Atlak began to scream even before Mellor was trampled...
Atlak heard Mellor say "Pikatanani," just before the Pikatan flatened him
and then began to charge for Atlak. Atlak recognized the word as being the
name of the legendary father of all Pikatan. According to legend,
Pikatanani occasionally took possession of a living Pikatan. This Pikatan
would then become crazed and go on a rampage-- killing anything that came in
it's path. Right now, Atlak was in it's path.
There was no time to think, remembering the lessons Mellor had driven into
his brain, Atlak stood his ground. He waited for the Pikatan to lower it's
head in preperation of spearing Atlak. His legs tensed and released
suddenly, a manuever Mellor made him practice for hours that took advantage
of the twitch reflexes and had the effect of springing Atlak a great
distance to the side. The Pikatan thundered past Atlak, clipping his leg,
as Atlak dodged the enraged brute.
Pain flew up his side as Atlak fell to the ground. The Pikatan had run into
a tree and uprooted it. Atlak could see the spikes protrude through the
other end of the tree as the Pikatan slowed it's charge to a stop. The
Pikatan was dazed, expecting to gore Atlak and not a tree. It was also
weighted down, as the tree was stuck to it's back. It shook violently but
could not loose the giant tree.
Atlak knew he did not yet have time to grieve the loss of Mellor, as the
Pikatan would not be focused on the tree forever. To make matters worse,
everyone else was once again busy with the other Pikatan who had become
restless again. Atlak tried to stand up. Razors shot up his leg and made
his head pound. He fought the urge to pass out and succeeded for the
moment. Atlak knew his leg was seriously damaged, as he could feel
something protruding through the skin and warmth trickling down into his
The Pikatan had given up trying to rid itself of the tree and had once again
turned towards Atlak, who was the cause of this beast's burden. It was now
tired and much slower than before, but still well capable of turning Atlak
into nothing more than a splotch of goo. Atlak saw no way out and could
barely move, but he would not fall. He was Unarra and would die gracefully
like a true Unarra fighter... like Mellor.
Atlak did not see the Kompa beforehand. Neither did the Pikatan. A single,
adult Kompa with scars in it's side-- medals from a past encounter with the
Pikatan-- charged into the burdened Pikatan, sending it flying. It hit a
stone wall. Atlak heard a loud snapping sound as the spikes broke off and
the tree fell to the ground. The Pikatan howled in pain. Atlak had to
cover his ears for fear of going deaf, and even still, his ears would ring
for a week. Defeated and broken, the Pikatan ran into a nearby forest.
The Kompa turned it's head and looked at Atlak, then lazily strolled off the
way it had come. Atlak had always thought the Kompa were stupid, slow
animals. Everyone had thought that. But forever after, at every story-
telling, Atlak would swear he saw intelligence in those huge eyes. He would
also swear he saw a trace of a smile.