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|continuing story of the the fates||
It was dark, and the sky was only filled with light from the moons and the ever-approaching city of Balidar. Laeto steered his speeder around boulders and finally with patience he made it to the gates of the eastern part of Balidar. With a scan check the soldier positioned there allowed him to enter, as such Laeto drove his speeder into the city. His heart was racing for the fact of what he was about to do. It would only be a few minutes before he would reach the prison. Was he sure that he wanted to do this? She was an Argonath; he would surely be tried for treason. Yet, there was something that told him within himself that this was right. He knew the difference between right and wrong, at least in his eyes that were so. He kept the speeder at a pace to not draw attention; many lights were glowing throughout the city. Nothing was out of the ordinary.
People were about on their balcony’s views. Neon lights flashed in every corner. Laeto began to lower the speeder from the heights to get down to the prison. Other speeders zoomed overhead, and music was blasted from buildings where teenagers like him were. Then as his heart was taking in its surroundings, the normalcy of his homeland, he saw the prison. Its gloomy appearance shadowed the rest of the city. He silently steered the speeder into a shadowy place for parking. He shut off the ignition and looked around for any eyes that could be watching. A great advantage for him was that the Iron Prison 41 relied heavily on sensor watch at night. Laeto knew tons of codes that could malfunction a sensory system for hours but kick back on later for best escape maneuvers. He owed that to his father. After making sure his disguise was okay he climbed out of the speeder.
He crept up to the gates, which stood as giants to any nearby on the ground. He tightened his gloves and opened the small code box near the side of the gates. The lights on the keys began to glow from the sensory of night. He typed in a code, ASTER453678RE, in a matter of seconds the screen showed the sensor areas that were down. Laeto pushed open the now unlocked gates. He ran across the long straightway and made it to the actual prison.
He entered in and headed down the Argos Hall, stepping lightly until making it to cell 18. All the while his mind kept telling him to leave and not do this, but his heart told him this was in the right. He would have to make a decision; he was here, would he follow through or just leave? He looked up and down the hallway; his time would be running short. He would have to make a decision and quickly. After a moment he entered in ERDI560 and the door slid open. Laeto slipped in, Ariana lay on the bed asleep. He took his mask off. He bent down beside her, he was somewhat afraid that if he touched her he would receive another vision. It was a chance he would take, he laid his hand on her arm, she jerked and sat up immediately.
“Shh…it’s just me, Laeto.”
“Laeto…”she spoke confused, “why…why have you come?”
Laeto grinned, “I read your letter. I didn’t like it too well, too depressing for my tastes-and I don’t want to forget you.”
Ariana smiled at this, but she seemed to have great worry in her heart.
“Come on, I think that this cell is not fitting for a queen.” Laeto said while helping her to stand. He put his mask back on then gently grabbed her hand and led her to the door. It was strange; he had touched her but had not seen any visions. He looked out of the door, checking to see if sensory had come back up or if by some chance someone lurked through the hallway. No one was there, he ushered her to keep up. He closed the cell door and they bolted down the hall.
After running out of the prison, Laeto shut the code box outside of the gates. He led Ariana over to his hidden speeder. There they both climbed in and Laeto hit the ignition. The speeder immediately turned on and Laeto shifted out of hover. They began speeding through the city. Laeto would glance every-so-often at Ariana, she would be staring at the city with eyes of amazement. To him, it was unusual but he had lived in the outskirts of this city all of his life, she had not and so to her it must be a marvel to see. The neon lights glimmered off of her pale skin and illuminated a new light. Laeto sped through the traffic lanes up in the cloud reaches; to this height Ariana seemed uncomfortable but all the same amused. At coming to the exit, Laeto slipped his mask off and covered Ariana with his cloak. He hoped it would work again.
He slowly pulled down and shifted to hover while the guard came up to him. “Headin’ back?” the guard asked.
“Yeah, nothing much to do.” Laeto replied.
“Well, you could always bring Destiny around, Laeto, it has to be boring for her in your home.”
“Listen, Rumos, Destiny will not be seen with you.” Laeto said defensively.
“Argh…. why not Laty…you know I’d never hurt her!”
“Rumos, drop it! I have enough to worry about with the war in Kaityan, much less what a Balidarian city guard wants to do with my sister!”
“Golly gee, don’t put it that way, I’m not an idiot, and I respect Destiny.” Rumos said somewhat offended.
“I didn’t mean anything provocative, unless you had planned something provy…did you Rumos?” Laeto questioned now more worried for his sister than the fact that he had a stowaway with him.
“Uh…no…I just would like to get together with Destiny sometime that’s all.” Rumos said uncomfortably.
“You say you respect her, right?”
“Well, if she really wanted to get together with you don’t you think she would have by now?” Laeto forwarded.
“Your point?” Rumos said offended all the more.
“My point is, if you give her respect then stop stalking!” Laeto said unnerved.
“Argh…come on...Laeto…just one date…please?” Rumos begged.
“Hmm…don’t you think you should consider her motives…if she wanted to date you, she would have asked.”
“Well, I would ask,”Rumos began.
Laeto began laughing…he couldn’t help himself, at what was playing out before him. But, he would have to end this quickly; Ariana would not be able to stay perfectly still forever. By now Rumos was angry with Laeto for laughing.
“WHAT IS SO DAMN FUNNY!!!!!?” Rumos yelled angrily and purely agitated.
“Well…you would ask but you’re just afraid Destiny would slice your head off aren’t you?”
“Ah…just get going…and Laeto…when you get back from Kaityan…we need to have a talk…and maybe a duel if you keep that attitude!” Rumos said in a tone.
“Well, we both know who will speak right and who will win that duel!” Laeto said as he shifted out of hover and the speeder rose. Rumos went and cut the entrance gel to allow Laeto to leave. Laeto was slightly angry with his old friend for taking such an immature action towards his sister. After they were a ways away from the entry to Balidar Laeto gave Ariana the clear that she could come out from under his cloak. She quickly jerked it off and engulfed a deep breath of air.
“What was that about if I may ask?” Ariana asked curiously.
“It’s none of your concern, so don’t ask.” Laeto replied.
She became silent, but only for a few minutes. Her eyes kept darting around at their surroundings. “Where are you going to take me?” she asked somewhat looking unused to the speeder.
“I’m taking you to my home, for now anyway, we’ll have to leave soon.” Laeto answered, his eyes boringly placed ahead of them.
“Are you sure that that is a good idea?” Ariana asked a little sheepishly.
“Of course, unless you want to get captured again, and I would be captive and tried for treason. I’m not up for that-so escape will be necessary.” Laeto replied.
“Actually I meant staying at your house.”
“Oh.” Laeto said; he glanced at Ariana. She looked nervous. He could not help but give a short laugh. “Nothing will happen to you. My sister can get used to you.”
“Well, it’s not your sister that I’m worried about.” Ariana said just as Laeto made a sharp turn to dodge a boulder. Ariana gripped the seat as he steered in and out of the boulder-infested field. Her look was not of comfort.
“You should be careful, my sister can use a sword very well, you might should worry.” Laeto said.
“Uh…that’s not exactly what I…”
“I know what you mean, Ariana, I respect you in a sense and I wouldn’t harm you anymore than I already have.” Laeto said as he stopped the speeder in front of a very large house.
“Thank you.” Ariana said gracefully.
Laeto gathered his things, “It’s nothing,” he said as he started to climb out.
“No, it is something. Thank you, thank you for everything. You rescued me from that awful prison.” Ariana said as Laeto took this seriously and both stared at each other for a moment.
“Well, let’s get inside shall we?” Laeto said climbing out of the speeder.
Ariana nodded in agreement as she climbed out of the speeder as well. Laeto came around and led her up to the door. Laeto’s house glimmered in its jewel-like colors that were lit up by grand lights. His house was in the outskirts of the city. There were few other buildings around the area. Ariana noticed two other speeders by the other end of the house. The house itself had four levels on the entrance part and then a six level part that was linked to that. The architecture was amazingly done…almost as well done as in Kaityan.
Laeto interrupted Ariana’s thought by opening one of the massive glass doors, “Come on in-I promise you my sister won’t hurt you.” He joked as Ariana walked in.
The technology, artisan work, and such glimmering beauty fascinated Ariana. The very floors were made of white, glimmering marble. There were places where strong plates of gold and glass were embedded into the floor in intricate designs. There were portraits of their ancestors on holographic images. There was a massive grand staircase, which was made of red marble. Instead of candlelight, there were glow lamps upon the walls. There were many rooms that you could enter from the front door.
“Welcome to my home.” Laeto said while he noticed Ariana’s look of astonishment.
“This place is so much more different than Foresthome.”
“I should say so.” Laeto replied.
Ariana stopped looking around and looked at Laeto, “And just what do you mean by that?” she said somewhat offended.
Laeto was somewhat taken by surprise, “Well…I mean…I just meant that…”
“You meant that Argonath is not near as technologically advanced as the Roatain.” She said with neither anger nor laughter.
“I am sorry if I have offended you.” Laeto said.
“It is forgotten.” She replied.
Laeto smiled and responded, “Shall I take you somewhere so you can sit?”
“That would be nice.” Ariana answered as she followed Laeto.
Laeto led her to a large room on the right. There were strange cushions throughout the room. Laeto led her to a cushion and they sat. Throughout the room the light from the glow lamps reflected off of the marble floor.
“So how is Foresthome different from Balidar?” Laeto asked while trying to make conversation.
Ariana relaxed from her nervous state, “Foresthome is very different from Balidar. We build our homes of wood rather than stones and metals. We use the light of day and the wax for candles as our light. For our art we use the wood, and our artisans are the greatest wooden carpenters to ever walk this planet.”
“It sounds beautiful.” Laeto said, somewhat dazed by Ariana’s beauty.
Ariana stared into Laeto’s light brown eyes, she felt at peace yet all the while in her insides she was torn with so much confusion.
“Laeto!” a voice said from the room’s opening. Both Ariana and Laeto looked. There standing in the doorway was most undoubtedly Laeto’s sister.
Ariana stood up, her stare not lifting from the young woman who stood in the doorway. An unknown breeze shifted the folds in Ariana’s gown; her hair was softly blown. The woman wore a green halter suit with flaps on her belt that were a light brown. She had long, straight red hair and fair skin. Her eyes were blaring green; the young woman was the one from her visions. The woman pulled her sword from its sheath and slowly walked toward Ariana. Ariana stood motionless, for what could she do? Laeto quickly stood up starting to pull his own sword free. She held the sword’s end at Ariana’s neck. Ariana felt a rush of fear, and she wanted to run, to get away.
“You leave suddenly without word of where you are headed, and when you return you have an Argonos in our home!” the woman said infuriated.
“Please…do not harm her!” Laeto pleaded as he released his grip from his sword. He stared at Destiny with a desperate look upon his face.
The woman’s eyes shifted from Ariana to Laeto, “Listen at yourself-you defend an Argonos! She deserves death!”
“Who are you to decide as to say who deserves death or no!?” Ariana found herself saying.
“I can say all Argonath deserve death!” she said with the sword pressing at Ariana’s skin, “For your kind destroyed my father that which caused my mother to end her life!”
“So a whole people deserve death for something one man did! IF that is so, then you and your brother deserve death for my father and mother as well!”
“Why should I let you live?”
Ariana was silent, there was a rush in her mind, and the confusion was beginning. Visions and words swarmed throughout her thoughts.
“A world shall look to others, while fate decides a path,
When children will cling to their mothers, without the Three
there will be much wrath.”
“Because…” Ariana said slowly, “If you don’t this world will either fall from worlds outside it-or from ourselves.”
The woman’s anger lifted from her but she still held her sword at Ariana’s neck. Ariana continued, “Our people have destroyed many lives, but it is we who can stop it.” Ariana slowly lifted her hand and placed it on the woman’s hand that held the sword. Visions returned at the touch. “So…will you, Destiny, lay down your hate and hand out your forgiveness as I have?”
Slowly she lowered her sword. “So you are Ariana?” she said.
“Yes, and you are Destiny.”
Laeto calmed and became at ease from his stressed state, “We will have to leave shortly.”
“That we shall, but the question is where shall we flee to?” Destiny said while sitting on a cushion.
“We cannot go to Kaityan nor can we stay here,” Laeto began, “Perhaps to the islands to the north?”
“No,” Ariana began as a new revelation played before her eyes and yet she still spoke, “We will stay on the mainland. We will go to Tantori.”
“Tantori! Are you mad-that is the home of the Ladanyans, not one of us shall be accepted there!” Laeto responded as well as Destiny with a that-is-so-absurd-look.
“There shall be one in Tantori who will help us, this is the third- we must go to Tantori.” Ariana replied.
“Then we shall,” Destiny said in a tone that was both skeptical and worried, “But first we shall get some rest and nutrition. I shall ready you a room, Ariana.” Destiny said while standing and leaving the room.
After she had left Ariana turned to Laeto, “I thought you said your sister wouldn’t harm me?”
Laeto smiled, “Well, she didn’t harm you, but I did warn you that she was good with a sword.”
“That you did” Ariana smiled.
“Shall we sit again?”
Both sat again, a silence was hanging. Ariana kept her gaze at the strange room around her, while Laeto kept his gaze on her. Ariana had not known where such prophecies had originated. She felt Laeto’s gaze on her and she suddenly felt uneasy, her mind and heart had mixed emotions.
“Why do you stare, I am no different!” she said.
“You are indeed different. You see things-the future-what can be.”
“You and Destiny can as well-it is not only I who can see such things.”
“True, but Destiny and I are not Argonath, and I am so intrigued by you and your customs.” Laeto said with somewhat of a charm added to him.
“My customs-do you think that I am uncivilized?”
“No! That is what is so intriguing-your people are so elegant and civilized yet so simple in your ways.”
Ariana smiled, this was a compliment she very much enjoyed. Laeto seemed so intrigued by her. No men in Kaityan felt as such-they were merely interested in the rank they would receive after marriage to her. To counter that, men in Kaityan did not like her spirit, they felt she was too independent to tame for their own souls. She heard footsteps as Destiny returned to the room. The maiden gave a small smile toward Ariana. Ariana stood and followed Destiny. Laeto slowly followed after them. They walked up two flights of stairs. Then they traversed down a small corridor to the last room on the left. Destiny led her into the room. She pointed to a table where there was some Ifrine and fruit. Destiny then left, her mind was obviously troubled.
Ariana went over to the table and smelled the strange glass; it was Ifrine. She took a sip; the water trickling down her throat was so refreshing. She heard footsteps enter into the room; she turned to look. Laeto stood still.
“Will you be comfortable?” he asked somewhat nerved.
“Yes, this is all very kind of you.” Ariana replied.
“Well, then I’ll leave you to rest. Sleep well” and Laeto left. Ariana went over to the bed and sat.
* * *
Laeto left Ariana’s quarters silently. He felt so much guilt for murdering her father. Perhaps that was the reason at why he had been so rash. He walked down the two flights of stairs and headed into the sun/star room. Destiny sat there gazing up at the stars. Laeto silently sat beside her.
“You do realize that this is the last night we will sit here in our home,” she said still star-gazing.
“Yes, I do.” Laeto solemnly replied.
“This is our home and we have to leave it due to your reckless actions in this affair.” Destiny said with still the gazing eyes as before.
“I understand that I have acted irrationally. I did not need for you to point that matter out.” Laeto said with an offended tone.
At this Destiny cocked her head towards Laeto, “Obviously someone needs to point it out. You are a soldier of the Balidarian Army, what were you thinking?! Do you realize what peril you have placed upon yourself, upon us! Not only us, but on this, Argonos, this Ariana!” Destiny said very upset with him.
“It was a choice, and I may have made a bad one, but I do not need you to badger me about it!” Laeto shouted in return as he stood heading towards the doorway.
“Laeto!” Destiny said standing as well, “Running from me won’t help you tomorrow morning. You will have to face me!”
Laeto stopped; he knew it was true. He did not want to believe it would be true though. He just stood there frozen as her words struck him through the heart. This didn’t make sense.
“Come here Laeto, come and sit. We can talk about this in a logical way without shouting.” Destiny said while slowly sitting.
Laeto slowly turned and returned to his seat beside his sister. “I am sorry I’ve messed things up for you.”
Destiny didn’t respond; she sat glaring up at the stars and the five moons, as if wanting to say what she really wanted-to let her rage out. Eventually through Laeto’s silence she spoke again. “Why, Laeto, tell me why.”
“I don’t know, I don’t know why I have done what I have.” Destiny looked at him incredulously, and Laeto felt he couldn’t tell her, “More or less guilt for the murder of her father.” He mumbled to revert from his true meaning.
“Is that all, I know you Laeto. You would not let death bother you so freely before.”
“I think, perhaps, it is that she is so different. She is unlike any I know.”
“Perhaps it could be a spark of affection.” Destiny said.
Laeto was in a daze, “I think I do fancy her,” he spoke aloud.
Destiny shifted and grabbed hold of Laeto’s arm. “Laeto!” she jerked him to where he was no longer in a daze. “Laeto, do you realize what you just said?”
Laeto did just realize, and he felt foolish for saying it aloud. Destiny stared at him with disbelief. “Well…” Laeto began trying to shift the pressure from him, “ Rumos, …he still fancies you…in fact on my way back from Prison 41 he stopped me and asked me if I would ask if you would…” Laeto had just realized how his words had come out and felt even more foolish. He held his head in his hands, shaking it; he could not believe what he was doing!
“On your way back from Prison 41…well Laeto…you are foolish.” Destiny said while standing. Laeto looked up at her in horror. Destiny stared down at him with a look of disgust. “Not so much of a fool as Rumos but you are fairly close…yes indeed very close…Rumos does know his limits though doesn’t he?”
“I’m not that foolish…I just made some mistakes, that’s all.”
“No, Laeto, you are a fool-a fool that’s in love!”
Destiny began to leave. “Destiny! Destiny WAIT!” Laeto called after her while standing. She turned at the doorway with a more disgusted look on her face.
“You should go and gather what you’ll need, and get some sleep. After all, we have to go into hiding now don’t we?” she said then left. Laeto only stood there with a frozen reality of disbelief.
After glancing up at the stars he left the room. He had such a sick feeling in his stomach. Before he went to his room he went to Ariana’s room. All but one soft glow lamp was on, and he could make out her figure lying on the bed through the shadowing. He smiled at her comfort, at least someone had some comfort; he left to his own room.
The morning came, seeping through the glass windows. Ariana awoke. The room felt so strange not being her own. She slipped out from under the sheets. She then straightened her dress and slowly left the room. She went down the two flights of stairs to the main entrance. Laeto and Destiny were readying suitcases. Laeto had weapons, weapons in many numbers.
Destiny gave Ariana a look of mistrust but Laeto led her to the speeder and the trio left the sparkling house. Laeto and Destiny were not speaking but both showed great signs of grief at leaving. They were heading southeast toward Tantori. By landspeeder it would take maybe two to four hours depending on weather conditions and any incidents along the way. All had a great feeling of tension.
* * *
Words came into a young woman’s mind, as she walked along a path in Tantori.
“Where strangers meet with urgency, a peace will come at end
Must you see such emergency, and with your support must you send.”
|Ode to Solitude||Wicked Whispers|
|The Tale of Dolon and Auraine||The Fates chapter one|
|The Fates-an introduction|