Serialized Science Fiction.

Blast from the Past
Tom Haynes

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Most spirits manifest according to their inner nature, e.g., a city spirit might appear as a pack of rats or as a small whirlwind of trash. I didn't know what to expect with this summoning, but I didn't expect the circle of white light. A lot of energy was spilling over from the astral plane onto this one. It started out as a white vortex of sound that quickly spun into light. Then the vortex collapsed into a circle of white. The circle absorbed the ambient light - instead of being sucked in like a black hole, the light gently bled onto the disk. My squad was looking at me wild eyed and bushy-tailed. I signaled that this was to be expected and to wait for all hell to break loose.

I guess I expected an airborne monstrosity that could chase the dragon through the night. Oh I know wings are not necessary for flight, but I expected the manifestation to mimic some ancient natural enemy of the dragon - perhaps some creature for which the mana levels were not risen enough.

What I never expected was an armor wearing, sword wielding, and human warrior. At first I thought he walked out of the circle with elegance many models train all their lives for and fail to achieve. With a shock, I realized his feet were not moving and his eyes were closed. His tranquility indicated he was sleeping.

His hair was pure silver, not white and not gray, and cascaded down his shoulders. The sword was grasped in his left hand and his right held a wooden wand. His cloak was a predominantly forest green camouflage and the clothes underneath were purple and orange. I don't know how I knew he had on some form of body armor, I mean I couldn't see any on him and he floated unencumbered.

The eyes snapped open and a grin developed. He passed through the containing pentacle and headed straight for me. He didn't even glance at the others. He called to me in Sperethiel, "Elandra, my love, you have finally returned." I got the shivers, not only did he have that accent that my aunt affected that night she was drunk, but he knew the name that only my mother, and once my father, had called me.

I might as well try to play the game and act like he was still confined in the pentacle. "I am not your paramour, but I do need your help. There is a dragon at eleven o'clock and two squads of Paladins out there. The ones here, and one other, each in my uniform, are my companions. Eliminate the others."

He seemed able to follow my Sperethiel. The Sarge yelled a warning at him in English to duck, but the warrior just stood there, staring at me. "My lady, I must know your true name before I fight. What is your lineage?"

I knew The Kid knew enough Sperethiel to follow the conversation, "I can't give you my true name now, it is not safe. The Paladins could be eavesdropping on us. But in my squad, I am called Garbo. It is a battle name."

He resignedly nodded his acceptance of my refusal to give my true name and lineage. "Then you must swear by Grenfelian that you will provide me with the information I seek after we defeat the dragon and the Paladins."

How the drek did he know about the Grenfelian and the fact that I would not break such an oath. He could see the reluctance in my eyes. He finally glanced at The Kid and spoke some words I could not follow. They sounded like Sperethiel, but older. I could see the embedded flechettes spit themselves out of the wound. The flesh then knit itself together. I swore the white light dimmed a little.

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