(I found my voice again, thank the gods! I did a HUGE edit scraping all of chapter 1, and most of chapter 2. The story Is flowing well again, and I seem to be back into my grove. Hope you enjoy!)
They ran to the mouth of the cave, gently setting Bridgett on the sand. “You’re going to be okay.” she whispered in the ear of the unconscious redhead lying in the sand. Staining it crimson as the gaping hole in her side leaked profusely. She ran to the cave entrance pressing the artifact to the etching. The effect was instantaneous, causing her to suck in a sharp breath.
Her skin ignited, but there was no pain as the blue-white sparks set her aflame. She stared in awe as the air around her swirled. She ran her fingers through the air causing a rippling effect, as if touching water. It’s effect was hipnotic. The energy of it licking every nerve in her body, she was invincible, nothing could touch her.
A voice whispered to her, it’s words were foreign. Ancient. She found herself repeating them. Getting louder each time, until she was practically screaming.
The air shifted. Light snaked through the sky; a mixture of greens, pinks, and purples. It reminded her of the northern lights; the sight caused a smile to touch her lips. The energy which had been steadily churning and bulging in her, suddenly exploded with a deafening crack. An electric blue bolt of light struck the mouth of the cave. Light now swirled in the once empty space; an icy blue sphere flexing, and crackling with urgency as it filled the cave entrance.
“Home.” the voice whispered. Then everything went black.
Melody turned and motioned for them to follow. Neither man moved. “What the hell did I just watch?” Brian’s shocked question came out strangled. Thadd was wondering the same thing.
“You must follow me if she is to live!” her voice, carried by the wind, sounded different somehow. “She is running out of time. Opening the gate drained her. Staying here will kill them both!” she turned, and walked through the light.
“Melody no! Goddamitt!” It was too late, she had already disappeared. Thadd shot a bewildered look to his partner as he tried to process what the hell they just witnessed. Why was his lead archaeologist suddenly referring to herself in third person,and what the hell was wrong with her voice?
“I’m losing her!” Brian words were urgent and laced with fear, pulling Thadd back to the situation in hand. Questions to be asked later, if they survive what ever the fuck is happening. “We have to do something now!” Brian pressed two fingers to his wife’s throat. Thadd locked eyes, his determined jaw clenched as they both weigh their options.
A silent conversation passed between them. They were 50 miles from the nearest medical facility. She wouldn’t make it. They both knew it. Brian nodded his permission, and the men lifted their patient in unison.
With Brian taking the lead they ran full bore at the sphere. Yelling like fools as they rushed to certain death.
“What is the meaning of this!” Burton bellowed from his vantage point on the desk. “ Who are you!” he took a swipe at the closest manic that came bellowing through.
A gateway opening in his office could only mean one thing, and he would die before he let those fascists win. He didn’t know why they were chasing the poor woman who collapsed in front of his desk, but she was now under his protection. A dwarf’s protection was no menial thing.
“Whoa…calm down, we’re not here to fight!” Brian ducked his head before the weapon found it’s mark. “My wife was shot, she needs medical attention!” They lowered Bridgett to the floor, spotting Melody lying unconscious on the floor in front of them.
“What have you done to her?” Thaddeus demanded, as he rushed forward ready to fight the graying man. Brian caught him, pulling him back before he reached the desk.
The dwarf looked down, relaxing his hold on his weapon. His eyes sternly calculating as he weighed their story. Seeing the bleeding woman lying on a splintered wood plank, staining his 300 year old Ka’Tian, confirmed at least part of their story.
He scrambled down from his perch, and silently examined the gaping hole in Bridgett’s side. He pulled a device from his pocket, waving it over the wound. “The bullet has barely missed her lung, fortunately, however the internal bleeding is causing her lungs to collapse; less fortunate.” He tapped the screen several times before, before making his way to his next patient. Scanning her next.
A door behind them opened, allowing a team of crisp white uniforms, hauling medical equipment, to circle the two women lying prone on the floor. “We have the best medical staff in the southern province, she is in good hands. Help me move her to the couch.” He ordered. The flurry of sudden activity had left the men on the sidelines.They quickly followed orders, jumping into action. “She will be fine, she is just sleeping.” He pulled out a small metal instrument from the side table drawer, and held it to Melody’s arm; pushing a button on the side. There was a small popping sound, followed by a faint hiss.
“What was that?”
“What did you give her?”
Both men asked their question in unison.
“A vitamin boost, meant to help her recover her strength faster. Opening that gateway drained her. She is lucky, it could have killed her.”
Burton’s eyes fell on the bracelet decorating her wrist. The silver gliming in the lamp light. “Where are you from?” He directed his question to Thaddeus, who was now standing watch over them. A guard dog ready to attack.
“Sweden. We were on a research expedition. We were attacked.” He didn’t fill in the blanks. “Where are we now?”
“Cliffside House, South Province”
“South Province…?” Thadd prompted.
“Orinda.” Burton watched their faces as they tried to place the name with no success. “You would not recognise the name, there are no records of this place anywhere, and for good reason.”
“Right, well then. That explains everything” He didn’t bother to hide his sarcasm.
“You look at me like I’m mad, but it was you who stepped through a mystical portal. Rushing, uninvited I might add, into my study.” With an amused chuckle, he walked around the ornate cherry desk, and opened a drawer.
“Here.” He spread out a well used map, and pointed at a spot near the bottom. “ You are here. A guarded facility, you will be safe from the Order here. Though I am sure they know you have arrived by now, and will be looking for who opened the gate.
One of the medics interrupted. A petite woman with a pleasant face framed framed with golden curls, and delicate voice. “Sirs, we will take the patient to the infirmary now. There is some internal bleeding, and we have to remove the bullet lodged in her.
Brian had been watching the medics like a hawk as they worked to stabilize his wife. Half listening to the conversation. “I’m coming too!” He wasn’t letting her out of his sight. The woman nodded her approval serenely, motioning for him to follow.
Thadd turned his attention back to the dwarf as they wheeled Bridgett from the room with Brian trailing anxiously in their wake.
“These lands are named after Norse gods and goddesses.” He noted examining the map.
Had he not watched Melody do the impossible less than ten minutes ago, he would have written this whole experience off as some stress induced psychosis. Maybe he was lying at the mouth of the cave hallucinating at this very moment, waiting for death to claim him.
Burton nodded. “Yes, Orinda is a sort of port of harbor. An in-between if you will. The ancients of your world, were thought to be brought here by the original Vafthrudnir, commonly known as…”
“The Master Weaver…” Thadd finished.
Burton nodded, impressed. “It is written that he fell in love with the daughter of a Scandinavian clan chief. Their union created an alliance, and the first permanent bridge.”
“How many bridges are there, where do they lead?” He played along, curious where this was all leading.
“We don’t know exactly, but likely thousands. The knowledge was lost many years ago, during ‘The Great Cleansing’.”
“The order called it ‘The Great Cleansing’. They invaded the sacred city, decimating every living soul within its path.” he paused, allowing the heavy words to slowly settle in the air, as his eyes filled with haunted sadness.
“What did they want?”
“What all tyrants want, power.”
“What is the Order?”
“A group of people who are ruled by greed. Their original members wanted to control the gateways. To conquer worlds, and create a massive empire. When the Master Weaver refused to help them, they declared war on the weaver clan. Intending to force him to comply. However, he fled with his wife and small child the night they attacked. No one knows where to. It is assumed he opened one final gate closing it behind them. They hunted, and continue to hunt, the remaining weavers. Those who survived went into hiding centuries ago.
Thadd turned, hitching his leg onto the corner of the cherry wood. His arms crossed stubbornly over his chest. Refusing to be sucked into their problems. He had enough of his own already. “So, what does this history lesson have to do with me and my crew? We are out of here as soon as Bridgett gets patched up.”
“You are missing the point. Your friend is a weaver, and not just any weaver. The only one able to open the gates. Whatever her life was before is irrelevant now.”
Burton ignored Thadd’s derisive snort and continued.
“She has started on a path which can not be stymied. Things have already been set into motion. She will need you, all of you.”
Thaddeus sneered with a mixture of disbelief and amusement. There was no lie in the dwarf’s eyes, but that only proved he was a certified, card holding member of the crazy club. And he wasn’t buying a damn thing the old man was selling.
“Whatever you say grandpa. My only concern is the two women. The faster they are fixed up the faster we can get back home. I have a shit ton of damage control, and paperwork to take care of. Moving things along would be fantastic.” he bit off icily.
Burton humphed. This one was going to be a hard sell. The boy’s disregard for the seriousness of the situation posed a problem. He would figure it out sooner or later though. There was no hiding from one’s destiny. He picked up the phone and pressed in some numbers. After he spoke briefly into the receiver, he hung up.
“I will take you to your friends. The weaver can stay here and rest for now. I sent for a nurse to sit with her.”
Thadd glanced over at the couch before following the old man out the door, and down the hallway. He eyed the young nurse walking past him, imprinting her dark features in his memory. If anything happened to her he wanted to remember who was responsible. The nurse smiled gently back at him. “She will be looked after.” The woman said warmly, as if reading his dark thoughts. “No need to ‘frett.” Her eyes sympathetic to his plight.
Oddly enough he believed her without question…
(Hope you enjoyed this installment of book one of the Weaver Series. Come back soon to read more! Thanks for reading!)