stared at the void that once held Saturn's great beauty. The planetary giant,
seemingly ripped from its moorings, had disappeared. Iffley gazed into the
endless sea. No stars shone in the heavens, no other but the sun. Iffley
immediately realized what had happened: somehow the entire planet of T'mir had
been transported to Ralle.
searched the heavens, looking for the only planet that existed in this
universe. He spied the Rallen Earth, its surface a mere crescent, in the
fourth quadrant. He pondered this universe. The Earth, he decided, could not
be the only planet in the entire universe, but its severe isolation had cut
her off from her distant neighbors. That, and only that reason, would explain
the lack of space-flight capability in Ralle.
guided the shuttle softly planetside. He then teleported Madison and himself
to Yorkshire. Upon entrance to the mansion, Jonathon ran quickly to him,
"Suralio; Asiel...She's very ill. Please you must help me."
nodded in acquiescence and followed his friend to the Topaz room. Dr. Batione
rapidly assessed the situation for Iffley.
small injection of my blood should cure her." Iffley said quietly, as he
recognized the symptoms of the Pestilence. He wondered how the disease could
have arisen again: The Pestilence was supposedly destroyed by the Book of
exactly how will a transfusion of your blood help?" The doctor asked,
blood contains special agents in it. They act as catalysts for the white blood
I thought that you could not mix your blood with normal blood." Jonathon
said, remembering Iffley's bout with blindness.
Jonathon, I cannot receive normal blood, but I can donate mine to
others." The doctor nodded in assent and a small amount of Iffley's blood
was injected into Asiel's deforming arm.
kissed his wife on the forehead and then turned to Iffley. "Iffley, there
is something that you must see." Jonathon led Iffley downstairs into the
laboratory. Iffley's gaze fell on the mist flowing from the freezer.
"Suralio," Jonathon said, "Adena's body is missing."
* * Mission: Impossible * *
wandered through the shipyard, trying to locate the Hydra, the Fleet's
newest experiment with the Ravager. The Hydra had a omnidirectional
firing arc. The Fleet would never caught again in a surprise rear attack. But,
alas, the ship was not completed.
sorry, Captain Iffley," Commander Duane said, "but the Hydra
is not going anywhere. We just finished fitting her engines, they have not
even been tested."
test them for you." Iffley's gaze turned frigid, "You will turn the
ship over to me--now! This is the only ship anywhere near completion, and I
must have it." He realized that the shuttle would never reach the Earth
and frowned at his decision to place the Fleet's base on Dione. The
Hydra was his last hope. "Listen, Mister, you shall have the ship
ready for me by tomorrow morning or I shall have you
sir, the wiring isn't even half completed."
you have your work cut out for you." Iffley glared at the Commander and
left the yard.
next morning Iffley check on Asiel, her condition was worsening as the
Pestilence wrapped its clammy arms around her heart. Jonathon, too, was
showing signs of fatigue. Iffley was not too sure, however, that the fatigue
was caused by stress.
travelled to the shipyard, and the Hydra was waiting as expected.
Iffley. The bridge, engine room, and the first three decks are functional. I
think I had better go along and make sure that everything runs
The Enchanter and his skeleton crew boarded the ship, and it sped off into the
atmosphere. Iffley did not expect any trouble from the engines--the Fleet did
have its standards--and he received none. The Hydra slipped smoothly
into orbit and began to scan the planet.
ship soared over the vast stretch of ocean and approached a small island.
"H'mael," Madison, who had insisted on going, said, "I've been
here before, remember?"
sensing a presence landed the ship on H'mael's sandy shore. "Welcome to
Dragon Isle," Madison said shortly.
was correct: Dragons roamed the entire island; Iffley even spotted a few
winged dragons soaring in the clouds. "Why do the dragons inhabit this
island?" Madison's shrug said more than words ever could. Iffley sought
out the presence and led the party through the thick copse of trees that lined
trees grew more dense, and Iffley began to hum to alleviate some of his fear.
The tune he hummed came from his soul. Confidently, he began to hum louder.
Suddenly, the forest noises stopped.
perused his surroundings, scanning for even the slightest movement. The most
ferocious dragon descended down onto the party from above. It grabbed Iffley
in its scaly red claw and flew off into the twilight.
smiled to himself; the Staff was such a useful instrument. "Funny how
that dragon just appeared out of nowhere."
Two little Pre-Historians sitting in the sun;
One got dragon-napped and then there was one.
shall finish our quest," Madison said, "In honor of our beloved
* * My Three Sons * *
dragon did not hurt its captive, and Iffley respected that. Had the dragon
injured him, Iffley would have retaliated. Instead, however, he simply enjoyed
the ride. He was sure that the dragon was taking him to the presence, so he
dared not anger his free ticket.
red dragon deposited its prey in a small clearing some few miles from the
beach. Iffley sat down on a convenient stump and began to hum again, the same
unknown tune echoing throughout his mind.
an old man approached. His tattered clothing and gray hair expressed his age.
The man stared at the wizard and then ran to him, "Suralio!" The man
cried and embraced him.
questioned the man: "How do you know my name?"
quite simple....Your mother and I taught you that song on your first birthday.
Yes, son--I'm your father."
then returned the embrace. Several moments of silence passed, then Iffley
said, "I thought you were dead. You have a grave next to
seven years had passed without hearing from me, I guess your mother thought
that I had died."
I remember that night quite vividly. You and mother were having a terrible
fight. It was about me, I know. I cannot remember what the fight was about,
but you left because of me."
shook his head slowly, "No, Suralio, you were not the cause of the fight.
I suppose that you have been blaming yourself all of these years. The fight
concerned the Iffley birthright. You do have the Crest, do you not?"
unbuttoned his shirt and showed the Crest to his father. "Then the fight
concerned Theodoric and Titus."
I see that you have finally learned the truth. I am so sorry for all of the
pain that I have caused you." Naidis sighed heavily, "Ephryre was
barren. We had been married five years, and had had no children. I realized
that the Iffley line had to continue...."
you sought suitable breeding material elsewhere."
put it bluntly, yes. The woman was Suda, an extraordinary creature. She was
beautiful and intelligent, an unbeatable combination. One year later, she bore
twins. They were named Theodoric Gabriel and Titus Gerrard. Your mother knew
of the twins, and she even helped raise them, knowing that the line must
continue. However, as time passed she began to hate the children, because she
could never have any.
yet, a miracle occurred. Ephryre gave birth to you five years later. Your
mother knew that you should be the true heir, but I would not accept that
fact. Her hatred for the twins grew until I feared for their safety. At the
age of seven, I gave them to a couple in the Domain. Your mother and I fought
again about the birthright, I refused to accept her decision, so I
all of these years I blamed myself for your departure!" Iffley frowned at
his father and turned his back on him.
have always loved you, son."
but you loved your illegitimate children more."
his son's coldness, he continued with his story, "Eventually I acceded
your mother's will, and you became the Iffley hier. I suppose that you have
wondered what your name means. Your mother picked it out. Iffley, as you know,
means dragon. Suralio: Song; Frith: Beloved. Son, your name translates
directly into the Beloved Song of the Dragon. My name means: Dragon's
I do not think that your name exactly fits."
"Son, I realize that I deserve your wrath, but
please, release your anger--let us join forces." He found a stick and
etched something into the soil. "Let me show you something. This might
explain a few matters for you:"
NAMUR YORK LIDA
| | |
ALDERY BELFO SESIAN
LEIGH ORFIUS ISUA ALARIUS HEMOSI
|______| |______| |_______|
| | |
YABEO | DEVON NUPER
| |_____|____ |
| | | | |
| THEODORIC TITUS AMANDA |
| |_____| |
| | |
| TITUS II |
Suralio, is our family tree." He indicated to the ground, "For
convenience I have stopped it only a few generations ago. Alarius can directly
trace his lineage to Ranet. Condrake, Dragon among Dragons, can trace his line
to Phumos. I had to concede to your mother's will, because you are a direct
descendant from the Wizards."
so are the Tafts."
but you have two lines, where they only have one." Naidis said, expecting
that to clear up all of Iffley's questions.
last question: How did you get in Ralle?"
is a very complex question. Odina Ludit and I were severe enemies. As you have
seen, we Iffley's have ways with dragons. I simply sent a dragon to kill him.
Don't act so shocked, Suralio, we all make mistakes sometime."
your mistake cost the lives of two people," Iffley protested. The more he
heard from his father, the less he liked him.
when I discovered what I had done, I fled to the Hall of Mirrors, its location
rumored throughout the generations."
father, once the Iffleys ruled the world, and now, we rule most of the galaxy.
I certainly hope that you are pleased."
may not be, but I am." Iffley spun around as he heard that familiar
lump surged into his throat, and all that Iffley could utter was,
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|