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All the remaining Suits stood there, still as the trees, wearing blank expressions. A couple of them had begun to drool helplessly. Bor, still holding his blade high, took one more tentative step towards the Suit he had intended to decapitate and lowered the blade slowly until the point was a couple inches from the Suits heart. With a confused gaze that bore into the pinhole eyes of the Suit, Bor slowly pushed the tip of the blade into and through breast bone. It entered and exited as though the blade were running through soft butter. Blood began to bloom from the wound, darkening the white undershirt. Nothing changed on the Suits face. It did not seem to register what Bor had just done to it. He pulled the blade free and watched, stunned as the Suit simply fell over and died with that same look never leaving its face.
Out of the twenty that entered the clearing only seven remained and they all stood still and wore the same lost, blank expressions as though they were buffering or something. Bor calmly walked up to each one and slid the blade through their hearts as he had done the first. The last one seemed to come aware at the instant the blade entered his breast bone. He swung his arm out and clouted Bor in the face with his electric fire stick. Bor didn’t expect it so did nothing to ward off the blow. He was knocked backwards and sideways. The Suit looked down at the hilt of Bor’s heat blade protruding from its breast bone, cocked its head curiously and fell over dead. Bor stare at the fallen Suits and surveyed the trees in the background, decorated with lynched Suited brethren. Several of the cats crowded around him and began to rub against him in an agitated manner with different parts of their bodies. Bor regarded them seriously and then turned to regard the clearing. It was a horror to see. Dogs were in pieces everywhere. Blood clots hung from branches, blood dripped from leaves. The sudden silence was deafening.
“What was that all about?” Stinky asked Bor who continued to hold his sore jaw where the Suits fire stick had hit him. Bor shook his head unknowing and then stiffened. He could hear something coming out of the darkness from where the other dogs and suits had come from. He leapt from his vulnerable position on the ground and yelled, “Form a line!” and reached back into his pocket for his favorite weapon. Before he could retrieve it, set and throw a bright blue bolt of electricity flew out of the darkness and threw him backwards. A haze of blood mist drifted into Stinky’s fur. An mixture of hurt and anger decorated his face. His whiskers twitched and his left eye opened and closed. A snarl found it’s way into his upper lip and he bolted forward towards the darkness. Foo yelled for him to stop but he paid the warning no mind. Four other cats followed his lead. Foo jumped in front of the others and repeated Bor’s instruction to form a line. He could see Bor slumped up against a tree in the background. He did not seem to be moving. The electric bolt had hit the tree he laid against, leaving a smoking hole in its ancient bark. Several loud snarls rolled out of the darkness as the shape of dogs began to form. Red eyes glowed. Stinky, although not expecting the charge of more dogs, dodged the first two, managing to rip open the throat of the second with one clawed swing of his left paw, but the third dog bit down hard on one of his hind legs and thrashed him about like a doll. He was tossed aside like trash. The dog looked back, Stinky’s blood dripping from its frothy lips and found Foo’s eyes. It barked once and charged. At least twelve more dogs appeared from the darkness behind it. Foo’s heart leapt into his throat.
The Men in Suits halted as Bor landed on the hard packed path before them. The darkness shadowed the majority of his facial features but enough starlight caught his eyes to reflect a look of murderous confidence back at the group of Suits. He stood still for several moments as yowls and whines carried on behind him in the clearing. Stinky had just disemboweled one of the last remaining dogs and it howled into the darkness in a desperate attempt to ward off death.
Bor had one hand behind his back, the other held out in front of him and his legs slightly bent in preparation for something none of the suits expected. Their mouths all hung open and a look of obliviousness covered their faces. Without further hesitation, Bor stepped forward and swung out the arm that was hidden behind his back and let loose the object he had been tossing thoughtfully for most of that day and night. It hurled through the air, made invisible by the darkness and streaked towards the group of stupid looking Suits. Strands of glowing twine ejected from several small compartments in the small device and wrapped themselves around random parts of several Suits. The one front and centre got one under the arm. The one to his left got one around the neck. The one next to him around the waist. The three on the other side of the Suit in the middle disappeared so quickly that the Suit in the middle had no idea what happened to them before they met a similar fate as the ones on the other side of the Suit in the middle. The Suit in the middle turned to regard his suddenly vacated left side and noticed a stream of blood shooting from his shoulder. Where his left arm used to be there was nothing. He glanced down curiously and regarded his severed arm lying on the ground. The Suit to his right and back two steps was whipped backwards so hard and fast by the twine around his neck that his head was all but peeled off. He flew through the air, knocking a few of the men behind him over in his travels and in seconds hung from the branch of a tree with his head hanging by threads of flesh. His legs kicked about frantically. Next to him and slightly to the left, the Men in Suits that had vanished to the one in the middles left hung from branches in similar fashions. Two of them had grown still, while a third continued to kick. One of his hands had found a small gap between the twine and his neck. The third Suit to the right and a step back of the one in the middle stood still for a moment before his torso slipped from his erect legs and fell to the ground with a sickening squelch; a shocked O of surprise on his face. His legs stood for a few seconds longer before falling over backwards. Only seven seconds had passed since Bor had unleashed his favorite weapon and already nine of the suits were downed. The remaining Suits, seemingly reaching an understanding of recent events, quickly moved forward while retrieving long stick like objects from the holsters they wore on their backs. Bor caught his object, which zipped back to his waiting hand in boomerang fashion and dodged the first bolt of electric fire that ejaculated from the end of one of the Suits sticks. Bor could feel the top portion of his head sear with the heat. He rolled twice to his left and then, while crouched, side stepped his way behind a tree. He quickly looked down at his object and pressed the small protrusion on the side. It would take twelve seconds to reload. He dropped it in his centre shirt pocket and unsheathed his second favorite weapon; a long, heated blade of thin, hot steel. He ducked back out from behind the tree and charged the remaining Suits; nearly completely unaware of the group of cats on his heels. Bor raised the blade above his head and just as he was about to swing it through the neck of the first Suit of the remaining Suits he halted suddenly. Most of the cats had followed suit but a few rocketed from the ground and toppled their targets with ease.
Onun stopped in the middle of the deserted plain and retrieved the Potapocket from his purse. The Potapocket was flashing red which meant he was close. There was a dune to the west and the north that mirrored each other. He stopped in the pit of a valley these drifts created. He took several steps towards the north dune and registered no change on the Potapockets screen. He walked towards the western dune and noticed a quickening in the pulse. This was enough for him. He bolted for the western dune and crested it just in time to see Murphy fall into the giant ocean like pool of liquid. The liquid moved like honey. There was no splash. It looked as though the liquid just swallowed him up. The Potapocket now showed a solid red dot. Onun stare at it dreamily for a moment. The red light played over his soft, round face and shined off his dark pitted eyes. Onun turned to get himself a panoramic view of the distance in every direction, searching for anything of concern. He could see the lights of the city in the east and was quite sure he caught the faint sound of music in the breeze. He noticed something else as well. It looked like some floating contraption, outfitted with lights, hovering over the sand about 90 (6 and a half miles), Jordan’s away. As he curiously regarded the object enough time had passed for him to recognize the slow change in size of the object. It was growing larger and that meant it was moving closer. Onun turned and bolted down the other side of the dune, (much more gracefully than Murphy had), and halted at the shore of the giant, dark, glassy ocean. He bent low, his toe only a few inches from the liquid and craned his neck back and forth for a better view into the highly reflected surface but could not see anything. He reached out and touched the liquid with an erect pointer finger…
…ten of them on Riley Bikes. Ten plus Okmar. Coming from the east. From the city. I need time Onun. You must trust me. You must cause a distraction. There is information I must have. I am in a somewhere. I am okay…
…Onun pulled his finger from the liquid and stared at it thoughtfully. He momentarily considered the words he just heard, or rather absorbed, as an audible apparition but quickly discounted this notion. That had been Murphy’s voice. Not only that, but he could feel his presence as though he were inside his head, on an armchair, smoking a pipe and relaying this information passively. He turned and followed his back trail to the top of the dune with fierce, steady eyes. His brow furrowed and he bit the inside of his cheek hard enough to draw blood. He visibly tensed; chords standing out in his neck, biceps swelling and shaping, sweat running down his forehead and cheeks. He had never attempted what he was now considering his only option to distract the oncoming raid of Okmar and his drones. Onun was positive Okmar wasn’t coming out here to talk. The time of talk had come and gone and the time of war had begun. Okmar was coming out here to enact his portion of the end. With nothing but waves of sand and his own two hands, Onun was now responsible for the distraction of eleven Men in Suits for an unknown duration of time for reasons unknown. His only hope was to depend on his pure talent and a little luck.
He dashed to the top of the dune leaving a wall of dust behind him, so thick that a large portion of the ocean became obstructed completely. The sand fell slowly away in the windless air like a lace curtain. Onun watched this with a face full of confidence. He surveyed the eastern direction with cold steely eyes and could already make out the eleven separate objects. They would be here within minutes. He turned and took one more look back at the massive Bicarbonite pool, nodded for reasons only known to he and then blasted down the other side of the dune and into the valley and to possibly enact his own portion of the end.
I witnessed a very large man with very pale skin stare into the eyes of a woman I could never forget. My mother turned her face into the loving caress of this slightly familiar man's right hand and drew in close to him. He kissed the top of her head and held her tight for some time. Behind them the city lights of Toronto Ontario Canada Earth, twinkled in the distance. They were high up; seventeen floors in fact. The view from this place was breath taking. I listen to their breathing and felt the love they felt for each other emanate live waves of heat from a black top in the dead of summer. When the slightly familiar man cups my mother’s face in both hands and tilts her tear streaked face to look into his I can see how deeply my mother feels for this slightly familiar man like no one else could. The sheen in her eyes twinkled with the city lights. I could tell this was some time in the past by the lack of central tower in the downtown area and the dated curtains blowing in the wind behind them. I’d never seen these clothes my mother wore either. She looked so young. Pastel colored pants and a matching vest? Was this the seventies? And why do I think I know this man? Why does he look so familiar?
‘I love you so much Colleen. Know that I would stay if I could. You do understand?” She shook her head back and forth but her eyes squeezed out new moisture in hypocritical fashion. He wiped away the wetness from her left eye with his thumb and smiled gently. She hiccupped through a couple words and then got through her own sentiment. It came out in a half whisper that seemed to echo inside the walls of my skull like words bellowed from the top of a canyon wall.
“I love you too Solith.”
The Bicarbonite pools were massive. Six small, manmade oceans of it filled the majority of the western edge of the planet. It was manufactured using Bicilite and the liquids frozen in the rocks encircling the planet that made up its disc and that continued pounding Bochetz into pieces. Bochetz was made up entirely of Bicilite. It was the first planet Okmar had found in his decade of travel that contained his home planets general make up. When the Bicarbo, (the frozen rocks), hit the surface of Bochetz it would do so at insane temperatures and melt its way into a clear liquid form. The cats of Bochetz would then suck up the liquids with machines provided by the Men in Suits and transport them back to rock where they would fill these pools. An endless supply of the stuff reflected the heat of the Stungett like seven huge white polka dots. You could see them glowing from far out into space. Once one witnessed the capability of such small amounts of this liquid, as Okmar had in his past, one would have a lot of trouble wrapping ones head around what these seven small oceans of the stuff could accomplish. In truth, Okmar’s obsession with the stuff had gone from - I must have it - to - no one else must have it. It began to make him paranoid and the amount of information now stored inside his mortal brain had begun to reach his limit and create physical and mental breakdowns. Greed seemed to be rearing its ugly consequences.
When the fluth shuttle was still in the air and Z and I were involved in our battle I could sense these giant pools. Their contents pulled at me mentally and physically much as the rocks encircling the planet had when they hit the hull of the ship and ultimately created this situation. Although outlandish, I knew this liquid and I shared something unexplainable. This transformation occurred when I crashed in one of the much smaller storage pools on Bochetz when I first arrived. That seemed like so long ago now. I died. I didn’t really believe it before but I believed it wholly now. My body and mind were changing and I couldn’t yet understand exactly how or why. A strong sense of anticipation fired around my brain. My hope was to get Church to one of these small oceans before all hope was lost. Maybe he hadn’t been dead long enough for the liquid to work its magic.
I could feel one nearby. I stumbled over the peak of a large drift of powder thin sand and came into view of the first pool. My jaw slowly came unhinged. I blinked sweat out of my eyes that burned and cried for moisture. Church hung limp on my shoulder. I couldn’t believe how huge it was. I couldn’t believe how still it was. An entire reflection of the heavily decorated night sky reflected off the liquids glass like surface with perfect clarity. I watched the reflection of a shooting star jet by and disappear into the thick darkness of the pool. I stumbled forward and fell heavily. The decline was steep enough to flip me head over heels four times. Church had come free of my shoulder but had thankfully made his way far enough down the hill to not warrant much of a climb back up to retrieve him. I frantically grabbed him by the tail and ran towards the pool, every second feeling more refreshed and powerful. I stumbled over a rock, took four more off balance steps and fell into the liquid cradling Church in my arms. There was no splash. There was shocking coldness. And then away we went for one last Bicarbonite ride.
Our first stop had been… the pools. No. That isn’t right. Our first stop had been the Torgon islands. We promised the Torgots trade before killing them for their weapons. Efficient and powerful weaponry developed by genius, peaceful, naive creatures with no defense. Sad really. It looked to me like they were just asking for it. Our intentions were to take the pools out from… Not the pools. What…?
Okmar’s good eye opened groggily. He glanced dreamily over at the empty glass on the coffee table. The words came again. They echoed in his spinning mind as, ever so quietly, other voices began to claw their way from the darkness of silence. ‘The Pools,” the voice came again. Okmar’s brow furrowed. How had he fallen into such a stupor during these critical times? Why had his complex, constantly evolving super mind shut down to replay the story of his life while, according to the influx of panicked shouts, screams of pain, sharp direction and desperate pleas the war had been occurring for some time now. He jerked up into a sitting position and his orbital extension squirmed its way out of his right eye socket loudly and wetly. A glob of slime slipped over the lower edge of the socket and ran slowly down his cheek. He did not notice. He focused himself to organize and search for particular thoughts. His talents of doing so grew every second. He could even rewind unconscious thoughts to a certain extent. He did this now and came to Z’s desperate pleas and warnings of approaching failure. Murphy was headed to the Bicarbonite pools on the west edge of the boundary. Kevin had sent Onun after him. Bohspox and Andelad Mott had successfully reached the control tower. Bor and the cats had begun their battle in the Protagonist Path with the dogs and the majority of his drones. Then something crippled the transmission in his head and once again those words began repeating in their dreamy way and the voices would once again begin to swell up. Panic fell over him. How could this have happened? Is it too late? His heart bounced a couple beats and then he toppled from the chair and onto the floor in a seizure. He twisted about and offered out strangled coughing noises for nearly twenty seconds before completely relaxing. This was not the first attack of this nature. They had been occurring more often of late and the duration was extending.
All the voices were gone and an understanding came over him. They had managed to get the music on over the city wide p.a. He could even hear the music playing quietly in an accusing way. He closed his mind in the ways his selfish thought sponge had educated itself to recharge. He rose from the floor, dusted off his suit and strode towards the door. Everyone else was fighting but him. That didn’t sound very fun. He lifted a small communication device to his mouth that Bohspox would recognize well and spoke into it sharply.
“I need a vehicle to the west dock now. I don’t care what it is as long as it moves fast.” He pocketed the device and swung open the door. The music was much louder now. Okmar hated the sound of it. Murphy sounded like a whiner. He sounded full of fake feelings. Why the cats thought so much of him was beyond Okmar’s grasp. He turned right and marched half way down the circular hallway to the portal door. It opened as he reached it with a swift sigh and Okmar stepped inside.
“West Dock,” he commanded to which the robotic host of the portal repeated and executed. The doors flew open, seconds later with another severe sigh and he stepped into the hot desert like air. His ears perked at the loud whine of a Riley bike. Not just one, but ten of them, operated by ten of his drones. One of them carried an extra Riley bike in what surely must have been an agonizing way. He set it down and Okmar quickly strode towards it. He and ten men. That should be more than enough to end this.
Of course Okmar tried on the first pressed suit. It was still warm from the heat stitching and the heat relaxed him and painted a shiny sheen of perspiration on his forehead. He regarded himself in the tall mirror next to the hard backed chair he had been sitting in earlier and seemed more than pleased with the attire. He smoothed out edges and shook out the sleeves so every crease ended up as it should. He pulled the warm crotch from the folds in his parts until everything was as it should be down there as well. The material was surprisingly soft and moved over his skin silently as he turned back and forth. He praised the boy and then directed the drones to line up single file and prepare to don the first and last article of clothing they will ever wear. They did so.
After just ninety minutes, all eighty seven of Okmars cloned Bicilites stood out in the street in their newly tailored suits. Okmar gazed upon them approvingly before letting his eye fall to the boy, who sat, slumped shouldered in the doorway to the shop. Okmar strode over to him, his shadow leaking across the ground like mud until it covered what little light the boy attracted from the stars.
“You have done well boy. You have earned your reward. Your reward is life boy. Do you understand? The only thing worth living for is an outside chance you’ll be able to exact revenge on those who have wronged you. You are now full of life.” Okmar crouched down and turned the boys chin until he looked into his eye. “If you ever make it off this rock before it dies son, I’ll be waiting.” He could feel Aarouglas’s body quivering with hatred. His eyes fought to remain glued to Okmars good one.
“I will get off this rock,” Aarouglas said, with much more confidence than Okmar would ever have expected. He looked taken aback, “And I will get my revenge.”
Okmar smiled big at this. He patted the boy once more on the head and rose from his crouch. “Follow me men!” He beckoned and began to lead the Men in Suits back in the direction of Solith’s underground bunker. Aarouglas did not budge until they were all out of view and then he burst into tears. ----------------------------------
Okmar and his drones spent the next seven hours preparing for launch. There was a universe to take. There were more miracles to awaken. Solith’s underground bunker began to shake and rattle as the turbines and jets began to cough and stutter to life. Okmar sat back in his captain’s chair and watched in the front screen as dirt and rock began to peel away from the hull of what would later be described as a giant cosmic garbage truck. He smiled, closed his good eye and listened to the voices. --------------------------------
Aarouglas looked up from his tear puddle palms and marveled at the slow rise of the escape station Solith had spent the majority of his life constructing in preparation for the death of the planet. It was designed to carry the entire race to safety. That wouldn't be happening anymore. Solith’s son had sent them all to safety in his own way. Aarouglas’s features darkened and his lip curled as the station picked up speed and then winked out of existence leaving him alone with the dust and the wind and the death and the hate.
“Now now boy. We can’t always think of everything.” He strode confidently over to the box on the other side of the monitor while removing the ripped and stained white overalls he’d been wearing. The box resembled a stand up shower but smaller and tighter, more like a coffin standing on end. The inside was lined with stitched, shiny, white leather. The entire outer edge was wrapped in neon lights that pulsed, a deep blue. Now, as naked as his drones, Okmar stepped into the box and turned to face Arouglas. The boy continued to avert his eyes. Okmar could feel the hate baking off of him.
“Just lean back and relax. This should only take a minute,” Arouglas said flatly and, without watching, waited for Okmar to follow his instruction. Okmar stepped backwards and leaned his hot skin onto the cold leather. He sucked in a quick breath from the temperature and then began to relax as his body began to mold into the cushions. He could feel tiny protrusions working away beneath the surface of the leather cushions all the way from his neck line to his ankles. He closed his good eye and his protrusion rose out of the case and regarded the boy intensely, waiting for anything out of the ordinary. The boy side glanced this and wondered just how far that thing could come out of his head. Was there any room left for a brain in there? He wondered.
“Oh I have me plenty of brains tot. So many you wouldn’t even begin to understand in your entire lifetime,” Okmar said in a playful tone. He did not open his eye. The voices were swelling back. Someone was discussing something Okmar found interesting. He tried to hone in on the voices like adjusting reception on a radio, went too far and then came back. The conversation swelled and held while Okmar eavesdropped. They were discussing a chemical reaction between a material they had only recently discovered and shale rock mined from an outer planet. The planet had not been documented so they were left with immediate questions. Apparently the liquid produced different attributes when exposed to temperature. The voices seemed very excited and planned to produce their findings to their superior on Twentzday.
'Not if I get there first,' Okmar thought and opened his eye. “How much longer boy? I have important things to attend too.”
“Almost done sir,” the boy replied promptly. “Will all the suits require measurements? This could take some time if I have to measure every…”
“Just one measurement will do fine boy. I need eighty seven of your best suits. Actually… make that one hundred and seventy four. Two each. Do you have the material for that?”
The boy tapped a few keys on the keyboard and then nodded.
The blue neon lights flickered a couple times and then dimmed. The humming stopped and the tiny movements beneath the cushion ceased.
“You’re done sir. You may step away from the box.”
Okmar did so with some pep in his step. He clapped his hands together as his extension sucked into his eye socket like a piece of spaghetti. “How long boy?”
There was another series of taps as the boy hit some keys and pushed a few buttons. “First one will be done in seven minutes. They all should be done within ninety minutes, give or take.”
“Excellent,” Okmar patted the boys head approvingly as he strode by. He did not put the white coveralls back on. He stood behind the boy with his hand on the back of the chair and waited patiently.
It was easy to tell that the boy wholly appreciated the opportunity to immerse himself in a mindless task. Jimini had taught him to use the machines just over a year ago when her arthritis began to act up and rest became a necessity. She hadn’t fallen ill or anything, just the passage of time added weight to gravity and stiffness to joints and muscles. The boy, Aarouglas was his name, found a hidden talent in design shortly after his education, which lasted only a month. Jimini would have left him alone after a week, she was that confident in his usage and his creative approach, but found she enjoyed the time with her son, so much, she hung on for as long as his irritation would allow. The only thing boys seemed to love more than their mothers were the opportunities to prove their worth to them.
Okmar sat in the only chair outside of the work area. He watched the boy work with a corner smirk. His orbital extension lay in his lap and he petted it lovingly. It seemed to enjoy this, expressing itself in wanting movements and squelching, popping sounds. The rest of the Bicilites were crowded in the front lobby of the shop and just stood around limply, unknowing and uncaring of anything. A sweaty, musty stink hovered above their dirty skin and slowly ate up the smells of fresh materials and sterility. The faint whiff of barbeque left a sickly sweet under odor attached to everything.
Aarouglas pressed a series of buttons and flicked a few toggle switches, taking periodic glances at the large screen mounted above. The soft glow peppered his dirt grimed, tear stained face adding dark deep pits in his features that would not have been there otherwise. He looked much older than a half hour ago. There was a slight shake in his hands. Okmar wondered if he may be thirsty or hungry, thought about asking and then didn’t. Instead he focused on some faint voices that began to grow inside his mind. He recognized none of these voices and was not given any indication where they were coming from but there was a very soothing quality to them as though he were listening to a story from a parent or overhearing a conversation that stoked happy memories.
After a period of time that felt to Okmar, much shorter than it had been, the boy spoke and shook Okmar from his trance. “I must measure you now. If you would just step into the case on the other side there and wait for my instruction it would be greatly appreciated,” his voice was a monotone series of words he’d probably repeated many times in his life. He did not look at Okmar once throughout this little direction. Okmar, rose from the hard backed chair. One of the legs rubbed along the hard floor and produced a noise much louder than it would have under other circumstances. Arouglas shivered with its uncomfortable interruption. Okmar took seven steps over to the boy and regarded him coldly for a moment.
“Yonder box isn’t prepped to cook your friend Okmar to a crisp now is it boy?” There was no vocal reply but Okmar plucked two consecutive thoughts from the boys mind that appeared almost simultaneously. ‘I wish’ and ‘I could have.’ The latter thought relayed in a defeated manner; soaked in regret.
“Hello young one?” A question that was not a question. Completely unintentional. His brow creased for a moment. He shook his head and did his best to soften his features. The boy continued to rock back and forth, hugging his shins repeating apologies in a harsh whispery desperation.
‘What’s your name boy? Are you not the son of Draxle and Jimini? Rise up from this pathetic state and receive your prize!” Okmar’s voice gradually rose throughout his little speech; he raised his arms in the air to accentuate the excitement the boy should feel about winning a prize for surviving the decimation of his entire race. If one thought hard enough one would find the humor in handing an award to someone for enduring the violent murder of his entire family. It seemed at this particular moment Okmar was unaware of this humor. His intention remained a two dimensional thing inside his head. He needed the boy. The boy worked with his mother in the clothing shop on seventeen and HB. Solith had constructed a series of machines that printed clothing like a Xerox machine for them some, twenty year ago. He had done it out of the kindness of his heart. Okmar wondered periodically if his father had been smitten with Jimini. It would make sense he supposed. Maybe that was where Draxle’s hateful spite came from. It didn't matter anymore anyhow.
He needed to get some clothes on all these naked drones. Okmar bent down until his nose was just inches from the boy’s forehead. His orbital extension popped and snapped its way from within the socket, wrapped around one of the boy’s wrists and forced him to stop rocking. Okmar’s head continued to jerk back and forth as the boy could not seem to halt this movement. He was obviously in shock, possibly but hopefully not completely lost. Okmar needed to know how to run the machine. He could probably figure it out but who knew how long that would take and he was unsettled with a queer impatience. The voices had all but rolled off into the background of Okmar’s mind now. He wondered if they had all been the dying, ghost thoughts of all the passing Bicilite’s during the raid.
“Stop it!” Okmar roared suddenly. The boy jerked and looked at Okmar with a look so filled with terror he thought the boy was just going to die right there. Instead he opened his mouth and screamed a very long and loud, high pitched scream that tailed off in a strangled way. He sucked in a breath but before he could begin screaming again, Okmar slapped him across the face. The boy was dazed a moment and nearly lost consciousness. His eyes rolled around. Okmar’s orbital extension squeezed the boys arm hard. The boy’s eyes flew open and his lips pulled back sharply revealing his tiny teeth in a shocked pained grin. The squeeze lightened slightly and Okmar moved his face even closer to the boys face and the extension slithered and suckled its way back into the socket. Their noses were almost touching.
“Can you tailor some suits for us boy? Has your Mom been a good teacher to you and your kin? Can you operate and manipulate the machines?” The boy stared. Just as Okmar began to believe the boy was in fact lost, fore not even a thought could be plucked from his head, he wound up to hit him again. The boy nodded fast and hard and continuously. Okmar relaxed his hand which had made it high enough to perform the back hand slap he intended. A smile softened his gnarled features and he crouched down in front of the boy and took him firmly by the shoulders.
“That’s a good thing boy. A very good thing. Let’s take us a walk, shall we?