Whispers of the Sand.

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Stories from the Future.

Yara walked up to the Woman and touched her. The Woman jerked once and then grew still as Yara connected to her mind.

"Tell me," she whispered. The woman shuddered. Yara frowned and moved around so that she was facing the Woman and took hold of the Woman's head with both her hands.

"Tell me," she said louder. The woman tried to pull away but Yara took firmer hold of her; using the connection to drive the woman to her hands and knees. "Who are you?" Yara hissed, "Where are you from? What is your name?" The woman opened her mouth then shut it with a loud click of teeth. Yara growled a bit and the reached up to rip the cloth from her eyes. Milk white orbs moved to lock gazes with the woman's own dark eyes. The Woman let out a low whine. "Tell me what I want to know!" Yara screamed, "TELL ME!"

The woman's whine began to grow higher and higher in pitch until it was a siren's wail. Magara leapt forward, snatched up the cloth and yanked it down over Yara's eyes. Yara let go the woman's head as if she had been burned. The woman's fell to the ground; her body convulsing. Magala glanced at Horim who was already rushing to the woman's side with sand in hand. Yara stood like a statue as Magala gently adjusted the cloth over her eyes and tied it back. There was a sick silence that was broken only by the woman's guttural moans of pain and Yara's hard breathing.

"I know,"Yara said her voice low and broken, "I know. I should have waited. I should have asked. I never ask!" She slapped her face into her hands her body shaking violently as she began to cry. Magala moved to hold her tightly against herself. No one said anything as they waited for Yara to finish crying and for Horim's verdict.

When Horim finally looked up the woman was sleeping. He looked pale and was drenched in sweat. He rose to his feet, staggered a bit and then came over to Yara. He placed a hand on her shoulder. "You almost killed her. I used all the healing sand I had to save her life," he said in a low dangerous voice, "Don't ever do that again Yara." She nodded and sniffed. "She will not be awake for a little while," he said to the group, "I think now is a good time to find out what Yara got from her." Magala let Yara go and genstured to the ground. The sand moved to form a smooth, firm floor. They sat down and Yara began.

"She is from our future," Yara said, "We become friends with her when we come upon her Caravan. They were attacked and only a few people survived. She was one of them. Then a man came from seemingly nowhere called the Prince of the Dark Sand. He began to destroy and take over all the cities and enslave the people. When he came upon our Caravan we fought him but we couldn't stop him. He took us prisoner. I couldn't get beyond that. Those memories were so deeply hidden I couldn't reach them without pushing harder." She paused… "But then I would have killed her to get them."

There was another sick silence and then a hoarse voice spoke out. "He tortured us." They turned to see the woman, staring up at the sky with tears running down her face. "He broke us and remade us into his perfect weapons. We were the most terrible people you could imagine. We destroyed and killed without second thought. Ripping through minds and bodies with easy."

"What happened?" Girah said, "Something must have happened for you be here."

"I woke up," the woman said, "One day on the battle field we fought a group of men that just wouldn't give up. They were crawling out of the sand with limbs missing and they wouldn't stop. I couldn't figure out what made them keep coming. We were all brainwashed into believing that what we were doing was the right thing. But it was them that made we stop and look around after every battle we fought afterward. And there was nothing that we were doing that was right!" The woman's hoarse voice became clogged with tears, "We were monsters and the man that made us that was the worst monster of all." The four glanced at each other with heavy, sick feeling in their stomachs.

"There was no way to kill him?" Magala asked, "Or us?" the woman sighed.

"I thought about it," she said, "But I couldn't kill you. You four were my friends. We had held each other up, stuck by each other. We were like family. I couldn't do it. So the only thing was to kill him. If I figure out a way to kill the monster that made us, maybe we could have found a way to stop being the monsters that he had must be. But it could not be done in my time. I had go back. I had to find the place in time that he was most vulnerable and stop him."

"You are going to kill him?" Girah asked slowly. The woman gritted her teeth and with a low groan pulled herself upright.

"I am not going to kill him," she said, "According to what I found out. A few miles from here, a young man would be walking across the sands. He would find a box. In that box would contain a vial of cursed black sand that he would take home with him. That would be the start of the Prince of the Dark Sand. All we need to do is to make sure that he does not get that box."

"Are you sure that will be enough to stop him?" Magala asked.

The woman shrugged painfully, "I don't know. But I hope that it is. That hope is all I can give you."

"Your name," Magala said, "What is it?" The woman smiled.

"I'm Jia."

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