A Different Species

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Chapter 15

For a moment, the only thought going through June's mind as the wooden gates opened was how massive and detailed they were. The entire surrounding wall was just as tall, made from logs and stone. She studied the structure to its finest details. June was impressed and wanted to know more about the architect, construction workers, and anyone else who might've taken part in creating it.

She wondered how their homes and other buildings were, seeing as there were no caves in view and only forest a few miles behind her.

Kargon's voice made her snap her gaze towards the man he named Raziel. He wore no mask and was covered in more cloths and jewelry than the crowd of people that surrounded them. While Kargon's skin was cedar brown—a mixture of brown and grey—Raziel's was a deeper shade of brown. The only thing in common between the two was their hair color. Raziel's black hair was styled in loose and messy short curls. His horns and ears were decorated in gold jewelry that matched his golden eyes. His red and gold robe was open, showing his toned chest and legs. Thankfully all the men had loincloths. June did not want to see any male members swinging loosely.

"June," he held a smile June perceived as genuine. "Welcome to Ynue."

Her eyes grew wide. "You speak English?"

"Enough to understand each other. I hear from Kargon you've learned a bit of our language."

June nodded, "Among other things."

A man taller than Raziel and Kargon stepped next to Raziel. He displayed no particular emotion but did acknowledge June with a nod, one which she returned.

This time Kargon spoke and introduced the tall man as Nikos. Nikos was ripped to say the least. Bulging blue-grey muscles covered in white scars varying in severity. June knew he had gained them from fists hits and sharp objects like the two blades he had strapped to either side of his waist. His long hair and eyes were a mixture of white and grey. Unlike Kargon and Raziel's horns which curled back, Nikos' horns began from behind his ears and curled forward.

June did her best to ignore the whispering voices from the crowd as well as their stares.

"Kargon!" A female voice came from behind them. June dropped her hand from his forearm to allow Kargon to turn. She had forgotten she still held onto him since the moment they stepped out of the woods. It was Kargon that placed her hand there when he noticed her state upon laying her eyes on the walls of the tribe.

"It's okay, June." He held her hand in his. "Ynue is good."

June was scared. Just like when she first woke up on this planet. Just like when she was being chased by the creature. And when she first met Kargon. Despite that, she sent him a small smile. "I trust you."

"Fajra." Kargon greeted the female with a nod. Besides his tense stance, there was something else about Kargon that June couldn't identify. Something about this woman.

Fajra was red. Red hair, lips, eyes, horns, and skin. The only parts of her that weren't were the inner parts of her pointy ears, the crevices on her horns, and the splotches and lines that covered her skin. Her horns didn't curve back and up like Kargon and Raziel, but instead downward. The tip of her horns hovered beneath her ears. Her hair was tied half up, half down with a few strands hanging freely. Like the other women in the crowd, she wore a long loincloth and leather over her breasts.

Immediately, Kargon and Fajra began a conversation that June was unable to understand except the words histles and lopies which were the quarts and lilies that glowed in the dark. Kargon had given her one of each, but lost them during the fire. The first thought to follow the memory was whether he had gone to collect them in the first place for the red skinned female he was now speaking to.

June's heart sunk.

"June." She turned to Raziel. "I hope I can ask you a few questions, unless you'd prefer to rest first."

"I hope I can ask you a few myself. After you."

Raziel took a step back and gestured to the village. June quickly glanced back at Kargon who was already watching her. Fajra was too. Her brows knitted together, lips drawn into a straight line.

"I'm still surprised at how good your English is," she said as she shifted her gaze forward. June didn't know where Raziel was leading them, but she wouldn't question him about it. Nikos followed a few steps behind them, but not once uttered a word. "I've met a few Americans who don't know how to speak their own language."

"It was a part of my studies when I was a child. Helon hoped to someday be able to communicate with your people and of course would need someone who would be able to. What is Earth like?"

Helon—so that's what their planet is called.

"I haven't seen all of it with my own eyes, but Arizona is a desert state—dry land because it doesn't receive enough rain for certain plants and animals to live in. Arizona is known for the Grand Canyon. If it gets too cold then snow falls."

"Arizona? Grand Canyon? I don't think I've learned those. Snow is what humans call small ice?"

"Oh sorry! Yeah, that's what snow is. Arizona is a state, an area, in the United States. The United States, or U.S., is a part of land on Earth. And the Grand Canyon is made of layers of rock which form high and low levels of the ground. Sorry if my explanations don't help much. It's easier having an image to look at."

Raziel chuckled. "I have read much about Helon—the plants, animals, and people that live in it. I believed that there was much more to learn not only about Helon, but from the sky. Did you ever think there was more beyond Earth?"

"Always, especially as a kid. Many humans believe that there are other beings out in space. Seems like I can testify in that defense." June laughed and raised a brow. "How were you able to learn English? I'm sorry if I'm prying. It's just that Earth has been trying to communicate with other planets, but from what I know, we haven't. What technology does Helon posses?"

"Our old home has this technology you speak of, but Helon can only communicate to a few planets. Nepune is who first learned about Earth and everything about it. They sent their people to us and taught us your language."

June frowned. "Old home?"

"It's where the high family lives. My people and I are not associated with them no longer." They reached a home—Raziel's home. The walls and roof were made of wood, but the doors and windows were covered in a fabric of some sort. Raziel allowed June first. He followed and Nikos remained outside. Kargon had stayed behind with Fajra.

"A drink?" Raziel offered.

June nodded. After receiving her drink she thanked him and took a sip. It was a blend of June had no idea what. One moment it tasted as something and the next it was something else. It was sweet overall, but not overpowering. She took a bigger sip. "This isn't alcohol?"

Raziel grinned. "I promise to share with you some of my favorite drinks, if you tell me the story of how you and Kargon came across each other."

June smiled, "Deal."

Thoughts on the new characters?

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