Thursday, November 04, 2004

Rite of Passage.

Episode for Nov 3, 2004, Wednesday. Dakila sent his maya ahead of them on their journey to see if any dangers were ahead. While they waited, Alwina reminded Aguiluz of Aviona’s sacrifice for them. She remarked that they, too, must make a sacrifice as well. “Everyone must do so,” she said. They weren’t the only ones who remembered Aviona. Bianca consoled her back at Aliwala, saying, “Don’t worry, there’s a reward waiting for people like you who give to others.” But Aviona wasn’t going to waste all her time grieving over her loss. When news reached them that Tierra Fuego had been taken, she turned sober. “There’s nothing more that we can do for them,” she said. “But there is something we can do for ourselves. We must defend ourselves. Training begins today!” Things were not going well in Tierra Fuego indeed. Not for the humans, that is. Lucio stood petrified before Vultra, fearing he would suffer the same fate as his father. But she had other ideas. “I’m not going to kill you,” she said. “I’m glad I found a new toy.” She led him back to the Ravena camp where Rasmus was making an inspection. The soldiers were now learning to use firearms under Lucio’s chief huntsman. Habagat told him they must know how to use these new weapons to succeed in further campaigns. “When the neighbouring towns and cities hear of this, they will unite against us. So we must strengthen our forces.” But Rasmus sneered at him and continued to argue. Then Vultra made her entrance with the dazed Lucio in tow. She scolded Habagat for the sloppy security that almost let the haciendero escape. Then she smiled at her consort and touched him lovingly. “This is your new toy,” she said – meaning Lucio. “Think of him as a circus freak. You can make him run, walk, crawl on the ground, or whatever you like.” Rasmus lightened up then. “Resume your training!” he ordered the troops. “I will amuse myself with this plaything my queen has given me.” Habagat could only watch as the couple turned the town he’d conquered into their own playground. I did all the work, he thought, and now these two play lord and lady here? Tension arose in Alwina’s little band of adventurers. Dakdak was still upset that Kuskos the Musang had been included with them. He didn’t trust the carnivore. Sure enough, when Kuskos went out hunting for prey, she spotted Dakila’s maya and pounced on the little bird. But Dakila caught that. Alwina tried to defend the Musang’s instinct, as usual, but Dakdak cried, “I knew it! Now, who’s going to be her next meal? Lawiswis? You?” Elsewhere among the group, there were other problems. Pagaspas told Mulagat he should either give the Hiyas to Dakila or else return it to Encantadia. But Mulagat insisted on being its keeper. Lawiswis then said, “Oh, Mulagat, won’t you make me a tent?” But the encantado snubbed the former apple of his eye. “I would but I have other things to do,” he replied coldly. “Oh, Mulagat, won’t you make me a tent?” Gus mimicked with a mocking gesture. “Good for you!” Back in Tierra Fuego, the Ravena soldiers at last discovered Savannah’s hiding place. They grabbed her mother who was outside, and forced her to go with them. Savannah hid herself and pleaded with Balasik for help. “I only give information,” said the bird. “I don’t give solutions to problems.” This made her furious. But Savannah had no time to quarrel with the Balasik. She had to escape and report to the other towns about the Ravena. She covered Balasik’s cage with a cloth to hide him from the Ravena. “They might use you if they find you,” said the spiteful girl. “If they can find me, they can find you,” Balasik thought. As usual, Balasik’s word came true. Habagat had increased security along the roads so that no one could flee. The soldiers found Savannah and brought her before their king and queen. Vultra recognized the feisty lass. Rasmus wanted to put her to death to make an example. But still in a playful mood, Vultra persuaded him to keep Savannah alive. She argued that they needed strong and able slaves. So Rasmus sent the girl to work in the fields to gather food for the soldiers. Savannah met Lourdes and Rusing (Lino’s grandmother) there. When a quarrel broke out between the women and the soldiers, Vultra appeared to them in human form break it up. “I knew it!” said Savannah. “I always knew you had some kind of power, Violetta.” “You’re a clever girl,” said Vultra. “But no one is more clever than I am. Keep that in mind.” Meanwhile, a Hunyaho spy reported to Habagat that Alwina the Mulawin queen was still alive. Habagat knew that this would bring great humiliation on Rasmus and Vultra if this came out. Further, Ravenom would be most pleased with him if Habagat himself brought Alwina’s corpse before him. So he sent out his troops to find Alwina and kill her. Thanks to the Hunyaho, it did not take long for the Ravena to locate the group. Quickly, the soldiers fell upon them. The evil bird-men were better-armed, but the more inspired band of heroes cut through their ranks and beat them. As Mulagat promised, each had his own weapon. Alwian still had her magic shawl. Dakdak took flight and used his enchanted umbrella. Gus and Wis had their slings. Dakila had his magic-staff, and so on. At the end of a long-drawn out fight, all the Ravena soldiers lay on the ground dead or beaten. But this is only the beginning.
 

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