« on: July 29, 2017, 12:10:56 PM »
?Have you made any progress?? Chryrie settled next to Kitty on the couch in the main room of House Helston. The goddess watched her sister as she was bent over her datapad, scrolling through pictures.
?No. Every night I meditate, trying to locate him. I can?t. He?s so far withdrawn into his own mind that I can?t get a lock. Right now I?m going through satellite images of those islands. I can?t find anything that indicates it could be him.? Kitty rubbed her face with her clawed hands. She was reaching the point of desperation.
?Perhaps you could reach him through his dreams?? Chryrie suggested mildly. Truthfully, Chryrie had already investigated that option. It would be possible. As long as they were both dreaming, she could guide their spirits to each other. She just had to pull some strings. Possibly Morpheus would point her in the right direction.
Kitty actually looked hopeful as she looked at her sister, ?Do you think you could help me do that??
?I could look into it.?
?Please, Chryrie. If you can, please help me reach him.? Kitty turned to her sister as she pleaded with the goddess.
?Consider it done.?
There was little in this world that Horam had cause to fear. He had, arrogantly, thought himself immune to such a weak emotion. This island, however, had done well to humble the mighty Minotaur.
It wasn't the myriad creatures, dangerous as they were, that haunted the bull. Nor the cannibalistic tribes that warred with themselves nearly as much as with him almost daily.
No. It was something far less threatening but at the same time no less dangerous.
He had lost track of the time he had been marooned upon this accursed island. Months, surely. Years? Possible and frightening for that. There was yet another fear that made the Minotaur reluctant to close his single eye at night. The dreams. They came upon him the moment he fell asleep, making him toss and turn and even some nights waking up, gasping with fur moist with sweat. Tonight was no different..
Fire. The world was on fire. Men screaming, yelling. Some because they too were on fire. Horam bellowed but to his ears there came no noise, none that he could hear over the roar of flaming pitch being hurtled towards his ship. Ship, yes. The Sargas. He was on the Sargas and it shuddered and groaned, masts ablaze and toppling upon panicked sailors as they attempted to put out the fires that threatened to overwhelm the large vessel. Horam watched, his fury mounting. The ship shook once more, tilting to the port side from the force of another hit. Sailors screamed as they were sent over the sides and into the swirling, icy waters. Horam could barely make out some of the ships that had ambushed him in the sudden fog that had fallen upon the Sargas but there was no mistaking the flaming tar being launched towards his beleaguered ship. Risky, that. These pirates were desperate and didn't seem to care for spoils.
Not again.. no, gods..
Gritting his teeth, Horam turned to give orders to Lieutenant Williams. He bloody well wasn't going to go down without a fight! The words were stuck within his throat though when he saw the man, half his head caved in with bits of skull and brain oozing from the head wound. Williams stared back at Horam with eyes that were aware yet dull and lifeless, almost like a doll's. Williams then spoke and it made the fur upon Horam's body bristle with that emotion he had long sought gone: fear.
"You did this." The words a dry rasp.
"You did this."
That last accusation came from all around him. He turned, seeing his entire crew in a circle, surrounding him in. The fire still raged aboard the Sargas. Some of the crew still burned but they all stood as if there was naught but the cool wind in their faces, staring at him, "You."
William, or whatever creature his Lieutenant was lifted a hand which was now blackened like charred wood on the flame, "You killed us."
The crew began to slowly shuffle towards him as one, hands outstretched.
"No.." Horam finally heard himself speak, the gravelly tone touched with desperation. He whirled about, seeing his crew, his friends, his comrades, turn upon him, "Give me a chance! I can defeat them!"
The words struck him like blades through his stomach, his body flinching.
That last struck him the hardest of all and he gasped, falling to his knees. He didn't want to look up as he knew what he'd see but be it an outside force or his own guilty conscious, that single eye of baleful red jerked up towards the upper deck. Standing behind the helm was a Minotaur though decidedly female, wearing a silk robe of green with a luscious mane of red and gold, a rarity amongst his race. The robe had been a present for her. Atop where her heart was grew a dark stain that grew wider and wider. Blood. The ring of sailors was nearly upon him now..
Chryrie had been true to her word. Kitty was pulled from her own dreams of warmth and softness, only to find herself in a burning hell on a ship. She knew this ship. The Sargas. She turned in the dream, absorbing what she saw. The psion felt her heart burn and tear with what horrors Horam was dealing with in his own mind. But if there was one world she had control over, it was the internal workings of the mind.
The burning and raging crew was tossed aside as she worked her way toward the minotaur. He would see her. He had to see her. She had to pull him from this nightmare so he could focus on what she had to say to him. Her voice had strength and she used it, blasting through the noise, "HORAM!"
For a moment it seemed as if Horam didn't hear, so entranced by the spectator of the other Minotaur. Eventually, though his brows would furrow as voice of Kitty of all people would register with the bull. Slowly the horned head turned towards the female, confusion clearly evident on the bestial features. Why was she here? Was she dead, too?
When she reached him, she reached up and placed her hands on the sides of his face. Spirit to spirit contact and she was able to seize control. Suddenly the dreamscape would be flooded with calm. Her voice cut through the chatter, "Horam. Look at me. It wasn't your fault. Do you hear me? None of it was your fault."
"They're all dead." Horam?s voice was flat as was that sole eye of red. If it had been anyone else they would have been sobbing hysterically. He may or may not have heard her. Some life returned to him though as he looked around, muzzle caught with a frown, "Where am I? Am I dead? Are you?"
He began to chuckle though it came out more of a wheeze and not one that inspired much faith in sanity, "There has been no one else for ages.. no one.. "
"No, you're not dead. Neither am I. I've been searching for you. I didn't realize you were missing. I thought you were avoiding me. But I'm searching for you now. I know what happened. I even went to Hornswaggle Reef to search for you." Kitty softly stroked the side of his face with a worried smile.
He flinched at her touch, retreating a step back without realizing, "No, we.. I.. "
He lifted a hand to the side of his head, confusion giving the bull a case of vertigo, "I don't know where I am. An island. A bloody island in the middle of the bloody ocean."
There was that uneasy laughter again before he just as quickly sobered, "Avoid you? No, never."
She stepped forward as he stepped back. Her hand went up to reach for his face again, "Horam. I need you to listen to me. This is very important. Do you still have your pouch? Did you make it to the island with the pouch you always kept on your belt?"
He didn't flinch or step back this time though his body quivered as if it wanted to, "My pouch?"
He frowned, "Yes.. I have it. Why?"
"I gave you a marble. A green marble. I need you to find it. Find it and call out to me. It's going to take me a few days to reach you, but I need you to focus on me as much as you can so I can find you. Do you understand?"
She reached up with her other hand and focused so her words would burn into his memory, "I need you remember, Horam."
Marble? He remembered the marble, yes, "Focus on you. Find me. Yes, I can certainly remember that."
He nodded slowly. There was even a touch of a smile upon his muzzle.
Kitty smiled at him and gently stroked the side of his face again, "I'm sorry I failed you in not finding you sooner. I'll make it up to you. I promise."
"You didn't fail me. I failed." And he would take that to his grave. He laid a hand upon hers, swallowing it up easily.
"No." Kitty?s grip on the side of his face became more firm as she looked at him intently, "You did not. You did not fail, Horam. I had to arm Wickley's ship with twenty two plasma cannons and ten Ular mercenaries to take out the bastards. Plus a second ship backing me up. But I took the head of the captain that sunk you. And then I took his ship. It will be yours."
Horam didn't know what any of that meant but it sounded good. He nodded slightly, as much as he could with her grip. Kitty was not a weak female despite her size. There was little else to say he took what she said to heart.
"I need you to wake up now, Horam." She lowered her hands and started to step back reluctantly, "I'm coming. Just remember to find the green marble."
He looked relieved. Most likely just for the fact he was going to wake up. He didn't much like sleeping..
"As soon as I wake up." He nodded more firmly now.
"Then wake up now." She smiled, and then thrust him out of that dreamscape.