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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, '10, 6:47 pm
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Chapter 3


The rays of the dusk shined through the windows of Sari and Piotr’s bedroom, prompting the beautiful queen pull the dark violet curtains over the window to block out the light. She then walked over to her dresser and began to undress. Piotr, who was sitting at a desk near the bed taking care of budget figures and accounts, paid no heed to his wife as she removed all of her undergarments and slipped into a while silk camisole. She looked over at her husband, who had thrown himself into his work more than ever in the past five months, and sighed. She sat down in front of an antique mirror with gold trim and began to brush her brown hair, which now ran down past her shoulders. She occasionally looked over at her king, who almost never looked up from various charts and tables he was filling out.

She smiled and nodded at her reflection and got up. Gracefully, although to no particular audience, she walked over to her husband and let her arms drape over his shoulders. Piotr paused, took a deep breath, and then reached back and rubbed Sari’s cheeks a little.

“You know, love, there aren’t a whole lot of financial and budgetary matters in this kingdom that merit the attention you’re giving them.”

Piotr pursed his lips for a moment and nodded in agreement, but said nothing.

“Piotr, it’s about Corg, isn’t it?”

Piotr looked back at his work and reached for his pen.

“Stop right there,” Sari demanded, but with a smile on her face. “There’ll be none of that in our relationship.”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” mumbled Piotr.

“Maybe. But you have to. For the past several months you’ve completely shut yourself down and have only been working, working, and working some more.”

“It’s how I deal with things,” came the response in a hushed tone.

“That may be all well and good when you’re single. But you’re married now. Even you said that you believe that husband and wife should be…how did you say it? Ah, ‘one flesh.’ Okay then, let’s be one. Talk to me for crying out loud.”

Piotr relented after a few moments. Turning slowly to face the longsuffering eyes of his queen, Piotr spoke. “I have a difficult time accepting Corg’s death. It’s not that he was too young or too innocent or anything like that. But since we were young teenagers, he had always been a good friend to me. To be perfectly honest, he was one of the few people who understood me.”

Sari began to smile. “That wasn’t so hard now, was it? Yeah, given you eccentricities, that’s not too hard to imagine.”

“I don’t just don’t know what to do now that he’s gone.”

Sari cleared her throat. “Well, you have me for one.” Piotr tried to force a smile at that. Sari reached over and ruffled Piotr’s hair a little. “Listen, I’ve lost people close to me, too. When Ayn and Thea were killed, I lost the two best friends I had ever had after my own mother. For whatever our differences once were, and despite the fact that Ayn loved Thea more than I, they were nonetheless my great friends. I always looked forward to my visits to Azura or to their visits to Landen, because I knew that they’d be the only people who’d really be able to understand me. I lost them and subsequently a part of my own being. But I had Sean, and with time—a lot of time—gained Kara and now I have you, the love of my life.”

Piotr took a deep breath and stood up. He paced around the room a few times while Sari stood in the same place and watched.

“It’s hard. I’m not good at dealing with this stuff.”

“Most of us aren’t. But you’re married to a person who loves you a lot. And that person—me—doesn’t want you to try to bear the burden by yourself.”

Piotr walked up to Sari and placed his hands on her nearly bare shoulders. A single tear ran down his cheek.

“Well there’s a first,” Sari said. “Listen Piotr, wherever Corg is, be it in Heaven or inside the Nei Sword or wherever, he certainly wants you to continue with your life and not spend months on end in this state.”

"Please, bear with me a little, Sari. It's not easy."

"I never said it had to be, my love." Sari moved closer to him and placed her hands on his elbows, drawing them toward her waist. "I just don't want you to confront this alone, or not at all." She wrapped her arms around his waist and moved her lips close to Piotr's ear. "The trials of life are a lot easier to deal with when we have someone to face them with," she said softly.

Piotr gazed into her eyes for a few moments. "I'm sorry, my love. I know that I haven't been the best during these times."

Sari's lips moved from Piotr's ear to his mouth. With a suggestive smile, she said, "You're lucky I'm a forgiving woman."


***

Meanwhile, in Jack and Laya's bedroom, the blonde-haired damsel stared at Jack as he practiced his fighting techniques in the wide open space between the bed and the door. She watched him swing his legs in numerous different directions in many different ways. Jack spun his body and leapt into the air as if he had no regard whatsoever for gravity. It never ceased to impress Laya, but it was the look on Jack's face as he did so that worried her. There was a look of misbegotten determination, of anger directed at some useless cause. She knew that look, for she had felt it to one degree or another when she had returned to this world after nearly a millenium of cryo-sleep.

"Please, Jack. Enough. You're overexerting yourself," pleaded Laya, calmly.

Jack stopped mid-kick and looked over at her. His large brown eyes stared at her in a distant manner and he nodded and walked over the foot of the bed and sat down. He buried his head in his hands and sulked for a moment.

Laya wiped a tear from her; it killed her to see Jack in this state. Much like Piotr, Jack had shut down emotionally immediately following the death of Corg. Whereas Piotr had thrown himself into his work, according to Sari, Jack through himself into his martial arts. Laya got out from under the sheets and stood up. She walked around the bed and sat next to Jack at the foot of it.

"Sari told me that Piotr is taking Corg's death in much the same way. You know how much it hurts me to see the two of you like this. I have a pretty good idea how you must feel. Seeing how happy-go-lucky you were when it was the three of you, it must hurt a lot to lose your companion."

Jack didn't look up, but simply nodded and said, "Yeah. It's hecka true."

Laya shook Jack lightly, trying to get him to at least look at her. "Please Jack, open up to me. That's what I'm here for."

"I'm sorry, Laya. I can't. I don't know how. I don't know what to do..." Jack grew silent again.

Laya pulled his head into her shoulder. "Let's have a dialogue, Jack. Why do you think it's affecting you so much?"

For several moments, Jack remained silent. He finally started to talk. "Back when we were adolescents, we had a motto: Brothers, we live together and die together."

Laya calmly asked. "Did you want to die by his side?"

"No, it's not that. But I would've at least liked to have been by his side when it happened. Besides, remember that he saved my life back when we first arrived here. I still owe him my life."

Laya stood up and sat back down in Jack's lap. She pulled his head into her bosom and gently caressed his hair. "It's okay. Jack, you need to try to move on. Live and die with Corg in spirit. Live and die with your friend by living and fighting for his ideals. I know that Corg died fighting for Christy." She looked deep into his eyes. "Do likewise: Live and fight for me."


***

Piotr's and Sari's lips met and locked into a passionate embrace. They kissed passionately for several seconds and Piotr's hand slowly caressed his wife's back. Soon it was moving up toward the strap of her camisole. As he was about to make suave movement to relieve her of it, a sudden knock on the door startled them. They broke their embrace and Sari hurried over to the dresser to throw a robe on over her night clothes and answer the door. Piotr turned and sat at that foot of the bed while his wife opened the door a crack to see who was bothering them.

Peering through the small opening, Sari saw the magenta hair of the cyborg Mieu.

"I'm sorry for bothering you two at this late hour. I need to talk to the two of you really urgently."

"Of course, Mieu. Please, come in." Sari closed the door to remove the chain lock and then opened again, allowing Mieu to enter. Mieu was dressed in a red, low-cut nightgown with a white wool shawl thrown over her shoulders to cover her up. In her hands were several large sheets of paper and a pencil. Sari examined Mieu's expression, which seemed to manifest a rather odd combination of both fear and elation.

Mieu walked over the foot of the bed and sat down several feet away from Piotr. Sari grabbed the stool from in front of the mirror and brought next to where her husband was sitting.

"So, what's the problem, Mieu?" Piotr asked, trying to mask his impatience.

"I had a strange, but very interesting dream tonight," she said quietly.

Piotr and Sari looked at each other and the former raised an eyebrow in interest. "Cyborgs can have dreams?"

Mieu shook her head. "That's the strange part. I don't dream. Well, not usually. I usually just kind of black out until I'm energized. But for these past three days, I've had a recurring dream...about Corg."

That caught the attention of the others, especially Piotr, immediately. "Oh really?"

Mieu nodded. "He's trying to communicate with me, Piotr. I think he's alive, or at least in some place or state in which we can find him."

"Did he say anything to give you that impression?" Sari asked.

Mieu shook her head. "Let me explain the dream to--"

"Hold up,“ said Sari. "Let me get Laya and Jack. I'm sure Ja--I mean the two of them will be dying to hear about this."

In a few moments, the five of them were gathered in Piotr's room. Mieu started to recount her dream.

"I was in walking in some dark room, when suddenly a strange light began to shine. When I looked around, I discovered I was in a strange land. I was in the middle of a field, but I think it might of been a graveyard. There were gravestones and stone mausoleums all over the place. I could seen broken down walls, fallen statues, and a long, continuous broken wall running for miles. As I walked through the field, I saw Corg. He was alone and sad, dressed in a red tunic. I called his name, but he didn't say anything. He simply bid me follow him.

"I followed him for some time, after which the ground opened up into a large cavern. We walked into the cavern, which was this barren, moss-filled pit. The descent was occasionally steep, but easy enough for me to walk through. We then reached another cave, which was more dangerous, since there were many holes and pits that a careless person could fall into. Making our way through the cave, we entered another area that seemed like a gateway or even a small underground city. An eerie blue light filled the place and there were numerous man-made structures--or least what looked like man-made structures--to be seen. The most notable was a recurring statue of some sort of monster that had a human body but a long, horned snout.

"After reaching the end, we passed through a gateway and opened into another world. It was bathed in an eerie reddish-orange light and filled with rock outrcroppings and boulders. It was here that he stopped and smiled at me. He pointed at the ground, as if to tell me that's where he was. And then I woke up."

Laya was the first person to respond. "That is really strange; especially when you consider that I've had a similar dream. Several of the places you mentioned have shown up in my dreams recently, too."

Jack immediately shot out with, "Dude, Hecka why didn't you say something before?"

Laya looked at him and said, "Well, unlike Mieu, I didn't actually see Corg. So I thought it was just some random dream."

Jack seemed content at the answer.

Mieu continued, "Well, the places I went to were so vivid in my mind that I was able to draw some fairly accurate representations of these places." She showed them the pieces of paper she had brought with her. Sure enough, there were five highly-detailed drawings of the places she had described. Sari and Laya said nothing as they looked over the drawings. Piotr also didn't say a whole lot. Jack, however, seemed very interested as he stared intently at them.

"Dude, I think these are from another game. Hecka can't remember which one, though."

"You mean, Corg's in another world now?"

Jack nodded. "Hecka that's what it sounds like." He began to smile and show a bit of enthusiasm in his words. "I think he hecka wants us to mount a rescue mission for him. I think he wants us to find his sorry booty."
Sari looked at Laya, "So that means--"

"Heck yeah," said Piotr. "I think we have another quest on our hands. And I know just the place for us to start. But let's not get ahead of ourselves now. We'll discuss it further over breakfast tomorrow, okay?"

Everybody nodded.

Piotr went on, "Now, if you will excuse us, Sari and I were having an important dialogue."

Sari giggled, which made Jack bow his head and shake it. "Well, since we may just be having ourselves another quest," he said, looking over at Laya, "I guess Laya and I should have a dialogue, too."

Last edited by H-Man on Tue Jul 27, '10, 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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