Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Chapter 5 - Left

Rhydian ran back out of the lift, the shop assistant from earlier was lying unconscious behind the counter. He ran out into the street, looking frantically for somewhere to go. One thought bulleted through his head, he had to get to the sanctuary. But how? It was never mentioned where it was in the books, and he had no way of attracting a mage. Something smashed into his mind. Book one; magical communities are usually hidden in bad looking areas and can sometimes be the safest places to be.  But he was on quite a well kept high street somewhere in central London, he was hardly near anywhere like that. In the end he just decided to turn left and run.

Rhydian was on the tube. It had made sense at first, he had money, and it was the fastest way to escape Cutler, but now he had doubts. First, he was trying to get to the sanctuary, and going to the end of the northern line didn’t really seem like the smartest way to get there. And second, he was leaving Missy to die. Of course, all these thoughts disappeared when the front of the train contorted into a monstrosity of tortured metal and body parts with a cry of tortured metal and hellish screams of agony. All the lights blinked out, and suddenly Rhydian’s brain reverted to animal survival instincts. He got up, the lights of a few fires flickered against the tunnel walls, the crying, the screaming, the loss. It tortured his mind as he and a few others just recovering from paralyzing shock ran over to the door and wrenched it open. Some of them turned around to help others, but he just ran. Left, of course. Smoke was already gathering, it curled up his nostrils, burned his throat. Soon he had left the train behind, looking for an access door or a station or something. He stumbled through the dark, the stench of burning flesh was still notable from here. Suddenly he realized that there was a small alleyway beside him. It had a dim strip light that gave off less light than a glow stick and an emergency phone. His heart leapt, he was saved. He ran up to it and picked up the receiver. He realised the line was dead, but before he could even put it down, he saw Cutler standing in the mouth of the alley. Rhydian brandished the phone like a club, and fell into the sort of fighting stance one would expect of someone using a phone attached to a cable as a weapon. “You call that an improvised weapon?” Cutler asked, grinning. “This, Is an improvised weapon.” (OVER 9000 house points if you get the reference. :)) Said Cutler, pulling out a phone box. Just kidding! He pulled out a crowbar. “D-Did you do that? With th-the t-t-train?” Rhydian was on the verge of tears, how did he expect to fight off this giant who had beaten a mage with actual weapons, and he was a mortal with a telephone. “Does it matter Mystery boy?” Asked Cutler, walking slowly and threateningly towards him. “Mystery boy? What?” Replied Rhydian. “The question without an answer, the boy who makes no sense. Surely you know?” He replied, the aggression in his tone almost replaced by curiosity. “No! I don’t know!” Rhydian was disoriented and scared, and now his would be assailant knew more about him than he did. “No matter, all I know is, you’re trouble. Kiss your life goodbye.” Said Cutler, as he leapt forward. He swung the crowbar over his head, and Rhydian tried to block it with the phone. The crowbar pushed the phone into his face. He stumbled back and dropped the phone. Cutler stepped forward, about to finish the job. Suddenly a slither of dark purple snaked around Cutler’s neck and slammed him into the floor. Trip Castalan walked down the alley, energy snaking back into his palm. “Need a hand?”

Cutler rolled onto his side and grinned. “Not one more step, Castalan.” He said through gritted teeth. Trip kept walking. A Vampire lept from the shadows, it’s white skin glowed against the dim light of the strip. Trip merely held out his palm and kept walking. The vampire’s neck twisted to an unnatural position and it landed abruptly and awkwardly, sliding across the floor, dead. A rod of energy appeared in his hand and he smashed it across Cutler’s face, then up. He took a step back and splayed his hand. Energy coated Cutler’s entire body, and he jerked his hand to the side. Cutler flew off into the shadows, and did not return.

Trip grinned. “Need a hand?” He asked. “I need seven.” Replied Rhydian shakily. Trip made five more hands of energy and offered his hand to Rhydian to help him up. Rhydian recoiled, his eyes full of fear and dread. “Who are you? How can I trust you?” He asked. “Trip Castalan, scottish sanctuary spotter.”
“But how can I trust you?”
“I guess you’ll have to take my word for it. I can get you out of here, away from the dark. The screams.”
“Fine.” Rhydian got up, and started following Trip.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Chapter 4- The Search

Trip sat at a coffee table. Others were probably hunting down great monsters and saving the world, but he was sitting at a coffee table. Then again, he had done his fair share of world saving, as had the person sitting in front of him. Dragona Pine had been kind enough to come all the way up to Scotland in his crazy shapeshifting Porsche machine, because he had wanted to ask some questions. In hindsight he could have just gotten a teleporter taxi down to him, but he was here now, sitting in a Starbucks drinking coffee. “Did I find a dead boy while walking in the forest this morning? No, no I did not.”
“Oh good.” Replied Trip, “That makes my job a whole lot easier. No wait, no it doesn’t.”
“Would you mind telling me what this job is, Trip?”
“Miss Evergreen, a sensitive, had two visions of a boy with the taken name Rhydian Saint. He seemed to hold some major significance to the world. Right up my street. One vision he was in a school and it got attacked by a big lad named Cutler. A girl named Miss Cain was there, she fought back. A girl named Kinsey was abducted by a vampire, then Cutler used some kind of magic and knocked them out. After that, they woke up in a library, and there was a letter. They had been ‘recruited’ by the english sanctuary. In the other one, he was camping, went for off for a pee, then got chased and killed by a vampire. You found him, and attended his funeral. Anyway, she asked me to find him. She didn’t actually specify dead or alive though...”
“You’re a terrible story teller.”
“No I’m not!”
“Yes you are. But how do you know that the walk was the one from this morning?”
“Your watch, it tells the date as well as the time, it was the first thing I checked in the vision.”
“Clever.” Said, Dragona, almost impressed. “And in the school? When was that?”
“In three and a half hours, so if you’ll excuse me, I must be off, I’d rather not have to use an attack on a school to tell me where to go.” Said Trip as he got up and walked out.

  After he had left Dragona behind, Trip picked up his phone. Even when you’re the most informed person on earth on anyone who’s anyone and run the largest spy network in the entire magical world, finding a single person in a world of 7 billion is still no mean feat. Luckily for him there had been a census a few years ago. (Anyone remember that? No? Just me? Fine.) There were hundreds of Oswins living in England. Unfortunately he had nowhere to work with, the vision wasn’t very helpful on places. So he had delved into taxes. Normally this information was top secret, but when you have technomancers, anything is possible. Several Oswins had recently bought houses. After that, he had run out of time, if Rhydian had died, it had already happened. Luckily that wasn’t the case, but he was still out there somewhere. He had left some of his best on it, and he phoned them up. “Please tell me you have some good news?” He said down the line almost as soon as it picked up. “Well, it’s gotten slower from here, but we managed to pull up some old estate agent’s photos of the houses, if you come back you can check which one matches the one in the vision.” Replied the voice on the other end nervously. “No time, send the photos to my phone with addresses attached, I’ll find it.” Said Trip as he got into his car. The call ended and a moment later the photos popped into his inbox. He scrolled through them, and quickly found the only one that looked similar to the house in the third vision. Manchester, thank god. two hour or so drive without traffic. He set off, heart pounding. He was going to find Rhydian Saint.

As Trip drove, he grew more and more uneasy. The problem with driving, was that when you do it for seventy years, you could get very good at it. It became something you didn’t have to think about, second nature if you will. So that gives a lot of time to just, think. His mind was on the matter at hand; Rhydian. The boy who makes no sense? The question without an answer? It reminded him ever so slightly of a certain Doctor Who character. He wasn’t pointing any fingers, but he knew that he wasn’t being told the whole truth. Miss Evergreen had ulterior motives, he knew it.

He pulled up outside the house exactly three hours after he had left. Damned traffic jams. he had twelve minutes to find Rhydian’s school and take him to Miss Evergreen. He walked up to the door and knocked three times. No one answered. No one was in. Trip’s heart skipped a beat, this wasn’t good. He had a backup plan. He placed his palm on the lock, then let the energy seep into it. Once it had taken the shape of the lock he solidified the energy, making a key. He turned it in the lock. As he opened the door he sent a massive burst of electricity energy through the alarm. It blew it’s fuse and didn’t go off. He quickly searched the house looking for letters or papers or something telling him where to find Rhydian’s school. Eleven minutes and  twenty-seven seconds later he found the letter, he scanned it and found the school’s address. He leapt back through the door, locking it behind him. He ran to the school, keeping a close eye on his watch. The school was quite far away for someone who had to keep checking a mental map of where to go. He checked his watch and swore, 3 seconds until Rhydian saw Cutler. 2... 1...