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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Midnightsun - Reunion

“Is it true?” Esto stammered and looked up at me. “Yeesh...”

I glanced over at Pantaleon who was shuffling things around and throwing them in a travel sack. “It’s true, Esto. Yeesha is The Grower.”

He grabbed his shoulder and flinched. “Wha.. What happened to me?”
Pantaleon blurted out, “Adelia! Have you seen her, Esto?”

I spoke up then “Pantaleon, with the exception of this bed roll, nothing here has been moved in some time.“ Confused, he asked Esto if he was feeling alright. As Esto nodded, Pantaleon grabbed his bag and ran down the hall stating he had to find her and he’d keep in touch.

"I must know", Esto spouted out. “where was I, what did you do to my shoulder?”
My attention fully on him now. “Tell me what you have experienced”.

“I saw stars... and ages... and lifetimes... The Great Tree of Possibilities and... I think... am I in Takotah?”

I looked then to Esto, "We have taken a fool's Journey. We sought the journey of the Triple Shell and were deceived.” Once again he grasped his shoulder.

“This tattoo,” I point to the newly formed shell symbol on Esto’s arm, “has brought you peace again. It is a sign of knowing the truth.” As his eyes were straining to see his own shoulder, I pulled up my sleeve so he could have a full view of my shell tattoo.

“Apparently you were in this state for weeks, I wish I would have known. There was supposed to be a girl taking care of you, Adelia?" I phrased the question.

Struggling to his feet Esto replied “Adelia? I haven’t heard from her in months but I think she said something about an expedition.”

“Are you up for a walk?” I ask. “We should be heading out. We are short on time and we can talk on the way.”

“I believe so” Esto says, as he makes his way towards the door. “Where are we heading?”
“The Watcher’s Pub. We must get you up to date on my latest findings.”
We made our way out of Takotah; a bit unsteady at first with his hand against the wall.  By the time we reached the Takotah Courtyard, Esto's strength was returning and we moved at a fair pace. Outside, the sounds of the cavern had changed.  Anxious explorers were running in and out of tents and buildings.

“She’s nowhere to be found!” Came the exasperated voice of Pantaleon. I turned to find him bounding up the great stair two steps at a time. Upon reaching the last stair he stopped and put his hands on his knees. “I think I’ve talked to every last explorer in the cavern, at least twice!”

“Wait, Adelia’s missing? It doesn’t seem like her to disappear.” Esto inquired.

A puzzled look came on Pantaleon's face, than was gone. “Yes, when I went to find Dean I thought she, being your friend, was an ideal choice.”

“You thought?” I pressed. “Ideal choice for what? Walking out on someone in need?” I certainly hope if ever I am injured he leaves me with someone more competent I thought to myself. No matter. What's done is done.

I see the distressed look on his face and add, “at least Esto has recovered; I am sure your friend will turn up. You look like you are going to fall over, why don't you rest a while?”
“I just..” Giving into fatigue, he shuffled into the nearest tent and collapsed.

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