"Stormy here but it's clearing ahead
," I shouted.
"That's where we're headed," Lin shouted back, hands steady on the wheel
We were in unfriendly territory. At least, unfriendly at that moment
. It was to be expected I suppose. We hadn't shown enough respect to the local customs and we were reaping what we sowed.
The land and skies turned against us. We hadn't realized what we were up against or the extent of their power. If we had, we would have been much more careful. Goodwill is hard to win back once it's lost. And it was not a good time to try
to win it back. Not in the middle of the sound and the fury.
The best we could do for the moment was try to escape, so our crew aimed for the exit route as best we could, and put the rest of our hopes
in fortune and fate.Looking back now
, we had little to worry about. Though the storm raged, the worst of it did not come close enough to threaten our escape.
Soon we had cleared their realm of control and were in friendlier territory
"It's a sister land," Lin told me as I returned.
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"While they are not directly connected
, they still influence one another. We can't let down our guard."
Lin was right. The skies seemed activated
, but in a different way. While it wasn't dark and gray, large clouds were billowing in and changing at speeds I'd never witnessed before. Something was coming.
"There are still large patches of blue
behind the clouds," Lin said. "That's a good sign."
"It means things haven't quite reached a point where we'd have to escape
again. This is a different type of region."
Even as the clouds formed and reformed
, it seemed to me the mountains around us were rising.
"Am I seeing things?
" I asked. "Did you see that?"
"Sorry," Lin said. "I don't have time now."
I followed her gaze. We seemed to be rushing forward
at a speed we usually reserved for emergencies.
"Uh Lin," I said, "you might want to slow down."
"Quiet!" she demanded. "I'm doing the best I can!"Her right hand darkened
, and she waved it in front of us. The road straightened temporarily, and slowed. Then it came rushing at us again.
Lin tried again. A darker wave went in front of us. This time a shockwave rippled through the landscape around us, warping the spatial positions of everything it passed through
"It's not trying to destroy us," Lin said, "but we are about to be caught in a storm of creation
"Is that why the mountains were rising
Lin ignored me, eyes focused ahead. There were no hand movements this time, but I could see it in her eyes
. Lin was trying to preserve enough of reality for us to still pass through.
A tunnel formed around us, while just beyond, I could see the landscape changing. Inside our tunnel, reality still did the same things it always did, but outside, it was cycling through new forms
"It's clear," Lin said. "I think it's clearing."
We burst out of the tunnel, which I assume was something she created. Outside, reality was steady
We were in a meadow. The grass was yellow green. It hadn't been there before
. The paved road we were on was gone.
"There was a town here
, wasn't there?" I asked. "Wasn't there supposed to be a town here?"
"It's not the same place anymore," Lin said. "Maybe the town is at a new location
now. Maybe it's been erased."
"Erased? Weren't there people in it? What happened to them?"
"I don't know," Lin said. "Maybe they never existed. Not anymore. Not where we are now. Maybe your memories of them are the last record
of them having ever been anything at all."
"No, that's not right. That can't be what's happened
"You are here," Lin replied. "You carry on. You tell their story if you have to. That's the best all anybody has ever done