Ukl shïkal ûkaj kif ukl Kryonomicon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So there you have it. The saga of Jude and the burning of Earth, laid out in a novel greater than 50,000 words, just as I promised.

So now then, for those who have finished reading the book: how'd you like it? Think I should write a sequel? Gonna buy it when I publish it via Lulu? Any mysteries I forgot to answer? Please, tell me what you thought about the book. It will help me out immensely. Or just tell me my letter grade. Feedback is much appreciated.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005


“It was not my job to tell of the things that once past. Rather, it was my job to uncover those same things that took place. It is my task to uncover these things, and to tell of those things that are happening and will happen.

“The world was not razed by kryonity but by humanity. Where we thought they were responsible for the burning of Earth, it was our own folly that was responsible for it. Man turned on man, burning those who were different, but the kryons were our savior.

“The invasion was a necessity to purge the man known as O’Conner from the head of the world. His daughter, the one once known as Cassandra, now lives on, but she has forsaken her family’s heritage. Kysandra now fights for the survival of humanity, not its destruction.

“Humans still dwell on Earth. It is impossible for us to rescue them all. From the former cities to the vast deserts, man will still dwell. There is no way that we can scan the surface of the world and bring them back.

“Yet hope remains, for the tower that we found was not the only tower built by the kryons. Others were constructed, and from the information buried in the ship’s computer, they too held the great human wasp-ships and instructions on how to operate them. With luck, the other Free Councils of the world will be the ones to bring them to Kryon.

“We shall return to our ancestral homeworld of Kryon. We shall meet our brethren there, and remain there side-by-side until both races crumble as the universe collapses. And we shall work to raise the earth back to what it was.

“Mankind shall return someday to Earth. I may not be among them, nor my children, nor my children’s children, but someday, we shall return. Humanity will work with kryonity to rebuild the great cities, and the worlds shall join together in a union which shall span the universe as a great nation.

“Myself and my lover shall meet my other twin, the one known only as The Messenger. Who or what he is is unknown, but we are destined to meet. I know it and have felt it in my wanderings in my mind.

“The journey through the stars will be long and hard, but we will make it. Humanity cannot be stopped, we are a resilient race. No matter what dangers lie in waiting in the deep of space, we shall make it to the world of Kryon.

“We are leaving our world behind, but our ancestral world is still ahead. We shall arrive and return someday. I shall miss this world, but my heart yearns to see that which I have not seen.

“And so I must depart. I have nothing else to say to those that are left, except a single sentence.

“We will return.”
-The Messenger of Earth

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Chapter 66 - Sky

Jude and Tyra walked towards the door first. Jude placed his hand on the door, which slid open smoothly and quickly. They shivered from excitement and entered, followed by Kysandra, Relik, and Krynn.

Relik stared around in amazement. “That,” he said, his eyes widening in excitement, “is really amazingly spiffy.”

The inside of the ship looked just as clean as it likely had the day it was made. The metal still glistened, and the controls still lit up with a faint red glow. Screens beeped and chirped to themselves, unaware of the presence of anyone within the ship.

They walked slowly onto the bridge. Behind them, they could see the fighter bay, with space for twenty fighters reaching back. The doors were open, just as they would be if the ship ever had to be used in a battle. Large metal shields were there for air containment if the fight occurred in space.

Behind that was the engine room, with a small control room there should something go wrong.

Stairs also went up from the bridge, up to what were marked on a sign as “living quarters”. This was indeed a battleship, meant for long voyages and not short strikes. The kryons had left the ship there as a way for the humans to reach the world of Kryon.

They looked around the bridge. There were a number of seats, such as for the captain, pilot, copilot, gunners, and mechanics. And sitting on the chairs of each were books.

A number of them walked to the books, which were very thick manuals. They held information on how to work the systems of the ship, specifically the ones that someone who sat in that seat would need to be concerned with. Jude stood in the center of the bridge.

“We are here at last! We have reached our ship, and our journey to the world of Kryon is at hand! We shall depart as soon as we can.”

The people cheered. Over the next few days, Jude decided on who would run the various systems. Relik and Krynn would be pilot and copilot, Kysandra and Sylva would be gunners, and Tyra would be the mechanic.

The living quarters were very nice. They were plentiful, and in fact reached up multiple floors. The ship had not looked that big from the outside. They each were fully stocked with sheets, running water flowed through their pipes, and most of all, there were clothes there.

Clothes were very rare, and no one had more than one pair, as they had to carry their clothes. They cheered when they saw them. There were uniforms to make them look like a bona fide group of soldiers, and relaxation clothes for men and women alike. The ship was clearly arranged for them, and Jude’s discovery made it clear.

Sitting on the bed of the room marked as “captain’s quarters” was a note, written in the aurora-script. It read, quite simply, “we wish you safe passage to Kryon”.

They spent more time there in the tower, practicing their skills in a virtual training room that they had found. They also trained fighter pilots, so that if on their journey they were et by anyone, they would be able to fight them off as best as they could.

After three months of training and learning, Jude walked outside of the ship. The skeletons of the twins still lay there, and he carved a small bit of aurora-script in the bone of Uk’Yan that read, “dream”.

He walked over to a control box in the tower that they had found shortly after the battle. He opened it, and flipped a switch marked “open”.

Slowly, the clear roof of the tower opened up. Jude returned to the ship, and flipped the necessary controls to ready it for flight.

Relik and Krynn sat and fired up the engine. They pressed the buttons, flipped the switches, and turned the dials that they would need to take off. Though they had never done this before, they knew how to do it from countless hours in the training rooms.

Flames shot from the ship as it lifted slowly into the air. They watched on the screen as they lifted out of the tower.

Cheers erupted from the Free Council. They were finally on their way to Kryon. A better world was coming for them, and they needed only journey to get there. The coordinates had been programmed into the ship’s computer from the start, and they were now on the way to their destination.

The ship lifted up slowly out of the atmosphere, and the people looked at the world below them. It was the same world as on the maps that they had seen, from the room just inside the mainland to the gun corporation. They whispered messages to the world they had just left behind, and hoped that whatever other humans were still there would find the other towers.

That night, Jude sat on his bed, Tyra lying on his side. Jude took a pen that had been in his room, and opened a blank journal that had been sitting in the desk. He opened it, and began to write.

The ship coasted off into the inky void.

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Chapter 65 - Raising

Tears flowed down, mixing with the pool of blood below Jude. He lowered his head, and wept uncontrollably. He had not planned for such a thing to happen, least of all when they had finally reached the tower.

He thought back to what Lukäski had said. He had claimed to be the most powerful being ever, able to master death using his mind. But Jude also knew that Uk’Yan, as Lukäski’s twin, was able to hold is soul in check in whatever realm souls travel to.

Jude wondered if he was strong enough to raise the dead. He suspected not, as Lukäski was much more powerful than he, and almost defeated both Uk’Yan and Jude together.

But he also knew that he and Tyra were twins, at least in a spiritual sense, as Uk’Yan had told him. Perhaps that could help him bring her back, somehow, some way. He bent over her, and reached out with his mind.

His probes reached into her mind, now a barren wasteland devoid of thoughts and feelings. Where in other minds he had sensed color, music, and voices, just as in dreams, here he sensed nothing but grey. There was no voice floating in the void, nor music playing.

He probed deeper, searching for any signs of consciousness. And dark in the grey mists, he found it.

A faint wisp of voice sang a dirge in the mist. It was clearly and distinctly Tyra’s voice. She sang in a monotone voice, but sadness did not fill it, nor happiness. Rather, she was distinctly unemotional.

Jude probed into the mist towards where her singing was coming from. He reached out, trying to feel Tyra’s soul still residing in her mind, to try to bring it back from this abyss.

He spoke quietly in a soothing voice. “Tyra, it is I, Jude.”

The voice stopped singing. Tyra called back, her voice eerily monotone in this dead realm.

“Who is Jude? I know not of my life before death.”

“I was your lover, Tyra. I need you to return, I cannot bear the thought of losing you forever.”

“Lover? Tell me more of this alien word.”

“I loved you, Tyra. Our souls were bound as one, we were made to live forever, together. I need you back.”

He collapsed to the ground and wept. He tried to open his mouth and plead with Tyra to return to her former life, and not to stay here in this mist for an eternity.
Tyra looked back at him in confusion. Emotion began to float back to her voice, and a faint gold light pierced the mist.

“I remember this … love. I remember emotions, and feeling. I remember the happiness you brought me, Jude. I will return with you to the world outside of this place.”

The music played and the voices sounded. The mist fled and color returned to Tyra’s mind. Jude felt her consciousness return. He retreated back to his own mind.

The hole in her back was healing. Her finger began to twitch, then her arm, and her body. She shook, blood reversing coagulation and flowing back into her. She sat up.

She spoke, her voice unintelligible as she whispered at Jude. Jude put his finger to her lips, telling her silently to be silent herself. She stood up.

The Free Council began cheering, seeing her back. They knew that somehow, some way, Jude had brought her back to life.

They climbed off of the wasp-ship. Jude smiled at his friends.

“Who was lost in the battle?” he asked. A few names were given to him, but not as many as he had feared, having watched the battle. Many more were injured, but they would heal with time.

They looked around in the room, past the carnage. There was a ship here. They knew that this was the secret within the tower. They walked towards the ship, towards the doors that were the doors to another world.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Chapter 64 - The Storm Breaks

“Noooooo!!!” Jude cried out in horror. She wasn’t dead, she couldn’t be, she mustn’t be! No one could survive a hole in their back that large. This could not be, she could not possibly be gone. Gone! She had faded into oblivion.

Jude felt Uk’Yan reaching within his own mind, so he did so. An aurora spread across their minds, and conjoined together. And through the metal at the top of the tower, another aurora was clearly visible.

Time slowed. And yet, Lukäski too was moving at their speed. This was a fight to the death, a fight that would determine the fate of the Free Council, and of the tower, and of the fate of humanity and the Earth. Everything was on the line now.

Jude and Uk’Yan split, running around the wasp-ship in opposite directions. Lukäski shot at Uk’Yan, trying to bring down his twin before the reverse happened. For as powerful as he was, his own twin would be able to bring him down.

Shots were fired, by the kryons, by the Free Council, and by the three fighters. Jude jumped on top of the ship, and stood over Tyra’s fallen body.

He turned down the power setting on his gun, increasing the firing rate.

“It’s time for you to die, Lukäski!” he yelled. “For killing Tyra! For all of the trouble that you have caused the Free Council, it is time for you to die!”

More shots rang out. Explosions rocked the room. Kryons were falling over dead, killed by the Free Council, and humans too were dying at the cruel guns of the kryons.

Uk’Yan had surrendered the idea of simply shooting his twin. He was too fast, too nimble, too cunning. It would not be possible to kill him in such a simple manner. They would have to corner him, knock him out, and then destroy him.

Jude felt a voice within his head. It was Uk’Yan’s.

< Jude, we must corner him. Force him underneath the ship. >

He fired his gun at Lukäski, who reacted with unnatural speed. Shots still moved through the air at their slowed rate, but they were easy to dodge for the three who had sped up.

Lukäski stepped to dodge Jude’s shots, not watching where his foot went. The top of the wasp-ship sloped down, too far for Lukäski’s judgment. He lost his footing and fell.

All three lost their focus, and time returned to normal. But the shots stopped firing, and Uk’Yan and Jude were soon over him, ready to kill him.

“Spare me,” he moaned. “Spare my life, brother.”

Uk’Yan looked deep into his brother’s silvery eyes.

“You’re not worth sparing, Lukäski. You and the rest of your scum companions deserve nothing more than death.”

Lukäski screamed a war cry. Tendrils of thought probed into both Uk’Yan and Jude’s mind. And despite the fact that he was outnumbered two to one, Jude felt Lukäski’s power expanding such that they could not fend him off, not even combined.

A voice echoed across the trinity of minds.

< Jude, strike him with your fist. Distract him, > said Uk’Yan. His voice was pained, Lukäski was reaching much deeper into his twin’s mind than his mortal enemy’s.
Jude reacted quickly. He punched Lukäski quickly in the face. Blood spurted out from his nose, but it mattered not. Heat exploded around the three.

Uk’Yan had pulled the trigger on his gun, destroying his twin forever. He looked over at Jude, sweat pouring off of both of them from the intense heat.

“Goodbye, Jude,” he whispered. He turned the gun on himself, and pulled the trigger.

Another explosion rocked the room. Jude was blown backwards, burns spreading across his face and arms. The kryons dropped their guns, their leader finally shot and killed.

The storm outside subsided. Not even wind sounded within the room. Jude crawled over to the two bodies. Lying side by side were the bodies of the two twins. So there had been a way to destroy Lukäski, but the cost was heavy.

Jude knew that Uk’Yan would never have told him of such a plan. But now their souls were in check, and neither would ever return from the void of death. They were gone now, twins separated in life and joined in death.

The Free Council had dropped their weapons now too, moving around the room to count the dead. They were not sure as to what had just happened, but the kryons had surrendered, and Lukäski was dead. They did not know of the cost that the victory had come at.

Jude climbed to the top of the wasp-ship, where Tyra’s body lay amid a sea of blood. He lowered his head down to hers, and wept.

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Chapter 63 - Darkening Sky

Jude was on the second group up. The cylinder rose them up to the top of the tower, and the metal there raised itself, revealing the contents at the top of the tower. What they saw was amazing.

The ceiling was the inside of a hemisphere. It was made of metal, but simultaneously transparent, allowing one to see outside. A massive thunderstorm was brewing outside.

The actual room was large and circular. A large wasp-ship sat in the center, and smaller fighters were visible inside of the bay. It did not look like it was the same ship that had razed New York, but it was of a similar make and model.

Tyra was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she had entered one of the ships? Jude did not know, but a voice called out that answered his question.

“Hello, Jude,” it said. Lightning arced across the sky, and thunder rang out. Rain began pouring down in sheets. “Surprised to see me?”

Jude could not tell where the sound was coming from, so he moved his head quickly from one side to the other. More members of the Free Council were coming up from the elevator, but all stopped just after stepping off, seeing the fear in their companion’s eyes.

The voice called out again. “Wondering where Tyra is, Jude? Don’t worry, I have her nice and safe. Just don’t do anything sudden, or you’ll find that you won’t have a lover much longer.”

Jude knew immediately who it was. He muttered under his breath. “Lukäski...”

He saw someone climb up to the top of the wasp-ship, kryons standing behind him. Tyra was bound up behind the man. It was indeed Lukäski.

“You’ve come an awful long way just to be stopped here, at the tower, now haven’t you Jude? It’s a shame that you have to die now. I really do feel badly for you, really, I do.”

Jude looked at him in disgust. After all that he had been through, from the ill-fated fox hunt to the flight to the tower, everything was in vain. Lukäski had beaten him to the tower.

“You probably thought that I had died, didn’t you Jude? I exploded back on that building, didn’t I? Hah! As foolish as the rest of your race..."

Now everyone was filled with disgust towards him, except of course his kryon army. Where the army had come from, they didn't know.

Jude decided to try to ask Lukäski about it, if nothing else to try and catch him off his guard. He and Uk'Yan could easily react fast enough to destroy Lukäski, and much of his kryon army.

"So Lukäski, I know that your army was destroyed by us a while ago. Where'd you manage to dig up more kryons to fight on your side? Been mindwashing stupid savages throughout the cities, have you?"

Lukäski shook his head. He made "tsk" noises, and shook his finger at him, as if reprimanding a small child.

"No, fool!" he shouted. Everyone, including his own kryon warriors, jumped back, startled by his sudden exclamation. "I brought them back! They were dead, just as I was after you killed me on the building, and now they are back! Back from the abyss in which your soul shall be after this, our final meeting! I have mastered death! You, just as everyone else in this pathetic group of people, the 'Free Council', or whatever you fools called yourself, have no idea the power that I can raise! You cannot destroy me! No one can!"

Jude stared back at him. He laughed, and that laugh soon grew into a deep, rumbling sound. Lightning arced across the sky, and thunder shook the entire tower.

"No one could possibly stop you? What about your twin, Uk'Yan?"

Lukäski screamed. He made a quick signal, and a shot was fired. Tyra dropped to the ground, blood leaking from her back.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Chapter 62 - Window to the Past

They woke slowly the next day. No sunlight was entering the room, rather all light was streaming in from the ceiling. It remained constant throughout the night, evidence that it was not sunlight that was filling the chamber.

The people, as they awoke, wandered around the room, looking to see what all was in it. They could not find anything other than the plaque in the room, besides the metal tiles. And they were all bolted together, impossible to move or shift.

Jude read and reread the plaque, hoping to figure out what exactly it was that was hidden inside the tower. The plaque mentioned a gift, but the room was empty. What exactly was going on?

He decided to try a different approach. He lay down on the ground, closed his eyes, and focused his mind. He could feel the walls of the tower around him, and his mind groped around for something unusual, whether hidden in the walls, the floor, or the ceiling that was impossibly high above.

A strange signature was coming from behind one of the wall panels. Jude felt his way to it. It was a device that seemed to be activated by thought. Jude probed at it with his mind, and suddenly the room began to change.

Jude snapped out of his trance. The people had already ran against the walls, staring up at the ceiling in awe and wonder.

A hologram was projecting downwards. Floating in the center was a world, the same that Jude had seen on the map in the building when he had first seen the aurora-script. It was Earth.

It spun slowly around its axis. Cities were clearly visible on the surface, and the impact of humanity was evident across the face of the world. The hologram adjusted itself so everyone saw the same picture.

It was a city. There appeared to be a celebration taking place, when an explosion rocked the region. The hologram moved back out of the city.

Spaceships were gathering around the planet. They did not resemble the ships that Jude had seen in the children’s book, and so he was left to believe that they were kryon ships. They did not strike, but sat and watched, unwatched by Earth.

Earth, meanwhile, was at war. Planes razed city after city, and the people watched even New York razed by the humans.

The picture of the Earth was replaced by a picture of a man’s head. The man resembled Kysandra, although in all actuality, it was likely Kysandra who resembled the man. A name flashed underneath his head. “William O’Conner”.

He began to speak, his voice sounding like a masculine version of Kysandra’s.

“I come before the people of the world with the gravest of news. Aliens have attacked Earth. We are powerless to stop them, we simply do not have the means since we ensured world peace by disbanding the armies.” (This was clearly a lie, but had the year been the year this had been recorded, it would have been very believable). “We have no choice but to submit.”

The face faded away, and the ships descended upon Earth, which had reappeared. They stayed for a short time, then flew off. But some kryons remained. They built great towers, all resembling the one that the people now sat in. They rose from the rubble of many of the great cities of the world.

But nothing seemed to happen, and the kryons instead left in their ships, leaving the survivors in their wake. As true as it was that it was impossible to rescue all of the humans stranded, it seemed as though they were simply deserted.

The hologram faded. The people began talking quietly amongst themselves. They did not know what had just happened, but it did not seem to explain anything.

A great, low rumble began sounding from above. They looked up. Something was blocking the light.

It was a massive cylinder of steel. It lowered itself with a grinding noise, slowly reaching down to the floor. It touched it, and then a single section at the bottom shot up.

Inside was another hologram. This one resembled The Messenger. It spoke out to the people in the human tongue.

“Enter and elevate,” it said. It vanished from their sight. Tyra walked towards it, and put herself into it.

She heard a voice within her head. “Hold still,” it said.

The ground underneath her began rising, and then shot up with startling ferocity. So this was how they were to reach the top of the tower.

The people began entering the elevator, in groups of up to ten at a time, to reach the top, and to find out what was waiting for them there.

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Chapter 61 - The Tower

They looked down in awe. Although exhausted from the flight to the tower, they had finally reached their destination. It had not been a rumor, the tower was real, and there was an entrance to it.

Still, no one had the energy to move their legs to enter the tower. Night was falling, and they knew that they had to in order to survive the night, but they were still exhausted from the run.

Jude stood at the top of the hill. He called out to the people of the Free Council.

“We made it,” he said, in a calm voice that rang out throughout the rubble.

Cheers came from the crowd. And although no one had the energy to go down the hill to the bottom, they began running again. They ran down the hill, glee taking over their thoughts and feelings. They were here at last.

Kysandra was the first to reach the bottom, then Relik, and Jude. Uk’Yan brought up the rear, still tired from the sheer number of people who he had helped in the flight to the tower.

The doors were metal, just as the rest of the tower was. They had no handle, and the people did not know how to open them. Jude went and stood before the doors.

He spoke in the kryon tongue. “Open,” he said. The doors stayed where they were. There was no sign of a motion sensor, nor instructions written in any language of how to enter.

Tyra spoke. “Open,” she said, this time in the human tongue. That had no effect either.

Despair swept through the group. Yes, they had reached the tower, but now they were locked outside, with no hope of entering it. How were they supposed to bypass the doors and enter the tower?

Krynn, who was still remarkably energetic after the run, volunteered to run around the tower in search of another pair of doors. He left, and arrived again in twenty minutes or so.

“There are no other entrances,” he said, his face dropping in sadness. “We must figure out how to open these doors.

Uk’Yan walked towards the doors. He placed his hand on them, and closed his eyes. He entered into a trance-like state. Jude knew that he was trying to identify how to open them by using his mind.

He walked back over to Jude. “Jude,” he said, “Place your hand on the crease between the doors. Speak ‘open’ in the human tongue, as I speak ‘open’ in the kryon tongue. The simultaneous actions should open the doors.”

They both walked to the doors, placing their hands on the crease. They spoke, and a loud click sounded throughout the still air.

They back up. The doors were opening slowly, and an unimaginable light poured in from the tower. In just a minute, there was a passageway large enough for the group to enter the tower from.

Jude was the first to enter, followed by Uk’Yan, and then by the rest of the Free Council. They stepped slowly into the tower.

The inside was one enormous room, reaching up beyond where the eyes could see. Light streamed in from the top. The walls were made of plates of metal, erratically bolted together, forming a strange collection of shapes on the walls. The building appeared to have been made in haste, however it rose perfectly straight into the sky.

On the far corner was a plaque. Jude, Uk’Yan, and Tyra went over to examine it. It was written in aurora-script, in the kryon tongue. Jude read it out in the human tongue.

“To the humans who shall find this place: may the gift inside save your race. The dead shall walk.”

They returned to the rest of the Free Council with the news. No one knew what else to do, so Uk’Yan and Jude walked back to the doors, which were still open.

Wind was beginning to blow through the doors, and it was beginning to rain slightly. Uk’Yan and Jude walked to opposite sides, and spoke “close” in the two languages. The doors closed as slowly as they had opened.

They were now inside of the tower. Nothing appeared to be happening, and so the Council spread out across the metal floor to sleep.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chapter 60 - Flight

Morning had come. Storm clouds were gathered over head, just as they had been in Jude’s dream. He jolted, then moved his hand up to rub his face. Light was streaming down upon the Free Council through the one hole remaining the clouds. Even the area above the tower was concealed by darkness.

Tyra, too, was waking up. She looked at him, her face an expression of concern.
“Jude,” she said, “I had the strangest dream. You and I were in a glass field, and were visited by Survivor, Lukäski, and The Messenger. I - ”

Jude put his finger up to her lips. “I had the same dream,” he said. “It was no dream, but the subconscious bond between ourselves and those three. The time has come Tyra, the storm shall soon break. And when it does, chaos will try to overtake us.”

Kysandra was awake, and was listening to their conversation. She crawled over to where the two of them were talking.

“This is very bad news indeed. Lukäski must be on our tail. We must reach the tower before the storm breaks – literally. The darkness and chaos of the storm would be the end of the Free Council.”

Jude, Tyra, and Kysandra went around, waking the people up one by one. They stirred slowly, but when Jude went to the center of the area and called a meeting, they all forgot their weariness and joined around him.

“This is the gravest of news that I can present to you. An ill omen has befallen us. The storm that gathers above us is ready to unleash chaos upon this land. Lukäski is hot on our tails. We must make for the tower.

“It appears that the storm will break at some time during the night, leaving us today to travel to the tower. Everyone must run. The distance is too great to walk it in a day. If you cannot keep up, keep running. Your very lives may depend upon it.

“That said, Uk’yan and myself will gladly help any that are in need.” (He and Uk’Yan had spoken briefly about this manner just after Jude woke him up.) “The road is dangerous, and we must be swift, but we can do it. The fate of the Free Council depends upon it. We leave in fifteen minutes, no less. Eat lightly, and pack up your things.”

He lowered his hand, signifying the end of the meeting. People stirred about, gathering their things. Many broke open a can of food, and split among up to six or seven people. In fifteen minutes, they were gathered around Jude.

“My people, may we reach the tower together.” They began running.

They started slowly, so that they would not grow tired by the end. Most of the people were in good physical condition, due to the hardships faced by the people who lived after the invasion, but a run of this distance was still a long distance.

They had not been running for half an hour when the first person began to show signs of weakness. Jude slowed down to catch up with Uk’Yan.

“Are you able to support him, or shall I?” he asked, wondering about how to help the man.

“I can bear the burden fine, Jude,” replied Uk’Yan. “We must keep moving.”

Uk’Yan slowed down so that he was at an even pace with the man. He focused his mind, keeping with his running, and slowly split the burden between the man and himself. The man was back up to the average running speed in no time.

In the next few hours, others began deteriorating. Jude and Uk’Yan were nearly exhausted from their efforts to keep the group moving, but they carried on. Every step was a burden, every step could be their last, if they slowed.

The tower loomed closer and closer. It was just as Jude had envisioned. A massive metal cylinder rose into the air, three hyperbolic supports reaching down from the middle section to the ground. A top room was clearly visible at the top of the tower, high in the clouds.

The run continued. They did not stop, for if they did, they would not be able to start again. Slowly, Jude and Uk’Yan became the most troubled people, for they bore the burden of many.

Night was beginning to fall, and still the Free Council ran. No one had fallen yet, but many were on the verge of collapse.

Jude called out in a pained, exhausted voice. “We are nearly there!” Indeed he was right, as the tower was nearly beside them.

They began to run uphill, as the land turned. They ran for at least fifteen minutes up, their legs slowly turning to useless pieces of muscle and bone. They crested the hill.

Below them was the tower. A set of double doors sat at the base, waiting for someone to enter. They had reached it at last.

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Chapter 59 - Clouds of Night

His body hung motionless in the void. Colors swirled around him, and voices sounded. Jude was in another dream, but this one felt more realistic than the other ones he had had, and this one was clearly going to be the most important one yet.

The colors parted and the mist dissipated. It was nighttime. Stars were shining overhead, and the aurora raged, spreading its beauty across the glass fields. The moon was high in the sky. Jude stood next to Tyra in a wasteland.

Clouds began growing from the horizon, moving in a circle centered upon the moon. The voice of Survivor rang out.

“My children, the test is coming. Inside the tower you shall learn many things, but you shall be tested. Your willpower will be pushed to its limits. And the dead shall walk.”

His body suddenly grew out from the glass around the lovers. He placed one hand on Jude’s shoulder, and one on Tyra’s. His face was emotionless, and his body seemed only like an animated corpse.

“Lukäski will strike. Clouds will gather and storms will break. The danger is only just beginning, Jude. Tyra, you shall be tested as well. Saving your friends is one thing, but sacrificing yourself to do it is completely another. May humanity smile upon you both.”

He vanished. He did not so much fade or sink as morph. His face changed into one full of emotion, with red hair and shining silver eyes. He grew abnormally tall for a man, and looked down on Jude. It was Lukäski.

“The time of reckoning has come, Jude. We shall soon see who is the more powerful one. It will be me who triumphs, Jude.

“Humans are stupid and kryons reckless. Neither deserves to have control of either world. Through diplomacy and force, I shall conquer this world. We shall rebuild the great fleets of humanity and fly to the kryon world. You cannot stop me, I am invincible.

“I have learned the secrets of life over death. My body cannot be destroyed, nor can my power. I have no weaknesses, Jude. Your time has come.”

His body began changing. He shrunk down to normal human size, and his red hair changed black, long, and ragged. He looked Tyra in the eye.

Tyra recognized him immediately. “It is The Messenger, Jude,” she said, not moving her eyes off of him.

He nodded to her, but then turned his attention to Jude. He looked him head to toe, and then began to speak. His baritone voice surprised Jude, and the authority within it was unearthly.

“We are well met, twin. I am The Messenger of the kryons, as you are of the humans. You are not a Messenger truly, at least not yet. You must learn more about the worlds and about the history of the races.

“But you must also free the human race from the bondage of Earth. The world is burned, and will likely not return for a millennium. Someday it may be colonized again, raised back to its former glory. But until then you must rescue what humans you can.

“Beware of Lukäski, Jude. If anyone shall be your undoing, it is he. And do not think too heavily on him until the time is right. Until we meet again, Jude, farewell.”

The body of The Messenger melted into glass and flowed along the ground until it vanished. The mist began swirling again, and colors began to surround Jude and Tyra.

They embraced and kissed. They were near to the tower. Soon, they would unlock the mysteries of their world, and free humanity. They would meet their brethren, the kryons, someday.

Jude looked to the sky. The clouds had advanced upon the moon. They now circled it in a thick blanket, and the moon was almost obscured by them. The aurora had stopped.

A storm was gathering.

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Chapter 58 - Jubilation

They walked further during the next few days. Some were beginning to grow weary, but they excitement of the importance of the tower drove them onwards. The land here was torn up worse than usual, and few buildings still stood. Rubble lined the streets that waited forlornly for the humans to return.

The weather was beginning to get cold and raw, and the people scavenged the rubble for warm coats, hats, or anything else they could find to keep themselves warm. None had any clothing of that sort, for it would be far too difficult to carry. Many had not even looked for clothes since the liberation from the Order of Vengeance.

Jude and Uk’Yan were coming to know each other better, and Uk’Yan was learning the human tongue at a surprising rate. Jude estimated that he would be able to talk to everyone else in only a month or so.

Tyra and Jude were rarely seen separate, and while Jude was trying to teach Uk’Yan the human tongue, Tyra was trying to learn the kryon tongue. She was not doing as well at it as Uk’Yan was at his language, but she still could read small portions of the Kryonomicon and carry on basic conversations with Uk’Yan.

Together, the three of them, along with Krynn, Relik, and Kysandra, discussed the matter of Lukäski and his band of kryons. They wondered how he managed to raise up a group that quickly of kryons to join him.

It also appeared that they were being followed. Lukäski had not been seen since the incident at the weapons company, but his signs were everywhere. And the personal message to Jude on the rock was seen as the clinching proof that he was coming.

They also discussed the matter of the four words, “ukl mort tÿr undâr” and what they could mean. Uk’Yan seemed convinced that it was an omen of things to come, though how it could be such a thing he did not know. Perhaps Lukäski had planted the message in Jude’s brain when they had their first confrontation.

But what could the message mean? Kysandra was being needlessly pessimistic about it, believing that Lukäski would somehow bring back the dead to fight against them. This was clearly impossible though, as death was irreversible. Uk’Yan’s interpretation was that the dead were the spirits of the dead, and the walking referred to was simply that they would have their vengeance upon O’Conner.

Of course, O’Conner was dead, and therefore they were lead to believe that under Uk’Yan’s interpretation, something would come back to harm Kysandra. But precisely what this could be was not known.

In the past day, someone had claimed that they, too, saw the tower. They walked further, people wanting to see it. And then they crested a hill, and suddenly the people cried out in joy. There it was, clearly lying at the horizon. It was only a small metallic cylinder rising above the horizon, but it stood high above the rubble that surrounded it. They were going to make it to the tower, and unlock the secrets that were within.

The person who had seen it before cried out, “There it is! The tower lies within our grasp!” The people cheered as they crested the hill and saw it.

They began dancing, and sang impromptu songs about humanity. Some got down and prayed to whatever powers that be lie above. People wept and people laughed, and the group had a happy demeanor for the first time since the motel was destroyed and their friends burned.

Jude, hating to spoil the celebration, raised a hand and called out, “We must keep traveling! We must reach the tower before Lukäski does!” He, Tyra, and Uk’Yan began walking away from the crowd towards the tower. The celebration did not cease, but rather it simply followed Jude down the hill.

A ruined city waited below them. The skyscrapers had long crumbled and the buildings lay dead, but it was a city indeed. The tower grew slowly closer, and they continued their journey.

Night fell, and the people had no choice but to stop and find shelter. No buildings lay standing, and they could not simply find a building to sleep in. They made makeshift huts of rubble and entered them to sleep.

Jude found himself lying outside, staring at the aurora and the stars. He wondered from which star the kryons came. Tyra lay beside him.

“Tyra,” he said, turning his face to his lover. “What do you think is in the tower?”
Tyra shook her head. “I don’t know, I know only that the answers are there. Just as the Kryonomicon illuminated many things that were darkened, so the tower will make it clear.

“But I also believe that in the tower is hope. We will be able to rebuild this world, and bring a new day to our children. May you sleep tight, Jude.”

She turned over and fell asleep. Jude shifted closer to her, and wrapped his arms around her, and fell asleep.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Chapter 57 - Tracks

Jude took the rock in his hands. The words were clearly carved into it. What did they mean? And why had Jude said them first before they began appearing.

Angry at the world he was born into and cursing the men that had cursed him, Jude threw the rock into the bushes. He fell asleep soon, the aurora spinning above him peacefully, doing little to calm his angry disposition.

Morning came swiftly. The Free Council got up, and Jude kissed Tyra, and then said, “I will be back shortly.” He walked over to where Uk’Yan was.

He addressed him in the kryon tongue, as Uk’Yan had not yet learned the language of humans. “Tell me, does the phrase ‘Ukl mort tÿr undâr’ mean anything to you?”

Uk’Yan stared deep into Jude’s eyes, as if trying to see the mind operating within the skull. “Yes, it does. It is a burial saying of kryons and half-breeds, and is ingrained in the minds of those who speak the kryon tongue.

“It means ‘the dead shall walk’, but I believe that you likely already knew that. Most believe it simply to be a peaceful message saying that there is a better world waiting after death, however there is power behind the words.

“The power is drawn from the same source of your power. And while I doubt it foretells anything, it could be a foretelling of bad omens to come.”

Jude nodded and thanked him, and walked away.

The Free Council set out only a little bit later. The day was cold, and the people walked close together to try and spread body heat. They were not watching where they were going, but Jude made sure that they were still headed towards the tower.

A hole seemed to reach up from the ground at him, and he fell flat on his face in front of the group. He stood back up and rubbed his head. He looked back down at the hole that had brought him down.

It was not a normal hole, nor one caused by burrowing animals, but a footprint. It was humanoid, but larger than the average human. Jude asked Uk’Yan to measure his foot compared to the footprint.

They were nearly identical, but they were still different. Beside the footprint were other tracks, looking like they were made by tentacles rather than feet. Everyone knew what they were.

They were kryon tracks. Jude and Uk’Yan almost immediately knew who it was who had created these tracks. Lukäski was nearby, and somehow, he had rallied another group to his cause. They would have to find him and kill him.

The Free Council wanted to be done with Lukäski once and for all, so Ralyn spoke for all of them when he told Jude, “Just follow them! We will kill him when we find him.”

They followed the tracks for about an hour, until Jude looked down at the ground. There was a rock there, with writing on it. Four words were written on the rock.

“Ukl mort tÿr undâr.” It was the same rock as before.

Jude looked at it strangely. “We have gone in circles,” he said, his voice filling with frustration. “These are false tracks! Lukäski is trying to lead us on!”

He took his gun and called out to the people, “We must make haste to the tower! We must beat Lukäski at his own game!”

They took their guns and began to follow him. Out of anger, he was walking at a breakneck pace through the ruined streets of the dead cities, but they were making ground quickly. The tower was nearly into plain sight, and they knew that their journey was almost complete.

They stopped for the night as usual on the road, so that they could make an easy shelter. Jude was helping to clear some rubble, when he noticed that one of the pieces had a message on it, written in aurora-script, though it was not the one that was plaguing him.

It read: “Jude, we can see you.”

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Chapter 56 - Twins

Jude stopped in his tracks. He stared at Uk’Yan. This could not possibly be true. The brother of Lukäski? Surely not!

“Surely you can’t be serious!” he said. “You cannot possibly be the brother of Lukäski!”

Uk’Yan looked back at him. “Why do you say that? Have you met my brother before?”

Jude’s face turned sad. “Yes, I have met him. We have a personal vendetta against each other. I have nearly killed him twice, and he has escaped both times. I am sure he will come to foil our plans again, and soon, too.”

The two stared at each other. Uk’Yan was filled with worry. “We must be on our guard. Lukäski is crafty, and he will stop at nothing to destroy you, Jude.”

Jude nodded in agreement. They began to walk, and five or so minutes later, Jude stopped.

“Uk’Yan, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course, Jude.”

“How do you know that Lukäski is your brother?”

Uk’Yan stopped and thought for a minute, then began walking again. He took a deep breath and began his speech.

“When the kryons came, not all had the noble objective that they did. They did not come as heroes and saviors to humanity, but as pillagers. They wanted money, power, and sex.

“My mother was a human raped by a kryon warrior. She conceived and gave birth to twins, Lukäski and I. He was born first, and thus received the inheritance, as human custom dictated.

“She survived the invasion, but later died of a sickness. Lukäski and I had to fend for ourselves when we were young. He began to believe in the superiority of the half-breeds, but I did not think so. I believed that we were simply a part of the circle of life throughout the universe, as humans and kryons are. We are just another part of the whole.

“We separated. I did not know where he went, but we met again some years later, and he had a band of kryon and human deserters with him. He said that he sought a book, called the Kryonomicon, which would spill the past of this dead planet to him. I told him that I did not know where it was.

“And then he asked me to join him. I refused, and he attacked me. He chained me and kept me as a prisoner. He tortured me, and I always cried out to my twin, but he never listened. He ignored me as a cat ignores a mouse’s plea for help.

“But I escaped. I lived on my own for a long time. I wished to be reunited with my brothers of all of the races, but such a thing is impossible on this world. And so I seek a journey to the planet of Kryon, so that I can meet my brothers at long last.”

Jude walked in silence next to him for a few moments. “Uk’Yan, I have the Kryonomicon. I found it. It may have the answers you seek.”

Uk’Yan stopped dead in his tracks. He looked at Jude in wonder and awe, and said, “I knew there was something about you. You may be the other Messenger.”

He got no verbal response from Jude, but the expression on Jude’s face spoke volumes.
“Everything comes in pairs, Jude, in twins. Lukäski and I are twins. You and Tyra are a pair, as are Relik and Kysandra. The ones I have heard of from the Free Council called Survivor and Pulse were a pair.

“You may be part of multiple pairs, Jude, as many people are. You may have been a pair with Leader, as a wielder of great mental might. And I believe that you and The Messenger are twins. He speaks for the world of the kryons, and you for the world of humans.”

Jude walked in silence next to Uk’Yan. This was something that he had never thought of. The concept that everything in the universe came in pairs was new to him, but it made sense. Good and evil, male and female, human and kryon – everything seemed to fit a twin system.

They spoke no more to each other during the day, Uk’Yan getting to meet new people and Jude thinking more about what was said. He told Tyra of this, to which she responded, “I have never thought of it that way, but yes, I suppose it may be true. We still have much to learn, Jude.”

Night had fallen, and the Free Council stopped for shelter yet again. Jude knew that the tower was growing closer, but it was still not visible over the horizon. He lay down on the ground to sleep, and saw four words carved into a rock beside him.

“Ukl mort tÿr undâr.”

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Chapter 55 - Uk'Yan

The half-breed stood there before Jude. It was not Leader or Lukäski, as the faces were different. A deep scar ran across the left side of his face. He stared at Jude directly, and spoke out in the kryon tongue.

“My name is Uk’Yan.” Jude immediately knew what Uk’Yan meant. The Scarred.

Jude spoke back to him in kryon. “Greetings Uk’Yan,” he said, reaching his hand out towards him. “My name is Jude.”

Uk’Yan reached behind him and pulled out a gun. Jude took a step back, ready to run. “No,” commanded Uk’Yan, as he kneeled down to the ground. He put the gun down. “I seek only for ones to travel with, to the ancestral homeland of the humans.”

Jude walked over towards him. “Then you have come to the right place, Uk’Yan.” He smiled politely at him. A half-breed should be a worthy ally, and should help them decipher the many mysteries of the world. “Come with me, I shall introduce you to the band, known as the Free Council.”

The two walked through the hallways. Jude called out, “Put down your weapons! This one is a friend. Meet in the main hall.”

The Free Council gathered in what they took to be the main hall, a room with tables gathered around a podium that sat at the head of the room. It was still in immaculate condition, the building had been lucky to survive the destruction of its city.

Jude and Uk’Yan walked up towards the podium. Some of the people gasped as they saw someone who was clearly a half-breed follow Jude up to the front.

“This is Uk’Yan,” said Jude, addressing the crowd. “His name, in the kryon tongue, means ‘the scarred’. He wishes companions as he seeks for a way to travel to the ancestral homeland of mankind, the planet of Kryon. He should prove to be a worthy ally.”

Uk’Yan got down in front of the podium. He put his gun on the ground and kneeled, in much the same way as he had to Jude. Jude suspected that this was a half-breed traditional way of pledging allegiance.

Uk’Yan began reciting a verse in the kryon tongue. Although he did not translate it, Jude knew instinctively what it meant.

“My brothers I beseech you / For the good of the union of human and kryon / I shall join in your journeys / Until death separates me from you / I shall be on your side”.

Jude began clapping alone, and soon the rest of the Free Council stood up. Although they did not know much of this man, he seemed kindly and willing to help them.

Tyra looked in wonder as Jude bent over to ask Uk’Yan a question. He asked it in the kryon tongue, and Uk’Yan responded in the same tongue. He appeared sorry as to his answer.

Jude faced the crowd again. “Unfortunately, Uk’Yan has never learned the human language. As I am the only one here who can speak the tongue of the kryons, I shall be his translator. I shall also teach him the tongue, so that we may communicate more effectively.”

He left the podium and joined the Free Council again. The people looked outside and saw that it was daytime again. They left the building to continue on their journey.

Uk’Yan approached Jude. He asked, “Where is it, exactly, that we are traveling?”

“We have received a message from one called The Messenger,” said Jude. “He appears to have been another half-breed, although a very mysterious one at that. We seek the capital of this former nation, for therein lie the answers to our questions.”

Uk’Yan looked at Jude straight in the eye. “We must be careful, however, as I have learned that my twin brother also roams these parts, and he is not kind to humans. His name is Lukäski.”

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Chapter 54 - Half-Breeds

They walked further towards the tower. It was still not visible on the horizon to those other than Jude, but they believed him, if nothing else for the way he carried himself. He acted authoritative and wise.

And although he had not told anyone besides Tyra, he was very glad that he had solved the cube. It seemed as if it was a good omen, and that the mysteries and enigmas of the world would soon unfurl before him.

Night came, and the people set up camp along the road. They sat by a very old building, looking like it had some historic importance before the world was burned. Of course, it didn’t matter now, as the world was a burnt out shell of its former self. A sign by the door read “Independence Mall”.

They entered the building. Years of termite damage had scarred the wooden interior, but for its overall age it was in remarkably good condition. They scattered to various rooms to sleep. Jude slept in the same room as Tyra, Relik, and Kysandra.

He took out the Kryonomicon to read more about the world. The book was fascinating, an encyclopedia that looked into the unseen past of Earth and Kryon. The words inside were clearly truth, as the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

On this particular night, Jude began reading a new chapter, entitled “Of the Half-Breeds”. He was interested to learn of this, having known two half-breeds, both of which greatly endangered the group: Leader and Lukäski.

“The half-breeds are the product of unions between kryons and humans. Although now biological separate races, the schism that separated the two races has made it such that a third race forms from these unions, the half-breeds.

“The half-breeds look much more like humans than kryons, although the only known half-breeds have human mothers. Perhaps half-breeds with kryon mothers would look more kryon in nature. This theory has yet to be tested.

“The half-breeds are much taller than the average person, with dazzling red hair and shining silver eyes. They speak like a god when they open their mouths. Most turn against both of the races that are responsible for their existence, although they need these same races to join their cause.

“However, the rare half-breed serves one or both of the races. These beings are incredible allies, willing to lay their lives on their line. Half-breeds are among the most indispensable soldiers that exist.”

Jude told Tyra what he had read. They thought about what it would be like to meet a half-breed who was not bent on the destruction of anybody, but on the preservation of humanity. They wished they could have an ally so good.

They fell asleep cuddling each other. The night was calm and peaceful, and the building kept the warmth in quite well. Some people stirred, but in general the place was as still as a pond in summer.

Time passed without Tyra or Jude aware of it. The moon moved across the sky, and the sun slowly rose.

Noise rang out throughout the halls. The shattering of glass filled the area, and cold air rushed in. The people got up and grabbed their weapons.

Jude took his gun into his hands, and ran around the building, shouting, “Gather your weapons and search! We have an intruder!”

The halls were filled with shouting and footsteps as people ran around, trying to find whoever – or whatever – had broken in.

Jude ran up to the second floor. He walked slowly towards an unopened wooden door.

Without warning, there was a blast, and the door splintered into a thousand tiny pieces. Jude covered his eyes, and when it was over, he opened them again. The dust settled.

Standing behind the dust was a man, taller than most, with fiery red hair and glowing silver eyes.

It was a half-breed.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Chapter 53 - Sight on the Horizon

They woke up in the early morning. Jude did not tell of his success to anyone but his friends, as it really was not an important accomplishment. However, they did not realize that it was a foretelling of things to come.

They walked for a few hours that day. The one who had been sick had gotten better, so they could walk at full pace. The people were beginning to get restless waiting to find the tower, so Jude focused his mind.

It flipped around several times, seemingly amplified by the increase in thought that solving the cube had done. He added increased power to his eyesight, and looked out over the horizon.

One thing stood out from the rubble. It was still very far off, but Jude could see a building rising off into the distance. Putting all of his effort into looking at the building, Jude saw that it was a metal cylinder, rising high into the sky. Three hyperbolic supports reached down from it to the ground. It was the tower, their destination that had so long vanished from them.

Jude cried out, “We are nearly there! The tower approaches! I give us two weeks to arrive at the tower!”

The people began cheering. They finally knew that they were not chasing after an impossible dream – the tower really did exist.

They slept early again that night, in celebration of the fact that they were so close to their goal. Jude was among the first to fall asleep.

Colors swirled around him, and Jude already knew what was happening. This was not a dream but a foretelling of things to come. Survivor walked out from the mist.

“Jude, my boy, you have done well. Indeed, the tower now rises up before you, but you are further than you think.”

“What do you mean, Survivor? What obstacles still lie in our path?”

“The past will come back to haunt you Jude. Lukäski is not alone, the destroyers of my own life may be the ones who are finally your undoing.

“And even if you reach the tower, there is still a long journey ahead. The tower is not the end but a milestone, an encouragement as you walk forward to save humanity – and yourselves.”

Jude looked into Survivor’s eyes. In them he saw a fire that he had never seen before, a fire that burned with resolution and hope, not with anger as so often fires burned with. This fire was for the hope of humanity.

“I see you have found the Kryonomicon, the book that for so long eluded me. Read it well, Jude, the answers lie in it. Ukl shïkal ukâj kif ukl Kryonomicon. Ukl mort tÿr undâr.”

Survivor vanished, leaving Jude to contemplate the meaning of the message.

Jude awoke in the early morning, long before anyone else, leaving him to think about his vision in the cold.

The tower was not the final destination, but a milestone, Survivor had said. What could lie beyond the tower, and what was actually in the tower? Only time – and exploration – could tell for certain.

One more thing stuck in Jude's mind. He had closed his speech with the same words that Jude had closed the funeral with. Ukl mort tÿr undâr. The dead shall walk. What was this supposed to mean?

He did not know, and he could only journey farther with the Council before discovering the meaning behind the words.

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Chapter 52 - Journey to the Capital

The Free Council left the burnt remains of their former home. They were now a group of nomads, having no choice but to wander towards the capital. They needed to find the tower, so that they could unlock the secrets that The Messenger had said were hidden within.

The days were growing cold again, and the people were happy as they realized that the weather got warmer as they went farther. They did not know what caused this phenomenon, but it was doing wonders for their morale.

They ate well, having caught a number of foxes and even a deer or two on the journey. In general, they were well nourished and healthy. No one had fallen behind because of exhaustion or a similar ailment.

Jude had taken to reading the Kryonomicon nightly, but nothing in it seemed vastly important. It spoke more of the schism between humanity and kryonity, and spoke a small amount on the psychic powers that the kryons had. First-generation half-breeds had the powers, but no one else.

However, a small group, of which Jude was a part, had been affected by kryon genes manifesting within them, not from a return of the kryons. This bit interested Jude, however the Kryonomicon did not touch on the subject often.

The Kryonomicon also spoke of the fall of a city known as Beijing. Jude did not know where the city was, but it spoke that O’Conner, in his gathering madness, had tried to eliminate cities entirely from the planet. He tested a new weapon, the positron bomb, on the city.

The book did not go into detail on the workings of the bomb, but it claimed that it annihilated all matter, leaving only charged vapor hanging in the air. People were vaporized, and most people never even knew of the destruction. The watching kryons, however, knew of the destruction.

Earlier in the day, one person had fallen ill from what seemed to only be a cold, so they stopped early for the night, in the light. Jude looked through the children’s book of starships more, reading the information on the wasp-ship more closely.

It was indeed described as the backbone of the human fleet, and the most powerful ship that humanity possessed. This frightened Jude, as he knew that it was the wasp-ships that fired upon New York City, and presumably other cities throughout.

He sat down next to Tyra. She climbed into his lap, and he removed the cube from his pack. Tyra looked at it questioningly, so Jude explained it to her.

“The cube was something I found shortly after arriving on the mainland. It was scrambled when I found it, and I have this feeling that it is a puzzle, where you are meant to turn the faces in order to arrange them in a colorful manner. I have yet to succeed on it.”

He let Tyra try it, however she made no more progress than he had on the first night. When she fell asleep, he tried it a bit more, and got it up to four faces complete. The last two were only off by one color on each.

They walked for several more days. There was no sign of Lukäski again, as he had probably fled because of the death of his squad. They had since passed between two central metropolises, into a new city. Ralyn, who had looked at the world map quite extensively, claimed that it had been called “Philadelphia” during humanity’s golden age.

They camped in the city for the night. Ralyn said that it was about halfway between New York and the capital city.

Tonight, Tyra sat next to Jude as he worked on the puzzle. He turned the faces, his mind exerting itself to solve its mysterious colors, and he had a revelation.

He turned it as fast as he could, his mind barely thinking about the next move before making it. And in just a few short minutes, the faces were complete.

He had solved the cube.

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Chapter 51 - The Return

The building was in ruins, and the people had barely escaped with their lives. People cried out, wounded from the brief fight with Lukäski’s band.

Jude walked towards the ruins, and called out for a circle to form around him. In just a few moments, another meeting was called.

“It is time that we returned to the motel,” he said, his voice filled with frustration of the escape of Lukäski. “We have much to tell those that remained, and I learned more last night that I have not told.

“I will not tell it now, we should return to safe territory first. The return to the motel is our primary objective.”

The people nodded silently, and not a word was spoken objecting what he said. They were curious as to what he had learned, but it could wait. They wanted beds to sleep in for the new night.

The Council gathered into a pack and began heading back in the direction towards the motel. They went up a hill, the same hill on which Jude had sniped Hylik, nearly killing Tyra in the process.

And when they reached the crest, they looked down at the motel. But it was not there.

A blast crater was there instead, still smoldering. Everyone ran down the hill towards it. Tyra, Krynn, Relik, and Jude were immediately reminded of the destruction of their village. The signs looked identical to those that were present when their village was destroyed.

Skeletons were clearly visible amidst the ash, the defenders of the motel who were left without enough to defend even themselves.

Jude walked towards the ash pile, and lay his head on the ground. He let his mind float through extradimensional space, and colors began swirling around his consciousness.

He saw the motel last night. It was peaceful, and the watch saw no activity going on. A single, soundless bolt of light struck the motel. Blue crackles of electricity wrapped around it, and flames shot up. The images ended.

Jude walked over to his friends, who he knew had seen the destruction of their village.

“Tell me, what exactly did it look like when it was destroyed? I need to know.”

Relik spoke up. “It was peaceful, and Krynn and I weren’t entirely certain that we weren’t just hearing noises in the night. But then, a single soundless bolt of light struck the village. Blue lightning flickered around, and flames shot up, destroying the village. Why do you ask?”

Jude looked at him unhappily. “Because that is the way that this place was destroyed. They may have been the same attackers."

The people walked around in the rubble, crying as they unearthed personal possessions, and the bones of their loved ones. The sadness was contagious.

Soon, everyone was weeping for the dead of the Free Council. They improvised a makeshift funeral for the ones lost, burying both a kryon gun and a human gun in the same hole, then burying it. Jude stood on top, raised a hand to the sky, and spoke an oath in the kryon tongue.

“Ukl mort tÿr undâr.” The dead shall walk.

When the funeral was over, Jude spoke to the crowd.

“If we stay here much longer, we are inviting an attack from whoever has committed this atrocity. I shall now tell you what I learned tonight.

“The city that we live in is indeed New York City, and thus, we must travel with the sun rising on our left side to reach the capital, where the tower is. We must carry out what The Messenger said to us. We will find it and bring glory back to humanity.”

Cheers rang out from the crowd. Kysandra joined Jude in the center, and spoke to the crowd.

“But we will not forget those that we have lost, from Pulse during our rebellion to even Hylik, the traitor. All shared our cause, at least for a time.”

They left the motel, and headed towards the capital, where the tower must be.

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Chapter 50 - Ambush

Screams rang out. Dust from the long-abandoned ceiling tiles fell on the people, and a cacophony of noise and confusion rang out among them. Jude called out for the people to get their weapons, but only a few people listened to him and did so.

Among those were Relik, Krynn, Tyra, and Kysandra, as was no surprise. Ralyn also readied his weapon to fight against whatever had caused the explosion.

It was obvious from the sound and feel of the explosion that it had occurred on the floor above them, so they ran to the nearest stairwell and traveled upwards. They slammed open the door to see what was going on.

A number of creatures stood there. There were both humans and kryons, brothers fighting side-by-side against the Free Council. And in the middle of the group stood one of the half-breeds, acting authoritative, his evil clearly showing throughout the room.

Jude recognized him immediately. It was Lukäski.

“Hold your fire!” called Lukäski to his men. They dropped their guns towards the floor, but were still clearly ready to open fire on command.

Jude looked him straight in the eye.

”Lukäski, it has been some time, hasn’t it? I thought I killed you back in that street!”

Lukäski broke out into a laugh.

“Jude, you are foolish, just like the rest of the members of your race. Except those that fight along side me, the humans from the dominant world of Kryon. I did not die, I used an old mind trick to make my escape.

“I have learned that you have gained some powers in those abilities, after the ghost of my former commander, another half-breed called Leader, came to me. He warned that you were much more dangerous than I had thought. Doesn’t seem quite right now, now does it?”

Jude looked at him, anger welling up within him. Tyra leaned over to whisper to Jude.

“Jude, who is this man? How do you know each other?”

“No time for me to tell you that Tyra. If we escape, I’ll tell you at a more convenient time.”

Lukäski laughed again.

“Ah, I see you have a girlfriend now, Jude. Perhaps I should kill her first?”

Kysandra stepped out in front of Tyra.

“You’ll have to kill me first, filth.”

“Ah, perhaps I was mistaken. I apologize. You don’t have a girlfriend, you have a harem!”

Kysandra screamed in rage.

“By no means are Jude and I on those terms! I am devoted to my lover and my lover alone!”

Lukäski flicked his tongue at her. It was the first time that any of them had seen it, and he looked strangely reptilian, with a forked, scaled tongue. He raised one of his hands into the air, and the kryon and human warriors raised their weapons.

“I am afraid it is time for you to die, Jude. You and your friends.”

The door behind them burst open. Standing behind it was a large group of people from the Free Council. Sylva stood at the front of the group, wielding a large human rifle.

“Get to the side!” she yelled. The people who had been talking to Lukäski jumped to the side, and not a moment too soon. The Council opened fire.

Heat and light rang out, sowing confusion through the room. Kryons and men fell to the ground, dead. Lukäski stared at Jude.

“You won’t get away this!” he yelled. There was a blinding flash, and he was gone. The rest of the group was still there.

The shots continued for only a few more seconds. The group was not nearly strong enough to take on the entire council. Their bodies were clearly lying on the ground, but Lukäski’s was not. He had likely escaped once again.

The room was catching fire. It was on the fifth floor, and Kysandra called out to the Council.

“Run! We must leave this place!” Her voice was as cautionary as it as frantic. They took off in a mad dash for the ground below.

The building was beginning to collapse from the sheer size of the fire, and just as the last person cleared the doors, it crumbled into ash.

The Council stood outside the ruins of the Smith Weapon Corporation. What was once the headquarters for the manufacturer of the weapons that they wielded was now ash like the rest of the city.

Jude took a few steps away from the Council, and cursed and kicked the dust. They may have survived, but Lukäski had gotten away.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Chapter 49 - Encyclopedia

They woke up at various times during the morning. Because they were not worried about getting back to the motel, they did not bother waking the others, and instead went to explore the building that they were in. Jude was among the first to wake.

He had slept next to Tyra for the night, and rolled over to give her a kiss.

“Whu....?” she moaned, her mind not coming to quite yet.

“Shh...” whispered Jude. “Go back to sleep.”

Tyra rolled back over and did so.

Jude got up to wander the abandoned halls of the building. He climbed up to the fifth floor, the topmost floor, to see what was up there.

He entered into a small office and looked at the bookshelves. Most of the shelves were devoted to books about weaponry, as this was the headquarters for a weapon-making company. However, one shelf was devoted to a number of similar-looking books, each labeled with letters, such as “M”, “N”, or “U-Z”.

Jude took off one of the books, labeled “A”, and opened it. It appeared to be full of information about Earth topics that began with the letter “A”. Jude realized that these books were a source of knowledge and information for whoever had formerly owned the office.

He decided to see whether or not the island city that he was from was indeed New York City as he had suspected. He took off the “N” book, and opened to “New York City”. It was indeed a real city.

The map of the city did look like Jude remembered it, however it had information about regions not just on the island, but surrounding regions. It appeared that the island part of the city was referred to as “Manhattan”, so he looked that up in the “M” book.

He read about the island that he was born on, for that was clearly where he had been. The river that he had crossed despite the pirate’s attempts to kill him was apparently called the Hudson River. But one place marked on the map proved its identity to Jude.

It was a place in Manhattan called “Time’s Square”, or as Jude had known it, the Square of Time. He looked it up in the “T” book, which of course described it before it was destroyed, but the description was the same.

Jude now knew approximately where they were in relation to the world. He made a mental note of where this room was, and headed to the room where the post map was. He looked for New York City again, and then traced down to the nearest starred city, the nearest capital. It was labeled as Washington D.C. on the map.

He went back to the room with the books in it (the books had apparently been called “encyclopedias”) to look up this city, and sure enough, it was the capital city of the country in which he lived.

The pictures of the city were of the city before it was destroyed, so no tower was visible. Jude could not prove to himself that it was where the tower would be, however it seemed unlikely that The Messenger would have said what he did unless it was the closest capital city.

Jude walked back to the main room in which the people were sleeping. Tyra had woken up, so they cuddled in the corner. Jude told her that he knew which direction they should go in, perpendicular to the directions in which the sun rises and sets, with the sun rising on the left side.

He did not know exactly how they would be able to find the city that they sought for, but sooner or later the tower would become clearer visible in the distance. Nor did he know what sort of troubles might befall them on the journey, but he certainly hoped that the land was less dangerous traveling away from New York than traveling towards it or in it.

Slowly the people awoke, and Jude knew that he had to tell them what he had learned so that they could return to the motel. So he called out to them to hold a meeting in the building.

They gathered around him, and suddenly an explosion sounded below them.

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Chapter 48 - Geography

Jude and Tyra woke in the morning, having gone to sleep making no further progress on the meaning of what was in the Kryonomicon. Jude called a meeting as the sun was rising. When the people had gathered, he called for a silence over them.

“Council, I beseech you, we have a quest that we must undertake. A great tower rises somewhere in the world, and in it lies the answer to our questions and the hope for a better life than this hellhole of a planet that we remain in.

“The Messenger told the people who went to investigate that it lay in a place known as the capital. I do not know where this is, and so we must search every home that still stands for a map of the world. We must find where we live, and where this capital lies. We must find the tower.”

The people stood in silence. They did not know exactly what to think about this decree. They did not know why they should find the tower, but the force by which Jude spoke swayed them. And there was something else about him, some sort of otherworldly power putting meaning behind his words. It may have been his mental powers, but perhaps it was not.

The Free Council gathered up guns and food, and they left, leaving only a few people behind to guard the motel against any sort of outside threat. They walked in the direction in which the sun sets, the direction that had been explored the least.

They walked through destroyed and deserted neighborhoods, searching every building that still stood for a map that would give them the information that they needed to find the capital, and further, the tower.

Night was coming, and still nothing had been seen. So they entered into a large building that had somehow survived the destruction of the planet.

The building looked like it had once been used for conducting business of some sort. A large sign on the wall read “Smith Weapon Corp.” Some of the people who had used their guns frequently recognized it as the manufacturer of a number of the human guns that they now held. However, this place was no factory, rather a place to conduct business from.

They wandered down a hallway, searching for a stairwell to which they could explore the building. They were hoping not only to find a map of the world but also a place in which they could stay.

They wandered up to the fourth floor of the building, which still stood as brightly as it would have during the glory days of humanity. They entered into the office, and there on the wall was a map.

The map’s text was written in the human tongue, and everyone knew that it must be that of the Earth. It was blue and green, just as they had known that their own world was. No other planet had been known by humanity that shared those characteristics.

They found a number of cities labeled with a circled star, and the map key referred to these as “capital cities”. However, the people did not know in which capital the tower would be, nor where they were in relation to these cities.

They stared at the map for some time. They knew that the great island-city was close to where they were, but there were a number of islands in the world. Many of them had cities, and none had cities labeled clearly as covering the entire island.

What’s more, Jude knew that the city was destroyed under O’Conner’s commnad. If this map had been made when O’Conner was in command, that city would likely not be mentioned. Kysandra looked at the map and pointer her finger at an island off the leftmost continent.

“I do believe that that is where we hail from, the new city of York,” she said. “I am not sure why that is what I believe, but it feels right.”

They looked closer at the map. The city, labeled as “New York City”, was relatively close to a starred city. No mention of a tower was there in the capital, however the map would likely not show that as the tower was built after the invasion.

Jude pointed again at that city. “Who here believes that this is our homecity?”

No one besides Kysandra raised their hands. He looked around at them, then spoke again.

“Then we must do more research. Surely there are books somewhere in here that could talk about the cities of the world, and about what they are like. We have to find these books and read them so that we can learn more about where we are and where we must go.”

The people agreed. So they spent the night in the building, looking for books that would speak of the world and its cities. They did not find any, and so they settled into their makeshift beds uncomfortably.

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Chapter 47 - Book of the Kryons

Tyra healed remarkably fast over the next few days. Then again, it was not surprising, considering the amount of psychic help that she received from Jude. In only four days, she was nearly up to perfect health, and thus, she and Jude moved into a room together.

Tyra had only just gotten out of the room in which she was healing, and she and Jude sat in the room. They talked for some time about what all had befallen each other since the destruction of the village.

Jude realized that he had not read the Kryonomicon for some time, and so he took the book out of his bag. Tyra looked over his shoulder, but she could not read the aurora-script as Jude could. So she asked him if he would read it to her, so that they could both read the book and try to find the answers to the enigmas that plagued them. Jude did so, and opened to the first page.

“This book is written for humanity from their brothers, the kryons. We are your brothers. Ten million years ago, the great race fought a war against themselves, spanning the galaxy. Most worlds were exterminated at the hands of the cruel regime that the rebels fought against.

“The war was won, but two groups of kryons emerged. One was ourselves, who remained on our ancestral homeland of Kryon. The other race became the humans, who now live on the planet Earth. Neither group knew of the existence of the other. Until now.”

Jude put the book down and looked Tyra.

“How could this be?” he asked. “Why would the kryons have destroyed us?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Keep reading, the author may descend further into these topics.”

Jude picked the book back up.

“We found Earth some two hundred years ago. Humanity’s technology was vastly inferior to our own, but we saw that the technological revolution was coming. So we sat back and waited. And about thirty years ago, the war began.

“Humanity turned upon itself, and nuclear war spread across the planet. A leader emerged, a man by the name of William O’Conner. He united the world and the civil war ended, though the damage had been done.”

Jude put the book back down. Tyra looked at him, her eyes questioning. Neither had ever heard of a world war before the invasion. It did not seem possible that humanity could have weakened itself so much.

“Humanity was in no state to sense corruption within its own government. O’Conner became a xenophobe, obsessed with destroying all those humans who were not worthy of the name of humanity. So he began his campaign of cleansing.

“He released the great wasp-ships of the Earth upon the ‘dirty’ cities, to eliminate those who were not ‘ideal human fodder’. We had to step in, and so we invaded.

“Lives were lost in our invasion, yes, but it was necessary. We rescued as many as we could and took them to our land of Kryon. But some were left behind.

“If you are reading this book, you are one of these people.”

Jude closed the book and dropped it on the ground. He walked over and embraced Tyra. Both began weeping for humanity’s folly. Although the book was the only place they had ever heard the story, they knew that what it spoke of was true.

Humanity had been foolish. They had turned on themselves in their greatest hour, and the destruction of Earth had been the result. The kryons were not the cause but the scapegoat.

Tyra turned to Jude.

“Jude, there is something you must know that I have known but did not tell you.”

“What is it, Tyra?”

“Kysandra mentioned once that her father had the surname of O’Conner, and she believed that he was once the ruler of the world. Can we still trust her?”

“Yes, we can trust her, Tyra. Kysandra’s blood may be weak, but she does not know her heritage, and hopefully it will remain that way.”

They talked for several more hours, late into the night, trying to unravel the meaning of what they had read in the Kryonomicon, the Book of the Kryons.

Late in the night, Jude asked Tyra another question.

“What did The Messenger say about the tower?”

“Only that it lies in the capital. He did not state where the capital is, nor how we can reach it. We will require more thought before we can figure this puzzle out. The past still lies hidden from us, Jude.”

“Indeed it does. We will have to travel in search of information about the world as it was when O’Conner turned upon his own family, humanity.”

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Chapter 46 - The Council Meets

Tyra awoke early in the morning. She and Jude talked casually, much as they might have done at the village before it was destroyed, before the fateful day that destroyed their lives. They spoke of their love for each other and of their friends, just as they did in old times.

Tyra’s burns had healed remarkably. Even more surprising, the wounds left no scars behind. She tried walking shortly after the sun rose, and could do it, however she was not fit to travel further than the confines of the parking lot.

So they went out into the motel. Jude found Kysandra and asked her to call a meeting. Kysandra knew that the people would want a vote as to whether or not Jude would be their new leader, or whether Kysandra would be remaining.

When the people had assembled, Kysandra called out to them.

“Free Council, lend me your ears! Today we must run a vote. Jude, Tyra’s boyfriend, the one spoken of in her visions, has come at last. Krynn, Relik, and Tyra all trust him with their lives, and would lay down their own lives to fulfill a plan run by him.

“We promised that when he came, we would have a vote for who believed that Jude should be leader and who thought that I should be leader. Please raise your hands if you believe that Jude should be leader.”

One hand shot immediately into the air. Following the arm down, it was obviously that of Krynn’s.

Another hand slowly came up. It was Ralyn’s. He and Jude had been coming to know each other in the past few days, and had been getting along quite well.

Slowly, more hands were raised, including Tyra’s, though the act was difficult for her, due to the tightness of her new flesh.

In the end, all but two hands were raised. The two were understandable. They were Kysandra’s own arm and Relik’s. (“No offense, but I had to pick Kysandra,” said Relik later).

Jude stepped into the center of the circle.

“We must discuss grave matters regarding the kryons and the current state of our home planet.

“The kryons are returning, if I am not mistaken.”

Fear swept through the crowd. Kysandra raised her hands for silence for Jude.

“Do not fear. Bands of kryons now roam our world, but I do not believe that they are here to conquer it once and for all. However, this has had some side effects on what has happened.

“Hunts should now be lead by multiple people. It is just stupid to have people travel on their own into the distance when bands of kryons likely roam the destroyed streets. It would pure suicide, and nothing less.

“There is another, more subtle effect. It is the effect of psychic powers brewing within perfectly normal humans. I have developed these powers. When I met your former oppressor, the half-breed known as Leader, he told me that I must have kryon blood because of my abilities.

“This is not true. Rather, the return of the kryons has stirred the souls of some of us to produce these effects. Another was your former comrade Hylik. He controlled you as a result of his abilities.

“These powers are dangerous, yes, but they can have dramatic effects. I will disclose to you that had it not been for my own powers, Tyra would not be standing by my side now.

“Also, the powers have granted me the ability to read the kryon tongue. I have not read much of a book that I found, entitled the Kryonomicon, however I plan to in the coming days, after Tyra heals. We must seek out a building constructed by the kryons, known as the tower.”

People talked quietly, but no one called out to the center of the circle. Until Sylva, that is.

“When we were in the square, The Messenger mentioned a tower. He said it lies in the capital.”

Jude did not know what this meant, and sighed. The last thing he needed now was another puzzle to unravel.

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Chapter 45 - Lovers

Jude knelt down beside Tyra’s bed, so that he was face to face with her. She was looking better, not only in breathing and other vital signs, but also her skin seemed to be healing at a remarkable rate.

“Tyra,” he whispered, reaching a hand towards her face, which was remarkably unscathed. “Tyra, its me, Jude.”

Tyra turned her head slowly towards Jude. “Jude...” she whispered, her voice filled with pain.

“Tyra, I am here for you,” he said, his voice filled with compassion for his lover.

He leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. Although she was badly injured and very unattractive compared to her normal appearance, the touch of skin was very soothing to Jude, having not seen her since the destruction of the village.

He asked Kysandra and Sylva if they could have a moment alone. They obliged, and left the room.

Jude faced Tyra. “Tyra, I am sorry for what I have done to you.”

“What are you talking about?” moaned Tyra. “You are not responsible for that which has happened to me.”

“Yes, I am. I shot Hylik. It was my fault that I hit whatever explosive device that it was that he had on him, and my fault that you are now as burned as you are.”

“No, it’s not your fault, Jude. If it weren’t for you, I would be dead now, killed at the hands of the traitor.”

Jude thought about this for a moment. He did not know what Hylik’s intentions had been, although Tyra’s assumption did seem to be the most reasonable.

He turned back to Tyra with another matter.

“Tyra, how much do the people trust me?”

Tyra thought for a moment, and then responded by saying, “They trust both Kysandra and I, and we trust you. The same trust carries on to you, Jude.”

Jude took in her words. “Then I have something that I must tell them either tonight or tomorrow.”

“What is it, Jude? My heart wishes to know what is so important that you need to know if they trust you.”

“Something is happening, Tyra. The kryons are returning to Earth. It is the only logical explanation for what I have seen. In the past month I have seen more kryons than lived on the island, and now powers are manifesting themselves within people, Tyra. Powers that may change the world as we know it.”

“Of what are you speaking Jude? You speak in enigmas, my troubled mind can not find meaning in what you say.”

“What I mean to say is that people are developing psychic powers, Tyra. I developed them, and was nearly killed for it. Hylik, too, developed him, for I detected that it was through the use of his powers that he swayed the Council to turn on you four. Krynn would certainly have turned normally.”

“But then how do you know that this is a sign of kryons returning?”

“It is a kryon gift, Tyra. Leader, before he died, told me that only humans of kryon descent were able to manifest these abilities. Surely you do not mean to tell me that one of my parents was a kryon? I am certainly not a half-breed.”

“No Jude, you are not a half-breed. Nor am I in the mood to discuss such heavy matters with you. My body is burned and my mind is weary. Had it not been for you, I would not have made it through the night. Please stay with me tonight for comfort. I do not wish to have to have you enter my mind again.”

Jude sighed, and said, “I will do as you ask. However, if I see you turning in your sleep, I will enter your mind to help you combat the evils that are present. I will not lose you after what we have both been through. We are a team, a union, a pair, Tyra. That relationship cannot be severed by misfortune. It simply cannot.”

Jude stayed up during the night at Tyra’s bedside, though she did not toss or turn, so he did not enter her mind.

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Chapter 44 - Healing

Jude knew that Tyra was on the verge of death, and that the burns that she had sustained from the death of Hylik could easily end her life. In the time before the invasion, she would have been healed by now, but with the limited technology of the time, they had nothing they could do to save her besides hope.

But Jude realized that he had powers that most men did not. He knew that he had his powers of the mind, but he was worried as to what the others would think if they learned of them. So if he was going to try to heal Tyra, he would need to do it in such a way that no one would notice.

Also, he didn't know exactly how he would go about healing her. He had never actually tried manipulating flesh using his powers, and he had never had a serious burn before, so he did not know the anatomy of one of them.

He decided first to learn how bad the situation was. He left his room (which had been Hylik's) to check on Tyra. Kysandra and Sylva were sitting by her bedside.
"How is she?" he whispered.

Both were silent. His look of questioning was penetrating, however, and Kysandra responded.

"I don't think she'll last the night. But if she can survive tonight, I wouldn't worry about the rest."

Jude began crying. He knelt down beside his lover and wept for her. After about ten minutes of this, with Kysandra and Sylva trying in vain to comfort him, he returned to his room.

It was time to act, and it was time to act now. He had to save Tyra, and he thought that he knew how. He sat on his bed and focused his mind. Darkness engulfed him. Colors moved around him, and he was inside her mind.

"Who is there?" Jude heard. The voice was Tyra's, but did not seem to come from Tyra's conscious self. Jude called back into the mist.

"Tyra, it is I, Jude. I have come to help you get through the night."

"What is happening to me, Jude?" Her voice was that of honest wonder, she obviously did not know what had happened to her when she had been knocked unconcious.

"You were hit by an explosion, Tyra. You are burned and unconcious, and we are afraid that you will not last the night.

"You may not know this, but I have special powers of my mind. I've joined with you for the night, in the hopes that together we can get through this better than you can alone."

Jude, being in Tyra's mind, felt her pondering his statement. Her voice rang out again.

"Thank you Jude, you should be a help to me."

Mist swirled around him, and Tyra walked out from the mist. Her form was that which Jude remembered, from the village. She was not burned or scarred like Jude had seen her recently. They embraced and kissed each other.

That night was the most horrible thing that Jude had ever experienced. Voices from the past came back to haunt Tyra, from the other children making fun of her to Hylik's biting words. Images of pain and suffering, and even feelings came back from the mist. Jude, being one with her mind, felt everything occurring to him as well.

They comforted each other through the night, through the pain of what was happening.

Colors swirled again, and the most realistic image of anything that had happened to her came. Jude watched from Tyra's own eyes as Hylik led them out of the truck. He walked over to her, and spat in her face.

"You vermin, he's not coming back. It's about time you were made into the slave that you ought to be."

An explosion rocked the area without warning. Tyra sensed that it was Jude who had caused it. Both minds felt the pain of the explosion, and watched as they were blown backwards and descended into the mist.

Morning came, and Tyra had lasted the night. Jude left her to wake up, so that the other members of the Council would not know what had happened. He walked to her room and entered.

"How is she doing?" he asked.

Sylva's face was one of happiness and joy. She stared straight into Jude's eyes and asked him a question:

"I don't know, why don't you ask her?"

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