Through the mental connection, Alaeh asked, 'Are you sure?'
'Yes,' Devon answered firmly. 'I want to see them.'
Alaeh kissed Devon's temple before it responded, 'I will remain still as you teleport us both.'
Devon was slightly anxious to do so, but he knew that he had it. He encompassed Alaeh in both his own arms around its middle and in his tavki. He focused on transferring everything within his shell of tavki, and the next second, himself and Alaeh stood in the control room of Orly Air Base where a few soldiers and UN peacekeepers were working away at computers.
"The fuck!?" Jason Oliphant called in surprise. "Hemmel!?"
Walter Jennings, who was also staring at Devon, stated, "You're... you're a nemlai?"
Lou gingerly touched Devon's wing and asked, "How?"
"Someone left something for me," Devon answered, glancing around the room. "This something transformed me."
"D'you know who did it?" Walter Jennings asked, concerned.
Immediately after Devon answered negative, Lt. Wynan said, "Hemmel. I'm not even surprised."
With a laugh, Edward Peterson retorted, "Well I sure as fuck am!"
Lou, Hayes, Coleman, Everett, McNulty, McCann, and Jennings all touched Devon's wings and silky-soft feathers. They'd all experienced Alaeh's feathers before, but it seemed different with Devon.
"What are you doing here, Hemmel?" Lt. Wynan asked, not unkindly.
Devon, who had been watching his friends explore his wings with a smile on his face, turned toward his former commanding officer. Lt. Wynan's face bore no expression, which Devon knew meant that he was joyed.
"Just wanted to see you chaps," Devon answered with a shrug. "And I wanted you to be the first to see me like this besides my family."
"How long have you been a nemlai?" Everett asked. "When did this happen, Bender?"
"Fifteen days ago," Devon answered, still a little confused as to who the culprit was. "Somebody left the crystal just over two weeks ago."
Lou asked, "You still don't know who or what did it?"
"Alaeh and Pir think it could have been another nemlai called Volen. Millions of years ago, Volen went into solitude and hasn't contacted the other nemlai since. The chance that Volen left me the crystal is slim because he has no motive."
After a thought, Lt. Wynan said, "Sounds right sketchy to me, Hemmel."
The rest of the group finally stopped stroking the wings and feathers and stood before Devon.
"Yeah," Devon agreed with the lieutenant. "Why did Volen go into hiding and remain like that for so long? I've witnessed all of the nemlai's memories through Pir's as she's the one who investigated. Not even Darfej, the eldest nemlai, knows where Volen could be or who could've created the tavki crystal."
McNulty asked, "How's it feel?"
Devon knew that the question was inevitable, but it still caught him off guard. He reached out and grabbed Alaeh's hand. Alaeh have his hand a gentle squeeze and offered a reassuring smile.
"I miss being human," Devon finally answered. "Being nemlai brings so much. I can hear and feel each of your hearts beating. I can feel tiny, tiny waves in the air caused by your blood pumping. I can feel your emotions; wonderment, unease, fear, awe, cheer. I can change molecules."
"'Change molecules'?" Jennings asked. "What's that mean?"
To demonstrate, Devon plucked a hair from the top of his head. He held the single hair in his palm, and quickly lowered his hand but the hair remained floating in the air. The three-inch hair lengthened and widened, and the colour changed from brown to cobalt blue. A brain the size of a corn kernel formed inside one tip that changed shape to form a snake's head.
After a few people gasped, Devon told them, "This is called a ikbid. Reptilian creature that calls the Saiper and Gilantei planets home. This one is fully mature, measuring forty-six inches in length. These creatures are the most feared on each of their planets due to their potent venom. A single bite from their powerful jaws can puncture any shell and kills their victim in seconds as the venom causes immediate and irreparable brain damage. Fret not, children, I am clouding its mind so it doesn't sense you."
The stark-blue snake continued to lazily slither on the floor, between the group and Devon. Three seconds later, the snake began to writhe and hiss in fear as cells of it broke off and disappeared.
"I'm having a barbecue is three days!" Devon said cheerily when the snake completely disappeared. "For security purposes, I will not be telling you where. I will teleport you and my other friends but you will not be able to discern the city. Bring bathing suits because there is a swimming pool."
The group voiced their enthusiasm with whoops and cheers. A few even slapped Devon's arms in companionship.
Hayes asked, "Can we bring anything, mate?"
Devon shook his head and replied, "Nope. For those of you who will attend just be ready in the control room with a bathing suit at 20:00 UTC. For those with children, Alaeh and I can teleport them as well. Course you're invited as well, Lieutenant."
'Look for a memory from my mind of a planet called Corlehai,' Alaeh said gently. 'Experience the perfect climate, the perfect flowers, the kindest of brashi, the peach marble of the Wipella Kingdom. Now focus on every last one of our cells and molecules in that place.'
Devon did that. He could see Alaeh's memory of the immensely beautiful peach-coloured marble palace as if the memory was his own. And he teleported both himself and Alaeh.
Devon opened his eyes. Before him stood the largest castle he had ever seen. It was stunning. Each tower was topped with pointy roofs, and each window was stained glass. And he could smell blood.
Alaeh was missing a hand. Devon teleported Alaeh without the memory of its hand, so the hand did not teleport. Alaeh bled profusely from the wrist. Devon was about to panic and scream, but Alaeh simply laughed.
"It is okay," Alaeh tried to alleviate Devon's worry as its hand regenerated. "See? I am not surprised that this happened. Teleporting such a vast distance is difficult even for the most experienced of nemlai."
Still apologetic, Devon said, "I'm still sorry, love."
Alaeh's gorgeous smile grew a tad. It then leaned into Devon and delivered a sweet kiss to its mate's lips.
"Ek ka luk dut dof byak nemlai," a female brashi said to her female friend.
Devon looked toward the voice. It was a female middle-aged brashi- person dressed in a skin-tight lavender-coloured hide. Most people in the square of the palace were dressed in skin-tight hides of various colours.
Devon reentered Alaeh's mind to learned the language. The woman had said, 'I am quite certain that this is a new nemlai.'
The friend replied, "Ooming mak dok min haat gaaq hek kineq naal Alaeh lakyuk."
(This must be the long-awaited mate of Alaeh.)
Brashi after brashi called for the familiar nemlai. Devon knew that Alaeh had visited this planet two decades prior to approve a vessel that would carry brashi from this planet to another neighbouring one.
Each brashi, as they noticed the nemlai, crouched down to one knee and bowed their heads low.
Alaeh smiled at the dozens and dozens of brashi, and said, "Mami lu dodit gut ul ap givut bul laak Corlehai. Renasi. Lakyuk mak dok saan li Devon. Sit wa liak niak hima yuk."
(It is wonderful to be back visiting Corlehai. This is indeed my mate Devon. We are exploring various planets.)
The brashi formed four lines around Devon and Alaeh, which confused Devon and scared him just a bit. But the people took turns grabbing their hands and forearms.
"Qun nug itbin Uroi naam," each person said when they shook their hands.
(May the Divine watch over you.)
Sixty-one people had said that Devon as they shook his hand. And another seventh had done so with Alaeh. After each did, they went about their business in the town square, the market.
The last person who shook Devon's hand, a very young man, asked, "Dut qek tegi gin nyak hima?"
(What planet are you from?)
Devon offered the teen a kind smile before he answered, "Kiorna."
The teen looked confused, and he asked, "Kiorna?"
Alaeh jumped in, "Hima bup. Ili igi yok Kungeyut."
(Young planet. It is in the Kungeyut region.)
Alaeh grabbed Devon's hand and led him around the market square. Each new person approached them in much the same fashion, offering grace. At a stand that sold various fruits and vegetables, organics that were completelyforeign to Devon, Alaeh grabbed two fruits and offered the seller a kind smile. The man returned the smile, and Alaeh handed the fruit to Devon.
The fruit, which was round, was the size of a grapefruit. And it was translucent! Devon could see rough it, as if looking through a box of thin smoke. Inside the fruit were six tiny balls, seeds.
Devon looked to Alaeh and asked, "We aren't paying for these?"
"Many planets revere us nemlai," Alaeh answered simply. "They never charge us food and shelter."
Devon would not have it. He looked to the vendor, and noticed a large scar on his face. It was a long scratch from brow to chin. As payment for the fruit, Devon touched the man's face. He seeped the scarred cells and tissue out of the man's flesh, and pushed perfectly healthy cells to the face. And the scar was gone.
Devon told the man, "Qun nuk bi hek duk."
(This is my thank you.)
Devon regrasped Alaeh's hand and led the nemlai to stroll through the market. He excitedly bit into the translucent fruit, and clear juice dribbled down his chin. But, holy fuck! The fruit was delicious! It was almost completely sweet like honeydew mixed with lemon, with the smallest hint of salt.
And it was juicy! You could be stranded in a dessert and the amount of juice in the fruit would keep your hydrated for days.
"Tuilik," Devon said to himself, having seen the memory of the fruit from Alaeh's mind. "This is brilliant."
"That was kind of you," Alaeh observed. "Healing that brashi's scar."
"Well he's a farmer," Devon replied with a shrug. "He works hard for his produce. Had to pay him somehow."
"Faster, Uncle Devon!" Olivia crowed happily with laughter. "Faster!"
Coleman's son Robbie also cried, "Yeah, faster!"
Devon smiled happily where he sat on the grass of the backyard. By shifting and hardening molecules in the air, Devon was able to make Olivia and three other kids fly through the air.
One of Devon's childhood friends, Jorgen Ofram, sat beside Devon. Jorgen offered Devon a plate with a cheeseburger and potato chips.
"Thanks, Jorg," Devon said with a smile.
"Yeah, chap," Jorgen replied. "Some good nosh, Dev. You're a toff now, ain't ya? Posh house, fit mate hangin' off ya dobber, wings that literally carry you off to other planets. Y'ain't the same Dev I grew up with."
Devon nudged Jorgen's bare ribs with his elbow and responded, "Sod off, ya knob head. I'm still me. Mostly."
Jorgen nodded slowly, then said, "I guess. Just, so much has changed, yeah? The world's up in shambles, one of my best mates is a freaking angel... but you're still brilliant."
"Higher, Uncle Devon! Higher!"
"Mm!" Jorgen said as he stood. "Gotta hit the loo."
Devon lowered the four flying children back down to the ground, and asked, "How about a water show instead? Hmm? Who wants to see that?"
Devon pulled water out of the garden hose. It gathered twenty feet in the air, and formed a ball the size of a small house. Devon shifted the particles, which caused the water to split into eight bodies and dance in the air.
"Yaaayyyyy!" the children cheered as they chased after the flying water.
Devon made the eight bodies of water hit the children playfully, which elicited peels of laughter from some adults, too. The children ran in their fits of laughter, and the water chased after them.
A couple of minutes later, when the children laid down breathless, Devon made the waters shape. There was an eagle, an elephant, a giraffe, an octopus, a horse, a kangaroo, a shark, and a rabbit. Each water animal ran, swam, and hopped to and fro. The children watched in amazement for a few minutes.
Devon then made each animal kiss each of the children's cheeks, and told them, "I believe it's time to get some grub in those bellies of yours."
Two of the children grumbled, but all four walked to the food table.
Devon sat at the patio sofa with Hayes and another high school friend Ray Lochlin. The two men were talking about motorcycles when Devon sat down.
"Mate," Ray said hotly, "tell this ponce how shite Suzuki's are!"
Hayes instantly retorted, "No, no, no, no! Suzuki's steal the show, wanker. BMW's, the piles of scrap metal, require servicing twice as much as anything else!"
Amused, Devon rose from the sofa. He walked to the fence where Alaeh stood with a friend from middle school, Tatiana Norhaven. Alaeh teleported his cardboard plate somewhere but remained holding and eating its cheeseburger. Alaeh wrapped it's free arm around Devon's shoulders and offered him a kiss to the temple.
"I just don't agree with it," Tati lamented. "Do the men on my other planet believe that women should look or behave a certain way? Or vice-versa? That would be interesting! 'Honey, I think you should wear shirts that really accentuate your pectorals'. Can you imagine? Oh, Christ, cramps. Couldn't the Divine create us women with a more pleasurable menstrual cycle? Why cramps? Excuse me."
Devon and Alaeh ate and watched the friends and family. Nate manned the grill, and spoke with Lou and Jennings, and each nursed beers. Lisa, Coleman, McCann, and Oliphant sat at the table laughing. A couple of school friends swam and lounged into he swimming pool. Dozens of people had attended the barbecue. They were all in bathing suits enjoying the hot weather that Devon created.
Content, beyond happy, Devon said, "I love you, Alaeh."
Alaeh gave Devon's shoulders a squeeze and it said back, "I love you, too, Dev. Thank you for today. This is beautiful."
I hope you guys are enjoying this series. I do apologize for taking so long to post new chapters. With college classes back, and working two jobs, and homework, and still trying to have a life I barely have time to write.
Fear not, little ones, I still love you. And this story. Maybe I love this story a little more, but still...
I hope you guys are enjoying this series. If you ever wanna email me, feel free! I give zero fucks whether you write great reviews or have critiques that you might deem harsh. It all helps me grow as a writer.
Anyway, here are links to my other stories if you're interested in reading my other works while you wait for the next installment of 'Tearing Me Apart'.