Destination: Irrylian

Shaun lifted Morey atop his shoulder, carrying her back the way they had come. Cerulean beads painted tracks across his dust-ridden features as he continued into the ceaseless-swirling torrent of dirt and fragments of rock that now consumed the stretch of road, the limp figure to Morey slouched across his broad back.

"Fuck you," he said, talking to no one, voice hindered by both dust and sobs. "Just you wait -- you'll pay your penance, bastard, and it will be both your heads."

Morey stirred, a low moan seeping her lips as she woke to the pain of exhausted muscles.

"Shaun," came her weary tone, nigh-on audible as a consequence of the whistling dust, "What...well, what's going on?"

"Relax," he said with a sigh, "We're going through the Border."

"Split?" She was positively perplexed -- having passed out in fear of her life as she fled a relentless pursuer, she was now heading back in that direction, almost blinded by a current of dust.

"More specifically, the one that separates Irrylian from the Old Realms." He said, little to no animation present in his clearly-regretful tone, "Don't worry,'ll be fine." The closing statement was spoken with little conviction, encouraging Morey to groan.

"Christ," she said, the knowledge of her own ignorance irritating her no-end. "Elaborate, man. What the hell is this 'Irrylian' and what's an Old Realm."

"I'll explain at the Tower, when I've brought you before the Authority."

The newfangled names Shaun was spilling just incited Morey's irritation further, and she pulled herself forcibly from atop his back. Grunting as pressure was put on exhausted muscles in her legs; cursing as she realised the true extent of her injuries as a consequence of physical exertion, she grabbed his arm and tugged him to face her. As lips parted to demand further explanation, she spied the fraught expression adorning his now-gaunt features, and she ceased immediately.

They proceeded in silence, though Morey's grip of Shaun's arm did not relent; using him as a guide through the fog, she followed him deeper into the apparent abyss. After about half a mile, a faint, glimmering patch of sheer black energy glistened menacingly, seeming to exude a sense of danger. As soon as the sight fell upon her eyes, Morey flinched, and turned to run. Shaun, however, seemed to have anticipated her reaction before it had even occurred, and he pulled her toward the dark light.

Suddenly, the girl as a flood of obscure emotions; who was Shaun? What was this light? Why in the nine hells was she involved in this mess?

"I'm going home," she said, firmly, trying to wriggle free of Shaun's grip.

"You can't," he said, voice still retaining its monotone quality, "It's too late now."

"Damnit, Shaun!" She said, forcing him to face her, "What the hell are you rabitting on about? All I see is a crazy dust-cloud, and a bizarre light that defies all the laws of physics!"

A wry chuckle, born of Shaun's throat, reverberated about the vicinity. "You actually listened in physics, Morey," he said, a small device vaguely resembling a high-tech marble being brought from the folds on his coat, "You surprise me."

The amusement was short-lived, however, as he swirled the marble about his fingers and thrust it toward the light, with pinpoint accuracy.

Coalescing in a bizarre maelstrom of ebony and ivory ribbons, a turret of vividly-glowing light erupts from the marble-dark light setup, forcing its way through the clouds.

Morey gasped; truly taken aback, she relinquished her grip on Shaun's arm. Time enough lent to the man, he hauled Morey straight through its contrasting entity and into the realm beneath.

Spluttering her objection to inter-realm travel, Morey landed, face-fist, upon the metal-imbued concrete surface that adorned the vast majority of Irrylian's streets. Awe-struck cerulean gaze fell upon the skyscrapers that shot, seemingly-ceaselessly, into the emerald-hued sky.

"Whoa," was her only voiced testament to awe, as she continued to look around -- shocked, scared, and wide-eyed.

"On yer feet," came Shaun's voice as he stepped, with annoying fluidity and grace, through the window.

"Shaun!" she exclaimed, for the second or third time today, "Where on Earth are we?"

"Earth...yes, I suppose." He said, brow creased in contemplation, "Though, I'm not entirely sure."

Morey look astounded, and increasingly angry. "You don't know where we are?" She said, tone exuding a sense of faux-cool.

"Of course I know where we are, Morey. How else would I have been able to activate the Corvetof Marble."


"Nevermind," Shaun chuckled, once again grabbing Morey's hand. His features darkened significantly as he looked towards the sky, hazel cornea flashing in recognition. "Shit...dusk."

"The sky's green, Shaun. How can you possibly know it's dusk!?" Snorted Morey, jaw agape.

"Run, Subject, if the sky is green...lest you risk being seen." Spoke the man, in an evidently-practised tone.

"Subject? Run?" Said Morey, beginning to lose patience again, "Stop being so bloody mystic, Shaun. Answer me straight, where are we?"

"Irrylian," he stated, simply, stepping out from behind the building.

The border had opened behind a particularly dank-looking skyscraper, its apex tickling teasingly at the looming violet clouds that painted the curiously-emerald skies. From where the pair stood, the only sight visible was the aforementioned wall, and a fence barring passage in the opposite direction. As a consequence, the only way to go was around the building, and onto what seemed to be a busy street.

The sight that met Morey's eyes as the scene unfurled before her eyes only further astounded her, though; tin can-like entities hovered just above an electrically charged field, seemingly suspending them above the flickering mechanisms comprising the completed circuits.

"Crap." She spoke, without really thinking. It was truly a sight to behold; the highway-like road stretched as far as she could see, in all three dimensions. Having stopped a moment to gaze in wonder, she almost lost sight of Shaun, and had to jog, much to her muscles' protest, to catch up with him.

Upon reaching his side, she stared at him, matching his pace with awkward strides. Here stood a man who she had known almost her entire life, and he was walking around in a world where the sky was green, as if it were a normal activity for him. The creases marking his callous features seemed deeper, to some extent, and the fact suddenly dawned upon her: she didn't know him, at all. She didn't know this side of him, anyway.

In contemplative silence the pair wove through the buildings until Morey spoke, lowly. "Shaun, seriously...why are we here?"

He sighed, and did not answer the question directly. "Irrylian's in a state of disarray, Morey." Came the beginnings of his spiel, stride unrelenting, "Ritualistic laws reign their prominence here, see, and we have not the power to go against them -- we're all a part of their manifestation in what will be, most likely, the beginning of the end."

"Elaborate," Morey urged, almost running to keep up with him as he strode purposefully through the obstructing buildings.

"I can't -- well, not yet. Don't worry, Morey. I've promised you that I shan't let any harm come to you, and you trust me, yes?"

"Shaun...I don't know you, apparently," she began, but was cut short.

"You simply don't know where I come from. You do know me. Have done for years, now. Just...well, put it this way: have I ever broken a promise to you?"

She thought hard, but he hadn't. Ever.

"No...I suppose not."

"Right, well...exactly." He sighed, stopping to face her. "I'm sorry I couldn't prevent this," a rough finger brushed her cheek. "I really did try. Hayley just...well, Elliot was the perfect person to choose."

She stopped in her tracks, her own palm wrenching the straying finger from her face. "Hayley has something to do with this?"

"Morey...Hayley has everything to do with this; she is this. Now, now more of this -- I'll explain some more when we reach the Tower."

Deciding it best to trust him, she ceased her probing, and asked something a little more casual. "Tower?"

"Aye, the Tower of Gateways." He said, a hint of amusement flashing behind his dark eyes. "You'll like it there, Morey -- it's blue."

Shaun was truly a mystery. He seemed over angst-ridden and restless, yet managed to retain the familiar wit and playful air she had so long associated with him. Morey was positively lost -- metaphorically, and literally. To prevent the latter from becoming any worse, she stuck to his side and matched each of his steps with one of her own.

"I wish you could've stayed there." Shaun said, after a few moments. "And honestly, Morey, I would've let you, if it wasn't so...imperative that you're here, with me.

It was with something akin to remorse that he said that, and Morey decided it best not to question any further, so, remaining silent, she strode obediently at his side.