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Quickfic Submissions The fics derived from the prompts.

#1 User is offline   Capella 

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 05:50 PM

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Fic submissions go here. Remember to include a filled out header.

Comments can be found here.

Table of Contents can be found here.

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#2 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 08:06 PM

Title: Second Chances
Author: LostThyme
Challenge: 1
Timeline Era: Releeshahn (BoD, Exile, Revelation)
Length: 661 words
Other notes: -

I feel guilty that I write these words with a heavy heart. Catherine told me today we will have another child. It seems impossible that we would be allowed to have another, so late in life, and after so much failure.

I hated my own father, a man who ruled me with a master’s tongue and proud words. I always though that, if I ever had children of my own, I would teach them as Grandmother taught me, and let them flourish. But I raised my sons with Ti’ana’s complete freedom and trust, yet with no discipline, and they turned against me. True, I was not my father, but that led my sons to roam wild in the Ages, doing as they pleased. After Ti’ana’s death... I fear I pulled away from my sons in their time of grief.

It is horrible to see this all in the glaring light of hindsight. I fear that even with this knowledge, I will not be able to raise this child as I should. Even as I watch Catherine, there is a far-away look in her eyes. I wonder if she has the same doubts as I do. She was devastated after the loss of our sons.

Atrus put down his pen and rubbed his eyes wearily. Catherine noticed and moved towards him, bending over his shoulder to read the words. “I’m sorry, my love,” Atrus said, his fists over his eyes.

A smooth hand tilted Atrus’s chin up, and he met her eyes. Catherine was smiling weakly, and there were tears in her eyes. “We will do better, this time,” she said. “For you will teach our child to Write, and I will teach him to Dream.

“Just as Releeshahn will be a new beginning for D’ni, this child can be our chance to start over.” She looked over at the heavy book on his desk. “We can leave this place, and start over ourselves.”

Atrus looked down at his journal, reading the dark thoughts of only moments before. Catherine was right, as she usually was, but he still couldn’t forget what had happened. “Let us finish Releeshahn, and then we can speak of our own second chances.”


Releeshahn was finished within the month, and the D’ni took to the Age as if they had always lived there. Carving out a place to live would be difficult, but the people were determined despite all that had happened. Atrus couldn’t help but note his own family’s similarities to the people on Releeshahn. He hoped that things would end as well for them.

His birthday gift to Catherine was Tomahna, a home perched in the red cliffs of earth. Here they could raise their child, their desert bird in the sun. Atrus’s hopes grew even as the settlement in Releeshahn grew.

Yeesha was born in the spring, just as the small trees he had planted on the cliffs were budding. As he cradled her in his arms, he still couldn’t shake the feeling that he would fail again. She was such a small, delicate thing, and it would only take one wrong step to ruin her.

“Stop staring at her like she’s going to kill you, Atrus.” Catherine said, smiling slightly. “You still have about twenty years before you have to worry about that.”

The dark humor, especially coming from Catherine, forced a chuckle out of Atrus, but it faded quickly and he continued to stare at the infant.

Now that I hold her in my arms, the reality is overwhelming. I’m not suited for being a father, that much is clear. I don’t think I could bear to lose another child due to my own foolishness. But I know now that Catherine is just as worried as I am, and we have both made a promise to do our best and learn from the past. Together, perhaps, we can let our Desert Bird flourish and grow, and write Ages of her own someday.

#3 User is offline   Capella 

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 04:36 PM

Title: The First Token
Author: Capella
Challenge: 25
Timeline Era: Late D'ni (Guilds/BoT)
Length: 1118 words
Other notes: Alternate Universe (AU), content warning: discussion of male/male and polyamorous relationships

Veovis stood at the bottom of the steps and watched his son play in the green at the edge of the pool of water. He thought he could see Aitrus’ likeness in the way the child's eyes would narrow as they stared at something that kept his attention, the way he turned his head when his mother called his name, the set of his jaw in profile. Gehn was only eight, but Veovis and Aitrus had been in school together at that age. He fancied that he could see traces of the boy he’d known echoed in the face of the boy in front of him.

The young boy slipped on a slick rock and fell against the stone side with a cry, interrupting his ruminations. Immediately Veovis was in motion, crossing the few steps to reach his son, arms outstretched to comfort. Gehn turned away, picking himself up and crossing his arms. "I don't need your help,” he said in a sullen tone.

"Gehn!" Anna scolded from the ledge of the kitchen room above, where she had been preparing their dinner. "That's not how you speak to your father."

"He's not my father!" shouted the young boy defiantly. Before Anna or Veovis could speak, he ran for the ladder leading up to the desert sands above.

"Gehn!" Anna called again, taking a step forward. "Come back here now." But the boy was already up the ladder and over the lip.

Veovis sighed and climbed the one to the kitchen. Once there, he rested a hand on Anna's shoulder. "He'll come back before dark, Ah-na. He always does."

She looked up at him, her uncovered eyes glistening with moisture he pretended his goggles kept him from seeing. "I'm sure he didn't mean it quite like that-" she started.

He wouldn't let her lie, not even to spare his feelings. "He's still young, the loss still raw. He blames us, and uses the loss to justify idealizing Aitrus. It will ease as he ages," he reassured her, though privately he was unsure.

"I hope you're right."

“I could help you finish the meal,” he offered.

Anna looked for a moment as if she would say no, but then summoned up a smile. "If you don't mind chopping vegetables…"

- - -

Veovis and Anna had sat on the sand watching the sun set and the stars appear, but still their son had not come back. He had set out to the caldera, hoping that Gehn had been kicking rocks there as he knew his son loved to do, but had returned to Anna empty-handed. Though he wanted to search farther, his rational side knew that Gehn could have gone in any direction and that he had only guesswork to go on if he set out. Instead they spread a blanket out next to the ladder into the Cleft and lay side by side, watching the stars in silence.

Veovis grieved at the thought that the years where Gehn had been equally at ease with his mother and both his fathers were left behind as permanently as the ruins of D'ni. Once Gehn had sat at his knee in the great hall of K’veer and asked him for stories of D’ni history, and Veovis had gladly told his son all the ones he knew. Since they’d moved into the Cleft, he hadn’t been asked to tell a single one. It seemed that Gehn was predisposed to holding grudges for a long period of time. In that he is my heir, the former lord of D'ni thought.

That thought caused his mind to drift in another direction. They had no real way of knowing who was the father, not that it had particularly mattered to any of them. Not until after the Fall and Aitrus' death, when Veovis realized that he wanted Gehn's father to have been Aitrus. The idea that something of his friend and first love had survived had become more important to him than he ever could have imagined. He had never discussed it with Anna, but he wondered if she felt the same way, if she too hoped that their son was a last living representation of Aitrus' existence in this world. He would never ask her, but those were the thoughts that came on the long cold nights like this, when there were only two heartbeats nestled together in the dark, not the three there should have been.

The susurration of clothing brushing along the sand reached them. Veovis reacted first, gently disentangling himself from the sleeping Anna and sitting up. Beside him, she stirred. "Gehn?" he called softly, pressing her hand in his as he waited for an answer.

The boy shuffled up to them. "You stayed up all this time?"

Veovis couldn't tell if the tone was simply surprised, or if there was an undercurrent of pleasure in it. "Of course we did," he answered. "We wanted to make sure you came home safe."

"We worried about you," Anna added.

Gehn looked at them for a long moment without a word, then stepped forward. Veovis wrapped his arms around the boy and his wife and pulled them close. Gehn held stiff for a moment, then relaxed into the embrace with a soft sigh. "I'm tired."

"We'll tuck you in," Anna reassured.

Gehn was safely fussed over and placed in bed. Anna left for their bedchamber, but Veovis stayed a moment at his son's bedside, looking again for a resemblance to Aitrus, not himself. As he finally turned to leave, he heard a soft noise behind him. He paused and waited.

In a small voice, Gehn spoke. "I'm sorry I bothered you."

Veovis couldn't help but step back to the bedside and touch the boy's face. "Parents worry. It means we love you."

"I'll try not to do it again, Father."

“Goodnight, Gehn,” Veovis said.

Gehn made no reply, instead rolling over to face the wall. After a moment, Veovis returned to his own room, slightly disquieted by the lack of acknowledgement, but knowing that there had been a first step towards reconciliation. Anna rolled over to face him as he sat on the bed, and with her usual perceptiveness caught the look on her face. "Is Gehn alright?"

"He called me father," he answered.

Anna understood the significance of the event. Gehn hadn't directly referred to either of them by parental titles since the Fall. "He must be healing."

"I hope so," Veovis answered, a feeling of peace settling through him for the first time in months. D'ni was gone, and so was Aitrus, but for the first time, he thought that what he had now- the Cleft, Anna, and Gehn- would be enough.

#4 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 08:21 PM

Title: Katran of D’ni
Author: LostThyme
Challenge: 2
Timeline Era: Gehn (BoA, Myst, Riven)
Length: 885 words
Other Notes: -

“Mother!” Achenar barreled toward me, crashing through the small hallways of Myst. I was surprised; it had been a long time since I had seen him. He... seemed different somehow. Did he trick me into coming here to Riven? “It’s Father! He’s gone to Riven! He thought you had gone there and...” No, my son. He would not deceive me in that way. He had needed to say no more. I hurried without word to the Book where it was in our library and linked without hesitation. Without saying goodbye.

Now I find that Atrus is not here, and I find myself trapped. Trapped, and alone in this foreign world in a familiar nightmare. I know the faces of the people around me, I know the islands, but the faces are genuflecting and the trees of Riven are replaced by ruin. Achenar must have been mistaken, but now I fear I have put myself into a spot that even Atrus cannot rescue me from.

“Katran.” Eta is not meeting my eyes, which saddens me. We were like sisters, once. Now she has fallen into the Moiety way of thinking. Atrus defeated Gehn. Atrus is the true god. Atrus chose Katran to be his wife. Katran was raised to the level of deities and rules with Atrus over Riven. I cannot help but fight back a disgusted shiver when I think of these words. The villagers never say them, but those tenants pervade through every single action the Moiety makes. All of these clandestine raids, the kidnappings, the destruction, all in Katran’s holy name.

“Yes, Eta?” I stand up. Despite my better efforts to dissuade their awe, they will not listen. Still, I will not recline in their presence like some twisted tyrant. That is Gehn’s place, I remember all too well.

Eta still does not meet my eyes. “We are going on another trip to the surface.” She backed out of the room abruptly, smacking her arm loudly on the door as she left. It sounded painful, but she gave no sign of it. I sigh and put on the obscuring clothing of the Moiety. It still hurts to see my home so ravaged, but it only stirs up my anger toward Gehn more. He is responsible for this, and it makes me want to claim my role of the savior of the Rivenese. But then I think, Gehn has written all of his Ages for failure. He is Gehn. Collapse is inevitable.

But I truly have no choice but to accept the dreadful role offered to me. I am no godlike savior come to deliver my people from the tyranny of Gehn, like Ti’ana’s Moses delivering the slaves from the people of the pyramids. I seem to have been put into these circumstances for some purpose, though I know not what it is. Still, I must do something for these people, and if I have to take on this foul mantle, so be it.

The sun brings tears to my eyes, as it always does when I push through the water to the Age above. A hand is offered out of respect to me as we clamber onto the shore. The rest are left to their own strength as they pull themselves out of the water. The mask on my face holds the water against my cheeks, but our clothes quickly dry out in the sun. Our task today is to drag five villagers out of their homes, in the broad daylight, to put it simply. I have gathered that the Moiety have become more bold since my arrival. It frightens me to think how many have died in my name.

I recognize the face of one of the villagers. She is old, perhaps a friend of my father’s. Her face brings back memories of the trees before they were stumps, and the children before they were silenced and taught that D’ni is right and Riven is wrong. She offered no resistance when we broke down her door. She just put down her sewing and stood as if to say “it is my time, anyway”. I saw that she was trembling as they leveled the dart gun toward her. Out of a moment of compassion, I reach out and take her hand, speaking my first order. “She will not call for help.” I can hear my own voice. It seems weak, and powerless, but the darts disappear.

My hand is still wrapped around the old woman’s as they put a dark bag over her head. An alarm is going off in the village. We lingered too long. We meet up with the others, bearing their sleeping loads by the entrance to the tunnels.

They found one of Gehn’s failed Books. They brought it to me yesterday. I realize now what I have to do, as I wrap a blanket around the old woman’s shoulders in the tunnels. I must write these people a refuge. I have not written since Ti’ana’s death, and I am afraid to, but it must be done. These people could die in a disastrous Age of my own making, but they are sure to die here. I will make the ultimate insult to Gehn. I will take one of his discarded Ages and write a place for my people there.

#5 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:32 PM

Title: Torturer
Author: LostThyme
Challenge: 3
Timeline Era: Gehn (BoA, Myst, Riven)
Length: 383
Other Notes: PG13 for drugs, disturbing content, and all things that come with the brothers while they were at their worst.

Screams echoed through the hidden torture room of Mechanical. They were harsh screams, the kind that makes your hair stand on edge and sets your heart racing.

Disconnect. It was funny how he no longer felt the pleasure of eliciting screams from his victims. Stranger still that he felt no remorse. It was nothing. Just as Sirrus turned to his alcohol and his drugs and his women to escape the emptiness of his life, Achenar turned to bringing pain to others. But it wasn’t working any more.

He had set up his equipment there, so that the screams would echo without source through the fortress. He found the fear it instilled in the natives inspiring. Sirrus said it broke his concentration. The cage stood in one corner of the room, its sole inhabitant motionless. Achenar sighed and strode out of the room.

“Someone come clean this up!” he said. The room was empty. Bemused, Achenar wandered around the passages of the fortress. All empty. He found Sirrus in his own hidden room. The needles there would be good instruments for his experiments... Achenar finished his twisted thoughts as he watched his brother shoot one up his arm. “Where are my subjects?”

Sirrus laughed after a long pause, his voice slurred. “Your subjects?” He laughed again, doubling over, out of pain or ecstasy, he wasn’t sure. “You’ve killed all of them. Killed them.”


Surely they couldn’t all be dead. There had been several of them when they had arrived, and he liked to take his time with his experiments. But then again, he had done three the previous day because he had been in a bad mood, and they were down to four the day before that… it was funny how things like that could slip the mind.

“Yes.” Sirrus seemed to gather some semblance of control over his limbs and stood, shakily. “I’ve been thinking... perhaps it’s time for us to move on to bigger prizes.”

“Bigger prizes?” Achenar pushed away his disappointment over the end of his resources on Mechanical. He had grown quite comfortable in the fortress, but his interest was piqued. “What?”

“Do you remember Narayan?” Sirrus was grinning. Achenar remembered, thought, and soon found the same grin spreading over his own face. “A good prize, don’t you think?”

#6 User is offline   Topher Bear 

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:36 AM

Title: Yeesha's First Link
Author: Topher Bear
Challenge: 18. Yeesha's first linking.
Timeline Era: - Releeshahn (BoD, Exile, Revelation)
Length: 1279
Other Notes: This is my first piece of Myst Writing. I am not much of a writer, but I do get ideas that I want to write down. so for me this story is more about conveying an idea of what might have happened than it is about a great piece of writing!

Today is to be a momentous day.
Now that Yeesha has reached her 7th birthday, Catherine and I feel that she is ready to experience her first linking.
We have deliberately kept her away from the Books, waiting till a time when we felt she was old enough to appreciate how special and important linking is.

Many times Catherine and I have discussed where we went wrong wit Sirrus and Achenaar. It was of course Catherine who pointed out that we, ourselves, were much older when we first experienced the Joy and Wonder of our first Linking Book. Our fear, now, is that we subjected the boys to linking too early. They were at such a young age that they were unable to grasp the enormity and importance of The Art. To them, Linking Books just became doorways to other rooms in their own home, to be played with as they desired. Such power at such a young age invaded and poisoned their minds.
Enough dwelling on the past. Today Yeesha will link for the first time and we are all excited.

I have chosen Serenia as the Age to visit. The people there are so full of warmth and friendship combined with a healthy dose of respect for all. It should prove a good lesson for Yeesha to meet such people.

As Aitrus put down his pen, Yeesha came rushing in.
“Father, Father! Hurry up. We are ready. We have been waiting for you for hours!”
Aitrus pushed back his chair and placed his arm over Yeesha’s shoulder.
“Come now, Yeesha, don’t exaggerate. I am ready, let’s go.”

They joined Catherine in Aitrus study. Aitrus pulled the Serenia linking book from his coat and carefully placed it down on his desk. He explained to Yeesha that Catherine would link through first, then herself and he would follow after. In this way she would not find herself alone in either Age. Earlier Catherine and Aitrus had debated which of them was to link first. The first would see the joy on Yeesha’s face as she experienced her first glimpse of another Age, while the left behind would be there at the moment she placed her hand upon the panel. However, the debate did not last long as it was a perfect arrangement for each of them. Catherine was concerned more with emotions and for her linking was more about the Ages and the people, whereas Aitrus was concerned more with doing. He loved the Books and The Art more, perhaps, than the Ages.

With a respect only reserved for Linking Books, Aitrus opened the book to reveal the glowing, moving image of the Panel. As Aitrus stepped away, Catherine moved up to replace him at the desk in front of the book. She turned to look at Yeesha, who’s eyes wide drinking in the sight of the Panel, not really knowing what wonders awaited her in only a few moments time. Catherine smiled at her daughter
“I’ll see you in Serenia.” At that she placed her hand upon the panel and disappeared.
“Yeesha, now it is your turn.” Aitrus motioned her forward. “No remember, it may tingle a little, but it is nothing to fear.”
“I know, you’ve told me a thousand times already” She took a deep breath and with an apprehensive smile, her hand hovered over the panel. Despite everything she still felt a little nervous. This was such a big moment for her that she decided some D’ni was appropriate for the moment. She turned to face her father
“Shorah B’Shemtee”
She turned back and pressed her hand down upon the panel, then she was gone.
Aitrus beamed in pride. He took his own place at the book and linked through to Serenia

As he appeared in Serenia’s linking cave he saw Catherine’s loving smiling face. He was unprepared the dramatic change on seeing him. She went from joy to horror.
“What is it?” Aitrus asked and then immediately realised what was wrong.
“Where is Yeesha? Did she not link through?”
Catherine almost couldn’t speak. She was so overcome with a grief that they may have lost their loving daughter, that the books and maker may have taken another child from them. She managed, on the verge of tears, to reply to her husband with but one word.
Aitrus blood went cold and the same thoughts went through his mind also – but ever the practical one he did not yet give up hope.
“Maybe the link failed in some way and she was returned to Tomahna. If so she will be alone and possibly frightened. I will return. You stay here.”
Aitrus returned to Tomahna fully expecting to find his daughter in his study. She was not there waiting for him.
By now, even he was beginning to panic. He rushed around the remainder of their home calling out her name. By the time he returned to his study having not found her he was shaking with terror at the thought that he might never see Yeesha again.
What kind of punishment, he thought, was this from the maker? Was this the sins of the father being metered out upon the son (or in this case daughter)? But was it his wrong doing or his fathers, or perhaps even his sons.
He tried to pull himself together. He needed to stay strong for Catherine. Taking a deep breath and fixing his expression, he returned to Serenia.

He was greeted by the sight of his wife and daughter hand in hand with big smiles on their faces. He was overwhelmed with relief, but at a signal from Catherine he realised that Yeesha had not realised that anything was wrong and that he was not to mention it.
“It is wonderful, father, I’m so pleased you’ve allowed me to come here. I love it. It is so beautiful and green. And the streams make it seem so fresh! It is so different from our desert home. Can we go meet some people now?”
“Of Course.”
Aitrus placed his hand in Yeesha’s and together they made their way along the paths to there arranged meeting.

Later, when Aitrus and Catherine was alone, Aitrus asked the question that had been burning in his heart all day.
“What happened?”
“I don’t know, but not long after you left, she appeared. She had no idea that anything had happened.. She didn’t even seem to realise that her link had taken much longer than it should have. To her it was instantaneous.”
“That is very strange. I will have to investigate the histories, but I don’t remember hearing of this ever happening before. I wonder what it was, and what it might mean?”

I have read as much as I can and can find no reference to an extended linking. What happened to Yeesha seems to be truly unique. Although prepared this time, it did not happen on the return home. I shall have to watch her carefully. I believe that this was a significant happening and that she was somehow “chosen”. I cannot say why I think that, and Catherine thinks I am being overly proud. Yeesha is a very special girl and today’s events tell me that she is going to be very important in the on going story of the D’ni people.

The rest of the trip went well. Yeesha listened attentively to all that she was told and she certainly seemed to learn an important lesson in respect of others homelands. I am confident that she will not follow the paths of Sirrus or Achenaar, but will follow her own path.

Yeesha is my very special Dessert Bird


#7 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:02 AM

Title: An ocean of memories
Author: Allatwan
Challenge: prompt 22
Timeline Era: Roughly a few days before the events in Riven
Length: 990 words
Other Notes: Originally, this was 1676 words long, but I just cut it down to 990. This is because I'd read that the limit was 1500 words (somewhere, though I forgot where that was) and didn't want to write "too much". The rest was about how Katran meets Nelah, but I got rid of that.

Katran shut her eyes, ignoring the guard's groan as he was being pulled to the edge of the cliff. His body landed with a soft thud, followed by an ominous silence.
The Moiety scout scurried back, pulled on the lever and grinned under his mask.

"I can't believe you returned Katran! The others will be so pleased-"

Katran nodded, blinking awkwardly in the cage as she stepped out into bright sunlight. She had not exactly expected anything specific to occur upon her return, but had not thought she would be so ill-at-ease either. She had often wondered what it would feel like to go "home" but had never really given it much thought. Over the years, she had come to learn that "home" was one of those things which name pushed a needle through your heart but which, eventually, was something that would only make you sigh when the heart-ache was gone. Later still, she had realized that the very word was meaningless; home was Myst island, not Riven. Katran had not mourned over her so-called "exile" because she had not, unlike others, believed in its finality. She had unconsciously kept hoping that one day, she would return.

She followed the Moiety scout around the island, her eyes darting from the glittering ocean to the impressive golden dome next to them, pausing at plants which she recognized or the peculiar shape of a rock in front of her. The island had not changed. It was as though it had been frozen in her memory and was slowly waking up now that she'd come back. The only things that surprised her were the heat, colours and light. For the first time in thirty years, she felt like the lighting was normal, like she had been kept in constant semi-darkness for a third of her life. As for the colours, they were brighter than she remembered. Everything seemed more vivid, more alive than what she had seen for the past thirty years. However, she was overcome with a peculiar feeling of helplessness and numbness that stunned her and prevented her from enjoying her return. It was as though her senses ignored the new smells and noises she was now surrounded with and had built a wall around her.

To make matters worse, her head was spinning out of control. She had never imagined that her brain would constantly compare her current experience with her memories. It was impossible to look at something without its reminiscence flashing in her mind, like two superposed images. Meanwhile, the Moiety scout went on chatting at top speed, his voice drilling through her skull in an incomprehensible flow of words which accent she yet recognized. Katran felt her stomach lurch. She was sick, which she found strange considering the circumstances.
Now thrust in a world where everything seemed more vivid than her memories, she feared that it would erase her past. Those memories were her only precious belonging, the only thing she had brought from home. Katran wondered what would become of her if she ever "forgot". She shuddered and rubbed her spine. Let it never happen, she silently prayed.

After what seemed like an eternity, they reached the hiding place where he had hidden the book to Tay.

"You link first", the scout beamed, removing his mask.

"No, you do it", she replied, her own voice sounding strange to her hears. How long had it been since she had last spoken in Rivenese? "You will need to warn the others", she added with a smile. She already loathed her accent, though she had a feeling it could not have changed much, even after all that time. The truth was that she would never judge anything impartially anymore; she knew, deep down inside, that no matter what she did or what occurred, she would compare that with what she remembered.

Her growing annoyance and nausea reached its climax the moment she linked to Tay. Pursing her lips tightly shut, Katran stumbled, as though she had forgotten what it felt like to link. She heard the scout laugh and half-turned to glare back at him. Immediately, the people who were on watch at the linking point let out gasps and cheers.

"By Atrus, it really is her!" A middle-aged woman exclaimed. The other man whom she remembered as a fisherman from the village rushed to her side to help her up but Katran gestured for him to go. Standing up, she rubbed her palms and forced a tight smile on her lips.

"Yes, I am back, and I have dearly missed you all", she mumbled. It sounded cliched but it was the truth. The others babbled on and on in excitement, motioning her to follow them. Katran glanced up the moment she sat in the row-boat.

The Hive hadn't changed either. It was tall, dark and foreboding, even though she could hear laughs and even faint traces of music echoing over the lake. She wrapped her favourite shawl tighter around her shoulders and slowly began to rock back and forth, swallowing bile since the sickness would not pass. She listened to her heartbeat; it seemed to be in synch with her throbbing temples.
Meanwhile, the four Moiety were still laughing loudly. Katran managed a smile when the reached the shore but had trouble getting off the boat. She frowned at her own sudden clumsiness and wondered if that was the way "returns" were meant to be.

#8 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:37 AM

Title: Welcome to the family
Author: Allatwan
Challenge: Prompt 31: AU: Gehn has picked a Rivenese wife after Atrus and Katran left and actually had other children.
Timeline Era: Gehn. This takes place during Riven, so to speak.
Length: 1465 words
Other Notes: The Stranger is not me nor any of my previous characters. It is whoever you want to imagine. I would also like to thank Capella who read and helped me edit this.

I sighed and clicked on the button that would summon Gehn. I saw him casually climb up the steps through the window. It looked like there was some pretty strong wind outside. I longed to wander out along that rocky shore and admire that beautiful, everlasting sunset- or was it sunrise?- with the wind in my hair. The noise the door made when Gehn slammed it, however, tore me from my reverie.

"Well done!" He sneered, pacing with graceful ease across his study. "I was greatly relieved when I received word that you had recovered the book".
The green object Atrus had entrusted me was lying right behind me in the cage.

"I don't quite know how you've managed it", he went on gravely, his nearly pupil-less eyes avidly scanning the cage, "but... May I?" He finally blurted out, his gloved arm suddenly through the bars. I did not hesitate. He had already snatched it from me before I could mutter a "here you go" and was cautiously examining it. I watched his slow, calculated gestures as he skimmed through the book and the way his eyes opened wide and round, his lips half-parted with astonishment.
Perfect, I smirked to myself.

Suddenly, he paused, his left fist twitching in mid-air. He shut the book and turned to me.
"Perhaps it would be best if you went through first".

My hands began to feel moist again. What now? Doubt was clearly etched across his face. Taking a deep breath, I extended my hand through the bars.

"Who do you take me for?" I sighed. "A skilled killer, perhaps? Or a Moiety" I added with a playful grin. Gehn sniffed, his face stern.

"I shall follow you directly", he simply growled.

"What- you want to do this right now?" I asked, faking innocent surprise.

I saw his face twist with a look of mild worry, but it was so short-lived I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I'd blinked. Wondering what was the matter, I bit the tip of my tongue and decided to shut up until he was safely captured thanks to the book.

"You are right", he murmured. "I will leave a note for my family".

I gasped and watched him scribble something on a scrap piece of paper which he tucked between two books on his desk. It had never occurred to me that he could have remarried after Katran and Atrus had gone through the Fissure decades ago...

"Are we ready?" He asked. I nodded, smiling, and opened the book.

"Atrus will be so pleased", I assured him with a false smile. He nodded, his eyes equally dishonest.
Aren't we both bad at lying? I thought with a chuckle as I closed my eyes. My entire arm tingled when I stroked the linking panel with rising excitement.

"My mission was an honourable one..."
Gehn's words echoed in my mind. Wasn't I thinking the very same thing at that moment? I wondered if I'd be able to look at myself in the mirror again after I'd open the Fissure and start this world's apocalypse.
It turned out that I didn't take that much time to make up my mind

* * * * *

I winced when the device finally fell through. A warm gush of wind began to suck heavy thunderclouds over the Fissure. The sky went red in an instant and for a second, familiar images of sandstorms flashed in my mind. Tripping on my own native boots, I instinctively protected my face with my arms. But curiosity got the better of me; it was impossible not to watch such a show. It was like reading John's Revelation, but better, because I was living it for real.

I heard the sound of linking and stepped back, pulling my hair away from my face with both hands. That was it, I'd done it; Atrus was here. All was well- well, sort of.
He looked around him, disoriented, and smiled with recognition when he saw me.

"There isn't much time", he declared gravely. "Where's Catherine? Where's the-"

Katran ran into his arms and hugged him. I grinned while they laughed, oblivious to the chaos that had started to tear apart the world around us. Suddenly, something caught my eye behind them. At first, I thought it was something like debris of the temple, or even an illusion caused by the Fissure, but I saw it again. A shadow. It was hesitating- and carrying a gun. Atrus saw my look of alarm before I even said anything.

"What's wrong, my friend?" He frowned and immediately whirled around. Gehn's personal guard, a very clumsy, drowsy kind of guy I liked to call "Cho", stumbled forward, followed by a tall hooded figure in white robes. The scribe I'd seen on the Surveyors' Island.

"I don't understand-"

"You never could, Atrus", the scribe snorted in perfect D'ni. My blood froze despite the temperature's steady rise since I had opened the Fissure. "So, this is my could-have-been mother and the family's biggest failure? I must say that I had not quite pictured you that way", the man went on.

I stared hard at the four of them, unsure what to make of this. When my brain finally "unfroze", the only thing I could hear was an emergency alarm ringing "Go- Right NOW!"
"Cho" must have read my mind for his gun was pointed right at my forehead the second I stepped closer to the Fissure. I tried that so-called innocent smile with him, but to no avail. I was forced to step back.

"All I want is the book", the scribe growled. He looked neither like Gehn nor Atrus with that thick, curly beard, but he sure had inherited his father's tone of voice and imperious blue glare. I cleared my throat and shot Atrus a helpless look. Don't do it, his eyes silently pleaded.

"Here", I whispered and hung my head with shame as I let the native guard take it. The scribe laughed when I tried to sprint to the crack in the cliff. His guard pushed me back so hard I fell backwards and hit the ground, hurting my spine in the process.

"You didn't really think that I was going to let you get away with that, did you?" Gehn's second son scorned. I wiped tears from my eyes in silence, not daring to meet my friends' distraught looks.

"Here, Atrus", the scribe ordered, opening the book. "Be useful for once in your life. I am sure father would be grateful if you were the one freeing him".

The guard pushed him forward. Katran sobbed when he linked and I shut my eyes, wondering just how much worse this could possibly get. I got my answer when Gehn returned.

"I thank you, my son", I heard him sigh with relief. He stepped forward and pulled me up by the hair. "As for you", he hissed in my ear, then paused, probably waiting for my reaction. I was already trembling and covering my face like a coward, which seemed good enough to him. "I am not done with you yet".

He tossed me across the ground, just close enough to the Fissure for me to spread out an arm with hope. "Cho" casually stepped on my hand, making me yelp in pain.

"Ah, sweet Catherine, we meet again..." Gehn snickered behind me. "I must say you were the worst disappointment in my life- after Atrus, that is". I heard the shot, gasp, and noise when she crumpled on the ground inches away from me, but my mind would not process it just then. The only thing I could think of was of various means to escape this living hell.

"What should we do with him?" The scribe enquired, tapping a finger on the prison book.

"Give it to me", his father ordered. He probably complied, since I heard pages being flipped. Gehn finally made a throaty noise of disgust and let the book slip through his fingers and fall into the void. My eyes followed it, yearning to do the exact same jump. But "Cho" yanked me away from the Fissure by the collar before I could even think about it twice.

"And now..." Gehn chuckled, looking me up and down. I blushed with embarrassment; I've always hated being stared at.

"Atrus' followers must be punished" The scribe muttered into his father's ear, oblivious to the fact that I could understand him. "After all they've done to you- us- to this Age..."

"Indeed", Gehn agreed with a nod. I felt my throat go dry under his furious glare and only exhaled when he began to walk away.
"Come on", he told "Cho", his face red with rage. "Age 234 is waiting".

* * * * *

#9 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:47 PM

Title: The Next Beginning
Author: Talashar
Challenge: 29
Timeline Era: Releeshahn (BoD, Exile, Revelation)
Length: 844 words
Other Notes: AU

Sirrus slammed the Book shut and pressed his fingers to his head, sitting motionless until his frustration abated. “It should have worked,” he said to himself. “But why didn’t it?” He heard steps on the stone floor behind him, and felt a hand rest on his shoulder.

“You’re trying again, aren’t you?”

He snorted. “Well, I can’t leave them to die.”

“Responsibility suits you.”

I might, you know, just be trying to rescue Halla, he thought, but knew better than to say it out loud. “Caradell, my love.” He patted her hand.

“You know where Anna is, I trust.”

“Oh, I imagine she is feeding the butterflies again.”

“Until I came and got her, she was in the village, talking to that boy she’s been infatuated with.”


“Sirrus, Sirrus, you always ignore what is not directly before your eyes. We had better watch those two closely in the future.”

“Perhaps I should spend more time with her.”

“Perhaps.” One of Caradell’s significant pauses. “I visited Dream again. Nothing has changed. Still the same warnings.”

He stood up, adjusting his glasses as he stared off into the distance, then brought his fist suddenly down on the table. “That was my father’s vision, not mine! His…delusion that he could restore D’ni. The cavern is dead, and its people died with it. Oh my love, you should know better than anyone that I do not intend to…to follow in my father’s steps.” She smiled softly, and he could not help but smile back.

“The fire moon should be rising about now. I suppose you want to stand out on the balcony?” Caradell asked.

The stars had come out, always more beautiful here in Serenia than in any of the hundred other Ages Sirrus had visited, even Mechanical, where the stars had been the reward of victory over the black ships. He held Caradell in his arms and watched the three moons as they danced across the sky. Legend said that the moons had once been a man with two wives, who prayed that they could all live forever in heaven. Caradell, knew Sirrus, would die long before him, but that only made each moment they had together more precious.

“I find myself wondering why I ever leave,” said Sirrus at last. “Oh, this Age is more than enough for me to rule. Perhaps I should let young Garukil have a chance to sit in judgment over Ascent, and give more responsibility to Semraa in Narayan. There are times when I do not know if I deserve everything that I have taken.”

“You know well that you deserve all of this and more. You have brought countless people out of their savagery. You have held back innumerable threats that would otherwise destroy us.”

“And yet I have failed so many times.” Dear Halla. He sighed and glanced aside at one of the two glass panels that stood at each side of the balcony, seeing himself with his short, rounder, face, the glasses set over his wide nose, the deep lines at the corners of his mouth. Sirrus frowned.

He really had liked his old body better.

Rapid steps on the stairs below, and Little Sirrus appeared. Caradell hissed softly. “You should be asleep in bed,” she told him.

Little Sirrus rubbed his eyes. “I would like a story, please.”

“Oh, I suppose that I can give you one,” said Sirrus, and took a seat, lifting his son onto his lap. “Now let me see. On a far away island there lived an ogre! As ogres go, he was not a bad one, but he was an ogre nonetheless, and he growled and grumped and stomped around his castle.

“He had two sons, and while the elder was a bloodthirsty monster who ground up bones for his bread, the younger was a handsome prince. And this prince decided to overthrow his father so he could rule in his place. But before he had the chance to put his plan in motion, the ogre seized both his sons and threw them in the darkest dungeon cells. As far as I know, the older son is still rotting there. Justice for what he had done.

“But the younger son remembered what his father had told him, and carried a key in his clothing. He set himself free and fled that island, and in another land he met a sorceress who fell deeply in love with him. With the help of her magic he took possession of the ogre’s castle, and threw the ogre out to wander the wilderness forever, so he and the sorceress could rule wisely together. And they lived happily ever after.”

Seeing that the child’s head was beginning to nod, he kissed his brow. “Goodnight, Sirrus, my son.” And as he spoke his voice grew husky, for a sudden feeling of familiarity swept over him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw their reflection in the mirror, and it seemed that in that reflection there were pine trees and the glimmering of an ocean beyond.


#10 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:12 AM

Title: Of fascination and disgust
Author: Allatwan
Challenge: 11. The first time one of Atrus' sons killed a person.
Timeline Era: Releeshahn (BoD, Exile, Revelation)- some time after the boys got rid of their parents.
Length: 1041 words
Other Notes: Warning: violence, gore, whatever. I also wanted to say that I did not exactly respect the prompt since it does not actually show a person being killed but rather the way Sirrus perceives what he's done.
Here goes:

Sirrus wiped his eyes one last time and went to sit on the terrace, his breath still quick and irregular. He fell with a loud thud and just sat there, his eyes blank but focused on his older brother's back. He was hunched over something, his broad shoulders slowly moving from time to time. Sirrus did not have the guts to ask him what he was doing.

"You alright?" Achenar finally asked, shooting a look over his shoulder. Sirrus nodded, still stunned.
"Cry-baby", the older boy chuckled, shaking his head. He send wild, frizzy hair flying over his mocking hazel eyes. Sirrus did not instantly react.

"I wasn't crying", he lied. "I was washing my hands".

"Right", Achenar laughed. He went back to his silent work, a sardonic smile still etched on his face. When a pen rolled from his crossed laps, Sirrus, who had bent to catch it before it fell off the terrace, saw what it was.

"You can't even draw", he spat, handing the pen to his brother.

"You know what grandmother used to say; practise makes perfect", Achenar giggled, mocking Ti'Anna's high-pitched, quivering tone.

"As if", Sirrus sniffed, looking away. Achenar finally broke the silence that settled between them.

"You'll get used to it, you know".

"I've no idea what you're talking about", Sirrus growled, sliding his knees closer to his face. His chin fitted perfectly in that little gap.

"As if!" Achenar went on smiling, imitating his brother's still unbroken voice. "You'll see, it's a matter of time". He kicked the wooden floor and slid back right to Sirrus' level. Now that Sirrus could see what he had been drawing, he realized that his brother had actually improved a lot since the last time he had left a couple of sketches lying around on the living room table. These were studies.

"Isn't anatomy simply... fascinating, dear brother?"
Achenar's voice had risen and now trembled with something Sirrus was still too young to understand. It was usually accompanied by a strange gleam in his eyes, something odd that made him ill-at-ease. It had all started over less than a year ago, at about the same time when he had started to consider himself a "real" man. Sirrus shuddered and hoped that he would not become that way too, when he would grow up.

"Look- isn't it strange how everything seems to have been perfectly calculated and organized?" The oldest of the two went on.

"Are you trying to tell me they're only perfect once you cut them up?" Sirrus grumbled, unconvinced.

"All these different layers... and these veins, like tiny canals..." Achenar seemed deaf, lost in his own world as he continued to trace his sketches with an ink-stained finger.
At least Sirrus hoped that was ink. He studied his shoe laces, ignoring his brother's crazed monologue.

"I'm tired of it", he finally muttered. "It's useless. I don't even understand why you find it fun".

Achenar stopped and whirled around, grabbing the kid's forearm as he did so. Sirrus yelped but the older teen's grip only tightened, his dirty fingernails digging in his pale flesh. Blood oozed from the moon-shaped cuts and tickled from his skinny arm but Achenar did not even drop his gaze to enjoy the show. He was still glaring at his brother. Sirrus winced and sniffled, shaking with terror.

"You can't turn back now", he roared, "not now, you hear me? Do you want to free mom and dad and get punished for what we've done? Or do you want to go on and get rich?"

"Go on, go on!" Sirrus whined. Achenar's grip loosened, an opportunity he seized to wiggle his arm away. The last thing he wanted was for his brother to get rid of him and enjoy himself without him. As for his parents... He shuddered at the very thought.
His father had amply deserved his fate and his mother- well, wasn't she finally home, where she belonged? Part of him wished he had also gone to Riven, though.

"Grow up, Sirrus", Achenar concluded grimly. "It's about time you stopped being a kid. Surely you're smart enough to understand that".
Sirrus nodded, still rubbing his arm. "Good", Achenar sighed and went back to his work, muttering to himself.

Fun. Sirrus still couldn't understand how torturing people could be considered as leisure, just as reading was to him. He remembered how, for the past weeks, Achenar had asked him to help him create those machines. At first, Sirrus had only considered it a challenge- to improve his previous conceptions. That had been fun. Then, he had seen the vengeful aspect of it all. As a rather shy, introverted and secretly depressive kind of child, Sirrus had quickly learned that inflicting pain upon others was an easy way to get rid of his inner demons and rage. His victims' pleading eyes were full of fear and he had enjoyed that feeling of superiority; he was their master and for once in his life, he controlled something. For once in his life, he wasn't the one being told what to do. But then, part of him had gotten tired of it. Part of it was ashamed of what he'd done and wished he would stop. Eventually, his shame and growing disgust were so great that he could no longer sleep or continue to live in peace. It was as though invisible, reproachful eyes followed him wherever he went. His behaviour had begun to change too. He no could no longer watch what his brother did without laughing uncontrollably, his entire body shaking, and then rush outside when it was "too much" to throw up until his throat was sore and bleeding.

It was then that Sirrus made a resolution that changed his life forever.

"I'll be a monster then, since that's what I have already turned into", he thought miserably, "but not one that enjoys pain like Achenar. One that doesn't see pain, one that doesn't feel pain".
From then on, he would have to teach himself to be numb to his surroundings. And again, there would be no turning back.

* * * * * *

#11 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:01 PM

Title: Passive resistance
Author: Allatwan
Challenge: Catherine Riven's prison
Timeline Era: Riven (the game)
Length: 1319 words

Katran heard the elevator jolt to a halt from her end of the prison. She jumped with a start but did not turn to look at her visitor. Instead, she went on squinting through a crack in the wood, trying to have a little more than a glimpse of the ocean outside. Freedom.

It was not Gehn; she recognized the familiar jingle of wooden and metallic bangles along with light and rapid footsteps as those of a woman. The woman stopped but Katran did not turn. She was still desperately trying to see something beside the turquoise waves, anything that would have made her imprisonment worthwhile. People, perhaps, preferably fishermen. A serene scene from somebody else's peaceful daily life. Something worth her interest and which would have reminded her of her childhood.
The woman behind her cleared her throat impatiently.

"I have come to serve you dinner", she murmured. Katran looked up from the crack in the wall and slowly turned to face her former best friend.

"Thank you, Nelah", she managed a smile.

The girl had barely changed. She was taller, leaner than in her memories, but had cut her long braids when she had joined the Moiety. At the moment, she had tucked her hair into a studded cap- a neat way to hide it all- and wore the kind of beautiful but unpractical dresses Katran was fond of. Hers was green, of course, and black- her colours. Katran glanced down at her own; red and white. It used to be like an unsaid rule they had respected ever since they were little and were often mistaken for sisters. But time had passed and they had grown up, taking different paths.
The last time she had seen her was on Tay. Nelah had come much later, after everyone had greeted Katran and informed her of what had changed since she had left Riven. She had been silent, a look disbelief in her bored eyes, and had quickly found an excuse to leave. When Katran had gone out to look for her later that night, she had disappeared.

She was aware that Nelah had never forgiven her. Katran had been an older sister to her, someone who knew how to write and who, in her eyes, could have used her knowledge and relations for the Moiety's cause. But she had fallen in love with a D'ni- Gehn's own son- and had abandoned her. No matter how many times she had told her that it was much more complicated than that, Nelah had simply refused to forgive her. And now that Katran was considered as an incarnation of one of their gods, Nelah would watch her in silence with that same look which Katran suspected was inspired by jealousy. She knew that her younger friend dedicated her entire life to the Moiety and had yet not gained the recognition she wanted. It was as if Katran had stolen that from her although she had "deserted" their friends.

Nelah shrugged. "I'm only doing what I was told to do", she casually replied.

"I know", Katran said with a faint smile, "Inapo told me about your job".

She paused, studying Nelah's face to see the full effect of her words on her friend. But the Moiety merely passed bowls and a platter through the bars, her face as unfathomable as it had been the night Katran had returned.

"Did he really?" She wondered aloud. "Good", she added without waiting for Katran to answer her, "that should spare us... an unpleasant conversation", she finished, her eyes dark.

Katran slowly put everything on the platter. Her eyes were lost in some silent contemplation, as if the fish stew Nelah had just served her contained suspicious ingredients. Finally, she looked up, at a loss for words.
Her friend had not left. She was leaning back against the opposite wall, her arms crossed, a hint of a sardonic smile across her face.

"Is her holiness missing anything?" she asked. Her tone was frigid with sarcasm.
Katran bit her lower lip.

"Not with me, Nelah..." she whispered, shaking her head. "You know that-"

"Can I get you something?" The young woman in green repeated, louder this time.

"No", Katran admitted, not knowing how to phrase what she wanted to say, "your stew looks- and smells- delicious".

"I didn't cook it", Nelah sniffed. Disdain flashed in her defiant black eyes. "Faanu did".

"How kind of her", Katran faltered, poking at bits of fish with her wooden spoon. The pale, translucent flesh repulsed her at the moment.

"Nelah", she started, lowering the bowl next to her, "I wanted to speak to you".

Somewhere outside, a seagull broke the tense silence.

"I have to go down now", Nelah finally blurted out. "They'll be suspicious if I don't", she added, jerking her thumb behind her back.

"Wait!" Katran whispered, urgency in her voice, "just a moment! It's been years, hasn't it? When was the last time we had a proper conversation?"

Nelah's face froze like a distorted mask. She narrowed her eyes. Katran thought that she had grabbed her attention and wasn't about to let go.

"I need to speak to someone who doesn't over-respect me to a point where everything is taboo or flattery- someone who knows me, Nelah", she went on.

"It has been years", Nelah nodded, her voice barely audible. It was very deep, much to Katran's surprise. "And what were you doing all that time?" She added, her glare bitter with reproach.


"Don't", the Moiety interrupted her. "You abandoned us. You left everyone here on Riven when you left with Atrus. And what for?"

She waited, a mixture of disdain, pain and anger in her eyes and voice. Katran did not answer.

Nelah hissed the word close to the older woman's face, like an imaginary dart directed at her. "You did not leave us in order to return in all your glory with help from wherever Allatwan led to. No- you left and never came back".

Katran's left hand felt for what she had meant to give to Nelah weeks ago. Her fingers closed around a thin rectangular booklet. But her friend was not done.

"Now the only thing I want to know is why you came back now", she whispered as she gathered the bowls Katran had put aside.


"Don't give me any of that Nelah with that contrite look!" She raised her voice. Katran took out the booklet and showed it to her friend.

"I promise to explain next time", she murmured, carefully sliding her forearm between the bars, "but first, please take this and keep it somewhere safe".

For a second, she thought that Nelah would simply storm out of the room or- even worse- that a guard would pick that very moment to come and separate them. But nothing of the sort happened. Nelah took a deep breath and extended her arm to snatch the booklet.

"What is it?" she asked, perplexed at the foreign scrip and odd sketches.

"As I have already told you", Katran carefully chose her words, "I promise to explain everything next time. This is a journal I had begun to write in Tay- it is for Atrus or whoever comes to help- it's very complicated, Nelah", she sighed impatiently, "just please hide it".

Someone called Nelah from downstairs. The woman in green bit her lip and shouted something back, her eyes riveted on the booklet, which pages she kept on flipping one after the other.

"Alright. Is that all?"

"Yes", Katran sighed with relief. "Thank you, Nelah".

The woman shrugged. "I'm just doing what I'm told- for Riven, that is, not for you or anybody else". Her jaw was set in a firm and determined line.

"I know", Katran whispered as the elevator rolled down with a whirring noise.

* * * * *

#12 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

Title: Age of Judgment
Author: Talashar
Challenge: 17
Timeline Era: Rediscovery (Uru, EoA)
Length: 493
Other Notes: Just a snippet that's been sitting on my computer for a while. I'm not totally happy with it, but it seemed like a good idea to post this for Halloween. Wait, Halloween? Just how long have I been putting this off? :blink:

We are a cruel people.

When I found myself able to return to D’ni at last, the first thing I did was to search for whatever had been written concerning the creatures. There was little remaining, but most of it bore the marks of terrible, primeval fear. Did they know the truth, I wonder, or did they assume that the creatures had simply been produced by chance or the Maker’s hand, just as one Age holds yootays and another reekoos?

A long time in the dark. It is hard to put into words. Maybe if I had been a Writer, fluent with the garohevtee, it would be easier to explain. I no longer move in space (of my own accord) and time (without my will). I move along lines of power, and to take my power is to take my movement.

The witch once called me a snake, saying that there was a surface-dweller legend about a snake that deceived the first man and woman by offering them the wisdom of gods. A Maintainer friend told me about a tribe of natives that say snakes tricked them into giving up their regenerative powers. The creatures have a legend that snakes are their jailers…but of course, that is not a legend, as I have learned twice over.

A long time in the dark, but now the light of a firemarble burns my eyes. “Subject fifteen. Large individual marked with pattern on right leg and standard symbol on left shoulder.”

My mother told me long ago that when we die we become angels. An absurd superstition, but closer to the truth than all of my scientific investigations. Closer to the truth, I say? It is the truth, once you accept that angels are not messengers of Yahvo, that there is no Yahvo to send messages at all.

“From various other subjects I have determined that symbol is ineffective with skin alone. For subject fifteen I will attempt to remove the skin together with the top layer of endochitin. Beetles have chitin, don’t they? Maybe if I had been an Inkmaker I would understand better.”

I can’t move. I hate snakes now. Ever since I was murdered, I’ve hated snakes. I’ve tried to find my father, or my old tutor, or my grandmother’s sister, but of course that’s not how things work. They put me here, like she said. They put me here. Time isn’t how I used to think, it doesn’t go from one to two, no, no, no.

Maker I hate him. Oh Maker how can I stand to do it what is he doing with that knife the hooks were bad enough punish him punish him but I know he will be punished he will be tortured with hooks and knives and watch him torturing and go mad. Soon enough I will go mad but pain teaches us the true nature of time there is no soon there is only now

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