Nunc Incipitur is Latin for ‘now it begins’. It is also happens to be the prologue to book 2 of the Vokhtah cycle. 🙂
I have been struggling with book 2 because I spent too long away from the story, and because I already knew what book 2 would be about. There were no surprises, or so I thought. I am pleased to say I was wrong, and now I have my excitement back.
I wrote Nunc Incipitur just this morning and I rather like it. I’d really appreciate your feedback.
[now it begins]
The Female endured the healers’ ministrations in silence, but her anger was as loud as a shout. She still hated them as much as she ever had, and still longed to tear them to pieces – that had not changed – but since her recovery she had learned to fear their power. That was new.
During the mating she had fought the Seven without fear because death was the natural ending to every life. However there had been nothing natural about the way the healers had fought her. Even now, whenever they touched her head, her whole body would tense up, fearing the moment of blackness, of nothingness.
They called it sleep, but it was more like a small death from which she would awake, moments or hours later, with no sense of time having passed. And yet she knew time must have passed because things would be different when she awoke, she would be different.
The first time the healers used their power on her had been during a feed. The healer offering her the tukti had been afraid, and the scent of its fear had ignited her blood lust. She had lunged for it, ready to tear its hearts out. A moment later she had awoken to find her hands empty, as empty as her spirit. The bloodlust was gone, snuffed out as if it had never been.
The healers had done the same thing to her many times before she had finally understood that they were the ones stealing time from her life. And that was when the fear had begun. And the despair.
But she had been too strong for them. Instead of continuing her futile attempts to kill them, she had focused her hatred inwards, tirelessly searching shared memories for a way out. And she had found it.
Buried in the memories of a long dead Sage she had found a curiosity ignored by most Vokh. It was a way to cross the void to a place as different to Vokhtah as day was to night.
The Sage who found this strange place had only managed to force a sharing with one of the inhabitants for a very short time. Nonetheless, even that brief sharing had been hellish, revealing a world bathed in shades of black and grey. Little wonder the Sage had not experimented further.
But she had. Every night for the last ti’m’akh, she had honed her skills until she too could make the leap across the void, and she had discovered the world had a daytime face as well. The light was always as bright as when Takh was alone in the sky, however the colours had been all wrong, with none of the soft purples of Vokhtah. The smells had been strange too, but for all its strangeness, the world had teemed with life…
The soft thud of the door closing brought the Female back to the present, and a thrill of excitement made her cilia writhe. By the time the healers returned at first-light they would find nothing but a cold, dead husk! The part of her that mattered would be gone, treading the paths of that eerie blue world in a new body. She would have to learn how to hunt in a body without wings or fangs, but she was a hunter, and hunters always triumphed.
Taking a deep breath, the Female focused her talent into a bright, hard point, and threw her awareness out into the void.