Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Aftershock 14/16

Chapter Nine

Didn’t matter the time of the year, the Alps were always freezing. Donovan drew deep into the earth to catch a thread of magma and feed it up to the cliff where he perched. The heat from the pool of molten rock warmed him more effectively than a campfire, and without the telltale beacon of smoke giving away his position.

The tracks for the Artesia de Nuit train threaded through the mountains for a good six hours between Milan, Italy, and Dole, France. According to Tiernan, this was the route the wizards chose to transport their captive. The path carved into the rock passed fifty feet beneath him. Rock walls lined both sides of the track at this expanse, allowing only enough room for the train and a buffer for safety. The line ran nearly flat for a couple hundred feet before taking a downward curve.

Already Donovan sensed the vibration of the train pulsing through the ground. He crouched and gripped the edge of the crag.

Magic flowed from him. Merged with the earth. Felt the infinitesimal warping and up thrusting of the mountain range. His element. His magic. A perfect blending.

Donovan waited.

The train marched along at an even pace. Drawing nearer.

Focusing on the track beneath him, Donovan willed cracks to form around the railway spikes.

The train chugged into sight. To see Donovan, he appeared to idly watch the scene unfold before him. When the last car came into view, his magic flexed. His head turned to follow the train car. Timing its speed. Gauging when it would pass precisely below him.

The rock beneath the train suddenly sheared upward as if blasted by dynamite. The placement of the upheaval caught the joints between two lengths of track and lifted up at the exact moment to uncouple the last car from the train and pummel it into the far wall of the crevice.

The passenger car smashed sidelong, crumpling the metal sheeting. The crash tossed the occupants within the car, but should not have had enough force to kill. Only to stun.

The rest of the train curved the bend. Though the braking metal wheels squealed against the rails, it would take a while to bring the train to a halt, especially on the decline. Even still, Donovan lifted his gaze to the rock wall past where the single passenger car had crashed. The cliff surrendered, crumbling into a rockslide that barricaded this section of track from easy access by foot.

Physically, Donovan remained still. A tremor shivered the ground as rock formed from compressed sediment released its tension and flowed like a liquid instead. The sides of the crevice melted. The mudslide flooded over and around the train car, burying it fully. It continued to rise until the new surface leveled evenly with the cliff where Donovan knelt.

Part 15/16 of "Aftershock" coming on 1/13/12!

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