Canto Sixty-Seven – The Arboretum Again (We Can’t Seem to Get Out of There)
When Farbick and Starbright finally got to the Arboretum where everyone else had gathered, they got in on the very end of Alden Morrell’s third re-telling of the final battle and deaths of Tedhkruhz and Makkhain. Alden had gotten rather good rather quickly at telling the tale, complete with the sound effects at the climax of Lester smacking his huge petal-lips as he/she/it devoured both combatants.
Starbright then went to Science Officer Shalar to see if she could help with the medical care for the little wounded lizard girl.
“Was she badly wounded?” Starbright asked. Farbick continued to hold her hand even as she asked it.
“Yes,” answered Shalar, “It seems she would’ve died if not for the application of this alien device to her throat as she was dying.”
The weak and pale little lizard girl smiled up at them. “It’s a tissue-knitter given to our people by the Zeta Reticulans as a gift when they left our planet for good. Makkhain wasn’t supposed to have it, but he stole it from the evil Senator’s treasure room to save me if he was forced to try and kill me.”
“You were lucky that Makkhain was still himself even though he was a clone,” said Gracie Morrell.
“That was Senator Tedhkruhz thinking he could completely control the clone with his hypno-programming. Makkhain was still free to do whatever the Senator had forgotten to tell him not to do.” Sizzahl smiled at Gracie. “I think you know something about the value of love when it comes to clones,” she said to Gracie.
“Yes, if a simuloid Telleron clone had not sacrificed himself out of love for humanity, I would not even be here,” Gracie said.
“And you wouldn’t be a child again either,” added Alden, somewhat ironically.
“But, Alden, don’t you love being young and fresh and full of energy again?” Gracie asked him.
“Yeah, I suppose I do. We are going to need it raising those clone children.”
“What’s this about children?” Starbright asked.
“Sizzahl used some of Alden’s DNA to create five little boys and five little girls that are half human from Earth and half lizard people from Galtorr Prime.” Gracie was beaming like an expectant mother, even though she looked like a little girl herself.
“I was expecting the fusion children to be the new people of this planet. I really didn’t think any Galtorrians would survive,” Sizzahl said. She was still weak and looked ill, but as she rested in Shalar’s protective embrace, she was obviously recovering.
“So, let me understand this,” Starbright said. “The Morrells are finally going to have children of their own, and all of the survivors are going to restore and repopulate this planet?”
“That’s about how I see it,” said Shalar, the Science Officer, giving the idea the rubber stamp of scientific approval.
“Well,” said Starbright, “It’s about time we got in on this whole love and marriage thing too, Farbick and I.”
“The two of you are going to get married?” asked Alden, looking shocked in the fakest possible manner.
“Well,” said Farbick, “She hasn’t officially asked me yet.”
“Farbick, will you marry me?” Starbright asked, smiling brightly, like a star.
“Of course I will, my love.”
“Gee, that’s just like in some old movie,” said Alden.
“I don’t remember the name of it,” said Farbick, “but it was an old black and white movie I got it from.”
Farbick laughed as Starbright slugged him on the shoulder.