Crystal Heart

Synopsis: Inhabitants of the peaceful planet, Cerdoon exist from a central power source located in the Queen's chamber, a crystal heart, that has been mined by her descendent and exposed to the triple suns of the Gertian galaxy, light years from Earth. The heart is coveted by a Cerdonian who plots to overthrow the monarchy, not realizing there is no backup power for the royals (or anyone else in Cerdoon's grid from the 'Royal Heart'). Once it is gone, society begins to plummet into chaos until the Cerdoonian responsible brings himself to justice by putting the Royal Heart back atop its pedastal.

Chapter 1—Serene Cerdoon

The Planet of Cerdoon was one that existed harmoniously for eons, living symbiotically with the fauna of the land. The people were mantid in apperance, their wings lapidarian in form. Each Cerdoonian was unique, but each Cerdoonian had talents and abilities not unlike the people of our own home Earth. Yet, our planet and theirs are completely different. Technology and nature existed in tandem and Cerdoonians were pleasant, happy and enlightened with information they garnered from their electronic tablets, powered by the three suns of their galaxy, Gertia. Gertia is many light years from Earth, so it isn't known whether a Cerdoonian cosmonaught tried to jump time from his world to ours or take a rocketship fueled by the finest azrulite, which is plentiful in the planets Azrul Mines. In fact, this very azrulite composes the Queen's Heart, located in Queen Alcyone's arboretum, in the middle of her castle. Alcyone's life is uncomplicated as she oversees counselling for many. She, and her husband, Alvis are seen as the gurus of the planet, with all the answers concerning life, the universe, and everything inbetween. The royal family is rather large with twelve children, each with their own talent and individuality. Yet, Alcyone never thought one of her children, Aodh would be the only 'ruffian' within the noble Divitean line. Even she and Alvis never forsaw that Aodh had any desire to do anything unruly. However, the young Cerdoonian had other ideas; thoughts that would cost Cerdoon most of its population.

Chapter 2—Adoh's Unusual Behavior

"Your hoverboarding is improving.", the youngest Divitean, Ami said to her eldest brother, Daen. Daen flipped in the air and winked his almond eyes at Ami, musically chuckling.

"Daen, you're showing off again ! You know we really don't need hoverboards to fly. I prefer to use my wings !", Aodh boasted, blazing past in his royal garb, his royal cerulean cloak, lined with purple, fluttering in the wind.

"By the three Suns, I loathe when he does that !", Yoam, a middle brother scathed, having been scared from reading a Terran tome he had uploaded satellite transmission into his tablet. Settling himself down, the royal smoothed out his golden royal robes and headed to the Queen's garden to get some proper reading done in peace.

"Yoam can be so mellow dramatic. Aodh's just having some fun !", a naïve sister, Gizreet stated.

"I wouldn't be so certain about that, Gizreet. Something about Aodh's attitude in these past days is getting my antennae in a bind.", another sister, Aella stated, her metallic turquoise eyes narrowing.

"I wouldn't let it twist your wings so much, Aella. Aodh's...different than the rest of us. He's probably going through a phase.", Daen said, landing next to his sister, comforting her in an embrace.

It was nearly time for dinner and 11 out of the twelve children were assembled. As to where Aodh had gone, it was anyone's guess. He had the ability to mask his thoughts under a telepathy-proof cloak. The siblings were beginning to become concerned for their youngest sibling's activities and wondered what could possibly be going through his mind. Whatever he had in his heart, it was unsettling to the Divreets. The family, however, decided to go about their daily royal duties and carry about their errands and chores before evening prayer to the setting three suns and delta sleep into dreaming.

Chapter 3—Coveting the Queen's Heart

Queen Alcyone and King Alvis travelled once a month to the Grand Hall of Cerdoon. This Hall was in the center of a cosmopolitan locale known as Illustra, which was the hub that connected all other cities and towns together. The people would come to ask the veritable gurus their challenging life questions and advice on every day errands and chores, or troubles they had been facing. Cerdoonian's didn't have many issues or troubles, but not everyone was so talented at growing massive orchards like Alcyone was, or crafting magnificent azrulite figurenes and jewelry like the artisian Alvis.

The Royal family was left to handle affairs at home, keeping watch on the archives of wisdom, which was also known as the 'Treasury of Recorded Memories of the Universe". If someone wanted to become the Guru of Cerdoon, they could by plugging into the collective knowledge of the database with their antennae. Yet what Aodh had in mind was far more diabolical than tapping into the database. While Aodh's siblings were preoccupied keeping the castle and their pets in order, he snuck into the core of the castle where the Queen's Heart sat upon a pedastal.

"Once I have this in my possession, the throne will be mine.", he thought to himself, rubbing his four palms together simultaniously. With a sinister grin, Aodh took the crystal from the pedastal. The glow that once existed there began to dim. Guiltily, Aodh looked around and knew that the deed had been done and he needed to fly as fast as he could from the palace to the caverns of the azrulite mines. There were some mines that were no longer used any longer. At least he would be safe there, but the consequences of his actions were starting to be felt, even with him.

Chapter 4—On Tenterhooks

The people of Cerdoon had begun to feel ill at ease suddenly, and such a change was very mysterious. Cerdoonians hardly if ever experienced disease. When they did, it was typically because of lack of sleep or malnutrition. These events hardly ever happened, but it did occur infrequently when the summer pippies were migrating to the south to begin a new life there. Sometimes their larvae landed in the food supply and the taste was slightly bitter, causing mild stomach upset. Pippies weren't the issue here this time, as they were peaceful little apian creatures that coexisted with everything else in the symbiotic planet. This was a much larger upset, and it wasn't caused by insects that tiny. The Cerdoonians knew that something else, something far more sinister had taken place.

The royal family began to feel very sick and felt their lifeforces begin to drain from their bodies. Aodh, who had run away from the entire ordeal, was in an abandoned azrulite mine and could see the expressions of his siblings and parents begin to morph into nightmarish forms. Once they were healthy and strong, but now they were becoming pale and weak and all because he had coveted the Queen's Heart. Unlike the rest of the population, the energy signature that the Queen's Heart emenated protected Aodh from any disease. From the safety of the craggy mine, he watched the consequences of his actions unfold in their abysmal horror.

Aodh felt pangs of regret in his heart. Nothing had ever hurt so badly as this. He loathed himself for being so greedy.

"It wasn't my right to covet it in the first place. The rightful heir Daen is the one who'll be ruling when dad meets the Gods of the Suns in the Cosmos. I'll be exiled unless something is done.

People are beginning to...die...", Aodh thought, feeling tears well up in his almond eyes. Aodh had never known what it was like to cry, but he felt as if his heart was withering inside him. He couldn't allow himself to idly sit by and watch all of Cerdoon suffer. He had to make things right, even if it meant being exiled to Jun, Cerdoon's sole moon. Although the initial feelings of fear and sadness had been overwhelming, Aodh gathered his courage and flew as fast as he could back to the center of the royal palace and waited whatever judgement his siblings and parents would execute upon him.

Chapter 4—Repentance

From the abandoned mine, it was a rather far flight, but nothing too tiring for Aodh. He was an expert flier, much like his siblings, and could move faster than lightning and wind combined.

In a matter of milliseconds, he had returned and placed the Heart back upon its pedastal. Those who had been dying ceased their descent into death and lived, even more resillient than before. The others who had become sick were no longer ill, but healthy. Even the plants and animals were restored to their former glory. The siblings, who had been searching the entire grounds in their compromised states now looked at the guilty party who had all four hands behind his back, looking ashamed and feeling sorry for himself.

Alvis and Alcyone brought in their youngest son together, embracing him, and kissing him multiple times. The remainder of the family did the same.

"I'm not going to be exiled ?", the youngest son questioned, raising an eyebrow quizzicaly.

"By repenting of your wrongs and returning the coveted item to its rightful place, you forgave yourself, my son.", Alvis said, wisely.

"I sense there is no malice in his heart anymore. I think our little brother has learned his lesson.", eldest brother, and next in line for the Divrit throne, Daen stated, wisely.

"I certainly have. Stealing something so vital is wrong. Had I not considered the consequences of my actions, our whole planet would probably be dead.", Aodh whimpered, cringing at the thought.

"You've repented. You are certainly worthy of the throne. But it won't be yours for many millenia. You'll simply have to be patient.", Yoam chimed in. Aodh was well aware of this. He hadn't taken in account the number of years a Cerdoonian typically lived. At this point and time in his young life, it didn't much matter. He would continue going to school with other Cerdoonians, making friends amongst them and testing his skills in the local AeroAcrobatics competitions held every summer in honor of the King and Queen's nuptial anniversary. Someday, he hoped to be the Captain of the squadron that flew in formation over the Grand Arena. With all his practice, he was certain that he would.

Epilogue

Life returned to its typical ebb and flow after the incident, and the Cerdoonians had it stricken from record completely. Aodh was forgiven of his trespass and had decided never to do something so low-down and ill-advised ever again. He had been a rebel before but only because he wanted to earn something rapidly. He had learned that experience produces wisdom and he would have many eons to perfect this before the throne rightfully became his. He accepted that and was at peace with this logical, pragmatic plan. Besides, he had enjoyed the peace and tranquility that living an uncomplicated life had given to him. He realized that he should've been counting his blessings all along instead of allowing his impulses to create problems for himself. No longer would he let such destrctive negative habits like greed or desire of wanting something ahead of its time of fruition lure him down convoluted paths of destruction. The lesson had been shocking, shaking him back into complete awareness. Yet, sometimes, that is how perspective needed to be gained. Aodh could thank the three Suns he had it now, but he realized that he was still young and had much to learn.

His growth and maturity would continue long into his adult life. He would always be learning and growing, but that was what true life was all about; learning, maturity and spiritual growth as a Cerdoonian individual living in harmony with his fellow Cerdoonians.