| Blitz and Serine
As a caravan wanders through the mountain pass, trying to get through it by night fall, or else take the risk of staying in between it's precaries walls for the night. One of the footmen finds himself falling to the ground after triping over something. Assuming it was a rock or something buried underneath the snow, he gets up and kicks the offending object. He was about to turn and continue on until he hears a moon come from the snow. Dropping to the ground again he starts digging at the snow, pushing the snow away he uncovers a half dressed boy buried in the snow. Quickly putting his hand against the boys chest he is surprised to find he is breathing: "I've found someone here!" he yells at the wagon next to him.
The wagon stops, and a girl runs out carrying a thick woolen blanket and wraps it around the boy as the footmen is pulling him out of the snow: "Lets get him in the wagon and warmed up; look he's turning blue from cold." she says as she notices his coloring.
In the wagon, they wrap him up in even more bankets, and light more lanterns trying to make it as hot as possible and leaving it that way throughout most of the day, but his color doesn't change, even though he starts to feel hot to the touch. After doing a examination of his body she finds a big bump on the back of his head, and bruises all over his body: "Probably has a broken rib or two as well, he must have been in some kind of accident or somthing." she thinks to herself. Soon after he starts to say in his sleep: "It's so hot. I'm so hot.". fearing that he caught a fever and had become delirious she tries him to the bed to keep him from thrashing, and puts on more blankets. As his cries about the heat become more and more insistant she takes off some of the blankets, and since he hadn't tried to move she unties him, all the while his color never changed. "Could he be_ one of them?" says something in the back of her mind.
* * *
A few days later, as shes putting a wet wash cloth on his burning head, his eyes flash open showing them to be the light grey color of raw crystal. Lanching himself out of the bed, and knocking her over; he looks about the room wildly, taking clumsy steps. "Calm down, your alright." she says soothingly trying to calm him. "Too hot, it's too hot." he seems to be saying to himself as he looks continually around. Seeing the crack in the wagon draps he runs for it, jumping out of the wagon. Grabbing onto the rains of the oxen, she stops the wagon, and jumps off and goes after him. Outside, she sees him stumbling in the snow slowly moving away. While running over to him, he falls to the ground. Hurrying over, she is just in time to see the snow start to melt around him. And when one of the footmen walk up steam starts to rise from his body, "What in the world?" he says, she looks up at him. "Help me get him inside." as she reaches down for him, the footmen doesn't move. She looks up at him. "Leave him, I'm not touching that thing." "What are you talking about?" "I don't know what he is, but he ain't humen and I'm not touch'en it." "Fine then!" and she reaches down. Pulling him off the ground he's lighter in weight then what she thought he would be. Carrying him to her wagon she pulls him back inside. Laying him on the bed, she puts out the fires and leaves him uncovered. "He seems to be sensitive to the heat. Lets see if keeping it low will help. He must be one of them." Going back up to the front of the wagon, she starts the oxen up again and continues on, hoping that she's right.
When they stop that night, she goes back and turns on the light. As she starts to prepare her evening meal, she gets the creepy feeling someone's watching her. Turning around, the boy is looking at her from the bed. "Well it's nice to see that your up." she says trying to put on what she hopes is a cheerful face. "Whats your name?" looking at her "Blitz" Turning his head toward the ceiling, he closes his eyes and looks to have fallen asleep. After her meal, she puts it to the side in case he woke up again, and goes to sleep. When she wakes up that morning, he is still sleeping but the food is gone. Smiling to herself, she gets ready to go.
* * *
When the caravan stopped early that evening, she was curious as to what was going on. Later as she was mending some of her tack, she hears the wagon master call, opening the draps to give him entry she invites him in. "Come on in sir, how may I help you." "Yes, I have been hearing a rumor that you have taken in_" he stops when he sees the boy on the bed. "I trust their is a good reason for this." "What do you mean?" "Why is there one of THOSE in your wagon." "He is here because he was found and needed help, he was hurt so I'v been watching him over the last few days." "DAYS, it's been here DAYS, why was I not told!" "I didn't know taking someone into my wagon was a issue for public dispute! Others do it all the time!" "They take in PEOPLE, that CREATURE is a different story, and I won't have it in MY caravan!!!" There is a slite pause as she gets ready to face off with him. When "Fine then, I wont." they both jump at the sound of his voice.
Turning they see him sitting in the bed and he starts to stand. The master looks at him with terror, and as he walks forward, the master looks almost ready to run in fear. The boy almost reaches the draps when the girl stands in front of him. "You don't need to go." and she turns to the side and looks at the master: "But I think it is time for you to go.", she stands aside and motions toward the draps, and he is more then happy to leave. "This isn't over yet." he says before heading off.
Turning back to the boy: "You, back in bed." as she guides him back to it. He gives little resistance as he is slowly settled back into the bed. "I don't see how you thought you were actually going somewhere." "What do you want?" "What do you mean?" "I have nothing of value, if that is what you are hoping for." "I want nothing from you, if payment is what your worried about." as she reaches around and picks up a bowl of food, "So your just doing all this out of the goodness of your heart?", he says sarcasticly. "Shut-up and eat, I help who I wish and I'll let no one tell me different. Not you and especially not that pompus head man, that has the gawl to have us call him Master." "So your helping me to get back at him. Now that seems more believeable.": as he takes the soup from her. "Believe what you like.__ And don't worry about the soup, I'll not waste all this time trying to keep you alive just to poison you.": she scolds when she sees him examining it suspicously. Giving her a strange look, he starts taking small sips from it, soon it's all gone. "Satisfied." when he doesn't reply she turns her back on him and continues on with her work.
"Don't you know what I am?" "Your a hurt boy that was found in the snow, a strange boy for certain, but a hurt one none the less." "And you haven't taken any kind of hint from the others that I may not even be humen?" "Are you saying that your not?_ Don't answer that." as he starts to open his mouth: "And would it matter to me if you weren't?_ No. I wouldn't leave anything out in that kind of cold just to die alone, weather it was humen or not. Now stop being so high on yourself, and just except the fact the for some reason a person is helping you, all the while excepting nothing in return." and she turns and nothing more is said as he quickly falls asleep again.
* * *
Unlike the usual, no one came to her to find out about the strange boy, staying in her wagon. "Naturally, he doesn't want anyone to know he backed down from someone challanging his authority. He'll keep it to himself, at least until he can find a good lie to tell to get people behind him.", she thought to herself as the days went passed. "I guess I'll just wait for it to come; at least I know it's coming.
All the while her charge seemed to be getting better, "You can stop trying to act like your all better. I wasn't taken in because of my mucle mass you know. I can tell when somones trying to play down their weakness." she scolds, as he trys to make another ettempt to hide his injuries. "I'm perfectly fine thank you, and besides what does it matter to you?" When she pokes him in the stomach were his ribs are cracked, he falls backwards on the bed, holding it as if he had been sucker punched "Look you can bearly take a poke, how long do you think you'll last in the mountains alone." she argues for what seems like the hundrenth time. All he can do is give her an angry look, as he holds his torso trying to get his breath back. "If your really that bored, find something useful to do." as she turns around. "What would you suggest?" he throughs at her. "Come over here." she gives him a strange smile, as she motions him over to a seperated compartment of the wagon that he hadn't bothered to enter yet. In it there is a big tub full of water and a box full of dirty dishes. "You wanted somthing to do, clean up your mess.", and she hands him a towel. "I suppose it's better then doing absolutly nothing." he thinks to himself, as he sits down and gets to work.
"I guess it's the least I can do after all the free meals, not that that studdorn mule would let me go anyway. What is she thinking. I told her I don't have anything. What is she excpecting me to give in return for all of this_ generocity? Well, she'll get nothing, I told her that, and it's her own fault for thinking different. I'll just get better and leave when she's not looking, I dought she'll even notice.
Is this where shes been sleeping?" he thinks as he starts to look around: "No, theres nothing in here she could be sleeping on." then he thinks back into the other room where he had been sleeping. There was the bed he was sleeping in, then he remembers the furs and blankets stuffed to the side. "Stupid girl, she gave me her bed, and has been sleeping on the floor." A pause as he thinks things over."This wagon isn't intended for more then one. She lives in it by herself. Who knows, maybe she doesn't know about my kind, is that why she took me in. Well, she'll hear about it soon enough from that head man, if not from someone else. Then she'll be ready to get rid of me, I'm sure." and he continues on in these trains of thought, until he was well done with the dishes and it was late afternoon.
* * *
She knew what was coming when they stopped early again that night, she heard the crunching of snow and saw shadows form around her door way.When the draps open and the head man walks in with two large men at his flank; she remains sitting, rubbing oil into the rough patches of some of the oxen's tack. "You know what we're here for Serine." he says to her. "Yep." "Where is he?" "In the back."
Listening in through the door: "I knew this would happen. Not that I like being right in this case." he thinks as he jumps up and starts looking for a way out, to find nothing but walls. "Damn it." and sits back near the door to listen.
"Fine, bring him out." "No." "What!" "What?" "No, he's still here in my wagon, and here is where he's staying. Now leave." The Master bristles at her attempt to order him, "I won't concede, I can't, what do I have to worry about. Get out of are way Girl." as he reaches down and grabs her arm. "Don't you know what that thing is?" pulling her up and giving her a little shake. "Funny, how people keep asking me that, but yet none have bothered to answer their own question." as she gives him a humorous smile. "It's a demon, they destroy everything that comes across their path with that ice magic of theirs. As soon as he's healthy he'll turn it on us, and I for one have no intention of being frozen to death."
"Thats it, now she'll just get out of their way and start rambling about how she didn't know. Well, they're not taking me that easily." as the room starts to get colder, his injuries start to hurt. "All I need is a little time, they shouldn't get too much worse."
"Well then, I guess you have nothing to worry about then." she says giving a little smile "What do you mean?" "I guess he had improved enough to get walking. I found the bed empty this morning." "Well, why didn't you say that." "I thought I would give him time enough to get away, where you wouldn't deside to start a hunting party." "What in the world made you think I would want to go hunting after the thing. I just wanted it gone, and if it dies all the better." she just shrugs at this. "Fine then, as long as he's gone everythings fine, but if you ever try to defy me again, you will be left here so fast you will think we disappeared." and he turns and leaves.
"That guy always did lack a few brains. I didn't even have to try." she thinks before hearing the door open behind her. "He's going to find out that you lied to him, sooner or later." "Yep" "Then why do it? He just told you what I am." "So, it's not like it's somthing I didn't already know." "You knew?" "I'm not stupid, even without seeing it, I could tell you were different. I probably know the tales as well if not better then he does. I knew what you were." "And you helped me anyway?" "I owed a debt that had to be repaid." "What debt?" "One of your kind is the reason I'm still alive. It only seemed right that I save one of you in return." "Your lieing." "What makes you say that?" "I wouldn't do it." "Oh. so all of your kind think just like you." "Well, no." "Well then, Believe me or don't, thats your decision." as she sits down and starts to work on the tack again.
* * *
After a long silence "So, how did it happen?" "Hum?" "How did one of my kind save you, I might as well hear a good story." After a few minutes pause, she starts quietly then slowly gets louder until shes talking in a normal voice, that in some strange way, seems to come from far away.
"Before I came here, I lived with another trade caravan. One day we were going through a pass," "it was the same pass we found you in." she quickly remembers, "There was a cave in, rocks and snow started raining down from both sides, and we got caught in it. The wagon was buried, my father dead from a rock falling on him, my mother was stuck with her legs buried. Somehow I had escaped untouched. I stayed there with my mother, I was young and didn't see any other suvivers.
After a while my mother gave me her coat." and she looks over at a wall where a old hide coat is hanging. "I tried to refuse it, but she kept telling me not to worry about it, that help would come soon and that she would be fine. She knew better, she lied so I wouldn't get sad.
Then a figure came out from somewhere. He was tall and had blue skin, just like you. When my mother saw him she looked terrified, but only for a moment. She started struggling to get out from under the rock but it was useless: the thing had to be at least twice her weight. The man looked at me, she yelled at him "leave her alone , don't touch her.". Then he looked at her; he walked over to the rock and started looking at it, putting his back up against it he started to push. The rock moved slitely but not much. All my mother could do was stare. Getting up he started looking for something. Bending down, he comes back up with a large stick in his hand and puts it underneath the rock. Laying on it he pushes down on the stick and the rock rieses up a little. Apperently it was enough for my mother to crawl out, because next thing I know she has me raped up in her arms. Then he turned around and disappered.
That help didn't do much for us though, when my mother tried to get up she started screaming in pain. The rocks must have crushed somthing in her legs. We were there for a while before he came back again. This time with some kind of stretcher. I don't know if it was because she was just too cold, or if she had decided to trust him, or if she had just stopped caring; but she let him put her on it. When he started to drag her away I followed.
When he adventually stopped, I didn't see any difference between the place we had come to and where we were before. Then he raised his hand, snow moved away from a part of the wall. Showing a cave with a fire burning in it, he pulled my mother in and settled her down, but I guess it was too hot and he left. By that time my mother had passed out, I guess from the pain in her legs, and I was more or less there by myself. He came back later with some food, and looked at moms legs, but like before he didn't stay long.
My mother sleeped for a few days, when she finally woke up, she would take food and water from him but woudn't let him near her legs, she kept saying to him that she would take care of them herself. After a week or two she could move around a bit better, and after four she could move around with a support. One afternoon, he came in, kneeled down and said something to her, to my surprise when he turned around she willing climded on his back. Taking her outside there was a wagon, it was clearly one he had patched together from the ones left at the cave in, and there were two oxen, they were young but they could manage to pull the wagon with just the two of us on it. He sat her in the drivers seat, and I climded in next to her. "If you go strait though that way you'll come to the end, there should be a village about a day or two west from there. I'm sure you'll be able to find everything you need there." and he pointed us in the right direction. "Say thank you to him." my mother said to me, so I turned toward him "Thank you very much mister.": even now I wish I could have said something more to him, but I was 6. All my mother could do was smile at me, not at him, me, and she gave the signal and we went off. I never saw that man again. My mother died a few years later, they say it was heart failer. I just think she knew I would be alright, and wanted to see father again.
Any way that's why I want to help you. Now stop worrying about it and let me."
* * *
He gets a strange look on his face but it's gone before she sees it. After a little while. "Did you ever find out what caused the cave in?" "No, never thought about it really. Why do you ask?" "Nothing just wondering." "Hum." and all is silent for the time being.
That night a horrible blizzard blows through, stopping all activity in the caravan. Their both inside eating when they hear screaming coming from outside. Rushing out the wagon they are outside just in time to see two other wagons buried by the snow. Standing ahead of her, he hears her scream, turning around he sees her standing there looking in shock. "She wasn't lying. That means I . . . She must be remembering the 'accident'."
As he calmly walks forward, a wind starts to build up and the snow that had fallen starts to shift from one direction to another until the two wagons arn't covered anymore and the falling snow from the clife slows down and gently slides to the ground making the snow about two feet deeper but leaving everything unharmed. Turning around he looks back at her; shes just standing there looking at him with surprise.
Then someone can be heard yelling "Its that creatures fault, it caused it." turning his head he sees the headman walking toward him "That, and that girl." turning and pointing at Serine. "She placed the whole caravan in danger keeping that thing alive.": when his words die down, practicaly everyone is turning accusing eyes at her; and she is defiantly staring right back, daring everyone. "So you think I caused this, well I guess it's best if I leave then." and a wind picks up and snow swirls through the wagons hidding everything from view, and they all hear, "Blame the girl and the avalance will seem like a small flurry." then the wind dies down and he's gone.
Everyone starts talking in a panic when, "Everyone back to your wagons we're leaving." and the wagonmaster turns to her "And you, you had better not follow, no one here will help you." "No one ever helped me anyway, and I never asked." she throughs at his departing back.
* * *
As the caravan slowly moves away into the distance, Serine is feeling a strange sence of relife, to watch their departure. Walking over to the wagon she starts taking inventroy of her belongings. "Okay, I have enough to last me a few days. That should be enough for me to get to a stop, load up on a few extra supplies and finish getting where I was going. As long as I'm lucky and nothing untoward happenes." She finishes packing and gets ready to leave when Blitz appears out of nowhere.
"I thought you were leaving? What are you doing here?" Taken aback a little at her anger, "They didn't do anything to you did they?" After a moment of silence. "Nothing that I wasn't going to do sooner or later anyway._ I'm sorry, you tried to help and I'm getting mad at you for it. It's just inconvinent timing, thats all." after a pause. "So, what are you going to do?" "I was headed for the western-central reigion of East Rock Territory." "Well, I guess I could come along." "What?" "Well I couldn't let you go off by yourself. Now could I. After all I was the one who got you in trouble." "While trying to save my life." "Only, after you saved mine. Come on do you really want to make this journey alone. I need to repay you after all."For both wrongs I've done you."" "Alright you can come along, but you'll need to pull your own wieght." "Alright." "Well, now thats settled we need to get on are way."
* * *
As they come out of the mountain tunnel they see a strange set up. The crater lined with paths along the walls and a castle like structure at the bottem. They see men and women walking along preforming daily task. But what caught their eye was the large beasts seen here and there, and everyone not paying. attention as if they were normal. "What did you say this place was called?" "Ryslen" "Not exactly your normal place is it." "I wouldn't know. Is it?" "Hhu, No it's not." and they continue into town.
Serine had convinced Blitz to wear a shirt, but she knew he was probably a little hot underneath. "Well, poor him." she thinks to herself sarcasticly as she rubbes her cold hands together. They pay for rent of some stalls in a stable and get the oxen settled before they go to an inn. Not knowing that they have attracted a little attention. Sitting at a table in a dark corner of the inns tavern; they had found that it's less likely people will notice Blitz's color that way; they order a meal.
A man walks into the tavern and starts looking around, then he walks into the bar. He seems to be talking to the bar tender, when he looks in their direction. Turning back to the bar tender he hands him something, and is given a bottled drink. He gets up from the bar and starts walking in their direction. Grabbing chair on his way he places it in front of the table backwards and sits down facing them. "You arn't from around here are you?" he asks "Is there somthing we can help you with?" Serine asks as Blitz tries to discretly move further back into the shadows. "Yeah, you caught the attention of a friend of mine, and he wont leave me alone about it." "Oh, and who's your friend?" "His names Ancith." "Don't know him." she say quickly. Laughing a little "No, you wouldn't. Would you like to meet him though?" "Who are you?" Blitz asks. " Oh, so he can speak. Well, to answer your question, I'm R'lan." as he silently wonders at the slite chill that seemed to blow at him when the boy talked. Blitz looks at Serine "She has better instinces for this then me." "Sure, we'll come. Care to eat first." she says to him "Why not?" and he waves to a waitress.
During their meal R'lan tries to strike up conversation "So,where are you two from?" "Everywhere." "Ookay. What do you do?" "Travel." "Where?" "Anywhere." "What your name?" "Serine." "Really?" "My mother liked the sound of it." "Where is she?" "None of your buisnss." at his icy tone, R'lan stops with the questions. At least for a little while. "So whats wrong with you? Deformed or something." "No." "Then lets see you." before Serine can do anything he moves forward into the light. "Happy." "Oh, thats why your hidding yourself. You don't have to worry about that here, there have been way weirder then you walking around." and they just look at him in surprise. "Oh, there are some people around who might be resistent, but if your going to wait around hoping to find a place where everyones going to like you, your in for a long wait." by that time they were done eating. "Come with me, I want you to meet someone." and they walk out the tavern.
* * *
Walking a little ways and turning a corner there is a blue dragon in front of them. They just look at R'lan. "Meet Ancith." "Whats going on?" "He likes the look of you and so do I. So how would you like to have one like him." "What are you talking about?"
"Right, you guys arn't from around here. Okay, here's how it works. Here we have dragons, the dragons need sentient beings to bond with. Like the relationship between me and Ancith here. we practicly know what each other are thinking. It's a much closer relationship, then say, you would get with those oxen of yours. We have several clutches of eggs right now and I was hoping I could intreset you. The sands are up that way and he points in the right direction. It's up to you of course, but I wouldn't pass it up. Well, now that I think of it, I didn't, havn't regreted it ether. At worst you'll end up somewhere where people won't care about your little differences." looking pointedly at Blitz.
Well, if you need to think about it I can wait. You can get in touch with me if you need to." and he gets on Ancith and flies off. "What are the chances they'll come." Ancith asks. "A good one I think, they're a little untrusting, but they seem like good kids. Are you sure your senses were right." "Of course, How could you dought me." "I don't know what came over me. Still there was something else about that kid, besides strange skin color. Maybe I should tell Jeyann. I'll think on that one."
* * *
Meanwhile back there, "Well, what do you think? I've heard of stuff like this from different places but I've never actually been to one." "I don't know. What do we have to loose? At worst it may end up being a waste of are time. " "Well, we can at least go check it out I guess.". Not hearing any objections from him, "lets go then." and they head off toward the hatching sands.