Friday, April 6, 2012

Chapter 115 - DEATH WISH

It was almost a month before I woke again. I reached up and felt the scar across my eye. I could tell that the bruising had healed and the stitches had been removed long ago.

“Well, so the sleeper finally wakes. How do you feel?”

I looked at the woman who stood over me now and searched for an answer to her question while she took my pulse. “All right, I guess. How long have I been sleeping? What happened to my face?”

“You’ve been sleeping for twenty-three days now, and you took forty-two stitches in your face when you fell. Don’t worry; there won’t be much of a scar. You just lie still now and I’ll go tell the doctor you’re awake.”

I lay there and stared at the ceiling. I thought about the thing I had done. It had been mindless and uncalled for. I wondered how many of them had died simply because they had shot at the most dangerous thing in the room.

The doctor came in then and saw my serious expression. He rested a comforting hand on my arm. “The emperor and his family are fine. Captain Wilson is fine too, all because of you. You did a very brave thing.”

I harrumphed. “I laid waste to an entire company of Imperial High Guard. There was nothing brave about it.”

“But if it weren’t for you, our beloved emperor could well be dead now,” said the doctor.

I threw the covers aside and sat up on the edge of the bed. “The emperor was protected. I didn’t have to do what I did. I’ve become too dangerous.” I dressed myself and left the room slinging my sword belt around my waist. I had no destination in mind, but my feet kept leading me upward.

Eventually, I stepped out onto the roof where the emperor kept his private lighter. Rain pounded down and I turned my face up to it.

Brian caught up to me before I reached the door to the control room. “Where are you going?”

“Nowhere, this place will do.” I opened the door. “Move the lighter to another landing field and take everyone with you,” I said to the crew inside.

To their credit, they looked to their captain for confirmation. Brian took one look at my face and waved them ahead.

I moved to the middle of the rooftop while the men scrambled into the lighter and took off. There were only enough seats for two men. The other three had to crowd in between the seats and the engine. Brian had followed me. “Go back down stairs, Brian. You can’t afford to be here right now.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Just go, Brian.”

I didn’t move until I saw him close the door behind him, then I drew my sword and began to dance. This dance was different from any other I had ever done. Never before had I been filled with such fatalism. This wasn’t a water dance. It was something much deadlier.

I didn’t know that Brian still watched and he didn’t realize the danger until it was far too late. I was not drawing on my Water Magic, I was drawing on the lightning above the storm and I was drawing with all of my might.

Connor took my charred body back to my mother. They all thought I was dead; I certainly should have been, but my father couldn’t resist opening the coffin. I was still charred, but he saw a slow but distinct pulse in my throat.

They took me to the house infirmary where I was hooked up to multiple IVs and my burns were dressed. My father called Haines to ask what to do; he had been there for my last hard recovery and this one could be so much worse. Of course, his advice was to bring me back the fastest way they could.

The first time I woke up, we were still underway, but I was in so much pain that I could barely identify my surroundings. All I knew was that I had failed. Pain tells you of life and I had sought death. I tried again, but obviously, I didn’t succeed that time either.

I’m told it took the crew four days to make the necessary repairs and then the rest of the trip went without a problem since I wasn’t aware enough to do any more damage.

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