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A Warning in the Brunel

Arnold made his way upstairs and then towards the back of the Brunel, which unfortunately took him past the main entrance.  The sound of fighting had ceased, and he could hear movement outside. He ran to the back, moving as quietly as possible though his boots made noise which he was not accustomed to making.

He looked for a room to hide in, or one that he could slip out the back from when he saw someone that he hadn’t expected.  The taheen.

The bird entered a room towards the back, and Arnold followed after him.  When he entered Kalfoo shut the door behind them quietly, without making a sound.  He then turned back to Arnold, who couldn’t hide his surprise, though he managed to whisper,  “I saw you at the city entrance…how did you get here?”

“Oh, this one comes and goes, little friend,” Kalfoo replied pleasantly.  Now that Arnold had seen him up close it was obvious that the head had been removed from his body, and he moved as if he had other wounds he wished to hide.  “Interesting.  You have given up on being a healer?”

Arnold nodded, “I can know first aid.  I will never be a follower of…” He paused and tried to remember the name.  “Hipocrates oath.”

Kalfoo nodded as he studied Arnold, before speaking again, “One’s worth is measured in deeds, not words.  I told you that an accounting would be taken some day.”  Arnold vaguely recalled that conversation as well.  “That accounting has come.  The Soothsayer seeks the cat known to most as Arnold.”

“Soothsayer?”  Arnold asked, and wondered who that could be.  Dr. Maddox had told him about Mrs. Foxhouse.  “Where is he, or her?”

“They lay within the cathedral of the Old Quarter,” Kalfoo explained, and then gestured to a window.

Arnold went over to take a look, but he couldn’t really see anything under the dark clouds except for silhouettes.  But only one of them looked like a cathedral, and it filled Arnold with that first sense of terror he had received when he looked down from Plankhaven.  The terrible thing that would devour him and his soul were within those walls.

Kalfoo raised a finger to his beak, as there was the sound of the raptors coming down the hallway.  They were silent a short time, before the footsteps moved away, and Kalfoo began to speak in a quiet whisper again, “The Soothsayer is a terrible thing, more terrible than the lizard or ol’ Kalfoo.  Could you be content with what you are now?”

Arnold looked down at his clothing, the mascot pirate outfit, the hero’s hat, and everything else.  He turned back to the window, staring at the cathedral before he clenched his paws.  “No.”

“Then you walk a dangerous path, sai.”  Kalfoo nodded, “This one would be willing to tell you of this peril, though he would want some recompense for speaking such a dangerous tale.”

Arnold wanted to hear the warning, but, “I don’t have any money on me.”

Kalfoo chuckled softly, “You have many possessions which have been given to you upon your journey.”

He tried to think of something that he could give Kalfoo, something that he did have, and then remembered Cyan’s clover.  The extra luck that Cyan had wished to give him…the spare life.  It might not really do anything, but perhaps he would appreciate the thought.

He took off the clover and offered it to Kalfoo, he had been going to explain but the taheen just nodded as if he was pleased or amused.  He accepted, and then began, “The Soothsayer is capable of ensuring that you shall be lost forever:  In the world beyond this one you shall never wake again, and shall surely fade away, while another walks in your bones.”

Arnold gaped at Kalfoo.  He had instinctively known it when he had seen the clouds and that cathedral, but now he knew for sure.  Kalfoo took the clover and placed it within his own clothes,“This was a worthy sentiment.  Long days and pleasant nights, sai Beryl Strifeclaw.”

Arnold stared at the departing taheen in surprise, unsure how he could have known his new name, but then made his own way outside the window.  Looking up at his destination he set his hat once again on his head and made his way towards the black cathedral far in the distance–

–Arnold woke up next to Cyan though part of him was still walking towards the Old Quarter.  Cyan looked upset and eventually Arnold mostly felt awake though he still could tell he was walking towards his destination even after his mind cleared on his way back to Dr. Sonnerstein’s.  

He spoke with Lilith who was also there, but his head was spinning as it did.  The other world was getting a stronger hold upon him–

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One Comment

  1. Mack Blackwell Mack Blackwell March 9, 2013

    The spare life?! On your way to meet possible doom and you give up the spare life??

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