[This is the first in a series of oral histories about the night the Contagion broke out on the Mordesh homeworld.]
I was in one of the larger cities on the night the Contagion exploded across the surface of Grismara. The fall happened so fast. It’s hard to believe now. If I hadn’t been a child at the time I’m not sure I could have stood the shock and horror, but when you’re a child, you don’t think about what’s right and what’s wrong. What’s supposed
to never, ever happen suddenly does, and you see it right before your eyes.
No one tells a child that your mother isn’t supposed to kill your father with the broken edge of a bottle, driving the glass into his neck and chest over and over again.
No one told father either, but when she turned, she turned so fast. He was holding a wine glass out, waiting for her to pour. She started to slur her speech, and the hand holding the wine bottle shook, clenched,
and suddenly flailed. What she did to him was so savage that he didn’t return – a minor mercy. Then she turned on me. No one had told me what to do then, but I knew. I ran as fast as I could.
An out-of-control hovercar slammed into our home and brought the upper floor down on mother, but she wasn’t my mother by then. She was Ravenous, though I didn’t know that. We didn’t have the word yet. I just knew she was dead, like father.
I saw the light go out of her mad eyes.
I almost gave up. I was so close to letting go. Then I saw the light. It was a ship. She was called the Arovolkin, and if not for the Ekose who commanded her, I would never have made it to the Exile Fleet.
– Yashka Rovu, Survivor of Grismara