If you haven’t already read part one of this trilogy, you should go do that now, before continuing on. I promise you, it will be worth it!
Deep in the recesses of their shared magical abode, the brothers Admoses had for millennia followed and sought to influence the trajectory of their world’s history. Though they could have easily maintained the aspect of young men, when engaged in this daunting task, each donned the mantle of age before entering the Crystal Continuum.
From within this sanctuary, they kept vigil, alert always to dangers to their beloved adopted world. Though they had not always lived on Therebis, they loved it best of all the worlds they had called home.
Rarely in their long lives had they seen portents as dire as those their globe revealed today. Nimia had come, unannounced, to Therebis. It could mean nothing less than disaster of apocalyptic proportion.
“We must stop her,” Cadmus, shouted, his heart tapping a staccato Ojamar could feel echoed within his own chest. Ever the twins’ hearts had beat as one. “She will undo everything.”
“As she has done on each world we have claimed,” Ojamar responded, despair lending bitterness to his words. “She always finds us.”
Nimia, once the third of what had once been a joyously welcomed set of triplets—the best of them—had turned from the light and followed a dark path when their parents had died.
The triplets had been only twelve when a bizarre plague had taken a third of the population of their home world, their parents among the perished. Nimia had been powerful even then. In her rage, she had destroyed Hiscus, along with the other two-thirds of its populace, sparing only her brothers.
Though horrified, the boys had believed her when she expressed remorse. But her darkness only grew on the planet they next made home—and the ones that followed. Finally, unable to bear the evil she continued to perpetrate, yet equally unable to contemplate ending her existence, they had fled.
Nimia had found them, again and again. This time, they had believed themselves safe, relaxing as the centuries rolled past with no sign of her. Until today.
By the time Ojamar and Cadmus spied her from within their Crystal Continuum, Nimia had already laid waste to a continent. Their eyes met in grim resolve. They would not fail this world. Nimia must be stopped.
Ojamar said the words that transported the brothers to where their sister even now wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting and unprepared people. Screams rent the air. Fire blazed from homes and shops, and Nimia stood at the center of it all, gleefully cutting down adults and children as they fled for a non-existent safety.
She was toying with them, like a cat with a mouse before the kill. She could have snuffed out this world with a thought. But Ojamar and Cadmus knew her real goal. To make them suffer. In her mind, they had abandoned her. She expected loyalty from her siblings and when it was not forthcoming, her vengeance knew no bounds.
Ojamar saw the moment Nimia sensed their presence. As one, he and Cadmus struck, giving her no chance to respond. One-on-one, Nimia could have taken on either of them. Together, they were unstoppable. They pinned her to the ground where she stood, freezing her in place, then sent a message to the Wizard Council, as the weak magic wielders native to Therebis styled themselves. Within moments, all nine had transported to their location.
The council, apprised of the situation, took no time in deciding what must be done. They did not believe Cadmus when he said he could contain Nimia so that she would not threaten their world again. Even Ojamar was not certain he believed any cage would hold her. The head wizard pronounced a sentence of death.
With heavy hearts, Cadmus and Ojamar bowed to the council’s will. Cadmus, however, refused to allow them the killing spell. “It should come from us, brother,” he said. “We owe her at least this.”
Ojamar didn’t want to believe it the only path to safety for not only this world, but all worlds that might stand in Nimia’s path. But he too, in the end, had to agree to Cadmus’s request. Together, they looked their triplet in the eye as they said the words that ended her. The look of betrayal with which she skewered them at her last breath would haunt both for the remainder of their near-immortal lives.
When the job was done, Cadmus could not look Ojamar in the eye. “This is my doing, brother,” he said. “I could have—should have—found another way.” His face, torn with grief, faded from Ojamar’s sight, even as the latter reached a hand out to comfort his twin. It would be nearly a century before Ojamar saw him again. When he did, his twin would have started down the same dark path their sister had trodden.
Although, if you’ve read “Contained,” you already know how this tale ultimately plays out, to find out how Ojamar and Cadmus get there, you’ll have to wait until next Sunday to find out in the conclusion, “Frozen.”
I’d love to hear what you think of both the story and this way of telling it. The individual stories might actually be thought of as scenes or short chapters, though I have no intention at this time of telling a longer story with them.
You can now read the ending of this trilogy by clicking on the link below.
Why does Cadmus go dark? Yikes! Loving this story!