< Prev Next ("Blue Genes") >
^ Index ^ Home  
By Author (Danae Conrad):
  < Prev Next >
Keywords:  
Search index:

BLACKMAIL

BY: DANAE CONRAD

Adena choked off her next scream. Fool, she admonished herself, don't let it know that you're frightened. Besides, you always had a way with animals. She turned to it to try to sway it to her side. She approached cautiously and the thing returned her gaze. Suddenly, it let out a bellow and lunged towards her. Adena did not wait to see if her rapport with animals would work further.

After running far enough for the beast's bellows to be mere whispers, Adena stopped to catch her breath. Leaning against the crystal walls, she calmed her ragged breathing to regular intakes. She felt even worse than she should have and she couldn't understand why. Suddenly, she remembered that the crystals were drawing power from her and she drew further from the wall. The bellowings were louder and Adena drew a deep breath and began to run once more through the shimmering corridors. There was a sharp turn up ahead and she took it too fast.

Her head caught a sharp crystal outgrowth as she fell and she cried out in pain. To further the damage, the packed, sere earth offered no comfort when her body slammed into it. Adena slowly opened her eyes. I am still alive - apparantly, she said sarcastically to herself. She felt no broken bones as she stood up. She glanced at the distorted image of herself in the wall. Blood was running from a gaping wound in the side of her head, but...

"...otherwise I look perfectly alright," she said aloud as to comfort herself. She wiped same of the blood off her face and was about to reinstate her search when...

...the creature appeared behind her. Her first move was to her Amulet and she created a hologram of bars between her and the creature. It stopped mid-lunge puzzled. She knew that if it touched the bars, it could pass through them so she stood ready with the diamonds in her amulet glowing vigorously. The beast reached a tentative paw towards the bar and she gave it a severe jolt. It roared and threw its body against the bars. Concentrating all her mental powers into the diamonds, Adena struck the beast with a large crack of energy. It dropped stunned and looked at her with blank eyes.

"Perhaps you won't try anything for awhile," she laughed gleefully then, suddenly had to grab at the wall for support. The use of so much power plus the crystal's pull had drained her. Grasping the wall to stay on her feet, Adena slowly back away from the huge beast to continue her quest.

"Go away!" came a sleepily gruff voice. The centurian entered anyway. "M'lord?" he inquired.

"I said 'Go Away!'." Archimedes was not feeling well and his temper showed it. "Now leave! Oh, You might ask Adena to get herself in here I need to speak to her." He shoved himself to a half reclined position on the divan.

"That's what I need to talk to you about m'lord," the centurian explained patiently.

At this, Archimedes sat up quickly. "What do you mean? Out with it!"

The centurain cleared his throat. "The Enchantress received some gifts sent by the rulers of Alarius from their messenger. She also received a note from the Wizard requesting assistance. She requested me to inform you when you awoke."

Archimedes was flabbergasted. "She left - just like that?"

"She said that you needed your rest, m'lord," the centurian returned.

"I NEED REST?! What about her?" He caught himself and lowered his tone. "When did she say she be returning?"

"That's the point, m'lord. She's overdue two hours now," stammered the centurian fearful of Blue's reaction.

"No. That's not possible. She's never late - unless she's in trouble!" He sprang off the divan.

"What will the doctor say?"

"Who cares?!! I fired him this morning," Archimedes said as he laced his boots and tied them. "Get the dolphins, I am off to Alarius!"

Adena was feeling slightly better since she'd gotten that creature off her trail. However, she was totally confused in the maze and the sun was starting to set, thus reducing the light inside the crystal cage. Adena tried to set her direction once again by the sun. She had been hitting and missing for the last hour. Finally, one passage shone brighter than the rest and Adena chose it.

She followed the main channel for several minutes as the crystal shone red with the setting sun. Suddenly, the chalice appeared straight ahead of her. Relieved, she bolted up the steps leading to its pedestal, only to be hurled back to the ground by a force around it. Cursing her stupidity, she stood and brushed herself off. The wound had begun to bleed again. She looked at the chalice and touched her amulet. She passed to the inside of the force field. Immediately, her reduced powers jumped back to their full potential. She seized the chalice and dutifully called out to her blackmailer...

"...Jameson, I've got your chalice would you please get me out of here!" Jameson appeared inside the maze but outside of the forcefield.

"Well, you're a clever thing, aren't you? Just hand over that cup and you're free to go," he stared greedily at the amythest inlaid si1ver.

"Nothing doing," she said sarcastically. "I want to get out of here first and I want to know what it's for."

Jameson dropped any pretense of civility, "Listen, you give the cup or you can rot in here for all I care."

"Why don't you come and get it?" Suddenly, it dawned her. "I'm safe in here, aren't I? You can't get to me or the cup." She laughed slightly as her head began to pound from the wound.

"I can get it if I want," he growled. So saying he raised a hand and Adena found herself out of the maze and in a prairie. Jameson appeared beside her. "Now, it's mine!" He reached to snatch it from her and she pulled it away. She was ready to fight for it and Jameson was furious. "Give it to me!"

"Come and get it!" He jumped forward quickly and managed to snatch the cup but he also received a face full of nail marks where her hands had grabbed trying to stop him. Quickly, he ran and Adena, too exhausted to run any longer, had to watch him get away.

Jonathon ran out when he heard Blue. "Thank goodness you've come," he exclaimed. "Things have been in an uproar around here!"

They ran to the garden where Blue saw the crystal Statue and stood shocked. Fearing the worst, he asked Jonathon, "Have you seen Adena? She's been missing for two hours!"

Now it was Jonathon's turn to be shocked. "What do you think happened?"

"I don't know." The reply was sullen and fearful.

Suddenly, the Quische arrived and mumbled something to Jonathon. Jonathon started, "I think she's alright. Quische says that Abercrombie has been picking up some powerful mind emanations."

At that moment, Blue heard a familiar, if tired, voice. "I beg your pardon? This is ridiculous! I am Adena - honestly! Please just let me through and I'll prove it!" Suddenly, a woman stormed into the garden followed by protesting guards.

Jonathon and Blue were relieved to see her. They went toward her and Jonathon stopped in his tracks when she came into the light.

Blue came to her, "What have they done to you?"

"I am perfectly alright. Jonathon, what have you been telling your guards? I had a heck of a time getting in here."

She suprised the two men with her tirade in spite of her apparent state of weakness. However, her anger scarcely sustained her exhausted body. Blue caught her in his arms as she suddenly collapsed.

"Adena, what have they done to you?" Blue was devastated and he followed Jonathon into the mansion to tend to her wounds.

Adena and Blue raised a farewell as they started back toward Phire. The dolpins agitated the phosphoresence in the sea and left flaming trails behind them.

Jonathon had promised to let them know if anything odd happened involving the Chalice. Little did any of them know that Kirk was already using his new powers and had reached his first target.

He dipped the sparkling chalice into the Artesian of Rmembrance and slowly the power worked.


 © 1984, 

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

< Prev ^ Index ^ Home Next ("Blue Genes") >

Add Comment:

Please use this form to add your own comments regarding this story. Your IP address will be logged.

Name:
Email:
Comment: