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Shadows Lost, 2 of 3
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(Twenty years ago)
Freezing wind blows in the temple: the birds that hadn't left when the traveler entered do so now, flapping their wings hurriedly. Even the rain dares not entering the temple through the half-collapsed roof; the penumbra of the clouded day degrades.
The traveler rises from the broken Holy Table. He wears his crown and holds the golden rod. His face hardens as he turns around. He beholds shadows; shadows of men and women that do not crawl on the ground as peoples' shadows do: these shadows hover just over the weeded, fractured marble floor, staring at him with beads of red light where their eyes should be. More enter the temple through the entrance and the broken windows.
You needed not bring your crown and scepter, king Saal, he hears inside his mind from a thousand voices. We know who you are. We do not forget.
I am not here as a king of shadows lost, Saal thinks back. I come here as a liberator of tormente
Shadows Lost, 1 of 3
By Nektarios Chrissos, August-December 2005
Dedicated to Wai Peng Lee
Prologue: Erethea and the Twin Cities
In the Eternal Libraries of Akkash a whole series of leather-bound Tomes are stored, containing the Chronicle of Erethea, one of the myriad worlds floating in the infinity of Creation. These books speak of the many tribes of the world's inhabitants, and how they built their cities, their hopes and their dreams on three islands-continents, separated by the vast expanses of the Great Ocean.
On one of these continents, Abatania, stood two neighboring cities, Ancesl and Telenia. A great earthquake took them down once, leading the Era of Expanse to a sudden end. The survivors of that Shake and the fires that followed built their cities again; they never managed to regain the grandeur and riches they possessed before the great disaster, however. Abatania abandoned El-le, the Sun God's Light, to immerse itself in the Darkness of Ga-ogg, the Night
Duel by the First Wall, 3 of 3### # ###
His dagger had been deflected, landing on the dirty pavement of the alleyway.
"Where are you going to, Alessar?" said a voice in the darkness of the narrow street where he had thrown it, aiming at a stalker invisible to him. "Why take the short route towards the outskirts of the city? Are you in a hurry to depart for some reason?"
The voice was familiar. He was filled with terror.
He turned around to run away, but the entrance to the alleyway was closed; men wrapped in black clothes waited there, steelswords naked. His terror turned to desperation: he turned again and ran toward the darkness ahead, his other dagger already in his hand. He saw the outline of a man; he raised his armed hand; he lowered it to stab. A powerful grip on his wrist signaled excruciating pain; he dropped the dagger. A quick punch doubled him up: he fell to the ground, moaning. A booted foot kicked him flat on his back.
"Pity," the man over him said; middle-aged but well-standing, he possessed rough fa
Duel by the First Wall, 2 of 3####
It was faint, but Alessar saw it, blue light escaping a small transparent room at the top of the pyramid.
The enemy is there. That was no natural light!
Perhaps, perhaps not. I must not reach conclusions so easily. His thoughts were angry.
Alessar rose and started running towards the pyramid. His footing was sure and steady, decisive as a lion's but soft as a cat's. Taking a closer look at the pyramid, he saw it was higher than the wall, its surface polished, shining in the night. Its top, a transparent room, released a faint bluish glow. No doors or windows could be seen on the building; he reckoned it was a building of the Mediators.
Yes, that's it! My enemy is a Mediator. A mindfighter!
A small rectangular area at the pyramid's base shimmered and faded away. He heard barking as six or seven hounds burst in the open area from inside and his breath quickened. He halted his stride immediately and crouched.
The dogs looked to their le
Duel by the First Wall, 1 of 3 Duel by the First Wall
To Amanda, Daniel and the rest of the gang.
There is a place beyond time and space now known to man only by dreams of old shamans and ramblings of schizophrenic asylum inmates: that place is the Libraries of Akkash, repository of all stories told and untold and sanctuary to all worlds' true history.
Ancient texts carefully filed in its countless shelves speak of an age much-dreamt of; an age when technology was different to today's but equally powerful, an age when people were in harmony with their inner self.
It was the age of great Atlantis and its colonies in other planets; the age when everything was possible for man and his societies, the age when civilizations were truly glorious. It was the era when humanity reached the peak of its knowledge on anything and everything; it was the Era of Wisdom.
Few that live now recall those days, since only shards of its existence remain in the common unconscious, mixed with the essence that fuels common
IFL edited- 1 of 3
"Are you ready, Adnon?"
"Yes, Master Librarian."
The younger man, who had spoken last, looked at the old man sitting behind a simple, worn writing desk. Around them were countless shelves containing books of every kind: Hardback, paperback, old-fashioned, ancient parchments and even multimedia CDs, memory crystals and optical storage devices.
"Good. Take this." The old man handed a pyramidal object made of pure gold to the young one.
"A storage pyramid?" Adnon asked. "What is my assignment this time, Master?"
"As usual, you'll record a lost story of a world."
"Where is that world? What's that story?"
"The world is Gaia. And the story is part of its history."
"Then I'm going to need more than one storage pyramid, Master, with all due respect," Adnon answered.
"No. Not yet. All things start somewhere, and that isn't different with stories. You are to record a single event; a siege."
"What siege, Master? Will I be safe?"
"Of course. As always. You're a Historian of the Libraries of Akkash
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