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Disparation Pieces (open)

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The Mariner
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Disparation Pieces (open)

This is a post for shorter Disparation-style stories that need no further introduction.  All are welcome to share stories fitting the bill.

“Tolpaneth”

The weary traveler lifted his head toward the city on the hill.  His eyes glinted in the evening sun, and his blue tentacles wriggled in the wind.  His hand grasped the sword tightly.  With his fingers, he read the runes on the blade: “Tol-pa-neth.”  The archaeologist’s writings had indicated that the runes formed a word.  “Tol,” meaning to seek.  The wind began to swirl around him, and he rose over the metallic purple wall of the city.  Spikes and arcing electricity made the interior look like a frighteningly elaborate torture device.  He turned toward the palace, and allowed himself to glide on the breeze.  “Pa,” meaning a child.  He lighted on the balcony.  Inside, the leader of Mordengrad stood, back to him, sipping wine.  The palace seemed to echo with the evil of its dweller.  “Neth,” meaning vengeance.  The same hand that now was clasped around Mordengrad’s finest vintage, had not two hours before taken the life of Pall Dall’ton.  The stranger sneered, and drew the blade.  Tolpaneth was his to deliver.  Just like that, the Baroness Blade turned her head, her green hair like a taunting beckon for his retribution.  “I have not been expecting that you were arriving.” she said with disdain.  “But my guards have been.” she giggled as though someone had said something amusingly above their station.  

At that, the sound of marching feet led M’kk to realize that a trap had been set.  He found himself suddenly flanked by legions of royal guards.  He scanned their empty, purple eyes and found nothing of the autonomy they had once enjoyed.  Their bald heads and blank expressions made them look like mannequins.  It was hard to believe that they had ever been people.  The first wave of Visionaries dove at him, and he recalled the Thorathian War, when he had brought his people freedom at the cost of his exile for engaging the invaders in battle.  Like the gene-bound of that rosy would-be-conqueror, these drones were no longer acting of their own volition, regardless of what their dying yells might make him think.  He fought bravely, but the psychic bonds of the warriors were too much for him.  He was levitating by his ankles as the baroness raised her hand.  She wanted to see his face.  He was rotated toward her.  He could feel his blade being drawn.  As the rush of air from the swinging sword reached his neck, he whispered three final words: “Forgive me, Pall...”