Chapter 37: Call from Beyond
Ace was not the same since that particular night. Being unable to sleep properly; complete with unsettling emotions troubling him ever since. He avoided talking to any of the Seeker members for a couple of days - focusing on training and working with his devices to ease his mind. He wasn’t entirely sure if he was happy after that night. Uncertainty plagued his mind constantly.
He was relatively fine again as the third day arrived, yet after such a disastrous mission in the Bogon galaxy… he truly hoped that he and his team would not have to be involved with super-heroic missions again. He was happy living a relatively normal life with the Seekers and not rushing into danger all the time. Enough was enough, he thought. Coming to wonder when he and the Seekers will finally get to settle down somewhere; and live out the rest of their lives in peace.
But even then, at the back of his mind, some things in life did feel missing, unfulfilled… or unanswered. Perhaps there were a few more tasks left before he could look forward to a more casual life?
He wasn’t sure; nobody in the team appeared to be… for the time being that is.
It was another day on the Star Seeker as Ace walked around the passageways. The star cruiser drifted through the cosmos as it usually does, around the edges of the Solana Galaxy where it was safe; where no conflict could be brought upon.
Ace had finished building a new add-on for his visor - a secret project he had on mind for a while after leaving Zordoom Prison. He didn’t want to reveal it to any of the Seekers, as it wasn’t finalized just yet.
He had to admit though, that it was quite a neat new gadget; very unique from anything else he had created so far. It was a good thing to work on to keep his mind occupied over those few days which passed.
For now, he wanted to go train in the main gym part of the star cruiser. Perhaps he could try out the new function on his visor?
He continued to stroll down the stairways leading into the lower compartment of the ship. As he made way closer to the gym, he could already hear others talking in there. He walked up near the entry and could see a few familiar faces in there, training with the equipment.
Slightly disappointed that the room wasn’t vacant; he looked on anyway to watch as Aster punched away at one of the large training decoys at the other side of the room. He could also spot Jake there, lifting some weights on a barbell, reclining on a bench-press. Ace smirked, noticing he was struggling with only half the weights Ace, himself, was used to training with.
But he also saw Jenna there training on her own, performing various high kicks, near flawless cartwheels and other, back-breaking moves that some other species would not be able to perform so easily.
His disappointment vanished.
It was quite normal for verpardi to be so agile with swift, cat-like reflexes; having joints that could flex and twist more than most other backboned species. Ace was impressed with how she moved, admiring her from a distance and mesmerized from watching her perform more high kicks and handstands with a well-toned body and long, curved legs…
”Hey Ace, come on in!”
He snapped out of the trance for a moment, coming to notice that Jake was staring after shouting out to him. Aster even stopped punching the decoy to glance over, while Jenna even stopped too, to see Ace standing there by the doorway.
He felt embarrassed, hoping for sure that nobody had witnessed him watching like that. Jake appeared to be clueless though, smiling and beckoning Ace to come in.
He walked ahead, feeling a little awkward being in here for some reason. However, he tried his best not to let it show on the outside so none of the Seekers in here would suspect anything.
”You alright man? It’s been a few days since you spoke with us” Jake asked Ace.
”I am fine. I just needed some time out. During the past few days, I worked on a new add-on for my visor; something that may come in handy in the future”
”Oh what is it?” Jake asked eagerly.
”It is a secret”
”Oh man… you always seem to keep things secret from us! Until later on that is…”
Jake replied, lying back down onto the bench, about to lift up the weights again. Aster had already resumed with his own training, while Jenna walked over to her brother and Ace.
“Nice to see you out and about, Ace. You know, we missed your company during our daily training sessions”
”Really? Well uhh… sorry. I just needed a bit of time to myself”
Ace replied to Jenna, looking away from her slightly and trying to avoid direct eye-contact. The clothing she was wearing was a little more revealing than usual, being that she was in training. It felt odd when his eyes caught hers, giving him a strange fluttering sensation in his stomach.
Jenna looked back at him, noticing his sudden glance away, giving her a slightly concerned look,
”Are you sure everything is alright?”
”Yeah I’m alright; don’t worry about it- huh, Jake! What are you doing?!“
Changing the subject suddenly, he noticed that Jake was lifting the weights in an incorrect manner. He turned around quick as Jake’s sister looked on from behind.
Ace moved to Jake’s side and immediately took the heavy barbell weight from his hands, lifting it with only one arm and placing it back at the top. Jake was blank, utterly stumped with what he did.
”Why did you do that for, man?”
”You’re doing it all wrong! You need to move your body up closer and also, stop lowering the barbell onto your chest!”
”Well sooorry Mister, I-am-ever-so-perfect!”
Jake moved up a bit more as he was told. Ace looked down and grinned slightly, seeing his reaction. Even Jenna was quite amused.
Aster was still focused on training by himself, as Ace could see behind him far to the rear of the room. He felt like doing the same; practising his physical moves against a heavy duty decoy. It was different to using a standard punch-bag, as the decoy could take damage and be destroyed; but a short time afterwards, a fresh decoy will re-spawn. These were also handy for testing out new weapons.
Ace was going to walk over to the training corner, until he and everybody else in the room was interrupted by a message from the loudspeaker of the gym.
”Attention all Seekers, please report to the main hub of the star cruiser immediately!”
”Oh man, why now? I’ve only been exercising for a few minutes!”
”So, I didn’t even get to start” Ace added to Aster’s remark.
”Come on guys, you heard. Let’s go see what’s up, might be a brand new mission for us!”
Hopefully not another screw up…
Ace thought to himself. He followed the Seekers out of the gym anyway, off to see what the announcement was all about.
Everybody surrounded the main hub of the Star Seeker once again. Only days earlier, they were speaking with the President of Bogon in here, causing Ace to feel a little uneasy about it.
Kurt stood nearest to the screen, preparing to show something on it before speaking,
”We just received this message a short time ago. It isn’t a Holovision transmission though but it does look interesting…”
He switched it on and immediately, the screen lit up and displayed a message. Ace looked up to see what it was, as well as Jenna and everyone else. To Ace, the language looked very foreign. He had never seen anything like it, neither had the others in the room. They couldn’t make out what exactly was written on there.
”As you can see, this is some sort of SOS… transmitted specifically to us. But I don’t have the slightest clue as to what language this is; even the computer can’t translate it from its database containing millions of different languages. What about you people?”
“I’ve never seen that sort of script in my life”
”Doesn’t look Blargian to me so… I dunno?”
”I don’t know neither. It does look very foreign though, is it from somewhere in Solana by any chance?”
“No; in fact, it comes from a Galaxy right outside of Solana” Kurt explained to the Seekers.
”Oh great, not the Bogon Galaxy again!”
”No Jake this isn’t from Bogon, it is from the Kavorian Galaxy”
”The Kavorian Galaxy?”
Ace had to question, having not heard of that galaxy before. While Ace asked, Jake’s attention was swift to be drawn to the message on the large holoscreen. His eyes squinted, glaring at it suspiciously.
”The Kavorian Galaxy is right beyond the borders of the Shadow Sector of Solana. It is a relatively unknown galaxy; so not many people speak of it and very, very few have visited there and come back alive…”
Kurt told Ace, while the other Seekers in the room listened closely.
”Oh yeah, I’ve heard of the Kavorian Galaxy alright! I only know that Captain Starshield visited there twice but he did make it back alive. No idea what that guy is doing these days though!”
Ace murmured, shortly after Aster spoke. He remembered him, as he was the last superhero he ever killed at DreadZone. He felt ashamed being reminded of that. Aster wasn’t aware that Ace killed him though, but Kurt and Jenna knew already and they could notice Ace’s regretful expression.
Jake on the other hand was too focused looking up at the screen, and he suddenly snapped.
”IT’S VAELIDIAN! I CAN READ SOME OF IT!”
”Huh, what? What are you on about Jake?”
Jenna rushed up close to him, as did Bettilena and Aster nearby. Ace and Kurt also glanced over towards him.
”You know, Vaelidian! It is the language of our race, the verpardi! It must be from Vaelidius! So our planet must STILL be out there somewhere!”
Jenna’s eyes widened.
”What? Okay Jake you need to settle down and think straight. Are you really serious about this?”
”Of course I am serious! You wouldn’t remember since you were only 3 years old when we were sent away by our father! I was 12 at the time, so obviously I can READ our own language!”
”Okay, okay just calm down you two! What does it say then? Is it an SOS or not? I checked the destination in which it came from though, but it isn’t from a planet located in the Kavorian galaxy. It is from another star cruiser in that galaxy”
Jake was full alert now and his eyes were widened. He looked a lot more serious than Ace had ever seen him, even Jenna was baffled.
Ace was very intrigued by this though. He and the team always thought that Vaelidius was doomed and lost forever. Ace never quite knew where his kind came from, only knowing he was raised on Bolden 3 right before he turned a year old. But he wasn’t born there and his parents were a complete mystery.
He barely even knew a thing about his species; the only other two of his kind that he knew of were Jake and Jenna. No others in his entire lifetime.
”Okay sorry, I just needed to chillax for a moment. But I’m dead serious, this is in Vaelidian language. I’m not 100% perfect with translating, but it says something like this…
Dear team members of the Seeker Sevens.
We are a league of rebels, proud people of the planet Vaelidius in the galaxy you may come to know as the Kavorian. We know of your talents, your skills as the great fallen angel that follows, watches over and guards each and everyone one of you. The great skills in combat that we will greatly need in winning this war for our homeworld.
Please, we need your help. Meet up with us at the following coordinates and we will begin the regime to take back what is rightfully ours.
- and that’s all I can make out; and that text at the very end is the given coordinates…”
Everybody in the room was quiet after Jake spoke out.
It was a very astounding revelation for Ace.
Could this actually be from our people?
He was very interested in finding out more. If there was a chance that they were still alive out there, then it definitely would be worth looking into. Especially if their home world was at stake.
“Not a bad translation there Jake, well done. And I can already see a location from the given coordinates too. Many years ago when we took you, Jenna and Leera in… you did say something about receiving a message from your people to come back”
”Yes I did. I never thought that message would come… ever. But it has. I’m worried though… it might be too dangerous for us! I remember the horrors of what was happening last time I was on Vaelidius… and… I just don’t want it to happen to us!”
”But if this message really is from our people, then we must go back to help them. We’ve fought our fair share of villains over the years, saved many planets and so on, right Ace?”
Jenna looked at him, smiling. He looked back at her this time, not avoiding any eye contact as he most certainly well agreed with her. He smiled too, feeling warm between the gaze - also feeling a spring of hope from the message that Jake had just read out.
“I agree that we should visit the Kavorian Galaxy. We should check to see who these people are… but we must have our defences up and running, just in case this galaxy really is as hostile as they say”
”Good to hear that you’re eager for some action, Ace. And don’t worry about that; Bettilena will prepare our shielding systems immediately as we make our way into the Kavorian Galaxy”
”Will do! Okay everybody; get ready for take-off! Most of us have never visited this part of the universe before, so prepare yourselves for anything that may come out of this adventure!”
Betty immediately rushed for the piloting stand, as did Kurt and everybody else went to sit at the available seats around the piloting part of the star cruiser.
The intergalactic thrusters were active. Causing the whole ship to shake slightly as it prepared for take-off into deep space.
Ace was rather excited but at the same time, nervous. What is going to happen now? Finally unveil some answers from his past? Find the place where he was born? See and meet other verpardi?
He could only wait.