They are close, and from the countless yelps and howls there were too many for us to handle on our own. We tear into the tree line across from my crash site, dodging trees and shrubs, gliding through the snow. The girl points ahead suddenly and I strain my eyes to see what she is showing me. Half way into the thick was a small light in the distance, and what looks like the outline of a house... Thank god...But from the snarls closing in behind us I realize we aren't going to make it there in time. I tap her arm.
“We’re not going to make it!”. I shout.
She pulls back on her hood to listen as white wisps of silky hair slip out into the air. A few seconds go by and she pushes my arm away from her waist, she stands up on the galloping horse and flips around to face me straddling my lap. She grabs the back of my head and pulls me into her injured shoulder with one arm.
She gasps in pain then whispers…
I clutch her body tight, bracing myself for whatever it is coming next.
She holds on to me and speaks slowly.
“tabhair dom stoirm, cuir solas orm!”
(give me a storm, light me!)
She calls and her voice, like a song, shatters the night making the trees sway back and forth. She holds out a hand behind me and it begins to glow white, pulsing with electrical energy similar to what hit me and my pod earlier. The beasts are upon us now, I can see their red eyes glowing beside us. Her hand charges itself as dusty particles stream into it and then explodes into lightning, shooting out into the air shocking anything living around us. The beasts explode into bits of flesh and carnage, and with one last howl the they were gone. She lets her power die out and suddenly collapses in my arms causing us to lose our balance.
Holding her close with one hand I frantically search for the reins to keep our stability against her limp body. We are closing in on the cabin and I need to slow us down so I grip the reins, and pull back just as we approach the front porch. The horse stops abruptly and we tumble out of the saddle onto the snow. Still holding onto her tightly against my chest, I open my palm resting the back of her head on it and hold her out. I give her a slight shake to see if I can rouse her.
“Wake up!” I shake her again. A strained moan escapes her covered mouth and she moves her head slightly but nothing more than that. Panic strikes me, the more I try to shake life into her motionless body the more lifeless she becomes.
I curse out loud, praying that she holds on long enough for me to heal her wounds. I need to get her inside quickly, so I pick her up, thankfully she is extremely light, and throw her over my left shoulder wincing from my own wounds. I begin to trudge through thick snow until I reached the cabin door and like a sudden blast of heat, warmth rushes over us, it hummed through my skin giving me goosebumps and making my little hairs stand on end.
What the hell was that? I think..
I unlatch the door and swing it open, I’m immediately hit with the heat from a fire and the smell of something sweet. I close the door behind me and find a place to lay her down. There was an odd looking dining area to my right with a large table made from the entire section of a tree, bark and all. The legs were carved out and it had four chairs situated around it. I kick one of the chairs aside to make room and place her on the table. I pause taking a deep breath, from what I know of my enemy, is that they are hideous vicious creatures so I keep my gloves on and place my rifle on the floor beside me and my pistol on the table, close enough to grab it if I need to.
I come to her side mid waist and examine her clothing, her coat was thick made of white hide and lined with silver fur. Down the middle we’re ties made of some sort of twine. I begin to untie each one starting from the top down. Once I have done that I pull open the coat...my breath catches. This is not what I had expected at all. Underneath is a fully developed human, she wears a tight wide necked shirt made of some type of breathable tan material, it comes down to her upper thighs with small slits cut up the sides. She wore nothing underneath which was obvious from the perk of her breasts and the shadow of her nipples protruding through the fabric.
I reluctantly take my eyes from her breasts and move them up to her hood, giving it my best attempt to be a gentleman about all of this. I pull back on her fur lined hood and tuck it underneath her head for comfort. She had white hair that shon with iridescence, almost as if it were dipped in oil, it was so smooth I couldn’t resist the urge to touch it. I take a lock and let it slip through my gloved fingers.
Her skin was just as soft and smooth, flawless and crystal clear. Her eyes were, otherworldly, even closed they were large and wisped with thick lashes. I lower my eyes to the mask covering the rest of her face and I unbutton it from the right side, sliding it down to reveal a combination of features that held so much beauty my heart nearly stopped. She was like no woman I’ve ever seen, there were no words to describe her perfection. I run the tips of my fingers over her smooth full lips, she begins to stir, and I realize I have gotten off track. I take a step back to let her wake herself up. Her eyes squint and her lips retract as she can now feel the pain from her wounds.
“Cá bhfuil mé…” She says in strained voice.
(Where am I)
I wait not moving an inch, I don’t want to startle a woman who can shoot lightning from her hands. She places a hand over her injured shoulder and groans.
I take my pistol off the table and hold it behind my back making sure she can’t see it. Then she opens her eyes… they were violet in color with specs of blues and deep greens, it was as if they held their own galaxies in them. They pierced my heart, sending waves of mixed emotions through me, ones that both feared and desired her, each with an overbearing strength. I step back further as if she was too beautiful to look at in close distance.
She sits up and cries out in pain again, then searches the room. it was a few seconds before those celestial orbs found me, I grip my pistol in my one hand praying to god not to have to use it and she speaks in her foreign tongue, her voice full of panic and despair, but I cannot understand her, so I blankly stare as she tries to talk to me.
“tóg mé chuig mo chrann sao!”
(Take me to my life tree!)
She shouts through tears.
I put my pistol away and raise my hands to show I mean her no harm.
“I’m sorry I don’t understand.” I reply shaking my head.
She falls back on the table and I catch her in one arm by her neck just before she hits the back of her head. She repeats her words over and over and all I can do is shake my head. She points over in a direction down a long hallway beside me on my right. There is a strange green fluorescent light aglow which I hadn’t noticed before. I look back at her and she nods. Our first successful exchange of communication, and I pick her up hastily taking her down the hallway. As we walk the wooden planked floor, the green light fills the room, and the closer we get, the more prominent it becomes. We approach a set of short stairs leading down to a door. I stop and look at her, she nods again then lays her head on my shoulder in exhaustion.
I hold her up with one hand propping the rest of her body up on my knee as I struggle with the latch. After a few tries it finally opens and the green light pours into the hallway. I push my way through the door, inside was a pool of water situated in the middle of a small rock reservoir. It was almost as if someone had built this cabin surrounding it, and it buzzed with enchantment. There was an odd looking tree centered in the pool, made of blood red bark and deep green leaves and the serene sound of rushing water in the distance. The room was just as beautiful as the creature in my arms. She lifts her lips towards my ear.
“glac liom ansin.”
(Take me there)
She whispers and points to the water. I take a deep breath and hesitate, as my conscience tells me this may not be a good idea. But the grip around my shoulder and the labored breath against my neck pushes me onwards.
Not evening bothering to take off my boots, I walk into the water with the girl now limp in my arms. The water seemed to drop lower near the tree in the middle and once I’ve reached a depth waist deep, I let her body sink in supporting her back so she doesn’t go under completely.
She hums something sweet and the green glow begins to sweep through the water towards her body and mine. It was then that I felt it, a sudden rush of euphoria wash over me, as if every inch of my body was being rejuvenated. I freeze in place unable to move. The feeling was so intense that my mind was slipping in and out of consciousness; in my unconscious state I begin to relive the earth's past, it’s slow death and destruction caused by mankind. In my conscious state I am staring into the celestial eyes of a beautiful woman. We’re these memories only a figment of my imagination...or was this...I lose consciousness again, floating through the earths’ past.
This lasted for what seemed like hours, as the memories of earth embed themselves into my my own and my body becomes fully healed. The last memory before I wake, was of her, how she got here and where she has been. The memories spanned over an immense amount of time given to me in pieces. It was hard to combine it all logically, leaving me confused as to who she is or what she is and how old she really is. Then a shallow voice calls.
“Open your eyes.” The voice says.
My mind comes back down from its flood of knowledge and I open my eyes.
She takes my hands on hers. I snap out of my trance to look at her... all of her. She was much younger than I had originally thought, although the memories given told me she was decades older than I am. Her body is well developed and has an untouched innocence to her. Her entire presence holds a purity to it like she hasn’t seen emotional pain, or heartbreak before.
“Are you ok?” She asks in a thick accent.
I can understand her now? How is that possible?
“You speak English?” I ask.
“No... you speak Gaelic.” She laughs. “Thank you for restoring me, if not for you I would have passed on into the earth.”
“Gaelic?” I whisper to myself.
Before I can ask anymore questions, she has moved to my right side, sloshing through the water behind me towards the door. On her way I watch her unclip her boots and slide them off, then she takes her pants off slowly. Or maybe it was just myself slowing it all down.
She clutches the sides of her pants, and with a slight arch of her back she pulls the fabric down over her round cheeks and lets them drop to the floor. Her shirt covers just enough of her body to tease and torment my sexual desires. Although, her being soaking wet, has caused the shirt to stick to her smooth skin letting my eyes indulge in the outline of perfectly voluptuous shapes. I shiver, as she looks back at me. Hair slicked down her back to her mid waist, drops of water stream down her legs and disappear between the gap between her thighs. I have never wanted a woman so badly in my life.
“Come with me, we need to talk.” She says in a silvery voice, reaching a hand towards me.
I do as she says not hesitating a second to follow her wherever she wants me to go. I swish through the water in full gear, feeling much heavier than before and the minute I step out of the pool I feel sick with flu like symptoms. I stumble holding my head and groan.
“You are sick from my life trees’ purity. Do you not have them on your planet?” She asks.
“...no…” I grunt. She takes my arm and swings it over her shoulder and helps me out of the room. This was a little embarrassing for me, I’m supposed to be a strong man in front of her, but the nausea is so bad I can barely see straight. She helps me up the stairs and down the hallway to a plush chair by the fire and sits me down carefully. I lean back in the chair and close my eyes, as my head begins to spin.
“This is horrible.” I complain.
She giggles. “Well maybe to one who has not experienced absolute divinity before. You’re soaking wet, let’s get you dried off, I have something else you can wear.”
I am only half listening as she begins to take my boots off for me. The small jerks of movement don’t help my nausea any, but she manages to get them off without making me sick.
“Give me a minute?” I ask.
“Of course.” She replies.
I can hear her stand, then walk away. Now I’m cursing myself for making her leave my side. It was a few minutes before I heard her footsteps approaching me.
“Slow breaths Sergeant, and stop resisting, the more you resist the worse you will feel. You are being cleansed, let it happen.” She calls from a fair distance away.
Let it in? How do I do that?
I start to breath slowly, taking in long drawn out breaths. My shoulders relax and the tension in my core loosens. I begin to feel better immediately, and the spin in my vision fades away. Then fingertips run from the top of my head down to my jaw line and over my neck. I hum, feeling tiny sparks of pleasure through them.
“I would like to see your face, may I take your eye covers and mask off?”
“Yeah…” I whisper.
With her thumb and pointer she lifts my balaclava off revealing myself, taking my goggles with it. She sighs then continues to run her fingers through my hair.
“Does man always cut their hair this short?” She asks.
I look up at her as she massages my temples.
“Hmm...some don’t, military personnel have to.”
“Do you feel better now?” She asks.
“Much better, thank you.”
She laughs softly.
Her smile was so warm, and calming. She lowers her hands and I watch her walk towards clothes she has laid out for me on the dining table.
“ I have clothes for you. Put them on, I will wash and dry your clothes tomorrow. But I must rest now, I have to hunt in the morning.” She says and walks towards the hallway abruptly ending our conversation.
I lean forward in my chair trying to understand why she would want to risk her life again like that.
“You’re going out there again?”
“Yes I have no choice.”
“I don’t recommend that, It’s too dangerous!” I protest.
“Like I have said, I have no choice. Either I die by Lupus Beast or I die from starvation. Starvation takes much longer.” She says so casually.
There is no way she is going back out there. Even the thought of it frightens me, recalling the size and speed of those things, the way they bled and the hunger in their eyes.
“I forbid it. I will hunt for you.” I reply.
She stares at me for what seems like minutes, before breaking the silence.
“You do not know this place, I cannot let you hunt without me!” She protests.
“Then I will hunt with you.”
She watches me cautiously, I meet her stern glare equally and we pause again.
“Very well, I will wake you in the morning.” She replies coldly and walks down the hallway to her room leaving me alone by the fire.
That was too easy, most women I know wouldn’t take commands like that from a man without more protest, I hope I haven’t insulted her in some way. I decide not to push my luck and wait until morning to talk further.
I change into the clothes she has provided for me, a long soft brown tunic that was tight over my muscular shoulders, baggy pants and fur lined socks then I hang my wet gear off of anything I can that is close to the fire to dry. I check my pistols which are water logged and completely useless now. Damn. Fighting anything in close quarters will be challenging. I throw my pistols onto the table in frustration then put some more wood on the fire and take my seat again propping my legs up onto a stool I have found.
It is time I check in with my unit to update them on my whereabouts and check my wounds. I unlock the screen and do a vitals scan, everything seems to be fine, in fact my heart rate as never been so good. My fractured ribs were completely healed and any underlying condition I have ever had was gone. I flick through the screens and stop on my gps signal, it is very weak inside this cabin. Maybe the life tree has something to do with it. I open up my messaging app and send a quick update to Gina.
“Hey, I had to relocate. Be careful out there, the wild life is much more dangerous than what we have ever encountered on Sotiras and the cold is another kind of animal.”
I press send and wait a few seconds for a response. My tablet beeps.
Hey, hang in there we are on our way, your new pod has made it through the atmosphere and we’ve picked it up. We are on route now. Hope you’re safe and warm. I miss you.
She replies. I sigh, thinking about the last time we had lied in bed together. She had asked me if I could ever love her. Gina was always like that, to the point and held nothing back, she says exactly what she was thinking at the time and doesn't care about the repercussions even if they hurt her. I replied with a maybe, and changed the subject. But I after that, I knew I would never love her.
Thanks Gina. I reply and no response after that.
I lay my head back on the chair and close my eyes. My thoughts of Gina are quickly replaced by thoughts of a white snow colored hair, soft skin, and dripping wet thighs. She set me on fire in an instant and I don’t even know her name. I daydream of kissing her soft lips before drifting off to sleep....