Read Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV

 

 The metal door was now open and large beastly shapes began to emerge from behind it, shadows stacked upon shadows, claws and glimmering teeth.

“Too powerful for Myztics.”

Quickly, Oetho reached out and placed his hands over the seed.  He knew what he had to do.  He had to at least try, even if it meant he could never come home again.

“Good bye, Amana,” he said.  “I love you.”

The horde advanced, bellowing fiercely.

Oetho closed his eyes and focused on the energy inside. The seed was just another relic he told himself, just another device bound with energy; energy to wield using the power of his mind.

The ground shook violently. Amana stepped backward into the hall as the roof began crumbing down.  The floor splintered and split, forming wide gaps releasing beams of brilliant light.

“I’m going now,” Oetho yelled.  “I’m taking it with me, somewhere far away, never to be found again!”

The chamber split into three sections, each cut apart by a blinding void, the edges blurring, the details bleaching away.  The tunnel around Amana quavered, breaking into pieces of falling rock.  The opening at the far end was now only a curtain of nothingness, a vortex of radiance.  The walls around her, the floor, the ceiling, were all becoming insubstantial as she ran, the tunnel evaporating behind her.

Oetho felt the light burning against his eyelids.  The portion of the room he stood upon floated freely in the colorless ether, unbound to the rest of reality.  Of course, this could not remain so. Without the seed to define it, the world could not exist.  He would have to make a place for it, a place far away from anywhere he knew, far away from anyone and everyone with an eagerness to control it.

At least he could choose the location, how far away and how deep, how many layers of steel and stone and rock and dirt, cavern and catacomb that would sit between it and the rest of everything.  And at the center of that unknowable, indescribable, unreachable place would hide a small chamber to house that same solitary pedestal and the seed of the world; a stark little prison for a lonely old man with nowhere to go, living out the rest of his days idly dreaming of the world and the way it once was.

Though, that would have been an unfitting end for old Oetho.

Weeks went by, the world changing day by day, first more animals and then people.  There had already been two visitors to the tower, checking in to see if Amana needed anything, which she claimed she emphatically did not.  She had holed her self up in her rooms, alone, wrapped in a shawl, sitting on the floor, often going entire days without moving.  They had foisted food upon her, though she refused to eat more than a bite.  The decaying remains of it lay beside her piled on a tarnished silver plate.

Eventually, though, even she saw the futility in her vigil, the mourning for her Oetho and his fantastic plight.  One midday, as the sun peeked down through the window slits, bathing her in warmth, she said to herself, “Well, enough of this nonsense,” and she rose to her feet and headed outside.  And that’s where she was when Oetho came back.

Amana had been seated on the grass in the middle of her flock, brushing coats and tickling noses, telling stories to innocent ears when there was a loud pop in the air and a gush of wind.  She looked to the sky, but saw no storm.  When her eyes fell back to the ground she found him standing in the field between her and the house, the golden disc gripped tightly in his hand.

“I was wondering how long it would take you,” she snapped.

Oetho wavered drunkenly for moment and then found his legs.  He smiled brightly when he saw her.  “Solitude just wasn’t the same without you,” he said.

“I thought you could not return.”  She burst, almost crying.  She stood and ran to him.  “I almost gave up and just withered away.”

“Somehow I doubt that.”

Amana wrapped her arms around him and hung on.