The Next Generation Part 9
By Krazy Sam
Maro, wake up!
As Maro struggled sleepily to come to his senses, he was being shaken violently. He reluctantly opened his eyes. Lana?
The figure in front of him laughed softly but nervously. No. Sari, she murmured.
Whats wrong? Maro asked, feeling an air of uneasiness. Sari just stared back, her eyes wide and worried.
Lanas gone. Normally, I wouldnt be worried, but Im having trouble sensing her! she cried. Maro sat upright.
No! he shouted. His outburst woke Zala and Elena, who grumbled as they slowly opened their eyes.
Shut up, Maro, Elena muttered as she went back to sleep. Zala, however, dashed to Maro and Sari.
Lanas missing, Sari replied glumly. Zala scowled.
Me help look. Reptites might take she muttered. Sari raised an eyebrow.
Rep tites? she asked dumbly. Zala nodded.
Me named after leader. Reptites try to find food, but their food gone, so they eat us.
Sari gasped. Youre joking!
Maro grimaced. My dad said that the reptites were extinct.
No, Zala corrected. After Azala die, reptites starve. Almost all die. Sari nodded.
I see, she murmured softly. Maro sat up quickly and reached for his sword.
We need to find Lana! he cried. Zala frowned.
Might be dangerous to go alone me go with you!
Fine, Sari murmured. Im going, too. I might be able to sense her and tell whether shes in danger or not.
Zala crossed over to her husband, who was sleeping nearby. She reached behind him and pulled out a gigantic wooden club. Smash reptites. We find Lana, but first check Dactyl Mountain. That nearby Ioka, so we walk.
What exactly are reptites? Sari finally asked. Zala smiled.
Half man, half lizard. Very hard to beat, she answered. Sari smiled.
Well smash their tiny brains in! she laughed. Zala frowned and shook her head.
Reptites very smart. Many villagers die because reptites smarter, she murmured. Saris mischievous expression quickly faded and was replaced with concern.
I hope that Lanas all right she muttered. Maro turned away.
I hope so, too. If she were to be killed his voice broke and Sari placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
Shes alive. I can feel it, she said softly. Maros hand reached up and grasped Saris.
As Sari, Maro, and Zala trudged up the steep slopes of Dactyl Mountain, the gray sky lightened, signaling the oncoming of day. There was little wind on the mountain, and a dirt path that led to the summit had footprints down the middle.
Lanas here. I can sense it, Sari whispered. Maro nodded in agreement.
As long as we keep on the trail, we will find her. He stepped to a fork in the paths, and gasped at what he saw. The footprints went on both paths, and there was no sign of them leading back!
Reptites Zala whispered as three green, short, scaly, reptiles leapt at them.
Now what? Sari asked softly. Zala smiled.
We fight, she uttered bravely. Maro drew his sword and lunged for what seemed to be the leader of the group. The reptite easily dodged the blade and retaliated with a sharp bite. Maro shrieked and clutched his arm, which was beginning to turn purple and swell.
Poison! Sari whispered. She bounded over to Maro and placed her palm on the wound. The swelling instantly went down, and the skin around the bite regained its normal color.
Zala clutched her club tightly and ran for the reptite that bit Maro. She raised it over her head and smashed it into the skull of the reptite, making a loud crack. Green blood oozed from the head of the reptite, and it fell to the ground. The other two seemed stunned, but remained standing by their fallen comrade. They both turned to each other, nodded, and roared at the top of their lungs. Immediately, flame burst from their open mouths and engulfed Sari. In return, Sari stood her ground, her eyes growing darker.
Sari, attack them! Maro whispered harshly. Sari smiled cruelly and shook her head.
Not yet. Just a little longer she replied, her eyes growing black. One of the reptites tossed a large stone at her, and hit her square in the nose. Saris hands clenched at her sides, and a black glow surrounded her. She crossed her arms in front of her chest, only to bring them sharply to her sides once more. She then flew into a frenzy, beating the reptites with all her strength. Sari crashed her robotic arm into the jaw of one reptite, and slowly turned to the other, which was badly beaten. She paused, but suddenly kicked it as hard as she could. Her foot caught it in the chest, and it gave a final moan before collapsing on the ground.
Thats that! she exclaimed, wiping her hands on her shorts. Zala could only gape in awe at the strength she just witnessed.
You very strong! she gasped. Sari smiled modestly.
Thanks she whispered. She gazed at the two paths and shut her eyes, trying to sense Lana. Sari finally opened her eyes and stared at Maro. Shes fine. She went on this path, she said softly, gesturing to the path on the right. Maro dashed ahead with only a wave of his hand. Zala eagerly dashed after him and as they sprinted ahead, Sari secretly sat down, wheezing. She shut her eyes tightly and began to float. She then followed Maro and Zala, hovering inches above the dusty ground.
We almost to top, Zala said happily after ten minutes. Maros face was almost as red as his hair, but he kept on going with the speed of a demon. Sari, who was still floating, stopped sitting and lay on her back, gazing at the sky. The sky was still gray, but was lightening with every passing minute. She struggled to keep awake, but was having trouble keeping her eyes open.
I see her! Maro cried. Sari suddenly fell to the ground. Maros sudden outburst broke her concentration, and as she rose to her feet, the brown dust fell from her clothes. Zala also looked around, and was able to see the dim silhouette of Lana standing at the summit. Her long purple hair was tied loosely, and the band used to tie her hair back brushed against her waist as the warm mountain breeze blew her hair to one side. The expression on her face was one of sadness, of longing. Maro ran up to Lana and threw his arms around her.
Maro ! Lana cried in surprise. She wriggled out of his grasp and ran to a nearby ledge. Saris eyes widened and she gasped.
Lana she murmured. Zala turned to her.
What wrong? she asked innocently.
Theres something else Sari whispered. Maro turned to stare at his descendant.
Another entity controlling Lana she whispered. Her eyes widened again in horror. Shell jump! As she uttered those words, a reptite clad in a long red robe stepped forward.
So you apes are smarter than I expected, it said in a raspy voice.
Who you? Zala demanded. The reptite narrowed its red eyes.
I dont believe weve met. I am the son of Azala. My name is Santin, leader of the reptites, he growled. Saris right hand opened and her purple bat materialized in it. She held it tightly at her side, preparing to fight.
Well, Santin, I think you better let Lana go, Sari voiced. Maro drew the Rainbow and nodded in agreement. Zala raised her club menacingly and smiled.
I think not, Santin laughed. His eyes narrowed and Lana took one step towards the edge. Maro gasped in terror and his eyes filled with frightened tears. You see, I have quite an edge over you. You take one step towards her, and she dies. Got it?
If you kill her, well rip you to shreds, Sari muttered. Santin laughed cruelly.
I have a better idea, he chuckled. He roared at the top of his lungs, and a red glow surrounded him. How about I kill all four of you? At that moment, he ran up and slashed Zalas leg with his sharp talons. She gasped at the sharp pain and smashed her wooden club over Santins large head.
Sari smiled and a black glow surrounded her hands. She chanted slowly and carefully, and the glow began to grow larger. At the same time, Maro chanted the same words as a pale blue light surrounded his own hands. The black glow from Sari traveled to her bat, and Maros gleam engulfed his sword. He and Sari whirled to face each other, and they smashed their weapons against each other. The black glow collided with the blue, and they swirled around each other. Sari and Maro raised their arms, and the two forces hurtled toward Santin with surprising speed. The force of the blow knocked him to his knees, but he got up quickly and repeatedly spit fire at Sari, knocking her to the ground, unconscious. Her metal bat clattered to the rock ground loudly, and she lay still.
Zala threw her club to the ground and began to attack Santin with all of her strength. She clawed at him with such fury that Maro was stunned at the scene. By the time that Zala finally leapt back, Santins face was dripping with green blood, and his left eye was swollen shut. He laughed and started to run. Maro followed, and the reptite leader spun to face him. After uttering another chuckle, he gestured to Lana.
Wha ? Maro asked dumbly, glancing in her direction only to see her take another step toward the edge. He cried out in surprise and ran for her. One more step and she would plummet to the base of the mountain and to her death. At the moment that Maro was almost close enough to grasp her arm, Lana took a final step over the edge. Maro screamed and dove for her. He was able to grab her right ankle, and he sighed in relief with Lana dangling dangerously below him. He started to pull her up, but suddenly began to move forward.
Maro! Zala called. She ran up to him, her blond hair flying behind her, and grabbed his ankles. The weight of the two teenagers was too much for her, and she slowly began to be dragged forward, also. She pulled with all her strength, and was able to pull Maro back an inch. Twenty feet away, Sari began to moan and slowly opened her eyes.
What happened ? she murmured. She sat up slowly, and gasped. She could only see Zala and Maro, but it didnt take much thought to see that Lana had gone over the edge, Maro had gone over to save her, and Zala was trying to pull him out. Sari tried to lift Lana and Maro with her telekinesis, but she suddenly felt faint and could only see everything in black and white. She then stood up and ran to Zala. She looped her robotic arm around Zalas waist and pulled with all her strength. It seemed to do the trick. Sari took a step backward, and then another, and soon, Lana was back on the ground. Sari let go of Zala and collapsed on the ground, severely weakened. Zala knelt by Sari and shook her lightly. Saris eyes closed and she exhaled slowly.
Is she okay? Maro called, holding a dazed Lana. From his arms, Lana moaned softly and struggled to get up. Zala turned to Maro and shook her head.
Very weak, she answered gravely. Maro set Lana gently on the rocky ground and rushed toward Sari and Zala. He tilted Saris head back and shook his head.
She needs medical attention, he remarked, gazing at the burns all over her body. Lana moaned from a distance away. Zala ran to her and knelt by her side. After Zala left, a blue light surrounded Maros hands. He placed them on Saris stomach and the glow surrounded her body. The burns began to heal, and her eyes fluttered open. She quickly sat up, but had to lie down again as a wave of dizziness surrounded her. Maro rummaged in Olanas pouch, which he took before leaving the End of Time, and fished out an Ether. He poured the contents down Saris mouth, and she sat once more.
What happened? she asked slowly. Maro smiled.
You were knocked out. Lana is safe, thanks to you and Zala, he replied kindly. Sari smiled and stood.
She has no clue whats going on at the moment, she murmured. As if in reply, Lana moaned once more and sat up.
Hello, she said in an innocent and soft voice. Maro laughed happily.
Lana, do you know what happened? he asked carefully. Lana just stared at him blankly.
Lana? she whispered. Sari lowered her head.
She doesnt know anything right now she uttered. Zala turned to her.
What wrong? she asked gravely.
Lana doesnt have any idea who she is, where she is, or what just happened, Sari explained. Maros eyes widened.
Will she ever remember? he questioned worriedly. Sari shrugged.
I dont know. We should wait for a while. Maybe this is just temporary.
Zala turned and placed her long legs over the ledge of the mountain, staring out over the prehistoric landscape. The sun was peeking over the horizon, and Maro and Sari felt they should watch, also. The sun seemed blue at first, and as it rose, it seemed to change from green, to purple, and then back to blue.
Its so beautiful Sari breathed. Maro nodded in agreement, holding Lana in his arms. She blinked once and her lips moved, but no sound came out. Lana tried again, but still nothing came out. She finally tried once more, and was able to whisper one word.
Pretty she exhaled softly. Maro pulled her closer and she rested her head on his shoulder, falling asleep as she did so.
I hope shes going to be okay Maro whispered, his eyes filling with tears. Sari sat down by Maro and rubbed his shoulders lightly. His eyes widened and he shrieked in surprise. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
Sari leapt back, and narrowed her eyes. Youre so tense! Trust me, I have no romantic interest in you whatsoever, so just dont worry, okay? Maro relaxed and shrugged.
Sorry. You know that I love Lana, right? he asked softly. Sari rolled her eyes and laughed.
What dont I know? she joked. She then smiled wickedly. You know, she should be wearing a blue translucent dress. That would look just lovely, dont you think? Maro gasped and lowered his head.
You saw my dream? he asked, mortified. Sari laughed.
Not all of it. I blocked it as soon as I realized what was going on, she explained. Maro sighed in relief. At that moment, Lana began to stir.
What happened? she moaned. Maros eyes widened in shock and he grinned.
Lana, youre okay! he screamed. Sari smiled.
Her mind is recovering. Shell be all right! she grinned. She leapt up and yanked Maro up with her. She then gave him a huge hug and lifted him up. Maro just laughed crazily and Sari tossed him up into the air like he was the same weight as a small loaf of bread. He landed on his feet and he then knelt beside Lana, hugging her tightly.
What happened? she repeated.
Nothing. Youre just fine, Maro said softly.
Not really wanting to make the climb down with Zala, Maro, and Lana, Sari leapt off the mountain and hovered above the ground near Dactyl Mountain. She then realized how tired she was, and decided to nap before the three were to arrive.
Tavi when are you moving? Sari suddenly found herself walking from her school, and staring into the face of Tavi. She knew that seeing him wasnt right, but she decided not to worry about it.
A couple of weeks, I guess. I think that I might be back someday, he replied coolly. Sari felt like crying. She remembered the day well. That was the day that Tavi announced that he was moving.
Why cant you stay? she whined. Tavi sighed.
I dont know. Just gotta go he trailed off. Sari raised her right arm to reach out and touch his face, but pulled back. Her arm wasnt robotic! It was the way it used to be! For some reason, she wasnt surprised. Everything wasnt real to her at the moment. She just decided to go ahead and do what she always wanted to do.
Tavi she started. I I
Sari groaned as she was being shook awake. Her eyes remained closed, but she was aware of who was shaking her.
She just wanted to sleep to lose herself in the world of fantasy why wouldnt the person shaking her stop?
Sari! Wake up!
Sari finally opened her eyes and found herself staring into the deep blue eyes of Lana. She groaned and sat up from her position a few feet from the ground. What?
We tried for five minutes to wake you, but you were out cold. What happened? Lana asked with concern. Sari shook her head and shrugged.
I dunno. Im a heavy sleeper, she murmured. She lowered her feet to the ground and started to walk back to the village with Maro, Lana, and Zala behind her. She could faintly hear Zala invite her friends to stay one more night to celebrate Lanas recovery. She then entered the chiefs hut to tell Elena the details of the adventure.
Long after sunset, a huge party was thrown. A roaring bonfire in the meeting site seemed to touch the stars themselves, and the smell of animal flesh filled the air. Many Ioka villagers danced around the fire, and Maro and Lana joined them happily. Elena sampled the food over by Zala, and Ayla was challenging Lapo to an arm-wrestling match. Sari, however, left the festivities and walked to a large clearing.
The stars were shimmering brightly, and there seemed to be more of them than there were in Saris era. Without bright lights to interfere with her vision, she could see each one clearly. She lay down on her back into the soft ancient grass and just stared at the heavens, sighing softly.
Somewhere in the distance, Sari could hear joyful shouts, and she wrinkled her face in distaste. Partying until the cows come home, and then partying with the cows, she said with scorn. She stared at the stars for a bit longer, and soon, two figures came out of nowhere and sat on both sides of her.
Lovely night, isnt it? one of them asked. Sari nodded.
Sure is, Lana, she answered. From the other side of her, Maro sighed.
Its so beautiful he murmured. Sari suddenly sat up and stood.
Why dont you two get some stargazing in, or something she suggested slyly. Before Maro and Lana could protest, Sari had already run back to the party to challenge Zala to an eating contest.
Maro gazed at Lana. Well, I guess were alone, huh? he asked softly. Lana nodded.
What now? she questioned. Maro grinned lightly.
I have a few ideas he laughed. Lana giggled and moved closer to Maro.
Really? she asked playfully. Maro nodded and began to lean toward her. Lana tilted her chin up in anticipation. Their lips began to meet when
EAT! the word was shrieked and jerked Maro and Lana out of their attraction for each other. Maro leapt up and ran back to the party as Lana slowly stood to follow.
The party had taken a turn for the better. All of the excitement was focused on a high wooden platform, where Sari and Zala sat on opposite ends. They each had huge bowls full of a white soup, and were both frantically slurping the stew. Zala would quickly empty her bowl and set it down on her lap to get it refilled, but Sari was doing the same at a faster pace. The mob cheered wildly for Zala, and Elena was laughing hysterically. Soon, Sari began to slow, but Zala kept going strong. As Zala kept lapping up the soup, Sari suddenly set the bowl down on her lap. Her face grew pale, and she looked sick. She opened her mouth slowly, and emitted the loudest belch that Lana had ever heard. Her face returned to normal and she happily kept eating the stew. Zala finally slammed the bowl down in front of her and placed her hands on her face. The crowd laughed merrily and Sari was lifted to her feet. She grinned joyfully as she raised both of her arms in victory.
YEAH!!! she screamed. She leapt off of the platform and ran to Lana and Maro. I won!
Maro laughed. That was a pretty good burp! he said in admiration. Lana rolled her eyes.
Shall I leave you two BOYS alone? she asked sarcastically. Sari smiled and turned to her.
Yes, you shall, she replied as politely as possible. Lana giggled.
Youre a boy? she teased. Sari nodded.
Maro slung his arm over Saris shoulders. Only real men can belch like that. Today, Sari becomes a man! he cried proudly. Lana shrugged.
If you say so she murmured. Sari chuckled.
Hes joking. I dont really consider myself a girl because I act like a boy sometimes, she explained. She then frowned. Im going to go look at the stars, okay? she whispered. Maro and Lana turned to their descendant with shock.
A personality change so soon? Maro murmured. Lana shook her head.
Thats just not normal! she agreed. Sari shrugged.
My moods change often. I need to be alone she said, her voice breaking at the end. The then whirled out of Maros grasp and sprinted back to the clearing where she was first stargazing.
Sari sat down on a flat rock and rested her head in her hands. Her eyes filled with tears, and she allowed a loud sob to escape from her lips. She stared at the glimmering stars and lay back to get a better view, tears streaming down the sides of her face.
Tavi she whispered, Im sorry
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