Expedition Fidne's Eve is the name given to the events that happened one day at the start of the year 0 BF/955 AI in the planet Xuz Fareh. It was the day when two people were trained and selected to pilot the newly-constructed GT-92, thus meaning Project Fidne's preparation was complete, and the exploration of the moon Gorb Olohya would happen soon.
The following story takes place five years after the previous one, and will narrate the events that happened during the Eve. It is an important chapter because not only it introduces two new characters, one of which will become important in future stories, but it is the episode that sets up the civilization for space travel, allowing it to interact with other empires in the future.
WARNING: this story is terrible and probably not worth your time. It might get a slight rewrite sometime in the future, though.
Five years have passed since Project Fidne was approved. The project is almost complete: the only thing the spaceship needs now is two brave pilots which will drive it to Gorb Olohya. Both Nynn and Olgun are hoping to pass the trials to become those two people, aware of the many obstacles there will be: Nynn's punisment by his dad, the competence for the job with other candidates, the harshness of their instructor, the appearance of Zano Hylera... And a terrible secret that could change the lifes of both teenagers forever.
Planets and moons
- Nynn Vandar
- Olgun Suner
- Zano Hylera (debut)
- Hud-Vanf Guden (debut)
- Gant-Denn Daraunte
- Garko Cunfe (minor role)
- Kavalen Mantur (minor role)
- The Sabalor (debut)
- Nynn's father
- Leenod Jocks (debut, minor role)
- Event planner (debut, minor role)
- Fanou (minor role)
- Lumble (mentioned)
- Sabalor (debut)
- Wistompt (only mentioned)
- Polordoneer (only mentioned)
- Watoadzard (debut, only carcass)
- Xuz Fahrean Fontis (only mentioned)
- Stroth (only mentioned)
Empires and civilizations
- Llurebleg civilization
Vehicles and Spaceships
- GT-92 (only mentioned)
- Anaryas (only mentioned)
- Purxie (only mentioned)
- JJ-99 Technologies
- Unnamed advanced weapons
Previous story: Project Fidne
Part 1: Escape
Five years have passed. Those young, 6-year old kids we met in the first story are now 11-year old teenagers. There have been lots of technological advancements with many utilies since the time the project was approved: antidots against Sabalor poison, better telescopes for watching outer space, improved feed for Wistompt cattle... Even the discovery of a new animal species in the planet! But most importantly: Project Fidne is almost complete. The spaceship has been already designed and assemled. There is only one thing left: two brave explorers willing to become the ones to ride the ship for the first time in the history of the planet. The question is... Who would it be? I think I know who are you thinking about now: Nynn and Olgun. Those two little dreamers... Well, maybe. Or maybe not. You'll ask why...
Remember how angry Nynn's dad was last time? Well, his threats weren't in vain... After the incident, Nynn's father punished him really hard, and the punishment lasted for a pretty long time. Since then, Nynn barely got any food from his father. His mother wasn't present, so he just didn't get food at all. Nynn was also overworked by his dad, who forced him to spend all day taking care of the Wistompt in their dome. He couldn't go out for a walk through the city, nor do his homework... Not even going to school anymore. All the day working with the cattle, except when he fell asleep after too much working, and before being woke up by his dad's screaming. "Since you like these things so much...", said the man. Nynn was really hungry at all times. He shouldn't have survived at all. But thanks to Olgun, he did. During nighttime, Olgun would usually sneak upon the dome and bring some forest fruits he gathered for him to eat. He also helped him with the homework, since he wasn't in class when the teacher explained it. They also often practiced for the time both of them would become space captains, using other Furgals in the dome. It wasn't the same as with Lumble (especially because it was way harder), though...It remained that way until the day. The day everything would change. Expedition Fidne's Eve, as the day would be called since then. The day where two people would be trained and selected to become the captains of the new spaceship. The night before that day, Olgun sneaked in the dome and went to visit Nynn as usual.
- OLGUN: Hey, Nynn!
- NYNN: Hi again, Olgun!
- OLGUN: Here you have. This time is some fresh, cuzegel* meat! I found one in a pond near my home.
- NYNN: Thanks so much. So much time without tasting any meat.
They both ate the meat. After they were done, Nynn spoke.
- NYNN: You know, Olgun? It's kind of sad...
- OLGUN: What?
- NYNN: We are already 11 years old. Next morning is the trials for the first spaceship captains in the history of our race. We've trained so hard for this moment, during years. Yet we will never be able to, thanks to my dad.
- OLGUN: Yeah, your dad is a jerk...
- NYNN: Yes, it is. I'm happy that Lumble is free now, though. When I think of how happy she must be now...
- OLGUN: In the case some predator didn't eat her by now.
- NYNN: What?
- OLGUN: Nothing! I said nothing.
There was a short silence.
- OLGUN: You know what? This is unfair, and we aren't gonna let your father ruin your life!
- NYNN: It's OK, Olgun. It's not really ruined. I can live like this.
- OLGUN: No, you cannot. Come with me.
- NYNN: Excuse me, what?
- OLGUN: You are coming with me. You will spend the night with me in my hideout, and tomorrow morning we are going to those trials. We deserve this. YOU deserve this.
- NYNN: What if my father discovers it?
- OLGUN: He doesn't know where I live. C'mon, it's all gonna be alright.
- NYNN: Olgun...
Another short silence.
- NYNN: You know what? OK. I'm going with you.
- OLGUN: Perfect! Let's go before your father hears us.
So they both sneaked out of the dome, headed to Olgun's home. Next morning, everything was gonna change in their lives. Everything.
Part 2: Crushed
Nynn and Olgun woke up early next morning. They had the leftovers from the Watoadzard Olgun hunted last night for breakfast before heading to Cyner. The forest Olgun lived in was barely 2 kilometers (around one and a quarter miles) from the city, so they arrived there soon. They inmediately went to the building the trials were gonna occur. On the way there, Nynn noticed Olgun was coughing behind him.
- NYNN: Olgun, are you OK?
- OLGUN: Yeah, yeah. Just some allergies.
Nynn didn't ask again. They both arrived to the building for the check-in. The planner of the event was at the door.
- PLANNER: Did you come for the pilot trials?
- NYNN: Yes.
- PLANNER: Just in time! Names?
- OLGUN: Nynn Vandar and Olgun Suner
The planner quickly wrote their names on a paper.
- PLANNER: Done! Come in, the trials will start briefly.
The teenagers entered the building. It was a large dome, with many seats standing over the ground, arranged in a similar way to those of Earth's amphitheaters and bullrings. There were many other young hanyire around. There would be a lot of competence for the place.
- OLGUN: Wow... We're gonna have to face so many people, am I right? Nynn?
But Nynn wasn't listening to Olgun. He was standing still, looking into a crowd of people a few meters from them. Olgun looked in his direction and smile, since he found out what was going on.
- OLGUN: Oh, I see... She's pretty, huh?
- NYNN: What are you talking about?
Nynn was looking at one individual in the crowd. A female one, with nearly all the traits that make a girl pretty in the Llurebleg species.
- NYNN: What? That girl? No, I wasn't-
- OLGUN: How do you know it's that one?
- NYNN: I... I...
- OLGUN: Gotcha!
- NYNN: No! I don't like her. I... There was a bug on her face, OK?
- OLGUN: And why do you blush, then?
- NYNN: Stop it!
Hearing the noise the two were making, the female and her group looked at them. Nynn and Olgun tried to act natural, pretending nothing important was going on. A bit annoyed but satisfied, the group continued talking about their stuff. Nynn and Olgun started whispering so it didn't happen again.
- NYNN: Ok, maybe she's pretty and that stuff.
- OLGUN: I knew it.
- NYNN: But I don't like her, OK. It just caught my attention.
- OLGUN: You should talk to her.
- NYNN: What? I just told you-
- OLGUN: I don't believe you.
- NYNN: You are starting to be a bit annoying.
- OLGUN: And you're starting to blush again.
- NYNN: No, I'm not
- OLGUN: Come on, you can do it!
- NYNN: I said I don't like her.
- OLGUN: Yes, you do.
- PLANNER: OK, everybody listen here, please!
The planner came in the dome. His voiced caused everyone to listen to him.
- PLANNER: Instructor Guden has arrived. Form a horizontal line in front of the entrance to receive her.
Soon, everyone started arranging themselves in said formation.
- OLGUN: We'll talk about this later.
- NYNN: No, we won't.
- OLGUN: Whatever.
After the line was done, the planner left the building and the instructor came inside. She looked at all the teenagers in front of her, examining their appearance and their position respect others, before speaking.
- GUDEN: Hi, everybody. My name is Hud-Vanf Guden. Today I will train you all before the trials that will occur this evening. The ones who don't satisfy the requirements during this training session will be kicked out. And let me tell you something. I'm not your typical, super-mega-nice kindergarten lady. Only four of you will make it to the actual contest. The tiniest, punyiest, most banal fail. It can screw it all up. So you better give everything you got. In the case you actually have something, of course.
Nynn was sure he had something. Olgun too. But the instructor's speech was quite menacing. Now they were quite unsure of their sucess. But something was certain: they would give it all until the end. No matter how many obstacles were in their path. Despite they didn't know what was about to happen in their lives...
Well, at least Nynn didn't...
Part 3: Jailed
Hud-Vanf was right. It wasn't really that easy to get her approval. From the nearly 50 candidates who first entered the room, at least 15 were disqualified the first ten minutes of training. After ten more minutes, 20 more people left. Many of them were kicked out because of slight fails in the performance, just as Guden warned them. That's not very fair... By the end of the morning, at the hour the session was planned to end, only six people were left, from which two had to be expelled for the final trials in public. Luckily, Nynn and Olgun were two of those finalists. The girl Nynn seemed interested in and one of her friends also made it into the finals. When they were alone with Guden in the dome, the instructor spoke.
- GUDEN: Alright, so I was actually expecting nobody would actually bring it off. But you four actually did. Congratulations, I guess. This evening the whole city will come here to see the actual trials. My choice will matter no more, by the way. It will be Daraunte III who will choose the two lucky pilots for the spaceship. Listen, we are talking about the juter himself, OK? The juter! You better give it all and even more, OK? You can leave now, but make sure to come back for the finals. See you later.
Everyone went in direction to the door, while Guden stood still in the center of the dome. Olgun walked up to Nynn.
- OLGUN: Woah, did you hear that? Daraunte is going to choose who gets to pilot the spaceship!
- NYNN: Great!
- OLGUN: "Great"? If impressing this brute was hard, getting the approval of the juter is gonna be even harder! Especially after the incident with Lumble.
- NYNN: I don't think so...
- OLGUN: Whatever... Hey, you haven't talked to that girl yet. What are you waiting for?
- NYNN: I'm waiting for you to understand I don't like her. Please, can you understand it?
- OLGUN: No, thanks. Come on, you can do it!
- NYNN: OK, whatever! But at least whisper, or she's gonna hear us.
- OLGUN: Too late!
When Nynn looked forward, the girl and her friend were gone. They wouldn't see them again until that evening.
- NYNN: Dang it!
- OLGUN: "Dang it"?
- NYNN: Uhm, I mean, great! Now I don't have to deal with those stupidities. Me and a girl... Like, really?
- OLGUN: Yeah...
There was a short silence. Suddenly, Nynn saw somebody go in their direction.
- NYNN: Wait, is that...?
- DARAUNTE: Oh, hi there!
Amazing. Standing in front of them, the juter Gant-Denn Daraunte, accompanied by Garko and the fanou.
Oh, yeah. Right. I forgot to tell you what happened with Garko in the end. Well, Daraunte reprimanded him quite hard, but in the end, understanding his reasons, gave him yet another chance. They were supossed to be friends after all. But that isn't important now.
- OLGUN: Da- Da- Da- Daraunte! H- H- Hi there!
- NYNN: Um, hello, Daraunte!
- DARAUNTE: Hello! Hey, I have the feeling I have seen you somewhere before.
- NYNN: Well, yes... It's me. Nynn Vandar.
- DARAUNTE: Oh, Nynn! How's it going?
- OLGUN: W- W- What? You know Daraunte III??
- NYNN: Yeah... We talked the day I crashed into the room with Lumble.
- DARAUNTE: So nice to see you again. So this is your friend?
- NYNN: Yes! This is Olgun.
- DARAUNTE: Olgun, huh?
Olgun couldn't help but blush when Daraunte spoke his name.
- OLGUN: Y- Y- Yes. My- My- My name is Ol- Ol- Olgun.
- NYNN: What are you doing here?
- DARAUNTE: Oh, just walking by the dome before the time for the trials. I like being early. Hey, are you participating?
- NYNN: Yes, we are the finalist. If nothing goes wrong, I think we can wi-
- FATHER: Nynn!!!
Of course something was going to go wrong. When Nynn turned to the direction of the scream, he saw his father walking towards him. Angrier than ever, ready to throw his son back in jail.
- NYNN: Oh, scrap.
He tried to run away, but his father was already in front of him. Before he could even react, his father slapped him hard enough to throw him to the ground.
- FATHER: How could you!!! After everything you have done to me, I let you live. And this is how you pay me? Leaving me, broke and hungry, while you pursure some furgals***% you call "dream"? I shouldn't have even... I shouldn't have even... You little motherf***er!
And he started kicking his poor son, who layed in the ground defenseless.
- DARAUNTE: Hey, what do you think you are doing?
- FATHER: Excuse me, "mister juter". With all of my respect, you are nothing to tell me what to do with my s***s. Mind your own business! And you, little b****, you are coming with me, and this time you're gonna know what's actual pain!
He grabbed Nynn by its leg and dragged him in the direction to his house.
- OLGUN: Nynn!
Daraunte was as horrified as Olgun. How could somebody have such a monstrous creature to call a father?? He inmediately looked at Garko, who remained still behind of him at the side of the fanou, both of them as surprised as the juter. Daraunte saw that wish of justice in Garko's eyes. He was willing to.
- DARAUNTE: OK, go. That thing deserves it.
Garko and the fanou looked at each other briefly before walking towards Nynn's father. Garko was already shaking his JJ-99 gun. When they got him, Garko quickly separated his hand from Nynn's. The fanou held up the father at the same time so it couldn't escape. FATHER: Hey! What do you think you are- Before the cruel Llurebleg could finish his sentence, Garko shot at him with the gun. Nynn's father quickly felt weak, hearing the fanou's words before falling unconscious:
- FANOU: Mr Vandar, you are arrested for child abuse and insolence. You'll be taken to a cell.
After the father fainted, the fanou took him to the cell as he warned, while Garko took Nynn to Daraunte and Olgun.
- OLGUN: Nynn, are you OK?
- DARAUNTE: Nynn...
Nynn quickly got up.
- NYNN: It's OK. I'm used to these things.
- DARAUNTE: You're used to this? But... Used to this? What did that thing do to you?
- OLGUN: Oh, if you knew...
- GARKO: Sir, shall I go talk to the local judge to set up the day for the trial?
Daraunte felt a bit bad for Garko calling him "sir" once again. But it wasn't time to complain about that.
- DARAUNTE: Trial? TRIAL? That monster deserves no trial! Go talk to the judge if you want, but if he's rational he will think the same as me! Keep him in the cell for now, until he proves he's a citizen and not a wild farka*. Don't worry, Nynn, that brute won't harm you anymore.
- NYNN: Thanks, Daraunte.
- DARAUNTE: Please, call me Gant-Denn. Is there anybody else who hates you that much? I can call a guard to protect you.
- NYNN: No, it's OK. It was just him. Olgun, I think there is still time to walk around the city before the trials start.
- OLGUN: Yeah, let's go! Maybe we find that pretty girl again...
- NYNN: Oh, stop with that! Goodbye, Daraunte!
- DARAUNTE: See you later, Nynn and Olgun!
- OLGUN: B- B- Bye!
Nynn and Olgun separated from the juter and his guard, finally calming for some time after everything that happened.
Well, I guess this all ended well. Nynn's father is the one in jail now. And it seemed like Daraunte would be there to protect him if he could. Good. But the finals were still on sight. Daraunte cannot just choose his favorite teen, he has to be objective. The final trials would be hard. But not as hard as what went next, what would be the greatest challenge in their lives...
OK, I think I'm overhyping this "great challenge in their lives". Just come back in a couple of days to see what's it about so I stop bragging about how big is it gonna be. But really, it's gonna be big.
-%Banarian equivalent to bulls*** in English.
-*Banarian word for the Stroth
Part 4: Alright
It was evening already. Everybody in the city (You know, except for Nynn's dad and the guards keeping him) was going to the dome for spectating the final trials for captain. Daraunte, Garko and some people were already in, while many others were still in the file, with their names being written on a paper by the planner of events. Just in case things went wrong again. After nearly one hour of writing, everybody seemed to be either inside the building already or out in their homes because there wasn't room for them.
- PLANNER: Alright, looks like the work is done!
But before he could close the door and get inside, he saw three more people coming towards the dome. Two were guards, and the other one was a quite unexpected visitor, whose name the planner didn't have to ask for to recognize.
- PLANNER: Oh, hello, mr. Mantur. We didn't expect you to come here.
Who was standing in front of him was nobody less than Kavalen Mantur, representative of Purxie.
- KAVALEN: Whatever, can we come in?
- PLANNER: You're just in time, but I don't think there is enough room for-
- KAVALEN: I'll sit on the floor if necessary. As far as we can be next to the juter.
- PLANNER: Yes, I think there is empty space there. Come in.
So the planner asked the guards about their names and put them all in the paper, then let them go in.
On the meanwhile, the four candidates were preparing themselves for the test, inside a room beneath the walls of the dome. Nynn already suspected something was wrong. Something was wrong with Olgun. When they were walking around the city before they had to go back to the dome, he kept coughing. He was still coughing, and it looked like it was getting worse.
- NYNN: Olgun, are you sure you are OK?
- OLGUN: Yes, yes. I'm OK. Look, it's already stopping.
- NYNN: Olgun... Maybe we should go to the doctor?
- OLGUN: Do you want to miss our oportunity to become spaceship captains just for some allergy? This is our moment, Nynn. Your moment. I don't want to screw it up for you.
- NYNN: Olgun...
Shortly after, instructor Guden came inside the small room.
- GUDEN: Listen everybody, the trials are starting briefly. When I call out for you outside there, I want you to come inmediately. And you better hope you are ready, because this will be everything but easy. Although I would like to talk with Nynn Vandar before this starts.
- NYNN: Me?
- GUDEN: Well, unless there are two Nynn Vandars here... Come here.
Nynn went to Guden, towards a corner of the room far from Olgun and the others.
- GUDEN: Listen, Nynn. Just wanted to tell you that you might want to give up on this.
- NYNN: What? Why? I trained so hard.
- GUDEN: I have seen it. Your piloting skills are remarkably high, and you have quite much cultural knowledge. Almost everything is good. Just one thing... You failed every single trial related to combat. Really, the only reason you and your friend are here is because the other two did even worse
- NYNN: Well...
- GUDEN: Listen, I believe you're just not made for this. The final fighting trial is gonna be really hard, so I suggest you leave so you don't get hurt.
Nynn thought about it for a second. What was that about? Why didn't Guden believe he couldn't do the trial, warning only him when Olgun didn't do very well either? He didn't know, but he knew something. After all he had gone through, he wasn't giving up now.
- NYNN: Sorry, Mrs. Guden, but I'm not leaving without completing the trials.
- GUDEN: Whatever. Just didn't want to get sued for indirect murder or something.
And she went back through the door. Nynn went to Olgun, only to find out what he was planning for him. Not again...
- OLGUN: Oh, hey Nynn!
- NYNN: Oh, no...
While Guden was trying to make Nynn give up, Olgun was talking to that girl and her friend. Oh, what would he have told them? Despite being a little nervous, he went there anyways, just so he didn't do the dirty on him.
- NYNN: Umm, hi there.
- OLGUN: Guys, this is Nynn Vandar. Nynn, they are Zano Hylera and Leenod Jocks.
- ZANO: Hi, I guess.
- LEENOD: Hey, is it really you? The one who crashed into the Nurkane on a furgal?
- NYNN: Well, kind of...
- OLGUN: And not only that, but he's a personal friend of Daraunte III.
- ZANO: What?
- LEENOD: Wow! Really?
- NYNN: Well, not exactly a friend...
- OLGUN (whispering): Dude, don't you see I'm try to make you look cool?
- ZANO: So you know Daraunte, right?
Nynn blushed a bit when he heard Zano call his name. Although she sounded quite angry.
- NYNN: Uhm, yes. Yes, I know him. Hey, maybe I could...
- ZANO: Cheat on the trials?
- NYNN: What?
- ZANO: Look, "Neen", I don't know how much you did for this, but we have trained for weeks. If your friend Daraunte happens to choose you two over us, you better run away as fast as you can.
There was a short silence.
Suddenly, they heard Guden in the stage call for them.
- LEENOD: It's time.
- ZANO: Good luck, "Neen". You're gonna need it.
She walked out of the room first, leaving the three boys behind.
- LEENOD: Don't worry. She's like that with everybody at first.
- OLGUN: Good luck to you two.
- LEENOD: Same for you.
Leenod left the room.
- OLGUN: Sorry, Nynn. It's my fault.
- NYNN: Don't worry. As I told you, I don't even like girls.
But Olgun felt he was sad. Poor Nynn...
Both of them walked out of the room together, leaving it empty. Suddenly, another door, located at the opposite wall of the room, opened. And growling angrily, stomping in rage, wishing for the freedom that was taken from him, the fifth contestant came in. Waiting for the time to come out. The final challenge was ready...
Part 5: Onslaught
There was noise in the dome. Everybody was waiting for the event to start. Daraunte had been sitting on his reserved chair for a long time. It was quite boring. When was it gonna start? Had something went wrong? Not yet... After being inmerse in his own mind for a short time, he noticed Kavalen Mantur sitting next to him. Since there were no chairs around the juter's seat, he just sat on the floor. His two guards stood next to the wall, watching out for the characters together with Garko.
- DARAUNTE: Mantur, what are you doing here?
- KAVALEN: Purxie is quite calm today, and I didn't have any important plans for this evening. So I decided to watch how this thing screws itself up.
- DARAUNTE: You still believe this is not a good idea, right?
- KAVALEN: I don't believe. I predict.
None of them said anything else for now. The planner of the event came inside of the dome, took a VG-9* and started speaking.
- PLANNER: Can everybody listen here, please?
Soon, everybody in the building shut up and payed attention to the planner.
- PLANNER: Thanks. Welcome, everybody, to the final captain trials! Today, in the presence of the juter Daraunte the Revolutionary, two out of four young dreamers will be tested and chosen to ride the recently finished first spaceship ever! Now, the instructor Hud-Vanf Guden will come in and give a short speech.
Instructor Guden came out of the door from the small room and into the dome, in front of all the audience. The planner gave her the VG-9. Everyone was quiet, waiting for her words.
- GUDEN: For years, we have been enclosed in this tiny rock. A rock in the middle of something bigger. We don't know what's out there, what awaits for us. But now, this state of ignorance is over. Five years ago, the here-present Daraunte III gave birth to one of the most important projects in hanyiran history. Approved and nearly finished, we are only a few steps away for discovering what lies over the clouds. We can discover new worlds, new creatures, new cultures. We can finally evolve, for the first time in hundreds of years, since our ancestors gained the gift of sapience. It's time to stop this isolation, to take the barriers of this giant floating rock and shatter them with our own rocks. Ladies and gentlemen, I have spent the whole morning making sure I found the strongest rocks, and make them even harder. I hope I made a good decision with them. And the rocks will come in brief moments. Let the candidates get in!
Everybody rubbed their hands** at Guden. Having heard her call, the teenagers came out of the same door as Guden and the audience. Unsatisfied, Kavalen spoke to Daraunte.
- KAVALEN: You know? You are still in time to end all this nonsense.
- DARAUNTE: Look, Mantur, if the only reason you are here is to constantly criticise my decisions, you better go back to Purxie. Let me watch these trials.
So Kavalen shut up. Guden started speaking again.
- GUDEN: These four rocks will have to pass a series of trials that will test their skills. They will have to demonstrate their knowledge and intelligence in order to transmit our wisdom, their social abilities to gain allies to guide us through this new age, and their physical strenght and combat skills to show why we mustn't be underestimated. Ladies and gentlemen... Let the final contest begin!
And so Nynn and others started the trials. And since this part of the story might result kind of boring, I'm just going to skip to the last of them. The great challenge.
It was almost nighttime. After many trials, Daraunte wasn't sure of who should he choose. Leenod was very smart and knew the answer to nearly every question they asked him, Zano proved herself worthy of passing all the tasks related with agility and physical stength, and Nynn and Olgun knew perfectly how to work together in order to achieve the teamwork trials. It was a tie as of now, hard to choose only two out of the four. But there was one more trial to go. This one would be the decisive one. Guden started speaking. .GUDEN: It's been a long evening, hasn't it? But don't worry. There is only one trial left.
- LEENOD: One more?
- GUDEN: Yes, one more. And just to let you know, this will be the hardest one so far. It's the actual combat trial. It will require all three skills that protagonized the previous trials in order to... Let's call it "not leave this world". And in order for you to complete the trial, we have invited a special guest to the dome.
Suddenly everyone heard a strange noise. Something that seemed like an angry, gutural call. Something that seemed to come from the other side of the door the teenagers had came from before.
- GUDEN: Bring it in!
After Guden's command, the doors opened, and two Llurebleg came in holding the creature by the arms with leashes. A large, purple, six-limbed creature. Nynn quickly understood Guden's warning. They weren't going to fight a programmed machine or something like that. They were going to fight a Sabalor. A wild beast with no rules, practically an indomitable force of nature. And Nynn, who loved animals so much, wouldn't even dare to hurt it for no real reason. As the raging herbivore roared and groaned, submerged in a mix of anger and fear, Guden started explaining to the candidates.
- GUDEN: We don't really know what kind of dangerous creatures you will face up there. So we just picked up a creature from our planet. One of the most dangerous ones we know of.
- ZANO: Really? That's just a Sabalor. Couldn't you pick something more hard to kill?
- LEENOD (whispering): Don't give her ideas...
- GUDEN: Well, the original plan was to bring a Fontis, but turns out it's illegal to keep a deadly predator in a cage. Anyway, you shouldn't underestimate the Sabalor. This usually peaceful animal gets very dangerous when disturbed. It's strong arms can crush your skulls and throw your bodies into the air. The muscles on it's mouth are capable of mixing saliva with deadly poison fast enough to then shoot it at your face before you even realize what is going on. This trial will test not only your physical, but also your knowledge and your capability of teamwork. You'll have to find the creature's "weakness" and coordinate yourselves in order to exploit it. You should have noticed that the belts I gave you before have an iron blade and an improved JJ-99 weapon on it. These aren't just shocking weapons, they are made for killing. Use them for fighting.
While she explained, the two hanyire took the raging creature to the center of the dome. They put a metallic pole in the floor, and leashed the Sabalor by the neck to it, using a very long rope.
- GUDEN: Also, the sabalor should stay leashed to that pole until you kill it, so it doesn't escape. It's an advantage to limit its movement, but be careful not to trip over the rope. The smallest failure can mean your demise. This is no longer a kid's game. This is a deathmatch. We'll give you some time to plan your strategy.
The four teenagers grouped together to discuss about what to do.
- ZANO: Alright, this is the plan. You three stay behind while I beat up that thing.
- OLGUN: But that's a terrible plan!
- ZANO: Why? Because his friend Daraunte doesn't have any excuses to pick you two before us?
- LEENOD: Zano, stop with that! They are trying to help.
- ZANO: No, they aren't.
- NYNN: Look, Guden said we have to find a weakspot. I believe two of us should distract the Sabalor while the other two try to find out what can it be. Then, we'll gang on him.
- LEENOD: How do you know it's male?
- NYNN: There is no time for that.
- ZANO: Nor to listen to the plans of a cheater.
While the young hanyire wouldn't stop arguing, the Sabalor kept struggling for freedom. Guden quickly noticed the individuals in care of him were having trouble keeping it in place, so she decided to speed things up.
- GUDEN: Alright, time is over. Let the combat test begin!
Guden ran to the wall of the dome, climbing a ladder to access a platform the wild beast couldn't get to. The two keepers fred the Sabalor's arms and ran away with her. There wasn't much time for thinking.
- ZANO: Screw you, "Neen".
- NYNN: Zano, wait!
She quickly ran towards the Sabalor, unfolded the iron blade and prepared herself to strike the animal. But before she could, the Sabalor ran towards the exit door of the dome, expecting to be free now that the Llurebleg with the ropes were gone. But oh, dangit! His neck was still caught in that one damn leash. He looked around scared. Zano was running toward him, followed by Leenod, willing to slay him. Everyone was looking. He understood what was going on. He couldn't run. The only way to go was to fight. And that way he'd leave, one way or another.
Now with a more aggresive attitude, he charge towards Zano, preparing to run towards her. She was able to dodge the creature in the last moment, but Leenod, who was behind her, wasn't as lucky. The Sabalor stomped on him, leaving him lying in the ground wounded. Instead of helping his friend recover, Zano vengefully grabbed her gun and rabidly shot at the herbivore. She managed to hurt his feet and his tail, but no major damage was caused. Nobody had seen something like that before. They were interested in seeing how things would end. Except for Daraunte. He started wondering if things had went too far. Maybe Kavalen was right? Was this a bad idea after all? Zano took her blade out again, as the Sabalor charged towards her.
- OLGUN: Come on, Nynn, we have to help her!
Nynn was quite unsure of what to do. He didn't want to hurt the Sabalor. He was just a scared wild animal, trying to escape from them. But Zano and Leenod were in danger...
- NYNN: I'll go help Leenod. You help Zano keep the sabalor away.
- OLGUN: OK. Don't worry, I'll try to not hurt him.
They split. Nynn went to check Leenod, while Olgun took the gun and went to distract the creature. But soon, things started going wrong again.
Nynn got to Leenod, who was still laying in the floor.
- NYNN: Are you OK?
- LEENOD: I... I can't move.
- NYNN: Don't worry, I'll get you to somewhere safer.
He pulled Leenod up and carried him to the walls, out of the Sabalor's reach. On the meanwhile, Olgun started shooting at the floor near the Sabalor from a distance, trying to drive him off Zano without hurting him.
- ZANO: What are you doing?
- OLGUN: I'm trying to help you.
- ZANO: Leave me, I can do this alone.
But his efforts were worthless. The animal, having recognized Zano as the greatest threat out of the four, still prioritized to take her down over than ending some pain in the butt. But his behavior twisted soon. Olgun stopped shooting. He didn't feel he could. He felt weak, very weak. He was coughing again, this time very loud. Leenod soon noticed how his new friend coughed until falling to the ground unconscious.
- LEENOD: Nynn, wait! Something is wrong with Olgun!
Nynn looked back and saw his best friend Olgun on the floor. The Sabalor, exhausted from fighting, saw him too, after hearing his coughs. He changed his mind. What he needed now is an easier victim. And this way he would show everyone he wasn't messing around. Kill two birds with one rock. The plan wasn't that good, but the poor animal was obfuscated with exhaustion, rage and fear. He thought it was the best option. He stared at Zano for a short while menacingly. She was lucky to notice how his mouth was shaking, because otherwise she wouldn't have been able to dodge the poison spit at time. Whatever. The target was Olgun now. Ignoring Zano, the Sabalor ran towards Olgun, getting ready to strike the unconscious kid with the strongest punch he could.
- NYNN: Olgun!
Nothing else mattered now. Nynn didn't think about Leenod dropping back on the ground. He didn't think about everybody looking at him, judging his actions. He didn't think about impressing Zano. He didn't even think about the regret of hurting that poor Sabalor. All that mattered now was that Olgun, his best friend, was in danger. He ran towards him, as fast as he could, hoping he could get him out of the way of the Sabalor. His opponent, however, was way faster than him, as he had double the legs for running. But he HAD to get there before him. And in the end, the bodies of kid and creature collided.
Nynn suddenly found himself on top of the Sabalor. The creature, of course, reacted negatively. But there wasn't much to do now. Nynn had found his weakness. The herbivore's arms were long, but not enough to reach his back. The kid was also out of the range of his poisoned spits. All he could do is to try to get him off its back. He started running around the dome, jumping in place, attempting to throw Nynn to the ground and end him. But the teenager was able to stay on his back, using his claws to latch to the Sabalor's skin.
- GUDEN: Yeah, that's how it's done!
Everybody was quite impressed. Zano was quite surprised of Nynn's ability. Eventually, the Sabalor, completely exhausted, gave up and fell to the ground. Nynn got up as a legend, with the beast lying on his feet. Everybody rubbed their hands at him, and Nynn blushed a bit. Suddenly, there was silence. A quite long silence.
- GUDEN: What are you waiting for? Kill it!
Kill it? But Nynn couldn't. He looked down at the Sabalor. He was groaning, crying in despair. Accepting his defeat, his doom. Nynn looked around. Everybody was waiting. He took his blade, raised it over his head slowly, and swinged it down. The Sabalor's eyes were wide open. Everybody was very surprised.
Broken. The rope, it was broken now. The Sabalor was free. Somehow gaining strenght back, the creature got up and ran towards the exit door, which was wide open. What, did you actually think Nynn was going to kill off that Sabalor? Like, really?
- GUDEN: But... What? What do you think you are doing?
Everybody started murmuring between themselves, still astounded by Nynn's reaction. Then, they rubbed their hands at him again. He was truly a hero. But Guden wasn't convinced about his actions, and Kavalen was quite dissapointed. "What a coward", he was thinking. Garko didn't really have a favorite, but didn't think forgiving the enemy like that was a good idea. Daraunte stood up. He had things clear now.
- DARAUNTE: I have made a decision.
After hearing his decision, everybody shut up and looked at him.
- DARAUNTE: The people who will drive the spaceship tomorrow will be Zano Hylera and Nynn Vandar.
- KAVALEN: What?
- GARKO: What?
- GUDEN: What?
Everybody else approved the idea. But Nynn didn't even notice Daraunte chose him. He was busy. He was with Olgun, desperately calling his name.
- NYNN: Olgun? Olgun, can you hear me? Help, he's unconscious! Olgun...
Nynn was prepared for everything except this. All he had overcome: escaping his dad's prison, gaining the approval of other people, fighting a Sabalor and freeing him with fear of what they would say. But he just wouldn't be able to keep on if something bad happened to Olgun. His great friend, his only true friend.
The greatest challenge in their lives had begun.
-*Llurebleg invention for voice amplification. In other words: their counterpart to Earth's microphones. -**Rubbing hands is the Llurebleg equivalent to clapping.
Next story: Expedition