Monday, December 17, 2012

Deadsponcelling Chapter 11


By Carly Robb and James Clair Lewis

Deadsponcelling Chapter 11

Europa interjected, "Oh, that's not possible, dear. No one can pass through a blocked mirror. You've been under a lot of stress, and haven't been feeling well. It must have been an hallucination. I'm not surprised. Those awful murderous Rogues placed you in a lot of danger. What an ordeal...."

Tara pondered this and stated, "Well, I went through it, and I know that dreams aren't what they used to be. I also know the sensation of passing through a mirror," she shrugged.

Metis and Kali gave Europa a look, "Perhaps, Tara, you could tell us more about your dream, so that we might have a better idea of what happened," prompted Kali.

"Well, in my dream, I got up out of the bed, realized that I could put my hand through the mirror, and so I went in. Inside. It was the Hall of Mirrors, but there we so many mirrors, everywhere I looked, even inside the mirrors." Tara paused, "Semaj was there, and he spun me around in circles, and then I was in the lenticular cloud. Daath and Tippereth were there. Daath cut off my head, Tippereth extracted my brain, and Semaj made soup of it. Then they put my head back on my body and sat me in a chair and smiled at me as they ate and told me that it wasn't a dream. Then I woke up."

Metis calmly stated, "Tara, from what you just told us, I think you must have been hallucinating. It may have been a side-effect of stress, and the medication I had given you. Obviously, if they had taken your head, and eaten your brains, you wouldn't be here now."

Tara looked at Metis, "I wish I could believe you, but I've hallucinated before, and it didn't feel like one. I know that if it were true, I'd be dead now, but I also know that I went through that mirror."

Ganymede suggested, "We could check out the mirror in the holding cell. Would that convince you?"

"I know none of you believe me, it's ok. Maybe I was just hallucinating, but it was so -- as it would be if, it were real. I don't know." Tara shrugged helplessly and eyed the salmon, she was feeling much better, but still wasn't too hungry, so decided against it. "But if you want me to try again I will."

Kali reminded her, "There is a large gathering in your honor, up on the roof level of the Citadel. I was hoping that you might make a brief appearance there sometime tonight. We could check out that mirror on the way there, if you'd like."

Tara nodded in understanding, "That would work as well as anything else Kali."

"Well, shall we go then?" Kali led Tara and the others out of her apartment, and down the hall to the elevators. Most of the Wing got into one elevator, and went directly up to the gathering. Kali, Tara, Metis, Europa, and Callisto got into another elevator and went to the level of the holding cells. They entered the room, and Tara pressed her hand up the mirror. Nothing happened. It was just a mirror. Callisto examined it as well, with no result.

Tara stared bewilderedly at the mirror. "I know I went through it. I know it. I think. You guys probably think I've gone mad."

Kali Yuga consoled her, "No, Tara, we don't think you're crazy. You're just stressed is all. Now why don't we go up to the roof to see the real party?"

Tara stared at the mirror for a few seconds turned and said, "Well, lead the way then. Better to do something, than ponder the unanswerable."

Kali led them all back to the elevator, and they went up and up, finally arriving on the roof. They passed through a guard station, and walked out onto a vast plaza. It contained some gardened areas with fountains and ponds, and at intervals around the edge, were guard stations with gun emplacements. But what Tara saw first, was the crowd of dragon riders assembled there. There were many scattered buffet tables, and some people were sitting on blankets on the grassy areas. At one corner a band was set up, playing music through speakers spread about the plaza. Many people were dancing.

Kali led them directly to the bandstand, and when the song was finished, she urged Tara up onto it. Kali took a microphone, and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to present to you our new Sister in the Order of the Protectors, Tara!". People throughout the plaza stopped what they were doing. Applause broke out. Everybody was standing. Some people began a chant of , "Tara! Tara! Tara!", while others began chanting, "Speech! Speech! Speech"

Tara was utterly overwhelmed, and almost wanted to leave, but instead looked into the crowd and said, "Speech? On what? On how I was misled? On how confused I am? On how I hate the adulation of crowds? On how I may have had my first False Dream in years? What do you wish me to speak of?"

There was applause from the crowd, and one man called out, "It's OK! We've all been there. Have some fun!"

Kali led Tara off the stage saying, "You did just fine."

As if on cue, fireworks began shooting off into the air, and everybody began to look up to watch them. Dragons began circling the Citadel from a safe distance, enjoying the show. Tara was confused, probably more so, than she had been in a while. She was so confused that she didn't care that she was confused, in fact. (Which just confused her more.) Here were these people clamoring for her to do a speech, she barely says anything, and gets fireworks. She wanted to scream, or cry, or laugh, or a combination of any or all. She wanted to sleep, to dance, to sing, to fight, to die, but couldn't decide which she wanted to do most, so she settled with finding a place to sit and watching the fireworks.

Callisto put a hand lightly on Tara's shoulder, "Yes it is crazy, isn't it?" He smiled, "But the party is official now. Do you think you'd like to dance a bit after the fireworks, when the band begins its second set?"

Tara blinked at Callisto and smiled, "Sure, it might clear my head a bit."

He sat a foot away from Tara, teasing, "Or make you too dizzy to care." He looked out at the fireworks display , and the dragons who had begun zooming in and out of out the colorful explosions. "They're crazy, too, but we've yet to have an accident. You know, the dragons know so much more than we do. Sometimes, I wonder what they aren't telling us."

Tara pondered this, and answered, "Either way I'll probably feel better, but I'll warn you, it's been a while since I've been dancing. I'm sure the dragons know a whole lot more than we could even comprehend.... if they did tell us."

A dragon came swooping in over the heads of the people partying, and landed on an open space on the grass nearby, "Hi, Tara! Did you miss me?"

Tara ran up and hugged Shadowdeath. "I was so worried about you! Are you ok? Gods, Shadow, for a while I thought I would never see you again!"

Shadowdeath smiled dragonwise, "I'm fine. Been getting some exercise, flying around here with my new friends." He looked over at the dragons who were still playing fireworks tag. "From all the noise these people were making, I assume you've made some new friends, too."

Tara sighed, "I suppose so, but the fact that, both them and Sepheroth's little group, has said about the same things about each other. And the 'blocked' mirror, I just don't get it, Shadowdeath, but I figure it will all make some sense eventually."

Shadowdeath looked Tara in the eye, and in her mind, she could hear him saying, "Don't speak about that out loud." Then, so that everyone could hear him, he said out loud, "Come on, Tara. Let's go for a little ride."

"Of course, Shadow, I've been on the ground way too long." She quickly climbed up on his back. As Tara and Shadowdeath took off for a ride, the band started its second set with some blues. Ganymede took Kali's hand and began to lead her in West Coast swing.

Callisto called out, "Hey! What about my dance?"

Europa gave him a little kick in the shin, "What am I? Chopped Liver?"

Once they were above the hearing range of the people below, Tara asked, "Shadow, do you know what's going on here, really? Because something's not quite right, I can't put my finger on what though."

Shadowdeath replied, "There are many things that dragons cannot explain to humans. You have these things called value systems that make no sense to us at all. So we don't make judgements, but we know, that because of these value systems that you have, there are many things that we cannot explain. Yes, I know what is going on, but I can't explain it to you. At least, not now. Your kind is much younger than mine, but since we discovered that some humans can pass between the folds, we have been attracted to you. How you use that is for you to decide, but it would be best, if you didn't talk about this with any other humans. Be patient. Things that I know that are going to happen will explain it all in due time."

Tara sighed and thought to herself, 'yet another thing I have to figure out on my own. Oh well, either I will or I won't, but I don't think it even matters anymore what I figure out. Whatever happens, happens, and I really have no choice in the matter.' Then she remembered again. "Shadowdeath, what about Malcuth and Kether? I don't know who to trust, so I, of course, don't know whether to just let Malcuth be or not. I know I probably can't just leave here. It doesn't seem like a group of people who would let that happen."

Her dragon replied, "Kether went to check in on Malcuth. Didn't want to leave him in that cave forever. We should stay with these people. You will learn much here. I liked dancing in the exploding lights. It is a popular game among the dragons here."

"I'm sure I'll learn much here too, Shadow, but can I trust them, that's my question. Kether! When? How? How do you know this?" She shook her head, "No, never mind, you don't need to tell me that. I was watching the fireworks. What you were doing looked like fun."

Shadowdeath glided in, and gracefully landed on the rooftop, let Tara get off, and then rejoined the dragons flying about the Citadel, "Have fun at the party, Tara"

. Callisto smirked at Tara, "Stood up for a dragon. I guess I can live with that. Would you like to dance now?"

"I will, Shadow." She turned to Callisto, "Not just any dragon, Callisto. My dragon, and some things are more pressing than dancing. But I know he is ok now, so yes, I will take that dance now, but I will warn you, yet again that it has been quite a while since I have danced."

"Just follow my lead, Tara". He took her hand, and began leading her in triple-rythymn swing, rather than the fancier West Coast, the others were doing.

Europa pouted, "Metis, you're not going to make me sit this one out, are you?" Without waiting for an answer, she took his hand, and began dancing, practically leading herself.

Upon entering the momentary lenticular cloud, Kether became slightly disoriented, but was intent on finding Malcuth, and perhaps planning a rescue of his new friend, but knew the chances of that happening were slim to none. He searched desperately for the correct mirror, eventually letting instinct take over. Within minutes of letting his instinct lead him he found the right one. He streaked out of the lenticular cloud and down into the foothills. Upon finding the correct valley he pushed the boulder out of the entrance to the cave that he, and the other dragons had imprisoned Malcuth in.

Malcuth stumbled out of the cave. "Are you going to kill me now, Kether? Or are you going to put me back in there to starve?"

"Malcuth, to answer that, are you yourself again? And if so, are you willing to apologize to the one who saved your life and thank her? If no to either of those you are on your own left to Fate."

Malcuth considered these questions for a minute. "It would be the right thing to do wouldn't it? I'm with you, Kether. If I act up again, do something about it."

Kether laughed, "Then come, Malcuth, we must find Semaj and the others, they may have an idea."

The party continued with people eating, talking, drinking, and dancing. Tara began to feel like it might continue all night, so she was relieved when Kali approached her saying, "These parties usually continue until dawn, would you like to go back to your apartment now? You've made your appearance, a short speech, flown your dragon, danced, and eaten. Nothing more is actually required, and I'd like to gather my Wing, so they'll be ready for a patrol tomorrow."

Tara yawned, "A sleep would be wonderful, thank you."

It took a few minutes for Kali to gather her wing, but soon all were together, and moving down the elevator to their floor in the Citadel. "We have a patrol tomorrow, so I want you all to get some sleep, and be ready."

Struggling to keep her eyes open, Tara yawned, "That's not a problem for me. Goodnight all."

Tara entered her room, looked in the wardrobe and found a pale green satin nightgown and robe, sat in front of the mirror and brushed her hair out and drank another glass of wine before going to sleep. She walked over to the bed and within minutes of laying down was fast asleep.

In the morning Kali assembled her Wing, and they flew out of the landing area on their dragons. She took them in a circle around the Citadel before she spotted a lenticular cloud. Entering it, she flew for a long while before she found a vortex that attracted her. Then, they all flew through together, and emerged upon a woodland scene, low rolling hills, and some farmland around a village in the distance.

Tara was perplexed, and remembered Semaj saying something about the Rogues (whoever the Rogues really were) not knowing about the lenticular clouds, and pondered this development.

Europa saw the confusion on Taras face and told her, "We used to have to fly through huge mirrors inside the Citadel, but recently we discovered the vortexes inside the clouds. I like flying with my dragon better this way. I always got queasy when flying fast straight into a mirror." Something on the ground caught her eye, "Oh! Look over there! A satyr!"

Tara nodded and listened to instinct when it said to keep her mouth shut. As they approached a village, people began running as soon as they were spotted. There was a general panic. Everywhere people were seeking shelter. One mother simply fell on top of her child and began screaming. Several of the men armed themselves with garden tools, shouting, "Never again! Never again!"

Tara caught up with Kali and glared at her. "Never again, what, Kali? What happened here that these people fear for their lives?"

Kali announced to the villagers, "You are in no danger. We are not here to harm you. We are the Protectors of the Order. We are seeking the Deadsponcellors who have been preying upon you. We are here to help."

One of the armed men stood forth, and shouted back, "Go away! We don't want your help! And take your Damned dragons with you!" He threw a rock which hit Shadowdeath in the face. Tara patted Shadowdeath on the neck to reassure him and looked around wondering if it had been Dreamers or someone else. She doubted Sepheroth and the others would stoop to this level, but she still didn''t know what to think of the dream. She wanted to ask Shadow what he thought but didn't want to arouse suspicion from the other Protectors.

Kali gathered the Wing and told them, "They don't know us, and are afraid of anyone who rides a dragon. Let's circle around far outside the village, and perhaps we can catch whoever terrorized them. They are bound to be back, because these people were prepared to fight. Come on. Let's go!" Kali led the Wing several miles away from the village and began a slow wide circle around it.

Tara wanted desperately to ask the villagers what had happened, but had a feeling that breaking from the Pack would not be a good idea by the standards of Kali and the rest, so she just watched the horizon and the clouds.

When Semaj, Sephera and Daath entered the lenticular cloud, Tara, Shadowdeath, and Kether were already gone. Semaj grumbled, "Darn! She bolted!"

Sepheroth announced, "I don't like this. She must have taken one of these first vortexes through to another world. The Rogues generally patrol those."

His sister responded, "Well, she might get lucky, and miss them. The Rogues can't be everywhere. And if not," she indicated one of the first vortexes, "If she took that one, which leads directly to the Citadel itself, well, I think she's smart enough not to try to take out a Wing with only two dragons, and no sword."

Semaj led them deep into the vortex tunnel of vortexes before selecting the one that led to the cabin. "There was so much we never had a chance to tell her. Have you noticed that every city we have stopped in lately has come under attack?"

They exited the lenticular cloud and flew out across the valley by Obsidian mountain. Sepheroth pondered, "Do you think that the attack on San Francisco was orchestrated by the Rogues?"

Sephera replied, "That would make sense. The Rogues not only want our heads, but they also want to centralize their power. By controlling the nexus cites, they hope to restrict our movements, and extend their domination throughout the realities.

As they landed by the cabin, they were greeted by the dragonet, and the raven who told them that the valley was still secure. As Daath entered the cabin, he asked Semaj, "Do you think you could put a trace on Tara? Perhaps contact her?"

Heading immediately for his room and the laboratory, Semaj said, "That is exactly what I intend to do right now. And while I am at that, could you and Sephera consult with the dragons about Malcuth? We can't just leave him in a cave to rot forever."

The next morning at breakfast Sephera reported, "It seems that Malcuth slew and ate the brains of a very high ranking Rogue. The power was a bit much for him, and it unhinged his mind, but the dragons assure us that he will recover. Kether has rejoined him, and we should trace him in a few days, after he becomes himself again."

Sepheroth looked at Semaj, "What can you tell us of Tara?"

Semaj nodded, "Tara did indeed, take the vortex that leads to the Citadel. She was captured, and her situation is rather precarious, because the Rogues know of her association with us. I transcended a mirror block to speak with her symbolicly, so she will know how to play along."

Daath sighed, "What should our next move be?"

Sephera commented, "Since the Rogues are concentrating on the nexus cities, I think we should go and look for Deadsponcellors in the remote areas. If we don't find them first, the Rogues most certainly will."

Semaj stood up, "Then let us be off!"

Chapter 1

Chapter 10

Chapter 12

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