The Other

The Other

The Other was immediately satisfied that the demon was banished. The beast’s presence no longer forced itself on this iteration of reality. The Other thought this impassively. Then the Other left as silently as he had come.

* * *

Eeesekeee blinked as he realized an otter was talking to him. Another one of those funny jumps in reality. He had been on an airship and now he was on a rooftop somewhere in the city. All the roofs were blue here.

This was the city that they had just left by that airship. There were lots of people and they were very friendly. Even that big grumbly snake was not bad. So it was not upsetting to potentially live through a Temporal Loop, or other reality-altering event. Those things just happened.

The fruit bat made the mental calculations for Temporal Variation. He did this simply as anyone else might count mangoes in a basket. Almost two and a half days. It fell within an acceptable distribution of possibilities. But the answer felt “long”. Eeesekeee was exhausted and hungry. From the airship to this rooftop. Why the ebb and flow of “The Dream” did things was a curiosity he enjoyed to try and pick apart mathematically but some things eluded the power of math.

His attention came back to this little otter and a smallish bird. They were both armed with weapons: javelins and bows. The otter’s voice sounded very familiar. It was his tiny friend Harthuk, the mouse assassin from House Ayrram. He was in an excellent disguise. Eeesekeee loved the little intrigues the mouse constructed. And best of all Harthuk let the bat help him. Eeesekeee smiled and hoped Harthuk would stay in this iteration of reality and not disappear like all of the other friends he made.

The otter, or mouse in disguise, said, “You can fly me down there and you can tell the City Watch what has happened.” Eeesekeee smiled, replying, “What has happened?”, trying to guess what intrigue the mouse, or otter, was trying to construct.

Harthuk tried to reword his statement. “You are a Sir’hibas, the City Watch will listen to you.” Eeesekeee’s smile widened realizing this must be a very important part of the mouse’s intrigue. This was so much fun! The bat lowered his voice conspiratorially. “What do I tell them?” He snickered while asking.

Harthuk sighed in exasperation. “About the demon and the crystal around the house and the dead igua…” The mouse exhaled heavily. “Never mind, I can climb down.” The otter form climbed over the edge.

Eeesekeee turned to look at the mockingbird who was perfectly still but whose eyes were darting around to everyone. Another victim of being too attached to a narrow band of reality. Eeesekeee was about to introduce himself to a potential new friend when he heard Vikram’s voice come up from behind. “This is very satisfactory. I believe that Harthuk and this other honor guard can handle the method for proper disposal of the demon.” Vikram flew gracefully but landed awkwardly on his club foot.

Eeesekeee really liked Vikram. The Paksin was one of the smartest jánah he had ever met. A little shakey on mathematics, but he remembered everything the two discussed. He was well–versed in multiple theories on Dream versus Reality, immutability of the individual consciousness, and was a practiced Summoner. He was also a law speaker. That amused Eeesekeee greatly because simple society constructs were charming. Compared to the infinite Chaos of “The Dream” simple order like that made Eeesekeee happy. Vikram was his best friend and he suppressed the instant calculations as to when he would disappear from this iteration of reality.

Vikram limped forward and cocked his head. “Eeesekeee, the demon is now banished, I need to know are you now yourself again?” He spoken in a quizzical yet monotone voice.

Eeesekeee thought about the question. Was it a clever word game? “Do you mean in this particular ebb of reality? Or are we talking about the immutability of spirit again?” And what was all this talk about demons? He knew they were horrid creatures of the Dream. He was glad he had never met one. Although he knew his people, the Klin, were sworn demon hunters, he had been spared that path. His teachers felt he was not suited for it. They praised him for his ability, his almost natural blending with “The Dream”. But they kept his exposure to demons to only scrolls and tomes.

The thought of his teachers reminded him he was hungry and he very much wanted mangoes. “This is a wonderful part of the city, I wonder if there is one of those gaming houses or tea houses. I am sure there must be lots of people to meet,” Eeesekeee said as he started to fly. It was a short-lived flight as his body would not stay aloft. He almost crashed to the ground much to Harthuk’s and the City Guard’s surprise.

The group all stood around the body of a grotesque insect-like creature. Harthuk and a shrew stood talking next to the carcass while the larger City Watch gave it a wide berth.

Eeesekeee looked at the creature and was surprised that his mind was silent. Most every object made him do volume calculations or gravity-flexing effect, or even temporal resilience probabilities. But this body brought none of that. This was a demon.

Maybe that was the horror of the things. They made your mind go blank. He recalled that some demons could control a jánah’s mind or possess their body.

His exhausted body ached and now the thought of mangoes became overwhelming. “Let’s find something to eat,” he said to Vikram who hovered behind him. And the two plus the mockingbird wandered off to a tea house.

The Other

Why Do You Wander? ednoria