Home Star Twins Complete. (Part 2).
The Caves of Philadus.
As soon as it is released, a virus silently and rapidly begins spreading throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. The virus originates from an obscure planet in the Dracco Star system which is located on the edge of one of the the outer spiral arms of the Galaxy. Weaving its way through countless star systems it affects all of the advanced life forms on each habitated planet as it arrives and leaves in its wake complete confusion. All civilised social structures break down on the arrival of the virus and they are immediately replaced by a puppet master race controlled by one evil being. The Galaxy General Council seem unable to stop this development. Unless an antidote for the virus can be found the entire Galaxy which includes the Third Federation of planets is under threat and faced with complete anhilation.
In desperation, the the Elders of the Planet Tema, The Galaxy General Council and the Third Federation, jointly once again turn to Kran, the leader of The Wanderers, for assistance. His task is to rejoin with Zara, an Earthling, living in the Federation off limit area. Together they have already proved to be a powerful team and they set off to try to solve the puzzle..
All six elders of the planet Tema were present at the meeting. Five of them turned their heads to look with dark, almond shaped eyes, at the originator of the thoughts.
He communicated, his mind transmitting clear thoughts instantly to the others. ‘We must now decide whether to permit The Wanderer to enter the off limit areas and contact the Earthling . If we do allow this unusual contact once again to take place we must hope that they both will sensibly use the unusual powers they possess in order to find and try to destroy this virus and the unknown evil being who controls it.’
‘Why are these two particular beings so powerful?’ thought Kera in reply,
‘The Wanderer has developed specialised robots and technology. The Earthling Zara is random and unpredictable. Both are highly intelligent. The main strength of our plan however lies in their union. From that union the boy and girl possess a further weapon that may prove to be devastating for the enemy. They have already proved themselves once. That is why they have been chosen.’ Replied the originator.
‘Unhappiness can only come to them in the end the more they are re-united.’ Thought Zon. ‘The Earthling female will ultimately have to be returned back in time to compensate for the resultant effects of interference in order to maintain the balance of nature. They can never live permanently together. ’
‘Their unhappiness is minor compared with the almost certain disaster that faces the Galaxy. Also. they too are under threat like everyone else. We must ignore the factor of unhappiness.’ Thought the originator.
He continued. ‘The discussion must close. Valuable time is being lost. We must vote now on whether to take this action. Please indicate now if you object to this contact taking place.’
They stared at the originator. No objection was raised.
‘Thank you.- Thought the originator. ‘Our plan goes ahead. This meeting is closed.’
Inside the spaceship ‘Persuer’, Zebbidy, the half human robot, lay on his bunk with his head resting back on his interlocked metal claws and his metal elbows pointing outwards. He stared up at the blank monitor screen. He had noticed immediately that the green starship logo was missing. He attempted a smile with his metal mouth but the result would have looked more like an half insane grin to an outside observer.
‘Ha!’ he thought , chuckling to himself. ‘Caught out, you big pretentous, superior bundle of wires and transistors. Taw - you’re asleep on the job!’
As if in response to his thoughts, a faint static interferance blip briefly flickered onto the screen then just as quickly it disappeared - however these occurred fairly frequently and the screen otherwise remained strangely blank and silent with the logo still absent.
Zebbidy continued to stare at the blank screen and frowned. Well, it was actually really only a pathetic attempt at a frown, the surface on his metal forehead crumpling only slightly.
He had woken earlier than usual. He had no idea why his normal sleep pattern had been disturbed. He had groaned out aloud at the thought of arising and starting another day of boring maintainence work. Then he suddenly remembered! His automatic built in calender had registered that it was his annual ‘Robot Birth holiday’.
Zebbidy sat up rapidly and stared around his personal compartment. It was tiny, mainly containing just a simple half moon-shaped moulded table on the far wall accompanied by one large black padded seat shaped to fit his body. On the table were several monitors lined up behind the long rectangular shaped hologram demonstration pad. Apart from the radiation shower in the far corner of the room and several closed storage lockers there was very little else in sight. Then he suddenly noticed that on a small moulded table next to his bed lay a Robot Birth Holiday present all wrapped up in a brightly shimmering metal paper. On the outside of the paper was a metal label inscribed the words ‘To Zebbidy. Happy Birth Holiday – from Kran’.
Zebbidy excitedly grabbed at the present and tore the metal paper open. ‘Oh!’ he gasped in astonishment. There lay the latest model of a brand new, 4D, Galactic iPod. He switched it on. His eyes grew wider and wider as a baby 3D dinosaur rose out of the screen and hung in mid-air before him. He gingerly reached out and poked at it. It squeaked and backed away. Zebbidy grinned and by poking again found that he could rotate the figure. He pushed it hard and it disappeared back into a cave on the screen.
Zebbidy switched the iPod off and lay back again and relaxed. ‘My Birth holiday!’, he gleefully thought.
His mind wandered as he listed several enjoyable things he could do today. ‘First I will play with my iPod and find out what the new 4D apps do. Later I will go to the observatory’ - he thought –‘ and relax and investigate the distant star patterns. I might visit the vegetation garden and play with my plant experiments. I want to disect a hologram insect in the laboratory—‘
Zebbidy continued on mumbling to himself for a few moments. Then he stared back up at the monitor and an even larger metal insane grin appeared as he thought, ‘However I think I will activate the emergency pad Taw! That should shock your rotten old circuits into meltdown!’
Zebbidy was of course referring to Taw the main computer. Taw, the guardian of the ‘Persuer’ space vehicle, was responsible for the complete safety of the ship and its occupants. His authority could only be overidden by the only other occupant of the ‘Persuer’, Kran, the Wanderer, captain of the ‘Persuer’.
Zebbidy had a turbulant, love-hate-love type of relationship with Taw. Taw was a highly efficient, cold, calculating master computer with an extremely high intelligence quota. Zebbidy, on the other hand was a half robot, half human being who had been constructed by Kran as an experiment. Hence Zebbidy was often confused. His robot trait frequently conflicted with his human capability. This coupled with the fact that he was still basically a child led him to often act in a very spoilt way. Zebbidy hated Taw most of the time and was jealous of his superior capability and the position he held. In contrast, at times Zebbidy was sometimes drawn towards Taw as Taw was his only other robot companion. Further, in some ways Zebbidy regarded Taw as his guardian or almost as his big brother.
However at this moment, early in the morning, it was ‘hate Taw time’ for Zebbidy, especially as Taw often woke him up and directed him coldly towards his daily tasks. Zebiddy now saw the unusual opportunity to score one over him.
Zebbidy put his iPod down on the bed next to him and gleefully reached across to touch the emergency pad.
As he did so the monitor screen sprang into life. A colourful dancing array of lights appeared, accompanied by the green starship logo.
‘I would not touch that if I were you’ said Taw coldly. As he spoke the lights danced up and down in unison with the speech waves.
Zebiddy’s hand froze in mid-air. His metal eyes opened wide. ‘Er- well - I was just about to wipe the dust off from the pad -’, he hastily stuttered.
‘My sensors tell me that you are being untruthful and that your intentions were not as you have stated’ said Taw sarcastically.
‘You know fully well that you should only touch that pad when an emergency arises.’
‘Well it was an emergency!’ blurted Zebbidy, pouting his bottom lip of his metal mouth and glaring at the screen ‘You fell asleep on duty and the ship was in danger.’
‘Contrary to your thoughts I was not asleep, I was fully occupied working on an important matter.’ Taw replied.
‘Well the monitor was blank.’ Zebiddy said defensively. He lifted his chin and pouted both lips towards the screen.
‘I was merely conserving power as an incoming message demanded a great amount. All non essential items were thus turned off.’ Stated Taw coldly.
‘Oh, I am a non essential item then am I?.’ asked Zebbidy stuffily. ‘Very well, I shall not be needed today.’
‘In contrast to your statement you will report for duty in the control room in a few minutes time.’ said Taw.
‘Er – one moment, there is just one small matter to take into consideration.’ said Zebbidy triumphantly, wobbling his head and trying to smile sarcastically, ‘It just happens to be my Robot Birth Holiday so if you do not mind I will decline the offer!’
There was a short pause during which the coloured lights on the screen danced up and down in silence.
Zebbidy grinned broadly and waited for the apology to be made.
‘I am informed that all Robot Birth Holidays have been cancelled for today.’ Taw said pleasantly.
Zebbidy’s mouth dropped open. He flopped back weakly onto his bunk and stared at the dancing coloured lights with his wide open metal eyes. ‘ You – you can’t do this to me.’ He stuttered. ‘ You can’t cancel my Robot Birth Holiday, It’s not fair!’ Tears of oil began to flood into his eyes.
‘The decision has been already made.’ Taw replied.
Sheer rage began to well up within Zebbidy. ‘ You rotten cracked up old circuit board,’ he shouted, ‘You have done this deliberately – I hate you!’ He reached for the nearest objects to hand.
‘May I suggest you curb your childish tantrums and refrain from throwing your metal bedsocks at my monitors.’ suggested Taw. ‘Your presence is required in the control room in three minutes time.’
The coloured dancing lights disappeared from the screen leaving the green logo glowing softly.
Zebbidly screamed in frustration. He leapt out of bed, clenched his metal claws, waved his arms and stamped his metal feet up and down in sheer temper. There was a crunching noise and he stopped stamping and looked down at the floor of the cabin.
His metal mouth dropped open. There beneath his feet lay a crumpled mess of motherboards, video and sound cards. It was the remains of his brand new, 4D, Galactic iPod…
He looked up. He glared at the now silent screen. Zebbidy screamed again in defiance. Then he stomped off towards the control room, snatching furiously and grabbing his striped work apron, that had been hanging up, as he left the compartment.
Kran was already up and dressed and he also headed to the control room having been also aroused by Taw.
Kran, was a dark haired boy, still quite young, but mature for his age. He was an attractive person with a pleasant manner.
He strode purposely forward to the main padded control system and reached the destination. On arrival he sat down in one of the three control chairs. He leaned forward and studied the main control board and passed his hand over the master control. The cabin lighting brightened immediately. A vast array of dials lit up and the main navigational information appeared on the screen in front of him. He quickly studied the information that was being provided. All seemed fine at a glance and he stared up at the main screen. The green starship logo glowed softly back at him.
‘Good morning Taw’ he stated. ‘Thank you for calling me quietly. Explain the reason for the early start please.’
The screen immediately sprang to life and dancing coloured lights appeared in unison with the voice that replied.
‘Good morning Kran.’ Taw replied. ‘I trust you slept well? Please accept my apologies for the early communication but an urgent message came in and the matter needs your personal attention. ‘
‘Ok. No problem.’ said Kran. ‘Where did the message originate from?’
‘The message came from the planet Tima which is located in the star system Vila.’ Taw stated. ‘It was categorised as an emergency signal and thus it became necessary to inform you.’
Kran sat back and rested his arms losely on the seat supports. He blew gently out and thought quietly for a moment. He did not expect that answer and his heart quickened at the implication of the origin of the message. It must be at least two years now, he thought, since he last had any contact with the Elders of the planet Tema. His mind began to flicker over the events that had taken place at that time. The threat to the Federation, The planet Nika the home of the Cryton’s. The gathering of the Wanderers. Krah, the dreaded Cryton warlord. His heart beat faster again at the thought of that name. The ultimate defeat of Krah. - and – Zara!
His eyes widened and he smiled as her name arose. Memories of her flooded back in his mind. Fond memories that he had tried so hard to supress. He had struggled to erase her from his thoughts. He had realised at the time that she would eventually have to be returned home to Earth. Those were the rules of the game. Permenant contact with any person from the off limit areas was strictly banned by the rules of the Galaxy. His brief relationship with Zara was necessary and had been granted in order to defeat Krah and the Crytons. Once the task was completed the relationship had to be terminated.
He smiled again, but sadly. Life at times did not seem fair. There seemed to be no justice, especially in his case. His thoughts flashed briefly to his origins. The Wanderers were the orphans of the Galaxy. A relatively small band of them existed, most of who travelled independently of each other. They were of both sexes. However, they all maintained loose contact. Like many of the other Wanderers his family had been killed when he was younger and he had set off independently having lost all his roots. Survival was a key factor in the galaxy and he had learnt to survive the hard way through bitter experience.
Kran had several close friends some of whom were female. He tended to keep away from the other females. Females could sometimes mean trouble to him – but Zara – she had been different. He felt from the start that his relationship with her had been something special.
Kran broke off his thoughts and shook his head in an attempt to clear his mind.
‘Display the contents of the message please Taw.’ He commanded.
The coloured lights stopped dancing and the following message appeared:
‘Greetings Kran from the Elders of the Planet Tema.
It has once more become necessary for the Elders to take the unusual decision to contact certain members of the Galaxy.
As you are aware we are an extremely well developed race. Our technology has also always been far in advance of that of any member of the Third Federation. We therefore broke away from the Federation and isolated ourselves to prevent being tempted to overrule others. We have always tried to exist peacefully. Our own rules forbid us to go to wage aggressive war. However we are allowed to defend ourselves.
We have now discovered that the Galaxy is in grave danger of being destroyed.
An unknown virus, which appears to have originated from the planet Opus in the Draco star system, is spreading rapidly throughout the Galaxy. On arrival at each star system it is almost instantly disrupting all civilised social structures. These are being replaced by a puppet master race that seems to be controlled by an unknown source.
All the scout ships that the Galaxy General Council despatched to the infected area have failed to report back. All have disappeared without trace.
We realise that an unstable Galaxy could become a major threat to the peaceful existance of our own society and also to the Third Federation. We have therefore contacted the ruling councils of both the Galaxy and the Third Federation and offered our assistance in an attempt to destroy this threat. We realise that although your small band of Wanderers are like us not members of the Federation, you also are potentialy in danger.
We have always been grateful for the assistance that you have provided to both ourselves, the Galaxy and the Third Federation in the past and once again we request your co-operation in this grave matter.
We feel that the Wanderers are less likely to arouse suspicion if they penetrate the Draco star system. We therefore request your assistance.
As your previous relationship with the Earthling Zara was unusually successful the ruling council of the Galaxy has taken the unusual step of granting you access once again to the off limit areas. Using our advanced technology we have therefore created contact arrangements and suggest you proceed to the planet Earth.
We hope that you will co-operate with us and if so we wish you good speed in this task. ‘
Although Kran had finished reading the message he continued to stare at the screen in disbelief. His mind started to race. Thoughts began listing, one following the other in quick succession. Draco star system. Virus. Unstable Galaxy. Master race. Control by unknown being. Third Federation. Elders of Tima. Zara!
Kran sat forward and addressed the screen.
‘Taw. Display the complete Milky Way Galaxy map. Plot the Draco star system. Highlight Opus. Overlay with the Third Federation map. Highlight our present position please.’
The message on the screen disappeared and it was instantly replaced by the spiral map of the Milky Way Galaxy. An area of stars on one of the outer spiral arms brightened up in contrast to the rest of the Galaxy and a small dot began flashing in the mass of stars within the bright area. Then a complete semi transparent shape of the Third Federation appeared sprawling over most of the Galaxy area.
Kran immediately noticed that the flashing dot lay outside the boundry of the Third Federation. He also noted that the present position of the ‘Persuer’, his spaceship was displayed on the map. It lay within the Federation area.
‘Thank you Taw. Zoom in on the Draco star system please.’
This time a pattern of seven stars appeared dominating the screen. Within the star pattern most of the stars had orbiting planets One of the stars had five orbiting planets and of these five, one was flashing.
Kran sat back again and stared at the star pattern.
At that precise moment the control room access door slid open and Zebbidy appeared framed in the doorway. As usual he was wearing his striped work apron. His lips were tightly pouted and he stared defiently at Kran.
‘Good morning Zebbidy’ said Kran warmly, ‘Happy Robot Birth Holiday!’
Zebbidy just tightened his pouted lips more and glared back at Kran. He said nothing.
Kran immediately realised something was wrong. ‘ Oh dear’ he said slowly staring at Zebbidy ‘ Ok – so it’s obviously not a Happy Robot Birth Holiday for you after all. Tell me – What’s the problem? We can’t have our crew members feeling unhappy can we. ‘
A metal tear appeared and trickled slowly down one of Zebbidy’s cheeks. His lips quivered, his eyes blinked in an attempt to hold back the tears and he spoke shakily. ‘Taw has broken my new 4D Galactic ipod that you gave me as a present and he has cancelled my Robot Birth Holiday’. More tears appeared and began to flow down both of Zebbidy’s cheeks.
Kran looked at Zebbidy in surprise. Then he frowned. ‘Taw has broken your new ipod?’ he queeried. He thought briefly for a short moment then continued. ‘ I’m surprised that Taw has taken that action. Taw would not destroy something unless he was trying to protect you. Tell me what happened. Were you in danger?’
‘No!’ Zebbidy blurted out. ‘He made me do it.’
Kran frowned again. ‘He made you do it? He made you destroy your ipod? How? Did he overide your actions by seizing control of your mind? .
‘Yes,’ Zebbidy lied, his bottom lip shaking and wobbling. ‘He cancelled my Robot Birth Holiday and made me trample all over it. It’s all smashed into pieces.’
Kran relaxed back and had to fight to control a tiny smile that he felt began to appear on his lips. He knew Taw too well. He knrw Taw was not authorised to take action like that. He stared sternly at Zebbidy.
‘Ah, I see now’ He said. ‘Actually, that is not quite the whole truth is it Zebbidy?’
Without waiting for a reply he went on speaking. ‘In actual fact I cancelled your Robot Birth Holiday as an emergency call arose. What you really mean is that you lost control of your emotions and reacted violently as a result. It’s a small problem with you being half human. However not to worry, we can soon repair your new 4D Galactic ipod and your Robot Birth Holiday will still take place and be celebrated when the emergency is over. ‘
‘Well he didn’t explain that’ protested Zebbidy, as he wiped his oily tears away with the bottom right corner of his apron. ‘He just coldly said it was cancelled. I was so upset that I then tripped in surprise and fell on my ipod and it broke.’
Kran looked up at the master screen and it briefly flickered back at him. He smiled. ‘ I suspect Zebbidy, that you are still a bit confused, shall we say, over the events that actually took place. You know, you really must try to like Taw a little more. He may appear cold but he is a full robot. He has no emotions like you and as he is older his job is firmly to look after you and your walfare.’
Zebbidy scowled ‘ Taw treats me like a slave.’ He retorted. He tries to wind me up and then I get mad. I hate being half human. I wish I was a full robot as well.’
Kran grinned broadly. He now knew what had really happened. ‘I think we need to get on now and deal with the emergency Zebbidy. In due course we shall celebrate your Robot Birth Holiday with a party.’
Zebbidy brightened up. ‘You mean a real birthday party like humans have?’ he asked.
‘Yes’ replied Kran.
Zebbidy’s eyes grew wider. ‘You mean with jelly and ice-cream?’ he asked.
‘Yes’ said Kran smiling.
Zebbidy brightened up fully. ’ I think I am beginning to like being half human.’ he said.
‘Oh – and something else - ’ Kran continued. ‘ We may invite a special guest to come to your party.’
Zebbidy’s jaw dropped and he stared with full wide eyes at Kran. ‘Special guest? Who?’ he asked. ‘Is it one of the other Wanderers?’.
‘No’ replied Kan smiling broadly with a bright glint in his eyes. ‘It is a really special guest. It’s a human!’
Zebbidy nearly fell over in surprise. ‘H – H – Human?’ he stuttered.
‘A real one?’
‘Yes.’ said Kran ‘ It’s Zara!’ We have been given permission to contact her and bring her here again.’
That was really too much for Zebbidy to cope with. His mouth dropped tight open and his eyeballs fell out on their springs and dangled down his chest.
Kran burst into laughter.
Zebbidy grabbed at the eyeballs and stuffed them back in. He gaped at Kran in disbelief. Zara! He was going to see her again! Zara was the first and only human he had ever met. On meeting her he had been utterly astounded, he had felt a funny feeling inside his mind that he could not identify.
‘You do like her don’t you Zebbidy?’. Kran asked smiling. Then he commanded ‘ Come on Zebbidy – we must go!’
Zebbidy’s metal cheeks reddened slightly. He scuttled rapidly across to the main padded control system and sat in the left hand seat. He pushed a button and the automatic seat restraints closed round him.
Kran swivelled round in his chair and looked up at the control screen. ‘Taw.’ He commanded. ‘Power on.’ Instantly the star patterns disappeared. A colourful dancing array of lights appeared. The control voice spoke. The lights danced up and down in unison with the speech sound waves.
‘Power on’ Taw repeated.
Whilst Kran was busy Zebbidy pulled an ugly face at the screen. He failed to notice an almost brief flicker of response amongst the dancing colourful lights.
‘Taw. Set course 046. Speed setting 5. Collision shields up. Full Ignition - now.’ Commanded Kran.
Instantly there was a humming noise that gradually increased to a loud whine. With a slight shudder the spaceship ‘Persuer’ began to move.
Zara lay curled up on her bed trying to concentrate on her French homework.
She stopped sighed and looked out of her bedroom window across the fields in the direction that the river lay. It was a lovely quiet spring day and she wished that she was outside in the fresh air.
She hated doing her French language revision. She had always found it a struggle to concentrate on things she had little interest in. French language was one of them. Unfortunately the exams were due very shortly and the studying was now unavoidable.
Zara returned her attention to the notes she was scribbling:
- synonyms are different words with similar or identical meanings. Examples: redouter, craindre, avoir per de.
- homonyms can be subdivided into:
- homophones i.e. words that share the same sound (but not the same spelling) and have different meanings (they are unrelated) Example: saint sein seing sain, vin, vain, Troie, Troyes, trois, au, eau, mer, mere, maire.
- homographs, i.e. words with the same spelling but different meanings (they are unrelated) Examples: (un boulet de) canon, un canon (de beaute) –
Zara stopped, sighed again and threw down her notebook and the pencil she had been using onto the bed. She knew she could not concentrate any longer. She scrambled up, pulled her dressing gown tightly around her, smothed back her long, dark hair and went out of her room towards the bathroom.
Later, when she had showered, she dressed. Carefully bending her head she fastened in her small round sparkling white earrings. Then she sorted amongst her bracelets and decided, as if by instinct to wear the one with the three tiny silver charms. One was a tiny model of a spaceship, the second was a tiny model of the strangest fish that she had ever seen, and the third was a small, beautifully carved, metal flower. Strangely enough she had found it in the water near the bank of the river, that was near her house. Zara fastened the bracelet firmly on. She looked in the dressing mirror at her face and decided that her skin looked clean and fresh and after patting her hair and half turning to study she back of her head, Zara left and went downstairs.
Her mother Mrs Patterson was in the kitchen peeling some carrots. When Zara entered she stopped peeling, put down the tool she was using, wiped her hands on the yellow flowered apron she was wearing and turned towards Zara with a gentle smile.
‘Hello Zara’ she said ‘’Have you finished already?’
‘No Mum, not totally. It’s just that after a while I loose my concentration with my French and I thought I would give it a rest for a moment.’ Zara replied.
Mrs Patterson laughed ‘ I’m not surprised I had the same trouble with it when I was at school. I guess the dislike must run in the family.’
Zara screwed her face up and grimaced with an involuntary expression of anxiety. Although she did so her smile still could be found around her eyes leaving her still attractive in a pleasing way.
‘Yes’ she agreed. Then turning her head, she asked ‘Where’s Dad?’
Oh – he’s gone down to the village to see Mr Bates about the wheat crop. He’s still worried about the possibility of the low price it might fetch due to the current drop in the market prices. He may be down there some time.’
‘Oh’, said Zara.
‘Your breakfast is on the table.’ Said Mrs Patterson. ‘Shall I pop some toast in for you?’
‘No thanks Mum.‘ Zara replied reaching for the cereal boxes that were standing on the table. She choose one. She shook some into the bowl that had been laid on the kitchen table for her, poured some milk over them and sat down picking up a spoon. ‘I‘m not very hungry this morning. ‘This is fine.’
Mrs Patterson resumed her work and began peeling the carrots again.
‘Are you coming to the village hall with me this afternoon?’ she asked. ‘ I have to set out the flowers for the Festival. You can help me arrange them if you would like to. It would give you a break from your studies.’
‘No - I’d rather not Mum if you don’t mind. You see Sandra has to go out shopping with her Mum this morning. However she asked me if we could meet just after lunch outside the church. She would like me to go over to her house and also stay there for tea. Is that ok?’ asked Zara.
Sandra was one of Zara’s friends. She attended the same school as Zara and they were close friends. They often visited each others house and attended many functions together. Sandra lived just across on the other side of the village.
‘Of course dear.’ said Mrs Patterson smiling. ‘You go on over after lunch and enjoy yourself. ‘ Are you going back up to your room after breakfast to revise again now?’
Zara screwed her face up again. ‘ I don’t think so.’ She replied.’ I am a bit saturated with French at the moment. I think I’d rather go for a short walk down to the river to get some fresh air’
Mrs Patterson chuckled. ‘Well you know best . One can overdo ithe studying and then nothing seems to goe into one’s mind and stay there . You must be back in time for lunch though! You know how upset Dad can get if you are late. He soon gets anxious if you are missing you know.’
‘Its ok Mum’ said Zara. ‘I’ll be back by half past eleven at the latest. I’ll take my iphone and call you both if I’m going to be just a few minutes late.’
Zara had soon finished her breakfast and she went to her room.
Later that morning Zara put on a short waterproof jacket and set off towards the riverbank carrying her mobile phone. As they lived in a small village in the countryside the river was not far away. She walked through the village, across the village green, and out of the village onto the lane that led past Hobbs Farm. The lane was about half a mile long and it terminated at a large field where Mr Hobbs kept his cows. Across the other side of the field behind the hill lay the riverbank.
It was a sunny morning and Zara took off her waterproof jacket and laid it on the grassy bank. She sat down by the river quietly taking in the fresh air and watching the river flow by. It was quite a warm day for spring time . She could hear the soft buzz of the insects. The water sparkled in the light. She watched a small fish swimming lazily past her in the river below. Up above, light fluffy clouds slowly, very slowly, moved across the blue sky. She could smell the new fresh grass. She put her mobile down for a moment and frowned as she suddenly realised it was almost exactly as she remembered in a strange re-accuring dream that she sometimes had. Last time she had the dream she had found the silver charm bracelet in the river just near the bank. On impulse she crawled forward onto her knees and gently dangled her hand into the cool water. As she pushed her fingers into the water the resulting ripples from the small vibration spread outwards in circles. This broke the calm surface of the water and the fish disappeared. When the ripples had settled she was suddenly startled to see the reflection of a dark haired boy’s head in the water. She stared at his face for a brief moment and her hand flew to her mouth as she suddenly spotted him. She realised that she was more startled than frightened.
‘Hi Zara’ said the boy. ‘I’m sorry if I frightened you.’
Zara scrambled to her feet and looked at him. She immediately thought that he had rather attractive features.
‘Oh – no - it’s ok ‘She replied. ‘I’m sorry I - I don’t quite remember who you -‘ She stopped suddenly and stared intensly at him as overwhelming thoughts rapidly invaded her mind –
Kran – Taw – The Wanderers – Zebbidy – The spaceship ‘Persuer’ – The strange 3D fish on his desk – The beautiful white flower in the bowl Kran had given her – The Crytons and their fleet of starships – Krah – The space battle – The parting of their ways because she had to be sent home. All the memories flashed into her head rapidly one following after another. Suddenly the three silver charms on her bracelet made sense at last. So did everything else.
‘Kran!’ She cried out and stretching up on tiptoe she flung her arms around him, hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. ‘Oh Kran Its you – I – I - ‘ Suddenly she realised what she had done and let go and withdrew somewhat in embarrassment ‘ Oh - I - I’m sorry Kran but I’ve missed you so much.’ She stared up at him with wide eyes .
Kran looked down at her and laughed. ‘It’s ok.’ He said. ‘It’s fine.’ He reached out and took both of her hands gently into his. ‘It’s fine – I missed you very much as well. I see that the memory trigger the Elders of the planet Tema use works and that you have remembered.’
Zara blushed slightly and stared up at him studying his features. Suddenly it dawned on her -
‘Of course – the re-accuring dream. That’s how they do it! - the charm bracelet. Did you put it in the river?’ asked Zara.
‘Yes’ said Kran. ‘It was a parting gift from us all. We so badly wanted to leave some memory of us. However as that was against the rules we decided to leave a token.’
Zara grasped both of his hands and reaching up kissed him on the cheek again. ‘Thank you.’ She said ‘I shall always treasure it.’
‘How have you managed to get back?’ she asked.’ I thought that you would never be allowed to return. I thought that it contravened the laws set up and agreed by the Elders, the Third Federation and the Galaxy.’
‘I thought so as well ‘ replied Kran ‘ but something terrible has occurred in the Galaxy and the exceptional circumstances has overturned the rules. They asked me to fetch you back again. How long for I do not know.
‘Oh Kran’ said Zara. ‘I don’t care at the moment. We’re back together that is all that matters to me. I am so happy to be with you.’
Then she had a sudden thought. ‘My parents, the studying and the exams what will happen?’ She asked axiously.
Kran smiled at her. ‘Oh it will be ok. You will have to eventually come back again sadly. However, you will be returned to the same place and time zone again. In other words time will stand still here to the very second, No-one will ever know, even you, that you have been away.’
‘But what happens if- if –‘ she faultered with her speech.
‘If you die?’ he asked. ‘That’s the one comforting thing to me. It will not happen. It would alter the events in time and that is not possible.’
‘You mean I am indestructible?’ Zara asked, wide eyed.
Kran laughed, ’ Well in our space/time yes. If something dreadful happened, you would be immediately be snapped back to this moment in time.’
‘But then I would loose you.’ Zara said ‘ I would not want that.’
Kran laughed. ‘Well, in that case Zara I would have to come here for a long holiday .’
Zara laughed as well and said ‘You would need a large suitcase as you could not leave your spaceship lying around here.’
‘Oh - I daren’t bring that, Zebbidy might hide inside it.’ said Kran.
They both laughed together.
‘How is Zebbidy?’ asked Zara.
‘Oh he’s fine. Said Kran. ‘He’s a couple of years older but just as grumpy at times. However he is learning all the time. He really needs more human contact so if you come Zara it will help a lot. By the way it’s his Robot Birth Holiday today and I have promised him a party. He said that he wants jelly and ice-cream.’
Zara burst into laughter and nearly choked.
‘Oh that’s cool - really cool. How old is he now?’ she asked?
Well today he will be nine years old’ said Kran.
‘Oh - We must make him a cake with some candles.’ Said Zara smiling. ‘Can we do that on board your spaceship?’
‘Oh I think we could scramble something together somehow.’ Replied Kran.
He’ll be glad to see you’ said Kran ‘You don’t mind coming with me do you?’
‘Of course I’ll come - ’She replied. Then she hesitated momentarily before she spoke again ‘– as long as I can come back to Mum and Dad. I couldn’t leave them alone and have them worrying where I have disappeared to -‘ She paused again and smiled at him wistfully ‘ - maybe one day they will let me –‘ Her voice trailed off.
His face clouded over briefly. Then he smiled again. ‘Well we can always hope can’t we?’ he said.
Zara tried to brighten up again. ‘However I’d love to see everyone again. How are the other Wanderers?.’
‘Oh they are all well. I’ll tell you all about them later.’ He glanced around quickly, looking across the fields. ‘If you want to come with me we had better go. I am supposed to limit my contact time here to the minimum necessary.’
Zara turned at looked at the hill. Then she turned back and looked up at his smiling eyes. ‘Have you brought the space transporter?’ she asked.
Kran laughed. ‘My angel wings would be worn out if I had not.’ he replied ‘There – look.’ He pointed back to the hill.
She turned back to look again. Over the top of the hill rose the shiny silver ball which was about fifteen foot in diameter. The ball slowly drifted towards them and settled silently down on the ground on the riverbank in front of them.
‘I hope it’s cloaked’ said Zara staring at it.
Kran grinned. ‘If it wasn’t it would soon be like your Blackpool beach on a summers day here in just a very short while. Believe me thousands of people would descend on us. No. It’s fine we are both cloaked as well. You were from the moment that you sat down on the riverbank. We are invisible. Nobody can see us or the transporter now.
That stared into each others eyes for a moment. They both smiled.
‘Right’ said Kran ‘Pick up your jacket and mobile and off we go’.
Zara reached down and picked up her jacket and mobile. She popped it into a pocket of the waterproof and then they walked towards the silver ball transporter. As they approached a portion of the metal on the ball slid aside to reveal a door shaped opening. They both climbed in but as Zara did so she paused and looked around outside remembering her rather hasty exit from Earth last time said ‘I hope there’s no Cryton’s hanging around out there this time.’
Kran laughed. ‘No It’s ok I checked as I landed. There’s no-one about. We should be off for a quiet trip.’
Zara sat down in the left hand seat with Kran on her right. He smiled at her took her right hand into his and said’ Ok relax, it’s good to have you back. It really is. We all need you. Just relax. Enjoy the ride and I’ll tell you what’s happening on the way.’
Strangely Zara suddenly felt at complete peace with the world. She relaxed back in her seat and smiled at him. Just for the moment all she just wanted to do was to be with Kran.
Krah trouched a square button on the control panel. He looked at the screen and spoke ‘Ok Taw. Were off please. Speed setting 6. Shields up. Ignition.’
Zara felt the ball move. It rocked a little. She was pushed backwards in her seat and she gripped the arms and closed her eyes. The transporter zoomed off at an incredible speed. After a minute or two she felt the pressure ease off and she opened her eyes.
Unlike her first journey Zara had almost no fear this time and therefore took much more in as she looked.
At first the light from the sun was very bright so that it swamped out most of the stars, but on the screen above her she could see the horizon of the Earth form into a large curve. with masses of white cloud cover.
As they passed into the nightime half of the globe She could see the land lit up by the lights of the big cities and small towns and large banks of cloud cover and large stretches of deep blue sea. She could see the aerosal haze of the Earths atmospere which appeared as a thin multicoloured ring appeared which seemed to circle the earth. Above this were the familiar constellations of stars Finally the sky started to grow darker and the Earth slowly became smaller and was left as the only colour in the vast blackness of space that she could see.
Kran relaxed back into his seat and turned towards her.
‘I see that you opened your eyes this time. Beautiful isn’t it?’
‘Yes’ Replied Zara. ‘ The first time I came I was so scared.’
‘Well, we did hightail off then in rather a hurry.’ He said laughing. ‘If I remember correctly that Cryton was one mean guy.’
‘Yes. But in a way I am glad he took a pot shot at us. If he had not fired at us I would never have left Earth with you that first time.’
Kran laughed. ‘I suspect we were set up by the Elders of the planet Tima.’ Said Kran. ‘I’m sure that they deliberately leaked out my visit to the Krytons. They intended from the start to involve you with me. However it worked didn’t it. We make a great team.’
‘Have they sent you this time?’ Zara asked. ‘Are the Cryton’s causing trouble again?’
‘Well, the Elders have requested our help again. However, strangely enough the Crytons are behaving themselves. The planet Nika is very quiet and they are not causing any trouble. In fact they appear to be as worried as we are about the new situation.’ Replied Kran.
Zara frowned. ‘What is the new problem then Kran?’ asked Zara.
‘Well its all to do with a virus.’ Said Kran. ‘It appears to have originated from the planet Opus in the Draco star system, and it is spreading rapidly throughout the Galaxy. On arrival at each star system it is almost instantly disrupting all civilised social structures. These are being replaced by a puppet master race that seems to be controlled by an unknown source. All the scout ships that the Galaxy General Council despatched to the infected area have failed to report back. All have disappeared without trace.’
‘What do the Elders want us to do?’ asked Zara.
‘They want us to try to find out why this is happening and who is controlling it ‘ Kran said. ‘They think The Wanderers have the best chance of slipping into the area without being noticed.’
‘Are we going alone?’ Zara asked.
‘No. I’ve already contacted many of the others. We are going to try to sneak in a few at a time and then quietly meet up.’ Replied Kran. ‘I have arranged for several of The Wanderers to meet up with us on the ‘Persuar’ shortly after we arrive. We will have a short meeting and then we must split up again and all set off. Time is important. It will take us all several hours to journey to the Draco star system. Are you tired Zara?’
‘No I,m fine. I’m looking forward to meeting your friends. Will I know any of them?’ said Zara.
‘Well you will certainly know most of them from last time. There are a few addition new ones but I will introduce you to them when we get there. They are all looking forward to seeing you. After all it’s not often they see a real human. It’s like you meeting an alien.’ Replied Kran.
Kran paused. He stared at her. Then he spoke again.
‘Er – Yes - There is just one small additional matter though I should mention. On this trip out to the Draco star system may get to meet other new very strange alien types from other parts of the Galaxy. You must try not to re-act badly on meeting them. As you look like us they will think that you are a Wanderer and you must not let them know under any circumstances that you are from Earth. I would suggest that you look at a few pictures of some of them before we set off and then it will not come as too much of a shock to you.’
‘Oh great! ‘ said Zara, her eyes growing wider, ’ You mean some are ugly?’
Kran laughed. ‘Well they are not all exactly all pretty. You must prepare yourself for a shock.’
Zara frowned. She peered around the control area. ‘I think I’ll opt out – Have you any parachutes handy?’
Kran laughed. ‘ If you jump now you will miss out on the jelly and ice-cream.’
Zara giggled. ‘In that case I’ll stay at least until after the party.’
‘Ok ‘, said Kran. ‘Good move because were almost home. Look -there she is.’
Zaea looked up at the screen. There against the background of stars lay the ‘Persuer’, just as she had remembered it from before.
Within a minute they were almost alongside the craft. Kran touched several squares on the desk and they lit up.
‘Hello Taw.’ Kran said. ‘Entry procedure please.’
‘I have already taken the liberty to initiate that.’ The voice said. ‘Welcome back Kran and hello again Zara’
Zara looked at Kran and smiled. ‘Hello Taw.’ said Zara.
They both looked at the screen. The entry lock opened in the side of the space ship in front of them on the screen. It seemed to grow very large and envelope them. Suddenly there was a slight bump and the entry lock closed behind them.
‘There.’ Said Kran. ‘Welcome home Zara.’
The humming noise ceased and Kran touched a few squares on the desk. The seat straps slid back and freed Zara. The door of the transponder slid open and bright light streamed in.
Kran got up out of his seat. He held out his hand.
‘Come on Zara. In we go.’
Zara took his hand. It felt warm and secure. She still felt a little relieved having reached her destination safely. She rose and followed him.
They stepped out into the storage bay. She immediately noticed that the spare transponder lay there as before.
They across the bay and out through a door, which slid open. Facing them was the long corridor. They walked along this, and passing by a series of doors both on their right and left, they entered the control room. At the far end was a large control screen. It was much bigger than the one in the transporter. There were lots of coloured lights gently dancing over the surface. Beneath this was the huge control panel with many more coloured squares. There was a main padded control position seat with two other padded seats to the left of it. At the rear of the control room was a bunk. Over to the left was a small table, which seemed to be moulded into the floor. There were three seats placed around it. There were several consoles dotted around the room. It was just as she remembered it from before.
‘Now we can relax.’ Smiled Kran. ‘’
Zara walked over and sat down on one of the chairs at the table. It moulded instantly to the shape of her body.
Kran looked up at the screen. He said ‘Thank you Taw. Another safe journey.’
Suddenly the lights on the screen changed and Taw spoke.
‘Thank you Kran. Greetings Earthling Zara. Welcome to the ‘Persuer. Once again I am at your service.’
‘Thank you Taw.’ Replied Zara ‘It is good to be back here.’
‘Zara has changed hasn’t she.’ Said Kran. He looked at Zara his eyes twinkling. ‘She is even more attractive isn’t she?’
Zara blushed a little.
‘So I understand.’ Taw replied. ‘I have already adjusted my analysis of the subject using her visual contacts, voice patterns and sensor points, when she was travelling here in the transponder. Earthling. Female. Now aged seventeen years. Now taller in height. Dark complexion type. IQ high level. Actions still strangely unpredictable. Adaptable. Blood group ‘O’. The subject appears calm and relaxed -.’
Kran laughed and interrupted Taw. The screen lights changed back to the previous patterns.
‘Fine Taw. Fine. Thank you. That will do. Well done.’
‘I still don’t quite understand how he does that.’ Zara said.
‘Oh. He is programmed to continuously update. He picks up information from every known point. Then he computes analyses and processes the information. He then takes the appropriate actions.’
Replied Zara. ‘Incredible.’
‘Taw. Please inform Zebbidy we have arrived and ask him to come and meet our guest.’ Instructed Kran.
The screen lights changed pattern.
‘Zebbidy has now been informed and his presence in the control room has been requested ’ replied Taw.
‘May I suggest you meet Zebbidy and then perhaps we had better prepare for the arrival of my other Wanderer friends.’ said Kran.
‘I’d love to see him.’ Replied Zara. ‘He’s so cute at times.’
‘I’m glad you said at times.’ Laughed Kran. ‘Still he is progressing very well as he learns.’
At that point the entrance to the control room slid open and Zebbidy appeared…………………….
We hope that you are enjoying Star Twins Complete part 2!
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