Jellylegs says: Okay, so this is my sister's story, but, SHOCK HORROR, she doesn't write Buffy much...blasphemous i know. Anyway. i hope you like it. Bugging me for updates will not work, but if there are enough reviews that i get sick of seeing them in my inbox, i will in turn, bug the crap out of her cos you're all bugging the crap out of me, lol... enjoy. i've gotten a few people into DC with my fic Arrows Keys and Bats, lets see if we can convert some more to Tamora Pierce fans!!!!
Alright, your standard girl gets sucked into tortall thing. The sequels will cross over with some other series but none of you have to worry about that for a looonnnngggg time…
She Walked Upon A cloud
She walked upon a cloud.
This cloud, however was not one you would find in the sky, or heaven. This was a cloud made entirely of lego bricks. Sarah Gibson blew out a breath noisily. She knew where she was now. She’d had this dream countless times, and everytime it ended the same way.
Sarah sighed and kept walking. It always scared the shit out of her, but it was going to happen, one way or another, and the quicker the nightmare was over, the quicker she could spend the night watching infomercials on the TV and munching on leftover pizza. She walked towards the rotary clothes line, spying the grouping of red lego bricks warily.
Taking a cautious step onto the first of the red bricks she braced herself. Nothing. She sighed once more. It was never easy. It was never the first brick. Sarah took a second step, and felt the brick fall out from beneath her. Here we go…Seeing the real clouds approaching as she fell through the air terror gripped her. Although she knew what was coming a scream managed to rip itself from her throat.
She had this dream every now and then. She’d walk around a cloud of lego for a while, then she’d spot the clothes line and walk over, oblivious of the bright red lego bricks. Then they would fall out beneath her and she would fall, screaming until she landed unharmed on the family’s old kitchen table. They hadn’t owned it for about ten years, but it still figured in her dream. A distant part of her mind pondered that maybe it was because they had owned it when she first had her dream while the rest of her consciousness was gripped in terror.
Falling, ever falling, she noticed green grass and realised she was nearing the end of her free fall. Closer… closer… Grimly Sarah realised that waking up was the worst part.
She fell through the roof, miraculously unharmed. But instead of landing on the table she fell right through it. Through the floor. Through what seemed like miles of earth. Realising this wasn’t her normal dream, she let out a mindless scream as her wits abandoned her.
Her journey didn’t last long, and during her fall she’d managed to get turned around, so she no longer saw what she was falling towards. For a brief moment she thought she saw a change in the stone that surrounded her, an ordering, like it was architected, and then she felt pain stab from her shoulder as she hit something solid.
Relief washed over her even as she realised this was a new nightmare she’d have to deal with every time she ate too much junk food. People surrounded her; they were dressed up as though they were attending a medieval ball. One dropped beside her, hands glowing purple. Sarah’s eyes widened as she scooted back on her hands.
“Don’t be afraid. No one is going to hurt you.” The lady said, purple eye’s sympathetic. Her words rang through Sarah’s mind. Hurt you… hurt… She gasped. The fall shouldn’t have hurt. But it had… Sarah shook her head. There had to be a logical explanation.
“Uh…. W-where am I?” She stuttered, stalling for time even as she scooted away from the lady with glowing hands. A flash of light behind her, caught in her peripheral vision and her back hit a pair of softly clothed legs. Looking up she saw a woman with ivory skin which seemed to glow from within, and hair which seemed to flow with an invisible wind. She smiled and it filled Sarah with incredible warmth.
That was, of course, until she spoke. It sounded like winds crashing throughout a forest, wolves howling loudly within her mind. She clutched her ears even as she attempted to make out what this beautiful woman was saying. “Sarah has been brought here by us. You shall take her under your wing, Alanna.”
Alanna struggled to bow while trying to block the pain from her ears. “By all means, Great Mother.”
“There is more.” Her voice softened, and as she continued Sarah found it easier to listen to her. Resting a hand on her shoulder, Sarah felt herself being turned around by an invisible force, and raised to her feet. “You, Sarah, have a job to do for us. You are the chosen messenger of the gods. You are here to complete a mission.” Seemingly reading her mind, she added with a half smile. “No, you are not still dreaming. We had my brother, Gainel the Dream King transport you through your dreams.”
As she stopped talking the warm feeling evaporated, replaced with disbelief, fear, and most of all confusion. “No no no… This is a dream. I’m asleep in my bedroom, on my lumpy mattress, suffering from the effects of too many cheesy poofs and starbursts…” She backed away from the glowing entity. Taking a deep breath, she added, “I’m going to wake up in 3…2…1…” She looked around expectantly. “3. 2. 1.” She added forcefully. When nothing happened once again she became panicked.
The Great Mother’s voice washed over her, soothing her. “Let me explain, my child. You are in a land called Tortall, which lies under the rulership of King Jonathon of Conte and Queen Thayet the Peerless. Here you will train in the arts of a knight, a mage and a shang. It is important you master these three skills, for the job we have for you is an arduous one. You need not know of it now, it will only cloud your vision of the time that lies ahead.”
Sarah stood, mouth agape as she felt the eyes of the entire assembly upon her. Two figures, wearing the finest clothes among the lot stepped forward. “We would be honoured to have this young warrior among us, Goddess. Your trust will not be misplaced.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Who said I’m doing anything. As far as I’m concerned, this is all just some whacky dream. If I walk through that door then I’ll probably be in some party full of clowns, or something. So lets just see what’s behind door number 1, shall we?”
She walked over to the doors to the main hall, flung them open, and blinked when she was greeted by an empty hall way. “Oookay…”
An impatient man dressed in golden armour, who glowed as the Great Mother Goddess glowed appeared. His voice shook like thunder, and the pain in her ears and her mind threatened to overwhelm her. “Quiet. Accept it. Deal with it.”
Gasping, she fell to her knees as she looked upon this newcomer. The Great Mother rounded on him. “Careful, brother, we are asking for her help.”
Sarah shook her head and rose. “Right. Dream or not you can both go to hell. You rock up, claiming I have this, this mission to do for you. Well I’m not buying it. Send me home, wake me up, whatever. I don’t belong here.”
Mithros stepped forward threateningly, his armour gleaming even in the absence of sunlight. “You don’t have a choice in the matter.”
Her chin jutted out defiantly. “Really? And if I don’t train to be all those things? If I choose not to do this little mission of yours?” Gasps surrounded her as the people of the ball. No one had ever spoken to a god like that and survived.
Mithros closed the gap between him and the mortal girl, grabbing her arm roughly. His other hand lay on her head, fingers splayed. Images played throughout her mind, children dying at their parent’s hands, people starving to death as flies surrounded their rotting corpses. Sickness claiming the lives of entire villages. She heard people crying out to be saved, even as horsemen mowed them down with swords that glinted with blood. But the worst part was the smell. Death permeated her nostrils, as she breathed in involuntarily. She watched the scene replay over and over again, with different families, different villages and different people.
When she became aware of her surroundings again she was on her knees on the floor, her face blank and stained with tears. The red headed, purple eyed lady was on her knees in front of her, shaking her slightly. “Shh… shh.. it’s ok. It’s ok…” Sarah shook her head and looked past her.
“No.” Her voice shuddered as she realised this wasn’t a dream. Her worst imagination didn’t come close to thinking up such gruesome details. “No it’s not alright. What the hell was that?”
The Goddess spoke up. “That is what will happen if you do not complete your mission. We only get glimpses of the future, but you have seen all that we know. Now you understand why it is imperative that you complete your mission.”
Sarah managed to nod. The gods turned to the monarchs. “You must provide her with training. The best you can. Shang, knight and mage training. You-”
“Wait a minute. Mage? I don’t have any magic…”
“Yes you do.” The Great Mother replied, turning back to the monarchs. “It is up to you. If her training is inadequate, she will fail and this world will be lost.”
Jonathon nodded bravely. “I understand Goddess, Mithros.”
They nodded and disappeared, without another word, leaving Sarah Gibson kneeling on the stone floor of the Grand Ball Room, on the second day of the Midwinter celebrations, in a world that was completely unfamiliar to her.
The prologue was a little short, but I figured I should leave it there.
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