Excerpt from Secrets of Saumai
"Sleep with me tonight,"
"Aren't you afraid of me?"
Nashu's care went smoother than anticipated, he slept through the stitches and into the night. Besides the occasional check of temperature and redressing of the wound, Crow was left with nothing to do. He slid his mask off and sat next to the Parisan, journal opened to the last page and his pen set to work. An hour passed in silence, with naught but the gentle breathing of the recovering Parisan and the staccato rhythm of Crow's creation.
"Afraid for you." Synna insisted.
Allarah read Synna's face and stared at her. "I know you're lying."
"How can we fix anything if you're gonna run away?"
"Who says I can be fixed?"
With satisfaction tugging his lips, Crow shore the page from his journal, dug through the single box of trinkets he had left, and drew out a chain and a carved stone - the former gold and lustrous, the latter a milky opal carved in the shape of a heart. While dinner was eaten, he snuck into the Hedon car. He spotted Synna and Allarah out on the catwalk, lost in each other's eyes and words.
"If you're afraid, it means you can't trust me not to hurt you. Why would you put yourself through that? Why do you care?"
"Cause I don't want this to be the fucking end. We should do it because I'm afraid, to prove my fears wrong. You can't feed into it, that's a downward spiral! My opinion of you is more than just a few fears. If I caved to every fear I wouldn't be here, Mir wouldn't be here."
"Alright... I'll stay."
The golden chain wrapped in the folded page is left on Lyshjo's pillow, the white opal heart is left upon Allarah's. Crow left, pleased with himself. Lysjho and Allarah had been so very good to him, they deserved to know that he cared for them.
<"You've seen so much, too much.">
Curves to curves, Allarah and Synna dealt with stress in the manners of Hedon. Synna's mind touched Allarah's, talking its way in amid humid sighs and mutual pleasure. She wanted to embark on the long journey to recovery, she said, and was this time prepared for what she was going to see. Allarah, still riding the optimism of her conversation with Tskhan, let her in.
<"I'm so so sorry"> Spoken over mind and through lips. <"I can't bear to see you like this.">
The icy scalpel of Synna's mindcrack sank into Allarah's psyche, parting sicknesses from health and walling them in behind a fuzzy, opaque wall of mixed recollection. It was delicate work, but Synna had mana to spare and a whole night stretching out before her.
<"Close your eyes.">
Lysjho joined crow, smiling ear to ear and bearing gratitude for the gifts and compliments for Crow's skill at drawing. He saw Allarah with Synna, he explained, and said that she'd no doubt find her gift in the morning. He kept the lonely doctor company, helping tend to Nashu and talking until they both drifted into a peaceful sleep. They spoke of Gorshi, of the lives lost, of the mission, and of the world beyond the stars, and for a moment it felt like everything was going to be okay.
Synna's tears glittered in the dull glow of the overcast morning sky as she finished the deed at last. She snuffled, smiled, and lay her head on Allarah's breast.
<"Everything is going to be okay now.">
Who was she?
Synna was the second in command of the Hedon envoy sent to disrupt the Somnolent's plans on Saumai. A powerful psiolic, Synna was often called upon to aid the away party during dangerous missions. From the start, Allarah took a liking to the young Vodalkyn, trusting her fully and without reservation.
Synna was also the caretaker and lover of Mir. They were rarely apart, and relied on one another greatly in times of duress.
Synna was rather healthy mentally with perhaps only one or two previous scars on her soul at most. Once setting foot on Saumai, the planet and it's div band caused her no end of strife. As she continued further she experiences many things that would set her at the edge of her tolerance, being Laemon's near death in Dessir, her encounter with the previous Queen of Bones, and Allarah's encounter with the King of Limbs.
The real trauma came when, in trying to help Allarah return to her normal self, Allarah's mind retaliated against hers and planted in it images that could not be scrubbed easily away. She was afraid of her friend, deeply.
It is unclear if it was the fear of, or for, Allarah that guided her hand, but in the end she mindcracked Allarah and cut away the memory of the Feao's interaction with Josan (the King of Limbs), as well as all affection she held for Crow.
Synna died only hours after fixing Allarah to Kholya's egregore trying to protect the away party. Her body was found and cleaned by Crow shortly before being buried by Allarah, Ijin, and Dmitry. The egregore took Synna's soul to Kholya's library where it released the soul and had it write itself into a soul tome. Allarah found and took this tome from the library, giving it to Lyshjo for safe keeping.
Why did Synna seemingly like Allarah so much?
What exactly did she know about the Somnolent party's mission?
Why would she hide that Allarah liked Crow when she mindcracked Allarah?
Besides friend and lover, what exactly was Mir to Synna?
Why would she want Allarah to take care of Mir over those in her party and Faction?
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Hair Dark Brown
Biological Sex Female
Motivation Protect those she cares for. Undermine the Somnolent.
Role Second in command of the Hedon envoy.
Current Condition Deceased. Killed by Kholya's egregore in chapter 10 beat 1.
Allarah had to read fast to keep up with the rapid scrawling. From what she could gather Synna had already penned her childhood and was rapidly working through her teenage years. Synna had been approached by the Maidens to learn their craft and disciplines, but was exiled after a spiral into stim addictions that ultimately led her into attacking a Matron, one of the higher ranks of Maidens - it was a fight she had lost.
Hedon picked Synna up after a few years of her kicking around between stations and making money using her divination to become a petty thief. Hedon did not help her addiction, but it gave her sanctuary, health, a choice to rise or fall. She would have met the latter if she had never met Mir.
A full-page sketch of Mir appeared. She looked older then - face drawn with drug use and flimsy body angled oddly as though always ready to be struck. It was the body of someone whose abuse of drugs was nothing compared to its abuse of her.
A confession followed. Reading it all was very fatiguing to Allarah, not just because of the content but because of the style - a meandering train of thought filtered through a timeless eye, poetry and prose and bullet point fact all interwoven and planted on the page in patterns that danced around illustrations befitting the message rather than clean rows.
Love took root in Mir's honesty to Synna. Someone finally told her the truths about herself. Why she was who she was.
Synna had killed Mir's "owner". Nobody had ever caught her for the crime because it was a death of the soul, not the body. A mindcrack, the same sort of stuff she'd been kicked out of the Maidens for.
Synna had cracked Mir as well, forcing her to lose her addictive compulsions and, with them, huge swaths of memory. It had not been a clean procedure.
Synna had cleaned up, and they moved forward with their life. They went clean, they looked after each other, they took part in a Phase 2 colonization. They made a reputable name for themselves.
And now here they were.
Here she was. Writing herself into the crisp, pressed pages of the tome.
- Current Location
- Aligned Organization
- The Apple of Hedonism