It was the next morning as the bright light from the sun illuminated the semi-dark bedroom. The sound of spearows and pidgeys chirping outside was enough to awake the red headed girl from her sleep. She stretched and yawned while she sat up on the bed and began to look around. Mars then noticed that she was in a room, in a bed that didn’t belong to her. Nothing looked familiar to her. The room was a plain white color with a plain bed that had green sheets. It looked more like a guest room than a real room. So she knew that she wasn’t back in Saturn’s room.
She also noticed that she was actually wearing an article of clothing. She wore a short white lacey nightgown that was about three sizes too big since the sleeves kept falling off her shoulders. The window was partially opened as the white sheer curtains flowed with the warm morning breeze. Mars quickly got out of bed and ran to the window, sliding the curtains apart to see through the window. She could see that the city was very peaceful, but had a different vibe to it. It was indeed busy as people were walking and driving along but the buildings seemed more commercialized. Most of the homes she was seeing were all apartments or two story houses. Most of them were also red brick houses with a staircase in the entrance. This looked nothing like the city she was in before which was by the sea.
Then, the door handle could be heard turning as the door began to open. This spooked Mars as she jumped back and looked towards the door. When the door opened, an older woman who looked as if she was in her late forties came in the room with a smile on her face. She also had Mars’ clothes in tow as she laid them on the bed. As she looked at this red haired woman weirdly, she reminded Mars of someone. Someone she had considered to be her best friend. Someone she had hung with about two weeks ago.
“Oh you’re up!” the lady exclaimed as she neatly folded the clothes on the bed. “I washed your clothes for you, dear. Now they are all nice and clean.”
“… Who are you and how did I end up here?!” Mars demanded more than asked.
The red haired lady then came to her side of the bed and proceeded to sit near where the commander was standing. She patted one side of the bed, motioning for Mars to come sit next to her. While she grimaced, she decided to go over and sit next to the woman.
“Well what had happen was, I was driving along Skyarrow Bridge last night. It was going on to one o’clock-ish at the time and I was just coming from the grocery store,” the older woman explained. “It was pouring so I really couldn’t see that well. So when I was driving along the bridge, I saw something big lying in the middle of the road. I stopped and tried to take a closer look and when I did, it saw that it was actually a person, and that person was you. So I got out and I grabbed a towel to scoop you up and bring you back home. That’s how you ended up here.”
“Why, I thank you for not leaving me out there,” the girl said as she stood up from the bed. “I had no idea that I fainted in the middle of the road. All I knew was that I was calling out for someone and then my mind went blank.”
“Well, what heck were you thinking Mars?” the older woman asked with concern in her voice. “You could have gotten killed out there. Didn’t you see the cars? Thank god nobody ran over you. And that it was raining pretty hard so you could have caught a cold... ”
Mars did not say a single word. She just looked at the older woman square in the eye. Now, all she wanted was for her to leave the room so that she could change her clothes. She did not care to ask how this woman knew her name; she just wanted her out of her sight. All Mars wanted was to get out of this strange home so that she can resume her search for Saturn. Now he could have been taken anywhere since she missed them last night and the more she stays, the worse it is for him. The woman appeared to be reading the girl’s thoughts as she flashed a smile and stood up.
“Get dressed, and then come to the table to eat,” she said as she proceeded to leave the room.
After she left the room, Mars lets out a heavy sigh as she quickly grabbed her clothes and proceeded to get dressed quickly. As she got dressed, many thoughts were running through her mind. ‘Where could he be now? I really have no time for socializing. I need to track him down! But... if only I could predict where Team Dark was headed...’ Before she finished getting herself dressed, she noticed that the zipper in the back of her dress was down. Normally, this wasn’t a problem since Saturn would always zip up her dress, but now as she was bending her arms and wrist to reach it, she increasingly got frustrated as she just took her bag and left the room.
With a determined expression, Mars ran down the stairs and into the living room where her sight was set on the front door. She did not care to scan around the house at the decor, she just wanted to leave. However, before she could twist the knob to open the door...
“Oh! I didn’t expect to see you here!” a familiar voice exclaimed.
Upon hearing the voice, Mars turned around, and when she did, she was shocked by what she saw. Her friend with short red hair was coming down the other flight of stairs with a smile on her face. She looked like she was an older lady, looked to be in her early thirties. She had on a white long dress with a black patch on the top corner. In that black patch was a red letter R in it. As the executive was putting on her gold earrings, Mars just froze. She looked just like the woman who brought her clothes, so she could only assume that she lived here and the woman she met was her mother.
“Ariana!” Mars exclaimed as she ran towards her with open arms.
“Mars!” Ariana shouted as she also ran towards her friend.
Both girls gave each other a short but endearing embrace as they gave each other a friendly kiss on the lips. Ariana raised her hand and made a circle like gesture as a motion for Mars to turn around. When she did, the older woman then reaches for the zipper that was on the back of her friend’s dress and quickly zips it up for her. Mars quickly turned back around and thanked her friend for the zipper pull as she gave her yet another friendly hug.
“Boy am I happy to see you!” Ariana exclaimed. “What a good way to start a typical morning!”
“Hm, I know! Especially after what happened to me last night,” Mars said as she was itching towards the door. “Speaking of that, I’m sorry Ariana but I really need to leave on short notice. I have an emergency I must tend to.”
However, as Mars was almost at the door, Ariana ran right in front of her and stretched her arms right in front of the door. The girl looked up at her and gave her a confused look.
“Ariana, please… I need to leave!” the commander as she raised her voice slightly. “Why are you preventing me from leaving? What’s your problem?”
“Mars… I saw on the news, about Team Dark,” Ariana said as she looked down at the ground. “They were over this city not too long ago and I really don’t think you should go out there.”
Mars could sense that her friend was lying to her. She was on Skyarrow Bridge by the time she lost Team Dark. Now that she was in her friend’s house this morning, she knew that they were much further down the road than Ariana claimed they were. Plus, the news only reports on Team Dark if they planned to do something that was devastating to the nation. Yes, they took Saturn, however it wasn’t really a national crisis worth reporting about. Mars raised her eyebrow at Ariana as she was increasingly getting frustrated with her.
“Even if that really happened, I don’t care,” Mars said with frustration rising in her voice. “Saturn is on their ships and I have to save him. I’m telling you, I need to leave now!”
“…Mars!” Ariana piped up as she tried her hardest to keep her friend from leaving.
At this point, both girls were both getting exasperated. Ariana tried everything. She tried pushing her friend away from the door lightly since she was bigger and taller than Mars. She tried talking about how her mother would be upset if she left so soon and she even tried making up lies about crises on the news. Mars on the other hand was starting to get really upset. Saturn was out there on Team Dark’s ships and she promised herself that she would stop at nothing to save him. But the older woman was blocking her way and this made her really mad. ‘Okay, calm down Mars… she’s never acted like this before. It’s no use getting upset now. Just ask her why she is acting so erratically. Maybe you could sort things out and you’ll be on your way’ she thought as she was no longer as upset as she was before.
“You know what, Ariana?” Mars said in a calm but stern voice. “I’ve never seen you act like this before. Why are you doing this? What’s the matter? I’d like to know because it’s surprising that you would act this way. You’re usually so calm and collected. I look at you as my mature other half. Are you alright?”
They both stared at each other in the moment. Upon staring at her, Ariana took Mars by her hand and lead her to the kitchen table. When they reached the dining table, they pulled out their chairs as they sat down and face each other.
“… Mars,” Ariana started to say as she had calmed down a bit as well. “… I know what happened out there. You know… with you fainting in the middle of the bridge. I was just about to go the sleep for the night until my mother came home with you in tow. You were limp and wet so I asked what happened. She said you fainted in the middle of the bridge. When I heard that, my heart dropped. I feared for you, Mars. I really did. I bathed you, dried you and gave you a dry nightgown while my mother washed your clothes. Why did you run out in the pouring rain anyway? How could you do something so dangerous? That’s not like you, Mars.”
“Oh… that’s why you didn’t want me to go out?” Mars asked with concern in her voice as she moved her chair closer to her friend’s. “Ariana, I did that because I wanted to chase after Team Dark. It started like this: headquarters was about to be invaded by a bunch of people from Team Dark. So Saturn and I quickly ran outside to fend them off while of course, Steve also had to go and protect his precious Jupiter since you know… she’s sooo gorgeous and strong and can get anything she wants and…”
As Mars was beginning to ramble, Ariana puts up her hand as a signal for her to stop.
“Mars can we save your envy of Jupiter for say… later?” the red haired woman asked as she chuckled. “I mean she unnerves me as well but this is beside the point…”
“Oh sorry,” Mars said. “Anyway, while Saturn won against them, they teleported him to their main ship. So that’s why I ran out the way I did. You see Ariana, I need to save Saturn. I need to. I don’t care what happens to me along the way. Yeah, I fainted in the middle of the bridge but I don’t care. I was close to those ships and then I lost them and I’ll keep going until I track down Saturn. I’m sick and tired of the most important people in my life being taken from me. Cyrus was taken from me two years ago and now Saturn.”
“Mars!” Ariana screamed as she stood up from her chair and walked up to where Mars was sitting. “So you don’t care what happens to you? Huh? Well you know something, Mars? My mother might be a pain in the *** sometimes but thank god she was the one who got you. You had me worried sick, Mars! Someone could have taken you and done horrible things to you. Someone could have just run over you and you would have died. You could have caught a bad cold or got struck by lightning. And you’re going to sit here and tell me that you don’t care? What the hell?!”
Mars gave the older woman a blank stare as she was listening to every word that was coming out of her mouth. She could clearly see in her eyes that Ariana was really worried about her. Tears welled in her eyes and flowed down her face as she quickly was trying to dry them. Even though Mars felt that Ariana didn’t understand why she did the things she did and that she was being a bit selfish, she was sorry that she had worried her. She got up from her chair and proceeded to give her friend a hug as an apology.
“Mars… I’m so sorry for the way I acted,” Ariana started to explain. “I was being selfish and immature. If you have to save Saturn, then I shouldn’t have stopped you. You wouldn’t have done that of it were me wanting to save Archer. It’s just that, seeing the only person who even bothered to get to know me as a friend getting hurt scares me. It does weird things to my brain, Mars. Anyway, I am sorry and if you need to leave right now, I’d understand.”
As Mars was pondering on whether she should just run and leave, she looked up at her friend with a smile. ‘Maybe I should ask her if she wants to go with me. That way, everything will get handled in a mature way. Plus Ariana is a strong woman. She could also help me with Team Dark’ she thought as she gave Ariana a huge smile.
“… if you want, you can come with me!” Mars exclaimed.
Ariana also flashed a smile as she took her bag and followed Mars out the front door.