- Permanent Injury
- Alternate Universe
- Dimensional Travel
“This is a bre’mulat.” Mohl’ren demonstrated the different parts of the weapon and then handed it over to John, who took it with confidence.
It was the fifth Kre’ot weapon Mohl’ren had shown him at his grandmother’s insistence and he had taken to them all. It was odd. Kre’ot weapons were not like weapons of other cultures. They retained the essence of those souls that had wielded them in the past, and as such, it took some time for a new person to become accustomed to their energies.
Mohl’ren recognized there was something unique about Alesander’s John. He had an affinity for weapons, that was true, but he was also trying to keep himself occupied while Alesander was out of the village. Alesander had joined Mohl’ren’s sister on a complicated trade negotiation with a rival village on the other side of the jungle. They had been gone many turns and the moon was rising again.
John began to weave the Bre’mulat in an arc slowly, his movements precise and with an air of practice too them. They reminded Mohl’ren of what Alesander called Katas when he had first come to their village, but not exactly. Suddenly John stopped and thrust the bre’mulat into the ground and turned his head. There was a whistling in the air as an object came hurtling through the air towards the em, to fast for Mohl’ren to make it out. John reached out a hand and the object flew into his hand, spun in a circle and expanded to its full size.
The Eye of Trevhamon
“Why isn’t this with Xander?” John demanded, standing up and stretching his back muscles out.
“The Venthar are a temperamental people. They don’t allow weapons of any kind. Our traders must always leave them behind. Alesander has gone with Rae’vhin before.” Mohl’ren assured.
“Perhaps that is so.” Elis interrupted. “But the Eye may sense something is wrong.”
“Something is wrong.” John grabbed the Bre’mulat and walked away from them to make his way out of the village, letting his sense of urgency direct him. He could hear people following him but he didn’t waste time or energy on them.
When he reached the well-used jungle entrance he stopped for a second but by-passed without too much thought, deciding to enter the dangerous territory by a less traveled route. He used the Bre’mulat to guide his path through the dense foliage. Xander’s weapon started to glow and John wasn’t sure if it was because Xander’s situation was urgent, or because it was trying to shed some literal light in the darkness of the jungle.
John felt like something was tugging him forward. He followed that feeling and hoped he was being overly cautious. He stretched his hearing out further. He hadn’t had cause to test the limits of what the C24 had done to him and Sam, but he knew it had done more than just saved his life and given him better reflexes. His senses were sharper. That last fight with Sarge would have gone a lot differently if they weren’t. He also knew that if he pushed himself, there was probably more. For Xander’s sake, he needed to push himself.
He could hear people moving through the jungle, swiftly and a barrage of noise he didn’t understand. Language, probably. Some of it soundly like the Kre’ot native tongue, but some of it was a strange clicking sound that reminded John of a water mammal on some mission he’d gone on for the RTSS. He moved faster, recognizing one of the Kre’ot voices speaking as Rae’vhin, Mohl’ren’s sister and their tribe negotiator. She was the one who had requested Xander join them for their meeting with the Venthar. John couldn’t understand what she was saying now, but he could hear the stress in her voice.
He broke through the tree line just as the group stopped to re-adjust their load. There were three of them traveling. Rae’vhin, and two demons of an unknown species. John assumed they were the ones with the clicking language. The three of them were carrying a travois of some sort, but he couldn’t see it clearly until they had set it down to redistribute the weight.
Xander was on it, covered to the waist in a blanket. His shirt was untucked from his pants, soaked through with blood, and a bladed weapon of some sort, about half the size of the Bre’mulat was sticking out of his chest.
Fleh’mu stared through the tent opening at her daughter’s patients for a long moment. Her apprentice, now in a healing sleep and his Ro’tun, looking both furious and devastated. After a moment she turned to her granddaughter. “Tell me.”
“We entered their borders, and Folani took one look and Alesander and lost it. She claimed that we violated the agreement, by bringing him into the borders. That he was a Wielder and had to pay. She threw her Sharak and we took him and left.”
“They called him a Wielder?” Fleh’mu asked. “Interesting.”
“What does it mean, Grana?” Rae’vhin asked.
Fleh’mu motioned towards the men. “The Eye of Trevahmon has chosen my Jesha’r. He can wield its power. I find it interesting that they could recognize that even though he left the Eye behind.”
“Is he still in danger?” Rae’vhin asked worriedly.
“No. That was a fatal blow. The Venthar have no reason to believe that they were unsuccessful. It is only because of his Ro’tun that he survives. In any case, I doubt the Venthar will live long enough to regret it.”
Xander woke up disoriented and feeling as if he wasn’t in his own body. He’d had out of body experience once, and one time he’d swapped bodies with a Slayer in Cape Town. He didn’t want to repeat either experience so he was hoping this was just minor disorientation and not actually body displacement.
Xander recognized that voice as Samantha. However, Xander didn’t think Sam had been with him last time he’d been conscious…whenever that was. When was that? He cast his mind back, but there was weirdness. He felt…odd. Disoriented, but not cloudy. He felt like he’d slept for days, but not groggy. He felt like he’d been through a fight, and strangely, his eyes felt heavier. Which didn’t seem to make much sense. He didn’t actually have eyes. He refused to have any sort of implant after the first incident in Sunnydale, and after the more recent incident, he’d had ROnar take him to a mutual friend who was both a modern surgeon and a priestess for her tribe. She’d examined him and removed the dead tissue when she had realized that his new abilities were not a function of his eyes at all.
So, that brought up the question, why then, hid his eyes feel heavier than they had in ten years?
“I know you’re awake.”
Sam again. Xander sighed and began to move. His muscles were weird. Not tense exactly, but they felt more…there. It was hard to explain, even inside his own head. “I’m awake. What happened?”
“You were stabbed,” Sam stated bluntly.
Xander had a flash of red and rapid Venthari and then pain. He remembered the pain. “Yeah, I remembered the stabbing. “Folani was furious that Rae’vhin had brought me with her. She knew what had happened to me, and considered me a threat.” He paused. “But I don’t really remember what happened after that.”
“How do you feel?” Sam asked, helping him up.
“Good. Odd, but good.” Xander reached out towards her. “Where’s John? I expected him to be…here, but, he’s not, is he?” Xander couldn’t exactly explain the sense of John he had, but he definitely had the feeling that John was far away…and engaging in something…aggressive.
“Oh, he’s off killing things,” Sam said in an offhand way.
Xander sat up with a start. “Uh, he’s not going after the Venthar is he, because that was really a misunderstanding.”
“No. Don’t get me wrong, he thought about it, but Elis suggested he wait to talk to you before he did anything crazy.” Sam squeezed his shoulder gently. “Mohl’ren Ro’tun?” Sam hesitated over the word, “was going on a hunting trip. He said there was some sort of animal not far from here.”
Xander nodded. “Yeah. It’s similar to a bison. Okay. So, why do I feel, kind of stretchy?” He moved his arms and shoulders around trying to feel how everything fit together.
“What about your eyes?” Samantha asked, not answering his question. She stepped in front of him and touched his forehead with her fingertip.
He couldn’t see her clearly, just the weaves of purple and red and white, though now there was a halo of gold and green surrounding her. Xander guessed that was Elis’ influence. “My eyes? They’re same as they’ve been since I bonded with the Eye. Why?”
“Hmm.” Sam tilted his head up and he felt like she was staring at him and then he felt something wet in his eye, or on his face.
“What?” He moved his fingers up to touch. “I have…I have eyes. I don’t understand.”
“But you’re vision is the same,” Sam noted.
Xander looked at her. And then looked around the room. He found the entrance to the tent. And moved towards it. Moving the flap aside he stepped out into the outside and swept his gaze into what he knew was the familiar village. “Yes. The same as it was before we went to Venthar.” He turned back to her “You were expecting something different?”
“So, the C24 didn’t repair your vision, just like you told us it wouldn’t, though it did grow you two beautiful, useless eyes. Go us.”
“You gave me C24?” Xander asked, making his way back inside the tent. He lay on the ground, breathing deep, trying to think about what might have happened.
“John did.” Sam corrected. “As I said, you were stabbed, and he…well he felt it.”
Xander sighed. “Of course he did.” He ran a hand through his hair and it felt weird to have eyes again, even if he could see out of them.
“Xander, I know we haven’t known each other long, but…if he hadn’t used the C24, you would have died. You can’t blame him for that. It wasn’t about your eyes. He doesn’t care about that.”
Xander sighed. He could see Sam’s haloed form crouched over him and heard the earnest tone of her voice. “I don’t blame him, Samantha. I know he doesn’t care about my sight. I just…I wish it wasn’t necessary. I wish, he had more time to take this place in and really appreciate like I do before something like this happened.”
“Oh, sweetie. I think he gets it. He’s spent a long time running from our past, but he sees how much of a family you’ve made with the people here.”
“I hope so.”