Ukl shïkal ûkaj kif ukl Kryonomicon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Chapter 2 - Unexpected Exodus

The night before, as Jude slept in the van with a fox in the trunk, Tyra was lying on her bed – a bench that somehow survived the bombing of the park. Looking at the stars, and at the aurora, she thought of Jude, and hoped that he was safe during his hunt. He always had been, but there was certainly nothing keeping him from dying on the hunt, as others had done before.

Watching the colors above her dance like Survivor said was done by people in the pretime, Tyra imagined what the world must have been like. The beauty of the green trees, the laughter of people you don’t know, food on your table, friends from a distant land, and peace. With these thoughts, Tyra drifted off to sleep.

She was roused at around midnight by her friends, Relik and Krynn. Krynn spoke softly to Tyra, saying, “Quietly, get up, take your blade, and follow us. Don’t question it.” They fled into the darkness.

Not knowing what to do, Tyra did as she was instructed. Reaching underneath the bench, Tyra took her weapon. She had found it some years ago when hunting (with, as it happened, Jude), after picking it off of the skeleton of a human soldier. It was a kryon plasma blade, well known for their vicious burning blade, as well as their slow usage of battery. However, this one had some flaws in it, and would malfunction without warning.

Tyra found Krynn and Relik with ease. Relik spoke this time.

“We heard noises in the night. They weren’t human or beast.”

Tyra couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Nonetheless, she did not respond and instead peered at the village, its central fire just embers in the night – a surprise, as there were eight or ten people charged with keeping the fire and keeping watch.

Without warning, a single, soundless bolt of light struck from the sky. Blue crackles of lightning circled around the camp. Flames shot up from the center of the camp, and within seconds, the camp was burning.

People woke up and started screaming. But they were unable to put out the flames, and burned, with Tyra, Relik, and Krynn watching from the distance. Only one man did not scream in agony as he burned. Survivor. Instead, he simply took a single, leather-bound package, threw it in the glass outside the circle of flame, and then fell to the ground as he died.

The three watchers were unable to scream, to speak, or to comprehend what had happened. Fearful of what – or who – had burned the camp, they fled, leaving the package behind.

When they were a safe distance from the camp, Tyra whispered, fear still quivering in her voice, “What was that? Wh-who could create such destruction?”

The others were equally terrified. “We don’t know. We don’t know.”

They had no choice but to flee into the night.

The next day, Jude found the crater that was the camp. His mouth opened in horror, and his soul screamed, but no voice escaped his lips. Dropping the fox from his shoulders, Jude ran towards the crater.

The first thing that struck him was the smell. The smell of flesh, burning flesh, of pain, of death. The smell of the fuel for the fire, the people he had known and loved.

Jude then had a horrible realization. What had happened to Tyra? He was unable to figure out exactly where she would have been. That is, until he found half of a bench – the bench he knew she slept on. Looking underneath the bench, he found no blade. It was likely incinerated in the heat. However, there were also no bones on the bench, unlike the other areas where charred skeletons remained.

Something else caught Jude’s eyes. Where Survivor slept was burned to a crisp. Survivor himself was obviously dead, his weapon still lying on the ground and his bones scattered about the area.

Jude could not stand it any longer. He dropped to the ground, and began to weep for his surrogate family. When he opened his eyes, he noticed a depression in the grass just five or ten feet from Survivor’s body.

Getting up to look at it, he found something he had never expected to. Lying in the grass was a leather-bound book. No text was written on the cover, and the writing inside was handwritten, all in the same writing. Jude was by no means a good reader, however he had been taught as a child by Survivor and the other villagers. He did not bother to read the text, he would have plenty of time to do that later.

Walking back to Survivor’s grave, he picked up the weapon lying forlornly for its master to pick it up again. Placing a single hand on the handle, and then slowly taking the twin barrels in his other, Jude picked up the gun. He had of course heard of the weapon, but had never actually held it before, or gotten to observe it.

It was in surprisingly good condition, considering the charring and burning around it. Looking at it, Jude identified it as a human weapon that would have been used during the invasion. It was a fairly large rifle, though it was obvious that Survivor had taken it and modified it, adding on the second barrel. A battery still was lying in the stock, and another lay on the ground by Survivor’s remains.

Placing the spare battery in his sack, and slinging the gun over his shoulder, thereby adding it to his collection, Jude looked back at his deceased village. Not knowing how else to mourn the loss of so many people, Jude dragged the fox into the center of the village. Turning down the energy level of his own gun to its lowest setting, Jude fired a single shot at the fox’s tail, igniting a miniature bonfire in the village.

The sun was already beginning to set – a surprise to Jude, as he had been at the village since midday. He had not grown hungry or weary. Staring at the aurora, Jude sat down and thought about his options.

Having not reached a conclusion by the time that the sun had set, Jude lay down and let night overtake him.


Post a Comment

<< Home