Evil's Dead Air(The Trek)
Flash Fiction Celebrating Towers, Conquering Evil, and Growth.
Smoldering sunsets, supreme power sought after by one lonesome, and an ever efficacious bond between those beasts which haunt the land, and those who have the will to tame not just the beasts of the land, but the demons hounding from within. Arsm Mallas Petropoulas Ptolemais was one such man.
To move so far, so fearlessly was not any significant feat as it was believed by the young Arsm. Just as he stood before the Tower of Dagger Ether, he played back the warning in his own mind, delivered onto him by the generous if not perspicacious Elven woman who honored her end of a past agreement.
“By all wits powered by me, I cannot grant you any guarantee of your survival should you enter the forbidden Tower of Dagger Ether, young Arsm Mallas Petropoulas Ptolemais. Return stronger, and you will have proved my expectations lambent with falsehood, but my heart still prays for your success.” orated the woman.
But of what note was the Tower of Dagger Ether? Why did it sit upon an eternal sunset, threatening the horizon with its beautiful architectural glory, and what temptations may emerge from that?
Arsm sought this answer, and more.
After another hour of preliminary preparations, Arsm had successfully pounded his logistics firmly into his own mind, memorizing what tips he knew would be useful inside that tower, and how best to achieve his goal. The breach of an inadequately trapped front door later, as well as a few floors skipped by way of detonation of the very integrity holding up whatever horrors sat in wait on the second and third floors, Arsm found himself on the fourth floor of the Tower of Dagger Ether, where the air was filled with the gaseous occupation of many spirits and the floor was lined with their unobtrusive yet gently flickered piles of their wake. By following this path, Arsm was able to meet with the first of his demons he was able to tame: the one of Tactic. He successfully scouted his objectives, and took the best possible path forward, fearlessly, and with precision. But where one demon is tamed, the other runs wild. Raucous with indignation, the next demon Arsm would face would be one of his worst nightmares: Betrayal. Standing before him as he left the soul bank that was the fourth floor, on the fifth floor, he saw the same Elven oracle who had set him upon his path, standing amidst a mound of gore, maw bloodied, and previously pristine and shining golden locks were dyed in the smoked latent cinders of burnt flesh, and ruby rancor and disdain.
“Behold indeed the wits that are still powered by me, the wits to twist the knife in your back, and present you as a worthwhile sacrifice, to my dearest Cult of Travesty.” sermonized the traitor woman.
Taunts sung from her lips as she walked ever slowly to the defensive Arsm, her formerly neutral and uni-colored thigh-slit blue frock was awash with the mayhem of what had been years of conspiracy, and the fruit of the intrigue abused by her.
Her determination, lies, and dishonor rung hollow in the mind of Arsm. To look upon her, and her lithe steps across the bloodied and decrepit floor of the Tower of Dagger Ether and to see anything but an enemy would be the height of weakness, and the preamble to a torture that the man would deserve. Today at least, he was indeed not that man, or lack thereof.
Taut, muscle bound hands gripped the most favored tool of Arsm, ripping the resolute tool from its sheathe, his claymore ripped the frock, and the woman in two, leaving an unforgettable simmer of red mist coating the stuffy air as the faint glimmer of power formerly vested in the power-hungry left the dismantled corpse at last, serenading the lost, and leaving the rest of the Tower, and more clues about this Cult of Travesty to a future marked by intention, vigor, and for the enemies of Arsm: “Dead air.”