After centuries of waiting, Rain has an opportunity to retrieve a creation that she designed and it means far more than a simple machine should. Her memories are wound around the weather machine and it has been used to destroy the natural order of Jarko.
When she completes her introduction to the local mayor, he ends up leaving office suddenly and his replacement is first a member of the Citadel before he is acting mayor. He is more than willing to help her with the weather machine. Of course, being from the Citadel, there will be a price, but Rain has learned that there always is when it is for something she really wants.
The dust puffed up with every step Reyan took. She shook her head at the arid landscape. They had really let this place go to hell since she was last here.
Three hundred years ago, the inhabitants had begged for her help when their weather-control machine had stalled out. The rest of the world of Jarko suffered because the people of this small corner of the continent liked to screw with nature. Reyan considered it her personal mission to keep the weather patterns even so that everyone got a chance at a harvest.
The people of Nekahar were jerks, there was no doubt about it, but the predictable weather brought settlers by the hundreds.
Reyan stopped and drank some water, hitched the bottle back onto her belt and walked into the city.
The guards at the gate stopped her. “Halt, we are on water rations. If you need food or water, you will have to pay.”
She grinned. “I accept your conditions, now let me pass.”
They could only see the lower half of her face. The marks that the Ichadran scientists had designed her with were an experiment and were also worn by her younger sister, the Destroyer. Her forehead was dotted with a very feminine pattern and her cheeks were streaked with silvery tears. Combine it with her pale blue eyes with their dark blue rings and her pale lavender hair, there was only one person she could be, the Rain.
There were three worlds in this system and Jarko was where she was able to do her best because of their screwy weather system.
The guards let her in after telling her that free food and water would be available in the central arena as a method of calling the rain.
As she passed through the city, she noted the signs of poverty, the abuse of authority and the degradation of society that always came with the drought. Those who couldn’t run, rotted.
She would do what she could, but unless they let nature take its course, they were doomed to repeat the cycle.
“As you know, we have fallen on hard times. Our efforts to repair the weather unit have failed and help is still months away. All we can do is beg the rain to return and hope that it will stay with us until the harvest is in. One good season is all we need, so rain, if you are listening, come to us!”
Reyan milled with the other travellers who had arrived in the city. She asked the man next to her, “Do you know how often they do this?”
“They started last year when the machine first malfunctioned. When did you get in?”
“This afternoon. Why?”
“They have a special treat for newcomers, but you can only claim it once.” He moved away from her, and she could see him radiating fear.
Cocking her head, she noted the guards who had seen her in were pointing her out to arena staff.
This was what she had been waiting for. The horror that had been whispered through the nearby areas, spread by those who had run, told of brutality in an effort to bring the rain.