Shir Gold in:

Betrayal of the Winds

We marched along in single file. Rolf, Amy, Hugh, myself, Anna, Kain and Rudo. I could barely keep my eyes open. One arm, I wrapped around my body for warmth, while the other was clasped tightly upon the back of Hugh's red scarf. Usually I would have laughed at someone for wearing such a silly accessory before swiping it. However, this time I was actually pretty envious of him… I'm sure he was a lot warmer than I was.

The planet Dezolis… or Dezo… or whatever the hell its called is a place for the living dead. Here we were, caught in the middle of an unexpected blizzard, forced to move arbitrarily in hopes of running into a town of some sort. Growing up in a city such as Piata and attending one of its finer academies gave me access to a world of information. If there's one thing I can thank my good for nothing parents for, it's the fact that I have so much knowledge. I knew all about Dezolis… and what snow was… and blizzards, and yet here I was, completely stupefied by how my body was reacting. It felt like I was going to shut down at any moment.

"Walking through one of these… kinda…. makes you realize how unpractical the Motavian way of dress is…" I said to nobody and through chattering teeth. I'm sure Anna, who had a loose grip on my collar could empathize.

Every now and then, the winds would give out a terrifying howl, forcing me to close my eyes to prevent the ice from blowing into them. I wondered if it was the same for all of the others, especially Rolf who was attempting to guide us on this crazy mission.

When the winds quieted down again, I could here a voice shouting out from behind me. It was Kain. "Eh! Rolf! How much further?!"

It was a question that our fearless leader couldn't really answer. So no one in our little people train really reacted to it at all. There were no towns in sight. Who knew when this storm was gonna blow over? With nothing else to do, we continue to plod on.

Back in my old stomping grounds, the wealthiest estates in Piata, I was known for being a bit of an outcast; the neighborhood kids referred to me as "Shilka of the Wind". Truthfully, it was a title I embraced. I spent much of my time on rooftops, watching the sunset and feeling the breeze…

The warm, Motavian breeze…

But at the same time… I was always alone. Its something that's never really bothered me, nor have I even thought about it much. But on the cold plains of Dezolis, I couldn't help but wonder…

Is this fate for people like me? To feel cold?

For the first time in my life, I had felt as if my guiding wind had betrayed me. I'm convinced that there was no where in the entire Algo system for someone like me! Someone who desires to live outside of traditional desires, and isn't afraid to follow every calling of the heart.

"No… I refuse to accept it!" I whispered sharply into the wind which felt like tiny blades slicing into my delicate and exposed skin. I remember wondering if Hugh could hear me? I doubted it though… he was probably just as lost in thought as I was.

After all, there are few experiences as humbling as feeling as if you're a member of the living dead.

I'm convinced that even if I hadn't followed Rolf and company home from Piata that I'd have found myself a slave to the ideals of a so-called "normal" lifestyle. Maybe with them I can shake things up a bit. But in the meantime, I'll have to get used to struggling against the wind. Can I survive?


Just like Piata, the sun was setting. The air was almost perfectly still. Rolf hadn't found us a town, only a clearing in the middle of a forest. Charring the earth black and free of ice with NaFoi, we had found a place to settle here in the middle of nowhere.

There was some work left to do before the harsh night began. Rudo and Hugh worked together on setting up the tents we had brought with us from the central tower in Paseo. Anna and Kain gathered wood for a fire, as Amy and Rolf discussed the best way to keep any possible winds from blowing it out.

And I… went out a ways into the forest by myself a ways from the rest of the group. They probably didn't expect my health, nor did they need it, really. I realized that I had been thinking too much… which wasn't like me. I'm sure they were used to me being a bit detached from the rest, but…

"Hey."

The voice came out of nowhere. I jerked in surprise. I turned to see that it was just Kain. "Oh," I grinned, trying to shed off any indication that I was feeling down. But I could feel my features tremble a bit "What's up?"

I wondered if he had noticed. "You doin' alright? You looks to be a bit shaken up, girl."

I shook my head and glanced at the ground. He had noticed. "No… its just this blasted cold. Brrr…" I said, demonstrating how cold I was.

Kain tilted his head a little suspiciously. He always wore that same sarcastic smile no matter where he went. "Well… I wont be forcin' you to tell me nothin'. Let's just head on back to the camp. Rolf and the Doc got a mighty fine fire goin'. And I thinks we about to fix up some of those ol' rations for dinner."

I nodded. "That sounds nice."

He walked me back to camp. It was a nice gesture on his part. When we got back, I took a seat next to Kain by the fire. I remember teasing Kain for his lame jokes, and arguing with the men about how we ladies had it more difficult in these extremes; heated discussions in which even the ever silent Anna jumped in. I remember laughing some more as Rudo told us about the first time Hugh battled against the bio-monsters, and listening to Rolf as he told us stories about what he heard of the Dezolians, and reminiscing a little when Amy brought up her old home on Motavia. Overall though, we had a really good time together like normal people would before the darkness finally urged us to get some rest.

Before entering the tent with the other ladies however, I stopped and closed my eyes… in spite of what I thought before, the wind was still on my side. I felt for the first time that I was being guided toward something great, and that's why I will continue to strive and make something out of my existence.