Can Nick Survive Check Mate in The Temple?

Directly between the tall dark pillars stood the girl. He started towards her. As he did a pony led by a Tenggeran native crossed his vision. At the same moment a waft of sulphur fumes drifted over him and he covered his face. After a moment the air cleared and he raised his head. The native of the community with his pony had passed, but she was gone.


Was the light screaming for the mother who pledged to sacrifice her youngest child to the Bromo god in return for her ability to conceive and carry a child to full term? A mother who following that pledge, understandably, could not bring herself to the rim of her known world to satisfy the agreement with the gods’ and cast her child into an unknown abyss?

"The Singapore Stone" - Excerpt

Battle Time -The Conflict Must Be Settled

Nick Continues into the Poten

He awoke to a heat of unimagined intensity.

He had passed through the gates

A shimmering play of lights parried around him. The rainbow lights faded and the scorching heat eased.

A strange beast appeared, snarling. 

The Gatekeeper held it restrained on a tight leash.

Bold and unafraid he stepped into the area and brushed the adversary aside.

Where was he?

Scalding lava spilled on all sides.

He could cause it to retreat with a wave of his hand.

His hand? He stared at the thing at the end of his arm.

His hand was a claw.

His arm was covered in scales. 

Had he attained the skill of being able to move fluidly between states of being —such as he believed Julian hinted he could during that unforgettable earlier encounter?

Where was the temple he should be inside?

Had the Dvarapala intervened? Those fearsome guardians at the gate. The bouncers ugly and grim, watching lest an unruly patron should step across the line. Had they alerted the sentry in the watchtower who had pulled the time switch? The same gatehouse he’d seen at Amphawa. This time he’d been cast back further. 600 years.

There was no building, let alone a religious temple of —”Whatever Gods”

Whatever– gods–, he corrected his imagined spelling. Lower case. He wasn’t yet ready to give any gods such a respectful label… Of granting Uppercase. God supreme…or prostrate himself… unless he was to encounter a worthy deity… 

        …and even then he would surely have chance to enter into dialogue and wriggle to a reasonable breathing space where he’d eventually escape such clutches. Of course he had to apply a capital for “whatever” as this was the beginning of a sentence.



Was he imprisoned?

Where and who was the Judge, the Jury and—dare he say it? Executioner?

The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and he swung his hand up to stifle an involuntary shiver.

At least he still had hair, though it felt a degree tattered.

He stared at the checkerboard paving with odd stone figures placed strategically in exactly the same position…

[Kiesianna can unsettle Julian and keep him off balance leading him to release the beasts to defend his position. Places herself as ransom should he fail.]

Nick wondered if he was allowing Kieysianna to retain her presence by his own permission. His thoughts empowered and gave her existence. He could hold her at arms length, for how long? Could Megan maintain the same distance? Dare he relax for a second lest Megan became possessed.

Detatching from The Adversary

He overpowers Julian in the citadel and Julian’s enabler is transposed to the Facility. He gets out quick. He needs to get to the Facility before his precious jewel activates and locks him out.

Nick could see the unleashed writhing forces plummeting towards him. His breathing mask was slammed upwards obscuring his sight. He ripped it away and the sulphur fumes surged into his nostrils and hit his lungs. He was gagging with the sudden onslaught and stench.

Detaching from the beast was an agonising effort.

He heard a louder voice. Megan was screaming at him. ‘Get out. Now… It’s closing.’ 

 Tearing away he recoiled back through the portal and rolled down the steps until landing at the bottom with his nose buried in the ash.

Megan followed him down to where he lay and jabbed a toe in his ribs. ‘Wake up clumsy. Time to get out of here before we’re arrested for breaking and entering. You’re lucky I arrived when I did.’

Luhur-Poten-entrance and Tengger horseman and rider

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