The Prophesy Tower. Chapter 73. Write a Novel Challenge.
Neina knew deep down, right in the very depths of her soul, that Freya should be the one to take up Orla’s place as the next Queen of Mors World. What concerned her was the troubling matter of Freya’s unknown whereabouts, as well as the impending deadline that could very well destroy time itself- possibly even causing an irreparable tear within the multiverse.
She had never dreamt of having such responsibility. Her job designing the Prophecy Tower had been more than enough to test every single bit of her mental fortitude. Now, too, she had the death of her fiancé still a very fresh wound, one that marked her heart with a depth of sorrow she still struggled come to terms with.
Maybe you never do come to terms with losing the one you love with absolutely everything you are, everything you have, everything you could have been … together. I will NEVER forget him. Never.
Neina turned her head solemnly towards Isla, watching her sobs wracking her bruised and battered body. Neina wrapped her in the argyle scarf as a gesture of comfort. It was the best that she could do – she had no words left to give. Walking towards the sword she found it hard to imagine how it, according to Janus, would become their saviour of sorts.
Neina knew though, before anything could be done concerning Freya, the Prophecy Tower had to be demolished, and fast.
Spiralling downwards in the worries that threatened to overwhelm her, Neina heard Frankie, tentatively, speaking.
“So just how, exactly, are we meant to effectively destroy an entire tower all the way down to its base? The stone’s now as good as Orla’s dead body – absolutely useless. And the causalities… We are talking hundred of deaths – maybe thousands. None of us even know exactly what we are dealing with here.” Frankie’s voice quivered as he spoke and he was visibly shaking.
Charlotte walked up to him and placed a death grip on his shoulders, pinning him to the floor as he winced in pain.
“Get it together Frankie – you’re not a child;” Charlotte scolded him, ironically, in a tone of voice suggesting that is exactly how she thought of him. “First, we need to split up. We need to maximise what little resources we have left. Isla and Neina should go to the tower in Mors World; you and I are going to take a trip to the Prophecy Tower. There are still builders on site and we need to ensure that no one has gone where they are not supposed to. The last thing we need is someone discovering the portals, let alone opening them. I’m going to see if I can figure out a way to destroy it before time runs out.”
Neina and a much less frantic Isla looked knowingly at one another and shared a nod of acknowledgement as Neina responded, biting her tongue as he spoke to keep her anxiety in check. She knew that this was a time in which she needed to be strong – or at least appear strong for the others. It would not take much for any of them to crumble.
“Okay, sounds like our best option at this point. Ryder, I think you should go searching for Freya, or at least for any leads. We need her now more than ever. Even if we do destroy the tower, without a Queen to rule, the world will get ripped to shreds.”
Neina knew that they were all frightened, but she also knew that each of them had inner courage.
Funny how adversity makes us resilient in ways unimaginable before we suffer it.
The fate of the world was lying within the, very shaky, palm of their hands. How odd it seemed that only weeks before now they had all been busy with the mundane complications of their own uneventful lives.
We are responsible for saving millions of people now.
Neina’s thoughts made her now look straight upon each of her friends; the people who she had shared this journey with and on whose shoulders now so much rested. There were so few words left to say of any relevance.
“Let’s get this done.”
Isla and Neina arrived at The Tower and watched aghast at the sheer number of random people bustling around it, each oblivious to the chaos ready to swallow them.
There goes any hope it would be abandoned.
“How on Earth are we going to get through these people?”, Isla gasped tensely, gripping the fated sword so tight her knuckles turned white.
“I haven’t the slightest clue, Isla. We are going to have to get inside to get a better understanding of whether anyone has breached the lower levels and reached the portals. We will go down the access shaft so we are not seen.”
Inconspicuously, Isla followed Neina at the edges of the crowd to one of the green hidden access covers hidden under three bollards directing people away from the electrical sub station behind it. As they walked to the access point they saw many mourners sobbing, their faces pressed against the marble and glass as if trying to find some meaning within. Others were singing what were clearly songs of mourning, although to Neina’s ears they sounded more like the sea shanties she had heard sung during her childhood by the fisherman returning in late at night from a trawl. How delusional they are, Neina thought, not to recognise how they had all been manipulated by a Queen’s whose only interest was power.
How can they mourn someone who slaughtered thousands of her own people? Someone who used her people as hostages to obtain the very thing that killed her in the end.
Lifting the hatch, Neina saw the emergency lighting designed to trip on in cases of breach.
This was not looking good.
They both pushed themselves through the hole in the floor, daylight disappearing as the cover clanked shut behind them. As they rounded what Neina calculated was the central point of the tower something visibly profane blocked even the weak illumination thrown up by the emergency lighting. The smell and splatter of blood rose up in the air like a phantom cloud of death. Shrieks and cries were muffled by the onslaught of metal clanging against metal.
Oh God! They are in the glass elevator to the portals.
The entire area was in disarray but most terrifying of all was the sight of a group in the corner, almost hidden entirely. Neina might have missed them but Isla missed nothing, pointing out the glistening drills and breakers the mourners were holding as their torches caught them.
The trespassers were stumbling around, very obviously inhibited by their intoxication, swirling holes of black all around on every surface surrounding them.
Watching them, Neina muttered under her breath, “What the…”.
A group of four men, covered in protective white suits, exited from one of the portals. They were laughing hysterically whilst gripping two sobbing boys that couldn’t have been older than Lola. The resemblance of the boys to her baby sister turned Isla’s shock to anger and her eyes welled with tears of rage.
As Neina watched her she saw Isla glow as if she was no longer even human.
“Hey!”, Isla screamed with ferocious intensity, though even she knew she wouldn’t be heard through the cacophony of noise produced by the portal.
They have found the portals.
Neina knew Isla’s calling was futile. Whoever these people were, they clearly now knew what they were looking for. They were probably armed too.
Neina knew she need to act.
“What do you think you’re doing- “, Isla growled at the sight of Neina prying the sword from her grip. As Isla watched, Neina stood with her legs shoulder-width apart and, taking in a deep breath, slammed the sword into the ground with all her might.
For a brief second there was nothing. Empty silence cascaded through the air and whatever sounds had filled the tunnel were swallowed up just as the sound of sails ripping are lost in those storms that sailors know signal their last journey.
Few looked up at the slight clank the metal made against the cobblestone – but utter pandemonium followed.
The ground broke apart with the force of atoms splitting during fission. Lightening shot up from the hilt of the sword, its energy electrifying Neina and flooding the tunnels with blinding light. Neina heard screams and saw the trespassers running, the ground breaking up beneath them, sucking them back into its depths.
I will have nightmares about this day for the rest of my life.
As death and loss surrounded them, Neina thought about how it would have looked to others seeing the two orphaned girls, set aglow by the harsh brightness of the lightning, protected somehow by an energy that shielded them from the falling tunnel ceilings and fissure ridden floor. United in their sisterhood of suffering, Neina felt a new otherworldly bond form between her and Isla. She could not explain it, but knew this had changed them both.
“We need to get to that group – especially those two boys”, Isla said hurriedly to Neina.
Those still alive ahead of them were huddled against the walls, clutching on to the edges of the tunnel to avoid losing their footing. Many were blinking having temporarily lost their sight.
This was their chance.
“Oh God, Isla do you see that? There’s two more people coming out of the portal. Who knows how many people they’ve brought through before we got here.”
And then they both stopped talking as two figures appeared from the purple light of the furthest portal.
A trembling, bloody Freya carrying an even bloodier Ryder in her arms appeared before them. Ryder was wounded. Neina saw a gaping stab wound on the side of his torso.
Have they seen us?
Freya opened her mouth, maybe to say something to them. Maybe to scream. Maybe just to breathe.
But all that came out was a thick pool of deep, crimson, blood.
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The Prophesy Tower – A Novel.
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