They were walking through a heavy downpour of rain when they found the road. It had been foggy all day and they could only see so far ahead of them. They were drenched from the rainwater and they were tired, having run all day long from angry people.
The woman, draped with a blanket of wool, now wet, and carrying a bundle of young flesh and dark curls. She had tears to add to the rain that slashed down her face. She could feel her lover's arms around her, but they brought no comfort.
The man was also fighting the storm. He held his lover with gentle hands knowing what they did was right and yet, upset about it all the same. They would be saving the child's life, but they would be losing her all the same. It upset him.
Then they found the road and made their way along it.
They could almost hear the sound of galloping hooves behind them - catching up, and they hurried their steps to keep away.
It was at that moment that the truck showed up. It almost hit them since they were walking in the middle of the road.
"Oh shit!" the man driving said as he hit the brakes.
His wife beside him screamed, and the couple in the road stopped to face the monster coming toward them.
It stopped, inches away from the man. He looked through the windshield at the driver and knew that these people were the ones they were looking for. "This is them, love," he whispered in his lover's ear. She nodded to him.
The man driving the truck stared at them. His wife tried to steady her breath. Seeing the two in the middle of the road reminded her of a time when they had been younger. She saw the baby in the woman's arms and started crying all over again. Her husband clasped her hand but there was nothing to comfort her.
"Holy shit," he whispered. He too saw the baby and motioned for the couple to come to his window.
They shuffled over and looked at him. He had rolled his window down and was looking at them as if the world had ended or was going to end.
"Are you people crazy? First of all you don't bring a child out in this kind of weather and second, you don't walk in the middle of the road. Do you wanna get killed?" he asked.
The man looked at him, a grave expression on his face. It was one of inner turmoil and pain. The driver looked at the woman beside him, carrying the baby and noticed that she was crying. "Will you take her?" the man asked.
The driver stared at him. "What?" he asked.
"Will you take Galaxy and raise her as your own?"
Now the driver started to get angry. His wife was clinging to his hand and crying. "What the hell do you take me for mister? A baby-snatcher?" he asked.
The other man's face became even grimmer than before. "I would ask you to take our baby girl and keep her. You see, we are on the run sir, for our alliance is an illegal one, and our people may have followed us to this world. A prince must marry a princess as I was forced to, but I loved a commoner." He looked at the woman a moment before continuing. "I would ask that you and your wife take Galaxy and raise her, just until the time she can return to her home planet."
"Home planet?" the driver asked seeming in a daze.
The man in the rain nodded. "We are Urikans or shapeshifters in your tongue. We are being tracked even as we speak. They believe it is just Zelena and me. They don't know about Galaxy." He looked down at the baby girl, and the driver saw all his love for her on his face.
"No one is after you, young man," he said.
The woman kissed the girl and handed her to the man, who looked at him again with that same grim expression. "Please sir, just take her; just take care of her."
There was a snort and a chorus of whinnies. There was a sound of hooves along with the beating of drums. The horses came out of the fog into the light that spilled from the headlights. There were several, but the driver didn't count them. Two men were carrying a strange flag. Another horseman drew a sword and beside him a spear was held at the ready.
"Hurry! Please take her!" the man said with a frenzy.
He handed the man the baby. "When she is eighteen, tell her that she must return to Solaria. She is the rightful heir. She must return. She…" he stopped as the drum beating stopped. This was a real army.
"Tell her she will be an animal of her choice. She will shift into that animal at will. Please sir! I beg you!"
The woman looked at the driver and his wife. She reached into the truck and took the woman's hand in hers. "Take care of her… my Galaxy," she whispered. "Goddess bless you both." She kissed the woman's hand and then turned away with her husband following. They ran through the rain.
The driver and his wife looked at the baby girl drenched in rainwater. The drums sounded again and they looked up at the horsemen. The riders kicked their mounts into a gallop in pursuit of the running man and woman.
The driver turned in his seat and watched. The couple was following the road, and the horsemen caught up with them in no time. They put a spear through the woman. She screamed as she fell to her knees in a puddle of blood.
The man stopped at her side. He never noticed the swordsman get off his horse and come at him with handcuffs in his hands until the cold metal was cuffed onto his wrists and he was dragged to his feet and thrown on a horse.
After the man was on the large brute, the horsemen turned to face the monster behind them. They raised their weapons and let out a bloodcurdling cry. The driver felt sickened at the sight he had just witnessed and looked at his wife. She was pale and shaking.
The horsemen galloped toward them with their weapons ready for an attack.
"I'm getting the hell out of here!" the man said to his wife.
He put the truck in drive and hit the gas, making the tires squeal against the wet pavement. They shot off and left the riders behind.
"Oh my god. Oh my god," his wife whispered. "Those poor people. They never stood a chance."
"Yeah, that's how life can be." He looked at the little girl in his arms. "Galaxy huh?" he asked. "Well, I am not sure I believe that man about you being from another planet, but I am certain we can raise you as our own until you are eighteen sees how you don't have parents anymore."
His wife nodded. They had reached the city and she was crying again. She stopped as a ray from a lamppost they passed caught on something around the girl's neck, sending a glare into her eyes.
"What is that?" she asked. She pulled the girl into her arms and held the object in her hands.
It was a gold necklace with a charm the size of the girl's hand on it. It was shaped like a puzzle piece and had words engraved on the back of it, but the symbols were so strange that she couldn't make heads or tails of it.
"What is it?" her husband asked.
"It's a necklace," she said. "Just a necklace, but it has strange writing on it. I don't understand it."
He chuckled. "Honey," he said. "This whole night has been pretty well fucked up."
The little girl looked at them with intelligent eyes. She was quiet through the whole ordeal, not once screaming, the wife noticed. It was at that moment that the couple knew the child was strange. Maybe what the man had said was true. Maybe they did come from another planet called Solaria.
"Galaxy," the woman cooed, and the child turned her head to look at her.
"We will tell her that we are not her real parents when she asks. We will let her decide whether or not she wants to know. Even when we tell her that her parents are dead we won't tell her any of that rubbish that man spoke of… until she's eighteen that is."
"Was it rubbish? I am beginning to think it wasn't."
The man wiped a hand across his brow. "I don't know what to think anymore to tell you the truth," he said, and he was telling the truth. He didn't know what to think of the girl or her odd, persistent parents.
Galaxy giggled and clapped her baby hands together.