Nature Abhors a Vacuum
â€œSorry Sy, but it's gotta be done. I have a solution though, if you're not too proud to
accept my help.â€ Colt picked her up in his arms as if she were made out of feathers then
turned and led them through the snow.
Each step through the freezing terrain was painful, requiring monumental effort just
to put one foot in front of the other. Aiden had never been so exhausted in his life and he
couldnâ€Ÿt stop shaking. His damp clothing clung to his body and chilled him to the bone,
yet after a few minutes there was still no sign of the cabin Colt ment ioned and Aiden
despaired they werenâ€Ÿt going to find shelter in time.
Without warning, Aiden suddenly fell face- first into the snow where he lay
unmoving, unable to take one more step. He vaguely heard someone else fall to the
ground nearby and he knew this was going to be the death of them all. As his
consciousness slipped away, Aiden felt an odd sensation of being dragged through the
snow, right before everything went dark.
* * *
The sound of a crackling fire roused Aiden from his deep sleep. His eyes cracked
open a little, revealing the blurry scene of a dimly lit log cabin. He was half-buried under
thick blankets, yet he couldnâ€Ÿt stop shaking and his body was aching enormously. Tilting
his head slightly, Aiden saw a cloaked figure crouched before the fire, stirring a pot of
stew. He couldnâ€Ÿt see the personâ€Ÿs face, but noticed flowing, golden hair tumbling from
beneath the hood.
â€œWhere am I?â€ Aiden croaked, barely able to speak. The figureâ€Ÿs head turned to
regard him curiously, revealing a woman of remarkable beauty watching him with
glittering green eyes.
â€œDonâ€Ÿt speak, rest,â€ she whispered, moving to his side to make sure the blankets
covered him completely. â€œYou and your travelling companions nearly froze to death in
the forest. You are safe, but you are seriously injured and very ill. Sleep, human.â€ Just
before he drifted off into a tormented sleep, Aiden gazed into her eyes and saw they were
large, angular and alien - the eyes of an elf.
* * *
A younger Aiden stood once more upon the field of battle, the soldiers of the
Kingdom clashing against their black-clad enemies that seemed to know no fear. He
watched as giant, metal warriors came forth and began to slaughter the Aielunders, before
a shadow grew over the battlefield as something obscured the sun. Aiden squinted against
the light to see what was happening, and was stunned by what he saw.
An immense golden dragon was descending onto the battlefield, its wingspan easily
over a hundred feet across. Talons the size of a man dug into the ground as it crashed to
the surface far behind the black warrior making his final stand.
The dragon turned to look directly at Aiden with piercing eyes that glowed with
power. Paralysed with fear, he struggled to pull his gaze awa y, and focused on watching
the cataclysmic fight before him. The black warrior was slowly being beaten by the
behemoth, and it was only a matter of time until he fell.