LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #22: "The Traitor's Tale"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 19:59:35 PDT 2020

#22: "The Traitor's Tale"
A tragedy of glowy birds, by Drew Nilium


"Behold!" says an august kiwi, green feathers speckled with gray, gesturing 
grandly to an incandescently shimmering orb in the sky. "The Shining Dream, the 
artificial white hole that powered the Aviary of Light and the powers of all 

The august kiwi's twin children listen in wondermazement at the tale of how the 
UltraKiwis came to protect the universe from monsters!

Afterward, one of the children goes out into the lush, warm vacuum of the inner 
galaxy! Alighting on a rocky world, he practices his moves, for the day when he 
will join the ranks of the UltraKiwis!

Then he spots it - a real-life monster! He leaps joyously to confront this foe - 
but it does not leap into battle! He sees that it is covered in grevious wounds 
- clinging to life!

"Surely," says the child, "our oath to protect all life extends even to monsters!"

He gives of the light within him to the monster, and it calms, wounds healing. 
And then his father appears, in his silver-and-red combat form; and the child 
turns to him in delight.

But his father's radiance is serious and grim; and his ultra-energy glows in the 
spectra of destruction. "Stand aside, son, for that is a universal criminal, who 
has caused the deaths of many."

The child can't believe his father's words. "But, wounded, helpless, is he truly 
a danger worthy of destruction?"

"By giving this one life, you have only made it more likely that it will take 
the lives of others. I say again, stand aside."

The child hesitates, unsure, caught between ideal and family. And in that frozen 
moment, the monster leaps up, roaring, and slashes the child across the face, 
and flees into the cosmos. And his father gives chase.

The one left behind is quiet, head turned down. "So I see..." He is no longer a 
child. "Ruthlessness is the true virtue of the universe..."

Many of the Aviary of Light take wounds in battle, and they heal quickly under 
the light of the Shining Dream. But the former child's wound festers, in 
bitterness and resentment, and becomes a scar.

And the scarred one sees, in his convalescence, his father training his twin 
sister, who has never had to learn this harsh lesson. And that resentment finds 
its target.

The scarred one trains as well, dedicating himself to the rooting out of 
monsters, and is efficient and powerful in that task. But it is not enough; 
others outdo him flamboyantly. He must become more powerful.

He goes to the Shining Dream, to the edge of its strange and infinite corona, 
and attempts to take its power - whole! But such a great power does not allow 
itself to be taken, and lashes back, cosmically; he is thrown from the universe 
itself, falls screaming thru endless un-space, until he is pulled in by the 
gravity of the deeper worlds...

The scarred one lands as a fireball in some nameless land. He lays in a crater, 
cursing his people and his father and especially his sister. He curses for a 
long time, a sunken thing of smoldering rage and sputtering hate. But in the 
fullness of time, something slithers up to him, like a woven snake, and speaks 
with a serpent's tongue.

"My siblings and I saw you fall. We were like you, cast down from above. You 
have power, and so do we. Join us, and we can destroy all who oppose us, as family!"

There are tellings of this story where the scarred one joins them. There are 
tellings of this story where the scarred one goes back to his family. There are 
tellings of this story where the scarred one finds an unlikely friend and 
becomes a new kind of here.

This is not any of those tellings.

The scarred one reaches out to the woven snake... and grabs it. He takes of its 
power, and it is not nearly as powerful as the Shining Dream; it barely knows it 
is dying before it is dead.

He feels its power, and understands, now. The power of the UltraKiwis exists to 
destroy the monsters - for they cannot allow anyone else to rule!

All that is left of the snake is an empty tube. The scarred one uses it to cover 
his scars. He has learned the lessons, and he will take the power the UltraKiwis 
fear, the power of monsters and the rejected and scarred, and use it to rule!


Drew "this was going to be part of a larger issue but I think it stands alone" 

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