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Artemis 9: Part 7

Airing out the laundry

By Arthur ArmstrongPublished about a year ago 7 min read
2
Artemis 9: Part 7
Photo by Nong V on Unsplash

We followed the carved, wooden signs on the wall to the Garden. Elaborate crystal doors opened up to a room with high, crystal ceilings. It was filled with the smell of sweet plants and blossoming trees.

An unknown light source cast itself upon the crystal ceiling, illuminating the Garden with a glittering warmth.

“Well at least it’s beautiful here,” I said as I sat down on a smooth boulder next to a blossoming fruit tree.

“The smells are giving me a headache. There’s too much,” Alison said.

“My apologies, your highness. I assumed the wild lavender would assist in our purpose here today,” a slender, blonde woman stepped out from behind the tree making Alison jump.

“Fucking Christ! Ya damn phantom!” Alison yelled as she clutched her chest, “My girlfriend’s cat makes more noise than you!”

“My humblest apologies, your majesty,” the woman bowed a bit but never took her cold eyes off of Alison.

“All this ‘royalty’ talk and yet my sister is covered in bruises,” I said to the woman firmly, “That hardly sounds like ‘Royal’ treatment.”

The woman turned and narrowed her eyes at me and then looked back at Alison, “Her majesty must understand that it was for her safety that-“

Safety!? Looks to me the only people I need to be ‘safe’ from is you,” Alison announced and then waved her bruised arms at the woman.

“Yes, your grace, I see. And we are all most regretful for the methods used by those elected to escort you,” she said through shining teeth, “though your highnesses must understand that it was imperative to your safety that we bring you here.”

“So are you the doctor?” I asked the strange woman.

“No. I am Yogal,” she said as she bowed again and gestured to Alison, “I am her majesty’s humble servant.”

“I don’t want a servant. I want to go home!” Alison shouted.

“That will be all, Yogal,” a young woman said from the doorway. Yogal bowed again and left.

The young woman approached us slowly; her long, pale gown fluttered about her as she walked. Lengthy strings of beads that drooped from her neckline to her pelvis clacked softly with every step, “Good morning, your majesties. I am Dr Sylvanus.”

“Good morning, doctor. Perhaps you could enlighten us on the reason other subjects were able to be released but we do not seem to have that choice?” I said as I gestured to the bruises on Alison’s arms.

The doctor looked at Alison’s arms and held out her hands, “may I?”

“I don’t like to be touched,” Alison said as she drew back slightly.

“That’s alright I don’t have to touch you,” Sylvanus said as her hands began to glow a shimmering gold.

A faint web of light shot out from her hands toward the heavy bruises.

Alison shouted as she watched her arms, once covered in dark purple and green splotches, become flawless. Even her skin had improved.

Alison’s eyes slowly examined her repaired skin, “What did you do to me?”

“I healed your injuries. I’m an Atlantean healer,” Dr Sylvanus smiled, “I am here to help you heal so you can learn to focus your abilities.”

“Our abilities?” Alison asked, “And just what do you plan to do with our abilities?”

“We hope to save the Earth,” the doctor said, “Your highness, you must understand that we did not bring you here to harm you. You are our last hope for the future of humanity on this planet.”

“Well then perhaps you can clarify something for me,” I said “When I was taken to the mountain I was told that the eight embryos before me didn’t make it due to improper incubation. Then when I got here, I was told that six of them did make it but one died of ‘natural causes’ after birth, three were ‘permanently hospitalized,’ and the other two decided they liked the other guys better. What is the truth?”

The doctor thought for a moment, “Yes, well unfortunately all of it is true… in a way.”

“What do you mean?” Alison asked as she stared at the doctor’s hands, mesmerized by what just happened.

“Well the first two embryos died due to the negligence of staff,” Dr Sylvanus explained, “After that Dr Adman fired his entire staff and insisted on doing everything himself. Which yielded better results but each resulting human proved either consumed by the gifts to the point where they suffered cardiac arrest, required constant medical care, or fell privy to the mind control tactics of the invading beings due to incomplete activation.”

“What do those have to do with incubation?” I asked.

“Well when your father gave his assistance, we discovered that in order for the gene to activate itself COMPLETELY, and ensure the inability to fall victim to mind control, the incubation couldn’t take place in a laboratory but in a mother’s womb,” the doctor said, “Does that answer your question?”

I looked into her dark eyes searching for a lie but found none, “I guess. What exactly are you going to heal?”

“Your mind, your majesty,” Sylvanus said as she gestured to Alison, “This may be easier if you sit.”

Alison sat slowly on a mound of sweet grass and I took a deep breath.

Dr Sylvanus reached out her soft, glowing hands and spoke, “Now think of the moment in your life when you experienced the most pain. We will start there.”

I closed my eyes and thought of the moment I experienced the most pain, “There’s been a lot. Should I just pick one?”

“If you wish but it has better results if you pick the memory with the most pain attached,” I could hear Sylvanus say.

I tried to think of what hurt the most. I’d been through years of therapy so a lot of my trauma had been released. But what still hurt?

Your heart. It is broken.

Can I ever be alone in here?

Not yet.

Fine. I’ll focus on my heart. But you really need to start minding your business.

I am only trying to help, your majesty.

I hadn’t thought about my divorce in years but it certainly had the most pain attached.

“Now focus on the moment you felt the pain at its height,” Sylvanus echoed in the Garden.

I recalled a night I spent in our bed before the divorce. I couldn’t sleep because I was being bombarded with the voices of everyone I loved, speaking all at once, yet none of them were in the room.

Every voice I was hearing felt like it was invading my head. Breaking through my defenses, barraging me, and beating down my will to live.

I lay sobbing, quite loudly I might add, until I fell asleep while my life partner sat less than 30 feet away consumed in a video game, unbothered by the fact that I felt like I was at war.

At the time the experience was all consuming. I felt as if my chest sat below a sewing machine and a giant, barbed needle was threading directly through my heart.

In and out.

Stitching agony into my soul and ripping out pieces with each push of an invisible pedal.

“Good. Now breathe in deeply,” Sylvanus said as a bright light shone through my eyelids.

Just as I felt the invisible needle start to stab into my heart again, the pain and pressure vanished completely. As my lungs filled with the smell of sweet grass and lavender, all the pain in my entire body seemed to disintegrate as the webs of light warmed my heart.

“Holy shit,” I heard Alison say. She too must have felt the relief.

“You may open your eyes now,” Sylvanus said. I opened my eyes to see her smiling brightly at us, “how do you feel now?”

I feel incredible. No more muscle aches or stiffness. No feelings of dread or loss.

For the first time in years I felt… whole, “I feel great, actually.”

Alison stared at the doctor, “how is any of this possible?”

“Because not every human on Earth has forgotten the truth of our existence,” Sylvanus said.

“And what is the truth of our existence?” I asked as I stood and stretched my once aching muscles.

“That is something your father wishes to tell you,” Dr Sylvanus said with a smile.

“Did he remember to get the milk?” I asked jokingly.

Alison chuckled but the doctor only seemed confused, “I don’t understand. We have milk if you would like some, your majesty.”

“Never mind, doctor. It was a joke. Is he here now?” I asked.

“Not yet but we heard today that he will be arriving within the hour. He insisted on coming as soon as you both arrived,” Sylvanus said.

“So what do we do until then?” I asked, looking around the vast Garden.

“Yogal will show you to your room where you can bathe and dress before His Grace arrives,” Sylvanus gestured and Yogal’s suspicious spectre appeared from nowhere.

Alison recoiled as Yogal bowed before her, “Please follow me, your Majesty.” Alison looked and I heard her voice in my head say, get me out of here.

“I will show you to your room, your majesty,” Sylvanus said and gestured for me to follow her down a new hallway.

SeriesSci FiFantasy
2

About the Creator

Arthur Armstrong

A being of duality, poetic irreverence, and maddening nonsense.

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