Mission to Middlehaven: 12

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FIRETOP

Firetop rubbed his cheek, which had been cut by the rock and had started to bleed. “Ouch!” he declared, as he got up to his feet again. “I am of no threat to any of you! I am here looking for that diamond which is inside your amulet…” He nodded this time toward the elderly gentleman.

“This?” The grey-haired man said, rubbing the stone, “The Star of Igbon?” The man placed his staff down upon the ground, and shuffled closer to Firetop. He got down on his knees, and bowed forwards, as if worshiping him. Several of the other people did the same, and then even more came out from the trees. They too settled themselves into this worshiping position.

“Please forgive me, oh Star Warrior!” The elderly man pleased.

“Forgive me!” Cried another person.

“Forgive me!” Cried another. And another, until all of the people kneeling around Firetop were chanting ‘forgive me’ in unison.

One of the group grabbed Firetop’s hand. “Please forgive me for casting the stone that cut you. I am willing to be sacrificed for my transgression.”

“Sacrificed?” Firetop asked, and all of the group collectively took a sharp intake of breath. “What kind of forgiveness forces sacrifice?”

They think you are the Star Warrior, Firetop.

I’ve gathered that, Sue, but how do I get the diamond now? They are all worshiping me.

Command they give it to you. According to Beryl, they have long been waiting for the Star Warrior’s arrival. Turn on your flame so as to look like a living star. Use their misinterpretation to the advantage.

That doesn’t seem very fair, Sue.

Firetop, the Universe is at stake. Fairness has to take second place just this once. You can give the diamond back to them afterwards – no, you can’t give the diamond back afterwards, but we can work something out there…

OK. You may want to make the mouse look away, I may get a little bright… Firetop allowed small flames to appear on top of his head. “Look at me.” He said, in his feeble omnipotent voice.

Don’t push it, Firetop. Just get the diamond.

The crowd looked at Firetop, and once again breathed in sharply. Firetop altered the brightness of the flame to make the crowds’ faces visible.

“Praise be!” Shouted one of the voices. Then another. Then once again, the whole crowd were chanting.

Firetop raised both his arms above his head, and fired flames high up into the sky from his hands. “Enough!” He commanded – and felt rather pleased with himself when the crowd fell silent. He looked at the elderly man with the amulet once more. “Please, may I have the amulet?” He asked in a very gentle tone.

“The Star of Igbon is reunited with the Son of Igbon! Praise be! Praise be!” He handed the amulet over to Firetop before once again bowing at his feet.

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