~This is the second story Carrie and I have written with Billie~
Edvard sat in the living area of the space ship, preoccupied with reading as he waited for the pilot to get them through the dead planet’s atmosphere. His mechanical cat Rocky perched on his shoulder and every once in awhile he would reach up and rub under the cat’s chin which made its eyes glow green with delight. He was looking forward to this expedition, to seeing the dead planet and taking samples from it. He was also happy about going down and lending aid to any survivors. He had had plenty of supplies packed for this excursion, both food and medical. He flipped his book closed and stretched then patted Rocky on the head.
“Come on boy, lets go check on the girls.”
Rocky let out a meow and jumped down from Edvard’s shoulder as he stood. He put his book in his locker and grabbed his jacket, pulling it on then bending down and lifting Rocky into his arms. He glanced into the cockpit as he passed by and saw that the pilot and their team leader were both busy. He would check with them after visiting the twins and see how much longer it would be before they landed.
Signe sat on her bunk bed studying to make use of her time while they waited to arrive on earth. Her twin sister Anna may want to spend her time playing with her handheld game system but Signe believed in taking work seriously. If all scientists acted like her sister nothing would get discovered or done. It took the serious and committed ones like her. Not that she thought her sister to not be good at what she does, Anna was even better than her in some areas. Signe just thought she didn’t put enough of her time and energy into work. She felt her twins potential wasn’t even half tapped into.
Anna laid on her stomach in the bunk just below her sister. She wanted to beat the newest Final Fantasy game before they landed so it wouldn’t be on her mind the whole time they were working since it would be such a hostile environment. Besides, there wasn’t much else to do until they landed. She had always been a gamer and had little interest in books she didn’t need to read to do her job properly.
Since their door was cracked open, Edvard didn’t bother to knock and just nudged it open and stepped inside. “Hey girls.” He said with a cheerful smile and they both looked up. Rocky jumped down from his arms and into Anna’s bunk, saying hello to her then climbing up to the top to greet Signe.
“It’s polite to knock you know.” Signe said as she stroked the top of Rocky’s head. “We could have been naked or something.”
“Oh don’t so serious.” Anna said as she got up. “Besides, maybe he wanted to see you naked.”
Signe blushed and Edvard laughed. “Now, now Anna, I just came to see if you guys would like some goodies.”
“What’d you bring us?”
He dug in his pockets. “Lets see, gum for the gamer because I know you like to chew when you play and a pack of Reese’s for Signe because they’re your favorite.” He handed both over, Anna smirking at his remembering Signe’s favorite candy.
“Thank you Eddie. So, how long until we land?” Anna asked.
Edvard shrugged. “Don’t know, I haven’t asked. I’m sure it won’t be too long though.”
“want to play Cathulu Fluxx with us until we land then?”
“certainly, I’ve been waiting for the invitation.” Signe shut her book without protest, somthing only time with Edvard could ever get her to do “fine, I guess I’ve studied enough” Anna got the deck while Signe and Edvard sat Indian style on the floor. Anna shuffled first, dealt the let her sister take the first turn. Before long they were laughing and enjoying themselves, even Signe which brought warmth to Edvard. He adored when she was just happy, it was a rare treat. Over the years he had tried to get her to loosen up a bit more but his efforts were a very slow work in progress.
Annas stomach felt the slight jerk that signaled their ship slowing to it’s hault “we’re landing!” she informed them excitedly. “Now Anna, calm down. This is a serious job. You’ll get yourself killed by a zombie acting like this is a vacation” and snap, just like that his purely happy Signe had reverted back to her super serious persona. He inwardly sighed and hugged each of the girls “let me find my brother. I’ll see you outside”
Edvard whistled for Rocky,waited till he was settled on his shoulder perch, and with a quick smile and wave to the girls, slipped out the door and down the ramp. He looked through the crowd of passersby, hoping to quickly spot his twin, Ronnie. Even in the immense throng of rapidly moving people it was fairly easy. At 6’3′, he and Ronnie towered above most of their fellow voyagers, wherever they went. Spying him standing at the base of the ramp, Edvard let out a short, sharp whistle, and lifted his hand to flag Ronnie’s attention, a signal which Ronnie returned. Edvard made his way to where his brother stood, and spoke over the noisy din, “Hey there, bro, you missed the fun! I told the girls we would wait for them, but let’s move all the way outside, shall we? You would think these people were anxious to get somewhere!”
Ronnie smiled, and turned to lead the way down to the temporary bridge and connecting gateway between the ship’s hull and the solid ground of earth outside. As they passed through the final portal, each scanned his badge to trip the metal Diembark rail in their individual queue, causing it to swing open, allowing each to step through. As their feet hit real dirt for the first time in months, the brothers gave each other a High Five slap, and Edvard let out a “Wahoo!”
Ronnie asked, “So how long you think we will have to wait for the girls to get all their stuff together and down here? I’ll bet you the first round of drinks that we will be here more than a half hour.”
“You’re on – hope you have your card ready – I’d say we have less than.. oh, 1 minute…” laughed Edvard, as he waved at the two sisters he had already spied stepping through the gateways.
“What? How can you.. oh, I see. Nice of you to let me make a losing bet.” But there was a tone of affection in his voice, as Ronnie turned and smiled in greeting at Signe and Anna, moving with his brother to shoulder the bags the two had in tow.
“Welcome to planet Earth, lovely lassies!”
“It’s pretty irresponsible of them to not have us put on our protective suits before coming out here.” Signe said as she shouldered her bag.
“A scan was done of the atmosphere and it’s perfectly safe.” Edvard replied as he took a deep inhale of the air. “Though if you do begin to feel at all strange, please tell us and I’ll carry you back to the ship.”
“Besides, it’s just us right now anyway.” Ronnie added.
“And that makes it loads better.”
“Non preoccuparti mia dolce dentata bambina , io ti protegger├▓ dal cielo.” Edvard replied with a wink as he took off at a leisurely pace.
“What did he just say?”
“He said not to worry, he’d protect you from the air. He also called you a sweet toothed little girl.” Ronnie answered as he followed his brother.
“Well you do like candy and you are small compared to him.” Anna chimed in and Signe shot her a dirty look.
“You’re both pretty short and cute.” Edvard said over his shoulder, though Signe is the cutest with such a scowl on her face.” Signe blushed and both Anna and Ronnie laughed. “We should get some soil samples. Rocky go find me a nice rock specimen while I dig some of this dirt out.”
Anna went off with Ronald as usual while Signe went on her own to conduct her work seriously and by the book. It was far too stressful at times to work near her twin and Ronald who sometimes forgot a step or did something a different way than the books told them to. Edvard was easier to work around but after his comments she wanted nothing to do with him. Here they were on a dangerous planet and first thing they do is start making jokes. About an hour later Signe was staring at a substance she didn’t know anything about, giving it her full concentration. She was about to collect it when Edvards “hey” startled her. He chuckled “I love seeing you jump”
She sighed “working”
“I know, after lunch you know we’re supposed to pack light and explore. We’re all walking together right?” Ronnie inserted himself in “no we aren’t, I’m going with Anna. I don’t want miss by the book following me around” Edvard shrugged “okay, you and me Signe” he walked away, it now a statement rather than a question. She collected her sample, feigning anger but she acknowledged the part of her that liked the idea of walking alone with him.
She went in guessing this was all she would find before lunch. She put her sample in it’s proper place to examine more closely later then went to eat with her sister, Ronnie and Edvard. “you’re taking your gun right?” Signe asked her sister almost immediately. She sighed “in an environment like this of course”
“good, just had to be sure”
“she’ll be fine with Ronnie” Edvard comforted.
The “Eatery”, as it had been unofficially dubbed in a tongue in cheek fashion at some point, was a huge, brightly lit, open space, that was painted a dull beige and always so cold it reminded Signe of a morgue. Ronnie, Anna and Edvard were already in the steadily moving line of hungry but amiable and relaxed ship and dock workers, engineers and technicians, who took the opportunity while mixed together in the lunch hour line, to catch up with each other. Conversations and laughter reverberated off the immense expanse of wall along which the crowd patiently waited their turn at the food counter.
Anna spotted her and waved. As she slipped in line next to her sister, they reached the cutlery counter. Edvard turned to her and, lifting one of each of the different colored trays, joked”Red or Blue Miss, what shall it be? You know the food tastes different depending on which color you choose.” Signe sighed , “Funny Edvard.” But then rewarded him with a quick smile, “I guess I’ll go for red today, and hope for the best.”
They moved through the cafeteria style food line, and slid their id badges across the screen at the automated headcount station, then moved across the floor, trays laden with their lunch, Ronnie taking the lead , directing them to a table near the edge of the now fully congested room.
“You know, we could have come at second lunch – always less people,” observed Anna, as they sat down to eat. “Yeah, and always less food,” objected Ronnie. “Fine for you two little mites, but Ed ‘n me, we gotta eat!”
“Edvard laughed at his brother, “Ronnie it wouldn’t matter when we came in here – you would still be hungry within an hour. So, did you two find any interesting specimens yet? How ’bout you, my afternoon Sidekick?”
Before Ronnie or Anna could answer, Signe protested, “Edvard, I am not your sidekick – if anything , you will be mine. And, no, I didn’t find anything, did you?”
Edvard smiled and said, “Well, technically it was Rocky – but yes, I did. Already sent it down to your lab for us to take a look at later.” As Signe shot him a dark look, he hastily said, “I mean for you – for you to look at… I’ll just hang out and watch you do your brilliant thing, ok?”
Anna chimed, “Yes, I think that would be very nice. Ronnie and I found a couple things we thought were worth taking a closer look at as well, so all four of us can work tonight in our lab. ” She smile sweetly at her sister, “More efficient that way don’t you agree, sis?”
“Efficiency is me just doing on my own. You’ll all probably end up goofing off.” Signe replied.
“Come on now Signe, I’ll bring you plenty of Reese’s.” Edvard replied and winked. “I have quite a bit in my room.”
“Awe, he collected your favorite candy, how sweet.” Anna added and Signe jabbed her in her ribs with her elbow. “Geez, what are you made of, sharp sticks and daggers, that hurt.”
Anna pinched her cheek. “I just think you’re embarrassed.”
“Hush.” She batted her sister’s hand away and Ronnie laughed while Edvard just smiled. “What?”
“Nothing, you two are just adorable is all. Anna’s the soft squishy teddy bear and you’re the grizzly. You’re still pretty hugable though, I just want to squeeze you.”
“You better not.”
He chuckled. “Or what?” He got to his feet, moving surprisingly quick around the table. He lifted her out of her seat and gave her a big hug.
“Stop Edvard, put me down.”
“I was right, still nice to hug. Soft as cotton candy.”
“But not as sweet.” Anna teased as Edvard put Signe down and went back to his seat.
Signe blushed profusely, her embarrassment over her blushing was only creating a vicious circle of more blushing and more embarrassment so she inhaled her food “I’ll go pack a light bag and wait near the exit for you Edvard”
“alright” he answered, unhiding his disappointment that he wanted her to enjoy lunch longer with him. She walked off and Anna smiled “she really likes you Edvard. You’re the only man who makes her blush like that.”
“I know, I need to soften that shell a little more before I ask her out though. She isn’t ready, not yet”
“tell me about it. So serious. What makes you think you can lighten her up when I’ve spent our whole lives trying?”
“I have my ways. I can do it” Edvard winked and Anna laughed. Ronald threw his own two cents in “good luck to you and may the lord have mercy on your soul trying to unwind that one”
“Be nice” Edvard reprimanded. Ronald shrugged and went back to eating. Anna smiled again, loving that even though people were right when they talked about her rigid personality that Edvard was always quick to stick up for her, even with his brother. They all finished and packed. Edvard met Signe with a soft smile and another hug. She was better at holding down her blush this time “you can expect a hug every time I see you now” Edvard said and Signe said “if you must” Edvard had to hold back a chuckle. She obviously liked the idea. He knew her too well to go with what she said she felt, it was hardly ever how she really felt about something.
“so, did you bring your handheld?” Ronald asked once he and Anna were a decent ways away from their home. “why that would be irresponsible” Ronal gave her a sideways glance and she laughed “well maybe youll take a long time collecting somthing and I can work towards finishing my game” He laughed “see this is why I love working with you. Just be mindful of what we’re near when you have it out. Dont want you sick because you carried a germ in our home on your game system.
“dont aw me”
“awwww” they both laughed. “dont think I have a crush on you like my brother does your sister” Ronald said and Annas smile grew “Oh no, of course not”
Rocky paced ahead of them over the dusty, rock covered terrain, letting out little robotic meows when he spotted something he thought interesting. When he started for a steep hill, Edvard followed. “Let’s go up there and see what we can see.” He said, not giving Signe a chance to protest. He was glad he was in such good physical condition. The sun hit him in the eyes the minute he crested the hill and he had to bring his hand up as his eyes adjusted. “Holy shit.” He said when he could see again.
Signe stepped up next to him, a gasp escaping her as she found herself staring down into a large valley of overgrowth. The desert rolled right into a thick forest and even from this distance they could see the remnants of large buildings that looked like moss towers. They jutted up toward the sky like fingers reaching for freedom, a freedom they would never attain.
“This is amazing.” Signe said.
“Rocky, scout ahead.” Edvard ordered and the cat moved quickly down the hill. Edvard unzipped his pack and pulled out a handheld device. It was flat, thin, nothing more than a screen with a power button in the corner. He switched it on then typed in his password. “Lock on Rocky.” He said and they were instantly given Rocky’s point of view. “Come on, I want to study those plants.”
“Don’t you realize what this means?”
“This world is still strong.” Edvard replied.
Overflowing with thrill at this discovery Signe almost broke her serious demeanor. She wanted to jump for joy, to scream, to hug Edvard and run to her sister but she held herself down. Her emotions however didn’t escape Edvard, he knew she was happy and it made this discovery all the more amazing to him. They walked along and Edvard minded the screen every now and then to be sure zombies weren’t ahead. They may not have attacked them yet but it was highly unlikely this planet was zombie extinct. They made it to the growth and Signe gasped again “oh I’m so glad we finally came back”
They both began to inspect the plants like curious children. Just like toddlers of this once amazing world they were discovering it all for the first time and it was breathtaking. Each took samples eagerly before stepping inside. “I know you’re amazing with your gun Signe but please stay close to me incase we’re attacked”
“wow, just like that?”
“Its a smart idea”
“Wait, wait, you think I have a good idea? Okay, hold on.” He dug in his bag and pulled out a small recording device then switched it on. “Edvard Gyda, first expedition team from the Nyxian. Now, I may be having a stroke so I thought I would record this as proof for later. Signe just said she thought I had a good idea. I know, I know, insane so I’ll have her say it for you.” He held out the recorder and she glared. “Say it again Signe, for the record.”
“Say what, I have no idea what you’re talking about?”
He pulled the recorder away. “There you have it, denial and we all know that evasiveness is just as good as a confession.”
“Jerk.” She said as he switched the device off and put it away.
“I’m cute though, so it totally makes up for it.”
“If you say so.”
“I know so, ma tu sei molto pi├╣ bella di me carino.”
“What did you say?”
“That last part, what does it mean?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He winked then pulled his eyes back to the screen. Rocky was moving quickly over what was left of the rubble strewn streets, only slowing when he came to tall grass. As the cat broke through another patch, Edvard thought he saw movement and he knew he had when Rocky came to a halt and got low. “Hold on.” He stopped walking.
“What is it?” Signe asked.
“I don’t know yet. Rocky, get me a closer look.” He said to the screen and the cat began to move slowly, stalking whatever had caught its attention.
Edvard gazed intently at the screen. Signe, reconizing the mood change, also shifted her thought processes into scientific analysis mode. She stepped close to Edvard, and unconsciously placed her hand on his shoulder as she too peered at the screen.
“Now, c’mon Rocky, let’s see what has you so enraptured”, breathed Edvard. “Signe, can you record? I don’t want to take my eyes off of this for a second. Let’s make sure we have double coverage here, ok?”
Signe felt herself yielding to the authoritative tone in his voice, which also sent a thrill through her being that she showed no outward sign of. She pulled out her voice recorder, flipped it open and sat it on the flat ledge of a nearby rock.
“Ready” Edvard gave her a thumbs up, but continued to keep his eyes glued to the video monitor. “OK, Signe and Edvard, team 1 Nyxian expedition, exploring via remote robotic visual, apparent physical anomalies which have captured the attention of our robot known as Rocky.”
Signe added, ” We have crested a small desert terrain hill, and to our surprise we find evidence of a thriving life system in the form of vegetation, and an immense circular expanse of forest. Our robot is scouting the terrain at close range, and something as yet unidentified has become the focus of intense visual interest.”
At just that moment, Signe, who still had her hand on his shouder, felt Edvard tense. She quickly turned her attention to the screen. “What Edvard? What did you see?”
Edvard, who had paled, tore his eyes from the screen long enough to look directly into her eyes. He drew in an excited, ragged breath and then hoarsely whispered, ” Radio Ronnie and Anna – NOW!!!”
Her heart gave a panicked leap for her sister. Edvard was scared and on top of that scared for Anna and his brother. Whatever it was she wanted her sister at her side. She grabbed the radio hastily and called them “Ronnie! Anna! Answer right now! Over” Anna answered with almost no time inbetween “what’s wrong? Over” Edvard took the radio “go back to the ship right now and warn that the area is still very hostile. Rocky has spotted zombies. They need to be alert and ready to fight. We don’t know their strength or much about them since much has been lost since our days on this planet so I don’t want the crew taken by surprise over”
“is Signe okay? Over”
“They haven’t seen us yet! Just go! Over”
“you keep my sister safe or I’ll kill you myself” Ronnie picked up “I’m making her go but you better not get yourselves killed”
“what’re we going to do?” Signe asked and Edvard answered “kill them. We all want to live here again and we can take these out. I’ve seen you shoot. It’s amazing”
“what if they don’t make it back to the ship”
“Look I know how you feel but my brother takes shooting practice much more seriously than your sister. He’ll make sure she’s safe. I can give you my word” Ronnie and Anna took off in a sprint to warn the ship that the zombies were still here and that they needed to be prepared if they found their way on board. Ronnie was concentrated on getting back but kept scanning. Like most people he didn’t know much about these creatures that had made the human race flee their home planet but they were obviously somthing to fear. If he lost Anna Edvard would kill him if Signe didn’t. Not to mention how much he’d hate himself.
They made it back and rushed on board, going straight for the captain. He called everyones attention over the intercom and informed them there were still hostile creatures very much alive and thriving so everyone with experience in guns should have them ready if needed but to remain calm within the ship.
“You don’t have a gun.” Signe said as she pulled her’s out and flipped the safety off.
“Sweetheart, I don’t need a gun.”
“Yes ma’am.” He winked at her and she blushed in spite of their predicament. He switched off the screen and put it in his bag.
“Then what are you going to do?”
He reached into the back pocket of his jumpsuit and pulled on a pair of fingerless gloves. “I finally get to put all that sparring to use.”
“Are you insane, what if you get bit?”
“Then you better save one for me.”
She glared. “Not funny.”
“Trust me Signe, I’m actually good at defending myself.”
“I guess I have to trust you” Bullets zoomed out of Signes gun, hitting each mark near expertly. The sound of the bullets going through zombies wasn’t something she was used to or ever wanted to hear again but she was too afraid for her sister and Edvard to worry about the innards churning her stomach. Edvard fearlessly got up close to the zombies, fighting them like they weren’t infectious creatures that would eat him if they could only get the upper hand. Even as serious as she was in this moment she thought him incredibly sexy and thought more of him now than she even had before. Edvard, her one distraction in this world.
Together they knocked out the small group and Signe ran over to hug Edvard before she could stop herself. She had been honestly afraid for his safety even after seeing how capable he was. He hugged her back, burying his face in her hair. “Told you I’d be fine sweetheart”
“don’t call me sweetheart” he chuckled “can’t be so sweet and not be called that” she pushed out of his arms “we..we should go back” His smile faltered only a little “okay” He took her hand and she looked over at him “I’m keeping it until we get back. You hugged me without permission and now I’m going to hold your hand without it”
“No buts, I’m keeping this hand”
“Fine.” She said under her breath, but inside she had to admit she was happy. They walked back to the ship on high alert. She kept her her gun out and he had Rocky walk ahead. The cat would alert them to the presence of danger long before they saw it.
“It’s almost like we’re on a date.” Edvard suddenly said as the ship came into view.
“Holding hands, taking a stroll.”
“Oh yeah, because first dates are just full of zombies and bullets.”
“Come on, we got some pretty good samples didn’t we?”
She rolled her eyes. “So romantic.”
He chuckled. “I thought you loved your job more than air, wouldn’t collecting samples and examining them be the most romantic thing in the world?” He teased.
She cracked a smile, letting a laugh slip out. “you are annoying, you know that?”
“Yes I do, but you have to admit you like my company at somepoint. You were worried about me out there”
“you’re a good asset to this team.” he smiled happily, deciding not to push it farther just yet. They went inside, glad to see everybody was prepared already incase the zombies came for their home. They took their samples to the lab where Anna and Ronald were already working. The siblings exchanged hugs and relief that they were all safe. “I was so worried” Anna said as she went for what must have been a fifth hug “me too, now lets get to work. We have people on this ship who are hopefully off now hunting them down. We are here for the science part.” Anna kissed Edvards cheek “My sister can take care of herself but thanks for bringing her back”
He smiled and tussled her hair “hey!” Anna said and he chuckled. Anna quickly fixed it then went back to work. “I see how it is Anna, he gets a kiss and not me. I got” his sentence was interrupted by Anna taking his face and kissing him hard on the lips “shut up and get back to work” she said before walking back to her work like she hadn’t done anything. Edvard bent over laughing. For one that just relieved all his stress and secondly his brothers face was priceless.
“Anna!” Signe exclaimed with shock and Anna answered “what, he was whining. I had to shut him up”
Ronald’s face was red the whole time he worked and Edvard just chuckled and sat down. He glanced at Signe, smiling when he saw her staring hard into a microscope. Her dedication was something to be admired. He decided to look at some of the clippings he had taken from the plant life. It was a fascinating find and the plants were incredibly healthy. Plants meant oxygen and oxygen meant that the world was stable. The air they had breathed upon landing had been a bit stale, but the closer they had got to the overgrown city, the fresher it seemed. He tested some plant diseases on the clippings and was amazed to find that they were immune. He scribbled down his findings then put the clippings aside.
“Signe, did you find anything different about the soil?” He asked.
“Yes, it’s so amazingly rich in nutrients. What about the plants?”
“Immune to all diseases. It’s like after so many years, the plant life has become tougher.”
“This dust is going to be the death of our equipment though. I might have to build some protective cases.” Ronnie said as he looked over all of their devices.
“Need some help?” Edvard asked.
“Nah, you guys have all this work too do here. Maybe I’ll have Anna help me.”
“What, want another kiss?” Anna teased.
“No, why on earth would I want that?” He cleared his throat at everyone’s smiles. “Well, do you want to help me or what?”
“Yes, of course, just give me a moment to finish up here.” Anna turned back to her work then gave both her sister and Edvard a glance before rolling her chair closer to Signe. “Hey, I bet Edvard wants a kiss too.” She whispered.
“Hush, get back to work.”
After dinner that night Edvard, Signe and Anna made sure all their stuff was put away in the lab while Ronnie put away his tools and made sure they were locked up incase a kid somehow found their way into their lab. Nobody unauthorized was allowed but that didn’t always stop kids from finding a way in. With that done Anna asked “want to play cards with us boys”?
“yeah” they both answered and followed the girls to their room. Edvard cracked a smile as another blush crept up Ronnies neck as he looked at Anna. “you broke him Anna” Edvard said and Ronald shoved his brother “shut up”
“maybe he’ll feel more comfortable if you and my sister kiss” Anna suggested and Signe sighed, holding down any red tint to her cheeks “Anna”
“come on, is one kiss so bad? Don’t you want Ronnie to be able to look at me?”
‘Anna” Signe said more seriously and Edvard said “she has a point I mean they’ve kissed so maybe we should”
“so you want to kiss me because Anna kissed Ronnie. I’m flattered”
“I’ve wanted to kiss you much longer than that kiss before” Signe looked genuinely surprised. “you’re teasing”
“so the thought of kissing me is teasing to you” he said with a wide grin “just shut up and kiss already. We’ll give you two a moment” Anna got up, grabbed Ronnie by the arm and drug him out.
Signe sat there, her face red, her eyes looking anywhere, but at Edvard. She couldn’t believe her sister and Ronnie. Now if she didn’t do it, they would know and she’d never hear the end of it from Anna. “You know you don’t have to.” Edvard said, reading her expression with ease. He grabbed her chin and turned her head. “I would really like one though.”
“I mean I guess, if it’s just one.”
He smiled and she felt butterflies in her stomach. “Okay, just the one then.” He leaned in closer and she felt her heart skip a beat at the first brush of his lips. She felt him smile and she would have pushed him away if his lips had not pressed firmly into hers. Her entire body felt the jolt of electricity that passed between them and she was surprised when Edvard actually moaned. His fingers slid into her hair and he moved closer, his other arm slipping around her to pull her against him. He kissed her slowly, wanting to remember the taste and feel of her in case she never gave him this privileged again.
When he decided he had indulged his desire far too much he started to take his arm from around her as he broke the kiss but she seemed as if she might fall back if not supported so he retightened his hold. His words came out in almost joyous laughter “you okay?”
“I think so” His smile was even more taking than normal “so you want more than one kiss?” Signe blushed, fully embarrassed his kiss had made her so starstuck. She could be childish in her embarrassment and kick him out but she wanted with every fiber of her being to be kissing him again so she bravely took his face in her hands and restarted the kiss. Anna smiled outside the door “looks like they’ll be busy awhile. Will you walk with me outside?”
“sure, just a short walk so your sister doesn’t slaughter me”
“she’s my sister not my mother”
“it doesnt change how scary she can be”
“I’ll kiss you again to make it up to you if she does” Ronald sighed “Anna”
“stop doing that to me”
“You know what?”
“I have my guesses”
“You’re a smart woman. You know”
“tell me what and why I’m doing it so we can be sure I know”
“lets just walk”
“and you talk about my sister being stubborn”
“I’m not even THAT stubborn”
“she’s kissing your brother and you’re not kissing me even though you want to. I’d say you’re more stubborn. All the evidence points to it and as a scientist I have to go with the evidence”
“Evidence can be refuted.”
“Not this evidence.” She took his arm and pulled it over her shoulders. “Now tell me this doesn’t feel just perfect.”
Signe’s face was burning hot by the time Edvard pulled back. He smiled at her, the look of triumph clear in his eyes. It wasn’t fair how sexy he was. “Hello Miss Signe, come back down to earth.” He said, a big smile on his face.
“Shut up, you’re not playing fair.”
“Oh yeah, it’s all my fault.” He grabbed her chin and gave her another brief kiss. “It couldn’t be that you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever come across or that your lips are just extremely kissable. I could do this all day.”
“So, back to work tomorrow. More exploring, something I bet you’re excited about.”
“It’s more exciting when you’re there. We should probably take a few more people with us, just in case we have a run in with more zombies.”
“Finding human life would be quite the discovery. I wonder if they’d be hostile, feral?” He chuckled. “Sorry, my scientist mind got distracted.”
He tucked strands of her hair behind her ear. “You’re so beautiful Signe.” He pressed a kiss onto her forehead. “I think we should head to bed, I’m sure Ronnie and Anna would like to get some rest. Though, I do hate leaving you.”
“Well, then I’ll just come with you. It’s not like you’re sharing a room with your brother.”
“You don’t mind your sister’s teasing? I mean I find it all incredibly amusing, you look cute when you’re flustered.”
“Anna will be teasing me anyway because of us kissing so may aswell get the first slepover out of the way since she’ll already be annoying.”
“first, I like the sound of that. It promises more” She had trouble keeping his gaze but managed it as she answered “it does” her voice was so soft, far out of character so it made his smile wide again. They got up, grabbed clothes for Signe then found their siblings, informing Anna she could have the room back because Signe would be sleeping with Edvard. Anna’s smile said her every though “well then, night sister” Anna said as she kissed her sisters cheek and walked away giggling. “why didn’t she hug you Ronald?” Edvard asked confused since she always hugged Ronald goodnight. He shrugged and walked away. Edvard just wanted to get Signe in his room before she changed her mind so he didn’t follow his brother to see what was up.
Signe sat tomorrows change of clothes on the desk then went into the bathroom to change. She knocked before coming out to be sure Edvard wasn’t naked. With the all clear she entered his room to see him smiling and waiting in his bed. “How are you never nervous?”
“I could have asked you the same question before tonight. I’m so calm now because I’m so happy. Everything always feels perfect with you. Hell even when you’re yelling I feel good being near you. No more questions. I know that brain of yours is always thirsty for answers to everything but for tonight just let me hold you” Signe swallowed and walked with false confidence to the bed, slipping in and almost instantly being pulled against his body.
“goodnight my crazed scientist”
“no questions, mine” Signe sighed with a hint of frustration that forced a laugh to come out of Edvard “you are too precious, you know that. Just rest”
Signe relaxed as best as she could, her heart going a million miles an hour in her nervousness. She never thought she’d be this close to Edvard, that the warm breath blowing across her hair would bring her so much comfort. She didn’t understand his persistence, but she was glad he had not easily relented. She let out a little sigh and closed her eyes, knowing she was going to get brutally teased by Anna in the morning. Edvard woke first to the feel of Rocky pawing at his face. He gave a chuckle which woke Signe and she felt her face grow hot at the feel of Edvard’s arms still locked around her. “Rocky, down.” Edvard said sleepily and the cat moved to the end of the bed as he sat up.
“Is he hungry or something?” Signe asked. “I mean, I know he’s a robot, but he acts incredibly cat like.”
“He’s my alarm. He knows when I need to be up.” He reached over and gave the cat a rub.
“He’s such a silly kitty.”
Edvard smiled and leaned over, planting a quick kiss on her lips. “I forgot to say good morning.”
“Oh, good morning to you too.” She cleared her throat. “Um, mind if I take a shower?”
“Only if I can come.” She blushed and he started laughing. “I’m kidding, go on.”
Still blushing she quickly got up and nearly ran for the shower out of embarrassment. Edvard smiled when the door shut and she hadn’t grabbed her clothes. “Signe! You left your clothes!” she came back out, grabbed them and went straight back in. “she can actually be unorganized and flustered. Go figure” he said to Rocky. Signe washed her dark hair a little too roughly as she silently reprimanded herself for acting this way. This mess she was being wasn’t her at all. She didn’t realize how rough she had been with herself until she got out to dry. Her head and body would be feeling it for a bit. She tugged her clothes on then went out to see Edvard had left while she was washing.
It was minorly disappointing but she needed time to breath. Sleeping with him had been wonderful, she felt so well rested but making a fool out of herself wasn’t. Today she would be better about this. No more blushing or being feather brained and forgetting stuff. She went back to her room since her hair brush was still there and brushed out her hair before putting it in a bun and going to breakfast. Anna jumped in line with her “so last night?”
“was nice now shush”
“finally admitted your feelings”
“yes and I made an idiot of myself.”
“I was so flustered this morning I forgot to take my clothes into the bathroom”
“ohhhh did he see you naked?”
‘Anna” Anna giggled “This is your first romance. You’re bound to be a little stupid”
“Not me, not ever”
“Today I’m going to be the picture of composure”
“well if anybody can pull it off its you”
Signe and Anna found a place to sit and were soon joined by Edvard and Ronnie. The former didn’t take his eyes off of Signe and she could feel it as she ate. She gave him a quick glance and was amazed that he could eat and stare at the same time. She wondered if he had gained the ability by multitasking while staring through a microscope for hours. “La tua bellezza mi fa girare la testa.” Edvard said as he rested his chin in his hand.
“What?” Signe said as she looked at him.
“Io adorer├▓ per il resto della mia vita.”
Ronnie laughed. “My god, he’s turned into even more of a puppy.”
“What did he say?” Signe asked, feeling her cheeks heat up.
“Oh you know, a little of this and a little of that.”
“I think we men could stand to be more like puppies, don’t you think so Anna?” Edvard asked.
“I bet Ronnie would make the cutest puppy. I imagine him as a German Shepherd, always so protective of his own, but doesn’t mind a good belly rub and you Edvard are definitely a lab, just jumping into trouble like a lab does with water. The cook has one and he won’t stay out of the pool.”
“I like the idea of being a lab.” Edvard replied and leaned closer to Signe. Her heart did a little flip and he grinned mischievously before licking the side of her face.
Her head turned and he kissed her lips. She barely managed to push him back and he started laughing. “Did you lick me?”
“I mean your sister said I was a lab, they like giving kisses.” Ronnie looked away, a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing and Anna held her abdomen as she laughed the hardest. She had never seen her sister so shocked.
Signe heart raced and she felt herself flush. “damn it” she cursed in her head “I just told Anna I would quit being a mess with him” she swallowed and went back to eating, trying to act as though all that hadn’t happened but it only cracked everybody up more. After breakfast Ronnie opted to stay in the ship today while Anna, Signe and Edvard gathered up a few people that would be a tremendous help if they ran into trouble again. They didn’t want to keep being chased back to the ship every time somthing attacked.
They went back to the overgrown city so Anna could see this time “wow”
“yeah, we were attacked here though so be on your toes” Anna nodded and reminded herself where her gun sat as they entered. They were farther in this time when another batch of zombies came after them. With the added help of the men they brought along they felt no urgency to head back to the ship. They went on, not even sure if they planned on returning that night. There was so much to see and how far would they ever really go if they limited themselves to close proximity to their safety. Besides, they had already talked to the men about it and they were happy to defend them as long as need be.
Anna had really pepped them up with her silly “for science” pep talk.
Edvard wandered away from the team, engrossed in all the fascinating plant specimens he was finding. It was so amazing that they had thrived with the absence of humans and he hoped that if this planet was once again inhabited by those of his species, that they would be more respectful of the land. He was not an activist of any kind, but this place deserved more than smog filled skies. He had read so much on the history of this planet, had seen videos and pictures of cities long gone, and wondered how they had lived so selfishly. Rocky meowing brought him out of his musings and he looked up as the metal feline vanished around the corner of a crumbling structure. It looked to be the remnants of some sort of clothing store. He wasn’t really sure, but would explore it later if he could.
“Rocky, slow down.” He ordered as he rounded the building, passing under the rusted, twisted skeleton of a street light. He suddenly had a bad feeling and his intuition was quickly rewarded with him being pulled upside down by a snare. He curled up, hands covering his head so it wouldn’t smash into the ground. He sighed as he bobbed and Rocky came into his field of view. “Really Rocky, you could have at least warned me.” The cat meowed. He flipped his bag over so the contents wouldn’t fall out and unzipped it. He was getting light headed from being upside down and having a hard time finding his knife. “Aha.” He said victoriously when he finally found it and was about to swing up and cut himself down when he felt something sharp poking him in the back. Rocky hissed and he froze. “Get Signe and the others.” He ordered and the cat ran away as he found himself being turned around.
The person standing before him was male, maybe average height, with sun bronzed skin. He wore a mask that reminded Edvard of the pictures he had seen of old plague doctor uniforms. The man held a spear in one hand, the sharp tip pointed at Edvard’s throat. “Hello.” Edvard said then cleared his throat. “Wasn’t expecting to find you here.”
“Who are you?” The man’s voice asked from behind the mask.
“Edvard and you, you’re human are you not. This is amazing.” He blinked as his vision blurred a little. “Could you maybe cut me down, I think I might pass out.” The man hesitated for a moment, obviously contemplating letting a stranger loose. “Don’t worry, I just want to talk.” The man walked away from him, going inside the store and gently lowered him to the ground before hurrying back out. “Thank you, wow a real human from earth.”
The man removed his mask, revealing bright blue eyes. “I am Rhys.”
“You can’t be much older than twenty.”
“I’m nineteen. Where did you come from?”
“Does it really matter?” The anger in Signe’s voice made Edvard crack a smile and he got to his feet and dusted off. He saw she had her gun out and trained on Rhys’s head. Anna was right next to her and there were a couple of men standing behind them.
“Easy, everything’s fine. He didn’t hurt me beautiful so please put the gun away.”
She sighed and put her weapon away before speaking “we are descendants of the humans that fled the earth. We came back to see how it all turned out in hopes we could inhabit it again. We mean you no harm as long as you mean us no harm. We see there are still zombies here, we have people who can help finish wiping them out. We can help you build cities again if you haven’t anywhere and you guys could teach us things about earth we don’t know. There’s so much we don’t know about this place. We could be of mutual help to eachother” Edvard was proud of Signe. She was being really approachable and nice despite wanting to blow this mans head of no more than a minute ago.
Rhys was quite again for a long stretch of time before saying “There are groups that I know of but I live alone so I’d have no sway with them. I can’t trust you all yet but I don’t want enemies of you either so I can lead you to one of the larger groups I know of and you can make the same speech”
“Okay” Edvard answered and the rest of the group seemed to accept his want to take this man at his word that he would guide them to a large group of people. The men from Space Station Nyxian stayed close to Anna and Signe out of protectiveness. Especially for Anna, they were confident Signe and Edvard would be fine if things got ugly but hardly anybody had ever seen a serious enough side to Anna to trust she could keep herself safe.
“Rhys, I was wondering if it would be alright if my friends and I took some samples from you once we get to where we are going.” Edvard said as he continued to study the young man.
“A little bit of your hair and scrapings from under your nails and maybe swab your mouth for a bit of your saliva, oh and draw your blood. We want to study your genetic makeup and see how it is the human race has survived here for so long. Obviously there cannot be the billions that were here before.”
“We live in villages, most of us are nomadic in nature like myself. We tend to move when the season changes, we follow the food.”
“Just like the natives of old.”
“I do not know much of the world before, only stories of the outbreak and how it killed many innocent people. How did you get here?”
“Our ancestors fled to the first space station, up in the sky, then they built more. Everyone sort of mingled together, each race. They didn’t have time to hate each other after what had happened. Now, stuff like racism is very rarely seen, but that’s because no one can say they’re all one race anymore. Anyway, we came down in a spacecraft and here we are.”
“We don’t have racism here either. We work together or we die. This world is full of many dangers, large felines and packs of wild dogs. You must always step carefully.”
“So where is this group exactly?”
“On the edge of the city.”
The talking helped Anna become more comfortable being around this stranger. Though Edvard had never truly seemed upset by this man it seemed to be doing the same for him. Her sister and the men that had come with them today to make sure they were safe were another story. All seemed just as on guard. They arrived at the impressive establishment when you considered the fact they couldn’t have much equipment to make things with. They seemed to have taken many precautions to make sure this place was as safe as could be for people who settled there.
The guards seemed to know Rhys and let everyone in with him vouching for them coming peacefully. Edvard looked incredibly wide eyed and curious. It was probably the first time she had seen him around Signe and he have no attention on her. They were soon face to face with a few people they were told make the final decisions around here after everything’s been talked over with everybody. Right out the gate Edvard asked “so how were you all chosen? Does this system work for you? Do you ever get grief for your choices” the questions would have quit tumbling if the older man hadn’t laughed “woah” The man had black hair that had mostly grayed and sky blue eyes. He stood at near if not precisely the same height as Edvard. “There’s no certain method really. We’re just the people who deal well with having the final choices on our shoulders. Others aren’t too keen for the responsibility and would rather just give imput. Working like this has been fine so far but now it’s our turn. Why are you here?”
They explained themselves and talked back and forth until the woman who couldn’t be out of her twenties spoke “They really seem like good people. I would trust them.”
“I agree that they do not seem like a threat, though they do have weapons, they have not deigned to use them. Please, feel welcome here and feel free to study us.”
“Thank you very much. We can have some supplies brought out for you as a show of goodwill.” Edvard replied.
“We do have more than enough food and water.” Signe agreed, wanting to stay on good terms with the locals. If they were to get anything done, they would have to be.
“It would be much appreciated.”
Edvard turned to Rhys. “Would you mind going with our men to our ship and guiding them back here?”
“As long as they don’t plan on locking me up the minute I get there.”
Edvard smiled. “You’ll be fine, I promise.” He looked to the men. “make sure to bring my brother back with you.”
“Yes sir.” One of the men said.
“And toys, bring some toys and clothes and medicine.” Signe added. The men nodded and Rhys lead them away from the settlement and back into the decaying city.
“You are already too kind.” The young woman said with a smile. “Please, allow me to show you all around.”
They got a tour and description of everything around them along with the names of the people they saw. Anna, Signe and Edvard were surprised by everything and Signe, not worried about weird glances was taking notes here and there. By the time their people and offerings came back they were sitting down and talking with a few people of the community, curious about their entire lives here on this planet. Edvard could tell his brother had been worried and greeted him with a firm hug, unsurprised when he went to hug Anna too. He sat down beside her and the man who had been talking finished his story.
Everyone seemed excited about all the new supplies and it made all their hearts happy to see the children excitedly playing with the toys that were given to them. In this type of world they probably hadn’t had very many toys in their life. Their stories were the ones the four knew they would be sad to hear. Nobody should live this life but it was harder to think of children in it. Edvard asked “what did the captain say?”
“to come check with him somtime tomorrow so he knows we’re all alive and fine”
“Roger that. So, isn’t this place amazing. I mean they might not have much, but they have established themselves quite a settlement.”
“I wonder if they’d like some help constructing windmills and setting up some wiring for lights?”
Edvard punched him in the shoulder. “Look at you, just as fascinated as the rest of us.”
“Well yeah, these people were not what we expected to find. Hell, we didn’t even expect to find all those plants. This place is amazing. I wonder what the rest of the earth looks like.”
“Once we set up an actual command post, we’ll do some traveling. Rhys can probably be our guide.”
“Will you be taking miss Signe with you?”
“Of course, it would be incredibly boring without her.”
Ronnie chuckled. “Yeah right, bored. Don’t you mean lonely. Wouldn’t want you to have to cuddle with yourself.”
“Oh we’re talking about cuddling are we? I seem to remember getting a night with Signe, what about you and Anna?”
Ronnie winced. “Low blow.”
“Maybe if you weren’t such a chicken. She kisses you and you get all awkward. Just tell her how you feel like I do Signe, I mean it can’t hurt. Besides, you get all doe eyed when you look at her, so you might as well just say hey, guess what we should date so you can make me even more embarrassed with your kisses.”
“Oh shut up.”
“Well while you stand here contemplating your relationship status, I’m going to go and plant one on Signe.”
Edvard walked off and searched for where Signe had teleported off too. With how fast she could get somwhere else he was waiting for her confession one day that she had a device that enabled her to teleport. He found her teaching a toddler how to work a toy he had been giving. He smiled and watched as the little one lit up when he figured it out with her. Signe had seen him come up so when she was done with him and checked to make sure his parents were still near and were now watching him she went to Edvard. He didn’t give her time to say a single word before he gave her a long kiss.
“I..okay” Signe said and Edvard kissed her cheek with a grin “Just wanted to kiss you. We’re dating so it’s kind of a right” he winked playfully and Signe blushed, damn it she couldn’t help it. “did we say that?”
“it was implied. You don’t want to?”
“Of course I do” She now felt like face palming. She couldn’t believe she just said out loud “of course I do” Edvard chuckled “well all right, expect kisses for no reason at all but my desire to give them” It took a few more days of getting to know these people and taking samples to study before Ronnie got up the courage to ask Anna out. Her answer made Edvard laugh randomly for probably a week after that. She had told him “of course moron” He hadn’t quite expected an answer like that so his expression was once again priceless.
They eventually started working out plans to get rid of the zombie population and gather everyone on earth so they could begin talks of civilization. A Civilization was no where near the future but Edvard, Signe and the rest of their people were excited for it to finally happen. Everything was far too
thrilling for this to be a job at all. He now had Signe and a whole planet to rebuild and explore. He couldn’t think of anything more he could ask for.
~ The End ~