Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seven #1.4

Cassius, Seven, Tara, Nicholas and Abraham sat in the Kazachov living room. Tzviel sat back in his chair and calmly listened to the black man while Abraham seemed in shock.

"I still don't see, or understand how you got here Mr. Traveller," Tzviel said. "Are you sure you are blind?"

"Since I was 15, Mr. Kazachov. I can't really understand it but I can see where I'm going when it's related to what I have to do but other times, I can't see my own fingers in front of my face," Cassius explained.

"And what is it that you have to do?" Abraham asked, with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

"I have to find Shmand Valley," Cassius said.

"And you need our kids for that?" Abraham asked.

"What is Shmand Valley?" asked Tzviel.

Cassius smiled although he didn't mean to. "From what I can see, Shmand is a beautiful valley filled with trees, mesas, canyons and crystal clear rivers and lakes. It's largest city and capital, Lyj, is a shimmering beacon of prosperity but there's another city, Xan, where it's ruled with an iron fist. Xan City, while ruled by Lyj, is out of the reach of the capital," Cassius explained.

"What are you going to do in Shmand?" Tzviel asked.

Cassius said with all seriousness, "Prevent a war."

"The Journey Begins"
Cassius, Tzviel and Abraham sat in the kitchen around the dinner table while the kids were in the living room but still listening. The adults were having a cup of coffee and both Tzviel and Abraham were wondering what direction to take with their questionning.

"So how did you get here?" Tzviel finally asked.

"I've been following the railroad. My visions show me the way but the rails led me here."

"Where did you come from? Abraham asked.

"From a city near the Delta. I awoke from a nightmare in a panicky sweat. I kept seeing these flashes of...something. I now know it was the Valley. At first, my visions were just flashes--pieces of the puzzle and I was scared. After several hours, the visions slowed and became clearer and I learned all about Shmand, Lyj and Xan City. I knew what was coming and soon my visions showed me what I needed to do.

"My journey was to begin in the Gateway to the West, Westport. I left my humble home and headed north on the train. I spent a night in Westport then left early the next morning to find the Seven Signs."

"Signs? What signs?" Tzviel asked.

"The first I knew only as The Old Fort but as I headed west I learned that Fort Zarah was the oldest fort west of the 'Sipp so I followed the railroad to Fort Zarah. There, I got visions of the second sign which was a bit more clearer. I had to go to the Prairie City Mission," Cassius said. "Your children were the third sign."

"This is all a bit too much," Abraham began. "I know Nicholas, along with Seven and Tara, like to explore but I'm not sure I approve of Nicholas running off across the state looking for a mysterious valley."

"We don't have a choice," Nicholas said, coming into the kitchen. "If we are to believe Cassius' visions, then we were chosen. We were chosen to protect Shmand and that's not something I'm going to turn my back on."

Everyone was silent as what Nicholas said sunk in. "I agree with Nicholas," Seven said.

"Of course you do," Tzviel chuckled. "Well, I can't speak for Abraham and Tara can really do what she want--she's not my daughter, but if Seven wants to go, then he can. I trust him," he finished.

Abraham stood up and walked over to Nicholas and put his hands on his son's shouldars. "Nicholas, you can make your own decisions but if you want to go on this journey then you have my blessing," Abraham smiled.

"All right then," Seven said, "when do we leave?"

The next morning, the three of them were all packed and ready to go. Cassius, the three friends and their fathers walked to the railroad tracks near the depot. "What you've packed may only last you a week," Abraham said, "so keep your eyes peeled for vegetation."

"Be careful, most of this state is still very hostile. Rest as often as you can," Tzviel hugged Seven and Tara.

"We'll be fine. Cassius made it here from the Delta and he's blind," Seven said.

Tzviel chuckled. "Be safe but have a good time."

The four travelers began walking west along the railroad track. As they walked their fathers waved and were soon just specks. Cassoday got smaller and smaller until it could no longer be seen in the distance.

"So where are we going first?" Tara asked.

"The fourth sign is the King's Elm. We'll know it when we find it," Cassius said.

"The King's Elm," Seven repeated. "I like that."

The four continue their journey and various secrets come out.