Alien Ant Farm - Whisper
Maximillian followed the servant down through the tower until they had escended below ground into the catacombs. He was provided a torch and together they made their way through the roughly carved tunnels to where the mirror was kept. They emerged into a small chamber, barely enough to contain the people that where now assembled there.
In the room, stood at the side was the Queen and her personal guard, Lady Schala and a third person that Maximillian didn't recognise. On the far side of the chamber stood the mirror, currently covered with a thick, dark cloth.
"Maximillian." The Queen nodded.
"We will be doing something different today."
"Different, m'lady?" Maximillian asked, slightly disturbed.
"Yes. Perhaps the Lady Schala can explain." She turned to Schala and nodded.
Schala stepped forwards slightly and looked into Maximillians eyes as if to apologise. "As you know, you're gifts are quite unique and thus, you are an extremely valuable asset to her majesty. However, should anything happen to you, her majesty would loose whatever advantage she has over the other kingdoms. The Queen and the Arcanum magistrate have been working on duplicating your abilities for the greater good, such has been the goal of my research with you. Today we are ready to conduct an experiment."
Schala gestured to the stranger. "This man has volunteered to receive a basic, reduced copy of your abilities by making use of the procedure we will be trialling today. If all goes well we can move on to a full duplication."
Maximillian just stared at Schala, then at the man. He thought the entire thing was insane, but he knew it would be suicide to argue with the Queen.
"Very well." Maximillian said slowly. "What exactly is involved?"
Schala continued. "First, i shall perform an incantation to bind you and this man together, in soul and mind. Then, you shall look into the mirror and receive a vision. If all goes well, the volunteer will then attempt to look into the mirror by himself and also receive a vision, though somewhat lesser in extent and intensity."
Maximillian didn't think this was a very good idea. He didn't need to be a prophet to tell this was going the end badly.
The Queen motioned for the volunteer to step forwards. "Begin."
Schala began to cast her incantation. As she did so, Maximillian could feel the arcane forces charging in the air. He tasted ozone and smelt lightning and sulphur. He began to have a vision, but then he realised that it wasn't a vision at all but that he was seeing through the eyes of the volunteer. The view changed as the volunteer turned his head to look at him and upon seeing himself, Maximillian felt ill as a sense of vertigo crept up on him.
Abruptly, the sensation ended and Maximillian almost dropped to the floor but Schala caught him in her arms and held him up. She whispered into his ear. "I'm sorry Max, but if I hadn't, someone else would have. At least with another seer, perhaps the Queen will let you have a bit more freedom. Please trust me."
Maximillian said nothing but it was obvious to Schala that he was not pleased.
"Is he okay? Schala, if you've harmed him..." The Queen glared.
Maximillian pulled himself to his feet. "No, I'm fine. The Lady Schala has done an admirable job."
He pulled himself free of Schala's grasp and a small, upset gasp escaped her lips as he walked towards the mirror. The volunteer, a muscular, short fellow didn't seem to be effected by the spell and he continued the stand firm in the middle of the chamber, awaiting orders.
"You should all step back and face away, you all know the risks of looking into the mirror."
The Queen obviously didn't like to be told what to do, but none-the-less she turned away without a fuss, as did the others. Slowly, Maximillian laid his hand upon the rim of the mirror and slid the thick cloth covering down onto the floor. The swirling surface of the mirror stood before him and as every time before, he felt his mind falling into it's bottomless depths, falling towards the future.
Blood, sweat, a bright light... suddenly, Maximillian was born, but he wasn't himself. Time flew past as this other self grew up becoming stronger over the years. A Fighter, a warrior and later an outcast. The vision jumped back and forth erratically. It was confusing, even more so than the usual visions. Something was wrong, he realised, he was being shown the past, not the future. What did it mean? Who was this person? The vision suddenly moved into the future and he saw the man again. This time he was opening a package. Inside was a sketch of Maximillian and some other notes but he couldn't make them out. A description perhaps, maybe instructions of some kind? Who was this man and why had he been given information about Maximillian?
The threads of the vision began to unravel and soon Maximillian found himself emerging back into the real world, like a fly escaping from a spiders web, a web woven with the threads of fate. He gasped for air and pulled the cover of the mirror back on before he fell down again.
He tried to speak but he couldn't find the words. The vision, the spell something had gone wrong. He couldn't speak. He was mute!
however, the volunteer seemed to have no such problem. In fact, quite the contrary. He couldn't stop screaming, babbling out fragments of prophesy and scenes from the vision Maximillian had only just returned from.
The Queen would not be pleased and despite feeling anger and betrayal at Schala, Maximillian couldn't help but worry about what would happen to her.
He didn't need to be a prophet to see things were not going to turn out well. Not at all.