I had been helping my mother's friend Charon with some daily cleaning for my mine at my own home had been finished, when I heard my name being called. It was not a women's voice, so I glanced out the window to find my friend form childhood, Kavo smiling at me. I looked over at Charon and she was hanging up a towel, so I sat down the bowl that I had been drying and opened window.
"Kavo? What are you doing? Shouldn't you be-?"I raised an eyebrow.
"No, they let us out early, since they hadn't been planning on having any wars lately, we skipped the "Wraith hunting" today, and thankfully for I was going to be the wraith, and I did not feel like sprinting across the woods." He let out a small laugh and smiled.
"Oh," I smiled," well, what are you doing here?" I glanced about the village. I saw my mother holding the hand of my younger brother walking towards me.
"I wanted to ask you-" He looked at he ground and kicked a rock a few feet. Than when he showed me his face again it had turned a light shade of pink.
"I was wondering if you would, maybe like to meet me in the upper field this…afternoon…." He smiled up hopefully, his soft tan skin on his face blending with now with a darker shade of pink. I looked at him and sat my hand on the window sill and looked down at my feet. I hadn't expected Kavo to ask such a thing, for he had been much quieter lately whenever I would speak to him. I often invited him with me when I would go on hunting trips with my father, or to take a brisk walk through the woods, but he would always deny it and said he had had something else that needed to be done. I caulked my head slightly and smiled,
"Of course," His eyes had once again returned to inspecting the ground. He grinned a nod and turned around quickly, and in mid step ran into my mother.
"Oh, I'm sorry Miss Emmagen," He picked up the rock that she had been carrying and handed it back to her. My younger brother must have collected it on his way over.
"It's alright Kavo" she smiled at him as he walked hastily off.
"Hello Mother" I walked over to the door and reached out my arms. My younger bother ran into them in large hug. He squeaked out a happy "Teyla!" before Charon had greeted them at the door. He then looked up at Charon whom was much taller than him, and my mother. He grabbed onto my bare arm as I lifted him into the air.
"Hi Caden, so what did you do today?"
"I killed a wraith!" He grinned up at me with his light brown eyes twinkling.
"You did? Wow that's a rather large accomplishment for a 4 year old!" He grinned up not sure he exactly knew the meaning of accomplishment, but accepted it and began to play with my necklace. My mother walked indoors and put her hands upon Charon's shoulders and they rested their heads together, for that was the common Athosian greeting. My mother released her hands from Charons shoulders and asked,
"How are you feeling?"
"Much better, I suppose one night of sleep can cure a women like me from a fatal sickness."
"Oh Charon, always so cheery even when you are ill and should be in bed resting." She raised both brows and gave a smile smirk.
"Well, I couldn't let Teyla here do all the work," she smiled at me. I looked over at her.
"Charon, I came here by choice to help you, and you instead starting helping me wash your dishes, but that was not the point."
"Well, it was very nice of you to help me Teyla," She rested her hand upon the table," you will be a wonderful leader someday." I grinned at her and my mother walked over and put away the bowl that I had sat down when Kavo had come.
"Charon you should be resting, you needn't be up and about when you are ill," My mother said as she shut the cupboard doors.
"I'm fine really," She looked out the window at the trees branches swaying calmly in the wind, and watched to small children run by playfully pretending to be shooting at one another. Then one pinned down the other and roared as he put his hand upon the others chest, resembling a feeding wraith. The one that was the wraith wore very pale green lichen on his face, acting as if it was the white skin of a wraith's face.
"Oh the games the children play, it almost seems as if we should not introduce them to more about the wraith than they need to know, until they are of age."
"Yes I often think of that, but I don't think they exactly clearly understand it." She looked over at Caden, for he had been playing some vary of the same game yet earlier, and he was a few years younger than they were. He was now drooling slightly as he just twirled my necklace about.
"Well let's just hope at this age, many of them will never half to face such terrors." My mother said as she now too watched the children. The one that had been pinned moments before, now had the lichen on his face and began chasing the other around. I then changed the subject from wraith, for me, nor anyone else I don't think exactly enjoyed speaking of them unless it was being necessary.
"So, Mother, um we do not have plans this afternoon…correct?" I asked as I lifted Caden higher up on my hip. He jolted slightly then looked over at a painting of a flower on the wall releasing my necklace.
"I do not think so or at least on your part. I am going to go collect things from our garden for dinner. Why do you ask?"
"Oh, well I just have other things to do as well." I smiled up at her, I could tell she was remembering the encounter I had with Kavo earlier for she had seen me talking to him from afar. She nodded her head slightly and looked over at Charon who had now placed herself upon a small wooden chair. She let out a long, slow, breath and rested her head back. She was not old, but she had caught a very bad illness that had been difficult to heal, but hopefully would be able to be. I sat down Caden as he had become anxious and impatient. He wandered over to the door, watching now several kids of his age playing. I watched him look over at us, and assumed not one of us was watching. For my mothers back was turned to him, and Charon had now had her eyes closed. He quickly ran out the door and started to play with the other kids. My mother had heard his footsteps as he sprinted across the deck and called out to him,
"Caden!" She put a hand on her hip and saw that he just ignored him. "We best be going, before Caden now becomes another death of one of the wraiths that run about outside. Are you sure you do not need anything" Charon cracked her eyes open and nodded a yes and a goodbye. Right then a small child's crying had been heard coming from outside. I looked over and saw it was Caden. The other kids had just circled and stared at him. He held his scraped knee and tears ran down his cheek. I jogged out the door and picked him up. I held him against my chest and he wrapped his arms around my neck. I felt his tears fall onto my shoulder. My mother came out shutting the door behind her.
"Oh, Caden, you shouldn't just go running off like that anyways." She put her hand oh on his head than looked down at the cut. It had barely begun to bleed. I looked over at her. He let out a long cry.
"I think he needs a N-A-P," I spelled out to her and I wiped the tears from his face. We walked up the hill towards our house that was further away from the rest. By the time we had gotten the house Caden had stopped shedding tears and now just looked woeful. I went inside and sat him down inside his small bed and lay the sheets over him. I kissed his forehead hoping he would not be resentful of his nap. He rolled over and closed his eyes. He then sniffed up his nose and grabbed onto his sheets. I walked out of the room to find my mother washing off her hands and looked over at me.
"I'm guessing you will be back for dinner?" She raised her bow and dried her hands upon the handmade cloth that hung beside the window that viewed the open woods.
"That's what I am thinking," I gave her a smile and I went into the bedroom and began to wipe off my face with a dampened towel. I felt my stomach growl and I adjusted my necklace for Caden had made it turn the opposite direction after all his fiddling. I grabbed my brush and started to run it through my light brown hair that was a little longer than shoulder length.
I walked to the door and saw the sun, it was in the middle of the sky, beaming down upon our village. It was just now about afternoon, so I adjusted my tank top that threaded leather in the front and pressed down my brown suede pants that had cringed form me walking.
"I best be off, I'll back before sundown mother." I smiled at her and walked out the door
"You better be, you do not know what may lie in those woods, we have not settled here very long. And Kavo's father and a few other men did go out there for various purposes." She raised both bows as she gathered up a few small baskets to put vegetables and such from out garden into.
"Alright, but do not worry," I called out to her as I headed further up the hillside past our home. The sun felt very nice as it blanketed my back with warmth. The wind blew slightly and made a few leaves dance beside me. As I headed further up the trail, the sounds of the children yelling and laughing eased, and all I could her was the sounds of the birds singing and the leaves shaking. I looked out and in the distance, on the far side of the field I saw the shape of two horses, and a rider upon the back of one.
I let my hand run across the tops of the grass and they shifted slowly with the breeze. As approached I reassured that the person on the horse was indeed Kavo and not someone else. I looked at the two horses. The one that he sat upon was a dark brown bay, and the other was a dapple grey, both of them perked their ears when I approached.
As I got near we both exchanged smiles. I walked up to the dapple and held out my hand. I felt her warm breath run across my hand heavily. I then ran my hand across her face, and looked up at Kavo who had been observing.
"Are they yours?" I questioned walking over to his mare.
"My fathers, but he let's me ride them." I had always been very fond of horses, and would I'd them whenever possible.
"They're beautiful," I stroked his Mare's neck as she put her ears back slightly and shifted her weight. She lifted one foot up to the tip of her hoof just rested upon the grass. I walked over to the dapple and lifted myself upon her back.
"What is her name?"
"Astro, she is a favorite of my father, and barely ever lets' anyone besides himself ride her."
"Than I will take it an honor to be able to ride her," I smiled up at him. I saw he had a woven basket tied upon the back of his saddle.
"Lunch?" I questioned gesturing to the basket. He nodded and then asked,
"Shall we?" I smiled at him and we started to ride into the woods.
"So how is your father, he is a legendary warrior you know?"
"Oh, I will tell him of your compliments. Well he is doing very good, he is actually away right now, with a few other soldiers. They are searching the woods for a few of the men reported hearing gun shorts off in the east."
"Oh no, I hope that they were wrong, I don't think any of us are in need of yet another battle and to move off world again."
"Yes, neither do I." We continued riding until we came upon a small canyon.
"I have never ridden them though a place like here, so they might spook, because of the small space. I adjusted myself on the saddle and gripped the reins a little tighter in case of any sudden events. We walked slowly through it. It began to get narrower as we went further into the canyon.
"I have never been in such a place as this, it's very interesting." I said as I scanned the walls that went up twenty feet or so. The light at the end neared and the horses had not acted up.
When we exited the small canyon we came upon a cliff neighboring a rushing water fall.
We walked up to the cliff and stopped. The horses began to graze racing the other to the best clumps of grass. I looked about, there were tall willows and pines blowing in the wind. Below the cliff as far as you could see were trees, mountains, open lands. I followed the winding river with my eyes as it disappeared behind a small mountain below.
"It's beautiful." I was in awe at the site, I smelled the sweet smell of spring, when the flowers had just begun to bloom.
"I thought you'd enjoy it, I found it just the other day, a few weeks after we arrived."
I think he knew how I enjoyed such peaceful places like this, and that is why he led me here.
After a few moments he untied the basket behind him and pulled out two sandwiches wrapped in cloths. He handed one to me and I took a few bites fiercely and suddenly for I had not eaten all day.
"Hungry?" He asked sarcastically, obviously noticing my savagely habits. I laughed slightly and swallowed a few bites. He then handed me a canteen, I took a sip and looked over at him.
"This is delicious, lemons is it?"
"Yes, freshly picked form my mothers trees,"
"Tell her that she takes very good care of her trees." He smiled as I handed the water back and he took a sip.
We sat there for awhile finishing up our lunchs, watching the sun sink little by little. For here it set earlier then most planets. Kavo hopped off the horse walking over to the water fall.
"Teyla, come here," He gestured his hand, I hopped off and went over to his horse and took another sip of the water and wiped off my mouth. I walked over to him and saw an entrance to behind the falls. It was a fifteen feet or so walk to the other side. He took a step inside and reached his hand backwards. I held onto it and we walked inside. The roaring waterfall blocked out the sounds of the birds, and the wind.
I watched the water fall wildly down, it shined and sparkled with ever sheet of water that flew beside us. I saw out of the corner of my eye that he was watching the waterfall as well. After a few moments I felt his dark green eyes that I had always admired upon me. I looked over at him and he grabbed my other hand. I looked up at him and then, I felt it. Empty, and horrified. His smile faded as he saw my face. They were here. I could sense them. I saw a flash of a small dart in my mind. Than another, and another. I released his hands and crept back to the other side of the falls. They were flying out from the stargate, and I could sense them approaching. I cupped my ears and closed my eyes. I saw several darts heading in our direction. I could faintly hear the humming sound of them.
"Teyla…?" Kavo questioned, for he did not have any idea what I was doing. It must have been very strange from his point of view. I walked out from behind the falls and uncapped my ears. Kavo jogged a little to catch up with me.
"Teyla? Are you-?"I glanced up at the sky.
"Look out!" I yelled as I pushed him out of the way of the beam from the dart. It zoomed by with several others following it.
"There are-there are more," I watched them keep coming from the gate in my mind. I looked over at Kavo's face. He looked frightened.
"We must hasten!" I ran over to Astro who was startled when I jumped upon his back and took off in a fast paced canter. Kavo jumped upon his mares back too.
"I'm sure glad you've got that gift!" He yelled as he caught up behind me.
We both ran through the canyon, and then took off at a gallop once we were out of it. We urged our horses on as we weaved through the tall trees that lingered above our heads. As we approached the village we slowed to a trot. Once we had come to a slow walk I jumped off of Astro who started to freak as gun shots flew past her ears. Many homes had been caught on fire from the shots coming from the Wraith Darts above. I heard the darts zoom about and people screaming as they were scooped up by its long and glowing beam. We both started to take off when the same thought crossed both of our minds. We both ran to meet one another again. I saw a very frightened look in his eyes, and could sense it in his tone when he spoke.
"I will see you again." He called and then ran towards the battle. A tear of fear ran down my cheek. I than turned back around and ran towards my home. I ran inside and saw my mother gathering up food and pots inside a small cloth.
"Teyla!" She called and hugged me. "I was so worried!" I then ran over and grabbed Caden who looked frightened. I held him close as he began to cry again.
"Mother if we hurry, there are two horses still outside!"
We quickly ran outside and I looked to my left and saw a wraith feeding upon a man. I was disgusted and turned Caden away.
"Many others have already fled, we must go!" She said as we ran over towards the horses that had now followed the trail up the hill a ways. We both jogged towards them trying not to spook them but they did not. She hopped upon Astro and I then looked to where a wraith had been feeding moments earlier and saw the same wraith running towards us. I quickly handed Caden to my mother, and I pulled out my knife and screamed and ran towards it. It shot at me but I ducked out of the way. I lunged at it with my knife and stabbed it into where a human's heart would be. I kicked its stunner a few feet from its side and quickly pulled my knife out turned around, and ran back to my mother. Not looking back to see if it had gotten back up. I jumped upon my horse and we rode off as fast as possible. The sounds of the darts and screams could be heard miles away.
We rode following the tracks of the others, but it was difficult since it was about dusk. A little bit later we could hear the sounds of voices once again. We passed a small group of men running towards the village. I suspected it must have been Kavo's father's group. We kept on riding until we came upon the group of mostly women and children from our village. I would have stayed to fight, but my mother would have greatly hesitated. I looked around at all the worried faces. Many peoples fathers, brothers, sons were out fighting. And many of us women would have stayed, but many of us had siblings, or children to look after. And we did not want to leave them behind, as I did not.
It was terribly hard to sleep that night. I watched the stars twinkle, and I looked for all of the constellations that my father had once taught me. I felt yet another tear run down my cheek but I hastily wiped away, for I did not want to worry my brother. I held him close and I could feel the beating of his strong heart against my side.
At the first sight of light, from the risen sun many of awoke to heard back to our village. I quietly lifted my arm out from underneath Caden and crept off along with a few others. We slowly headed towards the village, being very quiet for there still could be wraith. The smell of smoke still lingered, blowing about with the wind. At the first sight of the village we could see there were many clumps of ash, from the homes that were once inhabited. Many bodies, of Athosian, and Wraith, lied about. I crept slower observing the deserted flats, when I paused in mid step. The other half a dozen stopped as they followed my lead. I then heard the same noise in the bushes I heard seconds earlier. I instantly pulled out my knife, but then I saw it was a person. I paused and my eyes trigged the silhouette, it was my father; I ran over and hugged him.
"Teyla, are you alright?" He grinned in relief looking down at me. "Is your mother and Caden okay as well?"
"Yes, yes they are!" I smiled, for at least one of my worries had been relieved. I looked over at the others, a few of them continued walking into the village, looking for their loved ones. I then followed them in a slow paced jog.
"The wraiths have gone, but they will most likely return, we should leave by sundown," He called to me. I looked back and nodded and then kept on walking. I looked at the many bodies that covered the ground. I then came upon a wraith's and I kicked it in anger of what they had done to us, and many others. I jumped back because I thought it had moved, but it was just its hand flopping off of its stomach. I hopped over it and then looked ahead. I saw a large half of a dart lying on the ground. I was glad that at least we hadn't fought for nothing. I placed my hand upon it feeling its soft, smooth, refined surface.
I continued walking and then I saw something that I was hoping to never have to see. I ran over to the body, and I felt my insides flinch. I grabbed him and held him in my arms. Kavo's green eyes lied open, starring into the pale blue sky. He had a knife pierced through his side. I brushed his eyes closed, and I held him closer to me.
A long tear fell from my eye, and traveled down my cheek and fell down, onto his, clearing away the smoke and dirt, as it ran down upon his own face, and then it stopped in a crease beside his mouth. I looked up into sky and saw the sun, the very same sun that the two of us had just watched set, only a day before.