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Cosmic [Ch3/6]

*points up* Told you it's short.

random knowledge:
. Cosmic for us has been a practice in not taking ourselves too seriously. (not like Wish which has sooo much to cover to be understandable)
. In the edit we've actually started making Alinon more interesting on a sexual basis than he was originally.
. Setting is actually 50 or so years from now. gonna have to fix that thing about the notebooks to make it sound more high-tech (tree hugging and all that). i just don't think we'll have come too far as a species in that amount of time. Sure we'll be cleaner and more conscious of waste but we live short lives and change slowly so its likely to be business as usual.
. We call this place, The Realm of Eyalus . . . it even has a tentative Appendix if anyone is wondering. (different from the Omega Appendix -- this place wasn't added yet. and speaking of, anyone from our fan list who has the original Omega Appendix . . . um yeah, its completely revamped, lots of nouns added and divided by the 5 major Realms.)

Previously in Cosmic: Prologue, Ch 1 Ch 2

Cosmic © 2009 property of Kenen and E. Entity. Do not repost. Do not repost and claim as your own. Do read. Do enjoy. Do comment.




Leonard Dukakis knew he should probably be more concerned with the blue alien sitting at his kitchen table studying a word search book his mother was fond of, but he was only peripherally aware of him. He knew that the visitor reeked. He did not know if it were alien body odor or the way he was supposed to smell; he did know Alinon had called the shower primitive when he’d been the proper host and offered it.

He knew -- by shear accidental observation -- that the alien had some weird form of sci-fi eczema-psoriasis rash or disease that bled blue ichor when disturbed. It was slowly but surely conquering his skin. Leonard knew that the skin tore easily by the pieces of tape the creature had put on various places of its exposed arms and legs; Leonard had thought to offer Band-Aids at one point but sadly his attention was turned to other things. Namely, reconciling years of American dialogue against the highly refined rage in his brain that insisted that a shopping cart was a trolley, that he should refer to elevators as lifts, and that he’d found his errant glasses in the loo. And most of all, in his pocket at that very moment, bearing Jennifer Sexton’s signature, Jennifer Sexton’s scent, and Jennifer Sexton’s address, was a time they were to meet.

Not that they were meeting each other specifically per se. Not that he didn’t have the invite for any other reason than Jennifer Sexton’s boyfriend was an ass, but . . .

“How do you say this,” the alien at the table began, “M-A-L-I-C-E?”

“Malice,” Leonard replied almost without thought. Because malice was a word that had been stuck in his brain since the fifth grade when a freckled redheaded girl had lost a competition because of it. Malice had gotten Jennifer Sexton’s arms wrapped around him. The word was special to him.

“What does it mean?”

“I thought you were doing a word search, not jeopardy,” Leonard responded peevishly. He didn’t like things he considered Jennifer Sexton only bandied about by anyone but her. Granted, he hadn’t heard her say a word like malice in a long time; shortly after red bled to blonde to be exact – but still, it was a memory of her.

“Guess not,” Alinon allowed pleasantly, “But I do not know what some words of your English mean. So I am asking.” The set of the alien’s face was harmless, so Leonard relented with a shrug.

He couldn’t really fault a non-native to anything Earth for wanting to learn more about the planet he now found himself. “Y’know cruelty?” Leonard asked.

He watched Alinon’s face scrunch a moment; small nose crinkle, long tilted golden eyes narrow, antenna bunched in the middle of his forehead while the opposite stringy ends twisted round each other. “To be,” he began. Golden eyes focused on Leonard, and for a penetrating moment, the Earthian felt for the briefest of seconds like the alien was privy to his thoughts. As though some presence had brushed his soul with a gentle hand inside his battered brain. It was vaguely disconcerting, even more so because Leonard wasn’t entirely certain that Alinon couldn’t do the things he imagined.

“Mean,” the alien decided was the correct word; he seemed pleased.

Leonard shrugged one shoulder because the word was close enough. “Yes, but it’s to be intentionally – on purpose – cruel for no reason,” he explained.

“Like Curtis Gage?” the question was innocently asked, almost a whisper. In the dead silence of the room, even Leonard’s faulty human ears picked it up and he was quite honestly disturbed because he couldn’t recall telling Alinon about Curtis, or Jennifer Sexton for that matter, because it was none of the alien’s business.

But Alinon Galica knew. That was unacceptable; however, Leonard wouldn’t call Alinon on it; was terrified of the idea because he and no clue that the alien at his table was capable of.

Alinon didn’t appear to be paying heed to Leonard’s internal quandary. He sat, alien face still scrunched, antenna swirled around one another, a pen in his long fingers circling what Leonard could only guess to be the word ‘malice’ in the book.

Leonard ran a hand over the envelop fingering the lace ribbon, noticing that he’d done so often in the last forty-eight hours that the end of the little bow was beginning to fray. Not that the outside mattered. It was the inside that counted, the inside that made him worthy, the inside that apparently a visitor from the galaxy next door could see.

Leonard sighed, tucked the envelop into his pocket once more and looked toward the table where his guest still sat. He had too many things to think about and unfortunately meeting burning golden eyes intently watching him, studying him, only gave him one more and a headache.

~ . ~

Earthians have incredibly jumbled minds Alinon thought again. He had felt so often enough in the last two days of rummaging through Leonard’s thoughts. They seemed intent on worrying over inconsequential things. But to be fair, Leonard didn’t yet know that the Jennifer Sexton human was moot. More than that, Leonard’s fixation on her was completely beyond the Arksus native.

Jennifer Sexton could not eat Leonard Dukakis and if she were seeing this Curtis Gage Earthian, obviously she had no care to either. From what Alinon could pick up from Leonard’s faulty broadcasting, mating was conducted on a level beyond chemical. Alinon had been monitoring the situation through Leonard Dukakis. Whenever the Earthian thought about this Jennifer Sexton his heart sped up, his breath came short, and what was already a sty for a brain became even more cluttered, but at the same time remarkably clear. Focused in way Alinon had yet to achieve in the rare instances that Leonard actually paid him any heed.

This was frustrating to say the least. Because where Leonard’s chemicals didn’t seem to be working, Alinon’s did all too well.

He was purging too often. He thought of Leonard and his body moaned for a taste of the unique chemical structure that made Leonard perfect for him. It protested the utter lack of the source he craved.

Two Earth days and he’d Purged three times. And while it felt good, he didn’t have his life’s essence to spare. Thrice was more that he had in the last six months, even with Merrec routinely feeding him. Alinon was not pleased. At this rate he would be in the same dire straits he’d found himself in before he’d stolen aboard Jach’s ship. This, of course, brought him back to the Earthian, Jennifer Sexton, and the trouble with Earthian mating habits he didn’t understand.

Alinon Galica was angry too. Perhaps it was ridiculous that he felt so, but considering he was a visitor from another planet, Leonard displayed a shocking lack of curiousity about him and his world. He seemed fixated on that letter – invitation – he’d read from Leonard’s mind to Jennifer Sexton’s party. One Leo didn’t think he would go to, but the invite was what counted obviously. Alinon ran a hand along his brow to untangle his antenna and considered all probabilities. After an hour he had a conclusion worthy of even Judus Jach’s skill, and hoped that he might live to see it through.

~ . ~

“Hey Leo,” Alinon started bright and early the next day. He gleaned annoyance from the Human, but little else. Brain sluggish from deep sleep, annoyance due to the shortening of what they’d already discussed was a horrible name, followed by a pressing need for bodily relief and supreme embarrassment that Alinon was around.

“What?” Leo’s voice held that rusty with disuse quality that only sleep could produce; it made Alinon’s body ache in ways he didn’t comprehend but really really wanted to.

“You have something similar here . . . a radio, perhaps?”

“Yeah,” the answer was hesitantly given, as though Leonard sensed trouble brewing.

“Do you know how to fix one?”

Another flash of annoyance followed by what could only be knowledge that answered the question. “Yeah.”

Prior to Judus Jach’s raid, Alinon had been a retail bookkeeper, and as such, legitimately had no reason to know how to make any type of technical equipment work. He was lucky that in this he’d guessed correctly that Leonard would know because Leo struck him as the type to know these things.

“Do you think you could help me, maybe?”

A sigh. “I said I would, but does it have to be right now?”

“No. Later.” Alinon agreed readily enough.

Grudging acceptance, but, “Yeah, okay.”

Alinon smiled in appreciation. And for a moment he heard Leo’s breath hitch and his heart race and then he was flooded with feelings of confusion, embarrassment, and denial.

But still, it was going well in Alinon’s mind.

~ . ~

It was afternoon when Leonard Dukakis and Alinon Galica finally left the house. Saturday morning cartoons had snared both their attention, and Leonard had felt the need to expound on how they weren’t as good as they used to be while Alinon sat amazed by moving, talking, singing, drawings. And then Leonard had needed to eat – another thing Alinon understood only peripherally from the signals in Leo’s brain and stomach. Hunger was very different for Humans.

Leonard carried a small bag with tools and wires he thought he’d need, hoping the effort he was about to put in wouldn’t be in vain. Because honestly, if Alinon’s people were already flying through space as a common occurrence, then it stood to reason that Earth’s technology was a little behind.

“This bothers me,” Alinon said as they trekked through the wood behind Leonard’s house. Alinon wore a pair of jeans from Leonard’s father’s closet and a white sweatshirt because all the other colors seemed to clash with his peculiar shade of blue. His straight, long, platinum hair was braided and coiled into a bun at his nape, gentle wisps framing his narrow face. He was an odd looking thing, but almost cute in a foreign Star Trek kind of way. And Leonard hated himself for thinking that because he didn’t ordinarily pay that much attention to males of any species. And why would he when they’re beautiful creatures like Jennifer Sexton gliding about the Earth on feet that were way too big?

The ship resembled a charred life raft with a metal hood.

“What bothers you?” Leonard thought to ask as he fought delight at finding a real life alien spacecraft in his backyard down to a reasonable level, mellowed even further by natural apathy.

“That none has seen this. Nobody thought to come look,” Alinon answered.

“Leonard snorted. “This is my property and trespassers will be prosecuted. So if anyone did see anything that fell from the sky they wouldn’t come here.” He refrained from mentioning that the neighbors probably thought it was an errant fire work or some weird experiment gone wrong on his behalf. A reputation as a genius came in handy that way.

“Oh.” The alien pouted, “But are Earthians not curious about what is out there?”

“Of course, but ‘Earthians’, as you say, suck. And if they saw you, you’d probably end up in a glass box somewhere being studied until you died and then they’d chop you up into hand held video game slices and study you some more.”

Alinon shuddered. He could see it in Leonard’s mind, the atrocities he spoke of. Odd creatures he’d never seen in his travels held in facilities against their will, slowly but surely, wasting away to nothing under the sharp gaze of heartless Earthian eyes.

Leonard noticed his discomfiture. “Still bothered that no one rushed to your rescue?”

“No,” Alinon was quick to ensure. It was for the best and maybe Leonard having no interest in him was a good thing too. Apparently, he could make a lot of profit to turn Alinon over to the authorities.

“Why don’t you open this thing up and get out that radio?”

Alinon complied, punching the code into a console camouflaged with the rest of the bronze looking material. The lid rose like the sliding door of a minivan. And Leonard got his first look inside. There were actually two seats, though the one behind the pilot’s seat seemed more suited to baggage or a small child than a fully grown adult.

I could fit Leo thought absently. On the computer console were splashes of dried blue fluid and Leo looked to Alinon for a moment, recalled the dizzy spells the alien had experienced and the skin that easily slipped from the creature’s body.

“Were . . . are you injured from when you came down here?”

Finally, Alinon breathed, A personal question

“Yes,” the Arksan answered. “I sometimes still have a bad . . . head pain.”

“You mean a concussion,” the Human guessed.

Scrunched features and entwisted antenna met his direct look for no longer than ten seconds this time as he thought, and then replied, “Yes, that is the word.”

“Should have said something,” Leonard muttered. Head injuries seemed to be going around like miracles in the New Testament lately. “Are you still . . . bleeding . . . anything serious at all?

Leonard taking an interest in him made Alinon mournful that he was fine. “No. I give myself first aid then. Perhaps you should . . . for your head.” Alinon carefully dropped into the crater and reached behind the pilot seat and pulled the Breather free. He offered it to Leo as though it were his most prized possession.

To his credit, Leonard didn’t blow him off, but followed him in to the crater and accepted what looked to be an inhaler, slightly better than the one found on Earth. Definitely in a better container.

“What is it?”

“Vai’s Breath. Just Breathe it. You will feel better. I promise.”

Leonard continued to look skeptical but then shrugged, put the mouth piece to his lips and depressed the knob on top.

And it was like no medicine he’d ever experienced in his life.

For five glorious seconds his lungs were free of all the gunk that had been filling them for years, his head was clear, his body felt clean and unencumbered by flesh, and light, so light, like he could fly toward the sun and be a part of its magnificence . . .

And then the puff of Vai’s essence was over and the concussion he’d suffered from the fall in the tub gone. He returned the Breather to his alien guest in something of a daze. Had he been thinking correctly, he would have kept it, but at that moment he existed in a completely frazzled state of mind juxtaposed to his body’s newly delivered health.

“Good huh?” Alinon’s smug voice penetrated the fog.

“Yeah,” Leonard managed to gasp, but instantly regretted the loss of Vai’s Breath to the unworthy atmosphere. Whoever this Vai person was, he was probably making a fortune off this stuff, Leonard supposed.

Alinon rummaged in the craft and then pressed a few buttons which resulted in the equivalent of a dashboard coming free. He removed a little box and presented it to Leo. “My transmitter,” he said sheepishly.

The outside of the box was a little melted but it looked mostly superficial as far as Leonard could tell.

“Open it,” The Earthian commanded, handing the box back toward the alien.

Another camouflaged button depressed and the box slowly unfolded itself like an origami flower. Immediately Leonard could guess from the ruined wires that the device had likely overheated and burnt itself out.

“Does it have an alternate power source?”

“It doesn’t have a power source,” Alinon contradicted.

“It has to have a power source,”” Leonard argued.

“No. This runs on voice only. They are made with a little . . . chip . . . that has program to . . . that hear a frequency that all planets use.” Alinon bit his golden lip in hope that Leonard understood his broken explanation. Use of English was difficult when Leonard was concentrating and he couldn’t ‘lift’ the right words from his vocabulary.

“So then,” Leonard began obviously having reached a conclusion, “the question becomes how hot this whole craft had to be to slowly bake your radio and how the hell did you survive it? And that aside do you happen to know this frequency?”

“Yes.”

“Good.” Leonard perused the transmitter box. “Cause I don’t think I can fix this. The technology is a bit beyond me.”

Alinon whimpered. “But . . .” His golden bottom lip trembled.

“Oh calm down. I didn’t say I couldn’t help you at all. I said I couldn’t fix this. But if it’s programmed like you say, I may be able to link it to a normal Earth type radio and still locate the frequency you need to get you gone.”

“You don’t want me to stay,” Alinon wondered, inexplicably sick at the thought, he turned away from Leonard.

“Of course not,” the teen answered. “How am I going to explain a tall blue . . . creature at the dinner table when my parents come home? I’m not.”

“Your parents?” Alinon asked, puzzled expression present. His parents would be thrilled if he brought home a mate; shouldn’t Leo’s too be pleased with it? “Is that the only reason?”

“No. Right now you landed in my backyard and came to my house for help. That makes me responsible for you and complicates my life. So unless you can turn yourself into a human being, we’re pretty much screwed if anyone sees you.”

“Is that all?”

“As if that wasn’t enough. Do I have to explain about the little pieces of science you could become again?”

“That is not my question.” It was the first time Alinon scowled directly at Leonard. He stalked around Leo and placed blue hands on Leo’s arms; frowned at the feel of cloth. His fingers slid down to skin and almost instantly he felt better. But he still wanted to be annoyed with Leo’s mixed signals. “Is it alright if I stay with you or not? And if not what are your reasons so I can argue against them?”

Discomfort radiated off the Human. Murky brown eyes kept flicking from Alinon’s golden eyes to the blue hued fingers with golden nails caressing his wrists and hands in a silent warning. He did not like it. He did not know how to tell Alinon to back off. He was afraid because he did not know what the alien was capable of.

Leonard did know that the alien’s lips were getting a little too close to his own. He did know that Alinon’s lashes were so blonde they were almost white as they lay against his cheeks; which were way too close if he was noticing them.

“You ever think maybe you are so short because Earth’s air is too heavy for you?” the alien whispered.

“What are you doing?” Leonard demanded, viciously shoving the idea of visiting the cosmos from his only too willing oversized brain. If the alien wanted to seduce him he had definitely spoken the magic words.

“I am doing nothing,” the answer was breathy

Though technically the alien hadn’t offered any such thing and he had no reason to be giddy, Breath or not. Alinon was right, he wasn’t doing anything. “The hell you aren’t!” Leonard challenged. “Let go. Back up. Start searching your memory for that frequency as we go back to the house, so I can get you out of here.”

Leonard turned, surprised at how easily Alinon’s hands fell away. He looked back, noting the stricken expression on Alinon’s face. The complete woebegone countenance almost caused Leonard to relent and apologize. But he didn’t; he wouldn’t. It was unacceptable. And he wasn’t about to indulge a gay alien. “The fuck is the world coming to,” he muttered under his breath.

“C’mon. Close that thing up and let’s get going. You can tell me about this Vai being whatever it is.” A small concession, though definitely not the one the alien wanted.

Leonard somehow endured the wounded look shot his way from Alinon before he moved to comply.

~ . ~

Gay alien Alinon fumed as he sat at the kitchen table in what could only be termed as a sulk on any planet. Leo had his transmitter and an Earth radio in front of him crossing wires while using some kind of device to make measurements, scribble them down, take more measurements, do calculations that lasted pages when he didn’t use the device, hook a wire, play with the dial, cuss a bit, start over.

Alinon felt he should be the one cussing. Leonard wasn’t dying. Leonard hadn’t found his savior only to be rebuffed. Leonard wasn’t stuck on a foreign planet where he could be snatched up for experimentation. Leonard wasn’t being thought of as a gay alien.

This was something Alinon didn’t understand. The most he could garner from Leonard’s thoughts was that it was a disparaging remark about his sexuality – not that he had one since Leonard wouldn’t participate. He had nothing to compare the insult to. Arksus didn’t have gay nor did they have creatures like Jennifer Sexton either. They had two colors which served certain functions for each other when they were mates.

Red’s produced food laced with the chemicals blues would need to survive. Food that they could not release from their body without their mates help. The ‘food’ eventually conglomerated in the red’s body and turned to poison which slowly but surely and painfully killed them. Alinon was familiar with the procedure. His very own sibling, Nolan, being a prime example.

He’d watched Nolan Galica waste away to nothing before Qark had shown up, slightly sick – read starved – but nowhere near Nolan’s condition. His sibling hadn’t had the benefit of a Vailuable Inhabitant nursing him back to health; even now Nolan was still recovering as his parents, Aland and Noni, watched him with haunted horror in their eyes because they knew it had been close.

Alinon had felt terrible that first day aboard The Merry Death. He knew his parents thought him dead too. Even if the Surfers hadn’t killed him, his lack of a mate would have at that point.

And now Alinon was angry with Leonard Dukakis all over again. He watched through slit eyes as Leonard rerouted yet another wire and fiddled with a knob that moved an orange tab along some numbers. A fizzling, hissing sound could be heard, and Leo looked satisfied; like he’d accomplished a great feat, won a battle.

“At least it’s working, even if I’m not picking up anything,” Leonard imparted.

Alinon decided to be impressed in equal proportions to his anger. All things considered it had taken Leonard the better part of the day to fix his transmitter to an Earthian music player.

“I wish I could have brought this in for my science project. Hey, do you think maybe after you’re rescued you could leave this hear with me?”

Alinon refrained from grinding his teeth. He couldn’t be rescued when he’d been abandoned in the first place. His annoyance shifted to Judus Jach’s callousness. “I do not think that is a good idea.” The alien pointed out.

“Yeah probably not,” Leonard agreed biting his bottom lip; he didn’t seem happy about it. Alinon wished that his teeth replaced Leo’s and that the Earthian’s wistfulness had been directed toward him, but irritatingly enough Leo was Leo, cold like Judus Jach, and didn’t care.

Watching Leonard mull over the transmitter Alinon fought the sudden urge to Purge from the seriousness and glee radiating off him while doing something he loved. He smelled delicious.