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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12. The Early Avem Gets the Death

Ryn rides east with Targaten and his men for a week.

"We are close, men!" yells Targaten. Ryn couldn't tell how close they were, or to where. "We will camp here tonight."

In the distance is a forest. There is no noise out, which is strange.

"You, Popper, eh?" says Targaten, his eyes flashing. "Mind starting a fire for us? The men'll be back soon with food."

"I don't mind," says Ryn, guarded. He feels Targaten watching him as he piles dried branches and leaves, uses a flint and steel to start a fire. There's a huff behind him and he hears footsteps walking off.

"Hey, new guy," says an older man, sitting down next to him. "We don't have many newcomers. You're a rare commodity. Tell us, what've you been doing, travelling?"

"I don't really travel, that involves stopping. I don't stop. I just wander the country. Used to be with others, but I got tired...of them," says Ryn, his voice catching.

"You miss 'em?" asks the guy sympathetically, as a few more men sit down, all over the age of thirty and weathered.

"Yeah," says Ryn. "A bit."

"So what've you seen, wandering?" asks one of the men.

"Nature. Creatures not so friendly," says Ryn, remembering the Lepore, and also that these men didn't like Scintulla.

"What creatures? You're our brother in arms now. We'll go and kill those sons of-"

"They were these...carnivorous rabbit things. I escaped, though. Nothing too interesting," shrugs Ryn. The guys look impressed, though, and begins swapping stories, though most of them have heard them before. Ryn's face becomes haggard at the family-like atmosphere.

"Dinner!" yells a voice. All the men cheer and get up. Ryn cheers with them, but still feels sad.

Several men bring back dead animals, a fox, a bird, a raccoon. A few are holding Scintulla; an Aesch, a young Cerva. One holds a living Avem by the neck, but the men don't notice. It just stares at Ryn knowingly. 

The Avem is light blue, and white. They tend to be pastel colors, and have white irises. They mostly come in the shape of swans, but can be smaller, larger, have shorter necks. All depends on genetics.

While the men cook the dead animals and eat happily, they bind the Avem, aware that it's still alive, or at least near death.

"Should we cook the bird?" one man asks Targaten.

"No, save it for breakfast," he says.

All the men go to bed, but Ryn stays awake, thinking about the Avem.

"Hey," squawks a voice quietly. Ryn turns his head toward the Avem. "Yeah, you. Let me free." Ryn shakes his head. "Why not?" asks the Avem. Ryn points to himself, then drags a finger across his throat. "Oooh," says the Avem. It's silent. "But I don't wanna die either." Ryn shrugs awkwardly, and turns over, guilt crashing down on him as the Avem silently pleads with him. Eventually Ryn turns back.

"You know they're gonna kill a bunch of Scintulla, right? In the forest over there, guns and such. They've already killed dozens, hundreds of Scintulla. You gotta let me out so I can warn them they're coming." Ryn shakes his head. 

The sun rises and the Avem quiets.

"Let's roast this bird thing for breakfast," announces Targaten. "And the leftover meat." He gestures to rotting meat that sat out all night.

The men feast on food, Ryn hardly swallowing it down.

"Sir, sir!" yells one of the younger men. "Big creature! Coming from the east!" Dozens of heads snap to Targaten. 

"Ready your weapons!" he yells. They all scramble to their weapons, but Ryn just stands there, unarmed. 

"Here," says a man, handing him a pistol. Ryn stares at it. The man jogs away. Ryn holds the gun away from him, gingerly, afraid it will go off. 

The men ready as a fast shape approaches. Ryn has better eyes, being a Scintulla, and can see the shape is a wolf. 

A Dire, he thinks with awe. Then he spots a humanoid shape on its back. 

"Ready your weapons!" yells Targaten. Ryn shakily raises his gun. He sees that the humanoid being is a girl.

"Ready!" yells Targaten.

Her hair is flying back.

"Aim!" 

Her face is set and determined, and she clutches the Dire.

"Fire!"

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