PART THREE: THE WEDNESDAY WAR II
In one fluid motion, Thea quickly took out the shrunken magical staff in her back pocket and muttered a quick spell to unfold it thus returning the staff to its original form. The staff’s artistically carved magical jewel encrusted front gave way to the sharp point of a spear and Thea took up a defensive position poised to attack the warriors there no doubt sent to kill Alyan. She had barely a moment’s notice before the invading warriors were upon her attacking her with uncommon ferocity.
However, even as she fought the battle of her life against her sister warriors, she noticed that they were not themselves. Her sisters’ eyes were obsidian black and soulless and it appeared that they were being controlled rather than acting on their own free will. However, her sister-kin were also stronger than they usually were which made fighting them all the harder.
Thea was relieved to be joined by Sprite warriors that soon helped subdue the scores of Wintrian soldiers. By the time they were done fighting the warriors from Thea’s homeland, Thea had some shallow bruises and a few deep cuts to her arms and feet and she tried to ignore the stinging sensation of the healing balms applied directly on the wounds by the medics on deck.
As they were patched up, the Sprite warriors gave Thea a true picture of what they were up against and she was horrified to learn that the Wintrians were costing their side huge losses despite being outnumbered by the invading armies. The Wintrians also appeared to be very coordinated in their attacks almost as if they were communicating with each other telepathically. Their attacks were ferocious and relied more on brute strength than actual strategy.
The Wintrian soliders shared a camaraderie that the invading army was challenged for having being formed from different armies while the Wintrians willingly sacrificed themselves for their fellow warriors and their strategy seemed to be giving them an advantage other than the fact that the war was being fought in their home ground.
Thea quickly rushed into Alyan’s room to check if he had been hurt. He was hanging his head low as if he’d given up already and Thea prepared to give him a pep talk as she walked up to him and firmly grabbed hold of his shoulders but then she suddenly felt like he was electrocuting her and flinched away, backing down slowly as Alyan dramatically raised his head revealing the obsidian black eyes the Wintrian soldiers had displayed as they actively engaged Thea and the others in battle on the passageways.
Alyan began to mutter in a strange language Thea had never heard of. It seemed ancient and evil. She could feel the darkness that had suddenly possessed her charge take over her too and she desperately tried to fight it. However, the darkness seemed too powerful and it soon drowned her, pulling her down with Alyan and she felt her spirit fade away as something sinister and dark dragged her to the depths of the Netherrealms.
There was no Thea or Alyan all of a sudden. There was only a deep anger and hatred for all living things- there was only a desire to change creation itself to echo the only truth whatever Thea and Alyan had become acknowledged then. There was only one true leader of every world, timeline and realm. The leader was the Monarch and she was the Supreme leader of everything that lived. She demanded nothing less than total servitude- and monotheistic worship. The Monarch was the only goddess to exist- the only one that should be worshiped. The Wintrians had learned this truth and were defending their supreme ruler and goddess as Thea and Alyan should have done.
However, even as the resolve to serve the Monarch completely took over Thea, there was still a seed of doubt within her; an unforgivable sacrilegious thought that doubted that the Monarch was a goddess at all. That thought tried to possess Thea too and she fought it- she fought for her goddess, the Monarch, the true leader…
And then a single image appeared that really turned the tide in Thea’s possessed soul- it was the image of a child- in particular, an unborn baby that was cradled safely in its mother’s womb. The child was the only light in the darkness that enveloped its mother’s world. Even the mother was darkness itself but the unborn child was a light more powerful than anything in that world of darkness. How strange to hallucinate about a mother and child when duty called and demanded her service to the Monarch.
However, she felt the darkness try to reach for the unborn child and she felt the mother’s resolve to prevent it- that resolve echoed in Thea too. She needed to protect that child no matter what the cost. The Monarch mattered less than the child in the mother’s womb. The Monarch needed to be defied in order to save the child.
Who was the child? Why was this child so important? She could hear the child’s cries even in her mother’s womb. The child was terrified. It begged and pleaded with its mother not to let the darkness take over it. It begged the mother to embrace the light- to fight the darkness. What could it all mean, Thea wondered? Why was she observing this private interaction between mother and child? What did it have to do with her?
And yet it distracted her enough for her to realize that she somehow was under some kind of dark influence- it made her realize that Alyan was in trouble and only she could pull him out of it. She realized that like the mother of the unborn child, she needed to fight and fight she did…
The darkness clung onto her, digging its claws deep into her soul but Thea fought it nonetheless with everything she had. Suddenly, the darkness seemed weaker and weaker, it fought against her tooth and nail but she was stronger and it eventually left her. Once it disappeared, she sought the psychic link she had with her charge- the strongest bond in all existence that bound them and she took Alyan’s spirit from the darkness, returning it to the light.
“Thea- you- you saved me yet again,” Alyan said breathing a sigh of relief.
Thea simply smiled at him dismissively as if what she had done was a simple favor.
“Thea… I know what is affecting the Wintrian people…It’s… It’s worse than I could have ever imagined. We must defeat it- we must save our people,” Alyan said frighteningly.
TO BE CONTINUED…