DR: And here's the epilogue for you. This is a cut down, reworked version of the original that Zaion sent me months ago. It lays a bit more ground work for his planned story set in the future of the 'Legacies' Timeline...


Epilogue: A Nightmare Awakens

Far out in the desert, hundreds of miles from any town or village, a sand storm tore across the plains. The shifting dunes ebbed and flowed under the relentless winds.

Yet in the middle of all this there was one object that remained unchanged, immutable. Wind blown sand hammered against it, but nothing affected the smooth surface.

Deep within, a man looked about with awe, curiosity drowning his deep seated chill about this place. When the sand storm had blown up he had moved to find shelter. The Guysack he had been piloting in this prospecting quest normally could have simply dug itself into the sand and waited the storm out, but the winds were so fierce and the sand so loose in this region that it was impossible to escape. So he had hunted for more solid cover.

At first he had thought the object was a pillar of rock, a stray up thrust from below the sea of sand. Yet when he had moved closer he had realised that this was no rock formation. The outer surface was charred and buckled, but it was clearly metal.

He had gone inside at first simply to escape the sand and wind, but what he had found within had drawn him in deeper, until now he couldn't even hear the wind moaning outside.

He passed room after room, each lined with capsules. He'd glanced at a few at first, to see people within, apparently sleeping. So surprised at his find was he, that he didn't notice how the gems on each persons chest was actually imbedded in the skin. Nor that in each row the occupants were the same in each tube.

Now further down into the craft, he didn't even look into the capsules. If he had, he may have found reason enough to turn back now.

At last he reached a door that led down rather then to the sides. The craft was buried nose first in the sand, so he was hanging from a rope he'd tied off at the top where he had gained entry. His common sense was yelling, pleading for him to return to his zoid and tell the world of his find, but the thought of what he might find within silenced that voice. If he was to get a good return from this find, then he had to explore everywhere first, in order to lay claim to it. It was a game of 'First come, first served' when it came to prospecting out here in the wilderness.

Some deft electronic work allowed him to get the doors open, and slowly he lowered himself down into what once had been a large chamber. The far end was crumpled inwards, but he barely noticed that. Nor did he see the banks of computers on each side, as his gaze was locked on the object that filled a good portion of the 'rear' of the chamber. A sphere, made up of hexagonal panels, much like a zoid core. It glowed with a pale red light, and appeared to be made of some sort of crystal. With thoughts of how much something like that could be worth, he worked his way over to it.

When he got closer, he saw that there was something inside the sphere, something that looked human. Almost without realising it, he stroked the surface.

With a crack the rings that held the sphere snapped apart and moved to the walls. The small plates slowly separated, spacing out before shifting about to form a dozen equal stacks around the person who had been within.

As he drew in breath, the man's eyes widened sharply as he realised it was a woman, and an extremely pale and exceptional beautiful one at that. Her skin was almost white, contrasting strongly with her midnight black hair. As she turned, floating in mid air, he noted with concern the balefully glowing red gem embedded in her flesh, right over her heart. Suddenly her eyes snapped open, fixing him with pale red eyes that seemed to bore right through him. The prospector found himself chilled to the bone as her red lips smiled cruelly, yet he found himself totally unable to move. His mind was screaming in fear, but somehow this woman, who looked only in her mid twenties, floated closer, the sharp points of her canines appearing as her smile widened.

"Don't worry…" She whispered into his ear when they were barely an inch apart. "… It'll all be over before you know it…" Her voice was as cold as death.

The next instant the man's screams echoed throughout the chamber, reverberating up the long corridor as the rope he was hanging from thrashed about. Then everything went still.

With a dismissive push, the woman pushed the already cooling corpse away. "Now, time to awaken my kin…"

X-X-X-X-X-X

Far away, on the other side of the continent, Kane suddenly jerked upright, his breath heaving and his heart racing. The Nightmare he had just been having had been one he had not had for centuries. He had almost forgotten it. He looked down to see that Auri was still sleeping, her hair cast about her head like a halo. On a chair a few steps away her dress lay where she had left it after the party.

On trembling legs Kane stepped out of bed and staggered over to the bathroom. Splashing water on his face he looked into the mirror. His hand went to his chest, and he realised with horror why the nightmare had returned.

"They're awakening…" He whispered, pure fear twisting his guts about…

The End…?


DR: And that's it folks. 'Tribes' is completed. I can't yet predict when the next planned story in this arc, 'Bonds of Brotherhood', will start being uploaded (partly because I haven't started writing it yet!) Also, I have ideas for a Harry Potter fic... So many ideas, too little time...

Zeke: Well, you do have plenty of time now, since you failed to keep the...

DR: (quietly menacing) Zeke, didn't I tell everyone not to mention that?

Zeke: (eyes widen) Ah... maybe...

DR: Then I suggest that if you wish to remain in one peice, you not mention that topic EVER AGAIN. Do I make myself clear?

Zeke: (nods)

DR: Anyway, remember to watch my author page, as 'Brotherhood' will go under 'Firefly/Serenity', and Potter? Three guesses... Until then, and I hope you've all enjoyed everything we've been through!