AN: I'm not allowed to read anymore. I swear, everytime I read something new, I get a fanfic idea. I finished The Pilgrims of Rayne and maybe ten minutes later I went, "Hey, what if Saint Dane's from (insert territory)? I wonder if anyone's thought of that? -checks here and Pendragon site- Nope, they all think he's from (insert territory). MUST WRITE!"
So, here's what I think is a semi-original idea on where Saint Dane came from and why he is how he is.
Disclaimer: I don't own Pendragon or any of the characters. I think if I even suggested it, DJ would sue my ass, 'cause I'm his friend on MySpace...
I do, however, own my characters, so please don't steal them.
Warnings: SPOILERS! HUGE SPOILERS! I will be using information from all the books, so if you haven't read all of them, please read them first. I hate spoiling books for people. Also, it will be rated PG13.
AN2: A side note for Dark Earth readers (if you're even bothering with me anymore): I haven't abandoned that fic. I just need to work on it a lot before doing anything else with it. Also, I started with the right journal! PoR starts with journal 28! It was awesome!
Anyway, hobey-ho, and on to the fic...
Puppet Master's Tale
I'm writing to you from the house of a new friend. He was gracious enough to let me stay here while we sort things out. Or rather, as he claims, I had no choice but to stay here. I would have to say I agree.
I've seen many incredible things since I left. You would love to be in my shoes right now. I know how much you love history, and what I've been through would be your dream.
But let me start from the beginning.
I don't know how long it's been since I left you and your mother. For me, it's been several weeks. Several weeks ago, I leaned over your shoulder to type in an answer you were having trouble with (although, really, you shouldn't have been finishing your homework at the breakfast table). Several weeks ago, I kissed your mother goodbye before I left for work.
I didn't get to work. When I stepped out the door, Jordan Park was standing there, waiting for me. You've met him before. He was a very close friend of my father's when I was growing up. Then he ended up being my good friend too, because we had quite a lot in common. He hasn't come by lately—the last time may have been for my birthday last August—but he's a hard person to forget. Not because he's out-of-the ordinary, but because…he just is. It hard to explain the charisma about him, but I'm sure you've felt it.
Jordan stood casually against the wall across from our apartment. His favorite dark jacket was slung over his shoulder and his graying hair fell into his eyes. Glancing at him, you probably would not know that he is almost seventy; he had aged very well.
He smiled when he saw me. "Hey, Daniel, you very busy right now?"
"I'm on my way to work," I said, curious. Though he had been around far more often when I was younger, he was hardly seen nowadays. Sometimes it seemed as though he'd dropped off the face of the planet. Or, planets, rather, because I'd checked and he was never on any of the colonies either.
"Oh yeah…well, that's alright. D'you think you could skip today?"
This only heightened my curiosity. I couldn't afford to miss work often, but I thought I was due a sick day or two. "What's so important that I have to skip work?" I asked.
He smiled again and pushed away from the wall. "Something that will change your life. C'mon."
I followed him. I had no reason not to. I trusted Jordan. If he thought whatever he wanted was important enough for me to skip work, then I would trust his judgment.
"I'm sure you've noticed I've been disappearing a lot lately," Jordan said after a moment of walking. I glanced at him in surprise.
"I have," I said. "Is that what this is about?"
"Mostly," he said with a slight shrug. "We'll have to get to a more privet area before I can tell you much more than that. But yeah, that's essentially it. Worth it?"
"That's worth it," I answered. We stepped out of the apartment complex and into the mall. Jordan turned left and I quickly followed his lead.
I noticed after a couple minutes that we were heading right for the subway platforms. I looked over at Jordan curiously. "We're taking the subway? How far are we going?"
"In a way," he answered cryptically. "And I wouldn't say we're going all that far."
I sent him a look that said I did not appreciate the secrecy, but he only smiled and gestured for me to keep going.
It didn't take long to reach the subway platforms. This early in the morning, most people were heading the same direction we were, toward the subway, so we weren't slowed down at all. I could understand why Jordan didn't tell me anything if he wanted secrecy; there were too many people around to guarantee that no one would here.
I wondered, suddenly, if Jordan was some kind of spy. Perhaps there was an underground movement he was a part of? It was hard for me to imagine. Few people were discontent with their lives anymore, and those who were would never be heard. But that seemed the only possibility at the moment.
When we reached the platform, Jordan walked over to the railing that over looked the city and leaned casually against it. I glanced between him and the train waiting in the station for passengers to board.
"Won't we miss it?" I asked.
He shook his head with a smile. "It's fine, Daniel. Just trust me like you have for so long."
I had to trust him. I really had no choice. I didn't know where we were going or what he wanted to tell me. And I wanted to know. I didn't want to back down and have him tell someone else. I was proud that he thought I was trustworthy enough for whatever this was.
The train left. The station was emptier than I had ever seen it. Besides the two of us and the various workers, only a couple other people milled about. Jordan suddenly sprang to life. He gestured for me to follow as he headed for the edge of the platform. At the end of the platform, a set of stairs descended to the tracks. Without any hesitation, Jordan walked down the steps to the tracks and started down the tunnel. I only paused for a second before following, only for enough time to wonder if Jordan had gone mad.
"I'm going to show you something that's pretty incredible," Jordan said after a moment. He must have thought we were alone enough for him to start talking. "It's going to become your favorite thing in the territories."
"What is it?"
"It's called a flume. Basically, it's a wormhole."
Now I knew he was nuts.
He knew what I did for a living. As a scientist, an astrophysicist at that, I knew it was impossible for a wormhole to exist on the earth without destroying. Wormholes were a bit like black holes; get to close to one, and you'd get sucked right in. Of course, we had theories that you could travel through a wormhole unharmed, but it would still suck in anything that came near it.
"Wormholes have never been proven to exist," I said. There was also that.
Jordan shrugged. "Well, it's not really a wormhole; it's a flume. But that'll give you an idea of what it does."
He suddenly turned toward the far wall of the tunnel. It took me a moment to see what he was headed for; in the shiny white wall of the tunnel was the very faint outline of a door. If I had not been looking for it, I would never have noticed. As we got closer, I saw that next to the door, a small star was carved into the wall, also too faint to be noticed without specifically looking for it.
Jordan pointed to the star when we reached the door. "This marks all of the flumes. If you see a star like this, it means there's a flume nearby. Eventually, you'll learn where the flume is on each territory, but it's always good to have the star to help."
He pushed open the door and stepped inside. I followed a carefully closed the door behind us.
We were now in a large rock cavern. It was an odd thing to see after the technology outside the door. Of course, the cavern didn't seem completely natural, but it did not seem man-made either. It was also thought it just existed and always had.
Across from the door and where we stood was the oddest thing of all. It was hard for me to believe even though I was standing there looking at it. The wall that should have been there was not. In its place was a gray slate tunnel, as natural and unnatural as the room. Yet, I couldn't tell how long it was. It may have been endless; it went on into darkness.
"That's the flume," Jordan said, looking at it with a smile. I noticed for the first time that he was really relaxed; he'd been tense and a little nervous before.
"So, what happens now?" I asked.
"Now, I tell you the truth."
I crossed my arms. "You've been playing with me."
Jordan laughed, shaking his head. "Not at all. I just haven't really told you anything yet."
"Then start talking," I said. There was a reason I had become a scientist; I disliked being without answers.
Jordan just smiled; he was used to my attitude at times like this. "I'm getting old, Dane. I'll be the first to admit. But what I'm doing is too important to leave unfinished. I'm a Traveler, and there needs to be one from each territory. It's time for you to take my place."
"What if I don't want it?"
"You're a Traveler, Daniel. You already have it."
I opened my mouth to protest, but he was not quite finished. "However, I know who the Traveler after you is too, so you really don't want it, I'll go to him."
I only had to think about that for a couple seconds. I was curious, and I wanted to know what was going on. Accepting could not be any worse than not accepting and then always knowing there was something else out there.
"All right, I'm in," I said.
Jordan grinned and slapped me on the back. "I thought you might say that! Alright, step into the mouth of the flume."
I sent him a suspicious look but did as he asked. Jordan stepped in next to me.
"I'm going to take you somewhere you wouldn't believe unless you saw it," he said, looking at me with serious eyes. "Do you trust me?"
"Of course I trust you," I said.
Jordan smiled and clapped me on the back again. Then he turned toward the endless tunnel and yelled, "Second Earth!"
Instantly, the walls of the tunnel began to change. The tunnel stared shifting and twisting, and the craggy walls seemed to melt and grew transparent and smooth, like huge amounts of crystal. Far down in the tunnel, a faint, sparkling light appeared and started growing closer and brighter until it enveloped both of us. The light brought with it a jumble of notes , not in any specific tune but still pleasant to the ear.
I watched all this in amazement. Everything we had come to know about the universe had just been blown away in a few short moments. I tuned to Jordan to find him grinning at me.
"This is incredible!"
"You haven't seen anything yet."
I felt a slight tug, like the flume was pulling me in. I let it; even if it killed me, it was too spectacular to run from. I let the flume pull until I blinked and we were no longer standing on solid ground.