Chapter 4: Adjutor

Chapter 4: Adjutor

A Chapter by Andrew M. Davis
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Chapter 3 of Genesis. This is where it begins to get even more intense. This is where you see the worlds I built.

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            My eyes slowly fluttered open and I was greeted by a shock of a deep shade of green and a scaled face I was unfamiliar with. It didn’t appear to be the things real face, though the scales were tight to the skin, because his eyes, which were like a stream of flowing water, showed through beneath the vicious mask. He was crouched down beside me and had just ceased rocking me back and forth when he saw that I was awake.

He stepped back and took in a sharp breath, a blade vaulted from his wrist beneath the scaled apparel and he pulled back his arm. His stance was defensive. He was fully prepared to strike at me at any moment. When I continued to stare, and showed no sign of moving towards him to attack, he lowered his arm, and the blade vanished beneath the scales as if it had never existed to begin with.

“Hmm,” was all he said, but his voice was audible enough for me to know what it sounded like. It was a normal octave, but thoughtful, as if the simple exhale of breath was enough to convey a whole paragraph of intricate descriptions. “That was quite the entrance you made,” he finally said. “It is curious that your clothes remain intact with the flames that had covered you upon your descent.”

He was tall and held a regal stature. The scales conformed perfectly to every muscle within his body. I could see now that the scales were more of a sort of armor, rather than actually clothing. It was made from dark green, diamond shaped scales and covered his entire body, leaving only his eyes uncovered. Not even his mouth was given enough freedom to be shown. He appeared slightly lizard-like because of the armor, but he lacked any definable tail, so it was a fairly inaccurate description. He was, however, humanoid in form, and had many of the same complexities that could be found in humans on Earth, but I was no longer on earth, therefor he could not be human.

I shifted to face the other direction and couldn’t help but release a pained moan, closing my eyes and scrunching my face as I did my best to bear the pain. The impact of however fall I had fallen was apparently enough to succeed in bruising me where nothing else to date could. A second humanoid, scaled form like the one on my other side stood on the opposite side of me, but this one still had a blade extended from the top of her wrist and had it pointed directly between my eyes. She had clearly thought I was going to try something by rolling over, cause my obvious pain apparently wasn’t enough to signal that I probably wasn’t going to be doing anything for the time being.

Staring down the blade, I could see that the scales of her armor were also a dark green and covered her entire body. She was shorter than the other by at least a foot, but wasn’t lacking in his muscle structure and clear knowledge of combat. All the while, as I stared down the blade, she neither stepped back, nor breathed.

“What are you,” she asked as the scales unfolded from around her head, revealing her own eyes, which also seemed to flow like a stream. She was frowning deeply. She wasn’t afraid, per se, but she was cautious, and unhappy that I had suddenly fallen from the sky, like I could help it. However, her voice was melodic. Merely speaking a few words was like a symphony to my ears. “Your kind is not one I recognize, and your physique and stature are not known on any of the nearby planets. From where do you hail?” she asked, keeping the sharp blade poised between my eyes.

I adjusted myself so that I was sitting down rather than lying on my side. It was more comfortable for my bruises. “I could probably ask the same of you, but I would assume that you do live here, though what you are is just as much a mystery to me as I am to you. How do you know English?”

            “Answer, first, the questions I have asked you, and I may choose to answer yours,” the female creature commanded strictly, giving no lee-way to the situation.

Alright, so these creatures wouldn’t take to dodging around their questions. Her way of speech sounded almost like a threat. I considered telling them that any attempt to hurt me would end up fairly poor for them, but they were just protecting themselves. I was the intruder who randomly fell through the skies, crashed through the canopy and created a big hole in the ground. I pushed my hands downward upon the rippling dirt and vaulted into the air. The girl’s blade glanced off the bridge of my nose as I ascended, but thankfully did no harm to me. There was my answer to the question of whether or not their weapons could hurt me. I rose a few feet into the air above their heads and looked between them.

            “You can call me Korbin,” I began. “That’s my name, I mean, and I’m a human, which you probably have no idea what that even means. I was born on Earth, a planet I would guess is very far away from here,” I explained, gazing off as if I knew where to look for Earth. “The question of why here, that, I honestly don’t have an answer to. It was not a choice of mine to come here, wherever here is. I blacked out when I passed my galaxies sun, and, as you can see, when I woke up I found myself here, with green guy staring at me.” I had revealed more than I had intended, but still very little compared to how much I could have. I didn’t give them a location of my planet, not that I knew; it’s just that I didn’t intend to be so open right off the bat.

“Is this a common gift of your people, what you do now?” the girl asked. I had watched her eyes widen in surprise when I pushed myself into the air above them. Her surprise also bled into her arm. It had dropped to her side in unison with the rising of her eyes, sheathing the blade as she did so.

“Ha, no,” I chuckled. “I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who can do this, but don’t forget, you said you would answer my questions.” They turned their attention to each other, seemingly contemplating what they should do next. They looked like they were silently communicating, but I deduced that it was more of a bond that they shared. Humans did things like it all the time. When both parties knew of what was about to be shared, one could look at the other and clearly communicate their intentions.

“Do you intend to bring us harm?” they finally asked, turning their attention back up to me.

“Of course not! You only put a sword to my face,” I said sarcastically, but just in case they didn’t understand I added: “I currently have no intention, nor do I ever intend to harm you.”

“We are of the royal lineage of the nearby planet of D’karia,” the male began, believing what I had just said without question. That would explain their regal stature. “I am Cyren,” he continued, “and this is my sister, Aura. We are a Prince and a Princess, heirs to the Nightshade throne.” Despite their regal stature, neither of them currently appeared noble enough to play the part of a Prince or a Princess. Aura, as Cyren had called her, spoke very formally, but, besides that, there was no clear line that could give clarity to their status as royalty. Their planet could have an entirely different culture. On Earth the royals were stately, almost arrogant at times. I wasn’t vain enough to assume the same for these two.

“Are you speaking of our language when you ask of Englease?” Cyren asked after a period of quiet thought.

“English,” I corrected, “but yes, that is what I am referring too,” I clarified.

“It is what we call Kalba, the basic form of communication between many sentient beings on the surrounding planets, but, apart from most of them, it is our first tongue, and some creatures do not even speak it,” Cyren explained.

“Ah,” I said, slightly confused. It didn’t make sense to me how they could so far describe most things almost exactly the same way I do, and, yet, the only word that is different is the name of the  language itself.

I lowered myself back down to the ground slowly. They had earned a small amount of my trust with their honesty, but I stayed prepared in case they chose to attack, not like I had to be, they couldn’t hurt me if they tried. I used the slim window of time it took to lower myself to the ground, to observe my surroundings. Much of the surrounding foliage was a deep red-orange, very, very deep. Lush foliage sprouted up everywhere, even in the most unexpected locations: from within the trees, and out of the larger stones. I was able to identify some of the nearby flora, most though were completely new to me; the earthly counterparts of the ones I did recognize were much less…threatening. The bushes closest to me had leaves like paring knives, tempting all who were near to draw closer and test the veracity of the shifting blades.

Trees sprouted up in every direction, minus the ones that had cracked, shattered, and fallen into the crater I had created upon my impact on the forest floor. Each standing tree was at least a hundred feet high, though many were taller, with thick trunks imbued with the fluid color of embers. The canopy flooded out high above with a flowing fiery orange hue; it rustled ever so faintly with a slight, unusual smelling breeze, tickling my nose with the unfamiliar scent.

The entire area was illuminated with the similar red-orange glow of the canopy; I suspected it was because of the light of the sun, reflecting like glass prisms through the thick leaves. A hole was visible in the canopy high above, holding the unmistakable evidence of my quick, yet destructive landing. Burned fringes were clearly noticeable around the area of my entry. The crater beneath me rippled out like water when a pebble skipped across the tranquil stillness of its polished surface, disturbing the serenity of the usually smooth ground.

My eyes caught the streaming reflections of the eyes of the D’karians, who still stood before me, though now my feet were planted firmly in the center of the crater. They were observing my features, much like I had been observing the land. “Where are your civilizations?” I asked confused, “do you have any?” There was nothing like a civilization around for miles. I could sense and hear a multitude of things, a rumbling somewhere off in the distance, like something was cracking away at stone, wind flowing in every direction, undisturbed by the mass of foliage, and the sound of swift movements close by, like the sound of a pack of wolves back on Earth, but none of them sounded even remotely close to a civilization, or the likeness of the D’karians standing in front of me, patiently ignoring my question.

Suddenly an immense plant-like creature with a head that resembled that of a Venus Fly Trap, burst through the foliage, interrupting any further conversation. It stumbled headlong into the crater I had created. Its form was at least ten feet tall with arms of long whip-like, thin razor vines, each flailing with a force like steel chains, creating huge dents into the already distorted crater as it rolled uncharacteristically to the bottom. Its body resembled nothing like a Venus Fly Trap, it was thin like a plant stem, yet somehow gave the appearance of being heavily muscled, if a plant could look muscled; its legs held many similarities to its arms, but they were far thicker, and dug into the ground like roots should, using them to grip and allowing it to move. It was by far one of the ugliest things I had ever seen. Its flailing arms forced me to leap back into the air, far away from the entrapment of its long extremities, which clearly, as far as I could tell, looked as if they could slice through a thick trunk, and I didn’t yet want to test my invulnerability against the creatures of a planet I was unaccustomed too.  

It moved quickly and precisely, giving the appearance of gliding rather than walking. At least a hundred other random appendages sprouted from its gargantuan body, but Cyren and Aura were on it in seconds, their fluid movements, and skill with the blades in their wrists, severed the creature’s whip-like appendages as they swung around in a hopeless attempt to dislodge the two warriors from its sickly green body. They were somehow able to avoid every vine that swung towards them, even when the situation seemed as if they would be caught and crushed. They flipped and contorted their bodies flexibly; ducking and weaving every razor vine the creature threw at them.

The creature opened its vice like mouth. Green, acidic saliva poured out from within. I gazed inside of the depths of its maw, instantly noticing two stone-like muscles at the back of its mouth grinding together, creating sparks. The two muscles began to grind together even more rapidly as the creature released an earsplitting screech in its rage. Something about the sound was capable of tapping into my well of power, severing my connection to it and bringing me crashing to the ground, stunned. My head was spinning in an agony I was incapable of tuning out, I wasn’t even able to move my hands out from their entrapment beneath me to cover my ears in an attempt to lessen the noise.  

Aura came to the rescue, agilely propelling herself onto the creatures head by using the few vines that remained connected to the creatures body. She swung her blades powerfully at a spot near the base of the creature’s oval shaped head, severing it. The shrill screech slowly died out in its throat as its head thudded to the ground with the green, acidic liquid continuing to drip disgustingly from its mouth. The ability to move gradually returned to me once the sound stopped, though it didn’t stop my head from aching.

Without much preamble Aura turned, sheathing her blades while rage burned within the flowing streams of her eyes, either from the encounter with the plant creature, or for other, yet unspoken, reasons. She decided all on her own that now, as I felt like throwing up, was a perfect time to answer the question I thought they had ignored. “Civilization is no longer for us, Skyboy; we have been reduced to this,” she said angrily, gesturing to the dead creature, “exiled to this planet, fighting daily for our survival.”

“We are fugitives,” Cyren clarified solemnly. “So far as we know, a rouge group of our people killed our father and mother and had attempted to do the same to us. My parents had been warned of such intentions, but so much time had passed since the warning was given that we were made to believe it was a hoax with the sole purpose of scaring us, they had succeeded. The day we believed the plan was false, was the very same day my parents were murdered as they slept. Once they were disposed of, a Tyrant was placed in power, which is the last bit of information we were able to uncover before we were forced to flee the planet entirely.”   

“Being royalty, we understand that there will always be conflict with the royal family. There will always be those who disagree with our methods, and those who will daily threaten our existence. Others have tried, but they were trivial, unorganized. None have ever had enough backing to get very far, but somehow, this time they succeeded in their endeavor to overthrow the royal family and remove us from the Nightshade throne,” Cyren explained further.

Aura sent me a quizzical look, noticeably calming down as a thought crossed her mind. “May I ask what the extent of your abilities are, Skyboy?” she asked. They were quite forward and open for having just met me; they had seen me fly, nothing more, I don’t know what more they could expect from me. I was still confused on where I was.

“I possess strength that stretches far beyond just muscle, making my skin, sinew, and bone unbreakable. You have already seen me fly, and I can run. I can run fast,” I said pridefully, I didn’t know them well; I wasn’t just going to trust them without reason, so I didn’t say that I also had the ability to hear things from miles away. If they decided to talk, I would be listening, just in case they were lying to me. All in all, I am very proud of my abilities. On Earth I had to be careful, but here, on this planet, I could literally do whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted.

Aura and Cyren discussed things quietly between themselves for a short time before turning back to me, “Would you…” Aura started tentatively, “help us?”

I left Earth because my mistakes had placed it in danger, and now I come here and I’m asked to save their planet? “No.” I said instantly, walking up the slope and into the forest with no clue of where I was going. I wasn’t going to get caught up in saving another planet when I already refused to save my own.

“Wha…You must! We have no other way,” Aura exclaimed, following closely behind me.

I was neither an exile, nor a fugitive, and I had no part to play in the feud within their people. I heard her stop when I refused to turn around and the singing of her blade as it slid out from beneath the armor of her arm. I felt the air shudder as the blade swished along a path towards my throat. I moved swiftly, avoiding the stroke of the blade easily. I could have let the sword glance off of the impenetrable skin of my neck, but I didn’t. I wanted to show her what getting on my bad side would look like.

As I twisted around, I simultaneously grabbed Aura’s arm with one hand and her neck with the other. In one smooth motion I wrenched her to the ground with my hand clenching forcibly around her thin neck. I felt the blood inside of her neck pulse strongly as it tried to pass through the barrier of my grip and she struggled to breathe.

“If you truly wished to help your people, you would have never left them,” I was the perfect person to tell her that. I left my planet because I had no desire to help. They didn’t need it. Releasing her throat, I allowed her to stand. Her eyes held no fear or anger, only the pain I had caused with so few words.

Aura stared at the ground, “We had explained before, we left holding onto the hope that one day we would have a chance to return, that one day we could counter the attack on our family, and reclaim our planet,” Aura said looking up into my eyes, the liquid streams of her own bore into me. She whispered, “You are that chance. You,” she paused, “you are that hope. From nowhere, at the time when our faith in our return had all but abandoned us, you came, and with power enough to conquer planets.”

She was right, I could help them, but calling me their hope after a few short minutes of knowing each other gave me a very weird feeling. She saw something in me that I didn’t. I don’t know if I want to either.

“The day grows short,” Cyren said, ending the conversation and glancing up to the dense ceiling above us, where the light seeping through the canopy above began to wane. “We should make our way into the heights of the trees. The forest floor is not as tame at night,” he explained, glancing at me.

I decided to fly them up to the tree tops, saving them some time and give them a little more light to prepare for the night. I hovered a few feet off of the brink of the uppermost branches, gazing down at the forest floor far below. The branches below were extremely thick, but they didn’t begin to grow out from the trunk until about a hundred feet up the tree. Cyren sat straddling a smaller branch that had sprouted out from one of the larger ones; I could feel him looking me over even when my back was turned to him.

“Why do you insist on staring?” I asked.

“Why do you insist on searching for any reason to ignore our need?” Cyren asked, answering me with another question.

I spun around, continuing to hover off of the edge of the branch. “I don’t see why I should have a need to pay any attention to your own, and that is why I intend to leave. I have no purpose here, just as I had no purpose on Earth.”

“If you truly believe those words, then you would have already left,” Cyren said. “Either way, you should because you have the power to. Would you willingly leave someone to their death if you had the power to stop it? That is, unless you have lied to us, and you are not truly capable of all you have said.”

“I have not lied to you,” I said sharply, “and I leave tonight.”

“After all this, you would not stay with us one night?” he asked. The look he gave me showed that he had more to say, but I knew that he wasn’t going to say it quite yet.

“What alternative could you offer that would give me cause to stay?”  I asked in return.

“I could explain to you how we came to be here, and the full reason as to why we were forced to leave D’karia.” It sounded like just another ploy to keep me around, but it would be intriguing to know why they desire my help. I landed on the end of the branch and sat with my legs crossed, prepared to listen. He began to weave a story of his people’s history, telling of the complexities that drew him and his sister to this point in time, where they now, even in this moment, begged for my assistance.

“It began many years ago, during the time of Vei’Trada, one of the first D’karian Kings nearly four thousand years ago. He was young then, barely twenty. The families of each of the noble bloodlines from the six cities convened in the grand hall of the palace with their daughters. Vei’Trada was to choose his queen from amongst them. It is a ceremony that had taken place with our leaders ever since the ancient times, long before the time when the six cities could even be considered cities. The king was to choose any one of the noble woman that stood before him to be his bride.” He looked up and sighed, “This is how it was meant to be done. He desired with all of his heart to follow the ancient paths that had been passed down for millennia, but there was deception in the room. One of the noble families wished to have the king marry his daughter and his alone. A plot had already been set in motion for the other daughters to be taken and slaughtered. One by one, they began to disappear until the only noble daughter to remain was that of Zer.”

“Vei’Trada knew of Zer’s deception, but there was no proof and no way for it to come to light, Zer had covered his tracks well. His only remaining option was to marry Zer’s daughter Caila. But that did not calm the anger between the families whose daughters had disappeared. Unity had been lost, and the six clans began to war. After many years my Vei’Trada was able to calm the tides of the wars amongst the clans, promising that he would never stop searching for the one responsible until he was found.

Long and intrusive investigations began in every city until, eventually, upon investigating the inhabitants and nobles of Teirm, Zer’s wife, afraid of what would happen to her were she to be suspected, revealed where the bodies had been hidden away along with all other information on Zer’s intentions regarding the events up until that moment.”

“Vei’Trada, along with his Elites, left to arrest Zer under the charge of treason. Upon their arrival Zer was found dead in the war room of his castle. All of Teirm, including Zer’s wife, believed Vei’Trada was the culprit, and that his intentions were to exact revenge on the city for the damage it had caused his rule. A feud began between the capitol of Corusca and a faction of rouges in the marsh city of Teirm.  People began disappearing at random from each city, maybe about a hundred in total every ten years for the past four millennia. Two weeks ago, it is my belief that this faction, having grown in power, is the reason our family is now dead. They had secretly gained enough influence to reach into the palace to kill the rest of my family, my grandfather and grandmother, their two sons and daughter, my father and mother and my young brother, Aeron. Aura and I, in the blink of an eye, became the last of our bloodline.”

Cyren looked around until his eyes fell on the sleeping form of his young sister. “She is barely sixteen years of age now, and already possess’ an uncanny aptitude towards combat, second only to one other, our younger brother. It is because of her that we were able to escape with our lives. She used to spend much of her time researching the ancient secrets that dwell within and beneath much of D’karia. Her research stirred a desire within her to explore, in hopes of discovering the mysteries she had uncovered in her research, and she spent much of the past five years doing so. She is young, but quite adept. She found many passages within the castle of Corusca that few could remember existed, even fewer who knew their location. The one we used to escape led outside the city walls, and ran deep underground, like many other secret tunnels beneath the city. Once we were far enough away from the city, we covered our tracks and circled back to the nearest of the few active artifact’s on D’karia and opened a portal to here.” His expression was grim.

His tale caused him a lot of grief. There was nothing I could say to comfort him. Who knows, his parents may have been overthrown around the same time I left earth. There was no telling how long I had drifted out in space before I crashed here. No way of knowing how fast I was going. Time itself could be flowing on an entirely different spectrum.

“Where exactly is here?” I asked.

“From D’karia, we are on the entirely opposite side of the sun,” He pointed at the last remaining rays of the sun, then gestured beyond them. “The two planetary orbits of D’karia and Adjutor never intertwine. They have always remained this distance apart, they spin at the same rate, follow the same orbits, and one is never in view of the other,” Cyren explained. I assumed that Adjutor was the planet we currently rested on.

“Are there any other live-able planets?” I asked, curious as to what else there was for me to discover. I also wished to take the conversation away from the sad story that Aura and Cyren’s lives had become.

I tried not to care, but I couldn’t help but be sympathetic towards what they had been through. I turned my attention to the sleeping form of Aura. She was so peaceful, as if everything she had been through, in this moment, had never happened. Her face was serene as it rested upon the scaled armor of her arm. I couldn’t imagine how that would feel comfortable, but she somehow managed to be sound asleep regardless.

Cyren thought for a while, using his fingers to count on. I was able to see when his mouth was moving after talking to him for a long time. He had yet to remove his facemask. His armor would flex downwards with the movement of his mouth. It only did so while he was speaking, or, like now, when he was just moving it silently.  “Including D’karia and Adjutor, twelve, not all of which revolve around the same star, but there is one that revolves around two. The planets Pafundësi and Ra’gor are planets composed of magma and lava, rising up directly from the core. Life on either is difficult, but possible for specific creatures, though Ra’gor fell to the Igna millennia ago. Five of the twelve have sentient life, Ra’gor, D’karia and here specifically, two of them possess more primal sentient life which are here, in whose very trees we are resting in, and Tumstad.”

“Tumstad is a planet in which creatures called Dirva dwell, all of whom live mainly belowground, though they do venture above on occasion. There are no plants like this there,” he said, motioning to the surrounding forest and patted the tree we rested on, “a peculiar glowing type of fungus is what provides both the breathable air and light, both of which are much richer than anywhere else. On Tumstad, the deeper you go, the bigger the Dirva get and the richer the oxygen is. Thrystorvado is the self-declared ruler of the planet. He dwells within the Armored Core, which is a vast city in the planets very center where gravity seems to center around the outer walls rather than the way you see it act here. Despite the name, the Armored Core is welcoming to any and all travelers.

“Juro is the final sentient planet, but it is completely submerged in a slightly thicker water than you will find here. We have been unable to do anything more than find that there is life there, and that the planet’s inhabitants are smart and do not allow visitors below a certain depth. So far as we are aware, the only way to reach their cities, if they have any, is if they let you. We neither know what the cities, nor the planet’s people, look like.”

I nodded, showing Cyren that I had heard all he said. I lay back on the branch and stared up at the canopy, thinking of what I was going to ask next, since Cyren and I were most likely going to be up for a while keeping watch. The light of day had passed after my second question. Even without the sun, there was still light around. From what I could tell, the forest was setting itself ablaze. The very trees were all lighting up in a blaze of orange fire.

“Cyren, what is happening?” I asked, sitting up abruptly. “You said the trees would be safe for you!” I was pretty sure I just sounded worried for them.

“Do not worry, this is their way of defending themselves,” Cyren explained.

I took the time to look around, noticing many of the trees were still dark, unthreatened by the dangers of the night. “They recognize intent,” Cyren continued to explain. “If they feel at all threatened, they will create the illusion of immolation, scaring off other creatures that do intend to bring harm to them. Notice that the tree we rest in remains dark. It senses our use of it as protection, and therefor willingly offers us its protection.”

I turned my attention back to Cyren while he was explaining the trees. After he finished, my gaze returned to observing one of the trees that appeared to be on fire, intrigued by how they worked. By the time I looked back again, Cyren had already lay down and fallen asleep. This is nothing like the movies I had seen. In those, one person always needed to remain awake and keep watch. They entrusted the trees to their protection, which had obviously done them well thus far. Cyren and Aura at least acted like their cause was honorable, maybe I would help them, but, for now, my curiosity of the planet was winning over my conscience.

I leaned forward, allowing gravity to grab hold of me and pull me towards the forest floor. I wove through the thick branches in my way until there were none left to block my path to the ground. I was barely fifty feet up in the air, falling towards the ground rapidly while the air whooshed past my face. I waited till the last second to change my direction, and instantly adjusted my flight path so that I became parallel to the ground, dodging swiftly between the oncoming trees, spinning and weaving around the many trunks and occasionally brushing some to see if they would light up like others had. It sometimes worked, but also sometimes didn’t. After many twists and turns I performed a theatrical front flip, landed solidly on the ground and kicked off into the sky, breaking through the dark, flaming canopy and out into the open air above the tree tops.

I stopped there, hovering just barely above the sea of fire that was the forest ceiling and looked around to see for myself what this planet was made of, or at least to get an idea of its layout and where I was in the midst of it. I looked over the night sky, watching the stars shine brightly in the heavens above, shedding light on the dark horizon of the forested planet. I had yet to see what the planet looked like outside of the forest in the daytime, but the night was stunning. The planet was untouched by industry and expansion of roads. There was no smog in sight, only growth and beauty.

How did I ever find this place, I thought to myself. I didn’t even know where I had been going, or where I’d even go after I had left Earth’s atmosphere. I happened to find a place where there are two creatures, sentient creatures at that, in need of my help just after I had left a planet that I refused to aid. It didn’t make sense. It’s like something was making sure I would get where I needed to go, that I would come here. I have no idea how to get back home even if I wanted to. I was stuck. So, as little as I wanted to admit it, I needed their help just as much as they needed mine.

Putting those thoughts off for a while, I continued my exploration of Adjutor. Off in the distance a very large open field could be seen. I flew my way over to it at an average speed, taking in all the details this new planet had to offer, both the big and the small. It really was a beautiful place.

Once I arrived at the field I realized that it was far larger than I had initially thought, continuing as far as I could see towards, and into, the horizon, and it wasn’t even a singular field. The central field, which was the largest, had multiple, fairly distinct, smaller fields branching off from it. They were each distinctive in their own way, and circled the largest field in three large rings, which weren’t necessarily symmetrical. Most of the farthest outer lying areas in the first ring were overgrown with tunnels of black thorned vines, which would be very hard to trek through on foot, but it was unlikely that I would be traveling on foot when I didn’t need to, especially on a planet where no one knew who I was. There was no need to hide from people who had no idea who I was.

I flew over the wall of thick vines to the second ring, where the fields actually began.  The fields were being roamed by a host of unusual and unrecognizable creatures. Some could be compared to the livestock on Earth, but just barely. One group of creatures hovered slightly above the ground using a pair of wispy, thin wings. They had thin frames and could fly upside down, which is how they were able to eat, and very awkwardly at that. They nipped up the small red flowers growing out of the short grass. The ground based creatures, the ones that resembled Earth’s livestock, except that they were much shorter and thinner, were barely twice the size of a rat. They scurried between the flying creatures with their stalky bodies and short legs, eating around the red flowers and devouring the grass, oddly avoiding the third ring entirely.

The third ring was definitively different from the second. Not that they all weren’t different from each other. Tall grass grew rampant there, and it didn’t take long to discover why. I closely watched one of the small livestock as it strode too close to the barrier of grass. Suddenly, a clawed and disheveled beast pounced quickly on top of the small creature, only revealing half of its disgusting body, leaving its posterior obscured by the tall brown grass it had originated from. The beast dragged the small squealing creature back into the tall grass. There was a rustling in the grass and the small creatures head, for a moment, popped out of it, looking as if it had escaped and was going to be free, but the feral beast quickly dragged the small creature back inside the gloom of the grass and fell silent instantly.

I passed above the tall grass slowly, observing a great many unseen creatures barely brushing their bodies against the fronds of grass below, giving the illusion of a slight breeze blowing through it. After passing the third ring, I landed softly on the edge of the central area, which was a massive stone quarry riddled with jagged rocks. I had thought that it was another field when I hovered above the tree line before, but apparently I was quite wrong. I crouched down, placing my hand on the edge of the sheer rock wall, looking down into the quarry to see what lay inside.

The far back wall of stone loomed high above the well worked ground, creating a dark shadow that fell over the shifting stone inside. I could see a large flat stone resting near the base of the entrance to the quarry and dove down to it, landing lightly on its round, smooth surface. I spun in wide circles, taking in everything I could. I realized immediately that the rocks weren’t just moving, or somehow rolling around, but were actual living stone, complete with appendages. The closest creature turned to me, its yellow eyes glowing like lamps implanted into its huge, oblong head. A guttural sound similar to grinding stones escaped from its mouth; instinctively I prepared myself for a fight, but recognized soon after that the sound wasn’t meant to be threatening.

“Hello,” I said, taking the sound as some sort of acknowledgement or greeting. It didn’t choose to respond, but instead returned to its work. Maybe this was all they knew, work the stone, and labor, but what was all this for? What did it accomplish?

The stone beast turned to me for a second time. This time it clutched a large, mostly flat, but slightly rotund boulder between each of its bulky, stone hands. It began to move slowly towards me. It lacked the threatening allure, but I remained attentive just in case I was judging its motives wrong.

The creature held the stone clasped close to its chest, cradled like a small, yet very heavy child. It persisted leisurely towards me, as if telling me in its own subtle way that it did not intend to harm me. I stepped aside when the creature reached me and allowed it to place the stone in the center of the round platform.

The creature of stone, which stood at the edge of the stone platform, was different from the others. Its body was more rigid and defined, with spikes jutting out from its elbows and knees. Its body was decoratively designed, somehow carved with symbols and rings all around it, curving up and around in looping and intersecting designs all around its body, making it easily distinguishable from its kin. Atop its head sat a crown, it was small and easily mistakable, but this creature’s features clearly set it apart from the others.

After the distinctive creature placed its stone, the others began to follow, placing the stones that they carried in strategic locations and adjusting them to their specifications on the rounded stone platform. They began to shape it, molding it to look much like what they themselves looked like, but giving it subtle differences, a small sense of originality. The head, hands and feet were all thick, shapeless, stones. I didn’t understand how these creatures could give this model anything that looked even remotely like them, but, even so, they continued to faithfully tinker away.

Once all the pieces had been assembled the creatures stepped back. The construct before me had no eye sockets, and the luminous glow that showed that the beings had life was absent from it. It had no mouth, no hands and no feet. It had only the bulk of its limbs.

The other creatures created a circle, surrounding the pedestal like a wall to its city. Their aura had shifted dramatically; it had become focused on something much different than the previous task. The feeling arose in the pit of my stomach that I shouldn’t be standing on the platform. I lifted off the ground, bringing myself to a halt and hovering nearly fifteen feet above the platform.

A sound like thunder rang as, all at once, the creatures clasped their hands together; they began to hum a melody so beautiful it could lull a child into a deep slumber. It was incredible. The acknowledgement the first creature offered me was so guttural, yet this was nothing like that, it was something else entirely. They weren’t merely humming, they were, in their own incredible way, knitting together a story that had been passed down through centuries, a story that had been woven since the dawn of their existence. The story of their creation and the entwined complexities of their long life came together as the melodious music flooded the empty spaces of the quarry. Notes rose and fell like an ocean tide gripping for the shore and pulling back suddenly, only to sweep back in, filling up my soul until it overflowed.

Power emanated from their combined voices, a well of authority springing forth as the platform began to rise above their heads. A fervent white light began to spread forth from each of their palms, slowly pushing forward and embracing the stone figure lying on the platform like a blanket. It gripped the construct as firmly as a comforting hug, yet as soft as a cloud. I floated there, above it all, watching in amazement as the cloud pulsed and compressed around the construct, throbbing to the musical sonnet that never once faltered. The song did not seem to have lasted long, but, with a sensation so powerful, time could have slipped away without my notice. The platform began to slowly lower itself back to the ground as the luminous sheet pulled away and fled back into the gripping hands of the creatures of stone.

The thing on the platform was exactly the same, appearing as if nothing had changed, but I could tell that it had, however subtly. But, there was still more for them to do, their song had not yet ceased. It continued to ring lustfully through the air, a beautiful and extravagant melody, but it was beginning to change. It was no longer a single melody; harmonies began to erupt like lava from within the inner workings of their song. I stared in astonishment as its face began to form. Its eyes began sinking in and a line split flawlessly above its chin to form its mouth. The face rounded out, and the stone of its hands and feet began to melt away, forming delicate, yet strong fingers and toes. The unattached limbs began to fuse with the body, while a neck-like structure sprouted from the top section of the body, moving towards the head and connecting it to the rest of the construct as if it had never been apart.

A bright and elegant light began to flood into the holes of its eyes, a striking yellow flash burst forth and irradiated the entirety of the surrounding area with a spectacle far grander than that of a thousand gleaming candles. It was only then that their song began to fade, disappearing like dust into the world and placing the air back in its silence. Nothing moved, not even me. We waited patiently in the tranquil silence beneath the light of the illustrious moon for the creature that had been formed by rhythm and song to awaken.

The construct shifted where it lay, yawning like it had woken from a long slumber, but was now ready to face the new life it had been given. It tested its newly formed body, sitting up slowly and glancing around at its new surroundings, taking in the beauty of the world around it. It then gradually stood as it tested its newly crafted feet. Its powerful legs held sturdy, allowing it to move, walking forward with relaxed and easy strides, like those of a toddler walking towards its loving mother. It reached the edge and stepped down; I could feel the joy arising within the neighboring creatures. Their joy surged up to where I hung in the air. I couldn’t help but smile at the bliss of their emotion. The thing that I had just witnessed, the forming of life, ironically loosened stones that had been stuck deep in my own soul; my heavy heart lightened a little as some of my arrogant pride and fear drifted away with the last remaining remnants of the creature’s striking song.

 Dawn broke on the horizon. Hours had passed since I had arrived here. It had slipped away like a thief, stealing the night away as I was watching the spectacle. The time had come for me to return to the D’karians. I zoomed over the three circular fields and treetops, heading back to the general area I had come from. The forest was still dark. Light hadn’t yet reached out its fingers to touch it. I spiraled above the blazing treetops before plunging down beneath the canopy, listening for the light breathing of the sleeping D’karians. After a couple miles and many false leads, I arrived back at the tree that Aura and Cyren sat in, awake.

I landed lightly on the tree branch and strode towards them. I didn’t give them a chance to speak, “I just witnessed the most remarkable thing. I watched living rock give life to empty stone.” They seemed surprised.

“The Guri allowed an outsider to glimpse their Ritual of Life?” Aura asked in astonishment. “They have never performed it for anyone outside of their own people. Any time one of our people would draw near they would cease their work and lay dormant until we retreated far enough away, well out of clear view. All we have ever known is that it is how they grow in number, nothing more had ever been discovered. They are secretive, secluded. They trust none but their own.”

I looked at her with clear puzzlement in my eyes, beginning to act out what had happened: “I was standing on this round platform,” I began to describe without being asked, “while each of them slowly placed stone after stone until they had positioned them all in their specific locations, none of which were random.” I spun around walking back to the edge of the branch and threw my arms up into the sky, “I saw everything,” I said loudly, “it was beautiful, and stunning, and extraordinary, and ohhh, they began to sing. Their song,” I gawked, “their passion " it was " ugh " amazing!” I stood there in silence for a long time, watching the trees dance side to side with the gentle blowing of the wind. It was clear that they had gained much more respect for me in those moments. I didn’t feel like there was any reason that they should respect me at all. I had witnessed an event, that’s all, but it was something in the way they looked at me, like I had changed.

I waited, content in the hush of the world around me. After another long period of silence, and a lot more contemplation, I sighed, turning around to face the royal duo. “I’ll help you,” I finally said, flinching at my decision, still wondering if it was the right choice. I wasn’t a fan of making promises. I make them, because I know I’d never willingly break them. Yet again they were surprised, probably just as surprised as I was.

“You have changed…” Cyren observed, voicing his thoughts with passionate, beaming eyes. “Thank you; you do not know the importance of your words.”

No, I didn’t know, but I did know that, soon enough, I would.  



© 2016 Andrew M. Davis


Author's Note

Andrew M. Davis
Hope you enjoy! This is the link to my wattpad account - If you get to this point, if you could, go here, create an account if you don't have one already and give me a few extra views and votes! It'll help me out a lot and I'll appreciate it so much! https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/75264681-genesis

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Added on June 25, 2016
Last Updated on July 12, 2016
Tags: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Magic, Power, Superheroes, Dark, Story, Teen, Young Adult, College, villain, mage, tyrant, sword, blade, fighting


Author

Andrew M. Davis
Andrew M. Davis

Roseville, MN



About
My name is Andrew Davis. I am an avid writer who spends most of his time writing in the realm of Sci-fi/Fantasy. I have written two novels with the overarching title of Genesis. The first one is self-.. more..

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