Table of Contents
Lost Waters - Chapter 23
Massive nightmare ships spun through Tara's
mind. She was adrift in a kind of space - a starless inky blackness -
spinning out of control as the ships descended upon the delicate blue
globe below. A voice in her mind screamed out for them to stop. Lightning
Her point of view shifted. She was on a
blisteringly hot surface as those same ships ripped up from the ground
in fiery archs, disappearing as pinpoints of light atop pillars of deceivingly
peaceful white smoke. There was incredible power there, and danger. Presences
within her head resonated with variations of fear, pride and wonder.
Another shift. The massive red wood walls
of what she instinctively knew to be a War Barryd rose before her. She
could see them moving, stretching upward out of the flames toward the
sky. At her feet, a tiny shoot had taken hold, and was blooming. The ground
around it was cooling and healing within the tiny grasp of it's white
roots. A protective need washed over her.
She found herself falling toward the tiny
plant at her feet, falling into it. The scene blurred and she found herself
lying on her back in a field. Dizzy, she sat upright and took in the scene.
The familiar shapes of trees filled her with a sense of peace. She was
home, back on Earth. It was a scene she hadn't seen since she was five.
The tree shifted, and grew into something quite alien, but it still felt
like home. The plants around her grew brighter, with broader leaves, reaching
up around her to caress her. The forms ahead of her, once trees, finally
became recognizable. It was the twin spires of Telka. Her horse ran by,
through the thick Dimar field. She found herself running in slow motion,
chasing after the horse as her white form vanished into the thick brush.
The trees blurred by as she leapt through the brush, laughing.
Breaking clear from the thicket, she stood
before the same walls of the War Barryd she had seen growing from the
flames. A massive oolar leapt from the front gate, claws and fangs bared,
but she felt no fear - only pride. It landed before her and touched it's
nose to her hand. She regarded the Barryd for a long moment. It too was
home. A familiar brick pattern from Earth flickered within the wood grain,
but she couldn't place it.
Telka she knew well, but this new place
that was home begged some exploring.
The scene shifted again, and she found
herself and the oolar drifting down toward their own reflections in a
set of deep pools. They passed through the mirror-still water below them
into a murky green pool. There was no difference in temperature or sensation,
and they kept falling, straight through the bottom of the pool.
The wall-texture changed to a grayish,
softer, less wood-like tone. A chorus of voices and ghostly forms welcomed
her, each with a story to tell. Stories of great battles, of a strong
race ruling with power and justice over its creations, echoed in her mind,
and a feeling of pride and superiority welled within her. She swirled
through the different stories as if through a dance. A singular, strong
call was pulling her back, and regretfully, she parted with the vapors.
She followed the high musical voice back
through the wall, and through the ground and back up into the open air.
She was air now. The oolar stayed beside her, keeping pace with its loping
gate as they raced back toward Telka. At the gate, a morrak charged out,
it's head low and hooved toes flashing. The oolar charged ahead leaping
up to bat the creature aside, but the morrak slammed it and sent it tumbling
through the air. It landed with a crash behind Tara, who continued to
drift toward Telka. Shocked, the oolar raced back behind Tara barking
The creature that stood before Tara was
no ordinary morrak. It gazed at her with an intelligent and steady eye.
She approached and touched it's nose with her hand. She found herself
moving with the morrak in the lead and the oolar in tow through the walls
of Telka and down, into it's room of vapors. Again, she danced with the
voices, each with a story of achievement and invention, power and creation.
A single form, a darkness where there should have been light, hovered
in a corner.
The morrak and the oolar studied each other
intently, and then looked toward the dark form. Tara found herself no
longer pulled or pushed, but under her own direction as the morrak and
the oolar exchanged unreadable thoughts. As their exchanges continued,
the darkness grew.
She moved toward the dark figure as it
tried to evade her. She took control of her lucid dreaming state and willed
herself into the darkness.
The scene shifted again. Images of torture,
of humiliation and torment faded past her, and she found herself drifting
in the starless sky again. The monster ships roared past, and she reached
out toward them with her mind. No answer. She looked ahead to where they
were going and saw Earth.