Everything came crashing down around her, first Farrah had called her a monster, and then the Captain had referred to Kharrakh as a pet. Mel had once named Kharrakh a monster. They were beasts to the people she had thought were her family. She had ignored the knowledge as long as she could, but she knew that Farrah wished to eliminate all like her. Her sisters, her mother, and Kharrakh alike. It was all too familiar. Her human parents and sister had thought of her in such a way. They had ordered her executed. She had run then, she would run now. What choice did she have? She was about to disobey they Captain again, and the last time she had done that he had warned her that he would have her off the ship.
The way he had looked at her, when she had only been trying to prove Kharrakh was defending himself, was enough to tell her that she had to do this. No, she knew before that, as the words slipped through her mind, from Kharrakh. He hated it on Earth, he didn’t belong, he hated not fighting, not being with his people. She had let her desire for family imprison him. She had to let him go, but she had to do so before Phillip would act.
She said nothing as she returned to Kharrakh. She remained silent as she tugged him to his feet. Her steps were hurried, she did not want to be stopped, she did not want to be questioned. She had to do this now.
“Mother,” her mind rang. “Mother, I need you.” She heard Kharrakh question what they were doing but she was silent. She could not tell him, it hurt to much to say goodbye.
“I am always here for you,” her mother’s voice returned to her.
“I need a favor,” she replied, already far into the city.
The harpy that she had learned to be her mother was at their side in an instant. The sky above them darkening with her sisters. Kharrakh was questioning again.
“I need you to take Kharrakh home,” the words slipped out of her lips, her voice cracking with pain. For a moment she could feel him thinking, hesitating, and then he understood and stepped to her mother’s side.
“I will take good care of him,” was all her mother said. Then they were gone, and the dark above her head disappeared as her sisters left as well.
Avi did not move, the tears streaming down her cheeks, her heart had never ached so, she thought perhaps it had vanished with him. It was several minutes before she turned to go back to the Songbird, there was more to do.
Avi went straight to her room, she had much to do. The dinner bell sounded and everyone was headed up. She needed to hurry, the distraction of the meal was what she needed, or she would have to wait until after everyone went to bed. Little Tip was snuggled up into her neck as she began to scrawl her farewells onto parchment.
You have been a dear friend. I never thought that you judged me for what I am, or where I must have come from. Perhaps Farrah is right, perhaps I was never human, and if that is true then I never belonged here. But, I thank you, Charlie, for never making me feel that way. I hope that you never step foot in Van Dagon again. I wish you the best of lives.
Love from Avinnia
I wish it wasn’t true, but I know how much you despise my kind. I am sorry for what happened to your family and your people. It was horrible, and I know how hard it has been for you to have Kharrakh aboard this ship, but worry not, as you will, hopefully, never see him again. If marriage is what you wish from your life, I hope you find it. I hope, that for a moment, we were friends.
Dearest Captain Phillip,
You welcomed me aboard your ship, unafraid of what I was, until the day I learned I was telepathic. I listened to you, obeyed your commands to only use my powers when it was needed. The night of the opera I had to go against your wishes, and I felt horrible, but I could not let that woman cast her spell on you. Tonight, I tried to show you what happened so you would believe what I was saying, none of it a lie, but the eyes that I saw look at me…Well, you do not have to kick me off your ship, I will already be gone. I really looked up to you, I really thought I had found a family, but I can not bare the looks of fear and the words of hate that tare at my heart. Thank you, for everything you have taught me. There were days where you made me feel quite special. Goodbye, Phillip.
Avi finished off with short messages to Mel,_ ..I hope you are always with the ocean_, and to Alan, …you are the kindest doctor I have ever known, with the rest to the other crew that she had known the most. She left these letters sprawled across her floor and gathered up her few belongings.
“Come along, my sweets, it is time to fly.”
Her birds fluttered up and the smallest of which gathered in her wings. She made her way to the deck. The hardest part was going to get off the ship without being stopped.
It was not as easy as Avi had hopped, to leave the ship. Smeb had noticed her and cut off her path. She looked at him, the tears still fresh in her swollen eyes, her face damp.
He spoke first, “The Captain says you need to stay on the ship.”
Avi’s head shook, side to side, as she responded. “Tell the captain there are letters, that will explain, in my bunk.”
“If you leave, like this, the Captain’s not gonna let you come back.”
“I do not plan to come back, Smeb,” her voice broke.
Smeb’s expression changed to one of sadness. “You’ll be missed,” he spoke slowly.
“Only by a few,” she barely got the words out, as a few more tears slipped down her cheeks.
“I don’t think so,” he began but she was beginning to walk past him. “Can we get drinks first? Just you and me, Avi. We’ll talk. There are a lot of people that will want to know where you are going, if you go now.”
She hesitated and half turned back to him. Her head bobbed in a nod, unable to speak.
“Just stay, for now, I’ll come by when my watch is over.”
Her head dipped again and she squeezed her arms around the small bag she was holding.
“I just hurt, so much, Smeb.” She did not wait for him to respond, before she moved back down the steps and headed for her room.