Jarl on faruul (origins.., p.1
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       Jarl on Faruul (Origins Part 6), p.1
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           W Bradley
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Jarl on Faruul (Origins Part 6)
arl on Faruul

  W Bradley

  Copyright 2012 by W Bradley

  I looked across at Leyla. She was stunning; the golden light from the orange moon served to enhance her beauty. Under normal circumstances I would have continued to admire her but the current circumstances were not normal; they were far removed from normal.

  I missed Earth. I really did, though I thought I wouldn’t. I missed the people, the languages, the relatively dull news. The longer I spent away from the place, the more I believed it really had been my home and the more I feared I would never see it again.

  This planet was not like Earth. It was predominantly green in colour but the foliage, if you could call it such, was not like anything I’d seen. There were no leaves or blades of grass, no tree trunks or flowers, at least not in this strange alien village to which the Prooth had led us. The only kind of ‘plant’ was made up of hundreds of small pyramids. I assumed those acted as the leaves did on Earth plants. They felt smooth on two of the faces and rough on the others. The Prooth had warned me to avoid touching the vegetation as they had only a vague idea how humans would be affected by the potential toxins most of the plant-life gave off. So far I was alright. No rashes at least.

  Besides the greenery, the village was made up of cube shaped dwellings, not unlike the houses back home in shape. They were however pale yellow in colour and seemed to be made from one solid block hollowed out. Having questioned the Prooth about these, he had told me they were in fact shaped from one solid chunk of a material they called ‘Holomei’ which could withstand powerful forces, but was easy to cut through with basic tools.

  Leyla and I followed the Prooth between these buildings, along a path of sorts, to a large dome structure in the centre of the village. I attempted to make eye contact with Leyla but her eyes were fixed on the dome. I followed her lead and stared at the thing. It was the same pale yellow colour of the dwellings and it was enormous; easily big enough to fit the entire village within. It loomed above us as we came closer.

  Upon entering the place, I immediately felt intimidated. Not only by the size and design of the structure itself, but by the atmosphere created by the thousands of Prooth within. The noise was both immense and bizarre but what followed was somehow more disturbing. Suddenly, the Prooth were silent. Not ‘very quiet’ but completely and perfectly silent.

  I looked across at Leyla again but she still avoided eye-contact as we were led towards the centre of the dome where a three tiered structure awaited us. We were ushered into the lowest section, our escort took the middle section and at the top stood a large creature not like the Prooth in morphology.

  Before I had chance to take in the situation, the creature spoke. The language was different to any Earth language and even that of the Prooth. Our escort on the middle tier translated into Earth English:

  “Their names are Leyla and Jarl and though they volunteered to help the cause of the Prooth, many of you have sought to stop their travel here and to have their kind banned from your lands. We come to the neutral space of Cenrill to discuss.

  “Ask your questions.”

  I must have looked confused because I certainly was. Leyla and I had offered our help and yet, we appeared to be on trial.

  “Why would you help us?” Bellowed the first question from a particularly large and rough looking Prooth. There was absolute silence as I opened my mouth, attempting to form an answer.

  “Uh…” Was the first sound to leave me but before I could continue, the same Prooth who originally recruited me on Earth emerged from the masses and strode to my side. He placed a hand on my shoulder and turned to the crowd. I felt a great fondness toward him.

  “What is this?” He hissed; his tone was different to that in our first meeting. It was full of disgust.

  “Why would you not accept their help? You of all Prooth know what they can do, Calna.”

  “What makes you think we can trust them?” Was the large Prooth’s reply, “I do not understand why it is that you trust them, Kesla.”

  “They are from Earth you fool. What would they gain from betraying us? The humans have absolutely no dealings with any alien race.”

  “What about the Sindenians? They reside on Earth do they not?”

  “Yes. And as you know, the humans are completely unaware of their presence. Besides, we trust the Sindenians. Or are they soon to be questioned too?”

  “Are you forgetting what the Sindenians have learned of the Humans? The violence, the greed and the destruction they cause to their own planet?”

  “And are you forgetting the other side of that argument? In our race’s youth, did we not make more terrible mistakes? Prooth and Humankind are more alike than you want to believe, Calna.”

  “They are a volatile race, regardless of the time their species has existed. I cannot trust them.”

  “Who besides Calna does not trust the Humans?” Our recruiter scanned the crowd. A Prooth to my right raised his arm and made a strange clicking sound.

  “I do not.” He said in a barely audible voice. “Their minds can be too easily corrupted or even broken. I cannot trust a being whose mind could be so easily bent to the will of our enemies.”

  “A sensible point. Thank you, Hanri. If I told you I could fortify their minds against such corruption, would you agree that they can be trusted?”

  “Under such a circumstance, I would agree. Can you do such a thing?”

  “I believe I can.” And with that, Kesla smiled and his many pointed teeth sparkled. It was quite a disturbing sight but I thought it best not to mention it at this juncture.

  The creature two tiers above looked down at Leyla and I then back in the general direction of the crowd.

  “Any further questions?” It asked. There was no reply. “Then we shall sleep. Calna and Hanri, report your new opinions tomorrow.”

  Moments later, Leyla and I were being led by Kesla from the dome to one of the dwelling-like structures we had passed earlier. We entered and waves of relief passed over me. I hadn’t even realised how stressful the situation had been until the tension in my body subsided. Kesla seemed to notice this.

  “I am sorry for their reaction to your arrival.” He said, “Are you OK?”

  “I am now. I think.” I replied. Leyla nodded and I noticed a rapid glance in my direction. Why wouldn’t she look at me?

  “Good.” Said the Prooth, grinning. “I should explain what just happened. The political situation here is incredibly complicated. We have no leaders as you do on Earth. So if a single Prooth has a differing opinion, we hold a ‘questioning’.”

  “And terrifying it was too. Thank you for the warning.” The sarcasm was for Leyla’s benefit but she didn’t seem to notice.

  “Before I left for Earth, to find you, there had been no difference in opinion; all Prooth agreed to the idea of your recruitment. Apparently, a couple changed their minds while I was away.”

  “Don’t you spend every waking hour in there arguing?”

  “You must understand that we are very different to you humans. It is in fact very rare that we have a disagreement within our species; the mind of one Prooth is almost emotionally identical to the mind of any other Prooth. There are a few of my kind however, like myself, who have a slightly different way of thinking.” Kesla then looked towards the entrance of the building we were now inside and it sealed itself solid. A nifty trick, that. I made a mental note to ask the Prooth how it worked.

  Leyla and I then followed him into a narrow hallway with walls lined with thousands of tiny silver rings but before I could properly ponder their purpose we rounded the corner into a room littered with potential questions; the walls, tables and floor were covered with many ob
jects, none of which I recognised or could have even had a guess on what their purpose was. I opened my mouth but Kesla turned to me before words formed and held up a hand.

  “Another time, Jarl.” He said, sternly. “Leyla. You first. Please follow me.”

  She obliged and they disappeared into another room, leaving me alone for the first time since my abduction. Abduction? – Probably the wrong word but would I have agreed to come here if I’d known about the questioning? – Yeah. Probably.

  I turned my thoughts to the room’s many mysteries and grabbed the nearest to me, turning it in my hands. It was a silver spire which tapered to an exceptionally sharp point. I turned it to view the bottom and as I did, the light caught it in such a way that it became a deep gold colour for a split second then the surface of the thing moved between my fingers. Suddenly, a thousand tiny sparkling bubbles appeared and popped against my hands. I immediately dropped the spire but the residue left on my palms spread rapidly until both hands were completely encased in silver. I shouted for Kesla. I felt as though my hands were more than just coated in the stuff; I could feel it in my flesh, creeping into my bones. Then a tingling sensation shot up my arms and I could suddenly see nothing but a bright white light.

  A moment later I heard a muffled voice. A hand was placed on my forehead and I felt something like a pinch on my neck. Within seconds my vision
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