Nevermore: of Ryn and Reese

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  • Published: 30 Oct 2016
  • Updated: 19 Nov 2016
  • Status: Complete
Reese has grown up in the world of the aftermath of a devastating war, raised by what used to be the enemy of humans: the Scintulla. Now, though, someone wants to finish off the scarce Scintulla, as revenge for the decimated human race. (endfic comp)

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18. The Crack

Ryn sneaks away from the battalion, and begins to sprint.

He runs for miles before he sees the Scintulla, stealthily moving through the trees, watching for archers and shooters.

The Dire spots him first.

"The traitor," he growls. But he goes around Ryn, to his surprise. 

"A-are you doing to kill me?" stutters Ryn. "I'm a traitor."

"A friend of Reese's will be spared," growls the Dire, not looking back. 

"Where are you going?" asks Ryn. No one answers him. Ryn shakes his head and trails behind. The Scintulla don't say anything, but the atmosphere tenses more.

They make their way to the cave where Reese is. She sees Ryn and her eyes flash, but doesn't react further.

"Reese..." says Ryn, his voice sounding like his heart broke.

"Hello, Ryn," she says. She approaches the Dire, trying to not look weak. She's pale and sweaty and doesn't pull it off.

"What have you done, human?" growls the Dire.

"My plan is ready," she tells the Dire.

"Reese, what did you do?" asks Ryn.

"You have no say, Ryn. I saw you with the enemy," says Reese, ignoring their questions.

"And I've got a solution. I need scouts to retrieve the army. Nothing that can be injured easily. My goal is less death," says Reese.

"Any volunteers?" asks the Dire. Several Mure and Avem come forward. The Dire nods. "Go on, then. Lead them back here. Quickly." He turns to Reese. "How long will your 'plan' take?"

"Seconds," says Reese, walking back into the cave. Ryn follows.She takes a breath and readies her knife, her whole body tremorring.

"What are you going to do, Reese?" whispers Ryn.

"Save the Scinutlla, Ryn. At least a few," murmurs Reese.

"But what are you doing? The knife? I told you you could-"

"I know, Ryn. I've nearly died a couple times because I've overexerted myself. I was unconscious for five days once. Five. But I've pulled through. But what's once more?" asks Reese.

"I told you you couldn't-" says Ryn, shaking his head.

"Couldn't take care of myself? Too bad, Ryn. I did that. I took care of myself fine, when I was alone. Other than that, it was the Scintulla that helped. They didn't patronize, except the Dire. They just went along with it. Don't say that I couldn't take care of myself, Ryn, because I did," says Reese, a fire in her eyes. Ryn is silent. "And look at you. Following the people that want to kill hundreds of Scintulla. That's disgusting."

"Reese, the thing is. It's about..." Ryn starts, but stutters. "Mom..." Reese drops her hands, staring at Ryn. Her face, vulnerable, makes her look like she's twelve again. "The man who was there when Mom... You remember what he said his name was?" Reese pales.

"Targaten Worner Popps-Va," whispers Reese. "Targaten." Tears spill down her cheeks and she doesn't wipe them away. "Doesn't matter. We're just going to...send him and his warriors away."

"Away to where, though, Reese?" asks Ryn. Reese is silent. Ryn rolls his eyes. One of the Avem flies into the cave.

"They are approaching," it squawks. Reese nods, and readies her knife again.

"You should leave, Ryn," says Reese, quietly.

"No," says Ryn. "Not again." Reese feels like crying, but holds it in.

"Then stand back," she says, her voice phlegmy.

The pounding of hooves grows louder, and the yells of the chosen of Targaten ring throughout the forest.

The Scintulla rush into the cave, to the very back.The chosen follow them in. The Scintulla leave through the back, where the Cerva had grown branches to carry out rock. They pile rock up behind.

"Ah, look what we have here," says Targaten. "The traitor and the girl."

Reese cuts her hand, not listening to Targaten. She speaks her words softly, inaudible, the words in Vox strange.

"You want to know something, chosen?" yells Targaten. "I met this pair years ago. Only a few. But there was a woman with them." Ryn growls low in his throat. "But the boy. He was an abomination. Some horse thing. I know now that he is called an Equignis.He was hiding amongst our ranks. I suspected, in the beginning, but didn't put it together until he ran." Ryn's body shakes. "He was trying to either kill me or protect his...mother...in the scuffle. Too bad mommy dearest DIED!" Ryn morphs, his body encompassed into flame. 

"Ryn, don't!" Reese yells. Her words done, her body drained completely of magic and of a lot of blood, crashes to the floor. For once in Ryn's life, he looked back. He stops attacked Targaten as a crack, thirty feet across, splits in the air.

The crack widens, a blinding white light bursting out. The air vacuums into it, and the light becomes less blinding as it does so.

Ryn morphs back and drags Reese away. He stares in awe at the the crack.The vacuum becomes stronger and Ryn can see the world beyond. Neon grass and a sky surreally blue. Nothing else. No creatures.

"The homeland..." breathes Ryn, vague memories stirring.

The humans are sucked in, confused, their horses bucking. With a crack like thunder, the crack closes and Ryn and Reese are blown back.

Ryn crawls to Reese, who's not moving, hardly breathing.

"Reese...Reese," says Ryn, gently shaking her shoulders. The Dire and a few Scintulla step in the cave and quietly walk to Ryn and Reese.

"She is dead, Equignis," says the Dire.

"No. Her heart's still beating. She's still breathing," says Ryn, desperately.

"And yet she's not waking up," says the Dire, coldly.

"But she can't be dead!" yells Ryn, his black human hair sparking. Silently, the Mandra wander in.

"What is going on?" one asks.

"The human is dead," says the Dire. The Mandra gasp.

One Mandra, the one that Reese had healed, comes up. 

"The miss gave me life. But I am old. I just didn't want to be in pain as I died. I am willing to give my life for her," says the Mandra.

"I'm confused," says Ryn, choking back tears.

"Mandra bring water. Water brings life. With the Claramet in her blood, we can bring her back from the brink," explains the Mandra. "But you will have to cut her hand." Ryn seizes the Meta knife and cuts Reese's arm. Still no response.

The Mandra gather around Reese, the eldest going to the cut. They begin to hum a hypnotic melody. Water flows toward them, from the cracks. The Claramet in Reese's blood glows silver, and the Mandra glow fluorescent green.

The water turns silver and travels inside Reese, and the single Mandra dissolves with it.

Reese takes a deep breath and throws up, in the circle of singing Mandra. She passes out in Ryn's arms, but breaths much steadier, her heart beating wildly.

"Thank you," says Ryn, tears overflowing.

"No. We are safe because of her. She helped us once. We didn't really do anything in this battle. The least we could do," sniffles a Mandra.The walk slowly out of the cave, going back to their stream.

"What was in that crack, Equignis?" inquires the Dire, once all the other Scintulla have left.

"The homeland," says Ryn quietly.

"Impossible," breaths the Dire.

"I never knew how powerful she was," says Ryn, sighing, looking at Reese. "At least Targaten's threat has ended."

"Yes, it has," says the Dire, a bit incredulous.

Ryn carries Reese back to the forest.

He lays her down and turns away, lying down next to her. Sleeping next to her.

For the first time in four years.

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