Thursday, January 21, 2016

The King's Challenge #175 and #176

TKC 175 and 176

Lyra is inconsolable. Attis means much to her. In a manner I do not fathom, Attis became me, her little brother Horin, to her.

“How will he cope alone out there?” Lyra wails as Damin attempts to calm her. She shoves his questing hands aside. “He is just a boy!”

Abruptly I have had my fill. While I do not desire to hurt my sister, reality is reality, and she needs to hear it without delay. “Lyra, Attis will survive out there, I swear it to you.”

Clearly my tone arrests her emotional outburst, for she stares at me. “And how can you know that?”

I step forward and Damin watches me warily. I ignore him. He will understand. “Attis is now marked by Arc. He is a Glonu who has seen and heard and knows. Young he may be, but he need no longer fear death out there. In fact, I will wager his youth will draw others to him.”

“Marked how?” Lyra whispers.

“His presence. It isn’t a physical mark.” I saw his ‘presence’ up on the mountain when Attis realised who he was. Knowledge flooded into his eyes, his spine straightened, and utter confidence overcame him. It set him apart from others of his age; hell, it will set him apart in a gathering of adults. Glonu will flock to him, while Ilfin will know to avoid him.

“You think he is dangerous,” Damin mutters.

“Not today, not too soon, but one day he will be part of an army. I hazard the boy will vanish until that time arrives, for someone will see his potential and protect him, hide him somewhere.”

“Glonu, you mean,” Lyra snaps out.

I incline my head. “Glonu, yes. To prevent that future from ever coming to pass …”

“Arc must fall,” Damin states.


Lyra glares then at both of us. “We are meant to escape! To save our souls from the slavery in place here! And now you actually suggest a war in this place?”

Damin lowers to a boulder situated in the clearing we have gathered in. We are well away from other ears. “A small unit. Most must leave, yes, but a small unit must remain … to march on the Spire.”

Damin can be relied on to understand the nuances indeed. “Yes,” I murmur.

“Count me in,” the fair man states.

Of course he is. “I already have.” He huffs, but sends a grin my way.

“Wait just a damn minute,” Lyra says in her soft voice, the one that signifies danger. The wise will run when they hear her assume this tone. Neither Damin nor I can claim wisdom, however. We wait for her words, glancing at each other. “Everything we discuss is heard. You do understand that?”

Less bite than I expected. I shrug. “I want them to know we will come for them.”

“Ah.” Lyra lifts a finger, and I brace myself. “You know nothing of the Spire, Horin. It is the greatest trap present inside Arc! It will take everything we are!” Twin spots of colour adorn her cheeks. “We did not undertake this mission to a sanctuary to die inside it! I refuse to lose you and Damin to …”

I muscle forward. “… to what, Lyra? We are dead no matter which way you look at this situation!”

“Hey!” Damin growls.

It is time to cease being accommodating. Growling also, I snap my fingers for the orb and throw it at the ground. “Look!”

A hologram erupts into the clearing. Ghostly spaceships fly through the spaces. It is a massive fleet.

“They are coming,” I whisper then.

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