Goal: Not even keeping track…
Story: The Burning City
Approximate Chapter: After the end of The Burning City
“You don’t have to do this.” Starr placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. He barely felt her touch.
“Yes. I do.” He closed his blue-gray eyes and fought the urge to sleep away the pain. “But I can’t do it alone. I need your help.”
Nox’s hands shook slightly as he handed Starr his blood dagger, handle first.
Together they stood in the abandoned Tor’vic stables. Only the splintered wood of a dusty door remained. Bricks had been hastily laid and mortared together over the entry way but had crumbled over time. It had been sealed over four years ago.
Nox tossed the last board on the ground bitterly. A splinter dug in to his skin, as if to remind him that he did still feel something. Dim morning sunlight filtered in and illuminated the carved stone staircase. He felt his heart skip a beat when he saw footsteps were still left behind in the dust.
From when they brought him out… His mouth felt dry.
“You’ve done this a dozen times. You’re not going to find anything new.”
“I can’t…” His hand tightened in to a fist. “They must have missed something. Let me try again.”
He heard her sigh—as she usually did. Starr was predictable in her anger, but loyal regardless. A dozen times he had asked, and a dozen times she had come back with him. Each time, she watched it kill him a little more.
“Just tell me when you’re ready.” Starr moved behind him and held the blade firmly against Nox’s neck. He swallowed and the metal nicked his skin.
Starr didn’t wait for his answer, she felt him tense as a tear fell down his cheek. The blade slid across his throat as his mind slipped away to memories. Starr reached around with her free hand and covered his eyes, wiping away his tears as she did. She felt his body shudder and convulse as he fell backwards in to her arms. She caught him and lowered him to the ground, watching as his blood spilled out on to the stone floor. His eyes were empty, but she knew he had left her the moment he had started to tear apart the door.
A dozen times they had come, and a dozen times he could go no further than the doorway. Today he decided to break it open, but the pain was too great to cross the threshold.
She only hoped he’d find what he was looking for in Transcendence. If he had to go down that staircase again, she didn’t think he’d ever come back out.