Chapter Fifty-Nine: In Spite Of…

Elanor woke up in her bed, covered securely.

Hariel was nowhere to be found.

She rubbed her neck where Hariel had stung her.  The stinger had broken off, and was still in her skin.  She prised it out and examined it.

It was like bone, but hollow.  It had an area where venom could collect, so that the duration of envenomation was quite long.  She marveled at it.  All her experimentation, and here he was growing these things somewhat naturally.

Elanor thought hard.  It would seem that these humans really were different.  Maybe, there was something to her father’s words…

“Elanor, this is not our land.  Never forget that.  I don’t want to hear ‘it will be,’ that future is not set in stone.  Did you ever read about us in history?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“That’s because time is being altered.  We messed with things we can’t really even understand.  If we’re here now, that means that we’ve changed how history unfolds.  But, we can’t just zip back to see how it ends, either.  We’re now caught up in all of this, and because we were too stubborn and arrogant to accept our fate.”

“And what fate is that?”

“We ruined our world, turned nature against us.  It attacked us with every shape and form it could conceive.  The production and collection of aether caused some kind of shift-maybe the fact that it’s not meant for the surface world-that we could not control.  Imagine my surprise when they seeded this world with it in order to make weapons.  Humans as a whole can’t stop making war.  We deserve our fate.”

“You still haven’t told me that fate.”

“Isn’t it clear?  We had to re-engineer our bodies, had to flee our time.  We deserve to die, not them.  Instead of snuffing out their only hope, we should step aside, live in peace, and slowly die out.”

“Well, I don’t want to die.”

“Who does?  I’m fond of living too, but honestly I don’t see a viable solution.”

“Couldn’t we just be like them?  Live with them, hide out?”

“I’m sure it’s possible.  Nobody will ever notice our hair or blood, it’ll be fine.”

Her father was right.  With their engineered blood and his amazing hair color, assimilation would be hard.

“Well, I don’t know then.  But why give up?”

“I don’t see you creating a viable solution.”

“What about your ‘friends?’  At least if we take this world it’ll be a place for us…”

“So you would take their chance at life from them?  Who knows what these people will do?  They deserve their chance!”

“Why are you defending them anyway?  They’re little more than savages.”

“Really?  You might want to see some of the stuff one of the kids at Sanctuary built.  With nothing more than gears, rods, and an aether conduit he patched from an old-model drink plate, he made a computer that’s fully programmable and handles most of his homework for him.  In fact, it handles most of the needs of Sanctuary.”

Elanor was impressed, but there was no way she was going to show it now.

“Well, isn’t he special.  Gears were in computers like…”

“Never.  We skipped that stage.  He’s created from a drawing he was shown in a book a new branch of computing.  The kid’s the rival of any of the minds we dragged screaming back through time.  He’s no savage.”

“So there’s a bright monkey.  Big deal, they’re still monkeys.”

“Watch your mouth.  Genetically, they’re more human than us.  Remember that.”

At that, her father stormed off in a huff.  He always had something to do.  Always with some other prodigy.  Or loose creature.  Or fighting the other people that came back with them.  Always something.

Elanor was woken from her reverie by intense nausea.  She didn’t quite make it from her bed before nausea ran its full course and she launched stomach acid at the earth of the forest.

She felt her head.  It didn’t seem hot.  Nor did her neck-even around the sting-or her stomach.  She didn’t think she had caught something-weren’t they immune to the viruses and bacteria of this time because of their blood?

Her examination of the facts was interrupted by another wave of nausea.  She gave up reasoning and made for the stream beside their camp.

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Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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