Monday, May 30, 2016

Chapter 26

Ony'a has another dream. She sees her father again leading a battle: what her people used to call the Feuds. They were battles fought between provinces long before the invasion. The Masters encouraged them to have these feuds to keep the people fit. They were like a kind of competitive game but the fighting was real They fought for glory, honor, and the banner that proclaimed their province the best. They may not have fought to the death but they did fight to win and sometimes that meant injuries, sometimes fatal ones.

This dream, however, turns different. Ony'a sees a stranger in the distance. It seems to be trying to warn her. She does not understand until she sees a horde of fighting Kevutians coming her way. Mixed in with them are several strong and determined mercenaries from the planet Pa'Crolas. They are powerful fighters as well.

She wakes to find herself at the house of Moku, the merchant and Myshkan spy. She tells him of her dream. He explains to her about the Crolats and opines that there may be someone out there trying to send her a message.

From the chapter:

Then she sees the cause of the hysteria. Following the rush is a horde of people she has never encountered. They are large with long dark hair pulled high and tight into a round knot at the tops of their heads. They are full of muscles and their dark brown skin is adorned with dark wavy and curled lines. They cry out a high pitched wail as they run towards her and the fleeing fighters. They carry pointed spikes and swing them above their heads. Mixed within their frightful ranks are scores of Kevutian soldiers with their ubiquitous shock wands. As they move toward her the sky opens above. Dark projectiles rain down through the canopy of dipda branches and kova leaves. Her people are hurt, injured, killed. Those not hurt by the falling debris are chased and attacked by the Kevutians and the strangers that have joined them. Her comrades fight brave and strong but they are no match against the sheer number of attackers–both large and small–the debilitating surges of electrical energy, and the speed and fury of the missiles. They are cut down, captured, destroyed. And through it all she is unable to offer aid or defense. She is blown about by tides of movement, but is unable to affect change herself. She prepares to fight but can do nothing. She cries out in anguish.

Her body bolted upright in the bed and sent layers of blankets flying. Her face was locked in horror. Her arms flailed trying to defend herself but there was no one there in the room with her. She stopped swinging and relaxed. The room she was in was small but comfortable. Its walls were hard stone but the flickering torchlights attached to them softened their texture. Tapestries hung along most of them adding to the peaceful effect. The bed, too, was small but high and soft. Thick plush quilts and sheets lay about her in a heap and drifted down to the soft carpeted floor. All the gentle lines and airy textures so carefully placed in the room and its furnishings helped Ony’a relax and settle into her surroundings–until a knock came at the door.

She gasped and her body jolted before she caught herself. She knew she was still within the influence of her dream and struggled to gain control. She focused on her breath and a feeling of inner warmth. A second knock came and she barely reacted.

“Come in?” she said with some uncertainty. She still was not sure where she was and who might be on the other side. The door opened gingerly.

“Excuse me,” said a voice pushing the door aside. “I thought I heard sounds. Are you alright?”

Of course, the house of Beyna-Moku nestled within the rock face of the gorge in Kodok province, it all came back to her.  After the leadership meeting Moku had invited her and Lagos to stay with him. Since she and her brother had no place to go and since Moku and his wife lived so close to the temple, it made sense to accept his gracious offer.

Ony’a collected herself. “Yes, I’m fine. I’m sorry to have woken you.”

“Oh, think nothing of it.” Moku looked at her. Lines of stress remained etched into her face. “Bad dream?”