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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 16 - Seth

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Chapter 16

Seth stood in awe, as the overwhelming scene of beauty played on his mind. Alone in the sky, a ball of pale brown gas shone brightly. He could see clouds swirling at incredible speeds, how they danced. Rings of rock and ice surrounded the planet, capturing the bright sunlight and literally glowing against the back drop of stars.

And were there stars. Pale and small, there were more lights than he could count. They shone and twinkled in an array of colours. Not even the dark blue planet that filled the sky back home was anywhere near as majestic and beautiful as the pale planet here.

"That is quite a sight." Seth said quietly.

He stepped from the gate, and followed the path that lead up the small rise. From the hill, he could make out a town in the distance.

"Looks like we're going to have to meet some people." He said.

He trudged along the icy path, kicking loose snow and rocks into the air. He watched as they came crashing back to the ground.

"This world looks like home." Cub said suddenly.

Seth was struck by the resemblance. In all directions was ice, as far as the eye could see. Deep cracks formed canyons that stretched far below. He wondered if there were tribes here too.

He approached the village. Little houses of snow and ice coughed black smoke into the crisp air. People were trading, dressed in an assortment of clothes behind stalls. Seth bumped into a man.

"You're Human!" He shouted.

The man looked surprised at the statement and, after looking him up and down said,

"You're a Triton!"

"Excuse me?" Seth retorted.

"You're a tribesman from Triton, are you not? From one of Neptune's moons."

"We have different names at home, but I do come from a moon from the blue planet."

"That's Neptune, and this here is Saturn." He said pointing to the beautiful planet in the sky.

"Welcome to the Saturn Ring Oasis."

"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to be rude before. It's just I've been trying to find Earth for so long now, you're the first Human I've met."

"Likewise, it's not often one of your kind wanders through here. My name's Tim"

Tim held out his hand, and Seth bowed.

"I am Seth. My other half is Cub, it's a pleasure to meet you."

Tim raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. Instead he began to walk, and gestured Seth to follow.

"If you don't mind me asking, why are you searching for Earth?" He asked.

Seth suddenly felt defensive, he didn't know why. It must've shown on his face as Tim immediately began to apologize.

"I'm sorry for asking, it's just Earth is not the nicest of places at the moment, with the war going on and all."

"War? What war?" He asked.

"You don't know? Well the surface countries are always fighting one another, it's not a pleasant place to live."

"What are countries?" Seth asked.

"The people on the surface divide continents into countries, to create boundaries and separate populations. It is not a very good idea, and all it does is create problems."

"We just have tribes and hunting grounds back home."

"Yes I know." He said. "The war that I was referring to is the one between the Kingdom and the Vulcans."

"Is the Kingdom not a country?" He asked, confused.

"No. The Kingdom is a wonderful place in the centre of the Earth. It's full of magic and all assortments of strange and beautiful creatures." Tim said. "They ran out of resources almost a century ago, and have been trying to colonize a new planet to replenish them, Vulca. The war was lost about a decade ago, but the King has refused to stop fighting. The cities are starving and diseased, it's not a nice place at the moment."

They passed an old building where a grey woman with little black horns was tending to her children outside. He stared into her black eyes, and felt fear. She smiled and waved as he passed. He inclined his head, and carried on. He could see the next stone pillar approaching in the distance.

"I heard that Dragons are running around in the Kingdom as well."

"Dragons?" He asked.

"Apparently they're causing quite a bit of trouble, even murdered the Human Prince!"

"In my tribe, we have stories of Dragons. Large fire breathing, magical creatures that are hugely powerful and as old as time."

"Sounds like the things they've got in the Kingdom. Are you sure that that's the place you want to be heading?"

Seth nodded, and pulled the hood over his face. "I'm sure."

"Well in that case, there's only one more gate before you get to Earth."

They entered the village centre, where the buildings cleared to reveal an ancient silver tree with deep sapphire leaves. He recognised its warm aroma, and felt comforted by the tree's presence. 

Tim said "It gate will bypass Jupiter and take you straight to Mars. Good luck."

Tim offered out his hand. Seth, unsure of what to do, bowed with his fists over his heart. Tim grinned.

"Humans shake hands in greeting and departure."

"I'll remember that for next time, thank you."

"It's been my pleasure, Seth of the Tritons."

"Goodbye, Tim of the Humans."

Seth reached out with his mind and felt the familiar feeling through his body as he poured his energy into the runes that marked the trees surface. He looked over his shoulder, and took one last scenic view of the place that reminded him so much of home, and stepped through the grey shimmering void of nothingness.

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