Two of the drones lost control in the updraft and overcompensated with a downward action, crashing heavily into the sand right in front of Onun. Onun did not hesitate. He dodged a large chunk of fiery metal and was on the first one before the second one even stopped moving through the sand from the momentum of his crash. Onun dropped a heavy right into the face of the drone, sending a splatter of blood and four teeth through the air. The drone made a strangled sound deep in its throat and died before Onun had a chance to throw another one. He turned, hair blowing about his face in a maddening way in time to receive the full force of the other drone that’d left its feet to knock Onun from his. Something large and solid whipped through the air, missing them two by feet. It travelled past and through the crosswinds with a bone chilling howl like metal pulling apart from metal. Something crashed into the sand next to them and exploded. Flaming fuel fell across the drones back and across Onun’s face. The smell of burning flesh hovered, regardless of the winds strength. The drone rose up on his knees and patted at its back continuing to wear that lost, confused expression. Onun reached up with a cupped hand and grasped what were between the drone’s legs. He squeezed and pulled with all the strength he had in his right arm. A high pitched squeal escaped the drone’s tight lips and it bent forward out of instinct. The second the creature’s neck came into the vicinity of Onun’s teeth, those teeth found their way into it. Blood splashed over Onun’s smooth cheeks and pooled in one of his closed eyes. He felt the drone pull back and bit down harder. There was a loud squelching sound as his teeth made their way through the remaining flesh between them. The drone fell back, blood jetting from the wound in his throat. Onun turned and spat the wad of bloody flesh into the sand and turned back in time to watch one of his Tornayden’s, snatch the drone and suck it up into the swirling darkness. The Tornayden’s each began to lose their energy and fall from the lightening sky in an array of shapes and actions. Onun surveyed the area intensely. The fuel had burned him right across the face and would leave a scar. The blood that had pooled in his eye had fallen to his cheek and ran down in random smears. The look in his eye was electric. He did a slow turn and surveyed as much as he could through the swirling sands of the dying Torayden’s. He did not see any more drones or Okmar as far as he could see. If he had managed to broaden his peripheral vision during this intense observation and look a little lower he would have noticed Z lying in the sand below him pointing a gun up at his junk.
Onun got down on one knee and whispered a prayer he learned as a child. It was a prayer for hope and its licorice whip consonants solidified its meaning, even spoken in the harsh whisper Onun delivered it in now. He turned a shaded gaze towards the city and regarded the approaching enemy with furious determination. He knelt in a tiny dimple near the centre of the crater between the two valleys. Onun figured they would travel this way for sure. There was no sense in going around a hill they could obviously travel over on their machines. And Onun sensed a particular urgency coming from Okmar’s direction. He could not fully understand the entirety of what was occurring but was sure it revolved around what Murphy was doing in the giant pool on the other side of the hill. He would honor his silent promise to deliver the greatest distraction he could possibly muster.
He could hear the tiny rumble of eleven motors approaching. He ducked down lower into the dimple until his lips nearly touched the sand. He created a smaller dimple with his heavy breathing. He stared into the contours of this tiny dimple and felt a calm flow over him. Onun closed his eyes and could clearly see Okmar’s scowl growing larger at his approach. Painted shiny on one side of his face with starlight; a sharp glint in one eye. Behind the eleven bikes spun a cloud of thick dust, all but obstructing any view of the city behind. The Stungett began to paint the south western edge of the world in deep purples and blues providing further density to the clouds of dust and sand whipping around.
The time had come for Onun to rise and enact what could possibly be his final role in this tale. He pushed up and stared into the eleven single bulbs pumping blinding light into his eyes. They couldn’t be more than fifty yards away. Onun leapt from the dimple and began to run in a small circle. It took several seconds to find a rhythm but when he reached it he found it quite easy to broaden his circle and expand the small Tornayden he begun. His speed continued to rise until he was a blur; more and more sand collected by his momentum pushed the Tornayden high into the brightening sky. When he’d left enough of a back trail of motion behind he quickly jumped to his right and began another. By the time Okmar and his drones were forty yards away Onun had four Tonayden’s whipping about sand and wind at gusts up to a hundred and fifty miles an hour. At the height of his efforts Onun disappeared completely. He could not remember ever reaching the speeds he travelled during this time, (which would have been between the second and third Tornayden). It seemed at a certain speed everything slowed down for him as though he’d become the spokes in a wagon wheel. He saw Okmar turn his machine sharply to the right and run into one of his drones, toppling it out of its seat and into the sand where it flipped and flopped about in a bone breaking violence. The drone behind the one Okmar hit tried to stop and avoid hitting Okmar but got heavily rear ended by another sending him into another. A shower of sparks sprayed from one of the lost machines and lit Okmar’s shoulder on fire. Then the Toranyden’s swept in, ripping four of the drones right from their bike machines and sending Okmar into a spin out of view.
I rudely interrupted her in mid sentence and she did not seem to mind. She smiled up at me with swimming eyes and tiny dimples as I attempted an explanation as to why I would suddenly disappear and possibly not return for years, if ever, but that I would return. This confession, under second hand observation, proved to disturb my everlasting belief in what I believed love to be. I looked at love like a muscle. You fed it, took it for a walk but no matter what, the older you got the more it withered away with time, eventually blowing away in the wind. Like dust. Was this what love at first sight was? Was this what – love is blind – meant? There was no sense in it. There was only a clear defined, total understanding and acceptance so rounded and full of life it could bounce forever.
She hugged me tight and I cradled her head against my shoulder. She said, “well then let’s make this the greatest hug of all time Mr. Mysteriouso”. I could tell she took my explanation as a cute joke and I couldn’t help but smile. That was where my first meeting of your mother ended. I could only imagine the look on her face when my empty clothes fell through her arms. Possibly she stumbled forward, held her hands in the air and regarded the empty space with wide eyed bewilderment. Possibly her arms squeezed closed and my jacket hung loosely from one of her arms. Possibly she waggled her finger at the pile of empty clothes and said something like, “Oh Solith you trickster!” Possibly the lawn watering, news paper reading man saw me disappear, dropping his paper and hose to run inside. I will never know what happened for as it would turn out, the next time I would see her would be three days prior…
…Okmar was close. His thoughts devoured me for several minutes, so violently that my ears bled. Dark clouds floated lazily around my ears. Church, (who now began to make full body movements that further encouraged my confidence in a full recovery), sunk deeper into the murk to my left and out of my vision. I listened to Okmar despite the pain. He was screaming no’s and that isn’t true’s. He was experiencing an enormous weight in grief and anger. I could feel the fire rolling through the vein that runs from his orbital protrusion and across his forehead. I could feel the intensity in the very roots of his soul. He was completely out of control. The end was so close it could burn. I was almost ready to meet it. And I would with fear blowing away in the wind. Like dust.
One of Church’s hind legs twitched outward twice and the whiskers on the left side of his face tightened, possibly with the clenching of his sharp little teeth. I watched these tiny movements with pure joy. I had been so afraid that it was too late for Church. It would seem my fears were misplaced. I had no idea how long I had been under the clear surface of this giant pool of Bicarbonite but I was sure it had been long enough to feel some kind of respiratory discomfort, yet I felt none at all.
The voices churned out of the thick, murky darkness. I eavesdropped on a conversation between Onun and his subconscious concerning an impressive plan of distraction. I could no longer hear Bor, but I could hear the heavy thoughts of Andelad Mott and Bohspox and they were convinced Bor’s time in the tale had ended. I could hear Aarouglas who was convinced that Bor’s story was only beginning. I could hear Okmar’s vicious thoughts whipping about in a disorganized, insane manner. He was coming. I could feel him coming. I could almost feel the wind ripping by his cheeks. And he was angry. Suspended in liquid, I continued to listen to the voice of a father I never knew. I desperately hoped Onun could distract Okmar and his drones long enough for this great explanation to come to an end; or at least bring me to a level of understanding on par with the situation and what it required of me. I felt a sharp pain run along the top of my skull and then coolly trickle its way down my spine and into my lower back. Solith continued his great explanation with…
…Fifteen earth minutes are like universal seconds when the level of joy experienced exceeds any normal perimeters. It took us milliseconds to react to the initial pull of our emotions physically. It began with an easy embrace and progressed to an unbelievable need to hold her hand as I walked her along the street we’d run into on. The wall of screens had fallen from my memory. Children ran by us. A man was standing outside, reading a newspaper and watering the lawn. He directed a swift look of disproval at us but surely quickly forgot moments later. A car passed us, loud and full of stink, with its windows low. There were a few hoots and a shout in our direction as a half empty can of beer flew out the window and rattled into the gutter next to us. A dog came up and sniffed the cuffs of my pants. A plane rumbled overhead, leaving a white, fluffy trail behind it. Honks, birds chirping, people talking from backyards, insects. A seemingly unending display of distraction that should have completely encompassed all of my attention was set to simmer, belittled by such a confusing and careless mess of emotional want. In later days I would obsess over such specifics. I would eventually even recall the quarter laying half in and out of the grass of the newspaper reading, lawn watering man’s front walk that caught the sun just right as we passed.
The moment the cart stopped she was on me and moments after that I was in her. The shade of the storage sheds dark brown awning cooled the temperature enough for the entire endeavor to be at its most comfortable and arousing levels. There was sweat, but no exhaustion. There were screams of pleasure that echoed off the east peaks and bounced back with a blood chilling broadness. I found myself telling her I loved her over and over and she ate the words; sucking them from my eager tongue like a baby on a teet. I have more than enough experience in the art of passion to easily describe these moments with your mother as the purest and most honest forms of love in the universe. There are peaks of pleasure I’m not sure much of anything has ever reached that which Jimini and I perused for an entire afternoon. When it ended, it ended abruptly, with little words and a strong understanding that it could never happen again. No one delivered this understanding verbally. We both wore blank stares of bewilderment and went about replacing our clothing. We parted ways as a sister and brother would, knowing we would hardly see each other for a long time. I watched her go, knowing she would never allow me to walk her back. The moment had passed and a strong feeling of relief washed over me as though I had claimed victory over some unexplored ridge of mountain after years of preparation and days of vigorous effort before proudly jabbed my flag into its unexplored surface.
Time passed. Okmar was then nine and completely capable of taking care of himself. I found myself very much enjoying the time I had with him. He tooled constantly with a guitar I had retrieved from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and I encouraged it constantly. I wrapped myself up in my work and my care for him. It was a very long time before I ventured into town again. I received my news by mail mostly. Before I saw the picture of Jimini and a smug faced Draxle I had all but forgotten the monumental afternoon we’d spent together. When I realized I had lost much of the memory it shocked me. In the picture Jimini showed signs of advanced pregnancy. It did not come close to dawning on me that this condition was my responsibility until four days following my death. Draxle seemed overjoyed by the news and began to plan and obsess according to the article complimenting the photo. Not a thought was given to the four hours Jimini and I spent alone at my house and the love we made on the porch for nearly eight months. It was as though we’d been relieved of some duty we were not meant to understand. In hindsight, I suppose that was exactly what occurred.
Aarouglas could feel gentle twitches in his fingers and arms now. His legs felt like ginger ale. He had an itch in his lower back, just above the buttocks that he remained unable to scratch until it sunk back into his skin and left his mind. It was here, inside his mind that the most action began to take place. At this point of his father’s tale, Aarouglas had come to the realization that Okmar, the man responsible for the death of his parents, (not to mention everyone else), was a blood relative close enough to call brother, (from a mother who was married to the man he falsely called father his whole life), and he had another brother from earth named Phil Murphy. He was not sure how he knew the latter considering no mention had ever been made of him, however, it seemed he was being fed information in some other way as well and it found it’s places in his understanding in just the right places to broaden the scope of the tale being spun. His heart beat had reached an actual survivable rhythm relaxing him mentally. Maybe he hadn’t died after all. Why would he be hearing such a tale at the end of his life anyhow? The room filled up with liquid before the tale even began after all. He continued to blindly float around in the solution he’d been drowned in; listening to the soothing tale of a voice he both knew well and knew not at all…
… Jimini was instantly interested in what I had to say concerning my property out on the eastern edge and volunteered to assist me in bearing the weight of my cart all the way there, regardless of how many times I insisted she not. I can’t even honestly recall the vast majority of what we spoke of. Her father this, her mother that, the congregation did this in this year, the festival was great in this year but not so much in that year. I nodded politely in the correct places and stole glances at her frequently. Her eyes reminded me so much of hers.
(Endless oceans from so long ago).
Perhaps there was an emotional effect, transcending all sense, carrying Colleen through time and space and into this woman from the northern congregation who had promised her hand in marriage to the Bicilite I cared the least for, known in her land as Jimini, daughter of Ylliw and celebrated for her selfless nature and dauntless courage. I will never know. I assume, for I have yet to figure it, even in death.
But I was desperate for the shine in her hair. The endless oceans in her eyes. The gentle slope of her eye lashes. The dimple above her thick, soft upper lip. The line of her jaw. The smells in her skin. The sound of her voice. The touch of her finger tips. The pulse in her neck. The feel of her breasts. The firmness of her stomach. The heat at the center that tugged at my want and strangled my thoughts.
Over a minute of silence occurred as we stared at each other. Over an hour. Over a day. Over a week. Over a month. Over a year. Over a decade. Over a century. None of it mattered in that minute plus. A million words were spoken without the use of any language known and without any sound. It was I who broke the silence and I managed to do so with such grace and professional courtesy that I watched her heart blow into a million pieces, most of which got stuck in her throat causing her to choke out a senseless response.
“Solith, at your service,” I said with as low and comforting a voice I could manage. Although this was something I would always wish to remember I reached up and touched my temple, shutting down my motion entalers. It felt wrong morally, for me to take a moment as pure and innocent as this. Taking was exactly what it would be. Stealing may even be a more accurate description. I was not about to ask her if she minded either. If this had been twelve earth years later I would be able to read and record her thoughts. I shook off that feeling of guilt and hoped my face didn’t share too much of what I was thinking. It was showing something after all because she asked if I felt hot and touched my face. I was probably sweating as well. I couldn’t tell. It took everything I had to maintain my composure and not leap on her like some wild animal. I nervously averted my gaze but found it drawn back with continuous strength.
She mumbled something unintelligible and then broke out into a coughing fit. She was even beautiful in this unprecedented act of violent exertion. I rose from the ground and went to her. The four steps it took me to reach her slowed to a crawl. Half way through my second step I, ever so slowly, stuck my hands out for her to take, to which she took with such immediate ease I could feel my skin flush. As the skin on our hands touched it felt like a wave crashed through me and burst from every pore of my skin. I pulled her up and stared silently into the depth of the oceans rolling in her eyes. I could see the break of each wave clearly as they streaked through the deep blue depths, towards a shore I could not see. I could feel the life in these waters course through me like pure adrenaline, quenching a thirst, seconds ago, unrealized. I shook my head lightly and screwed up my eyes in an attempt to get it together. All of this unknown wonder was spread out before me like a giant buffet of knowledge, yet I disregarded it, completely, and allowed these oceans to devour my time. I could not believe how wholly these feelings encompassed all of my conscious self, I still can’t, but I can assure you it came with such intense, violent, random fury. Love always does, I suppose. It is true you know. Love IS everything.
As I floated in the giant pool of Bicarbonite, still clutching Church’s lifeless body to my chest, a voice I both recognized and didn’t at all spoke in such a soothing tone I found my tense muscles relax and all worry vacate. I began to hear random words as my mind swelled up with outside thoughts. I could hear Onun thinking he may dive into the pool and try to rescue me. I quickly sent a thought his way, nonchalantly, as if I’d operated on this level of ease my whole life. I instructed him to bide some time; cause a distraction. There were still things the voice wanted to tell me and I desperately needed to hear them. I could think - hear Bor realizing he was hit and that this was the end. I could feel his pain and the pitted agony bursting inside his chest at the disappointment in himself. It was such a heavy feeling of despair I cried openly; my screams swallowed by the Bicarbonite in tiny multicolored bubbles that lazily floated up. I could hear Kevin reacting to the sudden appearance of a stranger. When Kevin’s heart skipped a beat, so did mine. I could hear the stranger that created such physical alarm identify himself as Aarouglas. I could hear a thud slowly gaining pace until each one was separated by no more than twenty seconds. Somehow I knew this was my brother. Somehow I knew we shared the same father and on some cosmic, possibly paranormal plateau of understanding, the same mother. I could hear everyone and had the ability to organize all of these thoughts simultaneously. Church left my grip and floated dreamily next to me. Despite the approach of Okmar, the loss of Bor, the realization of a brother and father, (among many other things only slightly less significant), I felt calm and relaxed and eager for…
… an evening during the early winter moon, year 1976, (where following decades of study and research resulting in the ability to combine the process of time travel with intergalactic travel and in doing so, inadvertently ending up travelling to a small blue planet in the vicinity of M33 called Earth into a past coming to the end of a war crippled, drug induced, free love fest and into a period of disco, drug induced, mostly free love time), when I met your mother Colleen. I was wandering the streets of an enormous city called Toronto in a province called Ontario in a country called Canada soaking up everything my senses became attracted too. I wore both my visual motion entalers and the touch receptors on my finger tips and palm. This being my first excursion through this means of travel I had set my program to initialize reinstatement in no less than fifteen earth minutes, (what it works out to in gigatrons anyhow). Precisely at eight thousand and twelve gigatrons I turned a corner, staring in awe through the gated window at a wall of ancient screens filled with colorful characters and walked right into a woman, knocking her and myself to the ground in opposite ways. She was in a rush you see. She was late coming home and was sure she’d get a whipping from her mom. She had spent the night with a smooth talking French man with long curly, black hair. One honest gaze at her and I knew no French man deserved her. In fact, I believed any man caught in these eyes must have and would have experienced a devastating and earth shattering moment filled with explosive appreciation and eager desperation that not so much as a nuclear explosion could interrupt. But none of them deserved her. I do not assume this because I thought I did. I did not deserve her either.
I fell in such deep, intense, despairing love with your mother Jimini that in that first moment I met her, pushing my loaded cart full of unwanted wonders out to the edge of town, I vomited a thin line of drool next to my feet. She did not know this, but I had met her once before, in a galaxy far far away, as a different woman. I did not require her to speak to know this. The endless oceans, the raven hair. It was all the same. It was hot that day, even the breeze was hot but all of that heat paled in comparison to the feeling that washed over me as Jimini stepped out the door of a house across the road and made her way to where I stood in silent wonder. Her name tickled my lips with breath that travelled through a dry mouth. ‘Colleen.’ I kicked some Biciland over my tiny puddle of drool and quickly wiped at my chin before she looked up and noticed me standing there. I knew as soon as her eyes met mine that the same feeling had washed over her as well. Not quite the same look of recognition, but definitely some overwhelming physical allure. She stopped at the edge of the road and stared openly at me as I stared back from the opposite side.
Rumor had it that Draxle had selected a wife and that she came from the outer edge of the dessert lands near the northern peak of the planet. A small colony of religious workers had been stationed up there for ages and had developed a small community which continued to grow healthily until the Stungett began to burn out and heat became an extreme luxury. They would all end up here eventually, but that time had not come yet. Although I did not know it yet, Jimini was the woman Draxle had selected from the community and I met her on the day she took to tour the town and introduce herself to the Bicilites. Had I not been in town that day I would not have met her until her arm was tied to Draxles as surely Draxle had not provided her with the address of my remote home. This was yet another web in an ever winding structure of definite intention. I could not question what was asked of me. I knew, in a feeling kind of way, the answers to all my questions anyhow.
Over a minute of silence occurred as we stared at each other. Over an hour. Over a day. Over a week. Over a month. Over a year. Over a decade. Over a century. None of it mattered in that minute plus. A million words were spoken without the use of any language known and without any sound. It was she who broke the silence and she did so with such grace and professional courtesy that my heart blew into a million pieces, most of which got stuck in my throat causing me to choke out a senseless response.
“I am Jimini of Wharburg at your service,” she said following a slight curtsy. Her words sent ice up my spine and I could feel myself hardening down below. I choked out my senseless response and she laughed. When that laugh happened, everything seemed okay.
The great explanation began.
Aarouglas had been released from the chair and floated about, lifelessly in the liquid. His eyes remained open and, somehow, his consciousness had not completely left him. He listened to an unrequested explanation of enough of what was happening in order to understand the purpose for it later. The explanation began with Solith the Wanderer, Solith the insane, son of no one, father to Okmar of Bicilite and Phil Murphy of Earth, pointing out the fact that he, Aarouglas, had not in fact died but had been provided a gift and a purpose of high value by a design no one could ever possibly hope to understand, developed and maintained by a being that wholly transcends all, anything and everything. Solith began with…
…a day in the late lunar crest year 8729 when I had given a demonstration at the - Bicilite market fest - of a wonderful gadget that provided information on health ailments by just placing it on your skin. It had been widely regarded as some kind of wacky gadget that would shorten your life and burn, up your air, (nothing new really), therefore this amazing piece of technology was passed by and forgotten about mere moments before I had packed everything up and took to pushing the cart I’d loaded towards the edge of town. Draxle had everyone convinced I was straight from the loony bin and everyone ate it up as though Draxle were the greatest cook of falsehood this side of Bicilite where no one could resist filling their face. Council meetings, to which I rarely attended by that time, were just one giant buffet of lies and ignorant promises. I never really understood my people at that time. They seemed dead set on remaining this hard beaten, stubborn, conservative bunch, determined to ride out their existence in a completely oblivious manner. They seemed to require a puppeteer and who better to serve that purpose than Draxle;, town preacher, preaching a religion stuffed with lies that relayed messages of love and peace and belief and generosity while serving himself an extra piece of loglamb and pouring a few extra glasses of fermenta each evening at dinner time while everyone else sacrificed their stomachs for the benefit of their children. He was a greedy, lying, control freak who had become soft and stupid from his excess, yet the majority continued to eat up his tripe. I accepted this wholly and without as much anger and frustration as one might think. I understood my place in my society and the struggles that came along with that as well. I was usually smart enough to find a corner around or a tunnel below in any case. I was never desperate when it came to ideas and the courage to execute.
What I did become desperate for was the shine in her hair. The endless oceans in her eyes. The gentle slope of her eye lashes. The dimple above her thick, soft upper lip. The line of her jaw. The smells in her skin. The sound of her voice. The touch of her finger tips. The pulse in her neck. The feel of her breasts. The firmness of her stomach. The heat at the center that tugged at my want and strangled my thoughts.