Piker Press Banner
April 15, 2024

Call of Destiny v6p2

By Josh Brown

A Fistful of Destiny - Part Two

While her head throbbed to the beat of her heart, Chrava sat against the cold left wall in her five-by-five cell with dark thoughts of revenge and mayhem dancing playfully in her mind. For now she was alone with those thoughts, however, unable to do much of anything. She lifted a finger and gingerly touched the skin near her right temple, the skin that surrounded the metallic device that had been implanted into her skull. She had no clue how it worked, or why, but she knew what it did well enough. How couldn't she? As soon as she'd awakened and found it there, she realized she couldn't reach out with her mind anymore.

Trapped in her own head for the first time since before she could remember and it was killing her.

There was nothing wrong with her, not that any normal person could see. But without her abilities, she felt paralyzed, nearly unable to function any longer. To see into the minds of everyone around her had become so second nature to her, she found herself lost in her own head as if she were in an unfamiliar maze that had no escape. Round and round she went, passing through corridors she's just as soon keep locked up forever. At one point, her thoughts even drifted toward her parents. The parents she'd lost. The loss of her parents that sent her spirally away from Adara and into the arms of Zadara.

Everything was horribly wrong.

How did her life get so screwed up?

She was created in death and in death she lived. Psychotic reasoning, perhaps, but it was her reasoning nonetheless. Biggest mistake number one, fleeing from Adara's flock. Biggest mistake number two, entering into Zadara's den. Why? Why? Why? The answer was there, unfortunately, as much as it pained Chrava to think it; the answer was there. Zadara had presented her with the world and she greedily accepted it without a single moment's hesitation. Who wouldn't? With Adara, all she'd gotten were rules. Don't. Don't. Don't. With Zadara, she was all-powerful, all mighty, unquestioned and uncensored.

Zadara, her mentor, her savior... her curse.

Complication was the problem. The deeper she went, the more complicated everything became. She fell in love with Zadara. In her mind, it was Zadara and Chrava, forever, queens of the world. All that doubt she had, all that uneasiness about leaving Adara and joining Zadara, it all melted away as Zadara sucked away her very soul. She felt as one with Zadara. There was no doubt it was real and forever. All that was Chrava was unleashed and placed in those gentle, loving hands that belonged to Zadara. It was perfect. Of that, there was no doubt.

But the dream turned into reality and Chrava's eyes were opened to a bitter truth she never would have believed. What made it worse? Adara that's what made it worse. As soon as the veil was lifted, walking in on Zadara and that guard, the first thing that came to her mind was Adara, Adara and her warnings, Adara and her teachings. Why was Adara always right? This had to be her fault. Had to be.

If she'd listened, if she'd stayed... but she didn't. She ran from the woman responsible for the death of her parents. She removed herself from the endless constriction Adara had placed on her gifts and she grew. Her power exploded and she became the most feared person in this land for there was nothing that could be hidden from her and her wrath was merciless. How many had she killed? Uncountable lives were extinguished because of her. Uncountable people would never take another breath in this land. Too many victims were destroyed whenever she was bored or tired or pissed off. And all she could do was remember them. All she could see were the faces of hundreds upon thousands of people that had died because of her. Nothing could be done to flee this terrorizing journey down memory lane. Everywhere she turned, victim after victim, crying out for vengeance against her wicked tainted soul. And behind all those cries, behind all those eyes, behind all those needless deaths she could see Adara staring out at her, oozing with righteous contempt and disappointment. She was truly and utterly terrified; an experience never before felt and one she will never be able to forget so long as she lives. One she has no right to forget.

The gods were exacting revenge upon her. For years she ignore the pain she caused, mentally raping everyone she could to keep those memories from surfacing, but now she was locked inside with the beast and there was no escaping. She was destined to end up here. Destined.

***

There was no fire and people were highly pissed off.

A lone woman stood in the middle of a crowd of angry townspeople, trying desperately to plead her case but they'd have none of it. Every time she opened her mouth to speak more resentful shouts rang out, covering her pleas with anger.

As Buba stood next to Lisya and watched this scene, he felt bad for the woman. Clearly she was distressed at what she had done and she wanted to try and apologize or explain, but the people were having none of it. After almost five minutes of verbal assault from the crowd, Buba pushed through a couple people and entered the circle surrounding the woman. Her bright red hair was rather fitting, given the situation; it matched the level of furious anger the crowd was spewing at her. He held up his hands in a pointless gesture, the second he became visible the people had fallen silent.

"The Wielder's companion wishes to speak!" someone shouted.

Hazel eyes shifted toward Buba, thankful eyes, yes, but also surprised eyes. The redhead smiled at Buba, then recomposed herself, tall and proud, and waited.

"I think we ought to hear this woman out," Buba said. "Let her tell her side of the story before you all get mad. I know your dinner was interrupted and you came out here in good faith to help put out the fire, but there might be a good reason for this." And with that, Buba took a step back and gave the floor to the woman. He looked at her a moment, a vague recollection of her was haunting him, but he couldn't place where he'd seen her.

"Thank you," she murmured, before turning her voice to the crowd, speaking loudly and with much authority. "There is no fire-"

The crowd erupted in disapproval, growing louder and closer to lynching status. Buba once again stepped forward, though, and they died down immediately. He said nothing, just stood there and watched the woman at the center of the problem.

"No fire," she repeated. "But there will be! Soon! We must find the source and stop it before it happens!"

"It's you!" A woman screamed from the crowd.

A deeper voice shouted, "We don't believe your supposed gifts. You're a joke! You've done this before!"

"And I was right," the redhead responded. "But none of you believe it because the fire was averted. What would you have me do? Scream fire, tick you all off, then walk away and let the town burn just so you'll finally believe me?"

"Yes!" Several people exploded in unison.

Sighing, the woman cast a glance at Buba. He read it as a plea for help, whether that was the case or not. So again, he took center stage. Being the Wielder's companion had its advantages, why not try and use them for the good? "What if she's right?" he asked the gathering. "What if she's wrong? What harm comes of looking? You could find something and prevent a fire, whether she's right or wrong. So your dinner gets cold, it's too late for that already."

Crisis averted. The crowd agreed to this line of logic. They weren't happy about it, but they agreed. As the people dispersed, Buba turned to the redhead. She was directing people toward the tavern.

"It's there the fire burns hardest," she told them. Several men stormed in that direction, sending billows of dust up around their knees. She turned to Buba and smiled. "Thank you, sir. It gets harder each time."

He looked at her uncertainly. In all honesty, he had no idea whether to believe this fire story or not. The only reason he even considered it now was all the strange things that had happened to him over the past year.

She recognized his skeptical look and chuckled softly. "You don't believe me, either. Do you?" she asked.

"I don't know what to believe. How can you know?"

"I have this-"

"Great job, Kate!" A heavyset man lumbered up to Buba and the redhead, slapping the woman on the back. "You got the attention of the Wielder's companion. This has to be a huge step toward-"

"Shut up!" Kate hissed, glaring fiercely at this man. The look was enough to frighten him off. He lumbered away, shoulders sagging. "Sorry about that. It's just..."

Buba remembered her now. She was the one leading the crowd when they first arrived in town. It had sounded like some kind rally, getting the troops ready for battle, now that he thought about it. His suspicions were raised now.

"Sorry," Kate repeated. "My people and I get treated badly here. Well, not just here, everywhere. We are special, but people make fun of us and consider us to be... a joke."

"Why's that?" Lisya asked, stepping next to Buba. She slipped an arm through his arm and hung on to him, slightly chilled by the darkening sky.

The woman, Kate, looked between Buba and Lisya for a moment with uncertainty. Would they be like all the others? No, they couldn't be. They were the Wielder's companions. They were enlightened. They were one step closer to gods than anyone else in this world. If anyone would understand the plight her people were under, it had to be these two. "Our... gifts, they are considered useless by the people. We are ridiculed for what we consider to be blessings from the gods. Whenever we try to use our gifts to help the community, people laugh in our faces."

"What's your gift?" Buba asked.

For a moment there was silence between them, then Kate murmured something inaudible. Lisya and Buba both asked, "What?"

"I can smell the future," Kate said, only slightly louder.

***

Like it or not, Brand was stuck in this cell and he was starting to go crazy. Never one for being locked up yet here he was, trapped like a dog awaiting extermination. The girl next door, Miranda, was silent as ever, too and that certainly didn't help matters. All he wanted was someone to talk to. Yeah right, all he wanted was answers and fast. Still no sign of the looker-backer, either.

By now Buba would surely be a wreck worrying about him. He'd be rescued in no time flat but that didn't make things any easier at the moment. Even the sword would be good company. He chuckled. The sword. That guy said the sword had chopped off several people's hands. Well, serves them right, trying to steal something that didn't belong to them. Idiots.

Brand paced (if you could call it that, two steps to the right, two steps to the left) and waited, waited and paced. Nothing to do. Nobody to talk to. This was insane.

He walked over to the invisible barrier keeping him in his cell, then pulled up his right arm at the elbow with his left hand and slowly pushed it through the barrier. Sure enough, the barrier divided around his metallic arm. If only that were enough. Once he got to the shoulder where his skin once more became his skin, he'd really be in for a jolting shock. As he stood there, looking at his hand hanging limply out the other side of the barrier, an interesting thought came to mind. His eyes drifted toward the chips in his shoulder. It was crazy, but it just might work. With a deep breath, he shoved his arm into the air then rammed his shoulder all the way into the barrier. As he suspected, the second his skin hit the barrier he was thrown away from it with alarming force. His entire body thudded against the wall at the back of the box before he tumbled down to the cot.

He lay there on the cot in stunned silence, struggling to get a good gust of air into his lungs. Stupid, Brand, just stupid. Once he was able to breathe again, he sat up and glanced at the chips. The visual before him sunk in immediately: the chips were smoldering and he was starting to get the feeling back in the tips of his fingers.

The celebration was short lived, however. Down the corridor, he heard the sound of heavy boots echoing toward him.

To be continued...
Article © Josh Brown. All rights reserved.
Published on 2003-05-26
0 Reader Comments
Your Comments






The Piker Press moderates all comments.
Click here for the commenting policy.