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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Four

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Chapter 4

The cold compression of the void suffocated River as she struggled to grasp a breath, instead she found herself gulping at nothing. She fought with the sonic device that she held onto desperately, its futuristic interface refusing to display anything but a string of numbers as she searched for her coordinates. She was nowhere, a lone fish in a sea of emptiness and despair.

Her lungs burned and screamed for her to satisfy their craving for air, but their dealer was all out, her own supply stolen from her. She lay on her back looking up into the blinding whiteness of the void, her chest struggling to move beneath the weight of the gasless atmosphere. Her eyes fluttered as they refused to focus on one particular spot, although there wasn’t much for them to focus on. River groaned, raising her arm took more effort than she anticipated causing her to release part of the breath she was holding. She blinked heavily, waiting for her eyes to adjust as she once again glared at the blue panel on the side of the screwdriver. A steady blip on the panel gave her hope, it was charging, it was feeding off the excess energy the void contained, the energy of many a traveller and lost world.

Sweat dotted her brow, soaking her hair. She was struggling to stay awake, and the breath she held was lacking oxygen. She slowly dropped her head back onto the isolated floor, her vision drifting in and out of focus. Her eyelids slowly fell over the watery brown eyes as the final breath escaped her lips, the steady blip on the device she held still beating away to the rhythm of the machines heart beat as it fed off the energy residue that coated the lonely realm.

****

Arya screamed internally, she wanted to run and save Saphirah, yet the urge to survive was stronger. It seemed the others in the room had forgotten her presence and it was safer for it to stay that way. Instead, she sank to the floor, cowering in the darkness like an abused puppy. She wanted to fight, how her heart yearned for it, yet her grief subdued her movement and froze her into the safety of the darkness at the very edge of the throne room. Melancholy restrained her, yet fear of the unknown made her clench her fist and want to tear apart the stranger who killed her friends. Saphirah’s last words “Hail to the tyrant king” resonated through her conscience as she sat and waited, poised like a cat silently observing her enemy as she hid in the shadows.

“So you tell me that so long as I know the true name of an object or person, I can control it?” Eris questioned, her eyes gleaming at the thought of controlling everything. Her education with the king was quick, and in many ways rushed but it delighted her to know she had acquired an assistant without much effort, and an assistant with such powerful knowledge too? Oh she was just too lucky. Galbatorix replied to her question with an affirmative nod, she could tell he disliked being inferior to another, yet he had not tried to overrule her at all, so the circumstance suited her fine.

Her thoughts returned to the portal, and she laid a finger across her lips as she envisioned the likeliness of the ancient language working for the portal. She could try, it’s not like she would lose much should she fail.

*********

I understand that at this point you are confused, allow me a moment to interfere with your reading to explain. So you know who I am, I’m that crazy man in the blue box, the same crazy man whose wife’s diary just so happened to cause all this trouble.

Let us start with a basic outline, the Vashta Nerada; a rather terrifying race of flesh gobbling shadows had invaded the world of imaginations created by the young girl CALs grandfather. However, the torment of having them present and devouring everybody in the core of the world caused CAL to shut down the creation. The world CAL’s grandfather created wasn’t created through the power of words, therefore it is possible for one like this to be shut down, it happens often, particularly if the child suffers a great torment there. Although the Vashta Nerada were initially part of the world due to their presence in the library, them entering the core in which the memory of River was saved was something that wasn’t supposed to happen, the core was a sanctuary where CAL could stay safe in her mind and ‘reboot’ in security.

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