“Okay, not that it doesn’t happen all the time or anything, but I am way past confused. Mia?”
“Yeah?” “Are we gutting this asshole?” The Demon snickered with blades in hand, aimed directly at the male’s chest.
“I gave you a child!” Navina told them, “I came to you, knowing that only you could help, and I handed you a child wrapped in brown cloth!” Mia just stood there, waiting for someone to say something, or do something. Anything?
“Anyone could have known that, it was no big secret after the temple was ransacked!” The male shot back from beneath his hood. “Anyone, could have that knowledge, and pretend to be her!”
“It was a secret to me!” She shouted. “The biggest of all secrets, but I can see our meeting clearly as day now; and I know that you are my brother!” Her emotions were getting the better of her, the chaos blinding the courage she needed to finish yelling at him.
“And if nothing else changes your mind, then perhaps this will...” She glared at him. “I have found, Marena!” With that, Navina made to turn away, but the hand reached out and caught her, despite the daggers aimed towards him.
“You found her? But how? Where?”
“Oh, now he wants to talk!” Nyx rolled his eyes, itching to stab something, or put his blades away and have a drink.
“You know, where Marena is?” Kordahn let out, his own sword dropping for but a moment, only to rise it again as his eyes narrowed.
“We all do!” Mia laughed, “And that, is Navina! I assure you!”
The male paused for a moment and then his hand raised to his hair. Long black hair, just like Navina’s. Deep green eyes, just like Navina’s. He was the spitting image of her and Marena.
“You have got to be shitting me?” The Demon grumbled, dropping his blades and reaching for his flask. “This just gets better and fucking better!”
“I am sorry, if my appearance disturbs you!” The male named Kordahn let out a smirk.
“Real funny guy, aren’t you?” Nyx cocked a brow and glared at him.
“My mate, thinks so!”
“Khia, right?” Navina inquired. “The last time we spoke, in the temple.” She stopped, watching as his eyes draped over her, “ You said that Khia had sent a thousand ships to search for her!”
“And she did, by sea and by space!” Kordahn replied,
But there was never any sign of her, just rumors! We couldn’t keep up."
Navina, don’t you remember any of this?”
“No, she doesn’t!” Mia replied for her. “She gets these visions...” Nyx started, but Kordahn raised his hand to hush him.
“Someone’s coming!” He mumbled, raising his sword again.
“A rather large person!” Nyx added, catching the scent. “Shit, it couldn’t be...”
“What do you smell?” Kordahn inquired.
“Friend, or foe?” “Father?” Mia cut in, just as the hooded figure stepped out of the trees behind Nyx.
“My Lord!” Kordahn let out with a bow of his head.
“My Lord?” Mia huffed, “You, know my father?”
“Everyone knows of Eroch, Lord of The Void.” Kordahn shook his head,
“I just never thought I would meet him!”
“Huh!” Lord Eroch smirked, but then his ace took on a scowl.
“Euphamia? Nyx?” He replied in a gruff voice. “There’s been an incident!”
“What kind of incident?” Mia snapped, seeing the look on his face. “What’s happened? Is it Madrina? The young?”
"Their ship was attacked on the way to Sanctuary.” Lord Eroch paused, dropping his cloak and letting his long prison striped hair blow in the breeze.
“And?” Mia blurted out. “And they had to jump!” He sighed and shook his head.
“They had no other choice, they were pinned down, but that’s all we got before the transmission ended!”
“Fucking, holy... What do you mean, ended? Did they end it?” She asked, about ready to disappear on them.
“Or did someone end it for them?” Nyx cut in, ready to vanish alongside his mate.
“We don’t know!”
“How long ago was this?” Mia kept on with the questions.
“Is Madrina okay?” She was losing it, and Navina felt helpless. What could she say to make it alright? Absolutely, fucking nothing, because it wasn’t alright. Not one bit of it.
“It’s been six hours.” Her Father told her. “Then what are we waiting for?” Mia shouted at him, “Let’s go get her!”
“We wait for her mate!” Lord Eroch sighed. “And where the hell is Nissa?” Nyx growled, only to back himself down with a glare from his Lord.
“Where the hell is Nissa, Sir?” He added. “He wanted to run one last check on the transmission, and he will meet us at Sanctuary!”
“Then we need to get there, so we can go get Madrina; like yesterday!” Mia was on a roll with the attitude, and cared not who felt her blast.
“We can’t just go, we’re a day ride from the portal, and Navina can’t just blink herself there!” Nyx pointed out.
“That’s my sister, we go now!” Mia spat back at her mate.
“Chill the fuck out! We’ll get her!” He growled back, grabbing her by the shoulders and drawing her to his chest.
“We’ll get there!”
“I have to go now, Nyx! I can’t just wait around, not when she’s...” “Then go with your Father now, and I will see Navina back to the portal!” He sighed, and kissed her forehead.
“There is another way!” Kordahn spoke up, and even Lord Eroch raised a brow.
“How?” He inquired, as Mia moved to stand at his side.
“Only Zahara and Madrina have mastered that feat!” “And Malice!” Nyx added, receiving a glare of his own. “I’m just saying, she does some fucked up shit when she’s pissed!”
“There is another portal!” Kordahn spoke again, “Hidden beneath the temple Navina spoke of. It has not been used in some time, but it is there, if you should choose to follow me there!” “I would like to see this temple!” Navina replied, “There is much I could remember there!”
“Then Mia will go with her Father, and we will head for your temple!” Nyx grinned, the thrill of adventure filling him. “Fine, it’s settled!” Mia let out, and turned to her Father.
“Can we go now?”
“Be safe!” Nyx looked her up and down, and her eyes answered for her as she gazed back at him. Even Navina felt the goose pimples rise. Theirs was a love like no other, the respect they shared, and the way Nyx gave in to her every whim.
And they were gone, just like that. Damn, what Navina wouldn’t give to be able to do that, and perhaps she could; but it was just another thing on her ‘Shit I’ve Forgotten’ list.
Right up there with the whos and the whys, the whens and what have yous. What happened to Lync and Marena? Was Kordahn, really their brother?
How did he navigate the visions? Did they ever end? Where was Pathen now? And the Celestial Temple that Malice had gone off about? Could she blink to another place? Another time? Just show up out of nowhere?
“WOW!” The Demon let out as he packed his blades into their secret hiding places. “You gonna be okay there, Vina?”
“Whoa, hold up! There is only one person who can call me that, and you my friend, are not he!” She glared at him, “My name is Navina! Remember it, use it, and don’t be a dick, okay?” She ended with a smile and turned towards Kordahn.
“Lead the way!” “You really, don’t remember, do you?” Kordahn laughed, waving his hand as he shook his head.
“We’re already here, Navina!” Well now, wasn’t that fucking something, as the tall green shrubs gave way to the large stone walls behind them.
Rising up, or so it appeared, as the mask faded away, revealing all that surrounded them. No longer were they in the quaint little garden hidden a midst the forest, or rather, no longer was there a forest; for the garden still remained, right in the middle of a mass stone fortress.
“What, the mother of all fucks, just happened?” The Demon let out, daggers drawn once again as if he could fight the mist at their feet.
“Easy now!” Navina laughed, though her own senses were going wild. There they stood, in what was now a courtyard, and stone bricks and broken windows looked down upon them.
It was dark and gloomy, crumbling and deserted, and Navina felt a sadness about the place. A battle had taken place here, and the more she thought about it, the more her head began to hurt.
“What’s wrong?” Nyx asked, coming up behind her and placing a hand on her shoulder at the first sign of discomfort. Okay, so he wasn’t all bad, just most of the time.
“Just a headache!” She replied with a sigh.
“Don’t fight it, Navina!” Kordahn’s voice echoed off the walls of a hall nearby, and she was drawn towards it.
“Let it happen, let the visions come if they must.”
Visions? Oh hell no, she didn’t... But it was far too late for that, as her feet kept walking and her mind filled with fog.
“Where is she?” Lady Ellaria asked, as Kember stepped through the portal.
“They had no choice...” Kember started, as the wave disappeared behind her.
“What do you mean?”
“We jumped...” Kember started again, still shaking like a leaf. “...and the ship...” She shook her head, trying to straighten her thoughts.
“We were losing altitude fast, the ground was coming at us, and Markus....” She paused again, just as Zahara and Nissa came into view. “Where is she? Where is Madrina?” The Angel belted out,
“Where are they?” The look on her face spoke of sheer terror, and the stains on his cheeks told her the tears had been flowing. “They followed us...” Kember let out.
“Who are they?” Another voice let out, and Euphamia appeared with Lord Eroch at her side. “Where is my sister?”
“Kalvashians. Insid. There was a hive...” She mumbled again, and straightened her hair.
“We jumped and they followed, and there was a fire fight...”
“Easy now!” Lord Eroch hushed her, wrapping her in his arms. He was so, not her Father, but he was close enough, and it was helping; somewhat.
“Take deep breaths, Kember!”
Markus called to abandon ship, and Malice, oh Gods, she tried to use one of her energy orbs to protect us...” Kember was running out of steam, as Nissa handed her a glass of water from out of nowhere.
Where is Madrina now?” He asked so calmly, “Where is my mate?”
“She is fine, but...” Kember stuttered, wanting so badly to keep Madrina’s secret, but they all needed help.
“But, what?” He stared back at her, the anxiety racing in his veins. `
`She will need some help, they all will! We crashed a good five miles from the portal, and it is surrounded by Insid!” She told them, her strength returning.
“Then how did you get through?” Mia inquired, staring her up and down with eyes that seemed to dig into her mind. And didn’t Kember’s thoughts look fabulous? And that was on top of her rat nest of an up-do, thrown together with a piece of leather to keep it off her neck, and the tattered leggings with the halter that had lost its ‘halt’ in the mad dash past the enemy.
The jacket that was more of a sieve, littered with bullet holes and char marks; yup, sign her up for the next Miss Universe pageant, she was a real winner in the Used and Abused section.
“Markus!” Kember lowered her head. “And the fact that he hasn’t come through yet, means he needs help! They all do!” She broke down into tears.
“Then what the fuck are we waiting for?” Mia shouted out. “Can you still feel him, Zahara?” She turned to her sister, who already had her eyes closed and her mind searching.
“He is alive!” She opened her eyes with a smile, “But we should hurry!” She added, just as the portal opened again.
“What the fuck?” Mia shouted out, and Nissa whistled for his guards to stand at the ready. “Is that...?” Kember heard Zahara gasped, just as the figures stepped through side by side.
“Navina?” “Navina?” Kember heard another voice, and Lync appeared out of nowhere, beside her.
“Huh!” She let out. “Wonders never fucking cease!” Kember glared at him. “You and I, my friend, we are gonna have a nice little chat about your secrets later!”
“Lync?” Navina called out to him, and he shook his head as he passed by Kember, and then smiled as his mate approached.
“Oh Gods!” She sighed when his arms were around her, but the growl was already rising from his throat as his eyes landed upon the male who came through the portal next.
“Who is he?” He inquired in a low and eerie voice, as Navina pulled away and grasped the male by the hand, pulling him forward.
“This is Kordahn! He is in my blood!” She told them, “He is...” “Your brother!” Lady Ellaria smiled, “And it has been far too long, my friend!”
“Woohoo! Great little reunion! Fucking wicked! Can we go now?” Mia let out with her own growl.
“You know what has happened then?” Navina asked, seeing them all ready and waiting. “Yes, the ship crashed and we’re going on a rescue mission!” Mia replied quite frankly, “You in, or...” “That planet is not safe!” Kordahn spoke out, “It is littered with the enemy!”
“And did your visions tell you this, or hers? You’re related, the shit runs in your blood, right?” Mia snapped back at him.
“Mine!” Navina cut in. “That planet they crashed on, is one of their strongholds, Mia...”
“And my sister is there! Do we need a recap of our previous convo?” Mia inquired, and was greeted by silence. “So either suit up, or get the fuck out of... Hold up...” She paused for a moment, the anger raging within her; or was it the fear? Kember couldn’t tell.
“Where the fuck, is Nyx?”
“That’s what I was trying to say! Being one of their strongholds.”
“Fuck, he didn’t?” She sighed, shaking her head as she turned to her Father, “Permission, Sir, to go and retrieve my psychotic other half, and the others?”
“Permission granted, but you’re not, going alone!” He replied.
“Take Nissa and Lync...” He started, but his words were masked by another.
“Take them all!” Her voice rang out as she let her hood fall about her shoulders. Take them and attack the enemy on all fronts!” Ellaria paused for a moment, summoning an orb with a wave of her hand.
Find me the Lord Commander!” She spoke into the ball of light, her voice taking on an eerie, weird sort of wave.
“Tell him, to ready the fleet.”
"What the hell?” Euphamia blurted out.
“Understood!” Came the reply before the orb itself disappeared as she closed her fist.
“Uh?” Zahara let out, and her Mother laughed.
“You are not the only one to have learned things, as of late!” She shook her head. “And there is still much that we must uncover!”
“Then let’s do this!” Mia grinned, pulling her cloak up over her head.
“Send us through the portal and we shall make haste in our rescue, the cavalry can come in for show!”
“Hello, my love!” His words like music to her ears in the darkness that surrounded her.
“Hello!” She replied in the small hut they had found. It wasn’t much, but it would do for the time being, and as soon as Kember and Markus returned, they could get the hell off this rock; and get everyone back to Sanctuary safely.
least, that had been the plan. Gods only knew how long that would be, or if they’d even made it as far as the portal. It would seem, that this little place on the edge of nowhere, was infested with enemy soldiers, and the path to freedom was wrought with certain treachery. But how? Danore was so close to Sanctuary.
“How long?” His words drew her back to the hut, and the feel of his hand on her cheek was beyond heavenly.
“How long have I been asleep?” Reh asked her.
“It’s been four hours!” Malice replied, “But Kember and Markus have gone for help...”
“Then if you are here, who stands guard?” The sudden fear in his voice was alarming.
"Uh?” She started, “Reh, my love, there is something I must tell you.”
But it was too late, as Ben approached them in the shadows of the small fire.
“Something comes! Down in the valley!” His words were whispered, but she could see the glint in the steel of his sword, and that sparkle hidden behind his deep brown locks.
“What are your orders, Mother?”
“Mother?” Rehoboam gasped. “He called you... Mother?” His eyes drifted from the young male, and right back to Malice.
“Go with your sister, and stand ready to alert us if it comes any closer!” Malice replied, and looked on in horror as her husband watched him walk away.
“Oh Gods, Malice! It’s happened again, hasn’t it?” Reh let out, “That was... that was our son, wasn’t it?”
“Calm yourself, my beloved, and know that they are ever as clever and ever as cunning as their parents.” She replied, trying to soothe him. “But they are so young.”
“There is Valkyrie blood in their veins, Rehoboam, and it seems that they already possess the knowledge needed!” She smiled at him, “They lacked only the experience, until now!”
“But they are also half Human, Malice, and you said so yourself, you feared what their emotions might unleash!”
It was true, she had feared what would happen, and she had witnessed it first hand back on the ship; but Ben and Bathsheba had shown great courage in helping get them all to safety.
“I believe that storm has passed for us!” She sighed and shook her head. “With each minute that passes, their young minds will rekindle the connections needed to use the knowledge given; and they will grow stronger, wiser, my love!” Malice wanted to say more, but Reh needed to rest and she could hear the footsteps approaching.
She rose to her feet, only to see her double standing before her, and the sound her husband let out sent chills down her spine.
“Bathsheba?” He gasped once again.
“Hello, Daddy! I am glad to see you have awoken!” His daughter replied, unraveling her long gingered locks.
“Daddy?” He let out.
“Sorry, Father!” She giggled. “He has returned!” Her eyes rose to her Mother’s.
“Is Kember with him?” Malice inquired, taking the satchel her daughter handed to her. “
Ugh, no!” Bathsheba rolled her eyes and turned away.
“There are berries in there!” Malice could sense the frustration, but she said nothing; for now, was not the time.
“Markus?” She turned towards him, catching the Vampire’s scent.
“How are they?” He asked, glancing at Reh, and then at Madrina who lay huddled in a corner, covered in a blanket as she rested.
“They are doing just fine!” Malice smiled. “And Kember? How did you both make out?”
“Ugh!” Came another pitiful sounding form of disgust from the corner, and Malice looked over to see Bathsheba shaking her head. Ignoring her, she turned back to Markus.
“Did she make it?” “
She did! But there was a lot of interference!”
“As in, enemy soldiers?” Reh asked, “I know they’re out there, no sense hiding it!”
“Yes! There has to be a base around here somewhere!” He growled. “And they will be surrounding the portal when she gets back!”
That sent another chill through Malice. “Then we will have to clear a path for them!” She grinned, and turned to her daughter. “Stay here with your Father, protect him and Madrina, understood?
” “Why do you have to go back out there? Why go after her?” Bathsheba protested as she came towards her, clearly displeased with her Mother’s orders; and Malice pulled her aside.
“Kember, is very close to me!” Malice told her daughter as calmly as she could.
More important than us?” Bathsheba shot back, and Malice had to steady herself.
"Bathsheba?” Her Father called out to her, but Malice raised her hand.
"What is this about?” She inquired, as her son came into view, and he and Markus began to discuss something.
Why were you never around? Why were you always off fighting?”
For God’s sake, Bathsheba, it’s only been a year since I birthed you.”
“Well to me, it has felt like a lifetime! Always gone, always off saving the world, with her!”
“Who, Kember?” Bathsheba mocked her, “I know you love her, and that she creeps into your bed at night and takes the place of my Father.”
“Kember, is not trying to take your Father’s place in my bed, or my life, thank you very much!” Malice snapped at her. “But, when she tells you to do something, you will do it; and you will do it, without the sass! You’ve become a young female, and like it or not, you have to do things that may seem illogical to you, but you’ll do them anyway; and you’ll live longer for it.” Malice sighed, shaking her head.
“I love your Father...” She paused, gazing at her husband, and then turned back to her daughter. “And he knows it! But the heart of a Valkyrie is big enough for many, and we cannot help who it draws us to! And he knows that, as well!”
“And he just agrees with it?” Bathsheba rolled her eyes again, avoiding her father’s glance.
“I myself, have twenty nine wives, Sheba!” He admitted, and she sat down in a huff with her sword across her lap.
“Cheer up, Sheba,” Her brother started, “That just means you can like all those things that make you swoon over in your dreams!” He laughed, and nearly lost an ear as a hidden dagger was pulled from her boot and launched in his direction. The little vixen had learned much from Euphamia, though Malice was grateful, she wasn’t sure just how much else she had picked up from the dark female.
“Both of you, listen closely, for if I return and find this hut in ruins due to your careless actions.”
“Of course, Mother!” Ben replied, bowing his head.
“They will behave!” Reh assured her,
“Now go, the faster you get to the portal, the faster we can get off this bloody planet!” “I will!” She blew him a kiss, and then stopped short, “But first...” She added, conjuring something as she reached for the hands of her children. “
These will help to protect you.” She told them, latching the clasp on the bracelets that looked like the ones she and Kember wore.
Standing back, she insisted they push the little buttons on the underside. She watched the armor take hold of her son, smiling as the dark metal enveloped him like a security blanket. Such a handsome male indeed. Now Bathsheba’s armor, the camouflage pattern in brown gray and green covering her body, and her wings.
They bore the same hues of gray and silver like Malice’s own, except for the red highlights; Bathsheba’s distinctive addition, her mark, as it were. Oh she was going to be trouble, but for who?
The portal opened with a whoosh before them, and all but Navina, stood at the ready. She wasn’t ready at all, not for what was to come. She had seen the vision, she had seen the blood, and she could only hope that it had already passed. There had been a lot of it, too much for just one person, and though she held onto that hope, the images she saw when she’d crossed through.
“Vina?” His voice was soothing, but not even close to being enough to calm the frazzled nerves. Beside her stood Lync, and beside him, Kember, Mia, Nyx, Nissa, and a whole entourage of winged assassin’s primed and ready to fight for their Lady.
Madrina was out there, and they were destined to find her. At the end of it all, stood Lord Eroch, his armor gleaming in the setting sun, and as night fell upon them and the wail of the battle horn carried out across the valley, he roared as loud as he could. Nissa too, bellowed into the night, as the lights of the enemy appeared on the horizon.
“Go now to the skies and find your Lady! Protect her at all costs!” The fleet of Angels with their wings so white, took to the clouds in a wisp of wind, leaving the rest to deal with oncoming assault.
“Stand ready!” lord Eroch bellowed, pulling his sword from his hip and a sawed off shotgun from his back. The Devil with a shotgun, seriously? And Navina had thought that was just a saying.
Apparently not, as the hoots and howls of the enemy rose up, and the battle began. She could do this, she had done it before on many different worlds. How was this one different? There was a target, and there was a mission.
Just like old times; and yet it was far more than that this time. They were coming at her fast. Blobs and blurs of green and brown, and blue and black.
There were so many of them, she feared her arms would fall off before they had laid waste to them all. Four, seven, thirteen... The Insid were dropping like flies, making it harder to move forward. Navina was a small female, and having to crawl over those bastards was not only annoying, but outright disgusting.
Smelly, and covered in blood and whatever the hell they had crawled out of... Ugh, she wanted to vomit with each step.
“Vina, duck!” She heard Lync call out and hit the ground. Just in time too, as the spear flew through the air and landed in a pole behind her.
“Son of a bitch!” She let out, rising to her feet with a dagger in her hand. She had learned a thing or two, not just from Lync and Kember, but from Euphamia, Zahara, and Malice as well.
That asshole wanted to toss a spear at her? She released the blade as she brought her hand forth, letting it land in the chest of said idiot. Not bad, for being out of commission, for what had it been? Months, at least. She still had it, and that little ego boost was all she needed. Rejoining the advance, she watched as soldier after soldier, fell to the blades, arrows and bullets that sailed towards them.
There was no escaping the wrath of Lord Eroch and his kin; and they would all fall, she was sure of it, before the sun rose once again.
From the fields to the village, the people scattered for shelter as the fighting continued; but still, Lord Eroch pushed on. He was a force to be reckoned with, a Lord in his own right; commanding hundreds, or in this case dozens, to do his bidding.
Over the hills and towards the woods they pushed on, slaughtering any who may stand in their way; and Navina followed close beside them, her blades dripping with the green and blue blood of their enemies.
“Where are they?” Kember shouted, as she swung her sword high, before plunging it down in the chest of the Kalvashian before her. Picking up his pistol, she took one look at his face as the life drained out of him, and took note of the resemblance to...
“Fuck!” She shouted again, they all looked the same. Vial, traitorous Kalvashian bastards; and they would never fool her again.
They had chosen their sides, and those who had chosen the side of good, were tucked away safe and warm; while these fuckers would taste the steel of her blades. Damn, she was starting to sound more and more like Malice.
With every swing, every bullet fired, she imagined a wall crumbling down, and the image of her lover coming closer and closer still.
Malice was a force to be reckoned with. A massive force of destructive powers, and yet when they were nestled close, wrapped in each other’s arms.
“Shit!” Kember hissed, as the blade passed across her forearm, only to look up at the Demon who stood with the bastard’s heart in his hands.
“Thanks!” She grinned, and raised her sword again, plunging it deep into the stomach of her next victim.
“Yes, thank you!” Mia added, appearing at her side. “But I’m still three up on you!” She laughed.
“Three up on what?” Lync asked, as he and Navina arrived beside them. “I’ve got seventy two, he’s got sixty nine!” Mia grinned. “It’s a good number!” Lync chuckled, and Nyx nodded in agreement.
“Figures!” Mia rolled her eyes. From there, it was a quick jaunt across the swampy plain and towards the base of the mountain, where the Angels were told they would all meet.
Lord Eroch wanted to keep moving. Creeping under the shadow of night, finding his daughter and the others, and disappearing back to the portal as quickly as they had come. was a great idea; but there was the matter of an enemy base.
Nyx?” He called out. “Euphamia?” When both were beside him and keeping a good pace, he continued.
“Spread out and make yourselves known! Draw them out into the open and away from their so called shit show of a den!”
“They won’t come easily, my Lord!” Nyx’s lips curled into a grin.
“Somehow, I don’t see that as a problem!” Lord Eroch chuckled, and his pace quickened as Nyx and Mia took off into the night out of sight.
“Was that wise, my Lord?” Nissa inquired, watching as Mia’s black and white hair disappeared from sight.
“He will not let any harm befall her!” Lord Eroch sighed.
“That I am aware of, but should you not send others with them?”
“They will be better off on their own, and you, have other matters to tend to!” The Lord of Darkness nodded his head forward.
“I will kill them if they have harmed her!” Nissa growled, his wings ruffling as they spread out behind him.
“I have no doubt about that! Now go with your Angels. Find her, and bring her back to me!”