The prooth (origins part.., p.1
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       The Prooth (Origins Part 7), p.1
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           W Bradley
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The Prooth (Origins Part 7)
The Prooth

  W Bradley

  Copyright 2012 by W Bradley

  You know that disorientating feeling of waking in someone else’s bed, not knowing where you are? Try that on a different planet. It took several minutes for my mind to understand what I was seeing when I awoke following a surprisingly good sleep considering the situation. I lifted my face from the damp ground and wiped it with my sleeve. It looked as though Leyla had already risen. As I recalled, her body had been shifting steadily closer to mine in the night. I didn’t think too much into this; we were the only humans on this planet as far as we knew so I was her only source of comfort, her only reminder of home.

  I sat up and looked around. Leyla and the “others” were sat a few metres away talking in very serious tones. I thought about last night’s conversations. We had learned the true reason for us being here. Leyla and I were essentially part of a rebel alien army. I probably should have been concerned about the fact we had been lied to, but my instincts told me to trust them, as did Leyla’s by the look of things.

  From what I understood of last night’s conversations, the Prooth as a race have always been like-minded, allowing things like their “questioning” to work. However, some Prooth have, over time, become less emotional and some feel increased emotions. Those Prooth who became more logically minded are known as the Losi. They seek a weapon which would end all life in the universe with the reasoning that in doing so, they end all suffering. The Prooth against this idea, those with us now, seek to stop the Losi from obtaining the weapon. Simple really. To be honest, though I understood everything I had been told so far, I would rather only know what I needed to. I allowed Leyla to soak up the details; she could be Earth’s ambassador. I would be happy to go down in the history of all this as “Jarl, the guy who was also there.” That’s not to say I wouldn’t try to help any way I could but I was definitely struggling to see what my strengths were against a race which holds the key to the universe’s destruction and a group of rebel aliens with very sharp teeth.

  When I finally approached the group I noticed there had been an addition at some point. There was a woman, indescribably beautiful but somehow not attractive to me, held in what looked like a serious conversation with Leyla.

  “So…” I croaked as I came close to the two, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, “Who’s this?” They both looked at me as if snapped out of a trance; they clearly hadn’t noticed my approach until I spoke.

  “Jarl…?” Asked the new woman uncertainly.

  “Yes. He’s here.” Muttered Leyla, her eyes were red as though she had been recently crying.

  “So…” I said again, “Who’s this?”

  “I’m sorry, Jarl.” Replied the woman, “I am Dia Thorpe. I… Saved your life once. Apparently…”

  “Eh?”

  “Back on Earth. You were in hospital when Michael, Leyla’s brother, came to kill you. I was sent there by the Prooth through some kind of portal in order to buy some time for Leyla to arrive before her brother could murder you.”

  “Oh…”

  “I owe you an apology, Jarl.” Said Leyla under her breath. She was staring at the ground. I thought I noticed her quivering slightly. “I wanted to get away from you. It hurt to even look at you. You were the man in the hospital bed, blissfully unaware of the scene unfolding around him. My own brother. He… Had killed Dia - slit her throat. He was about to kill you. I spoke his name… He turned to me and said, ‘I had to.’” Leyla’s eyes were definitely wet now as she made eye contact with me. “Dia has just been explaining why he ‘had to’. Apparently, he had probably seen the same images that she has seen. Images of my murder, committed by you and Dia or so it seemed. Such images depict the future and were almost always perfectly accurate according to the Prooth.”

  I had no words to bring to this conversation. Leyla’s brother had attempted to kill me but hadn’t succeeded because Dia had come through a portal and Died… And Michael wanted to kill me in the first place because I was going to play a part in murdering Leyla? She was the closest thing I had to a friend here. I had no intention of killing her. Dia had died to buy some time for Leyla to arrive? Died?

  “You died?” I directed at Dia after some time.

  “It’s complicated. But yes.”

  “Now you are alive again?”

  “Actually… Technically I was alive before I was dead, then I was alive again. I don’t think I’ll ever get my head around it. Like I said, it’s complicated.”

  Again I had nothing to say. Dia comforted Leyla while I slumped against a rock in silence. It was all so unbelievable. I obviously did believe them to some extent; the stories fit together so well, but… Time travel? Dia had died but now she was alive? It seemed like nonsense. Not only that but it all fit together almost too well, as if all of our lives had been orchestrated to ensure we all came together at this point. Being human, I hated the idea of fate; all my decisions were just that: my decisions. My mind outright refused the idea that my actions could be controlled by another.

  “Are you OK, Jarl?” Came the voice of the Prooth named Felri. I looked up at him. My neck was stiff; I must have been staring at the ground longer than I’d thought.

  “I’ll live.” I managed.

  “It is a lot to take in, I know. Here, take this.” He held out a small square for me to take.

  “What is it?” I asked before touching the thing.

  “It will help you deal with the emotions you are feeling.”

  “Oh. I would rather deal with them myself thanks.” The Prooth looked at me curiously.

  “The others turned it down too. You would rather feel uneasy? Confused? Stressed?”

  “Yes. If those are the feelings I’m supposed to be feeling. I’ll be OK, I just need… Time.”

  “If you insist.” Felri continued to stare at me with curiosity and I felt his gaze follow me as I walked towards Leyla and Dia. Leyla quickly turned to face me.

  “I’m sorry.” She said sincerely, “For how I reacted around you and on my brother’s behalf.”

  “I don’t blame you. Not at all. Especially not for your brother’s actions. In fact, I’m not sure I blame him either… If I thought someone was going to murder someone close to me I would probably attempt to kill them first. To be honest, that isn’t the part that worries me. The part I don’t understand is why? Why do the Saerg… It is the Saerg behind it, right? – Why do they want me and Dia killed?”

  “I can answer that.” Said Felri, who had followed me. “The Saerg know we are interested in you humans. They have been tracking our movements on and around Earth for years. I can only assume they have somehow hacked our systems and discovered which specific humans we have been more interested in recently. It would be very easy for them to create false images to mislead other humans, as has happened in the case of Michael.”

  “Someone needs to update their encryption…” I half-joked.

  “Sadly, it is too late. The damage is done. Many potential human recruits have already been killed. In fact, you, Dia and Leyla are the only ones still-“

  “What?! No! You are not telling me we have an army of 3 of us? Just us 3?”

  “And 5 Sindenians and 8 Prooth now Tesla is assumed dead.”

  “…16?!” Leyla screamed. It was the first time I had heard her properly angry.

  “Yes.” The Prooth replied.

  “Is it too late to opt out of this suicide mission?” I asked, feeling utterly bewildered.

  “Yes.” Came the answer.

  I looked at the other two. They both had the same expression, one I assumed my own face showed; confusion, anger and fear, all at the same time. I attempted to calm myself and think rationally. It didn’t work.
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  “So… What the hell is the plan?!” I yelled. “We humans run around attracting the Saerg’s attention while the Sindenians sneak in and steal the weapon of life destruction? Meanwhile you Prooth are acting as commanders, sitting back in your thrones, watching as we fail.”

  “That is not the plan. I am sorry you have not yet been told the details but let me explain. We know both the Saerg and the Losi can hack our systems so we no longer record important information in any mechanical form. We have also been overheard once before so we now only communicate while under the protection of the Haesis – That moving cube over there. We had to be sure our conversations were properly masked before we revealed our numbers to you as we have so far managed to keep the enemy guessing how strong we really are; if they knew of our weakness, they would use more resources on finding and having us destroyed. This could mean technological attacks which we have no defence against.”

  I stared for what must have been several minutes before Dia broke the silence, rustling some foliage as she slumped to the floor. Leyla joined her. I wanted to be closer to them too, my small piece of Home where I could imagine aliens and the potential for imminent death did not exist. I forced myself to appear strong and unfazed for the sake of Dia and Leyla and I spoke to Felri through partially clenched teeth.

  “What can 16 do against an entire race?” I asked, hopefully with a bold
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