Disclaimer: This is a story of pure fiction. If you are not allowed to read this in whatever part of the world you are living, then try not to get caught, and legally you shouldn't be reading this. If you are not 18 or older then again, do not read. Lastly, this will contain gay sex between consenting people and if this offends you then click back and ask why you're on here in the first place. This story is property of myself, the author, and may not be copied or used on other sites without my express permission. All characters are fictional.
All comments to ME, greatly appreciated
Chapter Twenty Six
King Connor was pacing back and forth in front of his son. He stopped, looked at his son, and then continued pacing. "I want to know what's going on between you and your cousin Kiri," he said.
Sonny stuck his chin out mulishly. "What I do is my concern, father, not yours."
The King turned on his son, his finger pointed and his lips compressed, as he attempted to keep his temper in check. "Your behaviour is not acceptable." He lifted his hands in frustration and said, "Holding hands in public, in front of so many witnesses. What were you thinking? If you want to fuck, then do it in private."
A threatening rumble echoed out of Sonny's throat. "If you were not my father, I would have ripped your throat out for your impertinence. I love him, and I won't have you disrespecting him."
King Connor looked at Sonny, incredulous, and howled with dark laugher. "I see that the Avatar has your balls so tightly in his grasp that you've forgotten what it is to be a real man. Boys are for fucking, not for happily ever after. That is a woman's role, and last time I heard, you were going to be a father soon."
His father hit a chord within Sonny. It hurt. It hurt badly and Sonny retaliated. He gave a nasty smile as he replied, "And if I refuse to marry or even coax the child's spirit beast forth, then that's the end of the Royal family and your ill begotten seed."
His father slapped him with as much strength as he could. Sonny's head ricocheted back. Had he not had the Masculine flowing through his veins, his father might have snapped his neck from the power behind it. Sonny's eyes flashed dangerously. His hands shook in his attempt not to lash out. He could have dodged the slap, but he wanted his father to push them to the next step.
From deep inside him, Sonny felt his beast rising to the surface. His ire had awoken its feral nature. It roared its fury, and Sonny felt it fill his skin. With his rage riding him, his beast shoved power into his father, making the King stumble back. During the Predator trials in Trobal forest, this dominance display determined if you became an Alpha or a Beta Predator. Because Sonny's training had been disturbed, with him travelling to the underground facility, his beast had not gone through the test. Now, Sonny's beast wanted to display its dominance over his own father, the acknowledged Apex Alpha of the Predator Clans. Sonny felt a small surge of uncertainty. After all, this was his father; the man he had feared and respected growing up. It was hard to break old habits of obeisance to him. The beast rumbled inside his mind, brushing his fears aside. The beast felt it was time that Sonny took up the mantle of leader.
The King, for his part, could not ignore the challenge. He would teach this cub to respect him, one way or another. For the past few years, he had sensed Sonny's beast growing stronger and his own beast had snarled and rumbled inside him. Rationally, he knew that his son would take over from him, but his beast had been giving him warning signs that Sonny's beast was maturing and growing stronger before the King was ready to give up the mantle of Leader. The King couldn't help what he was feeling; it was part of his nature. Looking at his son before him, snarling a challenge, the King's beast glided behind his eyes and he returned that challenge with a snarl of its own.
The King roared and Sonny felt the power of his father's panther slap at his beast, trying to force the younger panther to bow to him. Sonny snarled, and his beast agreed. It grabbed hold of that power and pushed it back with a little more momentum. It hit the King, and Sonny felt a twinge of guilt as he watched his father's nose bleed under the pressure. However, his father wasn't done, not by a long shot. Grabbing hold of that returned power he added a little twist, and gave it an almighty heave towards Sonny.
The Predator Prince felt the power coming toward him as static energy along his skin. It hit with what felt like invisible claws shredding at him, trying to break his concentration and prevent him from returning the power accumulated. The Masculine embraced the pain, but Sonny didn't want that power to influence this fight. His beast agreed wholeheartedly, and absorbed the dominance power into itself before flinging it back with a twist of its own. Invisible claws and teeth came roaring at the King as Sonny's beast hurled its might behind it. Sonny felt his beast chasing after that ball of dominance power, and he followed along, riding high on the beast's rage. The ball hit the King and then Sonny's beast attacked. The King screamed just as Sonny's beast locked its jaws around the older beast's throat. Sonny rammed into his father, slamming him to the ground, his own arm pressing hard against his neck.
"Yield!" Sonny snarled.
The King and his beast shuddered under the pressure put on both their necks. Instead of acceding defeat, the King delved deeper into the core of the beast's rage. He surrounded himself with it, turning rage into rabid ferocity and ripping all control of the beast from his grasp. Lost within the core of his beast, the power and rage surrounded him and consumed him from the inside out.
Sonny felt his father's skin ripple and shift, as the beast filled up that space, tearing out of its human flesh. Thick tufts of black and silver fur trailed over skin that quickly faded under the barrage. Muscles shifted and his face elongated. It happened in only seconds until, beneath him, lay a 1400 pound cat.
It snarled and twisted trying to use its wickedly sharp claws to disembowel Sonny. The Prince jumped backwards, and the cat was quick to go on the offence. It rushed Sonny in hope it could surprise him while he was still reorienting, but the Prey Prince was much quicker than the cat expected. He leapt away from the lunging cat and, while still in the air, he shot an onslaught of wind chains.
The beast howled as it suddenly felt its body chained to the ground. It tried to get up, using its rage-fuelled strength to shatter the chains. Sonny's control and power were absolute. The Panther collapsed to the ground, howling and twisting. Sonny tightened the chains and walked around to the head of the cat. He stared down at eyes that were crazed with battle lust and hate. His heart twinged with guilt, and hurt. This was his own father and, seeing him consumed by the rage of the beast, it left a bad taste in his mouth. To know that he was the cause of this burned inside his chest.
He wrapped more chains around the cat's head to keep it firmly in place and tentatively placed his hands on its head. The Panther growled, its tail slashing back and forth at the touch. He delved into the beast's mind, searching for the spark of humanity that was his father. Everywhere he went he could only feel the rage of the beast. Calling to his father also evoked no response. He travelled further into the beast's core, shouting louder and louder as he sensed no response from his father. The beast shuddered in pain as Sonny began hunting through its mind with a little more haste than was comfortable. It fuelled the rage of his father's beast further and it tried to lash out.
Sonny gave a snarl of his own and attempted to trap the beast's mind. The beast roared and began struggling once more. Sonny was running out of time. Soon the beast would push and push until it fell into the abyss of madness, shredding its own mind in its haste to get away from Sonny's probing.
A door appeared a few metres in front of him. There was nothing supporting it, yet it stood firm. He began trotting towards it when he felt weight pulling at his feet, slowing him down. Looking down, he saw nothing that should impede him and turned to look behind. One hundred metres behind him was a black hole. It was pulling everything into its vortex; memories and emotional triggers that had made up part of the Kings personality. The abyss of madness had been created. Sonny had only minutes, if that, to get in and out, otherwise he was just as likely to fall into the abyss as everything else was.
He pushed toward the door, praying that a remnant of his father was behind it. The pull on his feet got stronger and heavier and the door seemed to warp the closer he got to it. He gritted his teeth and walked faster using one hand to reach out and touch the door handle. The wooden frame creaked as the vortex behind him got larger and its pull stronger. His hand just touched the door handle, when part of the frame ripped and went flying behind him. The door handle and most of the door followed after it, and Sonny had to do some fancy footwork to avoid it. One particularly large piece of the door came rushing towards his face. He closed his fist and punched as it came level with his body. The board split in two, bypassing him to drop into the vortex.
His face contorted as he stared at the spot where the door had been. Regardless of all the pain his father had put him through growing up, he still loved the man. He turned and stared at the swirling vortex. He couldn't allow this to happen. Straightening his shoulders, he ran towards the sucking void and dove into its centre. He was going to bring his father back, even if it meant collecting all the tiny parts of his personality and joining them together with his own hands. Even if it meant Sonny might never come back sane.
Falcon was waiting beside Kiri as the Avatar prepared himself for his return to the earth plane. Kiri had been within the abyss for three days in preparation for evacuation. With the help from the Ciaran, they had figured out how long the Malasii would take to arrive and, in a best-case scenario, they only had a few hours to move hundreds of thousands of people.
Kiri had come up with an elaborate spell that would help bring certain sections of the earth plane into the abyss dimension, and evacuate the people from there into the mounds. That way, each section being concentrated upon, could be evacuated efficiently and safely. It meant Terse, Sonny, Falcon, and Kiri would be needed to maintain the spell for the different areas that were going to be evacuated. Terse had the Ciaran compound; Sonny had the Predator clans; and Falcon had the Prey society. Kiri, in the meantime, would be concentrating on the fey civilians and acting as a focal point should any of the other three flounder in holding their part of the spell. It would be dangerous, arduous, and taxing on his power and skills, but Kiri considered it a necessary risk. As a Prince, he knew the people always came first. A message had been sent via mental projection to the lands far and wide, telling them of the danger coming from the skies and to be prepared for evacuation.
"Why have you been avoiding me?" Falcon asked.
Kiri looked up from his preparations, slightly distracted, as he mentally went over the materials needed for the spell. "I'm not avoiding you. If you haven't noticed, I've been a little busy lately."
"Yet you managed to spend time in Sonny's bed," Falcon said petulantly.
Kiri stopped what he was doing and gave a big sigh. He looked at Falcon's pouting and gritted his teeth. "Do we really need to have this conversation?"
Falcon folded his arms over his chest. "I think we do." He watched impatience flash across Kiri's face and continued determinedly. "I have not seen you in over five months, and the only times you come and talk to me are when you want an order followed through, or when I am around my men. Not once have you sought me out personally, and I want to know why?"
What could Kiri say to that? He had been avoiding Falcon. He had refused to delve too deeply into the reasons, and judging by the look on Falcon's face, maybe he should have. "Can we do this later?" he asked.
Falcon pushed his hands through his hair. "There is always a later with you Kiri. What is so hard about answering my question?"
"Because I don't have an answer, yet." Kiri said quietly. The silence that ensued was thick and heavy. Kiri grabbed his courage and looked up into Falcons face. There was misery and anguish on that face, and it made something lurch inside his chest to see it.
"That is an answer, all on its own," Falcon said in a rough voice. He turned and began walking away.
The Prey Prince stopped, his back still to Kiri, and said, "Don't worry. I'll be there for the spell."
Kiri jerked; stung that Falcon was treating him like this, but knowing he was justified. "That's not what I was going to say."
The Prey Prince closed his hands into fists at his side, his back rigid. "I don't want your pity, either." And with those words he left a speechless Kiri behind him.
Sonny felt the power of the vortex trying to shred his mind. It was as if he was being pulled in many directions all at once and, at the same time, as if tons of earth were being piled on top of him. His inner shields were holding up against the onslaught, but for how much longer he wasn't too certain. The vortex was void of colour, and Sonny wasn't sure if he was up or down. However, it wasn't the lack of light, colour, or vertigo that bothered him; it was the incessant deep droning sound. It grated on his ears and, to a certain extent his sanity. It was as if the sound was smashing into his inner shields and, like waves against a rock wall, eroding it one granule at a time. Not enough to make you scream, but enough to know it was there, niggling in the background.
A light flickered past him so fast he wasn't sure if he had seen it. He tried to scream out but the droning sound smothered his shouts. The pressure seemed to get heavier and he deduced that he must be going deeper into the vortex. From the droning came the sound of a man screaming; the two noises seemed to blend into each other. Sonny propelled himself toward the shouting. He still could not see where he was going but, as long as the screaming continued, he had a destination to go to.
The shrieking voice grew louder until it was the only thing Sonny could hear. It held the edge of dementia and yet, great pleasure. Sonny shuddered as the sound crawled over his body like the tiny tickling movement of insects. Although he wasn't in his physical body, he felt himself responding to that fear by going into battle mode. The Masculine filled him and he pushed against the flow of madness that surrounded him. From far above him, he felt his body strum. He raised his hands and felt in-cased in a bubble of calmness. The shouting stopped and, for the first time since diving into the vortex, he could breathe easier.
That flash of light appeared once more, and this time Sonny saw it shooting towards him from far above. The closer it came, the more centred he felt until he realised who was diving down towards him. His heart leapt into his throat with both gratitude and fear.
Red, gold, and yellow sparks of light swirled around Kiri as he dove towards Sonny. The vortex seemed to twist and bend around the Avatar, as if it feared and yet coveted the power he held. Sonny raised his hand up to him and felt more power flow into him as their hands joined. His bubble expanded to include Kiri.
"You must come back with me." Kiri said.
Sonny shook his head and looked down in the hope that he would find pieces of his father somewhere. He raised his head and looked at Kiri with loss and pain etched into his face. "I have to get my father. It's my fault he's down here."
Kiri hovered in front of Sonny and cupped his face. "You can't save your father. If you go deeper than you are right now, you will lose your sanity."
Sonny gripped onto Kiri's hands. "Then help me."
Kiri had seen the madness of the Predator King within his tapestry. There had been two paths this could take. This was a turning point within the Tapestry, and the choice he made here would determine the outcome of how his own destiny would end. All of this he could not tell Sonny. This was something he, as the Avatar, had to decide for himself. Looking at the pain on Sonny's face, Kiri made up his mind. He really had no choice; he would do anything for those he loved. "I can help pull your father out of the vortex, but he will never be the same. He has been down here too long, and some of the damage is irrevocable." Sonny nodded his head, and gripped Kiri's hands with gratitude. Kiri continued, "I will act as your anchor while you lower yourself further into the vortex. It is better that he sees your face instead of mine. You have a limited time to bring him back before I must pull you back as well." Sonny nodded his understanding.
Kiri closed his eyes and threw a thick shiny rope of red, gold, and white around Sonny. It formed a loop and secured itself firmly around his waist. Opening his eyes and looking down into Sonny's, Kiri nodded his head and created more rope to lower Sonny down further. The bubble of calm split off once more with one surrounding Sonny, as he disappeared from Kiri's sight, and the other swirling around the Avatar.
Now that there was a shield of calm, Sonny could concentrate and took note of his surroundings. It was still pitch black, but his shield emitted a blue glow that helped ease the dark. The vortex swirled around him like the inside of a tornado. Black currents spun with pieces of his father's personality rotating around the eye. He travelled further down until he could see the base.
Before his feet touched the ground, everything changed. Gone was the vortex; the air felt lighter and Sonny could finally see. There was grey fog that swirled as he walked forward. A light breeze blew, dispersing the mist. Sonny looked around him. Trees grew tall and strong with the sun dappling on the forest floor.
Sonny heard a panther's rumble behind and turned to see his father crouched on all fours. This was not the father he knew, but a man in his youth, no older than he was right now. His father stood up and stared at his son. The same gold eyes and dark hair stared back at Sonny.
"Father?" Sonny asked.
The King stared at him slightly puzzled before recognition set in. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"You do remember me, but how?"
King Connor looked around at his surroundings. A soft smile flickered over his face, one that Sonny had never seen except toward his mother. "Although the vortex rips off pieces of your personality," the King said, "it eventually falls to the bottom. I have been collecting parts as they fall from the places above us." He sat on the ground and looked up at Sonny. "Frankly, if I go through the vortex one more time, I will not only loose pieces of myself but, this time around, it could possibly shred my essence." Sonny rumbled a denial. The King looked at him with resignation. "I have discovered that the vortex rips away all those things that you burden yourself with as trappings, and leaves you with just your core self. Also, I am now part of the vortex. When I rise from here, I will bring the madness with me. It is permanent. You shouldn't have come after me. You've trapped yourself here."
Sonny walked towards his father. "We have the Avatar trying to calm the vortex as we speak. He is helping us escape."
King Connor looked grim before speaking. "I don't trust him. For the sin he has done against our clans he should be punished. But everyone is too afraid to raise the question."
Sonny gritted his teeth. It was his over-reaction to his father's hate against Kiri that had started this. He needed to find middle-ground. "I'm not sure I follow you." Trying to lighten the mood he continued, "Besides, if this is the pure essence of your potential, shouldn't you be more forgiving now?"
His father searched Sonny's face with the same gold eyes that the Prince possessed. "Your cousin killed his own father. Ask your mother, if you won't take my word for it. Kiri told her. In the eyes of the Predator clans, he is a Kin Slayer."
Sonny shook his head in denial. "Kiri is a Royal of the Predator clans; he would not kill his own father." In Predator society killing a royal was punishable by death; there were no exceptions. The Royal family had decreed that, after the drop in birth rates, every royal was considered an asset. Even Kiri had been considered thus, although reluctantly. The King looked at Sonny's expression, watching doubt and uncertainty cloud his face. "No," Sonny said, shaking his head. "I know Kiri. He would have told me, and I refuse to believe you."
The King nodded his head in understanding. "If he never told you about killing his father, what other things has he kept from you? That is why I don't trust him, son." The King watched the kernel of doubt build in his son's eyes. He felt relief flow through him. He only had his son's best interests and those of the clans in mind. As far as the King was concerned, Kiri was a detriment to the Predator nation. Predators should only mingle with Predators. The Prey nations were exactly that...prey.
Gripping his son's hands, the King searched his sons face. "I can't leave here, son. Once I do, I know I will become a mumbling idiot. It would destroy something inside me to finally become aware, and know that parts of the vortex overtake me and that I am no longer entirely me around your mother. It would also kill something inside me each day, seeing the pity on my people's...now your people's, faces, since you defeated me." Stepping back, he looked at Sonny. "Just know that, although I may have seemed hard on you, I did it to make you a better King than I could ever be." Releasing his grip he stepped back from Sonny. From one second to the next, King Connor turned into his black and silver furred Panther and ran into the woods.
Sonny morphed and chased after his father, screaming for him to come back. The trees closed in on him and hindered his way. Mist flowed across him, hiding his receding father and even the trees. He felt a tug around his waist and saw Kiri's rope attached there. For just a fleeting second he had the urge to cut the rope and let his cousin worry. He was angry at Kiri, and he wanted to hurt him some way. The childish thought passed, but it left a lingering bad taste in Sonny's mouth as he felt himself being pulled backwards. His cousin had lied to him, and broken one of the biggest laws the Predators had. What else was he lying about?
Falcon stormed into the area set out for the evacuation spell. He snorted as he took note that neither Kiri nor Sonny had arrived. The spell was set out on the plains within the abyss. Lightning was absent from the dark sky above and only floating balls of light gave any colour to their surroundings. Their working space was drawn as an equilateral triangle made of slabs of Lapis Lazuli, with Terse, Falcon, and Sonny on the three points and Kiri in the centre. Around the Triangle was a circle that was made of amber and around the circle was a square made of ruby. These sacred geometric shapes were inlaid into a marble base and were considered the Architects first symbols taught to mankind over sixty five thousand years ago.
Falcon stopped on the threshold and took a deep breath. He could feel the power that Kiri had put into every aspect of the design and knew that he had to be centred before he entered to sit at his designated position. He quickly took in Terse's meditative stance as she sat on her section of the triangle before closing his eyes to focus. Taking deep breaths, he imagined his emotional turmoil as a writhing mass of orange gas. Creating an imaginary hand, he gripped that ball of emotion and blew, dispersing it into the ether.
A large sigh escaped his lips as he felt his body relax and the tension ease out of him. His mind seemed tranquil and still, and, somewhere deep inside, the old Falcon shook his head in amazement. Opening his eyes, he looked at the ground and saw the power of Masculine and Feminine swirling against each other in every line of the sacred geometric shapes. The Powers danced and swayed, tempting Falcon to play along. It was hypnotic.
Closing his eyes he shook his head and then opened them. The power was still there, but he refused to look too closely at the way the two powers swayed and interlocked with each other. A chill of fear trickled down his spine before he straightened up and concentrated on regaining his tranquillity once more. This was indeed a powerful spell if it could pull him into its design. Raising his head, he saw the look of understanding on Terse's face. She nodded her acknowledgment before she, too, closed her eyes to concentrate.
Falcon walked around the square, which was the outer perimeter of the spell, and felt his power source push against the energy that was put into the design beneath him. The masculine hummed beneath his feet. The square represented the Masculine Source and the part it played in life. The square was symbolic of structure, order, and the vessel of flesh, might, and power. He continued past and walked around the circle. This time, his power responded by strumming in recognition. This was the circle of life. It represented new growth, creativity, and the vessel of fertility, nurture, and care.
He reached his position on the corner of the triangle and sat on the inside of it. The power from the triangle made his teeth ache, but he grimaced and embraced the uncomfortable sensation, mixing it into the tranquillity that he had created before walking onto the sacred geometric shapes. Kiri had warned all of them about the uncomfortable sensations, but he hadn't realized the extent of how much concentration it would take to maintain his equilibrium./P>
Now that he was sitting down, he could feel the clash and pull that the masculine and feminine created within the triangle. It was equal parts, conflicting with each other, and Falcon realised why Kiri had stressed the importance of learning how to work with both powers. If Sonny and he had not done the extra training and learned to tap into the kinetics that both Power Sources generated when clashing, they would not have been ready for this part of the spell. It seemed Kiri was always planning ahead.
Falcon felt the presences of both Kiri and Sonny appear to the far right, but kept his eyes closed as he maintained his serene state of mind. It was getting easier to concentrate as his body and mind adapted to the energy flow placed around him. His body hummed as he drew in the energy in the triangle and breathed it back out, connecting and becoming one with the spell. To his left, he felt Terse absorbing the energy and pushing it back into the triangle the same way he was. The potency of the both of them pushing power back into the triangle, sent barbs of energy rushing up his arms. She opened her eyes as if she could sense him, then smiled coyly and closed her eyes.
Kiri walked past him and sat down in the centre of the triangle. Falcon opened his eyes and looked coolly at Kiri and closed them once more as he saw the Avatar watching him. The evacuation was about to begin and he couldn't afford distractions. Distantly he heard Sonny sit down on his point, but it was the power that rushed through the Triangle that made Falcon aware that the Predator Prince had joined. With the three of them linked into the connection of the geometric shapes, their power was being tripled as it fed through the designs, generating more power with each circuit.
The Avatar called to everyone using mind speech. "Has everyone got their landmarks firmly pictured in their minds? Remember we must do this simultaneously." He looked around, watching the intent expressions upon his cousins' faces. Watching them, he began assessing each one as they prepared themselves for teleporting two thirds of the planet's landmasses into the abyss.
He memorized their faces, giving each a unique flavour in his mind to keep track of them as they worked on their parts of the spell. His glance went to Falcon first, seeing the brash exterior that hid a sharp mind and surprisingly fragile heart. Sonny was next, a beloved face with his stubborn determination and strong moral sense. And finally, Terse, the enigmatic but powerful daughter of the last Avatar. He linked minds with them, gently brushing against their visual landmarks to see how solid they had made them. They had poured over every map available and had even used full colour models that Kiri created to memorise every aspect of the places they were in charge of. Satisfied that each was ready, he began to prepare himself.
Closing his eyes he began to pull deeply from his two Power Sources. A bell tolled around them as Kiri dug deep into the reservoirs of the abyss and everything that was Masculine. His hair began to float around him as his power spiralled from the deep dark places in his mind and soul. His hair clumped together and began to change into its serpentine form, hissing in pleasure as they filled with power. Kiri pulled upon the feminine, drawing upon the earth plane's green life and all life known. He drew upon his love and caring for those he considered under his protection. His skin began to shine with an inner light; a white glow with swirls of blue and purple sliding across the surface.
More power filled him, and Kiri gritted his teeth, preventing the power from overflowing into the surroundings. It was almost like standing against the sea. With a visible effort he pushed it into the spell, focusing upon the Fey lands, and saw the others jerk as more power than they had ever felt rushed through them.
"Now!" Kiri said.
In a synchronized effort, they shoved power into their landmarks and felt the geometric shapes respond beneath their feet. The outer square shone blood red and began to rotate counter-clockwise. The Amber circle lit up and spun clockwise, while the lapis lazuli triangle remained planted on the spot with the four of them locked into place. The Triangle began to glow neon blue, so bright the light could be seen as a beacon within the abyss for hundreds of miles around.
Safe inside the palace Kiri had created within the abyss, the leaders of the different nations watched with awe. An air of disquiet ran though them when they discovered that the Predator King had lost his sanity and that Sonny was now the new Predator King. Speculation had run riot but, seeing the look upon Sonny's face, none had dared ask about the events that lead to King Connor's mental state.
Watching the power display of the Avatar and the other three, channelling into the spell, the leaders were given what Kiri called `face shields,' to protect their eyes from the glare that the Avatar had generated. All the people watching the display felt a shudder run up their spines. King Anson had seen a smaller display of power, when Kiri had retaliated at being shot at within the Prey Citadel. But this was on a much larger scale, and more impressive for the feat they were about to undertake.
More gasps ensued as a vast hazy outline appeared on the plains of the abyss. Then, suddenly, the plains for miles around were covered with buildings of all shapes and sizes, with very scared people milling about. King Anson jolted as he recognised his own castle. It towered into the sky. Even the coastal villages were there. The Fey Elders mumbled among themselves, amazed and fearful at the feat just performed. They saw their people milling around, tall trees, transplanted rivers, cliffs, and the deserts of the fire nations. On closer inspection, they noted that none of the trees were Oak heartwoods.
Even the Ciaran were stunned into silence. The gloom was too dark to see clearly, but the Spine of the World could be seen in the distance. It was the ridged mountain range that spanned the border between the Prey and Predator peoples. Beneath those mountains lay the entire populace of the Ciaran. There had been heated debate about the idea that teleporting the Ciaran into the abyss would destroy all their technology and maim the Ciaran race. This had been the trickiest part of the spell and Kiri and his three cousins had experimented and tested beforehand to ensure that the Ciaran technology would survive the transition.
A cold chill raced through the watching dignitaries as Kiri linked with all those scared minds and explained the situation in succinct tones, easing them at the same time. Once he had their attention, he broadcast the various leaders' minds to their people so that they could co-ordinate the evacuation more efficiently and with someone they could trust. Orders were given, and Kiri and his three cousins made sure to keep an eye out on their chosen sections as they hustled about. Within a matter of hours, people were trudging towards the doors of Kiri's Palace. From above, the Ciaran flew towards the Palace in spear shaped flying ships and the Ciaran general sighed with relief. Everything had gone according to plan.
There were looks of distrust and fear as people from the different races gathered around the front of Kiri's palace. The largest rumbles came from the Predator and Prey clans. The Fey gave off a chill that ensured that the rest of the other nations would give them a wide berth, while the Ciaran stood in their own section with weapons discretely placed around their bodies.
Kiri, Sonny, Falcon, and Terse were still linked mind to mind. They rose into the air and flew towards the large crowds that were gathering around the front of the palace. The air shimmered around them as they came closer to the milling people. Those who were still arriving with their belongings shuddered as the oppressing force of power pulled at them, watching the four cousins fly past.
The crowd around the Palace doors got noisier as the leaders walked out onto a balcony above the large doors. They attempted to calm and quieten the crowd, but an ugly mob was brewing. Fear and uncertainty was palpable in the air and tensions were running high. It was on the verge of turning into something deadly as the different factions prepared for an attack.
"HALT!" Kiri shouted into the crowd's minds. There were screams of pain and people dropping to the ground as the command reverberated through their skulls. "It is not each other that you must attack. Our very existence is in peril and you bicker like spoilt children." The silence was sullen and fearful. Kiri continued. "If words are not enough to sway you, then I will show you." With that, he filled the minds of all gathered with knowledge of the World Eater and its minions, the Malasii.
Kiri watched as sullen faces turned pale with dawning realisation, as image after image showed them the destruction that would ensue. The atmosphere of the crowd changed and the people were more subdued. Kiri looked up at the leaders and gave them a nod. They began talking mind to mind with their peoples, readying them for evacuation.
Sonny turned to Kiri and closed his mind off from the link they had established, before he flew towards the Predators. He was the new King. Now that he had defeated his father in a dominance battle, the scent and feel of the Apex Alpha had transferred to him. It was how every predator recognised their King or Queen on sight. The Predators showed obeisance by dropping to their knees and raising their necks in supplication. Sonny touched the heads of those he could reach. Linking with his people, he began preparing them to move.
Kiri watched the display with a wrenching heart. His people came first. That was the first priority for all those born as royalty. But there was a distance growing between him and Sonny; something that his father had said would split the two of them apart. That was what his tapestry had warned him about. Kiri had hoped they would be able to work it out but, even when their minds were linked for the spell, Sonny kept a part of his mind blocked. Kiri knew not to intrude, but it hurt.
Terse's mind had been filled with thoughts of Falcon once the spell was finished, and Kiri couldn't help but sense it. Falcon, in turn, had also picked up on her thoughts and had subtly been flirting with her. It raked at Kiri's heart. Maybe this was Falcon's way of hurting him, and it was working. But he was trying to convince himself to concentrate on the larger scheme. Although he was putting his people first, it hurt to realise that, in order for the tapestry to play out the way it should, he couldn't tell his two anchors.
Closing his eyes to prevent distractions, he mentally pushed them away. He needed to have a clear head, and wallowing in his personal problems could have dire consequences. He needed to stay strong for the sake of those he loved. Concentrating upon the large Palace doors, Kiri twisted his hand and opened a portal that led directly into the mounds.
People from the mounds walked through the portal to provide assistance to those within the abyss. They filed out slowly; a line of people that looked forlorn. Children gave Kiri a curious stare as they filed past him. One little blond girl smiled at him shyly, and waved. He looked down at her and returned her smile. His resolve to maintain his silence, and allow the tapestry to flow, grew stronger within him. These children deserved a future and, by the Architect, he would make sure that they had that opportunity.
By the way guys, I have a yahoo group where you can see all my writings. I'm a new author and haven't sent all my stories on there yet, and I also have another talented author Lincard sharing his stories too. I will be sending my chapters there first. So become a Member and enjoy. Otherwise feel free to Contact me.
Thanks as always goes to Richard for his fine work in editing!