The One Who Changed Everything

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Chapter 23

Rovaniemi, Finland. 03:28.

Ghost sat up, startled and a sheen of sweat encasing him from the nightmare he had. He usually did, but not all were as vivid. He looked over, making sure Savannah was still with him, safe. He curled over, putting his head between his knees, now, even with Savannah, he was no longer safe from his demons. He looked out the window, seeing the semi-busy city in the dark.

He maneuvered himself out of the bed, stretching, he yawned and walked to the window, looking down below him. He still had a bit of a distrust for cities, after the Zurich attack; it had been a few months since he woke up. His prosthetic arm had been covered with synthetic skin. His implants had also been covered, but there were still slight bumps. Savannah had taken a liking to stroking the bumps, which Ghost though was a bit strange, but it pleased her, so he was fine with it.

He looked around for basketball shorts and a shirt, finding them, he put them on and left the room to go exercise. He needed to regularly, or else he felt like he would explode, and it wasn't very comfortable. He stepped out of the lobby into the street, he looked around, it started to drizzle, the rain coating his face. He regretted his choice of shorts, but he shrugged, it was fine either way.

He soon settled into a sustainable pace, a medium jog, which was normal people's sprint speed. He looked around the buildings as he went, searching for an attacker. It wasn't a conscious decision, but now it was out of habit, he couldn't help himself. God knows it had saved him many times before.

He ran on, making a loop around the inner part of the city, making his run two hours long. He walked into the lobby covered in a mix of sweat and rain; he left tracks on the floor, slightly angering the hotel staff. He went to the vending machines, pulling out a granola bar and a large bottle of water. He ate and drank as he walked to his room, not bothering to take the elevator, he still had some energy to expend.

He opened the door slowly, trying to not wake Savannah. He smiled slightly when he realized she was already awake, and at the laptop on the desk. She had her earphones in, and she was watching videos, of what he didn't know. He spoke loudly, trying not to startle her by walking behind her, she turned around quickly, checking who it was. She was even more affected by the attack than Ghost was, because she wasn't as used to being targeted as Ghost.

She relaxed as she recognized him, and turned back around, taking out one earphone."I'm just watching funny videos, because I'm bored." Ghost threw the trash away and walked up to her, wrapping his arms around her and kissed her cheek."I can help with that." He whispered, she smiled and shrugged him off,"Not right now, I'm feeling a bit tired, but I'll be fine, I promise." He nodded and turned the TV on, going through the channels,"What do you want to do today?" He asked, also bored.

Riggs bounded towards him from under the bed, making him fall over under the weight of the wolf. He laughed, trying not to get the wolf's drool in his mouth, though it had already covered most of his face. Savannah helped him get the wolf off and grabbed a towel for him to clean himself off. When he cleaned all the slobber off Savannah hugged him, and as they swayed in their embrace she whispered in his ear,"You know, I actually wanted to go kayaking today, maybe there's some lakes around here?" Ghost smiled,"There's tons, we'll look online and see which one you want, then we'll go."

She nodded and Ghost pulled off the rest of his clothes, exposing his body to the cool, clear breeze that wafted through the room. He stepped into the bathroom, turning on the water for a shower. He didn't wait for it to warm up at all, because it wouldn't make a difference to him. He washed himself for three minutes, used to not having much time to do so, and turned off the water, causing Riggs to come scratch at the door, wondering if he was okay. Ghost smile and yelled through the door, asking Riggs to stop it.

He was glad that Savannah trained the wolf while he was gone, or it would've been hard to make the lump of fur even do anything. He dried himself with one of the towels that were folded neatly on the rack above the toilet.


They drove down a long dirt road, kicking up dust and leaves behind them. Savannah had fallen asleep, almost an hour before, almost twenty minutes into the drive. She clutched Ghost's hand, as she been accustomed to when she slept while not in bed. It was almost a reflex now, to make sure he didn't disappear. Riggs sighed, curled up in the back of the rental car they were using. It was electric, but it was almost as big as a van, so it used up a lot of energy for a short time. This caused Ghost to bring two extra batteries, just in case.

The lush forest was filled with deer, white-tailed eagles, bears, wolves, and all sorts of animals that could interest even an inside person. Ghost was especially keen on seeing the white-tailed eagles, as he had never seen one before. He kept his eyes on the sky, and on the foliage around them, looking for signs of danger and of beauty. He looked at his phone, on the GPS and noticed he missed the turn, which was almost a mile behind them, he cursed under his breath and turned the car around sharply.

He drove back to the turn and drove down the road, soon coming up to the boat drop off and parking area. He parked, and woke Savannah up. They got out of the car, letting Riggs out. Riggs bounded out, sprinting to the woods. They laughed and set about unloading the kayak and supplies that they would need if they stay out for a few days. Ghost planned to, but Savannah didn't excactly give him the okay, so he plotted with himself.

Riggs came running back as they put the kayak into the water, and were about to load the supplies onto it. He jumped on, walking in a circle and laying down with a huff. Savannah and Ghost exchanged a glance, and smiled. They locked the car with a beep and got into the water, pushing the kayak out before getting in themselves. The sun shone on them, bright and warm. They drifted in the calm currents until they were almost a fourth of the way out on the lake, they started paddling to one of the smaller islands.

They ate lunch there, making a picnic as Riggs went out to explore the small wooded land in the center. After they ate, they went back out on the water, exploring the shorelines, and finding small caves. They soon came upon a cave that was vastly different from the rest, only a small crack made up the entrance. Once they got within ten yards Riggs started to bark fiercely, without pause. Ghost tried to calm him down by hugging him, but Riggs jumped into the water and started paddling as fast as he could to the crack. Savannah and Ghost followed him, hoping there wasn't anything in the cave that would harm Riggs.

The bow touched the rocks on the little bank that appeared as the tide dipped. Ghost jumped out and tied the rope from the boat to a fallen log that hung above the crack. Savannah waited for Ghost to enter first; he pulled out his pistol and squeezed in between the rock. He looked around inside the dimly lit cavern, and stopped to gape at the size of the cavern, it covered a football field, easily. He heard Savannah stepping through lightly, and her footsteps stopped, followed by a gasp.

Ghost pulled out a small flashlight from his pocket, shining the beam on all the sides that were close enough to allow light to touch. He heard faint barking and shone the flashlight down the small foot path he could see. Riggs stood on a ledge, poised to pounce. Riggs barked once more and walked down the footpath, farther into the cavern. Ghost shrugged and followed him, jogging slightly to catch up, Savannah followed him closely behind.

They soon came up to a sort of platform carved from the rock. In the center was a bubbling pool, and in that was a shrine; a golden wolf laid there, curled up, as Riggs was doing. Ghost turned off his flashlight, because the light emanating from the shrine was enough to see. He touched his finger lightly; he grunted in pain and pulled his finger away from the water. It could've been lava, for how hot it was.

Ghost looked at Savannah, who was entranced by the shrine. Ghost looked back at it, and saw that it wasn't just one wolf, there were three pups nesting in between the tail and the stomach. There was also Nordic writing one the sides of the pedestal, along with pictures sculpted into the gold. It seemed to tell a story, but he couldn't figure it out. It was written in a sort of code.

Riggs whined, drawing their attention from the shrine to him, he was standing at another entrance. He squeezed through, Ghost raised an eyebrow, Riggs was acting as if he knew something they didn't. They followed him yet again into another chamber, again they were struck with wonder. There were waterfalls at almost every point in the camber, from what source, they couldn't see, but it made for a ethereal setting. In the middle there laid a coffin, made up of obsidian and gold.

In front of it stood a tomb stone of sorts, more like the shrine they had just left. On top of it was a stone statue of a Nordic woman, who stood fierce, almost as if she was charging into battle. The air around them seemed charged with electricity, raising their hairs. On the pedestal there was two words that were translated into five different languages. He surprisingly could recognize all of them, they were hieroglyphics, Latin, Norse, Russian, and an early type of modern English.

He made out her name to be Freya Jarlslayer, he raised his eyebrows again, to be named that she must've had a great dislike for Jarls', warlords of the vikings. He now assumed it was her who was entombed in the coffin. He looked for a date of birth and death date, he soon found it, it was 948 AD to 1000 AD. He whistled softly, she lived ten years longer than the average viking. He put a hand on the coffin, and was surprised at how warm it felt; he looked at Savannah, who was exploring the edges of the chamber.

"Savannah, come over here and feel this for me, please." She turned around and walked to him, also putting her hand on the coffin."Does it feel warm to you?" He asked, she shook her head,"No, it feels pretty cold, actually." He sighed, he really was going crazy.

After searching around more for clues they left the cavern, making sure to pause by the wolf shrine and drop a gift into the water. The water boiled even more and dissolved the bag in seconds. Ghost grew angry,"That was hundreds of dollars!" He kicked the shrine, immediately regretting it. They left, and went off kayaking again, making sure to stay away form the cave.

Riggs stared at Ghost the whole day, never once getting distracted. Ghost grew uncomfortable, and later that night went back to the shrine and apologized. He knew it was stupid, talking to a lump of metal and rocks, but for some reason he felt better afterwards.


It was night of the next day, Ghost and Savannah sat in camping chairs, staring at the beautiful sky, as the fire crackled merrily. Riggs laid at the ground by Savannah's feet, tired. They soon decided to go for a walk, around the island they were on. Ghost felt unusually giddy, it was the perfect night. They reached a clearing, where they could see the biggest patch of the sky. They stopped, holding hands as they stared into the sky, each lost in their own thoughts.

Ghost glanced at Savannah, struck once more at the sheer beauty she possessed. He thanked God for her, for letting one of his angels come to earth, just for him. If she wasn't an angel, then she was a perfect imitation of one. He let go of her hand, and reached into his back pocket. He pulled out a small box, covered in white satin. He had bought the box on his run before they left the city. He felt nervous, but confident. This was the one thing he had totally felt sure about in a very long time.

He knelt on the ground, gaining her attention. He stalled as her piercing eyes looking into his, wiping clean all the darkness and fire that rested in him. He had to wait until his heart started beating again. He swallowed and pulled the box out in front of him, opening it to reveal the ring inside. Savannah stopped, shocked. "Savannah. Savannah Shafer. Will you marry me?" Ghost asked, waiting for her response. As none came his hope slowly deflated, replaced by sadness. Then she answered suddenly,"Yes, yes. Always."

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