Saturday, January 22, 2011


Chapter 6

Who am I?

            “Umph!” Justin hit the wall of his new prison hard as his captives threw him harshly from their side. Recoiling suddenly, he shifted his gaze back to the direction he had just came. “You ja—!” He stood up too suddenly, resulting in a stabbing pain to shoot forth from his new stitches. A man laughed from the doorway as Justin collapsed in agony.
            “Why don’t you and that floor get more acquainted?” the man asked. “You’re going to be in here so long, I bet that floor will become more like your girlfriend.” The man broke out in riotous laughter.
            “You son of a bitch…” Justin mumbled back, the pain causing him to wince with pain. The man suddenly slammed the door shut, leaving Justin to lay in pitch darkness.
* * * * *
            Justin lied on the floor of his cell, unaware of how much time had passed since he had been thrown in the prison to rot. Occasionally, a tray of food would clatter onto the floor somewhere and he would scramble to find it. (It was the only food he was given and he knew that he had to make the best of the situation.) There was no sign of where the tray came from, not that any visible sign would matter. Darkness in every direction destroyed his ability to see.
            Why are they forcing me to stay here? Where is ‘here?’ Who are ‘they?’
* * * * * *
            “Let me out of here!” Justin screamed at the top of his lungs. “Let me OUT!”
            “You know they can’t hear you, right?” a second voice asked.
            “I don’t care. I still have to try,” he answered without question. “LET ME OUT!!!
            “Go ahead then, waste your energy…”
* * * * * *
            “How long have you been in here?” the voice asked again sometime later.
            “How should I know?” Justin banged his head lightly against the wall of his prison in frustration. The voice laughed a deep, whole-hearted laugh that worked to gently soothe Justin’s angst.
            “I know how you feel. I must have been in here for a few years now, or maybe a few decades… I lost count so long ago…”
            “Your point is…?” Justin sighed. The head banging stopped momentarily. Rubbing his head, he attempted to spread out the pain.
            “At some point, they’ll have to open the door, right?”
            “I’ve no body to take my revenge against this treacherous world.”
            “No body?”
            “You must want something as bad as I want revenge, right?” the voice continued, ignoring Justin’s comment.
            “I want to protect those I love…”
            “So you understand my feelings, right?”
            “I’m not su—”
            “Maybe—if we joined forces—we could make sure that each of our goals is realized, no? I have the power you need to protect your people, and you have the body I need to get back at the world. Whadya think? Are you in?”
            “I’m not sure about this…”
            “Oh, c’mon. This is nothing more than ‘You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.’ There’s no thinking involved, just say ‘yes.’” A long silence pervaded the air.
            What’s the worst that could happen? “Fine then, let’s join together.” The voice laughed.
            “I’m glad you see it my way…”
            “How do we do this—?” Suddenly, Justin felt a strange heat spread throughout his body, he cried outward in pain.
            “They’ll never bother us again.”
            “Never again…” Justin whispered in agreement as he felt the imagined flame encase his body.

Chapter 7

Mein liebe. My prisoner.

Rachel awoke to the dim light of the fluorescent bulbs in the ceiling directly above her. Black, iron shackles without chains bound her wrists and ankles to the cold wall of her new environment, which was shadowed in darkness except for the small circle of light the bulbs made visible. The after-effects of the drugs she had breathed in earlier still made her feel slightly weak and tired. A soft groan escaped her lips as her awareness of her environment began to grow.
            “How are you feeling?” asked Col. John Stroyer as her eyes noticed him standing a small distance from her for the first time. “Sorry about that kind of tired feeling you’re feeling, the extra-strength dosage we had to use is still under testing.”
            “What did you do to me, you lying bastard?!” The shackles bit roughly into her skin as she struggled against their unmoving resistance.
            “For one, I never lied to you. If only you could see this room! It’s so much bigger than your old one, and I promised you a bigger room, didn’t I?” John laughed heartily.
            “You won’t get away with this!” Rachel spat.
            “Oh? What makes you say that?”
            “Eris will save me! Just wait until she gets through with you!” John laughed once more.
            “If you could only see how dark your eyes are turning, you would know that Eris is no longer the issue.”
            “You…ASSHOLE!!”  She felt anger overwhelm her as several vines found their way through the skin on her forearms. A sharp electrical shock immediately followed the release of the plants. Rachel loosened a sharp scream as her back arched in severe pain and the vines retreated into hiding. After the pain subsided, she felt the touch of a John’s leather glove upon her chin as he lifted her face to eye level. John stared deeply into her eyes.
            “Such a lovely shade of blue are held within those eyes of yours. I’d hate to see them become consumed with hate.” He inched his face closer to hers, his eyes never letting go of hers. “But, be sure to notice that the shock you felt won’t be the last if they do.” With his other hand, he lifted an obsidian-colored, small, flat controller for Rachel to see. “So, I suggest you cooperate with us, Rachel—if that’s the name you still wish to go by.” He let go of her chin, turned and walked slowly away. She stared at his strong back with uncertain feelings with the feeling of hot tears read to release themselves from her eyes.
            “What do you want from me…?” she whispered weakly. In an instant, John turned back around sharply with excitement in his eyes.
            “There’s the question I wanted to hear!” he exclaimed, moving back towards her. “You see, within you is the guardian to the Tree of Darkness, and it has become more than clear that the Tree must be put into the secure hands of the U.S. government in order to protect the safety of hundreds of millions.”
            “Tree of Darkness? What’s that??” she asked with uncertainty. John laughed.
            “Don’t act like you don’t know.”
            “But, I have no clue what you’re talking about!”
            “Then find out quickly,” John snapped, “because there’s not much time before those jackasses oversea use it against us!”
            “No buts!” Anger filled his expression, matching the sternness held in his voice. “Are you willing to risk the safety of this country in order to avoid your misguided uncertainty? If so, then you’re a traitor who isn’t even worthy of my presence.” He glared at her, obviously expecting her to say something in her defense. Rachel remained silent, unable to think of a singular statement to aide her defense. He scoffed at her in disgust before turning around once more. This time he walked away. After the metallic sound of a door opening and closing, Rachel was left to dwell in the spiteful silence around her.
* * * * * *
            Col. Stroyer closed the door to Rachel’s cell behind him as he stepped into a dimly lit hallway, scarcely populated by anyone other than a few lab workers and himself.
            “Colonel!” The voice of BG. Edward Stroyer came from a distance down the hall. John immediately froze and saluted as his father approached. Edward stopped a few steps away from his son. “At ease, colonel,” he stated sternly. John relaxed slightly. “Come, let’s walk.” John nodded and went to his father’s side as he beckoned him. Side by side they began walking down the bleak hallway. “What’s the condition of the girl?”
            “She’s awake, but she says that has no recollection about the Tree,” he reported. Edward scoffed.
            “Don’t let her appearance fool you. That girl is just as dangerous as Eris now, because they are one and the same.”
            “With all due respect, I already knew that—”
            “Then tell me, colonel,” Edward gave a sarcastic glance at his son, “why do you still treat her like a mere child instead as you would a normal prisoner?” John tried to answer, but his words lost their structure before they left his tongue. “It’s no secret to us why she calls herself by the name of the Greek goddess of discord.” Where their hallway, another hallway turned left and right, stretching a great distance in each direction. “She guards the barrier between this world and the next, and—in order to keep it safely out of the hands of man—she has leveled entire civilizations before. If she had any more power, she could rival even the god of death.”
            “But, what’s been bothering me is how to tell if this girl isn’t another example of demon possession.” Edward stopped suddenly and stared at his in sheer annoyance.
            “The answer is in her eyes, or rather the type of soul existent behind her eyes.” Confusion struck John hard.
            “What do you mean?”
            “Her medical history shows panic attacks in the places where she should have been violent. Her schooling shows high marks in all subjects as well as the type of social cooperation worthy of a saint, without the existence of a traditional religious background. Not to mention the clarity of her pale-white skin and the light blue hue of her eyes. From these factors—among others—we have been able to label her as a being of light, a pure soul.” The excitement in the brigadier general’s voice rose upon uttering his last few words.
            “Demons can only inhabit souls that are born with darkness in their hearts, but Eris requires a different type. She requires a pure soul to become her ‘successor’ in order to keep the balance between the worlds.”
            “So a person like Rachel would be perfect, wouldn’t she?”
            “Yes, that’s precisely why we must gain the location of the Tree at all costs so that we may rid ourselves of her before she’s fully corrupted by Eris’s influential power.”
* * * * * *
What am I supposed to do now? Rachel sighed deeply, feeling the strain of her confinement. I don’t know anything about the Tree of Darkness…but what will happen if I say nothing and they don’t believe me… A short, metallic click cut through the silence. “Who’s there?!” Another click followed the first. “I told you, I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING!! Please, just let me go!” she pleaded.
“That is what I plan on doing, mein liebe,” spoke Dr. Friedrick Hartmann as he stepped out of the darkness in his signature white lab coat.
“Friedrick!” she exclaimed with glee. He quickly moved in to silence her with a waving of his hands.
“Shhhhhhhh! You must remain as silent as possible mein liebe,” he whispered. “If you are not, it will be all the easier for them to recognize my intent.” Out of his coat he pulled out a singular key, large and metallic. Starting with her wrists, the doctor proceeded to unlock each of Rachel’s restraints.
“Why are you helping me? Won’t you be in trouble if they find out what you did?” she whispered.
“Of course. Of course,” he replied. “However, it was only a matter of time until they discovered that I was selling their secrets to the Japanese anyways.” He laughed lightly. “I believe, at least this way I shall be doing some good on my way out, oder?”
“Well, thanks…” Rachel said with uncertainty, “I guess…”
“Bitte. Now, I’ll lead you to your friend, and together—”
“My friend..? You mean Justin?! So, he IS alive??
“Shhh! Shhh!” He placed a finger over his lips. Right before a harsh siren blasted through the air from unseen speakers.
“What’s that??”
“It is the alarm to signify that a prisoner is escaping. Come, we don’t have much time before they place the facility under lock-down.” Friedrick grabbed Rachel’s arm and dragged her out the doorway without resistance. “Your friend isn’t too far from here.” He increased his speed, testing the limits of Rachel’s legs—which were still slightly weak from their time spent in restraints. In Rachel’s mind, time was moving faster and faster as the monotonous walls of the dim hallway sped by.
How much longer is this hallway? Suddenly Friedrick made a left turn, almost causing her to trip over herself. Behind them, Rachel thought she heard the angry voice of the colonel, but the voice faded in the distance as Friedrick pulled her into another left turn. This time, instead of being dragged into another bleak hallway she came face-to-face with a heavy, metal door with solely a small card key slot to suggest that there was something behind it. Friedrick withdrew an obsidian key card from his coat and quickly inserted it into the slot. The door clicked open.
“Quickly, go get your friend,” he said hastily, the siren in the background emphasizing their necessity to hurry. Rachel nodded and opened the door wider before entering the blackness in the room.
“Who’s there?” asked a rough voice. For some reason the sirens from the hallway refused to penetrate the walls of the room. Absence of the blaring noise gave way to small shuffling noises which echoed diligently upon each of the four walls existent beyond the darkness.
“Justin…?” she asked, inching in the direction she believed to be movement.
“Stay away!” he screeched harshly. “No more! I don’t want your sympathy! Just leave!!”
“Justin, it’s me, Rachel.”
“LIES!!!! Rachel is dead. She’s dead and I couldn’t save her,” a second voice suddenly crept in beneath his insane ranting. Rachel stepped forward. Her adjusted eyes could now make out the general outline of his form, which appeared to blend and merge with the surrounding darkness.
“Please, just listen!”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” The voice released was not Justin’s. Suddenly a burst of black and scarlet fire shot forth from his body, drenching the room in a darkened flame. Rachel raised her arms instinctively to protect her face, causing the malicious fire to bite deep into her cream-white flesh. Small tears fell from the corner of her eyes as she winced in pain. When she lowered her arms, she was surrounded by a wall flame with a demon in front of her as the only cool place for her eyes to travel.
In contradiction to Justin’s usual, straight-edge appearance, he was now clad in a raggedy coat, with random rips and tears on its surface. The hair on his head had become long and shaggy, just as the short beard growing on his face. Bolts of blue blood rapidly moved across his estranged crimson eyes which glared at Rachel with an unbelieving fury. Small bursts of dark fire shot across the gap between her and Justin.
 “I’m tired of the lies,” the voice growled once more. “I’m tired of the world. I’m tired of the pain…” The wall of fire around them rose violently.
“Justin…” Rachel advanced towards him cautiously.
“STAY BACK!!!” the second voice screeched. She failed to heed his warning.
“I don’t want you to feel pain anymore either…” She ran at him quickly and wrapped her arms around him in a tight embrace. “Especially not because of me.”
“Please, forgive me. I never wanted any of this…” Tears flowed from the blue depths of her eyes as the flames around them extinguished rapidly, turning into steam and escaping to the air.
“Don’t cry…Please…” he lifted her face to stare into his dark brown eyes. “None of this is your fault.” The steam wrapped around them both, as they savored the warmth of each other’s embrace.
* * * * * *
            “The exit’s right ahead, right?” Justin asked the doctor as all three of them dashed down another dim hallway.
            “It should be, yes,” Friedrick responded.
            “Why haven’t they come after us yet?” Rachel chimed in breathlessly.
            “I’m not positive, mein liebe. However, I do not think we should worry so much about such good fortune.”
            “Right,” Justin agreed.
* * * * * *
            “Are we just going to let them go like that??” asked John in panicked tone. He, Edward, and half a dozen soldiers stood in the complex’s surveillance room. “I’m going after them!”
            “Relax, colonel,” stated Edward coolly. “There’s a reason we’re letting them go.”
            “What reason could there possibly be?” John scoffed.
            “Regardless of whether the girl knows the Tree’s location or not, eventually she will lead us to its location.”
            “Until then? What?? Are we supposed to let a demon, scientist, and demi-god go free without any resistance?? Together, they have the destructive power of the entire U.S. army. They could level an entire city without thinking, and we’re supposed to let them run free?? You’re insane!
            “…Watch your place, John…” Edward glared at his son.
            “I apologize…” John sighed, realizing the consequences of disobedience.
            “We will wait, that is final,” the brigadier general turned and left, leaving no room for argument. John sighed deeply in uncertainty.
            What happens if such a thought destroys the country we’re trying to protect?

Bonsoir tout le monde.

These past few weeks I've been sitting on a large mound of inspiration. This mainly being due to...well, the two poems I've posted highlights briefly on it. This inspiration has lead me to dream of some new storylines (literally), and not only the next arc of Ankoku no Ki but at least half of my other current work, Shattered Lies.

Bluntly stated, a feeling of infatuation can be a bigger gift than depression on occasion.

What does this mean for you, the reader?
It means a lot of things:
1. The continuation of Ankoku no Ki
2. New information of my book (as I get closer to the midpoint)
3. A sh** load of new poetry
4. Oh, and I'll probably less cranky with my posts.

Next week will bring the current arc of Ankoku no Ki to a close.
The week after is my birthday, so I will be exchanging my weekly storyline with a mystery post.
The week after will begin the new arc (come back later for details).

Well, that's about it for my news segment. Now it's time to let life come at me and love to break me. Everything will be alright on the end. I just have to believe.

Fate drives me.


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