Time was a considerable force to recon with. It was a factor that no one; mortal or divine, could ever contend with. It was effected by no one, but took its toll on all within its presence. At times, for better- but most times, for the worse. Time was an unseen entity that came and went as it pleased; working its magic and changing an individual or the world around them in the course of years, or in the blink of an eye. Many scholars from centuries past to the modern day sought to make sense of the simple, elusive thing that was called 'time'.
They could keep their theories and observations.
Hatsya didn't need to study time to know the treacherous tolls it could take on people; on her loved ones. She, too, had been a victim. The smallest starchild of the Orion family had never expected herself to be exempt. To foster such hopes, even for a celestial being, would be foolish. But unlike her siblings, time had worked in her favor.
“Morning!” The familiar voice of MiXi chirped, alerting Hatsya to her employer's arrival. A fresh-faced, busty woman with short, silver hair that fell just to mid-ear made her way down the stairs that led into the main shop. She flashed a smile at the silver-skinned star, who was bent at the waist behind a counter, already seeing the shopper off.
Hatsya stood erect as the shop's front door closed behind the customer. Turning on her heel, she faced MiXi, with an eyebrow arched. “It's already noon.” She informed the older woman, monotonously; with hands planted on her shapely hips. “Your sister left hours ago, to make preparations for the Nian festival with Katsumi.”
Bluegrey eyes widened as MiXi studied her young employee's stance. The little star looked utterly adorable in the silk, dragon-print cheongasm that was her work uniform, but it as evident that the girl was annoyed with her. While there was no longer a trace of the cute pout that would adorn Hatsya's lips, had she put on such a display, just a few years prior, MiXi noted that the scowling starchild was still just as irresistibly adorable as the very day they had met! Moving closer, she found herself smiling. A warm hand came to rest on Hatsya's shoulder, reassuringly. “I know.” she stated; her tone warm and light through her foreign accent.
“So then, why are you up so late?” Hatsya couldn't resist asking. “Why aren't you with MiYi at Zen Gardens? I know how much the Nian festival means to you, and how important it is to handle the preparations!” She didn't understand, and was growing increasingly more frustrated.
Biting back a laugh, MiXi offered only a shrug. “I figured that I'd let MiYi take care of things with Katsumi, this year.” she replied, dismissively. Her hand waved through the air as if it was nothing. “Besides,” she added, giving the younger girl a wink. “Isn't today an important day for you, too?” she never thought she'd have to remind Hatsya, of all people, of the important date that she had marked on the calender.
But Hatsya never needed to be reminded. What she was waiting for was so very important that not only had she marked the date on her calender, but she made certain that it was at the forefront of her mind for weeks! She was so excited that she had made it the topic of many conversations at the dinner table with MiXi and MiYi since then! Today was, after all, the day that her acceptance letter from the Intergalactic Mobile Brotherhood of Unified Total Safety would come! At least, she hoped that it would be an acceptance letter....
She had sent in her application to the Intergalactic federation shortly after her unfortunate run-in with Flynn. Never in a million years had Hatsya dreamed of being kidnapped and held hostage with Saiph, by the same woman who her elder siblings had been held responsible for sending into orbit after they took over Flynn's shop, La Victoire. Though it had been her and Saiph who proposed the idea to them, in the first place....But those days were long past. Hatsya reminded herself that she was young, then. She didn't know how business takeovers worked, and certainly couldn't predict that Rigel and Mintaka would send Flynn flying to Gaia knows where, or that Flynn- once out of the shop- would've landed a career as a space pirate who would come back and kidnap her and her brother! Though Hatsya was a celestial being, she wasn't psychic. There was no way to predict these things!
Unfortunately, she never could've predicted that not long after Flynn's career change, that her own siblings; Rigel and Mintaka, would wind up repackaging gold from Flynn's own stolen stash that went out to the public,. Only to redistribute it as something else, in order to avoid suspicion, along with dealing with Flynn, herself.
Hatsya heaved a sigh at the mere thought of what her family had become. Her brother and sister were nothing more than shady money traffickers; no better than Flynn. And Saiph....The young star shook her head, unable to bear the thought of what had happened to the sibling she was closest to. She couldn't bother with making herself depressed, right now. All she could do was strive to make things right the only way she knew how. Her first step toward that goal started with her submitting an application to the IMBUTS.
All she had to do, since then, was wait. And wait she did; albeit, rather impatiently. But today was finally the day that would determine her future! Surely, the letter from the Intergalactic Mobile Brotherhood of Unified Total Safety would come today, and it would be one of approval of admission! Hatsya glanced to the clock. It was high noon. Unfortunately, there was four more hours left of waiting, if the postman was on time. Turquoise optics landed back on MiXi. She was still waiting for an answer, it seemed.
“Of course.” The starchild huffed; in attempt to quell the giddiness that was making her insides flop about in anticipation. “I'm nowhere near as absent-minded as you, MiXi.” the middle-schooler quipped; her words stinging, but her tone playful in contrast.
“Why you-!” The silver-haired woman growled, ready to pounce on the pewter-haired pint-sized princess. Her arms outstretched, she lunched for Hatsya, who nimbly dodged out of the way. Missing her mark, MiXi collided with the glass display case that contained little pieces of jewelry and accessories of every imaginable color.
The smaller girl pulled her lips into a smirk as she put some distance between her and the Chinese shopkeeper. As fluidly as a snake, she slipped out from behind the counter and snatched up the backpack that was waiting for her on the floor. “I'm going to class!” she announced, as she headed for the door. Three more hours left until her precious letter arrived! She might as well be doing something with her time, until then, she figured.
Authors Note: MiXy & MiYi are characters from GOnline (what was once Gaia's Chinese sister site).
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