WRITING Three to One (Finished other than some edits)

Discussion in 'SHOWCASING' started by Moose, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Erhard woke up, he didn't want to, he wanted to roll over and go back to bed, it would be nice to rest more. He couldn't keep up with the liveliness of the rest of his clan, sleeping six hours a night, he lost four hours to the rest of them on most days. But he knew he'd rather do what he was supposed to for the day.

    He was very sphelt, unlike the rest of his tribe which were robust and looked healthy, however, they all shared the same paleness. The paleness of the Pagas. They were deep in a forest, in an area where the trees suddenly became much larger. A gift both to and from the Pagas.

    Erhard tipped over his hammock, spilling out onto the floor. He pushed himself up from the wooden floor of the mother tree. He ran down the hall, younger kids surging around him, running like him as they all went for the stairs. They tromped down the stairs and burst out on the bottom floor. Scattering once they got out to the dirt, heading to various other trees. Mother tree was the center of their village, so it was easy for all the children to get to their classes. Erhard was by far the oldest of the children still in mother tree.

    Erhard walked to the class tree where his teacher, Emma, was. She was a few years younger than him, however, she had mastered magic with such ease that she was an adult before Erhard had the most basic grasp of magic. He was glad to be learning from her, it happened that he learned magic of the sun much more quickly, so she was to be his teacher.

    Emma smiled as he came in, she was lithe and lightly tanned, as would be expected for the master of the sun. She admired Erhard's form, curling her lips back as she bit on a remark that she wanted to issue. He was a man in every way except that which mattered, magic. He hadn't been any more than an apprentice all his life. He had been improving, but he took years to do what took months for most others. And she was his teacher.

    She blew a long lock of blonde hair off of her forehead, pulling her hair up into a ponytail and having her tree weave a band around it to keep it in place. She had survived 19 winters, and such a simple trick was easy, though helpful. She began to walk to the door that Erhard just came in, "You're here, good. You sleeping so much is a boon to be honest." She said as she went around him to walk out the door, "Come on then." She said with a smile, motioning for him, holding her arms wide.

    He reluctantly went into her arms, knowing what was coming. She wrapped her arms tightly around him and jumped ten feet into the air onto the lip of the door frame. She jumped another ten feet, going up to a small ledge. Testing for the body enhancers on each of the trees around them. Erhard closed his eyes, hearing a class of the body enhancers stampeding past them, their teacher hooting and hollering at Emma. Emma frowned, it wasn't her specialty, but even she had to hold back for Erhard so she wouldn't break his bones on their ascent. Finally they got up to the branches and began jumping up further and further in the tree, taking smaller jumps between the branches to be softer on Erhard.

    They reached the canopy and burst out, leaves scattering around them, journeymen body enhancers leaping about. The sun was beginning to rise so they ducked back under the canopy, leaving Erhard and Emma alone.

    "Do you feel the heat?" She asked, "Feel the life that this brings to us! From the trees to our own skin. It brings light for our eyes!" She said excitedly.

    "Heat, light, life." He said spreading his hands and a small ball of energy appearing in his hand, a halo of heat and fire around it.

    "There we go." She said, holding her arms over her head to take in the sun, "Remember, it's not about the size, it's about-"

    "The amount of energy." He said, repeating the lesson she had drilled into his head, "But I don't have the kind of power to make it greater than it is, so perhaps we teach me more advanced techniques and let my power grow?" He asked.

    She sighed and let her hands fall to her sides, "All right. Next lesson." She said softly.
     
  2. By the end of the lessons for the day, Erhard had learned to morph the energy's shape into a ring or cylinder. He was satisfied with this and determined to practice it the next day.

    Erhard went to sleep, dreaming of solar flares and heat waves, forming in his hands, he dreamed he made a sun as glorious as their true one, and sending it out to the stars.

    He woke up, no lessons today. He got out of his hammock and walked to the end of the hall, going up the stairs instead of down, he wanted to speak to Demeter. It took him long to get to the room, it was at the top of the tree, but she wasn't there. There were some rugs and chairs scattered randomly, a bed pressed up against a bookshelf in the far corner of the room. In the center there was another staircase, a spiral staircase of wood, leading up to her platform above the canopy, as close to the sun as anyone could be while connected to the ground.

    He walked to the stairs, beginning to climb up them until he got to the deck. The deck was far better organized, there was a table by the northern rail with chairs that bordered the south. Chairs grew out of the deck, facing east, south and west in a circle. He saw Demeter in a southeast chair, she motioned for him to come over.

    He walked over and sat on the chair to the south of hers and sighed softly, "Child, what is it that disturbs you?" She asked in her lilting voice, a smile creasing her smile wrinkles. She didn't show her age, but she also allowed herself to look more than middle aged, numerous gray streaks along her brown, Erhard wondered how soon he would get to be like her, he couldn't do the basics of body enhancing, so he would age like a normal human.

    "I know I'm not a normal." He said softly.

    "No, you clearly are not, I'm told you've advanced in your studies, perhaps you'll become a man soon?" She asked with a chortle, looking to him, her eyes gave her vitality away, even while she was sitting her, not moving, you could tell, the skin is just skin.

    "I fear I may not become a full man by tribe standards until I look older than you." He said softly, looking down at his feet, "I have little power, limiting my skill for magic." He said with a frown.

    She laughed, "No, that's not likely, we kept holding you back from further lessons because we hoped you would blossom first and we feared you might harm yourself if you used a more advanced technique while blossoming. But you have already blossomed, and while you may not be one of the greatest mages of our clan, myself, Emma and Ivan are the most powerful, after us, capacity gets cut nearly in half, Adam has only three fourths my own power, Kristine two thirds of Ivan's power, Kurt, Lambert, Lydia, Maria, and Xaver are all floating at half of Ivan's power. I used these specific examples to tell you something. Do you know what that is?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.

    "Is it because you're the ten most powerful people in the grove and Emma's the only one with sun powers?" He asked.

    Demeter snapped her fingers, "Exactly." She said with a smile, "You and Emma are the only people in the grove who can mimic the energy of the sun, and that, my boy, is special." She kissed Erhard's cheek, "So, can you show this old woman that energy?" She asked.

    Erhard nodded and made as large of a ring of solar energy as he could, as it turned out, stretching out the energy as thin as he could, he could make it so she had a halo, she looked up past her brow and laughed, "Very good boy." She said, patting him on the head.

    Erhard couldn't maintain it anymore and it dissipated. Demeter stood and moved over two chairs, settling down, "Now, I enjoy our little chats, but they take up all my energy, would you mind playing with the other children?" She asked, the smile fading.

    Erhard frowned and nodded, getting up and heading back downstairs.
     
  3. Erhard sat on a stump, looking around at the body enhancers jumping around along the trees, with their teacher. Ivan was among them, jumping around them and giving them critiques on their form while herding them, keeping them closer to their teacher. He saw Erhard and jumped down to him and smiled, "Well, if it isn't solar boy!" He shouted, laughing openly, "Say, boy, I've tried with Emma to hold her suns, but they always won out, I hear yours are much smaller, I was wondering if you'd be willing to pit your sun against my strength." He said with a smile. Erhard looked up to him, he was naked from the waist up with only a loincloth to cover his lower body. He was heavily muscled and well toned, every inch of him was devoid of hair, his brown eyes glinted.

    Erhard shook his head, "No thank you, I don't need another reminder at my lack of power." He said with a frown.

    Not one to be said no to Ivan thought about how he could convince him, "Say, how about, win or lose, I take you out and we go mushroom picking, look for those blue glow in the dark mushrooms that grow so well when integrated with one of our trees, what do you say?" He asked with a smile.

    Erhard smiled, "You're on. But, if I win, you have to take me tomorrow too." He said, showing his teeth.

    The corners of Ivan's lips turned down in an expression that showed he was impressed, "All right." He said, "Ready when you are." He said, his own expression turning into a large grin.

    Erhard made a small sun, inches from his fingertips, immediately, Ivan clapped his hands over it, squeezing the sun. He grunted with the effort and with the pain as he closed his hands, forcing the sun to dissipate. He breathed heavily, sweat covering his whole body, "Yes! I did it! I beat the sun!" He shouted, jumping up, 200 feet in the air. Erhard waited for him to come down and land, a cloud of dust going into the air, "All right kid, let's go get you some of those mushrooms." He said, escorting Erhard out into the forest.

    Erhard generated a second sun as they left the grove, the trees grew more densely here, leaving them in the dark, the light allowed them to see in front of them and step over the roots and such that would otherwise trip them up.

    After a while Erhard heard growling and footsteps as a pack of dogs began circling them.

    "Now that's no good." Ivan said, "Even if they don't step into the light, they're likely to take up some mushrooms so we won't find any." He looked up to the small sun, "And you can't make that thing any bigger." He muttered to himself, "And I heard about your short range... Protect yourself." He said, leaping into the pack of wolves, there was several yips and then a wolf dashed to Erhard.

    Erhard's eyes grew wide and he prepared to strike, inches away from his sun, Ivan took down the wolf. It cried out and the pack broke off running.

    "Good job." He said, patting Erhard on the back as they continued on. Soon enough they saw the promised mushrooms, "There." Ivan said, pointing out the blue, glowing mushrooms, "Now hurry it up, we need to get back."

    Erhard sighed, picking his mushrooms, he picked up 13 though there were 15. He knew that that was the largest, practical magic number. They had 666 adults exactly, the largest of the known magic numbers, the largest there probably is, and he would be 667. He frowned at the thought, he felt out of place.

    His mushrooms in his arms, he began walking back to the grove, the mushrooms being their only light.
     
  4. The day came, it was time for his manhood induction. He would be considered a full member of the tribe and able to vote on tribe issues. He could wander the forest on his own.

    He shot up in his hammock and tipped over, rolling with it, lighter on his feet. He looked at his mushrooms, they had grown big in mother tree. He had thirteen to start out with, but two of them died along the way. He was upset about the off number. He decided to address this, picking three for his new tree, leaving a group of seven with a single one alone. The next child in this room would figure out how to deal with this. The stalks of the three he picked were as big around as his legs, he stroked them softly, feeling the spongey texture of the mushrooms. This had been his home for 23 years, and he was likely to live not much past 100 with his level of skill.

    Almost a quarter of his life, and he was going to the next step up. He nodded to himself, carrying the mushrooms with him. He knew where Emma would be, it wasn't quite sunrise yet and he wanted to join her by the time it rose.

    He ran out of mother tree and ran over to Emma's tree, jumping up the training ledges that he hadn't quite outgrown. He laughed, remembering how only a year ago, Emma was carrying him up the tree, no one was more excited for this day than them.

    The mushrooms floated behind him as he ascended, growing mycelium as he attempted to maintain their strength, over compensating slightly. He made it through the canopy, sweating heavily, smiling. The sun was just about to rise and the waxing light caught her hair.

    He sent his three mushrooms to float around her as he carefully picked his way to her branch, she smiled at Erhard, biting her lip at his approach, for once not feeling guilty as an authority figure, admiring one of her pupils. He was a journeyman, the ceremony was only a formality, an official declaration with the others who had finished their apprentice training around the same time.

    He was a man, not only sexually, physically and mentally, but magically now.

    He kissed her before kissing her eyebrows and pointing at the glowing mushrooms floating around her head, "The Earth, in all its beauty, only has the moon and the sun, but you, you have three planets orbiting you, so too does your beauty exceed that of the Earth's." He said with a smile.

    She laughed at his corny little speech, and looked to the sun as it rose, "Ah, but look, all three of them pale when compared to the sun." She said, indicating that their light faded as the sun's light increased, "Perhaps you should have brought me a better offering?" She teased.

    He held a hand over his head and exerted himself, making a sun the size of a beach ball, bright enough that the sun dimmed in comparison, "What good is a man if he cannot pluck the very sun from the sky for the woman he loves?" He asked, not to be outdone.

    She shaded her eyes and pointed at the still rising sun, "But the sun is still in the sky, and yours is smaller."

    He released the spell and fell over, his mushrooms falling into the branches of the tree, the mycelium tangling in the leaves and keeping them aloft.

    She looked over him concerned and he began to chuckle, "I can't believe today is here." he said breathlessly.

    "Yes, and you're going to be living with me, for several reasons, the best reason is that we're sharing our virginity tonight after the ceremony, and repeating the experience, again, and again, and again." She said, leaning over and putting her hand down his trousers.

    "Down, girl." He said disingenuously, kissing her.

    "I... Have... Needs." She said, pulling her to him, "Do you think you'll survive tonight? Can you even get up here without the training steps?" She teased.

    "I'll more than survive." He promised with a smile.
     
  5. Fire. He remembered something that the seven that Demeter had listed had in common now. They had developed a less refined version of Emma's and his power, fire.

    A great many of the trees were lit aflame, but mother tree was left alone.

    *****************************************************************************

    Ivan saw the flames and gathered with Demeter and Emma, "The people are panicking, Demeter, I have Emma, how many do I need to gather to make sure that we take them down?" He asked, knowing how Demeter knew every single one of the villagers and their powers, not just his knowledge of how well they could bound about.

    "Only one." Demeter said softly, "The seven who are doing this know full well what they're doing." She said softly, "Attacking on a Maturity ceremony day, knowing full well we three would be here, seperate from those of power who didn't have students who were becoming adults. We couldn't get enough people together to battle them. They knew this, and they knew that together, all Seven would have more power than we three, and I do not want to take the chance that they might kill one of us before we can kill one of them and force them to break ranks."

    "One?" Ivan asked, "But you just said we wouldn't have enough power with a large number of people and-"

    "The ritual." Emma said softly, "Remember the ritual we were taught on our Maturity day?" She asked.

    Ivan looked horrified, "You should boy, you were there when we were run by elders, and we made it." She said softly.

    "But our powers!" Ivan shouted.

    "Ivan! Every moment you delay, more of our people die! Your powers or the village? And may I remind you, they might kill us too." Demeter said, glaring at Ivan.

    He looked down at the ground, "Fine. I agree that I can't be the one to receive the power at the end of this, I'm not good for the village, as much as I hate to admit it. I can't even teach my own hoppers." He said quietly.

    "I don't know who I'd trust with the power of the sun in the village..." Emma said softly.

    "Don't you see." Demeter began as she brushed her hair from her face, vibrance returning to her skin. She began to stand up straighter, and strength returned to her voice, "That is the answer. The ritual transfers our power, but not our experience! If we gave it to anyone else, one third of their arsenal would be completely useless."

    "Who-" Emma began before realizing who she was talking about. She nodded and looked to Ivan who began to laugh.

    "I feel bad for giving him shit for so long now." He said with a smile.

    The three jumped in unison, their power synching, feeling the edges of the minds of the other two, anticipating their moves. They had the same intention, find Erhard to relinquish their powers.

    *********************************************************

    Erhard jumped along the training steps, pulling the heat energy away from the trees, it was childs play for him, putting out fires. They didn't have nearly the intensity of Emma's sunbeams. The seven took notice and swiftly moved towards him, sending out a gout of flame that knocked him to the ground as they did.

    They weren't united enough in their cause, some of them unsure of what they were doing, unable to reach him in time.

    Emma, Ivan and Demeter landed around Erhard. Demeter waved her hands and roots came up from the ground, forming a shell around them. They stood in a triangle around him and breathed lightly.

    "Erhard," Emma began, "We need you for this. The ritual-"

    "We wish for the power of us three to go to a single one, that one is you. Will you accept our power into yourself?" Demeter interrupted, leading Emma and Ivan into the ritual through their linked mind until they accepted it fully and were all of one mind once again.

    Erhard looked at the three, realizing what was happening and stood. He smiled at Emma, "Will you survive tonight?" He asked, unable to hide the fact that he was sweating, even in the dim light.

    They began to hear the crackling of the flames as they held their hands in front of them, willing their power to flow into him, "Three to one." They said in unison. Erhard felt their power, he felt their mind transfer, aware of their thoughts, knowing they would be unable to use magic again after this. Their lives would be significantly lessened, they would be discouraged from wandering into the forest without supervision.

    The ritual ended and the three collapsed, feeling their powers drained. Erhard looked to Emma, "I'll more than survive." She said, repeating his words from earlier in the day.

    Erhard nodded and jumped up through the top of the shelter of roots, closing it back up as he left. He pulled the heat from the fire and compressed it into a small ball of energy.


    He looked over the seven, "Adam, I thought you would have known better than to set fire to the Sacred Grove."

    "We left Mother Tree-"

    "Quiet!" Lydia snapped, "He's trying to break our unity of dri-" Erhard shot the ball of energy to her and she deflected it, just barely.

    "Boy, you're not fooling us." Kristene said, "What are those three planning?" She asked, sending a gout of fire at the tree, attempting to drive the three out.

    "Seven divided, one united!" Erhard shouted, pushing off from the tree and barrelling into Kristene, sending her flying. He looked to the six that remained and they looked at each other, understanding crossed their faces.

    They split into two groups of three and jumped off to regroup with Kristene, "Well, we know what they were planning now." Adam said softly as he helped her up. They joined in their unity again.

    Erhard jumped after them, allowing them to regroup, soaring through the air, he had to keep them focused on him, if they focused on him, they couldn't kill others. He spun as he descended, absorbing the heat from all the flames in the grove and concentrating it into a volleyball sized sun on his heel as he brought it down towards them.

    Adam raised his hands and their unity in a desire of protection allowed their power to flow through him, a thick root forming and taking a brunt of the power. They were sent reeling together as the root exploded. Erhard dashed towards them, not giving them time to recover, gathering a small sun in his hand.

    The seven of them leaped into the air, unable to do so properly as they were all discombobulated.

    Erhard shot a sunbeam at them from the small sun in his hand and it went through the center of them, burning Xaver who screamed. In a flash, Erhard was in the center of them, using Solar energy to prevent himself from ascending past them, "Fire is unrefined and weak." He said, spinning and planting his heel into Adam's chest, sending him flying from the group.

    Erhard roared, swinging at Lydia, she blocked expertly despite being cut off from the rest of the group, but that was small comfort when her arm was incinerated by a sun. She went flying.

    Kristene, Maria and Lambert grouped together, with their single goal in mind. Kristene spearheaded their assault on Erhard. She took his front while Maria and Lambert assaulted his sides.

    Erhard kept up with them, finding a bit of difficulty with having to deal with 12 limbs assaulting him at once, even is he was more powerful than the three combined.

    He began to laugh, "Don't you see?" He asked, "Even with your unity in this, there is still some differences in your mind, which is why three will never beat one. Your minds are in synch, but what about mine? I don't need to consult anyone, I'm faster! And stronger!" Maria doubted herself and their cause for a moment, causing a gap in power and a gap in the attack. He kicked Maria hard, sending her flying with a solar flare from his foot, breaking several branches of the tree.

    The three of them came out of the canopy, the now most powerful woman in the village, Kristene, and Lambert, facing off against Erhard. The sun was high in the sky.

    Kristene growled at Erhard, prompting Lambert to turn, spinning into the canopy before running off.

    Kristene swung at Erhard and he caught it, grabbing her other arm as well and planting his knees against her chest.

    He pulled.

    She screamed as her ribs cracked and her arms came free from their sockets, the flesh beginning to tear as she focused more on keeping her breathing up.

    Erhard tossed her arms aside as they fell back to the earth. Erhard guided himself through the branches unscathed and she hit many branches on her way down, stopping on a thick bough and sobbing pitifully. She would live a long and healthy life, Erhard knew, any tribunal against her would agree the best punishment would be to allow her to live as she is.

    That brought his mind to Lydia, but he waved off the thought, Adam is the most important, the second most powerful of their group was taken care of and the others individually were small fry, comparitively. Springy roots came up to greet Erhard as he approached the ground, cushioning his fall just enough that he was stopped right when he hit. He took off running for where Adam would have fallen. Missing.

    He ran back to Lydia, and then remembered, there were three people with no power in the village.

    He ran back to the root ball where Emma, Demeter and Ivan lay peacefully.

    Erhard climbed up the trees to find the branch Xaver had gotten himself stuck on, writhing in pain.

    "Burns are the most difficult to heal, and I got you pretty deep, just short of penetrating your bones I'd say, probably messed up your organs a bit." He mused softly, "A tribunal would probably rule that the best punishment for the three of you that are left would be to live. After all, each of you will suffer. However... I can grant mercy, if you ask for it." He said, raising his hand.

    Xaver opened an eye to look up at Erhard, "Do it." He said softly.

    Erhard gave him the last mercy.

    He returned to the three who had given their power for him and picked up Emma, it was over, it was time to go home.