Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 5 (Serial Story)

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Chapter 5: Things Go Poorly in Atlantis

“That’s the same gate,” Peaseblossom said, eyes wide in terror. The same gate that had let the horrifying metal soldiers into the Deep Realms.

“It’s not,” Randi said, tilting her head in a very fox-like way. “It will be the same gate, but it’s currently not the same gate. This is it before it was activated.”

Our whispered conversation hadn’t pierced the loudness of my brother and his wife as they marvelled at the gate. “You can go anywhere as long as you have that crystal?” asked Titania. She pointed at a large greenish gem on a pedestal in front of the large gate. The gem was pulsing with power.

“Yes, anywhere that has a gate. We’ve designed the smaller ones using what we learned of the bigger one. We’ve never been able to activate the big one to connect with its original network. We’ve used the crystal with the smaller ones, and we were able to copy the energy as a spell.” I discovered later that they’d found the large gate on Earth and did their best to learn the language.

“Where do you think the bigger one went originally?” Titania asked, obviously finding this amusing.

The leader of the Atlanteans smiled in a way most people do when they explain something to a child and said, “We’re not sure. We believe it can connect to other such gates in completely different universes. You see, we believe that life in the realms started outside our universe.”

“Isn’t that fascinating, Oberon. They think life started elsewhere and came here as refugees. What a quaint notion.” She was playing at being ignorant and it got her a hearty laugh from Oberon.

There was something dangerous in the leader’s eyes. “It is a lot to understand for one such as yourself,” he said it and gestured at the teenager. I shivered again, having temporarily forgotten him in my distraction, but his magic was wrong in the way a forest fire was wrong. All destruction and hunger.

“One such as myself?” The threat in my sister’s tone was clear enough that a few people who’d been following the wagon moved away.

It was the leader’s turn to play at ignorance, although I’m not sure he was playing. “It is well known that the spirit of intellect passes on from the mother to the child leaving her near witless.”

I couldn’t help myself. I laughed. The leader nodded at me and I shook my head.

Before I could say anything, Oberon’s booming voice echoed over the field. “Fool. You’ve just insulted Queen of the Fay Realms, former goddess of the sun and knowledge. She is more clever and has more spirit of intellect than you, in your limited imagination, could conceive of.”  

Titania put her hand on Oberon’s and said, “He doesn’t know what he’s saying.”

The leader proved Oberon right by replying, “I have studied intellect in the greatest universities of Atlantis, Sir. Be assured I know more about it than you or your woman.”

Again I laughed. Oberon looked me in the eyes and I could see his power and anger rising as he said, “You laugh at us, brother?”

“No, I just enjoy a little chaos, and honestly I can’t imagine how he could be more wrong and insulting.” 

Recognition flashed in the leader’s eyes and he sneered, “Oh you. When I first heard there was a Fay living with us I came by to see you, but you were busy discussing philosophy with children in a courtyard. I knew at that point you weren’t worth talking with. I only discuss magic and philosophy with the greatest minds, not a fool who seeks the counsel of children.”

I was so thrown by his disdain for his own people that I wasn’t able to say anything. If I had been able to, I may have saved his life. Instead, Titania spoke, “Children are wise—”

The leader cut her off by saying, “Silence, Woman. The adults are speaking.”

She didn’t yell or even seem to be too angry, she simply snapped her fingers and where the leader had stood was an equal mass of spiders. The spiders proved to have better sense and moved as fast as their legs could take them away from Titania.

Oberon roared in anger and the chariot we were in, along with the poor horse that pulled it, turned into snakes. 

Humans are absolutely fantastic as a race; with the exception of a precious few,, they are born with nothing but cleverness and a near magical ability to adapt to any situation. The people of Atlantis stood in abject terror for a few moments before starting yelling for guards and arming themselves.

Oberon, Titania, and Melchior disappeared. Randi, in the midst of the chaos, asked, “Where did they go?”

“Back to Fay to prepare the army,” Peaseblossom said. “We have maybe an hour before this place and everyone in it dies by Fay hands.”

A man grabbed the green crystal and ran for the large gate. It flew from his hands and the gate activated. I saw the same scene I’d seen before, a long serpent of metal winding its way towards our world. 

Summoning my power, I tossed the gate into the Deep Realms where I knew the past me would deal with it. The crystal tried to phase into the Aether to follow the gate, but I contained it. 

“All these people will die if we don’t do something,” Peaseblossom said.

“Can we help?” a chorus of three voices asked. Before me were three young women. One looked as if she had never seen the sun, she was unnaturally pale and had white-blonde hair. The second was a complete contrast; her skin was black as ebony and she had dark red hair. The last had no hair at all and her skin gleamed like polished gold.

I recognised them as the pieces of the crystal that Merlin had tossed into Everworld. “Charites, Horae, and Moirai. Sisters, what are you doing here?”

Together as one they said, “Everworld banished us. They didn’t believe our truths. Their world is ending and if they don’t fix the magic, it will destroy them all. Their wise men were fools, their gods shadows, and their people too proud. Banished, we found a small realm in need of guidance.”

I wasn’t thinking in riddles at the time and only really half-listened as the Atlanteans had decided to attack us. “Atlantis?” I asked.

They laughed with genuine joy when they said, “No. We discovered Albion. A realm of peace, magic, and story.”

The magic the Atlantaens used was painfully strong, anyone but me or my siblings would have fallen in seconds. As it were, I was getting tired. “Okay. Can you get to the point? I’m a little busy.”

“We shall take all the innocent Atlanteans, with their permission, to Albion. Peaseblossom, would you care to come?”

Peaseblossom said her goodbyes and the Sisters of Albion disappeared with her and all the innocents. Unfortunately, that didn’t include those attacking me and Randi.

“We should get out of here before—” I stopped talking as I saw portals opening and the armies of Fay marching out of them.

Read Chapter 6

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