Written By: Jory Stultz
The lone soldier
The mist settled in the cool air surrounding the falls. Mekoah sat listening, almost in a trance, to the roaring white water. The ground was dressed with dry orange leaves and the air was cool and crisp with the bite of autumn wind. A fleet of small airships slowly passed overhead. Banners were strung to the tails that honored Sekkyela and her current movement.
"I'll have you…" Mekoah muttered under her breathe. "Just wait." She stood up and watched the airships sail by with utter loathing.
Mekoah was one of the Geru race. Her ancestors were the native people of the lower country. They used to own everything, from the southern shore all the way up to the great mountain that used to divide the Pylicine. However, the entire continent was now owned and controlled by Sekkyela. In a modern world of communism and poverty, the Geru race began to die off. Their niche in the economy also died. They used to work farms along the shoreline, growing forests of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Their largest partner in business was the Pylictic Market in the northern city. Some Geru had to travel a very long way into the city to sell their crops and during the very cold season some never returned. Eventually synthetic food corporations pushed cultivation out of the picture. The Geru race had no chance of survival. They eventually became an echo of the past... Now, there is only one...
Brave and young Mekoah was a renegade. She gave speeches at many underground rallies and had developed quite a reputation. Luckily those close to her helped keep her true identity safe. She went by the alias of Ghildavia, which translated to, the voice. When Mekoah was to appear before an audience
She would always hide her face behind a hand carved wooden mask. The mask made her a mystery to her followers and her alias kept her a mystery to Sekkyela. Not many knew her true identity, but that's exactly how Mekoah wanted it.
The airships became shadows in the distant smog. Before the technological revolution the air was pristine and the sky was clear. Most of the nearby stars and planets could still be seen during the day, but Mekoah longed for the sky she once knew. Two suns shone in the sky. One of them was setting in the east while the other rose in the North. The setting sun cast an auburn glow on everything its light touched. The sky melted from pink to purple and beautiful cloud formations drifted low by the seabed.
" I should get going…" Mekoah sighed to herself. "I don't want to be stuck out here passed nightfall."
Mekoah looked north to the city skyline. Beyond the poison forests was the Pylictic Square: An empire of factories. The ominous buildings were covered with twisting pipes and smoke stacks that congested the entire sky.
Mekoah focused on one particular building. It was rather bland looking. There didn't seem to be any entrances, just windows lining the very top floor. Purple lights began to glow from inside.
"Damn… They opened the fog-house…" Mekoah quickly turned around and began running toward home.
The fog house was designed to keep people off the streets after the second sunrise. It created a dense sheet of ice-cold fog that engulfed the Pylicine every night, forcing people to return to their homes at an early time. Though this was intended to control the Pylicine, not everyone abided by its law. Many spies and thieves hid in the fog waiting for some unfortunate bystander who may have gotten lost.
Mekoah combed the light fur of her face with her fingers, trying to keep it from freezing up. She finally reached her village and stopped for a moment to catch her breath when she heard a shriek echo from the east. She quickly turned her head to see two young Aevelin girls defending themselves from a Bidvu thief. He had them cornered with a knife against an old dilapidated hangar. Mekoah pulled her knife from its sheath and charged toward them.
"You're both so pretty!" Said the thief. "It's a shame I have to kill you both!" An atrocious smile spread across his pig-like face.
"Not without a fight!" Yelled one of the girls as she lifted her bow. She drew an arrow from her quiver and put it to her bowstring.
Just as she was about to take her shot Mekoah intervened. The thief immediately turned around and began to fight her with his jagged knife in hand. The battle soon became fast and fierce.
"We used to live in peace with your kind." Mekoah struggled to say. " You have no reason to kill these Aevelin. It is not these children who wronged your people."
"You have fur, and that would make you Geru." Said the thief kicking Mekoah back. "But that's impossible!"
"Please! I don't want to have to kill you!" Screamed Mekoah.
" You look like Geru and you fight like Geru, but I thought the genocide did away with you scum." Screeched the thief with a snide grin.
Mekoah lunged at his throat with pure hatred and decapitated him in a single blow. She knelt over his carcass almost completely out of breath and prayed for the life of his spirit. One of the Aevelin girls approached Mekoah with a rather stern look in her eyes.
"Just so you know, we had it all under control!" Yelled the girl.
Mekoah finished her prayer and reached into her satchel pulling out a handful of sandy material. She sprinkled it over the corpse and walked away.
"He was Bidvu." Muttered Mekoah. "They are very skillful fighters. You would have both been dead by now."
"We could have handled it." Said the girl drawing her blade.
Mekoah sighed and put her knife back into its sheath as the other girl loomed toward them rather timidly.
"I am Meeka and this is my sister Jonnah" Uttered Meeka with a shy smile.
"Thank you brave fighter for protecting us."
"Don't thank this woman, Meeka!" Cried Jonnah.
"I am Mekoah. I'm sorry to say, I hope we never meet again…" Mekoah turned around and started toward her home.
"But surely there's something we can do to repay you." Offered Meeka.
"There is nothing." Mekoah sighed once again. " You and your sister must head home as quick as you can. There are more like him out here."
Meeka stopped in her tracks and pulled off one of her necklaces. It had a small, purple, glass orb that hanged from a thin leather strap. It was absolutely beautiful.
"What are you doing?" Asked Jonnah.
"Mekoah!" Yelled Meeka. Mekoah stopped and looked back. " Please except this as a token of our appreciation." Meeka tossed her the necklace.
Mekoah, without a word, tied the necklace around her neck and vanished into the fog.