Chapter 13

I woke up the next morning from a deep sleep and heard someone calling my name. "Christopher Andrew Emerson," a Corsunan said, from outside the cage. Then he turned the laser off and stepped into the cave. I sat up, frightened. "What do you want?" I asked quickly. He grabbed my neck with two tentacles, just like Sonaflee had. He pushed me up against the wall and brought his face up to mine. "Shut up right now or I'll change my mind," he said, sneering. Then he looked out the entrance and made sure no one else was around. "I'm getting tired of going around to different galaxies and capturing creatures like yourself. It's not my style. And I've noticed how you have been trying to escape. I find it pretty brave, myself. So I'm going to give you an offer. I'll help you escape, if you help me get rid of Sonaflee and his gang." "Why should I trust you?" I asked. He tightened his grip around my neck and I choked. "Do you have much of a choice? You either say yes, or I kill you right now." "Ok!" I croaked. He dropped me. "Good. Follow me," he said and stuck his hand out the hole to turn off the laser. The panel glowed blue and he stepped out. I looked around my cage one last time. I looked at the big rock that had served as my bed, and the little hole in the back that served as a toilet. I looked at the little pile of food I had left. Would I miss it? No. Not at all. I looked around and cautiously stepped out behind him. He handed me a laser. I walked over to Elsea's cage. From the outside, a bright blue panel was clearly visible. I waved my hand in front of it and her cage glowed. She came out to the front of cage. "What's going on?" she whispered. "That alien over there is going to help us escape! He's like a rebel or something. I think he's telling the truth too, but we don't really have a choice to trust him or not." Meanwhile, the other alien, who's name I later found out was Gastagg, was busy freeing the other creatures and explaining the plan. Then he went into the front of the large room, and waved his hand in front of a panel. The huge door zoomed open. On the other side of the door stood the whole shipful of evil aliens.

CHAPTER 14

"Uh-oh," I muttered. " 'Uh-oh' is right, you nasty little aliens. You think you can escape from our ship? Truly amusing. Ha-ha. And you, Gastagg. I always knew you were a fake." Frotimite glared at us with fire in his eyes. Within 5 seconds, a huge group of very angry aliens begin running toward Frotimite and his gang. At the same time, the Corsunans set their little laser beams on "kill" and started shooting at us. ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM! Lasers barely missing my head. Then I looked over at Elsea. I saw the laser zooming towards her head. I saw it hit her in the side of her head, she hadn't even seen it coming, and I watched at a hole formed where her ear had been. "No!" I yelled and ran to her, jumping over other bodies. She lay on the ground with her head twisted and her mouth in some kind of shape of horror. I dropped to my knees and lifted her up into my arms. I leaned back and rocked on my knees, with tears streaming down my face but no sounds of crying. I felt the tip of a laser stick against my ear. I looked up and saw Frotitimite holding the laser stick. "I've waited a long time to do this." I watched as he mouthed the word 'shoot.' I felt pain…

I woke up. The first thing I noticed was that I was in extreme pain. My head felt like I hole had been drilled through it. Not too far from the truth. An alien that looked surprisingly like E.T. walked over to me. "You were killed," it said simply. I laughed very weakly. "Is this heaven?" It looked confused. Then it said, "I saved you. You were dead, but I breathed life into you again." I remembered what had happened. I opened my mouth to thank him, but then I remembered… "Elsea!" I started to sit up but my head swirled and I fell back down. "Where is she!?" I whimpered. "Did…did you save her?" He hesitated, as if he didn't want to tell me something. "Where is she?" I asked again. "I tried to save her. I really did. She is alive now, but the laser severed a nerve in her brain. She will not live much longer." "Let me see her, where is she?" He pointed with his long finger to a corner of the ship where 4 or 5 creatures lay. I got up on my knees and closed my eyes while stabs of pain rocketed through my head. When the pain subsided slightly, I crawled over to her slowly. She was laying face-up with her eyes closed. I saw her chest rising and falling in short, jerky bursts. "Elsea," I whispered. Her eyes flickered and opened slightly. "I'm so sorry, Elsea! I could have guarded you or something, I could have took the shot instead of you. I'm so sorry." I could feel tears trickling down my nose and onto the floor of the ship. She smiled weakly. "It's not your fault. Thank you for saving everyone. You are so brave." She shakily reached up and placed her hand on my chest. I immediately felt the giddy feeling that her healing powers gave me, and the pain in my head went away. I tried to make it come back. Pain helped me not think about her so much. I watched as her arm slowly dropped and she closed her eyes. "Nonononononono," I whispered. I picked her up in my arms and sat cross-legged. I held her close to me until I felt her heartbeat stop. "Goodbye, Elsea, my friend," I said. I placed her back down on the floor and turned away. CHAPTER 15

I stood studying the control panel while Gastagg flew. We had been traveling for a few days now, and we had gone through 3 galaxies. I was anxious to get home, even if I didn't have any idea of home any more. "We will be entering the Milky Way galaxy soon. That is yours, right?" "Yes," I said, trying to hold back my excitement. "The first planet we will stop at is that red one. What is it called?" "I…I can't remember." I racked my brain. "Mars! It's called Mars." I was proud of myself for remembering. About 2 hours later, Mars came into the field of view. Gastagg slowed the ship and we came to hover over the planet. I was instructed to turn on the relaxing laser and open the door. To my not-so-surprise, a little green alien dropped down the hatch. He slowly made his way to the surface, where a bunch of other little green aliens were waiting. It was a very humorous site to see. Gastagg begin to ascend off the planet. "Next stop, the green and blue planet." "Earth, my planet," I supplied. "Yes, Earth, the planet of people." I nodded. I was getting very anxious to leave. "Will the ship drop me off near my home?" I asked him. "Yes, it is programmed to stop at one place on each planet. It shall stop almost exactly where you were loaded onto the ship." He paused. "Oh, I should warn you. Time passes quickly on the ship. Very quickly. Earth has days and weeks, right? How long have you been here?" "Um, I would say probably about a month or so. Thirty days." "Then I would say as much as 7 months has passed since you were home." I raised my eyebrow but remained silent. I wouldn't have cared if 7 years had passed. I just wanted to get home. Finally, a tiny blue planet I figured was Earth showed up in the window. It slowly got bigger as we neared it. Gastagg stepped back and allowed the ship to guide itself through Earth's atmosphere, through clouds, and down to the spot I had left. The hatch opened. "Goodbye, Christopher Andrew Emerson." "It's Chris." "Chris then. Goodbye." "Goodbye." I stepped into the hatch. I felt myself grow relaxed. Then I touched down on Earth. I watched as the ship rose and sped away.

CHAPTER 16 I lay, sprawled on the ground, for a long time before I could shakily stand up. The beautiful sun beat down on me. The air around me was very hot. Maybe Gastagg was right, and it was July now instead of December. But I really didn't care. I danced under the sun for a minute, enjoying freedom. I watched the rock ship disappear into the sky. The sun made my burn's ache, but I didn't care. I was free, I was on Earth. I was home. Suddenly I sat down. Hard. I realized that I didn't remember where I lived. How would I get home? To my house and to my family I didn't remember. I lay down on the ground, and the sun drained all my energy. I fell into a deep sleep on the hard dirt ground. I woke suddenly. For a minute I didn't know where I was. I looked around fearfully, and saw mountains and fences and wide open plains. The sun was sinking on the horizon. I sighed inwardly. I was still home on Earth. I looked to my left and saw a dark figure appear riding an animal. As the person got closer, I saw her face twist in amazement. She started yelling. "Chris? Chris! Oh my god, Chris!" She bolted from the animal and sprinted towards me. She pulled me up from the ground and hugged me tightly. All the scabs from the lasers, which were as big as tennis balls, burned. "Oh god, everyone thought you had disappeared! But here you are! Oh!" She hugged me again. I pushed myself away from her. I stared intently at her, trying to think how I knew her. "Jeez, Girl, back off! Who are you?" She stared at me in disbelief. "What do you mean, who am I? It's me, your sister, Debbie." I looked at her again. Debbie. My sister. Memories about her flooded into my head. "Debbie?" I croaked. "Debbie." I repeated more strongly, like I was trying out the word. "My sister." She was staring at me quizzically the whole time. "Debbie!" I hugged her back. The questioning look disappeared from her face. "What happened to you? Where were you?" I could see her studying the burns all over my arms, shoulders, and chest. She was also looking at my green hair. "I…it's a very long story. I know you're not going to believe me, but it was aliens," However, she looked like she completely believed me. "But, you were gone for so long! I mean, it's been like…"she thought for a minute, "like, since December! But it doesn't matter, you're back now. We need to go back home and tell Mom and Dad!" "What is a mom and dad?" She looked at me again questioningly. "You really don't remember?" I thought again deeply, trying to remember the words Mom or Dad. But my mind was completely blank. "No…" "Oh no, what happened to you? What did they do to you?" I shook my head, trying to clear my mind. "They did experiments and stuff. I can't remember hardly anything about Earth." "You can't? Nothing?" "No, not really." She shook her head confidently. "That doesn't matter, when you see them I'm sure you'll remember. And we need to clean up all those burn marks." "Lasers," I said, addressing the origin of the red and black marks. "And your hair…" she started giggling, probably from relief. "What's wrong with my hair?" "It's green! Bright green." "So? It's always been green. Why is it different now?" She stared at me. "Let's just go home, ok?" "Home," I repeated. She turned around and walked back to the animal. I followed her. She waited beside it. "Here, I'll give you a leg up. We can ride double." "We're going to ride…that?" "Of course. Horse, remember? That's what you do with horses. Ride them. You have one, too, Fantaz? This is Chip. So come on, let's go." I stood beside the horse, confused. "Look, lift up your leg and I'll push you up." I did what she said and I was hurled up into the sky and landed on the other side of the horse, on my butt. "Oh my God! You, like, don't weigh anything at all! It was like throwing a tennis ball up in the air." She walked around to me. I stood up and she put her hand on my shoulder. She lifted me up in the air. "That is so weird!" "Guess I lost a little weight, huh?" She laughed. "Guess so. Ok, let's try again, come on." This time she lifted me more carefully and I landed softly on the horse. She leaped up in front of me. I leaned my head against her back and breathed in her smell of some fruit. Raspberries. About ten minutes later, we arrived home. I looked around. On my right was a small building made out of wood, and in front of me was a large house. My house. I slid off the horse after Debbie and she ran into the house. Seconds later she ran back with two other people trailing her. "Chris!" a woman called. There were tears streaming down her face like her eyes had sprung a leak or something. "Honey!" I recognized her after a second. It's hard to forget your mother I guess. "Mom?" She laughed. "Yes, honey, yes!" She wrapped her arms around me. The man behind her gazed at me. "Dad?" He smiled and nodded. Then he too engulfed me in a huge hug. He lifted me off the ground. "Come on, son, let's go inside," he said. EPILOGUE

Life went on. That night, I told my story to a trusting family. I was actually pretty famous. I was on TV and in newspapers for a while. I gradually began doing everything a 16 year old guy was supposed to do, I even got my license the next year. But even though that was the worst experience I would go through, it also provided some of the best memories. Memories I would never, ever, forget.