The International Writers Magazine:
The Great Beyond: a serialised novel about life beyond death Chapter Twelve
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Great Beyond XII
'The small spark of hope I felt that he might be stopped was extinguished
as he knocked them away one by one'.
cage disintegrated as Shugg came out of it. He got to his feet quickly,
and glanced around. We were on the floor of an indoor amphitheatre.
There was a table with people I felt sure were council members seated
beatifically along its length. There were a few more on their feet;
Clemens was standing a few paces from where I broke in. No one moved
for far too long. I was armed and ready for a serious fight. When I
started to move in on him, he bent down for half a heartbeat, then launched
himself up toward the ceiling where a large open window waited as a
portal to his freedom. I moved right behind him. He was curving upward
in a slight arc, so I tried for a more linear approach, hoping to cut
him off. The ceiling was high; it was going to take a long time to reach
the opening. The seats in the ascending rows were full but still no
one moved or seemed to react at all. I could see the space between us
growing gradually smaller. I tried to calm my mind for the moment when
I could cut him off. I could still feel his cold grasp on my arm, the
strength behind it. When he was halfway up a commotion sounded from
the floor, and continued upward in a massive wave through the others.
I felt it rising along the walls as it passed me, and when it was even
with Shugg, bodies began to hurl themselves from seats all around toward
him. The small spark of hope I felt that he might be stopped was extinguished
as he knocked them away one by one.
He met every attack without slowing in his climb. More and more attackers,
some in armor, some barehanded threw themselves into the fight. It became
difficult to follow him without dodging a slew of repelled fighters
plummeting toward the ground. I watched him fight and started to feel
lucky to be alive. He hit with blinding speed, and everyone he hit fell
back. The numbers were still growing when I came within striking distance.
I started batting them out of the way as the tumbled into my path. I
primed myself for a lunge at him when I was grabbed from behind. Slender
arms encircled me and fingers intertwined in front of me. They became
fluid and cells began to divide and merge. There was soon only one solid
arm pinning my arms to my sides and adamantly refusing to budge. Then
we fell. We dropped in a fast plummet toward the ground. My captor was
in complete control. I started to struggle, then checked myself. I thought
it through, and found an easy way out of the hold. I could free myself
at any time, but better not to tip my hand. A shower of bodies dropped
around us as we fell. I saw the floor below littered with still and
slowly moving figures and others helping them. We stopped sharply and
settled easily on the floor.
A grim looking man in a long white robe looked on me with distain for
a moment then motioned toward a door. We floated silently across the
room and into a long white hallway. There were doors everywhere. We
stopped suddenly at one, and it slid open. Once inside the door closed
behind us and a break formed in the arm which shaped itself into hands.
I turned and saw a decidedly feminine figure wearing a molded breastplate
which shone with golden brilliance. There was a long spear strapped
to her back and an ornate helmet which covered her eyes but left the
rest of her face visible. She had a sword strapped to her belt, and
she stood there like an immovable object. The room resembled a cell.
There were rough hewn stones set against each other without mortar.
Light seeped out through the cracks and filled the room comfortably.
There was no furniture, so I sat in lotus position and floated up several
feet. She didnt appear amused.
"So am I in trouble?"
She kept quiet.
"Shouldnt you disarm me? What if I try to escape?" I
unlashed my sword from my back without touching it and propped it up
against the wall behind me. She still didnt look impressed. She
did smile a little. Then her spear floated off of her back and buried
half of its point into the floor in front of the door. I had the
manners to appear properly impressed.
"Not necessary." She said coldly.
We waited for several moments, then the door came open and Urimaru stepped
around the spear. "Its time." He said. "Follow
I offered to let her go first, but she insisted that I lead the way.
Urimaru spoke quickly and urgently to me as we walked. "They want
some answers, and frankly so do I. I dont know what to say. What
you did today will be legend. You have the councils full attention.
Those who didnt know of your existence before most certainly do
now. Youll have to show them everything if we go in there. If
you want to run, nows the time."
"No. Im not running anywhere. I have some questions of my
own. I dont have anything to hide, and I dont want to make
any unnecessary enemies here." We stopped in front of a large set
of double doors.
"Clemens is going to run the show. They know he sent you on the
mission, so theyre deferring to his judgment for now. There are
a lot of people who still dont want you running loose, and most
of them are in there. My advice is be completely straightforward and
not at all flippant or sarcastic. They dont respond well to either.
Ill be there too. They want me there for questioning as well.
Were in this together."
"I hope Im not getting you into anything. Ive been
playing it by ear, and I might have gone too far a few times. If we
need to get out, Ill cover your exit."
"No!" He was suddenly very stern. "None of that. Dont
be at all apologetic. Dont show any regret. I trained you to be
sure of yourself, and you are. Ive seen you make decisions. Youre
always sure of yourself, and it pays off. Let them know it."
I knocked on the doors. They opened quietly, and we entered in front
of my escort. The room was large and cubical. As we entered the dark
walls and floors turned a pure white color which moved out to cover
the room. There were close to three hundred people seated in orderly
rows at the opposite end. We stopped in front of them where Clemens
was waiting, resplendent in his white suit.
He motioned for Urimaru to wait to the side. He led me out into the
center of the room. "Just relax and show me everything that happened.
Start from the time you left our meeting." I nodded and he touched
my face in three places with his hand. The room exploded into a replica
of the museum where I started my search. I could feel every mind there
as if they were my own mind. We were all in a perfect harmony of understanding.
They could see the context and spirit with which I acted at every crux.
A sharp ringing of thoughts and implications shuddered through the commune
as they witnessed my breach between the worlds of life and death. I
stiffened my resolve that what I did was right. I didnt have all
the facts, but I realized that Urimaru was right. I acted as I saw fit,
and would never be sorry for it.
When the extraction was complete, it took several moments to pull ourselves
out of the group consciousness. That was why they took so long to react
when I appeared with Shugg. They meet in this harmony when they hold
gatherings to make decisions so that there is no misunderstanding over
personal bias or misinformation. Everything is laid bare, but it takes
a while to come out of. Simply jerking away could do permanent damage.
There was an angry commotion brewing as more and more came out of it.
The general consensus seemed to be that I was reckless and dangerous.
It was becoming clear that they wanted me to stick around. I looked
at Urimaru. He passed me a thought, ready when you are.
Clemens was still standing there. "Whats happening?"
"Theyre not happy. How are you feeling? Limber?"
"Ive been on overdrive since I found Sharper. I could blast
my way out of here if need be."
"Hold on." He said. "Ill see if I can calm them
down. If I flash you a signal, get out. Ill meet up with you later."
He addressed the crowd as I moved over by Urimaru.
"So, it was you. You caused the breech. I expected to be surprised,
but youve surpassed anything I ever imagined. You got lucky with
Shugg. He underestimated you too."
"Did we stop him?" I quickly felt around for any sign of him.
"They stopped him, but he seriously wounded a lot of soldiers and
council members. Hes imprisoned somewhere under the compound."
I felt a little relieved as I watched Clemens carefully. He was making
a pretty strong case for me, pointing out the death of Sharper and the
capture of Shugg. Many were still livid that I made the breech. It was
supposed to be impossible, and they didnt care for it one bit.
Especially if they couldnt control me. I wanted to speak for myself
so I stepped forward.
"You might consider including me in this discussion." I said.
"Youve all seen what Ive done. Ive held back
nothing. I am capable and willing, but I will not be ruled."
"That is for us to decide." The same grim looking man I saw
in the amphitheatre stepped forward. "We have been doing this for
far too long to let some child with too much power come along and disrupt
our efforts. You are obviously capable. Urimaru has trained you as effectively
as any soldier he has ever produced. I have no doubt of your abilities,
but you have to be tempered with wisdom and experience or you will be
a liability. We cant afford any more mistakes. Weve lost
too much over you already."
"Dont try to lay that on me." I snapped. "Youve
made your own mistakes. I wont bear your crosses. I do want to
help though. I am not unsympathetic to what has been done on my behalf.
If youll let me Ill work with you, but I will do so on my
own terms. If this doesnt work for you, Ill be on my way."
There was a low murmur from the gathering. The man returned to his seat
and they began to join together again. I looked at Urimaru. He just
shrugged. I started to probe into their communion. I could see into
it without joining in, but they didnt seem to notice. They went
back and forth with their deliberation. It started to irritate me that
they were so presumptuous to think they could decide for me how I would
serve. I deserved better than this. I delivered one of their most hated
enemies into their hands. They should have at least thanked me for my
troubles. They began to solidify in agreement. They werent about
to let me out of their grasp. If I stayed any longer, they would collar
me and lead me around on a short leash. It was time to leave.
Urimaru was reading my thoughts. I believe Clemens was too. They acted
a fraction of a second before I did. Clemens put up a web across the
room. It separated us from the council members, leaving us free to go
for the doors. Urimaru was facing down the guards when I caught up with
him. They were tough, but not nearly fast enough for the two of us.
Together we might have a chance at escape. Outside the doors we hesitated
to decide on a course of action. Clemens followed us and slammed the
door behind him. He sealed it with a power I had never seen before.
Then he told us to be very still. He put a holding web around both of
us and carried us in suspension through the hallway in front of him.
Guards took one look at him and thought nothing of it. He was obviously
pretty influential, because we reached the exit without a single challenge.
He led the way out and we left the council behind as we fled into exile.
© Brodie Parker - Begun May 10th 2004 -this Chapter 05-03-2005
Chapters One & Two of our serialised novel - it begins here
Chapter Three here
Chapter Four here
Chapter five here
Chapter Thirteen 6.04.05
I sold my soul to rock and roll right here at Hackwriters
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and nourisment Ed
Fiction in Dreamscapes
Be here next time for another exciting chapter. Only at Hackwriters
To be continued May 2005
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