Depths of War - Part Nine
Varun followed bits of tattered netting to the surface. The storm had passed and with the return of the sun, the Sena had retreated to the depths. There was much to be done in the wake of their attack but it would have to wait. His only concern now was his sister.
He spun about in the surf, frantically searching each new wave. A scream rode to him on the wind from somewhere closer to shore. He awaited the next wave and dove into it, using its surge to help rush him toward the sound of the scream. As the wave broke, Varun thrust upwards and away from the crash, regaining control of his momentum.
Turning towards the shore he searched the water where he saw a bit of netting drifting along. The water before it rippled as a pale face rose up just a few feet in front of the floating net. Wind whipped long white hair across the creatures barbled face but it moved it with a toss of its head. Silver eyes stared at him across the surf. The Sena laughed through her razor teeth and waved at him with one webbed hand. He raced toward the bottom dweller, but she was gone, too fast to catch.
Closer now he could see that long yellow strands of seaweed were trapped in the netting. Branching out from where it was tangled in the net, the strands floated on the surface in loose coils. There was a familiarness to those tendrils that pulled Varun closer. His heart began to tap a wild beat within his chest for reasons he could not put name to. It was seaweed he told himself, and there was nothing to fear in seaweed. But still his heart quickened its pace as he drew nearer the netting afloat in the surf.
There was something else he could see now caught up in the tangle of net and seaweed. A bit of orange. A starfish. A small, orange starfish the same as the small creature Teertha had begun tying into her hair. In his mind he saw Teertha's long, beautiful, yellow hair adorned with the sea star given to her by her brother, the Lord of the Sea. "No," he whispered.
Rushing now to the netting he gripped it lightly and turned it over in the surf. He felt the weight of it, too heavy to be just seaweed, and he still denied the truth of what he knew. "NO!" he growled as the net turned and out of the surf came the face of his sister. Her lips, always pink and smiling, now blue and limp. Her aqua eyes which were never without that hint of mischief stared empty and lifeless at nothing.
His fevered stare unable to tear away from Teertha's broken body, Varun gritted his teeth. Angry tears pooled in his dark eyes as he slammed a fist upon the hard surface of the water. "We go to war!"