To read previous Night Wings stories click the nightwings tag at the bottom of this post
Morning always comes and the soft pink light of dawn was creeping over the city skyline. Ryall awoke, stiff from sleeping half sitting against a wall. Kystel was still asleep with her head on his shoulder. He hated to wake her but they were exposed out here in the light. He moved, trying to get more comfortable and she opened her eyes and sat up, looking slightly embarrassed.
“I..I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”
“It’s okay. We both fell asleep. We need to get inside though.” He stood and reached out his hand to help her up. She let him pull her up and ran fingers through her hair. They walked to the access door and before they could get to it it burst open and Sloan came flying out, skidding to a stop.
“Ryall! I’ve been looking all over for you! Oh, Hi Kystel. Come on, man you got to see this!”
He was pulling Ryall by the arm and as they ran down the stairs he told them between breaths. “Ralph is dreamwalking again. I got up and he had been working all night. You have to see it!. I think he has it working!”
They were taking the steps several at a time, Kystel following as quickly as she could. They arrived at Ralph’s workshop the same time as Emelia. Lolly and Arkin were already there. They were huddle around the back of his workbench staring down at something glowing with a blue-greenish light. Ryall stepped up to Ralph and lifted the goggles from his face. Underneath, his eyes were closed. He continued working with his hands. This must be what Sloan meant about dream walking.
Kystel couldn’t quite see what was on the workbench, so she moved closer. Ralph was just standing in front of the bench now. Ryall put his hand on his shoulder and said his name. Ralph slowly opened his eyes. He looked down at the bench and picked up a chain. Attached was a glowing ball that had a depth to it – green and blue sparkling fluid like substance changing constantly. The globe was encased in copper rings that moved separately. It was beautiful.
Ralph walked to Emelia and placed it around her neck. Emelia’s eyes grew wide in consternation. “What are you doing, Ralph? I don’t want that! Take it off!” Emelia began to pull the chain over her head and the colors changed. The bright glowing blues and greens turned grayish and started to have a pink shimmer.
“Emelia, don’t!” Ryall said.
Ralph held up a hand. “It has to be you, Emelia.”
“How do you know? You sleep walking fool! Why do you think you have the answers?” Emelia snarled at him, but Arkin put his hand on her arm.
“Leave him alone Emelia. You know he doesn’t know how it works. It just comes through him.” She looked up at Arkin with tears in her eyes and he hugged her. “You’re the healer. It makes sense.”
Ralph had backed up into the corner and was hugging his coat around him. “I’m sorry Emelia. Don’t be mad.”
Emelia looked at him over Arkin’s shoulder. “I’m not mad, you idiot. You know I’m not. And I’m not scared either! And you! Get off me you big creep!” She pushed Arkin away and looked around defiantly. “What are you all looking at? So now what, Ralph?”
“Now, we wait.”
Kystel looked around the group. “Is someone going to explain this to me?”
Ryall smiled. “Ralph found a book.” We’re still trying to figure it all out.”
Ralph yawned. “I started doing the weird sleep working thing. It’s like something was coming through me, like I was the radio and the music found my wavelength.”
Kystel frowned. “So what does it mean? We are a bunch of weirdos that part of the world thinks are freaks of nature that should be destroyed and now we have jewelry that’s as freaky as we are?” You are all crazy, and I’m beginning to think I’m crazy too.”
“Yeah, we’re all wackadoo and you’re our new queen. Get over it Kystel. At least you don’t have to wear the freaky bauble.” Emelia was holding the chain away from her neck and looking down at it like it might bite her.
Ralph was asleep with his head on his arms and snoring.
Lolly smiled. “It’s about balance. Balance for us. Balance for the world.”
Sloan chimed in. “There’s good and bad, humans and machines. That’s our dream.”
Ryall waved Arkin over to help him pick up Ralph. “Come on Kystel, don’t you wonder why we can fly and why Emelia can heal, and all the others? There has to be a reason.”
They took Ralph over to a couch and covered him with his coat.
“Well all this thinking is making me hungry. Somebody want to show the new girl where stuff is so we can get breakfast cooked?” Kystel wasn’t about to go completely crazy on an empty stomach.