Amidst the shooting stars, there is this legend…
There was a girl. She studied long and hard at the local academy. She had studied to become a starship captain. Hearing stories of people exploring the stars. Finding hope and prosperity. Now her parents were both knights. Loyal to the rulers of the planet. They wanted their daughter to follow in their footsteps. Becoming a knight as well. When the parents found out that their child had chosen her area of study. They were not happy.
After she had graduated they prepared a meal within their home. Taking out a small vial of poison. Having paid one of the many lab sciences well. That worked in the castle to create it. As the vile was slipped into her food and drink. She ran downstairs. For her graduation dinner. As she ate and drank. She spoke of many heroics. Accounts of solving diplomatic issues, finding lost treasure and fighting in wars. The graduate had an older brother. He was the captain of the royal guard. Like his parents before him. He too had achieved this great rank.
Wishing for his sister to do the same. She had instead chosen a different path. So the captain was more than willing to go through with the plan. However, the more she spoke about the stories of space travel. As well as the good that came from the adventures. The more the brother began to support his sister. As he watched her take the utensils she used. Over to the sink. Washing them clean. The brother could only look on. Knowing it would only be a matter of time. She wouldn’t be long for this world. He now only desired a cure. For the poison that she had consumed.
As the parents led her to her room. The moment she stated she was feeling ill. The captain snuck out as soon as the chance arrived. He headed to a to all of the medicine markets in town. None of them sold an antidote. He looked at the castle in the distance. The sun begins to set from behind the castle walls. This was all his fault. He had an opportunity to stop it and didn’t. Why couldn’t the captain and their parents support her? The family had been cruel to their child. Over not supporting a family legacy. Now it was too late he feared. He had been unable to acquire an antidote.
He walked outside the town. Into the dark forest. Sitting on a rock. With his head in his hands. Moments later came a sound. The captain heard the loud sound appearing to be close to him. He looked up to see a single woodpecker. Located on the tree next to him. It had been pecking and now stopped briefly. Seeing to look straight into the captain's eyes.
It flew down landing in front of him. The captain noticed something sparkling. In a hollow part of the tree. Where the bird had been. He stood on his feet. Inside the hollow opening was a treasure. He sulked back down again. His hopes slashed. The noise began again. The tiny bird was working tirelessly at a different tree. Then another and another and another. The captain rose to his feet. Walking over to each tree. Noticing the same thing contained within each.
As he watched the bird finish up. This one tree contained a small vial. The captain realized this clear bottle of liquid must be it. The cure he’d been looking for. Though he dares not touch it. For the bird was now sitting on a small branch. Appearing to look directly at him. It landed next to the captain. At that moment. White light glowed all around it. As the bird took a taller form. This form revealing to be a woman. The captain jumped back in surprise. After a few moments. The captain regained his focus. Turning in the direction the woman faced. She was looking at the tree in which the antidote was kept. The captain watched her retrieve the vial. Studying the small container. As if it could break at any moment. With a wave of her hand flames touched the air.
“Someone you care for deeply is ill.”
The captain stood there still as stone. A look of surprise covered his face.
“How would you know my sister is- She must’ve seen everything as that small bird.” He realized cutting himself off. “Who are you anyway?” The captain asked impatiently. Before the woman could respond. He gave a grunt of frustration. “I don’t have time for this.”
He looked back at the woman. Then at the bottle in her hand. Taking off heading for home. He ran upstairs to his sister's room. There she was laying in her bed. Her chest barely moving up and down. Her breathing ragged. His parents would be pleased. That their traitor of a daughter would be dead soon. He slowly walked over to her bedside. Tears sprang from his eyes. His family legacy was valued as more important. Then their own flesh and blood. Even her happiness hadn’t been taken into account. He failed. The captain knew his sister's life was over.
After some time of mourning over his dying family member. He opened his eyes once more. To a familiar sound of pecking on the window. He slid the window open. Seeing it was the woodpecker from before. She held the vial of antidote in her talons. She glided inside. Taking the form of the woman from before. She walked over to the bed. Where the young girl lay. Looking at her form closely. As if checking for injuries.
She was starting to shiver. The woman shot the captain a look. Without a second thought. He ran out to the hall. Featuring at least two blankets. Placing them gently on her. The captain gave a look of worry. The woman nodded in approval. This helped to ease his mind. Still having the full container in hand. She moved her head to the door. Motioning for the captain to walk with her. When they were outside. Flames burnt through the air.
“You left without giving me a chance to answer your question.”
The captain held his hand down. Looking back up as he felt more heat tense up the air. She gave him her name. Explaining that she was here to assist.
“I can give you the vile.” She said holding it up. “But only if you give me something most precious to you in return.”
The captain thought long and hard. Pacing back and forth frantically. In front of the woman. He now knew as Savitri. What could he give the fire mage? In exchange for the vile? They had no spell books within their home to give. His mother had given over her engagement ring. To his sister. No that wasn’t enough. Their family legacy meant everything to them. After what the three had plotted. He knew they didn’t deserve it. Such a good reputation should only go to the kind-hearted. Not wicked men such as themselves. Still, there was something even more valuable. His life was the most precious thing he could give. He stopped pacing. Taking a knee before Savitri.
“I will gladly trade my life. In exchange for my sisters. Please just take care of her for me.”
He focused on the ground. Blinking several times to hold back tears. There hadn’t been a moment of hesitation to his words. The sincerity was clear.
“Rise bring your sister to the forest. There she shall be cured.”
The captain did as asked. He headed inside to retrieve his sister. Bringing her to the forest. Lying her in the center of it. Where Savitri waited for them. Savitri handed the vial over to the captain. The captain administered the antidote. Time passed and the captain's sister fulfilled her goal. Becoming a starship captain. The brother assisted Savitri for the rest of his days. Giving his life to her in servitude. As he had promised. The treasure within the trees. Had been recovered by the citizens of the kingdom. As for the cruel parents. They burned to death. When their home mysteriously caught fire.