Interlude, Agony, and Indecision
April 1, 2013
Once again Jack woke up in the teenager’s Euclidian shack in the frozen swamp. At once, he realized that he might have awakened because his body had nearly frozen to death. A fire had been lit in the oil drum stove and extra fire wood had also been piled near its side, but the fire itself had burned down to glowing ruby coals.
Jack’s limbs protested and didn’t want to admit that he had regained consciousness. Every movement seemed to tear at his flesh and open his jagged wounds. His shoulders shivered so badly he almost couldn’t pick up the top log. He managed to throw the log into the pit of coals, which disturbed the red globes that stared at him like the face of a demon. He repeated the process, despite the pain, and a minute later, light flooded the frigid room as the logs burst into flame.
After wrapping the sleeping bag around his shoulders, he huddled closer to the fire. On a whim, he checked to see if his Ki had returned and when he discovered it had, he cursed himself for not using it to heal himself before.
An audible sigh escaped his lips, when the warmth of his healing powers flowed through his weary form. Seconds later, not only did his body stop shivering, but his warrior’s mind came into focus.
He attempted to push past the blur of the last battle. The Templar Queen had fallen. Hopefully the teens had burned the place to the ground. He groaned as he remembered how many of his young allies had paid the ultimate price. Who’s even left? He mused. Alex for sure. Probably John and hopefully Jerry, but that’s it.
Then he remembered his mother. He’d been able to rescue her form the possessed high rise, but what about the other residents? Compared to a whole building filled with some unknown race of Xemmoni scum, wiping out the Temple of Pain might end up being as hard as opening a second beer on a hot day.
At least my mom in safe, but how can I leave this city while such an evil lingers?
He sighed again, while tossed another log onto the already roaring fire. The room was finally beginning to warm and he let the heat soak into his tired muscles and wounds. I’ve been up for days, fighting battle after battle, it’s amazing I’m conscious at all. Hell, it’s amazing I’m alive.
Looking around, he tried to spy a note or some clue that Alex might have left for him, but couldn’t see anything. I wonder where they are and how they’re doing. Since they lost six of their friends, I can’t imagine they’re doing too well. Who even knows how long I’ve been asleep? They might be dealing with the cops and all kinds of crap.
With another groan, he laid back onto the cot. At least they’re safe and my mom is safe. I’m going to need to see her, but I think the teens have done enough. I should sneak away, so Alex and the others won’t insist on helping with the Darkened high rise. They have given enough, suffered enough.
Part of him thought that he should try to leave before Alex returned, but in his mangled and bloody state where could he go in the middle of the harsh northern winter? Soon, despite his wishes, sleep again claimed him, but this time he was plagued by nightmares. His body tossed and he never noticed the ice blue eyes that stared at him through the cracks in the western wall.