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, "...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. "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 like that."
"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 the sudden and chaotic rearing of the Pikatan. Something was
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
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
even before Mellor was trampled...
Faiy gazed upon the carnage strewn beneath him, could he really have
caused this destruction, before today he had considered himself a noble
Cavolon, but today he began to doubt whether his nobility was an illusion,
and he truly a monster on the inside. His creation was meant to increase
telepathic ability, altering the mind to increase the range and clarity of a
transmission, unfortunately it was still under development when the Kompa
herd came straight for his remote lab, without a second thought for the
effects of his actions, he had gathered his valuables and fled. Only after
talking to his fellow scientists did he realize the problems that could
happen if the Kompas ate the plant growing on his farm. He flew back as
soon as possible, using a highly sensitive Loctar to detect the traces of
the increased telepathy. He soon realized that not only had the Kompas
eaten it, but after the unlucky Kompas had gone insane, the Pikatan took
this as a sign of weakness and quickly devoured them, consuming the plant
themselves in the process, this time in a smalle dosage though, delaying the
onset of madness.
The item that occupied Faiy's mind during his trip back to the lab was how
to cure the effects of his drug, and if the antidote would actually be a
better solution, In his rush he knew he was likely to create an excessive
antidote that would deaden the mind of all that consumed it. After careful
planning he realized that the Unarrans would be taming the Pikatans at this
time of year, a horrible coincidence that could put many deaths on his
shoulders, something Faiy did not want. He had made his choice, and now he
has only to see it come to completion.
Unarran National Air Task Force 37 received it's emergency broadcast at
dawn, and the frantic mobilizing of units went into effect, the message had
been sent across the continent to the capital, via civilians using a point
to point transmission, so they felt safe in knowing that the other task
forces would soon be notified of the situation if they hadn't already.
Commander Crenyel ran to the airfield, waking the ear-piercing animal
used to sound the alarm, and broadcasted to his force, "Get in the air, I'll
brief you on the way!" Within minutes 4 score of Unarran pilots groggily
rose to the sky.
"Ok pilots, here's the situation as we know it, a mind altering drug
has been introduced to the animal population, the scientists that reported
it claim it should be contained in the Pikatan of the southeast tribe of
Unarrans, the taming ceremony is taking place today, they estimate the drug
will take full effect in 3 hours, and have advised a stunning agent to knock
them out and bring them back to the scientists to further study, however,
The General has authorized the use of force if necessary, remember, our
brethren are down there depending on us, now Fly!"
For a fleeting moment, Atlak glanced up thinking he had caught
something out of the corner of his eye, when he looked around but saw
nothing except a dark cloud speeding towards him, this however was quickly
jolted out of his mind as he lost mental control over his Pikatan earning
scornful glares from his teachers, and worried glances from the medics
tending the wounded, and the bearers of the dead.
Unbeknownst to Atlak, or anyone else in his tribe, the worst was yet to
The dark mass raced closer, converging on its target, spotting the
infected animals, they dove down to gather them up, this attack on the
animals caused their spikes to shoot out, along with the blood used to
lubricate the spike, the contaminated blood began to take its toll on the
tamers, their grip loosening with each breath of the gas, and in a short
amount of time the Pikatans were free of their controllers and began their
senseless rampage of destruction, but they could not get far, the task force
circling them and diving down to right above the creature, and commanding
the shap to flap once, extremely hard. The gust of air was enough to knock
the Pikatan unconcious, slowly but surely the destruction slowed, and
eventually came to a stop, with all the riders with at least one creature,
they started heading back to the base, not heeding the warnings of the
figure on the ridge, who had been watching the whole experience.
Faiy stopped his crys and muttered, "Stupid Military, they never listen
to what we have to say, always thinking they know everything, no don't
listen to how i found that it was not actually the plant, but a virus inside
of it, no just let your shaps catch it and see the stunts you can do on your
pretty animal then. Yes my friends, you'll wish you would have listened."
Commander Crenyel noticed the instabilty of his shaps, and the shaps of
his pilots, this was not a normal shaking caused by turbulence or
over-exertion, something had a hold on his friends, and he was all too
afraid he knew what it was, the madness was spreading, and if it could
spread to his shaps, the same shaps that are so valuable to the Continent
that every possible innoculation has been given to them, then it could
spread to every other creature on the world, the result could be
devastating. Seeing no other options, he gravely gave the order to his
comrades, and they turned their course.
A farmer on the hill, needing rest after plowing the fields, sat down
under his tree, contemplating about why the side of a volcano would have
such fertile soil, he gazed dreamily at the skies, wondering about the
future, and remembering his past, when suddenly he was jolted out of his
daydream, when a squad of somber-faced pilots flew in formation at steady
speed towards the mountain, carrying their deadly payload. He watched them
climb steadily higher into the air, and with one last graceful move, they
abruptly changed direction and plunged headfirst into the volcano, saving
life as we know it. Today, songs are sung about their bravery and their
nobility, although the true events of the day may be forever unknown.