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It wasn't much to look at from orbit- a discolored blob of lighter green amid the seemingly unending carpet of alien jungle that stretched from pole to pole. At a lower altitude, the differences between the site and its surroundings were more obvious. The native vegetation had been stripped away in some past decade, and the jungle had been working slowly and steadily to cover the wound ever since. From several hundred feet overhead, it proved to be a tangle of vigorous saplings, fighting to out-climb the voracious undergrowth. In the center of it all, covered in moss, and creepers, was the box-like shape of Elsie.
LC210-3, to be precise. A terra-forming droid manufactured in the middle years of the Golvian Empire. Like all intelligent machines constructed during that time, she had a face of sorts, one that could never be called attractive. In fact, she looked rather like an old hag with her bent nose, and crooked teeth. Hard work, weather, and a rather sloppy welding repair job had not
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Spineless 4 by NobodysSon Spineless 4 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 0 1 Spineless 3 by NobodysSon Spineless 3 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 0 3 Spineless 2 by NobodysSon Spineless 2 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 0 1 Spineless 1 by NobodysSon Spineless 1 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 1 3
The Island
The Guardian of Paradise found his sister atop the mountain that reared up in the center of their island. She stood on the edge of a basalt ledge, heedless of the dizzying drop below her, staring out to sea.
The view was indeed fine – a cloudless blue sky fading away to the endless horizon, capping the sparkling ocean below. Closer to shore foam and breakers broke upon the reefs, while gentler waters caressed the golden sand of the beaches. The island itself was a riot of greenery and colors, broken by stretches of savannah, with the occasional glittering lake reflecting the sky. Even from where they stood one could hear the faint hoot and cry of the teeming animal life going about their lives in the natural eden below.
Far away, on the dim horizon, a tiny shape could be seen.
Moving through the dry grasses and across the sun-heated volcanic rock, Ki joined his sister at the cliffs edge. "I should have known that I would find you here."
Ki-ri answered without turning from the view
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Valentine Quest Red 4 by NobodysSon Valentine Quest Red 4 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 1 2 Valentine Quest Red 3 by NobodysSon Valentine Quest Red 3 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 0 0 Valentine Quest Red 2 by NobodysSon Valentine Quest Red 2 :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 0 0 Valentine Quest Red by NobodysSon Valentine Quest Red :iconnobodysson:NobodysSon 0 0
Mature content
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I has never occurred to me that the intricacies of eating chicken would be worthy of writing about. Nor that if one did take the time t...



It began, like so many things that we later regret, with a stupid argument.

“It could most certainly be done!” cried Answell.

“It could not!” I replied.

We were speaking, of course, about whether a man could travel from one pole of the world to the other in the span of a single year, if at all. It was a pointless aside at the tail-end of a mostly pointless afternoon spent drinking wine, gossiping shamelessly, and debating the finer points of various eligible women in the region. If we had been anyone else it would have been pathetic but we were wizards, and everything a wizard does is mysterious and inscrutable.

“Now look here, Trumore” Answell said, pouring more wine into his goblet. “The Empire stretches north all the way to the Ice Waste. There's the northern extreme.”

I opened my mouth to protest but he shushed me, flapping his hands, having to catch his goblet before he overturned it. “Not literally, of course” he corrected himself peevishly, “but on the other side of the Ice Wall a ways.” He gestured dismissively as if speaking of climbing over the wrought iron fence covered in sweet peas outside the parlour window. “From there, every step of the way south, you are on Imperial roads, passing through civilized farmland and cities, enjoying the comforts of inns and taverns – why its more a vacation than a journey!”

My face must have mirrored my thoughts for he rose and rummaged amongst his crowded shelves returning triumphantly with a globe on a stand which he set before me.

“There!” he cried. “The entire journey laid out before your eyes. Cease your vague imaginings and look the facts in the face!”

“If this is how you picture the world then it is no longer a surprise to me that you speak so glibly of the idea of circumnavigating it. Here at the north pole is shown Norwall, a city far enough south that I've bought fruit grown there at the market, while the Capital is placed on the equator for some reason known only to the fool who painted it, and here at the south pole is Holme for some demented reason! Your aunt lives there for pity's sake, Answell! Do you really think your Aunt Urtha lives at the south pole?” I pushed the globe across the table at him. “This is a novelty like some traveller would buy at a shop down by the port.”

He stared at the globe, brow furrowed, spinning it this way and that, reading names to himself. “I always did wonder” he muttered, “why the Yao river flowed out into the middle of the Spitting Plains and vanished rather than emptying into the ocean.”

“There you have it” I said, sitting back to enjoy my wine. “You have no idea how big the world is Answell.”

“The north pole is a mighty distance away.” he ventured speculatively.

“Indeed, indeed.” I sipped loudly, relaxed.

“And the equator is south of here a good thousand miles if not more – and that’s only half the planet!”

“Quite right, quite right...”

“There is no way to ascend the Ice Wall...and the gods know how far it is beyond that or what travel would be like to reach the pole...”

I didn't bother to reply, enjoying looking out the window at the sunny garden instead.

Answell stood up. “Come on” he said, walking across the parlour.

I put down my glass. “Where are we going?”

“To the north pole.”


I stood with Answell in his study looking nervously at the pink crystalline arch that was his portal. My friend busied himself at the table across the room placing glass rods upright into a rack on his workbench.

“You do know how to work this thing?” I asked, not liking the way darkness filled the opening beneath the arch where the study wall should be visible.

“Oh yes” said Answell, as he positioned the rack of rods under a hood of bronze. “Phonoro gave me a complete course in how to use it when he sold it to me.”

“Didn't he have some sort of horrible accident with it which made him sell it though?”

"It wasn't that serious! He just go bored of it and didn't want it anymore.”

“Then why does he wear a hooded cloak, and a mask all the time now? And I've heard that an inordinate amount of live chickens get delivered to his manor every week now. What could that be all about?”

“Perhaps he likes a hearty breakfast in the morning” said Answell dismissively. “Now be silent for a moment.”

He laid a velvet-lined tray of tuning forks on the workbench, and one after another struck them on the bronze hood and let them sing until they fell silent again.

“There” he said, raising the hood. “I've attuned these glass rods to a different vibration than the earthly one. As long as we hold one we will attune to the same and be incorporeal. That way we don't have to worry about the cold.”

I eyed the rods dubiously. “How do we get our normal vibration back?”

“When we return we simply grasp the other rods which we will leave here. They are differently attuned and will make us corporeal again. Whatever the case, the vibration in the rods slowly dissipates. We would return to normal in a few hours anyway.”

He plucked a rod from the left side of the rack and gestured for me to do the same. Timidly, I did so and was surprised to feel absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I turned this way and that, looking down at myself.

“Did it work?” I asked.

“See for yourself” Answell said, pointing. “Your robe is intersecting the workbench.”

I passed my hand through the wood several times as if it were air. “Incredible! But why can we see each other?”

“We are at the same vibration.” explained Answell, as he moved to the portal. “Only we can see or hear each other. To anyone else the room would appear empty.”

He stood before the crystal arch murmuring as I entertained myself by striding back and forth through his lab apparatus. I was distracted by a flickering vista replacing the blackness in the portal and came to join him.  Hills and forests spun past at a dizzying speed and I caught glimpses of familiar places.

“I'm not quite sure how to pinpoint the pole” Answell said frowning in concentration. “I can move the focus but only with accuracy if I am familiar with the place.”

“Can you control the direction even if its somewhere you've never been?”

“Yes, one can sort of feel the curve of the planet in your mind as if you are running your fingertips over a billiard ball, if that makes sense. I can tell if I am moving the focus along latitude or longitude.”

“Is there anything stopping you from moving north until you pass over the top and feel yourself going south down the other side? That would be the pole.”

“I'll try that.” The imagery flew by so fast that no details could be made out. One thing that was noticeable through was that the predominant colour had become white. “There” said Answell, “That must be it.”

We looked out at an expanse of snow and ice, stretching unbroken to a distant horizon, where a dim sun hung seemingly shrunken by the cold. I shivered just looking at it though in our incorporeal state I could feel nothing.

“Here we go” said Answell, and stepped through the portal as if through a common doorway. He turned and looked back at me. “Are you coming? I can't feel a thing. It's perfectly safe. Just don't let go of your rod.”

With some trepidation, I stepped beneath the arch as well and for the second time that afternoon I was surprised to feel no change. Though my eyes told me I should be experiencing bitter cold I felt no different than I had in the study.

I turned in a complete circle looking around me. The view through the portal had been no different than what I saw now: gently undulating snow stretching to the horizon, a grey blue sky overhead, and a dull sun casting a twilight over it all. The crystal portal stood as the only landmark, its pink startling in a land devoid of other colours. Beyond the opening was Answell's familiar lab – warm and safe.

Answell was walking about as if looking for something. “You would think” he said turning this way and that “That there would would be something.”

“What sort of something?”

“Well, something to mark the spot.”

“What, like an actual pole?”

“Well, yes. It would seem proper.”

“Do you believe that there is a stripe around the equator as well?” I enquired.

He started to reply then shut his mouth and glared at me. It was answer enough.

We strode back and forth for a few minutes looking into the distance but there was nothing to see except unvarying snow. I was growing a bit bored with it all, and was conscious of the limited duration of the effects of the glass rod, when Answell suddenly called out to me.

“Trumore! I think I see something! Come look over here!”

I turned and was alarmed to see Answell disappearing into the ground. He had already vanished up to his waist and was descending further out of sight as if walking down a flight of stairs.

I hurried over to him. “How are you doing that? Where are you going?”

“Don't worry – we are incorporeal, remember? Just sort of angle yourself down and start walking. Follow me!” These last words were uttered just as his head disappeared into the snow.

I looked around me at the empty waste flustered. At an angle? What had he meant by that?

Tentatively, I took a short step, then another, leaning forward staring at the ground. I glanced down and was delighted to see that my feet had disappeared up to my ankles in the snow. I walked with more confidence and found myself sinking lower with each step. As the snow approached my chin I instinctively held my breath as if going underwater, but I felt no different as I submerged than I had a moment before, and resumed breathing normally.

I had expected it to be dark underground but instead it was white all around me. Some distance ahead I could see Answell walking seemingly through a white void. It felt like I was in midair but for some reason there was no instinctive fear that I would fall. Somehow I felt as if I was on solid ground even as I walked down through nothing.

Beyond Answell I could see some sort of sudden end to the white nothing as if it stopped. Beyond was grey and indistinct, and I could not tell what it was.

When Answell reached the edge of it he stopped and waited for me to catch up.

“What is this?” I asked when I had reached the gauzy wall with indistinct greyness beyond.

“Take a look” he said, and stuck his face through which disappeared as if he had put it through a hole in a sheet. I did the same and found myself looking into a cavern of some kind. Glancing to my right I saw Answell's face sticking out of the rock just as mine must be.

“We are in an underground ravine of some sort” he said. “It may have been a canyon once but the ice has covered it over. I could see something underground when we were up above.”

As I looked around I began to notice a faint glow to our right. I pointed it out to Answell and we began walking down the canyon wall towards it at an angle as if descending a stairs case that weren't there.

The glow grew brighter as we walked and in time we found ourselves standing on the floor of the canyon facing a large crack in the rock from which the light emanated. The gap was so narrow that we would not have normally fit but being incorporeal we had no difficulties.

We found ourselves standing on a ledge looking down into a large underground space. At the bottom of it a river of molten rock flowed slowly along, producing a dim orange light. The second ravine we were now looking into curved out of sight in both directions so that we could not see from where the lava flow came or where it went.

Answell and I observed it for a time pointing out interesting observations to each other when I suddenly grabbed his arm.

“Look!” I whispered. “There is something moving down there!”

“You don't have to hiss like that” Answell said pulling his sleeve away. “Nothing can hear or see us, remember? We are perfectly safe!”

We then fell silent peering intently at the moving shapes below. I had first noticed them as a strange disturbance on the surface of the lava river. Something moving in a different direction than the flow had caught my eye, though I could not make out what it was. It seemed to be moving slowly towards the shore and I was eager to get a better look when and if it left the molten rock.

Answell and I gasped at the same time as the shape clambered forth and stood in plain view though without detail at this distance.

“How curious!” my friend exclaimed. “I've never seen anything like it!”

Nor had I, and curious was certainly the only way to describe it, for standing on the stone shore beside the molten river stood the glowing outline of a person. And I do mean a glowing outline for that was all there was! It was as if someone had laid on the ground and had their shape traced in chalk only to have the drawing get up and walk away. One could see directly through the individual except at the edges which glowed with a dull light similar to the lava from which it had so recently emerged. Even as we watched, more of the figures were leaving the liquid, seemingly wading out of it as if having finished a swim, and gathered on the shore until half a dozen stood there seemingly engaged in some sort of conversation.

“Let's get a closer look!” said Answell with excitement in his voice. “These are surely the strangest creatures that I have ever encountered – and I have seen some strange ones in my day!”

“Are you sure that is a good idea?” I asked nervously. “Haven't we spent enough time exploring for one day?”

“Nonsense! Walking down to them through the air in a straight line is the most direct route and won't take long at all. I just want a closer examination and then I promise we can return back to the portal.

Come on, Trumore! We can't waste this opportunity! Think of the fame at having discovered life at the north pole! We will be the talk of the town!”

I admit that I did like the sound of the idea, imagining the lectures we could give at the club, and the dinners hosted in our names. Taking my momentary day-dreaming for acceptance, Answell stepped off the ledge into midair. He promptly began to sink downwards.

“This is odd” he said looking around him. “I'm not trying to descend, it's just happening on its own. I feel like I am standing in a vat full of jelly.”

I came to the edge and looked down at the top of his head. He was already an arms length below my feet and still going. The heat from the lava river below stirred my hair gently and I could feel the warmth even from here.

Alarmed, I hopped back from the edge. “Answell! Come back! It's the rods – they're running down! We are becoming solid again!”

Answell manages to flail back up to the ledge. Meanwhile the glowing outline people have noticed them and are pointing. They start walking up through the air towards them and the wizards flee. Passing through the stone is like struggling to walk through water. When they reach the surface they are both shivering from the newly noticeable cold. They rush to the portal and look back to see glowing figures climbing up out of the ground and following them. The wizards pass through into Answell's lab again and he struggles to remember how to turn off the portal as figures crowd the opening trying to press through. Finally Trumore remembers to grasp the negating glass rod giving him full physical form again. He seizes a large iron ladle and shatters the control crystal turning off the portal before the figures can come through. He and Answell, after calming down, come up with the daft idea, seeing as they have been to the north pole, to travel overland to the south pole and be famous.
Pole to Pole
A silly story, featuring the wizards Trumore and Answell, who decide it would be fun to circumnavigate the world from North to South rather than from East to West. Naturally, this turns out to be more complicated than they ever imagined.



Artist | Hobbyist | Literature



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MasochistValentine Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2016
I thought you might like to check this out.
Nefarous Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
oh you are still on here eh!? Heya friend!! :P
NobodysSon Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hey :P
Once in a while I am post something
happynewyear2015 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
blueisyourcolor Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
How are youuu
NobodysSon Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
*rubs eyes* Its YOU! You are still on here! :D I feel like I have been gone forever :/ I left NobodysSon the Gray and I have returned NobodysSon the Grayer.

How are youuuuu? Still in uni?
blueisyourcolor Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
haha yes! I graduate in two months...currently in the midst of applying to as many jobs as possible and law or grad school in a few years pending on how I like the real world

How have you been?!
NobodysSon Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You have been really busy - wow!Good job on being about to graduate like a champ!

I have...been lol Lived in interesting times as the Chinese curse says.
(1 Reply)
primakyria Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm wondering if you still remember me. XD;

Anyway, even if you don't, I'm still watching you again. :) Good to see you're still around.
NobodysSon Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Sure I remember you! We were trapped on that bus together that couldn't go below 50 km/h or it would explode! Wow, that was a crazy afternoon!

I don't know how much art I will be posting, as I haven't done anything creative in quite awhile, but if I do you will be there to see it :) Thanks for sticking around.
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