while i have stated that i didn't want to perpetuate any SAD feelings here in the case of my fallen brother, i will, from time to time, post some things that were sent or given to me that remember mike and pay him tribute.
one of our friends here on the blog, mike estelle (who i always think of as mike heywood 'cause of his blogger name, heywood jablomie), sent me the piece below several weeks ago. i really wanted to post it, but also wanted to give it time. or wiat for the right time. i think that time has come.
first though, here are a trio of tribute pieces that other artists have done to remember mike.
and now, here's mike's story.
have a great weekend!
By Thy Side
A Tellos Tribute
(Not in any kind of continuity)
by Mike Estelle
Characters and Copyright - Mike Wieringo and Todd Dezago
Jarek and Koj ran as fast as they could. They had parted ways with the rest of the gang to try and trick the forces of Malesur, but it didn’t seem like it was working. For all their attempts they just could not shake them, the crazy frogsoldiers would just not stop! As they continued on through the thick setting of trees, they felt the ground start to tremble. Then the trembling got worse and they were both knocked off of their feet as they broke into a clearing in the woods. When they finished tumbling into clearing the earth shook so hard that it opened up right in front of their eyes. The frogsoldiers, not being able to stop themselves tripped over the pair and fell right into the newly opened crack.
“Um, Koj,” said Jarek over the sound of the earthquakes. “What do you suppose is going on?
“I’m not sure,” replied Koj. “But there’s no way its good!”
The skies then began to darken with black clouds roiling in from all directions. The pair regained their footing and stared in awe as the skies opened up with massive amounts of rain. The ground began to shake again as lightning and thunder began to rip across the now completely blackened skies.
“I think we should find shelter from this Koj!”
“That would be wise indeed, let’s go!”
They both ran off in the direction they had just come from to find something that would help them survive this wild turn of nature. Upon coming to a roadway they bolted as fast as they could towards the nearest town. The ground was shaking worse now, and the rain started to come down even harder. They thanked the gods that at least the lightning and thunder stopped for now. After almost passing out from the exertion of running they finally got near town, only to find the local townsfolk running towards them.
“What’s going on?” They asked anyone who would stop.
“The town is being ripped apart from the earthquakes, it’s not safe to stay there!” replied a man carrying two infants.
The two of them just looked at each other and mouthed a silent “Great!” Then they ran down the road to find somewhere to hide from the weather.
* * * * * * * * *
Not too far from our distraught heroes were Serra, Hawke and Rikk, currently they were dealing with trying to outwit and outrun a group of shadowjumpers. While Jarek and Koj ran east, they decided to run west. The route they took brought them to a large lake that was at that very moment surging in their direction in a very large tidal wave.
Of course being that Hawke and Rikk were involved, luck was not on their side. The wave hit them full on and carried them into a small grove of trees and left them hanging in the upper branches. After falling out of the tree that’s when the three of them landed in the middle of the group of shadowjumpers. The ground then shook with a massive force from a crash of thunder, knocking everyone off guard, that’s when the unlucky trio decided to bolt away from the shadowjumpers. At this point the rain started to come down and it made it hard for them to see where they were trying to go.
After blindly running through the dark and pouring rain the came to a dead stop at a cliff side. Trying to look around the found that the cliff ran in both directions and they realized they were trapped. Lightning races across the sky lighting up the area just as the shadowjumpers caught up with them. The ground shook again and that’s when the avalanche started coming down around their very heads.
* * * * * * * * *
The moment the earthquakes hit, but before the skies grew dark, Thomestharustra knew what it was that happened. He also knew he had the find Jarek and his companions right away. He left immediately and followed the first trail he found, that of Serra, Hawke and Rikk. His need to get to them urgent, he relied upon his magics and found them in no time.
* * * * * * * * *
Jarek and Koj finally found shelter of a sorts from the rain at least, the earthquakes were proving to be another beast altogether. Their path took them to the top of a plateau overlooking the countryside. Upon that plateau was a small cave, which seemed to be holding up pretty well on its own so they took cover from the pouring rains inside. With the ground shaking, they weren’t sure if the roof of the cave would fall in on their heads. The earthquakes, lightning and thunder all seemed to letting up a little, but the rain just kept coming down. Jarek huddled up against Koj for warmth as they both looked outside the cave wondering what happened to the others.
“Ya think they’re ok?” asked Jarek.
“I’m sure of it, Serra wouldn’t let the likes of those two ruin her day, that’s for sure!”
They both chuckled, but deep down they were afraid. Then without warning there was a bright flash of light in front of them, and they had to cover their eyes or risk going blind.
* * * * * * * * *
Serra was the first to notice the flash of light surround them as the rocks started falling around them. After what seemed like forever, the rocks sounded like they stopped coming down. Then the light expanded and pushed the rocks off of the three of them. They looked around and saw a pile of rocks where the shadowjumpers were, a small piece of black cloth flapping in the wind under one of them. She then noticed the source of the light came from the silhouetted figure to their left. She recognized him right away.
“Tom!” she yelled as she walked over to him. “Thank you for-“
He cut her off, “ We don’t have time to talk, we must get to Jarek and Koj right away!” And with a slam to the ground from his staff they disappeared.
* * * * * * * * *
The flash of light dimmed down to the brightness of a torch, and Jarek and Koj were able to see that it was Serra, Hawke and Rikk standing in front of them, with Tom a little to the side. The pair got to their feet.
“Boy are we glad to see you guys!” said Jarek. “We were sure you were-“
“Look kid, before you start we need to talk, like now.”
“Um, yeah, ok sure.”
“I’m sure you’ve noticed things seem a little, for lack of a better term, wrong, right?”
“Yeah, but we just thought-“
“Stop thinking, and listen. You need to know the reason this is happening. The world is reacting.”
“Reacting to what?”
“I’m getting to that, stop interrupting me would ya? The world has lost something of utmost importance; it’s lost one of the Creators.”
“Creators? You mean like one of the gods?”
“Kind of, but not the same. You have the gods, but above them are the Creators. They who were here first, they who are why this world, and the many others attached to it, are. Without them, there would be nothing.”
“Oh, well that sounds really bad, right? Do you think things are going to end now?”
“That’s still to be seen, but I’m not sure.”
They all looked at each other in fear and sorrow. Then they looked outside as the land still raged, and the rain still fell.
* * * * * * * * *
A few days pass, and the six of them still sat in the cave watching the land continue to rage. The earthquakes had stopped for the most part, only shaking the earth once in a while. The rains still came down, but the skies weren’t as dark anymore, and the lightning and thunder had ceased.
Then the ground shook violently one last time, and the clouds started to dissipate. All six got up and walked out of the cave to the overlook. As the sun started to break though the clouds the blue sky peaked out until it shone brightly over the land. The rain continued, but it was very light. Jarek looked over at Koj, then at the rest of the gang. Faces wrought with sorrow they each looked back at him. He then looked at Tom.
“What do you think now Tom? What do you think is going to happen to us?”
“Well, I’m not sure if things are going to end, but it sure is going to be very different I believe from now on.”
“Hmm, Koj, what do you think? Where does that leave us?”
“Good question,” said Koj inquisitively. “But there is one thing I know for certain Jarek-“
They both looked at each other and smiled, “By thy side!”
I dedicate this story to Mike, Matt, Todd and Mike’s family, friends and fellow fans. Thank you for leaving us with so many great memories, stories and wonderful characters. You will be missed but never forgotten.