Chryss Tynn: Last of the Athaerians
Chryss looked across the shattered expanse of her doomed plane. The world as the Athaerians knew it was in its final death throes. All around her rang the muffled cries and pitiful moans of those unfortunate enough to be indoors when the rift opened. They were now trapped, pulled inexorably into the abyss along with their entire dimension. There wasn’t much time. Soon it would be too late. She made her way to the planar gate, the experimental device that her father had designed for just such an emergency. He had warned those fools on the council. He had warned them but they wouldn’t listen. “Harvesting temporal energy from the continuum is perfectly safe,” they had said. Chryss wondered how many council members had changed their minds about the dangers now that they could see the results of their work. But it was too late for them. It was too late for everyone. The rift was dangerously close now, but Chryss was almost there. Just a few more feet. The ground inches behind her crumbled away and swirled into non-being. The certainty of her own death filled Chryss with despair, but she made a final bid for salvation. She leapt out into space, the stones under her feet vanishing as soon as she lost contact with them. Desperately Chryss reached out her hand. She could feel the cold tendrils of the rift reaching out to envelop her in their all-extinguishing embrace, but just before they closed their irrevocable grip, she made contact with the last solid thing in the realm: the planar gate. Warmth flooded Chryss’ body and the feeling returned to her extremities as a wave of power swept over her and carried her far from the devouring force of the rift. The kaleidoscope of color and sound was overwhelming, and Chryss could feel herself slipping from consciousness. With her last ounce of energy, she looked back and saw the final remnants of her world, her plane of existence slip into the void, destroyed by the ruthless justice of the rift.
Chryss awoke in a warm, dark place. She tried to ascertain her surroundings, but discovered her physical form had been so diminished that she was barely larger than a bacteria. She reached out with her mind, searching, hoping, praying to find at least one other Athaerian who had escaped. She found none. The only consciousness she could feel was that of a totally new kind of being. It surrounded her on all sides, and after a while, Chryss realized that she was within it. Over the course of several months, Chryss became stronger and her physical form grew. Eventually she was able to move around in her liquid environment. She found the outer walls of her safe haven and kicked, but they remained immobile. It wasn’t time yet. When she focused, she could hear the consciousness around her. It was trying to discover her name. “I am Chryss Tynn,” Chryss said, “I am the last of the Athaerians, although I no longer resemble them physically. I thank you for your protection, but I believe I am now strong enough to venture forth.” The other consciousness didn’t respond, but Chryss heard it contemplating a new name. “Kristin,” it thought, “That’s a good name. If it’s a girl, we’ll call her Kristin.”
Finally, nine months after the destruction of the Athaerians, Chryss felt a change in her surroundings. The walls of her sanctuary were closing in, pushing her towards an opening that she had not noticed before. She emerged into the bright, cold world and opened her mouth to greet her protector. Her vocal cords were not the same as they had been and all she could manage was an inarticulate cry. She tried to right herself and get on her feet, but her arms and legs didn’t respond as they should have. Everything was different and she was not ready for this world. She began to cry in earnest, but then a large being wrapped her in a soft, warm cloth and she felt strong arms around her. She heard the voice that she had previously only heard in her head speak aloud. “A girl,” the voice said, “My beautiful baby girl. Welcome to the world, Kristin.” Chryss opened her eyes for the first time and saw the most beautiful being she had ever seen looking down at her with love and wonder on its face. Chryss stopped crying as peace filled her. In that moment, she knew everything would be alright.