Kai-2

We traveled the reaches of space and scrutinized star systems, seeking a new home for us and those who would descend from us, until we approached the Star System called Saruko and scouted the planet we named Kai-2, after our home world, Kai.

A beautiful atmosphere encompassed the Planet, and we were elated when the scanners revealed frozen water beneath the hard surface. It contained a scattering of vegetation, but plenty of warm blooded fauna. It would serve us well.

Oh, our joy at the prospect of finding rest, for the remnant of our species had traveled the stars for decades with our hearts in our mouths and our cold blood almost congealed from the frustration of searching out that which we never seemed to be able to find.

You, Ronika, were with me all this time and happiness was my portion. You gladdened my soul each artificial morning and warmed my body with your gentle caress of love at night.

Upon Kai-2, we alighted and made our habitation; so that our descendants may live in that joyful manner we sustained back home on Kai, our beautiful home world, before our senseless nuclear wars all but destroyed it.

In this place, our people decided that we shall perfect the art of living so that our children and their children should not know conflict.

That time and place is gone, we swore to Rae.

Now, we shall revel in a new opportunity to live in peace. We destroyed all manner of written knowledge about nuclear weapons and swore ourselves to peaceful settlements.

When the first rains we encountered on Kai-2 fell from the colorful skies, under the blue spindly trees did we huddle and take in the sight. We knew then that it was the unique refractive properties that made each drop bend the right way to reveal the whole rainbow spectrum within, but you did not care about the science of it. I did not either, for your sake.  Our slender hands were clasped in the manner of affection, our hearts were attuned to each other and our tails swirled slowly in the heat of our emotions as we gawked in awe at the colorful vista before us;a phenomenon our people called Akhri-ol, Rainbow Water.

While our science and study of the new world blossomed, we discovered wonders from our curious forays; from the Injun rodent which was deemed invincible because its flesh was made of living carbon fiber, and the Alam butterfly which morphed into a caterpillar by night, to the Rotmir flower which had petals that carried a heat that never ceased and which had roots that never seemed to end. The flower is dear to me, for I made a present of it to you, to symbolize your place in my heart. The smile on your scaly face and the way your green eyes lit up was a reward which worth cannot be estimated. Happiness was our fortress and we reveled in it.

I remember that season when the skies above revealed its aurora and color bands appeared everywhere. You did not care that the event was a scientific fact; that the light from the Sun interacted with atmospheric particles in unique ways. No. Your slender frame simply stood still in awed wonder as we viewed it from the protection of our shelters, oblivious to the scuffle and awe-inspired noises of our people around us as they took in the glorious sight for themselves. Our hands were connected yet again and a smile lit up my face. My face was the picture of delight, for within your womb were our eggs from the last mating season. A family unit we would soon become and hopefully, daughters like you would be my inheritance. Again, in that moment of beauty, when all was right with creation, I reaffirmed my love.

Soon, our scientists predicted a season of double Suns and we waited to see the extraordinary beauty that was foretold. The magnified heat was expected to warm our blood even more  than usual and perhaps advance the pace of our evolution by another notch.

On that morning of the Day of the Sun, I awaited the event, but not with you. In my arms was our newly hatched daughter. They said it was the Rainbow Water, or perhaps something from the Rotmir flower. It made us weaker as a species. You were not the only one we lost. Our women could no longer live well beyond the laying of eggs. I had kept vigil at your bedside as the life ebbed from your weak body, and held your skeletal claws as your throat croaked incoherently in a dying groan. In my sorrow, I cursed the day we landed on this planet and swore to your everlasting memory. Anything else would have been impossible, at any rate.

I stood with Asimis as we waited for the Suns. She looks just like you, as I expected. The heat and ultraviolet light may help us rejuvenate our DNA. Her two brothers we lost to the uncertainties of infancy and so my love for her is twice multiplied.

We watched from our shelters. We were the last of our kind, but if the heat abides as predicted, we would become a stronger species. Asimis cooed pleasantly as we witnessed a natural wonder.  From the left and right of the horizon, the journey of the two Suns began towards each other.  The heat magnified in folds, bombarding our weak shells with much needed natural Ultra-Violet rays. And then a little more. By some happenstance, the amount of Ultra-Violet radiation coming towards us reached levels our scientists had not envisioned or had not thought possible from just the power of two Suns.

An alert went out as dangerous levels of radiation was detected and we all sought out underground shelters, our daughter safely ensconced in my bosom, but vulnerable to the rays despite. We were quick to discover that the walls and Amohin steel of our constructions held no solace for us and it was observed that the Suns did not move further after they met at the center of the sky, so that they seemed to form a very large ball of heat. The heat would not cease soon. The authorities made a quick decision and it was announced that we board our grounded ships. So with Asimis protected from the sudden rush of tortured souls all around us, I headed straight for the nearest.

The pandemonium was magnified by the pain we had begun to feel and I thought of you as our daughter began to cry, her voice joining thousands of others. Our growing terror was multiplied when the plants started coming out from the ground and locking us in their fatal embraces. The authorities took a quick decision and activated Lock-Down procedures moments after I had carried our daughter into the ship, so as to prevent entry by the suddenly transient and aggressive flora. The weapon systems were activated for the first time in a long while but the seemingly transient thick stalks which shot out of the hard ground seemed impervious to its destructive power. We huddled in fear inside our last place of comfort. Something was wrong with the ship’s thrusters. We could not go anywhere. Word was passed around amid the sounds of anguish that battered the air and it was understood that Kai-2 was in fact, a living organism. We had made our home on a beast the size of a planet and now it sought to devour us. Our people beat on the doors in terror from the terrible plants and blistering heat outside, begging for entrance, but the ones in control calculated the odds and chose not to. We understood. The blisters on our skin were getting worse. I regarded our daughter in my arms when I noticed I hadn’t been hearing her cry.

My anguish knew no bound. I carried her soulless shell with me as I ran about in pain. We were beginning to die off now. I could see the green scaly mass of bodies that littered the floor. Outside the diamond-glass windows of the ship, we could see the climbing plants. They seemed to be growing rapidly around the ship. If they were a tentacle of sorts for the planetary orgasm, it was only fitting to assume that they sought to encompass the ship in a deathly embrace.

I am in a corridor inside the ship. The quiet is only punctuated by the groans of the dying nearby. Asimis’ body lies beside me on the steel floor. She is a vision of blisters and gore. It is unfortunate that I shall not have opportunity to grieve for her. My life is almost gone from me now. I think we are in the belly of the Kai-2; for sometime ago, I felt movement that suggested that the ship was moving downwards. Green tendrils are growing at an astonishing rate into the ship, after piercing the hull. It is over for us a race.

Oh…the heat. I cannot even stand the sight of my body. My scales have been displaced by the painful blisters and my blood is draining fast.

The only thing that gives me hope is the knowledge of our meeting in a better place. We shall abide together in the afterlife, Ronika; and with us, our children.

A tendril approaches me. I recognize it. Ah, now I see why the roots never seemed to end. What fools we all were, to be deceived by floating rock.

The Rotmir flower suddenly shoots towards me…

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