Ayla hummed softly as she waited for Geffen. He had found a secluded area where he could try his earth powers and his knowledge of conservation, to see if he could heal the land. If successful, she could take the results back to her family. Maybe then, they would stop raiding other planets and make something of themselves. She thought about the other problems inherent to her race and wondered if there was any way to reduce the mutations of her people. Some of the mutations were visible, but the most destructive was a mental genetic anomaly known as berserking. This was causing grief and heartache within their people. The berserking only showed up during times of extreme stress or anger. When the anger took over, control was nonexistent. Attributed to many deaths, this gene mutation was beginning to decimate the planet as well. Even with helping to heal the planet resources, she was worried about how they would go forward with the berserking mutation. No longer humming, but frowning, she decided to focus on the things she could do instead of those without solution.
Humming again, hugging a new secret to herself, she could not wait to share her surprise with Geffen. He would be overwhelmed with joy, but no more so than she was. Happiness was making her giddy, but she was new to birthing, and still afraid.
She wondered if this new information would make birth even more difficult. Afraid but determined she considered the impact of the news.
Hearing a sound, she turned with a huge smile on her face, expecting Geffen to enter. Shock made her gasp; in front of her were some of the very berserkers from her earlier reverie. The one in front was leering at her.
The painful lurch in her belly rivaled the hard thuds of her heart. Fear was foremost, as she glanced nervously around. The cave was open and she could see no way out of her predicament.
Her voice barely working, she stammered, “What do you want, why are you here?” Her voice was husky, as she tried to force the words out. Fear had tightened her throat, creating dryness, making speech difficult.
"We want some of what the birdman got" the tall one in charge taunted. He knew his comment was crude, but the Eldwitch with their wings and ability to fly made him uncomfortable. Coming at her and looking her over, seeing the unexpected, his leers turned to disbelief, knowing the unborn child must belong to the Eldwitch Keeper. Having a child with an outsider was not acceptable in his culture.
"Look at that, we got us a chick" the big one in the lead said to the others. Disgusted that she had chosen to mate with an outsider, he considered his options carefully. .
He pulled his blade, the scrape as it left his sheath sounding unnaturally loud.
"We’ll have to see if she dies as well as the birdman,” he boasted to the others. “That one was easy; he went down with no effort." Knowing he had no choice, and would lose the respect of his men, he was uncomfortable with what was required. To make such a plan and follow through created guilt. He preferred his berserker state when all sense of guilt vanished.
Tears streaming down her face, she began to plead, if Geffen were gone as they said, she would have to beg. She was not ready to die. She opened her mouth to speak; willing to press for her life, but her words turned into a scream as he took the hilt of his sword and slammed it into her head.
Spitting on the floor, he cursed her, “I will not allow such a foul deed, it cannot be condoned.” He challenged his friends. “She must be made to suffer the consequences of her action.”
She felt blinding pain and as she hit the floor of the cave, she had time for one thought. Oh Geffen, what now? It was her final memory as blackness enveloped her.