Unclear Visions -- Part 10From the tower window, Rathan peered at the rabble far below him. What with their angry shouting and burning torches, he found the angry mob scene much too cliché for his tastes. Did not anyone have any sense of originality any more? Still, his whole orchestration had worked marvelously, there was no denying that fact.
He turned away from the window and back to his stately, ornate desk. It brushed his mind that soon he would transcend this dreary office and move on to a more stately set of quarters befit a king. The thought brought a smile to his face.
A knocking sound on the door wiped the grin from his lips. While he was fairly certain that his spies had stirred up the populace against Cedric only, he would do well to be cautious. One didn't trust what one could not fully control, and no one could ever claim to fully control the machinations of a population out for blood. He stepped behind his desk, opened a drawer, and laid his hand on the stock of the contained crossbow. The
Theme Piece: A Grave MistakeThe chase through the cemetery was over. He had her dead to rights, trapped with nowhere else to run. Samuel Heat focused his mind on the mission objective, buried his emotions as deep and far within his mind as he could, and trained his gun on the woman who had stolen his heart.
“It's over, Terra.” He said. “There's nowhere else to run. Give me the jump drive and I'll let you go.”
Terra took a step back and then froze. Samuel wasn't worried. The yawning pit of an open grave lay behind her, cutting off any immediate escape. He watched her glance left and right, gauging her chances of making a break for it. She had to know, as did he, that it was impossible.
She shook her head and then answered him-- her voice thick with sarcasm. “That's a grand bargain if I ever heard on, Sam. If I don't deliver these plans to my employer, then they'll kill me.”
“You'd have a running start.” Sam said. “You could go to ground--”
“-- and s
Genre Unsavviness?“I... I don't get it.”
Sam shook his head fiercely several times. His face scrunched from the effort it took to search the depths of his mind. After a long moment, he was forced to give up. He gave his two companions a sorrowful look.
“It's like all of my meta-gaming knowledge is gone. I can't access the part of my brain that holds all of my movie trivia. I can't remember anything that'll help us out. I've become, like, genre unsavvy or something.”
“You didn't get hit on the head in that last fight, did you?” Robert asked.
“Yeah, I mean, we faced off with those evil doppelgangers and gave as well as we took. But nothing smacked my noggin. Well, nothing serious, anyway.”
“Define 'nothing serious'.”
“Max knocked me over backward and I hit the ground pretty hard, but the helmet took the impact. I didn't even get a concussion, much less brain damage, from it. Here.” Sam paused to pull off his helmet and toss it at his
Unclear Visions -- Part 9With a start, Cedric found himself pushed out of his dreams and back to reality. A familiar hand firmly shook his shoulder. He shook his head, moreso to let Catherine know that he was awake than out of any need to clear his thoughts, and then sat upright.
With some concern, he noted the distinct lack of warm sunlight on his face. Internally, it felt as though had had hardly slept at all. Was it still during the dark of night?
“I'm awake.” He grunted, less than politely.
Catherine's voice greeted his ear. “You had best rise and shine, then. We have a lynch mob coming to visit.”
“A lynch mob?”
“Yes. The townspeople are coming for you with torches and pitchforks. Hence why I'm waking you. After all, I assume that you would not like to greet them in your present state of undress?”
Cedric swung his legs over the side of his bunk. A small part of him was amused at how easy the motion was now. He had become very accustomed to moving about in his
Unclear Visions -- Part 8It was a war on two sides: a war that Cedric was no longer certain that he could even win. The first side was that of remaining upright as his nurse partly guided and mostly pulled him around the castle courtyard. She had this most frustrating habit of abruptly turning first one way and another. Presumably this was to avoid some obstacle in their path, but the entire experience frustrated Cedric enough that he began to wonder if it wasn't just to annoy him.
The other enemy he faced was perhaps the most deadly. Forget Eryne, the greatest threat to his sanity might very well be disorientation.
This world of darkness took all sense of orientation from him. Cedric didn't know where he was in relation to the castle walls, much less which direction he was facing at any given time. He could vaguely tell where the sun was by the dim orange glow that it cast about his sightless vision, but that information was not enough to provide him with any bearing or direction.
Thus, he was infinitely glad
Unclear Visions -- Part 7"Well, the sun has risen. It's time for you to get up and face the day."
Cedric turned his face in what he hoped to be the owner of that voice's general direction. He frowned at the slightly irritating, feminine, voice and glared at his nurse through the layers of bandaging that covered his eyes.
"Don't be that way." The voice persisted. "I'm not about to have you lounging around here, wasting away to nothing all day. Your face may be healing, but the rest of you needs some exercise."
"And how, pray tell, do you expect me to do that?" There was no point in keeping the irritation out of his voice.
It was an irritation born of fear as much as anything else. He had seen what regular fire would do to unguarded skin. Magical fire was far worse. It was the arcane variety that had scorched his very eyes. He very much doubted that he would ever be able to see again.
And how could he fight, do battle, track fugitives, or bring Eryne to justice if he could not see? Those answers lay far beyond h
Unclear Visions -- Part 6Consciousness began to flirt with Cedric's mind, drawing him-- against his will-- back into the land of the living. He clawed, desperately, at the darkness of oblivion in an attempt to remain asleep. He didn't want to awake. Waking meant confronting the pain and sorrow of losing Lara. So long as he was asleep, he wouldn't have to deal with her permanent absence.
When he could delay no longer, he slowly opened his eyes. Horror filled them immediately. His head wildly whipped this way and that. His eyes spun around in every direction, searching for some sign of escape. There was none. The cold truth dawned on him: he was trapped in a living nightmare.
He was floating in the Mists of Time. 'Floating' was the apt word for the situation. The endless emptiness had consumed him so thoroughly that even the ground beneath his feet was gone. Cedric attempted to turn, to roll over, and when that failed he frantically waved his arms as though swimming through water. If his efforts had accomplished
Unclear Visions -- Part 5Cedric found himself annoyed at Eryne arrogance. The fact that she was clearly enjoying having the upper hand also perturbed him. This, combined with his exasperation at her most recent revelation, that she desired him to be king, left him more than a bit uncertain of how to react to the situation.
Several moments passed. When Eryne failed to provide any more information, he was left but to stoke her ego by asking: “King? Me?”
“Yes.” Eryne replied simply.
She left it at that, clearly expecting him to beg for more details. Her clear smugness began to transmute his be wilderness into frustration. Cedric forced his pride aside and attempted to discern her motives. A large part of his mind desired to lop her head from her shoulders and just be done with it. He ignored the notion: firstly, because such was not proper conduct for a paladin of the realm; secondly, because doing so might strand him in these wretched mists.
He decided to say as much. “I've no time
Unclear Visions -- Part 4“Mists of Time?” Cedric repeated haltingly. “Surely, you jest.”
Eryne's eyes sharpened around her reply: “I never jest; my interactions with that insufferable archer should have well established that.”
The paladin winced at that unwanted reminder of his comrade's death. He wondered if the trace of vehemence in her voice had been real or imagined. Her demeanor, although empathetic a few short moments ago, was now swiftly removing any sympathies he might have had for her. His hand longed to lash out and split the magician in two, but he stayed the desire. Whatever happened, justice was still his ideal. He would not sink to the level of a common murderer.
“Explain.” Despite his resolve, he was unable to keep anger from creeping into his voice.
“Let me pose a hypothetical first.” If she noticed his fury, it was impossible to tell. “Suppose that you were warned that a neighboring kingdom was going to attack our fair land. Sup