The Dreamer (Chapter One)

“Surrender… Or your people will suffer,” a distant voice said.

Like a muffled echo, Rina heard the sounds of battle. Metal striking metal. Explosive bursts of energy as spells clashed with each other. It filled her ears, growing in intensity. The dream changed around her, just long enough to afford a hazy glimpse of a Jiru’s throne room. And then it was gone, as quickly as it had come.

“What was that?” Rina said, a frown furrowing her brow as she glanced around. Everything was back to normal. She was standing under a tree, by a peaceful lake.

The man standing in front of her smiled gently, but seemed a little sad to her. “It’s fading,” he answered vaguely. Dark green eyes studied her face, before looking away. The sunlight made his shaggy brown hair shine with shades of red. “My time is almost up.” He sighed, returned his gaze to her, and moved closer. Lifting a hand, he tucked a stray wisp of her long blonde hair behind her ear, then reached for her hand. “Distract me, naori. I am not ready to leave yet.”

Rina smiled. “This is my dream,” she said, entwining their fingers. “I say when you go.”

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Beyond the Gate (Chapter One)

Apocalypse averted for another day, according to the numbers at least.

Energy field normal.

Flow and transfer of power balanced.

Realm splice at zero.

Arute shift at zero.

Leakage of void energy on either side at zero.

Incidence of accidental arute jumps in the last day, zero. And in the last week. In the last month. The last year.

Ori Vikan stared at the pages spread out on the table in front of him and sighed. The faint ticking of the clock on the far wall was the only sound in the brightly lit study, and reminded him just how many hours he’d been pouring over the numbers and measurements. It was all starting to blur together. Slouching back in his chair, he scrubbed his hands over his face and rubbed at weary eyes.

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