Derin of Jakolan

by BarkerJr, April, 2003

Chapter 1

"We must move!" cried Grandfather of Jakolan.

"But we must send scouts first, to see what is out there..." consoled Jocet of Petia.

"And we have no idea what or who is down there. We're safer staying where we are," decided Yeolt of Freida

The meeting was shortly adjourned after the city leaders realized that they wouldn't reach a consensus that night. Grandfather was in his 12th decade and had a long gray beard. But nobody thought that because his age, he might be decrepit--nobody that knew him, anyways. He led Jakolan with strong authority and no one questioned him. And he had a feeling that tomorrow would be too late to move.

...

"We're leaving at noon," Grandfather declared at breakfast the next morning, "We can't risk staying in these outlying parts, and crown may need our assistance in the near future."

Jakolan was a city, or really a big house, as the community lived within one building. Searching out more fertile grounds, the city had moved further and further from castle of the prince. Even at this distance, however, they were still loyal to the crown.

Today's move was brought on by a number of reasons, but the main motive to leave was that the Alynid had been unusually active recently. No one really knew where the Alynid came from--they had been here as long as anyone could remember. They were terrible insect-like creatures, easily four times as large as a grown man. They had horrible spikes running up and down their arms and legs, or so the elders told.

They had always stayed in the wastelands, and the humans had always stayed away from the wastelands. Recently, the Alynid had become more active. If one didn't know better, he or she may think that they were patrolling the perimeter of the wastelands. Hence the reason for moving closer to the castle--no one knew what the Alynid were up to.

...

The crown was a day's journey to the southeast of where Jakolan stood now, but the people were headed to the fertile lands that the elders told about. They were the lands where they had been centuries ago. The people of Jakolan would be there by nightfall.

The house of Jakolan was no ordinary house. It had great wheels underneath it that allowed for it to be moved across the countryside when the city moved. It was five floors high and had hundreds of rooms inside, where the entire city's populous resided. The wheels were not used often, though, as the house required four large beasts to pull it. But, if there was ever a time to use the wheels, now was it.

And the journey began. They were an awkward caravan of man and beast. In the rear were we the shepherds with the herds (they didn.t wish to be there, but the other citizens valued their shoes to much to proceed otherwise). The city's children followed along with the huge house. If one looked at the front of the caravan, there was Grandfather followed by the elders and one young boy. The boy's name was Derin.

Derin's parents had died, before he could remember, of the flu. Now, he spent most of his spare time in the stables and out in the fields. How he loved animals. Some people thought that he could speak to them, but this just wasn't true. He did get some odd thoughts from the animals every so often--or maybe that was just his imagination. And the animals did seem to appreciate his company.

...

"Halt!" cried Grandfather.

They had arrived. The people of Jakolan started reinforcing the house and building a campfire. They would be eating outside tonight, as the kitchen was not nearly as spotless as the cooks required it to be. Derin wandered off to explore the new area. He didn.t care for the campfire food, anyway, and could find berries by following the birds.

...

Suddenly, he heard shouting from the campfire. Running back to the edge of the woods, he saw everyone running into the house in a panic. Derin started running, too, but before he got back to the house, the door was close and bolted. He pounded on the door, but just as he did, his pounding was drowned out by large amounts of pounding. At first, he thought it was his heart, but no--there were thousands of Alynid pounding towards the house. Two of the dogs came out to defend the city, and were killed in seconds.

Derin stood outside the house, where the leader of the Alynid stopped and eyed him. The Alynid had a wonderful gleaming shine to them in the moonlight that was never mentioned in the elders' stories. While his eyes bored into Derin, Derin could feel that thought of deep thinking--of measuring. He knew this thought. It was the same feeling that he felt when a cat was about to pounce on something smaller. Only, this had a little more of something that he couldn.t quite place.

There's something different about this one! cried the leader in his head, He is a teacher.

With that, Derin broke free of the leader's stare and fled into the forest to hide.

Chapter 2

Derin opened his eyes to see two eyes and a striped pointed nose in front of his face. He practically jumped out of his skin, and so did the fox. The fox scurried behind a big boulder nearby.

Derin sat up and yawned. What had they called him last night? A teacher? That was just before he had regained his senses and escaped the swarm of Alynid as fast as he could. He had run for what seemed like hours before he got to this place that he was in right now.

It was a partial clearing in the forest, which had a nice bed of moss and a large boulder, which currently had the nose and two eyes of a fox peeking around it. The fox came out from behind the boulder and Derin nearly jumped again when the fox spoke to him.

Come, said the fox.

Only, the fox hadn't said it out loud. It was all in his head--or was it? Derin had never heard a creature talk, before; he could only feel their general emotions. Yet, in the past day, he'd twice had creatures and beasts speaking to him.

Follow me, the fox reminded Derin.

Derin wasn't sure what to do. He didn't know where he was going, but he didn't know where he was now, either. And, the fox did seem to know his way around, even if he was a bit jumpy. But who could blame him?

My name is Quicksilver, explained the fox as he led the way through the forest. I come from a long line of Silvers. One can always tell a Silver by that. He pointed to the single silver ring on his long fluffy tail, as only a fox can, with his nose. I was named Quick because I am the first of the litter. Some mothers can be so unimaginative. His ears went back sleekly as he hopped the two stones across the little brook. Derin couldn't help but agree about the name, but thought it was a nice name, all the same.

I would love to hear more about you, continued Quicksilver. You are the first human that I've seen with such a warm glow of emotion. I don't think you can speak, though.

"Of course I can speak!" exclaimed Derin.

No, not like that. That's talking, not speaking, explained Quicksilver. Every human can talk to other humans, but I only know one that can speak so that all other creatures can understand. I'm bringing you to him because I've never seen anything like you, before. He will be able to help.

It's just ahead, said the fox, with a hint of excitement, as they spotted a clearing ahead.