Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
The afternoon sun shone through the clouds and cast shadows over the towering buildings of downtown Toronto. Amidst the foundations of the elaborated constructions walked a myriad of people; productive members of society tending to business as per usual. To the surprise of said civilians walked a young man who was trying to hasten his friends pace.
"Aaliyah, hurry up! I am tired of waiting for you,” Said Michael as he tried to hurry Aaliyah along. “I reserved our seats for 3:00 PM and it is already approaching 3:30 PM!” He finished, feeling slightly exasperated.
He pulled her along by the arm and guided them in between the coming pedestrians. A few of them brushed shoulders with Michael & Aaliyah, but it mattered little. Time was of the essence and currently, it was against them; partly because Aaliyah continued to play around with her phone and partly because she had been sleeping when Michael went to pick her up.
Their destination was 'Across the Board', which was a coffee shop that sold both alcohol and coffee –sometimes intertwining the two together, so it met the preferences of the two. Aaliyah had always been a heavy drinker whereas Michael hadn’t really given the intoxicant much thought –that said, he stuck to coffee.
The young Saylè –no more than twenty-four years old, arrived by Michael’s side. She walked briskly as she tried to multitask between her cell phone and her friend.
“I’m sorry. My attention is a little divided right now.” She said apologetically as she powered her phone down and put it away.
“Come on,” Michael said orderly as the two began to walk briskly towards the Cafè. “There is a good chance the seats that I reserved for us are no longer available. In the event they aren’t, we may have to visit an alternative Cafè.”
The two hurriedly walked for a few minutes before they finally arrived to their intended location.
There was a large sign positioned above the front window. There was a large sign positioned above the front window; which was as significant in size itself. Through the glass Aaliyah was able to deduce that there were around thirty seats inside –three quarters of which were either full, booked or currently being shown to attending customers. The interior designs of the shop appeared to be much more elegant and fashionable than Aaliyah had dressed for.
Michael paused before the front door and quickly turned around. He raised his hand and tucked one of Aaliyah’s bangs behind her ear, almost as if he was trying to determine whether she looked the part or not.
Following a quick chime of the doors bells, the two entered the Cafè. Michael smiled as he was greeted from a waitress, whom handed him a pamphlet –which advertised all of their available drinks, with that, the two hurriedly sat down; in surprise that their seats were still available.
“It is nicer in here than thought it would be; I’m actually quite impressed,” Begun Michael as he took off his business coat and hung it over the back of his chair. “Though I did hope it would have a larger menu.” He finished, admittedly disappointed.
There was only 10 items for the two to choose from so the variety offered wasn’t exactly befitting to their expectations.
Aaliyah was rather quiet and didn’t bother responding to Michael. But it was her quietness that drew his attention. He looked up suspiciously only to see that she was pouring a portion of her flask into her drink; a pop bottle that she had picked up along the way.
She smiled back at him before giving a dismissing shrug of her shoulders.
“What?” She asked, trying to sound absent minded.
Michael snickered before digging through his belongings and pulled out today’s newspaper. He laid it upon the table and palmed the crinkles flat.
That is when a waitress approached the table and politely asked them if they wished to make their order now.
Aaliayh glanced towards the waitress and gave her a polite smile before she turned back to her mixed drink and cell phone.
“Yes, I will have a large coffee with an espresso shot,” Michael ordered as he looked towards Aaliyah. “My friend there should be fine on drinks but a bagel would do fine.” He finished their order and handed the waitress back the pamphlets.
“Are you ever going to get off that? It was my belief that we came here to study documentation regarding the Saylè,” He remarked as be began to rummage through his brief-case. He laid out several papers before Aaliyah and himself and parted them with his finger-tips. “So, was this the reason we came here or not?” He finished; admittedly annoyed.
“That was the reason, but I am not feeling up to studying or reading anything right now. Also, I am not really sure how I feel, kind of sick.” The Saylè responded as she sunk into her chair –seemingly defeated.
“Sick? Like the flu?” Michael asked questionably.
“Like hung-over…” She shot back before quickly jumping out of her chair.
“Wait, where are you going now?!” Michael asked as began to raise his voice, he was clearly getting quite aggravated by the girl.
“To the washroom, I think I need to throw up.” She responded as she quickly walked towards the bathroom –nearly knocking over their server in the process.
She pushed the washroom door open and quickly latched the door-lock in place. Making sure nobody was able to enter the washroom at her discretion. She walked to the washroom mirror and studied herself. She was fairly impressed with what she saw and pulled her bangs forward in front of her eyes. That is how she liked them.
Her hair was black with many streaks of red running through it. Strands of hair stuck out in all directions because of how little the Saylè cared about spending unnecessary time fixing her hair. Her eye liner was jetted black and covered the exteriors of her eyes, but that too was messily worn. It was actually the same eye liner she wore from the day before. From her status as a Saylè –in other-words an alien, there were tattoos upon her face of a seeming different sort. Two marks of 2 inches in length –and quite narrow, extended from the bottom of her right eye down to the top of her cheek. On the opposite side of her face was an usual marking. It appeared to be drawn by talented hands but it was some sort of insignia that a majority of the Saylè had on some part of their body –in her particular case, it was upon the contours of her left cheek.
She breathed heavily and watched a strand of her hair fall gently in front of her face. She was contemplating her next move but ultimately gave in to a choice of irresponsibility.
‘I guess now is as good a time as ever’ She thought to herself as she listened intently –trying to determine if anybody was walking towards the woman’s washroom.
She surmised that she had at least a few moments privacy. With that, she quickly pulled the flask from her pocket once again. She twisted the cap off and swallowed a rather quick, but large shot. Suddenly a quick sensation coursed through her body. She could tell that this ‘presence’ wasn’t typical of a human’s energy, because the potency was far, far greater. She shrugged off what she sensed and swallowed another sip of her flask. However, she couldn’t help but wonder just what the hell it was; probably another Saylè.
The only actual worry to her was her friend Michael. She was more than powerful enough to defend herself but a mere human would be defenseless if this was actually some sort of threat. He friend also had no idea what exactly she was, and she found it better to keep it that way. She decided to be cautious and keep an eye on her surroundings. With that, she unlocked the washroom door and began walking back towards her and Michael’s table.
He raised his eyes and looked at her just seconds prior to her stumble –she missed a step. She giggled a bit and threw herself back into her chair. Michael on the other-hand was not impressed with her actions.
“Well you seem to be feeling good. Your bagel has arrived by the way,” He told her cheekily as he raised his coffee to a sarcastic cheers motion. Aaliyah nodded to his gesture and did the same, but with nothing in hand.
“I believe there is a Saylè nearby,” She said with a burp. “I could not tell how far away it was.”
“I guess that’s a problem?” Michael replied, not overly concerned. He knew Aaliyah was a Saylè and that she could boast incredible power if she really had too. Although it was a little concerning not knowing exactly how powerful the unknown Saylè may be.
Michael studied his papers.
“How far away do you believe the Saylè to be?” He began –his attention divided between Aaliyah and his studies. “I certainly wouldn’t want to endanger the people around us.”
“He is just entering the Cafè now. I believe he sensed my presence; that is the only way he could have located us.” Aaliyah said –appearing quite un-phased by the possible danger this posed.
“You should have at least given us some fair warning Aaliyah!” Michael said, seemingly perplexed. He took his attention off his notes and sat back in his chair –trying to determine what their next move should be.
Aaliyah whirled back in her chair and peered over her shoulder. She saw a young man –perhaps no more than twenty five, entering the Cafè. To Aaliyah it became abundantly clear that he was the Saylè that he sensed just a few minutes ago.
She turned back and immediately felt a slight sense of panic. She didn’t know how to react because the presence was now many-fold stronger than it was previously. It grew to such an extent that it dwarfed her own power.
“Are… you okay?” Michael asked, expressing concern.
“What…?” She whispered.
“Nothing,” He replied as he glanced towards the Saylè. “He looks like you –the same eyes, somewhat of the same facial tattoos, isn’t that odd?”
“Really?” Aaliyah shot back; not impressed “He looks like a bum.” She added.
Michael laughed momentarily before glancing over one more time. “I think he notices us –he’s walking this way” He finished as he turned back towards Aaliyah.
Aaliyah could hear the steps the faint steps quickly approaching. She looked at the Saylè and noticed that he was now looking directly at her as well. She felt aghast and intimidated –not knowing what to do, so she stared at the wooden table in front of her and didn’t take her eyes off of it.
The stranger pulled up a chair between her and Michael and sat down; with his arms resting upon the splat of the chair. He continued to stare at Aaliyah without a blink of the eye; taking no notice of Michael whatsoever.
“Hi, how are you?” Aaliyah asked charitably, once she found the courage to do so. Although, it didn’t really matter, it was quite evident to Michael that she had become quite agitated.
Regardless of Aaliyah’s rather welcoming introduction the stranger’s expression did not change. He maintained the same cold expression and continued to stare Aaliyah directly in the eye. This made her even more nervous than she already was.
“Who are you? I was able to sense you several miles away. For all you know, I could be a threat,” The stranger said, surprisingly relaxed. “You should really try to stay under the radar. Had I been one of the bad guys I’m fairly certain something violent could have possibly occurred.”
“Um, Hello?!” Michael said with a sarcastic wave, trying to get the Saylès attention.
The Saylè turned to Michael with an emotionless expression on his face. He studied Michael from ead to toe with a quick motion of his eyes.
“Hello.” He finally said with a nod of his head.
“Hey you guys! Sorry for intervening on your discussion, but can I help you with anything?.” Asked the waitress whom seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
“I’ll have a beer.” The stranger said as he threw his change on the table without a care in the world.
“Oh!” The waitress said to herself a little surprised. She began to pick up the coins one by one, but Aaliyah quickly intervened to give her some help.
“Very kind of you” Aaliyah said to the Saylè. “I suppose you’ll just invite yourself for a drink at our table as well?.” She scorned with a frown on her face.
Michael didn’t know what to say, he just pulled his lips back and raised his eyebrows.
"I wasn't... trying to be rude” Said the unknown Saylè. "May I introduce myself?" He asked politely.
There was something different about this one, Aaliyah thought to herself. Embarrassingly enough she found herself admiring his appearance –regardless of how scruffy it appeared to be. He had messy black hair that extended to tips of his brow, a slender chin and rather thin eye brows. He was dressed in a black sweat shirt that was quite obviously, a size large on him –finished with tight black skinnies. The color of his irises is what drew Aaliyah’s attention the most. They were the same greenish color that Aaliyahs were. Although, the tattoos upon his face were of a different pattern, but not un-wholly different.
Aaliyah found it queer, but for some reason she no longer felt intimidated. She put her novel down and looked towards the waitress in preparation for her order.
"One beer? Will that be all?" Asked the waitress as she scribbled the order on a notepad.
"Make that two. I think I need one now” Added Michael as he stared heavily at the Saylè. He appeared to be rather annoyed by the al
“So, what’s your name?” Asked Aaliyah as she pushed her coffee a few inches forward.
“Carlos. I’m sorry if I came off a little strong. I’m just having a really shitty day is all.” He finished his introduction with an extended hand. Both Michael & Aaliyah shook it caringly.
“A Saylè. I figured so almost as soon as you walked through that door,” Michael replied with a nod towards the Cafè entrance. “There isn’t anything wrong with that, but Saylè do carry a troublesome reputation these days.” He added with a sip of his coffee.
“Definitely.” Carlos agreed with a smile.
“Now that the introductions are out of the way, why are you here?” Asked Michael with a puzzled look on his face.
At that moment the waitress arrived with the three beverages. She handed one to each customer at the table and in exchange, all three paid for their drinks with tips in tow.
Carlos held his drink firmly and seemed to stare into the table. He appeared as though he was trying to find his words.
“I’m here to know whether you, or your friend, know the location of one of the Pendants of Leontaylè?,” Carlos asked as he sipped his drink.
“Leontaylè?,” Asked Michael with a dubious look. “What specifically are you talking about?” He questioned.
Aaliyah appeared a little taken back from the question –seemingly trying to avoid the discussion at hand, but it appeared as though the subject got the better of her.
“Leontaylè is the name given to these ‘supposed’ Pendants that are strewn about the world. Though I do believe only a few are known to exist?” She questioned with uncertainty –squinting her eyes in the process.
“Oh those!,” Cried Michael. “Yes, I have heard of those. They have appeared on the news on several different occasions.” He finished as he sipped his beer.
“They have, but not for the most righteous cause.” Aaliyah spoke with roll of her eyes.
“That may be, but whatever problems the Saylè and humans have had in the past about them is not my concern. I’m trying to locate them.” Carlos cut in as he leaned over the table –seemingly in contest.
“For…?” Asked Aaliyah with a sarcastic trail in to her voice.
“That’s where I’m at a loss. Nobody I’ve met –Saylè or human, has been able to determine what exactly their purpose is. However, according to this article…” Carlos explained as he began to dig through his pockets. He pulled out a crumbled paper and slammed it on the table –a little more vigorously than intended. “There was a Saylè in the past who could actually wear one of these things. What she did with it is anyone’s guess. Although it does intrigue me to know that there was at least one of our kind who was able to wear it.” Carlos elaborated with extensive interest. This topic appeared to be of utmost importance to him, as did these Pendants that he or Aaliyah really knew next to nothing about.
“Wait a minute,” Michael interjected as he leaned upon the table. “What do you mean wear? I’m fully aware of what these artefacts are –or at least know that they exist, but when you speak of a Saylè wearing one of them, you make it seem as though that`s some sort of spectacle or something.”
“Please show us.”
Carlos looked at Michael for a moment as though the two were in some sort of challenge with one another. Aaliyah caught onto this and realized that she had best intervene –lest something happen.
“Relax you guys,” She began as she helped herself to her drink. “Carlos if it isn’t too much to ask of you, but I’d be interested in seeing this as well.” She finished with a flirting smile –or at least she tried, she found herself blushing a little.
It took a few moments but Carlos eventually agreed. He looked through his back-pack pockets and eventually found what he was looking for. At first Aaliyah saw the long chain –thinning in appearance, but it shun a dazzling color white. The chain connected to a small Pendant that was perhaps no more than a few inches long and about an inch thick. It was a reddish color and appeared to glow very faintly.
Michael threw it upon the table and sat back in his chair. To Michael and Aaliyahs surprise it seemed to hit the table with a loud thud.
Michael glanced at the object curiously –not sure what to make of it. It was at that moment that he decided to reach for it. He stopped halfway through and looked towards Carlos –asking for his okay.
Michael quick latched the chain link around his neck and secured it in place. To his surprise it mysteriously fell off –as though it actually fell through his neck. Aaliyahs mouth dropped as she witnessed the anomaly before her.
“Not as simple as one might think, is it?.” Carlos said with a quick snicker.
Michael handed Carlos the Pendant and looked a little lost for words. “Well… that’s weird,” He said as he sat back in his chair. “So you’re saying that you’re incapable of wearing it either?.”
“Yea, and even though I’ve been searching for a while, I haven’t found one person whose capable.”
“How did you come across it?.” Michael pressed –a little bewildered.
Carlos chuckled nervously for a brief moment. “I… kind of stole it, from a military base.” He answered as he glanced around –trying to determine that no one had heard him.
Aaliyah didn’t seem at all surprised by his reponse but Michael was once again, taken back.
“Whatever you do is your business, but…” He tried to respond before Aaliyah cut him off.
“I have one.”
“What?.” Asked Carlos intrigued.
“I have one.” She said again. “It’s at home but I never really though much of it until now.” She continued with a seeming lisp to her voice –the alcohol was evidently doing its toll. It wasn’t just her voice that seemed a little off, but her face started to become a little red.
“Really? Does it seem to be the same as this one or is it different?.” Pressed Carlos –this knowledge definitely appeared to drew his attention.
“I think it’s different? I’m not really sure. But they look similar,” She thought heavily before she continued –trying to choose her words carefully. “If we go check it out, you’re not going to like… attack me are you?.”
Michael raised both his eye brows to Aaliyah’s response. He had not expected that at all.
“No, absolutely not.”
“I guess she does have a point. I mean you say you’re looking for them, and you did just tell us you attacked a military base,” Michael brought himself closer to the table –pulling himself in. “I guess what I’m trying to say is, how can we trust you?”
Carlos bit his bottom lip to the question –and thought carefully, trying to find a way to convince these two that he didn’t pose a threat. He glanced to the left rather quickly before digging back into his pocket.
“Hold on to it,” He said as he placed the Pendant in front of Aaliyah. “You’re clearly a Saylè as well. Which also means you probably possess extraordinary abilities, if anything happens you have my permission to destroy it.”
Michael smirked and looked towards Aaliyah –apparently Carlos’s deal was sufficient in his eyes.
Aaliyah truthfully felt a little stressed under the pressure. She looked towards the ground before raising her eyes to meet Carlos’s. “Fine,” She answered. “Although, I’d still like to know a little more about you before I bring you to the place I call home.”
“I’m not really sure where to begin.” Carlos said –uncertain as to what specifically she wanted to know.
“Wherever you feel comfortable I guess,” Aaliyah replied before she finished the last of her drink. She unintentionally slammed it on the table. “Sorry for being a little loud, I just-,” She burped before she could continue. “Feel a little drunk.”
“Yes, I think we can definitely see that. Are you finished for today?” Michael asked a little concerned.
“I think so, but you interrupted our friend there.”
Michael bit his lip –seemingly agitated, before he turned his attention back to Carlos. “Sorry about that,” He said. “Please, continue.”
“Obviously I’m a Saylè, 26 years old and I guess unemployed. Although, under the knowledge that I’m not really human, it doesn’t necessarily make sense that I would be. Don’t really have a place to call home –wandering the streets trying to find these damn things, all the while searching for a reason as to why the hell we’re even here.” Carlos finished with his quick summary of who he was and what specifically he was doing. Although it didn’t really go into the amount of detail Aaliyah hoped it would –it sufficed pleasantly.
“A Saylè, from outer-space,” Michael joked as he looked at Aaliyah, then back to Carlos. “You know at one time that would surprise me, but from all the things that have occurred in the last five years, not so much anymore.”
“You mean when the Saylè first arrived?” Questioned Aaliyah.
“Yes, and under the knowledge that it doesn’t surprise me, well...,” He paused for a moment. “That scares me to.”
Aaliyah laughed briefly, but quickly looked back at Carlos. She studied him for a moment or two and couldn’t help but ascertain that he wasn’t really a bad guy. She had met these types of people –Saylè and human alike, throughout her years.
“What about yourself?” Asked Carlos with a quick point of his finger.
“Me?” Asked Aaliyah a little surprised. The only person she really ever talked to about her personal life was Michael.
Carlos nodded. “You are a Saylè after all. It would be interesting to know a little more about you.” He finished his drink and waved the waitress over for a second.
Aaliyah chuckled a bit nervously, but without thinking too much of it, she began. “Common knowledge is that the majority, if not all the Saylè arrived on Earth around five years ago. Like-wise, I awoke up a field –scared and confused, and there was a seemingly ship next to me. It was spherical and metallic in appearance –perhaps no more than 5 feet long and 5 feet wide, and just large enough to fit a person inside. Well… because the bewildered state I was in, I didn’t think too much of it. I wandered the highway in the state of undress and eventually someone came,” Aaliyah paused for a moment as though she was a tad shy about revealing the smaller details of that time. “Michael found me and took me in. I don’t think for a second that it was easy for him to teach me the finer details of life on here, but with a-lot of patience and time, we covered everything I needed to know to become a functioning member of society.” Aaliyah concluded her story with a gentle smile towards Michael.
Carlos caught the smile and couldn’t help but asking whether or not they were together. The answer of which was a no.
“How were you able to acquire a normal life?” Carlos asked, pressing for further elaboration from Aaliyah.
“Michael is pretty good with computers and was able to get me a fake identification card. With that, I’m able to do a-lot of the things normal people do, but that’s really as far as it takes me. Because of government approval and the requirements of a birth certificate, I wasn’t able to go as far as to get a S.I.N number and work in Canada. So I do temporary jobs for Michael and he pays my rent in full.” Aaliyah explained.
To Carlos, her living situation seemed to be rather complicated. Her daily responsibilities seemed to be a little above him –because he couldn’t really comprehend what a ‘functioning member of society’ actually was. Although Aaliyah broke is train of thought.
“You said you were searching, what exactly do you mean by that? Am I correct in assuming ‘purpose’?”
Carlos nodded as he took another sip of his drink.
“And you’re homeless?” Aaliyah pressed –asking things that probably shouldn’t have been asked on a first encounter. Although the liquid courage she built up seemed to work against this sense of respect.
“Surprisingly so,” Carlos chuckled. “Isn’t that weird?”
“Not really,” Michael intervened. “A-lot of people are homeless, but it doesn’t necessarily mean their bad people. Although, in this particular scenario, it is slightly different,” He added. Before continuing he took a moment to think to himself –it appeared as though he wanted to help Carlos, or so it appeared that way to Aaliyah. “You also say you’re looking for the remaining Pendants –Aaliyah also said she has one, what if I told you I had some documentation regarding the other four?”
“Four?” Carlos was at a loss for words. Neither he, nor Aaliyah knew there were precisely four remaining Pendants to be found –just the knowledge that these types of artefacts actually existed.
“Yes, four,” Upon finishing his drink, he pushed it aside before continuing. “When I heard about the conflict regarding some rouge group of Saylè, I took it upon myself to look a little deeper into it. So, -illegally, I went into military archives, government files and search pretty much every location I could find. If you just give me a second here,” Michael took a moment to briefly dig through his back-pack. After a few moments he pulled out several papers and laid them upon the table. “This is just a bit of what I’ve uncovered –the rest is at home, but it states that six known Pendants have been discovered. They all differ in color and size. Further-more, there appears to be the same insignia inscribed on each one. That of which reads ‘Leontaylè’. A team of deciphering experts managed to decode it by comparing –whatever source they used to translate the damn thing is beyond me. Although, it is suspected that they are some tool of war.” Michael finished as he took the papers and passed them to Aaliyah and Carlos.
“Tools of war? I wonder how exactly they were able to determine that.” Aaliyah asked quietly as she studied the paper.
“Yes, as you can see on the lower page of those pages there is actually a report. Apparently some group of Saylè –apparently a rather violent one at that, attacked a military base in the middle-east. Because a Pendant was discovered there, it was quickly apprehended by them, but not before they laid waste to the entire operation –no-one was left alive.” He explained.
“How do you determine that it’s a tool of war from just that?” Asked Carlos.
“Well, a call for help was sent to neighbouring country. What was also said is that this specific group actually had one of these things and for reasons unknown, appeared to augment its power,” He said as he looked upon Carlos intently. “Under the knowledge that there is only six, it’s rather interesting that you happened to come upon even –even more so that you happened to come upon us.”
Carlos nodded in deep thought. All of this information appeared to be new to him. Aaliyah on the other-hand couldn’t help but ask questions.
“So according to your information, one of these beings were… wearing one of those Pendants?” She asked curiously.
Michael nodded. “It appeared to enhance his abilities. He exhibited destructive force that essentially levelled an entire city. With that, that particular group of Saylè disappeared –I have heard stories about them here and there, but they rarely pop up on the radar. Their actions are specifically why a majority of the governments around the world have begun to look for these things. They see them as a weapon of mass destruction if a Saylè is capable of wearing it.”
There was a moment of silence between the three.
“There’s not where the story ends though, I’m afraid there is more but the documentation I have regarding it isn’t with me at this particular moment.” Michael sighed and cast a thoughtful gaze over to Aaliyah.
He raised his eyebrows in anticipation.
“You still want to talk about the Pendants?,” Aaliyah asked. “And you want to see the one I have at home?” She finished with a pointed finger towards Carlos.
“Definitely; I know we just met so if it isn’t too much to ask.” Carlos pleaded
Reluctantly, Aaliyah had to admit that this particular chain of events was intriguing.
“Very well, Michael can grab his documentation from his apartment; meanwhile the two of us can head over to mine,” Aaliyah finished her alongside Carlos & Michael. “Forgive me if I’m a little drunk at the moment, I didn’t really anticipate this happening.” She said apologetically.
“No problem,” Michael responded with a shake of his head. “Oh and your drinks, they’re on me.” He put 15 dollars and a tip on the table just before the three made for the doors.