Disclaimer: I apologise in advance for any spelling/grammar - this is an entirely unedited Work In Progress and therefore my dyslexia will be on full display. ^_^; If I publish this, I'll get it edited, but for now, enjoy the rough draft - let's have fun!
When does a dream become reality and reality become a dream?
Tyrin bounced eagerly down the long hallway towards the departure room. It was always a treat to visit the shipyards, to marvel at the enormous and yet graceful vessels taking to the sky and space beyond. He loved the way the sound of their vast engines hummed and danced against his sensitive tone-glands. Each unique class of ship had a song, and it was a fun pastime of a crafter learning to tell them apart by the tunes alone.
“Isn’t it so exciting, Zy!” He skipped about on his foot-paws, twin tails twirling as he faced his little brother. There was no excitement in the dejected figure slumping behind him, dragging a floating case. There was only a radiating tone of wallowing. To have a craft was to keep no secrets, at least, it was not easily done. To do so one had to seek a deep, deep place within themselves, and to gather tightly all that which they did not wish others to find, and throw those things into the pit. This always led to close-kit clans, to bloods with bonds that were tangled tightly. Ever since Zydra had been born, Tyrin had done his utmost best to make sure his little brother had been warm, but even still, Zydra struggled often to find a smile. He was a sensitive spirit. A strong empath—that they had in common—but Zydra absorbed the emotions of those he encountered like a sea-sponge. No amount of training seemed to help Zydra dispel the emotions, so they festered, like a painful abscess. Even the mild aversion his classmates had towards him as a crafter had become like a maelstrom that constantly swallowed him.
Tyrin sighed. “You’re going to have fun, Zy. I really enjoyed this trip.”
Every young litin went on a special excursion to Dathron, the nearest moon of their home world, Ghaliya. It was full of lush grass to run in, and golden water in enormous, suspended plates. It was safe and well-guarded by the Litin Empire’s Fleet, due to its proximity to Ghaliya. But to a crafter it was a special trip—for it was the only one they were ever permitted to undertake. He did not fully understand it himself, for falathra had not explained it, but something in their craft made it impossible for long space flight.
This greatly saddened him. The planet felt like a shackle around his ankles, holding him and his craft down.
“I don’t want to go. No one in the class likes me. They tease me!” Zydra’s covered his extra ears and horns . “They grab my ears and laugh at my small horns. They hate me. They hate me!”
“I know. It is just because they do not understand us.” Tyrin reached out, soothing back Zydra’s tuffs of silver fur. Zydra had inherited so much of their kalathra, but the beginning flecks of gold and red feathers appearing around his neck and down his back were all their falathra.
Zydra’s large yellow eyes looked up, blinking away tears. “What…what can I do…”
“You have to be brave, you need to reach out to them instead.” Tyrin took up Zydra’s floating bag, pulling it along. “Show them that you are there be their friend, and there is no difference between us, we are Litin, just like them.”
Zydra dashed after him, catching his paw and holding it firmly as they continued down the wide and long passage together. The tone of his brother’s craft had shifted from a wobbling rattle to a stronger gentle hum. Tyrin’s young feathers puffed, proud he had managed to dispel some of his sibling’s concerns, but they crept back like leaking ink the closer they drew to the main foyer until Zydra was a trembling kit attached to his arm. This was not how he had wanted to greet their falathra, he had wanted to show falathra he could be responsible and help Zydra with his emotions—
Instead, falathra waited for them by the entrance. His powerful mind swept over them like a wave against the beach, almost knocking Zydra over.
“Zydra, what have I taught you about your mental walls. Put them up.” Falathra sighed, massaging his forehead.
Maybe he should not go. Tyrin quickly sent to falathra.
He needs to experience this, otherwise he will never grow.
Falathra. He is not ready. He is too sensitive. He is…different…I…feel it…
Falathra arched an eyebrow and Tyrin sunk back, curling his tails tightly as he was rebuked. Tyrin. It is just a trip to Dathron. He is not going far. You will still be able to feel him, and contact him, do not act like he is going to the other side of the universe.
It might have only been the moon, but it felt like the other side of the universe to Zydra and Tyrin could not understand why falathra was being so mean. Could he not feel how upset, and how scared Zydra was, or was falathra simply choosing to dismiss such emotions. Falathra was not as strong an empath—he could grow irritated at their connectiveness from time to time.
“Come. I have a meeting I must attend. Zydra, be good for your teacher. Enjoy yourself. You have five hundred credits to spend.”
Defectively Zydra took up his bag and trundled his way towards the debarkation entrance. Tyrin’s tails coiled tightly as a fleeting anxious look was cast back his way. His little brother did not want to go, and was reaching for his mind for one last hopeful touch.
I am here, Zy. Whenever you want to talk, I will be here. I promise. He assured.
With that, Zydra vanished through the doors.
You are coddling him, Tyrin.
Tyrin frowned up at his falathra and purposely strode away, ignoring the immense swell of amusement from behind him. His antics were entertaining to his falathra, and that only further annoyed him. Falathra was not taking this seriously. Zydra was frightened of his classmates, none of whom were crafters. He felt so alone, unable to understand and be understood. Why was Falathra being so dismissive of the situation? Was this just how things had been done for so long?
They did not speak, even as they travelled from the shipyards into the swirling streets of Yin to reach the lookout point, where many family members would gather to watch ships disembark. Tyrin dashed to the glass fence, climbing with his long, lanky limbs to hang over the edge and view the immense drop into the sparkling city below.
Falathra grabbed him around the neck, pulling him back. Tyrin scratched behind an ear. The lookout had another name spoken about in Yin, not official, but more of a local knowelage. Litin’s who despaired their lives ended them at the lookout by taking a great leap off the edge. Many things had been done to try and prevent it, but someone always found a way.
It was both a place of great excitement and adventure as well as sorrow and loneliness. He could feel it. The emotions had seeped into the very bricks beneath his foot-paws, making it feel as though he was stepping on spikes.
Finally, his falathra spoke. “You are angry at me.”
“Yes.” Tyrin huffed. “I am not hiding it.”
“I see. Well, perhaps smother it a little. You are unsettling those around us, and as I am not as strong an empath as you, I cannot counter your anger.”
Tyrin glanced around, shamefully noticing he had been affecting the surrounding crowd that was growing restless and unsettled. He dug his anger down deep, smothering it like kicking dirt over a fire in the wastelands.
“Much better.” Falathra admired, shifting his attention back to the shipyard in the distance.
“Zydra will be fine. You will see. He will return, having found a piece of himself he did not know.”
“Fafa, do not take this as an insult to you and kaka, but not all of the cubs you have are going to be like you.”
Falathra smiled knowingly, his craft radiating amusement once more. “I am aware.”
Something caught both of their attentions simultaneously. Tyrin grabbed his skull as the crowd around them burst with a panic. Pain erupted behind his eyes. He tasted blood in his mouth and felt it trickle down from his nose. His vision shifted as he titled to one side, almost falling, stumbling, collecting himself on a foot-paw as he saw his falathra’s gaze frozen on the shipyard yonder. He scrambled up, calling out across the distance.
A ship was falling. One of the space-liners. Its engines burning a dark, dangerous red as it plummeted towards the shipyard.
No. No. Zydra!
Tyrin clambered up the wall, reaching out a paw. Zydra!
His little brother’s mind latched onto his. He felt it like claws, digging in, wanting to drag him forward, into the burning rage of the falling ship consuming the shipyard.
The space-liner froze. Tyrin stared out across the city. One moment the space-liner was there, the next, it splintered with a scattering of light, before reappearing once more and slamming into the shipyard, billowing out a halo of raging flames and a plume of smoke.
Falathra grabbed him, throwing them both to the ground as the rumbling wave of noise and heat erupted across the city. Tyrin closed his eyes, clutching his paws to his ears, but it did nothing to drown out the scream.
Brother! Help me!
Litin General Terms
Falathra (Fafa) - Father
Kalathra (Kaka) - Mother