|The Desert of Time
Author: Phoenix-ofthe-Goldenrose PM
A girl without a name, without an age, without a place stumbles—near death—into a desert one day and is saved by a hermit. Treachery is afoot-the Royals have just executed all of the Riders. Everything she has ever known is about to change...Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 15 - Words: 26,024 - Reviews: 115 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 07-12-06 - Published: 06-29-05 - id: 1951465
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Something isn't right," Elentia murmured.
"What?" Karcier asked.
"I don't know. Something just feels wrong. You know how everything is normal but you just feel like something really bad is going to happen? That's how I feel. Karcier, I need to talk to Bonton."
Karcier took her thin hand in his big calloused one and led her to Bonton's new study.
"Hey, Bon," she called. A grunt came from within the old broom closet. "I need to talk to you. See, I feel…kind of like you how you feel when you know someone is going to die."
Bonton stared at her.
"Karcier, can you go check on the kids for me?" the older man asked. Karcier nodded and left. "I know we have no idea if we're related, but people in my family sometimes have a touch of clairvoyance. I've been feeling it too."
"Clairvoyance. We can sense the future. How strong is this feeling of yours?"
"It's getting stronger every minute," she whispered.
"Mine too. We need to get everyone to E'anindage right away."
"I don't like it down here," Rencier whimpered. "It's scary." Karcier picked the little boy up and held him tightly. Rencier circled his arms around his adopted brother's neck and hid his face against his shoulder.
"It'll be okay," Elentia whispered. She didn't sound so sure of herself. Karcier shifted Rencier to one arm and pulled Elentia close to him with his other arm.
"Do we have any idea why we're down here?" Reko asked softly.
"Elentia and I had a bad feeling. I've learned to trust my instincts. Hopefully we won't be down here long. How about I give a lesson to pass the time?" Bonton suggested.
"Why not?" Elentia replied. "We don't have anything better to do." A loud thump came from above them and she clung to Karcier. "Um...teach away."
"What was that noise?" Rencier squeaked.
"It was nothing," Karcier replied.
Elentia made a small noise and burrowed her face into Karcier's chest. He tightened his arm around her waist.
"Okay. So…well, let's talk about where we are. Does anyone know what it's called?" Bonton asked.
"E'anindage," Elentia called out.
"Do you know what it means?"
"Now, someone besides Elentia. Who built E'anindage and why?"
"It was built by dwarves. They originally intended it as a city for them, but then the Riders bought it from them and built Orlindage above it. The Riders used E'anindage as a refuge," Karcier answered.
"Correct. Now how about Karcier and Elentia keep their mouths shut and I ask another question? Okay. Let's see. Which tribe of dwarves built E'anindage?"
Nobody answered at first.
"Um, wasn't it the Skarvelag Tribe?" Reko asked softly.
"Very good, Reko. Yes, the Skarvelag dwarves built the tunnels we're standing in now. And who knows what Skarvelag means?"
"Ooh!" Menka cried. "It means Red-Bearded!"
"Wow, Menka! I'm so proud of you!" Bonton bent down and hugged the little girl. "They were called that because all the males had red beards, whether natural or dyed. I've heard the name insulted the females because, of course, they didn't have beards."
"Bon, I heard something," Elentia whispered.
"I don't know. Something up there."
"Does everyone have everything important with them?" Bonton asked.
A chorus of "yes" echoed around the cavern they were in.
"Rencier, honey, I need to talk to Karcier real quick, okay?" Elentia said. "Hey, Bonton, can you watch Rencier?" Bonton reached out and silently took Rencier from Karcier. Elentia grabbed Karcier's hand and dragged him away from the gathered children. "Something bad is going to happen. I'm certain of it."
"What is it?" he whispered.
"I don't know. This will sound weird, but I feel dragons. I don't understand. I thought all the Riders were gone."
"Yes," he said. "I don't mean to sound negative, but…the Royals. Could they have captured dragons? Do you think they're coming to attack?"
Elentia's face went blank and she closed her eyes.
"Bonton!" she shouted. "I know what's going to happen. And I know how to turn it to our advantage."
"So, you think that they're going to burn the city?" Karcier murmured.
"Either that or explode it. They want everyone dead, I would think. Either that or they're trying to flush us out so they can capture us. Burning would be their best bet considering the entire city is made of wood," Elentia said.
They were currently camped out in a pit in the sand, which was covered with a beige tarp. There were several other sand pits around them. Reko was hovering around somewhere with Haracelai.
"Either way, the city will be gone," he said.
"It's either the city or the only hope left for this country. You yourself said E'anindage was safer than Orlindage ever was. The little kids will be safe down there. They're in the lowest level with a ton of torches lit."
Karcier looked at her and saw the fear in her eyes. If her plan didn't work, then many people could die.
"It will all work out," he told her.
"I hope so. If we're lucky, we'll be able to save most of the city."
"Just out of curiosity…do you have any idea how to use a pistol?" Karcier asked.
"Kind of. I practiced shooting at sandplants. One time I found a pistol and taught myself to use it. We'll see if I remember how."
"That's so reassuring," he grumbled. "I, of course, am very talented with a pistol. You know, Captain of the Guard and all."
"Shut up. Stick your head out and see if anything's out there."
Karcier obliged her.
A moment later, he shouted, "Here they come! Wait for my command!"
Karcier had been elected commander because of his experience as a leader…but mostly because when he poked his head out from under the tarp it looked like a desert weed.
A crackling noise came from a hundred feet south of them. Orlindage was burning.
"NOW!" Karcier shouted.
Out of each pit came two people.
Karcier carefully took aim at a man on dragon back and pulled the trigger. A few seconds later, the man dropped into the sand.
Sounds of firing shots came from all around them. Screams followed.
Surprisingly, Bonton proved to be the best shot, and he quickly downed a few of the men.
"How many do you think there are?" Elentia shouted.
"At least ten!" Karcier replied as he shot one man in the chest as the man's dragon swooped low.
Suddenly, Haracelai shot down from the clouds and snatched one man from his dragon's back. One quick swallow, and he was gone. Elentia could see Reko's horrified face even though he was so far above her.
Elentia counted three more dragons with riders. Slowly, she took aim on the nearest rider and pulled the trigger before guilt set in. He dropped to the ground.
She stumbled to the pit and threw up in it.
"Are you okay?" Karcier called.
"Sure. I'm just puking for fun." She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
She saw one of the last riders stare at her.
The next thing she knew, something hit her shoulder and went through flesh and muscle. She fell back onto the sand and stared at the sky.
"Oh God," she heard. "Elentia, can you hear me?"
"Yeah, I'm not deaf, I just got shot is all. Just shoot him already and worry about me later," she mumbled.
She craned her neck painfully and saw a man tumble off his dragon. One left.
And then a strange thing happened.
The last dragon flipped upside down and flew that way, until its rider fell off.
"Well, I'm glad that worked. Now, would someone please try to put out the city? We have dragons now; see if they can do something. Good bye," Elentia said as she fainted.
Author's Note: I updated. Yay! I would have sooner, but first I started up on Black is the Color again, and then I was typing this up and my computer died on me. smashes comp with a sledge hammer Yeah so evil. Anyways. I know this is a weird chapter but I got bored and didn't feel like writing it into two chapters like I should have. Meh. I'm evil. What do you guys think? Is it completely stupid and random? Oh, and I'm going to Florida tomorrow for eleven days, so no more updates for a while, but hopefully I'll have a few when I get back!
IrishTrinity: I figured out a way to move Orlindage to the Nezanus! Yay me! Too tired to give a halfway decent reply, sorry.
Tirtreaton: New words are fun. They make me happy.
Herbal-fire: Yes. I updated. Yawn. See ya when I get back.
Gabrielle Wing: I think it had been a few weeks/months but I should probably specify that in my revision. Misery is good, yes.
Skeeter the Groundhog: Sadly enough…I haven't really decided who the second person in the dialog was. Sigh. I'm so horrible. I know, misery makes everyone but the characters happy…that's horrible! Oh well.