Chapter Twenty One
“Holy hell…” Rei breathed. “And here I thought Colony 12 and 13 were rather close in similarity; remind me to never think that again while we travel.”
“You like it then?” Yuma asked having a hinting smile on her face.
“Like it?” Rei repeated. “It looks freaking amazing! I didn’t even know you could do this with a Colony! How far down does it go?”
Yuma thought about it for a moment. “A few hundred feet, I think. We’re still working on some areas we’d like to have paved out. And you’d surprised how many are actually fine with living underground. You can find many things in the earth. Colony 4 was like that in a way, or at least from what I’ve heard. They were stationed in a mountainous region like Colony 9, though Colony 4 was along the side of the mountain while 9 is at the top of one.”
Meyna became quite, eyes averting away from Yuma as she and Rei kept on talking. Meyna grasped her arm which began to shake slightly, talking about her old home so casually, made her feel angry. It was stupid, really, really stupid, that such a thing would make her feel so upset. Igholt rested his hand along her shoulder blades and rubbed her back, silently telling her it would be okay.
Meyna knew that it would, but hearing this conversation just kept bothering her, after so many years of not talking about Colony 4 and now suddenly hearing it so ideally. She didn’t know what to really feel about it.
“Let’s go! Let’s go!” Ethon suddenly snapped out. “We hurry in Colony and find mean Dinobeast!”
“Oh, right.” Yuma said. “Sorry, anyway if you follow me I’ll take you to my home and if you’d like you can wander around and explore if any of you are interested.” She paused when noticing how Meyna didn’t say a word. “Does that sound good with you?”
“Hell yeah it does!” Rei added. “Meyna and I explored a lot in our Colony so this will be pretty interesting.” Meyna suddenly smiled when Rei looked to her, almost as if she knew Rei was going to look at her. “Right?”
“Yeah!” Meyna smiled. “We could find some secrets.”
“Yeah secrets are Ethon’s middle name!” Ethon added, gripping his large wing-like hand over Meyna’s. “Right Mey-Mey?”
Her smile suddenly seemed genuine. “Right.”
Yuma led them down the spiral to what could be called the “middle” of the Colony, a number of bridges and platforms were branching to one another in the center. “There are some things I need to take care of first,” Yuma said. “I have to make sure my people are alright, and report my findings of these events. So if you want to wander around you can. And when you’re done meet me at Analith Park. Its underground you’ll see something pretty neat there.”
“Aanalith Park.” Meyna repeated. “Is it right at the bottom?”
“It’s close to the bottom.” Yuma said. “But yeah pretty much. Again take your time and look around for as long as you wish. And when you’re done looking around we’ll talk.”
“Okay, thanks again Yuma.” When Yuma left Rei looked to the others. “Ok, so where should we start first?”
Igholt thought about it for a moment. “Well she did say we could look around, so we should take this opportunity to do that. We might even find some information that could be useful to us in the future.” He glanced to Meyna who was looking down the spiral of the Colony. “What do you think Meyna?”
“Huh?” she said snapping out of her thoughts and looking at him. “I’m sorry Igholt, what did you say?”
“I asked if there’s any place you want to look first.”
Meyna thought about it for a moment. “She did say we could look around, um…” the sound of a rumbling stomach drew everyone’s attention to look at Ethon.
“Oh, rumble belly not Ethon!” the Nopon said quickly and Meyna cleared her throat.
“Why don’t we get something to eat first?” Meyna said softly as a feeling of embarrassment heated her face.
“So you can get hungry!” Rei laughed. “I’ve been wondering, you’re body never ever shows signs like that!”
“That’s because I’m not you.” but Rei just grinned.
They wandered around the Colony for a while, there were a number of floors, about eight floors in total, but they took it slow. Checking out shops and what they had while finding something to eat and speaking to the natives to see if they knew anything about the recent incidents with the Telethia attacks.
And each time they spoke to someone, they came up empty.
Though they had heard a number of rumors about a large amount of Telethia gathering in a certain areas but those areas were so vague no one knew just where it was happening. It didn’t surprise Meyna or the others but as they looked around talking with a number of people Meyna felt something. She was being watched.
Glancing around, her eyes tried to find whoever it was that was watching her but with so many people walking around she couldn’t really tell. There were so many people talking, Nopon, Homs, Machina and a few High Entia, all speaking to one another or talking about gossip. She closed her eyes trying to find whoever was watching her.
Rei glanced from Meyna to Igholt and asked. “Hey did I upset her?”
“What do you mean Rei?”
“Well… ever since we got here she’s been super quite, did I screw up or something?”
“No, well… not you. The Machina woman brought up Colony 4, and even now after all this time is still a touchy subject for her. Even Grithiff isn’t too keen on hearing about it. Meyna holds no anger to you, you and Yuma were just talking about the different constructs of each Colony, such a thing is no bother, but with Colony 4…” he trailed off, eyes narrowing behind his glasses as he looked to Meyna who stood silently in the middle of a bustling crowd. “Meyna!”
She didn’t answer, she kept her eyes closed, allowing her body to tune everything out as she tried to pinpoint the sensation. She had done this before; she knew that she had back in Colony 13, and even when she was a child. Even with holes in her memory her body could still remember certain physical events.
Her eyes opened and head turning to the right, she felt it coming from that direction, the sensation of a person constantly watching her, but again there was no ill intent, not like with the Mechon, there was some type of intent but one she couldn’t phantom.
Then she saw the person.
In the reaches of the market that they stood in, she saw the one who was watching her, a man, wearing what looked like to be a robe of white and black gloves as he watched her with people walking by unaware of him standing there.
He mouthed. Do you remember?
Instantly images flashed in her mind, images of a white sprawling city filled with all kinds of life, which soon cut away to that same city but filled with dead and crawling with Telethia. Her neck throbbed with even more pain something about that man, sparked memories in her head, memories of what though she had no idea.
She looked back only to see that he was no longer there. Her eyes searched for the strange man but kept coming up empty, she was sure that she saw him clearly, so where did he go? And what’s more, he was wearing a white robe, a different color to the one that the man wore when he attacked Colony 13, but it still held a similar design, did that mean there was more than one person after her?
“Meyna!” Igholt grasped her arm and forced her to look at him. “Where do you think you’re going?” he demanded.
“I…” she began only to look back where she thought she saw the man who was no longer there. She shook her head. “Sorry, guess I’m a bit tired.”
His eyes narrowed even further as he made Meyna look at him with his hand resting underneath her chin. He scanned her face before letting her go.
“Alright, but what were you doing?”
Meyna opened her mouth to speak only stopped when Ethon yanked her hand to get her attention. “Mey-Mey, there’s so much, yum, yum food need to try and eat some it so good! Mey-Mey didn’t eat much even though tummy rumble.”
“Ethon,” Igholt chided. “Do that later, I was asking Meyna an important question.”
“Oh… sorry Iggy.”
The High Entia shook his head and looked back to Meyna, looking at her physically. “You need to eat,” he said. “There are a number of good restaurants around here.” his eyes glanced around to a number of places. “Rather than the street venders that Rei keeps going to.”
“Hmphf!” Rei said with a face stuffed with food and looking rather unpleased at the comment that Igholt said.
“You know what I mean Rei.” He muttered before he and Ethon took Meyna to a nearby restaurant.
It took Meyna a while to convince the two that she no longer needed to eat anymore Igholt allowed Meyna to wander around for a bit with Rei. She collapsed on a nearby bench as Rei sat down next to her.
“You ticked at me?”
Meyna frowned and looked at her friend. “What?”
Rei contemplated on what to say. “Did I say something to make you angry with me?”
“No, why would you think that?”
“Well… you’ve been really quite. Ever since we came to Colony 12… did I say something to you?”
Her frown deepened. “No you haven’t…” but then she recalled how she had gone totally quite with the mention of Colony 4. She nearly smacked herself in the head for being so stupid. Of course Rei would notice the sudden change in Meyna’s body when mentioning Colony 4. No one talked about it for years, and even still it physically affected her. “Oh…” she sighed. “Sorry Rei,”
Now it was her turn to frown. “For what?”
“For acting the way I did, I wasn’t angry with you, honest. I… it’s just hearing about Colony 4, after for so long, hearing it in such idle conversation. I let something so small get to me because of it.”
“It was your home Meyna,” Rei said. “Of course it’d upset you, no one has done anything to try to get Colony 4 back up and running after the incident. You think by now something would be done about that.”
That wasn’t true, a number of people from different Colonies had tried and failed. The reason was because of the high concentration of Telethia. Making it too dangerous to go there and fix the damage that had been done. Many people died attempting to help Colony 4 and after a while a number of representatives from the other Colonies, including the one from Colony 9, regrettably said to abandon Colony 4, that at that time reconstruction would not happen until the Telethia were taken care of.
That was twelve years ago.
And the Telethia still roamed that region where Colony 4 fell.
“It’ll be a long time before something like that happens.” Meyna said softly.
“Then why don’t we go there ourselves?”
Meyna stared at Rei with wide eyes, shocked that her best friend of all things would suggest such a thing. “What?”
Rei merely shrugged. “It’s been years right? Maybe now those Telethia have left. Looking around won’t hurt.”
“Rei, there is a nest of Telethia in the mountains, something like that wouldn’t just vanish so suddenly. Why would you even suggest going?”
“Because it’s your home.” she said. “You never talked about it; I never knew that you were from Colony 4 until a year after you and Grithiff settled in. I felt like a crap friend for not even knowing about that.”
“It’s because I didn’t want you to know.” Meyna told her. “I didn’t want you to feel guilty over something none of us could do. We were kids, and I can’t remember much ether.”
“Then wouldn’t going back be a good thing?” Rei asked. “You can’t remember your childhood right? What if going there jogs your memory about something?”
Rei had a point, and a good idea, but something about going back to Colony 4 after all this time felt wrong. Wrong in the sense that she had given up in ever going back. No, wait, it wasn’t her, it was Grithiff, he had given up in ever returning to the place they once called home.
That didn’t mean that she did.
Yet something in the depths of her mind said to not go, to not return to Colony 4, as to why that was she had no idea.
Rei watched her friend, seeing the different expressions that went across Meyna’s face as she deliberated on what to do. “Meyna we don’t have to worry about it now.” She said. “We have plenty of time to decide if we head to Colony 4 or not. We don’t have to you know.”
“I do…” she said with a sigh. “Just thinking about going back now after all this time makes me wonder how I’m going to feel if I do go back. I haven’t set foot near Colony 4 for so long I don’t know what I should do.”
Rei stood up and wrapped an arm around her friend in a friendly hug. “Well whatever you do know that I’ll be there watching your back all the way, no Telethia will get in our way once we get started.”
Meyna laughed, Rei always seemed to do that, able to make her smile and forget about the troubles she faced even if only for a short time.
“We should head to that park soon,” Meyna said. “Yuma’s probably waiting for us by now.”
Rei nodded and let her friend go. “Okay, but what do you think she wants to tell us?”
“No idea, but we won’t really know until we find out.”
“Right, let’s get Igholt and Ethon and head to that park, she might be able to tell us where even that Telethia went.”
Meyna nodded in agreement, but for some reason or another, the back of her neck still continued to throb as if giving her a silent warning of some kind. As to what she didn’t truly know, but had a feeling she might get the answer sooner then she believed.