Evenings on Solaris always fascinated Arrin. The calming stillness. The golden sun setting over a pinkish, blue horizon, which gave off an appearance of both dawn and twilight. But this evening was different, and Arrin hadn’t been home in quite some time. Nearly a year had been spent in the pilot console of his mecha. And even now in the Hyperion, Arrin wasn’t about to turn back.
“Any messages, Lu?” Arrin turned to speak to a small, luminous, cube shaped device. Never once since his journey began had he felt alone when L.U.L.A. (his “logistical understandings and linguistics application”) was near. To him, L.U.L.A. was more than a digital assistant. “She” was his friend.
“Several. Would you like me to relay them to you?” Lula’s calm automated voice replied. A lavender hue twinkling with every word.
“Lets have it.” Arrin folded his arms and closed his eyes, as though he were beginning a long nap.
Lula’s voice then morphed into several others as each message began playing. Though it had been months since Arrin last checked them, he remained in his napping position, seemingly unperturbed. Until a familiar sound caught his ear.
“Arrin? Arrin it’s me. It’s Luna. No one’s heard from you in over a year. Whe… Where are you? Are you ever coming back? Come home.”
Arrin replayed the message again in his mind. The princess of Lunaria wasn’t just anyone. She was special to him. Closer than any friend had been. Arrin imagined what it would be like to hear Luna utter “Come home to me.” He might’ve then changed course. His hefty resolve would perhaps waver. But no. He couldn’t be swayed by the princesses’s words. Not this time.
“Uhm… How’s the drive doing, Lula?” Arrin asked. Saying anything to get his mind off of Luna.
“The tachyon drive is at 97%.”
“Cool. And how far out are we?”
“Just outside the Nuriban desert. Shall I take her down?”
“Mmm… No, not yet.” Arrin jumped from the cockpit, peeking through a glass dome. He surveyed the land, looking for something in particular. “Nothing but sand,” he thought. Then, to his right, the silhouette of a man waving his arms just few hundred yards away. Arrin was flooded with a sudden rush of energy and he jolted. “Oh, there he is! Ok, Lu. Gimme the stick, I’ll park it!” As the auto pilot disengaged, Arrin jumped back into the cockpit, grabbing a hold of two large joysticks and began to set the 9 meter giant down. Being careful of where he positioned Hyperion. For the medal body had never touched sand before. Once Hyperion’s armored legs were planted, Arrin stood from the cockpit once more and pressed a small red button adjacent to him. The console’s glass dome then rose, allowing Arrin to exit the mecha.
“Would you like me to accompany you?” Arrin’s excitement halted by Lula’s protective inquiry. He gave a smile before answering.
“Nah, it’s okay. Stay here. Don’t wanna leave Hyperion all alone.” Arrin grabbed his purple jacket and headed out the opened hatch where a young man with a familiar face ran to greet him.
“Arrin. Hey, how you been?” Arrin turned to a deep voice with the slightest hint of innocence in it. As if the bearer didn’t know he was a man.
“Kit Spectre! Arrin rushed to his friend. Eagerly awaiting what he might say next.
“Is that a… Super mech? Don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close before.” Kit stared in amazement and pointed a finger at the red and silver giant.
“Hype here is one of the smaller ones.” Arrin glanced upward at Hyperion with pride. Then almost immediately looked down, placing his left hand on the back of his neck before a tone of pseudo modesty kicked in. “But, I guess he can be considered a super mech.”
Kit looked up at the setting sun. His hand shielding him from its light. “Well, it’s time.… C’mon. Lets go!” Kit motioned for Arrin to follow him. Arrin stared for a second with a puzzled look. “Go where?” he thought. Was there a landmark he had missed on the way over? Though the puzzled look remained, he trusted Kit to know where they were going and began following his friend.
Though only a several minute walk in fuchsia colored sands, the immense heat was an annoyance to Arrin. Beads of sweat were dripping from his head all the way down his arms. His honey brown complexion singed by the blaring sun. This wasn’t an environment he was used to. Kit had all but ignored it. Though ripples of sweat dripped from his head, he was seemingly unaffected by the intense heat.
“How much further?” Arrin inquired. Slightly panting with his jacket covering his face, trying best to block the sun’s rays. Kit remained silent, but suddenly stopped walking. Wiping sweat from his brow.
“Hey, I’m home!” he yelled. His words echoing across the desert. All of a sudden the ground shook. Earth and sand collapsed beneath the two men until a large metal platform was revealed from under their feet. As the ground continued to quake, the platform began lowering the two deeper and deeper underground until finally it stopped. Kit stepped from among the platform, but Arrin froze. His eyes fixed on what lay before him. He couldn’t believe it. An underground community right in front of his eyes. Filled with hundreds of people. This placed seemed to be an underground palace. Full of buildings and technology. Golden light seen everywhere. Arrin first thought of how it was possible for a thriving community to live totally off grid. Away from the three kingdoms. Away from the Guard. He gave up pondering and simply accepted the gift his eyes had shown him.
“This place, Kit… It’s beautiful.”
Kit looked up. His face exposed a brief smile. “Welcome to Suna, my friend.”