The Children of Promise

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Chapter 13

Cari had not moved from her seat since the Even’s disappearance, her eyes fixed upon the images in her crystal ball. She had played all of their lives countless times, each of them taking a turn for the worse at the same point: Liberation day. It didn’t add up. Something’s missing She thought, rubbing her aching eyes. “What am I not seeing? ” she said aloud. “I need to see everything.” Her ball shook, appearing to answer her request. It raised itself up on three protrusions which came from its base. Its sphere flattened on one side and took the appearance of a mirror. ” What do you wish to see, my master?” The transformed crystal ball spoke to her.

“What can I see?” She asked, her face twinged with disbelief.
“Everything, nothing, the entire timeline of the universe is at your disposal.“”Show me what leads us to destruction. “”Your wish granted, my master.” The ball chimed. “Exacting payment.“Ghostly tendrils of purple light emanated from the ball’s base, injecting themselves into Cari’s fingers. She felt the life drain from them as the mirror of the ball shone brighter.“Access to the celestial realm granted, Cari Renol, the nexus of fate. “Her breathing became heavy, the weight in her hands growing. She tried to focus her thoughts on the changes before her eyes. The simple threaded map that had laid before her had transformed into and infinite tapestry of crossed paths. She struggled to find one linear path within the path, her eyes trailing from dead end to dead end. It’s useless she thought to herself.“Does master need direction?” The ball’s voice pinged in her confused mind. ” Before you, is the unfiltered time stream, of the the people you have searched for.”Unfiltered time stream. She had heard the words once before in passing, overhearing her mother and grandmother speaking about fortune reading. ” Focus on the destination. Once you find that, working backwards is easy.” She remembered her grandmother’s reassuring voice, coddling her mother’s bruised ego.

But what’s my destination ? she thought to herself. In the process of trying to stop Tharren from knowing the truth she had never stopped to think about what ending she would like to have. It seemed fate’s hand was to far along to avoid conflict. She wanted to save everyone, but that to was idealistic. Before she could answer she needed to know Tharren’s objective. The destruction of the council seemed too simple to require her services, clan skirmishes had started over insults at gatherings. There was something in the plan that needed to succeed. Something she had not seen.“Show me everything that happens on Liberation day.” She spoke. The mirror zoomed in on the myriad of events of that day. ” Show only events pivotal to the defining the future.”

One by one, the trivial decisions faded, leaving the others to expand into the spaces they left. (Insert number here ) nodes were left. These were the points she had to change.But how? she thought to herself. ” How can I interact with these points to change them?” She inquired of her mirror. A red ring flashed around the mirrors rim, the tendrils pulling more life from her viens. ” Payment for breach of Divine rule taken.” the voice replied. She saw her timeline extend forward, weaving its way towards the others . It mingled with them, producing new buds at each point. She could feel it within her, that there would only be one way to stop her vision from being reality. But she had to be sure. ” Remove all threads which end with the same result. “”Which result do you wish to remove?” The ball inquired.
“All which in end in the destruction of Sirius”

“Analysing...Exacting necessary payment.” The numbness crept up her shoulders, spreading across her chest. Her breathing ebbed to a wheeze, the muscles of her chest refusing her brain’s request for air. Her darkened vision watched the tapestry fall away leaving several threads with minor tendrils shooting from them. This was it. The only plan that would work.Mustering the strength she had left, she traced the line, watching what she would have to do and say to manipulate her people away from destruction. She watched the display in horror, her frame unable to show any emotion. But why? Her brain called out. Their foretold pain etched more scars into her psyche. But why? Shouldn’t I be saving them so they can save us? The timeline made no sense in her mind. “A price shall be required of you.” Ethranil’s words replayed in her mind. Her naïve mind thought he only meant her life force, but the path laid out in front of her would be paved on the torment of others. She stared at the threads that floated above her face, hoping that her fading vision were incorrect. Can I do this? She inquired of her fragile body.” Shall I store this as a vision in your memory Cari?” The ball asked. She knew it would take another piece of her, but the problem was too complex to commit to memory by normal means.

“Yes.” She felt herself drain into the mirror, its appearance brightening with each withdrawal.
“Implanting memory.” A jolt of electricity pulsed through her hands, her body convulsing to its frequency. ” Your retrieval word is Schelmeh. Anything else. ”
" No.” Cari’s whispy voice replied. The ball’s tendrils receded into the mirror’s base, its shape returning to its original obsidian sphere. Her frame vibrated, her strength spent. Though she accepted the memory, her fortitude wavered. Her mind never conceived, destruction as a part of the plan. The abyss that swallowed her at the turn of her key, seemed to have no bottom. But she was too far in to stop now. It was up to her.

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