Thursday, March 9, 2017

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learning to burn, part 26

Please start at the beginning.  And remember this is the very first draft, goofy notes to myself and all.

“So, that funny saying my Auntie loved 'Man plans, God laughs,' should really only happen frequently if we don't seek His blessing on our plans and goals?”
Oseratin passes out the bowls of mash, “I believe so and that very fact has played out in my life. Of course, there are other people, so sometimes even when we receive confirmation, we must remain flexible because someone else's agency can cause necessary changes in what we would strive to accomplish. Eminghare, please bless the food.” She does so.
“What will we do with this female?” Eminghare asks.
Oseratin moves her so that she rests next to the rocks of the outcropping and returns to where the others sit watching him. “We will leave her as she is. No harm will come to her and she will wake in a day or so. She will seek the others of her Order.” Os returns to eating his food and the others follow suit.
Right before all have finished their food Binia says, “We will stay on the road. Unless we have a problem with others of your kind, we will pass easily. It is important for us to move quickly, perhaps even jog and run until we make it to THE NAME OF THE CITY.”
“That makes it sound like you know something we don't.” Eminghare says to Binia.
“Yes. I will share as we go. Let us ready ourselves.”
The group gathers their things and settles the packs on their backs. “I will be last this time.” Oseratin says.
Ofonode says, “I'll run just before him. Maybe you two could run side by side so I can hear Binia?”
“That sounds good. Do you mind running at my pace, Binia?”
“Not at all. Let's go.” The group sets off and Binia begins to relate her experiences.
“What I know that you don't is this: the Drack Order has begun to gather their members. There were at least ten when they had me. Plus that female. They now know some of my strength. I did not have to reveal all, but they will be much better prepared. Thankfully they know almost nothing of Oseratin outside menspar. So, we still have advantage there, but they will hunt us. Oseratin and I are a tremendous hindrance to them. They have been seeking the destruction of all the members of the Holy Order since we arrive on your planet. Even Os and I don't know how many of us are left. Perhaps we are the only ones. So, they will hunt us and anyone with whom we are associated. They will assume you know our purpose and work with us to accomplish it. Nevermind that it isn't true. The truth never really gets in their way, you must understand. They don't care about it. They believe they know best at all times and will seek to fulfill their own will and advance their own understanding whatever the cost.
“So, I stopped along the way yesterday to relieve myself. I should have stopped everyone, but I wanted to be alone for just a moment. I have always enjoyed my time alone. It is probably one of my greatest difficulties… my desire to be alone. Still, I do need some time to myself… I will just make sure to communicate my need and we will figure out how to make it work from here on out.
“I returned to the road and was easily catching you when the Dracks overtook me. I didn't even hear them on the road. They may have been flying. However, I believe they were only able to catch me because they have a ship. That's the most alarming part of the whole ordeal yesterday. We thought our craft were all destroyed. We were wrong. So, the fact that they have even one ship is an advantage to them. But since we know about it now, we will be able to defend against it, thankfully.”
“You did not tell me of the ship, Binia.” Oseratin sounds shocked and displeased.
“I was very tired. It was not the most important thing in my mind. Please forgive me, Oseratin.”
“All is forgiven, of course. We will speak more of what you know of the ship they have constructed later.”
“Yes. So, they attempted to hold me. Obviously they succeeded somewhat. But they knew they would not be able to keep me long. Fortunately for me and us, they misjudged my strengths and abilities and did not guard their conversations well, though they did not speak out loud at all. I guess my time away from all other invisians and attempting to commune with another species has strengthened my ability to hear what is not said. So, I listened carefully while I worked myself out of their hold. Thus the information I have already shared.”
“And you're sure they didn't allow you to overhear it as a means of setting a trap?” Eminghare asks what the rest are thinking.
“I am as sure as I can be. It wasn't simple to hear them and some of the comments they made led me to believe they thought I couldn't possibly understand them. I'm sure they would have been able to catch us by now since they do have that air ship. Yet, they have not. This is, to me, an additional confirmation that they did not know I could understand them.”
Oseratin says, “We have, it seems, both guessed wrongly about the other. Let us assume they are laying a trap and hope Ofonode's foretelling dreams will warn us if we are in danger. If we assume danger is ahead and we encounter none, we are no worse for the wariness.”
Breathing heavily, Ofonode says, “How were they holding you? And how did you get free?”
“To explain both would require a lesson in physics that I am not prepared to give as we run along the road. If, at some point in the future, it seems we have the time and there is need for you to know the intricacies of a branch of science you have no studied at all, I will attempt to help you. For now, suffice it to say that I did.”
“I know we've only been running a short time, but I need to slow down for a while.” Eminghare's voice sounds weak to Ofonode. He slows immediately, as do Binia and Os. Though the pace is significantly reduced, Eminghare visibly struggles to keep up.
“Shall I carry you again, my dear?”
“I hate to ask you to, Oseratin, but if you could….”
“Of course.” Os jumps forward and smoothly lifts the girl into his arms.
I wish I was as strong as Os, Ofonode thinks. Eminghare looks over at him and smiles. Ofonode realizes she's heard him and a hot blush rises to his cheeks and his hair begins to float out behind him.
Os looks over at Ofonode and winks with a big grin on his face.
The group runs unmolested for the rest of the morning. They stop for lunch when they reach a cleared area with a large black circle lined with rocks and a secondary circle of logs outside the rocks. To one side of the circle is a low box and in the opposite direction is a table with benches. It is a well-used spot and the group is relieved to find it.
Os puts Eminghare down on a log and the rest of them put their packs down on logs near her. Ofonode opens the box and finds logs, kindling, and a fire starter in it. On the underside of the box is written a message that those who choose to use what lies within should either replace in kind or leave some form of payment as a maintenance fee. Ofonode closes the lid without removing anything.
“Will we have a fire here?”
“I think it unnecessary, my boy. Eminghare requires rest and food. It need not be hot food, though. It is best if we are on our way as soon as possible.” Binia is standing next to Os digging through the pack with the most food and nods her head.
“You look like you're doing okay. How do you feel?” Ofonode asks.
“I still feel weaker than I have for the whole of my journey so far. I don't understand it. It seems like I should be stronger since I've been on the road so long, but exactly the opposite is happening.
Binia and Os look at one another.
“What? I see the way you two are looking at each other. What's that all about?”
Oseratin shakes his head. Binia scrunches her eyes into slits and nods her head one time before she speaks, “You must return to your people as quickly as possible.” She immediately returns to moving things around in the pack and starts to take a few things out here and there.
“Yes. That's what I'm trying to do. I can't really help it that all sorts of things are causing delays. Can I? What does returning to my people have to do with the way I can't seem to run and feel so weak and tired after so little exertion?”
Binia looks up and is about to speak when Oseratin puts his hand on Binia's arm and says, “My concern is that if you know the details of the problem, the knowing may compound the problem exponentially.”
Os takes the food from Binia and passes it around to everyone. All but Eminghare begin to eat.
“So, what. You two… is it Ofonode, too? You three know there's something wrong with me and haven't told me?” She takes an angry bite and chew, but not enough, swallows too much, and begins to cough. Binia gently rubs her back and looks pleadingly at Oseratin.
“No, not at all, my dear.” Os says to Eminghare, “We did wonder if your genes carried the sickness. We had no way to know if it would trouble you. We did not know something was truly amiss until just now. Your words have revealed the trouble. We thoughts yesterday was only an isolated occurrence and had no idea you've been feeling an overall weakness and lethargy as we see you must have been, now. Lest you think poorly of Ofonode, I must tell you that he has not had even the beginning of a clue about what we are speaking.”
“You've said I'm sick? But I don't feel sick.”
“It's not an illness of the body, per se. It just appears as an illness after exertion… the body simply shows symptoms so that you will return to your people and be renewed.”
Eminghare sits quietly eating for a moment, “Renewed… my mother spoke of that. When she did, though, it had something to do with going to our worship meetings each week. What does it have to do with needing to return home?”
“Just so. Exactly that. You know all there is to know, my dear.”
Eminghare looks completely confused and Binia says, “She does, but she doesn't. Surely it would do no harm for me to explain it to her explicitly?”

“Later, certainly. Eminghare, you must know that we both have your best interests at heart. I feel concern that Binia may share overmuch with you because she has been traveling with you so long and loves you so dearly. While I, though I love you night as much as she, am a more objective observer, as it were. Please trust me.”
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