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The Mind's Eye

                                 by Jonathon Pierce

"Any resistance is futile! Give me the Sceptre!" Adena glared at Iffley, her heart now as black as her clothing.

"Is it to come to this, Adena? Are you going to kill me as you have tried to kill Bronson?" Iffley realized that his one Key could not defeat Adena's combination of three. He must reach her subconscious and defeat the evil within her. "Adena, I know that you will not kill me; your feelings for me are too strong."

"Ha! Feelings for you? Keep dreaming, buster." Dion then stepped up beside Iffley. She scanned the Book of Incantations for the precise spell that would render Adena unconscious. She located the spell and began to read: 'Bador, I call upon thee; With thy strength surround...'

Adena gasped in fear. Fool, she thought, she would never complete the spell in time. She concentrated on the Belt. Dion rose into the air and slammed into the wall. She screamed and collapsed onto the floor.

"And so, simpleton, it appears that only you are left." She smiled sardonically.

"I assure you, Adena, I will not be that easy to subdue." Iffley stared at her in deep concentration. He would not be the first to strike a blow.

"Even so, Iffie. That's right, you have no backbone. You're afraid to use your powers, and I shall take advantage of that." Adena, however, could not have been more wrong: Iffley was more than prepared. Adena stroked the Amulet. The lasers, augmented by the Ring, lept from her Amulet and flew toward Iffley. Iffley's timing had been perfect. The Sceptre sprang to life, changing the water vapor in the air into pure energy. Upon reaching the energy, the lasers exploded sending a shower of sparks across the room.

As Adena had calculated, the strength of the three combined Keys was far greater than that of the Sceptre. The energy absorbed most of the explosion, but Iffley, nevertheless, was thrown backwards. A solid wall stopped his momentum. His head racked with pain. A blackness entered his soul, spreading throughout his entire body. He struggled, but the darkness was too strong. He quietly slipped into infinity's grasp.

Adena was more fortunate. The recoil of the conflagration sent her reeling onto the marble floor. As her head impacted, she drifted out of consciousness.

Moments later, she awoke to reality. Her casuistry was over, her probity and precepts victorious. The putrescent invader had fled her body. It ascended upon the only being not affected in the struggle--Aven. "Just you wait 'til I get free, Adena, and then see what s coming to you." The monomaniac struggled with his bonds in a valiant attempt, but could not loosen them.

With effrontery, Adena slowly stood up. Still weak from the battle, she staggered toward Bronson in expiation. He sat up, realizing the approaching figure, and readied himself for another attack. He would die bravely, without cowering at his new nemesis.

"Bronson, are you alright?" Bronson frowned at this new peripeteia, could she be trusted? "Bronson, I'm fine. Everything is back to normal now." She helped Bronson to his feet, "But we must hurry, I don't know how long Taft will stay put." She motioned at Aven and smiled.

The pair revived Madison and Dion, both suffering from minor injuries, and advanced toward the fallen Iffley. Adena touched his hand, "Iffley. "

He raised his Sceptre in self-defense, "Don't come any closer. Who is it? Who is there?"

"It's me, Adena." Iffley stared blankly, his golden eyes homing in on Adena's voice.

"Adena...I...I can't see!" Adena stared at his eyes. The pupils were dilated; Iffley was in severe need of help. She removed the Ring from her hand and slipped it onto his finger. She clasped his hand, the Keys working in conjunction.

The Keys joined the pair's minds, each sharing a closeness they had never knew before. Adena s strength of will prevented Iffley from slipping further into a coma. She concentrated on the Belt, levitating Iffley."We must leave! Time is growing short!"

The group ran down the hallway, the mirrors mocking them with their distorted images. Adena angled Iffley through the mirror and appeared on the other side. Dion led the way back to the shuttle; soon the danger would be over.

* * * * *

On the Enchantress, Adena watched sadly as Doctor Sharpe examined Iffley. She was concerned for her friend, a concern that was rooted deep within her mind. Torque looked up at her and said, "Adena, you arrived just in time. He is in a coma, but should be coming out of it at any time. He is suffering from a concussion and some superficial burns. As for his blindness, I don't know. The combined effect of the blast and the shock of your perfidy has seemed to depress his optic nerve impulses. The blindess may or may not be temporary; I just don't know."

She thanked him and stalked out of sickbay. She confronted Bronson, "Your Belt is safe for the time-being. I may need it to strengthen Iffley. You may be reassured that I will return it when he is out of danger. We have to make sure that Taft cannot try that again. We have to destroy the entrance to the House of the Wizards."

"I believe that I can take care of that." He said confidently.

Jonathon appeared by Adena's side, "Just a moment, young lady, who is in charge here?

"I am." She said stiffly, "I am the rightful Commander, not you."

"Just because I know nothing does not mean that you can order me around. You are not giving one command without having a ECG, a Psychoscan, and a Synapsigraph Test. If your results have changed, my dear Adena, than I am booting you off this ship!"

"Very well, then." She let Jonathon take her down to sickbay to be examined.

Bronson, however, knew what he must do. He and Madison boarded a shuttle and departed for Madison.

* * * * *

All of Adena's tests had come out positive, she was rid of Taft's menace. Knowing that Bronson was taking care of the Hall of Mirrors, she entered the ICU to wait for' Iffley to recover. His vital signs were low, but they continued to increase. His coma should not last too long now.

She sat by the bed, and waited for him to awaken. She whispered her thoughts to the comatose man, "Why do you have to leave me when I need you most? She examined his appearance, the uniform of cambric clung to his muscular body. A rather large bruise had appeared out of his rusty, auburn hair. Her words, however, did not fall on deaf ears, Iffley had very much awakened from his coma.

Adena gently leaned over and kissed him, his beard tickling her face. Surprising Adena, he responded to her kiss. She straightened back up, slightly flustered.

"Isn't a little unusual for the handsome prince to be awakened by a kiss?" He asked innocently.

Adena evaded the question, "Are you feeling better?" She waved her hand in front of his eyes, which did not respond.

"Somewhat...."

He was interrupted by the entrance of Doctor Sharpe, "Glad to see that you're up, Captain. Let's have a look at those eyes." Torque busily began his inspection of Iffley. Adena, sensing the moment had vanished, strolled out into the hall. She nearly bumped into Dion, who was carrying a vase of flowers.

"Dion," Adena began, "what ever happened to the twins?" The question obviously startled Dion, for she dropped the vase. It shattered into a thousand pieces on the floor....

* * * * *

All was in readiness. The wave-gun had been fully charged, awaiting its moment to spring into action. Madison pinpointed the exact location of the sight and fed the coordinates into the computer.

"I want a very tight beam, Madison, I only want to destroy the Hall of Mirrors, not the entire area." Madison acknowledged. "Fire." The ship lurched as the massive energy sprang from the ship.

It arced through the atmosphere, finding its target. The Hall of Mirrors exploded in a cloud of steam and twisted metal. The only entrance to the House of the Wizards was now blocked. Aven's intervention would cease to disrupt their lives.

Bronson smiled to himself: another job well done.

* * * * *

Aven/Taft shrieked in terror. As the last coil of Adena's magic dissolved, the entire Hall collapsed. Shards of glass bounced into the room. He ran to the door and looked outward. The hallway had vanished. Stretching out from the doorway now lay an endless, black void. He screamed again, his voice echoing throughout the chamber" The sound, however, would not travel across the infinity, Aven was trapped in his own cage. A cage that would last an eternity....


 © 1984, 

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

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