Part 6 - Tie-Breaker

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So... last episode ended in a tie.  I need this tie broken before I can continue the story.  The text is repeated below, with only two options - the tied options - for you to choose from.  Thanks and good luck, Adventurers!

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The interrogator stares at you, blinking in obvious disbelief.

"I'm sorry, say that again?"

You repeat, "I don't know."

"You don't know your own name."

Giving a helpless shrug, you offer a half-smile, hoping the interrogator will understand.

"That's fuc-"

"Functional amnesia is not so uncommon these days," the interrogator's companion interjects, to obvious irritation. "Heaven knows that there's enough trauma, both psychological and physical, out there that might have caused it. It's not out of the realm of possibility, is all I'm saying."

"Yes. Thank you for your input," the interrogator replies blandly. You get the impression that the man is not grateful at all. The interrogator's companion merely shrugs, then falls silent again, observing with unnerving grey eyes.

"Alright, let's try this, then. Why were you spying on our auxiliary?"

You ponder a moment. Deciding that honesty truly is your best bet, you reply, "Because they were the first signs of life I have seen with my own two eyes, and I was unsure about them. They look terrifying. I did not know if they would be friend or foe. I thought that if I observed them, I could discern whether or not they were evil."

"Interesting choice of word, that."

This time, you blink at the interrogator, cocking your head in confusion.

"Evil. Why did you use this word?"

"Um..." you answer. "Because I was worried they might be?"

"And what do you know of evil, stranger?"

"Are you really going to enter a discussion of philosophy?" the interrogator's companion asks, sounding mildly amused.

"When your talents are called for, psionic, then you may speak. Until then, stay out of this."

There is a flash in the companion's eyes the speaks briefly of murder. It is gone as soon as it comes, replaced once more by the unfathomable grey that reminds you of thick fog. Your mind snaps back, flashing suddenly with images seen as though they were in a mist. You hear the short, sharp cries of a sea eagle as your mind just as quickly unbends and returns to the present.

You shake your head to try and dislodge the confusion that has settled there, and notice that the interrogator's companion has stiffened, and is staring rather intensely at you.

"They're not lying," the grey-eyed man says softly.

"Did I ask you to scan them? Did I?" the interrogator roars, rising up in anger.

"I did not," the companion snaps in return. "His mind lashed out. I could not help but catch what was sent! Any psionic within a hundred yards would have caught it!"

"Listen here, you silver-eyed freak -"

"Do you honestly want to start a fight with me, Jag?" The companion utters these words quietly, dangerously. Your already prickling skin doubles up on its effort to convert you into a freshly plucked goose.

Clearing your throat, you say, "I don't know what's going on, but I'd very much like some food. I haven't eaten all day. Possibly all week. Who knows, really? Point is, I've very hungry, extremely thirsty, and probably quite sunburnt."

Despite his obvious anger, the companion smiles.

"You'll get fed when I'm through with you," the interrogator replies, sitting down again. "So, where were we. Ah yes, evil. Why did you choose that word?"

"Because it was the thing I was unsure whether your - what was it, auxiliary? - was or not."

"Don't play daft with me."

"I honestly don't have a better answer. It seemed like the most accurate word on hand."

"So you followed them because you thought they might be evil?"

"No, I followed them because I hoped they might not. Or that I might get some clue as to where I am. Or what to do. I just woke up, crawled out of a hole and then found myself here.... Wait... Is this the other side? Am I dead?"

"If it is, none of us know it," the psionic answers. The interrogator shoots him another dark look, but seems unwilling to challenge him again.

"It certainly seems like Hell," the interrogator notes, almost to himself. He writes a few notes in his folder. "You said you woke up and crawled out of a hole. Care to elaborate?"

"Certainly. At first I thought I had been buried alive, as there appeared to be no entrance or exit. Just stone and darkness. Feeling around, however, I noticed a hole in the wall, just large enough to be able to slide through. I did, then I followed a tunnel and I was outside."

"Where?"

"If the place has a name, I do not know it. It's not too far from here, actually. Your auxiliary passed it en route to wherever they were headed before finding me. It's a great big mound with a stone structure inside of it."

"Maeshowes? Are you talking about Maeshowes?"

"Am I? I don't know."

"Maeshowes is a large Neolithic burial mound not far from here," the psionic supplies. "It has three small chambers in three of the walls, with a long corridor that opens to the outside."

"A burial mound?" You stare at the grey-eyed man. "I am dead! I'm dead. And I was buried, and now I've awoken in the other world. Gods help me!"

"Not unless you died some five thousand years ago."

"Pardon?" You turn to the grey-eyed man, your eyebrows raised.

"Maeshowe was built millennia ago, just over four of them, in fact. It takes an uncontaminated human body perhaps fifteen years to decompose. If you were dead and buried in Meashowe, you'd be dead and tossed somewhere else by viking invaders now."

"I understood precisely none of that. What are vikings?"

"It will take a long time to explain. Just trust me that you're not dead. It would be impossible for someone interred over four thousand years ago to awaken in any form but dust."

"I'm not so sure. I have seen spiders made of metal, and carriages that move on treads without horses. Perhaps there are other magics in this world."

"It's not magic," the interrogator snaps. "It's technology."

You stare at the man, your expression perfectly blank.

"That, too, would take a long time to explain," the psionic notes, now clearly amused. "Your amnesia is profound, though, if you can't remember tanks and robotic pack-mules."

So many questions run through your head as your stomach growls. Desperate for both food and answers you...

a) Ask for more information on Maeshowe 
b) 
Say nothing. Hopefully they'll be done soon

 Voting ends 15th July, 2016 at midnight (Ottawa time). Get your votes in!

Skara BraensRead this story for FREE!