Rebirth (part 3)
The trees were ten times the size of those that Zeydar had known from Earth. They towered into the sky, leaves arching high and waving in the white low hanging clouds. Eerie winds sounded through the leaves as they chimed and whistled. Above in the clouds, petals of flowers were dancing. He saw strange large animals that he had never thought could exist, and considered what it would mean to be amongst them.
All at once he felt suffocated. It was as if the air around him was stale and wrong, threatening to choke the life out of him. He settled himself, letting himself breathe in the way that he had practiced over the years. In time he adjusted. The world no longer flickered. It settled and he readied himself.
“Ready?” Evester asked, silencing the panic that had overcome him.
“Yea.” Zeydar released his helmet and closed his eyes. As he removed the device, he stood ready and on edge.
The light tickle of the air, dusted across his cheeks and a heaviness overcame him. Like breathing through syrup, Zeydar opened his eyes and steadied his breaths filtering the air as was necessary, until he no longer had to. The magic settled in him, and he was home within it. He felt stronger than he ever had been before. In moments he knew that the world was fair, but he had to find the people who lived on it.
“Are you okay?”
“The oxygen is thicker.” Zeydar answered. “The magic is heavier.”
He cast spell after spell, searching the forests for life around them, finding the network of trees responding to him, probing him and questioning his sentience just as he questioned theirs. Handing his helmet to Evester, Zedyar transported his way to one of the trees, who was filled with magic in a way that was akin to his own. As he placed his hand on its trunk, he connected to the strange but fascinating history of the world. He saw all, and provided the trees with his own story of the towers and their failing cities, and their fight for survival.
They accepted it, and his hopes to terraform the planet nearby. Just needed resources. Just needed support. They just needed time, and he supposed that they would be able to get it, if they talked with the species.
“Zeydar?” Evester called him him over the headset.
“There is life here. Many forms of sentience in fact.” Tens of species with intellect like their own, all living in a tenuous harmony across the world, with the trees as a balancing force.
“Why?” Heia asked.
“Because of the warp.” Evester’s breath was airy. “It was never toxic air. It was sentience.”
“Yes. I put it into the report, because I feared that if you all knew, you would demand that we did not head this way.” Zeydar said, as he gave more memories.
“But we can’t take their home like the Aralax took ours!” Heia disagreed.
“We won’t. We can terraform the planet nearby. I think it’s possible. But.” Zeydar told the trees of their misery and asked for help. They answered back, tentative, and questioning. “They are willing to have a peace with us until then, so long as we do not overstep.”
“We won’t be able to be the same as before.” Heia laughed out. “We will be forced to change? Won’t it take time to terraform a planet?”
“It will.” Evester agreed.
“We have time.” Zeydar leaned his forehead against the tree.
Humans were greedy, if not by nature then by nurture. For centuries they had separated themselves, and it would take time to readjust and change to adapt to the new world, but Zeydar was willing to take that leap. They would get a new home for themselves, and they would make peace with this neighbor who could help them until then.
Zeydar wove the two over. He took deep breaths hearing and feeling as they approached. When they were near, he took their hands and pressed them on the bark of the tree.
“Oh.” Evester flinched a bit when the Tree reached out to connect and Heia jumped.
“Is that magic?” Heia asked.
“It is.” Zeydar knew the two could feel it, albeit much less than he or the trees could.
“—ve—.” Static came over their intercom. “st—er.”
Zeydar focused his magic upwards, to connect with the waves and connect them to the ship.
“Evester?” Uly asked.
“We were wrong. It wasn’t air,” Evester said. There was a long silence. “Zeydar has confirmed many other sentient life forms on the planet, and we will have to discuss with them, our territory and status. As refugees we will not be able to exploit their hospitality, and we will be forced to cooperate with the native species, after all we are coming to them for help.”
Maverin started laughing wildly, and there were cheers from all over the intercom. Zeydar had no headache. He was not afraid. He was ready to move on. The trees carried the weight of his power for him, assisting him, and supporting him in a way that none other had been able to. He was one of them, and they were a part of him. Perhaps they would not have to terraform the new home at all. Maybe they would find a peace and balance amongst the life of this world.
Zeydar did not know. It would take time. They would have to talk, and ultimately, Zeydar was not sure he cared. This new place was for him. He never wanted to leave.
“Home,” Zeydar said as he pressed his head against the tree again. “Thank you.”
Heia started cry, as Evester grabbed both of their hands. He then pulled them away from the tree. As far as Zeydar moved, he found himself connected as he had been before. As long as he existed in this world, he’d never have to hold the full burden of his power on his own. He’d fight to protect the place. It was as much a part of him as he was of it, mere moments after his arrival.
The three walked into the clearing near their shuttle and looked up to the sky where they could not see the ships that lay above in the atmosphere looming, waiting to send people down to create new homes. They would have to reorganize and plan anew once more. There was no way they’d be able to cut down the trees and make way for their cities as they knew them. They needed new plans, new architecture, and a whole new system of living. They’d need to plan for this home, and talk to the inhabitants, and then plan for their terraformed planet further away.
Plans for other days and other times. In that moment, all Zeydar could think of was relief. They had done it. They had made it. It had all worked. And he stood, on solid ground, breathing air without pain, with the hands of those he loved the most.
So long as they had each other, they could change the world.
The Yasloughve Project FIN