Novel Excerpt–Really Need to Title This Stuff

June 2, 2016

Did a few more revisions on this piece once I got back from kayaking today.  I might someday learn not to go straight from working out for two hours to the lake to kayak.  Maybe someday.

Anyway, here’s the next segment in that Science Fiction novel I’ve been toying with, the on based off of AWOLnation’s first album.  I realize I had a heavy influence of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels for the parts I’ve posted so far.  It is one of my favorite novels after all.  I suspect I’ll shift to some other influences–Final Fantasy, Starlin’s Adam Warlock/Thanos run in Marvel Comics, various Doctor Who stories, Star Wars, etc.–but this part of the story does have a bit of a setup like Dune.

The man they recovered remained unconscious for a day after they dug him out of the rubble. Their healers looked studied his wounds and deemed him only in need of rest. They improvised a wet suit for him to replace his tattered clothes as the hour grew closer to return to the cities. Curiosity ran abound as they prepared him. He looked to be one of the city dwellers, the Untouched class of humans. How he came to be in the rubble of the Megaliths was the main topic of discussion. He remained covered in a stretcher for the day’s journey, laid out in a tent when they set up camp on the rocks for the night.

When he awakened, the scout called Sif was watching over him in an alcove of the rock structure they camped on. She jumped with a squeak as he sat upright. He jumped a bit in response.

Sorry,” she said. “You surprised me.” She reached over to him, resting a hand on his. “You’re safe here. What’s your name?”

He looked at her in confusion.

You understand me?” she asked. She frowned. Another look of confusion. The healers saw no signs that he had been struck in the head. She got up and went to find one of the healers and get their thoughts.

An old Sand Rat named Ares came in and looked at him. He shined his electrical torch in his eyes in evaluation.

Interesting,” he mused. “His eyes do not indicate his being a simpleton. And no sign of a head injury. Has he responded to attempts at interaction?”

Not really,” Sif answered. “He sat up and remains as you see him now.”

#

Aadila listened as Ares and Sif explained what had transpired. The pair had met with the elders, word having gotten around before Aadila had returned from her scouting of the immediate area.

I get the feeling I made a mistake in bringing him with us,” she admitted. “Have you spoken with the Elders yet?”

They are conferring now,” Sif stated. “I spoke up for you when they asked. You did nothing wrong. We are all taught the same. If the Gods didn’t want us to help him, they would not have put him in our path.”

Maybe I got too caught up in the fervor,” she sighed. She looked out at the desert. “The others–”

She stopped short as the stones shook beneath them. The sand rippled across the desert before them, swirling in vast waves. The look out blew his whistle as the camp began to scramble for cover.

Aadila and Sif crested a nearby outcropping for a better vantage point. In the distance they saw the first one breach the surface. Its outer scales spun rapidly as it burrowed back under the sand, sending a spray of sand into the air. Others rapidly followed as the sand broke into waves.

Sand Dragons!” Sif exclaimed. Her voice had a bit more glee than Aadila liked. No one had seen a Sand Dragon for centuries and it had been considered a blessing. Their return was not something she welcomed. “What is that…”

It took a moment for Aadila to spot what had attracted Sif’s attention. As the Sand Dragons continued to surface and submerge in their circling pods, she could a geyser of sand beginning to emerge. A shadow of a form could be seen in the rain of sand. A serpentine face emerged as the sand fell, blue eyes shining down on them. The ground shook as the creature roared.

It took a moment for them to process the events unfolding before them. Myths and ancient history were waking up before them. Aadila dropped to her knees, seeing no other course of action.

Aadila?” Sif asked. She staggered back a step. “Aadila, what is that?”

Bow down to the Leviathan,” Aadila ordered. The other did as she ordered. The sand sloshed against their rock outpost as the creatures continued to dance before them. “Bow down!”

They watched as the creatures continued their dances, the Leviathan giving another shout. Without warning, the movements stopped. Footsteps sounded softly on the rock in the silence. Looking back, Aadila saw the man they had rescued walking past to the sand. Crossing the distance, he stopped before the Leviathan. The gigantic beast craned its neck down to look within arm’s reach of the man.

It roared at the man, who only stood his ground. When the Leviathan’s mouth closed again, the man reached up and placed his hand upon the creature’s forehead.

A moment passed and the creature withdrew, diving back beneath the sand. The man turned back to the rock island as the Sand Dragons withdrew as well. He stopped upon reentering the camp.

You likely have questions,” he stated. His voice had a smooth, cool tone. “My mind is still healing, but I can answer some of them. Please be patient with me, as I am still learning those answers myself.”

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