I could sort that out. But I told Olivia and Sunshine, then made my way to the local hospital.
The nurse at the desk directed me upstairs, and I hurried up there, my slim athletic guise making short work of the stairs. I knew my father had been working in the form of a bird these last few days, and I hope that that was not what I would find upstairs, because I had never felt comfortable when talking to things with beaks. I had bad experiences of them.
The ward was grey and lifeless, but my father’s bright red hair – a feature he always kept when in human form – was obvious as soon as I walked in. I made straight for the end bed.
“What’s wrong with him?” I asked the doctors and Healers, as I took in the sight of feeding tubes and an oxygen mask. What happened to Pads? Why were they not working – why use such an old fashioned method, otherwise?
“We cannot tell. We thought at first it was a heart attack, but it is far worse. As far as we can see, his internal organs have ceased to function and his brain is going that way too.” Just then, a machine bleeped. I looked up at it; it indicated that his brainwaves were spiking. What did that mean? Was he going to wake up?
My father opened his eyes.
“Mai,” he said, and I was shocked at how weak his voice was. “Thank goodness you are here. I wanted … wanted … to say goodbye.” He closed his eyes with a look of relief, and the monitors reported that his vitals were flatlining. I choked back a sob and laid my head on his still chest. The tears came freely.
The funeral was three days later. It was a small affair. In fact, only myself and the Commander attended. I was shocked at his attendance – he had never been on friendly terms with my father and I could not see any reason for him to turn up. But he did, and he was there for me as I cried for the loss of my last remaining family member.
That was the way it has always been.
A month later I left my home, with Olivia and Sunny as my companions, and went back to school, needing something to distract me. It was then that they told us of the upcoming tour, and it was then that I decided to come here to Earth, to seek my own way in the Universe.
You know my background, now. I am sure that you will make your own judgement; there is nothing I can do to stop that. But I urge you, do not judge me too harshly. You have never met them, and you hopefully never will. I have not described them for the simple reason that I am trying to forget them, trying to erase the black mark they have scored onto my soul.
You do not know what they are capable of. If they can make a teenager kill her own mother, what else can they do?
I only hope you never find out.