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    Dream a Little Dream of Me

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    tuck
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    Dream a Little Dream of Me

    Post by tuck on 03/03/13, 03:59 pm

    Kallista awoke to the smell of smoke. It was faint, but quite clear, like a gnat buzzing through her mind. She looked around her at the wood and grass hut that she had fallen asleep in, but something was wrong. Her friends were all gone. She was alone in the middle of the small room in the feywild with the scent of fire and the bleary fog of sleep still clinging to her eyes.

    She rose from the hard ground and went to the creaky wooden door. Carefully opening it, she stepped out into the lower hold of the Highwind. The wooden planks creaked and swayed gently with the breeze. The hallway extended in front of her, going far into the distance, beyond the limits of her vision. On each side of her, wooden doors stretched to infinity, echoing the possibilities of her life.

    “Hello?” she called. Her voice was lost in the endless expanse.

    She turned around, back the way she came, but the hallway continued behind her as well, stretching into the distance, endless doors surrounding her.

    “I wouldn’t go that way, hmmm.”

    Kallista turned slowly at the familiar voice. Dheni leaned against an old, worn broom, watching her with sad eyes.

    “I smelled smoke... somewhere. Wasn’t I just in the Feywild?” kallista said, unsure of herself. She sniffed the air and smelled the acrid tang of fire once more.

    Dheni smiled.

    “Haha... quite.” he chortled, “But that was then. You can’t go back. You can never go back. I think perhaps it might be best to keep your eyes forward, Miss Sinsinger.”

    He gave her a sad smile and began sweeping, the straw broom making a hollow whooshing sound against the wooden planks.

    She glanced at the doors behind her, but when she turned back, he was gone. She knew she should listen to him. Dheni was always right about this sort of thing. But her curiosity got the better of her and she approached one of the nearby doors cautiously. She opened it a crack and peered through into a damp, dark cell. Cold air blew against her face, and as her eyes adjusted to the pitch black she saw a young tiefling girl huddled naked in a corner.

    “You really need to learn to listen better, bitch.” The familiar voice came from over her shoulder. She turned and stared at the shadar-kai monk with a look of confusion. The door creaked shut behind her.

    “Where do I go?” she asked.

    “Where do you think?” Tzesira replied. She was completely naked, her grey skin glowing in the torchlight of the hallway, but she didn’t seem to notice. She shrugged as she backed away, a grin dancing on her lips. “You go forward. Fuck, K, everyone knows that. C’mon, the others need you. Fuckin’ get moving, bitch.”

    Kallista shook her head, trying to dislodge the cobwebs that were still clouding her vision. When she looked again, Tzesira was gone again and the hallway was empty, silent as a tomb.

    “Gods...” she whispered to herself, “Where does it end?”

    She turned around and headed back in the other direction. Forward. Always forward.

    She walked for what seemed like an eternity. Time had no meaning here, and with each passing step the scent of fire grew stronger, more overwhelming, until it seemed to be all she knew, all she had ever known.

    She passed by one door that was slightly ajar. Walking up to it she heard voices and the sounds of battle from the other side. She peered through and saw Aleyn and Vedran wearing matching red suits. They stood on top of a ruined belltower, cracked and decrepit with the age of countless years. Aleyn held Macen in his arms and was cooing at him.

    “You see, Macen? This is what your daddies do for a living.”

    Kallista approached them and peered out over the edge. Below them a strange, ruined city was full to the brim with demons and devils of all descriptions. In the center of the city a battle was raging. A host of men and elves and orcs and various others were holding a line around the city center. Among them she saw the Thunderbolts, fighting and shouting orders. Kallista herself was dueling a two-headed demon on top of a shattered church.

    Vedran turned as Kallista approached.

    “You can’t be here,” he said, not unkindly, but with a sternness in his voice, “Not yet.”

    “I’m sorry...” Kallista said, backing up.

    Vedran smiled and patted Macen’s head. The child giggled up at him.

    “Don’t worry, you’ll be here with us soon enough,” Aleyn said with a smile. Somehow it wasn’t reassuring.

    Kallista backed out through the doorway, back into the hall of rooms. She closed the door behind her and continued on.

    Finally, after what may have been minutes or days or eons, she came to a large set of double doors at the end of the infinite hallway. It was the captain’s quarters, and she could tell that the acrid odor of smoke was pouring out from beneath it. With trembling hands she reached out for the handle and turned it.

    A moment later she was standing on a patio, the upper balcony of Brenn’s apartment in Moorcliff that she had grown so accustomed to lately. She leaned on the railing and looked out over the city. Blazes roared in the wood and stone buildings of highmark. The flames climbed higher with every second, and waves of heat billowed against her. Tiny licks of fire lapped at the floor of the balcony. Within minutes the whole building would be consumed.

    “Breaks your heart, doesn’t it?” Brenn said, leaning on the railing beside her. He put one gentle hand on her shoulder. She looked at him, fear dancing behind her sparkling eyes.

    “What happened?”

    “Nothing,” he said with a shake of his head, “Nothing at all happened. That’s the tragedy.”

    “I told you,” a voice on the other side of her said, a note of mockery apparent in its tone.

    “The flame has already touched this city,” Anibaal intoned, “Now it shall rise to consume it.”

    Brenn squeezed her shoulder lightly.

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph... is for good men to do nothing.”

    “It’s what must be,” Anibaal smiled.

    “No...” Kallista said, her voice cracking. She took a step back and felt cold brick press against her skin. The doorway back was gone.

    “I’m so sorry,” Brenn said with a sigh, “I tried. I really did. I loved this place as much as you.”

    “NO!” she screamed, closing her eyes to the horror and flames. She felt herself falling. Like a leaf caught in a hurricane she was blown by the savage winds of time, dancing in the shattered mists of eternity until finally the darkness fell and claimed her once more.

    As her mind spiraled downward into oblivion she heard a voice calling to her. It was a female voice, soft as a breeze and clear as the morning sun.

    “Not all that burns is lost...” it said, “...and what is lost can sometimes be reclaimed. Open your eyes, child.”

    She awoke with a gasp, her face covered in a thin veneer of sweat. She was sitting upright, and she knew she had called out in her sleep, although thankfully it had not woken her teammates. At this point they had learned to sleep through almost anything. Tzesira, Dheni and Roscoe were gone, probably already up and about.

    From outside the hut, the smell of an early morning campfire and cooking food came wafting into the hut. Soon her heartbeat slowed and her breathing returned to normal.

    “Just a dream...” she said to herself. Knowing that more sleep was a futile effort she tossed aside her blankets and got up, the strange dream already fading from her mind.

      Current date/time is 19/11/17, 07:15 am