The Fluence

As they progressed deeper into the tunnels they became exposed to the chanting of the fluence. It began just at the edge of hearing, and almost imperceptibly grew in either volume or effect. Ruth was unsure which. It’s effect began to disturb her without her notice, even though she had seemed to be relatively unaffected during her previous time in Romaer. It was like an ‘ear worm’, a song that one’s unconscious plays over and over again. It was also like a questioning, ‘Why am I here? What am I doing? Everything is fine here. Everything is good. I will do what I must. I will do what I am told to do.’
    Bardon noticed the slightly vacant look in Ruth’s eyes and realised that the fluence was beginning to affect her; was drawing her in. “Here, touch the globe, Ruth. It can protect both of us.” He took her hand to share the globe and immediately Ruth’s perceptions returned to normal.
    “So that’s how it works.” she said.
    “Now, using your sight focus on being deaf to the sound. Then release the globe. It may work.”

     Ruth did as she was bid. She found that the sight enabled her to contain the fluence. It didn’t ‘turn it off’ as she’d half-expected. It simply rendered it inactive. Progressing thus, with her expanded view before her the party managed to get close to their destination without discovery. But unfortunately their luck eventually ran out.