AN: Hi y'all, merry Christmas and all that, I got a new computer! So after a little over two months, I'm back to ATR! Yay! In the interim I started a completely new project that I will post soon, so keep an eye out! For now, enjoy!
Chelsea rolled over as she felt the bed dip down and the sheets pulled back.
"Hi you." She sighed happily snuggling into Ryone's shoulder. Thankfully it had healed after Violet's attack and worked perfectly again.
"Hello to you too." He chuckled. "Did I wake you?"
Chelsea nodded and stretched gracefully arching her back. "Yeah but I'm glad. I missed you today. So did Diana." Her gaze traveled to the bassinette at the foot of the bed where her daughter lay sleeping peacefully.
"I missed you as well." He pulled her closer wrapping his arm around her. And for a while they just lay there enjoying each other's presence.
"You want to ask me something." Chelsea said at length opening her eyes and looking up to Ryone's face where a troubled expression had crossed.
"I did, I am not sure how to begin though." He paused and took her hand looking thoughtfully off into the distance. "April came to me today, very angry. She said that what we do is wrong, taking planets and resources and the like and we don't know the hurt we've caused."
Chelsea was silent waiting for him to continue.
"She said I should ask you if I didn't believe her." He said after a minute.
Chelsea thought hard about how to answer him. "I'm not going to say that she's wrong, because she's not. Ryone you need to imagine what it must feel like for every world you have taken, all the people whose lives were destroyed."
"I have, and I still feel that this is what has to be done to preserve my own planet. I do not see why this affects you, or her. Both of you have been given wonderful lives here; better than you would have on earth." His words were not angry or defensive. Simply honest.
"It affects us because we are humans, our people are suffering and we can't do anything about it. Back on earth wars broke out to end human suffering in multiple forms. Every child in the United States knew what Independence Day was. The day we won our freedom from England. It's ingrained in us to care about our own kind. I don't know how far I'd be willing to take the argument, but I am sure that she's right about one thing. You don't know the amount of suffering you have caused us. And for that, I can't feel anger, only pity because of your ignorance."
"I have seen your memories and Holly's of the invasion; I know what it was like for you." Ryone challenged.
"You saw the chain of events, but you did not feel the emotions as we did." Chelsea reminded him.
"There is a way I could." Ryone said quietly.
Chelsea looked up confused. "But the bond can't do that. We can hear each other's thoughts and see memories, but I've never been able to feel what you felt. I can tell when you're angry or happy, but I don't feel it myself."
"I've never done it myself, but I've heard stories of bonded pairs transcending their mortal bodies and experiencing each other on a purely spiritual level." Ryone explained.
"It's kind of creepy to think about that," Chelsea admitted. "I'm not sure I'd be ready for something that intense."
"I want to understand you." Ryone reminded her. "We could stop if you feel it becomes too much."
Chelsea thought back to when she first arrived on Their planet and was amazed at how far she'd come.
"I am glad you have been able to trust me so much." Ryone smiled at her thoughts.
"Well you certainly don't make it easy." She replied. "But I do trust you, and I would like to try."
He nodded and gently guided her to lay prone on the bed. "Relax," He instructed and took ahold of her hand as he copied her position. "Clear all thoughts from your mind except the memory you want to show me. I know it's unpleasant, but you must feel the emotion you wish to share with me."
Guided by his instruction she closed her eyes and let the picture form in her mind. The first time They came. She remembered waking up that morning and dreading a psychology test later at school. She remembered packing a ham and cheese sandwich and a V8 for lunch. The next thing she remembered was the announcement made during third period that the president had declared a national state of emergency and all students were to report to the gymnasium for an emergency lockdown. No one knew what was happening until someone's phone buzzed and the message spread like wildfire. "Something landed in Vermont." "They said it was a UFO" "Aliens? No way." Everyone knew before the PA system broadcast the news announcement live. "There has been a confirmed landing of an unidentified flying object in Burlington Vermont at 9:08 this morning, followed by three more landing in Chicago, New Orleans, and Seattle approximately an hour later. I am personally urging everyone to remain indoors and let the police and the armed forces handle the situation. God help us."
Her mind jumped to the first explosion. It was far off but still loud enough to make everyone jump. Many of the students were either crying or had used up their tears. Chelsea sat clinging to her sister as they all waited for whatever would happen next.
That was when the entire right side of the gymnasium collapsed.
As the smoke cleared she could make out humanoid forms in the haze and for a moment everyone thought that the army had come to help.
Then They started shooting.
Chaos, panic, fear, and then all of a sudden nothing.
She opened her eyes and realized she had stopped breathing somewhere in the memory. She was shaking and felt Ryone's arms encircle her as he murmured comforting words.
"Did, did it work?" She asked, tying to rid her mind of the caved in wall and the sudden loss of half her classmates.
"It worked." Ryone assured her; it was then that she realized the pounding heartbeat she was feeling was not coming from her chest, but his.
She pulled back and brushed her fingers against his cheek. "Are you alright?" She asked taking in his clammy skin and shallow breathing.
"I will be fine, It was just, a lot to take in." He sighed.
"What did you see?" Chelsea asked quietly softly playing with his hair. The action seemed to have a calming effect on both of them.
"I saw what you saw. Everything up to the shots, then I cut it off." He would not meet her gaze.
"It was too much." He said at length. "For me, the fear was overwhelming."
"You haven't felt fear like that before, have you?" She asked.
He shook his head and after that they both lay silently, eventually falling asleep.
She didn't know how much time had passed when something awoke Chelsea. For a moment she didn't know what it was and rolled over about to close her eyes again when she heard a soft creak to her left. She rolled back over and saw a small silhouette poised over a still very sleeping Ryone, and in the sliver of light through to pulled shades, something metal glinted in the figure's hand.
Instinctively she shrieked and threw herself over Ryone's sleeping body surprising the figure, and waking up both Ryone and Diana.
"Get away from him!" She snarled trying desperately to keep the intruders attention away from the now awake crying baby at the foot of the bed. She was close enough now to see that the intruder was a girl, and that she was human.
'Take Diana and run!' Ryone ordered through their bond.
'No, she's human, I can talk to her.' She responded. As she finished the thought, the girl took an upwards swing with what Chelsea could now see was a small katana and caught her across the upper arm and cheek.
'She's not in the mood." Ryone was up and between the two females now. The attacker tried another strike, but Ryone was much faster than Chelsea and grabbed her arm stopping her.
"Take Diana and leave!" Ryone shouted out loud as the girl pulled a throwing star from her outfit and slashed at Ryone's wrist. When his grip loosened she turned and ran, disappearing back into the dark hallway.
Ryone turned away from the doorway, unconsciously pressing on the cuts to his wrist to staunch the blood. Chelsea was standing in front of Diana's bassinet pressing a corner of the bed sheet to her left arm as she tried to calm her daughter.
He lifted her chin with two fingers and when he saw the cut on her cheek she could feel the anger boiling inside him.
"I'm fine," She assured him. "It's not deep."
"They came into my home, attacked my family. This will not go un answered." He said mostly to himself, tearing a strip from the sheet and wrapping first Chelsea's arm, then his wrist, and then lifting Diana into his arms holding her close.
"Hush Princess, I will never let anyone hurt you." He whispered as her sobs quieted to hiccups.
Olive looked up from the scrap of paper she was doodling on when she felt someone watching her.
Nick stood at the foot of her bed looking annoyed as usual. "Have you seen Ari?"
Inwardly her face crumpled into a frown, but as usual her contempt of him beat out any other emotion. "Didn't you hear?" She waited a moment for him to catch on. "She got captured on her last mission."
Nick's face went through an interesting set of emotions quickly, and finally settled on stone cold anger.
Olive shrugged, "Kanno said she was protecting Amy and that-"
Nick swore under his breath. "So it's her fault. I knew there was something wrong with the new kids."
"Nick, you can be a real ass sometimes, did you know that? Ariadne is too good for you, and why she even lowered her standards to you is something I'll never understand." Olive crumpled the paper and then sighed as she tried to smooth it back out.
"How did you know about us?" Nick asked sharply.
"It's a small base dimwit. Everyone knows, May doesn't care, or maybe she's too wrapped up in trying to figure out her and Damon that she really doesn't notice, but the rest of us do. You're really bad at being subtle." She lay back on the pillow and held the wrinkled page up to the dim light.
Without a word Nick stormed off.
This was all that new girl's fault! And her brother and the other one too! Nick flew past the areas reserved for training and meal times, ignoring everyone he passed. Most of them were too stupid to know how this revolution would end anyway. He never expected to win, just put off the inevitable a little longer, maybe if he was lucky, They would kill him instead of enslaving him again. Once had been enough, especially when the bitch had tried to bite him, it was a lucky strike that got him out of that one, and then the next day he'd run and made it to the rumored safe haven in the desert. Ariadne had been there already, working with the new arrivals, and for some reason he trusted her, and only her of all the people here.
Being a team leader had the advantage that he was allowed to leave the base without clearing it with anyone, and now all he wanted to do was find a place that he could scream and kick the ground and let out the anger and frustration. He wanted to run, but as soon as he stepped out of the shelter of the base, the blazing three suns, all of which were at their highest point in the sky sapped him of all the energy.
Still he walked away from the base, trying to wrap his head around her being gone, so it was a while before he noticed the person heading toward him. It was a man dressed in all black including the armor he had on and his boots.
Cautious, Nick readied his hand on his energy pistol as the man came closer.
"There's no need for that, we are on the same side." Though he was not speaking English, the words translated, indicating that his language was in Their database, though it did not sound like one from Earth.
"You aren't human are you?" Nick responded.
"That would be correct."
"Then no, I don't believe we are on the same side."
"I have heard a saying from a few humans, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. We have a common enemy, so I propose we be friends." The man reasoned.
"I like to know what to call my friends." Nick pressed, still wary and ready to shoot.
"Call me Adam. It's as good a name as any. And who are you friend?" Adam said calmly.
"Not yet, why should I trust you?" Nick asked.
"As I said we have a common enemy, my people hate Them as much as yours. We believe that together we can rid the universe of the pestilence." Adam explained. "Any more questions?"
Nick regarded the man for a long minute, before nodding, "Yes, but I will save them for someone higher up than me. My, name is Nickolas, my friends call me Nick."
"Hello Nick." Adam did not smile but his expression lightened.
"I said my friends, right now we may be allies, but nothing more." Nick warned Adam.