XXVIII – Discussion And A Possible Solution

Once everyone was settled in and I was at my own campfire, I called for an officers meeting. In short order, Acteus, Philos, and Marcus were gathered round the fire and ready for a lengthy discussion. I started things out with something that had been bothering my mind for some time. I stared at each of the other three men, trying to gauge if they were still as strong mentally as when we’d started out.

“Alright guys, here’s the situation as I see it. Simply put, we may be screwed, blued, and tattoed.”

Marcus interrupted. “H’come?”

I glared at him and continued. “If you’d let me finish, I’ll explain. Our original mission was to find and kill whatever monster, or monsters, were coming through the wrecked door to kill us. Right off the bat, things went wrong with said door disappearing behind us. Then we ran into another kind of man sized monster we weren’t prepared for. Should have turned around right then and tried to find another way home.”

Marcus interrupted again. This time Acteus and Philos glared at him. He ignored them both.

“What could we do? The damned doorway was gone, and I didn’t see any exit point nearby.”

Good point there.

“True enough. Anyway, we continued onward and smacked into the Valparta with whom we immediatly engaged in a spear throwing contest. Everything else, from that screwed up Eye to a Nephilim/Elohim free for all, has drawn us deeper and ever so deeper into unknown and, possibly, hostile territory. Solution? Find a fast way home and out of this mess, as we’re not equipped for the kind of odds we’re facing.”

Acteus looked at me and shook his head. “No good.”

“Why?”

“The Valparta, especially Bert, are not about to let us out of their sight. Also there’s this city of theirs, Avanwy. Maybe we can find some way of getting home there?”

I looked at Acteus like he was a confused two year old. Big mistake. He glared back, his face slightly red. I decided, for the sake of continued peace, to move on.

“Look. From what I’ve seen of the Valparta, they’re on the same page we are. Swords, spears, shields, whatnot. I can’t see what they’d have that could get us home any faster or easier than we could ourselves.”

Acteus was his old calm self again. “Tummy knew how to shut off the Eye. That has to count for something.”

He had me there. “Okay, granted. But just because he was able to shut that thing off, doesn’t mean that he knows how the Eye works.”

Philos jumped in. “Doesn’t mean he doesn’t either.”

These guys were thinking at full speed. No trouble with their minds that I could see. I continued.

“I guess the only way we’re going to know for sure is to go to Avanwy. I still can’t see these furry little guys living in, let alone building, any kind of city. Still, they’ve been full of surprises so far. Might as well find out what other tricks they know. I just hope we don’t live to regret it.”

The others nodded in agreement. That said, I ended the meeting and everyone, except Acteus, left. He hunkered down by the fire next to me, looking like he had something serious on his mind.

“Alright Varus. What was that little stunt you aimed at me a while ago? We’ve known each other for a lot of years and you’ve never done that before. What gives?”

I stared at the fire, trying to pull my thoughts together.

“Yeah. Sorry about that. Guess I’ve been under a lot of strain lately. Didn’t mean to offend.”

Acteus was also staring into the flames.

“I’ve seen you under tremendous pressure any number of time. Hades, you’ve commanded armies in tight situations and you never lost your calm. Howcome now?”

“Acteus, I’ve never led a command in a situation like this one. Hell, I don’t even know the ground rules. I screwed up back at the tunnel and nearly lost you guys. Plus, I don’t like this feeling of helplessness. Right now we’re at the mercy of Bert and his crowd. Who knows what this city of theirs is like. We could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Gods I wish things weren’t so complicated!”

Acteus turned his face toward me.

“Look Varus. Maybe you’re trying too hard. Take things one step at a time and things’ll work themselves out. That’s what you used to tell me anyway.”

Damned if he wasn’t right. Positive, and careful, thinking just might be the key to getting home. Anyway, what did we have to lose.

Chapter XXIX

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Published in: on December 3, 2010 at 6:06 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Chapter XXVIII […]


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