A SHOCK IN THE DARK
court resounded with ethereal music as the musicians strummed their various
instruments. Dinner was over and the Jiffies were clearing the dining area.
Adena and her guests were listening to the entertainment. The musicians
completed their piece, were applauded by the assembly and, with a brush of the
amythests, the holograms collapsed.
evening was superb," said Jonathon Pierce inclining his head to Adena.
"Your display of magic and fantasy would make good writing
you, Mr. Pierce. I hope that all of you enjoyed it." Murmured responses
of assent echoed through the court. "What would please my guests
now?" asked Adena. "A trip through the city of Odina. It would
probably prove quite fascinating." Again assent arose from the
will provide the necessary transport," interjected the Quische.
cleared her throat slightly, "That won't be necessary - er -, sir. My
Danaes will provide it as it is quite a distance hence and they know the way.
"At this, she summoned the Danaes. Ambercromby and Fitch rode the green,
Shamrok, Campuria rode the yellow, Edison, Quische turned into a saddle for
the white Danae, Prism, and Jonathon climbed on top. With a wave from their
mistress, the Danaes shook their wings and manes and lifted off to Odina.
Iffley had elected to stay behind - he said he had things he wished to attend
to at the palace. Adena had protested but had been quickly overridden.
had stationed himself in the Study and was busily studying the archives. Adena
had excused herself to the main study where she passed through the mirror to
her room. She returned quickly dressed in sky-blue blouse and overalls. Her
feet were bare which explains why Iffley heard nothing until she sat at the
desk and the chair creak warningly. Adena was already busy with perfunctorial
duties and paperwork. Iffley returned to his reading. Neither spoke nor looked
at the other. Adena finally broke the silence.
I ask you a question? I need an honest answer," she asked her face still
averted to her paperwork.
you want to," Iffley returned, glancing up momentarily from his
you think I am -- vain?" Her eyes were still cast to her desk but she had
stopped writing and was toying with her pencil. Iffley smiled to himself. It
was liked the days when they were children when he would give her answers and
advice - whether she wanted it or not. "I don't think so. You always try
to look your best, but you don't dwell on it. Why do you ask?"
had swung her chair around to the window so that its back was toward Iffley.
"I heard some gossip. I was just curious what people thought," she
hush descended on the room again. Adena's pencil began to scratch over the
documents once more. Iffley could hear her muttering to herself. Finally, she
could take it no longer, "This is extremely dull. However, I am almost
finished." She caught herself before going any farther. She had realized
that she had been talking out loud. "Sorry about that. I do talk to
myself once in a while to make the task go faster," she explained to
Iffley who was shelving his book. She glanced at the clock on the wall and
decided to shelve the remainder of the work.
ready for a bit of exercise," she said with a twinkle in her eye.
walk, then?" questioned Iffley.
she answered, "1 was thinking along different lines."
Iffley responded in a reproaching tone.
looked slightly embarrassed, "Leave it to you to misconstrue my meaning.
I meant something like this..." With a mischieveous glint in her eye, she
touched the amulet and three slave girls arrived and began to lavish attention
on Iffley, much to his chagrin. Adena laughed as Iffley tried to combat them
but the fun ended when he realized they were holograms and dismissed them. Now
it was his turn.
his fingers, Iffley brought an image of a bouquet of flowers. "Too
easy," answered Adena who, with a wink of an eye, made them real and put
them in a vase. "My turn..." she began and suddenly Iffley found
himself in T.G. Taft's main office!
himself was there and Iffley braced himself, expecting him to look up any
second. He heard Adena giggle and he turned to hush her and found himself on
Furanose once again. "My holograms are getting quite good, aren't
they?" she teased.
was incensed, "You aren't being fair!"
just not used to being beaten," she countered with a smile playing on her
decided to teach her a lesson, he raised his Sceptre and Adena found herself
in the forest by the Lake of Wisdym. Iffley joined her shortly. "I
win," he stated.
If this is simple transportation, my hologram beats that and if it's a
hologram, I still win because I evoked an emotional respose from you. This is
my homeland and I am not disturbed in the least." She smiled
had had enough. "I hope you enjoy your homeland at night because I'm
leaving and your Danaes are all busy. You'll have to walk home because you
don't want to overuse your amulet." With that, he left her. Adena's smile
was wiped off her face and her right eyebrow was raised in vexation.
"He's no better than his Quische! Oh well," she said resignedly to
herself, "I won't have any problem getting back." She turned to
leave when a new voice stopped her.
turned, feeling slightly frightened, "Iffley?" But it wasn't Iff1ey.
It was a face new to Adena. He was quite a bit younger than the Wizard and
quite handsome. No, it wasn't Iffley at all... "I'm Bronsan."
| ||© 1984, ||L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|