That must be a voider standing up there! Atlak thought so because even felt from the distance, there was only emptiness surrounding that figure.
Atlak had never seen a voider in his life, but had heard horrendous stories from Mellor... stories that had terrorized his dreams when he was still a newly spawned.
Atlak knew this: There was dispute amongst the Unarra elders whether voiders were a part of nature and life, or had spawned from something unknown. Rare as they were, some said the voiders came from under the torpor storms. They were not really creatures, that much was certain...because only in ancient tales were strange accounts of Tresed communicating with these things. Nowadays, the Tresed could neither speak nor feel to a voider. And what was worse: It seemed that the voiders stopped all empathy... and would interrupt the link between the Tresed and the creatures they could talk and feel to. To Atlak, the terrorized Pikatan were proof for this... the Pikatan could sense the void, too.
Atlak shuddered, but then forced his mind to focus on Mellor's crumbled body lying on the ground, trampled by the Pikatan. Atlak kneeled, and gently pushed the curls away from Mellor's eyes. Mel was badly hurt, trying to say something, but no words were forming. Finally Mellor felt to Atlak:
~Yes, Atlak, that is a voider! I never saw one here in our lands...we have little time left...I sense that I will cease soon...listen, Atlak...feel...~
Mellor groaned, and Atlak sensed the waves of nausea and pain that accompanied the thoughts.
~You are my heir, Atlak, and I bestow on you the means and skills of the line of Tynel. Rush, Atlak, flee from the voider, they destroy all things Unarra! Rush and open the shrine in our dwelling. The crystal piece that you always asked me about...Atlak...it can help you to fend the voider off...in that crystal is a...is a...~
Mellor's eyes broke, and Atlak's mind was swamped by the terrible interruption of the flow of feelings. The circle of life! How easy it sounds when the alfas say this...and how cruel it is when experienced!
Atlak tore his eyes from the body, and looked up. The voider was floating slowly down the hill, still distant, but coming directly towards him! Atlak could now see the figure more clearly, but however much he focused his mind, there were no contours to be felt. Instead, the figure seemed to be a pool of dark pulsating energy. And still it seemed so...calm? lazy? peaceful? slow? resting?
Suddenly Atlak realized that he was alone with that thing. The rest of the pack must have driven the Pikatan off in a frenzied panic while he was tending Mellor, leaving Atlak to be fed on by the voider. Did it matter? Atlak wasn't sure any more...the calmness and rest...
That was when Atlak's eyes fell on the crazed Pikatan that had trampled Mellor. The beast stood there, paralyzed, and didn't even seem to be breathing. It seemed transfixed by the approaching voider now. That was when Atlak understood the hatred in Mellor's thoughts: The voiders took away the very essence of balance and nature from the Tresed! The Holy Beast of violence...stopped cold.
This thought gave Atlak strength, and forcefully he drew his mind away from the dark energy approaching him. He whistled sharply, and his shap Asa dove from its circles up in the clouds to deftly pick him up. He hoped that he was safe from the voider for now, and asked Asa to carry him home, his mind now focused on the mystery at hand.
The shrine of the Tynel...this piece of crystal...Atlak had no idea what it really was.
It was dark already when Atlak approached the shrine, only Devar peaked through a hole in the clouded sky, giving his reddish light. Atlak trembled a bit when he opened the shrine. It was held by the lineage as something revered and mysterious...linking them to nature and their past. He carefully took the crystal out. And, well...it looked and felt ordinary enough. How could this thing help him against the voider?
Atlak placed the crystal on his favored rock next to the little pond behind his dwelling. He sat and looked. The red light of the moon made the crystal appear like a crimson marble.
A couple of lesters were merrily jumping in the middle of the pond, the happy fish that Atlak liked so much and that made these strange sounds. Were they more agitated today than usual?
The clouds opened up a bit, and suddenly the two other moons could be seen. The light became brighter from the white rays of Gentar, and that strange whirling that came from Mantar seemed to shift the light constantly around. Atlak felt dizzy...looking at the crystal...it was glowing now...with the shifting light...
That's when he heard it...or felt it...yee...the lesters jumping: The crystal was filled! There was a thought in there!
Atlak didn't understand where the thought came from...but he knew that it was an old thought, coming from generations of spawns ago. It told of nature, of the coupling of forces. It told him that he needed the moons to fulfill life. And Atlak understood why the three moons had made the crystal shine:
Only when nature was in harmony could there be empathy between the Unarra and the creatures of nature. Only if Atlak was in balance between the burning heat of his feelings, and the coldness and stillness of his rational mind, and the furious strive of watchful and courageous action, could he hope to survive as a true Unarra and keep the emphatic link to his beastly friends.
~ Yee ~ ...made the lesters.
Down there it was standing, the voider. Even the light from the moons seemed to swirl around that thing instead of illuminating it!
Asa circled under the clouds, holding Atlak firmly.
...Devar, the moon of fire...
Atlak's thoughts felt for the shap, she was agitated, yes, but she felt warmly for him, as he was used to since his early spawnhood. It felt good to Atlak, longlasting and secure friendship. Atlak felt for Mellor, and hatred against the cruel voider mixed with the feeling of friendship.
...Gentar, the moon of frost...
Atlak analyzed that thing down there. Dark pulsating energy that stopped empathy around it? Or maybe sucked empathy up? What would there be inside such a thing? Nothingness...or would it be full of feelings? Did it feed on empathy...or did it have to stop empathic links around it to survive?
...Mantar, the moon of fury...
Atlak cried out loud to Asa, securing his feelings to her. She responded emphatically, and together they dove down. She held him, and he felt for her, giving her strength and direction. They approached the voider fast...and ever the stronger did Atlak feel his link to the bird.
The closer they got to the voider, the less could Atlak make it out...he was sure of his link to Asa...she opened her wings wide to land, Atlak's feet touched the ground...
...and nothing was there!
or should I end this stuff with: Pop...went the voider? :)