Wednesday, February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012: Intergalactic Space Girl, Chapter 32
Title: Intergalactic Space Girl, Chapter 32
By: James Hatton
Song: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1
Artist: The Flaming Lips
Album: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
(Picture taken from konachan.com)
Aaron was jolted out of the most comfortable sleep of his life by the sound of a siren that sounded like a nuclear sub had just landed in his hotel room. He looked around with wide eyes trying to gain any traction on his thoughts. The first was that Misty wasn't lying next to him. She was, in fact, slipping on her track shorts at the end of the bed and reaching for her phone to turn off the alarm.
"I'm sorry baby, I have to go."
There was only one reason that Misty had to go anywhere, and that meant that this was good-bye. He would love to say that he knew it from the urgency in her voice, the sound of the alarm. The truth was that he just knew.
"You don't have to." Aaron said with as much of a teasing voice as he could as he tried to wipe the sleep from his eyes. Ice cubes had begun to drop into his stomach one by one as the understanding of what was happening sunk in.
Misty looked him in the eyes, and he realized even if he was teasing, he had misspoken. "I have to." Her tone was the verbal equivalent of planting her foot down.
His eyes broke contact first. He felt ashamed that he had even suggested it and when he met her deep purple irises again, he could see that part of her didn't want to go. She was scared.
"So are you going to see me off?" She said with a half crooked smile as she pulled her sky blue hair into a tight ponytail on the top of her head.
Aaron was waiting in the lobby with two cups of coffee in his hands. While she was putting all of her equipment and personals in the duffel she had come in with two nights ago, he had decided to get them something to help wake up with on the taxi ride. It also gave him some time to think about what he would say.
"The General isn't sending you a limo or a Humvee or anything?" He asked as they walked out of the giant glass doors that were a photo stop for anyone staying at the Plaza Hotel. A taxi was already waiting, and there was only a cursory nod between the driver and Misty as he loaded her bag into the trunk and she and Aaron hopped in the back.
"No. The alarm means I have time. Not a ton, but enough that I can get their on my own." She said with a sad sigh as she took a sip from her cup.
Aaron nodded, "They figure you are going off to save the world, you might as well get to drive your own car?"
"Something like that."
There was a bit of awkward silence. Aaron didn't want her to go, and he was fairly certain there were parts of her that didn't want to leave him either. They had only finally reconnected a few days ago, and everything since then had been a whirlwind of dancing, drinking, and all of the things that had made them fall in love so many years ago.
There hadn't been a need for Misty in years... why now?
"So, any word what it is?" Aaron was swimming in an ocean without an idea of which direction to swim.
"Centurian. Nasty buggers. They just crested the alarm wall on the edge of our solar system." She said, watching the streets slowly fill with people on their way to their jobs. Their normal jobs. Accountants. Brokers. Lawyers. Bike messengers. All seemingly normal jobs. Not like her. Not the savior of the galaxy - The world's best mecha pilot.
"Ok, so what happens when you get in?"
"I get there and they run a battery of tests to make sure I'm ready to fly. They resynch me with my Beatrix Suit. I do a quick fly around, maybe even some test firing. Then I'm off. I'll be outside of Earth's gravity by dinner. By tomorrow, I'll be in deep space." She finally looked at him and said the words that he knew were inevitable, and knew were going to break his heart. "Don't wait for me."
He looked down into his untouched cup. "You know I'm going to."
Her hands trembled for a single moment. If he hadn't been looking down, he never would have seen it, but she stopped it just as quickly as it started. "Aaron. That's amazingly chivalric and I had no doubt it was what you were going to say." She smiled, a tear rolling over her perfect apple shaped cheek. "I have to tell you though that it is a horrible idea, and if I come ba--"
"When you come back!" He said slightly too loud.
She took a deep breath, obviously to strengthen her resolve. "*IF* I come back, Aaron, I don't know when it will be or what state I'll be in. It will be at least a year with no way of talking to you. It could be as long as a decade. I could come back as a 75 year old woman. I could come back brutally injured. I might get mind-wiped and absorbed into the collective of the Krillian Hive. Beatrix could fail.. If I come back and I've found out that you have forgone some chance for happiness because you were waiting for the last person in the world you should ever fall in love with... I'll hate myself more than I do for..." She stopped and took another sip of her coffee. He waited, but she said nothing.
"For what, Misty?"
Nothing. Just silence and more cup staring.
He whispered, his voice trembling. "..for what?"
She looked up and stared at him with the eyes that he would always remember as hazel blue-green from when they had met at college so long ago, and were now purple because of some war she had with the 'chromium warriors of Epsilon VI' or some other strangeness. They were both crying fiercely now. "..for not realizing I fell in love, too."
They kissed sweetly. One of the sweetest kisses they had ever shared, as it held the combined passion and love of these last few days, and was some horrible attempt to combine the next decade of kisses they would have shared. They snuggled together in the backseat of the cab and the conversation moved on to light fare and trying to make a joke of the fact that they only had been given two days of love.
Finally the cab pulled up to the facility. It was apparent that there was excitement in the air as people and vehicles moved all over the field. In the distance, looking no bigger than a toy was Beatrix, the 80 foot tall mecha. Specifically Misty's mecha. Aaron had never been so close to it, and he could see its pink chrome gleaming with the morning sun. If he wasn't so enraptured with his last seconds in love, he might have really enjoyed taking it in.
"This is it?" He asked, a quaver to his voice.
She nodded, as her eyes were streaked with the thin black lines of the remnants of last night's mascara.
He got out of the taxi with her and held on as tight as he could.
The moment should have lasted forever, but sadly was cut off by a booming voice coming from the facility.
"Pilot Misty Dale. Please report to Briefing Room."
She pulled back from their embrace. "They know I'm here. I have to go."
He reached into his wallet and was obviously looking for something when finally he smiled and pulled it out handing it to her.
"What's this?" she asked, looking down. In her hands was a business card that had Aaron's name, phone number, email address, and website.
He ran a hand through his hair, "If I had the time, I would have gotten you a necklace or a rose or even a damn photo of me to remember and have out there in space... but, now you'll at least be able to contact me when you get back. Assuming the internet is still around, I'll keep that address forever, waiting to hear from you."
She laughed, and he savoured it. Tried to record it in his mind so he could replay it over and over.
"Bye, Aaron. I love..." She looked down and whispered a curse just loud enough for him to hear. "...I love you."
He leaned in and gave her one last kiss. "I love you too."
She threw her knapsack over her shoulder and began walking down the path towards the gate. Aaron wouldn't be allowed past that point, so he stayed with the cab and watched her go. She never looked over her shoulder. She never glanced back. When you are the world's only superhero, you can't.