Galen planned to visit his father for lunch and I decided to grill Ivy while they were occupied.
“Oh. My. God,” she breathed. “You can really see.”
“Yes. I was completely healed. And the aliens- they call themselves the Omorriga- want to heal all of us.”
“I just can’t get over it,” she said. “I wondered if it was a temporary fix.”
“Ivy, have you heard anything about what’s going on?”
“I know the warden has been talking to the earth about it- I heard him yelling, but I didn’t catch anything.”
“Thanks Ivy, I really appreciate you being on our side of this.”
“Who wouldn’t want to be fully healed? I would love to get rid of these aides. I don’t understand why they’re waiting so long.”
I agreed with her and excused myself. Ivy said she would listen for any budding information. I had a headache. My eyes hurt and I had Robin still in love with me, but my feelings for Galen were changing. I loved Robin, too. But the feelings I shared with Galen were magic, electrifying. Robin, on the other hand, was safe and cozy, like a soft old blanket you’d had for as long as you could remember. The kind that promises forever and means it. But was I going to throw all that security away on an exceptional uncertainty? Could I do this? Could I break Robin? Who would be there for me if Galen shattered my heart? Could I exist without the passion that woke up my insides and turned my blood to fire? No, wait, I couldn’t even think about romance now. I had the message of The Omorriga to spread.
I was shocked to find that earth was worried about contamination. They would be sending First Contact Scientists immediately. Robin and I were sequestered to our quarters. We were drained of blood and lost tissue samples. We answered the same questions over and over. Robin’s foot was x- rayed from every possible angle. We were tested for radiation and space exposure. Things I’d never thought of. They checked everything from our teeth to our toenails. It was humiliating and it seemed to me that they were led by disbelief rather than making scientific proof. We were only allowed in the gardens where we were asked to contact the Omorriga and I called for the mist, but they were hesitant to appear.
I was in the gardens one day alone when I saw the mist encircle me. I immediately felt peace. “Where have you been?” I asked, a little perturbed. “These guys are about to torture me to make you show up.”
“Those without disabilities are not ready to see us. Their intent toward us is not as genuine as yours. You need our help, they want only to study us. We want to help the unfortunate beings who are exiled to this planet’s Moon. We have no interest in the warring planet, we are a race of peace.”
It made sense to me. I’m not sure the eager scientists would see it the same way. “I’ll tell them.”
I was right. My news didn’t go over well. They argued whether or not I could be a trusted liaison. It didn’t matter that I was their only link.
On one uneventful day, I was resting in my room when Galen appeared in my doorway. I closed my eyes and inhaled him, he was so beautiful it hurt my eyes to look at him. But I forced myself.
“Why do you close your eyes so much now?” he asked.
“I have to tie in the sight of you with my other senses. I know you from your cologne and your voice. I have to integrate my sight into what I already know.”
“That makes sense,” he said slowly.
“Did you stop by for a reason, or are you just enhancing my décor?”
“You know it.” He chuckled deeply and I felt it warmly in my stomach. “Actually, I have news. Ivy heard my dad talking.” He walked into my room so that we would not be overheard. “The earth wants the alien contact to stop except for the scientists.”
“But the Omorriga don’t want to talk to the scientists,” I said heatedly.
“I know, Ari, but there’s more. The government doesn’t want the colony healed, they want the mining to continue. And get this- they want the soldiers they contracted for.”
“Oh my gosh.”
“Yeah, I know. They don’t want earth citizens to know about the Omorriga –we were never supposed to come home. Except as an army.”
“Galen, I can’t believe they’re going through with this. The Omorriga changes everything. How can they ignore that?”
“The people on earth don’t care about what happens out here. You’d think if they needed us for a war, they’d want us all healed first.”
“No,” I said. “Then they’d feel guilty killing us. We’re only expendable if we are broken.”
At that moment, my room was full of guards. Obviously, this space had been bugged because the first guard said, “This traitorous conversation is over.” Oh crap. What had we said?