Starman Part 3

Starman part 3. (Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska, Jan, the Starman, and Chloe stood just inside the desert village, near Yaska’s house.

“This is the Starman,” Yaska said.

Chloe considered him. She looked at his face, and his form. The face looked similar to Jan’s, but less cheerful.

She said, “you know, Yaska, I doubted your letter, but… I can tell that something with this Starman is off. I need to prove it to myself.”

“What do you mean by off?” Jan asked.

“Yaska, can you get me one of your shirts? No, not the one you’re wearing right now.”

Yaska shrugged. Shortly after, she returned from her small stone hut with a shirt. Chloe took the shirt and offered it to the Starman, who put it on.

Chloe asked, “does it fit?”

“It fits exactly,” he said.

Yaska’s eyes widened, but Jan remained confused.

He asked, “what’s this about?”

Chloe addressed the Starman, “You look like a man, but you’re not, are you. You just copied what’s around you in order to give yourself shape.”

“I’m still lost.” Jan said.

Yaska looked at the Starman. Her shirt fit the creature far better than Jan’s did.

“Well, I am not lost,” Yaska said, “when he landed, the first person he met was me. He was just a ball of light, and then he took on my shape. Jan, do you remember when he first came to the village?”

“It had no face…”

Jan’s expression became passive. Chloe and Yaska both noticed that, without Jan’s constant grin, they really did look identical.

Yaska’s face became stern. She said, “it came from the sky and imitated my body. It came to the village and imitated Jan’s face. Then, it came to our campfire and imitated our language. What does it want, blending in with us so?”

She accusingly pointed a clawed finger at the Starman, “is getting home truly your only goal?”

Silence overcame the group. The Starman stared, searching his limited vocabulary for words with to explain himself.

Chloe’s mumbling eventually broke in, “…imitation, returning to the sky… he truly is a star, isn’t he? I didn’t think that the legend was true.”

Jan said, “what legend?”

The Starman said, “tell us, please.”

Some of the villagers had gathered around Jan’s fire, anticipating the story from the outsider, Chloe.

“My father told me it was long ago, I always assumed two or three thousand years. A star fell from the sky. It was unlike a dead shooting star. It was alive, and it landed on the planet. The ancient people encountered it, and came to fear it.

“The first person to find it was a great hero. The star took the shape of the hero. It was uncanny for the people, to see this false form of the hero. The accused it of being a demon, and captured it out of fear.

“The hero feared for the star. The star had done nothing wrong, but would likely be charged will all forms of frivolity, and the ancient people would decide to kill it. Standing around the star’s cage, and surrounded by his people, the hero decided to take a risk to save the star.

“The hero gave a great laugh, and then pointed to the cage, ‘you fools, you have captured the wrong person, for I am the star, and he is the true hero!’

“The star was cunning. It said, ‘I am indeed your noble hero, please free me!’

“The hero gave the star a secret smile, and then ran. Half the ancient people pursued, and the other half hastened to free the person they thought was their hero. The star was yet still cunning, it said, ‘I will chase down the imposter! Leave it to me!’ And it gave chase. The two heroes ran about the city, each claiming to be chasing the other.

“The hero, that is, the true hero, stopped at his house to rest. He hid, and watched through his doorway. The city calmed. The star was still wandering about, but he assured everyone that he had chased the imposter out of the city. In truth, he was still searching, but without frenzy. He walked around, fearful at the civilization before him, fearful of getting caught.

“Finally, the star noticed the hero in his doorway, beckoning. The star approached, and the hero pulled him inside. The hero fed the star, and told him to journey out of the city and return to his home. The star told him, ‘I need energy,’ so the hero fed him, and gave him drink.

“The star left the city, under the guise of the hero, and returned to the skies. They say that the star still looks down on the hero in thanks, and that the hero still looks up as well.

“Supposedly, it’s the hero that passed this story down to his children, and to the next generation.” Chloe finished.

Yaska, usually stoic, had become quite surprised.

Jan said, “are you the same star?!”

“No.” The Starman said.

Chloe grinned, “so, if the legend is true, and my father says it is, all we have to do is feed the star!”

Yaska shook her head, “I apologize, but we already tried. It did not work, he said that our food was not star food.”

Chloe looked from Yaska to the Starman. She considered Yaska’s words for a long time. Their food is not star food. The hero’s food was. Did that mean that the problem was that Plainkind food specifically was not star food? What was different about what the Plainkind ate, compared to what the hero ate? And then Chloe remembered the odd quirk in Plainkind diet the separated them from nearly every other race.

“I know what it is!”

Sorry, guess it’ll be four parts instead of three!

Daniel Triumph.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

Starman Part 2

Starman part 2. (Part 1 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

The next morning, Yaska came to Jan’s stone hut. Outside, he and the creature were talking.

“Look, Yaska, he fits okay in my clothes… sort of. A little tight in the arms and baggy everywhere else, but not a big issue,” Jan shrugged.

Yaska stared at the creature.

“It can talk now so I’m guessing it learns by imitation,” Jan said, “sort of like a kid who picks up really really fast. I think it figured out how to talk just from the stories last night!”

He learned to talk,” Yaska replied.

The creature looked at them both, then said, ” ‘It’ is closer than ‘he,’ but considering me a man will make referring to me easier.”

“You know, he kind of talks like you,” Jan said.

“Hmm.” Yaska surveyed the creature. He seemed to have a strangely slim but broad build.  She asked him, “what should we call you?”

“What would you call me if I was still in the sky?”

Yaska spoke tentatively, “a… star?”

“Okay. I am a star that looks like a man.”

Jan said, “I’m just going to call you the Starman.”

“Okay.” The Starman said.

“Okay.” Yaska said.

“Al right, Starman, what would you like to do?” Jan asked.

“Well, I would like to return to…” he pointed.

“The sky”

“The sky, but I do not have enough energy.”

Yaska looked around the desert. Her gaze passed the Solune wall to the east, and the mountains to the north. She said, “Do you think you could return from the top of the mountain?”

The Starman followed her gaze and said, “perhaps.”

Jan packed food and bloodskins, and looked for someone to hunt in his place. Mariça volunteered. Then they headed up the mountain.

For a Plainkind, climbing a mountain is less difficult and more tedious and the northern mountains are of unexceptional height. The small group managed to reach the summit with a little effort and in less than half the day.

“How is this?” Yaska asked.

The Starman gazed at the sky, and said, “I will see.”

He began to glow as he had when he had first landed, and Yaska expected him to morph back into a ball. Instead, he stopped and cooled off, returning to normal.

“What made you stop?” Yaska asked.

The Starman said, “Now that I have seen the top, I am certain that I do not have enough energy to return to the sky. I would rather not waste what I do have.”

Yaska put a hand in her hair, “I guess my idea was not that good after all.”

“I apologize. But, at least we will no longer have to wonder.”

“Okay, wow,” Jan said, “you guys are so stuffy. Listen, what did you say? That you don’t have enough energy?”

“Right.”

“Well, here. Eat. Drink.”

They found a flat rut in the mountain, and began eating. The average Plainkind meal is raw dinosaur meat, and blood. Other liquids are very difficult to find in the desert, so blood is the primary source of fluids.

When they had finished, Jan said, “So? Is that better? Do you have energy now?”

The Starman thought for a time, and then said, “no.”

“No?”

He put the food down, “this is, I think, the wrong kind of energy.”

“What? So, the mountain didn’t help, and the food didn’t help? What are we supposed to do?”

Yaska stood, took the Starman’s food, then gave it to Jan. “Take this, and calm yourself. Stars probably eat a different sort of food than we do. Come, we should return now.”

They started down the mountain. The Starman’s face was impassive.

“What do stars eat?” Jan asked. “You should know, you’re a star, right?”

“I know what it is, but I cannot tell you.” The starman replied.

“What? Come on, we’re trying to help you!”

“I… do not have the words.”

Yaska nodded, “the word for his food probably is not in Plainkind vocabulary.”

“Vocabulary?” Jan asked.

Yaska said, “vocabulary is… it is all the words you have to choose from when you speak. I learned the term from Chloe.”

“Oh yes, Chloe, the outsider. She knows quite a bit, doesn’t she.”

“Yes she does,” Yaska agreed, “Chloe knows about history, and science, and… Oh Jan!”

“What?” Jan asked. The Starman, too, looked at her.

“We could ask Chloe to help!”

“Oh, great idea!”

“I will write her a letter when we return. We can send it by bird.”

Daniel Triumph.

Previous Part,Next Part

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P.S.

I apologize for the quality drop in this one. The next one is better.

Starman Part 1

Starman part 1.

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska May Däwngale and the people of her village sat around the community fire. Jan was telling a story about the storm festival. Yaska rubbed her fingers through the sand. It did not rain a lot in the desert, but once every two years, there was a rainstorm. Even though she had been gone for so long, Yaska had heard his story many times and had gotten bored of it. She decided to leave the village to look at the stars.

“Where are you going?” It was her friend Mariça, the most unusual looking of the bunch.

“West. I am going to look at the stars.”

“Okay.”

Yaska walked until she couldn’t hear the buzz of the gathering. She found a spot next to a shrub and lay down, resting her hands behind her head. It wasn’t always easy to see the stars because the atmosphere often distorted them. In her homelands, however, there was less humidity, so heat distortion was reduced. Even on this clear night, the stars shimmered and danced in the skies, and Yaska knew she was only seeing a fraction of them.

Yaska gazed at the hundred or two shining dots, tracking their irregular movement until she saw one that was moving oddly. She blinked. It wasn’t shimmering, or moving in hazy circles. It was shuddering. And getting brighter. Yaska watched it, and realized that it was growing.

She sat up, and then, keeping her eye on the star, she stood. She rubbed her eyes, and when she opened them again, the light was the size of her fist.

“What?”

A fiery mass plummeted down from the heavens. Yaska watched as it smashed into the ground, twenty steps in front of her. She was quite astonished.

Yaska, fearless, approached the landing area. As the smoke dissipated, she could see a bright mass of whites and yellows shifting around. She watched as the ball of light took shape. It morphed vertically, splitting at the bottom and the sides. Yaska watched it compress into the definite shape of a person.

“…Hello?”

The form’s brightness faded slowly, until all that remained was a soft glow over it’s tanned skin. The face remained featureless.

Yaska waved her hand in front of where the face should have been. She thought that perhaps it would spark the next part of the creature’s transformation, that it had gotten stuck.

Yaska put  her hands on her hips, staring at it. After a while of nothing happening, she took a step back.

The creature tentatively stepped forward.

“Aha!” Yaska took another step backwards, and the creature again followed. “So you can do something!”

Yaska turned and started walking back the the village, checking over her shoulder frequently to make sure the creature was following. As she neared the makeshift stone huts of her village, she heard muttering.

Then, a voice rang out, “I will go, because I am the eldest. If anything happens to me, it is a much smaller loss than if we lose Jan, our hunter.”

Yaska entered and approached the group; huddled together and worried. It was Mariça’s part-mother who had volunteered herself. Jan noticed her first.

He said, “What is that following you?!”

Yaska stopped. The creature stopped. Yaska realized she had no idea what she had just led into her village. She assumed it wasn’t dangerous because thus far it had been so benign, but she couldn’t be sure. Still, she wasn’t too worried. If it was dangerous, she had the strength to deal with it.

Yaska turned around and said, “- oh, you are finally getting yourself a face, I see.”

The face of the creature pushed itself out of the front of its head, much to the surprise of the villagers.

Jan ran up to Yaska and whispered, “is this normal?”

Yaska nodded stating, “It started as a ball of light.”

“Hey!” Mariça shouted from among the group, “it looks like a boring Jan!”

Yaska and Jan looked up.

“I look like that?”

Yaska approached the creature.

“Can you speak?”

The creature opened its mouth and gave a shriek. Jan stepped back. Yaska stepped forward, readying herself, just in case.

Mariça’s mother walked to Jan and said, “that’s an infant’s screech. If it just got its face, it likely doesn’t know how to use it.”

Jan said, “Well, actually, it just got my face.”

After tapping it a few times, Jan declared the creature harmless. Yaska said that since it figured out how to grow a face so fast through observation, it would likely learn how to speak the same way. So, the village returned to the fire and Jan began another story.

And the creature did listen.

Daniel Triumph.

Next Part

This will probably be a 3 parter. Not super long. Yaska really should have more appearances, as she’s one of my oldest characters, but so it goes.

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WHAT WAS IT LIKE? THE FUTURE?

“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?”

yaska-pen-e1506059008713.jpg

“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.

“Oh no…”

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.”

“No!”

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.

“No!”

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.

“No!”

Her eyes glowed red, and she looked into the maroon eyes of the woman.

“NO!”

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. The elder then 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 naked body. The woman woke up, her head pounding.

“Reyla… did we kill the thief?”

“Kill?”

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.

Daniel Triumph.