The Aftermath Of Mount Woe Chapter 29
A Visit To Earthbound Island
Schala awoke slowly, aware that Greven was moving out from under her. "We overslept." His voice drifted into her half concious brain. "We really need to get going, if we're going to go." Schala found that she was finally calm again, but she didn't want to move from her position, all the same.
"Can't your people live without these supplies for another night?" She asked without opening her eyes.
"They can, but they won't be happy campers. The last of the old stuff will have run out by now."
"Oh, all right." Schala slowly raised herself to her feet. She concentrated for just a moment, and a large stack of crates appeared next to the beam housing. Greven immediately began chucking them onto the beam activator, where they promptly disappeared. "Don't waste your effort." Schala scolded him. With a small gesture on her part, the entire pile rose up into the air and settled gently on the beam housing, where it vanished at once.
"Impressive." Greven nodded approvingly.
"You haven't seen anything yet." Schala assured him.
"Not even when you beat the crap out of me last week?"
"Well, maybe you've seen a little..." She said, not wanting her boyfriend to feel embarrased. Then she realized what she had just thought to herself. 'Whoah! I have a boyfriend! Cool. Although, I know him so well now, he seems more like a husband...' Her brows furrowed.
"I heard that." Greven said, pretending to be cross. "Looks like part of that link was permanent."
"I never heard of this happening..." Schala thought. "Oh well, we can ponder that later. Let's get going." Greven nodded, and they stepped up onto the stone pyramid. A gentle light suffused them, and they disappeared.
Schala shuddered involuntarily as a frigid, biting wind blasted through her robes. She wrapped them more tightly around herself, before looking at Greven, who seemed to be unaffected. He shrugged at her. "The next part is up to you."
"All right. I'm sending you on ahead, with a five minute lag time for me and the supplies. You've got to explain that I'm coming on friendly terms."
"I'll do my best." She nodded, then teleported him away. Shivering, she bundled the robes even tighter around her.
Greven blinked as the white glow of teleportation faded. Looking around, he wondered how Schala knew where to send him. Then he just slapped himself on the head and laughed at his stupidity. Sophisticated telepathy was definitely not his forte. Then he looked around the cave more carefully, wondering where to find his father at this hour. That might have been difficult, considering he didn't know what the hour was. But something interrupted his pondering.
"Greven! Where have you been?!" Whirling around, Greven saw his... well, he saw a young woman named Selisha running toward him. She could best be described as his girlfriend, although that wasn't quite it. Out of all the girls he... spent time with, he had spent more time with Selisha than all the others put together. She ran up and threw her arms around his neck, which disconnected her feet from the floor. Greven groaned as he straightened his back. "Am I heavy?" She teased him.
"Of course not," Greven answered sensibly, "I'm just weak."
"That is something you definitely aren't, as you've proven many times. So where have you been? Why haven't you been down here? Everyone misses you."
"I wish that were true. I've been trying to get some food for us, after Dalton had his way with our storage silos."
"Somebody needs to do something about that guy." Selisha stated.
"We're working on it." Greven said. It was partly true, anyway.
"Who's "we?" She asked, her eyes narrowing, although Greven wasn't sure why.
As if on cue, a white light filled the room, and Schala stood there with the full load of crates. Greven gulped. "What, did you get all of ten feet?" Schala demanded. "Oh. I see. It's her..."
Selisha stood in open mouthed awe. "Wh-what is... the princess... doing here?" She finally got out in a hoarse whisper.
"She's helping us out big time. Now, do you know where I can find my father?"
Selisha shook herself out of her amazement. "Not exactly, but I can go find him for you."
As Selisha turned to walk away, Greven was assaulted with a deafening mental shout. 'Tell that (expletive deleted) about us!!'
'Schala...' Greven tried responding mentally. To his surprise, it worked.
'Don't take that tone with me! I know what you two do! I don't want you around her anymore!'
'That's going too far!' Greven shouted back. 'Schala, I love you, all right? But its going to take me a while to sever all my connections here. I'm not just going to go around insulting everyone and causing hurt feelings because of you!'
'No, you do enough of that on your own.' They stood in silence for a few moments. 'I'm sorry.' She said after a few minutes. 'I know this can't be easy for you.'
'Nothing is ever easy for the Earthbound.' He stated. 'And with a combination of Earthbound and Enlightened, forget it.'
'I suppose so... Hey! Did you just say you loved me?'
"You should consider that a given." He reverted back to his vocal cords. "Especially after what just happened."
"Yeah, but there's a difference between having it wrenched out of your terrified soul and openly saying it. I love you too, but I'm not sure if its just because of the link, or... Like I said, I really don't know what all the effects of a link are."
"I guess that's something we'll both have to find out for ourselves." Greven said with narrowed eyes, making it hard for Schala to tell exactly what he was talking about. Their conversation was cut short when Selisha returned, followed by a dour looking middle aged man. His eyes practically leapt out of his head when he saw Schala, and he angrily turned on Greven.
"I knew you were a spy, you little rat! You've sold us out!"
"Oh will you shut your pie hole, you old geezer? The amount of crap that's about to come pouring out will bury us all!" Greven responded. Schala guesses that this sort of thing happened quite often.
"You better have a good explanation for this, you Lavos worshipping-"
"I sense that little comment isn't just directed at me. Schala's here to help us, so you really better take that back!"
"Why? For telling the truth? I've had just about enough of your attitude, whichever side you're on!" Greven growled a little, and then charged straight at the man. Selisha groaned, as if even this type of situation came up quite often. They exchanged a blindingly fast flurry of blows, with Greven finally being sent to the ground with a jumping uppercut on the "geezer's" part.
"Screw you, dad." Greven groaned.
"That's your mother's job." He spat at his son, then looked at Schala. "Explain yourself, Madame Lavos."
"Like Greven said, I'm here to help. He said you were out of food, so I brought some. Pure and simple."
"Probably poisoned." He spat again, taking great care to make sure it landed in Greven's face.
"You know, in the not too distant past, you people were all screaming for some Enlightened help."
"Yes, but we all were forced to live without it, and we got used to it. As you can imagine, we're not too fond of your kind around here. We get enough "help" from Greven."
"From all accounts, you people treat him like dirt. Maybe you all treat each other like that, but I think its terrible." She sighed. "Do you want the food or not?"
Greven finally stood up, and dusted himself off as best he could. "Just bring it in, whatever he says." Schala nodded nervously, and the whole pile levitated off the ground again.
"Hold on! She definitely can't come in, no matter what!"
"Now just a-" But Schala cut him off.
"Stand aside. I have business within."
"Business?!" Greven's dad demanded. "With who?!"
"I would like to speak with Mrs. Vecar." Greven looked up, surprised.
So did his dad. "What the hell? You know what this is about?" He turned to Greven. Greven shrugged. Schala strode forward, the crates following her. "Hold it." The old man stretched his arm out, blocking her way. Schala got an angry look on her face.
"Dad, I don't think you want to do-"
"Shut up Greven. I'm serious. No Zealian residents inside."
Schala, realizing that this guy was going to be a jerk no matter what, quickly grabbed his collar and hurled him into the cave wall. As he lay dazed, Greven motioned her into the cave. "Where is the Vecar cave, specifically?" Greven opened his mouth to speak, but Schala waved her hand. "Mental picture please. Just be sure to pull out this time." Greven nodded, rather darkly, she thought, and the picture popped into her mind. She concentrated, and a white glow surrounded the area, leaving only Selisha behind.
When Schala could see again, a middle aged woman was screaming with fright, herding many small children away from them as quickly as possible. Schala let the children go, but quickly put up a small force field between them and the woman. The woman crashed into it, before turning around to glare angrily at Schala. "Another Enlightened one eh? Wasn't your first visit enough?"
"Do I have the honor of addressing Mrs. Vecar?" Schala asked as politely as possible.
"Yes..." The lady said, obviously reluctant to volunteer any further information.
"I have come to apologize for Dalton's actions. He acted without authority from Queen Zeal or myself."
"Your authority? Then you're..."
Schala ignored her. "I have brought a large supply of food, for all the Earthbound ones, but especially for your family, as Dalton singled out the Vecars."
"Whatever gave you that idea?" Mrs. Vecar asked with narrowed eyes.
Schala made a slight gesture, and Greven reluctantly stepped out from behind the pile of crates. His mother gasped. 'Why are you doing this?' He asked Schala telepathically.
'Don't pretend you didn't want someone to do this for you all these years.' She responded quietly.
"Hello mother." He said quietly, out loud.
She backed up, holding her arms out. "S-stay back. Earthbound weren't meant to have these powers. They could malfunction..." Greven turned back to Schala, giving her a look that pretty much said, 'you see?'
"Mrs. Vecar, that is, quite frankly, beyond crap!" Schala said angrily. "Greven can control his powers better than a lot of Enlightened ones I've seen."
"But... My husband said that Lavos' energy was very unstable..." She wouldn't surrender yet.
"He's been feeding you all that bunk?!" Greven roared in a spittle inducing rage. His mother cringed.
"We Enlightened ones do not use Lavos for our magical power. Only to keep Zeal in the air." Schala said diplomatically, playing the politician.
Greven's mother looked up, tears in her eyes. "Son, I'm sorry. I had no idea..." A few moments of silence passed, then Greven slowly walked forward and embraced her.
"Its all right mom. Its all right..." Greven said in a choking voice. "Its too late for me." They stood that way for a few moments, then Greven backed off. "But its not too late for Ertai. I think he should come back here as soon as possible. I'm not exactly the best role model for him."
"That would be nice... But I don't really know Ertai. He was only about three when you two left. I think he should stay with you, for now." Greven's eyes narrowed, but then he whirled around. Following his line of vision, Schala saw his father standing at the entrance.
"Stop controlling her!!" Greven roared. "Everything that Ertai and I have suffered has been your fault!! Don't you care about him, at least?!"
"You haven't suffered!" His father responded. "You've both been living the cushy life while we've been suffering!"
"You bastard!" Greven leaped forward. His father, who had been tensing, did the same. Schala stepped between them, a purple shield of energy forming at the end of each arm. The enraged Vecars bounced off, and went sprawling into the dirt. They immediately got up and charged again, making Schala expand the shields so they couldn't get around her.
"Boys, please!" She scolded as if they were both two. 'Well, they're acting like it.' She thought.
'I heard that.' Greven responded crankily, but managed to calm himself down.
"I must admit sir, I don't have the most favorable of impressions regarding you." Schala addressed his father as politely as she could, the words tasting bitter in her mouth. "Now, what is your name?"
"I'm Vuel Vecar." He said, then clamped his jaw shut, not volunteering any more information.
Greven's mother stepped forward, giving her husband a none too loving glance. "I'm Hanna. Its an honor to have you here, Miss Schala."
"The honor is all mine." Schala bowed professionally. Greven smiled a little. He might have never seen it before, but it was obvious that Schala had inherited Vigo's political savvy.
Then, several sets of eyes began peering around the corners of the cave. Greven viewed them through troubled eyes of his own. His mother noticed, and beckoned back into the cave. "Hey, you all come out and meet your older brother." Two kids barely old enough to walk immediately ran forward and fixed themselves to Greven's legs. The four or five others slowly advanced in a delta like formation, a boy looking to be about ten at their head.
"Well this is weird." He said in a surprisingly friendly voice. "I'm used to being the oldest around here."
"Well, get un-used to it. I probably won't be staying..." Greven trailed off, aware that he'd just contradicted what he'd been telling himself nearly half his life. Vuel smiled. "..but the second oldest of us," he momentarily paused again, getting the feeling for the implications of that word, "may be coming here very soon."
"Who is he?" Three young voices piped up. Greven laughed.
"Why don't I tell you over dinner?"
"Whaddya mean? There isn't any food!"
Shaking his head and laughing, Greven pointed to where Schala stood with the crates of supplies. They all walked off into the cave, Vuel sulking along behind.
Schala regarded their retreating forms for a long time. Hearing Greven laugh, now that was something. She didn't recall ever hearing the sound before. As hesitant as he had been at first, it was obvious that he had wanted someone to do this for him for a long time. Greven might have hated his father, but no matter what, it was always hard to go against your family. Schala pushed back her own issues that came flooding to the front of her mind. This was Greven's night. Thinking fast, she teleported away the common bread and meat loaf in several of the crates, replacing it with fine sirloin, wine, some of the cooks' special bread, and some condiment whose name she couldn't pronounce, but knew to be very good. 'Hey Schala, bring in some of that food. Mom wants you to eat with us!' Greven shouted unnecessarily loud into her mind. Schala hurried to obey.
That night, in the dining room reserved for important dignitaries, at the table reserved for royalty and the Gurus, Janus and Dalton both sat, warily poking their dinners.
"What the hell is this stuff?!" Dalton demanded. When his fork couldn't cut through the outer skin, he angrily drew his sword and brought it down in a tight arc, only to have it bounce off the tough, outer shell.
"Some unknown type of meat, I think." Janus gave the meat loaf a vicious stab, only to have the fork slip out of his fingers. "Someone ought to force feed this glop to the cook!"
"For once, young majesty, I completely agree with you." Dalton got up, and angrily stormed off to the kitchen.
"See if you can get dessert served early too!" Janus called, pushing his plate away. Hardly a second later, a brown cat jumped up on the table, snatched the meat loaf, and ran away. "What the? Hey! I was not eating that!" Janus jumped down to search for the cat, but it, and the meat loaf, had disappeared. "Ha! Welcome to it, cat." Janus sat back down, to wait for his dessert.
"Someone has to change this world, even if it means "wrong doing!" - Gafgarion
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