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  1. Today
  2. It’s been a while since I was King... *snatch*
  3. ObicanDecko

    Chapter 14

    Another brilliant chapter! ❤️ Will did pretty good considering it was his first time. Luckily Oskar was there to help him. I still have a bad feeling that all of this will come back to bite him (or both of them) in the ass at some point.
  4. "GFD: We Are Many 2" I fixed myself up, drew on my 'C’ symbol with extra care, and got ready to go. I picked Sammy up at his apartment shortly after, and we drove out West to the outskirts of the city. I followed the directions that Gabriel had written out for me to a tee, but was amazed at how quickly the sparkling city skyline left us once we started traveling away from downtown Chicago. It was almost as if the city itself had forsaken us, offering us no further protection from its bright lights once we were outside of its public boundaries. The buildings got further and further apart, and once we passed the 'Harpo Studios' building...things began to get darker and darker, guiding us underneath elevated train tracks, designed to drop passengers off in small, dimly lit, neighborhoods that looked almost abandoned as we rolled past them. Sammy was especially quiet, looking at the landscape around us. He was visibly shaken. Still...we both went forward. When I finally started seeing streets that were mentioned on Gabriel's note, I found myself a bit more at ease, and the directions led us to what looked like an old warehouse. I parked the car on the street, and Sammy and I assured ourselves that we would both check out the second we felt anything going 'weird' in this place if one of us didn't like the vibe of it. Then we got out of the car and walked towards the old building. There was definitely music coming from inside, and Sammy and I walked to an alley entrance where a few other people were standing outside. Either waiting to get in, or just milling around, getting some air after being inside for so long. There was a large ice bucket full of bottled water by the door, and a clear plastic box for 'donations', but none were necessary. I dropped a five dollar bill in regardless. Might as well be a good guest, you know? There was a big guy at the door with a flashlight, and Sammy and I both showed him our hands. He smiled at us, and said, "Welcome to the party, boys. They've been expecting you." He stepped aside and let us in, and as soon as we walked in...we were amazed with what we saw. The warehouse was decorated with bright, blacklit, glow-in-the-dark graffiti, glow sticks and ropes, and there was a giant platform in the middle of the flat that had steps on either side, leading up to a rather 'overstocked' bar. There were speakers in every corner of the room, aggressively blasting music from every direction, and the place was full of what looked like 200 people or more. It was exactly as Gabriel had said it would be. There were people there from ages 13 to 30, from 30 to 50, from 50 to 80. Every shape, size, height, color, and culture. Some were dancing, some laughing, others quietly talking in small dark corners of the room, and others still...doing everything short of having a public orgy right there in front of everyone watching. I could see a variety of different 'C' symbol designs all around me, on every person in the room. Some on the back of their hands, some on their middle fingernail, some on the knuckle, or on the inside of the wrist, some discretely hidden behind the right or left ear, and others on the side of the neck. One boy even had contact lenses with the letter 'C' made into a glow-in-the-dark, bright green pupil, so it could be seen as long as his eyes were open. There were lasers shooting back and forth across the ceiling, a few strobe lights, some flashy designs...it was a party that literally had something for everybody. And once Sammy saw that it wasn't some creepy coven of website fanatics, he calmed down and offered to get me something from the bar. Looking around the room, I realized that Gabriel had told me another truth about this place. There were definitely a lot of cute boys there! I mean...they were HOT!!! And they had no trouble looking you in the eye if you spotted them from a distance. I don't think I ever got more smiles and nods in a club before than I did when I walked through that front door. Naturally, there were the usual party 'cliques' that could be easily spotted in certain places around the room. Like little hipster elitists, standing in tiny circles of five or six people, off to themselves, and not allowing anybody to penetrate their tight little community. But whatever. It's to be expected in any party atmosphere. And speaking of penetrating something tight..."JT! You came!" I saw Gabriel walking up from the corner of the room, and he gave me a big hug around the neck. I didn't expect such a familiar greeting from him but, wow...his body felt so soft to me. So slim and so sweet. Wrapping my arms around him made me feel tingly all over. "Well, I figured...what else have I got to do, right?" I told him. "Radical, man! Well, what do you think?" "This is...this is amazing! Honestly, I didn't know what to expect." "Probably some killer cult thing, huh?" He grinned, throwing an arm over my shoulder. "Don't sweat it, man. We get that a lot. Come on, I'll get you in good with everybody so you can make yourself at home." And that's exactly what he did. He took me from person to person, group to group, and showed me off like a prize winning pig at the fair. "Hey, JT...this is Sonia, and that's Serena. Over there you've got Paulo, and that's Marcus, and this is Stiles..." I was dizzy from being dragged through so many names at once. Not to mention that another day at work seemed to be catching up to me all over again, because my head was spinning even faster than ever. I REALLY need more sleep. This dizziness is getting worse by the day. Sammy finally found me, and handed me a drink. "Where have YOU been? I was looking all over for you." He asked me, and I tapped Gabriel on the shoulder to introduce him. The moment Gabriel turned around, he grinned and said, "You must be Sammy! Dude, so happy to have you with us tonight!" And he gave him a big hug around the neck like he did to me when I first walked in. Sammy tightened up a bit from the strangely warm greeting, but enjoyed the idea of it being from such a young cutie, and melted into the embrace rather quickly. "He's a cute one, JT. I'm sure some of our guests have their eye on him already." Gabriel said. We all shared a chuckle together, but something was bugging me. "Hey...uh...how did you know his name?" "What?" Gabriel asked with a smile. "Sammy. How did you know his name? I don't remember telling you." He gave me a strange look. "Yes you did. On the train, remember? You said you only expected to see 'two' symbols tops. And that included your friend, Sammy. Don’t you remember?" He asked me. "I just figured this had to be him. This IS Sammy, right?" "Ohhh...yeah. You're absolutely right. I did say that, didn't I?" I told him. "Hehehe, yes, you did. Or maybe...I'm just reading your thoughts. Oooooh!" He giggled, and made a big mystical deal out of whistling a spooky little tune in front of me. "Come on, chill out. Drink. Dance. Smoke. Whatever. There are a lot of good people here. Have fun, k? That's the only rule tonight. Everybody's family, so don't be afraid to mingle a bit." He told me, and then kissed Sammy on the cheek. "Good to meet you, Sammy." And he skipped off to become one with the party again. "Mmm! Good to meet YOU, hot stuff!" Sammy smiled. "Is THAT the boy from the train you told me about?" "Yep!" I happily confessed. "No WONDER you wanted to come out here tonight! I would have followed that boy into shark infested waters wearing a freakin' bloody pork chop around my neck if he promised me another one of those sexy hugs." "SEE? And you were worried!" I said, causing Sammy to give me a shove. "Dude, there is a virtual ARMY of 'boy model' guys here tonight! And I'm not leaving until I get at least FIVE phone numbers!" He said. "Have at it, man. I think...I think I might actually try talking to Gabriel a bit more." I said, and he grinned at me. "WHAT???" "Nothing. Nothing at all. You go chase your little blond chicken. I'm looking for someone a little more age appropriate, if you don't mind." "Psh! Please! Aren't YOU the one who seduced a 25 year old man when you were 16?" "That guy was weak in spirit and I was merely a willing participant in his molestation of me." He snickered. "Besides, that was different. He was a priest. He was way too hot to be a priest. He should have known better." "Oh my god...ok, dude...get away from me before you give me nightmares." I said, and he giggled happily as he practically dove into that crowd of cute guys, just waiting to be chatted up. I have to admit, there was an awful lot of 'playground' here for the two of us to tackle. But Gabriel seemed to have snatched my attention away from all others. And as I walked around the room with my drink, he was the one I kept an eye out for. I felt a bit of wetness splash up on my arm as I accidentally bumped into someone beside me. It was an extremely gorgeous guy, about the same age as Gabriel, but with long, shoulder length, dark hair that he tied up in a pony tail behind him. And eyes that were almost light blue. "Awww, man. I'm sorry." I said, hoping that I didn't waste too much of his drink. "Oh don't worry about it. There's more where that came from." He said, and extended his hand. "The name's Lucas. And yours?" "It's uh...it's JT." I said, and returned his greeting by extending my hand as well. At that moment, I heard some noise behind me, and I saw two guys from the party kind of thrashing about in one of the other corners of the room. There were people surrounding them, and seemed to be pushing them, quite helplessly, into one of the rooms in the back. It looked a little too rough to be playful, but Lucas grabbed my attention again. "Alcohol does strange things to some people." He said. "Are they gonna be alright?" "Of course they are. There aren't any incidents that we can't handle here. We're...'family'." He grinned. "Yeah. Right." I smiled, keeping an eye on the two of them until they were out of sight. "JT...you seem a bit tense to me. Coming straight from work, I assume?" "Yeah, I am. Geez, is it that obvious?" Lucas smiled at me. "It's not that hard to see the signs of someone who doesn't enjoy their job...or their life...as much as they should. It creates a chemical build up of emotional byproducts. It practically glows on the surface of the skin...begging for release." I gave him a raised eyebrow, and smiled. "That sounds pretty deep. Hehehe!" "Indeed, it does." He reached in his pocket, and pulled out a business card. It was just his name and what looked like a public pay phone number. "If you're ever looking to get away from the hustle and want to attack something more satisfying...give me a call. I might just have an offer that's more to your liking." He said, and then I saw him walk back into the crowd, several boys and girls turning to follow him back to their private little corner on another side of the room. Wow...so I've got business proposals being thrown my way now? All from meeting other people from this one website? Hehehe, sweet! This is better than a fraternity! After walking around and absorbing all that was going on, I kind of lost track of time. It's hard to say how long Sammy and I had been apart. An hour? Maybe two? But a third of the people there were really friendly to us, smiling and making introductions and just welcoming us to this...’family’ that they kept talking about. Another third...they seemed to be watching us closely from the sidelines, and appeared to be so different from everyone else in the room once you noticed them. But give them a nod, and they were quick to approach you with great interest. In fact, the youngest boys in the room seemed to be some of the most fascinating and intelligent in the crowd. It was astounding. It was literally like being inside an exact replica of the erotic website itself. With laughter and wild antics, wacky comments, and thoughtful discussions. I loved it. And then...there was another third of guests at the party...who appeared more standoffish. More isolated. Those same folks that remained in their little groups, giving an intimidating look to anyone who would dare to walk past them with an intent to engage in even the most harmless of conversations. And yet, this group seemed to be highly sexual, once they chose a random person to 'entertain' them. It was such a strange opposition to the vibe they put out there previous to accepting you into their circle. Very weird bunch, those kids in the groups. I walked around some more, the music pumping louder and louder by the minute. I guess when you're out in the middle of nowhere, you don't really have any neighbors to complain. So there couldn't be that many problems. However...I did see more people being hauled off to that back room, and was curious about what was going on back there. My guess would be some kind of drug use, as is the norm for parties this big. Most of the time I didn't notice the struggle until I heard a glass break, or a shout or grunt that seemed to rise above the pulsating music around me. But everyone kept smiling, kept drinking, and kept dancing. So if they didn't mind, I guess I didn't mind either. "JT...you having fun, or what?" I heard Gabriel's voice, and turned to see him behind me, bringing me another drink. "Dude, thank you SOOOO much for inviting me here! This place is spectacular!" "I'm glad you like it." He said, and then moved closer. "You know...the folks throwing this little festivity have got their eye on you. I think you might just be their favorite new guest this year." "Hehehe, well, thank you to our gracious hosts, then. Did they mention why?" I asked. With that, Gabriel smiled, and said.."All in due time. For now, why don't you take this drink and make sure that you don't stop until you're blitzed out of your mind." "Hahaha, no. I can't. Really. I've gotta drive home tonight..." "No, you don't. We've got plenty of room for you to crash in the apartment next door. It used to be a motel, but now it's all ours. And if push comes to shove, we've got an entire taxi company dedicated to making sure that everyone gets home safe. We take care of our own. So have a blast, k?" He said, brandishing his 'C’ symbol for me to see again. "You guys really have thought of everything, haven't you?" I asked him. "This little operation of ours wouldn't work if we didn't." He lifted the dink to my lips, and then gave me a kiss on the cheek before walking away to rejoin the party. What else could I do? I kept drinking, kept talking to random people, kept having fun. They all knew the website backwards and forwards. We already had a major shared passion of ours in common. We even had little games of trivia going, and I was loving every minute of it. I only wished I could have Sammy by side for it, as he knew the online stories even better than I did. Where was Sammy, anyway? I think I was entering my third hour without so much as catching sight of Sammy at the bar. In fact, any time we ever went to a club together, and we got separated, I always knew that all I had to do was go to the bar and wait about fifteen minutes. He'd show up eventually. But not this time. It got to the point where I got a little bit worried about him. I mean, a little bit of liquor and a bunch of horny strangers don't always make for the best mix. Not that I didn't trust him to make good judgements when he was out...but...we were kind of in a strange place where we didn't know anybody all that well. So when he didn't show up at the bar, I stood up and started looking around in different parts of the warehouse for him. The crowd seemed to be thinning out, little by little, two or three people at a time. And I didn't want to be caught without my main source of protection in this place. I walked around, nodding and smiling at the remaining party people around me. They seemed enchanted by my very presence, and I could see heads turn as I walked past them. Many of them cute, many of them seemingly 'available'...but my only concern for the moment was finding my friend. Luckily, that's when I ran into Gabriel again. "Gabriel! Thank God, I found you!" I said. "Heyyyy...what's poppin', buddy?" He said, and gave me another affectionate hug. "I hope you're still enjoying yourself." "Yeah...I am. But...have you seen Sammy?" "Sammy?" He asked. "Yeah. My friend, Sammy? It's been a while since I've seen or heard from him, and his cell phone is turned off. He seems to have vanished completely." "Ohhhh, right. The guy you came in with. Yeah, you know what? I think he went off to have a little 'ring-a-ding' with a cutie he met at the bar." Gabriel told me. "Really? So, he just...whisked himself away to some dark corner to get some nookie?" That little bastard! "Seems like it. Hey, you want some more to drink? I can get it for you. Everything is free." "No...no thanks." I said. "I just wanna find Sammy. He's been gone for a while. Even for something naughty." Gabriel stopped me as I started to walk away. "It hasn't really been all that long, has it? Relax. Enjoy the music. Why don't you go over to the candy table, get yourself some Jolly Ranchers, and find yourself a nice little corner to chill out in? It'll do you some good." "I don't want to chill out. I want to find..." But, before I could finish, a loud voice came on over the speakers, and I looked up to see an older man on the microphone, standing up on a small stage in front of a collection of blank monitors where everyone in the room could see him. "Attention! Attention! I have good word for all of us!" The people in the room all turned their eyes to him as he smiled down from above. "I wanted to let you all know...that because our urban scouts have gathered such a great number of candidates here this evening, we have been granted a special 'bonus' by the One!" He said, and the crowd began to cheer in unison. "I hold here...in my hands, two new printed scriptures from 'he' who supports our cause! He has granted us with two new chapters, and promises to have more of them in circulation by the end of the Summer!" Another loud cheer erupts from the crowd, and Gabriel seems overjoyed at the news. "Soon....our time will come! The great change has already begun! The chosen one walks among us...and soon, our freedom is guaranteed! 'He' has kept his word! Once the prophecy has been fulfilled...we shall walk in darkness no longer!" People applauded and roared with triumph throughout the crowd, and I wanted to get into the festivities, but didn't really understand what was going on or what the man was talking about. "Justin is TRUTH! Justin is LIGHT!" The whole crowd shouted back, "LONG LIVE THE VAMPIRE DAWN!!!" It was then, that I saw the boy I bumped into earlier, Lucas, approach from the side, and he gave Gabriel a tight hug as they celebrated this....'announcement' of theirs. I had to ask, "So....what is all of this about? I don’t get it. Did I miss a post on the website or something?" They both looked at me with a grin, and Gabriel said, "We now have two new original texts ready for circulation. New stories. A whole new audience to reach. As the new scriptures come to a close, and the legend of the chosen one is exposed, we anticipate a great shift in the public's opinion. The circle is almost complete." "Oh, you mean there are new chapters on the website? Awesome! Jesus! Its about time, am I right? Hehehe! What, is he giving out sneak previews tonight?" I asked. "Yes. Indeed he is." Lucas told me. "This is a very exciting time. For all of us." "What do you mean?" They both looked at one another again, and Gabriel was the first to speak. "The prophecy, JT. The 'change' is almost ready to begin." I was confused. "The....the change? What change?" They pulled me to the side with a smile. "I don't understand. What's going on?" "You...you didn't just think they were stories, did you?" Gabriel asked me, his smirk suddenly taking a wicked turn in the corners of his lips. "What...like the high school stuff?" "Hehehe, not quite." Lucas added. Gabriel said, "You must understand, I couldn't tell you ahead of time. I needed you to come here tonight. I needed you to follow." I don't know what it was, but the tension between us began to thicken in the air around us as I tried to make sense out of all of this. "You've been chosen, JT. To help the author document this moment in our history. Do you understand what I am telling you?" Confused, I just gave him a sideways look, and Gabriel told me, "We need your help. Your connections. Once the manuscript has been completed, we will need it to be presented to the rest of the world. You work for a publishing company, correct?" I took a step back from them, and wrinkled my forehead. "How is it that you know what I do for a living?" I asked. "As a matter of fact...now that I think about it...I don't even remember telling you my name. How do you know all of this stuff about me?" "I already 'told' you how I know." Gabriel grinned, pointing a finger to his temple. "You think it...I read it. It's just that simple." I thought back to the night in the subway. The dizziness I felt, the random surfacing of thoughts for no reason at all, the sudden fatigue. I thought about his approach as he followed me to the train car I was on. And when I was talking to him... "I believe this is your stop." How did HE know where I was getting off? What was happening here? "Listen, this has all been fun and all..." I said, taking a step backwards. "...But, I've gotta find Sammy. I think we're gonna call it a night." Lucas giggled to himself. "Your friend, Sammy, called it a night hours ago, my friend." "What? What are you saying?" Gabriel flashed me a sinister grin. "You won't find your friend, JT. Not 'much' of him anyway." WHAT THE HELL WAS HE SAYING??? I frantically looked around the room, whose population had thinned out considerably. On the right side of the room, beautiful young boys and a few elder gentlemen, all either drinking from black chalices, or sucking on the Jolly Rancher candies they found in the various bowls around the room. And on the left side of the room, all small groupings of boys and girls of different ages, hungrily gnawing on the tattered bones of a late night snack, each cluster centered around one main person who seemed to be the focus of their social orbit. I shivered as Gabriel's hands reached out to gently crawl over my shoulders. "We needed to find a community of people who knew our stories, and could help our collective species rise out of the fairy tales and folklore...and return to take our rightful place in the world again. Many of the humans here tonight were selected for their possibilities, but...well...as you can see...all of them didn't make the cut." I could hardly breathe, and froze up as I tried to speak. "Whatever kind of game you guys are playing...it's NOT funny. Ok? So...just tell me where my friend is...and we'll go." "Shhhhh..." Gabriel whispered softly as he moved his lips close to my ear. "...He's gone, JT. Let it go." I felt my bottom lip quivering as my horrified mind tried to accept the idea of what he was saying to me. "My kind gets the blood. That delicious liquid essence of life is ours for the taking." Then he added. "We leave the meat...for the 'wolves'." Lucas smiled at me, and his eyes began to glow with an ethereal light that shook me to my very core from the horror of it all. "This isn't happening. This isn't happening. This..." I chanted, but Gabriel walked back out in front of me to stand next to Lucas. "The time for change is upon us, JT. More and more new readers are signing on every day. And as the public becomes more infatuated with our stories, our numbers will grow. More will want to give themselves over to the eternal darkness. And we will embrace every last one of them. Guaranteed." Gabriel told me. Lucas spoke. "Your religious right suppresses your natural desires, your government suppresses your freedoms, your corporations hungrily rob you of choice. Gas prices are rising, cost of living is getting too hard to manage, resources are becoming scarce...the rich get richer, and the poor are left to die off like roaches in an empty household. And while the very stench of their heartless oppression chokes you all into a growing level of endless frustration...we offer a more efficient alternative. As your kind tires of the struggles of life...they all come to us eventually." "Or US." Gabriel continued, with a smile. "The human race is circling the drain, and they don't even know it yet. The passion and beauty of life everlasting lies in the gifts that only WE can provide them. And it is time that our message was heard." I felt my stomach turn upside down, feeling as though I was going to be sick. I looked over to one side of the room, as a young woman my age was gently dragged into one of the back rooms. Tears on her face, running black streaks of make-up down both of her cheeks. But over the music...I couldn't really hear her screams. This whole night...I doubt that I was even paying attention to what was really going on around me. "You smell pretty scared there, cutie pie." Lucas grinned, taking a whiff of the air. Gabriel guided me to sit on a nearby window sill while the enormous weight of the situation began to crush me under its power. "Breathe, JT. You'll be ok. I promise. We are going to take care of you. You're one of the chosen. You are needed. We're not going to hurt you." "The site...the site is..." "The website is what it is. The One...'he' who writes the scriptures...he has been in league with us from day one." "They were just supposed to be stories. It...IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE REAL!!!" I shouted, feeling a few tears drip from my eyes as I thought about poor Sammy, calling out to me while I merged myself with the party crowd. But nobody heard my cries. They ignored my distress...the same way that I had been ignoring the distresses of everyone else in that warehouse tonight. "We needed him as well. The one who writes the scriptures. We tell him about our cultures, our societies, our beliefs...and he writes them down. He is spreading our message to those who need to hear it. He is preparing the world for our triumphant return to the rest of society. Just as it was centuries ago...when people still believed in the horrors held behind the dark curtains of their world." Gabriel said, still trying to comfort me with a friendly smile. "It's a GOOD thing, JT. Mankind is almost ready for our second coming. The website was instrumental in the first stage of that process. Now you and your publishing firm can be the second. You can take us to the next level. And that 'C’ symbol that you wear so proudly on the back of your hand can act as our big flare in the sky to alert the others to our presence. Our burning bush..." "How....?" I asked meekly. "How can you exist among us without anybody knowing about this...?" Lucas said, "The humans don't believe in what they can't see. What they can't touch. It's a threat to them to believe in us. It makes our existence SO much easier to know that they prefer the laziness of a social lie than the acknowledgement of the truth, staring them right in the face, each and every day that they draw breath. No more angry mobs. No more torches and pitchforks. Just unsuspecting victims, and the endless sustenance that they provide us when they wander the streets at night. It’s as easy as slaughtering the gullible herd of cattle on your average farm. Tasty." "Lucas..." Gabriel interrupted, moving to wipe away some of the panicked tears from my eyes. "...You'll frighten him!" Gabriel knelt down in front of me, and looked me in the eyes. "All we need, is for you to get these new texts, and all the ones before it...into the hands of your Mr. Renfield. Get them published. Once the stories are on the open market, and vampire kind is normalized in the eyes of the public...the message will be spread, and our stories will be heard. After that...the transformation between daylight and darkness will be effortless. And once we outnumber those who are against us, it will no longer matter who is in control. Nature will take its rightful place at the top of the food chain...and human evolution will run its course...as it always does." The thought crossed my mind that I could run. I could head for the door. My mind tried to deny it all. These people are sick in the head! Vampires? Werewolves? How 'stupid' do they think I am? I tried to struggle with it all, but I heard both Lucas and Gabriel sigh out loud as my thoughts and intentions were revealed to them. Lucas squinted his eyes slightly, and told me, flat out..."You know what happens...if you try to run out on us. Don't you, JT? There won't be any second chances given." Gabriel looked almost disappointed. "You don't wanna do that. Do you, JT? I mean, things can be better for you. Make the right choice. Don't be stupid." He said. "You won't be able to run. And even if you could, you wouldn't be able to hide. Both of our kinds are already positioned in every major city in the world. The revolution is coming. And SOON! There's nothing that you can do to stop it. So just...be smart, JT. Be a part of it. Join us...while we're still playing 'nice'." Gabriel then had the audacity to smile warmly at me, tenderly rubbing the back of my neck. I looked back up at Lucas, who was eagerly awaiting my reply. "And if I don't sell you my soul for the sake of getting a few 'fiction/non-fiction’ books published?" "Heh...then, my friend, you join a very long list of people who made the same decision..." He leaned a bit closer, "...And were never heard from again." He stepped aside, and waved his hand out to draw my attention to a giant series of computer screens that were being flashed against the wall behind the stage. On it...were names. Hundreds of names. All posts on the website forum, but none of them were ever accepted by the site moderators. Sightings of 'C' symbols all over the city, the state, the country, the WORLD!!! Excited posts from kids, from adults, from college campuses and workplaces, from gay clubs, high schools, texted in over cell phones...they were literally coming from everywhere. But without being posted to the rest of the public...it was like they never existed at all. None of us had proof. None of us could be accounted for. And every candidate on that list had been found, targeted, and invited to parties just like this one all over the globe. As my heart began to beat extra hard from the fear coursing through my veins, the realization that I was totally alone here without any possibility of being saved...I noticed a familiar subject title among the forum posts displayed in front of me. I saw my name attached to it, now highlighted in bold red text, while many others were crossed out. Rejected, and made to become food for the 'gods'. And with my unseen phantom post, brazenly displayed on the screens in front of me...I saw my own words staring back at me...ending with the, now sinister, looking quote attached... "We are many."
  5. LIMIT Les is making it tonight HOOCH
  6. drpaladin

    Chapter 23

    Now we get the back story of what happened in the blind spot. Desmond is clearly invested in this relationship. Desmond has read Gabriel like a book and waited to see what he would do. This is the old, calculating Desmond. We know what that Desmond would have been inclined to do, but that Desmond has been changed. i think at the most he would have simply left. i'm curious as to how he is going to work out the details. No matter how hot the fire, there will need to be a body to be found in the ashes. I'm sure this can be handled. The afterward is another question entirely. They can't risk staying in this area after pulling the act. They will need to disappear since desmond has decided not to kill Julian, at least for now.
  7. Kapucinski

    Chapter 23

    Wish you luck, fingers and toes crossed. As a freelancer myself I can understand the magic of a steady paycheck, hope you get the job.
  8. LOL. This is so good! Can't wait for 'in a couple of weeks'. Now let's hunt the impostor!
  9. drpaladin

    Chapter 80

    They both needed the reassuring interlude and re-connection of physical bonding. Now this new situation causes new fears and uncertainty to arise. Kohen shouldn't let his imagination run wild with new worries. Captain is never going to let anything happen to him regardless of what it takes and Freska will never let anything happen to Danie. As i see it, they are both completely free agents. The entire crew has performed a service beyond value to the universe and are owed a vast debt. I'm sure Kohen has certain rights as the Captain's partner. Danie, for all practical pyrposes, is a non-entity. He doesn't really exist on any database and we know what Freska can do with databases. She can make them do anything she wants.
  10. Okay, so I'm making a liar out of myself. Not only is this a video, but it features cute animals. Just not the usual animals. I was going to send this to @Wesley8890, but I couldn't resist… https://ve.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_pnp3zsZ5hW1u890nd.mp4
  11. Canuk

    Chapter 3

    Belatedly catching up! Good that mother has quietly slid out of the picture! The new boy sounds like a good new addition!
  12. JeffreyL

    Chapter 23

    Luck to you! Fingers crossed. And thanks for more of these wonderful characters and their story.
  13. Okay, I read the story on AwesomeDude, but wasn't able to email the author. I tried the address (yahoo.ca) listed at the end of the chapters first, but it bounced. Then I tried the address (rogers) listed on the story page and it bounced too. I'm not registered on AwesomeDude, just on GA. ;–) Thank you, @jaya1968, for bringing it to my attention. ;–)
  14. @Comicality Cookies, donuts, what's next? A Big Mac? He'd love that for sure!
  15. Looking so forward to vacation, it can't get here quick enough. Leaving on Monday for a week to go visit my brother, who has not yet met Baby J. It will be a long drive (17 hours each way), but will be so worth it. On the way back, we're thinking of detouring to Denver and going to the zoo (if the weather permits) but that's not set in stone yet. Our first vacation as a family! Yay!

  16. I’ve been almost compulsively checking for updates here. Yay for progress! Robbie telling someone about Alex, and Sue hearing about Robbie’s deteriorating mental state are all good signs. Plus her deciding Don doesn’t need to know everything (I suspect he’s on a bit of a downward spiral himself). The fact that he thinks Robbie was bullying Alex is indicative of an attitude of a lot of homophobes, unfortunately. That gay people are troubled, unhappy sorts that just try and make other right thinking “normal” folk miserable. /eyeroll
  17. Wesley8890

    Chapter 80

    No you can't hand them over!!!!
  18. Katya Dee

    Chapter 23

    Specter's Gamble (chapter 23) Three days ago “It’s a miracle,” Desmond said as seriously as before. “Let’s go eat something, I am hungry.” They went outside, and Rayhe felt as if he had a lead bar in his left pocket; that vial was getting heavier and heavier with every step that he took. They went to a small café on the side of the road, and Gabriel forced himself to eat something. Later, he couldn’t even remember what it was that he ate. He kept up the mindless chatter, answering Desmond’s questions, throwing jokes and mocking insults back and forth between them. By the time they finished eating, Rayhe felt worse than ever. “Ate too much?” Desmond asked him on the way back, his eyes narrowed slightly. “Why?” Gabriel stopped himself from flinching just in time. “You are quiet all of a sudden,” the assassin shrugged, his eyes still narrowed. “I guess,” Rayhe sighed. “Those mushrooms didn’t agree with me.” “Ah,” Desmond nodded and stopped talking until they finally got back to the apartment. Several hours later, Gabriel couldn’t take this anymore. “Screw it,” he thought desperately. “I can’t... I just can’t...” He went into the living room where Desmond was watching TV, mindlessly flipping through the channels. Rayhe walked closer to the couch, sat down, and took the remote control out of the assassin’s hand. He turned off the TV and put the remote away. Desmond looked at him silently, his expression slightly curious. Gabriel pulled him closer without saying anything and buried his face in his hair. Desmond slowly wrapped his arms around Rayhe’s neck. He didn’t say anything either. They sat in silence for several minutes, and then Gabriel muttered into the assassin’s hair: “I am sorry... I lied to you... About the house...” He was startled when Desmond replied calmly: “I know.” Rayhe straightened up and looked at him, his eyes wide. Desmond shrugged, his arms still around Gabriel’s neck. “When you came back, you looked lost,” he said with a small smile. “Also on the way back from the café, you said that the mushrooms didn’t agree with you...” “So?” Rayhe frowned. “Is that sign of lying number one? Mushroom indigestion?” “You didn’t order any mushrooms,” Desmond said and Rayhe just blinked at that. “What happened?” Gabriel took a deep breath and told him the entire story. When he finished talking, Desmond’s arms slowly slid off his neck, and Rayhe hated the feeling. The assassin sat in silence for several minutes, his expression solemn, arms folded in his chest. “Why did you tell me?” he asked finally. “Do you even have to ask?” Rayhe said quietly. “If you knew that I was lying, what were you going to do?” “I don’t know,” Desmond shrugged. “I would probably leave if not tonight, then tomorrow night for sure,” he turned his head and looked at Gabriel, a small smile playing on his lips. “My self-preservation is still present in spite of what Salamander might think.” Gabriel closed his eyes for several seconds. “You need to leave,” he said finally and opened his eyes. “I mean, if you leave, you’ll simply disappear; they won’t find you. You have to leave.” Now Desmond’s expression was a little bit more curious than a while ago. “If I leave,” he said slowly. “You’ll end up in some very deep shit, Rayhe, and you know it.” Gabriel shrugged almost indifferently. “I’ll figure something out,” he said. “And if not...” he shrugged again. “It won’t last forever, right?” he grinned. Desmond cocked his head slightly to the left, his curiosity slowly trading places with thoughtfulness. “Huh,” he said finally, and Gabriel raised his eyebrows. “What?” he asked. “I am not going to leave,” Desmond said calmly. “Des, you...” “I am not leaving,” the assassin interrupted Rayhe. “Deal with it. I am, however, going to finish this thing once and for all...” “You gonna kill him?” Gabriel frowned. “That would be...” “No,” Desmond leaned on the back of the couch. “Killing him would only create yet another problem... Right now, you have a very good shot at getting your clean slate; if I take Julian out, then it will never happen, since he is the only one in his entire family who is willing to give it to you. He is also the only one who is able to make it happen. Therefore, killing him is out of the question...” “Then what?” Rayhe asked after Desmond just sat there, frowning thoughtfully, his fingers tapping fast rhythm on the couch cushion. “Give me the vial,” the assassin said finally. Gabriel handed him the small container. “If you open it, he’ll know...” he said, and Desmond shot him a dark look. “You think?” he muttered with a crooked smile. The vial was made out of glass; the top of it, however, was plastic. The plastic part was sealed tightly, secured to the glass. It seemed like it would break off easily, however, when the time came to use the liquid inside the container. “Why is the top plastic?” Rayhe asked when Desmond got off the couch. “Breaks easier,” the assassin answered absent-mindedly. “Also, there is no danger of cutting yourself on the glass.” “I see...” Gabriel muttered. “What are you looking for?” he asked after a few minutes, watching Desmond dig in the drawers of the big desk that was sitting in the corner. The assassin just muttered something unintelligible and kept digging through the drawers. “What was the name of the mark you told me about?” Rayhe asked suddenly, and Desmond looked at him. “The one with the scars?” “Yeah,” Desmond said indifferently. “Vivienne; it was the same Julian after all...” “At least he doesn’t know that you slept with her...” Rayhe said thoughtfully. “Yeah,” Desmond said again and straightened up finally. “I knew it was here somewhere...” he muttered with satisfaction. He held a syringe in his hand. Rayhe watched him with interest when Desmond took the vial and walked to the window. He critically studied the plastic top of the vial, turning the small container back and forth in the sunlight. Finally, he pulled off the plastic tube that was covering the needle of the syringe with his teeth, and very carefully inserted the needle between two plastic ridges on the top of the vial. He bit his lip while slowly making all the liquid to flow into the syringe. Finally, the small container was empty and Desmond emptied the syringe into the flowerpot that has been sitting on the windowsill. The plant in that pot was completely and hopelessly dead. “If this doesn’t make it grow, then I don’t know what will...” Desmond muttered, and Gabriel let out weak laughter. The assassin caught the last drop that was dancing on the tip of the syringe with his finger, and carefully tasted it. “Thought so,” he muttered after a few seconds, and spat into the same flowerpot. “What is it?” Rayhe sounded genuinely curious. “This shit doesn’t knock you out,” Desmond said and walked into the kitchen. “It incapacitates you,” he called from the kitchen, and a second later, Gabriel heard the water running. It stopped after a minute or so, and Desmond came back into the living room. “You can’t move but you feel everything,” he finished. “The same drug they gave me?” Rayhe frowned. “No,” the assassin repeated the whole ordeal with the syringe and the vial. This time he filled the vial with water. “That one knocks you out for a few hours... This one doesn’t. It doesn’t heighten your senses either. It just incapacitates you.” “There might be some traces left in there still,” Rayhe frowned slightly after Desmond handed him the vial. “I know,” the assassin nodded. “I don’t want to tamper with it any more though... Whatever is left in there is not enough to affect me much anyway.” “So, I take it, you have a plan?” Rayhe said after Desmond lit a cigarette. “I guess...” the assassin said slowly. “This whole thing could be played out in two ways. Scenario A is Salamander kicking you out of the house after you do your part, and having his way with me. I know that he told you he’s not gonna make me suffer, but I have trust issues. Especially, when it comes to the Salamander family, call me crazy,” he shrugged. “Scenario B is him doing something to the house, like setting it on fire.” “There also could be a scenario C,” Gabriel frowned. “He might wait for us at the house and ambush you or something like that...” “No,” Desmond shook his head immediately. “He won’t. He wants you to drug me; he wants me to know that you are the one who sold me out.” “Why?” Rayhe asked. “Because he wants me to taste the betrayal,” Desmond answered with a serene smile. “Betrayal sometimes feels worse than physical pain.” “Right...” Gabriel muttered, unable to look into assassin’s green eyes. He almost did betray him, he thought. He considered the deal and accepted it; never mind the fact that he couldn’t go through with it later. He accepted it. “Therefore,” Desmond continued as if not noticing Rayhe’s guilty look. “We need two different strategies. If it turns out to be scenario A, then I won’t have any choice but kill him, clean slate or not. In case if he is not alone...” he lit another cigarette. “You might need to get inside that house because things might get hairy.” Rayhe nodded silently. “If it’s scenario B, however...” Desmond thought for several minutes. “You’ll need to go to that house tonight; make sure that the back door is unlocked. I don’t want it to be locked from the outside on Friday. I am pretty positive that he is going to set up a camera or two inside the house, to make sure that you do everything he said and not tip me off. I mean, that’s what I would do,” he shrugged. “So when we get there on Friday night, act well. Whatever you do,” he looked at Rayhe seriously. “Do not pull on your hair.” “Right,” Gabriel was finally able to look into Desmond’s eyes. “If he indeed is going to set the house on fire, you might not have enough time to get far away from it... I mean, to get far enough. You might end up getting burned. And I won’t be able to get you.” Desmond chewed on his lower lip for a minute. “I might have a solution for that,” he said finally. “Let’s go.” “Where?” “We are going to visit someone,” Desmond said with a small smile. “Des...” Gabriel said quietly when they were by the front door. The assassin turned his head and looked at him with a silent question. “Des, I...” “Forget about it,” Desmond interrupted him when Rayhe’s eyes became almost haunted. “You had your reasons... Plus,” he shrugged. “You told me. That makes the whole thing somewhat all right.” “No, it doesn’t,” Rayhe said in the same quiet voice. “It doesn’t. I...” “I said, forget it,” Desmond interrupted him again. He looked at Gabriel for several seconds, and when Rayhe’s expression remained miserable and guilty, he rolled his eyes, grabbed the other man’s collar, and pulled him towards himself. Gabriel shivered when Desmond’s mouth assaulted his. He wrapped both arms around the assassin and kissed him back hungrily. “Did this make it better?” Desmond asked several minutes later after he pulled away, breathless. “Yeah,” Rayhe nodded, relieved smile stretching his mouth. “A hell of a lot...” “Good,” Desmond nodded. “Let’s go.”
  19. Cia

    Chapter 80

    Captain held me tight, his body wedged behind mine. His breath heated my neck, and his hips were rocking the hard bar pressed tight to my ass in subtle surges. I went from lazy grogginess to aching need in seconds. My shaft filled, the skin behind my balls literally aching with the need to be touched. A heated sigh and shudder left me. “Captain.” “Hmm?” He nuzzled my neck. “You awake?” Part of him was. His arm slid down my stomach. “Hmm, you are. You need me?” “I want you.” I always needed him, but I wanted him too. The weight behind my ear shifted, and the synthgar’s pinch sent a lance of heat through me. My eyelids grew heavy, but I didn’t want to look away from the strong fingers I was twining with mine. That he let me touch him, squeezed our hands together even, was priceless. I couldn’t see the tiny creature move to Captain, but the bond between us flared and his hips surged against my ass as he gasped. “Ahh, Kohen.” Captain’s fingers stroked my cheek, my lips, as he tilted my head sideways to look into my eyes. “You’re amazing.” What I felt from him… he wiped the dark places inside me clean with the pure joy and heat beaming through our bond. I needed him closer, and I didn’t even have to say it. Captain stretched past me and reached for lubricant. Snick. Squish. Slick rubbing. Panting. The sounds of sex took the place of words we didn’t need to say as Captain played my body exquisite sureness. His arm under me stroked my chest, grazing my right nipple with the edge of his thumbnail. I arched my back and then exhaled in a long ahh as his slick fingers found my entrance and danced over the tight flesh. He pressed without entering until I pushed back, then he slid his finger inside in a long, slow glide. Still new, it ached and forced my walls to part, but I was so intent on the feelings he was delivering to me through our bond and as he strummed my body, I was too busy processing all the exquisite sensations to focus on the pain of the stretching. No, I knew what was coming and I couldn’t wait. “Please,” I exhaled on a whisper. He was in so much need, I didn’t know how he was holding back. “Now.” Captain grabbed more lube, then he rolled me over. “Want you face to face.” “’Kay.” He hovered between my legs on his knees. Captain leaned forward on one fist shoved in the bedding over my shoulder, the other wrapped around his erection as he breached me, his eyes watching with need, the same need I felt wrapping around us both through our bond. It wasn’t enough that I was feeling him entering me, each fraction of his rosy head piercing my core and then inch after inch of his shaft… no, I could feel my stretched rim squeezing him like a hand wrapped tight, then soft, warm walls pressing against the sides, top, and bottom of his shaft and easing the path as the lube spread. He lost it the last few inches and sank in deep, thudding our bodies together. I curled up, crying out, and he froze. “Again!” I demanded. He always treated me as if I was about to break, but this time, this time I needed more. He needed to fill me, consume me, take me roughly. Thank the stars for our bond because I clutched at him but didn’t have to say anything more. The lazy rhythm I woke to and that he’d stretched me with was gone, and Captain followed both our desires to completion. We fell back asleep, still wrapped together, messy, my body and his smelling of each other’s lust. It was doomed from the start, however, as duty reared its ugly head. We were pinged not nearly long enough later to overcome my exhaustion—or Captain was. “Sir, we’re receiving massive amounts of incoming messages directed to your eyes only. Freska has handled what she could but—” Captain sighed. “I understand. I’ll be there shortly.” I crossed my arms over my chest, holding the blanket beneath my chin. Captain stroked my hip. “Sorry. We knew this would probably happen; Freska did release a doozy of a message on the universe.” He probably should’ve been working since the moment we got back to the ship. Everyone else had been, it sounded like. “Sorry I distracted you.” “Hey,” Captain said. He leaned down, kissing me, parting my lips, teasing my tongue. He pulled away reluctantly. “I needed to reconnect with you after that just as much as you needed me. This bond between us is important and needs to be nurtured. We can’t just ignore it. I don’t want to, even if we could. Okay?” I nodded. “Okay.” I rolled onto my back to watch him dress. “What do you think the messages say? Who are they from?” “Planetary leaders. Central Council members. All wanting to know how Elites are real, how we found out about their plans, why we didn’t contact a committee, is it really true, what are we going to do now, come in for debriefing, demands for information sharing, calls for justice for and against us, conscription.” At the last one, I jolted up. “Can they do that?” “No.” Captain shook his head. “Central cannot compel our military service once we’ve been released, and every single person on this ship has been released.” “Except me. And Danie. Oh my god, what if they demand you hand over me and Danie?”
  20. tabaqui


  21. One Week Earlier Tobias - The Demon “Rise and shine!” A voice sings. Groaning at the intrusion, I turn into my pillow and pull the blanket up to hide myself from the light. “Aww, come on!” The voice calls. “We’ve got lives to save!” I grumble out an excuse to stay in bed longer, though I doubt Luno would be able to understand me. “No wonder you can turn into a tiger,” He laughs. “You try and sleep all day like one.” At that I lazily open an eye at him. How dare this idiot be able to look adorable first thing in the morning. No doubt it has something to do with what he is. I close my eye again, refusing to be woken by this person. This is only our third day into Raiyo’s quest and already I am growing tired of the Star. He talks too much, especially in moments where I need silence. That happens to be all the time. Not only does he talk too much, but he is also nice. Too nice. So nice in fact, that he feels the need to help every living thing that so much as looks our way. Oh god. I wish I could be joking. For a good two hours, Luno had me carry around a baby deer who was “walking funny”. We learned later on that it simply had a weird walk. Wasted two hours of our life! “Should I let Kulu clean out your ears?” Luno says in a teasing tone. This time I glare at him. “If that thing gets close to me,” I say. “I’ll pull it’s dead tongue out.” Luno laughs and holds the winged blue serpent up in his hand. “He wishes he could do that, doesn’t he?” Luno coos to the snake. It stares up at Luno with that dead looking blank stare. Its tongue hanging out of its mouth. I roll onto my back and stare up at the ceiling. The phoenix is perched up there. She looks down at me with her head tilted to the side. Gods. It feels so crowded in here. It is definitely taking a while to get used to. Before I met Luno, I would always go out alone when I was hunting Angels. If a group was necessary, Uncle would always assign other people who were just like me. They knew exactly what they were supposed to do, never really spoke more than a few words, and they one hundred percent did not create unnecessary banter. Not only did they not create unnecessary banter, they also did not make me want to kiss them. Never have I ever wanted to kiss someone as bad as I do with Luno. The best part is that he lets me! I could simply ask at random and he will let me. I did that for a good while, but then I realized something. There was no feeling coming from the other side. It leaves me feeling conflicted. I stopped asking of course, but I do not know how to bring the topic up. Oh well. I guess I will have to wait a see when it will come up again. “You can’t go back to sleep,” Luno says, though he sounds as though he is speaking to Kulu. “We shouldn’t waste any daylight! Now stop being a lazy kitty and lets get a move on.” With a sigh, I toss the blanket off and pull myself off the bed. We had found an old hunting cabin. There were four beds inside which was lovely. We have not been on any beds in quite some time. Unfortunately, we have to go out and search for more unfortunate souls who have mysteriously died. “Call me a kitty again and I’ll pluck those flowers out of your head,” I glare at Luno. He just grins and sticks his tongue out. “Good luck,” He says. “I have tried and nothing works.” Rolling my eyes, I grab my armor then start buckling and shoving it on. He is so infuriating sometimes. What could possibly be holding me back from punching him square in the face? If it were anyone else, I would have done so earlier. It really does not help that I want to kiss him. Ugh! Gods I hate him with every fiber of my being. “So where are we off to today?” I ask. “Perhaps we can go somewhere warm and sunny. This snow is getting annoying to walk through. Maybe somewhere near the coasts.” Luno scoffs and swats my arm. “You can’t just pick and choose which lives we are supposed to save. That is not right.” I groan and fall back onto the bed. My armor ends up digging into me so I sit back up. “Besides, there are only a few more places here that need our help. We should be able to move on soon enough.” Great...I love the snow. It is not at all annoying. It absolutely does not make everything too cold or too wet. Not at all irritating. Sighing, I unfold the map of Thymestrys that Raiyo gave to us. The map shows around fifty black dots that represent the strange magic that is killing the humans. Based on what this shows, the few cities that Luno has brought back to life seem to be safe. None have fallen back into a black dot so maybe this is all working? The southern mountains have about sixteen dots left. That does not even compare to the green middle of the map. There are thirty four dots there. What could possibly be killing all these humans and why? What have they done to deserve this. They are simply living their lives! I do miss when times were simpler. When all I had to worry about was the random Angel that would possibly get too close to humans. Now I can’t even go to these dots alone since there could be a hoard of them. Would Luno be safe if he went on his own? I imagine he would. Though, he has said he does not wish to ever bring harm to any living being. As noble as that might be, it is just not possible with what we are doing. We are bound to run into danger sooner or later. “Your face is worried,” Luno says out of nowhere. I look up from the map and see he is frowning at me. Shaking my head, I look back down at the map. “Just confused. I want to know what is happening in this world. Wouldn’t you be curious as well?” He hums in response. When I look back up, I see the blue flowers changing into a dark purple. My guess is that, that would mean he is worried, nervous, or possibly sad? It is a bit confusing at times to figure out what mood they represent. “We will figure it all out soon enough,” he says. “I am sure of it. We have Raiyo on our side after all, right? That should be good.” I just shrug. I am not sure if that is a good thing honestly. Yes, I believe he is the true leader of Demons, but that does not mean he is right on all counts. If he was interested in this, maybe there is something else at play here. He does not just go out of his way to help the world. He is looking to gain something. The main question is what it could be. There is the chance that I could just be reading into it too much, but Raiyo is never one to be so simple as that. Based on my knowledge, he loves to go for that dramatic flair. With one look at him, I grunt at Luno’s attire. “Go put on your new clothes,” I say with a scowl. “I bought them, you’re wearing them.” Luno scoffs and crosses his arms. “Who says I have to listen to you? I can wear whatever I want,” He says. “I told you before, the cold does not bother me. I will be fine!” Honestly, there are people that wear way worse. I mean look at Raiyo, I always see him in thigh high boots and underwear. Don’t even get me started on the Succubi and Incubi. It is just really, really distracting to see him in his usual short as hell toga, or gods forbid, that weird two sided skirt thing. Besides the distraction point it brings, it is not at all fit for this quest. We must be ready at all moments for any kind of danger and any weather conditions. I could care less if “he can’t feel the cold”. “You either put them on, or we will go back to Raiyo and tell him we are giving up on this quest,” I say in a stern voice. Luno’s eyes widen at first but then they narrow. “I don’t believe you,” He says. “You would not do such a thing!” Raising an eyebrow, I lean down to get into his face. “Try me,” I glare. Luno holds the stare with me for a few moments, before they actually start to water. Just as I think that he might actually cry, he turns away and grumbles a bunch of words under his breath. The flowers in his hair have turned orange. “Fine,” He grumbles. “I will wear your stupid clothes. Happy?” I smile at the small victory. “Quite happy,” I say, not at all bothering to hide my grin. He groans and grabs the bag full of new supplies. He takes them into a closet before closing the door. “He’s such a jerk,” I hear him say, no doubt talking to Kulu again. Glancing up at the phoenix, I see that she is watching me still. Creepy fire chicken. “Stop slithering into the arm holes!” I hear Luno shout. Then I hear him groan. I would have checked to see if he is alright, but seeing as he is a Star, I am more than sure he can handle whatever issue is at hand. In the meantime, I pack up all our things. Well...my things. Luno does not exactly own anything. I have bought some supplies for him, but he ends up using mine! Once again, he proves to be the most annoying person I have ever met. I doubt there was someone worse for when I was truly alive and human. Frowning at that, I try and remember anything about my past life. There is only one memory that comes to mind, it is always the same one as well. It is me and a bunch of other children. We are trapped in some kind of jail house. It is dark and wet. Was it raining? Maybe it was raining. The floor of the room only has straw as our bedding. The main source of light is a lantern hanging above us. That is it. That is all I can remember. No matter how hard I try, I can’t see anything else. Pursing my lips, I get back to packing. Whenever I think of the past, I concentrate to try and remember more. To remember as much as I can. Of course, it is all for nothing. Never more, never less. Always the same amount. It is frustrating to say the least. Most of the other Demons say they do not remember their past as well. They only remember their time as an Angel, and that is as far as it gets. No one else seems curious as to what their past lives were. They ignore it as if it never happened. I am not sure how they can do that. It bugs me to no end. Was I truly a good person or was I forced to become an Angel like so many others? Now it is getting to the point that these thoughts are giving me a headache. I already have something else causing me headaches. I would rather not add onto it even more. The closet door swings open and a defeated looking Luno steps out. His bottom lip sticks out a bit more and his nose is all crinkled in discomfort. The outfit I bought him was some dark pants, socks, knee-high boots, an undershirt, a regular shirt, and a black jacket with the inside trimmed with lamb fur. Anything to keep him from the snow. He was angry at first with the jacket, accusing me of the sheep possibly being harmed. I can personally say they were not at all harmed in any way. Surprisingly enough, he trusted me. Good thing I was not lying. The sheep were, and still are, fine. I also offered him a small blade for his protection but he said that he would never ever want to use it. That did not really come as a surprise unfortunately. Perhaps that is a good thing. It means we would not be wasting time with trying to train him. With how I have been handling things, I do not know if I would be able to train him because that requires getting up close and personal. Luno waddles up to me like a penguin. It looks cute to be honest. Especially with the pink flowers in his white hair. I’ve gathered that is his shy or embarrassed emotion. “I feel icky,” He says. “Is this how everyone else feels?” I laugh and shake my head. “Icky? Never heard someone say that about clothes before.” He sighs and wiggles his arms around. “Seriously,” He groans. “How do people live like this? I feel like I am being choked to death. Maybe it’s a sign! The sheep were hurt!” Chuckling, I pat the top of his head and open the front door. “I can promise you that no harm came to any animals with that jacket,” I smirk. “Stop being such a baby and let’s get a move on.” He sighs, gives a small glare, and then walks out the door with his head down in defeat. “The outfit is not even that bad!” I say. “That is pretty much what the common folk wear nowadays. At least up here in the mountains.” Luno waddles around in the snow before turning around to face me. I see Kulu is already wrapped around his neck. Peeking into the abandoned house, I call for the phoenix. Enfi chirps before flying past me and straight for Luno’s shoulder. It is strange seeing a firebird with the snow in the background. Even next to Luno’s hair! Speaking of Luno, he still has a face that shows he is uncomfortable. Oh well! He’ll get used to it. “Stop fussing so much,” I pat his shoulder and walk past him. Shouldering my pack, I pull out the map and look for the closest dot from our location. It looks like the closest is around six or so miles away. Looks like we are going there. Another dot is about ten miles from the first. Two dots today sounds pretty nice! Maybe this all won’t be so bad after all. Raiyo said we could not go for the source of all this death. Does that mean he knows what it is? Or at least an idea of who or what it is? What could he be doing to stop this madness? I would imagine it has something to do with Morgoren. If that is the case, then he must be putting all his effort into stopping this. “Where are we going?” Luno calls behind me. Glancing over my shoulder, I see he is still walking a bit weird. The shoes must feel rather uncomfortable. I wonder what that must feel like. When I met him he was barefoot. When he put on better attire, he chose to put on sandals in the snow. My guess is that he is around a few hundred years old, so that means years and years of going barefoot. Now to finally put on some proper shoes...it must be extremely weird. “Stop walking like some newborn fawn,” I frown. “We are going further south. It looks like small city near a lake of ice is our next stop.” He nods and bites his lip, concentrating on walking properly. Turning back to walk again, I try and remember any key map markers to help us make our way there safely. The last thing I need, is to not find shelter from the moon. I don't even want to think about what would happen if Morgoren were to find Luno. Not only would I be scared of him, but also of the Gatekeeper. Of course, Taisla does not have to worry about Luno’s safety. Not only do we have a bunch of Raiyo’s followers watching over us, but I just know I would lay down my own life for this person. Some could say it is because I might have feelings for him, not that I entirely know what that could mean, but in reality, it is because of his abilities. More specifically, his ability to resurrect all the life back into Thymestrys. Yup, that is the only reason why. Well, I guess I should add that of all things, I would be scared to fail Raiyo. That will most likely see to a slow end on my life. He never really gave the assumption, but knowing him, he will most likely do so. No pressure! Actually there is not that much pressure at the moment. This seems like the easiest quest I have ever been given. We have not fought anything. The last time I saw an Angel was days ago and it never showed itself again. Something is not right. All these dead humans should be like a buffet to the Angels, yet their bodies are not being touched. Aside from them being piled up like trash, the humans and their animals just lay there, not even decomposing. There is more at play here, but how the hell are we supposed to figure it out when Raiyo says we should try to revive them first? With a sigh, I fold the map up and keep walking for the next dot. If we are lucky, there could be some clues as to what the hell is going on.
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