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Mission Xilas: "Funny Places" Part 4
I tore through the woods, feet thumping off the ground. Branches snagged my clothing. My foot hit a rock and I nearly tripped. I could hear voices. Not human voices. Kivu voices. The scouts were chasing me.
My breathing was loud and ragged. My heart hammered against my chest. Where was Arci headed? He hadn't said. I was running blindly. I cursed my spontaneous decision. Now the Kivu were closing in.
All of a sudden there was a searing pain in the back of my neck. I gasped and stumbled. The feeling began to spread throughout my back, arms of agony branching out. The white hot fire scorched through my torso and down my legs. I collided with the ground and the air rushed out of me.
I lay there, dazed. A numbing sensation took over as the burning receded. I could barely feel the hands that hauled me up and leaned me against a tree. My vision was bad, but I could just about make out the outline of a horse trotting towards us.
Mission Xilas: "Second Thoughts" Part 3
There are four Kivu, mounted with their backs to the cave opening, just over a couple of leagues away. There are another six twenty leagues North, on the other side of the mountain, scanning the place where we had been just under a day ago. Three Kivu were slowly combing the area from North to South on foot, and as far as Arci could tell, the rest were off duty - resting on their own in different locations to maximize their chances of spotting us.
And Arci wanted us to just ride out and gallop away. I tried to change his mind, but he was stubborn. He told me to trust him. How can you trust someone like Arci? After all, his comfort had gone along the lines of "We might not die. Well, we probably will die but there's still a chance we won't." Not exactly promising but he seemed to know what he was doing. He had left to go and 'collect something' but he hadn't specified what. He told me to wait until the sun reached its highest point then if he wasn't back just to
Mission Xilas: "Foolish Ventures" Part 2
I neared the end of the tunnel. I turned a sharp corner, to see light spilling over the moss covered walls. Two horses were outlined standing sound as stones in the mouth of the cave. Arci gave a short tug on my sleeve. "Dägo," he whispered. "Dawn." I rolled my eyes. "We'll have to stay here all day," he continued. "If we'd picked those bays like I told you to, this would hardly be a problem! But here we are, with two grey horses and no cover."
"Hey," I interjected. "The darker dappled one will be great for a night."
"And the lighter one will be good never."
"Stop being such a pessimist. They're both a lot faster than those others were ever going to be."
"Maybe so, but we'd be better off leaving now. The longer we wait, the more time the Kivu have to recover from the beman attack." I wasn't good with politics (and I never would be) but I was fairly certain I knew what was going on. Basically, it all rev
Mission Xilas: "New Days" Part 1
I craned my neck, trying to see round the rocks. They had arrived. A row of black horses, dark as night, spanning out from one side of the cave mouth to the next. Their riders were tall and pale skinned, gazing into the deep cave, scanning for signs of life. I held my breath as a rider spurred on his horse, venturing closer. I didn't know much about this world but I could tell they were Kivu, a race that lacked the ability to feel pain. Their sole purpose was to protect this land from itself and to keep the world from war. By killing us.
I glanced to my right and could make out the faint outline of another boy. Well, not a boy. Not really. His name was Arci. When I first met him, I'd thought he was some kind of elf. He was short, with tipped ears and bright eyes. He'd laughed when I called him that, a glorious, tinkling laugh. Arci was Sortu, one of the Changed. When the Earth had been formed there had only been the Kivu, the humans and the bemans. But the bemans were
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