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Together We Fall

Chapter One

By Heather HublerPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 10 min read

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. That worked nicely for Abtu as his profession required the utmost silence. There was a finesse to it that became contaminated with the ugliness of sound and words. And he did not take kindly to disruptions.

Abtu's pale arms flexed and strained as he quickly and quietly bound the Vyan caught in his trap, placing the parasite into the holding tank to be dealt with later.

Returning to his post, he reset the device and leaned back against an Orian tree to wait, enjoying the rough scrape of bark as it scratched the scales on his back.

Several units passed until the pale purple of the twin moons began to blanket the landscape. It was only a matter of time before more came, attracted like magnets.

At least this trip he'd received diplomatic immunity to land on Moria so he wasn't constantly waiting for the rovers to find him. Even better, the Morians were a likable species, making Abtu more amenable to the task at hand. In fact, he may extend his stay here for a bit once the Vyan were eradicated and his payment received.

He needed a bit of break. If he was completely honest with himself, which he was not ready to be, he'd admit that his solitary lifestyle was starting to weigh on him. But since he buried those sentiments out of sheer stubbornness, a nice vacation would do.

Movement to the left stirred Abtu from his deepening thoughts. His eyesight was superior to most species, allowing him to spot the bare shimmer in the air and the ripples that trailed behind as his prey drifted towards him.

The Vyan were parasitic in nature and not designed to be apart from their hosts long. The fact that they came willingly to him spoke of the strength and promise of his lure.

Abtu was the bait. It was his most heavily guarded secret and why he was always forced to work alone. No one could know that it wasn't his traps that were so effective but Abtu himself.

If anyone discovered his gift, he'd be captured and sold to the highest bidder, and he would not let that happen. Never again.

Stilling himself entirely, he concentrated on releasing a touch more essence from his skin. The effect was immediate. The yellow ground-cover swished as three Vyan hurried faster to reach him. Abtu had chosen this location well. He'd have this nest secured before the sun star appeared on the horizon.

Just as they reached the edge of the trap, an unholy howl rent the air, "Ayyyeeeeiii!" The unwelcome screech was followed closely by two blue masses of fury yipping and smashing their way in a direct collision path with him.

Abtu sighed. He hated interruptions.

Springing up into the tree branches above, he immediately froze. Another of his rare gifts allowed him to mimic death making it almost impossible to detect his presence.

He'd simply wait until these trouble makers moved on and then collect his prize. Despite the disturbance, the Vyan had successfully been captured.

He could still salvage this night.


Or not. Units passed and the two blue boobs–that's what Abtu was now calling them–sat below him waxing about gods only knew what. Apparently Sashan never teleported to meet Cether, and now their friend group was divided over what this could mean.

Abtu was sure his ears were bleeding.

Thankfully, they were so enamored with themselves that they didn't notice the trap only a few paces away from where they sat.

To be fair, he'd designed it to blend in as much as possible with its surroundings, but if these two sorry excuses were Sentries as they'd been proclaiming, they should've seen it already.

Abtu was unconcerned with them finding him in general as he had permission to be there, but it was the off chance that they'd unravel his secret. More Vyan were going to come.

He'd chosen this location specifically because it was marked as an unused area, and his scouting the day before had confirmed that information.

But what no one could ever quite predict was the stupidity of youth.

Tired of waiting–and just plain tired–Abtu decided to take fate in his hands and dropped from the tree.

The pair squealed and jumped into a sloppy fighting stance as Abtu crouched before them, slowly standing to his full height. He towered over their delicate forms.

As an after thought, the Morian on the right grabbed a weapon from behind its back and pointed it at Abtu. The hand holding the SX300 shook so badly, he feared it might shoot its comrade by mistake.

"Lower your weapon, young one. I have diplomatic immunity, and we wouldn't want any reason for me to have to report your indiscretion here." Abtu was silently praying they'd be shamed into just walking away.

But apparently the fates were having a good laugh at him today.

"D-d-diplomatic immunity...for what?" the weapon wielding one stuttered out. Straightening its spine a little, it carried on with more resolve, "We're Sentries, sir, and need to see your alleged immunity seal," it finished on a slight wheeze, deflating the seriousness of the message.

Hmmm. They were brighter than Abtu thought. Not good. His mind scrambled to come up with an excuse as this was not a common occurrence for him. His main stipulation for taking these official cases was that he was not to be bothered under any circumstance when he was working.

Abtu had already let the head of the Morian Sentries know the area he wanted blocked off for today. No one should have been poking around. He'd use this to his advantage. Abtu wasn't above name dropping.

"You don't need to see my seal as I was approved to be here today by Councilman Thorr. Maybe you should take it up with your superior."

A tense moment passed as the two exchanged a loaded look. He knew that look–they weren't supposed to be here.

Abtu had them now and not a moment too soon. He sensed a horde of Vyan racing this way.

* * *

Natan had never seen a species such as the being they'd just encountered. It had only been a few clicks since the stranger's not so subtle hint to flek off had Natan and Duris racing to leave their lapse in judgement behind.

That foreigner wasn't wrong. They absolutely weren't supposed to be there, but Natan's idiot twin had been determined to sneak out tonite.

"Let's circle back around and see what he's doing out here in the middle of the night," Duris whispered excitedly, grabbing Natan's arm to drag her along.

Natan dug her feet in stubbornly, "No, nuh uh, not happening. You are not getting me into trouble again. We've barely been back in Sentry rotation since the last stunt you pulled."

Natan loved her twin dearly, but he could exasperate her like no one else. He was her twin in every way, but personality. The Morian were a genderless people, in the sense that everyone was born with both male and female components, making the twins' bodies identical in every way.

But as of late, Natan gravitated towards her female side, while Duris had been firmly identifying as male. Natan secretly thought it was just to be opposite to her so that they seemed less twin-like, but she was not one to judge.

Natan and Duris were actually an anomaly being the first set of twins born in the last millennium. Much to their delight, they were treasured and coddled to the point that they were a little spoiled. Ok, a lot spoiled. It was why they were even Sentries. No one ever really said no to them. Hence why they always ended up in these crazy situations.

"We're lucky he didn't call Sentry headquarters and out us right then, Duris," Natan pressed. "We are NOT going back there."

Duris huffed and stopped pulling her arm. He knew when to back off. Sometimes.

"Fine, I'm going without you then," he said with an imperious tone, setting her on edge. And then he just slunk away, disappearing up the hill into the copse of Orian trees as Natan stood there with her jaw hanging open. Duris never left her.

This night was so bizarre.

She hurried to race after him.

* * *

Abtu continued to work in utter silence. Each Vyan required a separate binding and transfer, so it took a bit of effort when his holding tank was not close at hand. In this case, it was at the bottom of the hill, and there were no paths wide enough to move it closer.

He didn't mind though. The extra movement always cleared his head and boosted his endurance.

After he'd scared the young Morians away, Abtu had checked the trap, counting all but one missing from the nest he was hunting. He decided to wait just a bit longer for the last one rather than having to return tomorrow night.

A slick sweat had begun to build along with a burn in his muscles as he worked. It had been a good night despite the hiccup.

Abtu did not plan to out the two Morian Sentries to their superiors. He only wished he was naive and young enough to pull pranks and run amok like that. Carefree in a way he'd never been allowed.

His thoughts turned dark as he mulled over his life. By the time he was finally finished transferring all the Vyan, a thunder cloud floated above his head. He was in a mood.

Not wanting to waste another click on this hill side, Abtu released a small burst of essence. It looked like a fine green mist came off his skin and drifted through the atmosphere. He watched it float away, wishing he could too. Abtu shook the depressing thoughts off.

He had just turned to go over to the Orian tree he'd been hiding by when two things happened.

One–the last Vyan came flying over the hill in an almost frenzy, racing to reach him.

And two–Abtu spotted the two blue boobs peeking out from a tree at the edge of his field of vision.

Abtu's heart stuttered. Had they seen what he'd done? Did they understand what that meant?

He did not want to hurt these innocent Morians, but he had no choice over his actions now. They needed to be dealt with. Just as the last Vyan disappeared into the trap, Abtu took off running.

* * *

"Oh flek, he saw us!" Natan shouted, snatching Duris' hand and dragging him to his feet. "Run, run, RUN!"

The pair flew over the yellow ground cover, dodging trees and rocks. This was their home turf, but it made no difference as the stranger's long legs ate up the distance between them.

There was a small cave up ahead they used to play in when they were younger. It was difficult to find at the best of times. Natan was sure they could lose him there.

No sooner had Duris and Natan burst into the rocky shelter than they heard the sound of heavy breathing right outside the entrance.

The slow crunch of undergrowth as the stranger crept closer.

Natan tried desperately to slow her heart rate and control her breathing. A quick glance at Duris showed he was wrestling to do the same.

Units passed, and it was impossible for either of them to know if the stranger had given up. The sounds had simply stopped. They hadn't heard him leave, yet how could he remain silent for so long?

Knowing the sun star must have already started to make its trek across the sky, Natan was feeling the pressure to get back home. The twins' mother would start to worry soon. Especially when she noticed they never came home last night.

Duris stared hard at Natan, tilting his head to the cave entrance as though in question. She carefully nodded back. They needed to move.

On near silent feet, they slowly emerged into the day light.

A quick scan of the landscape showed no signs of the stranger. Natan was not convinced he was gone, but what choice did they have? In unison, the twins cautiously started home.

About half way to their dwelling, Duris began to laugh.

"You see, I told you we'd have fun! You need to live a little more, Natan," Duris teased, wiggling his finger at her.

"Yeah, I guess you're right."

They walked along at a more hurried pace now, not worried as much about making noise.

There was something not right about that stranger though. What was with the green body mist? Is that what attracted the Vyan? She'd never heard of any being with that ability.

Natan couldn't stop thinking about it. Maybe she'd ask their mother when they got back. She wouldn't be happy with what they'd done, but she would never betray her children either. Yes, that is what she'd do.

Putting the troubling questions aside, Natan breathed a sigh of relief. A little smile forming on her lips. It had been a fun night after all.

Moments later, a sharp intake of breath startled her. Natan whipped her head to the side where Duris had been, but he was no longer in sight. Natan pivoted in a circle, distress quickly claiming her. She knew that had been too easy. She knew it!

Natan's heart raced as fear overwhelmed her. She turned for home, prepared to get help. But a cool palm landed on the center of her back, giving a firm push and sending her tumbling. She fell into the dark abyss with a scream.

"Gotcha," was all she heard before the trap closed and everything went black.


Enjoying the sci-fi? Please take a look at another 1st chapter I wrote for this challenge!

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About the Creator

Heather Hubler



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Comments (34)

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  • Russell Ormsby 2 years ago

    Thank you for the escape to another world. Very creative imagination nice job👍

  • Caroline Jane2 years ago

    Lots of Easter eggs in here... Curiosity abounds! ❤

  • Stella Yan PhD2 years ago

    Fantastic! I would like to know what will happen to the twins.

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Pam Reeder2 years ago

    This was phenomenal! I really enjoyed this and would happily have kept reading. You left me wanting more. Well done!

  • D-Donohoe2 years ago

    Great story! Thank you!

  • Good LORD woman! Is there ANYthing you can't write? This was great!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Kelly Sibley 2 years ago

    That was good! Oh NO, what's going to happen next!!!

  • Sandi Parsons2 years ago

    Bravo! Fabulous world-building!

  • Ashley McGee2 years ago

    I like Abtu! More Abtu like right now!

  • AGB2 years ago

    Oh wow this was awesome! I can't wait for chapter 2!!

  • Made in DNA2 years ago

    Oh snap! Well done!

  • J. S. Wade2 years ago

    Excellent story. 🥰 You masterfully covered alot of ground in one chapter. More!!

  • Emily E Mahon2 years ago

    I love how you placed us in a foreign world while keeping it familiar enough to follow the story line! Fun writing! Well done

  • Sneha Pradhan2 years ago

    This is great. Super creative world building!

  • Very descriptive introduction to the world you're creating. This is the kind of first chapter that would hook someone.

  • Morgana Miller2 years ago

    What a fantastic first chapter, I can tell there is so much behind this world and these characters yo built here. Fantastic writing, too! I really enjoyed it.

  • Whoaaa I need to know what happens next. Please tell me you're writing part 2 🥺 Your story was so captivating and I loved it!

  • Dana Stewart2 years ago

    Great first chapter! Cliffhanger rocked!

  • Lena Folkert2 years ago

    Well, frick, girl. Now, I know I can't win for sure, bc this is too good. Damn. lol Seriously, this is good. I'd read the whole book. Hell, the whole series. Now go write it!!! :D

  • Tony Galbier2 years ago

    Yep, I'll take a chapter 2 to go please. Great world building and narrative hopping! I love what you've created here!

  • Kat Thorne2 years ago

    Great story!

  • Michele Jones2 years ago

    Killer first chapter. Suspense and flow work well together. Awaiting chapter two.

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