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The Sisters of the Skrall were in their greatest crisis yet.
Only moments ago, they believed, they had been on a trek across Bara Magna, seeking a being who could supply them with great power. Now they were somehow stranded in empty desert without so much as a crumb of food, a drop of water or a scrap of shelter. They had no choice but to choose a direction and continue marching, hoping that they would find some sort of salvation before they all perished.
When salvation came, it was in the driver's seat of a strange machine that glided over the ground like a bird through the air, no louder than a soft breeze. The Skrall watched the machine approach, Solis Magna reflected in the glass-and-metal sphere of its exterior. When it was only yards from the awestruck sisterhood, the vehicle drifted smoothly to a halt. Out stepped a strange being, clad in armor they did not recognize.
"So," said the stranger deliberately, "it seems you may be in need of help. Fortunately, I believe I will be able to provide it."
The Skrall shuffled their formation, making a half circle around their leader. "I am Kehanus, matriarch of the Skrall," she proclaimed. Identify yourself and state your purpose." As she spoke, she reached out to sense the stranger's mind, only to discover that it was defended by a mental shield more powerful than she had imagined possible.
"My only purpose here is to aid you and your sisters." The being took a few steps toward them, looking down at a metallic object he carried in his hands as he spoke. "You have a long history of being betrayed, Kehanus. Your Element Lord ignored your wishes and led your women to fight and die in the war. The Great Beings sent the Baterra to kill you, even though it was not your choice to take up arms against the other tribes. Your males abandoned you, leaving you behind in the wasteland. And even now, Agori and Glatorian are building a great new society--one they wish you to have no part in."
"What do you want?"
"I want to save you, Sisters. I will give to you power far greater than any of your kind has ever wielded." With the smile of a rock viper lying in wait for a rodent, the stranger casually turned the metal tool in his hands. "None of you have carried a weapon since the war, for fear of the Baterra." He pointed the object at a nearby rock and pressed a button. A bolt of yellow lightning leapt from the device, shattering the rock into gravel-sized fragments. A dust cloud rose away from the remains. "These are no ordinary weapons: they are the very ones used by the Baterra themselves. The only weapons that the Baterra are programmed not to attack. Wielding them, you can destroy Baterra with ease. You can massacre them, just as they did to you. And once the Baterra are gone, you will be able to use any weapons you like... on whomever you like."
Kehanus was silent for a moment. Her instincts told her that it was a trap; that this creature had some ulterior motive. But could she risk denying her people the tools they needed to rise up and reconquer what was once theirs? "Our immediate concerns are far more dire than our future plans, stranger. If you offer aid, then how will you deliver us from the perils of the desert?"
"There is a small village of Agori just three miles west of here. They have food in their stores and water in their wells..." The stranger rubbed at some minute blemish on the weapon he carried. "...And if they are unwilling to share those with you, then it will be an excellent opportunity for you to test these fine gifts I wish to bestow upon you."
He held up the device for the Matriarch to take. After she hesitantly did so, he returned to his vehicle and unloaded an armful of the weapons, which he passed out among the Skrall before explaining how to use them.
"You claim these will protect us from the Baterra, but how do we know that is true?" questioned one of the Sisters.
The stranger casually took the weapon from her and fired it at a stone pillar projecting from a rock formation behind the group. Rather than shatter, the pillar exploded into a burst of sparks and toppled to the ground. The Skrall could clearly see that it resembled stone no longer, rather a mass of ruined machinery. There were two clawed arms visible, folded against the metal structures. "If anyone has further doubts," the stranger chuckled, "now would be the time to voice them."
No one spoke.
The stranger returned to his vehicle once more and came back with a large apparatus that seemed to be a huge metal cylinder twice the size of his own head, with straps that allowed it to be worn on a person's back.
"This," he said, dumping it onto the ground, "is my final gift. It is not a weapon, but rather a sort of shield. You see, there is now a new species of being on this planet. They resemble Glatorian, but their armor is like my own. These beings are powerful: they control the elements much like the Element Lords did. But there are far more of them. Enough that, as strong as you are, Sisters, they could have you at their mercy.
"This device will quickly drain away the elemental abilities of these beings if they come near, leaving them powerless. I recommend that you carry it with you wherever you go, and keep it out of sight when possible."
"We are... grateful for your gifts," said Kehanus. "But you never answered my first question. What is your name?"
The stranger at first seemed to ignore the question as he trotted back to his vehicle. But as he climbed into the machine, he turned and answered.
"You may call me Marendar."
The vehicle left a faint haze of dust in its wake as it floated away over the desert.
Review Topic: http://www.bzpower.c...topic/?p=687706
Edited by Akavakaku, Jun 08 2014 - 09:18 PM.