part between >> and << is what is written by WF
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
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 wrong.
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 itsstrange 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...
The stranger on the hill started running towards the position of Atlak and
In the time it took the stranger to get to them Mellor was gored to death by
the maddened Pikatan. Atlak managed to get a grip on his fear and played
dead before the Pikatan discovered that he was still there, alive and
screaming. Atlak felt more then he heard the stranger trying to get control
over the animal that was still rampaging around. A while later Atlak felt a
tap on his back and heard someone say "Ok you can get up now the critter is
calmed down". Peeking through his hands he saw the stranger sitting on the
neck of the Pikatan covering the eyes, ears and nose of the Pikatan with
some sort of cloth. Looking around while standing up Atlak discovered that
the other members of the group sent out to capture the Pikatans had left.
The stranger went on, "I haven't introduced myself properly, the name is
Tallic. I wanted to ask something of your progenitor.", pointing at the body
of Mellor, Tallic continued with a sigh, " it is too late for that now
though. And I am probably the reason that your group left". "But if you are
Tallic what are you doing here?" Atlak stammered, "You are an outcast by not
obeying the commandments of the Tresed lifestyle". "I might be an outcast
but I am only doing what I think needs to be done" was the response, "That
was also the reason I wanted to talk to Mellor. Mellor was not as biased as
the others about what I have done and I think your progenitor even
sympathized with what I did while not having the courage to do the same
things". Atlaks curiosity took over at this point and the questions started
to roll. "What did you do? What are you doing? What do you mean biased? Why
do you think you could trust Mellor? Are there more sympathizers?".
At this point Tallic raised his and saying "Stop, I'll start with those
questions first", and then inhaling deeply started "What did I do and am I
still doing? Easy I violated the one almost sacred edict. I used, trained
and still are doing that animals for combat". Atlak slumped on the ground as
if hit by fist to the head. After a small pause, "See what I mean with
biased?" said Tallic, "Even you with your open mind and curiosity react as
if I'm no more then a deviant but at least you are willing to listen
otherwise you would have run of".
Tallic crouched down to get eye to eye with Atlak. "Let me explain why I did
and do it. It has nothing to do with how the Tresed treated me or anything
else done to me. It was a conscious decision to help them", Tallic raised a
hand to head of a question, "later. Like I said it was my decision and
although they won't appreciate what I am doing I think it is needed. You
know of the relation between the Kompa and the Pikatan?". Atlak nodded.
Tallic continued "And of the parallel drawn between the Unarra and the rest
of Atriana?". Atlak nodded again. "Good", said Tallic, " that makes the
explanation shorter. The Tresed behave like the Kompa without the addition
of an enemy like the Pikatan. They stopped in one place and are trying to
preserve their old ways. It is a bit like the Kompa trying to graze in a
place they have grazed empty. Their ways are stagnant and stagnation means
death in this world. I'm trying to stir them into action. Either by trying
to force them to think about what can happen or why I am doing this or by
direct attack so that they are forced to defend themselves. So I see myself
as a Pikatan", said Tallic while petting the animal he was sitting on".
Tallic sighed while continuing "The first hope I had, that they would think
about why I was doing it seems to be in vain. I am banned and nobody is
supposed to talk about me. Basically the order is ignore this problem and
hope it will go away".
Lowering his voice to a whisper Tallic continued "So my only recourse left
is to force people to talk about what I am doing and that means attacking my
fellow Unarra. I hope that the threat of violence will start a discussion".
Tallic sighed and stopped talking.
A few minutes of silence passed while Atlak was digesting what Tallic just
told. When it looked like Atlak might start questioning again Tallic
continued "this is the reason that I wanted to talk to Mellor about this, I
hoped that I could convince him to help me with the planning of raids. Now I
extend this offer to you. You being his spawn should have the same potential
Atlak just sat there stunned by the request. After several minutes of being
visibly in turmoil about what to say Atlak stood up and said "No I can't do
it. I couldn't live with myself if I would hurt a fellow Unarra. I will tell
the council what you told me and about the fact that unless they will talk
about it that you will attack".
Tallic got a mournful expression and said in a sad tone "Too bad. I just
hoped that you would be more malleable then your progenitor. I asked Mellor
the same question and he wouldn't take me seriously and just like him I
cannot let you tell others what I plan to do it needs to be a surprise so
that there will be talked about. Atlak's face paled while asking in a meek
voice "What are you planning on doing". The response was "You don't think I
could tame a Pikatan in the moments you where cowering for your life, did
you?". While removing the cloth from the head of the Pikatan Tallic said in
a loud voice "Anyway the point is moot, Jadhera kill".