Fears and Tribulations, Part 2

Characters: Ryath Oaks

She woke, her head was pounding. The organelles quickly corrected the sensation. Blankly she opened her eyes, and for a moment wasn’t sure she had managed it. She was unable to see anything. It was only when a light appeared above her head that Ryath knew she could see, and was in a darkened room. She scanned the interior of the room. Three energy sources, one human. Probably the thug that clouted her. And the other two Mage, although by the energy level of one, they had fared poorly under the care of the other.

Ryath tried to move and found her hands and feet bound and chained together in front of her. She was also chained to a chair. Simple enough! she thought as a fireball formed in her hands only to be turned into ice and shatter moments later.

“I don’t think so Ryath!” the cold voice matched perfectly with the cold black eyes surrounded by the pale white face of Sherina that shot into view beneath the globe of light above her.

“Not like I didn’t know you would try that, but before you get too uncomfortable I have some questions for you.”

Ryath really wasn’t in the mood. She was also trying to figure out how she had missed them approaching her in the air duct. But put that down to the fact that she was so focused on her own feelings she completely fazed everything else out. At least I now know how to control others emotional impact on me. Better work on being able to adjust it though.

The human behind her moved so he stood right behind her. She could almost feel him breathing he was so close. She readied herself for another blow but none came. Instead Sherina was pacing the room, coming in and out of the light every now and again. She kept asking how Ryath had found her, how had she known Sherina was on Babylon 5? Each time she paused for Ryath to answer her hatred and anger grew as Ryath had no answer for her.

“Sherina. If I told you I had no idea you were on the station would you believe me? No, you wouldn’t. Somehow you’ve never quite believed in your own abilities enough to trust them. You always looked to others to confirm what you say or do. Even now!” Ryath indicated the human man with her head.

“You looked to Vheru, but when he showed more interest in me you lost it! You got involved with a group outside of the Mages. How Truval didn’t know is anyone’s guess, but then again maybe she was hoping you would see that becoming a Mage wasn’t truly what you wanted. I think you saw that, but you had committed to complete it and went through with the final step anyway. Why the Circle allowed it I don’t know. Or maybe you were just far enough off their radar that no-one ever knew you. What did they offer you Sherina? This group of thugs you joined. Was it treasure, knowledge? What?”

Ryath was being truthful with Sherina, but what she really wanted to do was get her so wound up she would snap. Allowing Ryath a chance to free herself and help the other mage still hidden in the darkness.

“What do you mean? They couldn’t offer me anything like that. I could obtain more wealth than they would ever see in a lifetime, as for knowledge, being able to use the Mages FTL relays meant I could find out almost anything I wanted.”

“Yes! But now you can’t can you? You see when enough Mages seemed to turn to darkness the Circle ordered the Generic codes to be changed on all probes and FTL’s and other devices used by all Mages. Thereby cutting you off from your supply of knowledge and making you nearly useless to your new friends! So what was it then Sherina….did they make you feel worthwhile?”

That was it. Sherina gripped Ryaths shoulders, digging her fingers into her flesh. Her eyes were wild, and she looked like she would start to foam at the mouth.

“Sherina. Stop it! You know she’s only getting at you. Ignore her!” The until now quite human had done the worst thing possible. Ryath saw Sherina slowly raise her eyes to focus on him. She would take out her anger on this man, and Ryath had to stop her.

Sherina pushed herself away from Ryath and quickly brought her hand up. A fireball formed in the palm of her hand. It flew directly at his chest. Ryath, in that instant, conjured the Shadow skin shield and extended it over him as well. The energy from the fireball dissipated through the skin.

Ryath took the opportunity to break her chains and bonds within the protection of the skin. She then stood turned to the man and apologized. Then thrust the heel of her right hand up under his chin with enough force to render him unconscious. As he hit the floor Ryath with drew the Shadow skin so it only covered her. Turning once more to face Sherina Ryath saw her look of disbelief.

“Ah! Yes. You see you slipped away too soon Sherina. If only you hadn’t left us at the gathering place you might have heard about this and a few other facts about what we are, and where we come from.”

“What….what are you?” she stammered, backing away towards the wall.

Ryath stood still, and scanned for the other Mage energy. It was still there, but much weaker now. She needed to finish this, and finish it fast.

“You mean what are WE! We. That is our forbears, were the slaves of the Shadows. Some how they thought the Shadows would give them technology to win a war without payment. But that is ancient history. What you need concern yourself with right now is the future. You see, you’ve managed to get in the way of many things I’ve tried to do in the past. And I’m not going to have you do it any more. And you know, I think I’m going to leave now. I think you’re going to help this man from now on. You won’t use your abilities…”

“What! You can’t stop me from using magic!” Sherina was slowly coming out of her shock, and getting nervous.

“Yes. Yes I can.” Ryath said calmly. She raised her hands to Sherina. Sherina conjured a shield with a blue tint. Ryath moved her head to one side and smiled, then dissolving the Shadow skin she screamed at Sherina. The scream was silent, except in Sherina’s head where it sounded like a Shadow ship as it fired. Sherina felt something pop at the base of her spine, then another pop at the top of her spine. She collapsed on the floor and twitched.

Ryath had no idea what to expect. She had simply done what she felt the tech wanted her to do. What ever had happened to Sherina, she was going to survive it, because before Ryath had moved she was already calming, and curled up into a ball.

Ryath moved to the other Mage energy. Where she expected a Mage, she found only a box. She knew what it was. Knew why the energy level had been so low. Slowly she knelt next to it. She laid a hand gently on the lid, then lifted it. The smell of dried blood and flesh confirmed to her that this was Olyns Tech. But she needed to look just to make sure. She peered into the box, and saw the gold, silver strands covered with blood and flesh. It must be Olyns, she thought, and hoped no other Mage had met their end like this.

She slowly and carefully closed the lid. She wondered what prayer the Rangers would say at a time like this, but couldn’t think of one herself. So she picked the box up, and left the still dark room, extinguishing the globes of light as she closed the door.

She didn’t want interaction, so found a back way through ‘down below’ back up through service lifts and vents, until she was outside the door of their room. She was unable to force herself to enter. She just stood there staring at the door, wishing she could make it all go away.

Copyright (c) 2003 Niki Hipwood. All rights reserved.