by Brianna G. Harte
As with “Two Red Roses”, I’m going to keep all of the writing for all of chapter 2 of “The Aijan Codes” all in one post. For each update, I will write a post about any progress on the story.
Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to give it a “Like” if you enjoyed it!
And now, “The Aijan Codes” Chapter 2 shall commence!
——————————– October 4, 2015
I was in no condition to do much of anything. Accessing so much power not previously tapped before drained my own energy, leaving my muscles fatigued and limp. There was no way I could bring both Ecuardo and I to safety, especially in his critical condition. Sinking to the seafloor was no option now. A burden lay upon my shoulders, drifting away with each moment not a breath came loose. But I couldn’t give up. That was not the Qi Merovan way.
Staring into his cruel, yellow eyes, I realized that there were two options here. One, capture, which would lead to both of our deaths. Two, abandon Ecuardo, which would lead to his death. And then eventually mine seeing as there was no way I could outswim a boat rowed by two beings.
Wrinkled formed against his eyes as a smile grew. “See? There’s no use. Give it up, Qi Merovan.”
I wanted to say I wouldn’t. That’s what noble people do. On my planet, it’s better to die fighting to save another than live in shame. It had always haunted me to think about possibly risking lives no matter what. Now, I was facing it with a forlorn face.
“If I surrender, what will happen to him?” My voice shook.
“Oh, P’tua Kurover shall be pleased!” the girl cried. Her voice no longer sounded like that of the humans. The disguise was no longer necessary. It morphed into a mixture of snake and hyena, a demonic combination when you hear it in person.
Turning his head, the man barked, “Ready the bonds!”
“You still haven’t answered my question,” I reminded him. The sound that left my mouth was as hard as an iron beam. It seemed to cut through the air, causing the two Anû Töe to freeze in their tracks. It even made me wonder where it came from, so peculiar it was.
—————————- October 18, 2015
Their mut, whatever creature it was, seemed to be unaffected by my words. Its unwavering eyes the color of the sun narrowed at me just before its mouth opened wide, ready to snap. As it did so, I got a nice, horrific look at those incisors. Two long rows of pointed teeth reached to the back of its puke-colored jaw with enormous incisors larger than my hand heading the maw. Lining each tooth were shining green veins. It nearly chopped my head off my body when Irin, I believe her name was, told him off.
“We want her alive, you dolt,” she said, whacking him upside the head, causing his heavy skull to hit mine.
The mut growled at her before grabbing me out of the water by my clothes and throwing me aboard. I don’t know what I landed on, but my head hit it hard. Instinctively, I grabbed the back of my head with both hands, hoping that I wouldn’t black out. It fought me, though. My teeth clenched together, making me look as though I had eaten something repulsive. What truly woke me up was Ecuardo’s body floating away. I stumbled over the plank in the middle of the boat to see him.
“Ecuardo!” I called.
Both of his eyes started to open as he started going under. His body jerked and battled the water around him. His eyes soon met mine and he realized what was happening in an instant. As he swam my way, a large muscular hand grabbed me by the waist, reeled me in, and placed a sharp object against my throat, all in one swift motion.
“You come and she dies.”
“I didn’t even say I’d go,” I muttered the best I could with a sword so close to my skin.
Right next to my ear, he whispered with a grated voice. “Didn’t matter anyway. For all intents and purposes, you were ours.” With every word he spoke, a spit sprayed into my ear. “We’re going, Irin.”
If I had strength left, I would push away the sword. I’d knock out Kaht, or whatever his name was. I’d swim for Ecuardo. I’d try to find safety.
But I couldn’t.
As the motor started to gargle and buzz, a thought nagged the back of my mind. Why hadn’t I been told about how the power would drain me so?
Ecuardo was soon a small dot in the distance among the thousands of rolling waves with the sun reflected on their crests. The beach I had been on only recently faded into a line on the horizon and soon, disappeared from view. I could only smell salt after a while as no land or creature, besides whatever was glaring at me, drooling on my clothes, was in sight. No gasoline infused the air. No people strolling about. Nothing but water.
—————————— November 1, 2015
At one point or another, they put me into a deep sleep by forcing me to inhale the pollen of the fevriti flower only found on three planets in the galaxy as we knew it. In my weakened state, I could only hold my breath for so long before I had to take a deep breath. I remember it smelling like the ocean and mint infused together. It scared me at first. The only thought that comforted me was that they couldn’t take the secrets of the Aijan Codes from me without me consciously inviting them to know. This too turned sour. There was always the possibility that they could tear my brain apart.
These thoughts slowly melted away as I drifted to a deep slumber. A slumber where dreams could not accompany me.
Without being able to open my eyes, I could feel what was happening. Multiple hands grabbed me, lifting me away. Soon after a cushion of some sort met my back, something knocked at my pressure points. Perhaps it was simply an assurance to them that I could not move, but this was more likely paranoia since a hard object came across my front, locking my body in place. Tight, wired cloth came about my face next. I could not resist any of this, only feel.
I cannot remember the rest. Whatever they put over my lips pushed away all feeling for the night, morning, or however long it was. What were they planning on doing to me? How was any of this going to help them in any way? All the time without rest and without feeling was spent in my thoughts, perhaps trying to contact my home planet of Hevrae K’Vana Qi. What would I say to them? I had no foreknowledge of where I was. I could not ask them to find me. I was a secret. Only a select few knew I even existed. Even fewer knew I held the codes.
The single ounce of hope I could carry was that if I died, my part of the code would be safe from anyone’s hands forever.
—————— November 15, 2015
I expected torture.
I expected experiments.
I expected isolation.
I expected terror.
Above all, I expected death.
The leaders of Hevrae K’Vana Qi, my home planet, had always warned of the Anû Töe and their manipulative ways. I had to study the common ways the despicable race poisoned the minds of their prisoners, slowly turning them into nothing more than shells of the creatures they once were. Facts about death rates, about malicious weapons hidden underneath their cloaks, about hostages flew across my mind as my feet pressed against the warm iron sheets. Details of the torments their kind had forced our kind to endure surfaced as the two Anû Töe in sand colored drapery supported my body as my knees collapsed.
“They will not raise their ears should you scream to the stars,” the voices of the leaders echoed.
They allowed me to sit on the only open seating of the area: a sticky surface similar to a table, only it did not allow for movement. Projects and equipment lay scattered about the area, reminding me of the junkyards close to the beach I stode on not too long ago. Among trash were shining treasures like video holograms, a malfunctioning 3D diagram of the universe, and pieces similar to solar technology.
Hekthu Eu Nuvale found himself isolated in an examination room, dim lights on so that the faces of his torturers lay beneath shadows. When he finally escaped, his power was greatly reduced from the strain they had put him through.
“Terr anufa ki forren bein des?” one of them asked. After I stared at her blankly for a few seconds, another came.
“Are you alright?”
Puncture marks at the head, elbows, and feet forever ruined his skin.
In a dazed state, I shifted my focus to my elbows where hardened clay clutched my skin. “What are these?”
“We injected a formula into your bloodstream so that you would survive,” one answered in a calm voice. “Only a couple days ago, you were at the brink of an extreme coma. It revitalized your organs.”
“Why aren’t you making me uncomfortable?”
The Anû Töe tending to me seemed taken aback by the question. They must have realized that I was not kidding, for they finally responded with mirth. “We don’t believe in such things! You must be confusing us with a rogue clan who refuses to abide by our customs.”
I was taken aback. My ears must not have heard correctly. “Then where are you taking me?”
With a wave of the hand, one responded lightly. “To the captain.”
———————- November 22, 2015
I stopped in my tracks, listening to the air currents flowing around the room as though a man was blowing through a flute. A constant hum filled the silence I created. As the Anû Töe leading me noticed my footsteps halting, a pain in my arm erupted. A thousand needles sharper than swords attacked the mark that bore itself into me long ago. It seemed to have a mind of its own. Had the leaders been listening? Did they trust me so little with the mission they sent me on as to place a spy within my own skin to check on my moves?
My fist clenched as agony rose from my skin and bore itself deeper into my skin, until it was infiltrating my very own veins. With my right hand, I grasped my forearm, holding tight. The two closest to me tried to offer help, but there was none they could supply. Not even the liquid they injected into my skin made a difference.
As the searing pain tore at my arm, the Anû Töe asked me questions, questions I could not answer. “Where does it hurt?”
“Is there anything we can do?”
“What is the source of the pain you feel?”
“Maybe you could . . . answer some of mine,” I struggled to ask. “I can’t answer . . . any of yours . . . so maybe . . .”
“Ask what you will.”
“This might help . . . to lessen . . . the pain . . . if my body . . . knows why I’m here. . . and . . . why those two . . . acted like you . . . wanted to hurt me . . .”
Glances were exchanged and those who could understand me translated. As they conversed, the symbols on my left arm began to pulse a faint silvery glow. I wish I knew whether or not it was occurring to the other code bearers or if I was the only one. I wish I knew that it could happen at all. A dark cloud slithered through my mind, tainting my thoughts with doubt.
———— November 29, 2015
Although I didn’t expect them to disclose anything to me, the two that spoke my language started to speak, softly at first. It was of the missions of Irin and Kaht Netronotki, the confirmed pursuers of me and any other code bearer from my planet, Hevrae K’Vana Qi. “They were told simply to secure you, using a device that tracks high levels of energy on Earth. Of course, this originally led them to nuclear power plants, coal-fired plants, and the like. We could not expect this, being from a much cleaner environment that uses far less risky energy, in much smaller concentrations than what they have on that planet.”
The other chimed in. “All we knew was that any Qi Merovan such as yourself that was trusted to your leaders with special information exhibited abnormal amounts of power. Power that could uproot your leaders from their seats of power that have oppressed our people and those of countless other planets. Yes, Qi Merovan, your leaders are not so pristine as you may think.”
The pulsing pain continued, though my interest attached to the account. I did not stop them from speaking. I couldn’t.
“They weren’t supposed to kill you, Qi Merovan.”
A strong wave of piercing pain clawed at my arm.
All of you must remember not to believe a word of the Anû Töe, the voices of the leaders echoed. If captured, do not listen to their words. Should they attack, they mean to kill you.
“Kei,” I told them with a strained voice. If I should die any time soon, which the pain made seem all too possible, I wanted someone to at least say where I was seen last. Even though a risk of identity, I couldn’t help it.
“Is that what they call you? Do you realize what it means?”
I shrugged. “Once I became a code bearer, yes.”
A quick, nervous glance was exchanged between each of the Anû Töe around. Words in their language ran through the room. Meanwhile, the distractions dissipated. Pain. Sharp pain, more acute than before. It ripped its way through every muscle, every organ. My seething intensified.
Just to escape the agony, I interrupted them all. “What . . . what does that . . . mean?”
All hesitated. Either for secrecy or protection, their mouths were sewn shut.
“Tell me.” I couldn’t focus.
“In our language, it means ‘of the ui keitu’, a beast that is well known to feign weakness until it is ready to rip its prey to death. And, it means nothing in your language at all. It cannot be a simple coincidence. . .”
—————— December 6, 2015
“Just a mistake,” I laughed uneasily, alternating with seething.
The Anû Töe nodded after moments of hesitation. “We’d better move on then. Can you move or shall we bring you to the evaalu? That is to say our infirmary? We don’t have much, but we can manage something.”
Pushing myself off of the desk was like trying to run quickly underwater: enormous effort for little movement. Needles seemed to prick every soft tissue I had, especially at my hands. My elbows buckled under an invisible weight. My knees, too, refused to support weight. Too much pain sparked too many neurons. It was one of the few times I wished I was human, not Qi Merovan or any other race. They could escape agony through comas or fainting, at least, most of the time if what I’ve read has been correct. I tossed the thought out of my mind. No use wishing for something that cannot be.
Sandy hands held my arms, propping me back onto the table. “We shall keep you here then. While we treat you as best as we can, the captain would like a word with you.”
Scanning the room raised my eyebrow. A few screens made of material I had never seen before were propped up on the walls, separated on four corners of the cabin I was in. No chairs were close by any of them. Not even an open space, besides the path in between the scattered objects across the floorboards. Where would the captain sit or even stand? It was not exactly the conditions we had our leaders in, that was certain.
Those near me brought forth a nugget resembling dried mud. While unappetizing, I hardly fussed about consuming it for my stomach was begging for sustenance. Using up so much power I had no time to practice harnessing and going a few days without consuming food that satisfied me had taken tolls. How I had wished that other planets’ cuisine could provide me with the same nutrients as those on my own. Unlike what I had found on Earth, the nugget seemed to awaken the cells in my body, filling in gaps that had opened. The taste was repulsive, yet I refused to fight it.
“Be still when Ento comes. It may sting, but he’s really doing all he can to help.” Their voices sounded fainter than before, as though they were restraining their words. Perhaps I was only imagining it.
As instructed, I attempted not to move away as what seemed to be a being made of hazardous waste approached from a corridor. His form seemed to combine those of a gorilla and seal, yet it never ceased moving. The outer coat was smooth, yet largely built, despite having material move around constantly. While he began applying a slimy, yet dry paste to my arms, my focus began to fade.
I turned to those around me, besides Ento. “Why can I not see well?”
“Calm, Kei,” one instructed. “It must be that your cells are recharging. I would explain, though I doubt you would like to listen.”
I shrugged with little movement. “As I told you before, it may help to concentrate on something so that the pain can ease.”
“How much of a studier of the smaller thuresses are you?” she implored.
“Do you mean sciences?”
“That is what those on Earth call it, yes.”
“Then not much of one.”
A slight nod. “Very well then. It may help to show you.”
“How are you -?” I stopped myself as an image appeared in midair.
—————— December 13, 2015
“The same technology that was developed and denied in your planet is being embraced on mine as it can speed up cell regeneration, but at the cost of temporary shut down of other body functions,” she began as a three-dimensional image, created by green lights emitted by the sources on the corners of the room, represented discs that I could only assume were the cells as they began duplicating. A full picture of multiple discs splitting into two was forming and moving as though I was seeing a real three-dimensional movie, rather than simply an image. As tiny balls the color of buttercups fell upon the cells, their duplication took place at a much faster pace. “In your case, it does not seem to be just the cells. Can you tell me what exactly you felt before the paste was put onto your skin?”
“Pain. Darting pain. So little energy.”
“And how do you feel now?”
“Numb and almost blind.”
“It seems as though the channel through which you accessed the power of those marks on your arm was blocked, causing damage to both your cells and energy channels. So much has been deteriorated that the paste is trying to revert you back to normal at an accelerated rate.” The Anû Töe stopped, eyeing me. “Out of curiosity, did your leaders ever mention that using that power could cause that much harm?”
I shook my head. “I believe that I was never to use it.”
“And yet you did.”
“I had to. Ecuardo was going to die and all of my normal strength left me.”
As the hologram proceeded to show cells and regeneration, our conversation ceased. My vision continued to dwindle until utter darkness surrounded me. Through my eyelids, however, the hologram seemed to play tricks. An image of a sturdy, hairless semi-humanoid appeared in a soft red hue. He, as I supposed the being was, was adorned with a long, ashen grey robe that covered the majority of his tall figure except for the gills along his neck and lack of ears as far as I could see. A leather sash covered the majority of his eyes, completing the fierce look. Surrounding him was a green glow, the same that came from the hologram.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Kei, what are you talking about? It’s just a hologram.”
I opened my eyes and the figure was replaced by darkness. “A robed man. It was as though he was a sea worthy version of an Anû Töe. It was beneath my eyelids that he appeared.”
“We should get you to the infirmary. I don’t believe this is a side effect of Ento’s healing paste.”
————- December 20, 2015
As hands lifted me off the ground and away from the holograms, the illuminated figure faded from view. A black void took its place. Its presence almost forced me to ask for the semi-humanoid to return, though whether or not he or it could be trusted I could not tell. One thing I brought to the bleak infirmary was that the figure was real. No words had been spoken. No moves to entertain. Nothing but a projection. Suspicions arose in my body as senses fell. Though a dangerous pastime, wonders blocked pain. Everything that transpired in the single room with instruments I could not recognize became the background and curious thoughts the foreground, with eyesight still weakened.
While a strange cap covered my head and traced brain waves, I focused on who he might have been. The captain? If so, why reveal himself to me and only me? Another race I had not been aware of? A mutated human?
Beams of light shined into my eyes. What were his motives? Would he help or hurt me? Could he be deceptive? What is his relation to me or the leaders of Hevrae K’Vana Qi?
Another type of scan over my entire body commenced as I wondered if any of the Anû Töe on the ship had ever seen the figure before.
After what seemed like hours of speculation, it seemed rather possible that the connection to whatever I saw existed in the holograms. Unfortunately, recovering from exhaustion, I suppose you could call it, proved as challenging as accessing any holograms. None were in the damp room I lay in, and I didn’t suppose I could leave. At least, not physically. All limbs were either numb or paralyzed, I couldn’t be sure. It was an improvement from the pain. As time lapsed, normal energy returned to my body, renewed by the healing paste I imagine. The Anû Töe had shown that before the figure came beneath my eyelids. It bothered me slightly that the marks on my arm lacked anything special now, though I hardly knew anything about them in depth as proven by the pain, or the depletion of energy.
While more details of the room developed, I noticed a monitor to my right. How I wished I could hack it. Maybe I could find out where I was headed or who else was on the ship. It irritated me that I didn’t know a single name yet. Groaning aloud didn’t help. Asking proved unsuccessful as well, as it didn’t seem that the one on duty could understand me. When he, supposing the more squared and piercing eyes meant male, spoke, it sounded as though a squirrel chatted. Both incomprehensive. Both rushed, for some reason. Both didn’t truly change activity when I attempted to return in conversation.
He showed me images, testing eyesight or questioning me, I wasn’t sure. Two of them struck me as familiar. They were of left forearms carrying the same style of writing that was on mine. The series on one seemed to say strength, agility, and wild. The other said balance and harmony. If these were of other Qi Merovan, how long ago had these been taken? Where were they? Were they alive?
GUIDE TO NAMES
Kei – main character
Ecuardo – Qi Merovan who’s been on Earth for 150 years
Qi Merov – race of Kei and Ecuardo
Hevrae K’Vana Qi – home planet of Kei
Irin – female antagonist; voice sounds like a hyena/snake mix
Kaht Netronotki – male antagonist; wears white lab coat
Anû Töe – race of the antagonists
J’voht – home planet of Irin and Kaht
P’tua Kurover –
Ento – blob-like creature created accidentally from a human and hazardous waste
The Aijan Codes – Chapter 1 links
Copyright © 2015 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.