tagSci-Fi & FantasyLegend Ch. 06

Legend Ch. 06


As they flew through the night the feeling Lucy had grew stronger. At first she thought it was simply because they were getting closer to the secret cave, but that was not it, the feeling was growing, more urgent, much more urgent. Yet still she dare not rush, she knew the risks, she had to trust Kala to get them back fast but also unobserved. Lucy just hoped they would be in time.

All the girls jerked away as the oil splashed beneath Maja's feet.

As I was about to say, Eva continued, " ...from that opening up there."

For once none of them spoke, not even a "fuck me", nothing, total silence.

"Exactly," Eva voiced their thoughts, "we all want to go back, but who amongst us wants to go first...?"

They all stood, silent, only Katja remained kneeling, obediently awaiting her Mistress's command, unable to understand what had been said, knowing only that which she could guess from their actions and gestures, quietly Katja tried to piece it together as she watched the oil slowly trickle back onto the centre of the black circle until it once again formed a perfectly round pool, like a black mirror, the full moon now almost entirely reflected on it's smooth surface.

"Any ideas..?" Eva asked.

"You said it was two-way, so what is on the other side, or end, or whatever?" Anja asked.

"On the other side is a pool like this one, another high place from which to jump." Exactly where it is I don't know, but if this one works, so must the other." Eva paused, "so, I ask again, any ideas."

"Yes, I have an idea." They all turned to look at Lucy, Kala by her side, both flushed and breathing fast as if they had run to the limits of their endurance, or rather flown.

"Let me go first, in my Dragon form I can't be killed, or even splatted..."

"No, I'm smaller, I'll go," Kala gasped, her strength almost gone, for she did not have Lucy's power and had pushed herself to fly faster, almost to fast.

"Neither of you can go first," Eva replied, "look at the pool, look at the opening, your Dragons are both far to big to fit." She paused again, as if unwilling to speak, "you could go first, but only as you are now, and you'd be as vulnerable as the rest of us..."

Suddenly everyone was talking at once, all offering suggestions, none listening to anyone else. Their voices rising, the echoes becoming louder and louder until finally Eva could stand it no more...

"Enough..!!" Once again she didn't even raise her voice, yet all obeyed, standing still, the echoes still fading.

"There is something else you need to know, the pool will not work for everyone, if you would do harm to the world you are going to, it won't allow you through."

Then Lucy spoke, "where is Maja? And Katja?" Everyone looked around, none had noticed them slip away. Then a new sound was heard, a pebble ricocheting between the jagged walls of the cave high above them, the sound unmistakable, they looked up as the pebble fell clear of the walls and dropped into the pool, splashing the scented oil before bouncing away across the smooth marble floor.

Lucy never noticed, her eyes fixed on a tiny movement high above, the moon momentarily hidden by a body as it leapt into the hole far above, dropping cleanly, soundlessly, faster and faster.

"Katja...!!!" Eva screamed, her voice filling the cave.

Lucy wanted to change, to fly up and catch the falling girl, but doing so would have crushed the others, and besides, neither sharp claws or razor sharp fangs where much good for catching a falling girl. Kala too wanted to do something, but there was nothing she could do, especially still weak from flying so far and so fast.

As the figure descended they could see it was not Katja, it was Maja who plummeted down to hit the scented oil...

This time there was no splash, the surface of the oil remained smooth and still, Maja simply stood there, unhurt, blinking her eyes, a strange expression on her face...

Far above Katja crouched, trembling, tears in her eyes, unable to see what happened, listening to the scream of her Mistress, the echoes still filling the cave and spilling out into the secret valley. Carefully Katja climbed back down the mountain side in the dark, for the moon that had lit their climb had now passed, leaving only shadows.

In the oldest part of Zurich stands the Barfusserkloster a Franciscan Abbey built in 1240. All that now remains of it is the cantonal court where Eva works. Like the nearby Fraumunster Abbey which dates back to 853, it was built on a site already occupied for centuries. The existence of the structures that predate both sites is little known, though archeologists have uncovered some evidence of their existence. That both sites are connected, have been linked for millenia is now lost knowledge, lost to all but a few people. One of them is now Maja.

Suze had tried to explain what it had felt like to dive into a pool in the forest and surface in another world. Maja had listened carefully but had never really understood, until now. She stood for a moment in the puddle of scented oil, there was just enough light from a hole far above her to see, even so Maja paused, giving her eyes time to adjust to the dim light.

She was standing in a stone built chimney, no, a tower, to her left were several old oak barrels, one of which was so old a little of it's contents was seeping out, forming the pool in which Maja now stood. To her right was the first step of a staircase that spiralled up inside the tower, each step embedded into the walls leaving a circular space in the centre of the tower, for Maja could see all the way to the top, as if looking up a tall chimney, just a small patch of blue sky above.

As her eyes grew used to the semi-darkness she could see that the floor was white marble with veins of purple in which small chips of quartz glittered like stars whilst the pool of scented oil covered a circular section of pure black marble. "Just the the cave," Maja thought. Looking around more carefully she noticed a door set into the wall behind her, "I wonder.." Stepping from the puddle of scented oil she carefully wiped her boots, the fur lined boots Anja had so carefully stitched for each of them, and crossed to the door, hands searching for a handle or a latch, nothing, the door would not open.

"Ok," thought Maja, talking to herself, "maybe the staircase?" A last careful look at the door for any hidden lock and she turned away to the bottom of the staircase. At first climbing it was easy, each stone tread wide near the wall, tapering towards the centre... "Oh fuck..!!" Maja really was scared of heights, the climb up the side of the mountain had been truly awful, her hands shaking so much it was hard to hold onto the rocks even though the climb itself was not difficult, for a narrow path marked the way, like those made by mountain goats. Even so, it was only her sense of having been useless and her determination to do something to help her friends that gave her the strength to bite back the nausea and climb, unaware that Katja had followed her.

Now that feeling returned, not just the nausea but the strength, she had to climb, there was no other way. Step by step, clinging to the stone wall, fighting the urge to turn back and careful not to look down, Maja climed the spiral staircase, higher and higher, until finally she reached the top, and found... nothing.

The last step was much bigger, forming a ledge, like a landing, no windows, no door, just the stone walls which narrowed to a small circular hole, through which Maja could see blue sky. She crouched down, huddled to the wall, unsure if she was so hot because of the climb, or from fear, or just because the fur lined clothes Anja had made were designed for the snow of the mountain slopes, not the warmth of a summer day.

It was the chime of a clock that caught her attention, the tower had been silent, the only sound the soft brushing of her leather boots on the stone and her own heartbeat, that alone had sounded deafening to the frightened girl. But the sound of the clock echoed down the tower to where she crouched, the sound oddly familiar... "That's... it's Fraumunster church..!!" Maja almost shouted, somehow hearing the familiar and unmistakable chimes gave her new courage, she now knew where she was, not exactly, but certainly close to the ancient Abbey in the oldest part of Zurich.

Slowly, determinedly, Maja stood up, stepped calmly to the edge of the wide stone step, and looked down. No more would she fear heights, never again, Maja stepped off the stone and dropped, calm, relaxed, a strange smile on her face...

"It works...!!" Maja had a new gift, understatement.

"Fuck..!!" Eva cursed, "it didn't work."

"Something must have happened," Reasoned Lucy, "Maja should have hit the floor and...." she was unwilling to describe her friend spread across the marble like strawberry jam, "... well, she should have been splatted."

Everyone had seen Maja fall, all had closed their eyes at the last moment, nobody wanted to see their friend die. Now they all spoke at once, again, and again Eva's voice stilled them.

"I don't know how you did that, but I'm glad you did," she spoke softly to Maja, " I'm just sorry it didn't work, maybe it's broken, maybe I got it wrong... but I was so sure..." Eva closed her eyes, head bowed, ashamed that she had failed her friends.

"I said, it works..!!" Maja stamped her foot, splashing oil everywhere. "Does nobody listen to me anymore?"

"They will now." Kala voice commanded. "Please, tell us all what happened." Kala's voice was not loud, but it was filled with all the power and authority of a Dragon, a white Dragon, one of the Rettzinnen, some would say the most powerful of them, an opinion freely shared by the other Rettzinnen.

"When I fell I passed through the oil and found myself standing in a stone tower, in a pool of scented oil that had leaked from an old barrel, the only door was locked so I climbed the spiral stairs and jumped, passed through the oil and here I am." Maja paused for breath.

"But, but you never left.." Lucy protested, for things had to make sense for her, especially for her to understand them, even more so for her to believe them. "You fell, you didn't go splatt, you're still here. You never left."

"No, it worked, I never told you all that I discovered, it sounded to silly, to much like a joke, a very bad one." Eva spoke, her head still bowed, shoulders slumped. "According to the inscription, that is what is supposed to happen."

"What..?? How..?? That's... It's... But..??" Kala shut Lucy up with a long deep kiss.

"You do it on purpose, don't you?"

"Only because I love you," Lucy replied, grinning happily.

"Now if we only knew where it took you." Eva thought aloud.

"Zurich." Maja replied. "I'm not sure exactly, but old Zurich, near the Fraumunster church, I heard the clock chiming."

"What else did you hear," Eva was no longer crestfallen, now she was almost entirely focused on Maja, almost because Katja was still missing, yet somehow Eva knew the girl was near and unharmed.

"Nothing," Maja moved to sit before Eva, "I should have heard other things, the city is never that quiet, not on a beautiful summer's day."

"Summer's day?"

"Yes, when I reached the top of the spiral staircase I looked for another door, or a window, there was nothing, just a small opening higher up at the top of the tower, it was like looking up a chimney, at the top was a round opening and I could see the sky, the clear blue sky of summer, besides, I was really hot, and not just because of my clothes," she glanced at Anja and smiled, "I'm sorry mine were not needed, but there is no way I'm parting with them, they are so comfortable and so warm, too warm for here." With that Maja stood and began to undress, as did the others, now that the excitement was over, they all realised they were sweating, the clothes really were to warm for the secret valley.

Katja crept into the cave, trying her best to remain unnoticed as she worked her way around the rough walls until she could take her place beside her Mistress.

Eva didn't turn to look at her slave, just spoke softly, "I will deal with you later my girl."

Katja knew better than to reply, however she knelt there relieved, she was still her Mistress's girl, nothing else mattered.

"It's late, why don't you all use my house tonight?" Eva suggested. The girls were still eager to know more, but they were also tired, emotionally as much as physically, except for Lucy and Kala, both were tired from the long fast flight, Kala especially. They all headed out, Suze leading the way to Eva's house, whilst Lucy guided Kala aside.

"This time you get to ride on my back." Kala was to tired to protest, and so as Lucy knelt down she moved astride her, balancing carefully as Lucy tried her best to change slowly, so as not to throw her lover off. Then with a single beat of her outstretched wings Lucy swooped up into the night sky, gliding away to the village and the house they shared. It was not that she didn't want to sleep with her friends, she simply didn't want Kala kept awake by their inevitable questions. A soft landing later and Lucy helped Kala into their house and laid her down on the thick pile of soft furs, cuddling up to her she held Kala in her arms and both soon slept.

The others did not sleep so soon, they talked long into the night, all but Eva and Katja who remained in the cave.

Only when the others had left did Eva turn to her slave. "You will never do that again, understood?"

"Yes, my Mistress, this one understands....."

Before she could continue Eva cut her off, "I know exactly what you intended, and I'm honoured that you would even think of making that jump so that I would not die if it failed to work, but never again, you are too precious to me to lose, my brave sweet slave."

Katja burst into tears as Eva wrapped her arms around her, holding her tight as she kissed her neck and murmured tender words of love. "I'm... this one is sorry my Mistress, I.. this one will obey, always."

For a long time Eva just her her slave tight, awed that anyone would so willingly give their life for her, cradling the girl tenderly, aware that she could sense Katja, not just her feelings, but her presence, deep inside Eva felt her inner Haxlz awakening. It felt strange, her awareness sharpening, like... like... Eva sought to find an apt simile, the closest she could think of was like taking off a pair of ear-protectors and suddenly nothing was muffled, everying loud and clear, but so many sounds that it was hard to single one out, so that it took time to sort through the jumble of noise to hear those sounds you wanted to hear, except it was not her ears, it was her mind.

Katja had fallen asleep and Eva was tired but did not want to awaken her slave, so she carefully reached for some of the fur clothes the girls had left behind, pulling them close so she could ease down upon them, Katja still safe in her arms, yet even as she lay on her back Eva could not sleep, her mind swirling. For a long time Eva stared up at the cave walls high above, looking without seeing as her mind sought to make sense of her new awareness. Looking up at the jagged marble was somehow calming, like looking into a fire, for the tiny pieces of quartz seemed to shimmer like the flames of a fire, almost as if...

Eva blinked rapidly, suddenly wide awake, excited, yet unmoving, Katja's body still curled against her own, the girl's head on her shoulder. The quartz was no longer just a pretty feature trapped within the purple veins of the white marble, as Eva stared up she realised she could read what had before seemed random, the quartz formed patterns, held information, the cave did not just hold the way back to her world, it was her library, the repository for the millennia of accumulated knowledge gained by the Haxlz.

Eva's skill in reading case files came to her aid, the endless hours reading all manner of legal judgements, witness statements and police reports amongst them, as she stared up at her new found library she realised that each Haxlz wrote in their own style, each leaving notes, instructions, recipes, all manner of information. "What I need is an index, better still a good cross-indexed filing system..." Eva closed her eyes, "what an idiot, I have one, I'm the index...." Eva calmed herself, emptying her mind, then picked a single focus, opening her eyes she scanned the cave, until a patch of quartz caught her eye... There before her was exactly the information she had focussed on. "Oh fuck..!!" Eva exclaimed, "Lucy is either going to kill me or laugh at me."

At that moment Lucy was neither killing nor laughing, in fact she was laying in the dark, wide awake, Kala snuggled up besides her. At first she was not sure what had awakened her, she could hear nothing outside, at least nothing out of place... It was a little like the summons from Margarethe, except there was no pain, lucy groaned, realising exactly what it was like, It was as if she had a song stuck in her head, one of those annoying songs that she disliked but could never seen to get rid of. As she concentrated, the song's words, well the feeling, became clearer...

"Wake up..!!" Kala woke with a start, eyes opening just in time to gaze into Lucy's as they kissed, or rather as Lucy kissed Kala, who was still a little groggy. Lucy ended the kiss too soon, for either of them, "who is Sabine..?"

"Huh..?" Kala was not yet properly awake.

"Ok, forget who, where is she.?"

"At the lake"

"Which lake..?? Come on..!! Wake up..!!" Exasperated, Lucy began to tickle Kala, the effect was immediate, the house was not big enough to contain the white Dragon, they'd have to fix it later... Lucy vowed never again to tickle Kala unless outside, even then she'd think twice.

The white Dragon stood on the huge flat stone, the remains of the house draped over her, staring balefully at Lucy, then, mind-sharing, she asked, "do you think my ass looks big in this..??"

Torn between her sense of urgency and a fit of giggles, Lucy changed whilst still laughing, the sound of her laughter changing with her, transforming into... well, it's impossible to really laugh with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, the sound is more like a ... well, imaging a lion roaring after breathing helium... it's not the same, but it's close, and Dragons are a whole lot bigger, and louder.

Two giggling Dragons took flight, Kala waiting until they had passed through the entrance cave before 'talking'. "So why the sudden rush.?"

"Sabine needs help."

"Oh fuck..!!" Kala cursed, ok, head for the lake, the place where we met, when you thought I was asleep."

"You mean...?"

"Yes, out in the woods I sleep lightly, I knew you were there, I didn't want to frighten you... Besides," Kala grinned, "your ass was so perfect..."

"Later girl, later I'll get you back, but first we need to go save a damsel in distress, kind of weird, in the stories the dragon is who the girl is saved from, not by."

Their banter continued as they flew, streaking across the lake towards where they had first met. To where another Dragon was fighting, claws slashing at the water's edge, razor sharp fangs snapping as it shrieked at, at what neither Lucy or Kala could see, not that it would have made a difference, both dived, racing to help.

"The girl, save the girl..!!"

Both heard the Dragon, the white Dragon spotted a huddled figure near the rock on which Lucy had slept, so angled away to protect the girl, who had passed out, whilst the huge golden Dragon swooped down, sharp claws fully extended, each one scything deep into the water. As she did so she felt something, some resistance, but her speed was so great she was past before she could look down, when she circled back the water was frothy, like the wake from a jet-boat, and a strange blueness stained the surface.

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