KYEOTS: Chapter 7: Premonitions Picture

A forest. I was in a forest and I couldn’t recall how I had gotten there. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and had a much happier feel than the Aged Forest Sector my brother and I found ourselves hiding in from the Kists. It was beautiful, lush, and harmonious, with bright colors made even more luminescent by the sun. There were hundreds of birds high up in the tree tops, and fluttering creatures that I had never seen before. Each one was a different color, with spots and stripes, and no bigger than my hand. They must have been some kind of insect. There was also running water. It was an entire riverbed flowing with crisp, clean, fresh water. I drank as much as I could without making myself sick, and it was one of the sweetest and most refreshing things I had ever tasted.

“Such a place can’t possibly exist,” I said to myself, looking around my entire surroundings. I climbed up one of the sturdiest nearby trees to have a peak at my whole location. There were no machines, no fear, no desolation that I could see for miles, and it didn’t appear to be an island that I found myself exploring.

“This can’t be real,” I shook my head, gingerly climbing back down to the ground. At the bottom was another creature I had never seen before. It was a sort of four legged, tan, horse-shaped creature, no taller than me, with a large set of horns on its head. It chewed on some of the green moss by my feet, fixing me with a black stare. I didn’t feel threatened by it, which was surprising considering the lavish weapon upon its head. The animal then snorted and began walking the opposite way. After a couple of feet it stopped and turned its head to look back at me. I turned my head from left to right, and even looked behind me, to see if the creature was fixing its eyes on something else. When I couldn’t discern his intent, the animal walked another couple of feet away from me, stopped, and turned its head to look back at me again, snorting once and shaking its massive head.

“Do you want me to follow?” I asked in hesitation. How foolish would I look if Cirrus were there with me? He would criticize me for talking to a wild animal that I knew nothing about, and tell me that I was crazy for thinking it could understand me. But understand me the creature could, snorting another time and trotting by a couple of trees. Once I caught up to him, he would leap a couple more lengths, and start the whole process over again.

The animal led me to one of the biggest trees I had ever seen, even bigger than ones I had seen in picture books. He disappeared around the other side, and when I followed the edge of the tree to the other side, the animal was now gone and an extraordinary woman stood in its place.

“I…uh…” I stammered, not sure what to make of her judgmental stare. I quickly retreated around to the other side of the tree so the woman wouldn’t be able to see me. Leaning against the cool bark and taking a deep breath, I finally managed to gather my courage and face the woman one more time. However, when I looked back around the tree, the woman was gone. I completely circled the tree to see if I could discover where she had gone, but it was to no avail.

“I’m losing my mind,” I laughed to myself, taking a seat in the damp mulch at the base of the tree. “First I follow a mythological creature that I think can understand me, only to run into a lavishly dressed woman, leading to both disappearing before my eyes, and leaving me utterly stranded in the middle of no where.”

Once I collected my wits, I stood back up to retrace my steps and to figure out how I had ended up in this wood. Only when I turned around did I come face to face with the same woman once again. I stumbled backwards and fell onto my back, but was instantly pushed up by the roots of the tree. The woman flexed her fingers in an elegant gesture, leaving me utterly speechless.

“Did you control the roots of the tree?” I gaped.

“Of course,” she smiled. “I control all manner of life.”

“You’re the goddess,” my jaw fell even further. Feeling flustered, I dropped down to one knee and bowed to her. “The goddess of nature I mean.”

“Rise,” she delicately spoke. “There is no need for such formalities.”

“I always knew you existed,” I felt tears welling up in my eyes, and I quickly swiped them away with the back of my hand. Why was I being so emotional? “I only truly learned about you this path month, from the demi-god of earth.”

“There is always much to learn,” she held out her hand for me take. I did so willingly, and she flew us up into the air, taller than the canopy of the trees. I was speechless, and nearly sick from the adventure. Flight was impossible. No one could fly.

“This is my kingdom,” Nature gestured across the land. “I protect it in my own realm, having saved it a long time ago from the cruel hands of mankind. Someone needs to remind them of the importance of life, and all of the beauty that it endows upon the world.”

“I was just discussing that with the mole man---I mean, Earth,” I blushed, fearing I had insulted her. She smiled in return, having the opposite reaction of what I expected. “I feel like I can do so much more to fight in this war, but I’m only one person, and I don’t even have any offensive worthy powers.”

“Do not mistaken your brother’s protectiveness for a weakness in yourself,” Nature answered. “Every person has a strength, and you must learn to harness yours in the best way that you can.”

“I turn invisible,” I muttered, staring down at the forest that was full of so much life and happiness. “I’m not super strong, or super smart, and I can’t do much in a fight besides run away.”

“Sometimes it is easy to reveal one’s fears when the thing you seek to overcome is your own misgivings. You cannot simply vanish and hope someone else will fix things.”

“Vanish?” I repeated the word. “Do you know what ever happened to the demi-god of air? The mole man said that she had vanished when the Kists began to pollute the skies.”

“Air is predictable,” Nature responded, crafting a nearby cloud into a small city. “Always following the same path, never changing direction. She must recognize the grandeur of her powers on her own, then I am sure she will return to us.”

“But where can she be?” I asked. “Everything seems to be falling apart without her.”

“I’m sure she will be found in the most unlikely of places,” she swirled the cloud closer to us, engulfing us both in the smoky fog. I felt like I was in an actual city, surrounded by market squares and bustling people.

When I blinked my eyes, I actually was in a market square, and Nature had disappeared. Somehow I had ended up back in Riga, encompassed by the shouts and jeers from a local brawl just down the street. To avoid any recognition I hid inside of a recessed doorway before turning myself invisible and walking towards the fight. I climbed up a ladder to a low rooftop and sat there watching the two men exchange glancing blows. They were battered and beaten, both men looking like they were on their last legs. On the adjacent wall was the wanted roster, still listing the supernatural abilities that my brother and I had.

The fight ended when the broader of the two men received a kick to the head and dropped like a sack of peppercorns. The onlookers cheered for the winner, and congratulated him with a free cup of water, and a handful of pounds from the betting crowd. From the distant chatter that I could hear, the brawl had been set to determine who was the stronger man without the use of his supernatural powers. No one else noticed the victor’s true finishing move, but I did.

I stealthily crept along the top of the house, following the man as he turned down the nearby alleyway. He was alone and distracted by the pouch of money that he was too busy counting.

“Good move you had there,” I jumped down in front of him, but all he saw as he stumbled backwards was a set of footprints in the uplifting dirt.

“Show yourself!” He growled. “You want to fight me too? I can arrange that for you. It’ll take less than a minute to finish.”

“I’m a friend,” I made myself appear. “Not a foe.”

He scrutinized my appearance, chuffing once, and nearly walking away. My guess was that he didn’t have any time for a woman.

“I noticed your supernatural ability in the fight,” I mentioned. “How you confused the other man and tricked him into thinking you would throw a punch instead of a kick.”

“Hate to break it to you, sweetheart,” he laughed. “But it ain’t that hard to feint a move in a fight.”

“But you made sure he’d fall for it,” I said. “You knew he was too good at anticipating your moves to lose the fight.”

“What do you want from me?” He stood his ground. “Are you black mailin' me? Is that what this is?”

“No,” I shook my head fairly seriously, although his impatient actions nearly had me laughing. “I’d like you to join me as a freedom fighter. I’m planning on heading to the center of the Kist Sectors to pay Lord Drinian a visit. It would be an honor for you to accompany me.”

“Yeah right,” the man scoffed. “War isn’t a game, little lady. I’m not about to get killed, riskin' my life to save a damsel in distress.”

“I am no damsel,” I huffed. “I am fully capable of taking care of myself. Someone needs to get this resistance going, and since I have not heard from my brother since his journey, it’s about time I pick up where he left off.”

“Hey, I know you,” he grinned, pointing a finger at me. “You and your brother were the ones that caused all of that trouble with some Kist airships a month back. I could fetch a handsome reward for turnin' you in to them.”

“The only reward you shall receive from them will be your life,” I frowned. “They cannot be trusted. Every one of them is out to exterminate our race.”

“Little girl,” the man shook his head. “The last of any kind of resistance died with Elias Hilge a long time ago. I don’t have the means to be shot at for the rest of my life on this god forsaken planet.”

“All is not lost,” I replied. “I will be staying on the outskirts of this Sector until the sun sets two days from now. You have until then to consider my offer, and then I will be starting the journey to the Machinist Heartland. Enjoy your winnings.”

I turned and strode out of the alleyway, making my way back home to the mole man. I was truly hoping that this Supernatural that I had come by would change his mind and join our small party to find other freedom fighters.

When I returned to the burrow, I informed the mole man all about my strange encounter with Nature, as well as the man in Riga. Nature had encouraged me to find my own path, and not to cower in the absence of my brother. I was only hoping that this new fellow would have a change of heart and boost the little firepower that I didn’t have.
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