Birth

 
Geyfal’s Children
“Identical twins, born thousands of years apart?!”

“I asked Sindar the same question,” he says.
“He answered me with a gift of memories, taken from his father, and himself.”
“It’s the story of how the brothers were born, in a universe that you and I have never seen.”

“I don’t have Sindar’s ability to transfer memories to your mind, but I can summarize it for you.”

“If you let me,” I tell him, “I can view the memory, and even share it with Makish and B’tzel.”

Botzar turns to Makish.
“Do you trust him?” he asks her.

“Completely,” she answers.

He looks at her for a long time.
“I’ve missed you,” he says quietly to her, not sure if he means to say it aloud.

“I’ll do it,” he says, turning to me.
He lowers his wintzal, and focuses on the memories.

I bind our minds together, at the surface, and we share the memories, like a movie.

We become Sindar’s father, a man named Geyfal.
His people call themselves the Jiku.

Geyfal flies through the air, gliding along the web.
Higher and higher he flies, until he and his shield fly above the world.
The shape of the continents below him, and the constellations above, are unfamiliar to us, who drift through the memories.
This is not Sinesu.

Geyfal and his people are skilled in the ways of the energy web, and equally advanced in technology.
At thirty years old, he bonds with Weska, a woman with unique golden eyes.
The Jiku have no name for the eyes, because no one has seen such eyes before.
A son is born who looks exactly like Geyfal, except for the eyes that come from the mother.

He analyzes the child’s DNA, and compares it with his own.
The results are shocking.
The boy’s DNA is almost exactly like his.

The Jiku’s X chromosome has genes for sperm production and fertilization, unlike the Human X chromosome.
Geyfal’s X carries a mutation, producing strange sperm, each one carrying both X and Y chromosomes.

When one of Geyfal’s sperm combines with an egg, it takes over the egg, destroying most of the egg’s DNA.
Only a few traits are left from the mother.
The child will produce normal sperm, and look at the world with his mother’s golden eyes.

At first, Geyfal is happy that his mutation is missing from his children, but then three more boys are born, five years apart.
All four look like Geyfal, except for the eyes, and all die of the madness before reaching five years old.

“No more, Geyfal,” says Weska.
“I can’t bear to see our children die!”
“Why can’t they be healed with gene therapy?”

“I don’t know,” he lies.
Analysis shows that something in Weska’s genes affect brain function, and brings the madness.
He tries to replace those genes with his own in her harvested eggs, but the altered eggs don’t produce a healthy embryo, when combined with his strange sperm.
He even tries to combine his own sperm with other eggs in the cell bank.
Only Weska’s eggs can combine with his strange sperm.

Geyfal goes to a Dream Hunter.
“Should we try to have more children?” he asks him, “and will any of them survive?”

“Enjoy life with your bondmate, without children,” answers the Dream Hunter, with no explanation.

Geyfal’s spirit has no peace, for he senses that the Dream Hunter knows more than he says.
Geyfal searches for an old friend, a great Dream Hunter, and asks the question again.
The Dream Hunter reaches for an answer.

“Geyfal,” says the Dream Hunter, “some answers bring more sorrow than silence.”

“Please answer the question,” says Geyfal.

“Keep your bondmate, but turn off the mother’s genes for eyes and brain function in the embryo.”
“Then, your boys will live.”

“That’s wonderful news,” says Geyfal.

“No, it’s not,” says the Dream Hunter.
“The children will live a cursed life, and the world will suffer.”
“It’s better that they’re never born.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ll give you the words that reflect the future, and what I think they mean.”

Let the eyes vanish.
Four will rise on storms of possibility and destruction.
Three arrogant, and one a coward.
Four sons, colored by a fifth, in the shadow of a woman.
Only golden eyes will bind the arrogance.

One a killer, but two will kill millions.
Two will die, and one will be reborn.

Two will see the way to walk all paths, but only one will walk them.

“what irony, Geyfal!” says the Dream Hunter.
“The boys cannot survive, unless the gene within them for golden eyes is suppressed.”
“Yet each one must bond with a woman who carries golden eyes.”

“I don’t know what it all means,” he continues, “but two of your boys will be mass murderers.”
“You can’t let them be born.”

“Maybe,” says Geyfal, “their bondmates will prevent the killing.”

“I agree it’s not clear,” says the Dream Hunter, “but will you risk the lives of millions so you can have your sons?!”

Geyfal is lost in thought.
“How will the boys find women with golden eyes?” he asks.
“My wife is the only one!”

“Have you been listening, Geyfal?!”
“These children will only bring you sorrow.”
“The world will be better off without them.”

Geyfal is quiet, and the Dream Hunter believes that there will be no children, but Geyfal has other plans.
He convinces himself that all will be well.

He takes one of his wife’s eggs, and combines it with his own sperm.
Then, he modifies the DNA as suggested.

He lets the fertilized egg grow in his lab, and coaxes it to split twice, resulting in four identical embryos.

Two he places within his wife, and lets them grow as twins.
Two he puts in stasis for the future.

“Will they live?” asks Weska when the twins are born.

“They will,” he promises, hoping it’s true.
The twins are healthy, and when they survive for five years, Geyfal decides that he must act to provide wives for them.
He conducts some experiments and decides on a plan.

Geyfal uses a gene scanner to analyze his wife’s DNA, and his machines make millions of copies of the key genes.
There are many ways to insert genes into the eggs of young bonded women, without their permission or knowledge.

He gives the genes to thousands of women.
Not every attempt is successful, but dozens of golden-eyed girls are born in the next few years, and hundreds more over the next thirty years.

 
Ambition and Challenge
The twins are called Benzu and Sindar.
As they grow, Geyfal sees that they have very different personalities.

Sindar loves to learn, and he fills his days studying science and the energy web.

“Sindar is so calm and joyful,” says Weska to her husband.

“Yes,” answers Geyfal, “but he is too easily satisfied.”
“He has no ambition, except to understand the world around him.”

“Benzu is ambitious,” says Weska, “but he’s always restless, looking for something new to stimulate him.”
“I worry what his future will be.”

Geyfal admires Benzu’s ambition, but he remembers the Dream Hunter’s words about a murderous son.
“We must guide him carefully,” agrees Geyfal.

Our view shifts, and we look at the world through Sindar’s eyes.

At his father’s request, Sindar finds a bondmate with golden eyes.
His bondmate gives birth to several child, none of them copies of Sindar.
The boys die, but two girls survive, and Sindar finds great joy in his daughters.

Years pass.
As Benzu grows older, he becomes more and more thirsty for power, and even speaks of becoming king.

Sindar laughs.
“It’s ridiculous, Benzu,” he says.
“We have no royal blood.”
“How will you be king?”

Benzu just smiles.
The king has no sons, and his daughters have golden eyes.
“My father will be happy with the eyes,” thinks Benzu.
He pursues the king’s oldest daughter for a bondmate, to find his way to the throne.
She likes him, but her father and mother reject him.

Sindar has never seen his brother so angry, or vengeful.

“She’s just one girl,” says Sindar.
“Find another bondmate with golden eyes, Benzu, and let love bring you peace.”

Benzu calms down.
“Sometimes, Sindar, I envy you, for your family and your simple life.”
“I know a quiet life makes you happy, but it’s not right for me.”
“I accept that a king must have a bondmate, and raise a family, but if I am not king, they will only hold me back.”

“The king has refused you, Benzu.”
“It’s time to make your own life.”

“I won’t give up so easily, Sindar.”
“I just need to convince him that I’m worthy to join the royal family.”

Benzu dedicates himself for five years to the study of the energy web.
He’s talented, and his hunger for power drives him to become the most powerful master in the world.

For a brief time, he enjoys his achievement.
Then, he returns to the place, and seeks approval to bond with the king’s youngest daughter.
He’s rejected again.

“One day they’ll pay, Sindar,” he says, “I promise you!”

“You’re the most powerful being on the planet,” says Sindar.
“Does it matter what the king thinks of you?”

“This royal family is full of fools,” he replies.
“We need new leaders.”

“Are you talking rebellion, Benzu?” asks Sindar.

“I’m talking change, Sindar.”
“There are many Jiku who think the time is past for kings.”
“I’m not sure if I agree, but I want to help them establish a new government, or at least, a new king.”

“How?”
“The assembly, the army, and the majority of Jiku support the king.”
“He’s led us to a time of great peace, and he truly cares about all Jiku.”

“He has no vision!”
“Do you know what I could accomplish as king?”

Sindar looks at Benzu, and is disgusted at his brother’s foolish rage, but he says nothing.

A few minutes pass, and the rage dissolves.
“We’ll convince the king that it’s time to go,” adds Benzu, more calmly.
“His disgrace will be adequate punishment for what he’s done.”
“He’ll listen, or we’ll force him out.”

“The masters support him, Benzu.”
“You can’t fight them all.”

“True,” he agrees.
“I must find a weapon to make me more powerful, and then the king will have no choice.”

“If you get your way in this, What then?” asks Sindar.
“What challenge will be left?”

“I can’t see tomorrow,” says Benzu, “but this is what I must do today.”

“It’s a foolish dream, Benzu.”
“One weapon against all the masters?”
“There’s nothing like that in our world!”

“Then I’ll search other worlds to find it!”
“Do you remember the Dream Hunter’s tale that father often told us, of a world with seven towers, and no stars?”

All worlds form a great wheel.
The seven towers spin within the wheel, a heart to all the worlds.
Many travelers walk the paths to the towers, but Sindar will reach it, and his brothers will follow.

“Sindar just means PathFinder, Benzu.”
“You know that.”

“Yes, but maybe you’re the Sindar of the Dream Hunter’s tale.”

“Wishful thinking,” replies Sindar.
“The Dream Hunter’s tale says that brothers will follow.”
“You’re my only brother.”

“I know, Sindar,” he admits, “but the Dream Hunter’s words are never straight and clear.”
“Help me find a way to the towers.”

Sindar tries to ignore the request, but Benzu asks, again and again.

“He grows more disturbed and more dangerous all the time,” thinks Sindar.
“Soon he will do something terrible.”
“I must help him go far away, now.”
“There’s a chance he’ll never return.”
“Another world, another challenge will grab his attention, and he’ll forget about us, and we’ll be safe.”

Sindar resolves to help Benzu, and buries a haunting thought:
“How many distant worlds will suffer from Benzu’s ambition?”

Sindar studies every cube with a hint of the seven towers, or paths to other worlds.
It takes a year of intense effort, but he discovers a path to the seven towers.
He brings Benzu there, and leaves him with equipment and supplies.

The place of the seven towers is a strange, small world, surrounded by a thin layer of empty space.
Beyond that is a sphere of energy, a gateway that leads to the possibility sea.

The world has oceans full of life, land full of edible plants, and sweet rivers.
There are no stars.
For thirteen hours, light glows from the sphere that surrounds the world.
For another thirteen hours, the world is dark, except for a mountain top that is home to the seven towers.
Soft light rises from a crystal ring surrounding the plateau, and reflects off the towers.

The great web is filled with endless paths to other worlds, which appear to energy eyes as doorways.
An energy master can open these doorways and pass through.

Once a doorway has been used, it’s easy for a master to find it from the other side.

“I’ll see you again, Sindar,” says Benzu.
“I promise.”

“Benzu,” answers Sindar, “if you find a place that makes you happy, stay there.”
They hug, and Sindar returns home.

 
Search
Twenty years pass.
Sindar’s girls grow up and find their own families.

Sometimes, Sindar thinks of Benzu, and hopes that he’s happy, somewhere far away.

Geyfal visits, and tells Sindar the Dream Hunter’s tale about the four brothers.

“How could you let us be born, father?”

“You’ve bonded with a golden-eyed woman.”
“You won’t be a killer.”

“You can’t be sure!” says Sindar.

Geyfal is quiet.

“It’s no coincidence that golden-eyed girls were born when we reached five years old, is it father?”

“No.”

“How could you interfere with so many Jiku lives, just to satisfy your craving for children?”

“I had to do it Sindar.”
“Whatever the danger, the world needs you and your brothers.”
“I feel it!”

“How can you be sure, father, that the tale refers to Benzu and me?”
“There are only two of us.”

Geyfal tells him about the remaining two embryos.

“What will you do with them?” asks Sindar.

“Nothing,” he answers.
“This is not the place or time for them.”
“That much I feel.”

“How strange,” says Sindar, “to have two brothers that I will never meet.”

I will never meet them,” says Geyfal, “but perhaps you, or one of your children’s children will see them.”

Sindar hopes secretly that the last two brothers will never be born.
“How long can the embryos live in stasis?” he asks.

“Forever,” answers Geyfal.
“There are five stasis projectors, each of which creates a bubble in space-time, where time does not move.”
“As long as one projector still functions, the bubble will protect your brothers.”
“The projectors are maintained by several intelligent machines, who also repair each other.”

Geyfal holds a cube in his hand.

“What’s on it father?”

“Before I give it to you, you must promise me that you will never tell Benzu about your brothers, or the facility that protects them.”

“I promise,” answers Sindar, reluctantly.

“You must also promise me that you or your children will watch over your brothers, and let them be born when the time is right.”

Sindar hesitates.

“What’s wrong?” asks Geyfal.

“You’re asking me to bring murderers into the world.”

“No,” says Geyfal.
“As long as they bond with golden-eyed women, all will be well.”

Sindar wants to say no, but he doesn’t have the courage to refuse his father’s request.
“I promise,” he says at last.

Geyfal gives the cube to Sindar.

“The cube reveals the location of the building that contains the stasis projectors, and their guardians.”
“I’ve programmed the facility and guardians to obey you.”
“I suggest that you rely on the machines to maintain and operate the projectors, but as a precaution, I’ve provided you with everything you need to build more guardians and projectors.”

“When the time is right you’ll need to find a compatible host mother, insert the embryo, and ensure that the baby is born safely.”
“The cube will show you how.”

“How will I know, father, when it’s time to let the other brothers be born?”

“Trust yourself, Sindar,” answers Geyfal.
“You’ll know.”

Two years later, Benzu returns.
The brothers have a joyful reunion, and Benzu plays happily with Sindar’s grandchildren.

“I’ve never seen you so happy,” says Sindar.
“What have you been doing all of this time?”

“I found something more powerful than the energy masters!”
Benzu tells him of the search, and finding the artifact, hidden on Gunal, untouched for years.

“I needed to alter it,” he tells Sindar, “to use it as a weapon, so I brought it to the towers.”
“Then, I separated the energy shield and the gateway from the disk that was bound to it.”

“I modified the artifact’s energy shield, so I could stream more energy from it.”
“Then I bound the altered shield and gateway to a crystal box, which is easier to connect to from any world.”

“Who made the original artifact?”

“I don’t know, Sindar, but I was worried that someone more powerful than me might come looking for it.”
“I quickly returned the modified artifact to its hiding place, and returned home to visit my only brother.”

Sindar feels afraid as he thinks of the other, unborn brothers, but he shakes off the feeling.

“You enjoy playing with the children, Benzu,” says Sindar.
Admit it.”

Benzu laughs.
“I do enjoy the children,” he answers.
“Perhaps, when the old king is gone, I’ll find a young bondmate, and have a few children.”

“Here,” says Benzu, handing Sindar the smooth disk that was once bound to the artifact.

“What’s this?” asks Sindar.

“A souvenir from my travels,” answers Benzu.
“It’s the disk that was once bound to the artifact.”

Sindar examines the disk with energy eyes, before slipping it into a pocket.
It has a residue of strange energy, but otherwise it seems ordinary.

“There’s something else, Sindar.”
“I’ve spent twenty years finding the power.”
“If something happens to me, I can’t let those years count for nothing.”

Benzu teaches Sindar how to stream power from the artifact, and tells him how to identify the doorway to the world of the artifact.
Sindar returns to his studies and his family, while Benzu approaches the palace.

“Tell the king,” says Benzu to one of the king’s ministers, “that I have a weapon that will make him invincible.”
“I’ll give it to him if he allows me to bond with one of his daughters.”

The king refuses to meet with him.
“His daughters are all bonded,” says the minister, “and you’re too old for his granddaughters.”

“What does he need with such a weapon?” says the minister, with a laugh.
“The king has an army, weapons, and the support of all the masters.”
“You’re trying to sell food to someone sitting at a banquet.”

Benzu kills the minister, along with the guards and soldiers that protect the royal family.
Then he confronts the king and his family, who are together for a party.

“You may be powerful,” says the king, “but you’re still nothing.”
“You’re not worthy to work in the kitchen!”

Benzu slams the king through several doorways, and into the palace kitchen.
Everyone runs to the kitchen, where the king lies on one of the preparation tables, unmoving.

His back is pierced with several knives.

The king’s family runs from the palace, and Benzu throws the body after them.

In the following days, the self-declared king Benzu sits happily in the palace, surrounded by his fearful but obedient staff.
He invites Sindar to join him as an advisor, but Sindar refuses.

“I hate politics,” says Sindar, “and your kingdom is tainted by the blood you’ve spilled.”

“All kings spill blood,” answers Benzu, with a laugh.
“I guess this makes me a real king.”
Benzu forces a memory of his victory into Sindar’s mind, and Sindar leaves in disgust.

All of the world’s energy masters except Sindar join together, and approach the palace.

“No further,” says Benzu.

Geyfal approaches his son.
“Leave the palace, Benzu, and give yourself to the place of justice.”

“In one hour, we will attack.”
“You can’t stand against us all.”

When they approach, Benzu unleashes the energy of the artifact, forming a barrier around the palace, that the masters can’t penetrate.
The masters leave, and return with their apprentices, hoping to add to their strength.

Benzu is enraged when he sees the children fighting against him, and he adds to the strength of the energy wall.
Soon, the barrier explodes, and the energy burst kills the army of apprentices and masters, including his own father.

The energy grows stronger as it spreads around the world in a wave, and scorches most of the planet.
When the wave completes the circle of the planet, it reaches Benzu, and kills him as well.

Sindar survives, but his family is gone without a trace.

 
New Worlds
The surviving Jiku approach Sindar.
“You’re the last of the masters,” they say.
“Tell us what to do.”

“I’m not worthy of you,” he answers, knowing that it was he who brought his brother to the world of the seven towers, and the artifact beyond.
Sindar thinks of all the times that he listened to Benzu’s foolishness, and never protested, never did anything to stop him.
“I’m as much a murderer as he was,” Sindar thinks to himself.

“Go away,” says Sindar, “and let me die alone.”

“Will you let the whole world die with you?” they ask.
“No one else can help us!”

Sindar circles the world quickly, scanning it with energy eyes.
“Nothing can heal this world,” he tells them.
“Few plants remain, and no animals, except one swarm of Heelu.”
“Only a few thousand Jiku still live.”

“Then we are doomed,” they say, and start to walk away.

“Wait,” says Sindar.
“I will find you a new home.”

“Look for me here, every day at mid-day.”
“I’ll return soon, but I don’t know when.”

Sindar goes to the facility that protects the embryos, hoping to find it destroyed.
Somehow it survived.

He goes to the world of the seven towers, and brings the embryos, their guardians, and the projectors.
He places them all in the second tower, and instructs the guardians to protect the tower, as they protected the old facility.

Sindar hunts for a suitable world near Gunal, the resting place of the artifact.
He knows that the search must begin here.

He finds several inhabitable worlds, but none feels right.
Finally he comes to Sinesu.
“It’s a beautiful world,” he thinks, “but is it the right one?
He walks along the shore of the sea, enjoying the cool air.

He feels something familiar along the energy web, and turns to see a swarm of Heelu rise from the ocean, and fill the sky.
Then he knows that the Jiku belong here.

Sindar transports the last of his world’s Heelu, along with the surviving Jiku, and selected remnants of their technology.
He suppresses almost all knowledge of the energy masters, leaving only basic healing techniques, and simple ways of weaving and flow.

For twenty years he guides the Jiku, remembering the twenty years that Benzu searched for the artifact.

Sindar never takes another bondmate.
“The brothers are cursed,” he tells himself.
“We must never have children.”
Besides, he would be too tempted to teach advanced energy techniques to his own children.

“It’s time for me to go,” he tells the Jiku.

“How can you leave us?”
“We’ll die without you!”

“No,” he says, you’ll grow faster and stronger without me.”
As he prepares to leave, he comforts the people with a lie.
“I will return to you in a time of great need.”

When he’s gone, the Jiku create a monument to Sindar.
At the base, it’s written:
“To Sindar who found this sweet, new world for us, and turned death into life.”
“We remember you.”
“Remember us, when you return here someday.”

“What would they do,” he asks himself, “if they knew that I am the cause of the great death?”

Sindar returns to the the seven towers.
Coward!” he yells at himself.
“You’re afraid to tell the Jiku that you will never return.”

He walks toward the second tower.
“Will I die here, alone?”
“Do I save one or more worlds by killing my unborn brothers?”
“If only I had the courage to do it, but I promised father that I would protect them.”

“Set up a stasis projector for me,” he tells the guardians.

“What will you do?” they ask.

“I will sleep,” he answers.
“Visit Sinesu each month,” he tells his guardians, “and watch for signs of great danger.”
“If the planet is directly threatened, release the stasis bubble around me.”
“Otherwise, let me and my brothers sleep forever.”

The guardians activate a stasis bubble around him.
A hundred thousand years pass.

The Fiklow war begins, far away.
The machines know of the war, but it may never come to Sinesu.

The attack comes a few weeks after one of monthly visits.
When the machines return for the next visit, it’s a different world.
They wake Sindar, to tell him that the fleet is destroyed, and all the Jiku are dead.

“There is nothing left to return to,” he tells himself, but he comes anyway to Sinesu, and walks among the endless, decaying bodies.

“Gather the dead and transport them to Sinesu’s sun,” he tells the guardians.
“I will not let my people rot here, abandoned.”

Soon the bodies are gone, consumed by the sun.
Sindar still smells the decay in the air, as he performs the death ceremony for the whole world.
They deserve more, but this is all he can give them.

He wonders how the plants and animals survived the war, but he will not search for an answer.
“What does it matter?” he thinks.
“My unborn brothers and I are the last of the Jiku, and we will sleep.”
“Soon, even the memory of the Jiku will be forgotten.”

He visits the monument that was built to him.

Sindar has seen images of the monument, but he wants to stand by it, and touch it once, before he goes to sleep forever.
The monument is engraved with beautiful words, and covered with decorative designs.
“I have failed you, again!” cries Sindar.

He circles the monument, eyeing a newly built extension, added within the last year.
“It adds nothing to the monument,” he tells himself, “no beauty, or words of praise.”
What other purpose does it serve?
His energy eyes find an empty, hollow compartment.

Has someone taken what was hidden here?
He touches the monument.

It opens, and projects a message into the air.
“Welcome, Lord Sindar.”
“This monument opens only for you.”

He sees images of the Fiklow, intelligent creatures who once lived on Gunal, the home of the artifact.
“We fought the Fiklow over the artifact, and the war is nearly lost.”
“Soon, our world will be empty of life.”
The images continue, showing lost battles, and worlds full of Jiku dead.

“We have only one hope,” continues the message.
“If we succeed, a remnant of our people will escape this war to a place they can’t be followed.”

The speaker discusses the possibility sea that binds all universes together.
“You must know of the sea, Lord Sindar, for you brought us from another universe.”
“If you can, follow us to a new home.”

An image surrounds him of a rich world, seen from space.

“We can’t leave details of the technology here, or the coordinates of the target universe and world.”
“There’s too great a risk that the Fiklow will pursue us.”

“Can your energy eyes see enough in these images to locate us among an infinite collection of worlds?”
“Farewell.”

Twice, the cursed artifact has brought destruction to his people.

Sindar closes the monument and returns to the towers.
He hovers above the second tower, surrounded by the endless energy gates that lead to other worlds.
Which is the right one?

Half mad, he searches at random, without success.
He saw enough in the message to identify the world, but how will he find the right universe, galaxy, and star?
“I don’t even know if the Jiku survived!” he says aloud, frustrated.

His mind calms, and he gives up the foolish search after a few weeks.

“Will you sleep now, Sindar?” ask the machines.

“Not yet,” he answers.
“If the Jiku survived the trip, they may need my help!”

With no sun, the world of seven towers has no true day and night.
Still, life here is split into a light cycle and a dark cycle.
Sindar calls them lighttime and darktime.

Months pass, until one darktime, he sits and scans the gateways.
“Help me,” he says aloud, “to find the right path.”

His energy eyes open wider, and find new meaning in the gates that he scans.
Now, he is the PathFinder, and easily finds the way to Siksa, the world of the Bizra.

He stays hidden and watches the Jiku.
His people are weak, and their spirits are broken.

Pictures fill his mind, and then, he hears their meaning as inner words.
“Will you help them?”

He turns and sees one of the strange creatures, the Bizra.

“They need help,” he says to the Bizra.

“The Bizra will help,” he hears.

“Good,” says Sindar.
“My brothers and I will sleep, and free the Jiku from our curse.”

“No,” say the Bizra.”
“The Jiku still need you.”
“You must watch for the time when your brothers can be born.”

“You know of my brothers?”
“Better that they should sleep forever.”

“No, they must be born, here on Siksa.”

Sindar returns to the tower to sleep.
He wakes and visits Siksa every few years, in secret, as the Jiku build their cities.
He speaks with no one on Siksa, but the Bizra.

The Jiku choose their first king, and a few generations pass.
Once, when awakening from stasis, Sindar is drawn to the stasis bubble that holds the embryos.
His energy eyes see a strange light coming from one of the embryos, and he feels a compelling urge to let this one be born.

He goes to the Bizra, and tells them what happened.
They agree with him that it is time, and tell him that this brother will be king.

“No,” he says, not another Benzu!”

“He will not need violence to become king,” they answer.
“He will be born a prince.”

Sindar understands, and inserts the embryo into the childless queen.
Botzar is born as the new king’s first child, and heir to the throne.


Echoes of War -- 3: Family and FirePrevious StoryNext Story
  1. Survivors
  2. Birth
  3. Choices
  4. The Lost Jiku
  5. Beast
  6. Spiral
  7. Gifts of War
  8. Visions of the Future
  9. Miracles of Childhood
  10. Childish Wisdom

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