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Universe of G-Minor - Ghibbore Title

Chapter 39

He was floating in darkness over the face of the great deep, the waters peaceful with slow hypnotic waves moving this way and that, when a gigantic Voice spoke a thundering explosion of light into the world. The shock wave from the Voice was like a mighty, rushing wind, throwing him this way and that. Below him, the gentle swells were gone, replaced with crashing foam and spray, surging waves of black water that would drown him in an instant if he got too near their greedy reach.

The winds smashed him down toward the killing ocean with hurricane force. Fighting back he barely managed to pull up in time, icy spray chilling him to the bone as he clawed for altitude. The winds battered him down, but he fought grimly to stay above the grasping water. Thunder roared all around him. Turning he tried to race ahead of the tornado force winds, striving to outrun them. Faster and faster he flew, fighting the endless downdrafts that wanted to force him down into the monstrous waves below.

Then he spied a black line on the horizon. Land! His heart leaped and he flew faster, straining his heart for more speed to reach land before the storm overtook and consumed him.

The black line soon became a towering cliff as it climbed out of the ocean. He could see titanic waves crashing against its base. His eyes widened at the sight. He was too low! He’d smash into the cliff if he didn’t climb higher. Gritting his teeth he fought for altitude, higher and higher. But for every foot he gained, it seemed the cliff grew a hundred more. He was hurtling toward it at impossible speeds now. No matter how hard he tried, the top always remained out of reach.

He looked wildly about him. The only way out was back, back into the storm that was pushing him to his death. Glancing back he saw his friends, behind the towering thunderheads of the clouds, dangling unconscious over a bottomless pit, their lives hanging by a thread. His heart hammering in fear for their safety he turned into the teeth of the hurricane, slitting his eyes against the stinging wind, fighting to fly against it. He had to save them! He had to!

Bellowing, he fought the clawing winds, then slowly, slowly, he began to make progress against them, heading into the very heart of the storm. Lightning crashed all around him with deafening thunder, nearly blinding him. Strange colors danced before his eyes. His hair stood on end. His eyes rolled in their sockets. Spittle drooled from the side of his mouth. The howling winds flung him back and forth with endless fury.

Lightning struck him full on with a world-shaking crash of sound and fury. His limbs convulsed from the stroke. He bellowed in agony, but never swerved from his determination to rescue his friends. He suffered through the next bolt as well, and the next, gritting his teeth against the anguish. Again and again, it struck him. Thunder roared endlessly in his ears, shaking his whole body. The hurricane winds battered him up and down, trying to fling him across the sky. Stinging rain, hurled against him so fast it tore his flesh to ribbons, unleashing a torrent of blood, turning the waters red beneath him. Near mindless with pain he forced himself to go on.

Then, when he thought he couldn’t take anymore, he plunged through a towering thunderhead into the very center of the storm – and found peace. The wind vanished abruptly. The rain disappeared. All around him was the raging storm, but here in the middle was an oasis of utter tranquility. He paused in amazement, the pain and agony gone in an instant. His friends had vanished but he realized he’d still won through to something important, something worth all his torment.

“A suffering servant, you have passed the test,” the Voice spoke again, but this time with compassion and gentleness.

In the center of the eye of the storm was a vast, glowing ball of light hanging motionless in the sky. As he watched, lightning bolts flared out from it, striking the surrounding clouds, vaporizing them as if they’d never existed. He looked down.

The great deep was gone. In its place was a beautiful land, richly forested and green. Verdant pastures, littered with flowers in every color of the rainbow, were crisscrossed with babbling brooks. The land climbed slowly to a majestic mountain, towering higher than anything he’d ever seen. But there was a raw wound on the side of the mountain, an ugly gash that flowed with blood. The blood spilled down the sides of the mountain, destroying everything it touched.

The ball of light became a mighty hand, a hand that looked strangely familiar. The hand reached out and touched the wound on the mountain. Instantly it began to close, the blood slowed to a halt and the damage it had wrought repaired itself in a matter of moments.

“To heal or to harm,” the Voice said, speaking for the final time.

As the hand pulled back he saw it wasn’t a mountain after all. It was too tall and didn’t narrow enough as it climbed towards the heavens. He followed it up and up and up – until it joined with another mountain, equally tall.


Not a mountain, a leg. And the other mountain was a leg too.

He stared at the hand as it withdrew, eyeing the leather gauntlet that covered the wrist, seeing the familiar marks and scraps it had gathered over the years. Then he realized why the hand looked so familiar.

It was his

* * * * *

Storm started awake, gasping at the still vivid dream, more vivid and real than any he’d ever had. It was still dark outside. The fire was still burning high. He couldn’t have been asleep for more than a few minutes. He struggled up to a sitting position, hissing at the pain in his leg.

Inside him, he could feel something new, something which hadn’t been there before. It was a burning energy that tingled every fiber of his being and surged powerfully back and forth. Hardly daring to hope it might be what the dream hinted it was, he stretched out his hand to the aching wound on his leg. He concentrated on the power inside him, pushing it toward his injured leg.

His eyes widened at the results. Almost before he could draw a single breath the wound closed and healed, the aching pain vanished. In the space of a heartbeat, his leg was completely healed as if he’d never been wounded at all. The rope burns on his hands were gone as well. Inside his chest, the surging tide of power went down, still there, but now lower than before. He stood up, experimentally putting weight on his leg, stomping around until he’d convinced himself it was really happening. It was healed!

“What in blazes do ye think yer doin?” Durin grumbled, woken up by his stomping. He propped himself up on one elbow to squint up at the barbarian. He closed his mouth with a snap as he caught sight of Storm’s healed leg, dried blood still caking his trousers around where the wound had been. “How in blazes did that happen?” he exclaimed in wonder.

Storm grinned at down at him, dropping to one knee beside him. He reached out quickly for Durin’s wounded arm. He pushed the power out, this time with more confidence. Durin’s face went slack with amazement. He windmilled his arm in disbelief.

“Ye have healing power?” he managed to choke out.

Storm nodded, feeling the power within him dropping yet again. “To heal or to harm; the last of my gifts as a Ghibbore. Don’t ask me how I know it’s the last one but I do. And I don’t know if it’s just this once, or if I’ll have it again tomorrow. But right now, yes, I can heal. It came to me in a dream,” he said getting up and moving to Lorelei. Durin sketched some sign in the air before him as he watched Storm repeat the ritual on her. A moment later her eyelids fluttered open. She looked around in puzzlement.

“What happened? Where are we?”

Storm kissed her with a glad laugh. “Hang on, I’ll explain in a minute. I’ve got to take care of Ralt first.”

“Take care of Ralt?” she repeated in confusion. “Storm, what are you talking abou . . . . .” She trailed off dumbly as she watched him heal Ralt’s broken leg. She sat bolt upright in shock. “How did you do that?” she blurted in amazement.

Ralt woke up as Storm was healing him, his expression running the gamut from confusion to shock to wonder then back to confusion again. Storm pulled the splint off him and he flexed his leg with a bemused look. “Okay! Somebody better tell me where we are and what’s going on!

Storm dropped to the floor cross-legged in front of the fire. Inside, the surging energy was gone. Whether or not it would come back he didn’t know, but he had a feeling it might. Before he could get lost in wonderment at this unlooked-for gift, he launched into recounting the events of the day, ending with his dream, and his newfound power to heal or to harm with only a touch. He could even see the depth of the wound and any illness they had.

The only thing he left out was the Voice and what it said. He didn’t want to be a servant, suffering or otherwise, to any Voice.

When he finished he looked around at his friends for their reactions.

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