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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“Aiden, the reason I said it wasn't a dream is the detail I saw – the misting breath
from the fort's warriors, the fluttering o f the flags, the crunch of snow beneath their feet.
No dream has that much detail. It was like I was actually there.” She paused to take
another bite of bread, conserving her strength. Aiden said nothing, awaiting her next
words with as much patience as he could muster.
“There was something else though, a feeling that you and I were just visitors in that
place. It was as though we were walking in someone else's dream. I tried to pull you out
of it, but I was stuck, just as you were. I didn't know what else I could do about it, and
then... the dragon flew in. It was the only other thing in that vision that seemed real.”
“As I recall,” Aiden said slowly, trying to remember the details, “you screamed
when the dragon appeared.”
“No, I screamed when it looked at me,” she corrected with a shudder. “Have you
ever had that feeling, like you were somewhere you weren't supposed to be, and then you
are caught?”
“I may have experienced that sensation,” Aiden replied flatly. It was actually Pacian
who had been caught in places he shouldn't have been, but Aiden had the misfortune of
being there at the time.
“It was like that. I could feel its anger, and it was... terrible. I wanted to run, but I
couldn't get away.”
“Wait a moment,” Aiden said, “in the dream, the dragon always looks at me. And
although I feel awe, I've never felt terrified of it, at least, not until I wake up. And you
said that it was the only other thing that felt 'real' to you? Are you saying it's alive?”
Sayana nodded meekly, which drew Aiden to an unpleasant conclusion.
“Lovely, I have a dragon living in my head.”
Chapter Thirteen
“I think I should explain something else,” Aiden went on. “The first time in that
cave, the vision I had was of a battle that happened over a hundred years ago. I did the
research – the equipment that was used, the pennants, the setting - it was all at the Battle
of Fort Highmarch, even if the metal warriors and the dragon are absent from the
histories. How can the dragon in my dream be alive?”
“I do not know how, but I tell you, it's real. I know it.” Aiden slumped back,
struggling to comprehend what this strange turn of events could mean.
He had thought that the sphere was a kind of magical device that could record
events, and those events had been imprinted on his mind. But if Sayana was right, it was
a living vision, not a stale recording. The implications were too vast for him to
“This doesn't really change much,” he finally declared, having arrived at a simple
conclusion. “I still need to know what that sphere did to me, and the only possible
information about it is in Ferrumgaard. If we can retrieve it, we might just have the
answers to both our mysteries.”
“We should probably get back to the others before they start to wonder what we're
doing out here,” Sayana said. “I hope we don't have too much further to travel, I really
could use some more rest.”