Cooperative Fiction

Skip to content

A Voice from the Past

Re: A Voice from the Past

Post by Iarei on

The hard lines of something was caught up in her hand, hard and unnatural between boy's slim fingers. Her hand was bigger than his, but with her fingers tangled with his he could feel it, knew it was there: the other figurine. She had the other figurine. The voice was screaming in his head, but even so he chanced a look back, because he had to see her, this sudden and unwanted figment -- she lunged forward as he looked back, and he had just enough time to pivot off and into the alley mouth before they all went tumbling away. He hit something and rolled, felt his hand forced open. Something contracted his fingers inwards, but it was too late. The poorly wrapped blade tumbled from him -- not far -- and without meaning to he turned toward it, reaching -- someone's hand was there before his. Jester. He shrieked at her, a childish animal sound of denial, and kicked her arm before he could think.

He did not recognize Jester in the way she snarled at him, but the heavy tread of feet and deep voices of their pursuers had gotten closer. He looked back -- they hadn't caught up yet, but they were close.

Re: A Voice from the Past

Post by The Raven Basilards on

Cease this folly at once! The basilard commanded. Within moments Jester responded, halting all her movement. Such a weak minded creature, the basilard reflected, would make a fine host were it not for the fact that it was out of practice controlling a mortal nervous system. For now, it needed all of its resources operating at their full capacity, a feat which it could not provide to either of these two creatures.

As the minds of the thugs entered the basilard’s awareness, it was reminded that time was running out. Something had to be done about Jester, she was much too obvious. Can you still understand my words? It asked her, but she just mumbled and shoved her head around ambiguously. She seemed to grow frustrated with her inability to communicate, frowning and waving her arm a bit. The basilard gave up on that line of inquiry, decided that there was no choice but to attempt reasoning with her.

Listen to me. The men seek to harm us. If they are allowed to catch us, you will never again hear my voice. It closed in on her mind and dulled her thoughts such that she could hear only it. Its vital message would not go unheard. You. Must. Flee. Go now into the night and lead them astray. The basilard then compelled her to open her fingers, effectively prying itself from her grasp. The bade dropped from her hand, but before it could so much as clatter on the stone Jester had lurched past the boy to run into the street.

The basilard’s voice reached into the boy’s thoughts. It seemed to have worked: the men could be heard shouting after her. It was hard to see in the darkness, but their boots thundered past them. She will distract them for now. It paused, thinking. It had not thought to count the number of minds which had just passed. It was possible one had been left behind, though the blade doubted any such person would have been terribly happy with such a post. We should employ this to our maximum advantage and vacate the area immediately. There may be more.

Re: A Voice from the Past

Post by Iarei on

A sense of rightness filled boy as he lunged to scoop up the blade, still caught up in the edges of his now ruined shirt. He considered the shirt for a dull moment before the voice was back with its instructions. He thought of fleeing to Iarei, and dismissed it out of hand; he didn't need her, and she didn't need him. What did need him was the blade. He clung to it, taking care of its sharp edges as he re-wrapped it and brought it close to his chest. He could do what it needed; it did not have hands or arms or legs or feet. He could be what it needed. Boy wasn't very practiced at being what someone (or something) needed, but right then he felt a swelling of triumph at the opportunity.

The boy would do what the basilard told him to do.

The fact that he didn't know the city for shit was a bother, but it was one that he was determined to overcome without whining about it or asking for aid. In fact, right at that moment he was horribly lost, but he knew which direction they'd come from, and which direction Jester had gone in. The direction he chose was therefore as opposite of those two directions as he could manage. He started to jog, steadfastly ignoring the steady tightening of his stomach or the pain in his feet. Unbeknownst to him, he traveled almost directly east and a little north, a direction that would eventually take them through downtown and towards the water tower. However, he avoided taking roads and he stopped periodically to wait and listen; he had avoided pursuit before, back in Poltek. Though he'd never been caught stealing a magical talking blade before, he'd been caught stealing other things. Each time he'd needed to flee, and in each case being caught a second time meant the same thing. He hadn't wanted to be caught then, and he didn't want to be caught now.

As time went on he lost some sense of direction, and as a result he found himself in the Downtown District (though he didn't know what it was or where he was) as the sky started to lighten. He was in its middle, a bit north of the main road and between two buildings. He fancied himself at the edge of the city, for in the distance he could see the top of a water tower, and hear the steady rush of a river. He sat down, back against one of the buildings -- heedless of the thin sheet of grime that covered it or the roughness of the stone -- and groaned. "I gotta rest," he said, panting. "Did we slip 'em?"

Re: A Voice from the Past

Post by The Raven Basilards on

The basilard waited a moment before responding to the boy. The time was right, and the location ideal. The basilard reached its senses outwards, focusing on their surroundings. A small number of people occupied either building, but the morning was just beginning. It would not become crowded for a good while.

Yes, child. It told the boy. It spoke slowly, as if carefully choosing each word. Its glow was minimal to the point that the tattered shirt hid it completely. Within moments, the sun would rise into the sky and drown it out entirely. You have succeeded. I can sense no further pursuit, even at the borders of my awareness.

It sat there in the boy’s grasp, its blank, hollow eyes staring upwards at him. The morning chill rattled about the alleyway as the sun began to chase the night air away. The basilard found it fitting that it should gain life during the rising of the spring sun.

Then it is time. The basilard said, its deep, ancient voice more calm and monotone than it had been before. Let my work begin.

The basilard sent its thoughts into the boy’s mind, its consciousness flooding every open channel. Tendrils of power weaved through him, leaving no thought sacred and no memory untouched. The basilard lurched and raised its arm, holding itself a safe distance from the boy’s thrashing. The statue’s influence had lessened the power required; all through night, it had been working its decay. The weapon did not glow to the extent it had in the warehouse, but still it flared enough to pierce the shirt’s frail protection. The alleyways would have to be their safeguard.

As the light died down, so too did the boy’s flailing. Bringing itself slowly to rest beside the child, the basilard lowered itself to the earth. No screams of alarm accompanied its display: they had gone undetected.

Now came the difficult part. It had been many ages since it had a claim to any sort of biology. New sensations of touch and taste washed over it. The sudden perception staggered it for a moment. Nevertheless, it retained its grasp on the child with ease and moved onto the next phase of acclimating. With no visible effort, the basilard attempted to open its eyes. The muscles around the eyes twitched, but no claim could be laid to sight.

The basilard attempted it again. And again. And again. It was only on its fourth try that it would succeed, and for the first time in decades it saw the world with two human eyes. The experience was not new, but it never failed to daze the weapon. It lay there for a moment, taking in the blue-grey sky and its orange tinted clouds. The sunrise might have been beautiful, if the weapon could experience the sentiment. All it knew was that it operated on something of a schedule: though it did not think itself capable of failure, the possession would be easier the lower the sun was in the sky.

It began to move its limbs. Not unlike the first time it had attempted possession, it began with wormlike crawling. It began to move its legs, the limbs responding by running while the body still lay down. Deciding that was satisfactory, it used its good arm to prop itself into a sitting position. It pushed itself over to the wall where, resembling a newborn, it attempted to walk by pulling itself up the wall and standing with support.

The blade’s legs wobbled and it crashed to the ground twice before it was able to remain upright. During the process, the shirt had fallen from the weapon, forcing the basilard to reach down and pick it up. Though it was a challenge, it managed to accomplish this end without toppling once more. Then it leaned against the wall and re-wrapped the shirt around its blade. The basilard then clutched the weapon tightly, using both of the boy’s small hands: especially now, it could not risk dropping itself.

It walked out of the alley on unsteady legs. The sun rose behind it, glowing orange as if furious it had failed to stop the mockery of life which now lived beneath it. The basilard walked on this world again.

Now it was time to find its kin.


Return to Industrial District