|Chapter 23: Chapter 11 ~Age of Ebonyshade~|
~AGE OF EBONYSHADE~THE FINAL CHAPTER
Raindrops pattered against the pavement, making the alleyway almost echo in their constant rhythm, the alley's surface, though still littered with trash and debris, glistened from the wetness. I turned my head and glanced behind me for the second time, pausing in my stride, and this time I was sure I heard it, a second set of footsteps matching mine yet a distance back. The steps paused also yet my eyes could not make any form, the shadows and rain distorting and limiting any clear vision.
I pulled my blade slowly from the strap around my thigh and kept it carefully concealed, my fingers gripping the hilt tightly as my heart's pulsing beat filled my ears.
"Lady Churel....." the voice drawled behind me, startling me and I whipped around only to have his fingers grip my throat with one hand while his other grabbed my wrist holding the blade, forcing me back against the brick wall, his face leering as he loomed near enough I could smell the garlic on his breath. "........or shall I call you PhirePhly?"
"I....*gasping softly*....don't understand what you mean?"
"Don't play coy. We know he implanted a chip enabling memory recall and you now know your past and what you were in the previous lives. How do you think we located you?" He then chuckled at the wide-eyed stare his last comment brought to my face and I struggled against his grip. My weapon thrust forward only to be almost released from my grip as he wrenched my wrist and then slammed it against the brick wall above my head. His eyes blazing, "After the loss of the key, do you really think you are of any consequence to him?"
He didn't wait for an answer but instead twisted my wrist until the blade clattered to the pavement, my breath heaving within my chest, my lungs burning from the lack of fresh air as his hand continued to hold me fast around the throat. My mind screamed, yet I could sense the foreboding of doom.
"Bring her, Draco" the second man, the owner of the footsteps, stepped into view beneath the fragmented light of the shadowed alley, his order stern, barely looked in my direction as he moved on down the alley a bit further and then disappeared into an alcove doorway.
"Not much value without your protector are you. No key..........no protector..........no value...........and no time left." Yanking me with him, the massive man stilled my attempts to free myself with little difficulty as I gasped the fresh air into my lungs and stumbled along through the doorway.
The following day the maid entered the hotel room, finding the bed unslept in, the monitor flashing the day's news............
|Apr 12, 2008 - 7:07pm|
Churel was killed in ship to ship combat with Agent 47 today. The captain apparently forgot to equip the ship with an escape pod.
|Chapter 22: Chapter 10 ~Ebonyshade~|
He strummed his fingers impatiently upon the table as he sat in a rear booth in the tavern, his eyes scanning the crowd that frequented Sol's night spot. There was no more discreet place to meet for the exchange of information then here for no one paid attention to the clientel unless a fight broke out which the bouncers quickly put a deathly end to.
Nemo stroked his beard, his eyes narrowing as he thought about his buyer. There was always a buyer, someone that would pay good money for the secrets that he gathered or if he was even luckier, the money he would receive to convienently forget what he knew. This time the buyer took the bait quickly and as normal, he asked little questions as to the reasons or the consequences his information might cause. He took delight when his underground message had been instantly acknowledged and the buyer agreed to meet.
|NEMO 04/08/2008 20:19 |
Churel has a Fun head-bash sector if anyone is interested in a challenge...
Draining the last of his whiskey from the glass, he started to rise, thinking that the buyer had changed his mind, when he felt a large powerful hand clamp down on his shoulder, stilling his action and he resumed his seat as another slipped into the booth beside him.
The air raid came in unexpectedly, the alarms sounding and the citizens of the colony running for cover within the deep tunnels of the building complex. I threw on my flightsuit and as I exited my chambers, three guards met me, filling me in on the details. My eyes grew wide in shock when the details of the first colony's destruction was disclosed.
"M'lady, we are not equipped to handle this onslaught of battle. I fear that it would be better if you boarded a ship and allowed a few trusted officers to escort you to a safer zone. If we are lucky, our borders will hold and we will be able to rebuild. But to lose our leader would cause all to lose faith."
My eyes met my most trusted officer's and I could tell he would not be accepting anything but my agreement in the matter. Sadly I nodded and we quickly moved toward the deck. The small razorback, though new and of fine workmanship, was still no match to a warship. I boarded quietly, giving a few last instructions just as the door squeezed shut, blocking any further view of my home. Taking a seat and clipping the flight harness into place, my mind raced as to why such an attack would be happening. This empire was a peaceful one, the citizen's finding solitude in their quiet existence.
The ship burst forth from the atmosphere only to instantly shutter, the impact staling the engines and screams of pain could be heard from the cockpit. I knew.........I didn't have to be told.......death was soon to come to all. Flipping the strappings from myself, I raced up the aisle and opened the door securing the cockpit only to be met by flames and a rush of air. My eyes, dazed and full of hatred, gazed out at the huge warship that loomed within view. Reaching my hand forward to Lt Peir only to have his head fell back limply, eyes wide in the stare of death, I pulled it back, crimson warmth dripping from my fingertips. I knew the drill and I quickly stepped into the escape pod and pushed the button. A swoosh sending me cloaked and out of range to safety even if for only a brief reprieve.
|Apr 9, 2008 - 9:35am|
L'ombre attacked 1 planet owned by Churel and defeated the planetary defense forces!
L'ombre attacked 8 planets owned by Churel and defeated the planetary defense forces!
L'ombre attacked 2 planets owned by Churel and defeated the planetary defense forces!
L'ombre attacked 12 planets owned by Churel and defeated the planetary defense forces!
L'ombre attacked 7 planets owned by Churel and defeated the planetary defense forces!
My mind raced as to why..........why would this massacre happen? But my thoughts were quickly interrupted when I realized that my pod had faltered and I was floating in the darkness of real space with no engines.
"Think fast! If I am caught here all will be lost" muttering outloud to myself as I grabbed the manual controls of the small pioneer ship. The credits of the empire were accessible via the intergalatic bank so I quickly poked in the code to retrieve what was needed to secure repairs and with a bit of luck, try to salvage at least my primary ship back at the colony.
The light on the panel blinked green, 'Funds Secured....Transferring Now...' was flashing and a sigh of relief escaped me, my face stern and emotionless, as I pushed the control lever forward and moved as quietly as possible to the next port and then next, keeping a watchful eye on the space around the exterior, awaiting a dark shadow of doom to be looming near at any moment.
The plumes of destruction filled the air. The landscape changed and I realized I was looking at now empty space where there used to be productivity. The small pioneer moved slowly, the drawl of the engine drowning out the sounds of my outcries of sadness. Pushing the data panel, it showed that the cargo was stored on planet 25, still safe even if any damage was unknown. The map of the region displaying on the panel and I again moved as quietly as possible through the corridors of linking space.
"There! The planet is still intact!!" my words echoing hollowly inside the small cabin. Finding the landing field, the pio shuttered to a halt, the hatch flipping open and I jumped quickly from it's safety and ran toward the cargo ship. It was the sudden impact of my body meeting the hard cold surface of the ground that changed my focus, my hands and knees screaming out pain as I looked around to see what had caused my fall. His hands reached out, grabbing at me, and my legs kicked viciously against his grasps. The enemy officer was wounded but still had strength as his fingers scrapped against my skin, ripping my flightsuit as I tore myself from his grip. Scrambling, my feet desperately trying to regain their footing, I pulled the blade from my belt and with a vicious sweep, his scream was heard as it made a deep severing of his arm, his fingers growing limp, releasing their hold upon me.
Running, the distance to the cargo vaporized and as I reached the ship, it did not take long for me to board the familiar mass of steel and secure myself in the captain's chair. The hum of her engines was a welcome relief as she burst forth from the landing deck. My fingers absently reached for the gold chain that held the key the agent had given me so many moons ago, only to come up empty. Panic caused my fingers to claw at my neck, now bare, my eyes staring out the ships window at the bodies that lay on the deck as it faded in the distance. The key......now lost......maybe forever. The power that it held may never be known but for now survival could be the only thought.
Arriving safely in Sol, I secured a parking bay for the cargo and found a quiet hotel room in a secluded area. As I pulled up the galaxy news I collapsed in the leather chair, stunned. The rest of the empire destroyed. I burst into tears, the faces of my many friends and neighbors flashing across my memory, and I sat silently as the stream of hot salty tears clouded my eyes and found their path down my cheeks to drip off into nothingness.
|Apr 10, 2008 - 5:37am|
Daerdnav attacked 20 planets owned by Churel and defeated the planetary defense forces!
|Chapter 21: Chapter 9 ~Ebonyshade~|
Lt. Medyll growled silently, the hatred taking control of his body as he stood looking down at the blankly staring eyes of Zelac as her still body lay at his feet, a crimson puddle forming beneath her.
"A waste of beautiful womanly lifeform." his statement flat as he turned to his comrade.
Duke shook his head with an almost sinister smile lighting his face, "Seemed a shame to interrupt when you seemed to be enjoying her attentions." But he quickly cut off his teasing when he saw the dark frown cross the face of his commander.
"Next time we are in Sol, I think I shall pick your wench for you." Medyll could not help but chuckle at the physical gulp the comment created before he slapped Duke on the shoulder. "But for now, let's find a ship that we can repair quickly, gather what supplies can be salvaged and get out of here before someone comes looking for her."
The men grabbed loose weapons, now useless to the previous bearers and took off in a sprint through the corridor toward the fight decks. As Duke fumbled with the landing gear of one ship, it's exterior battered and charred but seemingly sound, working quickly to get it jacked up to make the needed repairs, Medyll flipped buttons of the transmitter. The squall and static making him want to shove his fist through the dash but keeping his composure he pulled the cover off the panel and nibbly his fingers readjusted the wiring.
"The boss ain't gonna like hearin' the Coalition is aware of the key and looking for that girl."
Medyll's hand paused as he heard Duke's comment, knowing too well the danger this could create for him and his team, aware that his mission would be to locate the girl again and assure her safety. He had been forbidden to make direct contact or let her know his presence, he was only to keep her safe until she discovered the power of the key. But if the Coalition was now aware that she held it, that the Prophecy was in motion, that the keeper of the key was actively building an empire in the universe, they would do whatever necessary to stop her. Their agents being sly and sneaky, not above stealing confidential data to further their cause. The girls life and safety is now at risk and he must hurry to let his Commander know as quickly as possible.
In frustration, his fist banged the panel back into place and the transmitter stuttered and then a clear ban of airwaves could be heard. Sighing with relief, Medyll leaned out of the cockpit and smiled down at Duke.
"Get this bucket of bolts flight worthy and then we are out of here!! Transmitter is now online and I will send our location to headquarters."
|Chapter 20: Chapter 8 ~Age of Ebonyshade~|
The screams of the vulnerable, weaker masses of colonies filled the transmissions, cries of death and pain being heard across the airwaves on a daily basis now. It had become such a daily occurance that I had taken to keeping the volumn of the monitors turned off most of my day, my sense of sanity not withstanding the agonizing cries for help and salvation. A darkness had blanketed the universe. No one was safe, no one ventured out at night, or frequented the trading posts for long. Rumor said that many had felt the dark shadow creep across the landscape around them right before death struck swiftly.
Tyrany and oppression ruled this age, the 'horses from hell' riding rampant upon the universe. Sadly I almost wished I had not survived my life-pod and found this age.
Shuffling through the days reports from within the realm, again my eyes welled with tears as I see another day full of slaughter reports. Will the end to this madness ever find us....give us relief?
My head shakes sadly as I toss the reports aside, the breeze from the window catching them and they flutter across the floor of my chambers.
2 12,261,673 The First Horseman ** Riders of the Apocalypse Evil
17 2,116,248 Lithinar ** The Great Empire Good
Apr 6, 2008 - 11:04am
The First Horseman attacked 1 planet owned by Lithinar and defeated the planetary defense forces!
Apr 6, 2008 - 11:56am
The First Horseman attacked 7 planets owned by Lithinar and defeated the planetary defense forces!
The transmission boomed across the room and I sat and stared, a growing determination finding seed within me.
| The First Horseman 04/06/2008 14:48 |
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
|Chapter 19: Chapter 7 ~Ebonyshade~|
The storm rumbled on the horizon and I paused hesitantly to listen, assuring myself it was nature and not battle that caused the low-rolling growl. As a streak of lightning bolted toward the ground in the distance, a sigh of relief escaped me. Though the storm was going to cause a further delay in the development of this new region, it was still a welcome relief to know that the raging wars of the universe had not traveled this direction yet.
Gathering up my equipment and waving to the crew that was working on down the line, I tossed my gear into my backpack and threw it over my shoulder, the weight abrupt but I quickly adjusted my balance to compensate and started the trek toward the ship. As I walked along deep in thought, the news of the last few days from the outer realms of the universe filled my mind. Battle after battle had been posted, some almost blatant assaults against the well-being and peace of many colonies. It was becoming clear that the Coalition of the Chosen, as they were being called by our Alliance, was not only becoming stronger but their power was now being used not only to protect their empires but had developed a smack of evil to it as they seemed to send more and more ships further out into the arms of the realm and attacking smaller and more lesser-developed clusters. Many a captain had awakened to the scream of the air-assault alarms because they were under attack. Some perished while others found the place they called home nothing more then shambles of dead bodies and twisted metal, columns of smoke filling the atmosphere and clouding the air.
Word had been sent by courier from the Agent that his second in command, a Lt Medyll had barely escaped with his life. The report did not disclose all the details but I could read into the coded message that he had undergone not only physical loss of his base but some personal invasions that had left him requiring some mental and physical attentions by physicians. The Agent never signed his name but I knew who these delivered messages were from, his face above me as he had gripped the chain holding the key burned forever into my memory, the scrawling handwriting now having become familiar.
At first I had fought and resisted the idea of his control over me. Almost like a Wizard behind a curtain, he seemed able to pull the levers and push the buttons of my life but as time had passed, I found that his control almost became appealing. The key dangled upon my chest. Still I was unsure of it's power or what it protected but for now I was content to protect it, shield it from intruders, protect it with my life it need be. He had been correct in his assessment of who I was and where I needed to go in this new age. When the time comes to use the key, I will know......