Welcome my lovelies, TT here. This is an AltairxOC story in a slightly alternate universe, but not really.
Lucid Dreams: Being in a dream but knowing that it is a dream and being able to control the dream to a certain degree.
Disclaimer: I DON'T own Altair… or Malik… not even Kadar. Or anything from Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft does.
Claimer: I do however own this story and ideas and characters and whatnot. I also own that run-on sentence.
Yeah. And just a note, things really start in chapter 5, the first four are more or less introductory chapters with important background information.
Let the story begin.
I Hate Ports
"I hate fish."
My brother ignored me as he kept staring at an orange fish.
The fish stared at him and he stared back at the fish. It was amusing at first, but quickly became boring. However, my little brother's undivided attention was in the grasp of the orange one. The fish imitated whatever he did and he had been making faces at it for a good five minutes. Five minutes was too long.
"Are you done yet?" I drawled out.
"Hold on, Dani," he whined. "I just want to see if this fish will go away."
"It's already gone," I pointed out. The fish had left when he turned around to talk to me. The look on his face when he saw that the fish had left was worth it though. "Didn't you want to go see the sharks next?"
His eyes lit up again and he nodded eagerly. "Yeah! Why didn't you remind me? Let's go!" I was then dutifully dragged away by an eight year-old through throngs of people. We quickly reached an intersection with signs directing us to different tanks.
"The shark tanks are to the right, but the gator pit is to the left. Which one do you want to go to first?"
Liam's facial went all serious and he rested his chin on a first as he thought deeply. Or as deeply as an eight-year-old could. At least he looked like he was seriously contemplating it. My little brother loved marine predators. Like, really, really loved them. For every birthday he's ask for something like a shark-tooth necklace, scuba-diving equipment, or piranhas.
Our parents got him a piranha tank the week after.
I checked my watch: 3:44 PM.
I sighed, already exhausted. The aquarium closes at 9:00 PM and we had to be home by 8:00 PM. Judging by the way things were going now there was at least three more hours to go.
"Have you decided yet?" I asked impatiently.
"Wait!" He did a double-take. "Which way are the food courts?"
"To the left."
"Then let's go see the sharks first! After that, we'll go to the alligators and get a bite to eat."
I looked at him in slight surprise. The kid had actually come up with a mildly intelligent plan. Why didn't I think of that? "Hey, slow down."
He had rushed off, and in his haste he had bumped into many people. But being so little they just let him pass. He did say sorry and excuse me. "You're just too slow!"
I half jogged after him and narrowly missed the same people he bumped into. "Liam, where are you?" The sharks got a special place of their own. Normally the tanks were separated like classrooms; one walkway and tanks on either side with separators in between to exhibit different fish. But the sharks had a gigantic tank and a semi-circle viewing platform. I found Liam grinning from ear to ear at a great white.
"Isn't it cool?" he whispered.
"I guess…" I replied lamely. "They'd be cooler if I weren't allergic to them."
He just shrugged. "Maybe God just doesn't like you."
I raised an eyebrow. "So he made me allergic to fish?"
"Duh! Since fish are the most awesome animals on the planet, anyone who's allergic must be cursed," he explained.
I love eight-year-old logic.
No, really, I do. Because when he grows up and matures, I'll have plenty of blackmail in my arsenal. But then again, a twenty-seven-year-old blackmailing an eighteen-year-old is kind of weird. And pathetic.
"It's opening its jaws!"
I stared. And stared. Then turned away. Only three more hours of this. Endure it.
The next two hours passed by with even less excitement on my part. Liam was exploding with it though, so I guess it was all worth it. He had just gotten out of the hospital after being hit by a careless motorcyclist, and the first thing he wanted to do was go visit the newly opened aquarium. It was no surprise and my parents had already bought tickets beforehand. Unfortunately, they both have work today, and today was the last day before school resumed, so I volunteered to take him.
We had just finished eating and Liam wanted to go on one of the aquarium's rides. Yeah, this place is huge. It was above ground and was a mini-rollercoaster. Sea-dragon themed.
To summarize it, the line was long, the wait was painful, but the ride was the highlight of my day. Liam had a grin on the whole ride whilst other kids screamed and cried. I myself had a silly smile plastered on my face.
"Where to next?" I shoved my hands in my jacket pockets as a breeze swept by. It was getting chilly out, I noted. I looked over to Liam for his decision and saw that he shivered slightly. Maybe it was time to go home.
"I-I think we covered the whole park…" he ground out.
"Alright kiddo, you're freezing. Time to go home," I grabbed his hand and began leading us to the parking lot.
"But Dani," he whined.
"But Dani," I imitated him.
He glared at me and I stuck my tongue at him. I certainly showed him who's boss. I chuckled mentally.
"We haven't bought any souvenirs yet." To show his defiance, he stopped walking and began trying to pull me back to the plaza. "Please, I wanna get something!"
"Alright, alright." I took off my jacket. "But wear this. Mom and dad would kill me if I let you catch a cold."
He gave it a stern look and wrinkled his nose. "It's so girly though. I'm a man; I can't be seen wearing… that."
"It's not girly," I held up the jacket and gave it an once-over. Light beige, no flowers, words or symbols. "Just because it's not a sports jacket doesn't make it girly. Now come on, put it on."
He groaned like the heaviest weight was bestowed upon him and grudgingly put it on.
"Oh stop whining, you'll thank me when you don't get sick."
"You'll thank me when you don't get sick," he imitated me in a high-pitched voice.
"Let's get this over with," I took his hand again and went off in the general direction of the souvenir stores.
Liam scanned the entire store when we got there and he almost ran over to a treasure chest. With an innate curiosity, he peered in and I guess what he saw was pretty impressive because his mouth made an O shape.
"What, did you find the lost city of Atlantis or something?" I asked sarcastically.
"Dani, look!" He pointed at something in the chest and I strode over to take a look. It was a jagged golden piece of plastic. "What do you think it is?"
I pretended to be interested. "Oh my. How extraordinary! I've never seen anything like it. Now, if my hunch is correct, this could belong to a very old…"
He stared at me wide-eyed, waiting for me to finish.
"…and very large…"
He nodded for me to go on.
"…piece of plastic."
His face dropped and he glared at me once again. "No! Seriously, what do you think it is?"
"I just told you; a piece of plastic. This whole thing is plastic."
He pouted and looked at the chest, then at me, then at the chest again. "What do you know anyway? I want it!"
"Can't you pick something cheaper?" I held the price tag up for him to see. The giant piece of plastic was $45, plus tax. "My wallet has suffered enough today."
"Nooo! No, it hasn't! If you buy me this I promise not to bother you for a whole week!" he pleaded with big round eyes. I had been exposed to them since the day he learned to beg, which was four years ago, and I was well immune to it at this point. But still… the offer of not being bothered for a whole week was tempting.
I weighed my options.
If I didn't buy it for him, he'd probably tell mom and dad that the trip wasn't too great since he couldn't even have one lousy souvenir. Then I'd get scolded. He'd also be twice as annoying for the entire month, and the first month of school was always awkward, even if you went to the same high school since grade nine.
On the other hand, if I did get him the plastic, he'd be distracted by it for about two weeks, and my parents would be pleased as well. Yes, my wallet would suffer another blow, but if it meant I couldn't buy that laptop I wanted until my next pay check, then so be it.
"Fine, let's just get this and go…"
He did a fist pump in triumph and I had to roll my eyes.
The chest was a lot heavier than it looked, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. It was a good thing I had a job as a waitress; washing dishes and carrying food helped me strengthen my arms a bit.
Since I had my arms full, I couldn't hold onto Liam's hand so I told him to walk in front of me so I could keep an eye on him. I had to admit, even though he was a pain most of the time, I'd rather have him out of the hospital and be annoying than to see him scared and dejected.
"Liam, get the car keys from my jacket and open the doors."
He began digging around but to no avail. "Are you sure they're in your jacket?"
"Uh…" I started. "Check the keys hooked onto my belt. The one with the giant black plastic thing attached to it is the car key."
I turned my side to him and he fumbled around the multitude of keys before grabbing the right one. "This one?"
"Yeah. Just take the whole ring off and—there you go."
He scrambled into the backseat and I set the chest down beside him. He immediately began taking out various pieces and examining them.
"Put on your seat belt and don't play with it until we get home. You might break something since part of the road is pretty bumpy."
He let out an exasperated sigh. "Why can't they fix the roads faster? It's already September!"
I climbed into the driver's seat and turned on the ignition. "We can only work so fast since we're only human."
He grumbled out something that I didn't catch so I didn't say anything. The drive back was relatively quiet, minus the blasting radio.
It is now 10:30 PM, and I was surfing the internet when I heard a crash followed by a yell downstairs. Bracing myself for whatever my brother had broken, I quickly walked downstairs into the kitchen to find him standing over a bag of spilled milk.
He didn't say anything as he looked at me and made a gesture towards the milk.
"Should I even ask how you did this?"
"It wasn't my fault!" he retorted. "Freak accidents happen."
"Well, I wouldn't really call this a freak accident."
I narrowed my eyes at him suspiciously. "What else did you do?"
He poked his fingers together nervously. "I didn't really do anything else… but you know tomorrow we have school…"
"And I eat cereal in the morning…"
"Your point is…?"
"That was the last bag of milk."
I caught on to what he meant and gave him an unimpressed stare. "You want me to go out to buy milk at this time of night?"
"Eheheh…" he scratched at the back of his head. "Yeah…?"
"…Fine. But lock all the doors, don't answer the phone, and clean up this mess while you're at it."
"I'm way ahead of you." He ran over to the glass doors and locked them, then pulled the curtains shut.
"Alright, I'll be back soon…" I muttered and grabbed my jacket after checking my keys were present. My parents should have been home hours ago, but that was before my mom's car's right front tire popped, and she didn't have a spare. I offered to drive there with a spare but she wanted Liam and me to stay home. My dad was on his way over to deliver a spare, but she was in a towing zone and her car was towed away.
I closed the door quietly behind me and made sure it was properly locked. We lived in a residential part of town so it was relatively quiet during the night. No trucks, street cleaners or loud teenagers. Thank God. I was a light sleeper and that definitely would have kept me up.
Most shops were closed, as I expected. But bigger grocery stores should be opened 24/7. Great, I hate driving at night.
I was left with no choice though, so I sucked it up, got in the car and drove off to the nearest grocery store. Wal-Mart had everything and was my safest bet of being open, so I headed there. After paying for the milk, I decided to call my brother to check on him, but then remembered that I told him not pick up the phone. Guess I'll just rush home.
When I got back, I was surprised to find all the lights out and my brother sound asleep in bed. I should sleep too…
I closed the door behind me, careful not to make a sound. Just as the door clicked shut a pain shot through my arm. I flinched away from the door out of reflex and shook it for good measure. As quick and trifling as it was, it was still odd. But I paid no heed to it.
The next morning I woke up late. There was a power outage in the middle of the night and my alarm had been reset. Freaking wonderful…
I fumbled around trying to put on my clothes and comb my hair at the same time. The result was fine, but it would have been better if I didn't accidentally comb too hard and scratch my scalp. I took a cursory glance at the clock on my wall and saw it read 8:20. Good ol' AA battery clocks.
"Shiiit! Only ten minutes until class starts!" I groaned and started pacing the living room floor. "What the hell am I supposed to do?"
Guess I'll have to sacrifice another $25…
"I don't like this…" I grabbed my bag and headed out to the main street. "But what choice do I have? They're so much harsher on people late on the first day…"
I had considered driving, but I didn't want to risk going into traffic and my gas tank was almost empty. So that left me with only one choice: Teleportation pods. Those things were still kind of new, they were only introduced to North America two years ago from Germany in 2018. At first there were a few cases where people's body parts got rearranged the wrong way. Those all got sorted out in the end and no one died, but it still unnerved me. There hasn't been a malfunction for thirteen months. I'm still paranoid though.
"It can't be that bad, some people even enjoy it…" I stepped into the pod and inserted my debit card to pay the fee. These things were government run, and you could buy special membership cards that let you use the pods for an unlimited number of times for a monthly fee of $100. I gulped and selected my school from the touchscreen and hit enter.
End of Chapter 1
Things will pick up very soon, and I promise Altair to be in the next chapter. Hope you enjoyed it C:
Thank you for reading, and remember, reviews are loved; I enjoy reading people's opinions.
By the way, ports is short for teleport.