It wasn’t long before Taru was pushing herself, and getting
better each day. She nd Hawk still spent most nights together, talking and just
enjoying each other’s company. Hawk had confided in Taru that he felt very out
of place with the rest of the Cheveyos. He was the only remaining Cheveyo from
before the mage wars, and the others were either in awe of him due to his age
and experience or they looked down on him for his strange looks and old ways.
There was no happy medium for him in their camp. Taru had been shocked to
discover how old Hawk was, but she didn’t let that influence their budding
relationship. She didn’t really fit in either. She had been an outcast in the
Compound as well. She could speak mentally, but she also had elemental powers.
They really didn’t know what to do with her. She was very glad to finally have
someone she could talk to who understood her problems. Jaki was great to talk
to, but she had never experienced the things that had shaped Taru into the
person she was. Hawk had a firsthand knowledge of many of the things that
caused her to sleep restlessly at night.
That was another thing that had developed in their
relationship, most nights now Hawk slept in Taru’s bed. She knew she should be
a little concerned about this, but she couldn’t deny that she slept far better
when the warm body of the Cheveyo was curled up next to her. She soon found
herself waking to find she had wrapped herself around him in her sleep. Her
waking mind might have reservations, but when she was unconscious she took the
comfort that was offered. She soon began to see why some of the Units were so
close. If they had even half as close a relationship that she did now with
Hawk, it was no wonder they did anything for the other. Sometimes thinking
about that made her very depressed, but she tried to ignore those dark
One night when Hawk wasn’t sleeping with her, she was pulled
into a very strange dream. In it, she saw an ancient woman walking towards her.
The face that approached her was not one she had ever seen before. The dark
skin and hair indicated that she was from the coast, either in Buenasha or
Malaquent. Other then that Taru did not recognize her. He smiled as she came
closer, and placed a wrinkled hand on Taru’s chest.
“You have it here, you must let it awake. Fight it no
longer.” Taru was confused by the strange words, but she was distracted almost
immediately by a pulling that started in her head. She sank to her knees, hands
flying to her head. It felt as if every molecule of her body was being pulled
away from her. She knew she would have been screaming if she could, but as it
was her mouth opened in a silent howl. She found herself on her side,
struggling against the harsh pulling that was ripping her to pieces. Then she
remembered the strange words, and tried very hard to suck deep breaths and calm
herself. The pulling seemed to reduce in pressure when she did, and she fought
harder to calm herself. The pulling stopped abruptly, and it felt as if
everything was snapped back into her body. She jerked at the pain, but it
receded quickly. She stood, and saw that the old woman was still standing
What did you do to me?
Taru asked, even her mental voice was breathless. She couldn’t pull herself
to her feet, but she was able to sit up.
“I gave you a push, you were not going to take the step by
yourself, and you needed to.” Taru watched her walk off, and just as she
slipped out of sight, Taru jolted awake. She tired to catch her breath, but she
could seem to manage. She fought against the tightness in her chest for what
felt like forever, and she could only catch her breath when she felt the silken
head under her chin, and she calmed even more when the warm and wet tongue
gently lapped her face.
Hawk…Hawk…I’m ok now.
I’m ok. She didn’t know if her words were to reassure Hawk or herself. His
golden eyes looked deeply into her, and she nodded at the unspoken question.
She could breathe again, and she couldn’t explain why she had had such trouble
“I heard you crying out to me mentally. I came as fast as I
could.” He still looked worried, and she hugged him gently, trying to reassure
him that she was in fact ok. She had no clue what had happened with her dream,
but she felt different. There was something new in her that she could touch if
she thought about it. It was like the warmth that flickered from small flames.
She closed her eyes and touched the new strangeness flowing through her. She
gathered a little of it into a ball, and was jerked out of her exploration by
“Taru, that is a mage light.” He stated, and she followed
his eyes to the sky blue ball of energy that floated in her hand. She clenched
her fingers shut and it disappeared, but she couldn’t ignore the fact that it
had been there.
I had a strange dream
Hawk, and now this, what’s going on? She knew that her voice conveyed fear,
but she couldn’t keep her mind from jumping back to the pulling feeling that
had ripped at her as she slept.
“I don’t know either, but I will get Shet in the morning.
It’s still very late. Try and get some more sleep. I won’t leave you.” He took
his standard position at her side, and while she was certain she wouldn’t be
able to sleep any more, she was soon drifting off to sleep once again.
When the next morning dawned for real, she didn’t
immediately remember what had happened the night before. She simply enjoyed the
warm body curled next to her, and the comfortable feeling that Hawk being there
always brought her. She curled closer to the warm body, and buried her face in
his ruff. He snuffed a little in sleep, and then rolled his face to look at
her. He gave her a quick lick, and then let her wrap herself around him.
“We have to get up soon.” He mumbled. Taru shook her head
against him, and snuggled deeper into the bed. She would stay here forever if
she could. There was nothing complicated or horrible here. Just warmth and love
and comfort, all the things she had been missing for most of her life. Hawk sighed
deeply and shifted so that they were looking at each other.
“Do you want to talk about what happened last night with me,
or do you want to wait to talk to Shet and everyone else?”
I don’t know, I’m
guessing not talking about it at all isn’t an option.
“Ignoring it won’t make it go away Taru, something happened
last night and we need to figure out what it was. It could end up being a very
good thing.” Taru wanted to believe that, but she had learned very quickly that
strange usually equaled bad. She buried her face in his fur again, and he
“You can’t hide there forever, people would look at you kind
of funny if you walked around with a Cheveyo on your face.” She smiled at him,
and swatted at him.
I don’t think I want
to tell this tale more then once. Let’s get food and then try and find everyone
else. She wanted to get out of bed, she knew she wasn’t quite strong enough
yet to make it all the way to the main building on her own, but she knew that
Hawk would help her. She hauled herself away from his wonderful warmth, and
pulled on some clothing. They walked side by side to the main building, and no
one really noticed that towards the end of their trip Taru was leaning heavily
on Hawk. His height provided her with the perfect balancing aid. They were some
of the first ones into the main building for breakfast, and Hawk helped her
into her seat. It was the first time in a long time that she was not confined
to her room, and even that little victory was enough to brighten her whole day.
They ate quickly, and then Hawk left to find a few people.
Taru fell asleep at the table while waiting for Hawk to get
back, and was woken up by Jaki and Hali joining her She smiled at them both,
and watched them as they chatted and ate their breakfast. Hawk hadn’t returned
when they finished, and she found herself left alone again. Being alone gave
her too much time to think, and she was drawn back to the dream that had
disturbed her sleep the night before. She tried to remember the details of the
woman’s face, but the longer she was awake the more the details of the dream
slipped from her memory. She could
remember the feeling of pulling most clearly, but the rest of it was slowly
Hawk came back then, and hopped gently onto the bench beside
Taru, placing a paw on her knee. Alye, Dayn, their Cheveyos, and Shet all
gathered around the table, and Taru found herself suddenly nervous. She didn’t
ask for any of this, she was grateful that the rebels had saved her life, but
she had wanted to live here quietly, fight well, maybe help in the battles, but
never become the focus that she had. She cursed her abilities, and their
annoying habit of interfering in her life. She sighed, and Hawk looked
worriedly at her. She shook her head, to indicate she was ok and waited for the
“Hawk explained as much as he knew, but we need to have as
many details as possible Taru.” Shet knew that she wouldn’t like all the
questions, if she had it her way Taru would cover this all up and pretend it
never happened. Shet would like to allow her that but they didn’t have that
luxury, maybe in another time or place, but not here.
Last night I had a
dream, there was a woman and she spoke to me. I don’t remember what she said,
but it was about something coming awake. She touched me, and I fell this
horrible pulling, as if my insides were trying to escape my skin. She had
warned not to fight, but it hurt so much. I eventually gave up, and it was as
if everything snapped back into me. I woke up then, she may have said something
else, but the longer I am awake the more of the dream I forget. All I can
remember about the woman now is that she was old. Hawk came then, so I guess
you know the rest. She glanced around the table and saw mostly confused
looks on the faces there. She had hoped this had happened before, or that they
at least knew what was going on, but it looked like that was not to be.
“I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like this
before, but Hawk did mention that you were able to produce a mage light? That
is something that should be impossible for anyone who isn’t a fully trained
mage. I won’t ask you to try and produce another, but could you try to
manipulate water?” Taru shrugged, and searched for that feeling in her that let
her work with the elements. Her eyes popped open when she couldn’t find it.
I can’t, there’s
nothing there! It’s all gone! She didn’t know whether to be upset or happy
about this fact, but she could no longer feel the four elements running though
her. Like picking at a scab, she continued to hunt for the lost feeling. Also
like picking a scab, it hurt, that was something she did not expect, but she
continued to hunt. The old feeling was nowhere to be found. She kept her eyes
closed, and focused deeper. She found a place inside herself that she hadn’t
ever touched before, it was deep and dark, but it was warm and not scary in any
way. Taru let herself fall deeper and deeper into her own mind, and suddenly
she could see a brilliant light, she almost turned away, but curiosity got the
best of her.
She allowed her consciousness to be pulled into the light,
and suddenly found herself surrounded by a rainbow of colors, all moving around
her in swirls. She sat and enjoyed the beauty of them all before she realized
that they were the same colors she had associated with the elements. She
reached out t touch a reddish orange one and she could feel the heat coming
from it before it hit her fingers. The blue-green one was wet to the touch, and
the others also felt like the element they represented. Taru gathered the
elements around her, and wondered why they were hiding so deep now. She tried
to pull them back with her as she slowly allowed herself to be pulled back to
Something warm and wet was brushing her face, and she was hit
by hot breath as she came back to herself. She lazily swiped a hand at whatever
was making her face all wet. Her hand hit warm furry muzzle and she realized
Hawk was licking her face.
Ew, Hawk stop. She
was amazed at how weak her mental voice sounded, and when she tried to sit up,
her body refused to cooperate. Her eyes drifted closed again, and when she
pulled them open she had somehow been put back in her bed.