Through the Sky: Chapter Two
Jennifer stared at me, her mouth hanging open. "It let you go? Why?"
I shrugged, unsure of what more I could say. The seventeen year old had summarized my conflict in a single word. Why. Why had he let me go? Why was I not a slave? Why am I still alive?
Seth stood, kicking his chair aside. "I don't think it matters now. For all we know there was a tracker on that stuff."
"I already checked," I told him quickly. "There are no trackers. The scanner would have picked up on it."
Jess fiddled with the scanner as she sat there. Pressing some buttons on the alien device, she turned it on and off. "If there was a tracker, that would make sense. But there isn't." She looked up. "I don't like it."
Of all of us, Jessica was the most cautious. She would only travel well known routes, only look in places she would have an easy escape if need be. Her clothes were the darkest, her room the furthest back. The fact that she allowed the Reptilians to scare her so sufficiently annoyed me to no end.
"Neither do I," I said. "But it is what it is. We'll not change it by sitting here debating." I turned to the table behind me and picked up my handheld. "I'm going back up-"
"No," Seth said. "It's night up there. You can't-"
"I'll do what I want." Seth tried to be the leader. I hated that. "And that means going topside. Tonight."
Alex finally spoke up. "You lost your gun. And you're not using mine."
I glanced back over my shoulder at him. "Fine. I'll bring the bolt gun."
One of the things I stole from the VTOL ship was a bolt gun. It took me almost a month to figure it out, but I was the only one able to get them to work. They fired a short blast of energy I still had not been able to identify. Grabbing one from the wall, I shoved it into my belt and turned back to the group.
Alex was standing next to Seth, staring at me. Jess and Jen were talking. I just shook my head, the odd one out again. Grabbing my trench coat from the table, I walked to the tracks, ignoring the sounds of them talking behind me. I hopped off the ledge and onto the tracks, walking along the rails. I usually stuck to the sides, but I was a bit too angry to worry about balancing right then.
When the trains had run these tracks, they were powered by the electric current that ran these tracks. Now they were dead, the trains sitting along the tracks at odd intervals. Graffiti ran the length of most of the tunnels, however the people who put it there were gone, either dead or captured.
Without thinking I made it to the Time Square terminal. I was about to push the grating aside when I heard a noise from ahead of me. Carefully I slipped between the grate and the wall, thankful my soft shoes made no noise on the concrete flooring. Creeping forward, I saw a shape in the shadows. Tall and dark, I knew who it was almost immediately. The Green who was on the ship today. And he was alone, standing near the ticket booth. Almost lounging, leaning against the glass, I could not see his eyes, but I could tell by his posture he was awake, waiting.
I crept up closer, pulling the bolt gun from my belt. Pointing it at the Green, I made my way around to the far end of the terminal, my eyes locked on him. He looked up at me, his yellow eyes shining in the darkness. I jumped over the barrier at the far end, still making my way over.
He stood straighter, looking at me. Unlike most people, I could not tell what was going through his mind. All I knew was what I was thinking. Somewhere between panic and excitement.
His eyes traveled to the gun I was holding. One eyebrow arched, as if he was wondering if I could use such a weapon. With a quick movement of my index finger, I switched the gun on, the power bar charging quickly, casting faint red light around me. The Green tilted his head and inclined it slightly, as if to acknowledge my proficiency. He suddenly bared his teeth in a feral manor, and I stopped, raising the gun slightly. As soon as he saw me hesitate, his expression changed again to the pensive stare. I paused again.
Watching my hands, he took a step closer, his green skin taking on a grey shade in the red light. I stayed put, letting him close the distance. He was mere meters from me when I raised the gun further.
The Green stopped, eying me again. His expression was confused, though he could not be confused as to my intentions. If he took another step, I intended to shoot him. He raised a hand slowly, putting it to his own chest.
"Tessar," he said, his accent strong. I stared at him.
"What?" I asked, despite the fact that I knew he would not understand me. "Come again?"
The corners of his mouth pulled down and his eyebrows puckered. He tapped his chest again. "Tessar," he said slowly, looking at me with wide eyes.
I lowered the gun slightly as realization dawned. "Tessar? That's your name..." Shifting the gun to one hand, I gestured at myself. "Alia."
He bared his teeth again, and I came to another realization. It was his imitation of a smile. I smiled back, and his face shifted, looking a little more human.
My smile disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared. My hand flew back to the gun and I raised it to his face. He flinched, expecting me to shoot. I was going to. This was a Reptilian, one of the race who killed my family, my friends, everyone I had ever loved. They were evil. I knew that.
I twitched my finger, ready to pull the trigger. My grip tightened, my face hardened. But when it came to it, I could not shoot him. I instead dropped my arms, hit by the fact that if I killed him, I would be just as bad as they were. And I would do anything to not be one of them.
My brain tuned out for a moment, the gun clattered to the ground. I was not seeing the Green Reptilian who was an enemy. I was seeing him as a person. And that scared me. More than I would admit. In all reality, I could not look at him and see someone evil. He had let me live, let me go.
A blur of motion made me look up again. Tessar was knelt in front of me, the gun in his hands. I started to move back, but his hand caught around my wrist, effectively stopping me. He pressed the gun back into my hand and then reached around me, tucking something into my belt. My free hand flew around, feeling the outline of my other gun, the one he had taken earlier. I stared at the earnest, yellow eyes staring up at me.
Pivoting, I turned to flee that penetrating gaze, but my arm caught on something. When I looked back, I realized he had yet to let go of me. He was stronger than I was, so when he stood and took a step back, I was forced to follow. I gave him a pleading look.
"Stop! Please!" I said. I did not care anymore that he could not understand me. I needed to get away. "Please let me go."
As if he understood, he let go of my wrist. I was so relieved I did not realize there was noise coming from the stairwell. I was standing there, staring at him, when I found myself not standing and dumped unceremoniously over the barrier. Tessar turned and looked back at the stairws leading into Time Square. That was when I heard it. The particular hissing sound that was the Reptilian language. I quickly scooted behind the ticket booth, pressing my body against the concrete wall.
Peeking around the barrier, I saw three Reptilians coming down the stairs. A Green, flanked by two Browns, headed right for Tessar. The Green looked to be an exact replica of Tessar, only older. He approached, looking angry. I whirled back to the safety of concrete barrier. The angry hissing echoed eerily off the concrete walls around me. When I heard what sounded like organic flesh hit the concrete barrier, I winced. More angry hissing, then a sudden explosion. The concrete barrier blew up around me, I was only protected by the thickness of the ticket booth.
When a shard of concrete flew out and hit me in the side of the face, I blacked out for what seemed like a second. I opened my eyes again and almost screamed. A green face was hovering over mine, a worried expression on his face. Beyond that, Seth was shooting me worried looks, then giving Tessar disgusted looks. I sat up quickly, almost whacking heads with Tessar. Seth sighed.
"It's about time, Al. You scared us there. What happened? Alien man couldn't tell us anything."
I shot Seth a look. "How am I supposed to know what happened. How did I get here?" I looked around, seeing the familiar surroundings of my room.
Seth gave Tessar another look. "I don't know, but he wandered in, carrying you in." The face Seth made at that statement made me want to laugh. "He carried you like you were no bigger than Jennifer."
I glared at him. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing, except that you aren't exactly the lightest person." He looked at me. "You're all muscle, Al. But he managed with no trouble."
The way Seth said it, I could understand what he was saying. He was jealous of Tessar. I looked at the Reptilian, who was watching my face carefully. "I think he can be trusted," I said quickly. "So stop being a dick."
Seth grunted. "Whatever. But he's not leaving again. We'll kill him first."
With that, Seth turned and walked away. I watched him go, then looked back at Tessar. I still did not know what we were going to do with him, but we were in a bit of trouble. And Seth was right, he could not leave. I fell back against the bed, my brain a storm of questions. The most prominent of those was "Why?"
Through the Sky