Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.
The planet was strange, and Aria was alone. She knew this was free space, a Helios safe zone, but she was too afraid for Zan to care. She was alone on Brilla, amidst a large gathering of alien creatures, large and small. Her pod had crashed in the desert, only a few miles away from a slav town. Aria sat by herself, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone, unsure of what would happen if she didnt.
Aria tried to stay calm, knowing her heart was weak and too much stress could be problem causing to her. This was not her world anymore, there was no elders to guide her, no Zan to protect her. She was a fragile sixteen year old girl, with no combat training or means of self protection. She had spent all her life studying on ways to heal, to save lives, but never how to gaurd her own.
"Hey, you in on the next bid?" a gruff voice asked her, and she looked up to see a cruel, fur covered ape like face. The creatur was large, with a thin frame yet stocky arms. "The names Frixe. All new bidders get ten thousand credits. Beyond that your on your own."
Frixe handed Aria the money, then walked away. Even trade planets had some rules. Rules to regulate the trade flow and increase profits overall. Aria had no interest in buying anyone or anything, but she decided to be polite. She stood, and made her way to the front of the crowd where she could see cages.
Each cage held some creature from almost every imagible species. Vernics to Grastilon, they were all there. Each creature apeared to be young, but one caught Arias eye right away. In the center most cage, curled in a tight ball in the corner farthest away, lay a small female human. She wore worn out and torn jeans, with a blood covered purple top.
From this distance, Aria speculated that the gir was about five years old, and the beaten, abused sight of her brought tears to her eyes. This was cruel, horrible and hard to stomach.
A deep voice snapped her gaze away from the child, the voice of the creature who introduced himself as Frixe.
"Attention everone. Todays bidding is now in session. We will start with the human child. Bids start at one hundred credits."
The Zelpha made its way towards Brilla, as I looked down at Iris. We were now in the ships cabin space. I sat on the edge of the bed as the small girl slept, curled up with her head on my lap. Despite the Helios aspects of her body, she was a normal child. Scared, ambitious, full of the last remaining innocence she had. The thirteen year old let out a content sigh as she slept, breathing reguarly.
I opened my mind, and spoke my bioheart command silently in my head, once again giving myself over to the Zelpha. I needed to know more. I needed every last bit of info I could acquire about the keys about restoring the earth. The Zelphas Mechanical heart contianed a log of thousads of human DNA samples, and if the other ships hearts held the same info, we could restore human life to this new earth.
Inside the full control of my bioheart, I coud see the Zelpha nine as an entity, and i could see myself interacting with her.
"Zelpha, tell me about the keys to earth."
She looked at me, and began to speak in a loud yet gentle voice. "My brothers and sisters, the other Zelphas, were designed to restore planets. The elders encrypted each of us with a set of information describing an aspect of the planet called earth. We were injected with human DNA, and given the ability to form life, to create a new safety, a new world. This world will directly mirror the lost planet earth.
She didnt know how to react. She wanted to protect the destroyed child, but the price was rising fast. It wasnt an issue of wanting any credits left over, it was the matter of having a limted amount. Something her mind wouldnt let her bid, but she couldnt just walk away.
"one thousand credits." a voice rang out from the crowd, Raising the price higher. This was crazy, and it was breaking Arias heart. Her heart went out to this girl, and she could feel her Bioheart of healing aching to restore her. If she could out bid these creatures, then she could comfort the young girl. She could take her some place safe, and heal her wounds. She could care for her the way Arias own mother had cared before the war started. Before the helios invaded Sirion. Before everything was taken away from her.
Aria looked up, ready to try the only thing she had. "ten thousand credits." she cried out in a stern and serious voice. The crowd went silent, and no one spoke for what seemed liked ages. Aria knew why, out of all the creatures in cages, a young human was the most useless.
"going once" the words sent a chill down her spine, keeping sharp focus on the child huddled in the corner. All air seemed to be avoiding Arias lungs, and she gave up any thoughts of steady breathing.
"Twice!" the voice of Frixe boomed once again, and Aria clenched both fists tightly. Only a few more seconds and this would be over, and yet every second held the chance of being out bid. She couldnt bear that thought, and held her breath. untill finnaly....
"Sold to the human bidder for Ten thousand credits!"
"Animals. Perfectly perserved trees and grass. The ability to sustain human life. All this is stored within me. But the keys of the Zelpha comes at a price. To replicate earth, a pilot of the Zelpha must sacrifice his life, a life for a world, and you, Zan, are the last pilot. Its a heavy burden. The path to the other nine keys is lost, and may take a life time. Are you willing to devote your life and soul to such a task?"
I breathed in slow, looking directly at the entity called Zelpha. I wasnt sure. I had never fought for anything, anyone. Anyone except Aria, the girl i had sent away on her own. But now, I also had Iris. A young, infected girl, who wasnt even fully human. She may have the human mind, but the Helio also rested in there with her, sharing her head, and from a phyical standpoint, her body as well.
I had something to fight for now, Iris, finding Aria, restoring earth. Was I ready to give up my life for these causes thouh, that was the question that kept me from answering. I didnt have to answer, for Zelpha already knew all my thoughts.
"Why does it matter if the child is a mix. Shes human where the power is. Her compassion. Her sympathy. She may think that the Helios holds all the power when its awake inside, but yet the Helios controlled Iris didnt kill you. You have seen her true heart, her love as a human, and the affection she craves. You have seen the last remaining innocence she has maintained, and yet you only see a monster. What is truly holding you back."
I paused and thought, knowing the answer. "The Helios murdered my father on the escape mission from earth. I was six when we evacuated. I watched them slaughter thousands, men, woman, children, it didnt matter to them. And now I have a half Helios hybrid to protect, and an earth to restore. After my father died, i stopped trying. I refused to pass my classes, I refused any Bioheart with a true lust for war. When they finally created the biohearts that could be implanted on any age human, I became a pilot. I became a pilot knowing I would only see action as the last resort. The war took my dad, and my Mom is now fighting the Helios with my stepdad. I refused to let it take my life as well."
I relaxed, making up my mind, I could no longer run away, there was no longer a way to run away fast or hard enough.
"Whats your name sweetheart? " Aria asked the small child after they had walked a few miles from the trade outpost, Aria craddling the girl tightly in her arms. The girl didnt answer, she just shook, not saying a word or making a sound.
"Its ok little one, Im not going to hurt you, I want to help, i want to make you safe." Aria spoke again, and sat on a red rock, placing the childs feet on the ground.
The small girl looked at Aria, and held out her left arm as she had been taught. Engraved in heavy deep burns, were the words Lucy. Deaf. These burned words were given to her from the trade center. Aria let out a deep, saddened sigh, before hugging the child tightly. There was nothing her bioheart of healing could do for this girls ears. Not at its normal limit.
Aria knew the risk, but she felt in her every fiber that she had to try. "Bioheart construct, full overlay. Healng of the roses thorns, limit break." she spoke the full command, and felt herself chane her week human heart strained every once of energy to fulfill the biohearts power.
Her already long hair grew to below her hips and became a bright golden as she stood up. Her clothes twisted and formed a long, deep silver dress. She opened her eyes as they shifted to a silver red. Aria was gone, and in her place stood the Rose Healer. She could feel her heart pounding with strained breath, as she lifted her shaking hands, placing one on each of Lucys ears.
Arias skin rippled and pulsed as her life energy was drawn into the target points, eyes fluttering and breath shallow. A normal healer would have no issue with this level of Bioheart use, But Aria could barely control the low level transformations.
She focused her last remaining will into the single thought of healing this girl, before she breathed out and fell to the ground, mindless as the world went dark around her. Before her eyes gave out, she felt a small, warm body wrap around her waist.
"Daddy Im hungry!!" from my connected state, i could here Iris cry for me. I let go of my thoughts and released my Bioheart, returning to my body.
"DDDAAADDDDYYY WAKE UP" she screamed as i opened my eyes. For the first time i took a good look at her. Her hair was long, with a mix of swirling yellows and blacks, complimenting her Dark red eyes. Her human skin was a tan brown, while her Helios appendages were moss green. Despite the Helios fused with her body, she was an adorable young girl.
I placed my hand on her head and gently petted her hair as I laughed, feeling comfortable after my talk with Zelpha. "Im sorry kiddo, theres no food here. This is the first time this ship has been used since landing on Sirion eleven years ago. We will buy a meal once we land on Brilla. We need to have energy to find Aria after all."
The child seemed to beam from my touch, and she happily looked up at me, her hands in tight fists as if her next words were the most important thing she had ever said.
"I WANT CHEESECAKE!"