Felarya, a name that includes mysteries, dangers and exotic places; the name of a world full of creatures that were able to wipe out a whole city without any problems.
A world, filled with carnivore plants and animals that just waited for some travelers to catch and eat them and a world of mysteries that were beyond the human mind
and although it was the goal of many explorers, traders and other humans who came to Felarya because of many different reasons. Some of them wanted to become rich, some wanted to explore the abandoned ruins of lost civilizations and other just wanted to travel through the world because it was a central world which was connected to many other worlds.
For Malinda and her partner Cedric there was only one reason why they were actually in Felarya; they had to finish a transfer between two groups of mercenaries and they had to be the diplomatic persons. But now there was a second goal here on Felarya: Surviving.
Malinda, a young woman in the age of 23 years, had a athletic body and her long, brown hair was bounded to a ponytail. She just wore a short trouser and a shirt, enough for the hot climate here on Felarya and she was running for her life. Beside her, her friend Cedric was running too. He was the older one of both with his 27 years, he had also long hair but they were waving in the wind while he was fleeing from the creature behind them. Both of them knew that in the most time it wasn't possible to escape any predator here on Felarya, but this creature wasn't like the other.
It was a bizare version of a very big bug, similar to a Tonorion, spiked creatures that were absolutely deadly. But this creature was smaller than a Tonorion and not that fast; it was about 6 feet high, not very bigger than Malinda and it was definitely in a rage and hungry and even if it wasn't as fast as a Tonorion, it had a good duration and the young diplomat could feel how her feet began to hurt and her lungs felt like they would burn.
But both of them knew also that it would be suicide to stop; the monster was too strong and it claws were too sharp so that they wouldn't stand against it and the black chitin-armor looked like he wouldn't be easily to break through; so they had no other choice than to run for their life.
But Malinda also knew that her body was close to his limit and sooner or later the exhaustion would start to overrun her and then she would fall and this would mean a painful death. She closed her eyes, took out every reserve of energy and continued to run, until she heard a loud, male voice in front of her and she knew this voice didn't belong to Cedric.
"GET DOWN BOTH!"
And even if Malinda didn't know exactly why, she led herself fall down to the ground, Cedric too, just to see some short lightnings before the gunfire started and three salves of bullets were fired inside the creatures body. With a loud hissing it tried to turn back immediately but the fire didn't end and even more bullets began to break through the chitin-armor, a leg of the bug broke away and it felt down to the ground, just to get even more hits and in the end the monster didn't move anymore.
Malinda was blinking confused, her heartbeat was running and as she lifted her head away from the dirt of the ground, she was staring at some feet and legs, covered in a light armor, followed by some hands that were holding a machine-gun and the rest of the soldiers body. With the unknown person there were two other soldiers, one of them stretched down his hand to help her up while the other was helping Cedric.
Now Malinda could see the faces of their saver; the man in the center had no hair and a stern expression, his eyes were wandering around alerted but then he fixed Malinda and nodded into her direction. He was maybe in the middle of the thirties and the oldest of the three men because the other two looked ways younger than him. One of them had short blond hairs and deep blue eyes while the other had some rastas and a well tanned skin. On their armors were no signs so these weren't soldiers from a special group. Cedric came to her side and he harrumphed himself.
"Thank you very much for saving our lives. That was pretty close, just a few minutes later and we would be dead." he bowed a little into the direction of the older one who seemed to be the leader of them. Malinda was still nervous, maybe these were bandits or slave-traders who just saved them to rob them or enslave them.
But to her relief the older one smiled thin and nodded in Cedric's direction. "No problem man, you two are some lucky bastards. We just passed by and heard this creature hissing and screaming, normally they don't hunt on their own so we were pretty sure that this one had a reason to be out here alone and in the end we were right. By the way, name's James and these are my two companions Alex and Rend and
oh I nearly forgot ..." he took a deep breath and shouted out loud "... SORCHA! You cane come out, it's safe!"
Malinda was raising an eyebrow until she heard something behind the tree man. Some bushes were moving and a young woman, not older than 17, was standing up, it seemed like she was hiding there.
She looked very pale and the fact that her hair was white didn't give her a more healthy look. She was thin and breakable and there was something young and naive inside her eyes. Sorcha was coming closer and smiled shy into their direction, but she remained silent.
"It's an honor to meet you. My name is Cedric and this is my partner Malinda. We both are diplomats and just wanted to reach one of the portals leading back to the central worlds when we ran into this monster. It was pretty weird because it attacked us at the road, I never saw any wild creatures that left their territory to attack human areas." Cedric continued he just examined Sorcha for a few moments before he got his attention back to James who nodded thoughtful.
"Yeah this is really strange. Well
if you want to reach the portals, we can escort you to this place. For a little fee, of course, we will guarantee your safety during the whole journey. We are on our way to an outpost of the Delurans, they will give us a place to sleep in exchange of some goods and tomorrow we will bring you home. If you don't want to, our ways will separate right here and you two are on your own. So?" James crossed his arms as good as it was possible inside this armor. It was also the first time Malinda recognized that the girl wasn't wearing any protection.
Cedric was looking beside to his partner and Malinda was thinking about the offering before she asked. "How much?" and as James just replied "50 ..." she nodded. "I think we have a deal
haven't we, Cedric?" and now she was looking expectant to Cedric who nodded. "Sure, as long as we will survive this trip ..."
"Fine. I hope you are ready to continue
we have to reach the outpost before it becomes night, because then the Nagas and Dridders come out, and they are too heavy for us. But be quiet
we don't need any more attention. The fact that we had to fire our weapons is bad enough, okay? So then let's go."
For Cedric and Malinda it was hard to follow the group. They were running a long distance before and now they had to walk again, even if the group went a little slowly with the time so that they could rest from time to time. During their way, Malinda was watching the girl they called Sorcha and she began to ask herself what she was doing here.
There was no reason that she was accompanying these soldiers and she didn't look like a traveler that would be just escorted like Cedric and Malinda were. The young girl was walking beside the group all the time, her eyes were wandering around and a strange kind of alertness was inside her expression so that Malinda believed that she was maybe a scout; but just moments later she was jumping around like a small child and ripped out some smaller plants to watch them
something was definitely strange about her but she was looking like a nice person in the end.
They weren't following a special path, there was no road or markings that could tell them where exactly they were, but James often looked down to his compass and to a map so that Malinda was pretty sure that he knew where to go. The sun was at her highest point when Rend stopped abruptly and raised one hand. Everybody stopped too and James looked to his companion.
"Something is moving forward ..." he whispered "the tracker is giving some signals" he whispered now and went down at his knees, other followed his example and so Cedric and Malinda did too.
"How many and what kind of creatures?"James whispered back.
"Just one person
but out here in the wilderness it is strange
the only persons out here are mercenaries, and they are never alone or ..."
"Raiders ..." Alex finished his sentence.
"Raiders? What are Raiders?" Cedric asked.
"Bandits, plunderer, murderer
they travel through Felarya just to kill everybody who is weaker than them so that they can loot the corpses. They don't want to let you survive
they enjoy to kill ..." James explained and began to look forward. "If it's just one of them
then there is only one possibility ..." he mumbled.
Cedric, who seemed to be a little annoyed shook his head. "Why are you so careful? It's just one person ..." and with these words he stood up "... what could a single person ..." and his words were interrupted by a loud bang, and just moments after Cedric broke into his knees and felt to the ground. Malinda watched in horror why he felt down; there was something between his eyes; a bullet.
"SNIPER! Kill this bastard!" Alex was shouting and the soldiers began to crawl into different directions.
Malinda didn't realize anything, she was just staring at the bleeding wound and Cedric's wide opened eyes. He was dead, nobody could survive a bullet that hit directly the head, especially not from a sniper. Tears began to flow down her cheek, her partner was dead
She shook her head with disbelief and for a moment she even didn't realize how a hand was pushing her gently beside. As Malinda was looking to the source she could see Sorcha kneeing above Cedric and watching him; she didn't care for what happened about her and even as some weapon-fire sounded around them, she was just staring at his face.
Malinda wanted to push the scary girl away but then Sorcha was stretching out a hand and touched the wound at Cedric's head.
"No time to sleep now
it's a bad place to fall asleep
you have to rise." she said and for a moment her eyes became empty, no sign of her iris, there was just the white in it and she fist one hand and raised it.
From one moment to the other the wound began to close and Cedric opened his eyes. He coughed loud and his breath was running but he was definitely alive. Malinda couldn't believe what she was seeing at the moment and she stretched out a hand to touch Cedric's cheek, just to feel that he was really alive. He was staring at Malinda first then to Sorcha who smiled down.
"Awake you little sleepy head?" she asked in a childish tone and smiled before she was looking around and began to crawl away from both, in direction of the fight who was in his full action.
Cedric was staring perplex at Malinda. "What
happened?" he asked but his partner was just falling around his neck and hugged him. In the meantime the sounds of weapon-fire became silent and the three soldiers and Sorcha came back.
"Alright he is dead
how do you feel?" he asked while he was looking down at Cedric who just stared up perplex. "Okay you seem to be alright, no time for questions, stand up, both of you, we have to go before his companions will join the party ..." and so they had to continue their journey, even if there were too many questions flying around in Malinda's mind.
They reached the Deluran outpost by night. The stars were shining down to the small bunker and when they came closer, two armed Deluran soldiers came closer. One of them liftes his head and shook his red hair free. "There you are, thought something had happened ...who are those two guys?"
"Two guests we are escorting, we brought you the goods, should be enough to give both of them a place to sleep too, huh?" James smiled and laughed rough.
so welcome James, Alex, Rend, Sorcha
you know where you can go."
The soldiers began to walk inside the complex, Malinda and Cedric followed and so did Sorcha too but nothing without greeting the young man with a friendly "Hi Flynn ..." before she vanished inside the bunker.
Inside there were two rooms where they could sleep. It wasn't very comfortable, just a mat on the ground, but it was safe and warm. Sorcha went do bed very fast, she seemed even more exhausted since the fight with the sniper. Cedric was also very sleepy and went into his room after a few hours. Later the three soldiers were sitting outside, Malinda beside them.
"Who is she? I mean
she resurrected Cedric
he was dead, I mean ..."
"I know, okay? I know her special powers and I can't tell you "who" she is, I don't think that even she can do this." James said and raised his shoulders.
"Why is she coming with you? Is she always around you?" Malinda wanted to know and was looking to James.
"No, no. Just from time to time. Mostly when we are exploring the old ruins. She says always she wants to come with us because she is looking for some pieces of her past. Seems like she has no memories about her sooner life or whatever
she is strange but she's a good girl, a very hearty person."
seems to be a little childish from time to time, is this normal?"
"Normal? Nothing at her is normal
you don't know every special trait of her
resurrecting people is just one of this. She always says that she has a "bad power" inside her body and she tries to reverse this to make a good power out of it. And yeah, she IS acting like a child
sometimes she is like a young woman, stern and adult
and then she is suddenly watching butterflies and birds and laughs about them." Rand explained and the other two smiled thin.
Malinda was blinking and her face turned up to the sky. "Sounds like an real angel
doesn't she has anybody? No relatives?"
"She has a aunt
she always tells us about her "Aunty Vivian" who is living close to a waterfall
I think she means this big one, but we were never there. I also don't know any human who is that crazy living in a territory full of predators but this Vivian has to be a smart woman. Sorcha never tells us anything about her she says "that would be her secret", whatever. We are happy if she decides to come with us, we like her very much."
Malinda just nodded to his words and still stared up to the sky; she was pretty sure today she met a real angle, an angle in human person.
The next day they were brought to the gates without any further problems. Cedric felt still a little weak, but compared with the fact that he should be dead now, he felt very well. The soldiers got their many and Malinda and Cedric said goodbye to everyone, but especially to Sorcha who was just smiling and wishing them a funny journey.
Later Sorcha also left the soldiers, for this week she had enough trouble and excitement. As always she refused to take any money from them, hugged everybody and then made her way through the bushes.
The most time she was walking and jumping like a little child between the big trees, no sign of any dangers or predators because she knew the path she had to go. The last meters she became more slowly until she reached her goal; the gigantic waterfalls of Chordoni, even for a predator it was huge but for a small person like Sorcha was, it was just colossal but she always liked the idea that so many water was falling down from somewhere.
Her path led her to a special place at the ground of the waterfalls, where all the water was collected and there Sorcha found what she was looking for: A big naga was lying half in the water, the sunshine were reflected from her scales and as Sorcha stepped closer, the naga opened one eye.
"Oh, Sorcha, hello." she said with a warm smile "returned from your trip?"
Sorcha, who was already wet from all the water that was splashing from the riffs at the ground, smiled up and nodded. "Yeah aunty Vivian
but I had no luck, still nothing that let me dream better than usually ..." she said and sat down in front of the gigantic naga. She didn't fear Vivian, even if she should, because most of the humans that visited here, voluntary or not, ended inside her stomach. But Sorcha didn't, this place was like a second home for her since she arrived her two years ago.
At this time she was new at Felarya and a small child, maybe it was mercy, maybe Sorcha awaken some mother-instincts, even Vivian couldn't tell why, but she spared the kid's life and this wasn't a mistake.
Vivian could feel very soon that something was different with Sorcha and she could also feel the dark power pulsing inside her body
and she was also able to help Sorcha to use this dark power, but in another way. Without Vivian's help, the young woman would never be able to use it and over the years the naga became something like a mother for her.
"Maybe next time
you just don't have to give up. One day you will find the piece of the puzzle for you dreams." the naga replied and stroke Sorcha's head with one finger. The human always felt good and secure when she was close to Vivian.
But from time to time she had to leave this place to search for her "key" like Vivian was calling it. The naga never told Sorcha directly that she was originally looking for her own memories, because Sorcha didn't know anything about her post, her parents or how her childhood was.
She only knew some keywords and pictures
and these were connected with Felarya and so she was on her search everytime she could. Vivian was also happy that Sorcha was away from time to time, she told Sorcha that she got some "guests" that she had to take care of, whatever this meant, but she wasn't allowed to accompany her aunty
which was very boring but she didn't want to upset her.
I'll go into one of the old ruins to the south soon ..." she mumbled, she suddenly felt so sleepy and heavy and without warning she felt to the ground and asleep. Vivian was there to catch her, lifted her up carefully and placed her gently at a special place where Sorcha was sleeping always. The naga was watching her with a sad smile.
She felt sorry for Sorcha, the girl didn't know anything about her past and she wasn't definitely a normal human
not even mages were able to do what she was able to. And so there were also some other interesting aspects that led her Sorcha stay here; on the one hand she could take care of her and make sure that nobody would use the naïve girl for the wrong purposes or for selfish acts
on the other hand she could learn more about what was working inside Sorcha.
In the end she was taking care of her and she happy that the small human was here from time to time
it was a strange but good feeling. She watched her a while before she heard some voices from the waterfalls
it seemed like some food just arrived.
In the meantime Sorcha was dreaming. There were the same strange dreams like every time. Pictures blinking around, she saw a cell, some people opening a door and coming into her direction.
She suddenly felt so cold, these people came closer, watched her, spoke to her, she was just blinking and didn't say anything.
Then she saw a big hall, destroyed and nothing more than a ruin, suddenly the scene switched to a young man that was sitting beside her, but he was dying and she knew, she wasn't. Then a switching back to the persons, they wanted to touch her
and she creamed for her mother. But the nightmare didn't end, he never ends.