Friday, September 3, 2010

Dark World: The Horror Sign

(The story begins here.)
(The last recap is here.)

“Clio!” Darren cried. “Where did you come from?”

“A small village called Deephaven, where my mother had relatives. Rosa took me there, hoping it would help me forget what happened. But I slipped away—stranded her there, unfortunately—and came looking for your friend the doctor. And now I find someone else has beaten me to him.”

“Why couldn’t you make an appointment like everyone else? We’re trying to rescue him.”

“So am I.” At Darren’s incredulous expression she explained, “I can’t get my revenge until he’s safe. Besides, I’m beginning to think I shall need help reaching Father or getting him back.”

“What we’re learning now may help us find your father. Mr. Shafer, you said you didn’t know exactly where they took Dr. Fleming. What do you know about his whereabouts?”

“They took him a long way off. I hope it isn’t where I think. They’re probably going to let the Dehros deal with him though.”

“Wait! Does this piece of of paper mean anything?” Darren showed the man the scrap with the odd symbol. “I don’t know why, but it fills me with loathing.”

Shafer looked at it and shuddered. “Yeah, it makes everyone feel like that. Too bad. That doctor guy was a nice enough jerk.”

“Where is he?”

“Other side of the world by now.”

“What? How could he get there so quickly? And more to the point, can we get there and help him?”

“You can try. But you’ll never get out of there alive.”

“Just get us there. You don’t have to stay and fight.”

“Oh, that’s okay. I haven’t been killed in ages. I could use something to eat, though.”

“Lassiter, round up some travel supplies while I get your friend a sandwich. We need to leave as soon as possible.”

Since Lassiter had unpacked when they returned from Boston, he was able to re-pack quickly enough. He collected food and water for an overnight trip, and he got the doctor’s pack of equipment just in case.

Meanwhile, Clio ducked out and returned carrying a bow and a few arrows. “Quieter than a gun and every bit as lethal,” she muttered in response to the stares.

Darren helped Lassiter pack as Shafer began eating, and soon the strange vagrant was ready to take his sandwich along. Lassiter started for the door, Darren right behind him. But for a reason Darren himself couldn’t quite understand, he paused to scan the room: What was it? A faint, unaccountable darkness? A slight breeze where no current of air should have stirred? Something…

“Coming?” Lassiter called from the doorway.

The scan became a glance. “Yes, coming.” Unsure and unsatisfied, Darren headed for the door and the familiar darkness and breeze beyond.

Next: Delvings Deep

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