Prologue: Cael's Memories

On a planet called Khriindred, a man--an immortal-- is asked a favor. Father Sky was killed years ago, but now Mother Earth believes him to be reborn and has requested Cael and his friends to find Him before Her time runs out. There appears to be no one after them, but the planet is a toxic waste and the dead sky is covered with leaves, Mother Eath's attempt to keep her planet from going insane.

Prologue: Memories

October Seventh, 3456

I knew not what was happening, only that I was being led down a corridor to my Lord.

There were two men at my side and behind me, another in front. A robot stood by the door I was being led to, waiting for the signal to open it. The signal was given and the mechanical creature opened the door. I was led into a room with mirrors for walls. My Lord stood in front of the lone window.

I was halted in the middle of the room. Manacles came out of the floor and locked me in place. The men who brought me here left and the door closed behind them. My Lord turned to face me, and I saw his handsome face marked by one of my betrayals.

“Do you know why I brought you here, Cael?”

No, my Lord, I said telepathically. I was forced to speak that way after my tongue was removed.

“I have decided you cannot be trusted with your knowledge, Cael,” my Lord told me. “Do you know where we are?”

The memory remover room? My Lord nodded once. I knew not the Latin name for it.

“Some of your memories shall be saved. One will be this sentence. if you betray me again, the payment shall be death.” My Lord left the room.

 

December Fifth, 3457

I’m still attempting to recover my memories, or at least find a way to reverse the Aufero Memoriae, but my luck hasn’t been favoring me. The one thing my Lord didn’t consider was my overwhelming curiosity, that if he left any memory it would encourage me to recover more. I do remember something I’m not supposed to: There is a prisoner in my Lord’s dungeon.

I descended the winding steps leading towards the underwater part of the dungeon. Calder, a Water Nymph, the only habitant held in these parts, rarely had visitors.

Calder’s crime was angering my Lord, with some thefts; therefore, I knew he would help me, and he would know how to reverse the Aufero Memoriae.

I dove beneath the surface of the water; thanks to Water Nymph ancestry, as long as I kept moving I would be able to breathe for two hours.

“Cael, lovely of you to join me in my watery prison.” Calder spoke.

I have a request, I said. The Nymph, skin a tie dye of green seaweed and murky water with eyes the color of sand pebbles, pressed his face against the prison bars while slinging an arm between two of them. He raised his eyebrows in curiosity. I can free you, but I need something in return.

“I already owe you for saving my sister, so, please, tell: what requires two favors from you for only one of me?”

I need my memories back. I know not how to reverse the Aufero Memoriae, nor am I allowed into the room where the memories are kept.

“And what might be the reason you require your memories? If it were just curiosity, you would not free me.”

Most know my judgment not to be faulty. If I betrayed my Lord, then it was for the right reason. I must know the reason.

“How do you plan on regaining your memories?”

You will reverse the powers of the Aufero Memoriae. With your advanced knowledge in Memoriae Auferentes you are the only one who has a chance in reversing the powers.

“When do you want me to retrieve your memories?”

Two days from now. I will open the gates and…

“I know what to do. Leave, before you drown.” I left.

By the time I reached the first level of training quarters, my Lord discovered my visit to Calder. Two guards awaited me at the entrance to a weaponry room.

“My Lord Bastian desires your presence,” one said. I nodded and they led me to my Lord.

 

“Cael,” my Lord said when I arrived in his chambers. “I’m pleased you came willingly; hence there will be no need to think you were committing another act of betrayal. Tell me: why did you go see the Nymph?”

Despite being forbidden to, he used his magic to communicate with me.He desired to speak with me.

“What did he want?”

He attempted to turn me to his side. When he didn’t succeed, he asked for a cell with more luxuries. I hoped this answer wouldn't cause Calder any harm.

“He has been desiring that for a while, now. You have answered my questions. Dismissed.” The guards led me out.

 

December Ninth, 3457

Calder worked the controls of the Aufero Memoriae on the opposite side of the lone window. I stood in the middle of the room. I nodded and the mirrors began moving, clockwise so it would return memories, not remove them. I knew not what I would remember, only that I wanted to. I closed my eyes, and visions of my memories began playing before my eyes as I began swaying clockwise, following the direction of the mirrors.

 

December Fifteenth, 3457

“Cael, son of Gilmore and Helena, descendant of Vicereine Rei of the three hundredth generation of Water Nymphs…” my Lord went on, naming all of my noteworthy ancestors. I stood on a pedestal awaiting for my fate to be decreed. Men were searching for Calder, who escaped after I regained my memories. I knew I was to be executed, for reversing the Aufero Memoriae is treason, but I knew not what my way of death would be.

As I pretended to listen to my Lord speak, I attempted to unchain myself. I was making a lock pick from the metal I scratched from the chain that bound my wrists. When I finished, I unlocked the manacles.

I lunged forward, weaponless but free of any restraints. I collided with my Lord as he was about to utter my death sentence. I rolled over him. Everyone in the room stood with a gasp as I straddled my Lord and grabbed his neck, strangling all the evil life from him. Guards rushed to my Lord’s aid, pulling on my shoulders, arms, and legs; attempting to pry my fingers from my Lord’s neck before I ended his life.

My Lord’s eyes were rolling into his head by the time I was pulled away from him. Despite being free, my Lord didn’t move. One guard checked my Lord’s pulse, then shook his head. A priest stepped forward, and I was turned to face him.

“Cael, son of Gilmore and Helena, do you have any last words before you be hanged?”

You desire me to ask forgiveness, but why should I seek forgiveness for ridding the world of an evil? Ridding the world of my Lord Bastion, the one who burned innocents, raped women, mauled children; the one who despised all fair folk and searched for every way to put them behind bars. The man who some say was the Devil. Why must I ask forgiveness for acting in the name of humanity?

“Why did you not come to me, or one of the other priests?”

It would have done no good. My Lord has filled you with too many lies.

“Cael, I have no choice. You were sentenced to death before you killed our Lord. All you did was escalate your death; thus, for the crimes you committed, Cael, you will be hanged between flames. I pray God will forgive you, and thus allow you access to Heaven. You have done great wrongs, but many great rights as well. A quick death to you, Cael.”

I was led away from the praying priest and towards an opening which led to the “field of gallows”. We continued to a gallows and a noose was soon tight around my neck. The fort shaped pyre under the gallows was soon lit. The priest spoke one last prayer for me then I dropped into the middle of the fire.

I closed my eyes, expecting to be suffocated or receive a broken neck, but, instead, I landed in the middle of the pyre. There were shouts of surprise all around, including a prayer or two, before I heard the stampede. I pulled the noose over my head and began to stand, but something grabbed my foot. I looked down at an Earth Nymph. She smiled and pulled me into the earth.

We surfaced in a shallow river. Calder sat cross legged in the middle waiting for us.

“I welcome you to the entrance of my domain, Cael, descendant of Rei. We shot an arrow at the rope to free you, now you must bid goodbye to your world. You are no longer welcomed by mankind for your act of betrayal. The leaders of all the Nymphs have agreed to give you a home among us. You may continue your desire to free the world with us.”

I accept. I pray I will have no need to betray your kind. Calder stood, then led me further up the river, to my new home.

The End

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