Thursday, February 2, 2017

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learning to burn, part 21

Please read from the beginning... and remember... this is my first draft of this book!  That means you're reading the drivel that comes first to my mind without alteration.  I'm sure it'll be significantly different when I go through and read the whole thing!

“Sure.” he tries to say keeping the excitement out of his voice. “It would be nice to feel like I'm helping you travel more safely. I have to tell you, though, funny things sometimes happen while we're traveling.”
“You, too?” Eminghare's eyebrows are high and her eyes wide.
“Yeah. What weirdness have you experienced?”
“You first.”
“Eminghare, if we're going to travel together, you've really got to try to trust me. I think I am a trustworthy sort of person.”
She sighs. “Well, you saw that Binbin can fly. And boy am I glad. She saved me from huge snake-like things. One of those crazy-creepy things even flew, but it seemed like it couldn't get very high.” Ofonode is leaning toward her, intently listening to everything she's saying. “She can also breathe fire, but not easily. After she does, she has to sleep for a long time. So she's only done that once. And once…”
Before she can continue, the two small lizards reappear.
“It has been so long since I've seen another invisian friendly with humans. It has been a pleasure to see and become acquainted with Bineenia. You are, Eminghare, a very fortunate young lady. I want to convey my deepest sympathy for your silent travels. Binia, here, never learned to speak in your language. She has been trying to communicate with you for the whole of your journey, but has only been successful in a few instances. And she's unsure whether you understood that it was she who you heard in your mind.”
“Oh! I'm so glad! I thought she was unhappy with me for some reason!”
“Let me continue, my dear. I have much to share with you.” Eminghare nods and listens closely as Oseratin continues, “Binia, as she prefers to be called by anyone other than you, she has grown very fond of your name for her, but would prefer if Ofonode would please call her Binia, is an invisian. We know Ofonode has told you this. Since we will travel together, as you two have arranged, Binia and I believe we should communicate some specifics with the two of you and make plans together.”
Ofonode and Eminghare nod their heads and drop into squats.
“Okay. To begin, Ofonode you will know much of this, but I have not told you all, so please pay close attention. Invisians are alien to this planet in that our bodies were not created of the dirt of this earth. Also, our binary system has a red and blue star. Yours, of course is yellow, which is very different, as you may imagine. You have encountered a few of our kind who desire to overtake the planet and consume, use as slaves, or simply kill beings like you. Binia and I are not like them. Unfortunately, those like us are the minority and we were scattered very early in our time on the planet because most of us are scientists of the Holy Order.
“You might find it difficult to believe when you simply hear the words, my dear, but after you see what we will show you momentarily, you may more easily believe that we, invisian, were created by the same God you call Father. We also worship him and call him Father because he is in the same way he is to you.”
Os pauses for a few moments as Eminghare sucks in a deep breath of shock. Her face is very still and she seems to be trying to process what she's heard. “Please continue Oseratin.” she says in a whisper full of air, like she's having a difficult time catching her breath.
12-30-16
“Binia and I, although you have only seen her in her lizard-like form, would like to show you both how we look when we are in our form like yours. I think you have not seen her in her dragon-like state. We want to know if you are both willing to see us in the additional two forms we take regularly?”
Eminghare is quiet so long Ofonode isn't sure she's heard and he jumps a little when she answers simply, “Yes. Show us.” He nods his agreements.
The two invisian immediately shift into their dragon-like forms and lift a little off the ground. “We can both fly. Not all invisian have gained this ability, thankfully. On our own planet our wings were solely ornamental. It seems, many of those who seek to consume and enslave your people have grown too large to fly high even when they can fly. So, even though we are small compared to those we stand against, our size is an advantage in flight.”
Ofonode and Binia land lightly and shift immediately into their humanoid forms, “And this. In addition to these shifts, Binia can become completely invisible. I am able to camouflage to some extent, but it is a sorry sham compared to Binia's ability. You have both, to varying degrees, experienced telepathy. We are much better among ourselves. This is a benefit, but also painful when we encounter those with whom we are in opposition. They can use it just as well as we and use it painfully against us. Some of us are able to manipulate time. Others can tesser. Some can read minds precisely. Still others are able to move physical objects with our minds, telekenesis. Very rarely to all these gifts manifest in individuals. Binia, though, is one of the rare ones.” Binia looks into the distance and seems slightly more tense than her previously somber and anxiousness of a moment before.
“We must move. Our position has been stagnant far too long.” Binia speaks clearly and slowly, only sounding slightly foreign.
“How can we understand you? I thought you couldn't speak our language!” Ofonode doesn't think before the questions explode in a rush from him.
“I couldn't. Communicating telepathically with Oseratin conveyed the basics of your language… almost like he has passed his knowledge to me as you might give someone a glass of water. They must consume the water of their own choice, but they have it. I drank deeply of his gift while he spoke to you both of us. So I am now able. We must move on now.”
The small group begins walking again.
“Do you think it's safe to travel on the road?” Eminghare asks no one in particular.
“Yes.” The two invisian answer together. Os raises a hand slightly and briefly toward Binia and she continues, “The majority of our trouble has come when we travel through the fields and woods. Oseratin and I have compared our experienced and we are almost completely sure that the other invisian will not attack while we are on the main thoroughfares.”
The four continue silently walking swiftly for a few hours. They sit to eat only speaking to prepare their food. All exchanges are gentle and kind, but there seems to be a distance and tension in the space around them. Ofonode feels it and wants to change it, but doesn't know what to say or do, so sits quietly feeling awkward as he eats.
When the four are almost all finished eating Eminghare speaks very quietly. Ofonode wonders if she is hoping no one will hear her at all. “It makes total sense that you couldn't speak my language, but you could have at least shown me who you were. I mean… all of you. You've seen all of me, afterall.”
Binia seems unchanged, so Ofonode thinks maybe she didn't hear Eminghare's words. He wonders if he should say something to her for Eminghare.
12-31-16
“If I could make you understand,” Binia says to Eminghare, “my friend, I would. The best I can do is tell you that I tried to learn your language, but for some reason I could not. Still I spoke to your mind many times and I'm sure you heard me toward the end because of your subsequent actions. My fealty has only grown stronger and I hope you will try to trust me again because I did not purposefully deceive you. Oseratin did not tell you that we were sworn to remain only in our lizard-like and dragon-like forms before we scientists of the Holy Order were separated. I didn't feel able to break my promise even though I considered it numerous times. Please forgive me any harm my choices have done to our friendship, Eminghare.”
1-2-17
Ofonode could tell the girl's shoulders relaxed as Binia spoke her apology. Even though he'd known Eminghare so short a time, he felt tension slough off as he watched her relief. Why do I care so much? He was trying to figure out his question to himself when Os spoke up.
“I think we've traveled as far as we can safely do for the day. I haven't been this way before, but that spot over there looks safer than anywhere else I've seen along the way so far. We can sleep with our backs against the outcropping of rock and start a fire between it and the road.” He looks around for feedback.
The rest of the group readily see that his observation is good and nod in agreement.
“Should we sleep in shifts?” Ofonode asks.
“I am certain that between Oseratin and me, we will wake with the slightest disturbance. We should all sleep as much as possible as soon as we've finished eating.”

Os nods and the group leaves the road, heading to the rocks. They eat and settle down to rest without incident.
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