Zane rushed toward the man with his brother, preparing his Alchaeic Mystic. His body threatened to warp and twist with Alchaeic's influence and Zane's panicked emotions, but he kept easy control. He had to. For Arch!
A memory flashed in his mind. It was only for an instant, truthfully, but the damn thing seemed to be longer.
Zane was standing with his father. His mother lie before them cradling her newest child, Arch. Zane remembered how weak and pathetic his brother had been, gasping for air. He had been born with a strong innate talent for Air, so his breathing would kill him if not monitored. It was pathetic, but it gave rise to another feeling in Zane.
He wished to see his brother become stronger. Because he knew that any member of the Zalazor family had the capacity to become truly powerful people.
"Zane Zalazor," his father had said, "I have orders for you." Zane had groaned, of course. He hated being ordered around by his father. But, as a citizen of Faerein and a son to Seikren Zalazor, Zane had a duty to listen to the General. "Protect him until he can protect himself."
Now he was about to fail in his duty. Sands! He wouldn't fail!
Zane had almost reached the man. It seemed like an eternity instead of a few moments. He started to wonder why they hadn't killed his brother yet... Surely this was either a blessing from the Unscarred Creator, which he doubted, or to prolong his hope until they could crush it harder.
Something flew through the air. Zane froze in place. His vision started to fade, ever so slowly. He had only enough time to look down and see a spear-like blade escaping his chest, like it had been escaping a cage rather than piercing him. So, Bardwik had been one of the others. Zane was the one to be killed...
Zane unleashed his alteration upon himself, twisting the metal from the weapon into a tight metal bandage and sealing his skin back up. He wasn't good enough to fix his internals, but this stopped the darkness from completely consuming him. Scarred Father! He couldn't die yet. But sands the pain was terrible!
"Stupid sandreavers!" Zane said, finally able to see the man holding his brother and his partner now with their three companions. His father had once told him that Alchaeic Mystics were able to be the greatest defense or offence, depending on where you were. Well, Zane saw molding material all around.
Fighting through the pain, Zane slapped the ground, gaining the men's attention. Underneath them, Zane commanded the earth to change into spikes. The ground fought his orders, but he gave the stone no chance. Alchaeic was a battle, and Zane couldn't afford to lose! The ground changed.
Two of the men took spikes; one in the leg, the other in the back. "He's a changer!" one of the men said, Zane couldn't tell who, through the stupid darkness that slowly permeated through his vision. It wouldn't be long now... One more strike! He could do this!
No, he couldn't.
Zane felt himself lose hold of his Mystic, then finally fell to the ground. Darkness took his vision in an instant, but his ears worked for a little longer. Just enough to make out a few words...
"...Lizards... Void... have to... this demon..."
Lizards? Great Lizards? The beasts of legends from the Great War a hundred years back? And what was that about Void and demon? Zane couldn't think about it. His thoughts were failing him. Sands... Why was he so sleepy..? Maybe Arch would wake him up... Yeah, he needed to beat some sense into that sandreaver when he woke up... Goodnight, mommy...
Darkness consumed Zane's thoughts. His last thoughts were that of his mother, long dead. He wasn't found until his father went to join them, hours later, with his sister in tow. It was sad, truly. But, there was still a flame burning inside the boy. He would live, should he fight a little longer to keep his fire kindled.
The Scarred Father gazed toward the youth from his cave. It lay high up in the mountains that divided the desert kingdom and the plain kingdoms, giving the living legend a focal point for his perception. He could see it from here. His descendants were ever so close to war... And greater threats lay just beyond the horizon. What, dear brother, would his descendants do?
The Scarred Father couldn't help them, though. He had killed his brother. He had killed Abel. He didn't deserve to do anything but rot in this cave.