The Power Trio

Gary and Alex looked at each other across the old hermit’s fire.

“I feel your hesitation,” the blind old hermit murmured. “But the prophecy is quite clear. Your quest will fail if you remove John from your fellowship.”

Gary cleared his throat.

“It’s just that…even John is wondering if he can go on with us,” he tried to explain.

“He told us he thinks our group is just some fly by night operation,” Alex added. “Whatever that means.”

“And we’ve met this new guy,” Gary continued. “We really connected with him, you know. Like the two hemispheres of the mind becoming one.”

“We’ll just ease John out,” said Alex. “Exit stage left, you know.”

The hermit sighed heavily.

“If the prophecy does not dissuade you, what else can I say? Your quest is on the edge of a knife, and you may soon feel the steel’s caress in your very soul!”

With a great puff of smoke that filled the dark, dank cave–presto! the hermit vanished. The young men sat uncomfortably for a few minutes.

“I guess we’re supposed to leave now,” Alex finally said.

“Then let’s make like the pictures and move,” Gary urged.

“That doesn’t really make sense, Gary,” Alex pointed out.

With heavy thoughts, the pair walked down Hermit’s Hill into the small Canadian town below. The questioning wind ruffled the grass making permanent waves in the night.

“What time is it?” Alex wondered.

Gary checked his watch.

“9:12,” he answered. “Neil should be waiting.”

At the edge of their home village, sure enough, Neil waited for them. To pass the time he was beating out complex rhythms on the fenceposts encircling the town.

“Hey, Neil!” Gary called out.

Neil watched them as the young men walked over.

“What did the hermit say?” he asked.

“He just reminded us of the prophecy again,” Alex said. He glanced at Gary, who nodded.

“But Alex and I think we have something bigger than prophecy,” Gary said. “We’d like to roll the bones and try our own luck.”

“The signals are undeniable,” Neil stated confidently. “But are you sure, Gary?”

“I think from this moment I’m going by my nickname only. So call me Geddy.”

Neil put his hand out.

“So are we doing this?” he asked officially.

“I say yes,” Alex said, putting his hand on Neil’s. “The band’s been under a lot of pressure, but I think we can make our way through with grace.”

“Shall we choose a path that’s clear?” Neil asked.

Geddy laughed and added his hand to the group, declaring with pride:

“I will choose free will!”

 

{for the Rush fans}

 

The preceding tale is for the weekly Tipsy Lit story contest. This week’s prompt is: What happens when free will conflicts with prophecy? The term free will sent my prog-loving mind down the course you just read. On Saturday, Tipsy Lit posts the links to the story entries and readers vote for their favorite. Therefore, you will vote for me. Yes? Well, if you want to–we choose free will over here on T of V.

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The Guardians of Dargniion, part three

(Before reading, if you haven’t read the first two parts of this story:

Click here, for part one;

Or here, for part two!)

Fractar Roeh watched the destruction of Lakeshore on a holowave set in another seedy room. Stunned as he was by the sudden finality of it, he still felt no real surprise. This reaction by the Guardian Force could not be said to be unexpected. In fact, he was suddenly sure that this was the very response that the Nine wanted.

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The Guardians of Dargniion, part two

Read part one here…

Two days passed. On the two square miles in which the twenty-four ramshackle buildings of the Lakeshore Apartment Projects hunched and huddled darkly, all was quiet as a tomb. Fourteen-year-old Naith Threlt sat at his window, looking out and doing some hard thinking. He was in his bedroom in Building 18 of the Lakeshore Projects. The criminal quarantine was still in effect, but oddly, guardians were no longer storming through apartment after apartment. They continued to patrol in squads of eight , and had at least fifty officers stationed around the perimeter. But they no longer seemed to be questioning anyone.

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The Guardians of Dargniion, part one

Dylan’s Note:  This short story is a prologue to a longer tale, but stands on its own I think. It’s not that funny, sorry about that. I’m going to post it in at least two parts, maybe three, as its about 7000 words in length. Of everything I’ve done in my (non-published) writing career, this one is probably the most indicative of what I want to do. SF action/adventure with a message.

It was the rookie, of course, who spotted the crime in progress.

Stop!” Allfeld cried out.

Startled, Guardian Tiroz pulled over the two-seat patrol cycle. His grey eyes, which bulged grotesquely from the faded indigo of his face, looked at the eager trainee with disgust.

Observe and call in, rookie,” the grizzled vet said wearily. “We’re only on a watch patrol. We’re not to stop.”

Trainee Allfeld was a physical contrast to the aged guardian in every way; the indigo of his skin was still dark and glistening and his black eyes and hair hadn’t a hint of grey. But the difference between the two partners was more than merely age.

I think they’re killing someone!” he informed his senior. “At least four, maybe five guys are beating up a girl by that corner!”

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