The Lakota sometimes wished he were human. He felt like it at times; he would sit in his chamber, reading stories all day until the sunsets purple hues dimmed his pages. He had traveled far for such serenity, at least as far as he’s ever traveled in his short 15 years of life. This new life felt strange to him for power felt too big for his small hands, and his third eye was still sore and bloodshot from the last time he had tried to use it.
He sat in the mountains of what was once Columbus, Ohio, now barren and cold in what was once spilling with human life. Lakota imagined books spilled out of there too, covering the asphalt streets until the cars were forced to stop and read the wonderful literature presented to them. He sighed, holding his newest book tight and close to his heart. The mortals called it ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and it excited him that a human boy was so much like him.
“Lakota,” a small voice hissed behind him, its thin body slinking behind his back. Lakota sighed, gently closing his new heart and placing it to the side. The scaly being grew fat, its fluttering tail splitting into two humanesque legs, its reptilian face stretching into pink lips, eyes remaining yellow, vertical slits. How repulsive.
“Salutations, Bella. You look well.” Bella grinned at this, his head twitching slightly as dark brown locks fell into his face. His face was sharp and enchanting upon first glance so Lakota paid him no mind.
“Xena shall be returning North once again. He had visited—.”
“Ethalo. I know of this. I do not care,” Lakota snapped, letting his eyes closed as he let his eye try to find the missing boy. He had few friends in his new life, so he tried his best to hold onto them as long as he could manage.
“You shouldn’t use your eye, beloved. You’re simply too weak,” Bella offered lowly, his movement fluid as he wrapped himself around Lakota, his human form lost once again. Lakota allowed his pet up his arm as he kept his gaze forward and focused.
“Why? So you can overpower me? I can hear your thoughts you dumb serpent. Give me one reason why I shouldn’t send you south and straight to your maker.” Bella hissed, releasing himself from the deity before him as he slinked away again, down the mountain and into grass.
‘There was a time where I was more powerful than you,’ the serpent thought, fattening itself again to reveal porcelain skin and light colored eyes. Bella glared at the Lakota in the sky that spent his days reading and looking across barren wasteland. The Lakota simply continued to read his book.
Xena’s trek was to take three nights until he would be recalled to life by the Lakota. He did not have much with him; he only carried his copy of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, gifted to him by the Lakota himself. He would often think of the Lakota on his search for the five birds that terrorized the life that remained in the Kansan oceans. Eagles, ravens, owls, falcons, and another he simply couldn’t be bothered to remember. He recorded his findings in his leather bound book, another gift from his long-haired friend.
He had chosen to stop by in the east village that resided in Missouri. Saint Louis it was called, which was ironic since Africana tribes resided there. They beared steel masks and performed most rituals with uses of ancient chemistry. Xena feared to touch anything while he was there, but he was always confused for a native until he spoke. However he was not one to wander without purpose. He had been travelling for miles to retrieve one powerful substance.
“Hello Elba,” he greeted, resting comfortably on his transport as the creature made its way through the bazaar begrudgingly. A woman of ebony skin and ivory eyes emerged, hair gifted with jewels and hands bearing promise. She never spoke when Xena came, but she always knew what he wanted. She placed the glass bottle in his swiftly before disappearing back into the crowd. Xena didn’t skip a beat as he moved away, the poor Kansan lizard creature bearing his sorrows.
The Lakota tribe had prospered centuries before the first serpents had arrived. Lakota for this reason alone did not look west often, for the west only encouraged greed in the people that inhabited this land. His land.
He had not seen a human since his vessel had returned to what was once the Americas. He saw plenty of mockeries however, humanoid monsters whose limbs had become mutilated and like poison. While his earthly body did not know the cause of such pain, his eye knew it all. This is why the eye chose The Little Prince.
He had just began to learn about the planets when he felt the energy change in the air. He looked into the distance, watching as a giant lizard carried his dearest friend on its back languidly. Xena’s silver hair gleamed from far away and Lakota allowed himself a small smile.
“How fun this end will be,” he told himself, and he read of his planets once more.
Ohio had become smokey since Xena last saw it. He knew this land was sick decades before his time, and now the deities were making the population pay. Yet he couldn’t help but find it all so silly, for not a single human was left to suffer.
Night fall came before his new transport had made it to the mountain. As daybreak came, the devil came with it, its hiss and shrill irritating to the lone traveller. A final hiss made the foreigner break as he snatched the creature, staring the snake in the face as its head snapped forward at him, barely missing his nose.
“Bella, you’ve been such a pest lately. You don’t take being the last of your kind very seriously,” Xena said coolly, taking his glass and opening the lid quickly with his teeth. Bella made himself fat once again, landing on the lizard’s back. But the lizard was lazy and did not care for anything, so stay it did.
“I hate you,” Bella spat, his eyes only yellowy slits. “I hate your race! I hate all of you! Damn your race to hell!” Xena chuckled, the sound building in his chest. His laugh grew maniacal, eyes watery and full with anger.
“We told you humans wouldn’t survive! We gave you everything! We gave you strength, power, and you try and challenge your god!” Bella covered his ears helplessly, blood slowly falling from his eyes. A shrill scream echoed into the wind, his body convulsing as he fell off the transport. The lizard did not care.
The mountains suddenly revealed a figure, their hair flowing behind them as they jumped down from the top, gliding down into the grass. Lakota landed flawlessly, his feet next to the mortals head. Bella’s screams did not stop, his body twitching grotesquely. Lakota grabbed the tortured body by the wrist, making Bella relax instantly. Lakota pulled Bella up with a tug and the three stood upright and equal once again.
“Apologize,” Lakota commanded. Xena bowed his head with hesitation.
“I apologize for my actions, Bella.” Bella did not hear him.
“Very well,” Lakota sighed, holding onto the dazed mortal carefully. “Bella?” Bella did not respond, his eyes slowly warming before his gaze focused. Lakota looked at the man with sorrow. “Believe in me and I will make you well again.” Bella stared at his deity before slowly nodding. Lakota closed his two eyes, the third protecting the last mortal’s soul. Xena brought two fingers to his chin accordingly.
“Strip this body of augmentation and deliver it from suffering,” Xena stated solemnly. Lakota opened his eyes, glancing at his dear friend. Xena nodded, taking the bottle and holding it to the Bella’s lips.
And the Bella was gone.