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Time passed and Keagan began to feel the pain in her shoulder and arm dull enough for her brain to start functioning somewhat properly again. Twitched her fingers, it still stung to move, but at least now it was somewhat bearable. Good thing too, because finally after what seemed like an eternity of her being entirely too friendly with Felix, she could hear footsteps fading above them. She waited a short while after the light thumps vanished completely before she moved.
Standing, Keagan looked up to the hole in the floor above. There was more light there and it made her want to go back home even more. Now it was a matter of getting up there. She was glad that the walls were pretty narrow; she would have to use that. Shifting through her bag she tried to find something to help out, but there wasn’t much at for this sort of thing. Taking a deep breath, she readied herself to climb. Behind all the moss, the stones were pretty loosely fitted. She would be able to do it as long as her arm didn’t give her too much trouble. She would worry about that when she got someplace safe, home preferably. As quick as she could manage, Keagan scaled up to the opening. Her arm was killing her, but she was back to the surface. Standing she wiped the dirt and moss from her before turning to the door. She hesitated a moment then called back down. “It is clear up here, so I would move fast before that thing comes back.”
“yeah, you’re welcome.” Felix says giving a somewhat awkward smile after a moment’s silence. He then takes off the tech device from his belt to play with. It was his nervous habit. Spinning it through his fingers then twirling it around his thumb, Felix ponders about their current situation, trying to think of a way out of this mess. He looks up at the wall, hearing the pacing of the creature above, and flicks out a concealed lever on his little toy. Not even looking, he expertly flicks it on his middle finger continuing to play, using the lever to push it and make it spin. From the outside edge, engraved metal petals slide out and reveal metal less dull than on the outside. Felix transfers the toy from finger to finger as he continues to think.
“You know, I am not really all that averted to medicine.” Keagan watched as he tested it in front of her for any sort of poison, which honestly hadn’t even come to her mind. “I just don’t like the tech that takes away the real spirit of adventure. What is the point if you have gadgets that do all the work for you?” Sure there were several things she felt that way about, but the medical field wasn’t one of them. She put out her hand to receive that small pill, and immediately popped the thing in her mouth, dry swallowing it. The taste of the little gel capsule pieces lingered at the back of her tongue, it was off putting. It reminded her of her cousin, Michael. With that thought a feeling of dread set in. He was going to kill her.
“Thanks,” she had almost forgotten her manners. Now all she had to do was wait in hopes that this would take the edge off enough for her to get out of this place in one piece. She listened carefully to the pacing steps that still lingered above them. How long could something without a brain remember that they were down here? The universe was a strange place.
In the gap of silence, Keagan was pulled from reality into a strange groggy place. It wasn’t till Felix spoke again that she was brought back. It took a moment for her to process the string of syllables she was sure formed a coherent sentence even if she couldn’t decipher it. This wasn’t good. After pulling together all the focus she could, the pallid woman was able to figure it out.
“Ah, yeah, that.” She spoke as if she had forgotten, a tinge of sass in her tone. “I can’t really move it.” Keagan motioned her head to her left, but never looked over herself. More likely than not it was a horror show over there and viewing it would only make her sick. “At least it is a bad idea to do so. On the bright side, the pain is fading since I am getting a hare-brained with fatigue.” It was morbid, but she was genuinely grateful for the relief from the constant throbbing.
In attempts to get the spotlight off of her handicap, Keagan picked her brain for something else to turn to. “Guess, this whole thing explains why you called out when I was in trouble earlier.” It had been strange to her before, even though she had only a split second to think about it before running from the beast hidden in the final room. Now that she knew more of their connection it made sense. It was funny how such a small piece of information could completely change one’s view of the world around them.
CAI’s attitude-filled voice could be heard in Felis’s ear. “Pfft! Unrequited love, More like loser lover boy here couldn’t grow a pair of balls and ask you out ms. Silten.” Felix held his breath. The silence had been so great that he was sure Keagan would have been able to catch, at the very least, CAI saying her name. He speaks as though sparked by CAI’s comment “uh, yes, well how is your arm doing?
The girl nodded, it was something she had probably heard a thousand times from everyone she knew. That must have proved to her that he really did know her like he said he did. It was quiet for some time.
“So, we were just friends?” Keagan did not mean to sound skeptical, but it more likely than not came off that way. It was just that a sphinx would generally take something valuable. A strong bond would have made more sense than casual friends. She had always thought maybe it was someone she had had a more intimate relationship with. “Well, it is a relief that I didn’t blow off some beau or anything.” She let out a bit of an awkward chuckle.
With more of the pieces in front of her, Keagan was putting it together slowly in her head. “Thinking about it, it was probably some unrequited love. I am better off without something like that anyway.” This was the first time she thought it might have been a good thing that she could not remember.
A heavy tired feeling was setting in. It was the cause of her running her mouth so freely. Exhaustion was setting in, she wouldn’t be able to sleep, but at least it took the bite off the pain from her arm.
As Kegan’s story ended, Felix realized he had been holding his breath. He releases it slowly, again breathing normally. It was as though a curtain of doubt and regret had been lifted away from his eyes; so much more made sense to him now. For a while, he just stayed there quietly playing with his tech device. Many things were going through his mind, and he needed a bit of time to take it all in.
Felix put the object in his hand away. “He’d be proud of you, you know,” Felix says looking back towards the cave like wall. “Very proud… and happy.”
Keagan realized she was gritting her teeth as she listened to the story. It was as bad as she had feared. Now she really couldn’t look at the man across from her. After a long silence, she spoke. “I should probably be the one to apologize.” She had no idea what he had done, but she was sure her own fault was worse. “I don’t recall this fight, but I do remember the week that I was gone. I did something really stupid, to be honest. I cannot say that I regret it, but it has weighed heavily on my conscious for three very long years.”
In all that time, Keagan had gone over this conversation a million times in her head with a million different faces, but never Felix’s. She cursed under her breath for being so blind. It was so much harder to talk to people in real life, not that the pain in her arm was helping her concentration any. “You probably know about my grandfather and how he was looking for the lost Imagani civilization just about his whole life. Well, I found it. With all the research he had done I was able to piece the last bits together, and I found it, but there was a price.” The memories were as vivid as if she were watching them on a silver screen. It was hard to forget something so life altering. “A sphinx was guarding the gate into the final room; I had to make a trade in order to gain entrance. Sphinxes are weird creatures. They value strange things, well different things than we do. She wanted my feelings, my memories of someone important to me. There wasn’t anything I could do but accept. I made a condition that the person could not be my grandfather and she agreed.”
It was difficult to tell the story; she had never put it into words before. “Anyway, several trips back and forth later and I had raided the place pretty well and I was headed home, but when I left my grandfather was on his deathbed. It was why I was so urgent to leave. I didn’t make it back in time. He didn’t get to see a single piece of the treasure that was locked away in that far off place.” She sighed deeply. The regrets of her life were piled high, but all the worst ones seemed to be connected with that part of her life.
It was sort of refreshing to be able to just vent all of this. She had been holding onto it for so long. Still Keagan couldn’t help but feel like she was just running her mouth.
Hearing Keagan’s question, Felix was now convinced that something big had happened with her memory. He was lightly taken aback, “We…” Felix pauses, turning away from Kegan and looking up to some of the glowing moss. “We were friends,” he continues as he follows the moss clumps down to head level “…once… but that was long ago.” There was a hardening in Felix’s voice, “That was before our fight”
Whispers of the past scream through Felix’s head.
Kegans voice “…you bastard!!...”
Felix “…I’ve already apologized!! What more do you want!!!…”
“…I’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!!...Never Forgive You…never forgive you….”
Felix shuts his eyes as the echo of Keagans words finish sounding in his head. He opens his eyes and turns to face the flame haired girl. “I know this won’t make any sense, but I really am sorry… but anyway, after the fight that night, you disappeared, not even the school’s scanners could find where you had gone. That was three earthian years ago.” Felix takes off one of his small tech devises from his belt and starts playing with it in his hand, fiddling with it to and fro, a nervous habit of his. “You came back the next week, but I kept my distance. It stayed like that for a while but… even though we were in classes together, you never acted like anything had ever happened. You just…. looked past me like I wasn’t even there. From then on, things were different… and our rivalry began.”
As Felix spoke, Keagan fidgeted in her spot. All the little questions were putting her on edge. “Yeah, I guess it kind of does, but I don’t know why.” Watching his expression it didn’t seem like he was fabricating anything in his head, he looked genuine in what he was saying.
All of a sudden it appeared as if his attention was pulled elsewhere. After all the hijinks she had seen him up to she was sure it was that silly thing in his ear talking to him. It was so bizarre to her that a person could rely on technology so heavily like he did, even for companionship.
“So, I have a question for you.” Her words were slow and somewhat drawn out in order to pull his attention away from the other voice. “From the sounds of it you are convinced that we used to be friends or something, so what was the end of that?” The girl was crossing her fingers that he wouldn’t say that she started to avoid him out of the blue a few years ago. She could deal with hearing anything other than that.
“Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to break the stolen-item tradition” Felix says, looking at Keagans bag “But for now, I guess I will. I am not the odd one here. You say you don’t remember the nickname Treegan? Not even a little? Do you feel even a little familiarity with it?” Felix was fishing for clues now. He had a mystery on his hands now, and wanted to solve it. Keagan was smart, and he knew it. ‘Though not as tech savy as he was, Keagan was very intelligent, and not one to forget something like this.
“This just in, Norsblott scan is now 75% complete, sir” CAI chimes into Felix’s Earpiece like a person in the news. This snaps Felix’s thoughts away from his mystery for a second, as he looks back at keagan’s bag. ‘sure is taking a long time’ He thinks to himself ‘But, what else can you do with tech that small?’
“Yes, you are the odd one here.” Keagan shook her head baffled at how someone could be this desperate to make conversation. “As far as I recall this is the first real conversation we have had that didn’t consist of one of us pissing the other one off because something was stolen or about to be.” The girl was getting a bad feeling about this. It was likely that he was just crazy, but there was a slim chance that it was not so. It might have been something else; she really did not want it to not be the case though. It feeling was making her nervous.
Now Felix was really confused, “I’m the weird one? Yet you don’t remember Treegan…?”
For the first time since they had been sitting there, Keagan looked up at Felix. “As of right now it is essentially unusable, better than being dead I think. Haven’t tried it so I cannot be too sure” There was thick cynicism in her voice. Then the look on her face was a puzzled one. “What kind of name is Treegan? You are weirder than I thought, Pierce.” Had he just misspoken? No, that didn’t seem to be the case. All the same it was strange how familiar the name sounded.
Felix noted keagan’s movements, and spoke up “How’s the arm, Treegan?” a nickname that went as far back as their training days. Originally meant to tease Keagan for her love of nature, the tern took on a less endearing tone after they became rivals.
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