[The camera shows the night sky, filled with stars. Beneath the tranquil, cloudless sky, a battle rages between multiple sides. A To'kustar fights with Vance Grace, who stays just high enough to be out of reach. Below and behind this fight, Tuesday Smith and Lawrence Carter slash swords at each other. Lawrence slashes his left, but Tuesday blocks with her right. She knocks his left down with her left and then jabs with her right, only to be blocked by his right. She takes a step back to regain her balance, but Lawrence steps forward and hits from both sides, knocking her back.]
[Behind Tuesday, two horses stand waiting. Next to one of them, an unconscious Hadria Carter lies on the ground. Behind Lawrence, six children watch on three horses. A fourth horse sits slightly in front of them; at the side of the horse, a motionless Nathan Loretta lies on the ground. His eyes are open, staring at the fight between Vance and the To'kustar, but he doesn't react, and is seemingly unable to move. The children sit back, not wanting to join the fight.]
[Michael]: Maybe we should make a break for the city?
[Teru]: Sounds like a good idea to me.
[Sven, angry]: Are you serious right now? We can't just abandon Lawrence and Nathan!
[Teru]: We're going to die, Sven! I don't know about you, but I don't want that to happen!
[Sven]: We're not going to die, Teru! We have to at least get Nathan out of here!
[Teru]: Fine, then you pick him up and take him back with you.
[Sven]: I can't do that. The horse won't be able to run with three people.
[Teru]: Arik can run on foot.
[Sven turns back to look at Arik, who has remained for most of the time since leaving Ateria.]
[Sven, angry]: Not an option.
[Teru]: How about he answers for himself.
[Arik appears to be afraid. He doesn't respond; instead, he seems lost in thought.]
[Sven]: How about Michael carries Nathan on horseback and you run on foot?
[Teru]: Yeah right, like I would do that!
[Lily]: Stop arguing, you two! This team is going to fall apart!
[In front of the team, Lawrence is knocked back by Tuesday. He falls on his back, holding the swords in front of him as she approaches him. Vance watches from above and starts lowering himself to re-engage with the To'kustar.]
[Vance]: Yes, Tuesday, now finish--
[As he lowers towards the To'kustar, he suddenly stops talking and then looks up. He notices that he is a lot closer to the To'kustar than he realized, and before he can react, the To'kustar smacks him, knocking him to the ground. He tumbles over several times before finally coming to a halt about 100 feet away. Meanwhile, Tuesday charges at Lawrence; the chief braces for impact as Nathan appears out of nowhere, knocks Tuesday's swords to the side, and then grabs her legs and tackles her to the ground. Lawrence appears shocked at the fact that Nathan is back up and moving.]
[Lawrence, relieved]: Nathan!
[Nathan looks at Tuesday in the eyes. After a moment, he shakes his head and then stands up, leaving Tuesday on the ground. He turns and sees the To'kustar approaching Vance, who slowly starts to get up. He then turns to Lawrence and helps him get off of his back.]
[Nathan]: Sorry about that.
[Lawrence]: What happened to you? You were just... motionless...
[Nathan]: Vance must've done something to me... I heard a gunshot and then... All of the sudden I was out... I don't remember anything until I woke up a couple moments ago.
[Lawrence]: Your eyes were open... could you see anything?
[Nathan]: No, I couldn't...
[Nathan looks around at the other members of the team.]
[Nathan]: Where's Kathryn?
[Lawrence]: We sent her to Teviv to get backup...
[Nathan]: Right... So are we heading to Teviv?
[Lawrence]: Yes... we'll need to take one of the Knights' horses, though, we don't have enough for all of us...
[Nathan turns around. Tuesday is still on the ground, in pain from being tackled by Nathan. Off to the side, Vance is still locked in combat with the To'kustar.]
[Nathan]: You take Hadria and ride that horse; I'll ride one of theirs.
[Lawrence nods his head. He walks over to the Knights' horses and picks up Hadria. She is still unconscious as he climbs onto the horse.]
[Lawrence]: Don't worry... we'll be safe, soon...
[He rides off as the other members of the team follow him. Vance watches as he continues to fight the To'kustar. Tuesday slowly gets up and looks at the five horses riding away. She turns around and sees the one remaining horse and runs to it.]
[Tuesday]: We should follow them, my lord!
[Vance]: No, don't leave me here!
[Tuesday]: Kill the To'kustar then follow with your wings...
[Vance, angry]: Tuesday...
[Tuesday]: I'm sorry, my lord. I'm on a mission...
[She rides off, leaving Vance alone.]
[The camera shows a part of the field north of Ateria. Connor Yan, Samuel Wright, Wayne Holcomb, and a couple other soldiers are flying on the Skywings, rushing north.]
[Connor]: I hope all of you understand why we can't let any To'kustars get farther north.
[Wayne]: Why'd we wait so long to leave after we spotted it?
[Samuel]: Idiot; you're the one who slowed us down.
[Wayne]: It's not my fault my wings didn't work!
[Samuel]: You broke them while trying to put them on!
[Connor]: There's no point arguing, you two. We've got a--
[He notices a To'kustar about 500 feet in front of the group. It is the same one that was locked in a fight with Vance, but it is now lying dead on the ground. As the group approaches it, it continues to disintegrate into nothing, giving off a large amount of steam.]
[Samuel]: Did Nathan or Kathryn kill this one or something?
[Connor]: They wouldn't be this far south after this long...
[He looks northward, trying to see if anyone is around. He notices someone flying northward on Skywings, but the person is too far away to be able to tell who it is.]
[Samuel]: Should we follow whoever that is?
[Connor]: I'll follow alone... The rest of you should head back to the city...
[Samuel]: You really think we can handle the To'kustars on our own?
[Wayne]: Of course he doesn't! He just wants to save his own life!
[Connor quickly draws his own sword and holds it right against Wayne's chest.]
[Connor]: I won't hesitate to kill you next time you talk like that.
[Wayne does not respond. Connor continues to fly forward as Samuel starts to lead the group back towards Ateria. Wayne waits for a while before following Samuel and the others.]
[The camera cuts to the five horses riding towards Teviv. Lawrence rides in front, carrying Hadria on his back. Nathan rides just behind him to the left, on the Knights' horse; behind him, the six members of the team ride on the three horses. After a couple moments of silent riding, the team arrives back at the carriage and stops to salvage anything inside.]
[Nathan]: Are the Skywings salvageable?
[Lawrence, looking through the back of the carriage]: Looks like it.
[Nathan]: Have the children put them on.
[Lawrence]: Are you crazy? They'll have no idea how to use them!
[Nathan]: It's not that hard to figure out... They're unlikely to die trying, but they're extremely likely to die if they can't...
[Lawrence closes his eyes for a second. He turns to the team, sitting on the horses.]
[Lawrence]: Hey, come over here.
[One by one, the six children start to walk over to the carriage. Lawrence stands back, allowing the children to look inside the carriage and see the Skywings.]
[Michael]: We're putting those on?
[Nathan]: We don't have a choice. You probably won't need to use them, but if you do, just know that the on switch is right at the front of the belt. The triggers in your hands are for accelerating. Steering isn't much of a problem. There are three swords on each side of your waist; only use them if you need to engage a To'kustar, which I wouldn't recommend. Lawrence and I will fight one if necessary.
[Lawrence]: Is that understood?
[The children seem to be in agreement. One by one, they step forward and start to put on their Skywings. Sven gets his, followed by Teru, Michael, Noelle, and Lily. Arik stands back, not having gotten his yet.]
[Lawrence grabs a Skywings and walks over towards Arik. He holds it out to him. Arik takes it and starts to put it on. He seems visibly shaken.]
[Lawrence]: Is something wrong?
[Arik, quietly]: No, I'm fine...
[Lawrence]: Do you think the others around you are fine? Do Nathan and I look fine? Did Kathryn look fine? No, none of us are... We're scared out of minds, even the experienced ones among us are... We just keep going... You need to be brave, Arik...
[He looks up at Lawrence as his eyes briefly water.]
[Arik]: I'm worried about my mom... She wasn't in Ateria when the To'kustars came... If few know that the To'kustars have returned, then won't she try to head back to Ateria...
[Lawrence]: I understand how you must feel... You see, my wife... Hadria's mother... wasn't in Ateria either...
[Arik widens his eyes at the similarity. Nathan steps forward and enters the conversation.]
[Nathan]: Listen, Arik, you have absolutely no reason to worry about your mother... I'll let someone know about her once we arrive in Teviv, and they'll let her know that it's not safe in Ateria...
[Arik nods his head. Nathan looks around at the others. Most of them seem to have finished putting on their Skywings.]
[Nathan]: Are we reading, Lawrence?
[He nods his head. He picks up Hadria and mounts his horse, starting to ride off as the children get back on their horses and follow. Nathan gets on his horse, and this time brings up the rear as the team continues to Teviv, this time hopefully uninterrupted.]
[The camera cuts ahead to the team riding. The sun is starting to rise as the team rides up a hill. Hadria remains unconscious on Lawrence's back as he rides in front. The children ride just behind Lawrence as Nathan rides behind them. There doesn't appear to be anyone for a while behind them.]
[Lawrence]: Still good in the back?
[Nathan]: Yeah, what about in front?
[Lawrence]: Well, let's see what's past this hill.
[After a few moments, the horses reach the top of the hill. On the other side, six To'kustars can be seen at a flat stretch of land just past the hill. Kathryn can be seen engaging the To'kustars, who have her surrounded.]
[Lawrence]: No, we've got six... Kathryn's surrounded by them...
[Nathan pulls off to the side and rides around the children to get near Lawrence.]
[Nathan]: Stay behind...
[Nathan stands up on his horse, jumps off a moment later and activates his Skywings. He bursts forwards, down towards the To'kustars. As he gets close, he draws a sword from either side. He rushes in, slicing a To'kustar in the leg with both swords. It writhes in pain as Nathan goes back and loops around. He flies upwards along the back of the To'kustar, slashing two parallel cuts along the alien. He strikes the back of the To'kustar's head, causing it to turn around. Nathan backs away and then dives in for the frill, but the To'kustar standing next to the target smacks him to the side. He drops low in the air, but he quickly recovers and flies back up to his original target, striking it in the frill. He leaves a deep wound, enough to kill the To'kustar. It falls on its back, and luckily Kathryn avoids as she flies upwards towards Nathan.]
[Kathryn]: Help me get the rest of them.
[Nathan]: No, you go to Teviv and get backup...
[He suddenly stops as he flies out of the way to avoid a swing from the arm of the To'kustar that smacked him earlier. He flies at its face, but the To'kustar blocks with his arms. He slashes the wrists of the To'kustars and then aims for the frill, but the To'kustar swings and forces him to retreat.]
[Kathryn]: I'm not leaving the team! Not when we're this close to Teviv.
[Nathan]: Don't worry, I can handle them.
[Kathryn]: Are you sure?
[She looks at the To'kustars. She flies to the side and avoids a swing for one. She then flies towards and slices the hand of that To'kustar right off of its arm.]
[Kathryn]: I'll be back with help soon...
[Nathan nods his head as Kathryn flies away. As he does that, a To'kustar swings and knocks him to the ground. Near the hill, the team watches in horror as Nathan hits the ground hard and then turns around and watches the To'kustars above him. He quickly flies up and begins attacking the To'kustars to clear the path for the team. Back at the hill, Sven has hopped off his horse and takes a few steps forward. His Skywings are activated.]
[Sven, to himself]: He needs help...
[He runs forward and jumps up. After a brief moment of falling, he bursts forward on the Skywings. He bursts past Lawrence, who notices him immediately.]
[Lawrence, furious]: HEY! GET BACK HERE!
[After a few moments, Michael, Teru, Noelle, and Lily all get off their horses to follow Sven.]
[Lawrence]: Stay here! You're not going after Sven...
[Teru]: We won't engage the To'kustars, but he definitely needs our help.
[Lily]: We can run interference for him while he does all the work. If he does it alone, he'll die.
[Lawrence stares at the four standing children angrily. After a moment he closes his eyes and makes a decision.]
[Lawrence]: As long as you don't engage, I'm not going to stop you, but I am going to go with you...
[He turns to Arik.]
[Lawrence]: If you're staying here, watch over Hadria...
[Arik sits on the worse, trembling at the sight of the To'kustars and the fact that his friends are going to be flying near them. Lawrence turns back to the children, and then to the To'kustars.]
[Lawrence]: If Sven can do it, then it shouldn't be too hard for you guys...
[He runs off and activates his Skywings. The four children jump and activate theirs, flying up just behind him towards the To'kustars. Up ahead, Sven flies around a To'kustar. He flies back as the To'kustar takes a few steps towards him; Nathan flies up and strikes the To'kustar on the should blades before looping around and striking the To'kustar in the frill, killing it, leaving only four remaining. Soon afterwards, Lawrence and the four children arrive to add to the help that Sven was providing Nathan.]
[Nathan]: You guys don't have to help me, you know.
[Lawrence]: It's the least we can do.
[As they start to work on the other four To'kustars, the camera cuts back to Arik, still sitting alone on his horse. He looks at Hadria, lying unconscious on the horse than Lawrence was riding. He looks at the fight in front of them. He sees Michael and Teru working together to distract a To'kustar as Nathan rushes in, slicing along the arm of it to wound it and then delivers the finishing blow to the frill.]
[Arik, trembling]: What's my worth to the team?
[He sees Lily and Noelle go after another To'kustar. It starts to follow them for a moment, but Nathan rushes in and strikes it in the back. It starts to turn around, but Nathan soars up and the drops down, delivering the fatal blow to the frill, knocking it on its back, leaving only two more To'kustars.]
[Arik, afraid]: How am I supposed to continue with the team if I can't even distract To'kustars, let alone fight them...
[He thinks back to what Lawrence told him earlier. The camera shows a brief flashback.]
[Lawrence]: You need to be brave, Arik...
[The camera snaps back to the present. Arik watches Lawrence start to lure the next target To'kustar away so that Nathan can kill it.]
[Arik]: They're almost done... Maybe I'll...
[As Lawrence continues to lead the To'kustar back, Nathan rushes in for the kill, but the other To'kustar smacks him to the ground again. The children stare shocked, not wanting to actually engage the To'kustars. Arik stares at Nathan, struggling to get up. The To'kustar that threw him to the ground tries to pick him up again as Nathan rolls to the side and then jumps up and flies out of the reach of that To'kustar. Arik jumps off the horse and steps a bit forward, activating his Skywings.]
[Arik]: Be brave, Iverson... Be brave...
[He rushes forward, jumps up, and then flies forward with the Skywings. He sputters around for the first few moments but then establishes a steady flight. He looks ahead and sees Nathan backing away from the To'kustar that smacked him to the ground. As he does so, the other To'kustar grabs him as Lawrence and the children simply watch. Arik continues to rush in, presumably not planning to Lawrence's request that the children only distract the To'kustars.]
[Arik]: You can do this
[Arik draws one of the swords as he flies forwards, continuing for the team. As the To'kustar holds Nathan in his hand, Arik flies upwards and then zooms at the To'kustar. The camera goes into slow motion as Arik flies past the To'kustar's frill, slicing deep into it horizontally, killing it. He loops around and prepares to kill the other To'kustar, too, but it backs away. Arik stops suddenly as the To'kustar surprisingly starts retreating. After backing away for a few moments, the To'kustar turns around and starts running away. Arik relaxes and drops to the ground; the others do the same. Meanwhile, Nathan pries open the fingers of the dead To'kustar that was holding him and drops to the ground. He continues breathing heavily as he turns to Arik. Lawrence steps forward and looks at Arik in an angry yet pleased way.]
[Lawrence]: I can't say I'm disappointed in the result, but I wish you wouldn't have done that...
[Arik]: I saved Nathan's life...
[Nathan, confident]: I assure you that I wasn't going to die, Arik. I wouldn't found a way to survive that...
[Arik, relaxed]: Well, the others weren't going to help you at least...
[Sven walks up from behind Arik and places his hand on Arik's shoulder.]
[Sven]: Still afraid?
[Arik, laughing it off]: No, I don't think so...
[Teru, feigning arrogance]: Oh, really? Maybe we should have you kill all the To'kustars from now on...
[Arik]: Okay, maybe I'm a little bit afraid...
[Lawrence, changing the subject]: What I want to know is why that To'kustar ran away. It almost seemed as if it had... intelligence.
[Nathan]: There's nothing in any record books about To'kustars being capable of having intelligence. At least no record books that they used at my military academy. It doesn't mean it's not possible, but... I'd also like to know how To'kustars got this far north without Connor or someone else following them...
[Lawrence]: If they're this far north, then are they also at Teviv? And if so how will we be able to enter than city?
[Nathan]: I think our best bet is to just continue on our way and cross that bridge when come to it...
[Lawrence]: Agreed. Let's go to Teviv...
[He turns back towards the horses near the bottom of the hill. The camera cuts to show someone pulling a gun, preparing to fire it, and then holding it up to the head of someone with blonde hair. The camera again and reveals Tuesday hovering in midair, holding a still unconscious Hadria around the waist with one arm and holding the loaded gun up to her head with the other arm. Lawrence sees Hadria in midair and stops in place.]
[Lawrence, devastated]: Hadria...
[As Tuesday floats in midair, the camera shows Hadria's unconscious face, her blonde hair flowing due to a gust of wind.]
[To Be Continued]