Saslla caught my fall and we gently floated to the wooden dais. He set me on top of it, the pain disappearing from my body. “Did it work?” I asked them, eager to know if I did everything I could.
Illuminarium looked to his son and nodded once. Saslla smiled, “Yes. You stopped them from being jailed and you stopped the sacrificing.” Relief swept over me, but it quickly turned to pain. Saslla stepped onto the dais. “Sori! Fight it! It is the only way your soul can survive. Think of something that could bind you to your world!”
I fought against the pain using knowledge to disrupt it. I thought of Cassandra, Michael, Mahia and Ryan. I thought of James, Alex and Marcus. I thought of my parents, the librarian and the Guardians. Most of all, I thought of Chris and the joy I felt when he was near.
Saslla and Illuminarium faded from sight as I thought of the Ruins. It was my place to protect, to exist and most of all, it was my one true home. I remember when I first joined the team; there was a group picture in front of the Ruins. In my mind, I added everyone else I was fighting to keep a hold of. I held onto that image as I spiraled down into nothingness.
I woke up in my bed, at the house I rarely visited, except to sleep. I yawned and stretched my arms above my head. I looked at the calendar on my wall, “Six months since the professor was imprisoned for conspiracy to murder. Five months since I showed the other scientists the other side of the Ruins and showed them the Guardians. Two since the library started to fund the project and the team decided I should take the professor’s place.”
I smiled at the memories, as I hopped out of bed. “Today is a monumental day!” I laughed at myself as the computers whirled to life. I completed the model last night of the whole Ruins. It became easier when the Guardians started to assist us with the mapping. I pulled a disc out of my nightstand, the full history, use and model of the Ruins were on this and several other discs scattered through my house.
I saw a piece of paper under the disc and smiled softly to myself. I picked it up and read it as I did every day, Do not let the Guardians down in your promise and care for the Ruins your parents, your people and you have protected for thousands of years.
I set the note back into the nightstand, smiling to myself. One night, six months ago, I had a dream. I stood before the tribunal of Gods and they granted me access to time for one night. I went back and spoke to the Guardians about their wishes, learning that my mother was their mistress. I could not remember the rest of the dream, it being a blur. When I woke up, I found this note in my hands. “Crazy dreams…”
I grabbed my normal glasses, the sunglasses having been retired when I showed the other scientists my set of Ruins. I climbed out of bed and dressed in a lime green dress shirt, black pants, combat boots and my ankle length white coat. I looked at my reflection in the full-length mirror. I looked from my head to my black combat boots and said aloud, “I’m a damn sexy scientist. Now to show the world my sweet set of knowledge.” I smiled to my reflection, grabbed my clipboard, full of discs and walked out of the house.
I walked a little ways to the Ruins, where cameras had been set up the night before. I passed by the security gate and found the Guardians waiting for me. “Today is the day, loves.”
I felt their joy brush against me, as the leader lightly touched my arm. You swore that the wall would be torn down…
“We are doing it today.” I pointed to the construction equipment standing ready to tear down the wall and to start revealing the Ruins to the natural sunlight. “The model is done and I will keep my promise to show the world what your clan has been protecting for centuries.” I smiled to him and lightly touched one of his horns. “There is another set of equipment being used topside to help give you all the sunlight you crave…”
He bowed his head, Thank you, mistress. You are too kind, milady.
I pulled my hand back as he and his clan faded to invisible. I looked to my colleagues and smiled to them brightly, “Ready for this?” Cassandra gave me a warm smile as she placed her hand on Michael’s shoulder, showing off an engagement ring. My mouth dropped when I saw it.
“Are ye catchin’ flies, ‘ori?” Ryan came up behind me.
I whipped around, seeing Mahia and Ryan standing there grinning at me, “Did you know they got engaged?”
Mahia nodded, “Found out this morning.” He looked at my appearance, “You are going to wear that?”
I looked down at my clothes, “Yes, why not?”
Ryan and Mahia rolled their eyes as Cassandra and Michael joined us. “Because you would look beautiful if you dolled up a little. It is your first television interview and you should look your best.” Michael smiled, as Ryan and Mahia grabbed my arms and pulled me towards a bathroom. Cassandra and Michael followed close behind, Cassandra grabbing something from a shelf.
After fighting them for five minutes, I realized it was a fruitless venture and stopped. The men left and Cassandra quickly had me dressed in a lime green tube dress that hugged my body well. She did my make-up with only a tiny bit of artificial face. She then looked at my hair, curling it slightly, to give a wavy look and smiled, “You look better now. Time for the cameras.”
I watched Cassandra step out of the bathroom and I thought about maybe going back to change, when I remembered Ryan stealing my shirt, pants, and even my boots. I walked out of the bathroom barefoot, since I had no other shoes. I saw Mahia’s mouth drop when he saw me, but he easily schooled it well enough. Cassandra handed me a pair of black heels and helped me get into them.
“No going back now…” I walked towards the cameras to unveil the Ruins to the world.