Component 08: DIRECTIONS
Angon could not have been happier. Of course he was confused at the concept of ‘sleep’, but it was something he was enjoying. His new friend, Lavina Mistystar was participating in this ‘sleep’ and she had chosen to do so with her head on Angon’s lap having claimed he was warm, and not as uncomfortable as one would think. The Gavin of course had complained at this—he seemed to complain about everything anyway, so Angon just ignored the Elf as Lavina advised him to do.
Gavin was annoyed. He laid on his side, with his head on his pack. He didn’t trust leaving this gargoyle-esque creature to keep watch. And he certainly didn’t trust the thing to take care of Lavina. He just didn’t understand why his half-elf companion was so fond of it! She had even given it a name and a species! A species for stars sake! He scoffed once again and shook his head where he lay.
“Idiotic thing,” Gavin muttered. He was just too angry to allow himself to fall into a meditation, let alone a comfortable sleep.
On the other side of the camp, Lavina mumbled something in her sleep. Angon couldn’t quite tell what she was saying, but he imagined that she was speaking to him, telling him she enjoyed his company, that she wanted to adventure with him forever. The girl mumbled again, and this time it was easier to understand, and he wished he hadn’t.
“Daneel,” she whispered, “Oh Daneel you brought me flowers.”
Angon wanted to jump up off of his feet and run. He wanted to run far and never look back. But he didn’t understand why, and even more so why would she wanted to see a Daneel! Why would he bring her something that grew from the ground? That seemed odd!
“What is a Daneel?”
Angon said, his voice low.
Still, Gavin heard this, so the Elf sat up and stared across the fire at Angon, who looked at him.
“You really don’t get it do you?” Gavin asked.
“No, I do not,” Angon replied honestly.
“Daneel is a Sol Elf,” Angon said, “Like me in a way.”
“So he is a friend of Lavina?” Angon asked.
“No,” Gavin replied, “He doesn’t even know she exists—he looks straight through her.”
“But she is not invisible,” Angon argued, “I can see her, and you can as well.”
“Not literally,” Gavin sighed and shook his head.
“I do not understand,” came the Forge’s reply.
“I am not surprised,” Gavin said, “What I mean is he doesn’t talk to her; he never has.”
“Then who is he?” Angon asked.
“He is the son of the head councilman,” Gavin explained, “He only likes full-blooded Elven women. So he will never liked Lavina. She wastes her time chasing him.”
“I do not like this Daneel,” Angon said, shaking his head.
“Finally!” Gavin smiled, “Something we have in common interest.”
“You find that strange?” the Forge asked.
“Of course, since the first time you spoke, you annoyed me to no end,” he replied.
“Do I still annoy you?” Angon asked, wondering if he had said something to change this.
“A little less,” Gavin nodded, and held up his fingers, pinching them together, “But just a little.”
This statement made Angon smile—just a little.
Budge and Weiggs came to a stop and stared at the burly, blue-bearded Dwarf. The shorter, but broad-shouldered Orc looked up at his tall, thin companion.
“Why hammer glow?” Weiggs asked.
The Dwarf held an unchanging look of determination.
“Hammer is blue,” Budge said, “Hammer maybe…uh, magic!”
“Ye think!?” Buster growled, and tightened his grip on the magical weapon.
“Yeah!” Weiggs said, “I think! You think, I think?”
“He think, you think, but I no think you think!” Budge chuckled.
Buster was becoming more and more annoyed by the second. This pair of idiotic Orcs were less intelligent than any he had encountered ever before. He almost wondered if it would be wrong to wipe the vermin from Anhsook, or if it would be doing the world a favor.
“He think, that I think, that you—” Weiggs continued the circular conversation.
“Shut ye dirty Orc faces!” Buster shouted, “Or I’mma smash yer skulls in!”
“OooooOO!” Weiggs laughed, “Puny Dwarf think he can hurt us!”
“He think that?” Budge asked, cocking his head.
“He think so!” Weiggs said, “I think, he think, anyway.”
“I said SHUDDUP!” Buster roared and charged at the Orcs who didn’t even have their weapons drawn.
Normally Buster would have exercised more caution in his attacks, but he deemed these puke-skinned bastards incapable of common thought—even in battle. This however was a huge a mistake. Budge and Weiggs may have been stupid when it came to nearly everything under the sun, but when it came to battle they excelled above most others.
Buster swung the hammer in an overhead chop and the Orc pair had already moved.
“What in the blazing mutton chops of Orgdoon!?” Buster cried out, referencing the Dwarven
Fire God of the eastern continent, Bulloa.
This certain pair of Orcs was more dangerous together, than they were apart—they were much akin to a man and his shadow.
Budge and Weiggs had both sidestepped around Buster. While they could have easily drawn their obsidian battle-axes from their backs and chopped straight through him, but they preferred to play—not to mention Gonzeelda wanted him alive—this may have been lucky for Buster if Gonzeelda were not fond of many methods of torture.
“Haha, stupid Dwarf!” Weiggs laughed from only a few feet behind the Belltower Clan member.
“Uh, stupid hehe!” Budge added.
“Why I outta–!” Buster roared and spun around, letting his hammer swing and the momentums carry him in a full spin.
Buster nearly toppled off his feet by doing the wild dance, but it was all to no avail, for he didn’t strike anything but air. The tough Dwarf grumbled and looked around, finally spotting he pair standing in front of him with snaggle-toothed smiles.
“Ye’d better stop yer playing around!” Buster yelled, growing furious that the Orcs would not hold still.
“He want us to stop,” Weiggs said.
Budge chucked, “Guess he want to die!”
“Rather die than listen to ye two morons!” Buster snapped.
“Too bad,” Weiggs said, “Mistress not be happy!”
“Yeah,” Budge said, “Dwarf want to die.”
“Mistress won’t be happy,” Weiggs nodded, “Too bad.”
Both Orcs came to bear their deadly obsidian weapons and started walking toward Buster Ironheart. The Dwarf wasn’t afraid.
Gonzeelda Skinns yawned as she waited for her two idiots to come back with the sneaky Dwarf. She wasn’t watching the battle; instead she found a nice flat rock and sat atop it, legs crossed beneath her.
“Where could this path be leading,” Gonzeelda wondered aloud, “So far I’ve seen many a wonder under the ground here, but where is the pinnacle!? The prize at the end?”
She rested her nicely shaped chin in her palm and continued to wonder.
Gonzeelda had only come down to find the secret of the homunculi, and in fact she had. She knew exactly how he was created now, and who he was created by. What she didn’t know was the fate of that Minotaur Artificer. Nor, did she know exactly what secrets he had hidden deep beneath the ground—she also didn’t know where the Dwarf had come from. Certainly he had not travelled through Triden’s Gate and down into the alchemist’s lab. More likely he had happened across a path from somewhere in his own kingdom.
The Orcess knew a Dwarven stronghold known as Citadel Belltower was several miles to the east of Triden’s Gate. The blue-bearded Dwarves there were as tough as the stones themselves and often created heavy runic weapons. So in that case, had it been a smart move to send Weiggs and Budge off to fight him without her help? No, surely they could handle ONE dwarf.
That is when she heard an explosion of stone from around the lake, and a loud smash. Budge’s cry of fear echoed through the cavern and a rapid splashing began. Gonzeelda sighed, maybe it HAD been a bad idea. She would give them a few more minutes, and if they had not returned by then she would have to face that crafty Dwarf.
Lavina stretched her entire body, all the way down to extending her toes. Angon watched her movements with curiosity. She slowly sat up as the sign was coming up over the horizon. The young half-elf girl’s eyes were still partially closed, and she gave a loud, long yawn.
“How was your sleep?” Angon asked.
Lavina startled and did a quick half-turn to see Angon sitting on the ground where she had just been laying her head.
“Oh!” Lavina cried, “Did I fall asleep in your lap?”
“You did,” Angon said, “Did you sleep well?”
Lavina’s face blushed beat red and Angon didn’t understand that either.
“I’m s-sorry!” Lavina said, “I didn’t mean to fall asleep!”
“Did you not need it?” Angon asked, “Gavin said you still need a long sleep since you are not a full Elf.”
“He’s right,” Lavina said, “I need my beauty sleep.”
She started rubbing her eyes, and yawning again.
“But you do not need sleep for that,” Angon told her.
A wide toothy grin spread across her face, “You’re so sweet!”
“I am not food,” Angon said, cocking his head.
“And silly!” Lavina giggled.
As she went to stand up, she lost her balance and fell back, landing behind first in Angon’s lap. She looked up into his eyes and he looked down into hers. It was at that moment, she saw something in those yellow orbs of light—something akin to that of a living creature. The kind of look she wanted to see from Daneel, her crush. She almost found herself rising to put her lips against his, but stopped before she ever started. It was a ridiculous notion. She knew Angon was not just a soulless automaton, but at the same time she wasn’t going to harbor any thoughts of attraction for the Forge. She knew that could never happen. They were two entirely different species.
“So!” Lavina declared, jumping back up and balancing on her own two clumsy feet, “Where did Gavin head off to?”
She leaned forward, putting her hand above her eyes, peering off and scanning the distance.
“Gavin went to find something called, ‘Breakfast’,” Angon said, standing up.
His own gears within felt a little stiff so he tried the stretching and a series of pops came from within his arms and legs. The Forge was unable to explain the sensation it gave him, but his limbs did seem to move easier after doing so.
“And breakfast I have found!” Gavin cried triumphantly as he appeared over the side of a grassy hill.
In the Elf’s hand he carried a dead bird with a plumage of colored feathers, and in the other was a small bushel of pink berries.
“Oh you found Juca-Berries!” Lavina cheered and ran over, nearly tackling Gavin to the ground.
She hugged him so tight he squeaked and looked quite embarrassed after she let go.
He knew very well that Lavina’s favorite food in the whole world of Anhsook was the Juca-Berry. The taste of a Juca-Berry were often used in herbal remedies for melancholy, and could cheer just about anybody up as long as the cause for sadness was not too severe. And to one like Lavina who rarely felt sat, the Berries were just a sweet, sugary treat to make one thankful for having taste buds.
“What are Juca-Berries?” Angon asked, watching Lavina bounce up and down on the balls of her feet.
Lavina grabbed the bushel and ran over to Angon.
“You HAVE to try one!” she said as she held them up with one hand and popped one into her mouth with another.
Angon reached out and picked one of the peculiar pink berries.
Lavina moaned, “Oh they are SO heavenly!”
Angon smiled; if she thought they were so wonderful then they must really be. So without further hesitation he popped one into his mouth and began to mimic her jaw movements to ‘chew’. To his dismay he didn’t feel anything except a mush forming in his mouth. He continued trying to chew and nothing happened. A moment later he spit the berry back out for it had nowhere to go, he didn’t really have a throat to swallow with.
“You didn’t like it?” Lavina asked, her face showing a frown.
“I did not feel anything,” he replied.
“Of course you didn’t!” Gavin said, “You’re a gargoyle!”
“He’s NOT a gargoyle!” Lavina snapped at the Gavin.
She stomped across the grass toward him and her foot kicked her pack, sending several items flying out. The girl hadn’t noticed so Angon rushed over and kneeled down picking the objects up and putting them back in the bag. Most of which he had never seen before, but he did see her Compass Stone amongst them. Fascinated, Angon picked it up. The letter ‘N’ was etched into the top and Lavina had told him it would always glow toward the North or toward someone it was attuned to, but for some strange reason it was glowing toward the South West.
“This is strange,” Angon said, standing up and facing the stone in the direction for which it glowed.
Gavin and Lavina continued to quip back at each other, the same argument regarding Angon’s race, when a beam of blue light shot out of the compass stone and followed the direction the glow pointed.
Both Lavina and Gavin stopped and stared, incredulous.
“What’s it doing?” Gavin asked.
“Oh my gosh,” Lavina breathed, “It’s pointing in a direction it never has. There is no one attuned to this stone but you and I, Gavin.”
“Do you think it has something to do with the dumb gargoyle holding it?” Gavin asked, scratching his chin.
“Angon,” Lavina asked, “Can I see the stone?”
Angon nodded and handed it over; unsure of what in the Abyssal Queens was going on.
The beam of light vanished the moment it left Angon’s hand.
“Here!” Lavina said, shoving it back toward the Forge.
When the stone touched his metal skin the beam returned, shining as bright as ever.
“Strange,” Gavin said, “Must be broken. Hey gargoyle did you break it?”
“I broke nothing!” Angon said, shaking his head, “I merely picked it up.”
Lavina looked it over and nodded, a smile growing.
“I think I understand,” she said, “It’s reacting to Angon only—which must mean it’s pointing to something Angon is attuned to.”
“And?” Gavin asked, growing bored.
“That means we are going to follow it!” she cheered.
“I was afraid you were going to say that,” Gavin sighed and put his face in his palm.
“Angon,” the half-elf girl said as she cupped the Forge’s face in her hands and came in so close they were so to nose.
“Yes?” Angon asked, and if he could blush, he would have been right then, “Do you know what this means?”
“No,” he shook his head, but he liked her enthusiasm.
“We’re going to go find something that has to do with you! Something from your past, or maybe even to tell us your future!”
It was Angon’s turn to smile wide, his silvery teeth shining.