“Oh, it is, ah, it’s good that you’re here.” Chloe mumbled as Finch entered Gwenhime’s small clinic.
“Yeah?” He said.
Chloe javelined a roll of paper to him from her bed. Finch caught it. It was a report dated for one week prior.
It read, “Janna, I hope all is treating you well. Please pass this along to the leader of the Agents, the King, when you are finished with it.
“We have just taken up arms against bandits in Baracus city. It was primarily the work of a Plainkind girl. They are just as fierce a people as the reports claim, and I suggest recruiting from the west when the walls open in a few years. Baracus will be needing a guard, please reallocate some of Murdock’s and Hannibal’s forces to Baracus. I think we may have put a target on this town.
“From Drake Æisticht.”
Finch looked at Chloe’s bandaged face. She looked a lot better now.
“Tomorrow,” She said, “We will be learning about Plainkind.”
When Finch left, the first thing he did was search for Jutt. She was sitting in the field, leaning against the castle wall. Likely, she was waiting for him. They had been meeting up all week, since both of them had no classes at the moment. He told her the news, and asked her if she knew what a Plainkind was.
“They say Alice was a Plainkind. That’s why she looked so frightening, was the claim. But none of us have ever seen a Plainkind, so it’s hard to know for sure.” She said, and then continued, “I learned about them in university. Apparently they are one of the few races created by someone other than Mother or Father Nature.”
“What? Who made the Plainkind?”
“They claim it was the Servant of the Djeb. But, I don’t know who the Djeb follow.”
“The Djeb?” Finch felt like he had heard this word before in his classes.
“Yeah. It’s the biggest city around. It’s not inside this Kingdom, it’s to the west, past the deserts.” Jutt murmured.
The next day, Chloe spent a lot of time talking about the various races.
“The North Metch and East Metch used to be the same race about three thousand years ago. The North Metch were never an issue for us, but the East Metch were quite territorial,” She said, “There are also the Elken to the north, and further still north you can find the 100% Riley.”
“The what?” Finch jumped.
“What percentage of Riley blood do you have?” Chloe pointed her ink marker at him.
“Umm, I think seventy-five.”
“Right! Up to ninety-five is considered stable. There are no higher amounts in the Kingdom, if there are, they are likely locked away by now. The 100% Riley are an insane race. It’s amazing that they’ve survived for so long. They prefer to feed on other human races. They found the Solune particularly delicious, that’s why we travelled south, here.”
“What…” Finch felt a little strange to hear that his ancestors were cannibals.
Chloe nodded, “Right. The human biologist, Arkine Resz- What is it?”
Finch was waiving both hands in the air. He said, “What is a human?”
“Oh, sorry, ‘human race’ is a term that covers all races descended from the ancient and terrifying humans.”
“What’s an ancient human?” He asked.
Chloe sighed, but this tangent was highly relevant, so she obliged.
“The humans were highly adapted collaborative hunters. The females had two thumbs, better to grip and strangle its prey. The males had split forearms, for better climbing. That’s actually why we have two bones running down each forearm. Once, they were two separate arms, for males anyway.”
“I thought it was rotation?”
“That came later. Humans rotated with their shoulder joints. From what we can tell, the males scouted, and the females killed.”
“Wow.” Finch was amazed. He scribbled a note as Chloe went to the inkboard.
She uncapped her marker and wrote the word άνθρωπος. She drew a line downward.
“The most direct descendant of the human was the Metch, which divided further into the East Metch, North Metch, and Djeb.”
There was that word again! “What are the Djeb?”
“They’re a race from the far west. My mother told me of them. Apparently, they revere the Servant of Birth.”
“Is Birth the one that created the Plainkind?” Finch was getting excited.
“What? I, ah, I am not sure…” Chloe trailed off. She would have to look this up.
“Anyway, we’re getting to that,” She continued, “So, the humans that managed to find their way to the Underside fell under the influence of Father Nature and became the Sollussa. On the Overside, Mother Nature focused on a group of humans. She primarily ignored the Metch and let them develop naturally. The humans she turned her eyes to became the unusual bird-like Obsidian race.”
“Obsidian…” Finch copied down the tree.
“The Obsidian had a mentality issue though. Mother Nature’s influence has a strange habit of driving a small percentage of her people mad. That’s what happened to the second generation humans actually. Drove themselves extinct. The Obsidian knew this, and their counter measure was to exile anyone who tore their own exoskins off.”
“They what?!” Finch shouted.
“Oh, I forgot to mention. The Obsidian have a thick, black leather exoskin. If you tear it off, then you’d see pale, but regular looking flesh. That’s actually why Riley are so pale.”
Finch stared at his hands, shocked.
“They exiled all the less sane Obsidian people, and those became the Riley. When the Riley began to eat and also mix with the Solune, we rebranded them as the one-hundred-percent.”
Finch’s breathing became heavy.
Chloe paused a moment, and then beside Obsidian she added, Elken.
“That was another heavily influenced race. That is why the Elken are so spiritual.”
Then she put her marker next to human, and to its right she added Κολλυρίων, then drew a line downward and wrote Πεδιάδαγένος.
“Shriken, and then Plainkind.”
“Right. The Shriken were a fierce race. To be created by Birth would make sense. As you can see, the Plainkind are not human related at all.”
“Can they interbreed?” Finch asked. He wasn’t sure why this concerned him.
“I’m sure with the help of Birth it would not be too difficult. The Shriken were too powerful, so Mother Nature weakened them.”
A sudden realization crossed Chloe’s face.
She opened a large text book labelled, Aνθρώπινη. At the back, she found an entry on Plankind and read. Finch meanwhile, was taking notes on his heritage.
“Okay, I was right! The Servant of Birth created the Shriken, and made them extremely overpowered. Mother Nature became extremely cross with her son, and silenced his voice to the ears of the Plainkind. He then moved west and began to influence the people of the Djeb instead. The result is that over the years the Shriken devolved into the Plainkind.
“It wasn’t an evolution! The Plainkind are a post-celestial race! They were created by a Servant, and then abandoned!”
Chloe called for the end of class, and then grabbed her tome and ran, literally ran down to the royal library. Finch stared at the board, dumbfounded. Like the Plainkind, he felt slightly abandoned.