Side Story Three
Two Years Ago
The Trap Fifteen
Darya closed his eyes and tried to ignore the cold malice in the furious blast from the Core. Anger, disdain and hatred aimed not just at the dragons or the dragon knights but at Kyle and the others as well. He swallowed back nausea – it didn’t bear thinking about. Instead, he knelt down by the hercian bird and checked on her. She was still unconscious but now that Julie was awake she should be coming around soon.
“You’ll be okay now.” Julie knelt down by him and ruffled her heart friend’s feathers. “It can’t hurt you now I’m here. But I’d better take you home with me – it’s not safe for you here.” Her eyes widened and she gave Darya a frantic look. “She can survive on Earth, right?”
Darya hesitated, uncertain if he should answer that. After a moment he sighed and nodded. “Humans can’t survive indefinitely here but we can there. As long as we stay close to our heart friend, anyway.”
“That’s good then. How long can we survive here?”
Darya shrugged. “Roughly? Two years before the stress starts affecting your mind; possibly the same again before it kills you. No one ever pushes it that far.”
“Oh, then no wonder Ali-” Julie made a hissing noise. “He has to know about that and he hasn’t made any move the send the kid back – not that she has anything to go back to. But still, she’s been here over three years and he knows it.”
“The others will send her back,” he said. “And if you tell them that, they’ll make sure she gets treatment as well. But she doesn’t have a family?”
“The yellow one slaughtered them all.” She looked down as her heart friend stirred and looked up at her. “Marama! Are you okay!”
The hercian bird made a very unbirdlike groaning sound. “Damn, Julie, I didn’t want to believe what you showed me earlier, but you were right. It would have killed me, you know, but something intervened.” She turned her attention to Darya. “Who are you?”
“Darya,” he replied. “I’m the Water Warrior’s heart friend. But I don’t understand. Why did the Core attack you? Why is it so furious with me?” He hesitated. “And why hasn’t it attacked me yet?”
“Because of what Julie knows. I thought the dragon had been lying to her but it seems that about this, at least, he wasn’t.”
“Because it needs you and Kyle at the moment,” Julie said simultaneously. “It probably intends to deal with you once the current crisis is over.”
“What do you know?” Darya asked. He didn’t want to think about the idea that the Core was just biding its time until it didn’t need him and Kyle any more.
Julie frowned and looked down. “I don’t think I should tell you. It might let you live if you don’t know what’s going on.”
Darya considered this, thought back to the cold blast of anger and hatred and shook his head. “No, I think I already picked up too much. It knows I know it hates humans. I think I need to know.”
Julie stared at him for a moment, then nodded. “Very well, but you aren’t going to like it.”
A/N: If you are a regular reader of my other serial Haventon and would like to see it in ebook or even dead tree form please visit this post on my dreamwidth blog about a potential IndieGoGo campaign to raise the money. Thanks!