The next few weeks I would spend some time at the Ashen’s house, after I got out of work. They taught me about the vampires, about were-people, and some other things about other creatures that roamed around the land. But that day was bound to be different. I was making my way to the Ashen’s house, when a boy came towards me. He was shorter than me, had brown hair, and purple eyes, just like mine. And he smelled like sea water. His eyes opened wide when he saw me.
“Sre’Naith… you really are alive! We need your help!”
“Oh… I’m sorry, but I’m not of much help. I can’t remember a thing about my past lives…” I explained, trying to calm him down.
The boy seemed to be worried about something, and kept looking behind his back, to check if there wasn’t anyone around.
“So… You really were Erased?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Oh, you really don’t remember… Not even the Wardens, or the Patriots?”
“OK, listen, what’s your name?”
“No your other name… Your body’s name.”
“But we don’t use that name when we talk with another Skinwalker…”
“It’s easier for me, please…”
“You have a strange speech… You talk like a human… You were really erased… This body’s name is Eric. Eric Dandelion.”
I lifted an eyebrow. This guy… he was so strange, but looked so defenseless.
“We can take care of ourselves.” He said.
“Stop reading my mind.”
“But I’m not…”
“ok, if you say so… Come with me, I’ll take you to a safe place.”
We went to the Ashen’s house. At the time, only Casey and Henry were home, and sat on the living room to listen to what Eric had to tell us about the Skinwalkers.
“What do you want to know…?” He asked, hesitantly.
“Everything.” We replied in choir.
“Ok… Let’s see… We call ourselves Dasunai, in our ancient and almost forgotten tongue. Our ancestors came from a planet called Quilvotar, the Green Sphere, in your idiom… Our planet was destroyed by a catastrophe we would call Shatron’kuva, the Shattering Fire. The planet was hit by a huge meteor, and pieces of the planet were sent to the four corners of the universe. Our ancestors, they landed on earth, around 65 million years ago.”
“Wasn’t that when the dinosaurs went extinct?” Henry asked.
“Exactly. It was because of the piece of our planet that hit Earth that many died… We laid dormant for millions of years, waiting for the perfect host. Then the Humans contacted with us for the first time... We Dasunai are colonies of unicellular beings. Even though our biology is simple and similar to that of a human nerve cell, we are highly gifted when it comes to our minds. Each cell on a colony is closely related to the other in the same colony. As the cells in a human brain work all together like one, so do the cells of a colony of Dasunai. But we can only exist in a dormant state if we do not find a suitable host which body we can control in order to make it our own. We found out that the perfect match were the Humans. And, without a host, we cannot replicate our cells.
When we started Invading and Possessing some humans, we ended up reaching a disagreement in what to do next. The Patriots wanted to Own as much humans as they wanted, to reproduce, and rebuild our nation. On the other hand, the Wardens, wanted to protect men kind, and only own as many bodies as colonies of Dasunai there were in the planet, without reproducing.”
I stopped him for a while, with so many questions rising in my mind.
“What is all of that talk about Invading and Possessing?”
“Those are the names we gave to some of the phases that a Dasunai has to go through to own a body. The Invasion, the physical entrance of the Dasunai into the body, the Possession, when the Dasunai owns the body, or, in other words, overrules the control the host has over the body… And there are two other phases. They are the Bounding and the Breaking. The Bound happens when the Skinwalker wants to keep the body permanently, and die with it. The Skinwalker’s cells replace those of the human, and act like human nerve cells, being unable to reproduce and wither, unless they proceed to the Breaking. This consists in breaking the bound the colony has… We can own many bodies, but are only able to control one at a time. When one of the bodies dies, we proceed to a Breaking, so only the part of the colony inside that body dies, without killing the other colonies, since we are so deeply connected…”
We took some time to digest all the information, and while Henry went to pick some coffee, I made another question.
“So…Tell me, what’s all that fuss about the Erasing?”
Eric gasped, and looked at Casey, testing him. He took a deep breath, and sighed.
“The Erasing is when a Skinwalker forcefully or voluntarily Bounds with a new-born at the moment of birth. The New-born is like a blank sheet, and we take its shape… It has no memories, no thoughts… Or at least not as complex as an adult’s… And we end up being like that, when we are Erased. If you never contact with a Skinwalker your whole live, you live like a human. Some don’t even develop the telepathic gifts when their body turns eighteen…”
I swallowed nervously.
“Eric… What do you mean by ‘Forcefully’?” I asked.
“Oh… God… The Erasing is used as a punishment amongst our race, to those we have killed a member of our species. WE don’t kill them or sentence them to death because we think that that would turn us into killers ourselves… But that is the highest punishment among our laws…”
“Eric… Did I…?”
“You did. You were going undercover among the ranks of the Wardens, working for the Patriots… But your name, once it was discovered, left no doubts about your real intentions to them… Hugh, you are Sre’Naith, the leader of the Patriots.”
I looked at him in shock. I had killed. I had killed one of my kind. No… More than one… I had killed thousands of humans… And I wanted to control more and more… No… I couldn’t believe it.
“Are you a Patriot too?” Casey asked, apprehensive.
Henry was now in the room, looking at me and Eric with caution in his semblance. He was ready to protect his lover. Casey, after all, was a human, and the Patriots wanted to replace them…
“Not anymore, no. I was at first, but then I realized the Wardens were on the right side… We have no right to conquer like that a planet it is not ours. The Wardens want to make our existence public, so humans can be able to choose if they want us here or not. But I was kept in the ranks of the Patriots, working undercover, with another Dasunai called Nir’varin. She told me she had managed to convince you to finish with the Patriot’s actions a few days before you were sentenced by the Wardens… You and Nir’varin went to our base to talk, you were going to make a deal, and beg for forgiveness in exchange of the names of all the Patriots… But an informant told our leader a different story. He thought Nir’varin was bringing you so you would be erased. She tried to talk them out of it, but they didn’t bend. Guil’Gamesh took over your rank after you were Erased, and now he is the leader. Fortunately, he still doesn’t know Nir’varin is with the Wardens, but he thinks you were working for them and that they ended up betraying you… I believe he was the one who set you up… But I need your help because they found out about me in the ranks of the Patriots… But the Wardens… They are not what they seem…”
“Listen, Eric, I know it must be hard… You have told me so much, I think I need some time to digest everything you told me… I mean, this is all new for me! Henry, can he stay here?”
Henry shrugged, and so did Casey.
*You should ask Tina and Enzo…* Casey thought.
“I will.” I said, replying to his mental suggestion, making him feel unwary.
“You seem to need some sleep, come with me.” Henry invited.
As they were climbing upstairs, I could see how I worried about that boy.
“Henry, you’re not thinking about killing him, are you?” I asked.
“Read my mind if you want to know what I want to do, but read my actions to know what I will do…” he said, mysteriously.
I guess he meant he wanted to kill Eric because he once thought about overruling all men kind, but wouldn’t because Eric was clearly trying to do the right thing now. And so was I. I just wished I had all my memories, so I could be tormented with all the souls I had taken, as I deserved. I closed my eyes, and thought about the woman I had seen some weeks before, when I was attacked. Nir’varin… The girl with the black hair and purple eyes… She was an ally… That’s why she was trying to convince Guil’gamesh to leave me alone… But why did the leader of the Patriots listen to her? Was she involved in the leadership of the rebellious group?
I ended up falling asleep in the couch, lost in all this thoughts. I just wanted to have a normal life. Little did I know that the closest I would get to a normal life was going to be in that house.
If you stop any mistake, please, tell me. I usually reread each chapter before I publish, but I had a Biology test today, and my brains are all messed up... Nevertheless, here is the new chapter :) I hope you anejoy it, and if you do, don't be shy and leave a review and/or a like ;)