The drive to Southampton was a significantly shorter drive than the one to Liverpool the two had made a few days ago. Being only two hours, the morning fog still covered the entirety of the sky.
Exiting their car, JDG still holds his abdomen and Kalmar stares on as JDG tries to help himself. "Do you need any help?" Kalmar asked.
"It's fine, I'll heal completely eventually." JDG raises his hand as he uses the other to assist him fully outside of the car. "I'm just glad it didn't take so long to get here and find the pier where we ferry from."
Kalmar walks around the car to JDG, "You got that right, our first mission was so long it felt as it was too much for a first time." Kalmar commented looking at the ferry.
"Yeah I can agree with you, and if it weren't for that damned wizard I would not be feeling this way." JDG responded as he began to limp toward the pier.
Kalmar then grabs JDG by the arms and escorts him to the pier. The two reach the boarding platform and make there way on to the ferry before showing their identification cards to the man checking for tickets.
On the ferry, the two young men take their looks at the Southampton Water and the River Test. The fog and breeze coming from the English Channel and the smell of fish and salt grace the noses of the two as they spend their time leaning against a ferry rail at seven in the morning. The sun refuses to show its full beam, however the light it emits is filtered by the clouds and allows for some form of visibility.
"Another day another dollar." JDG said as he looks out to the other side of the water to see nothing but trees and fields.
Kalmar joins JDG in his observation, "I wonder how much more they are going to put us through, and I wonder what part we play in this grand scheme."
JDG turns his head and leans it toward Kalmar, "Why do you say 'grand scheme?'" JDG questioned.
Kalmar sighs and lowers his head looking down at the water below, "There has to be something going which is creating all these wizards and the Council has to know something about it." Kalmar slowly lifts his head back up and looks at JDG, "The Council either knows or has us capturing these wizards to find out." Kalmar speculated.
JDG then looks up to the clouded sky, "The Council is having us do their dirty work as they try to unravel a plot." JDG lets out a chuckle, "That is some shit."
Arriving at East Cowes two hours later. The sun begins to shine brighter to try and pass the filter of the clouds. However, it is futile as the strong clouds of the English Channel layer the sky to prevent the sun from showing its true colors.
Getting off of the ferry and unloading their car, the two then prepare themselves for the drive down to Newport at the center of the Isle. They begin their drive through the port town. Making their way down the Avenue, the sights, smell, and feeling of the Isle of Wight is much drier and warmer than the Isle of Man. JDG soaks in the trees which dot the roads while Kalmar stays focused on his driving.
As they are driving, Kalmar sports a sudden smile, "You know in Scandinavia they have us driving on the right side of the road." Kalmar mentioned.
JDG then jolted his head toward Kalmar, "They do? Well that's something new." JDG responded and then places his head back on the door to observe the scenery.
Reaching Newport, Kalmar drives the car over an empty bridge to cross the River Medina. The bridge crossed over many trees in the marshy landscape on the river bed. The crossing is placed in the middle of the town of Newport as well. People can be seen walking about, and people seem to go on with their daily lives.
Making it to the area of Carisbrooke, many of the homes there are still of medieval style. They each look like cottages, many of them made with brick and cobblestone. The roof of each house is shaped strangely and the windows each have crossing lines that form diamonds. There are many trees and bushes scattered about and cars are parked all along.
The two get their first sight of the castle, it is so close to homes and houses yet it is tucked away, hidden by nature, overlooking the Isle on its hill. It's a magnificent sight–it's an unusual sight.
"I wonder what drove a wizard to live in a castle rather than build his own tower." JDG pondered as he looks through the trees which dot the road next to the castle.
"Probably prestige, living in a castle like this makes you seem powerful. Plus, it's cheaper and more roomy than building a tower from scratch." Kalmar answered with his thoughts on the matter.
The road they drive on reaches the top of the hill right in front of the castle. They park in a little dirt patch that marks the end of the road and the two exit the vehicle. JDG is still slightly limping but it is not as extreme as earlier. It seems he is either pushing really well or actually getting better.
JDG makes his way to the trunk to grab his rifle and Kalmar follows to grab the handcuffs in there as well. The two place on their gear and JDG is able to walk by himself up to the entrance of the castle.
There is one staircase that climbs the final stretch of hill to the entrance of the actual castle. That staircase is unguarded it seems. The two make their peaceful ascent. They reach the main gate of the castle which is wide open.
Inside the castle walls, it looks like a mini abandoned village. There are a few small sections of buildings which paint each side of the interior. There is a single toward that is directly opposite of the entrance to the castle.
The two make their way carefully into this open area, taking mental notes of their surrounding, and keeping their eyes on everything around them.
JDG looks at the tower, "Something is off." JDG commented.
Kalmar looks at the abandoned church directly to the right of them, "I agree, it's way too quiet right now." Kalmar then arms himself with the bayonet he keeps in his pants.
The two make slow paces toward the main tower which overlooks them both, they keep in mind their surroundings. There is a large building in front of them, a church to the right of them, and a little park section that is right behind the church.
JDG looks at one of the withering buildings, "I wonder what life was like here so long ago."
At that moment the main gate behind them closed violently and shut itself. The two immediately jump in their shoes and turn around to see that they are now locked inside.
"Shit." Kalmar whispered under his breath.
JDG then takes his rifle off his shoulder, "Fuck this better not be an ambush." JDG stated as he undid the safety on his weapon.
"So far there is still no sign of activity." Kalmar then leads the way.
The two follow the main path toward another little entrance way, past the large building and church. They reach an area with similar buildings which looks to be closer and closer to the main tower.
"Maybe we should enter one of these buildings, what if the tower is a trap since it's so obvious?" JDG suggested.
Kalmar then nods to JDG's suggestion and the two walk to the building that is directly in front of them after they entered the next section within the castle walls. The building is cobblestone and looks to be the most well preserved out of all the buildings in the entire complex. Entering the creaky wooden door, the two stumble upon an empty space.
There is no furniture, just a wooden floor with the only light source being the many glass windows which dot the first floor. The two take a close around them to find nothing but empty passageways to other rooms.
"It's so bright in here surprisingly." JDG commented.
Kalmar then takes notice to another wooden door on the right side of the room they entered form. He slowly makes his way toward the door and opens it to reveal a very small room with a cellar door at the left corner.
"This probably leads to some basement, that would be a perfect place to hide if the government was after you." Kalmar concluded and JDG looks into the room and takes notice of the cellar door.
"I think we should check it out." JDG said.
Kalmar nods and steps into the small room toward the cellar door. He then takes a look at the handle, "Damn, it's padlocked." Kalmar grabs the padlock on the handle to examine it. He gives it a good yank before stepping back and staring at it.
"What if I tried to shoot it?" JDG then aims his rifle at the lock.
"It might definitely alert our presence here, but I think it's worth a shot." Kalmar then walks to the door and passes JDG as JDG aims his rifle toward the lock.
It takes a moment but JDG keeps both eyes open and points the gun directly where he believes it will fire. After a minute of contemplating, JDG pulls the trigger for the first time and he is able to score a direct hit on the lock and the lock completely shatters. The loud bang that came from the rifle deafens JDG and Kalmar and the two take a moment to rub there ears.
Once the two have recovered their hearing a few seconds later, there are now faint animal noises heard. Dogs, cats, cows, chickens, sheep, etc. All are heard coming from the cellar which the two just opened.
JDG quickly shoulders his rifle as Kalmar goes to open the cellar door which reveals a long staircase where many noises can be heard from the bottom. The two rush down the stairs and with each step the noise gets louder and louder.
Wasting no time, the two reach the bottom where they find a very large room stacked with cages upon cages of various sizes and containing various content. The smell is gut-wrenching the two have to cover their noses as their ears are bombarded with the cries from animals locked away in these cages.
Taking a look around, many different types of animals, which are most likely locals to Carisbrooke and the Isle of Wight, are locked away in cages. The two take the sickening sight and they continue through the corridor of distressed beings. The room is barely lit and the visibility is very poor, however the two continue anyway.
"You two are not from around here aren't you." A voice is heard from the end of the corridor.
JDG and Kalmar immediately stop in their path as the cries from animals begin to become white noise. The two focus on the voice they had just heard. JDG bears his rifle while Kalmar stands in front ready to use his abilities.
"You mustn't worry, I am no threat to you." The voice responded to the defense of JDG and Kalmar.
Kalmar then initiates conversation, "Who are you? Are you the Wizard of Wight?" Kalmar interrogated the voice as he slowly steps toward it.
"I am not that wizard, I am no wizard, I am no magical user." The voice replied, "I am not even human any longer. I am here in this cage, stuck for eternity."
JDG and Kalmar stand straighter and walk quicker toward the end of the corridor. Soon it is revealed a single cage marks the very back wall of the entire room, that cage has what seems to be a wolf inside of it.
Kalmar walks up to this cage and the wolf inside looks up, "I wish I could tell you my whole story." The wolf speaks.
Kalmar jumps back and JDG looks at him, "What happened?" JDG asked as he missed the sight.
"The voice is coming from that." Kalmar points at the wolf.
"You need not to be afraid, I am no harm to the both of you." The wolf explained. Kalmar stands straight again and walks up to the cage.
"Who are you?" Kalmar asked.
"I am simply the final product of years of research. I wish I could tell you my whole story but sadly we have little time." The wolf stated.
JDG walks up to the cage, "What do you mean we have little time, how did this happen to you? How can you talk? You said you were no longer human." JDG questioned.
"It's because that wizard used me for an experiment. I was once just an ordinary citizen here on the Isle of Wight. However, I was fused with a wild wolf in an attempt to create a talking animal. Now, I forever stay here locked away. That wizard will be entering this room right now as it's time for my feeding." The wolf explained.
"What the hell." A voice is heard from the end of the corridor and up the stair case.
JDG and Kalmar immediately turn around and rush to where they entered this room from. Loud footsteps are heard scurrying down to the basement and JDG stands back with his rifle aimed at the stairs.
A man then appears and falls back as he sees JDG and Kalmar.
"Wizard of Wight, we are from the Council of London, you are under arrest!" Kalmar exclaimed as the wizard took fast breaths.
The wizard then tried to get up but Kalmar rushed to caste a barrier over him. The wizard screamed in agony as Kalmar casted a barrier right on the wizard.
"What the hell kind of barrier are you casting?" JDG questioned as he looks up at Kalmar and the wizard.
"It's a pain barrier, the same one that Keeper of the Bridge uses." Kalmar then removes his barrier and the wizard is left on the staircase in pain.
Kalmar grabs his handcuffs and locks the wizard in them. Kalmar grabs the old man and lifts him to his feat as the wizard takes massive breaths of air and groans. Kalmar then walks the wizard to the end of the corridor.
Kalmar brings the wizard to face the creature he had created, "How do you reverse this?!" Kalmar demanded to know as he pushed the wizard forward.
The wizard looks back at Kalmar, "You can't!" The wizard answered, "I barely learned how to create him, I don't know how to reverse—"
Kalmar kicks the wizard onto the ground and castes another pain barrier over him. The wizard begins to scream violently in agony as the many locked animals cry out from the noise. The wizard begins to beg for mercy, the wizard can hardly breathe.
The wolf then sits up to face Kalmar, "It's okay." The talking wolf speaks to Kalmar with a soft tone, though loud enough to hear in the commotion.
Kalmar removes his barrier and looks up, "I may not know who you are, but this is evil. This man took away your life."
"It's okay." The talking wolf replied once more, "I rather you put me out of my own misery than torture him."
Kalmar's eye widen as JDG takes a step back from the scene, "You want us to kill you?" Kalmar questioned.
The creature nods yes, and places his head down.
"We can't just do that." JDG said as he steps forward again.
"I cannot go back to who I was, I don't want want to be here anymore." The creature then laid down in his cage, "Please, just do it."
JDG sighs, he then brings his gun to aim at the animal's head as the creature lays down at the bottom of the metal cage. JDG shows no grin, he shows a frown instead and Kalmar looks away.
"I don't mean anything by this." JDG said.
"I thank you for it." The creature responded.
"Please forgive me." JDG closes his eyes and takes a deep breath before he pulls the trigger of his rifle on the being.