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Tomoko and the Goren

by Doc Sawzall

Chapter 6

What happened next changed the lives of many of those in the arena. Later, folks said it was so quiet that a child's cry could be heard from one end to another. Gabor knew differently, he didn't think it was possible, it was something no one had ever heard before. He knew with every fiber of his being that it wasn't a child, but the Goren. There was but one instant, not even the blink of an eye that Gabor saw the Goren cry out. All eyes were focused on the pincers reaching for Tomoko they failed to see anything else. He was sure no one else noticed, he was wrong. Several rows behind Gabor another witnessed that very same moment. Somot's heart filled with unexpected joy, through her tears she knew who the Goren was. It would be a secret she, Gabor and one other would take to their graves so many summers in the future.

Gently the Goren touched Tomoko whose eyes opened in shock, he as well had heard the cry, a sound he had only heard some eight summers ago, it couldn't be but yet it was. The Goren picked up the stave with one pincer and with the other motioned Tomiko to stand. Once Tomoko was standing the Goren handed him the stave and knelt in Tomoko's place. Taking the stave in both hands, Tomoko brought it across his knee and snapped it half, throwing the broken ends to the ground.

Saraq was apoplectic, his face reddened in rage, his eyes were wild and he was shaking in fury. Fucking Volan released the wrong fucking Goren! The fucking idiot fucked up for the last time. Saraq shrieked to raise the other fucking iron grates! That fucking farm boy had to die, he needed to be rid of this lose end and complication. He told himself Volan would not live to see the end of this fucking day either.

Gabor whipped his head around so he could see the Head Priest issue the order, he looked to his father to stop this madness, Tomoko was innocent, it was as clear as the nose on his face. Seeing his father shocked into inaction Gabor turned back to the arena, the other Goren were out and forming a protective ring around Tomoko.

Grabbing his Chronicles from under his Dbjib, Gabor leapt into the ring. Holding the book high above his head he faced the High Priest and in a voice, a voice that belied his years, he commanded silence.

Turning to face the crowd as he spoke, he reminded them of their custom, he did not die at the feet of the Goren, he was a free man, an innocent man.

Saraq screamed for the guards, demanded they kill Tomoko, stunned, not one moved. Gabor turning back to the High Priest, commanded the guards to silence him, to hold him until things were sorted out.

Reaching his hand out to Tomoko he asked him what did he mean by his cry of innocence, what proof could he offer? Tomoko called out to the High Priest to remove his father's wedding promise from around his neck only to be rebuked back asking what proof did he have?

Standing up and making her way down to where Gabor's father sat, Somot removed her wedding promise from around her neck and held it high. She called out that she held all the proof that was needed.

Pandemonium threatened to break out and sensing the crowd was about to get out of hand, Gabor called out to the crowd that they were to go home. They would meet three suns from now and everyone should reflect on what happened this morning.


Volan was found in his bed chamber just before the evening meal, choked to death on his own vomit, the next morning a massive stroke robbed Saraq of what made him human, he would eventually die before the next luni.

With his father's blessing Gabor began the path towards becoming the next High Priest. In Volan's possessions was information of the People of the Lake and the school for the Chronicles.

The arena closed and would only be used for competitions of sport. The Goren no longer needed would find refuge at Tomoko's farm.

The mines were shut down until a way to operate them equitability, Jabril was pardoned along with all the other boys and men who had committed petty crimes. Those who committed more serious offences would remain at the mines until their fates were determined.

Tomoko journeyed with his mother back to the farm accompanied by Jabril. Accompanying them was Gabor, who along with his father would travel on to The People of the Lake. They would bring goods to trade with them in a caravan and hopefully enroll Gabor.

While as guests at the farm Gabor, along with Hobin and Yontil discovered boy and girl games. The sorrow of his leaving was tempered knowing he would return.

Jabril and Tomoko settled into the rhythms of the farm, Jabril realizing there was an important issue over looked, introduced Tomoko to Innor, daughter of the local brewer. The three of them made a happy household.

The abused Goren healed thrived on the farm. At first it was determined that they would have to be put down as they had tasted human flesh. Tomoko with Gabor's assistance held the day. They were as productive as any of the other Goren and never was there an issue.

Tomoko continued to thrive on the farm and explore the wilderness beyond its borders. At times with Jabril and other times with his Goren.

Several luni later the Goren came to Tomoko and brought him to the colony, lying on a grassy mattress, lay a mother giving birth to a new born, a sight never seen by a human, the Goren placed the baby in Tomoko's arms. Gently cleaning the newborn, faint cry was heard by the newborn as Tomoko returned it to the mother to suckle. Four luni later Tomoko placed his new born son in the Goren's arms.

The bond formed so many summers ago would continue through the generations.

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