One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

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Crossroads Inc.
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One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

The following is chapter one of ther first part in a Novella series I have been writtening for some time. Ein's recent posting of his story has spured me on to post my own.

I am only posting the first Chapter for now, mainly to see how others take it, and how it 'feels' to readers. Comments, Questions, and Crtisims are all welcomed.

PS since punctionation doesn't work, I'm using ....... for indentations.

***** ***** ***** ***** PROLGUE ***** ***** ***** *****

.......On the day that it happened, Adric seemed oblivious to the fact that
today was his last day on Earth.

It was dark, and near dawn as Adric Listin drove home for the
Holidays. It was on a clear early Thursday morning, as he passed
through the hilly deserts outside of Phoenix. He had just 46 miles to go
before he got back and was looking forward to seeing his family again.
He was driving an old tan Saturn, a hand-me-down from his parents
that had seen better days. The heater was on and the Radio chattered a
stream of early morning news over the Public Radio station he was tuned
too. Adric himself leaned back as he sped down the mostly empty
Highway. He always enjoyed driving late at night or early morning,
despite the hassle of time, he found it so much more pleasing not to
have to worry about Traffic till he reached the city.

.......Adric was just 24 and looked forward to taking this break from
college life. He had been attending Arizonans Northern University for
about three years now and had met with varying degrees of success in
his studies. He was a short lad, just about five and a half feet. His pale
skin making no attempt to show either his German or Scottish Ancestry;
his hair was long and black, his eyes dusty and brown, and currently, the
only thing on his mind was thinking of the biggest highlight from his time
at college. Skimming through a few, he guessed it would have to be
getting to fly the radio-controlled blimp at Basketball games. It was
probably the closest he would get to flying the real thing, a dream he
gave up long ago considering the lack of any large market for such pilots.
.......His thoughts were distracted as he noticed a soft glow in his rear-
view mirror and soon he could see the first glints of light coming up from
behind the mountains. The faint flickers of sunlight reflected off his rear
mirror distracted him slightly from a, something, that was beginning to
form in front of him. There was suddenly a terrible illumination.

.......His car came to a screeching halt, as he was nearly blinded by the
light in front of him. He got out of his car, suddenly wondering what had
nearly blinded him. As he got out, his face was met with the chill of the
outside air. His breath came in puffs of condensed moisture as he
scanned the horizon, looking for any low-lying craft, perhaps an early
morning pilot who had buzzed the car. But nothing other the soft light of
the sun illuminated the otherwise dark dessert terrain. . He turned to get
back in the car when yet another burst of light came forth, then another,
then another, then a sound that would have made a thunder clamp seem
quiet. He was knocked back into the street, and when his eyes re-
adjusted, his heart raced.

.......Before him was a wholly unearthly sight. A sphere like object hung
in the air, it gave off a warm feel to it as an eerie blue fire seemed to
dance and leap about it’s surface. He found himself rubbing his eyes,
wholly captivated by the sight. So captivating was it. that Adric didn't
here the din of the truck's horn until it was right on top of him, till he
remembered he was standing in the middle of the street,. He panicked
and did what anyone would have done, lept out of the way as fast as he
could; an instant later the Semi smashed through the car and Adric was
never seen again.

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER ONE ***** ***** ***** *****

.......Far far away, on the 3rd planet of the Shandary system, was Trathala. There was a war on, and it was caught in the middle.
.......Two turns ago a fleet of alien star ships was detected moving into their sector. At first the people of Trathala ignored them. They knew all too well the trouble caused when dealing with aliens. Soon after this, the alien fleet invaded and seized a mineral rich asteroid field inside their own system. It was then that they first met the Tajlan Empire. And it was then that their troubles began.

.......It wouldn’t have caused so much chaos, had it not been for the fact that the Alliance was already mining them. The Alliance, as they called themselves, was a union of three close by civilizations who had made contact with Trathala some thirty turns ago. For a long time they had kept away from the small world, respecting their wishes of privacy. However as time passed, the Alliance increasingly requested permission to mine Trathalaís valuable asteroid belts. Eventually Trathala gave in and agreed to a brief diplomatic exchange of only one representative. This was mainly due to Trathalaís already sceptical view of the Alliance. No one would forget how the Alliance handled their first contact with them. Landing in a massive ship, declaring good intentions, trade and friendship to all the backward people of Trathala. It never occurred to them that maybe their good intentions wouldn’t be wanted.

.......After mining the asteroid belts for nearly two turns, the Alliance was completely stunned when the Tajlan Imperial battle fleet swept through. Unlike the relatively peaceful contact with the Trathalanís, the first time the Alliance met the people of Tajlan, it was to be a violent affair. After a quick retreat from their mining installations, the Alliance endeavoured to understand their new foe. After some time, however, their knowledge was relatively limited. What was known was that their world, Tajlan, was home to two intelligent races, the Qwintoni and Tejlini, it was they who had worked together to build the Empire and its vast armada. With this knowledge, fear swept through the Alliance as war quickly erupted between the two powers, (an interesting feat, considering that neither side could speak the language of the other.)
.......To the Empire, Trathala was the strategic key to controlling the wealth of the asteroids. It had everything they needed, fresh food for their army, new resources, and lots of manual labour. It was theirs for the taking, and they took it.

.......A tall figure looked out from high atop a cliff. From his house in the tall grassy hills he could see the lights from Qwintoni ships from Tajlan against the pale night sky. He watched for some time from his vantage point on the cliff as one of the Tajlan Imperial cargo planes landed to transport supplies to their new base.
.......For twenty-five days since they came to his world he had watched. Watched and planned for some way to get rid of them. He had spent hours meditating, searching for some peaceful way to expel them. But after two disastrous attempts, he quickly ruled that out. It would seem that the fates had forced him to choose the most hated and barbaric option available. The one option that was the cause of most of the problems he and his world had ever dealt with. Armed conflict.

.......“How did I ever get started in this?” Darnethlil grumbled deep in his throat. “And why, under the stars, did they have to come here? Not that they don’t have their excuses. We ask and they say they have ‘the right’. After all, they are the Tajlan Empire, powerful and mighty! Let those primitives they meet remember and serve them in all there glory!” the Trathalan finished sarcastically, as he struggled to keep his composure. Calming down he snorted indignantly as he waved his wings in an obscene gesture of anger and frustration. “Yes! Let us look and remember them, for how can one forget a race so utterly arrogant and barbaric”

.......He sighed, letting his wings curl in a depressive fashion. As he walked away from the cliff to the grassy field outside his home, he remembered vividly when the invasion began.
.......It was just past noon as the sky was a beautiful dark blue. Darnethlil had been watching clouds pass in front of their massive moon, Hurn, when something else caught his attention. They were black, winged ships, looking bloated with a horrible cargo. They were drop ships, and across his world hundreds began to descend.
.......He scoffed at their brutal methods of war. The manner in which the invasion was carried out was completely wasteful! The alien armies first landed near the capital city of the Orin Clan, on the southern continent. By the end of the day, reports were being relayed of Qwintoni solders tearing through the lands, pillaging and destroying all that stood in there way.
.......Darnethlil thought, wondering how could they take over a world when they were destroying all its beauty in the process? Shrines were defiled, temples destroyed. Ancient structures annihilated by explosive fire that had stood for hundreds of turns. And for what purpose did it serve? It wasn’t as if his people were able to put up any sort of aggressive opposition to the invaders. How could they, when you considered the beliefs held dear by all Trathalans?

.......He pushed these thoughts away for the moment, trying not to let them weigh upon him. He looked up and sighed as he stopped in front of his home. It was a miracle he had a place he could still call home, since his world belonged to another. He paused under the moonlight, the night at it’s peak contemplating its aesthetics and structure and gave a Blessing for such a place to live. It was piece of art inside and out. Like much of what Trathalans built, designed to be as lovely to the eye as it was lovely to live in. The Trathalan gave an additional blessing that it had been over looked and untouched by battle when the Empire invaded. It was because of that invasion that he owned the house now, his fathers’ house, the one he received when his father was executed…
.......He stopped suddenly as he fought for control of that painful memory. For a moment, he was shocked it had come upon him so suddenly, and that the anger that came with it was still so vivid. It was near the end of the Invasion when the rest of the Empire’s armies had begun to meet up with the first few forces that had invaded. As leader his Father held responsibility over all those in the Lonti Clan. Most of the other thirteen clans had given in rather than risk armed conflict. But his farther was odd for a Trathalan, brash and emotional. He would never sit still and give in willingly. As much as it went against every thing he believed in, he had felt compelled to order the proud Lonti Clan to actually fight against the invaders.
.......The fighting however was less than what may be called a real battle. It lasted less than a day as Trathalanís who had spent their lives quietly living in peace and meditating on controlling aggression were forced to pick up arms and fight. Many ran as soon as they were confronted by the massive Qwintoni solders. Others promptly surrendered, mostly from the mental shock of actively engaging in the violence of war. His Father however would never yield or submit peacefully to their rule. He had been the only one on the planet who was known to have not just attacked, but killed one of the attackers.
.......He was captured, brought before the General of the local garrison, and humiliated. The Officers mocked him, tortured him, and then put him on display in the town square of their capital as an example to others. Even shackled, he wouldn’t give up, and began speaking to all who walked by, urging them to resist. Given the lack of understanding of Trathalan language, the Tejlini Officers, rather then try and figure out what was being said, finally had him executed, before the eyes of hundreds.

.......Darnethlil shuddered; he could barely comprehend the thought of actively murdering another intelligent being, let alone forcing others to watch. How he wanted to destroy every last Qwintoni for that act. To maul and rend there bodies apart as violently as possible. He closed his eyes; he knew how impossible such primitive behaviours would be. Revenge would not bring his father back from the dead.
.......He reached the circular doorway to his room, as he finally suppressed his emotions. Now that his farther was dead, he would have to be Clan leader. Not that it meant much. The Empire had quickly abolished their 500 year old clan system and reduced the thirteen clans of Trinasaki to simple territories dictated by the landmasses of their world. He tried to not to dwell on the constant negative emotions he was besieged with. He needed his control during these difficult times, and anything less wouldn’t be Trathalan.

.......As he headed inside, he heard lighting began to crackle about him. He saw not a storm in the bright night sky and yet he could feel his skin stand on end with electricity. Suddenly he was knocked on his back as a blue-green hole erupted in front of him. Before he had time to think about it, something was hurled forth. As the hole shut the Trathalan looked at what had come through, his eyes growing wide.
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
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Post by Ra »

Excellent! I like the way this is starting out, and the descriptions of the events, characters, surrounding, ect are vivid and well-done. I look forward to more!
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Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Don't mind me, I'm not so much writting a "FanFiction" as putting bits of
my Novela out for comments, no real action yet, just getting going.
Setting the stage as it where.

.....Adric blinked, his mind raced and he felt like he had just been run
over by a cement truck. His whole body was racked with pain, he could
feel his senses returning as he tried to figure out what had happened.
He tried to think back to what had accrued, he had stopped his car to
look at something, and there had been a truck. Suddenly he
remembered the crash, and groaned.
.....“Oh heck, I am so boned” he muttered in a weak voice. Slapping his
face he noticed two things. His arm cried out suddenly in horribly agony,
as if the skin had been burned; and second, his hand smacked a tightly
wrapped bandage that covered his whole upper head, the bandages dark
with dried blood. Adric’s eyes opened quickly as his heart began to race.
It hadn’t occurred to him that the crash between car and semi would
have actually harmed him.
....."Jeebus! I must have been lucky to survive!" Adric thought about his
brush with death as he tried to picture what had happened to his car.
Fearing the worse he conjured up an image of it, crumpled and wrecked
by the side of the road. He moaned at once, knowing what it would do
to his insurance costs. He realized that he must have been hit by debris,
as a direct hit from the Semi would have him in a state to not be thinking
at all and not bandaged up. Suddenly a thought crossed his pain-fogged
mind. If he was bandage, it meant someone had found him. So the
question was:
“Where am I now?”
.....He immediately guessed the truck driver had called for an ambulance
and he was no doubt in some Intensive Care Unit. Quickly a whole new
swelling of doubt and concern grew. What happened to his car, or the
wreck of it? Had his parents been informed? How long was he out? How
was he going to pay for this? The throbbing pain all over his body seem
to grow worse as he began to dwell on all the ramifications of this
unwanted Hospital stay.
.....Yet the longer he thought about it, the more he didn't think he was in
any hospital. It was far too quiet, too warm, and the bed was more
comfortable then any he had ever imagined. Looking up, he noticed
someone, something, he hadn’t before. It was huge. As he strained his
eyes to see what it was, the creature stepped into the light. He took a
double take as his brain dropped into his stomach.

.....Standing over him was a demonic looking creature that appeared as if
it had stepped out of some horror movie, only this thing was real. It
stared intently at Adric with dark green eyes as it reached a clawed hand
over him. Adric was scared witless. Panic and terror gripped him as he
instinctively tried to flee from the monster. Even as he began to move
away, he heard the thing make a screeching noise like nails on a
chalkboard. He tried to lunge from the bed but was gripped by pain as
his body was reminded of its injuries as bandages tore, and slightly
healed injuries ripped. Rolling in new found agony he felt something
being placed on his forehead, there was a small flash of light and Adric
fell dead asleep.

.....Darnethlil sighed, as he carefully placed the creature back in his warm
.....“What a fool I was, to completely neglect how my appearance might
affect this, thing.” He had probably scared the poor creature halfway to
Carth. He meditated for a moment, scorning himself for being so abrupt
in revealing his form. He remembered the disastrous meeting when the
first forces from the Empire gazed at his people and acted much the
same way. In terror and fear, these thoughts were all to easily felt.
Even those races in the Alliance, whom to him were oddities, had
regarded the Trathalans with a fearful caution. Was his race cursed with
an appearance that all others would hate and despise?

.....He looked back at the poor creature on his bed. It breathed deeply as
it lay resting in a deep trance like sleep. He thanked his star that the
bluestone, which he had firmly fixed to its flat head, had worked on it.
Darnethlil wasn't completely sure how he would have calmed it or kept it
from injuring itself further if it hadn't. Granted, he hadn’t wished to
forcibly sedate it like that. But he saw little choice, and he hadn’t much
time to act. As he watched over it, he became more thankful then ever
he had chosen the gift of healing when he was taught as a child.

.....Growing up under the watchful eye of his Mentor, Krahnos Galinsitelo,
he was taught early on how to properly control his mind. Although
Krahnos was not from his Clan he was always a welcomed member at
their home. So at the age of twenty, as Darnethlil passed from
childhood to adolescence, his Mentor was not at all surprised when
Darnethlil announced that he wished to focus his mind on the art of
healing. He had always had a weakness for helping those in need, and
the poor creature before him certainly needed help.
.....If only he could guess what it was. It had no wings, no tail, light pale
skin and primitive teeth.
.....“Such a curious thing! It must have to show it's teeth each time it
speaks, how disturbing!” Darnethlil thought about this, even those
strange races from the Alliance had four fingers. He twitched his wings
up in a humorous fashion, thinking how silly it was to discriminate over
such immaterial a thing as physical differences. Unlike the Empire, size
shape and appearance mattered little to the Trathalan. The teachings of
the Hashñaya taught him this. He rose to change some of the old
bandages on its body as he contemplated the improbability of its arrival.

.....It had emerged from a legendary Crossgate, practically landing at his
feet. Crossgates were ancient; no one knew where they came from or
what they were. The ancient texts had told of brave Trathalan’s who had entered a Crossgate to explore what lay beyond, only to appear Turns
later as a charred corpse. Yet somehow this being had survived albeit
barely. Its injuries were so severe that there were several open
wounds, its clothes were nearly burnt off and its skin was severally
burned as well. He had to use many of his herbs and a whole vile of
Methla (which was very hard to come by these days ) just to stabilize it's
condition. He was amazed at how well the alien creature healed after
only a few treatments. It was recovering nicely over the past few days
until just a few moments ago when it had awakened. Darnethlil sighed
again as he looked at it, he placed his hand over it's head, feeling the
confused and random thoughts surging through it's mind.

....."You are a mystery my unknown friend. I hope when you awake
again that I shall know more of you." It stirred a bit as he spoke. He
sighed as the night wore on.
***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER THREE ***** ***** ***** *****

.....It was not until the next evening when night had fallen did Darnethlil
choose try once more try and awaken his guest. After night when the
Imperial patrols slacked off, after night when they would return to sleep,
and most Trathalans where just becoming active. Darnethlil had made
ready this time. He had treated his guest, he had a basin of water in
case it was needed, and he had dimmed the oil lamps in the wooden
panelled room. He also had retrieved something from his hidden wares,
something he had not thought he would ever need to use. As the alien
lay sleeping, its wounds closed once more, only the pulsing blue crystal
on it’s head kept it in a state of deep sleep.

.....Darnethlil leaned forward, spoke a pray to Crie, and slowly removed
the crystal before attaching a new one.

.....Adric gasped suddenly as he awoke from sleep. His heart raced and
his body ached. Something had startled him good and he felt breathless
as he, again, remembered.
....."Good Lord what a dream!" The memories of the crash and his
injuries were dragged back into his head. He felt a pain from his chest
and then the bandages around his head and arms. He remembered
what had happened, and then what he saw.
.....He tilted the gaze of his eyes just slightly till they came upon the thing
from his dream. Unfortunately, Adric suddenly realized it wasn’t a dream.
The creature, for it’s part, sat upon a large, wildly embellished wooden
chair watching him intently.
.....Again his instinct was to flee, and put as much distance between
himself and the monster as possible. Adric tried to get up but his body
refused to move. He tried with his greatest effort to move a signal limb,
but none worked, his mind panicked as he wondered if he had been
.....The creature for its part, slowly got up from its’ lavish chair, it
seemed just to stare at him, it’s form largely hidden, backlit from an oil
lamp behind it. It stood over him for some time as Adric began to feel
slightly, odd. He suddenly felt as through he was no longer in danger,
and soon after, heared the creature speak…

.....“If you would be so kind, I humbly request that you do not try and
run again. I have already used more than enough of my medical supply
to heal you and do not wish to squander any more on one who appears
” Adric was dumb founded. It did not move its lips yet he
could hear its speech perfectly. Adric touched his head and felt a large
ring with a strangely warm crystal pressed into it attached to his
forehead, as if he were wearing some sort of crown.
.....He looked back at the thing standing next to him. A trifle more
relaxed, he could see it wasn’t quite as horrific as he had envisioned.
It was however huge, almost over 6 ft tall. It had a large bony crown
around its head that formed up into two long horns, behind it flowed long
dark black hair, which almost hid the creatures two long, notched ears.
It had a short reptilian snout that was attached to a long face where two
large dark green eyes looked on. Behind it's long smooth skinned body
were two huge wings that twitched like the tapping of fingers.
.....There was only one thought on Adric’s mind when he finished looking
at it. And he promptly spoke it out loud.

.....“Holy Cow, its’ a Dragon!”

.....Darnethlil winced as he heared it speak. Its speech seemed loud and
shrill, he wondered if its race always yelled so rudely like that?
He couldn’t quite understand what it had said; the spoken words were
completely alien and sounded like mere grunts. Trying to comprehend
what the translator he had attached to his guest’s forehead had
conveyed was confusing to say the least. As far as he was concerned,
the first spoken words of the alien roughly translated to,
“Religions animal, that is dragon” Whatever a ‘dragon’ was.

.....“At least its thoughts can be clearly heared.” Darnethlil thought,
a curious feature as most of his race had to concentrate deeply to hear
the thoughts of the other Races that had used a Translator. As clear as
the thoughts came in however, it was still difficult trying to understand
them. He shuffled his wings, showing his confusion in hearing what the
alien had said. When he got no response however, he decided to say
.....“Please forgive my rudeness, but when you speak, could you
endeavour to try and indicate precisely what you mean to say”

.....A bit numb from the experience of having an alien talking with him,
Adric pondered what to do. He could barely move anything below his
neck, but this wasn’t on his mind right now. What was central on his
thoughts was that for all intensive purposes, a Dragon like alien was
talking him to.
.....“Ok, all right, yea sure, I'll believe this happening. I guess this could
be some massive hallucination, but damn if it doesn’t seem real.”
He said to himself as he began to think just what in the name of his
slipping sanity happened after his car crash. “Maybe it's just curious
about me, I'll get the photo's in my wallet to show it I'm a nice guy”
Adric, making a sudden great effort to move, tried reaching down to his
pants only to discover he wasn't wearing any. It was at this point that he
saw his cloths hanging from a peg over a round door. Or at least the
remains of his clothing as they seemed nearly completely burnt and in
tatters. “Ok, great, not only I'm I talking to an alien, I'm also naked, and
my clothes are gone! My ‘Don’t Panic’ shirt is gone! I liked that shirt! Oh
God what a day”
.....Darnethlil laughed as he listened to the thoughts as best he could.
He didn’t understand much of what it was thinking internally, going at far
too fast a pace, but he could tell it at least wasn’t terrified of him.
Concerns over personal items seemed to currently be distracting it from
the larger ramifications of what had happened.

.....Adric however, was still trying to comprehend how it was
communicating to him. He guessed it had something to do with the ring
he had on.
.....“Maybe this works both ways” he thought. Adric closed his eyes and
began to concentrate. “WHERE-AM-I? ” He tried to think as hard as
he could, not sure he was being understood.
“Even in thought it is loud! I wonder if their whole culture is so loud and
over bearing!” He said as he composed himself reciting a short pray to
calm him as he formulated a proper response.
..... “You do not need to express your thoughts with such intensity! I
can ascertain your thoughts quite well enough. As of present you need
not worry about you current location. You are safe here as I have been
caring for you ever since you arrived through the Crossgate. I must
comment that it is surprising that…”
Though that was as far as he got.
He had planned a long response and was pleased with what he would
say to the alien. However before he got any further, Adric interrupted.

.....“What are you talking about? Are you talking I am not location
Earth anymore? Additional what do you know about how I got away?
And for Religious afterlife sake! What happened to me and why I am so physical damaged?"
At this, Darnethlil nearly lost his temper. Inside
he was frustrated at the continual rudeness of the alien. It shouted at
him in jumbled and poorly worded thoughts that could be more easily
understood with a bit of patience; it had no respect for letting him finish
speaking, and it almost seemed to imply that he was responsible for it’s
.....Darnethlil held his temper, though just barely. He arranged his wings
in one of the most frightful gestures he could think of and glared at the
creature. He chose his words carefully as he struggled against his
primitive urge to rip the throat from the alien for his disrespect and

.....“If you are somehow implying that I abducted you on my own
account, you are grievously mistaken in your assumption. I know not
from where you came from or how to return you to such a location, only
that you were near death when you arrived and that your caretaking has
used up my precious time and resources!”
Adric froze with the stern
look the alien now glared at him with.
.....It was one thing to listen to someone yell at you, quite another to
have the words directly blasted into you mind. Adric tried to calm down,
trying not to think about the once caring eyes of the dragon, which had
taken on an expression of malevolent rage. His thoughts whirled with
questions and confusion. It was all too much for Adric, who was still
getting used to realizing his car was a hopeless wreck, let alone being
teleported to another planet. He calmed himself down enough to try and
speak to the alien again.

.....“Can you at least tell me where I am? ” There was a long pause
and then a strange look came over Darnethlil. But he never got a
response as Darnethlils face suddenly went blank.
....."Xarth! I'm late; the forces must of started ten clicks ago! " Adric
looked confused, not realizing what was happening as the creature
spoke in a series of high pitched clicks and trills.
....."Are you talking to me? " he tried to think but he got no response.
Hurrying to catch up for lost time; Darnethlil yanked the ring from his
forehead and grabbed a sack from the ground as he bolted towards the
door. Adric turned around, he had a huge headache all of a sudden and
blinked as he saw him head for the door.
....."Hey wait a minute! What's going on, where do you think are you’re
going?" He barked aloud in a loud, angry voice. Darnethlil whirred on his
small feet and glared at Adric

boomed into his head with a direct forceful blast. And before he knew it,
the door was locked and Adric was alone.

Nothing fancy, just establishing charichters right now.
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
"Congratulations, you get a cookie. You almost got a fundamental English word correct." Pick
"Outlaw star has spaceships that punch eachother" Joviwan
Read "Tales From The Crossroads"!
Read "One Wrong Turn"!
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Location: New Zealand

Post by bilateralrope »

I like it so far
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Post by Crossroads Inc. »

More chapters. Again would like feed back, I know it doesn't have Starwars in it, but hope a few will bear with it and give m,e much needed advice and some questions. Thanks all.

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER FOUR ***** ***** ***** *****

Adric lay back into the bed for a moment with a hand to his pounding head. The events of the last few moments beginning to sink into his mind as he recalled his bizarre benefactor and curious surroundings. Looking up at the arched wooden roofed, his mind conjured up a clichéd phrase, '"Toto, I don't think were in Kansas any more.'"

“That could be a vast understatement.” Adric said as he shifted, attempting to get comfortable with his deeply burned body. Trying to lift his head up slightly, he looked to the small table to his right and noticed something familiar. Lying on the table next to him was the burnt remains of his wallet, cell phone and his wristwatch. Straining to move his arm the short distance, his skin stinging maddeningly, he slowly picked up the remains of his wallet.

The plastic cards inside had melted into a solid mass, the various bills of money where deeply burnt around the edge and the wallet itself seemed to crumble in his hand. Setting it down less he destroy it further, he turned to pick up the wristwatch. The outer casing seemed blackened and the rubber melted in places, yet as he looked at the small screen in it, he realized it was still functioning. He blinked as he checked the date.

Dec 26, 2006. 2:38 pm. Four days. He had been out for almost four days before he had regained consciousness and he now tried desperately to think what had transpired during that time. His first thoughts turned to his family.

“Four days ago I was supposed to be home for Christmas, then a Semi hit my car, and then I woke up here. And wherever here is, it probably isn’t somewhere that will let me get home.” Adric thought to himself as the full magnitude of his situation sunk in. Not his situation, but his parents, his brothers, his friends. He had vanished, his car smashed, and no clue or evidence as to what happened to him. The police would be called, his mom would worry, his dad would fume, and Christmas…

Adric couldn’t take it. He tried to calm down, couldn’t, and began to sob. His heaving chest only making his bandages stretch and his burns ache as he wept. That he was somewhere with dragon like beasts, where they seemed to be able to read his mind and that something had caused him to be terribly burned and wounded didn’t help at all. The great glow of moonlight upon him caught his attention as for the first time he noticed a window and looked outside at the sky.

The sky was strange, the stars where different, and a moon many times more massive then his own filled the night. It was not his sky, and he could no longer ignore that he was on another world.
He pulled a blanket around himself and wept bitterly.

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER FIVE ***** ***** ***** *****

Darnethlil was not happy, and feeling himself angered made the situation all the more upsetting. He had spent entirely too much time with the creature and was nearly late for the rendezvous with his clan members. While he wished to help the creatures needs, the needs of his clan, where paramount.

Moving as fast as he could, his broad shoes barely touched the ground as raced down the side of the hill. His wings spread out, aiding his speed and balance, as he made short gliding hops. While large and impressive visually, his race had long ago lost the ability of total flight, and quick hops across the ground where about all the functionality that was left in them, at least, as far as flying was concerned.

Picking up his pace, he leaned forward to climb up the soft grassy slope of the next hill in front of him, hoping his clan-mates would wait for him. After spending more than three days healing and nursing his guest, he had neglected his other duties to the resistance.

Such a strange word to use he thought, resistance. It seemed an absurd idea to wage war when everything you knew, everything your people knew, and had lived by for thousands of years, held the act of violence as something never to commit. Even under such circumstances, with his world held hostage, he dreaded the very notion of killing another. The teachings of his faith and the words of the “Hashnaya” would mark him as being no better than the Empire should such a thing take place.

Tonight, all of this would be put to the test. After a few timid, anonymous acts of vandalism and thievery, tonight would be their first act of bodily violence. He knew that during the day, a task force of Imperial soldiers, Qwintoni, had established a forward survey camp in the next valley. Tomorrow another group would arrive with electronic equipment, equipment that could detect radio signals and could even detect gamma radiation. Darnethlil would could ill afford such a thing, especially now. He would have to act tonight, and would have to be successful.

Coming over the crest of a hill, Darnethlil saw the camp bellow and the few lights that where still active. A few solders where outside, most where inside. In his mind he could count them all, identifying each ones presence, before locating those of his clan-mates. They where ready and waiting for him.

From far away, yet clear in his mind, he could make out each of those who had attended tonight. He conveyed his thanks at their arrival, and patients in waiting for him, at such a distance he did not expect to be able to convey full thoughts, or hear any for that matter, he was glad to be wrong.

"Greetings and welcome to you Darnethlil! I am honoured to be here to serve the leader of the Lonti, as are all of us!" Darnethlil heared suddenly in his mind over the great distance. Looking out over the hills suddenly surprised, he felt for a while, and with no mistakes, knew it was Mekal who had contacted him. He meditated for a moment before sending instructions, knowing now he would be heared.

"Thank you for your greeting Mekal, I am pleased you chose to join us, it will be useful. Inform the others to use the weapons only if absolutely necessary, and than only in non-vital areas. Though off-worlders, these are people who spent their lives learning to kill, we must not forget that they shall be more relaxed in battle then we." He bespoke as clearly as he could. Using the time waiting for the response to pray for his actions. Soon a response came.

"Of course I will remember your warning, Toranth agrees, as do the others." Darnethlil was glad Mekal had come, that he wished to participate. The youth was talented far beyond his years and could coordinate the thoughts of others farther then anyone he knew. Under such circumstances it was much easier to bespeak orders by thought than using clumsy tools such as radios.

“Mekal, since you are here, you know what is wished of you, the vessels of gas they use for fuel, once they are away from it, send it aflame, we shall need such a distraction. Darnethlil relayed as he surveyed the tanks of hydrogen used for their fuel-cells, knowing with Mekal, the spontaneous ignition of them would provide a perfect cover if they needed it.

“Of course Darnethlil! I have longed for such a night! Let us go let us go!” Mekal relayed almost excited at was about to happen as everyone suddenly concentrated. A moment later the collective minds of the Qwintoni solders bellow cried out in pain as they ran from they camp. It was an act Darnethlil would try again and again to justify.

“For the Clans!!!” He screeched as from atop more then forty Trathalans winged down the steep valley cliffs. The short, brutal, mental attack upon the Qwintoni warriors was enough for them to close their distance without a shot fired. But it was all the time they got. Even Darnethlil was surprised at how quickly the twenty or so solders recovered, and even those that didn’t where driven by the will to fend off what had attacked them. The sounds of gunfire rang out and in an instant Darnethlil knew how foolish the whole idea of a bloodless war was. He would not let it stop him.

As he watched the first of his people fall to the bullets of the solders, Darnethlil returned the gesture as he brought forth a dagger and pierced the shoulder of the first solder he met. Long practiced on dummies with stolen body armour, he knew the exact spots to which a blade could pierce, and did not hesitate to drive his blade forward.

Ripping the assault riffle from the injured warrior, Darnethlil watched as others seemed to be swept up in the moment. Two and three of his clan members would be upon one of the faceless solders, driving forth a blade and disarming them. Even as he counted off the number of his clan-mates who had dropped from wounds and worse, he knew this battle was already his. And then he turned to see himself about to be shot.

The solder he had first pierced had recovered his gun, the knife wound bleeding furiously, it seemed to phase him little as he had removed his long conical helmet. Darnethlil saw hs face, the face of someone he had tried to kill. Until now, he could dismiss them all as agents of evil, all as faceless, soulless solders, each one alike. He could comfort himself in this, and worry about such things as their families and friends later, but not any more.

He saw the long muzzle of the Qwintoni, his teeth snarling, his lips curled back, the large pierced ears atop splayed down as blood matted his short fur. The gun he held was pointed directly at Darnethlils face. Darnethlil simply froze.

“He is going to kill me, he will shoot me and it will be over, and in this moment I cannot bring myself to stop him, how could I have tried this?” He thought in the single instant they shared between them. A moment later he heared a noise, but not the one he expected. The tanks of Hydrogen exploded suddenly as Mekal let out a shout. The explosion sent out shrapnel in all direction as many fell near by. By the time Darnethlil gathered his wits, he realized the Warrior was dead, apiece of aluminium embedded in his head.

After that things ended quickly. Those solders that had been disarmed where bound and restrained, those that had been wounded where sedated by several others. A tall figure walked through the billowing smoke toward Darnethlil, seeing him, he began to make a tally.

“Kalinpel, Relinpel, Malthran and Kretha have serious wounds. Tedal has a broken wing and Oplum, may not live the night.” A stern, imposing Trathalan said as he walked directly up to Darnethlil, throwing aside an assault rifle he has just used to his disgust before looking down.

“And, it seems we have killed now four of these beasts. Was it worth it Darnethlil?” Darnethlil looked at Toranth, his friend, his deepest ally, and the one most dubious about his actions. He couldn’t bring himself to look into his eyes, but could not force himself to look down, at the face of the dead Qwintoni.

“It is never worth it, never. We have done what we had to do, and no doubt set into motion things we shall all regret till our last day. But that is what we must do. We sacrifice ourselves so our world may live.” He said impassioned as the two fell silent for a moment before Darnethlil turned away.

“Where is Mekal?” He asked as Toranth turned away now.
“Coming to terms with what he has done.” He said as he led Darnethlil away. The two watching as a line of rather shocked and perhaps humiliated warriors where led away. Looking to a group of in the middle of healing the wounded, Darnethlil suddenly leapt forward.
Mekal lay on the ground, his wings curled around him as he rocked back and forth, muttering incoherently. Toranth caught up to Darnethlil as he sighed.
“He became like that moments after forcing the gas vessels to erupt. One moment he shouted you where going to be killed, the next moment he began to scream that he had killed. Darnethlil, my clansman, my trusted one, we should not have used him for this.” Darnethlil looked down and tipped his wings in agreement, yet realized had Mekal not acted, he would surely be dead.
“Come Toranth, it is time we took stock of what we have set into motion. The off-worlders will surely suspect our people, and there will no doubt be repercussion. We must be ready to be responsible for them. “ He said as he began to walk away, Toranth following behind him as the others departed, carrying wounded and dead from both races.
Darnethlil watched it with disgust. No amount of meditation and pray would relieve him or the others of this, yet it was all they had to try and subdue their own emotions over such actions. Reading a full volume of the holy Hashnaya would not begin to calm his nerves. But it would be a start.

As they left, a flash illuminated the area from atop a hill.
“A Crossgate? I wonder if it is a sign.” Toranth spoke softly as he watched, Darnethlil turning to him.
“Toranth, do you ever wonder what lays beyond them?”
“Beyond? Who has not wondered of such a thing? Perhaps the Inferno, perhaps the Paradise, it is something our people cannot enter though for it would only bring death.” He said as he began to walk on, Darnethlil behind him.
“Perhaps, if we cannot enter, what if something else exited?” Darnethlil spoke under his breath.

Last edited by Crossroads Inc. on 2009-05-17 01:22am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by bilateralrope »

And even with all the effort you spent in formating it, I have random lines that continue for the full width of the screen. Since we are all operating on different screen resolutions, manually formating it for all of us will take a lot of work.

Still, the story is progressing well
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Post by Crossroads Inc. »

It is a pain I know, I really think it's more trouble then its worth. But thank you all the same, Any comments or feed back?
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Post by LadyTevar »

Crossroads Inc. wrote:It is a pain I know, I really think it's more trouble then its worth. But thank you all the same, Any comments or feed back?
I agree that trying to set the format manually isnt' working, but the story itself is fantastic. Please continue!
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Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Thanks, I hope that the society I am forming is ok and able to be pciked up on. I wanted to give a rcih setting to the world, and not just have bland 2D aliens, I just hope Im not giving too much 'fluff'
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From a fellow, the Guild Bard.

Post by Archael »

It is I, Archael, the wandering bard!
Whose ace is face and joker plays card!
What was promised in past was a written review!
What is given in print is from me to you!
Hail, Tron of the Bish!

.....I love the story, man! Doesn't look like many others are commenting, though. Look, I know it's silly to comment on grammar and spelling on an internet blog, but you really should remember to use "were" instead of "where" when you say "they WERE doing something". There; that's as far as I'll go for that English lesson. Now for the real stuff!

.....You may know me already, dear Bish, as a teller of tales, for that is what I am! And it is in loving a good tale that I have grown to love the telling. In short, I love a good story. And what you have here is, most decidedly, a GOOD STORY! Bravo, old boy!

.....However, one problem I encounter in my own writing is a serious problem called, by others of our art, over-building. The less professed just call it rambling. It happens when you try to explain too much too quickly. The result is that you end up confusing the reader with a bombardment of new names, faces, facts, and history all thrown into one chapter. The good news is that it's all there. The bad news is that, assuming this becomes a full-blown novel (please do!), the casual reader will probably have to keep flipping back a few pages for reference because he can't remember who "Mekal" is or if "The Empire" is the good guys or the bad guys.

.....More good news: that's sooooo easy to fix. I think when you posted these first few chapters you weren't considering the possibility of a full-length book, so you had to get all the lore out of the way first. Since, in practice, that's quite okay, you can pretty much disregard EVERYTHING I said in the last paragraph.

.....And here is where you turn my eye green with envy. You see, I have a problem with CHARACTERS. Alas, my characters turn out too stale, not from lack of detail or personality, but from lack of variance. They all tend to think the same, act the same, and have the same voice. This is a most crippling problem for me, and you should thank your star that you are gifted with the ability to bring your characters to life!

.....As for the the story progression, you are amazing! When I saw the length of the document, I'll admit I was worried that I would be in for the long haul. But you managed to suck me in in that wonderful way that keeps a person reading for hours without looking at the clock!

.....So here's my ending criticism: remember your English classes! No matter how amazing a story is, now matter how imaginative the characters or how epic the world, each little point where the reader has to stop, go back, and reread a paragraph because of word confusion or mispunctuation takes away from the overall effect of the story! The up side of this is: grammar has nothing to do with your true ability as a writer and, ultimately, as a TELLER of TALES. Keep that pen movin'!

P.S.: The dot thing for indentations? Pure genius!

P.S.S.: The siggy below is wrong. Allow me to correct: "The only time a man's life is wasted is when he spends it thinking he is alone."
The only time a man's life is wasted is when he spends it thinking he is alone.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »


because I have indeed decided to finish this
***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER SIX ***** ***** ***** *****

The sheets were still damp from his tears as Adric woke up. It had been about 2hours since he cried himself to sleep, and now sat up in his bed coming to terms with things, in his hands where the burnt remains of his personal affects. Slowly he was going through them, as if groping for something familiar. His wallet was the first thing he looked through, and like virtually all of his affects, it was hopelessly burnt. His credit cards, ID cards, almost fully melted. The money was all burnt around the edges and crumpled as he touched it. Heaving a sigh he placed the wallet gingerly down on the polished wooden table next to the bed and noticed something.
It was the melted remains of his rather simple digital watch. Looking at the lump of half melted plastic and metal, Adrics heart quickened. For whatever reason he could not fathom the watch still functioned, reminding him once more of just how long at had been since he arrived. He turned the watch over as he tried to calm himself down. He tried for some time and failed. He tried to tell himself that worrying wouldn’t do any good that he had to try and come to grips with what ha happened. It wasn’t helping things.
He slumped back in the bedding as he examined the round wooden door in front of him and wondered if he could get out. The thought of escaping however didn't seem too prudent; he still had wounds all over his body and could barely walk. Not only that but where would he escape to if he was on some other planet... As Adric sat back down on the bed he wrapped a blanket around himself "There has got to be some answers around here." He looked at the room he was in, for the first time really noticing some of the items in it.

It was at least 9ft to the ceiling and probably 14ft across. The biggest thing he noticed was the wood. It seemed the whole room was made out of it. For one thing, all the walls, even the ceiling, seemed covered in wood panels. On either side of him, was a large wooden desk, very elaborately carved. On one of the desks was a large box with a door. Next to this was an old-fashioned oil lamp that gave off a soft light. The floor was carpeted in some thick fur rugs. Looking at them he decided to try his feet. Steeling himself for the pain, he slowly moved his legs toward the floor.
“Aarrrrgggg!” He grumbled as he felt his skin crack as he moved. His whole body felt as if it had been dipped in wax, and every time he moved it stretched and pained him. Still he slowly eased himself down onto the rug, the wooden floor underneath creaked as he carefully walked on it.
It took him a while to steady himself against the desk as his eyes adjusted. In front of him, built as an arch around the door, was a large bookshelf containing volumes of large colourful books. Looking at them his body reminded him of its condition, less then a minute or so was all he could stand as he sat back in the large wooden chair, the same one the dragon had first been in when he woke up. He chuckled, then wished he hadn’t as his lips ached.

“It is impossible, utterly impossible. He can’t really be a dragon, I’m not even on Earth, he has to be some sort of alien.” He pondered the evolutionarily improbabilities of such a creature, but it only wound up giving him a headache.
He decided to get his mind off this by taking a look at one of the books. He slowly got up, winced and grunted aging in pain as his body told him he really should not be moving, and removed the closest books he could get at before falling back in the chair. The first thing he noticed when he opened the book was the writing. Staring at it for just a few moments made his eyes hurt. It looked like Chinese, but highly more elaborate, vast stretched of elegant characters and symbols with no two looking the same. Shaking his head and blinking his all too quickly watery eyes, he moved on to simply look for pictures.

After some time he had finished leafing though the few books he removed and struggled to return them. Adric carefully placed the book back into carved wooden bookshelf, trying to make sure its disturbance would not be noticed. He had looked through about three of them, being careful with their worn cloth covers, and was trying to piece together some of the information he had found. As he had suspected, the written was impossible to guess at, but he had found some useful pictures. In the first book there was a detailed map of what might the planet he was on, if it was it seemed much smaller then his own, at least by land mass. One large continent seemed to be on the east, while a variety of small continents, almost oversized islands, seemed to make up much of the world. Pictures of other aliens in various robes and colourful garments were abundant in most of the books. But near the end, he found something that caught his attention.

He nearly missed it at first, but when he took a second look there was no mistake. Near the end of the third book was a series of paintings of what had to be a dirigible of some sort. It wasn’t so much that it held an uncanny resemblance to a blimp that bothered him, it was the fact that it looked like it had been painted over a hundred years ago, and the background had it in space, or at least what he thought was space. It reminded him of the flat painting style used in medieval times just before the renaissance and was hard to make out. Of course, for all he knew, this was the way most of their art was. Lying back down in the round bed, he toyed with the patches of information he had gathered.
Suddenly, he heard the main door at the entrance open as something came inside. Adric craned his neck back, being careful not to strain his bandages, to see what had entered. Peering down a hall from the bed, he caught a glimpse of the alien in an adjacent room.

Darnethlil stopped; he just stood for a while in the doorway before entering. At that time, Adric was the last thing on his mind. He slammed the brightly painted door behind him as he hurled the sack of Tejlini low yield Rifles next to a wall. Adric cringed suddenly, he didn’t know why it seemed so upset, but he knew he didn’t want to get in its way. As Darnethlil marched down the hall, his wings waved in anger. Passing his room where the injured creature was he let a raptoric hiss.]

---“The fool! The young and reckless fool! He knew how dangerous it was to ignite an object from that distance! And he knew that all of us, no matter how gifted we are, must properly meditate before attempting any sort of mental ability.” Darnethlil stopped. When he had left the scene of the battle, he had felt more depressed than angry over the needless death. However on his trip back home, he constantly dwelled on how reckless Mekal had acted. He knew how pointless it was to dwell on the past, but he had gotten upset all the same. He breathed deeply and tried to meditate, hoping to get a hold on his rage. Yet he couldn’t focus or concentrate enough to calm himself and this just added to his frustration. Realizing his anger was getting the better of him, and that he would have to curtail it immediately he decided to go to his Tear room.--

Opening the door, Darnethlil looked at the flight of stairs leading down. Mad as he was, he simply jumped the short fifteen feet down to the bottom. Once down he lit candles to add some light as he looked about his Tear room. His father had often joined him here after a clan dispute or to settle a family argument. For Darnethlil, and all other Trathalans, it was the one place where they could fully vent their anger.

The room was large, the ceiling almost twice Darnethlils height. Several colourful banners hung from the wall, inscribed with the names of the past Lonti Clan leaders. He looked in front of him were he had written his name and hung it next to the others. Feeling once more upset at how pointless his title was during these dark times.

Near by, to one side of him stood a trio of cloth Qwintoni statues. He smiled at their life like appearance and grinned in anticipation. Although as much as he wanted to relieve his anger he knew he had to stop and at least pray first. Taking a handful of mixed salts from his pocket, he threw it around himself before recanting one of his favourite prayers from the Hashñaya. With formalities out of the way now, he could get down to business.

Letting lose with an ear splitting cry he began with a flip as his foot smashed into the first and closest of the models. The weight of his body crushed it into the floor where he proceeded to brutality Eviscerate it’s fabric insides. Bits of cloth leather and hide where cast wide as he shrieked. Extending the talons on his hands to their full length, he slashed at the second, quickly decapitating the cloth head before reached down into the neck and ripping out the faux organs he had so carefully made from bits of fabric. . Leaving the first two in heaps of rubble, he charged and leaped at the third, using his wings to slow his decent, clasped his feet around the dummies neck. Digging his talons in deep he pulled it to the ground with him before using his tail to impale the cloth Qwintoni through the heart. Landing next to the now mortally wounded statue, Darnethlil drew himself up and smiled. Breathing heavily, he heaped the remnants of the three cloth statues into a corner as he thanked Crie for his newfound calmness. Coolly walking up the stairs, he meditated, successfully this time and with great ease.

Adric however was not so relaxed. As soon as the alien had walked out of sight, a cry, like some hideous monster, made his hair stand on end. The tearing and slashing sounds of what, he did not want to find out, made him cringe even more. Yet just moments later, that same creature walked into the room with the most placid and calm expression Adric had ever seen.
Darnethlil sensed that his patient had been terribly frightened by the cries and violent exercise in the Tear room and to his horror realized how terrified he must of made the injured creature, he extended his hand and handed it a translator. Carefully taking the ring, Adric attached it to his forehead.

He blinked as he was hit with a slight moment of disorientation. When his head cleared, he once again heard the thoughts of the alien in his mind.
“I ask your humble forgiveness for my recent actions. I had failed to consider how you might respond to how I relieve my anger.” Adric wasn’t to concerned with that, just so long as it wasn’t taken out on him. He sat up as it continued to speak in a quiet, placid tone.
“I realize you are from another world and that my customs and way of life shall no doubt appear strange to you. Never the less, I feel it is my duty to heal and make you feel welcome. For as long as you stay here my home shall be yours” Adric had to sit and think about how he was being treated by the alien, eh dragon, thing... It had saved his life, put up with his questions and tolerated his ‘apparent’ rudeness. And after all this, the dragon like creature still continued to make Adric feel at home. Adric thought about this until something more important entered his thoughts. He remembered he hadn’t eaten in almost three days.
Darnethlil was trying to make sense of what the creature was thinking. He could feel that it was confused, but couldn’t understand why. The next thought he felt through the translator was clear understood. Hunger. Realizing as diligent as he had been healing it, he had completely forgot to feed his patient!
“I am terribly sorry for neglecting to keep you fed. I shall remedy my mistake immediately.” With that Darnethlil left Adric and headed to his kitchen. It suddenly occurred to him that he had no idea what it ate, or if the food he normally consumed might be poison to it. Darnethlil decided he didn’t have much of choice, since he wasn’t about to simply let it starve. After first fixing himself a meal, he prepared a small amount of meat, with two spiced bread rolls before walking back to the his patient.

Adric smelled the food from down the hall and sat up in the round bed. As the alien walked back into the room, Adrics mouth watered at the savoury smells. Placing one plate next to Adric and the other on a near by table for himself, Darnethlil gestured once more in apology with his wings before waiting for his guest to begin eating.
Adric meanwhile studied the food that had been placed in front of him. On one side was sweet smelling bread that looked like a rolled up pancake. To the other side was a well cut slab of meat. Figuring the bread was meant for desert, he went to the meat when he noticed a lack of both forks and knives.
Darnethlil, who was still waiting for his guest to eat, couldn’t fathom as to why it simply stared at the meal he had placed in front of it. He knew it wouldn’t be proper for him to start eating first, but by now, Darnethlil thought it didn’t matter that much. Throwing protocol out the window, and letting his stomach get the better of him, Darnethlil grabbed his meal and began tearing into it.
Adric, who was just about to ask what he was supposed to eat with, got his answer. He stared as he saw the dragon begin savagely devouring its meal. The delicate looking fingers seemed to turn into talons in the blink of an eye as they slashed at the meat before immense teeth sliced it into small chunks.
Darnethlil quickly realized he was being stared at and turned to look at Adric. Seeing his wide-open mouth, he realized why it couldn’t eat. The creature’s teeth, in comparison to his own, were terribly small! He wondered how its race could survive with such primitive eating tools. Soon he caught himself, quite to his own surprise, staring rudely back at it. Before he could stop or give it a second thought, he found himself asking.

“Are all your teeth that small?”

Adric was a bit surprised at the question. He hadn’t thought something as unimportant as teeth would interest the dragon. Darnethlil looked back from the meal, that word again “Dragon” He had been called it ever since the creature awoke, and thus far he could only interpret it as ‘monster’. He sighed and ruffled his wings.
“My selfname is ‘Darnethlil’ off-worlder. Perhaps it is something I should have learned to you upon your awakenment, but your awakening was ill planned and I regret not having the time needed to properly communicate with you.” Adric paused at this, after all his time here he finally knew its name. It was odd, all the times he had heard it ‘speak’ it always came out as hisses and screeches. Yet his name, his words, came to his mind so easily.

“I called ‘Adric’ I live world of dirt” Adric responded, or at least tried to. The ‘translator’ being far from ideal on his end, he sighed as he realized he must have been sounding like a child to dragon, or ‘Darnethlil’. Darnethlili simply chuckled, or what passed for a chuckle from his mouth.
“You need not overly concern yourself with your thoughts, I can, mostly understand your mind. But your planet does seem to have a curious name.” Adric glared back. His brain thought out again “Earth” but all that was understood was “dirt” he paused, realizing how literally the translator seemed to take things, Earth DID mean ‘dirt’. He tried “Terra” next, but it seemed to have the same result, finally he looked back up.
“Gaea” he thought, and it seemed to come across. Darnethlil nodded “Gaea, world mother, a good name. You may know my world as Trathala” Adric nodded, though was still annoyed, unlike Darnethlil, he seemed to receive no clues or meanings on words… ‘Trathala’ might mean dirt as well for all he knew. Darnethlil seemed to chuckle once more and quickly interjected.
“It means ‘gift of the holy one’ to us in our most ancient tongue, and we are his people.” Adric nodded, though he seemed a bit uncomfortable, he wasn’t exactly a religious person, but didn’t pay it too much mind. He finally had a chance to simply talk, to learn. Yes he was on another planet, and yes he seemed to be having dinner with a dragon. But he had for the most part accepted these absurdities so far, and now he wanted to know more.

With the ice broken as it were, the two began to relax and discuss one another’s worlds. Darnethlil making jabs and criticism about the violence, politics and a great many other things of Adrics world, and Adric, realizing he seemed to be in a pre eclectic pre industrial revolution civilization that prided itself on fierce religious obedience and a fanatical pacifism.
By then, Darnethlil had found a knife for his guest to finish his meal for which Adric thanked him. After cleaning up, the Trathalan let out a low sigh and eased back into a chair. Draping his wings around himself, he listened to the tales of the far away world Adric had come from. Although he did not mention it, he found it surprisingly similar to his world’s own dark, and ancient past. After a time Adric seemed less and less interested in his world, asking more of the world he was now at. It was then that Adric first found out about the war.
Darnethlil weaved an elaborate tale as he told of the interplanetary war going on around him. That his peaceful world was now at the heart of this war, that his Clan stood alone in open rebellion against the attackers, that for all purposes, they had pledged to fight a war without killing anyone
The very idea of it all filled Adric with a fear he desperately tried not to show..

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER SEVEN ***** ***** ***** *****

High over the world of Trathala hung the great moon of Hurn. It was as large as some of the smaller planets in the solar system; so large it held its own atmosphere, so large it made the nights of Trathala almost as bright as the days. In many of the myths of Trathala it was considered not really a ‘moon’ but a younger brother, a world birthed along side their own that journeyed around the sun again and again. It was on Hurn, thousands upon thousands of years ago, that a great chapter of the Trathalan civilization would close.

Thousands of years later, it was reopened when first the Alliance came to their world, and then the Tajlan Empire. The first offered relative peace to the inhabitants, the second brought war.

The Great Imperial Tajlan Armada came slowly however. They had no faster then light drives, no great shield technology or anything that set their ships apart from the alliance. What did set them apart, was that instead of travelling in one vast armada, each ship burning fuel, the Empire had found an Asteroid and hollowed it out. Putting the whole of the Armada inside and outfitting it with a truly massive engine, it carried the Armada, troops, soldiers and forces too Trathala. Raising training and teaching a new generation of soldiers along the way,

The Great Asteroid ship had faithfully carried its payload to Trathala, parked itself in orbit around the planet, and proceeded to unleash the might of the Tajlan Empire upon the world. It now sat at a point between Trathala nad Hurn, anchored in the gravity between the two, serving as a Headquarters for the invasion and the war on the Alliance forces.

To date, Hurn was where the bulk of Tajlan forces where kept. The low gravity made shuttling to orbit relatively easy and the atmosphere meant they didn’t need to construct costly sealed habitations. It was an excellent staging area for the forces of the Empire and seemed forever busy.

At the largest launching port on Hurn, Qwintoni solders were busy preparing themselves for their first deep space assignments away from the relative safety of the primary Headquarters. The bases on the outer edge of the asteroid field had just been finished and represented footholds of the ever-expanding space the Imperial Armada controlled. Soon they would be full of solders to guard against the Alliance and repel any foolhardy attempts to regain territory.

Watching them prepare, was a great and hulkish Qwintoni. Born on the eve of leaving his homeworld, raised on the immense trip through space, and bred ready for war, Jakenénth felt lucky that he would not be going.

The majority of those that passed by were young Turpitz solders, most of whom had yet to see combat and would spend the next quarter rotation inside small asteroid bunkers. There were a few Warriors, most of which regretted being order to deep space guard duty. Jakenénth watched their ranks as they shuffled through the large hanger, which led to the transports. Every so often he would see a Vernitz, and even an Opatitz. But none of them were Nepatitz. And being a Nepatitz Warrior meant you didn’t get ordered around like lower ranked troops. One could, sometimes, choose where one would be stationed. And currently, Jakenénth was exactly where he wanted to be. Putting in an application early, Jakenénth was able to stay on the moon base and more importantly, near Trathala.

Jakenénth thought for a moment on the importance of this. He had never taken well to the mission his Overseer’s had tasked him with. A defence of his Homeworld was one thing. It was something he believed in, something he felt to be pure. But this, this was something far different.

In his upbringing during the trip to Trathala, Jakenénth was shocked at the staggering scale of raw materials spent to outfit the Armada and the great Asteroid ship that had taken them all across space to this target of conquest. That in retrospect the leaders in charge must have known Trathala was already inhabited further churned his stomach. He felt bitter inside, used. He had never seen his homeworld, never know his people. He and a generation like him had been born, raised and taught only to fight, to fight away from home on some world many of them felt they had no right nor place taking.

The conflict inside him was great. What he had learned of his homeworld was either propaganda he knew to be false or heavy slanted ‘facts’ or information, smuggled on bored before launch from people who already felt a change was needed. It was these people, who had quietly but surly taught Jakenenth and a handful of others as much ‘truth’ as they could. He looked away from the launching area and made his way back into the primary structure of the facility.

He checked the chronometer on his bracer ever so often, keenly aware of the time as he stopped at the base’s recreation facility. Recreation was something a Qwintoni did not often partake in, and today was no different, he entered in and sat, awaiting a particular ‘friend’ he was supposed to see
As he entered the area, he examined the various sparing areas, watching the few Qwintoni present match wits against each other. Those Qwintoni not sparing practiced complex battle moves in the moons low gravity. The rest of the occupants inside were, not to his surprise, mostly Tejlini officers. They sat on the floor while discussing various topics of the day. How the war was going,, how glorious the quick military victories had been, and how they were going to wipe the floor against the Alliance military forces. Jakenénth took a seat on the floor in a quiet corner away from the rest. It had been over hundred rotations since there had been a war with the Tejlini. Despite the peace, Jakenénth still viewed them as contemptible and arrogant. He tried not to disrupt his brief visit with distracting thoughts about issues he could not control, for now. For the moment, he thought it better to focus on what lay ahead. Glancing out a window, he viewed the world his people had so easily taken. He admired its beauty from his far off vantage point, the beautiful, blue and green world of Trathala

Not ‘New Tajlan’, not a planet full of aliens but a world held by a corrupt and repressive Empire. Jakenénth mused over his traitorous thoughts. It wasn’t that he hated his Homeland and government. On the contrary, since the formation of the Tajlan Empire there had been a new era of peace and prosperity after nearly 500 rotations of senseless warfare.
No, it was not the seven nations of the Empire he hated, it was the one nation of the Imperium. Although they had been responsible for bringing about the era of peace, they had done so by taking away almost all personal freedom and civil rights. It wasn’t long before a democracy movement began gaining momentum. But the Imperium held such great political power that progress was near impossible. It seemed that the time for progress might never come.

But it did, ironically in the form of the conquest of Trathala. The generation that had been born and raised on the trip to Trathala, was quick to feel the weight of a repressive government. Having never lived in the constant propaganda of the Imperium, the repressive government and lack of civil rights was far more noticeable. But it wasn’t until Jakenénth had heard of how first contact with the idyllic people of Trathala had been conducted, that he was finally disgusted enough to take action into his own hands.

A tap on the shoulder brought him out from his thoughts.
“Jakenenth, it is time.” The Qwintoni turned to see a friend of his, Tethjro, another high-ranking warrior. He nodded softly as he looked around. From the recreation facility, the two slowly made their way down increasingly disused hallways. At every turn making sure there where not seen or followed. Finally they came to a hatch in a disused part of the base. A series of knocks was echoed by a similar series before the two entered inside.

“Welcome Jakenenth, Tethjro, I am glad the two of you made it, we were about to start.” An Officer said from behind the table. There were twenty of them all together, most of them high-ranking warriors, and all but two were Qwintoni. They looked at each other with a somber sense of duty as the door was locked behind them.

“Let the free people of Tajlan meet once more. The war continues, as does the waste and the lies.” One, the oldest among the group spoke as others nodded, his name was Klenthtoro, he was an aged, grizzered Qwintoni, who was old when the great armada left his world. He was one of the few that remember his homeworld, and knew enough of its secrets that something needed to be done. He was the one who had started the secret plan, to secretly teach as much of the youth about his world as possible. That such a war, away from home, against a larger enemy force, and fought on a planet they had no business being, would wound and eventually break the Empire. He was an excellent planner and thinker, skilled in the art of doubletalk and hiding secrets. He had survived numerous ‘purges’ of others like him within the ranks of the officers over the long twenty years of his journey, many of his allies had been lost to him, and he was no longer willing to watch and wait, the time of waiting was over.

“We must act, we must act decisively and with force, we must send a message that not just us, but a majority of the soldiers, and the youth, have no want or desire for this war.” The others nodded in agreement, all of them aware of what was needed, but few of them had any sense of what could be done.

“Klenthtoro, we are all in agreement, but are numbers are few, we can’t very well hold a coup and over through the primary leadership. Any movement to install outright rebellion or dissension would be brutally crushed. What can we possible do to begin to begin to change the minds of our leaders or force their hand to withdrawal from this miserable backwater world we are forced to occupy.” Klenthtoro smirked, looking at the younger members of the council, an all-knowing look in his deep eyes.

“We, are going to help the primitive of the world bellow, help them ‘drive out’ our forces.” He said softly as the others looked at him incredulously.
“The primitives below are fanatic pacifists!” one of the Tejlini spoke up, others raising from thier seats.
“They would never raise a hand, they didn’t attempt a single engagement to defend their own world.”
“How can you possibly think we could use them to destabilize the leadership of those in control?” Klenthtoro smiled.

“Because, I have been given a rather embarrassing report, outlining an attack upon a small garrison by primitives. It seems a group on the island know as the ‘Lonti Clan’ has been casting aside their religious beliefs and dabbling in open rebellion.” The others stopped their protests, looking at each other, more confused then shocked by the news. Jakenenth, found himself, albeit timidly, speaking up for the first time.

“Excuse me sir, but if you, and the leadership knows who has been attacking these small forces, why have they not responded, one of our primary airbases is on the island. Why have they not simply bombed and crushed the rebels?” Jakenenth looked down suddenly, he felt a little embarrassed that his mind, trained as it was, seemed to instantly devise a method of attacking and defeating the force that might hold they key to their plans. He looked away, but Klenthtoro seemed to understand.

“You are correct, as it is now our forces could easily crush these primitives. But they have been unable to locate them. They seem to be very, very good at hiding themselves, and that may serve us. The leadership has been embarrassed by the brashness of the attacks and is trying to keep things quiet, holding back on simply rolling over suspected areas while trying to find their next attack. And with each attack that occurs and goes un punished, those in charge of the planets garrison, feel the pressure mount a little bit more.

Gentlemen, Tejlini and Qwintoni, this is our chance. Imagine if we ‘help’ these attacks, imagine the increasing shame of those in charge as a group of primitive religious zealots best the Empires finest.” One of the Tejlini looked up.

“What are you proposing, help attack our own forces? Give aid to the enemy? We are still fighting a war Klenthtoro.” The aged Qwintoni chuckled and mused on this. The thinking of Tejlini, even under best of circumstances, still seemed to center into ideas of victory and glory. He looked up, a stern gleam in his eyes.

“My good friend, for every victory these primitives have, it will tighten the noose around those in control of the planet. This is perhaps are best opportunity to truly enact changes we are after. We force out the older leadership, move in our operatives and leaders. When the time is right we can act, we will be the ones in control and we can at last put an end to this madness and leave this wretched world behind us.” The others looked up, a gleam of hope in their eyes at last as they nodded their approval.

“By the Gods Klenthtoro, you are correct. The fall of the garrisons bellow will put the leadership in a state of panic; they will be desperate to restore order by any means possible.
“Yes, and if we have contact with these ‘rebels’ and with a world can stop the attacks, or make them worse, we can easily affect a rapid change on the military leadership of the world below, and, eventually, on the leadership here as well. When we have our people in place, we can simply leave this world behind.” Another round of nods and agreements followed before Klenthtoro raised a paw to silence the talk.

“Indeed, but we are forgetting something, in order for any of this to work, we must send someone to meet with these primitives, to find them, gain their trust and above all, make sure they can be loyal to us.”
“Agreed, but who, and how many should we send?” Tethjro spoke as Klenthtoro turned, his gaze falling on Jakenenth. Jakeneth looked up and his twin sets of ears flitted back in embarrassment.
“You, you are the youngest of us, you are the most open minded to our cause and our ideals. More then that you have proven yourself supremely skilled in your training, you have reached the rank of Nepatitz quicker then almost anyone else in the fleet. You, Jakenenth, our going to go to Trathala, you are going to find these rebels, talk to them, and for the sake of the Gods, make sure they don’t do anything stupid.”

Jakeneth looked up at the others, his heart racing, he wasn’t sure he could possibly be prepared for what they asked of him, yet, he knew it was what he had been preparing for his whole life.
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
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Read "Tales From The Crossroads"!
Read "One Wrong Turn"!
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Crossroads Inc.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

((Because sooner or later I hope people will read THIS story too...))

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER EIGHT ***** ***** ***** *****

Following the first attack against the Imperial forces, Adric watched as more and more Darnthlil seemed to get swept up in the role of leader, commander, and organizer of his fledgling resistance. More and more he would bring those of his clan into the growing insurgencies. Yet the more he people brought in, the more Adric worried, he never seemed to have any plan other then simply the next attack upon Tajlan forces. And the attacks themselves left Adric further worried. Sure they had had no real losses, no great defeats, but they hadn’t exactly been going after military installations, heavily armed forces or bases. It seemed more like simple hit and runs attacks, wounding soldiers and stealing weapons, which, he thought bittery, wound up being destroyer or packed away rather then ever being used.

Despite what Darnethlil had said, Adric sensed that the true motives behind Darnethlils attacks were generated more by the murder of his father then a plan to liberate his people. As far as Adric was concerned Darnethlil had no serious plans, no tactical knowledge and very few resources. Compounding these faults Adric had observed how much Darnethlil was hampered by his own beliefs and religions views. The guilt from even a single death from either his Clan or the enemy weighed heavily upon his shoulders.

To Adric the fact that Darnethlils people had won their first few raids with minor injuries and no deaths had surprised him him. Though Adric was glad that his alien friend was successful, the victories they claimed brought their people no closer to freedom from the Tajlan Empire. Darnethlils Clan, strong as it may be, lived on one, small unimportant landmass. Even if they managed to liberate the entire territory, how could he even begin to help the other twelve Clans.

For the most part Adric tried to keep his concerns to himself. He could never trust Darnthlil not to stay out of his mind and he did his best to only think of such things when the Trathalan was not around. That was one other thing, which worried him. He had been on the world for almost a month and so far had yet to be introduced to anyone else. He felt isolated and alone, and every time Darnthlil left he worried that he would never see the Trathalan again.

Eventually he could no longer hold his concerns, on an evening as Darnethlil returned from yet another ‘victory’ Adric waited for him inside his room. The large Trathalan entered, weary and looking tired. Adric hesitated, this was not his first attempt to confront both his savior and his captor, and he began to think differently, but was betrayed by his thoughts.

You worry, you worry of me and my cause. Forgive me Adric, I feel I have indeed become caught in the need to drive out these invaders from my home Adric looked up, he wanted to say more but was a bit taken aback. It unnerved him greatly that the alien read his mind so casually, yet at the same time he answered a question Adric had no idea how to ask. He slipped back in the chair he so often sat at, watching as once more Darnethlil unlocked a place under the floorboards, depositing captured Tajlan assault rifles. Adric wondered just how many weapons had been captured by now; enough to probably arm all of his freedom fighters, if they ever dared used the damn things.

Darnthlil shot him an angry glare, his wings flared in an equally angry appearance as Adric slunk back a bit.

”Do you not think how easy it would be to use my enemies own weapons against them? If I did so it would go against everything I hold dear, I have sacrificed already so much of my soul to this fight, I will not compromise myself any more!” Once more Adric found himself have questions answered he couldn’t possibly put into words. He felt frustrated and upset. He steadied himself and finally spoke up.

It is not alone that. I am alone, always, you self are my only Trathalan known here. You depart and know nothing of others here, what if you do not return? What if you, killed?” Adric spoke, his eyes beginning to water from his emotion. He didn’t exactly agree with the Trathaln on how he did things, what he did, but for whatever reason, he had become attached to the big ‘dragon’ and couldn’t stand the thought of something happening to him. Darnethlil sighed and began to understand, he closed his eyes, reciting a verse of scripture before laying his hand on Adrics shoulder.

You always seem to speak words of truth Adric of Gaea, much is there I learn from you. The time has come I believe to end you being a ‘prisoner’ to me. Indeed, the time is approaching that a great council will be had; plans are being formed for a great and glorious attack on our oppressors. And when we meet, I think it is time to introduce you to the others of my world. I think first however, I need to teach you how to ‘speak’ without wings.”

Adric looked behind himself, suddenly a bit self-conscious as Darnethlil smirked.

Since that night, Darnethlil had seemed fit to take up ‘tutoring’ the alien in the ways of his world. He was taught greetings and customers, etiquette and proper social interaction. To begin with, he had to get used to the concept that they almost never smiled or used facial expressions of any kind when they could help it. Most all emotion was displayed through their wings, understanding these gestures were somewhat daunting though, and often led to embarrassment as Darnethlil seemed to delight in pointing out that Adric had no wings of his own to sign with.

All of this was gradually leading up to the time when Darnethlil had said he would be introduced to his council. Those few he felt he could trust to both see Adric and not fear him. That was easy enough for him. As they day neared Adric became petrified with making a good impression on the others. As well as wondering exactly what this meeting was about. Darnethlil had been increasingly secretive about the whole thing, and unlike the Trathalan, Adric had no means of simply reading his mind. Something that was always done with unnerving ease to the human

As the days went by, Adric began to grow more accustomed to his surroundings, alien they may be. Though he still thought of Earth from time to time, he had slowly adapted to his new alien home. That is if you could get used to the interplanetary war going on and the army of ruthless soldiers bent on the conquest of the planet he currently inhabited. .

Adric mulled over these thoughts late one night as he studied the confusing script of Trathalan writing; he had been trying to learn the vertically written language for quite some time, hoping to be able to read some of the hundreds of mysterious books Darnethlil kept inside his home. Yet as was often the case, the more he tried to learn the intricate writing, the more it simply made his eyes hurt.
Looking up from his work he casually glanced outside the window, hoping to see Darnethlil returning from his outing. His travels had grown more and more as the day of the much talked about council grew closer. As he peered out into the bright blue night sky, he did indeed see Darnethlil approaching from across the grassy hills. However, to Adrics surprise, there were several other individuals with him. Almost a dozen winged dragonish aliens walked along side Darnethlil.

“For the love of Pete, He is going to do it tonight, he could have at least told me ahead of time!” Adric looked at himself, then to the closet, he had been working on something, he wasn’t sure if it was genius or perhaps something he would never forgive himself for, but he decided it was worth a shot, if he Was going to meet others, he was going to do his damnedest to talk with them on equal footing.

Outside Darnethlil had stopped those assembled and prepared them. He was far from oblivious to Adrics feelings on this subject and tried to inform those around him on the delicate nature of his stay. Though, this was easier said then done.
“I do not understand your motives Darnethlil, nor do I comprehend as to why you wish to house an insignificant offworlder in the hollowed home of our Clan Leader.” Spoke one of the older Trathalans, his wings shaking.
“Hold your tongue Toranth!” Darnethlil snapped back, gesturing broadly with his wings. “Les you forgot that the Clan Home is mine! Additional, do not speak such slurs in his presence! He is no offworlder, or I am not of Trathala. Judge for yourself he belongs not to the races of the Empire nor those in the Alliance, he is all-together unique. And the fact that he arrived through a Crossgate, an event I swear by as Clan Leader, makes him honoured as well.” There was a deep silence as the others were a bit nodded to themselves. None dared dispute him again, nor the apparent origins of the alien,

“Very well Darnethlil, we shall meet this, what was word? ‘Human’ you have, and judge for ourselves.”
“I am glad you have come to your senses Toranth, lest we forgot the true intentions of this gathering tonight.” The others flicked their wings in a sign of slight laughter as they heart fully agreed. “Within a fore night, we shall liberate our Capital, Toric will be ours again!”
Adric shuddered as he suddenly heard a chores of hideous screeching from outside. He covered his ears as he tried to reassure himself that this was their version of laughing. All too soon it stopped, as they continued on to the house. He could hear them almost at the door now.. He gathered up his courage as the door began to open. He had the translator affixed to his head, he had calmed himself as best as he could, and his ‘experiment’ was already in place.

So it was that as Darnethlil opened the door, ready to introduce the first of his friends to the Alien guest, he looked upon Adric wearing bits of wood and canvas, tied together with string and some hinges he had noticed missing a few days ago. Adric for his part pulled a string which made the makeshift “wings” open up in as much of a gesture of greetings as possible…

Greetings friend of beast dragon Darenthlil, I Adric of world dirt He blinked and tried to correct World Gaea, I welcome you” Darnethlil looked down, the Trathalan next to him, Toranth, seemed genuinely impressed at the effort as he spoke aloud.

“You say he is from another world, but it seems you have taught him well, look, he has grown wings already, you are truly gifted.” Toranth spoke, giving a hissing chuckle as Darnethlil looked at Adric, not sure weather to be annoyed or impressed.

After the initial meeting, Darnethlil slowly introduced the others. One by one they were brought inside to meet the Human, easing the shock to both him. And those Darnethlil had brought. As Adric bowed and greeted each in traditional Trathalan fashion, tugging strings and flexing his artificial wings here and there, he couldn’t help but still feel uneasy. As the last and smallest of them greeted him, Adric was mulling over exactly what the meeting was about.

”Relax young Adric of Gaea, you worry about all matter of situations, regardless of weather they might concern you. Darenethlil was right you are a most suspicious creature.” Looking up he was surprised to see a broad smile on the face of the small Trathalan. Or at least as much of a ‘smile’ as could be made on the Trathalans face.
I felt this would make you feel better then our hideous screeching as you so eloquently put. I am Mekal, and I hope that someday you may go to your home.” Adric looked at the young Trathalan, he realized he was not wearing one of the jeweled ‘translators’ everyone else seemed to need in order to speak to him. Even Darnethlil used one when he wished to speak to Adric, he found it rather unsettling. As though reading his thoughts word for word, the young Trathalan turned
You are right Adric, it would be rude to speak to you different from the others, Perhaps I should have one of the ‘translators’ as well’” he spoke to Adric as, before he could really respond, he felt the ring around his head yanked away.
Do not worry Adric, you need not concern yourself with the matters at hand, I am sure it would prove quite Boring to you” he said, turning quickly and heading inside.

Adric watched dumbfounded as his only link to communicating to the others was so causally taken form him.
“Hey, HEY! Give me that back!” he said, about to give chase when the main hall doors where closed and locked. He fumed on the other side. Only able to hear screeches and shrieks from deep inside, not able to make heads or tales of the language without the translator. He turned, upset, a bit embarrassed and humiliated, All he could think of was telling Darnethlil as he sat down by the closed door.

Mekal, still easily in touch with Adric’s mind did his best to contain a snicker before continuing on to the council hall. He didn’t wish to upset the off-worlder, but he felt it was for the best, some things should not be discussed in front of aliens, regardless of how well they seemed to behave.
Entering into the long wooden hall, Mekal was glad he had been invited to this meeting. Though in active member in the resistance, he had never been to the elaborate Council Hall before within Darnethlils home. Though relatively new, less then eighty turns old, it was one of the few that had survived the invasion. Most of the Clan Homes had been destroyed or burned in an attempt to break the spirit of the Clans. Walking past the hundreds of thin banners, each representing a year of the Clans existence, Mekal finally took a seat toward the middle of the heavy Paragon Wood table, an heirloom from when the Lonti Clan was first founded. Rising from his seat, Darnethlil greeted Mekal as all were finally seated.

”I am glad you finally have joined us young one, I have been wondering where you were Mekal,
Contemplating your guest Neth, his is quite amusing ” Mekal commented, flicking his wings in a brief laugh. Those assembled did likewise, much relaxed after meeting Darnethlil’s guest.

”He is quite an interesting creature, I can only imagine what his race must be like” An elder, ‘Solanth’ spoke from the end of the table
”Yes indeed Darnethlil, you seemed to have trained him quite nicely for an off-worlder, much more respectful and reasonable then so many other aliens we seem to have come across, I would hazard it shall not belong before you can collar the creature as your own personal pet” Toranth spoke now, ending with a rather over the top shaking of his wings in laughter. Darnethlil glared at him for a moment.
I have trained him to respect us Toranth, it is only fare we should respect him as well. I will vouch that he should never need a collar.” He spoke his face serious as he leaned back.
”But enough of this, all know why we are here, and we know the pearl of our journey, but I am sure that we shall prevail.” Darnethlil began as he roused the spirits of those in the Clan Hall. Outside the hall Adric tried to listen as best he could without a translator. It gulled him that he was robed of any sense of what was being said inside, he kept trying to broadcast his thoughts to Darnethlil, hoping he would hear him, but it seemed they were all much to busy to pick up on anything he broadcast. He looked to the clock on the wall and sighed; it was several hours later before he eventually fell asleep.

Early the next day, shortly before dawn, a large Trathalan shaking him from where he lay on the floor roused him. He looked up to sharp squawks and barks, and then pointed to his forehead. The Trathalan looked at him oddly before turning around. A moment later he returned with a ring and handed it. Adric quickly put it on and huffed.
All night I hear loud loud noises, but not understand any words, what has been spoken all night?” He said, probably a bit more loudly then he should have.

The Trathalan looked at him, composed himself and patted Adrics head.

I am sorry you could not hear, but perhaps it is for the best, our Leader has finished and wishes to see you.” he spoke, heading down the long corridor that lead to the meeting hall. Adric followed quickly behind, remembering to put on his faux-wings, sure he would need them as he finally came to the hall. He could swear there where perhaps twice as many Trathalans as had first arrived last evening. The grand meeting hall was full of shrieking and clattering Tarhatalans, wings flared and waving everywhere. More then that they seemed ‘dressed up’ many with elaborate headpieces and coats. The noise was deafening, both to his ears and his head as so many voices and minds spoke together. He suddenly found himself wishing he Hadn’t had the translator on after all.

Eventually in the middle of it all he found Darnethlil and quickly went to him.

“Welcome Adric, at last you awaken, it is good I see you now”” Adric looked up,
“Is it possible that someone explain what is occurring?” He asked, sounding both tired from the long night, and slightly exasperated. Darnethlil ‘smiled’ which mostly meant he gave his wing a soft curve as he looked down at Adric.
”I apologize for Mekal taking away your communication, he tends to be a bit , forward, but I did not wish you to know our plans till we had fully committed ourselves to them young Adric. The time has come for us to be bold, we have gathered ever Clan member who wishes to, fight, for us. Together we shall make our way to Toric, our ‘capital’ as you would call it. There we shall spread among the people, spread our message and have them join us. When the whole of Toric is with us, united, moving as one, we can act upon our invaders at last! We shall drive them out and send a message to their leaders! Adric this will be a wonderful day to remember!” Darnethlil spoke to him, his wings climbing higher and higher as he echoed with a grand voice inside Adrics mind.

Adric looked up, his mouth agape. A torrent of questions and suddenly revelations churned in his head, already Darnethlil looked down at him curious, able to feel heavy weaves of emotion welling up, unable to make head or tails of them. Adric felt his hands clenching, his face twitched a bit as he tried to respond. His mind never gave him a real chance on the matter, which is when he simply shouted.

“You really don’t the first thing about Warfare! Your going to march into a city with Soldiers, with Guns And expect to drive them out, with what? Kind words? Have you ever even fired one of those guns you capture so often? They KILL you! Quickly! You are all stuck in the Dark ages here and probably don’t even have proper Gun powder!” As soon as he had finished, he clamped his hand over his mouth and winced.. He hadn’t even tried thinking it, he’d just shouted, and the eyes of every single Trathalan in the great hall was upon him. Not all he been listening, few had bothered trying to catch the meaning of the spoken words, at first. It wasn’t hard however to catch emotion, anger, disapproval, and deep, deep contempt for them.

Darnethlil glared down at him now, gripping his shoulders tightly, claws slightly digging into him.

You continue to think of us as Primitives young Adric, I think it is time you know the Truth of us” Adrics’ face burned from embarrassment, he regretted the words as soon as he spoke them but knew he could do nothing to take them back. Darnethlil pulled him out of the room, moving quickly down the corridors back up to rooms above. He made his way ot his room, pushing Adric inside and closing the door.

Adric looked up, frigthend of the Trathaln for the first time since he had arrived here. He’d seen what he could do to the ‘dummies’ down bellow; it made his blood ran cold.

Darnethlil sighed himself, he didn’t want to face Adric, not just yet, he had let his words cut too deeply into his heart, let his anger flare up far too quickly. He began to chant softly, meditating, clearing himself of anger as he did not wish to confront Adric till he was in a more civilized state.

Adric watched him for a moment wondering exactly what was going to happen next. He found himself wondering, yes, he had snaped at Darnethlil, and not exactly behaved way. But he felt his point was valid. As far as he could tell Darnethlils people had never entered the industrial era. No machines, no electricity, no signs of manufactured goods, and certainly no weapons…

You think I can not hear you, you continue to insult my people, now sit, it is time you learned!” he heared the words come to his mind. Adric did his best to glare back at Darnethlil, annoyed that he always seemed to be reading his thoughts weather he liked it or not. Adric did his best to try and counter the large Trathalan,.

I not know of you history, do not anger with me. Additional please keep absent from self Mind!” he said back, once more annoyed at how the translator always made his words sound like baby talk. Darnethlil regarded him he sighed, calmed himself, recited a pray and calmed himself as he retrieved a locked wooden box from the hidden space beneath the floor.
”You are correct Adric of Gaea, I should respect your privacy more, we are so used to being open in our minds and thoughts, I do not always understand what it is to not be in another’s mind.” Adric simply glared at him, trying his best to be intimidating to the tall deadly taloned and fanged Trathalan. Darnethlil ‘smiled’ with his wings and chuckled once more as he sat before Adric.

Adric, how old do you think my people are? How long do you think we have been making cities and living together in society?” Adric stopped, he paused, trying to remember his own history, he thought of the first basic civilizations some 4000years BC, then another 2000years beyond that. Adric tried his best to form his response, numbers didn’t always translate well, but he managed a:
5000, 5500 rotations?” he hesitated, thinking, if he WAS right, and Darnrthlils people had not entered the industrial age, they were at least 300 or 400 years behind him.

Ah, how simple it is, to judge from what you see, and do not know. My young Adric, new worlder, by your years and method of counting, as I perceive it from your mind, my people have held society for almost 8000 of your years. This ‘industry’ you think so highly of, we met it expanded it and moved beyond it. Yes, young Adric, our people have learned of electricity, we mastered the forces of the atomic, and we danced among the stars. Thousands of years ago now we did all this.’ Adric blinked dumbfounded, it wasn’t that he didn’t believe Darnethlil, he had no reason not too. He simply wasn’t sure what to think of it.

”How this happened? Where did civilization go? You had large cities but no more, even star vessels, all gone?” Darnethlil looked down, he opened the wooden box at last, pulling out something that seemed like a television or monitor. It looked decidedly advanced and Darnethlil spoke softly as he seemed to turn it on.

This, I built with my father, each Clan Leader builds one, to pass on the knowledge of those that came before. Now you know will know what became of us. ” Adric watched as the screen came to life. It was an image of Trathala, from space, one of the Tajlan Satellites? No, the world was at night, but covered in lights. Long bands of lights arched to immense blooms, cities, huge cities seemed to encrust the world. If this was Trathala, how long ago could it have been, and what could have happened.

He continued to watch the recording as, as if in answer to his question, he suddenly saw an immense bloom of light on part of the planet. The image flickered for a moment with static as another immense bloom of light erupted. Adric watched as all the lights near by went out. The screen flickered again. More blooms of light, he counted ten now, fifteen, twenty and thirty. They began to happen more and more quickly as Adric began to realize what he was watching. His mouth hung open in horror as the image grew with increasing static. Darnethlil simply watched, no expression on his face as the recording continued. Virtually no part of the world had not been hit by what Adric now knew to be Atomic weapons, no light remained on the surface as the image finally blurred and went over to nothing but empty static.

How, great time, from, when planet, died” he said, his words ‘stuttering’ as he tried to speak to Darnethlil, his heart pounding as he tried to fathom just how many people he had watched die. Darnthlil sighed softly he tilted his wings back, showing concern and empathy toward the Human as he spoke gently.

Almost 6800 journeys around our sun have passed since that day. Our world had grown large and strong, we did dance among the stars, but our planet knew no peace, it consumed itself in bitter anger and petty war. It came a time when all of the nations unleashed their fury, and what you saw came to be. You see us as primitives because that is what we choose to be. Our cities have decayed and gone back to the dirt. Our past and our machines have been left to pass away. We gave ourselves over to Crie, we prayed, we gave up all violence and hostility, and we learned to live more simply.

Adric listened, still stunned, trying to take in the enormity of what Darnthlil was saying. Questions flew into his mind however, a dozen different thoughts flew form him as he tried to understand.

”How can there be no evidence? How can you people abandon all advancement? How do you know to make this electronic picture?” Darnethlil looked at him as he listened. As always he took his time trying to discern the meaning behind Adrics words, but guessed at them well enough. He actually smirked a little now, relieving some of the tension in the room.

”You think we have fully given up all that we know? We live as we do because we have no wish for the path that firdstl, no one has machines of war, we do not have nations any more, nor cities where people grow crowded and upset, bitter with life. But, young Adric that does not mean we simply abandoned all that we have learned. We live simply, but we did not give up all things. Across this world are houses of knowledge from the old world. The Medicine I use on you and others is more powerful then anything I would imagine your own world has yet created. Machines we can produce, if we wished, engines both fueled by electricity and Atomic we know of. Adric looked up, suddenly thinking,

”If this truth, then what of weapons? Machines? I know you do not fight to kill, but if freedom is wanted, pistol weapon must be better then knife and sword”” Darnethlil stood up, as if suddenly disgusted. Adric could see it in his eyes, the very notion of making pure weapons of war, even to defeat the Empire, disturbed him deeply.

We will not sully ourselves with such things, when we go to march on Toric, we shall cause the masses to rise up, a wave of our people shall meet with them and win. They have ‘guns’ yes, we have our minds, you still do not know the full extent of what we can do without weapons as you know them. And for that I forgive you your brash views, but know this we shall go, and we shall triumph.”

Adric looked up, that steely determined look in Darnethlils eye telling him everything he needed to know. He watched Darnethlil bow to him and leave to join the others. Inside Adric’s heart raced. In an instant his whole perception of them seemed challenged, but his thoughts on what Darnethlil intended to do had not.
Last edited by Crossroads Inc. on 2009-12-26 04:20am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by LadyTevar »

I have just caught up with the Revival... and again I want to say that I am reading, and I want you to keep going with it.

This last chapter explains a lot about why they are pacifists. It still doesn't explain their mental gifts, however.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

LadyTevar wrote:I have just caught up with the Revival... and again I want to say that I am reading, and I want you to keep going with it.

This last chapter explains a lot about why they are pacifists. It still doesn't explain their mental gifts, however.
Thank you for reading it, the ego boost helps me keep going with this, as it's largely a labor of love for me, Ive been working on this for a while.

As for the Mental bits, that is something I'm not sure may come up in this story, I'd love to say more about it, though I'm not sure how much of the story it would give away. Needless to say it ties in with a couple of things mentioned in the story, though I'm not sure anyones picked up on.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Again, hoped for more of a response, but posting next chapter before this drops off the front page.

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER NINE ***** ***** ***** *****
Out in the dark space between Trathala and its’ moon, a small high-speed transport roared towered the green surface of the planet. It had taken him about two solar days to reach the planet, and he had spent much of that time going over the information the others in the council had given him. He had a few ideas on where to go to find the leader of the primitives below. First and foremost was the simple matter of language.

Most reports from Imperial Soldiers reported that the Trathalans seemed to be able to understand both Qwintoni and Tejlini speech, how this was no one had any idea, and so for, none of the ciphers had worked out the Trathalns language. Jakenénth was trying to finish his plans on how exactly he would handle his first encounter with the Trathalan rebels if and when he ever discovered them. He felt a tremendous burden on his shoulders from his duty, he knew what was expected of him by the others knew he could not fail.

Yet he found himself second-guessing himself, thinking twice about things. His mind was distracted and dwelled largely on the event that had taken place half way between Trathala and Hurn. It was there that the transport received word of the first direct attack by Alliance forces…

Since the start of the war, each side had brought their ships, albeit slowly, to the territory around the Trathalan star system. The Imperial ships, free of their Asteroid transportation, took up patrols of the primary asteroid bases and mining instillations that had been captured in the initial attack. Of course at the time, there had been no real military to face in the System. The imperial forces largely walked over the outer asteroid facilities and moved in with troops. But within the past month or so, the ships of the Alliance forces, the Tri-Star Federation as intel said their official name was; had arrived on the borders.

Jakenenth regarded the dancing and daring that had taken place at first. He knew that neither the Imperial nor Alliance ships wanted a direct encounter. Of the few fictional books smuggled on bored by the movement, Jakenenth remembered a precious few where listed as ‘Science Fiction’. He had read of great starships with powerful weapons, energy guns and odd fields that prevented damage, physic bending drives that went faster then light and hull armor that could brush aside multi kiloton nuclear warheads. Taking a moment to look around the cramped, official and utilitarian interior of his shuttle, he found himself wishing his ships had such great powers.

He recalled from his training of Imperial warships, the average armor was built just strong enough to keep out most micrometeorites as well as standard background radiation. The average weapons consisted of long-range tactical warheads geared to fire at ships no one might ever see. And even the great Asteroid ship, which had the most powerful drives ever constructed by his people, at full burn could barley push .02 of c.
It was all of this that made the initial attack on the asteroid base of K-2567 all the more shocking to the entire Imperial military in the system.

Tracking incoming ships was largely a game of luck, immense linked inferred sensors and light sensing interferometers peered endlessly along space trying to pick up a microscopic blip. Sometimes they would catch the infantesimal small heat of a ship tens of thousands of units away, and sometimes not.

When three five-megaton nuclear missiles impacted against the Asteroid, the shockwave immediately incinerated a destroyer and the EMP scrambled most of the other ships computers. It took nearly five minutes to locate the source of the attack, three small blooms of heat about 18,000 miles from their location. The remaining two destroyers, their targeting systems questionable, each launched over twenty missiles, over half their payload, in response. Moments after their counter attack, three more missiles came into range of the base. Anti missile counter measures were now operational, though it seemed the Alliance missiles were emitting a scrambling single, it was only by saturating the incoming field with ‘flak bursts’ that two of the missiles were destroyed; the third however struck the lead ship, the cruiser Jahentro, which evaporated in a ball of atomic fire.
A survey ship sent to the location of the alliance heat signatures found wreckage, but it was virtually impossible to tell what type of ships, or how many, may have been destroyed.

Jakenenth suddenly found his finger nails embedded in the chair he was strapped to. He shock his head, a day later he still could not get the report out of his head. Since the initial invasion, Trathala and his movements plan to oust those in charge of the plane had largely taken up all of his thinking and concentration. He had simply taken it for granted that no one would risk a direct engagement so soon, given his people time to act. All of that seemed to have changed now, if the Alliance forces had started to push against the Imperial outposts, regardless of casualties, it would put in jeopardy everything his fledgling movement had so far worked for.

His thoughts where interrupted as a warning light came, on signalling that the shuttle had begun descending toward Trathala. Shaking his head he tried to focus himself. In a short time he would meet up with the small group of members planet side. He would have to relay all the communications and information updates from the main group on the moon as well as find passage to the island that the attacks had so far been taking place on. He gathered his material in his travel bag, locking the security clearance for his personal computer pad just as the shuttle began to hit atmosphere.

The old, rickety transport lurched as it become engulfed in the planets atmosphere. The speed increased as the peace of space was replaced by the growing roar of heat building beneath the thin poly-ceramic heat shield. The thin plates that separated the ships occupants from being incinerated glowed ever brighter as it descended into a blazing fireball. Between the din and heat caused by re-entry, Jakenénth could hear a few of the others mumbling about certain death. To Jakenénth , it didn’t concern him, old as this ship was, its poly-ceramic heat shield was the exact same type used on1st class transports. And in over 120 rotations of use the amount of failure could be counted on a single paw.

As the glowing fireball that was once their ship descended into thickest part of the atmosphere were radio blackout occurred Jakenénth began to focus on how to implement his plans. After contacting his friends, exchanging information and then travelling to his to the island of ‘Lonti’ he would need, track down a member of the primitives resistance, hopefully without anyone killing each other. As the ship began to emerge from the fireball surrounding it, its wings tilted to a higher angle, slowing its descent to proper speed. A few moments later and it burst through the Trathalan sky. Jakenénth watched from above as the craft neared the northern continent that was his destination.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by LadyTevar »

And now it gets interesting...

I'm waiting to see where this goes.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Well, even if its only Lady Trevor Reading it, I bring you the next chaptewr

Along the western coast of the large Lonti Island stretched out a steep cliff face. Sheer bone white cliffs hung over the crashing waves of a beach far below. It was atop these cliffs that Qwintoni soldiers walked along the thick cool grasses in the fading light of evening. There were four of them, three of them just young Turpitz soldiers, tasked with investigating reports of Trathalan activities. The fourth was a slightly older Opatitz, who sighed as he looked out from the electric fueled vehicle they traveled in. They had traveled up and down the coast for a day after it was reported that a cargo carrier passing along the road had arrived at its destination minus several cases of assault rifles, explosives, and field rations. Given that the drivers as well as guards seemed to be suffering acute memory loss, the hallmarks of an attack by Trathalans, soldiers had been dispatched immediately to the coastal area.

The Opatitz however had his doubts.

"Turpitz Keljen. Please tell me again, why we have not returned to base when it seems that, once again, there is no sign nor trace of the attackers anywhere to be found?" the Opatitz growled.

"Sir, the last group that passed by this area reported radio contact with an unknown source. It had no ID marker or ident tags.” Opatitz Kurlo looked down from the top of the vehicle. He had been scanning the horizon with a pair of sighters, but paused to look down. He had heard of stray radio signals in the area, but so far nothing had ever come from tracking them.

"Keljen, is there currently any signals in the area? Or are you just following more rumors form the base?” the older Qwintoni asked with just a slight mocking edge to his tone. Turpitz Keljen tried to ignore the stares from the other two soldiers, both of which gave the familiar looks of, "I am bored, hungry and want to go back, and you are the only one keeping us out here.” Keljen just glared at the radio monitor, daring it to yield anything.
It began to beep rhythmically.

"S-Sir! Signal! No ident, very close! It’s coming in very close, can't be one of ours sir!" Keljen barked excitedly, the mood in the vehicle changing in an instant.

"Report our position immediately to the base, Turpitiz, and send for backup," Kurlo said as he grabbed his own assault rifle and unslung it. "Torthjo, Jenanken, check your weapons and body armor. The natives aren’t supposed to use weapons in their attacks, but I don't want to take any chances.” A group of ’YES SIR' met his twin ear sets as Keljen, beaming with triumph now, steered the vehicle to follow the signal.

Some fifteen minutes later, the small jeep pulled along the edge of a cliff, the four soldiers looking down over the western coast.

"It’s a cave sir, signal seems to be coming inside," said Keljen.

"Very good, we repel over the side. I want radio and speech silence from here on out, we don't know how many there are," Kurlo said as the four prepared, and a moment later began to repel down the cliff face.

At the bottom, the four moved with uncanny stealth along the rocks. Kurlo checked his armband and looked to others.

"Three heat signs. Twenty measures inside cave. Weapons hot," he singled with his hands and tail as the others nodded. Checking constantly, they approached the cave.

"Bang bomb" Kurlo signed again and removed a stun grenade. He threw, counted, and braced himself to the sudden concussive blast that was built to stun anyone not wearing heavy protective headgear. The four charged.

Guns raised, night scopes operating in the gloom of the cave, they dashed for the heat signs inside and nearly shot three of their own soldiers.

Keljen stopped first as on the floor were three nearly naked and bound Qwintoni soldiers. They had each been reported missing over three days ago.

"What the pit is going on here,” Kurlo barked in anger as he removed his helmet. As if in instant answer, the sand behind him at the caves entrance erupted with Trathalans. Turning around quickly, the other three were blinded, as night vision looked out into the glare from the setting sun. The shapes of the rushing Trathalans simply blobs of movement. There was the sound of gunfire, the three soldiers firing wildly as Kurlo rubbed his eyes and got his bearings. There were no other exists he could see as the sounds of 'something' cracking against ceramic head amour was heard repeatedly.

"Damn beasts!" he snarled as he turned back around, grabbing another stun grenade as he raced to help his soldiers. He wouldn't allow this; he would not let these savages take down the Empires finest! The numbers however were not in his favor. He counted six Trathalans. All of them held Imperial rifles, and were firing at him. Moving behind a rock, he found Keljen. The two said nothing, only checking their ammo as Kurlo tossed his grenade. There was a 'whish' sound in the air. A movement as quick as lightning and the two soldiers watched in horror as the silvery canister sailed back over their heads.

Kurlo moved desperately to get his helmet back on, but not in time. The world went white with noise and force as he blacked out.

"It is almost too easy,” hissed a voice in Trathalan as the soldiers were causally stripped of their garments. Every piece of equipment was taken from them: rations, armor, grenades, and guns. There was clicking sound as the Imperial Arm bands, the portable wrist computers of the Tajlan Armed forces, were pried off with a stolen key ring.

Again, more voices in the Dark. "You keep collecting those pieces of jewelry, you know they have yet to speak to us as they do these beasts," said a voice. There was a pause as one of the Trathalans who seemed to be the leader looked at the Opatitz.

"This one, this one is higher ranked than the others. He will know what the others do not. He will give up the secrets to make these speak," the voice, higher pitched then others, said as a metallic ring that was lined with glowing crystals was forced around Kurlos head.

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER TEN ***** ***** ***** *****
On the southern side of the Lonti Clan Island at Darnethlil’s home Adric sat staring out a window and sighed. His eyes briefly glanced at a circular calendar tapestry hanging onto the wall. Today was they day, if they had travel at the rate he was told, they should be already arrived at the largest settlement on the island, the city of ‘Toric’ which according to Darnethlil was the true seat of power for the Clan Leader.

It had been four days since he had reluctantly said good-bye to the only creature on the planet he had really come to know and care about. He hadn’t expected, missing him, this much however. A part of him felt odd and conflicted worried of course for his safety but again worried simply he would never see the face of his rescuer, of his savoir again. He shook his head, the headache he had returning a bit as he turned away from the window.
A clattering of pans from the kitchen reminding him he wasn’t totally alone, though in the past three days he somewhat wished he was.

He had been left in the care of and Elder Trathalan, a dear friend of Darnethlil’s and a trusted caretaker he was told. Adric appreciated that there was someone he could trust to attend to his still healing body as well as take care of the house, despite a growing amount of Trathalans in the surrounding village becoming aware, and welcoming him; he still had no wish to answer the door whenever there was a knock.

Peeledfruit! Come here peeledfruit!” he felt in his head and winced, his caretaker ‘Elroner’ was as far as he could tell the only Trathalan he had met that didn’t ‘speak’ in quietly to his mind, “Peeledfruit” of course also made him wince. As far as he could tell, his pale pink skin color was something quite often talked about among the others and as a result he found he had been nicknamed after one of the local fruits. He didn’t care for it, but was too polite, and a bit intimidated to say so.

He hurried down to the washroom to find Elroner heaving cloth and blankets from a bubbling cauldron.

If you would young one, please take these outside to hang and dry with the rest of the clothing” Adric sighed a bit and nodded, doing chores was something he never thought he would have to do when he was stranded on another planet.

It is evident, such tasks move quicker if electricity is used” Adric said as he hefted up the loom woven sheets and blankets. The elder Trathalan, one of the few physically older people Adric had seen, gave the human a curious glance
.“You are perhaps correct, but since you know our past fully, you know we seem to have far more contentment without electricity, machines, or other such things for almost 2000 solar cycles. We keep knowledge of the truly important and vital parts from our past, ‘washing machine’ is not one of them.

Elroner finished pulling the long leather cloak around himself, the slit along the back made for his wings a bit loose as he lifted a smaller bucket of cloths as well and followed Adric outside.

Being outside was rare for Adric. He still walked tenderly on his feet, and the sun still stung his skin a bit, but being cooped inside the earthen house of Darnethlil grew boring. He could only look at the books so many times, barely reading a handful of words; and it simply felt good to be outside. Despite being close to the southern military airbase, few soldiers patrolled in the grasslands nearby. Darnethlils house was in a settlement of less than 200 and few took notice of it.

He finished putting up the last of the sheets on the line; his muscles aching a bit and still sore as he looked out to the air base, far in the distance. Darnethlil had left to free a city, his city. He worried about him deeply, even if he succeeded, there was so much to do and so many other bases, forts, and military installations to take down. How could he hope drive them all off?
Even if Darnethlil was able liberate Toric, how many Trathalan lives would be lost in the process of fighting this ‘bloodless’ war to liberate the rest of the planet? He blinked and looked up as he felt a hand on his shoulder, Elroner above him.

”Do not worry yourself, I am not as zealous as your primary caretaker to assume we shall drive all of these invaders out, but we must start somewhere. We must take action, one small area at a time. Sometimes taking action, even if folly, can have more impact than nothing at all” Adric nodded softly, whether Darnethlil succeeded or failed, he simply wanted him to return in one piece.

On the eastern most side and the northern most tip of the Lonti Clan Island rested Toric, which was built on the glass and ceramic graveyard of an ancient town. The remnants were built into the stone and cement buildings that now made up the city. Toric was one of the few large settlements on the planet, and the largest on the entire island. It was, of course, also the natural location for coordinating military forces in the area.

Since military forces first occupied it, the citizens had tried to continue on with life. Most businesses were left open to trade in goods from the smaller farming settlements; the marketplace was always full of Trathalans, usually watched by patrolling guards. Of course shops deemed ‘subversive’ were shut down, the cities only printing presses were seized and all forms of public demonstration banned. That rule had been enforced more than once with deadly results.

The soldiers, themselves, cared little for the comings and goings of the citizens for the most part. Most soldiers posted planet side were regarding as doing menial labor, as no one ever thought that the inhabitants were capable of any sort of resistance, and ‘guarding’ them seemed a needless waste. As it was, those patrolling the roads leading into the city paid little attention to several small groups hooded and cloaked Trathalans; more than likely monks coming to the temples of the city or some such.

A trio of Trathalans stopped at the main gate, passing by the guards on either side, assault rifles at the ready. The small group of Qwintoni soldiers watched them passing, feeling oddly uneasy.

They arrived slowly throughout the morning, moving into the city in groups of three and four so as to not arouse suspicion from the soldiers that walked the streets. Darnethlil walked along the main street, Toranth and Solanth at his side. They moved silently, yet kept in contact with one another, every so often getting a look of curiosity from another passing Trathalan. Darnethlil would eye them, giving a wordless message, letting them know not to arouse suspicion.

This was the great unknown part of the plan, the one aspect Darnethlil was not fully sure of, his father had once urged these people to rise up and fight, that command met with horrific results. Now Darnethlil, following in his father’s lead, was about to once more ask these people to rise up, but this time, it was going to be on his terms, this time he would be unifying his people as never before.

As they moved through the marketplace, along the main roads and slowly toward the Imperial military barracks, Darnethlil kept a low profile, checking in with each team one by one as the moved toward their goals. Every now and then a group of Qwintoni soldiers would pass by, eyeing them scornfully. Three times they were stopped and asked for identity papers, Solanth wordlessly complying and giving the needed information before they continued on.

They were almost in position, already a small amount of the local population could sense, feel that something was about to happen; they could each feel a growing sense of courage, of pride, they weren’t sure where it was coming from yet, but they welcomed it. At last Darnethlil found his group near what was once the great Clan Hall of his father, the true and proper place he was meant to be. He looked at it now, festooned with Imperial banners and with troops marching back and forth in front of it. Darnethlil’s thoughts were stirred as he suddenly felt a hand clasp his arm; Toranth looked at him earnestly and spoke aloud.

“My dearest friend and leader, you already now know we are ready, each of us is attuned with the other, you know that what we are about to do has not been done since long before our planets destruction, and even then it was looked upon as a desperate act.” Darnethlil listened and nodded for a moment, ever so briefly he doubted himself. But it soon passed.

“What we do is a desperate act, for we are a desperate people, in a desperate time. Look around your Toranth, these people could never rise up with arms, they could never carry guns and explosives; it is far beyond us all. This way, this is the only way for us, and it will work,” he said with absolute conviction, his heart racing now as he looked ahead and closed his eyes.

We are of one mind, we are of one will, we reach out to one another and become as one,” Darnethlil spoke to first those around him, and then felt it being relayed to the other teams. Like a resonating chant, it echoed among the minds of all those in his small force, slowly building in resonance before beginning to pass to those around them.

The guards walking out among the population barely noticed anything out of sort. The citizens were usually quiet, talking in soft voices and would move slowly. The odd soldier might have noticed a certain, distant look to the people around them, but even fewer paid it any mind.

People of Toric, people of the Lonti, people of my father. I come before you now with the promise of freedom and the will to seize it; those that oppress us can do so no longer. I will not allow it,” he said, and as he spoke, his words were slowly felt by virtually every citizen within a mile of his location; each group of his force passing on his words, forming an immense collective link.

The teachings of Crie and the lessons of our pass teach us that we can no longer kill, that we can no longer act with violence to others, it is an anathema to our very souls. But Crie himself would not stand for such tyranny and though we shall not match gun for gun, we are not defenseless, we have our weapon.” The bustle and noise of the city was beginning to fade, people stopped what they were doing, they looked at themselves perhaps for the first time in for too long. They were no longer alone; they no longer felt isolated and broken.

Others began to pick up the mental link now, spreading it out along with Darnethlils forces. As they let themselves go to what he was saying memories began to flow from them; the feelings of bitterness, rage, anger, and the emotions they had violently surprised under the heel of the Imperial forces now began to rise in them, fuelling them. Darnethlil could feel the link spread out, each mind joining in, and the shared anger of one fuelling another. They would not be beaten down like this they, would not give in anymore.

Now was when Darnethlils forces began to act, the opened their eyes now, each one looking upon an Imperial soldier. Qwintoni and Tejlili, officer and grunt, to each one they focused on, and felt out with their minds, targeting them.

High above the central market place, Meldragg Korantz, regent officer to the island thumbed through the afternoon reports. He was a tall yet willowy Tejlini who always seemed to have a perpetual sneer on his furred face. He had taken his assignment with glee, the promotion to Nupitiet was one more level of power he could wield for his purposes, and the near absolute authority he had over the local primitives gave him endless amusement.

He once hated the fact that there was virtually no direct communication with the local inhabitants, noting that gathering information was all but useless. However, he had learned that if it was impossible for anyone to speak to the local population, they could never reveal own private enterprises.

“Nupitiet Korantz! I have a report from the city!” Meldragg looked up from his papers, lifting a scowling eye as his ears splayed back.

“Opatitz, Tela,” he said, taking a moment to read the soldiers name tag. “I trust you interruption is well warranted?” The young recruit swallowed nervously.
“It has been reported by several on patrol, that the citizens are behaving, oddly.” Meldragg stood now and looked outside.

“Are they now? Raising torches perhaps? Planting a bomb I wonder?”
“N-No sir, they are just…standing around and staring. No one has reported hearing anyone in the city speak aloud for almost 5 minutes.” Meldragg turned, casting a skeptical glance at the Qwintoni recruit before looking back more carefully at the marketplace below. He watched and felt suddenly ill at ease. Not a single one of the natives moved a muscle.

The feelings and emotions of an entire city had now risen up. Every other person within the link now knew every injustice, every abuse and every act of violence that had been visited to a single Trathatalan. They seethed with a shared anger as together they followed the lead of Darnethlil and his forces, they focused their emotional through his leaders, as each of them focused on their targets. Darnethlil quivered, his eyes burning as he felt nearly 12,000 minds together with his. His mouth trembled as he spoke a simple line.

“I bring you, PAIN!”

In an instant, every soldier and Imperial within visual sight of a Trathaln dropped to the ground, their arms and weapons flung from their grip as the shrieked in agony. Soldiers slammed their fists against their heads, running and howling in pain trying to flee the searing pain they felt in their minds.

Still shaking with the rage of the city, Darnethlil began to slowly walk forward; his eyes upon the Clan Hall at the far end of the market place.

From high in his office Meldragg stumbled back suddenly, the noise of soldiers below crying out made his fur stand on edge. “Send out the guard! I want any Native that does not immediately go inside shot! Do you hear me?!” He bellowed, his paws at his ears; uselessly trying to cover all four. He looked down again, his stomach felt ill. What had they done to his troops?

Darnethlil continued to walk slowly forward toward the Great Hall, his concentration rooting him too deeply to bother with any distractions. Solanth and Toranth on either side of him would target the soldiers as they came now. Groups of ten would charge from the bunkers around the great hall and lift weapons to fire.

PAIN! was all that was said, and that was all that needed to be said. They locked eyes with the soldiers one at a time, dropping them to the cobblestone road. Throughout the city now the people had begun to round up the screaming offworlders. Those not too deep in the link bound and threw the soldiers into rooms, basements, anything that they could lock with a key.

Meldragg whirled and marched from the window; slamming the wooden door to his office as he grabbed a passing soldier.

“What is going on out there, I’ve heard less than a dozen or so gunshots, why are we not shooting them!” he barked.

“I-I don’t know! Anyone who goes outside seems to be seized by some illness, I don’t know if its poison or disease, but whatever is going on, anyone going outside seems to collapse. We’ve locked the front door, all we do know is the natives are marching toward us.” Meldragg paused a moment, whatever was happening he suddenly knew it wasn’t going to work.

“Opatitz, tell your soldiers to get into encounter suites, I want the Armored Infantry units geared up immediately and deployed,” the Qwintoni looked down at his superior officer and quivered.

“S-sir, those, are rated for amour engagements only,” he said while Meldragg simply glared.
“You are correct; I will be very interested to observe them in action against civilian targets.”

The feeling of rage was slowly giving way to confidence and passion. The suppressed hatred was being purged and vented through ever offworlder they could see. They knew what they were doing was wrong, that deep inside they had crossed a line, but at the same time they had begun to feel relief at letting it all go. They marched as one. They were taking back their city, and then they would take their world.

The concentration among the city was such that it wasn’t until after the first shell exploded that those in the market placed noticed the mobilized Imperial Armored Infantry, or as a few in the city recognized their shapes, tanks. Four armored machines moved slowly down the roads on either side of the Clan Hall. They kept their distance as they moved out.

Darnethlil looked at them now, he willed his forces to focus on them and their pilots, and met with nothing. Another shot went off; it's thundering retort making the ground shake as he felt almost a dozen Trathalans’ suddenly cease to be. His heart stopped and he felt himself grow sick.

The link that banded them together now suddenly made them cry out as the tanks opened fire, again. Each shell exploded with a force meant to knock armored vehicles. It caused the closely assembled Trathalans to simply come apart in a hail of debris. Darnethlil clutched at his chest, aching at the losses as a shell exploded nearby.

He was thrown to the ground from the force of it. His ears could hear nothing over the ringing as everything moved in slow motion. He felt someone grab him. He looked up into Toranth’s eyes, his face streaming blood from a cut on the top of his head as he pulled Darnethlil to his feet.
“It is over Darnethlil! We must go from here now! We are being butchered!” Toranth said shaking him as he nodded dumbly, his mind wheeling from the force of the explosion.

The link was fractured and deteriorating. It pulsed with fear and agony as those in the streets ran for their lives.

Darnethlil limped into an alley while being partially carried by Toranth. He turned around, wiping dust and sweat from his eyes as the ringing in his ears quieted somewhat. Suddenly Solanth fell into the alley. The Toranth’s younger brother clutching at his feet as Darnethlil looked down at the pool of blood on the ground; his left wing completely missing. Darnethlil covered his mouth, trying not to wretch at the sight of the injury as Toranth tore his clothing, wrapping them feverishly around the bloody stump as his voice quaked.
“Stay awake Solanth! S-stay with me! Its j-just a wing.” He said as Darnethlil helped left him now, the two dragging the limp body behind them as they made for the edge of town

There was no longer any need to relay orders. Those still alive from Darnethlils initial force simply ran. Others also moved from the city, joining them as the fled before the now advancing Armored Infantry

“Well, that seemed to have done the trick. Don’t send out the soldiers for another 10 minutes or so, I want the population nice and broken up before we go in to retrieve any causalities we might have,” Meldragg said. The others in the roomed nodded before heading out to relay the orders as he smiled.
“Well now, whatever little protest march you had going on down there, I hope you’ve learned something. We DO control this world.”
Last edited by Crossroads Inc. on 2011-02-05 11:30pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by LadyTevar »

What about the armored vehicles stopped the mental attack?
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by darkjedi521 »

Interesting story, I've been following this for a while.
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

LadyTevar wrote:What about the armored vehicles stopped the mental attack?
What cannot be seen can't be targeted. If someone was in body armour with a face helmet, they could still be targeted because they are still visible, the Trathalans would know where to send their thoughts, but without seeing anything, it doesn't work as well. There is of course a lot more too it then just that...
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Re: One Wrong Turn: An Original Sci-Fi Concept Story.

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Where here it is the final chapters. I want to give a shout out to a special friend who helped me in editing and keeping certain aspects grounded (as much as possible) in reality. "Champ11" is member of the US army and was my 'consultant' on keeping the more military aspects of the story rooted in reality as much as possible. a whole lot of thanks goes out to him.

From the time I initially started posting till now, I have made many edits and additions. I would DEEPLY ask anyone reading this to first go back ot "Chapter 10" and read an Interlude that I added that gives a brief background and introduction to several people that you shall meet later on.

Written by Eric Fischer
Edited by "Champ11" US Army ROTC

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER ELEVEN***** ***** ***** *****

That evening, far away on the western coast, Jakenenth sat and watched the sun set.

For three days Jakenenth desperately awaited the return of what he had come to think was a Trathalan built submersible. How it was built he couldn’t guess, how the Trathalans could acquire, or even understand such technology he also couldn’t imagine. But he could consider of no other options that fit what he had observed.

His records had indicated the submersible was making trips from the Liya Clan Island to the Lonti Clan Island, averaging one trip every three solar days. But now as the sun set on the fourth day, he had yet to see anything approach. He sat back on the sand, looking up at the dimming sky, and then his armband went off.

He remembered he had switched it off, fearful of anyone else tracking his movements. That someone had not only remotely reactivated it, but also sent him an encoded document. Verifying the sender as Kuajo, he quickly scanned the document. He read with increasing horror as he felt his heart sink.

The report was of a recent attack upon the islands largest populated area. The report indicated that much of the cities populace had participated in an unknown form of attack that left over three hundred soldiers in a state of physical paralysis and almost a thousand others mentally disturbed. The report went on that in retaliation, Imperial forces had moved out tanks and killed almost four hundred civilians, following what it called ‘assumed rebel plotters’ back to a near by cave and executing the survivors.

He read the report, and read it again and again. He tore off the armband, screaming into the night sky and bellowing.

“Wasted! It is all wasted! The only force that could unbalance those in command and you worthless primitives were slaughtered in your first open engagement!” He snarled and fumed, turning away form the ocean, looking up into the vast glowing sphere of Hurn.

“And you Klenthtoro! Your great plan is over! Where are we going to find allies now?” he yelled, he screamed, he grabbed his assault riffle and beat the dirt with it. His claws digging into the plastic hilt of it before his rage was finally sated. And then he felt something poke against the back of his head.

He turned just quick enough to see a group of Trathalans, each one carrying Imperial issue assault rifles behind him. A female, almost his equal in height brought the butt of her weapon down hard on his skull and the world went dark.

He slowly awoke to a strange sensation around his head, he reached to scratch at the itching but found his hands tightly bound. He blinked his eyes, trying to get feeling back into his body, which seemed to suggest it was not in a pleasant state. He found it difficult to open one of his eyes as he looked, and couldn't believe what they saw.

"Everything is important" he told himself quickly "Note every detail, let nothing escape your attention" he said to himself, repeating the mantra of the captured prisoner.

What he saw still had trouble registering in his mind.

Natives surrounded him; every last one of them carried either an Imperial Assault rifle or some other form of firearm. He noticed that many of them had bits of Imperial clothing attached to their garments. The garments, they seemed to be almost dressed in uniforms, drab grey clothing was everywhere, some of it stitched with primitive visual camouflage. Despite the clothing, their hair seemed to all be fiery red, weather natural or dyed Jakenenth didn't know. There was one other aspect that at first his mind simply couldn't notice, and then went it did he felt his heart sink. Every single native around him was wearing an Imperial Arm bracer.

The backbone of their forces that connected soldiers, relayed information, recorded and stored vital records, and these aliens were wearing them. His mind raced, surely they couldn't know how to use them, surely they were wearing them as trophies perhaps; signs of triumph? Yet the words of Kujoa came back to him, messages had been intercepted...

He looked past them and saw the glow of fire light off stonewalls, cave walls. He couldn't see an entrance and kept his eyes out for any openings he could use as an escape.

He could hear hisses and sounds from the Trathalans now as they noticed him awake. A female approached, her hair almost down to her waist, she poked Jakenenth in the chest and made him grit his teeth. He counted at least two broken ribs from the prod.

There was a hissing from her lips as she spoke to the others, what sounded like shrieks came next, which he recognized as the Trathalan equivalent of laughter. He felt his forehead touched the itching their seemed to change slightly, and then, he heard the creature speak.

"I wonder indeed if self’s mind can comprehend? Or if self is overly feral to comprehend?" Jakenenth looked up, his heart pounded.

"Y-you spoke! I heard you! H-how" A quick slap to his face stopped his words as he again heard speech without speaking.

"Do not pollute own self’s ears with your grunts and sounds off world aggressor. Self should be thankful self is still living." Jakenenth said nothing he looked around wildly. How did he possibly understand them?

The Trathalan looked around as well; she pulled a metallic ring from her forehead and fluffed her wings.

"I am surprised; I did not know these bands could let these beasts hear us as easily as it lets us hear them. It seems that the Lonti mystics were actually right for once. Still they have served their purpose well, we have learned so much from the minds of the others we have taken." she said as behind her an older Trathalan spoke up.

"Mistress Thyla, why do we not take his mind as well? All the others we have discarded without them ever knowing of us. This one you let sit before us, why?"

The elder Trathalan spoke as Thyla’ turned. There was a steely silence that seemed to go on for much longer then it should have. Right at the moment were one would expect a slap of rebuke, the younger, if taller Trathalan spoke.

“This beast knew we were coming. It knew where our craft was to land, it knew when, and it did not tell its own kind Thallon.” Thyla turned back to Jakenenth.
“I wish to know why.” She said and then, rather clumsily, spoke through the translator.

“Why self locate here? Why self not tell beasts kind? Self wants favor from us? Speak beast!”

Jakenenth made to open his mouth, about to begin to speak when a sharp slap to his face silenced him.

“Talk as own self-talks, let myself mind hear your mind” The Trathalan said without moving its lips. Jakenenth paused at this, he found himself ironically, calling upon some of the banned works of fiction he had read. There were a few stories that concerned 'mental powers' of reading minds or speech through thought alone. He had never considered that those works of fiction would ever matter in real life.

He tried to relax and form words in his head.

"Self name Jakenenth, rank of status, grand mythical bird," he blinked, that wasn't right. He decided to continue as best he could.
“Aggressors not united, myself speaks for faction that seeks bargain between us.”

Jakenenths heart pounded, whatever forces had been eliminated in the city, these were different. Kuajo had been right there had been two groups. And Jakenenth had somehow found the ones who had been conducting much more effective, if violent raids. This fact did not help ease his worry. These ‘rebels’ hadn’t just been hitting random targets and leaving soldiers relatively uninjured, if incapacitated. These ‘soldiers’ had used his own weapons, fired and shot his own people, attacked and done unknown mental trauma to the minds of people he knew. And now he was going to bargain with them.

The Trathalans looked at him curiously, only a few wore the odd metallic headband he seemed to have. He looked at them more directly as he tried to form words in his head.

“Old warriors want conquest and world; young warriors want home and peace. I speak for young warriors and elders who addition want home, not this world. You wish self gone, myself seeks same. Help myself and.”

He paused, from everything he knew these natives were still using primitive bows and arrows, they used explosive powders only for celebrations, yet these wielded assault rifles as if they had used them for years. There had always been odd rumors about various anomalies around the planet; surely they couldn’t have such knowledge. And yet, the more he thought about it the more it started to explain things. He started again.

“You steal self weapons and self fire explosions. Help self, and you will not need to steal more, self shall have all self needs” He said. The Trathalan in front of him seized him immediately.

“Self lies, myself know this, self can not make such promise, you are but one warrior self can not obtain such weapons.”

“Myself speaks for those that can.” He said, and he felt the uneasy sensation of ‘something’ in his head. It was the damned metallic ring he knew it. He looked at the one ‘Thyla’ wore; it seemed to glow more as she felt around in his head.

“Self speaks truth.” She said and yanked the ring from his forehead turning around quickly.

Thyla smiled as she looked down at the bound Soldier.

She was Clan leader of the Liya people, Thyla Liyapamela. And since the first day of the invasion, she felt as if she had been preparing for such an occurrence her whole life.

“Thallon, this may be what we have been waiting for. Who could believe that these beasts may not wish to be here as much as we wish them gone?” She said razing her wings as the Elder nodded.

“I could hear his words surprisingly well for a beast. He betrays everything he knows for the chance at changing those who are in control of him. He knows it will end his respect with his own people, such is his hatred for his leaders.” Thallon spoke, almost in admiration.

Thyla looked to the Jakenenth, an enemy warrior who seemed to offer ‘help’.

“It sounds similar to our own Clan Thallon. How many generations have we accepted exile and shame for the crimes our Clan long ago committed? We paid our debt long ago, yet those in charge of the other Clans seek to keep us forever living in shame at what we all know this world needs. Since a child I have been taught in the arts that the rest of this world sees fit to remain forever buried, passed down in secret through the generations, you know as well as I, Thallon, that this world needs us.”

Thallon nodded, he remembered when he had come of aged, and learned the secrets those in the high ranks of the Liya practiced. It had shocked and left him numb for days, but in time he saw the truth of what he learned. Now, with his world invaded, with beasts subjecting his Clan, all Clans, he knew Thylas word to be all the more important.

“I think Mistress, it is time we made our way to what remains of the Lonti. We know that Darnethlil and what forces he had were all but exterminated at Toric. His people will look to us to lead them to victory.” Thyla flapped her wings.

“The Lonti have much to learn in the lost arts, I doubt highly that they will welcome us with open wings. However, if we can trust this beast, he may prove key to showing them our, good intentions.” She said again flapping her wings in laughter.

“I do not know how well his plan will work Thallon, but it may not take much to turn the Lonti over to our way of thinking. And if they do indeed join with us, we shall rise up in rebellion against these beasts not just in small groups, but as a single mass. If we are successful enough that it causes rebellion among their own kind, working with such a beast shall be worth it.” Thyla said as she turned, her immense strands of hair swung behind her as deeply as her tail as she looked back to Jakenenth. She stretched her wings and ‘smiled’ at him, pressing the metallic band back into his forehead.

“Hear myself beast. We shall work with self but self must make additional promise. If beasts self’s people leave this world in time, then land we are on now shall belong to Myself Clan.” Jakenenth blinked at this; surely she could not expect him to promise something like that. How could he possibly negotiate such terms? As if reading his mind, the Trathalan spoke again.

“Do not concern self’s with this lands current leader. Ourselves are aware that he and his followers are quite died now” she said, and tapped the armband she wore.

***** ***** ***** ***** CHAPTER TWELVE ***** ***** ***** *****

Adric looked down at what he held, his eyes watered deep with thought. He held five long pressed pieced of card. All five had strange curled designs on them, and it was only with great effort that Adric could figure out which was which. His nerves trembled; he wondered if at long last he had found what he was after, if, if he was correct then he would be triumphant... He thought he had the Trathalan equivalent of a Full House.

At Darnethlil’s home, Adric found himself in the middle of what he considered the Trathalan equivalent of 'Poker'. Like much of the activates on the alien world, he had found it needlessly complicated and steeped in various traditional rules, ceremony and pageantry. Currently in accordance to the Will of ‘Crie’ who was a God who approved of gamboling, so long as money did not actually exchange hands, Adric whore a silk like embroidered scarf around his head, symbolizing some relationship with honoring the balance of work and play. Or something like that…

He had been waiting for word, any word of Darnethlils assault upon Toric. Adric had been told that there would be runners to bring back word as soon as possible and that in less than a day and a half Adric would hear from him. After the second day, Elroner had invited friends of his from the village over to keep Adric’s mind from worry. They had also been older Trathalans, and seemed to spend much of their time in the ancient art all aged wise people seemed to practice; playing cards and idle gossip.

At first Adric had welcomed fresh faces, and once more gave him opportunity to practice some of the few Trathalan words he felt comfortable speaking. Though after a few attempts Elroner assured him such gestures weren't really needed. However, by the end of the third day with no word, he felt even more ill at ease. The sense of worry was growing each day; he could sense it not just in himself but the others as well. No one wanted to mention it and seemed to do anything to pass the time till word came.

This morning it seemed Elroner, having once more invited over what Adric had come to think of the Alien equivalent of the “Red Hat Society” had decided to introduce Adric to the ancient and traditional art of playing cards. As much as Adric could work out, the cards consisted of elements, Tree, Sky, Sea, Ground, and Wind. These were subdivided into seasons, winter, spring, summer, and autumn. There were additional “Weather” cards, Rain, Snow, ‘Big Wind’ and ‘Big Rain’ which as far as Adric could figure out represented Tornados and Hurricanes, but these four cards were seldom used. Like Earth, there seemed countless ways to combine the cards in various ways. Right now, Adric though he might just have something…

“I feel I have acquired the proper cards for over taking the current amount,” he said, placing his cards down, the others studied them carefully.
“You learn quickly peeled-fruit Adric; however your grasp is countered. Sky, Tree, Sea, and Ground twice are inferior to this,” a Trathalan who looked slightly order then Elroner said; her body draped with various robes and scarves.
“Summer Sky twice beats Winter Ground twice and I posses the same seasons of Tree and Sea,” she said, with perhaps a bit more smugness then was necessary. Adric caught the telltale sizzling sensation of one Trathalan ‘speaking’ candidly to another. Elroner no doubt telling her not flaunt victory quite so much as he turned toward Adric.

Adric sighed, a bit deflated after having some small if superficial victory taken from him. The others seemed to notice the change as well.

So far, three days was the maximum Darnethlil had thus far left Adric by himself. But that had been to a special council meeting. No alien had worn the ring for so long with such constant use, but none of the old Trathalans felt like they could take it from him. Now as he looked at the calendar tapestry, he felt h hand shaking trying to hold the cards, his vision blurring as he looked at the symbols on them. What was it again? Sumer and Spring Sea could beat Ground. But Winter Air and Ground could be Sea? Adric put the cards down and pinched his nose, his head had started to throb again as Elroner finally spoke up.

"Again I must stress to you Adric, Darnethlil is Clan Leader, he is capable and highly resourceful, and we all have full confidence in his return," Elroner bespoke in almost a whisper, sensing Adric’s aching head. The other Trathalans nodded gently, reassuring him as best he could. Elroner had noted as well the increasing headaches Adric received; so far, distracting him with various games had seemed to help.
Yet all Adric could think of was Darnethlil, he couldn't get his absence out of his head at all now. The worry throbbed in it over and over, something was wrong, something was horribly wrong. It wasn’t just him. He had been feeling it for a while now, getting closer. He stood up now and looked around.

They are coming, they are hurt! Adric said as the others put down their cards. He could feel it now, he was sure of it.

Shouts from outside roused everyone’s attention. The others looked up, listening with intent. More shouts and Trathalan curses came as movement and the pad of feet was heard.
Elroner and the others ran outside, the door flying open. Moments later Darnethlil came inside, carried by Toranth. Behind them, two others came in carried by villagers. Adric, his heart pounding as he saw Darnethlil looked at him and the four others. They were all who had come back.

Darnethlils head was covered in bandages, his clothes where caked in blood and burn marks. His wings were pockmarked by bullet holes, a few of the wounds red with infection. He looked at the others and recognized Toranth and Mekal, both looked just as bad as Darnethlil, wings pockmarked with holes, clothes caked in blood. It was everywhere.

For the first few minutes, he just stood over Darnethlil, his head swimming with thoughts and visions, totally numb to the swirling chaos of those around him. A watcher in the village had noticed the group while still far away and raced to meet them. By the time they had reached the village, much of it was already converging with medical supplies food and water.

Toranth had been the most lucid of the four. He had organized the village to go on watch as they helped carried the others back to Darnethlils home, recounting the horror of what had happened in Toric and after they tried to escape. As he sat down in Darnethlils main hall, he looked up into Elroner’s grief stricken eyes.

"It almost worked, it did, it almost worked. We had the minds of every being in the city in our reach, one mind, one thought. But, we didn't know, we, we didn't know its limitations," he paused, gathering his breath as he felt ointments and antibacterial agents being pressed against his wounds. He clenched his teeth as a foam-like agent was sprayed over one of his still open wounds.

“What happened, Toranth?” Elroner asked as he wrapped gauze over the congealing foam, “We had practiced the link here many times in secret; its power should have been enough to defeat every off-worlder in the city.”

Toranth sighed, "We never studied how it could be blocked. We never considered what could stop it.” He looked up and grasped the long scarf of Elroner.
“Just being out of sight, unable to see them was all it took. Their weapons, such, such weapons, once the link was disrupted we, we had no chance.” He grunted again as two others lifted him up to unsteady feet. His tail trying to keep his balance as Elroner starred at him.
"What happened to everyone? Surly more escaped then city then just you five! Tell me Toranth, tell me what happened next." Again, there was a pause, Toranth’s words coming from his mouth with a dull numbness.
"We fled to a cave outside of Toric. There we slowly gathered up anyone who had escaped and made ready to retreat," he paused, his hands trembling, looking at them as if disgusted.
"I, I suggested we head out first, to, make sure the path ahead was, s-safe. I took Mekal, Solanth, and Tyrenth with Darnethlil and me. We left the cave quietly, making no sound. And, and then…" he paused, his body trembling as Elroner eased him back into a chair.
"We heard the noise of a flying machine, a large one; it was approaching rapidly from the south. It flew over the cave and, and launched explosives," he said, his voice growing dead again.
"They never had a chance, none of them. They burned, every last one, burned," he looked up and heard silence. The faces of the others in the room had looked at him, ceasing what they had been doing for a moment as the enormity of the acts had sunk in. They looked to one another, seeking any words of comfort or solace. Nothing was said as the continued. Cleaning wounds and changing bandages in now deafening silence.

Toranth sat back his head full and swimming as he looked around and noticed Adric for the first time. The Human was kneeling over Darnethlil’s body, clutching at him tightly, the two of the seemed to be speaking to one another wordlessly. Toranth dare not listen in.
"What of our leader?" Toranth looked back up to Elroner, "What has he said since all of this has happened? What are we to do next?" Toranth paused and lowered his voice.

"As of now, we have no leader, Darnethlil, has not spoken a single word to any of us since the death of the others. He seems to simply mutter to himself," He paused and looked back to Darnethlil and Adric

To the casual glance of the others, it did indeed seem as if the two were utterly silent. Both had the translator rings on however. Toranth swore he didn’t see one on Darnethlil earlier. The two sat together in the far side of the large hall. Pain and an aching body kept Toranth from thinking too much about them. He wasn’t sure, but he felt he could sense a heat coming from the two rings, if they were speaking to one another, he would be able to hear then surely.

How long had the Human been wearing that ring? Exactly how deep had the connection between him and Darnethlil become?

"Elroner, I do not think any of us have thought of the consequences of letting an alien mind use these tools,” he said, as if the thought just accrued to him, "In the past when we spoke to the Tri-Star alliance, they used our tools for only a few hours. This Human has used his, almost constantly since he arrived here. And he has used it almost constantly with Darnethlil." The other Trathalan nodded, until now no one had thought much of what would happen for two to use the translator rings together for so long. It had never been an issue. Now, looking at the human and Darnethlil, Toranth began to curse that he had not thought of such consequences earlier.

Toranth and Elroner both fell silent as the door opened and closed with the wordless actions of the others
High atop a hill overlooking the village, soldiers looked down wrapped in total darkness. They were dressed in dark camouflage and had followed the fleeing Trathalans since they had left the city. The leader recalled his standing orders, ‘Follow all survivors, and discover a base of operations if any exists.’

For a moment, he thought briefly it might have been the cave they fled to. He briefly hopped it was all over when the place was targeted. But after one of his squad caught a group of four fleeing south, he knew enough to follow discreetly.

"Confirmed, sir. We have visual sighting of targets entering one of the subterranean dwellings, I will be alerting the waiting ground forces now," there was a pause, and the Qwintonis voice became clenched.
"I understand Nupatiet Meldregg. I, I will inform the ground forces to withdrawal at once from the area immediately, sir," he said, spitting the last words. The two other soldiers clad in dark heat absorbent material looked to the commander.
"He has ordered another air-strike. The whole village is to be, eliminated." One of the soldiers turned to look at the village and smashed his riffle down.
"Shooting up a city full of civilians… I guess wasn't enough, after bombing the cave full of the rebels. I guess he has a new preferred method of dealing with, issues."
The others gave a curse of agreement as the commander slowly began to withdrawal from their position.
"Gods, I hate this war."

Less than a few miles away, a group of about thirty or so Trathalans, and one very miserable Qwintoni, marched toward the village. Jakenenth had spent the last three days bound and marched though the rock hills and dense woods of the island. The others had so far seemed to take him at his word to offer assistance. He assumed this as after leaving the cave they had stopped beating him. Only their leader, Thyla, seemed to have truly accepted him at his word while the others continued to view him with contempt. He was beginning to feel the same way. There was a cry and the marching stopped.

"Mistress Thyla! We just received a message nearby. The military has followed the Lontis! They are sending air forces directly to where we are headed!"a Trathalan, holding a mangled but still operation radio reported. Thyla cursed with a hiss.
"How long? How much time do we have?"
"Not long, barley enough time to get there." Thyla looked to Jakenenth
"Self still maintain your plan will succeed? That there possibility of end to aggression when self’s tribe sends machines to deal death to small population?" Thyla relayed, her own anger making the translation even more fragmented. Jakenenth said nothing, he felt equally horrified that such order had been given, and could think only of what news of a direct civilian attack would do to moral.

"I restate own self’s promise. Your forces in conjunction with Lonti forces will drive out those that keep war continuing." Thyla looked at him carefully before checking the timer on her stolen armband. She said nothing but gave a single to the others. Within moments, the entire column of Trathalans had begun to run at a staggering pace.

Back down in the village, a hastily called council had been called by Toranth. The villagers had met together in the central courtyard of Darnethlils house, many of them still in shock from news of what had happened in Toric. Rumors ran among them of Darnethlils state as even now, their Clan leader sat next to the Human Adric, each of them silent.

"It is over! We have tried and we have failed, I will no longer let this exercise in madness continue. Darnethlils father tried this path and was killed; Darnethlil himself tried this path, and brought about the slaughter of our people!" a cry rang out from the crowd.
"What are we to do? Our world is no longer our own!” Another spoke up.
“Why must we resist, other clans have aided these off-worlders and met with approval. We should learn to share this world if we cannot drive out these off-worlders,” the voice said to a chorus of nods. Toranth looked out; he felt both disgust and shame. A part of him knew this was what was needed. The religious teaches of a lifetime told him, peace was better than conflict, that to accept the occupation was better than to die resisting it.

“We can no longer continue to break the word of Crie and reject the teachings of the ages. We all know the fate that befell our ancestors; we cannot let such acts condemn us again.”There were more waves of wings from the crowd and mumblings. Toranth regarded that they seemed more resistant then he imagined. What was it about this notion of fighting, what seemed impossible forces that seemed to, inspire them? The spark of defiance had been lit, Toranth could see this, and they wanted to be free. They still now seemed to want to fight. But at what cost?

If Darnethlil was indeed lost in his mind, he would become Clan Leader, and if that were so, he would make sure that the rebellion would end. He would not see his people go extinct.

“We shall tend to the wounded tonight, tomorrow, we shall see what can be done to live in peace with the off-worlders,” he paused; there was s something in the air.

Hurn as always lighted the night, and by its light, others began to look into the sky. Far away, riding a low rumbling sound, a dark shape moved toward the town. Mekal raced forward.

“Toranth, there are the minds of off-worlders high above, I can feel them, they, they are flying towards us!” The youth spoke in both fear and confusion. Toranth heart sank. It was a craft, similar to the one that had destroyed the cave, but nearly three times as large. The others could see it now, a deep row rumbling came from the black flying wing as it hung in the sky. Toranth looked around, surely, surely they wouldn’t dare.

“RUN! Everyone run!” to his surprise it was Mekal’s voice. His eyes were on fire with terror. The young Trathalan could hear their thoughts even from such a distance, even without seeing them, he could hear them, and he knew what they were doing.
“RUN!” he yelled again as dark shapes began to fall like rain from the bottom of the craft.

The world sudden went white as the night was lit with the fire of exploding bombs. Shockwaves blew the crowd from their feet as they began to flee in all directions. Toranth looked to Darnethlil and Adric, who for the first time, seemed to be moving. They looked at one another as if waking from a dream.

Behind them, an immense fireball erupted into the sky, wood thatch and the combustibles of all things in a house went with it as more bombs went off. The immense concussive eruptions were coming closer, as the populace fled wildly in all directions. Mekal grabbed Toranth, who grabbed Darnethlil and Adric. The four of them stopped running just long enough to look up; the immense craft easily outpaced them. It had flown out and had turned back around. Half the town was aflame, and soon the rest would be gone as well. Darnethlil looked to Adric as the two hugged,

“I am sorry, you were right all along ,” he said out loud in his native voice as another light raced overhead.

This light however did not come from the large bomber; it went toward it. The Trathalans bellow watched as a fiery streak raced up and impacted into the bomber. In a titanic explosion that shook the ground bellow, the craft erupted. Immense jagged chunks of burning metal cascaded downward as Toranth considered this sudden intervention.

From the edge of the woods, Thyla lowered in Imperial surface to air missile casing and tossed it aside. Jakenenth watched, gritting his teeth as he watched the wreckage of the Jahli-3 Bomber fall from the sky. They had a minim crew of twelve, and as many as fifteen for long missions. He glared at the Trathalan who waved her wings in a ‘smile.’

“Self beasts make good weapons, only know such weapon from history, thank self for giving myself chance to use one,” she said crudely to Jakenenth, who looked back at the three captured Qwintoni soldiers. The Trathalans had got to them before they could get word back to the command base of what happened. A part of him wished they had sent for help.

No, he had already crossed a line. He knew it, and he couldn’t go back. He had aided in the death of his own people, and if he was to see this through, there would be many more. He cursed Klenthtoro again. Had he known what it would take to carry out his plan? Had he sent him, knowing that deep down that Jakenenth was just ‘free’ enough not to give in to what ‘should’ be done, but continue with what ‘must’ be done. His purpose was to show, that those in charge couldn’t control the native uprising. This was only the start.

“Do not revel in your destruction so deeply, there is much more to come,” he said without noticing his mind replacing ‘your’ with the more clumsy ‘self’ he had been using till then. His mind was on fire.

In the town, the villagers had returned and were wildly attempting to put out the fires. Well over half the town had been burned and destroyed in the bomb blasts. There had been over twenty killed in the first explosion, and Solanth had told his brother there were another twenty currently ‘missing.’

Toranth looked up. Darnethlil seemed to be talking with Adric, the two of the communicating quite animated now. He remembered earlier when they had seemed so quiet. It was as if a damn had burst and now both were speaking quickly. Toranth blinked, they were speaking, not bespeaking to each other’s minds, but physically speaking, both in each other’s native tongue. He couldn’t think about it now, too much was happening.
He looked around and took in the depth of how much had been destroyed. Despair truly came over him as the smell of charred wood and flesh was everywhere. Those not trying to put out the fires looked to him; they all desperately wanted to know what was next. He had thought that abandoning Darnethlil’s mad war would bring peace. But how could there been any peace with such creatures that would do this. Would ‘bombing’ people who had no part in the deeds he had committed, no blame, and no guilt. He looked up, no longer able to hold onto his emotions and cursed Crie aloud.
The silence that followed was deafening. It was broken by a voice breaking from the woods.
“Such words from an elder Lonti Toranth. You are lacking in your so holy teaches to defile our great Crie ,” a voice said, sharp, clawing, and with a sense of self-importance. Toranth heard the murmurs and gasps as he turned, fearing what he would see. He knew that voice, and it was impossible.

“Thyla! Clan Leader of the Accursed Liya. What are you and your heretical followers doing here?” he demanded before the true horror of their appearance gripped his senses and he saw how they were all dressed.
“So it has happened. You have given up any pretense of the Teachings of Crie, you, you carry the weapons of the off-worlders, you have even used them!” he spat.

“Why yes Toranth, and if I had not used that ‘accursed’ weapon, your little town would be nothing but burning fire by now. Well it would be more on fire then it already is. Isn’t that so?” she said, with defiantly too much satisfaction in her voice.

“Do you think that will help us? It shall only bring more death; it will only enrage the off-worders all the more, Thyla! Or is that what you want? When our world first collapses it was YOUR Ancestors that tried to revive the forbidden arts at Trinasaki. Your ancestor’s tired to make war again, after our people were all but dead. You stole what was buried at Trinasaki and for that the other clans banished your kind,” he said, the others around him looking shocked. Some things were not meant to be discussed. Even those behind Liya seemed genuinely shocked. As though suddenly self-consciousness of the explosives and assault rifles they all carried.

“But that was not enough. Since then your Clan leaders sought out those arts. You kept alive knowledge, far beyond the arts of pain we all know. You taught how to kill, how to wage war. All this time haven’t you?!” he said, anger pouring from his mouth, his wings fully unfurled as all of the stress, the emotion, the hate of the war, the deaths, and the fighting came out from him.

There was silence. A few of those in the back put down their guns. But Thyla seemed to rally, she was done apologizing for her clan, she was done hiding.

“Yes.” She said simply.
“Yes Toranth, because the words of Crie can protect us for only so long. You do slander us; we have not abandoned his teachings. Only, altered them. For 7000 rotations my ancestors did indeed practice the art of war. We kept alive how battles were fought. We studied those few documents that were not burned at Trinasaki, those few items not taken from us after, the incident.” Toranth snorted
“Incident!” he scoffed, but Thyla pressed on.

“And in all that time Toranth, we never used them. We never once struck out against you or the others. And know that we could have. Oh yes, we could have. But that is not our way. What you do not understand, could never understand,” she paused and looked around, eyes glaring at those from the village, many of whom looked genuinely frightened at the sight of Liya Clan members so close to themselves.
“What none of you understand, is that it is not us you need fear, but off-worlders. Thirty turns ago when those of the Tri Star came, we first became fearful. They did not seem hostile, but we would not take that chance . For the past thirty turns we have prepared for this,” she said and picked up a smolder piece of wood, the remains of part of a holy relic.
“This is war Toranth. It did not come from where we expected it, but it came. Our people have prepared themselves and are here now because of it. We have the enemy’s weapons. We have their ears and eyes. We even have one of them promising allegiance to us,” she said, punctuating the last statement loud enough for all to hear, which seemed rather effective as others began to whisper to one another.

“The teachings of Crie teach us, above all other things, that we shall no longer make war against each other. That was Crie’s fundamental law... But these beasts are not of our world, our race, and our people. If there is a time to make war, it is under such circumstances that it is needed!” she yelled, now nose to nose against Toranth. The world seemed to grow silent; Toranth could see the fire in her eyes, the blazing emotional intensity. She was mad, he could see it, and surely, the others could see it. But it was madness, that had become so focused, so refined it had crossed into a form of utter conviction that he knew he could not match.

“Your people are scattered, and the enemy shall indeed soon send others to discover what has happened here. You have no choice, you must join my people, or you will perish under the off-worlders.” Toranths heart raced, he felt his wings slump. He couldn’t agree to this, he could barely agree with what Darnethlil had proposed, attacks small and non lethal. She, she was proposing war, full and total war. He couldn’t, do it, he opened his mouth. Even if it doomed them, he would not agree to such a thing.

“We accept”

Toranth looked up. He had heard the worlds, but they were not his own. He turned, along with the others. Darnethlil, leaning unsteadily against Adric had gotten up. He grabbed at a stick as he steadied himself on his tail and good leg.

“We accept Thyla Liyapamella. As Clan Leader of my people, I, Darnethlil Lontimanolla, agree to ‘War,’” he said, the gasps from those around him met with unbelieving looks from those behind Thyla. Thyla for her part, surprised Darnethlil was not dead, felt things suddenly shift. The Lonti were traditionalists through and through. They respected ceremony. She bowed dramatically, pulling her wings in.
“I, Thyla Liyapamella, welcome and wish to have met you under better circumstances. I, offer my clans full and utter support in war against these off-” She paused, and saw Adric for the first time. Had Darnethlil been a moment slower, Adric’s face would have been sliced open by the sudden downward swipe of her claws. Again, there was the sudden tension between Clans as Darnethlil spoke up.

“He is not of the enemy, nor is he of the Tri-Star races. I, as Clan leader, vouch for him,” he said quickly to Thyla, his voice deeply protective.
“It is his council, among the disasters visited upon my people, which have finally led me to see that peace cannot be had with these off-worlders. That,” and he turned to look at Adric, as if recalling a very long discussion.
“That as you say. We shall not make war upon each other, but at such a time, we shall make war upon others,” Thyla nodded solemnly in agreement, as she examined the strange creature.

Adric could feel her mind as it tried to probe his. It was coarse and sharp, not at all like those of the Lonti Clan. It didn’t seem nearly as well trained. He glared at her and focused, shutting her out.

Thyla hissed in a bit of shock, but said nothing. Instead, she flicked her wings in amusement.
“If he is the only one of his kind here, then he is quite harmless. I shall have no quarrel with… it… provided you extend the same courtesy to my guest,” she said and at an unspoken command brought forth from the shadows Jakenenth.

It was Darnethlil who had to be restrained now, along with a few behind him. The two sides exchanged the Trathalan equivalent of ‘trash talk’ for a while before Thyla seemed to get their attentions.

“He has betrayed his people! He has sacrificed his life to see his own kind leave our world,” she said loud enough for all to hear, “He speaks for others that seek not to have this world, but only return to their own.” She looked to Darnethlil, and then quickly to Adric.

“I, as Clan Leader of the Liya, vouch for him.” This seemed to settle both sides down now, the quiet only interrupted by a word from Eleroth behind Thyla.

“Mistress, the enemy devices speak again. More of the bombers are approaching; it says there are seven of them this time. They will be here in sixty eight units of the enemy’s time,” he said as Thyla looked at the display on her own armband.

“Indeed, I believe it is time we left here as quickly as possible. Lonti Clan leader, your home will not survive this night. I suggest you take what you can and come with us,” Thyla finished, watching with a hint of satisfaction at the look of infuriation and contempt Toranth gave her. Darnethlil however had a different look to his face, his wings were drooping.
“It is as you say Clan Leader of the Liya. This night we shall go into exile as well, and join your Clan together.”

Darnethlil looked to Adric and then to the village. It had been his peoples home for almost two thousand years. There were artifacts and tomes of books that could never be replaced, memories of his peoples past that he would never find again. He took in the small collection of ancient homes and gathered his breath,

“People of the Lonti, tonight we mark an ending, but it will not be forever. Gather what you can, take with you only what are most precious and dear to you. Tonight, we will join the Liya Clan in exile. Tonight, we shall make war,” he said as he turned to Adric and spoke softly though the ring.

“You were right long ago. I truly had no concept for what war was like. And my people have paid for it dearly, but so long as I live I shall not let such a mistake happen again. I have come to accept what both you, and the Liya Clan leader, say,” Darnethlil lowered his head a bit, moving it to be level with the Human’s face.
“I made you a promise long ago, that I would keep you safe while you were a guest on this world. I know now, just what I will have to do to keep that promise,” he said as Adric rubbed his eyes. He didn’t know how long he had been crying, but knew it was something in Darnethlils ‘voice’. It felt so full of sorrow in his mind. Adric leaned up.

“Life is all about learning form mistakes, you big Dragon. I think all of us are about to learn a great deal,” he said a best he could. Around him the others had spread out. Carts were being silently loaded as the Trathalans gathered up whatever they could carry; most seemed full of books. Adric smiled. Faced with the threat of their town being bombed into cinders, books it seemed were always of top priority.

“Darnethlil, what, will happen? Is there anywhere else we can go that will be safe?” Adric asked, the question having been nagging him for a while.
Darnethlil turned to Thyla, he had known an answer but had hoped it would not come to it. Now as flying machines loaded with destruction approached, he knew he could no longer afford his pride.

“Thyla Liyapamella, I as Clan leader request, sanctuary, within your lands.” He sighed deeply, there, it had been said. Thyla did her best to act surprised.
“If that is your wish Darnethlil, I shall honor it by Clan laws. Naturally, the manor of compensation for such generosity, shall be postponed for the time being,” she said in a rather overly amiable tone to Darnethlil, whose shoulder was gripped a second later by a firm claw.
“Darnethlil, how can you do this to us. First you agree to war, then you place our salvation in the hands of this…heretic! How can you think of entrusting her with our peoples’ safety?!” Toranth said, no longer able to hold back from speaking his mind.
“We have no choice Toranth. By dawn, we will no longer have a home.” Toranth glared.
“And what of the rest of our Clan? What of those in Toric? In Helnas? In Drenf? This home may burn Darnethlil, but there are other places we can go.”

“NO! I will not subject the others to harm by my own actions. Anywhere we may go in these lands shall be at risk. The only place we can go that will keep our people safe is to leave them. They are strong, they will endure,” he said, turning his back and beginning to walk off with Adric at his side.

“Then leave Darnethlil! Go and live among the heretics, I shall stay here!” Darnethlil stopped.
“You would stay? You would leave me, after all we have been through? You have been with me since we were children Toranth.” Toranth was quiet, not wishing to look Darnethlil in the face.

“Someone must stay, if you really shall make war, then, then someone must stay and prepare our people,” he said and, for the first time in a while, raised his wings to smile.

“You are a brother to me Darnethlil. I do not always see wisdom in your choices, but I shall respect them. Let us not part with no ill feelings. Go with the Liya, and I shall stay with the Lonti.” he said as the two embraced with wings outstretched.
Adric checked his watch. The half melted piece of plastic seemed to continue to function despite all logic. Currently, it was about forty minutes since he and about seventy Lonti Trathalans had gathered what they could and left their home with the Liya. Adric had walked along side Darnethlil for much of that time, the two mostly quiet. Occasionally, Adric would look over at the other ‘guests’ of the Liya Clan. The one known as “Jakenenth” seemed to be quietly talking to the other three that were chained to him.
Adric had obviously heard about the alien invaders, the twin races known as Qwintoni and Tejlini. Darnethlil had described their appearance to him, but it still hadn’t quite prepared him.
His initial thought was “Werewolf” or wolf-like in shape. But it wasn’t quite right. The creature was wolf like in the same way Humans were ape like. There was a vague similarity, but nothing more. The other features however seemed, unsettling. His head had two sets of ears, one atop his head, and a pair on the side. Down his spine and shoulders were, what seemed to Adric, boney fins, and the tail. He swore he caught it once or twice not just picking something up, but also moving it as if there was a hand at the end of it.
Adric realized a bit too late he was staring. Jakenenth and the other Qwintoni eyed him back, saying nothing as they walked on, yet sharing a similar thought between them. Aliens among aliens.

“It is almost time,” Darnethlil said softl,y as he halted the marching Trathalans. Together as one, they turned and looked back. Far away were the fires coming from their village. Adric turned to see the Liya Clan leader looking though what seemed a pair of binoculars.
“They are coming Darnethlil, for what it is worth, I am sorry for your people,” She said, genuinely sympathetic now as Darnethlil nodded.
Together near the coast, the group of Lonti and Liya, of Human and Qwintoni watched in silence as a wing of Bombers approached. There was a distant rumble from their engines, a moment of whistling, and then, light. Adric held up his hand as the village erupted with burning yellow light. A moment later, his head exploded with cries of despair. He fell to his knees for a moment, realizing though the translator band he could feel the shared sorrow and loss of the Trathalans.
They did not weep, they did not cry out. They simply stood and watched as their village burned. Nothing needed to be said aloud; between their minds they shared the pain and loss together wordlessly. Adric rubbed his eyes, feeling just a small part of the sorrow.
The lights lasted just a few minutes before the bombers turned and headed back south.
Darnethlil waited a moment before speaking silently to the others.
“It is done, the past is burned yet again, but as before, we shall endure,” he said. The others nodded as they made their way to the beach.
It was dark and near dawn. Adric checked his watch again, it seemed it was a Thursday. He started to laugh, then to cry, and thought of home.
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
"Congratulations, you get a cookie. You almost got a fundamental English word correct." Pick
"Outlaw star has spaceships that punch eachother" Joviwan
Read "Tales From The Crossroads"!
Read "One Wrong Turn"!
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