Read from the beginning here: https://wanderingpoems.blog/hidden-sanctuary-archive/
We stood once again on the battlefield, that gruesome image that would never leave my memory, never. I want to call it bloody, but the truth is there wasn’t a drop of blood to be found. The people had just keeled over and died.
“We should bury them—I should bury them—but…”
“You’d never finish,” Doctor Cynical cut Rhyme off. Cynical was much more experienced at dealing with this kind of thing then Rhyme was. His life had been marred by the marks of tragedy. I only knew a little bit about his past—but I knew enough.
“Rhyme, you have no reason to trust us. But I want to ask you if you would be willing to help us?” the Doctor asked after a brief, but necessary pause.
“Are you sure you want to trust a human who sided with the elves?” I couldn’t tell she was seriously asking or being somehow sarcastic. Her voice was flat and somehow detached from the choices she had made that had brought her to that point in her life. Brine growled at her in protest. “I know,” she said in response to the growl—as though she understood what it meant—maybe she did.
“I know exactly how your feeling Rhyme,” the doctor said. “But it’s not your fault, and no matter how much you beat yourself up over everything, no matter how much you call yourself a traitor. Not a single one of these people are going to come back to life.”
“What do you need my help with?” She let the question be her response. And it was just as well, there would be plenty of time to discuss our feelings later.
“The weapon that did this—we need to stop it,” the words sounded simple enough as I spoke them. But the enormity of the task loomed before us. Just as dark and depressing as the sight of the battlefield we were looking over.
“Can we head back to that sanctuary place?” Rhyme asked. “I need to clear my head.”
We all probably needed to clear our heads, it certainly would do me good. So, I raised my wings into the air and a portal opened back to the Sanctuary, and we all stepped through.
Cynical’s monster friend was waiting for us on the other side. Ahh yes, I haven’t yet introduced you to her. Cynical’s monster was a Machine and bug class monster that he called I.S it was a large mechanical spider that stood about three feet off the ground. Its eight legs where folded underneath her body as she waited patiently for her Linker to return. I don’t know why Cynical insisted on not letting I.S see the battle field. We needed her help and sooner or later she would understand how much life had been lost. Cynical greeted her by petting her head and thanking her for being patient. Rhyme also pet the mechanical monster as she passed by, humming at it as she did. I had no idea why at the time, but I.S seemed to like it as she clicked and chirped in response.
I took to my stone perch, and the doctor and Rhyme sat on the grass nearby. It crossed my mind that if I was going to have so many humans living nearby again, I should probably get some chairs set up near my perch. But that was a minor worry, for a different day.
“You mentioned a weapon Phex,” Rhyme started. “But I didn’t see anything that looked like a weapon.”
“We don’t know what the weapon even looks like only that there has to be one somewhere. People don’t just die like that that for no reason,” I explained.
“That’s not the only reason,” Cynical said, interrupting my thoughts. “I used to work for the Machine King, and I know he was working on a big project of some kind, something dangerous.”
Cynicals admission that he had worked for the Machine King prompted a straight judgmental stare from Rhyme. My guess that Cynical knew more than he was letting on proved right. And now that matters had escalated to much, he had to tell us what he knew, or risk having us be thrown into a dangerous situation without all of the information. The Doctor was a rational man after all, even if sometimes he liked to pretend, he wasn’t.
“I don’t know exactly the form this weapon takes, but the only way everything we’ve seen makes sense, is if he is using the technology, I gave him, man-made monsters….”