Chapter One: A Vision for Guidance Edit
Seerkar awoke and found himself standing over what appeared to be water, dark, still water reaching out past the horizon completely undisturbed. Above him was a still dark orange sky without cloud, star, or any other celestial form. After looking around for a bit Seerkar realized that though he was standing up the water's surface no movement of his disturbed, producing not even the slightest of ripples. it was with this revelation that he came to a realization, "I must be dreaming."
As soon as he said that though he cringed inwardly, of course he was dreaming people did not walk upon water in the real world unless they were a water koatria. He could almost hear Akanri chastising him, "what are you stupid, of course its a dream!"
"So... is anything going to happen," asked Seerkar mostly to himself after a while longer. He was beginning to come to then conclusion that this was no ordinary dream since he was in full control of his actions and the laws of physics and causality were still in place (other then him walking on water). When he jumped gravity pulled him back down, when he ran he got tired and didn't fall over randomly, and so on. However, it was no lucid dream as he could not affect the environment around them, he could will no change to the landscape, only to himself. But still nothing happened, so sighing Seerkar picked a direction and started walking. As he continued he began to see a change to the landscape around him, a small red dot in the distance. Nearing it Seerkar saw it was a female form with traits of both Vanara and Devilos.
"Akanri!" Seerkar cried out running to the prone form upon the waters. Akanri didn't react and as he reached her Seerkar fell to his knees reaching out to shake her shoulder whispering, "Akanri?"
The moment he touched her she began to crumble to dust and Seerkar recoiled her horror as he saw her dissolve away. Sweating and shaking profusely Seerkar began to vomit and felt the need to run, run far from here, even if here was nowhere. Suddenly a song pierced the air, haunting and mournful, causing Seerkar to look up after emptying the contents of his stomach. In the sky were five dragons made up molten metal, water, vines, magma, and the stuff of stars. The song began to increase in power and energy as the dragons swirled about each other ever more rapidly. One dragon formed into a great cooling iron ball, the magma dragon engulfed it and became mountains, the water dragon scattered itself about the mountains and land becoming rivers and lakes, the vine dragon settled upon the mountains becoming forests, and the star dragon folded in upon itself becoming a sun that the newly made planet fell into orbit around. Seerkar stared up in awe and terror not fully comprehending what he was seeing when he heard a voice speak from behind him.
"Seerkar," the voice said, as if it were recalling something. Seerkar turned quickly to see a tall man standing behind him, a few feet away. He had yellow skin and piercing blue eyes that drew Seerkar's attention almost immediately. His also yellow hair resembled tentacles that were styled into a queue that ended in blue tips. Seerkar had never seen the man before, but he knew all too well who the man was.
"You're Draedan, right?" Seerkar asked. "Correct." Draedan responded, a small smile forming on his face. Seekrar shifted and thought for a moment. What was the protector god of the Volver, his father's people, doing in a place like this? In fact, he began to ask why he himself was in a place like this? At that, Seerkar began to wonder what a place like this even was. Before he could allow his thoughts to carry him away, Draedan spoke.
"All irrelevant for now." he said calmly.
Seerkar looked puzzled.
"What are you talking about? Why wouldn't where we are matter?" Seerkar asked.
"It's not where we are that is important," Draedan replied. "It's why we are here. You needed answers right? Ava told me as such." Seerkar blinked.
"Ava? She told you about my problems with the Void?"
"Of course. It is one of my fields of expertise."
Seerkar was still a bit confused, but went along with it.
"Well, if that's the case, I do have a few questions. If you'll hear them." Seerkar said, trying to be somewhat cordial with the god.
"Ask them, and I will answer. Though be warned young one, the answers you receive may not be satisfying, or even comprehensible to you."
Seerkar thought for a moment, trying to word his questions in ways that would likely get him a straight forward answer.
"Alright then...I guess the obvious question I have to ask is, 'what is the Void'." Seerkar managed.
Draedan cocked an eyebrow and stared down at the young man.
"An obvious question with an obscure answer." Draedan said thoughtfully. "The Void simply isn't anything."
Seerkar folded his arms and furrowed his brow
"How could it not be anything? We're talking about it right now. I've seen my dad use the power of the Void. I've heard stories of the wars of old where they fought against Ada."
"You don't understand." Draedan said, lowering his head. "The Void is a non-place. It doesn't exist. That very fact is a danger to us you see. You inhabit the 'is'. We dubbed the opposite the 'Void'...the 'not'. Do you see?"
"I...guess?" Seerkar lied. Draedan sounded like he was talking nonsense. But it was the closest thing to an answer he was going to get from him, so he moved on. "What happens if I go and face the Void like my dad?"
"You could cease to exist. Or not. But there is a likely chance that you'll come away from the experience with a part of you missing." Draedan said, his voice becoming low near the end. "And what's missing may not be physical."
"My mind?" Seerkar asked.
"Yes. Your mind, soul, being, whatever you wish to call what classifies you as a piece of the 'is'. The Void will take a piece of it. It happens to all those who face the Void. Some are affected worse than others."
Seerkar thought about his father, King Brygon, and the strain the Void put on his psyche. He heard of the mad empty god Ada and his predecessor, the hungering maw Moa. The Void corrupted them and drove them insane. But what of Draedan? He was god who looked into the Void, or so he heard.
"What about you then? Did the Void take something from you? You seem to have a better understanding of this stuff than most." Seerkar asked.
"Yes. Though I was able to handle the effects much better than my predecessors. I realized that one can't truly understand the Void, or even understand what you call Autogenesis." Draedan explained. "The 'is' and the 'not' are supposed to be beyond our understanding. So, in one instance, I tried to go beyond."
"What do you mean?"
"I learned that we have to go beyond 'is' and 'not' to truly understand everything. When I tried, I failed. The Void has a stronger pull on a god that was born of it. But I did discover many other wonderous things, that I can tell you about one day." He took a deep breath. "Yes..another day perhaps. But perhaps you can succeed."
"What are you talking about? Why me specifically?" Seerkar said, rather annoyed with Draedan's rambling.
"I am not a part of the 'is' as you are. At least not anymore. There has always been a need for it, and an obvious gap that you, as a conscious being evolved to fill. I am not equipped to fill that role. My perspective on 'is' is far too different from yours after all."
"So you think I can...what? Succeed where you failed? To go 'beyond'? I still don't understand what that will accomplish."
Draedan was silent for a moment, and then gestured to himself.
"To be honest with you, I do not know what you will accomplish. It has never been done before. But I do know that you will require an understanding of both the 'is' and the 'not'. As I've said, I can not grasp the 'is' like you do. But you are the result of both."
Draedan hands Seerkar an old leather bound journal. He takes it and opens the book to the first page. It read 'The Journal of Padunas Ori'. Seerkar's was once again confused.
"What's this?" he asked.
"That is the journal of the first person to ever walk the Abyss. The first person to ever look into the Void. Padunas Ori. He was the predessasor to Xizouyu Moa, who in turn was the predecessor to Xizothano Ada. And Xizothano Ada was my predecessor." Draedan's mouth pulled into a slight frown as if recalling something unpleasant. He looked off into the distance to mask his discomfort. "Padunas Ori's discovery of the Void led to all of this you know. It is only fitting that he helps to save us."
Seerkar raises a brow at that.
"Save us? From what?"
"The end. It's happened before. No matter what happens, the 'is' eventually ceases to exist. And in a way, the 'not' as well."
Seerkar's head was already spinning from this conversation, so he decided to give it a rest.
"Well, anyways thanks for the journal. I'll try to figure this out." Seerkar said, holding the book to his side.
"I hope I am right about you Seerkar. The other gods agree with me."
And with that, he was gone. Seerkar looked around, but there was no trace of Draedan. The next thing he knew, he awoke. Seerkar felt something in his hand as he sat up in bed. He looked down, noticed the book, and frowned.
"Alright then. No pressure."
Chapter 2: A Call for Guidance Edit
Seerkar awoke with a start his body shaking as he shot up straight gasping for breath. When he did so something fell off him and landed on the floor with a thump. Seerkar looked over and saw the Journal of Panduras Ori laying beside him. Well that confirmed it right there, that had been far more then just a dream. Seerkar looked over to wear Akanri was sleeping, on the sleeping mat next to him. She was all curled up and Seerkar could hear her mumbling incorrectly in her sleep. Ever since the end of the SGC Zuki had chosen to take the hot tempered hybrid girl in as a ward after her defection from the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus to the UPD. Seerkar found his hand creeping towards her, one finger reaching out to touch her cheek, to make sure she wouldn't disappear like she had in the dream.
The communication nanomachine in his ear then beeped with a message. Seerkar jerked his hand back at the noise as if snapping out of a trance and answered the message. The face of his mother appeared, projected into his eye by another nabomachine and she spoke, her voice sounding in his ear as clearly as if she was in the room, "Seerkar I need you to meet with me at the capital, bring Akanri with you."
"Okay," replied Seerkar still shaking the sleep from his head, "but what for?"
"I have a mission for you," was the reply, "I'll tell you about it when you get here, but bring Akanri."
With tat the message cease and Seerkar hung his head and sighed before walking over to Akanri, kneeling down and gently shaking her awake. Akanri grumbled as her eyes slowly opened and she sat up shrugging away his hand, "ugh Seerkar seriously, what now."
Seerkar softly chuckled to himself remembering that Akanri wasn't someone terribly with it when she first awoke, "Zuki has a mission for us, and wants us to meet up now."
"Seriously," Akanri growled, "what could be so important?"
"No idea, but we should get going."
Transport by wingdrake had them down to the capital building in a short few minutes and now the two sat in Zuki's ornately gilded office sitting on a large red carpet drinking mugs of absolutely heavenly coffee that Seerkar had brewed himself. Zuki had offered to make some herself for her guests but Seerkar had shot that down, Zuki was many things and a terrible cook was one of them (though to be fair most female Vanara were poor cooks, such being the duty of the men in their mind). Akanri took a ship and licked her lips enjoying immensely the hint of cinnamon Seekar had added to it. She felt some pep surge back into her tired body and queried Zuki in a marginally less grumpy tone, "so what have you woken us up for? What could possibly so important as to miss sleep?"
Zuki chuckled good naturedly at the irritated queen and replied with a wave of her hand, "all in good time, but first a question. You know how autogenetic energy flows in Persan space right?"
"Yeah it flows through the five homeworlds of the species that make up the Persan," replied Seerkar a bit puzzled, "Chesed expands it, Netzach empowers to overcome..."
"Gevurah contracts it, Hod forces it to submit..." continued Akanri.
"And Tifferet balances it," finished Zuki, "very good, but do either of you know where it all flows to."
Both of them frowned at that statement. Indeed the flow of autogenetic through Persan space was like a river and rivers had to go somewhere with there being several theories. Some believed it flowed into the Void and ceased to exist, others that it flowed into the the great flow of autogenetic energy across the galaxy and the universe, and still others that went to someplace special. Akanri gave a characteristic sniff, "don't be daft no one knows, now stop playing games and tell us why we are here."
Zuki smirk knowingly, "we found where it goes."
Silence, and then a resounding "WHAT!" echoed from both the younger Vanara while Zuki gave the closest any Vanara ever got to a troll grin before laughing, "indeed it was hidden from us thanks to the destruction of Yesod, the planet that linked the flow to its place of rest. An expedition was sent of course."
"What they find," ventured Seerkar feeling as though he already knew where as this was going and dreading it.
"A planet," replied Zuki, "but when we sent them down the whole team was killed and message was given to the ships computer from an unknown source."
"This is a wild place of which nothing made of civilization may exist upon."
"We privately recruited a Waptoria biotics team to investigate after that," continued Zuki, "same results though, apparently genetically engineered beings count as made of civilization, who knew."
"So you want us to go there with no gear, but naked, and see what's up," replied Akanri drly putting three and three together.
"Exactly," replied Zuki cheerily.
This is insane!" protest Akanri, "without any weapons or armor how the fuck will we survive!"
"I'm with Akanri on this one," added Seerkar, "sorry mom but this a pretty off your rocker idea."
"You have elemental powers no?"
"Yeah but those are cheating," grumbled Akanri unhappily. Seerkar glanced at her concerned knowing she did like relying on the supernatural to help her. He knew what she said made sense, what they had was a spirit attribute and thus a perfectly natural part of their being. Nothing from civilization about it, perfectly wild.
"Will we at least have the rest our team with us," he offered hopefully.
"Friad not, they're all busy on other assignments."
"This is insane," grumbled Akanri.
"So you won't go?" asked Zuki.
"Of course I will," snapped Akanri, "'it's my duty as an agent of this nation after all!"
"Yeah me too agreed," Seerkar reluctantly.
Zuki nodded sagely she knew that Akanri would do this out of sense of personal pride and wanting to over come the challenge. And Seerkar would follow her out of his own sense of devotion to the girl. They were all too easy for her to manipulate, regrettably so.
Chapter 03: A Path for Guidance Edit
After a good days worth of Link hoping the ship finally exited out of hyperspace and into the planetary gravity well of the newly discovered world dubbed Malkuth. Seerkar and Akanri had entertained herself for the first part of the day by watching the news of the war with the Void eye and their allies. This had lasted for about an hour before Akanri declared the whole thing, "dull as dying of carbon monoxide poisoning." Seerkar figured it was probably part of her being the worshiper of a goddess of destruction, death, and war. The second part of the day was the two playing co-op in video games. The third was Akanri going off to practice her fighting technique while Seerkat studied Panduras Ori's journal. Already he had found something confusing as Ori referred to something known as Una'tas. It wasn't essence as he had first assumed since flipping through a few more reference books had revealed the Nyarqae had known essence as Esh. From what he could tell it meant the Understanding, but Ori never described of what or what kind of power it gave. He would have to look into it latter he decided. There was nothing much else to tell in the first entry just that Ori had become disillusioned with leaders of his tribe giving land to enemies looking to exterminate them. Seerksr had a bad feeling he knew where this was going.
As they entered into the gravity well and drew closer both Seerkar and Akanri's breath caught in their throats. The planet was like none they had ever seen. It was think a patchwork quilt of different elemental regions, every element known to the koatria and some that were most certainly not (as of yet anyway). Even from this distance in orbit around the big chromatic ball both of them could feel the energy radiating off it.
"Is that?" Seerkar asked nervously.
"Indeed," the ship's computer Ourobis replied, "the planet is divided up into various elemental regions, one region for each element."
"It's like a naturally occurring Matrukoris," marveled Akanri for once finding herself with nothing else to say being actually impressed.
"Scans indicate that the several caverns scattered throughout the planet lead into the core of the planet which maybe hollow," Ourobis continued, "should I bring you to them master and mistress?"
"Sound like a good place to start," answered Seerkar with a shrug looking at Akanri who just shrugged back in reply.
"I shall bring you as close as I canto the one forest region as it is the most accessible," stated Ourobis, "I wish you luck on your... you are both going to die... mission master and mistress."
The dropship descend from the clouds, a great manta ray shaped thing, and proceeded to hover over the forest floor careful not to set down. Both Seerkar and Akanri stripped of their combat suits before jumping down to the forest floor. Both got up and looked around as the dropship took off, all around them were trees as far as the eye could see and both of them could feel the powerful energy of the air element flowing through them. Not a few paces away was a desert area the two of them could feel the power of stone coming from. Seerkar looked to Akanri and asked, "sooo... any idea where to go from here?"
"Nota," grumbled Akanri tersely, "we have no global positioning systems so I have no idea where to go anymore then you do."
"We could try flying up to get a look at the area," suggested Seerkar trying to be helpful.
"I'll do it," replied Akanri, "I'm the better flyer of the two of us."
"Right," replied Seerkar nodding as she took off. Akanri quickly shot up and breached the tree tops to stare over the admittedly not that vast expanse of forest. Upon further inspection it appeared as though there was a spot where the ground dipped and descended into subterranean. What that led to Akanri could only guess at, but she had her own set of suspicions. Suddenly a great roar was heard that shook the treetops and Akanri's eyes widened in shock as something with a massive wingspan burst through the trees. It took her a bit to recognize what it was since it was silver instead of red, but boy did she realize it quick. It was a Pyrovern, a silver Pyrovern and it was coming right for her. A blast of blue flame issued from its mouth and Akanri deflected it using her elemental powers before diving back down through the tree tops and hitting the forest floor. She hissed at Seerkar, "we need to move now!"
"Why" asked Seerkar before the Pyrovern burst through the treetops giving out an earth shaking roar. Seerkar's eyes widened at the sight, "oh that's why, yes run!"
"Ya think!" shrieked Akanri as the two of them took of through the foliage running towards the desert zone. As they reached it something large and golden landed upon the ground. It resembled the pyrovern but was much bulkier and had fur. It breathed no fire but the tip of its spiked tail was dripping with venom, a Venovern. The Pyrovern and the Venovern circled each other both snapping their teeth and growling. Seerkar and Akanri both tried to move back only for the two Wyverns to turn to them and roared. Both took off back into the forest region with the two dragonoids hot on their tails, Akanri repeatedly had to deflect the blue fire balls to prevent them from being fried.
"Why the hell are they teaming up against us," screamed Seerkar in far too high a voice, "they're both apex predators they should be fighting one another!?"
"It's this planet's defense against civilization," snarled Akanri, "the local wildlife must gang up on anything synthesized or artificial!"
"But we didn't bring anything," whined Seerkar.
"It's my eye," snapped Akanri tapping her cybernetic right eye, "apparently something i can't help still counts!"
"Oh," replied Seerkar feeling somewhat chastened. As the chase continued it became very apparent the two of the them we're being herded. The Pyrovern harassed them from the sky while the Venovern hunted them from the ground. Seerkar was beginning to realize that if they didn't do something soon they'd get run down.
"Akanri!" he called.
"Use your element!"
"What, you can't be serious!?"
"I am, burn down a tree and crush them under it," Seerkar called back formulating a plan.
"Absolutely not!" shouted Akanri shaking her head.
"If you don't we'll die!" pleaded Seerkar.
"No we can out run them!"
"No we can't!"
"Yes we can!"
Akanri tripped as she fell back and was sprawled upon the ground. Seerkar watched in horror as the Pyrovern took adantage of the opening to descend upon her claws out stretched, ready to grab. Seerkar stopped starring in horror. Horror was replaced by rage as he saw its claws come to circle her and he felt the Void welling up inside him.
"Leave her be!" he snarled eyes turning black. The Pyrovern turned in shock as a lacing bolt of black shot from Seerkar's hands and struck it. It's eyes too turned black as the Void energy hollowed it. Snarling it dropped Akanri and turned to the Venovern. The pyrovern pounced on its form ally and began ripping into it with fangs and claws. The Venovern struggled back and stabbed at the larger monster with a poison stinger but it was quickly over come and shredded to pieces. The Pyrovern didn't roar as it stood over its victory before giving out and collapsing, the venom taking effect. Seerkar felt the Void leave him a fell to his knees trembling.
"Seerkar," Akanri whispered, eyes still wide, as she stretched out a hand. Seerkar slapped it away and snapped, "don't touch me, if you had just been willing to use your element I wouldn't have had to call upon that."
Akanri stepped back in shock before her expression darkened and she screamed, "you think its easy for me asshole! You have no idea what I go through every-time I use this power! You think your the only one who suffers from their own ability, give me a fuckin break!"
Seerkar started at her a bit before snarling back, "whatever."
He got up and started walking away while Akanri stared after him. She wanted to scream at him more, what to slap, to take him down a fucking peg. On the other hand she just didn't have the energy for it. She shook her head and made a sound of disgust before following after him.
Chapter 04: A Confessional for Guidance Edit
The two of them slept in the trees that night making a makeshift nest among the vines. Both of them lay back to back, almost touching, but neither could find their way to sleep. Seerkar lay awake looking out into the dark and he could that Akanri was just as awake as him due the unsteady rate of her breathing and the trembling of her body. It was at that moment that Seerkar noticed that he was trembling as well. Somehow their bodies had become synced in their misery. Finally after perhaps hours had past and neither could find their way to sleep Akanri gave a heavy sigh and spoke, "you know it's not easy for me either."
"Huh?" replied Seerkar beginning to turn around.
"Don't turn around," snapped Akanri, "the power, I dunno know what it is but whenever I use it I get this feeling like I don't need anyone and I can live on my own if I keep using it. Like that if I'll be able to push everything and everyone away I won't get hurt and be happy. It feels disturbingly good."
"I get that," replied Seerkar slowly and with some reluctance , "whenever I use the void I gets this feeling like I don't need to feel anything ever again, that if I retreat and run away from everything and everyone I won't get hurt and I'll be happy. It feels... good at time as well."
"I scares me ya know," Akanri sniffed still somewhat guarded in her tone.
"It scares me too," said Seerkar softly, "but I think other things scare me more at times..."
He almost jerked into sitting upward in shock when Akanri grabbed his hand but relaxed as she began to run her thumb over his palm as she asked, "what scares you, not the dark i presume you're too old for that."
"Not the dark," Seerkar admitted with a sigh, "more like how there's nothing do in the dark but think and my own thoughts scare me."
"I get that."
"I think people scare me the most though," he continued, "like how my mother manipulates us, how my father seems determined to drag us into war..."
"how I'm afraid their actions will make me loose you," he thought but did not say.
"You're so fragile."
She snorted, "oh don't give me that, its okay really, makes me what to protect you."
"Oh," was all Seerkar said eyes wide.
"I won't though," she continued, "I'll always go back to just looking out for myself and pushing others away, it's who I am."
Seerkar turned around to face her, careful not to let go off her hand and replied softly, "maybe you don't have to, maybe I could... ummm... help you to not push others away."
Akanri tuned to face him careful as well not let go of his hand, "and maybe I could help you not run away from people?"
"Yeah," Seerkar said feeling lame. Akanri just pursed her lips, "I'll think on that. Could night in the meantime, see you in the morning."
With that she closed her eyes and Seerkar felt her stop trembling and her breathing slow as she drifted to sleep. Asleep and at ease Seerkar could not help but think that Akanri look like a goddess, serene, beautiful, and warm like the holy flame at the fire temple. He didn't let go of her hand either as he feel asleep, feeling his own body stop trembling, hearing his own breathing slow, and Akanri's sweet scent wash over him.
"Heh, she even smells like a goddess," he thought, "a goddess that always calls me stupid. Guess I am a little lucky after all."
Seerkar feel asleep with a soft smile on his face and missed as Akanri to smiled softly in her sleep.