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Taarna: Ressurection

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Taarna: Ressurection
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:04:10 AM »
 

paladin313

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Here is a fan fiction I just started based on the last story in the "Heavy Metal" movie.  If you like it, let me know, and I shall add more.  If enough of you like it, I shall also put this on Fan Fiction.net.  Here are the first two chapters.

Taarna: Resurrection

by

John Smith

Prologue

Her life would never be the same...how could it be?  As she soared through the air, she had the sense of a peace about her she felt she should not have, and yet it was there.  The Loc-Narr had shown her the very animal she was now riding, and this should have frightened her.  Yet, somehow, all this seemed all-too natural.  In fact, it almost seemed she had a symbiotic connection to the animal, as if it was speaking directly into her mind.  He...she...it...seemed to be telling her that they were friends, and good things awaited.  Indeed, the creature's mere presence seemed to comfort her, giving her a strength and a sense of protection she had never felt before.  Her life was in tatters now.  She had never known her mother, as she was adopted by a man she had always known as her father.  In fact, she was even left on the doorstep of the now demolished house she had called home.  No one ever knew, or ever found out how she got there, but there it was.  All she knew was that she had been adopted by an archeologist and college professor who lived in the plains of the Midwest, and had an okay life.  Then her father had brought home that...thing...and instantly killed the man, turning him into a pile of slag before her horrified eyes.  She tried to flee, but that thing took on life and blocked her way.  It began to tell her that he was the embodiment of all that was evil, and that she had something special about her of which she was not aware, and for that, she was marked for death.  Why it did not kill her right away, she was not sure.  It almost seemed as if it was trying to tell her that there was no way he could ever be destroyed, and seemingly wanted to gloat and rub salt into her wounds before sending her into oblivion.  That was when he showed her about Taarna.

Apparently, on some other world, time, or what have you, there was a warrior woman who sought to stop a direct act of this Loc-Narr which had corrupted that region and caused a pain and destruction the likes of which had never been seen in that area before.  This Taarna, of a race of warriors known as Taarackians, daughter of one Taarnack—a bold warrior in his own right—and her being the last of her kind, took arms once more to first defeat the army that sought to conquer and oppress.  Though she had been captured, severely beaten and raped, she still managed to defeat her foe, though mortally wounded along with her mount.  She mounted the strange, birdlike creature that seemed a cross of a bird and a pterodactyl and took to the air one last time.  The Loc-Narr, which was of giant proportions in the volcano where it had landed, sat radiating its evil, but had no idea that she was about to sacrifice herself to destroy it.  This she did, but somehow, it had been reborn, (if you could say it was born,) and now sought her out.  Yet, all she could assume that the memory of his previous destruction, coupled with whatever energy of Taarna had left in it, caused it to connect somehow to the past, and in the process, the Loc-Narr destroyed himself, and demolished her home with it.  She was at a loss as where to go or what to do next when she heard the soft, cooing cries of the creature behind her.  The bird even seemed to be smiling, and for some reason, she ran to it, as if it could give her comfort.  From there, it felt as if instinct was taking over.  In fact, along with that, she also felt as if the creature was compelling her to mount, and that she did.  Once on board, it took off.  The horror of the loss of her father, her home, and essentially, what was her life, seemed to fly away with the breeze as they soared through the air.  Right now, the only thing she could feel was that everything was right with the world as long as they were together.  She had no idea where she was going, and for some reason, she felt she really did not care.  Somewhere, out there, where they were going, was the answer.

Chapter 1

They had been flying for hours now, high over the landscape of the plains of America, and now they were over desert regions.  Now, over just where was unknown to her, and as the time had passed, her senses were returning to her.  Curiosity over her situation was running strong now, as well as fatigue.  She was getting tired and she was fighting to stay upright.  Yet, as soon as she thought that, the creature seemed to sense this, and the danger she might be in if she suddenly passed out.  Thus, as the sun was just cracking over the horizon, the creature found a large rock that would shade them from the pounding sun for the day and set down there.  Once there, the girl dismounted and the creature rubbed its bulbous head on her in a comforting fashion and then went a ways into the desert.  It was fortunate to find a cactus that was just big enough to suit their needs.  It broke it off and then carefully brought it back.  It then set it in front of the girl and carefully picked it open.  The girl then felt the sense of it seeming to tell her to take a chunk from inside and squeeze the water out of it.  Being thirsty, she did as she felt she was being led and drank heartily.  The cactus was then shoved in the knoll the rock created so that they could drink while she rested if the felt the need and they thus settled in to sleep away the day protected from the remorseless and unforgiving heat of the desert.  The creature nestled in as the girl laid back on the creature.  As they both settled in to sleep, the creature even overlaid its wing over the girl as if she was a chick to a mother bird.

The sun was just beginning to set as they awoke.  They had slept for some time as they had flown through the night and they were both exhausted.  The girl awoke to find out the creature had cuddled her close and gladly hugged its neck for its kindness.  Just as she did this, there was a grumble from her stomach, and indeed, a ravenous hunger overtook her.  The creature also sensed this and she now felt a compelling to mount the creature once again, as if it was going to take her somewhere she could get food.  Yet, the creature also knew what was supposed to happen next, and it knew that it could accomplish both goals at once.  They took to the air, and not but one half-hour later, they came up to one of those small towns one would find in the middle of the desert: one main street with several shops and businesses along it that led to where people's ranch houses lay, with a few side streets here and there.  It held the appearance of what an old west town would have looked like if it had been built in modern times, complete with raised sidewalks, except these were made of cement rather than wood.  Instead of buildings of wood, there were buildings of stone and brick.  The street was wide enough to accompany parked cars, and cars were lined up here and there as if some strange mechanical horse tied up before shops into which their owners went.  Despite being in the middle of the desert, it was a bustling town during the day, but now it seemed that they were rolling up the sidewalks, but the local café was still in operation as the ranchers and local businesses were now meeting at their favorite eating establishment to unwind and talk about the days events.  Indeed, it seemed to be one of those towns where everyone knew everyone else, and hence, a stranger would be easy to spot. The creature came in low and stayed behind the crests of sand dunes so as not to be seen, and set down on a dune that was behind the café.  The girl dismounted and seemed to sense the creature telling her that there was food in the building on the other side of the dune.  However, it was then that reality was setting in, and that she only had about $15 in her pocket.  She knew she could pay for the food, but what then?  She would have to try to make this last as long as she could.  She would try to take it easy and hope for something better to come.  With that, she came around the dune and headed for the café.

Though it was what one could call a greasy spoon, it was nonetheless a clean, warm, and welcoming place, given the sensibility and tender loving care of someone who kept a neat and safe place out of common sense rather than some kind of health law.  Yet, there was also the sense of a local feel, in that this was not the kind of place that had no kind of smoking ban as a big city might have, as people chugged away with impunity, and yet there was some logic put in it, in that, there was a section connected to it, but separate enough for those that did not want to deal with the light haze in the place while they ate.  The girl wrenched her nose at the smell of the smoke.  Her father did smoke a pipe, but that was only occasionally, and at least that had a sweet smell that was not obnoxious.  This was different.  However, hunger overtook her, and she pressed her way in.  A sign in the front read, “Seat yourself,” so it was clear that the people who came in were regular enough to know where they liked to sit, and that they would not be forgotten.  The chatter was constant enough to where it would not be distracting, and to the point where, when she entered, she was not really noticed at first.  There was one aisle that led through the whole place, with a coffee bar to one side where several people sat on the old metal spinning stools with the thick padded tops that seemed to be cliché of the kinds you would have seen in a 1950s malt shop.  On the other were some booths, and many near the big picture window that proudly sported the name of the family that had owned the place for decades.  There were a few empty ones, and the girl eyed that one and headed for it.  Yet, as she passed, some of the people sitting in the booths noticed her pass, and they hushed their talking as they examined the newcomer.  This was followed by some discussion about the newcomer, accompanied by finger-pointing and if anyone knew her, or if she was related to anyone.  It was not uncommon to see strangers from time to time come in for a meal, but this was normally tourists just passing through, and that normally entailed more than one person, and mostly families.  If there were children, there were normally adults accompanying the child.  This was different.  Yes, sometimes they came in at dinner time, but that was not as often as it was during the day when everyone was out on their ranches and irrigated farms, or working at one of the local businesses.  This was way out of place.  The girl felt the eyes boring holes into her as she went to sit, and she felt very uneasy about the whole affair.  She shuddered, but kept on her way.  She slid into a booth next to the window and waited.

The waitress, who also happened to be head proprietor of the café, spotted the girl who appeared to be 13 years of age in her black, patent leather shoes, white laced ankle-high socks, blue girly dress with the black leather belt and black choker, but with odd hair.  If she was not 13, her hair made her seem older, as it was all white with gray highlights here and there.  She was just above a plain Jane in her judgment, but not necessarily homely, and pretty in her own way, and oddly enough, her white hair seemed to add to her beauty.  Yet, she was indeed a stranger, and odd that she would be alone in this place out in the middle of nowhere without her parents at that time of night.  She then went up to her as if her being there was normal, if anything, to find out what was going on.  “Hi, honey,” uttered the woman, “Menu is on the table.  These are the best eats in the area!”
The girl smiled weakly as she picked up the menu to see what was on it.  The prices were reasonable, but she also knew it would take half of what she had, and that did not include the tip.  The woman then asked, “Anything to drink?”
“The water will be okay,” the girl said quietly.
“You're new around here,” probed the woman.
“I'm...just passing through,” the girl answered, not sure what else to say.
“Where's your parents?”
She wasn't sure what to say now.  She was about to try to come up with something, but before she could speak, the woman asked, “What's your name, honey?”
For some reason, the only thing that came to her mind to say was, “Taarna,” and she then told her that.
The woman looked at her oddly, as it was not what you would call a normal name, yet she also knew that, in these modern times, parents could get creative enough, and it was not a bad name, and had a style to it.  She then said, “That's a pretty name.  Tell you what, I'll let you have some time to check out the menu and come back, okay?”
“Thank you,” answered the girl, and she was relieved when the woman walked away, happy she did not probe any further.  However, the woman made a bee line for a set of booths on the back side of the café perpendicular to the others, and to a booth near the doors that led to the kitchen where the local sheriff sat.  He was halfway through his dinner when the woman slid across from him and said, “Hal, we may have a situation.”


The time had come.  His life had changed so dramatically the day he discovered the massive cavern in Nevada.  He was only 15 years old at that time, and had no idea into what he was heading.  He went far into the cavern, half out of youthful curiosity, and half out of something that seemed to draw him deeper and deeper into the crust of the earth.  He still remembered it all as if it was yesterday: the walls becoming more and more jewel-encrusted with faceted precious stones that refracted the light of his lantern, the strange language carved into spots of the wall, the library of perfectly preserved scrolls protected by their seclusion from the elements and handling of people, the small altar on which a sizable egg sat, and then the large cavern which sat a square marble and large pool of water fed by some fresh water source, the unlit torches lining the walls to either side, and most of all, the massive statue of the scantily-clad woman with sparse armor and the sword extended to the ceiling.  He was excited, because he felt that, once he told everyone, he could become famous, and yet, something about it told him that he needed to clam up for the time being.  This did not seem to resemble any civilization that would have been seen in this region of the country, and he wanted to know more about it before he told anyone so he could know what to tell others.  He thus decided to take some time to explore some more, and went back to the egg.  It was about twice the size of an ostrich egg, and he figured it was petrified by this point.  However, when he picked it up, it was smooth, and felt like it had been laid not too long ago.  Yet, it suddenly started to warm up to a temperature that would be expected for a living egg.  The sudden change almost made him drop the egg, but he gathered himself and sat down as he also set the egg on the floor.  No sooner had he done that when the egg cracked open, and out came the oddest looking bird he had ever seen.  Once it gained its strength from hatching, it waddled over to him, and then started to act as if he was its mother.  “Oh great!” he muttered, “Now what do I do?”

After a few moments, it waddled back to the shell and started to nibble at it, and it was clear that he needed food.  Yet, what could he offer?  What did it even eat.  With some beckoning, he coaxed it to follow him, and before long, they were outside the cavern.  As chance would have it, there was an old vulture nibbling on some carrion it had found when they emerged.  The creature spotted it, squealed, and before the vulture could react to the newcomers, the creature snatched it and dispatched it, and then started to tear it up as it fed.  Sam looked at this and was not sure what to do, but he felt a need to go back in, though he did not know why.  Therefore, he went back into the cave and started exploring again.  The creature, when it saw this, grabbed its first meal and followed.  “Great,” thought Sam, “Did the thing imprint on me?”
He feared heading back to the junkyard where he and his family lived and then having to explain the stray that followed him home.  This was not some stray dog or cat that followed him home, this was some semi-prehistoric creature of no known species, and it probably would cause his father to get the rifle and blow it away for lack of understanding over what this thing was.  In fact, Sam was shocked the thing did not try to make a meal of him the first moment he saw him.  He did not know why it took an instant liking to him.  Nonetheless, this was not the time to ponder it, and just let the thing content itself with following him.  He decided a visit to the library would help, though he was doubtful that it would tell him much, considering that the language was the oddest one he had ever seen.

Once in the library, the creature seemed to discern that he was going to be there for a while, and settled into eating its meal as he looked around.  On the walls were carvings of what looked like wars and skirmishes, and all with warriors—male and female—all similarly clad.  They also seemed to have an interesting design on their mark that looked like a sword.  He opened some of the books, and, as he figured, it was all in that language.  However, these had color art, and in it was contained more battle scenes, and the warriors were all clad in black and red, and seemed to be getting the better of their foe.  He wondered what it all meant, or if there was anyone who could even figure out what was on the page.  He carefully rolled it back up and slid it into its place.  As he looked around, he also noticed another altar, but this had a large blood-red crystal on it.  Once he fixed his eyes on it, it began to keep its gaze.  It seemed to be calling to him, and he headed to it, but before it completely enraptured him, he suddenly remembered some chores he had to do and it brought him around to where he looked at his watch.  He sighed a heavy sigh of relief realizing he would have time to get back, and figured he would leave it for another day.  He then headed to the surface, but the creature again followed him, now having gotten all it could from the carcass.  “Stay here,” he told it, “I'll be back,” but his protest fell on deaf ears...if it even had ears...and the thing followed him.  He went outside to the dune buggy he had driven there, and sure enough, the thing was behind him.  He got into the seat, intending to speed away, but before he could start it, the creature had already crawled into the other seat.  He growled, and tried to push it out, but now it snapped at him in protest.  “Okay, okay...I get it!” he said as he took off, “How am I going to explain this to the folks?”

As they went, the creature started at him, looking him up and down as he pondered what he was going to say to the folks, and when they were about ¾ of the way there, the strange fowl contented itself on watching the scenery going by.  Sam hopped out, but the creature, instead of following, looked for a good shelter nearby and seemed content to settle there.  He walked up and said, “You done following me?”
The creature pecked at the ground before his shelter as if to say, “I'm fine here.”
Sam sighed heavily and said, “Suit yourself, but I hope you can find food around here.  Not much comes by but coyotes, lizards and snakes, critters and birds.”
It pecked the ground again, and Sam just sighed, saying, “What a mess.”
With that, he went back to the house and tended to the chores.  He would go back to that cave when he had the chance and explore more.

After a few days, he went back, and the creature followed him, though it had gotten bigger since he last saw it.  Apparently, it had been able to find some good hunting, so he did not have to worry about it starving.  What was more odd was how the thing seemed to know what he was thinking and acted accordingly.  It had shown intelligence enough to communicate with him when they first met, and that did not strike him that that had happened due to the suddenness of everything that had happened.  Now, back in the cavern, he looked over the library again and found more books that piqued his interest if just for the pictures alone.  However, what stopped him dead in his tracks was one book that seemed to have some of these warriors riding on the very creatures that now stood in the room with him.  He looked up at it in shock, and it now seemed to be smiling at him!  It nodded, and Sam looked again at the picture.  Obviously, it was going to be bigger, but he was not sure just how much.  He carefully scrolled it back and set it in its place, and then saw the crystal again.  Once again, it mesmerized him, and he just had to learn more about it.  However, this time, because his mind was not distracted, it hypnotized him, and he could not resist the urge of touching it.  His hand glanced the crystal, and it was the last thing of the cavern he would see for a few hours.

While he was out, centuries of history was lodging itself into open areas of his brain.  Oddly enough, he seemed to be reliving all these events first-hand.  One thing that caught him was what they kept calling him: Taarnack.  He also had images of having a wife and daughter who grew and became a vicious warrior in her own right.  Then came a great war against an extremely evil foe, and the entire Taarackian race was wiped out, save for just he and his daughter.  Despite what had happened, they decided to remain the protector of the land and of those that right wrongs.  The vision then changed, and a voice was heard, “All this was a part of a different Earth...a different time...  Many millennium have passed since this Earth existed, but you are connected back to that past.  You are Taarnack reborn.  You were led here by the spirits of your race who defended the Earth for centuries, but it has been denied defense for 5,000 millennia.  What you think is ancient history is not how your beings have perceived it.  The Earth is billions of years old, and have seen many different existences, but the Taarackians were set aside by the powers that be to be the Earth's defenders.  This was until the Loc-Narr tried to corrupt it all.”
New visions appeared to where it showed only his daughter alive.  It then relayed the final battle, and the destruction of the Loc-Narr was the mark of the birth of a new world, but it also marked the end of the Taarackians.  The voice said again, “The powers that be did not want the Earth denied forever, so it was decreed that the last two Taarackians be reborn one day to carry on the fight.  Because you were born into the body that you were, you can breed with the locals and rebuild the race, but do know you live for hundreds of years.  You can still die as a normal person, but you do have an edge.  Know, though, that I said that the last two would be reborn.  She has not been born yet, but when she is, the powers that be will insure that it will be in such a fashion that she will not know her past, or have a way to be traced when it is time for her to come to you.”
“Come to me?” asked Sam.
“The creature that now stays by your side will know the time,” said the voice, “She will tell you, and go to the girl...yes, it is female.”
“What is it?” he asked again.
“We just knew them as Flyers,” the voice answered, “You can call her what you want.”
“But, how can she breed?” he asked again, as if this was all normal.
“She is special,” he said, “It actually can breed within itself, but it is close enough to female to call it a 'she'.  When it is time, another will be sired for both of you to have mounts.”
After a moment, he said, “Who are you?”
The voice laughed and said, “I am you!”
Sam did not know what to answer, and the voice said, “I am the spirit of Taarnack, which has now awakened in you.  When you awaken, you shall be able to read the walls, and you shall know what to do from there.”
“What do I tell my folks,” he asked.
“Bring them here and tell them everything,” answered the voice, “When the see how you look now, they will know something happened, and really have no choice but to believe you.  Now, awaken, and go meet your new life, Great Defender!”

A few hours passed, and he awoke at last, breathing fast and staring at the ceiling in disbelief for a time.  Finally, he gathered himself and arose.  He went to the only reflecting surface in the cavern, which was the pool, and went to check it out.  When he looked in, his hair was white with gray highlights, as well as a red mark on his neck that matched those he saw in the cavern.  He jumped up with a start and went back into the library.  Whereas everything was not understandable before, now he read everything as if it was natural.  He then started to go into sensory overload and plopped onto the floor, not sure what to do.  He took some time to gather in the weight of this, and something told him to look into a particular section of the room.  When he got there, he discovered all kinds of books on combat and technique.  He then figured, if this was his fate, he would have to come back and train.  He looked at the creature and said, “Give me time and I'll think up a name for you.  In the meantime, it's time to tell the folks about this.”
With that, he went back to tell them everything.

It took some convincing, but the hair and birthmark did tell them there was truth to what he was saying.  He eventually coaxed them into coming to the cavern, and when they saw that, they were dumbstruck.  His father then saw the Flyer, and he had to quickly intervene before his father tried to kill her.  After a time, his father said, “Sam, we have to tell...”
“We can't” answered Sam/Taarnack, “Everything that was meant to be would be wrecked as archeologists and scientists would rip this place apart and completely misinterpret everything in here.  No, we can't”
His mother looked worried and said, “But...you become a warrior.”
“Mother, this seemed meant to be,” he answered, “I...I have to.  Please...you've always trusted my judgment before.”
His father rubbed the back of his neck and wandered the room, lost in what to say, and then said, “Son, living out here...well...you know all I could have ever offered is this scrap metal business that I have, and that I would never have had enough to put you through school.  If you can better this world this way, son, how could I stand in your way.”
“Dad, thank you for always understanding me,” he said as they embraced, eventually gathering his mother in the embrace.  The Flyer came up and hugged them with her wings as well.

It had been 20 years since that time, and he was only a young man in his early 20s when his parents were taken from him in the fire.  The area had been hit by a freak thunderstorm, and lightning hit the house.  He barely escaped, but the fire spread to everything that would burn, leaving just a pile of scrap in the middle of the desert.  Though he mourned greatly, he knew that, somehow, the loss could be turned to gain.  Because he no longer had a tie to the world, he could disconnect from society and focus on his new cause.  He trained hard, and honed his body to perfection.  His massive 6'6” height held a muscular body that was now essentially a killing machine.  The training honed his fighting as well as his fitness, and he was a force indeed.  However, being it as modern time, he also added firearms to the repertoire, though he still had learned about swords.  Once he was skilled, he then forged blades from the scrap metal, sold the rest, and used it to fund his cause.  He now wandered Nevada, Arizona, and the Utah badlands, using the cavern as his base, doing good where he could, as if he was a modern-day Lone Ranger, biding his time until his spirit daughter could come to be.  This town knew who he was, since he had been hanging out for some years.  It seemed that an arms smuggling operation for drug dealers had a major outstation there, and the local law knew nothing of it.  He also knew that certain state officials were on the take, so he was the only one who could act.  However, the time came for her to come, so if he was to shut it down, it would have to wait until he had her secure.  Now was the time, and as he pulled up his jeep to the edge of the town, his connection to the Flyer let him know it had arrived, and that she was in the cafe.  He just hoped he could retrieve her without issue.  He hopped out, wearing combat boots, military pants, a tank top, leather trench coat, now sporting a beard, and a pistol belt that had his gun and sword in such a fashion that they could be seen for the sake of the law.  He did not want questions.  He adjusted his Stetson on his head and ready to go in.  He only hoped she would not fight.  The Flyer had let him know about the issues with the Loc-Narr, and that the spirit of Taarna had destroyed it and become one with the girl, but there was more for her to learn.  No matter...all was meant to be, and now it was time to complete the puzzle.
Fear is ignorance expressed through panic.

 

Re: Taarna: Ressurection
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 01:04:29 AM »
 

paladin313

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Here is chapter 2

Chapter 2

“You think she's a runaway, then?” asked the sheriff.
“What else could she be?” responded the waitress, “I mean, this is a remote town on a stretch of road that not many travel frequently, she doesn't have her parents with her, and it looks as if she hasn't seen a shower in about a day.  She's fidgety, nervous, quiet...I think she might be in some kind of trouble.”
“How old is she...how old does she look?”
“About 12 or 13...not much older than that.”
“Hmm...  That young and running away; I haven't heard of anything come up on the wire about a girl her description causing trouble or anything, nor have I had a missing persons report come in.  Well, she could be running from a problem.  Tell you what: go ahead and let her have anything she wants, and I'll pick up the tab.  I'll talk to her all nice and calm, assure her she's not in any kind of trouble, and see if she won't tell me anything.  I'll take her back to my house and let her stay the night with me and Maggie, and I'll take her to the station tomorrow to see if we can't get her home but out of any danger she might be in.  You never can tell...I mean, we've had an issue of a couple of girls her age being able to escape a white slavery trade that tries to operate from here to across the border, and maybe she can give us a few leads on shutting it down.”
“You know, I think the last one could be it...it only makes sense.  Okay, I'll go let her know she can have what she wants, and I'll try to assure her that everything is going to be okay.”
The sheriff went back to his dinner and coffee and the waitress went back to the girl.  She hoped that good could come out of this.

The waitress used an old trick of making a customer feel at home by slipping into the seat across from her, and she smiled, saying, “Well, what would you like?”
The girl had noticed that they served breakfast all day, and she pointed to the hotcake platter that included a milk and two eggs for about $5.00.  She figured it would be filling and cheap enough to let her keep some of the little she had on her if there was need for it.  However the waitress said, “Honey, you look so hungry.  Are you sure?”
The girl squirmed a bit, and she said, “Well, it's really all I can get right now.”
“Well, I have good news for you,” she said, with a bit of excitement, “Someone saw you come in, and felt you really needed a meal.  He said you can have whatever you want and he'll take up the tab.”
“Who?” responded the girl with a bit of worry, looking like she was about to bolt.
The waitress got a touch nervous, thinking she might have blown it.  She had to come a bit clean with her and said, “Well, honey, let's face it: you're on your own in the middle of the desert, and we pretty much know everyone that comes through here.  Yet, don't fret none—no one thinks you're a troublemaker, and we just want to help you if someone's trying to hurt you.”
“I...” the girl started to say, and then hesitated.  What could she say?  She was tongue-tied, not wanting to say something that might get her locked away in a mental institution.  Finally, she said, “There was an accident.  Someone hurt my dad...wrecked my home.  I...I...”
Tears started to flow, and the waitress then came around and sat beside her, giving her a hug, and saying, “Honey, it's okay: you're in the right place now.  If someone's hurt you or after you, our sheriff can help you.  You just sit tight and eat whatever you want.  I'll have him come over and you can tell him everything.  We can even get you a place to sleep tonight and a good bath in the morning.”
She tousled her hair and said, “Here, the steak and eggs are here are the best in the county: let's get you that, okay?  I hope you're hungry.  I'll throw in a nice, tall glass of OJ.”
The girl smiled and nodded, not wanting to say anymore.  She didn't really lie, and the thought of all she had lost rattled some tears out of her, but she didn't want to say anymore, and she was even more glad that the woman did not probe any further.  If she was sharp, she could get most of it down and slip out before the this sheriff came over.  She then just sat there, staring at the empty seat across from her, still trying to drink all this in, not knowing that she was being watched.

There were two men sitting on stools at the coffee bar just across from her booth, each barely having one complete set of teeth between the two of them, looking like walking definitions of rednecks.  They were both in their early 20s, looking like it had been a couple of months since their hair had seen either a comb or a barber, and smelling like a bath was a special occasion.  Their razor stubble also showed that shaving was something they did only when they had to.  They also had a reputation in the town with underage girls, though nothing could be proven.  In a region like they were in, it was slim picking for women, and often hitting on teenage girls was not odd sometimes to see.  Yet, anything intimate was still frowned upon, though, in truth, some of those girls were willing participants in some of that, but never told anyone for fear of gaining a bad reputation.  Still, many were leery around this pair, but when they heard what they did, they now figured that they had a chance to spirit the girl away once she went outside and take her to their shack of a house and keep her there.  There would be no one looking for her, nor would anyone now care.  If the sheriff got curious, they knew where to put her to get him off their case, and then do what they wanted.  After a time, they knew they could break her into a willing participant in the whole thing.  They glanced at each other, nodded, and wheeled around on their stools.

Sam went up to the cafe and looked in.  He saw the girl sitting by the window, too preoccupied at staring into nothing to see him.  The white hair gave her away, no question, but then he looked in to see a couple of lecherous slugs eyeballing her, and his blood began to boil.  He had dealt with them before when it was rumored they had had their way with some local 15-year old girl and threatened her into silence.  He went in to ask some questions, and they tried to, first, attack him, and then pull a gun on him.  The pair found out that they were not the tough country boys they thought they were as he quickly had them on their butts.  Then, when one came up with a pistol, that one suddenly found his own gun pointed back at him as it was effortlessly snatched from his hand by Sam.  He then said, “You know, people like you that act like this normally have something to hide.”
“Hey, y'all's on our private property!” said Benny, “You ain't no cop, so you ain't got no right to come askin' questions like that!”
“Yeah,” said a quivering Johnny, “We ain't done nuthin anyway!  What gives you the right to come round here and start bossin' us around?”
“You two boys have a reputation,” said Sam, “Besides, in this situation, I don't think you have much room to get lippy with me.  People around here have been talking about you two, and I just wanted to see if you can be all neighborly and try to set us at ease...you know...show us the upstanding citizens you are and prove to us you aren't a pair of pervs that don't know how to keep their dorks in their pants.”
“Come on,” said Benny, “What would make anyone think that?”
“Oh, you know how rumors go,” said Sam, “Besides, the huge stack of porno-mags and dirty movies in your shack out back do kind of indicate a kind of looseness with you two.”
“Hey, you been snoopin' round here?” snapped Johnny.
 Sam just looked at him with a “no duh!” look on his face, and Johnny said, “Hey, you'd better be careful!  If I'd a seen ya, I'd a blown your head off and been right fer doin' so.”
“Safest place with you holding a rifle is standing right in front of you,” answered Sam snidely, “Besides, if it ever came out that you had such a thing, I don't think anyone would have cared where the info came from, and they just might run you two out of town just to be on the safe side.”
“What you tryin' to say?” asked Benny.
“What I am saying,” said Sam after a heavy sigh, “...is that, if I ever hear of anything like that again, I will expose that.  Now, I know you two would NEVER do anything that would make me do anything like that, right?”
Sam put some extra emphasis on “right” in hopes the pair would catch the hint and be two good little pervs and stay in their little filth shack.  He then said, “Do yourselves a favor: they have these thing called onaholes.  They simulate a woman's vagina; they work better and feel better than your hand.  Get some of those and pound your meat with that in your little fantasy shack and leave the local girls alone.”
He then flung the pistol out into the back 40 as far as he could to ensure they didn't try something stupid, but that they could still retrieve it.  It was their pistol after all, but he just did not want them using it on him.  However, once Sam turned his back, Benny got stupid and charged him, Johnny right behind.  Sam heard the fast shift, spun around, and caught Benny's sorry attempt at a Bruce Lee flying kick by his leg, spun him around, and slammed him hard into Johnny.  He then said, “If either of you ever try something like that again, I will take great pleasure at cutting off your soldiers, shafts, hanging them around your necks, tattooing 'I am a pedophile' on your foreheads, and tying you to the statue in the town square before the sun comes up so the whole town can see just what you two really are.  Got it?”
The two were in too much pain to protest at this, and just watched as he walked away again, the fear of God now slammed into them.

Sam had come to retrieve the girl, and now these sleazebags had set their eyes on her.  He was going to put a stop to this in his way, even if that meant he could never come back into that area again.  He headed for the door just as the sheriff came up to the table.  Before that, the boys started in, talking all nice and slick with the girl, trying to get a response from her.  Benny said, “Hey, you come with us, we'll take real good care of ya.”
“Yeah,” chuckled Johnny, “Real good!”
“Yeah, we gots a shack out back where you'll be real comfy,” added Benny.
The girl stared right at her meal, beginning to lose her appetite, knowing what these goons intended.  Though she lived in the Midwest, her father did not own a farm or ranch.  He was a college professor, and they did have a bit of money, but being where they were, she did have friends who were farmer's kids, had been in her school's 4-H club, and seen the animals in action, so she was far from naïve.  Though she had never even learned how to shoot a gun, if she had one, she would have been pulling it on them already.  However, before they could go further, the sheriff came up at the same moment Sam came in.  The sheriff knew Sam, and though there was not a lot of trust for Sam by the sheriff, he had helped bring in a couple of drifters who tried to cause some trouble, so he knew Sam was not necessarily a bad person.  He just did not like how much of a recluse Sam seemed to be.  “Howdy, Sam,” said the sheriff, “Came in for a bite?”
“Thinking about it,” he said, “But I mainly came to pick up my kin.”
He pointed to the girl, who now stared wide-eyed at the large, white-haired stranger.  What was he on about?  “Your kin?” asked the sheriff, “I mean, I see the resemblance, but the kid said something about losing her father being hurt by someone and her house...”
“House was destroyed by an arsonist,” Sam answered, “Her father was lost in the fire.  They already caught the filth that did it, but she's come out to stay with me now.”

Meanwhile, the girl was lost on the “see the resemblance” statement from the sheriff, because she had not seen a reflection of herself since leaving her old home.  It had been dark enough when she entered the cafe so that the light inside overpowered any kind of reflection the glass door may have made, but bright enough to where a window inside would not make an effective reflection for her to see herself.  Moreover, she had not looked outside since she had been there, as the sun had set, and now it was dark enough outside as to where the window would now make a decent mirror.  She thus looked at her self, and gasped as she saw the transformation that had taken place.  Her hair was like his—white with gray highlights—and it was then when she saw a part of the mark.  She brushed aside her hair and pulled down the choker slightly to see the mark.  She then looked over at Sam who had been watching this, and he had exposed the same mark, knowing she would look at him at some point.  He stood there, displaying it with a slight smile.  The girl swallowed, and the sheriff then said, “What was her name?” as if he knew it, but had forgotten, just to test out Sam.
“Taarna,” he answered, which caused the girl's hand to drop from her hair to beside her hip, now in slight shock to all this.  Not only had this happened, but he also knew the name that she had heard before, and felt the need to use when questioned.  The sheriff nodded and said, “Well, are you staying in the area?  If so, we'll need to be sure that we get her registered into school, her birth certificate, shot records and all that.”
“Well, you know I have a place out of state that's more my home,” he answered, “I figured it would be better to put her there, because there are people there that she'll know, and it will help her ease into things.”
Of course, that last part was not true, but he had to find a way to get them out of there without a lot more questions.  “Can't argue with that,” answered the sheriff, knowing it would keep Sam occupied in his own home and far less around there.  He let it go and said, “Well, good thing you came along.”
“Glad I did,” he responded, eying the Pervert Brothers, “God only knows what could have happened to her if she decided to wander around.  There are plenty of predators just outside the town that would have loved to have their way with her.”
“True,” answered the sheriff, “Coyotes around here aren't too picky about what they make a meal.”
“Yeah,” said Sam, patting Benny on the shoulder, “Been out to Benny's place before, and I know that plenty of that like to wander round his place.”
Both men broke out into a cold sweat.  It was bad enough that Sam was on the line of exposing them for what they were, but it was worse that they had picked the worst possible target they ever could have picked!  The image of what he said he would do to them came to their minds, and suddenly those sex toys he mentioned seemed like a real good idea.  Sam sat down and said, “I'll let her finish, order something to go and I'll catch the tab.”
“Already paid for,” said the sheriff with a wink to the girl, and Sam said, “Thank you, sheriff: I always knew you were a good man.  I probably would have came to your place to look for her if I didn't find her here.  I should have know you would have take care of her.  I owe you.”
“Nah, paybacks for your help some months back,” answered the sheriff, who then nodded to Benny and Johnny as he went to get his hat and coat, who had now turned back to their own meals, to scared to even look back at the pair in the booth behind them.

As they waited, Sam said, “Kid, you don't have to tell me: you're scared to death and confused how all this is happening, but you have to trust me.  I am not going to hurt you in any way, and I know more about what happened than you realize.”
She said nothing, scooping up the last bites of her meal, not sure what to say now.  Yes, there seemed to be a connection between them, but what that was she was not willing to find out.  She had every intention of hopping on that creature and putting as many miles between her and that town as she could.  Sam then said, “I am a friend, and believe me when I say that things are going to get better from this point.”
She just nodded as she finished her juice.  Sam's meal was given to him, and they both got up to go.  Sam gave a parting shot to the boys and said, “Snip, snip,” as a warning, and then went outside.  They were out of sight from the café, and he was leading her to the jeep, knowing the Flyer would sense his movements and follow her, but the girl had other ideas.  She stomped on the spot right where the leg led in the instep of the foot hard with the heel of her shoe.  Sam howled in pain and almost lost his meal as the girl charged off and went behind the cafe, sprinting to the creature.  She hopped onto its back and urged it to take off, but it did not move.  “Come on, you stupid thing!” she shouted, “We have to get out of here!”
Again, it sat there like a statue.  Sam came limping up, saying, “You're pretty resourceful, kid.  You've got potential.  Yet, try all you want, Zoe is not going anywhere.”
She coughed and swallowed, saying, “Wait...you know its name?”
“Her name,” answered Sam, “Just like I knew yours, Taarna.”
“That's not my name!” she snapped back.
“Actually, it is, and more than you know,” he responded, “The Flyer is connected to you like she is to me, and I was able to sense from her what had happened to you.  However, she also knows what's going on, and she has no intention of taking off.  Like it or not, you are coming with me.”
“WHY!” she protested.
“Tell me, what choice to do you have?” asked Sam, “Are you really going to make it on the $15 in your pocket, or are you going to tell the sheriff that some psycho evil green bowling ball melted your father and blew up your house?  Will you then tell him what came to your aid and whisked you into the sunset?  I know more about what's going on than anyone else you'll ever meet, so your best shot is with me.  Now, are you going to stop acting silly and come with me, or are you going to be making your own situation worse?”
She grumbled as she slid off Zoe, now mad as well as confused.  Nothing was going her way, and worse, it seemed as if something higher than her was calling the shots, and getting a big laugh out of it in the process.  He put a hand on her shoulder, and she shrugged it off.  He just sighed and smiled, thinking, “Kid, once you see what awaits you, you won't protest so much.”
He then looked at Zoe and said, “Just fly overhead and follow.”
She cooed and took to the air.  The pair went to the jeep and Sam said, “Don't worry: we have about a day and a half drive ahead of us, so I'll explain the whole thing to you.  You have no clue of your potential.”
“That's what that...thing...said,” she finally uttered.
“Well, it is true,” he answered, “But, believe me, it was that potential he feared.  What if I were to tell you that you have the chance to be a great hero for the Earth?”
“I'd call you crazy.”
“Well then, lock me up and a padded room with a 'love me' jacket, because all of it is true.  Give me time, and I'll explain.”
Fear is ignorance expressed through panic.

 

Re: Taarna: Ressurection
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 11:16:14 PM »
 

paladin313

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(Sorry this chapter didn't have much in the way of action, but I had to spend some time establishing some stuff.)

Chapter 3

They got to the jeep, and Sam pulled out a sleeping bag and gave it to her as he got on a thick jacket for himself.  He then said, “Wrap yourself into that and buckle in.  As I am sure you can already feel, the desert gets cold at night and riding open air in that jeep is going to turn into a deep freeze.  We'll drive for a few hours and then we'll get a room for the night.”
She looked at him oddly, and he said, “Hey...kid...we're family now, so to speak, and I am essentially your guardian now.”
She forcefully took the sleeping bag and turned his back on him, going to the passenger seat.  He sighed and said, “Look, Taarna...”
“THAT'S NOT MY NAME!” she yelled as she turned about on her heel.
“It is now,” he said, grumbling, “Kid, your life, as you knew it, has ended!  It ended the moment the Loc-Narr showed up!  Whoever you were does not exist!  Worse, because of what happened, any trace of you and your father will never be found.  You will be presumed dead before long, and thus, right now, you do not exist!”
Finally, tears and frustration that she had held back came to the surface.  She leaned back on the jeep and slid down to the ground in sadness and surrender to her situation as all that was happening to her was coming to focus into her mind.  Within less than 48 hours, she lost her father, her home, and now, her life.  Sam wanted to say something, but then it hit him that she really had not had time to drink any of this in or mourn her losses.  He came up to her, sighed, and said, “Hey...I'm...I'm sorry; I really am.  Look, I know I'll never replace your father—there's no way that's going to happen—but, if you give me a chance, I'll do all I can to give you a new life that that thing denied you.  Believe me: your life is going to have great value.”
She wanted badly to hold someone, and though she still had her doubts about Sam or his intentions, he was all that was there right then, and she stood up and hugged him, burying her face into his midsection, if for no other reason than he was someone that she could hold.  For a moment he just stood there, but after a few moments, he finally put his arms around her and just let her get it out.  Before long, Zoe came over and rubbed her head on Taarna's back, who then whipped around and hugged her neck.  All Sam could do now was wait.

Once she had a good cry, she climbed into the jeep and zipped herself into the sleeping bag, buckling in as best she could.  With that, they were heading down the road.  Indeed, what she had been told was right as she pulled the ties of the spot where just her face stuck out of the olive drab army surplus sleeping bag shut to where just her eyes were looking out.  Even then, she felt as if someone was pushing something very cold into her eyes.  Despite that, the bag was very warm, and even her eyes stopped bothering her as the heat coming up compensated for the opening.  They had not been on the road for ten minutes when Sam began to speak, but then stopped looking at her rocking form, seeing that the bag was having a cocoon effect on her.  Talking to her at that point would have been useless considering that she would really not have heard anything he was telling her.  A few minutes later, and he felt something leaning on his arm.  Looking over, he saw she had passed out.  He lifted his arm and let her slip down to where her head was on his lap.  Instinctively, she curled up her legs on her seat and got as comfortable as the seating allowed as Sam was thankful he decided to put the half-doors on the side of the jeep so her feet could rest against that rather than hang out the side.  Before much longer, he had turned on to state route 389 towards Colorado City in north Arizona, hoping to make Hurricane or even Cedar City before he got too sleepy to drive himself.

It was near midnight before he reached the town of Cedar City, knowing he could find good lodging there, and a good place to eat.  It was his intention to get a good breakfast and then hit the Wal-Mart to buy her a new wardrobe and some bedding for her new home.  He would get her furnishings to her liking once she got settled in.  Money was no worry as, because the cave complex held many treasures, he was able to, over time, sell some of the gems and precious metals off and invest the money to the point where his money was making money, so he was financially set.  Because he also had the right connections with the few people in the know he could trust that could come up with fake I.D. cards and bank cards connected to the hidden accounts he held to access the cash undetected.  He knew that, with the computers the way they were, and how computers ran everything now, he could change the name on the account every few months with no one ever becoming the wiser that things were not what they seemed.  Now he would do this with her.  He considered putting her into one of the local small schools to get her educated, but then he balked at that, knowing he would have to home school her because of the training she was going to be doing, and the places where she would be going that would pull her out of school at awkward times.  He was able to find a cheap motel and pulled in.  Leaving her outside, he managed to get a one bed room as if he was alone.  He did not want to let on that she was there, lest too many questions got asked.  He pulled up to the room and nudged her awake, saying, “Come on...we have a place.”
Half out of it beyond the point of protest, she awoke, unzipped, and suddenly became far more awake once the cold air hit her.  He grabbed his bag as he quickly ushered them in.  Instantly, Taarna knew that this was some trucker's motel as the heavy rancid smell of many years of tobacco smoke had seeded into the walls beyond any remedy of removal.  He said, “Sorry...it was the most low-key place I could go without too many questions being asked.  You'll get used to the smell.”
“Asked about what?” she returned.
“Questions asked about why I'm traveling alone with a 12-year old disheveled girl in the middle of the Utah High Desert,” he answered, “With all the Mormons around and their certain standards of morals, they would instantly suspect trouble, and that would complicate things.”
“You act like you're a criminal,” she responded.
“Not a criminal,” he said, “I don't exist, just like you.  Considering the way things are in what I do, it's best I stay anonymous.”
“What DO you do?” she asked.
“I'll tell you tomorrow,” he answered, “It would take too much time to explain right now, and I want to get some sleep.”
Still shaking off some of the chill and rubbing her arms, she looked around the room and realized it was very simple: a basic table that looked like it came from the 70's, complete with the chairs, an old TV that still functioned, a couch, chair, and a full-size bed...one bed.  She saw that, looked at him, and started to talk, but she saw him curling up on the couch.  She, at first, thought he was trying to do something unsavory, but now felt bad that he had to sleep on a Davenport, not knowing just how far he had to drive.  “Are you sure you'll...” she started to ask, but he mumbled as he was drifting off, “I've slept in far worse.  It's good enough.  Get some sleep.”
Within moments, he was gone himself.  She just sighed heavily and slipped out of her dress.  She had a training bra underneath her camisole, so she unhooked it, slipped it off without taking off the camisole, lest he woke up and looked over, and slipped into the bed.  Smelling the linen, she realized that at least that place put clean sheets on the beds.  Grateful for that, she pulled the sheets and blankets over her face to mask the smell and was fast asleep herself.

She awoke the next morning to the sound of the shower.  She glanced over to the couch and saw that he was not there and easily put two and two together.  She put herself back under and snoozed while she waited for the sounds to stop.  Once it did, the door opened and she heard, “Are you awake, sleepyhead?”
“Are you dressed?” she asked in return.
“Of course,” he answered, and she rolled over, seeing he indeed had.  He answered that by saying, “I took my bag in and changed in there.  I've been up for a couple of hours.”
He pointed to a sky-blue bath robe and said, “I got that so you could wear that while I washed your clothes.  I have laundry to do anyway, and I figured you would not want to wear what you've been for the past few days.”
She gave him an odd look, and he said, “Hey, do you want to smell?”
“Not really,” she answered flatly.
“Then just open the bathroom door a crack and drop your underwear out,” he answered, “Don't worry: I know how to do laundry right.  I'd have also gotten you some new stuff, but I didn't know what size you wore.  We'll be hitting the Wal-Mart after breakfast so we can get you some stuff.”
Surprised by this seeming concern, she said, “Uh...thank you.”
He tossed her the robe and she slipped it on her top half before emerging all the way from the sheets.  It was a touch long, which told her he was not used to having a girl around, and certain he had no clue about girl's sizes as he had said.  With that, she headed to the bathroom.

It still had steam a bit from his time in there, but she was surprised to see a generic woman's shampoo, conditioner, and soap, along with a brush, toothpaste and toothbrush.  It was nothing she normally used, but she had to give him an “A” for effort.  She took off her undergarments and did as he said.  She heard the door shut and then proceeded to take care of business.  After brushing and a shower, she wrapped a towel around her head and herself, giving the towel time to absorb some of the water.  Once done, she glanced around and was glad to see one of those mini-hair dryers that some motels had.  She never liked just drying her hair, and liked brushing it out under a dryer.  Thus, she kicked it on and started to do so, putting her hair tiara back on when she was done.  When she came out, there was a Styrofoam food container on the table as he was in the easy chair, watching the news, eating something out of one himself.  He said, “The clothes will be done in about an hour.  Don't worry if you can't finish all that.  I wasn't sure how hungry you were, so I got something big so you could just eat what you want.”
He looked up and smirked, saying, “If you do eat it all, we're going to have to talk about putting you on a diet before you turn into a balloon.”
She did a smile-smirk, snuffed, balled up one of her napkins, and threw it at him.  He just gave a short laugh and went back to the news.  She sighed, and then suddenly realized she was actually feeling a bit comfortable around him.  This surprised her, and she wondered if there was some kind of link now between them like there was with Zoe.  She then said, “What about Zoe?”
“Don't worry about her,” he answered, “She's not too far outside town getting her own breakfast.  She's part wild anyway, so she can fend for herself if she has to.”
She picked up her food and went to the couch, wanting to see the news herself.  A report came in about drug runners near the Arizona/Mexico border being sighted again, but their movements were still beyond the detection of the border patrol.  They could only assume that they had some kind of paramilitary help, though if they were a part of the Mexican government, Mexico was denying it.  Sam had stopped eating and was now watching intently.  He then said, “No...not Mexico, but terrorists.”
“Are you saying...” she started to say, but he held up a hand to silence her so he could hear the rest.  He then said, “They ain't Arabian or anything.  They are Mexican, but I bet they've been trained by some underground group.  Anyway, they have no idea what they face, but I've been tracking this.  In a few days, they are going to find out what hell is all about.”
“How's that?”
“They are not going to like a taste of Taarackian justice.”
“Taarackian?”
“That's what we are: Taarackian.”
“You make us sound like aliens.”
“Oh, we're human enough, and we can die like anyone else, but, we are not like other humans.”
“How did this happen?”
“It's in our genes,” he responded, “I don't know if you believe in reincarnation, but whatever Powers that Be in this universe felt it was needed, we were reborn.  We are the last two of a proud warrior race that has served several Earths.”
“Okay...I just noted you said that in the plural.”
“Kid, I am sure you know this planet is millions of years old...really billions.”
“Well, of course I know this.”
“Well, despite what science seems to think, there have been several populations of peoples on this world who write off what they were as some kind of cave man.  Believe me, they were far from that, and there were many more besides of which they will never discover, being that whatever layer of strata anything like that was in has probably been pushed into the Earth's mantle by now.  Anyway, in each these worlds, there was always a race of warriors that acted as the workers of justice in that world, and in every one of them, they were called Taarackian.”
“Right, and I'm the fairy godmother!”
“You look a lot shorter in person.”
“You're for real?”
“After all you've already seen, how could you doubt what I say.”
She wanted to say something, and then realized he was right about that.  How could she question it.  She then said, “How do you know all this?”
“It's all in the cave complex where we'll be living,” he answered, “It's huge...almost like a Petra in the United States.  It has an extensive library that has recorded all this history, and it seems that there has always been the founder of the warrior group and his daughter that become reborn in the next world to propagate the subspecies and carry on the work.”
“Wait...propagate the...you don't mean...”
“No, not you and me, silly!  We can marry other people, and our children will be Taarackian.  Like I said, we are still mortal, but, because we are not quite like other Homo sapiens, we actually live about four times longer than standard people.  Over time, over the centuries, there will be far more of us.  According to the histories I have read already, the full force of our race always seems to come out when they are the most needed.  Trust me, there will be a world crisis enough where we shall stand up and deliver.”
“Something's not making sense,” she said, now genuinely engaged in what was being said, “Why has it been needful that we have to keep being reborn into each world?  Moreover, why don't we remember?”
“There are no memories of our own past personally,” he answered concisely, “I have to think it's so we don't become disconnected from the societies in which we live.  However, we can read about it.  However, as to the first question, well, just because we work justice does not mean that we can always keep up with it.  We're Taarackian, not gods.  When things get bad enough...when the Earth can't keep it together and start to tear each other apart, collapsing all societies at once, slowly but surely, our numbers get whittled down.  This normally coincides with the appearance of a Loc-Narr that seeks to destroy all around.  Sadly, the destruction of it often calls for the self-sacrifice of one of us, though not always.  For some reason, you and I always manage to be the last to survive, or we are reborn in some later generation to make sure that a new group of Taarackians can come to be in the next world to come, when a new race of humans emerge and the whole thing starts again.  It's just how it is.  What seems odd is that a Loc-Narr appeared when it did.  How did your father come across it?”
“Well, I remember dad was on a mission out in some foreign desert on an archeology thing and someone dug it up.”
“Ah...what it may have been is the remnant of the last time it had been here, but was unearthed before it was time for it to appear.  It became aware and took a chance to destroy you before the Taarackians had a chance to emerge.  The Earth would have been his after that.  However, because he acted out-of-order, what was the essence of you was still in it, and destroyed it.  When the right time comes, you will confront it again, but that might not be for centuries yet, or even a later version of you in this world, so don't expect to see it again anytime soon.”
“Why does it have to appear at all?”
“Evil is evil.  The only thing I can gather is that it is always around, but can only really come about when there is enough evil and chaos around...like when several societies collapse at once...it will feed off the evil energy of everything around and grow.  Eventually, it will lodge itself somewhere and convert a society into some kind of mutated beings that have nothing but global conquest on their minds.  The Loc-Narr only has global destruction on its heart, so the only thing to stop it will be us.  Yet, if we can do our jobs, then we can push that back further and further each time.”
“What is going to happen with me?”
“You are going to be trained to fight.  Trust me: the spirit of a warrior is in you.  All it needs is the right spark, and it will come out.”
“Me?  A warrior?  I can't believe that.  I have never even shot a gun!”
He looked at her oddly and asked, “You lived in farm country in the Midwest and never fired a gun.”
She sighed and said, “Dad was a big lib and didn't believe in owning guns.”
“What did he do for a living?”
“He taught archeology at a nearby college.”
“Ah...that explains it.  Have you ever used any weapons?”
“I learned how to shoot a bow at school.”
“Hmm...that's a start.  That means you know how to sight in on something.  That's half the battle.”
“I'm not sure that's something I really want to do.”
“Like it or not, that's what you will be doing.”
“What if I don't want to?” she said, starting to become a touch indignant.
Sam just smirked and said, “You will.  You may not believe it, but there will be something that will make you want to fight, no question.”
He acted like her protests did not exist, and she could not believe what she was hearing.  Yet, he said, “When we get there, a lot of this will seem far less sensational.  Trust me.  Once you see it, you won't be questioning much.”
He looked at the clock and said, “The laundry should be done.  I'll be back.”
He went to the door, opened it, and then turned around and said, “I do expect you to be here when I get back.  Zoe is not nearby, I know you can't drive that jeep or get far in that robe anyway.  The story I told you would want to make most people bolt, thinking they were in the presence of a madman, but I don't think you really think me crazy.  In fact, I think curiosity burns in you about things enough that you don't want to leave.  Just trust me and please don't get stupid.  I think you're far brighter than that.”
With that, he was going to the laundry room, and she sat there, pondering all she heard.  She knew it all sounded to crazy to be true, and yet, with all she had seen, how could it be false.  Yet, her, a warrior: that seemed about as likely as a rain forest suddenly springing up in the place where they were.  She finished what she could and chucked the rest.  Before long, he was back with her things and she went into the bathroom and put on her clothes, wondering just how far this adventure would run.

When she left the room, she realized they were not but a stone's throw from the Wal-Mart itself, near some nicer places of lodging, and she wondered how much of a risk it would really have been to go to one of those.  Sam packed the things and put up the canvas top to the jeep to protect them from the sun that was now heating things up quickly.  She had no idea just how soon adventure would hit them.
Fear is ignorance expressed through panic.