Through The Gate:
Once back at the gate Colonel Young used the Kino remote and dial Destiny. The gate activated and the team went through with Storm in the middle. They needed to get Myst to TJ as soon as possible. Though Storm was used to having people on his back, he wasn’t used to Myst being injured and it made him walk a little more cautious then he normally would. Once through the gate, Varo dismounted carefully and headed for the Infirmary where TJ and Chloe were waiting. Chloe had opted to helping TJ anyway she could but when Varo brought Myst into the Infirmary followed closely by a very anxious Storm who wasn’t being held back very well by James, she knew that it was worse than what they all might think.
Back Aboard Destiny:
“James, you might as well put Storm in their shared room or take him to the Observation Deck. The rest of the crew has gathered on the Observation deck for the time being.”
“Of course Colonel. Come on Storm; let TJ do her work we’ll find out when she’s done.” James said as the big cat reluctantly followed her to the Observation Deck.
“Varo just laid her down Colonel. I’ll know more when I’ve taken a look at her. It will be a while.”
“Duly noted, everyone that isn’t helping, get out and let TJ do her work.”
Reluctantly the Infirmary emptied of everyone except TJ, Chloe and Varo who seemed to be attached to the young girl. Grear set Myst’s shirt and raptor knife on one of the tables that wasn’t being used and moved out as well, leading Dr. Park as he went. Chloe and Varo handed TJ the instruments she needed but when it came time for the full medical exam, Varo opted to standing outside until it was over. After the exam, which came up positive, Varo walked back in and sat with her as TJ left to get the Colonel. Upon reaching the Observation Deck, Storm was the first the see her as he had been facing the doorway. He stood up when she came in and Eli was the first to speak.
“She’ll live, but her emotional and physical scars will take the longest to heal.”
“Emotional I get, but what about her physical scars?” James asked.
“Not only did this guy whip her badly on her back, but it also looks like he raped her as well. Varo stepped out of the room while I performed the exam but he saw my face when he came back in. Now I don’t know if when he had her, having sex was a normal thing or not because she has some old scars there to. In that case, she’s going to have to talk about it and right now, I don’t think she’s going to open up that much.”
“But she’ll live through the night?” Scott asked.
“Yes, she will live through this night and the many more nights she is on this ship. Whether or not she gets pregnant from this has yet to be seen.”
“Well we can deal with that bridge when it comes to it.”
“Yes we will.”
Meanwhile…I had started coming around in the Infirmary and noticed that I was not alone. Upon first thought, I thought Mak’ro had sold me to one of his buddies but then my senses cleared and I realized that I was back on Destiny. I relaxed a bit before I opened my eyes to see Chloe and Varo looking at me with anxious faces. I smiled and looked at Chloe.
“Hey, welcome back.” Chloe said
“How long have I been out?”
“Only since we found you with that guy, so about an hour and a half. TJ preformed a full medical exam on you and bandaged your scars so you should be healed in no time.” Varo said.
“She performed an estlax? She didn’t find out that I was rotun did she?”
“Excuse me? What do those words mean?” TJ asked walking back in with Eli, Scott and Grear behind her. “Hope you don’t mind, I brought some friends to say hi.”
“Hey. Um, estlax means exam. And well rotun means…”
“It wouldn’t happen to mean ‘forced sexual intercourse’ would it?” TJ asked.
“Those are other words for its meaning, yes.”
“It’s okay. You’re safe here, though the Sabrekey wanted to be told if you would survive the night or not.” Grear said.
“James is making sure he doesn’t bound in here and hurt you anymore than you already are.”
“You’ll be moved to your room in a day or two but it will be easier if I keep you in here for now, to see how you get along. And you can help me categorize everything we got from Florineta.”
“Okay, sounds good.”
“Okay, you get some rest. We’re going to check in with the Colonel. Varo, you coming?” Scott asked.
“Yea, one second. Found this for you, thought you might want it back.” He said handing over my raptor knife.
“Thank you. Mak’ro found it and threw it on the ground with my shirt and jacket. Didn’t think I’d ever see it again.”
“It’s pretty strong.”
“It’s raptor leg bone, it should be strong.” The guys left and TJ, Chloe, James and Dr. Park sat with me for a while. James had scrounged in the food storage and found the paper booklets I had bought and had brought them to me so I could fill them up.
“Figured you would want these. I know you said that they are for writing food recipes down, but you could at least use one of them to write down your thoughts while you on the ship. We all have the Kino but if you don’t want to use the Kino you can use one of your booklets.”
“Thank you James. TJ, will I get Klu’chen because of what Mak’ro did to me?”
“It means pregnant.”
“Normally you would be given the morning after pill but because we have nothing like that all the way out here, then there is a small possibility that you might get pregnant. You also might not get pregnant.”
“But what about all of Mak’ro’s other slaves? What will happen to them?”
“Good thing you asked that,” Colonel Young said walking in, “we just checked in with the Sabrekey commander and he was wondering the same thing. Apparently all of Mak’ro’s friends have been vying for his slaves now that he’s in prison for what he did to you. The Sabrekey can either give the slaves to them or find another place for them to be safe. They’ve asked us to take them on, not as slaves, but as freedom children, or I think that was the translation.
“That’s the translation. The words are Xanchor Xilch. The Xanchor Xilch grows in numbers every year and as far as I can see, no one has been able to find a suitable planet for them to stay on. I wouldn’t mind looking after them.”
“That’s good because we already said yes. And we won’t just be getting these Freedom Children either. The Sabrekey tracked down your family and we have agreed to take them on as well.”
“You found my family?”
“We asked the Sabrekey to look them up and they did for us. We knew that you would want to be with your family if you could not be on Aphelion.”
“Thank you Colonel, thank you so much. When will they get here?”
“Well, they are bringing most of their belongings with them, so the Sabrekey are helping them pack and then I’ve instructed Scott and Grear to stand by the Aphelion side of the gate and escort the group over. The Sabrekey Commander seemed glad to hear that you would live. He also said to tell you that Jingul Law is in effect for Mak’ro, whatever that word means.”
“Jingul Law: no slave was allowed to become a slave again if they had their freedom. If a slave was taken back after freedom was given, then the Master shall have prison time and lose all his possessions and standings in the community. When the Master got out of the prison, he was automatically made a slave and would never get his freedom given to him (or he would die a slave).”
“Well hope he has fun getting the shit beat out of him for what he did to you.”
“Thank you, bu I think I want to see Storm now.”
“Scott and Grear have him on Aphelion so that they can load him up with our new crew member’s belongings and get them aboard faster.”
“Well then, after he gets back?” I asked with a smile on my face.
“After he gets back. We should let you rest. Everyone except TJ and Dr. Park out.”
After everyone left, TJ helped Dr. Park over to a bed close to mine and she lay down as well to get some sleep. When TJ came back in, we started whispering.
“What’s wrong with Dr. Park?”
“She was blinded when we had to go through a superhot star to recharge in the last galaxy we were in.”
“Are you saying this ship is solar powered?”
“Yes, this ship is solar powered. We couldn’t go through a normal star because an enemy was blocking them and we didn’t want to go through another battle with them. It took us three years in constant FTL to get to this galaxy and I think we are starting to like the fact that there are people in this galaxy. Albeit, we don’t really care for the slavery and all, but we understand more about this galaxy since you came aboard.”
“Have you made contact with your friends from your home planet since I’ve been on board?”
“Only once and that was because we had to tell them about Chloe being missing on Dinoplenta. Get some rest, your eyes are starting to droop and the more rest you get the better chances of you getting out of the infirmary sooner rather than later.”
“Thank you TJ, for everything.”
“Jinga zool ya!”
“Now what does that mean?”
“God Bless You!”
“Well maybe you should start teaching us this language of yours when you feel better. Sleep, that’s an order!”
She let me get some rest as she moved to one of the bins we had gotten from Florineta. I had been slowly helping her catalog everything that we had gotten from the planet and she liked the help. Now I would be able to help her more, though I was starting to get a little crut’chen (hungry).
More Mouths To Feed:
When I woke up next, an entire day had gone by. I hadn’t realized how tired I was. The Xanchor Xilch along with my family was on board and Storm was set to helping James watch over me. Because TJ had an influx of patients to see for medical exams, Varo and James had temporarily moved me back to my room until all the medical exams were complete. Storm was sleeping next to the bed as James had scolded him for trying to jump up on the bed and sleep with me.
“Hey there sleepy head, welcome back.” James said moving to take my hand.
“How long have I been asleep?”
“About twelve hours. Everyone is on board and Storm has a new friend to look after and train. The Sabrekey gave us a saber cub to raise and help Storm so he wouldn’t have to carry everything we traded for.” Varo said.
“Then who will train the cub, because I don’t think I will be able to for a while?”
“Well, Varo seems to like her and Eli and Chloe can’t get enough of her.”
“They gave us a female cub?”
“Guess they figured when she was old enough, the two could mate and we would have a whole pride of Sabertooth’s running around and able to help us in the security measures.”
“Guess that’s what they figured. How come I’m in my room and not the Infirmary?”
“TJ had to perform medical exams on our new crewmates so until they are completed, you’ll be resting in here. Chloe just left to get some food for all of us as well as Storm. He’s gone back to eating scraps like you used to give him, though we’ll have to change that now that we have all this food.”
“We won’t have to ration with so many more mouths to feed?”
“Colonel Young says we will have to keep a good amount in storage if we don’t ration and with as many planets around here that have humans living on them, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.”
“So, have you two tro’sten’ta (hooked up) yet?”
“Excuse me? What does that mean?”
“I see the way you look at each other and I’m not the only one. Everyone else sees it as well.”
“Very well played, very well played.” Chloe said coming in with food and water. Eli was following her with the saber cub in his arms and some food of his own.
“So I get to see this new cub of ours.”
“For some reason the Sabrekey said you would know what to do with her. Guess she was the runt of the litter.” Eli said.
“Well, runts aren’t always bad. This little girl will make a good mama one day. In studies, our scientists have learned that females that are runts in their litters become mothers more often than the females that are born first.”
“That’s good to know. Anything else we should know?”
“Only that I’m crut’chen and I need whatever smells good in Chloe’s hands right now.”
“Alright, you don’t even have to tell us what that word means. Here, TJ said you could only have soup for now. Becker reheated some of last night’s soup for you as according to TJ, that’s all you will be eating for the next few days. He’s keeping it in one of the bins we got from Florineta; apparently they aren’t just used for storage. They are also great for keeping things refrigerated as well.”
“Yes that’s the crosten in them. It means that they are made with crosten minerals. When crafted into storage bins, it keeps things cool and won’t spoil food.”
“So kind of like a fridge then.”
“Yes, like your fridge.”
We ate in silence for a little while before Eli started speaking.
“So, are you ever going to open up about what Mak’ro did to you, I mean not this last time because, you know? But I mean about before your crash? TJ thinks it would be a good idea for you to open up.” Eli finished.
“James was right. I don’t have to use all the booklets I bought for food recipes. I’m going to use one of them as a journal and I will just write my feelings down.”
“TJ could get a doctor that deals with that kind of stuff on board from Earth you know. Whatever you told her would never be known on the ship. You could get all your frustrations out and nobody would ever be the wiser.” James implied.
“Yea, but who’s body would she use? And what about her notes? Who would keep them safe without looking at them?”
“TJ would probably lock them away once we get a file cabinet on the ship or a place to lock them away.” Chloe said.
“Well as far as I know, we’re not going back to Aphelion at all so that won’t work.”
“Maybe another planet on the way, say as we hit the central planets?” Varo asked.
“That could work, but I’ve never been to the central planets. They have some different rules and laws than the outer planets and Aphelion is an outer planet.”
“Your family would probably know.”
After all of the medical exams were finished, TJ sent Grear to tell Varo to bring Myst back to the Infirmary. She told him not to mention anything about the visitors in the Infirmary as she wanted it to be a surprise.
“Hey Grear, what can we do for you?” Chloe asked.
“TJ wants Myst back in the Infirmary. All the medical exams are over and she wants Myst where she can keep an eye on her.”
“Well so much for staying in my room for much longer.”
“Yea well, you did know it was only temporary.” James said.
“What does that mean?” Eli asked picking the cub up as well as the dishes from the food they had eaten.
“It means ah darn! It’s a loose word to saying ‘I don’t want to’.”
“Not like you have much of a choice. Tell you what; you can keep the cub with you so you have something to do.”
“Sound like a plan to me, though I’m not so sure I’ll be able to walk.”
“Varo carried you back onto the ship, into the Infirmary and when we needed you out of the Infirmary, he moved you here as well. He can sure as heck carry you back to the Infirmary.”
“What do you say Varo?”
“Just need to get some things packed up for you to keep you entertained and we should be good.”
“Don’t forget the booklet. The others can stay here for now. And I’m going to need something to write with. I don’t know what happened to the writing utensils I traded for back at the Orphelia.”
“I think they still might be in the basket you put the booklets and cooking book in. By the way, if you couldn’t tell, Becker used one of the recipes from the cookbook to make the soup.” Grear said.
“Oh what about the pies? Whatever happened to them?”
“They are in the Crosten Container, with all the other food we don’t want to spoil.” Chloe mentioned.
“Well at least you’re picking up on the Krochan language.”
“Eh, you say it enough and we pick up on it.”
“That is a good point.”
Talking stopped as Varo handed me my bag of entertainment (or otherwise known as: sewing and carving materials), picked me up in the blanket and headed out the door with the small group of people following him. He headed for the Infirmary and got a quick glance from Grear that told him someone was waiting in the Infirmary for me. Before he entered the Infirmary, Grear took my belongings out of my hands so that I didn’t throw them at anyone. When we entered the Infirmary, my eyes sought out the group standing in one corner of the room. They looked familiar, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Varo put me down on the bed next to all the instruments as TJ got busy putting another IV in my arm to keep fluids running. When she was done and my belongings were on the side table next to me, my friends moved out of the way as a man and woman moved forward with five kids in tow, the oldest looking to be at least fourteen years of age.
“Do you I know you?”
“It would stand to reason that you wouldn’t remember us. You haven’t seen us in such a long time and the last time you saw us, you were only about…”
“Mort, dort, is it really you?”
“Of course it’s us. When we realized that you might be lost to us forever, we didn’t at first know what to do. Then we took the advice of a close friend of ours and decided that we weren’t done having a family. We want you to meet your siblings. This is Quinain, your fourteen-year-old sister; Mitko, your eleven-year-old sister; Jaqurn & Jaquim, your eight-year-old twin brothers and Coalsaphina, your five-year-old sister but everyone calls her Coal.”
“It’s nice to meet you all.”
“And it’s nice to meet you finally. When the Sabrekey announced that the ship you had been on was missing and you were announced dead, mort and dort kind of went into a meltdown. It was as if they were finally losing you. They were depressed for a while until I told them that I would join the Sabrekey instead of Dance School and look for you myself.” Quinain said.
“You like to dance?”
“Of course and apparently I’m the only one in the family that can actually dance, not that the others haven’t tried, it just ends badly.”
“I bet. I could never really dance either and as a slave I understood it to be one of the only ways out of slavery if’n you weren’t freed any other way.”
“How did you earn your Xanchor? We were never really told that?”
“A Sabrekey named Kut’rat’a fought in a Sabretite and won thus Mak’ro, my master, was forced to hand me over as he had bet me to the winner of the fight. He’d never lost a fight so he didn’t think he would this time. His Sabertooth was badly injured in the fight and had to be put down and Kut’rat’a took me and a saber cub-which grew into Storm-and left Aphelion. We were headed for his home when we crashed on a planet I named Dinoplenta, because it was full of carnivorous dinosaurs.”
“Sounds dangerous! So is that where you have been stuck the last three years?” Mitko asked.
“Yes. Though it wasn’t that bad, I had Storm to help protect me and I turned into one creaka artc (kick ass) hunter that’s for sure.”
“You do know that most of the people that lived on Aphelion do not portch (swear)?” Dort asked.
“Well you better get used to it here. These people are mostly military. Portch is in their vocabulary.”
“Is that anyway to speak to your Dort? I understand that you have been away for a while, but you need to watch you language around us. Say what you want around your new friends, but you watch how and what you say to your mort, dort and sort (siblings)!”
“Yes dorta (papa).”
As the talking came to an end, my parents ushered my siblings out to let me get some rest and said that they would be back in the morning. The saber cub was asleep on my lap so I pulled out some of the raptor bones, my carving knife and started widdeling away on the end of the bone, trying to make it sharper. Becker had complained about not having the proper knives to cut meat with so I was making him the proper knives. TJ went about doing some normal things before grabbing a bed as well for the night and falling asleep. It was a quiet night after that and the only sounds in the Infirmary were the breathing of three humans and the purring of a saber cub!