The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 64

Imann, hard and menacing soldier in the face of enemies, trembled visibly in anticipation of the exposure of the child’s eyes. Some rumors had already circulated among the soldiers that Samuel could kill with a glance. It was said that if Samuel stared hard enough at someone’s heart, it could be made to explode within the chest, and if he stared at someone’s mouth he could steal the breath until the person suffocated. Two of Imann’s colleagues, Rock and Jyorg, stood guard to the side in order to provide security and protection should Imann grow unruly or should he be compelled by Samuel to do anything unexpected.

“You were among the soldiers that were on the mission to fetch Samuel, is that correct?” Apamix asked. Imann nodded as he looked nervously at the three philosophers, each holding a wax table and stylus in hand to take notes upon. The two soldiers and the three philosophers stood in a recess to the side, from which they could watch Imann unimpeded, while at the same time being invisible to and unable to see Samuel.

Taney added: “We are going to unhood the child in front of you, and we ask that you look into the child’s eyes. We please ask that you not avert your eyes. We assure you that you are in no danger.” Imann nodded, apparently uncomforted by the philosopher’s words.

“And we want you to pay close attention to your own feelings when you see his eyes. It is very important for us to get an accurate record of the way that he effects your emotions,” Sidd further added, and again Imann nodded, while he swallowed uncomfortably.

“Eldeba, you may proceed,” Apamix instructed.

Eldeba, standing behind Samuel, removed the hood from his head, and then untied the blindfold and removed it. Imman winced and turned away as soon as Samuel’s eyes were exposed.

“If you could please look at the child for a moment, we need to know your reaction,” Taney asked politely.

Imann turned his head in Samuel’s direction but pointed his eyes at the child’s mouth, avoiding his steady gaze.

“Please look directly into the child’s eyes, if you please. Do not be afraid. There is no harm,” Sidd reassured, a bit more firmly.

Imann looked into the little boys large blue eyes, which observed him with piercing curiosity. When Imann saw those eyes, which stared with such innocence that they seemed to glow, he couldn’t help but be immediately soothed, and he wanted to soothe them as well.

“Seeing his eyes is so reassuring,” Imann said to the philosophers, “I feel a perfect calm.”

When Imann changed his position within his chair, putting one foot on the ground and resting his elbow on one knee, Samuel tried his best to imitate him, mimicking his movements and trying to mirror his position. Imann smiled and laughed a little, which Samuel silently mimicked.

“That will be enough,” Apamix said, and Eldeba hooded Samuel suddenly. Imann was flushed with a sudden anger at the researchers. He lunged at them shouting: “This is monstrous! What are you doing to this poor child? He doesn’t deserve this. Release him. Please. He shouldn't be here, not like this.”

Imann had to be restrained by his two colleagues, who dragged him out of the room.

We will take your opinion in advisement,” Taney politely replied.

“But he’s obviously not a danger,” Westerly pleaded, “Can’t you see that. Clearly can’t you see he’s not a danger?”

“Thank you. You have been most helpful.” Sidd added, gesturing for the soldiers to lead him through the door. They escorted Imann to a jail cell where he would be kept in quarantine for many days.

After some wait the next subject was brought in: a younger soldier named Westerly, who was a new recruit soon to leave for the winterward forts for an extended away mission. The boyish-faced, clean-shaven soldier, unlike Imann, wasn’t simply nervous when he entered the room, but was downright terrified. The stories he’d heard about the prodigal prodigy were even more terrifying than those Imann had heard. People had told him that the reason the town of Still Creek worshipped Samuel was to placate his rather temperamental wrath. Some even said the child’s eyes were two Blank Holes through which Death might reach and snatch him into the Undergrave, a land permanently apart from the blissful afterlife promised to the followers of Anan.

<-- Go to Part 63         Go to Part 65 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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