The captain rushed toward the vibrant glow of light rising from the lake, half-carrying half-dragging the sickly farmer on her back. Will-o’-the-wisps appeared and faded as she approached, illuminating the way forward. She made her way around to a small waterfall on the far side of the embankment. The closer she got, the more her veins throbbed—burned—froze. Her grip involuntarily tightened on the farmer as adrenaline surged through her body. She heaved him higher into her back, grunting as she charged through the torrent of water. She emerged on the other side of the waterfall, dry, onto the warm snow-covered shore of a crystalline spring.
Fluorescent trees rose to momentous heights from the earth, seeping with something pure, volatile—not the same, but not unlike dragonfire. In just being near the crystalline sap her blood shivered. The crystalline spring, residing in the middle of the momentous cavern, gleamed with power. It emitted a wondrous fountain of light that reverberated within the captain at her core. As she gazed on, she noticed the walls and ceiling of the grotto were studded with shimmering somethings. “It’s bigger on the inside…” she remarked.
The captain began to quake, dropping her prisoner. The burning freeze flowing through her body overwhelmed her existence—her very concept of being evaporating from the moment. A memory regurgitated itself over her being, this time wholly visceral.
Maybe I was wrong about this. I only wanted to help you, but this is going too far. The captain’s consciousness stood as a man in a time passed, in this same location, before a woman whose voice remained hauntingly familiar. Getting a visual for the first time, the woman was smaller than the captain had expected. Dark skin, dark eyes, darker hair. The strength of the vision held little weight, however, against the additional appendage now present in the captain’s vicarious pants. So far she despised being a man.
We’re dangerous enough as is. If we get too close—
The man the captain was trapped in grabbed the woman and drew her close, bringing their lips together. Their eyes opening just for a moment, the captain caught the familiar reflection of her father in the woman’s eyes. The captain mentally shuddered as she felt their shared penis harden. The woman broke their extended kiss, wide-eyed, as she turned away.
The shimmering spring returned, along with the injured farmer lying on the ground next to her. The captain spat violently onto the ground, scrapping her tongue with her teeth. She grabbed at her crotch, letting out a relieved sigh at finding no excess junk. She checked to see if her prisoner still lived.
She looked up as the woman from the visions, aged several decades, quickly approach. The captain drew her sword, unable to restrain herself as her adrenaline-filled body lashed out of its own accord. The woman stepped back and kept her distance, as some sort of furry pet slowly sauntered on from behind. The captain paused just long enough to re-evaluate the situation as the woman spoke.
“Take a breath. The essence is much stronger here than out there. Your body prolly feels like it’s exploding and freezing at the same time, yeah?” The woman nodded enthusiastically. “C’mon. Got a place just over there,” the woman motioned behind her. “You and your friend could prolly use some rest.” The woman said as she knelt to pet what appeared to be her puppy.
“You expect such docility of your betters?” The captain replied, tightening her grip on her weapon.
“Betters?” the woman chuckled. “Honey, you’re barely hangin’ on.”
“We are Heir Apparent to the Emarosan Dynasty—the Crown Princess of Thorns—Lenoa Furiae of the House of Deas. You do not question us. You. Will. Submit.” The captain’s body tensed with the strength of a feral tigress. Her biceps tightened, stretching the feathery thorns of her taut leather armor. She drew her dagger with her off-hand.
“Huh.” The woman laughed as she seemed to be pondering something. “So that’s who you are, is it? Guess that would explain it,” the woman extended her hand. “I’m Emarosa.”