“WHAT WAS IT LIKE? THE FUTURE.”
“I could see myself, lifting things that I could not touch.”
“COULD NOT TOUCH?”
“Yes, I could move things that were far away, I could… control matter as I pleased. It was… frightening.”
“YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN ONE, AND YET YOU HAVE STOLEN THE POWER.”
“The… the power?”
“YOU ARE THE CURSED ONE, YOU ARE THE DEVIL. WE MUST KILL YOU. WE MUST KILL YOU SO THAT THE CHOSEN CAN TAKE YOUR POWER. YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN!”
“Kill me? What? What… what if I am the CHOSEN?” She said.
The Shriken Elder’s face became fierce. It was a look that Yaska was used to. All the Shriken people were the same in this respect. They had three pronged pupils, many long, sharp molars, and a they could pull back their cheeks to let their jaws open wider.
That is what the Elder was doing. He bared his teeth, and brandished his claws. His giant leathery wings unfurled, and he swept himself forward.
Yaska was knocked to the ground. She stood and clawed at the man, but nothing happened. His skin was hard as stone. She drew her sword from the clasp on her back and cut across. The man did not flinch, he simply walked towards her slowly.
“Why are you attacking me?”
The Elder said, “YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN, BUT YOU WILL HAVE THE POWER. THIS IS NOT ALLOWED, YOU HAVE TAKEN IT.”
A young woman appeared in doorway holding a Plainkind medical knife.
Yaska stepped away from him, backpedaling until her back was to the wall. she looked left and right. She saw a square hole, a window.
The Elder was slow, Yaska knew it was because he was cursed, and suffered from grinding bones in both knees. He would get over it in a few years, the Plainkind did were immune to chronic illness. But for now, the man edged towards her, death in his eyes.
Yaska turned left and dived out of the window, a hole. She opened her wings and dropped to the ground with grace, plummeting. This place, this ancient Shriken temple, was built into the mountain that overlooked the Plainkind desert, the rolling hills of sand and its inhabitants, the Plainkind and the dinosaurs. They were all Plainkind, even the Shriken, but they liked to pretend they were better.
From within the building, the Elder shrieked. The sound cut the air, travelling hundreds of kilocubits.
This is mountain where they watched the youth survive.
Yaska could see them, the Shriken people, heeding the Elder’s call. They soared through the sky towards the mountain.
Yaska didn’t know what she was going to do. She didn’t think she could take out an entire settlement’s worth of them.
She turned around to see if she could find refuge back in the mountain. The stone door was sealed.
Yaska ran to it and started knocking, her fist creating deep seated cracks in gate. She frantically looked around. The Shriken were getting close. Where was the elder? He had not followed her. Who was in the crowd?
She saw someone flying in front of them, it was her sister, Reyla. What, was she coming for the kill as well?
The first of the Shriken landed. She looked around and saw her sister’s back.
“Run!” Reyla shouted. She drew a ten foot wooden pole and began beating her companions with it.
Yaska beat her way through the door and turned back. Reyla had subdued three or four of them, Yaska couldn’t tell.
“Go! Do not worry about me. The would not kill another Shiken. Are you the CHOSEN ONE?”
“No, they want to kill me because I stole the CHOSEN’S powers!”
“What nonsense. Now go!” Reyla pushed her stick against a group of attackers and stepped forward. She walked, shoving more and more against the dull blade, and then she swung. The wood strained, but Reyla successfully managed to fling a small group of her attackers into the air.
Yaska spun and ran into the temple and was confronted with a wide open stadium, and was immediately confronted with the Elder. She looked around, her eyes cutting the dark environment. She saw the hall that followed the mountain’s circumference and dashed, pulling her wings out a touch. Her gait was one step above a run, maintaining a glide by launching herself forward with each stride.
The entire temple was black, because the Plainkind could see in the dark. Various limbs and bladed weapons crashed through the wall, they were locating her by her vibrations. Most of them missed, but Yaska also collected a few scrapes and cuts from the odd sword.
Yaska ran down the claustrophobic tube for three, then four strides before she was confronted by another person, the woman with the knife.
“Ah, wait!” Yaska skidded to a stop, her clawed feet digging into the stone.
“No, we are done waiting, you will stop now.”
Yaska was thrust into the wall. The Elder’s hands made a pair of holes through the stone behind her, and Yaska was caught in his hold. She was held around the waist by the Elder, and pinned by the shoulder by the woman.
She said, “The knife,” and then handed it over.
The man punched a hole for his head with his off hand, and Yaska squirmed beneath the woman’s pin.
“What are you?” Yaska looked around. The attacks from outside had stopped, and she wondered if it was due to her capture, or if perhaps Reyla had defeated them all.
The Elder forced his torso through the wall, and stone crumbled around him.
“No!” Yaska moved her shoulders. The woman dug her fingers in until she drew blood.
“Yes. It is what must be done.”
The Elder stabbed the knife into Yaska’s left thigh, and then slowly drew it up her body. It cut deep, deep past the nerves. For the most part, Yaska did not feel much. He cut upward, nicking her ribs as he went, cutting the upper edge of her right breast, and then up the shoulder.
Yaska looked down and watched as the think line of pink slowly turned red.
The Elder began cutting around the shoulder and down her back.
Yaska’s heart began to pump faster, and for a few beats blood squirted out of the long incision. She gritted her teeth and forcibly pulled the laceration shut by the sinews.
Her eyes glowed red, and she looked into the maroon eyes of the woman.
Yaska pulled free of both holds and grabbed the young woman’s face in her hand. She slammed her head into the outer wall, cracking it along it’s length. And the she did it again, and the poor woman was thrust into the hot desert air. She was no longer concious. Yaska’s wound was still oozing, but it greatly inhibited by the sheer force of her clenching muscles.
“YOU MUST DIE FOR THE GREATER GOOD!” The Elder said.
Yaska spun to face him, “THE GREATER GOOD WILL BE THE DOWNFALL OF CIVILIZATION.”
The Elder’s expression became fierce; murderous. He stepped forward and thrust the sword into Yaska’s heart.
One pump emptied the organ of it’s blood. It splattered across the elder’s torso. Yaska stared, eyes wide open.
“YOU CANNOT KILL…” Yaska spoke, as though in another language. Words came out, as if she was speaking in tongues. “YOU CANNOT KILL THAT WHICH IS ETERNAL.”
She took his hand and stabbed him with the knife. The Elder stood in shock, his own hand, his own knife piercing his chest. Then elder the died in shock.
Then, Yaska fell on top of him.
Shortly after Reyla found her.
“Wah!” She turned her sister over and looked at the wound.
It had healed, leaving a long scar running across Yaska’s body. The woman woke up, her head pounding.
“Reyla… did we kill the thief?”
Yaska’s eyes opened. She looked around.
“Are you okay, sister?”
“You are my sister then?” Yaska said.
“Yes, do you not remember?”
“I only remember dying. I remember language, and I remember all my knowledge but… I don’t remember any people.”
Reyla embraced her sister. “Once more you have abandoned me… Don’t worry Yaska. I will take care of you.”
It’s strange but true.
Yaska goes on to relive her childhood in the village. As we know, she also loses her wings, and her sister, but all that happens… much later.