Sunday, March 31, 2013
Instinctively I walked to Rosa's desk; although she was technically a general secretary, since day one she had really only worked for me- I suppose I did give her enough paperwork to keep her busy, so nobody else had ever asked her to do anything for them. Whenever I needed something explained- or needed anything involving paper at all, really- I went to her.
Except instead of Rosa, the desk was occupied by a girl with the longest hair I had ever seen. It was straight and raven-black, and her eyes were a bright, piercing blue. For a moment I just stared, unsure of whether or not I should approach not-Rosa, but she saw me right away and immediately stood and offered me her hand.
"You're Aretha Tesla, right?" I nodded and shook her hand. "I'm Samantha Bliss. No relation to Mr. Bliss, I just liked the name." She added quickly, answering the question that had barely started to form in my eyes. She probably heard it a lot; a combination of her eyes and her name, I assumed. Also, the way she held herself- even though she had a boring desk job and had probably been sitting there filing papers since hours earlier in the morning, she sat perfectly straight, and had an air about her that was somehow unassuming and aloof all at once.
"It's a pleasure to meet you." I said with a smile. She immediately shook her head.
"No, the pleasure's all mine. I've heard a lot about you, and I really admire what you do. And after everything you've been through in this war especially, it's a miracle you're still fighting at all." Her eyes shone with respect and sincerity. She seemed polite and well disciplined- I couldn't help but wonder if she had also been a ballerina.
"Oh- thank you," I responded somewhat awkwardly- the last thing I expected to hear from anyone regarding my actions in the war was praise. I suppose it was just a different perspective.
Don't blame yourself...
I quickly shoved Niccolo's dying words out of my head. "So, you're the new secretary?" I continued, reminded of why I had come in the first place.
"Yes," She explained, "Technically, I am another general secretary, just as I'm told Rosa Evergreen was, but I was also told that I would most likely be working very closely with you, and not at all with anyone else. Apparently they already have a few general secretaries for others, should they happen to need something. So you can give me any task you would've given Miss Evergreen."
"Alright then." I indicated my understanding with a slight nod. "Can you tell me what this means, or why it's here?" I asked, showing her that one mysterious word that made up my current most wanted target.
"I was hoping you would ask me about that." She began. "Twice in a row now, the same strange event has occurred. A city- any random, everyday city- will be going about their average routine. Night falls, and when the next morning comes, everyone has disappeared. There's not a single trace left behind, other than that word carved into whichever mass of standing wood is closest to the city's center; Croatoan. We're assuming that this is some sort of calling card for the person behind the disappearances."
I nodded calmly, taking it all in, but inside my heart was racing. What on Earth was happening? And how long had I been alseep? I concluded it must've been at least two days. And I still had one more question for her. "Thank you- now I understand. But I still have to ask... Why were you hoping I would ask you?"
She smiled- a mere twitch of her lips- and replied, "I was hoping you'd take me with you."
Author's note: Just for reference, this is what Samantha Bliss looks like:
her several broken ribs, but no. Her left arm was bent at an odd angle, probably broken, but
"Did you really think I'd let all my daughters fall to Mevolent?" the voice was raspy, hissing
"Mother?" Raeza went cold. She didn't care, she couldn't care. 'Why me?' she wanted to shout.
"Honey, I know I'm not your favorite person in the world, but you didn't really think that you
"Maeve's the musical one, not me." Raeza wasn't accepting any kind of unspoken apology.
"I know. But Mevolent attacked us and...we lost. Badly." She told him.
"Ravel I dont know what to do!! I can't...I can't find anything that can save us! We lost one Elder and...Marissa is next! I spied but as you can tell he caught me and I feel like I have let us all down!" Zafira took a deep breath to calm but she just couldn't. She was shaking. She had witnessed horror and terror too fast.
He chewed his lip, thinking again, before hobbling over to sit down beside her. He rested a hand on her shoulder and grinned sadly. "And you decided I was the one to come to for advice?" He paused for a moment. "I'm sure you didn't let anyone down. Are you okay? Do you need anything?"
Zafira felt his hand but she didn't let it bother her.
"Yes I trust you because you're young like me and honestly you dealt with war before." She explained. It took a moment before she spoke again,
"Me personally? I dont know what I need. I'm a wreck they tried to help me but..he went far when he stabbed me. If we lose Marissa I'll be the only one left. And Mevolent nearly killed me. He can kill me." She sounded scared to death. She didn't even show her fear to Javier.
He swallowed nervously. "Then Marissa is...a priority? The rest of the Sanctuaries are geared up for full-blown war. Attack Mevolent as one or something...no real plan, just rush in until it looks like one side is going to lose. So Marissa needs protection? More forces? Uh..." He trailed off, frowning. "He's taking down a lot of people...anyone we can save is precious..."
Zafira closes her eyes "Elder Marissa....she's hiding. I need people Ravel. I'm not much use at the time because I'm in so much pain." Zafira muttered.
Ravel nodded uncertainly. "People...I think we can do people..." He took his hand away from her back, kneading the bad knee. He wasn't used to giving any advice, really, and was finding it rather awkward. "...Are we talking physical or emotional pain here? Like, I can't tell the difference anymore..." He looked away, finding his eyes drawn to a door.
"Physical." She muttered. She didn't have a hope to get help in America.
"Ravel I know you and Mist are married. Don't feel awkard around me." She put her hand to where the wound is on her stomach
"Something can be done for physical pain...not so much for emotional..." He returned his hand to her back and smiled. "As for the things with the marriage, these things get around fast, huh? That has nothing to do with why I'm feeling awkward...well, almost nothing...you okay?...stupid question..." He met her eyes and offered a sad smile.
Zafira smiled back sadly and shook her head
"Not really. I'm in agony." She showed him the wound. The doctors did what they could but it's bad. Still.
"Bad huh?" She asked laughing quietly. She felt safe near him.
His smile faded almost instantly. "Wow..." He gestured loosely to the cane he had to use. "I thought I'd been let off bad...that looks infected or something..."
"I think Mevolent had something on that damn sword. It wasn't the god-killer or I'd be dead. The doctors did what they could. I don't have the guts to see Nye not after sealing my true name." Zafira covered her mouth and went quiet. Ravel surely would know Justaria.
Ravel frowned. "Your true name? I was...unaware you knew it...not that you'd spread it round if you did, of course..." He was massaging his knee again and looking ever so slightly suspicious.
"Yeah I know it. Not that it's exactly fun to know it." She says. She glances as his knee
"So what happened to you?" She asked trying to keep the pain from her voice but it fails.
He looked away, face softening. "Long-term damage from my last meeting with Mevolent...high chance it'll never work properly again. I'd like to do the same to his knees one day...and all the rest."
"I think he's trying to cripple the Grand Mage from each country. Let's face it we do lead our countries. If we can't fight who will the people fight for? But Javier said when I fell everyone was fighting harder and if Mevolent hadn't spoken we may have won." She put her hand around her necklace which kept her calm. The coldness did that.
"They fight for themselves...for friends and family. That's who I would fight for. For as long as we live, we have something to fight for, right?"
"Yes fighting for family and everything I know. He may have hurt me but I will get him." Zafira closed her eyes.
"I just want to know what he did to me! And also congrats for being the first Grand Mage who hasn't mocked me for being a Necromancer." Zafira opened her eyes smiling a bit, feeling bad for him. He was just married like she was. For all she knew Mist was pregnant.
"I think we're well past mocking over magic types." He replied with a chuckle. "And I think there's currently a long line of people who want to get him back for something...someone could make a lot of money out of that, actually..."
Zafira laughed at the thought then became serious,
"You know Dreylan Scarab is alive. I may be able to persuade him to help us." She hoped he didn't ask details beause she wasn't prepared to tell him her relation to Scarab.
He frowned. "I wouldn't call Scarab the most trustworthy of allies...I don't even know where he stands. From what I've heard, his son isn't exactly pro-Faceless, but him..." He sighed, running a hand through his hair, clearly stressed. "I guess we could use all the help we can get..."
Zafira bit her lip unsure how to say it,
"He'll fight for whatever side I'm on. He's...my father." She admitted to Ravel. In her facial expression it was clear she wasn't proud to say it.
"Sanguine is a complete idiot Scarab values the fact I have brains."
He gave a brief nod as if to say 'I see', and then, slowly, painfully slowly, the corners of his mouth turned up in a smile. A grin. "He is an idiot, isn't he? Like, how stupid can you get?"
"I think he reach stupidest. I mean I manage to get into the Sanctuary...Sanguine didn't." Zafira smiled and laughed. Then she stopped and glanced at her wound
"Stupid wound." She grumbled.
"Don't think he ever had much of a desire for that sort of work, though." He half-reached for her, then seemed to think better of it and dropped the hand by his side again. "Causing you grief, huh? Injuries love doing that. They wait until you're nice and relaxed and BAM, sudden excruciating pain. Jerks." He nodded decisively. "Call Scarab. Like I said, we might just need all the help we can get."
"I will then. Thank you." She smiled and glanced at her iPhone.
"I guess I'll be in touch with you if Scarab agrees."
"Thank you...Zaf? If you ever need to just talk, I'll be right here, okay?" He gave a smile.
"Thank you Ravel." She smiled. "If you want I could call Scarab now and ask him and I ought to find Nye." Zafira looked freaked to find Nye but with Kenspeckle dead he was next best.
Ravel nodded quickly. "Be my guest. As long as I don't have to talk to Nye." He said the second part as light-heartedly as he could under the circumstances.
Zafira went into a different room and after 20 minutes she came back to Ravel
"He agreed." She told him.
He smiled, slowly getting to his feet. "Excellent. We have one more person on our side...hopefully that will actually make some sort of difference..." Jokingly, he tilted his head and added "I don't have to talk to him or be nice to him, do I?"
"Well." She laughed. "Do make an effort to be nice but I'll keep direct communication with him." Zafira smiled again
"Maybe we have a shot."
"Maybe we do." He answered back, voice barely more than a whisper.
Zafira smiled slightly
"I guess we do. And hopefully when I go home there will be a country."
He gave an encouraging smile. "Go make there still be a country."
"I'll be in touch should anything happen." Zafira told him. She left the room to go catch a plane to America. She did miss Javier so much.
It was named 'Hotel'; not very creative, but there you go. Niccolo and I had strolled right past it plenty of times, and this was where we agreed we would meet if, for some reason, we were ever separated. Not that it was likely I would be in New York if such an event should transpire. In this case, I assumed he had brought me here because he couldn't teleport. As lovely as my little research cabin is, the commute from a little town in Iowa to Manhattan might be just a tad impractical.
Suddenly I remembered what I had realized in my dream, and I could feel my heart rate picking up. "Niccolo..." I said aloud, because even if I couldn't see him I knew he was there, "I figured out what you were trying to do that day- with the iron." I took a deep breath, then conitnued, "But I'd rather not do it myself... Could you...?" I waited. No response.
I searched for a bathroom and found one very quickly; there was a large mirror just as I had hoped I would. Clearly, Niccolo meant for me to do this myself. "Fine," I muttered under my breath, letting my irritation fuel my resolve. I let a small fire blaze up between two of my fingers, and fueled it with oxygen to make it hotter. Then I gritted my teeth, watched closely in the mirror to make sure I didn't get the wrong spot, then lifted the fire up to the binding symbol on my neck.
Within seconds I could smell my own flesh burning, and I could see my skin bubbling up where it met the flame. I waited just long enough to ensure that it would scar, then quickly extinguished the fire. For a few moments I leaned heavily on the sink, breathing hard. Resisting the urge to run out for ice or at least some cold water was difficult, but I was afraid if I did it wouldn't scar properly.
Bereft of any other form of relief, I dulled the pain the only way I knew how; by retreating into my mind. I needed something to think about. Something powerful. Rosa can't have seen me, because she didn't stop me. That meant she was probably either dead or in Ireland. Which, now that I mentioned it, wasn't the most pleasant train of thought, so I stopped.
The binding spell. It's broken. It's broken. I'm free. Suddenly I couldn't feel the pain anymore; I leaped into the air, and my face broke out into a wide grin. "YES!" I yelled aloud. "I have my life back again!" And as the realization became more real every second. Pretty soon I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, and tears streamed down my face. When had I ever been this happy? I crumpled into a heap on the floor, and realized I hadn't laughed this hard since Jubilance Glee had attacked me. I never would've imagined that I could feel this good again without magic to help me.
Once I had recovered some of my sanity, I slipped out of the hotel- checking out would've been too much of a pain, for several reasons- and strolled across the street to the Sanctuary. Needless to say, my co-workers were surprised, but in a happy way. I was determined that no matter what happened, for just one day, I would hold on to my happiness- until I received and read an updated bingo book.
Friday, March 29, 2013
"Aretha..." I heard a smooth voice next to me- it was smooth and soothing, almost like melted dark chocolate. Whoever it was, I don't think he noticed I was regaining consciousness. "I am so sorry..." Then, without either of us having moved at all, I felt myself on a soft bed, and before I had even opened my eyes, I fell asleep.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Alison's concentration was thrown a little by Marty covering her eyes with his hands. She jabbed her elbow back and he let out an animalistic roar, biting hard on her shoulder. She screamed, pulled his hair, pulled the hands away from her eyes and made another strike on Amantes, who had been trying to find an opening where he could strike without killing Marty as well. He threw himself to the side, timed it poorly, hit the desk and the shadows caught him. She laughed and Marty released her. She turned to him. he had realised already that his attacks would have no effect on her and was backing into the corner. She approached him and he sunk to the floor, hands clasped before him. "Please don't kill me..."
"But killing you would be so much more fun."
"Please! Please spare me, I won't tell anyone! I promise! You were after my friends! You have no reason to kill me! Please! Have mercy!"
"Honey, I have no clue what mercy is." And with that, she sent the shadows spiralling down.
Anton walked back into the hotel, arms full of shopping. A man with dark skin and no hair stood at the front desk. He offered Shudder a smile, which the other man returned. He walked through the common room, where Indishan Anonymous still sat. The Australian man turned away when he entered, wanting to avoid conversation. With a shrug, Anton put away the shopping in the kitchen and returned to the front desk, ready to assist the dark-skinned man standing there with arranging a room or something. As he moved to the desk, passing the man, something sharp slid its way into his belly. He gasped, half doubling over, the man's arm stopping him from curling up any further. With a grin, Jayden Slander removed the knife and kicked Shudder to the floor. Anonymous watched the whole thing, super awesome ninja stealth mode on. Slander grinned and left the hotel and the detective moved to follow him, but there was a wet, unpleasant cough from behind. Shudder was still alive. He pulled a face, grabbed the fallen man and pulled him outside. He crouched beside him. "Help will be with you soon." He promised, taking out a phone. He went to get up, leave the hotel owner there, but he grabbed his shirt, preventing him from leaving. "I'm going after the man who did this." He prised his fingers away and pressed the dying man's hands against the wound. Something major had definitely been cut. He went to walk away and raised the phone to his ear, calling for an ambulance.
Unfortunately, it would not get there in time.
Meanwhile, Jayden presented evidence of the death as a birthday present to his boyfriend. He was not part of Mevolent's strike.
Esra sighed. There was a yawn and a stretch after that. He stretched himself out across the bed and sighed. Bored. No plans. The Grotesquery was in a box in a different room, waiting to be further attacked to no avail. He shifted uncomfortably. He didn't want to leave the little room, but he needed the loo...
The old bedsprings groaned as he pulled himself off the bed and the door decided to creak as well. He rolled his blue eyes and walked down the hall. His footsteps sounded louder than they should have. Almost as if there were two sets. He checked his watch, gave a passing glance out a window, stretched again and stopped abruptly. No warning. The second set of footsteps stopped a little too late. The man grinned and started walking again, as though he had noticed nothing. He could sense the person getting close. You know that feeling you get when someone gets close or is staring at you, the uncomfortable sensation. The person got closer, evidently taking large strides and only fitting their footsteps to his every other step. Once they were close enough, he turned suddenly, swinging his elbow out. She ducked and moved in to strike. He grabbed her wrist, keeping the blade just off his skin.
Kayotik growled, aiming a kick at his shins, hoping to pitch him onto the knife, but he turned his stumble into twisting into her, almost stabbing her with the knife instead. She wrapped an arm around his throat and tried to pull the knife arm free. "You just made a mistake, Sunshine."
He gagged and dug his fingers into the arm around his waist. Platona turned the knife and wrenched to the side, dragging it across his side. He let out a scream, twisting his head and biting down on something hard enough to draw blood. She pushed him to the floor and threw herself at him, knife flashing. He brought his legs up and arms over to shield himself and tried to kick her away. She crawled closer to his torso, grunting at the kicks but still going. On an impulse, he sat up, grabbed her hair, put a hand to her face and the hand glowed white. She pulled away, screaming. Now she was very pissed off. The knife slashed towards him, through his arm. He held the injury with his other hand, feeling the warm blood seep through. He edged back and she held her hand out, blasting him with coloured energy. He was thrown back and when he opened his eyes his vision swam before him. Kayotik straddled him, raising the knife...
Millie (Mildred) sat in a tree, watching as Kayotik used a nearby tree to get herself out of the castle. She watched the other brunette drop gracefully from the tree and went to meet her. "Hi Platz." She said, smiling as though this was just a normal meet between friends.
Platona 'Platz' Kayotik smiled back, emerald eyes twinkling maliciously. "Hiya, Millie. How have things been treating you? Good to see Ally didn't top you."
"I'm too good for her to get the best of me."
"Cool. You up to anything right now?"
"Killing things." Mildred responded with a nonchalant shrug.
"Hey, same! Maybe we could kill things together!"
Millie nodded. "Sure. C'mon." They walked side-by side and chatted merrily for a few minutes. Millie lagged behind slightly. Platz never got the chance to realise she had been stabbed from behind. One down, one to go.
Ursa was stalking Firestone's third scheduled kill. Hato walked down the hall in a truly foul mood. Borealis followed. He looked like he had his own destination to get to. When she stopped, he would go into a room or stop to tie his shoe. He took the gun from a holster at his waist and shot the bullet through his jacket, keeping the gun well hidden. He watched Hato collapse and Cleavers come over. The Australian assassin turned to leave and found his way barred. Well hell.
Meanwhile, Alison was already heading towards her next target in Ireland. Ghastly was just settling down for bed. He didn't hear the creaky floorboard. The bedroom door was left ajar and Quirk found sneaking in far too easy. He was asleep when she approached. She didn't want to go for a conventional stab this time, so she eased a pillow from beneath his head and went to smother him instead. Obviously, he woke up and struggled, but she pinned him down with her shadows. She stayed a good twenty minutes after he had gone limp.
Jim Craddock and Mariposa Scarr were informants for Mevolent who kept close eyes on what was going on around the world. Niall stood around a corner, hacking Scarr's phone. Scarr noticed pretty quickly, began cursing and trying to track the hacker. Liam stepped out into their line of sight and Niall ran to a safe place, sealing Craddock and Scarr in with the vampire. Louis checked his watch. Time was ticking over. Nearly night...
Doctor Nye heard something fall over behind it. It turned briefly, but could see nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps it had left that jar of suspicious stuff too close to the edge. It shrugged and went back to dissecting things. It turned again, thinking it had heard something again, but nothing was there.
It turned again, back the way it had been facing originally. Mildred Firestone smiled. "I'd like to ask you something."
It gave no response, just narrowed its yellow eyes at her.
"What is dying actually like?" She leapt over the corpse, booting the doctor in the chest. It stumbled back and raised its hands in a surrendering gesture.
"There's no need to kill me..."
"There is, actually. I have all the reason in the world." She held up a scalpel. She lunged at it, but it kept her at bay with one of its long limbs. She sighed, gestured and shadows dived for it. Being tall and skinny as it was, and just plain unnatural, it was able to evade death, but Millie got a few good injuries in there. She backed it up against a corner with her strikes. It had nowhere left to go, and she didn't bother listening to its last plea for life. Shadows rose behind her and he opened its mouth to call for help, but she drove the shadows through before anything other than the slightest squeak could be uttered.
Gale swallowed nervously. He had never met this Loyalty Seamless bloke, and he was certainly a better fighter, a better sorcerer and a better brain than the cocky redhead. Loy was also only toying with him, stalling for the real killer to get here, and already Gale had a broken leg, a possible concussion and something bleeding enough to be of concern. A blonde girl shadow-walked over, giggling. She told Loy of her previous kill. They both had a good laugh and turned on Gale. He clicked his fingers and threw fire at them. Quirk shadow-walked away and Loyalty ran. The girl appeared behind him now and he turned as fast as he could, which wasn't very, and found himself on his back. He pushed at the air, throwing her off balance. The man hauled him up and held him steady, but Gale always had some fighting spirit and he had just located his cutlass. He used the air to pull the sword closer, catching it and driving it into Loy's leg, then attempted to use it to parry Alison's shadows, only he was tired and injured and each shadow crawled closer. It was inevitable that soon they would be slicing into his ribcage.
((And I wasn't even in one of my killing moods when I wrote most of this...just when I got the idea...but it provides a perfect bridge to the next chapter, and now I am sleepy, so there is a danger here of me becoming hyper, weird and killing more people.))
"If any of us die today we die to protect ourselves from Mevolent. If we stand we can win. Do not be afraid to use lethal force. Cleavers! Use lethal force." She turned and stood beside Javier. They stayed hand and hand until Mevolent's forces marched in. Mevolent himself was leading the charge. Zafira closed her eyes then opened them. She cried out
"ATTACK!!!" And her forces charged into battle. Javier and her fought side by side never letting each other from sight. Zafira and him sought out Mevolent. As he is 8 feet tall it wasn't difficult to find him. He had a sword but it wasn't the god-killer. Seeing Zafira he easily defeated the agent who fought him. Zafira sent shadow knives his way but they didn't penetrate the armor. Taking the advantage of that he drew his sword and stabbed her deeply in the stomach. She fell to her knees her hands over the wound. Javier focused on Mevolent and attacked him but even Javier's attacks didnt work. When he lost focus he saw Zafira laying on the ground. The agents soon realized Zafira was beaten.
"The Grand Mage has fallen! Retreat and you can live." Mevolent called. Javier picked up his wife and carried her with help from some people. It was hard to tell if she'd live through it. Probabilities were slim. Upon entering the Sanctuary she was given to the doctors. Javier paced the room nervous for his wife.
Hours passed. Finally the doctor came
"The Grand Mage is alive...barely. If she had been there few minutes linger she'd have lost too much blood. She'll wake in an hour." Javier nodded and waited by her side. She was pale but she looked alive.
(HAHAAH did you think Zaf was gonna die? FOOLS i vowed Derek will have dibs on killing her heheheh)
Loki sighed. "This won't necessarily work. More than likely it will simply sedate him. He'll wake up in roughly twelve hours, either just as crazy or at least momentarily calmed."
"Why doesn't that comfort me in the slightest?" Belinda asked.
Loki walked over to the struggling thing that was Jack, a syringe full of whatever he had been mixing held between his thumb and forefinger. "Keep him steady." They did so and he pressed the needle in, pushing the mixture into Jack's bloodstream. He just sort of collapsed then and the sisters released him. Loki smiled. "That went better than expected. He didn't even lash out." There was a pause.
"Can I offer you a coffee?" Bel asked randomly.
"You can, but I'd probably have to decline." He smiled and the girls led the house guests downstairs. Afton cleared her throat.
"I'd just like to stress the importance of locating your missing friend. Not just for his own safety and sanity, but as a guarantee for Jack's as well." She went to the door, gesturing for Loki to follow. Daemon frowned.
"You leaving already?"
"We have a long journey home, kid."
Cantankerous opened the door into the sawdust basement. He locked the door behind him and the two who had joined him. Skisma and Vrees exchanged worried glances as they were led down the steps into the room. The four captured elders and two children were sitting against one wall. Reeta stood before them, miming. It appeared they were playing Charades. They stopped as the trio approached. Grand Mage Thorn shot her friends a look to ask why they had come. Skisma ignored it and Vrees gave an apologetic smile. The American Man positioned them by the wall. "Grand Mage Skisma, Grand Mage Vrees...I'm afraid I have not been entirely truthful with you. Rest assured, I will keep up part of my bargain at least. You did show, and so a release shall be granted. Not that of Amber or the Australian Mages though."
Skisma remained passive. "Who, then?"
Cantankerous smiled beneath the kerchief and took out a little walkie-talkie. "Dynamite, darling, be a dear and make sure Pensive and the child make it to their travel arrangements. Don't get any ideas or your death and that of everyone on your team will be slow and excruciating." A response crackled through and the American nodded. Loren kept his face devoid of emotion. There was the click of a gun. "I'd like the two of you to sit beside the others. No fuss, if you please. I won't point the gun at you, but please remember there are children in this room who might wind up with a bullet between the eyes."
The two Grand Mages obeyed grudgingly and sat themselves between Slyther and Orage.
"Building quite a collection." The French Elder commented.
"Did they take your phones off you?" Skisma asked. The others nodded. "He forgot to for me." With a grin, he took out the phone and dialled a number. The conversation that followed was in Norwegian. He paused briefly to get the names of all the Elders there he didn't know. Finally, he put the phone away. "Signal was poor, but Ingvar's going to alert people. I've told him to be wary. It could be a trap."
Amber nodded. "Good. At least he's aware. He won't be in any danger, will he? I sort of see him as a little brother."
"I don't know...I see him as a brother too...though the whole having a rat as a best friend thing creeps me out a little..."
Jasmin stared at the two of them, just a little confused.
Edsel parted the curtains. "Looks like the end to me."
Memphis nodded sadly. "The end, huh? I always hoped I would go out a different way."
"You'll go out fighting, at least."
"I want to go out after having sex."
Edsel snorted. "Go on, then. The moment they break down the door, drag your wife to the bedroom."
The detective smiled. "Why are you here?"
"Fear, mostly. You?"
"I live here."
"Oh yeah." He tapped on the window sill and sighed. "We're going to die."
"Everyone's going to die. Not necessarily today, Ed."
"I'm not very optimistic."
"Me neither, but I've come very close to death many times before. I'll never be able to predict the day I die, so I've given up trying."
Edsel nodded slowly. "I think I might be willing to fight now."
"Be careful how you tread."
The car journey back held one argument, an hour of silence and a bit of light chatter.
"You do realise," Afton began, gazing out the window, "that that serum is going to kill him if they don't have the proper cure within like two and a half weeks?"
"It's more humane that way. I thought we agreed that."
She hummed in thought. "What about the other man?"
"We'll have to get back on the trail of the object, then we can find him and it. Someone somewhere will know where he is. We just need informants...information brokers..."
"Like Jim Craddock, you mean?"
"Yeah. We can contact him when we get home."
"You can do that."
"No, you can. I have other work to be getting on with."
((Man was this forced. I'll just write it here so I don't forget. Ingvar's surname is Verdslig. Next chapter is tragedy, guys. Be prepared...*sings the corresponding Disney song*))
No, not moving on. How many times had she nearly died? How many times at the hands of Mevolent, or his servants? How many times just because I wasn't there when I knew she needed someone?
"I nearly killed you. If I had stepped in sooner..."
"I remember what happened- you dragged me back yourself. But if I died while you were inside my head, you would have died too. The only thing you've done thus far is try to help me. Tell me why that's wrong."
"It's wrong because I failed."
Panic flashed across my face, and I lunged forward; just as she moved to drag the knife across her neck, my hand was in the way, and she sliced it open instead.
"Promise me two things... Before I go... Don't blame yourself... And... Don't die inside. Don't... Become one of those people... Hard and uncaring... Like me."
"Why in Hell are you so determined to sacrifice your life for everyone else's?"
"No... Don't you dare die on me... Aretha!"
"Aretha. Calm down. I promise I won't let you hurt anyone you care about."
"It's wrong because I failed. What difference does trying make if all I accomplish is making things worse?"
"It matters," She insisted.
I was terrified because I realized that if she died.... I just didn't know what I would do with my life anymore. I might break. But I wasn't fragile like that- I never broke, because there was never any heart to break. Rule number one: don't get involved. Too late.
Memories swirled around in my mind, unwelcome as they were. A slight breeze ruffled the leaves in the forest, and stung my eyes much more than usual. I realized it was because they were wet- with... No...
The one thing I cared about in the world, gone. I should have seen this coming long ago. I should have killed her all those years ago when she was practically defenseless and alone in her room. She should have never developed any magic at all, so I never would've met her in the first place. Anything... Anything... To rid myself of these damned emotions.
Was this how everybody else felt, when the people they cared about died? Why would anyone want to feel at all? Why even live at all when life can be so fragile? Why get close to people if you know they'll only die in the end? How the Hell can anyone stand it?
Aretha was just so... Good. She didn't deserve to die like this... Didn't deserve to die at all. She wouldn't have, if it wasn't for me. And now... For the first time... I'm beginning to wish I had been better. Would she be alive now, if I was a better person? No, probably not. The fact that Mevolent was using her as collateral had nothing to do with my crimes- only my name.
And Rosa, too. She was just as guilty, if not even more so. If she hadn't sold Aretha out to Mevolent, none of this would've happened. Once I get Aretha back, I'll kill her. And Mevolent. And then I'll have to die, too, because the fact is that she would be so much better off without me. And now that Mevolent knows of my connection to her, I have to doubt he'll turn me against her.
I have four weeks to bring Aretha back, but that's far too long for my liking. A flight from Des Moines to Ireland is about 13 hours, and I'll be on the next plane out. Though I don't doubt I'll go insane long before that.
I've lived without Aretha for centuries... How can it be that in so few years, I've become so attached that I can't imagine life without her?
Regardless... I took a few seconds to find her soul, and I gave her a happy dream to keep her from the darkness- a dream where I was never part of her life. I know she'd be better off for it. Within the next 15 hours she'll have her life back again, and I'll make sure I'm not there to mess it up.
Author's Note: Upon re-reading some very early chapters in this story, I've realized something interesting. The exact line "No... Don't you dare die on me... Aretha!" is what I say to Aretha in the chapter Darkness. In the chapter I Don't Care Enough to Come Up With a Clever Title, Rosa Evergreen says the same thing- the lines are exactly identical, down to each letter. I assume Aretha recorded those exact words in such great detail for a purpose. Take it how you will.
Molliana screamed as she fell through the air, the wind whipping her hair back. She forced herself to stay calm. It was her own fault though. She shouldn't have jumped of the top of a twenty storey building anyway.
As she was plummenting to her death, she reached out a hand. It scraped off the wall, drawing blood. She hissed in pain and grabbed a window sill. Her body whacked against the wall and she almost let go. She hung there, breathing heavily. With shaking limbs, she pushed herself onto the window sill. She collapsed and tried to get her energy back. She felt weak. She was hungry, too. And all she wanted was some tea or something. Maybe a nice biscuit. With chocolate. Something to give her energy.
Molliana glanced in the window. She couldn't see anyone, but she was only looking at a fraction of a huge hallway. There could be fifty of Mevo's men there.
She decided it was worth the risk and opened the window slowly. She looked around. Nobody there. Thank God. Molliana crept in and dropped to the ground, landing in a crouch.
She stood up and ran down the hall, trying to be quiet. Molliana was an amazing sprinter - she had won numerous awards when she was younger. She had learned the art of being silent while running from Maralie, who she used to babysit. When Maralie was 6, they would play hide and seek, and Maralie loved it when Molliana crept up behind her. For some reason, she didn't get scared. So Molliana was now thanking her lucky stars that she could run quietly. Hopefully she wouldn't get caught.
Molliana heard something and ducked just as a knife hit the wall in front of her. She turned to see a girl around her age, wearing black. She had long black hair and was clutching two knifes in her hand. Molliana cursed and bolted down another hall. She heard footsteps and jumped, just missing the knife by inches.
"That's very dangerous!" Molliana called teasingly. "Weren't you told not to play with knifes?"
Another knife flew past her head.
"Guess not," she muttered.
She saw the front door and, looking back and giving the girl a wink, ran out and saw Ashton's motorbike. Taking out the keys she stole from his wardrobe, she grinned.
She loved motorbikes.
Mollie didn't die! :3
She's too awesome to die. *nods*
~ Mara xx
One Direction are in my closet.
So is Derek.
I wonder if they'll escape like Mollie did.
Oh yeah! Mollie!
She didn't make it.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Liam Payne came back inside from the special box they kept him in at night. He checked his phone and sighed. Scrolling through the messages, he saw one that made his motionless blood freeze over. It was a message from someone he never thought he would hear from again. A summon. Not sure what to do, he went to Louis and Niall, showing them the summon.
Liam probably wouldn't admit it, but Snooke creeped him out. he approached the building on stiff legs which threatened to give out beneath him. Niall pushed him forward. Liam had been the one to drag the three of them there, so it was best if they got this over and done with as soon as possible. The three young men made their way to the top floor of a manky set of flats and waited patiently outside a door with an Atomic Kittens poster on it. You never knock on Snooke's door. You wait for him to open it. He somehow always knew when people would be there. Maybe it was because no-one was ever late for a meeting with him, or if they were caught in traffic they would let him know before hand. Snooke opened the door and beckoned the three in. He gestured for them to sit in a worn yet undamaged sofa and he sat opposite them in an armchair. His fingers were steepled before him, but the way he glanced at the clock gave the impression Liam was not the only one he had wanted to see. After a few minutes, Liam sighed. "Ebenezer?"
The man regarded him with a cold glare. People Ebenezer turned were the only people who ever heard him speak. He smiled and got up, moving to the door.
Two people walked in. One was a bewildered man with a shock of red hair, the other a woman with an eyepatch and long mud-brown hair. They sat next to Louis and waited patiently for the moment Snooke might finally speak. He didn't. He handed the woman a thick file. She opened it and handed each of the gathered five a sheet. Each one had a target victim on it. The woman grinned mischievously. "Mevolent's lot." She explained to Liam, Louis and Niall. "Ebenezer's very anti-Mevolent. Sorry you've been roped into this."
Liam shrugged. "He wants to use me as a vampire against this guy then?"
The woman looked at the back of her sheet. "They have names on the back. See? This one says M. Firegem. This is my target."
Louis checked his. It also had Firegem's name on it, so he passed it back to her. Three of the sheets had her name on them, the other two had Liam's. He shook his head quickly. "I'm not killing anyone."
"This is a kill or be killed world, kid." The Australian redhead snapped. Firegem smiled.
"If they know you're associated with Snooke, you will be killed anyway."
Snooke grinned. The text he had sent Liam included a lovely sentence. 'You owe me.' Perhaps it would be simple enough to just position him just before night and let the vampire inside do the dirty work. It wouldn't be without its risks and complications, but still...
Molliana sat there, her expression horrified. Blood. Blood. It wasn't hers.
Ashton had killed someone with the rake.
Ashton, the kid down the street, Molliana's best friend growing up. She backed up against the bed, muttering, "No... no..."
Her hand found something plastic under the bed. Gingerly, she pulled it out. It was a huge plastic bag. And there was something inside it.
Molliana opened it warily and the eyes of Marcus Irratic, another of her childhood friends, stared lifelessly up at her. Dried blood all over his body. And holes in his skin.
Holes only a rake could have made.
Molliana screamed and the voices downstairs paused. She cursed as the footsteps started to walk upstairs. She looked around and saw the only exit. The window.
She crawled towards it and just as she got to her feet, the door opened. She yelped and ran over to the window. She looked back and saw there were two men, each holding guns. Most likely Mevolent's men.
She glanced out the window. There was another building about a metre away. She could make it. One of the men raised his gun and she knew he had no option.
DON DON DONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
~ Mara x
Monday, March 25, 2013
Her body looked back at her with exasperation. “How don’t you get mad with this thing? I’ve already killed more people than I’ve met!”
“Me, that makes no sense…” She said to it.
Her body sighed. “It’s me!”
“I know you’re Me, that’s why I called you Me.”
“It’s Ren, y’know, Ren Clairvoyant?” Her body put its hands on its hips.
Death looked at her body and smirked. “Now you’re calling yourself my friend… I don’t get you, Me. What did I ever do to you?!”
“You committed suicide, you got both your arms torn off, you punched yourself in the face several times-”
“Okay!” Death (not the body) said and rolled her eyes. “So I’ve been mean and bad and evil and unhappy and suicidal and strange to you. Why are you calling yourself Ren? He died by Bob Hitler! DAMN YOU HITLER!!” She yelled and shook her fist at the black roof.
“What’s all that racket about?!” Someone yelled from outside. How did Me get in here anyway?
“Nothing! I’m talking to myself!” It was true after all… Her body walked up to her and slapped her. “And now I’m slapping myself! All just very… Uh… Deathly things!”
She heard a sigh and footsteps fading into the distance. She looked at her body and it looked back with brown eyes… Brown eyes?! I did not have brown eyes! I have blue eyes! “REN! IT IS YOU!”
“No duh,” he- she meant she, he, it said.
Death got suddenly embarrassed for calling it an it. “Can you still read my mind?”
It shook its head, full of long golden brown hair… She envied it… “No, that man who you call Bob Hitler, he took my magic from me. He also murdered me, if you didn’t notice.”
She smiled sadly. “I noticed. I cried. I hit Ian.”
“I’m not a psychic but I know you’re lying.”
“Yeah, I did notice and that’s all. How, I mean why are you in my body? And how?” Death (the soul) was stumped.
“I saw you jump off that damned cliff, I was about to push you away but you were hugged by that bloody menace. You jumped and I went down to meet you but you ignored me and then got sucked into that… What did Aretha call it…? The snow globe? Yeah, well, you know that part. I sat there for about ten minutes and then decided that you’d be dead and Ian would kill-”
“No!” Death shouted. “He wouldn’t!”
It looked at her sceptically, “he would Death.”
She didn’t want to say it; she really didn’t want to say it. “Ian is dead.”
“What?!” It shouted in alarm.
“This is before you came to me. The,” she made quotation marks in the air with her cuffed hands; “menace killed him and absorbed him into himself.” Did that make sense? “The guy, his name is Diablo von Imperse. He can impersonate anyone by killing them… That means he can get his victims’ powers but less intense.”
Its face looked like it was a drowning fish. “How do you know that?!”
“I went into his body,” she said quietly, “and saw everything. At least you didn’t kiss him!”
“Oh God,” it said. “No, NO!” It glared at her head and she ducked just in time… Mirrors reflected her glaring power and she’d been angry at her reflection so many times she had gotten ducking…
“How can you use my power?!” She half-screamed.
Ren’s, her, its eyebrows pulled together. “I don’t know… I thought you’d know that.”
Death huffed. “This is the weirdest day of my life. Almost as weird as the word weird…”