Chapter IV

     "We have to keep rising!" shouted Psycho. The buildings of the City were visible within the haze of the distance, and the craft was already at a considerable altitude as it was.
     "Why do we have to be so far up?" reasoned Tim, shouting above the wind. "At this rate, we'll overshoot the entire edge of the continent!"
     "We're not going in for a landing right away!" explained Psycho. We have to observe carefully and from afar where the best point of landing will be in terms of avoiding detection and ease of retreat! In the meantime, the less inhabitants who spot us, the better are our chances!"
     "It looks like we should be there relatively soon," spoke Drum Boy directly to Tim's ear as to avoid shouting. "Think you know what to expect?"
     "Whenever I try and picture it, it just all seems overwhelming," admitted the boy. "How are we planning on doing this? It's all coming across as being rushed, and I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do at the screen once we reach it."
     "Really, none of us is completely certain what to expect in each of those respects," continued Drum Boy. "As for the approach, I believe we are going to try to be diplomatic about it, but we'd still do best to stay in the shadows as long as possible. Making any sort of a dash for the screen won't be practical namely for the second portion of the journey, your role in viewing it. We only hope that your being from Earth will allow you to somehow either recognize or to devise a way to return to it once you have seen it through the portal."
     It was this part of the endeavor which worried Tim the most. He knew in his heart that he was no more from Earth than he was a bane of this world. If he was to recognize anything by viewing the screen, it would be due to his experiences as a god, one whose only experiences as a mortal began in the Bane World itself. Ironically, of all those imprisoned here with him, he alone had never been mortal on Earth for any amount of time at all. Thus, as he viewed his situation, he was putting all of his friends in peril on what was purely a false assumption, all due to a lie he had formed in order to protect himself.
     Drum Boy continued to speak in Tim's silence. "If you do find something, say you can activate the screen, we will be faced with one problem in the form of a surge of banes who would all risk their five-years' regeneration time just to follow you through it. To fend them off will be difficult, to say the least, as they would destroy anything, even you, which stood in their direct path. On the other hand, should nothing happen at all, we face an equally greater threat of needing to return to the glider. I'm sure there will be those who would deny us the ability to come in from afar, view the screen, and merely depart. This is when, if at all, a mad dash must occur. But if we conceal our means of arrival, they will not be able to anticipate our departure by air."
     Tim only half-heard these words as he contemplated his position in these matters. Drum Boy spoke of those who would feel deceived if Tim and his allies were allowed to see the screen and accomplished nothing. But how would his own allies feel if they were to discover his lies? The deception of his story was far worse than any violation they would have in seeking to view the site. He was putting every one of them at great risk under false pretences, and he couldn't ever bring himself to tell them for the numerous fears of their anger and his abandonment. Bound for failure or not, he must play out this role he had created for himself.
     But then he was discounting the very real possibility that his memories of Earth from the view of a god could afford him an even greater chance of `recognizing something.' Yet, try as he might, he could not take comfort in this one of countless possibilities.
     And as Psycho pointed out the rooftop where they would be attempting a landing, one reasonably close to the screen, which was isolated in the center like a star within a thick, crowded solar system (although not clearly visible from their goal itself), Tim's anxieties only became fiercer.

[Chapter III] [Chapter V]
Last page update: 4-18-99