Gargantuan’s icy secret.
Gargantuan – a time for preparation
Davina sighed and climbed back on Monte’s back and directed him silently through the eerily empty city to Thalia’s house. Once outside the door, Davina slid off Monte and patted him. ‘You really have been wonderful Monte.’
‘The pleasure was mine,’ Monte said twitching his nose. ‘Now you’ll have to excuse me, I want to get back to my babies. I said I would help bathe them.’
‘I completely understand,’ said Davina stroking his ear.
‘Thank you. I will tell the litter all about our adventure. Goodbye… And Davina good luck!’
Davina waved until Monte was out of sight. She then turned and ran through Thalia’s house in search of her father. In the central room she found him lying tiredly on a white, circular bed. He was delirious but conscious. ‘Father, you’re alive!’ she cried as she dashed over to the bed.
‘Oh Davina call me Malchus, as before,’ he said.
‘But Malchus I don’t remember.’
‘Of course you don’t chid,’ King Malchus sighed. ‘How could I forget? Darling we are both warriors and we call each other by our first names to avoid revealing that we are related. The people of Gargantuan know of our connection; but it is not assumed by others unless you call me father. You see?’
‘I just find it strange because you are my father. Still it makes sense, and I will call you Malchus – if that is what you want,’ she said with a nod.
Malchus smiled, ‘Now darling Davina, you must not desire to have your memory back until you have completed this task. Only then should you find out who you truly are. Your past will only hold you back. That is why you made the decision to have your memory removed.’
‘I did what?’ asked Davina.
‘Oh, Davina you chose not to have a memory. That way you have no past. It was safer that way,’ he said.
‘But Malchus through not having memory I almost fell for a decoy.’
‘And didn’t your intuition tell you different?’ he said.
Davina nodded slowly, ‘I don’t understand… How come you were captured in the first place?’
Malchus was pale, weak and trembling. ‘Davina I need to rest. I need to gather my full strength. In the meantime, I will grant you the use of the Rebis egg and you will use it to grow your warriors.’
‘But I don’t know how.’
‘Of course you know how. It’s within you,’ he said.
‘Are you sure?’ asked Davina, looking dubious.
Malchus gave a weak smile, ‘Self-doubt is a destructive force. If you doubt yourself then why should other people believe in you? If in doubt – don’t doubt!’
Davina picked at a flake of singed skin on her palm, she didn’t like doubting herself. Her father was right, she had to focus and she had to believe in herself. Malchus studied his daughter, she was brave and strong, but she just needed to believe it. ‘So Davina, remember to focus your intention and make sure you select all the traits for all the Goyles you want to take with you. Use the egg to grow them then multiply them. All the while they are growing you can use Gargantuan to regain your strength. Thalia here has some practice for you. It will help you in the battle against the Chimera.’
Davina fidgeted, ‘Erm… Malchus I caught a glimpse of her.’
‘And what was your reaction?’ he asked curiously.
‘I don’t know why but she seems vaguely familiar. It was like I have known her before.’
‘As I thought. Now go and practice. Do what you have to do. You must be ready,’ he said.
Davina kissed her father on the forehead, ‘Will you be ready for combat?’
‘That is my intention. Although Davina this is your fight and yours alone,’ he said.
Davina shook her head, why was it her fight? ‘I don’t understand.’
‘Oh but you will. Time tells all and I can tell you when this is over you’ll look back and see that all the signs were there all along.’
Davina stared at her father; he was talking in riddles that she didn’t understand. ‘Father, I mean Malchus, but what do I do?’
Her father weakly rolled over onto his side, wiped the side of his face a couple of times and then strummed a rhythm on his cheek. Davina watched intently, part of his eye unfolded and expelled a bizarrely patterned egg. Davina stared at the pink, glowing egg containing a rainbow. ‘You keep the Rebis egg in your eye? Why?’
‘I keep the egg within my eye so I may view the act of creation Davina,’ he said, handing her the small egg.
As soon as the object made contact with Davina’s hand, she could sense the eternal power.
‘Now be careful. Go and create your warrior force. Choose the Animalgoyles wisely using the characteristics you need.’
Davina stared at the egg, such a small object was going to grow thousands maybe even millions of Goyles. It turned out size was not everything: a small egg harnessed the entire power of creation. Who could have guessed that?
Johnny and Ghost sat out in the garden talking to Thalia. The group silenced when Davina arrived.
‘Well that was obvious!’ said Davina, clutching the egg in the palm of her hand.
‘What was obvious?’ asked Ghost defensively.
‘The fact you were all talking about me,’ she replied.
Johnny glanced guiltily at Ghost.
‘We were just curious where you learned to fight like that. You are just a girl after all!’ said Ghost anticipating a reaction.
Davina rolled her eyes; she knew what Ghost was up to: he was showing her that he was glad she was there by annoying her. ‘How would I know? I don’t remember,’ she said with a shrug.
‘Thalia was also talking about how Ghost’s eyes were very special; it meant that he would be able to see attacks from all angles,’ said Johnny trying to justify the conversation.
‘That will be useful,’ said Davina over her shoulder.
Ghost stood up and walked over to Davina, ‘What’s wrong?’
‘I’m just exhausted,’ she said with a huff.
Ghost’s eyes glanced at Davina’s arm. ‘You’re hurt,’ he said.
Davina flinched, ‘Ow, I forgot about that. I was so preoccupied with this stupid conflict… I’ll sort it out in a moment. I’ll use the Rebis egg.’
Davina sat down and placed the egg close to the injury. She closed her eyes and focused.
Ghost watched in utter amazement as the gouges from her arm instantly healed. ‘Amazing!’
Once the healing was complete Davina fell into her own thoughts. What did her father mean? What was happening with the Goyles? How was the presence of the Rebis egg going to make a difference? Could she really grow an army in such a short time?
Davina motioned for Ghost and Johnny to follow her, neither of them had any inkling of what was about to take place.
‘What?’ asked Ghost.
‘I’ll show you in a moment… In the meantime, we have work to do,’ she replied mysteriously.
Ghost frowned, what was she up to now? He jogged close to Davina, ‘So do you know what you have to do?’ he asked.
Davina sighed, ‘Apparently I have to grow warriors at an accelerated rate.’
‘Oh… an accelerated rate,’ muttered Ghost, shaking his head.
Thalia wafted over and joined the pair of them, ‘I’ll take you to the characteristics room where you’ll be able to work out a strategy according to the animal’s strengths and weaknesses.’
‘Oh,’ said Davina scratching her face.
Thalia paused by the baby Goyle nursery pit, where the remaining baby Goyles had hatched. She turned to Davina, ‘Davina lift the egg in your palm, focus on them and enable them to grow.’
Davina glanced at the small Goyles, lifted the egg and concentrated. Ghost and Johnny ran over to the barrier. The Goyles developed, grew and matured at an incredible rate. Ghost’s jaw hung loose again, it was amazing, ‘That’s so cool, can we all have a go?’ said Ghost hopefully.
‘Let’s go to the Characteristics room,’ said Davina with a look that told him the answer was definitely no.
Thalia levitated in the direction of a door hanging in space. She clicked a numerical sequence with her mouth and then knocked on the patterned door using her animal staff. The series of rhythmic taps,was echoed back causing a series of stones to align in front of the door. They made ideal steps to enable entrance through a newly dissolved entrance. Ghost and Johnny trailed behind, acting as though it was nothing special.
Once inside the Goyle Characteristic room, Davina stood for a moment looking around. The shiny, walnut, patterned walls smelled like polished wood. Each wall was decorated with patterns, dots and swirls within the massive octagonal room. An octagonal table stood at the centre of the room.
Davina’s gaze took in the details – on every wall was a carving of each different Animalgoyle with all of its characteristics listed next to it. At the base of each set of characteristics was a paw imprint belonging to the Goyle breed. Ghost and Johnny snuck over to a corner that contained an armoury.
‘How cool is this?’ whispered Ghost.
‘I suggest you both focus on supporting Davina,’ Thalia said directing them back to the centre of the room.
Walking over to the Wolfgoyles, Davina ran her hand over the carved creature shapes, ‘So they can be vicious… they hunt in packs, they can sustain a steady pace over a period of time. They fight in groups and are loyal… Interesting,’ Davina turned her attention to the Beargoyles, ‘The bears are quick, strong, aggressive and loud.’
Ghost stood on the other side of the room staring at the pumas, lions and hyenas. ‘These all make good soldiers,’ he said.
Davina nodded, but was distracted by some of the hybrids which were tigers merged with cheetah. ‘Why are there hybrids?’
‘If you create a Goyle for conflict, you choose the characteristics you need rather than the animal in pure form. The Chimera, for instance, is a goat and a lion. The lion is brave and fierce, whereas the goat is agile, persevering and stubborn. The combination makes for the perfect warrior don’t you think?’ asked Thalia.
Davina wondered about the Chimera. ‘Was she really a perfect warrior? But they must all have weaknesses.’
‘Everything has its equal opposite. The Chimera is vain, arrogant and assuming. Those attributes come from her lion traits. The goat can be extremely stubborn and not know when to give in.’
‘I want a fierce army that has bursts of energy, intelligence and endurance,’ she said considering her options. ‘I want a loyal league of warriors, who can follow commands and work as a team.’
‘I would consider those who hunt in packs, those who can be vicious and those who are stronger and wiser than other animals. Remember warriors use instinct more than contemplation. We don’t want any contemplators out there,’ said Johnny.
Davina studied the eagles, the lions, the bears, the wolves, the pumas and the hyenas. They were going to make up the main bulk of her army. There were of course other animals, but she wanted animals who fought, animals who would support her throughout. She needed animals that demonstrated loyalty and perseverance against all the odds.
‘Erm Thalia, erm… can you explain what I have to do?’
Thalia gazed kindly at Davina. ‘You select the animal by pressing your hand into the paw print and then you clearly think of the numbers you require. When you look outside at the plateaux, you will see the precise number of eggs grouped together according to Goyle breed, each has a colour or pattern for each species.
‘Wanda can take charge of these,’ said Davina, who was instinctively drawn to the wolves.
Davina pressed her hand into the paw print and fixed the number she required in the fore-front of her mind. When it was clear how many she required a static burst crackled through the space around her. A holographic wolf-face manifested mid-air, howled and then vanished.
Ghost glanced at Johnny, ‘This is soooooo cool! I love it…’
Johnny smirked, Ghost was all excited but trying to conceal it.
In the meantime, Davina sidestepped to the bears, ‘I know I can trust Solomon to lead you all.’ Davina repeated her thoughts and a holographic bear launched through the air, roared and then disolved. She then apprehensively made her way across to the lions. Something about them bothered her. ‘Thalia if I have lions can the Chimera draw them to her side?’
‘The Goyles can never go against their maker,’ said Thalia with a shake of her head.
‘Why is that?’ asked Davina.
Thalia smiled kindly, ‘It is a rule which was passed after the Grotes turned against Gargantuan.’
Across the room, Ghost was like a small dog that had just caught his tail for the first time. He was all excited and jiggly. ‘Your face Ghost!’ said Davina.
Ghost blushed, he couldn’t help it – the room was amazing!
Davina sidestepped to the tigers and chose twenty thousand of them. A tiger manifested and bounded across the room towards Ghost. Ghost went rigid and protected his head with both arms. The Tigergoyle launched into the air.
‘Ahhhh!’ yelled Ghost as the Tigergoyle jumped right through him. Ghost stood for a moment catching his breath. ‘It did that on purpose!’
Once each Goyle was selected, the wall reversed and slid away. It was replaced by another creature’s specification wall. Davina added the pumas and then the hyenas in quick succession. ‘The hyenas can laugh hysterically at her destruction!’ she said through gritted teeth.
‘So how come you are mainly choosing the cat family?’ asked Johnny, ‘I personally think I would have more variety. You have too many similar traits.’
Davina stood back and studied her choices. She had unintentionally chosen most of her Goyles from one section of the room. ‘You’re right.’ Davina added eagles, crows and beavers to her list. ‘But they don’t look vicious,’ said Davina.
Thalia smiled at Davina’s innocence, ‘An animal does not need to be vicious to be a warrior. It needs instinct and to use its traits to support your endeavours. It also needs the ability to follow your orders.’
Davina realised her choices were based on her ego. She was unintentionally choosing hunters. ‘I feel like I have missed something, but I don’t know what it is.’
‘How about the giant African snail?’ suggested Ghost optimistically.
No one said anything.
‘Who really knows anything about them?’ said Ghost.
‘Davina there is an animal here that was never present on earth. It is somewhat like the Komodo dragon mixed with a sabre-tooth tiger. It is known as the Lizer… If you want vicious and loyal this is it. It has a sharp tongue; it adapts like a chameleon and has massive sharp teeth. I think you should consider having a few of those with you at least. What’s more, it has an amazing ability to blend and infiltrate. What do you think?’ asked Thalia.
Davina stood in front of the three-dimensional image of the beast. It looked odd: it had a split tongue, large aggressive skull and giant teeth. ‘What’s it good for?’
Thalia gazed at Davina, ‘It is good for capturing the enemy and it is also very good for protection. They are swift plus they can recharge using the moon rather than simply eating.’
Davina held the egg and thought of the numbers she required. It all seemed so simple. ‘So what do we do now?’
‘We wait a few hours,’ said Thalia.
‘What do we do in the meantime?’ asked Ghost.
‘We rest and prepare,’ said Thalia.
‘How can we possibly rest?’ asked Davina.
‘Possibilities and limitations come from your state of mind,’ replied Thalia.