The Last Hunt
He looked at the seed. It lay, glowing gently, cupped in the palm of his enormous hand.
The fact that he had had to steal the seed to carry out his plan troubled him, but only a little. Seeds were meant to grow, not to be hoarded and hidden away. So stealing this one had seemed, to him, a moral act.
Still, he knew that if he were to be found out the punishment would be great.
In his other hand he held the remnants of a fallen star. This, too, was forbidden, for the star's power was enormous, despite its fall, and not allowed to those of his kind.
Again, this troubled him but little.
In truth, it was neither the seed nor the star, but the blood that lay heavy on his heart. What he had in mind could not be done without it. But to shed blood-even his own, which was what he planned-was the highest crime of all. Yet without that life-giving fluid, the seed and the star were worthless.
Pressing the seed into the still warm star, he took a blade from his belt and pressed it against his wrist.
His blood spurted out, silvery-crimson and warm.
It fell onto the seed, which quickened at its touch.
It had begun.