Chapter Six

Know Your Place

But now I’ve reached the door. Where was my aunt? She should have known I was coming. I was too exhausted to knock and could barely yell out. Exhaustion and the heat of the sun had won. The tasty flower didn’t help relieve the starvation pain. It had taken most of the morning to reach her home and doing it on an empty stomach was poor planning on my part. The door opened and I began to cough. A sudden fever from this heat, I supposed. Oh, goodness. It couldn’t be that awful flower. It was definitely a fever coming on. My eyes were very itchy and watery and my nose running like a monsoon.

It came quickly with purpose.

“Open your mouth.” I heard my aunt, Jan, yelling at me.

“What did you do?” She must have saw the plant on the ground for she said, “my dear girl, that plant isn’t for us, quite dangerous.”

“So, you shouldn’t have it in the pathway.” I gasped with a reply, attempting to breathe. My stomach was killing me. I desperately needed the toilet. It was a horrible thing. A small taste of that plant was running everything I’ve eaten, from the past few days, out of my body. At least it was trying to, but nothing was coming out. I sat there on the “pot”; their kind of toilet, listening to my aunt running around trying to find something of a remedy.

“Yaoi, hold on girl. I’m trying to find it. That stuff is poison. You shouldn’t have taken it. Didn’t your father tell you not to eat anything we didn’t approve of?”

I gasped attempting to speak, “I was hungry.” But I knew she didn’t hear me. My mouth was closing up on me and my nostrils were filled with mucus. Horrible place this is. I remembered the incantation of love and pulled it out of my backpack. If there was something I needed now, was a little bit of magic. Anything will do, because my unprepared aunt was moving too slowly for me. She was foolish, living out here amongst these natives, all alone as if they weren’t going to attack her one day. But I guess they didn’t need to, with all these poisonous plants laying around, it was just a matter of time, from inhalation, that she will meet her fate.

“Yaoi, Yaoi! Wake up!” Yaoi’s aunt shook her lifeless body vigorously. She had found something to help her, but it was too late. Poor Yaoi was stiff with her eyes open and her back against the wall, still sitting on the pot. Her eyes had turned from black to a milky blue. Her skin was completely pale. Next to her body was a piece of paper she had written something on. Yaoi’s aunt picked it up and read the incantations, gasping from fright.

Yah hew, e love me matter
E love me sense
E take ye sense
E take ye ting
Yah hew, me now do that
E have ye ting with me ting.
Do that down, no up
Yah hew, e love me

She’s heard about it, but she’s never seen it. They’ve never spoken the words around her. It was the native’s magical words that they believed to protect their people. Although, Jan, had never believed in their culture; the more she lived among them, the more she began to understand them. It was their kind of science and their connection to their world. There were stories they had used their magic to banish invaders before, but she never believed in any of it. Yet, her exploration showed proof that there were foreigners that visited the planet before and somehow they were able to drive them away. And now she learned the science behind their magic. They believed that they can manipulate energy, without technology. They believed that they can make things happen by saying words, like a contract with nature. It was her only explanation that explained their behavior and rituals. And these words, that Yaoi had used were to kill invaders. It translated.

Yah hew, e love me matter
(Spirit, I recognize and know myself)
E love me sense
(I love my essence of being)
E take ye sense
(Spirit is taking your essence of being)
E take ye ting
(Spirit is taking your energy)
Yah hew, me now do that
(My Spirit, will take your spirit)
E have ye ting with me ting
(I have control of your energy)
Do that down, no up
(I bring your energy down to nothing)

Yaoi had it poorly written compared to its original words and her translation was completely off from its meaning. The natives would believe she had died from their magic, but Jan knew better. It was that dreadful flower that popped up everywhere on her land, no matter how much she tried to pull it up, it kept growing. Now, she dreaded more than ever, the task of calling her brother. Their last day was today before returning home; and his precious daughter died. The message for the committee was going to be grave. They couldn’t hide this crisis from them, but it was surely going to affect the funding and possibly the colonization. They couldn’t replace the entire ecosystem or plant life. If the toxins in the air was incompatible, it would be a problem with settling down. And knowing them, they would take this matter of one death and build it into an uncontrollable magnitude.

Jan looked once again at her dear niece, Yaoi, sitting on the pot stiff and lifeless. Then called her brother.

“I’m sorry. It’s Yaoi.” Jan hesitated. “She’s dead.”

“What? What happened?”

“It’s… I’m afraid to say, but the natives poisoned her. They don’t want us here.” The words came carefully. She needed to stand her ground. She didn’t want to argue against any possible threats of funds being cut. They needed the committee to back them 100%. A war was the best alternative for motivation of taking all of the land.

Jan heard chanting outside in the distance. They were performing their ritual, faintly singing for a new day.

“What is that I hear? What are they doing? Get out of there! I’ll meet you…” Jan barely heard her brother, but took a minute to utter a response.

“No, I’m fine. It was Yaoi. She upset them with her words. Before I could explain her case, they had already poisoned her.”

“That doesn’t make sense.” He was confused.

“They chanted their magical words of death! They are still chanting, in the background. They don’t care. They believe she’s evil.” She needed to stay focus.

“I’m coming. I’ll inform the ship what has been done. They won’t like it.” The energy was draining from his voice.

Jan was delighted. Her plan is working. She covered Yaoi face with a piece of cloth. Her stare was too haunting. She really did feel sorry about Yaoi.

It wasn’t long before her brother called her back. “Jan, something is not right.”

“What do you mean?” Jan was puzzled. Everything was supposed to work out fine.

“The ship isn’t working properly. It’s jammed up with some kind of toxic substance that corroded the engines. We are not able to move. They are trying to call for help, but…”

“But what?” Jan got nervous.

“The signal is somehow blocked. We’re stuck here for a while. They said we have to make do until they can get help.” His voice was filled with fear.

“Are you coming?” Jan felt a sudden pang of desperation.

“Yes, I am. I’m leaving now. I’ll be there soon.” His words were like a robot. The natives had set them up. There was nothing to do, but to prepare for war. He had only his sister left now; and the toxins to battle, that was slowly clouding the air.

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