All sentient creatures dream, that much is known.
Andalites must dream of warm rich grass, of asparagus-spear trees, butter-yellow moons casting their light down on a warm and familiar scoop nestled among rolling plains. Taxxons might dream of red hills, red skies, the reassuring warmth of the Living Hive, and perhaps a day where their eternal hunger can be forever sated. Hork-Bajir dream of towering trees, the familiar songs of home and family, the warmth of a hearth and the vivid stories told by seers. Even Yeerks must dream, perhaps remembering the warm sludge of their home pool and the reassuring pressure of their thousands of siblings.
Two creatures slumbered on a wooden platform. The platform itself was a dull and utilitarian construction, little more than a few branches lashed together. Its location, however was awe-inspiring; it was located seven hundred feet of the ground, built around the trunk of a tree twice the breadth of a sequoia. It stood among many thousands of similar trees in a deep valley, all of them towering monuments to vegetable engineering. It would have been picturesque, if not for the clouds of black and oily smoke that billowed from ugly gashes in the valley, the heavily fortified dead tree filled with grey sludge, and the eerie red lights of spacecraft that hovered motionless in the sky.
The two beings who were lost in slumber were certainly not human. One was a gracile, delicate thing, with an equine body, two pairs of slender-six-fingered hands, and a mouthless face topped with two twitching stalk eyes. Her name was Aldrea, an Andalite and freedom fighter, and she dreamt of a vanished home and a dead family, of her father, whose legendary act of kindness had created the greatest scourge in the galaxy, and of the faraway home world that she might never see again.
The other was a seven-foot tall reptilian behemoth; he was all coiled muscle and ebon blades, with pockmarked skin stretched tight over a long spiny neck and wickedly curved beak. Dak Hamee, Seer
of the Hork-Bajir, had not left the valley that he had grown up in, and yet he had never felt so far from home. His dreams were hallucinogenic and uneasy; nightmares where Mother Sky unleashed a torrent of slugs on the valley, and Father Deep retaliated by spawning an army of twisted beasts- beasts that Dak
led, monsters that taught the People to kill, to harm, to hurt their brothers.
For the past few weeks, life had been increasingly hard for the resistance fighters. Patrols through the unoccupied areas of the forests had increased. The ragged and weary band of guerillas had had to relocate several times, always keeping to the trees, clutching their scavenged, mud-choked shredders or wooden spears tight in their reptilian hands. They hid from troops of Yeerk-infested Hork-Bajir, or, more recently, the nightmarish yellow worm-things that had been unloaded from a ship not long ago, and now prowled around the Yeerk pool with cannabilistic fervor.
With a start, Dak awoke. The most recent nightmare had not been a pleasant one. The worm-things were crawling over the mutilated bodies of Aldrea, of his father and mother, his friends and comrades, hatching more and more of the rubbery bloated things, only for an enormous clawed hand to swoop down and carry him away... into blackness. It was startingly vivid, and he barked a harsh yell of shock as he awoke, leaping to his feet and flashing his blades. Aldrea was safe, sleeping in her peculiar upright way. But the platform, and the trees, and the valley were all gone, replaced with a featurless gray wasteland. It resembled the Outside, beyond the valley, where no Hork-Bajir had ever gone. But how had he gotten here?
But then, with a sinking sense that something far worse than he imagined had happened, he looked up- and stared dumbfounded at Mother Sky.
From horizon to horizon, it was a pure, untarnished, white.
edited 4th Apr '12 5:47:11 PM by Locoman