Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 3.3

Posted by harmony0stars on August 30, 2011

Trevor’s misgivings were too ambiguous to deter Glory. She’d worked it all out in her head, exploring the tendrils of lore she’d inherited from her father’s people until she found something that might help. Every night since the door to her racial memories had been opened, she’d spent her still hours turning over the memories like a child turning over rocks. There was just so much to see; it was all a bit overwhelming at times and frightening.

Even at the edge of her awareness, the memories of her forefathers stretched out around her like a labyrinth. It would be easy to get lost following some strange new path she had never considered and not find her way back to her right mind for decades or even centuries. And sometimes, she almost caught glimpses of others who had done just that, roaming the halls of a library of the mind… a place that might very well be as much a physical maze as it was a state of mind. There were hints as she wandered that it was not only in her thoughts but might exist somewhere or somewhen. The thought of meeting the wandering mind of someone who had not successfully navigated the esoteric storehouse of their people made her shudder and pull back time and time again as she hesitated at the limits of the memories she’d been given and saw stretching out beyond that point more lore in the distance, shifting shadows giving the illusion of other wanderers, or maybe not so much an illusion. Just the thought of one of those lost wanderers finding their way back to her body kept her closer to home than she might have gone otherwise.

Staying close to home meant that she had to content herself with less flashy answers to her problems. Despite being practical however, they were no less effective. That didn’t explain why Trevor was so distracted though. No matter how she looked at it, she couldn’t see any danger with the solution she finally settled on. Therefore whatever was bothering him had to be something she couldn’t plan against. She contented herself with the fact that the three secret agents were probably better equipped than most to handle anything that her sister might throw at them.

Under different circumstances, Glory would have been happy enough to take in the sights at the Palace of Scone. Outside of otherworldly jaunts, this was her first real trip to another country. It would have been nice to at least take the tour. Instead, they wandered out onto the grounds instead, looking for Moot Hill where the kings of Scotland had once been crowned.

“So… what‘s the plan?” Mike asked as they climbed the hill.

“We’re going to stand here, and I’m going to look back through time to try to see what happened to the stone,” Glory said, trying not to be irritated by his question. It wasn’t his fault it sounded so… stupid.

Jack coughed to hide his snicker, but she glared at him anyway.

“Just… You guys watch to make sure no one tries to interfere, okay? No one should notice us standing up here and looking suspicious, but you never know.” She frowned at the church and the palace and perfectly landscaped lawn, trying to isolate the particular flow of energy she was looking for.

This was something Trevor did accidentally by some quirk of his genes. She had to do it purposefully and tune her vision like a TV set. It sounded a lot easier than it actually was. Looking back through time was more like trying to brush away different colored sands without disturbing the layer underneath than turning a dial on an old fashioned TV.

It took a lot of trial and error to fix her attention in time and space. Even though she wasn‘t moving, the earth was. A handful of seconds in and she was already floating in space, unfixed from the Earth and watching the ballet of the planets. She had to pull her consciousness back in and tie her consciousness to the gravity of her planet while at the same time pushing time away like boulders in her path.

The universe wasn’t young, there’d been a lot of traffic on Earth and elsewhere, and man had been a long time evolving. She cringed away from a lava flow and choked on smoke that wasn‘t there… held her breath as strange beings wandered the landscape, not human but not animal either, looking like ambulatory vegetables with starfish heads. Trevor sputtered in shock, and she realized he’d somehow followed her into her visions. Well, it probably wasn’t a bad idea to have more than one set of eyes watching. They watched as the first terrestrial pioneers crawled out of the ocean on flipper-feet… ducked under the stride of a dinosaur…

Scone was as an ancient gathering place of the Picts, and she saw them finally as she drifted upwards in the time stream, closer to when she stood. As far as Earthly time went though, the time of the Picts and her so called modern era might as well have been side by side with the dinosaurs and the Things which came before them. She tried to adjust and overshot, ending up sometime during the Scottish Reformation when the Abbey was destroyed.

She backtracked and saw the abbey built, expanded, and used as a Parliamentary building before it was attacked by King Edward who has supposedly stolen the stone. Glory went back again, though her head was beginning to throb, and finally caught a glimpse of an actual coronation. It was worth the effort.

Once she caught sight of the Stone, she fixed her attention to it and followed it through every coronation. It was not the stone King Edward had taken, the replica of which sat in front of a little chapel nearby. The true coronation stone was round and polished black with carved symbols which were quite familiar to Glory, though she doubted any earthly scholars would recognize them. If it was really the stone the Biblical patriarch Jacob had used as a pillow when he dreamed of his ladder to heaven, it wasn’t heaven he’d dreamed of.

She went back again, slowing the passage of time to a crawl, and watched the days prior to King Edward’s attack for some sign of what had happened to the stone. Had it been hidden in the abbey or moved before he arrived? Under cover of darkness, she saw a handful of monks leave the abbey with a chest.

“Finally…” she muttered and heard her voice, thick and gravelly. Glory blinked and staggered as she came back to herself only seconds after she’d begun scrying into the past. She tasted salt on her lip and brushed at her nose, her hand coming away with a smear of blood.

to Book 7, part 3, page 4

4 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 3.3”

  1. Alderin said

    Hmm, bloody nose from a demigod. Abusing her human form a bit, I guess.

    “Instead, they wandered out onto the grounds instead,” – I know two negatives cancel, but two insteads…


  2. kagedviper said

    I wonder if Trevor could learn to expand his gift by watching glory do it.

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