XXIV – Eye Complications And The Seraphim

One blow after another had staggered us, and any normal group of warriors would have called it a day and slunk into hiding. Not my boys or the Valparta. Once again my choice of men had been vindicated. My Titans were still in battle formation, staring ferociously at the Eye and everything around them, while the Valparta were also still in formation, gabbering away at each other in their own language.

Both groups looked like they were spoiling for a fight, however, I attributed that to wound up nerves. They’d settle down soon enough. As for me, I was very grateful that the Eye had shut off when it did. More casualties were the last thing I wanted at that moment.

Slowly our battle line relaxed as men and Furrys sat down wherever they could to catch ther collective breath. Tummi had returned to his troops who were slapping him on the back and hugging him in relieved joy. By the look of things my little friend was going to be a hero for quite some time to come.

I, however, had the task of figuring out our next move. We certainly couldn’t stay where we were, so close to the Eye, as that thing might turn back on and send through another invasion. Yup. It was time to go. The overriding question of the moment was – where. So thinking, I climbed up a nearby hill for a good look around.

The cavern we’d found ourselves in was huge. Actually, that was an understatement, but I couldn’t think of anything adequate enough to accurately describe what I saw. From what I could see, the far walls of the cavern nearly faded into invisibility, while a look upward gave the illusion of no ceiling at all. As far as I could tell, we might as well have been out at nightime in the open air.

What appeared to be clouds slowly moved below the distant ceiling, furthuring the illusion of being outside. Further scrutiney showed me a trail leading gently down toward a deep valley below us. Everything was still lit in that soft, green glow given off by the multitudes of plant life to be seen everywhere we looked. Heck. I could even see what looked like a sizable forest of large trees in the distance. They too seemed to give off that same greenish glow.

I shimmied back down the hill, ready to give the order to move out. I didn’t get the chance to even open my mouth.

The reason for this was easily explained by the ruckus of my troops getting back into battle formation. Following their united stare gave me my explanation for the hubbub.

The Eye was acting up again.

However, there was a difference this time. Instead of the whole arch opening up to some scene, only the center showed any activity. The glow settled into the shape of a man and solidified into a figure standing before the Eye, which had shut down again.

Only it wasn’t a man. It was a Seraphim. Whitey, to be precise.

By this time I had rejoined my small, mixed army just in time to glare at the approaching Seraph. I was not in the mood for excuses from somebody I didn’t really know or even liked.

Calm as can be and, apparently, unconcerned by recent events, Whitey strode up to within five paces of me and stopped. Once again I opened my mouth to speak and, once again, didn’t get to utter a single word. This was getting ridiculous.

*Why haven’t you and the others moved on?*

I couldn’t believe the arrogance of this guy.

“We’ve been fighting like, y’know, a war. Everytime that Eye thing turns on, I expect to get overrun by who knows what. Plus, everyone’s in somewhat shakey condition just now. Thought I’d let them rest a bit. Actually, I was about to give the order to move out when you showed up. Great timing. Where, by the way, were you when we were getting our butts kicked?!”

Unbelievably, Whitey seemed unmoved by my tirade.

*I was taking care of other matters and could not join you at the time.*

“Taking care of . . . ! Why, I oughtta’ . . . !”

I was so mad, I was flabbergasted. Whitey stayed as calm as ever.

*I am here now. One of the reasons I have arrived is to tell you that Acteus and your other men are safe. They won their battle.*

Judging by the eruption of cheering from the troops, they had ‘heard’ Whitey’s message. I was overjoyed with the news that the rest of my Titans were safe. One small thing was bothering me.

“Why didn’t they come with you?”

*The Eye appeared to be damaged as it was stuck one one scene only. The crossover was too dangerous, therefore, as there was a possibility of attack from unidentifiabe opponents. The Problem has since been rectified. Your troops are with Lanni and his Valparta who will guide them over another route. You should meet up with them down the road.*

“Tell me. Were those opponents dressed in spiked red armor, and were there a lot of them?”

Whitey’s stance showed surprise for the first time.

*Why . . . yes.*

I was starting to feel smug. I had finally caught this guy off guard.

“We had ’em too. Fortunately, Tummi shut off the Eye before they could come through.”

Another nagging question popped into my head.

“How did you get here?”

Whitey was once again his calm self.

*We Seraphim know how to bypass the Eye’s travel code. It was a simple matter to will myself here.*

I could see that this little quest of ours had gotten way out of hand. The chances of getting home again were continuing to shrink a little more with every adventure.

Chapter XXV

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 5:02 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Chapter XXIV […]

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