Time of the Gospel Chapter 2
Dawn fell into the clearing. With the new lack of trees, it was easy to do. Four figures crowded around a limp, naked body, another fallen disregarded to the side. Lance held Kyrin up to greet the morning as a single tear came down his eye.
Cant we use a Zetasol? Xolis asked hopefully.
Doubtful, by the time we reach the transport Allys took Lances gaze as a request for silence.
Shes not gonna get through this is she? All were quiet. I just cant believe that shes I wont believe He looked down at Solus. Who ~ is that and what did he do to Kyrin?
Taran answered for him. Im sorry Lance. I wasnt fast enough This is Solus, my brother. Hes dangerous. You three hurry and get Kyrin to Bledavik. Ill tie things up here, then follow.
Allys cocked her gun and pointed it at the limp mans head. . No way. He hurt Kyrin, are you sure you can handle him Taran? Let me just finish this.
No. Hes my brother. I have to take care of it!
~ you Taran! He, did this! Im taking him out now. I dont care if hes your ~ kin!
Taran yelled back. Lance, get Kyrin back to Bledavik or theres no hope.
Thats an order. Allys added.
Lance picked up Kyrin and held her in his arms as he had before, while walking across the bridge to the transport at Guard Headquarters. He had been practicing for when she was his wife, and now he did so in vain. He left the crater; Xolis followed.
Allys stayed. Taran, here. She handed him a metallic object about the size and shape of a small beetle. Its the tracker Ive been tinkering with. If you get into trouble, well find you She left as well.
In solemn reverence of the loss, all life held its breath until the Guard passed by. When they emerged from the dark forest, they witnessed a hint of dawn sneaking over the trees behind them and lighting up the earth below. Had they been close enough to see, it might have made desert sand sparkle under light of the sun. Kyrin loves to watch the light rain down on the desert.
Only a few feet from the patch of trees, Lance turned. Taran! he waited, perhaps giving the other time to hear from far off, for surely the shout was heard deep into Legends Valley. He better die!
A knight, a Pointiff by his clothing, stepped forward. Em erug she * he started, then changed his dialect Excuse me may I know who the murderer, that has done this unforgivable act, that I may aid in his judgement.
Shut up Ethos! This is between him and me.
The knight was taken aback. Normally, it was suicide to openly insult one of the Ethos knights, but Lance held a burden and the Pointiff recognized that. Very well. If you need help, remember turn to God.
Yeah, right. He turned, and headed towards tied up Hoppers. Lance mounted one, took Kyrin with him, and left. The others rode on ahead, leaving him in peace. He lay her across his lap so that her dead gaze met his. Her body was covered with soars, bruises, and cuts. Her entire front side was scraped as if being dragged over rigid stone. Blood that she had coughed up ran down her chin, matching the same that had caked over her breast. She was deformed, covered with the bloody scars, but she was still beautiful to Lance. She always would be.
Soon, in Dazil, Allys got back their security money and climbed aboard the transport. Allys and Xolis again let him be, keeping to the cockpit while he stayed in the back. Lance bent over, pulled back her hair, and kissed Kyrins forehead. A tear fell. He stretched out his arm, grabbed her jacket, and placed it over her body.
Less than an hour ago they had been in the same place, Kyrin resting against his chest. This time, she would not wake. If onlys began to flood Lances mind. If only I hadnt told her to go after that shadow. If only I had gone with her. If only I had been faster. If only I had remembered a ~ Zetasol*. Soon after, they were replaced by curses, these more audible. ~ you Solus. ~ you to hell! If I ever find you again I swear to God I will drive my ~ lance through your ~ heart time and again until your ~ blood stops flowing! ~ The curses ringed in the chamber, and many times over in Lances head.
Ill never forgive you. Never.
Solus pulled himself to his feet and looked around. More damage was done than he expected. Before he could assess his surroundings, Taran tossed him a garment. While wrapping a white robe about himself, Solus inquired of his brother. The girl is she?
You didnt do such a great job.
Tarans meaning was ambiguous. Solus went on. Where is she?
My unit took her home.
And you? Are you to come home?
No. Its too late for that. Taran turned away from his brother. Why dont you join Guard. You could make it.
Solus ignored the last offer. Its never too late. Ill be sure of that.
Why are you here?
To bring you home.
I should finish you off now.
You nearly did.
Had you been weak, I would have. Dont think you survived out of any kindness on my behalf.
You could take me. Solus admitted.
That killed the conversation. The two remained silent.
Solus looked around the clearing, for the first time fully surveying the destruction. There was no more life there, only a rounded ditch of dirt and small rocks in the middle of the woods. It was as if a meteor had claimed the spot as its impact point. His eyes drifted to something clashing against the green forest. His footsteps quiet, he left his brother and walked over to a girl lying a few feet into the woods.
Throw down your weapons, make one wrong move and Ill shoot. Errh turn around!
He felt the cold steel press against his back. Are you shaking? Are you lost?
You must be lonely here by yourself.
What are you so afraid of?
They stared at each other for a long time. A fire burned between them, lighting each others faces.
You can call me Fei.
Call me Elly.
Somehow I already knew that.
Solus placed his hand on her shoulder. It began to glow, a light passed into the girls body and she stirred. Raising her head, she blinked at this new face. Fei ?
Solus blinked back. Elly?
The girl smiled and slipped again into content unconsciousness.
Taran came over to stand by his brother. Whos he was silent when he saw her. Her slender figure, much like Kyrins, wore a tight fitting, pure white uniform stretching from her shoulders to her toes. A deep blue stripe ran down each side, a crooked black belt hung loosely around her hips, and a short, black and blue, undone coat slipped around her arms and back. So only her face was visible. She had fair skin, only slightly tanned. Flowing freely from her head was long, vermilion hair. From the side, one lock fell, two strands twisted around each other, one dark red, the other indigo. She seemed so peaceful, a smile still across her clean lips. Her face told of innocence. Taran thought her quite pretty.
Solus knelt by her and gently touched her face. Again his hand took on a white aura. The girl stirred. Her eyes slowly opened and gazed into Solus. Hers were blue, glasslike, Solus could see a reflection of himself in them as well as something deep within. They stared at each other, into each other for quite some time, locked in a moment of wonder. There was a connection. Solus smiled, as did she.
Whore you? Taran asked. Finally, suddenly, with that note of existence outside the moment, the bond was severed. If it had not been, the two might have been entrapped, looking at each other, for quite some time.
The girls smile faded. She scrambled to her feet and stood tall. Lieutenant Rachel Jacob, of the 1st Phalanx. Hers was a voice of kindness, attempting to be harsh. Are you civilians?
Taran stood tall and saluted. Taran En Voy of the Fatima Guard Elite. He knelt down and kissed a white glove.
Turning to the other. And you?
Im just Solus.
His names Solus Veritas. Taran spoke for him. Hes my brother.
I would have guessed twin. Lt. Jacob commented. The two brothers were identical in every way save their dress. The resemblance was uncanny. Anyway, in the interest of our governments, I officially request that you aid me on my mission.
Alright. Taran agreed. What are you doing here on Ignas?
I have orders to meet a bandit who stole a relic from the Ethos Church.
Those are my orders as well. I guess we can cooperate.
Shes supposed to be heading for Dazil. Weve a good journey ahead of us. Come on. She began walking out of the crater.
Sir, wait! Solus, content just to sit back and listen to the military conversation finally spoke up. Itll be faster if we use my Gear.
Come on, Ill show you.
Solus took one step and a line of bullet fire was scarred into the dirt at an uncomfortable distance from his foot. Rachel, having reached the edge of the forest, was pinned to a tree as a dagger cut through her coat. More bullets were fired off; an X was scarred into the tree just above the girls head. A ninjas star stuck into the tree at the center of the new target.
Taran hefted himself onto a branch of a tree he had run to. Up above was a black clad figure with an arsenal larger than the entire Guard Elite force. At the moment she was picking up another rifle, three already discarded on the ground below. Taran jumped at her, tackled her, and they both fell toward the earth. The ninja shifted her weight and landed on top of Taran as he crashed onto the hard packed dirt. She drew out a dagger and gently lay it on Tarans back. She next charged Solus, drawing a long katana as she ran. The man stood still, a calm expression on his face. The ninja drew closer, swung her blade, and stopped only a few cyarl from his neck. She let her arm go limp and the sword hung near her side. I could have killed you, and your brother, and your girlfriend.
But I didnt, I spared their lives. You owe me.
What do you want?
Take me with you, in your Gear.
If you knew I had a Gear, why didnt you just take it yourself?
Her feet shifted nervously. I tried. It wouldnt work.
Solus smiled. Alright, Ill help you. My names Solus.
In a deep abyss, four entities dwelled: conversing, planning, preparing for their return. One of them spoke. Bal, come.
An old man emerged in the dark. He was dressed in white robes of a monk. His face bore years of separation from the rest of the world, but his heart bore treasures he had found from it. I am here, my lord.
Is the anima taken care of? a man dressed in earth colored robes asked. The entities had taken the bodies of four men in order to communicate with their subject. It was troublesome to be mortal: restricting, but it was necessary.
Yes, lord Petra. I dealt with her myself.
Good. Then these years have been sewed well. A noble sacrifice on your behalf. It shall be noted. How goes the reaction?
Thank you. Quite well, lord, but if I might inquire he stopped himself. He knew better than to inquire of a god.
Proceed. A blue robed man urged.
Why, lords, did you not have me make it closer within reach?
Good servant Bal. a blue one laughed. Surely you know, the more difficult a prize is to achieve, the more one must strive for it. He will strive, and then he will fall.
How goes the watch? another, cloaked in a light yellow, asked. Has the other appeared yet?
Yes lord Aries, he has. Arrived as well.
Then it is soon time, have you found beast? the final man, draped in red garments, finally spoke.
Yes lord Phurros. I and the others traveled around the place you described and discovered its remnants.
Good, now place the Stone.
But, lord Phurros, in the open there he was cut off as a burning flame ignited within his soul, sending an agonizing pain throughout his body. Bal shook, and then fell to the ground.
No lord Im sorry I. The old man was sure of death. Instantly he regretted his lack of faith, or maybe even having faith at all: regretted ever coming into the service of such divine beings, for their wrath was divine as well. But, a blazing furnace crackling within him would not let that faith be suppressed.
Phurros, release him. the blue robed man demanded.
Bal gasped, slowly pulled himself to a bowing posture of one knee, and then was able to return to his feet. Thank you lord Seidon
Be sure to send the one we chose from you. Again, the earth shaded man spoke. You know where he is to go?
Yes my lord, Wystave. Bal recited what he had previously been told. and he is to recognize the other by your mark.
Very good. You may go now. Ariel instructed. The man bowed and then faded into the darkness. As soon as he had gone, the four cloaked bodies fell limp in the void. From them, four formless spirits rose and began to float around. You as well, Siedon. Go carry out the providence.
Yes, I shall appear to the chosen. It shall all come together. One of them, Siedon, vanished into the void.
When he returns, we must leave.
If we fail?
We are Cipher. This world is ours. We cannot fail.
We did before, two centuries ago, the one held us from our destiny.
That one was strong, he had aid.
We shall not give assistance this time.
No, but now it is the true battle. That was merely a game, and we lost.
It shall not happen again.
We will be victorious.
Is the Stone here yet?
No, sir. A womans voice replied. I will tell you as soon as it arrives.
See that you do. Her voice died as he clicked over to speak with another. Javen, how go the plans? Is the weapon near completion?
Well, yes sir Oron. I still need to know if I should mount it on one of our Gears.
The man smiled. Javen had high hopes, high expectations, would not except anything unless it was the best. This time however, it would be suicide to attempt to live up to those expectations. How many times have we gone over this?
I still think it can be done.
Javen was also bold, defiant, and power-hungry: the perfect qualities for treachery. Winx Oron knew long ago that Javen would someday betray him, perhaps even take over Legion, but if it was better for the whole, so be it. However, despite his strong belief in survival of the fittest, even if that was not himself, Oron always kept a tab on Javen, one that could send a massive electrical shock ripping through his entire body. Winx laughed at the thought as he fingered a small relic that was the trigger for such an action. There is no way, not even for you, to invade Zion, let alone break into its Cathedral. Besides, if we could, then we would not need Gears, now would we?
You managed to steal one of their Soul-Stones. The man retorted.
That was from a new, unguarded monastery. They could not hope to expand into this hostile world, and did not bother to support a few stray monks efforts. I simply exploited this schism. Putting aside that ~ Shepherd Staff, which is the whole purpose of our weapon to begin with Even in the middle of the night, on the Sabbath for Gods sake, there would still be at least four Etones actively on duty. Assuming, just assuming that we could capture one, he still would not share any information about how to activate the Gears. So, we would have to break his will, and his faith, and an Ethos faith is even stronger than his sword, which brings us back to capturing one ~ knight in the first place. Now, if we could do that, I would be the ruler of this entire God forsaken planet. So dont get me wrong, as soon as you figure out how to do that, Ill come all the way to Nortune to take a look. But as for now, while youre in my country, under my terms, get off your ~ and bring the weapon up here now!
Winx hung up and looked out a glass wall that held a view of a large city. It was turning night, and so the city shone bright with burning lights. Not yellow though, the choice color of Javens Ase, the latest science frontier company to develop, was purple. Thus, Nortune took on a violet glow from streetlights Ase designed. From the window of his high room, located at the center of Tiber, he was presented with a view of the city in its entirety. Above, he could see the sky, it would not be long before night. Below were the multileveled military structures, completely surrounding his tower. Beyond those were the lower stacked residential areas, and even further the commercial. Surrounding it all was the impenetrable coastal fortress that stood strong against waves and naval assaults alike. Though I wouldnt mind an attack from New Thames Tiber needed protection only from the sea, for the city was an island. And he could see it all. From high above, it appeared smaller, making himself seem larger, more powerful, supreme. All of it was at his disposal. He felt like God.
Turning from the window, Winx glanced around his personal office. Taking a seat in a big leather chair, he propped his feet on the top of a long, black, finely polished, crescent shaped desk. Although it was officially an office, no papers cluttered his desk. Instead, two girls sat upon it, each doing their best to look sexier than any other, thus keeping their job. Girls, get some clothes on, were having company. Technically, they were dressed, perfectly costumed for some of the more exotic dances preformed in a dozen or so strip joints that cluttered the soldiers quarters. Winx smiled as they both kissed him before returning to their own room to find proper attire. Yes, being Oron certainly does have its advantages.
From a side of the room, an old man called out, Sir, would you like me to fix you something to drink?
Winx turned to gaze at the man. He too was behind a polished black bar, but the old mans was for that purpose. Yes, thank you Karl. Ill have the usual. Make another shot for our guest, extra strong
Yes sir. Karl went right to work fixing four glasses of whiskey and then handed them to a servant who gracefully carried them over to Oron and set them at the desk. Winx took one, the two girls, who returned now at least wearing something descent for the New Thames, took two others, leaving the remaining glass for Javen.
A voice broke through a speaker situated on Orons desk. Hes here, sir.
Send him in. Across a long, black carpet that spanned a white tile floor, two steel doors opened into the walls at either side. Behind them, a large, firmly built man stood. Oron was never surprised by a visitor, for it was never elevator doors that fist opened; instead, it was two doors to each side of the elevator, an armed guard behind each one. The man, Javen, had short, brown hair, always combed back. His face was thick, and dark, with bushy eyebrows. He walked forward, his bold, proud walk that he always went with.
One step outside of the door, two beasts growled at him, leapt forward, and were held back by chains around their necks. Collars allowed these baby Griffins to come only so close, but that was close enough to sink a massive, curved-down beak into any arm that happened to be outstretched. They served several purposes. First, they were Winxs pets. Second, a security measure: anyone who drew a weapon after passing the guards would get his entire arm torn to shreds. Finally, Winx enjoyed the expressions of shock and terror that often arose on the faces of new visitors.
To Javen, none of the second two uses held value. Not only did his face remain, as usual, void of expression, but he knowingly extended his left arm. Apparently, one small Griffin had yet to learn its lesson from the mans previous visit, for again its jaw clamped down. Again, on thick, cold steel. As soon as the beast released, whimpering, Javen pulled his robotic arm back to his side. Winx clapped, the girls laughed, and the Legion leader offered a toast. To Javen, a brave man indeed. He rose his glass, the girls did the same. Javen slowly made his way over the carpet, at the same pace he always walked, and took the glass that had been set out for him. They all drank.
You wanted to see me, sir? Javen asked in a dry voice. Still, his expression unchanged.
Yes Javen. As I said, I want you to show me how far Ase has come on the weapon.
The cyborg nodded, then walked, still at his normal pace, over to the large window that spanned the whole of one wall. His right hand, the one of flesh, touched glass. The city on the other side faded and was split, the center third of the window turning black. He touched the same spot, now black, and an image appeared on the screen. This is a live shot directly before the cannon itself. he explained. The picture was that of a three-quarter constructed cylindrical tube sprouting from a large base: a mass of metallic plates, levers, and wires. Another button and another image appeared. This is a simulation of the cannons function, a miniature model we built using a fragment that Ase excavated. A real-looking, but small cannon was placed in front of a thick metal block. A glow illuminated within the base and expanded out through the barrel. The aura flowed back and forth down the barrel until it exploded outwards at the target. It bore through, cut and melted its way, and a whole was driven through the once solid brick.
Javen sighed, intensely bored, yet continued despite. And this, he continued, is the schematic readout of the gun. Pointing to portions of it as he went, the explanation went on. Here is the power source, yet to be completed. We are, however, well on our way. This is where the Soul-Stone will be placed. It will be used as our refractor lens to magnify the energy we can produce, theoretically enough to power the cannon. Through the barrel, the laser shall be magnified through a lens of cooled zin until it erupts at its target. Another picture: if Javen was more pleased with this scene, he did not show it. Now, the screen contained the cannon, mounted on the back of a metal giant. This is our cannon as just part of the vast arsenal of one of our existing Gears
Javen, Javen, Javen Oron chuckled to himself. Dont waist your brilliant brain up in the clouds. Gears have been forbidden: not by the Church, but by God. No one has ever been able to work their Gears for two hundred years.
Youll find, sir, that I am capable of reaching my clouds. Take the reconstruction of my body for instance. Everyone said that it could not be done. Yet
Very well, perhaps you could. But heaven is above the clouds, and do not waist my resources trying to reach it.
But think of the power once we got there!
Two gunshots were heard. All attention turned to the elevator. Inside was a large man, tall, very blue, and mysterious. His entire form was veiled in blue and white robes. A white robe at the base, several layers of azure cloaks, each a different shade, were draped over it. They flowed down to the floor and to his outstretched wrists. From there, two sapphire-gloved hands emerged. His head was masked as well: pulled tightly over its domed top, where a white strip of cloth was tied around his forehead, but from there blue fell like a waterfall, crashing onto his chest, over his shoulders, and around on the other side as well. There was nothing that might give away the true appearance of the man, no slits for the eyes, nose, or mouth, no gap between his sleeves and gloves, nothing. His gauntlets unclenched and a bullet flew from each into the guards that had first fired them.
He floated, a half meter above the floor, into the large chamber. When he entered, all the lights were consumed by black, inside and those that shone through the window. Everything was dark, save the living. Oron, Javen, Karl, the two girls, the two Griffins, and the mysterious man were suspended in a bleak lack of surroundings. The beasts jumped at him, but were repelled by a wall of ice and crouched back. Karl too did the best he could to hide, the girls ran, shrieking, behind Oron. Javen though, confronted the intruder. He charged at the blue shroud, robotic arm ready to place a permanent dent in the cloaks. As his fist came down, it hit a thick, solid block of ice. Upon contact, a large bubble surrounded Javen. He dashed, crashing into the inside wall, but it did not burst. Next he attempted to cast a fire spell, but his Ether would not allow him. He was trapped. The blue robed form raised his arm and a cascade fell from the black above onto the bubble, pushing it far down into the abyss below.
The man stepped towards Oron. Again, dark surrounded; Karl and the two girls faded away. Winx stood, petrified by his fear, but he still retained his composure. You, Oron, shall be the first. His voice sounded as a calm stream or roaring rapid. Yet, despite its oddity, it was clearly understood. You are the chosen one. I appear to you now, to show you the way to the legendary power. You shall be the one to revive the angels. Follow the tide Oron, it shall grant you the power of legend.
* In case you couldnt figure it out, ~ represents an inappropriate word.
I again tried at this language thing, though I think Ill completely ditch that in a chapter or so.
Anyway, hows the story going so far? Please let me know. E-mail me! Try firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com whatever.
Tell me what you think, about anything.
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