Two moons over, p.19
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       Two Moons Over, p.19

           Levi Shipley
 
was powerless to stop any of it. But just because Partheus did not succeed in saving the innocent man did not mean that his head was safe either.

  They meant to kill him also for corroborating with the guilty. And so he fled. He would not stand to have another innocent person killed, even if it was himself. That had been the first day of his real life. He was chased for a time, but the efforts to stop him grew smaller daily. Eventually he was free but without a home. He’d decided to go as far as he could and farther. He hitched rides, rode trains, walked, and ate trash when he had to.

  But now he would eat pumpkins again and set out on a mission that was far more important than his own freedom.

  Away

  One

  The train docked at a station in Mirwa, which was a destination for tourists and history buffs. Cecil was the first out of his cab and the first to be frisked and patted down for weapons. He wondered who would’ve hidden weapons on the train to get past the check in Redora and decided the idea wasn’t farfetched.

  When the check was over, he was free to roam the city but not before being confronted by three tour guides. They were all novians, and Cecil would’ve said they were triplets as similar as they were. They were all female, about half Cecil’s height, and wearing hair that blazed redder than the sun. But when they began to pester the riders, Cecil decided they were not sisters. Each had an opposing tour with the others, although a true tourist would want to go on all three. Their competitive manner of attracting clients worked on a few, but most were repelled by the trio.

  After further thought, Cecil decided they might be sisters and walked past them.

  The station house was built of solid marble. The booths spread throughout were made out of wood that Cecil believed was ebony. The light fixtures were hung from the ceiling like chandeliers, though only the one at the center of the boarding room was a true chandelier. What wasn’t ebony or marble was gold plated and silver rimmed. Under the chandelier was a four sided grandfather clock. It reminded Cecil of Big Ben, although he had no idea what that was. Each side was identical. The minute and hour hands along with the numerals were made of gold as was the pendulum swinging below each face. The structure of the clock appeared to be made out of polished silver, though Cecil wondered if it wasn’t steel. He walked around the clock with its head standing another six feet above Cecil’s and was amazed by it. He wasn’t so impressed by the clockwork but by the extent this city put into its glamor.

  Two

  The streets were paved with red bricks. Though that was very eccentric, Cecil thought they’d become rather slick in winter time. The rest of the buildings he saw for the most part were not quite as ornate as the station house, but each had its own charm. The idea that each building he saw, whether it be marble, stone, or manor, was a bit different from the others made him believe that they were privately owned.

  He walked through that side of the city for a bit and admired the structures. After having his fill of that, he moved farther down town where the museums were. It wouldn’t do to come all this way and do nothing but stare at houses owned by the upper class, of which he was certain were more than a few wolf dogmen.

  The first place he meant to visit was the Museum of War, everyone’s favorite. Cecil was not surprised to see a fair line waiting outside to get in and took his place in the back. There was an admission fee, for which he was prepared. There were families and couples in line with him. He didn’t see anyone else that appeared to be alone, which struck him softer than he thought it would.

  The rest that had entered wore a higher manner of garb than Cecil. He knew that they probably took trips like this one often and had no need to really dip into their savings. But more than anything they reminded him that he’d forgotten to bring extra sets of clothing for his stay. Cecil couldn’t go a whole week in a place like this wearing the same thing daily. He didn’t care if he wasn’t entirely presentable himself, but if someone realized what he was doing they might bar his entrance to places he desired to go to.

  As he thought of this he sighed and handed over a few Troths to the doorman. The elf gave him a puzzled look as if thinking he couldn’t understand why Cecil would be unhappy entering the museum and furthermore why he would be willing to pay for it. A ticket was handed to Cecil then. He looked at it and noticed a small stipulation near the bottom edge of the paper “not valid if hole has already been punched.” And it wasn’t but a few steps inside when a second attendant took the slip from Cecil, punched a hole in it in no place in particular, and handed it back.

  Three

  The museum itself was shaped like a wheel, and it was common practice to turn left after entering and walk until you came back to the entrance. There was a courtyard in the center with four doors leading to and from it from the four points of the compass. Cecil did as everyone else did and turned left toward the armor displays. If he hadn’t seen where all the families and couples were headed, there was a large arrow on the wall across from the second attendant pointing in that direction.

  He felt a horrible disconnection as he walked through The Armory. Cecil had been afraid that he would come here without feeling refreshed, and even though this was just the start of his time here, he knew it was a bad way to get started and would set the tone for the rest of his vacation.

  But then there was something, two sets of armor behind glass that he recognized. Cecil walked up to their display to see a green and a blue set of crystal armor. The leggings on the blue looked just like the ones he had stowed away back at his apartment. Feeling interest he read the plaque below the display.

  Berin Faust Armor: One of the first experiments with crystal molded into armor. These prototypes were not made with thinned pieces but with full thickness plates as was done with ancient steel armors. Their weight was usually too great for those that it fit, and if it wasn’t the wearers often grew exhausted quickly. The blue and green color comes from metal powders added to the crystal as it cooled and became indestructible. This coloring was done not for vanity but for concealment, as crystal is almost transparent in its natural state after refinement. Though thick these armors are actually poor at protecting against powerful foes or long falls as they are not single pieces as today’s armors are. Instead these armors were crafted plate by plate with strong epoxies. The epoxy holds up for over a century under regular use but could be eroded with chemicals or unbound with enough force. In 427 of the last Imperial Era these armors were first crafted, making them well over 3000 years old! And by 441 they were replaced by more modern one piece armors, though the thin and comfortable sets of today were not crafted until just recently in 2773 of the new Trothic Era.

  Cecil read this over twice to make sure he had it right. How did he come to possess three thousand year old leggings? All he remembered was walking into Redora with them on and shirtless. Nothing before that was clear except for Ectoplas, but he didn’t have them then. He must have acquired them in the time between. That month or so that was just blackness in his mind.

  And what was before Ectoplas? He remembered people that looked a lot like him, novians but taller and with duller hair but not much else. He knew he must also have attained most of his knowledge from the time before Ectoplas, since he did little in the way of real learning since coming to Redora. He read books, but when did he learn to read? How did he know how to ride a bike and fish? No one ever taught him how to, and he knew that it wasn’t taught to him in that dark month.

  Four

  And he kept walking. These thoughts would, he knew, keep him occupied tonight while he didn’t sleep. From there he became detached again through all the sections about tactics and historical figures, battle grounds and war lore.

  But when he came to the weapons section, there were a few things that caught him. The first thing he saw was a model of a net gun, which utilized magic catalysts to create a mesh-like net to entangle opponents. He knew he’d never seen one of th
ese guns before but felt as if he’d heard of it. And with that feeling he wondered how he didn’t feel certain earlier that he hadn’t seen the green Berin Faust armor or upper parts of the blue, which made Cecil ponder if he had the upper pieces at some point and the green set also.

  What he saw next made him stop and clutch his chest and head. A dwarfish woman was about to run over from her post as a guard to help but stopped herself when Cecil stopped. He saw mounted on the wall above him a great sword, a buster as tall as he was. It was made of red crystal and symbolized death to Cecil. He was absolutely certain he’d seen this sword before, and whoever held it was grinning.

  He closed his eyes to regain himself and saw a desert all around him. At his feet and all about him were dead bodies torn to chunks in clean cuts. At first he was afraid that it had been him that killed all these people, but then he saw a man standing under an arch about a hundred feet in from of Cecil. The man was at a distance, but Cecil knew he was laughing. In the man’s hands was this sword, but it was stained a deeper red with the blood of those around Cecil. And Cecil knew this man. It was Dahzir, the king of Destursha.

  He opened his eyes and no one seemed to notice
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