The wind rushes about her, swirling in smoky patterns of dark blues and dull greys. She stares into it, comforted by the familiarity. Beyond this, everything is darkness. She begins to walk and the wind catches each step cautiously; the feeling is is like floating on air, or water… she’s not quite sure if there would be a difference.
We are gods of old games, with old names and old faces. We are gods of old blood, old loves and old places. We are the gods who dwell in the soil, who have watched you come and watched you go. We have soaked in your wars and your peace and all the malice and uncertainty in between. But no more.
HR Vanguard Unit 4, a part of the seventh unit designated for Human Reconnaissance, maps the area to be swept and opens its Uplink to the collective, sharing the information with all other units in its squad. A few seconds of inter-unit discussion of areas to be covered and the search begins. Unit 4 moves swiftly, perhaps too swiftly, examining large rock formations for signs of hidden entrances, discoloured dirt patches for signs of blood. Sometimes the humans are very clever and do not leave any evident signs. Sometimes they set decoys and an inexperienced unit is lost in a rain of fire. But on the whole, humans aren’t too good at evading HR squads.
She blinks into consciousness and stares in the space occupied by the voice. The voice echoes in her head for a brief moment before clicks of recognition begin. Speech. Conversation. It is a capability which she possesses. The space occupied by the voice lacks a body. Perhaps that is normal. She speaks in its direction, at a black box hanging just below some form of shining cylinder with a red light coming from it. “H-hello.”
Qast awoke with a rasping breath, clawing at her hair. Her eyes narrowed and darted about the room as her hands deftly reached for two of the daggers she kept concealed about her bed. The darkness offered no sound and she could sense no presence in it except that of her sleeping sister, and yet she felt invaded. The faint whispering which had woken her came again, crawling to the fore of her mind and scratching at her defences. As her heart slowed she realised she knew this presence. She put her daggers back in their places then began the process of calming herself and opening her mind. A voice crackled into clarity.
Rilashul’s body had been beautiful, if she remembered correctly, and if Mellin was to be trusted. She had memories; in so much as she could have them, of dark caramel skin and of soft, woolly curls which hung tightly about her face.
“Girl!” Zhara’s voice rang out of the window and to the garden, shrill and aged. He coughed from the effort and thumped weakly at his chest. The girl who’d been tending to the fruit trees turned her head towards the small cottage and smiled, waving before wiping her hands on the sides of her clothes and making her way to the porch door. She brushed her feet vigorously on the worn sack which served as a welcoming mat before entering the kitchen.