Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Halimhim.

Episode for Feb 7, 2005, Monday. Rasmus immediately set out to meet with his spy once again. No matter where Aramis was holed up in, he could easily find him. And the Ravena king told him, “No matter what happens, don’t harm the Aguiluz in your midst. Don’t ask me how, but the one you have there now is not the Sugo. My father sent him. He is there to kill Alwina, and to spy for us since you have proven yourself useless.” Aramis was taken aback. His first thought was of Aviona. “What about Aviona? Will he hurt her too?” Rasmus snickered. “Your head is full of nothing but Aviona!” “Promise me that he will not harm her!” the archer insisted, but Rasmus merely laughed. Either he had little need now for Aramis and therefore could afford to upset him, or he really believed the hunter was still bound to him. But now Aramis determined to get the impostor out of the now that he knew the truth. The abduction of Lourdes heavily dampened the happiness that Gabriel felt at seeing Alwina once more. He only briefly explained to her how he had come to Carig, and when she asked about her foster-mother’s whereabouts, Gabriel chose to lie and said, “I only got here when you came in. I don’t know where she is.” “I have to go look for her then.” “No, no. Maybe we should just wait here. We don’t know that something bad happened to her anyway.” How can I tell you the truth? Gabriel wondered. If I tell on Ravenum and the others, they’ll tell you I’m a Ravena. Alwina was a little puzzled, but she nodded and did not object. She went outside to talk to the other girls who told her about Tata’s still-unsolved murder. Could the same individual be behind Lourdes’ disappearance also? But Terong interrupted them, “Not that I know any better, but keep in mind that Tata was found dead. There’s no sign of Aling Lourdes so we can’t say for sure.” The prince Mulagat cast one last look at Avila and said, “Promise me that you will still be there when I come back, Father.” Then he turned and stretched forth his hand to open a portal to Encantadia. Nothing happened; he could not make one. Flustered, Mulagat repeated the attempt, and this time, a dark portal appeared from thin air. Ignoring what should have been an obvious sign of danger, the lad went ahead and stepped into it. Just as soon as he was on the other side, Mulagat surveyed his new environment. A thick gray mist covered the land; no light was visible; and most of all, the air was devoid of the sweet fragrance of life-giving anima. The place seemed dead. “This is not Encantadia,” he said to himself. “Where am I?” Meanwhile, Aguiluz was still with the children, wondering where to begin looking for Alwina. He knew she could not be in Avila; she would not return there without the three youngsters. But where was she? Aguiluz’s spirit-eye could wander, of course, and his intense meditation was finally rewarded by a glimpse of her. “I see her now,” he told his anxious friends. “She’s with some people, but I don’t recognize the place. It’s not a highland. It can’t be Avila. It’s an ordinary town. And since all the lowland villages look alike, I don’t know where she is.” When he thought the children were asleep, Aguiluz went off on his own to pray. He entreated his Maker for aid, confessing he could not make it alone now without Him. The children, meanwhile, were consulting among themselves how best they could help Aguiluz. “Let’s go back to Avila and ask help from Dakila and the others,” Gus suggested. To this the others agreed, and went to sleep contented. As Ravenum had predicted, his mate conceived. She was heavy with child and evidently in great discomfort. The incubation period appeared to be very short indeed to Savannah. It seemed “bad grass” not only was hard to kill; it also grew up very quickly. Concerned for the eggs the queen-mother was about to lay, Ravenum declared that they must find a nest soon. “Have you done as I told you to?” he asked Rasmus when the latter rejoined them. “Yes, Father. And not only that, I found a place where we can build a new Halconia. It looks like a deserted town.” So he took them to that dark and remote place, which offered nothing interesting to Savannah’s human eyes. But Ravenum was pleased. “We will call this place Halimlim, the new nest of darkness,” he announced. That night during a storm, the long hours of labor pain began for Lourdes. It was an amusing sight for Savannah, and for Ravenum a very serious and important development that he had to supervise closely. Rasmus had mixed feelings of anticipation and skepticism. “Before daybreak, she will have lain her eggs,” the father promised. His estimate would prove accurate. Past midnight as the storm raged, Lourdes hollered in agony amid the din of thunderclaps. Vague flashbacks of a similar pain from long ago assailed her. Ravenum was at her side, vigilant, knowing that the hour would soon arrive. His companions had fallen asleep and missed the actual delivery. When he stirred them awake, saying, “Come and look!” five large Ravena eggs lay together in a nest, glistening under the flash of lightning bolts. “Cool!” Savannah exclaimed. “This was my idea!” Then she looked at the weary and half-conscious Lourdes and remarked, “Who would’ve thought that she’d be useful to us?” Ravenum smiled, but gave a warning. “Lourdes is now one of us. I don’t want to see you maltreating her. Do not disturb her.” Savannah shrugged. “If you say so.” The queen of the water element, Linang, sought a private audience with her sole superior in Encantadia: the Queen Mother. She appealed for help to save Habagat’s life. “But you know that Habagat no longer has his ugatpak,” the Queen Mother replied. “Ever since we gave it to Mulagat, the father has no longer been able to protect himself from disease.” Linang cried, “There has to be a way!” The Queen Mother was clam outside, but deep inside she was troubled. “I will admit that there is another way. But it is a heavy price you must pay, Linang. You must give up all your powers as a Diwata. It is that power you have that can save Habagat.” Linang was undaunted. Perhaps fate or a higher power was teaching her a lesson. Had it not been her pride at becoming a powerful Diwata that caused her breakup with Habagat? She could still remember it. Pride in her newfound status as queen – and fear of losing it – had led her to distrust even him. Not long after that, she abandoned Habagat, preferring her office as lady of the waters. Perhaps now, Linang was being given the opportunity to do it differently. “It is a heavy price to pay,” she later told Muyak. “But for Habagat’s sake, I will do it. She confirmed this to the Queen Mother, who now reminded her, “Because of the dark clouds that have covered Avila, it is no longer possible for you to use the enchanted portal to go there. Instead, the portals there lead to the dark realm. You must take the long route as mortals do.” Linang nodded, firmly committed to perform this sacrifice. She would now have to leave Encantadia, her home for so many years, and where she had raised her only child. She must enter the world of mortal beings as one of them. Linang bade farewell to Muyak and all the others, and then lay down before the Queen Mother for her sacrifice.
 

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