Forneus sat in the centre of the surveillance room, the only light in the otherwise cramped space provided by the ten, transparent images floating in the air; revolving around him as if they were planets, and he their personal sun. From an amethyst cluster, to a winged staff; from an elegant sword, to a feathered crown, and so on…one right after the other until it came full circle, returning to the amethyst once again.
He muttered absently to himself, his eyes roving over each of the images while his long, thin fingers tapped the keys of the crescent-shaped console in front of him. He had just finished his hourly log, when the whole system began to sputter; the projections wavering before vanishing completely. Pinpricks of light danced across his vision when the images flickered out, the room plunging into total darkness. The very projections he’d just been looking at continued to flash before his eyes, only now they were inverted like the negatives of photographs.
What’s going on?
Forneus was not easily panicked, but something in the way the blackness fell over the room had him spinning in a wide circle; his luminous, silver eyes darting every which way as he tried to catch a glimpse of whoever, or whatever, was responsible for his sudden lack of sight.
He never got the chance. Just as he’d begun to feel a familiar, prickling sensation along the back of his neck, fatigue stole over him, his eyelids drooping heavily. His mind felt as though it was mired in fog, and he stumbled forward, his legs no longer able to support his weight. He landed face down on the hard, cool floor, a rush of air ghosting past his lips as he reached out toward the last image he’d seen before the system had gone down; a young, blonde-haired girl.
Forneus could feel himself being pulled into slumber, unable to fight against it as he watched the girl’s after image swim across his vision; seized by a pang of guilt as fat droplets poured from the child’s large, green eyes, a stuffed bear clutched to her chest.
I’m sorry…I failed…