Chapter One -Taken
There was war. There was darkness around her. Christa knelt on her knees, eyeing the ball of fire in front of her face, everything moved in slow motion. Behind her, she could hear someone call her name. He begged her to come back to him, but somehow she knew she needed to do this.
Christa looked down at her plate as she contemplated her dream. Usually, someone like her wouldn’t be able to remember any of her dreams unless it actually means something. This time she could remember some of her dreams, and something told her she had this dream more than once. That voice was a voice that had haunted her dreams since she was eighteen. It had whispered in her ears at night and sometimes when she didn’t hear it she would miss it, so real until she cried. But for the life of her, she didn’t know why.
Beside her, her half-blood sister Brit slurped her last bit of rock snails with pleasure. Her eyes, which came from her father, were light shining blue. Her long elf-like ears dangled from the sides of her head as if they were too heavy for her muscles to carry. With delight, Brit glanced at her plate and nudged her, “Hey, Christa, you gonna eat that? I still have some space if you got none,”
“Last time I let you eat my dinner I got into trouble,” Christa said, making sure that none of their parents were listening to this. “But, if you want half it’s okay,”
“Meh, I’ll take what I can,” Brit slipped her hand under the table in front of Christa’s chest and plugged one snail. Her eyes widened, “I don’t understand why you don’t like this Christa,”
"It’s not that she doesn’t like it, she just never liked my cooking,” Said Sarah, placing a small pan of sauce in front of Benya, her step-father. He had a large buff body with heavy elf-like ears as well. But not like Brit, he had dark blue skin. Christa sighs, “I already said that it’s not that I don’t like your cooking, I’m just not hungry,”
“You’re never hungry,” Said Benya, taking a big gulp of her beer. “I have to hand it to you, Sarah, this human alcohol gets to me,”
“I told you,”
“You told me,” Benya said.
Sarah gave Christa a look.
She knew what that look was, it was a plead. In the Hendrons culture, food is something that may not, cannot be wasted and if someone would give away or not finish their food it only meant as an insult to the Gods. And the person who committed the crime would be given bad luck beyond compare.
Christa took a slow deep breath. Her stomach was already rumbling, she couldn’t eat anymore. But she had seen her mother and father fought enough because of her, she couldn’t let her mother go through any more than that, defending a child she never really wanted. Christa took another bite, and before she chewed she took another.
Her father looked at her with narrowed eyes but didn’t say anything. Sarah gave a small thankful smile while Brit looked disappointed; she had hoped she could finish her sister’s plate.
After dinner, Christa left Brit to help Sarah clean up the kitchen and tidied the table while Benjamin sat and sharpened his sword. She walked to her room and found it just the way she left it. Her bed was half messy with books scattered on the bed, her study table was filled with guns and papers full of scribbles. But she didn’t stop to continue what she left off, she walked out to the balcony of her room and stared up towards the stars.
There were three moons, Adria, Sodra, and Calta. The three Queens of their kingdoms owned each one moon, gifted to them by the king. Or at least that was how they told the tale. Wouldn’t it be something, she thought, to have someone love you so much they would give you the moon?
Christa chuckled; imagining someone, something out there would love a human like her. Someone from a doomed species that would someday be extinct. Her white skin, her brown hair, her boring-boring features could barely get attention from any males from other species. She wondered if she would die alone.
Her door cracked opened and a head bobbed out, “Hey Christa, I’m done with Mom, she wants you to get out and clean out the stalls, feed Wendy, and get more mushrooms from the swamp. Now.” And she shut the door, loud enough that her picture with her mother fell to the floor.
Christa took the picture inside it and felt a pinching feeling in her chest. Her mother didn’t look happy in her bed, holding her still with blood and everything, all Sarah gave her ever since she was born were the basic things to live and a necklace with a blue Nariista gem in it. Sarah had said, it was from her father but why she still kept something from someone she hated Christa didn’t know, she didn’t want to know.
Ignoring the pieces of glass on the floor, Christa left her room.
The stalls where her father kept all his hunting Shepherds were quiet. She peeked in the stall to see if any of them were awake and saw that every one of them was asleep; even her favorite, Moira. The jaguar-like beast breathed calmly as she slipped into one of the stalls and picked up its droppings. It was as large as a grown-ups fist, hard like a rock, and smelled like composed grass. She picked them up and put them all in one bag.
As she got into the fifth one, Christa heard something coming from far away. A ship, she thought. And sucked in a breath when Dark Eyes woke up.
He yawned, a series of dagger like teeth filled his mouth and Christa could almost feel them tare the flesh from her throat. She stepped back until her back was against the wooden wall, praying it wouldn’t know she was there.
Outside, she could hear the people from the village started to scream, swords unsheathed, and children crying was what she heard between the rumbles of the stall. Everything was shaking, small pieces of the roof fell along with dust and sand.
Suddenly she recognize the sound of a thrown bomb but it was too late to move away, Christa cried out, a large explosion had hit the side of the stall. It destroyed it, throwing her a few feet outside. Their Shepherds ran away while the rest lay dead. The streets were full of running Hendrons, the women and their children ran for cover while the male defended their village. Their scream of war filled the air, and Christa couldn’t help but feel sorry for them all. The pirates used guns and bombs, grenades and gas. They were never going to win with swords and axes.
“Christa!” Someone called. Christa’s eyes swept the crowd until she found Brit struggling against a pirate, he held both her sister’s hands. Christa stood up and ran towards the pirate. She could see the pirate wasn’t an alien, but a human like herself. He was tall, slender, with a touch of muscle, she could see that from the V-necked baggy clothes he wore.
Without a second thought Christa pulled out her gun, it was a Swift C-323 from year 3048 her favorite one and pulled the trigger.
The pirate yelled out in pain, then fell to the ground, his hands around his open wound. Brit fell back, bottom first, her eyes wide and wet. “Christa!”
“Get up Brit, run!”
“But what about you?”
“Run!” Christa pushed Brit ahead, chaos around them. The pirate ship had finally landed on land, Its machine burned the ground. The fire started to spread from the grass to the trees and there was no one there anymore.
They all had run, including the warriors from the village. Axes, daggers, spears, and swords left untouched on the ground. Behind her Brit grabbed her arm, her hands shaking uncontrollably.
“Christa… it’s Wanderer, the Pirate Kings ship…” Brit pointed out. It really was. The shape of a skull with a crack across the temple was a famous marking, almost a legend. Christa had heard about them as well, but they were tales children tell around the campfire. Yet, here they were and she didn’t have enough bullets to protect them both.
“Jeremy,” A large ogre-like monster came walking towards the pirate she had shot. A very large gun hung from his leather covered back, his face was full of scars and marks, a necklace of numbers was tattooed on his neck. He must have nearly been executed once.
“Just give me a hand,” The human pirate said, his whole leg now was wet with blood.
“Christa…” Brit cried.
“Ssssh!” Christa exclaimed to her when a man swung from a rope above the sails and landed on the ground. All the crews had their head bowed, their weapons down, and their eyes staring at her. He was the captain she thought, his triangle hat was old and ripped in some places, two long guns hung from his X-shaped belt, and behind him, an android wolf followed. His face showed he was at least thirty, with a short cut beard; a long scar garment his left eye. He was a human.
“I’m looking for a girl that can see the future, a girl with a necklace with a blue ruby. Tell me where she is, or you will die,”
“She has a blue ruby!” Brit cried, stepping away from Christa.
Christa eyed her sister with betrayal. Hurt.
"How could you?" Christa said. How can her own sister do that to her? After everything, she had done to save her. Christa looked back at the pirate, shocked that he was suddenly a few inches from her. He grabbed her chin and looked at her face.
“I didn’t think you would be a human,” He said coldly, but then he grinned, “A human with a toy,” Christa struggled when he robbed her from her weapon.
“Swift C-323. Nice.” His green eyes reflected the fire around them. “I like it,” To her surprise, he gave her gun back but without any bullets. Christa looked up with puzzlement. It made the man chuckle, “Men! Grab her, and take her to the cabin.” He said.
Christa began to scream. Their hands were strong around her wrist. “Let go of me! Let go of me you monsters!” She struggled, kicking with all her might. But no matter how hard she kicked they would not let her go. Behind her, just on the corner of her eyes, she could see one of the men aim their gun towards Brit. The little girl looked scared and dazed, unaware that she was about to die.
“Stop!” She screamed. But it was too late, the triggered was pulled. Brit fell to the ground, a quarter of her head was gone, blood scattered on the floor, and pieces of her brain fell from her skull. Christa could feel the gravity pull her to the ground, harder than ever. She cried, and as she did so she felt darkness come take her away.