To The Stars They Run by NaumWolf (critique requested)

To The Stars They Run

Jenner awoke with a start, a cold sweat had formed on his brow during the nightmare he had been having. Turning his head slightly to the left Jenner looked to the clock on his night stand. “3:00am” That’s what the clock read. Blinking blurry eyed, Jenner looked around the dark bedroom. Even though Jenner was not wearing his glasses, everything seemed to be exactly where it should be. Giving a slight yawn Jenner proceeded to try and roll over to go back to sleep, however, when he tried a weight that should not have been present at on the foot of his bed prevented him from doing so. A cold wave of fear washed over Jenner as he thought to himself, that’s not right… there shouldn’t be anything there. Jenner went to sit up to find out just what was at the foot of his bed. When he did the weight shifted. As Jenner sat, heart pounding in his ears, trying to decide what to do ancient fight or flight responses began to spur his body into action. As Jenner sat almost panic stricken the weight at the foot of his bed began to stir. He wanted to dive from the bed, somehow crawl to the door. Jenner hopped that if he could make it to the door he could make a run for it before whatever it was that had decided to take up residence on his bed could catch him and gore him to death. The internal conflict Jenner was having about whether he could make it to the door in time or not was interrupted by a strange itching sensation in his brain. Seconds passed as if they were minutes as the itching grew worse. Then, all at once, the itching stopped. However, what replaced the itch scared Jenner far more then the possibility of the itching driving him mad.

From everywhere and nowhere at the same time a feminine voice spoke softly to Jenner. As the voice spoke Jenner noticed that it had a distinctive British accent, but from exactly what part of Brittan it was from Jenner could not figure out. “Jenner, please stop moving about. Your panicked movements are making it awfully hard for me to sleep.” Jenner’s jaw worked at words that would not come, finally he mumbled “How… Who… What…” “You keep that up and you might get out all of the five W’s.” The voice replied with an obviously amused tone. Silence filled the room for several long minutes before the voice spoke up. “Go back to sleep, I will explain everything in the morning.” Jenner still wanted to get up, to run, to get away from whatever was in his room with him, but he could not move. His arms, his legs, even his pinky toe were asleep. Jenner’s voice was no longer the only thing that failed to do as he commanded. Panic struck with the realization that the thing at the foot of his bed had lied. It would not explain anything in the morning. It was going to paralyze him, and feast on his still living form. As Jenner lay there on his bed on the verge of hyperventilating tendrils of the same numbness that attacked his body began to inch their way across his brain. With the numbness that was infiltrating Jenner’s brain; a sense of peace took hold of his conscious mind. Within seconds of the numbness attacking his brain Jenner had fallen into a deep sleep.

Morning light, or rather afternoon light by the amount that was flooding Jenner’s room, found its way passed the numbness that surrounded Jenner. Before Jenner had even opened his eyes he became aware of the weight on his chest. The whatever it was that had taken up residency on the foot of his bed had moved up. Once more fear griped Jenner. Lying perfectly still he fought with himself. One part wanted to try and throw the thing from his chest and run for the door. Another part, the part that was winning, wanted to open his eyes and find out just what was stalking him in the night. Jenner took a shallow breath and held it steeling his nerves for whatever horrors he may witness upon opening his eyes. Then all at once he flung his eyelids up and looked towards his chest. The sight that greeted him confused his already weary brain.

Sleeping soundly upon his chest was what appeared to be a small horse. The sleeping horse felt like it weighted about as much as the old German shepherd he had once owned. Stranger still was how the horse was colored. While the mane and a little bit of the muzzle were a normal snow white, the majority of the fur covering the rest of the horse’s body was a deep shade of purple. As Jenner lay trying to make sense of what he was looking at, the horse gave a loud yawn and moved its head. All at once Jenner found himself staring into the most beautiful leaf green eyes he’d ever seen. Jenner felt his cheeks flush as the horse smiled at him and said while stretching. “Good morning Jenner, you are awfully comfortable.” To further emphasis this fact the horse lightly kneaded it’s hooves into his chest. Jenner’s only reply was to stare stupidly at the horse as it kneaded into his chest. While the horse was kneading into Jenner’s chest he noticed two things. By the look of the horses lets it was a Clydesdale of some sort, and the horse was indeed female like the voice in his head denoted. “Could you please get off of me?” Jenner asked as politely as he could manage. The Clydesdale smiled once again and hopped off of Jenner, landing soundlessly on the floor next to his bed. Sufficiently relieved of the burden that was preventing him from rolling over, Jenner finally moved though instead of running he simply reached for his glasses and put them on. That being done Jenner swung his legs over the edge of his bed and looked down at the strangely colored horse before him.

Jenner was now able to properly inspect the female horse before him. She was indeed covered in a deep purple fur. Her mane, which hung a little in her eyes, was the purest of snow whites, her tail and the lower half of her legs were similarly colored. If he had to give a rough estimate of her height Jenner figured she was around two and a half feet tall at the shortest. Before Jenner had a chance to finish inspecting the horse that now stood in his room the voice returned, a playful tone filled his mind as it spoke “If you are finished checking me out I suppose I owe you an explanation as to why I am here, as well as who I am.” Jenner blushed once more and simply nodded at her.

“Let me begin by first assuring you that you are not crazy. I am indeed real, and I do resemble what you’re species calls a horse. However, I am not a horse, I am in fact an alien. My race is known as the Nel-Dar. Also I suppose I should properly introduce myself so you can stop thinking of me as ‘the horse’ or ‘she’. My name is Seras Victoria.” Seras offered a hoof to shake, which Jenner took more out of habit then anything. “Before you ask, no it is not my real name, my real name is --~*.” When she spoke her true name all Jenner heard was static. “Because you’re species lacks the words, or even the ability for that matter, to pronounce my name. Therefore when I looked into your mind when you first awoke I chose a name that was surrounded by happy thoughts and positive feelings. Plus I liked the way it sounded.” Jenner nodded his head with a bit more confidence now. “That would explain why you are named after one of my favorite female anime characters.” Jenner said simply, before he was able to ask another question. Seras interrupted him. “One more thing before you speak, I am able to read your mind. There really is no need for you to vocalize your thoughts. All you need to do is think what you wish to say and I will hear you.”

“That reminds me...” Jenner thought. It felt strange to talk in this manor but Jenner assumed he would get used to it with time. “How are you able to communicate with me?” Seras gave another smile before she began explaining. “That friend Jenner is the gift of my species. We are all born with telekinetic and psychic abilities. Most of the Nel-Dar have very low levels of psychic ability. The ability is generally only strong enough so that we can speak with one another. However, a minority of us have slightly more powerful abilities. Some are able to even fully control any species minds and force them to do whatever they wish. Those Nel-Dar often exhibit signs of psychosis though, and often have to be committed to special facilities to protect themselves and others. Personally I can make subtle hints to an open and willing mind, which is how I caused you to fall asleep. I am also able to link my mind with another’s so that I may learn from them about the facets of their world. Those I have linked with in the past have told me that the action causes their brain to itch.”

“Oh it does, almost maddeningly so.” Jenner told her, absentmindedly scratching his head. “So are you some kind of a scientist, or an explorer of some sorts for your people?” To this question Seras gave a very wide toothy grin and replied “Actually I’m what you might call a space pirate. I have a ship in deep orbit around your planet, I decided to hide on your planet from the Intergalactic Police. They were chasing me because I kind of sort of stole an entire years worth of wages from one of the defense forces orbiting space stations.” Once again fear began to grip Jenner. Even if Seras had not been connected to his mind she would have been able to easily see the worry spreading across his face. “Do not worry Jenner; I refrain from physical violence unless I have to defend myself. I never use it to get what I want, neither does my crew. There is a very strict policy in effect on my ship. No one is allowed to join my crew if they have any sort of violent tendencies creeping through their brains. I will, however, allow those who possess a survival instinct. Do not get me wrong, I know we are not saints by any measure but we do not kill for profit.” Seras could feel the fear that clouded Jenner’s brain ebb away steadily until it no longer polluted his mind. Having put Jenner’s mind at ease once again, Seras continued. “Anyway… the more specific reason I am on your world, in your room is because despite my ship having a clocking device, the IP has created a very specific scanner that looks for my bio rhythms specifically. My crew and I had enough of a head start on the IP that we were able to make it this far, but they were getting closer to our position so I decided to leave my crew on the ship in deep orbit and come to your planet to hide amongst all the life forms here. Your world’s magnetic field also seems to temporarily interfere with the scanning equipment because early this morning my crew contacted me to inform me that the ships tailing us gave a quick scan of your planet then proceeded out of this system.”

Before Jenner could ask about Seras’ crew and her ship the television at the foot of his bed gave a loud whining sound and flared into life. Jenner found himself staring at a large lizard type creature. A set of blue feathers protruded from its light orange scaled head in what could best be described as a mohawk. The lizard man began to speak though Jenner could not understand a word he said. Jenner glanced towards Seras; her jaw was set in a grimace, her eyes full of fire. “What is he saying?” Jenner thought to Seras who replied “He is saying that they know I am here and that you are now considered an intergalactic fugitive for harboring me.” “Well… isn’t that just wonderful” Jenner thought sarcastically as he felt his spirits sink slightly. The lizard man on Jenner’s television continued to talk, though it sounded like he was just repeating what he had just said, though for all Jenner knew the lizard man could have been telling jokes for all that it mattered. Seras looked at Jenner and said “we have to go and we have to go right now.” Seras inched herself closer to Jenner until she was right next to him. As soon as she was next to Jenner, she placed a hoof on his foot. At that moment of contact everything in Jenner’s field of vision went blue, then red, and finally blindingly white.

Jenner found himself blinking hard trying to force his eyes into registering anything about his surroundings but to no avail. Seconds passed as Jenner blinked repeatedly, still trying to force his body to recover. After a good minute and a half Jenner began to be able to make out shapes. An entire five minutes had elapsed before Jenner was finally able to see around him. What he saw both frightened and intrigued him. Slowly Jenner turned his head from left to right, trying to take everything in. No longer was Jenner surrounded by his warm inviting bedroom, instead he found himself lying in what appeared to be a medical bay of some sort. To his immediate left Jenner could see several rows of beds very similar to the one he no doubt was lying in at that precise moment. Looking down at where he lay, Jenner was able to see a glass, or at least what appeared to be glass, semi-circle that covered his midsection.

To The Stars They Run (critique requested)


21 May 2013 at 16:22:59 MDT

This is a wip that i started a few years ago... that i'd love to finish but i've just had a lot of trouble getting motivated

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Literary / Story

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