Price of Compassion
shook himself awake, realizing that his half-brother was trying to contact him
from Terna. Iffley concentrated on the image, but it slipped away, leaving
Iffley to contemplate his heritage.
remembered his mother speaking about her first marriage, but she did not
report having any other children. Iffley wondered why she had had the
operation. Probably because of how Enad had turned out, Iffley mused. He
teleported back to Adena and Naidis, hoping to clear up this mystery.
mother met me soon after she had had Enad," Naidis answered Iffley's
probing questions. "We both fell immediately in love. Ephryre, however,
would not leave her husband without explaining matters. Enad was most
understanding: He agreed to the divorce as long as Ephryre had a sterlization
mother," Naidis continued, "and I conceived a plan to fool Enad.
Ephryre received a reversible operation. Enad, satisfied that Ephryre would
never have children again, divorced her. Unfortunately, the plan backfired.
The resulting infection left her sterile. The doctors assured us that her
condition was not irrevocable, but the years passed and she still bore no
so, the Taft twins were born," Iffley interrupted.
Naidis said slowly, "I hope that clears matters up for you."
glared at contempt for his father, "How could you abandon your wife when
she needed you most?!"
Adena spoke softly, "Your father did what he thought was best."
continued to glare.
Suralio. Love and forgive always," Adena responded sagely.
will take time, Adena--as it did with you."
you finally forgiven me?"
Adena, both you and Blue."
you must help me." Adena begged, "They have taken Blue, and you must
return him to me. Please, Suralio, I beseech thee." Adena turned away and
began to cry.
Adena, I'll do everything that I can."
this can help," Adena said as she pulled out her compact. She opened it
up and fluffed her hair before giving it to him.
Iffley said as he dissolved into Terna.
* * Just a Ripple in Time * *
appeared on Earth's scarred surface. He glanced nervously around and
teleported to the City of Remembrance.
quickly ran down a small alley and came to giant box. The box was a delicate
shade of Blue, and it cast a small Blue aura around itself. Printed on one
side were these words:
Piers Anthony plots inside!
walked slowly around the box and was greeted with a flashing neon:
Band President waiting inside to be taken to Prom!
shook his head and continued his trek:
Story Chain authors waiting for a Gamemaster. Just step
finally came to a door made of polished sapphire. Iffley stared at his Blue
reflection and straightened his hair. Iffley reached for the aquamarine
doorknob and turned it. Instantly Bluemind, Bluewill, Bluemotion fled from the
you for rescuing us," Bluemind said, not wanting to be impolite.
Bluemotion said, "it was so dark in there I almost cried."
up," Bluewill snapped, "show a little backbone."
however, was the last that Blue said, for a smiling Bronson appeared, Tiara in
hand. He snatched the three Ledics and disappeared into time.
stared in amazement as Bronson Colt Randolf strolled down the lane.
just stole Blue Ledic!"
did what?" Bronson said slightly flabbergasted.
had the Tiara and you kidnapped them." Iffley said hotly.
really, what a wonderful plan." Bronson smiled to himself and ran down
shook his head at the paradox.
followed by the Historians, stormed up to him, "What was the big idea of
letting Blue go?!"
sorry, but I, well, I felt sorry for him."
as sorry as you're going to feel. Tell him, Light." Taft turned to the
your act of compassion has caused us to disqualify you." Light said a
How can you disqualify me?" Iffley angrily created a hat, placed it on
his head and then threw it on the ground.
releasing Blue, you interfered with the accomplished task of a fellow
contestant," Beam said.
means you are out!" Taft laughed.
Theo, you are not in much better shape."
face transformed into one of concern, "Why?"
Bronson kidnapped him." Iffley cooly stated.
Shine stopped Iffley, "Did Bronson kidnap Blue before or after you
could Bronson have kidnapped Blue if I had not released him?" Iffley said
sorry," Beam commented, "but I'm afraid that you are still
to add insult to injury," Light added, "Bronson is now the
Historian. He kidnapped Blue after Suralio released him, therefore he was open
game. Since Bronson has completed two of the three tasks, we must consider him
Historian." Beam and Shine nodded in acquiescence.
going," Taft said lamely, "Now, how are you going to make this up to
* * The Waning of the Blue Moon * *
Madison flew swiftly in her eliptical orbit around the earth. She was a
happy ship, for she was Bronson's.
laughed at his prisoner, whom he held in a time statis. Bluewill stood
motionless, his mouth agape, as if he were going to say something important.
"Typical," Bronson said. "Blue always had his mouth open.
Something was always coming out, or something was always going in." But
mostly, Bronson considered, something was going out.
could not believe Iffley's stupidity. Surely he knew that the price for
compassion was lonliness, failure, and death. But, if everyone was as smart as
Bronson Colt Randolf, he might have a few problems getting what he wanted.
turned to his communications console and pushed a button activating a strange
machine on the console. A vanity mirror, stolen from Adena's palace, leaned
against the wall. Some wires led from the console and disappeared into it. The
wires seemed to have been glued to the surface of the mirror. Bronson, of
course, knew differently, for he had built it. The machine hummed to life, and
Bronson spoke eagerly into it. "Agent Inside-Job, come in
Ralle, Agent Inside-Job switched on his fortenmik-communicator, the wires
disappearing into its measurement scale. "Agent Inside-Job, here. What
can I do for you Big-Boss-Man?"
you take care of our little problem?"
Big-Boss-Man, I'm the best. There was a slight problem, though." The
Agent's voice was gutteral and deep.
told you, no loose ends!"
Jonathon Pierce seems to have eaten some of Asiel's poisoned food. I recognize
Bronson scolded. "I told you, no names."
Pestilence Charm that Mad...Agent Spell-Giver made is working...well, like a
no one suspects."
Bronson patted himself on his back for placing an Agent on T'mir. Now he
realized why the Ranierian Intelligence Agency was so effective. The RIA had
the best leader imaginable: Bronson Colt Randolf. "Agent Spell-Giver will
pick up our package at midnight. Does this present any problems?"
you know what hours we Nightstalkers keep. Agent Inside-Job, out." Horace
disconnected the communications device and a crusty grin spread over his face.
Poor Jonathon was about to lose another love. The Nightstalker hummed
tunelessly; soon he would be a rich man.
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|