Chapter 9: Blue Smoke
“Tell us what the Glugenal suit does.” Betty and George demanded over the speaker.
Daisy shook her head. “I don’t know, already. Geez, can’t you guys see I’m just an eleven-year-old girl? I’m simply an annoying little sister that will never see her crazy, bug of a brother or strict mother ever again. All I know about life and space is what I’ve seen on the Discovery and Science Channel. All I could have ever dreamed existed in outer-space is what I’ve been allowed to see on the Sci-Fi Channel. Leave me alone.”
Daisy put her head down and refused to say another word. Betty, Hugh’s mom and George continued asking her question after question for hours. She kept her head down and cried.
Daisy learned to tune out the noise of the speakers and joined a daydream when suddenly, it was very silent. She picked up her head.
“Ah, you are awake. Good. Now you will meet your end, Daisy.” Betty said. Her tone was a lot like the evil villain-witch-mom from the Disney movie Tangled.
Daisy looked around and saw a blue smoke puffing into the room from three vents. Her head began to spin immediately. She saw stars and black dots race across her vision. Then she saw no more.
I stared at the Glugen. For all intents and purposes, a Glugen looked exactly like a human. Only, the Glugen’s skin was green, a bit slimy—though not scaly as I would have thought for a sea creature. Two, barely detectable gills flapped at the sides of the Glugen’s neck. Its legs and feet were completely humanoid, except the end of the feet were flipper-fins of some sort. A small dorsal fin was on the back of the Glugen’s head, but it still had hair. This one was a female. I saw some male Glugens swimming in the aquarium too.
“The Glugens are Sea Kelp, Kyle.” Vander-Kelp said as I looked in awe. “We are Kelp people and these are our sea-brothers and sisters. They do not speak as we do, but they communicate in other ways…which, would take you years to learn, I’m afraid.”
“They are people?” I couldn’t believe it. I felt immediately the horror that the Deceivers had committed in skinning a sea-person. Who was sick enough to torture another living thing in that way?
I stared into the aquarium watching. Then I wondered why Vander-Kelp kept his sea-brothers and sisters in a tank; but, then I saw that the tank was connected directly to the ocean. These Glugens were free to come and go as they pleased. Many swam in and out as I watched. They were more beautiful and fantastical than any mermaid myths Earth could ever concoct. They were also more human-looking than even the Land Kelps. Or, at least I thought so. Their eyes glowed a bit, mostly the colors of blue and green, and they had a peaceful countenance on their faces.
Vander-Kelp laughed. “These are Glugen communicators. They come in this tank to talk with us Land Kelp. They draw the symbols of their language into the sand and we draw back.” He pointed a crooked arm of his toward a wall of sand behind us directly facing the aquarium. I saw symbols drawn into its surface.
“How did Hugh die then?” I asked.
Vander-Kelp frowned. It was the first time I saw him unhappy. “All the powers of the Sea Kelp, the Glugens, are in their heart, Kyle. It is their heart that gives life to their special powers. The purple stain on Hugh was likely the blood of the Glugens heart where it once attached to the poor Glugen it was stolen from. As for Hugh, he died from the poison.”
“Poison?” I arched a brow and waited for Vander-Kelp to answer me.
“Recall, Kyle, what does the Glugen’s skin do?”
Then I understood. “It filters the pollution out of the water. Inside the skin was the pollution, right?”
Vander-Kelp nodded. “The Glugens are not harmed by it. They were made for it, but others cannot withstand it. To be inside the skin…well, it is a miracle Hugh lived long enough to crash on your Earth.”
“Who are the sloth-like things that met me on the landing pad?” I asked.
“Our military force. They are Forest-Kelp…quite different and thankfully so. You will hopefully never see them fight…quite formidable. They are those that nearly obliterated your ship. You heard from Zhoran, I think. He is chief of our space forces.”
I smiled. It was hard to imagine sloths fighting, but I trusted Vander-Kelp at this point.
“But, there is one more thing I don’t understand, Sir. George said that the Kelps would be coming after my Earth. He said my Earth wasn’t safe from you.”
“We are peace keeping, Kyle. However, now that the Deceivers know about your earth and have record of Hugh’s spaceship going there, they will come and steal from you as well. Now your planet stands to lose whatever secrets and goodness it has.” Vander-Kelp answered. He frowned again. Something about his frown spelled doom.
Leave it to Daisy to send us on a journey that would put the whole universe in jeopardy! But, thinking of Daisy also made me feel terrible. She was stuck with the Deceivers. Then, I began to feel sick knowing what I had said to her and realizing in whose hands I had left her. I turned to look directly at Vander-Kelp.
“My sister is still with the Deceivers. Will they harm her?” I asked.
“Oh no, Kyle!” Vander-Kelp’s eyes flew wide, allowing me to see white around his irises that I didn’t think existed. “You have a sister? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? She is absolutely not safe. The Deceivers will use her…or worse things. You must save her!”
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