Chapter 22 - Give it a Rest

The Chief Kaland shook their head. “You don’t understand. Thornals can’t be reasoned with. Now, guards!” The Chief hollered toward the entrance of the tunnel hut. “Come on in, the beast is tangled up in our trap! Let’s take care of what our village, Molan, has been trying to do for far too long!”


“Wait, don’t you think we could do something else. No one has to die!” Sarby said.


“Don’t worry, Elnoa. You have a safe place here with us now forever. You have earned our trust. Anything you desire is yours.”


A group of Kalands marched in through the corridor, all helping transport a long device that spanned six Kalands. The Chief walked over to the line of Kalands and placed a hand on the device, and with a flash electricity sparked out of the front end.


Sarby looked at Thatch, who nodded subtly. “This wasn’t in the agreement at all.” Sarby said, his eyes fierce. “I will not allow you to harm this Higher—this Zinnal!”


Through a whispered voice, Thatch breathed, “Trust me. It’ll work out.”


“You ‘won’t allow'”? The Chief laughed. “Perhaps I thought wrong about you, but it’s a good thing we came prepared as well. Second team, release it.”


Another group of Kalands rushed in from the shadows spraying a small whiff of toxic gas at Sarby and Thatch that immediately put Sarby to the ground. The glow flowing through his body dimmed until he rested in darkness.

Thatch rose and twisted his limbs back into place. His vines whipped out, cutting the rope that wrapped around him. “You lot shouldn’t have done that.” Thundering on his four legs, he dashed around the room in darkness. The only light now came from the device the small Zinnals carried. “Thought you guys would know that poison doesn’t affect me, though I will give you props for trying many new things this time. See we aren’t that different after all. We both are even immune to similar poisons. Though we both know you aren’t immune to what will come later.”


The Chief’s voice sounded frantic. “That damn Elnoa! It was a trick from the start! He didn’t properly fasten the trap! Call for the back up squads!” Kalands rushed out of the hut, shouting random words. And with only a few seconds of Thatch conjuring a plan, the room filled with four times as many Kalands.


Groups of Kalands clamored about, waving lightning sticks as they shot electricity. Thatch rushed over to Sarby, but bolts of lightning zapped toward him. He ducked and weaved about, stopping himself on the opposite side of the room. At least Sarby was safe for now, they wouldn’t zap him while he was unconscious.


“There’s no way out, Thornal! Even at the entrance there are more of us wielding our mighty lightning rods!” The Chief cackled from the corner of the room, protected by the device. “You didn’t think we expected to completely trust an Awakened Elnoa, right? Hell, even a normal Elnoa has no right to be trusted, the way the whole species bypasses nature is a disgrace to all Zinnals. They’re as bad as the humans, and you Thornals.”


Thatch watched as more and more balls of light zapped around the room until it turned into a picturesque vision of night sky, blazing with stars. Perhaps he underestimated these creatures. He’d never think they had the capability to take him on. Until now, their attempts of assault had been the same as blades of grass tickling his skin. The last attempt on his life had been four months ago. Where did these devices come from? Humans? They seemed to amass quite a lot in such a short period, yet they should still be wary on how this would end. All the Kalands knew a Thornal’s trick to winning.


“What about you guys? You think carrying around those lightning rods the humans left behind is natural?” Thatch laughed. “Come on, what’s the difference? We all do what we can to survive, including murdering others.” Thatch knew this was not the way to go about things, and he knew this was not how he really felt about life. He truly regretted what his ancestors had done, but he feared for his life at this moment. The only thing that would allow him time to prepare his mist was to stir the fury in their hearts and keep their actions based on reaction. If they had no brain power left to devise a plan, he could find a hole in their movements and build up his finishing blow.


The Chief took hold of one of the lightning rods and swung it forward with one of the groups. “Only speak of such things if you are ready to die.”


“I’ve been waiting. You’ve got around twenty-five of your kind in here and I’m not even wounded yet. You really think you are one to give threats.” Thatch swiped his tail around, the thorns on his back moving back and forth as he chuckled.


The chief erupted with anger, stomping around the room as a silhouette behind the flashes of lightning flowing from wall to wall. After shouting code words, the Kalands moved into formations. Thatch stepped up to the front line, towering above the rows of Kalands.


“This is your last warning Kalands, step aside. I will take the Elnoa out of here.”


“Like we’d let you take what is ours! We took the Elnoa out, we keep him!”


Thatch breathed a warm breath, and as it left his mouth it turned into a mist. Flowers budded on his back, also releasing potent air. He blew a second breath, spreading the haze around the room. “It looks like everything is going to end the same as always. You’d think you lot would learn by now, instead of weapons you should have invested in finding something to cover your faces. But, if you’re too dense to not even give us a chance at peace after centuries of trying to build rapport, I suppose you will never learn anything. I had nothing to do with killing your ancestors, and we’ve been trying all we can to make up for it. And we always will.”


“Now! Shoot!” The chief commanded.


Blasts shattered against the Thornal’s thick skin, inflicting small welts. Thatch groaned, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. More and more bolts rained upon him, yet he kept spreading the mist until finally one by one the Kalands fell into a deep slumber. The Chief was one of the last ones standing.


Thatch marched up to the wobbling Chief and caught him as he fell to the ground. He laid him gently on the ground. The room went still, and Thatch made his way in the dark to Sarby, sniffing around for his scent. Once found, he picked him up with his vines. He continued emitting his sleeping powder as he trudged outside where red skies rested overhead. Not a single Kaland soldier was in sight. Thatch laughed, though each breath hurt him from the impact of the electricity.


Thatch laid Sarby down on the ground and looked around, noticing small Kalands cowering in fear behind the hills. He sighed.


Sarby’s body had already changed color, especially around his mouth. Thatch placed one of his vines over Sarby’s mouth. A flower bloomed and altered color as it absorbed all the toxins from the Elnoa’s body. Once Sarby’s body turned a healthy complexion, Thatch picked up Sarby and placed him atop his back. It would still be awhile for Sarby to awaken. His body needed to repair itself from what the toxins had already done to him, plus he had been around Thatch’s mist.


Thatch had no idea where to go next. He had been banished from the Thornal village until peace was affirmed. If the Kalands were to continue to grow even stronger with more human weapons, Thatch could have no chance at ever making peace. Perhaps it was time for a new scenery, he could always come back to Molan eventually to attempt his mission if things ever changed for the better.