BY: DANAE CONRAD
are you?" Adena was startled by his harsh question as well as the
mirror's shattering behind her.
name is Sterling."
have to be a little more specific than that. I have never seen you before in
will avenge my parents' deaths. I believe that you are the cause of their
death's, so you will receive my vengence."
are your parents? I don't make it a habit of killing people, and I don't
recall having killed your parents."
you jest!" Adena had trouble concealing her mirth. "They have been
incapable of childbearing for centuries now--putting it politely. You are far
too young to be their child."
appeared to boil visibly in front of her eyes. "You ridicule the son of
am a grandaughter of the wizards. Besides, they aren't gods; just people, like
you and I, having special talents."
appeared nonplused. His enemy was calmly confronting him with logic enough to
shoot holes through his theories. "Surely, then I can have no fight with
you. I have locked the real culprit inside the walls then."
have done what?"
mirror is cracked. The Hall has become a prison." Sterling bowed politely
to her. "I take your leave now. Please forgive any inconvenience that I
have caused you. I must go to seek out another responsible for my parents'
may that be?"
the Enchantress of Furanose." With that, Sterling, oblivious to his
goal's obvious presence, left.
turned her attentions to the Hall. The waterfalls refused to part for her and
allow her passage. Thinking that perhaps it was closed only to her, she sit
down to wait.
heard a faint voice calling her name. She bolted up in the now darkened City
of Remembrance. Listening intently, she heard it again. Someone, somewhere,
was calling her for aid. Approaching the falls, Adena listened once more. The
voice summoned from within the Hall.
Is it you? Are you safe?"
She paused waiting for a response. Nothing came. "Are you safe?"
trapped. The mirror is apparently cracked; I cannot return."
you want to return? Or are you telling me goodbye?"
was a pause, before a confused voice angrily asked, "What kind of
question is that?"
that requires an answer."
course, I want to be back."
thought for a few moments. "I am going to have to get help. There may be
a possibility with a friend that I know."
Adena. Please, hurry."
left the city and rubbed the Amulet to invoke its holographic powers. A
Romanesque chariot appeared with appropriate harnesses and reins. Summoning
other holograms, she produced a Danae which she quickly hitched to the
chariot. The steed began to pull, controlled by her innate powers, and the
vehicle climbed towards Furanose.
she soared high above her lands, a strange sight met her eyes. The place was
green again. The damage...was gone! She was confused but quickly oriented on
Odina. Iffley's plight was put on hold as her defensive love for Furanose came
to the fore.
ghostly chariot landed silently in front of her beloved castle. The image
faded as soon as it hit the ground. A familiar bulk of a figure came forward
to greet her.
The faithful Centurian dropped to a knee in front of his ruler. "We all
had faith in your recovery and return."
my friend, please." Adena was smiling widely; it was so good to be home.
"What has happened?"
appeared with a claim to rejuvenate Furanose."
was furious! Foreigners on her soil were not tolerated without express
consent. "Where is he?!"
the palace," the Centurian promptly replied. "Would you like some
will handle the invader!" Adena stalked up the palace steps, sharply
returning salutes from her guards. Opening the door, she saw a generator that
ran the defense shields. "Furanose is guarded by the power and rule of
the Enchanter's lines, not by machines!" She hardly flinched as she blew
it calmly out of existence with lasers. The alarms it was attached to vanished
with equal alacrity.
heard the disturbance and hurried down the stairs. "What is going on
dare to stay in this place! I will defend her forever--fight!!"
became aware that this surprise wasn't working out well. Adena was armed with
a foil and was waiting for his answering weapon. "I am not here to take
to you," she snarled furiously. "No one steps in blithely to my
country without answering to me!!" Her eyes glowed with an intense
will leave--at once! I mean no harm. The restoration is permanent; Furanose
has healed from its scars. The defense system will be removed."
have already done that." Adena's weapon returned to the air and she
stood, listening to him. "Your motives are true to your word. However, I
request that you return to your origin. I have not given up rule of
bowed to her and, within the hour, he and his contingent were out of the
country. Adena was settling back into her usual routine. She brought the
Danaes back to her country for transportation.
Shamrok, Adena approached the small cabin. The dense Furanose woods seemed to
embrace their returned ruler as she knocked on the door. A young lad answered
her knock; he stumbled back on seeing the visitor. "Who is there,
was an answering silence from within the house. A man's steps were heard
coming to the door. He stepped into the sunshine and closed the door behind
Adena's eyes were wide with disbelief. "Is it really you?"
Enchantress," he responded, bowing. He face obviously showed restraint as
if her appearance there startled him.
smiled at him and shook her head. "I would never have guessed in a
million years...it has been a very long time."
man nodded slightly in response. He was looking off to the left, trying to
avoid making eye contact. "Can I be of service to you,
you can tell me where Besou has gone to."
is dead, Adena." With the realization that he had said her name, he
looked quickly to her face. His grey eyes locked onto her.
recently...he left me with his secrets, if that will help."
would have been of the help that I needed, if I had known where you
did you want?"
to fix a cracked mirror."
that all?" She nodded without removing her gaze. His face was deeply
tanned from his outdoors life; it was still as strong as she had remembered.
"I'll get my tools."
kicked at the mossy sod with her shoe. She had appointed Toltec to Chief
Advisor when she was eighteen. He had justly come by the position, he was
well-qualified, but he had made one error. He had fallen for Adena.
passed it off at first--he was only three years older than she, with a full
political career ahead of him. Soon, she had found herself drawn unmistakeably
to him as well. The other council members had begun to grumble--that she was
playing favorites, she hadn't even looked at their sons or the like.
to save her from any further pain, left without a trace. For years, she hadn't
known if he were alive or dead. He shut the door behind him as he told the boy
within to behave.
cousin's child," he said in explanation. She nodded and smiled. The
second Danae that she had summoned had arrived. Edison and Shamrok flew
steadily side by side back to Alarius and Iffley. The horses were left to
graze as the two humans entered the city.
said nothing, but led Toltec to the falls. She then explained the problem.
"The glass is broken, but we cannot get in and he cannot get out. The
glass must be mended, but I have no extensive restorative powers."
really won't be too hard, Adena. My advice is..." he stopped, realizing
that he was addressing her as a Chief Advisor once again.
Chief Toltec," she prompted.
we apply a mending laser through means of spread bullet."
guess is better than mine on this. Execute."
simply loaded an odd gun with a lump of quicksilver in a plastic skin. He
fired through the falls with directional points given by Adena. They heard
pinging as the various bullets lodged themselves within mirrors. Suddenly, an
image shimmered than appeared on their side of the falls.
Adena ran forward to draw him from the falls. "Are you alright?"
Adena." His eyes narrowed when he saw Toltec. The two men had never
gotten along well. Often, they contradicted each other in policies of state
and Adena had been forced to choose between plans. "Toltec."
Toltec was almost forced to smile that he had rescued Iffley without the
other's knowledge. "Looks like the prince on the white horse strikes
laughed. Toltec had always said medieval things like that in competitions.
That was another of their links. They had always partnered in the various
tourneys held in Furanose.
hadn't said anything as yet. "Adena," he began. "I best check
into the ship. We should be ready to go home soon."
am home. I have got to stay here a while. I owe it to my people
and...myself." Her face was set determinedly against any protests that he
you wish. I was going to stay with Bronson a while anyway--see what plans are
for the future. When you are ready to go, we'll leave," he said
nodded and returned to the Danaes. Toltec was repacking the equipment that he
had used. "Keep your hands to yourself, Toltec."
those Keys, I can't get near her unless she lets me." He shut the box and
stood up, "Good evening."
waited for Iffley to spell himself to the palace, before she mounted her
Danae. Toltec followed suit and rode up to Adena. They lifted to the air; as
if by premeditaion, the couple landed softly on an isolated stretch of
reached up and helped her dismount. They left the horses to walk down the
water's edge. They didn't say anything for a long time.
got married." Sensing Toltec's tension, she added, "It's no one you
know. He died recently under horrible circumstances."
know, Adena. I...I've kept up with you. I had to do that. And I'm sorry about
Blue. He was very good man for you."
you know that you're one of the few to have said that?"
heard her voice choke slightly and she stopped walking. He wiped the tears
from her face and willingly accepted her shaking shoulders. He realized how
much he had missed her. The silkiness of her hair and tunic coasted over his
arms. Her hair smelt of spring and sunshine as it mixed with the aura of
warned himself not to rush himself or her. She had stopped crying and was
apologizing for the scene. "I wouldn't have missed it for the
world," he told her.
sat on the beach and talked, trying to catch each other up on the years they'd
lost. The early dawn still found them wide awake and talking. Adena decided
that they should return to Odina.
slept for most of the next day in her study. Upon awaking she felt hungry so
she went to get lunch. Thinking that she had had a strange nightmare, she
ruefully shook her head.
entering the kitchen though, she smiled.
morning, Enchantress. The Wizard just called and said that he will arrive
she begun. "How would you like your job back?"
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|