Chapter 85 – Mission

There is something amiss about the Bormeas. They aren’t what they used to be. They’ve fallen into the same behavior of overindulgence as the tribes and it’s changed them, altered them beyond recognition. Based on what Elder told me about their origin, I can hardly imagine this group of lumbering beasts taking over so quickly.

I recall the old drawings on the Caysa’s cave walls, the one depicting the gardens, the attacks and the exodus. The drawings are a crude depiction of the events, created some time afterwards, but they serve as a reminder. The Bormeas look different in those drawings. They’re sleeker and some are even on all fours instead of standing upright.

If I am to believe Elder, maybe Mayta created them, embodying them with all of the evil that the tribes were committing – laziness, apathy and gluttony. Wherever they came from, if it was an unexplored region of the planet or perhaps from another planet altogether, they’ve evolved into something else. Looking at them now it’s hard to imagine them as swift predators that could kill with a swipe of their hand.

As soon as Osc signals me that there is something wrong with the Esteemed, I make my way to his room. From the hallway I can hear a couple of voices through the partially opened door. As I draw nearer, I sense more activity than usual from inside the room.

“Get the Nekko to burn it all outside the city. We don’t want anyone to know.”

“Smells bad.”

“He waited too long for stasis. But then he had to hold on to the role of Esteemed.”

I quietly enter the room, noting Carnesol and another Bormea huddled sin the far corner. I am distracted though by a pungent aroma that quickly assails my nostrils. While the base of the stench is Bormean, there is more to it. It is more though than partial decay, there is also something … else. Before the others notice me, I walk over to the bed chamber from where most of the vile scent originates.

On the bed lays something nearly unrecognizable. In the center of it all is a small, dark form. Its limbs are short, on the ends of each digit are the makings of sharp claws. The smooth head of the form rests atop a thick neck bulging with tendons. This … thing is in the center of something larger that appears to have pealed away from it, like an outer shell leaving chunks surrounding the body in all directions. Above its head is a bumpy cap of sorts that has broken into smaller pieces. I reach out and grab a piece and then touch this outer husk only to have it break away in dry chunks at my touch.

“What are you doing?” Carnesol sneers from behind me.

I stow the fragile pieces in my robe before turning.

“Taking one last look,” I reply.

Before we can exchange any more words a couple of Nekkos arrive and Carnesol turns to them. “Wrap it up in the sheets and carry it out beyond the city. Burn it to dust. See to it that nothing remains.”

I step back into the shadows as the Nekkos clumsily wrap up the remains and carry it out.

“If you’re looking to scavenge some things, you’re too late,” Carnesol informs me. “Everything in here is to be destroyed. I’ll see to that as the new Esteemed.”