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Run (Jysella Horn Vignette)

My feet are aching, my lungs are heaving and my heart is pumping adrenalin through my system. I want to turn around, see how far ahead I am of my pursuers, but I dare not. If I turn, I may slow down that fraction that gets me caught. Or I may run headlong into a tree. No, I must look forward, if I look back, I have already lost. My mind needs to stay focused on what's ahead, the possible future, not the past, the remnants of my old life.

They have been chasing me since dawn, when they attacked my family home. My grandad never stood a chance against the harden warriors, and I heard mum's anguished scream as he went down, followed by brief silence another thud. I had been asleep before the crashing awoke me, but sleep then deserted me. I doubt it will return for day, even weeks now. My brother, Valin was already up, rushing to help out dad fend them off, but it was no use. They were strong, they were well trained, and for all my families' telepathic force abilites, they were unreadable, nothing registering on their scarred, stony faces.

I attempted to join the fray from behind, but my dad just looked at me, sending a telepathic message through our bond.

Run, Jysella. The Skate should still be hidden the glade, get out of here! He urged me. A weight of despair pressed on my shoulders as I realised that in giving me that message, he had left himself vulnerable to attack. The opponents didn't let that opening go to waste either. I heard a scream that barely registered as my own as he hit the ground.

My brother scooped up dad's dropped weapon and tried to attack using both, coming between our assailants and me. Go Jys! He insisted. I knew then that there was no point telling Valin otherwise. I ran out of the house, growing number by the second. That numbness is still there, lodged in my gut. I pray it doesn't disappear, because once it does, the pain will flood in from every direction.

The Pulsar Skate, once my grandad's ship, then Mum's, and...mine now, I guess, lies only another one to two kilometres away now. I just have to get there before they do, and hope that they haven't already found and destroyed it.

The jungle that surrounds me now muffles the sound of my flight, which I am indeed thankful for, but it also muffles those who pursue me. I want nothing more than to stop right now, but it would be death to do so.

Wait, the clearing! I run to the left sharply, brushing through a net of hanging vines. And there it is, the ship. Whole, undamaged and, I'm hoping, fully fuelled. Punching in the entry code, I am soon rushing up the ramp and into the cockpit, quickly warming up the engines.

Nerves now over take me. I haven't flown the ship alone, only with my parents hovering behind me, and my brother sprouting his usual sarcastic remarks. A tear leaks out of my eye and down my cheek unbidden at the happy memory before I angrily swipe it away. Beeping from the console in front of me regains my attention, green to go.

I ignite the engines and blast off into the atmosphere of the planet a few seconds later, leaving what felt to be half of my heart behind as well. All I can do then is to collapse from the exertion of what has undoubtedly been the most challenging day ever, in everyway.

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