... no one, not even his own family, would ever remember him.
I bit back a lump in my throat as I thought about it one afternoon, sitting on the edge of a cliff. It had been almost three weeks since it had all ended, and yet... it still wasn't any easier. Knowing... well, knowing someone so brave, who risked everything... was now gone...
He'd been thrown into all this by accident. My stupid fault... and ended up being a key player in the whole thing.
I put my head in my hands, remembering his gorgeous grey eyes, the black hair that just stuck out everywhere... the lopsided grin...
I'd never forget about him. And... after that lifetime lived in that one moment... I didn't think I could ever really love someone like that again.
Love... I never even knew what that meant until Pilot. Until this boy... from another country... pretty much fell into my lap and made me feel like I was living, not just existing any more.
How could I ever forget someone who made me feel like that, in only a few short days?
"Hey" A voice startled me out of my thoughts, looking up to see Amanda smiling sadly down at me.
"Oh... hey" I managed to get out in a mumble, looking back out to where the sun was just starting to set. It was so beautiful...
I saw her sit beside me out of the corner of my eye, knowing why she was here but not wanting to hear it right now. I just wanted to grieve...
"He'll always be in your heart, you know" She started, and I sighed.
"Amanda, it's not-"
"I know it's not easy. I know it's going to take... well all of us... time to really understand and accept what happened. But... Jade..."
I turned to look into those familiar brown eyes, surprised at how serious she now looked. She took my hand in hers, squeezing it slightly.
"I'll always be here for you, you know that, right?"
In spite of everything, I let out a small chuckle, nodding a little "Yeah, I know Mand. We've always been there for one another. Didn't think that would really change..."
I squeezed her hand back, before letting go to rest my head on my palms, my elbows resting on my knees.
"It just doesn't seem fair... I mean... he was ripped away... I mean, he gave up his life for everyone else here, and... now... its like he never existed"
"We won't forget him, and we'll make sure people know and remember what he did, even if they don't really... remember him exactly..."
"His dad..." I choked on the words, tears coming back to my eyes "His dad looked at me like I was crazy, and Steve... Steve was so attached to him, and now... Pilot's name just makes him look at me weird"
We both turned to look at Robert, his arms folded and a determined look in his eyes. Of all the people...
He looked like he was going to snap at me for something... instead...
"Just because these other dumbasses don't remember who he was doesn't mean he didn't matter"
I just stared at him... I wasn't sure I'd heard right...
"And that... Pilot... he mattered" His face suddenly softened, and he moved to sit on the other side of me.
"Robert... you're kinda scaring me..." I looked at him, my jaw dropping when I saw what I could have sworn was tears start to form in his eyes.
"Jade... as much as he was a little shit... he mattered. And he proved what kind of guy he was when it mattered. I... I'm gonna miss the little shit"
"Wow... Rob that was surprisingly deep even for you" Amanda muttered on the other side of me, seeing Robert shake his head, rubbing his eyes a little... before his usual uncaring look returned.
"Shut up Mand..." He finally responded to her, and I heard Amanda giggle a little.
"So, Robert finally speaks words of wisdom" We all turned to see Ithiell and Rtaia there, walking towards us. Ithiell sat beside Amanda, and Rtaia sat on the other side of Robert.
"What? Robert? Never!" I turned to Robert as he shoved me, surprisingly gently, and I shoved him back with the same force.
"Settle you two" Ithiell told us goodnaturedly, before his expression turned serious.
"I can't speak for the rest of you, but I'll never forget him. Pilot was... well, he was unique in his own way"
"He was an annoying little brat" Robert muttered, but there was no malice in his voice.
"He was kind of fun to be around" Amanda giggled a little.
"He was an... interesting... human" Rtaia said calmly, as she did.
We all fell into a comfortable silence, all of us looking out as the sun finally set behind the trees. I noticed Ithiell take Amanda's hand, and I heard her sigh a little.
Soon, all we could hear and feel was a gentle wind, I think all of us remembering Pilot's short time in our lives. It surprised me... he'd touched all of us differently, even... even Robert. And Robert was not one to get all sentimental...
I felt tears spring to my eyes again, kind of getting sick of crying but not being able to stop it. Instantly an arm was around my shoulders, looking up and surprised to once again see Robert looking down at me. He was being so... kind... to me...
"Don't worry, we're here... all of us"
"T-thank you" Was all I could get out, surprised at how comforting it was just to have him there. Not going off at each other was a little weird, but right now...
It was kind of nice.
Again... we fell into a strange kind of silence, hearing the wind pick up leaves somewhere not far off and drift through trees gently. It was all so-
We all jumped, turning to look at Ithiell who now had a little device in his other hand, clicking a button on top of it.
Instantly, we saw Damarions face on the small screen.
"Hey, what's happening?" Ithiell asked Damarion, and we all kind of leaned in to hear and see better.
"Ithiell, we need your help-ah! There... our captors have found us and we... we need assistance!"
Static, then his face returned.
"Send me your co-ordinates, and we'll be there soon"
Through more crying out and static, he managed to give us their location, before they hung up from one another.
Instantly, Ithiell stood up, looking at each of us.
"Well, you heard the guy, let's go!" We all got up, following him and running towards the fighter.
If you didn't already know... my name is Jade.
I'm not rich, or smart, or pretty... but I can fight, and I have a good life. Not to mention I have wonderful friends. And all of us... we stand together, in both good times and bad. And especially... when times get tough. Just like now.
And I think... at the end of the day, that's we really need.
Well guys, thanks for reading over these past few years!
I hope this story has been as fun for you as it was for me!
Also, sorry it took so long to finish! There was some issues with a character, which I only just sorted.
Anyway, feel free to Read and Review, and let me know what you though of it!
Thanks! Ciao for now! See you in the next story :)