13th Birthday Sabotage
Nahim Nayhelm was today twenty-one. The Laxorian landscape of tall grasslands was filled with armored Realn as they prepared for the ensuing battle on the old ruin grounds of the city of Laxan. As Nahim’s hands glided through the checks of his weapons, he thought back through all the birthdays he had had on this beautiful planet, Laxor. His thoughts walked anew among those memories, among those lilies and among those heart-piercing thorns. There was his fifteenth when he was given his first suit of Mithaln or Realn steal armor. When he was five and Knight, his Leavar friend, had hatched from his dark-colored egg. But out of all fifteen and now sixteen birthdays on Laxor, his thirteenth was the most remembered and replayed. Looking up at those again-smoking volcanoes, he ran his mind through those advents yet another time. The day when on January 15th his two mischievous older brothers tried to teach him a lesson would never be forgotten….
The thirteen-year-old Nahim dashed around the corner of a Realn house, his black hair hitting his face. Pressing himself against the metal building, he puffed out warm breaths. The city of Laxan was always hot in January. Nahim pushed aside a lock of wet hair and scanned the horizon with his red eyes. The city stretched on for a little ways before halting and giving way to a grassland to the right and a forest of tall Laxorian trees to the left. Behind him lay most of Laxan and behind that loomed two smoking volcanoes. They rarely erupted, but they could and had. The Realn people are a warrior people who have dealt with war and battles since Ancient Wond. They are also a people known for living on volcanic planets and even in Ancient Wond lived on islands infested with dragons and volcanoes. A volcanic eruption was part of life and culture. Nahim turned back to the grasslands and took in the sweet aroma that they gave the air when it was hot like today.
Strong hands gripped Nahim’s shoulders from behind and turned him. The smooth, playful face of Nahim’s older brother, Alin, met his gaze. “I found you, finally.” A glint flashed in his brown eyes. Nahim looked Alin over and saw a pair of speeder goggles in his left hand. “You are going to take a joyride?” The flicker sparked again “Yes, but this time I’m going to take the birthday boy on a special trip, an excursion into the fields and forest.”
The thirteen-year-old looked past his fifteen-year-old brother and said, “Well since Larin hasn’t grabbed me to play Alley Dash again, I guess I can go.” The youngest Anoran and Narony Nayhelm child, Larin, giggled from behind Alin. Alin laughed. Larin had a persuasive way of getting Nahim to play that old game. Alin sent Nahim into a march in front of him, calling Larin to come back to the house. With Larin still trying to get Nahim to play, the three brothers walked back to their home near the edge of the largest Nayhelm city.
They crisscrossed along streets and took a few alleyway shortcuts that they were famous for before reaching the tower-like house they called home. Master Anoran was steward of the city of Laxan while Lord Adorian was away on this new and vicious Nanian War, because of this status their home was made to reflect in architecture the Lord’s Tower. This dark, metallic grey with spiraling black tower had been Nahim’s home all his life and as far as he knew all of Alin’s too. These children had never known another home and this home was thoroughly known. Every alleyway was mapped in their minds and every nook and cranny on this side was no longer new.
Narony smiled as she watched the brothers race each other the last bit home. Alin reached the door first with a thump and Nahim and Larin tackled him neck to neck. Within a minute Alin stepped into the door saying something about how he was an innocent victim of a couple black-haired predators. Narony shook her head. Raising four boys was always going to be interesting. “I found the second pair of speeder gear, Alin.” Her second oldest nodded as she handed him the second pair of speeder goggles and suit. Which Nahim in turn took from him and marched up to his room.
Nahim, now sporting a navy blue speeder suit with a stripe of electric blue down the side, stepped from the coated metal building he called home. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the oldest brother, Knihan, stifle a grin. Nahim knew when that grey-eyed mischief-making city-guard grinned, he had a plan brewing. Usually a prank. Nahim was glad that Knihan would not have a chance to get at him today. He’d have to divert his devious plans onto Larin, if he wasn’t the victim of Alley Dash first. Alin stepped out of the triangular door and tossed Nahim a pair of speeder goggles. “Get ready, little teen.” Nahim mounted the back of the black and electric blue Realn speeder. Alin sat down in front of his little brother and snapped into place his goggles. They leaned forward together in the posture Alin always used with speeders. With a twist of the handle the two of them sped towards the edge of Laxan.
The shear speed sent wind to bombard their faces and play in their hair. Without the goggles their eyes would start to fill with water and the picture of the world about them would grow too fuzzy to see clearly. Their black hair sometimes came back to whip their faces if they slowed suddenly. The tall grasslands bowed as they passed and occasionally revealed the orange-and-black-striped carnivorous creatures that prowled the grassland after the flighty grazing animals that commonly fled as the two brothers passed. The call of a loud Leavar traveled on the air: Hhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
The high pitch was ear-piercing when heard close by. “Knight calling his buddies?” Alin asked. Nahim knew that call anywhere. His beautiful black and red Leavar friend was chieftain of those volcano-dwelling wonders. His call could be heard miles away and had a unique ring. “Alin, do you know any Leavar with that long and that high-pitched a call?” Alin couldn’t say he did. And of course that was the case, no one could. Knight trumped them all. Alin directed the speeder towards the forest.
Laxorian trees loomed about them. Tall, grey trunks ended on one end with stretching roots. On the other hung spherical leaves and fruits. These trees where spaced about 1 kilometer apart but there was no break in the thick overhead foliage. Thick bushes and thickets along with other types of trees and saplings made this forest thick but not hard for Alin to maneuver through. He had learned to use a speeder here and every obstacle was known to him. Evening was nearing and soon this entire forest would be dark before the grasslands thanks to the thick foliage. Nahim felt a jolt as the speeder picked up speed. Alin was going to rush it again. Nahim enjoyed watching the streaks of color fly by but as he finally glanced up, he gasped. “Alin, watch out!” Alin turned suddenly and the belly of the speeder scraped against the tree. Alin crashed the speeder into a thicket. Nahim lifted himself out of the brush. The scent of flowers, earth, and Laxorian sap filled his nostrils. He looked himself over and then turned to see Alin lifting himself out of the brush. “I think the speeder is broken.” Nahim narrowed his eyes. Alin never crashed. He was a top pilot with ships, speeders, gliders, anything Nahim could think of! And how did he already know the speeder was broken when the speeder was under Nahim’s crash bush. It all added up to one of two things. Either Alin knew by feel that the speeder was broken when they scraped the tree or Alin crashed the speeder on purpose. Nahim was going with the later. “You did that on purpose!” Alin chuckled. “Yep and guess what? You have to fix it all by yourself.” “What! All by myself? It’s almost dark and why can’t you help me?” Alin winced. “I might have broken my wrist. I can’t really help besides you’re a teen, you can do more than before, right?” Nahim was wondering if Nihan’s grin was really about the “joyride.” Nahim sighed. He knew, no matter how bad Alin’s “logic” was, he would never win this argument. Nihan and Alin had a knack for getting their way. Besides if this double-crossing brother of his was really hurt, who was he to inflict more pain on Alin? Nahim grunted as he flipped the speeder over. He fumbled through a compartment near the rear of the speeder. From this he pulled out a few shiny metal tools and began working on the interior of the broken speeder. The lifter was broken. As Nahim investigated the full extent of the damages he thought it unlikely that just a belly-scrape did it. “Nihan sabotaged this!” Alin said nothing.
The forest was dark now. Nightly sounds of insects was the background to the once or twice accuracy of a creatures’ screech. Nahim still hadn’t fixed the broken speeder. He rolled back on his heels and let his shoulders sag. “This is impossible.” He cast the tools and night torch on the ground. Silence followed except the resounding insects and some rustling leaves. Pop. The strange, unfitting sound wasn’t loud nor inaudible above the insect serenade. Alin stepped forward and stretched his fingers. “Need some help, little guy?” Nahim did not shift his downcast position. “Nahim, did you know that your old big brother can actually fix speeders almost one-handed? Did you also know that twisted and popped-out-of-joint bones feel very much like breaks and that when you exercise you fingers just right, at least in my case, that out-of-place bone will snap back? I didn’t know those last ones before but I do know that you really need some help here.” Nahim’s downcast red eyes met Alin’s brown ones under those matter-a-factly-raised eyebrows. Nahim got to his feet and nodded wearily, picking up the night light.
It was about midnight when the speeder and two weary brothers came home. The well-rested Knihan greeted the yawning teens with a contented grin. “Well, what did you learn?” Nahim wiped some sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. “What? This was a lesson?” Knihan and Alin nodded in unison, before Knihan repeated his question. “How about never go on a trip with your big brother on your birthday.” Alin slugged Nahim’s shoulder with a playful fist. “Oh, Come on! You know Dad would never allow it if we didn’t have something better than that!” Alin had a point. Nahim thought back to when he was going to give up and Alin helped him. They would never have gotten out of there if it wasn’t for him. “Maybe that two heads and two pairs of hands are better than one?” Knihan ran his armored hands over his buzz-cut black hair and gave this bored look at Alin. “He didn’t learn anything, did he?” Alin chuckled. “Besides that we are mischief makers, I guess not.” Suddenly the thought struck Nahim. What if he had been alone? What if it was an uncontrolled crash and Alin had been unconscious or worse? Nahim would have been truly alone and would have never been able to fix that speeder. “I couldn’t have done it alone?” “Yes!” The two voices of Knihan and Alin blended perfectly. “Well, that and we wanted you to see the sense in the proverb:
‘Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken’
Never go it alone, little brother, no matter how, old, strong, supposedly wise or brave you are, never go it alone. Never go into something head first unless you know you are on Immanuel’s side either. He will never leave you.” Nahim nodded, smiled, and decided it was way past his bedtime. Knihan gave one last grin. “Hey, at least YOU weren’t grabbed to play probably a hundred games of Alley Dash!” Nahim returned one of Knihan’s mischievous grins. Alin laughed….
But what about Nahim now? At age twenty-one? It had been easy to believe such things but now he truly felt alone. His family was dead. And his friends he had left behind. “What’s wrong?” A woman’s voice pierced his thoughts. Nahim shook himself to come back to the present. Noranay was looking at him with those beautiful brown eyes of hers, a feminine version of Alin’s. Her red hair hung freely over her shoulders. Nahim shook his head. “Nothing really.” Noranay searched his face from his scar to his chin before taking in a breath. “You ready for this battle?” Nahim rose and nodded. “Let’s do this, together.”
GLOSSARY and PRONOUNCIATIONS
ALIN _ AY-lin _ Second oldest Anoran and Narony Nayhelm child. Occupation: Realn pilot. Age: fifteen
ALLEY DASH _ Game commonly payed by Realn children in urban areas including 2 and up participants, fake laser guns, and a good position for hiding and shooting. The point is to be the last one standing.
ANCIENT WOND _ WON-d _ the planet Wond in its ancient ages.
ANORAN _ UH-nor-an _ Steward of Laxan and father to the Nahim, Alin, Larin, and Nihan. Married to Narony.
GA _ abbreviation for Galaxy Age
LARIN _ LAR-in _ Youngest Anoran and Narony child. Age: eight
LAXAN _ LAX-in _ Largest Nayhelm city which is destroyed by the Nanians in 10,015 GA, 2 years after this story’s setting.
LAXOR _ LAX-ore _ a Planet; part of the Tri-solar Realn system. Home to many unique species and five hundred Realn family-clans.
LAXORIAN _ LAX-ore-ree-an _ anything that belongs to Laxor.
LEAVAR _ LEAH-var _ a volcano-dwelling amphibian only native to Laxor who has a long and high-pitched call that can sometimes be heard miles away. There are many different species ranging from the size of a man’s hand to the size of a Belgium horse. They are very friendly many times and often are replacements for horses around areas where they live.
LORD ANORAN _ UH-nor-an _ Lord of the Nayhelm from 9,992 GA till his death in 10,016 GA.
MITHALN _ MITH-all-n _ or Realn steal as most outsiders of the Realn people call it. It is a silver colored metal used for the making of Realn weapons and armor, noted for its strength. It was only found on the Realn isles in Ancient Wond and only found in the Realn system in the Wond Galaxy.
NAHIM _ NAY-him _ Main character. Third Anoran and Narony Nayhelm child. Born in 10,000 GA on January fifteenth.
NARONY _ NARR-own-ee _ Mother to Nahim, Alin, Larin and Nihan. Wife to Anoran.
NAYHELM _ NAY-hel-m _ a Realn family-clan that lived on Laxor before being wiped out in the Nanian war.
KNIHAN _ KNEE-hon _ Oldest Anoran and Narony Nayhelm child. Occupation: city guard. Age: seventeen.
NORANAY _ NORA-nay _ Realn woman of the age of nineteen and part of the Helm family-clan.
REALN _ REE-el-n _ A warrior people who originated in Ancient Wond. They follow a series of different Codes but value most the Code of Honor. They are made up of family-clans, families, Lone Ones and an emperor. The different classes are Warriors, Masters of War, Lords, Barons Dukes, et cetera and an emperor and/or empress. The different ages are Young One ( ages 14 and below ), Young Warrior (ages 15 to 20), and Warriors (ages 20 to death.)
WOND _ WON-d _ a planet on which Wondian men, elves, dwarves, et cetera came from.
WONDIAN _ WON-d-dee-an _ anything that originates and/or belongs to Wond.
WOND GALAXY _ WON-d _ the Galaxy in which Wond is located, named so because the Wondians were the first to develop space travel.
Joyful, helpful, wise, stubborn, and fun are all the words that describe the author, Ru AE. Her imaginative writing is both moral, thrilling, and inspirational. She has a writers mind, thinking into almost every detail of both characters and setting. She is extremely enthusiastic and involved in her writing. Ru is a colorful person and author that God has created. Her story is well worth the read.
Bio written by: Her Father and Brother
**Changed names at top and in bio since I do not want my true full name on the internet** This leads off of my book, Guardian Angels that I’m working on, but is a seperate piece.