Three as Three - Part Eight
Darkness hugged Megan as she drifted through a series of wood-paneled walls. Really, she had no idea where she was going or why but it felt right so she kept moving. Forward and forward, right and left, even up and down though she couldn't be positive there had been stairs. Was she even walking, really? It didn't matter. All that matter was the destination. A destination she had no knowledge about.
For ages it seemed like she traveled the similar halls with the twists and turns until she finally came up to a single, steel door. But she didn't really stop to inspect it. She just kept on moving forward and entered the room. Had she opened the door? No, she didn't remember that. It must have opened itself. Right? Right.
The tiny room could more aptly be described as a closet. Her small frame barely fit inside the room but it was the wall directly behind the door that held her attention. A single mirror surrounded with a golden frame sparkled invitingly. Her eyes slowly drifted along the frame, taking in the beauty of the engravings though she had no idea what these weird symbols were meant to mean. Then she looks into the actual mirror. One second, then two passed, and then she let out a scream as she realized there was no reflection.
Megan jerked up with such force that she was on her feet before she was fully awake. The cold concrete floor was freezing on the soles of her bare feet. She sank back down on the bed, frowning. It was plainly obvious she had no idea where she was, but that didn't seem to matter. That dream had scared the living shit out of her. Why, though? She tried to push it out of her mind as she absorbed her strange surroundings. It was a simple room with a single window over the bed she'd been sleeping in. As she stood again, she peered out the window and saw Adara, or was that Zadara, sitting in the middle of a patio.
She padded out of the room; her bare feet on cold concrete didn't really bring much pleasure to her life. But then, nothing seemed to lately, so she dealt with it since she had no idea where her shoes were. Thankfully, she still had all of her clothes on.
As she realized she was passing through strikingly similar wood-paneled walls as in her dream, she slowed and walked more cautiously. She was actually walking now, though, so at least that much of her dream was just dreamlike. What had happened? There was some kind of explosion, that she knew. Somehow she ended up in a strange house, unlike any she'd seen since her arrival in this bizarre world. She needed answers, she needed them now and she wasn't going to settle for anything less.
The concrete that made up the patio was warm underneath sun and a welcome feeling to Megan's bare feet. She stepped outside, onto the patio as quietly as she could. Seated before in her, Indian-style, was Adara or her sister. Megan cleared her throat. "Hello," she said, softer than she'd intended.
"Megan," replied the other woman. "I trust you slept well?"
"Not really, but that's neither here or there. Where are we?" She wanted to ask which sister it was; however, she refrained for now. As long as the conversation and situation remained pleasant, it didn't matter too terribly much, did it? Yes, it mattered. Zadara had tried to kill her. It mattered a lot and she wasn't about to let anything keep her from speaking her mind. "Which one are you?"
The woman opened her eyes and smiled warmly at Megan. It was a smile that actually did help Megan to relax just a little. "I'm Adara. We're at a friend's home, hidden outside one of the towns more distant from civilization. Come, sit with me."
"I'm just supposed to take your word for it? How do I know you're really Adara and not Zadara pretending?" Despite her doubts and hesitations, Megan walked over and sat next to Adara.
"Zadara can only impersonate me in looks. As soon as she speaks, she gives herself away. There is no better way for me to explain it."
"What're you doing?"
"I'm contemplating my death."
Megan blinked. Then she blinked again, because her mind opened up and everything she'd forgotten about the stabbing incident swept through her like the waters of a fallen floodwall. Something so not like her seemed out of place in her mind. She fought against it at first, not wanting to accept its possibility because she knew she wasn't capable of such a vicious act. As she became more familiar with the scene, though, her mind accepted what she was seeing. "How? How could I? What..."
"You are the balance, Megan. In your right hand you carry the weight of evil. In your left hand you carry the weight of good. You, however, don't have the luxury of being on either side. A constant tug of war is going on inside of you and you will skim the surface of both sides for long time. When you attacked me, you were closer to the side of evil than you've ever been. Too close, in fact. This was mostly due to the circumstances that were surrounding you at the time."
"I don't understand!"
"It's all right. You will understand with time. For now you just need to understand that soon, soon my world will be gone and you will return to yours. You will be different when you return, but your mission will truly begin then. Just know you are here to learn and prepare and all will make sense."
Megan lowered her head in confusion and sighed. Nothing was making sense and everything seemed to be getting harder and harder to understand. This was not going to be easy, not by any means.
This girl, this Chrava, she had power and lots of it. Lisya was watching, studying, trying to figure out what she could do and she was in awe at the amount of pure force this girl was able to push onto such a large crowd. She could see the mental images and emotional weight Chrava was peddling to the crowd, therefore, its effect was non-existent to her. When the crowd stepped back and stood in utter amazement at Benjamin, things had taken a turn for the worse in Lisya's eyes. She was going to have a much harder time trying to make contact with this Benjamin.
Lisya kept to the front of the crowd until Benjamin was lead toward the temple. As long as he was there, there was hope. The temple was always open and in constant use by the people of the town so Lisya could easily slip in there. Finding Benjamin once inside, however, could be troublesome.
As the crowd spread thin with people returning to their normal lives, Lisya headed toward the temple. She'd lost sight of Benjamin; of course, Chrava held the crowd back until both she and Benjamin had been well inside the temple. Okay, once inside the temple all Lisya had to do was find him. She could simply track the brightest, truest self she'd ever witnessed. Easy enough.
Once inside the temple, however, she realized just how not easy that would be. Judging the from the large collection of guards standing in front of one of the doors leading to the private priest and priestess's area, Lisya knew exactly where Benjamin had been taken. Now the problem was getting past the guards. With a deep breath and her best innocent expression (she didn't work undercover for nothing), she headed toward the guard with the cleanest true-self she could find.
"Get away from here," the guard barked.
"I'm so lost! I was supposed to meet someone about becoming a priestess, but I can't find him anywhere."
One of the other guards snickered, while her targeted guard rolled his eyes. "Whom did you have a meeting with?"
"Priest Uglar," she said, as clueless as possible. He was the priest that dealt with new recruits, but he was also somewhat of a leech. So, really she had no desire to actually meet with him. If it gave her access to the back, though...
"Follow me," the guard said as he, surprisingly, made his way into the very private area Lisya was hoping to get into. So, she followed him, careful not to appear too eager to be going into a highly private area.
As soon as the wide double doors closed behind her, however, Chrava was there as were several other guards. Chrava smiled the sweetest smile she could at Lisya and winked. "Well, if you are so eager to meet Benjamin, do be my guest. I'll be sure to send Adara your best wishes. Her nasty little plots won't get anywhere without you and Benjamin." With that, Chrava disgustedly turned and stormed off down the hall.
Lisya couldn't help but chuckle at that. From behind, she really did look like a little kid storming off to her room because she didn't get her way. The smile didn't last when her arms were grabbed and she was rather forcefully dragged down a separate hallway.
After two flights of stairs, which rather painfully banged up her knees, and several vast, locked doors Lisya was tossed into a small cell without a window. As the bars slammed closed and the guard locked the gate, Benjamin murmured, "Hello," from a small pile of hay in the corner.
Her plan worked better than she'd expected. She found him.To be continued...