Read The Third Eye Initiative Online

Authors: J. J. Newman

The Third Eye Initiative (7 page)

“What are you...?” His question went unfinished, and Cyra pushed him hard against the wall, pressed against his body and kissed him. She almost laughed when she felt his body tense up. She kissed him softly at first, easing him into it. She could tell he had never done this before. She began kissing him more passionately, and after a few minutes he loosened up and returned her kiss with vigor. She reached down for his belt. His breathing began to quicken.

What’s this, then?” The slurred voice shattered the moment. Cyra jumped. Two men were approaching them. They wore long dirty brown cloaks, and woolen caps on their heads.

Ah, pretty. You’re too good for that little guy. Why not come to Arthur. Show you what a real man can do.” The other man remained silent, and just grinned.

I’m not interested,” Cyra said.

Sure you are. You just don’t know it yet.” The man darted forward, and grabbed Cyra by the wrist, and began dragging her deeper into the alley. She looked back at Tsaeris, who seemed torn on what to do. He was just going to leave her. She felt her heart breaking, and her fear rising.

Leave her alone!” Tsaeris’ voice cracked with fear as he said it, but he walked towards the men holding a small, sturdy dagger. Cyra’s heart was repaired, but her fear was as strong as ever.

Go away, boy,” the man said.

Tsaeris rushed forward, and stabbed at the man
with his dagger. The man easily avoided the blade, and punched Tsaeris hard in the face. Tsaeris fell to the ground, and the man handed Cyra over to his silent partner, who wrapped his filthy arms around her waist from behind.

You tried to stab me, you little shit.” The man pressed his knee down on Tsaeris’ chest, and pulled out a wicked looking knife from his belt. “Let’s see how you like it.”

The man lifted the knife into the air. Cyra closed her eyes. She didn’t want to watch Tsaeris die.

“Eh? Who the hell are you?” She heard the man say.

Suddenly the alley was filled with some awful sounds. She could hear a terrible ripping, tearing sound, and a grunt. A warm sticky liquid poured over her from behind .The arms around her waist fell away. She cried out in fear, but forced her eyes open anyway.

Tsaeris lay on the stone floor of the alley, gasping. His attacker lay dead atop him. Cyra looked back at the man who was holding her. He laid still, a pool of blood forming beneath him and small knife protruded from his neck. Cyra looked down at herself. The sticky liquid had been blood. It had all happened so quickly. Her eyes had been closed for only seconds. Waves of nausea came over Cyra, and she began to vomit profusely, emptying the contents of her stomach onto the alley floor with violent retches.

After she recovered from the bout of sickness, s
he walked over to Tsaeris, and helped him get out from under the dead man. The thug’s throat had been slashed, and Tsaeris was covered with his blood.

What happened?” she asked, her voice small and shaking.

His voice was no stronger than hers.
“I don’t know. I saw a shadow...Next thing I know, he was dead. I didn’t really see anything. Come on. We should get out of here.”

They locked their trembling hands together, both seeking comfort in
each other’s touch. The two walked from the alley, their eyes filled with disgust and horror. For the first time in years, they felt like the children that they were.



Market was nothing like Tsaeris had ever imagined. The streets were easily three times as wide as in Darson, and the buildings were well maintained. The people walking the streets wore fancier clothes, but their faces all had the same resigned hopeless expressions as everyone else in the city. Apparently money didn’t buy happiness. Tsaeris refused to believe that. They must be doing it wrong.

It didn’t take long for Tsaeris to abandon his ‘big score’ idea. The first purse he cut had given him enough coin to eat well for days. Who needed a big score? This place was worthy of a career. When weighed against the potential profit of simple pickpocketing and purse cutting, the threat of The City Watch and the thieves guilds didn’t seem so bad. He wondered if he was just being blinded by greed. He laughed at himself. No, he was just too good. He would never get caught.

In the first two days he had cut another few purses just for the hell of it. Now he had enough coin to last more than a week. If he stole enough to live week by week, and no more, he would evade the notice of the guilds and watch.  On the third day he cut another two purses. Alright, he might be a little bit greedy, he admitted to himself.

Tsaeris felt like a king. He bought himself some new clothes, a dark blue cloak, a brown tunic, and dark red trousers. He also purchased a small dark green dress scarf that had caught his eye. The tailor told him the colors didn’t match. Tsaeris didn’t know what the tailor meant by “match” and he didn’t care. He thought he looked dashing.

He even purchased a dagger. That set him back. It cost him almost every coin he had left, so Tsaeris was forced to work again and cut a few more purses. During the week, his coin supply increased steadily. As a boy with no real responsibilities, he could spend the money however he chose. He spent the night drinking in the inns, and would even rent a room. He had yet to spend a night in Market on the streets. It wasn’t long before he got bored of spending his money on ale alone. What else could he buy? He came to the only conclusion that a boy his age with coin to spend could. He would buy a whore.

A week into his trip to Market he met Cyra. He went to the brothel, intending to buy a whore, but found himself nervous. He had never done this before. What if he did it wrong? The girl seemed to like Tsaeris, and he spent an hour talking to her. After the hour was up, Tsaeris came to a realization. This girl was into him. Why pay for it? Give him a week, and he could get it for free. Sure, he had spent some silver on her already, but he looked at it as an investment.

Two days later, Tsaeris watched in awe as the Dwarven Arms Fair entered the city. He had never seen anything quite like it. There were so many wagons and dwarves. He didn’t know there were that many dwarves in the whole world.

He asked around about the fair, and the more he learned the more excited he became. He was definitely going to check this fair out. Maybe he would take Cyra. He would even wear his nice scarf.

Cyra agreed to go with him, and they spent a very nice night of playing games, and drinking and eating. He watched the fisticuffs, and could not stop thinking about Doctor Sydarin. He knew the man. He was sure of it.

Near the end of the night, Cyra pulled him into an alley. This was it! He was finally going to have sex with her, and he didn’t even have to pay for it. The plan went off without a hitch. He again considered the silver he spent on her at the fair as an investment.

The promised sex never arrived. They were interrupted by two men in the alley. One grabbed Cyra, and dragged her away. Tsaeris watched her disappear deeper into the darkness.
  He knew he should go after her, but Tsaeris was a survivor. Helping her would be dangerous, and his nature struggled against the idea. Yet when she looked back at him with pleading eyes, he found himself charging in after her.

It wasn’t long before the
would be hero lay on his back, staring up at the sharp point of a knife. Tsaeris felt like an idiot.
Yeah, good job. You really saved the day

What happened next went by so fast, that had their not been bodies as evidence, he would have doubted that it even happened in the first place. Tsaeris saw
the shadow of a man fall over him, and his attacker’s neck exploded in a slash of red blood, and meaty gore. An object sailed through the air, and the man holding Cyra was dead. Then the shadow was gone. It had happened in seconds.

Tsaeris and Cyra returned to the brothel where she worked. Patrons gasped when they saw the two young people enter, covered in blood. Duncan, the brothel owner, rushed over.

“What happened?” The broad bald man asked. Tsaeris did not miss the glare leveled his way.

We were attacked on our way back. Somebody saved us. The blood isn’t ours,” Cyra answered.

You should go get cleaned up, Cyra,” Duncan said, continuing to glare at Tsaeris. Cyra nodded, and gave Tsaeris a quick kiss before disappearing up the stairs.

Duncan approached Tsaeris and grabbed him by the f
ront of this blood-stained tunic.

“What the hell was that? You trying to steal from me?” Duncan growled.

Tsaeris gave the man a confused look.
“What are you talking about?”

You’re trying to get a free lay. I own the girl. Getting it for free from her is the same as stealing from me, you understand?”

You can’t be serious...” Tsaeris replied.

Do I look like I’m joking, boy?”

This is bullshit. I like Cyra. Hell, I almost died trying to save her. What we do is our business. Not yours.”

Not mine, eh? Where do you get your money from, you little shit? I think you’re a thief. Which guild do you work for?”

Tsaeris stared at the man, trying to come up with a response.

“Not working for a guild? That’s bad. If one of the guilds found out that you were working freelance...” Duncan grinned at Tsaeris.

Tsaeris glared hard at the man.

“You keep it professional with my girl, boy. Or one of the guilds might just find out about a little white-haired kid working their territory without permission. You wouldn’t be hard to find. Do we have an understanding?”

Tsaeris gritted his teeth and nodded.

Duncan smiled, and walked away. Tsaeris walked out of the brothel, angry and trying not to do something stupid.

He ditched his blood-stained shirt in an alley, and shivered at the cold night air as it lashed at his exposed chest. His scarf, which was miraculously blood free, was of little use in keeping him warm. It was night now, and he wanted to get back to his inn, where he had a change of clothes. He walked as fast as he could without drawing too much attention. Shirtless as he was, it was near impossible to stay unnoticed. Nobody stopped him on his way back to The Squire’s Rest, though. He walked through the door, and made straight for his room.

The Squire’s Rest was a comfortable inn, with good food and ale. Tsaeris found the owner, a young woman named Zhaiijn, to be a nice change from the usual large bald man who always seemed to own every inn.

Tsaeris put on his plain grey tunic, and brown breeches,
and then went back into the common room to get nice and drunk. He sat at a wooden table, drinking some decent ale. He was miserable, and the ale helped. He heard the sound of water hitting the cobblestones outside. It had started rain. Lightning began to flash as a storm moved into the city. Tsaeris wondered absently if his foul mood could affect weather.

The door to the inn opened, and a tall man walked in, his dark green cloak soaking wet and dripping. The man pulled back his hood to reveal long greenish brown hair, and pointed ears. He removed his cloak, and Tsaeris saw he was wearing brown leather chest piece, and green leather
pants. Tsaeris stared at the elf. He instantly realized two things about him. First, the elf was a ranger. Second, Tsaeris had met him before.

Rangers were like T
he City Watch of the forest. They guarded the forests against poachers, and bandits, and were well liked and respected. Rangers favored ranged weapons like long bows, but were deadly with close combat weapons as well. Tsaeris was surprised that an elf could even be a ranger. Elves were so new to society, and most still kept to their tribes.

This elf was the same one Tsaeris had met a long time ago in
Owen’s bar in Darson. The one he had talked to, who had told him of the elves of the tundra. It was an odd day for seeing familiar faces. At least he knew where he recognized the elf from.

The elf saw Tsaeris staring at him, and frowned. Then he smiled. He went to the bar, ordered a drink and came to sit at Tsaeris’ table.

“I remember you.” The Ranger said as he sat. The ranger had fair facial features, but his body was well toned and muscled. Tsaeris had no doubt that this elf was strong and fit.

You do?” Tsaeris asked, surprised that the man would remember their meeting.

Of course. Not many white haired boys around here. In fact, you’re the only one I’ve seen in the City.”

In the City? You mean you’ve seen white-haired boys outside the City?”

The Ranger smiled.
“Of course I have.”

Tsaeris frowned.
“What is that supposed to mean?”

The Ranger looked confused.
“Are you telling me that you don’t know?”

Tsaeris was baffled.
“Know what?”

You’re Turindiel, boy.”

The boy stared blankly, and the Ranger frowned.

“Turindiel, from the tundra to the south,” he explained. “Elves, as some people call them.”

Tsaeris almost fell out of his chair. An elf? Him? He reached up, and felt his ears under his hair. They had always had a slight point to them, but he figured it was just a deformation. One that gave his ears some character.

“You have to be joking. I’m human.” Tsaeris wasn’t ready to change his world view quite yet.

To his surprise, the Ranger shook his head.
“You’re not human, friend. Perhaps you’re a half breed, though that would be exceptional itself, considering the reclusive nature of our people. Your Turindiel features are muted, though, so who knows? But I promise you, at the very least you’re half Turindiel.”

How do you know?” Tsaeris asked.

Well, your ears have a slight point, and your hair is snow white. If you were third generation, you would have a more human hair color. Since its white, you must be at least half.”

I thought you said half breeds didn’t happen,” Tsaeris replied.

No, I said they were rare,” Nerindar corrected.

Tsaeris was dumbstruck, but he couldn’t argue it either. He knew nothing of his lineage. How did he know that he wasn’t half elf? Hell, maybe he was all elf. He really couldn’t say with any certainty what he was.

The Ranger smiled again. “It’s a rare treat to change someone’s life.” He reached out a hand to Tsaeris. “My name is Nerindar.”

Tsaeris shook the hand hesitantly.

Do you mind if I sit with you for a while?”

You ask me that after you shatter my whole view of myself and the world?”

Nerindar shrugged.
“Is that a no?”

Yeah, you can sit there. You can’t lay that kind of news on me, and not answer a few follow up questions. Like, what the hell is a Tundranel, or whatever you said? What are they like?”

Nerindar considered for a moment.
“The Turindiel are very tribal, nomadic and territorial. They have no villages or cities. They follow the herds of tundra elk, and will kill outsiders who hunt their lands. They only care about two things. Food and religion.”

What kind of religion? The light?” Tsaeris asked.

Nerindar shook his head.
“No. They worship what others call heathen gods. These gods are various animal based deities that they believe provide them with life, food, and children. “

Sounds like a boring life.”

It can be. But for the most part it’s a hard dangerous life, and the Turindiel have become just as hard and just as dangerous. It’s that or die, really.”

You’re hair isn’t white. Are you not a tundra elf?” Tsaeris asked.

White hair is too obvious. Hair colors can be easily changed by dyes and inks,” Nerindar replied.

Tsaeris found his interest waning. He was tired, and still sober. The novelty of finding out that he was an elf, half or more, was starting to wear
off and he found that he really wasn’t all that interested in what the tundra elves were.

I’m sorry, Nerindar. I need some time to soak this in. I’m grabbing a bottle of whiskey, going to my room and sleeping for a week,

Fair enough, Tsaeris. Well, I hope to see you around.”

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