Caradorynee: Kin #6

posted Sep 2, 2017, 7:02 AM by Janet Merritt   [ updated Sep 2, 2017, 7:06 AM ]

                 Caradorynee: Kin


The scene before Star was more distributing than frightening.  In fact it was déjà vu.

She was back in the competitor’s circle in the first challenge of the Shegata battles.  Competitors surrounded her.  Weapons, teeth, and claws all being deployed in the quest for glory.

Star swallowed.  For a moment she was confused.  Had stepping through the gas transported her back in time?  Time travel, although studied intensively for close to a millennium, to her knowledge had yet to accomplish anything concrete.  Was Caradorynee a planet in the universe where time travel was a common occurrence or was she experiencing an oddity?

A creature turned to her and Star was again stunned into confusion.  The creature was completely foreign to her.  Now grant it, she hadn’t been on Caradorynee for that long and there were probably dozens if not hundreds of creatures that she’d yet to encounter…still the sensation that something was very wrong washed over her.

There was a sharp two-toned clanging sound, like metal cymbals clashing together.  The creature that had turned to her stilled as did all other creatures encircling her.  Then as if sensing her presence they all turned her way in perfect unison.

Star’s eyes widened.  She glanced from one foreign creature to another.  She had no escape route.  She was fenced in.

All Lark’s hope vanished when he watched helplessly as Star disappeared.  One moment she was stepping through the gas toward him, her knife in hand and a determined look on her face, the next she was gone.

There was no doubt that Caradorynee had many rifts in the fabric of this particular timeline.  Most of them, over the centuries, he’d been adept at spotting.  A simple sheen of orange shimmering in sunlight, the soft aroma of water lilies and moss.

He’d tried, without any success, to enter all the rifts he’d discovered over the years.  Hope and at times desperation fuelling his desire to return home and back to his loved ones. 

All attempts had failed.  Whether it was because he was no longer fully human and yet at the same time not fully Dueanian, there was no way to tell.  But he did know one thing for certain, that there was no following the young woman who he’d discovered was his great-great-great-great-great….  However many greats…Star Wright was without a doubt one of his.

The knowledge that Darek and Baylee’s children had went on to produce more offspring brought a joy to Lark’s heart that was warmed as much as it was tinged with bittersweetness.

So much he’d missed being exiled to this barren timeline of another earth only renamed Caradorynee.

Oh how he had cursed Dewey over the centuries for not only refusing to intervene on his behalf to the Dueanian elders, but for not following him into exile.  The coward.  And after all that he’d done to advance Dewey’s agenda.

This rift however, the one that he was still staring at, had not come with an orange sheen or the familiar smell.  This rift had been undetectable, hidden.  Had Star actually created her own rift?  Was the young girl that powerful?

He had hoped she would be.  But now, with her gone and him having no way to locate her, Lark’s heart began to ache.

Had he just lost another one of his family.  One that he could never retrieve?

What other timeline had she entered?  How much danger was she now in?  Was there some way he could help her?

Lark moved closer to the exact spot where Star had disappeared.  His heightened eyesight could detect the now faint lines where her knife had made slash marks in the gas.  

Lark concentrated on solidifying his hand.  He reached out and ran the index finger of his left hand along the line.  When his finger unexpectedly widened the line, Lark jerked his hand back in surprise.  Excitement engulfed him.  Was it possible?  Could he begin to hope?

It didn’t matter.  He would chance anything to be reunited with anyone of his family.  No matter the cost.

Lark willed the rest of his body to return to what was left of his human form.  He felt himself dropping away from the lined gashes and in a panic surged forward and gripped the slashed seam he’d widened.  He pulled with all his strength.

©Human in Inhuman Worlds by Janet Merritt