The State of Flux

The State of Flux

A Chapter by Eddie Davis

Aurei experiences culture shock as her new found cousin Sophia takes her to the restricted haven of The Watchers, Flux



The State of Flux



Never in her entire life had Aurei Bugley ever seen a place like that.   She stood in bewilderment next to her newly found cousin, stunned and more than a bit scared at her surroundings.   They stood on a pair of round white platforms which were two of a dozen that seemed to be in a shallow alleyway that had a sort of glass awning over them.  


It was a star-lit night here, and the city seemed to be all of stone and brick and stretched in all directions as far as she could see.   In front of them was a huge fountain with very beautiful sculptures releasing a multitude of streams of water into the basin that could have held a hundred people standing knee deep in it with ease.

But it was the buildings that amazed her.   They loomed up and up, like rectangular mountains, so high that she had to look almost straight up to see the end of them.   Many of the windows of all the buildings were lit by some sort of white or yellow light that were in themselves marvels to behold.   Signs made up of lights seemed to be everywhere, shining in the night in brilliant color.  

The plaza in front of them was full of people; most wearing clothing strange to her, though she saw a good number of wizards in flowing robes and an equal number of Sorceresses dressed much like Sophia.   There were people on Horseback and several strange vehicles made of metal that seemed to be self-propelled.    Everywhere she looked, people seemed to be in a hurry, going in various directions.   Most were humans, though there were a number of Elves, Dwarves and Halflings, as well as a smaller number of other races.   Some were so strange she had no idea what they were.   She watched one of these beings walking across the plaza, carrying a short club of some sort.   He was humanoid, the size of a human, but exactly what he was, she did not know.   He seemed to be made up of some strange sort of shiny white metal or stone, somewhat like a golem, but much smaller.  He walked with intelligence and purpose, speaking a few times to some of the people passing, all of whom seemed unbothered by his presence.   Aurei could do nothing but stare.

“That’s a robot.”  Sophia said to her as she noticed her staring, “It’s an intelligent machine… somewhat like a golem, but that one is not magically powered… well, not exactly, though magic does come into play at some point.   Those vehicles passing are either cars or hovercraft, and they are also machines, though they aren’t intelligent.”

“Machines.”  Aurei said, lost in amazement, “What is this place?”

“Flux; it’s a dimensional sub-world, created by the Archmage Drake as his headquarters.   It doesn’t exist in the world you know, but this really isn’t a world like you know it.   It’s more of a city-state, probably about the size of your duchy.”

“It was created by a wizard?”

“Well, sort of, he didn’t create the world, of course, but he is allowed to use it as a headquarters that is separate from your world so that the watchers and their servants and staff could have a place to work and live that wouldn’t interrupt the flow of your world.”

Aurei’s head was spinning from the information, “So this was given to Archmage Drake by Yesh?”

“Yes, pretty much.    It is the only sub-world left now.   What you see before you is the result of the Archmage and the other Watchers creating a city that largely mirrors a metropolitan city in some of the prime world variants.”

“The what?”

“Prime world variants.   It’s very complicated, Aurei, and I don’t have time to really explain.   You have read the Archmage Kinzer’s book on the time of the Great Gathering, haven’t you?”


“Well, she mentioned in her book that the Creator God created a Prime world in the beginning of time.   When the Sidhe were allowed to create their own separate universes, many of them tried to recreate the Prime world.   Some were very close parallels and Archmages Kinzer and Drake made an exhaustive study of these copies of the Prime World, since no one can access the Prime World.   Their knowledge of these copies of the Prime World led to the creation of Flux.    It is what students of parallel worlds call a Modern type I with magic enhancements and super technology variants added.    I know that doesn’t mean anything to you.  Just know that some of the machines you see are magic powered and others run on fuel that your world has not invented and probably never will.   Come on, we’d best be hurrying, or Khord will have my head when we get back.   My apartment is about a block down the street.”

“Apartment?   You live here?”

“Oh yes, but my mother doesn’t know that either, as Flux is strictly off-limits to all but watchers and staff.  If they find you here, I’ll get into big trouble, but I really don’t care.    Do you mind if I smoke?   I haven’t had a cigarette in hours.”

“A cigarette?”

“Oh surely my mother told you about them!   She’s almost as addicted as I am to them.   You know; little white tubes of tobacco or in our case, Dart’loxinchu?”   She opened a belt pouch she wore and pulled one forth, holding it up for Aurei to see.   “Wanna try one?   These are Dart’loxinchu; it’s an enchanted medium, so the smoke isn’t like pipe weed.   It won’t burn your lungs or give you cancer; most of our sisters in the Underdark smoke them, and these are pure Dart’loxinchu.    You’ll love them, believe me.”

“Uh, no thanks.”  Aurei replied, “Your mother told me about them, but she managed to quit, she told me.”

“Quit?!   Really?   No way!  How?”

“She said that the leaves of the Faesidhe tree, brewed into tea cures the addiction.”

“Really?  Interesting.   Why she’d want to quit is beyond me, though.”   She put the Dart’loxinchu to her lips and made a motion with her fingers, which caused a tongue of flame to appear at the end of her forefinger.   She lit the end of the tube and sucked hard on it, the end growing bright orange for a few seconds as she inhaled the smoke of the drug. 

“Well come on, then.” She said after a moment, emitting a long plume of smoke.   She headed off across the plaza at a quick pace, and Aurei hurried along to keep up.   Sophia walked briskly down the street, dragging hard on the Dart’loxinchu as she walked.   The smoke that drifted into Aurei’s face reminded her of the smell of coffee and was rather pleasant, but remembering her aunt’s addiction, she waved it away.

“Does it bother you?” Sophia asked, exhaling smoke from her nose like a dragon, “It won’t bother you once you get used to it.   Khord even can handle it now after being around mother and me for years, though he still doesn’t like it.”

“What are we getting here that can help her?” Aurei asked, wanting to get back home.

“A wand that I have that can heal her, if I can find it in all of my accumulated junk.”

Aurei forced herself not to look around at all the wonders of the city but followed her cousin, who bombarded her with clouds of smoke that drifted behind her and right into Aurei’s face for the entire trip down the street.

“Here it is.”  She suddenly stopped in front of a huge stone structure with a double doorway made of glass.   The door opened without a sound and they went inside.    The sorceress stopped at a can full of sand and snuffed out the tiny remainder of her Dart’loxinchu into it and immediately pulled another one from her belt pouch, which, to Aurei’s dismay, she lit.   She gestured for her to follow and they went over to a strange doorway.   Sophia pushed a round badge hanging on the wall next to the doorway and a bell sounded, then the door slid open sideways, disappearing into the side of the wall and revealing a tiny room behind it. 

Sophia glanced around as if making sure no one was watching and went into the box-like room.   Aurei followed and she pushed one of an assortment of glowing badges on the wall inside the little room.

“They don’t allow smoking in the elevators, but I do it all the time anyway.”   There was another bell sound and suddenly the box began to move.   Aurei looked over in alarm at her cousin.  Sophia just laughed at her panicked look and exhaled another plume of smoke, filling the tiny room with it.

“Don’t worry, this is an elevator, it will move us between floors of this building.”

Aurei wasn’t very reassured by the information but didn’t say anything, trying to not breathe any more than she had to, out of fear of the smoke.   By the time the box stopped moving and the doors opened, Aurei felt like her head was tingling.   She was glad to get out of the smoky confines of the room.   They emerged into a long hallway lined with doors on either side.  

Sophia walked about halfway down the hallway and stopped at a door with the number 744 on it.   She pulled a key from her belt pouch and unlocked it and went inside, with Aurei behind her.  

The apartment was filled with both strange and familiar items.   Strange furniture and devices were all around, but also a bookcase filled with books.   

“It’s back here in the back room.” Her cousin told her as she led her down a hallway into a dark room.   She flipped a switch on the wall and the room filled with white light.    It was apparently her storage room, for it was a cluttered mess of crates and boxes made of some odd material.    Sophia put the end of her Dart’loxinchu between her teeth and began moving boxes for a full minute before she found the one she was looking for.  She opened the lid, rummaged through several cloaks and articles of clothing, mumbling something to herself as she did, until she pulled forth a long black wand, which she held up for Aurei to see.

“Here it is!” She exclaimed, exhaling a plume of smoke in triumph.  “I knew it was in there somewhere.   This has taken more time than I had imagined; we’re going to have to hurry.   Sorry, I’ll have to show you around town and field all your questions some other time.”

“That’s okay.” She responded, as Sophia crushed out the butt of her Dart’loxinchu into an odd shaped glass bowl filled with other remains of the drug.  Aurei silently prayed to Yesh that she would have fully fed her addiction and would dispense from any more smoking on the return trip.

Thankfully, Yesh heard her prayer and they retraced their steps back through the city.   

As they walked, Aurei remained silent, not certain what she should ask or say, but bewildered by everything she saw.

Halfway down the street, Sophia turned to her, “You are much quieter than I imagined you would be, Aurei.   I thought you’d be full of questions.”

“I don’t know where to start.    Can you tell me what the people that live here do?   I mean the ‘watchers’ you mentioned; what do they do?”

“Well, a Watcher is a person that the Creator God selected to monitor all the people of this world and to even offer guidance once in a while.   Most of the people you saw on the streets work for the watchers in various capacities, or run businesses that cater to the people that work for the watchers.    Originally there were not many watchers, but now there are 500 and each of these watchers have probably about 100 people working for them, and these people have families and so on.   So you see how Flux grew into a busy city.”

“So what do you do here?   Are you a watcher?”

“Heavens no!   I’m an archivist of magic.   My job is to collect copies of spells in the world and index them for the Archmages Drake and Kinzer.”

“You’ve met them?”   Aurei asked, amazed.

“I work for them; of course I’ve met them!   They are very aware of you too, Aurei.   In fact, they’ve intervened several times in your life, and have got in trouble with the master each time.”

“The master?”

“You know, the big guy.   Yesh.”

“You’ve met him?!”

“Goodness no!  But my bosses meet with him regularly.”

“Wow!  Here in uh, Flux?”

“I don’t know, really.   Maybe.”

“Why would they get in trouble with him for helping me out?”

“Watchers aren’t supposed to interfere except in rare occasions.   My bosses tend to not like that rule and try to bend it as much as they can.”

“But wouldn’t Yesh want to help his followers?”

“I’d say so, but I don’t know all the ramifications of everything.   That would be my mother’s department.”

“Does she know you work here?”

“No, she thinks Khord and I work for the Bitter Dregs.   Actually, we do in a way, because we often have dealings with them, but technically we don’t work for them.”

“Your brother works as an archiver as well?”

“More as a bodyguard for me.”

At that moment they reached the place where they had appeared when they arrived.   Sophia gestured for her to stand on a white circle and a moment later the Sorceress was chanting a spell.   Then they suddenly were back in the Muddy Boot’s Master Bedroom, causing Khord to jump slightly in surprise.

“Everything okay?”   Sophia asked him.

“Yeah, about the same.”  He turned to Aurei, “Well, what did you think of Flux, Duchess?”

“It was the most amazing place I’ve ever seen.”

“I imagine it would be mind-numbing for someone who has never seen it before.”

Sophia went over to the bedside and knelt, “Aurei, this is a wand with a very specific function.   It was designed to cure the effects of harm done by undead.   It has only one charge left in it and I wouldn’t have a clue where to have it recharged.   It is over 1,000 years old, but we had two better ones in the Archive, so Drake allowed me to keep it.   I know how to activate it.   Here we go.”

She said a few arcane words and she waved the wand once in the air.   A pink glow surrounded Zeatt.

“The healing will take about two hours.   When the glow fades completely, she’ll be whole.   Or more correctly, she’ll be healed of anything the undead did to her.   I’ll take the wand with me.   I want you to promise me that you won’t mention that I was here or healed her.”

“Why?   She was very concerned about you.”

“I know, and I love her dearly, but she asks too many questions.   I will give you some news before we return to Aeropolis.   That city is in great turmoil.   The Emperor is clearly undead now, though he doesn’t appear to be.   The senators know it, as do the generals of his legions.   The city is full of rumors.   Right now there is said to be a large army made up of four legions that are marching to take the city from him.   He has a number of faithful legions left, so if this occurs, there will be a terrible battle.   The Necromancer’s Guild is shifting their headquarters to the east. I think that during this transition, there will be a lull in the Guild’s activity, probably for a few months.   If your King wants to destroy them, tell him that he needs to assemble his forces and move against them soon.    They will probably recall their leaders for the final part of the move in a few weeks.”

“How will I tell him I came by this information?”

“Tell him a little crow told you.”   Sophia laughed, “I don’t know; you’ll think of something, Aurei.   We have to be leaving.   Mother will be alright.   Remember, don’t let her know I was here, and for heaven’s sake, don’t say a word about Flux.   It was nice to finally get to meet you, and we’ll be in touch.”

“Goodbye, Duchess.”  Khord said with a bow as he walked over to stand beside his sister.   The Sorceress took her adopted brother’s hand, and once again chanted a spell, and they vanished, leaving no trace of them except the pink glow outlining Zeatt as she slept.

Her mind still reeling from the whole evening, she returned to her chair to think and stare at the pink glow.   Amazingly, she fell asleep within half an hour.




“You shouldn’t have brought her here.”   Khord told her as they entered their apartment.   “She saw everything here; the electronic stuff, the computer; I’ll bet even the light switch amazed her.”

“She did seem a bit overwhelmed.    But we were too when we first came here.”

“Still, I’m not sure she’ll keep your secret.”   He plopped down on the sofa, reaching for the remote to the TV to catch the late news.  Sophia, smoking as always, grabbed a glass ashtray and reclined against him, blowing a plume of smoke playfully in his face as she did.   He frowned and waved the smoke away, “You shouldn’t smoke so much, Sophie.  I don’t think you should have done that around her either.”

“She knew about Dart’loxinchu from Mom, and she wasn’t interested in it anyway.”

“Thank Yesh for that!   You ought to give it up, Sophie, really you should.   I know it isn’t pipe weed, but it is so unbecoming for a lady to smoke.   You could beat the addiction; I know you could.   Why keep smoking?”

She grinned mischievously and took a long drag, aiming her exhale at him as she replied.

“I have to do something to annoy you, my dear, and nothing annoys you more.”

He frowned again, “You’ve got that right.   Tell me, why did you tell her we were going back to Aeropolis instead of coming here?”

“I didn’t want her to ask any questions.”


“She was here, my dear, and she saw our junk-filled room, and probably the bedroom.   If she began wondering where you slept and then she told mother...”

“Oh.”  Khord shifted uncomfortably.   “I see.  You know, we’re going to have to tell her some day.   She already thinks poorly of you anyway.”

“So what would sleeping with my brother matter?”

“Adopted brother.” He quickly corrected, to free him of any guilt, though it didn’t work.

“Adopted or not, it wouldn’t matter to her.   It would be the straw that broke the camel’s back.   Plus, she would then think badly of you.   Right now she thinks you can do no wrong, except follow me wherever I go.”

“Sophie, maybe we should just talk to her and be honest.   I mean, good heavens, we grew up together, but surely she saw our interest in one another.”

“I doubt it, and if she did, it probably sickened her.”

“But we’re not REALLY brother and sister!”

“We are to Mom.   That would be all that mattered to her.   No, we keep it secret, Khord.   At least for now.   Let’s watch the news; we haven’t been here for three weeks, I want to see what has happened.”

Khord sighed and just turned his attention to the TV.   There was no debate, for Sophia always got her way.

© 2014 Eddie Davis

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on December 26, 2013
Last Updated on April 30, 2014
Tags: Fantasy, Drow, Elf, Sword and Sorcery, Science Fiction, Adventure, parallel universes, alternate reality, magic, sorcery

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 2: The Knights of Northmarch


Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO

I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

One One

A Chapter by Eddie Davis

Two Two

A Chapter by Eddie Davis