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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chapter 4- The Lost Relics



It has been a crazy little while, so I apologize for the delay on Chapter 4. I hope you enjoy it and are finding the story entertaining! 

Enjoy




      Chapter 4

The Two Master's Tale

"Killian Thomas! I cannot express how thrilled, just thrilled we are to see you here...and safely I might add." The man chuckled cheerfully. "We've been looking forward to speaking with you for so long. My how you have grown." The man seemed so excited he could scarcely contain himself as he fussed over Killian.
He helped Killian sit in a small wooden chair. He swiftly clamored to an enormous wooden desk, the top of which was covered in the same beautiful marble as the hallway. He propped one thin knobby hip onto the corner of the remarkable desk, then simply beamed across the room at Killian from atop the perch.
Killian met his gaze for a moment. The man was incredibly dressed in an expensive- looking burgundy vest, perfectly tailored for his shape. He wore a crisp white button down shirt that boasted a pair of cufflinks neatly shaped in the form of two stars. His black shoes were polished and reflected the bright sunlight that had filled the magnificent room as it lowered into the greenish-purple sky. 
Behind the desk and the enthusiastic man, an enormous glass window allowed the incredible sunset to pour in across the carpeted floor. As Killian marveled at the room, a large red office chair that was placed behind the desk, swiveled around toward him. A man with a short, perfectly trimmed black beard smiled at him. He looked familiar to Killian, but he knew he had never met someone before who dressed so fine. He had dressed in a similar style to his counterpart, albeit his vest and shirt were a smooth black, matching his beard. The few streaks of gray in his short, dark hair stood out against the darkness of his attire and added to his sophistication. He looked younger than the first man, but his face showed signs of age and stress.
"Killian! Welcome, we are sure you have many questions for us," the man said in a formal tone. Killian slowly nodded, glancing back and forth between the two men. "Perhaps we should begin by telling you who we are, and I think you will be most interested in learning how important you are to...well all of us."
"Killian, you don't recognize us, but we have known you since your infancy. We have kept you under watchful eye. I am Miller and this is Nathaniel." The man with the mustache pointed, first to himself than to the second dark-haired man. "Nathaniel is the Director, I am the Regent, or second in command here. We knew we would see you once again, but we had no idea when. We're sorry for the unfortunate circumstances that brought you here." Miller finished, rubbing his fingers over his mustache.
Killian shifted his eyes between the two men. He was unnerved that people had been somehow watching him his entire life. Shifting his thoughts, he had many questions for these strange men. Nothing made any sense to him.
"First, we'd like to let you know your prison sentence has been eradicated," Miller said.
"What?" Killian choked out. "What do you mean eradicated?"
"It's done.  You're not a fugitive. In fact, the prisons have no record of you ever being there. Weren't you concerned there may be a warrant from your abrupt escape from your work crew?" Miller raised his eyebrows. Killian's face blushed.  So much had happened and Brooks' work crew was the furthest thing from his mind.
"Honestly, I hadn't even thought about it. I'm not sure how you could dissolve my charges and sentence, though."
"Ah, well perhaps over time we may show you many unique aspects we house here in the Praetorium," dark-haired Nathaniel said. "Now, do you have any pressing questions you need answered?" He smiled kindly at Killian from his handsome chair.
“Where are we?” he asked with a sigh. Exhaustion from the stressful experience was beginning to seep through his body. All he wanted was truthful, straight answers and a place to sleep.
Nathaniel stood and held a small silver rod toward the grand window. Immediately the brilliant glass dimmed to a tinted black. “Killian, your earth, or Terrene as we call it is not alone in the universe." Nathaniel began tracing the rod in the air. As he moved his hand shapes and symbols formed on the tinted window. He pointed to one large circle in the center. "The Praetorium is nestled directly in the center of all realms. It’s not part of any realm, but forms the balance between them. It is a neutral ground, so basically we are in a limbo,” he explained. “In fact you can liken it to the Sun you see on Terrene, just like your planets, the four realms orbit around the Praetorium.” Nathaniel drew four lines from the Praetorium circle to four smaller circles. He labeled them strange names before pocketing the small rod and turning toward Killian.  
“Who are you?” he finally asked.
"The Ponderi is an organization that maintains order, upholds the laws of Cimmerian, Glaciem, Ignisia and Terrene. The realms. We defend the safety, cultures and freedoms of all the races. There are millions of people throughout the Hemisphere you don't know about."
"You keep saying Hemisphere? I thought this was called the Praetorium."
"The Hemisphere is the grand universe each realm, including the Praetorium limbo, is in. Each realm has their own small solar system, but the Hemisphere encompasses everything."
Killian didn't respond. His head was spinning.
"Our society is very similar to what you were raised in. People who live in the Praetorium with us have employment according to their different skills. Our children attend school much like the ones you attended until they are eight, from then on they become Potentials in departments throughout the Praetorium. Potentials will be trained and taught in various talents." Nathaniel smiled kindly at him, bringing Killian to the realization he was subconsciously shaking his head in disbelief.  "Killian, you will find that things you once thought fantasy are in fact real." Nathaniel looked at him, his eyes blazing with truth.
Killian stared at the greenish orb through the magnificent window that had lost the tinted color. He wondered to himself why the sun was so strange, if it even was a sun. After several silent moments he pushed the irrelevant thought aside and mustered up the nerve to ask the question plaguing his mind.
"You said you've known me since I was young, so you must know my family. Who are they...where are they?" Killian asked, looking away from Miller and back to Nathaniel. Nathaniel leaned back into the padded red chair and crossed his leg over his knee.
"Killian, I wonder if our tale may be better received if you could see what we are about to tell you." He said it in a way that hinted he knew something Killian didn't. He promptly stood from the chair and made three long strides to a small end table placed cozily next to an overstuffed sofa. From the drawer, Nathaniel retrieved a small, brown vile with a thick, clear liquid swirling inside.
 "What do you mean see?" Killian questioned as Nathaniel brought the small vile toward him.
"Killian, the Ponderi have always been masters of design," Nathaniel said proudly. "We have many amazing, and useful tools available to us. This is one of them." Holding the vile out for Killian to see, he sat on a small stool Miller had pulled next to Killian's chair. "This particular tool is called Supraserum. It is a serum designed to share information across realms and councils. You can imagine that passing information across such distances can, at times, blur the message. This beautiful serum allows the message receiver to see the tale that is being recited to them. This way nothing is left out."
"This will allow you to see the events that we have seen, people we have encountered, and tales we have been told. It's lovely and so advanced in its technology. With the serum you may look upon events that you may not have been able to remember otherwise." Miller chimed in, giving Killian a melancholy glance.
"I don't understand how that's possible. I can see things from the past?" Killian asked.
"Yes. The serum connects with the neurotransmitters of the story teller," Nathaniel said pointing to himself, "then it connects to the one listening. The information will play out right before your eyes like a video. There is a great history before our time that is valuable to helping you understand our world."
"Would you like to give it a go?" Miller asked, excitedly. Killian shrugged, then giving a nod of consent, he turned to speak to Nathaniel.
"Is this like time travel?"
"Oh my dear boy, not at all," Nathaniel chuckled, a light European accent coming through his voice. "You will not leave this room. Perhaps you will understand as we begin." Nathaniel silenced any further questions from Killian.
 He watched as Nathaniel unscrewed the top of the vile. The lid revealed a dropper that was coated in the liquid. First, Nathaniel tilted his own head back, holding the dropper over his eye. He gave it a slight shake causing several drops of the serum to fall. He blinked several times while the thick serum spread over the surface of his eye. Satisfied the serum was adequately coated, he turned toward Killian.
 Nathaniel tilted Killian's forehead back and held the sticky tube over his eye. He shook the small dropper causing a cascade of falling drops to gush in. He repeated the same steps in the other eye before twisting the top back onto the vile.
 The serum was not a pleasant feeling. It crept from uncomfortable warmth to a frigid frost coating his eyes. His brain hurt from the chilly temperature and it seemed to be seeping into the crevices of his mind. After several moments, the thick potion absorbed into his eyes and the discomfort subsided.
"You will know that what we say is true," Nathaniel stated. "This serum was designed with a defense mechanism to distinguish liars and traitors among us. If the images dim and fade, you can be certain the tale being told is untrue. Are you ready?" Killian nodded, looking at the faces of the two men.
"First I would like to tell you of the four realms and the beginning days of the Ponderi." Killian saw Nathaniel in front of him, but was astonished to see in the corner of the room other images coming into focus. Before him he saw a group of men, dressed in old fashioned clothing—some were dressed in very strange clothing—standing in line in front of a pale man. The man had long black hair, with shimmering silver streaks throughout. His hair was pulled back tightly in a low ponytail. His eyes were like nothing Killian had ever seen. They gleamed in a shocking silver color, almost glowing in their paleness.
The walls of the office seemed to fade into the background, and Killian found himself completely immersed in the scene where the mysterious people were. The group of men stood on bright green grass, fresh after a rainstorm. The atmosphere was cloudy and damp and Killian could feel the chill in the air as if he were with the men. The circle of huddled men was surrounded with large structural stones placed strategically in a circle. The stones were thick and rectangular; some were bridged together by other large stones. Sitting on a pile of throne-like boulders, the silver-eyed man glared out among the crowd.
"Wait...isn't that...what is it called...in England?"
Nathaniel nodded. "You'll learn the Stonehenge structure served a great purpose for the realms— watch." He directed Killian's attention back to the ghostly images in the room. The unique silver eyes glared at the men in front of him menacingly as one man stepped forward to address him.
"Terrene is the youngest realm. This story takes place when the other three realms were under the rule of a Grand Master named Claec. He was from Cimmerian, a mystical land full of magic. They live in shadows and darkness, but it is a land of beauty and is very valuable to the balance of our world. You’ll learn the specifics of each realm at a later date. The man with silver eyes is Claec." Nathaniel explained obviously connecting to Killian's visual experience. "Thousands of years ago, the realm people desired to create one realm where they could live in a united group. Ancient leaders in Cimmerian developed the idea of  a realm with all different climates for each unique person to live."
The people called it the Terrene Venture. They wanted a unified community where resources were available to all, without traveling through three different solar systems to address problems. Cimmerian was placed at the helm of the project.  It was their leader's suggestion, but also they were the only ones with the magical abilities to begin the world formation."
"Magic, different realms? Seriously, it sounds like I've stepped into the Twilight Zone," Killian said.
Nathaniel chuckled. "In a way you have, my boy. At this moment you are seeing, the Terrene Venture was almost complete, the only step that remained was to merge Terrene into the Hemisphere. For several years prior to this setting, however, there had been corruption."
 As we've explained, Cimmerians are magical. They are strong in their spells so naturally they were the leaders. But it went to the extreme.  Claec had placed Cimmerians above everyone and kept valuable resources from the other people. Other races besides Cimmerians lived in squalor during the final years of the venture."
The people were afraid to question Cimmerian authority, though there had been challengers. A rumor had formed—a man from the realm of Glaciem had developed a formula to create a power that could rival the magic of Cimmerians. He used science to battle magic."
"Well, what happened?" Killian asked after Nathaniel paused.
"From what we know, the formula was successful...for a while. The man disappeared, but the damage was done. His successful formula convinced people from other realms that magic had become a means to enslave the people to the will of the Cimmerians. They also had been given a way to combat the rule of Cimmerian magic—by using science and their own designs. So of course, there were contentions that were quickly becoming violent.” Killian watched as the projected images ignited into vicious altercations, each unique race against another. The smell of the room had a dingy metallic smell of fresh blood. “James Thomas, founder of the Ponderi, introduced the idea that the realms were designed to govern themselves and their own people, and together the realms would work to bring balance to the Hemisphere. They would each add value through their own governments," Miller said smiling at Killian's furrowed brow. "Due to the uprisings, Thomas was suggesting returning the realms to their original systems, but also to create a society to be the mediator between the realms. He hoped the mediating society would extinguish previous problems with distribution and help meet the needs of all the people." 
 “Wait, James Thomas?” Killian asked. Miller smiled and nodded confirming the relation of their last names. “Connor mentioned the Thomas family founded the Ponderi.”
“It’s true. Now, at this great council meeting with the people on the Terrene Venture, James Thomas provided testimony from realm leaders from Ignisia, Glaciem, even Cimmerian.” Killian observed as the three projections floated mysteriously in front of him. One was a burly, tanned man with vibrant orange hair and a matching beard. He was bare chested and looked angry. A peaceful looking man stood next to him with billowing white hair, but a young face. His long white robes looked angelic with a brilliant blue and gold sash fastening them around his body. The third man had long black hair and fascinating silver eyes, just like the leader, Claec.
“Killian the man you see with the orange hair was chief of Ignisia. The man in the white robe is Emperor of Glaciem. Both testified of Claec’s greed. They explained no resources were being sent to the people remaining on Glaciem and Ignisia preparing to move to Terrene. Their people were dying because Claec was sending all resources to Cimmerian. Claec was turning into a dictator; he was going against everything the Terrene Venture stood for, unity and peace.”
“What about the silver-eyed man, he looks like Claec.”
“Ah, yes. He is most important to our story. You may recognize his name, Merlin of Cimmerian.
"Merlin? You don't expect me to believe he's the wizard from the King Arthur legends do you?" he asked.
"The one and the same! After this council meeting, he fled the Venture for his life for betraying Claec." Nathaniel smiled.  “The legends of Merlin come from reports of his oddities during the venture. He was a powerful Cimmerian. He performed works people on Terrene had never witnessed before. He is the foundation for all Terrene's ideas and legends of magic.”
Killian rolled his eyes. This was beginning to drift between absurd and delusional. He watched Merlin square his shoulders and face Claec. Behind the image of Claec, a dark man seethed.
“You see Claec’s brother now, Rowan. He is the one behind him,” Nathaniel continued. “Merlin was the master of distributions on the venture. He was in charge of seeing that all the resources were distributed to the distant realms for all the people." The image of Merlin bowed low to the two Cimmerian leaders. Killian could see his pleading eyes as he silently spoke to the men. He wished the Serum allowed him to actually hear what was said.  "His testimony sealed the destruction of the venture. He told the people how Rowan and Claec had altered the amount of resources, especially materials to build weapons and food, to the different realms, and how everything was sent to Cimmerian.”
Around him, Killian saw the images of the crowd huddled in the boulders of Stonehenge rise into an uproar. It seemed to be an impressive conflict, with no one knowing what to do.
“The testimony of Merlin was a great betrayal to Rowan and Claec. He was threatened and had to go into hiding from the brothers,” Nathaniel said. “The Terrene Venture was abolished after this council; Claec was overthrown.” As he finished the tale, the projected images disappeared as well as the film over his eyes from the serum.
“What happened then? How do people still live on Earth…or Terrene…or whatever?”
“Stonehenge was the gateway. As I said, the landmark is more than meets the eye. The gateway was where people from the distant realms traveled to help build the new realm, as well as passing resources back to the other three main realms. When the Venture was abandoned, the gateway sealed itself, trapping the remaining people on unfinished Terrene. These people lived and populated the realm, forming their own histories to the formation of their world. As time passed the truth blurred, since Terrene is not fully joined into the Hemisphere, knowledge of other realms faded from their memories. Limited amounts of people on Terrene truly know of the other realms existence. Earth is diverse because of the different races mixing together.”
“Killian,” Miller chimed in, “three groups evolved from the end of the venture, the Ponderi, the Deshuits, and the Trinity. You know we are the Ponderi, the creation of your ancestor. Deshuits are rebels, people who run wild throughout the Hemisphere believing no one should belong to any realm. They fight against us with extreme violence.”
“Why do they fight you?”
“They believe we rule the realms and force the different races to never be truly free, when in reality we are simply a mediation group. We help realms work through issues as well as provide the track system for resources to pass fairly to the realms. We also protect people from threats. I suppose you could name us the guardians of the realms.” Miller smiled.
“Well, if that is true, why haven’t you tried to form a truce with them and explain your reasons?” Killian asked skeptically. He didn't know these two men. For all he knew the Deshuit group could be right, maybe the Ponderi did try to rule the realms.
“We have tried for centuries. The Deshuits aren’t easy to speak with. Many Ponderi recruits have been lost to their violence. For the sake of our members now, we try to avoid them,” Nathaniel answered.
“Okay, well what about the third group?”
“Yes, the Trinity. This is why you are of great importance my boy,” Nathaniel said. “The Trinity is a brotherhood that despises what the venture did to the realms. They feel the venture divided a people that wished to be unified, and they hate Terrene still. They are hunters of certain artifacts that will be able to once and for all destroy Terrene. Killian, they want to obliterate the entire realm. Billions of people will fall from existence if they have their way.”
“How could they even have the power to do this and what does it have to do with me?”
“Merlin has much to do with this. The Venture created unbalanced power. People had learned it was possible to create abnormal abilities like the rogue Glacien man. This created awful conflicts and power struggles.  Merlin, being highly skilled in his magic, created a relic individual to each realm so the races would each be able to have a weapon with equal power. They were to be used as defense against those seeking to dominate the Hemisphere. Each relic is infused with unique, strong forces specialized to every realm. But the downside to having such powerful relics is if they are ever joined together, they could obliterate worlds, races...anything! The owner of all four relics would be unstoppable." 
"So I'm assuming this Trinity society is after these relics then they will used them against Ear...I mean Terrene, right?" Nathaniel nodded.
"Which is why we brought you here...your family was tasked with guarding the Cimmerian relic."
Killian's eyes widened. "What? I don't know what that means?"
"Your parents, Killian, were appointed relic guardians." Nathaniel bit his lip as he paused and Miller looked at the ground. Killian's heart beat in his chest. He wasn't sure he was ready to hear what Nathaniel was going to tell him.
"You parents surprised us by asking for permission to bequeath the relic to you temporarily. They assured us it was temporary. The relic could only have been passed to you from your father. The relics can only be passed down a line, never up or to a different family. Even for temporary guardianship. You were the only choice. Temporary guardianship can be awarded and returned back to the original guardian if there is an emergency."
 We felt assured your parents had good reason or they wouldn't have asked, so we authorized the temporary guardianship—you were only two-years-old." Nathaniel paused allowing Killian time to absorb the information. "Killian, a week later...your...parents were killed. It appeared to be an accident, but we aren't sure since they had passed on the guardianship. It seemed strange after the guardianship transfer, they were killed so quickly. Your mother was a brilliant analyst and scientist, and one of the electrical lines in her lab caught fire and both your parents..." He looked away from Killian's disappointed eyes. "Anyway, I'm sorry to tell you this story, but you have to know about the relic. It was stolen from you recently."
Killian gasped and instinctively grabbed his neck. "My necklace...with...with the gold charm on it?"
Miller nodded and picked up where Nathaniel left off. "Yes, that charm was the Cimmerian relic. It was bonded to you, which is why you never wanted to part with it...am I right?" Killian gave a quick nod. "When it was stolen, it gave us reason to believe the Trinity had found you and taken the relic. The attack from the wolves sealed this in our minds. They want you out of the picture, most likely to destroy the Thomas bloodline."
"You say I have grandparents, then where are they. And if the relic was so important, why did you send me away? Wouldn't I have been safer here?" Killian frantically replied.
Miller and Nathaniel glanced carefully at one another. "Killian, several weeks after your parents died, your grandfather passed as well,” Miller explained in a somber whisper. “You have a grandmother, your father's mother, named Rhetta. Rhetta panicked and fled with you. She believed it would keep you safer. It took us nearly three years to find you both, but with such a valuable relic, we couldn't let you be lost to us in the Hemisphere. Rhetta spoke with us. She believed her identity had been compromised. She also made valid points about not knowing who to trust at the Praetorium, so we all decided you would be safer on Terrene without her, under watchful eyes. When we learned from Blake the relic was stolen, we were preparing to extract you anyway. Then you were attacked; you were no longer safe there either."
Killian closed his eyes and dropped his head in his hands. "So you sent me away as a little boy from the only family I had left." Slowly he lifted his head and glared at the two men.
"Killian, please. The Trinity is a secret society. It was difficult to determine who to trust at the time. We promised Rhetta we would never lose sight of you—"
"You watched how I grew up then," he interrupted, his voice dripping with bitterness. "You saw how miserable I was, but when it benefits you, that is when you bring me here." Killian felt the same pin-pricks along the back of his neck and scalp. “Everyone here seems to have an ulterior motive. That’s why you brought me here isn’t it? You need help finding the charm?"
"Yes, my boy," Nathaniel answered in a firm, truthful declaration. "We hated learning you were mistreated, and perhaps we should have handled things differently looking back, but we can't go back. And now there is a greater cause. We must find the relic—Terrene depends on it."
"Killian, try to understand. We thought you would be safer on Terrene, but we were wrong," Miller said with emotion. "Now, you may be the most qualified to help us retrieve the relic since, as its guardian, it is bonded with you. You may be able to sense it along the way."
A long silence ensued—Killian felt awkward as Nathaniel and Miller gazed at him, waiting for his answer. Finally after several minutes he spoke.
"I will have to think about it. Everything I know is back home. I have to be honest, I don't know if I care to involve myself in this fight. I don't mean to add to your guilt, but if I'd been aware of the significance of the charm, maybe I would have cared for it more. I was the one who was in the dark, it's not on my shoulders."
The two men both dropped their heads. Nathaniel nodded slightly.
"We understand my boy. Take the night and think it over.  You can come to us tomorrow with your decision." He turned to his desk and pressed a small white button. "Connor will take you to the room we've arranged for you." He sat down and pulled out a small blue tablet and began working on it. Killian gave a curt nod and turned toward the door. He could see the severe disappointment in the men’s countenances, but he didn't believe he could help them find these relics. Killian opened the grand door and made his way to the hall. Instantly, the elevator doors slid open with Connor smiling at him.
"Ready to head to your room?" he asked cheerily.
"Sure."
The ride down was silent for only a moment before Connor began jabbering to Killian. "You are really going to fit in great here, Killian, I have a feeling. The food is to die for and there are so many things to learn and do...trust me it isn't all work, work, work. We have an entire outer arena dedicated to amusement—”
"I don't think I'm staying," Killian said abruptly. Connor stopped mid breath and scrunched his eyebrows.
"What do you mean? Did they explain to you the significance of your charm?" Connor stepped out into a magnificent carpeted hallway, keeping his bewildered expression on his face. Killian followed and stayed shoulder to shoulder with Connor.
"They explained everything — how my parents were the guardians, how they died, how I was thrown into a world with no family! I know you think I can help, but I can't. There isn't really enough reason to stay. You guys have dealt with the realms for a long time now. I'm sure you'll manage just fine without me." They both stopped at a fine, ornately carved door.
"Killian, would you mind placing your hand on the door? Please hold it for about ten seconds or so." Connor directed in a flat voice, ignoring his excuse. As Killian held his hand against the wood, Connor typed something into a small tablet he carried in his pocket. The screen was a deep blue translucent color that flashed red fingerprint shapes every few seconds. Finally, the device beeped. "Thank you. That should do it," Connor said as Killian lowered his hand."No one will have access to your room but you. Just make sure you place your hand against the door and it will open. Well, I hope you will enjoy your room. We pride ourselves in making sure all members are provided the highest quality comforts." Killian nodded his understanding. Killian felt at ease with Connor, though he knew by his expression he was disappointed. Connor stepped back as Killian opened his door. He didn't turn to leave, he just stood looking thoughtful.
"Well thanks, Connor, for everything," he said, slowly closing the door.
"Wait Killian." Connor shuffled his feet a bit before stepping to the doorway. "You have to stay. There are a few things I think you should know...you can't tell anyone I told you though, understand?" Killian was taken aback by the sharp tone in his voice.
"I understand."
"Your parents...I was a certified potential, or an intern as you would say on Terrene, in the labs when they were here...I remember them, especially your mother. I...well, I don't think a fire would have taken them out. They were special recruits. They went on the most dangerous missions you can imagine trying to bring down the Trinity."
"What are you saying?"Killian asked, feeling his blood pressure rise.
"I don't want to give you false hope. They may be gone, but we never saw their bodies. I just find it odd they passed ownership to you right before they died, almost as if they knew they were going to leave." Killian held his breath remembering Nathaniel’s insinuation the timing of their death seemed strange too.
"Killian," Connor continued, "if you help us find Merlin's talisman, your relic, we might be able to find out what happened to your parents. I have a feeling the people who stole the relic are involved in the disappearance of your mom and dad."
"Why do you think that? They died here, right? The accident was here. So how could the Trinity be involved."
Connor continued to gnaw on his lip. "That's why we need your help. No one, I mean no one except some Ponderi members and your grandmother knew where you were on Terrene, no one but the Ponderi knew about your relic before it was stolen and you were almost killed." Connor hesitated and shifted his eyes up and down the empty hall.
"Connor," Killian whispered, "are you thinking there is a member of the Trinity in the Ponderi?"
Connor shrugged. "How else would they know where to send the wolves and what the relic looked like? I think since your parent’s accident was here, if there is still a spy; if you help us find the relic, you'll get answers to what happened to your family. There's more Killian. Your mother was working on something...something big. When you were given the talisman, my instructor had the opportunity to assist in the transfer of guardianship. He said there was something different about the charm, something more powerful. He even brought in a second opinion from Cimmerian. The woman was a supposed expert on the relics and she agreed with my instructor." Connor paused, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“You've had strange dreams and have experienced anomalies in your emotions, true?" Killian was breathless but nodded. "Well, if something was odd about the charm and it affected you, I'd say there is another mystery that needs to be solved too."  Killian leaned against the wall, his mind was whirling.
"Can I still take tonight and process this?"
"Of course, just think hard Killian. If you go back to Terrene without Ponderi protection, how long do you think it'll be before the Trinity finds you? The way they go about stealing relics is destroying the bloodline of every guardian family. You're the last Thomas, so even if there is a spy, you are probably safer here where you can learn to defend yourself." Connor turned and began walking away. "Sleep well Killian, I promise you'll be safe in the room." He smiled and headed for the wall, leaving Killian alone to his thoughts.
After a long while, Killian turned into the grand room he'd been assigned. It was immaculate, with a towering cherry-wood dresser with at least a dozen empty drawers. The closet next to the bed was as big as his dingy cell had been. It had more space to hang clothing than a department store. Killian didn't know what they expected. He had about two shirts and two pairs of pants to his name and they weren’t even with him.
He saw a bathroom next to the massive closet. Inside was a beautiful old-fashioned tub that looked like a small swimming pool to him. The shower was magnificent with glamorous hand cut tile mosaics covering the floor and walls. Killian turned the bronze handle and watched as sprays of warm water flowed from every direction as well as waterfall spouts pouring in along the bottom, making sure his feet would constantly be covered in water.
Killian smiled thinking he could definitely get used to this way of living. Before leaving the bathroom, he glanced at his reflection in a gilded mirror. His tanned skin was scratched and torn from his fall down the ravine. The reddish-brown whiskers looked thick on his chin, and irritated his face. The brown color in his short, military style haircut looked darker from the dirt and debris coating his scalp. Warden Brooks had insisted on clean cuts, so his once thick head of hair was cut down to the bare minimum.
After criticizing his gaunt face for several moments, the mirror fogged from the steamy shower. Turning off the water, he left the bathroom and sat down on the cloud-like bed. He lay back on the mattress planning to just relax for a moment before getting ready for bed. His thoughts drifted to Mercedes, he hoped she was all right. Part of him wished she could've stayed, he would have liked to get to know her more. But he knew her place was at home. He assumed she had a loving family waiting for her. He wanted to go home and find her again, but inside Connor's theory was haunting him. He knew if he left he would wonder for the rest of his life what had truly happened to his family. If he wanted answers, this was the place he would find them.

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