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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chiefs and Seers

Fiver woke up in his burrow.  He reached out over the distance and felt a mind that felt like a deep pool.  A sudden burst of rainbow light appeared and linked around Fiver’s mind.  He tried to pull back but the rainbow light twisted and wrapped tighter around Fiver’s mind.  Then a voice spoke in his head. A voice of water that falls into pools and echoing places of the dark spoke in his mind.
Who is this that dares to enter the mind of the Black Rabbit?
Forgive me Shingetsu but my name is Fiver.  I’m the seer of…
Of Watership Down yes and Pumpkin is the seer of Vleflain and Moneywort of Efrafa.  What do you want Fiver?
I wanted to report that Pumpkin, Moneywort and I are true seers now.
Is that all?
We spoke to Lady Kuu and she…
STOP! Do not tell me what Lady Kuu said!  As I informed Blackstone when he came back with the Moon Cure do not inform me of what happened in the Shadow Land for Blizzard and Frith will find out.  Blizzard has been experimenting with me to see if he can get into my mind and it is working due to my massive power drainage and weak state of health.  Continue to communicate with my other servants-both the dead and the alliance and come up with an idea of how to save my warren as well as the five.
What of Blackstone and his rabbits Shingetsu-rah?
A harsh bark sounded in his mind that gradually faded before Shingetsu spoke again.  So you know my real name servant?  That’s good.  As for Blackstone and his rabbits; you need to help them escape Blizzard.  I will be unable to help you.  I will tell you one thing about the linking power.  The color of the linking power is maroon and gold.  Look for those colors and when you find it do as you were instructed. 
Should Hazel and the other chiefs be told of you master?
They will want to know where you went that is true.  You may reveal to them that you are true seers, that I am being held hostage and that there are good rabbits in Brimstone.  That is all. Tell them nothing of the Shadow Land, of my Kosetsu or my real name.  Tell them nothing of Thanatos once being Thorn either.  It would break Blackavar and Mist’s hearts.  Now leave me.  I don’t know what Blizzard is planning for me but I hear him coming. Good luck. The rainbow light wrapped around Fiver’s mind untwisted and Fiver’s mind was thrust out of Shingetsu’s mind.
Fiver shook his head. He had felt his master’s despair and hopelessness at his situation as well as his anger and sadness.  Three threads of light connected with Fiver’s mind then and he felt comfort that the three other seers of the alliance were with him in mind.
“What did master say?”
“Shingetsu-rah said that we can tell Hazel, Campion, Groundsel and Lightstone that we are true seers, that the Black Rabbit is being held in Brimstone by Blizzard and to inform the chiefs that there are good rabbits in Brimstone that need help escaping Blizzard.  He said do not mention anything of the Shadow Land, reveal his real name, nothing of Kosetsu, or of Thanatos once being Thorn.”
“Then in order to carry out master’s orders we must bring the chiefs together. Fiver, Moneywort and Pumpkin you have the power to reach into any rabbit’s mind now.  You can grasp hold of your respective chiefs’ minds and teleport them anywhere within the alliance.  Now where is a good place we can talk in private without others hearing about us?” Moonblossom asked.
“Shining Wire Warren.  We can go there.  We just can’t go above ground at all for the risk that man may kill us.”
“Man’s gone from that place.  After Lightstone-rah freed the rabbits from Cowslip and Silverweed and the rabbits abandoned that warren to start a new one far away from any of the alliance man waited for new rabbits to appear but they didn’t.  So man left that place and went somewhere else,” Moonblossom said.  “Very well it is to the death trap that we will go.  Lightstone-rah and I will meet you there. You have only to think of the place you want to go and you will appear there.  I’ll bring Birch and Blackstone as well.  Zen needs to stay with our master.”
Moonblossom reached out and contacted Blackstone who got Birch.  They felt a slight tug on their minds and they arrived in a huge chamber with roots holding up the ceiling.  They had landed in the chamber that the Sandleford survivors had come to seasons ago.  A few seconds later eight other rabbits appeared in the chamber. 
“Where are we?” Blackstone asked.
“Shining Wire Warren,” Fiver said. 
“How did we get here?” Hazel asked.  “What happened to you Fiver? And who are those three?”
“My name is Moonblossom,” Moonblossom said stepping forward.  Those two changed rabbits are Blackstone and a rabbit that comes from your warren Campion named Birch.”
“Birch you’re alive?” Campion asked looking at the changed Officer. 
“Yes and so is Zen Campion-rah.  We were changed by Blizzard-rah before he let us join his Owsla.”
“You’re working for Blizzard?!” Groundsel shouted baring his fangs at Birch.
Blackstone quickly stepped in front of Birch and snarled a warning at Groundsel.  “Don’t you even think about touching my rabbit Vleflain chief,” Blackstone growled.
“Your rabbit?!  Birch and Zen are Efrafans!” Campion shouted.
“Not anymore Campion.  Zen and I now belong to Blizzard and Brimstone. But if Blizzard is defeated then we will become part of Blackstone’s new warren.”
“Why?”
“Look at how you and the other chiefs are reacting towards seeing me.  You think Zen and I are traitors to Efrafa and the alliance.   Zen and I are not traitors to Efrafa but we both knew when we became changed that we would never again be accepted as part of Efrafa of the other three warrens.  We would either be killed or driven out for being changed rabbits which is no fault of our own.  We have been forced to kill and that isn’t easy for a rabbit to get over.  Under the alliance’s laws Zen and I would be sentenced to death.  You would kill us anyway for being servants of Blizzard-rah.  Being slaves to a mad rabbit sucks but it’s better than the alternatives.  We would either have remained as we were and been used as torture practice for the Brimstone Owsla, Blizzard or his son Thanatos or if we had managed to escape Brimstone would have been killed as soon as we got back to Efrafa before we could even say who we were. Hell you rabbits almost killed Fuser and would have as well if he hadn’t brought Monza with him to warn you of Blizzard.  No if Blizzard is defeated we will go with rabbits like us and form our own warren away from here and follow Blackstone-rah.”
“I’m not your chief yet,” Blackstone muttered.
“You may as well be Blackstone.  We all look to you for orders when Blizzard and Thanatos aren’t around.”
“True,” Blackstone said laughing.  “Which isn’t very smart as it could get us all killed.”
“Wait who in embleer Frith is Thanatos?”
Pumpkin let out a low growl at the name.  “Easy Pumpkin.  They are still under the impression that Frith is good,” Moneywort said.
“Thanatos is Blizzard-rah’s son,” Blackstone said still standing in front of Birch.  “Our master mated with a prisoner doe and she bore him Thanatos a year ago.”
“The one thought dead isn’t as she appears,” Moonblossom said looking meaningfully at Birch.  Birch stared at her for a few second and then an image flashed through his mind of the doe he and Zen had killed living in Sunstone.  “Oh thank Kuu,” Birch breathed in happiness.  “Zen will be pleased to hear this as well.”
“Enough,” Fiver said sharply.  All the rabbits turned to look at him for he had never been one to make orders.  “We are here to inform the four chiefs of why we have changed as well as help Blackstone and his rabbits.”
“As the chiefs know we are seers.  However many of our powers were locked as well as our minds.  We knew nothing of our origins.”
“What is this? You were born to our marli Fiver.”
“I’m talking about our origins as seers,” Fiver said ignoring his brother.  “The vision we had long ago was carried out last night and we became true seers.  Our minds became unlocked, we gained the rest of our powers and we found out how the seers were created.  That is why our fur and eyes have changed.”
“What about Moonblossom? She looks the same as ever,” Groundsel said.
“That is none of your concern Groundsel,” Moonblossom said.  “You may however know that due to where I was born and raised my powers were unlocked when I was a kitten.”
“Blizzard is holding the Black Rabbit of Inle hostage in Brimstone,” Pumpkin said.  There was a gasp from Lightstone, Groundsel, Hazel and Campion.  “Blizzard is draining the Black Rabbit.  But Blizzard made a deal with the devil.  A deal that can kill us all if he isn’t stopped.”
“What deal?  The devil is obviously the Black Rabbit. Everyone knows he is the bringer of death and sickness. Besides how can he be held by some mortal rabbit?” Campion asked.
“We are under orders not to inform you of the deal made,” Moneywort said.  “But the devil is not who you think.”
“Yeah I don’t think I believe you.  The Black Rabbit can’t be captured,” Campion said.  “He’s responsible for everything that has happened to rabbits.”
“If anyone is responsible for what happened to rabbits it’s that damn fool El-ahrairah.  If he had kept his mates in check then elil wouldn’t have been created,” Pumpkin said trying to control her temper.  At Hazel’s words of “Only a fool would think the Black Rabbit could be trusted,” Pumpkin lost it.  Her power flowed out of her and sent Hazel flying through the dirt wall of the burrow and into the run behind him.  He landed with a scream of pain as his back legs were broken.  Neither the four seers nor Blackstone and Birch made any move to help Hazel.  The chiefs however ran towards Hazel. 
“That was uncalled for Pumpkin,” Fiver said quietly.
“He deserved it for saying stuff about master,” Pumpkin growled.
Hazel, Lightstone, Campion and Groundsel looked at each other for an instant before turning back to the four seers.  “You are all banished from the alliance.  Any seers born into our warrens will be killed,” Groundsel stated. 
The four seers bristled with anger.  Blackstone and Birch remained where they were watching the confrontation.  Lightstone turned towards Blackstone and Birch.  “Any rabbits of Blizzard or held by Blizzard who set foot within our warrens will be killed.”
“Here we were hoping you would accept us and help us find a way to defeat Blizzard as well as save the good rabbits of Brimstone,” Moneywort said sadly.  “It appears we were wrong.”
“Strange how it was only after Pumpkin and Moneywort appeared that our troubles began.  Blizzard showing up.  Silver being killed.  Finding out Lightstone was alive. Everything is the cause of Pumpkin and Moneywort,” Campion said.  “Here I thought Moneywort would be of help to Efrafa.”
“Yes and Moonblossom then appears out of nowhere and won’t say where she is from or how she knew about my kittens when I hadn’t yet told the warren,” Lightstone said frowning.  “Perhaps they are working for Blizzard.”
Blackstone and Birch’s mouths dropped open in shock.  “That’s stupid!” Birch shouted.  “I can assure you that none of the seers are in league with Blizzard.”
“Then who then?” Lightstone said.  “They don’t answer any questions.  They’ve been off in their own worlds and leaving their warrens without other rabbits with them. Who else could they be working for?”
Birch just shook his head.  These rabbits were fools. They would turn on their seers, Hazel on his own brother, because they were different? What manner of rabbit did that? The only creature he knew that would turn on those who were different was man.
“And we don’t need to listen to some evil blood thirsty rabbit who’s the servant of a mad lunatic!” Hazel shouted before dropping his head to the ground in pain.
Blackstone and Birch were seething with anger.  Birch went for Campion but Lightstone blocked his path and the two rabbits snarled and tore at each other.  Blackstone thumped his foot and Birch immediately broke off but Lightstone went after him with Groundsel at his side.  The four seers looked at each other and threw all four of their former chiefs into the run with their power.  “Then since you have no desire to listen to us the four of you can get out.  You’re on your own,” Moneywort said running to stand before Blackstone and Birch. 
Groundsel and Lightstone carefully helped Hazel onto Campion’s back and the four chiefs set off for Sunstone without a backward glance.  “Fiver you should go get Spot before Hazel has him killed,” Pumpkin said turning to Fiver.  Fiver nodded and disappeared. “Moonblossom…” but Moonblossom was gone.  She came back a few seconds later with the arrow that Lady Kuu had given them to defeat Blizzard. 
“Spot come here son,” Fiver said as he found Spot alone in his burrow.
“Parli what’s wrong?” Spot asked.
Fiver was sad and there were tears shining in his eyes.  “Hazel, Groundsel, Campion and Lightstone have ordered the death of all seers.  I must get you out of here so you aren’t killed by your Uncle Hazel or the Watership Owsla.  Come on now.”
Spot was sad.  “What about marli, Storm, Ivy and Star?”
Fiver shook his head. “Oh my son I wish you could stay here. But you’ll be killed if you stay.”
“Go Fiver.  Take Spot and flee.  I don’t want Hazel to kill him,” Vilthuril said.
“Vilthuril if Hazel finds out that you let us go then you realize you and our children will be killed don’t you?” Fiver asked looking up at his doe as she entered. 
“I do Fiver and I don’t care.  Hazel can only kill me once. At least I’ll die knowing that you and Spot are safe.”
“Marli!” Spot screamed bursting into tears and running towards her.  Vilthuril looked down at her son and nuzzled him.  “Go Spot and listen to your father.”
“Yes Marli,” Spot said still crying. 
They froze as they heard Bigwig’s voice.  “Kehaar says Hazel said to kill Spot?” He came into their burrow and saw a changed Fiver with Spot.  “Fiver?”
“Yes it’s me Bigwig.  Don’t try to stop me from saving my son.”
“I wasn’t going to.  I don’t know what happened but I can’t believe that he and the other chiefs would outlaw seers.  Both of you go.  I’ll try to help Vilthuril and your remaining kittens.”
“Thank you Bigwig.  You truly are a great Captain of Owsla and a great friend.”
“Ah well now…” Bigwig started to say and the shook his head.  “GO!”
Fiver nodded and picked up Spot.  With a final look at his doe the two seers vanished.  Several rabbits came in then. 
“Where’s Fiver and Spot? We heard Fiver’s voice just now Bigwig.  Kehaar says Hazel’s orders are to kill Spot.  Where is he?”
“You’re mistaken Holly.  I have no clue where Fiver or Spot are. Perhaps you’re becoming deaf in your old age,” Bigwig said. 
“Hazel also said any rabbits that know of where seers are and don’t inform the warren are to be killed,” a tan buck said.
“Is that so?” Bigwig asked calmly. Hazel how could you turn on your own brother and nephew?  Without Fiver’s help we would all have been dead seasons ago at Sandleford.  “Sorry chap I don’t’ know where they are.”  Under his breath he spoke quickly to Vilthuril.  “Get your kittens and get out of here,” he hissed.  Vilthuril took one terrified look at Bigwig and nodded before running through the rabbits and running for her kittens so they could leave.  “After her! If she doesn’t tell you where Fiver and Spot are then kill her and her kittens!” Holly shouted.  A few rabbits turned in pursuit of Vilthuril.   “Why you flea bitten mangy…” With a roar that could be echoed down the run Bigwig threw himself at Holly as two more rabbits closed in from either side.    

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