NOTE: CHAPTERS 1 - 2 HAVE BEEN REMOVED. IF YOU'D LIKE TO READ THE PREVIOUS CHAPTERS, FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME YOUR REQUEST AT KD@KDWEBSTER.COM!
CHAPTER 3 – MA’AUNI
When Ma’auni was born it was just as violent as all Iska births before him, but something was off about this one. Something Iko couldn’t place until some years later. On a day when Ma’auni had been playing over the waters of the mid-Atlantic, near about Cuba.
Wait…one more thing to add to the structure first.
While the Iska are not isolationist, per se, they are individuals that rarely venture outside of their geographical regions. At last count there was one Iska per ocean and one per continent with the exception of two in North America. It wasn’t intentional. It just worked out that way. The Iska appreciate their space, to say the least. When paths do cross or intersect, the meetings are cordial and friendly. Information is shared. The events of the day. So forth. But for the most part each respects the others’ unmarked territories. Iko lived above North America, and so did Ma’auni.
There was a day Ma’auni had been floating over the mid-Atlantic when he spotted a black hawk below him flying high over the island nation of Cuba. It was early morning, with the sun just barely coming across the horizon. Its rays still casting visible orange hues. The bird was looking for prey. Intrigued, Ma’auni drifted down behind. The predator couldn’t see Ma’auni, even with its avian eyes, but instincts told him something was there, stalking it. Survival tactics kicked in. It dove to evade, Ma’auni followed. As it sped up, so too did Ma’auni. Being air-like entities, the Iska are able to move fast. I don’t know how fast, I’ve tried to figure it out, but it was beyond me. Perhaps when my tale is told, if you remember, you can figure it out someday. Suffice it to say, they are faster than the wind (though as a matter of course they prefer to simply float and sway and go where the current and Jetstream takes them). Ma’auni could have overtaken the hawk at any time, but instead he simply chose the chase.
There was another Iska over the Atlantic. Older, wiser. He goes by Dattijo. At 357 years old he is the second eldest of the Iska, and the oldest of the males. He was farther north, off the coast of Newfoundland.
Remember I told you about the powers of the Iska? Well if one isn’t careful, he or she can temporarily disrupt weather patterns over a wide swath of area. Whether by land or sea.
The hawk. In its desperation to evade capture from an enemy it could only sense but could not see, the black hawk put itself into a tight spiral. This dance intrigued Ma’auni further and he decided to attempt the maneuver himself. He started in circling slow but felt that wasn’t how his then quarry (whom he had stop giving chase to) done it. So, he picked up speed. More. More. Faster. Faster. At some point he no longer regarded the black hawk. He was now spinning, as opposed to spiraling. The more he spun, the closer he brought his form together. This, in turn, made him spin faster. This action caused two separate reactions. The winds rotated with him. Not as fast, but fast enough. The air within the localized area became warm. Warm, then warmer. Warmer than it should be. Warming the waters that had already been warm enough for the season. The two actions came together to form a consequence. It wasn’t immediate. Even after leaves have been placed in the pot, the tea takes time to steep. The Atlantic Ocean was brewing. It wasn’t a hurricane, the one before that. Young Ma’auni had kick started a tropical depression that lasted only minutes before it became a tropical storm.
Now Dattijo had lived in the Atlantic for the past 80 years. A spider knows when a silken thread has been broken. The spider hurries to repair the damage to his home. Dattijo knew something was wrong. The winds felt different, felt off. Even as far as the coast of Canada. The waves in the ocean below were more active than they should have been. To anyone else, a human perhaps, it would have gone unnoticed. But the Iska perceive their surroundings in ways no creature can. Whatever had happened had to have happened much earlier. So, whatever it was, the damage could have been done. Or perhaps whatever it was had already moved on, either to land or away from his territory. Or perhaps not. Dattijo sped southward as fast as his powers would allow without his abilities making more of a mess.
It was late morning by this time. Iko had been quietly drifting over Georgia when she too noticed a shift in weather patterns. It was coming from the east. From the water. She couldn’t sense him, but she knew Dattijo resided over those waters. Was he doing something to cause this unsettling shift? This would not be Dattijo’s way. She thought as to wonder the whereabouts of her son. He’d been over the vast expanse of the waters before, but never without her. She angled southeast and headed towards the ocean.
It was early afternoon and Ma’auni realized the error of his ways. Yet, he had no knowledge of what to do about it. The waters below were churning. The sky grew dark beneath a cover of dark gray clouds. Sheets of rain pelted the water’s surface. Boats that up until now had been enjoying a lazy calm afternoon, now were being rocked by waves that threatened to capsize. Men struggled to keep control of ships that were only moments ago in calm waters. There was no forecast of a storm. Not even of rain. By all accounts the weather and water should have been perfect. Now yachts and sailboats and fishing vessels were in the fight of their lives. Lightning crashed. Thunder rolled. Ships, islands, people, animals. All within a thirty mile radius were at the mercy of a freak storm that seemed to come out of no where.
CHAPTER 4 – TABA
Ma’auni tried to do a counter spin, hoping to reverse the effects, but it was no use. Still the storm raged. Iko arrived before Dattijo. She stopped just south of Key West. She feared what she saw and hated what she felt. This unnatural nature of the environment. Winds out of sync with the rest of the environment. A clamorous cacophony of waves crashing the shores. The gray and the gloom. She sped forward.
By this time Dattijo had made midway between Bermuda and South Carolina. The subtle changes in weather now becoming more apparent. Farther ahead the sheets of rain were draping the air with a blue gray foreboding scene. Although the whole affair did not feel natural. It did have an air of familiarity to it. Half of Dattijo was hoping he was right about the nature of the storm. The other half was hoping he could get there in time. He sped forward.
Ma’auni floated semi-spread out within the raging tempest, allowing the winds to buffet him about. At this point he had done all he could do, but all he had done had made the situation worse. He could sense his mother’s presence, he could hear her voice, but he couldn’t pinpoint her voice above the wild weather.
Iska are able to hear and call out to each other within a 700-mile radius (give or take a few dozen miles or so). They can sense the presence of each other for over a considerable farther distance than that. About 1400 miles (give or take a dozen miles or so). For context, if Ma’auni were over the state of Alabama, he would be able to sense her as far away as New Mexico but would not only be able to have a conversation with her until she got as close as Dallas. Mind you, Alexander, these measurements are by human reckoning. I had to crunch the numbers myself when all this was told to me. Ah…I recognize that look. It’s starting to dawn on you. Still, stay with me, my son. Stay with me.
Right now, mother and son were roughly 225 miles apart (give or take a dozen miles or so), but to Ma’auni she might as well have been a continent away. He was considerably overwhelmed. All he could do was stay in place and hope she could find him. Iko did indeed locate him, although she was at first in awe and shock over the view splayed out before her. It was the middle of the afternoon, but the sky and the storm gave the look and feel of early evening, despite patches of the sun here and there. Iko could sense Dattijo approaching. She knew Ma’auni could too even if he couldn’t respond to it. Iko knew her son was the cause, and his being here would not serve to make things any better. First thing would be to remove Ma’auni. Get him clear. Take him out of the equation. Then she would come back and do what she could to restore the balance of nature. She latched on to her son. Letting him know she was there, that everything would be okay. When he felt her touch…wait…okay before you ask, you’re right. I should explain.
Let’s say you have a tub of hot water, and that water is, say 90 degrees. You then introduce a bucket of cold water at about 40 degrees. And again, this is to illustrate a point. Context. Now picture the cold water coming into contact with the hot water, yet neither the hot nor the cold lose their degree in temperature in any way. Together, but not blended, not mixed. That is as close as I can explain how it feels when an Iska physically touches another. I hope that makes sense. Or at least a semblance of sense.
Ma’auni felt a sense of relief at the soothing embrace of his mother.
“Follow me,” she said.
She led him in a north by northeast direction that she knew would intersect with the approaching Dattijo. When they were within 400 miles of each other (that’s right, give or take a dozen miles or so. Listen, Alexander). Iko began to fill the elder Iska of all she knew and what she suspected. Her information changed Dattijo’s thoughts on the situation from what he suspected to what he now knew and what to do to stop the storm. He thanked Iko and hurled himself into the storm.
It was close to 600 miles before Iko slowed to a stop. The entire time the two floated in silence. Every so often Iko would look at Ma’auni a certain way, then continue on. She alternated this by every so often touching Ma’auni a certain way, then continuing on. By the way, Alexander, I saw the look on your face when I made reference to Iko looking at Ma’auni. It’s the same look you gave me when I mentioned Iko communicating with Dattijo. The Iska have neither eyes nor ears. But I will come back to that. I won’t forget, I promise.
To Ma’auni, it felt as if Iko was examining him. In truth, she was. Yet she remained silent. They were somewhere over North Carolina when she had the two of them stop. She enveloped him in an embrace and held it for a while. To Ma’auni, it felt more than just an embrace, more as if she were reaching into him. Deep into his essence.
“Stay here,” she said when she finally released him. “I will return…soon as I can.”
She then flew back down south to see what she could do to help Dattijo with the storm that was now a Category 1 hurricane.