LaserSword (for rorgon94's challenge)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my entry for rorgon's Awesome Challenge, you can find his page at rorgon94. We picked genre and gender, and he gave is titles and character names. I know it's taken a while, but hopefully it's worth the wait!

Submitted: July 21, 2009

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Submitted: July 21, 2009




Sophie was sleeping, safe and sound in her bed. Most of the people in the Keep were likewise engaged, the hour being well after midnight in a cold winter night. It was a night that would change everything the people of Klarin knew.

It started in the plains, several hours travel down the main road from the keep. The soldiers standing guard at the keep heard faint rumbling in the distance, and looked at each other in confusion. Was there an earthquake in the valley? Some might have thought they were hearing things if their fellow guardsmen weren’t sporting questioning looks, as well. But there it didn’t stop, and in a moment the Lieutenant on duty sent one of the men into the keep to awaken the commander. The commander sent a message to Sir Glavin, and soon there were many people standing on the walls of the keep, watching as the strange lights in the sky appeared and came closer and closer to the keep, destroying everything in their path.

“Sophie, wake up!” Abigail cried, shaking Sophie’s shoulders with frightened hands.

“Abigail?” Sophie said, half sitting up. “What’s going on? What’s wrong?”

“The province is being attacked, we have to go! Now!” Abigail said, pulling her out of bed and throwing a clock about her before shoving a bag in her hand. “Grab some clothes, anything you can fit in there, your jewels.”

“What about the soldiers, the sorcerers?”

“Don’t ask questions, just do it!”

Propelled by Abigail’s push forward toward the cabonette, Sophie grabbed the first dresses she put her hands on and stuffed them into the bag. Then she went back to the shelf safe that held her jewels, and emptied everything she could into the bag on top, grabbed her silver plated brush, comb, and mirror, some hair pins. Then Abigail pulled her back out, and touching a stone in the wall, a secret passage Sophie had never known about opened, and they sped down, down, down into the dark.

Ten Years Later

Sophie woke, quickly and expected, with Evan’s hand over her mouth as he prodded her.

“It’s time,” he hissed, and the two of them crouched behind the ruins of a wall, the others gathering behind them as they watched what had once been Glavin’s keep.

On that night, so many years ago, the Trika invaders had come in their ships, through space, to colonize Klarin. Until that night, the Klarin people had known nothing of space or other people on other planets. They had been alone in the universe, and considered expendable by the arrogant Trika with their superiority of science and technology. The people of Klarin, although skilled in magic and weaponry, had been unable to stop the Trika with their guns and bullets, able to penetrate even the sorcerers’ shield spells, and now those who had been able to ban together, constantly hunted, and fighting for their own planet for the last ten years.

“We must get the Sword of Uriel,” Evan whispered. “It’s our last hope.”

“Now’s the last chance to back out if your courage fails you,” Commander Landon said quietly to the soldiers and would-be sorcerers that made up the small contingent. “Sophie must be protected at all costs.”

Sophie gulped. Ever since the Trika had come, she and her half sister Abigail had been the last surviving members of the house of Glavin, and since Abigail’s death last year, she was the only person left capable of wielding the great Sword of Uriel, said to lead it’s wielder to certain victory through Immortal’s blessing. It had been presented to the founder of the Glavin line hundreds of years ago, and lie in a secret chamber deep in the mountain cliff which Talbot’s Keep had been built into. Now it was mostly rubble, with a few buildings used by the Trika outpost which guarded it.

Now everything rested in her, and her ability to wield the legendary sword. This was supposed to be Abigail, whose Glavin blood came from both of her parents. Sophie’s mother had been an acclaimed sorceress, but was of a different line entirely. What if, in the end, she was incapable? What if there was no one left to take the sword so the people could have victory? What if the sword was just a sword, never favored, or no longer favored by the Immortal? All this would be for nothing, and all those who had died for this mission would be for nothing.

“Sophie?” Commander Landon prompted her. “What do you see?”

Sophie tried, but the future was still unreadable, the powers coming and going from her at will. Most of the sorcerers had been killed in the first few years, and there had been no one left to teach those young people with the gift.

“It’s hard to tell,” she said, covering the lack of vision. “The future is unknown and hard to interpret.”

“Well, we’re with you, you can count on us,” Evan said with a smile. “I know we’ll make it.”

That was what the others, and Sophie, had needed to hear, and she smiled back at him. She was the one people turned too more often now for leadership, but more often than not, Evan was the one with the right things to say.

“Hush, the guards!” Commander Landon quieted them. The guard was changing, and their opportunity had come. The commander slipped forward as soon as the guard nearest them had turned to meet the one coming to relieve him, and as soon as he was in position, Landon motioned them forward. Half of the small squad went first, silently under Evan’s spell, and he and Sophie were the next ones to go.

There was just a minute or so left, and they hurried past what was left of the main keep wall, trying not to think of what it used to look like in their childhood. Landon led them down a passage behind on old, rickety door, silenced once again by Evan’s spell, and they all breathed a little sigh of relief now that the first part of the real mission was over. Those in the back barricaded the door, and they went forward into the dark.

The passage was small and narrow, barely enough for one man to clear. If they were caught here, all was lost; they could be picked off one by one as each fell to the Trika guns. Of course, they had some guns of their own, but Sophie very much doubted that they would help them here. But not only was the size of the passage difficult, but it was old and full of cobwebs, and the types of things that liked the dark and damp. Sophie nearly screamed when some sort of creepy crawly insect landed in her hair, shaking and using her hands to strike it away. Evan clamped his hand over her mouth to keep even her small sounds from echoing down the passage.

“Are you alright?” he whispered.

Being in the grasp of someone she trusted calmed her, and she nodded. “Sorry, everyone.”

“Let's all just be aware there's bugs in here,” Commander Landon said. “Let's continue.”

After some time and many turns and bends, they came to a branch in the passage. A set of stairs went down, to the left, and to the right the path continued, turning shortly so that they couldn't see beyond it.

Commander Landon, Evan, and Sophie looked from one passage to the other, continue straight or head down?

“What’s wrong? Why are we stopped?” Nolan asked from his position in the back.

“The path splits,” Landon said. “One on, one down.”

“Never heard of that.”

“I doubt any of us would have known. Which way, Sophie?”

“I...” She stared down the ongoing passageway, and then down into the darkness of the stairs.

“It’s alright, clear your mind,” Evan said. As always, he was convinced of her high magical potential which had yet to respond to her directions, but lashed out at odd and unexpected moments, and sometimes in powerful ways. Most of the time, it scared her, but not Evan. To him, who had been able to train and use his magic, it was friend and helper. Never the less, Sophie tried to clear her mind, to focus only on the two paths before them, and their intended goal.

Several minutes went by as the others waited, and Sophie felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. She shook her head, as disappointed as the rest of them, and Evan gripped her shoulder.

“Can you see anything?”

“No, this is your call, Soph.”

“Either way, and we follow you,” Landon said.

“Thanks for reminding me…”

Evan let go, and in a moment she felt a breath of wind from the stairs. Except that nothing moved. Could it be only she felt it? No one else seemed as if anything had happened, but her attention had suddenly been drawn to the stairs.

“We go down,” she said, almost stepping to the first step before remembering that Commander Landon had to go first. If something happened to her, there was no one else left, and she hated it. Landon began down the stairs, Evan behind him, and then her. The remaining members of their party did their respective jobs behind. As they went further and further down, the stairs changed from brick to solid rock, but Sophie again felt the strange wind several times, although she didn’t tell anyone about it. It got stronger as they descended, however, and soon Evan was aware that she felt something. He reached his hand back to her, and squeezed it, but was discrete, as she said nothing. Shortly after that, they came to a landing with three sealed walls.

“Now what?” Sophie said. “There’s no way out!?” They’d come all this way for nothing.

“Ssh,” Landon said. “Calm down. Evan, can you sense any magic here?”

“I have for a while, but only a little. Sophie, what do you feel?”

“Just little gusts of wind.”

To her surprise, Evan began to laugh a little. “Sophie, that’s a magical leading!”

“It is?”

“Yes. Well, I certainly hope so.”

“Well I’ve never felt one before!”

“Then let’s take that as a good sign,” Landon said gently.

And now, Sophie felt a stronger pull, to the left wall. The one that would lead them into the mountain. How did she know that? But she put her hand on the wall, and soon a square of light appeared on the wall in front of her face.

“Ooh!” everyone breathed, and Evan and Sophie looked closely at it. They were the only ones who could read.

“Present hand on below panel for verification of identity,” Evan read.

Hesitantly, Sophie put her hand on the wall below the writing. There was a prick, and she jerked her hand back with a small cry.

“What is it?”

“Are you alright?”

“What happened?”

Sophie looked at her hand, and there was a small drop of blood on her palm.

“Identification accepted,” Evan read, the only one still paying attention to the writing on the wall. Then the wall swung outward from the middle, and everyone backed up before crowding around the open doorway.

“More stairs,” Sophie said. Only this staircase was lighted inside, in the same way the door had been.

Sophie figured they must have descended deep into the mountain by now. But she could definitely feel something ahead, almost hanging over her, and at last they came to a great set of doors deep underneath the Keep. Sophie went forward again, and touched the door, but nothing happened.

“Maybe it’s not like the other one?”

“I don’t know,” Eric said. “Is there a handle?”

“An iron ring.” She put both hands on it and gave it a pull, and the door swung open, so ridiculously easy that they all looked at each other before looking inside. Through the doors was a cavern which was rather like a long shaft going straight up, and it smelled like fresh air was coming down from the top. Eric made a light for her, and they saw a tall capsule of some kind. It was smooth and silvery, and pointed toward the top. It wasn’t entirely unlike some of the Trika ships, and so Sophie was fairly sure it was a space ship.

“Now what? What can we do with that?”

“I don’t know,” Eric said.

“Go find out,” Landon said, pushing her forward. “Maybe it’s like the panel on the wall.”

Sure enough, lights came slowly on as she neared the ship, and cautiously she put a hand on it. A pad lit up a few feet around, and she moved over to it. It was a screen of some kind, and a woman with long brown hair appeared on it.

“Who are you?”

“I—I'm Sophie H—Hobbes, ma'am,” she stammered, wondering how all of this had gotten here.

“Please place your right hand on the green square.”

She did so, and some kind of prickling sensation spread over her hand. But she didn't pull it back. In a moment, a door opened in the ship.

“Please enter, Sophie Hobbes.”

Slowly, almost not even breathing, she walked through the door and into a nearly dark room. It seemed rather like an entry way, and on a shiny metal table some feet away was a large sword. Approaching it, the light around the table brightened, and with a shock she saw it was a wizard's sword. The kind she had seen on the wizard's who'd worked in her father's Keep. There were none left now, and certainly no one who knew how to use them. Attached at the bottom of the hilt was a small, sleek device, something which she had never seen before. Without realizing what she was doing, she reached out and picked it up, holding it before her so she could see whatever it was. It was much lighter than one would expect.

Why you do seek me?

Sophie jumped and looked around wildly, almost dropping the sword. Then she looked at it, and remembered what Evan had said about wizard's swords. They were alive, and could talk to their wizard. But she'd never expected...

“Are you the Sword of Uriel?”

Why do you seek to wield me? Are your powers capable of wielding me?

“We need you; the people need you. And..I don't know. I've never been able to do anything with my power. It might not be very much.”

I am designed to work with a high grade wizard. If you are not capable of such magic, you cannot wield me.

“But...I am the last...what will we do if you—I—I can't?” The situation just seemed to be going from bad to worse, and she sat down on the table, wondering what in creation she was going to do with a sword she was unable to wield. What would they do? What could they do? They’d all been counting on her, and she couldn’t deliver! She sniffed, and wiped her face with the back of her hand.

I must take you with me anyway. Maybe…

“Sophie, we’ve got company!”

It was Evan, calling from the doorway of the ship. Grabbing the sword, which remained silent, she rushed out and they joined the others in defending the great doors. A company of Trika had followed them down after all, and there were many more of them in the small space than the raiding party. Both Sophie and Evan entered the fight with swinging swords, and things went normally—as in, they were loosing—until Sohpie felt something strange happening. She felt as if something was hammering away at her soul, and then there was a brilliant flash of light. When it cleared, she could hardly believe her eyes. All of the Trika soldiers were limp on the floor.

What...what happened?”

It seems I have found a way to control you, the sword said.

Evan looked at the sword in her hand. “Whatever you did, it worked! Hey, is that a laser under the hilt?”

But Sophie, and everyone else, just stared at the sword in her hand.

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