Monday, October 20, 2008

Sorry for the lack of post

She's been orclette busy and I've been brain dead.

In exchange I give you something I've been working on:

Chemaik knelt in the musty room, his scribe-light providing steady but weak illumination. Gently, every so gently, he shifted the paper before him. One of the last surviving pages of one of the last surviving books in a room that was one of the few remaining standing in a building that should have been dust centuries ago.

He had found this place after extensive research into the histories of the original race, the Dragons. An ancient dragon scholar had written of it, describing it as the city where the Dragons created the first man. All of the buildings in this city were man sized but they lay in the shadows of even greater ruins that could have only ever properly fit a dragon. Chemaik would have gone there first but those ruins were encased in a wall of ice a mile high. The glacier was almost crystal clear and the image of the huge buildings encased inside taunted Chemaik. Perhaps if he found something important enough he could get a grant and come back with enough manpower and tools to dig out the Dragon ruins.

But that would have to wait for another time. The university wasn't very interested in the deep past. The Dragons did not look fondly on those who searched back past them in time, and several of their race made up the primary financial backers for the institution of greater learning. For now he would make due with attempting to discover documents describing the creation of his race.

The building he currently searched had at one time been a library. This room had been on the second floor of that library. Back before the ice retreated leaving only empty ruins. Back before the jungle was enveloped in ice. Back before the city was enveloped in jungle.

This room had been a preservation room, Chemaik believed. The few dusty tools he had found looked to be the sort you would use to tease a tiny bit more life from a dying book so that you had time to copy its words to a new container. The rest of the building was filled top to bottom with piles of book dust. Until a small earthquake had broken down yet another interior wall he had believed his expedition to this place had been simply a waste of time.

But here in this room some books had pages that survived intact. And if one was ever so careful one could slide a page out and copy down its ancient words before the page dissolved into ankle high dust like the rest. He needed only another inch and this page would be finished.

His scribelight turned from a quiet white to a gentle green. And then in the space of a heartbeat it changed to blue, then purple then red. His outlying sensors had picked up another quake. This one was moving too fast to continue copying the page.

Adrenalin surged through him with a heavy dose of fear. Dropping the priceless page, he snatched up his bag, threw his notebook into it and started scrambling through the book dust and broken shelves back towards the hole in the wall that was this rooms only exit. The ground heaved, throwing a bookshelf off its balance and knocking Chemaik to the ground. He rolled over and the shelving missed crushing him. He was on his knees about to stand when another shake brought cracks to the roof above him. Loud thumps and crashes echoed through the ceiling. Dust filled the room. Choking he lunged off the ground and blindly ran as best he could towards where he remembered the exit being.

Another wave of the quake slammed through the building. Suddenly the floor tilted and Chemaik slipped and fell, sliding into a wall. The ceiling gave way and the world went black.

Chemaik woke up to a completely silent, pitch black room. A trickle of liquid was running down the back of his neck and he was slumped awkwardly in a wedge between what remained of the floor and something else. After three attempts he was able to reactivate his scribelight and peer around. Due to his throbbing headache the light was even dimmer than before. A feature not helped by his blurry vision. The liquid was blood from what felt like a gaping hole in his skull. Based on the amount of the blood it had to be simply a deep scratch.

Once his vision cleared Chemaik saw a gentle yellow glow just outside the range of his scribelight. Intrigued he gingerly made his way over the broken walls towards it.

In the upper corner of an upended bookshelf a foot sized egg shaped rock was lodged. All around surface the rock were glowing yellow letters. Not letters he recognized but letters still. Cautiously he picked up a broken chair leg and rolled the rock over. The letters covered the other side of the rock as well. Holding his hand close to the rock he could detect no heat. The surface looked smooth, and he carefully reached out to feel it. Still nothing happened. It was as smooth as well polished marble. He picked it up, hefting it gently to get an idea of its weight. It was surprisingly light, as if it was made of wood. He reached down and started to put it back, when he saw the letters going away. Turning his hand back over in surprise to get a better look he screamed and dropped the rock. The letters had left the rock and were burning into his hand and up his arm.

Pain swept through him. His entire left arm felt like it was melting into acid. Already weakened from the blow to his head earlier he collapsed screaming and thrashing his arm. The thrashing only intensified the pain. Foam flecked at his lips. The scribelight flickered and blinked out. He could no longer feel his finger tips and the burning extended to his shoulder now. His bones felt like someone was etching them with a flaming chisel. Another wave of pain shot through him and he slipped into unconsciousness again.

For what felt like eternity he lay there, waking up to pain and fire, drifting off to delirium and the dreams of the dying. Then at some point the pain started to fade. The fire stopped burning, and he woke up in the darkness.

There was no feeling past the shoulder joint. His left arm felt like a burnt husk of a rock when he reached over with his right to see if there was anything left.. He could feel his tunic where it lay over the remains of his arm and it didn't feel damaged in the slightest. Startled, he flicked on his scribelight using all of his remaining energy.

And feeling returned. As the light turned on he felt all of his burnt arm come to life. And there where his arm used to be he saw clearly the blacked skeletal bones of his arm... inlaid with the now glowing yellow letters that had been chiseled on the egg rock.

This isn't done, doesn't have much more and isn't fully set in the world. Still enjoy and have a great afternoon.

1 comment:

klaki said...

very interesting. keep it up.