The Guardian: An Unfortunate Wish
We arrived safely back home. Doc explained what happened and told everyone to pack only the necessities and that we had to leave right away.
Gagan and Jasmine tried to talk to me, but I did not respond. All I could think of was my mother. How her body was lying on the cold pavement. I waited patiently until everyone was ready to leave.
We stepped out of the house just to be surprised by a group of soldiers who were already waiting for us. They forced us into their army jeeps. For some reason, they separated me from the others. I honestly did not care. I had no energy left. A soldier opened the door for me, and I went in without any resistance. He closed the door behind me, but it opened again only seconds later. To my surprise, it was Daiyn.
“I’m going to stay with her,” he told the soldiers and sat down next to me.
The soldiers looked at each other and did not say anything. The car started moving. To where? I had no idea.
“I’m sorry about your mother,” Daiyn whispered to me. He sounded sad.
“Yeah,” I replied but even saying just one word broke my voice.
My throat felt like it was closing up. I wanted to cry but somehow, I could not. No one spoke. It was getting dark. I watched how the sun disappeared behind the horizon.
It started raining. I remembered that it was raining too on that night. That night when you left me in front of the orphanage without saying anything. You just gave me a kiss on my forehead, smiled at me, and walked away. I just stood there in front of the door and cried.
If only on that night I would have grabbed your hand and never let go of you. Why did you abandon me? Why did you never come back? I had so many questions to ask you. Why was this all happening?
The moment I found you I lost you again. But this time forever. Without realizing it, I was resting my head on Daiyn’s shoulder. He did not say anything.
The jeep stopped. We were told to get out of the vehicle. As I stepped out, I realized that we were on the highest point on the mountain and that we actually left Deviion behind us.
I saw the others getting out of their jeep as well. In front of us was a huge wall with a huge gate made out of steel. Six soldiers were guarding the gate. You could not see what was behind the wall except a tower that was reaching the clouds.
I did not remember seeing it from the train. The gate slowly opened, and we went inside with the soldiers who brought us to this place. To my surprise, there were not only a lot more soldiers but also smaller buildings behind the wall.
One soldier caught my attention. He did not even look like a soldier. His uniform was more of a general’s. Another soldier approached him and saluted him. After they had a small talk, he looked in our direction. He had an expressionless face. I could not make out if he was angry or happy. I had a feeling that he was definitely someone I should avoid.
The tower was standing right in the center. It was made entirely out of bricks except for the door which was made again out of steel. We went inside it. As expected, there were more soldiers inside the tower who were minding their own businesses.
We were told that we had to stay here for the night. They took away our belongings including the weapons everyone was carrying. One soldier grabbed me by my arm and started dragging me away from the others.
“Where the hell are you taking her?” Jasmine screamed.
The soldier stopped in his tracks and turned around to face her.
“I was told that this girl has to be put in a separate prison cell away from the others,” he replied. “I am following my orders.”
I nodded towards Jasmine to let her know that it was alright. It would be for the best if we would just obey them. We were already in a difficult situation, and I did not want to make it worse for us by disagreeing with a soldier. It was the second time I was getting arrested. I could handle it and I did not care anymore what might happen to me.
I followed the soldier quietly but realized that he was pulling my newly fixed arm and that it started to hurt. But I thought to myself that I should keep my mouth shut. Jasmine had already provoked him, and I did not want to take any chances and make it worse for the others.
At that moment, someone grabbed the soldier’s arm and stopped both of us. I looked to my right to see who it was. It was Daiyn. What the hell was he doing?
“You can clearly see that she is in pain,” he said to the soldier in a firm voice.
“Take your hand off of me,” the soldier angrily replied.
“First you let go of her. Even an idiot would realize that she is uncomfortable right now. Her shoulder is injured. Furthermore, I don’t understand why you have to be rough with her. It was obvious that she wasn’t resisting you in any way, soldier.” I grabbed his arm to stop him, but he just continued on. “Tell me your reason why you are separating her from the rest of us? To me, it doesn’t make any sense.”
“I don’t need to tell you the reason kid. And looking at you, to me it does look like you are not only resisting but also obstructing her arrest,” the soldier said while shaking Daiyn’s arm off.
Great. Now the soldier was even more pissed, but Daiyn looked angry too. I had a feeling that this would end badly.
“It’s alright. I’ll just go with him Daiyn. It’s not a big deal,” I whispered.
“It is to me,” Daiyn said still looking at the soldier.
Was he now angry at me? I was confused.
“I will stay with her,” he said to the soldier.
The soldier gave in after seeing how intimidating and scary Daiyn was looking. And he let go of my arm.
We walked quietly behind him through the hallway and up some stairs to get to another hallway. I looked around to see if there were any other soldiers but there were none. The soldier stopped in front of a wooden door and opened it. He then turned around and made a gesture towards me and Daiyn to get inside.
It was a small room with one bed and a small window which had a steel grill in front of it. Probably to prevent anyone from breaking out of this room.
The door closed behind us and I could hear the sound of the door getting locked. I did not know what to do so I just stood there in the middle of the room. I was lost.
“You can have the bed,” said Daiyn while sitting down on the floor.
He leaned against the wall and stared at me.
“Thanks,” I said and moved my heavy body towards the bed, and sat on it.
“Get some sleep,” he ordered me. “It will be a long day tomorrow.”
To be honest, I was not sleepy at all, but I still laid down on the bed. I tried to fall asleep, but my eyes were open, and I kept staring at the ceiling.
After a while, I glanced over to Daiyn to see if he had fallen asleep. His head was leaning against the wall and his eyes were shut. He was sitting in a position where one leg was straight but the other one was bent, and his arm was resting on the bent leg. I bet it was uncomfortable sleeping like that. It reminded me of when I had to sleep on the floor in that prison cell with that weird old man. How could Daiyn fall asleep that fast? Maybe he was tired too.
I carefully stood up from the bed and tiptoed to him. I slowly crouched down next to him so as not to wake him up. I rested my arms on my legs and just stared at him. He was a brave guy. Always protecting everyone. I wondered where he got this habit from. Not that I was complaining. I just wished that I was like him. Maybe then I could have protected my mother.
“Is it that entertaining watching someone asleep?” he asked, startling me.
He opened his eyes and looked at me with his eyebrows raised. Was he expecting an answer from me? Because I was too embarrassed to even look at him.
“Can’t sleep?” he asked breaking the awkward silence between us.
“Yeah. I have too many things on my mind,” I answered. “A lot happened today after all. You know I didn’t even know my mother properly. I was six when she left me in front of an orphanage in the other world. I can’t remember anything about my parents. Maybe because I was too young. It still hurts. Losing someone you love.“
I could not end my sentence. The tears started falling down my cheeks. My heart was beating fast, feeling like it would burst. I was feeling hot. My body was shaking.
Daiyn wrapped his arms around me and did not say anything like always. I cried and fell asleep in his arms.
When I woke up, I was lying in the bed. It was morning. I sat up. Daiyn was standing in front of the door, and it looked like he was talking to someone. I realized that the door was slightly open. I stood up from the bed and walked towards him.
“What are you doing?” I asked him.
He turned around and simultaneously closed the door behind him. What was going on?
“Nothing,” he answered.
“But the door.“
“Never mind that,” he interrupted me. “In a couple of minutes, some soldiers will come and take you away. The next time we will see each other will be in court. When you are being trialed just answer honestly. And if they mention anything about the incident with the creatures we encountered while searching for your father blame it on me. Do you understand?”
“I guess. But can’t you come with me? To be honest, I’m a bit scared,” I said while avoiding his eyes because I was a bit embarrassed.
“There is nothing to be scared about. We will be there with you. I will not let anything happen to you. Ever. Trust me on that,” he said while giving me the biggest and brightest smile ever.
It was the first time I was seeing him smile like that. It made me happy, but I had some doubts. Could I really trust him?
The soldiers came and took me away. Daiyn was taken away somewhere else. I wondered where the others were right now. I hoped that they were fine.
The soldiers took me down to the ground floor of the tower. I could not see any other soldiers walking around. It seemed like the tower was empty. We were waiting for someone. Whoever that person was he or she was taking their time.
He finally came. I had seen him somewhere. But where? Then I remembered that he was the guy in the general’s clothes from yesterday. You got to be kidding me. The soldiers saluted him. He stopped right in front of me. A bit too close.
“So, that’s her?” he said with an expressionless face.
I looked into his black eyes, but he totally ignored me.
“Let’s go,” he ordered the two soldiers.
“Yes, sir,” both soldiers answered.
This time, we were going underneath the tower. I did not know that towers could even have basements.
We entered a big hall which was filled with people. In the middle of the hall was a circle that was empty. Six people were sitting at a higher position on a podium on the other side of the room. They were wearing big, red cloaks and I could not make out their faces. As we were walking to the circle, I could feel that everyone was staring at me. It was dead quiet.
Arriving at the circle I started looking around to find the others but was stopped by the expressionless face guy. He grabbed my head and told me to kneel and to look straight forward. I did as I was told.
“Let the trial begin. General Claw, please introduce this girl and why she is being convicted,” said one of the judges.
The expressionless face guy stepped forward.
“Yes, Judge Hochmutt. The name of the convict is Ari Night, daughter of Nero Night and Louise Night. She is being convicted for trespassing to this world and trespassing a shutdown research laboratory,” he explained to the judges.
The people surrounding us started whispering as they could not believe that I was from the other world.
“Which shut down research laboratory?” the judge asked.
“The one where her father worked in,” General Claw answered.
“I see,” the judge said.
“Ari Night. Why did you come to this world? It seems to me that you are trying to find something. Or someone?” he asked me.
I raised my head to see his face. It was a face of an old man.
“I was searching for,“ I hesitated. “I was searching for my parents. That is why I came to this world. I went to the abandoned research facility to find some clues about my father’s whereabouts.”
“Was this your only reason?” he asked next.
“Yes, it was,” I answered.
“Now tell me how you managed to travel from your world to ours?” he inquired.
What should I answer? Could I bring grandfather into this? Daiyn told me, to be honest, but I did not have to say his name.
“Someone brought me here,” I said.
“I see. Can I ask who that someone was?” another judge asked.
“No need to answer him,” said judge Hochmutt. “I just wanted to see if you would name that person. I already know that only Nolan Dawson would do such a thing. But I am interested in something else. I heard of your mother’s death. My condolences. Apparently, she was killed by those frightful Caedes that attacked this kingdom this morning.”
“Caedes?” I asked out loud. “What are those?” I tried to stand up, but General Claw pushed me back down on my knees.
“Caedes are those monsters you have seen in the research facility and in the city of Deviion,” he explained.
“Can monsters even have names?” I asked jokingly.
“Yes, they can. Now, my question for you is if you know who created those monsters? Did Nolan Dawson tell you?” he asked.
“No, he did not. To be honest I don’t care. Whoever created them must be sick and crazy.” I said angrily.
“Even if it was your father Nero Night?” he asked me again.
“What are you talking about?” I asked annoyed.
“Caedes were a project that your father started. To modify human genetic material with the genetic materials of various animals. The result your father wanted was to enhance the limit of a human body. But unfortunately, in the middle of the process, your father went insane and created these monsters instead. The facility you broke into belonged to your father and is the birthplace of these monsters. We tried our best to stop him, but we were not able to reason with him,” he explained.
“So, my father is responsible for my mother’s death?” I inquired.
“Yes, indeed. And for many more. I want to show you one of the CDs you found. Bring it in,” he ordered.
I looked up confused. Why did the judge have the CDs we found? The door of the hall opened, and two soldiers brought in a television and placed it in front of me.
“Play it for her,” he ordered next.
The television was turned on and after a couple of seconds, something started playing on it. It was the hall in the research facility where we were trapped in. Someone was standing in the middle of the hall. I could not make out who it was because he was not facing the camera and the quality of the video was bad. But what I could see where those creatures called Caedes that were slowly approaching him.
I did not understand. Why was the judge showing me this? I knew what would happen next if the man did not run away. He will be torn into pieces by those monsters and that was exactly what happened. You could hear his screams, but I looked away just in time. I did not need to see another person’s death by these monsters.
After the video was finished, the same soldiers took away the television.
“Why did you show this to me? To show me how bad of a person my father is?” I asked Judge Hochmutt disgusted.
“No, that is not the reason why. I thought that it would be easier for you to believe me if I showed you this video,” he said.
“What easier to believe?” I asked him confused.
“That your father died. Killed by his own creatures,” he explained.
I stared at his face. He suddenly looked more cold-hearted and indifferent. How could he say those words with a straight face? At least show some sympathy while saying those words to me.
“When? When did he die?” I screamed at the judge.
“It was shortly after your parents dropped you off into the other world,” he said calmly. “Let me tell you the whole story of that video. Your father was not the only one who was in that research facility. He had a group of other researchers to assist him. But one day he went insane. It was when they created the first Caede. The other researchers didn’t know what to do with him, so they locked him up in a room and waited for instructions from the higher-ups. He managed to get out of that room and took you and your mother to the other world. They returned without you and your father declared you dead. He went back to the research facility just to find everyone dead. And the rest you have seen in the video. It seemed like the other researchers continued with your father’s work and managed to create more Caedes. Unfortunately, they lost control over them, and the tragedy happened. It is weird that Nolan Dawson did not tell you about it.“
“He knew?” I interrupted him. I was in disbelieve about what I was hearing.
“Yes, and so did your companions. This tragedy is in all three kingdoms known,” he said. “Tell him to come in.”
The door once again opened but this time, grandfather walked in. I stood up. I couldn’t believe it. Why was he here? Standing right next to me.
Wait. The CDs. It made all sense now. How else would they have the CDs? Daiyn told me to trust him but how could I? Every single one of them lied. At least he should have had the courtesy to let me know about my father’s death.
I knelt again. My tears were falling to the ground. I cried my heart out. Grandfather put his hand on my shoulder, but I pushed it away. I did not need anyone’s empathy. Especially not from him.
“Your punishment for trespassing into our world will override the punishment for trespassing the research facility of your father. Act 15, paragraph 1 says that whoever travels between the two worlds without permission will get the death penalty by execution. So says the law,” Judge Hochmutt continued explaining.
Death by execution? I guess the time had come where I had to take responsibility for my actions. I did not have anything to live for anyway.
My only regret was not being able to say goodbye to Cher. To be able to thank her for taking care of me.
“That’s it? Are we giving up, my young lady?” someone asked me while grabbing my chin and forcing me to look up.
It was a man, probably in his twenties. I had never seen him before in my life. Who was he? He let go of my chin and turned towards the judges.
“I object to your decision my honor. It would be such a waste to kill someone like her. She could be useful in the future. And you will agree with me,” he said to the judges.
“What are you saying Prince Jean-Luc?” judge Hochmutt asked him.
“I did some research about this woman my honor and it seems like she could be a valuable asset for all three kingdoms in the future. I am sure that you all know what happened at that research facility. Ari Night was bitten by one of those Caedes. Now the question you might ask is how? How could she survive a bite of a Caede when there is no antidote against the poison of the Caedes? A normal person bitten by one of them would easily die within thirty minutes. So why didn’t this woman die from it? The answer is very simple. This woman is the antidote against that very poison. It looks like she is immune to it. Attacks of the Caedes have been increasing recently and even if some people survive their attacks they soon die because of that poison. Therefore, this woman’s blood is very useful to us. We can’t waste it,” he elucidated.
“Oh, and I nearly forgot. I have another theory about the death of the researchers. We identified the dead researchers by their bodies, or shall I say their body parts that were found through the research facility except for one researcher. Benjamin Williams. His body was never found. Neither were any body parts of his. We only declared him dead because of the puddle of his blood we found. It came to my realization that the amount of blood he lost was a lot less than the blood needed to be lost to die from it. He could have easily survived. I know what you may be thinking. What if they ate every bit of him? First of all, it would have been messier, and he would have lost a lot more blood than he actually did. Secondly, the Caedes did not kill those researchers for food. They killed them for pleasure, looking at the other researcher’s bodies. The conclusion, Benjamin Williams is probably still alive and the culprit behind that tragedy. He is also probably behind Nero Night’s death. Or should I say murder?” he continued.
“It does not change the fact that this girl broke the law. Therefore, she must receive a punishment,” Judge Hochmutt insisted.
“I agree. But wouldn’t it go too far by killing her?” he asked smiling.
“What would you suggest then, Prince Jean-Luc?” judge Hochmutt enquired.
“I would suggest giving her to me, my honor,” he proposed. “But I also want to know what her wish is.”
He turned around and knelt down in front of me.
“Tell me. What is your wish?” he asked me as he got closer to my face.
I did not know what to answer. My wish? My wish was to find my parents. That was all I ever wanted but my wish died together with my parents.
“I don’t have a wish anymore,” I said to him.
“I think you do. Revenge for your parents. Make those people pay for what they did to them. If you come with me, I will give you the chance to do so and you will live. It’s your call,” he whispered into my ear.
I could tell by his voice that he was being serious. It did sound intriguing to take revenge on those people who did all of this. They deserved hell and worse. I wanted to make them pay for what they did.
“Fine. I’ll come with you,” I answered him determinedly.
“You made a good decision,” he said while standing up again. “You heard her. She is ready to go with me.”
He was not looking at the judges while he said that but was looking at Daiyn. Did they know each other?
“I shall take her with me then. It was a pleasure meeting you again judge Hochmutt,” he said, this time to the judges.
“Shall we go?” he asked me. The judges kept quiet, everyone did. Even Daiyn.
I stood up and walked with him out of the hall. Was I making the right decision?
I looked back to see the others as it might be the last time. To see Daiyn. We made eye contact, but I quickly looked away.
“Let’s begin the trial for Daiyn Dawson,” I heard behind me while I was walking out the door.