Hawk's Fight with Buck

 

(Alternative version of a scene from "Time of the Hawk")

 

by

 

Teresa Spanics

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

"Now you must go.  Hawk needs you.  You have experienced a loss similar to what he has undergone and you alone can help him deal with that loss," quietly said the Llamajuna as he walked with Buck to the edge of the path leading from his cave.

Realizing that the Llamajuna had his own ways of finding things out about people, Buck did not ask any further questions and hurriedly ran off and hoped that he would be able to catch up to Hawk.  It did not take him long to find Hawk.  The birdman was carrying his precious mate and was not able to travel fast.  Buck kept a fair sized distance between him and Hawk.  As much as it was his duty to bring Hawk in, Buck felt that it was only right to let Hawk to have time to grieve the loss of his mate, Koori.

Hawk gently carried Koori away from where she had died.  All he could feel was an intense numbing pain in his chest that took his breath away. The one searing thought that kept swirling around in his head was that the humans had won.  They had the entire planet of Throm to themselves now that there were no more bird people. 

His vow to make humans suffer for the death of his flock had resulted in the indirect death of his mate.  Koori had forgiven him for what had happened to her.  She told Hawk it was not his fault, but hers that she had been injured.  Koori had not been in her seat when she tried to stop Buck from flying his ship.  As a result, she had gotten badly injured by one of Warhawk's talons when it pierced the hull of Buck's ship.

Even though Koori's death was an accident, it no longer mattered what happened to him, and Hawk longed for death.  To be with Koori again so they could fly together as winged spirits.  Nothing else mattered.  His vow to kill all humans in revenge for his flock's deaths was a vow he no longer wanted to keep.

Buck followed Hawk back down the mountain at a distance.  His duty to bring Hawk in for his attacks on humans was a bitter pill to swallow.  Buck could not blame Hawk for his actions as he had felt the same when he found out that others had been responsible for the holocaust that ravaged Earth so long ago.  What had happened to the bird people was only one in a series of tragedies that befell any visible minority, that looking different was a crime punishable by death in the minds of a few, very narrow minded individuals.

Now that there was no critical need to hurry, Hawk was able to go at a slower pace.  The beauty of Throm's forests and mountains was lost on him.  They might as well been barren, wind-swept rocks of a dying planet.  Hawk kept going on and on, hardly stopping to rest, except to drink from a flowing stream now and then.  The only thing that mattered was going home to the Valley of Eagles.  Home that was now a place of death.

The setting of the sun forced Hawk to stop.  He was more afraid of losing Koori's body in a fall than getting hurt himself.  Looking around, the birdman found a place where he could make a nest for the both of them.  Gently laying Koori's body down, Hawk carefully and tenderly made sure her cloak covered her up. 

Even though he knew there was no need to create a nest for themselves, Hawk made one out of soft ferns and gently placed Koori inside.  Lying down beside Koori, Hawk tried to fall asleep, but the last moments of Koori's life kept flashing before him.  He relived over and over how cold her hand felt in his and Koori's last words to him as the last breath of life left her forever.  Unable to take it any more, Hawk pulled Koori's body into his arms and wept, calling Koori's name over and over, until sleep finally claimed him in the early morning hours.

Buck had managed to keep up to Hawk's pace.  When Hawk had finally stopped, Buck could see just how hard Hawk had been pushing himself.  A sad thought entered his mind that Hawk would not be alive very long.  That the Galactic Court would not have to hold a trial for Hawk and pass sentence, Hawk would do it for them. Buck found a spot just out of sight where he could make a small fire to keep warm and yet, at the same time, keep watch on Hawk's activities.  Buck had just gotten the fire going when he heard Hawk's pain filled voice.  The anguish tore at Buck's heart and he knew that he would have felt the same if it had been his girlfriend, Jennifer, or even Wilma, his close friend, dying in his arms.

The light of the morning sun woke Hawk.  For a moment, he lay still, hoping that when he turned to look at Koori, the past few days would have just been a bad dream.  The light of the new day shone delicately upon Koori as it gave the feathers on her head a soft radiance, which framed her beautiful face.  She appeared to be in a deep sleep.  Hawk hesitated to touch her face, fearing that to touch her would break the illusion of sleep.  But once he placed his hand to one side of her sweet face, the harsh reality of what happened could not be denied.  She was indeed dead and nothing could change that.

Hawk pulled his hand away gently from her face and sat up. A silent sob ran through him as he forced himself to pick up Koori's body to continue their journey.  There was no denying now what he had to do next.  Hawk would have to dig Koori's grave.   The pain of his loss had not diminished during the night.  Hawk felt a coldness within himself that would have been frightening if Koori was still alive.  Now, he welcomed the cold as it must be a sign that his death would be coming soon.

Buck stiffly got to his feet.  The long night had been cool and sleep had been fitful.  Buck's own thoughts had been of what ifs from - what if communications of either ship had been working, would Koori still be alive to - what if Koori hadn't been so badly hurt, would she still be alive.  Looking around, it didn't take him long to find Hawk.  Hawk was still going in the same direction as yesterday.  Buck noticed that Hawk's face had a look of death on it as though all the life had slowly drained away during the night.  Following along, again at a distance, Buck wondered what could be done to help Hawk.  If anything be done at all.

Hawk continued walking towards what had been home a few months ago.  The sun was nearly set by the time Hawk reached the Valley of Eagles.  The wind that blew around what was left of his village seemed to moan a lamenting cry that another of the bird people had died too soon.  It seemed that even the wind was crying in grief and pain.

 

 

 

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