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The Tower of Time
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Once upon a time would not be the correct way to begin this tale: once before time began may be more fitting, though fairytales aren't usually set before the universe was formed. This one however is: but then again the tale of the Tower of Time is not exactly a fairytale. Perhaps it may remind you of one but in truth it is not; it is a tale of sadness, darkness and eternal loneliness. Now listen to me, children, as I tell the tragic tale of Setsuna, the daughter of the guardian, the prisoner of the Tower.

She was born a normal child to a normal family, one with no idea that she had any kind of special powers. She was, however, renowned all over the land for her unearthly beauty and intelligence. The tragedy did not begin for a long time though; it was not until her powers of foresight awoke that they first saw her as a threat and decided to do something about it.

The demi-gods were not evil but they were far from good: perhaps this is hard to understand, but that is the way it was. It was the demi-gods who hated Setsuna; they were bitter that she had been granted such powers when she came from no higher a bloodline than they did. Of course that was not the girl's fault, but the demi-gods did not have minds that worked in such a way: she was simply a threat to them, one who may have sought to control them, though in reality such a thought never crossed her mind. Still they plotted and plotted until eventually their plan was ready: then, to their luck, the daughter of time walked right into their trap…

One evening as the sun was setting and the stars were rising, Setsuna was walking through the forest on her way back home from visiting the nearest town. It was getting dark by then and Setsuna knew she would not make it home soon enough, so she decided to find somewhere to stay for the night. As luck would have it she knew that there was a deserted cottage nearby so she headed over in that direction. When Setsuna reached the cottage it was very nearly dark. The inside was dark already and smelled of damp and decay but Setsuna didn't care; even this was better then spending the night out in the open forest. She lay down in a corner and went to sleep.

When Setsuna woke up she couldn't tell where she was, for it most certainly wasn't the cottage; she was in a stone-flagged room room hay blanketing the floor and was extremely cold. She tried to move so that she could have a better view of the room but found herself unable to: then she felt a searing pain in her chest and looked down. She had been bound by chains not of metal, wood or rope but of some kind of dark magic, the evil interwoven at every thread. She tried her best to scream for help but it was no use; some spell or other had been cast in order that her vocal cords were silenced. Setsuna looked around and saw the twisted remains of mangled bodies in all around her in this cell; she felt tears come into her garent eyes as she began to cry: why couldn't her captors, whoever they were, have been kind enough at least to close her eyes so she did not have to see the dead surrounding her.

Who had done this to her? How could they be so cruel? What had she done to deserve this? Why was she here? Was she going to die like those who around her? These questions were just some of the ones that had come into her mind as she sat there, crying and wanting to scream but unable to.

The door swung open, the sound ricocheting off the walls as it did. In the doorway stood a cloaked figure, one who seemed to be made of the shadows themselves. It fixed its eyes, pinpricks of red light, on her and moved slowly but surely towards her. It drew a knife from the folds of its cloak and pushed it into Setsuna's chest, just above her heart. Once again she tried to scream but found herself unable to: the knife seemed to be drawing something from her, something more important than her lifeblood… her very soul. Just as the pain grew so intense Setsuna wished she would die, it stopped. She fell forward only to be constricted once more by the chains that bound her. The demonic figure withdrew the knife and let the blood drip from it into a goblet it had held in one of its rotted, skeletal hands. Then it placed its other hand over the wound it had made and healed it.

Setsuna watched with terror as the goblet began to glow; her blood was floating above it and glowing an unearthly shade of red. It solidified into an orb, which the creature in front of her forced into Setsuna's hands. Setsuna looked down into the orb and realised; this orb now held her soul, her life force; she was dependent on it and if it was damaged she too would be.

The creature stood up and left the cell, leaving Setsuna bound and in chains, holding what was left of her soul and her mind in a fragile garnet orb. She was bound and chained forever, locked in the Tower of Time. Just like Rapunzel was she, locked within a tower by demons of old… but unlike Rapunzel, Setsuna had no prince to save her.