Heathen Fate

“What? Guardian?” Collin’s face must have looked as upset as his stomach did. Regardless, Egrid kept on grinning with all the fatherly pride he could manage.

“You have no idea what this means. When I hold this stone, it is just a stone. But when you hold Continue reading “Heathen Fate”

The Guardians

“I’m not sure. The stone I recognize. Archagus Valus has mentioned it once before, and it is recorded in an old scroll. With any luck, Vilder will know it by heart. As for the gate of Vrell, I have never heard of it. What did he say? What did he want from you?” Egrid queried Collin.  Continue reading “The Guardians”

King Egrid

“How?” The king pressed a hand against his forehead as he stepped back from Collin.

Collin gave Egrid a puzzled look, “I had hoped it would work, but you knew therewas always a chance it wouldn’t.”

The king shook his head, “No. Not that. How did you find out it Continue reading “King Egrid”

Royal Greetings

Collin trudged up the winding slope, his men trailing behind. The sun once again shone brightly on AnteraSvell, marking the end of the phase of the second moon. He had only ever traveled through AnteraSvell once before, during the great Tuskin war, but he had never set foot on the inside of Ingri, the capital of Ingrua. Though Egrid had told him great tales of his city while they were in Belux, Collin had since wondered if those same tales had been romanticized and exaggerated by a homesick man.

As he Continue reading “Royal Greetings”

Princess Amora

Amora reached her hand into a bowl of tiny blue spheres, pulling out pearl earrings. She was about to greet someone, a man called Captain Daybreaker. She knew very little, only that her father had been held up at a council meeting, and so he had asked her to greet him. She looked into the mirror trying to ask the face staring back at her countless questions. She was eighteen, though most would guess younger. And her white-blonde hair, her mark of royalty, spilled over her shoulders, falling down her chest. Her eyes sparkled with blue starlight, and her features were cold and still as if she were Continue reading “Princess Amora”

The Message Bearer

Was it a spirit, demon, ghost, or an Angel? Collin did not know. All he knew was that the being who now stood before him was no mere mortal. His silver white hair extended down to his waist, and he stood a foot over Collin, so that as he drew closer he had to look down, adding to the sensation that Collin stood before a god. His features were noble and distinct, with his ears drawing up in sharp points, and his nose growing forward, straight off of his face. In addition, his jaw was narrow, but his eyes were wide. His skin was as pale as snow. The man spoke not a word but only drifted his gray eyes over Collin, as if searching for a fault, searching for some reason to put the insignificant man out of existence. Collin dared not speak a word, though the rapid pounding of his heart and staggered breathing spoke all too well for him. Continue reading “The Message Bearer”

The Ghost Walkers

Collin drew his sword, a deadly curved piece from the East colonies, as he charged his enemies. Several of his men were up instantly at the sound of his warning shout, others less so. The hooded figures continued to flicker, popping up on one side of the room only to disappear and reappear somewhere else. Yet they still didn’t attack. He stood now, in the chamber with Keeter by his side. “Can you see them, Keeter?” Continue reading “The Ghost Walkers”

Old Faces, New Dangers-All in Good Time

Carter pulled open the door, intrigued by his anonymous guest. Before him stood a woman of average height. She had long dark hair, matching her Indian ancestry, was dressed in clothing distinctive of the corporate class, and wore a cunning expression. Her nose was pushed up, and her eyes very narrow. Her jaw was sturdy, but her cheekbones were more defined. Carter analyzed every feature in an instant.

“Dr. Carter Rasmussen, what a pleasure!” She spoke, extending her left hand to shake his.

“Uh, yes,” Carter slowed down, intentionally fumbling before he extended his left hand towards the woman, trying to gain insight.

“My name is Sylvia Daniels,” she spoke before he could continue. I’ve come to propose a business arrangement of sorts. Would you be interested?”

“That would entirely depend on the business, Miss Daniels.”

“Please, call me Sylvia. May I come in Dr. Carter?”

Carter hesitated, but then nodded his head, stepping aside for her. She walked in, stealthily, surveying his apartment like a hawk scanning for prey. “I wonder, how it is that you were able to find me, Sylvia. I did not expect I would be disturbed so soon.”
“Yes, well, Dr. Carter, business is business. May I ask you a question?”

“You just did.” Carter did not fancy interruptions so late in the day, and he was starting to get annoyed, not the least of which because someone had once again managed to track him down.

“Yes, well,” she smiled, “why do you go by your first name instead of your last?”

“I find that humanity, in general, is comforted by the known rather than the unknown. In another place, I might be inclined to scrap altogether my birth name and adopt something more fitting the setting, as you have done, Alegris Vaadne.” He looked at her, throwing the whole weight of his contempt at the woman.

“Very good, Dr. Carter.” She spoke, pulling off an electronic skin mask as her true features revealed themselves—the distinct, noble refinement of the Valdawar class. “I was wondering when you would tell. If you don’t mind, would you tell me what gave it away?”

“Your speech, Alegris; it is always the same. It is too well thought out to allow for conversational spontaneity. This was your defining moment of failure as my student.” Carter walked behind his counter, pulled out scotch, and pouring two glasses.

Alegris smiled, unfazed, “And you, Dr. Carter, are witty as ever. I see years of mental solitude have done nothing to rob you of your intelligence, nor your cold-heartedness.”

“Oh, please, Alegris, you let far too much show. Even now, in attempting to cover up human emotion you reveal much more. You ask questions only someone who knew me would ever ask. You have much to learn.” He handed her a glass, watching as she downed the entirety of it in one fell swoop. “So, who is it this time? And what must I do to get them off my back?” Carter leaned back against the counter, measuring the probability of her statements at his lowest speed, still nowhere near anything attainable by his former student.

“I still remember when I read your thesis on human perception in that community college newspaper. It was one of the most imaginative works I had ever read.” Carter glared at her, determined to have an answer. “It’s Volderhaus.”

“I already rejected his proposal.”

“He doesn’t take no for an answer.”

“Well, then you can tell him he has a lot left to learn.”

“Would you believe it, that is exactly what I told him? Still, he is awfully insistent.” She traced her finger around the rim of the empty glass, batting her eyes, making Carter uncomfortable.

“Carter, you are coming with me. There is no way around it this time.” For a second she looked genuinely sad, but Carter had to slow down to catch that microexpression.

“And how does he anticipate doing that?”

“Don, Kale,” Alegris spoke, and Two huge men broke down the door. Seeing the danger, Carter snapped to action. He pressed a button beneath the lip of the counter, and the room filled with gas. In moments everyone lay on the ground, but Carter, having altered his genome to resist the toxic effects. The men hadn’t even understood what was going on before they were unconscious. He bent down towards Alegris, brushing a hand across her cheek as he looked into her paralyzed eyes. “You tell him this. Tell him I’m done hiding. It’s his turn to run.” He grabbed his jacket, opened the window that overlooked the city, and jumped out, falling countless stories to the ground below.

 

 

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