I'm just submitting this as-is, so please forgive any grammar/spelling mistakes XD;;
With all our great gadgets, and despite my best inventing efforts, mail still took a while to get to Veldin, especially from other galaxies. So it was perhaps an entire month before a package arrived addressed to me. The fact that it'd been addressed to my apartment on Igliak in the Polaris galaxy and had to be forwarded at least twice probably hadn't helped the delivery time much. Then again at least it got to me. With Veldin's mail-service you could never know.
After the delivery bot put the small package in my hand and I'd signed fo it I took it back inside the house, looking it over with a frown. There was no return address on it and I didn't recognise most of the intergalactic stamps stuck all over it. I walked across the garage and into the living room, still looking it over quizzically.
"Mail?" Clank asked simply, putting down the stack of books in his arms on the coffee table. He'd gotten it into his head recently to rearrange the entire lounge. There were talks of wallpaper. I decided to just avoid the entire exercise and not to tell him people were gonna start calling us a married couple if they saw any of this.
I nodded in response to his question as I sat down, opening the box at one end and pulling out its contents. "Yeah. By the looks of it it's been halfway around the galaxy looking for me."
"It is not a bomb is it?" Clank frowned irritably. "If we have to rebuilt this house on more time I am going to be extremely irate!"
"If it was a bomb it would've gone off ages ago." I said, trying to convince myself.
The thing that came out of the cardboard was weird. It was made from a strange metal I couldn't identify. Not that it was fancy in any kind of way. In fact it looked like an insane jerry-rig with several pieces of the same material welded and bolted together haphazardly. It was simple steel in colour, apart from places where there seemed to be a residue from water at one stage, slowly trying to rust parts of the thing. I frowned at it before handing it over to Clank.
"What d'you make of that?"
He took it and looked it over, a finger to his chin thoughtfully. "It appears to be a containment unit of some kind. However, I do not see any way to open it up, other than cutting it open with laser."
"Why would somebody send me a box I can't open?" I asked, more to myself as I took it back.
As I turned it over in my hands to try and find some kind of clue, some small etchings in the metal caught my attention. I turned the metallic box so the light could hit them better. Some-one had scratched in a few words directly onto the metal surface.
TAKE OFF GLOVES
I blinked at this, only more confused by these instructions. I put the box on my lap, pulling off my gloves with a grumble about taking orders from inanimate objects. After I'd gotten my hands free I picked the thing up again, although what I was expecting this to achieve I didn't know.
But taking off my gloves did the trick, and the box suddenly gave a shudder in my hands, surprising me so much I dropped it. It lay vibrating on the ground for a moment before it settled down. After a second , several of what had seemed like welded together parts of metal opened up, revealing the thing's contents.
I realised that I'd instinctively raised my wrench at the thing when it'd hit the floor. I lowered it again, frowning at the now-open box with suspicion as I reached down and picked up the thing it'd been hiding.
It was a book. A really old book, written on paper and with yellowing pages that jutted out awkwardly. I turned it over but there was no title on its cover or even its spine. It seemed familiar though. I opened it up to the first page.
Coleander's Travel journal. 5302 – 5303
I stared at the handwritten date blankly. Underneath it was the excited paragraph of the would-be explorer, eagerly documenting his plans to travel across the galaxy of Polaris, despite the Cragmite threat. Underneath the diary entry there was something else, something that hadn't been there the first time I'd read the book back on Apogee Station. A simple word, in different handwriting and in different, modern ink.
'Sorry' was all it said.
Thank you to every-one who took the time to read this story :D whether you followed it or if you found it later down the line. I made some mistakes writing wise, but hopefully it's helped me get better. I already have a new story planned and plotted out which I'll hopefully get to soon, if I can stop myself feeling like I suck again ^^; (It's a constant battle with me).
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little adventure, the next one will be even better with more clear-cut bad guys, more shooting (can you believe Ratchet doesn't use a blaster ONCE in this entire story?) and more Clank!
Let me know any thoughts, criticism, opinions or comments you might have.
Thank you for reading.