Zane couldn't remember how long he had been out here in this desert. It felt like it had been for days, but he knew better than that. One look at the sun and he knew that the heat only made it feel like it was soaking up more hours of his energy and strength, but he had to continue. Here this 25-year-old was, stuck on a strange planet in a hopefully-not-deserted area by himself
what great fun that was.
He snorted and lifted his fabric clad arms to cross them, glancing around as he stepped into his assigned city. Or perhaps it was more appropriate to call it a wasteland. This city wasn't like his, let alone his size. This city was on Earth
the first dying planet in this solar system. The plants and other life seemed to flourish on this planet, but not the life that his people were looking for.
His people were the Nowa, simply put they were set to be the protectors of this planet as soon as life like theirs was found here. His planet, called the Yunion, was far from Earth yet here he was searching the ruins of cities in hope to find what his people were told to protect. The humans. The animal life seemed to have survived fine after a large natural disaster, but not the humans. After so many humans weren't around, the animals seemed to grow braver and want to protect their land. He had found many cases of hurt humans that were trying to fight for a place to stay in an abandoned building or something. It wasn't going well with the humans. When his people made contact with the humans they were an innocent little population that was careful with who they decided to befriend, the size probably didn't help any.
Trust didn't come easy and Zane wondered how long it had taken for the humans to even speak with a Nowa face-to-face, no doubt a long time, way before he was born. But not too long ago his people caught onto the fact that when they had left Earth to themselves, hoping that would prove that his people wanted nothing more than peace and information, then the disaster hit. The Nowa didn't spend a second more thinking about it
they needed to offer the help to the humans that were left.
As a young boy Zane often dreamed of meeting a human after his father had introduced one to him. Most of the humans stayed on Earth, at a base that was housing the Nowa soldiers, but some of the higher ups left traveled to Yunion to discuss what the future would look like. He sighed softly as he glanced to an abandoned, rusting car by his foot at the memory of the flourishing Earth he saw in books. Long story short from that meeting
more than one Nowa would make a human lose all control, they all knew this but they needed information on how to help Earth. But the first experience past him, he wanted to take his father's place more than anything in the 'army' to find the remaining humans. They were just as stubborn as years ago, but that was why Zane's troupe was put together.
One goal, to save the remaining humans and not harm the life that was still trying to live on this planet. It seemed foolish to go after humans when they didn't want it, but maybe it was more instinct than anything to go protect something smaller then you. Either way his people decided long ago to help the humans get back on their feet and Zane wanted to be one of those people helping the effort.
So here he stood, scanning the buildings with technology that far surpassed the tech of this planet, hoping beyond anything that he'd find his first human soon. He had joined years ago, however the training that was drilled into his head happened to take more than just a few months. He didn't think it would take so long to learn how to move or how to handle a panicking human, but it ate away until one month ago he was on a cargo ship with many other newbies.
It was exciting, to take his first steps on Earth and marvel at how small everything really was here, but at the same time he knew humans could be depending on him and that made him want to be ready as soon as possible.
It felt a little unnerving, standing among buildings that he towered over, but at the same time he was happy to be here nonetheless. He stood in a full bodysuit of pretty much spandex and padding, minus the boots and the tech, it was pretty light. The helmet and his chest plates were the only things that were a hard plastic on this suit. His suit was a white, with a light blue taking over his chest, belt and helmet. A belt hung loosely around his waist, and just in case, that held a gun and other varies items that would help him locate a human. A few pouches were attached as well, only a small button closing it, was for the humans that he would find. Thanks to his size, he didn't need any sort of equipment to remove rubble or anything, only a scanner on the lens of his helmet to search for the temperature of a human and give him other various information he needed.
Unfortunately, his size was also a setback. Those humans that believed that the Nowa weren't here to help (or never thought so in the first place) instantly hid when they saw or heard his kind coming. Many of the humans became resourceful and repaired their broken down technology to fight a balanced fight with the Nowa. However, no matter what it was, one Nowa was enough to handle a few humans. After many failed attempts the Nowa that was in charge for Earth decided to only send one giant to a town or city, unless the development was huge and needed two giants to cover it before sundown.
He set his helmet carefully down on top of the skyscraper that was just tall enough to stand on even height with him, taking a nice breather of Earth's fresh air. It may be hotter in this city, but it felt nice, it almost reminded him of the meadows breeze back home. He glanced at the mirrored image against the all the windows of the old building. Most of them were missing or broken, but his image was still clear enough. His skin was a little tanner than normal, thanks to the tiresome days out in the sun, but he observed his pale green hair that hung short over his head and dark green eyes carefully.
If size had been the same between the humans and the Nowa, then the only thing to tell them apart was the hair and eye color. He hadn't seen one human to have such a color of hair
but perhaps that was for the best, if he had seen one like him he'd become too attached to the little creature. He turned his head, smirking lightly to see his left ear that held a series of silver earrings. Small hoops, hanging stripes of silver, and small gems littered his ear
all for luck. His mother was a worry-wort, telling him that if she caught the word that he wasn't wearing every single one she sent him, she'd smack him silly.
His ears twitched though when he heard a faint roaring. He leaned away from the building, cocking his eyebrow as he looked around for the source. Zane had already searched around this small town with no success
there was no one else here. His captain had told him a Nowa had trouble here before so there had to be one human, but he hadn't spotted a single human wandering around. And from his knowledge no animal made that noise at all.
After a few moments he spotted the source, squinting only to realize what it was. A plane
a small airplane. He had studied those in a book he had brought with him, they usually carried many humans but by the looks of this plane could barely handle one person. If he could recall the type of plane was a light aircraft model
a biplane? It was tipping every now and again before he realized what he was doing, just standing there staring like an idiot. His first human! He needed to catch the plane!
" He fumbled with his helmet as he pulled it on, instantly willing it to translate his words for him. The one thing he didn't have time for was learn all the languages humans had, Nowa only had one, which was an upside for them. "E-Excuse me!" He bellowed in the human's perfect language, sure on the fact the pilot would hear him over the roar of the engine even through the distance between them. "I was hoping you would come with me to--!" He froze when he saw something light up from the plane before beeping went off in his ears.
"An incoming object, warning, fast approaching, warning, incoming object." A voice seemed to yell at him. His breath hitched and he instantly ducked, hearing the object whizz above his head. He raised his head, feeling his mouth twitch in irritation.
"Well that wasn't very polite
I'm here to help you!" He called out, perking a bit to see another fire start up on the plane before the voice from his helmet went off in his ears. He ducked behind the skyscraper instantly, hearing the object crash into a nearby building. "What are you NUTS?" He yelled out. The roar passed right by him just as quick as the missile, although he had a feeling this one wouldn't be targeting as true as those missiles. He growled below his breath as he looked down to his gun on his belt. He could run around like an idiot trying not to get hit, but he wasn't sure what kind of human this was.
Was he a warrior trying to defend his turf? Or was he just a gutsy guy trying to take on a Nowa with a few fireworks? Sure the shots would injure him, but it wouldn't be more than a few burns if that. His armor was tough despite its appearance and he trusted it, but he couldn't go running right toward it. The plane looked old, would it be able to outfly him?
He bit his lip, lighting up his chomp enough that he wouldn't draw blood under his helmet. The human's plane couldn't outfly him
could it? Another look at the tipping plane and he was sure it had crashed many times before actually making it into the air again. He held his breath before he bolted after the plane.
Zane tried his best to keep his feet planted on the road instead of plowing through the buildings, but after a few good trips and plenty of cuts on his gloved hands. He knew absolutely no one else was here
but he'd still feel bad for destroying one of their towns. He figured that it'd be pretty easy to catch the uneasy plane, but the pilot had planned for him trying to grab the little biplane. Swords, or at least that's what he figured, had been placed in just the right places for his gloves to be shredded.
Another failed attempt, he figured it had to be around six, until he ducked behind his skyscraper. "You've got to be kidding me
" He hissed as he slid to the street, glaring at one of the buildings that he had almost run into across the street. The little pilot was trained well
but catching it obviously wasn't going to happen. One look down at his hands and the blood was already staining the white gloves he wore. He couldn't help but be a little impressed
that little human man was smart and thought his attack through. But he missed one thing that the Nowa had brought with them for emergencies.
He sighed and pulled his gun out, shutting the safety off and poking his head out from behind the skyscraper. All he had to do was shoot out the back of the plane, one missing part and that thing will take a dive. He just needed to be ready to catch it, which he knew he was fast enough to do. Zane saw the plane disappear behind a few buildings before reappearing above them, spitting out some smoke.
It fired a few other shots, only one really hitting him
.although not directly. It hit the building he was hiding behind, setting a few good sized chunks of debris raining down on his crouched form. He tracked the plane, shifting when needed before realizing this thing was pretty quick for its poor looks.
He bit his lip and focused on his target, raising the hand gun with a burning uncertainty in his gut. He had to do this
he had to. He wouldn't hurt the human, the human would be safe, nothing but a wing was in the back
no explosion. He had been trained to have great aim
he wouldn't miss or anything. He swallowed and shot the gun without another thought. He was off in a second, running through the streets before he realized that a figure had jumped from the falling plane. He kicked up the speed before something white exploded from the figure's back. He knew that thing was a parachute, the Nowa had created things like that a long time ago. It fell only for a little while before the white cloth from its back protected it from falling too fast to the ground as the plane crashed elsewhere, leaving the giant to slow down in shock.
The white cloth slowed the descent until the unmoving Zane realized what exactly was going on. The man was a quick thinker
had he planned to be shot down? He slowly holstered his gun on his hip and walked around the city until he stopped where the human had been shot down. However, as he searched for the white cloth or the human he found nothing on the ground or the rooftops. Just as he turned the corner he noticed white contrast against a dark building that was about chest-height with Zane.
Laughter bubbled in his chest but he forced himself not to laugh when he noticed a trapped figure hanging from a flagpole, the cloth caught up on the pole and leaving the human to either fall quite a few feet or stay hanging there. He stepped around the corner, slowly approaching the building with the struggling human that was trying to free himself without falling from his perch.
As he drew closer he realized his mistake. Of course it was a human, but not the gender he thought he'd find. A woman was struggling with the parachute's strings. He stood there, almost gapping before he could steel his nerves and slowly lean down to be level with the woman. She flipped the hanging cloth from hanging over her head and suddenly strong eyes found his. Zane almost wanted to take off his helmet to get a closer look at her. The helmet almost seemed like a barrier between the two of them
but then he didn't have the headset to talk to her then. That would mean an even bigger barrier between the Nowa and the human.
But what surprised him the most was the dark green and spiked up hair, that looked like it was sticking out on one side. Her eyes were a striking blue and her clothes consisted of long cargo pants, boots kicking under them, with what looked like a mid-drift hanging on her shoulders. He almost blushed at her exposed stomach if his eyes didn't go right to her burning glare. However, those angry eyes couldn't distract him from her thin frame. She didn't look like she had a good meal in years. Her stomach was sunken in a bit, just enough for his eyes to catch, and there were dark circles under her eyes that clearly proved she hadn't slept well either.
how about I help you?" He asked slowly, pulling off his tattered gloves to push them in one of his bigger pouches to take another pair out. He doubted that she wanted his blood anywhere near her...even if she was the one to cause it. The new gloves would stop enough until he could patch himself up later, then he didn't need the gloves.
He was careful to pull the white gloves past his little wounds, uneasily holding his cupped hands under her struggling form. She hadn't said a word yet, but she was thrashing even harder at the sight of his incoming hands. He already felt a stone of guilt welling up in his stomach, but this is what he was sent here to do. This is what he signed up for, he wanted to be part of the effort to save the humans.
He wanted to be the one to protect the weaker kind
obviously the humans didn't think so. He flinched a bit as one of the woman's heels struck a tiny cut on his finger, hidden only by the fabric of the cloth. He only let out a hiss of displeasure as he raised his palm, cupping it carefully to hold her up. That didn't seem to make her too happy, but he tried to focus on untangling the young woman from the parachute using only one of his hands.
He could barely focus with the woman moving each string he had untangled back into the mess, who seemed determined to 'untie' herself even though she was making it ten times worse by the second. The only good thing about the strings was the fact they kept her from sliding around too much, every time she thrashed she only ended up being dragged back to the curve at the base of his fingers. He could feel himself losing it though, he knew that if he didn't get her off this damn thing soon he'd arms fall asleep from holding them up for so long. Unfortunately, even after years of training he was lean, only a few extra lines over his skin to prove that he had muscle on his skinny body. Not to mention most men were taller than her, even though he thought he was an average height. He could feel the woman getting tired too, which might be more of a better thing, but her glare was making him more nervous by the ticking moments.
After a few more minutes trying to free the strings with one hand he stood up, keeping his hands protectively under the woman with a frustrated growl at the sky. His back hurt like hell at slouching so long, and most of all he knew he didn't have enough room to kneel down in the thin street. He also knew he could only take a little of the pain the woman was causing in one of his hands thanks to her tough love, he didn't think that little bruises hurt so much if he didn't feel the burn now. "You've got to be kidding me
how is it so hard to grip in damn gloves and untangle a few strings
" He mumbled to himself, flinching to feel another hard kick against one of the fresh cuts. "And, you!" He hissed, turning his attention back down to the woman now that he was standing up. "You're not making it any easier!"
The human looked a little surprised, but she only paused for a moment before she took another jab at a known injured area. He hissed and finally decided on the best sort of action. He kept one of his hands under the young thrashing woman before reaching into his pouch with his dirtied gloves, pulling out a switch knife. Immediately when the blade came out she was suddenly screaming, after all this time she had a voice box? If he didn't know any better he would have jumped back in surprise, but the disappointment in her fear was enough to turn his hopeful expression into a frown.
"Shhh, shhh, it's okay. It's only for cutting the strings." He said, trying to comfort her as he held her carefully in the middle of his palm and cut the strings easily. Why had he not done that before, he had no idea. He quickly replaced the knife back into his pouch on his belt to make sure to calm the woman quicker, but she was standing already as soon as his eyes went back to her. He felt his eyebrows raise in surprise to find her glare hard again, her mouth sealed as if it had never let loose a scream that could make the strongest man in the world shiver.
Zane felt more confused than ever, the woman was clearly scared seconds ago, what was she thinking? He stood there, staring down at her while she stared back before she backed up a few steps to the edges of his fingers. He had to say he felt his stomach turning to see her so close to the edge, but he was pretty sure that the sudden movement under her to get her back in the middle of his palm would scare her to the point of kicking again
he really didn't want her kicking again.
She raised a hand, two fingers pressing against her temple before swinging them out. He blinked stupidly, about to ask her what that meant before she fell back
right out of his hands. He wanted to believe that he had time to be scared and fear for what the woman was doing, but all that was going through his head was, 'HOLY HELL SHE JUMPED! SHE REALLY JUMPED! CATCH HER YOU IDIOT!'
Thankfully his skills weren't rusty from the month of not handling humans and he managed to scoop the woman out of the air, but as soon as he felt her in his hands, she was gone again. She didn't seem to take losing lightly, as soon as she hit his palm she had already rolled off and was falling again. Zane thought he'd have a heart attack as he fumbled to catch the stubborn woman until he caught her by the backpack she had been wearing, no doubt for the parachute she had lost.
He let out a sigh of relief, quickly wrapping his fingers around her to trap her limbs in an effort to keep her from falling again. At this point the giant was on crouching (unable to have enough room to kneel), slouching over and practically half leaning against the building in relief. It only took a few seconds to catch his breath before he glared down at the little girl, jabbing a finger in her direction.
"What are you thinking?! I'm trying to help you!" He raised his voice, making sure his point was across as he brought the woman up to about eye level. She looked a little disorientated, but she still had that 'I-hate-you' look on her face. He almost thought she was going to say something when she opened her mouth, feeling a quick skip of his heart in hope. The hope took a nose-dive into the ground as spit dripped down near his left eye
Zane was suddenly thankful for his helmet. He sighed and lifted a hand to wipe off the saliva, feeling the woman clearly struggling against his grip although she had a smug smile shooting at him. He was starting to think that the woman spoke a different language then what the computer had set up for him.
Zane knew more than anything that his grip was fine, light but enough to restrain the human, but he knew the feeling burning in his gut was disappointment. He spent days dreaming of how he would save his first human and what their reaction would be when he pulled them out of a pinch. This woman obviously didn't live up to his day dreams. He let his head drop and he almost wanted to spend the rest of the day groaning about the spiteful woman, but he had a feeling she needed attention right away.
He'd never seen a woman with hair like this, let alone any human
it didn't mean she was ill right? He hadn't read up on any of the illnesses about humans, he left that to the medics back at the camp about half a day's walk away. He took one more look around, as if he expected another human to appear like she had done, but as expected there was no one else.
He took another glance down at the woman as he started to walk down the street toward the camp, only a small guiding arrow at the edge of his eye on the lens of his helmet to tell him where to go. He felt awkward, almost expecting the woman to start yelling at him, at least give him something to translate, but she only wriggling around like he'd let go anytime soon. He had a feeling that if he even tried to put her in one of the pouches that he was told to, she'd try to murder him in his sleep.
Zane wasn't sure how long it had taken for him to reach the halfway point, but as soon as he glanced to the sky, he could see it darkening quickly. He'd been dealing with the squirming, screaming woman for what felt like forever. He almost wanted to bury his head in the sand that he was walking on thanks to his ringing ears. He finally stopped by a group of rocks, feeling his ears aching from having to listen to her shrill scream.
"Okay! Okay! Stop your screaming!" He threatened, setting the woman down and plopping down in the sand with a groan in front of her. Almost as soon as her feet touched the stone she was silent
what was she a child looking to cry when she didn't get her way? He had to admit it was working. Although he was extremely disappointed, in all the time he had walked he hadn't heard a single word out of her
He pursed his lips and yanked off his helmet, setting it down beside him so that he could get a good breather. With the hours that he spent with the young woman, it was clear that she wasn't going to say a thing, he had almost given up on even talking with her. He knew she understood him, she reacted to his words with her body not with words.
Zane took another glance at the setting sun and was confronted with the fact that he wouldn't be able to reach the camp in time. No doubt it was because of the little squabble they had with each other. He tugged off his gloves with a frown at his wounded hands. He brought out a bandage or two, uselessly putting them on and shooting the little woman a glare. He knew talking to her now would be useless, no human had known the language of the Nowa yet he still wanted to voice how annoyed he was that the woman wouldn't listen to him.
He let his head drop, rubbing his slightly damp hair thanks to the hot desert that surrounded the town miles back. He reached into his pouch, leaving his two stained gloves and pulled out a granola bar. Apparently the humans used to eat this all the time
would she eat this? He couldn't help but give the woman another curious glance.
Now that he got a closer look at her, he realized that the few ribs that were exposed under her mid-drift stuck out and her cheeks looked a little sunken in, it was even worse than he thought. Again, he wondered if this woman was ill, or if she had just not gotten enough food for herself? He forced the question down and quickly set the bar in his lap, retrieving a few bandages as he slipped them onto his fingers. He bit his lip and retrieved the bar to unwrapped it, picking off a bit between his thumb and index finger to offer to the seething girl.
She immediately turned her head away, her bangs waving in the wind as she turned. He moaned and moved his hand a little closer, frowning when she turned completely away. "My first human and she doesn't want to eat
" He looked down to his helmet and shook his head. He depended too much on it. Nothing was urgent and he had to prove himself through his words, not human's words. He carefully shuffled around to lean into her view, showing her the tan food was to eat by pretending to take a small bite of his own and smile.
The woman only looked at him like he was the biggest idiot she had ever seen. His smile dropped and he gestured to the tiny chunk of granola with his chin almost feeling desperate for her to at least take it. Her light eyes looked from him to the food. She looked like she was thinking about it, but only turned her eyes away to the sand as she sat down on the boulder.
His shoulders dropped and he suddenly wondered if she didn't like the food
or if she was just stubborn enough to refuse it. "Eat." He managed to say in butchered English, the language of this land he sat on. The green haired girl looked up at him in shock, almost as fast as she had refused the food, but she only gave him an agnostic look and turned her watch back in the sand.
He just wanted to smack his head on the rock at his lost efforts. This was what he was taught to do! Be gentle, give them a little distance, and offer anything in possession. Zane was 100% sure this human hadn't eaten anything worthwhile in a long time yet she refused his kindness. His dark green eyes looked her over again, sure that he would spot some sort of problem he could use to help her.
He looked helplessly down at the tiny portion of food before he ripped off a small piece of the wrapper, using that to set the granola on top of before setting it on the rock near her. "Eat later." He mumbled in his horrible English. He knew it in his gut that his lips felt weird just forming the words, but if they somewhat helped her trust him, he'd take all the humiliation it came with.
He turned to the sky, hoping that it would be clear enough tonight storms wouldn't come rolling by. With no protection out here, he wanted to be out of here as soon as possible in the morning. But he had a feeling any sort of movement would anger his little unwilling passenger. He slowly laid down, looking at the stars with a knowing gaze. He had traveled here passing by all of those stars.
He turned his head, almost expecting the young girl to be gone, but there she was trying to be discreet about eating. As soon as she felt his gaze, he saw her lift her head, her hands clutching the piece of food as if it would leave when she took her eyes off of it. Her face went pale for a second before blush took over her cheeks and she looked away. Zane gave her a small smile, reaching out even though he knew that she wouldn't accept it, and rubbed her green hair with a fingertip.
She flinched under his touch and quickly shoved him away with one hand while she clutched the food in the other. He couldn't imagine what she must have thought about him
but he was glad she was eating the food. If anything he'd rather her hate him, even though it'd kill him on the inside, then refuse the food and shelter that he offered for her. He swept the small girl up in his hands, laying her on his chest and closed his eyes, using a finger to rub her tiny back, although it clearly wouldn't calm her like he imagined it would. He sighed lightly and offered her more granola before he nibbled on a little himself. He needed to remind himself that taking big bites was intimidating. He didn't want to believe she'd take off as soon as his eyes were closed, but from tales and the experience he'd gone through so far, this woman wouldn't want to be anywhere near a Nowa. He didn't even need to open his eyes to know she was eating; she was a little less fighty under his hand as they quietly ate, Zane slowly relaxing into the sand before he was completely asleep.
It had only taken a morning to reach his base, and thankfully, was able to get the tiny girl to cooperate with him enough of the way his ears weren't killing him from the inside out. Although the trip was easier, he couldn't help but keep the young woman in his hands, he was pretty sure she'd go nuts if he were to put her where he needed to keep humans. He approached the large camp of air ships that had been sitting here for quite a few years. Sometimes one ship will be shifted out for another, but this entire area had been claimed temporarily for the Nowa to live on. But in the center of each these ships was a small makeshift city for the humans to live in, which left this land as a safe house for both the Nowa and the humans (even if some didn't agree).
It wasn't ideal, but it was the best they could do to make sure the humans wouldn't be assaulted by any of the animals that would wander in or any other humans that would take matters into their own hands. Sure the animals could be dealt with easily for a Nowa, but for a human any animal could be a threat. It was a bit unfair to let them live under the Nowa this way, but it was safer and many soldiers helped out with the little cities. He stepped up a ramp, his boots clanking against the metal as he stopped at the door. One scan of his helmet and crest on his breast and he was inside. The woman had gone stiff in his light fist and he couldn't blame her, many Nowa traveled the hallway and many others as he ventured through them.
Zane ended up holding her against his gut, protectively shielding her from his world inside the ship. He felt a little embarrassed to be so protective and he couldn't quite understand why. Was it because she was a woman? Or because of her stubbornness that had turned into fear so quickly? Or maybe it was because her hair shared the color of his people. He slowed at a large double door, biting his lip and slowly pushing one of them open after knocking. A large man sat at the desk with a gray streak of hair against his light, almost white, hair. He wore a similar suit, however, his suit was black with gray plates across his chest. His head rose, the short hair shifting against his forehead while the rest stood up.
The room was pretty plain, minus a few medals on the walls and random pictures of events that had happened in the Captain's life, but the huge man seemed to make the space in the room smaller just by sitting behind his desk. He blinked his bright lime green eyes up at Zane, making him freeze up instantly and bow his head in respect. One thing about this man besides his strict rules were his hard eyes. If his voice didn't speak power, it was those eyes baring into a soldier to make him listen.
"Sir Finsiel." Zane murmured, hearing the chair creak a bit as the man rose. Zane knew his captain through connections from his family, Captain Finsiel had been like an uncle to Zane and he considered himself lucky to be serving under him now. However, it was imitating to realize the difference in power, this man had been in charge of this ship, Gundel, for twice as long as Zane's father had been in this voluntary army. That meant 22 years of experience plus his training, leaving Zane's one month of experience a puny kitten in front of a lion.
"Zane." His low voice rumbled, almost making Zane want to keep his eyes on the floor as the man approached him, but he forced himself to lift his head up until he met his Captain's eyes about a head higher than his own. The captain seemed to glow to see the young boy and instantly Zane felt a strong pat on his shoulder as his panic slipped away from his mind. Apparently the Captain was in good spirits today, and that meant any news he'd give would only improve his mood. "Where have you been, boy? I don't remember assigning you a city too far away. You get lost? You know your helmet is built to help you, did you use it? It takes a little getting used to, but--" The captain paused when his eyes fell to Zane's belt. Immediately Zane's body tightened up and he slowly glanced down to realize a bloodied glove stuck out a bit from his pouch. One look at his Captain's face and he knew what he was thinking, his usually tanned face turning pale.
Zane quickly hid it with his free hand and shook his head wildly. "C-Captain! I didn't do anything to the human that I was not--!" The helmet on his head was quickly removed, dropped somewhere and he felt a tight grip on his chin, his eyes forced to stare into a squinted lime pair.
"Zane, I can't understand you with that helmet on, but if you did anything to a human on your first job I will not be able to cover for you. You went through training for so long; everyone has, so we can handle a human without being--!"
"SIR!" Zane raised his voice, almost ready to melt into a puddle when those eyes turned deadly against his tone. "I-I did nothing to the human! She's here!" Before his captain could deny him the right to speak, he pulled his face free to open his hand and reveal a frazzled looking green-haired spitfire. She didn't look too pleased with being stuck against the giant for so long, but as soon as she saw the taller man she instantly set her eyes on him as if he was the wolf to her deer.
" It was clear to see the relief on Captain Finsiel's face, it was practically written across his expression. He sighed in relief and he seemed to slouch slightly in the presence of a human. It almost made Zane wonder if he did this on purpose or if it was simply something he didn't have to think about. Should he have done that more, make himself look smaller? "She looks a bit uncertain about this
didn't you explain to her? Ah, never mind, let's test my knowledge on the human language, eh Zane? Haven't done this in a while by myself though." The older man chuckled, making Zane rapidly come out of his thoughts.
"Er, Sir I really don't think--!"
"Oh let an old man have some fun, it won't hurt if I mess up right?" His captain didn't seem to wait to hear his subordinate's words because his eyes went straight to the standing human in Zane's hands. "How was the boy? He bad? New at job and all." Zane almost wanted to go search for his helmet to hear what kind of thing his captain was saying, it sounded like he was insulting him
but everything was too different in the human language, he simply couldn't get anything out of the sentence.
A moment passed between the human and his captain before the older man frowned. "Are you other country? Understand English?" A small crease went over his captain's forehead as his eyebrows pulled together. "Feeling sick? We have medical wing
" After another minute or so the captain only sighed and stood back up, rubbing the back of his neck as he relaxed his muscles. It made Zane wonder if he was trying to push off the embarrassment of the human ignoring him or the strain he had to go through to stay on even ground with a human. "Guessing she was the reason it took you so long?" Zane took a short look up at his captain to find the disappointment in his eyes. No doubt many humans had turned down his chat thinking it would give away their identity or something silly of the sort. A lot of humans had crazy ideas about the Nowa just because of their size.
Captain Finsiel walked back to his desk, sitting down and gesturing to the dropped helmet on the floor. "I'll do the paperwork for you this time, it doesn't look like she's too happy with either of us. Take her to the medic wing, she can be looked over there. You don't need to stay for that though, you look like you need a rest. The doctor will handle everything; I will meet up with you later. Be careful with her, Zane."
It almost felt a little insulting to be told the procedure over again. This had been something that had been drilled into his head the entire month before he even set foot on Earth, but he nodded his head. The Captain was only trying to help and he wouldn't be the one to tell him anything else. He may be a family friend and gentle on most days, but if Zane were to anger him he had a feeling the world would be doomed.
He curled his fingers around the young woman in his care and quietly picked up his helmet before exiting. Zane had no idea what he thought about this girl, but he had no liberty to keep her with him. His dark eyes slid from the floor to the top of her head that seemed to refuse him even a glance. He felt a little uneasy leaving her alone with more unknown Nowa, but he knew he could trust his fellow soldiers. Maybe he was more worried what the little girl would do to the Nowa rather then what the Nowa would do to her. He groaned as the woman began struggling as soon as they left the room, dragging his feet as he went toward the medic wing. He'd leave her there, for her own good, if this is the best thing he could do for her....so be it.
Shirin leaned against the wall, panting with a white hot glare shooting down the giant hallway where she heard the scrambling of her pursuer. She rolled her eyes and slipped around another corner, taking cautious looks around to make sure the coast was clear. Her luck so far had been good, it was almost like it was paying her back for how much it sucked the last four days. She wasn't sure how much worst it would be around here.
First, her first rate weapon was shot down by a dumb giant. She had spent almost a year getting that plane up and running, plus a few months to power that puppy up so it couldn't be caught. She didn't think that the dumb creature had a gun. The last one that came she easily scared off with a few shots of fireworks. She scoffed at the memory and briskly walked next to the wall, listening closely for any sort of chase getting closer behind her.
Second, after she had managed to jump free from her plane she was caught up in a flagpole. The entire city had practically turned to rubble and yet there was one flagpole left
and she needed to get caught up on it. She just burned up thinking about it. If that wasn't bad enough the giant decided to take her fate into his own hands
literally. She had lived there for 23 years and now a giant decides to find her there?
Third, now she was in this damn gigantic ship with a bunch of giants that looked the same
minus the captain. She feared every one of them, but their captain was the worst so far, he was the biggest. But what pissed her off most of all was the way that she was treated around here. Almost as soon as she 'arrived' she was taken to a couple of giants that probably thought they were doctors. She wouldn't let them touch her, but they didn't seem to understand and her hidden blade came in handy there. She had never been poked and prodded so much in her life. Shirin was happy to admit she injured one, and he didn't come anywhere near her after that.
Then there was that measly city that was to be her new home. She was carried the worst way there, the doctors were too worried about her causing too much trouble for one of them so they called a soldier to do it for them. Behind a sliding door was a city that looked perfect, too perfect. There were no cars or any sort of transportation besides walking, but it was clear who had been here a while and who hadn't.
Some people seemed to seamlessly fit in and not mind the echoing thumps of a soldier that would look over the city, or they wouldn't mind the newbies making trouble in 'restaurants' or anything of the sort. She was one of them, those trouble-makers, the soldier that worked that day had gotten pretty tired of her pretty fast. Shirin was the one to pick the fist fights against anyone who openly shared their happiness for this town. How could they love something that was a prison? It was a monstrosity. Humans needed to rebuild on their own, not have some giant warrior hold their hand while the race struggled to continue. She had a feeling if the humans accepted the giant's help, they wouldn't leave anytime soon.
Shirin didn't need more than one day before she was out of that city. She knew the shifts in a single day, and had easily slipped out. And here she was scrambling to get away from eyesight and get back outside. Once she got outside then she'd form a plan on how to get back to her city. She wasn't about to give in to any sort of giant here.
She had a few tail chasers, but they were easy to lose and she was pretty surprised how many giants she could avoid so far. Each one she lost she gave herself a little gold star as she twisted around in the hallways. So far the stars held the memory of three giants, each one growing more tiresome to lose. The hallways all looked the same and she tried to stay away from the most traveled. Thankfully, she didn't need to get near the busiest hallways to know that those vibrations meant giants.
However, as she turned around another corner she knew that what she stared at was both hell and heaven tied together. Across a bustling hallway was an empty hallway she knew lead to freedom. Out of all the doors she had seen in these hallways, she couldn't forget that steel one. She began to recognize the hallways she had spotted between that giant's fingers
Zane if she heard right in that gibberish language she heard from that head giant.
She groaned and let her shoulders drop as she slouched against the wall. "You've got to be kidding me
" Shirin murmured to herself under the pounds of many feet. She swallowed and bit her lip as she looked down at her feet. "Be careful. Don't trip. Don't be caught. Run until your lungs explode." She told herself as she neared the highway of giants. "And don't get underfoot." She whispered before she took one glance both ways before she was bolting.
Shirin almost screamed when a huge boot slammed down in front of her path, almost making her want to faint at the sight. She turned her head up, her face paling to see the underside of the giant pass right over her without another glance. He was huge, and to see it from the ground make her stomach shrink even faster at the sight. She forced the scream back down her throat as she dodged another boot before she took another glance up. She almost thought she was safe before she caught a pair of eyes right before she looked down. Her heart shot up into her throat, and found herself too scared to look back up, she just ran as fast as she could.
She jumped clear over one heeled boot, staring at her freedom like death in the face. She was so close yet she could feel fear tensing her muscles and making her panic. Something didn't feel right and it felt particularly close. She tried to keep her head from turning over her shoulder to check what it was, but the desire couldn't be pushed down. Her panic had already turned her eyes away from her goal and she knew immediately it was a mistake.
Kneeling behind her was a gigantic woman reaching for her with two 'careful' hands wearing a white lab coat
one of the doctors. Shirin hadn't seen many women here, but she didn't doubt this person was like the rest of them. She clenched her teeth as she slammed her feet faster against the floor, feeling fingertips brush against her foot that had missed. She heard a soft murmur of something above her over the thumps and rumbles of the feet, but she couldn't understand. And she didn't want to. All she knew was that one sprint and she wouldn't have to look for booted feet for a long time.
As soon as the flutter of hope entered her chest, it was diminished as a dome of pale flesh slammed down over her. She felt the different air and managed to look up for only a moment before her world was dark. The growl between her teeth reminded her almost of a dog as she slammed right into a palm, falling back. She could hear a rush of wind above, no doubt a sigh of relief, while Shirin searched her prison for a break.
The panic that swelled in her chest as the dome closed in her made her scream rip from her chest. She wasn't scared of small spaces
more of the giant after her. Fingers curled around her body but she was able to fight an arm free while the other was unfortunately trapped against her side. As soon as she felt light against her closed eyes she broke the bright blue eyes open to glare the woman down.
The doctor looked shocked when a hard look met her eyes, looking a little uncomfortable with the sudden look but only gave a nervous grin. The people passing her seemed to be too busy to check on her, and for that Shirin was thankful, but she now her plan was ruined. She tried to push the thumb away from her chest with her one free hand and squirm against the vice grip, but she could already feel the uselessness settling on her.
The woman was different from the giants she had met so far. She had a short pixie cut for her forest green hair, her purple eyes sticking out against her pale skin behind her thin silver rimmed glasses. She looked
frail, not like a warrior at all. She didn't spend too much time staring, she seemed frantic as she stood, holding Shirin against her with a hand up as if she was a candle that would lose its flame without protection.
She panted, the pain of her sprint burning in her lungs and legs. She was so close
she quickly shot another glare up at the woman, but she wasn't looking. Shirin groaned, the fast walking and motion almost made her want to be sick if she had anything in her stomach to lose. Honestly the food she was offered in the city she had denied
it sounded stupid but she was afraid if she'd eat it she'd turn into those happy zombies walking the streets. She was used to being hungry, it was a common occurrence in her 23 years of life. The lack of food left her dizzy and feeling like she was dying
no doubt she was. It had been two days since that giant had given her something, more granola for breakfast. She didn't want to accept it, but she was so hungry by then she couldn't help herself.
The doctor walked into a room, grabbed something before she was off again. Everything was moving too fast for Shirin to focus. She was almost glad when she was placed down on a hard surface. She blinked rapidly, trying to get her stomach to calm and her eyes to stop blurring objects. The first thing she was aware of was the loudness of this new room, and the size of it was unimaginable.
Shirin quickly looked up to the woman, she was nervously fiddling with some sort of thing on her ear before she pulled it, a small clink going off before she realized she was being watched. Her purple eyes went back down to the tiny woman and she cleared her throat, a soft blush going over her cheeks. "Er
is this working?" Her lips had formed English
.they had formed words that Shirin could understand.
She raised her head in surprise, but quickly turned it away when she realized she was showing interest. How did all of these giants know some way to talk to her? She hated that
they weren't human and they shouldn't be talking human languages. Besides, if she showed any sort of need, these giants would feed off of it like a leech. "Um
are you alright, little one?" There was a sigh before, "I thought I'd be too late
you know you really shouldn't be wandering the halls. It's dangerous for ones so little." Shirin swore a number of times behind her lips, ready to burst if she heard another 'you're so little' comment. She shot another demonic glare at the woman, making her frown and lift her hand to fiddle with her glasses.
"Anyway, what are you doing in the hallway? Did someone lose you?" The woman asked, only making Shirin scoff at that. Many giants had lost her, it was those that could keep their hands on her was the real question. When Shirin didn't answer she saw the young woman shift and take something else in front of her before she saw something approaching. Her head snapped forward, her eyes wide as she quickly backed up on what appeared to be a table.
The giant woman froze when her smaller counterpart moved, looking guilty as she slowly brought the spoon she was holding back. "Sorry
I'm new at this." Shirin rolled her eyes at the statement, trying to cease her drumming heart. "I thought you were hungry
and that's why you were running in the hallways."
'Oh my god
' Shirin thought staring up at the woman. 'She's a total idiot
what does she think everything is a cup of sunshine?!' She growled and stood up shaking her head and gesturing to the floor with a wave of her hand. 'I want down you dumb giant!' She practically yelled inside her mind. She would have never admitted she wanted what was in that little cup in the giant's hand. It seemed like pudding, something that she was only told about.
The giantess looked confused, seeming to decide that instead of trying to figure out what she wanted, she offered the tiny amount of pudding on the giant spoon again. "It's good you know
your people had this
do you not like it?" She seemed disappointed, but Shirin didn't feel any pity for this woman. She almost wanted to talk to them, tell them what a big mistake they made coming to this planet, but she knew better. One of the many rules her father had told her about these brutes is to keep her mouth shut as long as possible. People fear what they don't understand
and she had to keep up the act.