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 Chapter 14: Chained

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: Chapter 14: Chained   Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:07 am

Soluna’s eyes flew open just as she was drenched by the onslaught of a soaking wave. For one, terrifying moment, she found herself embraced by a freezing layer of seafoam, the raw smell of the ocean’s edge forcing its way up her nostril and into her clothes. Then the water receded, exposing Soluna to the raw blast of the night wind. Coughing and spluttering, she spat out a jet of salty water, then looked around. She was chained to a rock. The cuffs around her wrists kept her suspended roughly half a foot above a rocky ledge, but everything was hewed out of the same boulder along the ocean’s edge. Soluna thrashed about for several seconds, testing the strength of the chains. They held firm. With a sigh, Soluna resigned herself to dangling; the sheer, cold wall of the boulder pressed against her back, while the sea waves beat against her.

How had she gotten there? Soluna scrunched up her face trying to remember. All she could remember was the scent of someone else dragging her out into the cold night air and transporting her far, far away. She thought she... No, she knew that she had been flying. So whoever had taken her from Requiem had either wings or some sort of potent magic. Neither bode well for her. What did they want from her, leaving her chained to this spot? A ransom? A reward? The baby... Soluna looked down, a single layer of cloth plastered to her belly all that protected her child from the onslaught of the sheer cold. Why hadn’t she worn anything thicker than a nightgown to sleep? Because Requiem castle had some of the best pillows, and the fires were always crackling throughout the castle’s many fireplaces. Now that warmth was just a memory...

Where was she, anyways? Soluna looked around. As far as her eyes could see, there was nothing but the churning ocean, dark beneath a blackened, stormy sky. The seashore was miles from where Requiem castle was. It would take her clan days to reach her. By then she would be dead from hunger and thirst and cold. And the baby was going to die... Felk. Where was Felk? He would save her, right? He wouldn’t take that long to...

Soluna bowed her head in defeat, her mind wandering as she drifted off back to sleep the best she could in chains.


Nathan couldn’t imagine how he had managed to stay asleep up till the point he awoke. The moment he had any shred of consciousness, his ears were assaulted by the most god-awful blast of noise he had ever cared to encounter. It was so loud he felt his ears would burst right away, his eardrums popping off like corks fired from wine bottles. In fact, it would take days before he lost his sense of hearing, as the damage was done by degrees. Nathan spent several moments trying to gather his thoughts, before giving up for the time being as the roaring noise scrambled anything he tried to concentrate on. He spent several minutes getting his eyes accustomed to the darkness before looking around.

The first thing he noticed: he was chained to a rock. A big rock at that, like a pillar of stone erected over the abyss. For there was nothing below his toes but a tiny ledge, barely wide enough to walk on. Beyond that, stretching down into the darkness, was a sheer wall of rock. Straining his eyes, Nathan looked up and cast his vision about, taking in the rest of his surroundings. Shaped about him was a rocky wall, also stretching all the way down into the abyss, the top of the ridges extending several thousand feet above eye level. All this he took in, while the noise raged on about him. It was this that commanded his attention above all, and whenever he had a chance to think, his thoughts were always along these lines. Where was the noise coming from? How was it managing to keep up like this? Why was there something strange about the noise? How did he get here?

Nathan couldn’t remember much. But what he did remember made everything seem more abstract than ever. Something with wings had bourn him up. Well, that was obvious, otherwise, how else could he come to be chained here, half a foot above a tiny ledge in the middle of nowhere? So he had been kidnapped. That was the only reasonable explanation. But where in the world had he been taken to be held hostage? He didn’t recall a place like this on any of the maps he had seen, though the world was bigger than he cared to guess. It was cold here too, and arid. The tundra perhaps? But there was no snow. The desert then, where the nights were cold and the days were hot. Nathan nearly groaned as he thought about the rising sun. He would be fried to death if the noise didn’t get to him. Let alone the thought of death by hunger or thirst... He had to get out of here. But it would take magic...

Magic! He could teleport! With a burst of effort, Nathan focused his entire mind on teleporting. All sounds and smells and sensations were deadened as his inner sanctum became a soul dedicated to leaving this place. The magic bubbled up within, just as he remembered when he had first started to learn, before it became second-nature to him. But just as he felt himself beginning to rise, the magic stopped. Nathan’s eyes flew open. He was still in the same place, the angry noise coming back to berate him. Why wouldn’t his magic take him from this place? He struggled angrily, the rattling of the chains impossible to hear. Someone had taken him from his home in the middle of the night, when he was near-defenseless in his underwear, and now he couldn’t even get away because something was stopping his magic from working.

Nathan raised his head and howled. He couldn’t even hear his own voice, but this, too, would later come back to haunt him. He regretted it instantly, thinking how Dye looked every time he felt like yelling. Relax. Requiem would be there soon to save him. If they didn’t already abandon him. But they wouldn’t, would they?

Nathan closed his eyes, trying to get some sleep. He found no solace. Sighing, and even this inaudible, Nathan resigned himself to a sleepless night, the noise strangling his ears. Somewhere, among the teeming roar, Nathan could barely make out a voice. Take me away from this place, it said. A woman’s voice, half-whispered, half-screamed. Take me away. Take me...


Saint sat up once more in the middle of the night. This was the third time this night alone! He groaned, kicking his way out of bed and storming about his room in a sleepless frenzy. He couldn’t remember something, and it was killing him now. Saint shook his head in disgust, tying up his mess of hair in a pony tail, and marched downstairs. He was going to take a look at that bloody message one more time, see if he could discern anything else from the writing on the wall. With luck, he might be able to find out who wrote it...

Taken Hostage: Islix Sylvia, Inside Soluna
Taken Hostage: Echoing Eiscir, Nathan Dies

Saint groaned. The more he looked at it, the more it stayed the same. Though whoever wrote it, the first letters of each word were capitalized. Bad grammar indeed... Saint’s eyes suddenly widened. No, it wasn’t bad grammar. Saint carefully went back through the message, his heart dropping to the floor as he began to see the words behind the words, the meaning behind the meaning.

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Chapter 14: Chained
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