Where does anything begin or end? What truly is a beginning in any sense
of the word, does anything really end or does simply a new cycle begin? But
a cycle has no beginning or end, it is merely a loop of events ever repeating
upon itself. A scholar once said to me that 'Time is like a river, and history
repeats', as a scholar of sorts myself I sought meaning in his words. Did
he mean that those governed by fate will relive the same events again and
again or that history itself will constantly repeat itself within time? This
made me think of another saying that I had often heard 'Those that forget
the past, will be destined to repeat it', but it has forever been in my destiny
to watch events as they are played out, to remember the past as it
Long before the people of this world could remember, this place was a cathedral. It had been built some ten years before the year against Magus. The king had ordered it built to honour whichever gods the people of Guardia had gave worship to. It had also been built to symbolise the conquering of a monster, which had plagued the area, which soon disappeared when the cathedral construction started. All things have hidden meanings to them, the Cathedral was also built as another symbol or a ward to be more precise, a warning against any other monsters who would try to bring fear to the citizens of Guardia.
As often happens the greatest symbols of hope and courage are perverted to mean their opposites. During the period of war against Magus unbeknownst to the King and his peoples, the Mystic forces of Magus ransacked the cathedral and took it as their own killing the clergy inhabiting it. Leading the attack was the monster thought defeated at the time of the cathedral's construction, a mystic known as Yakra. Soon after their capture of the cathedral Yakra put his plans into motion, the kidnapping of the queen. Yakra's plan went successfully, he kidnapped the chancellor and took his place within the king's court, luring the queen to the cathedral while the King was busy planning an attack against Magus.
After learning of his wife's abduction the King was thrown into confusion, fearful more of his wife's safety than his Kingdom's. Guardia had been placed in a state of strife all due to one person's abduction. If Magus ever had an opportunity to strike against the King it was now. But this jeopardy was only a temporary state, no-one expected what was to come next.
In what was then the present, for that time is now a distant speck in Guardia's long history. Three individuals had been drawn together at the time of the millennial celebrations. Two childhood friends Crono the child chosen by fate as the saviour of his world and Lucca the tortured teenage technical genius. At the time Lucca was demonstrating her latest invention to the sceptical gathered masses at the fair. The third person was Princess Nadia or Marle as she called herself, who had escaped from the boredom of her royal life.
Having escaped, Marle headed to the millennial fair, were she ran into Crono. Who after some reluctance agreed to show her around the fair. Together the pair headed to see Lucca's latest invention the telepod, which could transport one living thing to a different place. Needing a volunteer Crono put himself forward to test the device, and was a successful test subject of the machine. Noticing how fun the telepod looked Marle herself volunteered to test it.
Upon the activation of the machine, the telepod reacted to the pendant, which she wore around her neck. The pendant was one of a few remaining relics of the Kingdom of Zeal, which had perished under it's own power. The energies stored within the pendant reacted with the telepod, tearing open a hole in time itself, sending Marle hurtling towards an unforeseen destiny in the Middle Ages. As most wouldn't know Marle was a spitting image of the queen at the time, a genetic resemblance that helped her while her ancestor was in the clutches of Yakra.
Soon after arriving in this new time Marle was discovered by Guardian soldiers, who took her to the castle. Were she was presumed to be Queen Leene who had been missing recently. Of course this turn of events had placed the Queen's life in even more danger, as Yakra's plan had failed making the queen an unnecessary part of his plan. There are those who suspect that Yakra was not motivated by conquering Guardia but by revenge, that he planned to kill the queen as payback for the defeat he suffered at Guardia's hands all those years ago. This change in events was even more dangerous however, Yakra stood on a precipice were he could unknowingly make himself not just the Queen's killer but the destroyer of all and everything itself. Were he to kill the queen he would create a paradox, which would cause fate to eat itself.
Unknown to Yakra other forces were moving were he could not see, some time after Marle's appearance in the Middle Ages, Crono using Marle's pendant to recreate the events at the telepod, travelled to the same era. Eventually Crono came to the castle, where he encountered the Queen who was acting strangely. Requesting an audience with Crono the Queen met him in her private chambers, where she revealed the truth to him. The she was not the Queen at all but Marle, however Marle remained quiet about her own heritage. This meeting was cut short as Marle vanished in a mysterious flash of blue light.
Leaving the Queen's chambers Crono ran into Lucca who had also managed to venture to the Middle Ages. Lucca revealed the truth to Crono that Marle was part of the Royal family in the present, and that Marle had disappeared due to the Queen being placed in danger, if the Queen wasn't saved Marle would cease to exist. Both failed to see the true danger of the situation, that Queen Leene's life was not the only one in the balance. The pair knew the best course of action would be to save Queen Leene, acting upon a clue that the Queen had been visiting the cathedral, the decided to visit it.
While there they ran into another warrior Frog, who had been cursed by Magus and was the protector of the Queen. They succeeded in gaining access to the inner chambers of the cathedral, and after fighting through Yakra's minions eventually confronted the monster himself. The trio did what Guardia's soldiers previously had not, the slew Yakra and saved the Queen, and time itself.
After returning the Queen to the castle, Frog departed feeling the he had shamed himself and his liege by failing to protect the Queen. Now safe Marle returned from whatever void she had disappeared into, now reunited Crono, Lucca and Marle proceeded back to their own time.
With Yakra and the Mystics defeated the cathedral was abandoned, and some twenty years after the defeat of Magus the King ordered the cathedral destroyed lest it be used as a place of evil again. Nearly five hundred years later, Marle had ascended to the throne. She had a shrine built upon the grounds where the cathedral once lay. The shrine was built to honour the warrior's of Guardia. First she had the shrine dedicated to the warriors who had saved Guardia in the past, her friends Ayla, Frog, Lucca and even Magus. She knew that in time she herself would be buried within the confines of the shrine.
Slowly the morning sun broke over the shrine, the dewdrops forming on the collection of old and new graves. He stands there looking down on one of them a grave, which was once a proud stone. It was commissioned to honour a great ruler, it had been built by the ancestor of one of her greatest friends. But now it is merely the remnants of the original stone only a few pieces of rock. The writing worn down and now what can be read completely illegible. He smiles taking a great pleasure that her monument has stood for this amount of time. Using a sleeve of his tunic, he wipes the dust of her grave. He knows full well that he it is within his power to restore the epitaph to it's former glory, but he doesn't as long as he remembers her that is enough, his love for her is enough to ensure she will be remembered until time itself will need a monument.
He falters, shedding a single tear. For despite the happiness this places hold for him, he also remembers. remembers events which did not transpire, but he knows the truth in them. the truth of his own nature. of his darkness. For he remembers their glares, their fury, their blows, their accusations and what he could have done had he submitted to that power.
From behind him he hears the grass breaking under footsteps, he does not turn, as he already knows what is coming, he had always been expecting someone. He waits noting the sharp breaths the person is taking, he contains the laugh that such an easy path could contain such a difficulty for another. Now he turns to greet his guest.
He looks him up and down, the man is in his mid twenties his light brown hair tied back in a ponytail, but a few strands hang down across his face. He notes the relaxed look in his eyes, a deep blue, they remind him of someone else. He continues to watch this person, he notices the tight black tunic, which contrasts the grey trousers, which at the bottom have been muddied by the trek through the forest.
"You're late, I hoped you would have been here, when I arrived"
"I find that a strange statement for someone, who has the luxury of arriving whenever he pleases"
"Perhaps I should say the same of you, your title allows the possibilities which you're privy to choose"
"You're not the first to be born in to a role, that you didn't choose to assume"
"And what you're going to tell me I won't be the last?"
"I feel that this subject won't get us anywhere, or rather a conversation on it won't get us anywhere"
"Why what is that you have summoned me to see? This place looks as if it hasn't been visited in centuries"
"Possibly more, it seems Guardia is yet another place where technology has superseded nature. But the forest isn't what I brought you here to see"
"Why what did you bring me here to see, this resting place of long forgotten people?
"I hardly think sarcasm is the greatest tone to pay respect to these heroes"
He turned back to look at the grave again, staring at it's broken form. Captivated by its undisturbed beauty. It took him back to his memories of her, the warm touch of her skin, her golden flowing hair.
"I hate to break such a beautiful moment, but just what is it you've brought me here to see. You know I still don't know who you are? You turn up speak in mysterious riddles, and expect me to understand. Just who are you?"
"You've become quite impetuous with age Chase. I suppose that I owe you something, but first I'll show you just what it was I brought you here to see"
"And just what is that?"
"This grave, to me it holds a great significance. Not just because of who is buried here, but the deeper meaning held by what was accomplished by this person"
Chase stared at the grave. He looked carefully at it but saw nothing, only a few remaining pieces of a grave, which had barely stood the test of time. He doubted whether there was a living person or record left, which could identify who was buried here. He failed to see what the stranger could see in it.
"This grave is just a badly weathered rock. What possible great meaning could be held here? How do you even know who is buried here?
"I know because I buried her. She was my wife, and I loved her with all my heart. It nearly tore to know she would age, and eventually die and I would never change again"
"Just who are you? And who is it that's buried here?
"I'll answer your second question. This grave belongs to Marle or Nadia depending upon how she was reflected in record. She was once the Queen of this land. In her youth a time when she met me, she longed to shed her title. I suspect that she feared the responsibilities that such a title would bring, that because one day she would be Queen"
"There are no records of such a ruler"
"There are no records. I doubt your records stretch back as far as the time of her rule"
"And what time was she a ruler?
"I sense mockery in your words Chase. She ruled this land over fifteen thousand years ago, here now lies the only record of her rule"
"And if this is the only record then why should I trust what you say, after all you suggest that your over fifteen thousand years old. Why would I trust claims which suggest you're quite mad, just who are you"
"When I lived in this place I was called Crono, later when I discovered truths about myself which even I couldn't imagine my father told me my birth name had been Casari. A name, which in the tongue of his people meant light"
"Crono? In the courtyard of the castle there is a statue dedicated to a Crono. A tradition kept within the halls of the Royal court is that this statue should remain in the same condition as the one it was in on the day it was crafted"
"I have seen the statue, it in some ways it amuses me to such a relic kept that well"
"Is this why you brought me here to learn of the trials of my ancestors? That you hoped I would learn a valuable lesson hearing you talk of your lost love"
"That was one reason, I had hoped that my telling of Marle's story would affect your judgement for what is to come"
"Why what is to come?
"I can't truly warn you. I can only give you guidance. An evil is coming to this land, I cannot truly tell what form it will take, as my suspicions suggest its form may vary depending upon it's will. I warn you because you hold the key or at least one of them, you can guide your people. lead them on the right path"
"You think as King I hold power? The power of royalty in Guardia has long since subsided, the politicians hold the real power now"
"I think the holder of your title has become lazy over time, they have happily let their power wane, indulging themselves in luxuries while others run the land"
Although Chase couldn't hear it, Crono heard the steps of someone running up the glade. Knowing that this approaching person would interrupt them, he knew now as the best time to leave. After all for the moment there was little else he could Chase that would be of importance.
Chase turned to see who was coming, in the distance he saw Pietrich. Pietrich one of the messengers to the royal court, he was dressed in the normal blue uniform of his rank, a two piece tunic top and trousers the left shoulder adorned with the hair pin, Guardia's royal crest. He turned back round to Crono but saw that he had gone, strange as he never heard him leave.
"Why do you disturb me Pietrich?"
"My liege I bring an important message from the Commander Triem"
"What is so important that Triem disturbs me?
"I don't know sir only that it was urgent"
"So you disturb me but don't even no why?"
The same dream, no not a dream a nightmare. The same nightmare he had nearly
every night for the last ten years. Hiemel stood on the bridge of the Ayla,
looking over the body of his commander, the face scorched and the neck twisted.
He looked in disbelief, the stench hung close to him, the stench of death.
All he could do was look at their bodies, burnt and broken some still clinging
to their stations. He turns though he doesn't remember choosing too. The
figure stands before him, a tall figure from which light seemed to emanate
eerily. The figure wore a white hoodless robe, his lengthy black hair resting
on his shoulders. Hiemel looked into his face, his skin was a light golden
complexion, his eyes a dark green. He notes that the figure is smiling as
he returns Hiemel's stare.
Then just as he knows what to say, he wakes. Caked in sweat he sits bolt upright.
"The same damn dream again." He muttered to no-one.
A place as far and as close to Guardia, as anything could ever possibly be.
Some places exist outside of what many would consider to be reality, are
these places really different or is that reality is only viewed with rules
because people are blinded into believing them. Once this place was a Kingdom,
its people lived in a luxury for so long a time they never truly knew anything
else. Then a change came a subversion, a corruption, a change which could
never be reversed those that had been affected were cursed by this changes
forever. Then at time when the change seemed to have won over the remaining
people. A ripple formed at what could be considered the centre of their reality,
it tipped the tide, which the change had affected, but neither gained anything
from this imbalance.
It was a beginning to the end of this Kingdom, what had taken millennia to form, was gone in an instant, and then for a time there was nothing here simply a void. Until he came and saw it's potential. Haven given up his calling yet none of his power, set about creating his own Kingdom. As no one was truly there to see it, knowing how long it took him to build his Kingdom we may never know.
Eventually travellers came to his Kingdom and saw it was vastly different from the previous one. He called his Kingdom 'Gate', he knew of what this place once was and thought the name fitting. He had turned this place into what he had called the 'greatest bar in all of reality'. From the perspective of a person viewing it from outside, it appeared about a mile square. But such views are often only the perspective of the person looking, as how can a place that doesn't conform to reality, be viewed with the perspectives of those that conform.
Slowly Suder wiped down the counter top. He looked around the bar, it was square in construction the walls painted in an effervescent white, hung around the bar where various artefacts that had either collected over time or his patrons had given him. Behind him he had placed one of his favourites a sword its blade sparkled like a rainbow. In the corner near the bar was a cigarette machine, the metal it was made of had rusted over time but it still worked. On occasion it swallowed the money of the person using it, when they complained he simply smiled and told them it was fate working her lovely hand. His survey of the bar was interrupted by one of his customers.
Suder looked at him the man was dressed entirely in black a tight collar less shirt loosely tucked into his trousers under the lights of the bar the black sparkled. Suder looked at his face, had seen it many a time before but it still captivated him each time he saw it. His eyes were deeply set into his face, his cheekbones were very pronounced which contrasted that fact his nose was quite small. He looked again into his eyes they were a darker black than his clothing, but the whites of his eyes were a very bright white, an interesting contrast. This was all finished off by his hair a mass of wild untamed black hair, it stuck out at various odd angles, a seething collection of spikes and curls.
"Are you going to serve me or not Suder? The man in black asked.
"Yeah hold on Ardetsky, just a getting distracted, you know me my mind tends to wander. Anyway it's not as if your in any hurry" Suder joked.
Knowing what he wanted, Suder reached under the bar and grabbed a bottle of Whiskey. Shifting his hand to the left, he found what he was looking for a small glass. Putting both back on the counter, he poured a small quantity into the glass, and handed it to Ardetsky, who took it from him appreciatively and proceeded to drink it. He placed the glass against his lips, allowing the liquor to fall into his mouth, he held it in there for a while savouring the taste.
"You also did have an eye for the good stuff Suder"
"Thanks, what are you two waiting for anyway?" Suder asked.
"He told us to meet him here, after he'd finished talking to the kid." Answered Ardetsky.
"An impetuous bastard, what he hopes to achieve by talking to him I don't know"
"You always were cynical D" Ardetsky turned to his companion. Perched on the bar was a small raven, his feathers ruffled by the energies surrounding the Gate. One of the raven's eyes was scarred and the eyelid shut permanently, the other was a dim yellow yet had a look of a great intelligence to them.
"Want some more worms D?" Suder said interrupting them.
"Piss off Suder, I just don't get what he sees in that Kid, he's too shallow self indulgent to care about anyone but himself." Stated D.
"I would have thought you of all people, would understand what he's trying to do" Reaching to a pocket in his shirt Ardetsky took out a cigarette, touching a finger to the cigarette's tip it lit instantly, letting out the smell of tobacco. "Surely your one of the best examples of the good he can see in people"
"Maybe your right, besides I think Crono likes to try and see the best in his descendants." Mused D.
"What's keeping Crono anyway, I would have thought that he'd be here by now." Asked Suder.
"He's probably got a little side tracked he always seems to be late whenever he returns home, plus knowing Crono I can guess where the meeting place is, and you both know how he gets when's he starts think about her" D answered.
"He did love her though, I think that's one of the hardest things for him as well." Ardetsky said in between breathing out smoke.
"Yeah but that was so long ago, I would have thought he would have forgotten about her by now" Suder suggested.
"He always did get lost in the past, me I try to forget about my past as much as I can" As replied the raven shuddered, nearly losing his grip on the counter causing Ardetsky and Suder to laugh.
"It was his greatest sacrifice though, he had to choose between his destiny and his love for her. That decision still haunts him now, even what he has become is no compensation for the love he had to give up." Ardetsky suggested.
"In some ways I think I know how feels, but then I remember that I never gave up my love, it was taken from me" D replied.
"You shouldn't dwell on the past D, recalling troubles never did anyone any good" Suder said.
"I things like that that show why you became a barman Suder, I often wondered why you gave it all up to make this place" Commented Ardetsky.
"Maybe you should tell him that Suder, but you've always been more of a listener." D said nonchalantly.
"I don't know I don't think I was truly satisfied by what I was doing, there always did just seem to be something lacking in my work, well if that's what you could call it." Suder Stated.
"You're an interesting an paradox Suder, you served one of the most powerful forces to ever exist yet you choose to leave, to create a bar?" Ardetsky replied.
Behind them the door to the Gate slammed open, all three turned to see who it was, despite them fact they all knew who it was. Crono stood in the door, his eyes ablaze with a calming white light. His body crackled with magical energies, sparks occasionally burst from his fingertips. He stayed there letting the in him die down to a less noticeable level.
"How'd it go boss? D asked.
"I think it went well, I believe that I eventually got through to him." As Crono finished talking all three burst out laughing. "Have I missed something?" Crono asked.
Nearly twenty thousand lights years from Guardia the Calladan lay nestled
on the edge of the Eremisch nebula. The hulking behemoth, which was one of
the crowning glories of the Guardian armada. Nearly three miles in length
and a quarter of a mile in depth, the ships had taken nearly three years
of construction. Painted across the port side was the royal insignia, painted
in a bold cyan a stark contrast to the red paintwork of the ship's bodywork.
Primarily the Calladan had been designed as a research vessel, currently
stationed here as part of going research into the anomalous effects of various
nebula's on hyperspace. Having completed the basics of the research the Calladan
was set to return home to Guardia a month before schedule.
At the ship's helm was Captain Saul Hiemel. Having cut his teeth on various different posts throughout the Guardian military, after twelve long years of service Hiemel was given his own command during the Nemura conflict. At the time was serving as the second in command as part of the crew on the Ayla. During a skirmish with Nemuran forces the Captain was killed during an explosion on the bridge, having little other choice Hiemel took command of the craft, and lead them to a hasty victory. Noting his efficiency during this crisis, his superiors promoted him immediately upon hearing of his conquest. The Captain of the Ayla wasn't the only to die during that battle, many other members of the crew perished all well.
He still hears their cries now, they visit him at night when he sleeps, he hasn't had a decent night's sleep in ten years, not since that day. Then nearly four years ago to the day, his superiors told him he was getting a new command, the latest addition to the fleet 'The Calladan'. This intrigued him after all why did his superiors want to give him a new command, especially as the Calladan was a research vessel rather than a gunship. Even more interesting was that it seemed that the order had come from King Chase himself. Hiemel was never one to turn down an order, and he heard tired of combat and peacekeeping years ago, he had no desire to add more ghosts to his collection.
Captain Hiemel sat in his chair on the bridge, surveying the final sweeps of the Eremisch nebula. He wore the black uniform of one his command, a light tunic which went down to just above his knees, which was finished off by a gold sash running from his waist on the left to his shoulder held in place by the royal insignia. Ferin the chief science officer had promised him the final tests would be complete by today, still he didn't truly trust Ferin's word exactly. Hiemel saw the man as a dreamer, far too caught up in the wonders of his own research to know what was going on around him, he doubted that Ferin even noticed time was passing while deep in research. Hiemel was quite prepared for Ferin's 'day' to turn into a week, he thought the promises of the early completion of the work were too good to be true. Still Hiemel couldn't care less how long Ferin's work took. He loved it out here on the frontier, out here with the fleet was where Hiemel's heart was, not back on Guardia or whatever planet he could end up stationed on.
He started out into the vast darkness which surrounded the fore view screen, for the sake of safety Guardian ships were no longer designed with portholes in the fore of the bridge, after several incidents involving shield failure and asphyxiation of the bridge crew. He watched the view intently, the swirling purple colours of the Eremisch nebula, it captivated him. Often on nights he would stand in the observation tower studying the star and planets surrounding the Nebula. On the seldom occasion Hiemel didn't dream of the crew of the Ayla, he had dreams of being a sailor, exploring the seas of Guardia. In his youth he took a trip to Giant's claw, he was amazed at the fossils and remnants of the long dead culture archaeologists found there. He found this amazing and reassuring at the same time, to think that a hybrid race of human and dinosaurs had once lived here.
The bleeping of a nearby console interrupted his thoughts. Ignoring it he continued to watch the starts. His attempts were in vain however as one of the bridge officers called to him.
"Captain, we are getting strange readings from the environmental system" Hiemel recognised the voice of Darum a young Ensign. He turned to face Darum, who was adorned in the grey uniform of one his rank, it was similar in design to his yet lacked the sash running across his chest.
"Perhaps you should be a bit clearer when addressing the Captain, Ensign" Hiemel reprimanded.
"I apologise Captain, the computer is picking up an alteration in the environmental settings from your suite, sir" Darum explained.
"What seems to be the cause of the problem, Ensign?" Hiemel asked.
"The computer reports sudden changes to the heating in your room sir" Darum answered.
"Has the computer reported the origin of the change, Ensign?" Hiemel questioned.
"Not yet sir the computer is still processing all current possibilities. Should I have an engineering team sent?" Darum asked.
"No, Ensign I shall go and investigate it myself. The wait for Ferin to complete his work is rather lifeless, this interests me" Hiemel answered "Callis, you are in charge of the Calladan until I return, have two security guards meet me at my quarters"
His second in command turned to face his commander. Callis was in her mid thirties, she had a slim figure yet was quite muscular, which was due to the benefits of the rigorous exercise she put herself through when not on duty. Her hair was a dark red, which she kept short and slicked back so not to get in her way. She wore the typical green uniform, which she wore quite tightly showing off the more feminine aspects of her physique. Like Hiemel she had completed several years of service aboard military vessels, but she yearned for more. She found this post quite uninteresting, hours and hours of awaiting Ferin to complete his boring research, rarely piqued her interest. "Yes, Captain I will ensure that all operations run smoothly until your return." Callis answered.
"See that it does Lieutenant" Hiemel complimented. He often wondered why Callis was wasted out here on the Calladan. When she could quite easily helm her own command. When this shift was over, he decided to file a request for a promotion for Callis. He pulled himself up out his chair, and headed over to the lift shaft, if he focused he could make out the whirring of the machinery. With a barely audible click, the doors slid open smoothly. He stepped inside and almost as quickly as they opened the doors closed, always with the same silent efficiency.
" Deck seven, crew's quarters level one" Hiemel commanded. He felt the lift begin to move. Hiemel leaned against the back wall of the lift, waiting for the lift to reach its destination. He began wondering why had chosen to investigate, what was most likely just a random glitch in environmental controls, he couldn't actually think of a reason beyond that it was a change from sitting on the bridge. After a couple of minutes the lift stopped, he stepped out as the doors opened.
The corridor arched in both directions, illuminated by strips of lighting placed at the top of each wall. He headed off to the left in a brisk march, further down the corridor he could see two security guards stood outside of his room. He approached them, and they addressed him with the customary salute.
"Would you like us to enter first Captain." One of them asked.
Hiemel turned to the guard who had spoken to him, a young inexperienced guard whose first post within the military had been on the Calladan. He tried to recall his name, it required a bit of thought then it came to him.
"No Carlson, as much as I note your lust for adventure I suspect this to be a simple matter, it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to remedy." Hiemel answered.
"Yes, sir." Carlson said.
He approached the door, which opened with the same efficiency as the lift had. He stepped inside, the doors closing after him. Hiemel shivered, he remembered that Guardian military uniforms were not always designed with temperature in mind. He let out a quick gasp and noticed that he could see his breath.
" Computer set room temperature to standard." Hiemel commanded.
"Affirmative, Captain" The computer answered in dulcet tones.
The room soon returned to it's normal heating. He waited for it to change, it only took a few minutes. He was still musing the probable cause of the change. "Computer has analysis of the environmental controls been completed" Hiemel asked.
"The cause of the error within the environmental system, has not yet been identified" The computer replied.
"Continue research, what is Ferin's current status?" He asked.
"Dr Ferin is currently located on Deck thirty seven" The computer answered.
Hiemel turned to leave his room, he stepped up to the doors and waited for them to open. They remained stationary. He ran his hand across the scanner located next to the right hand side of the door. The scanner failed to respond to his use.
"Computer why are the doors to my quarters not working" He asked with annoyance.
"System analysis reports no current errors with the doors within the system, recalculating analysis within a fifty percent probability margin for error. Secondary analysis complete, still no errors to report at this time" The computer reported in a monotone voice.
Hiemel slammed his hand into the door in frustration. "Carlson, it seems the door to my quarters is malfunctioning get an engineering crew down here right away" He shouted at the security guard.
"Yes, Captain" Came Carlson's response slightly muffled by the door.
Turning away from the door, he heads over to the dispenser. The standard drinks dispenser, which was placed in all crew quarter's of the Guardian armada. The benefits of the rank of captain were that the drinks dispenser also contained alcoholic drinks of a kind. It was really synthetic alcohol all the flavour but no of the actual alcohol. He pressed a grey button, a small glass ejected from the machine. Knowing his drink of choice, a small amount of brandy was poured into the glass. He took it taking a small sip. At least the drinks machine was working, he thought.
Moving into the main area of his quarters, he walked over to seat next to the table he had in his room. He froze in shock, the glass dropped onto the floor, the glass shattering as it impacted against the ground. Normally he would have complained at this waste, but his mind was elsewhere. He couldn't believe it, at what was stood in front of him. the figure from his dream.
Dressed as he always did in his nightmare, in the white robe. His eyes fixated on Hiemel, staring at something that he couldn't fathom. What was this another dream? He would have pinched himself but was still too surprised to know what to do.
"I take it my appearance has shocked you somewhat?" The figure asked in a soothing voice.
Hiemel tried to say something but no sound came from his throat. "Please calm yourself, you have no reason to fear me." The figure said reassuringly.
"Who are you?" Hiemel blurted out, finally managing to say something.
"I am Mathias, I have been watching you for sometime Hiemel. You seem to recognise me, why is this?"
"I.I have dreamt of you" Hiemel stammered, still shocked.
"Interesting, what portents may come of these dreams?" Mathias said to himself.
"Who are you? What are you?" Hiemel shouted, regaining his composure.
"I have already told you my name, but I see that you are still confused. I am angel, Hiemel." Mathias said interrupted by Hiemel. "An angel?" The answer seemed to amuse Hiemel more than anything else.
"I see that you are unfamiliar with the word. An easier explanation is that I am a being of considerable power, but my power is insignificant in comparison to the one I serve, at present that is of little importance." Mathias explained.
"What do you want then angel" Hiemel said with a slight amount of cynicism.
"I notice that you are now more comfortable than you were before. But first you said that you had dreamt of me, would you tell me of these dreams." Mathias asked.
"They are not dreams as such, they are nightmares. Almost every night the same, a nightmare of my fallen comrades those that served under me years ago. They died because I failed to protect them. Each time before I wake I see you" Hiemel explained.
"Interesting, the mind oft creates subconscious imagery that the conscious person does not always see." Mathias mused.
"Maybe you cause these dreams, nightmares sent to torture me, to break me" Hiemel said accusingly.
"I see that you no longer seem to doubt my power. And what pray tell, Hiemel would I gain from that. You seek to blame yourself for actions and events which were beyond your control, your dreams are merely a result of this blame." Mathias said.
Hiemel stayed quiet, as if offended by Mathias's remark. " I am sorry Hiemel, I did not intend to offend you with my comment" Mathias apologised.
Hiemel let out a sign in exasperation, he knew what Mathias was saying was true even though he refused to accept it. For some reason he couldn't seem to stay angry with him, something about Mathias made him strangely comfortable. "I see some point in your comments, but still I do not understand the reason my you have come to me. What is that you want, to give me reflection on why I should fight my inner demons?" Hiemel asked.
"Your personal demons are your own to fight, I cannot help you only give you insight. I am here as a messenger." Mathias explained.
"A messenger, I find it quite humorous that a being such as yourself would be the bearer of a simple message." Hiemel noted.
"The message I bring is of a personal undertaking. I bring a warning, certain events are about unfold, which given the right preparations can be stopped or at least diverted." Mathias explained
"And what is this message that you speak of?" Hiemel asked.
"An attempt is being made to free Prince Choras."
"Choras is held in one of the most secure prisons of the Guardian empire. How could anyone expect to free him?" Hiemel interjected.
"It will be successful, this event is already happening, nothing can be done to change its course." Mathias continued.
"What is it then that you warn me of?" Hiemel asked.
"It is difficult for me to say, for I truly do not understand them myself. All that I know is that Prince Choras will play a part in some grandiose scheme. I require you to pass on this message to the necessary recipients." Mathias finished explaining.
"Why me, surely I you could have chosen someone a little closer to Guardia?" Hiemel asked.
"Because the King respects you, after all was it not he himself that gave you this command?" Mathias said.
"Still I doubt he'll listen to me, why would he believe me" Hiemel asked.
"He will, now I have passed on my message I must leave." Mathias replied.
"Then go, I will pass on this message, though I doubt anyone will pay heed to it." Hiemel answered.
"The doors to your quarters will now function, I apologise for having to lure you here under false pretences." Mathias said.
As soon as he had finished speaking the room filled with a bright light obscuring the spot where Mathias had been stood. The light blinded Hiemel, instinctively he shut his eyes to shield them from the brightness. Waiting a couple of seconds Hiemel blinked a few times in an attempt to restore his vision, when he dared again to open his eyes, he saw that the room was empty save for himself. Mathias was no longer there, if he had ever been, he wondered if it had truly happened. Still he had made a promise to pass on the message that he had been given. For a moment he stood there contemplating what he should do.
He turned on his heel and went over to the command console in his quarters, tapping a few buttons. He waited for the computer to process the order he had just input.
"Captain is everything alright?" Darum's voice echoed around the room.
"Yes, Ensign. Please see that the order for the engineering team is called off as everything is now functioning correctly." Hiemel answered.
"Yes Captain. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"Establish a line of communication with Guardian high command, I have an urgent message to relay" Hiemel ordered.
"Captain, we appear to be experiencing problems in establishing communications. The computer reports that electro-magnetic levels of static are causing the problem from the nebula sir." Darum said being interrupted by Hiemel. "Have us moved away from the nebula Ensign, move us to an optimal range so the we can establish communication.
A third voice joined in the conversation, Hiemel recognised Callis' voice "Captain, if we move away from the nebula Ferrin's research may be interrupted" Callis reported.
"Tell Ferrin if he has any complaints to report them to me, move away from the nebula Callis" Hiemel commanded sternly.
"Yes sir, Captain"
Moving away from the console Hiemel walked towards the seating in his quarters. He sat down and waited. Looking over his quarters he noticed the broken glass on the floor. He turned to look out of the window o his quarters, he stared at the Nebula. Slowly as he watched he saw the Nebula moving away from him. As he watched it became more distant, he stared intently until it became just an insignificant speck on the horizon shining brightly in the darkness of space.
"Captain we are now able to establish communication with Guardian high command." Darum reported.
"Thank you, Ensign. Have the communication patched through to my quarters" Hiemel answered.
"Yes, Captain". Darum answered.
Hiemel pressed a concealed button on the table he was sat at. With a whirr of machinery a small view screen opened op on the desk, it proceeded to move up to a vertical position where it stopped. The primary grey visuals of the screen were quickly by a white image. It crackled with static quietly. Hiemel pressed another button, the static was replaced by an image of the Guardian royal crest and a message saying awaiting transmission.
He waited Hiemel let out a sigh of boredom. He watched the screen the image on it was replaced by a man wearing a grey uniform. Static obscured the image, he could barely make out who it was he was trying to speak to.
"This is the relay station on Guardia how can I help you?" The man asked.
"This is Captain Hiemel of the Calladan" Hiemel told him.
"Captain Hiemel, a pleasure to speak with you" The man said.
"Patch me through to the royal quarters, I have an urgent message for the King" Hiemel asked.
"Captain, this is quite unusual. If you could pass me the message I can relay it to the necessary persons" The man answered.
"Please put me through to the King, this is for him only" Hiemel said objectively.
From what he could see the man looked reluctant to reply. "Just putting you through now Captain." The man answered.
Hiemel awaited being put through to the King's personal chambers. He wondered just how much the King would actually believe what he was about to tell him. He still wasn't too certain as to how much he believed in it himself, still if it was true the King needed to know.
A city, golden in appearance. It cannot be seen or visited save by those
that inhabit it. It was here that he now called his home. The resting place
and offices of his position for what else could it be, created by his
predecessor. In his life he had three times the opportunity to become a ruler,
he had born into a royal position but that had been taken away from him without
his knowledge. Later he had loved a princess, when it came down to it he
had had to make a choice between love and destiny. And now yielded by the
truth of his heritage and his birthright he had taken this position. Before
time had thought he would, but through ill made choices he had come into
this position. Still who was he to argue with destiny, if he was to become
then he would.
He stood in his room, an ornate chamber filled with bookshelves and cabinets. The walls were lined with picture and charts. He had studied all of the books in here at one time, most of them were religious books written about various deities and theologies. A few were on histories of various places and peoples. He realised that most of the books were now lost or didn't even exist anymore. Hung above one of the bookshelves was a painting, it showed a young maiden whose hair was tied back in a ponytail. Upon her chest was a red pendant, it appeared to glitter with a bright ferocity. He had the painting made soon after he came to this place.
He sat on the bed, staring at the painting. He was lost in the beauty of it, he liked to spend what free time he could looking at the picture. He closes his eyes, a sparkle of yellow light cascades from the picture. Slowly it falls to the ground coming to rest on the wooden floor.
"Maybe you shouldn't worry as much as you do." She tells him.
Despite knowing what was happening, her voice startles him. His eyes flick open, without moving he turns to look at her. She appears just as beautiful as the first time he saw her, that day such a long time ago.
"You look like you've got the weight of the universe on your shoulders"
He turns so that he's sat on the edge of the bed, facing her. He laughs. "You always could bring me out of whatever despair I put myself in Marle" Crono answered.
"Life's too short to go wasting it on troubling yourself". She moves next to him sitting down on the bed with him, putting her arm around him.
"It's not as if you've never been able to defeat evil before Crono"
"But this isn't Lavos, and a lot more hangs in the balance this time"
"But despite Lavos's power we defeated him. Any evil can be conquered, it's all just a matter of how"
"This is different from Lavos. This is about revenge. revenge pure and simple"
"Why do you worry, surely you can defeat any foe that comes against you, no matter what form it takes."
"When we fought Lavos we created a paradox, we saw things and did things we maybe never should have seen. But the danger here isn't in curves, it's a line. a straight line. There are no paradoxes here. I wonder if this result has already been set." Crono moves laying his head in her lap, she starts to runs her fingers through his mass of spiky red hair.
"I believe in you." Marle told him
"I know" Crono replied.
"What is it about this conflict that has you so transfixed anyway?" She asked.
"I am at the very core of this fight, because I caused it." Crono answered. "My actions have led to this moment. Sometimes I pray for the cup to be taken from my lips, but knowing who I am how can my prayers ever be answered?" Crono asked.
She places her hand on his chest, he relishes every moment of her touch. "Then look in here for your answers, if you cannot answer your own questions, then how can you hope to be what you are?" Marle said answering with a question.
The cawing of a bird can be heard from the window of his room, he turned to look at the interruption. The raven D stood perched in the window, the golden light of the room reflecting off his closed eye. Knowing that he is there, Crono turns back to face Marle, looking up at her. She smiles back at him.
"I have things to attend to." Crono said.
"Until we next see each other then my love." Marle replied.
"I love you too." Crono told her.
He finds himself back on the bed, surrounded by a yellow sparkle fading fast. He turns to face the bird.
"What is it D?" Crono asked.
"Sorry to disturb you Crono, but it looks like we've got a problem." D explained.
"What is this problem?" Questioned Crono.
"Well. this isn't very easy but, it seems that Morian has a prisoner. Someone he that he knows means someone to you" D explained.
"Who is this prisoner?" Crono asked.
"Janus." D continued.
"Then it seems either Morian is moving quicker than I realised or, he's moving in a way I didn't suspect." Crono suggested.
"Either way, it seems that we may have to move more suddenly than we thought." D replied.
"I will begin making preparations" Crono said.
Chained. To a wall with no comprehension of reason or why. But surely within
our lives we all feel chained to something with no hope of release, be it
love, obligation, duty or even hatred. Stripped of all clothing barring a
loincloth covering his manhood, Janus lays chained to a wall. The feel of
the wall and his nudity makes him shiver occasionally. He shuts his eyes
in an attempt to block out what he's feeling. The wall feels cold as if it
were shivering itself, he feels it his body pressed up against it. He shudders
when he tries to probe its surface, it feels like flesh like the flesh of
some rotting carcass. As if the wall had been constructed from large chunks
of meat, moisture drips on him from above. On occasion when it falls on is
mouth, he's certain that it tastes of iron.
He keeps his eyes shut to block it out, he concentrates on trying to feel nothing. A wash of pain streams over him causing his body to shudder and spasm violently. Janus grimaces and grits his teeth as he feels the black wind brush deep against his very soul. He ponders over it for a moment, it seems to him as if this very place is amplifying the essences surrounding the wind. His thoughts of the black wind cause his mind to wander. He hasn't felt it in such a long time, and perhaps its absence is what is making it stronger.
Janus wonders why he's here. For so long a time he had been gone, in the other place. He had been happy there, a joyous reunion with all that he had lost such a long time ago. Then nothing, as it had ended suddenly and he had been cast into some form of limbo. As if everything had just stopped. It reminds Janus of the effects of the Chrono Trigger. Then once again there was something, but not bliss but a bleak agony, from which there seemed no end.
He opens his eyes suddenly, so quickly it was more as if they had been forced open. He looks at the room. It hurts his eyes for a moment the light, what little there was. He tries again to close his eyes but finds he can't. The room seemed to be in the shape of a cube, but it was misshapen at various points as if something had applied a great pressure to it. The walls were red, sustaining his fear they look like they're part of the flesh of some creature. Fluid drips down the walls, Janus tries not to look at it but finds himself transfixed by it.
He notices that in front of him part of the wall does not seem to fit completely at one side, Janus realises that it must be a door to his cell. In the upper part of it a small slit, just large enough to be used for looking into the cell.
Outside his cell he hears footsteps, walking heavily. The footsteps seem muffled, then Janus realises that he can hear something squelching, as the footsteps grow closer. The sound of flesh being squashed underfoot. They grow louder as they approach Janus' cell, he shuts his eyes slowly pretending to be asleep so they'll pass him by unnoticed. They stop outside his cell. Two eyes look through the cell, staring at Janus. He doesn't see it but he hears the door open, he hears it slam against the wall of his cell as if the door had been kicked open.
He realises now that there were two sets of footsteps he heard as they begin to approach him. The first are quite light only barely making any noise, he can only hear them now they are so near. The second set are heavy, they raise and crash down as if their owner has difficulty lifting them. He hears the ground squelch and what sounds like the cracking of bone underneath them. Very slightly as if barely audible Janus is certain he hears a quiet cry, upon these feet making contact with the ground.
"Wake him, up." Janus hears a voice say. The voice sounds light and saccharine. His thoughts are interrupted, when he feels a great weight forced down onto his chest. He feels something crack, as his chest fill with pain. The pain causes him to open his eyes and look at his attacker. Janus arches his neck upwards, in front of him he sees a mass of black, pink, red and orange. His vision blurred from the assault, he blinks one or twice and his sight sharpens.
He looks at the figure. His head is slightly spherical but at the same time bulbous and misshapen. Its face and head were covered in thick greasy scales, which were lined with various warts and lumps, of varying different colours and sizes. The larger ones are a sickly translucent green, inside them liquid seems to be swirling. The smaller ones are made up of reds and yellows. Some had burst leaking vile stinking pus. His eyes are just narrow dark slits, containing black eyes, which seemed to stare blindly at Janus, with little knowledge of what was happening. In place of its mouth was a small nose, the nostrils of which flared occasionally.
Janus' eyes moved downwards its head was joined to its body, with no neck. Its chest was rotund, and covered in scars and warts. Its chest was the major part of the body that alone dwarfed Janus in size quite easily. On each side were short stocky arms, which ended in hooves rather than fingers. He looked further down at the creature's legs, which were similar to its arms but just slightly longer and also ended in hooves. Janus guessed that the creature must have been at least two foot across and over six feet tall.
"He seems captivated by your beauty, Arjamesh." The man laughed at the irony of his own comment
Janus turned his stare to the other figure. He immediately noticed its difference to the creature stood next to it, where as Arjamesh was some bestial horror, the other was altogether more human looking and had a strange beauty about it. It stood at a height of about five foot or so, it wore a long flowing dark cloak, which seemed to shimmer in the light. The cloak completely covered its body starting at just under his neck and descending down past his feet where it gathered on the ground. Despite the moisture of the floor, the cloak strangely remained dry. Janus looked up at the figure's face, its features all seemed to be in perfect symmetry with each other. His eyes caught Janus' attention, they were a deep blood red and shone with a great feel of intelligence. Running across his right cheek was a deep angry scar, which looked as if had never healed.
The man reached forward and grabbed Magus' chin, drawing his face into a position so that they were staring into each other's eyes.
"I see you watch inquisitively, as if trying fathom some sense in your situation. But you see not the purpose. The reason as to why you have been drawn here." The man said.
Magus ignored him remaining silent.
"So you try to ignore, as if in some way your silence will make us go away." The man released his grip on Magus, and returned to where he was stood before.
"I brought you here to speak with you, to talk of many things. But we cannot carry out a conversation in a setting such as this." The man blinked and the room filled with a bright, blinding Magus. When his sight returned, he realised he was now stood atop a plateau. How high up he was didn't know, in the middle of the plateau were two chairs and a table, on one of them the man was sat. Magus realised he was no longer semi-naked, he was dressed in a brown cloth tunic, and red leather trousers with a pair of black boots. Not his normal choice of clothing but it would do.
"Come, come we have much to discuss." The man beckoned Magus to him with a wave of a hand. Carefully Magus walked over to him, and sat down at the table. The man clicked his fingers, and two glasses and a bottle of wine appeared on the table.
"How rude of me, I realise I never introduced myself. I am Morian, I am in many respects the keeper of this realm. There is no need to tell me your name, for I have been watching you for some time Janus." The man poured two glasses of the wine, a deep red that matched Morian's eyes. Magus was surprised that this man knew his real name, but remained nonchalant in appearance.
"What is this about? Magus asked.
"So you do speak. I said before I drew you here for a purpose. I do apologise for the way in which you were brought here, and how you were treated. But there really was no other way, as you would not have come willingly." Morian apologised. "Come, drink and make peace. I mean you no harm."
Against his better judgment, Magus took a sip from his glass. The wine tasted pleasant. He put the glass back on the table. "What do you want?" Magus asked.
"There are certain times in any land, when the safety of its residents is placed in jeopardy. Often these time can be solved through peace, but more often than not the only possible course of action is war." Morian explained.
"And just how does this concern me?" Magus questioned.
"This place is on the edge of an abyss. There are only two choices we fall aside, into a place from where we can never return or we fight and regain what is becoming lost to us." Morian continued. " We have grown to content with peace, we are no longer used to the ravages of battle. We need someone to lead us in this time of war."
"And this person would be me?" Magus laughed. "And why should the lives of your people concern me, why should I involve myself in wars that mean nothing to me?"
"Because I know you Janus. I know what you are, and more importantly what you are capable of" Morian said.
"I think you are mistaken Morian, once I may have sacrificed the lives of people for the sake of a foolish war." Magus commented. "But that was a long time ago, I changed a long time ago. I am no longer as selfish as I once was."
"So you hide behind lies and facades. You can't hide from your true nature, no one can. Any one that tries to is simply living a lie." Morian retorted. " You once had the utmost disdain for life, you thought nothing of spilling the blood of those that got in your way."
Morian's words brought back bad memories, he had changed Magus was no longer the petty child of Zeal nor was he the wizard the warred against Guardia all those years ago.
"I'm uncertain what you're trying to achieve by insulting me" Magus retorted.
"I simply wish to make right, what is right. This is a war my people must fight in, we must strike or we can never win." Morian said slyly.
"And you would sacrifice the lives of those that are against you? You mentioned peace earlier?" Magus questioned.
"We have gone too far beyond peace, for that ever to have been a possibility. There is no hope for us apart from attack." Morian answered. "Who are you to question my actions? Is not the blood of those you slew on your hands?"
Again Magus held his tongue, refusing to reply to Morian's comments. "I would wage war against divinity itself. There has never been any possibility of choice, and yes I would happily slay those who stand against me."
Despite the situation Magus seemed a little surprised at Morian's words. He wondered what he meant by divinity. He couldn't mean, what he thought he meant. Could he?
"I see my words have caught you in wonderment. Life itself is hanging in the balance, my and your actions will decide the fate of nature itself"
"I see you would have me lead your petty little war, to give up what I have become and return to the self loathing that ruled me for so long."
Morian stood up and walked over to the edge of the plateau. "For so long I have been in this place, I was cast down here as punishment. But over time I changed things, despite the punishment those who tortured me saw reason in my actions. After time the torture stopped, I had gained their respect. For they too held the same hatred as I."
"My disdain for life helped me, I would have my revenge on all that stood in my path no matter how innocent or guilty. If they were against me, I would take their lives."
"I see little point in your attempt to reason your actions."
"In some cultures they regard the act of conception the holiest of all things." Morian laughed. "I find it strange to think how such a thing can be found holy. A messy exchange of fluids, pain and love. And the of gestation more pain. People try to hide themselves in finding comfort in each other, but often all this comfort leads to is pain and suffering."
Magus took another sip of the wine.
"I once tried to take comfort in another, but he hide his feelings from us. He couldn't even face us with the truth, as if we just foolish children who would never understand." Morian shouted angrily.
"And then he realised he could never face the truth of his actions and fled, he put another in his place. But how could any other ever understand us. We were created as servants to just one thing not any other. How could any other understand us or rule us. I spoke out. Many of my brethren understood together we stood and fought against what we thought was wrong. We failed and were cast down to this place, for daring to question his authority." Morian explained.
"But now I am in position to move again, to take back what was wrongly given. Life has changed to much it has been corrupted, spoiled over these many years. The life in this world has become like an ectopic pregnancy, a stagnant unwanted aberration."
"And you would try to change all this?" Magus asked.
Morian turned to him and walked back over to the table, seating himself again. "So I give you one last chance, will you help me?"
Magus remained quiet his suspicions were growing. He thought he now knew whom it was Morian was warring with, and he couldn't let that happen. He gripped his glass of wine firmly, and began to put it to his lips. With a quick twist of his wrist, he smashed the glass down on to the table, spilling wine and broken shards of glass over his trousers. With ease he brought the broken glass up and slammed it into Morian's right eye. He saw the glass pierce it, and dropped the glass, one small piece remained lodge in Morian's eye. He was surprised at Morian's reaction, as he seemed not to notice the pain.
"I see now what choice you've made." Morian answered. He stood up and seemingly faster than Magus could react, batted the table aside with one arm and grabbed Magus by the throat. He lifted Magus off the ground with ease, tightening his grip around his neck in an effort to choke him. Morian pushed Magus backwards, moving closer to the edge of the plateau. With his free hand Morian pulled the glass from his eye and threw it to the ground.
"You cannot hurt me Janus. I tried to be reasonable, I treated you kindly, I gave you the chance to be by my side. So you could save yourself from what will happen. But no you threw away your chance, because of the ties that bind you to life. Those ties will be you end." Morian shouted.
Magus found that despite Morian's grip, he could breath quite easily. But couldn't let this little event divert his mind from the danger he was in. He brought his legs up hard and slammed them hard into Morian's chest. The blow threw Morian backwards, Magus fell to the ground and picked himself up quickly. Seeing nowhere else to go he headed towards the plateau's edge. He looked over the precipice and realised he was at least several hundred feet up, but what other choice did he have.
"How can you destroy me Morian? I never had any choice, I am not bound by ties. I am bound by something I once never had loyalty." Magus told him.
Morian stood up but stayed where he was. "You cannot escape Magus, this is my land. I will hunt you down and destroy you." Morian threatened.
"I am already dead, I have been for a long time." Magus answered, and jumped from the edge of the plateau. He could see the ground in the distance, it was coming to towards him as he hurtled towards it.
He concentrated and mouthed the words of a protective spell, it would at least save him from some damage. When he finished the incantation, he found that his magic didn't work here. He swore quietly under his breath.
He could now see that the ground formed a circle around the plateau, but at it's edge was a hole surrounding the plateau. He dreaded to think how far down that hole went. The ground was approaching him quickly. He braced himself for the impact. Magus hit the ground hard, but instead of a hard surface it he found it to be soft, whatever it was that he had hit splashed up around him. Magus began to sink into the ground, and he realised it was a small river. But it wasn't water, the river was brown and murky. He stood up quickly The smell hit his nose, and he nearly vomited. He could smell a mixture faeces, semen and urine and various other noxious odours. He lost his footing and fell onto his back in the river. He was quite thankful that he was fully clothed now.
The current of the river started to carry him downstream, he tried to stand again and found he couldn't, he slipped again. Then Magus saw the stream of the river went down over the edge of the hole. Magus attempted to move against the current but found he was attempts were in vain. Once again he found himself falling, this time he could see no ground below him. He wondered now what would greet him upon his arrival in this new area, and he still had Morian to deal with.