Mika seemed in thought while we walked on the way to… her room did she say? So I didn’t bother with questions or conversation. Instead, I walked quietly and looked around at my surroundings. Large trees. Fit people. Same outfits. It was odd to me, like this was someone’s contorted idea of perfection? The entire premise seemed somewhat contrived. It felt a bit like someone’s amateur novel.
Next thing I knew, Mika had stopped, and grabbed my arms, guiding me to stand in a certain spot, making minute adjustments to how I was standing, watching, in particular, my feet, and how they were positioned. She then tightened her grip on my arms, and looked directly into my eyes. “Listen. You need to follow these directions. Think of yourself as stiff as one of these trees. Hold as still as possible, and keep yourself flat. Do not look down. Do not put your arms or feet out.”
I was a bit confused, but replied none the less. “Okay…?”
“Good.” She put her hands together like she was praying or clapping, closed her eyes and furrowed her brow in concentration.
… And we stood there like that for a good minute.
I could see her ears getting red.
I smiled a bit, probably shouldn’t say anything about this later.
After another minute, a blue glow came from under her vest where she had runes inscribed in her skin. She opened her eyes, and drew her hands apart. It was very quick, but a blue string of light appeared between them at the center of her palms. That was all I was given the opportunity to see.
I was launched.
The forces against my sudden acceleration were extreme. I felt like passing out, and suddenly, the acceleration stopped. I was weightless, and for some reason, I looked down. I’m a terrible listener. I instantly regret it. Another blast presses my body backwards as my altitude plateaus. I was not prepared for it, and bent forward against the movement, resulting in a rolling pinwheel like motion, and being upside down with my head and feet absorbing the majority of the impact when I collided with the side of the tree we were originally standing near.
Then I slid like a cartoon to a small platform. The platform just outside a doorway, with steps up and down on either side. As I was laying there on the ground, collecting myself, Mika floated up next to the platform, reached out, and grabbed the railing, deftly rotating herself over it. She had the practiced grace of someone who had done such things many times.
“So… What magic was that?” I asked, and started to get up, brushing myself off out of habit.
“Runes. Science. It’s not magic.” Mike stated very matter of factly.
“Yeah… How do you do that again?” I call shenanigans. No way is that some random science.
“You need to have runes on your body to use it. The runes in certain sequences allow you to control certain forces. It’s one of the things you need to learn. Although Voids are notoriously bad at controlling runes.” Mika sighs. She guides me into her abode. “Welcome to my home… at least for a bit longer. So where to start. Runes… They are both the power and the method. If you have too much power, you can hurt yourself, or cause unintended effects. Too much method, and nothing happens because you don’t have enough power.”
That seems simple, yet doesn’t explain how to use them. I’m sure I’m showing a complicated expression right now. Her room was a cookie cutter duplicate to the one I originally awoke in.
“But they are much more than that. They also allow everyone to talk to each other. Not like me and you. Everyone else, they don’t talk with their voices and their mouths. They talk with their heads. They always know what each other are thinking. As long as there is another person near enough, they are a part of a single chain, a single entity.”
“That sounds… Disturbing… and invasive.” I had very complicated feelings about what I was hearing.
“Why? Everyone here is happy. They all love each other. Over time, they all become more powerful as they grown the runes on their body. They have everything they could ever want. The trees provide food and shelter and clothing. If you could give up some privacy, and gain eternal happiness, why wouldn’t you?”
“I… guess…” I still was not sure. “So does that mean you can hear them… since you have runes?”
“Well, sometimes.” Mika smiled self deprecatingly. “It takes a lot of concentration. What it means to be a Void is that you are naturally devoid of that, instead of naturally possessing it.”
“Ah, that makes sense.” My fears somewhat lessened, I had other questions now. “So… how do I get some runes? And how would I make them work?”
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! 2 chapters a week, woohoo!
Oh! Almost forgot! (editing the post) I’m looking for someone to artist a banner for my story. It’s a bit in the future, (but already written) – but I want someone to draw me a banner with a Dryad on it. I can paypal $30-$50 USD commission (more if you can prove its worth it…) if someone is interested. Hit me up on discord for details (and maybe a sneak peak of the chapter this character arrives in). Please don’t come with a finished product, I want input. Also, please have samples to show of other works you’ve done.