The miniature hamlet bustled with activity. The sun's punishing rays were blocked by the horizon, offering the inhabitants a reprieve. They crowded the streets at this time of growing shadows, hurrying to the market before the chill of the night took hold and they would need to retreat back into their homes.
Placing his shaded goggles onto his forehead, Kupper surveyed the scene from the top of a house like a green eyed vulture. He would need to find a new town soon. People were starting to question whether he was the thief during the day. Unlike the people here, he wasn't fazed by the heat. Or the cold, for that matter. Unlike these poor scaly people, he could sweat and shiver. He was human. These people were not. Not that that really bothered him. They didn't know much about humans and would rather keep their distance. They were smaller than humans and naive. A weakness those like he exploited.
Taking a deep breath, he easily dropped to the ground from the roof top which really wasn't too much taller than he was. He was a tall human, after all. Didn't help that his heritage combined some aggressive and powerful species. But he was still human. His mother had been human. Whoever his father had been didn't matter. The Q'Ra and Ssala blood only made him a better thief, not less human. Besides, the Ssala were just human ancestors, so he was more human than anything.
He walked among the small people that gave him a wide berth, the young ones craning their necks back to stare at him in innocent, wide-eyed awe. He was a giant among them. With an easy meter difference between the tallest of these people and his chest, Kupper indeed felt superior often.
But he was not interested in anything other than going to his barn to sleep for the evening. He had enough money in his pouches to buy a night at any inn, but their beds were rarely large enough for him, and he already knew none here were. So he had made a temporary home in a barn on the outskirts of the town.
Amid lush crops and trees laden with fruit, he had found himself a lovely little pastel orange barn, the area around it tilled and planted with fragrant flowers. He knew the small people who cared for this land, but they didn't know him. He knew the care with which they took of their home and their property. Though he did not pay them for his comfortable bed, he repaid them by leaving no trace of his existence.
With a heavy sigh, he laid out in the hay behind some barrels to stay out of sight in case one of the small folk decided to come in. It was moments like these that he missed having someone to share his time with. There were other humans on this world. Many years ago, a cargo ship had crashed on this world of primitive people and by the time they were rescued, the damage had already been done so many humans had stayed with these small folk who had so gently cared for them after the crash. Kupper, however, stayed away from other humans. Unlike these people who looked upon him with awe and curiosity, his own people looked upon him with scorn and often shunned him. He wasn't human, they said. He was a mongrel.
Letting out another deep breath, Kupper removed most of his clothing, exposing lean, taut muscles. His Q'Ra heritage was obvious in his broad shoulders, long limbs, and dense sinew. His strength was a legend among the many small towns he had already been through. Laying back onto his bed, he pulled his blanket around his body, listening to the sounds that had become familiar to him, gently drifting off to sleep.
When morning came, he was roused by the town folk coming out of their homes for the few hours before it became too hot and bright for them. They tended to the fields, their gardens, sold their wares at the market, and socialized in their friendly manner.
Packing his few belongings, Kupper slung the pack over a massive shoulder and started toward the road that led out of town. Many of the children ran after him and asked him if he was leaving. When he confirmed his departure with his deep bass of a voice in their own native tongue, the children bid him a safe travel as was their way and chased one another back to the town as the brilliant red sun crested the horizon and shimmers of heat danced over the land.
Placing the dark goggles over his eyes, Kupper continued his journey into the alien forest. The trees grew at strange angles, all at once trying to reach for the life giving rays of the sun and escape its brutality. The purple trunks and vibrant red and orange leaves always reminded him of autumn on his homeworld. It was a long way from here, though. He didn't think of it much.
Sweat beaded on his skin now. Though he had removed his shirt and walked as much in the shade as he could, the heat grew steadily until he decided it was time to stop and cool down. Settling under a tree, he sat on some soft leaf litter and placed his hands behind his head as he laid out, looking up at a pastel sky through the leaves. The sun was dying, but it would still be a couple million years before nothing could live here anymore, and it wasn't a concern to him.
Blinking lazily, he didn't realize he had dozed off until a twig snapped. He sat up like a bolt of lightning, a fleet figure already taking off down the dirt road, his bag with his money pouch in the person's hands. With a deep growl, he leapt to his feet to give chase. The night had started to close in so he tore the dark goggles from his head as he dashed after the quick person.
Even from a distance he could tell it wasn't one of the little natives. This was a humanoid, tall and slender, dark hair cropped short, and were those ... pointed ears?
He was catching up to his prey when his feet were taken right out from under him. With a startled cry, he was forcibly jerked up into the air, a sharp pain in his ankles as his whole weight was now being suspended from them. His head spun as all the blood rushed to his brain, roaring in his ears, almost drowning out the laughter.
The snickering belonged to a pair of multicolored eyes, one ice blue and the other gold as a ring. Elegant eyebrows arched up in merriment, one of which was pierced multiple times.
Kupper growled, baring his teeth as he helplessly swung in the air, his arms a half meter off the ground. "Stupid woman."
Thin lips split open in a grin, exposing the massive canines known in many species. A silvery ring was pierced through the side of the lower lip. The intricate lavender patterns that swirled around her face and delicate neck and down along one exposed shoulder before vanishing into her shirt marked her as a Ryo, but her heterochromia eyes were most commonly known among the Druaks. Her elegantly arched, pointed, and pierced ears gave away a purer ancestry of elven kind, the ancestors of the Q'Ra.
"I'm not the one hanging upside down." She giggled, stuck out her pierced tongue teasingly, and turned away as if that ended their encounter.
Kupper used his superior strength to bend up and reach out to grab at the woman's choppy multi-colored undercut. She quickly spun away and thrust her palm toward him. It was that moment that he realized he was dealing with an elementalist. The stiff gust she shot at him made him spin around dizzyingly, his brain swimming in his head.
"Bitch, when I get down from here..." he roared.
"I will be long gone! Thanks for the money, thief." She pulled the pouch that jingled with precious metal out of his satchel and tossed the bag under him. With a charming crooked grin and a flirtatious wink, her long hot pink bangs fluttered in the breeze as she casually trotted down the road, her sweet voice loudly singing a little rhyme.
"Silent are we, so soft of foot,
Brash are we, with no chagrin,
Shadows are we, dark as soot,
Thieves are we, to steal from our kin."
Years seem to mean something to people. At least the more primitive species. They hurry around and feel pressured to accomplish things as quickly as possible because their lives wouldn't otherwise have meaning. However, for older species, years mean nothing. Years could come and go like the blink of an eye, almost seeming ageless to those who have to count the years like they were important.
Years had come and gone. How many really didn't matter. Maybe it was fifty. Maybe it was a hundred. Kupper really didn't care. Nothing had really changed. At least not in his life. Lots had changed on the planet, though. The major human city had expanded beyond its boundaries as humans always seem to do. It had begun engulfing the peaceful towns around it. The natives accepted the fate that would befall their culture when they were absorbed by their human guardians.
A breeze tugged at Kupper's shaggy short hair, black as the shades he wore. He looked down at one of the nearby villages to the human city. If he cared to turn his head, the towering landscape of the city would be easily visible in the distance.
But he didn't turn around. He wanted to forget that place. What had he been thinking to go back there to visit his mother's grave? He had been chased out of the city by the people he had grown up with. The ones who had said he was not like them and he never could be. They said his mother deserved what she had gotten, being a whore and all. Whatever his father had been, it didn't matter. His mother had been human and that's what he was and none of those old slum rats could tell him otherwise. He had gotten out of there and he had forged his own path in the world.
.... There is more of this story ...