Side Story 1 of “The Aijan Codes”

by Brianna G. Harte

Soft beams of light caressed the garden around me, careening over the dull orange hershas stone archway. The miniature waterfall glimmered in the rays on its way to the stream that weaves through the rest of the city. Falling waters whished over the flow just below. Gentle calls of the insects from one patch of bushes to another augmented the song of serenity.

“Kei!” my brother called out. “Come on! You can’t stay camouflaged forever!”

A smile grew on my face, which had taken a texture and palette akin to the column of smooth hershas I was leaning against. If Aridon looked hard enough, he would be able to notice my silken white dress or the raspberry colored leggings beneath as neither blended well with the flora nor the structures. Unfortunately for him, his birth had not granted him particularly great eyesight.

Aridon walked along the stone path leading around the garden, suddenly vanishing in thin air. A mist took the place of where he stood, slowly rising toward the cloud saturated sky. Only a moment later, his body formed at the far edge of the area, where the coppery tree reached above the arches. He moved to the side, where I could no longer see him. Although I wished to watch his progress, I dared not move. However, I did release a breath I had been holding for a while. The next second, Aridon appeared almost in front of me, surprising me so much that my camouflage dissipated.

“Found you!” he cried, pride beaming.

“You still could never discover a harling egg, though,” I smirked playfully.

With his hands to his sides, leaving his puffy grey shirt to appear far bigger on him than it was supposed to, Aridon remarked, “You wait! I’m working on it.”

I tried to imagine him in the same attire as our great uncle Yusa. Rather than a deep forest green vest lined with gold and embroidered with vines, he would bear a cloak of dark navy with silver symbols intertwined into the fabric. His loose black pants that narrowed just below the knee with an elastic, would be replaced by longer versions reaching to his ankles, also decorated with symbols at the hem. It was the mark of the Naisu, who searched for special supplies should our leaders deem them necessary. A first challenge that must be passed in order to become one of them would be to uncover a harling egg, which could not only change its hue and texture as I could, but also its shape.

As I stepped away from the column, Aridon told me of his practices with a friend whose father owned a gem that seemed to go invisible in the starlight. “I’m ready to find the egg! That gem’s got to be a lot harder to find than it.”

“Don’t get too cocky, Aridon,” I warned.

He gave me a look. “Aren’t you going to try for the other challenge in a couple weeks?”

“Why should I? There is no possibility of me doing anything but tending to the garden and guarding our house.” Although the thought had brought defeat upon me a while ago, it now was a simple fate I no longer argued. “My abilities do not allow me to do much more than that anyway, and you know it.”

We traveled toward home, transversing the bridges made of stones neatly arranged so that no piece and no one would fall through the sky.

Copyright © 2016 Brianna G Harte. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading this short side story of “The Aijan Codes”! As I’m working through the last stretch of school, I figured I’d bring back a little of a fantasy story I had been working on earlier. Please let me know what you think of the story and artwork!

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Illustration for “The Aijan Codes”!

Hi everyone!

I’ve finally finished an illustration for my fantasy/sci-fi “The Aijan Codes”!

It accompanies Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of “The Aijan Codes”. Haven’t read them yet?

Chapter 1 – completed

Chapter 2 – completed

Chapter 3 – in progress

Let me know what you think!

~Writing_With_Harte

“The Aijan Codes” – CHAPTER 3

by Brianna G. Harte

Surely the Anû Töe didn’t show me the images to taunt me. Not after they attempted to heal my wounds, comfort me in distress, and show concern. As I scanned the images, I could hardly focus. There are only five of us. Five sent to Earth to hold the codes. These two must be code bearers as well. From what I understood, only we had the symbols marked on our skin.

I stood abruptly. “Where is the one who speaks my language?”

The one caring for me shook his head, calling in his own language using a tube connected to the wall. “Iguae lahn fo jourl metripha! Ahn greest o’ fu ketim’a kuht uhdri ha!”

The metal tubing lined the room, leading to the corridor outside of the simple infirmary. They must connect to the entire ship. The sound vibrations must carry through the metal, and out to openings, I supposed. Primitive in comparison to the technology on Hevrae K’Vana Qi, or even Earth for that matter, utilizing even the fundamentals of physics, and yet it works.

In the seconds that passed between his call and a response, energy slowly returned to my body, from a basic form to the more mystical kind. It was enough to allow me to sit upright in the uncomfortable table beneath me. I never knew it took so much effort to move on a bed.

“Eh’vaht dem vwa tsu lei,” a voice vibrated in the metal out of the blue. The abruptness of the words nearly shook me from the table.

The Anû Töe nodded to me and left the room with the photos still beside me. Staring at them more did hardly anything. Besides the forearms with the engraved symbols, only the background was left to decipher, though that made no sense. The one with strength, agility, and wild seemed to be leaning against a bright metal reflecting what appeared to be a strong light source and a face. Perhaps he, or she, was sitting on an examination table or a doctor’s office. Neither possibility comforted me. The second with balance and harmony also seemed to lay against a bright metal. The photo itself was not as bright, as though the lighting around was not as profound. Very few reflections could be seen in the metal. One was of a camera, probably from Earth by the sleek yet mildly complicated looks of it. Another seemed to be dark green. A forest maybe. It didn’t concern me as much, except for the fact that there was a large piece of metal in whatever scenery the code bearer was surrounded by. Both images showed no damage to the forearms – no scrapes, bruises, or signs of irritation. The thought should have tranquilized my frenzy spirit, yet it couldn’t. Too many unknowns lay in just two photographs for gaps to be satisfyingly filled.

Thumps rang across the ground, growing louder with each one. I jerked my head to see one of the Anû Töe approaching the doorway. This one was female apparently. Her jawline was much smoother, yet no less sturdy than the nurse’s. She donned an off-white robe almost hiding the simple grey dress beneath. It reached the floor, making it impossible for me to see her feet. Maybe it was for the better. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Anû Töe all have different skin colors, as this one seemed to have a coral green tone whereas others have had anywhere between sandy brown to deep forest green.

“Hello, Kei,” she said lightly.

“Hi, hmm what’s your name?”

“You may call me Utar.”

“Nice to meet you, Utar. I think. Do you know why I was shown these photos?” I asked, motioning to the two close by.

Utar stepped forward and held them in her hand, a queer look forming on her coral green face. “I’ve never seen these before. Why would Otu have these in the first place I wonder.”

————— January 17, 2016

“Did you know about them?”

Utar pressed her deep green lips together. “If you are implying that I may know that there are some of your kind in our midst, then all I can say is that I had heard rumors. Never have I seen others for myself. You are the only I have laid eyes upon.”

I sighed heavily. “Would any others have seen them?”

“Possibly. But without the whereabouts of these Qi Merov, I cannot give you a more definitive answer,” Utar said, mildly concerned. Stealing a glance at the photos, she raised her eyebrows, and her tone shifted.. “May I see these?”

Seeing as my situation was not going to improve otherwise, I saw no harm in allowing her to hold them, analyze them. Perhaps it was a fatal mistake, for me or for the others. Why was I to trust her? Then again, neither she nor any of the other Anû Töe seemed interested in harming me. I couldn’t count out the two that pursued me. Irin and Kaht, were they? While they didn’t kill me in the waters, they threatened Ecuardo. I couldn’t tell who represented the majority of their race. Certainly, trusting Irin and Kaht would result in death. Having faith in Utar and those like her? I was not sure. Nevertheless, I handed the photographs to the Anû Töe, who took them earnestly with her coral green hands.
I was left in silence aside from the occasional creak in the ship and a buzz of electrical currents that shot through the air. To my dismay, nothing lay about the room to catch my attention. My idle brain disliked the lack of activity. I pondered more of the photos. In the great length of time Utar spent staring at them, I came up with no insights. How I wished that I knew more about the Anû Töe. Alas, the only information I was ever given was that from the lips of my leaders. Those who had taught that the Anû Töe would destroy us on sight or torture us code bearers if they found us.

“I don’t know where one is, but if the other is in the hands of other Anû Töe, then I have a suspicion,” Utar began. “I will come back again in several hours if I find anything.”

With that, she left me. I hoped that she didn’t expect me to wait around in the small infirmary room for that time. There was still much I did not know about this ship or where it was headed. With soft footsteps, I crept out of the room, turning to the left. There was an opening only fifty or so feet away, and it seemed to lead downward. Maybe to another level. Fitting to my luck, it was not a smooth descent. As though made by a shoddy blacksmith, each step was rough and unlike any other I had seen before, on Earth or on Hevrae K’Vana Qi. Metal unevenly bent in random locations, with no parts sanded, made them.

I essentially rock climbed down, cautious of each step. Time slowed down as my feet nearly slipped with each motion. The fall would have been painful, no doubt. Once I reached the metal floor at the end, I was so relieved I almost did not see a shadow of a figure approaching. In a split second, my body flew to the bottom of the stairs. I crouched as I pulled myself close to the grating steps. Closing my eyes, I willed my body to change color. Tan skin soon turned silvery and gained a metallic luster. I folded myself to at least appear as though part of the stairs, though this was much harder than doing so in the coral. At least then I had the darkness that belonged with the bottom of the sea. Now, I had light to betray me, potentially not reflecting off of my body like all of the other steps.

Footsteps echoed, getting louder with each passing second.

————– January 24, 2016

I held my breath.

Each second lasted a minute.

Each minute lasted an eternity.

The footsteps ceased ring through the metal. A horrendous smell worse than rotting seal on the beach infiltrated my nose. Out of curiosity, my eyes opened a sliver and found myself face to face with a small, rough-skinned creature. Metal bars encompassed it, pressing closely to its pale white scales. Its face was contorted with pain. Eyes more reflective than a pool of water seemed to plead to me. I may not know this creature, but I wished that I could help. Unfortunately, I could very well have been in a similar situation. For all I knew, the ship was just a very large container meant to keep me in and prevent any significant movements to get away.

Words in an incomprehensive language rattled out from whatever was holding the cage. The creature seemed to know what was going on as a grating sound rumbled from it. From the look of the creature’s widening eyes, I assumed that it had to be a whimper.

The one holding the cage yelled, hitting the metal unforgivingly.

I winced at the sight.

More words were exchanged. For one reason or another, the figure in front of me walked away from the stairs. Once he or she was out of sight, I carefully stood up. The metallic luster melted away from my body and left behind my tan skin. As I watched it disappear, a bit of energy also left my body. I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes. How long will this last? It had to be nearly two days ago that I used the power of the Aijan Codes that I carried with me. Of course I hadn’t eaten in a few days, so that could be a problem. Unfortunately, I doubted I could find any food that could satiate my hunger. None that I was willing to consume, at least.

I walked toward the doorway and peered to both sides. The grotesque smell led down to the right, but that was also where many footsteps clammered on the metal boards. Instead, I quietly traveled down the corridor in front of me. Noises faded away. Every few minutes, I checked over my shoulder, not entirely at peace with the situation. I eventually made it to the end and noticed light streaming from the side not too far away. Just beyond it were several others. Slowly, I progressed toward the windows, as I assumed they were. When I peered out one, my breath caught in my throat. An enormous ocean surrounded by masses of land lay far below. The edge of the globe could be seen reflecting the brilliant light of the closest star. I wasn’t just in a boat. I had to be in a spaceship of some sort. One that was surely faster and far larger than the one I had traveled in to reach Earth a while ago.

Rather than move upward, it seemed to be that we were orbiting the Earth or approaching something in orbit.

————

Copyright © 2015 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

GUIDE TO NAMES
Kei – main character

Ecuardo – Qi Merovan who’s been on Earth for 150 years

Qi Merov – race of Kei and Ecuardo

Hevrae K’Vana Qi – home planet of Kei
Irin – female antagonist; voice sounds like a hyena/snake mix; an Anû Töe

Kaht Netronotki – male antagonist; wears white lab coat; an Anû Töe

Utar – a female Anû Töe who speaks Kei’s language and the language of the Anû Töe;

Otu – a male Anû Töe; a nurse aboard the ship Kei is on in Chapters 2 and 3; does not speak Kei’s language

Anû Töe – race of the antagonists

J’voht – home planet of Irin and Kaht

P’tua Kurover –
Ento – blob-like creature created accidentally from a human and hazardous waste

“The Aijan Codes” – Chapter 1

by Brianna G. Harte

Sand soaked in the tides as they fanned toward and away from the small beach. Whenever my feet fell upon the surface, a tickling sensation climbed up to my heels and the soft coating was ruined, but only slightly. Once another wave rolled in, hardly any traces of my passing remained. It was soothing. The seagulls flying overhead from the horizon cawed like wheezing toys from years past. Leaves rustled in the light breeze that also pushed several strands of wavy auburn hair across my face.

I continued to walk, almost at peace. It was rare that I would get such chances. Usually, people stared at me as though a virus was invading their city. My outward appearance did not vary much from their own. Perhaps they received vibes about who I truly was and perceived it the wrong way. I sighed at the thought. It was time for tranquility, not analysis.

My ears perked up. Someone else stepped into the tide. But who? It was a Tuesday morning, the time when most people were at work or driving to it. Children would be on their way to school. The elderly would be inside until the clocks struck twelve, when their caretakers were ready to let them explore the gardens and seashore. I quietly shuddered, and advanced my pace.

More splashes could be heard behind me. The salty scent of the ocean was now infused with the aroma of sweet huikre blossoms that no human could have found on Earth.

My first error: I turned my head. A man in a long white trench coat, a short, dark-haired girl who seemed roughly seventeen, and a bloodhound on a leather leash, walked along. Their eyes certainly were on me.

“It’s definitely her!” the man called out as his brisk walk turned into a run.

Only a second later, I was sprinting as fast as my legs could take me. If only I could fly!

I looked toward my right. My only escape from the eminent capture on land. I rushed through the oncoming waves, too afraid to truly think of the idiocy of my situation. I was never a strong swimmer. My breath could hold, lasting five minutes, maybe seven if I concentrated hard enough. It was not nearly enough. Not against them. Nevertheless, I doused myself in water, pushing the water past in order to fade into the bottom.

As I submerged myself, the color of my skin and clothes adapted to that of the algae which insisted on clinging to my being. Currents brushed against my face as I propelled myself toward the ocean floor filled with eels, coral, seaweed, and trash. Left and right were open waters. Fish filled the spaces, but no rocks could serve as a cover, one I desperately needed to preserve myself and the future of the Qi Merova, my race. Unfortunately, the man in the trench coat and girl would know that full well seeing as I was one of five left guarding the codes.

I shook my head at the thought, allowing bubbles to flutter around me before rising to the surface. Eyes wide and heart pounding like a ritual drum, I propelled myself far away from the spot. The lively coral neighborhood now stood at an arm’s length. A school of small, silvery fish swam through my hair as I was clearly providing an obstacle course with my presence. One tickled my neck with its slick scales. I wanted to laugh, but I couldn’t risk giving away my position again. Those three could likely be hovering close by in the air, planning their trap.

Disadvantages screamed in my mind. Then, the coral pricked my hand. I recoiled immediately, almost losing a breath of sweet air. An idea took form. Slowly, my hand and back slid onto the coral, ignoring the discomfort while allowing my skin to take on the appearance of the limestone-covered reef. Medium tan skin was replaced by vibrant reds, browns, and colors in-between which seemed as though a sponge created the colors. My black clothes stood out from my multi-colored body, but I quickly recalled that they could be mistaken for shadows. At least, that was the best I could hope for.

I gazed toward the surface, where shadows stood. Just shadows. No one breached the ocean surface, both comforting and alarming me. Surely they did not give up. All Qi Merovan databases spoke of their ruthlessness, their determination, and tendency to exhaust all possibilities despite their likelihoods of success. There was chance that this was their plan. Likely benefits were clouded from me. That is, until pressure in my chest began to feel uncomfortable. My skin may be able to adapt fairly easily, but the rest of my being was left as fragile as it was on the land. Every passing second, my lungs begged for air and took revenge on me by making even less tolerable pain than before. Details of reef life blurred, even the salty sensation that had taken residence in my nose and mouth.

The surface seemed to be my only option. The road to safety and utter destruction lay at my fingertips.

Turning over my arm, I tried to convince myself of the better choice. Three symbols were embedded there, each one defining Qi Merovan traits I embodied and had to protect. If I were to be lost now, they would be protected, but never see the light of day again. Was it worth the guarantee?

I leaned forward, distancing myself from the coral. The medium tan tone returned to my skin immediately. I glanced at the shadow above, then searched for any other option. Still nothing except for open sea lay nearby. With a huff, I swam upward in a diagonal motion, constantly eyeing the boat.

Maybe I can stay down here a little longer and they will move away.The thought was quickly dismissed when it caused me to swallow the saltwater. I shuddered for a moment, deeply wishing that the repulsive salty taste would evacuate my mouth. Until water was below me, it would be impossible.

The current harshly pushed against my skin as my arms and legs moved faster and with more strength. Must . . . get . . . air!

Heavy splashes came from the right and behind. My heart beat fast. My lungs started to give in. Dark spots covered my eyes to compliment the redness that probably had been invading the whites long ago. The surface still was too far away. Twenty feet maybe. Thirty at most. Whatever the case, I wasn’t going to make it.

Despite these thoughts, I pushed onward until I absolutely had to open my mouth again.

Perhaps it was luck. Perhaps something had assisted me. Either way, I took a breath of air. That is, after I coughed the water I ingested minutes before.

“Haha! Not so robust now that you’re in the water, are you?” a teasing voice called.

I turned to find the boat not nearly as far as I had thought it would be, or rather, hoped it would be. Two strides and my hands could touch the girl’s hand. The air seemed to become cooler as I bowed my head, not daring enough to meet their eyes. A soft, low hum echoed through the space between the clouds and sea. At first, it seemed to come straight from the jaws of the dog whose eyes narrowed with sharp teeth barred. When the man in the trench coat lifted me out of the water and threw me into the back of the boat, the humming became omnipresent even though the face of the dog now hovered over my own.

“Irin, do you hear that sound?” the man asked in a whisper, just loud enough for me to hear.

“The humming? Of course,” the girl responded. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her reach for long sticks within a bag slung over her shoulder. “Perhaps we can catch two at once, though I’m sure we can get the secrets from the first soon enough.”

A slight smile grew on my face. If only he or she would show. While the possibly rabid beast in front of me could deliver a significant amount of pain, I would jump at the sight of another like me. I’d been alone for so long . . .

Soon after I thought that, the dog was thrown far from me and into the waters. The large splash that followed shook the boat, catching the man and girl off balance as they apparently had started to stand in the boat. Their momentary distraught brought much needed relief to my mind.

“Qi Merovan! Get ready!” a voice shouted from somewhere near by. Seconds later, I was lifted into the air.

After years of being an anchor to the ground, rising into the sky frightened me more than being inches from capture. I had no control at all at that moment and not the slightest clue as to who had shouted. Since danger still hung in the air, my eyes closed in concentration, and the color of my skin shifted. Air currents whistled and waves crashed against the boat below. The new color should be interesting. When my eyes opened, I could hardly breathe. Unlike usual, the mild tan gradually shifted into a transparent, clear color. This could be promising.

Of course, my black clothing counted as even more of a setback than it had been in the sea. Unless there were storm clouds, my cover would be null and void just because my abilities extended only to my body.

As if in tune with my thoughts, a storm cloud began to form on a cloudless day. Winds picked up, bringing in numerous others from the east. The dark cloud soon encompassed me, causing my skin to shift into a dark grey, less solid form. Of course, it was not made of cloud particles, but it appeared so.

“We’re far enough away from the three in the boat now. You can turn off your camouflaging now, Qi Merovan,” the voice called again.

This could be a trap. Though, why would someone who wishes to trap me want to aid in my hiding minutes ago? Thoughts such as these swarmed in my head. Better wait and see what he’s planning or who he is first in any case.

“You wish to hear proof?” he asked, causing my jaw to drop. Telepathy?“I am Ecuardo, one of the remaining Qi Merovan left on Earth a hundred and fifty years ago. My task was to learn of the Earth, its elements, its geography, and its secrets. What I learned in addition was that the five code protectors sent from our world as it underwent changes to become more capable of withstanding attacks, was that another race was sending its own agents to pursue you. I have not thought you to be of any danger, so you have been left alone. No need to disturb the land the humans walk on and pay much or too little attention to if it is not necessary. They should not know we are even here or their governments would pursue us as well. Earth governments seem to be keen on the submission of their enemies and destruction of what they do not know, at least that’s what I have observed.”

I took a risk and spoke, not entirely sure that Ecuardo, as he called himself, truly had the ability to read my mind. “Why should I believe you?”

Gullu paï, Kei,” a familiar voice said to my right.

I let my camouflage dissipate, and as it did, the clouds sank so that they were just below me. Where the voice came from was neither in front of me nor to either side. Narrowing my eyes, I wondered. I tilted my head and gazed toward the sun above. Bright beams fell down into my eyes, momentarily blinding me. I had to squint in order to see anything. What I did see shocked me even more than I had thought possible. I mean, how many times do you see people’s faces emerging from a cloud hovering close by?

My heart nearly jumped out of my throat. “Don’t do that!”

“You mean flying next to a cloud? I do not see anything wrong with this. It was the way of our people hundreds of years ago, surely you know that,” he said.

“I don’t recall anyone being able to fly,” I said bluntly.

A frown replaced his smile quickly. “Have the leaders become so corrupt as to deprive you of your acknowledgement of your flight potential?”

“I work for our leaders, Ecuardo. That’s why I hold some of the codes,” I told him, raising my arm to show him my markings. “They are not corrupt.”
Ecuardo slowly became visible and separated himself from the cloud. “If they have not had the older generations guide you in flight, then something is clearly wrong. Nearly every Qi Merovan is born with the ability to fly, just as birds are. Let me show you.”

Suddenly, the force that had been pulling me upwards disappeared and I started to fall, desperately grasping for something to hold onto. Unfortunately, clouds are not as supportive as they seem from below. I fell through them all. The details of the waves below came into view.

“Ecuardo!” I screamed.

Let me just tell you that falling without a parachute is not fun. Not if you quickly approach your death as a result. I honestly thought I was going to splatter on impact, which while it would protect my race, it would be a horrible way to end life.

“Fly, Kei!” he called, not even mildly concerned.

“I can’t!” No more than twenty seconds of falling remained probably.

“Yes you can! Imagine you are flying like an eagle! Glide across the currents!”

I closed my eyes, trying to calm myself down. Flight. Where are you? In my head, tiny particles swarmed around. I could see it. At first, they zipped by each other quickly with a large space separating them. Then, they compacted and swam as a unit. Is this the way?

My eyes opened again to find the ocean almost at my face. I jerked my arms forward, desperately hoping that I could do as my thoughts proposed. I imagined the air particles moving closer together below me and motioned my arms in the direction I wanted the air to move. A transparent, but certainly present blanket was forming.

It’s not enough! I thought.

I crashed into the blanket and soon after, fell into the waters.

As I surfaced, I coughed out the waters. “See? I can’t fly. That ability is gone.”

“No? Then what was the air pocket you created? The only reason why you couldn’t fly was because you were falling too fast by the time you figured out how to use your ability,” Ecuardo said as he hovered close by in the air.

“She’s back! Don’t lose her now, Kaht!” a girl’s voice yelled not too far away.

Seconds later, a heavy object fell upon me, pushing me into the waters as air bubbles ran toward the surface. My first instinct: fight it off, so I did. It weighed far more than a dog and did nothing to counter my attacks, so I hesitated and opened my eyes. A body lying across my own resembled not the other girl nor the trench coated man, but Ecuardo. No emotion showed on his face. No part of his body flinched when I tried, and failed, to push him off. It seemed as though he fell unconscious . . . or worse.

“Ecuardo!” I said, with a flurry of bubbles rising out of my mouth. I shoved him hard without avail.

The impact was so sudden. I realized, with wide eyes, that he could not have taken a breath before falling into the ocean. And even for Qi Merovan, high concentrations of salt could kill upon entering the body. I wrapped his arm around my shoulder after swimming beneath him and attempted to swim to the surface. It was no use. No training had prepared me to carry a fully submerged weight along with my own. None of the leaders really expected me to meet another of my kind since all of the code holders had to remain separated.

I tried repeatedly, but I felt as though we were sinking deeper into the waters. To save one of the few Qi Merovan I will probably ever see again, I placed my hand over one of the marks on my arm, causing the world around me to shift. Not wanting to waste precious, pure energy from the gift bestowed upon me when I became a code bearer, a simple wish was asked. One that would not strain the fragile creatures that lived upon the soil and water. In my mind lay the rough, brilliantly colored coral, which quickly came into view as sank. I channeled a fraction of the energy bounding from the marks to the sea organisms to allow them to help me by helping them first.

Please. Bring your brothers together. Should you protect us, the energy you receive shall protect you from the dangers to come.

A chain of hope linked my spirit to the reef of coral and I could feel within my soul that they began to shift. For what seemed like hours, brain coral, sea plumes, and black coral crawled to the location directly beneath me and Ecuardo and built a thick column with their own bodies. Once we reached each other, the coral column pushed us toward the surface where the sun gleamed on top of the waters.

I need you to live, Ecuardo. I don’t want to be alone anymore, I thought, hoping his telepathy was true. You will make it.

Only a few seconds more. Almost there!

The reef seemed to tire, not used to such strain. I allowed more energy to transfer to them, a high risk for me in my position. It left my eyesight blurry and my arms hardly capable of holding onto Ecuardo, even though we stayed in the water. But the coral column grew again in full force, enough that when we breached the barrier between water and air, bounds of bubbles followed.

The seawater stung in my throat. The salt dried out my already blurry eyes. I had to focus, though. Ecuardo still lay in my arms.

“Breathe, Ecuardo! Breathe!”

“Better not give him any hope,” a deep-voiced man warned. “Once he takes a breath, there shall not be another to follow ever again.”

Copyright © 2015 Brianna G Harte. All rights reserved.

Original Fantasy/Sci Fi “The Aijan Codes” UPDATED! (11/22)

Hi everyone!

“The Aijan Codes” has been updated again! Follow this link to read the new addition to chapter 2! You can also read chapter 1 here!

Currently,

Updates for the “Aijan Codes”: Sundays

Updates / New Parts for “On the Other Side”: Wednesdays / Thursdays

Other writing: during the week

Follow my blog if you want updates for when I release more of my writing!

Thanks to all my followers for supporting me!

~Writing_With_Harte

“The Aijan Codes” Chapter 2 – UPDATED! (11/15)

Hi everyone!

I’ve updated my fantasy/sci-fi story again! Here’s a little snippit of the new addition to chapter 2! ”

“I expected torture.

I expected experiments.

I expected isolation.

I expected terror.

Above all, I expected death.

The leaders of Hevrae K’Vana Qi, my home planet, had always warned of the Anû Töe and their manipulative ways…”

Follow the link to read “The Aijan Codes” – CHAPTER 2!

You can also follow this link to read “The Aijan Codes” – CHAPTER 1!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

That’s all for now!

~Writing_With_Harte

“The Aijan Codes” – CHAPTER 2 – status: COMPLETED

by Brianna G. Harte

As with “Two Red Roses”, I’m going to keep all of the writing for all of chapter 2 of “The Aijan Codes” all in one post. For each update, I will write a post about any progress on the story.

Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to give it a “Like” if you enjoyed it!

And now, “The Aijan Codes” Chapter 2 shall commence!

——————————– October 4, 2015

PART 1

I was in no condition to do much of anything. Accessing so much power not previously tapped before drained my own energy, leaving my muscles fatigued and limp. There was no way I could bring both Ecuardo and I to safety, especially in his critical condition. Sinking to the seafloor was no option now. A burden lay upon my shoulders, drifting away with each moment not a breath came loose. But I couldn’t give up. That was not the Qi Merovan way.

Staring into his cruel, yellow eyes, I realized that there were two options here. One, capture, which would lead to both of our deaths. Two, abandon Ecuardo, which would lead to his death. And then eventually mine seeing as there was no way I could outswim a boat rowed by two beings.

Wrinkled formed against his eyes as a smile grew. “See? There’s no use. Give it up, Qi Merovan.”

I wanted to say I wouldn’t. That’s what noble people do. On my planet, it’s better to die fighting to save another than live in shame. It had always haunted me to think about possibly risking lives no matter what. Now, I was facing it with a forlorn face.

“If I surrender, what will happen to him?” My voice shook.

“Oh, P’tua Kurover shall be pleased!” the girl cried. Her voice no longer sounded like that of the humans. The disguise was no longer necessary. It morphed into a mixture of snake and hyena, a demonic combination when you hear it in person.

Turning his head, the man barked, “Ready the bonds!”

“You still haven’t answered my question,” I reminded him. The sound that left my mouth was as hard as an iron beam. It seemed to cut through the air, causing the two Anû Töe to freeze in their tracks. It even made me wonder where it came from, so peculiar it was.

—————————- October 18, 2015

PART 2

Their mut, whatever creature it was, seemed to be unaffected by my words. Its unwavering eyes the color of the sun narrowed at me just before its mouth opened wide, ready to snap. As it did so, I got a nice, horrific look at those incisors. Two long rows of pointed teeth reached to the back of its puke-colored jaw with enormous incisors larger than my hand heading the maw. Lining each tooth were shining green veins. It nearly chopped my head off my body when Irin, I believe her name was, told him off.

“We want her alive, you dolt,” she said, whacking him upside the head, causing his heavy skull to hit mine.

The mut growled at her before grabbing me out of the water by my clothes and throwing me aboard. I don’t know what I landed on, but my head hit it hard. Instinctively, I grabbed the back of my head with both hands, hoping that I wouldn’t black out. It fought me, though. My teeth clenched together, making me look as though I had eaten something repulsive. What truly woke me up was Ecuardo’s body floating away. I stumbled over the plank in the middle of the boat to see him.

“Ecuardo!” I called.

Both of his eyes started to open as he started going under. His body jerked and battled the water around him. His eyes soon met mine and he realized what was happening in an instant. As he swam my way, a large muscular hand grabbed me by the waist, reeled me in, and placed a sharp object against my throat, all in one swift motion.

“You come and she dies.”

“I didn’t even say I’d go,” I muttered the best I could with a sword so close to my skin.

Right next to my ear, he whispered with a grated voice. “Didn’t matter anyway. For all intents and purposes, you were ours.” With every word he spoke, a spit sprayed into my ear. “We’re going, Irin.”

If I had strength left, I would push away the sword. I’d knock out Kaht, or whatever his name was. I’d swim for Ecuardo. I’d try to find safety.

But I couldn’t.

As the motor started to gargle and buzz, a thought nagged the back of my mind. Why hadn’t I been told about how the power would drain me so?

Ecuardo was soon a small dot in the distance among the thousands of rolling waves with the sun reflected on their crests. The beach I had been on only recently faded into a line on the horizon and soon, disappeared from view. I could only smell salt after a while as no land or creature, besides whatever was glaring at me, drooling on my clothes, was in sight. No gasoline infused the air. No people strolling about. Nothing but water.

—————————— November 1, 2015

PART 3

At one point or another, they put me into a deep sleep by forcing me to inhale the pollen of the fevriti flower only found on three planets in the galaxy as we knew it. In my weakened state, I could only hold my breath for so long before I had to take a deep breath. I remember it smelling like the ocean and mint infused together. It scared me at first. The only thought that comforted me was that they couldn’t take the secrets of the Aijan Codes from me without me consciously inviting them to know. This too turned sour. There was always the possibility that they could tear my brain apart.

These thoughts slowly melted away as I drifted to a deep slumber. A slumber where dreams could not accompany me.

Without being able to open my eyes, I could feel what was happening. Multiple hands grabbed me, lifting me away. Soon after a cushion of some sort met my back, something knocked at my pressure points. Perhaps it was simply an assurance to them that I could not move, but this was more likely paranoia since a hard object came across my front, locking my body in place. Tight, wired cloth came about my face next. I could not resist any of this, only feel.

I cannot remember the rest. Whatever they put over my lips pushed away all feeling for the night, morning, or however long it was. What were they planning on doing to me? How was any of this going to help them in any way? All the time without rest and without feeling was spent in my thoughts, perhaps trying to contact my home planet of Hevrae K’Vana Qi. What would I say to them? I had no foreknowledge of where I was. I could not ask them to find me. I was a secret. Only a select few knew I even existed. Even fewer knew I held the codes.

The single ounce of hope I could carry was that if I died, my part of the code would be safe from anyone’s hands forever.

—————— November 15, 2015

I expected torture.

I expected experiments.

I expected isolation.

I expected terror.

Above all, I expected death.

The leaders of Hevrae K’Vana Qi, my home planet, had always warned of the Anû Töe and their manipulative ways. I had to study the common ways the despicable race poisoned the minds of their prisoners, slowly turning them into nothing more than shells of the creatures they once were. Facts about death rates, about malicious weapons hidden underneath their cloaks, about hostages flew across my mind as my feet pressed against the warm iron sheets. Details of the torments their kind had forced our kind to endure surfaced as the two Anû Töe in sand colored drapery supported my body as my knees collapsed.

“They will not raise their ears should you scream to the stars,” the voices of the leaders echoed.

They allowed me to sit on the only open seating of the area: a sticky surface similar to a table, only it did not allow for movement. Projects and equipment lay scattered about the area, reminding me of the junkyards close to the beach I stode on not too long ago. Among trash were shining treasures like video holograms, a malfunctioning 3D diagram of the universe, and pieces similar to solar technology.

Hekthu Eu Nuvale found himself isolated in an examination room, dim lights on so that the faces of his torturers lay beneath shadows. When he finally escaped, his power was greatly reduced from the strain they had put him through.

“Terr anufa ki forren bein des?” one of them asked. After I stared at her blankly for a few seconds, another came.

“Are you alright?”

Puncture marks at the head, elbows, and feet forever ruined his skin.

In a dazed state, I shifted my focus to my elbows where hardened clay clutched my skin. “What are these?”

“We injected a formula into your bloodstream so that you would survive,” one answered in a calm voice. “Only a couple days ago, you were at the brink of an extreme coma. It revitalized your organs.”

“Why aren’t you making me uncomfortable?”

The Anû Töe tending to me seemed taken aback by the question. They must have realized that I was not kidding, for they finally responded with mirth. “We don’t believe in such things! You must be confusing us with a rogue clan who refuses to abide by our customs.”

I was taken aback. My ears must not have heard correctly. “Then where are you taking me?”

With a wave of the hand, one responded lightly. “To the captain.”

———————- November 22, 2015

I stopped in my tracks, listening to the air currents flowing around the room as though a man was blowing through a flute. A constant hum filled the silence I created. As the Anû Töe leading me noticed my footsteps halting, a pain in my arm erupted. A thousand needles sharper than swords attacked the mark that bore itself into me long ago. It seemed to have a mind of its own. Had the leaders been listening? Did they trust me so little with the mission they sent me on as to place a spy within my own skin to check on my moves?

My fist clenched as agony rose from my skin and bore itself deeper into my skin, until it was infiltrating my very own veins. With my right hand, I grasped my forearm, holding tight. The two closest to me tried to offer help, but there was none they could supply. Not even the liquid they injected into my skin made a difference.

As the searing pain tore at my arm, the Anû Töe asked me questions, questions I could not answer. “Where does it hurt?”

“Is there anything we can do?”

“What is the source of the pain you feel?”

“Maybe you could . . . answer some of mine,” I struggled to ask. “I can’t answer . . . any of yours . . . so maybe . . .”

“Ask what you will.”

“This might help . . . to lessen . . . the pain . . . if my body . . . knows why I’m here. . . and . . . why those two . . . acted like you . . . wanted to hurt me . . .”

Glances were exchanged and those who could understand me translated. As they conversed, the symbols on my left arm began to pulse a faint silvery glow. I wish I knew whether or not it was occurring to the other code bearers or if I was the only one. I wish I knew that it could happen at all. A dark cloud slithered through my mind, tainting my thoughts with doubt.

———— November 29, 2015

Part 4

Although I didn’t expect them to disclose anything to me, the two that spoke my language started to speak, softly at first. It was of the missions of Irin and Kaht Netronotki, the confirmed pursuers of me and any other code bearer from my planet, Hevrae K’Vana Qi. “They were told simply to secure you, using a device that tracks high levels of energy on Earth. Of course, this originally led them to nuclear power plants, coal-fired plants, and the like. We could not expect this, being from a much cleaner environment that uses far less risky energy, in much smaller concentrations than what they have on that planet.”

The other chimed in. “All we knew was that any Qi Merovan such as yourself that was trusted to your leaders with special information exhibited abnormal amounts of power. Power that could uproot your leaders from their seats of power that have oppressed our people and those of countless other planets. Yes, Qi Merovan, your leaders are not so pristine as you may think.”

The pulsing pain continued, though my interest attached to the account. I did not stop them from speaking. I couldn’t.

“They weren’t supposed to kill you, Qi Merovan.”

A strong wave of piercing pain clawed at my arm.

All of you must remember not to believe a word of the Anû Töe, the voices of the leaders echoed. If captured, do not listen to their words. Should they attack, they mean to kill you.

“Kei,” I told them with a strained voice. If I should die any time soon, which the pain made seem all too possible, I wanted someone to at least say where I was seen last. Even though a risk of identity, I couldn’t help it.

“Is that what they call you? Do you realize what it means?”

I shrugged. “Once I became a code bearer, yes.”

A quick, nervous glance was exchanged between each of the Anû Töe around. Words in their language ran through the room. Meanwhile, the distractions dissipated. Pain. Sharp pain, more acute than before. It ripped its way through every muscle, every organ. My seething intensified.

Just to escape the agony, I interrupted them all. “What . . . what does that . . . mean?”

All hesitated. Either for secrecy or protection, their mouths were sewn shut.

“Tell me.” I couldn’t focus.

“In our language, it means ‘of the ui keitu’, a beast that is well known to feign weakness until it is ready to rip its prey to death. And, it means nothing in your language at all. It cannot be a simple coincidence. . .”

—————— December 6, 2015

“Just a mistake,” I laughed uneasily, alternating with seething.

The Anû Töe nodded after moments of hesitation. “We’d better move on then. Can you move or shall we bring you to the evaalu? That is to say our infirmary? We don’t have much, but we can manage something.”

Pushing myself off of the desk was like trying to run quickly underwater: enormous effort for little movement. Needles seemed to prick every soft tissue I had, especially at my hands. My elbows buckled under an invisible weight. My knees, too, refused to support weight. Too much pain sparked too many neurons. It was one of the few times I wished I was human, not Qi Merovan or any other race. They could escape agony through comas or fainting, at least, most of the time if what I’ve read has been correct. I tossed the thought out of my mind. No use wishing for something that cannot be.

Sandy hands held my arms, propping me back onto the table. “We shall keep you here then. While we treat you as best as we can, the captain would like a word with you.”

Scanning the room raised my eyebrow. A few screens made of material I had never seen before were propped up on the walls, separated on four corners of the cabin I was in. No chairs were close by any of them. Not even an open space, besides the path in between the scattered objects across the floorboards. Where would the captain sit or even stand? It was not exactly the conditions we had our leaders in, that was certain.

Those near me brought forth a nugget resembling dried mud. While unappetizing, I hardly fussed about consuming it for my stomach was begging for sustenance. Using up so much power I had no time to practice harnessing and going a few days without consuming food that satisfied me had taken tolls. How I had wished that other planets’ cuisine could provide me with the same nutrients as those on my own. Unlike what I had found on Earth, the nugget seemed to awaken the cells in my body, filling in gaps that had opened. The taste was repulsive, yet I refused to fight it.

“Be still when Ento comes. It may sting, but he’s really doing all he can to help.” Their voices sounded fainter than before, as though they were restraining their words. Perhaps I was only imagining it.

As instructed, I attempted not to move away as what seemed to be a being made of hazardous waste approached from a corridor. His form seemed to combine those of a gorilla and seal, yet it never ceased moving. The outer coat was smooth, yet largely built, despite having material move around constantly. While he began applying a slimy, yet dry paste to my arms, my focus began to fade.

I turned to those around me, besides Ento. “Why can I not see well?”

“Calm, Kei,” one instructed. “It must be that your cells are recharging. I would explain, though I doubt you would like to listen.”

I shrugged with little movement. “As I told you before, it may help to concentrate on something so that the pain can ease.”

“How much of a studier of the smaller thuresses are you?” she implored.

“Do you mean sciences?”

“That is what those on Earth call it, yes.”

“Then not much of one.”

A slight nod. “Very well then. It may help to show you.”

“How are  you -?” I stopped myself as an image appeared in midair.

—————— December 13, 2015

“The same technology that was developed and denied in your planet is being embraced on mine as it can speed up cell regeneration, but at the cost of temporary shut down of other body functions,” she began as a three-dimensional image, created by green lights emitted by the sources on the corners of the room, represented discs that I could only assume were the cells as they began duplicating. A full picture of multiple discs splitting into two was forming and moving as though I was seeing a real three-dimensional movie, rather than simply an image. As tiny balls the color of buttercups fell upon the cells, their duplication took place at a much faster pace. “In your case, it does not seem to be just the cells. Can you tell me what exactly you felt before the paste was put onto your skin?”

“Pain. Darting pain. So little energy.”

“And how do you feel now?”

“Numb and almost blind.”

“It seems as though the channel through which you accessed the power of those marks on your arm was blocked, causing damage to both your cells and energy channels. So much has been deteriorated that the paste is trying to revert you back to normal at an accelerated rate.” The Anû Töe stopped, eyeing me. “Out of curiosity, did your leaders ever mention that using that power could cause that much harm?”

I shook my head. “I believe that I was never to use it.”

“And yet you did.”

“I had to. Ecuardo was going to die and all of my normal strength left me.”

As the hologram proceeded to show cells and regeneration, our conversation ceased. My vision continued to dwindle until utter darkness surrounded me. Through my eyelids, however, the hologram seemed to play tricks. An image of a sturdy, hairless semi-humanoid appeared in a soft red hue. He, as I supposed the being was, was adorned with a long, ashen grey robe that covered the majority of his tall figure except for the gills along his neck and lack of ears as far as I could see. A leather sash covered the majority of his eyes, completing the fierce look. Surrounding him was a green glow, the same that came from the hologram.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Kei, what are you talking about? It’s just a hologram.”

I opened my eyes and the figure was replaced by darkness. “A robed man. It was as though he was a sea worthy version of an Anû Töe. It was beneath my eyelids that he appeared.”

“We should get you to the infirmary. I don’t believe this is a side effect of Ento’s healing paste.”

————- December 20, 2015

As hands lifted me off the ground and away from the holograms, the illuminated figure faded from view. A black void took its place. Its presence almost forced me to ask for the semi-humanoid to return, though whether or not he or it could be trusted I could not tell. One thing I brought to the bleak infirmary was that the figure was real. No words had been spoken. No moves to entertain. Nothing but a projection. Suspicions arose in my body as senses fell. Though a dangerous pastime, wonders blocked pain. Everything that transpired in the single room with instruments I could not recognize became the background and curious thoughts the foreground, with eyesight still weakened.

While a strange cap covered my head and traced brain waves, I focused on who he might have been. The captain? If so, why reveal himself to me and only me? Another race I had not been aware of? A mutated human?

Beams of light shined into my eyes. What were his motives? Would he help or hurt me? Could he be deceptive? What is his relation to me or the leaders of Hevrae K’Vana Qi?

Another type of scan over my entire body commenced as I wondered if any of the Anû Töe on the ship had ever seen the figure before.

After what seemed like hours of speculation, it seemed rather possible that the connection to whatever I saw existed in the holograms. Unfortunately, recovering from exhaustion, I suppose you could call it, proved as challenging as accessing any holograms. None were in the damp room I lay in, and I didn’t suppose I could leave. At least, not physically. All limbs were either numb or paralyzed, I couldn’t be sure. It was an improvement from the pain. As time lapsed, normal energy returned to my body, renewed by the healing paste I imagine. The Anû Töe had shown that before the figure came beneath my eyelids. It bothered me slightly that the marks on my arm lacked anything special now, though I hardly knew anything about them in depth as proven by the pain, or the depletion of energy.

While more details of the room developed, I noticed a monitor to my right. How I wished I could hack it. Maybe I could find out where I was headed or who else was on the ship. It irritated me that I didn’t know a single name yet. Groaning aloud didn’t help. Asking proved unsuccessful as well, as it didn’t seem that the one on duty could understand me. When he, supposing the more squared and piercing eyes meant male, spoke, it sounded as though a squirrel chatted. Both incomprehensive. Both rushed, for some reason. Both didn’t truly change activity when I attempted to return in conversation.

He showed me images, testing eyesight or questioning me, I wasn’t sure. Two of them struck me as familiar. They were of left forearms carrying the same style of writing that was on mine. The series on one seemed to say strength, agility, and wild. The other said balance and harmony. If these were of other Qi Merovan, how long ago had these been taken? Where were they? Were they alive?

————–

________________________________

GUIDE TO NAMES

Kei – main character

Ecuardo – Qi Merovan who’s been on Earth for 150 years

Qi Merov – race of Kei and Ecuardo

Hevrae K’Vana Qi – home planet of Kei

Irin – female antagonist; voice sounds like a hyena/snake mix

Kaht Netronotki – male antagonist; wears white lab coat

Anû Töe – race of the antagonists

J’voht – home planet of Irin and Kaht

P’tua Kurover –

Ento – blob-like creature created accidentally from a human and hazardous waste

_______________________________________________

The Aijan Codes – Chapter 1 links

“The Aijan Codes, 1: Tracked”

“The Aijan Codes, 2: Murky Waters”

“The Aijan Codes, 3: Lifted”

“The Aijan Codes, 4”

“The Aijan Codes, 5”

“The Aijan Codes” – Chapter 1 – COMPLETE; includes parts 6 and 7 of Chapter 1

Copyright © 2015 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.