The pain arrived just as consciousness returned. Jesh opened his eyes, clutching his wound. A thick leaf covered his entire chest, damp with an herbal smell unfamiliar to him. It smelled like coral plant life. But he could tell the makeshift bandage was preventing further infection to his wound.
He wasn’t sure how, but it was a different type of medicinal treatment. His body burned and ached from his encounter with his father. Remembering he had lost and his father’s blade crossing his line of sight he jolted up to look around. He was alone. In a dark room. He knew much about many planets, species and lifeforms, but he had no idea where he was or how he had arrived.
The sloshing of the liquid he rested in caught his attention. A light watery purple, similar in smell to the leaf bandage, or perhaps it was the liquid that provided the scent. He couldn’t tell. His eyes adjusted to the darkness. He tried to make out what else was in the room, but it was fairly empty.
Jesh reached over the rounded incubation container he laid in and heaved himself out. Landing on the soft flooring, that had a suave surface. It took a moment for his strength to return. He slowly stood and removed the leaf, placing it back in the container.
His wound nearly fully healed, but the scar of the gash would remain with him forever. Jesh walked over to a small piece of square furniture, attracted by the little shine his shards gave off in the dark. He placed them on his wrists and activated his armor, feeling the security it provided.
Jesh lined the walls of the room, looking for a switch or control panel for the lights. As he moved around the room, the flickering of light as people walked by his room alerted him to the presences of the door. He approached slowly.
His eyes making out the four panels on the wall next to it. He placed his hand on the first one. The lights casually illuminated, revealing what looked like a small medical bay unit. However, Jesh didn’t recognize any of the technology. He pressed the second panel. The wall opposite him, retracting in sections. Outside his window the caerulean water, with thousands of marine life in just one snapshot.
Jesh approached what appeared to be glass but felt more like a translucent material harder than steel or diamond to the touch. Creatures larger than buildings on Pratham and some small enough to fit in his hand shared the same body of water. At the edge of his rooms view multiple ships looked to detached from whatever vessel or craft he was aboard. His mind flashed to Kyah. He jumped back, stumbling against his container, his heart racing.
He couldn’t breathe, the image of his aunt’s death haunting him. He reached up for the container to pull himself to his feet. But his arms and legs seemed to give up, the visual of her body filling his brain. Jesh toppled over onto the floor, clasping his hands over his ears.
He tried desperately to get the image out. “You don’t deserve my blood.” His father’s voice rang in his ears. Jesh hated the voice. He was afraid of it. He felt vulnerable to it. Jesh found himself cowering from the echo of his father’s words. His father was right. He was weak. Not as powerful as he thought. He deserved to die.
Then her face rescued him. Dara’s smile banishing all his fears. She made him feel like he could fight again. Jesh used the container to climb to his feet. Using their link, he called out to her. “Dara……Dara?” He spoke.
But no answer returned. His mind raced, wondering what happened after he was defeated. His fist clinched at the thought of his father hurting her. He didn’t know how, but he would destroy his father the next time they met.
Jesh rubbed his armor over the area where his wound existed. Finding his courage, he made his way to the door again. He pushed on the third panel. It lowered the medical container into the floor and performed other tasks he didn’t care to see. He had to find her.
Pressing the fourth panel, the door opened. Jesh stepped out into a long hallway, where humanoid amphibians walked all about him. Most of them injured, reminding him of his own wounds from battle.
Each being, their own shade of turquoise and teal, possessing scaleless skin. They all seemed to notice him but responded as if nothing was out of the ordinary. But for him, he did not recognize their species.
Jesh walked down the hall toward the bigger opening. The language on an overhead tracer he had never seen before. Reaching the edge, he saw the city-wide common area. Endless floors up and downward, teaming with life.
Mostly the new species but some he did recognize from other planets and star systems. He was mesmerized. Was this entire civilization underwater? And if so, where in the galaxy had this planet been? He contemplated to himself. The new creatures living normal lives, their little off-springs hand in hand walking through the halls.
Multiple gigantic globes of water in the gap between levels and halls. Creatures approached them, before what appeared to be sucked inside and shot at an amazing speed to their destination.
Jesh traveled the city hallways. “Dara.” He tried again through their link. Still nothing. He continued to walk. Up ahead a group of the new species led by a short individual. Adorned in a regal type of armor that somehow explained their class system.
She looked different than the others. More human in features. Unlike most of her fellow species, she possessed long flowing dark blue hair. Her armor detailed and polished, presenting gold, black and green colors, accented by her purple cape.
Slightly behind her, a much taller and slender male, looking similar in appearance to her. His hair much shorter and smoothed over. He held the hand of a female more like the traditional species around them, all of which were balled.
A fourth member stuck out as they weren’t of the new species at all. They looked simply human. A male slightly shorter than the other, olive skin with short brown hair and young features. The two distinctly standing out, with the third by association and one normal by comparison to the new species.
The small woman approached accompanied by her three companions and a small row of what Jesh surmised to be their warriors or troops. The troops armor not as distinguished as the front four. Jesh halted in his stance.
The small group stopped just before him. The leading lady an inch or two taller than himself held out her cape and did a polite and elegant curtsey. “You have awakened. I’m sure this all is a little unnerving. I am Hora. Princess of the Thorreef.” She said.
“This is my brother Hara and his partner Trifore.” She said introducing the taller short haired male and the one whose hand he held. “And my half-brother Sera.” She finished motioning to the human male. The trio bowed after her words.
Jesh remained still. Thinking about what to do next. He had never been on his own before, without, Kyah or Da-Xia to protect and guide him. Hora’s face frowned. “I apologize. I must be speaking the wrong human language. I assumed you spoke the same common language as your companion.” Hora thought out loud. Jesh’s eyes and body language lit up.
“Companion?” He asked. “Ah. So, I was right.” Hora smiled sure of herself. “Welcome to the Thorreef, Jesh of Pratham. The SHëek and my father King Hare welcome you both.” Hora said, as her and her company stepped aside to reveal Dara.
Jesh and Dara locked eyes. He rushed over to her and embraced her. The two holding on tight. Neither wanting to let go. Jesh broke their hug to look into her eyes. It was really her. He wasn’t alone. Her smile drenched in her tears or his, he couldn’t tell. He didn’t care if anyone was around. Jesh kissed Dara.
“I couldn’t reach you.” He said, finally noticing how much she was blushing. “Yea um, our shards communication doesn’t really work here.” Dara responded. Her voice bringing him peace. “Are you alright? Did my father hurt you?” Jesh asked looking her over.
The concept of their first kiss lost on him at the moment. “I’m fine.” Dara murmured through her embarrassment. “My father wishes to speak with you.” Hora interrupted with a smirk. “There will be plenty of time to get reacquainted.” Hora continued.
Jesh turned to see the princess. “We can’t stay here. My father will find us and bring harm to your people.” Jesh warned them. Hora smiled and nodded.
“Dara showed that same vigor in informing us about your father’s treachery. And the much more fearsome Adam. But I assure you, we all are safe.” Hora guaranteed him. “How? There is no place he can’t reach. And who is Adam?” Jesh questioned.
“That may be true in the future. But we are located on the other side of an ever-expanding universe that you only reached by way of as your species call it, a worm hole. We have much to discuss.” Hora informed him.
Hora waved her hand. “Come, we have time.” She said as she led the group without looking back. Jesh and Dara followed behind the princess and the trio, followed closely behind by the SHëek warriors.
Jesh couldn’t help but think about the future and what it held. He reached down and intertwined his fingers into Dara’s, gripping her hand. His eyes met hers. No matter what would come next, he knew he wasn’t afraid as long as he had her.
Fei Zeall - Armor: Black armor, helmet in the shape of a lion baring its teeth with a full mane. A gold belt around his waist holding a red drape down to his ankles. Dusk Armor: Dark armor as dusk in the night, more rigid and sharp, fiendish in appearance. Feral Form: 8 feet talk, more lion than man. Primal Form: A gigantic Lion. Weapon: A Black Pole Halberd.
Lale - Armor: Purple armor, two slim black capes extended from her shoulder pauldrons. A helmet with a crescent shaped horn aimed toward the sky. Weapon: A crescent shaped sword.
Vanakan The Deceiver - Information unknown.
Tumakako - Armor: Purple armor, on both arms a thick band with sky blue tassels. A helmet, her long white hair protruding from the back of her helmet like a plum. Weapon: Long purple scimitar.
Dara the Fearless - Beautiful slender white skinned face. With flowing blond hair.
Dara the Merciless - Armor: Sky blue armor and helmet. Purple fire spouting from her forehead. Weapon: Lacquered purple broad sword and glittery purple shield. Her sword, a gilded circlet pummel around where the blade and hilt met, with a short black tassel out the end. Her shield rounded and large enough to protect most of her upper body.
Sentry #19 - Armor: Black armor similar to Fei’s. Weapon: Red crystal pole axe.
Sentry #3 - Armor: Black armor similar to Fei’s. Weapon: Red staff.
Sentry #10/ Eada - Armor: Black armor similar to Fei’s. Weapon: Red rapier.
Magnus - Armor: Gold armor, a long dark purple cape drape behind him, and a black sash from his left shoulder across his body down to his waist.
Jesh - Armor: Purple armor, very slim fitting and a black sash. Weapon: Twin Swords named Destiny and Fate.
Da-Xia - Armor: Yellow armor. Her helmet in the shape of an open mouth dragon, cupping her exposed face. Weapon: Green guan dao.
Gala - Armor: Yellow armor with a green visor that holds up her ponytail. Weapon: Expert with any firearm and blaster.
Yaffa and Zeeba (Twins) - Armor: Yellow armor with a green plum that split in two separate directions. Weapon: Two green daggers.
Kyah - Armor: Purple armor, two slim black capes extended from her shoulder pauldrons. A helmet formed around her head and face with a crescent shaped horn aimed toward the sky. Weapon: Mace and shield.
PTong - Armor: Unique green armor mimicking his healer garbs. Weapon: Mystical staff.
Liis Zeall - Information Unknown.
Adam (Adamu) - Armor: Shimmering white armor. Long Purple cape. Weapon: Partizan-a spearhead or lancehead, with an added double axe head at the bottom of the blade.
Colonel List Rainer (Viper) - Armor: Black armor, but sleeker and lighter than the traditional Pratham army set. Custom serpent emblem on left chest. Weapon: Silver long spear, the tip green as it is always lubricated with his venom.
Joel (Echo) - Armor: Black armor, but sleeker and lighter than the traditional Pratham army set. Custom serpent emblem on left chest. Weapon: One handed axe.
Pike (Beam) - Armor: Black armor, but sleeker and lighter than the traditional Pratham army set. Custom serpent emblem on left chest. Weapon: Bow with arrows of pure light capable of passing through a mountain unimpeded.
Vi (Vitality) - Her short dark hair a welcomed accent to her fair brown skin.
About the Author
Elijah Isaiah is the author of the debut novel Beast of Xeriel of the God Conqueror Series. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University in Social Work. “Eli” currently resides in Ohio, where he spends countless hours in bookstores or watches the hit tv show, The Office. All while anticipating his next travel abroad and skydiving adventure.
IG @ ElIsaiah91
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