The Adventures of Trina: The Awakening: Part Three
"What brings you here?” it asked her with a deep, intimidating voice.
“I got lost in the forest,” she answered, body still, fighting to remain calm. “I’m…gonna go now…”
“Why do you feel you have to lie in my face?” the Kau said nefariously, circling around Trina with a pair of pale, red eyes. “Is that practice for you to continue lying to own your friends and family, and even yourself?”
“I can see everything you experienced, your past and feelings. I know where you have been, and what you are trying to do next. By just taking one look at you, I know all of your strengths and weaknesses. Secrets and lies no longer exist as long as I can see you, and if were you, I would never consider trying to escape, simply because I will know as soon as you will. I am known as Teruku, the mind reader…”
Trina froze and felt her heart collapse. The fact that he was reading, and watching, her thoughts and emotions was painful, too painful to think about.
“What a waste of yourself, moping on about your past as if it was a pain to live through,” Teruku ridiculed, looking directly at Trina. “You don’t even know what real pain is …”
“Don’t tell me what I don’t know…”
“Ha! You amuse me, Wocky—borrowing those words from the person you betrayed. I’ve seen more terrible pasts than you can ever imagine. You should have believed that you were lucky…to be a failure.”
“Listen here! I’m many things that people say and believe I am, but a failure is not one of them!”
“It is deep down, but you know it is certain. You are a failure. You have failed to be accepted by others, failed to protect your friends and family, and failed to keep just a simple book out of reach. A failure will always be a failure at heart, as we cannot change who we are at fullest or who we were. We cannot change our paths—our destinies—as they are set by the very first moment of our lives. If your father saw you right now—”
Teruku now circled around Trina even faster. “You may think I am, but I’ve seen the pasts of many, many like you before, with all the same end. Believe what you want; none of this will matter since I have pledged to not let you escape.”
“I will get out of here,” the young Wocky growled shakily through her sobbing, “because…I’m a hero…”
Maniacal laugher echoed the room. “You? A hero? Oh please, a hero sandwich is more of a hero than you are! The plan that those fools were going to proceed with in that desert was never going to work! It was you who risked the staff’s dangerous power, all in the name of greed! And don’t forget, you failed to keep it out of their hands…”
Tears dripped down her flushed cheeks and gathered on the floor. Who was she? She pulled out her wand and held it straight out with her twitching arm. The ghastly Kau laughed scornfully. She waved the wand, but only a few sparks flew. She tried again, but got the same result.
“I really didn’t see that coming,” said Teruku sarcastically. “You are truly pathetic.”
Not playing notice to her tears, she started to wave the wand again. This time, the sparks were so little; they probably couldn’t be seen by the smallest petpetpet. After a quick epiphany, it all made sense…
“It’s going to take more…much more than that to bring me down!”
“Everything has a destiny,” the Kau said spitefully, leaning closer to the Wocky’s pale face.
“Like a bead on a bracelet, the beads serve their purpose once they’re placed on the string. Eventually, some beads end up rejected or lost, and never make it to the bracelet. Those are the failures. No matter how hard you tried, you have been unable to escape your fate.”
With overwhelming agility, Teruku spun around and pushed his arms outward. His palms became a light blue as he closed his eyes. A second later, stings of transparent blue shot across the room.
In an attempt to lunge under the light, Trina tripped over her feet and landed on her side. While on the cold moldy floor, Teruku created many more strings, each more aggressive than the last. One by one the blue strings whizzed by, some skidding only inches from her nose. The Kau only gained more energy, and it was evident that it was increasing each minute. Although she had many thoughts on her mind as panic filled her veins, two were clear. She needed to escape, and she needed self-esteem…fast.
“I WILL WIN!”
With that, the budging eyes of Teruku now burned a bright red, and a short, chilling scream escaped Trina’s mouth.
Teruku now stared directly at Trina as if he was looking into the restless fears of her soul. His flat, yellow teeth glimmered proudly.
“Ah, I scare you beyond anything you have ever experienced, I see. You crave nothing more than to have never thought of coming to this island of bitter woe, ruled by the darkness where we have loathed the light for generations and will for the many to come!”
Blocking out his truthful words, she fished out some good memories, and random ones flashed before her. She had helped her neoschool teachers sort files when they were unable; she helped her friends when they needed a hand. She had even brought joy to them in their most troubled days…
“And yet, little Wocky,” the ghost added, “has anyone ever taken notice into anything you’ve done?”
Now, Teruku returned to attacking. By performing a series of quick hoof motions, blue energy shot across the room in every direction. He broke out in laughter when he watched the powerful spheres fill the area until nothing else could be seen. Seconds later, once the magical haze disappeared, his fit of laughter broke.
Two camouflage-colored ears poked out from a hole in the ground.
“You’ve lost!” announced Trina jubilantly, but her smile quickly vanished from her face when she saw Teruku’s evil grin extend across his face more than ever.
“It is you that has lost.”
Teruku twiddled his hooves, sending a blue-green sphere Trina’s way. It traveled so fast, Trina only had a few moments to respond. Quickly, a shield of blue light appeared for defense. When the sphere met the shield, Trina was blown backwards to the wall, forcing another hole to be punctured in the floor. Hopefully, she was now out of Teruku’s sight.
From under the floorboards, more shields emerged from the air to protect her from more attacks. At the same time, she also launched a string of small disks and tried to position herself above the hole to get a better firing range. With every step, she breathed harder and twitched wildly. The fur on her back froze up in place. He was obviously too strong, and would know every move before she had the chance to display it. She was becoming too fatigued to continue, so she hoped the battle’s outcome would be in her favor. It had to be.
She shut her eyes and took a quick glance at the past. A picture of her early summer vacation appeared into her mind; the peaceful landscapes, the soothing breeze, her friends and everything else that made her to feel blissful. No one could ever take away the greatness of the moments she had felt, no one ever will…
When her eyes refocused, she found herself in shock. A whirlwind of blue light hovered in her arms to her control. It was about the size of a tree of many, many years of age. She moved her arms in the direction of the Kau and watched the light soar.
It was only until the last moment until she noticed it.
From the corner of her left eye, for a brief second, she saw him summon another sphere, about the size of hers, and it glided in her path. Jumping backward, she watched in dismay as the spinning spheres collided. Suddenly, the surroundings around her blurred, looking as if she was trying to peer through foggy window, until two figures were faintly visible in the heart of the room. A slow, rhythmic breathing was the only sound, and there were no magical spheres of any kind to be seen; just a candle, lighting the orange silhouettes belonging to the beings.
“Where am I?” she panted. Instantly, she threw her hands at her mouth, but luckily whoever was in the room with her remained still.
“Master, you’re hurt. Let me assist you!” a voice said. It leaned closer to the candle in the other figure’s hand, revealing the ethereal skin of Teruku.
“No!” the other shouted. She knew that voice…yes, it definitely was familiar, but different somehow…less fierce. Of course! It was none other than Mevolin!
“That will not be necessary,” the younger form of the Draik continued, “for I…I am not strong enough. I need…more power…more hatred.”
“No, I won’t let you go back out there!” Teruku yelled. “This is no way to gain power! Master, have you been feeling alright recently? Perhaps you should take a rest! Let your crewmates come to your aid!”
“NO!” Mevolin growled. “My crew…are nothing but pawns! It must remain this way!”
“But Master Mevolin, that is foolish!”
“Don’t you dare say that to me again!"
“I will say whatever I feel! I’ve seen many memories—thousands of them—and through them I’ve been able to attain much of the islands’ history. The route you’re taking has only led to failure. You will need them for their support, not just their knowledge.”
“I am no failure!” the Draik shouted. “I will succeed where the past generations have not. I will go places where King Aruagmere only managed to touch the surface!”
“And what proof do you have of that?” Teruku asked, looking doubtful.
“It shall all reveal itself, starting with you.”
“With that power I gave to you.”
“I have no use for these memories,” Teruku said sadly. “I am a ghost. Regret and woe are rampant, all because of them.”
“Then hate them.”
“Why would I do such a thing?”
“Why? Because that’s where the true power lies: the darkness!”
“You are a fool, Master Mevolin.”
With the last of Teruku’s words, a roar echoed the room, and the flame from the candle vanished, leaving Trina and her enemies in darkness, a darkness which crept into Trina’s consciousness, consuming her thoughts until nothing but a sleepy blackness remained. In total silence, the Wocky collapsed to the floor. * * * * *
“It is time.”
She tried to speak, but her words remained in silence.
“You know what the future holds,” the voice said. “You must if you want avoid its fate.”
“We need your help,” another voice pleaded.
“Please do what we told you,” the other previous voice whispered hoarsely. “Or it will lead to your downfall…”* * * * *
Aches and sores forced Trina to ignore her confusion. Slowly lifting herself from the cold floorboards, she looked around frantically. The room was empty just like it was when she first entered. She had no clue how long ago that was, but her head throbbed too much to care. At the pace of a tired Slorg, she staggered through the doorway. Was that just a dream? Trina thought desperately. Unfortunately, when she stepped through the doorway, no amount of hope could ever make it “just a dream.”
Through the pouring rain, she caught a glimpse of a hundred or so cloaked pirates that were scattered outside of the cabin. Many were heavily armed with sharp, shiny weapons, in addition to being very muscular. There were much too many of them to try to fight, and no clear path of escape. Trina’s heart burned with rage. For the second time, Evrilin had betrayed her! She had opened her heart and believed his every word, became his friend, and he went and betrayed her! He had planned it from the start, and she had let her kind nature blind her from the truth. That fiend, Trina vowed silently, he’ll pay for this!
A group of rowdy pirates immediately gathered near Trina when she entered the scene.
“There she is!” called a raspy voice.
A pirate Xweetok rushed by Trina and ripped away her wand before she could even think about using it. Another pirate, a Skeith, seized her by the arms and restrained her. At first, she struggled to break free from his grasps, but it was hopeless.
“Give that back!” Trina spat at the Xweetok, ignoring the rain that was pounding against her stern visage.
“And I should why?”
Evrilin stepped out from the crowd until he was standing face-to-face with Trina. All of the familiar features that she had been used to seeing—his gentle, sarcastic smile, his calm maroon eyes—were absent from his face.
“You…” Trina growled with her teeth unshielded, “YOU MONSTER!”
How could he—such a sincere soul—possibly be capable of betrayal? He was an ally. Why would he betray her? It couldn’t be, not like this, not him…
“Lying is what I do best, and that’s the truth,” he spat with a grin before facing a nearby pirate. “Don’t let her out of your sight! The Captain had a change of plans. We need to take them to headquarters, see what else they might know.”
Cassie screamed when she caught the voice of her friend. “Trina!”
“Where are my friends?” the Wocky asked, frightened.
Right then, the pirates gathered into a few rows, revealing a clear view of her friends. They were in the center of a circle of pirates. None of them had possession of their wands or backpacks.
“Cassie! Linny! Pat!” Trina called. The pirate Skeith then shoved her into the tight circle with them.
“What happened?” Trina and Cassie asked each other the same question at the same time.
Cassie let out a tear. “When we ran from that house, we were ambushed! They took our wands and our stuff! We didn’t have time to fight back…”
“I-I’m sorry! I would’ve came to help, but when I was in that house, a ghost came in the room and—”
Just then, a pirate Bori interrupted her sobs with his loud, booming voice. “Let’s move out! No time to waste!”
Trina shivered as the pirates ordered her to stand up and walk. Would they have enough time to stop them from unleashing the terrible evil Queen Vioe had told them about? Or would the pirates keep them locked up somewhere, perhaps forever? Whatever what was to come, it was all because of her, and she couldn’t shake off that terrible fact.
“How do you think we’ll get out of this, Cassie?” Trina asked the green Usul sitting beside her.
“I don’t know, but I know we will—we always do,” Cassie mumbled. “You’ll think of something, don’t worry.”
“Yeah, you’re right. My plans usually get us out of messes,” she half-giggled. “But it’s me who gets us into them.”
“We all make mistakes,” Cassie sighed. “Although only a few us admit that we do.”
“Thanks,” Trina mumbled, feeling hope build up inside of her, like a flower blossoming for the second time. Perhaps, they still had a chance. “Besides, they’re probably headed right where we need to be: Bleaklist Cove.” * * * * *
“A very important message has arrived!” shouted a pirate Lupe, waving a piece of parchment in the air. “It’s about the scrolls!”
Evrilin forced himself a path to the front of the line. “Hand it over, now!”
Trina tried to eavesdrop to learn what the commotion was about, but her tiny ears couldn’t pick up the slightest word. Small conversations burst out everywhere around her; not one pirate stayed quiet. Keeping her eyes foreword, she shook her wrist and hoped her bracelet would work its magic. Just like before, her bracelet transformed into a weapon, and she was able to break free. Quickly, she helped her friends escape.
“Let’s go,” Trina signaled.
In synchronization, the four friends dashed into the busy scene. Trina tripped a pirate Chia carrying a large sack, its contents spilling all across the mud. They snatched their belongings as quick of as a pack of hungry Lupes, and pushed onward, thankfully blending in the crowd. Trina was seconds away from fleeing the area until something halted her suddenly.
“Freeze!” Pat shouted as she readied her weapon.
“Pat move!” Trina screamed, and listened to pirates scurrying behind her. “They’re coming!”
“You’ve gone far enough,” the Shoyru said darkly. Pat clutched her green wand tighter in her paws. Her face became emotionless.
The increasing sound of thumping steps behind her told her that she could not wait for an answer. She swung her wand viciously and ran without looking back.
“Stop her!” she heard Pat order. Suddenly, Pat’s wand lit up, and a torrent of magical green orbs whizzed by Trina, missing her by inches.
Trina was overcome with shock. At first she believed Pat was trying to fire at a pirate behind her, but no one else was nearby. “Pat, what’re you doing?”
Again, Pat sent her magic in her direction, and this time her target was clear: her.
“WHAT’RE YOU DOING?” she repeated as she struggled to remain on her feet. She didn’t know whether to get angry, stop herself from crying, or calm down and reason with her. One thing was for sure: she couldn’t fight back, not against Pat, one of her best friends. So she did the only thing she knew, the one thing she always knew how to do: she ran.
Had the world just turned upside down? Was it now spinning the wrong way? How could her friend—her friend for many years—suddenly take their side? Had she been working with them all along, ever since they met? Whatever had become of her friend, the truth was hard to swallow. Eventually, the sounds of dry leaves and dirt being kicked around ahead faded, but she continued to sprint foreword, running from a world that always pressed at her heels… * * * * *
Cassie was helplessly roaming the forest. The rain did not stop pounding down on her and there were no signs of it lightening up any time soon. Squeezing water from her floppy ears, she blamed herself for her mistake. How could she have gotten lost from following Linny? And where had Trina gone? Pat?
Pat…that brought sickness to her stomach. She was her best friend, but somehow the whole story continued to elude her; the puzzle pieces failed to connect. The fact remained that the Shoyru hadn’t mentioned anything to her about the incident at the Pizzaroo, especially about the dessert. Often, they would share secrets, exchange them between whispers, folded messages during a boring class lecture. But this time, Pat had kept quiet, and wasn’t like Pat to be so withdrawn, reserved. She acknowledged that she and Pat had very different tastes in foods, but she knew she was not wrong about that pizza and that sundae. Something, or someone, had tainted it, tampered with it. Yet Pat, who always expressed her opinion on the quality of foods, who always praised Linny’s cooking, said nothing while she gorged through every scoop of the putrid, frozen dessert.
What had really happened that day?
Finally, she had found something. Some footprints led her to a group of flattened rocks and boulders in a small clearing. The way the rocks were positioned, it was the prefect shelter from the rain. She lifted her leg to move, and then suddenly she found herself sliding down a steep ledge. Mud splattered all over her fur. She tumbled over once and then landed safely in a hole under a messy stack of flat rocks.
Shaking the water off her pelt, she found herself in a deep cave. At the point where she knew the end of the cave was in front, she pulled out her matches. Fortunately, they were dry enough to light the candle.
Scattered on a decayed desk were bunches and cluttered stacks of old parchment. Some scrolls were under the desk as well. They were written in a language she did not recognize, which meant they might be very special. She stuffed as many of the documents she could fit inside her backpack, which ended up being almost all of them, and then left the cave. In the rain, she set off to find her friends before nightfall…* * * * *
In the dark, Linny wandered into a cave. It was not long before she ran into something. Feeling the ground in front her, she felt a small box. Touching its tiny carved designs, she looked for an opening in the top. By accident, she turned it upside down and whatever it was inside poured on her green toes. She combed her hair back again as she picked up things off the ground. By touching it, she could tell that was flat—possibly paper, but too thin to be cloth—and very delicate. Luckily, she had extra space in her backpack to carry them in so she could find out what they were later. After all, she and her friends were in a very desperate situation; if they contained something important, it was necessary for her to take them.
Once out of the cave, she took a peek inside her backpack.
They were definitely important, she concluded. * * * * *
“Trina, come back…” the purple Shoyru mumbled. Pat kneeled to the ground with her paws clutching her head. “I didn’t mean…”
“Yes, you did.”
“What?” Pat asked and looked around frenetically for a pirate nearby, but there were only the skinny trees and dead, leafless shrubs.
“She only bosses you around for her sake,” the same, sly-sounding voice said.
Once again she saw no one other than herself.
“Liar!” she shouted.
“She’s using you. Has she ever thought about something before putting your life in danger? Has she ever asked you what you thought first? You’re nothing but a pawn in a pool of another’s destiny.”
A tear slid down her dusty cheeks, leaving a clean line leading to her chin. She sought to believe differently, using all the strength she had, but somewhere deep down in the depths of her hidden thoughts, the truth cut through.
“You do not want to end up like them,” said the voice, which became more sinister by the last word of the sentence.
Pat started wiping tears away. She could not run from the voice no matter what. She wanted to fight it back, but not a plan responded.
“Do not regret. Regret is the enemy. Do not regret. Regret is your enemy. THEY are your enemy.”
The voice chanted each word louder than the one before, until every current image and all knowledge she was trying to collect was obscured, blocked and forgotten.
“They are my enemy.” Pat scooped her green wand from the mud. Not one emotion was illustrated in her face.* * * * *
Trina caught a glimpse of a moving shadow in the distance. It was moving too wild to be a tree being shaken by the wind, so she inched closer to it cautiously.
“Trina!” the Usul cheered before giving her a friendly hug.
“Cassie, where have you been? You look like you’ve been swimming in the Meridell Rubbish Dump!” Cassie was almost fully encased with mud from the tips of her bushy ears to her feet. If Cassie hadn’t called her name first, she might have mistaken her for some kind of mud monster.
Cassie smiled, revealing her teeth, which were surprisingly still clean. “As you can see, I slipped in the mud, but I found some stuff that may help us, so I guess it wasn’t all bad!”
A green Chia dashed forward with signs of great relief on her face. “Cassie and Trina, I’ve been looking for an hour for you!”
“Linny, you found us!” said Cassie with joy, then after she spoke under her breath. “I didn’t think you could.”
Linny looked behind her, but did not see the purple Shoyru anywhere. “Where’s Pat?”
The Chia’s question caused Trina’s broken heart to sink deeper, along with it the calmness in her eyes. In just a few hours, two of her friends had betrayed her in her time of need.
“Pat…betrayed us,” Trina said miserably.
“W-WHAT?” Linny snapped. “That’s IMPOSSIBLE! There’s just—”
“Right now, how or why doesn’t matter! All I can tell you is that she betrayed us! We’ve lost too much time already, so let’s go find this Bleaklist Cove! It shouldn’t be too far from here!”
The perplexed duo exchanged nods and followed Trina. They were tired, hungry, soaked, and sick of traveling. Not knowing where they were did not aid their search, so they just rambled on until they agreed they had to do something else instead. Cassie suggested Trina to use her idea of following footsteps of the ones ahead of them. She wasted no time accepting her idea; a large group of footsteps shouldn’t be hard to miss, even in the rain.
“Hey,” Linny called out, “Footsteps over here!”
Trina took a quick pause, sighed, and continued her quest to find the Ancient Book of Code.
To be continued…