Harut's arms wrapped back around Saorise, and they flew over the wall, the sound of gunfire distant on the ground. Together, they scaled the wall, and went into the tree branches, above where any human would be able to travel on foot.
She dodged the branches, twisting and spiraling in a graceful ballet, her wings snapping in and out, while still maintaining their rythmic beat. After a few minutes, Harut landed them both on a strong branch.
"What was that?" was the first thing out of Saorise's mouth.
"I'm going to assume you're referring to my actions." she replied sarcastically.
"We're wanted criminals in my village! They're going to have a price on your head, they might take you in for experimenting, why the hell did you just blow everything we've been trying to hide?" Saorise ranted, nearly screaming by this point.
"Because they wanted to take me in, they are corrupt, and I have realized a truth about your people, about your village, and I couldn't stand by while those men arrested me." Harut spoke, her voice still sharp and dangerous.
"Wait, what truth?" Saorise's tone changed, from anger to curiousity.
"I have not been losing my powers with my connection with you. I may have lost a part, but there is a bigger reason that I am so weak." Harut started, "the symbols on the walls. I recognized them, how could I not? They are words written in our ancient tongue. It is not spoken by us, but we have ancient texts and scrolls written in that style. That same language is on my skin, scarring my skin for the entirety of my life. They put those on the wall to weaken me." she said sadly, Saorise looked like she had a question, but Harut continued before she could say anything.
"The symbols on my body are where I draw my power from, the ones they wrote on the wall would've eventually killed me, they were restricting my power. It's not just the shadows they want to keep out." she finished, her wings behind her dropped, and she sat down on the branch in defeat.
"Why?" was all Saorise asked.
"If I had an answer, I would still be back there, and they would be dead."
"No, that's not what I meant. Why, if you were truly dying, did not tell me?" she said softly. Harut looked at her with curious blue eyes, scanning her face for signs of truth.
"I feared the worst. You would break the connection by force, shun me, or just panic too much. At first I truly believed it was our bond that was killing me, but I see now. Our bond has changed me, but it has not drained me as much as the wall was. My powers are shared now, I can use them freely, and in time, I think you may be able to as well." she explained. Saorise came over and sat next to her, their legs swinging back and forth underneath the branch.
"You know, if you would've told me, I wouldn't have freaked out." Saorise said, a gentle smile growing on her face. Harut laughed a bit, a high jingle, like bells on sleighs during the holidays.
"Yes you would have." she replied, returning Saorise's smile.
"Yeah, probably." Saorise replied with a slight laugh. They sat together, slient and comfortable. It was a while before either of them spoke, but eventually Saorise broke the comfortable silence.
"We should probably go to Omega now."
"You don't think we'll be arrested?" was Harut's first question.
"I won't be arrested. They know I'm coming." she replied, getting up from their spot on the tree.
"No. I won't let you go by yourself." Harut argued.
"Yes, you will. I'm not letting you go inside the wall for obvious reasons, but we can keep the connection open, I'll be with you the entire time." Saorise countered.
"If you're discovered, and imprisoned, then what will I do? I cannot fly off to get help, the separation would kill me, and if I went to rescue you, then I will be imprisoned too." Harut replied.
"I don't know, but we have to try. If only to save the people back in my village, we have to try." Saorise answered.
They both sat in silence a minute longer. The answer to this was clear to both of them, but neither were happy about it. The risks nearly outweighed the gains, but it was necessary, even though in doing so, they sacrifice everything.
"I'll never be able to go home again." Saorise said quietly. Harut looked at her sympathetically, pain in her blue eyes as the guilt weighed down on her.
"If I didn't stand up to them, then you would sitll have a home. All of this is my fault. I owe you a great debt Saorise, and for that I am truly sorry." Harut apologized, her head in her hands.
"Don't put this all on yourself. I had a part in it too. I know you said I couldn't make it to your village, but I'd like to try. After we're done, I want to go." Saorise replied.
"I don't know if I want them to meet you. I'm the first of my kind to bond with a human. You could get hurt, ever since the war they haven't been very accepting towards humans." Harut said nervously.
"Well I can try and change that can't I? You said bonds are held really sacred by your people? I don't think they would hurt me if I was with you."
"Perhaps you're right, but it's impossible to be totally sure. Let's head toward the city and get the medicine." Harut replied, stretching out her wings. They both got to their feet, and Harut held out her arm, her wings moving anticipatedly behind her.
Just like every other occasion, Saorise grabbed onto her arm and held on for dear life as Harut took off, her wings rustling the leaves and branches as they flew through the branches, twisting, weaving, and dodging to avoid the branches, they flew in a dance together, although it nearly made Saorise sick.
She moved stealthily through the trees, her wings hardly making a sound as the city was seen in the distance. She landed them on the ground, just outside of the view of the guards. They walked the rest of the way, Harut pulling the hood over her head and pulling the shawl over her shoulders to cover her wings, which had folded against her back.
Harut faced Saorise, for they knew it would be their last meeting for a few days. Saorise pulled Harut into a tight embrace, her arms wrapping around her. Harut seemed confused at Saorise's hug, but in turn, hugged her back.
"I'll be right outside, up in the trees keeping watch over you." Harut promised.
"I won't be more then a few days. Stay hidden and be safe until then okay?" Saorise replied, breaking away. She put her hand on Harut's shoulder for confirmation, and in return she nodded.
Then, without another word, Saorise walked toward he frighteningly large city looming in front of her. She turned back to wave at Harut one last time, but she had vanished. With a deep breath, Saorise set out for the city, completely unaware of the metaphorical storm brewing overhead.
The guards waiting in front of the gate had clearly been expecting her, and greeted her as soon as she approached the gate.
"Good morning. You are the girl from Omega seeking medical assistance correct?" the taller guard asked.
"Yes." Saorise replied, standing tall and confidently to cause no suspicion.
"Very well. Inside the city you are to report to the hospital down the main street, fourth building on the left." Saorise repeated his words a few times over in her head to make sure she could remember them before setting out.
As soon as Saorise found herself walking in the streets of Alpha, she couldn't help but stare in wonder at the buildings that stretched up towards the sky, and the paved streets where crowds bustled. She stuck out like a sore thumb, dressed in her usual animal skins and furs, because the people that walked past were dressed in constrictive, pale clothing that covered them from neck to ankle, leaving very little skin exposed. Saorise had never been self-conscious of herself before, of her tanned olive skin, but amongst the pale-skinned, pale-clothed people looming over her, she felt extremely like a fish out of water.
Saorise tried not to feel too self-conscious, and instead distracted herself with the views of the buildings above, some towering twenty to thirty feet over her shoulders. They were built not of wood like the ones in her village were, but in metal and iron. Which, she assumed, had been forged from their mines in the side of the mountain. Out of all the cities in the valley, Alpha had been the one established closest to the mountains surrounding them. The rest had all settled right by the lakes under the safety of the trees.
As she walked along, distracting herself with the sights around her, Saorise walked straight into someone, her face connecting with a broad, muscled chest.
"Hey! Where do you think you're going?" a gravely voice said impatiently. Saorise felt her ears burn with embarrassment as she apologized profusely, the man seemed to growl at her before he continued on his way. Saorise hunched her shoulders forward, the self-consciousness from earlier now growing. Her pace quickened with a desire to get the medicine and leave as soon as possible, but it seemed a crowd was gathering at the edges of the street, and hushed whispers were exchanged amongst the growing crowd. Curiosity drew Saorise closer, and she could make out a few of the whispers.
"I heard they caught one coming down from the mountain, apparently it was a really wild one, and the said it wasn't like any others they'd seen. I wonder who will get possession of it though, if it is really that rare!"
Saorise's curiosity grew as she heard those words, her mind instantly thought of a shadow, was their culture advanced enough to actually catch one? Not just a shadow, but a rare one at that. The words possessing stuck out in her mind, these people were not only catching them, but bending them to do their will, Saorise almost couldn't believe it. With everything she's seen today, she thought not much else could surprise her.
She weaseled her way closer to the street, the people around her moving aside. They seemed to make snide comments that they thought she couldn't hear, about how she smelled rather odd, and her clothes were the ugliest thing they'd ever seen, but Saorise chose to ignore them and push down the growing bile of self-consciousness and shyness, she had to see this with her own two eyes.
She watched as a procession began to pass by. Soldiers, dressed in a similar uniform to the ones back in her hometown walked alongside a closed-off cage, one that she could not see the inside of. Even though Saorise couldn't see whatever they had packed into the box on top of the wagon, it wasn't small. In fact, it took five men to carry the cart along, and she heard it. The sound that emitted from the box was pure rage, snarling, growling, spitting, inhuman screams of pure agony, whatever they had captured, was enraged beyond belief. It sent fear surging through Saorise's blood, and she cringed away from the sound. She tried to put her hands over her ears to block out the ungodly screeching, but even that did not silence the creature.
She dared to look at the cart, to see if she could have even the smallest glimpse of what this beast was. The wooden crate was knocked against roughly, she figured they had probably tied up whatever was in there to restrain it, but then, the creature must've broken one of the restraints, for claws began to rake from inside the cage, trying desperately to tear a hole for escape. Saorise felt her palms get sweaty and her heart race as the cage came to pass right in front of where she was standing. When the box was not five feet from where she was, she screamed bloody murder as sharp claws tore scratch marks on the side of the crate and a red eye leered out at her, full of a rage and hatred as she had never seen before.