Summary: The Elders rule over the Human and Viper races through the powerful Advent forces, which support their tyrannical regime. It seems that the only way to achieve freedom is for the two races to fight together against their shared enemy. But, is such a union even possible, when there is already so much bloodshed between them? Can anyone unite their races, and overcome the hatred both feel for the other and if so, how? Time is running out and action must be taken.
A/N Hi everyone. Thank you for giving attention to this fanfiction. A few notes before we start reading. 1. This is HumanxViper pairing fanfic, yeah another one. 2. I am going to dive quite deeply into writing the vipers' way of life and describing their lifestyle, but eventually, we will get to see X-com, Commander and all this kind of stuff. 3. This is a try shot. If I see that this story gets some love, I will surely continue it. I accept any reviews: bad or good they would be. Hope you enjoy!
Flakes of dry sand were tossed around by gusts of faint wind. Stars, glanced down from the night sky, watching over the torpid desert, which was peaceful. Except for a few small bustling rodents, nobody disturbed the grains of sand. At the desert's edge, as if they were ancient guards, stood several high mountains, plowing the flat surface of the planet. Deep valleys and steep, sharp stone cliffs gave them an appearance of inclemency and hardness, scaring away uninvited guests.
But there were those who found shelter between the tough rocky walls. A long time ago, the planet's changing surface left many wondering caves within the rockwork, which protected their hosts not only from the scorching sun and harsh wind, but hid them from unfriendly eyes as well.
Even if most of these caves were empty or abandoned by the ones who had lived here previously, one of them still had clear traces of the residency. Near its entrance meandered several tracks, leading in and out.
The ceilings and walls were thoroughly polished and rounded by tools, form the place into the shape of a large U. The hallow consisted of a few smaller cavities, ultimately merging into one tunnel. A few pieces of furniture adorned murky room, formed from metal and plastic. In the fireplace smoldered a few live coals enlightened with a faint light, giving them a phantasmal appearance.
Grave silence prevailed in the cavern, interrupted only by the coals' crackling and soft, rhythmic breathing, spreading from the largest of the cavities. Three still, coiled shapes lay upon the floor. Bedrolls were formed from a thin layer of leather and fur.
For some time, all that could be heard was the perishing coals and soft breathing until one of the creatures slowly opened its eyes. It's pupils, adapting to darkness, transformed into round circles instead of the slits they had previously been, letting her observe her surroundings. Tasting the air, her forked tongue periodically flicked in and out of her mouth.
Seeing everyone else was still in a deep sleep, she slipped out from her sleeping place and slithered into the corridor. She was careful not to make a sound, even as she dragged her long, serpentine body. She put to use several of her skills, gained during the hunt. The slightest sound could give away your position and doom the hunt to failure. But she had some of the best teachers. As soon as her scales had changed from sky blue to a colorful pattern that showed her maturity, she had began hunting with her mother and sister.
At least that was the case before. Now, their party merely consisted of herself and her mother. When she was younger, her sister was called to serve in the Advent army.
As she passed through the firebox, she glanced at the still-smoldering coals. She clutched a few blue pebbles and with a careless, yet precise motion, threw them into a black hole. The blue crystals, as they were called by the local inhabitants of the planet, clicked in joy after feeling the warmth and danced the dance of fire.
She moved through the rest of the cave, the cave that had been her home since her birth, towards the entrance. When the curtains, which separated the cave from outside, were pulled back, the cold night air hit her in a wave, pulling away the last remnants of sleep and causing an uncontrolled shiver to spread throughout her body.
As with the rest of her kind, she did not like the cold. Unlike some animals, their bodies borrowed heat from the environment, leaving them in an unpleasant situation in the cold. Luckily, in Harena, where the vast part of the surface was made up of sandy deserts, the days of heat prevailed, creating excellent conditions for life. Only at night, the temperature dropped significantly, but not so much that it would endanger their life.
Trying to defend herself from the breeze, she clenched her hood with a variety of spots around her neck, covering part of her face as well. Her hands automatically crossed her chest. Long claws rested on the thin scales of her hands. They covered her firm, but the graceful and flexible body with various patterns as they shone in blue, green and yellow colors. On each of her cheeks, there was a decorative large dark blue spot, highlighting her blue eyes, which still shone with youth.
She felt warmer, but the tip of her tail did not stop twitching, and although her nature wanted the sun and heat, she couldn't deny the peace which night brought along with the coolness. It seemed to be able to hide and submerge everything into oblivion, leaving the world in mysterious shadows. In the nighttime, she sometimes would look for her own peace when her thoughts were too distracting.
She pulled her eyes away from the desert under the hillside and raised her head slightly to the sky. A sickle-shaped, bright white light caught her gaze. Khaja, Harena's the greatest satellite, slowly slid down to the horizon, finishing its journey across the sky.
Her grandmother, their family's matriarch and head, once told her that it was showing the way for the souls of their relatives to the world of the dead. The schools set up by the Advent authorities were of a different opinion. According to them, it is just another cosmic body running around Haren and having no connection with their souls, calling such thoughts fictional tales. To support most of their scientific facts, they denied most of the truths of faith. According to them, the Big Bang was the beginning of everything, of all the stars and planets. This opposed the teachings that the universe was formed from the scales of the great goddess Nyra.
How silly. The universe did not seem to be ready to explode, nor had it seemed to have happened before. She slithered by the solid ground. How could it have been created by a certain explosion?
She turned her gaze away from the satellite toward the dark moon-lit horizon. The owner of the shadow was a high sandhill in the middle of the desert. Starting the count the stars over the hill, she slid her finger up, silently murmuring. It wasn't the first time she'd done this, so she didn't get lost in the crossing webs of stars, following the straight path.
26… 27… 28… Here!
She was looking for was a weak light in the sky which was surrounded by two brighter ones. There, five years ago, her sister had departed. To a planet named Earth. It could be seen during only particular nights. It was the reason she'd awoken earlier than she had to.
Her thoughts about the light hanging in the sky were twofold. Although deep in her heart there was the hatred for the planet that had taken away her sister, she could not refuse the curiosity she felt while looking in the sky. Sometimes she imagined herself in the place of her sister flying through space, visiting places that might not have visited by any other Excetra.
Unfortunately, not everything was so romantic as she tried to imagine. The cause why Thyra, as her sister was named, in the honor of the last queen of free Harena, had to leave them. This war was taking place on Earth.
She didn't know the details, but from what she overheard, the war took place between the local rebels who did not accept the occupying power of the Advent, and the Advent itself. Harena belonged to the so-called Planetary Friendship and Cooperation Confederation, led by the Elders Council. The members of the union have committed to support a colonizing policy of Elders, both materially and militarily. Harena was no exception. According to the military obligation imposed here, at least one family member had to be in active military service. The service was carried out in one of the warring planets the Elders council decided was to be colonized. The duration of such service was ten summers.
Five summers had already passed. Five summers yet remained until her sister would return back home.
She firmly pressed the triangle, bright-orange scale, hanging on her neck.
"This will remind you of me, no matter where I am, little sister," Thyra said before stuffing the scale into her palm and slithering into the spaceship that would take her away.
The rooted longing awoke once more, and before she could stop herself, a single tear dropped from her cheek.
"You're early today, Thysa," she heard a familiar voice say behind her, which scattered the flow of sad thoughts.
Thysa cleaned the wet cheek with a barely noticeable movement and turned back to look into her mother's red eyes. She was standing straight and serious, holding the half-folded curtains. The starry night lit her orange and green scales and beige hood.
Her mother finally closed the curtains and approached her. Each tail movement was accurate and calculated. Thysa often envied the perfect balance her mother held.
"I couldn't sleep," she said quietly.
The elder Excetra looked into her eyes for a few moments, looking for an answer before moving her gaze towards the sky in the same direction as she had recently looked.
A sad, understanding smile appeared on her features.
"I'm thinking of her too."
Her mother's compassion for Thysa was unusual, but before she could to say something, she felt how the older woman's attention was upon her again.
"We have to go," her mother said quite coldly, motioning with her hand.
Thysa only now noticed a long metal stick and spool of a rough rope held in her healthy hand. Another one was wounded during her service.
"It will be dawn soon."
And far off, along the horizon line, there was a sliver of pale red, predicting the next day. Not delaying, Thysa hurried inside, towards the metal chests placed in the corner. She was thrilled by the feeling of warm air of cave. She opened the lid before pulling out the crossbow. The gun looked luxurious. The casing was carved out of white bone, and the limbs were made of bent steel. The carved snakes waved over the entire frame of the crossbow, but the true purpose of the weapon was not as refined as it appeared from the side.
Before closing the chest, Thysa took two bolts from the bottom and placed them in the bracket at the bottom of the crossbow. She usually didn't need more than one. Keeping behind the leather strap, she looped the gun over her back and head back to her patiently waiting mother.
When Thysa came, her gaze was directed somewhere far, far away. As her mother saw her, she returned from wherever her mind was and nodded after noticing the crossbow hanging off her back. She lowered her upper body to the ground and began to descend down to the still dormant desert, leaving a deep imprint in the loose sand.
She glanced for the last time at the sky, where the stars, one after another, began to fade. Then she shifted the crossbow to a more comfortable position and followed her mother, feeling the cold sand shifting under her scales. The feeling was uncomfortable, but the excitement that accompanied a hunt quickly meant it was forgotten.