Also I never liked Elmira, so you might as well get used to her absence. XD

Chapter Fifteen

"We were once a planet of technological people. We studied the way our planet moved in the galaxy, the way it moves in our universe. We came up with ways to cure health problems using chemicals and machines instead of looking to the plantlife. While doing one way is good, completely eliminating the other caused part of our dependency on technology."

Everyone was gathered around the child. He spoke as though he saw it himself, and to Goddard's way of thinking about this particular tribe, he probably had.

"We worshipped our gods and we lived peacefully. We had one god in particular whose name was a curse to utter. Someone was being cheeky, they were known as a Zanathos. He was the trickster even in our myths," said a female with long white hair down her back. She placed a hand on the boy's shoulder and nodded.

The boy smiled and sat down in front of Goddard as though he was going to listen to a story, only he continued to speak.

"One day, the trickster came down from the heavens, bored with his life and our peaceful way of living. He whispered into the ears of the scientists coming up with ways to cure diseases, disguising himself as one of them, and he taught them a way to make a genetic plague that would kill our enemies, should we decide to have them. The group of scientists thought that it was an interesting idea, but the concept was wrong. If we were to make a disease, we would also have to make a cure and then keep the entire thing secret until it was needed. Who knew what sort of destruction could come about if the disorder was sent into the general public?"

"Zanathos, still in disguise, oversaw the entire experiment. He never put his hands into it. He wanted to be free from the consequences of his actions. He kept feeding ideas into the great minds he had chosen to rid him of his boredom and then the plague was born."

"It didn't suddenly start up, however. It took a while for things to calm down, for the scientists to let their guard down. There were hundreds of countries willing to kill for this serum that could kill enemies within what you call minutes. Zanathos became impatient and took the serum, putting it into the air and spreading it around. He was unaffected because he also had the cure."

"I thought that Zanathos was a god," said Harlan.

"He is our God of trickery, but he is living. He was born on this planet, long ago, even for the Lokalit. He was born of the very people that created the Tirateem, the Sertina and the Lokalit. Once there were thousands on this planet, hundreds of tribes, but, once he had the serum and the antidote, he also had the ability to destroy his own world. He built himself a ship, blacker than black against the night sky, to ride back into the heavens when he wanted to sleep off the… centuries?" The female spoke, but the last word was a question. She looked to the boy and he nodded. "Centuries."

"He's hundreds of years old and he kept a grip on the planet through telepathy?" asked Radu, trying to understand.

"We do not understand much of it, ourselves," said the female.

"The disease killed the adults, using the body's aging process as the killing factor. When we reach the age of—to you it would be the age of twenty-five—we suddenly age rapidly until we die. That was the process that he devised. He wanted to watch half the world die of the plague and the other half kill each other over a cure he had," said the boy.

"Only it didn't work. The plague killed most of the adults, but some, like Jenna, survived and were mutated because of it. They stopped aging," said the female and put her hand on the boy's shoulder with a fond smile.

The boy smiled back and grinned at Goddard. "You do not have to worry about the plague now. It has resolved itself into a genetic disorder, instead of an actual communicable disease."

Goddard nodded, somewhat disoriented now.

"There are more tribes on this planet than we three, but we three are the closest to each other and we three are the most prominent. Derek was the son of one of the scientists, the head, in fact, that created the virus. Jenna was the second and I… was…the third. Derek and Tavik's father aged forward slightly, but stayed at that age until Zanathos killed him. Jenna, never aged beyond her thirtieth birthday, gaining a strange ability that had only occurred in the tribes of the deserts from the static electricity in the area. She has used much of her energy this day. She will recover, but she will be weakened greatly."

The Sertina warrior that was nearest to the boy nodded, his dark eyes glinting in the light of the Lokalit.

"I aged backwards. I could never age forwards again, but my people knew that I was still of great use. So I oversaw the tribe's beginnings. I oversaw the Tirateem and the Sertina's beginnings, with Jenna and Tora's help. The Tirateem were created from a batch of people living near the forest, in the city that is now in ruins. The great statues of the Gods were where they worshipped and sang songs. The Zeeks were created from the Tirateem when Zanathos crashed back onto our planet. He hid his ship while it repaired itself in the city of statues to be used when he needed it."

"How did ya'll get separated?" asked Harlan.

"The Zeeks grew from the Tirateem. Therefore, the people of the desert and the people of the forest had to separate until they could once again join together against the Zeeks. So the Sertina went back into their desert homes, collecting information from their old machines they kept and watched from afar. The people of the ocean, the Lokalit, went back to their homes through the tunnel in the Lake of Hope. Zanathos destroyed any hope of the Lokalit ever returning here, by placing creatures in the tunnel to dispel any who tried to swim it. Only the Lokalit can dispel the darkness, because we are the light."

The female looked to Goddard and lifted an arm, holding out a necklace, the one Feera had given Freya for luck. "It is of our making, a sort of signal from one tribe to another when we are needed. It was found on one of your people, a water dweller named…. Freja, I believe."

"Freya, actually," he said automatically.

Radu blinked. "But… that would mean she…"

Another Lokalit walked into the light of his brethren. He carried in his arms a green haired female with gills and wearing the pants and shirt of the crew of the Christa. "Freya is very brave, but she confuses most of my people. She willingly took technology into her body and brain to further her ability to do things. However, she is lucky that Zanathos could not penetrate her mind. An Empath can only direct emotion, but in that case it is very powerful. Through emotion is where Zanathos forgets. He becomes frightened or angry or happy or sad, he will forget what he had been planning to do, same happens with anyone. It is almost a voice inside your head asking you to do something rather than telling you. You just choose to go along with the voice," said the boy.

Radu walked over to the Lokalit male and took Freya from him carefully. Her head hung limply along with every limb that was draped on him. "She is unconscious from fighting Zanathos. The technology inside her mind enabled her to use her abilities against him. However, the coward has left the planet," said the boy again.

"What do you mean he has left the planet?" asked Goddard.

"His ship that had crashed so long ago was put into the head of the statue of himself. It will have repaired itself by now, and he will have left to pursue other ideas in other places. I am sorry to say that it will be in another place that Zanathos will be defeated and not here. We would never want to place upon anyone our fate."

Radu looked to Commander Goddard. "We should… head back to the Christa, sir."

"Wait, why is it Suzee couldn't keep Zanathos out, but Freya could without even thinking about it?" asked Rosie.

The boy smiled at Rosie. "Think of it as a computer talking to another computer, Rosie Ianni. The network is clear with two telepaths, but a telepath to an empath is distorted to the point of being non existent. Empaths use emotions, and in Miss Zeetsil's case, use them in an almost telepathic manner, not use actual thoughts themselves, but the feeling of a thought. That is why Suzee could not keep him out, because she is inherently an open channel. Freya is not."

Jenna appeared at the edge of the circle. She was being held up by one of her warriors and smiled at the boy. "Gogeric, I see you are well."

"I am most well, thank you, Jenna. However, I think we can over see this planet once more," the boy named Gogeric said.

Jenna nodded. "Without the help of Tora."

The boy smiled sadly. "Yes, without Tora, but… we have his son… Tavik." Gogeric looked over at Tavik and smiled brightly at him. "We will be honored if you let us join with the Tirateem."

Tavik gulped and looked to Feera. She smiled and nodded as he stepped forward. "I.. I think the Tirateem will do fine now without much of your help. That doesn't mean we should keep from speaking to one another, just…. We'd like to do things on our own, like we have been doing for a long time."

Jenna smiled. "The Sertina would like to return home as well. The desert is our home."

"As will the Lokalit return back to the ocean where we belong. The forest doesn't have enough water for my tastes," grinned Gogeric.

The Christa was ready to go, all that was needed was to bring aboard the rest of the crew. Harlan grinned as he shook hands with Feera and Tavik. "We'll miss ya'll, y'know. It's been an… experience."

"We will miss your wit, Harlan Band. You have been a very big education to us," said Tavik with a smile. He looked to Commander Goddard and Miss Davenport. "As have you two."

Commander Goddard shook hands with Tavik. "We still don't quite understand why you placed the two of us together in a hut instead of placing Miss Davenport in the girls' hut and me with the boys."

"We thought you two were mates. Are you not?" Tavik couldn't look any more like he hadn't a clue.

Goddard and Davenport blushed and sputtered while Suzee hugged Tavik. "Thank you…"

"It was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Suzee. All of you. We hope we can see you again, under better circumstances," said Tavik with a grin.

"Under the circumstances for us, we hope we NEVER have to be here again. That would mean we're going in circles and it would take that much longer for us to get home," said Harlan.

"Then, I wish you luck." Tavik then bowed to them. "And I do hope you enjoy your gifts. They are finely made from the metal that the Zeeks used for decoration."

Each of the crew had been given some sort of trinket. For Harlan, it was a knife made from the silvery substance that they used. The hilt had a strange sort of animal on it that looked a bit like a snake or a dragon. Bova received a strange sort of wrist cuff that held a single green jewel, as green as the forest itself. He felt it was a bit girly, but he didn't say anything. Radu received the plant seeds for his hair mixture as well as a pendent on a leather strap that looked like a strange sort of open triangle. Miss Davenport and Commander Goddard were given spears with charms on them for protection. Rosie was given a bracelet with the symbol of the Tirateem on it. Suzee was given hair clip of sorts with the Tirateem symbol on it and Freya was given the necklace that had been used to bring the Lokalit there. However, Freya was in the hibernation pod from burns that had been from her bouncing off the defense shield around Zanathos' ship.

Harlan waved to the Tirateem and walked on board the Christa. Getting back to the command post, everyone got to their places. Radu at Navigation, his hair shorter and smoother now, but no less fluffy; Rosie and Bova back to where they belonged; Suzee at Engineering and Harlan in the center of the room.

"Thelma?" Harlan said to the ship.

Thelma appeared from nowhere right beside him. He jumped. "Yes, Mr. Band?"

"Can you tell me if there is anything in our way before we take off?"

"Yes." She then started to walk off.

Commander Goddard rolled his eyes. "Thelma, where are you going?"

"To go see if there is anything in our way before we take off," said Thelma.

Commander Goddard walked over to Thelma and took hold of her arm, pulling her back over. "With the computer, Thelma. Talk to the computer."

"Yes… we are cleared," she said with that blank tone.

Harlan grinned. "Brace yourselves!" Then, the ship hovered up from the ground. The Landing gear pulled up into the ship and then it took off into the sky.