Lisa Pratt, what else can one say about her? She’s gorgeous, intelligent, loving, and intense when things get serious. She’s also the one that’s getting married in just one day’s time. She looks out the large, expansive window of the castle, out at the Cracked Sea (which got its name because of a nuclear bomb that’d been dropped about thirty years ago. It left so bad a mark that when you look at it from a couple thousand feet in the air, it looks like a huge crack’s been made in the middle of it.) The moon is full tonight with stunning clarity, one can almost see the craters without a telescope. The sky is midnight blue and the sea is calm. The fresh air wafts into her room and she inhales it gladly. She leans on the window sill and her hair blows in the wind. She looks down at the rocks. Those jagged and dangerous rocks. She gazes at them in deep wonder, pondering how Jason is doing on his mission right now. She knows exactly where he is and what he’s doing, she’s the one who gave him the mission in the first place. Of course, Jason doesn’t know this, and why would he? The info’s above his clearance and he’s learned early on not to ask questions that don’t concern him.
She looks out to the Cracked Sea and gazes at the middle, where the crack is. She follows it all the way out, as far as her eyes will allow, and thinks how long until you crack Jason? She chuckles and smirks, then thinks you slugger. She takes a couple more breaths and lets the air rush along her skin for a moment longer then steps back from the window and closes it, one side at a time. She senses a presence in the room with her, a dark, intimidating presence. It doesn’t faze her in the least, for she knows exactly who it is. She doesn’t bother to turn around.
“You think he’ll make it?” She asks.
The presence says nothing for a moment, “Jason Maccavelli is a man of great discipline, skill, and endurance.” He starts, “though he’s at the end of his rope, due to extreme training and prolonged activity, he has one more good mission in him.”
“But?” Lisa asks, if there’s one thing she’s learned when speaking to this man, it’s that there’s always a ‘but’.
“Although his mind is sharp as a tack, his body will want to stop.” He says. “I’d say at this point it’s already begun to break down. However, Jason is resourceful. He knows how to handle himself and should pull through well. Short answer: He’ll make it.”
“Good,” Lisa says. “There’s no wedding if Jason isn’t here.”
“We’re all very aware of that, Ms. Pratt.” He pauses, “Or should I say Mrs—”
“Don’t.” She cuts him off. “Are all the preparations in order?”
“Everything is perfect.” He says. “As to your specifications.”
“Good.” She says. “And the dress?”
“All the final touches are being administered as we speak.”
“Excellent.” She smiles and takes a breath. “I suppose I can sleep now.”
“That would be best,” The man gets up to leave as stealthily as he entered. He gets as far as the door then says, “worrying about him won’t do you any good, Ms. Pratt, just leave it to God and all will be well at 19:00 tomorrow.” He leaves, closing the door quietly behind him. Not even the click sound that comes with doors is heard.
Lisa sits on her bed and look out at the full moon one last time, sighs and thinks before lying down and going to sleep, you better make it Jason Maccavelli or I’ll never forgive you.
Jason walks over to the bottom of the rim where the shiny object is stuck and looks at it with a cold indifference. He breathes in and out slowly, keeping his body at ease, and looks at his surrounding environment to ensure he has time for this “unexpected rest period,” he does. He drops his backpack on the floor and begins to rummage through it. Since he can’t climb like he used to, he figures its time for some assistance. He feels around for a minute and pulls out a harness he could’ve used on his previous climbs. Let’s see if I remember how to use these things, its been so long, he thinks as he puts it on and secures it around his waist. First, a little about Jason’s harness, it’s a very special harness made just for him. Sure, it looks like a regular harness with all the necessary parts, but the difference with his is that its completely automatic, meaning no assembly is required. He doesn’t know exactly how its made (again, that info’s above his clearance) but its very easy to use and convenient to have, no matter the situation. One time, Jason was climbing the Frost Mountains, some off-the-radar place in Antarctica the world doesn’t know about (with no harness), and one misstep sent him falling from the mountain. He’d been about ten thousand feet up when this happened and he had to think quickly or his ass was a popsicle long before he’d hit the ground. He rummaged through his pack, took out the harness and secured it, and automatically, it shot out grappling hooks with deadly accuracy and latched onto some frozen ledge and pulled Jason to safety. Jason hasn’t forgotten the harness since.
Can’t believe I have to use you for a simple climb, he thinks, but my body’s giving me shit so I have no choice. He zips his pack up and slings it on his back, turns toward the rim, aims and sets the harness and out the grappling hooks come, latching onto the most convenient ledge. Jason goes climbing and his arm tightens before he even touches the rock. So, it’s like that, huh? He thinks and resets the harness to pull him up.
When he gets to where the shiny object is, he notices it’s a diamond. Now, a normal person would ask what the hell is a diamond doing inside of an active volcano, but, as we’ve already established, Jason doesn’t ask these questions as they don’t concern him (nor does putting two and two together, being his best friend is getting married and his mission is to retrieve a diamond). He grabs the diamond, puts it in his pocket and sets the harness to bring him down.
Jason is mortified he had to use the harness for a simple three hundred foot climb, but, judging from his face which shows a coldness only the arctic can match, you’d never know. He thinks about taking off the harness but his logic overrides his pride and he decides to keep it on. His body simply can’t handle the climb on its own anymore, and, being a professional, if you need help, you ask for it. Pride is what keeps you strong, but it can get you killed in the battlefield. Jason had learned that lesson more than once, never the easy way either. He looks at his watch. 0700. Twelve hours before the wedding, which means he’s making pretty good time.