Chapter 4 - Lost Sister

Far away from the drama on Gregorax, in the Betelgeuse residence, the sun hung high in the sky. As the light pierced through a crack in the darkened windows, someone stirred. Crimson’s brother, Otis, had taken his sweet time waking up, since school started late.

He looked pretty similar with Crimson, though much different at the same time. His hair was maroon, unlike the ginger his sister possessed. His eyes were yellow, though it held the same gleam of joy. He was also freckled, little spots like the stars in the sky dotted his face and shoulders. He was 6 years younger than his sister, plus he was really small too.

Otis stumbled out of his bed, which he didn’t really want to do since it was so comfortable. He had to thank the engineers who made the beds in his world change to support the sleeping style of the owner. He then stretched a couple times before walking to the bathroom.

He took a nice steamy bath, brushed his teeth then combed his tangled hair until it was respectable. Otis slipped on a black shirt before using his hand-knitted orange sweater and stuffed his green beanie. He stuffed his feet into a random pair of shoes before walking out of his room, but not before taking his favourite alien encyclopedia with him.

The warmth of the heated house cuddled him tight. Outside, the vibrant leaves of the trees were tipped with frost, which made the warmth loving Otis shiver. He stumbled into the kitchen, grabbing his backpack and placing the encyclopedia in. He peeked inside and saw that his snacks were already packed. He grabbed a piece of holekas, which was flat and made of flour, and poured some makgii, a sweet and sticky green substance, on it.

Otis skipped over to his sisters room, his cream lips opening into a big smile as he chewed d his first meal. “Crimson!” he chirped, his voice soft. “You should get ready for school!” Otis, though younger, was always the one waking his sleepy head sister up. He opened the door, the darkened windows not letting light through. He turned on the lights with a wave of his hand over the sensor, letting his eyes adjust the brightness.

However, the sight he saw was shocking.

Crimson’s room was still clean, but he could see signs of unrest. Her blanket slightly wrinkled, like she couldn’t bother to make her bed properly. The cabinet which she secretly stored a revolver peeking open slightly. Her cabinet was also missing an outfit. Additionally, her shoes were also missing.

Otis stared at the the room for a few heartbeat more before turning around. “Mom!” he screeched, his eyes wide. “Crimson’s gone! Mom!” He scrambled towards his mom’s room, knowing her soothingh green eyes and soft voice would help calm him down. However, he heard noises in the living room and paused. It was his mother and father’s voice!

He peeked from a thin crack in the door, seeing the bulky figure of his dad, Arcturus, standing there, staring at a couple of officers. By his stance, Otis knew his yellow eyes were probably furrowed, the freckled on his face wrinkling in displeasure. His mother, Cordelia, place her hand on his father’s arm and his stance softened. “Officer, what are you implying? Are you saying our daughter is gone?” his father spoke, voice gruff.

“I’m afraid so, sir. Do you have any idea where she went? It seems she stole the NYX, your families most prized spaceship,” the officer, their voice still neutral, answered.

When Cordelia and Arcturus didn’t speak, the officer went on. “She went at the middle of the night, hijacking your spaceship. We sent robot ships after her and sent her a warning but she went into Hyperspace before we could catch up.”

‘Hyperspace!?’ Otis whispered with great surprise, his eyes widened at the thought. Sure, the NYX was the Roth’s family most prized possession and it was strong, but not strong enough to survive a crash landing. And Otis knew Crimson probably crash landed, for she had never actually flown a ship before.

Suddenly, the voices from the other room became softer. Otis had to press up against the door frame to even hear snippets of their conversation. “Crimson” “planet 5545” “energy” “Clock” Those words Otis was able to hear, but the rest he couldn’t, for the alarm at the door kept beeping, telling him he was going to be late for school if he didn’t go soon.

Otis grabbed his bag, lips pursed as he tried to remember what planet Planet 5545 was. His friend Simon would probably know. He stepped into the outside world, feeling a buffet of cold. But the thoughts in his head distracted him from it, as he raced to school on a holo-bike. Suppose Crimson’s friend knew where she had gone? Hope started bubbling in him before crashing down. But if Crimson had crash landed, her friend wouldn’t know where she was.

He took a deep breath to calm himself down. Otis stared at the familiar imposing pillars of his school. He parked his bike and walked up the marble steps. There seemed to be a different atmosphere here. Silver water curled and danced from a giany fountain in the middle, the light catching onto it and arching out. Everything seemed to be covered in bright colors and rainbows. But even that couldn’t help the worry of his sister working back into his brain.

Otis was in a daze at school, his mind filled with the thoughts of his sister and who knows what she’s doing. The teacher seemed to notice, for he called Otis’s name. “Young man, you look a little pale. Would you like to go to the nurses office?” he spoke, gesturing to the door.

His friend stood up, Simon’s black hair standing out from all the blondes and ginger. “I can go with him. Wouldn’t want him to faint on the way, right?” His dark brown eyes held worry in them, which lessened a bit when the teacher let him go. He marched towards Otis and grabbed his hand before walking out the door.

“You okay, man?” Simon asked, shying away from the sun. Probably why he had very pale skin. “You’re normally so full of energy. Did something happen?” Otis sighed, pressing his back against a random wall. His yellow eyes were filled with worry and sadness.

“If… You promise to keep this a secret, I’ll tell you what’s on my mind,” Otis spoke softly. His friend nodded and he quickly launched into an explanation. “My sister, Crimson, is gone. She stole the NYX and went into Hyperspace. Now we don’t know where she is. She could be anywhere. However, I did hear them say something about Planet 5545.”

Simon stayed silent for a moment before he spoke. “But Planet 5545 is Gregorax! When I sneaked a peak at some of my dad’s files, I saw it holds the Doomsday Clock. When the Doomsday Clock stops ticking, it is said that that means the end of all the universe’s is going to happen!” Now there was a frantic light in his brown eyes.

Otis gasped, fear tingling through his body. “Is-is the clock going to explode soon?” he asked, his voice wavering in fear. Simon paused, opened his mouth then closed it again. In the end, he just shook his head. Otis felt relief seep through his stiffened muscles. “That means she’s safe right? She can find spare parts, fix the NYX and go back here.”

Simon cringed, shaking his head. “Well, not really. The aliens on that planet are making a force field around their planet. They’re sucking the energy of people they capture,” he frowned. Simon could see Otis physically deflate. “But…. She could’ve esc-” Simon paused before groaning. The aliens there were big, no way she could keep out of their hands for so long. Otis seemed to somehow pick this up.

“It’s hopeless isn’t it?” he groaned, placing a hand on his forehead. “She’s probably dead. Or awaiting her death. Getting your energy sucked doesn’t seem like a good thing. It’ll probably kill her, won’t it?” He slid down the wall and sat on the wall. From the corner of his eyes, he could see Simon sit too.

“It’s not necessarily hopeless,” Simon peeped up. “She could’ve escaped. You know your sister is smart. She would’ve found a way to escape, because her life depended on it. She won’t go down without a fight and you know that. What you can do is go to that planet and to save her quickly.” He placed a hand on Otis’s shoulder. “Now come on, let’s go back to class. We wouldn’t want to miss anything important.”

The day passed in a golden blur, though Otis could remember the delicious snack his mother had packed. A warm muffin with melted chocolate in the middle. That was the highlight of the day. As he was walking down the stairs his feet made a soft chiming noise when they hit the marbled floor.

He waved goodbye to his friend, Simon, as he slung a leg over the bike. He quickly pedaled home, determined to make sure his mother and father save his sister. His pedaling slowed, however, when his gaze set on the large lake. The sun was setting, it’s orange glow tracing the water as small rippled friend from fish darting here and there. There were some Glufflix, white birds with with long tail feathers, trailing the water, letting their low calls fill the air.

Otis stared at them for a few more seconds before pedaling back home. He parked his bike once more, staring at the glass door lined with mahogany. Most of his house was made of metal, with hints of mahogany in them. His floor was tiled with mahogany slabs, shiny and looking new. Little dots in the floor were connected, making constellations. Lanterns hung from the ceiling, giving a pleasant warm glow.

“Mom! Dad!” he called out, breaking the silence. He walked through the corridors, his hand tracing the cool metal walls before ending up at his parents bedroom. He opened the door, seeing his parents talking to each other as they sat on the king sized bed they owned. “Mom, dad!” Otis called again, stepping into the room. He spoke quickly, the sentences exploding from his mouth. “We have to go save Crimson. She’s in planet Gregorax and the aliens might hurt her, and-” he was cut off.

“We know, honey. We were discussing how we were going to do this,” his mother spike, her voice sweet like honey. “We were going to take the X0X Fighter, your favorite- but it’s too slow. So maybe the Hydrangea 3? What do you think?” She walked over to Otis, placing a hand on Otis’s shoulder. Cordelia had the milky tan skin, while Arcturus had the dark brown skin.

“The Hydrangea 3 is perfect mom,” Otis nodded. He was feeling hopeful again. They were going to save his sister! “I’ll go pack some things! Meet you at the Space Ship Center!” He turned on his heels and dashed back to his room. He threw himself in and threw his school backpack away. Instead, he grabbed his own hand knitted back pack.

He grabbed a spare change of clothes, already folded, and placed them in his bag. He then grabbed the emergency kit his parents gave him, which was filled with a blaster and medicine, and placed that in his bag. Otis opened a drawer and placed a few sweets inside his bag. He contemplated it a bit before stuffing in some chips. Crimson may be hungry when they saved her.

He slung the bag over his shoulder and stepped out of his room. “Space Ship Center, S.S.C., save my sister- that’s easier said than done,” he murmured as he raced towards his bike. He clambered onto it and pedaled. Little did he know, he was following the path his own sister took when she headed out.

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