Twelve Years Before (prequel to Journey of the Star Bearers)

Fantasy story about a girl who lives on a planet called Starre. This is her life before the War...

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18. The After Party (Not)

ALL THAT HARD WORK TO SAVE THE PLANET AND WHAT DO I GET? Clean up duty. I mean, c’mon! I saved the planet then get stuck with cleaning up as well! I guess I did make quite a mess with the whole annihilation and all that but still, I was bored with fighting and it was so much quicker. I didn’t even realise I could do that until I did it if you see what I mean. I discover all these awesome powers then get told off for using them. I suppose I did say I was going to stop showing off but it wasn’t really showing off, it was making sure no one could go back and report on how much stronger I’ve grown but maybe the fact that no one does return will give them that information anyway. I was tired and bored and I just wished that everyone would just stop and let me be a normal kid for once rather than having the weight of the whole universe on my shoulders.

That night my dreams were anything but peaceful. They were full of blood and bodies and voices and words that made no sense. They stirred me and poked and prodded and urged until I felt I couldn’t contain myself any longer and woke up screaming only to fall asleep and go through it all again. When I finally woke up in the morning I was physically and mentally exhausted, lines etched around my eyes as I collapsed out of bed and down the stairs to the kitchen where Danny was sitting at the table looking surprisingly good for someone who had spent ten hours knocked out but she took one look at me and laughed then tugged at my arm to drag me back upstairs and back into bed.

“No way.” Was all she said.

I fell back onto the bed and struggled into sitting position. I stayed there, swaying for about ten seconds then fell back again in defeat. I didn’t want to sleep so I just lay there thinking about what I’d seen in my dreams and trying to figure out what they meant but I came up with nothing. Fighting off the sleep that threatened to overwhelm me, I lay there, locked in my mind, registering nothing around me. Finally I started to think about my friends and what role they played. I was obviously supposed to be the weapon, Xena was the protector, hiding the innocent from the evil, Fran was the distraction but as far as Danny and Ruby I came up a loss. I thought back through everything I knew about them and it made me think about the first time we met Ruby, when she had fallen to the ground screaming and I had healed her. We had never really known what had happened but now was the time to find out.

I sat up, finding that the strength had returned to my body in the period I had spent lying on my bed. Carefully, I stood up and got dressed. I was wearing jeans, a wine coloured long sleeved top and knee-high boots with my hair pulled back into a pony tail and I felt strong, ready to face anything that came my way.

School didn’t kick out for another half hour so I waited around outside for them to emerge and I didn’t have to wait long. As soon as the bell went, they were out of the door, laughing and talking. Danny was the first to spot me and she ran over.

“Are you feeling any better? You’re certainly looking better. What are you doing here?” She burbled in one breath, leaving me no time to address each question separately.

“Slow down,” I laughed “I’m fine but I need you all to come back to mine. I’ll explain when we get there.”

We walked speedily back to the house in silence. When we got in I turned to Ruby and got her to sit down in one of the wooden chairs in the kitchen. I sat down in a chair and dipped into her mind. When I opened my eyes I was inside her star, looking down at her solar system. There I saw the planets Earth, Venus, Neptune and many others. Somehow I knew that my destiny was linked with these planets, that Ruby was probably the most important of us.

I retreated from her mind and walked over to her, placing my hand over her heart, lowering my vision until I was looking at her energy source. What I saw surprised and scared me. My healing spell from all those years ago was still surrounding her which meant that the danger that had hurt her was still attacking but who could want to hurt Ruby and why? It confused me but I tried not to let it show. Deeper in her energy source I found the answer. Ruby was the last of the original line of Star Bearers, born from the first two and each and every one of them protected the same star, the first after Camilla. If the enemy got their hands on her they would be able to find our biological structure, the one that links us with the Key, and use it to connect themselves instead. In that moment, Ruby became as precious as the jewel she was named after.

As I altered myself back to reality, one thing became clear in my mind. I had to hide that part of Ruby away so that she would never be in danger. The attack had never fully latched, thanks to my spell, so our enemies still had no idea who she was. I wasn’t even sure if they knew what they had been doing but if it came to them at any point, she would need to be well protected, we couldn’t treat her any differently or they might notice.

I explained all that I had found out to everyone else and formed a plan. It would need both Xena and I to create the shield and Fran would be able to help by enhancing it with lightning so that anyone who came near it would be ‘shocked’ away. The way that we worked together so effortlessly made me wonder over the power of Camilla to be able to influence space and time to get us together at the right time.

By the time we were finished, I doubted that anyone would ever be able to access that code but I was also extremely tired, as were Fran and Xena. Danny took us upstairs and made us dinner so that some of the strength returned. While we were sitting upstairs I went into where Ruby had come from in depth with her and why she had to be protected without letting anyone know. I told her about everything she had missed out on as well and truly deserved to know now. I told her about my dreams and Sergius and everything that had happened since I got back. For the first time, I truly opened up and it was to Ruby, the one who I knew the least about but it felt right. I told her about how scared I was about the whole weight of the universe resting on me and keeping those I love safe, especially Danny and Sergius. I emptied my soul to her and she just listened but it was all I needed.

Afterwards, I felt stronger for relieving myself to this girl so I stood up and went wandering through the streets. Without realising it, I ended up outside the warehouse where the Key was. Wandering in, I went over and touched the memorial, seeking power and comfort from the Key, somewhere inside. It calmed the roaring and turmoil that was battling inside me. Lying down, I cried my heart out, warmth spreading over me as the light faded into dream…

I found myself standing in the forest again and, like before, the lady stepped out from the trees, holding a delicate, silver chain in her delicate hands. She handed it to me, and then turned back into the forest. I stumbled after her, determined to find the answers to my questions and I knew she had them, whoever she was. I wandered deeper and deeper, getting lost inside my subconscious until I came to a clearing were I fell down and drifted away…

Different planet, I saw Sergius headed to a cottage and called his name in excitement.

“He can’t hear you.” Came a smooth, calm voice from behind me.

I spun around to see the lady turn and walk off again into the barren landscape. Again I hurried after her, only to find myself completely lost. I fell again, losing all sight of the strange lady but in the darkness I heard her voice.

“The time will come…”

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