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Mutant 001

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Post by Human Hollow on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:06 am

This is an original story I had started working on when I was in 9th to 11th grade. The actual idea came to me in middle school, and i had spent nearly six years on it before scrapping it entirely. It was going to be my first book, but I'm rewriting it from scratch... Hopefully.

Mutant 001

Chapter 0

Who am I, I asked myself, sitting beside the choked, smelling, bustling street. Am I the woman with the long, strait black hair that hangs down below my waist? Am I the woman who has the deep, sad green-orange speckled eyes?
Or am I the girl who was left alone and scared by my mother? No, I thought with force, I am the freak who's forced to live on the streets. Yes, that is exactly what I am. I am a freak.
Yes, I am not human, not entirely. I am a freak. However, to all those who see me, I am a sad, scared, drunken girl. No, I am perfectly sober. This bottle in my hand is not liquor, its liquid Advil, one of the few medicines left. I drank eighteen fluid ounces of the poison. Way over the lethal dose. True I was chugging the sweet nectar in my hands.
It’s not for the headaches. It’s for what happens after the headaches. The voices. The tiny, microscopic voices. Thousands of them. All at once, but strangely separate. The doctors say I’m insane but I know that’s not true. They know I know they know that’s not true, but it’s their only answer. I’ve taken their exams, their tests and experiments. My IQ is only slightly higher than normal. My brain functions fine.
In fact, that’s the problem. It functions too fine. The human brain has two halves, a right and left. The right half controls the left half of the body; the left half controls your right. However, it has two parts. It has an active part that people use every day. Then there's the darker, primitive part, the animal part. The part that has lain dormant in the brain for thousands of years. No, millions of years.
Alternatively, so the scientists say. However, my doctors beg to differ. Both of my parts are alive and active.
I used to have a great life. My mother was rich, filthy rich, excessively much money rich, rich as a queen. Nevertheless, when she heard of my problem, she literally spent all of her money to learn about it. It turns out after hearing of my issue the government set up a facility to look for others with this problem.
No one knew about it but I could hear voices, not voices in my mind, not crazy voices. I could hear them with my ears. The doctors said I was a “genetically altered homo sapient.” I, at the time, thought that meant I was just a little bit different. However, know I know that I can talk to insects, and not only them but arachnids and all manner of creepy crawlies.
Now the doctors are certain that is how I will remain. Now that facility has grown ever stronger. A man called Carter Slain took it over about 5 days after my 15th birthday. When the public heard of this, the government gave full control over to Slain, he could use any means to accomplish the facilities goals.
Nevertheless, like all humans, Slain loved power. He out right walked over to our nation’s ruler and, because he was such a good friend our ruler’s protectors, his trained professional guardians, who are little more than paper tigers, let him through. He then snapped our ruler’s neck and his guards were so close the culprit was literally breathing down their necks. When he became a dictator, Slain then removed our government and put all of its money into his own militia, his Pestilence.
Slain allowed the Pestilence to attack, pillage and decimate entire towns and villages if they saw fit. They could do whatever they pleased with whomever it pleased them. Because of them, I have nothing.
My mother tried to get a hold of me after Slain’s takeover but on the way to meet me a Pestilence grunt, a Virus, cornered her in a back alley and tried to woo her. My mother hit him hard in the jaw, and then he got angry and left. On 189th street at 6:35, a trio of Pestilence vehicles ran over my mother. Not once, not twice, but beach car ran over her body three times.
Each vehicle weighs about 2,200 pounds, alone. The car’s armor weighs 1,715 pounds. The tires are made of pure steel in a thin coating of rubber. The cars ran her over nine times. Afterwards a woman got out and burned what was left of her body.
I never found out from my mother what was so important about Slain. Nevertheless, Slain found out about me. The woman had left a warning, identical to the marks left on doors of those who have crossed the Pestilence. The burn mark in the shape of an “S”, was marked were the corpse of my mother was. Fearing for my life for the past year, I have been suppressing my powers and drinking myself to the brink of death. For the past year, I have been dodging Pestilence and running from Slain. Why couldn’t he leave me alone? Why was he so interested in me?
“Why the hell won’t he leave me alone?” I screamed at the passing carriages and cars, “Why does he want me?”
“No, my dear it’s not you he wants, it’s your power. It is us he wants.” said a small, deep voice. The way the voice said the words made you think of a small child using new words for the first time or an old man using words in a way, long forgotten. It said the words in a voice so deep that you physically shake from it. “Yes no matter how fast you run, how much you drink, you can never run from the voices in your head. And definitely not from me, Carol Jespin.”

Alternate Chapter 0

A year is not as long as it used to be. A year ago, I was 15 and living with my mother, not caring who my father was. A year later I am 16, I have met gods and goddess, my mother’s dead, and I killed my own father. On the bright side, I have met my true love, but he is not human now. What a sweet sixteen.
On my 15 birthday, a man killed his best friend and conveniently, our nation’s ruler. The man was Carter Slain, and he put trillions of Yez, our former currency, into his own Pestilence, his private army.
Three days later a trio of Pestilence vehicles ran over my mother at 6:35. My mother was on her way to tell me something about Carter but she never got the chance. I had seen it all. Each tank-sized car ran over her body three times. After that a Pestilence grunt, a Virus, got out and burned what remained.
I built a monument to my mother at the corner where she died. I asked the man who owned a shop in front of it to watch over it until I returned.
“Why can’t you watch it? Where you going?” asked the creamy-brown skinned man.
I knew that to tell him would ruin my plan. I left without saying any more than “Topia”, the name of Slain’s home.
Before leaving, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window. A tall, pale-skinned dark haired, narrow waist filled out girl. Woman, I corrected myself, a girl is officially a woman at 15. My piercing green-orange speckled eyes stared back at me. My long black hair was water falling down around my pale narrow frame.
I was a normal, average woman who was the same as everybody else. Except that, I can talk to insects. And this is my story.

Chapter 1

“Okay, Carol. I’ll review it again,” said Augusto. Even now after, so long since that night on the street, Augusto’s voice still shook me. “Guardian Beetles, like me, were all created by humans to see if we could communicate with them. But they made our vocal cords too small; our voices can only be perceived by mutants, such as you.”
Augusto had already explained all this but I could not believe a human couldn’t hear him. He was eleven inches long, and was encase in a black shell so dark it shined purple. On his wing casings, which I never saw him actually open was a scarlet star, a blazing sun compared to the rest of him.
“We, Guardian Beetles, are born remembering all that our parents knew. I, though male, can lay a single egg at the cost of my own old life, a defensive mechanism because we mate for life and more males are born than gals are. It would become a parasite feeding off my body until the egg hatches. I will pass all my knowledge onto my child. Should I choose to have any that is,” He waited for me to process this.
Augusto was an elder who still thought he was in his prime. He said that he witnessed the end of the Old World, the world were humans were solely in charge of the world. They called it Earth back then, instead of Ankrage. They had no monsters, no dragons, and no elves. Hate was everywhere. They would hate you for simple things, such as where you live or they would hate the color of your skin. Nevertheless, they had bigger problems. They had things, where people were free to kill each other called… Var? Gar? War! Today we still fight but not nearly a large of a fight as those. Apparently, the last one really was the “Last War”.
“I witnessed a war between humans, when I was barely hatched. Around the Old World year 2000, a race of super humans was born, able to do all kinds of amazing things. They divided into two groups. All together, they called themselves the Mutants, but the two sides had different names: Unitists and Conquerors. Unitists wanted to turn humans into mutants, meanwhile the Conquerors wanted to have the mutants enslave the humans. The humans did the only thing they knew how to do: they fought back, even though they knew it was in vain. In the end, they killed everyone. They did not spare humans, Unitists, or Conquerors. They dropped nuclear and atomic bombs onto every surface of their planet.”
“Ya, they called it the Great Nuclear and Atomic Explosion.” I put in cheerfully. I was proud I remembered that.
“Carol. Shut up.” he said irritably. I was about to ask about the survivors. “A space craft of 1,800 people was about to return to Earth. They had to leave Earth again due to the extreme radiation. After twenty years of deep space survival, in when they look for other suitable planets to live on, they had 1,632 people left alive. The others died of thirst or starvation; at least twenty were killed during a fight over the rapidly dwindling food supply.
“When their searches proved futile and the worst of the radiation faded away, they returned to Earth. What they saw amazed them all. The combined might of splitting atoms and combining them at once created a completely new world. All humans and mutants were gone. All things made by them, destroyed. However, it was far from barren. The combined might had altered nature itself. There were ants the size of rats, rats the size of Dobermans, all animals were on a massive scale. They learned that less than one percent of humans were not killed but infused with other DNA to become the Elves, ogres and other humanoid creatures. DNA from many species blended to create the race of dragons. The power awoke ancient races that were lying dormant beneath the planet’s surface. The race of Demons had risen from below the mantle of the planet and walked the Earth again, as they still do.”
Augusto looked down from his perch. I was humming the lyrics of a song I heard a Virus singing earlier today. I never knew the Virus’ had music. “Carol what are you doing?” said Augusto
“I heard this being sung by a Virus today. It went like this:

None swifter than I,
Who can catch whomever she need.
My prey can run all the way, too
All the way to Topia, they go
So, I follow too
The only place left is Azermire…

That’s when she saw me and I came back here. I have a feeling it has some deeper meaning. I just can’t figure out what it is.”
“Well she wasn’t that good at poetry, those lines don’t even rhyme. They end in completely different words: I, need, too, go, too… Of course, why didn’t I think of it before? Carol this is an Old World trick. The last word of every line, if read correctly, will say a new phrase, in this case: I need to go to Azermire. Of course you aren’t going to be following her.”
“Ya because she already saw me and would recognize me.” I paused and thought, now’s as good a time as any. “Were do the elves live?”
“Carol everyone knows that they live in the Azermire… No, Carol! We had a deal you do not go looking for the Elves.”
“No, I promised not to if I didn’t have a good reason. Now that Slain’s Virus’ are in Azermire District, they must be connected.”
“No, you forget how big that district is. An entire mountain chain and a massive forest cover that area. So for the last time, no, Carol Jespin.”
“Don’t call me that.” I started.
“Why not? Don’t humans have names so their elders may call them by it?” he said.
“Yes, but-” I began to say.
“So as you’re elder, I can and should call you by your name, Carol Jespin” He tried to say but a massive millipede, of a rare fanged breed, wrapped around him.
“Augusto. I have given this millipede orders to release you in two hours.” I cocked my head to one side listening, right after the millipede moved its thick fanged face towards Augusto. “She said that her name is Chumani. She thinks you smell yummy and if you don’t behave, you’ll be flying with one wing.”
I laughed and walked towards the door pausing long enough to say, “I’m going to Azermire forest.”

Chapter 2

I was walking down the southeast side of Final Avenue. I was in the upper class of downtown. An oxymoron I know but that’s what the Pestilence call it and it stuck. Everyone here was either terminally ill or on Death Row. Even the poltergeists avoided it. They are evil spirits who feed on hope and other happy feelings. Slain let them run wild in this area to avoid having a criminal escape, because then the poltergeist will follow him and then maybe attack other citizens. He kept the common folk safe and they did not revolt for fear of losing his protection from the monsters. Protecting the people was one of the few things he did better than other dictators were doing.
I was about ten miles from the Azermire and the whole thing was one massive bridge. I hadn’t taken five steps when someone started to follow me. I stopped and used my powers. Nothing was close enough to be of any use to me. I had to rely on my own muscle. I was doomed.
I turned on my heels. My boots made a clicking sound, my steel toes showing through the worn leather hit the rocks. Thankfully, it was only a little boy. He was maybe a few years younger than I am.
“Do you want some food?” I asked nicely. Even the homeless give food to the citizens here, due to their pathetic existence.
The boy shook his head. For all I knew he couldn’t even talk. On the other hand, he may be deaf.
“What’s your name?” I asked levelly. The people here are sweet because, to them, the pain from the poltergeists is blissful in their twisted sense of mind.
The boy shook his head again. Every time he did this, it gave me a headache. “Why do you talk to bugs? Is that your power? If so it’s kind of useless, unlike mine.” He actually sneered at me. Little snot.
“How do you know that?” I was edging my hand towards the butterfly knife in my back pocket. This was so bad. He shouldn’t know anything about that.
“Why shouldn’t I? I can read mines. Everyone’s secrets for a twenty-mile radius are at my disposal. You talk to bugs. Your best friend is Augusto. Your mother was brutally murdered and now you seek refuge with the elves. Who’s your friend behind you? His mind is strange almost animal like rage blocks off it. All I see is hungry fire.” The boy said this all so loudly that I couldn’t even hear someone behind me.
I twirled around, knife snapping open in my hand. I came face to face with a large yellow eye, the person being closer than I thought. The eye was yellow with a blood red iris. The pupil was like a horse or a goat. They were beautiful in a strange kind of way.
The eyes belonged to a handsome boy’s face. If it wasn’t for thin scar on his running from his temple down to his jaw line, he could have passed for a girl. Albeit a very pretty girl. He must have been a few months older than I must have been.
Looking down, at first glance, it appeared he had five knives in each hand. However, his lightly tanned palms faced me. Those were claws. Three inch black claws.
The boy could apparently send thoughts as well. The headache came back, slightly more painful than before. Ma’am. I don’t like this kid. His mind strange, almost animal rage swirls outward from him. I feel it every time he looks at me but he has the only mind here that isn’t “For adults only,” if you catch my drift.
“Screw you.” I snapped, “Can’t you see this guy’s afraid of you? You’re not exactly gentle when you search somebody’s mind. Hey what’s your name?” I directed this to the newcomer as I turned towards him. After this, I was the one afraid.
The boy’s eyes widened and his pupils contracted at once. He made a sound somewhere between a scream and a roar of pain. Using one hand, he knocked me to the ground. Not just the ground but also the ground ten feet away. My head hit the stones that make up the sidewalk, hard.
Though my vision was fading, I saw the boy’s face was completely changed. Gone was the young boyish charm. Before me was a hardened killer. He rushed the other boy who jumped backwards, too late. The killer’s claws were dripping a thick red liquid.
The killer’s mouth opened and a steady stream of liquid fire poured outwards. It flew towards the other boy. As it hit him at his center, a silver object flew through the air, landing next to me. My hand weakly moved towards the object, the boy’s ring. I slid the warm metal onto my finger. The ring had seemed much bigger but it fit perfectly on my finger. The intricate metal moved in a complicated dance that had no beginning or end.

When I opened my eyes then killer was a handsome boy again. The mind-reading boy was gone all that was left were he once stood was a steaming puddle of molten rock. I couldn’t understand why a puddle would be steaming, though.
The boy talked then, his voice soft, like a cloud. “I’m sorry.” he said his back still turned towards me.
“For what? Where’s the other boy? What’s your name anyways?” I truly and utterly could not recall what had transpired.
It seemed he had chosen my first question. “Did I hurt you? I’m sorry. That boy was hurting me. I had to make the pain go away.” He turned to look at me.
His eyes narrowed on my upper left arm. I looked and saw five identical rips, side by side, tear through my goatskin coat. Then through my Azar-cotton shirt. Azar-cotton is soft on one side and like coarse fur on the other. Rolling up my sleeve, I saw the cuts go clean into my skin. Blood caked the cuts, not all of it dry.
I looked up at the boy. He looked like he was going to cry. My vision was going black around the edges again. The boy walked over to me with amazing speed and grace. He bent in front of me and put his arms on my back and the back of my knees. He was actually going to carry me. Who said chivalry was dead?
Everything was black now except his face. A glistening tear ran down his face, a pale ice blue. A blue tear. So pretty.

Chapter 3

The smell woke me up. It was the smell of flowers. I was in a garden surrounded by trees. He must have carried me a far way. The only trees near there were Azermire Forest. That was ten miles away.
Thee was no way he could have picked me up and carried me that far. No human could do it. Exactly, said a small part of my brain, he’s not human. Remember the eyes. He’s not human.
Then what is he? He wasn’t an animal. He wasn’t a dwarf he was too tall. He wasn’t Elvin they looked human. Only one option left: Mutant.
What his power was I could only guess. According to Augusto, their powers were infinite, each with their own limitations. He could be part beast. What animal I have no idea. The eyes suggest a goat or a horse, nothing with claws. He seemed to be amazingly strong, graceful and fast. All this added up to a whole lot of nothing for me.
I heard a rustling in the trees. Looking towards the disturbance, I saw a tall slim figure slide through the trees. I don’t mean around the trees but actually through them. I only knew of two creatures that could do that: nymphs and apparitions. Nymphs, particularly water and wood nymphs, are seductive female creatures. Rock nymphs weren’t nearly as bad. Apparitions are thin, tall figures created by thoughts. They resembled men without any specific details. They would lure a girl into the woods then vanish suddenly at completely random times, only to reappear somewhere else.
“Pretty, right. They are pretty?” asked a voice behind me, very loudly.
I jumped up, and in my haste, tripped over a hidden root. I fell forwards and thousands of different kinds of flowers rose to meet me. The boy laughed and came over to help me up. Once I was standing, I asked what he had in the bag on his back.
“Food is in it. People give me food and I bring it here to share with flowers, animals and people here. The people here are mad though.” as he finished he looked crestfallen.
“Why are they mad? Oh, how rude of me. My names Carol Jespin, what’s yours?” I said encouragingly. I wanted to know who this boy was.
“Thank you, now I can talk normally. I’m under orders not to speak intelligently unless asked my name. I’m the servant of the Black Dens on Azermire Mountain. I have no name, like all citizens and servants in the Black Dens, except for King Karsweth. King Karsweth rules over all creatures in his domain except for the Elves. The Elves do not like being ordered around by the King.”
“Who gives you the food and where are the Elves?” I asked inquiringly.
“Well, the residents of the White, Black and Grey dens give me the food. The elves live in this very meadow. Twelve of them are looking at your hair.” I looked around but the meadow as empty. Using my left hand I threw my butterfly knife, point first, into the ground to my right, the universal sign for peace. It met slight resistance in midair, about a foot of the ground, and then sailed clean towards the ground. Where the knife had met resistance, a thin, green line appeared and three drops of green blood fell towards the ground. Where they touched the soil tiny tree sprouts erupted out of the ground.
Then a man appeared to go with the cut. His skin was a snow white with a faint green tint behind it. He was wearing a full body outfit of tough animal hide. The shoes he wore were made of black turtle shells. The end were the tail would have been was open but a stretchy substance, like tree sap, held the two parts of the shell together where his feet became too high to fit in a fully closed shell. Wood, most likely Grey Oak, was at his shins, much like greaves. The difference being that it connected to the shells to create boots.
Living Rust, a disease that bleached color from skin, would infect a Red Oak and changed it into a Grey Oak. It bleaches color out of skin or bark. It would explain why the skin showing through his cut-off leggings was grey instead of that perfect white. The leggings ended a tad higher than the boots did.
He had long thin fingers that ended in triangular nails. The tips of these nails ended half an inch after the end of his fingers. He had a ring on his thumb with an insignia of a bird’s skull. He had ripped the sleeves off at the elbows.
He wore an earring made from a bird’s claw in his right ear. He must have done it himself, because were there still visible scars on his ear from where the claw went through. His hair was brown like his eyes, a deer brown. When the wind blew just right, you could see a pointed tip on his ear. This had to be one of the elves. They looked so peaceful. Then the servant boy ruined it.
“Elves of the Dead Bird Tribe. Show yourselves to this girl, Carol Jespin. The Carol Jespin who is inside of this meadow,” he said this loudly and whispered towards me, “Elves must be given direct orders if you wish them to listen to you.”
A shimmer in the air and a flash of movement. I saw twenty-four bows pointed at my neck, seventeen swords at my chest and twelve elves admiring my hair. So much for the men being peaceful. All the ones with weapons looked like their leader, the first one, the only difference being he had the ring, the claw earring and the turtle boots.
The elves admiring my hair were clearly women. I know this because elf women grow their hair down to the small of their backs. They wore dresses made out of every kind of flower I could name, and many more than that. There were dresses made of bluebells, roses, dragon’s breath and orchids. All the colors known to man and a few more were represented by mixing many flowers in a single dress. Each dress hung down to the slim elves ankles the arms of the dress ending at the shoulders. They were off slightly smaller stature and build than the men. If they had shorter hair and didn’t were dresses they could have passed for men. Except that, the dresses showed a bit too much cleavage than necessary. Thankfully not that much. I might have even worn one.
The Elve with the ring never moved his lips. Still I heard him speak. “I am Llüvarras, leader of the Dead Bird Tribe. I have ruled for one-hundred and four years, two months and twelve days,” He paused searching his memory, “thirteen hours, eight minute and forty-seven seconds. I am the proud leader of the Tribe of War and Records.”
He pronounced his name like, Loo-var-rass. His voice sounded like the last breathes leaving a person’s body. It was like the last drop leaving a person’s veins. It was eerie but I knew without really knowing why, that I would sound like that one day. I also knew that I wouldn’t live to regret it.
I was still wondering why somebody would put war and records into one tribe, when the boy said something.
“You are lucky Llüvarras, for king Karsweth wishes to pay you a visit.” He mouthed one word to me.

Chapter 4

The meadow was a whirlwind. The Elves scattered. Only three things remained in the meadow, a servant boy, Llüvarras and me. The boy was indifferent to the dangers around him. Llüvarras was too proud to run and I was too scared. A massive shape blocked out the sky.
“What is that,” I yelled my throat hurting from yelling over the wind.
“It is king Karsweth,” said Llüvarras and the servant boy in unison. I thought at first that they meant a flying machine with Karsweth inside of it. Then I saw the eyes, the mouth, wings and scales.
“What in the world is that,” I mumbled. “What in Cardis’s unholy name is that?”
“I told you it is Karsweth, the Dragon King. King Karsweth, Karsweth the Destroyer. Karsweth the Enslaver. It all depends on how you feel about him. I bet your friend here knows him as the Enslaver,” Llüvarras said.
“You know as well as I that I volunteered to work for Karsweth. I just didn’t realize the side effects,” the boy said over the whirlwind.
“Volunteered my ass. You and I are the sole survivors of the White Grass Tribe. Your precious Karsweth killed our tribe, our friends and our families. Me and you, Nqu’o’i Qi’êt con Rông. I used to call you Rông for short. Do you still remember what your name means? ‘He who kills the Dragon’?
“You were highly respected among us Elves. We took you in when we found you lying near death in our forest and you returned the favor by slaying any beast that came near our village. You got your name by defeating the Bone Dragon, Mardour. Then you let that fool of a dragon, Karsweth ravage our village rather than risk dying in an onslaught of dragons. You had no need to fear anything; you have mastery sword skills and moderate training in magic. You had the entire race of Elves to protect you. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t let anyone help you, so full with pride you are. You care of nothing but your own needs.” He must have said this full of anger because his chest was heaving. He pronounced the name like Na/coy key/et cone rung.
“Will you two stop arguing and get out of the way so Dragon King Karsweth can land,” I yelled at the two. A dragon the size of a mansion was right above them and their making fools of themselves. Men are the same no matter what species.
Rông seemed to have forgotten about me during their argument. Now he seemed to have remembered me. “I told you to run. Karsweth’s in league with Carter Slain. He’ll turn you in. I’m now a known friend of yours. He’ll turn us all in. Let’s go, you too, Llüvarras.” He ran up to me and picked me up in the firefighter hold. Llüvarras must have heard his urgency, because he completely forgot about the fight and started to follow.
We made it as far as the edge of the meadow when Karsweth landed his gigantic bulk. The meadow was the size of a football field but Karsweth needed even more room. His tail crushed the Red Oaks behind him and his front legs landed on the Grey Oaks in front of him. The Dragon king was huge, even for a rather small dragon.
The pupil of his great eye was as big as me and Llüvarras and Rông are together. His eye ad the same pupil like Rônag’s.
R ng to the edge of the meadow, before I could have taken a step. Nevertheless, even his extreme speed wasn’t fast enough.
“Servant? Where are you going? I order you to stop.” Karsweth said.
To my surprise, we were going maybe eight miles an hour, but we came to a complete stop. We stopped but Llüvarras was right behind us. Llüvarras was maybe six feet tall, and he jumped, almost twice his height, strait up to the branch above him.
I learned why he had the sharp nails. They dug into the tough bark of the tree and his hard shell boots allowed him to kick off the branch, without injury to himself. He twisted in midair, landed right in front of Rông and took me from his arms. He started to run away into the woods.
“Where are you going? What about Rông,” I yelled to Llüvarras.
His phantom voice drifted down to me as clear and quietly as a bell. “Rông must obey his master. He cannot move from that spot until his master commands it. Rông will stay in that spot until the day when all life ends on this planet. He will most likely stay there even after that, unless his master says differently. His master controls his very essence. Rông’s master could tell him to bring the stars down from the heavens and Rông would have to do it. Rông probably would find a way to do it; he is so devote to his master. Even Karsweth couldn’t be able to stop him from completing his master’s orders.” At the end, I noticed a slight bit of pride in Llüvarras’s voice.
“You trained Rông, didn’t you? You did, I can tell by the way you talk about him. Now I see why he wasn’t as mad at you before as he could have been. You mocked, and he could have fought you but he didn’t,” I said, amazed that Llüvarras was Rông’s trainer. I thought about what else Llüvarras had said. “Wait isn’t Karsweth Rông’s master?”
“Who told you that rubbish? Karsweth is a fool. Rông could never be turned into a groveling slave to such a weakling. No Karsweth is only the voice of his master. Rông’s master is a much more powerful and ancient being. He orders Rông around constantly and it’s sapping more power from him. But his master is sick and is more aggressive because of it.” Llüvarras said. His voice was still eerie but I was getting used to the sound of it.
“Because of what?” Therefore, Karsweth may be king but he wasn’t the strongest. Interesting.
“Rông‘s master is using all the power he can to restrain him. His master is using the life forces of himself and all but a select few of the dragons to slow Rông’s mutations,” It amazed me that he could speak so slowly when he was running this fast. He continued on, “He is also using the energy of nature. I remember when the Mountain of the Dragons was covered in green trees.” he paused remembering more details.
It felt like we were going slower. Not as slow as me, as but definitely slower than a dragon, let alone a dragon killer turned assassin. Then Llüvarras was speaking again, his voice full of loving memory, no longer eerie.
“The trees were seventeen times bigger around than a man is tall. Each tree was unique. One tree smelled like fresh snow, another never browned. Some could be one tree with two trunks.” he was definitely going slower. I could see the bridge ahead that connected the forest to the city.
Funny the things you remember. Augusto once told me that in the Age of Mutants, men and women would drive big white vehicles. They had no windows and only one door. The driver would get children to enter the vehicles by offering them candy. Moreover, the child is never seen again. Augusto said that it still happens only nobody cares anymore, it happens so rarely most people would never think of that reason for a child to go missing. He said never get inside of a stranger’s vehicle, and to limit going inside of a friend’s a much as possible.
As Llüvarras reached the end of the forest, sure enough, a big windowless van drove by, door open. Two very red arms reached out of the blackness of the inside of the van. Like a demon, the arms grabbed Llüvarras and me and pulled us into darkness. Those same red arms closed the door and locked us into a darkness so thick it was literally hard to move. Then I passed out for the third time in two days.

Chapter 5

Something was moving over my leg. It was sliding over it. No, I was facedown and was being dragged out of the white van. The two red arms had my shoulders and were carrying me out of the van I was trying my best to look unconscious. Once we were in the light, I chanced a look at my capturer.
The skin was a bright red color on the arms but in weird shading, it was brighter near the hands. Under the skin, thick veins could be seen, swelling with blood every couple of every so often. I could feel the blood moving under my body. The muscle under the veins was as thick as one of my legs. These arms could snap me in half as easily as a toothpick.
The shoulders were wide and thick. The shoulder blades pierced the skin, two small balls of bone sticking out of the skin. They were covered by a thin clear membrane. On the back of the shoulders, the skin was a whitish color. Nothing was naturally colored like this.
Burn marks. Almost as if, the arms were left in or near a source of constant extreme heat. What living creature would do this to itself? It was barbaric.
Before I could look at its face, it brought me inside a building and dropped me on a couch a few feet from the door. On my mental list of things, this creature could be I crossed off three things: Demon, ogre and Tiny-death.
A Demon wouldn’t have put me on a couch because it wouldn’t have one. An ogre would have dragged me into an ally instead of a building and why would it have a van. A Tiny-death had red arms but it had a black body, and always carried a stone staff with a curved rock blade in its right hand no matter what. The thing that grabbed us used both hands. Tiny-deaths can be anywhere between three centimeters and three stories tall. They are among the politest of monsters. They bring you to your favorite place; give you your favorite food and drink then they tell you it is time to go and take off your head with their scythe so cleanly, you feel no pain.
I heard a soft thump as Llüvarras fell on the wide couch next to me, his arm draping itself over my neck. His turtle shell boot struck my ankle and I felt pain radiate upwards as it hit the bones. I could tell from the way my ankle felt that the bone was broken clean through. I waited for the door to shut.
I let out the yell I was holding in before I choked. The door burst open, the hinges rattling. A red-skinned behemoth surged into the room. Something else entered as well, a tall shadow creature. It stepped into the single beam of light coming from a large tinted glass window.
Long dark hair, of the darkest pitch, curtained an extremely pale face. The bangs covered one eye and the other was a pale ice blue. Covering thin, corpse white arms and a slightly muscled chest was a skintight black tuxedo. The leggings were the darkest purple imaginable. The nose and mouth were covered by a black satin cloth.
It was definitely human. He walked over to the couch and lifted Llüvarras off me. He set him down on the other end of the couch. He put his right hand, which was covered by a black glove with dark stains, over my mouth. He reached one finger up to his own face. No, not his face, his ear. He unhooked the satin cloth to reveal the rest of his face. The entire lower jaw was covered in a large wine mark.
“Be absolutely silent. Any more yelling will wake up Gardel. If that happens she’ll be even more pissed than if, she finds you. I am Diaspora Hiero. This is my younger brother, Kain. I’m sorry if we hurt you.” He spoke in a whisper.
Diaspora was tall, pale and handsome. Kain was the opposite. Short, red and grotesquely scared. Diaspora was as tall as Llüvarras where else Kain was about the height of Rông. Diaspora was so thin I could have wrapped one arm all the way around him. Kain was so wide that if I wrapped both of my arms around him I couldn’t have linked my fingers together.
A voice like rocks scrapping over metal boomed outwards, “We are under strict orders to capture a girl of your description, who had entered the Azermire. Is your name Carol Jespin?” The voice seemed to have no origin but a voice like that could only have come from Kain.
“And I’m supposed to trust you guys. First, you kidnap Llüvarras and me, and then you manhandle me into this building. Now you want to ask me questions. Not until you answer some of my questions.” I said this so fast I didn’t even realize it was I talking.
“Llüvarras you say? Hmm. Interesting. Questions? All in good time, but first, we must get you a change of clothes and prepare for the evening meal. We have two very distinguished guests coming, not including Llüvarras, Lord Prince of the Elves and the second greatest hunter in their history. My, what a busy night. Come along.” Diaspora was suddenly in a cheery mood. Llüvarras could have mentioned he was the Lord Prince of the Elves.
“My ankle’s broken. I can’t walk.”
Diaspora grabbed my arm and put it over his shoulder. “Lean on me. Our employer told us to care for you. Mr. A would be very angry if we let your ankle remain broken.”
Leaning my weight on him, we walked over to the door. I looked back and saw Kain trying to wake up Llüvarras; I wished he would put up a fight when he got up.

Diaspora led me to a room on the second floor. It was a large open room with cabinets lining the walls and large glass containers full of strange things. I saw a rat floating in a thick red liquid. I jumped when its head turned. Diaspora sat me on a low table and walked over to a cabinet that looked the same as the rest of them.
He pulled out a large roll of gauze, a spray bottle and a metal pole only two inches long. He wrapped the gauze around my broken ankle and used the metal to keep it lined up. He sprayed the bottle and I could feel the gauze harden. It was very firm and tight and after words, I got a tingly feeling in my foot. It must have been a good sign because Diaspora nodded and helped me down.
“Can you walk?”
“Yes, but is my leg suppose to feel all tingly?”
“Would you rather not feel it at all? This gauze helps reduce the healing time to only a few hours.”
I started to walk a few steps and could feel my bones being forced into place. Diaspora watched my ankles and the way I walked, in a way that could be judging if I was okay or if he was judging my entire profile, by the way I walked. He pointed to the table and knelt down to examine the gauze.
He touched my foot and lightly bent it and watched as the gauze moved with my leg. He nodded and stood up. He turned away to leave. I began to stand and follow him. Suddenly he swirled around and he had a knife in his hand.
“What the heck are you doing?” I shouted at him. He threw the knife and I could imagine the blade piercing my skin. I braced myself the best I could. My eyes followed the knife as it flew across the distance. It struck my ankle and I wondered why waste the gauze to throw a knife at it.
I looked down after realizing that I never felt the knife touch me. The knife was split down the middle of the blade and the hilt that was wrapped in purple lay behind the two pieces.
“Excellent. The gauze is perfect. Not a scratch. Flexes with the skin but is highly durable. I never thought it would break the knife in half.”
“Care to inform me before you start chucking knives a people. That could have hit me.”
“Oh, nonsense. I’m too good of a shot and the gauze wouldn’t have let the knife touch you even if I did cut it, I wrapped it around your ankle so much. But who would have thought it would be this durable?”
“What did you expect? Its mom’s recipe and I made this one with extra hardening material. Besides, that knife is a piece of junk. The metal was barely any good. You bought it at a pawnshop. Has any-“
“‘One of my knives ever broken?’ Yes I know none ever have.” Diaspora finished. He turned to look at his brother entering from the other end of the room. “What do you want in here anyways? Is the Lord Prince alright?”
“Alright? All right! Bastard wakes up and tries to do some freaky magic on my. He cut my arm and ruined a perfectly new jacket. Anyways it wasn’t my fault. Somebody comes at me with some magic crap; my first reaction is to hit him.”
“The exact reason I don’t take you anywhere with me. Not to any jobs or, in this case, kidnappings. So how hard did you hit him?”
“Not hard enough. He is downstairs drinking to get rid of the ‘exploding hail fire of bullets going off in his brain.’ I came up here to patch myself up.”
“I’m up here so I’ll do it. Besides this gives Carol a chance to ask questions. Go ahead.” Diaspora had his brother sit on a much larger table, lying on his back so he could see the cuts on his arms. Tiny cuts, thousands of them covered Kain’s arms. “Kain do you remember what he said?”
“‘Sang-’ something.” The cuts weren’t very deep but many had a little bit of redness around them.
“No, Sanga. He said Sanga.” Kain looked hurt but not terribly. Diaspora smiled and looked relieved. He stitched the bigger ones and put cream on the smaller ones.
“Good Sangas spreads poison and also cuts up the inside of your body. Now Carol, those questions? You did say you had some, didn’t you?”
“Uh, yes. Exactly who are you? The both of you?” I asked.
“Diaspora Hiero and my brother Kain, just as we said. I am an assassin and do odd jobs for a living. It’s unbelievable who is willing to put hits on people. I once was asked to knife a man who was comatose so the employer would get his inheritance. Will stated he got nothing though and he’s flat broke now after paying for the hit. My brother is a mechanic and master blacksmith. Proud mutants all around.”
“M-mutants?” I was surprised at the number of mutants there were, living all around this city.
“Yes, ma’am. Our employer Mr. A asked us to get you and bring you here. He gave us full bio on you too. Not used to that, usually have to hunt for information. You’re almost sixteen; you are a mutant and are on the run from somebody. Didn’t tell us who though, we figured it was just him. Honestly, we don’t care. Nevertheless, we are sorry and must apologize for anything we do. You know how hard it is to make a living under Slain’s laws.”
“Or just live for that matter. Being a mechanic, I hear people complain all day. Heard he has over a hundred criminals on death row for less than what we’re doing.” Kain said in his grating voice.
“So exactly what are your powers? I have no problem with assassins, I met plenty, but I’ve only met a few mutants.”
“I have heightened senses and can manipulate the energy inside of all things, living and not, to any use I want. I can manipulate the energy inside of rocks to let me run on it faster than a bullet can move. I can manipulate the energy in the air to make my knives move in any direction I want. Do the same with people too. Control their movements or even change the color of their skin by focusing the energy on the melanin in their body. Cannot do a thing about this blasted wine mark, though. Kain can purify metal to its basic elements. He can fuse elements together in ways that would be impossible otherwise. He can triple the size of the table of elements if he wanted.” Diaspora said with great pride.
“So even though your brothers, your powers are completely different. Would you mind telling me who Mr. A is?” I had no idea of any human who would know of my powers, other than Slain.
“Sorry. As an assassin, I’m not supposed to know names and Mr. A didn’t give one. Makes my job easier not knowing whom I hit and who did it. That way if I retire, cops can’t get anything out of me.”
“Diaspora wasn’t told this, but Mr. A told me something. Said he was a friend of yours and told me to tell you ‘Paybacks going to suck, for you.’ I just figured you were a hit but then he said not to hurt you.” Kain added.
A clock tolled somewhere in the massive building. It chimed exactly five times and stopped. “Oh. We have to get Carol a change of clothes. Only an hour left before dinner. Kain you get dressed up, too. No rags. Wear something nice.”
“Okay dad.” Kain said sarcastically. I had a feeling he got that from Diaspora a lot.

Diaspora led me to a room on the third floor. The room had dresses in every shade of purple, shirts made from actual spider silk and jeans made of Azar-cotton with dragon scales and gems woven into it. Skirts made entirely out of flowers, stem and all. I chose a black spider silk shirt, a pair of jeans with dragon scales on the kneecaps. I picked a pair of socks with diamonds on the toes. For a necklace, I chose one with only fox and wolves teeth linked together.
Diaspora asked me to put my hair in some kind of order so let it hang loose in the back but threaded the bangs through a bone headpiece. Diaspora laughed and said that it was a man’s hairpiece. He took my hand, for the hallways we pitch black, and led me to another room.
The room was covered in mirrors. A large black chair sat in the center of the room, which Diaspora sat me. He went to one of the mirrors and ran his hand down the edge of the mirror. The glass swung open and he took out a brush and a comb. He also grabbed two spray bottles.
He combed my hair so it was as long as possible in the back and brushed my bangs so the covered half of my face in a black veil. He sprayed the clear bottle in my hair. It was water but it felt heavier.
“We spin the water in one-fifth of a small bucket of sap from a dying red fern, the same way Opal used to,” Diaspora said, “We haven’t used any of it since she left.”
He sprayed the orange bottle in my hair. I knew what this did. It made the hair silkier. I could imagine my hair in a clean long shroud around my shoulders.
His every movement was cold, fluid and precise. Everything was exact, most likely due to his day job.
“Diaspora, who is Opal?”
Suddenly Diaspora looked far away, unreachable. He looked dark, sad and completely closed off from the world. “There are some parts of the past that shouldn’t mingle with the present, my dear. Some parts of history are best left forgotten. Now please go find Kain and go to the dining room.”
I found Kain in the hallway heading for the stairs. He had squeezed his massive bulk into a pair of tight black jeans and a white dress shirt. I ran up to him and we headed down the stairs, going straight to the first floor.
“Kain? Who is Opal? I only mentioned her and Diaspora told me to leave.”
The giant stopped mid-step. He slowly put down his foot and turned to look down at me. He had the same depressed look on his face. “Opal was Diaspora’s wife. She was my best friend before that. They were married for three years when it happened. Diaspora was a merchant back then. His job made many people angry, he did his best but he still had to charge a bit of money to split even. A man was extremely furious over the prices he was charged for his shipment. He had hired an assassin to kill my brother.
“The assassin snuck into the house when my brother had left for a drink at the club. He didn’t know that my brother was married and when Opal came home, he shot her by mistake. She was pregnant with their first child and he had shot her. That assassin took two lives instead of one that night and neither was the target. My brother came home to find his wife lying in her own blood. My brother is the vengeful type and he trained to become the ultimate assassin. He trained so he wouldn’t make the same mistake his wife’s killer did. His first target was the assassin. Then he killed the son of the man who hired him, then his wife. He wanted him to know he was coming. He killed the man’s best friend to have him feel as I did. Then he came for the man. He begged for death to end his suffering over his losses. However, do you know what my brother did? He gave him a fate worse than death. He had him live without his family. Had him live for a full year. Then he sent him to the police. The police thought my brother was in the right and this man deserved everything he got, but it was against the law to kill an innocent person, even out of revenge. I had to pay my brother’s bail with the money that would have been our inheritance when our parents die. Needless to say, we were both dead to the entire family. Told we were no sons of the Hiero family. Now it’s just the two of us.”
“I’m so sorry. If I knew she was dead, I wouldn’t have asked. I’m sorry for your loss.” I said as we continued down the stairs.
“Don’t be. I got over it. Diaspora hasn’t. Diaspora lives in the past. He’s a ghost of his former self.” He stopped in front of the big doors of the dining room that was next to the foot of the stairs. I thought I saw his eyes change color but it happened so fast I couldn’t be sure. It must have been a trick of the light. He told me to follow and led me to a door at the end of the hallway.
He opened the door and told me to step inside. It was dark inside but I listened and entered. “Where’s the light switch? It’s so dark in here I can barely see you.”
I heard the door slam close behind me. His grating voice sounded through the door, “Carol, stay in here. Do not leave. This is important. No matter what you see, feel, or hear, do. Not. Leave. It’s for your own safety.” Without even telling me how to turn the light on, he locked me inside the small dark room.

Chapter 6

“Bastard! You freaking bastard! When I get out of here, I’ll freaking kill you.” I kicked the door again. All I had in this room was an ounce of lamp oil, two matches, half a chunk of charcoal and a small metal spike. I also had a length of iron chain.
Thump. A large mass fell from the ceiling. I struck one of the matches. The mass was squirming, contacting and expanding all at once. Some parts would detach and slither around before rejoining the main mass. I instantly knew that before me was one of the feared Carquella. They hid in alleyways and snatched men from the streets. This one was most likely starved and untamed, sneaking into the house for food. It would eat anything to feed itself.
Pidder, patter. The sound of feet echoed around the room. Beyond the Carquella, a black-robed figure emerged out of the darkness. Red eyes stared out from under a shadowing hood.
“I am the Witch Gardel. I died in this house and so will you!” The figure in the hood raised one of its long arms and I saw a bone white finger pointing at me.
Not a sound emerged from either of them but the Carquella was suddenly on top of me. The Carquella was a mass of flesh that grows by feeding on humans and absorbing their flesh into their bodies. The one on top of me must have weighed two hundred pounds. They had the power to take the teeth of their victims and add them to their own sets. This Carquella had twelve sets of teeth. All twelve sets sank into my thighs. Four hundred and thirty-two droplets of blood swelled up from the wounds.
The boneless creature released me. Its mouth opened again, and I prepared for another bite. It didn’t bite me but did something far more degusting. Out of the back of its throat, a tongue, made of boneless arms twisted together, slithered out over its many teeth. On the end of the arms was a black hand. The hand clenched and opened working the flesh. A pointer finger stretched outwards, I could hear the skin snap and tear, and the finger scooped a single drop of blood from my leg. The tongue retracted back down the beast throat. The monster returned to its dark master.
“A bite from this Carquella injects a poison that leaves the wounds open. I also have your scent. Even if you survive the bite, I’ll be back to get you.” A crack appeared in the air behind the two. The crack opened into a jagged edged portal and it swallowed the pair. All they left behind was the witch’s cackling laugh. It rose in pitch until even my sensitive hearing couldn’t perceive it.
With the Witch Gardel gone, the room became noticeably brighter. With the Witch in the in the room, it looked like the walls were made of stone. Now as the room brightened the walls looked like wood. I noticed how big the room was now. I could have sworn I was in a closet to begin with.
The room looked like an old fashion ballroom. I found out that was exactly what it was. The wood railings on the upper floor were a dark brown. Everything was pure white except for the wood. I wondered where I was, because I was just above this floor and there was no ballroom. Then I noticed the one impurity in this world of white.
Standing alone in the center of the large circular room was a tall black and gold robed woman. She was of a deep, rich skin color. She had electrical blue eyes. She was the exact opposite of the Witch Gardel, silent, young, and beautiful.
She was coming closer. Strangely, her posture remained the same, her robes not even moving. I looked down and saw that the floor was moving towards her. I couldn’t move my legs because of the Carquella bite. Therefore, slowly I was pulled closer to her.
When I was in the outer circle surrounding the one she was in, the track stopped. The woman never moved or even blinked. The round tile she was on turned, so she was facing me without even moving. Her face froze me to the core. She looked better than a model.
“It's okay everyone, it’s just Carol,” she said in a high, dignified tone. “Carol you’re getting blood on the tile.” She said this as if she was amazed that a bleeding person would actually get blood on something.
I was sitting there unable to stand because of the holes in my legs, and she was worried about the tile. I was so annoyed by this that I didn’t even see the thousands of people who just appeared behind the woman. When I did, I marked this as a weird place. Everyone had strange masks on.
“Carol you’re just in time for the masquerade ball. Oh, I can’t stand all that blood. Here,” she knelt down and a warm white light appeared between her hands. She ran the light over my bleeding legs and where the light touched; it stopped bleeding and sealed the wounds. It did nothing for the blood already there, though. When she finished sealing all my wounds, she stood and beamed down at me.
“What the freak are you smiling at,” I said to her causing her smile to disappear, “Who keeps a giant Carquella on their doorstep?”
“Carquella? I don’t have a Carquella. There’re those hideous flesh monsters right? So that’s what attacked you, well in any case it wasn’t mine.”
“The big-ass Carquella in the rock cave? I saw a woman there; she said her name. Curdle, Shawndel? Gardel! That’s the one,” I found it was getting harder to think seriously around this woman. If it kept up, I soon would not be able remember even my own name. It was as if her personality rubbed off on me.
“Gardel? What is my sister doing here? She didn’t even come in to say hello. Oh, well. She always was the black sheep of the family. Last time we talked, she said she was leaving to learn the Dark Arts. She was always into the whole, monsters ruling the world, Necromancy, Black Magic and Shamanist stuff. As long as she is happy. Dad never approved. He was a holy warrior, but then he retired and became a priest and tats how he met my mom. She was a priestess of Cardis and never got over the fact that her sister became the live sacrifice to her, that’s why she left. I don’t see why, it’s a big honor.” She paused to take a breath.
“Are you just going to give me your life story? Oh, your sister said she died. Wasn’t Cardis the goddess of death, chaos and destruction? No one worships her anymore.”
“That’s the problem with humans now. No religion. Anyway, she is all that stuff and more. Well, at least Gardel managed to become a Lynch, the ultimate Necromancer. Can I please tell you my life story?” Without waiting for an answer, she took a deep breath to begin. Thankfully, a man in a sandy brown robe walked over to us.
“Mistress, what kind of hostess leaves a guest injured and doesn’t even introduce us?” the man said. With that, he took off his mask. He was handsome and young, maybe only twenty-one at most. He was clean-shaven and slight of build. His eyes were a shade darker than his robe.
“Oh, Father Time. Nice of you to join us. Where is your wife, Mother Nature? And the kids? Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter?” Mistress asked. Father Time! Mother Nature?
“They’re over there, Mistress.” He pointed to a woman in a green robe, and four children. A girl in a flower print shirt was clinging to the woman’s leg. Another girl about thirteen in a yellow tank top and skirt was arguing with a man, who was the oldest, perhaps twenty, in an all white tuxedo. Instead of a jacket, he had on a thin white fur coat. Another boy who was about seventeen was twiddling his thumbs, standing all alone. He had on an orange shirt and black jeans.
“Carol this is Father Time. His wife, Mother Nature, is the woman in green. Their youngest, Spring, is the one clinging to her leg. Summer is arguing with Winter, the oldest. Autumn is the one all alone. He is always wearing black. It is all just because he is the season of death. Speaking of Death, she came to one of my parties. We had many people of importance. Cupid came and crashed a party a long time ago. Unfortunately, my dear friend, St Nicolas past away many parties ago. People stopped needing him so he retired, grew old and died.” She seemed much more upset over Autumn’s chose in colors than Nicolas’s passing.
“You can’t be who you say you are. You would all be ancient. You would have godly powers and immense wealth. Why would you let Slain take over? Every single one of you would have the power to destroy him. You could erase his very existence from history. Yet, you’re all having a party? Well I’ll tell you what. I promise, vow, in front of all of you to kill Slain myself. To save my home nation and avenge my mother. I vow on my mother’s grave, on her very essence itself.” I was struggling to my feet, fighting the jelly felling in my legs. I stared up at them all with tears of rage in my eyes.
“A mighty fine speech, young lady. I find it wonderful when a human vows to kill someone. It gives me a lot to listen to,” a man in a purple robe and a blank faceless mask said as he walked over. He was shorter than the others were but still taller than I was. His hair was sun bleached and cropped short. He walked with a dignified manner of a person of very high status. Mistress gasped loudly. He continued, “I’m one of the few gods who remain on this filthy planet with these demigods. I am a god who is closely associated with the beings here. I’m the god of vows and promises. A vow made before is comes true even if you try to prevent it. I am the god Stark.”
“What are you doing here? Out of all the people in the world and you, appear to Carol? She mustn’t go through with it. Take it BACK NOW.” Mistress was crying, completely distraught.
“Why? Who’s to say I cannot kill Carter?”
“You don’t understand Carol. You don’t know who he is.” Father threw in.
“Who is he? Why won’t you let me kill him?” I was truly beginning to wonder.
A woman in a long black dress that was slim around the waist and wider at the feet walked over. As she walked, faces and souls moved over the fabric. The faces were contorted in pain and agony. The dress was made from the souls of the dead.
She had the pale skin of someone who rarely sees the light of the sun. Her eyes were a bright red, as if the fire from a volcano formed two orbs inside her skull. Her long black hair fell over her shoulders and down to her waist. She stopped before us and spoke.
“I am the goddess Cardis, goddess of death, chaos and destruction. I am the ruler of all the demigods who reside on this world. I vow that neither I nor any of my subordinates will utter the relationship between Carter Slain and the human girl Carol Jespin, or I shall take their life myself.”
“I hear your vow and accept,” the god of promises said, “my dearest sister.”
Human Hollow
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Mutant 001 Empty Re: Mutant 001

Post by Human Hollow on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:06 am

Chapter 7

“There will be bad times ahead. I am sorry, Carol, I truly wish we could do something more.” Time said.
They had settled that Mistress would accompany me on my travels; they said that a powerful bond would make it so we will not be separated. They said that I could choose two others to watch over us. They all wanted to go but lacked the strength to do that without enraging the higher gods.
“I need to speak to Mother Nature and Father Time in private, Mistress.” I said clearly, so even Mistress could understand.
“What is it you need to ask, young one,” said Nature.
“I want your children, Summer and Autumn, to watch over us because they are closest to my age.” I said seriously.
Time and Nature exchanged looks. “Carol I’m going to need you to wear these glasses before you decide on them.” Father handed me a pair of glasses with a gold string with a pair of scissors under it engraved on the sides. “They show a god’s true form without killing the wearer.”
As I put the glasses on a bright white light engulfed everyone. When I opened my eyes, Mistress was staring at me. She looked exactly the same. I looked over her shoulder.
A skeleton with tan fire in its eye sockets was wearing a light brown robe. It had a strange familiarity about it. It had long bone arms hanging at its sides. I couldn’t see any more of it because Mistress was in the way.
If it were possible, I would have sworn the skull was grinning. With a creaking movement and air whistling over bones the skeleton spoke. “So Carol, how do we look? Different? Strange? Unnatural?” it said in Time’s voice.
It occurred to me that Time was the deity of time and all living things eventually turn to bone. I looked were his wife had been standing. A creature composed of rock, water, fire, air, and darkness was holding his skeletal hand. Were veins should have been there was water flowing. Rock formed the bones, visible in under the shifting shadows that formed skin. Fire and air were trapped inside the entire structure, like a soul inside a human. I assumed this was Nature.
Remaining relatively sane, I asked where Summer and Autumn were. Nature pointed in a seemingly random direction. I looked and saw two of the strangest creatures imaginable.
One was a being composed entirely out of light, yellow energy crackling and swirling around itself. Covering the creature was a dress made of suns and stars twinned together. It looked at me and I could feel the temperature rise even from this distance. Its eyes had a black light inside of them, in a way too literal sense.
The other was obviously the representation of the season of death. Rotting flesh clung to a blood-soaked skeleton. Bones were broken in places. A worm chewed its way out of a high spot on his arm and its way back inside at a different place. Cold, dark light burned in the eye sockets.
“Wh-what is that?” I said nodding in its direction.
“Autumn. This is his true form. He is truly the representation of the season of death. Each of our children represents a phase in life. Spring represents birth. Summer, the season of life, light and warmth. Autumn is death. Winter is the season of lifelessness, darkness, cold and loneliness; all of which can be experienced after death. I am the god of time. That includes the stages of time as well.” Time said aloud.
“I am Nature, goddess of animals, plants and people. I rule over all life on this planet. So, my children will also have some power over them as well. Because they are also Time’s children, they have some temporal power as well. That is how the seasons were created, in this universe at least.
“Have you decided who you want to watch over your travels? Oh, take off the glasses they have side-effects best left unknown, if worn for too long.” Nature said in a low voice.
“Even after viewing their true forms, I still want those two to watch over us. If it’s not too much trouble,” I put in hastily, remembering who I was speaking to.
“Okay then. Now, Carol, everywhere you go these two will watch over you, but they can only watch. Mistress will accompany you, invisible any human. Mutants may see her, but they’d have to be much more powerful than anything you’ve ever faced,” Father Time pointed back the way I came, “The door will open in three minutes. Hopefully we’ll all see each other again. Alive. Now be on your way.”

Kain looked down at me. “It’s safe in the halls now so follow me. I will lead you to the main dining room. You’ll be sitting next to me.”
As he led me down, I thanked Mistress for fixing my clothes. Diaspora would have been furious if these clothes were covered in blood and filled with holes.
“No problem. It’s one of my gifts to be able to repair clothing. I can also turn fake gems into real diamonds but your clothes are so full of riches, it would have been over doing it.” She said, skipping alongside me.
She almost smashed into Kain, for he had stopped in the middle of the hallway. “Oh, Carol? If anything goes wrong, do not jump out the window, this is the ninth floor. But hopefully nothing will go wrong. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?”
“He does know that whenever a person says that, something goes terribly wrong. Like this one time, when my father was in the Holy Army of the Celestials, or HAC, his commander was taking his platoon to the Third Place and he said that. Do you know what happened? The entire platoon, except for Dad, was dismembered then put back together only backwards,” I was already getting tired of her infernal chattering. She kept going, “The point is, something very bad is about to happen.”
She was right, too. I looked around the massive dining room. At the far end of the room, sitting across from Llüvarras and next to Diaspora, was Rông.

Chapter 8

Rông looked directly at me and shifted his eyes. I swear he looked right at Mistress. When he looked me in the eye again, he tilted his head just enough to tell me to look past him.
Lying down on his golden belly, his giant yellow encased red eyes staring off in the distance, was Dragon King Karsweth. His insanely massive bulk was able to fit into this room and move about freely. Some kind of magic must have held the dragon’s actual weight, seeming this was the ninth floor.
“Carol, thank you for joining us. We are having a very important supper tonight. Our final guest will be arriving in two minuets time. You are to be seated between Llüvarras and Kain.” He winked as if to say ‘don’t worry nothing will happen with us here.’
“Oh, but what about me? Where am I supposed to sit? This will not do, not do at all. Tell him I need a seat.” Mistress said in a desperate voice.
“No one can see you. Except for perhaps him.” I said quietly looking straight at Rông. I continued in a hushed voice, “Remain silent.”
I took my seat across from Rông. A light weight fell on my foot, slightly nudging it. Rông was trying to get my attention. I kicked him in the shin, hard.
Pain radiated up from my foot. It was like kicking an I-beam. It did what I wanted though. Rông yelped, hopefully in pain.
“What’s wrong?” Diaspora questioned, startled.
At the same time Karsweth bellowed, “Quiet, Slave! You’ll embarrass me in front of all these people. You know what’ll happen then.”
Rông answered, “I need to speak to Lady Carol, in private.” Oh, boy, what could he want? Diaspora nodded. As I began to rise, the door banged close. Everyone stared at the new arrival.
The first thing I noticed was how insanely tall he was. He was at least eight feet, perhaps even nine feet tall. Then I saw his dark skin. He was black. Not just he was dark, he was black-black. Shadow black. Then I noticed his suit. He was wearing a white three piece tuxedo, white shirt, white jacket, and white jeans. Under the jacket and the shirt were arms that looked like they could bend an I-beam, his muscles were huge even compared to Kain. He had purple eyes, an extremely dark purple. He gaze went over all of us but paused slightly over Rông and me.
I could understand looking at Rông. He was a one man freak show. Only why would he look at me. It was as if he knew me.
“Ah, welcome, Carter Slain. Now that you’re here we may begin our meal.” Diaspora said bowing his head, “But if you’ll allow it, the servant of Karsweth wishes to speak with Lady Carol.”
This was Carter Slain. I vowed to kill this guy? It was impossible.
Carter nodded his head and said in a voice as cold and collected as ice, “Yes. Though I have no idea what a servant would want with Lady, “he paused, “… Carol. But then again he is a servant of a dragon.”
“Thank you, your grace. Thank you for allow a servant to speak freely.” Rông jumped up and grabbed my arm. He pulled me into the empty hallway.
“What the hell, Rông?” I said one he closed the doors. “First you say you’re a good guy then you show up here with Karsweth, at the same place that me and Llüvarras were taken to? What are you even doing here?” I was mad that Karsweth found us so easily. It was unfair to take it out on Rông but I didn’t care.
“Please remain quiet. I’ll explain everything. First off I’m a mutant and-”
“No shit! Really I couldn’t have guessed.”
“Carol please calm down.” Rông looked down at the floor before going on, “And, I’m probably the strongest mutant in the world.” Rông stopped there, but not of his free will. Thanks to Augusto I have a mean right hook. I put all my anger into that punch.
“This is no time to think your better than us. I-” I didn’t get to finish. Rông had looked back up. Where my fist had hit him, the flesh had torn revealing scales underneath. Jet black scales.
“I have the power to adapt. To any environment and become one of its natives. Essentially I can live forever if I move from place to place. But every time I do, I die a little. I leave friends alone over and over and forget about them. Due to my master’s spell, I’m stuck between forms. I have the body of an Elve but underneath I’m slowly changing into my current environmental native: a Dragon. The moment I become full Dragon I’ll forget everything I knew of my Elvin life until I become an Elve again. My master cannot stop the change caused by my powers only slow its progression.” He stopped to catch his breath.
“Wait, when did he enslave you?”
“The day that Slain took over everything was set in motion. I was enslaved that day, just under a year ago. I’m almost ready to change, I can feel it. When I do I want you to run. Run away and whatever you do, do not ever stop running. Never return to that place.”
“Why not? What will happen?”
“Living with the Elves taught me that when we meet our true love, a Blue-Tear will fall. When I change I’ll be hungry and kill everything near me. And I can’t do that to someone I love.” He looked down into my eyes.
That was when I remembered that night. The boy on the bridge. Rông showing up. The fire. My memory froze over the last thing I saw. Rông was crying. He had hit me and was upset over it. The last thing I thought was “A blue tear. How pretty.” I was wrong it was a Blue-Tear, a gift bestowed upon the Elves after they saw how humans were below par when it came to matters of the heart. So at least that part was true.
“M…me,” I stammered. How could this have happened to someone I just met. I didn’t even like the guy.
Yes you do, a voice in the back of my head said. You feel better around him. You love him. You just won’t admit it to yourself. The voice was strange it was unlike the voices I usually hear. It’s you, you twit, I thought to myself.
Or so I thought. “Wh-what? I didn’t say something to offend you did I?” Rông said, obviously taken aback. I must have said that last bit out loud.
“No! No, not at all. I mean yes. But not in the way you think. You made me realize that yah, I think I like you. But I don’t know. Maybe.” I said. I was confused. All these emotions running wild throughout my body made me feel dizzy. I despised him for lying to me, I was mad at him for being with Karsweth. But I couldn’t be angry with him.
“You may be unsure but I know for a fact that I love you. By nature, destiny, whatever, I will always love you. If you don’t love me, I’ll protect you. I’ll fight Karsweth for you. Hell, I’ll fight the entire Pestilence. All the Viruses, Sins and even the Plague.”
“Okay. I know what Viruses are but what are the other two?”
“They’re the upper ranks. All Viruses are slim males. The Seven Sins are intelligent females. No one knows what the Plague is however. Only that it is in charge.” Rông looked down at me. I must have looked as scared as I felt. I was that close to a Sin.
I looked up at him and opened my mouth to tell him. I didn’t get the chance.
Rông’s hand touched the back of my head and his other arm pulled me closer. He tilted his head down and pressed his lips against mine. I felt lighter than usual, as if I was flying. It was a feeling I never experienced before. Nothing mattered but staying this close to him. He pulled his lips away from mine and my hand, almost on its own, pulled him back down.
I had pictured my first kiss and the times after it just as much as any girl my age. This isn’t exactly how I pictured it would end.
“Lady Carol!” Diaspora’s voice echoed around the not-so-empty hallway. Me and Rông jumped apart. I looked over and saw to my dismay that everyone was starring at us shocked. Well, almost everyone. Mistress was looking at her reflection on a spoon.
“Lady Carol, if you would like we could leave you alone for a few minutes.” Kain said loud enough that even Mistress snapped to attention. My face turned a deep red. Not only from embarrassment and anger.
Oh, this cannot get any worse.

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