A heart-rending memory appeared on my vision when I fell from the exploding sky ducts. It was as if time, like how a turtle moves, slowed down because I feel that I can catch the falling fragmented glasses. I swiftly grabbed my laser gun which I had dropped earlier, then aimed it against a Legion who must be planning to shoot me down. I was first in firing laser beams. Nine continuous shots hit his snake body. His blood sprayed on my face before all objects inside the Sanctuary floated up. The galvanized iron sheets of the force field, fragments of the wrecked sky ducts, drops of water from the artificial lake, the ashes created by the fire which devoured the forest – everything floated up. Probably, Anemone had already activated the Sanctuary mainframe’s anti-gravity mode – which means we’ve been saved from falling.
The enemy Legions didn’t stop firing laser beams against me. Fortunately, I’m still quite lucky since I could avoid them. Hovering in the air sickened me though after I peeked below. The siren’s ringing echoed throughout the whole Sanctuary and it signaled the danger the whole outer space station is facing.
“Normalizing the atmospheric pressure. Security level 3 is observed. Firewall will shut down in three… two… one!” The Sanctuary’s virtual assistant announced to us before it returned the place’s normal gravity. It was if Death swallowed my whole body. From the air, each of us fell, together with the other objects. Time ticked fast again and then I plummeted down on the stream’s deepest part. I felt like my back was battered by water when I sank down on its depth.
I’m running out of breath.
I’m feeling nervous.
Once again, the never-fading memories of the past haunted me. It was morning in our kingdom. Mother, Father and Elder Nebula was pulling and dragging me to the citadel.
This memory suddenly became clear to me.
And this is it… This is how the story started.
“Castor, please! Don’t do this to our son, he still cannot ma-“ Even before my mother finished her pleading, father shut her down.
“Cassiopeia, our son is in right age. What’s happening to him is a test given by the gods and goddesses.” My father, the king, gave me a venomous stare, and then he started comforting my mother, the queen, who cannot stop being restless due to worry.
I didn’t let emotions take over me. Instead, I faced and tried to fight back against the glare from my father’s greenish eyes. In my mind, I want to rebuke my father. Even long before, he never showed care and took notice of me despite all of the things I’ve done. He’s a good leader to his subjects but he’s lacking as a husband and father towards his family. I loathe him. He’s so unlike my deceased grandfather who was very reliable and had always been there for me when he was still alive. The relationship between my father and I is not good which made me wonder if he ever loved me as his only son.
Father held my both arms and blabbered those irritating words which he had always been preaching me since I was small. “Orion Tudor II, my son, be strong when facing the challenges given by the gods. You will be the next protector of our clan, our whole planet and our whole colony!”
This person is really annoying.
I only pretended to listen to his teachings and the expected flaring of my heart and conviction didn’t happen. I couldn’t help it. I avoided meeting those green eyes which I inherited from him.
If it will be observed closely, it could be said that my father and I are like a watermelon fruit cut in half. All his face’s angles had been passed to me. Perfect eyebrows, snow-like complexion and a heart-shaped face. The only difference is on how father has a mustache and beard which adorned and curved around his neck and chin.
“Son, I know my shortcomings towards you.” Father added. For the very first time, I heard him sounds regretful. I steeled myself though, and made sure I will not be carried away by emotions. I became numbed, my heart hardened into steel. “Even though it’s late, I still want to ask for another chance to have your forgiveness. Stay alive and uphold the dignity taught by the Tudors. Don’t let the dynasty which our ancestors died for collapse. Please, my son.”
Never did my father worry for me. He’s only worried for his clan’s dignity. I stopped myself from grumbling and decided to just remain silent. It’s a relief that at least the weather is fine and it’s helping me calm myself. It’s the spring season for this kingdom and the fragrance from the gold-colored ‘katllarks’ which surrounds this hidden garden accompanied the beating of my heart. The tall trees of huskcorns, liver trells and roak palm under the shade of the force field which protects this place are lively and strong in vigor. The kingdom’s force field covered ten miles. This secret garden by the way is called ‘bunker’ and is the meeting place of the nobility in times of calamity or invasion from the barbaric pirates. This garden also contain traps and instead of Royal Legions, the place is being guarded by hazardous genetic engineered plants and cybernauts placed by the Defense Department for the bunker’s security.
“Your Majesty, his Highness the prince has to leave already. I’m worried that someone will see us.” Said by an old lady whose speech betrayed his age.
“Elder Nebula, give me one more minute. I still want to be with my son.” My mother begged.
“Your Majesty, you know this is against the rule of the gods and goddesses. Even I am feeling bad about what occurred to the prince but he really has to leave Chrome now to search for his soulmate on the other planet, on Exilon.” Elder Nebula is troubled. She is a great seer serving for our clan. She’s been serving since my father was small and is still serving even now that he’s got his own family. I know her very well because I witnessed how her coffee-colored hair gradually turned gray, her smoky eyes became full of cataracts and her stained cheeks now hinted her oldness. This person is the one I treated as my second mother.
“Orion, Your Highness.” The old seer suddenly grabbed my hands and whole-heartedly gave her reminder. “Go to Exilon and locate your soulmate before your eighteenth birthdate. Don’t ever let yourself turn into a demon!”
Everything stemmed out from a myth believed by everybody. Long time ago, a war erupted between the gods and goddesses of the twin planets – Chrome and Exilon. The real cause of this bloody war remained vague. According to the myth, the first conflict between the deities started because of the forbidden love between the god Uranus and goddess Eureka. The other reason is because of the unending fight between gods Sirius and Betelgeuse. In the end though, the gods and goddesses learned from their mistakes.
For the peace of all planets in Parthenon Galaxy, the deities concurred in marrying their sons and daughters. This is the reason why we have Gemini prints on our palms. Every infant born at Chrome has his/her partner, also called soulmate, on planet Exilon. When the children reached eighteen years of age, they have to marry on that same day. It’s called the Mating Day. Every pair will be granted a child by the gods and goddesses then the two planets’ governments will decide where they should live at.
“I-I don’t k-know how we sinned against the deities to receive this kind of punishment.” My mother started wailing out and suddenly embraced me. She caressed my long hair which also has the same color as that of my father. It’s silver – the color which symbolized the royalty.
I didn’t let them witness my gloom and weakness. “I’m fine, mother. I can manage myself.” I stripped off my cape and even my crown then surrendered it to her. Elder Nebula handed me an elegantly made space jumpsuit which I hurriedly put on.
“Orion, son, promise this to me. C-come back alive. Quickly search for your soulmate.” She softly and with teary eyes whispered to me while I was busily wearing the tight space jumpsuit. I nodded towards my mother and promised.
If only my Gemini prints didn’t fade away, things won’t turn like this.
From that mythical story, the sons and daughters of the deities with no Gemini prints on their palms are demon children. Those demon children will be taken away from their parents and raised by the government in the Sanctuary of Demons. The day they turn eighteen, they will all be offered to the gods and goddesses. It has to be done because demon children are cursed and could be the cause of another war between the two powerful planets.
Demons must be killed in the right age.
This contrasted what happened to me because I was born by my mother the queen with Gemini prints on my palm. However, when I woke up this morning from a deep sleep, I discovered it suddenly vanished. I don’t know what happened and why the Gemini prints on my two palms disappeared.
Elder Nebula reasoned out only two possibilities.
First, there’s a chance my soulmate had died.
And second, I unknowingly committed something against the deities. Those things which I did to them must’ve been enough to garner death and punishment.
I don’t know why people have this kind of belief. They only made themselves appear like barbarians from the ancient times. Now because of this unbelievable myth, I have to face many difficulties. Their deities (Bathalas) really annoyed me. They only exist in myth and are not real. They are only a big lie.
Since my parents are still not losing hope, they decided to send me off to the other planet to seek my missing soulmate. My mission is to find out how she died or hope that she’s still alive. This mission must be kept secret because if the council of the seers learn about this, they will abduct and offer me to their deities when my eighteenth birthday comes.
Death awaits me if I fail to find my other half.
Translated by: whosays25