Episode One, Part One: The ScreamWhen the Gazelle was silent, the creaking of its wooden panels lulling its occupants to sleep, one soul stirred, staring up at the shimmering night sky. A breeze tousled her blonde and green hair, tickling her knifed ears. The little Vibranni’s mind refused to settle that evening, forcing her to remain restless and curious about the sounds she heard spreading above Fen Byen’s skyline.
Rilain’s head lifted suddenly when a woman’s scream echoed across the town, leading her heart to thump loudly in her throat. She would have automatically pushed the thoughts of possible murder or terror aside, but this scream sounded…off. It seemed like it had come from a human throat, but there was a tone issue. The vibrations that made up the scream clinked harshly against her eardrums and she could not push away that awful clawing feeling at the back of her head, the same feeling she got when something wasn’t quite right within any given situation.
“Alexander would be furious if he notices I’m gone,” Rilain mumbled into the cool air, but she shook her head and stood up. She strapped her rifle sling over her shoulder and shoved her shotgun under her belt. “To Hell with it, I’m gonna check this thing out. If he finds out I’m gone before morning, I’ll just say I was sleep walking.”
The Vibranni walked quickly yet quietly to the ship’s plank and hopped off, landing on the dock below. She took off running towards the lake, which she believed the scream had come from. She noticed that the townsfolk seemed to be all snug in their homes without the slightest belief that some innocent soul might have been in danger.
Rilain frowned slightly at that thought and glanced up at the waning moon. According to its position, it was a few minutes past one in the morning, long enough into the night for at least most of the town to be dreaming sweet, pleasant, and reassuring dreams.
Not for me, she thought, a breath catching in her throat as she heard the scream again, much closer than before. With the sounds bouncing off the lake’s still surface, she could have sworn it was directly to the left of her, hovering around the tree line. But she shook her head and continued onward towards the lake, slowing down to a jog when her boots sunk into the soft, white sand.
“Come on,” Rilain murmured. “Scream for me again.”
As if the being had heard her, it cried, the sound seeming somewhat garbled, like it was being choked, or it was actually…crying. Rilain stopped running completely, stopping directly in front of the forest. She looked up into its dark canopy, then down into its shadowy brush and heard a branch snap. She pulled out her shotgun and pointed it into the darkness, gritting her teeth to keep them from chattering in fear.
With a deep gulp and a slow exhale, she stepped quietly towards the tree line, her eyes wide and her ears twitching as she attempted to hone in on the smallest of noises.