With a fresh kill in tow, the hunter made his way back to camp through the snow-covered forest. The weight of the stag labored his every step. A cold snap hit. Sharp, biting winds whipped icy... [+]
I opened my eyes and groaned. The twin, white dwarf sun’s light shone bright in my eyes. I forced myself out of bed, and dressed, trying to ignore the way the light bounced off the icy walls.
“Kal,” I heard my mother’s voice call. “Get down here, or you won’t have breakfast!”
You should have seen me run for the stairs. My mother was tall. At least, she used to be. Almost two years back, she started getting shorter. Or maybe I was getting taller? She stood at the bottom of the stairs, hands on hips. She had wispy brown hair, blue eyes, and a bright smile.
“Kalvinador Zeb,” she said, “what sort of creature sleeps in their bed all day and night and only gets out for the promise of food?”
“Kalvinador Zeb,” I answered slyly.
My Mom pursed her lips, trying not to smile. “Go on, you. Eat!”
I grinned and raced to the table. Wolfing down my roasted Woriaf and starch ration, my thoughts wandered off into my plans for the day. Oh, I’ve forgotten to introduce myself, haven’t I? My name’s Kalvinador Zeb, Kal for short. I’m an Avestian, and I live on the ice-planet Vestta, on the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy. Well, Vestta used to be on the outskirts of the Milky Way, but the planet had been moving further into it from before my time. I’m one thousand, five hundred years old; the equivalent of fifteen to humans. At one thousand three hundred, Asvestians go to ‘The Academy’. However, school had been let out for an unexpected holiday, and my friends and I were determined to enjoy it. Ah, the bliss of ignorance. I would not be enjoying the day with my friends at all. But I didn’t know that yet. Finishing breakfast in record time, I snatched up my coat, yelled a goodbye to my Mom, and raced out the door. I always regretted afterwards that I hadn’t taken more time to tell my Mom I loved her. A sharp breeze cut through my blonde hair. I swung on my coat and set out at a brisk pace towards the town market. Vestta truly was a beautiful planet. Though the land was ice, the sea was a mellow green, and the sky glittered a thousand different colors.
I had only stepped into the town market when the screaming broke out. Panic had erupted around me. People, running for their lives. I looked up, just in time to see what looked like a planet speeding toward me!
My eyes fluttered open. I saw a face looming above me. It was a girl. She looked about my age. Her eyes were the color of the sea of Vestta; her hair was an iridescent black. Then, she smacked me! “Oi, are you alive?”
I sat up. “Where am I?”
“Earth. How hard did you hit your head?”
“Earth? Water, quick!”
“What?” I felt my body drying out. I could only hope that this planet had water. “Water!” The girl’s eyes widened, and she nodded. She disappeared, and returned a few minutes later, dumping cold water down my throat. “More,” I croaked. The girl disappeared again and returned with more water. So, I opened my second mouth. You see, Asvestians require a lot of water to keep alive, so we have two mouths. For some reason, this freaked the girl out. She screamed and dropped the water [luckily down my second throat] and ran. I got up. The girl had distanced herself from me, and demanded, “What are you?”
“I’m an Asvestian.”
“What? Are you from there?” She pointed, and in the distance, I saw Vestta, crumbling and burning. Deeply troubled, I only nodded. The girl put her hand on my arm.
“I’m Amanda,” she said. “Who are you?”
“Kalvinador Zeb, Kal, for short.”
“Why do you have two mouths?”
“Why do you have only one?”
“Um, okay. What’s going on?”
I thought for a moment, then remembered something. “But...”
“On Vestta there was a story. A story of a dragon, named Teleascafore. He terrorized Vestta, till the first Kalvinador defeated him. However, before his defeat, Teleascafore cursed Vestta, so that it would collide with another world, destroying Vestta, but sparing that planet. I had always thought it was a legend.”
“What do we do?”
I sighed. “I must find my mother.”
Amanda announced, “I’ll go with you!”
And nothing would dissuade her.
I saw a group of Asvestians immediately, heads bowed. The Great Elder, ruler of Vestta, was standing in front of a cluster of free-standing silver spires, talking. “The Asvestians, are dead. The few left, are scattered. Someone must collect our brethren-” Amanda and I joined the group, and suddenly everyone was looking at us.
“Kalvinador,” the Great Elder’s voice rang out loud and clear. “You bear the name of our first hero. You shall collect our brethren from space and time.” He motioned behind him, to the spires. “You shall take the last Vestfi, and find our brethren, despite probable death, much pain, and great misery. You may choose one person to accompany you. Shall you accept this risk and go?”
I almost said no, but then I thought of my mom. She’d named me Kalvinador because she said she knew I’d be a hero. Looking around, I saw she wasn’t there. I felt sick, and heartbroken she hadn’t made it. I took a deep breath. “I accept.”
“And your companion?”
Amanda stepped forward. “I will go with this alien dude, that I just met today.” She looked at me and smiled. “Got nothing better to do.”
“A... human?” The Great Elder frowned. “Unacceptable.”
“I accept her.” Where did that come from?
The Great Elder was silent for a moment, then motioned to the Vestfi. “If this opens for you, you may go with the girl.”
I stepped forward and touched the spires. They sprang open. We stepped inside. The doors closed.
The Vestfi, which is an Asvestian time machine, was beautiful. There was a ring of controls, and in the center of the ring was a silver tree, with two impressions of hand prints. I knew what to do. I placed my hands on the impressions and thought of home. And in the distance, I could hear voices, voices of the ones lost.
We would do what we must. Hope shines brightest in the darkest places and hope now rested with us.
Hang on guys, I thought. I’m coming for you.