They looked like falling stars, he has never seen so many fall at once. So many. They moved so fast but he knew he needed to be faster. Turning to look at the man next to him Luca. “We need to get to circle if we wish to get our answers from any survivors.” Luca nodded. “Leave it Emmitt, it’ll still be here when we return time is not our friend this evening. They left in hope in high spirits.
She awoke to the smell of something burning. She tried to listening around her as she looked around. Taking in her environment she realize she had been lying on the ground for hours by now. Hours at least it was mid-day and nothing but stone silence. This is wrong. Trying to move but pain seized her leg. She lay there trapped under a door a rod from the door pierced through the middle of her thigh. Great she thought just great I’m pinned down. Losing blood and have no idea where I am, how I got here, or what my damn name is. Get it together. A strange sense came over her. Eyes she thought. She was indeed being watched, she looked through to the bush and saw a little girl with a bow and arrow pointed straight at her.
Watching as the young girl taking in a deep breath and letting the arrow fly straight passed her head closing her eyes to open them suddenly sound of a cry falling behind her. A huge creature with two tails and four eye laying lifelessly next to her. “Thank you.” She said looking back to the tiny person who was now by her side. “What is your name?” The young one hesitated but spoke. “Shayla.” “Shayla, hi Shayla. You’re a pretty good shot. Can I ask you for your help Shayla? Shayla nodded. “Ok, well you see my feet. Can you grab that edge of this… thing here and pull up as fast as you can?” Shayla bends down to her face.” Let me see your eyes.” Shayla spoke softly yet terrifying at the same time.
She opened her eyes staring straight back into Shayla’s. As Shayla searched for something and looks like she did not find what she was looking for. Shayla took the top of her jacket and rolled down a little bit off the shoulder and put it back. Shayla stood up and went down to the strangers feet and did the task that was asked of her. The door was heavy but Shayla did not faulter. She felt the rod was pulled from the body. She quickly removed her belt and tightened it around her leg using smaller parts of the shattered pod around making a stint like thing to help her. “Are you ok Tessa?” Shayla asked her.
“What did you call me?” Tessa asked as she found her balance standing up. “Tessa? That’s the name that is on your jacket.” Shayla replied back like the stranger lost their mind. Once she heard it the name in many voices rushed through her head. “Yes, I guess that’s my name. Shayla how long have you been watching me?” “ Since you crashed in the middle of the night.” “What were you looking for when you were inspecting me?” “To see if you were you one of them. Like the others.” “What others?”
“Well the ones that have blue eyes that glow they are evil and mean. The other ones Luca says they are asleep but they seem awake to me but once Luca says they are awake they leave. But they all have two things the same.” “What would that be?” “They all come from the sky and no one remembers who they are. Do you know why you are here?” Tessa looked at Shayla “ No, I do not. Do a lot of people come falling out of the sky?” “ I guess when you wake you’ll know.” It sounded so cold. The sound of the war drums was faint but close at the same time. Shayla looked up quickly to the south , or at least what she hoped was south.
Hope you can move quickly on that leg Shayla said as she came to help her throwing her arm over shoulder trying to move her along quicker. “Why is that?” Tessa asked? “ Shayla what’s happening?” “The war drums, there is a battle today between two tribes. The other tribe must loosing or else their scouts would not be crossing the boundary.” Tessa stopped. Scout it hit her like a slap in the face. “Shayla how old are you?” “I’m thirteen years. You need to keep up come on quicker.” “You’re just a child and your tribe uses you as a scout?” “It is the way things work, I’m very good at what I do. I’m the fastest hunter so I am one of many scouts on war days.” Tessa quickly behind her. “How can I help you?”
“You need to stay alive until get you to The Circle and they speak to you. They have only seen two others who were not shadows or heartless sky landers who have fallen they’ll have questions as you do. Luca can help you wake up we’ve seen him do it before.” Shayla stopped tears filled her eyes. “Get down.” She whispered. It wasn’t until she glanced up that she noticed another young girl pinned into a positioned in the tree ahead of them. She was drenched in the blood and pierced just under the heart. She was still alive and looked just like Shayla.
“How did they get to her so quickly they don’t know this land.” Shayla asked quietly with tears in her eyes. “Stay here whoever did this is waiting to see who is going to get here down. Stay low. Stay quiet.” Tessa quickly scanned the area around her. She took Shayla’s knife hidden in her boots. And climbed up the tree ignoring her injured leg. Once she reached the middle she grabbed a vine and swung to the other trees. She was stealthy and quiet. She stopped the girl was about two trees away. She felt her stomach turn. This is to simple, that’s when she saw something move out of her right eye. It was a man dressed in war attire at the ready with a bow and arrow pointed at the girl who looked like Shayla.
He had not noticed Tessa and he was straight across. She took a breath and pushed off the tree hugging tightly to the vine until she reached the branch and the man. She definitely had startled the man. In more ways than one judging by the way he looked at her. He was fast but she was faster in just seconds she managed to take her blade into the man’s side throat just above the collar bone and twisted it up and pulled it up quickly he had fallen to the ground…dead. She had just taken a life; she will never know that man’s name.
That didn’t matter at the moment now though. She looked around no one retaliated against her for the fallen man. No one was else was there. She quickly grabbed the vine and swung up to the young girl still pinned to the tree. “My name is Tessa and I am a friend of Shayla’s. I’m going to get you down if that’s ok with you I’d like to help you with your wound. What’s your name?” “Sa…Sage.” She spat out in pain., she was scared. “Ok Sage, I’m betting that you’re Shayla’s older sister so judging on that I know that you are strong. Ok take a deep breath I’m going to break the end of this spear and then pull it out of you ok it is not in any vital place so I ’m certain you will not bleed out before we get you treated ok?” Sage nodded with her eyes close.
“Ok so on three. One… Two..” and she broke the spear yanking it away throwing it to the ground catching Sage as she falls into her arms and holding her tight to her so she does not fall from the tree. “ Sage immediately let out a sharp cry. “You can’t do that.” Tessa said covering her mouth. “There may be more of them out there and Shayla will be out there with them.” Sage nodded covering her mouth. Silently crying from the pain. She wrapped Sage up in the vine making a harness type shift to lower both her and Sage down to the ground. Tessa took deep breathe the pain from her leg starting to come through stronger.
Shayla was there waiting from them helping them it of the harness make shift helping Tessa carry Sage up. “I need to clean her wound.” Tessa said to Shayla looking for which way to go. “There’s a river just down this way, we need to move quickly it’s close to the leaders village it’s The circle. They will help us.” “Ok, let’s get moving.” Tessa was amazed at how fast they could move as injured as two of the trio were, they all knew how quick they had to be. They came upon the river and found a rock that they could lay Sage half up on to tend to her.
“Stay awake. Stay with me Sage were gonna get you taken care of ok.” Tessa spoke. “Stay here I’ll be back with help.” Shayla said as she quickly ran off before Tessa could protest. “She’s quite the little brat that one.” Sage said with a small giggle. “She’s a scared brat. So let’s fix some of that by fixing you up huh?” Tessa said with smile. Tessa lifted her shifted to the ribs. She cleaned it with water the injury left quite a hole she needed to sew it together if Sage had a shot or she will indeed bleed out. She started digging around in her pockets finding some weird metallic like thing and a little needle hidden well in her inside pockets. She quickly went to work stitching up Sages rib hole She was almost done when Sage spoke up. “”Tessa?”
“Ya.” “Who are you? How did you find Shayla? Why are you helping me?” “Well, Sage, I don’t know who I am. I am a Skylander I guess that’s what Shayla said. I woke up with parts of a door through my leg.” Tessa said as she showed Sage her leg. “Shayla watched me fall and crash than she watched me all night and kept me from being eaten by some weird creature she saved me. I know that I am not a shadow or heartless as again Shayla said. I’m helping you for two reasons Sage. The first is I would want someone to help me. The second I trust Shayla and I owe her one. Being the new person on the block it would be pretty shitty of me not to help the older sister to the one who saved me when she didn’t have to.” Sage giggled to her response or at least tried to.
“Were you a healer this stitch looks great.” Sage took a deep look at Tessa “You look like her ya know. The two healers that that came not that long ago. They did not have the marks of the others either. They had a picture of them and their daughter. You look so much like her.” “What happened to them?” Tessa asked with a smile. “They’re dead.” Sage said almost as wounded as her actual injury. “Thank you for helping me.” Sage said smiling at Tessa “There they are.” Tessa said.
“Here!” A worrisome Shayla cried out. With what sounded like a stampede behind her. Horses! They were horses. She desperately wanted to know how she knew that. How she knew what a horse was but not where she came from or how she magically just fell from the sky. The men on the horses appeared as giants. “Luca see to Sage.” Malik demanded. “You come here.” Tessa felt her heart hit her stomach. She got up and walked to what seemed to be a confused angry giant. Luca bent over Sage tending and humming to the wound. “What is your name child?” Tahlia asked with a voice as sweet to match her aged face.
The fact that she called her a sweet child when her body would prove otherwise made her smile. “My name is Tessa.” A look of shock swept their faces. “May I ask where you come from Tessa?” Tahlia continued. “You can but I’m sorry I do not know. I woke up with a door stuck in my leg in a land a do not know. That is all I know. I have no doubt young Shayla told you of our encounter. She’s a great girl obviously coming from great trainers I assume.” She kept glancing at the dark skinned what seemed like the tallest of the giant horse-riding men.
She was starting to wonder if there was a certain height requirement to be a part of these people. With everyone looking at her something about that one made it different it was unsettling how his eyes seem to see right through her. “Are there more of you from the area in which you woke?” Malik asked he was no doubt the second tallest and spoke with authority. “No I was the only one.” “Do you hear it?” The man who left her unsettled with those eyes spoke up lightly. They listened. “The drums have stopped.” Shayla said first. “No” he replied. “Scouts.”
The moment those words left his mouth an arrow went straight through Sages heart as a rock hit Luca so hard in the head he flung into the river face down not moving right away. Everyone got off their horses and took to their weapons ones with bows started firing back into the woods. Sharp loud screams were heard from inside the woods letting them know their targets have been reached. Tessa looked quickly for Shayla who was already standing over her sisters body in shock. Two warriors came quickly upon her.
Tessa ran toward her quickly yanking Sages daggers from her calves and shoving Shayla out of the way The attackers were tall men steady and strong but she was quicker with swift kicks to their stomachs. They were quick to it the temple down close to her eye with a stone mallet. She managed to yank one attacker to the floor who almost struck Shayla and got him to the ground piercing her dagger into his neck and ripping it up and then into his heart. Shayla screamed out at Tessa. The man behind her was on top of her with his sword, when a spear straight through the man from behind Tessa watched him fall into the ground and water. His life left his eyes.
“Emmitt.” Shayla cried hugging him. Tessa gave him a nod of thanks. He embraced Shayla checking her quickly for injuries. He looked up and Tessa had gathered Luca the old man from the river. Emmitt ran over he was scared you could he the shakiness in him when spoke. “Is he…?” “I don’t know.” Tessa bent over to his chest to try to feel a heartbeat. She looked at his body she tilted his head back. Taking her finger she pushed his tongue down and made sure there was nothing blocking his air way.
Then she pinched his nose and covered his mouth with hers and blew twice. Then she took her hands together and starting pumping up and down over his left breast. She kept repeating this process. “What are you doing to him?” Emmitt yelled at her. “I don’t know but please just trust me.” “Leave her alone Emmitt she’s a healer like you and like Luca.” Shayla said calmly with no doubt hidden in Tessa abilities at all. Tessa repeated her task one more time getting frustrated she slammed her hand on Lucas chest yelling at him “BREATH DAMMIT!”
Luca popped up a little spitting water out anywhere he could. Tessa quickly rolled him to his left side to spit out the water. Finally taking a breath she didn’t know she was holding. Rubbing the loose pieces of hair back. Tessa than started to look at the wound on Lucas head that lead him to falling into in the first place. She took the cloth from Lucas little pouch and cleaned the small wound out. “You will not need to be sewn, but you will have some pain for a spill.” Tessa said to Luca kindly. “Thank you child.” Luca turned to stare down at Sages lifeless body and a young crying Shayla laying over her. Emmitt stroking her back.
“Shayla I’m so sorry.” “You saved me.” “You saved me first my friend. I’m sorry I could not help her.” Emmitt still starring intensely at Tessa. “You better get that cleaned up.” He said to her. He took his cloth off his person and dipped it in the water and started to clean the wound around her temple and eye. “ You will be fine.” He says as he examined her head and eye. “We need to keep pressure here.” Pain seem to roar back from her leg which at this point she thought was going to fall at any moment now.
“I need to get her to the tent Luca to tend to her leg.” “We need to get to Circle tend to her there. She needs to undergo inspection like everyone else. I admire your bravery and appreciate your help and aide my lady but you are still a stranger to this land.” Malik said kindly. “ I’ll be happy to follow you anywhere but if you’d be so kind to let me get a drink first.. No one disagreed. Luca called “Shayla you ride upon me and my horse, Emmitt you will take Tessa.”
“My name is Emmitt. May I help you up?” “Thank you.” She responded gratefully. The pain in her leg was sharp. He climbed upon behind her and they rode on. They came to a camp like tent place it was huge in a perfect circle. “ Tend to her Emmitt were for Abriel and Zayne.” “No! bring her in she has fought with us today we all deserve to know why.” Cato responded. “Abriel, Zayne what happened today? You were way beyond your battle boundaries. Their scouts their warriors were in our lands. You said you would have this under control.” Roared Kai.
“We had it under control those were the runners. The tribe had fallen and they retreated apparently in the wrong way.” Replied Zayne as if he were bored with the topic at hand. “What’s that?” Abriel said pointing to Tessa. “Tessa.” Tessa responded irritated. She turned to Malik “Did you bring another Skylander Malik? Abriel asked humorously. “Is she our prize for our grand victory today?” “You stand down Abriel, you know the laws.” Tahlia answered. “Or maybe you are forgetting letting these attacks like today happen maybe your leadership skills are fading.” Ira teased. “You wound me Ira.” Abriel jokes as he holds his hand over his heart.
“None the less you cost us not a scout but a young life. Do you accept charges?” Piers asked flatly. “Yes I do.” Zayne answers. “Kai will do it.” Tahlia said. “Now down to you.” Cato said looking at Tessa. “ I can see your taken back by all of this. Seeing as you are still what we call asleep. So since you fought protected our own. We will introduce ourselves to you explain what will happen and I’m asking circle to reject all charges of banishment if inspections passes.” Cato announced. “Agreed.” Tahlia said. The others nod in approval.
“I am Cato and we are the circle. We are sets of two and we represent five tribes of this land. We help each other with foods, medicines, warriors, and other trade goods. We live separately yet still together and freely with the laws set up from here an alliance. My partner is Kai.” Kai nods and sends a small wave. “I am Ira and my partner is Piers we manly handle training gatherers and tinkering with new devices or weapons for all of us to use.” Piers Smiles and waves.
“I’m Abriel and my partner is Zayne. We’re the only tribe who are cannibals. We get people who commit crimes and flay them alive. Even the banished are up for grabs while hunting.” His face was cold as what seemed his heart. “Step off it Abriel.” Malik barked annoyed with him. “I’m Malik and I train the warriors my partner is Luca and he is the head healer of all the villages. You become familiar with our successor Emmitt who is also Tahlia’s future successor.” I am Tahlia the fair I make sure we all stay on top of the laws here and that they are fair for all the tribes and settle any problems that may arise. When my time is done Emmitt will take my place.” Tahlia said politely.
“We will be examining you and your body. Just some test to show if you are not a shadow or a heartless. It’s invasive and in your condition maybe painful. If you fail you will be blinded and lead far from here closer to the mountain boundary and banished. If you pass you will receive medical care and permission to stay with Luca’s tribe based on your healing skills, he will help you wake up.” Ira explained. Tahlia had a look of sadness on her face. “Until the results are viewed you will be treated like a prisoner. I’m sorry that’s just the way things are done.”
“I understand. Either way I guess I’ll be getting some answers. Thank you for your candor. May I ask for this to be pushed as quickly as possible.” Tessa asked started to lean back and forth pain radiating through her leg. “Yes.” Tahlia responded. Cato took Tessa by the arm and lead her to another tent. He had chains. Piers came in place your hands in these shackles. She did what she was asked to do. As he hung her hands high in the air Cato shackled her feet to the ground and she felt all the pain in her leg and head as she dangled Piers lifted her shirt. He looked through her back and felt hard in her shoulders.
“Emmitt.” Emmitt entered the tent. “ You are going to be leader one day you need to be in here to learn how to do this properly.” Emmitt nodded as he had no other choice but to watch. He looked like he longed to be anywhere else. She wished he was too. They went through her neck and stomach. “ We don’t go near the heart or chest because the chips near or in that area make them explode.” They took long skinny needles through her shoulders, back, and calves. They injected a serum into her neck to see if her eye color would change. They did not.
“She’s not wearing the lenses.” Emmitt said as he was searching her eyes. “Piers look. That’s it isn’t it.” Emmitt said sadly. What was on her neck that she couldn’t see or feel. “Ok, were done here. Take her and chain her over there in the corner. I’m going to talk to them.” Emmitt did so and left. She was now chained alone on the floor feeling more lost each second. How did I get here she thought to herself.
“Well she’s not a shadow and she’s not heartless. She’s completely healthy besides the wound to the leg and bruise to the head.” Piers announced. “Just like Melana and Adam.” “There’s a reason for that. She has the mark on her neck and she has the name. Tahlia this s their daughter they warned us that she would happen; and it did she’s here chained and bleeding in the corner.” Piers said shamefully hanging his head. “My God, we’ve been preparing since they let us. We’re ready. We all know what to do. So let’s get to it.” Tahlia said.
“Wait… who tells the girl?” “I will.” Luca said. “She will stay with me and Emmitt. We are where she belongs. Her parents were healers maybe she’ll spark faster to wake up. She’s the Chief of her warriors when she awakens she’ll want to be with Malik.” Lucas finished. “Lucas is right. She’ll want to be prepared.” Piers added. “We all will.” Cato agreed. “It’s settled than let us only come together again if it’s an emergency, or if she wakes up.” They got up and took their leave. “Emmitt get ready for our way home. I’m to tell Tessa of her parents.” Emmitt face filled with sadness and left to fetch their horses from the woods. He entered the tent and unchained Tessa’s body. She looked up weakly the day has been set darkness ant exhaustion but most of all pain has taken over her.
“So… did I pass your inspection?” She asked sarcastically. “Yes. Yes you did. You are no Tentoria or shadow. However we did find a birth mark on the back of your neck up towards your head. I’d like to show you something.” Luca said as he pulled out a picture from his pouch. “These are the only other two people who came down here clean like you except they came with their full memory. They discovered a secret upon their ship and when the bad ones discovered they knew their friends helped them escape.” Taking a big long exhale before he continued.
“Unfortunately they were forced to leave their daughter behind. They were healers and warriors their knowledge far exceeded our own. They taught us many things. Like who and why we receive Skylanders who are heartless and shadows. Why and how to examine them. They saved many of our tribes with their surgical skills and medicines. They were funny and our friends. Our new friends managed to take parts from broken pods and chips they yanked out of shadows and made a radio to communicate with the other Skylanders. It worked for many months they spoke to three people in secret, working here on the tribe lands and doing what they could to help those up there.” He pointed up.
“They put on smiles but the dark secret and the longing to be with their young one overwhelmed them with grief. One day they were fighting Melana begged Adam to stop talking to the one they called Rodriguez she said she could no longer trust him. Adam convinced his friend would not deceive him. They went out to tend to a matter for the one they called Rodriguez. They left at sunset, me and Emmitt came upon their bodies while gathering plants by mid-day two days later they were tortured. We took what was left of them and burned them.”
“They were held in the highest honor of the circle. The day before they left Melana came to us in the Circle in that tent there about dream she had. She felt as if it was a warning. Her daughter was to be chief of their warriors she will discover that of what her parentage knew and she would be the only one to stop the evil that has been created. Melana said that her daughter would come to save her people and this land from great demons. For us to please get her ready. We’ve been waiting ever sense. It was with Melana and Adams help to make Emmitt Tahlia’s second in command he will lead the circle when she is ready to step aside.”
“Melana taught Emmitt everything she knows really he learned so much. He was really hurt when he saw what their own people had done.” Tessa who hung on every word coming out of his mouth he had such a way with words it was like hearing a story brought to life. She took the picture from his hands studying it closely. “Sages words coming to her head. “You look like her ya know?” “That’s a horrible fate and I’m sorry for your loss. They seem like wonderful people, but why tell me this?” “Their daughter had an unusual birthmark of a star on the back of her neck going up to her head. The same as Emmitt found on you. Their daughters name was Tessa.” Tessa stared intensely at Luca.
“So you are saying these healers are my parents? These people who left me on a ship that had an evil secret and fled to try to save everyone. Got killed by the same people and left me to follow in their same fate are my family?” Tessa said with an angered tone. “I do. Sage was right I look like her and I look like both of them.” She said with tear filled eyes. “They kept track of you. With the one they left you with every night, on that radio. If you can’t remember much, know that you were loved by them. It’s the one fact you won’t recall.” Emmitt softly added.
“What do I do now? Where am I supposed to go with this new fun fact?” She asked sarcastically with anger lingering inside of her. “You will come home to our tribe and tend to you there we will wake you up. You’ll know what to do from there. We must hurry it’s a ways ride and the sun is set.” Luca answered. Emmitt had the horses ready. They left the circle. They kept quiet as they traveled Tessa rode with Emmitt which she was grateful as she worn down to her limit and broken hearted. She now knew when her memory returned it would not be of a happy family fondness but more to the lines of maybe a few friends and a snake pit.
Tessa was longing to cut her leg off. Emmitt brought the horse to a stop along with Luca. She felt something was off. Tessa knew someone was out there but who? An arrow flew by and hit the tree across from them.. “GO!” Luca yelled whose horse took off at the speed of light. Emmitt kicked the side of his horse as instructed Luca was far gone. Someone flew down across a vine knocking Tessa and Emmitt off of the horse. Emmitt’s head hit hard on a rock he did not look to be moving. She flew hard into a tree and felt all the air leave her body as she bounced onto the ground.
The attacker had gotten up and was above her looking down. He stared down for a moment almost as if he was searching for something. With an evil smile and glint in his eyes “We’ve been looking for you my dear.” The stranger had the brightest deepest blue eyes she has ever seen that would have been beautiful had it not been soul shaking terrifying. The longer you star into them the more intoxicating they were. The attacker voice was deep and made every part of her cringe. “Well you sure took your sweet time.” She replied with a bored tone.
A radio clicked over on the stranger. “Bring her in.” An unrecognizable voice said. “What of the escort?” The attacker asked. “Leave him he is of no use to us. Bring her quickly and quietly, do not get see.” “Like hell you are.” She said as she struck the blue-eyed demon with a rock so hard to the head. The man stumbled but he did not faulter. He went for her neck. He flew to the ground Emmitt was on top of the demon exchanging blows, somehow both wearing a mask to cover their faces.. The man with blue eyes his eyes were no longer bright blue. It was so dark she could no longer tell the two apart. Until one of them suddenly stood up as the other man was no longer moving on the ground. The victor made his way to her and as he slowly looked down to her she was able to manage to stand herself up. She staggered and then finally gave into the pain and let darkness take over.
Am I dead? Tessa thought to herself, she took a deep breath…and felt pain surge through her. ’Nope kinda wish I was though’ she thought. She opened her eyes to find her legs shackled down and her hands chained above her head. Her thigh wound laid open and exposed it looked a little better was missing something. She heard the footsteps and knew someone was coming in the room from the shadows a man appeared with some lit candles in the room provided quite a bit of light. The man’s face was still covered but she saw in his hands was an extremely hot metal rod.
The stranger looks straight at her on the floor in the corner coming to her with the metal rod. He was built like a mountain his size and muscles were impressive but she looked into those eyes she knew those eyes that once had her unsettled. Emmitt pulled down his mask his brown eyes staring straight down onto her. He bent down with rod lifting his hand. “Wait…” She said she looked up to see a leather piece above her shackles, as he looked up he sees the piece looks down at her. “Please just please.” She begged. Emmitt grabbed the leather piece and placed it into her mouth. She knew what was about to happen she was ready. He looked up at her for a deep moment. “Bite down but remember to breath.” Emmitt says to her darkly. She watched as he shoved the hot metal rod into her wound in her leg. She didn’t move or squirm or even scream as much as she wanted to. Her body tightened . She got hazy and let pain and exhaustions take over her once again.