Chapter 10

chapter 10

time moves on


after several weeks, Bob had gained the trust of the Irkas completely. he managed to visit Nora once every 2 days, until saftey precautions bacame tighter. the Irkas were making thier biggest weapons, and Bob was allowed out of the fort once a week.

and what was Nora doing? she was preparing her land for defence. on a scarce piece of paper, she scetched a plan. Zena and Jhacks would defend the front of Mt. Yinin, giving Nora plenty of time to get in postion. Nora would, after one of the Irkas came around Mt. Yinin, engage into battle wth him. Peto would be hiding. Nora would draw the Irkas toward Peto, who had buckets of snow ready to disable the Irkas. after Peto had dumped the first bucket, Zena and Jhacks would draw the Irkas toward Peto and Nora, who would comnce to full-time dumping. Zena and Jhacks would fire the hidden stache of snowballs, keeping the Irkas surounded and trapped. they didn’t exactly expect the Irkas to be beaten by snowballs alone, but it was all to get Sheeno in position.

Nora had tried to contact the Tangas, once. she approached the pass, which seemed deserted. Onie lept up from the sides of the pass, babbling to Nora while pointing at Shayish, huddeled by the wall. Onie had used Nora’s seed plant remedy to bandage her cut lip. Shayish’s blank expression turned to alarm as she saw Nora, and slipped behind the wall fast as an eel. Nora thought she knew what was coming, but before she had time to move, Trish hurtled toward Nora, who noticed that she, too, had a seed plant bandage on her black eye. before she had time to consider this, Trish was upon Onie, deating and dragging her. “cure!” cried Onie. Trish continued to seperate her from Nora. Onie Burst away and flung herself back at Nora. “Onie! bad boys coming! Irkas!” Onie had not understood Nora. “grago ack! Irkas!” Nora called as Onie was pulled away again by the relentless Trish. Nora had figured out that the Tanga’s language was  the same her ancestors had used, and she owened a book her mother had printed for her with simple words when Nora was little. Nora was pretty sure that grago was bad boy and graga bacd girl. ack was come, that much she was sure of. maybe Onie would convince Trish that Nora had been trying to warn htem, but it seemed that  she would have trouble. Nora sighed to herself. she didn’t want the Tangas getting killed on her behalf.

meanwhile, Nora had strictly told Jhacks he was to not let Peto roam the prairie. she had to stay in Nora’s land, or the Irkas might use her for target practice. the Irkas would not actually have done such a thing, but Nora didn’t know that.

Peto was not happy that she had to stay in the mountains. after 2 days of solitude, she informed Nora that she was moving out.


“peto find tree Peto live in tree closer to ‘splorin place.”

“Peto, you are not moving out until you are 9 years old. i was 9 when i left that horid orphanidge and brought you with me. you are far to young.”

peto took her case to Zena, who was more understanding, usually. but today Zena knew a way to lure Peto back to home.

“but, Peto, you need to stay. Nora needs you for the fighting. you need to dump snow on the Irkas!”

“yes, Peto send Irkas back home w’ lots snow!”

from then on, Peto stayed, though Nora caught her sister staring, cloudy-eyed, at a tree on the other side of the prairie. to make sure Peto did stay, Nora instructed Zena to teach her fencing with a stick.

Nora and Zena prepared to give a demonstration. Peto sat down on Jhack’s mountain to watch.

Zena brought her stick up and Nora. tried to get under it to stab Zena’s chest. Zena moved her sword so fast it knocked Nora’s away and Nora held on with a firm grip. nora held up her sword and slashed at Zena’s legs. again, Zena parried. and it went that way, until Zena knocked Nora’s sword out of her hand an cought it. then both of them relaxed, and Peto applauded.

“make Zena general.”

“yes, Zena, Peto’s right. you should be general. i’ve never seen anyone foght like that, not even the irkas!”

“you’ve seen the Irkas fight?”

was it just Zena, or did an expression of sadness cross Nora’s face as she replied “yes”?

“well, alright. Nora will be second-in-command, and sheeno captain. peto, let me give you your first lesson”


that night, Zena saw Nora hudled on top of mt. Yinin. zena slipped on her cloak, and sat next to her. she saw that Nora was crying.

“Nora, whats wrong?”

“i never told you about my parents, did i, Zena?”

“well, no, but…”

“we lived here. when peto was just a few weeks old, the attacked us. Irkas. the grown up ones. i don’t know what happened to them, just that thier sons still live in the fort. they took my father. for all i know hes dead. and then, they attacked my mother. she shielded Peto and i with her body, but the Irkas killed her. she used the last of her strenghth to take us across the prairie in a snow storm. then, she left peto and i at the orphanige. the only thing i remember of her is a farewell.”

‘oh, Nora, Nora.”

“her name was Ivy. did i tell you what peto means?”


“in the old lannguage, that out ancestors Ivy and Nora used, that the irkas still use now, it means courage.”

Nora began to cry agian. tears streakedher face and stung from the cold. she pulled her fur blanket around her and continued crying. salty tears filled her mouth and obscured her vision. she was aware of Zena wrapping her arms around Nora, and then Nora realized what the smothering, comforting warmth in her memories was. it was a hug.

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