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Children of the Ancients

Chapter Text

 

 

2011

He couldn’t quite grasp what she way saying.

             He didn’t know what language she was speaking.

             There was fire. Everything was hot. Far too hot.

             The light overhead flickered and went out.

             She spoke into nothingness, but seemed to get answers as they hurried along the long corridor. Years later he’d still be able to see it in his dreams. The glass and the metal. He could almost smell the smoke and the ozone as the lights overhead burst and the water tanks broke open to release their contents. He was terrified as he held tight to his mother’s jacket hurrying along the corridors of their home.

             Within seconds he felt lost and he clung even tighter to her trembling hand. He didn’t realize it then, but he’d never felt that unsafe in her presence. Her usual calm and determination was gone. All that was left of her composure had evaporated within seconds of the first tremor.

             Caleb Lorne didn’t know what was going on.

             All he did know was that his mother was terrified. That they were running and that stopping to run might result in something much, much worse.

             He stumbled and his mother paused for just a second to pick him up, whispering apologies into his hair, her low voice making up for how cold her hands were. But she still wasn’t happy. She was still scared. But she’d protect him. They’d be alright. Of course they would.

             Closing his eyes, he leaned into her embrace and after a brief pause during which she did her best to catch her breath, before the next tremor shook the floor beneath them and she started walking again. More slowly this time, but he could feel her heart hammering against her chest. He’d never seen her like this and that alone made him want to shout at her. To tell her to stop walking. To explain what was going on. But she didn’t. Not a word.

             He closed his eyes, pressing his face against his mothers neck and wishing his father were here too. He was always there. Always there to protect him, to take care of him. But where was he now?

             The corridor stretched along endlessly and as they ran, the massive explosions made his ears ring. They hurt so badly that his eyes were burning with tears before he knew it. And then she stopped.

             An icy, salty wind struck his face, making his raw skin sting even more.

             “Sh,” she whispered, kissing his cheek. “Almost there.”

             Her voice was trembling as they stepped out on the platform. The view was unlike the one in their home had been. There was no city, no more buildings to be seen from here. Just the dark grey of the icy sea below them.

             Her arms tightened around him and he felt her shoulders relax as another familiar sound reached his ears. A ball of fire flamed up right before them, basking them both in searing heat. But she didn’t fall. Just held him tighter again. And then the ship appeared in front of them. Massive and silvery. It turned its back towards them, then it opened up. He couldn’t see anyone inside, but his mother moved without hesitation, holding him tight as she jumped and they were safely inside.

             “How bad-“ she began, but was cut off by another voice. A voice which made him feel better despite the meaning of his words.

             “Bad!”

His mother moved forward, holding him steady and through the window ahead, Caleb saw the grey ocean and big balls of light rushing towards them. “Zelenka set the self-destruct. We don’t have much time.” As they moved closer and his mother sat down next to his father, Caleb saw Grace sitting in his lap. Fast asleep, her cheek against his chest as his arm cradled her. She slept all the time.

“How-“

“Daedalus is waiting for us. Cloaking.”