Darkness Closes In
June 29, 2010
I was still uncertain why I had been graced with my two powerful
Stalwart companions, but after months of grumbling about not receiving
any help, I figured I should be keeping my mouth shut now that I had
At this point, I thought a long circle around our foes would be
the best idea. After a visit to the Glenwood Springs Brewery and a stay
along the Colorado River, we began to head south again.
Besides getting stuck, we made it back to the town where the
Creeper had slugged me with a car. Even though the day was bright and
sunny, threads of misgiving were crawling up my spine.
Each time I saw someone give us a double take; I figured it was
a spy. Hannah could feel me flinching and asked, “What’s wrong?” But I
couldn’t tell her.
After driving through town, I agreed to pull over at a little
restaurant. I had ordered a pitcher and some chicken wings, before
Hannah was able to ask me again, “What is it? You’re acting strangely.”
“I’m just getting a bad feeling.”
Ethan spoke up. “Why is that surprising when we are about to
head into the heartland of an evil that has made you flee from them,
what, three times?”
Hannah shot him a glare, but I said, “I think there is more to
it than that. I think that this whole alliance anomaly has us so
preoccupied that we have forgotten to question what such a powerful
gathering of Xemmoni might be trying to accomplish here.”
Hannah’s eyes went wide. “You’re right, I mean they have to be
up to something besides just trying to kill us.”
“Like what?” The Loki man asked.
“I’m really not sure, but perhaps we have been to egocentric, we
think all these things have been gathering to take us out, maybe…they
are just trying to kill us so we won’t have a chance to expose what they
are doing. The Ripperkah bikers, the assassin in Moab, and maybe even
that invite into Selector country, those could have all been attempts to
take out the only people that had found these freaks and survived.”
“But who do they think we’d tell? We don’t really know anyone
else,” Ethan was saying. “It isn’t like there is a Stalwart hotline, or
“Yes, but they don’t know that,” Hannah said, while growing more
animated. “They might think we are tapped into some underground that we
could use to bring in reinforcements.”
“Do you have an underground like that?” Ethan asked.
“No, not really.”
“Damn,” then preceded to evaporate the rings his beer glass had
created on the table.
We continued to bounce ideas around until the food arrived. The
food was good and we dug in. I was talking away about what might be
going on back in the formable mountain ranges of the San Juans, when I
noticed Ethan slump forward resting his head on his arms. Seconds later
he was snoring.
Looking over at Hannah, I saw her yawn wide enough to swallow a
cat. I jerked to my feet something was happening!
But as soon as I stood up, the room began to spin.
It was only then that I noticed that all the other costumers had
left and the lights had been dimmed.
I tried to shake Hannah, but she only fell against the table
“Yes, Jack Primus, You should have stayed away, far away, for
you won’t have a second chance. Instead of enjoying your freedom, you
have now become… desert.”
Turning, I saw a dark eyed man moving towards me. He wore a suit
that was probably more fashionable back when the colonists were shoving
the red coats back into the Atlantic. On either side of this gaunt man,
at least ten Darcarre flowed toward me, like toppled ink spreading over
I tried to draw a weapon, but they were all over me before my
mangled senses could operate. I still fought like a caged wolf, but
there were too many and their leader finally arrived and smashed the
side of my temple with the pummel of his drawn sword.
There was a bright flash and then only darkness.
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