Belnesse. It looked daunting to her.  On their trip from Oakhedge, both Andrew and Riona attempted to describe to her what to expect.  Nothing they told her had truly prepared Yarma for what she saw before her.

What her eyes gazed upon was vastly larger than the whole of her village of Oakhedge.  It seemed to go on endlessly.  The buildings were in a variety of shapes; rectangular, rounded, multi-level – some seemed to encompass as much ground as three clusters would at home.

As the small group started to move into the city itself, she noticed that there was very little green and Yarma wasn’t sure what she saw was even real.  Riona had explained to her that natural trees and flowers, even grass, were almost non-existent in Belnesse.  Most of what she saw was artificially engineered facsimiles of nature.  Noticing that the patches of green were strategically placed between buildings and along paths of stairs that ran up between levels of the city, Yarma felt an emptiness in her heart.

The structures seemed to all be white.  As they walked, she realized that while the buildings were all white, there was some variation.  Some looked white as new fallen snow while others looked more like the color of bones that had been bleached by the sun.  There were a few whose color looked to be a blend of alabaster and egg shell.

There was one building she could see off to her right that stood alone and was quite different. It was quite large and had three levels.  Covering the top of the building there appeared to be a structure which looked somewhat like the upper portion of a tortoise’s shell.   Adorning that shell were what appeared to be panels of coarsely ground rice.  Looking closer she saw that the panels glistened when the sun’s rays shone upon it.  It caused the building to almost have an ethereal look, radiating an air of importance.

That one building looked out-of-place from the smooth, glistening surfaces of the others around it, as if it may have a different purpose.  I wonder if that is where the Councils convene and meet, she asked herself.

It is.

Startled, she looked behind her and saw Quinn staring at her.  Yarma realized he had heard her thought and responded silently.  She had forgotten what Andrew had been explaining to her.  He told her that some of her abilities would awaken even more so once she was in Belnesse.  Telepathic communication was one of them.              K.L.


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