Secretes In The World Of A Daring Past;(Episode 8)


There are moments, when we all question one’s own purpose. The need to peel back the secretes of our past, is one of the goals or every Wanderer. Especially when in the field. However, watching Aurora ascend up a 45 degree slope on her ATV, with me closely behind was not one of those times. Her and I have always been One, every time we are together, it is as if, our purpose is clear as day. Even when a situation is at its darkest.

My mind was pulled from its contemplation, when dirt from Aurora’s aggressive climb, caught me in the helmet. “Hey there Star Killer!”, I yelled over the comms, “Slow and steady wins the race!” Aurora looked over her shoulder, to catch me wiping my helmet’s visor with my hand, hoping to clear off the debris quickly. She chuckled, and couldn’t help to make one of her playful, yet triggering comments. “Sometimes you just have to go full force lover; Just jump in that damn river and ride the currents!”. When Aurora was in the thrill of an adventure, she always gave it 110% percent. Most times this was ok, but sometimes she could get into trouble. Either way, it was always an experience.

The path wasn’t hard to navigate, but the constant incline had began to make me nauseous. The protein supplement, I had consumed an hour earlier didn’t make things easier either. I checked my HUD, and noted we probably had another hour, before we reached a natural platform where we could park the ATVs. From there we would need to continue on foot for a short distance before reaching the rendezvous point.

Secretes Of An Andromedan Moon

My mind started to drift again, as I remembered the last night Aurora and I spent together before leaving Andromeda prior to starting this assessment. We had used the our city’s portal system, to travel to a small moon in our system. It had been known for its crystalline ocean, white sand beaches, and small forests. Don’t get me wrong, when I say small, I’m taking roughly a fourth of the size of Tara, but large enough to get lost on. The ocean itself spanned about 1000 Kilometers in every direction, and housed many islands of various sizes with the largest being home to a central library. The Library was at the center of the island, and was surrounded by a forest, 20 kilometers from that were white sand beaches for another 10 kilometers. The sky was a deep purple color, and a nearby nebula made gold patches of light illuminate the night sky. It was a paradise; A place Aurora and I would go to unwind before heading out on our next adventure.

The night before Aurora and I left, we had finished reviewing some of the moon’s artifacts in the library, and had ventured out. Making our way through a forest, we had traveled many times before reaching the beaches and setting up a small camp site. The ocean was extremely calm that night, so calm that after some joint meditation and star gazing, we ended up in our tent making love for hours. The only sounds, that would have been heard for a kilometer or two, would have been of our passion for each other. We giggled afterward, as we lay talking about our upcoming journey.

“You know!” Aurora started, wrinkling her nose up in a cute way before continuing. “This Journey is going to push our limits.” Aurora paused, waiting for my response while she stared into my eyes. I couldn’t help but smile, running my hand through her dark smooth hair and kissing her cheek before I broke my silence. “I know, it will be hard to not have you by my side during parts of this journey.” I replied, almost not believing what I was saying. Aurora and I were used to being side by side in most cases in Andromeda. The thought of it not being the case, was in many ways terrifying to me.

Aurora smiled, kissing me back softly. “We will always be together, and when we do find each other it will be incredible!” She continued, “Just remember mister, although you may find others who remind you of me….. When I arrive you will know without a doubt!” I smiled, cuddling up next to her, and it wasn’t until she rested her head on my shoulder and we started to fall asleep, that both us had the same thought. “We Are One, Always”. Perhaps the greatest secretes are those that reside within….

The Plateau At The Top Of The Trail

I’m not sure how long Aurora was calling for me over the ATV’s comms, but needless to say my daze was stoped by her repeated calls of concern. “Apollo….Lover….Love…..Are you Ok!?” Eventually I snapped out of my daydream, to find we were less than a kilometer from one of the trail’s upper plateaus. “Oh my, I’m sorry A. I was daydreaming.” I replied quickly, after leaving her hanging for several moments. “I know.” She shot back. “You were thinking of the last time, we spent under the stars on our favorite moon! I heard your thoughts.” I had to laugh Aurora, was always good and hearing me, even when it seemed I was alone.

“I’ve thought of that night too, many times…” Aurora continued, “Being away from you was painful, but hearing how others treated you in some of your experiences, was heartbreaking. I hope you realize, I would never do such things, even in complete amnesia..” Though she couldn’t see it, I smiled, “I know A.” I replied. “I love you.” I heard her thoughts toward me. Which made me smile even more, “I love you too.” I thought back. We could have gone on for hours trying to comfort each other, but before either one of us could continue the Incline of the trail suddenly ended and we came to the upper plateau.

Aurora and I pulled next to each other before powering off our rides, and freeing on heads from our helmets for the first time in roughly two hours. I laughed out loud when I saw her hair. It was all frizzed, and you can tell she had been sweating. “Looks like you been running through a jungle!”. I laughed. Aurora wasn’t amused, and picked up handful of moist dirt that our ATVs were sitting in, tossing it at me, barely missing my face. “Heyyy!” I shouted, trying not to continue laughing. Aurora cracked a grin, before walking over to me and rubbing her sweaty face against mine. “Now every creature and animal in the area will know who you belong too!” Aurora couldn’t help but laugh at her own statement. Twins didn’t own each other, but her and I often joked about such things. “As long as you don’t bite!”. I joked. Aurora grinned, “Oh if I had fangs you’d love it.” She teased back.

Again we could have kept teasing each other for hours, but a light from a small base camp caught our attention. It was probably 500 yards away, and the flat nature of the plateau made it easy to spot. “That has to be Andrez and his friend.” I thought. Aurora nodded her head in agreement. With that we disconnected our main packs from our ATVs and started to walk over. In honesty, we could have rode to the base camp, but Aurora and I were tired of riding. Not to mention we had both learned that stealth was often the best path forward, just in the event we were wrong about something.

We walked at a brisk pace, moving through long grass and other vegetation. The plateau itself almost felt like it held secretes. We had been moving through dense forest, along a narrow trail for roughly two hours, only to find a high grassy plateau. It almost seemed out of place in this forest, yet here it was.

“So love, I think we she should meditate after we get settled.” Aurora’s thought entered my mind. “I agree, and perhaps we can have some fun too?” I propositioned Aurora. “You read my mind love.” Aurora giggled back.

We had only been walking a few minutes, when both our wristbands started chirping. We both glanced down at our units in unison, to see Andrez’s locator was giving a ping from the base camp we were heading towards. “Looks like it’s indeed Andrez.” Aurora smiled with relief. We were both tired, and after a day of traveling we were looking for a relaxing evening. The sun would only be up for another couple hours, and we wanted to get our own little base camp setup.

“Let’s go Twin!” Aurora shouted in my head. With that she started moving quickly towards the base camp. I started giving chase, as we silently moved like ninjas through the grasses.

Basecamp Secretes

It wasn’t until we were just about on top of the basecamp, that the soft humming of a rhythmic drumming caused to stop in our tracks. We looked around, trying to figure out what was making the noise, as we didn’t see anything nearby that accounted for it. Before I could say anything, a tall figure came out of the main tent, beating a ceremonial drum, a Taran ceremonial drum… Before our eyes stood Andrez with a big smile on his face. His short black curly hair shinning in the lowering sun. “Aurora & Apollo!!!” He shouted. “I had a feeling you too were getting close some time ago”. Aurora and I laughed, as Taran intuition was legendary. “Drew!” I laughed, before running over and giving him a big hug.

Andrez put his drum down and embraced the hug. While he was wearing a wristband like Aurora and I, his outdoor garb were a little different. Andrez liked to really blend in, so it didn’t surprise me that he was wearing a long pair of water proofed denim pants, a comfortable looking long sleeved shirt with a light green rain jacket, and a pair of rugged boots. Aurora put her pack down and walked over to us, giving Drew a big hug also. “Hello Andrez! It’s been a long time.” She said in her classic mysterious Aurora tone. Drew gave her a big hug, “It has indeed, It’s good to see you too again.” Drew’s tone was one of excitement, but also one of caution as well. Although, the caution felt to be related to something he had yet to tell us about.

I spoke up again, “Drew, I love the base camp you set up here, it’s a great location. Aurora and I spent two hours riding up this rad trail just to reach this place”. Andrez beamed, “Well we thought it was the safest place to set up shop.” I was about ask who he was with, when a petite woman walked around the side of the tent. She wore clothing similar to Andrez, had mid length blond hair that was in dreadlocks, and light green eyes.

“Oh La La!” Aurora’s voice echoed in my head, which made it hard not to chuckle. Drew’s companion was very attractive, which didn’t surprise me. She had a pleasant naturistic vibe to her, which gave off a calming sensation. The brief silence was broke, when she spoke up. “Hello, I’m Ashley, Ash for short. I work with Drew.” Aurora chirped in, ” It’s a pleasure to meet you Ash, you and Drew setup and great looking camp site here”. Ash smiled, “Thank you, Drew has been telling me all about you two.” Aurora flashed me look, indicating she wasn’t expecting that. Wanderer’s don’t usually share information about other Wanderer’s especially with planetary locals. And from what I could tell Ashley was just that, though it wasn’t uncommon for Drew to bring them around. Overall it wasn’t an issue, but we had learned that some people get a tad freaked out when they learn there are “Visitors” on the planet.

Before I could say anything, Ash turned to me and smiled. “And you must be Elliott.” Aurora chuckled, “He doesn’t get called that often, kudos Ash.” Aurora cut in. I smiled and nodded in acceptance. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Ash. And that is my name, but I’ve had many nicknames.” Before Ash could continue, Drew spoke up laughing. “Just call him Apollo, we all do. Guys, Ashley and I have worked together over the last five years, monitoring ocean currents on the east cost. Six months ago, we were out on my boat, and picked up a signal about 500 kilometers from one of the long abandoned cities. One of the big ones. After a day of searching, we pulled up something out of the water you got to see”.

“What was it?” Aurora asked out of curiosity. “Drew”, Ash Interrupted, “Why don’t we let Aurora and Elliott get settled in and unpack. We can get some dinner together and sit around the fire tonight and discuss.” “Excellent Idea!” Drew responded. “You guys can setup anywhere you’d like.”

Aurora and I dropped down our packs in gratitude and started to plan out our own tent area. “A. do you want me to go bring the ATVs over, now that we know this is the place? ” I asked. Aurora looked up at me, with a sign of approval. I got up and started to walk back to one of the ATVs, but didn’t get far before Ash approached me. “Elliott, do you need any help setting up anything. Drews working on one of his classic meals, and I feel like I should be doing something to help.” “I’m just moving our ATVs with some gear closer, but you’re welcome to join me. It will save me an extra trip.” I replied.

“ATVs, wow I haven’t seen one in some time, Let’s go get them”. Ash responded, following it up with a friendly smile, and walking with me as I started to make the short trek back to our parking location. I shot Aurora a thought, “Hey Lover, what do you think of this situation?, I feel there are some secretes as to what they found”. Aurora responded quickly. “I feel it too. I don’t think it’s anything troublesome, but they’re not telling us everything, and Ash seems to be overly curious about you. Even calling you by your actual name. Andrez seems his normal happy self though. Let’s see where the discussion goes at dinner. Just stay aware love, you almost always do, so I shouldn’t have to remind you”. “Rogger Rogger.” I responded. Aurora laughed, “Ok my favorite battle droid, I’m going to have to make you sing later tonight”. I couldn’t help but laugh, my Twin always had a way with words.

With that I brought my attention back to my task, and Ash and I made our way closer to the ATVs. The sun lower in the sky, and dusk quickly approaching, I could tell it was going to be an interesting and fun evening…..

Author’s Note:

Hi all, I hope you enjoyed episode eight of Taran Ascending. If you missed the last episode you can read it by clicking here. Remember to be mindful of Taran Station’s rules if you choose to share content from the site. Episode nine should out within a few days, so check back to read more about this ongoing journey 🙂.

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