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[Fiction] The sentinel and thief


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November 22, 1493 (Alternate Earth)

The snap and crackle of the burning ships rose above the breaking surf that washed over the powder white beach. The charring timbers marred the otherwise pristine breaches and azure waters. From the rocky out croppings above the beaches the Taíno had watched the battle unfold.

The strange pale men of metal had arrived weeks earlier on the strange moving islands and it was quickly apparent their intent was conquest. And as these pale creature's steel and thunder began to shed their blood their chief Caonabo's prayers of salvation were answered by the thunder of the heavens above.

A great feathered god appeared coiling and dancing across the sky as lightning and fire rained upon the pale men of metal and the islands they had rode upon. They tried in vane to use their own thunder against the god but it did nothing to save them from the rage of hurricane god.

It was over like a passing great summer storm leaving burning bones and timber and leaving nothing of the strange men but the strange beasts that they rode upon alive. The Taíno looked to the sky in awe of their hurricane god Guataubá as he circled lazily above his handiwork.

The offered their thanks and wailed to the heavens. Offering what they could to him. Guataubá's interest was not with offerings but with the creatures the whites had brought. The large four legged beasts that carried them. Dozens of claws sprouted from feathered god as he dove among the frightened to frenzy animals. The god was careful as he plucked them into his many talons despite the neighing and pleading protest of the creatures. Soon all were being carried aloft beneath the great Guataubá as he disappeared into the clouds and bright blue sky.

Columbus's second expedition to the new world was over, Wakinyan acknowledged with a determined countenance. He took no pleasure in killing the Spaniards. But Wakinyan had made a promise to himself when he arrived here almost three years earlier that this world would be different than the last. Denying the New World to the Old World was key to that promise. Now the man who had discovered the Americas was dead and while it would not stop the tide it would slow it down and maybe make it more manageable. Perhaps even keeping Wakinyan from having to turn into a mass murderer of the wave of whites that would come in the next hundred years.

The great griffin like Nova quietly continued his way back across the Caribbean toward his homeland, gently holding in his dozen of grown talons the slowly calming horses and pack animals that Spaniards had brought with them. His people were a horse culture that did not have any horses. The one true gift that came with the arrival of the white man, Horses. They became a part of the Sioux in his world. Now with a little nudge from their Wakinyan they would have them in this world as well.

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Months later Wakinyan floated lazily over the earth. Procyon would go on and on about how he loved to float in orbit over the planet but the younger Nova had always took his description as exaggerations. Now however he knew his solar friend simply could not find the words to accurately describe the feeling of serenity and awe it brought.

His great wings splayed out around him the feather edges glowing with a Saint Elmo's Fire like effect. The world turned below him and he loved her even if this mother wasn't the mother that had birthed him. His thoughts drifted homeward again, to his old life and his self imposed exile here on this world. Three years have come and gone and the promise from the starry Timeslip seemed to have been forgotten. She agreed to come to Inyan Kara on the summer and winter solstices to see if he was ready to come home. She had checked in with him once and then he had not seen her again.

The griffin slowly rolled keeping his back to the bright sun as it creeped up over the curved edge of the world. The infinite silence and lack of scent only allowed Daniel to further ponder his situation. Maybe she had checked on him during his first chrysalis and decided to leave him here longer. What if she had died, who else would know where he was or how to get him. Was he truly gone from that life forever?

The Thunderbird tucked his paws in tightly to his chest and stretched his wings further letting them bask in the sun the corona of glow around the big creature brightened. Wakinyan let the wave of energy within him build and crest like a wave letting it wash over the world he could see. Nothing.. No return, no quantum echoed back to him from below, no other Novas, no Timeslip, Long or anyone else who could come and visit him, or take him home.

As gravity began to pull him he let his wings drag and dig into the thinnest of atmosphere. Becoming a ball of glowing flame that scorched through the sky of the northern plains. He canted his wings and with a boom slowed and let the fire of burning air slip away from him and began a circling decent over his mountain home.

The medicine wheel was complete here. He hadn't not finished it on the other Inyan Kara. The rocky formation of the medicine wheel was larger than Stonehenge and the strong Black Hills granite promised it would last far into the future. He admired his handywork a moment studying the huge stones he had set. His memories drifted to the line of monoliths that stood outside his home, his first home. With a bemused expression he recalled the events that had led to the beautiful carvings that now graced them.

Touching down Daniel trotted down the path to the cavern entrance and he imagined a different world. One where the entry was lit with the warm glow of residence. Here the entry was dark. There he could smell the bread bake and meal cooked. Here he could smell the faint musk of his many nights slept here and the cool scents of the forest at night.

Here he walked into darkness and a bed of soft pine needles. There he would step inside to a well kept and beautifully decorated home. But the best part was the back of a beautiful woman busying herself with the meal she prepared. Her long hair seemed to be so dark it made the night jealous and yet it seemed to shine with a luster that gave the dawn envy. She would know he was there and would turn her head just enough so he could see that she was smiling.

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They had gathered from across the land. Summoned by the messenger of the great spirit. Chiefs, men and women anyone who choose to make the trip did so and the number was in the thousands. Teepees and lodges filled the open fields Tenakomakah the snaking Patawomeke River seperating the thousands on either bank footbridges and canoes interconnected the great city that had grown during the spring until it was now the largest gathering of humanity the new world had seen.

Enemies camped near one another in peace. Differences were set aside to listen to the many councils that were underway. Games were played beneath the sun and each day the great messenger of Wakan flew overhead, attending the various gatherings speaking to those who so willing heard him.

The warning was taken very seriously as the Wakinyan spoke it. They would come across the waters and destroy so many of them. Their sicknesses, greed would consume them. Their burning water would cloud their minds and poison them. Some asked the messenger to deliver them from this fate, to go to the land across the sea and destroy the coming invaders. Yet the Wakinyan told them it was their destiny to change this fate not his. It was his purpose to prepare them.

Over the next weeks more of the strange horses were brought. As expected all the tribes soon fell in love with the beasts and the mobility it gave them. Lessons were given on what to expect in battle. The people were taught not to be afraid of the thunder and fire of the whites and how best to avoid it.

As the spring grew late and the summer lay ahead Wakinyan formed compacts with the tribes. Their conflicts would be set aside, each tribe would send a group of young braves to the tribes that lived along the great water to bolster their defenses for a year. After that year a new group would go and in this way the newly found nation would find its feet and unity against a common enemy.

Wakinyan wondered if it would be enough. Would it save them? Had he turned a future genocide into a war that could be won? He simply did not know but he knew as he once again returned to Inyan Kara, he had did what he could for these people without doing everything for them. Now it was time for him to look for his way home. His pathway through the Wakan to her.

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