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clockwork11 [2012/11/17 01:39]
doan
clockwork11 [2012/11/27 03:07] (current)
doan
Line 42: Line 42:
“See?” he whispered to the Game Gear, raising a hand to stroke its wings, “We aren’t going to die off. Not ever.” “See?” he whispered to the Game Gear, raising a hand to stroke its wings, “We aren’t going to die off. Not ever.”
 +
 +The Game Gear beeped and shrugged its wings in a gesture that it hoped the human would recognise as forgiveness. NiGHTs folded his arms and swivelled so that he was upside down, face to face with him.
 +
 +“So… why exactly did you two decide to jump into a portal that would probably disintegrate you as soon as your shields went down in all of the five seconds you can power them for you?”
 +
 +“I dropped my box,” said Cass, scratching the back of his head, “Sorry.”
 +
 +“You risked your life for a box?”
 +
 +“It had games in it,” he explained. The Game Gear sniffed the box, then began attacking it and trying to pry the lid open, “And batteries, I guess. I don’t know how fresh they are, though.”
 +
 +“I jumped in after him,” said Will, “What are you doing here, anyway? You’ve been gone a long time, and none of us have been able to call you! We need help! They’re all over the dreamlands and they’ve started coming into the waking world, and Elliot can’t fight them off on his own!”
 +
 +“I’d like to return but I’m the only one who can survive here,” he said, “I don’t know why I can survive here, but I can. I need to find out what exactly their plans are. I promised the Clock Tower, and I’m the only person who can do the job.”
 +
 +“But we’re here now,” said Will, “And we can help you, right? You need to take a break from what you’re doing anyway.”
 +
 +“You want me to take a break from this non-combat scouting mission to help four of you stop the Awakers from entering an entire realm of existence?”
 +
 +“You could report back with some information,” said Will, “You must have information by now, right?”
 +
 + “Well… yes, but… I was on the verge of finding out more! I’ve been watching this portal for days now, learning their routines… I was almost ready to go through it myself!”
 +
 +“Well, why don’t we do it now so you can come back with us?”
 +
 +“I’m not risking one of the only dreamers I know who can defend themselves against Wizeman!” he said, then turned to look at Cass, “Who are those two, anyway?”
 +
 +“Oh, sorry for not introducing them. This is Cass. He’s a dreamer that Claris rescued from the Awakers. His house got trashed when they escaped into the waking world,” he said, “And that’s… uh… what IS that?”
 +
 +“A Game Gear,” said Cass, as though that explained everything.
 +
 +“There aren’t any more clocks in the waking world right now, so we have no idea when there’ll be a portal we can ride back up. We might as well help you,” said Will.
 +
 +NiGHTs shook his head, “The only reason you fought against Wizeman was because it was your dreams he invaded in the first place. If you’d been able to mask your Ideya and stopped accidentally sharing your dreams with each other…”
 +
 +“Then you would’ve lost,” said Will, “And, didn’t I just tell you? We’ve already been hit by this in both worlds. Not that we could’ve stopped going to the dreamlands if we wanted to. We can’t run away any more. There’s nowhere to run to.”
 +
 +“I’m not going to be able to keep you two dualised and fly in a straight line…”
 +
 +Suddenly, a loud ringing noise attracted their attention. One of the clocks on the floor, the ones they thought had been silenced, was beginning to move. In fact, it had already been silently rolling towards the portal. NiGHTs hadn’t been aware that they could move silently when they wanted to be stealthy. Now it knew none of them could attack it before it got through the portal, it activated its bell again, as a warning siren to the others.
 +
 +Seconds later, a swarm of Clocks emerged through the portal in answer to their companion’s distress cry. The attackers had already left. They had jumped through the portal in a different direction, a split second before.
 +
 +When they emerged, they found themselves in front of what looked like a shrine -  a raised dais with a pagoda on top of it and several steps leading up to it. Towers and portals encircled it, connected to the base by black cables. The Awakers from before milled around one of the towers, watching as their batch of clock-shaped discs disappeared through a pipe and emerged inside a large circular lens on top of the dais, where it was absorbed by the monolithic apparatus in the middle of the pagoda.
 +
 +Something about the machine filled Cass with cold dread, so much that he couldn’t even shiver, he was too afraid to move or speak, in case it noticed him. He managed to force his eyes to glance around at Will and saw that he was having similar problems.
 +
 +It was an enormous Egg Clock. Unlike the smaller variety, it had no way of moving, and looked as though the rear two of its four spindly legs, curled at the ends, were sinking into the landscape. Its lack of mobility was unnerving in itself, as if it was the only thing not moving in the entire Universe, as if it had existed before creation had begun moving and had refused to move along with it. It truly looked as if it had crashed the moment it had existed, trillions of years ago. Its body was a cylinder that rested on a table-like base, its face two simple arms on a numberless white background. Two large bells rested on top of its face like antennae. The wires connected to an unseen port in its back, as well as into the holes where its bells were attached and a few that reached down underneath the table. It had an unfinished look to it, like the structures that supported it, but as it glowed with the power of the discs being fed into it, it looked gradually more solid. As they watched in horror, the glow became more intense, then the hand thudded around one section, the bells tolled once and a faint tremor ran through the ground as the smaller Egg Clocks began ringing in unison like chanting cultists awaiting the sacrifice that was the climax of their ritual.
 +
 +Will began screaming and suddenly NiGHTs was somewhere else.
 +
 +He hung in a void of grey. Hazy shapes of different shades of grey flitted past his vision occasionally, like faded spectres. He tried to follow them but he couldn’t move his head. Voices whispered to him insistently, as though several people were trying to get his attention at once. Then the shapes gradually slowed down and floated into view, and he saw what they were: himself, in different states of completeness. One was a faint outline, another was a shadow, one was like a rough sketch, then others were words drawn onto nothing, ideas and concepts that summarised his essence. Every time he looked at one, it blinked out of existence, until he was alone in this void. Only it wasn’t a void, it was a nexus of unimaginable surging power that he could taste but could not harness, because he was inside it, not outside. He hung immobile in the column of grey light, watching a sphere of grey dance around its barriers like a will-o-wisp taunting a lost traveller in the woods. It spoke to him in a voice so perfectly flat and monotone that it made recorded messages sound full of life.
 +
 +“Welcome, vessel of Selph, to your true intended purpose,” said the voice. Then the light morphed into another copy of himself, somehow even more solid, a form without fault, so slick around the edges that he felt nauseated looking at it. NiGHTs saw it dash towards him and tried to dodge out of the way, or at least shield himself, but he still couldn’t move. Grey flames washed over him…
 +
 +He lurched backwards and went flying from the recoil of whatever had attacked his mind. As he righted himself, he heard Will cry out again, and saw the two young men below him, shielded by their green and yellow Ideya respectively, no longer dualised and fighting for their lives against a swarm of Awakers. He swooped down and grabbed Will and Cass before darting out of the nearest portal. He knocked several of the Egg Clocks over as he went straight through their entrance portals, not caring where they ended up on the other side. He kept on going through the Mare that was now collapsing in on itself, dragged through the portal by a circle of Awakers and Clocks who turned to chase them as they flew past.
 +
 +Cass and Will helped him visualise the next dream and close the gate behind them as they jumped into Nightopia seconds before the Mare imploded into a white dot like a television being switched off.
 
clockwork11.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/27 03:07 by doan
 
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