Friday, January 17, 2014

Raising Kain: Diseased God Chapter Three

Chapter One
Chapter Two

Raising Kain: Diseased God
Chapter Three

“Apophis, come down here!”
The voice was his mother’s, and she was almost always telling him what to do. Kain, as he preferred to be called, turned six-years-old today. And planned on spending the day lounging on the palace’s third floor, just sucking in the sun’s rays, and having his servants provide everything for him. He hadn’t even planned on moving from the spot he was in right now at all during the day, at least not until his mother called for him.

His mother was Celita Luna, the Aspect of the Moon one of the Four Aspects of Life. She was the third being in existence, and by this time she was so old that Kain could hardly believe she had managed to carry him the entire two year duration of the dragon’s gestation period, plus the six month egg incubation time.

One of his tutors, whom he barely paid any attention at all too, told him that a female dragon’s reproductive system only worked for the first four thousand years of her life, but apparently the tutor had been wrong about this particular fact. Well, concerning his mother anyway. Kain guessed she was special, because of who she was, and she would probably be able to have as many children as she wanted whenever she wanted to.

Her voice came up from the Hatchery; it was the place she spent most of her time. Kain couldn’t understand why, even though Celita told him it was because she worried about his brother. To his knowledge though Kain didn’t have a brother, just a stupid egg that hadn’t hatched yet.


His mother’s voice was more insistent this time, and with a great heaving sigh, Kain got up from the plush armed couch he had been dozing on. He had dragged the chair out from beneath the roof, or the floor of the fourth floor whichever anybody wanted to call it, so it was right out on the balcony, right in the spot where the sun’s bright golden rays hit first.

Apolla Sola, the Aspect of the Sun and the First Aspect of Life, always made it bright and sunny on Kain’s birthday. Sola knew Kain loved sun bathing, and always made it easy for him to do so, especially when he was in a good mood. Now, though, Kain was starting not to be in such a good mood, and was wondering if a nice destructive temper tantrum in the middle of the Hatchery would teach his mother not to mess with his birthday celebration, lazy as it might be.

“Apophis, get down here now!” she demanded from several floors down.

Kain sighed and turned to face the central stairwell. The third floor of the palace spread out before him, and it was probably one of the most amazing feats of engineering anybody had ever seen. Somebody, one of the peasants living in the city most likely, told Kain that people came from all over the empire to see it, but Kain thought that was boring adult talk. He didn’t really care if everybody thought that the palace was amazing, as a matter of fact, Kain thought everybody should find the palace amazing looking. And everybody from all over the world should come here to see it. He thought the whole reason they should is just because he lived here.

He yawned as he walked through the open space that made up the third floor. Careful as he did so, careful to avoid the invisible roots that made up the supports for the fourth and fifth floors, as well as supplying life to the oversized Tree of Life that towered high above the street level, and beyond even the highest peaks of the surrounding mountains. It was these roots that made it possible for the third story of the palace to have no walls or visible supports of any sort. These roots and the light bending magic of Shadus that kept them invisible.

Shadus was the Fourth Aspect of Life, the Aspect of Shadow. He was the only Aspect Kain didn’t like that much, and it wasn’t because he didn’t enjoy being around his creepy uncle. The pair of them shared a very similar dark sense of humor. The only thing that made Kain dislike this Aspect, in particular, was the fact that he had too many nicknames, and most of them were corny.

“The Living King of Shadow?” Kain had asked looking at his black sheep of an uncle. “The hells is that? Am I the living king of shadow now, too?” While he finished the question, Kain waved his hand in front of a small candle. The light made a figment of his hand dance on the wall.

Shadus wasn’t impressed by Kain’s behavior, and neglected to come to see him whenever he came to the palace for three months after that particular incident.

“Apophis Kain, I want you down here before I count to three!” Celita said, her voice was on the edge of shouting, and Kain figured that he better listen to her.

He closed his pupil-less emerald eyes, and he opened his mind’s eye. In it he saw the very top of the stairwell leading down to the Hatchery, around his eye’s vision he could see the well formed stone of the small passage, he could smell the moisture and sweat of the stones in the wet atmosphere, he could feel the heat of the constantly baking furnaces.

His skin started to prickle with perspiration, and just below his six-year-old feet he could feel the rough yet smooth surface of the stone, he could curl his tiny toes down over the top edge of the exact stone he wanted to be on. When his mother called out her number “one,” he could hear her as if she were right down at the foot of the stairs, and at a great distance like she was while his body was back on the third floor. His lips parted, and the word “poof” escaped his lips for a brief second.

An unsettling pop sounded in his ears, and he felt as if his stomach were turned upside down for a very short amount of time. He knew he had just bent the laws of space and time to travel in-between the third floor and the stairwell leading down to the Hatchery, but it was still a hard concept for his six year old mind to grasp.

His toes now curled over the edge of the stone he imagined just seconds ago, he took a deep breath and his lungs filled with the musky smelling atmosphere, and his skin prickled with tiny drops of perspiration as the heat from the ever burning furnaces caressed his form. His mother’s voice called out her second numeral, and Kain began to walk down the stairs.

He heard hushed voices in a language he couldn’t quite understand, he heard his mother take in a breath of air, preparing to say “three.” But he stepped out onto the landing before she did so.

“What?” he said in the most petulant voice a six year old could manage.

Celita looked at him, and he realized she was on the verge of hysterics. There were also two other people in the room with him and his mother.

One was his father, Ouranus Skygod, ruler of Atlantis. One of the most powerful beings in existence, and he looked it. Eight feet three inches tall, and weighing over five hundred pounds. His hair was as white as freshly fallen snow, and a cloak of fire swept up over the immense mass of his body. His eyes were crimson, and the iris had long ago consumed the pupil and whites of his eye. His thin lips were always turned down in an unpleasant grimace. Except for when he saw his son, this time, Ouranus didn’t smile when he looked at Kain, this time his brow furrowed and his eyes grew a shade darker.

“What need does she have of my son?” Ouranus asked, his voice laced with barely veiled fury. He jabbed a thick sausage like finger at the other figure in the room. This elusive other figure was standing in the glare of the furnaces’ flames with her back turned towards him, but as soon as she began to turn around Kain knew who she was.

Terra Gaia, better known as Gaia, the Aspect of the Earth and the Second Aspect of Life, small in stature, standing only five feet three inches tall and weighing at most a hundred and ten pounds; but her powers and aura dwarfed that of Ouranus’s. She was Kain’s favorite aunt, and pretty much Kain’s favorite person in all of existence. Her hair was the color of fresh amber, and her eyes were a twinkling black and white that made Kain think of the night sky. When she was mad, which the six year old little boy had only seen once, they were molten like the fires that burnt deep down within her true being. To Kain she was the most beautiful thing in existence, and the moment he saw her he wanted nothing more than to be held in her arms forever.

“Gaia is to train Kain, and with her training he will rise to the ranks of the Aspects.” Celita said, breaking Kain’s train of thought, and making him drag his eyes away from Gaia. “With her training he will become one of the most powerful beings in the universe.”

Kain looked at his mother for the first time since he got down to the Hatchery. She sat, unlike the other two, pressing her hand against the other egg she had when laying Kain. The egg was the same height as Gaia and the flames from Ouranus’s cloak gave it a red hued appearance. Kain knew it was black with dark green spots though. In between each of the spots, and at the points where the black seemed to come to a crossroads there were tiny moon shaped symbols; some where crescent, some half, some full, some just a tiny thumbnail moon; only one on the entire thing, though, was just a half white outline. Kain assumed this was meant to be a New Moon, and he guessed that if he counted the symbols there would be twenty-eight of them. One for each day of the lunar calendar.

Celita slapped the egg and stood up, drawing Kain’s attention back to her. He realized in this brief moment that his mother was tragically beautiful. Many of the peasants considered her and Gaia twins, believing that their unique moments of birth were close enough, on a galactic scale, to equate to being born on the same day. But there was no familial resemblance between the two of them.

Celita was tall, six feet four inches to be exact, and weighed only a hundred and thirty three pounds. Her silver hair cascaded down her shoulders and fell to a point that Kain couldn’t discern from his point of view. Celita’s eyes were similar to Gaia’s, but instead of a starry sky, they looked like a pair of crescent moons with the rest of the eye black, just like the night sky.

His mother’s face had a feline curve to it, and when compared to Gaia’s, it was sharp and angular. Her body was slim and just as angular as her face, and like Gaia, she dwarfed Ouranus’s power and aura, but in a manner much different than Gaia’s. Gaia was control; everything about her (emotions, powers, even motions) was perfectly controlled. But, Celita was chaos incarnate. Everything about his mother could change with the blink of an eye. Even her appearance if she so chose.

“I can train him and mold him into one of your Aspects,” Ouranus said, his eyes flashing in anger. “What can she teach him that I cannot?”

“Ouranus,” Celita said, sighing at the same time. “You are a god and yet your understanding is so limited. Kain is one of the chosen; he must be trained by the Aspect that chose him from the age of six until acceptance into our society…”

“At that point,” Gaia said, interrupting her sister. “You may test him as you see fit, and train him in whatever methods you feel that I have faltered in, but until that point, he is my pupil, and will be trained as I see fit.”

Kain swam in the silk like sound of Gaia’s voice, he didn’t understand what she was talking about, but it seemed it was important and it probably had something to do with him. Ouranus turned away from the pair, there was a dark look in his face. It was a look that Kain had never seen before, but he imagined his father was sad.

To Kain it seemed that his father was acting as if someone had struck him a hard blow below the belt. Kain knew he didn’t like that look, and hoped he would never have to see it on his father’s face again.

Ouranus’s eyes changed again, this time they narrowed to tiny slits, slits that promised anybody who went against what he was about to say would find their life expectancy shortened.

“I’ll agree to this on only one condition,” Ouranus said. “I reserve the right as the King of Atlantis to be able to call you back from wherever you decide to take him to train; when I call, you will bring him, and I will test him. During whatever point of that training you may be at. And, if there is war, and you are needed on the front, you will take him with you, and he will learn real battle.”

Ouranus took in a deep breath as he finished speaking, and stood up to the full expanse of his height. “Do you agree to my conditions?”

“The point is moot,” Gaia said. “He is chosen and whether I agree to your conditions or not, I must still be the one to train him. But, if it will placate you, I shall agree to your conditions.”

Ouranus took a long look at her, and nodded. Agreeing to the deal and sealing it with the nod instead of a handshake or anything like that. When it came to dealing with deities or the Aspects, all one had to do was get them to give the word and the deal was sealed in blood. Even Kain knew that much about the situation.

“Tau Gaia?” Kain asked using the Atlantean word for aunt. “Are we going somewhere?”

“Yes, my dear little one, we are.” She said walking over to him.

“Okay, let me go get some things to take with me,” Kain said, preparing to run back up to his room on the fourth floor to pack a traveling bag. He stopped, though, before he made it to the first step. “Should we bring one of the servants along to carry my travel items?”
Gaia smiled, but inside she cringed at what the vicious nature of the Aspects forced her to do to this small boy. “No sweetie, you don’t need to bring one of the servants along. You don’t even need to pack anything for the trip. We’ve got everything we’ll need where we’re going.” “Are you sure?” He asked, giving her a quizzical look. I’ve got a lot of important travel items to take with me.”
“Trust me sweetie,” She said, smiling. “You don’t need anything at all, now go say bye to your mommy and daddy.”

Chapter Four
Chapter Five

Copyright Ryan M. Smith 2014

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