The Silent Fool

Chapter 6: Devestation

(Sorry for the delay… But you don't want to hear my life story; onward!)

Garet vaguely noticed the air was becoming warmer as he approached Xian, a small town with a penchant for honor in a world where it seems to mean nothing. Not that I should be talking. He paused for a moment, feeling indecision wash over him once again. Unbidden, his eyes rose to the noon sky. It was hard to believe anyone could suffer on such gentle scenery. For a moment, he closed his eyes and simply breathed in nature. The sound of bees working their way along scattered flowers, the soft whisper of a breeze weaving through ankle-high grass- it was moments like this that cleared Garet's mind. The heartbreak, sorrow, anger… It almost seemed trivial now-


Garet's brown eyes shot open and instinctively unsheathed his broadsword, body singing with tension as powerful muscles bulged and tightened. His teeth gritted, the warrior looked around him in a red haze, preparing for trouble. Still, it took him a moment to finally look up.

Psyenergy wound its way into the sky above the straw-hatched huts of Xian, sparks almost randomly falling out to attach themselves to sun-dry and incredibly flammable homes, casting a smoky haze to what was going to be a cloudy day in summer. The fireball above deepened to a rapid red- orange- yellow that seemed to fluctuate with a rising wind that literally tore burning straw from buildings and chucked them to ignite others.

A psyenergy FIRESTORM.

Almost without thought, Garet tore off along the meadow, hearing nature's reaction all along him, the flowers crunching under his boots and bees screeching to each other as they abandoned their labors. He pushed his away down the final incline, coaxing more speed, as fast as he could without falling over and stabbing himself, earth and greenery flying away behind him.

"Garet!" The warrior slid to a halt, scattering loose chunks of dry dirt and vegetation in an effort to regain control. He stopped just short of impaling the middle-aged inn keeper by accident. The man swallowed visibly, alternating his glances between Garet's armor, which probably needed to be refitted- yet again, and his broadsword as he spoke in quick, rapid bursts, fear coloring his eyes near-white.

"I-It's here!… It m-must have been released… I… I thought-" He dropped to his knees and held his head in his hands, crying and sobbing to himself while shaking uncontrollably. "I… I'm so sorry…"

Garet knelt in front of him, taking the man's shoulders with his large hands, ripping him tightly. "What was released?" He urged him with a sharp edge in his voice, giving him no chance to dodge the question. They didn't have time to calm down- every second lost meant lives being destroyed. He needed answers NOW.

The man's eyes went to tiny pinpricks, staring into his blankly, devoid of emotion as he paled to pure white. "That monster… The monster was guarding-" He suddenly stopped, eyes bulging out of his head in what might have been a comical fashion, if not for the red liquid dripping out of his stomach. He slumped dead, unseeing, and the blade was pulled out with little problem. Garet looked up-

To stare into a reflection of himself. It had his hair, his eyes, and even his body, though less muscular, dressed in typical Xian clothing, a robe of inconspicuous brown.

His dark double smiled, a horrible expanse of sharp teeth and prepared to swing at him. Garet finally pulled his eyes away from it and just blocked in time to live another moment. The clone growled and pushed hard at him, attempting to overpower him from a higher position. Garet found himself drawn to its gaze, a blood-thirsty expanse of soulless eternity and insanity threatening to suck him in, forever and ever. Sensing his blade shifting onto him, Garet snapped back into focus and fought on both fronts- his battle, and his mind. Garet's warm brown eyes suddenly went stony and he shoved the clone back hard, making it stumble, and he came to his feet, ready and awaiting its next move.

It screeched in a voice far too much like his own and silenced as fast as it started. Its head cocked to one side briefly before growling at him meaningfully.

We'll continue this later, mortal.

Garet shivered as a cold, freezing wind swept over him.

The monster was gone, and in the distance, he could see villagers, torches and hands held ready to cast.

Garet opened his mouth and suddenly snapped it shut. He could see it through their eyes- a firey red-head, a reddened sword, a dead villager…

He's just been framed. Garet leaned over for a moment to close the inn keeper's eyes, silently wishing him well. He glanced up at the incoming villagers, and did, again, something he never would have expected of himself, brave, unconquerable Garet.

He ran away.

(BAM! There! It required a bit of Linkin Park, but its here. I knew I wanted Garet to be framed of a mass homicide, but I couldn't decide what actually caused it. At first, I wanted it to be because of a bandit raid, but it wouldn't have made sense for the village to blame him. All I could think of was someone who looked just like him, but I needed something a little more… dramatic. -() The question is, what am I going to use this… immortal for? I think I may have an idea, but if you guys have anything interesting, then by all means, toss 'em to me.)