Plan B

Image by Maïlis Colombie. Used without permission, will remove if requested.

There are two figures at the top of the stone pillar. Both are female. One of them, redhaired, carries a sword and a halo seems to surround her face. The other one has white hair, wears a cloak and does all the talking.

“Kale. We’ve been expecting you.”

I stand on the nearest spire. I look at them, and I no longer know whether considering them friends is alright.

“Let me pass, Akama.”

“We’re sorry, but that’s not possible, and you know it. Tara and I are here to keep you from doing it.”

“I’ll have to pass anyway.”

“We cannot let you steal the Secrets of the Giants.”

Beyond them, one of the Giants lumbers along, impervious to harm, oblivious to our tiny superhumans’ quarrel.

“I need them, It’s the only way. Don’t you understand?”

I see Tara fidgeting with her sword.

“You cannot. Their Secrets are not for us. Or don’t you remember Magister’s training?”

“Who knows what the Giants have been working on ever since they arrived? Magister?

Yes, we see them coming and going, but when they’re outside their city they do nothing but stand. What if Magister was wrong? Other people say their Secrets are our only hope of salvation.”

“Or they could condemn us forever. Are you the one who’s going to find out which?”

“Yes, I am!”

Akama’s cloak billows in the wind. Mine doesn’t.

“Don’t you see? Look at them, they’re behind you! They ignore us, we mean nothing to them! They arrived and just started minding their business, business nobody understands. Nobody has ever been able to enter their fortress. Our sensors cannot penetrate their defenses. We know nothing!”

“But they don’t harm us. They’ve never harmed anyone, not even when they were attacked.”

“I’ve seen the videos, too. Nothing affects them. If I were like them, I wouldn’t find it too troublesome to ignore anyone irritating me, because they wouldn’t even annoy me.”

I shifts my weight. My leg still hurts. Tara’s gaze penetrates me. I point behind Akama and Tara, at another Giant walking in the distance.

“Who’s ever talked to them? Who knows what they want? Who knows what they’re doing? I can find out. I can shift through their walls and see, know what they’re doing!”

“No. Magister has a plan. He will find a way to communicate with them.”

“No! He’s been trying for years, to no avail. He will never do it. Nobody will.”

“If there’s someone who can, it’s Magister, and you know it.”

“What if he’s wrong? What if Markus has always been right?”

Tara’s eyes become slits. Her sword glitters.

“Markus. Ah, Markus. So, that’s it, Kale. You’ve finally let yourself be convinced. We always thought it would be you, but Magister said it wasn’t possible, that he trusted you. We never understood him.”

“What? What would be me?”

“Delfos foretold it: somebody would betray us. And you were involved. Her prophecies always come true. And you’re the one. The traitor.”

“You’re fools. You know nothing. You’ve never understood how Delfos’ powers work. She sees probabilities, but she doesn’t even know exactly what she sees. And what she sees isn’t always what it seems to be.”

Because ah, I cannot speak. I cannot tell them all the truth even if I wanted to, because I’m Magister’s Plan B. He knows I’d never betray him because I love him, even though I’m sure, and oh how sure I am, he’ll never be able to love me back. I cannot tell them we do know who will betray us. We know the traitor is the most unexpected person, and I’m here to try and stop it from happening.

But Akama and Tara cannot know. They’re not ready yet. Knowing the true identity of the traitor would break them. It would destroy everything they believe.

And that’s why I must defeat them, break through and enter the Giant’s city. Because only in there will I find what I’m looking for: the temporal nexus Magister detected long ago. The nexus only he and I know about. The nexus that could save us all.

Save us all… or condemn us forever.

The time for talking is over.

I silently apologize to Akama for what I’m about to do, and make my move.


This is my accompanying entry for the Weekly Writing Exercise: July 3–9, 2017 at the Writer’s Discussion Group on Google+. I am responsible for creating the prompts for the Exercise, so I don’t take part, but I still like to write a story each week.

What can I say? I just loved the image when I found it and decided to use it as this week’s prompt. And then I wrote the story, using almost exclusively dialogue up until the very end, when I changed. Does it work?