The Moonweaver Chronicles 2-2
“Alright, so the first part of working here… well, I guess actually the first part might have been more oriented towards the fighting. Then there’s the. Let’s just focus on the next part of your training I guess.” Vincent finished, displaying his masterful command of speech-making in his attempt to educate me on exactly what the Wardens do.
“I am eager to learn,” I told him quite simply, pretending that he hadn't just stumbled all over his words. “By the way, I noticed that none of the animals seem to interact with us, only creatures that are looking for help. Why is that?”
“Because we are, more or less, removed from the environment or ecosystem. Though we co-exist with these creatures, there is something about our abilities that make the creatures around here more or less ignore us.” Vincent said before digressing to the reason we came to this location. There were a bunch of nondescript trees around us, the only one that seemed to be ‘in focus’ was the one he was standing next to. “So, I take it you’ve noticed that this tree is different from the others?
“Your eyes and mind have naturally adapted to notice and hone in on trees and foliage like this. If you’ve been here for a while and meet certain requirements, you will become more aware of and even able to interact with special plants that are linked to other planes.” He continued. I notice he didn’t really seem to wait for a nod to signal that I had indeed noticed the phenomenon. “This tree is linked to a specific world where a species is nearing extinction.
“We will be heading to that very world and collecting at least one of them to bring back.” Vincent finished. “Any questions?”
“If we only gather one, how will that be enough to save the species. Wouldn't we need at least two? Even that though seems a bit lacking.” I said questioningly, I wasn’t entirely sure that Vincent was old enough to understand how things like this worked at times.
“One of the Wardens has an ability that helps this process a lot. The Forest has been observed to have a property that increases the fertility of the creature we bring in for long enough that they are able to give birth to enough to save the species. We just have to make sure that they stay safe during this time and sometimes help raise the young.”
“But I thought…” I started. Vincent cut me off right after.
“What… that we were all violent and obsessed with this war?” He asked, “Look, Alkain, we fight because we have to. None of us asked for this war, none of us enjoy it either. That said, it has forced us to forge strong bonds with one another. It has given us family, it has given us purpose. There is a terrifying beauty to this place, because it is such a horrible place. My parents, my siblings, my family, my friends… all of us have dedicated ourselves to protecting this place because this is the hand we were dealt. We aren't violent, we fight because it's necessary and because we want to see the true beauty of this place.”
Vincent grabbed my arm tightly and tugged me towards the tree, which had begun to glow, I took a moment to observe it closely. It had the same energy that I felt whenever I opened portals to other planes. The glow gave the wide branches on the tall tree a certain other-worldly quality. Suddenly, the leaves that adorned the branches all turned pink, the glowing intensified and I was yanked from one world into another.
I have traveled from plane to plane for a long time, longer than I can really recall, but this felt different. I sensed the same energy, but this wasn't just a hole between worlds, it was more of a tunnel. It was as if it had been carefully stabilized and didn’t waver in the slightest. I came to the realization that my powers were still very immature quickly. Suddenly, a world formed around me, I had been looking up slightly and noticed glass. When I looked down however, it looked, for a moment, like we were in a slightly wooded area. The smell didn’t match it though and I quickly figured out why.
“What in the world is this place?” Vincent asked me, “It’s like some kind of artificially manufactured forest area.”
It dawned on me that Vincent may not have experienced much outside the Forest, despite having left for a while with Rin. “Sometimes, certain species create these things called ‘zoos’ where they cage animals, so the inhabitants can watch the creatures in a mockery of their natural environment.” I said with a note of disdain.
“That doesn’t make sense…” He claimed.
“Indeed it doesn't... “ I replied. I then remembered why we came here, “So what exactly are we here for?”
Vincent took a moment to study the area, it was as if he was seeing something around us that I couldn’t. After a few moments of this, he seemed to come to a conclusion and pointed at some wolves. Their fur was predominantly orange with erratic splotches black and gray. There were about six of them, half of them took positions in front of the other half.
Vincent approached them and offered out his hand. The canine in front of him sniffed it and licked it. “For one reason or another, even outside the Forest, being a Warden makes it a lot easier to win the trust of most animals. It seems to be doubly true of the ones we go after.” Vincent explained as he pet the canine and nuzzled it. The others approached him and he quickly seemed to become quite popular among them.
Suddenly, I realized we weren't alone. Specifically, because there happened to be a rather loud noise, as if someone had just knocked something onto a hard surface. Certain words were spoken and shortly after, a door that I hadn't noticed until just now opened. In walked a woman with mostly golden brown fur. It was tawny on what I imagine would probably be her whole underside. I say imagine because she was wearing a blue blouse and skirt. I could only hope that she was nicer than the last canine creature that I had met…
Following her was a different canine creature who I almost instantly recognized as Angus. I was quickly put on edge by this fact. “And what exactly would you happen to be doing here?” I demanded of him.
“Are these friends of yours, honey?” The female asked.
“Um…” Angus seemed to be at a loss for words, “Something like that…”
“BULLSHIT, YOU SHOT AT US AND STOLE FROM US!” I accused.
“Angus…” The female glared daggers at him, “I hope he’s joking about that.”
“Hey… you’re still alive, that's more than can be said of most of the people I’ve shot…” Angus replied, perhaps making one of the poorest defences I had yet to hear.
“THATS NO EXCUSE, ANGUS. I hope you have an explanation..” She scolded him.
“I don't really think the word excuse applies here…” I corrected.
“Regardless, an explanation is in order I think.”
“Well you see…” Angus started.
Alkain goes on his first official mission for the Wardens, accompanied by Vincent, taking the last of a dying species from a world in the hopes of giving them a chance to flourish. Do things ever go according to plan? Yes, those things just rarely make for good stories.