Gremlaw thrashed his head from side to side in an attempt to dislodge the woman’s fingers from his head. Desperation built inside him as he felt her icy fingers trace across his temples. Cold like the fingers of a corpse. A small cry escaped his lips as he felt her presence within his mind. Gently to begin with, like a lover’s caress, she moved across the most recent of his memories and recollections, thoughts and fears.
Gremlaw thrashed, inside his own mind now, as he fought in vain to dislodge the vile feeling of being invaded by the overwhelmingly strong mind of this woman. As he asserted his will, she increased the pressure, the insistence, of her presence. His back arched off the surface of the table, limbs straining against the chains which held him as knives of searing hot pain rammed through his brain.
This was it, Gremlaw managed to think through the agony, this was how his life would end; chained to a table, in a foreign land, never able to see his mother again and having his mind systematically ripped apart from within. His thoughts turned briefly to DeLarouge and his odd team of misfits, Dron and his wife, Mi-Zhu-Quan.
As soon as he had thought of the renegade Lavashian magician, the woman, now gripping his head, plundered each and every memory he had of her. Gremlaw felt her personality withdraw slightly, as if puzzled by these memories. Gremlaw then recalled Mi-Zhu-Quan’s memories had been transferred to his brain also and like a snake striking, his inquisitor was in them.
Oddly, the woman who had been ripping into Gremlaw’s brain recoiled as if struck, her arms thrown backwards as she physically fell against the wall of the cell. Gremlaw’s body, sheen with sweat, relaxed back against the cool wood as soon as she had been expelled from his mind. He lay, panting, on the table with the pain from his wrists and ankles now making itself known. Eventually Gremlaw opened his eyes and looked for the woman who had collapsed, finally spotting a pile of brown material wedged in the angle where the wall and floor met. Still chained down, Gremlaw had no way of doing anything but call to see how she was.
“Are you dead?” He croaked. Gremlaw had nothing for a response but a rustling of material. A few seconds passed as the woman slowly dragged herself to her feet, leaning heavily on the table for assistance.
Gremlaw was struck by her beauty as the hood she had worn had fallen back to reveal her raven hair and pale skin. Her massive eyes, common to all Lavashians, seemed even larger to Gremlaw than others he had seen. What struck him most, however, was the abject sorrow and pain which radiated from her eyes. They were red rimmed and tears had tracked their way down her face,
“How do you know my mother?” She asked in perfect Trathlainian.
“What?” Gremlaw squeaked in puzzlement. The woman reached for him again and he nearly screamed until he understood she was releasing his wrists.
“The Lavashian woman who molded her mind with you, Mi-Zhu-Quan, how do you know her?”
Gremlaw related his meeting with the magic user and his initial doubts regarding her supposed powers while the Lavashian woman released him from the shackles and chains which had held him fast.
“I am called Mar-Tshi-Srin,” she said, “And I have always been told my mother was executed for crimes of treason against the Empire.” Mar-Tshi-Srin stated in her soft voice, “I am ashamed to admit I believed all I was told.” She hung her head as Gremlaw lowered himself to the floor. Her hand came up to assist him as he stumbled but Gremlaw recoiled from her corpse like touch.
“I’m fine.” He stated flatly. Mar-Tshi-Srin’s hand dropped like a stone.
“I am sorry,” she said, “I promise I will never mold with your mind again.” Her face fell, “I have been lied to and used for the evils of others.” Mar-Tshi-Srin wore such a dejected look on her face Gremlaw felt a stab of pity for her and gritted his teeth as he offered his hand to her.
Her hand was as warm as his own as she gripped his hand, intertwining her fingers with his own and Gremlaw relaxed as he realized the chill he felt before must have been due to the magic. He smiled down at Mar-Tshi-Srin and asked,
“What next?” What does Mar-Tshi-Srin do? Please return to the top of the page to vote on what happens next!