The Dragons of Keanna - Book II
by Jandar Tyr
Lost in Another Place
Panic filled his mind as Ozmun ran through the forest. He could hear the howls of the tracker beast on his scent chasing after him. From the sound of the howls he knew they were close and he didn't have much time before they caught him. If only he could get the collar off, then he could change and get away. But it was locked on him tight. Where should he go? Where could he hide from the high ones. They controlled everything and everyone. There was no where he could go where they wouldn't recognize him in the collar. Ozmun was 5' 7" dressed in a cloak and rags from working in the mines. He was broad shouldered and he had a lithely matted chest. His head was bald and his face had a ragged beard he tried to keep short. But shaving wasn't easy as a slave. All blades were not allowed. It was death for any slave caught with one.
Hearing the sounds of his pursuers snapped him back to reality. He had to find some way to lose the trackers on him. Pushing through the dense bush, Ozmun was surprised when he fell off a ridge and landed in a ravine in a stream. Rising up on his knees he wiped the water from his face and looked around. Under the ridge he saw a cave and he smelled something foul. He got to his feet and walked closer to investigate. He was right. The smell was coming from in there. There must be something dead in their rotting. Ozmun stepped in, holding his nose to try and keep the overwhelming smell out. He thought the smell might cover his scent and throw off the trackers after him. He moved a little way in, far enough that he wouldn't be seen but close enough that he could watch the entrance.
The sounds of his pursuers grew closer as he waited quietly. Ozmun looked for some kind of weapon to fight with. He found a long thin stalactite hanging from the ceiling. He reached up and grabbed it by the base and pulled until it broke loose. He weighed it in his hand and swung it around. It would do as a weapon.
He could hear them outside of the cave searching for him. He stepped back a little more and readied himself for a fight. Even though he knew he didn't have much of a chance against them. Sweat ran down his face as he waited to see what they would do. If only he could get this damned collar off. Then he could change his form and become something that could fight them off. Quietly he listened to what was going on outside of the cave. With hope, they might move off and he would have his chance to run.
Outside the cave mounted on their huge tracker beast, two Overseers climbed down and searched the grounds looking for their quarry. They were dressed in loose fitting trousers and boots. A heavy jacket with a hood that covered their faces. The huge saurian tracker beast had gotten them to the ravine, but there the tracks and scent disappeared. They found no footsteps showing which way he went. All they knew was that he had been there.
"Which way do we go?" The taller one asked looking around. He sniffed the air and all he could scent was the smell of death. The shorter one looked toward the cave. He walked to the entrance and screwed up his face and pulled back coughing.
"Ugh!!!!" He ran back from the cave. "Nas. He cannot be in there! Nothing could survive in there! That stench would destroy our sense of smell and the trackers would be useless for days or worse."
"I think we should check it. Kru" His partner said. "We are charged with returning the escaped beast to Daru. If we fail, we will end up taking its place in the mine."
"Then you go in." Kru pulled down his face covering revealing his reptilian nature. "But I warn you. What is in that cave could carry the Laris disease. And you know what that means."
"Losing our minds and death." Nas said as he stepped back away from the cave and thought about the disease.
"We tell Lord Daru it is dead. We say it was trampled by our tracker beast and killed as it ran from us."
"We can find another human." Kru said. "Trample it and no one will know the difference. They're just animals anyway for us to feed on."
"So we abandon this hunt?" Nas asked.
"If you want to go in there." He said. "I will wait out here. But I am not letting you anywhere near me once you come out. And I will tell everyone where you have been and what was probably in there with you."
"Then we will never talk of this again." Nas looked at Kru. "Our failure. Pledge to me now with blood. It is dead, we saw it die."
"I swear." Kru told him. "I saw it die under the feet of this very tracker beast."
Nas reached to his side and pulled out a wicked blade with a razor sharp edge. He ran the blade across his hand and watch the green liquid flow free. He looked over to Kru and gave him the blade. Kru took it and slashed his hand and held it out. Nas grabbed his bloody hand and their oath was sealed as their hand began to glow.
"If either of us breaks this vow." Nas growled. "Death will follow on swift wings."
Without looking back at the cave, or another thought about the human. Nas and Kru climbed back on their tracker and rode off.
As they left, Ozmun stumbled out of the cave gasping for air. He crawled across the stream and lay on his back taking in huge gulps of air. They had abandoned the search for. But that didn't really mean much. If he gets spotted by any other Savonti, he'll be right back in the pens or on a plate for Daru or some other lords dinner. He sat there with his head in his hands wondering what to do next. There had to be a way to end the slavery of the people of Pentanthin. He couldn't be the only one that wanted to be free and rid of the people that enslaved them. All these years of being victims of the reptilian race that made food of them. Ozmun got to his feet and made a decision. He was done running and being afraid of them. He would fight them even if it meant he would end up dead. He would free Pentanthin from bondage no matter what it cost. And the first thing he had to do, was get this damn collar off.
Ono opened his eyes to bright sunlight shining in his face. He raised his hands to cover his eyes and sat up. His head was pounding with a headache and the bright suns in the sky blinding him didn't help. Then it hit him. Suns? Did he just think there was more than one sun in the sky?
He uncovered his eyes and looked up. He did see two suns blazing in the sky. Where the hell was he? Then he remembered Shayn. He jumped to his feet and screamed his name
He looked around panic beginning to settle in. Where was he? He had to find him.
"I'm here." He heard off to the left of him. Quickly he turned in the direction and saw him lying under a stand of trees. Ono ran to his side and knelt and hugged him with tears filling his eyes.
"I thought I had lost you for a second." He held him tight against him.
"You can't lose me." Shayn kissed his cheek. "You're stuck with me for the rest of our lives."
"Thank Rimnar for that." Ono helped his mate to his feet. As Shayn brushed himself off he looked around. They were in a dense forest that looked totally unfamiliar to him. Then he looked up and saw the suns and his mouth dropped open in shock.
"Ono." He said. "Where are we?"
"I don't know." Ono told him. "But we're not on Keanna that's for sure."
"Then where are we?"
"I don't know!" Ono said. "But don't worry. We'll find a way home. Or they'll come find us. We just have to keep our wits together."
"How do you feel?" Shayn asked him as he turned him around to inspect him. he found many cuts and scratches.
"I've got one terrible headache." Ono said smiling.
"Let me fix that." Shayn reached over and placed his hand on his forehead and sent his healing powers into him. Seconds later the headache was gone and all the cuts and scratches were healed.
"Better?" He asked.
"Much." Ono reached for him and kissed him.
"What now?" The blond boy asked.
"We look around I guess." Ono shrugged. "There has to be somebody here."
Shayn and Ono traveled far on their first day on Pentanthin. They saw many strange animals that they never saw before. The most amazing thing was the twin suns burning in the sky. That told them they were not on Keanna. They saw beautiful birds and what they guessed were deer but had three horns or more. They saw incredibly large reptiles, so big they could ride them. First they thought maybe these were dragons, but they couldn't communicate with them, and they ate from trees and grasses. No dragon would eat that ever. First it was one. Then many more joined it until there was a herd. That's when they were sure they were animals. As they watched from a distance a large savage long toothed reptile came in and attacked them. The herd took to their hooves and ran. Unfortunately for one of them, it was too slow and taken down by the predator. Shayn and Ono turned away as the beast was ripped apart and devoured.
"What kind of world is this?" Shayn asked sickened.
"It's the same on our world." Ono told him. "It's the law of nature. Eat or be eaten. We have to be careful here. Let's keep moving."
On they walked into the forest. It took hours but soon they came to fenced in land. Fences meant intelligent life. That sight give them hope
"Finally." Shayn said. "People. Look!"
Ono turned and saw people working in the fields. He smiled at his mate in relief. They were hungry and maybe these people would show charity and feed them.
"Come on." Shayn said. "Let's go talk to them."
After climbing the fence, they found themselves walking through high red grass. Grass almost over their heads. Tired from walking all day they headed for the men and women working the field. Suddenly Shayn stopped. Ono turned to him and saw the look of danger on his face that he'd learned to trust.
"Shayn?" He when back to him. "What's wrong?"
"I don't know." The blond boy said. "I think we should watch them. Something's not right here. I feel more fear from them then I should from people just working their fields. And hunger?"
"Get down!!" Ono pushed Shayn down as a beast came in towards the field worker with a rider on its back. Ono peeked his head up and looked closer at the mounted man. The beast was another of the reptiles, but different. Sleek with only two legs and short forearm with sharp looking claws. Behind them they had a long tail for balance. It looked like a runner beast from home only bigger, much bigger. Bigger than any horse either of them had ever seen. Ono looked closer at its rider. He stopped and rubbed his eyes. What he saw couldn't be real. The rider was green skinned and it looked like he was a reptile too. He rode in on the workers with a whip in hand calling out orders. A man held up his basket of what they were harvesting only to feel the crack of the rider's whip in his face. He dropped down to the ground bleeding as the beast trampled him.
"You will all work harder or suffer the same punishment." They heard the rider yell at them. "Get back to work!!"
"Look!" Shayn pointed to something in the distance. Ono turned to look and saw caged wagons rolling in with people in them. Humans. They watched as the wagon stopped and a man was taken out screaming. He was dragged over to a fire pit by the slavers and tied down.
"They're going to torture him!" Ono started to get up to run and stop them. Shayn grabbed him and pulled him back.
"There's too many." He said. "You can't help him."
"As a dragon you can." Ono told him.
"No love." Shayn pleaded with him. "Stay with me!"
Ono settled back down to watch what would happen. Tied to the table the man screamed and begged for his life. They couldn't hear what the reptilian man said. But they saw one of them raise a sword and stab down into the man killing him. They heard laughter as they began to butcher him and place his limbs on the fire to cook.
"I've seen enough." Ono pulled Shayn from their hiding place. "Let's go."
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