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ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE

Adena stared at the jewelled sceptre that held almost a bewitching glow. She was greatly intrigued by it and wished she could experiment with its power. She sighed because she knew she shoudn't, even though it had been presented to her as a gift. It was curious. Adena wondered how T.G. Taft II had gotten it and she wondered even more about why he had given it to her. Oh well, she shrugged, I've got a suprise for Iffley. He's probably very worried about it.

Speaking about Iffley, Adena remembered that she hadn't cleaned the castle properly. Seeing as she didn't have time to do any of it herself, she quickly assembled her staff. The amulet came to the rescue there, just as she was able to send her nymph through the emeralds, she summoned the Jiffles.

Jiffles, if you will recall, are just plain fun. The staff of thirty entered and gave their version of a bow to their mistress. Leffy, who was the head butler, stepped forward and inclined his head. Squeaking in the Jiffle tone, he inquired, "There is something you need, m'lady."

"Yes, Leffy. The Wizard is coming for a visit. He will be bringing his entourage, including his wonderful multi-faceted beast. Please prepare quarters for them and set dinner for all of us."

Leffy bowed once more and turning to his compatriots, spoke in his native tounge giving the necessary orders, He faced Adena, "It will be done as Quische as possible," he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Adena laughed cheeerfully, "Go on, scat! Get your work done, there will be time for joking later." Leffy trotted out to his tasks.

Adena drifted up the palace staircase to her study. There, she stood before the mirror touched her amulet's pearls and the study dissolved as she passed through the mirror. On the other side of the mirror was Adena's bedroom.

It had been located behind the mirror to protect her. Lavishly furnished, the room was draped in rich velvets of brillant colors that matched the gems in her amulet. She slipped the amulet off her neck and hung it on a hook by the closet. Pushing a button, she caused the door to the closet to swing open and display its rack of rich, luxurious clothing. Adena stood glancing at each of the garments patiently trying to decide what to wear. Finally, she chose a soft green tunic that reached to the floor. After donning this, she stood before the mirror again and got a brush. She let her hair down and began to comb it painstakingly. The amulet's rubies began to glow, giving her warning that her guests were soon to arrive. She swept some of her hair into a jewelled comb and it tumbled and waved' past her 5houlders. Giving a final glance at her figure, Adena straightened her gown, replaced her amulet, and picked up the sceptre.

She faded into the study as Iffley and his entourage landed in the courtyard. Leffy and the footmen came out to meet them.

"Good Evening, sirs and madame - he said, smiling at Campuria. On behalf of the Enchantress of Furanose, I bid you welcome to our fair land. He clapped his hands and the Jiffles saw to the luggage that they had brought. Jonathon Pierce was fascinated by Furanose as this was his first visit.

"Furanose is lovely. I wonder if I'll ever see anything as beautiful," Jonathon commented.

"You will, come dinner. Our Enchantress rivals the whole country," returned Leffy with pride.

"Speaking of Adena," began the Wizard, who hadn't spoken until this time, where has she hidden herself?"

"I will take you to her, sir, and my fellows will attend to your friends," responded the Jiffle.

"Thank you."

Adena had her back turned to the dour as Iffley came into the room. "Good evening, my de..." The words froze in his mouth, for when Adena had whirled around in suprise he had seen the missing sceptre in her hands.

"Welcome. I thought you would never get here, dinner's almost ready." She paused, "Is anything wrong?"

The Wizard's voice was heavy with disbelief, "How could you?"

"How could I, what?" Adena responded innocently.

"The sceptre was stolen from me this afternoon. I would never have suspected you. I also," he said with bitterness, "would have thought you intelligent to hide something stolen from the owner."

Adena looked as if she had been slapped. She looked at Iffley with wounded eyes, "And I would have thought you more trusting than that. I didn't steal it...I found it. Since you were coming anyway, I was holding it until you came."

"You expect me to believe that. Adena, don't make this harder. There are few with the potential to take the sceptre away from me and you are one of those. Now, you hold the evidence in your hands."

She stormed up to him, "You dare accuse me of such a thing!" She slammed the sceptre into his hand, "Well, take it then and think whatever you want, but with it is your pathway from Furanose. Get out!" She whirled around and walked back to her desk where she perched on the desktop and glared at him defiantly.

Now that he had his sceptre, Iffley felt confused. He didn't want to believe that she had stolen it, but... She also meant business about his leaving, he could see that. He felt alone with no one to which to turn. He glanced at Adena, who was looking out the window. She was very beautiful tonight, he decided. The Jiffle had been right, Even if she is guilty, I want her not to be angry, Iffley decided.

When she heard him move toward her, Adena leapt to her feet and braced herself for the worst. "I told you to leave, and I meant it," she started.

"I don't wish to leave with you angry, Adena."

"What should you care?" she countered defensively.

He didn't respond to that - it wasn't the time. Instead, he lifted one of her tightly clenched hands and kissed it. "Will you accept an apology, little one?"

"So you've decided I am not guilty." She stated it matter-of-factly and withdrew her hand. "I will accept it only if you promise not to call me by that awful nickname. I have grown out of it, I'm afraid."

"As you have it," Iffley responded. Suddenly, he remembered the crystal shard. He pulled it out of a pocket and held it out to her. Unfortunately, he forgot to tell her of the crystal's defense. "I had gotten this for you."

"I can't take it. I should be the one repaying you, since you saved Furanose."

"You have - by saving me," he answered.

"It's quite powerful, isn't it?" She was becoming intrigued and less suspicious.

"Quite," he remarked, becoming charmed by her curiosity.

Adena reached out and picked it up. As pain shot across her face, Iffley remembered his warning too late. Adena was hypnotized as the crystal probed her mind to force her to relive her life's worst event....

Her parent's carriage wheeled away as Adena watched from her window. She was frustrated that she couldn't go too. It wasn't fair, young Adena decided. So she summoned her Danae muffled its hooves and followed after a time.

She was about to catch up to her parents when she heard a horrific scream ahead. She urged her Danae to the edge of a clearing. There --- a dragon had attacked and overturned the carriage. Her parents, taken by suprise, were fighting vainly against the hulking beast.

Adena saw her mother's amulet fly off into the brush and she dismounted. She retrieved it and turned around to see the reptile cornering her father and no sign of her mother. Adena had quickly put the amulet on and tried to remember what to do. Her movements had attracted the dragon's attentions and it left her severly wounded father to turn on her. Calling on his failing reserves of power, her father had struck the dragon with a sharp bolt of electricity to protect his daughter. The beast roared, turned and made quick work of the irritation while Adena watched sickened.

Now the thing turned once again to her. Adena closed her eyes and concentrated on killing the beast. She focused her powers through the amulet's diamonds and suddenly five lasers issued through the diamonds into the dragon's heart. Adena continued pouring power into it until it was pulverized. Then she cried and cried.....

Adena was back in the present holding a brightly glowing shard quenched in tears. She quickly straightened to face Iffley, "Is this your idea of a joke?"

"No, Adena. I could have warned you. In retrospect, it has probably done you good." He looked at her, "It wasn't your fault, you know. I am aware that you blame yourself but you needn't. You did the best you could."

"I suppose your right." She sighed and looked at the crystal, "How often does it do that?"

He laughed, "This is the only time. Never again." He watched in shock as she tossed it toward the mirror but instead of it breaking the glass, it melted through it. "You'll have to teach me that sometime."

"Maybe, when you're old enough," she teased and tousled his hair. "Come on, Mr. High and Mighty. It's time for supper."

Iffley followed and prayed with all his heart that she was as innocent as she appeared.

AMULET OF WISDYM

EMERALDS - CALLS FOR OR SENDS STAFF AND CREATURES (SUCH AS THE NYMPH)

RUBIES - SENSOR OF OTHER POWERFUL BEINGS & TELEPATHY

PEARLS - TRANSPORTAL IN THE PALACE AND (IN EXTREME EMERGENCIES) OVER LONG DISTANCES, AFTER WHICH REST IS REQUIRED

AMYTHESTS - SENDING HOLOGRAMS

DIAMONDS - DEFENSE - LASERS OR REVERSING OTHER SPELLS

Adena also has innate abilities that do not depend on the amu1et. These however will abide by the rules of courtesy and common sense and will not be to excess.


 © 1984, 

L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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