Once upon a Looking Glass
listened to Fred's monotone voice as he introduced himself to Adena. His mind
wandered over the previous events. He wondered what Dion was up to, and he
certainly did not trust Richard; a truce is simply a bleached blood-stained
rag. Jonathon had been shocked; his dreams had shattered once again.
day's disasters did not end there, however. Iffley had called a board meeting
for the renovation of the Fleet. 'A New Fleet for a Better Tomorrow' was the
topic of the meeting. The Xanadu was the first ship to have its hangers
widened. In a few hours of work, three satellite ships replaced the
are we replacing the shuttles with bigger shuttles?" Adena had asked.
I have told you a hundred times, these are not shuttles, they are satellite
ships, each independent from the mother ship. Think of them as very large
fighters." They were designed for better firepower, and were very
effective in that area. The Maltese Falcon and the African Queen
were the first ships of their kind, and they increased the combat value of the
mother ship by fifty percent.
had ordered production on the New Fleet to be increased twofold; he was not
about to leave T'mir undefended for long, especially when Richard was in the
Thorpe, using the experimental transporters, teleported aboard the
Enchantress to report on the Xanadu's progress. The transporter,
instead of depositing him next to Iffley and Adena, beamed him into the deck.
He screamed, convulsed, and died. Adena gasped and turned away from his
contorted face. Within an hour, every transporter in, on, and around T'mir was
dismantled; Iffley owed Andrew Thorpe at least that much.
Quiffy for short, nuzzled against his beard, and returned him to the present.
The cubical egg had hatched recently, but it was empty; the eggshell, itself,
had been Quiffy. Iffley had laughed when the shell jumped into his arms. It
was only a baby, and had not yet learned the art of transforming--although it
tried very hard. Suddenly, it changed into a rather flat ball, and fell onto
the floor. It let out a muffled squeak and sprang back into Iffley's arms.
Iffley stroked its gelatinous body, soothing it. It began to coo softly.
we get on with this?" A rather impatient Dion inquired. "I mean,
like, I really have better things to do than just stand here, you
quickly remembered how difficult it had been to get Dion to come. He looked at
the Caretaker, who said, "The time is not right, you do not have the
Item." As usual, he was rather vague. Item? Iffley could not possible
think of anything that he had forgotten to bring. The Waterfall dissapated,
revealing the huge Mirror. He scanned the Mirror's frame. He could see
himself, Adena, Dion, Quiffy, and something else.
wants another mirror, you know, the one in Adena's castle." Dion was
unusually sharp this morning. Iffley nodded, raised the Sceptre, and
Adena, since Richard and I are engaged, I guess you can have Iffley all to
am surprised at you, Dion," she retorted. "You are giving up the
cream of the crop for Richard? I thought that you were smarter than
milk!" Dion yelled.
grapes," Adena corrected.
reappeared, delicately holding the mirror. He sensed that something was wrong,
but uncharacteristically kept his mouth shut.
time is now right," Fred said as he stepped into the Mirror. Instead of
shattering, the Mirror simply clouded, allowing the old man to enter. Iff1ey
now understood how this mirror could be called the Portal of Remembrance. Dion
followed Fred's lead. Iffley and Adena simultaneously entered the Mirror. The
Mirror cleared, erasing any evidence of the Portal. The Waterfall roared over
the Mirror, hiding it from seeking eyes forever.
* * Reflected Images * *
group emerged into a long, brilliant hallway. A score of mirrors lined the
hallway: two large mirrors at either end with the remainder facing each other
across the hall. Above the mirrors, words were etched into their frames. On
the left, the etchings were sigma, alpha, beta, epsilon, theta, iota, lambda,
pi, mu. The large mirror opposite them was not labeled. On the right wall,
these words were etched: sadhe, aleph, beth, he, taw, yod, lamed, pe, mem. The
room was lighted from some unseen source, reflecting off of the mirrors.
of the mirrors were illuminated in a bright light. Iota was the brightest on
the left side--alpha, epsilon, and theta were also lit--and aleph far outshone
yod, beth, and sadhe. Four of the mirrors, sigma, taw, lamed, and mem, were
also cracked. The large, unlabeled mirror had completely shattered.
mirrors, however, were not behaving like mirrors. They depicted scenes of
people. Adena noticed that the mirror labeled aleph was reflecting her image,
but when Iffley stared into it, it still reflected Adena's image. Yod was
behaving similarly for Iffley.
Caretaker explained, "The mirrors keep track of the present locations of
the Keys. The mirrors on the right keep watch over your universe; the ones on
the left guard Ralle, a parallel universe. The large mirror led to the House
of Wizards, but is no longer functional. The cracked mirrors represent people
that have died."
lights show the present locations of the Keys. Aleph, must watch over Adena,
and her two Keys. Yod is my mirror." Iffley said.
He glanced at each member of the group in turn, "Before you embark on
your pilgrimage, Restorer, I must supply you with vital information. Ralle is
a parallel universe, but its parallels may vary quite sharply. Do not be
alarmed at anything that you may find there.
background is as complicated as in your universe. Several centuries ago,
scientists experimented with genetics. They created a horrible disease, known
as the Pestilence. The Wizards created their Keys and abolished the
Pestilence, in much the same manner as they did the Plague. Their Keys are,
however, somewhat different. The Staff of Excho controls animals. It has a
disasterous effect when used on humans. It transforms them into mindless
slaves. This is a very powerful Key. The Diadem of Phumos is also powerful. It
transforms the bearer into a ghost, allowing invisibility, flight, and
non-substance, among other things. The Periapt of Wisdym controls the weather.
The Sabre of Ozino can transform into any weapon desired, and also gives the
bearer the strength to use the weapon. Perhaps the most powerful Key of all is
the Talisman of Ranet. It absorbs the power from the other Keys, making its
bearer almost invincible."
sharp crack from the mirror labeled epsilon stopped Fred's oration. The group
turned to the mirror and watched the drama unfold:
Encephalon (or at least someone who looks very much like him) raised the Staff
of Excho at some unseen target. A bluish-white energy flew from the Staff.
Enad frowned, his tactic apparently had failed.
A spear flew
straight at him, but he could not escape it. It struck him in the chest,
narrowly missing his heart. He staggered back and fell. A large hand removed
the spear from his chest. It transformed into the Sabre. The figure, robed in
carbunkle, snatched the Staff from his victim. He spit into Enad's face.
had lost his first, and last, battle. He gasped and slipped into Death's icy
completely cracked. Its light shifted to dark. Iota, however, seemed even more
bright. Iffley turned his gaze to iota. The figure, dressed in a carbunkle
robe, turned to face the mirror. He was washing his hands in Enad's blood.
Iffley stared at the figure in recognition. He was the figure, his alternate
had murdered Enad's alternate! He turned to the Caretaker in disbelief.
Ralle, your alternate self is known as the Maelstrom. He is purely evil, and
must be destroyed. His death, however, is not your only task.
ago, a father and his daughter entered the Portal. They sneaked into Ralle and
stole something. Their intentions were innocent, but they have caused a
tremendous energy drain between the universes. Thrae, a distant planet, seems
to be the only benefacator from the episode; the theft brought magic to the
planet by draining life from her sister planet. Once the Object has been
returned to the rightful owner and the Maelstrom has been slayed, the two
universes will be restored. Only after the theft did the Historians think it
necessary to guard both of the Hall of Mirrors."
is this Object? Who stole it?" Iffley asked.
Object is the Book of Incantations, and its bearer is the thief."
looked at Iffley hastily, "What else was I supposed to do? Kirk was
trying to kill me, so my father decided to help me. You know him as Avalon.
You also know him as Madison. I entered Ralle, and he was there, except this
time, Kirk was nice and not evil. My father and I killed him and took the
Book. I thought he would die here, too, but I was wrong. Iffley, darling, I
leave this message with you: Retu P'moc." She then dived into the nearest
mirror, iota, and was gone.
pondered her words. Retu P'moc was another klitik move. It was a strategy of
the Necromancer. The words meant a changing, or conversion. The Necromancer,
when occupying a Platform could change an opponent's piece of lesser value
into his own color. It was like a traitor in the ranks. No wonder he had lost
the war, Dion had been on Richard's side the entire time. But he had no proof,
it was only circumstantial evidence.
key for your return is the mirror. Do not lose it. There are no mirrors in
Ralle. Do not try to attack the Maelstrom yet. Find allies in Ralle. Try the
mirror marked theta. Good luck, Restorer." Iffley thanked him for his
help and entered the mirror. Adena nodded to the Caretaker and followed
careful," the Caretaker whispered into the air. He sighed and stared at
the mirror labeled yod: Their adventure in Ralle was just about to begin.
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|