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Sephro: The Connection

A Science Fiction/Fantasy novel by Druana Kerridwen, (c)2017

The Forest of LaGala, in the land of Kaplan on planet Sephro

PROLOGUE

Sephro is a magical planet, resplendent in beauty and guided by powerful Goddesses and Gods. Earth is broken yet beautiful, enduring, trying to survive. Two different planets which forge a connection so powerful it could strengthen not only Sephro and Earth but every planet, every solar system, every galaxy. And yet they are similar in many ways.

Craela, a young native Sephron, is tormented by an event from her past that keeps coming up in her dreams. Yet she is determined to overcome it by any means necessary. When her planet is attacked by an evil sorceress of Earth, Craela is determined to join in the fight against her. Yet, her family and clan warn against this, for Craela is still healing from her past trauma, despite her strength.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to all but a few Sephrons, Craela is taking soul-traveling journeys at night to meet Cryss, a young Earth boy about Craela's age. Friends since right after Craela’s trauma, the two fell in love as time elapsed. Cryss's strong feelings for Craela and his empathic connection with her allows him to heal her from the trauma she suffered. In turn, Craela supports Cryss through family drama and misunderstandings.  Together, they face down obstacles beyond anything they thought they were capable of. 

It soon becomes apparent that their love just may be the key that will unite Earth and Sephro, a thing that will only strengthen both planets against anything evil that might descend on them.  With the help of the oldest people on Sephro who have seen more pain and joy than Craela ever could, she and Cryss must now convince their families that Earth and Sephro must unite in the flesh, despite fear of cultural or species differences. If they cannot put their differences aside, a terrible evil linked to Craela's past, threatens to rise again.

Let the Light Shine In!

AUTHOR'S NOTE
Druana Kerridwen is my pen name for writing fiction.
Any and all language barriers regarding the words and phrases of planet Sephro will be addressed in a glossary.  Look for this in a separate post. Many thanks for your reading!

CHAPTER I


Planet Sephro, land of the Kaplan Clan, Craela’s home.

“Craela!”

She ran, thinking only of that, running. Running, to get rid of the cold inside of her. Cold, icy fear engulfed her body like newly thawed water. Craela remembered falling into an almost frozen spring last lor, the pain worse than the sting of a flying largo. The pain was the same now, but deeper.

“Craela!”

She didn’t understand this cold but she hated it. She knew nothing but pure terror. She just wanted to be home, safe and warm under the blankets. Or, even alone in the forest. Anything was better than this, she thought!

That tree! Safety at last.

“CRAELA!”

She could see the tree looming ahead of her, a comforting sight. It was her favorite tree of all in the forest. Often she climbed there, sitting and dreaming. She rushed towards it now.

“No.”

His hands grabbed her around her waist just before she could reach the tree, her long golden hair getting tangled in the low branches. Jondu snatched her back roughly, ripping out some of her hair. Craela screamed. He seized her by her shoulders and forced her to look into his eyes.

Pure evil was there. Pale green eyes with no expression of love, compassion or anything he’d ever shown her before. There was just —nothing. What had happened? He was her uncle, and a friend to her, and yet, he now treated her as an enemy. Why?

Jondu’s long bronze hair brushed against Craela’s face as he got closer. Strangely, the wisps of hair felt comforting, despite it all. Yet, his face, golden brown like all kaean in the Clan of Kaplan, was twisted in a horrible grimace that snapped Craela back into reality like a whip on the back.

Such was Jondu’s dichotomy. He was one of the most handsome in all of Kaplan, tall and lean, with muscles in their appropriate places, not too many, not too little. Yet, what Craela had thought was a soul that matched his looks, was now nothing but monstrous.

“Let me GO!” Craela heard herself shouting, surprised by her own boldness even though the fear was colder than before.

It was then that she realized he’d teleported them both to his sanctuary in the wood. The magickal land he himself had created, just for him that he now designed to “share” with her.

There was a smell there, a terrible stench. Craela’s gaze turned to the interior of the sanctuary, and the state of it was unfathomable. Nothing positive or beautiful existed here.

“Look at me,” Jondu hissed, seizing her again, his gaze boring into her, his eyes filled with a smoldering fire that made her feel like she was trapped in it, burning in it.

Craela’s purple eyes filled with silver tears, round and jewel-like. They glided down her cheeks and dropped off her chin. Then she couldn’t help herself — she burst into loud sobs. Jondu’s lip curled, and he looked at her as if she were worthy of contempt, weak, foolish. She couldn’t entirely disagree with that at the moment. She was paralyzed beneath his diabolical spell. Jondu threw her down onto the rancid moss of his “sanctuary.” Craela shut her eyes tight, refusing to open them, no matter how Jondu slapped her face. Craela then realized that something was —happening — to her body. The pain she felt, mixed with a multitude of feelings, from fear to disgust, and then a strange sort of pleasure. Then as she realized exactly what Jondu was doing to her…

“LET HER GO!”

The voice was unfamiliar, but suddenly the Blue Moon, Kano, appeared in the sky, shining down on Jondu’s stinking sanctuary. Jondu raised his face to the Moon, showing pure terror that Craela had never seen in him. It was such a shock to her, that all her own fear and pain was forgotten in that moment.

Then, Jondu cried out as he was yanked off of Craela by none other than Head Shoki Coran, the elder overseer of Clan Kaplan. Beyond her, Ror Shoki Tanna, elder overseer of the entire planet of Sephro, stood like a warrior ready to strike. Demonic anger was on both Coran’s and Tanna’s faces. Coran pulled Jondu to his feet, and he stared, hyperventilating in fear, as Tanna took him by the shoulders, his black eyes holding cold, fierce anger.

“Not again,” Jondu said into Tanna’s eyes. “Please…I don’t want to die.”

Tanna raised an eyebrow.

“Again?” he asked. “Have I killed you before? Jondu?”

His eyes looked deeply into Jondu’s, narrowing as a terrible realization came over his face. Jondu lifted his head defiantly.

“Clorkhana,” he growled, then grinned. “Go on, kill me a second time, Tanna. What’s the worst that can happen? You’re already immortal.”

Coran interposed herself between Tanna and Jondu then.

“SARTOZHIA!” she yelled, face and fist raised to the sky.

Jondu grinned, and as he did, a grayish mist fell over both Tanna and Coran’s eyes. Jondu laughed, a loud, raucous, sinister sound, as he began to fade away into flames of cobalt blue.

That was the last thing Craela saw before, suddenly, all of them vanished. In their place hovered the Red Moon, Karo’s Moon. Full and round, the sphere glowed iridescently, little sparks emitting from it. The sparks became bigger as the Moon began to expand, growing almost twice its size.

A window appeared before Craela, her bedroom window. The Moon was outside, glowing and sparkling, Her normal full size — yet seeming to say to Craela, “It’s all right. You’re awake now.”

Craela sat up in bed, her whole body drenched with sweat. The terrible event of her uncle Jondu’s rape of her six lors ago was passed. She had only relived it in a dream.

Jondu was still locked up on planet Sartozhia, the fifth planet of the sun Pythacar’s solar system. Sephro was the third planet. Jondu, like all criminals and mentally ill people of Sephro, was safely confined inside a cell where he would spend the rest of his life, for his crime against Craela. Such was Sartozhia’s purpose, as decreed by both the Sun, Pythacar, and Her Jadai, the Red Moon Karo, who, with Her mate, Kano, had created Sephro.

Sartozhia’s planet was gifted with special Healers and Warriors well-equipped to handle the especially unbalanced Sephron people. Sometimes it meant locking them up for good, as with Jondu.

Craela now swore under her breath. Why did I have that dream again? She thought. Why now? That memory hasn’t haunted me for the last four lors!

Cold, icy anger overtook Craela, and she knew there was no choice but to vent it. Rising slowly but purposefully, she shed her nightgown and dressed methodically in her green Loki uniform. Craela waved her hand over her head, and the long beaded braids magically rose and tied themselves neatly in a crown around her head.

Craela picked up her staff and teleported outside, heading towards the one place she needed to be…the forest of LaGala.

CHAPTER II

SNAP!

The sound of the Blaegel snake’s head hitting the tree, its skull cracking where moments before it had had Craela almost locked in its deadly gaze, satisfied the young nine-lor-old gaean sufficiently. However, there were more predators threatening her in the forest of LaGala. This was fine, since Craela’s rage still was not fully satiated.

About three Gehunda birds swooped down upon her, one of them lifting her up by the collar of her uniform. Craela let out a cry of pain as the collar pulled on her neck, something that might have broken it. Craela held the collar back with a surge of magic, and plunged her staff in the Gehunda bird’s belly. The bird dropped Craela, screeching in pain as the other two birds shot out fire that engulfed Craela almost completely.

Craela laughed and immediately shot the fire back at the birds with the power all gaean had — Zoombah, which could do many things, including deflect attacks, like fire, back onto the attacker.

The birds were quickly engulfed in fire. Before they could scream out, however, Craela beheaded both of them, as well as the wounded but still breathing bird who’d picked her up by the collar. With a wave of her staff, Craela teleported all three birds and the remaining carcasses of the predators she’d already taken down to the Head Shoki’s basement, where they would be cured and stripped of their skin, every part of them that was usable to serve their purpose later.

Craela was proud of the fighter she already was, even with all the healing she’d had to go through since age three. She’d channeled all her rage and emotions into her fighting skills, which gave her a purpose, as she was determined to be useful to Sephro. Others in the Clan were shocked at how she’d evolved, let alone learned to fight in the first place. Normally, kaean who’d had the kind of trauma such as what Jondu had done to Craela, never recovered. Often they were sent to Sartozhia where they’d be cared for accordingly. They were not able to function in the duties all Sephrons needed to perform.

Craela had surpassed that expectation. It was said of her that she was an inspiration and some thought she’d even be the next Ror Roki, overseeing warrior of the planet, after Dalen Vendeled to Noki Status. Craela reveled in their admiration, but also knew better than to allow it to affect her too much. Despite her skills, she still feared for her life when she was fighting. Only a fool would not be afraid. The fear was always worse when those who were not warriors, especially young Oki, were in danger of losing their lives to a predator. However, Craela was always in rare form when protecting those who were threatened, usually taking down predators before they got there. While her specialty was Gehunda Birds, Craela was a ferocious threat to miggins, those tiny, deadly white flying creatures with eight legs, who swarmed around a kaean, draining their life force as they bit them mercilessly. Craela’s best friend Dureli had a severe phobia of miggins, although, as a Roki two lors older than Craela, she fought them adequately enough. Once in a great while, mostly during the one-hundredth norilar of a lor when they were at their most agitated, more miggins than usual would swarm around in the battle field. Sometimes, Dureli would panic, freezing on the spot. It was fortunate that it didn’t happen often enough to be a concern to the Clan. Also, there was someone always close by who could bail Dureli out if she froze during a miggin attack.

The only one better than Craela at destroying a miggin storm, usually with one single thought, was Arlaw, her older selian. Arlaw had made it his business to fight beside Dureli always in battle, so he could protect her in case she froze. There were more reasons than simply the miggins for Arlaw to want to be near Dureli, however — and for Dureli to want to be near him. Craela only hoped that her friend would ask Arlaw to be her mate sooner rather than later. In all gaean-solin relationships, the gaean always Questioned the solin for his hand. It was a way of honoring Karo, who had long ago Questioned Kano, the Blue Moon, to be her mate, before they both created Sephro.

Craela put these thoughts out of her mind as still more predators attacked her all at once. Tamaearni snakes, more Blaegels and Gehundas. Craela took down every one, forcing herself to ignore the telepathic messages of the Tamaearni, who always used words to try to weaken a warrior, by whispering words that pushed all of their most vulnerable places. Craela, of course, always got messages about Jondu.

She ignored the persistent tenacity of the Tamaearni and plowed ahead, fighting them all down in droves. Eventually, there were no more predators to fight, and Craela teleported the bodies accordingly to their proper place.

As if waiting for the right moment, a single, large Tamaearni Snake, appeared before her. Within moments, Craela felt herself teleported…to the one place she’d avoided in the forest of LaGala, for six lors.

Standing as stoically as she could, her back against the same tree where Jondu’s attack had taken place, Craela felt herself freeze. The Tamaearni Snake was talking in her head, whispering words of sinister mockery.

“You DO remember that tree…right, little Craela?” The snake sounded a lot like Jondu.

Not one kaean born in Kaplan, especially since Craela’s oldest gelia, Merahna had been Head Roki, had ever died by a predator’s teeth, claws or otherwise dark magical powers. There were injuries, yes, and Craela’s genanaelia, Healer Shoki Aru was regularly busy handling burns, blindness, gashes and the like. However, there had never been a death on Merahna’s watch, ever.

Craela thought of her now, as she struggled to regain her composure with this menacing Tamaearni that held her pinioned against the tree. Merahna had never showed a single hint of stress at having to take over as Head Roki immediately after she’d Vendelled, after Jondu was sent to Sartozhia. Merahna knew exactly what she was doing from that nored on. She’d introduced the new battle tactics — two hundred Roki and fifty Loki on every battle shift. The number doubled what Jondu and his predecessors had…one-hundred Roki and twenty-five Loki. A lot of people thought that Merahna was being too overly cautious, but it had ended up serving Kaplan better than they would have dreamed. Other Clans, who still went with the lesser numbers, still had their fair share of kaean deaths. They never tried Merahna’s method, many thought it wasn’t necessary. Many were also very over-confident and zealous. Merahna just laughed all of that off.

Craela could see her gelia now, in her mind’s eye. What would Merahna do, she thought?

Suddenly, Craela remembered a technique Merahna had used that she had practiced for norilars. That, combined with the number of predators Craela had taken down only moments before this last Tamaearni had caught her in its spell, served to renew her earlier confidence. Craela looked directly at the area between the Tamaearni’s eyes…and shot out a piercing line of energy that went right to the snake’s brain, killing it instantly.

Craela laughed raucously, kicking the carcass and the last of her fear. She was NOT going to have gone through all the trouble of healing from Jondu’s attack to be killed by a Tamaearni snake one lor before she Vendelled, she thought!

Like all the other predators she’d killed, Craela now teleported the snake’s carcass to Coran’s basement, where it would be skinned and used for food, weapons, magical talismans, staves and haepo cushions.

Satisfied, her anger at an end, Craela walked back to The Head Noki’s Piari and into the private yard that led to her bedroom. She splashed her face and hands with the water from the stream there to get rid of the blood and grime. Toweling herself dry, she went inside, and fell into her bed. Hopefully, she would dream of something better, she thought.

Or, maybe, not dream at all!