|Archives of Asisium: The Dawn of Ages
Author: Tomes Scolaris PM
Life has existed for many thousands if not millions of years in the strange world of Asisium but the old way of life teeters on the brink of extinction and a new dawn approaches.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Drama - Chapters: 9 - Words: 11,476 - Reviews: 10 - Updated: 08-19-12 - Published: 04-07-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3011490
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
For weeks Hyrrh and his brothers had taken refuge in the caves beneath the pinkskin's island. Mother had been furious when they had returned from the surface defeated and Hyrrh feared that she may even tear off his head in her fury as she screeched through the water and slammed herself off the cavern walls, the entire brood recoiled physically. None of them had ever seen mother so angry, not even Hyrrh.
After her tirade, she disappeared into one of the smaller, lesser used caverns and stayed there for days. Hyrrh and his brothers avoided her, fearing her wrath. He could still remember the rumble in the water that bounced off the walls even once she was out of sight and from the silence of his brothers, he knew they did too.
He pushed himself into a small recess in the rock and stayed there, thinking. Mother was still in her cavern, she'd come out only twice to feed and had ignored her sons on both occasions. We have failed her, he thought. Or at least she thinks we have but that's not true. It was her who failed us. She said the pinkskins were weak and they killed Hyr'ahn, the strongest of all of us, firstborn. Dead.
All around him his brothers brooded too, tucked away into holes and recesses in the rock, curled up in the corners of the caverns or swimming soft, slow and silent through the coral outside. Do they blame mother, or themselves? he wondered, both, most likely.
"My children!" mother's call was almost alien to him now. "Come to me," she commanded and obediently the Hydrakin emerged from their hiding and swam to the main chamber. Mother emerged too, though her face seemed weaker than Hyrrh had ever seen it before. "My children," she spoke softly, her words like song beneath the waves. "We have hidden away like weaklings, like the very thing we seek to rid our world of. We will hide no longer. We will return to the surface and weakness shall be purged!" she growled but there was a twist in her voice that Hyrrh had not heard before.
The thought was soon lost though as his brothers began to screech and surge through the water around him, "Mother! Mother! Mother!" they roared and "Purge the weakness! Purge!" in minutes the water was a storm beneath the island, a swirling torrent driven by the powerful thrusting kicks of the Hydrakin. With her sons surging this way and that around her, Mother shot from the cave. Hyrrh was almost dragged along behind her as the water drew along in her wake and that of his brothers, eagerly following.
He snatched up a coral spear from the mouth of the tunnel into the caverns and began to swim for the surface. He was almost the last one; most of his brothers were several lengths ahead, right behind their mother. When she thundered free of the water with her sons in tow the ocean exploded, any pinkskin with eyes to see and ears to hear would know they were coming. This is reckless. We have always attacked quietly, under the cover of darkness and even that failed us before. She cannot think this is a good idea.
Hyrrh shot free of the ocean a few moments after his mother, who was already sliding across the shallows with grace mismatched to her size. Her sons were clumsily running through the waist high water, lifting their knees to break free of its slowing drag. As he joined them, Hyrrh could see the pinkskins on the island ahead clearly. It's daylight, he realised with wide eyes.
On the island the pinkskins ran this way and that, blind panic, pathetic, he thought at first. No, they are organising! He watched in horror as the pinkskins seemed to assemble on the beach, each armed with a long spear of wood. Others ran to the edges of the village and lit large piles of wood and dried leaves, they took to light quickly and soon the signal fires were burning and spewing out two great columns of thick white smoke. Pinkskins from the other islands were already on their way when mother barrelled up the beach. She took one in her jaws by the shoulder and flung him; he spun through the air like a starfish and landed in a heap.
The pinkskins thrust their spears at her even as hers sons struggled desperately to cross the shallows and aid their beloved mother. She screeched an unbearable screech as one of the pinkskins thrust his spear up into the roof of her open mouth. His brief triumph was short lived as mother raked her talons down the length of his face and chest.
The Hydrakin were on the sand then, they smashed into the crowd of pinkskins gathered around their mother and the beach became a pulsing chaotic melee. Pinkskins from other islands were arriving as Hyrrh sprinted up the beach and drove his coral spear into the soft flesh of a young male, the point punched clean out of his back and he fell, his final breath shuddered from his lips as the spear snapped off inside him. Hyrrh was left with little more than a dagger-sized spike of coral but made full use of it as a second pinkskin jabbed a spear a few inches into his shoulder, screeching Hyrrh drove the remains is his own spear into the pinkskins eye, he screamed, Hyrrh twisted and the pinkskin dropped as though someone had pulled his bones from within.
Unarmed Hyrrh could only stand as the next pinkskin came at him, this one armed with a spear and flanked by a friend. He felt his eyes widen as he stared death in the face until one of his brothers clattered into the second pinkskin and sent him reeling, stumbling back and onto his rear. The first stopped and turned and Hyrrh seized his chance, and the spear. He drove his scaled fist into the pinkskins face and sent blood spraying from his nose and mouth but the pinkskin seemed almost fearless. He turned back to face Hyrrh with a fury in his eyes and drove his foot at the larger Hydrakin's middle. The surprise, almost more than the blow, drove Hyrrh back a step and the pinkskin jabbed his spear at his face, the sharpened point broke the leathery skin of his cheek and drew blood. Hyrrh grew angry, gripping the upper half of the spear still, he smashed his fist through the shaft below and snapped the head clean off. He lunged at the pinkskin who seemed as disarmed in spirit as he was physically. He fought hard, kicking and punching and squirming like a fish as he throttled him. Ruthlessly Hyrrh claimed his third kill.
Across the beach, his brothers were not all doing so well, spears of wood and coral alike were snapped and cracked and splintered until all that remained was a blood splashed brawl. Wherever Hyrrh thought to look, tall, scaled Hydrakin wrestled with the smaller, softer pinkskins but the Hydra's sons were beginning to fade in number. We are losing. He looked to his mother, who was at the center of it all, throwing pinkskins left and right, clawing at them, tearing off arms and legs. She wants us to lose. She wants us to die here, all of us. The weakness she's purging is ours!
The melee continued to swirl and pulse and scream. The screams were the worst, Hyrrh had never heard anything like it, the roaring, screaming and yelling of the pinkskins, making noise for the sound of it, the high pitched screeches of his brothers as they fell. His head throbbed and he felt a wash of dizziness come over him. He had never felt dizzy before. The feeling was fleeting though as a pain shot up his leg and stopped it dead. He looked down to find a wooden spear shoved well into his scaled thigh. The pinkskin holding it pushed on it and drove it deeper; with a screech of anger Hyrrh punched the spear in two and tried to limp away through the battle. The pinkskin gave chase and Hyrrh was forced to turn and catch the sharp end of the spear's remains before it could drive into his neck. He grabbed the pinkskin by the throat, tugged the broken spear from his hands and drove it through his leg above the knee until it came out at the back, the pinkskin tried to scream but the sound was throttled from him and his eyes rolled back. Hyrrh threw him to the sand and limped back towards the water.
Some of the pinkskins tried to catch him in the shallows. They raced after him splashing clumsily through the water. He felt the sting as the ocean kissed the wound on his leg with its salty lips and though it hurt, he knew the ocean loved him. It slowed down the pinkskins long enough for him to dive beneath the waves and off the edge of the reef.
The dive back to the caverns was cold and lonely. The wound on his leg made it harder, so that it seemed forever before he reached them again. They had never felt so empty, so dead. Like my brothers will be soon. He didn't know why he'd come back here, he just felt drawn. This is all I know,he thought. This is home. There is nowhere else. He looked around at the walls and the mouths of tunnels and caverns, remembering his brothers. His eyes fell onto one tunnel in particular and he stopped. Mother's cavern, he thought as he drifted closer, as if the cavern itself were beckoning for him. The walls of the tunnel had been clawed at and the water seemed to grow a little darker the further he went. As the small cavern opened up in front of him his beady black eyes grew wide, "Brother," she smiled.