Super Nova: Part 3

nova

Hannah’s Journal                                       Date: 2063 (on Earth), here, it is year 3.

Nova has discovered that she can lie, even though she isn’t very good at it. Pretty hard to hide a forest full of burning embers. It was an opportunity to teach her a valuable lesson about preserving life and controlling one’s emotions. She’s probably still planting tree seeds even as I write this. 

She call’s me “mom”, and I don’t have the heart to tell her the truth yet. Though, I love her as a daughter. (Nova, if you ever read this, know that I love you as my own, and I am so proud of you. You are growing, maturing, and even at three years old you love helping, I know you didn’t mean to destroy that forest. Your powers are great, too much for anyone to bear alone.) 

Anyway, at least Captain Thomas left us with enough supplies, and I have been able to cultivate this world’s soil. It is strange, being surrounded by mountains and forests, without the sound of bugs or the call of birds. It’s better this way, Nova is safe here, Earth is safe. Someday they will be ready for her, she will be a master of her powers then, I know it! 

Until next time, I hear Nova calling for me. 

Dr. Hannah Laurson closed her journal and sighed, a slight breeze blowing her long brown hair across her face. She pushed it back and peered out into the field, a small little golden head could be seen bobbing up and down as it darted across the tall grass toward her. “Mom! I’m done! I planted the seeds!” The little head called. Nova burst from the grass, literally, leaving small sparks and ashes in her wake. She looked behind her in shock, “sorry mom.” Hannah just smiled, “at least you’re noticing when you do it now.” She said as she took Nova into her arms.

Three years. Hannah remembered as if it was yesterday being aboard the spaceship, holding baby Nova, the only survivor. Her planet had been destroyed by a supernova only moments before Hannah’s ship arrived. It didn’t take long for them to realize that Nova had powers. Anytime she cried in hunger the ship became engulfed in a fiery cloud, as though a star had just died and it’s gaseous remnants remained. The closer they came to Earth the less likely it seemed Nova would be welcomed there, not to mention, the crew was afraid she would destroy Earth with her uncontrollable power. “If she’s this powerful as an infant can you imagine how powerful she will be as an adult?” They had exclaimed in growing apprehension.

Hannah had not made the decision lightly, but in her heart, there was no other option. As they neared the planet they had sent the probe upon earlier, she whispered to Captain Thomas her decision. After many arguments, he had eventually accepted her choice. The crew stood in shocked silence as she departed the ship, holding Nova wrapped in a bundle. Captain Thomas gave her all the supplies he could spare and promised that he would find a way back to her someday. It was agreed that the crew would report to Earth that she had died, that no survivors came from the destroyed planet, and that this sector of space was thoroughly explored enough to ignore at present.

As to how Nova acquired her powers, little was discovered. Though a blood sample revealed mutated cells, unlike anything Hannah had ever seen before. It was as if the dying sun’s radiation had “improved” the cells instead of damaging them, though this change was not without consequence. The cells could generate great levels of energy sparked by Nova’s emotional responses. It was a miraculous thing and a very dangerous thing. And so, Hannah decided to raise Nova in an environment set apart from Earth, a place she could be taught and could grow without the risk of destroying sentient life. It was her only hope.

 

Hannah’s Journal                                                      Date: 2067 (on Earth), year 7 (on Tranquil)

I told Nova how I found her. She had been asking questions a lot recently and I knew it was time I told her the truth. It was a terrifying moment, and yet she only smiled at me sadly and said, “thank you.” We didn’t talk the rest of the day, but Nova has kept her powers under control which shows me that she has matured so much! I am proud of her, and I hope that Nova will still call me her mother.

Before this adventure, this trip into space, I was a scientist, it was never my dream to become a wife or mother. I was married to my work and when I discovered that small planet struggling on the outer fringes of Andromeda I felt like that whole planet was my children. They needed help, they needed protection! And yet we were too late to bring it. Little Nova is all that is left of an entire civilization, an entire world. 

I gave Nova the little bag that was discovered inside the pod we found her in. I imagine it was from her real parents. They left what appeared to be some toys, clothes, and a letter in a language we have no way of understanding. Nova stared at the letter for a while, I know she was hoping that somehow she would understand it as if she could conjure some long lost memory. It broke my heart that I couldn’t read it to her, that I couldn’t tell her about her world. Not one thing. 

In a few more years I know that Captain Thomas will be returning for us, whether Nova is ready or not he will bring us home. I must say that I have grown to like this little planet we share. Nova named it Tranquil, I didn’t even have to explain what that word meant to her, she said the moment she heard me read it aloud from a book she knew. What an amazing little girl.

Hannah stared out over the horizon, it was nightfall and not a sound could be heard. And yet she could’ve sworn she had heard something. Nova, age 14, rested peacefully in their wooden home near the woods, oblivious to the noise that had roused Hannah.

Never had she ever felt unsafe on planet Tranquil, except when Nova lost control a few times. However now as she stood upon the hill she felt as if eyes were watching her, unfriendly eyes. The hair stood on her neck, she backed away slowly and once hidden amongst the grass she ran back to her home. I need to wake Nova.

Suddenly a large shadow obstructed her path, and before she could scream the creature lifted her off the ground.

Tranquil was no longer a planet of two.

 

Hannah’s Journal                                                          Date: Earth year 2073, Tranquil year 13

Captain Thomas is on his way! He was just within range for my transmitter to receive his message. Nova even seemed excited as I cleared up the message and played it for her. She has never heard another voice but my own, and even I had forgotten what Captain Thomas sounded like. We played the message over and over, even though all he said was, “Hannah, I’m on my way.” I can’t wait to see him again. To see Earth. 

I have talked to Nova for many years about Earth, and about how she must control her powers. The message didn’t sink in until one day a few years ago when Nova accidentally burned my arm. How she had cried and hurried to get the med kit. Until the time I told her about her planet and how I found her I believe she had always believed that we shared such amazing abilities. She has never hurt me since, and these past four years I don’t believe I have seen a single fiery ember fall to the ground. She’s ready for Earth. We both are. 

One last thing, something that is probably nothing but my imagination. As a scientist, I feel I should keep a log of this just in case. I’ve felt a lot of anxiety lately, a feeling of dread that I can’t shake. Maybe it’s my fear of leaving the planet, I don’t know. But in any case, I feel that I should write something in here for Nova. 

Nova, I want you to know that though we have lived on Tranquil many years, Earth is your home. There you will find people who will love and care for you as I have. I know that I have stressed the importance of controlling your powers, but it is equally important to me that you go to school, make friends, and maybe someday fall in love. A mother’s greatest joy is that her daughter lives life to the fullest. 

No matter what happens, don’t be afraid, you are a gift and it has been an honor being your mother. I love you to Earth and back.

Love, 

       Hannah

A scream pierced through the still night, Nova awakened with a start. “Mom?” she called fearfully, She quietly climbed out of bed and peered out the window at the darkness.

Nova, age 14, was now a tall and beautiful young woman. Her hair was still radiant, so much so that is seemed to glow in the darkened room. Her light brown eyes that often shown with joy and wonder now widened in fear. What was this feeling she could not describe? It sent cold chills down her spine and made her heart race, she struggled to bind in her explosive power, a power that she had controlled well for some time.

A flicker of a flame danced across her fingertips and for once she didn’t hide it but used it to light her way to the door. To her horror, she took in the sight of several large dark shadows that weren’t there before upon the broad grassy field. She ran back into the home and slammed the door, pressing her back up against it, immediately she heard many voices and felt something slam hard into the door, causing Nova to let out a gasp.

At the third slam, Nova was losing her grip, she looked at the open window on the far side of the house and decided to make a dash for it. She braced as one more slam shook the door and took off toward the window, diving out of it just as the door exploded open. She heard feet chasing her through the grass and woods but fortunately knew it’s many paths and trails better than her pursuers. “Where’s mom?” she thought in a panic, she wanted to scream out her name but was afraid that she would be captured.

She was just feeling more secure, without the sound of feet behind her when she suddenly tripped on something soft. She rolled over and was about to continue running when a hand gently clasped onto her ankle. Nova almost screamed but a voice quickly said, “Nova, it’s me!” She let a small fire dance across her finger and took in the sight of Hannah on the ground. blood poured from her shoulder and side and yet she smiled weakly at her. “Nova sweetie, it’s ok.” Nova felt her eyes fill with hot tears, “No it’s not mom, your hurt!” Hannah shook her head and reached up to touch Nova’s face. “Honey, I’m afraid I…” she began crying, “I have to go Nova.”

It felt like her heart was being torn in two, Nova held Hannah’s hand and wept. Hannah was no longer crying but looking at Nova as if she was her very heart. “Nova, you must defend yourself, wait for Captain Thomas…explain what happened, and then go with him to Earth.” Nova shook her head, “I’m not leaving you!” Hannah smiled and said, “I will never leave you…you are my world.” As soon as the words left her lips, the light faded from her eyes. Nova had never seen death, but she knew that it was irreversible.

She heard footsteps approaching her from every side, but Nova was no longer afraid, instead, a terrifying fury filled her very being and she stood up with fists clenched and fire in her eyes. Flames seemed to spring up from the ground and surround her, causing her radiant hair to shine like the sun as it blew about her. In the great light, she finally saw what the creatures looked like.

They were tall and cloaked aliens, with black leathery skin and blue eyes with black pupils. They had barbed like protrusions jutting out on their heads like many small horns. And though humanoid in build, they seemed to walk like prowling cats ready to pounce. Under their cloaks shone armor made from meteorite, and they carried with them jutted spears made of the same material.

Nova didn’t care what they were or why they were here, only that her mother now lay dead at her feet because of them. With no one to protect but herself, Nova unleashed her power. The aliens had only a moment to stare in awe before vicious flames consumed them and everything else.

6 hours later:

Captain Thomas took a single step from his ship and surveyed the scene before him. He covered his mouth and coughed as a gust of ash-filled smoke blew in his face. From every direction, all that could be seen was flat charred ground. Bodies of charred aliens lay scattered amidst the burnt trees and burning grass. Captain Thomas then spotted a crouched figure, sitting on the ground a few yards before him.

Nova sat on a blackened log and was crouched holding the only unburnt thing around. “Hannah?” Captain Thomas asked aloud, fear and pain crashing into him like a wave. He ran toward them and fell to his knees beside the still form of his dear friend. He looked up at Nova and saw her face stained with tears. He suddenly knew what had happened, after seeing the alien remains, Hannah, and the burnt land around him he said, “Nova, let’s go home.” She merely nodded, and together they carried Hannah aboard the ship.

It was sometime later that Nova finally spoke to Captain Thomas, as she watched the many stars and distant planets out the viewport she turned to him and said, “what if they follow us?” Captain Thomas nodded slowly and replied, “then they will have you to contend with.” Nova’s face grew serious, “you know I can’t,” there was a moment’s pause as Captain Thomas considered his next words, “Nova, power is only dangerous when it is in the wrong hands, I believe in you.” Nova looked at him with a confused expression, “why? you don’t know me.” He turned from the controls and gently grasped Nova by the shoulders, “I believe in you because Hannah believed in you, that’s more than enough for me.” Nova smiled at him and turned back to the viewport in thought. “Are you saying that I could be a hero? That I could use my powers to protect Earth?” Captain Thomas smiled and replied, “You are definitely Hannah’s girl, she gave her time, energy, and her very life to protect you.” He sighed and continued, “You honor her by reflecting her heart for people, that Nova, is how you give back to her and your planet, that is how you make them proud.” Nova starred at her hands, finally understanding her purpose, her destiny.

A hero, I could be a hero. Suddenly she had a reason to go on and felt her broken heart start to mend. I don’t have to be a monster everyone fears. I can give back to my planet and my mom. I can protect the last home I have.

Captain Thomas chuckled, Nova looked at him curiously, “what?” He shook his head, “oh, just an idea, a superhero needs a name you know, what if we called you Super Nova?”

And that is how it all began.

 

 

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