2.13 - Under the Desert Sun
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Sorry this is late, life's been trying to drown me in homework. :P

WARNING: Mild language, dead-ahead!


2.13 - Under the Desert Sun

Thomas’s PoV

After the first twenty minutes, I grew worried. After the first hour, I was panicked. As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky, so did my heart into my throat. Where is she?!

I was no stranger to tracking down Chloe. Hell, I’ve been doing it since we were eight! But never in the desert. The terrain was totally different from the green mountains of the Valley, always muddy from rain, with foot prints clearly visible to anyone bothering to look.

I kept walking, scouring the dunes for any sign of my wayward sister. And each minute that ticked by, was another I could lose her forever. Why didn’t I pay closer attention to her?!

“Damnit, Chloe!” She’s supposed to be the smart one! As soon as I thought it, an old voice rose from the depths of my memory.

“Genius isn’t the same as intelligent, Thomas. Chloe’s smart, but she doesn’t always have good sense. That’s where you come in.”

Dad. He’d gotten it. After every school assignment that differed by letter grades, after every mechanical monster I’d found under my bed, he’d give me a warm glass of milk and explain gently that Chloe was different. That she didn’t always think in the same ways as other people. (Try never, Dad!) And that she’d need someone to look after her. So I cleaned up soot-covered sheets and chased off bullies twice my size. Because, while Chloe was damn smart, sometimes she didn’t think before she started something. She needed me to make sure nothing bad happened. To her or anyone else.

“I fucked up this time, Dad…and I don’t know if I can fix it.”


Chloe’s PoV

The desert sun beat down on me, but I didn’t feel it. It was nothing more than a dull orange ball above me, after all. Irrelevant. Inconsequential to the space my mind currently occupied. This fantastic state of mind in which I thought faster than ever before. Puzzles were solved and mysteries became clear. I understood everything. Edges and vertices stretched into infinity around me. And I was connecting more.

Donovan. An alien clone born of my father’s intellect.

MorcuCorp. A company dealing in ancient relics with a dubious method of acquisition.

The two were connected. How? I didn’t bother questioning, merely following the brilliant trails flashing across my brain.

Donovan had mentioned MorcuCorp, recently, in fact. There were several locals vocally against the company. More than a few. Egypt in general was fed up with them. Stealing their culture, they said.

Mena Lufti was particularly against MorcuCorp.

She’d hired Donovan to get dirt on the company, because he wasn’t a local and thus more trust-worthy in the company’s eyes. There is no dirt.

She was right on one thing: MorcuCorp was after more than relics. Or rather, certain relics that held more than monetary value. That much I’d gleaned from my research. Mummitonium…a metal mentioned by the locals, usually in relation to MorcuCorp. Incredibly strong, but easily shaped, and said to have come into existence by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Said to be able to cheat death if ingested. Extraordinarily rare. I have some. Was that all there was to it?

No. There was a certain collection of artifacts that might be more precious. The Relics of Life and Death! Egyptian myths spoke of relics that held power over a human’s body and mind. Hypnosis and death…Agragorium…a metallic substance that induced hypnosis, a vegetative state, and finally death in all Simearth lifeforms. It was most commonly found in liquid form within Mummitonium deposits, and the largest deposit of Agragorium ever recorded was found during the construction of the Great Pyramid. Agragorium…one of the rarest and most expensive substances found on Simearth. Dr. Mayfield had worked with some. I’d seen Dad’s published papers on the subject. He’d written that the substance interacted intensely with certain carbon-based lifeforms. After those experiments, Dad had brought home Donovan…Hmmm.

87% chance that the Relics are either made of Agragorium or contain samples of it…why want it though? It was worth 31.42 million times it’s weight in gold, but incredibly difficult to contain without contamination or leakage. The only substance that could contain it was Mummitonium, a nearly as rare and expensive metal.

MorcuCorp is invested in Langraab Industries…is there a stronger connection?

Another trail of thought burned across my cortex, obliterating anything else: Who is MorcuCorp’s highest investor?

Cecelia Montrap…no, outbid two years ago…by Susan Funke! She held over 40% of the MorcuCorp stock.

And Dr. Funke had been Dad’s colleague throughout the Agragorium and DNA-OD experiments. The one who’d gotten next to no academic recognition. Now she was the current head scientist of Langraab Labs. And the one who wanted Donovan.

It all made sense.

I opened my eyes.


Thomas’s PoV

It was 5pm when I found her, leaning against a boulder, scribbling furiously on it with a piece of chalk. I’d tried to get her attention, but she’d stared right through me. Her lips moved, but not a sound came out. Her blue eyes were wider than usual and fixed on something I couldn’t see.

I’d never been more terrified. I’d called her name repeatedly, shaken her, slapped her. Nothing. She’d stared ahead. Lips moving, fingers drawing strange shapes in the air. When I’d let go of her, she’d picked up another chip of chalk and started writing on another boulder. I could only watch.

God, I hope you’re okay…wherever you are.


Thanks for reading! ^_^

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