The Travelers, Chapter 9: Love Hurts

“Umm…excuse me?” Raynor sardonically asked. “The hell is wrong with you? You act like getting executed is no big deal…”

“It is not, I have fulfilled my purpose and gladly accept it. I may not agree with the reasoning but I know that I’ve made our world a better place in my two hundred and seventy eight years of existence,” Keldin explained.

“To hell with that thinking, you wanna know about humans right? First thing you gotta know, death isn’t something we just accept. We have doctors who spend their whole lives dedicating themselves to delaying death; we know it’s going to happen no matter what but we want to live as long as possible…”

“I’m not sure how this relates to me…” Keldin stated and asked. Raynor interrupted him, “more important than living as long as we can, we keep our friends alive too. Sorry but you’ve been too damn good to me, especially with the life I lived before. I’m not letting them put you to death like some tool they outgrew or something.”

“Peculiar analogy…however more to your point, I highly doubt we’d be able to stop them even if we tried.”

“So…what, your solution is to not try at all? What kind of man are you?” Raynor demanded.

“Heh, I am neither male nor female, but you should be asking that question for yourself.”

“Sh…shut up. That’s not what I mean and you know it,” Raynor stammered.

They sat in silence for the next few minutes, Raynor regretting his harsh words and feeling remorse over the thought of his only friend in the galaxy being put to death and Keldin puzzled, trying to think of why Raynor is so insistent on keeping him alive.

“That’s it, the Djinn!” Raynor exclaimed.

“What about them?”

“You had to go to them to even have a chance at ending the war right? Your own people wouldn’t hear of it? Well, why not just ask them for protection or something?”

“Unfortunately, their leaders agree with ours to some extent. They may not like it but they do respect the Etherian councils decision to have me executed considering my actions. It IS treason, I sold information to our enemy during a war just so we could end it, no political or other arguments can get around that.”

“Politics schmolitics, figureheads say that kind of crap just to make themselves look good for the public. Think about it, for you to even have a chance at negotiating with the Djinn, you had to have met one with enough rationality and patience to listen to an Etherian to begin with. They hate your entire race but was willing to listen to you and you alone, that has to count for something,” Raynor pleaded.

“You’re really not gonna give this up are you?” Keldin asked.

“Hell no. Look, you’re the only friend I’ve got right now, I don’t wanna lose you,” Raynor said, nearly tearing up.

“Very well. Let me see what I can do,” Keldin said standing up and leaving for the bridge of the ship. “You should check on Cassandra and make sure she’s alright.”

Raynor stood up and began walking towards the dormitories, Keldin in the opposite direction. Keldin turned around before Raynor was completely gone, “Raynor?”

“Yeah?”

“I…I thank you for your words. I’ve never had a ‘friend’ before, and being around the two of you, I feel compelled to want one.”

Elsewhere, as Raynor made his way back to his room, he could hear a lot of fidgeting and even some yelling down the hall from Cassandra’s end. Cassandra was having a tough time staying in her quarters, what with Andre preventing her from leaving and all.

“If you like, I can give you something to help you sleep,” Andre said.

Burying her face in her pillow, her muffled words were unheard but filled with enough anger and hostility that one could venture an educated guess what she said. It didn’t help that she was experiencing these anxiety issues during ‘that’ time of the month.

As Andre continued watching over her, she eventually fell asleep, albeit for a short period of time. Spending so much time on this ship her dreams were nothing but this ship. She imagined her beloved traveling through the ship as a specter, just a figment here and there. She saw images of him in pain, in a major explosion of some kind. She watched as she joined him in such an explosion, and their flesh torn from their bodies as if the force and the heat were unwrapping a candy bar.

Though, for what seemed like hours, she awoke merely forty five minutes later to the sound of some buzzing in her room from her intercom. She woke up, disturbed and deranged from her ordeal in her dreams, and turned on the monitor. “….don’t care if it’s Raynor or Keldin, go away!!” She half shouted.

“It’s neither human, and you’d better think twice about disrespecting me like that again!” Came a voice from an unfamiliar face. It was an actual voice too, not simply a thought projection.

“…Who…who are you?” Cassandra asked the unfamiliar Etherian.

“No one of importance right now. However, I have a job for you, one that would gain you a little more respect from our society than you have and believe me, you don’t want us to be your enemy,” the Etherian threatened. “I can understand your pain, I lost a good friend of mine at the hands of the Djinn. I don’t have the capability of getting him back, but I can get your precious James back if you cooperate?” She hinted a question, waiting for her to agree.

“How’s that, what are you gonna clone him or something?”

“Precisely,” the Etherian spoke. “In the exact area you were rescued from, there were skeletal remains of a few bodies. I took the liberty of sampling the DNA and making a basic model of what the human would look like at an adult age if cloned. One of them came up to look very much like your James Richton…”

“You…are you serious about that? You better not be fucking with me right now!” She exclaimed.

“Hmph, human, I am no amateur. Not only was his DNA there, but there were enough remains from his body that I can even recreate most of his memories, up to the age of roughly 30 or so.”

“What is it you want me to do.” She asked, almost monotone like. She didn’t care much anymore about what she had to do or how she would end up doing it, she wanted her beloved Fiancée back more than anything.

“Keldin is to be put to death for high treason against the Etherian race for dealing with the Djinn scum that warred with us for so long. He never convinced our council about the terraforming project so he fled to the Djinn and asked for their assistance. Doesn’t matter that it all worked out, he knew what he did was treasonous and will die because of it.”

“And you want me to kill him right? Well fuck that, I’m not killing anyone.” Cassandra shouted. As much as she loved James, killing someone else for him isn’t worth it, she was still sane enough to realize this.

“Heh, hardly. It is not your place to do so.”

“Then what is it, what the hell do I have to do.”

"We’ve been watching Keldin ever since the terraforming project began, and by watching I mean that literally with the hidden cameras in the ship.

A conversation was brought to my attention, one you were not present in," he said.

He played the feedback of the conversation between Keldin and Raynor about the plan to stop Keldin’s execution. She watched the entire thing, from the moment she was pulled away by Andre to the moment Keldin and Raynor went their separate ways.

“That other human is an issue. We want the execution to go on as scheduled, just make sure Keldin lands the ship and steps off of it the day after tomorrow and that Raynor won’t cause any disturbances. We’ll take care of the rest,” the Etherian scoundrel explained.

“All I have to do make sure he gets off the ship and sets foot on land, and keep Raynor away? And you’ll clone James for me?”

“One step ahead of you,” the Etherian declared, tilting the camera to the left, revealing a liquid filled stasis chamber along with the body of one Professor James Richton. “We already have cloned him and advanced his age significantly. Everything about his mind and his vitals check out fine, I’ve even scanned his mind personally and saw images of you in them.”

A tear welt up in her eye, she was both excited and overwhelmed to see her Fiancée alive and well once again.

“Take care of Keldin and the boy,” the Etherian stated. “Do so, and he’s yours. Cross us, though, and he dies.”

Re: The Travelers, Chapter 8: Love Hurts

I honestly think your toying with us now. It seems like every chapter ends with a huge twist i kind of want to wait until it’s over to read the rest of this story but i know i don’t have the willpower to. :frowning:

Re: The Travelers, Chapter 8: Love Hurts

There’s no twist at the end of this chapter so I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

Re: The Travelers, Chapter 8: Love Hurts

Huh coulda sworn Cassandra being told to make sure Raynor and Keldin didn’t interfere with Keldin’s execution and kinda turning into a traitor could be classified as a twist…my bad

Re: The Travelers, Chapter 8: Love Hurts

Not when I’ve set the Etherians up to be dicks for the most part.