|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......
|Chapter 18: Chapter 6 ~ Ebonyshade~|
His arms ached from the weight of his body pulling downward, the bindings around his wrists taunt and cutting into his flesh causing an trickle of blood to ooz down his forearm. Eyelids heavy as consciousness just started to uncloud his mind, the pain of his beaten body starting to scream out, he forced his feet downward and groaned as the cold of the stone floor beneath the soles of his feet provided much needed relief from the pressure on his arms.
The area around him was quiet except for sound of splashing water from broken pipes somewhere that echoed hollowly as if from inside a cavern. Forcing his eyes open, he realized that his base had been attacked, mangled metal and dead bodies of crew lay strewn around like lego toys forgotten by a destructive toddler. The shambles that lay before him making him scream out in anger and pain, fighting against the leather strappings that kept him prisoner.
Dressed in total black leather, fitted like skin to her feminine form, Zelac walked around him, startling him with her presence. "Soooooo........" she purred..."you have decided to awake. I had hoped so before I had to depart but the guards were a bit rougher on you then I had hoped and I wasn't sure how strong your will to live might be."
Zelac took a step closer, her long painted nails stroking his bare chest down its length, pausing ever so slightly as they caused an intake of his breath. Leaning near, the warmth of her breath caressing his cheek, she whispered in his ear, "Where's the key, Medyll?? Come on love, don't make me force you to tell me....." her voice satiny smooth as her hands wandered across his body. She laughed slightly as she could feel his body react to her even against his will, but she buried her nails into one of his open wounds causing a scream of pain from him before she continued. "Your choice, Medyll.....pain or pleasure but either way I WILL learn who is the holder of the key!!"