The dog trotted along the path, not thinking of much. In truth, Shaniel pushed aside its mind and took control of its body. She was looking for someone who dared to enter the neighborhood. Under the dark sky, it walked along the gates of the houses, its eyes looking about.
Then, it found a group of men walking on the opposite direction. There, Shaniel thought. Through untrained eyes, those men wouldn’t look nothing more than regular people, but she knew better. The dog crossed the road, walking directly in front of them. When both of them passed each other, it could see the tattoo etched on one of the men’s hand. A paired circles cut by a horizontal line. Fuhzers - Cleansers.
One of them noticed the dog and looked straight at it. Shaniel urged it to run, but before it could escape, her view went black, ended with a high-pitched yelp. She blinked and found herself staring at a white ceiling. She looked down, her breathing ragged, and saw Peter watching her.
‘They got the dog, brother,’ she said. ‘They’re here.’
‘And they know we’re here too,’ Peter said, shaking his head. ‘But this is good. We truly have to leave this place now.’
Another figure entered the room. Danny rushed toward them and looked at Shaniel. ‘What’s happened? Do you find something?’
Shaniel nodded and told him about Fuhzers. He cursed. ‘We’ve been here for two weeks and they’ve already found us. Which part of the neighborhood were they?’
‘The other side,’ Shaniel said. ‘We’ve enough time to leave.’
Another figure entered, a female. Seereel bowed to Shaniel. ‘Your Ladyship. I have packed everything we need. We can leave now.’
Shaniel rose. As the last female Seshier, she had to make sure the art of Seeing prevail. She looked at Peter, the brother she never knew she had. As the male member of the family, he was needed for his ability to protect them. She turned to Danny and Seereel. She had to sacrifice both of them if Peter and she were to escape. It was a hard choice, but it wasn’t the first she’d made and definitely not the last.
They left the abandoned house and hopped into a blue car parked in front of the house. Danny drove it, Peter at his side while Shaniel and Seereel sat behind. Shaniel looked at Seereel. The servant was silent, bowing her head as she usually did. Both of them rarely talked to each other unless it was about something important. Shaniel couldn’t figure out the servant her father had left for her. As the last members of the Seshier family, Shaniel and Peter had to protect their legacy.
‘There’s a car following us,’ Danny said as they moved out of the neighborhood into the main road. Trees lined the pavements and the streetlights shone the way. ‘I think it’s them. How can they get to us so fast?’
‘Fuhzers have their methods,’ Shaniel said. ‘Unimaginable methods. They managed to come to Earth even when Seereel and I destroyed the portal we used.’
‘I know Peter can do... things,’ Danny said, glancing at Peter, ‘but is it true he’s not from here too? That he’s - he’s -’
‘He’s from another realm. You have to believe it, Danny. I don’t know how our father managed to put him here, but it’s unmistakable he’s my brother.’ Shaniel looked back and widened her eyes. The black car following them had moved closer and she was under the suspicion the Fuhzers wanted to hit them.
Peter opened the window suddenly and let his head out of it.
‘What are you doing?’ Shaniel yelled.
He looked at her and smiled. ‘You said I’m a Seshier, born to protect the family. I’m just doing my job.’ He jumped out of the window and in midair, turned into an eagle. It flew to the car behind and went it was on the car’s roof, it turned into a lion, holding to the metal surface with its claws dug into it.
Shaniel looked back, sweating. The male Seshier protects the female. Those were Father’s words right before he died at the hand of the Fuhzers, giving room for Shaniel and Seereel to escape. Peter - he was doing the same thing. No, Shaniel thought. I will not be left alone.
‘Danny, are we getting closer?’ Shaniel asked. She didn’t dare to look behind - there was nothing she could do for Peter.
Shaniel leaned back, closing her eyes and sighing. She could sense the animal souls, vibrating against hers. It would be a matter of time before she could gain control of the animals. The Fuhzers would be no match for them. Peter just had to bear with -
A sharp pain cut into her thigh and she screamed. Eyes opened, she could see Seereel’s hand holding a dagger that was pierced into Shaniel’s shoulder.
‘Fuhzers promise me protection and wealth,’ Seereel said, smiling with her eyes wide, ‘something that even your father cannot give!’
Blood boiling, Shaniel grabbed Seereel’s hand, the one that held the dagger. She didn’t bother to pull the dagger out but instead kicked the door behind Seereel. The force of her kick broke the door’s attachment, throwing it to the road. ‘I’m a Seshier, you traitor,’ Shaniel hissed. ‘You don’t betray a Seshier!’ With that, she pushed Seereel out of the car, enough to hear the woman screamed before she was out of Shaniel’s view.
‘We’re here, Shaniel!’ Danny yelled, stopping the car.
Shaniel looked at car’s screen and smiled. They were in front of the zoo’s gate. She looked behind her and as the black car moved toward them, it swerved, crashing to the gate. She quickly closed her eyes, searching for the animal’s souls. She saw a few spherical lights nearby and quickly reached all of them, the fragments of her soul touching them. Then, she saw. Through the animals’ eyes, she could see many places. It was as if she was looking at several screens connected through the cameras, an Earthling technology.
She quickly encouraged the animals to come to her and used the last bit of her power to unlock their cages. From their eyes, she saw Peter turning into a gorilla, attacking the men who had come out of the car. The men defended themselves with bare hands - she was glad they didn’t get their hands on Earthling’s lethal weapon, gun, because if they had, Peter wouldn’t stand a chance. He still doesn’t have a chance to win, she thought. But at least he can keep them at bay before the animals arrive.
One of the men managed to land a kick on Peter’s stomach, sending him a few meters away from them. Shaniel gritted her teeth. Fuhzers had remarkable strength - in fact, they were also enhanced in terms of speed and endurance. It was the reason why they became the dominant race in Edrin, reducing Seshiers like Shaniel into minority. They wouldn’t take long to adjust with Peter’s fighting style, even when a gorilla was a foreign animal to them.
She, in the form of many animals, finally arrived at them. She was flying, which meant she possessed the minds of birds - they came to Peter the fastest because of their flight. While she knew the birds couldn’t beat the Cleansers, she commanded them to attack the men at as much as spots as they could get. At least she could assist Peter in fighting them. Some of her poked at the men’s faces and neck, while the others tried to make Fuhzers focus on them.
The rest of the animals arrived - lions, tigers, bears - and attacked the men. Peter, having punched and kicked here and there, retreated and let the predators took care of them. Despite of the Fuhzers’ superior stats, the animals outnumbered them, wounding them with their claws and fangs. Slowly, one by one started to fall. Shaniel retreated from the animals’ souls one at a time, putting a reminder to them not to attack Danny, Peter, and her when they regained their consciousness.
She blinked her eyes, taking deep breaths. She felt numb - using the animals to See took so much of her energy. After a few minutes, she went out of the car, holding the dagger in her hand. She could see Fuhzers laying near their car, with Peter standing over them, back in human form again. Danny moved near to Peter too, his eyes widened seeing the men’s corpses. He covered his nose and looked away, focusing on Peter instead.
‘Thank the Wild God you’re safe,’ Shaniel said, relieved at seeing Peter’s smile. It’s over, she thought. It’s actually over.
Before she could put a reassuring hand on Peter’s shoulder, she felt hands grasping her, and realized someone was trying to latch onto her soul. Before she could warn them, her mind was put aside, and while she could see what she was doing, she couldn’t control her movement. With great difficulty, she looked at the edge of her eyes and saw a Fuhzer with his eyes open - white eyes. He took control of me! she thought with horror. I should’ve checked they were dead for sure - they Take humans, after all.
She raised her dagger. Peter looked at her confusingly, and with a scream, she pushed the weapon to his chest. A blurry figure moved in front of Peter, and the dagger pierced someone else - Danny. Blood poured out of Danny’s chest and mouth. He smiled at her, then fell. She felt the intruder retreating from her mind and quickly dropped the dagger. With her in charge of herself, the Fuhziers was truly dead. She looked at Danny and felt warm tears in her eyes.
Now that she saw the man dead, she knew she never wanted him to die. She might think she had to and would be able to, but Danny had left an impact on her. His steady demeanor was missed, even when he was an Earthling and didn’t need to help Peter and her. Peter fell on his knees, crying over his best friend. Shaniel followed him and rested a hand on his shoulder.
‘We have to go, Peter,’ Shaniel said, her voice cracking. ‘We can’t stay here - we’re blamed for what’s happened. The police will find us.’
‘Danny...’ Peter cried harder. ‘He’s dead. He’s the only person who’s been with me in the orphanage, and now he’s dead.’
Shaniel held up his face. ‘Look at me. I’m still here. I’ll follow you wherever you go.’ She pulled him into an embrace.
‘How about Fuhziers?’ Peter asked quietly. ‘You came to Earth to find me and take revenge on them, didn’t you?’
Shaniel let out a shaky laugh. ‘You and I are the only Seshiers left. We don’t stand a chance against thousands of them. Maybe Earth is meant to be my home now.’
‘No, we’ll get our revenge,’ Peter said, roughness saturating his voice. ‘It might take decades to prepare, but we will go back to Edrin. With our own army.’
Shaniel was surprised to hear the determination in his voice. She herself didn’t think of fighting Fuhziers; she thought continuing the legacy of the Walker family was enough. She could understand why he thought they needed to beat the Cleansers. As long as Fuhziers alive and in charge of Edrin, minorities like the Defs and Taurs were in danger. They had to unite to beat those oppressors.
‘With our own army,’ Shaniel repeated, agreeing with Peter.