240 Back on Board
"...and that's the whole story," Athena finished as she and Zoey stood next to Volaia Rellen lying unconscious on a bed aboard the Stella Tenebris.
"The only thing I know for sure, is that this girl is not ordinary, and neither is the existence that sleeps inside her," Athena continued as she stretched out a sore bicep muscle. "From what I could tell during our skirmish, she was only testing me, and had a lot more power left in store. Though I doubt it the girl would have survived that amount of energy, had she used it… She is still young after all."
"You call that a skirmish?" Zoey asked with a raised eyebrow and a look of disbelief in her eyes.
Athena chuckled, then said with a grin, "I was pretty close to my limit there, but it was by no means a life or death battle. Those types of fights tend to be far more… visceral in nature. No, what we did was just a skirmish, a test of strength if you will."
Zoey shook her head in bemusement. "I still want to talk about that, but maybe later. I do however, need to know if this 'existence' you mentioned is a danger to us here on the ship. If what you said is true, a magic sealing bracelet will do absolutely nothing to stop her."
"Dangerous? Yes. Dangerous to us? Not unless we try to harm the girl," Athena said with certainty. "That existence, whoever they may be, is one of chaos, but not one of evil or blind destruction like the girl's brother believed. To those unfamiliar with the deep machinations of the universe, it may seem like pure destruction or evil in nature, but there is far more to it than that."
"Actually, it's thanks to my little Sammy that I was able to figure out this much to begin with," Athena continued, smiling as the little blue salamander appeared on her shoulder. "Thanks to my good little boy here, I once found an ancient document that contained some information about chaos and its role in the universe. When we came up to the city and the girl was let out of the crystal, Sammy noticed that the smell from the chaos she gave off was familiar, and that helped me realize that things might not be as they appear."
"If you say so," Zoey said with doubt still showing on her face.
"Don't worry hun!" Athena said with a smile as she draped her arm around Zoey's slender shoulders. "I'll watch over her and make sure she stays safe and doesn't hurt anyone."
"We'll see I guess. Any idea what she will be like when she wakes up?" Zoey asked.
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"Don't know," Athena replied with a shake of her head. "She was trapped inside a Blood Soul Crystal for a long time, and I don't know if she was protected by the chaos existence while inside it or not. Whatever happens, we both need to be here when she wakes to help her adjust if necessary."
"And her brother… What do we tell him?" Zoey wondered aloud. "He still doesn't know about Cornelius's death either."
"Just tell him the truth. No sense hiding anything at this point," said Athena with a shrug. "I do find it odd that you are letting him roam about the ship freely though…"
"What's he going to do? He has an Eve on his arm monitoring his every move, and 704 keeps tabs on everything on board. Even if he tries something, it will only take a moment to stop him," Zoey replied.
"Well there you have it. Even if he is upset about his brother's death, which I doubt he will be, his sister is safe, at least as far as we understand. Just keep an eye on him like you have been, and we'll be alright hun," Athena said with a smile.
"We'll deal with it as we need to I guess," Zoey said with a sigh. "Let's get up to the bridge. It's time to get the hell off this damned city."
Volaia had been placed in another temporary, med bay style room that Zoey had prepared adjacent to the one where the woman that Taigen had brought back was in. She had also set the room to authorized access only for now until she knew more about what they were dealing with. Her primary desire right now was to get clear of the city, then she could take some time to deal with the other things that were weighing on her mind.
When Zoey and Athena stepped onto the bridge, they were promptly greeted by 704. The spherical, shiny metal co-pilot was rather chipper now that the Stella Tenebris had her crew back, and was eager to be on their way again.
Also on the bridge was Viridi and Max, who were sitting together by the front windows, looking out at the metal city below and the churning, sunset colored clouds in the distance. Markus was also there, pacing nervously by the table in the back until Zoey and Athena appeared. As soon as they showed up, he stopped and approached them with a worried and conflicted look on his face.
"Is… Is she… Is my sister ok?" he stammered out worriedly, clasping his hands together tightly.
"She's fine for now," Zoey replied. "She is still asleep. We will let you know when you can see her."
Relief flashed across his face after he heard Zoey's words, and he nodded and thanked her before going back to sit at the table. Some of his tension seemed to have been relieved by the news.
Zoey made her way up to where Max and Viridi sat while Athena admired the bridge. It was her first time actually on board the huge cruiser, and she had been amazed by what she had seen thus far. The style and design of everything was so foreign, yet simple enough where she understood almost instinctively what things were and how they worked. That said, she was still amazed by the simple, elegant beauty of the ship, and everywhere she looked she only found more interesting things to look at.
She had seen many amazing and mysterious things during her travels, but Zoey was still managing to surprise her at every turn. The more she learned, the more questions she had. Zoey had promised her some time ago that she would tell her the story about where she came from, and Athena was more curious than ever.
She hoped that soon they could find some time to sit down and have a nice long chat about exactly that.