Carefully opening the door to Joosep's home, Ava and Kennet steadily move their feet in small steps. Joosep lied on the couch, his tooling scattering across the small table in front of him. Wires, metal, plastic, and implements of all neutral and dark colors were in disarray. It looked like he had finished their access badges and codes. She wondered how late he stayed up for them.
Kennet draped a blanket around him, cautious not to wake him. She watched this gesture with prudent thoughts. She knew he still cared for him.
Taking a deep breath he moved towards the kitchen. Offering her a hot beverage, she accepted, watching as Kennet poured chocolate and some white almost scrub substance into a mug, pressing the boiling water symbol on the refrigerator. The liquid surged out slower than it should. She didn't mind the wait. The refrigerator was a very old model, she couldn't believe the great shape it was in.
"What is that white thing?" she pointed to the bag full of them that he had pulled from the cabinet.
"This?" Kennet grabbed the small, round, yet somewhat square aliment from the bag inspecting it as if it were a normal food substance. "You've never had—are you saying you've never had a marshmallow?"
"Try it," he handed the marshmallow to her.
She popped it in her mouth. The texture was soft, and gooey. It was very, very chewy. There's sweetness within the middle, a surprise that was somewhat satisfying. Even after it's gone, she still felt the stickiness on her teeth. "What is the pleasure in this marshmallow? It is so sticky!"
Kennet laughed a little, shaking his head. "They are better roasted on a fire."
"On a fire! Wouldn't it disintegrate within seconds?"
"No, it hardens the shell of the marshmallow, giving it some added flavor," Kennet revealed, stirring the liquid in his mug, and moved to making hers.
"Sometime I would like a marshmallow on fire," Ava declared. She imagined how she would get a marshmallow close enough to a fire without burning herself. They must use some type of long claw, or something to get it in the flames. Why didn't Earth have marshmallows?
"They are called roasted marshmallows," Kennet raised his brows, a small smile actually forming on his lips.
"I like my term better."
Kennet shrugged, handing her, her hot beverage. As soon as she sipped the richness and thick liquid, her taste buds indulge for more. She drank almost half of the beverage on her second sip. Kennet watched her, crinkling his brows together.
"Can't get enough?"
"It's very sweet," Ava laughed a little, wiping her lip.
"It feels good on cold days like today."
"A good nights sleep sounds pretty good to me. I haven't had a good night's sleep since the night I slept on the connecting ship before plunging into Ioae's ocean."
"The bed's were nice on that ship, the only good thing about that ship actually."
"What was it like, growing up in the Revive?" she asked suddenly.
Kennet stood there swallowing, trying to think of what to respond with. She felt bad she asked so abruptly, but she was curious. So many people ask her about Earth, about what her life used to be like. It caused her pain to speak of a place so beautiful, now completely destroyed.
"Like I said before, Laio is my birthplace. Growing up there was filled with responsibility, attending regulation meetings, shaking the hands of honorary officers, and speaking to the press almost daily. My family was watched, hated, and surprisingly even glorified. My family hurt a lot of people's lives. Destroyed them even."
"How did they destroy people's lives?" Ava asked vigilantly. She didn't want to press further. He felt ashamed, the sudden spark of his energy radiating off of him.
"We took land, money, and produce from our people. We took most of it, just because we could. My mother, she is obsessed with power. At a time I liked it too. I really liked it. I enjoyed watching people fall to their knees, begging for me to save their lives," his voice trailed off, his jaw tensing. "What saved me was Queen Lillion. My family had close ties with her. I was sent to be one of her personal protectors. I was for six years."
"She saved you?"
"She helped me do what was right, how to do the right thing. I had never done anything good in my life. Literally. She taught me how to be good. It was sort of hypocritical of her for she was with the Revive at the time. After those six years I was trained to be apart of the Lead Commander Zaloy's officer team. I was thrown right back into the whole mess. That was when I decided I couldn't keep siding with murders, so I tried to leave. As punishment they took Hollie away from me," tears fell from his eyes and he quickly wiped them away.
He didn't say how they met. She wasn't going to ask him that one. She didn't think he could get through that without tears. She's already caused him to think poorly of himself again, because of that stupid question she asked.
"It was all I knew, but once I got old enough, I knew right from wrong, but I still chose to do wrong," he slightly hit the back of his fist on the refrigerator. That action made her think of Theo, when he slammed his hand on the counter after seeing her choke marks. Suddenly, she thought of what he must be thinking right now. Her friends think she died.
Theo was beating himself up right now, and most likely had been. It wasn't his entire fault. She had been so stubborn, only thinking of herself. It doesn't matter that he didn't come to her bedside when she awoke in Valoei. Though it hurt, it was something she could get over, she didn't want to lose their friendship, and Theo thought they already have. He was probably blaming himself. She cannot and won't allow that. Not anymore. Tomorrow she would look for him at the party. She had to make it right.
"I still chose wrong every time. I choose—" Kennett's voice cracked and her attention moved back to him, and he looked to her with different eyes. "How do you do it?"
"How do I do what?" she turned her head, waiting for him to speak again.
"What do you mean?"
"I still feel that same hunger inside me. It never ceases. I have to fight it everyday. I know better, and choosing better causes me to suffer. You don't feel that do you?"
"Are you saying when you make the right choice you suffer from it?"
"Yes. You don't, don't you?"
Her heart almost stopped. She thought back to Commander Bryant's words. This group, they are unlike the others. They can control their emotions. Does that mean Kennet, and the other's not from Earth only posses certain emotions? Can they only access certain sentiments? This wasn't even a question. The answer was yes. Maybe this was also why the Revive took them from Earth. Zaloy must have known the moment their training started that they were different. That's why they never reached their destination. They were going to run experiments on them. Who knew, maybe they already had.
"It's true," she almost whispered.
"You are in far more danger than I thought," Kennet breathed deeply staring at her.
"Not as much as the other's on the Acquiescence." Her heart crushed even more. Her people. Who knew what they were going through. They could be doing anything to them. "That's why I need the Strife's resources. I need to save my people."
"Oh my god," Kennet uttered a few moments later. Eyes of foreboding meet hers.
"Oh no?" she questioned, taking a step closer to him.
"I know what the Revive is going to do to your people."
YOU ARE READING
Dour shadows of the malicious Revive loom over Ava Iveta, as does the responsibility to save the people of Earth. Ava is thrown into a new life surrounded by strangers, required to unify with the once prosperous Strife, causing the race to her goal...