The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 27

"This is ridiculous!" Andelex snapped, pounding on the table. "Those monsters-those shadow serpents! We have no way of defeating them. None!"

"They are certainly more powerful than us. No animal we can morph into can defeat them," Rodale said thoughtfully.

"And? What do you propose? Blackfire's citizens, our citizens, are dying at alarming rates. In..." Claren shuddered. "Terrible ways."

"Perhaps...there's a reason why those monsters are so much more powerful than us," Rodale murmured, examining the fire opal orb on his finger. The Blackfire crest glittered in the light. He removed the jewel from the ring carefully.

"What?" Andelex asked. "Rodale, if you have something useful to say, then for God's sake, speak up!"

"The Advisor." Rodale stood up, clutching the opal in his hand. "I'll go to her." Those monsters...they were born to rule us. We must let them. For the sake of human survival!

"Your organization...the Ciis, has been created," The old woman said gravely, handing Rodale back the jewel. "As long as that fire opal is around, it's magic that I put into it will keep the urge to push to towards human servitude towards monsters awake, in the hearts of many of the greedy, the ambitious, and the cunning."
"And this secret," Rodale mused, "You will take to the grave?"
"Yes," the Advisor assured him. "My apprentice, nor any of my successors, will know of the orb." She sighed, then waved her hand. A ball of light appeared in front of him. "However, the consequences of your plan will be great. The Blackfire residents, overtime, will perish. Every single one of them." Images flashed in front of them. Innocent people, dropping like flies, suffocating to death from toxic gasses. Children, their eyes alive with madness, laughing as they burned alive. Blood dripping from a girl's arms, ivy patterns cut into her skin. A boy screaming as his skin turned black and withered. A huge dragon roaring as arrows pierced its wings.
"That's fine," Rodale said. "I know my plan will succeed." His hand tightened on the orb, and a plan to bury it, deep, deep in the Blackfire meadows, formed in his head. He knew that only the strongest of Legends would be able to find it-no one strong enough would be able to find it, surely. Keep the Ciis alive, forever!
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