A 3000 word short story I wrote in 2013, though I can’t quite remember why.
Love can be a desperate, fleeting emotion.
Blood exuded in a rich violet hue from the hole in her chest, singed flesh filling the air. Her entire body shook before Vtri collapsed to the ground. The sound of clamoring metal beating off the marble floor rang in Yii’s ears like distant echoes. Time moved slowly before her, breathing become difficult and her vision blurred with tears.
“Vtri…” she stuttered, slowly dropping to her knees. “Vtri, they are all dead.”
The ship shook. Outside, the shields were losing their power and began to fade with each additional blast. It was inevitable, one small companion ship holding its ground against three war vessels – there was only one outcome. Among their people, most Lorut were dead, bodies strewn over the ship. Those who survived were already floating deep in space praying their tiny pods were not shattered with a single attack from the Kardeth. Yii had no one to call for help.
“Yii,” Vtri coughed. From her lungs, blood spattered her face and ran down her neck. She reached a hand into the air, trying to grab Yii’s hand. “Yii.”
“Vtri!” she replied taking Vtri’s hand in both of hers. Desperately she pulled them to her chest, holding them against her racing heart. Her tears were hard to speak through. “Vtri, they are all dead. Just a few more feet and we can enter the ship, but I can’t fly it alone. You have to get up; you have to fly us away from them.”
“No. No. You have no reason to be sorry. I’ll help you stand; I’ll carry you to the ship.”
Vtri laugh was caught by her pain. She reached to her thigh and pressed on the release for the compartment. “This. Use it. The ship will fly itself,” she said, pressing the object to Yii’s cheek. “Time is short.”
Yii’s hands slipped to her sides. Her tears felt as if they had no ending, only getting worse with each passing moment. She shook her head stubbornly and wiped her eyes.
“Take it,” Vtri repeated.
The ship shook again. The blast caused the hall further from her to explode. The people were already dead and gone, but the Kardeth continued. Once they had what they wanted it would not be everything else would become dust floating among the stars. They took the Lorut’s home world, chased their people to the ends of the galaxy with one goal in mind: domination and submission of the royal bloodline in the pursuit of immortality.
Yii shook her head. “When you found me, everything was taken! Without you I have nothing. Vtri is part of my soul, our bodies are one. How could I exist in this world without your breath, without your touch? I won’t,” she demanded. “I refuse. I refuse to the Wanderer – a creature without a people or a soul.” She took hold of Vtri’s hand, guiding her fingertips over the pale skin of her jaw.
“Time; if only there were more time,” Vtri replied. She ran a finger over Yii’s lips as they parted.
“Once wander,” she began to sing. “Now mother. I am blessed eternal, forever.”
Yii sang until the hand clasped over her tear stained cheeks fell. Vtri’s violet eyes stared at her in a cold, distant, empty look that pierced her senses. The blood had pooled. It had soaked her white gown and weighed down her soft boots. Her tears had stopped, her breathing was finally even. The pounding of her heart had grown, leaving her dizzy and uncomfortable.
The attacks outside the ship had vaulted. The shields were shattered and the lower levels were breached. The alarms were loudly blaring but she could no longer hear them. “Rest well, my champion,” she whispered. Settling Vtri’s hands upon against the ground, Yii removed the veil over her auburn hair and covered the stare. She could hear the thundering of Kardeth foot soldiers.
“Princess Yiivaln,” a deep-throated soldier grunted. “It is time you come with us.”
Running meant death. She would be shot in the back before she could escape their sights. Going with them meant the same. Her heart would be eaten; her blood drank by the generals all for some fairytale of immortality and power. Unlike Vtri, she was no fighter. Her powers were limited to her the sound of her voice.
Slowly, she pushed herself from the floor; the numbness in her knees ran to the tip of her tail. She brushed the fur with her fingertips and curled it around her waist. Her lips pursed together watching the scaled beasts before her, their guns pointed at her from every direction. Behind her, everything that filled her empty shell with happiness was beginning to decay.
Yii’s hand dug into her dress, cautious to not draw attention. Through gritted teeth, she spoke: “You creatures have no morality. Your bodies so void of souls, you must fill it with genocide and destruction?”
Some of the Kardeth laughed. “What more is there to life than self-gain?”
Everything, she thought. Everything you stole from me. Her eyes settled on Vtri’s arm, the small ships controls all settled within that tiny device. She dropped to her knees, splashing the cooled claret onto her exposed arms and face. Tears returned to her eyes. “Love,” she retorted finally. Her hand slowly reached down. She sobbed loudly.
“Love,” the Kardeth repeated. “It has no place with our kind.” He motioned his head, signaling his men.
Yii’s fingers fell upon the still warm flesh of her lover’s hand, tracing up towards her wrist and opening the gauntlet. Slowly, she touched the buttons, swiped the commands out of her way and settled her finger on the blackest block. Her hand shook, a ragged breath struggling to fill her lungs.
“Time to leave,” another commanded.
Large hands, sharp brittle nails and red skin wrapped around her arms and pulled her to her feet. As her finger left the black square image, a buzzing resounded through the halls and took over the alarms. Black lights flashed in repetition. A countdown began on the gauntlet. Somewhere in her fearful tears, Yii smiled.
“What is that?” one soldier asked.
Two others shrugged.
“Desperation,” Yii replied. “Love has a wicked sense of humor. I only responded accordingly.”
The ship lit up so bright it blinded the onlookers through screens and windows. In the silence of space, nothing was heard until the vibrations found their way to each war vessel. It rattled their cores and caused their shields to fluctuate. In a flash, the light was gone and nothing remained.