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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Purifying Fire - Chapter 6



Chandra's been caught! Now, can she escape?


The Purifying Fire - Chapter 6

The crowd watches as Chandra is seized, and she herself is quite stunned. How could that guard know her name?  Wait... the mind mage ! He must be here.

Chandra scans the room, and while she doesn't see the planeswalker that chased her back to Regatha, she sees two bald women with eerily white skin, and she has no doubts that the two of them are in her mind.

The situation sucks, and more guards are pouring into the room. Clearly they didn't need to pat everyone down as they enter the Sanctum of Stars, because each person's mind was scanned as they walked through the door. They've been ready for her to return.

The thought infuriates her.

One of the telepaths yells out that Chandra's getting ready to attack, and bows and drawn while bystanders continue to make their way to the exit. That just pisses Chandra off even more, to the point that the telepaths say she can't read her anymore because her mind is becoming too chaotic.

The head guard said impatiently to one of his men, "Where are the Enervants? They're supposed to be here!"

"Enervants?" Chandra said. "That's some nerve showing up late for the party." This was no time for jokes, but she couldn't help it.

(*groan*)

They couldn't believe that anyone would be so reckless as to come back, but they were told that she might be the one exception. Now she's to be turned over to the Enervants, and they never fail to break anyone.

So what's Chandra to do? She doesn't want to die, but she also doesn't want to destroy the scroll if she does anything too crazy. But a decision has to be made.

Chandra asks them if they've ever heard any of the sayings of Jaya Ballard .

"For example," Chandra said, feeling heat pour through her. "Jaya said, 'when in doubt…'" Fire licked her veins, her skin, her fingertips. "'Use the biggest boom you know.'"

Bows are ready to fire but they hesitate as a small ball of white flame appears, and then they relax as it sputters and fails. One of guard makes a comment about the pathetic boom and the whole room laughs. As they do so, Chandra concentrates and the the flame collapses into a point and then explodes and throws everyone off their feet, sears flesh, destroys arrows, and sets people on fire.

Chandra checks to see scroll case shattered, but the scroll is still intact. She takes it blasts a hole in the wall and runs. Outside people are screaming and soon she can hear first the spire of the Sanctum collapse and fall, and then whole building collapses in on itself.

Fire above, the whole thing! The whole building! I didn’t mean to do that.

The screams of children filled her ears. She heard a woman wailing. A horse was whinnying in terror.

She had just wanted to escape alive with the scroll.

Dead soldiers? Sure. Dead telepaths? Fair game.

But she hadn’t meant to destroy a whole section of the city, terrorizing all of its citizens and perhaps killing innocents.

She has the scroll, but she used up all her energy and can't planeswalk. Maybe Mother Luti has a point about pacing herself. She looks like she's in such a tattered state that a nearby merchant offers her some food and water. Chandra didn't realize she was hungry until after she takes the first bite, and then is grateful for the help.

Up above, Chandra can see the gargoyles doing a thorough, methodical search, and she tires to stay hidden under the merchant's umbrella. When she looks around, she notices the merchant talking to some new fellow.

He wasn’t wearing the uniform of a Sanctum guard, or of the Prelate’s soldiers, but he looked far from innocuous.

He was older than Chandra, but he was still young, late twenties, maybe thirty. He was taller than average, but only by a little. He had fair skin, blue eyes, and black hair. When he turned his head, she saw that his hair was long and wavy, and tied neatly at the back of his neck. He was dressed simply - tan pants and top, with scuffed leather boots and a well-worn dark leather vest. There was a small coin purse attached to his belt, along with something else that looked like a tool or a weapon. It was shiny, like metal, and coiled like rope - or a like a whip.

He calmly walks over to her, addresses her by name. He introduces himself as Gideon and suggests they get out of here because there's not much time. However Chandra stalls, unsure what to do, and soon the Sanctum guards close in on her. He says it's too late to get away now. He was hoping all this would be avoided, but now she's just going to have to get captured, and he hopes she has a high threshold for pain.

Chandra feels the adrenaline rush through her and thinks that maybe she has some magic left in her. Gideon is against her continuing the fight, and when she doesn't listen, he grabs the metal whip from his belt and binds her with it. It has an unnatural cold that traps her fire from escaping, and just before she loses consciousness, she thinks she hears him say that he's sorry.

* * *


Chandra's Conscience

For someone who just slaughtered a couple dozen people, the tone of the book continues to remain pretty light, while at the same time we get a glimpse of where the line is drawn for Chandra. She can kill people without a second thought as long as she doesn't consider them to be innocent. The fact that she actually cares about some life does help to ground the chapter.


Gideon Jura!

There's no Jace, which was a bit disappointing, but instead we get introduced to Gideon. Who's he working for? And why was he searching for her? Jace needed to recover the scroll, but what is Gideon after, and how did she know she'd be there? So many questions... the only way to find the answers is to keep on reading.


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