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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: The Pemalite Chronicles [COMPLETE]  (Read 1649 times)
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #15 on: Feb 4th, 2008, 6:50pm »

Here's the next chapter here. Esplin, I should be posting a new chapter on in the next couple of days.

Chapter Six
Unrealized Danger

“Layek!” Siran called as we neared his outdoor laboratory. He was standing quite still, looking up at the ship-infested sky in wonder. At the sound of his name he dropped his gaze, searching for its source.

“Ah, Siran, E’rok!” He cried as soon as he spotted us. His voice was thick with wonder, “Can you imagine?” He gestured to the sky, “They got right past all of our sensors! We never saw them coming! Their technology is astounding! I’ve been trying to study it from the ground, but it’s hard to get a clear lock. No doubt some sort of a dampening field…”

“Layek, they’re shooting.” I broke in, my fear overcoming the usual reverence I held in his presence.

“Yes, and the quality of their weapons! Not that I condone weaponry in any fashion, but the expertise of their devices is quit impressive!”

He continued on in this fashion for some time, taking every word I said and turning it into a positive. Glancing up periodically I could see distinct red flashes whenever a ship would fire. Admittedly, since no one was shooting where we were they looked more like a light display than deadly energy, but that could all change very quickly…

“Layek.” I said, interrupting him as he showed Siran a schematic that he had scanned of the exterior of the alien ships. I had been programmed with the emotion annoyance weeks ago, but had never felt it towards any of my creators before. Now, however, in this perilous situation, I was burning with aggravation.

“Yes, E’rok? What is it?” Layek glanced at me, distracted. Scowling at his reaction I dropped my Pemalite hologram. It took only a second to pull up my memories of the celebration only moments earlier. I projected a hologram around the three of us and quite suddenly it was as if we had transported back to the celebration.

“Ah, wonderful!” Layek exclaimed, looking beside himself with joy, “You’ve been exploring the parameters of your holographic matrix!”

“Yes.” I agreed tersely, “This is a holographic memory of the ships first appearance from where we were.”

Layek continued to look fascinated, watching with glee as the dancers leaped on the platform and awe as the ships unveiled themselves. When the energy blast hit the platform, however, he gasped as it incinerated.

“Turn it off!” He demanded. Feeling that I had managed to get my message across to the older Pemalite at last I switched off the hologram. I noted with a sense of satisfaction that his face was disturbed.

“Layek, are you alright?” Siran asked, looking mildly concerned.

“No, I…” he hesitated, then looked me over, “You were right to come to me E’rok. No other Pemalite will take appropriate action against this atrocity.”

“I am grateful, sir,” I said, much of my respect for the old Pemalite returning. However, one thing did seem a bit strange, “If I might ask…how is it that-”

“That I am able to treat the massacre of my brothers and sisters with more urgency than they themselves?” Layek supplied. I merely nodded, waiting for him to respond. He sighed heavily before speaking, “The emotional transfusions were so successful with you Chee, and they really exceeded all of my expectations.”

“But that is good news!” Siran looked alarm at the change in atmosphere.

“Yes, yes it was. So good, in fact that I decided to adapt the technology.” Suddenly Layek looked much older than I had ever seen him. Behind his dull eyes I saw something I had never noted in any Pemalite before now: pain.

“Adapt it how?” I prodded gently.

“You see, I was being selfish. So very selfish,” Layek shook his head sadly, “As I realize now that our entire species is constantly guilty of. I wanted to experience all of the wonderful things that my Chee were experiencing. So I took my programming and found a way to translate it into chemical fluctuations within the brain. It wasn’t difficult – it was a matter of returning the program to its original form. After all, organic beings operate by chemical means, not technological.”

“You mean you altered your own emotions?” I asked, shocked.

“Yes. I modified my emotional capacity. The affect was not quite as poignant as with you Chee, but it was there nonetheless. Only the strongest situations really affect my normal outlook on life. Such as…” he hesitated.

“Such as the murder of your own people?” I suggested.

“Evidently.” Layek replied, returning to his console, the troubled look in his eye not changing. There was a long, tense silence in which Siran stepped away from the two of us, obviously perturbed by our conversation. While he stood gazing at the infiltrated sky I watched Layek work.

“What are they?” I asked finally.

“They are called…Howlers.” Layek said after a moment’s hesitation, “That is the only data I have been able to get from them.

“Why aren’t they all firing?” I pressed. I was fairly sure that the altitude of the hovering ships had not changed, but all the same the way they blotted out the suns felt oppressive, like a weight which fell upon me, heavier with each passing moment. Every few seconds another flash lit up the sky – one one-thousandth of the damage they were capable of doing with that number of ships.

“I cannot be certain,” Layek admitted, “But I believe that they are waiting for orders. Also, there is this.”

He backed away from the console to allow me to look. The readings on the screen were unfamiliar initially, and I had to search my program for the correct language. As soon as its meaning became clear, however, my confusion grew.

“They are taking in 101cg of our atmosphere per second.” I said.

“Yes.” Layek nodded, “And releasing it back into the atmosphere seconds later.”

“But they are spacecraft; they don’t need the air to support them.” I said. Annoyance was rising in me again, but this time towards the limitations of my own programming. What was going on?

“Look at the composition of the air they expel.” Layek prompted. I did. It was nearly identical to the intake. Nearly.

“What is that?” I asked, pointing to the discrepancy. An unknown compound which was being added to our air.

“I don’t know.” Layek admitted, “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

We spent a moment pondering this oddity, when several things happened at once.

Tirah came running up over the ridge, searching for Siran. When she saw him she cried out in glee. I felt a sudden realization hit me like an electrical shock as my programming churned out possibilities for Layek’s discovery. I turned to tell Layek, but his eyes were wide with fear as he gazed at his computer.

Then the whole world exploded around us.
« Last Edit: Feb 4th, 2008, 6:51pm by Terenia » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #16 on: Feb 5th, 2008, 08:57am »

yay i cant wait i <3 your ff.
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #17 on: Feb 6th, 2008, 4:58pm »

Thanks so much! Chapter is in the the meantime, here's chapter seven for y'all here.

Chapter Seven


For a few terrifying moments the world was nothing but blinding light. My programming told me that one of the alien ships had fired nearby, but beyond that I couldn’t get any readings. The force of the blast threw me backwards, and I hit Layek’s computer console hard. There was a long silence as the light dimmed and my sensors recalibrated themselves. When everything was operational again I took in a scene of devastation.

Layek’s laboratory was in shambles. The computer console I had hit was crumpled, and the Chee docks were charred ruins. At first I couldn’t recognize any signs of life and another wisp of fear grabbed me, but then I noticed a heat signature coming from the rubble of Layek’s lab. Quickly I rushed over and began to dig through the debris.

“Who’s down there, are you alright?” I called to the widening hole of twisted metal. A muffled yelp came from the darkness. I reached into the hole and felt something soft and warm. Wrapping my arms around the body I pulled. Slowly, laboriously, Layek appeared from beneath the rubble. He was scratched and bleeding, but otherwise seemed alright. The very debris that had covered him had saved him from further damage.

“E’rok.” Layek breathed in relief. His pale eyes were wide now that he was out on the open, “Where is Siran? Tirah?”

“I don’t….” I began, but I didn’t finish the statement. Instead I stood and began to scan the area for more life signs. The smoke was disruptive, but a faint glimmer of heat seemed to be flickering in and out of my range.

“At the bottom of the ridge…” I said, moving forward. The “ridge” was now a deep gash cut into the ground from the alien’s weapon. As I inched forward I could hear scuffling from within. Looking down I saw Siran, leaning over Tirah. Tirah appeared to be unconscious. Neither Pemalite looked very good. Burns covered their bodies. Siran’s cheerful eyes were somber as they looked up at us.

“Siran, is Tirah…” Layek called down.

“She’s hurt.” He responded, looking down at her, “She needs medical attention.”

“Climb up. We can go to my ship.” Layek said, “I have medical supplies there.”

“How will we get her up?” Siran asked, looking concerned.

“He has a good point.” I muttered to Layek, “He isn’t strong enough to climb up and carry her.”

“No, he isn’t.” Layek agreed, his eyes watching me cautiously. I suddenly realized that, while I wasn’t any stronger than Siran, my systems could compensate my balance with the extra weight. Without a word I jumped over the edge of the gash, landing neatly beside Siran.

“Go.” I ordered my friend. “I’ll take care of her.”

“Alright…be careful, E’rok.” Siran shot one more look of longing at Tirah before he began to climb. Hmm..I mused as I tested Tirah’s weight in my arms. Perhaps Siran is capable of seeing past play after all.

It took a long while to get out of the crevasse. Tirah wasn’t particularly heavy, but she was dead weight which was extremely awkward. Several times I slid back down to the bottom and had to start over. All the while I watched Tirah anxiously. Her burns were severe and her breathing was shallow. I worried that she may stop at any moment.

Finally, after my fifth attempt, I managed to push Tirah over the lip of the gash, following hastily. I quickly glanced upward to make sure that the alien vessels were still hovering ominously before turning to Layek.

“She’s bad.” I said, picking Tirah back up. “Where is your ship?”

“The docking station.” Layek responded, looking anxious. Siran’s spirits seemed to have been raised as soon as we reappeared on level ground. He dropped onto all fours, testing out his burnt legs before bounding forward.

“Hurry!” He called back at us, laughter in his voice. I sighed in exasperation and shifted Tirah in my arms.

“How can he still think this is a big game?” I asked. Layek looked at me with sad eyes.

“It is who we are.” He said simply, “In this case, however, our young friend is right. It would be wise to make haste.”

Layek also dropped to all fours and sped up, following Siran with more speed than a Pemalite of his age ought to have. I quickened my gait as well, but soon fell behind. With Tirah in my arms I didn’t have the advantage of using four legs to run. I was fast on two – but not as fast as them.

As Layek and Siran disappeared from view I found myself looking down at Tirah as I walked. Unconscious as she was she looked so small and helpless. I realized just how weak my biological masters were – how easy it would be to destroy them. Another nervous glance upward confirmed that the alien ships were still there. What had Layek called them? Howlers?

What could they want? If we could make contact with them maybe we could make a deal…get them to leave before they destroyed everything. For some reason my programming kept returning to the final view of Layek’s computer screen before the blast. The Howlers were taking the air and putting something in it. I was positive of that. What it could be, I didn’t know.

“Hurry up, E’rok!” Layek’s sharp voice broke through my thoughts. I realized that I had caught up to Layek and Siran. They were waiting at the entrance to one of the docking stations. I had only been here once before, and its sheer size still astounded me. It took a moment for my program to adjust to its schematics. Dozens of large ships, made to emulate the Pemalites themselves, were sitting complacently, just waiting to be taken to the skies. Here on the planet they seemed larger than life – not meant for solid ground. Even though I had never been to space, I knew that these ships would be much more at home there.

Layek was leading us to one ship in particular. As far as I was concerned, it was identical to the others at the dock. My programming did not include spaceship schematics. Layek seemed to be able to tell the difference, though, and he smiled familiarly as he approached the outside hatch. There was an access panel next to the hatch, which Layek pressed. He then entered the single digit password which opened the door. Quickly we were ushered inside.

The inside of the ship was an amazing slice of the Pemalite world. Swaths of colored grass and bright plants filled a wide room. There were dozens of small computerized games, some I knew and some I had never experienced before. Layek went straight to a giant tree in the center of the ship. There were controls on it, and his paws worked quickly. A moment later I heard a sliding noise. At the rear of the room a door had opened.

“In there, hurry.” Layek said. Still carrying Tirah, I went through the door. This room was more sterile, clearly a medical center. There were resting stations set up with soft liranth grass. I set Tirah in one of these and Layek went to work immediately while Siran watched.

“E’rok, listen to me. This is important.” Layek said as he worked. “You need to go to the controls and tell the ship to go to the dance party. We need to get as many Pemalites on board as possible.

“I don’t know how –”

“I know you don’t have the programming.” Layek interrupted sharply, “But you do have the ability to learn, and I suggest you do so. Quickly. Our lives depend on it.”

I didn’t protest again. Quickly I turned and ran back to the controls. They were completely foreign to me. Tentatively, I reached out a hand and pressed one of the buttons. A hum filled the ship and suddenly a wide window appeared in front of me. I could see out into the docking bay. Once again I was reminded of the urgency of the situation as I saw the hundreds of Howler ships. Had they grown more abundant since we entered the ship?

It took me another five minutes to get the ship off the ground. Once I did so, it got easier. My programming was set to adapt to new situations, and it was quickly providing me with the information I needed to maneuver the ship. I steered her slowly, not wanting to make a mistake.

It took about fifteen minutes for me to find the location of the dance party. Everything looked different from overhead. The party had not dispersed, although there was no more dancing. Instead, it looked as if the Pemalites had begun to break off into smaller groups, each playing their own game. Occasionally they would look up at the sky curiously. The Howler ships were no longer firing at all. I felt a strange sense of unease, as if we had entered a pristine calm before the storm.

“I can’t believe they’re just playing.” I sighed, directing the ship downward.

“Layek!” I called, “I’m over the party!”

“Good.” His voice carried from the medical center, “Computer, activate audio output. Magnify fifteen times.” The next moment Layek spoke his voice was being projected from the ship to the Pemalites below. Their games ceased as they recognized the voice of their most respected scientist.

“My brothers and sisters! It is time to play a new game! A game that requires a taste for adventure! I promise you that this will be the most exciting game that you have ever played, my dear friends! Board my ship, and if you have your own take as many brother Pemalites to yours. We shall meet in orbit!”

He cut the transmission. The next thing I heard was Siran’s eager voice, “We’re playing a new game!? What fun! Will Tirah be well enough to play?”

I ignored the sounds coming from the medical center and concentrated on landing. The Pemalites backed away to allow room for the ship as we touched down. I opened the hatch, glancing out the view screen warily. Why weren’t the Howler’s shooting?

“Hurry up!” I called, as a few Pemalites tentatively entered the ship. Their attention was immediately caught by the games kept in the open room. They eagerly went over to inspect them. Within moments the ship was full.

“Good work.” Layek said. He had come up behind me without my noticing. “Tirah will be fine. She’s resting. Let’s go.”

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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #18 on: Feb 6th, 2008, 4:59pm »

I surrendered the controls to Layek. I was beginning to feel better. This was going to work out. All we had to do was get safely into orbit and then we could negotiate with these Howlers.

We had just lifted off for the second time, and I decided to go check on Tirah. I was just about to turn to leave, when something caught my eye. The Howler ships seemed to be converging into a pattern.

“Layek…?” I asked questioningly. He didn’t look at me, but I could sense the fear coming from him. Our ship was picking up speed, but it was still far too close. Close enough that I could still make out the trees. I could see the buildings that were various ship docks. I could see the fields that Siran and I had run through, playing game after endless game. I could see…

Then the Howlers loosed fire and I saw nothing but red below me.
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #19 on: Feb 6th, 2008, 5:08pm »

Greetings, friend Tirenia. You wished to know if I am Vulcan, and I have responded in the appropriate thread. Your Fan Fiction is quite original and interesting, and I commend you on your fine efforts to that effect.
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #20 on: Feb 7th, 2008, 5:53pm »

THank you Estelore! Here's the next chapter, you guys are all caught up here! Chapter Nine will be out this weekend!

Chapter Eight


I was quickly reminded that, while the grand array of emotions I felt was beyond the Pemalites reach, they did know grief. They did not rage about the murderers of their planet as it was blown to pieces. They did not discuss a counterattack. They did not even blame the Howlers, but merely decided that this strange invasion was a misunderstanding.

With no one to fault, my masters turned to mourning. All of this made their grieving so much more unbearable. Grief is unrestrained when it isn’t held back by things like blame and revenge.

Six ships had managed to escape the planet, carrying a couple hundred Pemalites and Chee in total. A race of millions had been practically obliterated in mere seconds. My masters may not have been angry, but I was.

Who were these – these Howlers to come to my home and cause such total devastation? How could they destroy such a peaceful and loving race as my masters? And why did the Pemalites have to be so trusting? My anger and frustration grew as answers refused to make themselves known, and I found myself withdrawing from the Pemalites on the ship.

The Pemalites spent their time mourning for their planet. They cried and comforted and never blamed and because of that there was a wall between us. The other Chee and I did not talk much; each of us was too busy trying to figure out how to cope with this unforgivable blow.

“You know, they can’t help it.” Layek’s voice startled me out of my vengeful thoughts. I had been staring out of the view screen at the blank white that marked Zero-space when he came up beside me. Out of all the Pemalites, it was only he who I felt I could talk to. Siran and I had grown more distant with each passing day. He preferred to stay by Tirah’s side, watching her recover slowly, while I stayed as far from the medical room as possible.

“I know.” I admitted, “But that only makes it worse.” Layek didn’t answer, and for a long moment we said nothing. Instead we stood, watching the colorless view intently, and I knew that he, like I, was working to control his frustration.

“Do you wish that you hadn’t done it?” I asked finally, breaking the silence.

“No.” Layek responded, knowing immediately what I was talking about, “I am glad that at least one Pemalite can understand the magnitude of this horror. The others…Siran, Tirah and the rest, they will grieve. But they will never truly understand why they grieve.”

“I don’t understand,” I said, “how a race so intelligent, so advanced, can be so…”

“Limited?” Layek supplied, saving me from using a less desirable word. “No, I think you are looking at it backwards, my child. Long ago, my people would have understood war. Perhaps they would have embraced it. But through the years we evolved beyond the need for violence. The rest of the universe just hasn’t quite caught up yet.” He smiled a sad smile, his pale eyes watching my holographic counterparts. I sighed. This was not the answer I wanted.

“What do we do now?” I asked, changing the subject.

“We move on.” Layek said. He turned around, leaning back against one of the consoles and turning his gaze to his fellow Pemalites. “Eventually, my brothers and sisters will stop grieving. They will always hold a heaviness in their hearts for our world, but we will find another. I’ve already begun a search for a suitable replacement. The others will join in the effort soon enough.”

“And…until then? We just live on this ship? We aren’t even going to try and find out why the Howler’s did this? What they wanted? We’re just going to let them win?” I felt anger welling up inside me once more. It wasn’t fair.

“They haven’t won, my child.” Layek said, placing a hand on my shoulder. “Look around you. There is life on this ship. Pemalite life. Pemalite purity and innocence combined with our ability to learn and adapt. As long as we exist, we have won.”

“It isn’t good enough.” I said, clenching my holographic paw into a fist. “They killed millions.”

“E’rok, listen to me.” Layek said, fixing me with a firm stare, “I know that you’re feeling very angry right now. The other Chee are experiencing similar emotions. But you need to find a way to look beyond your anger. We can’t move forward if we keep concentrating on the past.”

“What do you suggest I do?” I asked, forcing my voice to remain steady. Layek was, after all, my creator. My respect for his opinion was great, especially since he had subjected himself to the same emotions as his creations.

“Go to Siran.” Layek said, “Tirah is still very ill and he could use a companion.”

“He doesn’t need me.” I said, feeling instantly jilted, “He is happy with Tirah.”

“He needs you more than you know,” Layek said, “More than perhaps even he knows. Tirah…as I said, she is not well. I have done what I can, but she hasn’t recovered as quickly as I would have liked.”

“Do you mean….is she going to…” This was news I had not expected. Layek had been very confident about Tirah’s recovery.

“I don’t know,” Layek admitted, “She should have healed by now…anyways, I am doing all I can for her. You need to do all you can for Siran. It is your duty, as his Chee. You remember why he gave you your name, don’t you?”

“Yes.” I said, recalling that day all too well, “It means ‘trust’.”

“That it does.” Layek smiled and straightened up. Obviously our conversation was coming to a close, “So go to Siran, and trustthat all will work out for the best.”

“Yes master.” I said, resigned. Layek loped away, giving me much to think about. For a long while I stood, alternatively watching Zero-Space and my mourning master’s. Siran was nowhere in sight – no doubt in the medical center with Tirah. Tirah. I thought about what Layek had said about her not getting any better and my programming provided me with a painful possibility, which I pushed away. I had avoided voicing my opinion about the Howler’s delay in attacking. Layek was the only person I would have confided in, and he seemed to have his paws full.

Besides, Layek was right. Now was not the time to worry about whether or not the Howler’s had done more damage than shooting, or to be angry with the Pemalites reaction to their destruction. As long as my masters survived in some number, we had made some small victory. And here we were, a small colony of survivor’s far away from the planet we had called home.

Resolute, I pushed my anger and doubt from my mind and made my way to the medical center. Right now there was one particular Pemalite who needed me, and I had a duty to him. Siran, one of my wonderfully innocent, frustratingly joyful masters needed me, and I was not going to let him down.
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #21 on: Feb 7th, 2008, 7:14pm »

i cant wait :]
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #22 on: Feb 8th, 2008, 2:51pm »

this is really good grin
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #23 on: Feb 9th, 2008, 3:53pm »

i agree :]
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #24 on: Feb 10th, 2008, 4:21pm »

Here's Chapter Nine. Also posted at

Enjoy! smiley

Chapter Nine

The First of the Last

“Siran?” I had dropped my hologram as I moved across the ship to the medical center. Somehow I felt as if at this moment, when my grief was so separate from my masters, I needed to distinguish myself from them. So it was with an appearance of silver and ivory that I entered the harsh environment where Tirah was being held.

She was still lying in the same bed as when we arrived. Her burns had been treated, but they seemed to be doing a poor job healing. Respectfully, I averted my gaze from the ill Tirah and focused on Siran.

My closest playmate was standing next to Tirah’s bed, with one paw over hers. His eyes were wide, and it looked as if he had recently been crying. He didn’t move when I entered, or when I called his name. For a moment I stood there awkwardly, unsure how to deal with this version of Siran. To my relief, it was he who broke the silence.

“Why isn’t she getting better?” He asked, his normally cheerful voice choking with pain. I took this as an invitation in, and moved next to him. Together we looked down at Tirah’s unconscious form. She almost looked as if she were sleeping peacefully, if you could look past her wounds and the fact that a shudder of pain would pass through her every few moments.

“I’m not sure.” I responded after a moment. Now was not the time to voice my fears. I glanced around the room. The other beds were all full with other burn victims. “How are the others?”

“The same.” Siran said stiffly, “Layek says he’s done everything our medicine can do. I don’t understand…we have never been unable to…E’rok, is she going to die?” I think that if I had had a heart it would have broken in that moment, looking at Siran’s wide eyes.

“I don’t know.” I said, frustrated that I didn’t have a better answer. “Siran. Why don’t we go play a game? You shouldn’t stay here all day. You haven’t even eaten. Tirah needs to rest.”

“I don’t want to play.” Siran responded, but then he hesitated and added, “I am a bit hungry though.”

“Good. Let’s go get some food.” I grabbed one of his arms and gently steered him away from Tirah’s bedside. We left the sterile, sharp environment of the medical center and returned to the main part of the ship.

The mood here was not very much improved. The Pemalites who had initially taken to the available games were still lost in their mourning. Despite this, Siran seemed to perk up once he was surrounded by healthy Pemalites. In silence we made our way to an abandoned corner of the ship, where the food supplies were stored.

Since the ship could only produce vegetation at a normal rate there was a large number of reserves which Layek had had the foresight to store. It was to these that Siran looked through now, selecting a helping of Diraden root and Gasev fruit.

“Where are we going to go, do you think?” Siran asked, swallowing a large, juicy bite of fruit. His mood had definitely improved, as had his appetite. He finished the fruit quickly and made to grab more.

“I’m not sure,” I said, encouraged by Siran’s better mood, “Layek had said something about looking through the ship’s database. He has a record of planets your people have been to in the past.”

“Oh, good!” Siran said, giving me an abrupt grin and wiping a paw over his damp snout, “I’m sure there will be a lot of new and exciting things to explore!”

“Yes and new games to play.” I agreed, feeling relieved at his sentiment.

“That will be wonderful!” Siran grinned. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder at his ability to switch between utter despair and joy so quickly. There had been a time when I had only experienced those two, pure emotions. Those days seemed so distant now, even though I could remember every detail. If I had wanted to I could even draw up a holographic representation of that first day I had come into existence. Yet there was a barrier between the E’rok created that day and the E’rok who was present now.

Siran, on the other hand, had not changed, and I found their emotional range frustrating at times it was also greatly reassuring. It was with a certain amount of nostalgic relief that I set to a game of Cher’ak with Siran. We tried play quietly, not wanting to disturb the grieving Pemalites. Eventually, though, our laughter was noticed, and a few curious Pemalites took time from their weeping to watch our game.

“What are you doing?” One Pemalite, an older female who I did not know, asked.

“We’re playing!” Siran said with a laugh, “Oh it is such wonderful news, sister! Layek is looking for a new home for us to explore! An entire new world, just for us!”

There was a general hum as this message made its way through the curious and grieving Pemalites. For a moment I worried that they may shun Siran for his light-heartedness. But then I realized I was thinking like a Chee – not a Pemalite. Within a few moments more of my masters had joined in our game.

The oppressive silence that had overtaken Layek’s ship was slowly lifted as time went on. It was not long before peels of laughter rang out among my masters and their Chee. I found my fury at the Howlers fading as I realized that Layek was right: they had failed. The Pemalites would survive. That thought alone filled me with enough joy to forget about our plight, momentarily. I could tell the other Chee felt the same way. Their holographic looks of rage had been replaced with contentment. For the moment, Pemalite and Chee alike were happy just to be.

It was with high spirits that we concluded our games. Layek had called a meeting for that evening, to discuss our situation. We congregated en masse around the large Toraf tree which was central to the controls of the ship. It was here that Layek stood, staring out at the survivors of his race. I had noticed that he had not taken part in the games of that day, but rather secluded himself to the medical center. It showed through on his face, which looked older than ever.

“My Pemalite brothers and my Chee children,” Layek began as soon as the noise had quieted down. His voice ached with weariness, and I felt a flicker of anxiety break through my contentment. “We are facing a new era. Our home world is gone. Our numbers are greatly diminished.”

There was silence as the Pemalites accepted this new reality. They had already done their grieving; it was time for them to move on. They waited for the good news, while I and the other Chee exchanged tense glances.

“I have begun the hunt for a new home world,” Layek went on, “There are many places which are habitable, but many belong to other races. I do not want us to share worlds with another sentient species. We are Pemalites: we deserve our own home to welcome playmates to.”

There was a general sound of approval from the crowd. Some laughter broke out amongst one group of Pemalites, and others whispered to one another happily. Many tails were wagging as they listened to Layek announce the future of their race.

“Unfortunately…” Layek paused and seemed to be searching for words that his people would understand, “Our troubles are not at an end. We will have to endure just a bit more before we touch down on our new home. For now, enjoy your time aboard this wonderful ship! Our search for a world to call ours will not be easy, but it will be an adventure!”

The response was tumultuous. Layek had chosen his words well, turning a potentially hazardous situation into a game. I felt my respect for him growing, even as the crowd dispersed and he moved towards Siran and me.

“May I have a moment?” Layek asked.

“Of course!” Siran bubbled, “Oh it really is wonderful, Layek. Finding an entire new world for us! You must be so very excited!”

“Yes…” Layek said slowly, although I noted he did not look very excited. “Listen you two, this is important. I said that our troubles were not at an end, and that is very much the truth.”

“Is there a problem?” I asked, cutting across Siran, who had been about to speak again.

“Yes.” Layek admitted, “I won’t lie to you. E’rok, you and your brethren are the only ones capable of understanding the immensity of this problem. And Siran…well, I wish that I did not have to confide in you, but I do.”

“What are you talking about?” Siran asked, his tail giving a single hopeful wag. Layek sighed heavily.

“There is an infection spreading through the ship.” Layek said finally. At that moment, had I had a heart it would have skipped a beat. My programming automatically pulled up my previous suspicions.

“An infection?” Siran tilted his head to the side curiously, “Do we need to take a preventative?”

“No, Siran.” Layek said with a gentle smile, “I do not know how they spread it so effectively, but the Howlers, they did it. Somehow.”

“Is there a cure?” I asked quickly, trying to force back the dread which was seeping through my program.

“I have yet to find one.” Layek said softly. He did not look at me when he spoke; rather his pained gaze fell on Siran. “The infection is working quickly, taking the wounded first. It is only a matter of time….Siran, I am sorry. Tirah is dead.”
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #25 on: Feb 10th, 2008, 8:19pm »

sad story i know this but still
waiting formore as always :]
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #26 on: Feb 11th, 2008, 7:59pm »

omg, two chapters in two days. What did I do, take a crazy pill or something? :-P

Chapter Ten

The Farewell

I had thought that I had seen all grief had to offer. After all, my master’s entireplanet had been destroyed. Millions of Pemalites had evaporated into thin air – gone before they could even stop smiling. Yet none of that could compare to the sorrow I faced now. A million or more Pemalites were nameless, faceless, and therefore distant. The death of Tirah hit much closer to my master’s hearts - especially Siran’s.

There was a customary three days of mourning before a memorial service would be held. During that time the Pemalites cried openly, consoling one another and sharing memories of Tirah. In that three days time we lost two more of the wounded Pemalites. The mourning continued.

I and the other Chee aboard withdrew from our Pemalite companions. This new blow – this infection – had reignited our hatred for the Howlers. We were angry, and we were scared. Would Layek be able to stop the infection in time? What would become of our masters? If they perished, what would become of us?

At one point I pulled Layek aside to talk about the infection. He was getting weaker by the day – not from the disease, but from exhaustion. He had not slept, had not eaten, had not even grieved. His days and nights were spent in the medical center or on the computers. Even with the assistance of myself and a few other Chee it seemed as if there were no solutions to be had.

“Layek?” I asked tentatively, not wanting to disrupt him. He was searching through the computer database, continuing the never ending hunt for a new home. A new home that, at this rate, he may very well never see.

“Yes?” Layek pulled his gaze from the console and stared at me.

“I have to tell you something, about the…the infection.” I hesitated. I had had my suspicions all along, but to voice them now, after three casualties, seemed almost like a sort of betrayal.

“What is it?” Layek asked, suddenly looking wildly eager, “Did you find something?”

“No…no…” I responded regretfully, “It’s just…remember the day of the attack? How the Howlers hovered but didn’t really shoot for awhile?” Layek nodded and I continued, speaking quickly, “Well you noticed that they were filtering air through their systems, and we couldn’t really detect what they were doing with it. Well, I think that that’s when they released the infection. With that many ships filtering the air for as long as they did, it was likely to infect at least a few Pemalites. Enough to spread the disease to everyone else…”

I trailed off into silence and waited, half expecting Layek begin raging at me. As his exhaustion had increased his control over the new emotions he felt had decreased, and it would not be the first time. To my surprise, however, he merely sighed and nodded.

“I had suspected the same thing.” Layek said sadly. “It’s the only thing that makes sense. Do not worry E’rok,” He added, seeing my projected expression, “This is not your fault. The damage was done, and would have been had you told me your suspicions then or now.”

“Layek.” I said again, feeling emboldened by Layek’s reaction, “Aren’t you angry at them? I know the others…they don’t understand. But youunderstand. You understand what they did to us. Why don’t we go back and fight! You could take off our prohibition on violence, and the Chee would fight too!”

“No.” Layek’s voice was shockingly firm, almost angry. He gave me a sharp look. “Even if I wanted to I could not change your programming, there is no Pemalite Crystal on this ship. But I would never do such a thing.”

“Why not? Look at the destruction the Howler’s caused! Look what they did to us!” I protested.

“Exactly.” Layek said, “I will not have my creation sink to the level of those….” He trailed off, apparently unable to think of a word to describe them, and instead locked eyes with me, “I created the Chee to be companions and playmates to the Pemalites. The Pemalites are not violent, even when it is perhaps the most effective response. As Chee you are representations of your master’s. That is one line I will not allow you to cross. No violence.”

I was stunned by the intensity of his response, and did not question Layek further. The rest of the day was spent in relative silence, as we worked side by side. The search for a planet was grueling. There were so many possibilities which had to be dismissed, either because they were already inhabited or their gravity was too strong or they were caught in the middle of a war zone, or for a million other reasons. Finally, after another fruitless day, we gave up for the night. There was somewhere more important for us to be tonight.

As we left the medical center for the main area of the ship there was a distinct change in the mood. The medical center felt claustrophobic, oppressive. There were the dead, lying in stasis, and the dying moaning in pain. Beyond Layek and a handful of Chee, the Pemalites suffered alone.

Out in the main room the Pemalites still suffered. They cried freely with their brothers and sisters. Here the pain was deeper, but it was more bearable because they had one another to lean on. At the moment they were all gathered in a semi-circle around a release pod. I noted that the Chee were staying against the far wall, away from their masters. I ignored the other Chee and pushed through the crowd, searching for one Pemalite in particular.

Siran was standing closest to the release pod, deep purple tears matting his fur. I came and stood silently beside him, looking down at the release pod. It was made of a clear material, allowing us to see the Pemalite within. Tirah looked much better than she had in her last days. Layek had fixed her up so well that I half expected her to open her eyes and wag her tail expectantly, demanding a game.

“My Pemalite brothers and Chee children,” Layek said, working his way to the front, “It is with the greatest sorrow that we bid farewell to one of our sisters today. Layek was one of my assistants during the first awakening of the Chee. She was a good worker, a wonderful playmate, and above all, a dear friend. Even though her body has been laid to rest her soul will live on in each of us. Let us pay our final respects and rejoice in the life that belonged to Tirah of the Pemalites.”

There was a long pause, in which all that could be heard was the occasional sniffle or whine. Siran cried harder than any other Pemalite there, and when Layek jettisoned Tirah’s body into black space.

As soon as Tirah’s body was released there was a great release of tension, as if every Pemalite had been holding their breath. The grieving was done, and now it was time to celebrate the life which had been lost. Slowly my masters began to split off into groups of three and four, engaging in various games with a strange ferocity. It was as if they were determined to have as much fun as possible before the next funeral, in two days time.

Siran turned to me, his eyes still glistening, but a trace of a smile on his drawn features “E’rok, will you play with me?”

“Of course.” I said, and we began weaving our way towards the nearest group of Pemalites.

“E’rok!” Layek’s voice made me stop and look around. He had made his way through the crowd and was approaching us.

“Yes?” I asked, hoping that for once he brought good news.

“Siran, go on and play, I need to speak to E’rok alone.” Siran gave me one last smile before he ran off to be with his companions. I waited expectantly.

“E’rok, I didn’t want to say anything in front of Siran. I don’t want to get their hopes up…” Layek said quickly. His eyes were bright with excitement, despite the recent events. In fact, he looked more energetic than I had seen him since we came aboard the ship.

“Layek, what is it?” I asked, remaining carefully casual, not wanting to get my own hopes up.

“I think I’ve found it.” He said, grinning. When I didn’t respond he pressed further, “I think I’ve found our new home!”
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #27 on: Feb 12th, 2008, 08:41am »

i dont have time to read right now but i will when i get home.

execellent post, you actually made me sad for the pemalites it was good.
« Last Edit: Feb 12th, 2008, 8:32pm by Crayak » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #28 on: Mar 1st, 2008, 10:24pm »

A/N: Wow, I'm so sorry for the delay. I had this chapter half finished for about a week before I could figure out how I wanted to finish it out. I don't know why, but for some reason writer's block decided to afflict me. All better though! Here you go. Two chapters and an epilogue to go, methinks. Although knowing me, that will change.



Chapter Eleven


Layek took me back into the medical center. There were four sick Pemalites on the beds – one of which had suffered no injury on the home world. They were all unconscious. I averted my gaze from them and concentrated instead on the computer console Layek approached. He was drawing up a list of planetary schematics.

“Here.” He said, and a holographic image appeared. It was a small planet, about a third of the size ours had been. It was the third in a system and the only one with a habitable atmosphere. There was only one sun – a medium sized yellow ball of gas which was much paler than the light we were used to.

“It is different.” I said, stating the obvious. I looked more closely at the readouts. The planet had a massive amount of plant and animal life including, it appeared, a sentient race.

“I know I said that we shouldn’t inhabit another species’ planet.” Layek said quickly, “But we are running out of time, and the creatures that inhabit this planet are barely sentient. Then exist in small communes, completely unaware of life beyond their world. They are hardly aware that more of their own kind exists. We would not interfere.”

“How can you be sure that we wouldn’t…disrupt them?” I asked. I was uncomfortable with the idea of hiding out on a planet that had already been claimed.

“We can’t.” Layek admitted, “But it is a risk we will have to take. The only other planets that come close to our requirements are heavily populated by much more advanced species than these.”

“This is…good news.” I allowed, giving Layek a smile.

“E’rok,” Layek said, sensing my unease, “The Pemalites thrive in open space, with room to run and play. Surely you know that – you are programmed with the same basic needs. If we are to give my people hope of survival, we need to give them a home first.”

“I know.” I said, “I suppose that any new planet will take some getting used to.”

“Yes, that is certain.” Layek nodded, “But we will be able to get used to it together, as the Pemalite survivors and their Chee companions.”

“Yes.” I agreed, feeling a twinge of hopefulness. Perhaps Layek was right, and we had finally found our fresh start.

“Should we make an announcement?” I asked, glancing towards the door that led to the main area where, no doubt, the games celebrating Tirah were still going on.

“Not yet.” Layek said, his eyes fixated on the computer. “When they finish celebrating the release of Tirah’s soul. Then we will tell them.”

“Alright.” I said, lapsing into silence. For awhile I stood there, watching him. Something was nagging at me, but I was unsure whether or not I should voice it. Finally I spoke up hesitantly, “Layek?”


“What exactly is a soul?” I felt foolish asking the question, but it seemed important, and the knowledge had not been programmed into me. I had only become aware of the word when news of Tirah’s death spread and I had a feeling that perhaps it was a subject only talked about in tragedy. The look Layek gave me confirmed that I was at least partially correct.

“A soul…well, E’rok, that is a very complicated question.” Layek said, scratching his left ear with one paw: a nervous habit of his.

“Why is it complicated?” I asked, my curiosity growing.

“One can’t simply define the word soul.” Layek said, sounding frustrated, as if I had pointed out some sort of inadequacy in him. “If I could, then you would already know what it was.”

“Is that why it isn’t a part of my programming?” I questioned.

“Yes. Partially. I could give you raw data and explanations, but a soul is so much more than that. A soul is your essence, it’s your being. Yes, it can be quantified, but it can’t really be explained unless it can be felt.”

“And you…all of you…have souls?” I asked, not entirely sure that Layek was answering my question, but also unsure as to whether I liked the way this conversation was going.

“Yes.” Layek nodded, “A soul is a part of every Pemalite. A part of any organic being, really. It is the raw energy which forms a person. Why do you think Siran and the others are always so happy? When they play their joy comes straight from their soul. It is pure.”

“I see…” I said slowly, although something Layek had said struck a chord with me. “You said any organic being. Does this mean that I don’t have a soul?”

Layek hesitated, as if unsure how to answer. His pause was the only answer I needed. I excused myself and left the room, feeling his eyes on my back with every step. For a moment I felt better as I left the medical center behind, the open, grassy main area beckoning to the playful side of my programming. But one glance at the throngs of blissful Pemalites brought the wall back up.

I wasn’t sure why the thought of not having a soul bothered me so. After all, until moments ago I hadn’t even known what a soul was. I still wasn’t entirely sure I understood completely. Still…something in the way Layek had talked around the subject made me feel as if a soul was essential to being alive.

Don’t be foolish. I rebuked myself immediately. Of course I wasn’t alive, in the traditional sense. I was no more than a highly sophisticated computer system, designed to generate feelings and desires. Faded mockeries of what ‘organic beings’ were capable of.

“E’rok?” Siran pulled me from my distressing line of thought. He seemed a bit perplexed at my expression, “Are you still sad over Tirah?” he asked, providing me with an acceptable excuse.

“Yes.” I said, nodding my confirmation. “Siran…maybe you can help me with something.”

“What is it?” One ear perked with interest.

“Well, when Tirah’s soul was…released…where did it go?” I watched carefully for the same aversion to the topic that Layek had displayed. Siran didn’t seem to mind, however, and he was eager to please.

“It went everywhere!” He exclaimed, as if this were the most wonderful – and obvious – explanation ever.

“Everywhere?” I asked, still unclear.

“Yes, of course.” Seeing that I didn’t quite understand, Siran continued on, “When we die, our souls have no use of our bodies anymore. How silly it would be to remain in a lifeless corpse! You couldn’t play, and how dreadful that would be! So the soul leaves, and without a body to focus it, it has no limitations. When a soul is freed it can go anywhere and play the most marvelous games! But of course, we cannot see that.” He seemed a little sad at this fact, “It is something we will have to wait to find for ourselves.”

“I see.” I said, nodding as I stored the information away for later use. “And what about us Chee?”

“You?” Siran laughed at the question, as if I had told an exceptionally funny joke, “What do you need a soul for? You won’t ever die! A soul is required to continue existing after death…if you don’t die, why bother?”

“Ah…” I trailed off, thinking.

“E’Rok, I wish you would stop that.” Siran said suddenly.

“What?” I asked.

“Looking so sad all the time.” His tail wagged once, hopefully, “We are on a grand adventure! Even Tirah, when she was awake in the end…” he paused, and I wondered if it hurt him to speak of her, “she was happy for the little life she had left. And she was excited for her soul to be released. You should be happy too.”

“Siran, your entire planet was just destroyed. You lost your mate, and more of you are falling ill each day. How could I possibly be happy?” And I have no soul. I added silently.

“Because if you are not happy, you will be sad.” Siran said, cocking his head to the side curiously, “Who would choose to be sad when they don’t need to be?”

I sighed in resignation. I knew it was no use arguing with the Pemalite. In an offhanded way, I supposed he was right. At this point there was nothing I could do to change the fate of my masters – or of myself. Perhaps it was just best to sit back and enjoy what I could of my existence. Besides, our misery could very well be nearing its end, with Layek’s new discovery…

“Siran…” I began, lowering my voice, “Can you keep a secret?”

“Of course!” Siran cried eagerly, his ears pricking.

“Well…” I grinned, feeling my spirits begin to rise with the excitement of sharing forbidden knowledge, “Layek thinks he’s found us a new home.”

“Oh!” Siran’s eyes widened with excited shock, and for a moment I thought he might break his promise immediately and shout the news for joy. His tail was wagging so hard I worried that it might fall off, “What wonderful news! E’Rok, we have a new home!”

“Shh…” I cautioned, “Don’t tell anyone yet. Layek still wants to do some research. But it looks good.”

“Of course, of course. Oh E’Rok, I’m so happy! Come on, let’s celebrate!” He took off running, not giving me time to respond. My programming took over, though, and before I knew it I was chasing him and laughing giddily.

Perhaps this will all work out for the best. I thought, as I ran through the habitat that was as artificial as I was. I imagined a new world, full of alien sights and experiences. I thought of exploring that world with my masters, while creating new and exciting games.

For a being without a soul, my contentment at that moment felt marvelously real.
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xx Re: The Pemalite Chronicles
« Reply #29 on: Mar 4th, 2008, 4:09pm »

:[ its very good.
i wonder why the chee in the animorphs never mentioned the soul thing?
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