'A winter with the wolves' they called it. Very few ever survived it, and those that did came out deranged. It was the hardest test a recruit could put themselves through, one that many saw as unnecessary and obsolete. The people needed warriors, not dead children.
But (more)still Aluretta was determined to complete the ritual. All her life she had been training to defeat the Mechanics, her hatred of them would get her through this.
Her grandfather, one of the village elders counseled her. "You have a fighting spirit," he observed. "I do not doubt your ability to survive against the harshness of Mars."
"Thank you, Grandfather."
"But are you prepared to be changed by your experience?" The old man raised an eye brow. He spoke from experience. One of the few to live, but he never spoke of it.
Aluretta answered in a stone cold voice. "Nothing could change my hatred for the Mechanics." It was true, he could see it deep in her eyes. An unwavering hatred which he had done his best not to cultivate. The old man sighed.
"You know we have been fighting the mechanics since before we can remember. Every man, woman and child has been raised to fight the Mechanics so that one day we may have our planet back. The death of your parents is tragic but where will your hatred end? When you have slain all their souls will you then be free? I fear for you."
The next day, without another word, Aluretta symbolically stripped herself of all clothing. She had only her knife, carved by her grandfather from bone of a wolf. The air was thin and hard to breathe without her mask. This was going to take everything she had. (less)
Tiny seeds blossom into young gods of man.
Cry to the ether young children.
Distill time before it's forgotten.
Thread bare as light as cotton.
The strength of titans lies in your bones.
Staid oceans will bring you home.