Chapter 9 - Motives
Adrienne seemed to be disinterested but small subtle movements gave away the discomfort with this whole situation. She was too used to just having things given to her. The very idea of working with these commoners turned her stomach but still something deep inside her twinged and she felt the need to do something. The only thoughts that filled her mind was the fame she could gain and the gifts that would be showered on her.
"If I must." She huffed.
Lisa recognized her part of the dream but seeing it in full context was enough to make her think of what could be lost if this creature returned. Immediately her thoughts went to her family. All the dreams she had of a long life filled with a happy marriage that stood the test of time and the grand kids yet to come ran through her mind. The thought of losing it was too much.
"If what you're saying is true, I can't sit back and do nothing."
Chang saw himself as a teacher and scholar as well as a master of unarmed combat styles. It wasn't arrogance for him to say that since the list of black belts and sashes he held were longer than his arm as well as his degrees. This situation fascinated him and for the first time he felt that he had some answers if they were incomplete. Still the quest for knowledge and training seemed to be leading him here.
"My skills are yours." Chang said bowing his head in a sign of respect.
Steve just wanted to this to end and catch a wave. He pinched himself a few times to see if this was real. Convinced that it was, he could only imagine the suffering and that bothered him. Despite the nonchalance he put up the surfer really did care about others. Besides he wanted to prove that his ancestor wasn't the traitor that he was accused of being.
"As long as I get some good waves brah, I'm in."
Dria felt that she had to act no matter what the cost. The kid said that he was guide and he seemed to be guiding her to this. She may not have been an active combatant in the dream but her part seemed vital. This was ringing a bell to her and it felt right.
"I may just be a singer but it seems that this is what I'm being called to. My voice is yours."
All eyes turned to Victor who seemed to be really concentrating on this. All he could see in his mind was the bodies of those he had hurt and killed in his time as a gang-banger. The sky was filled with faces of young people that seemed to call him to do this. Deep down he felt that this was the chance to make an impact and make up for his past sins. The big man had no idea what to expect but something stirred him to action besides the desire to atone for his past.
"The beast dies this time or I die." He said quietly.
The child nodded as did the rider.
"Very well." The child said, "In the interest of being open we should share the reasons you have to fight. They are a source of strength to you one and all. When all seems lost the things that you show will come to your mind and help you press forward. Please concentrate and they will show."
Just like when the dream was shown the room shifted and their thoughts could be shown for all to see.
Lisa showed a family reunion some time in the future. She was still married and holding a baby as was her husband. Their kids were all grown up and married with their own kids. The love they all shared was evident.
Steve showed a big beach party with as many people as he could imagine. All seemed to be cheering as he rode the biggest wave he had ever seen and was mastering it. He had a home on the beach and a nice sized RV in case he wanted to go somewhere else. When he got off the board friends and family gathered around him. He seemed older and genuinely happy with life.
Adrienne as usual seemed to be thinking of herself. She was signing books about her adventures, spending more money that most had ever seen and cameras followed her everywhere. She seemed to enjoy it.
Chang saw himself as older. The glasses that he wore teetered on the end of his nose as he pointed something out on a whiteboard for a packed lecture hall. The students seemed entranced and asked questions that challenged him. Then it shifted to him teaching his other love. A class of students in various age ranges were following his instruction as the moves of combat were shown. The younger children seemed to be the ones that bought him the most joy.
Dria was on a stage singing for a larger group that she ever did before. They were all cheering for her and when the image pulled out it was clear she was on a major stage for charity. The thought of it made her smile. She always wanted to use her talent for something good. Fame and fortune would be nice but it never drove her that much. Not to say that it was off the menu but her talent was to be shared and doing it for charity was a dream come true.
Victor could only project what he felt before. The bodies were at his feet and the sky filled with hopeful faces. Then the faces began descending and taking human form. All ages and genders were there pushing him on. One older lady was holding up her purse, another young man was showing the scars on his wrists while another young woman hugged him with tears in her eyes. Each person seemed to show him something that made him stronger. None of them noticed the bodies, only Victor. He fell to his knees and soon one by one all the people around him stepped in to the big man, blending with him. When he rose to his feet tears were in his eyes but they were blended with a look of determination. The bodies vanished and Victor stood at his full height.
The rider only saw a distant house with a young woman and three children. For just a brief moment the image held as they each opened their arms welcoming him. Then it vanished as did the rest.
Each scene faded in to a ball of light that floated to their respective owners and floated there in front of them. Then they floated into the people that dreamed them and the reactions were sharp.
Dria, Lisa and Steve all seemed happy. Victor seemed on the verge of tears but also showed a renewed spirit. Chang showed great contentment. Adrinenne just seemed happy with herself and the rider was as stoic as ever, but somehow seemed softer, less hard-edged.
"You have each felt your hearts desire and now you have the thing to fight for. Once it starts you will be unable to contact your families or friends but they will be protected. The beast has been slowed for now. Take the next 24 hours and spend it with those you love. You can tell them nothing of your mission. Upon success they can learn all that you know or know nothing as you desire. Enjoy your time and soon you will be called again." The boy said as they faded and appeared in the places they were before the gate ways appeared. Only a few minutes of time had passed. Each one digested what they had seen and came up with their plans.
In the plane of chaos the beast roared with rage at his setback, shaking the castle at its foundations and the captive laughed.
"The heroes have gathered, you can do it. Get the bastard this time."