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Plexitown of Anemone, the place where Slipper’s Shire aka Denver Spike once existed:
Seventeen year old Cleo Patra woke up from her snooze after lunch and found herself in astonishment as she realized the sun has already gone down. She was late for her hunt in the Shadow woods (if you remember), which people then called ‘Death dock’. As she was about to lay her feet on the floor from the bed, ‘Zappo’… appeared her Dragon sneakers like from nowhere and clutched to her feet. And her Dragon watch too passed over her palm and clutched to her wrist in position. The blue-eyed blonde pulled her kicky beanie down her head and skated down the stairs as sparks of fire rocked them. Then she whooshed out of her house through one of the gooey, amoeboid walls. And as she pressed a button on her watch, ‘ZOOM’ appeared her Drago-bike (a special bicycle). With the entire outfit needed on her for the hunt, she rode away through the gusty hedges and ditches, babbling brooks, cold cliffs, gaping gorges and valleys to the haunted Death dock.
Cleo lived away from the hive and on the ground, where origins of the soil were still untainted and where Shadow woods still breathed the pre-nemesis airs. Stray rocks and an open moor spread to miles around her house. Cleo’s house was a bizarre one. The shelves fold, unfold, and even disappear on just a signal from her. A kitchen transforms into a bedroom and a bedroom into a bathroom, just like the Omnius. She read books not in words, but in projected 3-D animes moving in the air in a fixed perimeter, but that moved along with her as she moved. The pictures pop out of the perimeter for an enlarged view if she wishes. She used to design her own gadgets to make her living high and comfy. She didn’t want technology, but technology itself just loved her! She too had no fixed access doors to her house. The house just gave way as she entered in or out, and closed behind her. Quite amoeboid… She likes it that way! An invisible aura of protection and a camouflage surrounded her house and kept it out of focus of the community. The mysterious ambience around her house and liberty from her heart used to boost her spirits and trigger the adventure bug in her.
Dusk fell as the last ray of the sun skipped a cliff when the stunning beauty rode past it. The cold, mysterious and damp Shadow woods were an unwelcoming place anyone would want to visit, but Cleo had no choice but to venture into it, as rumour had it that a wily beast dwelled the forest. It used to enter the city in the nights and gobble up people, alone women around the corner of the streets. It was gigantic, fierce, and doomed. Nobody ever saw it in day light or even in the darkness and the ones that saw it were the ones the beast abducted, which left the truth behind with the victims, who never returned. But one night, a little boy who was peeking out of his window through a spy glass saw it. He told his friends, but as he was always passed on as a liar among his fellas, nobody believed in his words, the reason why many thought it was just a rumour. But Cleo did not. And when police came over for a cover of the story in connection with the abductions, the boy ceased to talk about the beast, supposing that they too may take him for a crackpot. On the other hand, Cleo wanted to find the truth out herself and put an end to the rumour or the beast itself. Once she decides, she would not wimp out.
She knew it was a ‘do or die’ situation for her. But, she wasn’t worried about going home early or at least going home, because she had nobody to worry about her, and nobody, for her to worry about. She has lived her sixteen years of life after the nemesis, all alone. Her parents were rich, the only reason that got them on Haven, where she took her birth, people say. But nobody ever reported of seeing her parents after her birth. Her curly hair, sandy fair tan, supple skin, blue eyes and sun struck salmon pink lips shone whenever she gave a smile or babbled innocently. Many came forward to adopt her on the day of release from Haven, because she was wealthy and beautiful. But the night before the day of her adoption, she was taken away. A man took her to Slipper’s Shire, which people then called ‘Father Denver’. As Cleo grew up to be four years old, the man left her, but only after making sure that she was safe. Since then, she knew none else (though she had vague reminiscences of the one man that brought her up), but her school friends. They had a selfless approach towards her, but direly sought her friendship.
A mysterious energy flowed through her. She was a dare-devil, an adventure-bug, hard-headed and impossible. She can bring down pythons bare handed and knock down the trees with a single random blow. She was robust and flamboyant. Her character and her brio added to her beauty. She was fine and could afford anything she wanted, but somewhere deep inside, her heart pricked from loneliness… but still, a wish lingered and a ray of hope radiated within her that her parents were alive and will come back to her some day in her life, the day she can die for. She used to spend almost all her nights trying to stifle her tears. She strongly believed that God is unseen, because she never saw her parents. Lacking the bosom of her family since her childhood, she tried to unleash the power within her. And fine-tuned it by the day for self-defence. In course, she conquered her fear within and turned adventurous.
Shadow wood, her usual evening haunt seemed peculiar for her that day. Her bike screeched to a stop as she clutched the brakes suddenly, on hearing a strange baying from afar. She guessed the beast was not too far and got down her bike. She wore her ‘Dragon-contact eye lens’ (D-CEL) that can scan away any material in both day light and darkness, and display the hidden target on a thought, the command. She started combing the area attentively, ready with her ‘Dragon-ray zapper’ (D-RAZ) and as she toggled on her D-watch, a fluorescent 3-D map popped out into the air. She tried to probe the map and locate the beast, but the beast was nowhere to be found. But, the baying continued.
Cleo pricked her ears and her eyes dilated in a buzz. She saw the beast behind a huge tree in the flashes of the lightning and tip toed silently towards it, aiming her D-RAZ at it.
The beast suddenly sprang to her front and bayed again louder than the thunder. Cleo zapped the beast with her D-RAZ, but it couldn’t affect it. The beast attacked Cleo and a fierce fight began. Earth beneath them shook as the two mighty combated, taking one over the other, one outdoing the other at one instance and vice versa at another instance. The beast whacked down Cleo a lot of times, but finally surrendered to her agility, dexterity and acrobatics. Cleo slew the beast!
The beast laid dead on the damp soils. Cleo knelt on one knee replacing the D-RAZ in her waist weapon band, gasping, to have a close look at the beast. It seemed very unnatural and extra terrestrial. It was 7 feet tall and hairy with a near wolf like face. Its skin was tough like that of a Dinosaur’s skin. It walked on two strong hind legs and its fore arms were short. ‘It’s an alien’, Cleo realised. ‘Aliens still inhabiting the Earth!’, she wondered, ‘Must check this out!’ The rumour died with the beast and nobody ever knew about it. But, two eyes watched her slay the beast!
After a month:
Cleo entered her school, St. Thomas’ as a cool breeze billowed past her and the radiant sun ignited a spark in her eyes. She was in a white T-shirt and dark-blue denim pants. A denim-blue beret adorned her head. Her hair was dangling down her ears and a pink sling hung across her shoulders. She wasn’t beautiful, but she herself was the beauty that adorned the Earth, like a rose that adorns the garden, a dazzling dew drop that adorns the leaves, a rainbow that adorns the sky, the cooing that adorns the Koel, the innocence that adorns a newborn baby, a fragrance that adorns the air, happiness that adorns life, a cascade that adorns a mountain, a smile that adorns the lips, nestlings that adorn a nest, a womb that adorns a woman, sun rays that adorn the darkness, a jingle that adorns the bells, Christmas that adorns winter, a dream that adorns sleep, intelligence that adorns the mind, truth that adorns the conscience and love that adorns the hearts! Nevertheless, nothing stood as a standard to measure and define her beauty. She was the standard!
Guys (all of ‘em elite, as they came straight from Haven) at the corridors, bubble (Anemonian spacecrafts) and bike parking lots and the play grounds abandoned their works, or good-for-nothing gossips, instantly, and went loopy staring at her in awe, as usual. While girls nudged each other and hurled an envious look at her, as their brows rose trying to stifle their jealousy and ego. While some other girls hurled a furious look at their guys staring at Cleo.
“Dude, I think I will ask her out this time”, a cool guy told his friends.
“Oh yeah?” his friends retorted, as they knew that’s not gonna happen, as Cleo always turned down any proposals from any guy.
The guy hit himself on his head and gasped, “That fucking beauty!”
But, as the air and the vision of destiny turned alien, the ‘Dinos’, Rhonda Rydes, Sandra Barrymore, Rigel Woolf, Jack Copernicus and Orion Blast stared at her in vengeance. Their eyes were like the will cast out of iron and like the sin cast out of evil. There’s always a conflict between good and evil… There will always be!
Rhonda’s blood boiled with grudge and jealousy, the two emotions a living thing has failed to conquer and let go since forever. ‘So much appreciation for an orphan!’, she jeered. All the while since the beginning, she used to try to read Cleo’s mind, but in vain. Some force, kinda aura masked Cleo’s mind from external perception by others and still without Cleo’s very knowledge. Rhonda’s suspicions took wings and always buzzed around Cleo like a fly that buzzes around honey, ‘Is she the one with the Bio-RAM?’
But Cleo, so chic and cherubic, just walked past, unmindful of the collapsing lives, from either appreciation or vengeance around her. Guys, now that they have received their kick-start of the day, retired to their classrooms, stumbling and bumping into others, as their eyes were still riveted on her. When Cleo was out of sight, they sighed out of despair and hurried to their classrooms as if they had just discovered they were late for the class.
Garnet rushed to Cleo as soon as Cleo entered the classroom, “Have you met Ron and Alcor recently?”
“It was only last afternoon that I last saw them”, Cleo said, “What’s the matter again?”
“Rhonda has summoned them. Thought you’d know. Though it’s a small world after all, I know you dwell in an entirely different world”, Garnet said, when Cleo sighed.
“If something’s wrong, I’ll go after ‘em”, she said.
“What’s up Garr..? Hi Cleo”, Deneb, their teammate asked as he came towards them.
And before they could reply, Ron and Alcor rushed to them crying, “May day, May day!” when Deneb reached out for his ‘Dragon-power shot’ in his pant pocket, lashed it out, took his position and aimed at them, all in a jiffy.
“Oops, you can’t do that homie (Spanish: ‘man’). We are your amigos (buddies) after all”, Alcor cried backing his face from the power shot, which was almost at his eyes.
Then he gave a hi-five to Ron, winking. Cleo smiled and Garnet burst into a laughter, on getting that Ron and Alcor played a prank on Deneb.
“You took the breath outta me, dude”, Deneb sighed, withdrawing his weapon and placing it back in the pocket, “almost got ya!”
“You get me, you kill me! Always in the adventure mood, agente 007, alert and vigilant. Give it a break man”, Alcor cried, blowing his bubble gum into a bubble.
“Awrriiit… awriiit! Here’s the Black-message”, Ron said when silence and graveness filled the air, as they all understood by tacit knowledge that their maiden fight with the Dinos was up.
“Venue: Planet Gyron.
Time: 18 hours today.”
…To be continued.