It's just an ordinary day. . . Well, except for the abnormal mist north of No Man's Landing, but hey, everybody knows how unpredictable the weather can get.
I decide to take a walk in the mist. Is that a good idea? I don't know. But it's not everyday in Aethasia that you see . . . just. . . plain. . . cloudy white. . . fog!! It's marvelous!
I pull up my right sleeve, exposing the shapeshifter's bracelet underneath. If I'm attacked in this heavy most, I'll be ready to defend myself. One can never be too careful in fog, even if it isn't green.
I stop to wipe off my glasses with my collar, but it doesn't help me see at all. This the the worst fog I've even been in! Well, I take that back, it's NOWHERE near the worst fog I've been in, but I can't see a thing! I can't even make out my own feet on the ground!
Something fishy is going on. . .
I think back to a few hours ago, when I was stocking up in dynamite in Lukas' workshop, when I overheard a fellow resistor say those exact words. He was talking about someone they had seen in No Man's Landing. "He had this thick, soft- looking white coat," he said, "And around him was a sort of faint purpleish mist, like aether. And when I caught a glimpse of his eyes. . . they were a bright magenta. It's like he's had an Aether overdose!"
"Where is he now?" a friend asked him.
"I don't know, but I heard that Miss K and Emman, as well as The Phantom and his pupil, had gone to look for him."
I shake my head and sigh. The Phantom is mysterious enough. Now we've got two mysterious men in our Resistance! I hope this one is as friendly as the first one.
I look back to where I came from. . . At least I hope that's the way I came. I can't tell anymore with all this . . . fog? I may as well just call it "mist." Fog is another thing all together. Anyway. . . I take a tentative baby step forward, and then another, and then another, and then another. I squint and widen my eyes repeatedly, hoping for a sign of something other than thin air. The only thing I can see other than fog, the rims of my glasses and my outstretched arms fading into the mist in front of me is the full moon, peaking from above the mist. It does nothing to help burn away the mist or at least help me see.
I stop again and look around. I hear something. Something like a whispering, gurgling sound. Running water, I realize. At last, a landmark! I walk towards the noise, with slightly quickened baby steps. I hear the gurgling noise grow louder and louder, until it seems only a few feet away. I slow my pace.
Any minute now, I will see the river and I will stay here until the mist goes away. Yes, there it is! How silvery it is. Just a few more steps and I'll be at the water's edge. A few mo--
Without warning, the ground seems to disappear from under my feet. Apparently "a few more steps" is an overstatement. Before I have time to scream, I'm abruptly engulfed in darkness.
The river isn't very turbulent, but if you had been in a heavy fog and fell into the water because you couldn't see where you're feet were, you'd be as scared as I am. I squeeze my eyes shut and constrict my throat to avoid drowning. My arms and legs thrash like octopus tentacles, desperately reaching for something to grab onto.
Finally, my hand discovers fresh air, and my head instantly follows it. After a terrible phase of gasping and coughing, I brush the hair out of my face, adjust my crooked glasses and look at my surroundings.
Mist shrouds the shores like an impregnable wall, but it isn't quite as heavy around the river. The moon shines much more clearly now. The river is several yards wide and relatively calm. It's going to be hard to find a place to get out of the water. I hope this river doesn't lead to a waterfall. . .
Praying for my life, I watch the banks intently for signs of life and/or civilisation. After a few moments I realize that it doesn't do much good to try to find them, they have to find me, as well.
I take a few short breaths and begin to gasp, "Is anyone out there?! I need help! I'm in the river and I can't get out!! Please, someone help!!"