Chapter 3, branch 1

The task of all N'Geenr is to exceed to limits imposed on them by nature. That is the essence of what it is to be an N'Geenr. When an N'Geenr puts their mind to the task and feels that dedication deep within their Skel, not even Pae can stop them. An N'Geenr's true power comes from their Skel, Pae only helps them on their journey.
--The Manual of Jol

  Karin woke with a start, beads of sweat already cooling her feverish body as the otherwise still night air crackled with the energy of her nightmare.  She curled into a ball, pulling her knees closer to her chest as she struggled for air.  Her heightened senses became away of a sensation at her back, turning quickly she surveyed her hiding place.  The shadows danced menacingly in the sterile light of the now familiar Axis Moon.

  She struck at the ground in anger, the rage in her Skel numbing her to the scrapes and bruises she would undoubtedly feel later.  Again, she was too late.

  Every night since she left home, since... no, she would not think of it.  Since beginning her journey to the Axis Moon she had been stalked.  A presence; following her, teasing her as she woke already shaken from the terror of memories forced upon her by her unconscious mind.

  The smoke and violent voices swirled around her, blinding and choking her.  Through the angry mob she saw him, bleeding and broken.  Yet despite the physical beating his eyes burned, his Skel remained strong and untouched.  His last words shattered through her,

"Ruuuun Karin!"

  And so she had, uncertain why or what she would do, she ran toward the Axis Moon.  A knowing within her Skel told her the answer was the Axis Moon itself.

  She did not look back as she escaped her childhood home.  Nan-Skel(P'Brok)p, Pain Which Cursed my Soul, she had named it.  There was nothing their for her now.  In that one moment  she had been broken and remade.

  The murderous light of the Axis Moon was fading rapidly as the sun made his ascent into the sky.  It was time to get up.  Each morning she forced herself to get up, clinging to the words Jol had left behind.

An N'Geenr's true power comes from their Skel, Pae only helps them on their journey.

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  Karin had awoken that first morning screaming as the pain of remembering burned her Skel.  Tears poured down her face, her fingers grasping and reaching for anything to hold, anything real.  They had found his book.  The smooth leather cover felt soft and warm.  In her rage she had thrown the book.

"F'Brok!  P'Nan, mae-Skel!"  She had screamed.  I'm cursed!  My tortured soul has left!  The moment the book had left her hand she crawled after it, her hands desperately clawing the brush looking for it.

It had fallen open, she could see that Jol had underlined a passage.  Wiping the tears from her eyes she cradled the book to her.  This book was Jol's Skel, speaking to her, guiding her.  She would not betray his trust.  He had given his life for this book, for her.  

The book had consumed her.  She read it's pages over and over, seeking to understand.  Cursing her inattention to Jol's patient instruction.  Before she read she prayed.

"Pae, Y'torp." God help me see within.

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  This morning as Karin prepared to leave she noticed it.  A scrap of fabric, it's ragged and torn edges fluttering in the slight breeze, hanging from a low bush.  Her stalker was N'Geenr?

  This tangible evidence shook her.  It existed.

  Suddenly she was running.  The pull on her Skel was a real physical force, dragging her along.  She struggled to keep her feet beneath her.

  In her mind she could hear him.

  "Run Karin!  Ruuuuuuun!"

The End

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