The glare of the mid afternoon sun roused Cari from her slumber. Her throat still ached, Tharren’s burning eyes etched into her memory. He’ll be back tomorrow she thought and he’ll want answers. She gazed into her crystal ball again her life stream intertwined with all the names he had chosen. She forced herself to look at one life; the boy Hiko.
She found him , he was sitting in the waiting room of the forest doctor. She sped through his timeline, most of it mundane and repetitive. Until she came upon his nexus. Liberation Day? She thought as she continued to watch the scene unfold. He was with his father and brother, Hiko was joyous, holding aloft the sword he had just won. That’s when Tharren appeared. He drew his sword as he approached them. Armaro begged them to run as he fought Tharren, sensing his demise. They complied, their eyes filling with tears; running away with feeble hope that they could find help before their father’s life was lost. Their father’s shriek crushed their hopes. Hiko turned to rush to his father’s side but Shinto protested. They ran away, searching for anyone to help. They found no one.
The funeral was solemn, the clan surrounding the family like a shroud. Katherine was placed as temporary head until the boys reached the eighteen where they would then fight for the right to lead. That day would not come. Their mother became involved with another man, an outsider of the clan. It was Tharren. The boys, filled with rage that the man who killed their father had the gall to return, challenged him to a fight to the death. Their mother refused to let them. She spouted words of love for Tharren. Convinced, their mother was under some spell, the fought him;and lost.
She checked the lines of the others, each of them telling a similar story: the death of a parent, a bad choice; forcing each child down a path of despair and destruction. The destruction rippled, leading to a breakdown of the Grand Council and the start of civil war. The visions returned, the wails of her brothers shaking her back to reality. She felt chained, doomed to see the fall of her homeland; another cog in the wheel of an inevitable calamity. She had to do something.
But to do anything would invoke their wrath. The Evens: messengers of the Celestial One; seen only by those breaking Divux Extinox (Rules of divine existence). She struggled, her brain wavering between choices. To do nothing would consign everyone to a future of war, To do something could bring destruction now. Stories about those who dared challenge the Evens were left for campfires and sleepovers.
She got up from the table and headed to a cupboard at the far corner of her kitchenette. A plume of dust greeted her as she opened it, reaching for a small bag in the corner. She grabbed it, lifting the bulbous package with care. She laid it on the table, brushing off the excess dust. With a deep sigh she unwrapped it. The black ball stared back at her with her own eyes, appearing to pull her gaze into its obsidian core. Her mother forbid her from using it . ‘Bad tidings follow those who gaze within it.’ her mother said every time she tried to use it. Sorry mother. she thought, But I need to do something.
She sat down, placing her hands on either side of the ball. Her hands glowed blue as she stared into the ball, loosing herself to it. ′ Stop, Cari Renol’. The voice resonated in her brain. She turned, looking for the source of the voice. It stood in the kitchen; a creature the likes of which had never entered her imagination. It stood upright on its hind wolf-like legs. Its torso and arms appeared to be taken from a hairy man. “Is that you ... Cliff? The creature did not respond.
She sat silent, staring at the creature that stood across from her. ‘Do not do this Cari. It will bring you sorrow.’ Its voice was quieter, and though it was the first time she heard it, an air of familiarity lingered. “Cliff?” she asked again
" Yes and no” the creature replied. “Yes this is the modified physical body of your wolf but no; this is not Cliff . We Evens possess no physical form and have to use hosts to be seen and heard. I am Ethranil, Even of the Celestial One assigned to you Cari Renol. My presence here is a warning to you. Do not proceed on this path. You will break Divux Extinox. A price will be required of you.
“So the Celestial One is fine with what is coming and just wants me to sit and do nothing? ”
" He no longer deals with the affairs of the remnants. Just that the order of this world is maintained. ”
“Even if we destroy ourselves?”
“The price of your free will. ”
" Then I too shall bear that price. ” Her eyes glowed with resolve. I will do something.
" Very well then. You will see me once more. At that time you shall be judged. I pray for your soul, Cari. ”
" As do I. ”
“A word of advice. That ball uses your life energy as power. Be quick with its use.”
A bright light emanated from the creature, blinding Cari’s eyes. As it faded she felt the warmth of Cliff nuzzling her leg.
She rubbed the back of his head to comfort him. “Mama’s okay. Mama’s okay.”
She looked at the ball in front of her, Ethranil’s words still ringing in her ears. She rested her hands by the sides of the ball, each of them glowing with her aura. I will do something.