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Kamijaah Chronicles Test (OLD)

on November 9th 2017, 6:36 pm
This is an excerpt I wrote for writing practice, as an assessment assignment initiated by my teacher at the vocational academics center I attended after high school, until I turned 22! I was considering writing a novel at the time, but there are parts missing, so it may be confusing... I hope you guys like it all the same.  It's kind of special, because I wrote this right before making the decision to join EBC... it was because of this that I felt like adding Sohnii in, since he had no storyline anymore and I was coming to love him... So in a way, this was kind of the start of EBC for me.  You'll see other characters from mine here too... Zethar became Philos, who is no longer mine, and Arkita, who I didn't add until much later.  Although they don't make an appearance, the characters that Xalo and Ambrosia (aka Kaina) were based on are also in this storyline... Sohnii meets Xalo later, and Kaina survived the same ordeal as him.  Anyway, I hope you guys like it, even if this thing is old! Enjoy! Please try not to critique my writing - I've improved a lot since 2014, and I'm well aware of the flaws, but I appreciate comments all the same!




    The first new memory that came to him… Was nothing but pain.  Not that like that following a bad fall, or even a more gruesome injury… no.  It came from a wound that could not be seen, but had spread to his entire body.  And like this wound, the darkness he had known for so little time, it too was present, and shrouded him like an oppressing ocean of negative energy.  As Sohnii would one day discover, this darkness would never abandon him, and he would quickly feel its effects.


    Sohnii had spent a good amount of time resisting the attack… He refused to become a slave to shadow, but that was over now.  The boy had stopped struggling hours ago.  He had tried so hard to keep his own willpower, but the infinite struggle had wiped out his consciousness completely, leaving the plague to eat at his mind and soul.  He laid against the stone wall now, perfectly still.  He didn’t breathe, almost appearing dead.  The occasional mumble gave him away, but it was a pitiful sight… He was among those that were truly dead; these caves, once a sacred and spiritual landmark for the Kamiirn, were now nothing but an ominous battlefield.  


    It was unlikely that those scouring the place for survivors would notice him unless something happened to arouse him back to the world of the living.  Luckily, that was easily done.  It didn’t take much to revive him from his state.  Just… a voice. A simple sound.  Small to most, but it was more than enough to shake his form.


    Zethar passed by, his golden armor glimmering duly in the light let off by the torch in his hand.  Though usually a very cheery and lighthearted Guardian, there was no plausible way for him to retain that demeanor at this moment.  He frowned as he glanced around at his surroundings… These caverns were very special to his people.  Here they were, littered by the dead and bathed in blood.


    The Guardian lowered the forest-green hood on his cloak.  His expression was a mix of disgust and horror.  “Oh, Fionne… This is appalling.”  Zethar stated grimly.


    The injured Warrior, being a gruff man of few words, hardly glanced as he stood a few feet away.  “Had enough?” Fionne said.


    “Frankly, yes!” Zethar answered bleakly.  “Haven’t you?”


    For a long moment, Fionne didn’t reply.  Zethar could recognize that complicated expression in his eyes.  He knew what it meant, and it made him sad.  Once he composed himself, Fionne grunted.  “Mind you… I was among these individuals just hours ago.  I’ve had my share of death… But.  Life goes on.”


    As the words reached Sohnii’s ears, it felt as though his soul had been stabbed.  He winced and gasped for breath, backing up against the wall as if he’d gone mad.


    The sound startled Fionne.  He crouched down into a defensive position with a bow and arrow poised to strike, ready to use his element should something jump out at him suddenly.  He glared in all directions, and didn’t budge when Zethar touched his shoulder.


    “What is it?” the Energy Guardian asked, his voice soft and concerned.


    “I think someone’s alive.  I heard something, and it was close.”  Fionne’s voice was stern and slightly jumpy.  “Whether they’re one of ours or they enemy’s.. I can’t say.”


    “Ha! And I say you hit your head too hard, old friend!” Zethar chuckled dryly.  “Really, Fionne! I didn’t hear anything.”


    “I’m not going crazy!” Fionne shouted defensively.  “I know what I heard.”


    “Maybe not.  I’m serious about your head though, Fionne.”  Zethar’s voice was much more urgent, indicating the hidden truth underneath all his previous playfulness.  “This battle we had… You barely came out of it alive.  Even so, you’ve blatantly ignored your injuries, and came with the search party, regardless of this whole ordeal.”


    Fionne held his head high.  “I survived, didn’t I?”


    Zethar’s voice grew sharper.  “Up until now, yes, you did.  But that wound on your head is serious, and I mean that.”  As he stared at Fionne, his eyes were narrowed grimly.  “Don’t forget, my friend, about what happened today.  You lived, but your master fell.  Our people's’ future lies with you now.”


    “As if I don’t know!” scoffed Fionne, rolling his eyes. “You should trust me a bit more, Z.  We trained together once.”


    For the moment, Zeth’s playful attitude returned.  “Well, I’ve been a Guardian longer.” he teased, puffing out his chest pridefully. “Perhaps you should respect my opinion!”


    His friend’s response was not so light hearted.  “Only by three years!” he growled.  “The Guardian above you fell in battle, remember?”


    Zethar frowned.  “You didn’t need to go there.” he stated dully.


    Fionne stared back, his expression completely void of sympathy.  “We’ve all lost people, Zethar.  Some more than most.  You’re lucky enough to still have your family intact.”  he told him darkly.


    “You’re right about that, buddy.” Zethar agreed. “Honestly, I… Without my wife and daughter, I don’t think I would be here now.”


    “Whether it be in the plagues, the wars, or in the many battles facing us, it doesn’t matter.”  Fionne added.  “Despite the losses, the fact remains.  Everything has fallen apart, our situation is worse than ever. We’ll have to work together.  Now, don’t fail us.”


    Nodding somberly in agreement, Zethar opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the same sound as before.  A gasp quickly followed by groaning.


    Fionne glared at Zethar.  “Go on and tell me you didn’t hear that.”


    Zethar shook his head.  “No, no… I heard it all right.  Though I wish I hadn’t…”  Zethar’s eyes were clouded with fear.  “That’s the sound of someone in pain.  And knowing the nature of our enemy today, I…” He looked away.  “I don’t want to know what made that sound...”


    “Fine, you wimp.” Fionne said with a cold chuckle.  “I’ll do it, then. Stay close though, I shouldn’t be alone in this place.”


    “R-right…”


    Fionne stopped only a couple steps in front of Sohnii.  His pupils dilated as he stared at the young teenager on the ground, writhing in agony.  “…hey, you.”


    Sohnii managed to open one eye. The smooth blue slit glowed ominously in the darkness.  “Where...” he grunted weakly.


    “Get over here, Zethar!” Fionne shouted urgently.


    “What is it?!” Zeth’s voice was shocked.


    “Now!”


    Without hesitation, Zethar ran over, and immediately Fionne kneeled down beside Sohnii, who winced in pain.  Zethar tilted his head.  “Well…?”


    For a moment, Fionne was silent.  “...you get Arkita.”


    Zethar blinked.  “Uh… Fionne…?” he asked.  "For once a decent explanation might be nice, or at least useful-"


    The Warrior whipped his head around.  “Hurry! This is no time for delays!” he snapped.  “Go get Guardian Arkita immediately!”


    Without another word, Zethar ran off into the darkness, leaving the two of them alone.  Sohnii hit his head against the wall in frustration.


    “H-hey.  Cut that out.” Fionne said, mustering his best gentle voice he could manage.  “Doing something like that won’t help at all.” Sohnii cursed under his breath, and Fionne shoved his chest up against the wall.  “Shut up, kid.  You’re in no position to do anything but breathe right now.”  Sohnii glared at him through sapphire slits, but didn’t do anything else.


    It was a moment before Zethar returned.  When he did, sure enough, Arkita was with him.  The senior Guardian looked a bit worse for the wear, unfortunately… Though he tried to stay refined it wasn’t as well hidden as he might have hoped.  It almost seemed like the respected hero might break down in front of them, but that had never been Arkita’s way.


    “Good timing, sir.”  Fionne addressed, not looking away from Sohnii as Arkita approached him.  


    As Fionne stepped back to give Arkita some space, Zethar watched on somberly as the boy's condition seemed to deteriorate by the second.


    "You were right to fetch me, Fio."  Arkita said, almost sullenly.


    "Well," the Warrior responded, "I was positive that he'd survived the corruption process."


    Arkita frowned slightly and put his hand on Sohnii’s forehead.  The boy jumped a bit in reaction to being touched, almost as though Arkita had disturbed a tender injury.  “Mmhmm… Yeah, you’re right about that.” he nodded.


    “Why…? What makes you say so?” Zethar asked.  “Is he burning up?”


    Arkita clicked his tongue lightly, and shook his head.  “The plague, whatever it is… While a disease would give you a fever, it disintegrates the person and everything that they are.”  he explained.  “The body itself remains intact and functions perfectly well, there’s nothing wrong with it… But due to the soul being destroyed, it makes the body cold, dead cold.”


    Fionne narrowed his eyes and folded his arms.  “Then, he’s…?”


    “Freezing, yes...” Arkita answered, sighing as Sohnii turned his head away.  “You’re lucky, I don’t think he has much time left.”


    Zethar’s pupils jittered in silent panic.  “But, you can help him… Right?”


    Arkita closed his eyes, but nodded.  He put his hands on Sohnii’s shoulders.  Sohnii shuddered and tried to jerk himself away.


    “Hey... hey.” Arkita said soothingly, grabbing the sides of Sohnii’s head.  “I need you to calm down, alright? I’m going to be blunt; if you don’t listen to me, you’ll be dead in a few minutes.”


    Sohnii didn’t respond. As his head tilted a bit involuntarily to the side, Arkita frowned and spoke again.  “Look… I’m amazed you’ve survived this long… You’ve gotten past the crucial stage, don’t give in now…” he pleaded with the utmost sympathy.  He patted Sohnii’s cheek to arouse his attention.  “C’mon now.  Talk to me! What’s your name?”


    Sohnii opened his eyes slightly, still giving off a strange light, which was pulsating now.  He seemed a bit dizzy, barely understanding the question. “My… my name?”


    “What, the idiot doesn’t remember his name?” Fionne scowled, his arm crossed.


    “The brain is the first thing affected, some who survive lose all of their memory.”  Arkita spoke quickly, the dying person in front of him was more important.  “Try to remember your name.  Anything at all?”


    Sohnii, at this point, could only shake his head.  Arkita could only sigh; he turned back to his young companions for a moment.  “One of the most unfortunate effects is the loss of willpower… whoever this is, he’s having trouble even controlling his own thoughts; that’s why it’s vital that I keep his mind active, otherwise I’ll lose him.”


    “How do you know about all this, Arkita?” Zethar asked.  “Were you a medic before you became a Guardian?”


    Arkita pondered the question, before shaking his head.  “Oh, no… Nothing like that.” he replied.  “This is just a pressing matter; I looked into it because it’s a big problem we’re constantly threatened with.  Not one of our more… easy problems to see or deal with, I’ll admit.”


    “Pardon me, Guardian Arkita,” Fionne said, “But I think you’re being too soft on him.  He won’t listen if you’re so gentle.”


    “Thanks for the suggestion, Warrior Fionne...” Arkita responded.  “But I don’t intend to be harsh.  I know what I’m doing.  We haven’t lost him yet, and we won’t if I do it my way.”


    “Humph.”  Fionne grunted, furrowing a brow.  “As you wish.”


    Despite his words, Arkita knew he would need a stronger approach.  He shook Sohnii, not too violently, but enough for Sohnii to shake his head a couple times, trying to clear his mind.


    “Ok, you’re with me now, correct?” Arkita asked seriously.  Sohnii’s head still tilted dizzily, but he nodded as strongly as his body would allow.  Arkita narrowed his eyes.  “Ok… Can you remember anything before… this whole incident…?”


    “I… uhm…!” he grunted, before momentarily dozing off.


    “Come on now…” Arkita urged, placing a single hand on Sohnii's left shoulder.  “Anything at all! Who are you?”


    Sohnii winced again, teetering a little bit.  “I… I’m sorry… I d… don’t…” His voice trailed off rather quickly.


    “That’s fine, there are other things we can think about…” Arkita soothed.  “What about me? Do you know who I am?”


    “N-no… Wait, maybe…”


    “That’s good, but just in case,” Arkita said, “My name is Arkita.   I’m a Guardian; you can can trust me.”


    “Guard...Guardian…?” Sohnii asked, still talking dully, but his voice was a bit more curious.


    Arkita managed a smile.  “That’s right.  Fionne and Zethar are Guardians too.”  His voice was soft and soothing, even despite looking a bit ruffled himself, having several wounds and bruises.  He turned again to his companions.  “Alright.  Fionne and Zethar, this is very important.  Run back to the shore and grab a teleportation device; tell them to set it for the ship.  I’ll need a freezing crystal too to sedate him temporarily.”


    Zethar looked confused.  “Why do you…?”


    “Well… To be honest, there’s only so much I can do here.”  Arkita explained.  “If he doesn’t pass out before you get back, I’ll need to paralyze his condition.  He’s incapable of moving anyways; as I explained he has no control over his own willpower.”


    Fionne took a step forward, covering Zethar’s mouth with his hand to prevent more questions.  “We’ll do as you ask, but please hear me out, Arkita.”


    “Fine.” Arkita agreed.  “But please make it quick; I mustn’t waste any time.”


    "After this, Arkita... Would you consider taking a moment to worry for yourself rather than the rest of us?" Fionne asked, showing rare concern in his voice.  "You should probably... Take a break or something."


    Arkita couldn't help but emit a small, brief laugh.  He turned his head to look at Fionne.  "Coming from someone who was found half dead and refused to have the gash on his forehead looked at, then still insisted on doing his duties..." he pointed out.  "Something like that seems nothing short of hypocritical.  Why am I any different?"


    As Fionne scowled, Zethar was the next one to speak.  "I beg your pardon Arkita... But you're respected by everyone." he said, concerned.  "It's not just the people, all the remaining Guardians and Warriors look up to you... You inspire us.  We aren't like the ones we serve, seeing you run around in your condition after all that's happened..." Zethar shrunk and frowned.  "We're all very worried... It hurts to see that, you know?"


    For a long moment, Arkita just gazed at Fionne and Zethar.  He gained that guarded expression once more, but eventually looked away.  In the end, he didn't truly reply to the questions, rather ignoring them.  


    They all returned to Sohnii as he emitted an agonized groan, and gritted his teeth.  Slowly he once again began to drift off.  


    Arkita took action immediately.  "I'm sorry, you two, but this really is my topmost priority at the moment."  he told them, resting his hand on the top of Sohnii's head.  The boy shuddered for a moment, and his breathing grew heavy.


    Arkita's eyes began to glow, and slowly he used his fire element to create heat... Warming the cold being in front of him.  Sohnii seemed to be relieved of at least some of the pain, but it shocked him, further confusing Sohnii.  His eyes shot open and he glanced around wildly.


    "Er, sir?" Zethar queried.  "What exactly... are you, uh... doing...?"


    "Just what needs to be done, Zeth."  Arkita responded bluntly.  "Remain calm."


    Once the eerie light radiating from Sohnii's eyes had faded entirely, Arkita saw it as the cue that he had used his element long enough.  He removed his hand, and the luminous glow from his own eyes ceased.  Sohnii seemed to show improvement almost immediately, but it still left him weak.  He struggled to lift his head to look at Arkita, before he gave a quick shudder and went limp.


    Arkita's response was significantly different from Zethar's.  Fionne was the first to notice this.  "Arkita... I'm guessing there's nothing to worry about?"


    The ancient Guardian nodded.  "No.  He's not dead or anything like that.  Just lost consciousness."  Arkita replied.  "In fact, that's what you want to happen.  He'll recover faster that way."


    Zethar exhaled, having calmed down now that the tension had passed.  Of course, his happy-go-lucky self filled the void once more.  "Alrighty then!" he chimed.  Ignoring his friend's displeasure, he wrapped an arm around Fionne's neck.  "Mr. Happy Face and I will run on back and get the stuff you need!"  Fionne grumbled and pushed him away.


    To their surprise, Arkita shook his head.  "No, Zethar... you go alone."  he instructed.  "I've never seen anyone run so fast.  Fionne, I want you to stay with our friend here."


    "That's fine, I guess..." Fionne shrugged.  "What about you though?"


    "Me...?" Arkita pondered.  He grunted lightly as he pushed himself to his feet.  "I'm going to take a look around one last time.  Grab everyone else, and hope to find more survivors."


    "Arkita..." Fionne growled sternly.


    "Please let it go.  I'm fine." Arkita assured them.  "Just do as I asked; I'll see you two shortly."


    As Arkita walked away, Fionne wasn't about to give it up.  "You never answered my question, you know."  he spat boldly.


    Irritated in the slightest, Arkita stopped and exhaled.  "Regardless of the situation, my duty still stands.  The three of us... We all have the same expectations."  he told his colleagues solemnly.  "I exist to keep what remains of the people originating from the planet of Kamiijah... safe.  Their well being comes before my own.  I won't stop until each and every one is soundly off our forsaken homeland, and away from this nightmare."  He turned around, his expression no longer soft or gentle, and stared at the two firmly.  "I expect the same from you.  Is that clear, Fionne?"


    The only thing Fionne gave the Guardian in response was the cold shoulder, a common gesture from the quiet man... But it was obvious enough that he had accepted Arkita's words, to those who had known him long enough.    As expected, Zethar's response was brighter.  As he passed Arkita, he gave him a strong pat on the shoulder before dashing off into the dark tunnel complex.  Arkita himself wasted little time standing there, departing as well.  True to his word, Fionne remained with Sohnii, awaiting his silly friend's return.


    With tensions running high, and with so much having happened in the last 24 hours, the future seemed to be fairly uncertain.  Fortunately, in the least, not all hope was lost.

_________________


Bandit {conflicted} Sevuela {naive} Hortense {scheming} Violet {passionate} Liulfr {feisty} Temptation {tba}

Kitanda {dramatic} Moze {sensitive} Venom {outcast} Piper {annoying} Hudson {sheltered}

Poison {ruthless} Tuhi {cautious} Tahu {courageous} Lewa {adventurous} Bleach {independent} Honeybee {meek} Alexandra {confident} Jazz {rebellious}

Penelope {friendly} Say It {responsible} Tumble {caring} Black Rose {wayward} Rhapsody {inquisitive} Gabby {innocent}

Makuta {sinister} Kaina {sadistic} White Night {twisted} Amethyst {heroine} Vespera {strange}

Lucille {ambitious} Mata Nui {gentle} Sohnii {serious} Rintan {reckless} Flufficus {quirky}

Krahka {fierce} Pancake {pacifist} Firefly {resilient}
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Re: Kamijaah Chronicles Test (OLD)

on November 10th 2017, 12:49 am
The brief flash of light that had awakened him from the dark void seemed to go by so quickly. Though it did seem to ease away the darkness, it merely locked the shadows in place. Slowly, it seemed as though the clouds surrounding him began to creep forward again, until once again there was an interference. The flash was smaller this time, but enough to rouse him out of the prison once more.


It was almost as if the darkness was urging him to fall back into that vile abyss, because immediately after his eyes opened, Sohnii could feel the pressure sweep over him. He struggled just to breathe; it was a dangerous task, trying to push himself up against the short wall of wood against which he had been leaning. He had no idea where he was. He could have sworn that he’d last been in some sort of cave. How did he get here? The boy grimaced, one of his eyes only opened to a slit. His vision didn’t seem as clear as he would have hoped, and he was feeling a little groggy to begin with, but it appeared to be some sort of ship… As his senses began to return, one by one, he could hear waves churning beneath him. The water was rough against the sides of the boat… for a second his mind ran the possibility by him that he was being taken across the Lost Sea, but like everything else, that thought faded away.


The ship suddenly lurched forward. Sohnii grunted as he toppled over to the ground. Cursing under his breath, Sohnii ignored the figure running towards him from the left as he desperately tried to push himself back upright. A gentle hand touched his back, so lightly he could barely feel it. Breathing heavily after managing to at least sit up, he winced and laid back against the rim of the ship.


He knew someone was there, and eventually opened one of his eyes to a slit. His icy iris glared at the Guardian in front of him, her blue eyes filled with worry. It might be calming to anyone else, but Sohnii couldn’t help but feel extremely agitated. Pulling himself upwards a little, he shot a cold remark to her. “W-what do you want?”


She glanced away, fiddling with her hands a bit before returning her gaze to him. The worry that had surfaced in her eyes moments earlier was quickly replaced by nothing at all; it was rather strange, Sohnii couldn't recall ever seeing such a blank face... hers was just so void of emotion. Tired of waiting for a reply from the Guardian, he opened his mouth to speak, only to be interrupted by her at the same time.


"...sorry." she said simply. Her voice was soft and gentle, but seemed to have a sort of wisdom that only time could create... there was no telling how old this Guardian might be, though to him it seemed she might have become one in her mid twenties.


Her apology, however, was lost on Sohnii. He was confused and irritated, and as well as being in pain, he was feeling a bit woozy and had trouble understanding even the simplest things going on around him. Trying again to push himself upright, the boy gave another strained, angry remark. "Wha... what do you mean, 'sorry'?!" He was agitated by her short, useless response, and was even less amused when the Guardian set her hands on his shoulders. Though he struggled, her eyes showed the slightest bit of kindness.


"You... you're still fighting it..." Each of her words seemed forced, but they remained gentle. "Please... stay still." Her words frustrated him, but not nearly as much as his own body was. It wasn't so much the pain as it was that he almost felt paralyzed -- as if some oppressing force wouldn't allow him to move. However, with a sigh Sohnii decided to listen to the Guardian, and let his body relax. As soon as he did, Sohnii could feel himself slipping away again, and had to shake his head a couple times, before trying again to push himself up.


The female Guardian placed a single hand on the boy's shoulder, to which he looked up with a bitter glare. "St-st-stop... touching m-me!" he stuttered as he tried again to push himself to his feet. The harder he tried, the weaker he got, and the more it hurt... but he refused to give in to the darkness. Seeming to not quite know how to respond anymore, the woman backed off, a slightly sympathetic look on her face. With a wince, after managing to pull himself halfway Sohnii fell to floor once again.


"L-Look, lady, I... I-I..." he came close to drifting away, but Sohnii shook his head just before he blacked out. "If I... I just sit here... I'm gonna lose it again... so I can't... give... up." he flinched as he tried to push himself once more. "E-E-Even... even if i-it hurts." He glared up at her again. "Got that?"


The Guardian opened her mouth to respond, but stopped and glanced into the corners of her eyes. "...Arkita."


Sohnii looked up to see a man behind the woman, who looked familiar somehow. He looked a little shocked, but amused. "Hmm... seems sneaking up on you is impossible, Tukeli." the ancient guardian said, his expression soft but worn. "How did you know it was me?"


Guardian Tukeli's expression was almost hurt as she gazed at Arkita, but there was unmistakable amusement in her eyes. "I'm a bit wary tonight... You're the only one of us with an injured leg, I could hear your limp."


"Really...?" Arkita seemed a bit uncomfortable, but he too was amused. "My mask seems to be just as useless on you. You see right through me every time." He wasn't quite able to meet Tukeli's eye, seeming to be a bit uneasy knowing he couldn't hide his feelings.


Tukeli's smile was bittersweet. "I know you too well."


"At times, I wish I could say the same of you." Arkita admitted as Tukeli took her turn to look away. "No one ever seems to know what goes through your head, unless you let them, of course."


Perhaps she wanted to avoid the subject, or maybe she just didn't know how to respond. Either way, she didn't speak concerning Arkita's statement. "...how's Rooka?" Her voice was soft, and held the slightest sympathy in its tone.


Arkita gazed at her, shocked, as Tukeli approached him calmly. He looked grief stricken for a moment, before changing the subject drastically. "So, uh... I was wondering how it went." he said, smiling once more. "Are we still stuck, or was that tremor good news?"


Tukeli looked down at the floor. "We're good to go," she replied. "But I... should have been more gentle."


Confused, Arkita tilted his head. Tukeli glanced over her shoulder, and Arkita leaned sideways to see what she was looking at. He saw Sohnii on his feet, depending on the rim of the ship for support. He was panting with his head hung low, but his icy gaze was still focused on the two Guardians. He was a bit annoyed with their conversation, but was too tired to do anything about it.


Sohnii's footing nearly slipped as Arkita approached him, and the boy tried to push himself further upward. The elder Guardian wore a concerned expression now. Tukeli stood back, giving Arkita plenty of space. Quietly, Arkita stood beside Sohnii, looking down on him with gentle eyes. Vaguely aware of his presence, Sohnii addressed him bitterly. "Don't even think about touching me."


His voice was weak and strained, but Arkita only smiled. "I won't. If you wish it, I'm happy to stand right here." the guardian offered softly. After a moment, he spoke again. "...you know, it's amazing, really."


Sohnii snorted. "Gee, thanks." he retorted sarcastically, pushing himself up again. "I'm glad my pain amuses you."


Arkita blinked. "I didn't mean-"


"Y-yeah?" Sohnii scoffed. "That... that's n-not..." He had to pause and shake his head to keep himself conscious, evoking a somber glance from Arkita. "That's not the word... I would use."


Guardian Arkita sighed, looking away. "I should have said you amaze me... because you do." he explained. "You... you survived, and even now you're still fighting. It's the only reason you're still alive."


"Trust me, you’re making it sound a lot more glorious than it is." Sohnii complained.


"So... you ready to tell us who you are?" Arkita asked patiently. "After all, I'm sure your parents would like to know if you're ok."


"Humph... yeah... right." Sohnii grumbled. He'd never really had the... best relationship with his parents, perhaps it would be better if they thought he was dead and gone. Who was this guy anyway? "Now, why don't you do me a favor and leave me alone?"


Arkita, on the other hand, seemed to be losing his patience only slightly. "Look, kid... I know you've been through a lot." he said with the calmest voice he could muster. "But I won't lie... you're still at risk, and getting over this is not going to be either easy, nor pleasant... but please understand. I'm only trying to help you. Don't fight me on this."


"Y-you want to help me?!" Sohnii shouted, struggling now to remain upright. "Then help me understand what the h*** is wrong with me!"


Arkita took a step back, startled and perhaps even concerned about the boy's sudden outburst. Hesitantly, he replied, "Y-Yes, I can do that. But first, we should really-"


"No!" Sohnii shot back. "I need to know now!"


There was a moment of silence. Arkita and Tukeli shared a look of concern, before he turned again to the boy. "Alright, settle down..." Arkita soothed. "No need to be so hostile... it's been hard for all of us. I'll tell you, but I fear you won't like what you're about to hear." Sohnii didn't even blink. Arkita took a moment to compose himself before speaking once more. "Have you heard of... the plague?"


“Arkie...” a small, hesitant voice sounded.


“Not now, Tukeli.” Arkita only held up his hand, and the female Guardian flinched nervously.


"Yeah, I think I have…” Sohnii honestly… had to think for a minute. A lot of his thoughts trailed off, and he was still rather confused about everything, really. The minute he did remember, his pupils dilated. “No...” was all he could say. He’d heard about how the people would disappear, and return Inflicted; alive but nothing more than an empty shell, powered by darkness. There was only one reason Arkita would mention that to him. Sohnii was… “No.” he repeated, much more sure this time. It couldn’t be.


Arkita was silent. For a long time, he didn’t speak. In fact, it was Sohnii who broke the silence. He willed himself to turn and look at Arkita, hardly daring to believe what the Guardian was suggesting. “But… I’m not...”


Arkita managed to nod in response. “You’d only know rumors and vague stories… the Guardians and council try to keep everything fairly quiet to avoid mass panic.” he explained. “It’s not a disease, despite what we call it, but it also doesn’t appear to be magic… we can’t find traces of either of those when the Inflicted are...” He paused somberly. “Uh… ‘taken care of.’ The person’s life force is long gone, so even if we knew the cause, we couldn’t cure it.”


“Arkita.” Tukeli repeated, a bit louder this time.


“I mean it, Tuki.” Arkita’s voice was firm. “Give us a moment.”


“B-but-”


“So,” Sohnii concluded bitterly, interrupting their brief conversation. “I’m going to die?”


Arkita put a hand on Sohnii’s shoulder. This time, he didn’t complain. “No, kid. You won’t.” he answered confidently. “There have been survivors. Not many, but it has happened. I can save you. But I want you to know, if I do… you’ll never be the same. And it’s never going to disappear completely.”


Sohnii looked at the ground. Well, that’s just great, he thought. I’ll live, but I’ll be the monster mothers use to scare their children into staying home at night. He couldn’t help but narrow his eyes. And worse, I’ll never be allowed home again. When we get a new one, that is.


“Arkita, please...”


Arkita sighed, starting to lose his patience. “Sorry, Tukeli, but your timing is terrible. Can’t you see I’m-”


Arkita was cut off, and Sohnii suddenly winced as a deep voice shouted from the distance, nearly causing the boy to lose his grip on the rim of the ship. “Hey, Arkita!” the gruff form of Fionne appeared in the distance. Arkita and Tukeli both turned their heads, the former smiling in response to seeing one who would soon be his fellow Guardian.


“Ah, Fio.” Arkita addressed with a small smile. “How may I help you?”


The man's expression was solid, but concerned. "Doctor Kivil asked me to check on you." Fionne explained simply. "He's worried about how, with your various injuries, you're still running around helping everyone."


Arkita chuckled dryly. "Well, you can tell him to worry about his patients rather than me." the Guardian replied. "I'm alive, and I have a duty to the people. That should be good enough for the time being. There are some of us who need more urgent care."


"Speaking of which-" Fionne began, but was interrupted when Sohnii let out a sudden, slight grunt of pain and nearly lost his footing. Arkita was startled for a minute until Fionne picked up where he left off. "You know our inflicted have been reacting strange to the rising sun?”


It was like a lightbulb lit up in Arkita's head, and glanced in the horizon, towards the east. The rising sun had cast its morning light on the other side of the ship, but it was beginning to touch their side of deck now. Gritting his teeth, Arkita shook his head in irritation. “Of course… Darkness allows the wound to fester and grow, but light disturbs and agitates it…” the Guardian reasoned, before placing a hand on his forehead. “Dang it, why didn't I realize that sooner?”


“Don't blame yourself, Arkita. We've all been preoccupied, and I'm sure walking around half conscious doesn't help either.” Fionne offered, with a hint of irritation in his voice.


“Arkie…” Tukeli soothed. “I… I… was trying to tell you…”


In sudden realization, Arkita lowered his hand and stared at her. “You… you saw the sun rising…” Realizing what he could have prevented, Arkita's shoulders shrunk. “Oh man… I'm sorry, Tuki… I shouldn't have ignored you like that…”


In a rare gesture, Tukeli touched his shoulder gently. “You've had a lot on your mind.”


Arkita shook his head. “No, I'm not usually that irritable. Maybe everything is finally getting to me.”


“You need a break,” the female Guardian agreed.


Fionne looked about to make a remark, but everyone's attention was diverted when Sohnii shouted in agony. He started to tremble violently, and held a fist on his chest. All his hard work was undone when he slipped back into a sitting position. He tried desperately to push himself back up against the rim of the ship. Arkita's jaw dropped in dismay as he took the boy's hand and helped him stay upright. Sohnii didn't even try to shy away from the physical contact, and allowed the Guardian to hold him tight as he wrapped his arms around his waist, his breathing slow.


“It hurts… Make it… Make it stop…” Sohnii pleaded.


“Shh, shh…” Arkita soothed. His voice was calm, but his expression betrayed his worry. Placing a hand on Sohnii's forehead, his eyes glowed as he channeled his powers to provide him with warmth. It didn't stop the pain, but it did seem to help calm Sohnii a bit. He was still trembling, but not as severely as before.


Tukeli covered her mouth with her hand in shock, but Fionne looked more confused than anything. “I thought that light is the key to stabilizing them, no matter how painful it might be?”


Arkita didn't move as he responded, still gazing down at the injured teen in his grasp. “Yes, but we need to do it properly. The sun is too concentrated and intense… it could cause permanent damage, or even death if we aren't quick. He needs to get below deck, and fast.”


“Kivil’s ward?” Fionne suggested.


“No, that's too far for him to walk, even with my support. He needs to rest for now. I'll take him to the galley.” Arkita explained. “I can take him when he wakes up.”


“No, not you.” Tukeli surprised everyone as being the next to speak. “You've done enough for him, Arkie.”


Arkita blinked. “Tuki, I–”


“You need to sit.” Tukeli insisted. “At Rooka’s bedside, if nothing else.” Arkita looked away, his expression somber.


“My thoughts exactly.” agreed Fionne. “Maybe she can finally get through to you. If not, I'll drag you to Kivil myself.”


After gazing into Tukeli’s concerned eyes, Arkita sighed in defeat, and nodded. He had never been able to say no to her. “Fine, I give up, you two.” He handed the boy over to the female Guardian, who whimpered as Sohnii gave a light shudder. Arkita glanced at them expectantly. “I'll trust him to you, then.”


“Don't worry, someone will take care of it.” Fionne assured him. “Just take care of yourself for once, okay?”


Arkita simply nodded. He started to walk away, but paused when Fionne spoke again.


“Hey, Arkita… Your apprentice, Rooka… I'm sorry, and I hope she gets better.”


If his back wasn't turned, Tukeli and Fionne would have seen the heartbreak written all over his face. When his Sentinel’s name was mentioned, Arkita winced. It took all of his willpower not to fall apart. As he walked away, his only response was cold and blunt. “So do I.”

_________________


Bandit {conflicted} Sevuela {naive} Hortense {scheming} Violet {passionate} Liulfr {feisty} Temptation {tba}

Kitanda {dramatic} Moze {sensitive} Venom {outcast} Piper {annoying} Hudson {sheltered}

Poison {ruthless} Tuhi {cautious} Tahu {courageous} Lewa {adventurous} Bleach {independent} Honeybee {meek} Alexandra {confident} Jazz {rebellious}

Penelope {friendly} Say It {responsible} Tumble {caring} Black Rose {wayward} Rhapsody {inquisitive} Gabby {innocent}

Makuta {sinister} Kaina {sadistic} White Night {twisted} Amethyst {heroine} Vespera {strange}

Lucille {ambitious} Mata Nui {gentle} Sohnii {serious} Rintan {reckless} Flufficus {quirky}

Krahka {fierce} Pancake {pacifist} Firefly {resilient}
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