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RIP - Green 1

RIP – Green

 

Published by Lazlo Ferran at Shakespir

 

Copyright © 2016 by Lazlo Ferran

All Rights Reserved

 

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

No part of this book maybe used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address Lazlo Ferran at:

[email protected]

Chapter One

 

“Do you see anything?” Sumataniki asked the Commander of the Palace guards for the twentieth time in three long days.

“No sir.”

There were only three passes into the Valley. Ankolykan, Eagle Pass, was the highest and coldest.

A snowflake settled on Sumataniki pointed nose, which he had forgotten protruded from beneath his hood. He bent his head down slightly, but a drop of water collected under the tip of his nose. He could feel it swaying as he breathed heavily in and out, sending small clouds of steam to blur the landscape. Winter was coming and he longed for the warm stones of the Palace on the Lake, down in the bottom of the bowl formed by the peaks of the six mountains. He could just see it if he turned his eyes to the left but he preferred not to be reminded and screwed up his eyes instead to see further into the dimly lit gulley of the pass.

This was the pass they always used since they had seen the great fish in the sky, thirty-two moons before. It would be least expected by a powerful enemy wishing to invade the Valley. Sumataniki’s men had blocked the other two passes with fortified gates and guarded them night and day.

“We must withdraw to the caves sir,” the Commander said. “It’s almost dark. The men will freeze to death.”

“No. There is still light. Puktanik said he would come. He should have been here two days ago. But he will come. I know it!”

For a moment the falling snow seemed to form into an undulating curtain. Sumataniki forgot what he has just been thinking and saw everything through the eyes of a baby. The drop of water fell from his nose, easing the itch that had been growing. Sumataniki turned his focus to the end of his nose for a moment, looking for any black discolouration that would indicate the dreaded snow bite. “There! I see something!” one of the soldiers hissed.

“Stay down and stay calm,” the Commander replied.

Out of the blue haze of early dusk and fluttering white flakes of snow, emerged a line of ten men, leading a lamaka. The soldiers watched the approaching men until they were almost under the overhang of rock opposite. Sumataniki could wait no longer. He called out to the leader of the men:

“Who comes into the Valley without permission?”

I do!” the familiar voice of his brother replied. The man stopped and pulled back his fur hood to reveal the long, black tresses of a royal El-yr. Sumataniki scrambled down to the path and embraced his brother.

“Do you have it? We have waited so long?”

“Hey, little brother. Not so fast. I need something hot to drink and a warm bed!”

“We have them in the caves. Follow us.”

Sumataniki held back, watching Puktanik’s men file past, but when the lamaka passed, flicking its long lashes at the snow flakes, he couldn’t resist lifting the panaha on its pack harness. He saw a heavy leather case, but bronze locks and rope knots held its lid tightly closed. He shrugged and followed the men into the caves.

“We will go down in the morning!” Puktanik said. “My men are too tired now.”

Sumataniki nodded, taking a seat by the fire and ladling some of the foul meat stew from the cauldron into a bowl. He looked at his brother. His brown eyes were as dark as Sumataniki’s, nose just as pointed, a feature of the Brotherhood, but his face looked like it had been chiselled into a handsome profile. Sumataniki knew his own face to be more square than chiselled. But he didn’t feel envy for his brother. Puktanik didn’t look much changed; he still wore his shorter hair tied back in a pony-tail, whereas Sumataniki wore his black hair down to the shoulders and free. Yet it occurred to him that Puktanik and his men should be laughing, at least smiling, and yet their faces looked hard as stone.

“Where are the rest of the Army?” he asked.

“They won’t be coming back,” Puktanik replied.

Only when the men had begun to bed down and the fire guttered to embers, did Sumataniki dare to ask the question again. He sat close to his brother and whispered:

“What did you find?”

Puktanik let out a deep sigh.

“Many of the Brotherhood died before we even reached the Land of the Ark. There were many battles to be fought and we found few allies. Rumour of our nature has passed before us little brother. The world out there is no longer our friend.”

“Was it ever?”

Once the El-yr ruled half of the world but now our City is our last stronghold. I hear that in the far East they no longer eat meat but farm crops alone. The old ways are almost gone. We are a cursed folk. Cursed!”

“Now Puktanik! You have always been prone to such thoughts. God has not cursed us.”

“He may as well have. I believe he may have inspired the hatred against us. But anyway, I know you have waited long for news. Yes, we found it. But it is not as we thought.”

“Well? What is it?”

Puktanik hair had not been cut or washed in many moons; it hung lank like a black curtain across his blue eyes, rare among the folk of the Valley. Many maidens wanted his hand in marriage and many men hated him the more for it. But Sumataniki saw only the good in his brother. He knew his brother would have brought great treasures to him, if not in wealth, then in wisdom. He waited eagerly for Puktanik to speak.

“It is most like a cup, though almost a jug; closed at the top. And made of simple wood, but of bluish hue. But I think the Cup of Everlasting Life is not the most important thing; it is what lies within. We found a single, shrivelled seed, about the size of a lime but we were told when you add water it grows to the size of a lacuma and is ready to plant. And I have seen them Puktanik!”

“What?”

“Rows of beautiful, tall trees. They are blue! Not bright blue but like a pine tree’s leaves are sometimes almost a smoky blue. These are a little bluer still. And they grow as tall as four houses and the trunk is as thick as a cart. But the magic they have within them is the greatest of all wonders!”

“Why? Tell me!” Puktanik whispered, taking his brother’s bracelet-girt wrist.

“The people in that land cut them down and build houses with them. Well actually, only the richest use them for houses. But even the poorest use them for bed frames. Whoever lays in such a house or bed has many children. They say that almost every time a man and woman lie together, a child is begat.”

“It is a wonder!”

“Of course, except when the woman is already pregnant… But sometimes the man will take other wives if they are willing. And their population has grown like the branches of a mighty tree! I saw with my own eyes thousands of healthy children. They have no ailments and all live to see adulthood!”

Sumataniki looked serious at the unexpected news.

“Yes. That is better than we expected. It sounds more natural. But is it from the One Tree? The First Tree? That God made?”

“Yes. They say so.”

“And how did you get it?”

“Ah! That is the most terrible thing. Even though we have traded for many centuries with them, now they would not hear of a price. Only when one of my men, unbeknownst to me, bribed one of their holy men to speak in our favour – with my gold, no less – would they take council with us. The bribed man proposed that in his opinion the cup was only a simple cup and not necessary to the process of seed rejuvenation. But I fear he lied. When I found out about The Brother’s actions, I slew him myself by slitting his throat and drinking his blood. But the damage was done and what could I do? We continued to bargain. It took all our gold to convince them to part with the cup and only one seed. Even then, they changed their mind as we left them, and attacked us. I lost half the remaining Brothers and all our mak’ku. It was a terrible battle. Had we not the use of faster legs, we would not have lived. But they will not forget us. We cannot go there again!”

“I see. It is a terrible tale. To think we have paid so much for so little. One wooden cup and one seed! Will it be enough?”

“I believe so. But let’s speak no more. I’m dreadfully weary.”

Sumataniki watched his brother slip under a fur skin and a while later, begin to snore. The fire felt too warm to leave. As men wandered from the cave to relieve themselves he watched the shadows of their heads, each with pointed noses and long hair, on the grey rock of the cave walls. They reminded him of festival puppets and made him wonder what would happen to the Brotherhood. He murmured two lines of the ancient poem of his people to himself:

 

Dark are we, who came and who saw,

But lost are we, for we know not what for.

 

 

 

***

Before first light they were up, scratching themselves in the frigid mountain air. Every man wanted to reach the warm valley as quickly as possible now. Following subtle marks on the walls, Sumataniki led them through the maze of caves until they reached a large, still pool. The lamakas had to be led very slowly along the narrow path to its side and down a long slope, into a cavern with a low roof. The beasts bent their furry ears and heads behind the stooping men until Sumataniki held up his hand for them to stop. He blew the sound of the whistling duck through his lips and waited. The sound returned, but not as an echo.

“All clear,” he whispered.

They emerged from the cave into a small compound, walled by dry stone walls over twenty feet high. Atop the rocks stood twenty warriors, aiming spears at the retinue.

“Welcome Prince Sumataniki!” one of them bellowed. “I trust all goes well? You were much longer than expected Prince Puktanik!”

“Armu! How nice to see you still alive, you fat oaf!” Prince Puktanik replied. “Open that gate and let us through!”

A great wooden gate swung open and at last Puktanik could look down upon his home.

In the centre of the valley’s blue lake, the Royal Palace stood, neat as a toy. Its four proud towers gleamed, perfectly white under the morning sun and sunbeams glittered on its three square moats like dancing spirits. Great wheels, concealed inside the walls, filled the moats by themselves. The innermost moat, guarded by a high wall was where Sumataniki most liked to bathe with his brother and sister and he could not wait to wash his war-stained body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the centre of the valley’s blue lake, the Royal Palace sparkled white under the sun’s crystalline light. Its four towers, the Earth, Sky, Fire and Water Towers, stretched proudly into the sky high above the surrounding city of Peroturnakar. Three moats, filled by great wheels concealed within the walls, ran round the Palace, the innermost guarded by a high wall. Its secluded waters were where Sumataniki most liked to bathe with his brother and sister and he could not wait to wash his war-stained body.

In truth, only a small number of buildings, those of the rich and nobility, could be accommodated on the small square of land in the lake. The rest huddled along the side of the three streams feeding the lake, or wove up the valley side next to the road from the causeway. Behind the low, mud brick buildings stood terrace upon terrace of maize and potato. The sight lifted Sumataniki’s heart and he led the men down to the road, singing.

They soon descended to the first of the city’s thatched hovels, clinging precariously to the edge of a precipice. Some of the people waved and cheered, others stood silently as the dark company passed down the slope.

Sumataniki spied two black dots upon the Fire Tower run to its steps.

“The more keen-eyed guards have seen us from the Palace,” Sumataniki told his brother and the men. “There will be fires blazing and food and drink for all when we get there!”

“Remind me to seek out those guards and reward them, with the King’s permission!” Puktanik replied.

At last they crossed the causeway and stepped under the carved lintel of the great Place gate.

After a good meal, to which their father did not come, both brothers and their sister walked through a portal to the inner moat. Lime, custard apple, guava and pink dragon fruit trees lined the terrace, providing a shady bower next to the softly rippling water. Down in the base of the valley summer lingered and the sun still cast its heat into stone.

Puktanik stripped off while Sumataniki shielded his eyes against the sun’s reflections on the white-painted walls.

“You’re not going to swim in that?” Sumataniki said. “It will be ice water!”

“You have not fought in wars Sumataniki. Death teaches you that such things as ice are a joyous part of life. If you are cold, you are alive. Besides, it’s not easy to shift the dirt of war.”

“When will you reveal the Cup?” Pukllanqa Ti’ka asked, sweeping her red panaha over her white shoulder, already caresses by her flowing, black mane.

Sumataniki thought that a young woman might have more to hope for from the Cup, though she did not yet know its nature. He smiled at his younger sister. She replied with a look of deep curiosity, once again showing a deep intelligence with her almond-shaped eyes.

“King Puma Yana sent a messenger to me,” Puktanik replied as he descended stone steps and sank waist-deep into the icy water. He wore only a cloth round his loins and Sumataniki studied the many new scars of war with appreciation. “There is to be a great feast tonight and there it will be shown. You are right little brother; the water is… very cold!”

***

The feast was lavish, boisterous and well attended. It filled the Palace’s great hall to capacity and made the roof ‘boom’ with music.

King Puma Yana’s grey hair straggled from beneath his ornate headdress of a black puma’s head, befitting his name. Down his back flowed the dead creature’s skin to a tail, which he held in his left hand. In his right, he held the royal lance until somebody handed him a flagon of blood, flavoured with fermented dragon fruit. His face lit up and he rolled back on his golden throne in a fit of joyous laughing that lifted the hearts of the gathering.

This was the indication to party for all their worth and both the Brotherhood and Mak’a took any partner they could find for a dance, or stamped the ground alone.

“He’s overjoyed to have you back!” Sumataniki shouted in his brother’s ear.

“He wasn’t so pleased when I went!”

“He has fretted every, single day. Sometimes he has retreated to his private chamber for more than a week, when he heard news that worried him.”

“He is too old. He begins to fear his own shadow!”

“No. He just loves his children. I need to refill.”

Sumataniki strode to a great stone jar and dipped his leather flagon into the black liquid. Returning to his brother with the drink and a haunch of rabbit in his other hand, he took a sip of the brew:

“The first thing that hits you is the bitter taste of the vinegar! Then the blood… um, that is better, and finally it blooms into the dragon fruit’s spectacular ending! Ah! Lovely.”

“And the meat?”

“Ah, you know that won’t taste good.”

“Ha! Your poetic talents lie more with the sensual pleasures, than with the thoughts men wrestle with late at night brother.”

“Perhaps. Maybe we won’t need to wrestle with the problems of meat and vinegar, now we have the cup.”

“I don’t think it will help us there. Look at your sister.”

“What of her. She looks just as beautiful as ever, and no man to court her.”

“Exactly. It’s for her, and Brethren like her that I did this. Our numbers are too few. We cannot rule forever, unless we increase our numbers. And doing that by taking Mak’a only brings resentment and shame. We need children.”

Sumataniki nodded solemnly.

“Father is about to speak,” Puktanik said. “I need to make sure all is ready. Don’t leave!” He patted his brother on the shoulder and turned to go.

“Oh, I wouldn’t miss this for anything!”

One man stood alone. His blue eyes, hidden under brows of a dark expression, took in the revellers as if from a great distance. Jatunaca wasn’t the only Mak’a there. Groups of ordinary men huddled together, fearful that they might be pulled aside and have their necks pierced by the fangs of an overexcited El-yr.

Everyone in the city of Peroturnakar knew the cause for this celebration. Everyone knew of Puktanik’s quest to find the Cup, and of his triumphant return.

For many years now the population of the Valley had been in decline. First disease and then famine had wiped out the young, old, and fragile. No longer were there enough men to mine the yellow metal, turi, that they traded outside the valley for precious materials. The Cup would bring new life to the valley.

Jatunaca had not been surprised to be invited to the feast; as one of the more prosperous farmers he expected that one day there would be a knock on his door in the night, an invitation to join the Brotherhood. A long initiation would follow and then the question of whether to bring his wife and only son into fold. But not two days before, his friend Umtak had told him of a different kind of knock on the door at night:

“They took Ak’atuk in the night!” Umtak whispered on one of the terraces.

“Oh no. Now we will have to feed his wife! This has to stop Umtak.”

“What will we do? You know how the El-yr put down the last rebellion.”

Over two hundred Sun cycles before, word had come to The People of rebellion far to the east, in the land of the yellow-skinned people. El-yr had traded far and wide and tried to dominate the yellow people but they had resisted. In the Valley, men had risen up against their blood-sucking rulers, but the El-yr were too well-equipped, too clever.

Umtak nodded.

“We must form a secret society Ak’atuk. Watch closely and learn their weaknesses. If they do not find the Cup, we may not have long to wait.”

“And if they do?”

“We must watch them more closely. Too often lately have the El-yr taken our people in the night. And for what? To drink the blood and discard the body. They call us Mak’a, as we do, but when they refer to the people it’s as if we are sheep. The time is coming for us to rise.”

“You are wise Umtak. Men will follow you.”

“I do not think so.”

“It is true.”

“Sound them out, but cautiously Ak’atuk. Do not risk your life, or mine! Remember I have a wife and son to support.”

As he stood in a shadow at the feast, Umtak felt that rebellion had come close to the surface in the valley and that he might lead it. He only feared that the El-yr might hide any secret boon they had found from the Mak’a, but the black bearded King Puma Yana stood up and held out his arms to quieten his audience:

“People of the Valley, this is a great day. My eldest son, Puktanik, has returned from distant lands. As you know, he left more than three Sun cycles ago to find a great treasure. I can announce now that he has found the treasure.”

His audience erupted into ecstatic hollering and whooping. He raised his arms once more. Umtak took a sip of the dragon flower drink he had taken from the stone jar for the Mak’a.

“Puktanik has told me almost nothing of the treasure,” King Puma Yana continued, “and I think this is because he wants to tell you himself! Such are the vanities of youth, but who am I to blame him? It’s his victory and he has many scars to prove it!”

The great wooden doors at the end of the hall swung open and Puktanik led four of his men, bearing a litter holding something under a black cloth, into the hall. They brought the litter to the fires in front of the King and set it on the stone flags.

“Reveal it!” Puktanik yelled.

One of the men drew off the black cloth. The audience pushed in to get closer.

Sumataniki stood closest and peered at the vessel of greenish wood. As his brother had told him, it narrowed at the top but only slightly, and both the base and rim were blackened by fire. It had been roughly carved and didn’t look the work of a skilled carpenter, which which made it seem the more ancient and authentic. He began to discern faint runes around its waist, so peered closer. Though the style was unfamiliar, he recognised pictures cut into the wood. The pictures resembled characters of the alphabet used by most tribes in and around Atalan T’ea.

“Something is written here!” he said.

A man nearby held up his hand and the crowd began to hush.

“There is the symbol for Ea!” Sumataniki declared, recognising a symbol for a hand surrounded by the Sun’s rays. Next to it was the picture representing ‘ritan,’ to speak, in the past tense.

“Ea has spoken,” he said quietly, intending that only his brother should hear. “The rest is too worn to read.”

People close by whispered the phrase and before long the crowd’s murmurs rose to a crescendo.

“It is the work of Ea” some shouted.

Others yelled, “The One True God has spoken!”

So strong was the need to believe that none voiced dissent. Suddenly one man knelt down and prostrated himself before the Cup. Then another, followed by another, prostrated themselves.

It felt to Sumataniki as if the hall suddenly filled with a bright light. Even he and Puktanik knelt before the Cup. All were silent with their own thoughts for a long while. The King remained seated on his throne, but stared at the cup as he might challenge the face of Ea himself.

“Stand!” the King commanded after his mood passed. “Celebrate!”

“Well done little brother!” Puktanik said into Sumataniki’s ear. “Your endless studies of our earliest scripts payed off. The Cup people themselves said the meaning had been lost; perhaps we are meant to have the Cup in our keeping after all.”

Puktanik smiled.

The king stepped over and patted his eldest son on the shoulder, saying:

“Well done my son! Cover the Cup and take it from the hall to my private anteroom.”

“I will have it hidden from all who might take it,” Puma Yana said.

“It will be as you wish father but we must build a place of worship worthy of the Cup.”

“No. It shall be kept here. It’s the only safe place.”

“No, this cannot be my King. I gave my word that we would build a place of worship and treat it with great reverence. I am asking you to let me keep my word.”

“You should not have given your word over something that rightly belongs to me.”

“It… belongs to no man, my King.”

“You may leave me.”

Puktanik had become filled with rage, but the King’s personal guards lined the chamber. He could do nothing. He spun and strode toward the door. Seeing Sumataniki, who had heard everything, he pulled his brother from the room by his arm.

“He has gone mad!” Puktanik growled. “Great wickedness will come from this. For him!”

“Puktanik, don’t speak like that. Father’s will is absolute. You must bend to it at times like this.”

But Puktanik could not be persuaded by his younger brother. Sumataniki sought his sister at the feast:

“Puki, you must speak with Puktanik. He is very, very angry. The King has moved the cup to his private anteroom and left men guarding it. Puktanik made a promise to the Cup People to build a place of worship for the Cup. Can you help? You are always so sensitive and thoughtful.”

“I will try.”

Together they went to Puktanik’s chamber. While Sumataniki held back, his sister placed her white hand on her eldest brother’s shoulder and whispered soft words:

“Brother. The King is simply overcome with joy at your return and his pleasure is heightened by your success in bringing back the Cup. He will listen to reason. But not now. Do not act rashly.”

“Ah, Puki, always you have kind words to say but this is not a matter I can bend on. I promised the King from whom I bought this Cup, even with our own blood and that of many mak’ku. I believe he only agreed, at first, for us to take it because of the constant warfare he endures. The Cup has been burned in battle. He believed it would be safer across the great water, in Atalan T’ea. Even though his men changed their minds and attacked us, I believe he still willed it so. This is a terrible thing. It’s not something I can live with.”

Pukllanqa Ti’ka became lost in thought for a moment, before replying:

“I will think on it. You know I am close to father’s heart. I will find a way. Give me two days.”

“Very well. But just two days,” Puktanik replied.

***

One who was not in the audience, perhaps should have been. Tuma, adopted son of the king, had been sent to command one of the other gates into the valley in Puktanik’s absence. The king trusted his military prowess over that of Sumataniki, infuriating his younger son, and his eldest too when he found out.

Puktanik had found his chamber neglected and this further irritated him. The incident with his father only drove a knife deeper into the wound caused by Tuma before the quest for the Cup had begun:

Tuma had come to them from the City. With the lighter hair typical of those not born into the Brotherhood, a triangular face, and with a noticeable tendency to lean his wiry frame forward, he had been the last son of Du’nak, a wily weaver whose four older sons and wife had died in one of the plagues. Not long after, Du’nak had died too and Tuma had been taken in the night by a Brother. But he had not been killed, only initiated. His rise to the king’s favour had been swift. Clever, thoughtful and resourceful, King Puma Yana had taken note of him. The king had lost his wife many years before her time for child-bearing had ended, and he wished for another son. So he took Tuma into his house and made him his son.

The basement of the Palace consisted of dusty, unlit galleries, lined with many thousands of pictograms, which told some of the ancient stories of Atalan T’ea. They had been carved there when the Palace had been constructed, but the present king was greedy and selfish, and refused to pay the wages of craftsmen to maintain the pictograms. Consequently, the craft had all but been forgotten in Peroturnakar.

However, Sumataniki spent many hours learning to read the pictograms, so spent much of his spare time with a torch in the basement galleries. He began to record the stories using the modern script on clay tablets in the king’s library. The ancient tale of A’tea, particularly his great battle against Peruk-akanir, had become a particular favourite of the three brothers.

One day, Tuma, Puktanik and Pukllanqa Ti’ka sat reading in the library. Puktanik would celebrate his first month of manhood in five days and wanted to read about A’tea. He found the correct tablet and returned to his seat but Tuma had taken it.

“Why did you take my seat?” Puktanik asked.

“I took it because you weren’t in it!” Tuma replied.

Remembering that patience is a warrior’s virtue, Puktanic put the tablet on a table and dragged another chair into the sunlight. But when he went to pick up the tablet, it too had gone. He saw that Tuma had begun to read it.

“Why are you reading my tablet?” he asked.

“It’s not your tablet. It’s history. You weren’t using it.”

“But I want it now.”

Puktanik felt near the limit of his patience. He was a powerfully built man, easily capable of knocking Tuma to the floor.

“Sorry. You can have it when I have finished.”

This proved too much for Puktanik.

“What is wrong with you? Never before, have you behaved this way! Give it to me!”

Pukllanqa Ti’ka looked up from her tablet.

Puktanik wrenched the tablet from Tuma’s hands but the smaller man fought back.

“Don’t do that!” he yelled.

Puktanik shoved Tuma with the flat of his hand, sending his adopted brother crashing to the floor.

Tuma lay still for a moment and then leered up at Puktanik, hissing:

“Your father will not be pleased with your conduct!”

“You’re not his son. He will not listen to you!”

Puktanik looked to his sister but her face showed no emotion.

Tuma went to King Puma Yana and told him a skewed version of the incident.

“If you ever do that again,” the king said, “It will be the last time!”

“But he’s not your son!”

“So you should treat him with extra civility!”

“That is not fair! He can claim to be your son when he wants and not your son when it suits him better!”

“Silence! I will hear no more of it!”

A year had gone by, the incident almost been forgotten by Puktanik, when he found himself in the library again with Tuma, Sumataniki and Pukllanqa Ti’ka. By now the eldest son had taken nominal charge of Peroturnakar’s whole army and had even acted as envoy n in peaceful councils of surrounding tribes. Gradually he had begun to earn their respect. Even so young, all could see he would be a great warrior.

Sumatanaki had been playing out the battle of A’tea, and Peruk-akanir with tiny soldiers, made of gold, watched by the silent Tuma.

Suddenly Tuma pointed to Sumataniki’s general and declared:

“He did not issue such an order!”

“Yes he did!” Sumataniki replied.

“No. I will show you.”

Tuma selected the tablet from a long line on a shelf and beckoned to Puktanik:

“Come and arbitrate.”

When Puktanik’s back hid him from the others, Tuma smiled at the prince and dropped the tablet. It fell to the stone floor and broke into a hundred pieces.

“What have you done?” Puktanik cried.

“What have you done?” Tuma cried. “You dropped it.”

“No!”

Puktanik’s rage overcame him and he pushed Tuma against the shelf. Tuma’s head crashed into the wood, shaking the shelf. Tuma put his hand to the back of his head and revealed fresh blood on his palm.

“I told you!” he sneered. “This time you have gone too far!”

Puktanik felt a chill run down his spine.

When the king heard of what had happened, he summoned his eldest son:

“I warned you Puktanik. Your behaviour is not worthy of a prince. From this day forth you will command my men on the borders. In that way perhaps you will learn to be a better leader.”

Puktanik felt heart-broken, but after one year he hatched a plan to regain his father’s favour. At a secret meeting near the mine he asked the king:

“What would you say if I brought you the Cup of Everlasting Life?”

“That would indeed be a gift worthy of a great prince. You would find yourself welcome at my hearth again.”

And so Puktanik set off on his quest to find the Cup.

***

Pukllanqa Ti’ka had both times seen Puktanik and Tuma arguing, but Tuma had been wily. He had concealed his envy of Puktanik and at the same time, spent much time gaining Pukllanqa Ti’ka’s confidence.

On the terrace by the water he would stroke her hand softly and whisper in her ear:

“You are the most beautiful woman in Atalan T’ea – no, the world!”

She had slowly come to the point where her trust of him had begun to outweigh her trust of Puktanik. But Tuma had avoided Sumataniki, knowing he had her trust, and saw more than Puktanik.

Pukllanqa Ti’ka sat in her chamber, thinking about Puktanik’s plea to speak to her father. She believed she could change his mind, but in the end she did nothing.

“I could not change his mind,” she told Puktanik, when he came to her at the end of the second day. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m sure you did your best little sister.”

Pukllanqa Ti’ka could not bear to look at him.

Puktanik left the palace and wandered in the orchards on the lower slopes of the mountains, trying to come to a decision about the Cup.

***

 

If you enjoyed this first chapter of RIP Green, why not subscribe to RIP for either 99 cents or 49 cents per month: https://lazloferran.com/RIP/

 

R I P

 

Lots of cool action and drew me well in.” – AHF Magazine.

 

Never search for science fiction, alternative history romance, military or thrillers again.

 

There is a RIP in the fabric of time space. Two spirits seek each other out, again and again. Om is a man with a key. Bri is an empath. Man is doomed unless they can find a way to navigate the RIP and find its source.

7 lives. 7 worlds.
Come and join them as they start
On the greatest quest never told!

Subscriptions will be for $0.99 for 2 chapters per month (RIP Prime), or $0.49 for one chapter per month (RIP Stream 1 or 2). This major work will build into 7 complete volumes of about 1 million words in total and will be one of the longest stories ever published.

 

Stream 1:

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Orange – 1947 race to recover the Nazi anti-gravity device ‘The Bell’ at the end of WW2

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Yellow – A blood-drinking refugee from alien attack builds an Egyptian empire

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Green – Two Meso-American vampire princes seek a magical cup to save their race

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Blue (tie-up) – The last humans head for a new planet, but are they human?

Stream 2:

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Red – A disgraced police officer has to solve a seemingly impossible crime involving chess

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Indigo – A slave fights to Hell and back for the love of a princess.

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Violet- A couple try to negotiate a crippled world when water induces amnesia

#
p)))<>{color:#000;background:#fff;}. Blue (tie-up) – The last humans head for a new planet, but are they human?

NB: RIP Prime subscribers will get bonus material instead of a chapter every 4th month.

The first two chapters are FREE! and you will get one month free after you subscribe and a further month’s trial subscription after that: https://lazloferran.com/RIP/


RIP - Green 1

“Lots of cool action and drew me well in.” – AHF Magazine. Never search for science fiction, alternative history romance, military or thrillers again. There is a RIP in the fabric of time space. Two spirits seek each other out, again and again. Om is a man with a key. Bri is an empath. Man is doomed unless they can find a way to navigate the RIP and find its source. 7 lives. 7 worlds. Come and join them as they start On the greatest quest never told! This major work will build into 7 complete volumes of about 1 million words in total and will be one of the longest stories ever published. NOTE: THIS IS CHAPTER ONE OF A MUCH LONGER WORK

  • ISBN: 9781311566072
  • Author: Lazlo Ferran
  • Published: 2016-06-15 17:50:33
  • Words: 6098
RIP - Green 1 RIP - Green 1