It has been many years since a great number of humans died, and with most of the race dying, some traditions and morals with them. The one ancient Souls talked about missing most is Love. There are many legends regarding this mysterious Love, but none of these days understand the concept. It is completely foreign – having feelings for another being. These days, everything is strictly business.
I am a Soul. What is a Soul? There is no easy way to describe us. In short, we are the live essence that used to inhabit humans. Back when, there used to be an endless amount of Souls floating around. They ran through one lifespan and then departed. Then something happened.
Nobody knows what caused it, but all of the sudden many babies started being born dead – still born. This happened to any child from that point on. With the help of some of the world's smartest minds, it was figured out that they didn't have any life force. They lacked a Soul. If there's one thing you humans were good at, it was recycling. You would take worthless things and make them into something that was useable again. Somehow, you managed to do that with Souls, too, but that was long after many of us died.
Life is different now. Souls live for centuries upon centuries. I, myself, am over a thousand years old. We live a lifespan in one host, and just before our host expires, we are extracted. Then, we are put in another host and the cycle repeats. It's not a boring existence in the least. Since we have retained knowledge from all of our lives, we are extremely smart. To be honest, I am having a hard time dumbing this story down for you. It's out of habit, I suppose.
Even though we do, as a rule, explore the liberal arts and the learning aspect of life, we have one function – to breed. Where we cannot have babies, our hosts are still capable of producing eggs. After the…act is done, then we simply have surgery done and donate the fertilized eggs. The babies are grown in a lab, kept until a Soul can accompany them, and bring them to life.
The only drag of being a Soul is the fact that you have a partner. From the moment you enter a host, you are assigned a partner of the opposite sex. It is a foregone decision. The rest of your life will be spent with your partner, fulfilling your life's purpose, and also to keep you company. Even though only one lifetime is spent with them, it does help to have some company of a sort. It can get very lonely, even I can admit that.
Although I am not an Ancient – as all the ancients are dead – I am the oldest living Soul that is left. I can scarcely recall being a human at one point in time, when I would have lived only one life, but that was centuries ago. I have been through 13 or so hosts, and with each I have been a writer. It surprised me the first time, the fact that I wanted to be a writer. Immediately, it stuck with me. I don't know how big of a reader you are, but I am the infamous writer Salen. In this day's time, it is a name that could be stuck to either gender.
Every Soul has a gender. You will know what you are from the second you are put in your host. It either feels right or terribly wrong. There are a few special cases where a Soul can be both, but there are only three or four left now. As for myself, I am a male. My first host – beside my original human form - was a female, and it just wasn't right. All my past hosts have been male from then on.
Now, I am waiting for my next host. I had been waiting for a while in the bottle I was kept in. Lately, there had been an all-time low host production. None of the scientists are sure why, nor are the Souls. We have been doing our jobs as we should be. There should be no reason for the shortage, yet there was.
Salen, a voice said. Your next host is ready.
Mentally, I purred. Finally, I could live again, and spend time socializing with my partner. Hah. Socialize. Yes, that's what partners are for.
I do believe I mentioned that our hosts are grown in labs, raised so that they are alive, but yet don't have a soul. Kind of like…plants, per say. They are put in tanks full of water, with tubes leading out of where the main bloodstreams would be so blood can artificially be pumped through them. In any case, once you are inserted into your host, you have about five-point-six seconds before your lungs are screaming for air. This especially relates to the fact that the body has never taken a breath before, ever.
The…'coming to terms with your body' is interesting. Imagine a Soul as a cloud of gas. When put in a host we will expand to cover every cell. It is like putting food dye in water. It is a slow process at the start, but gradually, we cover every inch, and then are hence attached to our host. It's amazing, actually. Each and every being has a different take on the world. The colors that you see aren't necessarily the way that others interpret them.
My lungs were screaming already, longing for some healthy oxygen. Quickly, I moved my arms and swam to the surface of the water. Gulping air, I heard somebody welcome me. The voice was somebody's I recognized – Arkon. He is my doctor. Because there aren't many Souls left, each are assigned a doctor. Every time a Soul is reintroduced to a host, they are welcomed and consoled by their doctors. It should go without saying that Arkon is a good friend of mine.
I turned to the doctor. "Arkon, can you please explain to me why I am in a female host?"
I could tell immediately that my host was not male. There was a sense of general 'wrongness' and it was plain uncomfortable. Your Soul knows what it was born to be, and it is generally unhappy when its wishes are ignored.
Arkon smiled thinly, handing me a towel. "Yes, hello to you too."
Climbing out of the tank of water, I frowned. "Arkon, you still did not answer my question."
He sighed. "Salen, you do know of the host shortage, yes?"
I nodded. I had been informed while I was out of a host.
"Well, as of late, there are no available male hosts."
I pondered this. "I could have waited, then."
Arkon hesitated, a weighted expression on his face. "Well, no. All hosts are needed on field, you see. And as of late, the gender preferences are being ignored. We need more hosts that can produce hosts."
"That is wrong! They would never do that!" I exclaimed.
"But they have. We are dying, Salen. This is our last stand for our survival." His expression was serious. The density of the situation was not lost on me.
"I understand, then. I'll do what I must, even though I disagree with all I dare." I took the towel from Arkon and wrapped it around my body.
"A mirror is in the next room, along with clothes. Then find me again. You need to meet your partner," Arkon instructed, turning on a heel and leaving.
I had always been aware of the situation we were in, but I had never thought it would have affected me in such a way. Everybody believes that their basic want of gender would be paid attention too – unless, of course, you're one of both. It is considered rude and downright disgraceful to disobey a host's one need. Myself, I was irked. I was one of the greatest, eldest and most important Souls. How dare they-!
Shaking my head in disgust, I traversed the room and crossed into the dressing room adjacent. In the mirror, I saw my new self. She had long, chocolate brown hair that was just a little longer than shoulder length. Emerald green eyes looked back at me. The skin tone was just the right shade of tan. She – I – was strong, capable of taking on even the hardest of tasks. Her figure, then, fell into the category of perfect. Although I abhorred the idea of being in female host, Arkon had done a good job of picking out one for me.
The clothing was simple: jeans –of course we still have them! – undergarments, some white lacy high-heels, and a white t-shirt. Dressing myself in these clothes grudgingly, I saw that I was beautiful.
I whirled around to see Arkon. Putting my hands on my hips, I frowned at him. "You creep! What if I wasn't dressed?"
Arkon smirked. "Oh don't be so shy, Salen. I have seen you naked plenty of times before."
I blushed. He did not need to put it like that…
"So you find your host acceptable?" he asked, looking at me.
"For the circumstances, yes," I answered.
He nodded. "Good. Let us depart, then. Your partner waits."
I frowned. "Who is it?"
"Zath," Arkon answered quietly.
"The lady-killer?" I asked, shocked. This must have shown on my face as well, because Arkon laughed.
There is only one host per name, so I knew who Zath was immediately. He had a reputation, of course, as did I. He was known to be a real gentleman, as he actually put time and effort into the relationship with his partner. It would be weeks before I helped the decline of hosts, in any rate. That Soul is not in any rush to do any physical exercise of that sort.
He is known as the 'lady-killer' because most of the Souls do not want to leave him. After they get their next host, they always claim to be 'heartbroken' at the thought of leaving Zath. The female souls swoon over him, and fight for the right to be his next partner. Although he says he will sometime, he had never bought another Soul. He's waiting for 'the right one'. I say there is no such thing.
In any case, I won't be caught in all of this ways.
"Yes." Arkon opened the door and held it open for me. "I know that we won't get any hosts out of you in the near future, but after we get the first, many follow after."
"I don't want him," I said flatly. My shoes clicked on the tile flooring.
"I can understand. But," Arkon paused, "the match was made based on your reputations. You, I happen to know, love the physical…exercise. Zath actually cares for his partner, and yet he still brings in plenty of host eggs."
"Well, considering those two factors, we should get plenty of new hosts." Arkon looked at me. "You need to cooperate, Salen."
"Wha?" I faked innocence. "What makes you think I would do something other than that?" "Because I know you. I've spent many lifetimes with you. Quite frankly, I envy Zath." Arkon looked off into the distance, his blonde hair covering his eyes briefly. I detected a light blush as well. "But, you need to cooperate. You could be one of the people to save this race. Please, for our kind, do this." He begged, searching my eyes.
I huffed, my breath blowing my bangs out of my eyes. "Fine. I can cooperate. But let this idea be known – I hate this."
Arkon laughed softly. "I know. I know."
We walked a little bit further. The idea that I would be given to somebody angered me. I used to be able to pick out my own partner! But no, I had no choice now. I would keep this in mind for when I pick out my next female host. Perhaps I could make it less painful, then.
We stopped in front of a white door. What was it with this place and white?
"In there, Salen." Arkon pushed me gently towards the door.
"I don't want to," I said, without much emotion. It wasn't exactly with disobedience; I was simply just stating I didn't want to go.
"You must, Salen," Arkon said softly. "Maybe if you get accustomed to a female host, we could partner next…but along now." I was pushed into the room and the door slammed shut behind me.
"Hello, Salen." Blue, fragrant flowers were shoved in my face.
I blinked, surprised. "Oh, uh –"
"I'm Zath. You probably know me, but I just am saying hello anyways," a cheery voice exclaimed.
Taking the flowers, I looked and saw him. He was what I would describe as handsome. Dirty blonde hair hung in his eyes – I had the strangest urge to move them out of his eyes – and fair skin covered him. He had deep, blue eyes. And worst of all? When I looked at him, my heart stopped. It was just for a second, but it happened. Why, I have no idea. But it scared me.
Against my will, I blushed. "Oh. Um. Hi."
Zath laughed. "You're adorable."
I turned a darker shade of red. "I'm Salen."
"I know," he said, smiling. God, he had a beautiful smile. "I am delighted to meet you."
"And you as well. I'm flattered," I replied, smelling the flowers. Ah! They were my favorite kind. "How did you know?"
"I researched you. I wanted to make a good impression," he answered, blushing. "I'm not sure what it is, but you're different from other Souls. I can tell."
I snorted. I bet I am.
"Well then. Are you two acquainted?" A familiar voice drifted in from the hallway. Arkon. That jerk!
"Yes, I would think so." Zath smiled, taking my elbow.
At this touch, I could literally feel thousands of electric shocks sent up my veins. It wasn't bad, necessarily, just different. After a few seconds, the feeling left, leaving my arm supposedly numb and useless. But no, it wasn't electric shocks, as I could still feel my arm. What was that, then? I'd bet it was Zath's fault. What had he done to me?
I put on a fake smile and turned to Arkon. "Yes, we are. But for the record, I am extremely mad at you."
Arkon nodded. "I expected as much." He sighed heavily. "Well then. Would you like to see your living accommodations?"
Zath smiled, nodding. "Yes! I am excited to being living my life with Ms. Salen, here."
Arkon stifled a laughed. "Ah. Yes, then. Right this way."
And this was how I began living with Zath.
A.N: Yeah, well, I just started this in my Science Fiction class – fitting enough – and I rather like how it's turned out. Anyways~ I just learned I have to re-write EVERYTHING I wrote after this. Isn't that awesome? I had the tri-shot finished but not anymore.
Comments would be loved. Thanks~!