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  1. Aishod is a story I have been working on for years (and is still on it's second draft) I started it for NaNoWriMo in 2011 and finished the first draft for NaNoWriMo in 2013. Since then it has been and on/off sort of project (since I started writing a novel for my mumsy) but I have edited and rewritten the first 9 or 10 chapters to a standard I am much more happy with. I'm still not totally happy with the story, there is a lot of explaining that needs to be done and a lot of things that need to be expanded but for a second draft of a really rushed story I am pretty happy with it. The story of Aishod... Aishod follows the young and somewhat imulsive princess Pippa who has come home from magical boarding school. She had been receiving vague letters from home for years and suspected her uncle Tibbott of foul play. As soon as she returned she was put under house arrest, but little did her uncle realise that her magical ability of the mind far exeeded his own. She easily slipped out of the palace unseen and hired the mercenary Ivy to help her work out what is going on. The two are set on a journey niether of them expected as the Guardans of Magic warn that Tibbott is planning something far worse than just removing the Queen from power and taking the throne. Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 etc.....
  2. Michael stared at the woman in the mirror. He supposed averaging four hours of sleep over the past two weeks wasn't ideal, but hallucinations seemed excessive. She seemed to blink when he did, mimicking his other movements perfectly. Even the number of teeth seemed to match as he ran his tongue over each one. When he reached for the long dark hair that flowed over her shoulders in the reflection and grabbed an unexpected handful of hair, he took in a slow, controlled breath. The reflection smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling and drawing attention to the faint bags that formed beneath. He felt his lips part. “That’s enough for now.” The voice was feminine, static faint beneath the lilting sounds. “Rest your eyes, won’t you?” Michael went to sleep. === Something stank. Corben tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but was met with utmost resistance from his body. He groaned and took a mental step back, focusing his energy into opening his eyes. It was painful, like soap rubbed under his eyelids. His arms wouldn’t cooperate long enough to let him rub the pain out, so he squeezed his eyes shut, forcing out the pooled tears. They tumbled over his cheeks hotly and still his eyes burned. After a few orchestrated blinks, he managed to stabilise his vision long enough to examine his surroundings—or, at least, realise he was staring at the open predawn sky sandwiched between towering grey brick. The smell hadn’t left either. He tried to move again. It felt like he was lying on garbage bags, but he couldn’t get past how much his eyes hurt. Whether the bags were filled with pizza boxes or rotten fruit didn’t make much difference—he needed to get up. Corben grit his teeth and tried to launch his upper body forward. When his back seized with pain instead of lifting, he swore he could crack a tooth. He clumsily groped the bags beneath him, trying to force some feeling into his limbs long enough to figure out what he was lying on. What little he could feel through the plastic was immediately recognisable. Bottles. Broken bottles. Corben laughed.
  3. DuLake


    Rattle By Jeremy Lloyd Beck Chapter One -- Welcome to Write Club The first rule of Write Club is you never tell anyone they should stop writing. Lucius Alugan joined Write Club so that he could brag about how his vampire movie was a genius re-imagining of Greek mythology. “Real next level shit,” he said. Lucius works as an overnight stockboy at the neighborhood Snak N' Grab and came to Write Club to feel like a writer; he came to Write Club so that he wouldn't have to sit on his ass and make pages to feel like a tortured writer. Lucius Alugan pretended to be an alcoholic and a Satanist for his writing. His government name was Joseph, but pretended the name's Judeo-Christian roots offended him. The second rule of Write Club is you never say when a story is a rip off. Mononymous Henna told everyone she was a proofreader for Rolling Stone, but we all knew she worked the sandwich cart. Henna came to Write Club to get feedback on her song lyrics. Like every other singer-songwriter hopeful, she wanted to fuck a rock star and believed that meant she had vocal talent. She wore black and boots and died her hair jet because that's what she thought was cool. She was going to bring the hard rock back to pop music. Her music was shit but she had a cute face and eye-liner, so maybe she could achieve her dream if she learn how to stuff her bra. Sir Lancel Aincroft tried to ask her out for lattes after Write Club once, but she didn't want to risk staining her perfect white teeth. The same week, Lucius got her number because she thought his frilly white shirt was exotic and original and totally rock n' roll. That weekend, Lucius took her to his crypt to get her drunk and blacked out on her shoulder. Sir Lancel spent the night abusing his emergency inhaler and masturbating. Jennifer Logan wanted to become a blogger. She came to Write Club because she couldn't figure out anything interesting enough or true enough to blog about. Nobody asked her out for lattes or sex because she wore a pixie haircut instead of make-up. Everyone at Write Club knew Jennifer cleaned the toilets and children of some interchangeable Hollywood executive. Lucius tried to convince her to give her boss his screenplay, but she wasn't stupid. When Jennifer wanted a raise, she bought gel inserts for her empty bra. The third rule of Write Club is that you give any writing exercise a chance, no matter how bat-shit it sounds. When Sir Lancel Aincroft suggested everybody go through Craigslist personals and write up a character sketch, Lucius said he was a hack and that his Conan the Barbarian rip-off stole it's plot from Lord of the Rings. The fourth rule of Write Club is that you don't use words like “hack.” When I created Write Club, I was looking for a place to practice my craft. I always believed that words were magic, that they had the power to build new worlds and realities. Sir Lancel believed that, which is why he wrote Conan rip-offs and colored them with rings of power, it's why he wrote escapist fantasies where good also won. He knew that words could create the worlds that didn't exist but should, the ones we need to survive. Sir Lancel understood that we would all burn in hell if we never thought to write ourselves a heaven. When I started Write Club, I was looking for a creative space to build my own heaven. The fifth rule of Write Club is that you always find something nice to say about a piece before you critique it. “It's shit,” Lucius said. “Another Lord of the Rings rip. The world doesn't need another one of those. Sir Lancel cringed. “The sixth rule is honesty;” Lucius shrugged. “At least include what you liked about it,” I said. “I liked that it ended,” he replied. “Took it bloody long enough.” One more thing about Lucius: He wasn't British, he just thought it was cool to steal vocabulary from the BBC. “I liked the world you created,” Jennifer offered. “It was. . . big. Epic and all that. I liked the map you drew of it all.” “Yeah,” Henna followed, “real big, really complex. Like a movie. I liked that. And the bit with the snakes was creepy.” “He'd never make it in Hollywood,” Lucius muttered. I frowned. “Neither have you,” Sir Lancel whispered dryly, eyes lowered, lips static. “Up yours, Harry,” Lucius spit, tipped back in his chair; Henna touched his shoulder; Sir Lancel took a hit from his inhaler. His real name was Harry, but he went by Sir Lancel Aincroft, his D&D name. He was fat and tall and smelled like his job at Burger King. When he worked the fryer, he had to wear a hairnet around his wild neck beard. He studied computer repair at the local technical college and sent anti-Creationist letters to the school board as a herald of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a sort of sauce-strewn Cthulu. He swore off alcohol and drugs, but always kept the emergency inhaler he didn't need nearby for a few inebriating puffs. When it was my turn I told everyone about the snake that whispered to my protagonist in his sleep. I told them about how crazy it was driving him and that I was beginning to suspect I had an ending – between you and me, the hero goes nuts and axes the shit out of his bride to be. “Does somebody die?” Henna asked. “Somebody always dies in your stories.” I smiled. “It's horror, not pop music.” Lucius said. “Of course somebody dies. Somebody has to die.” “Why though?” She asked. “Wouldn't it be more of a surprise if they didn't?” “What can I say –” I laughed – “every spell requires sacrifice. I guess mine take it in blood.” “Be careful with that dark stuff, man,” Lucius warned. “Said the Satanist?” Jennifer raised her eyebrow. “It's not for everyone,” he retorted; I smiled; Sir Lancel turned his head away from the entire scene. “My song today is about finding true love on Craigslist and finding out it's your spouse,” Henna said, beaming in her ingenuity. The second rule of Write Club is you never point out when a story is a rip off. On the bus, I was struck with a vision of my story, I saw what it could be and what it should be. I felt it run through my blood like a virus, an amoeba swimming as fast as possible to my death. I pulled out my cell phone and, chubby fingers fumbling over the touchscreen, I wrote the last act of my story. The words were there; the spell was written. All that was left for me to do was to put it all together and cast it on the world. When I got home, I was happy to be done for the night. My daily word count achieve, I was content to give myself over to slumber. I quickly stripped to my boxers, climbed in to bed, and let a snake-fueled ax-murder drift gently out of my mind – or perhaps it just sunk deeper in. After I went to bed I woke up in my protagonists room. A three-legged crow tapping it's nine talons impatiently against my dresser. It was crimson red and flecked with gold. The bird opened it's mouth to caw, but nothing came out. All I could hear was the hissing. “Sssacrificce,” I heard, turning instinctively to the golden snake in the aquarium by the bed. I straightened in the bed and tried to stand up, but, as I turned to stand up, I realized my legs were both flayed and bleeding; I realized I was not the hero. The hero was standing over the bed with an ax. I heard the crow's cawing like an echo as he lifted his weapon. I grabbed the nightstand and pulled myself to the ground as the ax dropped deep into the mattress. My hand slipped into the nightstand drawer and pulled out the gun I'd left for my ill-fated heroine. It was unloaded and unhelpful, but that was the story and my body couldn't help but follow through. I squeezed the trigger and listened in terror as the gun clicked impotently as the hero – wearing my face, as all my heroes do – climbed over the bed, ax raised, ready to end the story. Then the bird flew between us, the hero slipped fell backward off the bed and his hatchet fell helplessly behind him. Then the hissing returned. I turned to the sound and saw the snake, scales aglow, growing fatter and longer in it's coil in the small glass box. The snake grew until it could no longer be held back; the sides of the aquarium popped and sand and water spilled from the perch. The snake continued to grow as it crawled toward me hissing: “Ssssacrifice. . .” The snake turned and snapped at the bird. I watched it dance in the air and then fly out the open window. I was alone. The snake raised it's expanding mass and hissed provocatively, its tail rattled like the muffler on my first car.. Make a move, try your luck, it seemed to say – though it could clearly say so if it wanted to. That's how I wrote it. That's when my protagonist grabbed me by the shoulder and, hand choked up on the ax, released the mortal blow. I winced as the blade sunk easily through my collarbone; I felt the very tip touch my heart. “Thank you,” the snake hissed, coiling itself back up. My protagonist dropped me back to the ground and began hacking cleaving blows into my chest, the blood sprayed like a water fountain in hell, all the way up to the ceiling fan.
  4. Tangential Notes: To keep myself from despairing too deeply over the editing and rewriting process of 39 [cries deeply], I'm going to be working on a rather self-indulgent story. When I was 13, I started working on my first large-scale story. I finished it at just under 45k--or, rather, I finished the first part of it at 45k. I have an outline that I had made with over 100 points and it is batshit insane (as one might expect from teenaged me)--there's time travel and at some point it calls for the characters to establish a secret base on Pluto. The whole thing is pretty inane--why Pluto? Why not any of the other planets? Why do I have a planet with 36 moons? We just don't know. (The answer, of course, is that I liked to start millions of projects too big for my intellect and attention span.) Why are they even time travelling? (This is never addressed in the outline, yet they travel to the past at least four different times.) Still, I felt bad I had this huge cast of characters left in limbo, and because they were my very first original characters, they have been in limbo for ages. Although I doubt I'll ever return to the original storyline to salvage it, I'll be treating it as mostly canon. Anyway, the title is lame and will probably change. I might do a sign-up type story later set in this universe, once I figure out how to make my aliens less lame. I like bandwagons. I wanna be cool too. === Chapter One [Part One] The bedroom was cosy, bordering on spartan with its limited personal touches. A glass vase with two sun-faded paper flowers attached to bits of wire. An errant comb, a few strands of hair woven into its teeth, next to a small stack of dogeared magazines long since out of date. Windows curtained and shut, the bright sunlight outside was barred entry. The walls were blank, a faded beige that might have been white at some point. Blank, save for the wall behind the bed. A mirror, wall to wall and floor to ceiling, reflected the room in its entirety. Its surface was clean and unbroken, not a single scratch or speck of dust to be found despite the headboard pushed directly against it, the sheets and comforter on the mattress in disarray. Felicia’s voice came through the closed door from the hallway, words dampened to murmurs. The door was pushed open, marked by a slight pop as it moved past the frame. She pressed her phone to her ear with her shoulder, a bowl of cereal in her hands. Shadows had formed beneath her eyes, her dark brown hair pulled back into a messy ponytail. She set the bowl on the nightstand and pushed the blankets aside. “No, I just got back from the lab. What’s up?” She sat down on the bed, perching her feet on the edge of the bed frame. “Tim.” She let out a breath. “Tim, stop. I don’t think she hates you. Your sister just turned, what, thirty? Thirty-one. She’s been in the spotlight since she was your age—that’s an entire decade in front of the camera, of her name being plastered everywhere in magazines. She’s not as young as she used to be.” Felicia switched the phone to her other ear and picked up the bowl. She popped a few spoonfuls of cereal into her mouth. The flakes were beginning to get soggy. “Much as I love to hear you suffer,” she said, putting the bowl down, “I don’t think that’s why you called me this early on a Sunday. Early for you, anyway. What’s going on?” There was a pause as she listened, a grin spreading across her face as she snickered. “Are you kidding me? Come on, isn’t Steve going? Aren’t you guys—” Another pause. The smile on her face immediately disappeared. “Oh. Oh. Shit, I’m sorry. I didn’t… I hope they work it out. Have you asked Amy to go with you? Not my sister, Le—Bev’s daughter. She’s in town for a few weeks, isn’t she?” Another pause. Felicia rubbed her forehead. “Figures she’d already have plans. All right, all right. I’ll go with you. It’s tomorrow night? Okay. I’ll see you at seven.” She hung up the phone and sighed, staring at the blank screen for a while. Her eyes flicked to her reflection in the mirror. She put a hand to the glass and, for a moment, she thought that it began to ripple beneath her fingers. Something in her stomach seized and excitement crept up on her. She closed her eyes. All she felt was its surface, solid as ever. She scolded herself silently for getting worked up and turned on her phone. The background was somewhat distorted, just a touch too wide for the phone’s resolution. It was a picture of her as a teenager, with a ridiculous head of multi-coloured streaks she absolutely insisted was vital to her personality. Leon was carrying her on his back, a goofy grin on his face. She frowned. Here she found herself, sitting on a bed that had seen more people than she would like to admit, a mostly full bowl of cereal waiting for her on the nightstand, staring at an old picture… And all she could think about was what she was going to wear tomorrow. A welcome distraction to be sure; it would be nice to be able to get away from the house. Felicia cast a sidelong glance at the mirror. Among other things. She couldn’t shake what had happened. The mirror moved—she was convinced of that much. She dropped the phone on the bed and stood up, taking the bowl. What more was there for her to do? Wait in front of the mirror for days like she used to? She was years away from sixteen—talking with Tim reminded her of that much. Of course, she was also years away from thirty. A small smile touched her lips. She left the room, closing the door behind her, pulling it roughly to get it to stay shut.
  5. The darkness is whispering. The woman dreaming spoke to herself, What are they saying... I can't understand... She slowly opened her green eyes and turning her head she felt the softness of a pillow. The room was dark and being unable to see she rolled onto her side realising the was on a soft bed. She groaned and the voices stopped momentarily before starting up once more. This is nothing but a dream. The woman kept telling herself as she sat up on the bed. Strange, I have never had a dream like this before. I wonder what will happen. A clocked figure stepped forward hand outstretched. The woman placed her hand in the person's and everything went black. “You really think she is the one?” someone close to the bed asked his voice low. “She is the one.” The man who offered his hand stated gently cradling her in his arms now. “I can smell it in her blood, she is the person we have waited for all these years. Princess Lilith has been found.” What a very strange dream. Lilith commented silently to herself as she fell into a deeper sleep. Lilith ran as fast as she could go, her heart pounding in her ears. If she did not make the train she would not make it to her job interview, reaching the platform she put on an extra burst of speed and managed to slip through the doors just before the closed. Grabbing the pole for support Lilith gasped for air, her lungs were burning as she tried to ignore the looks of the passengers in the cart. Regaining her breath she straightened and deftly tied her long black hair into a braid that hung down to her thighs. Glancing the the window Lilith quickly adjusted her plain white blouse and made sure her skirt was still sitting right. Once everything was in order she looked around the carriage once more, only a few people were paying attention to her now and making eye contact she smiled before heading to an empty seat. I don't need the money. She thought to her self as she looked out the window. I could live off my inheritance for the rest of my life if I wanted too, but I want to get out of the house. There is nothing to do there and having all the servants rushing over to me each time I stub my toe is getting extremely annoying. Oh look, the tunnel is coming up. Lilith enjoyed the tunnel every time she caught the train, the sudden chill and the total darkness to her were thrilling. Her parents never understood the feeling so while they were alive they had insisted Lilith take the town car. The only thing one really needs to be weary of is perverts who will try and grope you in the darkness. Lilith said to herself focusing on the glass of the window. The train driver never turned on the interior lights during the day, and a few times in the past she had to fight off an attacker. She was not the biggest breasted person in the carriage being only a B-cup, but in her glance around she was one of the youngest at twenty five. With a silent sigh she noticed four guys edging closer, three of the men looked like your average grab-a-woman-on-the-train-and feel-her-up type of people, but the forth was tall, much taller then her five foot two, and slender with short dark brown hair. The train entered the tunnel plunging everything into darkness then all hell broke lose, someone touched her lower back and standing she delivered a round house kick, before someone else grabbed her arm. With a sharp twist of her arm she broke free and Donkey kicked her attacker, she could hear muffled grunts and yelps of pain as she stood at the ready waiting for another attack. The train left the tunnel and Lilith found herself nose to nose with the forth man, startled to see him that close she punched him in the jaw sending him back into the seats behind him. “There was no call for that.” His velvet voice complained. “That is no way to treat someone who was helping.” “There was a call for it.” Lilith replied heatedly, “How would you feel if it was me sticking my face right in front of yours?” “I would be rather happy.” The man grinned then winced. “You have quite a right hook.” “I try.” Lilith replied dryly as she looked at the men laid out on the floor. “You did that?” He looked to where she gestured and shrugged his shoulders, “With your help, I doubt they will be bothering anyone else for quite some time now.” Lilith sat down and gazed out the window once more turning in her seat to do so. Dark and heavy storm clouds were coming in quickly, as she watched a fork of lightning arched down hitting the ground in the distance. “It is going to be a big one.” she commented to herself “Bigger then you know.” The man sat next to her his eyes locked on her face. “My name is Chamuel, my friends call me 'champ'. You are?” Lilith looked at him, his jaw was red and swollen from her punch, but he had a slight smile on his face and his blue eyes were sparkling. “I'm Lilith, but most my friends call me 'Lilly', Thank you for your help.” “You're welcome.” he gently rubbed his jaw before looking out the window. “Things sure have gotten interesting...” “This stop is mine.” Lilith stood and made her way to the doors. “Nice to meet you.” “I hope you do not get caught in the storm.” He replied raising his hand in farewell as she walked out the open door. “Because this one involves you.” Lilith walked though her door as the sky opened up, it was hard to hear anything over the roar of the rain and the clash of thunder. Dumping her things in the entrance way she made her way up the sweeping staircase to the third floor and opened the door to her room. There was a blur of movement before Lilith was pushed to the floor. A large and heavy body lay on top of her, but Lilith felt no fear as she ran her hands though the soft fur and listened to Elita's loud purr whenever the tiger exhaled. “Elita, did you miss me?” Lilith buried her face into the tiger's neck. “I missed you too.” Faintly in her head Lilith kept hearing what she thought was Elita's voice. I love you mistress, I am always missing you when you go out, stay home so I can protect you. The voice had been getting louder and louder for the past few years, driving Lilith to think she was going crazy. “Come with me, I need a bath and I will tell you about my day.” She gently pushed the cat and obediently Elita stood and turned leading the way into the bathroom. As the bath filled up with warm water Lilith spoke, she told the tiger all about the strange dream and what had happened that day. As she lay in the tub she finished, “I didn't get the job in the end, but I was thinking that is a good thing. With everything that has been happening today I think I need to get my head looked at.” A loud crash came from her bedroom and hastily Lilith got out of the bath and wrapped a robe around herself as she walked into her room. The sight that greeted her looked to be from an old biblical tale of good verses evil. A man was on one knee his sward held up, his skin was tanned and short light brown hair had fallen over his face, from his back bat-like black wings were outstretched. He looked to be to slender to hold up the massive sword he was using. The second man had white bird-like wings gently flapping keeping him in place above the kneeling man, both faces were turned toward her, looking at her in shock. Lilith stared back. The second man was from the train that very morning, Chamuel. “What is going on here? Why are you in my house? Who are you? Why are you both fighting?” Lilith shot out one question after another at them as Elita pushed in front of her and hissed menacingly at the both of them. The kneeling man gave a mighty heave that sounded like thunder echoing around the room, Chamuel was sent spinning away, with a loud crack his head hit the roof. “Princess, we have come to take you home.” “What the hell are you talking about?” Lilith backed away as he advanced on her, only stopping when her back hit the wall. She quickly cast a glance at Elita who was crouched in the staling position watching Chamuel. The man slammed his hand into the wall forcing her attention back to him. “I am taking you home Princess.” “Get away from me!” Lilith yelled and with both hands on his chest pushed him back, much to her shock he grabber her wrists and pulled her back with him. “Who the hell are you?!” “Please my Lady, forgive me.” He said from under her as they lay on the floor. “I am Prince Ayperos, your intended husband.” “Like hell you are let me go!” Lilith struggled against him and his arms wrapped tightly around her. “Sorry Princess, but I can not. We have been waiting for you for a very long time, the daughter of a demon and a human to be born into the world. The powers you have locked in your body will be a great asset for us.” Elita let out a snarl just before Lilith was pulled away from the man wearing all black and slung over the shoulder of Chamuel. “Now now Ayperos, You really think I will let you get away with her that easy?” “Champ, put me down!” Lilith punched into his back as she kicked out with her legs. Unable to move him a thought struck her and grabbing a handful of his feathers pulled then out. He yelped and grabbing her waist pushed her out to arms length before him. “That was not nice Lilly, why did you hurt me like that?” “Because you both are not listening to me!” Lilith said fighting off tears. Gently Chamuel tucked a hand behind her knees and cradled her close to his chest. “Sorry Lilly, but we both have no choice.” “Champ..? Lilly...? When did you two become such good friends?” Ayperos stood glaring at the other man. “Release my wife-to-be before I chop off something you may need later, like your head.” “You know you lied to her, why did you not tell her the truth?” Chamuel taunted. “Lilith, you are not the begotten of human-demon, you are actually angel-demon. The blood of nobles runs through your veins, nobles on both sides. You are also my intended.” Lilith said nothing for a while processing the information she had just been told, this time her left fist connected with his jaw. Though it lacked the force of her right, it was still enough to make him release the grip he had on her. “Get out, the both of you. I do not want to hear your lies.” “You don't believe your own eyes?” Ayperos asked flapping his wings slightly. Lilith looked from his wet form to Chamuel's and back. Ayperos took a step closer, “This storm in not a storm, it is a war we are fighting, we all are fighting over you.” “I don't want a war over me, put a stop to it and leave me alone.” Lilith stated backing to the wall again and sliding down it. She hugged her knees and Elita walked over to stand in front of her growling softly. “I can't do that Lilith, we need you.” Ayperos stopped, holding his hand out to her. “Please come with me.” “Why should Lilly go with you? To see the delights of hell?” Chamuel asked as he walked over to stand beside Ayperos to offer his own hand. Lilith stood her hands clenched into fists at her sides, “Get out, get out, get out, get out!” She yelled, something burst from her body she could feel something bending to her will before the darkness overcome her. Outside in the dark and now silent night two figures floated in the sky, each looked worse for wear as he hung in the air. “Well that was something.” Chamuel stated wrinkling his nose at the smell of burnt feathers. “She has put up a barrier around her home.” Ayperos stated as he touched it and quickly pulled his fingers back with a yelp. “I will not break though it.” Chamuel nodded his agreement, “looks like your one step behind me brother.” “What do you mean?” “Well my demon friend, she knows me well, I helped her on the train.” Chamuel looked over at the other man. “You know, you are more handsome in this form then your other.” “And you look like a really ugly girl with short hair.” Ayperos retorted vanishing. “Teaches me for trying to be nice.” Lilith woke to a phone ringing, locating it next to the bed she picked it up. “Hello?” She spoke as her eyes scanned the room, it was a guest bedroom located on the second floor of her home. “Lilly, it's May. Are you still coming to the coffee shop at one?” “Yeah, I will still be there. Who was coming again?” Lilith asked rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. “Well there was me, 'Seth and Able. Don't you remember? Able asked you out and you made it into a double date.” “That's right, I did. Sorry May, I have had a lot happen yesterday, I will tell you about it when I see you.” “Alright, we will meet up at twelve thirty, that gives us a chance to talk before the men get there.” “Sure, I will see you then May.” Lilith hung up the phone and dragged her tired body out of bed. After a quick shower she headed down the stairs and into the dining room, Elita was in the corner eating her own food when Mary, one of the maids walked in. After guiding Lilith to the table and placing the food before her Mary turned to leave but Lilith stopped her. “Mary, please call in come contractors to fix the roof in my room and get Adam to call in some more bodyguards, and a few more on the security team?” “Yes my Lady.” Mary replied dipping a little curtsy before hurrying out of the room.
  6. Author's Notes: I wanted to share a little bit of my recent writing after reading some of the works here (I enjoyed them quite a bit!). So, I decided to post this instead of my most recent attempt at NaNoWriMo partly because I haven't a copy of it with me (it's on my PC several states away) and partly because I haven't gotten a chance to look over it yet. A little background. This is a story that's been in my head since I was in technical school. I used to think about it as I delivered the action notice and eventually came to write it when I was in Texas. I offered a few of my wingmen a chance to read what I had written (I really hate letting people read my stuff--case of being my own worst critic and all). It came to be I lost that copy of it because I'm a dork and accidentally murdered the laptop it was stored on. Being the kind of person I am, though, and as embedded as technology and data loss is in my life, it wasn't the end of the world. Some time passes and I eventually decide to rewrite it once again. It was going to be the subject of the most recent NaNoWriMo, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, haha. When I get back home, I'll toss up some of the poetry I wrote a few years ago if anyone is interested. The 39 in the title comes from my bunk number in basic. Please don't steal this from me, haha. It's not complete in the least and I have the power of copyright on my side. Constructive criticism, corrections, and questions welcome and encouraged. Ego stroking also welcome and encouraged, haha. Taking some advice from Rune, I've broken it up into smaller chunks. ====== Plate 39 The Aftermath: Part One Clicking noises came from the train’s engine as it cooled down, the lights in its cars dimming as the last of the power began to fade away. Some of the windows were open, curtains billowing out. Despite the train being partially embedded in the face of a mountain, there was little damage done to the exterior—a testament to the quality of its build. Twisted branches dangled from the surviving trees; some were wrenched away entirely, littering the ground. Nearby birds cried out, almost mourning the destroyed swath of land beneath the metal disturbance. The sun was high up in the sky, a few clouds accompanying it as the wind gusted irregularly. Uphill from the site, a blonde woman was making her way through the dense woods, her hair pulled back in a low ponytail. She paused for a moment to brush a few loose strands behind her ear, looking ahead at the wreck. Three of the train’s cars were on the mountain, seeming as though it were attempting to head up it. The last few cars were twisted onto their sides, exposing the bottoms—smooth, with two raised parallel lines running through the middle, forming a channel the track could run through. She turned her gaze upward and saw one of the plates in the distance—a large city encased in a dome, held up by a single metal support towering far above the surface. A distorted, crackling beam of light curved through the air, connecting the plate to another, too far to be seen from her position. The woman continued downhill, careful to tread quietly. As she approached the train, she noticed a shoe at the base of one of the cars. Drawing near, she felt a wave of nausea begin to well up inside her. The shoe wasn’t simply leaning against the train—a foot was still inside of it, keeping it upright. She turned away momentarily, her eyes closed as she regained control of herself. Feeling steadier, she headed towards the first car, climbing up the mountain slowly to avoid scraping her bare knees against the jutting rocks. The slope of the rocky face was gentle enough for her to stop with confidence to check the back pocket of her shorts before moving ahead. Upon reaching the door of the car, she first peered into the window, scanning the area within. Thus far, she heard nothing but the birds and leaves rustling in the wind, leading her to believe no one in the train had survived or, if nothing else, was rendered unconscious. She pushed the door open and stepped inside, a hand kept on the wall to steady herself against the angle of the car. It was empty, little more within beyond the computers and machinery that ran the train—and somehow let it crash to the surface. Carefully, so as not to lose her footing, she walked through the door to the second car. A few people were sitting in seats, some with their face smashed against a window, blood dripping from their wounds. A few bodies were strewn about the aisle, apparently thrown from their seats by the unnatural angle their limbs took. None looked well enough to be alive—it was just as well, she thought, having not forgotten the shoe she saw earlier. As she walked through the cars, it was scene after similar scene of scattered bodies. At one point, she noticed someone with teeth embedded in the back of his head. Her gaze turning to the person behind him, she saw another man with his mouth agape, bloody and missing what seemed to be the same number of teeth. She stopped by the bathrooms, checking the one reserved for females first. She found a woman slumped on the ground, her jaw completely destroyed. One of the sinks was bloody and chipped—upon further inspection, she saw broken teeth in the basin. Pushing the door open to the stall revealed a woman with her skirt hitched up to her waist and panties around her knees, her head hanging limply against her chest. She seemed to be hugging the toilet, clinging to something solid after a rough night. The blonde looked a little closer and saw one of the dead woman’s ears was torn, an earring undoubtedly missing. Wondering where it could have gone, she looked around the stall for it. She finally discovered it when she examined the door and saw the woman’s earring, a bit of flesh and blood still clinging to it, hanging from the hook.
  7. A collab between Myself and Mae. short little snippets of life on an island called Kametsu. There was an island, with a population of 16,520. This island was called Kametsu and many of the people that lived there were sort of strange. There was a man named Koby, the mayor, who was often referred to affectionately by his townsfolk and “God.” The judge Renzourin, held much of the power over the people, was fair to everyone who came through his court. The chiefs of police: Mae, Shazi and Raz, kept people in order with the help of their police force. Shazi was on patrol down Main street when she spied a man limping away from his car. Being one of the police force it was her duty to investigate. “Hello, are you alright?” She asked the man. “Kro is fine, but his car isn’t,” The man responded. Puzzled by Kro referring to himself in the third person she glanced at the car. It indeed, did not look alright “Stay here and try not to hurt yourself more,” Shazi told him. She went to investigate the car. “Kro thinks that you should stay away from that” Kro called behind him, just as the car become alight on fire. “Oh dear” Shazi said, and quickly pulled out her phone to call the fire brigade.
  8. I do not own any of the names but my own, also I will not give descriptions on the people or their clothes, that is for you to fill in. Enjoy the very first part!! Part one: The win It was a normal Saturday morning, Talena was finishing up her weekly shopping. As she made her way home an impulse drew her to the lotto stand, the sign read ' 80 million draw tonight' not thinking much of it she bought a ticket anyway. As the old saying went ' you have to be in it no win it", tucking the ticket into her wallet Talena continued her way home. Later that night! Talena sat on her lounge stunned, the announcer had just called out the winning numbers, the numbers on her lotto ticket. She shook her head to clear it as the announcer spoke the numbers once more. Talena was not hearing things, he did call her numbers... She had won the lotto! Two months later A very happy Talena was sitting in first class, a glass of whiskey and cola on her little table. Around her were the other people from Australia, Shazi, Kazu Wolf and his wife. Talena was grinning when Shazi leaned over, " What are you so happy about?" She inquired playfully. Talena tilted her head to the side, " Let's see... I am a millionaire... We are flying to the U.S to have a kametsu convention so we get to meet all our friends." " You may be a millionaire Mae, but you dress like a poorper!" Kazu teased kneeling on his chair to look back at the girls. Talena swiped at him with the in flight magazine she had been reading before her mind drifted. "Be nice or I get them to turn this flight around." She smiled. Shazi started laughing, between gasps she managed to say; "Yeah right! The reason...you want to...fly there and have...the convention is so...you can see 'your' Koby!" Talena turned bright red as the pilot announced " We are approaching Dallas Airport, if you could all please take your seats and put on your seat belts we will be landing in fifteen minutes." Murder at the convention part two: Day of death. The convention was in full swing by the time Talena had spoken to everyone gathered, it seemed that no matter where she turned there were the smiling faces of everyone who agreed to come. In the corner Eve was picking on Chaos about something, Mask and Ba11ard laughing at them. Koby was lurking an the corner watching everything with sharp eyes. Icarus was leading Empathy around to all the groups. Zadra standing at the buffet table asking why there was not alcohol being served Botzz and fluffy right behind him. Poetic walked through the door looking as stunning as ever with Nellio close behind. All the women were looking beautiful, and Ripcat his eyes glassy and a huge smile on his face could not keep his hands to himself as the ladies walked passed him. Ripcat seeing Oby bend over to grab something was stunned when she turned and punched him in the nose, Yuna laughed at him as he went to wash up. Lantern was sitting in a stool where he could see everyone scratching away on his drawing pad, making sure he got as much as he could onto the paper. Leki was standing poised with a camera taking photos so he could make an album for everyone that attended. The clock had just struck 10 and suddenly Talena was not feeling well. Excusing herself she made her way out side and settled into one of the awaiting cars to take her back to the hotel. **Please note I have taken an artistic licence to all involved as I don't really know most of you well enough to get your personality into the story. And I am sorry Ripcat >.> Please don't hurt me xD** Part three Day of Death II Icarus, Empathy and Koby were headed to the hotel, all worried about how pale Talena looked as she left. Empathy was insisting that it could me nothing more then a mild fever, where as Koby worriedly ranted on about all the worst diseases he could think of. After arriving at the hotel the three of them rush into the elevator, Icarus imploring Koby to calm down and breathe. Nevertheless as soon as the elevator doors were open Koby was rushing down the hallway. When Koby reached the door Icarus grabbed his wrist to keep him from knocking. "It maybe best if Empathy knocked Koby, if Maé isn't feeling well, Empy can see to her." Nodding Empathy gently but firmly pushed him out of the way, "Koby, if Maé is sick she does not need you worrying like an over protective mother. If you care for her, STAY HERE!" she demanded before wrapping lightly on the door. They waited and not a sound could be heard Icarus grasped the doorknob and turned, the door was unlocked and it opened silently. Pushing Empathy to the side he stepped into the room and stopped blocking the door. There sitting in the chair was Talena, but no sound came from her lips to indicate she was sleeping. Before Empathy or Koby could utter a word he closed and locked the door. Eyes sharp he scanned the room for any sign of an intruder. He did not want to but Empathy in any danger, nothing seemed out of place so he made his way to the bathroom. Again, everything was neatly placed nothing had been touched. Walking back to the door where angry sounds from Empathy and Koby could be heard, he unlocked it and let them in. "Empy, I think she is dead..." Part 4 Suspicion Hours later Talena's close friends were sitting in Koby's room, those who could drink had one. Ballard had arrived as they wheeled out her body, for some reason the shock had been too much so he retired to his room for the night. Koby was sitting in the corner, his head in his hands. Empy was in an armchair close by just in case he went into shock, Icarus was pacing before them clearly unimpressed. "What the hell did the cops say?" He demanded of no one in perticular, "all they told me is 'don't leave town'." "I don't know." Came Koby's muffled reply. "They said that we are all under suspicion." Kazu stated. "I heard them as they were leaving, it seems Mae had left us all in her will before we flew over..." He trailed off as all eyes centered on him. "So someone here killed her?" Shazi yelled into the silence, "No one in this room would do that! "You're right, no one in this room would do that..." Icarus stated a nasty gleam in his eyes. "But someone NOT in this room could have." "Babe, we can not go around-" Empy was interrupted by Ripcat bursting his way into the room. "Guys! Guys!" He called eyes red and glassy. "It's Ballard! he-" They were all on there feet now, watching Ripcat vomit all over the floor. "He is dead, someone killed him." Everyone rushed out of the door and down the hall, stopping only when they reached the door. It was wide open blood smeared on the walls and all over the furniture, listening to a Rhythmic dripping as one they looked up. Empy and Shazi screamed, Koby covered his mouth and Icarus stood there gaping. Hanging from the light shade by metal coat-hangers was Ballard, his stomach torn open. His intestines looked to be stapled to the ceiling around where he hung. the left side of his face seemed to be missing and looking over at the mirror that showed that side of his head, Koby saw that his brain was no longer inside his skull. "Someone...call the police..." Kazu said before turning to vomit loudly in the hallway. Part 5 Suspicion II The police had just left angry and frustrated, they vowed to get to the bottom of it before anyone else got murdered. As the sky blackened and dark clouds rolled in... Icarus and Empy were sitting in their room consoling Koby who was gazing out the window, eyes red and swollen. Koby had wanted to get to know Talena better but now he would never have a chance. "Don't worry otouto-san, we will get the person or persons responsible!" He half growled taking Empy into his arms. "First Mae mae and now Ballard, who will be next?" Koby turned from the window, "Thanks oniisan, I'm heading to bed... It has been a long day..." MEANWHILE OUTSIDE Wolf was running, pulling his girlfriend along with him. He had to get her away from here, a shadowy figure was drawing closer. Wolf turned and ran face first into a tree causing the tree to shudder violently, knocking him and his girlfriend to the ground. Their pursuer stopped watching them intently, all would could see what the whites of the persons eyes. Pulling his frightened woman behind himself he took a step forward, "What the fuck do you want!?" He called out hoping someone would hear him. The person did not reply, instead drew out a knife. "So you're the one going around killing everyone, why?" Before the figure could answer Wolf charged intending to use his height and weight against the smaller opponent. The pain of the knife slicing through his skin failed to register as he turned to attack again, this time he landed a punch that sent the person flying. Snarling Wolf ripped the knife out of his stomach as the shadow got to its feet. With a flash of teeth it spun around arms extended. Wolf stopped and watched as his lady grabbed at her throat eyes wide in shock before she collapsed gurgling, only then did he see the knife the person held as they lowered their arms. Wolf bellowed in pain and anger rushing the figure with knife pointing towards its chest. Before the knife could do anything more then slice open the fabric of its clothes the person danced out of reach. Lighting streaked the sky, and Wolf stopped staring open mouthed. "It's you!?" he asked confused. "Shhhh...." Was the last thing he heard as the figure jumped at him breaking his neck. Thunder boomed and the figure looked down at its victims before taking hold of Wolfs lifeless arms to drag him over to his partner. **Oniisan is elder brother** **Otouto-san is little brother** Part 6 Suspicion part III At the same time Shazi rushed down the hall, eager to get to the phone in the foyer as the one is her room was not working. She had promised her mother that she would call about this time every night, that way her mother would have nothing to worry over. A flash of lighting caught her attention and stopping Shazi gazed out the window into the black night. A thunderclap sounded and Shazi jumped as the lights flickered, laughing nervously at herself she turned from the window and froze. A huge figure dressed in back was in arms reach. Trying to swallow the lump in her throat she took a trembling step back, only to have the person take a small step forward. Shazi turned to run but was pulled into a bear hug her mouth covered by a large hand, she squirmed trying to get loose but the arms only tightened around her. As the person in black squeezed her tighter, Shazis' eyes started to bulge, her chest heaving in her need for oxygen. Suddenly there was a muted snap and Shazi went limp, her spine and neck broken. The figure sighed quietly and with great care placed Shazi on the floor in a seated position under the window. Using two gloved fingers the figure closed her eyes and made its way silently out of the hallway... Part 7 Oh no! The police were gone again, after questioning them all once more, it seemed that Koby was the only one without an alibi, and even though the police knew there was not enough time for him to kill all three of his friends he was still their prime suspect. He sat on his bed and gripped at his hair, he was angry and upset that they would think he would have killed all those people. A knock came at the door but Koby ignored it, only raising his head when it opened. "Hey bro, can we talk?" ******************** Fluffy and Shade were sitting in their room, arguing over whose turn it was to use the laptop. Both failed to notice the door open and close until a little hand touched them both on the shoulders. Part 8- The End? Shade and fluffy spun around, the laptop crashing to the floor. Spying the person in black shade kicked out catching the figure in the stomach, grunting they stepped back and slowly pulled out the knife hidden in the folds of the fabric. Fluffy picked up a vase and threw it. The figure dropped to their knees hands to their head. Shade and Fluffy approached the injured person. "Time to figure out who you are." Shade said a feral smile on his lips. Shade bent and reached out to take the balaclava off of the small black clad figures head then realized that fluffy was no longer next to him. Looking over his shoulder Shade cried out, Fluffly was being held by another person in black a hunting knife sticking out of his throat. "Now it is your turn," the figure on the floor said thrusting their knife into Shades temple. "Rest in peace." The smaller of the two picked up the laptop and looked at the page Fluffy was on and gagged, it was video of some man pounding into a vagina that looked blue and weeping. Disgusted at the images the figure closed the laptop and slammed it over and over again on to the dead mans head, blood and brain matter splattering everywhere. "Quickly now." the bigger one said "We don't have much time." "I know! Get his clothes off, I will sort out Fluffy!" The smaller said dropping the laptop and pulling Shade over to the bed. The bigger of the two nodded and began undressing Shade as the smaller one walked over and ripped the knife out of Fluffy's neck. "You told me to remind you that after we finish you want to burn those gloves" "Yes yes, I know ick! I will burn everything after touching him!" the smaller said as Fluffy's pants were cut away. "Why am I not surprised he has no jocks on?" "Hurry up you two!" A voice called from in front of the door as the smaller figure took the offending piece of flesh in their hand and cut it away. "You don't have much time, hurry up an finish the job!" "Be quiet! we are going as fast as we can." Replied the big one. "We can always trade places you know." The person outside went silent, The two inside got back to work again. The smaller one picked up what once was Fluffy's dick and walked over to Shade. with one swift movement shoved the penis up the dead mans arse as he half lay naked on the bed. The big one lifted Fluffy from the floor and laughing quietly placed him over Shade propping him up so that his hips were resting against Shades arse. "Let's go." Said the smaller heading out the door.
  9. Prologue: The Legatus Power Armor, the invention that changed the world, in more ways than imaginable. From the depths of the ocean to the vacumm of space these miraculous machines could be found everywhere. Due to their excellent protection, their amazing adaptability and their relative ease of use power armor had spread throughtout the world faster than wildfire. Then someone had an idea, one bright little flicker of thought that set things in motion he couldnt possible have thought would, or could happen. Make them a sport. Again the world changed and the Power Armor World Games were born, with its posterchild the PAXT, Power Armor Xtreme Tournament. And so the sport was born, all the violence anyone could need just without the unwanted side affect of death, at least not often. The "athletes" came from all walks of life but they all sought the same thing, fame and glory. Most never attained this goal, but some occasionally captured the hearts of the crowd, the media and its seems the very heavens bowed down before them. One of these men was Lambert Collins or, as the world knew him, the Legatus... _____ "This is a God damn mess! How the hell did it come to this!" screams an unknown figure in the shadows, directing his rage to a young man dressed in a suit, a tailored pinstripe coupled by a white shirt and black tie. The young man didnt seem to flinch at this abrupt outburst and was breathing in a deliberate manner. "You see, sir, the public has grown accustomed to them," replied the man in a low tone, as if trying not to wake someone,"we can't get rid of them now." "Buu...Hmmm... Your right as always, but you've missed out one way we can go about this..." "And that is, sir?" "Hmpf! We split them up, we use the Reapers," snorted the figure in the darkness. "Right away sir..." _____ >PAXT ARENA LAS VEGAS >PAXT FINAL 2119, DEC 14, 23:45 |LEGIO>VS<PAX REAPERS| The Legatus surveyed this melee before him. They flanked us! How the hell did they do that! I know this god forsaken arena like the back of my hand! The battle infront of him was a mess. His men's formation had broken within minutes of the battle, both fireteams being left aimless in the confusion. I have to sort this out! Lambert drew his blade, a small sword similar to the old Roman gladius, and selected anti personnel missiles on his interior HUD. Running down the side of the small hill he had been perched upon he aimed at a pair of targets, two Reapers with black patchy armor that made them resemble scarecrows, and fired. Two small missiles, 30 cm long each, launched from a small, concealed launcher on his shoulder, and flew with a howling pitch into the air. About a second later another Reaper was closing in on Lamberts position at a steady pace, in the same way a bear would chase a deer. This Reaper had a more hulking profile and was armed with a large hammer that could easily cave in a mans skull. Lambert raised his blade in the air and let out a menacing bellow. A moment later the AP missiles came howling out of the night and hit there respective targets, who both went hurtling into the night. The brute making his way towards Lambert was momentarily distracted. You're mine! Lambert leaped the remaining distance between them and landed on the Reapers chest, feet first. With a swift sweep of the sword he went to remove the Reaper's throat, but as with all close range weapons in the World Games, it passed straight throught leaving no trace, other than a limp body. The Legatus straightend up as he checked the battle's progress on his HUD. The Reapers progress bar went down a little, while the Legio's went up. But it wasn't enough. We've lost this one, and in the final too... He turned towards his remaining troops and thought to himself, We be aswel go out fighting, as he charged into the fray, firing off everything he had left and roaring all the way...
  10. Until I figure out a not crappy title for this thing. Here's the start of my entry for this round of KamWri. "'Gimme another, gimme another, gimme another!' I tell ya, it's the same every day. They come in here treating me like a slave, like my job isn't hard, that the only thing to it is just pouring drinks and they're the only ones with 'real' problems. Well, let me tell ya how many times I had to pour and pour this joker's drink because there were too many bubbles in it and it would clash with his aura." He waved his hands in the air sarcastically, rolling his eyes and sneering. The tavern was crowded, nigh every seat taken up by various patrons and their companions. A few had taken to dragging in chairs from outside, unwilling to sit outside in the pouring rain, streaking mud across the wooden floor. "I'm tired of people tellin' me they wished their life was easy as mine, 'cause it ain't. It ain't easy and it never was easy. Not even in the beginning." The woman sitting at the bar listened to his tirade tiredly, rolling her glass between her hands, the liquid swirling inside untouched. She had brought it to her lips to drink earlier, but upon finding lipstick smears from a previous customer, she couldn't bring herself to use it. Too often had she made the mistake of drinking from something less than clean only to find herself sporting mysterious new appendages or unable to count. Enchantments were all well and good, she thought, but they were personal and not something to be inadvertently shared with others who chose not to make use of them. He continued to rant, absently wiping a glass with a filthy rag, a vein bulging from his neck as he worked himself up over the injustices he faced every day. "Hang on a sec, Don," he said, interrupting himself mid-sentence, putting the glass down. "Hey! You with the frilly cape!" From across the room, a young man in a bright orange cape, pointing a knife at the person sitting across from him, loosened his grip on his weapon and looked up, confused. "Yes, you! Put that shit away! You got problems, you take it outside, jackass!" His eyes bulged. "Oh, you little shit. Don't you even—" "Let me handle it, Rex." The woman stood up and pushed her barstool in, wiping the condensation from her drink on her pants. "You're causing a scene." She made her way through the room, manoeuvring around people in bulky armour and robes, trying not to trip over the shields and packs littering the area. The storage room was likely once again empty and unused—travellers often refused to relinquish control of their belongings, believing the numerous stories the town was known for being a safe haven for rogues and shysters. In a few moments she stood at the table of the troublemaker, who had since put the knife down, bitterly gathering up scattered cards and slipping them into his sleeve. "What seems to be the problem here?" "Frankly, it's none of your business," responded the caped one as he stood up. "I was just on my way out, no thanks to that loud-mouthed bartender over there. He's bad for business." The person sitting across from him, an older man in plain clothing, his glass of water perched on the ledge of the shuttered window, shook his head and extended his hand to the woman. "Evenin', Don. We was playing a game and it seems he doesn't take too kindly to those who can spot a cheater when they see one. His cards are marked. Amateur, if'n you ask me." "Is this true?" she asked, placing a hand on the young man's shoulder, causing him to sit back down. "Despite what people may say about us, the locals here don't abide by cheaters." When she received no answer, she bent forward, leaning into the man's ear, lowering her voice. "Now, you may think with your flashy cape and little tricks that you've got what it takes to pull a fast one on him, but I'll tell you right now I can see it in your eyes you're hardly a few years away from your mother's teat. Your belligerent silence tells me that much." She straightened up, gesturing towards the door. "If you will, please show yourself out." And here's the aspects I'm going to try to incorporate into the story. We'll see if I'm successful this time around, haha. From the SS generator: Spell Destabilization Characters: The narrow-minded heroine // The aged, obedient cleric who is considered the worst in his/her profession // The tough, whiny bartender [i haven't decided if I actually want to use the middle one yet!] Bonus: A Plot relevant Romance Occurs From Shazi's list of objects: Ancient Plate of Ancientness
  11. i plan to broke it down to parts and stuff win i get done with it The Darkness Inside For A Time I Have Been Feeling The Over Flowing Power Of the Darkness Pulling At Me One day a dark shadow came out of the darkness, in my room and it came up to me and start talking about all this insane stuff I had been doing in my sleep. I started to wonder if I had gone crazy or it was just a dream. Then for some reason out of no where, I answered the dark shadow, "Who are you? I do not know what you're talking about." As a smile, unlike me, showed in the mirror across from my bed, on the wall a weird red glow showed in my eyes. I did not even know what was going on. The voice in my head start to say, "I am your dark side and I'm taking control. I'm sick of being in the shadows and only coming out with your happy go lucky ass goes to sleep or if your in a bad mood for some reason!" I start to think to myself, "I most be going crazy... 'I will just lay down and I will feel better like normal.'" Then the voice in my head said, "Yes, yes go lay down it well make it so much more easier for me. It will better for you if you just go lay down and let me out, like you always do." I looked in the mirror on the wall and I could see that my right eye had gone pure red. I tried to close the one eye or even blink but nothing made it change. Then there was a knock on my door. "Here we go again! Who is it?" There was no answer. "Grrr..." I got up and walked over to the door, right as I was about to open it, there was a knock at my window. I opened my door not paying any attention to the knock at the window. There was no one outside my door but the back door was open. I walked over and closed the door and locked the door. I walked back in my room to my bed, then there was a knock at the window again. It was midnight outside, who could be knocking on my window? I had this feeling that if I looked, it would not be good. I sighed and reached to open the curtain but my right eye start to really burn. Then the voice in my head, that I some how was trying to block out said, "If I was you, I would not do that." Whats out there knocking on the window is not something you can deal with. I'm not even sure I could deal with it. You better go have a look around the house to make sure one of them things, that are out there, are not in here." Stupid me answered the voice in my head, "What do you mean things and what do you mean your not even sure you could deal with it more or less me?" Like I said, your weak, you are to happy, you would not even stand a chance in fighting. If you were asleep, I could probably deal with it myself but your awake and I'm not at my full strength. I have not had any blood in a long time. I looked at the mirror across the room, my right eye was even more red, a very deep red, that you only see in blood. "What do you mean by blood and what do you mean by strength? I never really thought I was weak but what your saying is that I have some super human strenght?" "Yes you fool! Your not even human in the first place! You just forgot what you really are all this time. You have spent so long with these weak humans, which have made you forget who you really are." "What do you mean who I really am? I don't understand." "Well why don't you open that curtain and find out what you really are." "What do you mean find out? I don't get it at all. What the hell are you talking about!" "Why don't you try to smell around for once." I smell everything "Smells normal to me." "Oh my god! You are so hopeless... Fine give me control and I will not take full control. I am you anyways, it wouldn't make a difference if I did take full control or not. You could probably take it back in no time." "Grr... Your making less and less since! I am going to go get something to drink maybe that well help." "Fine... But I warn you I'm pretty sure that whats outside that window is inside this house right now." I get up and walk over to the door then look back at the window. There was a knock on it again. this time a little louder then before. I start to sweat. "Whatever is knocking on my window could probably broke it. Then I would be in big trouble." I walk back over to the window. Right as a I go to open it, I take a deep breath. "What is that smell? It's not normal, it smells sweet with a little smell of there really no other word to it put but shit." I take a step back then memories started to come back to me. Of blood everywhere, blood on the walls, blood on the ceiling, blood on the floor. I looked at myself in the mirror across the room. "That I don't know or do I know what going on." I start to panic, I dropped to one knee. Slowly I take a deep breath. This time the smell of blood was stronger. Something inside me started to thirst for not food, not a soda, but this sweet smell. the voice in my head start to talk again, "Now your starting to get that right, your not human." "What do you mean I'm not human? What about the movies and stuff I've seen about them like walking in sun light and stuff. Like that I do it everyday." The voice in my head, "Yes that why there out there out there, not like you, your not human or a vampire." I start to freak out win he said "vampire." Both of my knees where on the floor now. "What do you mean I don't understand... What the hell are you talking about? Vampire?? What do you mean vampire? Vampires are not real. They are only some stupid legend some kids made up to scary little kids." "You fool they are very real and their here and there's more tham one. This time for the last four months, they have been coming here. One at a time but not this time. They mostly started to come when you started to wake up from you long sleep. You did something really bad when you were young. Then you blocked it all out. You forgot, you block your memories and you made me at the same time to deal with your thirst as well as deal with anything that would come after you." I looked across the room again to the mirror on the wall, this time I got really scared. both of my eyes where blood red. The voice in my head start up again. "Well.. well.. what do we have here? I myself have not seen your eyes this red before. Well not in the times I was in control." "What do you mean? I don't even understand whats going on myself." "Like I said, you started to wake up the power you used to block out your memories. It was not meant to be used for this long and you have not been able to feed in the last two nights. So the blockade that was blocking my voice from reaching you, is now broken. So there for, you can hear me now and the shadow you seen was me coming in." "Okay. So what your saying is I have been using powers... that I had no idea i was using, to block your voice on the nights that i stay up? And why would just two nights of not feeding kill the blockade?" "Because on the nights you stayed up, I only had a little time to look for food. And there so happened be someone close by to feed on." "I'm not even going to ask what happen to them. But if you feed on someone don't they turn in to vampire them selves? What I have seen in books and on tv, that only happens when you drain them of all their blood and give them your blood." As we where talking there was a knock on the window and at the back door this time. "God damn it! I got to deal with this." Some how he gets up but right has he start to get up his head start to hurt terribly. Then some of his memories start to come back to him. About how to fight, read minds and control fire. "What the hell is going on! you did not say that getting my memories back would hurt this much when they came back." "Well I have never seen it done, so... I don't know at all. I know that you will not get them all back at one time, some will come back one at a time. Some will come more then one at a time." He makes a ball of fire in his hand. "Well this is kind cool." As he makes the fire ball bigger and smaller. update again enjoy only came up with a little more for now to be continued
  12. NOTE: This story is subject to all copyright laws in Australia and the U.S, any unauthorised publication of this document in part or in full will be dealt with, with the full force of the Law. ~Talena Part I A lady walked into her basement, face hard and her eyes cold. She looked around the room and nodded, everything was set out just as she liked. An assortment of knives and swords hung on one wall, their blades reflecting the light of the candles. On a little counter sat thumbscrews, needles of varying thicknesses. The Spanish boot, was also on the table, it was boots made of spongy leather, once placed on the person's feet as they were tied on to a table near a large fire. A quantity of boiling water was poured on the boots, which penetrated the leather, ate away the flesh, and even dissolved the bones of the victim. Tucked in one corner was a Scavengers Daughter, the device consisted of one single iron bar that connected iron shackles closing round the victim's hands, feet and neck. This rack positioned the head to the knees of the victim in a sitting position. It compressed the body as to force the blood from the nose and ears. But these would come later, first she wanted to make the men tied to the two tables in the center of the room pay. She walked over and took the smallest knife from the wall then made her way to the man laying nude to the left of the room. Placing the knife on his chest she watched him struggle against the straps that kept him pinned to the table as she tied her hair in a bun on top of her head. They wanted to hurt her, tell her she was wrong, walk all over her for feelings that way. Fine, but they would suffer for it, she was tired of being nice and keeping her mouth shut about all the wrongs they had made against her. Sick of being the one to apologize or smooth things over when she was not in the wrong. The lady was sick of being over looked and not appreciated for all the hard work she did. Picking up the knife she looked the man in the eyes, and with a cold smile on her face, cut her way down his chest. Her smirk grew wider as he yelled through the gag, her eyes then drawn to the line of blood following her knife. The man stopped yelling and she looked up at him. His eyes were closed now, his breathing rapid. Sighing she moved away and cleaned the knife before slipping it back into place. On her way back to the unconscious man she picked up a bucket of water and splashed it in his face. "Wake up, I have not finished with you." She taunted.
  13. Prologue: The smoke had started to clear and the noise began to slowly drift off into silence. The young man awoke face first in a puddle of blood and he could feel the pain burning like an inferno. If only he had been stronger he thought as he clutched he side with blood dripping from the hole in his armor. He got up slowly and looked at the remains of what was once a beautiful field now turned to a graveyard populated by the bodies of the recently deceased. As he hobbled along he noticed the bodies of his comrades and what few of the enemy they managed to kill. By all rights he thought he should be dead but fate tends to be a cruel mistress always twisting the destinies of man into her choosing. He headed straight never to look back for he knew he had a purpose now and that was to stop the Followers of the Blood Moon. He would topple the government and rip the world asunder to do so because they were the ones responsible for the corruption that turned brother against brother and the death of his family. Only time will tell if this man is truly powerful enough to rebel against this dark fate that casts its shadow on a once bright tomorrow. please tell me what you think and also if you want to join the story please just give me the usual details and ill see if I can work it out and please guys give me some critiquing along the way
  14. A small buzz in her pocket altered Jenovette to a coming message. She waited until her teacher at the front turned his back before getting out her phone, a rather new discovery. She smiled a little to herself and sat up as straight as she could in her cramped wooden desk, ripping a piece of of the light pink paper in the notebook in front of her and tossed it at the head of the sender. His neck length black hair, which was so sleek and well styled, was barely disturbed by the paper ball with her response. He grabbed it before it fell to the floor and straightened it. When he read her message, he caught her attention and pretended to drink. She smiled again and nodded a little. The date was set. Jenovette turned back to her teacher, who was starting to hand out thick packets. “We’re going to start discussing the founding of civilization that we know of today. Can anyone tell me who the Mermaid Goddess appointed king of…” He stopped to think. “Machinae was?” She kept her hand down when everyone else’s shot up. Machinae was a terrible place with a dictator that tightly controlled his people. She shuddered a little and slipped her hand into the front pocket on her black dress, feeling around for the piece of metal inside. According to mother, it was a piece of a crown the last king of Dix wore. She shuddered but found that piece, holding it for a few seconds then putting it back where it was. The other pieces of the crown were distributed all over the world, never to be whole again. She never really understood why. When she saw her classmates standing up, she followed suit after putting the things on her desk into her bag. She walked over to the boy from earlier, maneuvering through desks. When she was close, she stood behind him and fixed the collar of the black shirt he wore. “Sup Jen?” She shrugged and hugged him from behind, the back of his head pressing into her chest. He rubbed the back of his head. “If you’re going to wear that locket, at least have it in plain sight. “ He stood up, pulling his shirt down a little and propping his foot up on his desk to tie his shoe. “The bell is taking too long. Let’s blow this popsicle stand.” He grabbed his bag and took her hand, leading her towards the exit. “Blair! Where do you think you’re going?”: Dom’s cheeks flushed bright red. He didn’t allow anyone to refer to him by his first name, not even his teachers. “The bell is late and Jenovette and I have places to be.” He opened the door but Jenovette stopped short. “We should stay until the bell rings, Dom.” He shrugged and leaned against a desk.After a few minutes of quietly entertaining themselves with newly rediscovered technology, the bell rang and the class soon emptied, Dom and Jenovette leading the way. The skirt of her dress was lined with white lace and ribbon, the top mostly black. It was common dress for a girl of Jenovette’s age in Dix. Boys also wore rather dark colors, but it was mandatory wear at school for it to be a black dress with white, blue or pink lace and ribbon edging or trim, with white stockings and black feminine shoes for girls and black button down collared shirts with matching dark pants and dress shoes for boys. It read in the dress code pamphlet that it was to preserve the dress culture of old Dix, the Dix before the war that merged it with its much lighter counterpart. Jenovette shuddered a little. She’d read and heard terrible things about that war, and it was all things that her country had done. But now instead of a king, they had a chancellor, which turned out to be essentially the same thing. The ways of the government confused her endlessly, but the textbooks she was given proclaimed that having a chancellor was the best way to be ruled, because he often allowed commoners to come see him privately if there were big concerns. That had to be good, right? Dom shook her shoulders. “We have places to be, Jen.” He took her hand and they left, going down a few long hallways crowded with students in their dark attire and staff, most also wearing dark attire. When they made it out, they waved at everyone who spoke to them and walked across the street. The streets were dark, but the sun was shining so right now they seemed more a dark grey. At night, they would be lit with a light blue light that edged the curbs, just one of the many wonders the post apocalyptic world was able to do with the old technology left behind that was being rediscovered every day. When they were walking along the line of tree that bordered the park, there was a loud whinnying that caught Jenovette’s attention right away. She tugged Dom forward and started to run towards the sound, stopping short when she saw what made the sound. Leaning against a tree was a tall, snow white horse-like form. Its lion tail beat hard against the trunk and it kicked an all who came near with its cloven hooves.that shone violently in the afternoon sun. It took Jenovette a few minutes to realize that its hooves were made of clear crystal, and that its head was bleeding profusely. It turned and lunged at Dom, aiming to kick his skull in. He jumped out of the way quickly and backed away. “Get away from that thing! It’s going to hurt you!” Jenovette shook her head. “It’s not lunging at me. It needs my help.” She turned to it and extended her hands, allowing it to smell her and slowly put her hand on its quivering, bloody nose, gently stroking it. She tried hard not to be scared. Unicorns were exceptionally rare, especially in this area. If they still lived, it would have been in a place faraway, in a forest protected by the Mermaid Goddess herself. The unicorn grunted tossed its head, blood spewing all over the place. The sight of its blood frightened it even more and it reared, those crystal cloven hooves beating at the air. When it lowered, it nosed her hand hard. After a closer look, she saw that it had a hole in between its eyes, right below the horn. “Someone tried to kill you. But who?” It grunted again and tossed its head at the sight of her black lacquer locket, which only held a mirror and a note from an old friend, the chain dangling from its mouth while it ate it. She didn’t know how to react. In the last few minutes, she not only saw a unicorn, pet a unicorn, and had actual unicorn splashed on her by a unicorn, she also had a unicorn eat one of her most prized possessions. While it chewed on it, the bleeding hole on its forehead slowly closed. It nosed her hand again and lowered its head, allowing Jenovette to touch the crystal spiraled horn. “Thank you for healing me.” She turned and looked around. “Who said that?”
  15. As the title suggests, this is just a quick little prologue to a story I was trying to write. I could give background info on everything involved if you asked really really nicely but its not mandatory to understand the story. I have almost given up on it, and would like some opinions as to whether I should continue or not. That being said, here it is. -------------------------------- Cailan heard the faint sound of footsteps approach. He forced himself to sit with his back to the wall of the room. The room was more of a prison cell made for the purpose of hiding a prisoner. Breathing in, he could smell a faint lilac scent. Inwardly he groaned, he knew what this meant, they were back for more. As he opened his eyes a female voice sang out “Well… ready to help us yet, hmmm?” Cailan stared into the face of one of his captors. A girl slightly older than him stared back. She had black hair that reached half way down her back that framed her tan face. “What do you think, Airis?” he growled as he spit the last of his food at her. “Oh, come now! All this could stop…..” “Why would I help you? I love you, I gave you everything and you betrayed me… for my childhood friend!? Why would I join you?” “Well then, I guess we need to see how much more you can take.” She turned her back on her and yelled “Come on then, I guess we get to have some fun.” Almost instantly, Cailan could hear the doors opening, footsteps approached and a man’s face appeared, his childhood friend Hayten. Hayten stood even with Cailan, yet a head taller than the average man. Leaning down, he placed his muscular arm around Airis, kissing her briefly. “Well then…” he half whispered to her, as he fumbled with the keys to unlock the prison door. As the door opened, he quickly walked in grabbing Cailan and pulling him with him. Too weak to fight back, Cailan allowed himself to be dragged along to another room, where they restrained him in a chair. “Come on Cai, you should just join us already!” Airis’ soft voice chimed from across the room. Looking into her hard set eyes, Cai replied “Go to hell!” A swift slap caught him across the face. “That is no way to talk to a lady.” “Some lady you are, using me like that. Hayt if I were you, I’d be worried that she’d do the same.” Cai screamed as a sharp edge of a knife sliced into his chest. For what seemed like half a day, Cai was treated to a series of cuts, that Airis than took the time to heal. Finally Cai was dragged back to his cell. “If only you would join us… We won’t have the patience for this much longer.” Hayten exclaimed. In too much pain, and too tired to care, Cailan curled into a ball and fell asleep. When he awoke several hours later, he was staring into the hazel eyes of a young lady. As she noticed him open his eyes, she drew back. He noticed that she had long blonde hair that framed her pale face. He couldn’t be sure if it was just the light, but he couldn’t help but notice how pretty she was. As he tried to stand up, she quickly pushed him back down. “No no no! Don’t get up, you need to rest.” She seemed to be naturally speaking, but it came out in a sing-song voice. Again he noticed how pretty this made her seem. He took note of his surroundings and realized with a start, he was no longer in the prison, but in a plainly furnished room. “Now lay there for a minute well I go get you some food.” He stared at her and watched her leave, taking note of how the clothes she wears accented her body perfectly. His heart ached. He muttered “how can I find someone after all that has happened.” She returned carrying a tray and when he tried to sit up, she flicked her hand and he found himself on his back, unable to move. “That’s a nifty trick” he got out before she put a finger to her lips. Setting the tray down she picked up the spoon and began to slowly feed Cailan some broth. “Well, look at how weak you are. How did you manage to survive this far? I saved you, you know. You were being held in a hidden room in my fiancé’s house. I say fiancé…. It wasn’t my idea, it was forced I don’t even like him. My name is Alvina by the way, what did you say yours was?” Finding it difficult to talk while staring at his girl, Cai swallowed a couple times before saying “My name is Cailan, thank you for getting me out of Hayten’s house.” Alvina gasped. “How did you know his name? Wait! You are that friend he said he had right? The one he said would always help him? Seems he was wrong. Now back to sleep with you.” She whispered with a light swing of her hand, not that it mattered as Cailan was already asleep.
  16. NOTE: This story is subject to all copyright laws in Australia and the U.S, any unauthorised publication of this document in part or in full will be dealt with, with the full force of the Law. ~Talena 1 Jessica was being pulled along by her friends’ one on each arm, her long brown hair in a pig tail flowing behind her and blue eyes sparkling with impatience, a frown on her lips. She had been in her room studying her spells for the upcoming tests when the door slammed open and both girls took her by the arms telling her it was time to watch the up coming tournament. If she could do all her spells on a trained mercenary she would pass, she could get her staff. All of the Healers had to know basic spells of healing, extra defence, speed enhance, mind strength, revive, all heal, strength plus, accuracy and bull hit. Jessica was far from the best healer in her group but she had a quick mind and that enabled her to get through to where she was. As was the practice since the school was founded that all the Mercenaries would have a tournament to celebrate the upcoming new graduates so they were informed. The Mercenaries would walk into the stadium with their wives or healing partners and battle one another for the title of champion. Then the ending battle was all of the graduating Mercenaries and Healers would fight against the two best mercenaries of the night. The one thing Jessica was worried about was if the mercenary she were assigned to refused to keep her, for if he did not bed her within a year she would be passed onto another mercenary, and some of them could be cruel. Her third year friend Amanda who had her left arm was one healer who passed from man to man. She was beaten pretty bad by a few because in the fighting she could not keep him alive, but once the fighting was over she went back and revived him, only to be beaten nearly to death when he came back to himself. Mary on her other arm was with her mercenary still, one day out of graduation she was bonded to Clinton Smith, and the rumour mill was saying he asked for her. With her friends’ giggling, away to each other Jessica was trying to remember all the movements, luckily her friends did not know that she had the little practice staff with her at all times. Unlike the twig like wands the mages used, the staffs made to the size of the healers’ chest and stomach; it was thicker also with ribbons hanging from each end. Amanda and Mary stopped and Jessica not realising walked into them, they pushed there way to the front of the crowed lining the balcony then shoved Jessica before them. Sitting down, she looked around at the stadium in a bit of shock, torches were placed everywhere to fight back the approaching darkness, at opposite ends of the fighting circle there were two stone archways covered with what looked like vines. Near the circle was a table with three men already seated all older mercenaries by the look of the tattered armour and battle scars on their faces. Close by a mage was leaning against one of the pillars her wand at her belt. Straightening she walked over to the men then bowed low to all three, pulling out her wand the pointed it at the man in the middle. After a brief nod, she was surrounded in a white light, a few moments later, it faded and she walked back to the pillar. A wizened voice boomed over the arena as great torches were lit to shine light into the arena in preparation for the next match, “Ladies and gentleman! Healers, Rangers, Mercenaries, Magi, and citizens alike! Welcome to this years Healers Graduation Ceremony! Where Mercenaries duel on the Healers behalf to show their thanks in proving that they are fit enough to due their duty and protect you!” The crowd road it is approval as two people appeared under great archways of carved vines. “Our first match, my good people, may very well cost us a new stadium as our up and coming mercenary, Jyro Skelts, faces off our own living legend, Scott Channers!” As second roar filled the stadium as every unbonded Healer looked toward Scott and a collective sigh spread throughout as a well-built man walked out from the shadowed arch. He had short dusty hair that had look of being cropped with an angular face; his eyes were the colour of steel and seemed to see right past you as if you did not matter. A puckering scar was drawn across his neck as if someone had once slit it open. Jessica felt her breath catch when she caught his stoic expression that made him look more like a creature of granite than flesh, but growled at the sight of his current Healer clinging to his arm in a skintight uniform. Jessica heard her friends whispering to themselves about him as she watched the Ranger referees enter the arena and the three judges left the centre of the field to sit their own respective holdings, “Mm... I would not mind being his healer. I hear he is payed even more than the Lord Marshall himself and has never lost any partner in a fight,” muttered Amanda to Mary. “And even if he wasn't paid well, he's definitely cute enough to make up for it,” Mary giggled. Jessica just sat their quietly, listening to them talk and giggle while watching Scott's Healer, Mariam, take her position on the field. She wished she could be partnered with him, but her wish was just as unlikely as every other unbonded healer in the stadium was. “Hey Jessica, you know Mariam is allowed to be with him for a few more weeks before he is re-paired for the god knows how many times,” Amanda whispered to her as if reading her thoughts. Jessica blushed silently as the referees took their places and the wizards’ voice boomed over the audience again. “Looks like they are ready to start the match, and there's the signal!” She shouted as a red arrow shot into the sky and exploded. The two swords men rushed at each other, Jyro with his sword at waist level and pointed towards Scott and Scott with his sword still in the sheathe but holding the grip backwards for a reverse draw. As the distance between the two warriors closed, the audience seemed to silence themselves as the two Healers quickly tried to get the buffs ready to cast. At the last possible moment, Scott slid to the left of Jyro, creating a red aura around himself before arching his sword out of it’s sheathe and towards his opponent. A small ball of fire flew form Scott’s' sword and hitting Jyro in the chest, before he had a chance to move the sword was thrust onto his chest plate then quickly removed. Jessica looked at Jyro's healer as she was working over time, that hit must have half killed him, as heal spell right after heal spell was cast so quick that her staff looked like a blur of movement. A cry went up from the crowd and Jessica’s' eyes flew back to Scott, his opponent was charging at him, Jyro's weapon arcing from his head down across Scott's chest. Mariam in a hurry to get away from the attack tripped over her own feet and exposed herself to everyone watching. Jessica gave a little snicker then gasped as she realised that Scott was without protection, she grabbed her practice staff, no bigger then her hand, and cast a healing spell over the gasping Scott. The spell worked and he quickly glanced up to where Jessica was. She turned a deep red, giving away what she guessed he already knew. Scott glared at Mariam still trying to cover her body and in a blur of quick hits had his opponent on the floor. Jyro swung his sword up seeking to slice Scott in half, but Scott sidestepped so quickly Jessica gasped. Meriams' Quick movement spell had worn off, for him to step so quickly and with little effort was remarkable. Looking at Scott closely Jessica noticed a little twitch in his eye, so with out thinking she sent another heal spell and a bulls hit. Scott’s eye stopped moving and quickly he spun, his sword hilt pulled close to his waist and with each rotation a green light kept getting brighter and his arms moved up. On the last rotation, Scott had his sword in one hand and his other parallel to his body. Jyro went flying through the air landing at his healer's feet at the same time Scott went into a crouch for the next move. Scott rushed forward his sword dragging on the ground, gold light encircled him, and a chain wrapped itself around the sword. The voice amplified by magic called out around the stadium once more. "What an exciting match, the winner of round one... Scott!" The crowd screamed as Scott was released from the bindings, turning he walked over to the archway stepping over the disgraced girl. "Oh god Jess did you see that?" Mary asked her jumping up and down "He was brilliant, he moved so quickly and that fire ball he used. Wow!" Jessica nodded at her friend, too shocked that she cast healing spells when it was not her duty. She looked down at the fighting circle to see Mariam looking right at her, with her armour back on fully she was extremely red and from the looks of things somehow knew Jessica cast the spells. "To think he is only a fifth year, to earn that much money and be one of the best fighters out there." Amanda rambled, "You know, he must be gay or something." "He is not!" Jessica replied heatedly, placing her hands on her hips and looking up at Amanda, her soft face growing hard at the idea that the person she so wanted to be paired with was gay. "Oh are you sure, he has not bonded to any healer for five years Jess. Even if you ask at the whore houses they will tell you he is no visitor of theirs." Amanda wiggled a finger at Jessica, "How could any man with that many healers and whores after him not bed a single one?" Jessica kept her mouth shut, just because he had not done it here did not mean he did not do it elsewhere, or that his self discipline was that strong he could do without having sex with someone. Mary grabbed Jessica by the arm and pointed to the drink stand over the other side of the crowd, nodding Jessica let Mary pull her through the crowds of people. As they walked passed some closed doors Jessica heard a raised voice. "How could you let some want to be cast heal on you?" they recognized the voice as Mariam, "I was getting around to healing you I just..." "You just fucked up, instead of trying to show how good you think your body is, try showing how good your skills are." Scott countered cruelly. Mary pulled Jessica away before more could be heard, a small smile on her lips. Mary was saying something and Jessica turned her attention back to her friend. "-Clinton won't be fighting in this tournament, he said there was no way in hell he would fight against Scott, not with his first babe on the way." Jessica stopped in her tracks stunned. Mary had gone a shade of red and was playing with a tuft of grass with her foot. "Mary that’s great, congrats!" Jessica hugged her "Oh when are you due?" "Not for a while yet, Jess" she replied holding her friend "But we are both looking forward to it. Clinton doesn't want me in the circle is the real reason he is not fighting, he is so used to my skills he wants no other." "That is sweet of him, I hope I get someone like Clinton, he is so nice to you." "Yes he is," Mary said letting go, "now let’s get a drink before Scott’s next fight." They walked over to the stand, bought two cherry sherbets, and took a seat at the table. After a little bit of idle chatting Jessica asked, "Mary if you think Clinton is so good, why do you get into a flutter when Scott is mentioned?" Smiling Mary looked at her friend "He is the best of the best Jess, think of it, the second year after he finished school he was promoted to the second in command, and because he still does field training and missions he is well payed. Not to mention he is handsome even if he is a little cold and distant, every healer has said the same thing, when he talks it is straight to the point, no side stepping with him. I love Clinton, but I romanticise about Scott." Jessica looked at Mary too stunned to move, a tap on her shoulder made her jump. Looking back, she looked into Amanda’s smiling face. "Come on you two it's time for Scott's second fight, he is up against Pat Miller and it's going to be one hell of a fight, let's go!" Amanda grabbed them both by the arms and started pulling them back towards the arena and to their places, once again pushing Jessica to the front. They arrived to see Scott coming out of the arch again, looking more cold and angry then before. The Red arrow released and exploded, so quick was Scott with his attack that both Pat and his healer were caught off guard. Scott had pulled out his sword and in the same sweeping motion slammed it into the ground, sending an Earth attack straight through the circle. Pieces of the paving went flying into the barrier that protected the spectators, but the barrier was weak and parts of the shrapnel went into the crowd. Jessica ducked as one part large enough to knock her head from her shoulders, and turning followed its path through the sky landing harmlessly behind everyone. Jessica spun in time to see Scott push Mariam away from him and storm into the darkness of the archway, not waiting for the announcement. Jessica was stunned by the power of the attack, like most people, she fell to her knees, such strength and skill to wield his weapon thus, and not hurt anyone was a shock for all. No wonder he was the best, and pushing Mariam away like that took some guts. Everyone said that she could be a right bitch when she was denied what she wanted, and it was obvious to all that she wanted Scott. Jessica smiled and looked to her friends’ on their knees behind her; they were both grinning like fools. Amanda jumped up and started clapping and stamping her feet, laughing Jessica stood and started applauding with her. Soon the whole gathering went wild and the Announcer call out "Another outstanding victory for Scott Channers, ladies and gentlemen please don’t move another exciting match is coming up as soon as the work team gets our circle back together!" Amanda pulled Jessica close so only she could hear what was said "Jess did you see that, Mariam tried to hold him! She put her arms around him and pressed herself against Scott, I couldn't see his face but he pushed her away." Both girls laughed as the fighting circle was repaired and barriers were put back into place and strengthened, someone would be in trouble for the weakness, it was the graduating mages that should have been holding the barrier in place, when they find who caused the weak spot they would not be graduating this year. The Rangers were patrolling the city so no one would think to rob and attack while everyone else was enjoying their time at the stadium. "Are you glad we pulled you away from studies for this?" Asked Mary in all innocence "How would you feel if you had missed the excitement?" "I would have been upset, thank you both for kidnapping me and forcing me to watch." Jessica joked with them, hitting Mary softly on the head with her practice staff; it sent all three of them into laughing fits again. The healers around them looked as though the three had lost their minds, seeing to looks on the faces around them just made them laugh even more. The next match was also over rather quick with Darren Quill nearly killing his opponent and his healer Tess, the Rangers were forced to restrain him just as they did with Scott in his first match. During the half and hour break the girls used the restroom and went for a walk around the quiet streets Jessica let them do all the talking, she thought she had done enough for this night. She also could not get over the look of calm on Scott’s' face, it was if he was just out for a stroll not at all would one think he was about to nearly kill god knows how many people. Still lost in her thoughts she walked into something, and fell with and unlady like thump. Looking up she felt her face go red. Standing there looking down at her was Scott, his hand on the hilt of his sword a stony expression set on his face. Jessica quickly scrambled to her feet and bowed low, “I-I’m sorry my Lord, I wasn't watching where I was walking.” Daring a glance up she watched Scotts' retreating back, as it looked like he was brushing his armour down. Jessica turned pale then red again. Running up after Scott, Mariam shot a laughing glance at Jessica and followed him. Amanda and Mary rushed over to her and both put there arms around her. When they asked if she was ok and only got the word 'tall' out of her, they both burst into laughter releasing her to hold their sides. Amanda gasping through her tears rasped “Jess everyone looks tall when your on your butt.” Jessica laughed along with them, seeing the humour in what happened but a feeling of being insignificant still crept over her. After they had laughed themselves out, they all made there way back to the stadium. Both of them using Jessica as support to get them there, Looking behind her Jessica saw Scott closing the distance between himself and the three of them. Jessica thought she saw a brief expression cross his face as he passed them looking her up and down, letting Amanda go. She reached behind herself and nearly fell over. The back of her dress had ridden up, exposing the bottom half of her backside. Turning a deep red, she quickly pulled it down; grateful no one else was around to see. Rounding the corner all three stopped, Scott was there talking to Clinton. “Pity Clinton, I was looking forward to fighting you.” He said glancing at all three of them. Clinton looked over to find his bond mate still clinging onto Jessica and rushed over concern written all over his face. He took Mary and held her tight, then stepped back to look her up and down. “What’s the matter Mary, are you ill?” He asked “Not to worry Clinton, she had a laughing fit at me and as you see, still has yet to get over it.” “Laughing,” He looked doubtful “what the hell was she laughing at?” “Well...” Jessica replied looking to where Scott had disappeared around a corner, “I was walking and not watching where I was going, I walked into Lord Channers and fell over.” A grin spread over Clinton's' face, “I would like to know how he does it.” He mused aloud “W-what do you mean?” Jessica inquired a blush covering her face once more. “That, how he makes all the ladies love him when they haven't even met him.” Jessica glared at Clinton and continued her way to the arena with Amanda following her chuckling softly. As it was the final match of the tournament, all of the graduating healers had to make there way to the area right next to the circle. Jessica hugged Amanda and followed her peers, wishing she were able to skip this part. Being so close to such a strong Mercenary is a trial in itself; Jessica swore that she would not act like the other girls. She was going to stand up straight look him in the eye then look away, he was just a man after all. The announcer called out to the expecting crowd; “Now Mercenaries, Healers, Magi, Rangers and all of our spectators, I would like to offer first our congratulations to tomorrows graduating students.” A round of applause followed as Jessica looked up to see her friends waiving at her, she smiled and looked back to the fighting circle, she could still see the cracks form the Earth strike Scott did. “Thank you all,” said the announcer, “now introducing first Former tournament winner and our first finalist Scott Channers!” The girls around Jessica started whispering to each other, the closet one to her stating she was glad she wore her best dress. Scott walked out of the archway with Mariam once again clinging to his arm, as Jessica watch she could she the muscles in his right arm bunch up, relax and bunch again. She could not help but think that Mariam should run and run fast, that is what any sane person would have done. She snapped back to herself as the announcer called out once more. “And our runner up two tournaments in a row, please let’s have a hand for our very own Darren Quill, and this years graduating fighters!” After the space of a heart beat, the clapping died away and the voice was back “As our graduating Healers enter the field, please give a round of applause to encourage them in doing a good job on their graduating test. The test is simple, each graduate will be assigned to a graduating Mercenary and will have to do her best to buff and heal him during what is going to be an all out death match.” A gasp ran through the graduating Healers, as the judges randomly placed each Healer with a mercenary. All of the Mercenaries were allowed to fight in the tournament, but this final fight was also the graduating test for the mercenary’s students and healing students. “Scott and Darren are to be this year’s graduation test. The two who fought from the beginning of the tournament testing the skills of other mercenaries are here to challenge these would be mercenaries in their ability to work as a group.” Jessica saw some girl with strawberry locks assigned to Scott, who then glanced down at her. The girl's face went a brighter red than her hair. Jessica found herself paired with a man named John, who was trying to graduate for the second time. He told her not to worry about anything around her he would protect her well. Feeling a lump in her throat at those words, Jessica was hit by a wave of nervousness. The announcer cleared his voice and began talking, erasing any thoughts that Jessica was having, “Graduates, please take your positions, fighters ready?” the sound of wind being sliced ripped through the stadium as a hundred swords left their sheathes. “When the arrow explodes, you fight.” An arrow arched into the air and time seemed to slow down as each fighter tensed into readiness. Suddenly, a red light appeared over the stadium, a loud roar filled everyone’s ears, as the clash of steel on steel, and blade on armour pierced the very soul of person there. Before Jessica had known what happened, John was bleeding from multiple spots and dead bodies laid strewn around him, the once green grass around the edge of the circle turning brown from the blood that flowed from everyone. Fumbling over herself, she began casting healing spell after healing spell over John, trying to ignore the death around her and screaming protests her stomach was making over the smell of blood and death. Magi ran in and out of the arena, teleporting the dead and their respective Healers to the hospital tent. John charged forward and she quickly followed him, trying to heal as she ran. All the while, the idea that school training was never this rough filtered in and out of her mind. Jessica thought she saw Scott, his body glowing dark purple charge towards them, but in the end would never be sure. She blinked and looked around; she was suddenly in the hospital tent. Looking to her side, she saw John lying face first in the dirt, a large hole where his heart and lungs should have been. Feeling her eyes growing wider and wider, she stepped backwards away from him, a scream forming in her mouth. However, before she could, she felt the relaxing presence of an Arch Healer enter her thoughts and the scream died in her throat. As she watched, the same Arch Healer slowly rebuilt John from the inside out. Numbly, her mind recognised the spell as a mass healing spell. Sitting onto a bench to shake, Jessica watched John turn a merry pink colour and he began coughing up residual blood in his throat. Getting up, he looked at over at her and smiled. “Good job kid, if I was judging, I would say you graduated with flying colours. Just try not to panic so much, ok? This wasn't nearly as bad as the real deal.” He patted her on the head and walked out of the tent. “The real deal, He means that these missions that I hear so much about are worse than this?” A shudder shivered down her spine at the thought and made her wonder what in the Pit had possessed her to become a Healer. “How could I pass, I let him die. My spells were slow and I couldn't even keep John alive, I may as well give back my staff now, little good I will be to anyone.” “Now I wouldn't say that dear.” The Arch healer said sitting close her smiling gently. “You out lasted most, and besides in the heat of the moment you were right behind him, healing as you should be.” “But my Lady-” Jessica started “No 'buts' Jessica, trust me I was out quicker then you were when I graduated” The Arch Healer smiled fully now, her age lined face transforming giving her a warm glow “go out and watch the rest of the fight, its something you don't want to miss.” Jessica stood and bowed to the Healer, her heart feeling lighter. Rushing out of the tent Jessica spotted her peers sitting at some benches drinking and chatting, she made her way over and sat down with Sandy and was passed a drink. Sipping it, her eyes were drawn to the fighting circle; Scott was still there as was Darren and someone Jessica had never seen. Darrens' healer was Muffy, and it looked like she was losing her strength. Darren dispatched an unknown person getting a few injuries in the process; Muffy could not heal him and collapsed at his feet. A mage teleported in and touching her shoulder vanished, Jessica heard Darren curse and mumble something about a lack of stamina. Jessica’s' eyes were then drawn to Scott; the man truly was a monster. He was standing there his sword sitting on his shoulder, a slight smirk on his lips. The strawberry girl was nowhere to be seen, and Jessica wondered if the same thing happened to her just like Muffy. On even footing now Darren and Scott stood still, one of the healers said that in fighting one waits for his opponent to make a move. A feather was slowly drifting to the floor and both men tensed, Jessica wished the feather was not so light the anticipation was killing her. The feather slowly touched the ground, and as quick as a flash both men were locked sword to sword in the centre of the ring. Scott knocked Darren back and before he could stand Scott raised his sword so it pointed at the night sky, and with a coldly detached look, a blue light surrounded him. Slowly Scott pointed the weapon at Darren; a blue crystal shot from his sword and pierced Darren through the chest. Two magi appeared in ring each touching Darren and transported him out of the circle; Scott slammed his sword point first into the ground and knelt with his head bowed. “Gathered people; our tournament is finished with Scott Channers the winner once more!” The rather tired voice boomed. “The Arch Healer Hillary will now present your Champion!” A mage appeared with the woman who healed John; as soon as the mage left, Hellary stepped forward, glow after glow engulfed Scott as he knelt there. When the last of the healing spells had faded away she pulled out a sword from her robes, Scott rose to his feet leaving the sword in place as would it stay until the next tournament took place. “Scott Channers you fought well on this night and we thank you for honouring us with your skills once more, I offer you this sword in thanks and trusting you will continue to use it to help in our fight.” Applause filled the night air as the weapon was placed into Scott’s' hands. He bowed his head and the Arch Healer vanished, drawing the sword Scott went through a quick series of movements before putting it away once more and moving into the shadows of the archway. “We thank you all for coming but the hour grows late and our graduating parties must retire” Called a now hoarse voice once more. “Safe trip home and we hope to see you all tomorrow for the Healers graduation!” The Sunrise saw Jessica out on the roof doing her morning exercises, as her teachers said; a strong body makes a strong mind, even if she could not fight like a mercenary at least she could defend herself until help came. Finishing her last move, The Snap, she jumped into the air with the fake staff-twirling landing in a crouch with the staff sweeping away from her body. She stood up straight and stretched her back this afternoon was the ceremony. Jessica had time yet to do some more exercises and then head down for her meditation, suddenly the door snapped open behind her spinning on the spot she saw Mariam stepped into the sunlight. Once Mariam's eyes adjusted she spotted Jessica looking at her, no one else was around. A smile spread across her face as she walked over to the girl, pulling out her staff. “Morning,” Mariam said giving her staff a twirl. “Out early aren't you?” “Morning to you Mariam, no I am normally out at this time its quiet.” “Care to practice with me?” Mariam asked looking side ways at Jessica, “I could use a good work out.” Not waiting for an answer Mariam swung her staff aiming for Jessica’s' head, but Jessica guessing the other girls intentions ducked under the blow and aimed her staff towards Mariams' Stomach. Soon the sound of wood cracking against wood filled the air and each girl deflected blows, Mariam swung and hit Jessica across the face. Using the momentum of the hit Jessica turned the same way bringing the staff across the back of Mariam's head, cursing Mariam healed herself and stood to continue her attack when a commanding voice bellowed. “Stop, that is enough!” Both girls turned to see Scott step out of the doorway heading right for them, Jessica bowed low. “Mariam, this is your last day as my healer, I have spoken to the Lord Marshall and he agreed that you are not the best healer for me.” He looked coldly at them both. “Seeing this display shows me all the more how unsuitable of a possible bond-mate you are for me, pathetic.” Scott spat at Mariam. Jessica straightened at the information, it was unusual. Normally there were no partings until the day exactly one year after first meeting, when the healer would move into the room next to the mercenary and follow him all day. When he slept was the only time she had to get her belongings, as the rooms were be-spelled with barriers and a healer would cast her own spells before she left. Scott must be something special for them to allow him this change. Scott looked at Jessica, “Your moves are slow, but considering you were up against a seventh year opponent, to get in one hit was a good achievement, keep up your practice soon you will be quicker.” He turned and walked off Mariam followed with her head down. That was something Jessica did not know, how could Mariam be a seventh year and not bonded? Maybe all the mercenaries saw through the body and did not want her in the end. Nevertheless, Jessica could not find any pity for her; she rubbed her face and looked at the sun, the thought of him praising her made her blush slightly until the town bells rang outgiving out the time. Panicking, she rushed in through the door, her fight lasted longer then she thought. She would only just be in time for the purification baths if she hurried. Running blindly around the corner she hit something and landed on her back the steps digging into her. “We meet again,” said a voice above her, sending chills down her spine “one would think you enjoy falling at my feet.” Jessica blushed and quickly pulled down the light armour that had risen high enough for Scott to get a good look at her under clothes, standing up she rushed off calling out a quick apology on her way. Jessica was the second to last at the teleportation pad, a mage touched her on the shoulder and transported to the hot springs, then the mage touched someone wanting to go back and disappeared. Looking around Jessica felt herself start to relax, a sixth year graduate walked over to her. “Jessica Stevens, Ranger Stevens Daughter?” she inquired. “Yes that is me but please, don't mention my father.” Jessica pleaded, her father was one of the elite Ranger troupes, he bonded to Pearl Henry his mage and after a few months, Jessica was conceived. Pearl was also a top mage but in this life style the men were more important then the women. “I got here on my own and that’s how I would like to be remembered, father had nothing to do with my getting here.” “Sorry to cause offense Jessica, please if you would follow me your pool is waiting.” The girls led Jessica around all the other pools and a bit feather back then the rest of the people there, and then gave her quick instructions on how to bathe in the pool. After the girl had left Jessica stripped and cupped her hands in the warm water, splashing it down her body. She then looked into a mirror, taking a moment to admire her petite, athletic body. Then she slowly stepped into the pool, enjoying the feel of the warm water on her legs and sat down slowly. The calming air around her nearly caused her to sleep, but pulling herself out of the lull, Jessica washed her body as instructed. Starting at her head, Jessica washed her hair until it shone, then worked her way slowly down her body. Once Jessica was sure, she was clean and smelling of roses, she stepped out of the hot spring. She quickly towed her body dry, stepping into her ceremonial light armour. All the Healers hoping to graduate had to wear them, if the girl did not graduate this year she could keep it for next. She had a medium pink uniform, the tights she was to wear with them, a lighter pink then the armour. Starting with the tights she pulled them on hurriedly, time was not her friend now. Her boots came next; they were the same pink as the armour and came up to her knees. The armour was a tight fit; made to her body, unlike the too tight one Mariam wore. It cupped her small round breasts perfectly with little clear straps for over her shoulders; it flared out a little over her hips with a split in the front that left her feeling exposed. Looking down she knew it was not the case, but she still felt naked. Looking over to a table with a mirror, she saw several gold plates laying on it bearing the emblem of the Healers. Walking over to the table, she sat down on the stool, brushed and plated her hair. Looking satisfied at her reflection in the mirror; she walked over to a Magi standing nearby and was teleported to the Graduation Hall. Blinking her vision into focus, Jessica began walking up the steps towards the Graduation Hall, parents all around celebrating the graduation of their children. Sighing to herself, Jessica knew her parents would not be among the crowd of on-lookers. As she approached the arched doorway, a Master Healer handed her a seat number. Looking at the number, she found her seat in the back corner of the auditorium and sat down. As Healers filed in on side of the room, Mercenaries began filling up the other half of the room. Jessica watched silently as healers and mercenaries chattered amiably with each other and many hoping they are partnered with their crushes. As the noise in the room began to rise steadily until all the noises just seemed to be a dull drone that pounded away at the inside of Jessica's mind, the teachers of both the Healers Hall and the Mercenary College made their way to a stage that was taller than her easily. A loud shout echoed over the room, making everyone bounce and notice the teachers a top the stage waiting to start the ceremonies, parents seated behind them on a raised platform. Seeing the humorous impatience on their faces, the students hurried to their respective seats as if the Lord Marshal had just made a surprise appearance. An old woman, walked forward from the group of one other healer and two mercenary lords, leaning heavily on her cane. The woman, Juliene, was the Grand arch Master of Healing in the Kingdom. She cleared her voice and started the ceremony, “Ladies and gentleman! Today is the day we mark the closure of your time here in these hallowed halls and the day you start your next adventure in your chosen professions!” Applause came forth as Juliene paused for a breath and turned to face the parents, her voice strong yet soft. “Each of your children here has done their best to be the greatest people of skill, honor, and integrity that have ever walked before us in times past. For this, you should be most proud.” A second applause followed as she turned to address the students. Chuckling lightly herself, “Now then, I have an orb here that was created during times long forgotten that have been pairing our fighters and healers since before our history was written.” She gestured to a glowing red orb that had black mists swirling around the insides, “When I cast a healing spell upon this orb and Roan strikes it with his sword, the orb will begin pairing you off by teleporting you all out of this hall to your designated barracks. For the next few weeks, you will each be sent on simple missions to see if you two are as compatible as this infernal ball thinks. If not, a reassignment will be given after a year, so do not fret if neither of two gets along.” Roan, the Grand arch Mercenary, pulled his sword out while Juliene waited patiently for him to strike. Taking a deep breath, Roan raised his blade well above his head and struck the ball with enough force that it split almost in twine. Juliene swiftly brought her walking stick forth and healed the ball, repairing every single crack and crevice formed. The room fell silent as the orb began to pulse from a red to an orange. Everyone in the room watched closely, while the instructors backed away from it. Jessica thought she could feel the tension in the room as the orb pulsed a strong yellow colour. Around her, she felt people rising up as if to flee and felt her doing the same, when suddenly the room exploded in a blinding flash of white. Jessica rubbed her eyes gently to clear them and found herself alone in the Graduation Hall with the Healer that gave her the seat number. Turning to her she was about to ask where everyone had went, when the healer just shook her head and motioned for her to follow. Shrugging, Jessica followed her out of the Hall asking, “Where are we going and where did everyone else go?” Her guide kindly replied, “They were assigned partners and are currently at the barracks situating themselves.” She ran up along side of her guide, shocked, “What do you mean they all have been chosen? What about me, didn't I get chosen?” “I guess that's what it means. I don't know, but this has happened before in the past so I wouldn't worry.” “People haven't been paired before...?” The idea of spending the rest of her life alone waiting for someone’s bond-mate to die was the most depressing thing she had ever thought of next to remembering the look of death on John's face and having to deal with that for the rest of her life. Rounding a corner, they headed towards the Masters Square where only those who were veterans of many fights and many more missions were allowed to go. Her earlier depression forgotten, she began to look around at where those who earned their mettle in battle were allowed to go. Shops, restaurants, and other specialised areas were everywhere as her guide led her towards the Manager Compound. The Manager Compound was a series of buildings where reports on everything went. From imports to school grades, everything was filed somewhere in those buildings. Juliene was standing outside one of the buildings and began walking towards them as they approached. Jessica began to get worried again because to her nothing good would come in the Grand arch Master herself was involved, 'Was I not good enough to be a Healer where my grades not good enough?' Thoughts like these circled her head and almost missed being asked how she was feeling. “F-fine.” She lied and Juliene nodded knowingly towards her. “Come on then, sweet thing. Your partner is inside.” At that, Juliene turned around and began walking towards one of the smaller buildings marked “Assigning Office”. Jessica hurried to catch up to her and then opened the door for Juliene, who hurried inside. Jessica promptly followed and gently closed the door. Turning around, she found herself being stared at as if she was the enemy that needed to die by Scott. “Jessica, this is your partner Scott. Scott, this is Jessica.” With that, Juliene left them. Scott's eyes narrowed to tiny slits and promptly went inside the office labelled “Lord Marshall”. Jessica, nervous as what was happening, sat down on a bench and waited. “What game are you playing with me Stewart?” Scott shouted loud enough for Jessica to hear him through the door, “Giving me this girl who can do no more then the simplest buffs and heals.” Jessica heard a mumbling reply then “I don't care if she is top of her class, you are not sticking me with this girl!” Jessicas' breath caught in her throat, she was right in the end she would grow old waiting for a mercs bond-mate to pass on. “You know full well she did better at the testing then any out there! Why else would we parade you thus?” Yelled Stewart loudly in reply, “Everyone knows Mariam is a poor healer, you knew you were out there to find the best in the new healers. You found her; Jessica was the only one to heal you with a crowd full of healers, she is your potential bond-mate now get out and show her to your rooms!” Booming footsteps approached the door and Jessica stood as the door opened and Scott stormed out, slamming the door and breaking the glass. Without a word he stalked away his broad shoulders showing his tension, Jessica had to run to keep pace with him and soon her legs were burning. Jessica followed him down a side hallway and to the back of the complex, he slammed open the door and made his way through the barracks. Doors opened and the whispers started, Jessica passing each door was blushing deeper and deeper. Luckily, she had her eyes on Scott; he stopped so suddenly that if she was not watching she would have made a fool of herself in front of the whole barracks by the look of things now. She took a small step to the side to see what stopped Scott; her eyes grew large at the sight of a very angry looking Mariam blocking the way. “So this is your new potential bond-mate?” Mariam asked sneering, “looks like she wouldn't hold up in a good fight.” Scott looked down at her, “So the little healer had no other so you got stuck with her?” Scott said nothing but he firmly pushed her to one side and continued as if there was no interruption. Jessica looked over her shoulder as she passed Mariam, the look on her face was pure hatred, Jessica shivered. glancing back to watch were Scott turned left down another hall and stopped at a door, and turned slowly to face her he said two words before opening the door for her, 'tomorrow, early' before he pushed her through and closed the door. Jessica looked around the room surprised to find it larger then the one she came from, and what was even more shocking to her was the fact that all her belongings were already in the room. Jessica wondered around her new room and spotted a brown package on the bed, a smile creeping across her face for the first time since she spoke to her friends. She ripped into it until she exposed her new staff, hands trembling slightly Jessica picked it up. It was a light blue, she gasped thinking back to the tournament Scott’s armour and sheathe where the same light blue. Jessica got up and opened her cupboard, and dropped to her knees; everything was blue. Reaching over she slammed the doors shut, standing quickly she went to the wardrobe behind her. She yanked open the doors and cried out in relief, this wardrobe was full of different coloured uniforms and normal clothes. A creak behind her warned Jessica that someone was in the room with her, turning she watched Scott walk fully into her room. “C-can I help you?” she asked a little unsure of what he was going there. Scott continued to advance on Jessica as she backed away, confused of his intentions. Scott stopped in the middle of the room and looked around, then spoke. “We leave in ten and travel light, be ready.” He then turned and walked out of the room. Jessica rushed over to the other wardrobe and changed into one of the blue uniforms that were hanging in there. It was the same as the pink one she just took off, only lighter and clean. Finding a nap-sack in the bottom, she placed one more set in the bag and a change of under-clothes, grabbing the staffs that still lay on the bed she ran out of her room. Scott was waiting for her, and not for the first time she was struck by how tall he was. He eyed her up and down and gave a slight nod, then led the way down the hall. Stepping lightly Jessica followed him back down the hall and into the Marshals office. He was sitting at his desk, his greying head bent over a stack of papers. Looking up at their approach, his brown eyes hardened, the lines of age deepened on his face. “Scott sorry to call you away so soon, I know you had plans to start training tomorrow.” He then looked at Jessica, “I know you can do this Jessica, if I thought you could not then I would not have chosen Scott.” Clearing his throat, he continued talking to the both of them. “We have received word from our friends to the north; they have a problem of sorts and request our assistance. It seems that there is a little unrest and some of the tribes are attacking the troops. You both are there to calm the situation by whatever means you must, we have received half the payment now and the other half will be given to you upon completion of your services.” He took a deep breath, “May the Gods of Victory and Health watch over you both.” Jessica and Scott bowed and left the office and walked quickly to the courtyard where a tall stallion and her mare were waiting. Reaching the horse, Jessica gave her a pet and opened the saddlebag she stopped shocked. A money bag was sitting inside, it had her families' colours, her head snapped up and she looked around. Spotting her father leaning against the far wall he smiled and waived, he lifted his hand in greeting then called out: “Scott you had better look after my daughter, to me she is worth ten of you.” “And what if I don't?” Scott called out his reply. “You will have me to answer too, and both of us know who will win.” With a flick of his wrist a disk shot out slicing off a good chunk of Scott’s hair at the side, Scott stood unflinching. “Travel safe, may the Gods protect you.” With that, he disappeared into the night. “Come let us be off,” Scott stated mounting his horse “it’s a long ride so we must make haste.” Jessica gasped, that was it, cast haste on the horses, Scott and herself, that should surely help them. She pushed her belongings into the saddlebag, faced Scott’s horse, and with a twirl of her staff cast her spell over it. The horse snorted, Jessica then moved to her mare doing the same again. Jessica then mounted her and noticed the look on Scott’s face. “You’re the first to cast Quick Step on a horse you know.” Jessica blushed, “It is a good idea it will make travel easier, just remember to heal them now. You’re not as stupid as you look, no wonder you’re the top of the class.” Unsure whether to be pleased or offended Jessica said nothing and set her eyes to the road holding tight to her staff, she asked the horse to gallop and complying, the horse moved so fast it felt as if they were flying. Holding tight to the reins, she tried to shake her hair from her eyes but the wind from the horses kept it so she could not open them no more than slits. Looking at Scott, who was riding just a few paces ahead of her, seemed to have no problem holding or keeping his eyes open. Glancing around at the passing scenery, she realised that she had never gone this far from the city gates, which were no longer visible to her eyes. After several hours of hard riding, she felt her horse slow down to a trot and then stop altogether. Looking down at the brown speckled mare, she patted her mane feeling the creature breathe heavy underneath her. Scott dismounted and led the creature to a low growing branch and tied the stallion's reins to it. Jessica going to follow his lead almost fell over because her legs were so stiff from riding so much longer than she was used to. Shakily, she tied her mare to the branch and rubbed its nose gently. “Scott…” Jessica began to talk, but was swiftly interrupted. “Get some wood for a fire and do not stray from the horses. There are beasts out here that are willing to make a meal out of both of us and some horses.” Scott ordered, unlinking his sword and moving off the road and towards the forest. “And where are you going then?” Jessica asked annoyed at being interrupted. “SILENCE!” Scott whispered fiercely and scanned the underbrush, Jessica silenced at his fierceness. She watched him stand perfectly still, then as quickly as a flamingo after a fish, he had gored a small furry creature. It had fierce yellow eyes, with long fangs and looked something like a mutated dog with green fur. Looking closer she noticed that it had no pupils and its saliva seemed to burn holes into the ground. “That's a Voltar. I have never seen one before except in our books!” she said earnestly, getting closer but leaped back with a small scream as it started thrashing about on Scott's sword. Rotating his sword, Scott flipped the creature over and slammed his blade down, cutting the creature's spine in half. He pulled his blade out and wiped the blood on its fur. Jessica watched horrified at the coolness in which he took a life that could not be revived, “Why Scott...?” Not responding, Scott began picking up wood for a fire, leaving the corpse where it lay. Its own acid began eating it away slowly, exposing its eternal organs as they fell to the ground. She wanted to bury the poor creature, but one look from Scott told her it would not be wise so she went to the horses to get the saddlebags. Returning with them, Jessica sat down next to Scott who was trying to get a fire from some smouldering grass. Several times, she tried to say something to him, but something about the way he was holding himself made it seem like it was not a good time. Sighing, she pulled out a night's worth of rations and pulled out the travel pots to cook. The fire, now merrily burning in the centre of a ring of stones, Jessica put a few strips of meat on a pan and began reheating the jerky while preparing some fruit for dinner as well. Humming softly to herself, she watched Scott roll out their bedrolls and angled them towards the fire so their eyes were not blinded by the flames. Saddened a little, Jessica realised that was not being allowed to sleep next to him, only slightly near him. Taking some bread, she placed the meat inside of it, gave Scott his dinner, and began eating herself. After they had finished eating Jessica began taking off her more uncomfortable pieces of clothes for bed, while Scott took off his boots and sword then climbed in; shield, daggers and all. Once all the metal pieces of her outfit were removed, she climbed into her bedroll keeping her staff nearby. Rolling over, she thought this would be more exciting, but so far it's been boring and horrible. Were all the stories of great and exciting battles and adventures told have boring bits that no one talks about? Looking over, she discovered he was already a sleep. Shocked that he was asleep on this uncomfortable ground and without setting a watch, Jessica sat up and fumed, swearing she would keep guard all night. She fell asleep only a few minutes after that declaration. The next morning, she woke up to the smell of wood burning and took a moment to realise that she was in the middle of nowhere. Standing up to stretch, she saw that Scott was not around at all. Grabbing her staff, she ran over to the horse and found both of them still there. Turning around, she walked slowly back to camp to find Scott was still not there, when a loud shriek came from behind her. Turning around, she saw Scott run by, holding his pants up with one hand and a sword in the other. Feeling the shock wear off, Jessica ran to follow pulling up her healing spells to mind. When she arrived, whatever was there was gone and so was one of the horses. Her mare that was the only gift her father ever gave her was gone. She wanted to scream in rage but the sight of her partner, his sword bathed in bathed in blood with blood all down him and glowing in a deep purple that was almost black brought her back to reality. Getting ready to cast her healing spells on him, she paused seeing the blood that was covering him all over get absorbed. His wounds began to close and heal over as if they were never there and the blood that was on him and his sword was gone. “Damn bugs...” was all Scott muttered as he walked past her and back towards the camp fire. Re-slinging his sword, Scott pulled his pants up and redid his belt, “Damn near impossible to kill without wings.” “My mare is gone, what are we going to do?” Jessica wondered in a fuss as she re-strapped on her armour pieces. “I mean, all of my supplies were on her. Moreover, where were you? I was looking every where for you!” Scott looked at her with unreadable eyes and replied, “You don't need it.” “What do you mean I don't need it? All of my clothes were in there! Not to mention all the ingredients I need to make potions in case I am too tired to heal us and half our food!” Jessica screamed at his lack of caring. Looking back at her, he blinked only once and continued to stare as if waiting for her to finish, slightly unnerving her. “Furthermore, what was that you just did?” She demanded in a slight panic. Sighing more to himself than anything else, he told her, “It is an attack called Vampirism. It is a highly forbidden technique of power that allows a Mercenary to steal the life force to heal himself through the shedding on an enemy's blood. No matter if the enemy is human or not. To be killed through this technique means no chance of revival because it literally steals the soul of another and uses it to heal the wielder.” Gaping at him at him in wonder as to why anyone would want to use such a gruesome technique, she began to wonder if being partnered with him was not a good thing as everyone rumoured it to be. Not wanting to be to near him, she ate her breakfast hastily, packed the remainder of her things inside of her bag, and repacked Scott's bag as he got his stallion ready to go. Reorganising everything so it did all fit into the saddlebags, Scott then mounted the warhorse and held out his hand to Jessica. Looking at him nervously, she took his hand and felt herself hauled bodily onto the rump of the stallion. Scooting closer to him, she placed her arms on his shoulders. He made no notion that he even noticed as he guided the beast out onto the road again and heading north at a fast trot. Along the way Jessica started to realise that the only reason Scott used a forbidden technique was because she had been slow to react. If only she had been quicker remembering her spells he would not have to do that again. Jessica sat up straighter she had it! Jessica reached behind her and pulled out her staff from the nearest bag. Concentrating she cast Quick Step on the horse, followed by Heal. For the next hour of travel, Jessica anticipated the horse’s needs and before Scott slowed the horse down to take a break, Jessica knew when he needed help. She cast a quick glance at Scott, hoping he was as easy to read as the horse. The next fight he was in she would be watching him like he was he own child, his movements would be Jessica's key just like the first match she saw him in. His eye was twitching, and instinctively she had used the healing spell. Smarting still by her hesitation, Jessica pulled her wandering attention back to the present. Scanning their surroundings with all the senses, Jessica let out a hiss as something sinister brushed her mind. Leaning forward she whispered into Scott’s' ear, “We are being followed; it is to the south-east of us, and moving fast.” Scott nodded and she continued, “My staff will be enough to kill it, as it will find us more interesting than the horse it will jump to attack.” “If it does, you swing around and knock it out. Then a quick jab down should kill it.” Scott’s' quiet voice affirmed. The snapping of a twig told them the creature was close, Scott slowed the horse down covertly reaching for his weapon. Jessica flexed her fingers around the staff, and then silently counted to five. Hearing a rustle, she held her breath and counted back from ten, as she reached zero, Jessica lightly jumped up and balancing on the horse spun around so she was a blur of movement. Hearing the solid 'think' of the staff connecting with its target, she continued to follow through with her swing. Lightning quick Jessica jumped off the horse and with her weight drove the rounded end into the stunned victim. Jessica stepped back from the broken mass, unable to tell what the creature was with its head caved in the way it was. Jessica stared as what was left of its mouth opened then suddenly she was pulled to the left and into Scott’s' arms. “W-what?” looking up at him she noticed his gaze was on the ground, looking at his object of attention she shuddered. “What is THAT?” Scott took out his dagger and swiftly impaled the red leech like thing before turning back to her. “It is called a Stealth Bug; while an animal is sleeping these things make their way inside to the brain. Once there they implant themselves, giving this little thing a bigger body to play with.” Scott let her go and backed away a few steps. “You would have been completely taken over if it had gotten hold of you; you see the little stingers on the underside of its body? They contain a numbing agent so you would not have felt anything as it borrowed into you, now if you would grab my gloves I will milk this thing. It may come in handy in the near future.”
  17. The sun was sinking and the birds were singing, so why was I feeling so low? Maybe it was because of my unhappy past or my uncertain future. You see I have never had a real home or a family. I was taken away from my mother and father, or should I say they were taken from me. The world we live in– Terra -has a mix of races animal magical and other beings. However I am one of a kind, I am a Shape Shifter. Because of that fact the Ladies of the Sky who rule this land put a price on my head; one thousand gold coins to anyone who could catch me and present me to them in their city in the mountains. The Ladies of the Sky are all seven foot tall with hair as golden as the sun. The city in the mountains was said to be made of gold and that is why no matter where you were on this continent it shone like a beacon to all who sort their wisdom. They are the truth tellers, future seers and justice makers, they can see deep inside any, and know everything about those who stood before them. With their long hands and many jointed fingers, some would weave the patterns of our lives. To keep everything fair the Ladies of the Sky who weave kept themselves in seclusion and they were all my enemies. Well before I was born the future seers had seen my coming, they knew not to whom I would be born, only that I would be arriving that night. I was five when I first showed signs of being a Shape Shifter. While I was out collecting wood with my parents I had spied a rabbit bounding off into the undergrowth. I remember thinking how good it would be to do the same things as the rabbit when suddenly the forest became huge. I also remember being startled when my mother started screaming, I was about to run when I was picked up by my ears and my father was saying that I was a little girl and should once more become one. Night was descending and I had begun to feel hungry so I found the key deep inside myself and transformed back into a little girl. Little did I know at the time that one of the villagers had seen me transform back into myself. The villager must have contacted the Ladies by crystal, as four weeks later I felt a shift in the air. My small mind quickly concluded that someone was coming to do me harm. I hid in the forest close to my house, I had barely transformed into a wolf when seemingly out of nowhere a group of Ladies appeared on the lawn. I learned later that they were a tracking and capturing team of the Ladies of the Sky. I do not wish to remember the rest. I sighed as I pulled myself from the sad memories, there was no point dwelling on the past. Looking ahead I could see the lanterns indicating where the inn was and headed in that direction, I never enjoyed heading into civilization. Nevertheless, I could smell how ripe I was so it was time I reacquainted myself with a bath and some soap. I could feel my footsteps dragging as the inn grew closer. It is hard to describe, even to myself, how much I want to be anywhere but here. However I continued, until reluctantly, I was standing at the door. Hesitantly I walked into the large wooden building making my way toward the counter. The man grimaced as he caught my smell before I could reach him. “A room and a bath for the night, mistress?” He asked trying not to breathe “How much will it lighten my purse Sir?” I confirmed nodding. “Five pieces of silver,” He stated and I raised my eyebrows. “Alright three, but I will go no less.” “Agreed,” I said handing over the coins, “Could my bath be ready as soon as possible?” “Yes mistress, if you would leave your clothes out, my little Millie will take them and give them a good wash.” “Thank you sir, what room can I use?” He handed me a key with a wink “The one closest to the bathing room, my eldest Hanna is in there now helping another lady wash, she will help you with your hair if you would like that, Hanna loves washing and drying hair.” The innkeeper eyed my hair, it was in need of a good wash. I nodded to him and walked off. Pulling a strand of my lank hair over my eyes, I studied it. It was another strange thing about me; my hair was white with large stripes of orange starting at my temples and stayed two fingers thick until the end of my hair, they were not bright orange, thankfully they were closer to a tigers’ orange colour.
  18. Running. I could feel my heart race; my eyes I knew had turned red. Fear, sickly sweet smell hitting my nose. I could almost taste it. Though the taste of his scarlet liquid would be like a matured wine. Dark, heavy and thick. They say the soul burns it’s brightest just before death. I am the hunter and the prey. While this pathetic human is but a beast for the slaughter. Chapter 1 It has been twenty years. A long twenty years, since the Darkside Insitution for the Mentally Disturbed has closed its doors. The world has changed and now their world had too. The cold mansion, with its wrought iron gates, the long deserted wings, with its hollow rooms, remained as they had when the building had been closed as a mental institution. Its dark peeling walls with its dust crusted wall paper. Every step on the threadbare carpets, coughed up dust clouds. The sweet stench of mould and decay filled each room. The spider web cracks spiralling along the faded paint. Each sound like the shattering of glass against the roar of the silence. The paintings of those long since passed, look like cracked porcelain; the eyes forever watching, forever accusing stare at the wanderer from the walls. The woman’s footsteps echo off the walls as they seem to crush her heart, bringing company to the aching loneliness that fills it. The mirrors that the tunnels of the mansion reflect her image. Even if they no longer reflect the soul. Her skin flawless like white china that has never been touched by the sun. The woman’s lips a perfect cupid’s bow, the colour of soft pink roses. While her long red hair, almost glows even with no light, shining like precious rubies, intricately braided down her lean but powerful back. The woman’s broad shoulders and tapered waist, brought out by her leather trousers clinging to her muscular legs. The soft black t-shirt curving around her torso showing her feminine curves to their advantage. The calf hugging black boots softly expelling dust from the carpet as walks through the hall of mirrors. No mirror could hide what she wished to forget. Those black eyes. Holes of endless time jutting out of her face. Never forgiving, forever cold. A masculine tone rumbles through the corridor’s emptiness; “Megara? Megara come out of hiding!” The woman sighed, as she walked down the creaking staircase, each step like a moan of pain. The entrance hall showed disrepair, the walls cracked with age, the ceiling high with its chandelier missing its crystal droplets. The dust and debris on the floor showing the trails of its mistress had taken. The high arched windows covered with heavy blood red velvet drapes, the colour faded with age. “Why are you here Icarus?” Megara’s voice was rich and heavily accented showing her age, those hollow eyes full of disdain. Icarus stared up at Megara, who was standing halfway on the staircase, his almost white blue eyes meeting that endless darkness. His hair softly falling into his eyes contrasting with the colour of dark chocolate. His height may have dwarfed Megara as did his breadth. The white shirt pressed and flawless whilst his black jeans like his large sliver plated shitkickers. The small smile that curved his lips made his eyes shine. “Megara, why aren’t you a sight for old eyes;” the man’s eyes were hiding his intent and emotion. “I’ll only ask once more Icarus. Why are you here?” Megara voice stern and forceful, her eyes never wavering from his piercing gaze. Icarus just continued to smile from the doorway, letting the cool night air in. “Come on Megara, what happened to the warm hospitality?” “You know what happened,” her grip on the railing intensified. The moan of the wood under her hand slowly got louder till a loud crack shattered the silence, turning the wood into splinters. Icarus flinched, knowing that the woman in front of him was not the same one he remembered. She slowly raised her hand to slowly tug the small pieces from her white sheet like skin. Her voice eerily calm and steady as she spoke, “Speak or leave.” The male stood his ground as he tried not to wince at what he saw. “Megara. There has been a sighting,” Icarus’ voice was no louder than a whisper, but the words echoed. Megara’s fists clenched tight as she gritted her teeth as though she was in great pain, “Where?” “Megara…please, let me help. You can’t forever be alone,” Icarus’ voice imploring at her to reconsider. The pale woman pivoted and walked back from whence she came up the staircase, each step sounding like the beat of a heart. Icarus followed unsure what to do, as he had only seen her like this once before, making Megara’s next move unpredictable. She was nearly running now, as her mind threw images that were best forgotten. Megara’s body was visibly trembling as the memories became clearer with each step. The male following was now shouting at her back, but as she retreated she could no longer hear his voice. Her ears were full of screams that made her heart bleed. Faces flashed past, each smile turning into that of horror. She crashed to her knees panting hard. Her fists clenched in front of her, those black eyes now shut. Icarus approached the kneeling woman with the lightest of footsteps. Slowly and gently placing his hand on her shoulder. SNAP! The sound of fangs sinking into flesh. Icarus winced. Megara’s eyes the colour of blood, drenched in pain and unending sorrow. The carpet beneath them speckled with bright droplets against the dust. Icarus remained still his eyes calm but reflecting her pain. Slowly her eyes faded back to their darkness, before her teeth retracted. His hand marked with a perfectly with an imprint of her teeth. The woman’s pink tongue slowly licking her lips clean, her eyes shut. Chapter 2 There was blood that night too. The banners fluttered in the soft summer breeze, carrying the sickly sweet smell of honeysuckle and fresh blood, through the shattered ceiling high windows. The heavy curtains slowly fluttering too. The tar like sky was clouded, so that the pools on the floor looked like freshly spilt ink. Megara has dressed in a tight bodice dress, that looked as though it had been made from the night itself. Her breathing sharp and rapid as she couldn’t breath, as the bodice seemed to tight on her chest. She slowly drew closer, to the dark shadows that cluttered the floor. The moon slowly shone through the dispersing cloud, to illuminate the ivory faces of those who once were her family. Suddenly she was on her knees, the breeze had stopped the banner from moving so it could now be read, ‘Happy Birthday Megara!’. The dark eyes, flat and lifeless starred up at her. The young female now of age, trembled above them, leaning over the dead that once were her loved ones. The warm blood turning the black silk darker. The tears slowly rolling down her own pale cheeks, as her glazed eyes starred out at her parents. In death as in life, they were holding hands; their swords clung in the other. The couple’s wounds identical, their stomach ripped out and its contents spread between them like gigantic worms, but their throats sliced to look as though a thin scarlet ribbon hand been tied around her throat. Megara’s anger boiled. They had been denied the death of a warrior and to be killed outright in battle; instead they had been gutted with their throats slashed, left to bleed out while they watched the other die. The shadows moved. Megara lost to her grief and despair, trembled as the emotions blinded her other senses to the shadowy figure approaching her from behind. His lank hair the colour of angel wings fell into his icy glowing scarlet eyes that showed no remorse. The malicious smile that he wore spoke of hunger. His body skeletal as his skin looked like paper. Those pale spiders moving to grip the hilt of his blade, the smooth and dull shine becoming visible as he unsheathes the bloodied blade almost silently. His yellow teeth slowly beginning to lengthen as he breathing stayed slow and even. Megara had lowered her head as she began to sob and contemplate her life without her family. He creped slowly behind her, his body like the shadows themselves. Megara felt someone behind her as she turned the cold steel sliced across her jugular. Bright scarlet splattered across the dead as well as her killer, his slow grin filling her vision. He slowly licked his bloodied lips whispering in her ear, “Happy eighteenth birthday, Megara.” The last word she spoke was his name, “Slash.” The world stopped for Megara, the face her and her parents killer, permanently seared into her mind. The ballroom fading as his laughter echoed in her ears. Hot sweet fluid ran down the back of her throat, as warmth surrounded her body. Megara’s lips tightened on the soft skin against her lips as she slowly began to suck. A soft masculine groan filled her ears. Her eyes felt heavy as she ceased to feed. “You need to drink…..Megara,” a soft male voice whispered. The young vampires forced her eyes to open, to see pale almost white blue eyes. The young male only looked in his late teens, as he gently whispered, “It’s okay….My name is Icarus. You are safe milady.” She slowly slipped back into unconsciousness. Megara opened her eyes slowly now back in the present. Twenty years may have passed but Icarus’ only looked one or two years older but his eyes displayed infinite age. Slowly but weakly he smiled, as he knelt in front of her, pulling her hard into his lean but strong body. She may not have been crying but he felt how she trembled as she whispered almost inaudibly; “He cannot be back.” Lightly he kissed her brow, whispering, “I’ll be here….I promised I’d be here….Please Megara don’t face him alone.” Chapter 3 Megara had stopped trembling after he spoke those words. Slowly she peeled his arms away from her, as she then stood. Her cheeks dry, her eyes focused as though she were a hawk who’d found her prey. Icarus starred up at the woman, she had changed so much since the last time they had met. His memories flashed back across his mind before settling on the Megara of the present. He wished they would turn back to the colour of summer violets and the small smile that would make her look mischievous. He couldn’t look at this side of Megara without his heart aching. He heard soft feet moving away from him, as he opened his eyes he saw Megara moving purposely away from him. He practically jumped to his feet rushing after the vampiress. The young woman walked fast heading down the hall, towards two intricately carved oak doors. Each designed and flawlessly engraved with a sign tore from a book of fairy tales. The Cirrus thought this were ironic when they had first been fitted, but when he realised which room they led to it made more sense. As she pushed open the doors they caused a long moan, as the dank and dark room was revealed. The room strangely had thirteen sides, three of them were high windows covered once again with heavy black velvet drapes, thickly coated with dust. The other ten sides were ceiling to floor bookshelves, around half way up there was a balcony running around the whole room except for the windows. The bottom half had an ornate fireplace that was as intricately carved as the doors had been. Although the books had been perfectly shelved around the book case, the hollow fireplace made the room cold. Icarus soft starred at the forgotten hearth and softly blinked to make a soft green fire appear in its place. A simple childlike task for a Cirrus like him, watching Megara climb the ebony wrought iron ladders. As he already knew what the room contained, in the centre of the room sat a large rustic wooden table, which was surround by plush, old armchairs with there high back and gnarled legs. Megara had climbed up to the balcony, and was now whirling across the shelves on the second set of ladders for the upper bookshelves. Her pale thin fingers running across the spines that made him shiver. Suddenly she slammed her hand down across a large thick black book, tugging the enormous and ancient book from its shelf. Once she had the book secured into her arms she used the sides of her boots to slide down the ladder the ancient and cracked covered cradled in her arms like a babe. Leaping into the air half way down the ladder into a summersault to a perfect landing on the floor. Slamming the book on to the table dust coming from the pages in clouds, as her delicate fingers flicked the pages to land at a yellow paged. Megara’s voice tight, “He must have known it was here Icarus….It’s time to destroy it once and for all.” Chapter 4 Icarus starred at Megara, “But….Megara!” “No arguments Icarus!” She softly sighed, “We knew why he destroyed my family, it’s time.” Slowly the young female looked at the Cirrus, her eyes sad and haunted; as Icarus started to take steps back, “Please Megara, please!” Megara turned away from Icarus, as she started to clear the room, pushing the table out of the way, before leaving the room. The young man was trembling as he looked at the pages of the book. Ut reperio crystal. Voco mihi , accerso mihi three vicis , voco mihi , ego sum cruor , ego sum poena , accerso mihi , quod ego mos ostendo vos ut crystal. Icarus’ trembling got worse as he was screaming in his head, Megara came back with candles and chalk. “You can’t do this Megara! Please!” He held the book to his chest tightly, his hands trembling, as he watched the vampiress. “Hand the codex over now Icarus.” “NO! I won’t let you do this Megara!” Little crystal droplets fell from his piercing blue eyes, as he starred at the girl he saved all those years ago. “You can’t do this Megara, I’ll stop you!” The female’s expression softened as she softly whispered, “I have to Icarus….I can’t watch anyone else die for it. Not even you.” With extreme ease she removed the book from his fingers. His strength left him as he crashed to his knees starring into those endless eyes whispering silently, “Please.” She took the book into the centre of the room and began to draw a small chalk circle. Gently she sat within the circle as the young Cirrus sat there and watched trembling and continuing to cry. “EGO dico super elementum ut temerarius quod iuvo me.” Slowly she began to chant the circle surrounding her kneeling body lighting up like a bulb. Icarus tried to run through the circle only to be blasted back thudding into the bookshelves, some of the books crashing around him like rain. The ancient yellow pages scattering and floating to the ground like leave in autumn. “I dico super aer amplexus nos usquequaque quod spiritus vita in totus creatura adveho quod suffragium me.” As she spoke these next words she lit a small bundle of lavender and placed it, in a small earthen bowl, placing it to her right. An eerie wind starting up swirling up the lost pages around her. “I dico super incendia , plenus of affectus giving nos instinct nobis totus , adveho quod suffragium me.” These next few words she lit a white candle, placing it behind her, the flame flickering as her hair began to swirl around her, the room becoming hotter. “I dico super unda , frigus nos quod regimen nos , adveho quod suffragium me.” As she slowly placed a small bowl of water to her right there was a soft groan from Icarus. He was slowly using the shelves to pull himself to a standing postion. He screamed against the noise of the wind and the sound of waves, “Stop this Megara!” “I dico super orbis terrarum , humus nos quod giving nos nostrum nutrition , adveho quod aid.” Finally she tugged the small crystal necklace away from her throat leaving a small bloodied mark on her white throat; placing the small violet flower shaped crystal in front of her. A large wave coming from the circle as the vortex became wilder with Megara at its centre. The blast sending Icarus skidding back, as his voice broke whilst he cried against the din. “MEGARA STOP!” “Thrice EGO dico vos” Megara’s eyes had changed into the colour of quicksilver. “MEGARA PLEASE” “Thrice ego narro" The circle’s energy was getting brighter and more powerful with each second. As the young man was crawling to get close. The books flying off their shelves if they were alive. “MEGARA!” “Thrice EGO requiro vos temerarius meus lacuna.” With these finally words Megara turned to Icarus, her eyes alien to him now, as she smiled evilly. Flinging her hand out towards him to send him spinning towards the fireplace. Chapter 5 Icarus slammed his back into the bookshelves with an loud thud, crashing to the floor to be swamped by fallen books. Megara slowly stood, her crimson hair swirling within the vortex around her, her eyes with their ice glare starred at the unconscious Cirrus. The shadows slowly shifted, as glowing scarlet eyes shone through the soft candle light. Soft rasping footsteps moved towards the overwhelming woman. The energy pouring off her form, as her head lazily turned towards the shadow. Gleaming white shone, perfectly contrasting the black velvet; as a slow malicious laughter echoed around the peculiarly sided room. Her head rested on her shoulder, her eyes relaxed as she starred into the gloom. The heavy leather bound books began to shift as the Cirrus started to wake up. Soft groans drowned by the laughter, as he once again tried to pull himself up. The books lay scattered on the floor like bodies, discarded as if they were garbage, while Icarus towered over them like a murderer. The young man slowly shuck his head clear of the fog, blinking away the scarlet fluid that dripped into his eyes from a gash above his eyebrow. Icarus was panting hard, as the blood started to seal his right eye shut. “Megara…stop…this,” he wheezed, his clear blue eye trying to meet Megara’s, as he slowly moved towards her with difficulty. Her head slowly moved to meet Icarus’ eyes, as her smile turned feral, those swirling eyes almost like starlight, but shone with a sinister depth. The laughter slowly stopped. “Oh young Cirrus; the one caster who shall keep the balance of the worlds even, and take on the dark no matter the cost to himself. The last of his kind, as he refuses to let love enter his icy heart, nor let passion cloud his all seeing vision,” a deep echoing voice came from the darkness, as a figure slowly came into the firelight. His hair bright white and his eyes the colour of fresh blood, his body wrapped in a black cloak. A small smile curved his lips to look like he was a cat who got the cream. Icarus growled, “Slash. What are you doing here?” Slash slowly flicked his fringe away from his compelling eyes, as he continued to smile. His soft footsteps walking towards young Megara with effortlessness that Icarus couldn’t find. Megara looked at the man walking towards her with a strange softness, moving within the white circle to be closer. “Poor Icarus. Always alone…Starring at the world through the glass of his abilities,” Slash now stood just outside the circle, reaching through the vortex to cup her cheek. Megara’s eyes flickered shut as she began to purr, the man’s smile intensified. His next words spoken with a velvet texture, “She’s mine.” Chapter 6 Icarus stood frozen amongst the fallen books, starring at Megara as she nuzzled the hand on her cheek. His stomach bubbling like acid and his fists clenched. “Oh look, dear one. The Cirrus is getting mad. Oh whatever should I do?” Slash’s sarcastic voice booming, as Icarus’ had his ears filled with his blood pounding. “Get away from her,” the young man’s voice was shaking, as was his fists, the knuckles now white. He slowly turned his attention to Megara; his tone softened, “Please Megara. Come back.” Megara continued to smile in her lost way, still within the glowing circle, shutting her eyes as she cooed. Slash gently moved his pale lips to her ear and whispered something, his crimson eyes constantly meeting Icarus’. The ivory haired man continued to stroke the young vampiress’ cheek, “She is no longer listening to you. She is mine. I told you all those years ago; you either take what you want or expect it to be taken from you.” “Get away from her!” “Awww, your no fun anymore,” he lovingly stroked her cheek. “If you want her, come and claim her. Or is that against your precious oath?” Icarus roared, as power encased him in a potent aura. His hand moving to his side as from no where, a large sword was created. The handle made well worn leather, with the hilt moulded to look as if the blade had been grown instead of crafted. The blade shimmered with an unearthly emerald shine, as the ancient runes glowed like rubies. The Cirrus’ face torn between fury and joy, as he felt his power surge through his body, the papers and books flying as if they were birds away from the imposing male. Slash smiled with pure malevolence, as he drew his hand away from Megara’s cheek, with a spin, he drew his black cloak away from his body, to reveal a black shirt similar to his opponents. The same black leather trousers and tight boots. His other skeletal hand going to the hilt of the blade sheathed on his back. Slash slowly unsheathed his blade, as sword looked as if it had been carved from the darkness itself. The dark runes gleaming with a dark pulsating energy, as the ivory haired Slash moved to stand opposite the brave Cirrus. The energy grated against each other, as the males’ eyes made contact showing a burn of power within each of them. The vortex from the circle fading as Slash siphoned off its energy to surround the two warriors within their own energy field. Megara’s eyes fell shut as her body collapsed to the floor, curled into herself as her breathing become slow and shallow. Icarus’ head turned towards the girl, trying to make his voice heard over the roar of the whirlpool surrounding him and his enemy. Slash smile was wiped clean, as he flashed to be just in front of his opponent. Icarus barely got his sword up against his chest in time to stop the blow. “No matter what you do young Icarus. You will always fail,” Slash’s voice barely louder than a whisper. The blue eyed male pushed his blade up, to push the other warrior away, as he said, “This time it will be you who fails.” His eyes illuminating to be a bright blue. Chapter 7 The two males faced each other, their blades swung into position. A whirlwind began to swirl around them taking the papers up so they flew like birds around them.. The remaining books neatly stacked on their shelves trembled as if in fear of the two warriors. Slash roared as Icarus remained silent charging at each other, the sound of metal against metal rang throughout the mansion. Icarus’ eyes pure electric blue, as he forced Slash back bringing his blade to drive into his opponents belly. The strike hit metal as Slash countered those red glowing eyes spoke of evil. The blades clashed together, meeting each other in pure skill. The two men stand there facing each other amidst the whirlwind of their power; their blades bright and they're bodies gleaming with energy. As Icarus yells to the wind; "I won’t let you hurt her Slash!" Charging at the other man, the young Cirrus pivoting just before reaching the ivory haired male. Arching his blade into a spin bringing his sword viciously down upon Slash. He barely had time to block the incoming sword blow before darting backwards to sneer at Icarus; "Are you going to protect the girl boy?" He charges at Icarus, bringing his blade hard in a wide horizontal arc. Icarus parrying with ease as blades’ energy crackling off each other like sparks from flint as the two men stare each other down. Slash begins the second charge; first bringing his blade in a strong powerful arc that extends horizontally. As Icarus charges towards him at the same moment spinning into his own arc but as he observes Slash's movement he drops his spin lower to duck under Slash's attack. Icarus then making his own attack throwing Slash's blade out of position; the Cirrus slid his sword wetly across his enemy’s stomach in a blow that would've disembowelled any normal man left him only bleeding heavily. Slash leapt backward to avoid another critical blow from Icarus. The brown haired male comes out of his spin with the glint of death in his eye as his voice a mere whisper as he says "Die." Swinging the blade from high aloft in a single movement downwards; a blast of energy travelled along the ground and smashed Slash into the bookcases, several books landing across the floor. Slowly the pale haired challenger grunted getting to his feet, while Icarus charged towards him. Slash raises his sword high bringing it downwards fast like a whips, cutting through Icarus’ face and neck, roaring in triumph. His sense of victory fleeting as the image of Icarus disappearing before his eyes. Slash’s eyes slowly widening as he feels a presence behind him. Pivoting to meet Icarus’ eyes, before feeling the blade miss him as he dodges the blow, unable to miss the next as it connects with the crimson eyed man’s shoulder. The blow leaving a deep bloody gash showing the white bone of his shoulder. “Give up Slash!” Icarus roared over the noise of the vortex, his blade now glowing white. Slash howled in pain holding his injured shoulder as completion comes to him. Making desperate gamble flash stepping to Megara’s side. Instantly; before Icarus can react, he slide the shimmering blade across her white throat lacerating the skin wide open. Grinning as her life’s essence drenches the dust ridden carpet. “What now? Chase me and leave her to die or let me escape and attempt to save her pathetic life?” “I’ll get you. I promise!” Icarus yells at the fading Slash as his laughter echoes around the room. Icarus dashed towards the circle as the blood began to pool under Megara. Chapter 8 The blood thick and dark as if a rich red wine. As the iron smell hit Icarus, he skidded to her side, her soft gurgling coughs pulled at his long forgotten heart. His eyes seeping back to normal, but still the same amazing blue colour; throwing his blade to one side with a dull thud of metal on carpet; sending plumes of dust into the air. The young looking Cirrus loomed over the girl as she fought for breath; “Stay with me Megara, stay with me!” The vampiress’ eyes slightly opened to show the light violet colour, as her hand slowly reached up to touch Icarus’ cheek. Her voice bubbly, as blood slowly ran down the corner of her lips, her soft cheeks started to look like snow, “Ic-Icarus.” “Please don’t try to speak….Please stay with me Megara,” He gently moved her head onto his knees, as his knuckles ran down her cheek. The woman’s eyes slowly fading, “NO! Megara stay awake!” Megara’s eyes shut, her skin like a snowflake; as her chest barely moved with each breath. The man who held her trembled, his powers began to build within his body. The emotions within his heart made it grow heavier, crystal tears rolled down his eyes as he watched her fade. “NO! Not again! NOT THIS TIME!” Icarus roared, as pure green light exploded from his shaking form. His eyes back to being a pure electric blue, his hands moving with a confidence unlike before. One callused hand went to her heart the other scared, over her throat. Icarus’ lips turned blue as he began to mouth words at an unbelievable speed. The air around the pair began to pulse as if it were alive. Megara gave a final sigh. Her body limp on Icarus’ lap. The roar of anguish sounded throughout the dark and empty library. As he grabbed his sword, slashing his throat enough to leave a cut. He pulled her limp body into his chest, as his trembling hands pulled Megara’s cyanosed lips to his bleeding throat, as he began to chant once more, the tears leaving deep grove marks on his cheeks. Every other word he choked on, as he shut his eyes trying to concentrate on his casting. His dark chocolate coloured hair floating over his face and sticking to his wet cheeks. He gasped as he felt as though a cold hand had clenched over his heart. His eyes flew open and he head snapped back. His once blue eyes now bleeding slowly into darkness Chapter 9 A choking gasp filled the air. Megara’s eyes slowly fluttered open with a soft groan. “Shhhhh. Shhh. Megara, I need you to stay still and let me work,” Icarus’ voice soft but stern, as his fingers slowly brushed her scarred skin. The skin slowly knitting together as the girl whimpered in pain, her eyes fluttering like a humming bird’s wings but remaining shut. Slowly the skin healed till the only reminder of the horrific attack was a thin white line along her throat. Gently as he could he lifted Megara into his arms, laying her carefully onto the table as if she were crystal. As he slowly scanned the room for any trace of Slash, his eyes drawn to the broken circle on the floor. His soft footsteps reverberated off the bookshelves, as the silence now was suffocating. The books lay scattered on the floor, the pages that had come loose looking like ghosts on the dust floor. Gradually he drew nearer to the chalk markings, as Icarus crouched he noticed something was wrong. The black book was gone. “Damn it…” his voice almost silent as he scanned the room, while on the inside he berated himself for his stupidity. “Icarus,” her soft voice floated over to him, as she steadily sat up, her crimson hair covering her porcelain face, as she spoke again, “He took the book hasn’t he?” “Yes Megara, he took the book. Why did he want it so badly?” Icarus’ voice stern. “That book….” She soft sighed, before bringing her white hand to her face, “Has the whole history of my kind, my family and how to find the Immortal Crystal.” “THE Immortal Crystal? The one source in this world that can change the balance! Why have you kept this to yourself Megara!” Icarus’ voice full of astonishment, as this crystal was a possession many had died for and it had been under his nose for decades. “Because as part of Darkside it was my duty and an honour to protect it and now….Now one of the most dangerous men of all time now has it. If Slash finds it before we do, then it would have been better for you to let me die; rather than be indebted to a Cirrus.” Megara’s voice grave, as she moved her hair back to show those incredibly clear violet eyes. “Oh Megara….” He whispered, before shaking his head, “So what do we do?” Chapter 10 Icarus slowly stands to look at the young vampire, her shoulder forced down with the heavy burden of knowledge. He had heard of the Immortal Crystal as a young boy. It’s most powerful gift was that it gave it’s holder immortality but Slash may also know it hold the power over others. The thought of it being in the hands of Slash made him shiver with regret in letting him go so easily. Megara slowly slipped from the table, crashing to her knees. The Cirrus dashed forward to help her up, “Megara you need more blood,” he softly whispered in her ear, lifting his wrist to her lips. Roughly she pushed his arm away, unsteadily moving out of his arms. “I will drink when I need to!” She crashed to her knees trembling, her arms tight around her body as she attempted to get back to her feet. Icarus moved to help only to have his hand slapped away. Gradually she got to her feet, as she said, “Go Icarus. Get out of this mansion!” “Megara, you need me to help you!” Icarus implored to the girl his heart getting heavier within his chest. Something was not right, his skin felt too tight. “I told you to go Icarus!” Megara didn’t look at him, as she stumbled away from the library. He trembled, he stomach churned madly as though it was full of acid. His skin covered in goosebumps and a thin layer of sweat. He crashed into the table smashing it into splinters. Megara heard the crash and slowly creeped back in. He was on the floor writhing and convulsing, as though he were being shocked. He began to scream, sending chills down her spine. The sound seemed to rip out his throat from the agony. She slowly moved to touch his shoulder, when he stopped altogether. The silence overbearing, but all she could hear was the blood rushing in her ears. Her voice unsteady as she whispered, “Icarus?” His eyes snapped open, as all the eye was the colour of tar. A cruel smile spread across his lips, as his tongue darted across his lips; as an animalistic growl emitted from his throat. Megara fell back and began to crawl rapidly towards the door. Icarus easily got to his feet and was upon her before she could reach the remnants of the table. Those pitiless eyes staring into her lavender ones, as he took a sniff and growled. “Mmmmmmm….Food.” Chapter 11 Icarus loomed over the trapped Megara. Her fear shinning on her cheeks and glowing in her wide eyes. He slowly licked the sickly sweet sweat running down her exposed throat. Her pulse thundering against his hot tongue. His eyes boring their darkness into hers. She slowly curled her legs up into her body. Icarus totally entranced by the feel of her racing pulse against his lips. Forgotten was his cool calm demeanour, replaced with bloodlust and anger so potent that his very blood felt like magma. She knew she only had one chance at this, if she should fail…. No one would appose Slash. Throwing he muscles in her legs against his body she surprised him, throwing his form away from her giving her the precious seconds she needed to escape the library. The adrenaline now pumping through her body, her mind swirling trying to make sense in the fog of fear. Before she could think she was half way down the staircase. Then she heard it. The howl. Echoing hunger and need. Jumping off the banister she vaulted the staircase landing, dropping to her knees. Her legs jarred from the impact, they screamed in agony. Stumbling across the hallway. The snarling loud now, ending cold sweat down her back. It was her fault. Why did he get so close? If she hadn’t of bit him. Shaking her head sternly speaking to herself inside her head; survive now, think of Icarus later. The bellow alerted her as she spun. His aura a pulsing black as saliva ran down his chin. He howled once more before leaping down to her. She ran. Heading towards the right. Her mind trying to think lost in the tendrils of her fear. Icarus was right behind her slobbering and snarling. Pots and pans clattering to the floor as she ran through the kitchen. The discarded pans slowing him down slightly. Her ears deafened to all but the cry of Icarus, the sound between that of a bloodhound and that of a man. Tumbling through the backdoor. Slamming it behind her. The door rattling from the beast that once was Cirrus Icarus as he attempted to escape the house. An old panel of wood lay amongst the clutter of the garden. It used to be part of the shed. It lay just out of her reach almost hidden under the overgrown grass. Her chest heaving as she gasped like a revived drowned victim. Keeping one hand firmly secured to the door she stretched towards the wood. Her fingers barely scraping against the very edge. The howling now high pitched as she used the tips of her right boot to draw the wood closer. Her eyes squeezed shut as she silently wept and prayed. The door violently shaking and banging within its frame. Threatening to shatter at any moment. She felt a soft thud against her left boot. She got it! Bending to grab the wood the door shifted. It was not going to hold much longer. Her strength that of a babe compared to his. She slammed the wood, once in her grip, into place under the handle wedging the door into place. Slowly backing away she saw the door trembling. “Sorry…so sorry….” The tears dripping to the ground. She ran to the front of the mansion. She saw it Icarus’ most prize possession his sleek black GSX 1300R. Black and shiny, its wheels large and midnight like the smooth body, with 1340cc engine, it was fast. It’s why Icarus had got it, he lived for speed. Throwing her leg over the large sleek midnight body. She twisted the key, the machine growled beneath her like a trapped beast, as she kicked the stand off. Slowly she squeezed the throttle, sending the bike into a three hundred and sixty spin. The powerful snap of the wood going followed by a bellow. The wild beast shaped like a man that once was Icarus came charging towards her. Letting go of the brake, the bike was pulled up onto to its back tire as it sped. Crashing through the iron wrought gates, snapping them like twigs. Chapter 12 The bike between her leather clad thighs growled like the beast she left behind. Her tears rolled hotly down her cheeks no longer knowing if it was from the guilt or from the wind blasting her eyes, as her flame like hair flew in the wind. The darkness slowly changed as her mind drained into memory The first time she met the young Cirrus. Her lips were at a cut he had gorged into his throat, his arm tightly around her whispering softly, “Don’t me a liar little one. Stay here…Come away from the dark.” Those endless crystal luminous eyes were what struck her first, glowing in the dark of the ruined ballroom. His callused hands soothing the tears from her cheeks as he realised she was awake, whispering, “It okay M’lady..It’s going to be okay.” He arms pulling her into his body protecting her as her mind finally caught up. What once was her whole life came crashing down upon her, her body trembled as her eyes went to the other side of his throat. Icarus just held the young vampiress, feeling her mourning as he rocked and murmered nonsense into her ruby hair. “My name is Icarus…..I’m sorry I wasn’t here to save them,” the young strangers voice full of mourning, but the deepness shocked and somehow soothed her. “I made a vow to protect you Megara….” Megara snapped to her senses, growling like the machine, “Snap out of it….He’s not here now get a hold of yourself and get to Godshill.” Rearing the beast of a machine she revved the engine sending it racing into the gloom. Chapter 13 Angels Meadow. It was a quaint little village. All the cottages had large thatched roofs and all the roads were narrow lanes. Perfect if you were riding a bike. All those tight bends. The village was silent and the windows dark. Dawn was two hours away. Megara slowed the bike down so it purred beneath her. The house she was looking for was in the village centre. Well it wasn’t a cottage more like a small shop owned by an old friend of the family. The people of the village, didn’t know that their village was home to some of the most dangerous supernatural beings in the world. It was said that the first inhabitants of the village were two fallen angels, and they built their house in the centre of the meadow. The remains of the house still stood there today, burnt out, making it a tourist spot; none if any of the current residents minded it. Slowly Megara rolled the bike around to the back of a smaller house, in front stood two tables and against the side a folded advertisement. Selene’s Fortunes! Come have your future revealed. Mortals, Megara thought, No matter how long they remain they still wish to know what will happen. Slowly switching the bike off and propping it up on it stand with a soft click. The vampires moved to the front door. Softly tapping on the door, she knew that Selene would be asleep, but she had no where else to go at this point. Chapter 14 Slowly Megara rapped her knuckles against the old door. After a few moments a small hunched women answered. Her hair slowly peppered with white patched, as a small smile lit up her wrinkled face. Her oak eyes wise but happy to see the young woman in front of her. “Megara? Dear child what are you doing at my door at three in the morning?” Selene’s voice full of concern, as the vampire went to speak to be cut off. “Never mind child. Come in.” Selene moved to one side ushering the exhausted girl into her house. Shutting the door behind Megara as she moved to make a large pot of tea. “Sit down in the sitting room child, please.” Megara simple nodded her arms curved around her body, as she moved into the small living room. The living room was dark, but cosy. Two large highback chairs sat around a small circular table, where sat a small crystal ball. Megara smiled as I folded herself into a chair. Her mind a whirl of action of past and present events. A soft smile tugging at her lips as she remembered the last time she sat in the chair. At five years old her mother had brought her to Angel’s Meadow to introduce her to Selene. Selene had be kind and gentle to the shy girl, teaching her how to make cookies and how to make peppermint tea. Those fond memories shone through Megara’s eyes as she slowly burst into tears shaking. She felt warm thin arms surround her as a soft song was hummed in her ear soothing her. Slowly Megara stop shaking leaning into the soft warm comfort, of the only other woman she loved. “Now, tell me what brings you to my home at this time of night.” Slowly she moved a small ottoman to Megara’s chair. Slowly Megara spoke of the events that brought her to Angel’s Meadow. “I don’t know what to do Serene. Icarus…I-I made him into a monster.” Sobbing into her hands as her shoulder shook. Selene placed a hand on her shoulder, “The Cirrus will be fine child. The venom from you will wear off, but he probably will not remember why you are no longer at Darkside. He may not even remember his battle with Slash.” Softly sighing she slowly moved to sit down in the chair opposite the young vampire. “How much do you know of the Cirrus clan?” Slowly Megara lifted her head, “Not much. Only that Icarus is a Cirrus and that he vowed to protect me.” Her voice slowly trailing off at the last few words. Selene nodding, slowly pulled out a tattered set of cards slowly shuffling, as she spoke quietly. “The Cirrus clan are ancient. Their magic calls on the elements and the souls of people.” She lay a card on the table, it was the Nine of wands, “There was a great battle in the Cirrus clan and only one survived to tell the tale.” Her wise eyes meeting Megara’s. “Icarus, “ Her voice a whisper. Selene nodded, “Her survived but with the knowledge he had killed his brethren apart from one. Slash.” Slowly she flipped another card, Death. Megara’s skin paled further. “There were many deaths and a renewal, a babe was born into the Vampiric Courts. She was said to bring hope where there was none.” “You mean me?” Megara stared into the woman’s eyes her hands trembling. “Yes and no.” Slowly drawing the next card and laying it in front of Megara. The Lovers. “No one’s path is alone.” _________________________________________________________________ Hey everyone, I haven't been on much and I apologise but I thought I would return to this story and ask what you think.
  19. Yep, I'm compiling the story I wrote for the Khronicle earlier this year. I'll put out one chapter every two days until they're all out and then I'll start working on it again, because closure is a good thing :> -------- Sophia. Her very name made the worst think of opulence and greed, and the best of a lost little girl in search of a cruel being that has lived on in infamy through the ages, whose very name brought thoughts of hate to mind. She was indeed a lost little girl, with her hair in fashionable tangles dyed bright pink and her clothes made from the rags found in thrift shops. She wasn’t even old enough to pour herself a drink, legally at least, but she already decided whom she loved. And she would find him or end herself trying. But he wasn’t someone to be easily found. He was one of the types that showed up very rarely just to say something horrible and then vanish again when he had the chance. He would betray her like he did someone so much more important than the girl with dreams too big for her little head. But nothing would stop her. At the very least she wanted to see him, even if he would vanish again. She needed to see him. She had tried so many times, been through all the books on how to make him appear, but nothing worked. Instead there was an unexplainable amount of decaying animal bodies in the woods, all cut and bled in the same way. More looking would find her circle, the pentagram she drew with a stick deep into the ground, the burned candles at every point. She wanted him to betray her. She wanted to end up like the one he had betrayed before if it meant that he would hold her once. She considered extreme measures. She considered doing things so unspeakable to another human that at the very least, she would be banished to his circle. She had the tools to do it as well. It would be easy to cleave someone’s face in half and then cut the body apart. But her virtues stopped her. Maybe the one he betrayed was trying to tell her something, or trying to stop her before she went too far into the dark. But she needed to see him. She needed to see his beautiful red hair, his piercing brown eyes, his glorious body. Her love for him was pure. It had to be! Or else she wouldn’t have gone into the darkest alleys in search of someone to help. She was ready to give her blood, anything to see him. But no one could help her. They all told her that he couldn’t be called. Told her that she was going to taint what little light she might have had left if she continued. But she never stopped. And then she had a flash of brilliance. She would betray much like he did. It would be too easy. But it proved to be harder than she ever imagined. But it should be hard to sell out a friend from birth whose secrets you bound to your heart. And it never drove her away from him. If anything it made her adoration deepen. She never stopped trying. At one point, she adored a boy, but soon her love drove her far away from him, back to her most beloved. She knew all the legends, knew everything about him recorded, even had a copy of his gospel even though it was banned and rare even in an age of technology and heresy, believing every word. And after years of trying, of driving everyone around her far away, she had a small success. She managed to call a being that was in regular contact with him. She pleaded and begged with this being, promising everything a girl with the dream that was too big could offer. But this being had no mercy. He would be told of this love, but he was forbidden to come to the surface. The reason would never be revealed. She offered her soul to this being, this woman at the top, and it was taken after negotiations. Her soul for a night with him. She would belong to this bat winged woman, the one apparently called the Dona, become her slave at the end of her life, which would be after this one night, and spend an eternity as nothing more than a glorified pet to a cruel mistress. But it was worth it. It had to be. When the fateful night came, she saw him. But he wasn’t what she had dreamed of. He was bitter and angry at what the world had come, at her for calling him so feverishly. He was beautiful but she wasn’t allowed to even think about expressing her love for him. But a deal was a deal and she was rather cute after all, just another virgin for him to ravage while he was still on the surface and away from the pettiness of his circle. It was something she didn’t want. She didn’t want him this way, didn’t want him to touch her in those ways. She just wanted to talk to him. She just wanted to feel his body beside her. She did not want him to do those terrible things, but she let him. And after it was over, after her body ached and the scratches he made finished bleeding, he then decided to talk. He told her about everything she asked, from his first life, to what his circle was like, and let her cling to him. During these talks, she made him promise that he would come for her, that he would protect her from the scariest of the scary in the place she would end up calling home. He watched her fight so hard against the overwhelming need to sleep and understood what was happened immediately. There was no way that divinity would take this girl, especially because she would become his pet, his personal slave. He searched for anything that he could be able to kill with and found nothing but an open window. This would be more than enough. He stood, taking her with him, and kissed her before pushing her out. And he watched her fall, the look of sudden knowledge something priceless in every sense. When her body landed, he looked over the ledge and saw her staring up at him, the broken body in a frenzied looking jig. He went to the street and picked up the body, dumping it into the bushes and walking off. One night with Judas and an eternity spent in hell being passed around to all that could want her wasn’t anything the girl with the dreams that were too big should ever hope for.
  20. This is a collaboration by shyguysteve and rezin Prologue: No man can escape death no matter how strong or how powerful Death will claim all. That is where the Hounds of death come in known simply as the agents. These Agents are the re-claimers of the dead and the guides to the lost souls. Because without these souls whole familes would cease to exist due to the reincarnation cycle being broken. That is why the agents are the balance keepers helping to keep the order of the universe. but the War between Heaven and Hell is on the Horizon so will these 7 Agents of Death be enough to keep the balance?
  21. Chapter 1: Aimlessly Brilliant I could tell you some legend or start off the way every story does but i think i should change it up. "Hey Noah wait up" said Rolis Schnieder a classmate a friend to Noah who always seems to have an upbeat attitude wherever he goes. "Hey Rolis, sorry for walkin away i just got some stuff on my mind," said Noah Enoch a rather down to earth fellow. "Is this about what you are going to do with your life again Noah because you and I both know that you are one of the smartest people in this whole campus" said Rolis with a bounce in his step and a never failing smile. "Yeah it's just that I want to make sure I choose the right path well anyways i should be getting back to the dorms" said Noah with a look of deep thought on his face. Noah lived in room 240b along with Rolis and the illusive Adam Cage. Noah got to his room plopped down on his semi made bed and decided to check all of his social networking sites like Facebook, kametsu, and twitter. He first checked Facebook where he had no notifications but he did have a friend request from a Moses Brave who had the mutual friend of Adam so Noah decided to add him. Next he went to check kametsu again no messages but he had a friend request from MosesOf7 which started to freak Noah out but when he checked his twitter and saw MosesTheGuardian was following him he quickly shut off his laptop and went to look at his window wondering who moses was and why the hell was he stalking him. well so ends chapter 1
  22. Chapter 1 Story 1 The Rich Hobo. This one time I was walking down the street and I saw a hobo begging for money so I walked up to him and said “Hobo, why are you a hobo?” he replied “Cause the man brought me down” then he proceeded to shake his fist angrily. So I asked, “And just who was this man Mr. Hobo?” He jumped up and pointed to a huge corporate type building. “Those bastards in there!” He yelled. As the yelling continued I decided to look in his hobo begging jar, to my amazement he had more money than I had ever seen in my life, My mind began to race with thoughts of what I could do with the hobo’s money right then he said “And that’s why I got fired and live here on the street in a cardboard box” Pretending that I listened to the rant I distracted the hobo with shiny fake jewelry and stories of my riches. I told him to bring his things and he could stay with me, He was so happy he could hardly contain himself, Later I found out he didn’t contain himself and pissed in my car, I rubbed his nose in it then I remembered he’s a hobo and will never learn, After the car incident we arrived at my home, I showed him where he would be staying and kindly asked him to take a bath for that he reeked of urine, feces and fish. He happily agreed to the bath, while he was in the shower I started to plot on how I would murder the Nasty hobo, I had plenty of ways to kill people stored in my head, because I had often planned out my Co-workers deaths, after pondering for awhile I decided on the simplest way you could kill a hobo. While sitting on the couch I heard “HEY LADY! I AIN’T GOT NO WEARABLES!” The hobo yelled. “Oh Shit” I thought, I hadn’t even thought about clothing for him after the bath, Then I suddenly remembered I still had some of my ex’s old clothing stored in a back room I had kept them for personal reasons but this is more important than some old clothing, I’ll be rich once I steal his money. I walked to the bathroom door, “Gimme bout five minutes I’ll have you some clothing” I stood there for a moment waiting for a reply and nothing was said, So I knocked on the door again “YO HOBO YOU STILL IN THERE?!?” I yelled. Then I heard something like a moan of sorts, Shocked I slowly backed away from the door and shuffled off to get the clothing for the hobo, walking past the kitchen I remember something I needed to get ready to kill the hobo, I went to the freezer and set out a thick piece of steak and proceed to get the clothing. I started back to the bathroom were I had left the moaning hobo and noticed the door to the bathroom was open and with the door to my bedroom across the hall was open, Confused I looked into my bed room and to my shock I saw the hobo dressed in my “special” lingerie laying on my bed asleep cuddling up to my favorite….. TO BE CONTINUED! ^,,^
  23. This is part of a saga i have been working on for some of years now, that spans the better part of three centuries. This is actually set before the main storyline and is something of a prelude/side story. Despite of this, I will have to rewrite the chapters due to the sheer size of content and the fact I don't want to be writing all day to get one chapter on the story, so please bare with me...XD I'll post the first proper chapter tomorrow... Also on a sidenote this story may have some pretty graphic content in this so read at you own risk... Prologue To A Prelude At the turn of the 23rd century humanity went through what was later called "the False Apocalypse" spurred on by escalating tensions between the West and the recently formed Asian Defensive Union that triggered a non nuclear global conflict. The resulting arms race, as nuclear weapons were rendered strategically useless, pushed Humanity's technology to the limits of human understanding at the time. After the invention of various WMDs and years of conflict, one group's discovery shined above the rest... the ability to travel at faster than light speeds. The Furikawa-Robertson Sublight Accelarator was able to be used along side a modified WMD, the graviton bomb, too allow this drive to accelerate past the light barrier. This discovery united the world in peace and ushered in an age of exploration grander than any before. Where our story starts off is at the turn of the 24th century, after the Great Exploration had come to an end and the entire Solar System has been colonised by Humanity in it's reach for the stars, but events have been set into motion that will change the way people think of themselves and the stars forever...
  24. NOTE This is once more copyrighted to me, any use of all or part of the story will be dealt with by the full force of the LAW ~Talena Mae~ 1 The day was sinking into the darkness of night, the sweet smell of the hot earth as it started to cool spread through the house. The sun sank lower and the crickets started their songs, the noise was calming and that is what he needed. The world was changing, moving into a direction where war was inevitable, the Witches, Wizards, Warlocks, Elves and Humans would be going to war with each other. Something needed to be done to keep the animals and their protectors safe. The Protectors were little beings, about knee-high to a fully-grown human male. They were always the hardest hit when a war broke out. Not many of Terras’ other residents cared what happened to them, to most of them the Protectors were little more than a nuisance, but there were few who could remember the old days when all the beings lived and worked in harmony. Ashadern was one of the few, he was a unique man. At his age he still remembered the storied his grandparents told about the first ship and how many years ago, there were cross breeds of all kinds. Now anyone admitting to be a cross was killed, his own mother and father died not too long ago in the village of Timma for looking the way they did. Ashadern was one of the lucky few, he looked more human then others, and no one knew in this village what he really was. He had fled Timma when he saw his parents taken to the village square, with only the clothes on his back. The young man he was ran. When he could no longer run anymore he would hide amongst the grasses and shrubs to sleep, once rested he would get up and do it all again. Whenever anyone got close to working out what he was, he moved onto the next village, his aimless wondering has been a part of his life for more summers then he cared to count. The man he was now was growing tired of moving, he longed to make friends. Someone he could share all his secrets with, someone who would accept him for who and what he was. The sun had dipped below the horizon and the scent of the scorched earth was now much stronger as the darkness tried to cool the ground, somewhere an owl hooted. Its hunting cry beautiful in the night, the crickets stopped their chirping at its call. Now the only sound was the owl calling to the night, the gentle rustle of the wind as it danced through the trees. Ashadern had watched the sunset from the wooden bench next to the front door, his mind had taken in all the sights and smells of the day turned night. Not often did he get the chance to enjoy a sunset in its entirety, so whenever he got the chance Ashadern never passed it over. He stood and stretched making all his joints pop, with a slight smile on his full lips Ashadern turned to walk into his borrowed home. The owners wanted to go see some relatives in the next village and were worried about leaving their home unoccupied when he had stumbled to their doorstep. He had asked them to stay for a while to rest up before continuing his journey; they looked at this as a sign and asked him to watch the house for seven settings of the sun. He had willingly agreed, as he had desperately needed the rest that only a good clean bed could provide him. They left him in the house the next sun up, Ashadern had now been here for the seven suns. On the morrow, they would be home and he would be once more on his feet, not that Ashadern minded now he had rested. Reaching the lounge Ashadern packed all his belongings into his satchel, it was a meagre collection of clothes and the two little figurines of his parents that he had made himself. There was also his sleeping mat and blanket, some dried food and some coins for when his stories were not enough for a room and food. He placed the pack by the door and stretched out onto the couch in front of the dead fireplace. Soon he would have to get up again and clean but for now, all he wanted to do was rest, so Ashadern closed his eyes and let the blissful slumber take him where it may. The sun was high when Ashadern finally opened his eyes, he sat up so quickly that his head swam and his vision blurred. The dream had been vivid the sights, sounds and smells. As if he was really in that place at that time, he rubbed his eyes; it was time to talk to the elves. The high Elven should be able to help with the dreams; he was a master at walking the dream path. Ashadern stood and started to clean the house, the owners would be back soon. The cleaning took him a hand span to complete, there was not much to be done, but Ashadern thought if it were his own home he entrusted to a stranger he would want it to be spotless when he got back. He shouldered his pack and walked out the door, he had perfect timing, as the owners were walking up the dirt lane towards the house. He waved at them and walked into the forest, Ashadern did not wish to speak with them so he walked as fast as he could, moving much deeper into the forest. Soon the birds started singing again and Ashadern slowed his pace, he had nothing to gain wearing himself out so quickly. A shallow stream crossed his path and Ashadern thought it would be a good time to stop and take a drink. He took out his water-skin and filled it to overflowing before he put the stopper back in, he tied it to his belt before kneeling at the bank, he cupped his hands and drank until he felt ill. A twig snapped and Ashadern stood, in one quick motion he scanned the forest with his eyes until he spotted the male high in the tree. His features were pointed; he also wore a camouflage of greens and browns to blend in with the forest perfectly; if Ashadern was not part elf himself he would never have spotted the scout. Ashadern turned slightly to face the elf fully and resting his right fist on his chest bowed deeply. The elves eyes sharpened slightly as he returned the gesture before jumping from the branch to land lightly in front of Ashadern. “What brings a half-breed into our forest, I thought they had all been killed by now.” The elf sneered “I wish to talk to the high elves of this forest if you please.” Ashadern replied showing no emotion at having been called a half-breed. “I would like to ask permission to continue on my wanderings.” “You wish an audience half-breed?” The elf stiffened he was not used to politeness. “What makes you think they would grant one such as you an audience?” “I am sure they would, as I am being on my best behaviour. Plus it is out of consideration to them I request one, my lord elf.” The elf considered Ashadern for a moment before nodding. He turned away and leaped lightly into the trees. Ashadern followed leaving a polite distance between them, they raced across the trees for two hand spans before the elf stopped and turned to look at Ashadern. “You will have to be blindfolded from here half-breed.” He pulled out a length of cloth and approached Ashadern, who bowed again and after straightening his back stood still and waited for the elf to finish. “Put your hand on my shoulder and I will not lead you astray.” Ashadern did as told feeling extremely vulnerable; it was dark under the trees so he did not have the warmth of the sun to tell him what direction they were headed. To Ashadern it felt like they had been walking for three hand spans, he was growing tired but did not let his guide see how fatigued he really was. “We are here half-breed, you can let go and remove your blindfold.” Ashadern did as instructed and went to hand the cloth back to the elf. “Keep it half-breed, I don’t wish to keep anything you have soiled. Now if you will excuse me I need to burn my shirt.” He bowed and walked away leaving Ashadern standing in front of a massive tree. It looked like the stairs leading up into the branches were grown from the tree, he studied them closely, and was correct, the tree had grown them from itself. “Quite the sight, is it not?” A voice sounded from behind him, Ashadern turned and looked at the elderly elf. He had long silver hair, but as the elven ways, there was no hair on his face. The older elf was still beautiful, his face still smooth and free of the wrinkles and liver spots a human would get. Ashadern bowed to him deeper than he did the other elf, and as a further sign of respect kept his eyes lowered when he straightened. “You are polite for one who has never been to our Arèla before; may I ask your name Lord?” “Ashadern my Lord, it is my pleasure to meet you.” Ashadern replied keeping his eyes on the elf’s bare feet, listening to the hitch in the elf’s breath as he mentioned his name. “The pleasure is mine my Lord Ashadern, I am Lord Lüno, and if you would follow me you are expected.” Ashadern followed Lüno up the tree-stairs twisting around the trunk of the ancient tree. He had time to calm the anger he felt towards the rude elf that led him here. So what if he was a half-breed, he was many other things also, none that he would care to discuss with the elves here. They would kill him if they ever found out he was a mix of human, elf, wizard and a protector. He was one of a kind; nobody he had come across had had a mix of all the races running through their veins. It was a death sentence if anyone found out, and if Ashadern did not speak and act with caution here, it could be the last place he would ever see. “Lord Ashadern, we have arrived.” The elder elf informed him pulling Ashadern out of his musings. “I do not need to remind you to remember your manners, as yours have been polished brightly.” “Thank you Lord Lüno,” Ashadern bowed deeply, “May your mind stay sharp.” “May your arm stay strong my new friend.” Lüno replied bowing in return. Ashadern walked under the archway marvelling at the perfect engravings along its wood, not a piece had gone to waste. All over the arch were vines, leaves and elves. Ashadern thought that even if he was given the rest of his life to examine the archway he still would not find every picture it contained. Squaring his shoulders Ashadern walked into the tree with his eyes downcast once more, he stopped halfway into the huge room and bowed to the thrones still a good distance from him. “Ashadern, come forward child, I wish to see you in the light.” Said one of the most beautiful female voices he had ever heard. Ashadern did as he was instructed; he walked forward until the leg of the throne came into his vision. “Look at us Ashadern.” Ashadern raised his head, before him sat two stunning elves, the male was on the right and the female on the left. Their hair was as beautiful as spun gold, long and flowing, their faces pointed like all their kind. Eyes of the lightest blue one would think they were iridescent, that shone with so much knowledge it was as breathtaking. The male elf looked so much like the female at his side that Ashadern wondered if they were siblings. Clarity came to him then and remembering his manners he looked down once more. “Well done Ashadern, there are not many men or elves that can look away from my sister once they behold her beauty,” said the male sitting on the right acknowledging what Ashadern suspected of their relationship, “what brings you before us this day?” “I have come before you my Lord and Lady, to ask permission to pass through this forest unhindered as I continue my wanderings.” “Where are your wanderings taking you Ashadern? For you have been walking far and wide, I have heard whisperings of you.” Said the Lady, Ashadern heard her sharp nails tapping on the wooden arm of her throne. “I go wherever my feet take me Lady, at the moment I have not thought passed going to the next village.” “Hmm, well brother what say you?” “I say let the half-breed pass and think no more of him, for it will only bring us trouble the longer this volatile creature stays here.” Ashadern fought to keep his hands from becoming fists, again with the insults when he had done nothing to deserve such treatment. “Yes, I agree brother, let Ashadern pass, unmolested. Lenè; let it be known what we have said, Ashadern you may pass through our lands. But remember the world is moving into disorder and you shall be needed, go in peace Ashadern.” He bowed again and backed out of the room, once he hit the archway Ashadern straightened and turned walking the rest of the way out of the hall. He was angry; Ashadern could feel his annoyance and hurt bouncing off him in small waves. “Forgive the children Lord Ashadern; some of us still remember you from the old days, but the children do not believe in the old tales any longer. It is such a shame, we would learn so much if we paid closer attention to history.” “History is important Lüno, more important than these children will ever know. The girl in there, what was her name again, Ah Lenè, do they not care that they said her name to a stranger without her permission? Do they care that my name was used without my permission?” “No Lord, they care little for the girl, apparently her family are well below the Lord and Ladies status line. As for you, you are part human Lord so they will hold that against you no matter who you are.” “Lord Lüno these times we are in now are trying, and for them to be so…” He started walking down the stairs, anger is not something he felt often, but he was feeling it now. He could hear Lüno struggling behind so he slowed his angry walk to amble along next to the aging elf. “They are rude Lord Lüno, and rudeness when it is intentional is something I frown upon.” “If the true king would take the throne all of the elves would have to obey his orders Lord Ashadern.” “The true king does not want the throne Lord Lüno, you know that as well as I. He does not want to be bothered with the politics any longer.” Ashadern and Lüno reached the bottom landing and bowed to one another straightening before the elf Ashadern met in the forest came into view. “Please remember Lord that some still remember the old stories and believe them.” With those parting words, Lüno walked away. “Turn around half-breed; I need to blind fold you once more.” “Wrong Lord elf, I was given permission to continue my journey unmolested, so point me the way out my good elf and I will leave your city at once.” Ashadern replied looking straight at the elf. “You cannot!” the elf yelled, “You must be blindfolded.” “Lord, he is allowed to continue with no blindfold.” Said a voice directly behind Ashadern, “The Lord and Lady stated what he said.” The young elf stormed off as Ashadern turned to face Lenè. She smiled at him sweetly and bowed; as she straightened, she kept her eyes lowered. “Lord if you would follow me I shall lead you to the path that will take you to the next human village.” “I thank you Lady, please lead the way.” Lenè turned on her heel and started walking, Ashadern had no trouble keeping up her pace; although she was nearly as tall as he was her strides were hurried. Being someone who was used to being on the road the pace was no more then an idle stroll through a beautiful town. “Lord I was just wondering about the outside world, what is it like out there? …If you do not mind my asking.” “Dangerous Lady, there are wild animals like the wolf or bear that will attack you if they are hungry enough. The humans are ruthless when it comes to someone who is not like them, there will be a war Lady, it is best if you remain here where you are safe.” “If there is to be a war Lord then none of us will ever be safe, elves and human alike.” “You’re forgetting the Protectors, Wizards and Warlocks.” Ashadern retorted. “And you Lord are forgetting the Witches.” “Yes very true, but their magic is the same as the Warlocks, it is just gender that determines what name they are called.” “I did not know that Lord, I always thought of them as separate.” “Most do Lady, but I have been out in the world and have spoken to many beings of all shapes and sizes. If it helps, they themselves think they are different.” “I can see where they would start thinking that, one group male one female. It would be an easy mistake to make.” “The funny thing is that the men will only take a witch as a wife for the most part. The men think human women are inferior for some reason.” “Not just the women but the men also Lord, they have nothing that will attract-” Ashadern stopped and looked at her for the longest time, once she realised he was no longer walking with her she stopped and turned around making her way back to where he was waiting. “Lord is there something the matter?” “Yes there is, I will make my own way from here Lady.” Ashadern tried to pull in his anger so through clenched teeth he stated, “Next time Lady, think before you open your mouth, most of the humans I have met are more civil then the elves, not to mention that I am also part human. Before I leave I will let you know this Lady, most Humans, Witches, Warlocks, wizards and protectors think the elves are too haughty for their tastes. They say the elves think way too much of themselves, and being a ‘half-breed’ I have to agree, elves DO think too much of themselves.” Ashadern walked away the last of his patience had faded, he wondered if one more word would have him saying something he would likely regret later. 2 Ashadern went his room and sat on his bed, thankful once more that his ears were nowhere near as pointed as some of the other half-breeds around. The owner of the inn was checking peoples’ faces and ears to catch anyone of mixed races. Ashadern shifted his position causing the bed-springs to squeak in protest; he was still agitated about the elves rudeness. However, as soon as he got into town he had heard rumours of another half-breed like him, apparently a woman. The towns’ people said she was more beautiful then the elves, deadlier then the Witches, Warlocks and Wizards and more fearsome then a pack of hungry wolves. If this were true then he would not be one of a kind, if it were true then she could only be The Lady and the bad thing was, if she were The Lady, she would feel Ashadern’s presence and come to him. Ashadern lay back and muffled a curse as his head hit the wall; it did little to improve his mood, Ashadern fell asleep some time later still clutching at his head. The morning dawned overcast Ashadern was still in a foul mood when he emerged from his room to get something to eat. He had been having a run of bad luck since he left the elven town; he had begun to wonder if Lenè could have done something after he left. Walking into the dining hall Ashadern found an empty table and sat at it, the innkeeper noticed him and hurried over. “We ‘ave the meat that was left from last night or the wife made some porridge if ya want tha’…” “The porridge if you please sir.” Ashadern said trying to get comfortable on the hard wooden seat. “Right away sir, the wife wanted ta know how long ya were staying, ya see, it has been a long time since we ‘ave heard a good story.” “I could stay one more night, but I do not have the coin for it.” “The wife said ya could stay an’ eat free if ya stories were any good.” “Well, how could I refuse that offer? I accept.” “Thanks, I’ll tell the wife.” The innkeeper rushed off to get Ashadern his food. Before long, he was back placing a large bowl on the table with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Ashadern started his meal he had not realized that he was so hungry, he surmised that the encounter with the elves had left him hurt and angry at their rudeness, and because of that he had failed to eat most of the time. Starving his body had done him no good, as now he was constantly fighting the urge to pick up the bowl and drink his porridge instead of using the small wooden spoon. “Ah, here you are Lord.” A bell like feminine voice sounded from behind. “I have been waiting for you.” “And you are?” Ashadern asked not turning around to face the woman. “I my lord am whom you have been seeking, I felt you when you came into town and wondered why it was that you did not come to see me.” “You are The-” He stopped when she put up her hand “Yes, I am she Lord. Now we have matters to discuss, so after you tell your stories tonight I will meet you in your room?” “That is acceptable Lady, but I will not be finished until late.” “That is fine, I shall see you then.” She walked off as Ashadern slumped in his seat. He knew he had been rude not turning to face her, but considering all he had heard Ashadern thought he was safer to stay facing the table. * * * Ashadern sat with his back to the warming fire a large crowd facing him. He took a deep breath and started on his last story for the night: “Many years ago if someone were lost in the forest, the humans would ask the elves for their help in locating them leaving the elves gifts of human made baskets or leather. They would ask a witch or warlock to help with fires or planting paying little for the help given. The protectors would let the men hunt some of the animals in return for human grown crops. The wizards would help with potions and spells for the sick or injured. No one discriminated against the other. The world was in peace, as time went on humans fell in love with elves and had children. Warlocks fell in love with witches; elves fell in love with protectors and so on. As time went on many half-breeds were born, everyone loved life and lived happily. Then a greedy man came into power and took the throne as king. He was a ruthless man, the people of his kingdom worked hard to ensure that he never had an excuse to look too closely at them. One day the king seeing the forests and lakes that were over his borders decided to create an army, he wanted everything and everyone under his command. The force he gathered was larger than any that had come before, the king sent them to the forests to destroy the elves. The people were surprised, the elves, witches, warlocks and protectors who lived in the forests where their friends. The residents of the forest were surprised; they knew nothing of this king or why he was attacking, the elves recovered the quickest and staying hidden in their homes high in the trees were well protected. As the years passed the war got bloodier, the residents of the forest would let none enter and killed all who managed to step into their shade. The protectors would hide all the animals, once a human got too close they would send wolves or bears to kill them. The witches and wizards used the elements to aid them. Warlocks would cast illusions and spells to keep their homes safe. As the war continued the people, fighting against the humans began to distrust one another until war broke out between them. The half-breeds were the ones to suffer, no matter where they went they were distrusted, abused and in the end accepted by none, they were hunted and killed. As the war continued more and more beings lost their lives, the remaining few half-breeds watched on as the last of the humans on the field dragged himself over to them. The man reached out to them for help, none were surprised to see it was the king. As one, all the half-breeds turned their backs on him and disappeared into the forests. The king died on that field and his son took the crown, the hatred that was born in the father lived on in his son. The years passed more and more beings of Terra were killed, the half-breeds that survived remained unwelcome the elves aloof and the witches, wizards, warlocks and protectors only look after their own.” Ashadern took a sip of his ale indicating that was all he was willing to recite tonight. The innkeeper walked over to him gripping his apron. “Is tha’ the real story?” He inquired looking at his feet. “Did it really happen tha’ way?” “Yes my friend it is the real story, the king was a ruthless man and none were upset by his passing. When the son decided to continue where his father left, he too became hated. Over the years, people have forgotten. I remember the story because I was th-” “You were wha’ my lord?” “I was taught you see the story I just told has been passed down through the generations. One of my relatives was standing across from the half-breeds when it happened.” Ashadern hated lying but to keep him alive this night it was necessary. “Well, I shall be retiring now sir, please see that I am not disturbed. I would like some ale to take with me, two mugs if you please.” “Right away my lord,” The innkeeper snapped his fingers and a girl no more then ten summers scurried over with a skin full of ale and two mugs. “Enjoy your sleep my lord and thank you for the stories.” Ashadern nodded his thanks and made his way up the stairs to his room. Closing the door, he took a deep breath before turning. In one of the chairs before the small table was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Her long black hair was hanging loose down her back and over her shoulders, her face was slightly pointed her eyes a vivid shade of green. Her tight fitting leathers showed a slender body but with wiry muscles. Her corset-like top showed that her breasts were large for someone of her build; she was looking at the candle with her long legs over the arm of the chair, her booted feet swinging slightly. “Are you going to share the ale or are you going to stand that gawking at me all night Lord?” She inquired not looking from the candle. “Sorry Lady, I-I…” “It is fine Lord; I am quite used to it now. I draw attention no matter where I am.” As she spoke, Ashadern walked over and poured a large measure of ale into a mug for her. Pouring his own, he sat on the free chair and waited for her. “May I have your name Lord? You see I feel as though I know you, but your face is not one I remember seeing.” “Lady I am Ashadern.” He looked at the candle wondering what was so interesting. “What is your full name Lord Ashadern?” She asked. “Ashadern D’Slan, Lady. Why do you ask?” “Lord Ashadern D’Slan, son of Lady Arleen D’Slan and Lord Etalon D’Slan?” She inquired her voice compelling. “Indeed Lady, They are my parents, did you know them?” “I did Lord Ashadern, let me introduce myself; I am Tala Iselin, I am afraid I no longer remember my parents.” “I know of them Lady, Lady Abidel Iselin and Lord Tamale Iselin were friends of my father, he spoke fondly of them.” “Well, I should tell you why I am here.” Tala looked directly at him; she knew her beauty made people stare and fail to glance away. That is why she chose something to look at instead of them so they could talk without getting distracted. She reached forward and grabbed her drink, keeping her eyes locked with his she took a deep swallow before placing it back on the table. “Lord D’Slan, I visited with the other races, all of them-” “You spoke with the Protectors, Elves, and warlocks?” Ashadern interrupted. “Yes, as well as the witches and wizards, they are talking about peace.” “Peace… It has been a very long time since the last peace talks had taken place.” Ashadern mused. “Well over one hundred and fifty years.” “I am aware of that, now look at me and listen.” He looked at her. “They are talking about killing off all the humans, or if they all cannot be killed at least enslaving them to be breeding vessels and free workers.” “WHAT?” “I am afraid it is true, they do not like half-breeds,” she half smiled “But with all the women that will be left without men the males think-” “They think wrong; I have seen many women pick up a sword, axe or knife to fight for their home, children, land and even their men.” “That is not all Lord Ashadern, each side is whispering about betraying the other after the humans are dealt with.” “This keeps getting better and better.” Ashadern mumbled draining his mug and pouring himself another drink. “What are they thinking?” “Same thing the old king was, to a point. They see the land getting raped, they wish to stop it.” Tala stated then took a deep swallow of her ale. It seemed he was strong; to talk while she was looking at him, for some reason it made her happy. “I can see where they are coming from, the humans take without giving anything back, but to kill them? I do not think that is the right course to take.” Ashadern stood and paced the world was turning upside down and here he was doing nothing about it. “You must do something!” “Me?” Tala arched a perfectly shaped eyebrow, “there is nothing to gain from my being involved.” “You cannot stay here and do nothing, which would make you just as bad as them.” “I never said I was not going to do anything, there are things only I can do before I talk with everyone again.” “What is it that only you can do?” Tala gave him a piercing look before smiling sweetly at him. “I shall be going to converse with a king.” “King Jones, you are going to talk with King Jones?” “Indeed, I have been summoned to the court and cannot refuse.” “Excuse me for prying, but why in the Gods names were you summoned?” “I have been going to court for a year now, the king thinks I am some princess from another kingdom, I never corrected his misinterpretation. I guess he would like to ask for my hand in marriage.” “That is brilliant, you marry him and stop the foolishness from that side, I go talk to the others and stop it from there side.” “I will not be marrying him, or his son. You will need to act quickly Lord D’Slan; while I am talking to the king, you will need to make haste to the city of Quyl’enari. You need to talk to the council and at least convince them to hold of attacking for a few months. Then once they agree, we both will go into all the settlements we can and see how they all feel.” “‘How they all feel’, as in if they want to attack the humans also?” “Precisely, we need to know how many want a war and how many want peace.” “So we are to be spies then?” He asked tilting his head to the side “In a manner of speaking Lord D’Slan, I prefer to think of us as ‘information gatherers’ to be honest.” “I like that, and please call me Ashadern, as we are friends now.” “Very well Ashadern, please call me Tala and just so you know I am not always pleasant company.” She smirked “Please enjoy the rest of your night, if you need me for anything send a messenger.” “As you wish Tala, travel safe.” Ashadern replied gazing at her as she stood and made her way to the door. “I hope to see you again soon.” “You also Ashadern, please take care of yourself.” Tala walked out of the room closing the door softly behind her. Ashadern stared at the closed door His life was changing more then he cared to admit and once more, he would end up in the thick of things. He picked up his mug and drained it in one swallow; he then pulled himself to his feet and went to bed. 3 The morning dawned bright and clear as Ashadern left the inn. He stood looking up at the clear sky, he did not wish to go speak with the High Elves at Quyl’enari but if it brought more time for everyone to live in relative peace then he would do it. Ashadern shifted his satchel into a more comfortable position then checked that his hemp belt had all he needed attached. His water-skin was securely tied to his left-hand side and his sharp dagger nestled in its sheaf was to his right, feeling around his stomach to make sure his coin pouch was hidden in his clothing Ashadern made sure to any watchers he may have that it looked like he was straightening his clothes. His sharp eyes made out the beggar squatting in the shade of the building, a cat was stalking a bird some distance away and a figure he knew standing in the shadows at the towns exit. He made his way to the figure. As he drew closer, Ashadern recognized Tala in the shade of the shop. He pressed his right fist to his chest and dipped his head slightly; Tala returned the gesture before stepping into the sun. “A fair morning is it not Ashadern?” She inquired a smile on her lips “That it is Tala, to what do I owe the pleasure?” “I was going to accompany you to the crossroads before heading my own way.” She replied following the dirt road. Ashadern followed looking at her from the corner of his eyes he noted she was dressed for travel, a small satchel was on her back and her clothes were a light brown. Around her waist was a thong made from leather that had an assortment of pouches hanging from it. Close to her left hip was a wickedly carved dagger, it made Ashadern wonder if she had any more weapons stashed away somewhere. “I have a dagger strapped to each ankle, a poison dart hidden up my sleeve, a dagger strapped to my back and one between my breasts.” She then laughed at Ashadern's expression. “You were staring at my dagger; it was not hard to guess where your thoughts had led.” “You always go so well armed?” He asked looking at her fully now “Is it not uncomfortable?” “Not at all Ashadern, you see I have spent most of my life wondering the roads and I have grown quite used to carrying around so much. Being female it is safer for me to carry around more then I would hope to need.” “Yes understandable, I would too if I were you.” He replied grinning. They continued in companionable silence for a while before Tala spoke once more. “Ashadern…” “Hmm?” He was pulled from his thoughts, “Yes Tala?” “I was wondering why you have not made yourself known before now. You have been sort time and time again, but all the delegations sent were never able to find you.” “I did not wish to be found.” Said a startled Ashadern, “I have had enough of war, people getting killed and losing friends and... family. I had enough.” “Then why show yourself now? If you have had enough why agree to help now on the verge of yet another war where what is left of your friends and family can get killed.” “I have neither family nor friends any longer. I came to the inn on need only. I needed a place to sleep that was not covered in stones or bugs. I had heard you were there, but I did not seek you because I had no wish to become involved. But you came to me, you asked to meet and you asked for my help, as much as I wanted too I could not refuse.” “Why, why can you not refuse?” “Because it is a fight for peace, this will be the war to end all wars.” “We have many battles to face Ashadern before the war is won, and many allies to find.” Ashadern continued in silence, what he said was true but it was not the whole truth. He would not expose that side of himself until he had no other choice, it would mean his death if it were to be found out. “…Dern?” Tala repeated herself “Ashadern? Are you well?” “What?” He shook his head “Yes, yes I am well, what is the matter?” Tala looked into his eyes for a few heartbeats before nodding. “We are at the crossroads; it is time for us to part ways.” Ashadern bowed formally “May the road you travel be short.” “And may your legs carry you far.” Tala replied bowing low before taking the left hand fork. Ashadern watched her leaving a sense of foreboding weighing him down. Something was pushing him to follow her, but thinking of the job at hand he gritted his teeth and took the right fork. He must get to Quyl’enari and talk with the Elven Council, the weight of his quest making his shoulders slump slightly. Ashadern stuck in his own musings failed to see and hear anything until a person was upon him, smiling as the man walked passed he thought it best to keep his whit about him from now on. As the days moved on they got longer, a day out from Quyl’enari Ashadern stopped on the side of the road for the night. No towns were this close to the territory of the elven city; he had to make do with the ground for the night. Ashadern was eating the last of his dried meat as he tried to find a less rocky place to sleep.
  25. This story came about because of the sadistic undertones I noticed in recent animes and media...but meh, who cares as far as the execution goes.... We should be fine, this is my next short to give the good peoples of Kametsu! I hope the jump between 1st and 3rd person that is present in this story does not confuse folks... "You wonder where your God comes from? We are your new God. We begin the trials, we begin the battles. We are the people that made you as you are. We; the Office that controls you, we ask, do you want life? Or Death?" This is an original KALS work. KALS is the group dedicated to renewing and reinvigorating Kametsu's ailing Art and Literature section. We will be posting a wide variety of original shorts. In some cases, if the strory is popular we will introduce character sign-ups where you can post your own character for a continuation of the short. So..... PLEASE COMMENT!
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