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Chapter 22

“I love you more than the moon loves the sun” Dexter whispered in her ear. Terra laughed and turned her head towards him as she replied, “The moon doesn’t love the sun that’s a silly example.”

“Of course he does” Dexter replied as he intertwined his fingers with hers.

“How do you know its a he” She smiled placing a light kiss on his cheek rolling back unto her pillow and looking at the ceiling of the room.

“Only a man is as stubborn as the moon has been. He’s chased the sun through every night for thousands of years all for one kiss.” Dexter whispered as he kissed the side of her neck gently.

“A kiss?” Terra laughed. “That’s too much effort just for that. He obviously wanted more from her then a kiss.”

“Then it seems that me and the moon have much in common.” Dexter laughed as he pulled her to him into a deep kiss.

“I love you too silly.” Terra muttered before she gave into his kiss.

Once they broke apart she ran her hands across his cheek. “Are you sure you feel well enough to travel. Don’t rush yourself.”

“Terra I woke up a week ago. The doctors said I could leave yesterday if i wanted to but you didn’t agree so I spent the night again. It’s time for us to go. Im okay I promise.” He whispered back softly.

Terra sighed lightly. “Fine. Although i like it here. Its nice.”

“I do too.Maybe we will come back one day for a better occasion.” Dexter said before he leaned forward and kissed her nose.

“Maybe we will.” She agreed easily just happy to have him up and talking again. It had been a week and she still woke up in the middle of the night to make sure that he was still breathing and had not gone back into a coma. Once they both confessed that they loved each other the rest of their relationship just fell into place effortlessly. Terra was the happiest she’d ever been.

“We can leave this afternoon. We are about a days ride away from the border and we ca get this mission back on track.” Dexter exclaimed brightly.

“I don’t really about the mission anymore.The president is deluded honestly. I just want to talk to the leader of the aquatic biome and find out what’s really going on between our biome and theirs. I don’t plan on hurting anyone honestly.” Terra confessed quietly.

“I understand and I support you. Either way let’s get this over with.” Dexter started to get up out of bed.

“Nope,” Terra pushed him back to the bed. “ You said this afternoon. So we wait. I’m sure we can think of some way to pass the time...” Her voice trailed off and she tried her best to look confused. Dexter just laughed before he pulled her to him starting another kiss.

Terra glanced out at the border between the jungle and aquatic biome. It was eerily similar to the border between the desert and jungle biome. They didn’t mesh together it simply appeared that one ended and the next began. It was amazing peaceful. Terra sighed as she felt the wind off of the ocean ruffle her hair. “I think i’m in love.” She mused quietly. She felt arms enricle her waist from behind. “I would hope so.” Dexter laughed in her ear. “I wasn’t referring to you. I was talking about this biome. It’s amazing. To be surrounded by water. To live under it and within it sounds amazing. I would love to live here someday would be like a dream.”

“Guess we will be moving here then.” Dexter said simply.

“It’s not that simple. They don’t like outsiders.”

“Psh, we will live here eventually.” Dexter chuckled as if he knew some secret joke.

Terra sighed before she turned to face Dexter. “Okay so i’m thinking we go in while it’s still dark. If we wait until daylight and approach normally we will be stopped and most likely have to fight. Consider this a stealth mission. We will approach underwater which means we will finally get to fully use our adaptation abilities!” She finished excitedly.

“Remember we aren’t trying to fight but if we have to we will. I will not lose you. Their city is in the middle of this ocean.” Dexter said simply.

“Alright let’s go.” Terra said before she turned and calmly walked into the water of the ocean.

As the water closed over her head Terra felt a moment of anxiety. She’d always instinctively known that she cans survive in any biome however she never tested the theory since she’d lived in the jungle biome all of her life. As she continued walking into the water she continued to hold her breath until she couldn’t anymore. To her surprise she found she could breathe easily. She glanced back at Dexter to see he had gills on the side of his neck and webbed fingers. She couldn’t help it she started laughing. He looked like a certified fishman. He smiled at her and pointed towards her neck. She looked down at herself and noticed her fingers were webbed as well. She slowly brought her fingers to her neck to feel and see if she had gills as well. She did. She brought her gaze back up to dexters in surprise when she realized that she could see clearly. It was the middle of the night and she was underwater. She shouldn’t be able to see clearly a hundred yards out as if it was a bright sunny day. She slowly turned...no floated around. There was a buoyancy in her movements she felt as if she was floating. She laughed at herself as she realized she was floating. To test her movement she exhausted a twirl effortlessly. It was wonderful. “This is wonderful.” She thought to herself happily. “I’m glad you like it.” She heard dexter’s voice in her mind. She twirled back towards him. “ We can talk mind to mind as well? This is so cool.”

“I thought the same thing when I first tried out my aquatic adaptation as well. I know this is fun but we have a job to do. Lets go.” Terra did one last twirl before swimming after Dexter in the direction of the aquatic city.

They had been swimming for over an hour now. Terra was kind of disappointed. There had been nothing but ocean so far. She’d expected underwater buildings or something but nope. It was all above water which was weird considering they were called the aquatic biome. When she told dexter that he had just laughed at her. She expected security to be at least patrolling but they weren’t-at least not underwater. They’d passed under the feet of several sentries already. They were so arrogant that they assumed no one would approach underwear. It was ridiculous.

“We are near their leaders private quarters now. He has his own private bathing area that is closed off from the rest of the city. Maybe they bother to guard that.” Dexter voice sounded snide in her head.

“Let’s just get this over with. Maybe he will offer us a place to stay for the night if the conversation goes well.”

She could hear dexter chuckling through their mind link.

“There it is.” She could see dexter pointing to a bright patch of water a few feet ahead. She assumed the rest of the water surrounding it had buildings floating on top of it creating the shadows they now swam in.

They finally came to the patch of water and slowly swam towards the surface. Terra slowly broke the surface of the pool and glanced around at her surroundings. She could feel dexter next to her doing the same. She saw that they were in the middle of a private courtyard bordered with trees on three sides and the back of a house on the other.Terra slowly floated in a circle to see if she saw anyone but didn’t. She slowly paddled to the edge of the pool and lifted herself up and out of the water. She silently padded to the wall of the house and flattened herself against it. Dexter followed her lead.

“Do you realize that we are seeing in pitch darkness? Yet another adaption we get to try out.” Terra heard dexter’s voice in her head.

“I didn’t know we could mind talk out of the water.”

“It’s one of those things where once you awaken your adaption you can do it anytime.”

Terra nodded as she let her gaze scan the area. It was still silent with no movement. She silently moved along the wall until she came to an open window. It was as if the leader of the biome was daring anyone to come in. The window was big enough to fit a grown man and it was flung wide open. She supposed it was so he could feel the ocean breeze at night. Either way it was irresponsible and stupid.

“Yet another reason i’m glad we aren’t so arrogant.” Terra exclaimed quietly to dexter via the mind link.

“ Let me go through first. We aren’t sure if this is the right room.” Dexter said as he moved in front of her and smoothly through the open window. Terra glanced around once again and followed him through.

She slipped through and landed lightly on a wooden floor. When she rose and saw dexter locked in combat with an aquatic man. As she watched he struck the man in the jaw and the man slumped unconscious to the door. She looked past them to see another man also unconscious in the corner of the room. “It took me like three seconds to follow you through the window How did you disarm two opponents in that time frame?” She asked in disbelief.

He shot a cocky grin in her direction. “Obviously you have severely underestimated me in combat for some reason.”

Terra rolled her eyes looked past him and the unconscious men to observe their surroundings. They stood in a sitting room. There was a door on the far wall that terra guessed would lead to the bedroom of the leader of the biome. “He’s a fancy bastard isn’t he?” Dexter voice was amused.

Terra stepped over the body of the man laying on the floor. “He probably has more guards in his bedroom. If the first two are anything to go by i think we may have to disarm them before we can talk to him.”

“I agree.”

They both towards the door of the room. Surprisingly the knob turned and the door opened silently. Dexter went through first and Terra followed. She saw four confused guards descending on them with swords in their hands. Terra unstealthed her own and ran forward to meet their charge with dexter at her side. Three of them went towards dexter insultly assuming he was the tougher of the two opponents. As Terra met the first strike of the man who she now faced she laughed. His strike was weak for him to be apart of the superior fighting race. She threw a sideways glance a dexter to see a similar smile on his face. As her opponent lunged forward in an attempt to take advantage of her distraction she charged towards him as well and tackled him to the ground. She quickly landed two hard punches to his head before his head rolled back and hit the floor. She jumped up and tackled one of the men attacking dexter from behind. She laughed as he went down heavily not expecting an attack to come from the back. She quickly disarmed and knocked him out as well. She jumped back up ready to take down another one but dexter was already done with his opponents and and was shaking his head at her antics. “You looked like a spider monkey jumping on that guy like that.” He laughed through their link. Terra just rolled her eyes and turned to the enormous bed at the far end of the room. Amazing it appeared that the occupant was still asleep even with all the ruckus going on.

As they stepped towards his bed suddenly she sprung up completely naked but with a sword in hand and charged towards them. He had blazing red hair and eerie looking white eyes. That’s all terra saw before dexter cut in front of her and met his attack head on. If he hadn’t done that she would have been killed by the leaders first blow. She had been too close to properly mount a defense. “Let me help.” She thought at dexter as she watched him fight. Him and the leader of the aquatic biome whirled around almost faster than her eyes could track. Parrying and attacking each other continuously. “No. He just tried to kill you this is personal.” Dexter’s voice came through firm and unmovable.

Dexter logically understood why the man would attack someone who burst into his quarters in the middle of the night. However, since that someone was Terra it was a big fucking problem. The man looked almost crazed as he came jumped down from his bed with his sword and... appendages swinging as he deceased. Dexter could tell that Terra wouldn’t have enough time to bring up her sword to defend herself and he dashed into action. It was for the best anyway. He didn’t want her to feel bad about what he might have to do. “We just want to talk to you! We are not trying to kill you.” Dexter exclaimed as he blocked another strike. “ You come into my bedroom in the middle of the night and kill all of my guards to tell me that you aren’t here to kill me? How dumb do you think I am?” The man’s voice had a strange lilt to it. “They aren’t dead. Just unconscious. We need to speak with you about the jungle biomes leader.” The aquatic biomes leader laughed and he attacked again. “I have no need to talk to anyone who wants to talk about that nitwit.” “You wont stop and talk for a moment even if it saves your life?” Dexter yelled in frustration as they continued their dangerous dance. “ No. You are a mere inconvenience. Obviously I need a new guard now. They are incompetent.” As he talked his gaze cut to terra who was moving towards them despite the fact that dexter had clearly told her not to. Dexter used the moment to his advantage and swept the man’s feet out from under him. He quickly knocked his sword of reach as he stranded him and held his sword over his neck. “ You feel like talking now?” Dexter asked breathlessly as he glared down at the man. The man glared at him in defiance for a moment before he closed his eyes in acceptance. “I submit you are the new leader of this biome.” “What?” Terra exclaimed from beside him. “We don’t want your freaking biome. We want to know if the leader of the jungle biome has been trying to encroach on your territory or not.” The man’s eyes darted from Terra to dexter in confusion. “Yes he has.” “Now was that so hard?” Dexter mocked. Terra shot him a look. “As the new leader of this biome you have a choice to take my life, or cast me out of the biome.” His gaze focused on dexters with a strange intensity. “I am not the leader of this biome. You are.” Dexter explained slowly in case he missed it. The man made a grab for the knife sheath on dexter’s leg and quickly cut a piece of his forearm skin off. Dexter quickly grabbed the knife away from him. “ Take this as proof that you have defeated me. Terra stepped forward and pocketed the piece of skin. “It has a tattoo on it that will prove to my leading council that you defeated me and have earned the right to take my place. As the new leader...” “I am not the leader!”

They heard the door behind them slam loudly against the wall. Dexter jumped up to face the new threat momentarily forgetting about the leader behind him. To everyone’s surprise the president step through the doorway. He was covered in blood flanked closely by jungle hunters. “You are right dexter. You are not the leader of the biome. I am.” Dexter stared at the president in confusion just as he felt movement behind him. “Dexter!” Terra screamed,he turned almost as if in slow motion to see the leader of the aquatic biome coming at him with a knife. He was stopped as a knife struck him in the neck. He made a gurgling sound before he dropped to the floor dead. Dexter looked at terra who still stood in her knife throwing pose with an angry look on her face. He wanted to reach out to her in that moment but the president drew his attention once again. “Great job. Now I just have to cut off his head and tote it around to prove that I killed him and am now the new ruler of this biome. You may go back to the jungle biome now or you can spend the night here. Dexter stared at him in disbelief for a moment before turning back to terra. This proved all of their suspicions were right. The president was just trying to take over all of the biomes and they just unwittingly helped him. Dexter tried to read Terra facial expression but it was a blank mask which meant she had some strong emotions she was hiding. She was already moving towards the door of the room almost robotically. “ Let’s go home.” She said softly as she passed through the doorway. The president laughed in glee in the background as dexter turned and followed terra out the door.

Terra walked through the doorway where she silently hopped out the same window they came in and promptly leapt into the courtyard pool. She noticed that she had seamlessly transferred into her aquatic adaptation this time with no reservations.

“Terra?” Dexter asked tentatively via mind link as they dived into the water.

“We have to go to the swamp biome. Now that the president is in control of the aquatic and jungle biomes they are the only biome strong enough to stop him singlehandedly now.” Terra replied calmly.

“I’ve traveled to most of the biomes and I’ve never heard of the swamp biome...” Dexter looked towards her as he let the question trail off.

“Well, that’s because most of the world thinks the aquatic and swamp biomes are the same one. They aren’t though. The swamp biome occupants are the cousins of the aquatic biome.They possess the same abilities and are tightly connected to one another. The only difference is the swamp biome occupants are not as uptight and oblivious as their counterparts.. Since the the president now has control of the aquatic biome his next logical target would be the swamp biome.”

“I can see your point. Don’t you think that our reception might be a bit...negative if we arrive on their doorstep after killing the leader of their cousin biome?”

“I don’t think we have much of a choice. We didn’t want to hurt him but he just wouldn’t listen. He was determined to kill us regardless of anything we said. We can’t just sit by and do nothing while they get taken over as well. Now that he has the might of the aquatic biome behind him he is a very big problem. Let’s be honest here... the only reason that he was able to take over the aquatic biome is us!” Her voice steadily rose as she talked.

“Terra, what are you thinking right now?” Dexter asked quietly after a moment..

“That we went to the aquatic biome to try to talk to the leader and possibly figure this all out and ended up essentially being the catalyst of a world war.” Her voice came out sarcastic.

Dexter stopped swimming forward and pulled Terra to him so he could look her directly in the eye.

“Are you feeling okay? I know that was your first time killing someone.It’s not an easy thing to do.”

“I’m completely fine. It was a choice between you or him and that’s not really a choice at all. I didn’t even think about it. My body just moved.” She shrugged. “I get that you are worried but you don’t need to be. Not about that.”

Dexter looked at her with an disbelieving expression for a moment before he spoke. “I think that we will retry this conversation later once you have had a chance to process what just happened. Even if your body moved without thought it doesn’t meant that you won’t feel feelings of regret or even sadness.”

Terra looked away from him and into the water surrounding them. “ Can we go already because we don’t exactly have time to sit around or shall I say float around. We are the ones who made this mess and we need to fix it.”

“Terra?” Dexter grabbed her hand. “ We will fix this. Right now we need to rest up and plan our next steps okay? Just for a few hours. Just hang on to me.” He gently tugged her behind him as he swam for the shore.

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