Chapter X

     Tim, who'd been under the table for the entire battle crawled out now, and ran over to stand next to Jester. The two watched the Drum Boy inspect his mallet and put it away.
     "So, any idea why the Prophets would send someone like him out after you?" asked the Drum Boy without looking up.
     "How did you get out of your cell?" demanded Jester.
     "Relax," answered the man. "I just saved both of your hides."
     "What in the heck just happened in here?" inquired Lord Psycho, who burst into the room, his brother a few seconds behind. "Oh, so you finally emerged, Drum Boy."
     "Yeah, well I might have stayed longer if you'd thought to bring me something to eat. By the way, you guys had company. Sorry about the window."
     "A shadow creature was here seeking the boy," continued Jester.
     "You didn't try a frontal attack on it, did you?" joked Dangerously.
     "Um, well..."
     "He claimed that the Prophets wanted the boy," interrupted Drum Boy, motioning toward Tim. "Did you get any information out of him yet?"
     "Information about what? I don't know why anyone would want to kill me!"
     "If the Prophets are after you, then something must be direly wrong. They usually keep to themselves. I'm asking you again, and this time with the most seriousness, is there anything about you you'd like to tell us you haven't revealed yet?" grilled Lord Psycho.
     "Yeah, how'd you get here to begin with?" added Extremely.
     The boy was beside himself once more. There was a definite force in the World of Affliction which intended to kill him, and he wasn't at all close to understanding why. He wasn't sure if he could trust the four in the room, especially not the Drum Boy. But these were the closest he had to friends here, and perhaps he should tell them of his true origins? But then, how would their knowledge of his existence as a generic god enable them to help him at all? He knew he could gain better answers without revealing too much. If he was going to survive here, his entire known past should be that of Tim from human Earth. But then, how did he get here? It was time he developed a final explanation and stuck to it wherever he traveled. Of course, the simplest explanation would be...
     "I have no recollection of how I got here, other than my sudden falling from the sky a few days ago. I cannot recall my life on Earth very well, only general and factual information. I don't remember my name... But Tim seemed somewhat familiar to me. I was told by one of the first people I met here not to reveal my identity for risk of those who may seek me for some knowledge of means of escape from this world, and it's a philosophy I've accepted thus far. Beyond this, I know nothing. I swear." He wasn't sure who he was supposedly swearing to. The gods couldn't hear his claims here, which was just as well.
     After a moment's silence, Lord Psycho muttered the first response, "Odd." Then after a pause, "That doesn't explain why the Prophets would order you eliminated, however."
     "Who are the Prophets, anyway?"
     "Oh, some group of nuts on a mountain who use their free will to sense changes in the powers of this world," explained Jester. "They sensed when Nirwena was destroyed and predicted a heat spell, among other trivial events. "Usually, they keep to themselves and serve only to keep their followers impressed, although they have actually helped all of us with their knowledge on a few scattered occasions. They rarely will try to directly intervene with the processes of this world, however. They only showed slight interest when the one technician transgressed to the outside world."
     "They're referred to as builders, Jester," corrected Extremely.
     "Either way, it's rare to see them actually show interest in meddling with the affairs of those who live below their sacred Mount Eldred," continued Drum Boy. "Wherever you tarry from here on, you'll have to watch your back, Tim. Unless you wish to seek an answer from them directly."
     "You aren't actually suggesting that he make the pilgrimage to their mountain when they're all trying to KILL him. do you?" asked Extremely.
     "Actually, it's a great idea," assessed Dangerously. "A better alternative to having to be guarded for an eternity. Besides, the Prophets themselves are hardly a threat. It's some of their followers who would pose a problem. If they're all off the mountain looking for him now, he may as well give it a try."
     Tim listened to this conversation intently. Although what they were suggesting of him was highly objectionable, it made some amount of sense to the boy. He decided to keep quiet and see what developed.
     "But naturally they'd sense his approach! He'd have no way of making it safely, even if he had all four of us guarding him!" claimed Jester. "They'd pick him off in an instant!"
     "Well, then, we'd just have to find some way of clouding over the minds of the Prophets," suggested Drum Boy. "I'm sure you're all aware..."
     "Oh, come on!" intermitted Extremely. "He'd come off worse seeking the aid of the Interrogatives than he would going to Mount Eldred alone!"
     "Not necessarily. There are those who associate with them," pointed out Dangerously.
     "Yeah, but they're often just as confusing!" argued Jester.
     "It's still an option. Then again, if he wished, he could examine the screen in the City," continued Dangerously.
     "Another perilous journey, of course," added Drum Boy.
     "The visions of human Earth may incite some portion of his lost knowledge, and that knowledge may enable him to discover the way in which the builder made it to Earth," declared Dangerously. "If he can discover a way to Earth, I believe it would be at least worth our while to direct him."
     "It's quite a long shot, you realize. Thousands have sought an answer from that screen, and numerous banes have killed each other over the fabled solution which was never discovered," admitted Jester. "Yet, there aren't many other options. I just don't see how Tim can possibly expect to live, a human in the Bane World, anyway.
     "Well perhaps it's time then that the human made a decision for himself," suggested Extremely.
     The four turned toward the silent boy.

End of Episode One.

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Last page update: 4-18-99