Thank you to everyone for all the encouragement as I wrote Forgotten Ones! I had so much fun and learn a lot! If you'd like to read more about Gliese and the characters you can do so at the Another Life Blog.
Title: Forgotten Ones Chapter 5
Characters: Elden/Misham; Arvad/Perry
Series: Another Life
Elden woke instantly when a hand was laid gently on his shoulder. Opening his eyes, he saw Misham standing beside the bed. The glow of the night sky showed Elden that his sub was fully dressed. Sitting up, he noticed the satchels packed and ready to go. Shaking his head, he wondered how his sub could walk so quietly. "Like a spirit you are," he grumbled.
"Time has come," Misham stated calmly.
Elden threw back the covers. After dressing in a tunic and pants, he turned and smoothed the covers over the bed. He asked no questions. He trusted in his submissive with all his being. The time had come to find the forgotten ones-he wouldn't argue that daylight would be better. Fates and Misham knew the plan.
Facing Misham, he saw that their satchels were packed. Food, water, and a few other essentials were waiting to be taken to Earth. Picking up several strips of leather, Elden attached as many of the satchels as he could around him. His sub was finished securing his own satchels before him.
"We must go," Misham urged quietly.
Nodding, Elden led the way out of the house. "Lead me to our destination, but once we are on Earth, you do not leave my side. Understood." He stood unmoving until Misham nodded.
"The promise. I want the promise." Elden's voice was unrelenting.
"I will stay by your side once we are on Earth," Misham acquiesced. "But I must lead you now."
Elden held out his hand, inviting his sub to go before him. The night's darkness was only broken by the occasional glow of a lamp in a distant cottage. No doubt someone woken by a vision. Historians accepted the visions with honor-never questioning the timing. Elden's own visions came at odd times.
Following Misham, they entered the dense woods that surrounded the village. Walking deeper into the forest, the silence was suddenly shattered. The sound of footsteps on the fallen leaves and seeds pierced the night. Elden pulled Misham behind him.
"I didn't mean to startle you," a soft voice called out.
Astonished, Elden called out, "Enoch? What do you here?"
"He is trying my wrath," Chandir snarled behind them.
Whirling around, Elden groused, "Is nothing sacred?"
Chandir lifted an eyebrow. "You ask that of Historians? You, yourself are of the descendants, as is your submissive."
"I've not been gifted with your visions. Not in the manner you have them," Misham said softly.
Elden reached his hand out and stroked down Misham's back. A blend of two races, Misham was gifted with only parts of each. His sub had always felt the empathy he had inherited was a curse. He couldn't fully link to anyone, but Elden had been his chosen one. Chosen from the gods, the stars, whoever makes these decisions. Until Elden met Misham, he'd dreamed and had visions that had haunted him about the dark eyed child. As Elden grew older so did the one he dreamed of. When they met, their puzzle had been completed.
"Before we wake the full village, may I enquire as to what in the stars are you doing here, Enoch?" Wryn's voice had started softly, but as he talked, his volume rose.
Elden watched as Enoch pulled something out of his pocket.
"Here, it is not much, but Chandir has kept the blade sharp," Enoch said, handing Elden a knife.
"Agape, are you sure? That was gifted to you by your father. And his father before him," Wryn asked gently.
Nodding, Enoch said, "They might need protection. I have no need of it. I now have you."
Elden felt a lump rise in his throat as the small submissive was engulfed by his dominants. Enoch's lungs were forever damaged and the lack of nutrition had stunted his growth. He'd overcome much with the help of his dominants and his own strength.
"May your journey be secure," Chandir called over his shoulder as the trio walked out of the forest.
"We will return the knife to you, Enoch, upon our return," Misham called out to the retreating men. "Come we must hurry."
Elden stuffed the knife in the waist of his pants. His tunic would hide it, but the slits in the side of the fabric would give easy access. Elden's long strides soon had him next to Misham. Walking deeper in the woods, the submissive suddenly stopped. Elden watched as he tilted his head back and looked up.
Following Misham's gaze, Elden saw the trees towering over them. The stars seemed to be growing brighter. And brighter. Then they were surrounded by blue light. The absence of sound was overwhelming. Pulling Misham to him tightly, both men fell. Instead of hitting solid ground, Elden felt them fly. Fly through space and time. Until consciousness was lost.
Elden startled awake. He held Misham tightly in his arms, and covered him with his body. Slowly lifting his head, he carefully looked around. The visions and the tombs he and his sub had studied for years, had told of the dead Earth, but so much else had happened, Elden wasn't taking any chances.
In front of him was nothing but dirt and rock. Turning his head one way and then the other, all he saw was brown soil and stones.
"I would like to breathe," Misham groused, squirming to be free of his dominant's arms.
"Shhh, Agape'" Elden cautioned. But he did loosen his tight hold. Sitting up, Elden could see a bit further. Still nothing but the dead ground and hard rocks greeted them. Standing up, he held his hand out for Misham. "Remember. Beside me."
Shading his eyes from the harsh sun, Elden saw a slight rise in the horizon. "There. Behind that hill. The forgotten ones wait. Yet, they do not know they wait. Or for what. We must take care."
They started toward the small hill, walking side by side. Elden was scanning the land but nothing moved. Suddenly Misham fell to the ground. Elden dropped beside him. "Agape! What is it? What is wrong?" Was it something in Earth's atmosphere? Some kind of bacteria? A reaction to the transport? The texts they had studied hadn't mentioned anything! Stroking, his submissive's back, Elden took a deep breath. Panic was not the answer.
"Misham, agape. Tell me what is it?" He asked in a firm, calm voice.
"The ground. The Earth. She's been washed with so many tears." Misham lifted his face. "So much violence and sorrow."
The grief in Misham's eyes seared Elden to his core. All that had happened to Earth was now pouring into his sub. The wave of emotions from so many souls was crippling Misham. They'd reach the forgotten ones and go back to Gliese.
"How can I shelter you?" Elden demanded. His sub was in pain! He had to help, but he knew there was nothing he could do. He watched helplessly as his sub took short, shallow breaths. Wrapping his arms around him, Elden whispered, "Take from me. Take what is needed."
And on a dead planet far from home, Elden felt a slight tear in his soul and finally, Misham linked to him. He couldn't stop himself from pouring as much strength as he could into his love.
"Enough," Misham said. "I've enough now. I can make it. Let's go find them."
Elden accepted the kiss that Misham gave him. He looked deep into Misham's eyes. The link was Misham's, he could send what Misham needed, but couldn't know when it was enough. This was new to them, they'd have to wait until they were home on Gliese to explore it. But Elden thanked the stars that he'd been given the gift of giving to his sub. Hope flared inside him. They came to find two men, and miraculously, they found a part of themselves.
Holding Misham's hand, continuing to give him strength, Elden started walking toward the hill. The deserted land was shadowed in shades of brown. Nothing stirred as the sun beat ruthlessly down. No sounds of birds or animals stirred the air. Even their footfalls were muted by the dead ground.
Slowly rounding the small rise, Elden gained his first sight of the forgotten ones. Stopping, he took in the sight of them. The two men were little more than walking skeletons. Tattered cloths hung from their bony frames. They were both shorter than Elden and Misham, though one was slightly taller than the other. The taller one had his arm around the other-giving support. Something must have made them aware as they suddenly stopped and the taller one turned around. Even at this distance, Elden saw the fear and protectiveness in the stare.
"Do no harm," Elden called out softly. He waited until finally the man nodded slightly.
"Their hunger outweighs their fear," Misham murmured. He closed his eyes and Elden saw the fierce concentration. As he saw the concentration on his own subs face, the two other men seemed to relax. Understanding dawned in Elden. The fates had chosen them, chosen Misham, because of his empathy. He was calming and reassuring the forgotten ones.
Each couple took a few steps until they were not quite within arms reach. Elden could see the dark hunger and desperation in their eyes. Men too often made poor choices when such desperation ruled them. He would offer sustenance and then later, when they were receptive, he'd offer them hope.
Slow opening the leather bag, Elden reached in and brought out an apple. "We have more than we can eat." When Elden saw the hesitancy warring with the man's hunger, he pulled out a second apple and took a bite. "It's sweet and juicy. I think your País would enjoy one."
Sitting down, he waited patiently for the thin dominant to take the offering. As he waited, Misham sat down beside him and took out another apple. Elden knew that his submissive was feeling the other men's hunger and fear.
"What do you want for it?" The taller man called out.
Elden cursed himself silently. The customs of sharing that he took for granted was completely foreign here. Of course on Earth everything would have a price. Elden had a sudden thought-the lack of a communication system and the amount of catastrophes, information would no doubt be currency. He replied to the suspicious man, "Information. What has happened? Where is everyone?"
"I don't know. We were up the mountain, in a cave, there was a cave-in. Then this," the man said.
Nodding as if the information was meaningful to him, Elden offered the apple again. He didn't stand up, he didn't want to appear threatening. "Take it."
The man reached out and snatched the fruit out of his hand. He smelled it and hesitantly took a bite. Groaning in pleasure, he then gave the fruit to the man he'd been sheltering. "Eat, Perry."
"Perry, we have more. Go ahead and do as your Anke asks," Misham encouraged.
Elden took out another apple, reaching out as far as he could, he sat it down. "I'm Elden. This is Misham. Please, eat your fill."
"Arvad," the man introduced himself and took a bite. "Thank you. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but there's a storm coming, We must find shelter."
Elden knew if he told these men that the storm was coming for them; to take them to another planet, they'd think he'd lost his mind. "I think there's an outcrop of rock not too far. That is where we were headed."
Elden exchanged a look with Misham. They would walk to the rocks, but he knew the storm would still find them. The storm was their passage to Gliese. Misham nodded back and the men stood.
As they walked, Misham quietly asked Perry, "Why do you conceal yourself?"
Elden heard Misham ask Perry. It was a rudeness to ask such a question, but Elden didn't reprimand him. He waited, curious to hear the other man's answer.
"I-I-what do you mean? Conceal myself?"
"You are in pain. Your leg hurts. Why do you not tell him. You hide it in the way you walk. In the way you keep your face blank. The tone of your voice. He's your dominant. You shouldn't deny him."
Elden nodded even though neither man could see him. He wouldn't interfere in the conversation that was being carried out between the two submissives. He was proud of Misham and the words he spoke. He knew his sub would feel the pride inside him.
"What do you mean my dominant? Deny him what?" Perry's confusion was genuine.
"You are in pain?" Arvad asked, then turned to Elden. "We must stop and rest."
"No!" Perry said adamantly. "You already carry all our supplies, I can walk a ways."
Looking at both men, Elden wondered how either one continued on. They had a strength they did not know. He smiled to himself at the thought of watching them grow on Gliese-where fresh food and water was abundant. They'd first nourish their bodies, then they'd nourish their dynamics.
"Shelter and safety are near," Elden reassured them. He could see the storm swirling closer and one blue light dancing. Searching. "You don't have far to go."
Before Arvad could respond, the storm was upon them. The wind fiercely whipped the dry earth. He pushed Perry down and laid his own body over him.
Elden and Misham stood over them as the storm raged. They could see the blue light bouncing over the earth. Elden knew the moment the light found its destination-the movement smoothed out and headed right toward them.
Leaning down, Elden said, "Imagine a future. A future for you and Perry. To what you can be. Not what you are," He watched as doubt then hope flared in Arvad's eyes. "Trust in me. If not for yourself, then for your love. We are not the hot burning sun. We are the moon-that which lights the way in the darkest night."
Elden saw the fear and confusion on the men's faces. Their bravery would be noted in the Historians's tombs as they stood with Elden and Misham. The blue light engulfed them and calmness became their cloak. As the light started to lift them, to take them to Gliese, Elden looked down.
Poking out from a crack in the ground was a small green sprout. Elden smiled. Just as Arvad, Perry, and the others started another life, so too did Earth.