Disclaimer: Terry Brooks is the owner of all things word and void, and Shannara. This story/book is not for profit and is not intended to infringe on copyright.
He stands in the center of a burned out town, one he has visited on many occasions. Dust blows over an empty street between broken down buildings. Windows are broken on the ground, and leave dark holes peering out at him. Weeds grow out from cracks in the pavement. He looks to his right at an old school, now it only houses refugees. This was a lucky town, too many were just a crater or were hit by an even worse enemy, plague. The small town is about 8 blocks total, with an inn, the school, and a car dealership as the center. As he looks toward his destination he sees a gas station with a car sitting there, its tires and rims gone, everything that could be scavenged was. He does not let this affect him, he has seen worse, he even fought in Vietnam. He embraced death as a lover at one time, but he now serves the Word. As he begins his walk a group of kids rush from a house toward the school. Upon seeing him they stop and take in his measure, He stares into their eyes showing them he is not afraid. They children carry knives, small guns, and the items they found. They rush into the ruined school and slam the door, it was heavy metal scavenged from the body of an old truck. He continues down the road toward his destination, to meet a man, the only man, who could help him. As he nears the house, a man comes out to greet him. Evenin! What can I help you with stranger?
He knows this man; he's bald, with a farmers look. He carries an 8 gauge slung over his right shoulder. Tucker! Long time, no see. Is he here?
Yep, in the back goin over the plans. There's a group comin in, there's a demon with em.
But I got faith in him. He's kept us safe in the past.
The man scowls at this.
He understands, he was given that power and knowledge for a reason…but defending small towns wasn't it. He gives the man a sour look.
I need to see him.
Not a good idea, boss. Wherever you seem to go, bad news comes with it. You go ahead and take your Word and Lady with y…… He gives the man a look that could turn a mans soul inside out. I'll go get em, just wait here. The man stalks into the building, muttering that he's bad news in and of itself.
He waits for the man he has traveled across the U.S. to seek. While he observes a pack of wild dogs running by, a voice speaks from the doorway.
Hello, old friend.
He turns toward the doorway to see a man of average height and build wearing a black cloak with a hood drawn up, underneath the hood, two eyes stare into his. He shudders at this; these eyes look as if they see into your very soul. He, who survived so many calamities in the past and lived the lifespan of many, shudders at this man.
Call me by my real name, it brings comfort to me to hear it.
That depends on the news you bring, Two Bears. He scowls under his hood.
He frowns. Not good news, I'm sorry to say, but it comes from Her. He looked into his eyes to see his reaction, and,…there was none?
The Lady? I'm not surprised. I'll pass, I have a town to defend.
You must! It's a matter of life and d…
Everything is a matter of life and death! I have witnessed both with these eyes! I follow those orders no more! Pure rage can be easily seen beneath the dark hood.
What happened to you? This is what you wanted.
At this the man's face dropped, he appeared as a man tied to a stake being lit on fire. His pain was apparent. She's dead.
I'm sorry. He knew of her death from the Lady, and knew it would affect him, but this?
You have to move on, there is something happening in the west. Something that could ruin the Word's plan to save mankind.
The mans eyes flashed. He sneered and said. I don't care. Mankind did this to itself!
Seeing as he wasn't getting anywhere he asked him. How did she die?
During our travels, on the way back from Paranor, we were ambushed. There was a demon with them. She died, and so did George. George's brother died that night from his injuries. We're all that's left from that horrible night. I….I wasn't strong enough. Even then. Even after getting all their memories, and gaining access to the library. I still couldn't save them, save her. That's why I'm staying here. With the rest of my friends.
He saw the truth in his eyes, and the madness of the thought of him staying to fight.
That's insane! Do you know what comes? Over a thousand Once-men and no less than 5 demons! What do you have, maybe a hundred? You can't win.
….I know. But I can try. At least I can die in piece.
But this is not your time! You were supposed to survive the Apocalypse, and revive the Druid Order! I need your help!
You! You need…my…help?! You don't do… anything! You're a messenger. And an assassin! Nothing more! You mean to say, The Word needs me to do something. And just what is this thing?
A demon has found the control centre to an experimental facility. It has the explosive capability of 5 hydrogen bombs.
So what? We've been through plenty of those, that's why there is no New York!
True, but this one isn't aimed at a city, or even up for that matter!
The mans eyes closed for a moment, and then he stared into his eyes. The eyes that could see every fiber of your being, and they usually weren't satisfied with what they found.
I see…..It points down, correct?
How? The man asks.
A drilling mechanism. The government has been drilling in that spot for over a decade. At first it was for study of the mantle and core. But in their madness, they created this failsafe. It will either destroy the planet, or cause such a catastrophe that all life will cease to exist! And no hope for it to come back.
I see. That's too bad. The man's lip curls.
His eyes widen. What? Even after that you won't help?
No, let the world burn. Plus I am not strong enough for this. I'm giving the last of my strength to this.
What do you mean? Of course you're strong enough! Your one of the strongest beings on the planet!
The mans eyes glint. This is true. But I am broken. This is the fate I choose. I will control my fate, if nothing else. And I will see my friends and family once more. Good bye my friend. I wish you luck, I'm sure you have plenty of knights who could do it. That young man, Logan Tom. He seems quite capable!
Very well old friend. I will manage. I wish you luck in this. Speak my name, so that I may hear it one more time from your lips.
Farewell O'olish Ameneh. I would hear you say mine as well before you go.
Goodbye Simon Majere, High Druid of Paranor. May your soul find safe travel to the Word's gardens, and find those you seek.
He begins his walk to the west. Giving a sigh. Logan Tom is capable of many things, but he is on assignment, to guard a special person. Angel Perez is also protecting someone crucial to mankind's survival. There is no one else. If only there was a way to renew Simon's spirit, and to bring him back into the fight. On his way he sees a sign dangling from a post. Now leaving Kingston, OH.
He wakes with a start and looks around. He sits in the back of a greyhound bus. No one sits by him. A boy of about 8 years looks back at him and smiles. He returns the smile and leans back to relax. The boy's mother quickly turns the boy around and scolds him. He is too young to see what she sees. What everyone sees, death sitting just in the back of their bus. The bus will take him to Ohio, where he will find Simon and fix his mistake. But changing the time stream has its own consequences. It changes it, who knows what evil lurks behind the corner for the right circumstances that were denied him in the other time stream. Beside him sits a black staff. To most it seems like an abnormally tall walking stick. To more trained eyes they see a 6' black staff, with runes carved into it. For now the runes are dark, waiting for the right owner to awaken them. He looks at the staff, and wonders, will this fix it? Or do we need to give more. We need a sword to combat this threat. But swords are double edged. Which way will this sword swing? Only time will tell. He leans back and starts to doze.
He is O'olish Ameneh, known by most as Two Bears, last of the Sinnissippi, and messenger of the Word.