Drizzt opened his eyes slowly as he woke up, to pitch darkness and a silence more complete than anything he had heard... or not heard... in years. "Innovindil?" he asked as his eyes shifted into the infrared spectrum. The light-sleeping elf did not respond, but Drizzt thought he understood why as he propped himself on his elbows and looked around.
He wasn't in the cave he shared with his elven companion, where he remembered falling asleep. He was in a cave, to be sure, but one that was immediately recognizable to him. The large, perfectly circular area he found himself in was not the naturally formed, barely touched structure of a surface cave. The walls were too perfectly smooth, the shape too perfectly round, the air too perfectly still. One word came to mind before all others.
Drizzt rocked back and then rolled to his feet, reaching for his scimitars to see if he still had them. Merely more puzzled to find them still on his belt, he turned in a slow circle. Even more slowly, he started to grin.
Oh, this was Menzoberranzan, all right. This was the part of Menzoberranzan something inside of him had never ceased to yearn for in the decades it had been since he had last set foot here. This was the sparring room that he had spent his days with Zaknafein in.
The purple-eyed drow inched towards the weapons rack to the side of the chamber, not daring to question the fact that no harm befell him as he crossed the room. His fingers fell lightly to the hilt of a sword, over the haft of a mace, and brushed against the handle of a long spear.
"Secondboy," greeted a familiar voice. Drizzt spun around, his scimitars snapping out of their sheaths, before he fully registered the sound.
Zaknafein Do'Urden stood calmly, as though he had not noticed the deadly blades at his throat. He smiled slightly. "No, Drizzt, we're not going to spar today," he remarked.
"You're dead," Drizzt stammered, not removing the scimitars. Zak rolled his eyes.
"Do I look dead?" the weaponmaster asked wearily.
"House Do'Urden was destroyed... this is impossible." A rush of recognition flooded into Drizzt's mind, as it dawned on him just how surreal the whole experience was.
"If memory serves, Drizzt, your theory on what is possible and impossible is constantly being smashed. For instance: it was impossible that your friend at Melee Magthere would turn on you and stab you in the back when the opportune moment arose. And it was impossible that the cross-down was the correct parry for the double-thrust low. It was impossible for you to find welcome on the surface, and yet you have. Point proven?"
Drizzt nodded numbly. "Then... I am in Menzoberranzan?"
"That would be impossible," Zaknafein replied casually, stepping back from the threatening weapons, finally. Drizzt sheathed them, sighing in exasperation. Zak's roguish grin flashed at him briefly. "There's a good boy."
"I don't understand this..."
Zak nodded. "I know. There are quite a few things that you have not come to understand, Drizzt. And yet, there are so many concepts that you understand with a clarity beyond what I could fathom."
Drizzt frowned, confused. Zak watched him for a moment, and then he chuckled. "I had thought, once, that Menzoberranzan had taken you as it takes all of the others. I thought you were lost, Drizzt, and yet it was you, never I, who found the strength to leave. How many times did I watch you, and wish as you did that I could have been beside you?"
"But you have been."