Tweet of the Day: Wrinkles in Spacetime: The Warped Astrophysics of INTERSTELLAR
Mount Etna, Catania, Pruvincia di Catania, Regione Siciliana, Rebupplica Italiana, 23 October, 08:26 hrs +1 GMT
Owen and I made our way deeper into the mountain. The air shimmered with heat haze. We walked past dozens of armories, foundries, vaults, and workshops. A legion of cyclops, clad in thick leather jerkins, walk to and fro. Some stacked gold bars in a vault along with iron buckets full of uncut diamonds. Others hammered away at white hot rolls of steel that poured from the foundries. None payed attention to us. The volcanic forces of the ever erupting Etna belched forth the Gaia’s endless bounty of iron, precious metal, stones. This was the force that powered the armies that ravaged across Europe.
The plan was to weaken whatever lay at the heart of the volcano enough so that Martin and the other necromancers could bind it. How exactly we were going to do that I had no idea. Owen tapped my shoulder to a bright light at the end of a long tunnel. The tunnel ended in an alcove overlooking an immense cavern. Broken chains hung from the ceiling and walls of the cavern. Each link of the chain was the size of a coupé. At the center stood a giant, fifteen meters tall and waste deep in a lake of lava. It was clad in radiant bronze armor.
I jumped down to the cavern floor. Dark glowing embers looked down at me through the eye lids of the titan’s Corithian helmet. It reached for a two handed labrys that rested against the wall and swung at me with a deafening roar. The axe blade glowed white hot as it passed inches from my head. A summoned my Will and erected a wall of rock to block the next swing but it shattered on impact with the axe. I ducked under every swing and dodged waves of lava that splashed erupted from the crater. In the ledge above me Owen fought off a wave of enraged cyclops that came to their masters aid. The titan swung the axe with terrific speed. I jumped on top of the axe head and hacked at the weapon’s neck but Excalibur’s enchanted edge rebounded. The sparks along the sword’s edge jolted my memory. Zeus cast down to Tartarus many a monster with the power of his thunderbolts. I reached deep into my Will, where Fire commingled with Air. I forced the two into a violent collision. Lighting arched from Excalibur blade up the axe’s shaft to the titan’s body. It recoiled from the blast. The chains shot out of the walls. The titan cut through them. Again, I summoned the heated air around me and spun it around Excalibur. Lighting danced around the edge. I hurled another lighting bolt at the beast. It recoiled on impact. The chains sought him out. They coiled around his neck and arms. Whether it was the magic of the prison or the necromancer’s ritual, each blast of electricity summoned more and more chains.
Lava overflowed the crater’s banks. With a mighty push of Air I jumped back to the entrance. Owen wrapped an armed around my waist. Everything around us slowed down to a crawl. The tunnel behind us collapsed. The cyclops ran for cover. The vaults imploded. All in slow motion. With each stepped we took, everything slowed down even more. Somehow Owen extended his dagger’s time dilation effect around me. Then, with a bone shattering jolt, time caught up with us outside. We picked ourselves up from the rubble strewn floor. On the valley floor thousands of enemy soldiers broke their positions and ran away. Above us the volcano continued to belch ashen clouds crowned with flashes of lightning.
Somehow we made it back to allied lines, exhausted, but alive.
Catania, Pruvincia di Catania, Regione Siciliana, Rebupplica Italiana, 28 October, 07:49 hrs +1 GMT
Owen’s kiss on the cheek woke me up.
“Get up, you have to see this,” he said.
I wrapped the bedsheets around my naked chest. He stood by the window, steaming cup of tea in hand. What I saw took my breath away.
A clear blue sky from horizon to horizon.
The war was far from over, but we turned the tide.