Status: Discontinued [2018]

Dust of a Star

Chapter Four: Learning

I sat at the desk, groaning at the words in front of me. How could I learn all of this in three weeks? I had the Eltherôn alphabet down. It consisted of twenty-eight characters. Six of the characters were just slightly different than the main vowels they were taken from. I was still trying to pronounce them correctly, but at least now, I can know what character is what.

Now, reading was something entirely different. I was still just on basic words, but Leatho decided to give me a challenge. Ugh, he knew I never back down if given a challenge. Well, maybe only a few times, but that was different!

“'kay, you've got this. You can figure out what this is saying to you. You can, Isis. I know you can,” I said softly, trying to boost my confidence. “Okay, first character,” I muttered, looking at the squiggly line that represented a character of Eltherôn. If I had to compare it to a language of Era, I would say it was similar in writing style to Arabic. The swirls and lines. The characters changed as they connected with each other. Not so much that they are unrecognizable, but enough to throw me off for a bit.

“Ah! Law!” I was so excited that I got that word. It did help that I had a translator in my head basically telling me everything, sending the message straight into my brain. “Okay, so this is about some law. What law? Whose law?” The words started to come easier now. I knew it was about a law of some sort, I just didn't know which one or whose. But I was determined to find out.

In about the span of one hour as we humans called it, I had the first few sentences done. It was the law of A'milent. But I did not get the names, or I believed them to be names because I couldn't find them in any dictionary. I checked. Three times. But one I knew. Kafnal. Leatho explained that god to me. At least enough to understand that maybe this...Xabtûl was his wife. But I didn't understand this “union” they were referring to. What union? Did they mean....

I could feel the blush rushing up my cheeks and neck. I did not want to see two gods do that! So I did the only thing that made sense, see when this week was and try to avoid that week, if I could. It popped up and I skimmed through the words that were starting to make sense. There! A date. 2018-193-18. What? What kind of date was that? Didn't the year 2018 already past? At least on Era it did. So this must be for the Eltherâk home-world, Rulvo. With that in mind, I looked up Rulvo and the cycles to create time.

A page pulled up, showing the reddish planet with small oceans. It appeared there was only two large land masses on opposite sides of each other. Islands dotted the oceans, all three of them. The planet was smaller than Era and farther away from its sun. It took a total of five hundred and eighty-nine days to orbit the large ball of plasma. And they had two moons. One was closer and finished its orbit in two weeks and the other was farther out, orbiting at an angle. That one finished in four weeks, but it disappeared for two weeks, moving from the north to the south. So with all of that in mind, I tried and failed to figure out when the week of A'milent was. “Ugh!”

“Is there a problem?” I snapped up straight in my chair, startled to say the least. Beside me was Leatho. He was dressed in casual clothes now, slacks and a shirt. The back of the black shirt hung farther down than the front. I stared at him, surprised to see him without his robes. He always seemed to have them on. “Hm?”

“Nothing!” I turned and looked down at the POD before me.

“A'milent?” I could feel his warm breath against my skin. Tingles ran down that side, straight to my toes. “Are you trying to find out when it is?” He turned his gaze to me as I ducked my head. I didn't want to say that it was to avoid it. But he probably already knew that. Moving a stool next to me, he sat down. “It is in nine weeks. Your winter solstice is the beginning.”

“It is?” I glanced down as he tapped a few things into the POD and it brought up what I was looking for. Eltherâk “holidays” in Era time. That made this so much easier. “Mehej rùnit!” I was getting better at pronouncing some phrases; 'Thank you' being one of them. He seemed proud when I sat up, looking at the information before me. I was so happy that I wanted to hug him, but I didn't. That would be too weird and awkward.

“Enta so'vintél.” I cocked my head, glancing at him as my brain worked overtime to translate. I knew what it meant, but consciously, my brain was working hard to tell me it was something I didn't know; I shouldn't know.

I even started to use Eltherôn words and phrases mixed in with English. Luckily for everyone, no one really noticed. The translators translated it easily enough. But Leatho warned me against doing that because people could still hear me speaking.

The POD blanked out as I set it down. Leatho took it and set it back in its dock. “Are you not hungry?” I looked at him confused until my stomach rumbled. Embarrassed by the sound, I wrapped my arms around my stomach. “Let us retire to the dinning room. Mid-meal should be ready.” I still had to get used to the different way Leatho said things. Like Lunch was Mid-meal. Breakfast was Morning Meal. Dinner was Finishing Meal. Prayer was communing with the gods. And so on. At least when he spoke in English.

I sighed. “Okay.” I knew I had to eat, but I didn't want to, not after seeing my father four days back.

It was normal in every sense that it wasn't. I woke up with a crick in my neck and hanging off the bed I was given. My room was bigger than any bedroom I had before. It held a closet, a desk, and a large bed. The walls were white, tinted with purple lights at the top and the bottom of rounded walls.

Blue covered the bed and white were the pillows with swirls imprinted into the fabric. The desk was glass and a sort of metal, one that I didn't know of. It was strong. The closet was one that I could walk in. It didn't hold a whole lot, but just a few changes of clothes and shoes. It was by no means full or even a quarter full. Maybe an eighth full.

I stood in front of the mirror that stood at the back of the closet. Hol'ræ had chosen a decent outfit for me to wear. But I thought it was not me. I didn't know what was me though. I had worn the same clothes for years. I only changed when the clothes fell off of my body.

This was a v-neck shirt that showed more than I have ever shown before. It was green, an emerald color. I was wearing a skirt, black that reached my knees. It hugged my form. My skinny, sickly thin, frame. And somehow it made me look better. Not perfect, but better. But still. I didn't know what to think.

“You look good. Beautiful.” I spun, having not heard him come up behind me. I should have learned by now that Eltherâks were light on their feet. They didn't make much noise while walking. “I apologize. I should have knocked.” Yes, you should have.

I smiled and shook my head. “It's fine. I shouldn't have left the door open.” He didn't say anything before ducking his head slightly. “So...”

“When you are ready, there is transport prepared to take you to your father.”

“You're not coming with me?”

“Hol'ræ is. I have a previous engagement to attend.” I should have known. But I was hoping that he may have come with me. I knew him longer and slightly better than Hol'ræ. On top of that, I also felt safer with him because he was in a higher position.

But that was not going to happen. I had to go with Hol'ræ and figure out everything for myself once again. “Okay. I'll just put on some shoes and head out.” Leatho nodded. I stepped to the shoes, pulling on the flattest pair there was and walked out. I could feel his eyes on my back as I headed to the door. I was in the guest area of his living quarters.

“Hol'ræ will be waiting at the hospital.” I turned to look over my shoulder at him, giving him a curt nod. With that done, I walked out.

The shuttle was waiting for me at the nearest dock, leaving as soon as I was seated.

And true to his word, Hol'ræ was waiting for me. She stood at the entrance, standing as still as a statue. It looked for a moment that she was made from a red marble and sculpted like the statues of old. That was until she moved. She moved with a grace that wasn't seen in my race. Her legs and arms all moved freely and like a rocking wave heading into the shore. I walked slowly to the Eltherâk. It's not that I didn't want to see Hol'ræ, but I didn't know what I would say to my father and how he was now.

We walked inside and I followed Hol'ræ down the white and yellow hallways. Several doctors passed. A few were Eltherâks. There were Vükna and humans as well. I saw a one that looked similar to the pictures of the Ghafer I have seen. Maybe they were Ghafer. But that wouldn't make sense when the Ghafer left. They fled after the Vükna came. I think it was the Vükna. I would have to look that up.

Silently, Hol'ræ led me into the recovery ward. There were nurses about, rolling and helping people around the halls. The nurses were in green scrubs. They walked the hallways and smiled at them. They greeted Hol'ræ warmly, but I only got a simple, “Good morning.” I wanted to be insulted, but I brushed it off as we arrived at my father's room.

“Before we go in,” I paused. Looking over my shoulder at the taller female. She stared at the metal door. It had a large window, but I couldn't see in for the curtain was drawn. “You must understand that your father will be here the rest of his life.” My heart clenched. I knew that deep down, but now it was validated. “He was infected with the virus from long ago. The N'tul virus.” I was confused. What the heck was the N'tul virus? “That was the virus that the Ghafer used to take over Era.” They used a virus? “When we get back, I will show you to the library. There you can learn about Era's history.” I nodded, knowing that probably would be best. “But we caught the virus too late. Now all the Irevê can do is limit his suffering.” I felt sadness bubbling in my chest. I knew tears wouldn't be far behind, but I sucked it in, keeping it down as I opened the door. I had to see my father.

Laying in a white bed was my father. His hair was short and cut close to his head. His dull grey eyes swiveled to me. A smile. It had been a long time since I had seen a smile on his lips. “Isis!” It was the first time that I was happy to hear my name.

Leatho snapped me back from my memories as he set a plate of food before me. It wasn't what I was use to, but it was wonderful all the same. I would eat just about anything he gave me. The male sat down before me. We were in his living quarters for sitting in the commons would draw unnecessary attention to the two of us. And he wanted to have some privacy to talk with his Ol'am.

“How are you fairing the past six days?”

“About as well as any girl in a new place that is totally different then their normal home.”

Leatho didn't say anything for a moment. I was starting to worry that I may have offended him. “You did not answer my question. You avoided it.” So he was paying attention.

“I am fairing well. I guess.”

“You guess?”

“You have given me a lot already. You have fed me, taken care of me, taken care of my father. I am thankful for that.”

“But?” He really knew me. Or rather humans.

“This isn't what I am use to. I jump whenever I see an officer coming my way. I can't seem to relax here. It just feels as if I am being watched at every turn.” He stayed quiet, just allowing me to talk. To spill everything. “I know this won't last. I know I will end up back on Era. Where? I do not know.” He still didn't say anything. But he seemed to know there was more. I could tell. I was starting to learn his body language. It was different than humans', but it was similar. “I am scared,” I muttered, ducking my head as I stared at my half eaten food. It wasn't much on my plate, but my stomach couldn't handle much.

“Of what?”

“Of the future. Of what will happen when I fail. Of what will happen if I succeed.” He stopped eating. His warm eyes locked with mine. I swallowed. I didn't mean to tell him that, but it just slipped out.

He interlaced his fingers, long and thin, but strong. “You have every right to be scared, but I will do what is in my power to make sure you are safe. I will make sure you are taken care of for the rest of your life if things do not work out. And if they do work out, you will be considered a Hiàvel.”

“Hiàvel?” I questioned.

“A hero. A person of great value to the whole universe. A person that didn't sit back and do nothing. But a person that helped achieve greatness.” A hero? I would be considered a hero? “You will be treated well if we succeed.” After hearing that, I knew that I would, but...

I would be a target as well.
♠ ♠ ♠
Mehej rùnit - Thank you
Enta so'vintél - No problem
Irevê - doctors, physicians
Hiàvel - a hero, a person of high regard, a leader
Hello once again! Just wanted to say thank you for reading this. I really do appreciate it. :)

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