Savas [The Eyes]

Eyes he had said. ‘I need eyes everywhere’.

They did not think Shy had intended to make a mistake. But instead of seeing everywhere, they had been created with the uncanny ability to hear everywhere.

Name Savas
Age Young
Appearance Savas is a tall, slightly androgynous looking individual with pasty skin and long straight black hair that they wear usually unadorned and in a neat cue down their back. Although they seem at first glance to be perfectly normal, something is just slightly off about the length of their limbs, and the size of their features. Usually dressed in long qipao (Chinese collared dresses) with clean lines and little or no ornamentation, Savas is sometimes seen as an out of focus, slightly more alien version of Shy.
Savas shares the signature molten gold eyes that mark Shy’s projects: on Savas, they don’t change hue and remain molten gold. They are also usually slightly out of focus- as if Savas is listening to a voice in their head that is just ever so slightly out of range.
Personality Savas is usually a very quiet character who doesn’t seem to quite exist in the same plane of reality that the rest of us do. They don’t enjoy the limelight and prefer to be half forgotten by most people.
They are very drawn to textures and people: usually forgets protocols about personal space and boundaries, and can be found often distracted by materials and objects that feel good.
Savas has a quiet, dry sense of humor, and is usually very patient, and also quite obedient.
Abilities Savas has the ability to hear ‘whispers’ in the air, that forecast the future, give hint to events taking place in other worlds, and share secrets. They were originally created to the all seeing Eye- no one knows what went wrong, and Shy refuses to admit he made a mistake. So they continue to hold the title as “the Eyes”
Standing at the Refugium

Savas did not enjoy Shy.

It was not to say that Savas did not like Shy. Savas was one of his creatures, and he had a particularly flexible moral compass when it came to receiving adoration and obedience from his projects. Savas liked Shy. Savas loved Shy. But Savas did not enjoy Shy.

Particularly right now.

“I do not like the space.” Savas said, their words oddly stilted with an unusual melodic tempo.

“Space, my dear.” He corrected gently. “Not the space, space.”

They paused. “It may be THE space.” Who knew? Maybe this was The one, but no one understood the importance yet.

“Did the voices tell you that?”

Savas, went still, almost as if somehow they were trying to pull any errant movement back within themselves. But they weren’t running away- no, they were trying to concentrate. What were the voices saying? There was always a soft whisper in the back of their head, and sometimes, the words grew stronger. Closer. And sometimes, they disappeared, a frustrating murmur that they would have to tease out thread by thread.

Normally the voices were like a soft whisper, but today, they grew louder, a babbling brook that seemed to circle around two words.

“Vella Crean.” They said. It was a popular word these days, always seeming to laugh at them from the shadows.

They watched a look fly across Shy’s face, too quick for them to identify.

“Refugium.” They said, and they watched Shy’s eyes widen with surprise.

“The Refugium?” he repeated, his look considering.

“Yes.”

The Refugium. It was a laughing remark in the back their head, so strong, so sure. “I need to go to the Refugium.”

Savas floated in the gentle waves of the giant heated bathtub, eyes open and staring up at the domed ceiling. Shy had referred to the giant bathtub as a “heated pool”, but Savas had no time for such complicated nonsense.

Giant heated bathtub. Why give it other, unnecessary words?

Savas did not like The Space. It was too big, too busy. The voices were louder here, as if all the different voices had congregated together, screaming for their attention. They didn’t understand some of the words, some of the languages. But they tried to listen.

Because Shy had asked.

Savas frowned, closed their eyes and taking a short breath before sinking into the heated water. They kicked their legs slowly, pushing themselves down the depth of the bathtub until they gently hit the bottom.

Down here in the water, the voices were muffled. It was easier to think, to plan their thoughts.

Shy was always looking for the Vella Crean. It was one of the reasons he had created them. Eyes he had said. ‘I need eyes everywhere’.

They did not think Shy had intended to make a mistake. But instead of seeing everywhere, they had been created with the uncanny ability to hear everywhere. Whispers of secrets and gossip that seemed to be carried by more than air currents, asking for attention. Sometimes they ignored the whispers. When they had been younger, eager to please, they had listened to everything. They had shared the whispers and they had helped Shy build a bigger empire.

But then they had gotten bored.

Find Me….

There, that voice again. Savas frowned. There was something different about this voice. Something very focused specifically for Savas, that made them uncomfortable. The whispers they unusually heard were just that, whispers that they managed to overhear and use to their advantage.

This… this was different.

After several more minutes in the depth of the bath, they pushed themselves up, breaking the surface of the water with minimal exhale.

“You give it away when you do that, you know.” A voice, soft spoken, elegant.

Savas blinked, wiping away the water from their eyes. “Why are you still here?”

A put out sigh. “It is your first time back in the world.” Shy responded. “I thought you would enjoy the company.”

Savas swam towards the ledge in long, sure strokes. They looked up from the water and paused, quickly discarding the idea of pulling Shy into the tub with them. Grasping the ledge and pulling themselves out, they waved away Shy’s outreached hand that held a towel.

“Not cold.” They said.

“People like to cover up.” Shy’s voice was amused. “Modesty.”

Savas shrugged. Unnecessary. Stretching once before collecting her hair in a long tail to methodically squeeze out the water, she tilted her head, re-evaluating the towel. Shy silently held it out and Savas used it to bundle their long hair up.

Easier to dry out their hair this way.

“I hope you appreciate your quarters. Luxury housing does cost a little bit more.”

Savas shrugged again. They knew it was Shy who enjoyed the luxury. The feeling of superiority, of being an elite. They themselves did not care. Appearances were not as important as the whispers.

“Have you heard anything more?”

Savas paused, wondering if it was worth sharing about that one persistent voice. “Not about the Vella Crean.”

They could almost hear the tension, the impatience in the other man.

“Soon.” Savas promised, and felt a little thrill. Yes. Soon, they would find out more.

Shy tugged at the heavily brocaded qipao collar, tilting his head to watch them with admiring eyes. “Black suits you.” He said, brushing their hair away from their shoulders and reaching behind him for a slim ornamental gold stick. “Use this for your hair.”

Savass obeyed, lifting the heavy weight of their hair to twist half into a complicated knot. They used the gold stick to anchor it into place. “Heavy.”

“We need to make a good impression.”

Savas had watched Shy’s eyes light up when he had finally, finally been given approval to visit the Heimdall. No matter how urgent his search for the Vella Crean, Shy seemed to be happy in his distractions with other geneticists or bio-engineering experts. Project, he called them, and while they had heard whispers of the projects being referred to as something else, Savas only considered them as family.

An odd, assorted family.

“Shall we?” Shy offered his arm, and Savas slid theirs threw it, a gesture they were used to doing, and a position they were used to taking. Always next to Shy, their voice audible in a small murmur to pass long messages and whispers.

The two made a striking, if slightly unusual image. Shy, tall and slender with his jade green eyes and straight black hair grown longer now, shoulder length and unbound. Dressed in a black qipao with enough silver embroidery and ornamentation that it seemed gilded more like chainmail. Savas in a complementary black qipao, with softer accents of gold, their hair in an intricate knot and their molten gold eyes peering at the world with in a slightly out of focus manner.

They moved with purpose towards the private transport unit that waited to take them to the military research station. Savas knew why they were going along. Shy was curious: insanely curious by a military research station that he had not visited in the past, to see what oddities and projects they were working on .

Savas did to know how Shy had managed to get permission to visit- but Savas knew it may have been with the help of some of their siblings.

….

There. The voice again.

Savas stopped, and Shy hesitated before stopping smoothly next to them.

“What is it?”

Savas closed their eyes, the better to block out the incessant stimulations of the space.

“Go by yourself.” They said, sensing the direction of the small voices. Voices, not one voice. Calling out in unison so well it sounded like a singular entity.

“Myself?”

Savas felt Shy gently detangle himself from her,  heard the amusement in his words.

“Very well, Savas.” He said. “Do what you need to do.”

Savas continued to keep their eyes closed and turned towards the direction of the whispers. When they had an accurate gauge, they opened their eyes. There. They took long, sure steps, stopping in front of a building to wave down an official looking figure.

“What is there?” they asked.

“There?” Almost a little bit of annoyance at the sudden, abrupt question. “A biodome” they sounded nonplussed.

Savas shook her head. “Something big is about to happen.” They could hear it.

A pause, and almost a look of amusement and understanding. “A candidate, are you?” the person. “Explains why you narrowed in on this place- I guess the search rider who brought you didn’t give you proper directions. You’ll want to go to the subterranean biodome, it’s heavily guarded but accessible to candidates.”

“Thank you.”

Candidate? Savas tested the word in their mind. Candidate, something seemed to whisper back.

Savas smiled.

From the Refugium Hatching

:: I’m glad you made it :: Observe sent to Savas, their mind voice cool and calming among the myriad of sounds Savas was attuned to. The grubbling spoke before they’d even torn through their egg, and Savas made their way toward it to help them peel out of the slick shell. Observe proved to be a brightly spotted green arbor, who regarded Savas with a smile and a rumbling stomach.

“Where are the others?” asked Savas, closing their eyes to listen more intently.

Vision, a deep black decay, said nothing as it approached and they sat in silence next to Savas, all their eyes glaring out at the other candidates.

:: We can be your eyes :: said the final voice, Oculus, a dark brown soil, shaking bits off goo off its many legs as it meandered toward them. :: We’ll help you find this Vella Crean. ::



Name: Observe
Caste: unknown
Color: Arbor
Hatchling Height: 10″ at shoulder
Personality: The most outgoing of Savas’ trio of bonds, Observe is never afraid to ask for help or search for like-minded individuals. It doesn’t mind taking the lead and speaking for its group, allowing Savas peace to listen to the universe. Like its name suggests, very little gets past Observe’s notice. 
Abilities: Telepathy. (Others upon adulthood)

Name: Oculus
Caste: unknown
Color: Soil
Hatchling Height: 1’4″ at shoulder
Personality: Determination drives Oculus to expend itself into any task given to it. Savas (and Shy) need to find this Vella Crean? Oculus will stop at nothing to make certain that desire is fulfilled. They can be obsessive when they have a goal in mind, forgoing rest and food in exchange for making headway. 
Abilities: Telepathy. (Others upon adulthood)

Name: Vision
Caste: unknown
Color: Decay
Hatchling Height: 1″ at shoulder
Personality: Vision rarely speaks, even mind-to-mind, preferring to be a silent observer who offers Savas (and only Savas) and important information its gathered. Its good at being nondescript and doesn’t mind being overlooked by people outside its bond group. Vision isn’t shy, it just doesn’t see the need to interact with anyone that isn’t Savas or its siblings. 
Abilities: Telepathy. (Others upon adulthood)
Grubling Stages for Observe, Oculus, and Decay

Savas lay on the cool tiles of the heated bathtub, their eyes open and their arms outstretched in the water.  They watched from below as three rings floated across the surface, holding three very distinctive forms.

Before the bonding, the lack of visual stimulus had helped them focus on the voices. But something had shifted since the bond. Maybe it was a protective outer layer that had formed over their mind, or that their mind now held space for three more, giving them more strength. But they did not need to close their eyes any more. In fact, somehow, the visual presence of the three seemed to help them anchor and focus their thoughts even more.

::Back:: Vision’s voice was strong and rich in their mind, and although they had echoed only a singular word, it was full of annoyance. Vision did not care for Shy- and Savas wondered if Vision had picked up on some of Savas’ own misgivings, or if it was entirely their bond’s personalities.

::Shy!:: the small tube ring that held the soil grubbling paddled across the surface of the bathtub with force, tiny legs stirring up the water as Oculus moved from one end to the other, to reach the geneticist. ::Savas has heard something!!:: Oculus was proud, so proud that they were making progress.

::Lineage:: Observe added. ::Savas heard, and there is lineage we need to pursue:: Observe’s voice was like a cool balm that seemed to push out the worst of the whispers. Savas pushed up from the bottom of the tub, floating up, higher until they broke the surface of the water. Their hands trailed along the water until they bumped two different objects, one on their left and on their right.

They did not need to see to know that Observe floated on their left side. A calm presence that seemed to surround her. On their right, Vision- steady, maybe a little bit more grumbly. A protective presence that gently pushed them towards the ledge.

“Lineage?” Shy’s voice was eager, excited.

Savas looked up from there they continued to lie prone on top of the water, and nodded. They dipped down once into the water, reaching for the ledge and pulling themselves out. Oculus let out a squeal as the movement sent them on a wave, while they could feel Vision’s displeasure at being pushed away from them.

Pulling themselves out of the water and leaning down to tug her grubblings out of the pool rings, they walked to the deck chair, holding the smaller two grubblings on either hip, with Observe following close behind them.

In front of the deck chair were plates piled high with food, spread out on very low tables that the grubblings could reach. Observe seemed to prefer the fruits and the seafood, Oculus anything hard and crunchy, and Vision- Vision only ate what was directly next to Savas, choosing proximity and convenience over all else.

Funny little grubblings.

At their thought, Observe paused from inhaling another plate of soft peaches. ::Savas?:: they asked, and Savas shook her head.

Funny little grubblings. That belonged to them.

“Lineage.” Shy prompted again, perching on the side of a high table and seeming to play with the sleeve of his jacket absentmindedly. They knew that mannerism- the ‘pretend I’m not paying attention when I am only focused on what you are not saying’.

“Lineage. We need to track down descendents or ancestors of those at the Vella Crean.” Savas frowned. “Of dragons, and people. Connections you can use to finetune the-“ she hesitated. “lodestar? I do not know the last term. It has not been whispered.”

::But it will:: Oculus chirped. ::Soon. We know it. Because we will help::

Shy reached out with one gently manicured hand, and the myrmex preened, tipping up on its hindlegs so that Shy had better access to its head. Shy petted the soil myrmex, amusement and a little bit of calculation in his green eye.

“They are off limit, Shy.” Savas said sharply. They might have listened and obeyed Shy on all aspects, but they were discovering now that there was one little vein of independence and rebellion within them.

Shy’s eyes continued to gleam. “The last of their kind” he said, admiringly. “Different types, and with a caste system that exhibits itself not at birth, but closer to adulthood. Isn’t it fascinating, Savas? Think of the implications this could have for dragons. Court dragons that are born without stigma, without an outward mark of their true nature until they are fully grown and capable of defending themselves.”

Savas nodded. “Fascinating.” They agreed. “And something you can construct in your labs, without my myrmax.” They waved their hand, still completely naked, towards the outside. “There are many more that hatched, out there. Look. Gather your DNA and your samples. But you do not touch mine.”

“Interesting.” Shy murmured. And Savas was not certain if the scientist was talking about the three grubblings who had cleaned away every scrap of food, or about themselves. “Which reminds me. I brought them something.”

::Present??::

Savas was almost positive this was a plaintive question by Oculus, a surprised comment by Observe, and a suspicious remark by Vision.

The geneticist pulled out three slim black cases, and opened one, turning it around to show Savas the contents. A thin, woven inverse circlet of sorts. Something that gleamed like amber, but no amber Savas knew could be woven so finely.

“The hats and scarves inspired me.” Shy started, handing the case over. He opened the two others and balanced them in his hands. “But you know knitting is not my style.” A slight mou of his mouth in a delicate grimace. “Silk I thought, but after seeing your myrmax devour some of my furniture, I thought it would be better to go for something a little bit more durable.”

They were not sure if the myrmax were male or female, but in the end, it did not truly matter: because they themselves existed without gender. “It is beautiful.” Three intricately woven circlets. Savas pulled the largest out of the case, and Observe padded over, curious.

“It should rest, ever so lightly above their eyes.” Shy remarked, gesturing, “I thought of something more fashioned like a qipao collar, but having an actual collar seems… disrespectful.”   

Savas was surprised at the thought that had been put into this. Some of it must have shown in their posture or their face, because Shy let out a trill of a laugh.

“It has been a long time, Savas, since one of my own has bonded. Let me celebrate this occasion in my own way.” Wry, honest words. Which were rare to hear from the geneticist.

::Thank you:: Observe’s words were formal as Savas rested the circlet on top of the grubbling’s head.

Oculus bounded over, curious, wanting to see what this shiny thing was and if it would taste good. Vision was a little bit more suspicious, wondering what it was that the man had brought, and if it would be a hinderance to their Savas’ mission.

“What are your plans, Savas? Do you wish to remain here, or return home with me?”

Shy helped settle the circlet on Oculus’ head, while Savas simply patted Vision understandingly. No, they did not have to wear an odd ornament brought in by the geneticist. Not unless they wanted to.

“I would like to stay.” They said slowly. Be close to the other myrmex. And the space. It was not as hard to deal with, not now that they had their bonds. “I can help… listen.” Their words were thoughtful. “If you need others to come to the Refugium, I will be here to welcome them.”

The space had grown on them, and they liked this odd, bustling hub that was too big, too busy.

This was home.

Name: Observe
Caste: Queen
Color: Arbor
Hatchling Height: 10″ at shoulder
Adult Height: 17′ at shoulder
Personality: The most outgoing of Savas’ trio of bonds, Observe is never afraid to ask for help or search for like-minded individuals. It doesn’t mind taking the lead and speaking for its group, allowing Savas peace to listen to the universe. Like its name suggests, very little gets past Observe’s notice.
Abilities: Telepathy, Plant Growth, Tree Speak, Animate & Control Plants
Name: Oculus
Caste: Warrior
Color: Soil
Hatchling Height: 1’4″ at shoulder
Adult Height: 9’10” at shoulder
Personality: Determination drives Oculus to expend itself into any task given to it. Savas (and Shy) need to find this Vella Crean? Oculus will stop at nothing to make certain that desire is fulfilled. They can be obsessive when they have a goal in mind, forgoing rest and food in exchange for making headway.
Abilities: Telepathy, Teleportation, Terrakinesis, Summon Quake, Soil Sustenance
Name: Vision
Caste: Drone
Color: Decay
Hatchling Height: 1″ at shoulder
Adult Height: 3’2″ at shoulder
Personality: Vision rarely speaks, even mind-to-mind, preferring to be a silent observer who offers Savas (and only Savas) and important information its gathered. Its good at being nondescript and doesn’t mind being overlooked by people outside its bond group. Vision isn’t shy, it just doesn’t see the need to interact with anyone that isn’t Savas or its siblings.
Abilities: Telepathy, Summon Worms, Putrefy
Adult forms, Myrmex

‘It is a new person’

‘Not Shy’

‘Smells like Shy’

The steady clack of heels behind them had Savas shift, raising one hand in acknowledgement. “What are you doing here Ari.” they called out.

Vision moved closer to Savas, burrowing under their arm and staring balefully at the new arrival. Tall, slender, dressed in a shiny silk sheath with her hair twisted into a tight bun, Ari had a leather bag slung over one shoulder, a tablet in one hand, and an vision microphone piece she was speaking into.

‘Friend?’ Vision asked.

Savas smiled. “Nanny.” they explained.

They felt renewed interest push through their bonds with the myrmex. Oculus scrabbled to their feet, moving closer to the new visitor, sniffing. ‘Nanny? What is Nanny? Does Nanny need help? I can help. I am a very good helper.’

‘I think it was a joke, it is just Savas is not very good at it.’ Observe’s voice held laughter as the Queen Myrmex looked up from where they lounged in the sunniest part of the heated bathtub room. A small garden grew around them, flowers and long, green things that reached for the walls and climbed up.

Savas enjoyed Observe’s power. The way they added new texture to their heated bathtub environment, scents and colors.

“Really, Savas. Nanny? The joke is getting old.”

“She has time for us now, it seems.” Savas straightened, sitting up on the chaise lounge and pulling Vision onto their lap. They stared, curiosity crossing their face. “Why are you here Ari? What has he done this time?”

An undignified snort from the woman as she teered closer, perching at the edge of the chair and holding out a hand.

“It is lovely to meet you, Vision. I believe I should introduce myself to the Queen first, but since you are right here, I believe it would be more rude to just bypass you.”

‘What does this want?’ Vision asked, staring at the hand.

‘She wants you to shake it’

‘WHY?’

Ari withdrew her hand, not affected by the silence. She bobbed into a brief curtsy in Observe’s direction. “It is lovely to meet you.” she called out, her tone polite, respectful. “I do look forward to working closely with you. And you, Oculus. How handsome you are. It is a pleasure to meet you also.

‘Talks. Too much’.

‘I agree’

But Savas was interested. “What do you mean, Ari? Are you moving here? What about the labs?”

Formal introductions completed, Ari tossed the satchel, the tablet, pulled off the eye mouth piece and slipped out of her heels. She sighed as her feet touched the ground, stretching her arms.

“He wants. To set up. An embassy.”

Listening to her own words she groaned and collapsed into the chaise lounge, causing Vision to start and rise up, flying up and over to rest behind Observe, continuing to watching this new, rather noisy visitor from a distance.

“An embassy?” Was that what the whispers had been trying to talk to them about?

The strengthened bonds with the Myrmex had given them shelter and a shield to protect themselves from the voices. They had more control now, an ability to tune them out with the help of her new bonds.

Maybe, they realized, they should have been listening.

Ari groaned again, raising two hands to rub at her temples. “The geneticist Shy of the Vella Crean would like to formally establish diplomatic ties with the Refugium for the purposes of both parties’ pursuit of knowledge and genetic advancement in endangered and off world creatures.”

“You wrote that for him?”

“Do you think he would take the time to write it himself?”

“Yes. If it involves dragons.”

“So little you know about how much our creator HATES paperwork.” Ari muttered. “Paperwork. I have application processes. Security checks and clearances. Nondisclosure agreements. Contracts. Security to vet. Then applications from our side of people who want to join this new offworld project. I need. To build. An embassy. AN EMBASSY.”

‘Very noisy’ Observe agreed.

‘She is normally not like this.’ Savas watched The Aide (and quite an unfortunate rank it was too) flail their arms around, before straightening, her posture rigidly straight, smoothing down her hair.

“Anyways.” her tone was calm and collected again as she tugged at her jacket, brushing at her shoulders as she rose from her chair. She walked back to slip on her heels, and it was as if she donned armour. Back was the formal, professional project with gray eyes that rarely gleamed gold.

“Happy Hunting, Ari.” Savas called, relaxing again as the project picked up her belongings.

Ari smiled. “I look forward to working with you, Savas.”

It did not take long for the scientist to bring the news in person.

“Imagine Savas. An embassy. A haven here for other projects who want to experience other worlds, something new. Something exciting.”

Savas did not like where this conversation was going.

“Home has new things. Exciting things.” They pointed out.

Shy’s eyes gleamed. “An embassy. I will send an ambassador. Someone to represent us, someone who can speak for me. A haven where my projects will have diplomatic immunity.”

Ah. So that was what he wanted.

‘What does he want?’

‘He wants a safe place’ Vision spoke, astute. Always listening, ever careful with its observations.

‘For what?’ Oculus did not quite understand, but was willing to help.

‘Himself’ Savas added. ‘His projects. Our family’

“Dr. Krum.” Shy’s tone took a dreamy note. “Has been especially welcoming, showing me some of the new experiments in the lab. I have a few ideas- a way of combining some of the court DNAs with the new work.”

Savas closed their eyes. “And me?” they asked.

“You?”

“I do not want to be part of… an embassy.” They did not like the thought of extra work. The layers. The people that would be going to and fro at all hours.

It sounded. Uncomfortable.

‘I will not let him make you do anything you do not want to do’ Vision stated, staring with baleful eyes at the scientist.

‘Nor I’ Oculus offered. ‘I thought we were supposed to be looking for the Vella Crean’

Savas felt comfort seep into them through the bonds, and Shy, Shy only smiled.

“You can remain here, in the private residence. I will have Imraan and Aki build an embassy on new ground. Office, lab space, temporary rooms. You, Savas. You only need to remain here, in this home. And tell me what the voices pass on.”

Savas did not mind this idea. They would have family here, and maybe the family would want to have their own bonds like they did.

‘Not the same’ Vision interjected.

‘No, you are all the first. The best’ Savas smiled. ‘Very well, Shy. Build your embassy. And I- I will tell you if the voices speak.’

Additional Appearances in other stories (Chronologically Earliest -> Latest)

Atlas confirms a new timeline in Pern can lead to the Vella Crean- cameo appearance

Savas greets the new ambassador of the Vella Crean- Mieka

Savas meets Ait’Mali-taj