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Winter's Slaves

 
 
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Cobra

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Apr 29, 2001, 08:35 PM
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Winter's Slaves



“All systems halt.”

The small ship slid to a stop. Slowly, Cobra removed her visor and sighed regretfully. She put her visor on its respected shelf and pressed the button for communications.

“I don’t care if this is a bad time. You gave me permission to pass through this space and I intend to pass through.”

“Consider the permission void. You are not passing through.” The alien voice rasped on her ears.

“Let me speak to your superiors.” As she spoke she felt her eyes shift colors slightly.



Darn.



She’d worked weeks on keeping her eyes the same color. And now, a small incident had screwed up her whole training.



“Look, let me speak to your superiors and I will gladly get myself out of your space.”



“Turn on visual” Why oh why the heck why?



“Negative. Give me one reason why I should turn on visual?”



“Security.”



“And your scans will not do?” Lights started to flash on her controls. Leaning forward to check them she saw that she had been put into a tractor beam.



Darn once again.



“Release me! I demand to talk to your superiors!” She banged on a few buttons in hopes of breaking free but the field was too strong.



Her small ship was nearing the docking bay. Inwardly she screamed at herself for taking her weaker ship, Neptune Spider rather than her well-prepared Tygerlilli. Leaping up from the control center chair, she banged her head.



“Release me or I will press charges!” She screamed into the microphone. However, all she received as a reply were some weird unrecognizable mumblings and an odd-half laugh.

As her ship passed through the entrance to the docking bay she banged on the walls in frustration. This was not like the way Kzirin had dealt with her in the past.

Whirling around she saw the doors to her ship get forced open with a hiss. As the Kzirin filed in she slowly she pressed a small button on her watch, starting a distress signal.

“None of that.” One of them raised his blaster and shot her watch, slightly singeing her arm.

Darn.

“Arms above your head.” One of them commanded, while one of his associates relieved her of her blaster and of all her ammo.



Thank G-d that she strapped her knife to her ankle rather than her belt.



As he handed her weapons to the leader she caught something. On his arm was a brand, of an X with two alien letters beneath it.

It was the mark of a criminal, specifically someone who had been kept on one of the Kzirin prison camps.

As she raised her eyes to look at the others, she noticed they all had the same brand. However, the leader saw her small eye movements, and with a look of anger, raised her gun and hit her square on the forehead with it.

As the world went black and the pain in her head suddenly stopped in the suddenness of unconsciousness, the Kzirin dragged her and put her in one of their medical pods, filling it with blue fluid that would protect her from the elements of nature. The leader set the pod’s computer’s map, and the pod shot off to a planet in another solar system.



~*~

Snow covered the ground and more was falling on the small, unknown planet. Winds blew across the desolate surface and howled in the rock formations. The sky was a dark, unforgiving blue that always seemed to be sending down crystals of snow relentless of season, although all the seasons seemed the same.

The cold silence was broken by a loud thunk as the pod hit the ground. As the powdery snow settled, the frail surface of the pod cracked in the sudden cold. The glass-like substance shattered and the girl rabbit locked inside fell to the ground with the sudden lack of support, still unconscious. As the fluid was almost instantly frozen and carried off in the harsh wind, she was left, gasping for breath in the barren, frozen world fate had placed her in.

~*~



Her eyes fluttered as the seemingly sudden awakening bestowed upon her a horrible headache and a freezing sensation in her limbs. She bolted up, and regretted it immediately as her head throbbed in pain.

The shards of the pod were scattered about, already half-covered in powdery snow. She soon discovered it as she jabbed her foot into one. The shard slit right through her boot, narrowly missing her foot. However, not one to let anything go to waste, she picked up a few shards.

The pod was pretty much destroyed, and would give no defense from the cruel winds and stinging snowflakes. The base was in tact though, so she started there.

Banging her freezing fists on one of the sides revealed a small first aid kit, completely empty and completely useless. However, she tried to open another compartment, and it revealed a dark brown tarp. It kept in hardly any heat, but it stopped the wind so she wrapped it around herself.

After finding nothing more, she raised her eyes in search of rescue of any sort. Nothing, nothing but snow and darkness was out there. The snow seemed to rake across her bare arms and the wind seemed to laugh at her futile situation. She could keep herself alive for a while, but without food she was dead.

Curling up the tarp even more around her, she set off. Nowhere to go, no one to plead to for help. Her watch was gone, and all the distress signals she had programmed into it were gone with it.



Evidently the Kzirin didn’t want her to tell anyone what happened.



Cupping her hands together she concentrated, and a small orb of fire appeared in between her hands. The slight heat helped, but the wind almost immediately killed the small flame.



She was really in deep quail* now.



Her puny attempt to find shelter was indeed puny. She could still see the remains of the pod, and she couldn’t feel her fingers. Her steps were getting shorter, and the freezing air was painful on her lungs.

As she trudged along, snow filling her boots, she murmured chants and prayers she learned as a child. Whether it was an actual prayer for help or delusions brought on by the cold she didn’t know. All she knew was that she was fading fast and all she could do was plead to her Deity for help, or for mercy after her death.

It was too much for this frail girl raised on a sun-blistered desert planet. As her feet gave way, she curled up as much as possible, with the tarp around her. Her lips were already chapped and had a small ice crystal forming to one side, but she still continued her endless prayers. She rocked back and forth slightly as the cold seemed to close in on her, depriving her of her needed heat.

The needle-like cold was now stinging her neck, slowly numbing her for the final strike. Her lips hardly moved as in her seemingly last breaths she begged for her Deity to remember her and the promises she made.

Her eyes slowly closed and she breathed in deeply, not expecting her lungs to be able to handle anymore. In her mind flashed the image of herself, standing at the gates of time, standing proudly with all the promises she made etched into the background behind her.



“I’m not finished with your life yet”



The words will almost whispered, but had the force of everything pure and mighty behind it. Her eyes snapped open, and she shot up into a sitting position. A girl rabbit, clothed in heavy garments to keep the cold out was leaning over her.

Although her lips refused to move, in her heart she offered thanks to her Deity and praises, as the girl gave a start and whispered.



“You live.”



~*~

She didn’t remember much of the trip back, aside from the girl dragging her over to a large creature hooked up to a sled of sorts. Blankets were piled on her, and although they kept the wind off her, she had lost too much heat for them to be of any use keeping her warm. The sled set off, and soon they were going into a cave. The creature was unhooked from the sled, and the girl tried to help her up. Despite her strong arms, Cobra crumpled to the floor with numb limbs. With some slight pity, the girl half-dragged her over to a door and opened it, revealing a warm, circular and rather large cave.

Fire flickered from multiple orb-like lamps hanging around the edges of the circular room. An intricate beige, brown, red and black rug was placed in the center of the room, while rather simple and crude drawings of ships on brown paper were pasted to the walls, making the room almost seem larger. There were a few chairs in the middle of the room, and some small table scattered around the edges.

Cobra got a glance of some dark, menacing hallways as she was placed in one of the chairs. Letting her head fall back, she saw one of the most magnificent pieces of art she had ever seen.

The ceiling was painted a dark blue, with small glittering crystals scattered on it. It was a map of the stars, and a gorgeous one at that.

Mesmerized by the realism of the starmap, she didn’t notice the girl entering the room again, bringing a bowl of warm water.

“Drink. It will help you.”

The warm water did help her, even if it did make her lips bleed as she drank it. The girl removed the frozen blankets wrapped around her, and replaced them with warm ones.

“Who are you?” The girl asked, sitting down in one of the chairs nearby.

“Merely a stranger who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some Kzirin didn’t like having me around, so they stole my ship and sent me here, obviously to die.” Casting her eyes downward as she talked, she did her best to keep her eyes a stable color. She didn’t need more questions asked.

A few more slight questions followed, about what she arrived in, and why she was there. While she spoke, her eyes took in the looks of her hostess. She was somewhat frail, yet wiry, with blue and white fur.

“We need to find the wreckage of the pod.” All her words were simple, yet made their point.

“Why? It’s mostly shattered, and there were no supplies. Believe me, I checked.”

“This planet is a sterile wasteland. We take everything that lands and put it to use. We waste nothing, even in the rare cases that it is not ours to waste.”

“What do you mean?” Cobra had an uneasy feeling about this whole thing.

“You are the first being to ever survive a crash on this planet.” The words hit her full force, and she closed her eyes to shield their changing colors from the rabbit.

However, her hostess did not suspect anything, and took her reaction as mere shock. “Not many can survive the artic climate. Generation after generation of my people have buried everyone to set foot on this planet. Except…” Her eyes filled with pain temporarily. “Never mind. We must get back to the pod soon, otherwise others might find it.”

Others? What others?



Well, the less that had a chance of knowing her secret, the better.



“How do you live out here? Where do you get food and water?”

“Water we get by melting the ice crystals. Food, we grow inside our caves. They know nothing of the outside world, and would die in the heat. However, the forever light of our lamps provides them slight heat; that is all they need to survive. Generation after generation has fed upon them, and they have not let us down.” As she spoke, she gestured to some brown plants that Cobra had not noticed earlier.

“Why were you sent here? Who are you? Why didn’t you answer earlier?” Evidently they needed some information on her, for what reason she did not know.

“As I said, I was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.” She could feel the blood creep up to her face as she did her best to keep her eyes the same color.

“What do you call yourself?”

“What do your people call you?” She cursed inwardly for trying such a childish tactic.

“Yehella. It means G-d is merciful.”



What luck. They were religious too.



“I am known as Cobra. My real name brings up too much pain to tell, so when I first met my people I called myself Cobra, after the serpent whose poison had hardened me and killed my compassion in harsh past times. I have been known as that ever since, and in my mind it has almost replaced my original name.” A lie, a blatant lie. They weren’t her people. She was an alien, one of the last of her species to, darn it.

“A serpent…We have tales of those creatures. Vile and crafty, always ready to trap those who it can trap.” Yehella’s eyes shone with the light of fond memories.

Cobra almost laughed. She had been cruel and vile in the past. She had lived up to the cursed name in every possible way.

“I have no intention of trapping you.” She smiled, as did Yehella. “All I want is to be with my people again.”

Yehella sighed, and looked down.

“What’s wrong?”

“You speak of meeting with them…but how? We know of nothing other than our planet, and what we have gleaned from wrecks.”

“Do you have a S.O.S beacon?”

“A what?”

Cobra sighed. Things were getting hopeless. “Can I sort through what you have?”

Yehella drew in a breath sharply. “How can I trust you?”

Cobra beat herself mentally for being so naïve. “Forgive my foolishness. When are you going out to the pod again?”

“As soon as I can get some others ready to go with me.”

Cobra opened her mouth; then listening to her best discretion, she closed it. Maybe she could mentally summon one of her friends to save her. But, it wouldn’t work unless they were nearby.



Darn this whole thing.



She sighed softly and rubbed her eyes with one hand. Certainly she had been brought here for a purpose, but the reason evaded her, irking her immensely. Yes, she only knew less than half of what was going by, and even less in the Divine perspective, but she could see nothing out of her dilemma, save that she was stranded on a cold, unforgiving planet, with hardly any possibility of getting off.



She sure hoped that whatever reason she was here was worth it. Being stranded on frozen planet on a whim of fate was not her ideal way of fulfilling her life. But, neither was her previous plan.



Maybe this was a good thing…



~*~

Yehella reluctantly agreed to let Cobra come – she had the way to the pod memorized, and she said she didn’t need the extra strength. Of course, she wouldn’t let Cobra do anything for free; the resources were limited and all she truly was being was a burden.



She did intend to get off their planet as soon as possible though.



Yehella had almost had Cobra put under lock and key, except for the fact that Cobra pointed out that even if she did kill everyone that there was no way off the planet. Yehella did see the logic in that, and soon she was instructing Cobra in her duties as they walked through the cool, dark caves.

“We’ll let you use one of our suits, but after a while we will expect you to make your own. You will work in exchange for food and shelter. You will not leave our sight without our permission and someone to watch over you.”



Cobra didn’t blame her. It wasn’t every day some alien freak showed up at your door and you just had to take her in.



Alien freak. That was what she was, nothing more.



Her eyes shifted colors more obviously and she turned her head downward and to the left to shield her secret from Yehella. Her shifting eyes caught something and she stopped.



Automatically Yehella stopped as well. “What is it?”

Cobra could sense that this room was not one to be entered lightly. An aura of silence seemed to surround it, and she turned her eyes towards Yehella, inwardly praying that her eyes were a solid color. “What is this room?”

Yehella sighed softly. Her voice was strangely quiet as she cast her eyes down. “You remember that I said no one survived a crash except you?”

Cobra’s eyes widened. “Forgive me…I must seem very stupid.”

“No.” Yehella said. “Just uninformed.” She motioned for Cobra to follow, and she stepped into the darkened room.

A cold blue light came from the far end of the room, hardly giving enough light to see. However, when her eyes adjusted she saw that the ground was lined with graves. They all had stones piled on top of them with a small piece of curled metal at the head.

At the end of the line of graves was an open one, with stones next to it.



Although she immediately knew who was originally supposed to be lain in the grave to be forever locked in the cold ground, she didn’t flinch. Part of her wished for death.



She closed her eyes and covered her face with her hands to keep the darkness from flooding into her eyes as well. She didn’t die, but what was her purpose in life? Why had her Deity put her on this planet?

Part of her cursed herself and wanted to curse others. However, within her was still a shred of her old self, the self who had once loved life. She knew eternal sleep would not come upon her until she had calmed the war over her soul.



If only she could do that!



~*~

The wind still swept the snow across the sterile land, and the snow still fell. But now safely robed in one of Yehella’s old suits that thankfully kept the cold away from her, she was not stumbling around in the dementia of hypothermia.

Cooly, Yehella and her companions hooked up one of the sleds to one of their beasts of burden and they set off, walking beside the sled. Yehella mentioned something about moving quickly, so the pace they set was not for the weak.

Although she stumbled and often felt like collapsing, Cobra pushed herself. Among the obvious reasons for not stopping, one of her main faults was the fear of looking weak.

Something about crumbling to the ground and crying made her feel like she had failed. And although she didn’t think lower of others when they did it, she had always cursed herself inwardly when she did it. She was, after all, an alien. A species that was stronger mentally. She should be able to do what they couldn’t.



She cursed inwardly. When it all came down, she was as weak as the others. She was weaker, for she was alone. An alien. A freak. Someone who had no one to understand her. A wanderer, who was indeed wandering without hope.



Yehella raised her hand to stop. As Cobra raised her eyes to see why, she saw the crash site. The fragments of the pod were mostly covered in snow, but they were still there. The four stooped and gathered the shards carefully, placing them on the sled. Yehella’s two companions lifted up the base out of the snow, and then put it on the sled carefully, being sure not to crush the shards.

The job was done almost quicker than it started, it seemed to the red-haired alien girl. Soon, they were trudging back beside a full sled.

Looking off into the darkness of the horizon, Cobra felt the dead, frozen beauty of this unpolluted planet. Here, they had no wars, no racism, no murders. They had no roads or vehicles, but there would be no child killed because of a driver’s carelessness. They had no space-age technology, but they had no terrorist attacks. They fought the elements for survival, not each other. This people would not kill itself because they considered the others too unimportant.

Looking upwards, she saw the crystals eternally falling. They had fallen on generations of these people, and these same crystals would bury future generations in the cold earth. Here people lived, and here people fell. Here was an untainted people, filled with religious hope and life. Here was the haven she had prayed for in years past.



But why did her answered prayer seem like a curse rather than an answer?





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Apr 30, 2001, 12:49 PM
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YAY!!! FINALLY YOU CONTINUE!!! (Do it again )
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Apr 30, 2001, 03:55 PM
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Indeed! An excellent chapter Cobra.
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May 1, 2001, 06:28 AM
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You are going to continue, right?

I do hope. Until then.

Brilliant!

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May 2, 2001, 02:48 PM
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Coppertop

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May 2, 2001, 02:48 PM
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Coppertop

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May 2, 2001, 02:49 PM
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Sorry 'bout the double post, guys.
Cobra

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Jun 3, 2001, 09:06 AM
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~*~

Once they got back to the dwelling place, Cobra tried to help them unload the sled, but being as she knew nothing of where things went, she soon stopped. Yehella and her companions did not speak at all, and the virgin silence seemed to be something not to be broken by a question of where things went.

Once they were inside, Yehella and her companions exchanged a few low-toned words, so Cobra then asked her question again.

“Could I please see if you have something with which I can contact my friends? I know I’m nothing but a burden and I am sure that they miss me.”

Yehella cast her eyes downward then looked up. “Wait a bit, please.”

Cobra cursed herself inwardly for thinking of starting this foolish trip. She should have tried to work things out rather than to flee from them.

But what if this was her fate? Staying on a desolate frozen planet, living here in caves until she died? That was not the fate she hoped for. Indeed she was mortal with mortal hopes, but somehow it would seem that her hopes would change something, somehow.

Yehella made a motion for her to follow, so she did. She was led into a rather empty room that had a bed with many blankets, a light much like the lights in the main room only with a shade over it, and a bolt on the door.

“This is where you will be sleeping. The light will keep your room heated for you. We will wake you when necessary.” With that she left, and Cobra heard her lock the door from the outside.

Kneeling beside the bed, she closed her eyes and prayed in her original language. She had much to understand about fate and its whims, and she was sure that her own mind would not lend her the answers she sought. Besides, this was a tradition.

A tradition. Was not her attempt to leave her troubles against “tradition”? Was it nothing less than cowardly to flee? Wouldn’t in her past “traditions” she ever consider such an act?

A loud bang interrupted the melodic words that flowed out of her mouth. She opened her eyes, but decided to leave well enough alone. Closing her eyes, she started praying again.

A scream broke her prayers. Leaping up from a kneeling position to a standing position with one move she clutched at her head. The scream was only in her head, she knew it.

But the screaming continued, and in her mind she saw some unidentified rabbit kneeling beside the still form of another…was it Yehella? Or was she the one mourning her companion?

She set upon the door in a frenzy of mixed rage and sorrow. It was locked, but she did a thrusting kick and thanked her Deity that they had used nails rather than screws on the hinges as she ran down the passageway.

Something inside her told her to not delay. She felt her eyes become an ever-changing mix of fiery hues, but her shame of her appearance was hidden from her. It was if the sudden surge had forced her to stop her trivial worries.

In the main room she saw a tall, brown-furred creature with long arms and legs holding one of Yehella’s companions by his throat. Yehella was on her knees, crying for him to leave but the creature only laughed.

Her eyes burned a more vibrant color as the rage built up inside her. Her feet hardly seemed to touch the ground as she moved towards the creature.

He did not see her, being as his back was turned. Pulling out a sharp metal object, he stabbed it into the back of the rabbit’s neck. Yehella screamed, and everything seemed to be red.

The rage within her made her ache. Something told her to contain it, but she could not do it…

She reached out her hand. No longer was she running, but something still propelled her further.

Tongues of fire leaped out of her outstretched hand and at the creature who roared in pain. Turning, it set its yellow eyes upon her and reached out one hand to give her a blow that would shatter her skull.

But the blow never hit.

She had closed her eyes after the first attack and tried to calm herself down. But something in her seemed to take over as she stretched out her arms and a fiery aura surrounded her.

It all seemed so quiet, so still…then reality hit again.

The beast let out one cry that was quickly cut short as the flames consumed him, leaving no ashes.

Opening her still-flaming eyes, she saw Yehella and the others staring at her in horror. She looked down and saw that she was levitating three feet off the ground.

Yehella and the others gasped as the saw her cover her shining eyes and sink to the floor with shaking limbs. The fire in her eyes slowly died, and the aura was long gone.

She cursed her inability to control her rage. She cursed her inability to control her birthright, her power.

But she mostly cursed herself for letting her secret be known.

~*~

The end is near...!
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Jun 3, 2001, 09:26 AM
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How true.

Huzzah, Cobra..

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Jun 3, 2001, 12:20 PM
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YaY! The end is near!
Cobra

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Jun 4, 2001, 06:52 AM
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~*~

There was silence.

Curled up on the ground with shaking hands over her eyes, she tried to cry but nothing came. Her eyes were dry, as was her soul within her. Indeed she was lifeless, the proverbial wanderer sent to a life of misery and weariness for scorning the truth. What price would she pay? What price would she set upon others?

Letting her hands drop, she snapped her head up to look into the frightened eyes of Yehella and the others. Even the one who received the neck wound was staring at her, unblinking. Something within her cried out to be accepted by these people, but she knew that in their eyes she was nothing but a freak.

Rising up from the shelter of the ignorance her eyes longed to close for, she came forward and pulled Yehella away from the wounded rabbit. Looking at the wound, she could tell that the object used to inflict the injury was poisoned and would certainly kill the rabbit if nothing was done.

She knelt beside him and put both hands over his wound. His lifeblood seeped all over the whiteness of her hands, reminding her so much of all the blood she had spilt in the past. She closed her eyes, and murmured a few words in her ancestral language.

As she felt her power leave her, she saw some of his memories, as if she were a part of his mind, watching through a mist. She did see the dread and fear that he had, but she saw endless hope, the hope of a young man looking heavenward and reaching out his fingers as if to reach to the stars. She saw the fingers fall down at his side, as he thanked his Deity in immeasurable faith, knowing very faithfully that someday either he or his descendants would reach those stars that formally could only be dreamt about.

Sighing, she brought her hands back to her sides. The wound was mostly closed up, with only a crust of dried blood around it. Looking down, she saw that blood was all over her as well.

She met his fearful eyes, and whispered, “You are going to be fine.” Unable to control herself anymore, she fled the room with eyes that gleamed in mournful hues.

~*~

There was no place of refuge for her here, so she went to the only place she considered solemn enough to flee to. Kneeling on the cold, unforgiving earth, she whispered fervently to her Deity in what seemed to be nonsense words, begging and pleading for forgiveness, or at the least for a silence of the guilt.

Tears streamed down her face as her prayers went unanswered.

Opening her eyes, she saw that Yehella had knelt next to her. With stinging eyes and a cracking voice she tried to utter an apology, but nothing came out.

“You saved Elt’ke.” Yehella said softly. Cobra raised her eyes and set them upon the cold blue light that made everything seem dismal.

“Yehella…have you ever wished for death? Have you ever felt so utterly lost that you were sure you had been forgotten? Have you felt the loneliness of the night and ever wished to not exist?” A melancholy tear dripped down her face as she whispered the words in a husky voice.

Yehella looked up, almost pleadingly, and then fixed her gaze upon nothingness.

“I have felt the cold of the night, and the emptiness of the dark. I have known the frailty of my own self and have suffered because of foolish choices in the past. But something always comes to mind, something that gives me hope; is it not in the darkest of nights when you see the stars brightest? Would the Deity who’s promised an everlasting watch over you forget you for what you have done? Or for His sake, would he lead you to the place where you are lost enough to do what He has in plan for you? It is mortal weakness that we all know that causes us to suffer and pine away because in our own lack of faith we have forgotten.”

Cobra looked at Yehella with shifting eyes. “But when will the dawn come?”

“I have lived on this planet all my life, and although ‘dawn’ is spoke of in legends, I have never seen it. The same darkness that sheds snow eternally is all we see – there is nothing but dark. I know that the likeliness of ever seeing a ‘sunrise’ is impossible, but I know that the hope I have in it will bring me through the darkest nights and let me live through the most painful of days. Someday the dawn will come, whether tomorrow or thousands of years from today, but someday it will come. And until it comes, I will be waiting. That is what gives me hope.”

Cobra lowered her eyes, letting the tears wash away the stray emotions. Here was a person who had never seen a light brighter than the lamps on their walls, but who could survive what the person in the brightest sunlight could not. How shallow her own life seemed, and how worthless her own victories were.

~*~

Yehella and her companions – who Cobra discovered were named Elt’ke, Shem’ever, Gachar and Hezyion – did not delay in showing her what they had in means of wreckage. The room was filled from ceiling to floor with many mostly-rusted objects. But among the rubble she found a distress signal that while old, still worked after she had messed with the wiring a little.

As she was putting it back together in the main room, Yehella watched her.

“Why did that creature attack you?” Cobra asked while scraping some rust off of the casing of the signal.

“They are the masters on this planet. Evidently they were angered that we took all the wreckage of the pod without paying them a tribute.”

“But why?” The thought of creatures attacking other, defenseless ones troubled her.

“They forced our race into slavery a long time ago. They still have many of us in captivity. We were given permission to leave, but only because our master grew disgusted of us. So, here we live, off the elements.”

“But why did he attack Elt’ke? That weapon was poisoned.”

“The laws of the fittest apply here – the more force you show, the more you are able to conquer. The more you kill, the less you fight later on. The more you put feat into the hearts of those under you, the more you can control them.”

“Yehella, that is terrible. Why don’t you rebel against them, or go someplace where they can’t find you?”

“All the rebellions ended in bloodshed. They control the planet, there is no way to escape their prying eyes and killing paws.”

“Yehella…I owe you and your people something for saving me and for providing me a quiet haven. If I can get off this planet, I won’t forget you. Where I come from we have armies that could free your people and bring you technology that could save so many lives.” She was going to continue, but Yehella spoke first.

“You have already repaid us.” She said softly, turning her head towards Elt’ke who was across the room, preparing more crystals for the constellation. “If you hadn’t come, we would have lost him, and maybe more.” A single tear ran down Yehella’s face as she tried to control herself. “For that we owe you a lifetime of servitude.”

“For what you have told me and for the impact you have made, I owe you all I can give. Please, let me give to you this promise that your people will not be enslaved without a fight. Let the dawn come, if not in sunlight then in freedom.”

Yehella looked up with a thankful look on her face. “Perhaps you were sent here not to die or live remorsefully, but to free my people?” Cobra almost half-smiled; the thought of helping these people was enough to make her smile, but the darkness within would not let her.

“Perhaps.”

The signal gave out a beep that startled both of them. As Elt’ke also came over to see it, Cobra saw the way Yehella reached for his arm as they both stood there, together. She knew they would be very happy together.

~*~

The signal worked wonderfully, and soon a ship landed. Although Cobra did not know anyone on it, they had heard and seen the missing posters and were very glad to find her there.

The Neptune Spider had been found orbiting a remote planet, and soon the Kzirin were caught and jailed for what they did. They had escaped a nearby prison planet, but had not planned far enough in the future to make a permanent escape.

Leaving Yehella and her friends loaded with gifts – food, blankets, and a communicator – Cobra promised that she would not forget them, and that soon they would no longer be under persecution. The foursome stood at a distance as the ship took off, waving.

Cobra watched them from a window that was nearby the place she had in the cargo bay. Raising her hand out from beneath the blankets that had been piled on her (it was discovered that she had caught pneumonia) she placed it on the window. Soon, they had left the atmosphere, and the planet slowly shrunk into a white globe over time.

She sighed softly and settled back. That frozen planet had left an impact on her that would forever change her.

The communicator beeped, and she reached for it with a worried look. Turning it on, she saw Yehella’s face in the screen.

“Is something wrong?”

“No. Look.” Yehella’s smiling face disappeared as the holder of the communicator turned it around to reveal the same white snow.

Only golden sunlight glistened off of ever crystal, giving Crystalis competition for the most beautiful planet.

“Something happened so that when you left, the sun came.” Cobra gaped at the picture. How had it happened?

Well, that wasn’t important. What was important was that it happened.

“Thank you so much…for everything.” Yehella said, then nodded a goodbye and turned the communicator off.

Looking down upon the gleaming planet she thanked her Deity for the experience.

Once they were slaves of a frozen planet. One she was imprisoned by the winter of her mind. But when they came together, Winter’s Slaves were set free.

~*~

The End


So goes the first chapter. There will be a new one soon.
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Jun 4, 2001, 07:04 AM
Ducky is offline
Oooh, that was nice Cobra

*sob* I'm so honored to know such fabulous storytellers.

`Ducky
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