On the planet Zerelia, some place in time at a time there was a civilization of people known as the Xhan, because of the rather hot and arid climate, the vast white and black sand deserts. The Xhan had patches of scales and were more reptilian, or bird like. The variation on the extent of their appearance really was dependant on their lineage and how close they were to the Source of life. The source of life or the Ah-hex is a rotating multi-hued orb that is at the temple of Ah-hex. There were two very specific types of Xhan, the Shaneth and the Danraeth. Both groups lived rather harshly with each other and it was mainly because of there differences in views on how they should live their lives. The Shaneth lived rather peaceful, living to work with the resources that they had, their society was run by a matriarch known as Quel’an. The Danraeth lived in a constant chaos, of need and want for power, they wanted the source and they lived for harnessing the power of the source. Every teaching, every lesson that they taught was to be stronger, faster and harder and with that they over took and are the domineering society among the Xhan. They rule with a structure that even the maddest would never understand but their control was very much understood. The King of the Danraeth, Xas’Rhon is very much a warrior and he aspired for his son Pho to be like him in every aspect. Pho, Prince of the Danraeth very much wanted to please his father. He aspired very much to be like his father but, there was something in him that wished for another way. He enjoyed the fighting and killing just as much as his father, but he hoped that there would be a time that he wouldn’t have to. Pho was still rather young; he was still very much a child nearly a teen.
On a rather windy warm morning Phos sat on the edge of the castle of Ghuank, his fathers’ castle, which was in the black desert of the farthest point from the Ah-hex. Young Phos moved his hand to his tired eyes gray green silver ringed brushing away some of the dust from his face. His robes hung from him loosely, as his tail snaked about behind him lazily; his rounded horns encircled his ear fins that bristled at the sounds around him, the angry fights in the market below to the, metal clanking of the machines in the rooms behind him. His pale green scales littered his body, lining his face like markings just below his eyes. His feathered cobalt plumes and deep forest green bristled hair crested down the middle of his head leaning to the right as he relaxed.
He stretched out his three toed feet so that they would dangle over the edge, his rather small bristle plumed small wings stretched with him stretching, and he smiled listening to the people on the street below. His favorite time of day was the morning; it was always warm but slightly cool something that he had enjoyed a great deal. He moved his clawed hand to scratch at an itch just behind one of his horns.
“Father… He wants this one chu hunt, this day. This one doesn’t want chu hunt, this one wants chu play, wants chu see what else there is. Why… Father always wants this one chu hunt, always hunting. Hunting isn’t fun when this one does it every day, all the time. Chu much screaming needs some quiet time. Needs chu hear other things this one does.” He complains nodding to himself as he slowly stands to lean over the edge to look down at the people below, he opened his wings out. He leapt from where he was and slowly and clumsily floated down to the street, he looked at the different people, the crest of his hair bristled upward as he became curious. He tilted and twitched his head at each stall he came to, he continued on his walk and observations of the city. It was actually only his second time in the city, he knew where the major points of the city were and he knew how to get home but as far as everything in-between it was all pretty new to him.
He took his time, he didn’t much care about the things he had been asked to do, they weren’t important to him for now. He saw many females, and he saw females his own age, he hadn’t often seen females when he was in the castle aside from his mother that he had only seen a couple of times. He wanted to just stay in the city, he wanted to keep searching out and meeting the people. One of the younger females came up to him and even though her plumes were duller she opened her wings to show him as he passed her. He was very happy to get such a friendly greeting, he moved toward her slowly at first then ran at her to tackle her with a squawk.
“Female… You are nice chu this one… you are kind chu this one, why do you do that when you do not know this one.” He asked her as he kept her pinned rather aggressively. She kicked him hard off of her and flipped him over, to pin him and she smiled happily.
“You look like him. You are his. You are the prince. Why are you so weak if you are the Prince?” She asked him and he looked angrily at her and bit her, then skittered away from her.
“Not Weak. This one is not weak. Not Weak!” He shouted at her and frowned looking at her with a pout, as his crest moved up and his ear-fins drew back against his head as he bare his teeth at her and growled, his tail swished behind him aggressively, “Maybe this one should hunt female, since female has bad words for Phos. Do not speak bad words chu this one. This one hunt female, and kill female.” He growled then let out a hiss. She looked at him and laughed thoroughly amused by him, as she moved back in submission to him. His ear fins wiggled when while she backed away and he slowly smiled and stood tall, his crest tall to try to make himself look bigger, he clawed at the ground, stomping to show that he was stronger.
“Why are you out here young Prince, shouldn’t you be above, since you are above us? Why did you come to be here in the lowers, with the lowers? Did you need to punish one of the lowers?” She asked him and he looked at her completely and utterly confused by what she had said but he nodded just as well, as he postured, his hair still crested and erect.
He looked over at her and he stood there for a bit unsure how to answer her question or what she was even really asking him. He didn’t know that there were lowers; he just knew that she was a female. He blinked several times trying to think on what she was saying, he slowly turned to move away from her, not sure he should say and moderately bored by the female, his overall posture showed that as well, his laziness overtaking any want for his continued talk with her and he stalked off, dragging his tail behind him. The female continued to follow him wanting the answer to the question that she had asked figuring that she had seemed important to him since he spoke to her.
A few hours had passed and Phos was still wandering around looking at things, he had talked to other people, the female was still following, chittering and twittering behind him. He looked back a few times; his ear fins twitched a small bit because of his annoyance of the female that kept following him. He stopped abruptly.
“Go’ way from this one, female…” He said in a low and rather bemused tone, she twittered once again behind him, giving off small chirps and tweets. He slumped, his tail dragging behind him; he rolled his eyes in irritation as he heard the other tweets then made a snorted huff when he felt her talon foot, clawed at his tail. He turned quickly, swinging his tail around raising the ridge of spines on it to whip it at her.
“Go’ Way!” He shouted at her growling, and hissing. She frowned at him and hunched over, challenging him as she neared him but then she was struck by his tail, she hadn’t thought to move out of the way from it, she still thought of him as weak so she wasn’t expecting his tail to hit her like it did. She tumbled onto the ground with a rather surprised and pained squawk of a sound. He frowned as he looked at her and he looked back to the other onlookers that had decided to see what was going on. She lay there unmoving and limp, Phos frowned. He had been annoyed by her and agitated but he wanted her to be alright, he shook his head trying to shake his worry for her from his head. He was the prince; he wasn’t supposed to think like that about anyone, he wasn’t supposed to care for people let alone some rude female. He slowly backed away to leave quickly, unsure of what to do, and more people started to arrive, it made him feel things he didn’t want to think of feel about.
He had gone back to the castle, he skittered behind a pillar and just leaned against it, he tried to hide against it, and the fact that he was crying. He didn’t like that he had hurt the female, and he sputtered quiet hissed curses at the female as he sat against the hot stone, his tail twitched with his agitation and fear. He pondered the idea that maybe he was weak; maybe the female was right about him being weak. He hated that thought; he growled and tantrum there against the stone. He grew tired and rolled onto his back, he stared up at the sky and the stones, wiping his eyes and still frowning. He let out a deep hiccupped sigh as he felt himself slowly relax. He heard a strange hum, he looked around a moment, unsure what it was but shortly realized and looked down at the crystalline ring bracelet that was around his ankle that pulsed hum, and he listened to them a moment, then moved to stand.
He walked down a darkened hallway that was littered with bones and other bits of food and toys left behind. His tired and still rather depressed eyes gazed up to the tall figure that had similar coloring as him, eyes completely black, the crest of the tall figure stood high and was erect with agitation. Black scales littered the mans’ body, along with spines that protruded from his shoulders as well as his trails of spines that went down his head and neck. It would have nearly been obvious by the mantle and the same gray green eyes that the figure was Phos’ father.
“Phos.” He began in his low rasped tone, it was harsh but Pho didn’t move or seem to flitch at the sound of it, “Phos, did you hunt this morning like you were ordered to?” He asked again rather harshly and Phos still didn’t move, he shrugged and looked down at his three toed feet not wanting to answer his father. “Son, did you hunt like you were asked to?” Xas asked once again, Phos shook his head still rather lazily. “Why not? It was asked of you. You were to do it, what is the reason that you have neglected such an important task?” Xas asked his frown growing as he looked down at his son, which still seemed to be sluggish and stubborn.
“Didn’t want chu hunt. Tired of hunting. So boring. Boring chu kill the things. They scream. It bores this one. It bores this one lots Father. Does not want chu hunt anymore, this one wants chu find other thing chu do. Not hunt, when hunt is no fun.” He says then yawns once again, letting out a rather un-amused snort. His fathers frown deepened when he heard his son, he started to hiss low before he moved his hand down hard to strike at Phos, who when struck was awoken from his distracted and tired state and started to hiss and growl.
“You must hunt! You do what your father tells you! You do what your king tells you to do! Go hunt now!” He roared at his son, his spines started to glow red. Pho shook his head angrily as he continued to growl. His father moved his hand to signal for the guards. “Phos… You will Hunt. You Will Go kill Now.” He demanded, “You Will not Come back here till you have killed.” He growled as the guards moved to pick up Phos, which was sputtering angry caws.
“I will not come back! I will not come back! This one hates King! This one Hates Father!” He shouted an angry caw as the guards carried him and tossed him out of the castle in the late afternoon heat. Phos landed with a slumped flop in the black hot sand, he stood sputtering curses through caws and angry squawks at the guards. He quickly moved off angrily out of the markets and out of the town. He looked down at the crystal ring on his leg and bit at it, rolling while he gnashed at it with his teeth, frustrated and angry with his father. He didn’t want to kill anything anymore, he didn’t want to hurt anyone anymore, and he was tired of it. As his fit continued he managed to crack the ring and then he just flopped over in the black sand to look up the twin suns sleepily. He curled up where he was to drift off to nap.
There was a loud crack, then another. Phos opened his eyes slowly, they dilated as he looked around at what was near him, he found that he was in a cage on the back of a cart, he skittered toward the front of the cage and tired to peer to see who was driving the cart but he couldn’t see anyone, he looked to the sides and realized it was one of the cleaners carts that was automatically run, to pick up dead things and take them to the Eater. He knew he had to get out of the cage, he looked at the different other things that were in cages around him, he listened to the low hum of the energy that was pulsing to keep the cages closed, his ear fins bristled a few times as he continued to look around at what was there. He noodled his tail to the side where he heard the energy, and it made a crackle as his tail touched it and he pulled it back quickly feeling the sting of the energy, he made a caw at the pain and then frowned thinking things over.
The Eaters’ quaking movement shook the earth as the cart neared its den, the roar of the Eater rumbled as the cart was quickly picked up by dark black tendrils of something unseen, the cage opened up and Phos began to fall toward the darkness, he was hit by a few of the other things that were falling, it knocked him spinning toward the ground. He opened his small wings as he started to float down, but a tendril caught his foot and started pulling him toward the gaping maw of the pitch black Eater. Phos kicked at it, but it was like kicking water, he continued to pull away and kick though, the cracked crystal bracelet hit at the dark and created a low electric hum then burst shattering. The Eater made a pained howl as Phos was flung from it; he landed tumbling over and over, hissing at the pain now in his leg, the shards of crystal in him. He forced himself to stand, looking back at the Eater that was still howling and angry. Phos started to run in a direction away from the Eater, hobbling painfully as his silver blood mixed with the dark black sands below him, trailing down his leg.
Phos turned back to look in the direction of the Eater and he made an angry squawk at it, “Stupid loud eat-y thing, don’t eat with this one! This one isn’t for eating!” He yelled toward it, posturing bravely, even though he was scared. He didn’t want to seem weak to it or anyone. The Eater let out a low rumbled growl once again as it started to creep in Phos’ direction, tendrils snaking out like large reticulated shadowed roots of a tree, burrowing and shattering the ground harshly nearly sending Phos tumbling over just from the shaking. He made a frustrated grunt as he adjusted how he was standing, irritated and angry over his foot and just the horrible day he was having. The Eater skittered violently in Phos’ direction as the young boy backed away as fast as he could to try to avoid it, but it quickly over took him and tried to gather him up in its dark mass of tendrils and what looked like teeth.
Phos had closed his eyes, afraid of what might have been and could have been his end, but when he wanted to open them he felt was a gentle cold against his form, it felt somewhat nice comparatively to the blistering heat of the late afternoon heat. There was no sound though, not at first as the cool continued to wash over Phos he started to open his eyes, his left one then his right one, it was horribly dark and he lashed out in a panic that he couldn’t see. Cawing and growling out, clawing and whipping his tail about trying to get free from where he was, as his panic grew his furious rage and anger turned into despair and worry, his hope of seeing the light again started to fade his caws turned to whimpers and then to sobs. “This… This one wants chu see… Mine wants chu see… needs chu see what is around this one.” He cried out, as the cold continued to move over him, he continued to cry for awhile unsure of what to do, he slowly started to give up and as he relaxed in apathy is when he realized how tired and weak he truly was. He mumbled incoherently, babbling things about what he wanted before he closed his eyes once again and fell asleep in the darkness.
Phos tried to wake himself from his dreams. They were beautiful, peaceful and full of light, they frightened him. Those were all the things he truly wanted, all the things he truly wanted to be. He kept trying to escape from the discomforting beauty of what he saw as his weaknesses.
He felt himself physically cry out for help. He like his energy and his want to fight slowly leaving him as if being Eater was feasting from the torment he had become trapped in.
A bright light…
Bright! It was like a star, shimmering its’ glow around Phos. He opened his eyes groggily, images were blurry and as much as he wanted to focus he couldn’t. He heard noises of someone near him; her voice was strong yet soft. She seemed to be humming a song, it was gentle and sweet.
“Wh-where is this one? This one wants chu see…” He begins stammered, his tone shaky and still very apprehensive. She heard him and she sway almost dancing.
“Rest. You need your rest. You had become poisoned by the Eater of the shadowed plains. Rest young male.” She spoke.
Phos continued to try to look at what was around him; the females form slowly took shape so it was clearer to him. She was very pale, she was more bird like then he was. Her feathers and scales were pastel metallic cobalt. Her mane of plumes decorated and framed her youthful face. The main factors that Phos seemed to be distracted by were the different plug mounts that littered her arms and sternum. Wires also seemed to be attached and throughout her mane, crest and spine. Small strangely shaped almost organic robots flittered and fluttered throughout the room. Phos gaze continued to follow the contour of the room trying to figure out exactly where he was, there were many things that Phos wasn’t knowledge of in the room, but he did see a few things as the realization that he was in an infirmary, or similar type place. The smell of herbs, and some of the tools that were in the room told him that. There were strange ancient symbols, many of which Phos had never seen. There was a repeated symbol throughout the room, three glowing orbs arranged as if it would create the beginning of a spiral.
Phos also realized by the white, nearly crystalline sands just outside of the building that he wasn’t any where near his home anymore. He felt tears start to well up in his eyes, both of panic at the fact he was actually in Enemy territory and that if his father knew he was here, he would murder him. So much around him was death, many of his fears were for his own mortality, all he wanted to do was live and be happy, he found himself curling into a ball on the bed where he lay trying to hide the fact that he had started crying. The enemy female looked at Phos; she tilted her head awkwardly to look over the young male. The small robots around here, fluttered nervously as if affected by Phos’ fear. She moved her hand to his crest, he pinned his ears back to the side of his head, he moved his tail to try to knock her hand out of the way from him and he hissed at her defensively.
“Mine isn’t Weak! You will not kill this one. Mine will live!” He nearly roared at her, trying to push his tears away, his tail had sliced into her arm, and it made him feel bad. He felt like he was always hurting someone and he hated that. He flailed angrily both at himself and what had happened, he hated everything that he was and that had happened. The enemy female backed away and moved to the side to tend to her hand, letting Phos have his tantrum, she let out a deep sigh as she looked to him and looked at him in an almost understanding manner.
“No child. You aren’t weak, and you will live. You can live here child. You are safe here.” She said to him very quietly almost as if she was unsure of her own words. She understood that he was a child, that he was lost. Phos twitched his head to look at her, nearly violent in the abruptness of look toward her. Even though tears were still welling in his eyes and falling down his dark cheeks, he nodded to her. There was still a deep look of worry in his face, his brow furrowed but he was curious and she had given him hope.
For now that was all that he needed.