Status: Discontinued [2018]

Dust of a Star

Chapter Two: Hell on Era

My life was a living hell. For every day for the last eight months. Most didn't make it long in the labor camp. If the heat didn't kill you, the lack of good food and water would. I only survived this long because I had something to hold on to. I had to make it out of here alive. I had to see my father once again. Even if it was just his grave.

The clang of chipping away at stone was always present at Avinka. There were guards every twenty feet, watching over us. They paced as they made sure no one was trying anything foolish. The first day I got here, a man tried to escape, taking all his stored up water with him. He ran straight out of the pit and into the desert, but he didn't make it far passed the stone walls that surrounded this place. There wasn't a lot of technology that could survive the harsh blasts of sand that kicked up every other day here.

And that wasn't even the worst part. The worst part was that out in the desert was the slithering monsters the Eltherâk called Wulü. It looked like a cross between a snake and a worm that grew ten times too big. There were hundreds out in the sands around us. Most didn't show up, unless they were hungry. And this one was. It swallowed the poor starving man whole before disappearing back into the sands.

“Keep working!” I wiped the sweat on my brow onto my arm, not that it did any good. Every part of me was sweating and darker than before. I was lucky that I didn't burn easily. I naturally had darker skin than others. It was a russet sort of color. Now it was even darker.

“Isis!” I lifted my gaze, pausing in my work. I was sent to brush away the sand from the things they wanted. Ancient ruins. “Get up here! You have a visitor.” That sent my heart beating. No one got visitors here. And who wanted to visit me? I only knew one person and he wasn't going to come here.

Climbing the ladder up, I stepped onto the shifting ground and walked slowly to the Captain. He grunted, seemingly annoyed about something before gesturing with his head to his tent. A simple construct of canvas and wood. It appeared they have learned something from this place. Deserts weren't to be trifled with. I ducked my head, still holding my brush in my hand as I went inside. On the other side of the tent was a male. He was tall and looked to be of a high position. His back was to me.

He had long white hair with a light bluish tint. His skin was a darker blue with silver markings. And as all other Eltherâk had, he had pointed ears. I cleared my throat, fearing he may not like me speaking directly to him. This place put me in my place. At least for now.

“Isis Ëaro,” his voice was so smooth. It sounded like water. Something I hadn't heard in a long time. “I am Leatho del Kôhul. I have need of your assistance.” Flags raised in my mind. I couldn't trust this. But wouldn't serving someone be better than dying out here?

“Why?” He set something on the table, a device. It blinked on, flickering a moment before staying steady. “What's that?” It looked like a small box, but there was only one button and it hadn't blown up, yet.

Leatho sighed heavily and sat down. The stool was small and had no back, but it didn't effect how he sat. His back was still straight. “That device, it only works for a short time, keeps others from hearing us. As to why I need you, I picked you because I know what you want. And I can give it to you.” I didn't know if I could trust his word. Most Eltherâks told the truth, finding lying against their code of honor. But some had no problem with lying. Their code of honor was slightly warped and I didn't know if Leatho was one of those.

“And what would that be?”

“Your father. I can get him the attention he needs.” That perked my interest. I couldn't just pass up this offer. It could help my father in the end. “You have my word.” An Eltherâk's word was binding. By their laws, if one went against their word, their promise, it was punishable by death. It just depended on how severe it was.

“And why do you need my assistance in whatever this is?” The light on the device blinked once again before disappearing.

“We're out of time. Make your decision.” How could I when I didn't know what I was getting into? How could I sign my life away without knowing what for? But I had to. It would help my father. I had to do it even if I sold my soul.

I sighed, running a hand through my tangled ear length black hair. Sand matted it as well. A few grains fell to the ground and on my shoulders. “I'll do it.” Those words may have sealed my fate.

Leatho nodded and pulled out a small tablet, a POD—Portable Operating Device. He tapped it a few things before looking back at me. “Everything is in order. Come with me.” I would have asked to get my stuff, but all I had was the clothes on my back. Everything else was taken or I didn't get to bring. Not that I had much anyways.

The two of us walked to his ship. It was armored and had an emblem on it. The more I looked at it, the more I realized it was of the High Council. A star within a wreath and vines with flowers that only grew on the Eltherâk home-world, Rulvo. The decently sized planet was smaller than Era and the Eltherâks needed to expand. I only knew this because I snuck into a history lesson. It was a lesson on Eltherâks history.

We walked into the vehicle. A man, human, was driving, shutting the door behind me. Leatho sat down on the couch. It appeared this was just a transport and not a ship. The High Council was stationed in space, hovering between the moon and Era. The moon had been tethered to Era to keep it in perfect distance from Era and keep the climate stable. The tether wasn't solid, but like magnets, pulling the two bodies together. At least that's what I have heard.

All that meant was that we were going to the port and then flown up into space to the station. The whole trip was silent. Leatho seemed to ignore my very existence. It appeared he didn't want to admit he just bought someone, brought them from hell to put them in another hell. Or he was thinking how to get rid of me without any suspicion. It was plausible.

Twenty minutes into our journey I was feeling tired. I shifted in the couch across from Leatho as he tapped away on his POD. I curled up on the soft, inviting surface beneath me. In a manner of moments, I was asleep. So deep that I wouldn't wake up for anything. I was exhausted from my days of working in the sun and restless nights. I was afraid of what would happen during the night. Eltherâks may have a code of honor, but humans didn't. Some were beasts, monsters in human skin. I had caught some of them looking at the females like pieces of meat. Leering and lust filled gazes. Now I didn't have that to worry about. Leatho wouldn't force himself on me to satisfy his primal needs; I hope.

Someone was shaking my shoulder. Someone was calling my name as well. “Isis,” it sounded so far away. “Isis, you have to get up.” Slowly and begrudgingly, I shifted awake. My eyes fluttered open, blinking and watering at the light around me. Clearly we weren't in the transport any more. It was much too bright to be in that windowless box.

“Where are we?” I mumbled, sitting up and rubbing my eyes. I looked around, staring at the white walled room. It looked to be a hospital, but that didn't make any sense. Why would Leatho take me to a hospital?

“In Elthe son Wulán.” The best hospital around. It was huge and catered only to the wealthy because it could. There were other hospitals that took anyone and everyone, but only on an emergency basis. Elthe son Wulán was the top in everything. Why would they treat me? I wasn't wealthy. But Leatho might be. If he was part of the High Council, he could get into Elthe son Wulán. “A precaution. In an enclosed environment, we must make sure you are not carrying any disease.” He was blunt and didn't seem to save my feelings for anything. In a way, I was thankful. He would tell me exactly what was going on and how it would affect me. He wouldn't sugar coat it or try to skirt around it.

Leatho sat in a chair to the left of the bed. He had his POD out, looking through something. I was sitting on a comfortable bed with white sheets. The only thing not white was me, Leatho, and the gown they had put me in. It was a light, pale yellow. It made my skin look sickly. Yellow did not agree with me. “In a few minutes you will be allowed to leave. When that comes, we will head to the Eastern Port, 42. Our ride,” he said that as if it was awkward for him to say. “will be waiting. Once we arrive, the first order is to go shopping. You will need better clothes than the ones you have and I do not have many foods in my place.” He took a breath, expanding his chest before exhaling. “And you will have to rest. The UTD will take a while to kick in and start working.”

“UTD?” I asked, confused. I hadn't heard of that nor did I have any idea what it was.

“Universal Translation Device. Rathânul del Ülvohad Jea'lî.” I knew that language. It was the language of the Eltherâks. Truthfully, it was different hearing him speak something other than English. I was use to his tilting accent that hearing what he sounded like in Eltherôn was mind blowing. How could he sound so smooth in two different languages? I could never achieve that.

And strangely I seemed to understand or at least get that it was Eltherôn. I didn't know what Eltherôn sounded like until now. Most of the time I couldn't tell what sounds they were using. It was something I wasn't use to. And I ignored it.

“Efarjo al wer ko halvon. Ga'hanat al vókjul. Tüvo Huvól.” The voice brought me from my thoughts. A woman, Eltherâk, bowed with a POD against her bosom. I felt very inadequate compared to her. Her breasts were large, bigger than mine and she was beautiful. Her skin was a lavender and her hair was a soft pink. The markings marring her skin were a rosy color, almost red.

“Mehej rùnit.” Leatho smiled gently at the female. Curious. It seemed he takes to Eltherâk females more than any other. There were several other races on Era, but not as many as Eltherâk and humans. Since the Eltherâks came, more humans came back. But not as many as some would have liked. Era became a second home to the Eltherâks.

The male brushed his hand against her shoulder and down her arm. They spoke in hushed tones that I didn't dare try to listen to. One, it would be rude. Two, he would most likely know because I would inexplicably say something about it. I never could keep my mouth shut when my curiosity got into it. I just had to ask questions and try to fit things together.

The couple separated and the female walked slowly down the hall, leaving Leatho here with little ol' me. She really must think I am not a threat because she didn't even glance at me nor give my any sort of glare. Or she really trusts Leatho to not cheat on her. But then, I do not know Eltherâk culture as well as I should.

As soon as he turned towards me, I asked, “Can I get out of this...gown now?” I picked at the slightly decent gown that they had put me in. It was more comfortable than the clothes I came in, but it was not for anywhere but the bed. The back was open and it was getting pretty drafty in here.

He gave a curt nod before sitting back down. How as I suppose to change with him in here? And change into what? “Hol'ræ is bringing you something decent to put on. I can't have you running around looking like you did before.” I knew what he meant. He couldn't be judged by what I was wearing. And slum dirt isn't in fashion right now. So now I was to wear something he deemed proper.

“Okay...and when will he be here?”

“She,” he stressed, “will be arriving in five minutes.” Leatho seemed to be even colder to me than before. Had I done something wrong?

There was that itch. I wanted to ask, but I bit my tongue to keep myself from doing so. I knew what too many questions could lead to, especially in this situation. I could lose just about everything.

“You may ask.” Could he read me that well? Already? We just met hours ago. “You show everything on your face.” Oh. That answered that.

“Why are you so....cold to me suddenly? Not that you were very warm before, but at least you!” I didn't know how to explain what I meant. I didn't have the vocabulary to express my feeling. It was his tone more than anything.

Leatho eyed me curiously. He searched my face over and over again, looking or rather reading my features for something. “I do not know what you mean. I am the same as we first met.”

“No...” He gave me a look. “It's your tone, alright! You”

“Frostier?” he asked, incredulous. He didn't seem to believe me about this.

“Never mind.”

“I never understood that phrase.” Huh? “Never mind. How can a mind be never? Or how can never be a mind? How does 'never' mind?” Okay, he was confusing me now.

“Wait! I just meant to forget about what I said. That's it!” I was feeling emotions bubble up inside of me. How could I live with this stoic man without bursting out. I felt some unnecessary need to be entertaining when in the company of someone that rarely showed any emotion. I just had to bring something to their stoic nature, make them smile at least.

Leatho didn't seem to like that about me. He didn't like my outburst and frowned. He actually frowned. It looked...interesting. “I understand.” Just as he finished saying that, a female walked through the door. She had blaring red skin and fiery hair with the softest brown eyes I had seen in a long, long time. And her markings were the most beautiful blue. It contrasted nicely with her skin and hair. She was definitely taller than me, standing at Leatho's eyes whereas I stood at his chin. But she was skinnier and less curvacious than the nurse.

“Tüvo, I have done as you requested.” Even her voice was soft. I was starting to like this woman. “Is this the female?” Female? Well I guess they haven't totally figured out our language yet. Leatho nodded. “I am Hol'ræ.” She had the same tilting accent that Leatho had, but not as bad. “It is a pleasure to meet Leatho's ol'am.” Ol'am? What the hell was that? I turned to Leatho, wanting him to explain, but he was staring at his work.

“Yeah, I'm Isis. It's a pleasure to meet you.” I didn't ask about ol'am only because I figured it was something Leatho should explain rather than Hol'ræ. Or I could try to look it up myself when I had the chance.

Hol'ræ set a bag at the foot of the bed. “It should be in your size.” Again I bit my tongue to question how she would know my size. Did Leatho know or measure me in my sleep? That sent a shiver down my spine. I did not want any male looking at me like that. It just...ugh. “We will let you change. Tüvo?” she questioned. Leatho looked up from his POD before realizing Hol'ræ was talking to him. She moved her eyes and her fingers all towards the sliding door. Hol'ræ was already walking towards it when he got the subtle message. Leatho walked out, not even looking at me. Apparently I wasn't worth his time any more.

“Psh.” I got out of the bed, stretching my aching muscles. Glancing around the white walled room, I notice the only color, light blue, came from the machines that I had been hooked up to while knocked out. There were sconces on the wall, glowing softly as I changed into a pair of black slacks and a muted blue shirt with a cardigan, gray, over it. It felt nice to be clean. It seemed they cleaned me up while in here, probably per Leatho's orders. All I could hope for now was for my father to get his medication and live comfortably for the rest of his days and that I don't die. That I survive this whole mess, whatever it may be.
♠ ♠ ♠
...del Kôhul - of [name]
Rathânul del Ülvohad Jea'lî. - Translates all languages.
Efarjo al wer ko halvon. - She is ready to go.
Ga'hanat al vókjul. - Everything is clear.
Tüvo Huvól. - [Title] "his surname"
Mehej rùnit. - Thank you.

I hope you have enjoyed this, even though I threw in things [words and sentences] that make no sense, unless you read the translations above.

Please comment, recommend, suggest, and/or subscribe.

I apologize for any mistakes in this chapter. I haven't gone back over it. If you spot any mistake, I would like to know. It makes it easier on me because I don't always spot them.

And I promise to get that blog up soon. Or if you want I could just do what I did here. Your choice. Which would you guys prefer?