Thursday, January 31, 2013
Marcus stood hesitantly outside of the Sanctuary. Should he go? Should he go and fight and risk his life? He almost went back inside, but he was inexplicably drawn to the park.
"I shouldn't go. Louise and the girls need me," he muttered to himself. "But if I don't go, how will I live with myself? And I need to fight. I need to protect them." He ran to the park as quickly as he could, his untucked shirt flapping in the wind. People peered out of their windows at him as he ran by, but none came out. They were too frightened of the battle happening not too far away. As he sprinted down the street, a song ran through his head.
Two weeks ago, he had taken Louise to see Lion King. Before all this trouble with Mevolent had started. They had eaten out for dinner, then went to see the show. Laura and Nina had been left with the girl who lived across the street.
The leaves have fallen
This shadowed land
This was our home
Screams ripped through the city, and balls of fire rose into the air.
The river's dry
The ground has broken
So I must go
Now I must go
Marcus ran and ran, cursing himself for being so slow.
And where the journey may lead me
Let your prayers be my guide
I cannot stay here, my family
But I'll remember my pride
Images of his family flashed through his mind. Nina's stick figure drawings. Laura's voice, singing along to the radio. Louise telling him she was going to have a baby. Holding Laura for the first time. Lifting Nina up to put the ornaments on the tree.
Prideland, I have no choice
My land, I will find my way
Tearstained, lea halelela
Take this, take this prayer
With you, what lies out there
Fatshe leso lea halelela
Marcus reached the park pulled out his gun. He hadn't used it in a long time, but he still could. He shot an Elemental through the heart, then shot an Adept in the shoulder. Another sorcerer grabbed Marcus' wrist and slammed him into a tree. Marcus hunched over, gasping for breath.
And where the journey may lead you
Let this prayer be your guide
Though it may take you so far away
Always remember your pride
The sorcerer flexed his hands, then pressed against the air. Marcus shuddered and opened his mouth, trying to breathe. But there was no air. Black spots appeared, and his chest hurt. As Marcus collapsed, he could still see his family.
"Goodbye." he mouthed.
Mevolent waited for his general to report.
"I will personally come to America." He declared. Nobody objected. Mevolent beckoned Remit forward
"New York City. The community of mages on Manhattan." Remit nodded and the whole group of fifty linked arms. In an instant they found themselves in a stormy New York. The same spot Mevolent had captured Kerias. The group hid well waiting for the Sanctuary agents to finally attack.
Zafira dropped the file she held
"In the COMMUNITY?!" She screeched. The Administrator nodded
"Grand Mage we got to protect the city!"
"We will okay?" Zafira listed names and Cleaver numbers everyone gathered and left the Sanctuary. The walk to the community was miserable and wet. Javier joined the Sanctuary fighters. If they lost Mevolent would gain control of New York City. Zafira entered the community. Mevolent's men came out from hiding.
"Good lord." Came a voice from the back
"Mevolent himself is here." Another gasped. Zafira looked up defiantly at Mevolent looking him in the eyes
"It appears you have gotten to Manhattan but see we don't worship you or your stupidity so kindly leave." Mevolent looked down at Zafira. Shaking his head
"Give up Manhattan and we avoid a fight."
"No." And that word the Sanctuary fighters ran forward and attacked. Zafira hunted down Mevolent but it seemed he was looking for her. She sent a fistful of shadows at his chest and Mevolent staggered and sent fire straight at Zafira. She ducked rolling away from the stream of flame. She drew her sword and lunged aiming to stab his chest. Mevolent dodged it and drew his sword, the god killer. Zafira backed off sending shadows at him. She knew what that sword could do. Mevolent laughed seeing her fear. He sent air shooting Zafira into the ground. He used the air to force her there unable to move. Her eyes showed fear.
"Don't..." Her plea was weak but she hoped it'd be enough. Suddenly the air left and Mevolent went still. He couldn't focus. Zafira got up and smiled, Javier was at work. Javier could hold on for a while. Then the shadows hit him and he lost focus. Mevolent turned to Javier
"Traitor!" He growled and went after Javier the god killer raised. Zafira cried out and someone knocked Javier out of the way and Mevolent stabbed a hooded figure. Zafira looked in shock. Javier ran far from Mevolent and Zafira. Mevolent pulled his sword and finally realized he was losing. He sent fire at Zafira and it hit her. He called to his forces and they came together and then the next second they were gone. Zafira turned her attention to the fallen figure on the ground she knelt beside them. The figure was bleeding from the chest not dead according to Zafira's necklace. Then Zafira pulled back the hood to see the face
"Alivia." She breathed. Her youngest sister. Alivia looked up
"Zaffy... Go on win.." She sounded faint.
"No Alivia let me help you the Sanctuary..."
"Zaffy I'm gonna die. Go on win this you are the one America needs to lead us from darkness." Zafira sat with her sister until she died.
"You killed my sister I will kill you Mevolent." She growled. Javier came over and wrapped his arm around her. Zafira couldn't handle this. She closed her eyes shaking. What else can happen?
There was a Mage city nearby, just outside Athlone, that Mevolent had seized. A lot of Mages being called in as guards came from this village. Dearth led her through to a pub by the name of 'Flight of Bread'. She smiled at the name and followed the Australian in. A man in spectacles, too skinny to be healthy, stood behind the bar wiping a glass clean with a dirty rag. He locked eyes with Dearth for a while and gave a slight nod. It was very small, Cadence almost missed it. The skinny man went into a back room. Before the door closed Cadence glimpsed a room with no wallpaper and a small, thin mattress in the corner. It looked like an awful place to live. Dearth started walking around the edge of the bar and she followed tentatively. He put his hand against the bar for a moment, then swore and started to feel around.
"You haven't forgotten again, have you?" They both turned and a brunette girl who looked about 17 leaned forward and pressed her hand against a certain part of the bar. There was a buzz and Dearth lifted the access bit. "Thanks, Kitty."
Kitty nodded and walked through, thanking him in return. They walked through to the nasty room and she saw stairs in the corner leading down.
Down below was an even nastier room. The thin man was there as well as a blonde who looked similar to the brunette, a short man with dark hair and a rather large stomach and a tall, tanned blonde man with a fair amount of muscle. "Welcome to the resistance." Dearth belted. The others smiled. Apart from the thin man.
"That's the right one." He mumbled. He was Scottish. He stepped forward and extended a bony hand. "I am Fred Mould. These are my friends. You've already met Dearth and Ekaterina, I see." Fred turned and gestured first to the blonde woman. "This is Hibernia Noble."
"Hiya." Hibernia was Irish. The main difference to Ekaterina other than hair colour was that Kitty had a large white scar running down the left hand side of her face. Fred gestured to the tanned man next.
"This is Harrison. He's mine."
"Actually, I'm Kat's. I am in no way interested in Fred in that way."
"And that wasn't what I meant." Harrison was Australian as well, and he had the most reassuring smile ever.
"I bake muffins." Harrison randomly stated. Cadence nodded and Fred turned to the last man.
"Scaramouch Van Dreg. He has his used."
Scaramouch inclined his head in a hello. The necromancer smiled. "Uh...nice to meet you all, but-"
"You don't like Mevolent." Van Dreg stated. Cadence nodded and Harrison continued.
"We had someone inside the castle who reported how you were being used, and we saw the perfect chance to gain a new ally." He shrugged one shoulder and smiled his reassuring smile. "Our lovely little village is under that git's control and we want it back. We're a bit of a resistance against the big guy."
Cadence nodded again. Hibernia beckoned her closer with a smile. "Why don't we tell you what we're all about?"
Boston, USA, 2:23 AM
Memphis Heatwave had managed to hide his broken arm until he had gotten home. River had noticed it quickly and dealt with it, but he didn't tell her it still hurt. It wasn't that bad, just a slight dull ache. There was a completely unrelated reason he was up in the living room. He often had quite bad cases of insomnia. He felt he was quite a traumatised person. How he ever escaped before Lord Vile found and killed him back in war time he would never know, but he had stayed to see his family die. That was usually why he couldn't sleep. War memories turned to the most violent of nightmares. This time it was different. It was Amadeus. He had seen a friend fall fighting, but the friend was too small to be Isaac. That meant there were four of them in danger of being killed fairly violently. Him, Bernard, Mel and River. He shuddered. He didn't want to die. For once he seemed scared by something other than his nightmares. He was terrified by this death prospect. Not just for him, but for his family. He didn't want his wife to be alone, and he didn't want to have to raise his child by himself if the vision had been about her. Then there were Bernard and Mel. It was hard enough imagining the five friends carrying on without Isaac.
The light clicked on. Memphis grimaced, screwing his eyes shut and hissing. He had left his sunglasses on his bedside table upstairs.
"You're awake again. You should get some sleep, Mem."
"I can't sleep."
"You don't even try to get to sleep anymore. Just try and sleep, Mem. If there's another fight, you need to be alert."
"I'm not getting in another fight."
"You want me to risk my life in a pointless battle."
"No! I've just...never seen you back down from a fight...and I don't think it's pointless...it's Mevolent...You're one of the Sanctuary's best fighters..."
"I have too much to live for to risk my life like that."
River looked up towards the ceiling. Jaime would be asleep upstairs. She smiled and nodded. "That's so sweet." She wrapped her arms around her husband's, resting her head against his chest. He sighed and shifted into a more comfortable position. "Something's been wrong with you for a while. I'm worried."
You're worried? He thought. You haven't heard any of Amadeus' visions. You've just treated the after effects. He sighed again.
"Amadeus." He said simply. She frowned up at him.
"What about him?"
"His visions. He's had those clearer ones. The ones that are actual visions. He saw Mevolent return. He saw someone die in battle. I'm worried about that."
"And if you fight, it could be you."
"But if you don't, it will be Bernie."
He nodded again, more stiffly this time. His wife tightened her hold on him. "Visions aren't always right. Just remember that, follow your heart and do your best." He didn't reply, just cuddled up closer to her. Half an hour later, he was asleep. River heaved a sigh of relief and distangled herself from him as she heard the baby crying.
Hibernia and Ekaterina were non-identical twins. They weren't very close as sisters go, and they didn't often spend time with other girls. It was always Harrison, Fred, Dearth and Scaramouch. They both wanted to be friends with Cadence simply because she was another girl, and partially because they wanted to make her feel welcome. They gave her a tour of the little base, and it wasn't very long. They told her about the other members. Fred was psychotic and had trained Harrison and the girls to be the perfect little killing machines. He had been training Harrison ever since the Australian was little. Dearth was very nice, but he suffered from short-term memory loss. Harrison was lovely but thanks to Fred, severely screwed-up. He was quite paternal towards the others, except Ekaterina, as they were apparently dating. Hibernia had slapped her sister when Kitty had started negatively about Scaramouch, so Cadence was pretty sure there was something going on between the two. The overweight mage was interested in world domination. Despite drawbacks, he was still serious about it and had been looking at ways of sorting out world problems to make ruling the world easier. In a sense he was a good guy despite wishing to overthrow the world and be a dictator. At least he planned to obliterate country debt and world hunger in the process. Quite frankly he was a little clueless. Cadence felt she would fit right in with these people and couldn't wait to learn more about them. She was especially interested in relationships. She did love a good bit of gossip...
ASDFGHJKL LITTLE MIX O.O GIRL CRUSHES! Leigh-Anne and Jesy (recongise the name?) and Perrie and Jade!! :D Oh God, I'm becoming obsessed... I'm a Mixer! :)
1D are still my boys though... ;)
~ Mara x
Maralie hummed a tune to herself as she hung upside down from the tree.
"Jesy!" Maralie grinned. "I'M A MONKEY!"
Jesy gave her a withering gaze. I know this because I have a book by Dr. Hoof. It's called 101 Horse Expressions - Find Out What They're Really Saying. It's very handy in situations like this.
Back to the story.
"OH MY GOSH JESY!" Maralie shrieked, falling out of the tree in excitement. Jesy neighed and Maralie frowned.
"No, I didn't find my sanity," she blinked.
Jesy neighed again and Maralie pointed. "It's a butterflyyyyy!"
The butterfly flew around and Maralie screamed. "LIAM LIKES BUTTERFLIES!"
She bolted after it, trying to catch it.
September Silver looked out of the window as Fabi tried to help Star Inkbright. She frowned. Was Maralie... Running away?
"I'll be right back," Ember said to the other girls.
"Disturbed..." Star mumbled. "Apple crisps..."
Fabi sighed and nodded. "Be careful Ember."
"When am I not?"
Fabi opened her mouth to speak and Ember intervened quickly. "Don't answer that."
She went outside, stepping over Eff who was crumbled in a heap on the floor.
"Maralie!" Ember called, looking around. Jesy looked at her, giving her a don't-ask-me look.
A excited shriek came up from behind some bushes, followed by a yelp, and Ember sighed, then went in that direction (hehe).
"Mara, what are you-" Ember stopped and stared at Maralie as she lay on the ground, curled into a ball.
"What have you done this time?" Ember muttered, kneeling down beside her.
"Evil... Butterfly..." Maralie coughed.
Ember frowned just as a butterfly flew by her and liquid squirted out of its mouth. Ember let out a startled yelp and threw herself to one side.
"Liam doesn't like evil butterflies," Maralie murmured, more to herself than Ember.
Ember sighed and looked down at her. "One Direction?"
Maralie looked up at Ember, blinking. "Yes. Liam James Payne. Nineteen. Does not like spoons."
"I didn't - wait, he doesn't like spoons?" Ember frowned.
"DON'T QUESTION HIS DECISION IN LIFE!" Maralie yelled, squeezing her eyes shut.
Ember shook her head and stared at the butterfly. Why the hell was it squirting what looked like poison all over the place? Most likely Mevolent's work. He probably knew Maralie was... Uhm, mentally disordered. That meant he was after them. Damn.
Maralie started singing a song and Ember muttered under her breath as she tried to catch the butterfly.
"MAMA TOLD ME TO LIVE WHILE WE'RE YOUNG!" Maralie sang what sounded like a remix of Live While We're Young by One Direction and Wings by Little Mix. "SHE SAID SPREAD YOUR WINGS GIRL I'M WAITIN' ON YA!"
Fabi stared at Star as she sat on the ground, muttering about disturbed apples.
"Star-" Fabi said, but was cut off by Star yelling at her.
"Yes," Fabi agreed uneasily. "Disturbed apples. But we really should check on Ember and Mara."
Star tilted her head and Fabi sighed deeply. This was going to be a lot harder than she thought.
"Disturbed apples," she said.
Star clapped her hands happily. "Yes! Disturbed apple crisps!"
"Oh my God," Fabi muttered.
Ahm, was this chapter okay? :/ I HOPE IT WAS!!! I think it's too short... And kinda confusing? Maybe? I don't know.
I shall end this chapter with a sonG.
MARA TOLD ME TO LIVE WHILE WE'RE YOUNG
SHE SAID GIRL I'M WAITIN ON YA.
C'MON AND DON'T LET WHAT THEY SAY
KEEP UP A CELEBRATION...
Esran look our for heklsi we just sawe a giel sho looks like her headub g towazrds the castle. be carelft sho you trust.
Esra stared at the text, his vision blurred by unshed tears. At first he thought to type back 'what the hell are you talking about, Twist', then he remembered seeing the broken glasses in the cells. He wouldn't be able to read any of his texts, so he sent a few question marks in separate texts and hoped Twist could see those. His eyesight was really awful. Soon enough, another hard to decipher text came through.
Heklix is unterustworthy. Ab girl lookeed likme her who wad gone to the caddlyte. BHe vasewl.
"...That is just horrible. It burns my eyes." He sat on his table in his office. The filing cabinet of prisoner belongings had been moved out of Hauter's room and into his. He didn't like it. It made his room ugly. Uglier than the body bits and the weapons and the blood and horrible things made it. It just didn't fit in and he hated that. He heaved a deep sigh. He still wasn't sure who Heklix was, but he wasn't thinking straight right now. He just wanted to go curl up in his bed and cry. He had been rather close to his sister, and his girlfriend was dead too...and one of his best friends, while the other was fleeing and blind. He had never felt so bloody miserable. He thought to taking his anger out on the prisoners, but he wouldn't dare lay a finger on Vex thanks to their agreement, and the brutality he had in mind would probably finish Ravel off. He needed permission to heal prisoners, after all, and right now he did not feel like asking. Right now he just felt alone. And if Darren Shadow walked through that door he would have to kill him. It would put him one step further into loneliness and have Abla Hazardous after his blood. Not that he would mind Hazardous killing him. He was feeling pretty depressed right now. He missed his sister and his girlfriend. He loved them. He didn't think he loved B-J until now, but he had. The first tears spilled over. He put his phone down and wiped the tears away from his eyes, but they kept flowing and just as he got his cheeks dry they would be covered in fresh tears. He didn't like this one bit and he didn't want to be alone. He had never really spoken to his other sister. One day he would talk to her, hopefully before she died. Maybe he would talk to her when he had stopped crying, but knowing his luck she'll have been gunned down earlier or something. His shoulders shook with silent sobs and in his mind he scolded himself for being so weak, so soft. Suddenly he wanted to leave, just as Twist had. Disappear under the radar. Just go. Get out of all the death and mayhem. But it wasn't an option. He would regret it later anyway. All he could do was wait and give and take orders, and sabotage the attempts to bring back the Faceless Ones from the inside. He had always hated the way his father had worshipped them. Also Mevolent. He hated him. Mevolent was insane. Esra may have been insane, but he did not get on well with other insane people. Apart from Jerry, but he was dead, so he didn't count. He let a sorrowful wail escape his throat at the thought of death. Almost everyone he was close to was gone now. Only his father remained. He hadn't cried like this since he was twelve...
Cadence was also in tears. Her brother was free. He had been freed by some stranger just as he said he would be, and she had done horrible things for no reason and could never go back. She thought of herself as a war criminal now, which was a bit much. She lay on her bed, plaiting Lilia's curls as the adept babbled on and on about something. Cadence had stopped listening a while ago. She dropped her friend's hair and texted her brother, asking how he was, but she didn't wait for a reply. She told Lilia to leave and she let herself drift off to sleep. A few nightmares later, she was sleeping sat in her wardrobe. When she turned her phone on, there was no reply. She decided either Austin didn't have his phone, was hurt or hated her. Sighing, she got up and went for a walk. She felt she could never redeem herself and stood by an open window, looking at the drop below...
The woman now calling herself Helix to stay hidden was down by the Western Wing cells. She had taken the keys off the original Helix and dumped her body in a pond. She walked down the hall of cells quickly and found the only occupied one. She was in pink running shoes now, no more heels. They would be impractical. She opened the door and stepped in, ignoring the reproachful look she got from Vex. Ravel seemed to be asleep. She approached him and got to one knee, looking at the damage. It looked nasty, but it would probably get worse if he was left here for more than a few hours, and some of those cuts were bound to get infected. She pretended to be examining his current condition as she tried to estimate what size clothes he wore. Vex relaxed a little as he realised she was no threat. Trying to gage shoe size was a bit harder, and she would probably avoid getting trousers. She had her plans. As she got up to leave, he sat up, wincing and groaning as he did so. She looked back at him, concerned. He didn't recognise her. He had never seen that much of her face. Part of her was glad for now, but the other part felt crushed.
"Where are we?" The others looked back at Twist. Perseus had not yet heard Twist speak. He gave a kindly smile and gave him the name of the city. Twist asked for specifics and they were given. "Okay so. Leave me here, will you? I think I can get someone to pick me up." Reluctantly, Perseus nodded and left him there. Advantageous found Niamh Lovejoy in his contacts and called her, raising the phone to his ear.
"Oh finally. I was wondering when you would contact me again. The girls hardly noticed you were gone, did you know that? They spent so much time in front of the computers when there's a whole world of magic out there and we have a vampire locked in our basement. Erin's been a lot of help, by the way. As for you, I'm hoping you come home soon. I get so bored sometimes. You know, the girls complain I talk too much at dinner. Do I talk to much, Addie? Not that you talk much. You almost never talk at all. I never get lonely though, and I can't complain. You're a wonderful person just as you are. I just wish I could help, because I know something bad made you give the whole world the silent treatment. Oh, ugh, I hate chopping unions. I'm making unions for dinner. Well, not just unions by themselves. Are you hungry? I am. That's why I've started cooking so early. That and I'm told this particular recipe takes ages to make. Rachel's quite a good cook now. I think Emily's jealous." Niamh paused for breath and Twist took the chance to get a word in edgewise.
"Niamh, I need you to pick me up."
"Oh, he speaks! Yeah, okay, I think the car's filled up. Should be able to come get you from wherever. Are you at the castle? I'm not sure if I'm allowed to drive to the castle, but-"
"Athlone. I'm in Athlone." He took a moment to give her the specifics and closed the conversation with a sigh. Back home to the overly chatty wife, the overly chatty house guest, the moody daughter who he hardly ever saw due to the wonders of internet dating sites and the other daughter, who was overly chatty and he hardly ever saw her due to the wonders of video games and Twitter. Damn sight better than staying with Mevolent. Plus he could go see an optician when he got back to Wicklow.
A hand rested on the small of Cadence's back. "I know you're not going to jump." warned the owner of the hand. His voice was soft and reassuring. "Just step off the ledge and let me help you." Shaking, Cadence did as she was told. The man smiled. "Hello there."
"Why would a pretty little thing like you want to go and jump?"
"I...I have my reasons."
"I'm Dearth. Dearth Damon-Dacey."
"All D's." She gave a little laugh and Dearth smiled in a slightly confused fashion. He had an Australian accent. "I'm Cadence Nightwish."
"You're an Aussie."
"Sorta. Adelaide, specifically."
"Why sort of?"
Dearth shrugged. "I...I can't remember. I'm sorry, I'm terrible with names. What did you say yours was again?"
"Cadence." She smiled patiently.
"Ah yes. Cadence. Cadence. Lovely name, that." He smiled and gestured for her to follow him. "My friends might like you. I've known them long enough to have their names drilled into my head. Well...most of them...well...Harrison, at least."
"Just Harrison. Always been just Harrison."
"Is he Australian too?"
"Oh yes, him. Yup. Everyone else is Irish. I think."
Cadence tilted her head to the side. This man amused her.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
"Are. You. Insane." She growled. "I just let you kill me?!"
"Zaffy please listen to me! What if... We used your reflection?" Javier pleaded. He couldn't let his fiancé die. He wouldn't do it,
"Wait. What if you play dead, Zaf? Like Javert!" Zafira shook her head
"Go to bloody Ireland and kill me? No."
Javier sighed, "No I mean legit I 'kill' you and lie to Serpine and then you come back from the dead somehow." Zafira rolled her eyes
"Ah yes we Necromancers do that." She said sarcastically Javier smiled
" I got an idea." He kissed her cheek. "When Serpine calls I'll use my magic on you and when i stop you go quiet ok?"
"Fine." She sighed. With that being said they lay together on the couch. Javier expected it to be an hour or so before Serpine decided to call. And sure enough he did. Zafira saw Javier and then he was gone. Replaced was her fear: Mevolent himself. She could feel the pain of torture as if she was being tortured and she screamed begging for death. When she no longer felt it she went silent.
Javier looked away from Zafira letting her be.
"Happy Serpine? Perfect timing of that call."
"Good." Serpine said from the other line. " Mevolent will be happy to know." He hung up and Javier grinned
"Nice acting love." Zafira sat up laughing hysterically.
" i did major in theater."
Back in Ireland Mevolent watched the whole scenario take place. He had spies everywhere. Nefarian Serpine had reported Javier's murder and left. But Mevolent knew the truth he turned to Lord Vile
"I want Kerias alive and Fyreheart dead or alive." He told the general. " I don't care how but just do it." Lord Vile bowed and left leaving Mevolent alone. He replayed the scene from his high tech camera
"Two can play at one game, Zafira." Mevolent whispered. He took his knife from his pocket. "And you will meet my sword, the god-killer when we meet at last." He put the knife away and looked at the god-killer. He wanted Kerias' death to be painful the Scepter would kill her but the god-killer can too. And he wanted her to suffer. Now he needed to have the Grand Mage hand delivered to him.
Arachne the sub-general was walking in what could be seen as a graveyard. This was where everyone who had died from Mevolent's side was buried right now. Except B-J, of course. She had only just been found. Arachne was making sure every grave had a name to it. Every body was marked. She didn't like the idea of 'gone and forgotten'. She strolled quietly through between the graves, locating Vehemence, Trilby, Electrolytic...they would always have a special place in her heart. She just wished she had been there to see them die. She knew what would happen now. Esra was miserable. Nefarian was miserable. There were two prisoners in the cells. Those prisoners would bear the brunt of the bad moods of those with keys to the cells. She felt sorry for them. It was all for a reason though. It had all been a big risk. She had no guarantee that Cadence would succeed with her job, the same for the break out crew, but she knew they would attempt. She knew Jasmin. She had no way of knowing whether Gale would beat Jerry or not, she had just had to hope. She had her plans. She would follow her plans no matter what.
The girl was very pale, but the make-up on her face made her skin look fair. In contrast to the clothes she wore, the rest of her skin looked paper-white. Her lips were painted deep purple, her eyes were blue, her raven hair running to the small of her back. It was impossibly straight and neat. She attracted stares in her hot pink hoodie, short peach-pink skirt and brown and yellow striped tights. Her blue shoes with slightly raised heels clacked against the cracked, unpleasant pavement. She tried to avoid the litter and kept the flap that opened her handbag turned towards her so that no-one could steal from her. She looked about average in terms of beauty. Her handbag was a silver colour with a spiderweb design on the front. It looked pretty, was all. Otherwise she would have gone for something less obvious. She wasn't sure how to get to her destination. She couldn't ask for directions. It would attract unwanted attention. She had to find her own way. At least, that's what she thought until she heard a snatch of conversation involving Mevolent. She crossed over to a large group of sorcerers in a bit of a poor condition. She stood in their way and they stopped, but still chatted amongst themselves.
"Excuse me." The two men at the front turned to face her. She recognised one of the men at the back. "I'm looking for...someone."
"And you are?" The darker-skinned mage at the front asked suspiciously. Oh crud. She hadn't taken a new name yet. All the dressing up for nothing. They were waiting.
"Penguin." she blurted, then internally cursed herself. It had just been the first word that came to mind. The second man raised an eyebrow. The first had spoken with a Spanish accent, this second one was French.
She nodded. "Yes. Anemone Penguin...Nemone."
The French man nodded slowly. "I see."
The Spaniard sighed. "And who are you looking for, miss...Penguin..."
The people behind the men fell quiet. "I see..."
"I have to get there, you see. They have my...family."
"Maybe it's safer to wait for reinforcements. We can-"
"Just tell me how to get there. I know what I'm doing."
The man sighed. "You didn't hear it from me." He told her where to go and the group continued on their way, staring at her. As they walked, she heard the Spaniard mutter 'pendejo'. She shrugged, now Nemone until further notice.
Arachne was able to avoid B-J's more immediate family as she slipped into her room. She lay on her front and opened her laptop, starting a video conference. "I'm progressing well." She started in an airy, conversational tone. "What about you?"
"My, ahem, 'partner' took her with him. I can easily recover her, but I need more reassurance you'll do as asked. The other one kept up her part of the bargain. Can I count on you?"
"You can, as long as I can count on you. Daemon did not kill all of us, you know."
"I know. You're still here, are you not? She timed it for when you were away. Unfortunately she did the same with Hazardous, a grave mistake. And the assault on Sunshine failed."
"It is good. Sunshine has his uses."
"He is a danger."
"He is the safest one to possess the Grotesquery. We could not have hoped for someone better. He is a hope to people like you, Sarok. People who do not want the Faceless Ones to return, like Sunshine himself."
Sarok nodded. "Once I hear of your success, I will return to you what we have taken. It is good doing business with you, Arachne."
"And you, Sarok."
"You know your targets?" Arachne nodded. "Kill them and them alone. Remember, I cannot act directly to obtain my own objective, I will have to get my partner to oblige within the parameters of my binding."
"I understand. Do what you can." She left before Sarok could say any more. She felt a bit hopeless when it came to someone like her. She swung her legs off her bed, checked the hall was clear and hurried out. She was avoiding those she had annoyed as she moved to talk to Mevolent. Her task was going to be hell to complete.
'Nemone' had gotten inside the castle with no bother. They had mistaken her for some girl named Helix. She hurried through the halls, looking for the cells. She had gotten there fast enough. The only problem was she had no idea where to go or what to do.
Someone cocked a shotgun behind her. Slowly, ever so slowly, she turned, raising her arms, and found the girl who must have been Helix. "And you are?"
"I'm Helix" 'Nemone' replied. This Helix girl had such an annoying voice. She would have a hard time trying to copy it.
"No, I'm Helix."
"No, you're a reflection. You're my reflection."
She looked confused. "Did you hit your head or something?"
"No, but you're about to." She charged forward, calling Helix's bluff. The gun wasn't loaded.
The only problems now were hiding Helix's body and then finding the cells. Easier said than done.
Daemon sighed, sinking into a chair at Belinda's house. Nostradamus looked uncomfortable from where he sat on the carpet. Belinda was making coffee. She liked hers with hints of vanilla. Nostradamus hated coffee. They were waiting for Springheeled Jack to report back. It was a little awkward, but Daemon insisted she knew what she was doing.
Belinda came back with the coffee and stated she had seen him approach. Unfortunately for him, they had another job for him.
Bernard was soon caught up in a whirlwind of 'strike, dodge, defend' over and over and over, and half the time he wasn't defending himself, he was creating a barrier of air to stop someone else getting hurt. He was small, hard to hit, and if he helped defend others they would probably return the favour. He heard the bang of Memphis' gun as he shot one person, swung to what had been behind him, fired again and swung back to his initial position, firing a third time. He had lost sight of Melantha and Amadeus, but he could see the area where Mages were having their mind wavelength tapped into. Something hit Sult on the back of the head and he fell to his hands and knees. Someone stood over him, but a blast of energy knocked whoever they were away. He tried to scramble to his feet, but others were too close. He was being pushed and shoved and trampled. A bullet that he hoped had been Memphis aiming elsewhere zoomed past his face. He looked up, saw the detective curse and reload, trying to use the air to defend himself at the same time. A big guy loomed up on him from behind, about to grab his neck. Bernard threw a fire ball and the man's coat set alight. This caught Memphis' attention, and he swung and fired at point blank range. Someone heaved Sult up and he rejoined the fold.
Amadeus was panicking slightly. People kept getting too close before he could block them, hurt their minds or dismantle mental blocks Mevolent had applied to keep people like him out. He stumbled away from another sorcerer as he reached for him, trying to dismantle a block. It wasn't going too well. Someone charged into the sorcerer and Darkside allowed himself a relieved sigh. He continued to walk backwards, taking down enemies from the inside. He caught sight of someone he recognised. He shook his head in denial. He knew where he had last seen this man. It had been in the last vision he had had. Normally visions for him were fits that left him with splitting headaches and stupid blurs of a future that he couldn't decipher at all. It had been a recurring vision, and every time it got clearer and the headaches got worse. There had been a group of people standing as a man rose from flames like a phoenix. One man had been in shadows. Still dead when the first man rose, but to arrive soon after. Baron Vengeous had been the man in shadows, which meant the man rising from the flames...
A man turned to him, a man on his side. "Amadeus! Are you okay?" He could probably tell he wasn't focussing.
"The vision...the one I kept having...I saw Mevolent return! I saw it all! Nobody believed me!"
"You are pretty unreliable."
"But I said the name in my sleep, I was told I did! Didn't it alert anyone?"
"You lived during the first war. Nightmare, maybe?"
"I'm not Memphis bloody Heatwave!" Then he tripped over his shoelace and fell back, switching back to his mental attacks the moment he realised what had happened.
Sult also tripped over backwards on something. Something that grunted and groaned. It was Isaac Binding. He was badly wounded, his breathing laboured and his face covered in a layer of sweat. He scrambled off the bigger man and helped him lie back, protecting him long enough to get him taken off the field. Now he was stuck on his knees, fighting from below in a sea of legs. He decided he hated people.
It was a little while later, the fight was won. Bernard parted from Javier, their conversation over, and walked towards where Darkside lay curled up on the ground. "You're not having a vision, right?"
"Nah. I saw a fight in my vision about Mevolent. It could have been this fight, but I saw someone close to me die. I couldn't tell who, I just knew they were close." He looked up at Bernard, biting his lip. "That vision was ages ago, and it wasn't this fight."
"Isaac's dead." They turned as Memphis walked over, having broken the news so subtly. "Could have been him."
"No...the person was smaller...I saw this all happen though. I knew Mevolent was coming back and nobody believed me."
"I did." Bernard mumbled. They both stared at him. "So did Isaac, but nobody believed him either. He had a reputation for being gullible." He looked up at Memphis. "What about you?"
"Amadeus is unpredictable and unreliable, but he is my closest friend and the one person I trust more than anyone else. The one time he has a clear vision, of course I take it to heart. River said she noticed the change when you told me. I told her it was nerves to do with parenthood." He looked away. He seemed relatively unharmed but for a patch of blood on his shoulder. He insisted it was someone else's.
FINALLY! It is complete. If there isn't another major fight including the US Sanctuary, my plans are screwed.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I breifly contemplated trying to kill myself again, but quickly decided it wouldn't do any good. Mevolent wouldn't let me, and even if he couldn't, Death would stop me. For the first time in my life, I wished I didn't have any friends. Oh well. This Ren person would probably come up and freak out, and all of them can just sit around trying to think of something until Mevolent dreams up another task for me. This was going to be a long night...
Guns started to fire and they started to zig-zag to avoid the projectiles.
"Holy crap!" Death yelled as one flew inches past her head and embedded itself in a nearby tree. It made a satisfying thunk as it stopped.
"God, do I know it!" Ian shouted back as he ducked to avoid a bullet.
Death stopped dead in her tracks and looked at Ian with a quizzical expression. He stopped too and stared back at her.
The hunters turned and walked back towards the stone castle, ignoring their prey. Why did they do that?
Death put a hand to her stomach and felt warm liquid cover her hand. She looked at it and saw how the red colour of her blood shone in the overcast day.
Ian's eyes widened and he raced over to her, lowering her to the wet ground gently. "It's okay, we'll get you out of this." He promised in a scared whisper. He maneuvered his body so her head rested on his lap.
"Pish posh golly wash," she said and waved her hand dismissively. "You know I'm a goner now. I know it too." She said and coughed up a mouthful of metallic-tasting blood. "Go after Ari."
"No you're not. You're going to make this and Ari can go kill herself for all I care."
She sighed heavily, her stomach was starting to feel kinda sore. "I'm pretty much dead anyway. Gimme a few minutes then I'll be out of your life. You'll be happier than l you have ever been before." She promised. "All I've done in my life is for my own benefit, I'm a selfish God damn bastard."
Ian's voice broke. "Death, no you're not! You're wrong!" He sucked in a sharp breath, how she envied his ability to breathe so easily, and continued.
"A life without you is a life not worth living." He said earnestly and tears started to fill his sapphire blue eyes.
"You don't mean that." She scoffed.
"Yes, I do." He brushed a stand of golden hair away from her face. "For years I've been walking the planet, thinking I was whole, complete. I thought I was happy and that nothing could break my spirit, that was, until I meet you.
"You came into my life and turned it upside-down. You showed me what it was like to be whole, actually whole. Back then, I was a shell of nothing." He paused to take a deep, shaking breath. "Now I feel as if something is eating me from the inside out, like the hollowness is reclaiming my soul. Death Rose," he said, looking directly into her eyes. "I love you."
Tears filled her own ice blue eyes and she smiled softly. "I love you too Ian Heartbreak," she said weakly. Using the last ounce of strength left in her body, she reached up with her right hand to pull his face down to hers. Their lips touched briefly before Death's hand fell away and her body became limp.
When Zafira arrived home she was embraced by Javier
"Zaf good thing you came home."
"I had to stay things were getting rough Javier. With Mevolent's forces pressing our borders." Zafira sighed. She had only just heard from Ghastly Bespoke that Ravel was captured. Zafira had told him if she could spare anyone she'd help but she had enough on her plate. Javier kissed her cheek bringing Zafira back to reality,
"Zafira why dont we just sit together? You need a few moments of normality."
"Yes normal." She muttered and sat down in the living room. Javier sat beside her and she fell asleep in his arms.
Javier smiled. His fiancé was so beautiful in her sleep. Javier heard his phone ring and he answered it
"Javier." He answered.
"It is time." Came the reply on the other end. " You said if we caught someone from a Cradle of Magic. Mevolent wants you to kill off Zafira Kerias of America." Javier felt the blood drain from his face
"No way I'm..."
"Do it! It is an order from Mevolent himself Javier."
"Yes, Serpine." Javier hung up. How was he supposed to get out of this?
So, I did the survey in school and WE WON! Woo! XD (the survey about 'Beauty is only skin deep) :)
Annnnnd I came first in my spelling bee... So I'm going for the all Ireland :) I'M GONNA FAIL WITH ALL THE PRESSURE D:
Enjoy the chapter! :)
~ Mara x
"ELEANNA!" Liberty Star shouted indignantly. "You get your butt here now!"
"No!" Eleanna Bright yelled, her voice slightly muffled. "I'm... I'm in the middle of my piano lessons!"
"El, you're right in front of me," Liberty sighed. Eleanna turned, and when she saw Liberty she squeaked and bolted down the hallway.
"El!" Liberty yelled, running after her.
"I WILL NEVER SURRENDER!" Eleanna screamed, and then ran into a wall.
She stumbled back, dazed, then remembered she was being chased and ran into her room and locked the door.
"El, please open the door!" Liberty sighed again, running her hand through her blonde locks.
"Noooo!" Eleanna cried.
"I will set the house on fire!" Liberty threatened. Eleanna whimpered and Liberty could hear her sliding down the door.
"Please don't Lib!" Eleanna sobbed.
"Oh, for the love of..." Liberty facepalmed and placed her hand on the lock. A few seconds later it clicked, and Liberty kicked it open. A surprised squeal could be heard, and then Eleanna's head poked up from behind the door.
"Lib!" Eleanna said, eyes blinking in surprise.
"Who did you think it was?" Liberty asked, her brows scrunched in confusion.
"You," Eleanna admitted, "I just expected you had given up."
"You do know I can open any lock in the world, right?"
"You confuse me," Liberty sighed, sitting down heavily on Eleanna's bed.
"That's exactly what my brother says!" Eleanna smiled, eyes sparkling.
Before you read the next part... I am dying to write it xD But it'll drive everyone nuts. SO BEWAAAARE!
Harry Styles, international popstar and member of One Direction, was Eleanna's brother. Harry didn't know about magic, and Eleanna was determined to keep it hidden from him.
SEEE! TOLD YOU!
"El!" a voice called down the hallway. Eleanna yelped and climbed onto her bed, then began chatting with Liberty.
"Eleanor?" Harry said, opening her door.
Eleanna's given name was Eleanor. She didn't want Liberty to accidently call her another name and have to make up an excuse to her parents and siblings. So Liberty called her El.
"Hi Harry," Liberty waved.
Maralie would die if she was in this position, Liberty thought to herself.
"Oh, hey Liberty," Harry smiled. "El, you've got mail."
"Ooh!" Eleanna exclaimed, running over. "Is there a lot of mail?"
"Um, well, you have one letter,"
"YESSSSSS," Eleanna yelled, bolting down the corridor. Liberty sighed and followed.
"Runnin' from the Madhouse
They won't take me back
Got the medicine to give me what I need,"
Liberty pulled her phone out of her pocket and pressed the 'answer' button, cutting off Little Mix.
"Lib?" Molliana's voice came through the speaker croaky.
"Mollie?" Liberty gasped. "Are you alright?"
"Uh, well, I'm pretty sure my leg isn't meant to bend like this, but yeah."
"I'm coming to Ireland right now."
"What?" Molliana sounded panicked. "Lib, you can't."
"You can't tell me what to do."
"Technically, I'm your legal guardian."
"Go fall down a brick hole."
"Stop stealing quotes from Mara!"
"Go run into a wall!"
"See you in a few hours," Liberty said, then hung up.
"Harry?" she said sweetly.
Harry sighed. "How much do you need?"
"I need you to drive me to the airport," Liberty said, fingering her crystal necklace.
"What?" Harry said sharply. "No. You're only seven."
"And a half."
Harry sighed again. "I won't be able to convince you, will I?"
Erskine was led along to an office similar to those of the sub-generals. It was Trilby Outrage's old office, but it had been cleared. His desk was now pushed against the wall and covered with a wide variety of weapons. One wrist was freed and he was instructed to take his shirt off. "I don't know what you hope to gain from this." He stated cheerfully as he complied, his power still dampened by the other cuff. The shirt was thrown to Esra, its original owner, who stood by the door with a pair of garden shears. He was then forced to sit in a bound chair, his ankles secured to the legs. His other wrist was unshackled and both wrists were secured to the arms of the chair. Mevolent stood there all in white, Serpine beside him in black. They both stood beside Esra and Hazardous was behind the chair. Mevolent came forward.
"We want to know what the Sanctuary's planning and how they'll react with you gone. That's all. Care to help us with that or will we have to do this the hard way?"
Erskine presented his middle finger. "Swivel on it."
Mevolent sighed and reached behind him. "Esra?" His other hand held Ravel's fist closed, keeping the middle digit raised. Serpine's son stepped forward and handed over the shears. They were held to the base of the finger. Ravel shut his eyes and turned away until the pain shot through at the hand. He cried out, opened his eyes and saw the stump where the digit used to be. Blood was spraying out. "Esra." Mevolent called again, sounding bored. Esra stepped closer and healed the stump over.
"You'll live." He stepped away again.
"That was stupid, Erskine. Now all you have to show for it is a missing finger." Ravel didn't see him draw back his fist, but he felt it crunch against the side of his jaw, his head snapping to the right. His head automatically turned at least a little after each hit towards its original position, but each time it began to turn, he was hit again. The fifth time, he bit his tongue and his mouth filled with blood. He was sick of blood already. He was hit a few more times and then let alone. He spat the blood in his mouth down onto the floor, still facing to the right and slowly, cautiously, turned back to look at his attacker. Their eyes met through the veil and Mevolent grabbed a knife. Ravel averted his gaze. Instead, he looked at the assortment of weapons. A shudder passed through him. "Now, as Grand Mage, you know what your Sanctuary is planning against us."
"We're not planning everything. The American Sanctuary is taking care of things first."
"That's a lie, Erskine. Look at me and tell me the truth."
Erskine looked at him. He didn't speak, though. He spat. A blood-stained ball of spit congealed on Mevolent's veil. The knife came down, hammering Ravel's right shoulder into the chair. He screamed and Serpine replaced Mevolent, slamming his foot into Ravel's stomach.
B-J was arranged to sleep through the whole thing. They had slipped sleeping pills into her drink. Serpine was a little worried that Arachne had Overdosed her, but she insisted the girl would be fine. B-J was fast asleep on her bed.
Elsewhere the Irish Sanctuary was just a little chaotic. Ghastly and Mist were trying to maintain order, but it wasn't going too well. They had had to report that Ravel had been taken by their own agents to Mevolent and they were waiting for word back from the other Sanctuaries. Koken'nin of Japan had given the signal that Japan were staying well out of things. That was currently the only response they had. They had no idea where Mevolent's base of operations was, just that it was a castle. They had someone looking through castles at the moment, but there was still a varying level of pandemonium that was about to drive Ghastly over the very edge of crazy. Mist seemed even more closed up than usual. Soon people stopped going to her for answers and Ghastly locked himself in his office to avoid them all.
About half an hour later there was quiet outside. There was a knock on the door and Tipstaff's voice called through, saying Mist had gone home and people were waiting to find out what they were doing.
Mist hadn't gone home. She was walking through the streets, trying to find her own way to Mevolent's castle. To the people at the Sanctuary, it would seem she had just disappeared and yet more panic would be caused. Some might think betrayal, some might think kidnap, and part of her felt sorry for what she had left Ghastly with. Still, he would live providing there wasn't another attack.
Serpine held up a small knife with a red handle so that Erskine could see it. "Do you know what this is?"
"...is it a hug?"
The general laughed. "Afraid not."
"Hugs have blue handles."
"...Yes...thank you for that, Esra..." He gave his son an odd look and held the knife to Ravel's shoulder blade. "So what are your plans? Any plans at all."
"To forget about hanging out my washing. It'll be dry when I get home anyway." The strange look was now directed to him. "You said any plans."
The knife was dragged down across his torso. He hissed between his teeth and accidentally tugged slightly on the knife in his shoulder, bringing out a whimper. The knife was then held dangerously close to his eye.
"I didn't think you had such a sense of humour in these kinds of situations." There was no response. The knife was taken away. "We just want a few simple answers."
"We don't have any plans. The Sanctuary haven't made any plans whatsoever."
Serpine turned as if to walk away but turned at the last minute and smashed his heel into the Grand Mage's knee. He cried out as his kneecap shattered. Something cracked into the side of his head. It was a crowbar, he was pretty certain. It smacked into his good shoulder, dislocating it. Hazardous was smacking every inch of him she could reach from her vantage point with that crowbar. The others stepped back and let her do as she pleased. Finally she was stopped. She stepped away and Serpine stepped back forward.
"What about now?"
"What about now what?"
"Plans. Sanctuary plans."
Erskine laughed. "What have you got behind your back?"
Erskine laughed again. "Oh God, you're going to stab me." He shut his eyes and turned away. "Make sure you get my good side." He was slurring his words a little.
"...Abla, I think you broke him..." Esra mumbled. "I think he's concussed."
"I feel drunk." The Grand Mage replied cheerfully. "I have plans, actually. I'll skin you all alive and turn you each into a suitcase. Maybe I'll make a market in those."
Hazardous looked to Esra. "And here I thought you were disturbing."
Annie took most of the kids on to a new place for their safety. They promised to arrange a meeting point soon. The only child still with Perseus was Reckless Erratic. The little girl refused to leave him under any circumstance. Perseus was guiding the others secretly back to the nearest safe town. The group he was leading would otherwise be led by people with no idea about their surroundings at all. They were all either foreign or had been locked in those cells for ages and no longer knew what was safe and what was certain death. Frivolidad kept close track of these things and pitied these others.
Arthritis tapped Austin on the shoulder. The necromancer turned to him and raised an eyebrow. "Can I, uh, help you?"
"Your name is Austin, right?"
"Yeah." He looked the man up and down. He knew of Arthritis Dank. He was one of Serpine's oldest friends as well as his brother-in-law. Austin had no idea how he had ended up in the cells. "You're Arthritis Dank."
"What's your surname? Just out of curiosity."
"Baritone. Austin Baritone."
"...Your given name was Eddie Hawthorne..."
Austin looked up sharply, mouth forming a grim line. "What?" He asked, sharp and edged.
"Your given name was Edward Gill Hawthorne. You had two older sisters. Lynn, 15 years older than you, and Gemma, 12 years older than you. They took the names Cadence Nightwish and Belinda Diamond."
"How...how do you know this?"
"Gemma told me." Arthritis looked down at him. "At least she told me your taken names. I already knew your given names." He chuckled. "I left when Eddie was three. It wasn't entirely by choice. I was worried he would think I didn't love him, so I wrote-"
"You're my dad?" He sounded disgusted. "That means Esra bloody Sunshine is my cousin! Kill me now!" He froze and frowned. "You never wrote."
"I did! I even delivered the letters straight to your mother. She never let me in to see you."
"...so those were what she was burning..."
Abla Hazardous threw the barely-concious Erskine Ravel back into his cell. She hadn't needed to shackle him for the journey back. They had tortured him a bit more, cut his face, arms, legs, she had gone crazy with the crowbar again and broken his jaw, which Esra had healed and they broke it over and over every time the concussed Mage made the mistake of talking. Dexter crawled towards him cautiously. He could see the bruises already forming amongst the cuts and a nub of bone poking up under the skin where they'd cracked his ribs. "Erskine?"
Ravel mumbled incoherently. Dexter went over to a leaking pipe, caught some water in his hands and splashed it over the other man's face. It was fresh water leaking from the pipe, and not really that much. It leaked through into a drain and served as a supply of running water. Mevolent had decided it was easier to leave it leaking rather than bringing in jugs of water for every cell every day to keep them alive. Ravel tried to raise himself up to get closer to the water, but he was pushed back down gently. Dexter could make out a few faint words now. He could make out enough to understand that the other man wanted a drink. Also he was complaining the floor was wet.
Serpine went to check on B-J. Normally her breathing was loud as she slept. Always detectable from outside the door. This time it was silent. He crept closer, hoping not to wake her if she was still asleep. She was a bit pale. He frowned. Maybe she was cold. Her covers were underneath her after all. He moved ever closer and he realised why he couldn't hear anything.
There was no breath to hear. Arachne had overdosed her. She had probably been dead for a few hours now. He reached out to touch her. Her skin was ice cold to the touch. His daughter was gone. B-J was dead.
The horrors of contextual awareness failure. Upon rereading KotW I found that Vex was an adept and I had written him as an Elemental before...WHY DOES THAT KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?!
...and y'know how I asked 'what did I do to Amadeus Darkside'?
What did I do to Trilby Outrage?! He was an American elder when I first made him, now he's a fat, slobbish Mevolent General...he is nothing like his original copy...I might keep the fatness and addiction to deep fried chocolate when I imagine him as an elder though...deep fried chocolate is amazing...hey, look, I'm babbling...
Monday, January 28, 2013
It's dark here. Far too dark to see anything. Though sometimes, when I close my eyes, I find myself watching her... Aretha, I mean. Her eyes are hollow. I recognize the way she acts, the way she speaks now- it's all too familiar. She's gone and done exactly what I told her not to. She turned into one of those cold empty people, like me. Then again, I couldn't keep my promise either.
I'm such an idiot for letting my guard down. If it had been anyone else... Even if the circumstances were different...
I close my eyes again and watch her shove Kerias through a mirror into a cell, and now they're talking. I already knew she killed her family- I watched her do it. Most of it, anyway. The vision comes and goes. I don't even know if what I'm seeing is true- it probably is, though. It's a logical progression of events.
Wait, what did she just say? Kerias actually thought that... We were in love? What the Hell? Did I really get that soft? Well, at least Aretha knows me better than that. Damn right I would never fall in love. No way in Hell. Rule number one: don't get involved. Especially not emotionally involved. Actually, I think I already broke that rule. I open my eyes and the world becomes pitch black again.
"Hello? Is anybody here?" Comes a voice. It sounds like a boy, young and cheerful; so out of place in a dark world like this.
"Well, I don't know if you can hear me, or even if you're real- or if I'm real, for that matter- but I'm here." I was never one to make conversation, but this is the only voice I've ever heard here, save for my own.
"I hear you," He replies. "Who turned out the lights? Where are we? Do you know what time it is? Where are any good restaurants?" Way to many questions at once. Though the more I listen, the stronger feeling I get that I know this person somehow...
"Slow down, kid- one question at a time. But first you tell me something. What's the last thing you remember?" If I know how he died, I should be able to place his voice. I don't know all that many young people, even remotely, to begin with.
"My big sister..." He says after a moment of thought, "She was hurting me. She hurt mama and papa, too." He sounds like he's on the verge of crying now- I think he would be if he could fully comprehend what had happened. "Why did she do that?"
"Does your sister have short brown hair and eyes that change from green to brown?" It might be a stretch, but based on the story, it's possible this is Aretha's brother- if this description fits, I think it's a safe assumption.
"How did you know?"
"I think I know her. She loves Tesla, and she was doing research on plants in the woods, right?"
"Mm-hmm. Are you her friend?"
"Yeah, sure." I'm still not sure what to call the relationship we had, but... Well, it's not like it matters much now what it was. "Look, she only hurt you because she was forced to. She was being controlled. She loves you very much, and she would never do anything bad to you if she had the choice. Do you understand?"
"So it wasn't really my sister's fault?"
"No, it wasn't. Do you think you can forgive her?" Why did I ask that?
"Ok," He answers after a long pause. "It wasn't her fault, so I forgive her."
"I'm sure she'd be happy to know that." I'm almost impressed by how kind I can sound when I want to. I haven't spoken to anyone but Aretha in so long, I had forgotten how easily I can convince people that I'm a perfect gentlemen. How would she describe my voice, I wonder? Probably... Dark chocolate, or something like that. Which is funny, because she doesn't like dark chocolate- that wouldn't stop her from making the analogy, though.
"Mama? Papa?" I heard her brother say, though I couldn't hear anyone else. I close my eyes again, and Aretha is trying to suffocate herself in a drawer... Damn her! I don't miss her that badly. Oh, good, somebody found her. Maybe that kid needs me more than I realized. And now I'm starting to get ideas...
"Are your parents here?" I ask him gently, forcing light happiness into my voice.
"Yep! I'm going to leave with them. They say the've found someplace bright. Do you want to come with me?"
"No thanks- I don't think I belong in a place like that. But will you ask your parents something for me?"
"What is it?"
"Would it be alright with them if I stayed with your sister forever?"
"They said that's ok. And I'm ok with it too, if you promise never to hurt her."
"Mama and Papa think you're an angel... Are you?"
This is a tricky one to answer. If I'm honest? "No. I'll never be an angel. But I'll be there for A- for Mallory, whenever she needs me."
"Did I pass away?" He asked after another long pause.
"Yeah, you did. You should go with your parents now- you'll feel better when you reach that light place with them." I can't hear him leaving, but I'm sure that's what he's doing now.
I close my eyes again, and I'm looking into hers as she lays alone on a bed I've never seen. I can't blame her for becoming so hollow, though that's easier than blaming myself. It really is my fault, though. I've lived for a good few centuries longer than she has- I knew better than to let her kill me so easily. I just couldn't think.
I'm sorry, Aretha. My one mistake was caring too much, but it's one I won't be able to prevent. I think... Well. I know myself pretty damn well, and even if I'm no good at dealing with emotions, I know enough at least to recognize them. I know I just said there's no way in Hell I would ever fall in love, but... At least for now, I'm not in Hell. And I'm going to find my way back out of here if it kills me.
Ravel didn't turn, just closed his eyes and hit his head on the wall. For some reason, Vex did turn. It was a bit of a reflex to hearing the voice, he guessed, but did it have to wait until she'd spoken about dressing before kicking in? Her frown deepened and he raised his hands in a mock surrender.
"Terribly sorry. We didn't realise. We'll just be going then..."
B-J got the door open. "GUARDS!!!" The traitorous Arachne shrieked at the top of her voice. Things were really not going well.
It was getting light now. Jack slunk through the darkness in the less densely populated corridors, having taken out the guards. Even he felt going after the main generals on this team was a little too much, so he was going after the sub-generals. Those lower than Serpine. Arachne Basilisk was currently calling attention to herself, he could hear her from where he crouched beside the office of another of the 'sub-generals'. Basilisk, Sunshine, Hazardous, Trilby, Hauter and Electrolytic. The office of Hazardous was empty. There were voices from inside Sunshine's office, indicating someone else was there. Trilby's office sounded empty but for an irritating slurp of coffee. A phone rang, playing some nasty song by some tone-deaf singer. Trilby muttered something about changing that ringtone before answering and promptly complaining that escaped prisoners were not his problem and that he was in charge of a certain group of people, none of which had guard duty until Sunday. The door opened slowly, but Trilby was pretty busy with his phone call and the pile of deep fried chocolate things and tower of doughnuts. He honestly didn't see the thing that was Jack sneaking up on him until it was too late. Jack left the man and his snapped, stuffed neck limp at the desk.
Electrolytic put up more of a fight. He was in the halls, wearing down his thumbs on some old handheld game. He seemed to have good reflexes. Without looking up, he charged himself and shot a bolt of electricity at Jack. Even so, he still looked like a little kid. "Very funny, Carmichael. Try not coming from the left all the damn time." That was when Jack spotted the blind right eye. Stupid files. They had given him files on each Mage he had to take down, but there was a lot left out about Electrolytic. "Carmichael?" Of course, Jack wasn't Carmichael Hauter, and when Benedict Electrolytic began to turn, he had already leapt to his blind side. The brunette sorcerer frowned and went back to his game, which was acting a little strange after the previous charge up. He slapped the game and cursed, a lump of chewed up gum falling out of his mouth.
Benedict may have been half-blind, but a direct result was his paranoia. He thought he could feel something and he ducked and twirled away as Jack reached for him. He dropped his game, charged his arms and fired twin bolts of electricity. Jack flipped up, over and aimed a kick for the adept's head.
That was stupid, he scolded himself after as he went to look for the last three. The shock from slamming into someone charged with electricity was over now, but he was still a bit jittery. And Benedict was dead. Carmichael Hauter walked right into him, apologised, went around, stopped, did a double take and got his neck broken by one of Jack's powerful kicks. He paused outside the next office. He was back at Sunshine's office and there were still two voices. The door wasn't closed properly so he was able to knock it a little ajar and saw Esra and a blonde girl. Not Hazardous, then. An unknown girl. Obviously quite close to Esra since they were kissing quite passionately. Esra spotted him and slowly pushed the girl away, raising himself to his feet and walking towards the door, grabbing something off the table. Then he charged and Jack jumped over him, turning just as the Mage turned to redirect his charge. The blonde sorceress just watched them from the bench, a bored expression on her face.
Esra had faster reactions than Electrolytic did, and faster than Jack thought he would. He could duck, weave and jab so that neither could lay a hand on each other. When Jack finally hit him, it sent the Mage stumbling in front of the blonde girl. Jack went for a kick which would hopefully break his neck, but he moved out the way...
...and the girl's neck was broken instead...
Esra stared in shock, suddenly frozen to the spot, staring at the body of his girlfriend. "M-Midnight?" The body of Midnight True slumped to the ground and Esra was charging again, grabbing Jack and slamming him against the chest Cadence had sat on before when she had come to talk to him. The chest lit up and Jack cried out as his flesh began to sizzle. He wrapped his powerful legs around Esra's waist and flipped him head first into the wall. Once he was free, he fled.
B-J had gotten away. Arachne had wanted B-J to get away, but Vex and Ravel had been detained. Heck, Ravel suffered so badly from arachnophobia that he was practically frozen to the spot when Arachne had first regurgitated spiders before him. She found it rather amusing when Vex had tried to drag him away. B-J had tried to get rid of some of the spiders with fire and Vex had joined in with his own energy blasts. Only then the guards came and they dragged each other out, but the guards let B-J through and when she realised, it was too late...
Arachne followed the guards back down to the cells, making note of the new bodies of guards littering the halls and of the fact Vehemence's body had not been moved yet. Ravel glared back at her. "You were supposed to be on our side."
"No. No, I wasn't. There is no 'supposed to'. There is only which side I am on and which side I pretend to be on. Good day, Erskine." He glared at her as she left.
"This is why the Children of the Spider are untrustworthy." Dexter mumbled. Erskine glared at him.
"Not all of them."
There was an awkward silence. "You like Madame Mist, don't you?" Dexter teased.
"Now is hardly the time or the place to-"
"Oh my God, you love Madame Mist!"
"I do not!"
"That is actually so cute, Erskine!"
"I do not have a crush on Madame Mist."
"Hey, I never said the word 'crush'..."
"Not until I've helped you two get together forever."
"Never gonna happen."
"But it'd be so cute! You'd love it!"
"Have you not noticed the situation we are in?"
"Quit changing the subject! You're just annoyed because I know your secret crush."
"Dexter, if this continues I will kill you. Very violently. With your own arm."
"Ravel and Mist, sitting in a tree-"
"I will tear your arm off and use it to claw your eyes out, which I will then shove down your throat while I beat you to death with the jagged end of your arm."
"And then I'll skin you and turn you into a suitcase."
"Oh my God! I just imagined what your children would look like!"
"You have to have kids. Name one after me!"
"Then I will get your bones and turn them into hundreds of little statuettes as souvenirs for visiting...some tourist attraction or another...maybe I'll make the site of your death a tourist attraction..."
Dexter laughed. "Okay, okay, I'll shut up now. No need to be so...macabre."
There was a moment of blissful silence.
"So if you two got married, could I be the best man?"
"Love you. We can do this." He murmured. Zafira smiled
"I know we can Javier." She said. He squeezed her hand and stepped back. Zafira usually did not lead people into battle but as if Baron got through into New York she'd be dead anyhow so after an agreement made by the Council of Elders they agreed the Elders would fight despite the rule. Baron Vengeous arrived. The next second his army attacked. Sometimes you could see bits of a person fly everywhere. Zafira felt fire fly past her and she rounded on the Elemental. Zafira sent daggers of darkness at the mage. They used the air to block them. Zafira drew her knife and lunged at them. She wasn't planning to but she slit their throat. She backed off and rounded on the next person trying her hardest not to get hurt. She defeated this person with minor cuts and a burn but nothing major. Her gaze swept across the field. They were winning it seemed. The next second she felt a sword across her stomach and she fell to her knees. Three mages from her side ran at her attacker and kicked the crap out of them. Zafira put her hand to her stomach and her hand was slick with blood. She heard Vengeous call his forces to retreat. They had won.
Javier looked around once Baron's army was gone.
"Where is Grand Mage Kerias?" He asked Sult. Sult nodded to the Teleporter
"Took her and all the worst wounded to the Sanctuary. We're waiting until the doctors release her so we can set up a guard over Littletown." Sult explained. Javier sighed. He had to see if his girl was alright. Sult must have guessed
"Go on James will Teleport you to her." He said. Javier nodded and James place a hand on Javier and when he blinked he was beside Zafira. She looked pale but she was awake. Her face broke into a smile when she saw Javier
"Javier." She greeted. He went over and took her hand smiling back at her
"How are you Grand Mage?"
"I'm alright. Not the best but hey. I was told I got to wait a half hour before leaving but I need to call Sult and issue the orders." Javier smirked
"You'd be on death row giving orders." He teased.
"I am the Grand Mage! I do what must be done in order to keep America from Mevolent." She responded. The half hour went by.
Zafira kissed Javier's cheek. And she went into her office she called Sult and arranged a guard over Littletown. She then immediately went to Skype her fellow Elders Adra was furious she didn't get to kill Baron.
"Look this is one small battle from hundreds more that are bound to happen. You guys need to be prepared for the worst. Mevolent sent one general after me. He has two others. I would keep on high alert." The Skype call ended and Zafira went to Javier
"What do I do with you Zaf?"
"Keep me." She laughed. Her one hand was bandaged so the burn would heal
"Oh Zaf i love you."