Team: Tin Men
Word Count: 481
Prompt: Vapors (Table 1)
Disclaimer: Baum built the universe, Long-Mitchell and Van Sickle created these characters and situation. I am merely a fan.
Long before it happened, the Mystic Man saw the fall of the Queen and the rise of the Witch. He saw the ruin of the land he cherished and its valiant Tin Men succumb to betrayal. Unable to prevent the horrors he saw, The Mystic Man dulled his senses with Vapors.
When the girl struck him, it shocked him awake. He saw the sigil on her palm and knew.
Oz's lost daughter had returned!
Finally, he would be able to do something about the things that haunted him from behind his eyes! Oh, but it was hard to be lucid after so long chasing madness...There was so much he wanted to say, but the Vapors clouded his ability to form the words.
"You have most brilliant, beautiful blue eyes, but your mother...Your mother had lavender."
She didn't know what it meant – how could she? But one of the men traveling with her did and tried to pull her away. The Mystic Man saw the duster and tin star, but dared not hope...
"Not now, Mr. Cain," Dorothy stammered, shrugging off the other man's grip. "He still hadn't told us where to find my mother."
Cain? The name brought images flooding into his mind. A rancher's son from the Cloth Hills...never the most brilliant student, but patient and hard-working...
"Cain! Cain, you were one of mine!" he cried, "Weren't you? A Tin Man?"
"A long time ago," the man replied.
It was true then – a lone Tin Man had survived the purge! It had been hard not to tell the young man who served him so well that a future of cold metal and pain awaited him. It would have done no good at the time.
The visions overwhelmed him, their clarity and pain cutting like knives. Mystic Man could see the Northern Palace..caves where the truth would be revealed...a battle that raged around a Tower where Light fought Dark... a dungeon where his life would end...
Lines of destiny bound all four of his visitors, and they would face their fate together or perish alone. He knew Cain wanted to stay behind and fight, but if Cain died, so would all of Oz. Pulling himself back to the present, he looked Cain in the eye.
"No! No," the Mystic Man ordered. "You stay with her at all costs."
Cain protested, "I have to take care of Zero."
"You know who she is, now. She's the key! Promise me. I want your word as a Tin Man! You will not leave her side at any cost." The Mystic Man hated doing this. Oh, Wyatt, you'll forgive me for this eventually. Too late, but eventually...
"You have my word," Cain said.
Exhaling with relief and lightly slapping Cain's arm, the Mystic Man turned away and went to meet his death. It was done. Oz would be safe.