Ru-Ka-Na, a tale of Worlds.

Chapter 2: One

The Collective was essentially a series of concentric circles of huts, built around the most sacred of structures-an Akkuaa.

These were the primary remaining sources of energy for life on the planet-a series of deep holes sunk into the mantle of the Earth a millennium ago by the Souls That Saw.

This particular one was special-it was the primal Akkuaa, built at the magnetic pole of that time and age. Attributed to it were mythical power and properties,

left to be discovered by the current occupants of the planet in their time of need.

For Rud, Son of Rahaa, , It was a remarkable turnaround. As a result of his action, he was elevated from

Class C(H): Dichotron, 70% Organic, Dependent

to

Class B(G): Dichotron, 70% Organic, Independent.

He was assigned an elevated bed, his food rations were doubled and he was appointed Patkham in sole charge of River Detail 23, two units being in his care.

One cart, and one blind war horse.

The Sarkham was straightforward-

“You decide how to deal with your charge. The Furnace must be fed, no matter what. There will be more horses, but we only have three carts.”

All three slept in the warmth of the stables, the mongrel his pillow in the night, as they rebuilt their strength.

He had found new purpose.

The mornings were spent with the cart, easier now that the effort was distributed further,

and in the afternoons they foraged in the wilderness of that place where, once, many more beings had lived and loved.

He looked for crystal, machine parts, tools and gold.

Clambering upon machine after machine that men had created, destroyed and abandoned in their quest for More,

using the skills and physical form crafted from years of farming and battle,

he cut and clawed and chiselled and collected.

He worked through the nights in the damp little stable, shaping them all, repairing them all.

The mongrel he named Kallu, The Black One, and built him a mechanical pair of hind legs enabled by a miniaturised bio-hydraulic system that he extracted from a Gao Mk.IV Bione he found with some difficulty. It took a while for Kallu’s nerve endings to calibrate to the sensors, and was prone to frequent breakdown, but the Mongrel was now more than he ever had been.

The crystal he powdered and mixed with several ingredients, primary among them Gold, releasing it into his bloodstream with some regularity to fight the abomination that grew within him.

The War Mare he called Khuuna, after the land of his birth, and for her he fashioned a primitive sort of echo-reflective headgear, so she could learn to detect objects in her path a short distance ahead.

For what was only the second time in his life, Rud, Son of Rahaa, experienced love, warmth and companionship.

He knew, however, that as before, this happiness would be not last long if they remained in The Collective,

and he plotted and planned for a life for them beyond the little community of souls that survived in that corner of the Dhokham Wilds.