The Adventures of Lucius Chapter V - The Train Ride
This is the fifth chapter in my ongoing story about the amnesiac wizard Lucius. It takes place in my fantasy cosmos of Arvala. In this chapter, Lucius meets up again with the strange gun wielding woman, Cassandra, as he is on a train about to be killed. If you have not read chapter four please go here. Enjoy!
The Train Ride
I was frozen in my seat in abject terror as the strange creature moved towards me. It raised its clawlike hand, and I trembled. Who knew what vast powers of magic these beings possessed? For all I knew, they were the old gods returned from the abyss to which their own war had sent them. Perhaps, I had done something to release them from hell itself, and so the Divine Hand had set them against me to destroy me in judgment for my sins. The point is that I had no idea why these creatures were trying to kill me. It then occurred to me that perhaps I should have asked that girl, Cassandra.1 She may have known after all.
As I sat there frozen in terror, I heard a familiar voice say, “Hey ugly, why don’t you scram?”
The creature turned and then simply vanished. Standing right behind where the strange creature had been was Cassandra. Her revolver was now sitting in a holster on her belt. Gracefully, she made her way down the aisle towards me and the jabbering Kianith. “There you are,” she growled before punching me in the nose. “Don’t go wandering off like that again.”
Mustering all my great wit, I said, “Arrggh.”
Cassandra shook her head slowly and then threw herself down in the seat across from me and Kianith. “I mean its bad enough you stranded me on this world for six months,” she said with a voice full of annoyance, “but then you decide to go walking off the instant that I find you again. What were you thinking? By the way, who is the gnome?”
“I was about ready to ask the same question,” Kianith said as he looked at me.
“Then you should get your eyes checked,” Cassandra said.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m clearly not a gnome,” Cassandra said with a smirk.
Kianith stared at her for a moment and then said sarcastically, “Oh, you must be the soul of wit.”
Cassandra looked me with a puzzled expression for a moment before she slowly shook her head. “You really don’t know, do you?” she said in a shocked tone of voice. “You are completely clueless as to what is going on. By the way, nice coat.”
A look of terror crossed Cassandra’s beautiful face. I mean, I hadn’t noticed it before obviously, but she really was quite the beauty when it came right down to it. I mean, she was not the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Well, okay, she probably was, but so far her only competition was a bunch of gnomes, who are not known for their beauty.
“Not the generator,” she said as her lips quivered slightly. “Please, tell me that you didn’t trade the generator for a coat of all things.”
I looked at her quizzically. “Don’t know,” I said. “What is the generator?”
“It’s a silvery disk,” Cassandra said with a sigh. “Your name is written on it.”
“So you want me to lie?”
Cassandra smacked her hand against her forehead. “Why me?” she moaned. “Why am I cursed?”
“What?” I asked.
“You traded the generator for a stupid coat,” she roared at me. “Do you know how valuable the generator is. I’ll tell you. It is damn priceless. And you traded it for a coat. Now, we’re stuck here on Torvaal.”
“Uh,” Kianith said as he raised his hand like some sort of school child, “can I ask a question?”
“No,” Cassandra snapped. “You may not.”
“Where would we go besides Torvaal?” I asked.
“You really, really don’t remember,” Cassandra said. ‘Of course, you don’t. You would have never traded the generator if you did.”
“What is so important about a coin?” I asked with a sigh.
“The coin as you call it...” Cassandra began.
“What are you doing?” she snapped at Kianith, who had pulled out a dark black book and had begun to scribble in it.
“Making notes,” Kianith replied. “I find this conversation highly thrilling. Either we can discover all kinds of new things about the cosmos, or you two are quite insane. Either way it is fascinating.”
“Who are you?” asked Cassandra with a note of annoyance in her voice.
“I am Kianith, noted gnomish scholar, inventor, and scientist,” Kianith replied.
“Wonderful,” Cassandra hissed as she raised her eyes towards the heavens.
“Do you not like scholarship, invention, and scientific progress, lassie?” Kianith asked in a puzzled tone of voice.
“I think that wizards and philosophers were doing a fine job of mucking up the world before inventors and scientist came along,” Cassandra snarled. “Why is everyone so intent on plumbing the depths of the cosmos.”
“We inventors make great things of use,” Kianith said in an offended tone of voice. “Do not compare us to such busy bodies as wizards and philosophers.”
“Hey,” I said, “I’m a wizard.”
“All you inventors do is make newer, quicker, easier, and more ingenious ways for us to kill each other,” Cassandra replied.
“We made the train!” Kianith shouted.
“Which allows people to transport large amounts of troopers more quickly and cheaper so that they can kill people.”
“The skyships,” Kianith snapped.
“Same exact thing,” Cassandra said with a sigh, “except they can go over oceans.”
“Well obviously you cannot be that averse to killing people since you are after all carrying a gun,” Kianith snarled like a man, whose very system of belief, which he had held to his entire life, was being challenged.
“Guns actually make it harder to kill people,” Cassandra responded primly.
“What?” Kianith and I both blurted out at once.
“Think about it,” Cassandra said. “This gun is far less accurate than a longbow. So you see, there is less of a chance of me hitting someone with it.”
I still don’t buy that argument.4 Before the argument could continue though, a man stepped into our car and said, “We will be arriving in Kas shortly.” So there I was still clueless as to what was going on in my life. I had left behind the apparent safety of Dome City and had gone out into the wide world of Torvaal. Perhaps, if Cassandra calmed down from her irrationality, I would be able to learn more about what was going on.
1I apologize for the amount of notes that I give in the previous chapter. I shall hereforth strive to be brief in all my notes.
2 He did literally throw up his hands.
3 It was at this point that I began to suspect that I was with crazy people.
4 For once, we agree.
This is the prologue to my fairy tale, The Autumnal Lady. It will focus on the characters of Oliver and Candida. In this prologue, we meet Roger and a strange visitor, seemingly from the realm of Fairy.
This is my essay on the ideas of compassion, mercy, and love as they appear in fairy tale. I use Disney's Beauty and the Beast as my primary example.
© 2014 Joseph Ray