Chapter 9

Chapter 9

A Chapter by Johnzo
"

The trio arrives in Sedenza, but quickly find themselves on the run.

"

The eastern airfield in Sedenza was a very busy place that afternoon.  Even for those that were well travelled, the scene of dozens of huge airwhales convening in single place was something to be marveled.  The long tapered wings and ornately flourished tails of each great telaliam was unique both in color, size and shape.  Though all were covered in predominately white, some had wide short tails mixed with blue and gold, while others had longer ones with swirling tapered fur full of reds, blues and violets.  The wings of the airwhales flowed in the wind which swirled through the brightly colored tufts. 

The sounds heard at these fields were unique in their own right as well.  The low humming bass tones and high pitch calls echoed throughout the entire area.  It was a peaceful melody and one that Cassidy was glad to hear again.  It had barely been two weeks since she left Sedenza, but it felt like a great deal longer to her.  Cassidy, Traz and Trede were all standing on the lookout deck along with most of the other passengers.  The wide field of landing towers was one of the most commonly known landmarks of the city, and for many it was the highlight of the trip. 

“So many great Telaliam in one place, they are truly gracious creatures.”  Said Traz with eyes open wide.

“This is always my favorite part of flying into Sedenza.”  Said Cassidy in a unusually peaceful and calm tone.  “I remember the first time I flew into this airfield a few years ago, I was stunned!  Sedenza has been my favorite place to be ever since.”  Cassidy glanced over and noticed Trede looking over the map again.  “I suppose we can swing by for your drop off on the way to the guild house, as long as we’re there before too late, we shouldn’t have a problem checking in through the gate.”

“Yeah, thanks.  It shouldn’t take long.”  Said Trede. 

“Maybe we should stop by the hunter’s guild shops first, you know… see what’s fresh from the smoker?”  Traz said hopefully.  “It’s been quite long since we’ve had more terrestrial food.” 

“That’s not a bad idea, I was getting fairly sick of carrier rations.  The delivery can wait another hour or so.”  Said Trede.

“Great!  We’ll grab a late lunch then be off.  It’ll be a great way to see the city too.”  Said Cassidy. 

The carrier landed at a tower near the middle of the field.  The captain guided the airwhale to safely dock the carrier into the tower’s harness.  As they untied the ropes the carrier jerked and settled into the harness.  The airwhale, relieved of it’s duty, calmly resumed it’s travel and floated off over the city.  Airwhales rarely stopped moving, they usually followed long winding but predictable migration paths that crisscrossed over the entire continent.  It was because of these predictable paths that many years ago the Merkant guild was able to chart them and utilize these docile creatures as a means of transport.  A carrier captain can only direct the path of an airwhale slightly, which is convenient for docking to landing towers, but other than that the airwhales fly only to destinations they choose.  Sedenza was discovered to be a converging point for many of these paths, which is why the city had grown so rapidly in such a short time. 

After a few moments the carrier began lowering.  The landing towers in Sedenza were much taller than Smisom, and the trio watched as their skyhigh view slowly came down to earth.  They gathered all their things from inside the carrier and set off out of the landing field.  As they walked Trede looked back and noticed two carrier hands carrying a man out on a stretcher.  He quickly turned his head back forward and tried to put it out of mind.  Another reminder of why he was really here in Sedenza he did not need, the motivation for finding a release from his curse was already foremost in his mind. 

As they entered the main city Trede remained observant.  While Cassidy began describing all her favorite locales to Traz, he was looking out for a sign, a clue or anything relating to what Maej said.  He had little to go on, and didn’t really expect someone to approach him on the street with an instant curse-removing elixer, but every person they passed he watched and wondered.  The three continued on through the main marketplace.  It was a enormous area compared to Smisom, it had even grown noticeably since the last time Trede had visited.  The market consisted of several cross streets, each lined with numerous shops, boutiques, restaurants and anything else imaginable. 

“You should see this place after dark!”  Said Cassidy.  “We Cytech’s upgraded the public lighting system here recently, it really makes this place great for nightlife.  Oh and over on that corner there is a great cafe.  I like to come out after dark and get a drink from time to time.  The city is really something at night.”

After walking several minutes more they came upon one of the Hunter’s guild shops.  Traz, barely containing himself, asked the shopkeeper “Good sir!  I’m very pleased to make acquaintance with your shop!  What have you that’s fresh?”

“Yo’ are in luck.  Some rare delicacies just com’in today.”  Said the shopkeeper.  “Some great plains boar, and a jivret dessert crawler.  Be don’ smokin’ just in time for a selahn appetite.”  He pointed back at a pair of large rotisserie smokers, the warm aroma captured Traz’s interest instantly. 

“Yes!  We’ll have both!”  Traz graciously paid for the meal again and the three found a nearby table to sit.  Trede had had never had jivret, they were strange reptilian looking creatures, found in far outskirts of the city living amongst the barren rock.  But the flavor was most agreeable and soon they had all eaten their fill. 

“Outstanding!”  Said Traz leaning back and stretching his now very full stomach.  “I may have to come back here for seconds before long.”

After the meal they set out to find the temple shown on Trede’s map.  It was in the northeast corner of the city so they exited the south central area of the marketplace.  Cassidy looked over Trede’s shoulder to see the map and thought she knew the best route to get there.  Cassidy didn’t spend much time in this area of the city, it was mostly private buildings or residences and apartments.  The streets were fairly crowded until they reached a back alley Cassidy led the group through.  The alley emptied out onto a lesser traveled back street that was full of mostly empty and boarded up buildings save one.  There was a structure that looked to be about 3 stories with a large wooden double door with ornate cast iron hinges.  The building itself was made of stone and mortar, and seemed to be in good repair, but there were no signs that anyone was home.  There were two burned out torches on either side of the door, and there were no windows visible from the front. 

“This is it.”  Said Trede.  “Why don’t you guy wait here, I shouldn’t be long.” 

“I guess it looks temple-ish.”  Noted Traz, surveying the structure. 

“We’ll be here.”  Said Cassidy smiling. 

Trede climbed the few stone steps leading up to the wooden door.  There was an iron knocker above either handle on the door, so he lifted one and knocked.  A moment passed and there was no response. 

“It is a large place, perhaps a louder announcement?”  Asked Traz. 

Trede thought he would take a more direct approach and tried pushing in on the door.  Surprisingly the heavy door slowly opened.  Though it was daytime, no natural light could be seen inside except for what was entering from the now open door.  Trede peered in, but couldn’t make anything out but a long empty looking entry hall, that may have had a few doorways near the back.  Trede widened the door to let in more light, still no sign of anything.  “Hello? Courier service.”  He called out to the empty room, but received only silence in response.  He turned back to his friends, “I’ll go in and check it out, maybe there’s a safebox I can leave it somewhere.”  Trede disappeared into the dark entryway of the building.

Cassidy shifted her weight to one side and leaned her hip on a stone pillar at the base of the temple stairs.  “Well Traz, what do you think of Sedenza so far?”

“A true metropolis indeed, I’m having the greatest to of times so far.”  Said Traz while twirling a tuft of his fur at the edge of his check. 

Meanwhile inside the temple, Trede cautiously walked around in the dark.  He found a several rooms, what appeared to be a mix of private office space, a kitchen and a good size library, but not a soul was to be found.  He didn’t find a place he felt was safe to leave the package either, so he decided to head back outside.  Trede was carrying the parcel under his left arm at this point as he made his way back to the main entrance.  The door was still open and he could see his friends outside waiting for him. 

“No one’s around, I’ll have to come back later.”  He shouted out. 

Cassidy shrugged her shoulders, “Well it’s not too far from guild house, we can try again later.”  She said under her breath. 

Trede reached the doorway, but as he did so this time, something in the house stirred.  He thought he heard a voice behind him, so he turned and looked, but saw nothing.  Trede made up his mind he hadn’t actually heard anything so he took another step, this time as he did so the package under his arm began to shake.  He took it in both hands and looked at it, something inside of it was moving, perhaps spinning at a increasingly rapid rate.  Trede was paused right on the threshold of the temple staring down at what he had thought had been another mundane parcel. 

Traz pointed his ears and peered up the stairs at Trede wondering, “Is something there?”

“We should go.”  Said Trede with a warning in his voice.  With that he took another step, but the artifact within the parcel became even more violent.  Trede noticed it was becoming more agitated the harder Trede tried to walk forward.  It doesn’t want me to leave” he thought.  He turned and threw the parcel back into the dark room and tried to run, but something would not him move.  Trede struggled to move forward, it was as if he were trying to walk through a solid invisible wall that stood at the open door.  “Let me go!”  Trede shouted at the unknown force.   

“Trede!”  Cassidy shouted, as both she and Traz ran up the stairs.   They quickly reached the top and grabbed Trede by the arms to pull him out.  With a great struggle they removed him from the temple and they all three collapsed at the top step.  Before they had even a chance to stand, the parcel Trede had thrown rose from the back of the room and up into the air.  It began glowing with a great light, with a brighter light slowly breaking out through growing cracks in the parcel.  Spinning rapidly, the outer packaging shone and then broke like glass.  A long bending beam of blue light flew out at Trede.  He tried to call out but was choked as the light grabbed him by the neck and pulled him back inside while the doors slammed shut with loud clap. 

“Tay lesh!”  Traz shouted in alarm in his native selahnic tongue.  He unsheathed his curved daggers and immediately began trying to pry open the door.  But what had once been loosely closed, was now unnaturally and firmly sealed. 

Suddenly they could hear muffled cries from inside, and streams of blue light flowing out of from the cracks between the two great doors. 

“Quick let’s get a lever, something heavy to pry the door!”  Cassidy could scarcely believe what was happening, but knew she had to act quickly.  “Hold on Trede!”  She cried.

 

 

Trede was being dragged on his back across the rough stone and mortar floor.  He furiously grabbed at the corners of stone to try and get a hand hold, but was being pulled too fast.  Before he realized, he was fully at the back of the entry hall, sitting with his back against the wall.  Suddenly the force around his neck let go.  Dazed for a moment, he sat there, then tried to stand and run back for the door.  As he did so a new power entangled him, it felt as though the weight of huge stones were tied to his limbs pulling him back to the wall behind.  Trede pulled mightily, but could not avail.  He slammed back into the wall with great force, and was completely immobilized. 

“What do you want!”  Trede shouted in fearful exasperation. 

A moment passes, but there is no response.  Trede struggles against his invisible bonds, and then feels a mysterious force creeping into his mind. 

You must relent…  A woman’s subtle voice became audible, sending chills down his spine.  It was like she was whispering directly into Trede’s ear, but he could plainly see no one was there. 

“Let me go.”  Said Trede, while clenching his teeth. 

Do you have what we seek?  The invading voice echoed in his mind, it was becoming an intense pain, as if his very essence was being attacked. 

“I brought the package, just let me go!”  Trede shouted again, and resumed trying to pull away from the stone wall. 

How can one see with such closed eyes?  A sharp blue light began to grow within the room, from where Trede could not tell.  The oppressive force that held him was growing stronger. 

Trede winced in pain.  His body still immobile, burned as if he were laying over a great fire, but the torment in his mind was insufferable.  “STOP!”  Trede shrieked.  It was the only intelligible word he could muster as the pain became nearly unbearable. 

Outside, Cassidy and Traz ran back up the temple steps with a suitable lever.  They had spotted a loose board on a nearby porch.  Traz quickly shaved off part of one edge with a dagger, so it would fit in between the doors.  The two were moving so frantically, they didn’t even notice the waxing light beaming from inside.  The lights had nearly filled every crack around the entire door frame. 

“Ready?  On three!”  Cassidy said hurriedly. 

“Yes, One!”  Shouted Traz, grabbing the far end of the lever. 

“Two!”  Said Cassidy, bracing herself and widening her stance. 

Without warning there was a thunderous crack resounding in the air as the door blew open.  A great wind blew forth from the building, and splinters from the heavy door rained down.  Trede was kneeling down at the door’s threshold, his gunstaff in hand.  The chamber of which was smoking profusely.  Behind him swirled a web of pulsating blue and white energy.  Trede stood up without hesitation and yelled, “Run!”

 

 

Trede ran furiously through the back streets and alleys of Sedenza.  Only occasionally looking behind to make sure his friends were still following, and that nothing else was. 

“Trede, what was that?”  Cassidy shouted up ahead. 

“I don’t know.”  Trede was still in shock, the only thing he could think of was escape.  “We need to keep moving!”  He spoke between heavy breaths, they had already been sprinting for several minutes. 

Traz followed behind the other two in silence. 

“We should go to the guild house, once we’re inside the gate we’ll be safe.”  Cassidy shouted again. 

Trede reached the end of another alley and stopped abruptly.  He turned back to Cassidy with wide eyes and spoke softly.  “Then let’s go.”

“Right.”  Cassidy stepped around Trede and looked around the street to get her bearings.  “This way.”

She took off westward down the street with Trede and Traz following. 

After a moment Traz spoke.  “Not the greatest hospitality on this side of town eh?”  Though his choice of words did not show it, Traz’s was voice serious and solemn. 

“Guys.”  Cassidy interrupted.  “We might have a problem.”  Up ahead three armored men with drawn swords had appeared at a cross street and began running towards them. 

“Hold up.”  Trede slowed to a halt and looked at the men coming down the street.  He hadn’t seen anyone face to face in the temple, but this couldn’t be coincidence.  Run or fight?  Trede thought.  The pain in his mind had only begun to subside, but not so much as he wanted to risk facing it again.  “Let’s go!” 

Trede ducked into another alley. 

“What do we do?  Who are those guys?”  Cassidy was noticeably shaken seeing a group of armed men running straight for them.

“Perhaps we set an ambush?  They’ll surely follow us through these back alleys.”  Said Traz. 

Run or fight?  The thought cycled through Trede’s mind repeatedly.  “How far are we from the guild house?”

“Oh, ah… Another twenty blocks at least.”  Said Cassidy.

“Too far.  We’ll never avoid them that long.”  Trede stopped so quickly Cassidy bumped into him and almost knocked them both over.  Trede grabbed Cassidy’s arm to steady them both.  He looked at her, then down to Traz.  “We have to fight.” 

“Agreed.”  Traz pulled out his daggers and spun them quickly as they shined in the sun.  “I’ll do the reconnaissance, I’m sure they aren’t far behind.”  Traz disappeared quickly jumping up on some crates stacked outside the back door of a local residence and out of site into another back street. 

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”  Cassidy removed her arm from Trede’s grip.  It was obvious she didn’t agree with the proposed course of action. 

Trede didn’t answer for a moment. 

“Well?”  Cassidy shrugged.

“You weren’t in there.”  Trede said flatly.  “You didn’t...”  Trede paused again.  “I won’t let them have me again, I’ll fight.  You can run if you want.”

Cassidy saw Trede in a different light for a moment.  It wasn’t like him to show such determination.  “No.”  She paused.  “No, I can help.”  Cassidy took out a short rod from her bandolier which quickly telescoped out to several times it’s original length.  She then connected a wire to a power pack on her belt, with a loud pop a beam of electricity began dancing at the tip of the rod.  “Like you said, we have to fight.  Besides, I can’t let you go this close to the guild house, Master Gragus would never let me live it down.”  She added with a smile. 

“On your guard!”  Traz shouted out as he reappeared in the alley were Trede and Cassidy were standing.  “They’ll be upon us momentarily.”  He said as his voice changed to a whisper.  “I saw only three, but there could me more lurking about.” 

“Stay to the side, hopefully we can make this quick.”  Trede said as he grabbed his gunstaff.  The staff hummed as it began charging and the white light began growing from inside the blast chamber. 

Traz crouched down to one side, and Cassidy stood behind Trede.  A brief moment passed, then the sound of pounding footsteps quickly grew from audible to unmistakeable. 

Suddenly a flash of white metal came around the corner.  The first assailant rounded the corner and immediately knelt down while holding a broad shield in front.  These weren’t just some hired swords, they were well trained in battle tactics.  The other two began running in behind the defender, but Trede didn’t wait to see what their strategy would be.  He let loose a sizable beam straight at the group.  The shield deflected most of the blast, but it knocked them back and disoriented them enough. 

“Now!”  Trede yelled. 

Traz ran and jumped off the side wall directly at their enemies, with his daggers gleaming.  He was surprised to find the resilience of these foes, they seemed to have immediately regrouped and were prepared for the attack.  Traz’s daggers sliced across the shield of the defender leaving a deep groove in the metal, but the enemy held his ground. 

Trede began charging his staff again while running towards the foes.  He swung his staff and reigned down a blow on his attackers.  The small charge of energy dissipated between it’s targets, but was enough to greatly increase the force of Trede’s attack.  Traz quickly moved to disarm two of the men, leaving them with wounds to the wrist in payment for their swords. 

“I suggest a truce my good sirs.”  Traz spoke sharply while waiting to see what his opponents next move would be. 

The one remaining armed man wasted no time and swung his blade towards for Trede, who was ready and blocked the blow with the handle of his gunstaff. 

Cassidy who was standing behind Trede by several feet waiting to see if she could safely enter the fray found he opening, she ran around Trede to one side and struck the attacker in the ribs with her charger rod.  There was a loud pop and the man was sent reeling backwards in pain with a smoking wound. 

One of the other men took advantage of the distraction and swung his shield at Traz, who deftly dodged to one side. 

“Rightly so!”  Yelled Traz and lunged at the man, landing on his shoulders striking him on the head with the heels of his daggers sending him to the ground, face down in the dirt. 

Trede ran at the last man standing, again swinging his gunstaff but the blow was deflected by a well-placed shield.  The man turned quickly and kicked Trede in the chest, knocking the wind out of him.  Trede staggered back, unable to call out for help, but Traz was already on the move.  He leapt at the man from behind, but was met again with firm metal shield as the man spun around just in time.  As Traz impacted the shield, the man heaved launching Traz crashing into the nearby alley wall. 

Cassidy gasped, and tried to run to Trede’s aid, but suddenly was grabbed from behind.  It appears Traz was right, there had been more men lurking about.  Cassidy struggled but couldn’t move an inch, she could feel the burley arms ever tightening around her more as she tried to escape.  As she fought she dropped her charger rod and the wire to the power pack was disconnected.  “Trede!  Get up!”  She yelled.  As she did a fifth armed man ran past her towards Trede and Traz. 

Trede was still wheezing while holding his chest and could barely stand.  The fifth man went straight to Traz and cornered him along the wall as he shook off his rough landing.  The other man standing walked up to Trede saying “Aren’t you a stubborn one, but we can’t chance you running off again.”  He took his shield and struck Trede across the head who then collapsed to the ground. 

Cassidy was in a panic.  She knew they weren’t going to win this fight, but she had to figure out some way to get them out alive.  I can do this, it’s just a simple problem, there has to be a solution.  The thoughts raced by as she tried to think of a plan.  Trede was on the ground, probably unconscious.  He would be no help.  Traz was cornered and guarded and the furthest away from her in the alley, it didn’t appear they would be able to assist each other to make an escape.  She then made a quick mental inventory of all the items in her belt and bandolier, making special note of ones she could actual reach in her current mostly-restrained condition.  A few seconds passed, but it was enough.  Ok, time to act!” she thought.   “Traz run!”  She called.  She knew they couldn’t reach each other, and there was a likelier chance that at least one of them could escape if they split up.  Now, part two.”  She thought, and stretched to reach the loose wire from the battery back on her belt.  As she did she sharply turned to the right, knowing her assailant would likely change his grip and move is left arm slightly upwards to try and contain her movement.  Of course you would,  Now top left shoulder, 3rd pocked down.”  Cassidy implanted the two sparking wires from her power pack into that pocket, then immediately reversed her position and turned abruptly tot he left.  It was just enough so that the man’s grasp became less on her and more on her bandolier.  She slipped out and unlatched the battery back from her belt.  She knew she only had a few seconds before her plan could quite literally backfire.  She dove forward and layed out flat on the ground as the crackling electricity burning on her now loose bandolier gave way to an explosion that ripped upwards with a bright ball of light and fire.  She didn’t didn’t even look back to see how effectively disabled her attacker was, she knew there was no time. 

Cassidy stood quickly thinking “Part three, good I don’t see Traz, he must’ve gotten out, but I’ve got two men more to go.  The one man with wounded hand and shield and the other still armed with a sword turned to her after the loud explosion and began moving towards her.  Belt left pocket 6, back pocket 2, right pocket 3.”  She thought to herself and took out two vials of liquid and small fold up air filter mask.  She was about 7 feet from Trede and the assailants were just beyond him at roughly 10 feet.  She threw each vial of liquid at the feet of the men one after the other.  As the second vial shattered and emptied it’s contents in a large thin puddle a vapor began to rapidly grow in the air causing both men to begin having fits of hacking coughs.  Cassidy affixed the filter mask over her nose and mouth and ran to Trede.  The men’s coughing was nearly at heaving already as they fell to their knees completely immobilized.  I’ll have to make a note of that mixture ratio.  She thought as she grabbed Trede by the arms and began dragging him out of the alley down another side street.  But we’re leaving.” 

She continued slowly moving through the side street dragging Trede behind, she looked back and the saw gas cloud continuing to grow.  It seemed to be doing the trick, no one was following them.  She had reached the end of her plan however, and was beginning to feel the reality of the situation again weighing on her.  If something else were to happen, she would really be helpless.

“Come on Trede, it would really help if you could walk!”  Cassidy spoke loudly at Trede as she propped him sitting up on the corner of a building at the end of the street.  She tapped Trede on the side of the face with slowly increasing tempo and force, until finally Trede opened one eye.  From where he was sitting he could see all the way back to the vaporous alley.  In the cloud he brief caught a glimpse of a woman with long curly brown hair, dressed in a fine blue dress.  She was staring straight at him, with an expression or emotion he didn’t understand.  Then Cassidy’s voice came driving through the ache in his head and mind. 

“Trede, we’ve got to go, now!”  She, was nearly shouting at him now. 

Trede mumbled and looked back to the alley, there was nothing but smoke covering any sign of what may have been there.  “R-Right.  Let’s go.”  Trede stumbled a bit as Cassidy helped him up. 

“Can you run?”  She asked hurriedly. 

“Lead the way.”  Trede’s focus returned.  Fighting it seemed was not too successful, but escape was still a viable option.  As they took off for the Cytech guild house, he looked back one more time, but the woman was not there.  Who was that?  He thought, a question that then became overshadowed by a more pertinent one.  “Cassidy, where’s Traz?”



© 2010 Johnzo


Author's Note

Johnzo
Things heat a bit in this chapter, I'm open to all comments. Thanks!

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
<Closed>
hehe loved it. sorry about the late review. I quite literally Laughed out loud imagining the scene There was a loud pop and the man was sent reeling backwards in pain with a smoking wound. hehe.

There were quite a few typos in the second and third parts. Sorry too, but I can't quite remember where they are.

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
<Closed>
hehe loved it. sorry about the late review. I quite literally Laughed out loud imagining the scene There was a loud pop and the man was sent reeling backwards in pain with a smoking wound. hehe.

There were quite a few typos in the second and third parts. Sorry too, but I can't quite remember where they are.

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Share This
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

414 Views
1 Review
Added on May 4, 2010
Last Updated on May 5, 2010


Author

Johnzo
Johnzo

Bridgton, ME



About
For more info on my little world, visit: www.echowake.com -Latest post: 2nd Draft Preview My favorite stories are usually ones that have a bigger world behind them, a story behind the story that.. more..

Writing
Nightmare Nightmare

A Chapter by Johnzo