The thundering paused every few minutes; the air rose heavy
in anticipation of the next assault upon the soil. The rhythm
was familiar to the groups of Unarra tending to the various
tasks of the day. Some even worried the familiar noise would lull them
back asleep after a night spent playing too many games of hyra.
Atlak hated how the dust was stirred into the
air, how tiny earthquakes shot up his soles and caused him to rise on
tiptoe to recover. Tynel Mellor and Tynel Atlak were lashing
groups of vines together for the trainers' use. Mellor marveled
at his spawn's ability to focus, and had praised
Atlak on many occasions at the amount he could accomplish in
one day, even in comparison to such experienced workers as
Mellor had hoped the long day would slow the
relentless questions from his curious spawn, but such was not
the case. Unfortunately, Atlak's focus ran to the unstoppable
decipede of questions that poured from his lips even WHILE the Pikatan's
thundering overpowered words. Atlak paused only long enough to voice his
frustration with the rippling ground swells experienced while taming
the Pikatan. Atlak turned his attention back to Mellor and
continued probing, "...but if Tallic had such obvious talent and
empathy with the beasts why did the Tresed relinquish him to
apprentice status for so long? Is that why he left? Some say you
were friends. What was..."
"We are still friends." Mellor was thankful for
the growing tremors of the Pikatan, he was beginning to get on
edge from his spawn's questions, and that was not
safe around the Pikatan.
"That is enough about Tallic for today my progeny; the taming exercises
Upset that his questioning had ceased, Atlak tried
not to cough as the dust kicked up around him. "Of all the
creatures, what is so sacred about the Pikatan anyway?" Atlak's scowl
grew deeper and darker with every leap and hard landing
of the Pikatan.
Mellor was amused, his hair bristling, twitching
and flicking dust particles from the air. "Keep that up, Atlak,
and your face will become etched like that."
"Just once, I would like to stomp through their
valley and disrupt them while they are trying to get work
"I suppose you would also want to be revered as
the Sacred Atlak too then?" Mellor laughed, his hair
twitching convulsively with laughter.
"Perhaps you would teach the Unarra about the patience of taming as
The reprimand was enough to keep young Atlak from
continuing to show his distaste for the Sacred
Pikatan. Atlak just grumbled to himself as clouds
of dust continued to mushroom into the air.
However, the thunderous quakes caused by the
Pikatan didn't stop this time. A telepathic warning jerked the
heads up of all nearby, but Atlak was distracted by the constant chaotic
rearing of the Pikatan.
Most of the Pikatan were rounded up before any
large amounts of damage were done. Yet, one animal, eyes
rolling in its skull, flew forward with its strange loping
leaps, dodging all attempts at capture. Atlak's
insides churned, a mix of ice and painful heat as he looked up to
see a silhouette of a figure on a near-distant hill.
Atlak began to scream, his voice combining with another's, even
before Mellor was trampled.
Mellor rolled beneath the creature's feet, trying to avoid certain
death. He felt a peculiar searing along his back, and he knew that
he had lost a large amount of skin. He tightened his jaw, and
continued to twist. The dust seemed lighter in the frozen moment that he
encompassed, and he saw the way to go. As he began, belly-crawling forward,
the creature stopped in mid-lope, as if called to a halt, and
placed its feet down. Directly on Mellor's head.
Atlak's voice rose, as the crazed Pikatan stopped, coming to a rest
firmly on his mentor.
But a voice, filled with loss and silent fury, and coupled with a
telepathic jab, tore
through even that. Its words were simple,
"I had hoped to merely frighten you. But it seems that a situation has
arisen that will do far more than that."
The figure paused, and drew itself to its full height, diminutive and
twisted as that was.
"I shall give Mellor's body the burial it
deserves. Anyone who wishes to attend shall be here
tomorrow night. We shall travel from here."
As the figure hobbled down the path, Pikatan came from nowhere to gather
One leaned down to lift the dwarf upon its back.
"The Pikatan are mine. Tell them all that. They threw me out because I
was TOO empathatic. Because the Pikatan speak through me in the same way
can through them. And the message was clear that they told me."
Among the Unarra, standing in shock, Atlak finally ran out of breath.
The tearing sound of vocal cords seized, the final moments being that of
bubbling blood heated by fear and shock. The Pikatan came closer, and
The dust fell.
Each drop splashing upon the ground as if the air wept for Mellor.
Among the Pikatan, the dwarf's shoulders could be seen to shudder.
Its hair whipped the air like a tiny scourge, tearing the dust apart.
"Tell them this, 'The Pikatan speak through Tallic. And we shall have no
more to do with you.' Mellor, my friend, has died for this. We are not
your teachers. We are just our own."
And Atlak screamed...
- Just a couple of feelings from Embros