Black Sun: The Destroyers 1

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Rythe Hallatiris’Ka Harrakar stepped forth from otherspace into the rooms she kept, her black armor gleaming in dark amber light reflected off of the mirror smooth metal towers. She shuddered and the armor receded, flowing back into a lattice of webbing across her bronze skin. She indulged in a moment of vanity, admiring the way the black lines crossed the faint trail of copper colored hair between her breasts, descending down to the patch between her legs. She was fond of her hair.

The room was sparse. She spent little time in it. Offworld service. Constantly fighting somewhere. Her will still seethed in her head, enraged, wanting to lash out. Wiping those slavers minds out of existence hadn’t been enough. She’d wanted to annihilate them, rip their ship apart, leave the burning ruins as evidence and warning. She’d wanted to hunt for more of them, find them, kill them.

The metal sister cooed to her wordlessly, trying to soothe. The web of its form, coiled and linked across her flesh, that presence she never went without. Even that could not truly push away that burning need to act.

She felt his presence distantly, the mental brushing of his thoughts against her mind, almost like a knock. She considered pretending she didn’t feel it. Then she simply let him feel her awareness of him, lowered her defense just enough for that.

He stepped into the world outside the window and hovered in his black and gold Har’kanadran, his featureless face reflecting the oval portal that allowed the amber light into her room.

“Come in if you are going to.” She waved a hand and her will caused the window to melt away. He hesitated just fractionally, then drifted in, floating above the floor the way she had. His armor peeled away, outlining his flanks and the muscles of his torso as it settled into graceful, curving lines across his body. She took a moment to admire the angle of his jaw and his predatory nose, so distinct among the Tisilath. “What can I do for you, Tsarn?”

“Tsarn, is it?” He smiled faintly. On most Tisilath it would have been a sneer, or at least a smirk, but Tsarn never quite seemed to possess the mockery needed for that. “I wanted to talk.”

“What do we have to talk about?” She floated away, commanding the floor to provide her with a place to sit. It rose up, flowing slowly as if it were melting upwards. When she turned back to face him he’d pulled his legs up into the air, so that he sat cross-legged on nothing, his eyes meeting hers.

“I’ve never seen slavers before.” The admission surprised her.

“You were very calm about it.”

“Too calm, you mean.” He shook his head, long hair half-covering his face. “I didn’t really know what to do.”

“Then why did you stop me from killing them?”

“Rythe, if you’d really wanted to kill them you could have easily ignored me. You stopped because you knew I was right, we had to get the information and get it back here. It was too far for me to send my thoughts. Too far for you, too.”

“Did you tell my brother?”

“Yes. He’s telling your father. I just… they were the abandoners. I never thought I’d see an abandoner. Much less one who takes slaves.” He was fidgeting his hands, as if constantly surprising himself with their existence. It was a habit she had noticed, and for some reason it softened her tension. “How can they take slaves if they’re us?

“They’re not us anymore.” Rythe growled. “They left us to become that.”

They sat there for a while, him floating and her letting her weight settle onto the chair the floor had grown for her. It almost felt indolent to allow herself to weigh something. The pressure of her skin against metal.

“I am still angry with you.” She commanded the hair of her head to pull back and gather itself into a knot. “But I forgive you.”

“I didn’t come for…”

“No, you came for understanding. I don’t have it. I can only give you forgiveness.” She looked out the window at the city, now a gleaming deep red like banked coals in a fire. “I forget that you come from out there, that you were not born to it, taught in the tank what you would become. I am sorry I was angry with you when you were right.”

He said nothing, but she felt his accept this, his face carefully neutral, his will couched behind his own barriers. That almost made her smile.

“Do you miss it?”

“What? Living out there?” He shook his head. “I barely remember it.”

“Now you’re lying.” He snapped his head up. Among their kind being accused of a lie was usually an insult. But she was smiling, and it was a familiar smile. “You don’t forget anything.”

“I forget things.” He relaxed slightly. “Or I don’t understand what I remember. The world was so much larger then, and yet so much smaller. It was just a small cut in the rocks with hovels carved in the shade, with water brought from the sky by gods. I would live and die my whole life there. My father fought in the war as a colonist, but he was just a Silath. My  mother waited in the desert for him.” Shrugging, he looked to the floor. “I remember it all but I don’t understand any of it. Don’t understand how we lived. It’s been over two hundred years, they’re all dead. My mother, my father, everyone I knew is dead and I’ve been here. I could go back, and they’d fall to their knees at the sight of me.”

“Yes they would. Would they be so wrong to? You could kill them with a thought.”

He stared at her then. It wasn’t even shock, or disbelief, although she could taste colors of both from him.

“I’m not saying you would, or even should. Just that you could. You’re one of us.” She stretched, letting him watch her body move, feeling him finally looking at her. “Have you ever asked Kyr about the metal spiders? About what he did? I was there for it, some of it. I spent years pushing them out after, but Kyr broke their backs in one move. One impossible, terrible move.”

“He’s talked about it. He doesn’t like to.”

“I can imagine. The worst part… the very worst part… is realizing we all could do what he did. I let you stop me because I remembered that.” Rythe curled herself into the chair, pulling her knees up and folding her arms around them. “Are you going to Malan’s reception?”

“I hadn’t thought about it.”

“I need an escort.” She felt him grow dubious. “If I don’t bring someone, then Malan and my mother will spend the entire event introducing me to every eligible Karnat. If you come with me, then…”

“If I come with you they’ll assume you’ve picked me.” He put his feet down on the ground. “We’ve never discussed how permanent this is.”

“You don’t shield very well when you’re upset. I know how permanent you want it to be.” She leaned back in the chair. “So the real problem her is that you want me to tell you what I’m thinking.”

He didn’t say anything and his mind was now fully opaque to her, but that just made her smile even more, because she could feel his eyes on her. Somehow, not knowing what he was thinking at the moment made it even better.

“Yes.”

“Yes to what? You want to know what I’m thinking or you want to take me to the reception?”

“To both.” She could see the strain in his muscles as he held himself under control and guarded his thoughts. Realizing it was cruel, and yet unable to resist that worm of glee at his distress. Knowing she could erase it, that she had the power to do so with a few words. That made it even better.

“Come tomorrow, then. I’ll tell mother we’re together. It should suitably upstage Malan. Or you could stay the night, and we could discuss just how permanent things can actually be. And how possessive I am.”

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