Chapter 4: Settling In
Fara woke up to the sensation of someone poking her on the cheek. Whoever it was slowly brought Fara reluctantly back to the waking world. The bright morning sun shrines through the blinds directly into her eyes, fully awakening her almost immediately. She stirred slowly, turning away from whoever poked her and the sun, letting out soft moans as she pulled the covers with her. The thick blankets felt incredibly warm around her body, trapping the heat and warming her fur. She pulled the blankets as tight as possible against her body as possible and kept her eyes closed, slowly drifting off to sleep again with a big smile.
However, the person who poked her didn’t seem to be deterred, emitting a loud and agitated growl in an attempt to get Fara’s attention. The small person jumped onto the bed, almost on top of her, and began shaking her roughly. The child was certainly determined in getting her out of bed despite her efforts to remain in dreamland and it was quickly getting on her nerves.
“Come on mommy, wake up.” A childish voice called out.
Fara reluctantly opened her eyes and turned to her head to see Felicity sitting over her. Felicity looked down at Fara angrily and playfully, still roughly shaking her. Apparently the little pup wouldn’t be satisfied till her mother was fully awake and out of bed. If anything it was kind of cute seeing Felicity so determined, making it difficult for Fara to hide a smirk as she turned back over, pulling the blankets with her.
“Just a little while longer sweetheart, mommy needs to rest.” Fara sarcastically pleaded, remembering the countless time Felicity had been difficult to get out of bed.
“But mommy, you have been asleep since yesterday afternoon.” Felicity immediately replied back. “Please get up.”
Fara’s eyes shot open upon hearing Felicity’s reply; had she really been asleep that long. She sat up so fast that Felicity was almost thrown back to confirm it. Her first confirmation was to look at the window and see from what direction the sun was shining; thankfully the humans’ sense of planetary direction was similar to her peoples’ with almost exactly the same terminology. Through the window she could see that the sun was shining from the east, confirming it was indeed morning; when they arrived at Jack’s house Fara made a mental note that the sun was in the middle of the sky and she went to bed not long after that. Her second confirmation was to glance at the alarm clock resting on the night stand near the bed that read 7:36am. She remembered it said 12:17pm when she crawled into bed. Despite all the time asleep Fara still found herself wanting at least ten more hours of sleep.
Holy galaxy, did I really sleep more than half a day? Fara thought as she looked around the room and at Felicity who remained seated on the bed nearby glaring at her. I must have been significantly more tired than I thought. I have not slept this much since after I gave birth to Felicity.
Fara slowly rose from the bed, gripping the edge as she fully sat up. As she did she noticed the room they were in was small for her, quite a bit more than her quarters on the Zordon battle cruiser she was stationed on; though her quarters had to be big to make room for Felicity and comfortably love. The floors and walls were both wood, or at least seemed to be, with a large closet nearby and a large dresser the other side of the room. Fara got the impression the room was for a child, not an adult or more than one person. Even the bed was small for someone her size, even more so with her habit of tossing and turning in her sleep. It took a moment for her to remember what Jack said earlier about having a daughter, though he didn’t say much beyond mentioning her.
“Finally, took you long enough to get up.” Felicity spoke in the same tone that Fara used to get her out of bed.
Fara glared at playfully at Felicity. “You are enjoying this?”
A big smile formed on Felicity’s face while she nodded. “Oh big time.”
Fara giggled as she patted Felicity on the head. “You are lucky you are so cute.”
Felicity let out a playful laugh as Fara patted her head. After a few pats Fara signed knowing she had to get up. She moved herself to the edge of the bed and groaned loudly as she swung her legs over. There was still some pain in her leg which she expected there would be for quite some time. Fortunately, she was still able to move her leg without much hindrance but getting around effectively certainly wouldn’t be any time soon.
Fara turned to Felicity and spoke softly. “Thanks for getting me to awaken from my slumber.”
“You should thank Jack, he told me to wake you up.”
Fara confusedly glared at Felicity. “Jack told you to wake you up? You have been speaking to him?”
Felicity nervously nodded. “Yes, I had to do something while you were sleeping. He is a pretty good guy and Hunter is fun to play with.”
“Who is Hunter?” Fara blurted out.
“Jack’s pet, he is very playful and loves chasing me.”
Fara glared at Felicity trying to come up with a reply. The thought of Felicity playing with someone she didn’t know, even though they were a pet, certainly made her feel uneasy. Though Felicity seemed to be having fun and was safe to say it made her nervous was an understatement. She wanted to berate her daughter for being careless and ignoring her orders but seeing her so happy was enough for Fara to keep her mouth shut.
Fara reluctantly sighed. “Why did Jack want you to wake me up and where is he?”
“In the kitchen making breakfast.” Felicity immediately replied. “He said that you were probably hungry and need to it.”
As if on cue Fara’s stomach loudly growled, causing Felicity to giggle. It was so loud that she would’ve been surprised if someone on the other side of the house hadn’t heard it. She hated to admit it but she was indeed starving. The last time she ate was shortly before her last flight where they crashed. Her stomach was definitely paying for it.
Fara nodded to Felicity. “Alright, tell Jack I will be there as soon as I can.”
Felicity immediately jumped off the bed and took off running out the door before Fara could say another word. It happened so fast Fara was surprised there wasn’t a fire trail behind the child. It was barely a moment later when she heard Felicity shout at Jack in another room that Fara was awake and coming. Hearing that eliminated any option Fara had left of staying in bed, but giving the loud growls from her stomach was encouragement, she had no intention of staying in bed any longer.
Might as well get this over with. Fara thought as she slowly stood up
Fara carefully stood up on her good leg being cautious to put any weight on her injured leg. Though the pain had significantly lessened the pain she was not about to risk damaging. If it wasn’t for her stomach continually growling and her stubborn nature send would have lied back in bed and called for Felicity to bring her food. Fortunately, a quick glance at the door brought to Fara’s attention what appeared to be a walking cane. She remembered Jack telling her yesterday, before she went to sleep, that he’d leave her something to help her walk when she woke up.
“Huh, another thing I owe Jack for.” Fara mumbled to herself as she reached for the cane and grabbed her pistol, and holstered in it her belt.
With slow progress, Fara made her way out of the room and through the house. Walking through gave Fara the impression that it was a small home designed for a small family. From what she could see the design matched her bedroom but with many decorations on the wall, though she didn’t pay attention to them with her focus being to get to the kitchen. She counted at least two bathrooms and a master bedroom along the way, plus what seemed like an office all boarding a large living room. The kitchen was on the far end of the living room and from her position she could make out Jack and Felicity. As she got closer she saw Felicity seated at a long table taking to Jack who was partially busy at what looked to be a skillet. She couldn’t tell what he was cooking but it smelled amazing. The smell of meat almost immediately drove her wild and made her want to run into the kitchen up but she restrained herself.
As Fara got closer to the kitchen she noticed what appeared to be a large lump of fur positioned on the floor near Felicity. It wasn’t till Fara was almost in the kitchen that she realized it was a large dog. She had heard from other Zordons that humans kept creatures called dogs as pets who looked similar to them and she could see why. The dog was so big it no doubt easily weighed more than Felicity, especially if she took into consideration its fur. It’s thick fur was almost completely black fur with a white patch on its chin. The head and muscles gave Fara the impression it was a mix breed though she couldn’t tell what. The dog seemed to be infatuated with Felicity, sticking closer her and waging its tail.
Ah, so that must be the Hunter that Felicity mentioned. Fara thought as she observed the dog. He is an even bigger fuzzball than father.
Fara took a deep breath before entering the kitchen having the suspicion there was a conversation coming. As soon as she entered all eyes turned to her nearly making her stop but she slowed her pace. Felicity waved to her as the dog only wagged its tail before turning away from her. Jack barely stopped what he was cooking only to smile and nod at her.
“Look who’s finally awake, the walking dead.” Jack sarcastically called to Fara.
Normally, Fara would’ve shot back with an aggressive, sarcastic remark to such a comment but she wasn’t in the mood. Instead she nodded to Jack, mumbled a “good morning,” and made her way to the table. However, a glare from Felicity stopped Fara in her tracks. It was an angry and pleading glare that Fara had never seen Felicity give anyone before. The expression was a demand of Fara to remember her manners, something she had clearly forgotten ever since Jack rescued them. It humbled her to think of how mean and dishonorable she had been to Jack, having been raised to show manners and respect to everyone.
Fara turned to Jack and spoke loudly for all to hear. “Good morning Jack.”
Fara reluctantly sat down in the nearest chair beside Felicity who quit her glare as Jack nodded back and continued cooking. She didn’t need to wait long for her food before Jack brought two plates full of food she had only seen in videos of earth. She guessed it was bacon and eggs with what seemed like sausage. The smell drove Fara’s senses wild, making her want to dive in and gorge herself to death. A quick glance at Felicity revealed she was experiencing the same thing but was drooling. Fara restrained herself, grabbed a piece of bacon, and took a bite; her taste buds exploding the moment it touched her tongue.
“Holy moly this is delicious.” Fara exclaimed as she began devouring the meal.
Fara gorged herself at first, swallowing whole bites of food to satisfy her desire. It wasn’t till all the bacon was gone and she was starting on the sausage that she realized how badly an example she was setting for Felicity, who was still pigging out. Fara leaned back and picked duo the fork before working on the sausage.
“I must say, I am surprised how good this is Jack.” Fara said between mouthfuls.
Jack nodded as he sat down on the opposite end of the table. “Thank you, I learned a little from my grandmothers. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the opportunity to learn as much as I could.”
Fara glanced up from her breakfast to see Jack quickly wiping what looked like tears from his eyes. He did it so quickly that she almost missed it. It didn’t take a genius for her to figure out where the tears came from and the reasons for it as well. She had a genuine guess but decided to avoid pressing the issue as it was clear he didn’t want to get into that conversation.
“Mommy, can I play with Hunter?” Felicity’s voiced called out, breaking Fara’s attention from Jack.
Fara turned around to see Felicity’s plate was completely empty. She had to fight back a gasp having never seen anyone devour such a large plate of food so quickly. The only thing left on the plate was the grease from the bacon and sausage. Felicity just sat there smiling at Fara awaiting her answer as she tried to figure out how someone so little could eat so quickly.
“Huh, congratulations on the happy plate.” Jack said with a quick laugh.
Felicity turned to Jack and confusedly tilting her head. “What is a happy plate?”
“It’s a joking term for when someone eats all the food on their plate, making it clean and thus happy.”
“Oh, then I would say my plate is definitely happy.” Felicity joyfully exclaimed before turning to Fara and asking again. “So mommy, can I go outside and play with Hunter? I promise to stay in the backyard.”
“That depends.” Fara responded before turning to Jack. “So Hunter good with children?”
“Definitely, he loves kids.” Jack replied with a chuckle. “He is very good with my daughter and he’s been playful and careful with Felicity the entire time.”
“The entire time?” Fara questioned.
“Yeah, he’s been by her side the ever since we arrived. I think he sees her as a puppy so he’s been careful and protective of her.”
Fara looked down at Hunter who remained seated on the floor near Felicity. He hadn’t moved the entire time as if he was waiting on her to finish eating so they could play. She couldn’t help but find it cute how Hunter seemed to be glued to Felicity’s shoulder with his tail wagging side to side.
Fara hung her head and she relented. “Alright, but stay where I can see you.”
“Yes mommy.” Felicity excitedly exclaimed as she jumped down from the chair and ran towards the screen door with Hunter right behind her.
It was barely a moment before Fara found herself alone in the kitchen with Jack. She glanced at him but he resumed eating so she took it as a cue to do the same. Neither said a word as they ate but both kept an eye on Felicity as she played with Hunter. True to her word Felicity stayed within view of the two adults. Despite both of them focusing on Felicity, while occasionally taking a bite of food, the tension in the room was evident. The tension that has built up since their meeting yesterday was still there but Fara couldn’t muster the urge to say anything, even with Felicity not present.
“So, I guess we have a lot to talk about?” Jack spoke up, breaking uncomfortable silence.
Fara sighed loudly, hiding the fact that she was glad Jack broke the silence so she didn’t have to. “Uh huh, I cannot say I have been looking forward to this but . . .”
Jack held up his hand, interrupting Fara. “Sorry but I don’t think we need to cover everything on our mind’s now, just some of the basics.”
Fara questionably looked at Jack. “Okaaaaay? What makes you say that?”
Jack sat his fork down and looked softly but also confidently at Fara. “Because I think it’s too soon for us to address everything. You two are still settling in after a VERY traumatic event. Plus, I have to take your protective nature and secretive nature into consideration.”
“Secretive nature?” Fara growled, slightly bearing her fangs at Jack.
Jack held up his hand to calm Fara down. “I didn’t mean it in an offensive nature. I was referring to you being an alien, at least to me, and your species in general. I honestly don’t know a little about your species but I would still be VERY surprised if they’d be happy about you revealing . . . well pretty much anything to me. On top of that I know you probably don’t trust me enough to talk about certain things so we should keep this short for now. If possible we can discuss more at later dates.”
Fara chuckled as she looked back and forth between Jack and her plate. I hate to admit it but he is right, we Zordons are a very secretive people to outsiders. At least he is smart enough to understand and respect that.
Fara leaned slightly closer to Jack. “Alright, since you are being polite I will let you set the conversation. What is it you think we should discuss right now?”
Jack appeared to think about it for a moment before replying. “Well, basically all I really want to know right now is how you two got shot down?”
“Really, that’s all you want to know? Do you not have any questions about my people or who shot me down?”
Jack shook his head. “I do but as I said that can be tabled for a later date. Besides, I already know a little bit about your people.” Jack shifted positions while smiling at Fara. “At the moment all I want to know is what happened that got you shot down.”
“Hm, I suppose it was obvious we were shot down.”
“Easily, and pretty obvious it wasn’t caused by human weapons either.” Jack responded, taking another sip of coffee before continuing. “I saw the damage and being a former fighter pilot, with quite a bit of combat experience, I know what human weapons are capable of. Those hits were clearly caused by plasma or a similar type of weapon system.”
Fara looked at Jack stunned and impressed at his response. “We call them cosmic canons as they harness the power of cosmic storms. How it is done we do not know but it allows their weapons to cause significantly more damage than our plasma based weaponry. But they are slow firing and require a long cool down time, which is why we do not use them.”
“Ah, that makes . . . sense I guess.” Jack replied as he scratched the back of his head. “Now by we I assume you’re referring to your species the Zordons?”
Fara nodded. “Yep, we have been using plasma weaponry for a LONG time and have no intention to change. It is the Xulons who use cosmic weapons and they are the ones who shot me down.”
“Okay, and who are the Xulons? I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything about that.” Jack asked.
“It is a long story and one that I really do not feel like going into right now. All you need to know right now is that they are our enemies and they are the ones who attacked us.”
Jack shrugged, appearing to know he wouldn’t get any more answers and decided not to press the issue. “Okay, then what did happen yesterday.”
Fara sat her fork down and thought about it for a moment before replying. “Well, it is not a story that I am too proud of as it is result of my stupidity and stubbornness.”
“Then you don’t have to continue if you . . .” Jack began speaking only for Fara to hold up her hand to stop him.
“No, I suppose I need to tell you but I will just give you a short version.” Fara spoke up before calming down. “Basically, it all started from an argument between me and my father. He is one of the top commanders of the fleet I am stationed with and we had a major disagreement that quickly got out of hand. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was about, mostly likely revolving around my mate’s death, but it resulted in things being said that should not have and me storming away.”
“Ah, that sounds familiar.” Jack sarcastically replied but quickly stopped smiling when Fara angrily glared at him. “Sorry, please continue.”
“Thank you.” Fara said with a hidden grin. “It was then I made a really stupid decision to take some time away from the fleet with Felicity. We got in my fighter and took off for a short flight to cool down.”
“So, flying is therapeutic for you?”
“Yes, for both me and Felicity. Usually it only takes a quick flight and we are calm.” Fara said with a smile that quickly faded. “But yesterday I was so furious it did not work. We just kept flying further and further away till I lost track of time and where we were.” Fara balled her first as her anger rose. “I am such an idiot.”
Jack cautiously laid a hand on Fara’s wrist. “I know I’m going to sound cliché but you shouldn’t think too hard on the past. What matters is that you and Felicity are still alive and safe now.”
Fara wanted to growl and slap Jack for touching her but didn’t. “You are right that does sound cliché and pretty stupid.”
“I know but I am just trying to help, though providing therapeutic assistance is definitely not my area of expertise.”
“Uh, you are better at it than you think.” Fara grinned at Jack. “Thank you for at least trying.” Fara looked down at her plate than back to Jack. “I guess I should continue my story.”
Jack playfully shrugged. “If you want to.”
“I kind of do.” Fara replied. “I have no idea how long we were flying but somehow we ended up blindly flying into a Xulon ambush and they attacked us on sight. I was able to fight back and flee for a while but they did eventually get lucky, scoring a hit on my engines.”
“And that is what caused you to crash?”
“Kind of, I pulled a hyper jump to get away and that is what completely destroyed the engine. But it was either that or let the Xulons destroy us and I was not about to let that happen. The jump took us to Earth where the destroyed engine and gravity caused us to crash.” Fara looked down at her leg. “During the crash my leg was cut by debris, I am still not sure exactly how as it all happened so fast. We managed to crawl out and I began doing what medical treatment I could when those idiots assaulted us. You know the rest.”
Jack remained quiet for a few moments as he appeared to process everything Fara had just told him. It was hard for Fara to tell his he felt as he remained stoic and silent throughout most of her story. He seemed to understand, or at the very least appeared to be sympathetic to her and Felicity’s situation. He also appeared to be having a hard time coming up with an appropriate response that wouldn’t tick her off.
“Oh man, all I can think to say is I’m sorry for your situation.” Jack said, finally breaking the silence. “Sorry, but that’s the only thing coming to my mind.”
“You do not have to say anything. This is our problem, not yours.” Fara bluntly stated.
“Technically, since you are staying here it IS my problem to.” Jack sternly replied, making it the first time he had been the slightest bit aggressive towards Fara, even if it was quick and to prove a point. “I am putting myself I real danger having you two here. The same people that pursue you will be looking for me to and almost certainly kill me.”
“Okay, I get it, you are in danger to. I am sorry for not taking your risk into consideration.” Fara exclaimed, halting Jack’s rant. “I will try to take you into consideration from now on . . . and I said try.”
Jack playfully smiled at Fara. “As my dad would say a ‘do or do not, there is no try.’ That saying is burned forever into my memory.”
Fara couldn’t help but giggle. “Your dad sounds like a smart man.”
“He is but he got that line from one of his favorite movies and recited it to me every chance he got.” Jack shook his head with a chuckle. “As much as I hate to admit it that may apply here.”
”That is assuming I am attempting to be nice.” Fara replied as she fought back a giggle as she swallowed a bite of eggs. “But for both our sakes, and Felicity’s, I give my word I will be nicer from here on.”
“That’s good enough for me.” Jack replied between chewing some eggs. “I’ll be happy as long as you and Felicity are safe.” Jack’s response got Fara to look at him questionably but she relaxed a little when she saw he was indeed serious. “There is another subject I want to bring up.” Jack blurted out that got Fara put down her fork down. “You know, at some point we’re gonna have to get your leg looked out by someone who actually knows what they’re doing.” Jack recommended after talking a sip of coffee.
Fara leaned back in her chair letting out a loud huff. “I know, I am not as stubborn as you think.”
Jack accidently let out a chuckle. “You could have fooled me.”
Fara glared daggers at Jack. “You are so lucky I have a sense of humor.” Fara relented her glare and glanced down at her breakfast. “But yes, you are right, at some point I need to visit a hospital, preferably as soon as possible. But, you have to realize that is not possible right now.”
Jack nodded in agreement. “Yeah, it’s not like an alien can just walk into a hospital. That would probably get you shot or captured and experimented on.”
“That is much more accurate than you think.” Fara replied as she took a bite of eggs. “Unfortunately we cannot count on my people getting here soon either.”
“Huh, I remember you mentioning something earlier that they don’t have the best record when it comes to rescuing downed pilots.”
Fara shrugged. “Well, it is kind of a situation-based scenario. In combat we Zordons are pretty good about recovering our pilots, our recovery record is actually pretty high. It is just in every other scenario our recovery record is terrible.”
“And that is the scenario you two are in.”
“Uh huh.” Fara reluctantly replied. “I honestly cannot explain why, I am just a fighter pilot after all, recovery is not my field.”
Jack let out a loud sigh. “Yeah, I was a fighter pilot to and didn’t ask too many questions to situations outside of my field. So I can kind of understand.” Jack paused to take a sip of coffee. “So, that brings us back to what we’re going to do so you two can get to safety and you can recover.”
Fara’s shoulder’s sank a little knowing they had little options for their scenario. She had heard plenty of stories of other pilots and soldiers being stuck on hostile worlds; they rarely ever end well for the individual. It scared her to think that she and Felicity were in that scenario till they got rescued, assuming they were before the dreaded PDF organization found them. They’re only real advantage the others didn’t have was Jack; a man they didn’t know but was offering them safety and yet she still didn’t trust him.
Fara leaned back in her chair and let out a defeated huff. “As much as I hate to say it . . . the only real option Felicity and I have . . .” Fara took a deep breath. “. . . is to stay here with you.”
Jack remained quiet for a moment, starring at her blankly and in his shock. It was clear to Fara that he never expected hear those words come out of her mouth. She could hardly believe it herself, the only reason she did was for Felicity’s sake. At least Jack didn’t appear to have the desire to press the issue or question her. He seemed to just be happy she wasn’t shouting or being aggressive at him.
Jack softly smiled at Fara. “Then for what it’s worth you are more than welcome to stay here as long as you need. I’ll do what I can to make your stay comfortable and safe.”
“Huh, that is more than the Zordon military has ever given me.”
Jack chuckled. “Your military sounds a lot like ours, they don’t give us jack squat either.”
“Something we have in common.” Fara playfully giggled as she resumed eating. “Still, thank you for taking us in. Hopefully it will not be for long.”
“Me to.” Jack replied though Fara’s nose picked up on something that made her question his response but it disappeared quickly. “Uh, I think the two fur balls are getting a little too crazy outside.”
Fara confusedly looked at Jack till she noticed he was staring out the sliding glass door. She turned her head and saw Felcity running around the yard with Hunter jumping and vaulting over everything in their path. The two of them were moving at such speeds Fara at times had a hard time keeping track of them. She could see why Jack appeared to be nervous; they were getting carried away and could easily get hurt because of it.
“Sorry but I think we’ll have to continue this conversation later.” Jack said as he stood up. “I’ll make sure they don’t get too carried away and accidently get hurt.”
Fara sighed softly as she watched Jack exit the house. She didn’t take her eyes off of Jack as he shut the door and stood on the patio while Felicity was being playfully chased by Hunter. Felicity waved at Jack who smiled and waved back. Jack stood in the middle of the patio as Felicity ran circles around him at amazing speeds with Hunter right on her tail. It brightened Fara’s day to see Felicity so happy and also regretful that she couldn’t join them. Though she was still cautious with Jack it still made Fara smile to see that Felicity was having fun and safe.
Fara shrugged as she adjusted her seat and resumed eating. This is going to get a long stay. At least Jack’s a nice guy though I cannot shake the feeling he knows more about us than he gives off. Fara shook her head as she chewed some eggs while glancing at Jack as he stood outside and observed Felicity play with Hunter. Unfortunately, I have the feeling the tension and discomfort is just going to somehow even more awkward from here.