Chapter 4: Another Encounter
The clock struck five and Kiara fell against the wall of a shop, panting heavily while an evening breeze rode in to cool her down. Since her date with Tristan yesterday, she had been on a mission to find the golden-eyed woman, resolute to stop her before she’d have a chance to go after her friends. It was a troubling mission she had to admit, because she knew there wasn’t really any set date in the woman’s mind. Kiara figured she attack them when they were all together, giving her till school ended tomorrow to find the woman and stop her before she got a chance, but again the trouble of the mission hit her as she had no clue where the stranger could be. Her first destination after leaving Tristan had been the old library where the creature had lurked. In the absence of people, she snuck in and took a look around, but could find nothing, not even a place the creature could have called a nest. After that, she checked buildings around her house. If it was empty, or crowded she scoped it out, but just like the place before, it did her mission no good. Now it was the second day of her search, or rather evening, as the setting sun cast an auburn glow over the land. At this point, although her resolution did not fade, she wondered if she’d actually succeed in her mission or be force to endure or horrifying scene. It stirred terror in her mind, and made her wish that even the slightest change would occur so that she could say she actually do some good. For now that wouldn’t happen though, as she had to head home. In a few hours, night would be upon her, and even if that was when the woman prowled, Kiara had no choice but to head home.
A ten minute bus ride later brought her a mile away from her home, and as she saw a group of kids playing in the park she imagine what her world would be like if her friends were taken away. It made her recall how they all met; how Taylor had embarrassed Emily and reminded Kiara of a cousin she had lost. She was reminded of how she and Tristan met, in a situation much like one would expect. One that wasn’t spurred by mutual disdain for Emily but by a random stroke of fate that paired them together in a project. Finally, there was Shin who had to have been Kiara’s favorite encounter of them all. With impressive charisma, and perhaps a destiny to fail, Shin had come up to Kiara and had asked her out on a date. She had rejected him of course, but that had sparked a fire between them and between him and Taylor as well, as he joined their group of three. Looking onto the playing children made her realize how that camaraderie could fade away, and made her want to cry out as she failed to see any way to protect it. Suddenly she heard something step down behind her, and quickly spun with her pendant held tight in her right hand. The thing that stood there in a black jacket with white fur around its collar, and glasses so dark they gave no sight of his eyes, was the man she had encountered before, who seemed to emit an air of mystery, stronger than when she first encountered him.
“Oh, it’s just you again.” She said as she let go of her pendant and once more felt that the man would do her no harm.
“What an impressive sight.” The man spoke and Kiara fell against the fence that encircled the playground. “To think that you were prepared to use it, even though you seemed adamant not to use it before.” The man rested against the fence beside her and made her turn an annoyed glance to him.
“Who are you anyway?” She hissed. “I mean, I’m sure you have something to do with that woman, she talked like you after all.” She grimaced and the man smiled.
“No, I am neither enemy nor ally of the woman you encountered. In this chapter, I am not a man who has a hand in changing the course of fate.” The man continued to wax mysterious and Kiara let out an annoyed sigh.
“Can you give me one straight answer?”
“Yes, but only to the right questions that are asked.”
“Then who are you?” She asked and the man seemed to nod as if telling her she did a good job.
“I am a man who is known as Doktor.” He introduced himself as he stepped away and took a bow.
“Doctor? As in the medical profession?” Kiara turned to him and he nodded again.
“There are mysteries to my name that elude the definition of the word you just spoke. A culture symbol if you would, that can’t be fairly emphasized by the likes of me.” Doktor replied.
“I’m sure you want me to ask you about your culture, but I’m on a mission here. Since you know about that woman, tell me who she is and what that monster that attacked me was.” Kiara demanded and Doktor nodded again.
“What do you know about the tale of two worlds?” He turned his back to her and his eyes toward the sky.
“A little. I read a book once that used that fairytale. It was about a boy who got injured in a car crash and lost his parents. Because they had crashed on a desolate road he couldn’t wait for someone to come save him, so he wandered into the woods nearby.” She replied. “When he made it through the other end he passed out, and when he woke up, he was in the care of a beautiful girl with pointed ears. When he was well enough to walk, he found out that he was in a world straight out of a fantasy novel.” She went on and Doktor’s attention turned away from the sky.
“Yes, the world of machines, Nuovo Mondo, and the world of magic Nuut Wereld. They share a meaning in their different names, and are two worlds that are connected.”
“This doesn’t seem like a straight answer.” Kiara sighed.
“That is because I must provide context first. If these worlds are connected, what connects them both? Is it an unnamed magical bridge? Is it several roads hidden in the most unsuspecting of places, like the forest the boy in that tale went through, or is it just one road that is a world itself? A world that lacks the marvelous technology of Nuovo Mondo, or the graceful magic of Nuut Wereld. A world where the denizens grow jealous of the lands their world connect, and seek to break through the unseen walls to claim one of those worlds as their own.” Doktor‘s attention turned toward her again.
“Then the monster that has been terrorizing people is from that world between worlds?”Kiara asked and Doktor nodded.
“Yes and your world is the world they want to claim. While marvelous in its technology, your world does not know the horrors of Nuut Wereld; the monstrosities the shadows can bear. What the people of your world see as unidentified animals, are more than just that to the denizens of Nuut Wereld, so those dwellers of the connecting roads seek your world as theirs.”
“And how do they do that?”
“By finding those with the ability to open the gate. People like that woman, whose golden eyes show that she’s dealt with the dwellers, and of course, there will be more like her.”
“Then how do I stop her? How do I stop them?” Kiara exclaimed with a shaking voice, and managed to catch the attention of the playing children briefly.
“If the question is how, don’t you know the answer?” Doktor replied as he pointed at the pendant the hung over her chest and Kiara picked it up and stared into it. “But there’s only so much you can do. While I don’t play a role in this chapter, in the next I do. For now you should focus on the woman you’ve encountered, and when things have come to pass we will meet again.” Doktor turned his back to her and took a few steps away.
“Where can I find the woman?” She issued one last question as she realized he was about to vanish again.
“Not where dear girl, when.” Doktor gave her one last answer as the riding in evening breeze, cued him to make his departure.
With Doktor gone, Kiara fell against the fence again then stared at her pendant, and pondered the answer he had given. To stop the woman and those like her, she already knew the answer, and to the question of where the woman would be, he informed her that the true question is when. She gripped the pendant tight as she considered with that would mean and gulped, rebuilding the resolve that had crumbled when evening fell upon her. It was clear that she would need to complete the mission again, but for now, she could only wait. She couldn’t say what the outcome would bring, but she knew the success of her mission had to be a guarantee…
[Chapter 4 ends…]