Friday, January 04, 2013

Mute and Fear

The Mage’s brow knit in irritation.  He was on the second floor.  Someone must have figured out how to get up onto the roof over the covered porch.  Caught up in the electronic, symphonic passages that traced their lineage back to dead and disused gaming consoles, he hadn’t heard a thing.  Undoubtedly this was part of some plan to mock and belittle him, probably by students at the university - or maybe a neighboring high school?  

Was he being too defensive?  Probably.  His first reaction to any unexplained event was to think that it must be part of a plan to humiliate him in some fashion.  But that was not heroic thinking.  He had to be better than that.  Maybe it was one of his other comrades and housemates - but whom?  The kind healer was occupied reliving her years of cryogenic slumber.  The dark gunman and the pugilist were otherwise occupied - they spent a lot of time together.  The swordsman was moody, it was unlike him to play pranks, yet...

“Shanra’s Bane, what the heck do you think you’re...” he started to say, turning violently towards the window before his wired headphones caught and stopped the movement like a choke leash, causing him to let go of an out-of-character swear.  He ripped the headphones off, swiveled his chair, and...

... froze, as the window yawned forth a foreign, sinewy character clad all in black.  The figure touched down soundlessly on the ukiyo-e print throw rug beneath the window.  As he stood, the  Mage felt that he’d been hit with Mute and Fear spells simultaneously.  The air in his throat was locked in place.  His eyes widened, and he began trembling.

Before him stood a ninja, garbed in a black hooded sleeveless vest, black fatigues, and a ninja-style facemask.  This was remarkable enough on its own, but what truly took the Mage aback was the blue crystal screen of the scout reader attached to the figure’s eye, just visible beneath the cloaking hood.  An artifact of a world that was forever lost to him, or so he’d thought.  

“You--!” he forced through the invisible blockage in his throat.  “You’re wearing a scout reader - are you Gaku, or Alaina, from the forums?  Who the fuck are you?  You - are you another soulbond?  Have we met?  Are you-?”

The figure interrupted him with a single, silent finger held up before the mask where his lips would have been.  He nodded, and then bowed formally at the waist, as ninja are known to do.

No comments: