A plot bunny that popped into my head when I watched Prince Caspian (awesome movie!). Please, I know this is a bit different to the other fics out there but give it chance! Please R+R
Across the Worlds
Chapter 1: Four worlds
. . . . . . . . .
London, 1942 A.D.
"Why did you stop believing?" Lucy begged.
A cool sneer was thrust callously into Lucy's grief-stricken face.
"What is there to believe in?" came the blunt reply.
"Don't you remember? How can you possibly forget all those years!?" Peter demanded, blue eyes flashing.
A haughty laugh followed by a quick flick of long flowing dark hair.
"My word brother dear," each word dripping with venomous sarcasm, "Aren't you a little old for these games?"
"I know why you are doing this," Edmund's face was solemn, his words gentle, "But trying to pretend it never happened isn't going to help."
A short stunned horrified silence, shocked at the fact that he could so easily see through her façade and see the ugly truth beneath. She did the only thing she could: feign ignorance.
"Don't have some silly games to play with Peter and Lucy?" the faintest hint of shakiness underlined her voice, "Really, all of you should just grow up."
Lipstick was applied expertly to her lips, the sheer tawdry redness of the make-up hiding the delicate natural crimson of her lips.
"Now if you'll excuse me I have a party to attend."
She stormed out of the room as she and Edmund both pretended not to see her trembling body.
"I can't believe Su's going to America!" Lucy grimaced, "Us… stuck with Eustace… yerk!"
"At least you two are having some sort of holiday," he muttered rubbing his temples, "I'm going to be studying all the time. Trust me by the end of the first month I'm going to be balmier than a drunken Tumnus."
"At least you get to see Professor Kirke again," Lucy reminded him cheerfully, eyes twinkling, "And Ms. Polly!"
Peter smiled at her, shaking his head at her ability to see the bright side to everything.
"I'm hoping it's Time," Edmund said conspiratorially.
Peter's smile instantly fell.
"You think…" he trailed off.
Lucy nodded vigorously.
"I… Ed and I think it's time… we just feel it."
Susan could stand it no more. Taking in a deep breath like she was preparing herself for battle, she pushed the door open and swanned into the room. A furious glare pierced all her siblings.
"Oh not that rubbish again!" she announced in a high clear voice, "Really Ed, Peter. You should be ashamed of yourselves!"
Peter's eyes instantly flared at he leapt to his feet, his mouth open ready to sling the first verbal arrow in their endless screaming matches. But before he could get even one syllable out, a voice floated up to them.
"Susan! The cab's here!" their mother called, "Get down or we'll leave without you."
Susan smirked at Peter's flushed and furious face. A part of her, a small-suppressed side screamed at her to stop, to allow herself to feel and not just to act and pretend and hide but she couldn't do it. To do so, to allow herself to grief… it would crush her.
So she lashed out with cruel words and cold glares.
"Looks like it's time for the adults of the house to leave," she sneered, "Leaving the little children behind."
Peter glared at her but Susan ignored him as she whirled around elegantly and made to leave the room. A small hand grabbed onto her arm stopping her.
Susan looked at her sister. Lucy swallowed thickly but forced herself to speak.
"If we see him…" Lucy began timidly, "Is there anything you'd like us to say?"
Susan stared at her, eyes wide and frightened, her face bleaching as all blood drained out of it. Peter and Edmund looked on, holding their breaths, waiting.
"I'm sorry," she choked out finally, "But I have no idea what you mean."
Before anyone could say another word, she wrenched herself free and sprinted out of the door. Her three siblings stared sadly after her.
"Next time I see him," Peter growled out finally in a low dangerous voice, "I'm going to kill him."
Edmund scowled darkly.
"Get in line Peter. Get in line."
Peter's blue eyes flickered to his brother's face.
"If you see him…" he began.
Edmund flashed him a mischievous grin.
"Will do," he promised, "Punch to the face right?"
Peter smirked and nodded. Lucy sighed and rolled her eyes.
"Boys!" she announced, annoyed, "Always with the violence!"
Throwing her hands up in despair, she stormed out of the room as Peter and Edmund burst into laughter.
. . . . . . . . . . .
The sun was bright on her face, the wind gentle. The world around her was green and lush and somehow more alive than it ever was in the real world. Susan could feel the soft fabric against her skin and almost unbidden a cry of joy escaped her lips.
She looked up and he was there again, reaching out for her, a soft smile on his swarthy face, his tousled hair gleaming in the sunlight.
"My love," soft accented words that seemed to plunge deep into her soul and make her quiver with joy.
She woke up with a start and stared up in the darkness. Soft snores instantly reminded her where she was. Not home in her kingdom and with him but here, in this harsh cruel world, on a boat en route to America.
Tears filled her eyes but she refused to let them fall.
"Why do you torment me?" she begged of the dark ceiling above her, "Why do you let me see what I can never have?"
She crawled out of her bed and shuffled to the door, pulling her blanket tight around her. She stepped out onto the deck and stared up at the starlit sky. She let her head fall.
"I'm sorry," Susan whispered, her voice low and husky, "I'm so sorry. I tried to forget. I tried so hard but I can't. But it hurts to remember. What should I do? What can I do?"
She slammed her hands against the metal of the guardrails.
"Have you left me?!" she screamed out into the night, "Is that it?! Are you punishing me for trying to forget?! ASLAN! DAMN YOU! SPEAK TO ME! HAVE YOU LEFT ME!?"
Susan closed her eyes, praying she wasn't dreaming. That she wasn't going mad driving to madness by longing like so many literary heroines.
She twisted and stared into deep, dark, burning amber eyes.
Gold and sunlight seemed to spill over her body, tearing away at the dark night until everything was light and warmth and love.
And she knew no more.
Lawless, 1742 E.D.
A shrieking wind whipped through the scorching desert, super-heated sand battering against stony cliffs as overhead three bright burning suns baked the desolate earth beneath.
It was a harsh world. A world of heat and fire and sand, of endless undulating sand dunes and sheer rock faces. There was no water, no shelter from the sun, nothing at all to suggest that anything could exist at all.
But miraculously amongst all this desolation there was life.
A single heavily hooded figure scrambled frantically up one of the sand dunes, the triptych of suns beating mercilessly upon his back, their combined heat threatening to overwhelm him and bring him down into the sinking embrace of the golden sand beneath. But still he struggled on, his feet sinking deep into the sand.
Gasping desperately for breath, he reached the peak of the dune and without hesitation threw himself over the side. He fell and hit the sand, rolling rapidly down the dune, picking up speed as momentum spurred him on.
The hooded figure reached the end of the dune and rolled on, finally coming to a stop at the base of an immense cliff that threw the immediate area into dark cooling shadows.
The man leapt to his feet and instantly moved to dart off.
"I wouldn't do that if I was you," a soft voice called out.
The hooded figure froze and slowly turned around.
"Why do you follow me?!" the man demanded, "Who are you?"
"I am a Seeker," a tall man, dressed in a long battered brown coat emerged from behind the rocks, a crossbow clutched in his hands.
The hooded figure, Cyrus froze at the sight and the words.
"A Seeker?" Cyrus seemed to fold in on himself, "But I am a mere poor mage? What have I done to bring a Seeker on my helpless head?"
The Seeker, a tall man with a lined, weathered face and calm dark blue eyes, his features half-hidden beneath a fedora hat was completely unmoved.
"Now you know and I know that you are lying," he said almost conversationally, "Both of us also know that it's very hot out here. What you may not know is that I have very little patience for lies and that I'm really thirsty. So why don't you just lie down and surrender so I can head back to Lowtown?"
Cyrus narrowed his eyes.
"Seeker, I am not afraid of you," he hissed.
The Seeker raised an eyebrow.
Before Cyrus could even react, the Seeker had fired his crossbow. The bolt slammed into the mage's shoulder eliciting a violent roar of pain.
What happened next was a blur of motion.
Cyrus punched the air with his fist as the Seeker dived to the side. The ground he had just been standing in seemed to explode as sand, rock and dirt went flying everywhere but before Cyrus could unleash a second attack, the Seeker had loaded his crossbow and fired again.
The mage fell to his knees as the arrow slammed deep into his thigh.
"Just give it up already!" the Seeker snarled, "I really don't want to waste any more arrows on you!"
"Go to Tash!" Cyrus roared back at him.
The mage flung his arm forwards. There was a piercing shriek and something seemed to fly from the mage to his attacker, the air shimmering along its pathway. The Seeker merely raised his hand and the shimmering mass seemed to hit an invisible wall and disappear.
Cyrus blinked in surprise.
"You have powers!"
"Also a crossbow!" the Seeker roared again.
The Seeker fired again but Cyrus rolled away, the arrow shooting harmlessly past overhead.
"NOW!" Cyrus screamed.
The Seeker's head snapped up as along the rim of the cliff above them, crimson hooded figures appeared.
Cyrus laughed scornfully.
"You think a man like me don't have friends in low places?" he demanded.
"You work with them?" the Seeker spat back, "What are you crazy?!"
Cyrus's smirk only widened.
"Only a little," he grinned, "KILL HIM!"
The Seeker fired first, his arrow hitting one of the hooded men above. His victim crumpled but the counter-attack came fast and furious.
The Seeker, known only to a trusted few by his true name, Jason, stood defiant, dark eyes blazing, not giving an inch as a rain of arrows whistled through the air, death lancing towards him in a flight of feathered shafts.
But suddenly thunder roared in the air, a sound that had not been heard in the desert for centuries and whole world seemed to freeze.
Jason blinked and there was a flash of gold, a brush of wild thick hair against his face and everything was gone.
Melbourne, 2008 A.D.
The front door swung open and Inara looked up, her brown eyes narrowing.
"Hello honey!" Dorothy Nixon beamed drunkenly at her door as she stumbled into the room, a bottle of vodka held tightly in her hands.
"Out drinking again?" Inara demanded disgustedly.
Her mother pulled herself up to her full height and glared at her daughter blearily.
"Don't take that tone with me young lady!" she slurred angrily.
Inara glared at her in stonily silence as Dorothy lurched to the couch and crashed down onto the seat, spilling half her alcohol on the way down.
She took a deep swig and looked up at her daughter.
"Going to work today?" she asked.
Inara rolled her eyes.
"Yeah," she replied tersely.
She glanced up at the clock on the wall.
"Damn it," she muttered, "Look mum, I've got to go… there's some bread in the cupboard. Make yourself a sandwich or something. And please don't try to cook, we don't want to start a fire again or the landlord's going to kick us out."
Dorothy nodded vigorously as she took another swig of her vodka, half of it spilling down her the side of her lips. Inara shook her head in disgust and moved to the door.
Inara turned back to her mother. Dorothy was looking at her with a small apologetic smile.
"Ummm… I'm just wondering… me and my boyfriend…"
"Which one?" Inara muttered.
Dorothy ignored her.
"We want to go to this club but I'm a bit broke at the moment…"
"Let me guess. You want money? Again?" Inara growled.
Dorothy nodded slowly.
"Only a little," she wheedled.
"Why don't you ask your own daughter?" Inara demanded, "You know Little Ms. Precious Princess?"
Dorothy seemed to swell with rage.
"Don't talk about your sweet sister that wa…" she began indignantly.
"Sweet?" Inara laughed bitterly, "Mum, the alcohol couldn't have killed that many brain cells!"
"SHUT UP!" Dorothy hissed at her, her face flushed, "Don't you dare talk to me or your sister that way! How dare you, you little worthless…"
Inara's eyes flashed and Dorothy instantly stopped. She seemed to remember she had been begging her for money and instantly put a simpering smile on her podgy face.
Inara pulled out her wallet and yanked out some notes.
"Take it," Inara growled disgustedly throwing it at her mother, they fluttered to the ground before her, "It's not like you won't steal it anyway."
Whirling around, the young teenager marched out of the door into the cold night as her mother fell to the ground scrounging at the notes.
Inara slammed the door shut behind her and stalked down the small dingy hallway, tugging her battered jacket closer around her.
"Bloody cow," she spat furiously, "I can't…"
With a cry of frustration, she aimed a kick at a nearby rubbish bin. It easily tipped over with thundering crash, spilling garbage everywhere, something dark and slimy splattered across her shoes.
"Great!" she sighed, rolling her light brown eyes, "Just bloody great."
She marched straight through the stinking garbage, glass crunching underfoot.
The young teenager froze.
'Inara…' a voice called out from the darkness, soft and silky, haunting and alluring.
"Who's there?!" Inara demanded, "If you don't come out, I'll find you and kick your a…"
The words died on her lips as a tall towering figure stepped out from around the corner. Inara instantly froze, her eyes wide and horrified.
"No… no…" she begged scrambling backwards, "No."
The man smiled at her, a predatory grin that showed too much teeth and glee.
"Hello little Inara."
And suddenly there was a lion's deafening roar and everything went black.
Metech, 3010 G.R.
"Professor, I should warn you," the slim wraith of a girl informed him, "The chances of this succeeding is…"
There was a slight pause as she swiftly calculated the odds.
"A one in ten million chance this will succeed," she finished.
Professor Elias Denton smiled indulgently.
"How many times do I have to tell you, Five?" he informed his young assistant, "Man does not care for what impossible odds he faces! He fights when there is little hope because to not do so is not in the nature of man."
"It is also in the nature of man to be unaware of the limits he should not touch," Five swiftly responded, blinking rapidly, "To touch the unknown when it is better not to do so… that is the folly of man."
"Now where on earth did you download that data file?" the white-haired man asked her.
Five looked at him earnestly.
"It was within my programming professor," she told him truthfully, "When I was made to your specifications the creator thought it would be wise for me to be able to comprehend and add to your conversations. You are well known for being philosophical."
Elias roared with laughter as he continued to type rapidly away on his keyboard, a veritable wall of computer screens arrayed around his workstation, each showing the latest string of calculations and statistics he had teased out of his experiments.
"You mean for being long-winded," he smirked.
"That is for you to decide," his assistant told him.
Elias shook his head still smiling as he finished typing in a new string of equations.
"Ah. Now let's see what this will do," he glanced up at a screen towards his left.
Complex diagrams shown in stunningly crystal clear definition unfolded across the screen. Instantly a string of lightning fast data streamed across the wide screen but the professor's eyes darted here and there easily comprehending its meaning as the diagram flashed and seemed to fold in on itself until it disappeared.
Five stood patiently, blue eyes staring blankly ahead as the professor laughed and leapt to his foot.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" he punched the air delightedly, "It works! It works!"
He swung towards his young assistant.
"Five! Prepare the experiment area."
"But professor, it is my duty to warn you tha…"
"Enough," Elias ordered, "Please, just do as I say."
Five nodded and instantly hurried off. Elias strolled over to his apartment window. The huge ceiling to floor pane of clear glass showed an immense metal wonderland. Huge glass and steel skyscrapers dominated the landscape, the whole super-city glittering with gem-like lights as small sleek silvery hover-cars shot past his window, their sounds stopped dead by the special properties of the glass before him. Elias studied the scene before him, always awe-struck by the technological Mecca that was his home.
Huge strips of conveyer belts looped around the buildings, allowing pedestrians to move with ease even as more hover-cars thundered past overhead and below, their paths guided by the onboard computers within. Flashing plasma screens covered the façade of each building, advertisements grabbing the eyes with their neon brightness.
Elias smiled and placed his dark hand over the glass.
Instantly the clear glass went opaque shutting the world outside as Elias turned back to his apartment.
Five stood, waiting for him patiently, the centre of the room cleared of everything. Elias strolled over to this clear patch of space and took a deep breath.
"Okay," he nodded at Five, "Set the safety perimeters."
Five clapped her hands and instantly beams of blue laser light shot out from the walls and floors enclosing the professor in a prism of light.
"Activate the Transporter!" Elias yelled, slipping goggles over his eyes.
A section of the floor slid away as a something akin to an immense silver satellite dish unfolded out from the hole.
"Unlock the final safety mechanisms!" Elias commanded, "Turn the Transporter on to 0.95 of full power! Set Spectrum Accelerator to 0.23! FIVE! NOW!"
The young blonde girl nodded.
"Transporter. Activate!" she barked.
The Transporter hummed lowly as light built up at the centre of its satellite-like body. Elias watched intently as small nucleus of bright light began to gather at its core. The sound grew louder as the ball continued to grow.
"I think it's working!" Elias yelled triumphantly, "FIVE! RECORD THIS! I THINK IT'S ABOUT TO WOR…"
"PROFESSOR!" Five suddenly screeched.
Before Elias could even react the Transporter seemed to warp, crumpling violently in on itself, metal twisting and breaking as the ball of light at its centre trembled.
"What on…" Elias began spinning away from the transporter.
"Professor!" Five screamed, a split second before it happened.
His glass window shattered in a cascade of glass, the laser light shield around him blinking out of existence as the ball of light exploded and blinding whiteness devoured his senses.
"Who the hell are you?"
Susan blinked and stared into a pair of incredulous brown eyes.
"Okay, where am I and who the hell are you?" the young teenager demanded in a strange accent, "I didn't eat some funky mushrooms did I? Or was there a gas leaky in my dingy apartment and I'm just high on the fumes?! What's going on here!?"
Susan slowly rose to her feet and stared around her confused.
"Aslan!" she stared around, a bright smile on her face, "He was here! Aslan!"
Inara raised an eyebrow as she studied the pretty girl standing in front of her. The black-haired beauty had a look of utter amazement and delight on her flawless face and looked like she was ready to burst into tears even as she called out, her voice getting louder and louder, more desperate with each repetition as silence greeted her worlds.
Not particularly wanting to deal with a person on the verge hysterics, Inara edged away slightly.
"What is this place?"
A new voice made both girls whirl around. A tall man with dirty blonde hair stared at them quizzically, his dark eyes puzzled.
"What is this place?" he repeated.
"Check out the cowboy," Inara whistled lowly, "Nice threads."
Cowboy looked confused but ignored her as he continued to stare all around him in awe. They were in some sort of woods, tall trees towering over head, their branches and leaves coiling together to form a thick canopy overhead as soft sunlight diffused through in soothing shades of dappled green.
"Is this a… for… for… forest?" Jason stumbled over the unfamiliar word, "But how? These haven't been in existence for centuries!"
"I was about to say the same thing."
The three of them turned and stared as a stocky African-American man thrashed his way noisily through the undergrowth towards them.
"Hello," he said pleasantly, "I'm Professor Elias Denton. And am I guessing correctly when I say I'm in another world?"
Susan's eyes widened.
"Narnia!" she instantly whirled around as if hoping to spot a dryad or a nymph or anything to tell her she was back in the world of her dreams but all around her was silent, unfamiliar trees.
She deflated slightly.
"Okay…" Inara placed her hands on her lips, "So Doc. You seemed to be slightly more ahead of the schedule. What the hell is going on?!"
"I brought you here.'
Susan's face split in a dazzling smile as a huge lion emerged from behind a tree.
"Aslan! Aslan!" she instantly darted towards the immense lion as the others gaped at the giant talking King of beasts.
Susan made to throw her hands around him but a soft growl stopped her in her tracks.
"I'm sorry but I do not have much time," Aslan looked at all four of them solemnly, "I have pulled each of your out of your own world and times for a grave and dangerous task."
"Dangerous?" Jason was instantly interested.
Aslan's eyes seemed to swallow each of them as he spoke again.
"And so… it has begun. You are the Chosen."
And four jaws dropped in unison as Aslan looked at them gravely. It was Elias who spoke first, breaking the stunned silence.
"Not meaning any disrespect… uhhh… sir Lion but you are not making much sense. Chosen for what?" he asked cautiously.
"You are all needed…"
His next words sent a bolt of fear through Susan's heart.
"To save Narnia."
. . . . . . . . .