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Separate But Equal:

The Historian Chronicles

                                       Jonathon Pierce

Iffley walked slowly through the City of Remembrance. He was now becoming quite aquainted with its meandering streets, and he almost felt that he belonged in this place. He turned down Synapse Drive and came to a secluded path lined with Forget-me-nots. As he started down the path, a compelling force urged him onward. With every step, the force increased, until the wizard was actually running. The path finally melded into a large meadow. The three Historians were there waiting for him.

"Greetings, Restorer." Beam spoke melifluously. "Come, and join us." The three Historians turned away and started walking deeper into the meadow. Iffley ran to catch up with them and then fell into step. "I knew that you would come."

"Yes, we all knew," Shine said. Abruptly they came to the first statue. "I see that we have arrived at our destination already." She gestured at the statue, "This is the beginning of Statuary Hall--only it's not a hall, it's a meadow. This majestic statue is Ozino, wizard of Wizards." Iffley stared at the statue; majestic was an understatement. Ozino was a man of great stature, but his statue was even more impressive than he. His hand held an exact replica of the Sceptre, hewn in marble. The statue stood on a silver pedestal, Ozino's name inscribed thereon.

A few feet from Ozino's statue, stood the likeness of Wisdym. Around her neck, the Amulet (again a perfect replica) sparkled dimly. "Here," Light began, "is Wisdym, Mistress to the Wizards." Iffley, realizing that Light meant no misnomer, tried to supress a snicker, but instead, he snorted. Beam smiled as he tried to cover it up with a fake cough.

They continued down the hallway, and came to a third statue—Aven. This statue was perfectly flawless, except for the fact of his missing Note. "Aven, Wizard of Deceit." Shine explained, "The absence of the Note is due to a theft. It seems that some thief stole it when we busy with other matters."

"Oh," Iffley said as he scanned the statue for signs of zizzebots.

They continued down the path until coming to three pillars labeled with the three remaining Wizards' names. These had no statues on them. "Upon the deaths of these Wizards, their statues will also be added."

"But I thought that all of the Wizards were already dead!"

"No, only their corporeal bodies perished, their life-force still lives on. But, this is not the reason why we have been gathered here."

"Yes, Suralio," Shine said, "our numbers have diminished, reducing our effectiveness. We are asking you to join our ranks; we want you to become a Historian."

Beam spoke: "We realize that this is a major step for you, Restorer, but we are sure that you will not regret it."

"If," Iffley said, somewhat skeptically, "I decide to become an Historian, what would be my task?"

"First," Light explained, "You must pass three tests, each of which shall be revealed to you in time. With the conclusion of the third test, your task shall also become clear. Are you ready to meet the challenge, Pre-Historian?"

Iffley nodded confidently, "Ready when you are."

"There are three major enemies threatening the Earth: The Force,

The Outsider, and It Who Is Blue. Your first task is to split the Force apart."

"Once this test has been completed," Light continued, as he gave the Pre-Historian a red cube, "this holojector will activate, giving you specifics on the next task."

"Good luck, future Historian," the three replied. Iffley nodded to them and prepared for his first task.

*  *  Delusions of Granduer  *  *

Bronson Colt Randolf, along with Adel and Madison, stood on the scarred surface. Bronson cast his Restoration and Regeneration spell, hoping that it would heal the land. The spell spread itself over a wide area and dissapated before restoring much of anything.

"Bronson," Madison chided, "the effectiveness of a spell depends on two elements: Confidence and Delivery. You have the perfect delivery, but you lack the confidence to carry through with the spell. Here, let me cast a Confidence spell." Madison opened his compact spell book and recited a spell.

"Snap it up, old man, I'm waiting." Bronson shouted, "I really don't see why I put up with you." Bronson stuck his nose in the air. "What am I doing all of this work for anyway, I'm much too important to be doing this sort of thing anyway."

"Dear me," Madison exclaimed, "I seem to have cast a Conceit spell instead of the Confidence spell."

"What are you talking about, you mumbling piece of trash?"

"Oh, nothing, your highness."

He turned toward Adel, "And what are you looking at, peon? Haven't you ever seen the handsomest man in the galaxy before?" He grabbed her hand affectionately, "Come with me and watch me count my millions."

Adel jerked her hand away from him, "No, thank you. I can't go because I have to wash my hair today."

Bronson looked down his nose at her, "Well, if you had my wonderful hair, then you wouldn't need to wash it every day."

Iffley stepped up quietly behind Adel and asked her to take a walk with him. Adel nodded, glad to escape from Mr. Wonderful. As the pair crested the hill, Iffley thought he heard Bronson say, "It figures, only a tramp would go anywhere with him."

*  *  Delusions of Love  *  *

Iffley and Adel emerged from the Artesian and walked down Memory Lane. Iffley felt comfortable with Adel. In fact, it was almost like having Adena back. Almost....

"Adel, there is something that I must ask you." He smiled warmly into her face. Compulsively, he reached down and clasped her hand.

"Suralio," Adel said.

Iffley had expected her to raise her eyebrow, but she did not. Of course, this was Adel, not Adena; and yet, it was. Adel had feelings for Iffley, and Iffley was going to take advantage of that fact. "Adena--you do not mind if I call you Adena, do you?--I care very much about you, and I do not want to see you hurt."

"Hurt? Nothing can hurt me, as long as I have the Force."

"Yes, Adena, but the Force will lead to your destruction. A new menace is going to attack the Earth, and you will be the prime target."

"Yes, Suralio, but because of the Force, I will be able to defend myself from this intruder."

"Are you so sure that you can defeat the Power?"

"No, but as long as the Keys are separated I don't have to worry about it."

Iffley rolled his eyes, wishing he had the Belt to zap some sense into her head. "I cannot promise that the Power shall remain restrained forever, no one can. Adena, please listen to me. You will never be safe as long as you hold the Force, no one will. What will you do when I am taken hostage to be used against you. Do you not understand? If you are the most powerful, then you will attract the danger. If you will not do it for you, then do it for me: separate the Force into its original Keys. I want to feel secure again." He stared deeply into emerald eyes. He was secure now, for he had her in his power. He realized now how the demons had had such an easy time convincing her.

"Alright, Suralio, I'll do it for you." She summoned the Force and created the other four Keys, the Talisman, the Staff, the Sabre, and the Diadem, sending the Force therein. Adena felt a sudden absence of power, but she knew she was doing the proper thing. She reached down and picked up the Talisman, "Surely two Keys will be acceptable."

"I am very proud of you. Now, what shall we do with these Keys?" Iffley thought for a moment and then the Keys vanished, "Taft shall, of course, receive the Diadem, he is, after all, my bubba." Iffley smiled to himself, picturing Aven's statue adorned with the other two Keys; he was sure that they would remain there undisturbed until he needed them.

The red holojecter activated, sensing the completion of the first task, casting its picture onto the street~

IvB  IV  * . o o o [(.)] -o- O O .

Iffley stared at the image. After a few seconds he realized its symbolism: It was the solar system. He grabbed Adena's arm and shouted, "Get ready, Adena, we are on our way to Jupiter."

 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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