Vampire of the Opera

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Vampire of the Opera

Post by Pythonmelon on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:34 pm

Okay, so, I'm doing a repost of this.

Title: Vampire of the Opera (Or VotO for short)
Author: Pythonmelon
Fandom: Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Character(s) / Pairing(s): Renee/Jonah and Ginger/Alan. A lot of characters.
Rating: PG-13, and I think it deserves it.
Word Count: 19,825
Warning(s): BIG gore warning here, especially in Ch. 15. There's also a fair amount of cursingand violence, but mostly at the end.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters except for Renee, Ginger, Alan, Jonah, Alxia, and Mrs. Hardacker.
Summary: Nos-4-a2 lands on earth, taking place right after RotM. Go on from there study

Ch. 1
Spoiler:
Renee Gade stood in the hall, cleaning out her locker at the end of the day. People rushed out the door of the school in a hurry to get home and start summer vacation. He ears pricked up as something moved behind her. The fur under her T-shirt stood on end. Before the water balloon could hit her she ducked to the right, missing a balloon to the head but smashing it against the locker door. She fell to the ground as a wet splash hit the locker’s insides.
“You got lucky this time, space- scum!” Shrieked the Gummer twins in harmony, being the most anti- alien bullies in the entire school. “Listen, you ugly beast, get out of our town and back to the backwater filth you call home!” Those words stung like needles.
Being one of the only two nonhumans in school was so strange. Of course she had friends, which included the other alien despite being from enemy planets. Earth had only joined the Galactic Alliance about seven years ago, when she moved to Tennessee so her father could start a new career. Moving when you’re seven is hard, especially when the move takes you to another planet. She was from Zephyr, a homely farm planet near the now nonexistent Canis Lunis green moon.
She lived here with her dad, Alan, while mom stayed back on Zephyr as a part of the royal court after Alan had quit his job as a researcher to move here with his little girl. Renee gathered her things and closed the soaking locker. She swung the book bag across her shoulder and ran towards the front door. Suddenly she was rammed to the ground by her drama teacher, Mrs. Hardacker. As if the headache wasn’t bad enough already.
“Oh my! I am such a KLUTZ!” She yelled and heaved the girl up with so much force Renee was surprised her arm hadn’t come off. The woman had white hair in a bun and wore a lack of much needed make up. She reeked of lavender perfume that hurt Renee’s sensitive nose. “Renee! Just the girl I was looking for!” She squawked. “Listen, hon, I have a job for you, alright?”
“What kind of job?” The curious teen asked.
“Do you remember that play this summer that I couldn’t cast you in? For the honored space rangers?”
Yes, Renee knew the play. “Phantom of the Opera?”
“Yesiree! I felt it was unfair that Agatha Gummer beat you out of the tryouts, and you’re so handy, I need you to clean up the Theatre and make backdrops and such.” The teacher danced on her tip- toes. “I want you to be our art design manager.”
It wasn’t a role in the play, but it was important. The alien agreed readily. Renee hurried outside and put her stuff in the motorcycle’s saddle bag. He threw herself on, the parking off, and sped home to tell her dad.
**********
“Dad!” She called into the stairwell downstairs.
“In the garage!” Replied Alan. Alan was always in the garage, he now built motorcycles for a living.
“Today at school Mrs. Hardacker asked me to help with the play.”
Her dad looked up in surprise. “Have second thoughts, did she?”
“No, I haven’t been casted, but she wants me to clean up the theatre, like an art design manager or something.” Renee corrected quickly. “We’re working at the old Jollyranch playhouse.”
“So, what did you say?” Alan was getting impatient. The man liked to work fast, despite being just a touch slow.
“I said yes, duh.” The girl made a face at her smiling father. “I’m going over tomorrow after lunch, going to make a routine out of it. Every day from one to six.”
He nodded in agreement. “Sounds like a plan. You just might get some respect at school now.”
“You know what? I just might.” She started to go back upstairs, but Alan suddenly piped up.
“Oh, wait, tomorrow I’m going to the scrap heap. Wanna come? There could be interesting stuff.” He was a notorious trash picker, but you couldn’t say his daughter was any less.
Ever since Renee had laid eyes on the ridiculously huge pile of scrap metal and trash, it had bothered her. The monument of junk was delivered a few weeks ago, in an unmarked ship, quietly, as if being hidden from prying eyes. She knew it was just superstition, but it still burned in her paranoid head. Rumors had snaked around school that it was all from planet Z, explaining the quiet drop off. She believed it. “Fine.”
*************
Renee suddenly sat up in her bed, breathing heavily. It was another nightmare about the space rangers. That robot freak was here at her house on earth. He had come out of the shadows at her, with crazy looking arms that swung around the room and lifted her up out the window. With a horrifying slingshot motion, she had been slung across town and into the heap of trash. Then suddenly it was all over, and she was onstage. Everyone had been clapping and screaming her name. An announcer, Agatha Gummer, looked into the crowd and called “Everyone cheer for the one- armed wonder, Renee!” And she found herself on the roof of her home on zephyr, missing an arm. Then the world sank into darkness.
“Renee? Are you up?” Alan yelled up the stairs. She glanced out the window and saw sunlight leaking through the curtains. In a few hours she had to meet all her friends for lunch. Bacon and egg smell found itself in her room.
“Yeah, I’m up!”
Ch. 2
Spoiler:
Sun glared off the triangular skull. A single weak light forced itself awake, flickering and roving across the deep steamy junk pile. One of his teeth wobbled loosely and fell out when his head nodded over, attempting to hold the newfound consciousness. It was hot under the metal mausoleum. Eventually, after hours of gripping life again, he raised an arm to brush away something like a rats nest. Personally, he was disgusted and degraded beyond imagination.
Eventually, sunlight hit the dirt- caked eyes for the first time in months. It overloaded his register momentarily, sending a shockwave of pain sparking out the gaping hole in his chest. It was more than obvious that the advanced operating system hadn’t been turned on since the severe explosion. Broken wires spewed cracking electricity. Leaning back onto the garbage he had just emerged from, he ran his hand up the stained red breastplate. When his twitching fingers slipped into the wound piecing straight through the randometer and several veins he jerked futilely.
Already able to tell that one of his eyes was missing, the robot dropped his head miserably. Several chunks of rock were imbedded in his lower body. Shreds of metal had been torn away, leaving gaping walls of raw machinery. In this trash heap it would take days to even mildly repair the horrid damage done. For God’s sake he didn’t even have two arms. Speaking of which, he needed that other arm if it hadn’t been eviscerated or something.
Forcing himself to sift through the metal heap for his arm, the said robot started to consider how long he had until falling under suspicion, and where he was. Apparently they were intelligent enough to store their filth somewhere else. Finally and out of pure spitfire luck the arm appeared in his grasp. Now that he had that important appendage, the easy work could be done. That meant picking rocks out of his chest. Dust flowed around in the air, catching light and making the whole scene surreal.
Voices reached around the yard and out into the morning. He ignored them, still attempting to assess the damage; Nos lifted himself into the air. It was time to find that other eye before anything else. A flash of gold light caught his attention. Glancing in its direction, he saw the blackened rim of a monocle. Sooty as it was, he couldn’t be sure, and went to investigate. He recoiled when the voices spiked. Shadows stretched out in front of him, taking humanoid shapes. He darted away like an animal.
An alien of about fifteen moved into view, with someone who looked like her dad and the dump manager. She had dark brown fur and large cattish ears. She looked almost human, despite a long tail. The father picked up his eye and rubbed of the face with a gloved fist. “Look here, Renee.” He called to her. “This looks like a Tangean medallion.”
“You fool. Put it down….” The energy vampire growled uselessly from his hiding place. None of them even noticed.
The girl, named Renee, took it uncertainly. “I’m not so sure, dad. I’ve heard that all this stuff came from planet Z.”
“Nonsense!” He smiled. “This is obviously Tangean. We should take it home.”
She looked at it again, worried and then sighing at loss. “Sure, why not? I’ve always liked the color red.”
The yard manager came around the corner, eyeing Alan smartly. “It’s a good thing y’all came today, were haulin’ it all off to the factories tomorrow.”
Nos gasped. He’d have to leave without his eye or proficient repairs and find a new hide out.
************
Hours later he spread his wings, hoping they would have enough power to carry him away. The midday sun was glaring off of the yard master’s windows, making it a perfect chance. He took flight. Dust and rock fragments trailed behind him in the air, and wind blew at his shredded cape. How good this felt! He circled town once before spotting it; an old, fairly unused building. He landed on the roof, searching for an open window. Finally a hot breeze from inside led him to an abandoned hole big enough for a family to fit through. He crawled in wearily and found himself in a dank storage room. Flicking on the lights, he remembered how hungry he was. Lunch and a nap: irresistibly compatible at the moment.
Ch. 3
Spoiler:
Kindle sat in his chair by the table, lapping at a glass of water contentedly. His muzzle was matted with water, a thick lock of reddish hair falling into his face. He was from Cryos, not an unknown planet to Renee. They were at war with Zephyr at the moment. Here on earth all felt peaceful, though, because the aliens had to stick together to fight off common enemies like the Gummers, didn’t they?
Jonah and Alexia, two humans from school, were eating across from him like nothing at all was wrong. Renee joined her friends here at Grader’s Deli on Center Street for lunch every other Saturday to study, go over homework, and just live it up for a few hours.
Kindle always wore a stormy, distrustful look around her. Sometimes it would make the girl wonder whether or not he actually liked her or just needed a second defense. Still, the look softened around Alexia and Jonah so she would survive. He smiled happily as she joined them at table three and yammered erratically in that funny accent they all had come to know and love. The thundercloud eyes of his made his face look almost eerie, it was so intense today.
A server delivered their sandwiches without thinking twice about taking an order because they had been regulars since fourth grade. “Hey guys, glad you could come!” Renee said unnecessarily. She knew they would have come.
“So… What’s up?” Alexia chimed easily.
“Not much.” Renee replied. “I just wanted to tell you guys that I got assigned to cleaning and decorating the old theatre for the play.”
“Congrats!” Yelled Jonah immediately. “I’ve heard Mrs. Hardacker scrounges all over town for the best mechanic to do the job. You’ve really got to be talented.”
“Are you saying I’m not talented?” Alexia asked playfully.
“Or me?” Kindle commented. His ears twitched uneasily. There was a hint or anger in his tone. Renee looked up from her sandwich and met his smoldering eyes. She glanced away quickly.
“Chill, man.” Jonah interjected, biting into his turkey Panini nonchalantly. Kindle settled again and picked up his Philly cheese steak. Alexia began to eat her meatball sub. Renee started to pick at her food too, taking reluctant bites and keeping an eye on the Cryosian. Sweet red onion sauce dribbled onto the plate. It took her a moment to realize it, but Jonah was giving Renee the dreamy face.
She blushed. “Are you done?” He asked.
“What?”
“I said ‘Are you done?’” He repeated himself without annoyance.
She flushed a much brighter shade of pink under her fur. “Um, sure.” She laid aside the half-eaten sandwich, nearly sick with stomach butterflies.
He called up the waiter. “One slice of apple pie, please.” The waiter nodded kindly without a word and took their plates up. “Is that all right, Renee?”
She looked at the waiter, somehow afraid to be left alone now. Alexia nodded curtly to Kindle, who returned it and they both stood up, leaving part of the pay at their seats. “Sure.”
The piece of pie was huge, covering the plate almost completely. They sliced it in half carefully but it fell apart immediately like a lot of restaurant pies do. Everyone has a hobby, and Jonah’s was magic, like an obsession, so she was surprised that the pie hadn’t vanished or come flying off the flimsy little plate. Her phone chirped loudly. Renee blinked away from the boy’s eyes to answer it, and found it missing. “Uh, phone?” She looked at her friend expectantly, knowingly.
“Is that your phone?” He pointed upward and at the overhead lamp. There it was, suspended in the air. Gently it descended too her lap and rang again. Checking the calls, Jonah’s name appeared on the screen. She looked away quickly, a giggle betraying Renee’s blushing cheeks. “Magic…” He sighed dreamily. “I see it in you, Renee.”
“Oh, you now I don’t go for those cheesy pickup lines.” She snickered gently.
It was the flirter’s turn to blush. “Point aside; you’re a really sweet girl.” He held out a hand. “Wanna see a movie sometime?” He offered her a rose from his sleeve.
“Any time but today, I’m sorry.” She stood up. “I promised the drama teacher I would clean that theatre.” She winked at him, going out the door.
Ch. 4
Spoiler:
A shaft of light spread across the red musty carpet, moths flying from the seats ten aisles up. It had occurred to Renee that no one had set foot in here in years. The slam of the door woke him with a start. Footsteps echoed through the empty halls. He looked down from the vantage point under a balcony just over the door. A girl was walking almost directly beneath him without a care. Her hushed breathing almost moved in time with her figure. She opened an old door that lead up the staircase to his balcony. “She’ll never see me here. I have the upper hand here…” He reasoned with himself. For some reason these injuries and the girls presence set off an explosion of worry. He began to panic when she ascended the staircase and landed above him. “Why am I worrying over a simple human” The word felt strange and alien sliding across his forked tongue. Apparently this was a planet called Earth, a mud ball somewhat new to the galactic alliance. That meant rangers could be here… Lightyear could be here… ranger Parsec could be here.
Renee put the rusty old toolbox her father had lent her onto the fencing rail. The necklace her father had made from the suspicious Tangean amulet was choking her. She tugged it off gratefully and sat it beside the box.
Nos was really losing it now. He tried to take off from his place below the threat and found that he was stuck. The dented metal of his base had lodged itself into the support beams. He cursed under his breath and shook himself and the balcony hard. Harder.
Renee stumbled on the shaking platform and nearly screamed. Her toolbox tumbled off and crashed to the moth eaten and incredibly hard looking carpet ten feet below. She ran to the edge to look for the cause of this quake. Her palms sweated and slipped across the wood’s age- curled paint.
Nos stopped. The girl was peering over her edge. She began to rock the balcony herself violently. This dislodged him and he plummeted to the floor. With a crash he cracked his skull against the toolbox. His hand ran across the surface of something incredibly smooth. He gripped it, feeling the dimensions, and realized this was his missing eye. This must be the same girl I saw at the dump. The thought ran across the front of his motherboard fleetingly. Footsteps rumbled down the stars behind and he bolted upright, slashing through the air with his treasure towards the rafters.
Renee picked up her tools nervously, wondering how many more dangers this theatre held. Her necklace was missing. Didn’t like that thing anyway, it was ugly as hell. She thought nonchalantly. Must have rolled under a seat cushion. But she needed to find it anyway, for her dad. Running her hands along the wall, she found a light switch easily. It flickered uselessly back and forth. “I should have known the power would be off.” She muttered tiredly to herself. She dug a hefty high- power flashlight out of her bag and hopped up onto the stage.
It was unusually dark in the back of the building because it had no windows. Here sat a dead droid used when you were on or two actors short; and here was the generator room. She pried the door open easily ad looked at what she was working with. An old, beat- up generator sat in the back beside a slightly newer one. The system was basic, probably from the earlier nineteen- nineties, but nearly fail proof. The clean punctures had cleared the aluminum casing on the first. Instead of wondering about it, she just unplugged the first and re-routed the plug to the second, easy cheesy. Lights flickered on all over the building and the backup generator whirred to life with a roar. “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” She kicked up her heels playfully. Other than a few safety hazards, this place could be right as rain in no time!
Renee moved forward through the halls and back to the main stage. Her CD player sat waiting in her backpack as well, waiting for her to turn on the disc copy of Phantom of the Opera, and she did. It was time to take down the murky red velvet curtains and wash-possibly replace- them. A pile of old curtain rods lay propped against the wall. Before she could even get to the back hall her music cut off. So she dashed back to reset the tape or whatever needed to be done. The music player had too awfully familiar holes in it. She examined it, confused and then tossed the now useless thing aside. What would make curious little holes like that?
Nos was in between the two layers of curtains now. He had not been able to help himself. The girl shrugged and swung herself onto the stage again, determined to get her work done as soon as possible.
Renee decided to check the curtains next, see if the wires needed to be replaced or something. Several of the spare rods had toppled out of their pile and into the floor and she stepped over them precariously. Grunting, she pulled at the rusty lever to lift curtain one.
Suddenly the curtain flew up in front of him, making it all too easy for someone who came in to spot him. He let out a small whoosh of air. “Just kill her now and get it over with.” He rapped quietly on his terrilium skull with the one arm for luck.
Renee heard indecisive murmurs from ahead. She stepped back, knowing she wasn’t alone anymore. If she ever had been. She snatched up one of the rods “Just whack them and get it over with.” She decided out loud.
He prepared to jump.
She got ready to swing.
Fingers curling around the edge of the curtain, he leaped wildly. Renee swung the pole with all her might in surprise and terror.
TWANG! It smashed into the corner of the robots head with such a crushing force that it glanced off and left a dent in the skull and itself. Nos crumbled to the floor from midair. Renee looked at the body with wide eyes. She stumbled back in shock. Nos groaned but didn’t move. His one hand twitched in the alien’s direction. Renee poked at him with the curtain rod the way a small child would a large beetle. The blow would’ve killed a human. But this wasn’t a human or even a carbon based life form at all. This was a nightmare from the dump across town. This wasn’t a normal robot, though, Renee saw. First of all there were these curious scraps of cloth hanging limply from his shoulders. He looked awfully beat up, missing an arm, missing an eye, and he had pointed teeth jutting out of his mouth. Why would he need teeth? She wondered. It was a question she didn’t personally want the answer to. She had had a close shave with this guy, whoever he was. I’ll have to get rid of him. She thought. Can’t risk any more encounters with this monster. But where? The closet. She shoved the rod under his chest and flipped him over onto his back. She grabbed his hand with some reluctance and dragged the body across the stage and into a prop closet. She locked it behind her and dashed out to the parking lot. She sped home.
When Renee went inside and closed the door behind her Alan was fixing dinner. “Your home awful early, Renee.” He said without looking up.
“Yeah, I ran into some trouble.” She decided not to tell him about the freak robot attack.
“You sound upset. What kind of trouble?”
“Oh, nothing really. The power was out ad it was awfully scary with all those props.”
“Did you fix it?”
“Yes.” She replied hastily.
“Oh, okay then.” He sounded disappointed. And suspicious.
Ch. 5
Spoiler:
The closet he woke in was dark. Darker than even he was used to. Completely lifeless. Obviously that girl had one hell of a swing. He rubbed the dent tenderly. “I’ve got to get of this horrid planet before someone shuts me down for good.” He promised himself. He looked around the closet desperately. Finally, on the edge of a nervous overload, he found a bottle of cleaning alcohol and some twine.
The twine sparked into the pool of alcohol. A burst of fire licked up the door. It caught fire immediately. It smoked wildly but did the job of burning down the door. He forced himself through the widening gap against a concrete doorframe. Finally it stopped flaming at the scorched wall. Nos felt no heat off the embers. He took one of the embers and crushed it in his fingers. The ashes ran out of his palm slowly, like an hourglass. He closed his eyes, wondering as he sometimes did momentarily, what they really felt like. The only thing nos-4-a2 had ever had for reference to actual feeling was what his database said about the object in questions. Glowing embers were supposed to be hot.
Morning light streamed through the open windows. They were all open. He went around the theatre closing windows one by one. Now that the light didn’t show so completely and he wasn’t vulnerable to outside witnesses he began to assess the damage. No more than a small dent. But something was different. Nos rolled his head around on his high curved shoulders. Everything was fine. Everything was fine! It came into focus. He had been torn to pieces by the explosion; losing most common sense with it, save for the basics. Hide, kill, and feed in weakness. Something had been knocked loose then, and that whack seemed to have somehow driven it back into place. “What is wrong with me?” He suddenly screeched at himself. “I hesitated!” He screamed. That bratty alien child had escaped and probably told everyone on the planet of his existence here, the rangers on their way now… “But I do have a reason to thank the creature.” Now he was reasoning with himself. Children were much more prone to secrecy about the things that went on in their daily lives.
The reasoning went on for an hour or more. As he fed (on smaller items, sorely remembering the last incident) and lounged about in the comfortable chairs of the theatre it began to favor the girl. The sun was at its highest point and now reached a climax. Hopefully that girl wouldn’t return. He decided to take it easy for now and find ways to repair himself. When he floated about he hitched up and down, spreading his wings took a ridiculously long time and even longer to power up. This was undoubtedly the worst condition he had been in since the dump, only marginally better because he had come into possession of his monocle. No need to get paranoid.


Last edited by Pythonmelon on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:50 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Vampire of the Opera

Post by Pythonmelon on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:22 pm

Yes, Yes, I know I'm not supposed to double post but the story is too long for one post:

Ch. 6
Spoiler:
Renee’s motorcycle roared into the old lot. She had been reluctant to come over at first but, after much thought, decided that the robot was either dead in the locked closet or long gone. She unpacked her air brushing kit from the saddle bag. Today, relaxing from the extreme stress and complication yesterday had brought, she would re-paint props for the play and maybe make some modifications to the droid. She slung it over her shoulder and walked in without worry.
Nos froze. He was in the middle of the walkway. His eyes were trained on the familiar wide- eyed girl. She stepped forward, pulling a heavy looking bag off her shoulder and hefted it up. He started to back away, the look of defiance in her eyes startlingly familiar, and then stopped. His hand was partly raised to ward off any attack with nervous apprehension. He curled his fingers into a fist. He might spare her, but boy it was going to be fun to watch her squirm in pain. Such weak carbon- based life forms, always stumbling at the finish line. He advanced on her, cold hard scarred metal. He didn’t have the usual small army or even one minion but that hadn’t stopped him on Canis Lunis and it wouldn’t stop him now.
He was starting to scare Renee now. As he came closer she shook furiously. The odd miss-matched looking robot got closer and she stepped further back. Renee stumbled backward and brushed the door handle. She grabbed it firmly. At that moment Nos lurched forward. He snagged the back of the teen’s jacket and lifted her off the floor. He brought her face close to his, her strangled breaths unnaturally loud.
She looked almost goofy, like a drowning cat. He looked down. She had dropped the bag and now held a canister off neon yellow paint. She flung it into his face, popping the cap off with her thumb claw. “Gaaah!” He shrieked animally. He dropped her onto the hard carpet below and rubbed frantically at his eyes. Yellow smears obscured his vision and something remotely like pain washed across his eyes, a stinging sensation of receptors reacting to the liquid. The yellow paint stained across his hand.
Renee took her chance with the precious few seconds and ran towards the back. She snatched a curtain rod off the stage and pole vaulted into the aisle again. By then the paint was out of Nos’s eyes for the most part. He looked around, stunned by the sudden thrill of action, and turned towards the back. A pole was less than an inch from his dented face. “Any last words?” She shoved the rod closer.
Spunky. “Nothing better than the last three times, I suppose.” He pushed it out of his face and to the side calmly, and she did not make a counter gesture to put it back into place. The girl could be useful. He saw, frowning down upon her, a twinkle of curious, excited light. It was not unfamiliar, many small children who had caught glimpses of him had had the same look, and yet this coming from a girl of fifteen it had a surprising intensity.
“You don’t scare me…” She sneered with false vigor. She was tiring mentally, it was obvious, and she was terrified.
“That may be a good thing.” He said.
“What are you getting at?” She lowered the rod further.
“I really doubt that’s important now.” A certain amount of charismatic charm crept into his voice and it softened.
“Answers metal head, now.” She raised her defenses again.
“But shouldn’t we introduce ourselves first?” He was going for friendly/ casual now, and it was working. The girl was weak to his charms. The vampire could mesmerize more than robots, it appeared.
“The names…” She hesitated. “Renee.” The threat faded from the air altogether.
“Excellent, Nos-4-a2.” He said it proudly, as he had done on that first mission in Star Command as an introduction.
“What?”
“My name is Nos-4-a2.” He corrected.
“Oh.” She smiled reluctantly. “You really are good at those first impressions, aren’t you?”
He settled towards the floor leisurely. “Sure sure… and you’re fine at them yourself.”
Renee laughed. It was a sweet, natural sound. “Well, I don’t take lightly to crazed robots attacking me like some sort of deranged horror movie escapee.”
He laughed back. “At that I think you’ve struck it right on the nose.”

Ch. 7
Spoiler:
An hour later they were talking like chums. Renee took pieces from the drained generator to repair what she could, replacing simple wires and such. Her soldering iron sent acrid smoke up to the ceiling. Nos sat patient and grateful on the stage where she worked. Her hands worked with the tool box and car repair kit like magic, buffing out deep dents that in turn relieved the vampire’s crushed internal machinery. She picked rocks out of his lower body, which seemed to have the least damage. On the areas that had been cushioned by now leaking pipage they used the ultimate tool- ductape- to close off little punctures and severed servo-pipes. “Ductape seems so unsteady,” Nos rapped on the wall of pipes that Renee had torn the metal cover from painfully. “And yet it works so inexplicably well.”
“You should never judge a book by its cover.” She said without looking up. If I look up she thought easily He’ll see me sitting here and grinning at him because it’s such a moronically ironic thing to say.
“I suppose that’s true.” He said, gripping his chin with the one arm. She would reattach the other one tomorrow, she had said, but first we have to get all these repaired parts back under your hood and into a protective casing. Such a casing seemed less like a necessity and more like a need if he kept up getting injured like this. Right now pipes and wires and metal packages of who- knows- what circuitry lay sprawled on the floor like so many guts and innards. He was almost sickened at the sight of it all. Of course any bot saw plenty of raw machinery from comrades all the time, especially Nos with his line of work. The reason it was sickening was that there was so much of him lying on the stage there. And so much of it was missing.
The damage had been far more extensive than his mother board had been able to process; so much it that he had very literally blown a fuse. Most of his chest cavity was shredded, probably tossed into the galaxy’s incinerators by now. Among these essential parts was his randometer which could never be replaced. In fact he learned from this internal search deep into his circuitry that a family of mice had taken refuge there and done serious damage to his innards. Teeth gnashing across wires and pipes, he would have puked if it was physically possible. He almost made it possible when Renee dragged a dead mouse carcass out of one of the wider holes.
The alien sand papered, polished, and waxed without tiring for hours and they kept up the steady conversation even when she got to repacking and covering every bit of outer- layer machinery with a thick coat of rubber. She gently painted over what she could, evening out his color scheme to some extent after replacing a few metal sheets around the skeletal housing. “This is so much better.” He sighed when she finished, feeling an immense weight of imminent but slow death slough off his shoulders. She had not bothered with his cape but simply snipped the rest of the scraps away and tossed his button into her bag. “I almost feel as if that explosion had never happened!” It was true- no need to lie now- he felt somehow cleaner than ever before, excluding those first few hours after coming online.
“Well, I’d personally like to know how that explosion ever happened.” Renee said coolly, abandoning him still powerless down on the floor with his parts still mostly spilled out to work on the droid for a few minutes. “It seems to be the only tale you’ve neglected me.”
That was true. He had spun out his life story, excluding a few events, to the girl and they had traded stories to pass the time. “It’s really quite unbelievable.” He whispered reflectively.
“Try me.”
By the time he finished relating his latest attempt at revenge that had landed him here it was almost 9:30. “Oh gosh!” Renee yelled suddenly after glancing at her phone. “I’ve got to get home! See you tomorrow, Nos!” He waved her quickly out the door, not getting up because he was still mostly immobile. He dropped backwards into a laying position.
“I’m losing my mind.” He said into the darkness at no one imperticular. “Why else in the universe would I let her live?” He wondered about this.
********
Alan was upset. He had been afraid Renee had been hurt- or worse- at the theatre. But she had “Only been consumed by her work.”
“More like devoured.” He mumbled.
Her reheated dinner was slow and quite. Fish sticks. Yay. As she went up to bed soon after finishing and packing away her things for the day. The tell-tale sounds of a movie had swept out of Alan’s room. He was watching a filmed performance of “Bats in her belfry”. What a coincidence.
Ch. 8
Spoiler:
“Renee! Come down here now!” Alan called from downstairs. His voice was on edge, upset and worried. Not the kind of thing you wanted to hear on a Saturday morning. It was nearly seven o’clock, too early for someone
(Please God don’t let him have been found don’t let me be in trouble.)
To be calling to call her to work.
“What is it, Dad?” The alien asked, stretching her back and clawing at the sheets in an attempt to fully wake up.
“It’s just important. Come down, please!” His voice cracked. That tore it; she threw on a pair of sweatpants under her gown and ran down the stairs.
**********
She took the phone and hugged it between her shoulder and ear. “Yes?”
“Oh, Renee thank God your home!” Kindle’s mother bulleted out the words.
“Where else would I be?” Renee laughed silently, trying to shake the panicked tone Mrs. Andromeda had.
“Well, dear, listen.” The dog-like woman took a ragged breath. Her voice wavered over the telephone. “Last night Garth was killed. Kindle ran off after I told him, and he was just gone! If you can find him, please do. Renee dear, you’re the only one I’ve ever met who can talk sense into Kindle here on earth. Maybe you could get him to come home.” The rattling voice broke into a mournful howl, reminding the girl all too much of the one she had imagined during Nos-4-a2’s stories.
“I’m on it Mrs. Andromeda. If I can, I’ll bring Kindle home.” She hung up on the bawling woman. This was not good, not good at all. Kindle’s father was a commander at Star Command, until the war between their planets began that is. Garth Andromeda had been extremely influential on his son until the day he left with the militia, constantly warning the child about how dangerous a Zephyrite could be. And yet the commander was not all bad or wrong in his accusations of terror by Renee’s feline people. He had explained how dangerous they could be- but that you should only assume and observe until they were proven guilty.
He was highly appreciated by all those under him on the chain of command, including Renee’s researcher father. They had shared drinks from time to time close to home in the Zeta quadrant, home to Zephyr, Shragarakia, Zeta-Betas 1-9, and the ever infamous Canis Lunis. Unknowingly Renee let a shiver run down her spine. That damn robot sure had her spooked- right out of the tip of her striped tail. Of course, being so nearby, her father had been stationed there before the war, before they moved to Tennessee. She too had visited the barren and haunted- looking planet. Apparently the haunt of her nightmares had been there, and had gotten ahold of Ty Parsec.
But never mind that now, Kindle had run away. His father had been killed in action, undoubtedly by one of the talented Zephyr marksmen. It sickened her, someone of her own race coldheartedly murdering her friend’s father. No wonder Kindle was always on edge around her, they were at war, no? And yet she had felt for the last four years that they were beyond the walls of war, outside the battle arena, and beyond harm’s way. Apparently not. Now it was personal, and it scared Renee deeply.
Alan put a hand on his daughter’s shoulder, suddenly ending to her momentary thoughts. “Maybe I should come with you while you look for the poor boy. Bring Alexia and Jonah too, if you can recruit them. Kindle might be-“
“Unstable, dad, yes I know.” She said, too harshly. “I’ll call them up, but don’t expect much progress. Kindle can travel when he puts his mind too it.” Renee glanced out the window, hoping her friend was ok. And still her friend.
*****
Kindle curled himself into a ball as small as he could, which wasn’t very small considering his eight-foot height. This could not be happening. Garth couldn’t be gone. His father couldn’t die- or at least shouldn’t. Who to blame, who to blame? He didn’t know. It was all so fast, hitting the boy in the stomach hard. He had run, right? Where was he? (Don’t know- never know anymore.) He shook his head; banging it painfully against the inside of a play pipe he had taken refuge in at school after running. (There was so much running. Nothing makes sense.)
Kindle’s mind was a horrid jumble. As a pup he had been fine, grown up fine, but lately- the last four or five years, to be exact- there was something wrong inside. Always he felt a tiny throbbing headache inside. A screeching birdlike hiss was always behind his ears, overlapping sound. Reasonable thinking was going to get difficult, he knew, as the pain grew. Hell, it was already getting eaten away by the pain- the constant pain. Just yesterday he had put a paw to his aching ears and howled until his mother came up, flustered. Finally after she had left he had drawn his paw away and found the pad soaked with blood. Apparently it had stopped, so he didn’t say a word. This was not the first time blood had come pouring from his head. Once it had gone on as a slow leak for more than an hour, but almost as soon as he decided to tell his mother Kindle had forgotten and the blood flow had ceased.
Now he felt the blood began to leak again, hot droplets running down his muzzle. The salty liquid suddenly became a flavor on his lips. His large black nose was running blood instead of snot now. Tears ran across his cheeks alongside the red coagulated substance. They stuck, morphing his face into that of a monster. Garth was gone. That lone thought dominated his mind with grief. He had sat there, not really comprehending, all night without sleep. Sunlight was now seeping through the ends of the large plastic tube, striking more pain like knives into Kindle’s eyes. He scurried deeper into the tunnel, finding comfort in the darkness.
********
Renee had easily enlisted Jonah, he wasn’t due to go to Disneyworld for another week (The Park was just getting more famous- Imagineering has advanced so far) but Alexia was still asleep and they had decided to leave her. “What’s going on again? I’m sorry.” The boy asked, holding Renee’s hand worriedly.
“His father died last night. I don’t think he’s told you- but his dad was a commander. Our planets were at war and… a Zephyr soldier shot him down.” Her hand squeezed protectively into his.
He pulled back, then rested again and squeezed her back. “Were going to find him and everything will be fine.” He reassured her, not being positive himself.
“But our planets are at war. Our folks are afraid… afraid he might take it out on me or dad.”
“What?” Jonah stopped, surprised. “Why would he do that?”
“Jonah, have you not been paying attention?” Renee demanded hastily. “You see how he looks at me- he was never comfortable with me around. Zephyr and Shragarakia have been at war for a long time. Longer than we’ve lived here even.”
“I don’t mean I didn’t notice.” Jonah seemed to be taken aback. “I always saw the way he looked at you. I never thought much of it though.” He was sincere now.
“I’m sorry.” Renee suddenly hugged him. “I’m scared though. For Kindle.”
“And yourself?”
“Yeah… Myself.” She looked up into his eyes, her own sparkling magnificently jade green. Her fur was warm and soft, striped black. Color spots of bluish orange ran like flowers around her irises. Jonah hugged her back.
********
Kindle continued to stare out the end of the tube, focusing everything he had on the light. Something like a foot swam in front of it and he gasped. A paw. Sharpshooters. The word suddenly darted across his mind. They got Dad and now they’re here they’re here and they probably got mom and they’re after me now. He gasped and drew back quietly.
As if reading the alien’s thoughts, the foot moved away. It was replaced by a face- but a familiar one, not helmeted with a plasma shield. Renee looked at him happily, but froze. His face was awash with blood and snot and runners of dried salt tears. He smiled trustfully, and then frowned. Something familiar stood before him, but something unwanted. The idea- the mere sight of Renee blew a cork off a fresh bottle of fury in his head. “Kindle! There you are!” She smiled charitably, as much as she wanted to be sick.
“Yeah. I’m here.” He mumbled licking at his muzzle and listening to the angry wasp hum in his ears. It roared louder than ever, and a fresh bout of blood ran onto his cheeks. There wasn’t much, but he felt dizzy.
“Come on out! I’m so sorry about what happened.” Her voice was soft.
Kindle wormed out of the plastic tube onto the woodchip ground and stood his full height over his companions. Without warning he hunched over and vomited all over the ground. “Sorry…” He said, not meaning it.
“What happened to you?” Jonah asked. After what Renee had told him, he wasn’t so sure if the blood on Kindle was not some innocent cat’s or something.
“I… I cut my ears getting into the pipe. It hurt- but I’m okay. You know, head wounds.” The Shragarakian smiled wanly, again not meaning it. They didn’t need to know, he didn’t need to go to the hospital, he could handle this. Without the Zephyr girl’s help.
Ch. 9
Spoiler:
Walking down the street of their suburb to drop Kindle off at his house, Renee’s phone rang. “Hello?” She glanced at Jonah and smiled faintly. She hadn’t checked the number but fully expected her father or Mrs. Andromeda to be asking where they were. After all, the girl still hadn’t taken a shower or eaten and they had been looking for the runaway since seven thirty. It was ten now. She nearly dropped the phone in surprise when Nos-4-a2’s voice hissed out of the microphone.
“Renee, when are you coming back?” He demanded, not really angry but on the brink of it. His voice hitched. “There’s something wrong.”
Again the idea that he had been discovered crossed her mind. “What is it? I can’t really talk right now, with friends. And where the hell did you get the phone to call me?”
“It was in the back, one of those wall phones. Never mind that, I’m starving! Literally!” His voice hitched mechanically.
“What?” She suddenly stepped off into an alley, aware that the boys had stopped to eaves drop.
Jonah tapped her shoulder questioningly. “Who are you talking to?”
She waved him away embarrassedly, smiling. She covered the mouth speaker and said “Just a friend from out of state, don’t worry.” He nodded back and moved away with Kindle, continuing home.
“I haven’t eaten anything in three days or so.” He barked unhappily. “And it doesn’t help that this dead arm is spitting sparks all over the place. I’m shorting out over here and I can’t very well get over to the generator room. Bring me something to eat!” Nos lulled. “Please?”
“Yeah, please.” She smirked. “Give me some time to get a shower and some breakfast.”
He sighed disappointedly. He knew he was in no position to order her around, at least not until he was fully repaired that is. “You people. Fine, go home and bathe. But you can eat here. And hurry!” His voice jumped again.
“I will, jeez.” Renee hung up, the vampire still ranting on the other end. “Sorry guys.” She apologized, more facing Jonah than Kindle. “But I really need to get home.” She hugged them both quickly. “You go home and get better, Kindle.” She offered.
“I will.” The other alien replied quickly. He loved the attention, but hated it to.
“I’ll walk him home.” Jonah said kindly.
“Good idea.” She replied, thinking of how off- balance he must be with those messed up ears.
“Thanks.” Kindle muttered coldly, still wearing a big falsetto smile.
He must be in so much pain. The girl thought tenderly as she ran down the street to her house. She didn’t know the half of it.
*******
Nos was rocking back and forth grumpily, eyes lazy and somewhat dark when she arrived. “Where were you? Did you bring me some food?” He said before Renee was even in the door. He was back on the stage with bits of machinery that still needed to be packed back into his base lying askew.
“Yeah yeah.” Renee rolled her eyes and tossed him a package of twenty- four lithium ion D batteries she had grabbed at the WalMart on the way there. The energy vampire tore open the package and jammed a battery into his mouth, draining it. He savored the splitting bite of battery acid for a second then continued to the others.
The theatre was at the edge of town, marking where the forest began. Trees swayed outside calmly. Renee stared out a window at the woods for a second then snapped back to reality. She realized Nos hadn’t been lying; the socket where his missing arm had been was still showering sparks onto the hardwood. She was lucky he hadn’t burned the building down, going that way
“I better reattach that.” She whispered, thinking mindfully of how long it would take to finish on him, paint and all, compared to how long she had to clean up this theatre. Three weeks until the play. It couldn’t be so hard.
“Yes, and when did it occur to you that that would be a good idea?” He said resentfully, biting into another battery.
His tone was infuriating, so ungrateful and arrogant. No wonder someone had blown him sky high. “You think awful high of yourself.” She said, setting up beside him and preparing the arm.
The vampire was taken aback. “I was programed for nothing but success. I expect no less than perfection, from myself and anyone who works for me.” He looked at her indignantly. “Blame Zurg. I’m going after him as soon as I’m out of here.” Nos looked out the window, disgusted, at all the nature.
“You’ve got to get in touch. Instead of just assuming your first plan is going to work, fix a backup. And don’t be so pushy.” Renee advised.
“What makes you so sure that’s what’s wrong with me?” He snapped, somehow knowing she was right.
“Because it’s fun to poke holes in your plans, and trust me, there’s plenty of holes to go a’ pokin’.” She held a screwdriver up to his face. “Poke. Poke. Poke.” She pretended to jab imaginary holes in his plans.
Nos shoved her hand away. “Then explain.”
“Well.” She started, reattaching the wires in his shoulder joint. “When you first got to Star Command, we’ll start there. You said you bit XR the moment you got out of your box, so he could release you when you got to star command and the coast was clear. That was your first mistake. Should’ve let him be, just used that fancy box of yours to suck up the security field.”
“But-“ He began to defend himself, putting a working hand to his lip.
“Hush it.” She slapped his hand. “Let me finish. I’ve got tons of holes to poke yet. If you couldn’t get out without the bot, you should have killed him as soon as you were finished. That was your ultimate demise. Adding to that, Commander Nebula was in the database. You had the computers all to yourself; you should have known whether or not he trusted machines instead of blurting something flat out.” She slapped her palm with a soldering iron to get it started. “Last but definitely not least, your arrogance could have killed you on any of the occasion when you ran into Buzz.”
“I’ve heard enough.” Nos spat, shaking his head. “You’ve made your point. I could have done better.”
“Oh whoa.” She rolled her eyes. “The fabulous energy vampire agrees with little old me.”
“Little one, you’re just lucky I’m trapped here.” He hissed resentfully.
Had he just called her Little One? She knew the pet name from his stories. How cute, he was calling her by less insulting names now. But what he had added onto the end of his creepy nickname was worrying. Will he really just fly off? She paused from holding a heat gun to the wire wrappers. Of course he will. What kind of ass do I think I’m repairing here? He’s a villain for God’s sake. Just going to fly off the moment I finish him without a word of thanks or regret.
She reapplied the heat, trying to burn away the thought. “I’ve got to work on some other stuff as soon as you’re up and running again. Just remember we paint soon so don’t get any stupid ideas. You’re going to help me before you ever get a decent paint job.” That threat should hold him for a while. More time to poke holes, and the less time it would take to repair the theatre.
“Fair enough.” He rolled his eyes, but smiled a little.
Renee felt herself melt. She shook her head coldly. Think Jonah. She commanded herself. I’m just spending way too much time with this… machine. “Then let’s get you finished up.” The girl held up his still limp hand and started to test the circuits. “I need to pick up some terrilium sheets tomorrow. The cost is going to freak my dad out.”
“Yes. That aluminum isn’t going to hold long.” He agreed. She had even applied it loosely, caring not to make any permanent joints so she could replace it. “I don’t think I can help with the cost, though.”
“Maybe you don’t have to help with the cost.” She had an idea. It could work, she was sure of it. “You can just steal them.”
Nos looked at her in surprise. “I… suppose I could pull it off.”
“It’s not like stealing terrilium plating is a capital crime.” She rolled her head. “Aren’t you supposed to be good at this stuff? Kill the electricity and your home free.”
“Isn’t that supposed to be kind of wrong?” He asked. I like her style.
“Not if you do it. You’re the bad guy here.”
“Good enough for me.” He sat up, twisting his newly reattached arm.
Renee pushed him down again. “Not done yet. Cool your horsepower.” She readjusted the tiny soldering iron.
********
Nos kept flexing his arm, smiling wickedly. “Are you happy with yourself yet?” Renee asked, snickering.
“What?” He looked up, having almost forgotten that she was there. “Oh, yes.” The vampire looked away. He could’ve blushed. Leave it to a teenage girl to make you feel like an idiot.
Renee continued to tighten the bolts on the underside of the balcony. It was wobbling a lot less now. “Much better than a ladder.” She smiled down on her little helper. ‘Big helper’ might have been better.
“Don’t get used to it.” Nos held her higher. “But no problem.” He had her around the waist, holding the alien up to the balcony’s underside. He had gotten his fair share of scolding as they worked. Something he found in common in all the tips and pointers that had come with the scolding was this- kill XR first. “You’ve got something against XR, don’t you?” He asked casually, watching where he guided her.
“I never said anything about it. Why?” She wiped a few drops of sweat out of her fur.
“Context clues. I want to know why you want him dead.”
“I never said anything about wanting him dead. I was just telling you what should have been done.”
“So transparent.” He smiled curiously. “You obviously have something against that sorry tin of snack- chips. What is it?”
“Alright, alright.” Renee held up her hands in fake surrender. “You caught me. But who says all members of the galactic alliance think like an alliance? There are some pretty wicked bad guys out there to.”
“You’re changing the subject.” Nos scowled.
“Fine, jeez.” She finished fixing the last bolt and they dropped to the floor. “The bot, XR, you see…” She paused, working the story over in her head. “When I was just a kitten, I still lived on Zephyr. Of course this was long before you were ever built, but dad was a ranger and he would hang around Buzz and the rest of team Lightyear whenever they dropped into the Zeta quadrant. One day dad needed a babysitter, fifty unibucks pay, for me. The team didn’t give one iota, but Mr. Noble butt Lightyear talked XR into doing it.”
Nos winced outwardly. It was a nightmare to simply imagine being trapped with that mechanical terror on treds for even a few hours.
“So, like I said, XR gets signed up for babysitting duty by Buzz. Of course I was on the losing end. XR just told me ‘sit in your room, be quiet, and let me alone.’ It worked perfectly fine. Until” She held it out dramatically. “One of the regular passing zeppelins dropped something. I never got a good look at what it was, but the thing went straight through the ceiling and onto the ground floor. Of course Chips for Brains down there freaked out. He ran up the stairs, and guess what?” She left him hanging.
“Hmm… He shot you?” That was the best guest he cared to make.
“Close enough.” She smiled. “He threw me out of the window in some freak panic attempt to ‘save’ me.” The girl made air quotes around ‘save’.
“Ouch.” The vampire winced again.
“Oh yeah. Second story, landed on the roof of my porch and… broke my arm.” She shivered. The old break seemed to have a sudden shot of pain. “He flew to the hospital, of course. Without me.”
“Again- ouch.”
“You said it.”
Ch.10
Spoiler:
Renee finally got home at six that evening. “Dad?” She called into the empty house. The day, after finding Kindle of course, had been extremely productive with Nos-4-a2’s help. They had, together, cleaned out the storage room and salvaged what props they could, including three usable backdrops for the play. “Dad?” She called again. All was quiet.
She walked into the kitchen to grab some dinner. She didn’t usually think anything of her dad not being home. He sold the bikes he built regularly during the summer, but he was nervous. It’s because of Kindle. She thought quietly. Something had been… off about him this morning.
There was a note pinned to the refrigerator in its usual place with a “Jesus Saves” magnet.

Renee,
I’ve gone to the dealer in Lenore City to try and sell the new series. Don’t wait up; I shouldn’t be home till ten or eleven. Dinner is in the freezer. Sorry, fish sticks again.
Love, Dad.

It read easily, short and to the point, just the way Alan liked it. This was the third time this week they were having fish sticks. She decided to cook something else. Maybe spaghetti, that was nice and simple. Her stomach growled disagreeably. The closest thing to lunch Renee had gotten all day was when she had to do- another- drive by to WalMart for Nos.
Putting the water on to boil, she flicked the TV on. The five o’clock news was going off. Wheel of fortune would come on, then Jeopardy. But instead of wondering what Brent Starkisser had babbled about, Renee sat back in the recliner and thought about the play. All those rangers would be coming, and here she was taking care of one of their worst enemies. Buzz, Mira, and the rest of team Lightyear were guaranteed to be at the benefit. Countless other rangers would be as well. It was funny, considering a town so small would attract all these rangers.
Something was eating at Renee’s mind. She adjusted her feet in the chair, thinking of that first encounter. Why wasn’t she dead or dying, hidden away somewhere? Surely enough people like her that had gotten a glimpse of the energy vampire had perished. She picked up the phone and dialed the theatre’s number. Nos answered in moments. “Didn’t you get enough talk out of me today?”
“Whatever.” She rolled her eyes. “Quick question, though.”
“Yes? Come on, spit it out.” He sounded impatient, but the girl knew better.
Renee sat up, crossing her legs Indian style. “Why did you let me live?”
There was silence on the other end, and finally Nos replied. “I needed your help, obviously.”
“I understand that.” The Zephyrite kicked up her leg and lay down again, restless. “But after you were repaired, even without the terrilium, you could have just left.” He hung up. Renee rolled over and sighed. No answer there.
******
After the conversation Renee checked the water and tried to pay attention to what Pat Sajak was saying. She fixed some spaghetti sauce in a pot to warm up. There were awfully tough puzzles tonight and she was glad to not feel so stupid when Teen Week came on Jeopardy. Alan still wasn’t back when nine-o’clock rolled around, and Renee was getting tired of sitting up bored. She didn’t want to get on the computer and there was nothing good on.
Finally she went up to bed, exasperated, to work on a few designs for backgrounds and a program for the droid. He was going to play the part of the phantom himself, because the actor Mrs. Hardacker had assigned to the part had to leave between acts four and five. She wasn’t exactly an artist, so the backdrops were extremely vague but looked nice from a distance.
At ten she was ready to throw herself out the window for the boredom. The girl wondered if Nos had gone out to get those sheets of terrilium yet, and where he would get them. Probably some machine shop out of town, where they couldn’t track him. Renee stood and shoved back her desk chair, going to the window. She watched the bright waning moon among the stars, glad to feel a little more connected to the outer world. Earth’s moon was beautiful, round and unpopulated so it didn’t have a cloud of smog or spots where you could see cities that stole from its elegance.
Turning away, the girl threw herself onto the bed and sighed in defeat. There was a short tap on the window. Renee sat up, alert at the break in silence, and went to investigate. A bit of cloth was flying against the window sill. She opened it and tugged at the strip of burgundy cloth and ended up dragging in an entire bolt. She stared, dumbstruck, at the material. Her ears twitched and folded backwards, and a low growl escaped her throat. She wasn’t really mad, but suspicious.
Striking a match (Much more fun than any flashlight) she stuck her head out the window. Nothing. The girl examined for any movement in her field of vision and still didn’t find anything. Tired, suspicious, and a little frightened she rolled over to look up at the sky again. But, instead of finding a starry sky to look at, she came nearly six inches from the energy vampire’s fangs.
Renee screamed and jumped back into her room. He crawled inside the windowsill and picked up the bolt of cloth. “I picked up the terrilium.” He smiled, saying this like it was a simple errand.
Renee let out a heavy breath and her fur settled into place. “Good lord, Nos, you scared the hell out of me.” She put her head in her hands. “Oh, god…”
“What?” He dropped the material onto her bed and patted her shoulder awkwardly, not sure what to do.
“I’m fine.” She stood up straight and yawned, brushing his hand of reluctantly. “You just nearly gave me a heart attack. So, how do you know where I live?”
“Actually, I didn’t.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I took a wild guess. You know, house with a motorcycle.”
Renee rolled her eyes. “Of course. So, why are you here?”
Nos clammed up. “Um….” He stammered, then snatched up the bolt of cloth and tossed it like a hot potato into Renee’s arms. “I need you to make me a new cape.”
“Fine enough.” Renee flicked an ear. She pulled out a sheet of paper and pen, never even touching the cloth. After a few moments of just staring at her back and wondering what was going on, Nos got impatient and leaned over her shoulder silently. There on the sheet of paper was a less than satisfactory sketch of him with a cape. She stood up and whacked her head on his chin. “Ow! Man, what the hell?” She demanded, rubbing at an already swelling pump knot.
He found himself backed into a corner. “What are you doing?” The vampire spat in response.
Renee paled. She tilted her ears back and hissed. “I need a model to work off of, don’t I?” He frowned but backed off. Man this guy was sensitive. “Whatever.” She rolled her eyes and walked to the drawer, picking out a tape measure.
Nos winced a little and tried to back away when she swung the measure around his shoulders. “What are you doing now?!” She took a note on the paper and shimmied it down around his arms.
“Will you shut up? You’re going to wake the whole town. I’m just taking a few measurements.” She kept switching between notes and measurements.
“Oh, well then…” He bit his lip. God this was awkward. Renee didn’t reply but kept at her job, inching the tape measure all the way down to his base. “It’s supposed to go down to the tip and come to a point.” He mentioned, just so the cape didn’t come out like a superhero’s.
“You think I don’t know that?” She tossed the burgundy cloth onto the ground and rolled out a few yards. “I know how to use Google, you know.”
“You GOOGLED me?” He demanded, less than happy. “Someone could have tracked that! And, and…” He fizzled out.
“That’s what I thought. You don’t know, do you?” She cut off what looked like the right amount and tossed it over his shoulders.
“Know what?” His eyes narrowed.
“I looked you up.” Renee hugged the cloth to his shoulders and got close. He tried to move back uncomfortably. “And I got ten thousand hits. Photo’s galore. And, get this, a fan club.”
“Fan club?” He put a finger to his lip, and then shook his head. “Forget it- I won’t ask.”
“Good choice.” She smirked, like there was a secret. He ground his teeth together. “Penny for your thoughts, Nos?” She dropped the cloth and started cutting along a few marked areas, where she had slid in pins.

“It’s going to take more than a penny.”
“Seriously.”
“What?” He examined his fingers nonchalantly.
“What all planets did you hit with that Wirewolf gun?”
The vampire’s eyes got big, but he answered easily enough. “It can’t hurt. Let’s see, hmm… Rhizome, Capital Planet…”
“Of course.”
“Star Command and Tangea. I think that’s all I got to.” Renee sighed in relief. “What is it?”
“I’m just glad you didn’t hit Zephyr. Or Earth.”
He winked, but scowled a little. “I wasn’t totally aware of Earth’s existence at the time, but nothing would have stopped me from hitting Zephyr.”
“And, eventually, feeding there.” She finished for him.
Ouch. “Right.” He winced.
She laughed, a little. It was a nervous, high- pitched giggle. Someone trying to get an awful idea out of their head. “We would have been awfully funny- looking wirewolves. You know, cat people.”
He snickered a little too. “Surely.”
******
By midnight Renee had run the cape through the sewing machine and given it to Nos. Her father had called to let her know he wouldn’t be home, because of traffic backup and more business to discuss. He shouldn’t be back until noon tomorrow. “You know what?” The alien was sewing the vampire’s button onto his cape by hand. “I may just not come in tomorrow.”
He frowned, disappointed. “Come on! You’ve got to finish repairing me! I even got armourillium plating.”
“I don’t have to do anything.” She hissed teasingly. “You owe me big, Nos-4-a2. I could leave you here right now and never finish repairing you. Then you’d have to find a way off earth without getting caught, and I could always turn you in-“
He grabbed her by the shoulders and spun the girl around to meet him. “It kills me to say this, don’t think it doesn’t, but please?” She smirked. Victory.
“I’ll finish repairing you, don’t worry.” He relaxed and took his hands off of her. She walked to the closet and, opening it, slid an air surfing board out from behind the hangars full of clothes. “Look at this. I’ve been working on it forever.” She sat it in the windowsill. He looked at it silently, again impressed with her talents. “And don’t even think about it. This thing runs on solar power.” She slipped a battery pack that had been charging for weeks from just under the roof’s edge.
“Oh, ew, renewable resources.” He stuck out his tongue dramatically. “You must have known I was coming.”
She laughed. “No, but lucky me.” She crawled out the window with it and folded out a sail. She snapped the latches over her shoes and dropped off the roof’s edge. “Come on!” She called, reappearing in a steep incline towards the sky. He took her offer and flew out side, spreading his wings.
The night shined brightly with the moon’s luminescence. It settled over the cool summer night like pixie dust, coating everything in contrasting quicksilver and shadow. Renee’s tail flew out behind her as she crossed paths with the moon on the board. Fireflies parted in clouds as the pair darted between them. Wind passed through the vampire’s cape, sending it flapping crisply. He chased after Renee and dove, really enjoying a moment for all it was worth. And suddenly she was gone. The girl had retreated back into the window suddenly.
“What is it? Come on!” He snapped, lounging on the roof. “I want to test out my cape for a little while longer.”
“You can test it all you want in a week or so.” She shuffled through some drawers, tossing items left and right carelessly.
“Huh?”
“Dress rehearsals in the theatre start a week before the play. You can stay with me then.” She looked back at him out of the corner of her eye, but continued rummaging through the cabinet.
“And what does that have to do with anything? Why don’t they just have the performance in your school auditorium? And why in the summer?”
“Ah, here it is.” She tugged a broken- up looking necklace out of the chest of drawers. “Because, we needed a bigger building, and the late summer was the only time the rangers could come.”
He jerked up. “The rangers?”
“Yes.” Renee replied.
“Who?!” He yelled, excited.
“Team Lightyear are the guests of honor.” She smiled darkly. “And other rangers, like Nos enemy number one Ty Parsec, Rocket Crockett, you name it. And the best part is they think your dead.”
“But that doesn’t mean I am!” He was angry. “Ooooh I just want to ring their little necks! To throw them on the ground and make them beg!”
“To crack the whip in their direction one more time?” She asked with a grin.
“Yes…that’s it…” His smile widened suddenly. “What are you thinking?”
“My dad worked on Canis Lunis all the time because Zephyr is so close by.” She started.
“I know that.”
“Will you let me finish, please?” She smacked his arm. “And I even visited the barren place once. He made me this.” She held up the necklace again. Under closer examination, it became obvious that the glowing stones were not gems, but the, now, extremely rare moon rocks. Three of the seven rocks had been lost to the world sometime since she got the necklace at age six.
“Oh, lovely.” He took it and rolled the four stones, one at a time, in his fingers. “What’s this coating on them?”
Renee didn’t take the piece of jewelry back but looked at it with him. “It’s a special plastic made to contain radiation. The reason I didn’t get sick wearing it and the reason it’s still glowing like we just picked it up.”
“Renee, this is excellent.” He smiled evilly.
“You think I don’t know that?”
He passed the necklace back to its owner. “So what are you planning here?”


Last edited by Pythonmelon on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Vampire of the Opera

Post by Rook on Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:48 pm

First of all, cool fan fic! <^__^>
Second of all, I wonder if you could put each chapter under its own spoiler tag in one post to save space. Just as a suggestion.

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Re: Vampire of the Opera

Post by Pythonmelon on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:46 am

oh, good idea. and thanks ^^ its actually the first full-length story I ever wrote

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Re: Vampire of the Opera

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