The Drive Home
Brent was still reeling from his encounter with the Dark Lord while on a call giving IT support in LA. Well, he'd been giving a consultation, but he knew it would have lead to support... but Mike... he could barely remember whether or not Mike had seen the flashing figure floating in the sky. Or why his mind remembered brightness, but his heart remembered darkness. It's like the figure was a photo-negative of reality. And somehow it had read his mind. It had... seen his thoughts, had controlled him... through the ring… when Brent touched the ring…
The moment Brent had made it to his car, he had carefully taken his pants off with the ring still inside them, pulled on another pair he had in the back seat, and used a cloth to extract the ring and fold it neatly in his new pants--- because he didn't want to take any chances leaving the artifact lying around; if the hologram were real and not a hallucination, the ring hearkened to the earliest days of man!
Now he had to resist the urge to---
It was his smartphone, still resting in the other pocket of the pants he had thrown in back. Brent swerved through traffic down the I-5 answering it: "Yes?"
"There's an emergency at Fringe Acquaintance! I'm halfway there! Where are you?" The voice excited, one of Brent's techs.
"On the I-5, I can be there in ten minutes."
"Hurry!" The line went dead.
"Hello, I'm Brent Whitfield of DCG Technical Solutions; we provide IT support in LA, including:
- Proactive Support
- Internet Filtration
"More," the receptionist finished, "You provide IT support in LA, I got it. Follow me," and the man took off for the data center, Brent Whitfield close behind. His tech had arrived ahead by several minutes, Brent discovered a moment later. He was wondering about that strange "Dark Lord" figure he'd seen floating in the air, and the hologram's words about the earthquake revealing an antediluvian relic in the form of a giant. He wondered if maybe there were more answers to be had from this telepathic flying Dark Lord.
All questions were abruptly abridged. There was the Dark Lord, suspended between massive servers, electrical arcs of insanity shooting out at all angles through the room, suspending one of DCG's finest techs in midair and waiting for Brent to arrive. It was a trap!
Before the receptionist could say anything, Brent donned the ring from betwixt the folds of the cloth in his pocket and dove--- not a second too soon! A blast of energy arced past and exploded a server array behind him. Another blast made him jump, but its inaccuracy assured Brent that the Dark Lord couldn't see him now; but then he was abruptly trapped down a hallway, and couldn't move, and he turned, and there was the photo-negative of light and dark, the Dark Lord, making reality an inverse relationship, flying toward him, energizing a bolt of electricity---
And the ring in Brent's hand became a flaming sword, and the energy was deflected into a nearby monitor that exploded and fell into a trashcan. The Dark Lord came against a sphere of energy protecting Brent and emanating from the sword, and there, time stopped.