The Strongest Emotion
stood at an intersection. Four passages branched off into the cardinal
directions. The quandry was that Iffley could not remember where he was or how
he got there. Both the Sceptre and Tiara were gone. He randomly chose a
the hedges in the giant maze changed into mirrors. The mirrors reflected every
ounce of visible light, brightening the maze incredibly. He abruptly ran into
a large mirror. The mirror did not shatter, instead, he merely phazed through
into the other side.
part of the maze was made out of walls of flame. The walls, however, did not
seem content to remain in their positions. The wall behind him was tracking
him, closing the distance between the attacker and the victim. Iffley turned
to see the advancing wall of flame. He started to run, wishing he had his
Sceptre to destroy this menace. Iffley tripped and fell, the wall of flame
passed over him, consuming his body.
his body did not dissolve. He stood up, but now he was standing in a concrete
maze. He turned down a corridor, a stopped when he saw his enemy. Adena stood
at the end of the hallway. Of course, the maze was a giant hologram. He set
his teeth and started toward his nemesis.
Eve Eden appeared next to him. "Don't go, Iffley." She said to him
in a quiet voice.
simply pushed her aside, "Adena must pay for her crimes." He was now
some fifteen feet away from her. Any minute now he expected Adena's lasers to
rip through his body. What happened, however, he was not quite ready
eyes began to swell and bulge outward. Then they exploded, splashing bits of
cornea and optical fluid on Iffley. Her body mutated, changing into the form
of the Minotaur. Iffley, undaunted, charged the terrible beast.
don't kill her!" Eve screamed, "It's only a dream!" Eve could
see that she would never be able to stop him, so she altered the basis of the
dream. A giant rift appeared seperating the two opponents. Iffley tried to
jump over the crevice, but Eve expanded it, causing Iffley to fall into the
rift. He screamed as he fell into the bottomless pit.
reverted to normal, but seemed unconcerned. Eve said, "I must stop this
dream before he dies." Abruptly, she vanished.
* * Fear of the Unknown * *
bolted upright in bed. The sweat had matted his hair and dampened his pillow.
He struggled out of bed and glanced at the clock--it was midnight. He had no
doubt that the nightmare was caused by Eve, who was, naturally, testing the
powers of the Belt. He would deal with her shortly, but Adena was more of a
quickly changed into a red shirt and black pants with a black-red cape for
effect. He retrieved the Tiara from the safe, and teleported to the stables
adjacent to the castle. He had not bothered to awaken Camille, she would only
stables housed several horses, a few near-extinct zebras and four danae. The
first danae was silver and named Moonbeam; the next was golden, and named
Nova; the third was plaid, and named Checkers; the last was a brilliant
striped danae, named Chevron. He mounted the last and rode off into the night.
As the danae flew onward, its stripes pulsed with a variety of colors. His
mane remained snow white, as did his tail, unaffected by the constant color
approached Adena's castle, aware of his task. The danae settled down gently in
the courtyard, his color changes acting as camoflage. Iffley dismounted and
patted the animal on the nose. Chevron's stripes shifted to red in
appreciation. Iffley laughed and teleported into the study.
study seemed as dull as usual, Iffley noted. He stared at the painting. 'The
Tempest' was a fitting name, for it described the painting perfectly. Perhaps
Adena should rename it 'The Maelstrom'. He stepped through the painting and
entered her bedroom.
dressed in a pale green nightgown, lay still, embraced deeply with the
sandman. Iffley laughed silently: Adena snored slightly. Iffley noticed
something else that seemed rather strange: Adena wore her Amulet to bed. He
wondered whether she wore it in the shower, too. She moaned softly, and rolled
over, causing her snoring to abate. Her nightgown, which was rather
restrictive in the front, was cut down to the waist in the back. The Ring
sparkled on her finger, and Iffley almost resented giving it to her. It would
be so easy to take it, he thought, but that was not his mission.
pointed his Sceptre at the sleeping figure. The down in the pillow beneath her
head transformed into chloroform. Adena would certainly not cause any problems
now. All he had to do was take her to his master, and receive his reward.
gently picked her up, trying not to wake her up and transported them to the
awaiting danae. Chevron's colors shifted wildly from red to green, then back
into his normal color patterns. The winged unicorn flew off into the night.
"Home, Chevron." The danae snorted and turned toward their new
destination. The wind rustled past the accelerating danae, causing Adena's
hair to whip in the breeze. Iffley was not worried, however, Adena would be
unconcious for some time yet.
they passed the equator, Iffley noticed that it was becoming quite cool again.
He wondered how it could be winter both in Alarius and Furanose. Perhaps the
Plague had something to do with it. Iffley created a small blanket for Adena
to protect her from the elements. They passed his castle, snow had piled on
the uppermost turrets. Their journey was over half completed.
pulled out the Tiara and concentrated. The diamonds began to glow, reflecting
events from the past. This was even better than the Fountain of Remembrance;
with the Tiara, he could control the image and the date. He concentrated on
Toltec. The diamonds clouded showing Adena and Toltec sitting on a sandy
beach. The moon had risen above the horizon and was casting beautiful shadows
on the couple. The diamonds cleared again.
technique, Iffley knew, was known as farsensing--observing the past without
entering it. Iffley concentrated again. The emeralds sparkled, showing Adena,
Eve, and Toltec at the ball. The trio were laughing at something that was
obviously funny: One of the guests had inadvertantly spilled her punch on a
guard. The punch had been very cold, and it took all of the guard's self
control not to move. Then, Toltec whispered something into Adena's ear and
touched her shoulder. The emeralds dimmed. Iffley felt his rage growing again,
but momentarily controlled it.
he concentrated; this time, the rubies shimmered, showing another scene from
the past. Adena and Toltec were in the sauna. Iffley stared, mouth agape, at
the images. He looked away from the Tiara, and the rubies returned to
settled gently down in the courtyard of Ozino's abandoned castle. Iffley, with
Adena finally in his arms--well, almost--ran up the steps into the throne
room. The Maelstrom sat upon a golden throne, snearing as usual. He greeted
Iffley rather brutally, "What are you doing here?"
have brought Adena."
I see." His gaze fell upon Adena, turning his frown into a smile. Then he
glanced back at Iffley, who had set Adena down on a throne next to the
Maelstrom's, "You have captured my Queen, but you are not following my
exact orders. You panicked. You are nothing but yellow-bellied pond
scum."--Iffley wondered how pond scum could have a yellow
belly--"You are to kidnap her only after you have all five Keys.
had them all, Sire, but Eve..."
pipsqueak? I seem to have overestimated you. Perhaps you need a little more
prompting." He raised the Staff meancingly.
Sire. All I need is the Ring to accomplish my task."
what is your task?" The Maelstrom asked, already knowing the answer.
get all five Keys by manipulation, destruction, and death."
who is standing in your way?"
Eden and Toltec."
you must kill them. Here, take the Ring." The Maelstrom pulled the Ring
off of Adena's slender finger and threw it at Iffley. "Now, begone."
The Maelstrom watched as Iffley nodded and vanished. He turned to Adena,
"Sleeping Beauty, at last you shall be mine." He kissed her savagely
and suddenly, she awoke.
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|