Saturday, May 24, 2014

23 - Tantrum

“Did you say… did you say that I’m too YOUNG?”  Her voice spiralled up.  “Just…a CONTENDER?!"

Kyrus and his bird settled down to the ground beside his father, dust kicking up, the smell of burning dust. “Siwion.” He tried to speak to the little girl sitting on her monster.


Her voice rose to a howl as she slid down the bony neck to stand in the shadow of the gate. “YOU’RE BAD! YOU’RE MESSY AND UNPREDICTABLE AND LIVING. I HATE YOU I HATE YOU YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LI…”

As she screamed and stamped her feet, the dust and sand began to boil up around her, the canyon trembled slightly. All along the north rim, holes began to open in the cliff like pimples popping and spidery shapes began to emerge, bursting out of the rock.

The warbirds began to shriek and if they were on the ground tried to lunge to attack her, fighting their hoods, shaking their heads wildly, lifting their claws up and waving them toward her, even if they couldn’t see to direct their aggression. All the pilots had to seize control of the flightsticks and the FireDrakes came lashing up out of the muddy river and blasted straight to stop the bird-only flyers.

Her face over the veil grew red and her eyes squinted almost shut as she screamed and tiny bits of dust, all the dead things around the city began to coalesce around the bones of her horse-pony building on the bones growing spurs and claws and spikes.

The air shook and the Great Hive… flying in a silvery, glittering cloud, fell out of the sky, raining bees. The White Mountains, where the royal dead were buried, cracked and in the dust blowing up, shambling figures could be seen in the vortices surrounding them.  As she stamped, her monster stamped with her, all eight hooves scarring the road and the noise, the warbirds and the groaning rocks and faintly the screaming, terrified crowd made a maddening cacophony.

Kyrus could see her raise her hand and the mandery reaching out toward his father, clear in the dust. His da flung up a shield and then a second and a third as she burst through the first, reaching through to tear at his beating heart. 

Light and Dark, she’ll kill us all.  Kyrus ‘reached’ into code with his will and rather than creating a shield over them while the haboob roared over their heads, slapped a dome over the raging girl. For a moment silence crashed around them and then his control broke, even with Werfas and Hara flinging him assistance.  He couldn’t keep it down, closed.  She was connected too strongly with her monster.

His bird, Tzar, reached over and pushed the flight-stick into an almost straight up lunge as fast as he could, snapping Kyrus’s head back sharply.  “No, no, you stupid bird! I can lock her down!”

The horse monster, already double its size with added bone chips and bone dust reared up, waving enormous hooves over the gate.  It threw back its head and echoed her enraged screaming.  Out of the dust, Diryish’s gilded corpse staggered.  One of his legs had fallen off and he lurched on one leg, and his broken staff.  His eyes were missing.

Ilax and Kyrus raised a shield across the end of the bridge and braced themselves as the monster began trying to trample its way through, surrounded by the Lainz royal dead.

One woman, wrapped in her veil, stepped quietly out past the Emperor and his husband.  She looked up at the bone maelstrom on the other side of the constantly renewing shield.  “Your Radiance, could you drop your protection please?”  Even though her voice was quiet everyone heard her clearly.

It was enough to startle Alissa in mid-shriek and the horse paused, one hoof raised.  The High Teacher of the Lainz mandery school walked out underneath it, right up to the little girl.  Code work all around the city froze as if it were in the middle of the desert night, at the bottom of the canyon.  Everything paused, held in her hand. The corpses all around the Hippifrei girl crumbled into rotten bone and flesh or leathery piles or mere dust.

Mom, in mid-motion, to sweep people into the safety of her shell, stopped as well.  All her code functions shifted to passive mode and merely recorded.

Amardad raised one finger and said “Bad girl.”  The wind swirled around the bone horse and it diminished to the original size and configuration.  “That is quite enough.  You are abusing everyone’s culture here and you expect us to welcome you with open arms?”

As the wind around Alissa died down, she kept trying to scream but was only able to stamp her feet in silence. Amardad waited until she grew tired and finally stood still, looking bewildered.  “As His Radiance said, you are welcome to Lainz, but only if you obey the social contracts we hold with one another.  For instance, calling up our own dead…” she waved a hand at the heaps of corpses.  “… is beyond rude. How could you think that we would be impressed by your disrespect?"

As your teacher I will be requiring you to follow the rules of the school and you will be given a tutor to walk you through the proper laying to rest of our ancestors.  Until that point your access to code will be limited to this level. 
How could you treat your beloved horses that badly, child?  Are you capable of caring?”

No comments:

Post a Comment