Of Many Tears and Many Fears
Your experience on Alternia has been very mixed...to say the least. Physical and verbal assault, harsh judgement, imprisonment, existential dread, and being an outcast to society and fugitive of the law by simply existing, just to name a few negatives. But you’ve also seen such beautiful sights, obtained many useful things, learned very useful skills, and, most importantly, made so many friends along the way. Though, sadly, making this many friends has caused some friction. Most recently, you did wrong by your oldest friend, though it did save the life of your newest. Regardless of that, you’re in the process of making up for it.
You and your friend sit in your stolen Scuttlebuggy. Her mountain of shopping bags clutter the back seats. Out of he blue, she speaks up, saying “so, why did you tell me that you stole the antiiidote?” as she rests her arm against the window, and her head against her hand. “...W-well, I felt horrible about taking it. You’re the first friend I ever made here on Alternia, and you considered me your first real friend...Yet I stole from you. I’m sorry, Ardata.” You say, a bit caught off guard. She didn’t mention a single thing about it when you offered to drive her around, or when you were carrying around her bags. Ardata raises her head, seemingly surprised at your genuinity. “well...why can’t you giiive iiit back? after iii left the cafe, iii heard a comotiiion, and a troll iiin a hood ran out of there. diiid they steal iiit?” You look away slightly, before explaining “No, they didn’t. They poisoned the girl I was hanging out with. She convinced me to use the antidote on the off chance that the assassin was using the same poison you had. Surprisingly, it worked.” You prepare for some classist/racist fury, but instead, she sighs. “iiif iiit saved her liiife, then iii suppose the antiiidote served iiit’s purpose.”
You tilt your head slightly, before asking “You really mean that? What about...what you said about her in the cafe?” Ardata looks you dead in the eyes. “iii don’t actually buy iiinto the dumbass caste shiiit. though, iii diiidn’t make the best case for myself. but seriiiously, the fuchsiiias are a couple of shortsiiighted assholes. hiiighbloods can be just as braiiinless as any other caste. lowbloods can be just as smart as any other caste. you’d have to be a fool to genuiiinely beliiieve that shiiit. and whiiile yes, iiindiiigos, purples, and seadwellers tend to be strong, rusts, bronzes, and golds have powers! and yeah, ceruleans have powers too, but not fuckiiing fun ones. iii wanna be able to shoot energy or move shiiit with my mind, not control people!” She says, her face scrunched up as she rants. “trolls say that type of shiiit eiiither cause they’re iiidiiiots who legiiitiiimately see no problems wiiith the empiiire’s regiiime, they profiiit off of the oppressiiion of lowbloods, or they want to keep themselves iiin one piiiece. make iiit known that you don’t thiiink the oliveblood broken on the floor deserved to be beaten, and you’re on fiiifteen hiiighblood’s shiiitliiists. resiiisting doesn’t do anythiiing. the empire’s dealt with plenty of rebelliiions before. iiit’s never let go of iiit’s stranglehold on our liiives before. iiit. never. wiiill.”
Ardata’s eyes begin watering, as her breathing gets heavy. You reach your hand out to comfort her, but she aggressively swats it away. “stop! stop actiiing liiike you c-c-care! when iii fiiirst met you, iii opened my pusher and told you one of my deepest secrets, and told you that you’re all iii have, and yet...you fuckiiing left me. you went to fuck around with some troll holding fuckiiing food! now you’re makiiing all these friiiends and even hangiiing out with them multiiiple tiiimes! all iii saw of you was...was a damn follow request onliiine! iii wanted to see you...but iiit became perfectly obviiious that the feeliiing wasn’t mutual...” Her sentences are broken by quick breaths and sobs, as she feebly tries to wipe the tears away from her three eyes. You begin tearing up as well, partly cause she yelled at you, partly cause you feel like a guilty asshole. “when iii saw you at the cafe, iii wanted to hug you so badly. when you saiiid iiit was good to see me, my whole body tiiightened. but iii diiidn’t want you to feel liiike you could just piiick up where you left off so you could leave agaiiin.” her body starts shaking, as she sobs hard.
Ardata keeps crying, and you keep crying. You can’t even tell if the car’s still moving or if you’re already at her hive. “Ar-Ardata, I’m sorry! I had just crashed on Alternia, I couldn’t have known just how b-bad it was here! I didn’t know that this was how you-your whole damn planet was like! Back o-on earth, shit like this was a-a-at least limited by countries and boarders and territories, which meant there was somewhere the fucked up regime couldn’t follow. I didn’t know that it was this bad all around…I’m so sorry…” You weakly hold out your hands, as tears stream down your face “I want to make it right between us, Ardata…” Ardata stares at you for a moment, through her blue hued tears. “iii-iii...iii want to beliiieve you. iii want to trust that you won’t leave me agaiiin. but you enjoy goiiing around...meetiiing new people. you’d just feel uneasy beiiing stuck at my hiiive, surrounded by death, and torture…”
You help Ardata wipe away her steady stream of tears, feeling her warm, wet cheeks with your hands. “Why...why don’t you come with me? We can make friends together! And I’ll most certainly attract some people looking to fight, so you’ll have your prey right there!” You propose, but she suddenly places her hands on your shoulders, and shakes you before shouting out “liiiar! you-you don’t mean iiit…you don’t...” Ardata’s head droops down as she sobs even harder than before. “Ar-Ardata...loo-l-look at me. I won’t leave. I promise...” You say, struggling to get each word out. Her head comes back up, and she stares you in the eyes. You don’t think she’s tried reading your mind at all during your conversation. It might not have even crossed her mind.
Without responding, Ardata holds you tightly, pushing you down onto the squishy seat of your car. She cries onto your shoulder as you try your best to comfort her. “you...you won’t leave? you promiiise?” She says, as her sobs begin to die down. “I promise Ardata. I won’t leave your side. We’ll be joined at the hip.” You respond, lightly slapping your hip. Ardata giggles a bit and looks up at you. “iiis that an aliiien phrase? iiit’s so weiiird!” You can’t help but smile at her laugh. Her genuine laugh. It has this cheeriness to it. “Yeah, it’s a fun way to say that we’ll be inseparable. I hope you’re looking forward to that.” You answer.
As Ardata gives you a three eyed stare, you brush her bangs out of her face. Suddenly, Ardata’s entire face blushes blue as she lets out a flustered sound. She pushes herself up, still on top of you. “sorry. iii d-didn’t expect you to do that.” A smile spreads on your face as you say “Sorry, didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable!” She responds by laying back down, and wrapping her arms around you. “iii diiidn’t mean iii was uncomfortable...just that...you know, iii was surpriiised. iiit’s a niiice surpriiise.” Ardata nervously exclaims.
Your heart to heart is put to an end when a crashing sound is heard above you. A gloved hand grabs you by the face, and flings both you, and Ardata from the car. You both land hard onto the ground, right in front of Ardata’s hive. You quickly pick yourself up, only to have your gaze be met with the sole of a dirty boot. With s loud thwack, followed by a ringing in your ears, you’re back on the floor. You hear Ardata’s voice calling out, followed by two people laughing. Then, you feel something metal smack you in the neck.
End of Chapter One