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ME Andromeda Fan Fiction: Part 2 – The Fall

If you haven’t read the first part of the fan fiction you can find it right

HERE

Like I always do before sharing my writing for the fan fiction, I share with you the game play that inspired it. You can watch it or skip it, the choice it up to you. I just find when you watch the game play you get a better idea of the characters I’m going to write about. Anywho, that’s all for now. Enjoy!

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The Fall

The air smelt stale, as I opened my eyes to find myself not where I thought I would be. The rocky landscape, the zapping echo of lightening, the humming of the monstrous mysterious machinery vibrating through the ground had all gone silent. The only sound I could hear was my heart beating in my ears and the faint whistling breath I released out my nose.

Where was I? This wasn’t Habitat 7 or any place on the Hyperion I knew of. Was I even on the ship? Was I in a room?

Pulling myself to my feet, I tried to find my balance. The empty space made it had to get my bearings but after a faltering step I managed to keep my balance. The black room gave me no clear details of where it began or ended. I could feel my hands and feet but couldn’t see them.

“Transfer at 68%.” That was SAM‘s voice. The computerized harmonics of his voice were distinct enough to recognize, but the volume was almost a whisper.

“SAM, where am I?” I waited for the AI to answer but after a long silent minute I knew he wouldn’t reply. Maybe he couldn’t hear me? Maybe my implant wasn’t working or communications were lost again? “SAM?”

“Transfer at 73%.”

What transfer? Was I being transferred somewhere? Was I locked in some kind of chamber for quarantine? Sure, that last idea was possible with the dangers we came across on the surface. Still, I thought I would remember how I got to this room or what was going on.

I walked towards SAM’s voice, at least I assumed that was the direction SAM’s voice was coming from. The closer I walked the louder his voice became, but before I could call out again I was blinded by a white light. I stepped back, lifting my arms to guard my eyes.

“Sara.” That was dad’s voice.

Unshielding my eyes, I could see we were back on the platform standing before the inner chamber of the tower we had been searching. The humming of the electronics were almost deafening outside, but the moment we stepped into the large chamber everything became muted. There in the center of the room was the large triangular control board, or so we assumed. I felt a pat on my arm, watching my dad walk towards the control board with a smile plastered across his face. Without hesitation I followed on his heels.

“These are the moments that make it all worth while.” He didn’t say it but I heard the words like a memory whispering in the back of my mind. I remembered this room and remembered how dad was able to connect with the control board. He had fixed the weather; stopping the lightening to allow for our shuttle to get off planet.

My stomach turned when a bolting memory shot through my mind. A wave of energy had thrown us out of the room. I had fallen off the platform and landed somewhere below. My throat burned and as I forced myself to swallow I could remember the panic of being unable to breathe.

“Dad, don’t! Something bad is going to happen if you touch that.” I hurried to take his hand, hoping to stop him from reactivating the console. He lifted my hand to the console, before taking a step back. The console hummed louder, as I turned to look back over my shoulder to see my dad was no longer there. Again I was alone.

“Make me proud.” His voice whispered, feeling a pain in my chest like a knife stabbing through my rib cage. There was a high pitch buzzing in my ears as I gripped my head with my hands.

A rush of images darted through my mind – mom, Scott, dad. I saw the Prothean site on Mars and the Citadel where I grew up.

“What’s going on!?” I scream, crumpling to the ground in pain from the buzzing in my head.

“Transfer complete, please stand by.”

 

ME Andromeda Fan fiction: Zero Day

Before you begin reading, I would suggest you watch the video below. This will explain the events mentioned in the fan fiction and help you piece together some of the things I elude to. This, of course, is just a suggestion. So, if you are here just for the fan fiction please enjoy.

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ZERO DAY

“When people look back on this – and they will – they’ll remember we didn’t give up. We kept dreaming. That our first, few faltering steps in Andromeda were the beginning of everything they know.”

Dad’s words echoed in my head like a corrupted data file. The overwhelming feeling of needing to succeed rested on our backs. 20,000 lives depended on us to find them a new home. As amazing as that felt… the pressure was high now that we were stuck in a place we knew little about.

The shuttle shuddered in the turbulence of the strange energy cloud that snaked its way across the Heleus Cluster, reaching out towards the world we were supposed to call home. As I looked out the window towards the Ark Hyperion tangled in the branches of the cloud I couldn’t help but feel a wave of dread for what was to come.

This wasn’t how things were supposed to go down. The plan was to sleep for 600 years and wake up in a new galaxy where we wouldn’t have these problems. We were supposed to wake up to new Golden Worlds to turn into the new homes of the Milky Way species and create a diplomatic order around peace and new discovery.

Those plans were now bust. Nothing we had planned was working out so far.

Shaking my head, I tried to rid myself of the fogginess I felt from the lingering drugs in my system. Being in stasis for 600 years has its side effects, but being ordered to take part in a mission run by your dad after just waking up from said 600 year nap is another thing.

Tough love? Some would call it that, but it was more trying to live up to the Ryder name. My father back in the Milky Way had been an N7 – a respected soldier of the Alliance – until his dishonorable discharge. Somehow he had been given the chance to become the Human Pathfinder to the Initiative. His mission now, to find a new home, and as his daughter that was big shoes to fill.

With a deep breath, I looked out the window again towards the snaking energy anomaly. We wouldn’t have even considered touching down on Habitat 7 if our Ark wasn’t stuck in that mess. We were supposed to go to the Nexus, meeting ground for all the Arks travelling to the Andromeda Galaxy. Another thing that didn’t work out.

Captain Dunn, the one responsible for getting our Ark to safety, wasn’t able to contact the Nexus and so now we were heading to explore a home that by first glance looked like a death trap. I signed up for adventure, so I guess I got exactly what I was looking for.

“How’s your brother doing?” Fisher’s voice buzzed away in the earpiece of my helmet. I glanced over my shoulder to see him sitting behind the pilot’s seat.

Fisher had been one of the Pathfinder Team members I had gotten to meet back in the Milky Way. He was friends with my twin brother, Scott. They met on some mission or at some conference while watching over one of the Relays. He was a good shot but shit at poker – or so I was told.

“Lexi says he’s stable – she has to put him in a coma until his brain starts working right… or something like that.” I tried to explain, unsure if what I was saying was even making any sense.

Waking from stasis is like waking up after a long, hard night of drinking. Your body feels heavy, breathing makes you want to vomit, and every sound is louder than it actually is. Pair that with people poking you and asking you questions it isn’t easy to think straight, yet along form coherent sentences. After two cups of coffee I still felt like shit, but according to the doctors and my SAM implant I was normal. Normal, of course, was great until our ship marooned on the anomaly knocking out gravity in the cryo bay and causing my brother’s stasis pod to malfunction. Normal quickly went downhill from there.

“You know Scott – he’s stubborn as hell, I wouldn’t worry about ‘im.” Fisher gave me a thumbs up before turning back to manning the coms that kept us in contact with Shuttle One – where my dad and his second-in-command, Cora, was.

I didn’t want to tell Fisher that wasn’t I too worried about Scott. My mind was busy digesting everything it had gone through prior to stepping foot on the shuttle. I was trying to psych myself up for what was to come. My brother was safe on the Hyperion under the care of the best doctors in the Andromeda Galaxy. What worried me was the mysteries awaiting me and the rest of the Pathfinder Team on what was supposed to be ‘New Earth’.

 

PART 2: THE FALL

Children of Sirphan: You’re Mine Now

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CHILDREN OF SIRPHAN IS NOW OUT!!

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO GET TELEPORTED TO YOUR SITE OF CHOICE:

SMASHWORDS               AMAZON.COM               AMAZON.CA

The Forest: Tents But No Nudists (Part 4)

-Tents But No Nudists-

So, got across the river fine. Got a freaking rock in my converse and my pants are soaked but couldn’t be worse right?

That there was sarcasm. If you don’t know sarcasm you’re nothing to me. Then again… I’m writing to myself and therefore I know what sarcasm is and therefore I mean something to me… I don’t know I think I have a concussion or something… don’t ask me questions… or me don’t ask me questions!

I haven’t even been out here for a day and I’m already going crazy…

Anyways, walked along this path. I’m guessing that something made this a while back as it appears pretty clear asides from one tree, oh and a big freakin’ hole in the ground. I’m thinking this was one of those sights where they tested nukes back in the day. I wouldn’t know if this place is freaking radiated – I have no geiger counter. Maybe I could gig one up out of pop cans and microchips… I’m sure if I’m desperate enough I could MacGyver anything… although I’m more like a Bear Grylls when it comes to down to it.

bighole

So… yeah… a big hole in the ground too steep for me to climb down unless my goal is to kill myself, which here’s a shocker, it isn’t. I’ll make sure to stay away from that thing unless I need to go down there. Here’s to hoping I don’t need to go there…

Continuing along the path I saw something bright orange in the distance. At first I thought prisoners with the bright neon orange through the trees, then I thought hunters. Turns out is wasn’t either of those. It was a freaking tent. Well not just one… at least four from my counting and behind them were some wooden structures of some sort. I made camp for the night, thinking maybe the owners of the neon tents would return.

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Nope. Nothing. No one… not even those nudists.

I should stop trying to find them and instead make camp somewhere… maybe near fresh water and a constant food source. If I do that maybe they will find me. Nothing could go wrong with that.

CLICK HERE FOR:
PART 1
PART 2
PART 3

It’s About Something Not Natural

Before I get to the story part of this I just want to explain to you what I’m looking for help wise. I’ve been working on a second series and I’m getting to the point of flushing out the main issues. I’m wanting to get peoples opinions on the idea and since I now have a Wattpad I thought it would be great to share it on My Works page.

With that said, I have no flippin’ idea what to put it under. I’ve been thinking about this and I’m starting to drive myself a little crazy… okay a little more crazy… than usual. I have no idea what to classify this story as.

Jay is about a freelance genie in the modern world. They partner up with a detective to catch a serial-killer focuses on killing Wishers – the main food source for Genie. Jay needs to find this killer and quick before the humans discover that there are more than just Genies going bump in the night.

Would that make it a murder mystery? Would it be fantasy because it has magical creatures in it… or would I put it under Paranormal since it’s about something not natural… you could even say it’s supernatural:

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Anywho, I will posted the first chapter below and you can make your suggestions since I’m so lost as to where to put this. XD

 

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Chapter 1: Time to Make a Difference

 

I stared into my coffee.

The tar tasting liquid rippled to the same beat my foot tapped against the center leg of the table while my iPod blasted upbeat techno into the cheap dollarstore buds that rested in my ears. After all these years living on this rock nothing compared to the buzz of energy that radiated from hearing a favorite jam shuffle onto my playlist.

Okay, maybe there were two things…

Across from my table at the small cafe on Augusta Ave, right off Queens, a young man sat hunched over tapping away on his cellular contraption. Never had much interest in getting one of those devices – never saw the point. I understood the benefits sure, but I didn’t have enough friends or family to justify the outrageous amount of mullah needed to have one of those things.

It wasn’t his obsessed typing that caught my attention, though.

In a super megatropolis like Toronto, watching the crowds of humans sucked into their 300 dollar mini-computer was a common sight. It was how he was typing. Fingers jabbing in a panicked fray, eyes wide, and mouth open enough to catch the stray fly if he was unlucky. Usually screen junkies typed quick but held the same droned out apathetic expression. His panic, fear, anger, and sadness were flowing out of him like your insides after Chipotle. I could have ignored him. I had done that a million times or more to others in a similar state, but it was what he was typing that intrigued me.

While humans searched for answers in words written on a tiny glass screen I found my answers in their body language. He was too busy to notice the young waitress deliver his latte, not because he had to get to the next level of Candy Crush but for another reason entirely.

The wincing of his brows, the sniffling of his nose… the slight glistening of tears that he held inside as to not make a scene in public were what I saw. The biting of his tongue, the frustrated pulling of his hair and the panicked look around the cafe before forcing himself to take a sip of the latte to try and calm himself – were all I needed to know.

I knew what the kid was going through. I had seen the same painful expression on human faces before. Although the screaming thoughts from inside his head also helped; there was no need to listen to the details.

Mom. Sick. Hospital. Not much time.

                Humans thrived on connections. The whole reasons social media exploded the way it did was for humans desire to feel connected to something bigger then themselves. Before that it was religions and before that tribes. They depended on one another and strived to impress each other. That’s something we never cared for. We didn’t need each other… but it fracking sucked how much we needed these meat suits.

Even with the dependency on humans we were still independent beings. Some of us stuck in crappy jobs, while others – like myself – had the luck to go out on their own. A freelancer, some could say.

That’s why I was sitting in this grated garden chair on the uneven patio lined by a looped metal fence. This was why I was drinking this bitter tar that I honestly didn’t need to drink. This boy was my meal ticket and that’s why I listened to him.

He was like a broken recorded with his thoughts, and although I felt a twinge in my empty chest regarding his feelings about his mom, there were some rules a freelancer like myself needed to follow.

Accident. Life support. Oh God!

The big bearded guy in the sky had nothing to do with it. He gave humans freewill. With that freewill gave the big guy some overdue time off. Of course that’s my own assumption. Never met the being humans called God, Allah… whatever. I didn’t follow their mythology… heck I didn’t follow anything really.

What can I do? How can I help her?

                “Come on, kid,” I grumbled into my coffee before taking a sip. My electric blue bang fell in front of my face before I combed it back with one hand while the other set the chipped mug onto the table. My black fingernails tapped on the sides of the mug, contrasting against the white porcelain.

He only had to say one word.

One word all humans said constantly like it was some kind of greedy prayer.

I looked through the metal grated table at my rolled down combats. They were practical enough with the amount of walking my job required and with this no-shits-given, free-style appearance I had going with my half shaved head and thick framed ‘hipster’ glasses, no one really paid much attention to me. I liked the glasses ‘cause they reminded me of the pair I busted in the 80s, not ‘cause they were hipster. Whatever the hell a hipster was anyway?

I….

                I sat up in my chair, leaning on my elbows along the edge of the unbalanced metal table. From the years of experience the word ‘I’ usually had the word I needed to complete this screen junkie’s request.

I…

                Come on! I wanted to scream, grinding my teeth in anticipation.

I wish her to be okay. I want her to be okay…

                I stood after hearing the magic word, taking a small glass bottle out of the pocket of my sweatshirt as I approached him. I rested my hand on his shoulder. He didn’t notice me and didn’t see me. I was a shadow standing behind him. With knowing that I leaned down close, moving aside his brunette hair to whisper: “You got your wish.”

He didn’t turn around as I gave him a pat on the shoulder. I glanced to his ear, seeing a pale white smoke begin to leak from the cannel onto his shoulder. Wisher essence. Ten times harder than crack and the staple of my diet.

With a pop of the cork I placed the bottle by his ear, allowing the white liquid to fill the bottle. He didn’t react. He just reached to take another sip of his latte before his phone rang.

Slipping the bottle into my pocket, I went through the opening in the metal fence and into the busy morning rush. There came a clattering noise when his chair flew back hitting the pavement when he stood abruptly after hearing the news. I stopped by a newspaper dispenser to admire my work.

Awake? Pull-through? Live? She’ll live! His thoughts flooded my mind. I smirked, knowing all too well what I had done.

 

Bits of Book 2:”Repent an’ I’ll forgive yah”

There was the crackling of explosions in the distance. The familiar echoing of cries muffled by the clashing of metal. His back was wet as his head pounded. He looked up at the burnt sky. A funnel of smoke snaked across his view.

This wasn’t Menk.

Sitting up, he felt the put of his stomach sink. The blood was in the air as blue tattered capes flapped in the wind. The noble war beasts lay like burial mounds as he pulled himself to his feet. He spun, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. He couldn’t possibly be back here. It had been years since he stood knee deep in his personal hell.

“Foe…” he heard his name across the field as he bolted in the direction.

This wasn’t real. This couldn’t have been real.

He stopped, seeing the young man pinned under the black beast. Blood dripped from his lips staining his ginger beard. A gash was across his forehead and his crown was buried behind him in the muck.

“Cain,” Foe gasped, leaping into action to pry away the creature laying atop of the King. “Stay still, me boy. I’ll get yah free.”

“Boy?” Cain gave a moist laugh, spitting blood across the front of his armour. “I’m older than yah. Must’ve hit yar head harder than yah thought, eh?”

Foe forced a laugh, pulling the man out of the muck before collapsing beside him. This scene haunted his dreams but never with such detail. He could feel the mud seeping into his boots and squishing between his fingers as he leaned his weight back.  Blood filled the air, along with the sulfur they used in the pop pots. His eyes burnt from the smoke, and ears still faintly buzzed from the explosion.

“I shouldn’ve listened to yah,” Cain croaked. His emerald eyes peered up to the sky. They glistened with tears as they ran down his temples and into his matted locks. “We’d be alive if not for yah.”

“Aye, I know…” Foe breathed heavily through his nose, pressing his eyes shut. He didn’t need some bloody nightmare to remind him of his guilt.

He had pushed for a frontal assault. He had believed he had thought everything through. He had considered their enemy but it was his allies that he had forgotten to count.

They lit the pop pots early. The explosion went off before they had cleared the field. He had convinced them of the plan. He had given the signal to light the pots. It was his fault.

“Rio, Mac, Der, Javi… Me,” Cain listed, “we’re all dead cause of yar stupid mistake. Yah know how good the world would be if I was still alive. If I was still King we’d ‘ave pushed the lines… not sit like me brother’s doin’.”

“I know… yah don’ think I know…” Foe growled, “not a day goes by that I don’ think of what happened. I would do anythin’ to right me wrongs. I’d do anythin’ to bring yah peace.”

“Repent,” Cain muttered, struggling to reach for his dagger. His fingers wrapped around the hilt as he pulled it from the sheath. The silver blade glistened like fire in the dim dank trenches. “Repent an’ I’ll forgive yah.”

Nothing to Apologize For (Writing Prompt)

“I have nothing to apologize for,” I seethed, holding my hands in a death grip against my ribs.

“Nothing to-” Royce stopped pacing at the end of the hospital bed, “do you freaking hear yourself, Jay? That bastard almost tore your freaking heart out with his bare hands… you could have died!”

“And I didn’t!” I shouted back, recoiling from the sharp pain stabbing in my chest from the outburst. Lowering my voice, I made sure our eyes met before continuing. “I didn’t die, Royce… I’m fine.”

His heavy breath escaped his nosed like steam escaping a boiling pot. His hand tugging through his slicked back hair before moving down to rub his neck. I knew he hated that I didn’t wait. I knew he blamed himself for what happened. The fact was, I knew if I hadn’t gone alone he would have been the one in this hospital bed or worse laying butt naked on a steel slab in the morgue.

Humans were always so sensitive. Their personal relationships, even those small ones forced upon them from work, made it hard to keep everything in perspective. The Jinn was hurt, meaning it was likely in hiding licking its wounds. That gave me time to recover and Royce time to get his shit in gear before more bodies started turning up.

“Can you at least acknowledge the fact you screwed up? That you shouldn’ve done that take down on your own,” Royce breathed, gripping the plastic foot-board of my bed. He glared at me, trying to read me.

Idiot. My fault.

“I was an idiot – I’m sorry – k?” I started, noticing him smirk. “Blaming yourself isn’t gonna bring that psycho in.”

“Neither is you being in recovery,” he straightened up crossing his arms.

“I’ll be out soon…”

At least that’s what I hoped. As much as I shared a similar body design with these humans didn’t mean it took me as long to heal. I’d be healed within the week but they would insist on me staying off the job for at least another two to recover. Humans were squishy meat suits – not as resilient as my kind.

“In the mean time what should I be looking for?” Royce asked.

Sliding myself to sit higher up in bed, I gave a groan when my body ached. My ribs were hurting the most, but that Jinn’s venom was still coursing through my veins. Everything felt stiff.

“Hospitals… vet clinics… drug stores,” I shrugged. “Wherever you think someone with a bullet hole would go to get patched up.”

It was unlikely that thing would go anywhere. Like me, the beast was healing up fine on its own. Royce didn’t need to know that. The police didn’t need to think about it. The Jinn was down for the time and that meant it gave everyone a well deserved rest.

“All right, I’ll look into it,” Royce headed for the door. He stopped for a moment just as he reached for the handle. He turned back to look at me, opening his mouth before he stopped himself.

Sorry. Worried for her. Please, get better.

“I’ll keep an eye on the cat,” he muttered, opening the door and hurrying back out into the bustling hall.

The sound of footsteps and shouts echoed through the white washed walls. The smell of bleach and floral arrangements filled my nose. I didn’t want to be here but I had to stay put. I was playing a role and not all parts were going to be glamorous.

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OTHER MOMENTS WITH JAY & ROYCE:

Tranquillity                                           I Wish

Bits of Book Two: Not Perfect

After discovering that she is part of a prophecy, Liora becomes determined to be able to learn skills that would better prepare her for the troublesome, dangerous world outside the protective walls of Demor. She knows that many won’t allow her to learn how to use a weapon but with the help of her best friend she hopes to learn some skills that could help her defend herself if needed.

Here is the section where Cáel is trying to teach Liora how to throw a knife.

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Liora and Cáel headed down to the training grounds. The late noon sun was behind the castle allowing for enough shade to cover the grounds so they wouldn’t get too hot in the open area surrounded by dummies and targets. The cool spring breeze danced through her hair, moving the strands across her face while she stared at the target across the field. Its wooden slats punctured and dented from previous attempts to hit the red painted center of the board. The dirt was torn in patches from her previous attempts as she slowly breathed in through her nose.

Her palms were sweating, her arm aching from trying to position her aim just right as to hit the target. She licked her lips following by pressing them together tightly in concentration. She felt a gentle hand on her arm lower her aim by an inch as Cáel used his foot to slide hers farther in front.

“Follow through with yar knees,” Cáel breathed, moving his cheek against hers to see if she was properly aligned with the target.

“You’re a little close, aren’t you?” Liora muttered; glancing at the boy whose cheeks reddened as much as hers.

“Sorry,” Cáel croaked, taking a step back, moving his hands to her hips. He gently turned them to be parallel with the target. “All ‘ight, fingers light on the handle and throw like a ball with one swift movement.”

Breathing in through her nose, Liora threw her arm forward letting the dagger fly as she watched it skip across the ground like a pebble on a lake.

“Gods damn it!” she hissed, stomping her foot.

“That was closer,” Cáel hummed, rubbing the back of his neck.

“Not close enough to hit the bloody thing,” Liora sighed, picking up her dagger that wedged itself into the dirt.

“Well yah can’t be perfect at everythin’,” Cáel smirked, as the girl glared at him with her steel grey eyes.

“I’m not!” Liora stated, looking at the blade that rested in her hand. The ivory handle was speckled with dirt, as the blade was caked in muck.

“Obviously,” he pointed towards the board.

“I mean more than the board, Cáel,” Liora reiterated, “I work hard to be good at what I’m good at… I’m not perfect at anything.”

“Healing?” Cáel stated.

“I still have a lot to learn from Caldor,” Liora answered.

“Painting?” he said.

“My people look like blobs and the clouds too,” Liora replied, using her dress to polish the blade. It was pointless since it was only going to get dirty again, but she needed to do something. “I just want to be good at something that can help me.”

“Yah will, I mean we’ve been at this a few times. Ya’ve picked up on the defense fine – throwing is just one of those extra perks,” Cáel shrugged, taking his dagger out from his belt and with a quick flick with his wrist it flew flawlessly into the target board.

“A perk you can do with your eyes closed,” Liora grumbled, when Cáel flashed her his goofy grin.

“Hey, let me have somethin’ I can do better than yah, eh?” he teased. “Come on, line up and we’ll try again.”

Liora kicked the dirt sending small puffs of sand into the air. She didn’t like not being able to learn something quickly. Maybe this was her weakness? Maybe she couldn’t fight after all?

Standing before Cáel, she moved her foot in front and squared her hips with the target. Cáel held her arm, moving it in the movement she was to follow. His hands were warm as he tightened the satin ribbon that kept back her sleeve so it wouldn’t get in the way.

“Breathe, relax, focus, follow through,” he instructed.

“Breathe,” she took a breath. She narrowed her eyes as she glared at the target. She was going to get it this time. She knew she was. She could feel it in her gut.

With a quick throw, Liora heard a thunk as the dagger skipped across the ground wedging itself into one of the barrels along the wall.

“Bloody hell!” she seethed, her hands balled into fists as she stomped her foot.

“Liora!”

The woman shouted from the steps to the garden, as the girl turned to see the flustered expression on the Detress’s face. Her curls bounced when she descended another step. The woman’s shadow loomed over her, as the sun blared behind making it difficult for Liora to focus.

“Hello… Marcia,” Liora rubbed her upper arm. Cáel ran to pick up the dagger. He cleaned the blade on his trousers before tucking it into his belt.

“Don’ Marcia me, what do yah think ya’re doing?” The Detress placed her hands firmly on her waist giving the girl a narrowed glare. “Yah know girls aren’ to be in the training grounds.”

“It’s my fault, Marcia. I suggested she try it since she wanted to–,” the boy stopped when the woman raised her hand.

“Cáel, yah know better. Fighting is for boys, not for young ladies. Now, Liora come. I’ve got some weeding to do and ya’re gonna help,” Marcia turned to return to the garden.

“Later?” Liora whispered, seeing her friend nod.

“Li, now!” Marcia’s voice was shrill as Liora ran up the steps to meet with the Detress who held a basket in her crossed arms.

The woman turned without saying a word as Liora followed her to the other side of the garden closest to the steps leading to the stables. The sun shone, but there was enough shade from the stables and small silver birch to keep them cool. The woman gathered her cotton dress before her as she knelt in the garden getting right to work with the weeding.

Liora had expected a lecture. She had expected Marcia to go on about how she shouldn’t have been learning to throw daggers… even if she was doing a poor job. The Detress did none of those things. All Marcia did was weed in silence, her back facing Liora while the girl rang her hands.

Her stomach churned, as her shoulders felt heavy. She didn’t like Marcia upset with her. Normally, Marcia was the one that understood her actions but not of late.

Taking the leather string from her wrist, she tied back her hair to keep it out of her face. The shorter strands fell in front of her eyes as she tucked them back in hopes they would stay in place as she worked in the garden. She knelt beside the woman. The damp grass seeped through her thick cotton dress. The black soil of the flowerbed was cool to the touch as it imbedded itself deep under her nails while she dug out the roots of a large thistle growing between the rosebushes.

They worked in silence as the minutes passed. The heaviness she had first felt was growing more as the moments passed. She preferred the woman to have yelled at her than give her the silent treatment. Nothing felt worse than knowing someone was angry but no one spoke.

“Are we going to talk about why you’re angry… or are we just going to pretend everything’s fine?” Liora whispered, resting her hands on her lap. The black soil left handprints on the tan material as she picked at the dirt under her fingers.

“What is there to talk about? Yah weren’t supposed to be down there, now yah know,” Marcia explained, placing a dandelion in the wicker basket between them.

“But why? Because I’m a girl? It’s not like I’m training for the front. Cáel was just reviewing what he was learning with me,” Liora stated, hearing the woman sigh.

“That there is bad enough. Cáel knows better than to do that. He’s to be a soldier just like his da’ and yah a proper lady,” Marcia explained.

“But what if I don’t want to be a proper lady?” Liora stated, her hands clenching the material at her knees.

“Li,” Marcia turned to look at her. Their eyes meeting just for a moment before the Detress looked back at the garden. “Yah not a lil girl. Yah a young lady now and young ladies don’ go running around getting all covered in muck or throwing things. It is time you realize yah place here will be different from Cáel. He can be yah friend but he will be doing things yah won’ be able to.”

“Because I’m a girl,” Liora added.

“Yes,” Marcia replied.

“I don’t agree with that,” Liora stated, turning back to digging out weeds. What did Marcia know what kind of lady Liora wanted to be?

Liora’s Second Gift: Part 2

If you haven’t read PART ONE click HERE

“Come on, Li,” Cáel called disappearing around the corner of the stables. Hoping the girl wasn’t too far behind him.

The wind tussled her hair, as the cool grass of the garden sent chills up her legs. She could hear her heart pounding in her chest, while she watched the boy walk around the corner of the stables. What was the reason he wanted to bring her to the stables?

Walking up the steps, Liora slowly moved around the corner to see the boy standing with his arms crossed before one of the middle stalls. Cautiously she moved to stand beside the boy, as he wore a large grin on his face.

The stall was empty from what she could tell, although there was plenty of hay covering the bottom. The water trough had been filled and there was a smaller trough set up for food.

“Cáel,” Liora didn’t know what the boy was so happy about, “thank you for the… stall?”

“What?” he turned hearing the uncertainty in her voice. “No, I didn’ get yah a stall. Well… I did but there’s somethin’ in there too.”

“Right…” Liora looked over the hay but still didn’t see anything. There was no movement, no noise, nothing. “Unless you got me the very elusive and rare imaginary gryphon… I’m not seeing what you apparently are.”

“Believe me I tried to find an imaginary gryphon, but I settled for a real one instead,” Cáel stepped towards the stall, leaning over the gate.

“Wait, what? When? How?” Liora shook her head, before hurrying to look over the stall. “You hate gryphons and I can’t own one… unless your father has allowed it.”

“We’d have better luck defeatin’ Sydrin than doin’ that,” Cáel  jested.

“Fine, so it wasn’t your father, meaning you got the gryphon. Why? How?” Liora asked.

“Me da’ suggested I’d have better luck learnin’ to enjoy ridin’ if I got my own beast, so he asked Foe before yar name day to take me to the nests. Since yah were upset about not goin’ to the nests, Foe and I agreed to wait a bit. After a week we ran into the issue of their breedin’ time, and so we had to wait a couple more. This mornin’ Foe took me to the nest, and this afternoon I brought it home. Foe says it’ll be able to ride by summer’s end.”

Cáel climbed over the gate and jumped into the hay before he started kicking it with his feet. Liora cringed, as she crawled over the gate and gently lowered herself on the other side.

“Stop kicking, you might hit him,” Liora ordered, watching Cáel stop mid-kick, “or is it a her?”

“A him,” Cáel said.

“And does this him have a name?” Liora knelt to the ground. The hay smelt fresh while it crinkled under her hands. It picked through her dress, as she continued to feel for the little beast.

“Nah,” Cáel shrugged, slowly moving the hay around with his foot, “I didn’ think I’d need to name him.”

“He can’t just be called him or it for the rest of his life, Cáel,” Liora retorted, sitting up for a moment to look at the boy who was looking down at his feet. “He needs a name.”

The boy shrugged. Liora sighed.

Her friend could learn so much if he only applied himself, but his laziness got in the way of him completing any of his goals. All he cared about was his lute, but that wasn’t going to help him run a country or win a war. Even getting a gryphon – a living creature – appeared to not push him to apply himself.

Liora patted the hay harder feeling a warm lump close to the back left corner. She dusted away the hay, uncovering the small lump of downy white feathers. As she removed more of the little creature’s coverings she noticed the white and grey speckled feathers along his side where his wings were, and a set of large red eyes.

The youngling growled, but she paid no mind as she tucked her hands under his belly pulling him onto her lap. He was soft like dandelion fluff, while she picked the hay out of his frizzy mane. His hind legs were mainly white while grey spots were all the way to the end of the creature’s thin cat like tale.

“He’s a snow tail!” Liora giggled, hearing the creature coo as she rubbed behind his ears. His face was like a snow owl while his body resembled that of a leopard. Snow tails were known to live in cold climates and loved flying in higher elevation. The little guy would love living in Derlin since the capital had both requirements. “He’s big for a babe.”

“Yeah, that’s what Foe said,” Cáel leaned against the dividing wall of the stall.

“How about Blizzard?” Liora suggested; hung up on the fact the little guy didn’t have a name yet.

“That’s a silly name. He deserves better. Somethin’ powerful… somethin’ with meanin’,” Cáel  stated.

“Har – the Dermite that flew over the mountains. Then there’s Evrin. He was a Morzi explorer that climbed to the highest peaks of the western mountains. We called him the snow master because he was said to have the power of predicting the downfalls,” Liora explained.

“I like Evrin,” Cáel smirked, watching how quickly the little creature had fallen asleep in the girl’s lap. “He likes yah.”

“I’m warm, that’s all,” Liora ran her fingers through the soft downy feathers of the creature’s back while Evrin purred. “End of summer and he’ll be able to ride?”

“Yeah, Foe said that.”

Dragons took a year to be a suitable size to ride. Of course they were smaller and spent the first three years with their parents in the crevasses of the mountain. Gryphons were different since they grew faster and gained independence from their parents before they were a year. That’s what made gryphons easier beasts to use and train.

“You should be doing this – not me. You need him to bond to you,” Liora picked Evrin up off her lap. The little ball of white fluff growled, not making her fear him what-so-ever.

“Na, I was thinkin’ he could be ours. Yah ride him and I ride him,” Cáel beamed with his idea. That had been why he had wanted to surprise her. He wouldn’t be able to handle the beast all by himself and the girl had wanted her own bird-lion. This was the best option for the both of them.

“Yes but that’s not how it works. From what I’ve read a gryphon should only bond to one person… it’s a lifelong relationship,” Liora stated, moving the little beast back to her lap as it kneaded her dress with its paws.

“Well I don’ care what the books know, ‘cause I know this. That lil beast likes yoou and me. So let him bond to the both of us. That way yah can ride him when yah want… which honestly will probably be a heck of a lot more than I ever will,” Cáel spouted, crossing his arms.

“But girls aren’t supposed to ride gryphons alone. The rules say –“

“The rules are dumb. Do yah know there is a rule that yah can’t eat cheese at sunset because it was believed to attract fleas?” Cáel spat, lifting his arms. “There are so many rules in that book that aren’t bein’ followed anymore and I choose not to follow ones that doesn’ have real good reason behind it. Evrin’s ours and that’s that.”

Liora liked the sound of that. Foe hadn’t been so open-minded, and she knew Charn would sooner chop her up into carrion than bend a rule for her. It was nice that Cáel was different.

“So, it’s settled. I name yah Evrin,” Cáel pointed to the creature, as the little beast opened his beak to give a big yawn before setting his head back down onto the girl’s lap.

The boy waded through the hay and slid down the wall to sit beside Liora. He patted the little beast on the head before leaning his head back and closing his eyes. His ginger curls fell over his eyes, while his usual crooked goofy smile was plastered across his face. The boy hadn’t needed to be so nice as to share his gryphon. She would have been upset, sure, but that wouldn’t have ruined their friendship. She had understood the rules, but thanks to Cáel she wasn’t so afraid of breaking them.

Maybe change wouldn’t happen immediately but in time, Derm would change for the better.

 

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