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Welcome to the deep, dark & crazy world that is my imagination
The Gathering - Chapter One 
27th-Feb-2009 11:50 pm
Grave Lying
Title: The Gathering
Fandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?: Non Fandom (ie. Original bro!)
Chapter Number: One
Word Count: 3,281 Words
Rating: M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)
Summary: In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.
Author's Notes: This is WIP of my own doing which has like a zillion characters being introduced (and I'm still going) so you might need to hang on a bit for me to get into the meat of that summary *Crosses fingers she'll still be going with that*


Chapter One


“Larkin! Larkin.”

Danny drowsily lifted his head from his arms, his palms sticking to the pages of the book beneath him with the generated heat cast out by internal heaters that had made the room feel more like an enclosed sauna than a large library with a remarkably wide open floor plan. Raising his hands he watched as the paper slowly peeled away, mindful of the fact it was a very old book with some very important text in it.

“This isn’t a refuge for the weary. If you want to sleep I suggest you go back to your bunk.”

Danny’s eyes met the librarian’s with an obstinate glare. She didn’t hang around for a response from him, obviously confidant that he would do what she said. Daniel Larkin, however, was not someone who automatically acted upon order, though he had been trained his whole life to do just that. Without moving he continued to watch the older woman walk away, the intensity of his gaze upon her back enough to burn holes in her if he had contained the power.

A light brushing against his ear turned his attention to the side as Mercy swept a damp strand of hair from his face. She peered over his shoulder, her dark hair swinging forward as she tried to determine what he had been reading by the scrawl between his hands.

“I’d like to think that was Raglossian, but then I would be guessing,” she said.

“It’s Plateau.”

“Uh huh.” Her side of sarcasm took on a tone of pity as she inspected his turned face. Eyes glazed over and face pale white, flushed only in parts where his arms had firmly pressed, her fiancé did not look at his best. “What’s the matter? You don’t look well.”

“My head is pounding, I can’t sleep because everyone else seems to think I can live without it… oh, and that thing in my back is probably infected.”

There was no hiding the bitterness and aggravation in his tone. Mercy arced her hand from his shoulder down the muscles of his back, light fingers playing over his thin shirt as they drifted down to his side. He flinched, his right hand moving with lightning speed to grasp the wrist of her left hand still resting on the table. She removed her hand from his back in reaction to the painful crushing sensation of his tightened grip held fast and pressured to the bone.

“Sorry,” he apologized, letting go of her. “Reflex.”

“Maybe you should get it looked at.”

“Are you kidding? You know anything they do to me in there will kill me ten times more than this. I’ll put up with it, thanks.”

Her face a mask of sympathy, Mercy moved around the table and took a seat across from him. For the length of their relationship and beyond Danny had suffered at the hands of the Phoenix medics whose sole concerns were to make the witches faster, stronger and better than any other assassins in the business. They ran like a government establishment with military precision, housed in bunkers within one large complex at the edge of town. Their entire lives were based on survival – a constant regime of work with little to no time for family. It was practically unheard of. And for those children that did happen to come along - they were instantly thrown into the business as soon as they came of age. Very little of them knew what real emotion was for they had become numb over time to the pain and suffering they both caused and endured.

Placing her elbows on the table, she wrapped her fingers around her hand and leant her chin against the pinnacle. “We’ve got another case tonight.”

His eyes met hers. “Who’s the target?”

“Marcus Ravelle. He’s wrapped up in some shady Underworld dealings.”

“So I’ve got a few hours to prepare.”

“Or relax.”

Danny grimaced, his gaze lowering to the spot where he had been sleeping only moments earlier. Mercy reached for the book and pulled it back towards her, spinning it around so she could see what was on the page. The leaves were worn and old, the surface distinctly rougher than what could be found in most modern publications. It was free of marks and illustrations and, despite the fancy calligraphic handwriting, appeared rather plain and boring to the eye.

“This doesn’t look like research,” she observed.

“It’s a prophecy.”

She paused, looking to him inquisitively. “Since when were you into prophecies?”

“It’s just something Allara said,” Danny replied off-handedly. Mercy straightened, instantly recognizing the name from their last job. She found it odd that he would allow himself to be plagued by a small and random comment for so long. Quite often Danny would just let it roll from his shoulders and breeze into the next situation. He was not the kind of person who could be weighted down by a few words.

“The Sun Child?” she asked.

“The golden-haired child,” Danny corrected. “I think he or she already exists.”

“Now? In this time?”

“How else do you explain this? Or this?” he said, pointing at the different paragraphs on the page.

“Excessive rain. Dead fish?” she read. “You didn’t consider global warming? Pollution?”

“Does that explain this?” He flicked the page back one step as Mercy shifted back her hands. Her breath seemed to catch in her throat as she saw the grotesque illustrations. Dismembered bodies piled high with a group of Pullai demons surrounding them... she knew they had been growing in power and prominence recently. A dragon declaring his supremacy on the freeway – that she had heard about many years ago. And a chest or some kind of small box which by all indications of the drawing was slightly open with rays of light generating from within.

“What is this?”

“Signs,” he explained. “Images of what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen.”

“It’s like magic gone wild,” she said, moving the page back and forth as if the image would change or disappear.

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

“We can’t stop an all-powerful being.”

“We can if we get to the source.”

“The child? Or the box?” Mercy closed the volume before her, the reality of the suggestion echoing in the slap of the pages. Danny’s unabashed confidence in his own ability seemingly blinded him from any rational sense. “You’re suggesting thievery and murder. I won’t kill any more children.”

Reaching over, he took her by the hand, lowering his voice as he leaned towards her. “You won’t have to.”

She yanked her hand from his grip. “And neither will you. Now stop deluding yourself with visions of grandeur. We have real paid work to do.”

* * *


“Turn and turn the air they glide, pass each other side by side, light as feathers do not slip, graze upon each fingertip.”

“I hate when you do that.”

Christian looked past the glass balls spinning in his hand to the blonde boy sitting in the chair across from him. “What?”

“Use magic like that,” Justin said, snapping his fingers. “You make it look easy.”

“Says the guy who can turn on anyone’s powers at the drop of a hat.”

“That’s different. I don’t apply any will for that. It just happens. And it’s fucking annoying,” Justin said. Christian raised a brow. “Okay… a little annoying. With an ultra thick dressing of problematic layered over the top.”

“You can always go back to your parents and ask them to rebind your powers,” Christian said, his attention returning to the balls in his hand as they circled over his fingers.

“I lose one, I lose them all.” Justin shrugged. “What kind of sidekick would I be if I were completely powerless?”

“A dead one?” Christian offered.

“Dude!”

Smiling, Christian opened his palm, allowing the balls to stop their momentum and fall flat into his hand. Closing his fist around the edges, he lifted himself from the lounge and crossed the room to place them back into the circular container that sat on the antique dresser within the attic. The room itself was filled with a wonderful array of trinkets and treasures which had been stored up there through the last four or five generations of his family. A fine layer of dust was just starting to reestablish its presence over everything again, no doubt because his mother was no longer around to keep it clean. He and his brother had spent many of their childhood days playing on the floor while their mother obsessively cleaned everything within the room. What had once been old became new again in her presence – often she would say it brought her closer to those who were gone. Christian did not share the same sentiments, though he often longed to see his mother’s face after losing her to death eight years earlier. Justin could still remember that fateful day and the way it had shattered the magical world. His father had been not only a financial adviser to Charlotte Colliver, but great friends with her as well. No doubt Justin and Christian would not have known one another if it wasn’t for them.

“Speaking of sidekickery, I think I’m gonna need your help again tonight.”

“Tonight? Dude, you know the street skate finals are on at eight,” Justin said.

“We’ll be done by then.”

Justin shifted forward in his seat. “Done what?”

“Destroying another bad guy.”

“Demon?”

“Warlock.” Justin frowned. There was just a little too much enthusiasm on Christian’s face; a little too much determination in his tone. “David’s been paying visits to another Underworld figure. This one, if he helps him, it’ll be the end of it all.”

“Can you be any more dramatic?”

“I’m serious.” Dark brows drew in. “He knows how to make alterations within sound frequencies.”

“Cool.” Justin smiled, dropping back into the chair. The gleam in his green eyes and the awe in his tone revealed he was more impressed than frightened by this revelation. “Do you think he works as an audio-tech on the side? Last I heard being a warlock doesn’t pay much.”

Christian shook his head, a sigh emanating from his throat. “You don’t think David’s capable of overthrowing the world, do you?”

“Capable, yeah. Likely to, not really,” Justin mused. “I know he’s got an endless amount of powers but, dude, he’s your brother. He’s only as temperamental as you are jealous.”

“Because I have less powers, is that it? Because I wasn’t born some superior god-like figure?”

“See what I mean?”

“You don’t know what it’s like to live with him.”

The door slammed downstairs and Justin jumped in his chair, startled by the noise. Arms folded, Christian looked towards the attic door. The echo of heavy footsteps thudded against the stairs, increasing in volume as each footfall came closer to the door.

“Uh, dude, are we meant to be messing around up here?” Justin asked. “Doesn’t he get kinda territorial with the attic?”

“Yeah.”

Justin abruptly pushed himself out of the chair, becoming a little more concerned by the second about what could potentially happen if they were discovered in David’s domain. “So maybe we shouldn’t be around for him to find us here.”

“Let him.”

“You know, you can be as stubborn as you want, but we’re not going to be able to kick warlock ass if we hang around.”

Christian’s gaze shifted from the door to Justin. Despite the insistence that radiated from his best friend, it was obvious that Justin was making a great deal of sense. They couldn’t carry out their plan, could not even attempt to halt a dealing that would corrupt the greater good, if they stood around waiting for his older brother to arrive and give them a hiding – of both the verbal and physical kind.

Crossing quickly to the door, Christian fastened his hand around the knob and turned it. It twisted too easily and squealed in protest beneath his hold. Pulling once, he found that the door would not open. Bracing his left hand against the frame, he pulled with more force, but only succeeded in causing great pain to the tensed muscles in his arm as his palm slipped away.

“It won’t budge,” he said.

Justin looked back around the room, hoping an alternate escape route would reveal itself. His gaze fell upon the giant bay window that covered half the length of one of the attic walls, the only part of the room that allowed a gloriously large stream of light to filter in. There were, of course, a table and a few boxes in the way, but the area before the window was a whole lot less crowded than the rest of the room. And right now felt like the only way out.

“I’m not diving through the window,” Justin said, recalling every movie and tv show he’d ever seen.

“Good. Dad would have my ass if we broke it,” Christian said. “Come here.”

“What?”

Christian held his hand out and waved it forcefully back towards him, a certain amount of urgency in the gesture. Looking around the room once more and still seeing no way out, Justin headed towards his friend. As soon as he was within reach, Christian grabbed his arm and pulled him the rest of the way towards him.

“Be thankful I’m good at what I can do,” Christian said.

A brilliant white and gold light emanated from his chest, growing larger as it enveloped the two young men. With a final burst that lit up the entire room, the light receded into nothing, leaving the room free of any human life. The door moved once, twice, and with a final burst of strength opened. Standing in the doorway, golden ringlets cascading down his shoulders, David’s gaze slowly swept the room. He took one step into the room, then another, his eyes fixing on various clusters of boxes & furniture in the room where potential threats could be hiding. Pausing by the lounge that had occupied his brother only mere minutes earlier he glanced down at the covering. The sheet draped over it had bunched a little, but he couldn’t be sure if it had been like that earlier in the morning. Lifting his gaze he spied the circular container on the dresser, the lid slightly askew. That, he knew, should have been closed.

“Christian!” he bellowed.

* * *


“And did you see Mr Patterson was totally making doey eyes at Sharon?” Rain said, pulling her jacket back on and flicking her long, dark hair out from under the collar. “I felt like telling him to put it back in his pants. Seriously, what would his wife think? He’s got to be at least twenty years older than us. Creep.”

A light began to shine in the corner of the bedroom, at first unnoticeable due to the mid-afternoon light drifting through the nearby window, but eventually the spec grew in size, inflating until it was big enough to form the outlines of two young men. As the flare dimmed the shadows of light became two actual figures. Feeling awkward, Justin took a step back to the wall, looking every which way until his gaze fastened to the floor.

“What the hell? Is every guy in this town creepy?” Rain exclaimed at their sudden appearance. “You couldn’t, like, knock? Just appearing in a girl’s bedroom is not on. We could have been… half-naked or something!”

Christian cocked an eyebrow, looking to Justin and then back to Rain as she peered closer at him, her eyes scanning his face as if she were still trying to determine whether he was an apparition or a real living breathing human. It wasn’t an easy task for her – what she held in abundance of inspirited personality, she lacked in stature and, despite wearing heels that almost lifted her onto her toes, she was still remarkably shorter than Christian.

Lifting his gaze, Justin looked towards the doorway as he heard David hollering Christian’s name. Leaning against the frame, her head raised towards the stairs, stood the current resident of the room. Knowing the action had moved from outside her room to inside it, Penny turned away from the door and looked over to her cousin. Catching her eyes for only an instant, Justin smiled shyly before dropping his gaze again.

“I hope you’re not planning to fight him in here, otherwise you can clean up and pay for the damages,” she said.

“Don’t worry, Pen,” Christian said, ignoring Rain and circling the bed. “I was only looking for an escape route.”

Slipping by her, he stuck his head out the door, glancing up the stairs to see if his older brother was descending them yet. Nobody was on the stairs. Nobody was in the hall. Penny turned her head towards him.

“And you picked my room because...?”

“It was the one place I knew he wouldn’t be.”

“As opposed to… five blocks from the house?” she suggested.

“Don’t worry,” Christian responded, his eyes darkening as he retreated back into the room. “We’re leaving soon.”

Justin looked up, wanting to say something but not quite sure what. He knew he and Christian had somewhere to be, but he didn’t want to leave the girls in the house with an extremely powerful witch on the warpath. Fortunately, Rain held her hands up and made her voice known.

“Do you mind if I leave first? I don’t want to be in the middle of any altercation you boys want to have.”

Christian waved a hand towards the door. “Go ahead.”

Looking up at him as she passed, she gently touched Penny’s arm as she exited through the doorway. “I’ll see you in class.”

Spying a black boot dropping onto the stairs, Christian dashed back into the room and across to Justin, grabbing him before he had a chance to say anything and exiting the room the same way they had exited the attic only moments earlier. Only partially due to fear, the hurried action was in larger part due to time constraints. David had the exact same teleportation ability, and any valuable seconds they could gain on him before he met up with the warlock would be the only chance they had to prevent the meeting once and for all.

“Rain,” David said, his tone patronizing as he stepped into her path in the hallway. “What are you doing here?”

“Leaving,” she said with a grim smile, trying to get past him. He stepped into her path once again. He was quite large in comparison to her diminutive size, and could probably pick her up with one hand without problem. She stopped, lifting her brows as she glared up at him. “Can I go?”

“Who else is here?”

“Penny. In her room. Where we’ve been all afternoon.” She paused. He still wasn’t moving. “Discussing girly things.”

“Far be it from me to deny a vixen’s right of passage,” he said, stepping aside. “I wasn’t looking to intrude.”

“Thanks.” Although she had safely made it past him, there was something that still caused her back to crawl as she continued down the hallway. He turned to look over his shoulder at her.

“If you see my brother, let me know,” he said. “And say hi to your parents for me.”

Rain didn’t answer him, did not even look back, just continued down the hall and the steps to the ground floor. She was determined to exit through the front door without being stopped again, more concerned about her own safety than that of the three people upstairs.

Comments 
27th-Feb-2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
This is quite interesting and you've definitely caught my attention. I'll make sure to keep track of it. Once I have a chance I'll read the rest of what you have. Can't wait for the rest.
7th-Mar-2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Sorry about the delay, I've been caught up massively with my new job.

Glad you enjoyed reading this, I didn't actually expect anyone to be interested :$ Thanks for your comment!
7th-Mar-2009 01:46 am (UTC)
Oh you're very welcome! And congrats on the new job, that's awesome.

I'm planning on reading a bit more this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to. :)
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