The Crimeons: Part Three
Instantly I felt the silvery-grey armor slide over my body. The shimmering blue on the my legs, the deep crimson of my paws, the blue-visored helmet on my head, and my uncased ears and tail. Before I could even complete the morph, I felt the ground slide out from beneath me. I stumbled and fell. Kalitersa's work, no doubt. I flared my wings and leapt into the air.
Kalitersa followed. Litonu stayed back, having no wings of his own. I sped towards the temple, but Kalitersa followed close behind. She was bigger than me, and with ten times the experience.
However, I had the speed advantage. Apparently I was the only one to think of leaving parts of myself uncased. The others thought it was stupid, but I'd show them now! Kalitersa hurled needles of rock at me. They flew from the ground and slashed at me. The pain! The needles carved up my tail. I had to put armor over it! But no, that would slow me down. I had to get away! I was flying over my home tribe, the Water Tribe. I had to warn them. That was the thing to do. Willing the armor to morph, I uncased my entire body. Stone needles flying even faster than I was sliced through my fur. Ignore it, ignore the pain! I landed, letting the last of my disk go. I lost my wings, and rushed into the safety of the tribe. Kalitersa flew away. I could only hope she wouldn't hatch her plan just yet. I yelled to the tribe.
“Evacuate, everyone! You have to get out!” A crowd formed around me, juveniles, adults, elders, everyone listening intently at what I had to say. “Listen to me. Kalitersa, the Earth Crimeon- she's gathering troops from the Earth Warriors Tribe, and they're going to attack. Please, you have to evacuate!”
Anguished cries met my morbid decree.
“Leave home? Forever?” one juvenile cried.
I thought for sure panic would overtake them, but they did as they were told. They took what little food they could, and placed them in hides hung around their torsos. They fled from the forest, from the hills. Every part of Water Tribe territory, they left. The Wind Sages, Fire Clan! I had to warn them next! Ryiru and Aria could help. I willed the morph to completion this time. Every inch of me was covered. Less maneuverable, but safe from airborne attacks. I rushed inside the temple.
“Aria, Ryiru!” I cried. Oh, no. There in the center, with a battle-scarred Lupe standing atop him, was Ryiru. He hadn't even had time to morph. The Lupe atop him was burned in several places, and the whole temple was filled with the acrid smell of singed flesh. I felt my knees buckle. It was happening, no, it happened! Ryiru, dead?! I stared in disbelief. No, no time! I had to find Aria. There was nothing I could do about Ryiru. His killer clamped the Fire Spirit Disk in his mouth. It almost looked like it was struggling to get away. Using the water from the orbs in my chest, I hurled a spear of ice at the Lupe. He was down. The disk that was in his mouth flew into the air and out of the temple. No time to think about where it ended up. I could only hope it didn't fall into the wrong paws. I rushed towards the air training room. But that was higher in the temple, in fact, the very top. I rushed up the stairs. I had to get there, before... No, I couldn't think about it, had to focus!
There! I could see it ahead, the golden-rimmed doors of the training room. I burst in, was I too late? No, Aria, she was here! And in her full armor. It glistened light blue. She was locked in combat with Kalitersa, who was once her friend. Ryiru dead, I couldn't let Aria be taken! She saw me.
“No, Sekleta, get out, get OUT! Go warn the others!“
Kalitersa took advantage of the distraction. She hurled a huge stone, followed by a series of tiny stone needles, straight at Aria. The stone cracked her armor, the liquid-metal fell to the ground. Before it could replace itself, the needles hit. Aria was sliced to pieces... right before my eyes. I barely concealed a scream. Aria, gone. Ryiru, gone.
As the spirit disk rose from Aria's body, it headed to the window. Kalitersa poised herself to leap. I couldn't let her take it! I jumped on her, held her down. The disk broke the window in a flurry of shattered glass and flew out the window. I scrambled off Kalitersa, and ran to follow the disk out the window. She bit down on my tail, stopping me dead in my tracks. I pulled water from my orbs and struck her with a shard of ice, right on her cheek, which, to bite me, was left bare.
Kalitersa recoiled, and I used the momentary flinch to leapt from the window. The Fire Clan, the Wind Sages, they had to be warned! I looked down at the land and realized that the Water Tribe was being attacked. Many had fled from the mountains, but many who were still leaving or preparing to do so were now caught in a melee. Had the other two tribes suffered the same fate? I rushed to the Fire Clan. I could see the troupe of Lupes approaching through the forest. I landed and made my announcement.
“Everyone, get out now! An army of Earth Warriors is coming to wipe you out, please, flee!” My warning was barely out of my mouth when I turned to see the approaching Lupes push themselves out of the forest into the unprepared clan. Many Techos pushed themselves up the faces of the cliffs that surrounded their homes. They were the best climbers of all the tribes. Where had Kalitersa gone? I didn't stop to wonder. If the Wind Sages hadn't been attacked yet, maybe I could still warn them. After all, Buzzes had wings. They could fly away. I arrived there just in time.
Once again, I gave the order to evacuate. The Buzzes easily flew off, though many elders and juveniles had trouble or were too weak to go with them. Another hoard of Earth Warriors swarmed into the camp and attacked those left there. I leapt into the air, avoiding the bloody brawl that was happening beneath my feet. Just then, I noticed the Air Spirit Disk fly into camp. Was it going to choose one right now? Yes! I felt almost giddy despite the horrible occurrences of late. It flew onto the back of a young green Buzz. Not much younger than me.
“Huh? What?” he stammered. “Am I the new Crimeon?” I flew up to him without hesitation.
“Here, you can help your people! Use the disk!”
“What? How, I haven't the slightest clue how to-”
Suddenly, the sky above me darkened. Kalitersa! Oh, man, what was she doing! A huge boulder the size of a mountaintop hovered above the tribes, all of them! Kalitersa howled. A signal? The Lupes in the Wing Sages camp fled into the mountains. She was going to drop it! What about the Lupes left? In the father reaches that couldn't escape the boulder? She would kill them to?!
“You! Buzz!” I cried.
“Huh, what? Who, me?”
“Yes, you!” I yelled. “We have to stop her!”
“I have a name, you know. It's Melasia. And how do we stop that?!” he cried.
“Use your disk! Will it to morph, then help me blow the boulder away!” I told him. Time was running out. We'd be crushed, along with all the others left in the valley!
It was coming! The massive boulder began to fall! NO! Fast as lightning, with all the strength I could muster, I swept up the water in the rivers from every edge of the valley. With a swipe of my strained arms, I willed it to go, go deflect the mountaintop! Water rushed from the ever-flowing river, keeping the boulder at bay. But it wasn't enough; it was slowly but surely, despite my intervention, coming down on the valley.
“Melasia, please, I need your help!”
He had just received his powers; he hadn't a clue how to use them. Yet still, I begged him. Awkwardly, with no such grace as my own transformation, the armor began to come. Lime green in color, it covered his darker-green body and covered his wings with a bluish sheath. He looked confused, but instinctively thrust his arms upward. Immediately, I felt the draft of air. It rushed from his arms towards my wall of flowing water, and help to push the boulder skywards.
“Everyone, get out, this boulder will crush you if you don't, get out, get out!!” I cried to the valley. My eyes were tearing. I was shaking. I was sweating. I couldn't take this strain much longer. Then, Kalitersa came rushing through the sky, her eyes burning with anger. She swept her arms up and down, forcing the boulder downwards. I noticed she had the Fire Spirit Disk clamped in her jaws.
“Keep at it, Melasia!” I said reassuringly.
Amazing, hardly a few minutes ago he had just received his disk. Using one arm to keep the water flowing, I used a few precise movements of the other to send a few ice shards flying in Kalitersa's direction. It was no use; they were too small and weak to penetrate the armor. They blew apart on impact. No, I let my guard down! Melasia was still blowing upwards on the boulder, but it was futile now. It was so close to the ground, trees began to crack under it. It was over. I couldn't let Kalitersa escape. I released my hold on the river, and the water fell to the earth, as did the boulder. Melasia couldn't keep it up any longer.
Beneath the immense mountaintop, any living thing too large to fit within a crevice was crushed. My home, Melasia's home. The temple! Everything.
I turned to the demon who had done this. I froze a mass of water from the ground and hurled the ice-boulder at Kalitersa. She tried to maneuver away from it, but it was too big. It hit her square in the chest, and she dropped the Fire Spirit Disk. It fell to earth and flew towards the old Fire Clan camp. I still wonder who it went to. I don't know if I'll ever know.
Kalitersa flew off, and landed on a hill. She forced her armor to recede and limped away.
“Thank you, Melasia. You were amazing. To think you just received it!” I told the young Buzz.
He nodded, not making eye contact. He was focused on his home, which lay beneath a removed mountaintop. He flew back towards his fleeing people, and I was left alone in the sky. Should I go back to the tribe? No, I had a job to do, even if the others would forgot the customs of our people. Kalitersa was gone. I didn't know where. If I ever find her, I know this much; she will pay. And so I left the mountains. I travel around, helping people where I can, as is my duty. I hope someday to see Melasia again, and maybe even find who turned out to be the fire Crimeon. Maybe someday we can bring back the Elemental Tribes, but for now, we are no more.