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Friday, June 21, 2013

Adelia - The Void

I had the book in hand. The power I could feel from the pages beneath my fingertips was incredible! So tempting just to leaf through and link... I could be gone from this. Hidden. New adventures. But what of my friends? Could I really abandon them like that?

No. More important things were at stake. Besides, if He were to find this book, maybe I wouldn't be as free as I'd hoped after all. Only one answer to this.

The Bahro reset our positions once more and I handed the book to Esto, feeling the book's power fade from my grasp. I turned to Laroon's open hands as he held the book open to me. I hesitated before linking through. His eyes were difficult to read. Perhaps we've grown apart; this time in separation has done ill to our relationship. But it wasn't the time for rekindling. I placed my hand on his relto book.

I was waiting by his bench for him to return, glancing across the fog of clouds surrounding the island of relto. A deep breath.  I stood up and walked back to the hut.  Laroon linked in and handed the book to me.  Still hesitating.  Maybe I was imagining it.  No.  I was certain something was wrong but before I could say anything he was gone.

The book felt different.  The pages would not turn.  Sealed.  I moved my hand relto out and linked away.  I closed my eyes as I passed through the link.  I opened my eyes expecting to see Relto.  I saw nothing.  No light.  No ground beneath my feet.  No stars.  I heard the sound of a link.  Then many links.  I saw nothing, but I heard the screams.  I heard Him and I heard the bahro.  Soon it was done and the book was taken.  A bahro linked me away just as cries of a new sort began in that empty place.

After the link I opened my eyes and saw the golden arch and the harbor of D'ni.  I saw my friends - Esto, Pantaleon, Laroon, and Midnight Sun.  None of us expected to be here.  Questions were on everyone's faces and soon a bahro linked in beside us.  He bowed low, thanking us, before stretching up as tall as he could before letting out a final cry and linking out.  I had a lot to explain.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Laroon - The Plan Starts

I stood in awe of my new tattoo. Triple shell. I had been branded. Part of me was ecstatic to be part of the plan; part of me heard my mother's chastising about getting a tattoo. I shook her voice from my mind. It was time.

I linked into Esto's Relto and awaited his return. Sweat poured down from my temples as I rehearsed the plan in my head. I would wait for Esto to pass me the book, then Relto to mine where Adelia would be waiting. Oh Adelia... she had been so distant lately. Had we grown apart these past months? Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, not promote disinterest. Again, I shook the thought from my mind. More important things were at stake.

Esto appeared, a slight grin on his lips of seeing me, but imperativeness in his stare. He handed me the book, his palms damp with sweat. I reltoed.

Adelia was there in my relto, waiting for me. She smiled at me as I handed her the book. Her quick glance and then she was gone. What did that mean? Was she suppressing feelings? Or was this just because she was happy to get this plan in motion? I went to the city to find Esto. One loop down, countless to go.

I hope the Bahro work quickly. Rapid linking makes my stomach churn. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Esto - The Plan

Laroon, Adelia, MidnightSun, and I would be the first to leave the Bahro cavern.  With the Bahro's aid we would each link to another's relto.  Once in place, Pantaleon would be sent to my Relto and link to through the Triple Shell book.  Once through, he would relto out.  From my relto MidnightSun would take the book and relto out before He could acquire it.

In MidnightSun's relto he would pass the book off to me and I would in turn relto out and pass the book to Laroon who would in turn give the book to Adelia in his own relto.  From there a Bahro would reset our positions and we would continue the process.  It wasn't to be infinite.  This was nearly to buy time.  While we performed the Relto Loop, the Bahro would be working behind the scenes to seal the book.

After three months in Noloben we had learned the Bahro had no difficulty understanding our language.  Unfortunately, this was not a mutual understanding.  Through glyphs on the walls they shared their plan; though our understanding of it was only enough to learn of the Relto Loop.
The power of the Bahro astounded me.  I knew the rules of linking.  I had studied Regestoy.  I knew what was possible.  What the Bahro could do made the D'ni art seem like a parlor trick; something to amuse a small child.  What a great thing that these Bahro were not our enemies and by some miracle the Nekisahl had not returned to the cavern.

You link with whatever you would carry for a step.  That was the rule I knew.  Somehow the Bahro would be sealing the Triple Shell book while we were moving it from one relto to another.  How?  Was it done mid link?  How could they do these things - and seemingly with only a thought?

A thought in my mind: why did they need us?  With such power surely they could act of their own volition; and yet they needed us.  Perhaps it was their fear of the Venalash and what He represented.  The fate if the Bahro and the T'chuvahk could have been the same had the D'ni been any different.  Or perhaps we are just a convenient distraction for Him while the Bahro wait and watch as they always do.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Esto - On the Same Foot

I had never seen Pantaleon so dumb struck - not even when he first saw D'ni.  Adelia lit up like a candle at the sight of Laroon.  They were like peas in a pod.  Eventually Pantaleon came to his senses and we greeted him as old friends.  The Bahro stayed back.  Some hanging from the ceiling; others huddled across the room from us.  This reunion was long past due.  They understood it too.

"It's so great to finally see you guys," said Pantaleon.  "But I didn't expect you to be the ones to do the finding."

I looked at Dean for a moment.  'Yeah, we had a bit of a detour.  Didn't think we'd be gone for this long.". I paused; soaking in the moment.  It had been too long.  "There's a reason we've brought you here."
Pantaleon and Laroon looked around the cave.  It looked like any other Bahro cave except that it was missing the hole in the floor and the fire cast a green shade on the walls.  We explained to them what we knew: the Venalsh; the T'chuvahk; the Triple Shell journey, and of course, Him: the one who had set everything in motion.

"Which brings us here," I said.

"We needed to find a way to contact you without Him finding out," MidnightSun told Pantaleon.  "He's always watching."

"He's right," I said. He is always watching.  But he can't find us here.  Don't ask me how; they made this place special."

"But the shell tattoo?" Pantaleon started.

It was Laroon who answered.  "You won't get one.  He already has his gaze on you".  He was catching on fast.  "It sounds like we need you to be seen."

Adelia nodded her head.  "The Bahro will give Laroon a shell.  He needs to be invisible to Him.  For Him to complete his ritual, he will want to collect the book after you link.  Once you have linked through we will begin the Relto Loop.