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A Dreamer's Knight II - Machinations
Writer Alan T. Tryth
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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A Dreamer's Knight II - Machinations
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Chapter 8 - The New Plan
Alan T. Tryth
Nov 19, 2016
12 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!jMGFXWsW1CA7nhFFGBHaposted on PENANA

Glancing at where his watch would have been had he worn one, Narrator Number One asked, “How much longer do you think he'll make us wait?”copyright protection62PENANANmkbYeyQI6

Two let out a sigh. “I didn't know the last eighteen times, One. What makes you think I know now?”copyright protection62PENANAi1TYGRU9NW

One and Two were sitting at one of the massive oak tables in the Library, waiting more or less patiently for Teach to return. Of course, as they have already been waiting for more than three hours, One's patience was starting to wear a little thin.copyright protection62PENANALo39GIPmjw

Two glanced over at his partner. “You're awfully antsy. What's up?”copyright protection62PENANAx7TSjR6RIO

“I just want to get this over with.”copyright protection62PENANAY0QRZxITGw

Two shrugged and continued messing around with his phone.copyright protection62PENANAQrUTBBCqXW

Fidgeting in his seat, One said, “The last thing I need is for Luck to think I stood her up.”copyright protection62PENANAXv3QnmIuer

Two looked over at him. “Wait, Luck? Oh, I get it. You have a date, and Teach's slow ass is-”copyright protection62PENANAjcr94rGMlm

The main door to the library opened abruptly, cutting off Two in mid-sentence. Teach strode through, a black leather-bound book tucked neatly under his right arm.copyright protection62PENANAjbOd5qPHRM

“Gentlemen. I apologize for the wait, but I had to check on a few things with Alan to determine the best course of action.” Teach's seat pulled out automatically as he moved to sit down across from One and Two.copyright protection62PENANADOhHFF4o9i

“Thank you.” Teach said absently, opening the book and pulling out a few sheets of paper covered in scribbles.copyright protection62PENANAPsvgBAIim3

One clapped his hands together, saying, “So, what's the plan, Teach?”copyright protection62PENANAFGeuUjUJ0L

“Well, I've consulted with Atraius and Alan Tryth, and ran a few simulations in the Workshop-”copyright protection62PENANAwEANlgtpEC

One waved him off. “Yeah, yeah. What's the plan?”copyright protection62PENANAIt4dKGNsYa

Looking a little put out, Teach glanced at his list for a moment before saying, “The best course of action would be for you to accompany Mikaen and personally ensure that he does not go back to Earth.”copyright protection62PENANAvERK8L43u5

“That's it?” One looked at Two, who looked equally as mystified. “You want me to actually go with Mikaen's group?”copyright protection62PENANAP0JpO4Ghuk

“If you work directly with Mikaen, you'll be in the best position to gage his willingness to go home and act accordingly.”copyright protection62PENANATcNYqyEe0D

“No sneaking around or anything?” One persisted, “I mean, I'm really just gonna join up with his team?”copyright protection62PENANApwhggq1ltv

“That's correct.”copyright protection62PENANAqjw9JkepBI

One stared at Teach. “And you're okay with that?”copyright protection62PENANAJvVxtm57A6

Teach let out a light laugh. “I know this is a little unorthodox, One. I'm only suggesting this because you and Mikaen already have a mutual respect for each other. Believe it or not as you will, but he has come to trust you. When the time comes, you may very well be able to talk him out of going home. If not, I can't think of anyone better to make sure whatever's making the portal suffers a mechanical malfunction.”copyright protection62PENANALZC3gTtheX

Still feeling a bit strange, One said, “Yeah, I'm sure I'll think of something.”copyright protection62PENANANFgjOZD3of

“Very well. Now as I understand it, you have a date to get to.”copyright protection62PENANAM8KHGd4LlE

“How did you know?”copyright protection62PENANAS6Ev9UpDbE

Teach raised an eyebrow at him. “You're going out with my wife's sister, One. Look, you need to get moving, or Luck's going to take it out on both of us.”copyright protection62PENANAAZjRi7RVbg

Shaking his head, One hurried out of the nearest door.copyright protection62PENANAaXoVF48JQu

After waiting a few seconds to see if One would come back, Two let out a snort and started to follow.copyright protection62PENANAoIA2eKWDn8

“One moment,” Teach called out.copyright protection62PENANAhY7AQqIHlT

With an annoyed sigh, Two plopped back down in his seat.copyright protection62PENANAXwRmswqAfh

“Now Two, I know you don't approve of this-” began Teach.copyright protection62PENANA4D0FGeqDRO

Two snorted again. “How long has Luck been after One? I mean, centuries, right? He finally grows a pair and starts a relationship, and now you're gonna go and screw it up just so some stupid norm doesn't go to Earth. Well, if you think I'm just gonna sit around while that cat girl gets her claws into One, you've got another-”copyright protection62PENANAM9MTJDkrlF

“I want you to sabotage Mikaen's trust of One.”copyright protection62PENANAliccFEJ5fZ

Two fell silent, his finger still pointing at Teach.copyright protection62PENANAnkCn0jCqWu

“If Mikaen doesn't trust One, One's presence will no longer be required. I've already taken care of the portal in Ronisgald. All that's left is to fully separate One from Mikaen. With that accomplished, things should resolve themselves properly.”copyright protection62PENANAeID1CnEWPZ

Two stared at Teach, his mouth hanging open.copyright protection62PENANACaiPnXu63J

After glancing around the Library for signs of anyone else who might be listening, Teach leaned forward so that only Two could hear him. “Look, I was hoping to get through this without explaining the whole situation, but I don't see that I have any other choice. This assignment has nothing to do with Mikaen.”copyright protection62PENANA5q4IO41rvY

“Then who-” Two's mouth fell open again the moment he realized who Teach was talking about.copyright protection62PENANAVJHzLkWqgL

“I'm not going to go into great detail. It's a long story, and I'm sure you wouldn't remember everything anyway. To make it simple, it isn't Mikaen who I'm trying to keep from returning to Earth, but One.”copyright protection62PENANApTWIJjFdqJ

“Wait just a damn second,” said Two, rising to his feet, “One could go back to Earth anytime he feels like it!”copyright protection62PENANAXva1eZ6fqB

“True enough. Of course, he could go to Algos as well. He could travel to Viridia, or spend another few months in the Dream Realm. Unfortunately, the moment he first encountered Mikaen, he was drawn into a series of events that will lead him back to Earth.”copyright protection62PENANAemlVV7fSxw

Two shook his head. “Wait just a second! One was trying to have a vacation. You were the one who pressed him to take the assignment in the first place!”copyright protection62PENANADWqAF9Tlnk

“You know One better than anyone. How long would it have taken for him to start feeling guilty about leaving Mikaen? I mean, sure, he gave Mikaen directions to Homestead and led him to people who were able to help, but the fact remains that One is, as you so often label me, a 'goody two-shoes'. It wouldn't have taken too long for him to get curious. At least this way, I can keep an eye on him.”copyright protection62PENANA4kPfl4eskF

“So what? What's the big deal about him going back to Earth?”copyright protection62PENANA4y1quXxKP4

Teach let out a sigh. “Like I said, I don't want to go into all the details; there are too many variables that even I don't fully understand. All I do know is that if One stays with Mikaen, he'll be in grave danger.”copyright protection62PENANAht1I3GRX2e

Two blew a raspberry at Teach. “What the hell could possibly hurt a Dreamer?”copyright protection62PENANAh7z7mVbAnv

“I'm more concerned with what could hurt him if he's not a Dreamer.”copyright protection62PENANAgs4hSyepi4

Two fell silent for a moment at the implication of Teach's words.copyright protection62PENANAtAxuiBbazd

Teach continued, “One already thinks of Mikaen as a friend, and you of all people know just how far One will go to protect his friends.”copyright protection62PENANApQkYYHTaih

“How could you know about all this?” Two asked, “I mean, you're talking some pretty big specifics here. Just how could you know all this would happen for sure?”copyright protection62PENANAFyJKPBi41B

Teach didn't reply.copyright protection62PENANA9ucHZuibER

Two let out an exasperated breath. “Oh, back to the 'I have my sources' crap again, huh?”copyright protection62PENANAp3IK2HrVRJ

“It's the truth.” Teach said quietly. “Will you help?”copyright protection62PENANAdxhWh7yAcz

Two sighed. “Ugh … fine. But let's get one thing straight here: the only reason I'm helping is because One's my friend. It may sound sappy, but I want him and Luck to at least have a chance at being happy together.”copyright protection62PENANAcl4o24Skgx

“Then we both work toward the same goal, I promise you that.” There was a twinkle in Teach's eye. “My word. Beneath all of the posturing and the chauvinism, you're really a romantic, aren't you?”copyright protection62PENANAcFBVpDDRzu

Rolling his eyes, Two said, “Whatever. So, all I gotta do is make Mikaen not trust One, right? Any restrictions?”copyright protection62PENANAAM2SJkZhVb

“Only that you do it covertly. If One finds out either of us were involved-”copyright protection62PENANAR7wWwz0pUh

“Yeah, yeah.” Two waved his hand, “I've seen what he can do to a person with Headache.”copyright protection62PENANAW7Wy2mbFeK

Teach nodded. “Very good. If I were you, I'd think about-”copyright protection62PENANAaPxdHgyGxt

Two cut him off with an impatient wave. “I don't need YOUR help, thank you very much.”copyright protection62PENANASoBpk7ZlwT

“Of course. Good luck, Two.”copyright protection62PENANACt0z13WcJa

As soon as Two left the Library, he called out, “Wong? I know you're listening!”copyright protection62PENANAXUZu7HKFoi

To Two's complete lack of surprise, Wong popped into existence right in front of him. With a wild salute, he shouted, “Sir, yes sir! I await your order! I anticipate your whim! I prognosticate the desires of your …”copyright protection62PENANA9gHKG1SFno

“Shut up.” Two said abruptly.copyright protection62PENANAy0RzzTCw6m

Wong's mouth closed with a click.copyright protection62PENANAH3gHyooj3M

“You want to do me a favor?”copyright protection62PENANABd3iYJkQpH

Wong nodded eagerly.copyright protection62PENANAeYH6xhZaO6

“You want to help out One and prove that you're ready to be a full member of the Elsewhere Incorporate?”copyright protection62PENANAwv9McIaA1e

Wong nodded even more eagerly, his pupils bouncing around in his eyes like a particularly violent game of Pong.copyright protection62PENANAnCsqUqafgz

“Then tail him when he goes to Ronisgald and help him with the whole Mikaen thing.”copyright protection62PENANAWuxEB5WBgK

Wong saluted again. “Yessir!”copyright protection62PENANAHMgRztzK3B

As Wong's body vanished from sight, Two clapped his hands together. “Well, that takes care of that.”copyright protection62PENANAZrdrR8R1o8

One and Luck sat quietly in the corner booth of the Malboro cafe, waiting for their food to arrive. From the moment they sat down, an awkward silence had descended between them.copyright protection62PENANABkC9ZefWPv

“Is something wrong?” Luck asked, looking a little worried.copyright protection62PENANAGxiXoSqYCu

One shook his head. “No. It's just … I'm not sure what to say.”copyright protection62PENANAzCVN3NWVPk

Squeezing his hand, Luck asked, “What did you and Ukaroh talk about when you first met?”copyright protection62PENANA3qEGzEUPAK

“We didn't talk; we argued. I was trying to fix the Final Fantasy, when she just burst into the hanger and starts telling me what to do without so much a hello. I didn't even know who she was. Hell, I didn't even know she was a Dreamer.”copyright protection62PENANAkhhCeGvFE7

“Did you take her advice?”copyright protection62PENANAaeJ51NTXJI

“Not quite. I think my exact words were, 'Get the hell off my floor.'“copyright protection62PENANAhM9WtIAoyb

Luck laughed. “Was she right? About the Final Fantasy?”copyright protection62PENANA8StqvI70nL

“Of course.” One smiled. “She was always right, especially when it annoyed me. It's strange, but I think that's part of why I liked her so much.”copyright protection62PENANA8x0SD1GxYp

He blushed. “I'm sorry. You probably don't want to hear about my old girlfriend.”copyright protection62PENANAfgbodE7O3F

“Of course I do. I wasn't around then, but everyone tells me that you were inseparable. Melody and Karma both said that they were surprised you didn't go with her.”copyright protection62PENANAZbysC3aJ4y

“They told you about that, huh?” One sighed.copyright protection62PENANAvc6w4JxKgw

Perhaps it was all that had happened recently, but he found himself wondering if he should've taken his ex up on her offer. For a Dreamer, nothing could be more sacred, more special than choosing to spend the rest of eternity with another Dreamer.copyright protection62PENANAawNlV002O3

Looking up into Luck's smiling face, however, dispelled his doubts. “I couldn't leave the Elsewhere. To be honest, I don't really mind the assignments. Besides, if I left, I wouldn't have met you.”copyright protection62PENANAINfggSkrCo

Luck blushed. “You were the first Dreamer I met. I guess it's just natural that we became friends … but to be honest, even then I had a crush on you.”copyright protection62PENANAZ8B5EFPbq6

“I think I did too. I wanted to sulk on my floor, but you kept dragging me out.” He squeezed her hand. “Thanks for that.”copyright protection62PENANAIACvWyvXBj

“Anytime.” She replied quietly, a small smile on her face.copyright protection62PENANA1j7gAo9UPL

Further conversation was cut off as their server brought them some drinks and two steaming dishes of pasta.copyright protection62PENANAjPTUUxAKJ1

After thanking the server, Luck said, “You know, you've always reminded me of my ex.”copyright protection62PENANAQrCtWy2swD

One raised an eyebrow. “Really. Anyone I know?”copyright protection62PENANALxWTOxhXs6

“I doubt it. His name was Glen too, y'know.”copyright protection62PENANAILVCGQ9gAT

“Hmm.” One picked at the little blue things in his pasta. They looked like diced tomatoes, but tasted saltier.copyright protection62PENANAhrkUVhtXJZ

“Yup. He had the same need to help people, the same sense of morality ... he was even handy with machines.”copyright protection62PENANAAvwxol4Fix

“Sounds like someone I'd like.”copyright protection62PENANAM1iHDYyMf8

Luck laughed. “Yeah, I think you would. He was always throwing himself headfirst into danger without a care in the world. It usually worked out for the best, except …”copyright protection62PENANAGxA0rviUt2

One looked up, knowing all too well the meaning of her sudden silence. “I'm sorry. How did it happen?”copyright protection62PENANAT3yqBWMFC4

“He sacrificed himself to save us … to save all of us.” She lowered her gaze. “I never quite forgave him for that.”copyright protection62PENANAdo5v6IuEvK

“Was there no other way?” One asked.copyright protection62PENANANbhncITvDm

Luck shook her head.copyright protection62PENANAxxp5Y02KGE

After a moment of silence, she laughed, saying dismissively, “But that was ages ago. I know he did the right thing. I just kinda wished I could have made things turn out differently.”copyright protection62PENANAPU3UpaDUO8

A long moment passed with only the sound of silverware clinkin against plates to break it.copyright protection62PENANAECkWZwFS1i

Feeling as though he should say something, One let out a polite cough and asked, “So how about you?”copyright protection62PENANAfzQEFOFHym

“What about me?” She asked, grinning.copyright protection62PENANAmogqiGAWBp

“What was your life before becoming a Dreamer?”copyright protection62PENANA5f1pc1WRUY

She considered this for a long moment before saying, “Not that different, actually. I mean, the stakes are bigger, yes, but they were pretty big before too. There were more responsibilities too, but I had kind of a government job.” She paused a moment to take a sip of her drink. “Responsibilities come with the territory.”copyright protection62PENANAa9x0OcOuUn

“Government work, huh? My condolences.”copyright protection62PENANAQgL7G4Oh0p

“Watch it, you.” Luck punched him playfully in the arm. “Anyway, what about you?”copyright protection62PENANAG6FIvRJsJD

“What about me?”copyright protection62PENANAqTNYTBbI55

“You were a Builder in the Rangers.” Luck said, putting her elbows on the table so she could rest her head in her hands. “What was that like?”copyright protection62PENANA5WmR43WTkX

One leaned back in his chair as he thought back to his Ranger days. “Fun. Chaotic. Insane, really. Crash was one hell of a Builder. He could turn a pile of scrap into a weapon in five minutes, a sturdy one too. He liked to give me a pile of broken parts and a problem, then leave me to figure out what to build to get past it.”copyright protection62PENANAi13YJzQt1A

“Wow. Rough, huh?”copyright protection62PENANA7stUrnwC5B

“You kidding? It was fantastic. It taught me to improvise, and to work with what I had rather than wish I had something better.” One allowed himself a chuckle. “It's strange, really; the things I learned from him helped me just as much in the Elsewhere as they did in the Rangers, maybe even more so.”copyright protection62PENANAIby52D8Ywt

“What about before the Devastation? I've never had the chance to see Earth before the bombs fell and magic was reborn. What was that like?”copyright protection62PENANAVPuZOeyEHA

One had scarcely opened his mouth to reply when a familiar tune rang through the air. Luck dug in her pocket and pulled out a cellphone.copyright protection62PENANAeO2IJu5f7b

“That works in the Elsewhere?” One asked, bemused. “I can only imagine the bill.”copyright protection62PENANARPmpVo34nz

Luck's face fell, wiping the smile from One's face.copyright protection62PENANAyjo3ichQRZ

“What's wrong?” He asked her.copyright protection62PENANAr6NuPxYVM5

When she looked at him, he saw it again: that strange look of fear she had in her eyes when she saw the Breath of Fire. It was there and gone in an instant, so quick in fact that One wondered if he had seen it at all.copyright protection62PENANA6DVs3QQ6Ue

“I have to go.” Luck said as she rose from the table.copyright protection62PENANAGtx5wPiNGa

One quickly stood up as well. “Is something wrong? Did something happen?”copyright protection62PENANAM8gAC67A1U

She turned. Much to One's relief, she was smiling.copyright protection62PENANAF7yAzCrqJm

She gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered, “I just remembered a few things I need to take care of. I'll see you later, okay?”copyright protection62PENANAEpPcvl2N8J

He smiled back. “Yeah. I gotta go check in with Teach, but I'll be on my floor getting ready after that.”copyright protection62PENANAXVRewtkE3l

“See you there.” With that, Luck vanished.copyright protection62PENANAyJt7j2JKts

His appetite gone, One left some money on the table and headed for the CPD as it appeared in a nearby tree.copyright protection62PENANA77SWknhmaq

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