Title: Young People

Fandom: The Death Gate Cycle, book series

Author: karrenia

Character: Zifnab

Rating: General Audiences

Recipient: for kneazles' previously filled multifandom 'time' request.

Request Details: fic_on_

"Young People" by Karen

If there existed a handbook, or some type of set in stone guidelines passed down orally from grandfather to father and thus on down the line to son, Zifnab had never heard tell of it. Although, he had hoped that he had had at least the initial broad outline strokes of an overall plan; it certainly would have helped.

The people of the Sundered Realms needed help, and lately Zifnab felt that he was merely the impetus to get the right people into the right places at the most opportune time. Speaking of which, the young Patryn that had made such a dramatic and flamboyant landing in the middle of the moss bed in the Fire World, was another case of someone who would require a deft hand into manuvering into the right place at the correct time.

Perhaps more importantly to even admit that he would be shaping up to be the reluctant hero of the overarching drama that Zifnab would have him be.

Zifnab sighed, his bony fists clenched into knots at his equally bony hips as he ankled through the spongy, wet ground, winding in and out of the towering tree trunks, hoping against hope that the stumbling, blind but by no means, less dangerous Titans had not managed to kill the young man.

A Patryn, could probably manage to hold his own for much longer than say a normal human, evil or dwarf, but at this stage of the game, he simply could not afford to take any chances.

His familiar, dragon, in one of his droller and sarcastic moods, had gone invisible so as not to unduly disturb the locals, but still Zifnab, wondered if he was tilting at the old world's proverbial windmills.

Hundreds of years ago, before the world had been literally torn apart and separated into his component parts, there were still those who would not only understand such a vague cultural reference, but appreciate it. Zifnab, although he might deny it until he was blue in the face, was a desperate man, and his dragon would no doubt delight in pointing, time and again, desperate men made mistakes.

As he pondered and stumbled, and wove in and out among towering tree trunks, his nose led him directly to the object of his quest. The Patryn, Haplo, had devised a quite ingenuous tactic of duplicating himself, convincing the blind behemoths to the point where they had fallen upon each other and collapsed full-length upon the spongy ground of the moss plains.

Even from as far away as fifty yards Zifnab felt the impact send seismic waves that caused the houses, trees, ground, and the surrounding jungle shimmer as if in a gigantic heat mirage.

"Young people," Zifnab huffed and puffed, when he got his breath back, his air having been knocked out of him upon falling down on the ground. "They all think they're going to live forever."