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 used the noise to
jolt them back awake after falling asleep from a night spent playing too
many games of hyra. Atlak hated how the dust was stirred into the air, how
his feet vibrated afterward and caused him to pause in his work 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 work
single-mindedly, 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 himself.
Mellor had hoped the long day would slow the relentless questions from his
curious spawn, but such was not the case. 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, "Why are we out here doing this work? Couldn't one of the
apprentices be doing it?"
Because it is work and some one needs to do it; The apprentices help their
own masters with the manuall labor when it is time.
Atlak protested, "but you are the leader of the Tresed, surely there is
something more important to do.
"The Tresed lead the Unarran people by example; we are not the government to
tell people what to do." Mellor responded, "Who am I to order someone to
take over my fair share of the work? Tallic did not understand this."
Atlak looked up suddenly at this rare comment on his sibbling, "Is that why
the Tresed left him at apprentice status for so long? Is that why he left?"
Mellor was thankful for the growing tremors of the Pikatan. "That is enough
about Tallic for today my progeny; the taming exercises have begun."
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. "Keep that up, Atlak, and your face will become etched
"Just once, I would like to stomp through their valley and disrupt them
while they are trying to get work done."
"I suppose you would also want to be revered as the Sacred Atlak too then?"
Mellor smiled. "Perhaps you would teach the Unarra about the patience of
taming as well?"
The reprimand was enough to keep young Atlak from continuing to outwardly
show his distaste for the Sacred Pikatan. Atlak just grumbled to himself as
clouds of dust mushroomed into the air not far from where they worked.
However, the thunderous quakes caused by the Pikatan didn't stop this time.
A telepathic warning was sent to all nearby, but Atlak was distracted by a
sudden sharp sting in his thumb from the vines he was working with.
Most of the Pikatan were rounded up before any large amounts of damage were
done. Yet, one crazed animal, its eyes rolling in its skull, careened
towards them with its strange loping leaps, dodging all attempts at capture.
Without thinking Mellor pushed his oblivious spawn out of the way of the
uncontrolable Paktan. Atlak began to scream even before Mellor was trampled.
Atlak rushed over to Mellor's side, while trainers caught the responsible
Pikatan, astonished to see that he was still alive, if barely.
Mellor weakly tried to speak "Someday you shall be leader of the Tresed, my
death shall allow new life and the cycle will continue. You must always keep
in mind our mission to remind the people of their relationship with life.
You must resist those of like mind with Tallic who would use the Pikatan as
a symbol of power and authority, and not to remind the people of the natural
cycle, and the delicate balance we share with our animals."
With that Mellor died leaving Atlak alone in the world.