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DETOUR: THE SCALES BECOME BALANCED

Enad's other child quietly stared at the wall, perplexed at this sudden change of events. It couldn't understand them, and so it laid its head down on the nearby couch and began to rest. It calmly began to dream when it awoke with a jolt. It had heard two children laughing, and perhaps the slight movement of a dolphin's flipper. "No, it couldn't be," Enad's child said, as it began to fall asleep again...

T. G. Taft stared at the shining Earth below as one of Iffley's shuttles moved toward the City of Remembrance. He grasped the Diadem tightly in his left hand and grabbed the Sabre in his right. He began to s

Notice: This story is being interrupted for an important news flash. Bronson Colt Randolf, that is, the Bronson Colt Randolf, is sick. Prognosis indicates an overdose of spells. The entire Earth is asked to stay calm and patient; any and all prayers will be appreciated. I repeat: This is not a test. We return you to our story, already in progress.

Beam replied, "No, Iffley, we cannot credit you with the victory over the Outsider."

Iffley stood in astonishment, wondering how Von Burlich had escaped. "Was his single ship more powerful than my entire fleet?"

Beam shook his head, obviously dissappointed in the Restorer. "What I said, was that you could not be credited." He signalled at Light, and she brought in an old mentor.

He continued, "It was the Ranierian fleet, headed by Madison here, that destroyed the Fashigal. Therefore, he too has a right to be a Historian."

Madison smiled brightly. "Yes. He threw a few shots at us, but they bounced right off our shields. Heh."

He looked up, and continued. "But why am I here? The moment I get back from the massacre I was asked by one of the Historians to come here. This isn't about that Ranierian trip Dion and I made again is it? Listen--I thought we settled that...."

Iffley gained curiosity. "You knew, then, about the Historians?"

Madison turned slightly. "Iffley, I know more about this place than you ever will. I once conducted a study for Bronson--but, then," --he shrugged his shoulders-- "what have I not done for Bronson?"

Iffley shook his head and gave a glance to Taft, who was trying so hard to supress a huge laugh that he was instead making strange nasal sounds. He immediately changed the subject.

"Then, if I am to assume correctly, the person who gets 'It Who is Blue' becomes Historian?"

Beam nodded. "That is correct." He nodded at Light who handed the Historian the Staff of Excho. Beam in turn gave the Staff to Madison. "This gift to Madison will be an attempt to even the odds: After all Iffley, you have two Keys, your brother has two more, and Adel also has two: Madison will have access to only the Staff and the Tiara."

Taft jolted at the mention of the Tiara, making a slight grunt. The others stared at him, and he sat back once again. Taft decided that he was sleepy. He decided that he had worked too much and was in no mood to listen to a bunch of boring talk about history. And so he began to nod off again, gently letting his thoughts meld together. He decided that he was going to write another story in a couple of days, and began to dream of the setting and plot. Little did he know that he was fading away in the real world--for he held the Diadem in his left hand.

He awoke about an hour later, wondering where he was. Luckily his dream had not completely left him, for he stayed immaterial: But as soon as he realized what was going it was too much of a struggle to both listen and think of nothing important at the same time.

The Historians were talking with five other people, three men and two women, and Iffley and Madison were nowhere in sight. Taft flew beneath a bush where he could think material thoughts and listened closer to the argument. He observed a strange black thing that one of them, a man, carried: He recognized it as something Iffley had described; a forenik or something like that.

It was that man that was speaking then. "So Iffley will probably go to T'mir to search for Blue Ledic--Madison will follow knowing that Iffley will do what is right. Computations correct, Ranet?"

"That will be the exact balance, sir."

The man smiled. "They drained our universe of demons, the Force, and Adena: But this will even the balance again."

The group nodded. Suddenly a young man walked in, and motioned the group to leave. "It is time to prepare the travel arrangements," he announced. The group left to go to another part of the City.

The Historians now alone, fell to the ground. Beam was the first to speak. "We have given up on the Restorer--and the father of the Thief. We no longer should be Historians."

She cried. "But they were Wizards--they controlled our thoughts..."

**T. G. Taft**

The Casablanca zoomed as it was pulled by the Madison's tractor beam. Iffley didn't like relying on Bronson, but Madison would have gotten to T'mir a lot faster than the Casablanca would have. Perhaps he and Madison should collaborate for the moment--at least until they reached T'mir to search for It Who Is Blue. He looked out of the bridge window, beholding the lovely planet of Saturn and its brightest moon, T'mir. He frowned as he heard Madison on the Radio: "Prepare for standard orbit, Casablanca to be released--wait for me, Iffley."

Iffley prepared a shuttle and waited for Madison; then they together took off towards the Yorkshire.

But the rest of the crew shook in fright as they saw the huge thing that came from the other side of T'mir as soon as the shuttle was released. They literally stood in fright: A strange, black line seemed to reflect nothing in the T'mirian sky. It moved closer and closer to the moon, and it grew in size to engulf it.

One of the crew members screamed. "That's a fortenmik! I heard Iffley talking about one!"

The huge fortenmik, now twice the size of T'mir, continued on its path of destruction, taking in bits and pieces of the satellite at a time. And then, as if it had never been, T'mir disappeared completely from Terna.

The Casablanca stood in open space, trying desperately to sustain an orbit somewhere. The Madison ran away, valiantly hoping to escape the now vanished fortenmik. And back on earth, the Ranierian wizards Ozino, Ranet, Excho, Phumos, and Wisdym awaited to enter their own little fortenmik.

"Let's go." said Clifford, the caretaker of Reminiscence, motioning at the little group. "The Universes are now balanced again." Little did he know that he had let slip a small ghost-like form into the fortenmik before him.


 © 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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