Warning: PG-16 descriptive gore/violence and emotional roller coaster. You might notice a lack of um…proper screenshots near the middle. This was a conscious choice. I opted to concentrate more on the writing part.
“If you don’t want to go it’s okay.” Kyxa said, noticing my nervousness. I’d cast the spell and given the sniper’s location to Aliska and the others, and I’d just cast the spell again for Benjamin. Everyone had seen the scene through the crystal. Benjamin had been tied up on the ground with a note tapped to his forehead.
Weapon + James for the boy
The message couldn’t be more clear, yet Kyxa’s only reaction had been: Ah, I recognize the building he’s near. Good, it’s not far
Right from the get go it was pretty clear Kyxa had no intention whatsoever of forcing the two wounded to come along for the ride. The note seemed more like a joke than a proposition for a proper exchange anywho.
“No, I’m fine.” I lied hastily. I was getting more frightened by the second, but I wanted to do this. I want to help. I don’t want to be scared.
“You know…your father has two beads in his bag. Like the bead he gave you when you were a toddler. If you want I can give you one.” Kyxa suggested.
I almost broke down saying ‘yes please’ at the suggestion. But I bit my tongue, and took a few seconds to think it through. To remind myself of the few moments I’d had to wonder if I preferred having that protection or not.
“No. Ever since I lost the original bead I’ve…had a sort of sixth sense? And it’s proven itself to be really useful. I don’t think losing it again would be the best thing to do.” I said, carefully choosing my words. Everything else was telling me to take it. Who cared about a sixth sense when you were exposed to being controlled?
“A sixth sense huh?” Kyxa asked with a curious smile.
“Yeah, it’s a little random, but I get these impressions. Especially when it concerns people around me being in danger.” I replied, kind of happy to finally get the chance to talk about it with someone.
“Ooh, so it’s sort of a premonitory thing?” Kyxa asked.
“I guess? Heh.” I chuckled.
“So then what’s your sixth sense telling you about the mission at hand?” Kyxa asked, her green eyes twinkling. Just talking normally with her was already easing my nervousness.
“I…I’ve got a bad feeling…but not necessarily about the mission. I hope not. But I have the horrible feeling that by the time that sun sets,” I said, gesturing at the sun in the sky. “Someone will have died.”
“A lot of people die in a day.” Kyxa said, eyeing me a little unhappily.
“This time it’d be someone I know.” I said.
“Well I hope your feeling is only due to nervousness. About that, and I’ll tell it to Annaliese as well once she joins us, I have a plan to make sure you two stay as far away as possible from Velor and Assaria.” Kyxa said.
“Be fine. I’ll be fine, because you’ll both be helping me out with your spells right? Our goal isn’t to fight them, only to get Benjamin out of there. But for that, we’ll inevitably have to confront them. It’ll be up to you and Annaliese to distract them with your spells while I make my way in. I could take on one, but I’m not sure about both. I’ve never fought against Assaria with a sword, so I don’t know her capacities on that level. Velor, however, I’ve beaten before, when I was pregnant on top of that. So if you could concentrate your spells on Assaria, I’ll take care of the rest.” Kyxa explained, a light smile on her face. She made it seem like it wasn’t such a big deal anymore.
“Okay, I’m sure we can do that.” I nodded.
“You’re a good kid Xavier.” She said with a smile.
“Not really that much of a kid anymore.” I said with a small chuckle.
“Sometimes I really think some of those words coming out of your mouth come from your dad.” Kyxa said with a grin. I mirrored it, but soon it faded from my face.
“Do you think he’ll make it out alive?” I hesitantly asked.
“Of course. Especially now that Aliska is off to get the sniper. We’ll get the antidote in no time.” Kyxa reassured.
James might not be the one to die today. An ironic thought unexpectedly wormed itself into my mind.
“He’s a murderer isn’t he?” I asked, my eyes drifting to the bushes on the side of the house. “In the end, the cold hard truth is that he’s killed, and a lot of people.”
“Yes.” She replied with barely any hesitation.
“Shouldn’t you normally wish the same fate on a murderer?” I asked. James had killed so many…and here I was hoping he was going to live. Wasn’t there something wrong in this?
“Everyone makes mistakes. Some more than others, but…I believe that the present is more important than the past. But then again, the past has a huge impact on the present.” Kyxa said.
“Once a killer, always a killer.”
“Yes, but everyone has their own reasons. Their own justifications. It’s up to you to decide whether you agree with them or not.” She said.
“Clearly you’ve come to agree with his.” I said, a little more harshly than I intended.
“Ah ha, not necessarily. I deal with them…mostly because I’ve made my own mistakes.” She admitted.
“Have you killed?” I asked, really hoping I wasn’t asking something inappropriate. Well gee, I probably am. But is it that weird of a question? Considering she’s obviously dating my dad even though he’s killed so many.
“Keep it a secret?” She asked, eyeing me in an amused way. I didn’t respond. “Yes I have.”
Shouldn’t come as a surprise. She’s got to use that sword for something…but she doesn’t seem like the type who would kill. “Was it self defense?” I ended up asking.
“No.” She said, shaking her head.
“Do you regret it?”
“It’s an odd mixture of regretting it and accepting it. Have you killed?” She asked with a teasing grin.
“What!? No!” I spluttered. Sure the thought crossed my mind a few times, but I haven’t! And I sure hope I never do.
“But you’ve seen a couple of deaths haven’t you?” She asked, tilting her head a bit.
“Is it that obvious?”
“A little, just a bit.”
“I think I can easily say the same for you. Does it get easier?” I asked. Would the nightmares stop eventually? But they did didn’t they? When I’d lost all my memories…but now that I’ve got them back I don’t think I’ll be getting those nice nights again.
“No, no, we were talking about seeing deaths here.” I said.
“Good cause I haven’t killed that many times. A part of my past I think we’ve already drudged up enough.” She replied with a small humorless chuckle. “Does it get easier? Only if you let it.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It gets easier once you stop caring. Personally it never gets easier for me.”
The door opened and Annaliese joined us outside.
“Thank you for your patience, I just really needed to go.” She said with a slightly awkward chuckle.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” Kyxa said. “Let’s just go over how we’re going to approach this, and which spells you two will be using and then we’ll go.”
I took in a deep breath and nodded.
This was going to go well. It had to. After all, we had Kyxa.
“Why a beach? Doesn’t seem like an ideal battleground.” Annaliese asked as we made over. I nervously cast a quick glance around, searching for Velor and Assaria. Were they behind those trees? Boy was I glad I’d already cast the anti-mind control spell.
“Oh it’s a calculated move on their part.” Kyxa replied, searching the beach as well. “They know I’m wingless now and they’ve probably surmised that I’d be the one to come after them. They’re probably hoping they’ll unbalance me with the awkward footing.”
“Is that going to be the case?” I asked, clenching my fists as I felt my magic stir inside me.
“It’s true that I would usually rely more on my wings on a beach, but it shouldn’t be much of a problem. They’ll have as much problem as I will.” Kyxa replied.
And then we spotted them.
They were standing near the only shack on this beach, with Benjamin leaning on the side of it looking knocked out.
Velor shook his hand a bit with a grin. A hand I had the certitude he’d just used to knock out Benjamin as we arrived.
“Finally! You’ve joined us!” He exclaimed.
“Oh, didn’t you get our message? You forgot to bring James and the Weapon.” Assaria shook her head in mock disappointment.
Kyxa motioned for us to stay where we were. Far enough that Velor and Assaria’s attacks would be weaker than usual, but close enough so that we could cast our spells.
“How about we jump to the end of this little meeting and you just hand over my son before anyone gets hurt?” Kyxa suggested, gesturing with her sword.
Velor pulled out a dagger and Assaria grabbed a baseball bat that was leaning on the side of the building.
“Really? You think those two flimsy things will hold against my sword?” She asked with an unimpressed raise of eyebrows.
“They will once those two witches come into our control.” Velor said with a smirk. Even as he said those words, I felt him and Assaria reaching out to the shield I’d created for Annaliese and I.
“Remember the pleasure you felt upon seeing us behind bars? Well I’ll take as much if not more pleasure in beating you senseless.” Assaria said with a twirl of her bat.
Kyxa gave them a cold glare, tightened her grip on her sword, and charged towards them.
“That’s our cue.” Annaliese said, rapidly pulling out her wand. I nodded, my magic ready at the edge of my fingers.
I completely lost sense of time then. I could barely keep up with what was happening. Velor and Assaria were quick and agile, and even though Kyxa wasn’t a supernatural she still somehow had the speed to keep up with them. She’d slash at Velor, deflect Assaria’s hit, go back to attacking Velor…she was determined, but it quickly showed they were too.
Annaliese and I did our jobs as best as we could. Our spells were limited to distractions like a flash of light, or a wave that went too far up shore. But even then we were even more limited because of Kyxa. Whatever we did was most likely going to affect her as well, and with two vampires rapidly attacking her on all sides, a faulty step could change everything. We got lucky a few times; as in we managed to target a particular patch of sand to move and twist just as Velor or Assaria stepped on it. But in the end, we weren’t being as much help as we’d hoped. And on top of that, I was always half-concentrated on supplying my mental shield as it suffered periodic attacks.
Just when it seemed the battle was stuck in this endless movement of metal, Benjamin groaned as he came to. Kyxa was quick and managed to snatch the amulet Velor had claimed as his own and hung around his neck. She tossed it at her son and just barely managed to block Velor’s attack, sending him reeling back with a kick. Assaria managed to land a hit on the side of Kyxa’s head, making her stumble away from Benjamin.
Benjamin looked incredibly worried, holding the amulet tightly in his hand.
“Go!” Kyxa yelled at him as she recovered, slashing her sword at Assaria, but only managing to cut off strands of her hair. Benjamin clenched his jaw and did as Kyxa ordered. He teleported away using his amulet, and seconds later he appeared beside us. I quickly focused on extending the mental shield to include Benjamin.
Kyxa just needed to get out of there now. We had Benjamin, she didn’t need to fight anymore. And it was clear that she was trying to back away, but Velor and Assaria, having lost their hostage, seemed to double in strength and speed. Velor jabbed at her side, and Assaria swung at her head, and still Kyxa managed to avoid them. But then her sword collided with both the dagger and the bat so harshly the shock was enough to rip the weapons from their owners grips. Only one weapon stayed in its owner’s hand, and that was the bat. Scratched and a little bent, but still tightly held in Assaria’s gloved grip.
Velor was quick and reached for Kyxa’s sword on the ground, but Annaliese and I intervened, managing to cast a spell that made the sand swallow up her sword and his dagger. We just hoped Kyxa could temporarily do without her sword…and either way we’d bring it back up the moment she was close to it!
Assaria swung at Kyxa, but she dodged it, then she sprung back up, jumping and aiming to kick at Velor. But that kick was one Kyxa had practiced many times…but with her wings. The kick wasn’t high enough and it missed its mark, completely destabilizing Kyxa for the first time since the battle started. Velor grabbed her wayward leg, and swung her down harshly. Assaria swung to hit her head, but Kyxa just barely managed to roll out of the way, out of breath. But the move had now put Velor and Assaria between her and us.
“We need to do something!” Benjamin exclaimed.
“Annaliese?” I looked at her hopefully.
“I…I can’t think of a spell right now!” She said, looking worried.
“I’ll go teleport down there! Maybe I can be quick enough!” Benjamin insisted.
“You won’t be protected over there.” Annaliese said.
“She’ll die!” Benjamin insisted.
“Then go! Maybe I can extend the shield to you all the way over there!” I said with a vigorous nod.
But we were too late, it happened too fast.
Assaria stood with her bat up and ready, taunting Kyxa to try and get past them. She took up the taunt, having not much choice. She walked carefully towards her adversaries, quite aware of their advantage. She glanced past them, at where we were standing, and then Assaria got tired of waiting. She closed the gap between them and swung the bat harshly at Kyxa with the strength and speed that only a vampire could have.
Kyxa bent her knees and leaned backwards, the bat swinging barely an inch over her nose. She brought her hands back to stop her fall just a few seconds later than needed, rapidly remembering she didn’t have her wings to stop the fall for her. She still managed to stop herself in a bridge position, but it gave Velor ample time to bring his foot down on her stomach, pushing her painfully into the sand.
Assaria brought her bat to hit her head again, a nasty smile plastered on her face. Kyxa brought her hands up and blocked the hit, grabbing the bat in her hands and bruising her arms. Due to her bigger strength, when Assaria tried to pull her bat away, she brought Kyxa right back to her feet. Kyxa used the opportunity to give Assaria a swift kick, causing her to let go of her grip on her bat.
At that moment, Kyxa could’ve run away. With the bat in her hands and Velor and Assaria at her sides, she could’ve sped towards us and gotten Benjamin to teleport us away. But she didn’t, her feet hesitated, and instead she gripped the bat with a determination that stemmed from a deep rooted pain and swung it at Velor. He brought his arm up and blocked it, baring his teeth.
“This is no sword.” He snarled reaching for her throat. She leaned back immediately, reaching up with her left hand to grab his wrist.
Unfortunately that left her wide open to the kick Assaria landed on her side. Kyxa dropped to her knees, unconsciously trying to get the wings she’d lost to get her out of this situation as Velor snatched the bat from her hands. Then, with barely any hesitation, he smashed the bat against Kyxa’s temple. He tossed the bat to Assaria as Kyxa fell forwards on the sand, gasping and blinking as her head throbbed painfully.
Assaria hit her.
We were all watching in horror as Assaria started to beat Kyxa with the bat. We were only snapped out of it when Velor started to vigorously attack my mental shield, walking towards us to increase his power.
“We need to get out of here.” Annaliese said, gripping mine and Benjamin’s arms.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away, flinching every time the bat came in contact with Kyxa.
“Guys! Now!” Annaliese screamed at us as a horrible crack spread in the mental shield.
Benjamin swallowed the lump in his throat and reluctantly grabbed Annaliese and I as his amulet teleported us somewhere else.
Away from Kyxa.
Away from her murder.
No one’s POV
James Whitelight, the mute vampire, awoke from his feverish slumber with a jolt that sent his head hitting the bed mast. He hadn’t been woken by a sound, or his body healing itself, no…he was woken only by his subconscious mind having sensed what had just transpired.
James struggled to understand the reason for the horrible nest of anger growing in his chest, but his fever soon took over again, sending him back into his realm of darkness.
“-not really getting anywhere. Kyxa was the unofficial leader…” Xavier’s voice trailed off and he could almost hear the waves of sympathy Erin was probably sending him. “Oh god, I watched them kill her…it was horrible Erin. Horrible.”
“Oh Xav…come back home. I’m sure they can handle without you.” Erin insisted.
“I don’t know, everyone is pretty much lost. No one expected Kyxa to…to…god. Now everyone is trying to cure James though. Aliska found the sniper, but he won’t give up the antidote and according to Alec, James won’t survive the night.” I said, my voice trembling. It was all just…
“Yeah…he hasn’t said much of anything. With the way they’re all basically attacking him, I don’t think he’d be able to give it up even if he wanted to. He’s just been quiet in his corner. Alec’s been suggesting we should just search him, but on that note he seems to be willing to fight for his privacy.”
“I’m coming over.” Erin declared.
“Erin don’t be stupid. You’re not going to make much difference here. He might not even have the antidote. This might all be for nothing in the end.” Xavier snapped.
“Well mister, I’m insulted. You might have your witch craft, but I have my alchemy. I’m sure I’ve got a truth potion here somewhere. Or something to convince him to cooperate.” And with that Erin hung up.
As reluctant as he was with the idea, Xavier let everyone know that Erin, someone who’d encountered the sniper before – something Xavier still needed to sit down and talk to Erin about – was coming over to see if she could get him to cooperate. Everyone was already pretty fed up with talking to a statue so they accepted and when Erin arrived, only Aliska wanted to be there in the room with them.
It’s only when Erin walked into the room that Xavier got the feeling that, oddly enough, she might be able to get him to talk.
“Oh look, it’s parenticide girl.” The sniper said.
“You finally talk and this is what you choose to say?” Xavier asked angrily, surprising himself. Erin waved him off and the sniper ignored him.
“The antidote. Hand it over.” Erin ordered. He raised an eyebrow.
“Maybe if you pulled out your knife to threaten me you might get better results.”
“Just hand it over. There’s no point in you keeping it.” Erin continued.
“My antidote? There is definitely a point to keeping it.” He coldly replied. Aliska and Xavier stood to the side in silence, more surprised that the sniper was actually saying words now than anything else.
“This isn’t about you right now!” Erin snapped, channeling Xavier’s own anger towards the situation. “A man is dying and we need the antidote. Now if you don’t want to part with your precious merchandise, all you need is to give us the recipe.”
Looking as nonchalant as could be, the sniper retrieved a small bottle from one of his pockets. “You don’t just give things like this without a price.” He said giving her what almost seemed like a sly smile.
Everyone’s eyes drifted to the bottle in his hands, all very aware of what it represented and of the sniper’s tight hold on it. He was serious about there needing a price. But what? What could they give him in exchange? Money?
Erin had another idea in mind.
She lunged forwards and harshly pressed her lips against his, catching everyone in the room off guard. It wasn’t romantic at all, verging more on painful lip bruising, but it seemed to do the trick since the sniper didn’t fight at all when Erin snatched the bottle from his hands.
She pulled back and turned her back to him, tossing the bottle to Xavier and walking out of the room.
Xavier gave Aliska the antidote and hurried after Erin, who was already halfway down the stairs.
“Erin did you just-”
“Nope! Nope! Go save your dad, I’m going back to Maxwell.” She snapped before opening the front foot and slamming it behind her.
And that’s what Xavier did. That’s what everyone did.
They gave James the antidote and waited, and within an hour his fever had already dropped to a more suitable temperature that allowed him to wake up. As happy as everyone was that he was going to make it out okay, that James wasn’t going to die, they all dreaded what was going to happen next.
Someone needed to tell James what had happened to Kyxa. And knowing James…no one wanted to be the one to tell him the horrible news.
But luckily for them, it seemed James already knew.
It was the dreadfully hopeful gaze he swept across the room, the creaking of the mattress as his hands gripped the edges, the darkening of his bright eyes as he stared at the ground that told them not to tell him to sit down, to rest, that his recovery wasn’t complete.
It was the raging anger dripping out of every fiber of his being that told his family to stand by and watch.
Aliska was the first to speak when James got up and motioned for Xavier to accompany him.
“I have something for Catarina. To limit the amount of deaths today.” She said, earning herself a cold hard stare from her younger brother. She didn’t flinch though, and handed him the device.
It was a device that the Time keepers had used in the past. Several times as it happened. It was the device that had held them before they were transferred to William, and it was the device they used to transfer Will’s consciousness from William’s mind. It was a device they had entrusted to Aliska, who had given it to a young fairy boy named Ryan when he was ten years old, transferring Will into little Ryan’s mind.
And now, it would be used to trap Rina. They were specific workings to the device that Aliska had no idea how to activate, but she assumed that the spell Xavier cast could allow for the transfer.
And it did.
Xavier successfully cast the spell, and Rina was finally expelled from Catarina’s mind.
As Catarina finally opened her eyes of her own accord, they began to fill with relieved and tired tears.
She raced forwards and crashed against her father, sobbing openly.
James’ movements were hesitant, but eventually he enveloped his daughter in a tight and relieved hug.
They headed back to the house, where Catarina learned that her mother had been killed just two hours earlier. Benjamin was crying freely and Catarina quickly joined in, both holding on to their father. Eventually James pushed them away, giving them each a kiss on their heads, and ignoring their questioning looks, he headed for the front door.
Catarina held her brother’s hand as they both realized what their father needed to do.
Xavier followed after, nervously clearing his throat.
“I know I may not be of much use, but…going out there alone is a horrible idea.” Xavier said, even though the fear was gnawing inside of him twice as much at the prospect of seeing those vampires again.
James turned around, the hints of a sad expression in his eyes. He reached out as if he wanted to ruffle Xavier’s hair, but instead he grabbed Xavier in for a hug.
Xavier hadn’t expected this at all. I mean it had already seemed weird when James had hugged Catarina and Benjamin, even though it was only normal.
But for James to want to hug him?
It was weird…actually feeling like he was hugging his father. He hugged back just as tight as he was being hugged, and he fought back the tears that were pricking his eyes.
James pulled back, gave him a gentler look as if to say that even though his fever wasn’t completely gone, he would be absolutely fine. Then he opened the door and left.
There were no what ifs.
As James walked towards where he could clearly sense the two vampires, as his slight fever made it more than okay that he was outside in the beginning of autumn with only a t-shirt on…what ifs didn’t matter.
He wasn’t thinking about what he could have done to save her. He wasn’t thinking about how he should’ve killed those two when he had the chance. No he couldn’t care less for those thoughts. All that mattered was the future that lay in wait for the immortal and the greedy ex-king.
“He’s alive. The damn fool lives.” Assaria said as rain started to fall around them. Soft crying rain.
“You think we can hold on our own against him?” Velor asked, knowing full well that running wasn’t an option anymore.
“I think he’d outlast us.”
“How unfair it is, only the Whitelights get the advantages.”
The three stopped walking, facing each other on one of the old rarely used bridges of Ridgevalley.
Velor and Assaria stood as proudly and tall as they could, facing the fearsome figure of a heartbroken man. They’d broken him in so many ways…and now they were facing the consequence of that.
“To think you were just a kid. When i first met you, it took me seconds to beat your defenses…and now? Talk about exponential growth.” Assaria scoffed.
Velor swallowed with difficulty as fear began to gnaw inside him as, staring at James, he was faced with certain death. And boy, Velor didn’t like that ending.
What was there to say? I realize my mistakes? I’m asking for forgiveness?
No, that would be lies. Velor didn’t regret anything he’d done.
Would a fresh start be too much to ask? I leave you alone and you leave me alone?
No. Velor could see it in his eyes. There was no way James would accept anything other than his death. Well then, as his grandfather, he should entertain his grandson until the day he died no? Be it today or not.
“In your quest to destroy us, you’ve become as bad as we have.” Velor remarked, chuckling to himself.
The rain pouring down his face, James’ stare was steady, his breathing focused, and the two vampires realized why James hadn’t killed them yet. It’s nothing as ridiculous as giving them a chance. They had both wronged him in too many ways, it was his time to watch them suffer.
When he did dive into their minds, their shields crumbled at his mere touch, but he didn’t destroy their minds just yet. First, he found memories that were precious. Memories of people they’d loved. He grabbed Velor’s memories of Blams and crushed them before him, leaving him only with a sense of having lost something dear. For Assaria he gathered her memories of another lifetime, and before her eyes, as she snarled “Don’t” he destroyed her memories of Damien. It was that moment right before he destroyed their memories that he savoured, when they realised what he was about to do.
Their golden eyes bore into him in anger, not quite knowing why, but with the certainty that James had just messed with their memories. In response to those glares, James made their hands come up to their faces with the stray thought
Do they still have their power without their eyes?
And then, as much they tried to fight, their hands clawed their own eyes out and dropped them on the ground. They screamed in pain, rendered blind by their own hands.
It was then that, in a last effort to spite him, they brought forth their memories of Kyxa, of how they’d assaulted her and brutally murdered her. Beating and crushing her body over and over again, just to make sure she never got back on her feet.
James couldn’t stand it, he didn’t want to watch it, so he shut it off. He gripped their minds and crushed them with all the strength he had. Assaria and Velor crumbled to the ground, their minds now dust.
It was done.
They were dead.
I’m so sorry Kyxa…
I’m so sorry