Category Archives: Story Chains

Stories that apart of a longer series

Legend of Elenmitis Part 6

“I think so, Elenmitis.  Humans don’t want to agree.  Perhaps, you gave them too much power,” The World said, definitely sounding concerned.

Elenmitis couldn’t take the power back.  He frowned.  “It is done. There isn’t much I can do now.”

“Hopefully, it wasn’t a mistake.”

Elenmitis settled down and watched things change.

The humans became very different from one another.  They had different governments, different laws, and belief systems.  They started to develop a way to travel to each other, their anger was different.  No longer did they feel the need to change their neighbors.

The World and Elenmitis agreed this had managed to work itself out.  But, now Elenmitis grew antsy once again.  Everything had settled into the same boring patterns.

“Why don’t you make some more realms?  They have good and evil, but nothing else.  This world is of magic as well.” The World had tired of Elenmitis fussing.

Elenmitis made a realm of fire called Ixcoz.  He made a creature of flame and temper to live there.  Next came Honin the realm of Earth, creatures of life and steadiness for that one.  Water was called Dael with beings that were fluid and mutable.  And last he made Vayu a land of air.  The beings there were flighty and light.  Again, he observed.

The humans summoned those creatures. And used them the same they did the angels and their demons.  However, the elemental creatures were a bit more powerful, for they had been made by Elenmitis, and not a mortal mind.  Something strange happened, more powerful beings in these realms rose up to rule over the rest.

They became minor gods to the glory that was Elenmitis.  At first, he was a bit annoyed about it.  He wanted their worship for himself.

The World laughed at him.  “You wanted things to be interesting, but you fuss when they change.”

He admitted The World was right, and let them be.  And, because he hadn’t changed anything else, something completely unexpected happened.

The angels, demons, and elementals began to breed with human kind.  They made more powerful humans, who the humans called planeborn.  Every society had different opinions on them, and he found them fascinating.  Some were more like their plane parent, others were more human.  And they bred among each other, making a dizzying array of ancestry.

Elenmitis considered using his power to make sure the planeborn were accepted into society.  However, The World stopped him.  “Have you not noticed a trend, Elenmitis?”

“A trend, what trend?” Truly baffled he didn’t know what the World was referring to.

“Whenever you don’t allow things to take their normal course, you grow bored.  It is only when you don’t try to fix things that everything stays interesting.  You are getting too involved in their day to day affairs.”

Author’s Note: This was supposed to go last week, but some kind of user error occurred.  Sorry about that. 

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 5

Elenmitis actually thought The World was making sense.  “I won’t give too much away, a touch to every person.”

He flew over the world, giving an equal amount to each human.  Even as he did so he realized some had better access to the power.  And others, even simply could absorb and use more.   Excitement built up in him.  He then told his priests to spread the world that everyone now had power.  And he stood back and waited to see what happened.

At first they were thrilled that they could do magic.  It started simple.  They used it to light fires, attack each other, hunt, and make shelters.  Slowly, they grew more sophisticated, they healed each other, and they made protective spells.  Eventually, they began to disagree with how magic should be used.  And then something happened Elenmitis would have never predicted.

They made a realm of Evil and Chaos, and a realm of Good and Peace.  They called the realm of Good was Vita.  And the realm of Evil was Silt.  And, the humans had made it with their own god touched power.   As the years moved forward, each realm was inhabited by creatures of the human’s creations.  Creatures who were the embodiment of human beauty, power, and grace.  Elenmitis was thrilled.

As the world was one continent the people began to war more heavily.  They would summon and be used by these creatures they made.  The wars grew bloodier, and darker.  And Elenmitis realized if he left well enough alone, they would kill themselves off.  In response, he spilt the world into four parts.

Northern parts he put the people who believed in freedom and independence.  This was a cold place with mountains and rolling hills.  In the Southern kingdoms, people who give anything to the family, and power.  A dry land filled with rich rivers, and harsh winds that blew sand everlasting.  In the Eastern kingdom, he put people who believed in the importance of nature, and living one with the world.  Lush forests, deep jungles had dangerous creatures living beside them.  And the last kingdom for those who believed in keeping their word over any other concern.  This land had a variety of landscapes, cold and hot in turns.

He waited to see the results.  The fighting continued, but to a lesser degree.  A bit of relief swept through him, he hadn’t wanted his marvelous creation to ruin itself.  “Do you think that was well done, World?”

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 4

“World, what do you think I should do now?” He asked his only companion.

“Aren’t you the god?  I have only a little power.”  The World responded, sounding a bit short.

Elenmitis nodded. “Yes, but you seem to know things.  The other worlds had things.  What were they called?”

“Animals?  You have a few, but they are pretty simple ones.  Maybe you should make more interesting animals, bigger ones, smarter ones, more unique ones?” The World suggested with a great deal of censure to its voice.

Elenmitis set about to take The World’s advice.  The whole time he would ask the world questions about each animal and what would complement it.  The World warmed up to the Elenmitis, and they shared a long time creating everything there was.

The better animals acted in exciting ways.  They interacted in unexpected ways, and even changed over time.  Elenmitis would make small changes here and there as time rolled by.  Eventually, the pleasure dimmed, and Elenmitis was dissatisfied.

The World noticed and spoke up.  “Aren’t there something called humans?  They are much smarter than other animals.”

Elenmitis thought back to his travelling day.  He did remember something like that.  They worshipped gods like him, they invented things, and they made art, and generally got into all sorts of trouble.  Yes, that might just be the thing to end his boredom.

He made them much like the one’s he’d seen.  Two eyes, four limbs, hands for five fingers, hair on their heads, and clever brains in their head.  He saw in other worlds the gods made all the humans look similar. That seemed awfully uninteresting to Elenmitis.  He gave them a variety of shades, shapes, and sizes.

They did amazing things.  The humans built homes, hunted the animals, made more humans, and debated the meaning about life.   Sometimes, they’d make works of art, and sometimes they’d war with one another.  As time rolled by he would modify their behavior a bit here and there.  And, slowly he grew bored with their somewhat predictable patterns.

“Well, once again I find myself bored.  I don’t understand how my creations can’t ever stay interesting.”  Elenmitis announced to The World.

The World let out a sigh that caused the winds to blow over everything.  “If you didn’t meddle so much, maybe you wouldn’t grow bored.”

“I wanted to make my own world, so I could meddle.”  Elenmitis pointed out.  “I found it extremely frustrating that I’d go to other worlds and they wouldn’t allow me to try out things.”

The World went silent for a bit.  “I think if you meddle less you’d be happier.  I say give them some of your power.”

“My power?” Elenmitis squawked. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“If they all had a touch of a god, they’d surely do more interesting things.” the World pointed out.

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 3

Long ago before time was measured, at least in our reality there was a god named Elenmitis.  His power was as such he could create anything.  Often, he would make things and destroy them once he ran out of materials.  For days innumerable he played with empty space around him.  Eventually, his enjoyment paled.   “This is fun, but I’ve created so many things, surely there is something else to do.”

Elenmitis spent time learning to travel to other realities.  When he did he realized they  had other gods, planets, the stars that sparkled in the sky.  Never before had Elenmitis seen such creations.  Elenmitis wanted to play with everything.  But, the gods of those realities didn’t want him to interfere.  They felt very protective of their creations.  For a long time Elenmitis watched learning all there was to see.  Eventually, this too grew boring.

He went home.  This time he thought, I’ll make a world.  A world that is mine alone.   Excited he went to work.  First, he made it a square.  The shape didn’t quite turn the way he wanted in the sky.   He thought back to the other worlds and he made a huge ball.  That was a bit better, but not quite right.  He squished it bit making it a bit longer at the top and bottom.  There now it spun in the perfect lazy turn he wanted.

For a while he watched his spinning planet.  It didn’t have any land or water.  Elenmitis decided that was the next step.  He made a flat piece of land in the middle of the planet and filled with water around it.  And with a flicker of power he gave the land life.

The world woke up.  “Who are you?”

“I’m Elenmitis.  I made you.”  Proud of his first attempt he practically crooned his words.

The World was unimpressed.  “Well since there are only you and me, I figured that out.  But, you didn’t make anything on me.  I’m a boring piece of land, surrounded by an empty ocean.”

A bit stunned Elenmitis stared at his creation.  “How do you know about all that?”

“I’m not sure.  Maybe you gave me the knowledge, or maybe is a part of what I am.  Either way, I know this is only the beginning of a world, not a final product.” The World responded.

Elenmitis waited for The World to continue but it didn’t.  Apparently, it wasn’t a very talkative planet.  Elenmitis decided to take its advice.  He conjured mountains, trees, valleys, fish, and insects.  After all that Elenmitis felt a bit winded and watched.  Living things were really interesting.  They fought, killed, and ate one another.  They were born, grew, and died.  After a while everything became a repeating pattern.

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 2

Dorian blinked a few times.  He motioned for the man to follow.  “That’s good. It gets a bit boring on the road.  If your duties don’t tire you out, perhaps you could spin a few.”

“Of course, of course.” The man bobbed his head.  He grinned at each member of the caravan as they walked down the line.

“What’s your name?” Dorian felt a little ashamed he hadn’t asked the man earlier.

“Oh, you can me El,” The man replied eyes twinkling. They both came to a stop at final cart. El started to unpack his gear.

Dorian waved a few men over to help.  He headed toward the front.  “As soon as our new cook is done, we’ll be on our way.”  It didn’t take long before the caravan departed.

The next few days were grueling.  The mountain terrain even in high summer was rough going.  Everyone was too tired to do anything fun.  Dorian kept watch on El.  The man worked hard, and never complained.  He even took to the random friendly jibs with a smile.  And, his cooking, well, that was short of a miracle.  Not a single dish came out bad and most were truly delicious.

The day they finally crawled over the last bit of the mountains the whole caravan was far more upbeat.  He didn’t push for progress, knowing everyone was worn down.  As the evening approached they made a big fire and the men sat up talking.  El had made a filling stew and everyone relaxed on their bedrolls.

As El came to join them, Carn piped up.  “Old man, Dorian mentioned you were a storyteller.”

El gave a big, wide, sweet smile.  “Oh yes I am.  Are you hinting you want a story? Like a child before bedtime?”

Carn and everyone else laughed.  “I do.  Something epic and interesting.”

After he settled onto his own bedroll, El looked into the fire. “Do you know how the world began? That’s an epic story for sure.”

A chorus of no’s filled the air.  El gave a solemn nod.  “Then, I’ll tell it to you.”

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 1

As Dorian inspected the last of his caravans the stink of horse already climbed into his nose to stay.  It made him smile.  Terrible as the smell was it meant he was about to embark on another trip to Port Town.  From there he’d get beautiful pots, and exotic spices that made him a fortune.   The guards milled around kicking up dirt, their postures stiff.  “Impatient?” Dorian asked, knowing it was true.

Guard Captain Carn gave a quick slash of his head.  “Aye, as usual.  Don’t trouble yourself, Caravan Master.  Youth is always in a hurry.”  The man’s casual pose dropped as his hand moved to his weapon.  “Who’s that?”

Dorian turned to see a man ambling up with an overloaded donkey.  Neither man nor donkey moved very fast.  “Calm yourself.  I’ll talk to him.  Probably someone looking to tack till we get where they need to go.”  Before Carn could stop him Dorian hurried toward the figure.

The figure was an old man with a lined face, slightly filmed over eyes, and worn clothes.  The donkey was healthy besides the fact it had pots, pans, and packages stacked on it.  Dorian held out his palms flat in greeting.  “Hail, what can I do for you?”

The old man stopped and wiped his brow with a cloth.  “Sorry to trouble you, Caravan Master, but I was wondering if I could travel with you to Greel. I’m too old be traveling the roads there with all the bandit attacks.” The old man shifted, his eyes round with tears. “My daughter is expecting her first born.”

The problem tugged a little at Dorian’s heart.  His daughter had given birth herself recently.  “I’m sorry, I can’t.  Everyone who comes has to contribute, part of the contract.  And, it wouldn’t be fair to give you an easy ride while the rest worked.”

The man nodded.  “I understand.  But, I came to offer services in exchange.”

“Oh?” Dorian felt surprise at the offer.  “What are your skills?”

“I’m a cook.  I have cooked for caravans for many years.  I brought my own spices, and cookware.”  He waved at the poor donkey.  “All I ask is to either take the supplies off the poor thing, or let me ride caravan.  Can’t walk that far.”

Dorian thought it over.  They didn’t have a cook most of the time he normally roped one of the drivers into cooking.  “Our food cart has room for both you and your supplies.  I can’t pay you, though.”

The man’s face broke much like the sun on a cloudy day.  “That’s fine sir, just fine.  Maisy will be so happy to be freed of all my things.”  He patted the donkey.  “My daughter Sara will be happy too.”

He couldn’t help it, Dorian smiled in return.  “Have any other skills I should know about?”  The question was one he always asked of anyone he employed.

“Oh yes, I’m a storyteller,” the man said.

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Bound in Chain, Part 4

Suell pale gray eyes rested on her.  He let out a long sigh.  “You aren’t going to trust me if I don’t answer.”

Neela knew it wasn’t a question.  She waited.  For once in her life, she found she had patience.

“Do you know how I came to be born, Alaget?”  Suell asked in calm, soothing tone.

She shook her head.  “I know little of you Woellian culture, High Lord Suell.”

“Of course not,” He muttered.  Those strange blue hands ran through his fight hair mussing it out of place.  “Woellian live to serve the Leader Females.  It isn’t cultural behavior.  It is pure instinct.  A proper Woellian would crawl over broken glass at a single spoken word.  There is not questioning, there is no doubt.  All of them are united in their loyalty, and commitment to them.   They exert a subtle control over us.”  His brow wrinkled very slightly.  “Their morals, their beliefs are yours.  That’s why our society is so liberal in some respects.  Deviate behavior isn’t a threat when we all believe as one.”

“In a way there are three genders for them.  Male, female, and leader.  Leader females are a breed apart.”  His eyes turned inward the pale gray darkening.  “Beautiful, strong, brave, intelligent, deadly, protective, and leadership instincts to their very cores. “  Suell stopped speaking.

Neela wriggled in her seat.  In a few minutes she’d learned more than she’d ever known of the Woellian.  Yet, none of this answered her question.  “Thank you, High Lord.”  She stood up to leave.

His hand snapped out with blurring speed.  “Please sit, I’ll tell you the rest.”   He didn’t speak again until she was seated.  “My mother was born with a genetic flaw.  Many Woellian are our genetics are weak prone to random mutations due to damage inflicted on us a long time ago.  Sometimes we adapt in marvelous ways.  And, sometimes whole generations die from horrid diseases.”

Qwe-Fale-eiaa, my mother, was told she wouldn’t be allowed to breed.  They couldn’t risk the disease from passed on.  However, she wanted children.  She pointed out to the leader female in charge of the Qwe that if she managed to breed with an Alaget the child wouldn’t be flawed.   Qwe Leader Female didn’t agree.  My mother, who was once a high rank, grew angry and spilt off from her people.  She probably had a tendency to be an eiaa in her.  Otherwise, she never would be able to defy a leader female.  She searched out a male Alaget willing to accept children dying until the managed to breed one who might go insane before adulthood.”

Neela bit her lip.  “I don’t understand.”

“My mother was an eiaaEiaa tend to breed other eiaa.  My mother’s defiance doomed me.  Yet, if she hadn’t rebelled I’d never been born.”  His eyes flickered with red, his face growing taunt across his delicate bones.  “No one should have that right over others.”

“But,” Neela started without thinking, “didn’t this prove the Qwe leader female right.  Breeding was a bad idea.”

Suell’s face slackened as his mouth hung open. Then, he laughed.  “Perhaps, you are right, Citizen Neela.  But, I’ll never agree.  Do you trust me now?”

“No,” She said.  “I’m beginning to have faith you do not lie, High Lord Suell.”

“Good, someday I hope to earn all your trust.”  He tipped his head at the door.  “You may go and rest.  If you are hungry let someone know.”

As Neela dragged her weak body out the door, she began to hope.

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Bound in Chain, Part 3

An hour later she’d been bathed, dressed in a flowing dark blue dress, flown in a land ship, and taken up an elevator to a penthouse.  As the slick doors soundlessly opened the slave master shoved her forward.  She tried to gain her steps but her bad leg slide out from her.  A cry echoed against the glass and steel entry way as deformed leg twisted under her.

Two Alaget males reached down and pulled her up.  One lifted her into his massive arms and the other opened the door.  “Suell, she’s here.”  The man’s voice rumbled against her side.

He stepped from a door still wearing the black suit from earlier.  “They took their time.  Why are you carrying her?”  Those gray eyes started to take on a red tinge.

“Slave master shoved her.  Her body isn’t strong on the right side.”  He motioned to her disfigured body.   “You said to make sure we reduced her discomforts.”

Suell gave a tight nod the red fading.  “Neela, when do you want to start your training? Would you ready for it tonight, or would tomorrow be better.”

She blinked several times. “I don’t understand.  Are you giving me a choice?  You brought me, High Lord Suell. You may do whatever you want.”

He ran the shockingly blue hand through the mass of white.  “I brought your services.   In that I had no choice, but I will not treat you like filth.  Anyone who does so is merely someone covering their inadequacies.”  Those gray eyes looked into hers for the first time.  “We need to talk.  Are you hungry?”

Neela felt herself almost annoyed at him.  Truly, she was grateful to not be a mere chattel, to be beaten when convenient.  But, she had already resolved herself to that life.  It seemed she needed to realign her thinking once again.  “No, High Lord Suell, I am fine.”

Suell grunted.  “Put her in office, I’ll be there shortly.”

The man strode forward her legs swinging as they made it down the corridor to another set of doors.  He opened the second one to a sprawling office decorated with potted plants.  The bright blues, greens, yellows, and oranges told her they were probably from Knilt-on, Woellian home world.   He settled her into the heavily cushioned lounge across from the desk.  “Don’t get up.  He’ll be annoyed you didn’t listen to him when gets in here.”  The man left her.

Neela felt relief.  She didn’t know where she stood with these people.  Never before had she’d been this nervous.  She expected to be a slave, but now she wasn’t sure what she was.

Suell walked into her peripheral vision and passed her to sit in the large wood and cloth office chair.  “I’m sure you have questions.”

She suspected this was an opening, but she didn’t know the protocol.  Instead, she bent her head, waiting.

He let out a loud, heavy sigh.  “Ask your questions, please.  Stop standing on ceremony.  I have no patience for it.”

“Well,” She paused, and swallowed hard.  “Are you a half-breed? I mean, I know Woellian fight slavery constantly.”

His whole body flinched.  “Yes, I am.  I’m also an eiaa.  So, I don’t share their views on things.”

Eiaa, doesn’t that mean stupid, worthless idiot.”  Neela pale brow wrinkled up in puzzlement.

He shook his head.  “Only to an Alaget.  In Wol it is the rank of someone who can’t connect to the mind of the leader females.  If you can’t connect you aren’t a Woellian.  As far as they’re concerned.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”  She felt bad that he wasn’t a full one race or the other.  And, on top of that he was some reject.

He shrugged, “An old wound.”

“Why did you want me?  You could have hired the services of any guild doctor.  And, you wouldn’t have to swallow the cost of training me either.”  Neela had no illusions that she was anything special.

“All that is true,” Suell waved a hand out.  “However, my noble house often goes on long engagements assisting my grandmother who is the ambassador to Amon.  No guild doctors were willing to be removed off world for any long period of time.  And, Woellian doctors tend to treat flesh wounds too casually and often to lead to unnecessary deaths with my Alaget employees.  And, in all honestly if I train, and pay you a modest salary it works out to very close to what I’d pay for a guild doctor.  I have one on staff due to the militant nature of our work.”

The news was rather startling.  The Nobles’ organizations, regardless of what type, didn’t do anything off world usually.   The political situations had to be watched closely.  One never knew when an ally or enemy would go for the throat.  One of the reasons she feared for her brother.

Suell tapped a data pad a few times.  “It seems you can be scheduled for training sometime tomorrow.”

“Why wouldn’t you make me infertile?”  The question forced its way out of her.  Neela wanted to ask, but had been very afraid.

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Bound in Chain, Part 2

“A doctor,” her father asked his tone full of wonder. “Truly?” His voice a bit muffled against her hair.

She nodded against his chest. “That’s what the SPB told me.” SPB being the Slavery Protection Board.

He pulled back to look at her. “And at least that is one good thing to come out this disaster. Are they going to send you through the slave lines?”

“Yes, I need to be lined up with the rest. They put some restrictions up for me.”  Her hearted ached knowing she was in such a mess.

A whip crack broke her way from her thoughts.  The slave master, however, was yelling at some alien slaves further away. Everyone in her line was for trained slaves, or exceptionally skill ones.   Another master voice spoke from behind.  “A client has asked to see you before the bidding. He may buy you early if any of you strike up his interest.”

Neela hated him.  Only the most powerful nobles would be allowed to check out slaves before bidding.  The man could have whatever he wanted.  A snap of his fingers and it would be his.  Her stomach turned.  She felt sick.

Once she saw him all such feelings faded under utter shock.  He was a Woellian.   Yet, he had to be one of rare half-breeds.  An unheard blending of two species, Alaget and Woellian.   Most children never were born, and only a few were making it to adulthood.   He must be one.  Their race abhorred slavery and often worked to free the Alaget’s fairly gotten slaves.

And, he was even dressed as an Alaget noble.   The form fitting trousers, long mid-calf vest over a tighter shirt was the highest on Alaget fashion.  Woellian only wore the most bizarre of outfits defying any logic.   With the blue skin, gray eye, and white hair he couldn’t be anything else.  He also had that delicacy of feature that no Alaget could have.

“High Lord Suell, this is the subsection you wished to look at. “   The plain dressed slave master seemed nervous, her eyes flicking over the slaves.

Suell gave a very slight frown.  “I have no interest inspecting them.   I told you I wanted to look at the one slated to be trained as doctor.”  His voice icy with utter disdain.  Nothing exceptional in that, Neela thought.  Nobles tended all talk that way with people below them.

Slave master twitched.  “Lord, it is Neela Giy, the fourth one down the row.”

He gave a curt nod and strode down to her.  The gray eyes stopped at each of her disfigurements.   “What is the price on her?”

“The auctioneer was going to start at a thousand ig.”  Slave master bounced from foot to foot.  “But, he didn’t think he get less than two and half thousand.”

Neela tried to keep herself from gasping at the staggering amount.  That equaled her father’s wages in a year.  And ig, intergalactic currency meant off world money could be used.  She knew unguilded doctors were valuable, but this was a shock.

Suell didn’t seem off put by this amount either. “Fine, I’ll pay it.  I don’t want any objections later.  Have her dressed properly delivered to my home.”

“SPB ordered to have her made infertile after the bidding.”  Slaver master tone quavered and her body posture slumped back.

His eyes flashed to red.  Terror ripped into Neela’s gut.  Hunting red, the Alaget called it.  Always a bad sign that Woellian temper had been provoked.  “She never went to the bidding.  Therefore, you can ignore that order.  And, if that is not enough for you, you can ask Alac-Hil-Yil about it.”

Slave master stiffened as her eyes widened.

Neela wished she knew more about Woellian names.  She knew their names function as title, job, and rank.

“I will do as you asked, High Lord Suell.”  Slave master tone dropped to low and rumbled.  “However, expect to be hearing from the SPB about your behavior. “

Suell smiled flashing his too sharp looking teeth.  “I hear your warning.  Do as I ordered.”  He gave Neela a bow and strode away.

Before his back was fully out of view Slave master’s hand crushed her arm.  “Come on.  I need to follow my orders.”   The contained rage of that statement made Neela flinch.

“What’s going to happen to me?”  She whispered.

Slave master shrugged dragging her back toward the containment buildings.  “I don’t know.  And, I don’t care.  He won’t kill you.  The SPB wouldn’t like it.”

Neela didn’t feel reassured he didn’t seem to be worried about what they did and didn’t like.

——————-

Author’s Note –

Okay, fail on my part my beloved blog readers.  This post is extremely late, inexcusable late.  I could blame the holidays, getting new glasses, life etc… However, doesn’t change the fact it was late.  To make up for it, I’ll post next week late Wednesday evening instead.  

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Walking in Shadow, Part 4

“Yeah, but you can do things normal Alaget can’t.  I’m not even sure how your abilities work.  Or, how the Soul Merchant’s could have given them to you.”  Her eyes widening as my skin stitched itself back together.

“I’m not fully certain either.”  The theory, I understood.  It took Soul People a long time to figure out how keep personality and traits consistent through each life time.  And, I gather, a lot of souls dissembled, and put back together to make me work they wanted.  Guilt hit me.  How many peoples’ souls had died to make me? I’d never know.  “I’m good enough to walk.”

A hop and Gulla was up.  She didn’t try to help me up.  This told me, she knew me too well.  “I’m starting to think this isn’t a good idea.”

My eyes blinked rapidly.  Gulla never acted unsure.  “Nothing you do is a good idea, why should today be any different?”

She flashed a grin before pulling out the map.  The blue-black paper pressed against the pitted metal wall, as her fingers traced patterns over it.  “The main lab should be nearby, up the hallway.  I couldn’t find any information on it.”  She shrugged at me before strolling down the hall.

Another companionable silence this time I was lost in thought.  Soul People had warned me twice in this lifetime.  And, both warnings had come due to some action involving Gulla.  They didn’t like her influence on me.   I hated the Soul People with every fiber of my stolen soul.  They used, and abused me without concern or care for how I’d feel about it.  They gave me commands, and never explained.  Soul People demanded I have a mind of my own, but became annoyed when I used it.  Gulla had been the only person to give me any peace.  Amass a contradiction that girl.  Brutal and caring, Vulnerable, and unbreakable, youthful excitement, and pain brought wisdom.   She was as much as a disaster as I was.

Gulla motioned for me to stop.  “The seal on the door is broken.”

I sent out my energy trying to read what’s in the room. My jaw clenched. “Noble guards, a lot of them.  They haven’t been there long.  We might not be able to take twenty of them.   They are too spread out for us to flank.  And, I bet they are on orders to keep us out, not kill us.”

“Ko, vaero nobles.” A hiss escaped her lips.  She kicked the door down, and screamed.  “Are you going to let me in here, or do I have to kill all of you.”

Fear lanced through me as I pressed myself behind a door frame.  I didn’t dare grab at her.  That would only anger her more.  “What are you doing?”  Even though, I knew.

The room went silent.  Instead ringing of gunshots, instead a voice shouted back.  “Gulla Valik, surrender, and submit to justice, and you won’t be harmed.”

Her emotions were so strong. I felt the memory of her family’s murder.  The rage twisted, as she sent it pounding it out an attacked followed by a generade.  “Never.”  Somehow, her voice echoed over the screams, and explosion.  She rolled into the room guns out.

I shook my feelings, and become one with the shadows.  They didn’t know I was here.  The room lights weren’t operationally, the room full of shadows.  A few would go down before I was discovered.  Shots rang out, no damage done yet.  Gulla knew how to wait.  The leader was would who I needed to find.  If I could take him out we would stand a fighting chance.  The problem was no one was talking.  And, my night vision was not nearly good enough to see individuals.  If I could see in the dark, I’d be able to tell the most enhanced person.  Their features always had an odd overly symmetrical appearance.  What I needed was for Gulla to annoy them.

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