This story connects to the second tale in Tales from the Megaverse, so if you enjoyed this please go check out that as well.
The characters of Camila and Luz are played by Cosmic Cowboy. I came up with the idea for this story to explain an event that is alluded to. Special thanks to him.
Lost in the Blink of an Eye
Gazing into the backyard and watching her daughter play was one of Camila’s favorite pastimes. She had so much imagination within her, it was never a dull moment with Luz. Sipping her coffee, she stepped onto the porch of their house on Terra and sat in one of the wooden chairs. “Stand back, you big, foul beast! With my trusty staff, I’ll blast you to smithereens! PEW! PEW! BANG! KA-BOOM!” She ran around in the grass carrying a large stick. “Foolish warrior, do you really think I can be destroyed?! It is you who will be made into little pieces!”
Camila covered her mouth with her hand and chuckled softly. Luz danced around the yard and swung the stick, with her mom keeping a close eye on her to make sure she didn’t accidentally hurt herself. “Yeah, get that monster, Luz! Show ‘im who’s boss!”, Camila called out. Luz pointed the staff at multiple things while mimicking explosion noises. Finally she pointed at a big tree and prepared to make another explosion noise.
Luz visibly jumped into the air as the ground rocked from the sound of the explosion. “Wowzers! This thing’s got-“
The sky started filling with black smoke and turned a firey orange as both looked upwards. Camila rushed out to grab her daughter as a swarm of flying robotic ships zoomed over head. She heard a couple more explosions as the ground shook. “Mija, everything’s going to be just fine! Just hide your head in my shoulders and don’t look up!” Entering her house, she grabbed whatever she could, including a picture of her husband and her with Luz, and made for the front door.
“Mama, w-what’s going on?! Did I accidentally hurt the tree?” A rush of people from their neighborhood attempting to evacuate was what met the both of them head on. Screaming and yelling deafened the instructions for properly and safely evacuating. “Oh, no... no, no, no... not here. This can’t be happening to our home...” Camila never thought the war would reach her doorstep. Robotnik (more so his right-hand man, Grievous) was on the warpath with invasions and taking over the galaxy. Camila’s husband was too sick to go fight and until he passed away from cancer the previous year, they were able to block out the harsh events that occurred almost daily.
Now, it seemed they had no choice and had to face reality. Carrying her and Luz’s belongings in a duffel bag, she joined the crowd of people waiting to get out of there. Nearly three hundred civilians were together in a massive group; sitting ducks for Grievous’ army. Immediately, Camila heard the sounds of blaster fire from all sides and the crowd began scrambling. Towards her. Away from her. Some even dropping dead before her very eyes. A nightmare.
She closed her eyes and placed her head down. “Que todo esto acabe... despiértame de esta horrible pesadilla...” Her hands felt empty when she opened her eyes again.
“MIJA?! BABY?! WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Camila started releasing several quick deep breaths as she looked frantically for her daughter. The nightmare had just gotten worse. “No, no, no, no...! LUZ! WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?!” A person collided and knocked her down to the asphalt, turning the whole world black.
A few hours later, a bright light pierced her vision. Lights from the inside of a medical ship. A tall man with a gray beard stood over her and spoke in an authoritative voice. “Ma’am? My name is Doctor Welan Belkari. Do you know where you are right now?” Camila rubbed her throbbing head. “My baby... have you seen her?”
“I assume she resembles you? No, we have not, ma’am. Did you lose her during the attack on Terra?“ It all came back to her and she turned away from Dr. Belkari. “She’s gone... I don’t know where she is...” Camila dug her head into the pillow, masking her tears. “Ma’am... it’s going to be okay. The Resistance will make sure to find your daughter. What’s her name?” He pulled out his telescreen.
“L-Luz. Luz Noceda...” Dr. Belkari typed the name down into his telescreen and nodded. “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll send the name to our search and rescue group on Terra.”
After the doctor left, she pulled the picture of Luz with her and her husband out from her duffel bag. “Emmanuel... Qué vamos a hacer...? ¿Dónde estás para consolarme...?”
As soon as she would be released, Camila made it her goal to find her daughter and avenge the attack on Terra. Grievous won’t take her baby away. Not on Mama’s watch.
Journal entries from the Ravodkian scientist Grammot Serhon,
As translated by the Galactic Standard Transcribers at the Marcuso Higher Education Academy
ENTRY #12,890 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/54 at 800 hours
As the caffinating substance within me subsides, I received news from my friend and colleague, Deros Gran, a Viltariem scientist, that a ship of unknown origins has landed on his home planet of Vilta Prime. His people are going to inspect it and bring back reports on the tests they will run. Excitement flurries through me; is this a new species from worlds afar? Perhaps one we have never seen before in our lifetimes?
ENTRY #12,891 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/55 at 1200 hours
Deros’ tests on the ship prove it to be of alien origin. This is furthered by the inhabitants of the ship opening their hatches and coming down to the surface. They seem to call themselves “Hoo-min”, and are led by a woman of their species only called “F” and serving under their deity known as “Pressadint”.
My suspicions were correct and I sit here rejoicing. Tomorrow I shall travel to Vilta Prime and greet them myself.
[ENTRY #12,892 LOST]
ENTRY #12,893 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/57 at 300 hours
When I arrived on Vilta Prime, my multiple hearts had shattered. The “Hoo-min” species were waging war against the Viltariem species. I was nearly deceased myself when one of them tried to use its weapon on me.
“F” stood atop a crate with her red colored hair, proclaiming the “Hoo-min” species to be superior. She was rallying her people to take over the planet. As a Ravodkian, I am a pacifist. It’s in our nature. In ten billion centuries we have not fought a single enemy nor fired a bolt.
My report to the Intergalactic Forum will be submitted upon the moonlight’s hour. The “Hoo-min”’s will not be without consequences for their injustice against the Viltariem culture.
ENTRY #12, 894 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/58
It’s worse than I thought. Five planets in our sector (12) have been visited by the Human war-wagers. Countless acts of brutal violence only to steal our land. The eight remaining heads of our sector at the Forum have come together to decide how to punish the Humans. Sectors 34, 19, and 23 have all discussed the probability of battling these Humans. I have picked a hidden asteroid seclusion not far from Sector 12 where I can observe the events without getting involved.
[ENTRIES #12895 - #12945 LOST]
ENTRY #12,946 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/88
Deros Gran was found deceased in his home, murdered by Humans. This conflict cannot continue.
ENTRY #12,947 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/89
Sector 12 has been totally claimed by the Humans. Sources have told me that several other Sectors have been conquered by Humans. The original planet of Vilta Prime has reclassed as “Terra”. There must be a way to stop this.
ENTRY #12,948 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/90
The Humans have offered peace. A treaty to stop the fighting and become united. Most of the Sectors are unwilling to cooperate with the uninvited debauchers of our Sectors. I, however, have chosen to sign if it will end the violence against our planets.
ENTRY #12,949 - Galactic Time Code: 3546/91
Treaty has been signed by the Sectors and put in place immediately. The Humans have forgiven us for their actions, but we will not forgive them. Never.
FINAL ENTRY - Galactic Time Code: 3689/78
I have come to the conclusion that the Human species intrigues me here in my final hours. While formerly a race of conquerers and destroyers, I’m glad to see them intertwined with the galaxy now. However, several species still hold grudges against them. Humans just wanted a better life
End of Journal Entries by Grammot Serhon
Grammot Serhon died of natural causes while writing the final entry in his journal. These entries were the only surviving aspect from his home on Ravodki when Grievous’ war destroyed it. Serhon’s legacy as a scientist and pacifist will carry on infinitely.
A girl with golden blonde hair was held in the arm of a hefty human-alien hybrid wearing a tattered suit and coat sitting next to her on a couch. She watched the screen of the holovision off and on, switching between her dream of leaving the gang the man was a part of and the dramatic show playing.
“Cayde… baby. I love you. You’re so beautiful.” The man said, caressing her cheek softly. Cayde said nothing. He had taken a liking to her ever since she had joined the gang involuntarily. The man pushed Cayde’s head in his direction and smiled. “I couldn’t think of anyone else to be with tonight.” His deep, bellowing voice resonated with her as something she loathed about him, among other things he did.
“I… need to go. It’s getting-“ The man growled and held her down with his big arm. “Karrsten, please. I’m serious. I don’t want to stay here…” Karrsten twitched his mouth into a grimace and took his arm off of Cayde. When she got up and walked past him, a pull of the arm brought her back. “I didn’t say you could leave, now fetch me a drink.”
Reluctantly, Cayde walked over to a small kitchen off to the side of the room, grabbing a can of Farosian ale for Karrsten; his favorite. She handed it to him and sat back down without any more words.
“You didn’t grab one for yourself? Why not?!” Karrsten fumed over his partner’s lack of alcohol in her hand. Cayde rolled her eyes and went to go get another can, but Karrsten made her trip over his meaty leg. She was grabbed by the ponytail and made to sit upright. “I’m sorry, I just don’t like drinking! It has a bad taste to me!”
Opening the can of ale, Karrsten took a sip of it. He then spit it out deliberately on Cayde. She recoiled and fell to the floor covered in the drink.
Laying there motionless and letting the glow of the holovision illuminate her, she closed her eyes and plunged deep into her thoughts. How could she let this man treat her so poorly? He claimed to love her, but the relationship was one-sided. Besides, Karrsten was the head of a criminal organization and could do whatever he felt like doing, regardless of consequence. There was no definition of “no “ or “stop” to him.
After this event and watching some more holovision, Karrsten slammed his ale quite heavily on the small table next to the couch and waddled his way over to a cot that could barely support his weight. “Cayde… baby. Come over here and let me kiss you goodnight.”
“Cayde? You better not have left me.” Karrsten released a quick belch and patted his large gut. Only his breathing could be heard.
Finally, Cayde appeared standing over the human with her hands behind her. “There you are! Where the hell have you been, Cayde?!” She sucked in a deep breath and pulled a L-shaped object from her back.
Dropping the blaster on the ground and following soon with it on her knees, Cayde silently stared at the aftermath of Karrsten’s karma. A single blast wound inflicted to his heart. Dead in less than thirty seconds. He stared blankly back at her, unmoving.
She was supposed to feel relief, but instead only found a slight hint of remorse amongst her ire for Karrsten. Exiting the dilapidated home of Karrsten Grea, Cayde climbed into his ship and started the engines.
In the deafening roar of twin ion capacitors rumbling, Cayde threw her head down on the controls and sobbed. She wished that killing wasn’t the way to free herself from his grasp.
Punching in a random set of numbers for coordinates into the navigation system led her to discovering the planet of Aquilis. A perfect place to escape to. Grabbing the steering mechanism, she piloted the small cruiser away from the home and into the skies above.
A young man with brown hair and purple colored eyes walked into the circular hall of Aquilis Academy of Technology. Clutching a book labeled Hyperdrives and adjusting his dark blue jacket, he prepared to begin his first day at the academy learning how to construct hyperdrives.
That is until a girl with golden blonde hair collided into him, sending them both to the red tiled floor. “Ow! Hey, you should really be more-“ The two locked eyes, purple against blue. The man helped Cayde up from the floor and brushed off her shoulder. “S-Sorry… I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s okay, ma’am. We all make mistakes. What class are you heading to? Me, Hyperdrives 101.” the man replied. “Class? I don’t go here… I came to get away from… my past.” Cayde looked downwards at the man’s shoes. They were much shiner and cleaner than Karrsten’s.
“Oh, you must be a Marcuso Preparatory School student then if you have a past. Sorry, in-joke between me and my buddies. What’s your name?” the purple eyed man extended his hand to Cayde. “Cayde… Cayde Shilen…”
“I like that name, I’m Zerris Huston. Pleasure to meet you. I better get going for my first day, goodbye, Cayde.”
Zerris was held in place by Cayde. “You’re the first guy I met in a long time who hasn’t swore or called me anything. Can I come with you, please?” Zerris looked deep into Cayde’s eyes and saw them twinkle from the lights of the room. “Starshine. How’s that?”
“Well, you said I hadn’t called you anything. Your eyes shine like stars, so I’ll call you Starshine.” It was the moment Cayde and Zerris’ relationship began, as she gave him a kiss directly on the lips. “I think I like that name. Can we see each other later?” Cayde stated in her first joyful emotion since leaving Karrsten.
“How about now, Starshine?” Ditching the Hyperdrives book, Zerris wrapped Cayde in his arms and the two walked out of the main hall together. He made it his mission to make sure she was loved and cherished by someone who actually cared.
It was yet another hard day’s work… that ended in failure. Returning to ACME Labs, two white mice: one tall and dopey named Pinky and one stout and intellectually superior than his partner named Brain were discussing their next plan for overthrowing the Earth.
“Zort!” cried Pinky. “We should create a fast food restaurant and market our products toward young children, that way we can keep feeding and feeding and feeding them, until we’re the richest people in the world! NARF!” Brain muttered something under his breath and rolled his eyes. “It’s called McDonalds, Pinky… You just passed by it.”
“Oh, hee hee. Sorry, Brain. All this world domination stuff really makes me sleepy.”
“You, sleep? I can hardly believe my ears.” Brain retorted. Entering the labs through the giant double doors, the two climbed up to their cage. A yawn erupted from both and off to bed they went; Pinky curled up in the middle while Brain inside a carefully crafted bed in the corner.
“No, Grandma… I don’t want to watch Knitting with Jerry Lee Lewis… that’s too much bacon grease, Grandma… I SAID THAT’S TOO MUCH BACON GREASE, GRANDMAAAAAA!”
Pinky awoke with a horrible fright. Grandma made too many strips of bacon and made him watch her programs on the recliner. For the third time this week. “Poit… what a terrible nightmare! I better go wake Brain and tell him what happened!” Laying comfortably in bed and clutching a keychain of Earth, Brain failed to notice his sidekick approach him from behind.
“Psst, Brain! Brain! Braaain! I had that night terror again!” He fearfully spoke to the asleep mouse. Brain grumbled and realigned his hold on the small world. Poking his large ear and yelling, Pinky tried getting him to wake up. “BRAIN! BRAIN! TELL GRANDMA TO STOP MAKING SO MUCH DARN BACON!!!!”
“Who- Wha- Huh- PINKY! It’s almost midnight, what could YOU possibly want at this hour?!” a tired Brain responded, still holding the keychain. “Grandma overloaded the oven with too much bacon and now the house is flooded with bacon grease! Can I sleep with you so I’m not swept away in all the grease, please?” Pinky pulled the puppy dog eyes on him and clasped his hands together. Lifting up the cover and motioning to Pinky to get in, he sighed heavily and rubbed his eyes. “Thanks, Brain! That’ll show Grandma! NARF!”
Brain returned to the bed, now joined by Pinky. Finally, he could get back to-
“Hey, Brain. Which do you like better: hot fudge sundaes or banana splits?” Pinky questioned. Of course. He knew this would be a bad idea from the start. “Neither, go back to sleep.” Eyes closed.
“Okay, one hundred duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?” Eyes went back open. “Guess you won’t stop until I answer, duck sized horses…” Eyes closed again.
“Brain, if we had human names, what would they be? My name would have to be something short and sweet, not too long, but it has to be one that people would know and recognize. OOH! I know it! My name is Rob! What do you think?”
Silence, only the sound of shifting bed covers.
“You’d probably want something intelletectual or smart, how does Maurice sound? I like that! Rob and Maurice! Ha, ha, ha! We sound like a couple of actors!” Eyes opened once more and didn’t seem to go back down.
The alarm clock beeped and a mouse hand sluggishly turned it off. Rising up from the covers slowly, Brain’s eyes were bloodshot and had hideous bags underneath them. Soon after, Pinky jolted up, happy as can be. “Goood morning, Brain! Sleep well, I presume? NARF!” he jovially asked.
“Good… morning, Rob…” Flumping back down in the sheets, Brain was more tired than he was last night, all thanks to his friend asking him inane questions.
“Oh, you like the names, I’ll start the coffee, Maurice!” Pinky sprinted from the bed and over to the coffee machine outside the cage, leaving Brain alone.