Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 19

January 21, 2010

Here’s chapter nineteen…

Rest of the story…

Chapter Nineteen: The Blitz

Where a Destiny is Met…

Kaylee entered armory with Zev following close behind. She slowly undid the clasp of her cloak as she did so, folding it over the back of a chair. Calm, graceful and unwavering, she stepped over to the explosives and checked them as a picture of peace and tranquility. Her armor and fatigues wrapped her form tightly, accentuating every movement. She looked indifferent as she regarded the explosives. Zev, for his part, looked at the soft bricks on the table and frowned.

You’ll need to take as much of this as possible,” she said flatly. She held up a tiny metal mechanism, a small disk with a miniature piston system attached. “You know how these things work?”

It’s a pretty simple system,” Zev said. “Shove the cap into the brick, drop it and run. Shouldn’t be too difficult. How strong is this stuff?”

Fairly substantial and strong. I’ve devised a special trigger that will enable you to prime the triggers by simply pulling a string. Don’t play around with it.”

You going to be covering me?”

I’ll draw the necessary attention away from the group as you go. Don’t worry Zev, this will work. I’ve seen that it will. All you need is my cloak.”

He hung his head as he considered what he was about to do. She set the explosive down and walked over to him. Putting a hand on his shoulder, she raised his chin with the other.

I’m sorry,” she said. “I know you don’t feel ready to do this. Just realiize you won’t ever feel ready for this until you’re actually doing it. Normally I wouldn’t tell you this, but I like you. This isn’t your last deed.”

What?” he asked.

You and I will meet again. I saw it when I looked on your path. There is more to death than you could ever know.”

puup

Brunzar the Goblin Lord stared out at the city, trying to get the elf woman out of his mind. Sitting in front of his tent, he could not stop seeing her face. His focus had been entirely on Sydney when they treated, not noticing the elf woman that rode with him. However, his mind had been stuck on her ever since she rode away. Even their interrogation of Urza after Sydney’s comments had not completely absorbed his focus. The elf woman burned in his mind without a hint of mercy.

As he studied the wall, he considered her merits carefully. He could defeat the elf easily, but there were several elves and all skilled warriors. They wisely kept their power heavily concealed, making it difficult for him to properly mark their strength. If they had one advantage over him, it was their unity and cohesion.

Without warning he felt a new presence moving in the city ahead of him. Moving closer to the wall, he could feel the presence growing steadily stronger as he strode closer to the city. He stood at the city wall, looking up to see the elf woman walking along the top. She stopped and looked down on him.

Greeting Lord Goblin,” she said. “I wish to speak with you of many things. I have a bit of bad streak that makes me interested in darker creatures, and few seem darker than you.”

Cease your mewling and get to the point,” Brunzar said. “I am drawn to you. Why is that?”

Why indeed, Lord Goblin? Perhaps the Lord Goblin is not the lord of himself? Have you given that any thought?”

I suppose you’re here to tell me I’m not?”

Of course not. You’re a slave to nearly everything you could possibly be a slave to. You’re a slave to your greeds and lusts. I could set you free, if you were to allow me.”

I… You’re manipulating me!”

Well, yes. What of it? It was a simple trick to be sure, but an effective one.”

You will pay for this, witch!”

I’m sure I will. But I doubt it will be to you and yours.”

He bolted away, running back towards his army. Kaylee watched indifferently as he disappeared into his army.

puup

Brunzar arrived back at his camp in mid-run, spotting the two unconscious guards almost immediately. He made a mental note to punish them for being so easily overcome. The camp roused itself as he ran searching for the intruder. His searched quickly, as they found Zev standing at the center of the camp. Wrapped up in a cloak, his form gave off a consistent clicking sound as the goblins surrounded him.

You,” Brunzar hissed.

Yeah,” he said sarcastically. “It’s me.”

The Goblin Lord strode closer to Zev, looking the Ranger in the eye. Zev grimaced at the smell of the Goblin’s breath.

What was your goal in coming here? What did you hope to gain? Challenge me in the name of Aven?”

Nothing so honorable, I’m afraid.” Zev threw off the cloak, letting it fall away. Tied to his body were a number of soft bricks with clicking pieces of metal planted in them. “Long live Terran.”

puup

A devastating silence swam through him, burning out his senses. There was nothing as he drifted. Time raged as he tossed and turned through the tempest of existence. Moments stretched into decades as passed in an instant.

He could not comprehend what it was he saw as his free fall continued, a constant play of life that went through him. Birth, death and rebirth played over and over and over as he screamed his agony. Each time his life ended and started over again, he struggled to break free but found himself dragged back in.

It’s okay. You’re alright.”

He looked over as the sad-eyed lady approached, a grim smile on her face. Focusing on her, the rage dissipated around him. Kaylee watched as he got to his feet, time settling around them. Her white dressed billowed and slowly dropped against her form as their environment found its tranquility.

Where am I?” he asked.

You are exactly where you are and where you need to be at this particular moment,” she said. She smiled a lop-sided grin. “But nobody is ever really satisfied with that, so I’ll just say you are in the space between.”

I… I died, didn’t I?”

Yep. Now you must go on a journey. You Rangers are at heart explorers, and this is greatest quest you could ever go on. Journey to what lies beyond. Write down what you see and see how far it will take you.”

You make it sound like I might come back someday.”

Perhaps you will, perhaps you won’t. I honestly do not know for certain and it is not for me to know. This exchange is the last for us, the last steps along your path that I foresaw. What happens now beyond now is up to you. I do hope we will meet again.”

puup

The explosions rocked Aven, shocking the army out of sleep and into action. Patracolus and Galic ran to the wall where they saw Kaylee staring out. A tear ran down her cheek as they reached her.

What happened?” Galic asked.

She shook her head as though trying to clear the effects of sleep. Looking at the two knights, she gave a thing smile.

Zev did it,” she said. Her eyes went wide as the implications of it hit her. “Oh my. What have I done?”

Zev?” Patracolus asked. “Zev was out there?”

Yes,” she said softly. “I gave him the explosives and my cloak to sneak out there. The cloak made him invisible to their eyes until he wanted to be seen. It could only be him. At least until the Goblin Lord figured out something was up. I kept him distracted as long as possible. Not a terribly long time, but long enough.”

Where is Zev now?”

He didn’t plan on coming back.”

Patracolus looked at the elf with rage in his eyes, but was calmed by Galic’s hand on his shoulder. She did not speak as the explosions continued to rock the walls around them. She put a hand on Patracolus’s shoulder.

It’s what he was brought here to do,” she said. “He didn’t kill the Goblin Lord this time, but he weakened the army. Enough that things might fall right for us to make it. Get ready, the battle is about to start.”

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