RSS

Tag Archives: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Zero Hour Part 8

Tinamou stood staring towards the dark opening in the hillside. She still couldn’t understand how Judash, Tec and Stantion had followed Zero here. For that matter, why had Zero come to this place? It didn’t make sense. There was nothing around for miles. Well, nothing excepting rubble and the fallen remains of civilization past. Still, what would cause him to run here? She glanced to her left where Jaxes stood. It seemed he was just as perplexed as her, but yet he said nothing.

To her right, Judash stood with Tec and Stantion. She could tell they were in the midst of a heated discussion, but since they were just out of hearing, she couldn’t tell what the discussion was about.

A few minutes later, Tec and Judash strode over to her, and Tec spoke out.

“I must tell you, I don’t like where your friend has gone. Some of the nastiest weapons that have ever been created were made and stored in this area. Weapons that helped create the firestorm that ended the world as it was. Yet here he is. Perhaps we have misinterpreted the prophecy? Perhaps he will bring about the end of all things?”

“That can’t be true.” Tinamou gasped. “Zero would not seek destruction. He would seek salvation. There has to be a different reason that he is here. Maybe when he ran from those hunters, he just happened upon this place. Maybe it is just a coincidence that those weapons were created here.”

“Perhaps you are right young one. I know we won’t find out by standing here though. We must follow him inside the cavern. Whatever he is doing in there will give us our answers. Be warned though; you might not like what you see.”

Tec quickly gestured for the others to follow and led the way into the dark hole. Tinamou was not surprised to see Stantion follow at a distance.

 

“Oingo! Boingo! What are you two doing here?”

Zerosta rushed out to greet the diminutive brothers. Though travel worn, they appeared just as he remembered them.

“Ah! We have found you atlas giver. Praise the gods. We feared we would never catch up to you!”

“Call me Zero. That is my name Oingo. What do you mean you feared you wouldn’t catch me? Why were you even looking for me? Why have you even come north of the wall? You said it was insane and death to do so.”

“That is what we said, and that is what it will be for you. At least we feared it would. We had to come. You were so nice to us. We had to warn you.”

“Warn me? Why warn me? You already told me how dangerous it was to be here. There shouldn’t be any more warning, should there?”

Even as he talked with Oingo and Boingo, Zero sent thoughts to Baobab. What did he think of their appearance? Should Zero be worried? Maybe he would like to meet them?

Though a bit perplexed by the brothers, Baobab responded that he’d stay where he was. Something was bothering him.

“Warn you we must. You are being followed. The day after you passed our gate, another group passed us. Two humans and an Other. We hid. Something about them worried us greatly. As we hid, we overheard them talking. They were following someone. It was obvious to us they meant you. No one else had passed that way in months.”

As Oingo took a breath, Boingo continued the narrative.

“So, that in itself was worrisome to us. Who would follow you? We knew not, but still we watched. Shortly after that, a second Other appeared, following those three. We tracked them all here. The three tracking you, the one tracking them. Of course that changed less than a day from here.”

“We found a killing field. That isn’t strange in these parts, but what we saw worried us more than before. The group of three joined up with two others. These were Kin. I should say they were Kin assassins. The Kin kill all humans they come across. Something about averting a prophecy. Anywho…these two spoke to the Other, and then joined them in tracking you. The second Other still did not make its presence known though. He kept far enough back to see what would happen.”

“We knew now you were in grave danger, so we bypassed them and came rushing after you. We had to warn you of them. They mean you harm. We know it.”

“I know of these Kin you mentioned. I saw them myself. I saw them kill a couple human refugees. Yet, they did not see me. You’re sure they are coming this way?”

Just then Baobab spoke out in Zerosta’s head “It is too late…they are here. Hide yourself.”

 

Tinamou could hear talking from somewhere ahead. It confused her. Who was Zero talking to? Was he even there? Perhaps Tec had been wrong. That was when Tec motioned for them to stop.

“OK…Zero is just ahead. Obviously he is not alone. Perhaps I was wrong. He may have been found by the hunters. They could be who we hear. They could be deciding what to do with him. Stantion, see if you can find a place to set up. We may need some cover. If you get a shot, take it.”

As he was talking, Tinamou watched them. Something felt wrong, but she just couldn’t put her finger on it. She was about to let it go when she saw something pass between Tec and Stantion. What was going on?

“Once he is in place, we will go forward. Tinamou, you and Jaxes will be in front. If it is just Zero, he will respond better to you. If he sees us, he may panic and run away. That could be bad. If there are hunters there, they will pay too much attention to you and we will be able to kill them.”

Without waiting for either her or Jaxes to respond, Tec pushed them forward. Not having any idea of what else to do, she stepped forward. They entered a huge empty space. Light spilled down from an opening somewhere in the ceiling of the cavern. She didn’t see Zero anywhere. There were just two small furry creatures standing on the other side. Who were they?

Advertisements
 
13 Comments

Posted by on July 14, 2011 in stories

 

Tags: , , ,

Zero Hour (part 7)

What stood before him could not possibly exist. It just couldn’t. Yet, from out of myth it appeared. A gargantuan creature, deceptively so, for Zerosta knew deep down that it possessed a quickness that no creature of its size could possibly have. Suddenly he understood how truthful the creature was when it had said it could ‘crush him where he stood’.

Rising nearly twenty feet from the floor, its eyes peered down upon him. Deep cobalt orbs that seemed nearly as big as his head. But that was the least amazing part. The feeble light seemed to gleam off of its skin a brilliant crimson. Upon further examination it wasn’t skin, but scales, yet scales that were so finely interwoven that they appeared seamless. A ridge of spikes stretched from the tip of its head down the back of its long, sinewy neck, coming to an end right where its front legs met its body. The creature was easily three times as long as it was tall. Suddenly it cracked its lips into what could only be described as a grin, though a grin of such terrifying proportions. Smoke drifted up between jagged teeth that were easily as long as Zerosta’s arm.

“You seem shocked human. You shouldn’t; not after what I have already revealed to you. Yes…I am a dragon! Where did you think all of the legends came from? Certainly so many stories from all over the world could not have risen from nothing. Dragons, like magic, have always existed in this world. Of course that means other myths are true too, but that is another story.”

“But how? How have dragons existed, but remained unknown for so long? It doesn’t make sense.”

“Many centuries ago, before the legends were born, dragons lived amongst humans. Yes, many of the stories about rampaging dragons were true, yet we were only seeking to exist, just like every other creature. Back then humans feared dragons, and dragons ignored humans. Sadly, that is what led to the legends and the ‘vanishing’ of dragons. Humans began to hunt us down, one by one. Though many humans would perish in the attacks, they were so prevalent, persisting in their assaults. Eventually many of my brethren died.”

“Those of us who remained sought shelter within the earth. It wasn’t without cost though. We could not hunt for our food. We became trapped in our own shelter and the only way to survive was to enter the deep sleep. Dragons ‘vanished’ from the earth and the legends were born. Perhaps it would have remained that way forever, but then humans brought about the Great Wars. Not only did these wars ravage the land, destroying so much life, it also awoke the dragons from the deep sleep. We returned to the surface to find so much changed. Food was scarce, but so too were humans. We knew that if we were careful, we could reclaim our place on this land.”

Zerosta stood transfixed. The story seemed so incredible yet he knew instinctively what the dragon told him was the truth.

“If that is the case then why have you shown yourself to me? Why, if all you want is to live in peace, have you made your presence known to humans again?”

“My brethren may call me brash. I have no doubt that many will second guess my decision, but it was my decision. I sense that in this new world, we must not remain hidden. To do so would only lead to disaster, perhaps another time when all remaining dragons would be annihilated. Instead, I feel we must join with humans, or more precisely, specific humans. Together we are stronger than we would be alone. Plus, it is not as if the possibility hasn’t been mentioned in the legends as well. Think of all the stories of men riding dragons.”

“I have sensed something in you. Perhaps I shall be the only dragon to sense this, but it is so. I have sensed a greatness and a kinship in you. I cannot explain it otherwise. What I can say is that no other human, in this age or in the age long past, has evoked this feeling in me. What I propose is we, dragon and human, unite as dragon and rider. I, Baobab, shall transport you where you need to go. I shall fight with you in your battles. You must promise to fight my battles too. We shall merge our magic, perhaps learning an even more potent magic in the process. What say you, human?”

“I’m Zero. I agree. Together we just may be able to change the world.”

Baobab began to smile again, yet paused. Sniffing the air briefly, he spoke again.

“Someone comes. We must hide.”

With that pronouncement, he slipped back into the shadows of the cavern. Zero, instinctively became invisible again, fading from sight where he stood. Even then he could hear the faint sounds of approaching footsteps.

As he stood there motionless in the half-light, Zero began to think back on all he had learned from Baobab. Such a marvelous creature he was. It was amazing that something so very huge could simply vanish in that cavern. But was it really that amazing? After all, dragons had ‘vanished’ before, fading from sight and mostly from memories of man. It was only through legends and myths that any knowledge of the magnificent creatures was known.

That brought him back to what he had learned. What did Baobab mean by other legends and myths were true too? What other creatures were real? Or, were all legends based in fact? Could it be that all other legends and fairy tales were based upon fact as well? Were sprites and fairies and elves and dwarves, the list seemed endless, real? For that matter, were the Others one of these myths turned real? Or were they just some mutated race of humans? A result of the devastation that occurred through the Great War?

Somehow Zero felt he was only beginning to reach true wisdom. Even though he had learned so much already during his journey into the Wastelands, he felt there was so much more to learn. Dragons existed and, thinking back upon when he first entered the Wasteland, he remembered Oingo and Boingo. They were something different. Were they a forgotten legend, or perhaps something new as well? Certainly they hadn’t been human, yet they acted something like humans. What other beings would he encounter here?

All while he was pondering these truths that seemed to hang just on the edge of his understanding, Zero listened as the footsteps slowly grew closer. Realizing just how long it was taking for the unknown visitors to appear, Zero wondered how far they were when Baobab warned of them. It had to have been when they first entered the cave, which meant that Zero should never have heard the footsteps, no matter what strange acoustics existed in this place. His hearing just was not that good. So, how had he been able to? Had he gained some ability just from being ‘chosen’ by Baobab? What had he meant by merging? Would they share abilities? Would they develop new abilities? He just didn’t know.

What he did know was the footsteps were very close now. Soon he would know who was making them. That knowledge did not prepare him for the revelations to come.

He watched the entrance to the cavern as the footsteps steadily grew nearer. He watched, with shock as the two appeared from out of the darkness. What were they doing here? How had they even gotten here? There was only one way to find out, so slowly Zero let his invisibility fade away.

 
28 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in writing

 

Tags: , , , ,

Liquid Fears (XIX)

Dragon, by Hokusai.

Image via Wikipedia

Liquid Fears

I awoke one day to a strange sight,
trapped in forever with many a brave knight,
and distressed damsels, seeking a savior
full of valour, to aid her…in her time of need.
For only the truly honourable
can swing a mighty sword
fast enough to slay all their dragons.
Each knight tried…each knight failed,
and their broken bodies littered the field.
Gnawed bones scattered ‘cross the meadow
till all that was left, past knight’s shadows.
Now there is but one—me, a lone warrior
with no experience; all that stands
to fight the mighty lizard.
And fight I must, I slash and I thrust
my sword cuts through scales.
It seems I cannot fail.
So, thrust and slash
steel flashes, blood splashes
and the dragon falls.
I’ve answered the damsels’ calls.

and then I wake up
with a bottle in hand;
glance down—swear
to drink, never again.

© September 19, 2010 CRF

 
10 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2010 in poetry

 

Tags: , , , ,