The Young Aren't Meant to Wait
Bella and Karl Drake were secretly not secretly at odds in a way neither had yet dared confront as they drove home.
“Those ungrate...” While Karl had worked himself into the delusion that Bella could not possibly take any side but his, it was shattered in an instant by 'the look.' Bella had a way of staring at members of the Drake family that could scare off bears when she felt rightly pissed.
“How can you not be mad as hell...” Karl started but it was worse, Bella had now raised a single finger. In their relationship Bella had only raise a single finger twice before and on both occasions it was when Karl desperately needed to listen. The last last finger rose was just after Jake had vanished and Karl needed to give up his gun to get through the worst of his depression.
Sweating bullets and seething with anger, Karl who's ability to form an argument was not normally much to write home about, at that moment his mind was straining just to divine any clue why Bella might take the side of their twin daughters in such a cut and dry issue.
“Karl Drake,” Bella began as soon as she was sure the front door was tightly shut. Wanting to make damn sure he was listening, Bella took a long breath. “They are 14, their two brothers who have looked out for them their whole lives have vanished with no trace... THEY NEED SOME SPACE.”
“What if they don't come home? What if they run away, What if they vanish and we don't even know?” Karl had nothing good to say; he was unable to get his mind past his initial anger.
“We can't keep them safe anywhere, not even here. Come on, no kid ever comes home late without their folks fearing a little, and right now fear is all there is most of the time.”
“I just wish they'd wait with us.” Karl's frustrations no longer misplaced he slunk into his chair and began to ponder.
“Wait for what - the others coming back? Looks way more like they stand to join them.”
“Don't say that!” A tear broke the plane of Karl's cheek as he struggled to retain composure.
“But it's true - and just because the truth is hard doesn't change it” Bella reasoned.
“What do they think they're gonna do look for their brothers?”
“I sure hope so!”
“At least if that were the case they've still got hope” tears now streaked down Bella's face.
“They can't possibly find them”
“Maybe, maybe not - maybe it doesn't matter... Maybe the young aren't meant to wait.”
“I suppose that's our job.” Karl's nerves finally began to calm and he joined his wife in her tears.
“That's the worst part, love, all we can do is what all mother and fathers in times like these can do: we wait... and try to hope.” As Bella summed up the situation both her and Karl wished they had more to say. Instead the two sat together and wept.
~ Mass Escape at Alterra Prison ~
Through a Looking Glass
the misfortune to be near omniscient
“Horrible, I know.” Said the voice of a woman that, while far away sounded so clear and eerily crisp it was as if a bird spoke English.
“Who?” As Martin looked around he could see no one. Where are you?”
“I am nowhere”
“I don't understand.”
“Is this better” as the voice spoke a figure appeared before him, but he could not make out detail, each time he tried to focus too close on anything his eyes hurt and he had to refocus wide.
“Sorry, I am not good at detail.”
“Who are you?”
“What happened here?”
“I have no idea.”
“How did you get here?”
“Tzetridge told me take this kid to this place and wait for him. So now we are here and we are waiting. I try not to know to much.”
“You like being ignorant?”
“I need to be.”
“I have the misfortune to be near omniscient... if I know only a few pieces of information I begin to understand the grand tapestry and... well... it can be a little... he he... crazy making... you know...” Milia was beginning to twitch and shake and while he couldn't see her, Martin knew what an addict looked like.
“No, but I suppose I can imagine.” Martin said, shutting up. This being was clearly disturbed and while unable to grasp what knowing the secrets of the cosmos might involve, he was no fool. It wasn't like it was all that difficult staying quiet facing what he did.
As he took in his surroundings Martin stood for what seemed an eternity in shock, unable to feel. Worse still was the terror that gripped him as the worst of ideas dawned on him: Was this the future? Soon his heartbeat seemed to be a drum against his ribs; how could this have happened?... No, it was some dream, some vision, something from that other place.
Martin struggled to cope, the two notions battling in his mind. Soon he felt madness would set in, but then he remembered his mother and felt less alone. It was that which reassured him the truth was the latter.
The voice was so deep even what seemed an attempt at softness boomed enough to make Martin jump.
As the man in the tattered robes stepped out onto the docks he noticed some fisherman staring at him. The cloaking spell on the ship must be wearing off. The man thought for a second, while the fishermen could not do anything to or with the boat that would be of consequence it could have drawn too much attention. The man could kill the fishermen and leave no trace again with little of what he would have considered consequence but he was short on time and had no reason to wish them harm. No, instead he would take the boat with him. The man shrugged, reached out a hand and the boat folded down to fit in the man's palm, he put it in his pocket was off.
As he walked up the dock and through the barrier he entered the valley of Avalon. A dense lush forest lined each side of the road into the city. A bright sun shone down through a few wispy clouds.
“Who requests entrance to Avalon?” Out of the forest came a huge stone creature 11 feet tall, it's skin a slightly purplish dark gray wings folded under it's arms but it lean for a gargoyle.
“I am The watcher, Crodyn. I bring news of the mage’s plan. They have found a diamond in the rough.”
The Gargoyle looked non-pulsed; it sighed, seeing Crodyn’s presence as an interference to it’s other duties, one which it would have preferred to crush - a much easier task than escorting the spy to their master.
“Come… our lord awaits…” grunted the stone giant as it took the wizard in one of its arms. Flapping it's wings only twice, the two achieved great heights with speed and ease. The creature then glided past Avalon to a cliff-side. The great and massive city was home to a great many of those their master failed to protect, the largest group being the survivors of Camelot. The Gargoyle placed a hand upon the rock, triggering a hidden door, and Crodyn entered.
The way was pitch dark and fraught with dangers but Crodyn paid no mind moving deftly down the hall at impossible speeds. Any normal person would have taken days to get through but for Crodyn it was just a few minutes away.
As Crodyn entered his master's chambers, a chill came over him. The entire fortress was carved from volcanic rock. The chamber itself was simple... from here a great wizard could enact the fabled final protocol... Thus it resembled more a large closet rather than the epicenter of what was arguably the most powerful spell ever cast.
“What have you found for me?” Croyden’s master was not one to mince words.
“Lord Merlyn the mages have found another emergence, the most promising one yet. A group of four has been recruited, the mages believe that one among them has the potential to save the world, another, perhaps to end it.”
“Do you have their current location?” answered the wizard Merlyn.
“Yes, should we not…” Crodyn had grown tired of death.
“No, if I have learned one thing over the millennia, it is that left to their own devices humans will always choose the destructive path. Either they will join me or die. It is long past time for another culling anyway. Let the warlocks do half one task and the mages half another - less trouble in the long run for us.” As Merlyn spoke Crodyn lowered his head… The more things changed the more they stayed the same.
Wizards do so Love the Number 3
For Luna it was the new normal as she shakily drank her half forgotten luke warm herbal tea. “I will get through this,” Luna told herself, and she was probably right. Unlike her nearby counterparts Luna had some small understanding of what was going on. It was however little solace given the severity of the situation and outlook, to which bleak would be a supreme complement.
Still it was not at all the state of the world nor those closest too her that had set her hand to shake. Luna had been visited for the prior two nights by what she knew to be a wizard. The Mage, as he introduced himself, communicated to her the full nature of the current crisis and charged her with a task. The task Luna had been given was to organize those closest to her and then the town, based on a more full understanding of the nature of the current crisis.
The Mage order needed bases and the town was to be just such a thing. Luna feared that her friends and neighbors would not take kindly to her asserting herself as any kind of authority, many already considered her in league with the devil as christian extremists often did to those who dabbled in the metaphysical without crediting Jesus. Luna had never taken such talk to heart but now she sat for a third night, since being ordered to call her friends in to explain everything, and wizards do so love the number three.
As the evening became night, Luna nearly jumped as the clock struck nine.
“Damn it” Luna had spilled some cold tea down her front. Hurrying to the kitchen for a towel she jumped again.
Knock… Knock… Knock… three slow but very heavy knocks broke the silence like a hammer on a nail. Luna crept to the door and opened it a sliver; looking out.
“Hello?” Luna whimpered as she cracked the door and peered out into the night, no one was there.
“Time’s up.” said the wizard again appearing in a mirror, this one standing next to the door, Luna jumped.
“Oh, come on!” Luna exclaimed “I’m gonna do it already” Luna fully understood her outrage could never be more than bluster.
“Either you will tell them or we will”
“That’s not fair, what if I cover the mirrors?” Luna was not seriously about to do such a childish thing but she was curious to learn more.
“Well, it would make it difficult. I can not spare the time to come to see you just yet…” The wizard reasoned.
“But I can…” boomed a voice directly behind and above.