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The Forgotten Warrior
Fantasies are supposed to be folk tales. Myths passed down from generation to generation. Well, let’s go back a few thousand years ago, where in 160 A.D. a beast called the Hydra existed. This beast was so fierce that nobody ever dared to challenge it. When the Hydra got angry it threw tantrums that destroyed entire cities at a time.
During this time there was a council made of sorcerers, spirits, elves, dwarves, and Shapeshifters. The called themselves the La’kins. Each of these council members had control over their respective race. To each race there were two council members. The sorceress had the highest political position in the council. They chose to employ a woman by the name of Koyo Cherrine, as head sorceress. Soon joined by her husband Quanno Re‘Son. Together they had a beautiful little girl, Emry.
In 170 A.D. Emry started to learn to control her abilities as a sorceress. Within one year she had learned how to complete the most difficult spells. Emry was named the most powerful and beautiful sorceress of her time as well as the heir to her mother’s control over the council. On her fifteenth birthday, in 175 A.D., she was finally considered a woman. Two years later, Emry found a wonderful husband, Tanner. They had their first child together in 178 A.D., and named her Kaline. Koyo and the rest of the La’kins decided to move up north. Emry, along with her daughter and husband, decided to remain in the south until they were needed.
In the spring of 179 A.D. Koyo received word that the Hydra had attacked the colony down south that Emry and her husband were living with. Out of respect for Emry and her family Koyo declared war on the Hydra and all of the La’kins gathered their armies to fight by her side.
They lost many warriors to the harsh weather and famine of the seemingly endless deserts and rocky mountains they trekked through. When they finally reached the camp all they found were shredded tents and blood sodden earth. Koyo found Emry leaning over her husband’s lifeless body. Emry had a gash across her cheek stopping the flow of saline streaming down her face.
“Let us fight,” Koyo said turning to the council members and what little of the armies they had left. “The Hydra is among us once again. He has tried to take our land and our people. This will not stand. Not as long as I am the leader of the La’kins. I will find him. I will fight him. And I will do everything in my power to stop this beast. This beast who thinks he has power over us. This beast who thinks he can trample us like insects.
“But I ask you this. What is this creature that thinks it can have our rightful land? Or that it can have power over us? Well, I say that it is our land, our people, and our freedom! That makes it our birthright, obligation, and pleasure to stand up for what is ours and thrust this beast back into the depths of the underworld! So, who of you will choose to stand with me and fight!?”
When Koyo finished, the remnants of the armies shouted their allegiance to her. Emry stood and lifted her fist into the air with a cry of faith. Koyo lead the La’kins and their armies for three days and two nights. They came upon a small town that was almost burned to the ground and completely deserted of life.
As they marched further into the south they heard distant screams coming from far away colonists. The La’kins journeyed through devastated camps and ruined towns with no survivors to be found. Many more warriors were lost traveling further. Around midday they finally came upon a small civilization that was still under the Hydra’s attack.
The beast was around twenty feet tall with spikes protruding from almost every inch of his body. Four heads came from necks attached to the Hydra’s unsightly torso. Four talons erupted from slits in each of it’s claw shaped hands.
Koyo walked in front of the beast to declare her challenge, “I Koyo Cherrine challenge you to a battle. I know I cannot kill you with ease, but I will succeed. You may either fight me and risk losing, or you can go back into the depths never to return again to our world! What is your choice?”
The Hydra stopped destroying one of the tents and looked down at her. His voice was deep and sickeningly metallic, and when he spoke it was in their heads not out loud, “I accept your challenge!”
As soon as he thought the words he propelled a wave of fire in their direction, taking out numerous warriors at a time. They struggled against each other for a whole day. The Hydra, as far as they could tell, was winning. The La’kins had a mere fifty warriors left alive.
Koyo screamed at the council members, “Call upon the wild, she will save us!”
One at a time all twelve members stepped away from the battle.
The first, a picturesque Queen of the Elves, “I Dephly De Racono Al‘leath, call upon the owl to aid me in battle.”
The second, King of the Elves, “I Fenrir De Degaro Al‘leath, call upon the deer to aid me in battle.”
The third, Koyo’s husband, “I Quanno Re’Son, call upon the alligator to aid me in battle.”
Then the leaders of the Dwarf Clans, “I Dagreer Lethor, call upon the sphinx to aid me in battle”
“I Napeel Ven, call upon the fox to aid me in battle.”
The Queen and King, respectively, of the Spirits “I Hentar Maneed, call upon the phoenix to aid me in battle.”
“I Antario Geed, call upon the dove to aid me in battle.”
King and Queen of the Shapeshifters “I Karem Deliem, call upon the raven to aid me in battle.”
“I Zallip Larento, call upon the Siberian tiger to aid me in battle.”
Koyo stepped back while the others were fighting, “I Koyo Cherrine, call upon the panther as the leader of the pack to aid me in battle.”
Then it was Emry’s turn, “I Emry Cherrine, call upon every animal that my brethren have called upon! For if we fight we fight as one!”
When she finished, all the animals each person had requested trotted or flew out of the forest to stand by their owner’s side. However none came to Emry‘s aid, though the rest of the council did not know then why she had done this.
“Mother, fallback, let me finish this. I know what to do.”
Koyo trusted her and did as her daughter instructed taking the rest of the unit with her.
Emry looked at her mother one last time and mouthed, “Take care of my Kaline.” Then she started the incantation. “Through hundreds of years lived and lost, the warriors who’ve died and paid a cost. I stand before you with staff and crown, and with my powers I bow down.” As she said those words all the animals the council had summoned laid down around her in a circle. The Hydra swiped the air at an attempt to land a blow on Emry. An unseen force created by the animals stopped him in midair. She continued. “I turn the, Hydra, from beast to man, to help a warrior to make a stand. And once complete he may chose, beast or humanity, which one will he lose? The curse will break if written in history, so instead conceal it in one tapestry.”
An admirable light erupted around them as she finished reciting the incantation. There was so much power and strength in the air Koyo thought it almost tangible. As the light faded, the La’kins saw ten animal statues lying in a circle on the malleable loam. In the center Kaline lay crying. To the left side of the circle an ostensibly time-worn man lay curled in a fetal position.
Koyo stepped over the panther statue and lifted Kaline up into her arms. “Let him go. I will not allow anyone one to free him from his torment by simply killing him.” Koyo ordered, then looked at the Hydra gone man and snarled. “If you ever come into my territory while I am still leader, you will repay my daughters sacrifice with your own blood.” In the summer of 190 A.D. the battle finally came to an end.
The La’kins made one tapestry and one tapestry only to show the actual ending of the battle. Every single book ever written had the ending of the treacherous fight omitted forever from the pages they held. The animals that sacrificed themselves alongside Emry were used to represent each member of the council and their successors. Koyo moved the animal statues so that they would brilliantly hover above the council member that called upon it. Two days later the La’kins declared that Emry would be the name of the village they resided in.
The towns people were shocked to learn that Emry had let down her guard and the Hydra took the kill shot. At least, that’s what they were told. Within the ten long years that came later, Emry’s secret sacrifice died with the council members as they faded into history one by one. However none of them could have predicted one thousand eight hundred and ten years later, Emry’s curse would die as well.
Chapter One: The Birthday Bash!
In three hours, Joey Carter will be celebrating her seventeenth birthday at a party coordinated by an unfortunately stunningly drunk forty year old father. Her sister Marie, age twenty, had wanted to help, though unknown to Joey’s father only so she could salvage some actual fun for her little sister. Kelik, Joey’s little brother a mere ten years of age, just didn’t really care at all.
He didn’t understand what was going on with his father, or why his sisters called him Greg instead of dad. But in all truth, Joey and Marie thought it was better he found out on his own. Not only was Joey’s birthday on the swelteringly hot and humid day of August the fourth, she also had to work late. Whether annoyed or thankful for this, she was still unsure. Joey desperately hoped her father would pull through and create a descent party this year, preferably while sober.
Joey’s father has not always been a drunk, in fact before Terra, Joey’s mother, went missing seven years ago he had despised alcoholic beverages altogether. Now he can’t hold a job, and is usually dunk by three in the afternoon. Which means supporting Kelik and Greg was the abysmal responsibility of Marie and Joey Carter.
Marie and Joey were born three years apart. However, many people still mistake them for twins, despite Marie’s curly hair and Joey‘s strait. Both had inherited their mothers luminescent green eyes, and hair as gorgeously black as the darkest raven. Along with their mothers fair skin and perfect shape. They have, what many describe as, uncommon beauty. Their younger brother, frequently referred to as kiwi, has the same green eyes and his father’s deep maple hair color to go along with them. Greg possesses deep blue eyes, and a little darker shade of hair than his son. Joey caught herself thinking about her family’s features, while staring at her own in the reflection of the take out window at Benny’s Burger shop.
Benny’s Burger Shop was Joey’s run-of-the-mill, minimum wage job that kept them from getting evicted for lack of rent. Though to Joey, eviction didn’t seem like such a bad idea if it got her out of the epitome of suck that is her home. Besides she still needed to help pay for food, and little Kelik did require a home of sorts. So, despite her better judgment she goes to work in the mainly forgotten, grease fest of Benny’s Burger Shop. Out of the year and a half of working with only herself and a short order cook as the hired help in the burger joint, she has come to realize three things. The first being: don‘t mess with, talk to, or look at, the short order cook Benito Corrina. Her second is that all the time she has worked here only one customer walks through the door, and it is and will always be the same disturbingly overweight weirdo who looks and smells like he hasn’t showered in three months, that she calls Mr. Berry. Lastly, from being so severely hungry one day, she unfortunately discovered that when you bite Benny’s Burgers, Benny’s Burgers bite back.
Joey thought her very lucky to have a job serving food at a burger joint nobody likes, with the exception of Mr. Berry, and she didn’t even mind him so much. Serving food to one guy in need of liposuction dressed in an ill-fitting ketchup stained tank top. Not to mention the cheapest two sizes to small, zipper malfunctioning jeans Marty’s Superstore has to offer, was nothing compared to who, or what for that matter, she would have to serve anywhere else.
Joey was thinking about her own luck as she heard the front door to the fast food restaurant swing open. The obese abomination had already clogged his arteries here three hours ago around five this afternoon. She looked at the woman the takeout window was so graciously reflecting. Joey automatically recognized her eldest sister’s waist length curly hair.
“Hey Mare, whatcha doing here?” Joey turned to face her sister, who had a welcome smirk on her face. Despite Joey and Marie not having the best or easiest lives, they were labeled as the bridge jumping friends, and partying girls, parents warned their kids about.
“Well, I just scored you the best birthday surprise,” Marie looked so excited explaining this to her sister that it made Joey smile followed by an unfortunately rare little giggle, as she hopped up on the counter to finish listening to Marie, “I think you will love it so much, but we have to go there before you need to be back home for your….. err, other birthday party.”
There was something about the way Marie’s smile dropped, and the emphasis she put on “other”, that worried Joey. Because it was Joey’s “surprise” birthday party, she wasn’t allowed any details about it.
“Mare, I get off in, like, two hours?”
“Erm.. Sorry sis, but in order to get there in time, and then back home on schedule, we need to leave, like, three minutes ago,” Marie stood up, abruptly then continued on. “So, call your boss, lose the cheesy apron, and let’s make this sorry grease-pit a spot in my rearview.” Joey’s smile had returned and she found herself strangely excited again.
Joey had gotten permission to leave early from her boss, had swung her apron up on the hook, and was now heading out to the car. Marie owns two vehicles, the Mazda 3, which she was sporting with her this afternoon, painted as deadly black as her hair, and a class M two seated motorcycle which was the same brilliant color of black, with the exception of the neon green peace sign artistically smeared on the side. Both of these cars were generous gifts from the now deceased Uncle Leon.
For eight fifteen in the afternoon on a Chicago, Illinois interstate, the traffic was unusually light. Joey had suddenly gotten a strange feeling in her gut, one that she thought belonged to people with anxiety. She figured it was just because she didn’t know what Marie was doing for her birthday, so she shrugged it off.
Joey looked out the window at the theatre that happened to be playing the one Broadway show she has wanted to see since she was five, The Phantom of the Opera. She was thinking about how she has always regretted not having enough money to go, when she noticed they were getting closer to the theatre. That’s when she realized what her birthday present was, soon followed by bombarding her sister with an overwhelming feeling of excitement.
As they walked through the doors of the lusciously maroon painted theatre, Joey picked up her first “The Phantom of the Opera” playbill. Marie handed the ticket master her and Joey’s tickets, with that the gates to the stage show swung open welcoming them to their spectacular fifty-third row seating.
Sitting in the number one row, on the first balcony seemed like the best place to view this mind dazzling Show. They were in the middle of a very intense, dramatic scene, everyone was quite. Joey could barely take the suspense, and then out of nowhere a retched scream broke out. Joey didn’t realize it wasn’t part the play, until the actors broke character and started asking where the scream had erupted from. She did the only thing she could think of. “Mare, what was that?”
When she received no answer, she reached for her sister’s hand only to find her seat empty.
“Mare….. Mare!” The deep worry for her sister was making her lose control of the volume of her voice. Joey soon found herself screaming Marie’s name with every ounce of air in her lungs.
“Is there something I can help you with, ma’am?” A man said. Joey found herself face to face with one of the rent-a-cops people were often told to avoid.
“My sister’s missing, you have to help me find her please!”
“Follow me miss, we can talk more privately in the corridor.” With that he turned his back, and let the illumination of the flashlight guide them into the hallway. “Now ma’am, could you please calmly explain what happened?”
Joey took a deep breath, “My sister, Marie, brought me here for my birthday. I was watching the show when I heard the scream coming from outside the theatre. When I reached over to take her hand, she wasn’t there. So, I started calling her name hoping she would answer, but she never did. That’s when I started losing it, and making a scene. I don’t know where she is, will you please help me?” She had finished her story, expecting the security guard to burst out laughing.
“I think there’s something you need to see, I’m officer Breylin, would you be so kind as to follow me.” The security guard nodded toward the south direction, and she willingly followed.
Officer Breylin led her down two other hallways, and down in the basement of the building. He looked at Joey with pity, which made her very worried.
“Now, don’t jump to conclusion when you see this, it could be anyone’s” The officer calmly warned her.
Joey peeked around the paint chipped corner of the basement and saw a group of officers gathered around a scarlet smear on the back termite eaten wall. As she got closer she realized the smear was actually single handprint dragged across the surface of the wall, and the scarlet color was blood. She got that horrble feeling in her gut back, and she knew she had to tell dad.
“I’ve got to go I’m sorry. I need to talk to my father, and notify the local police.” Joey wanted to break down and cry right there but for some reason she just felt cold, and weird, like she didn’t know what was going.
“I think you’re in shock, I can drop you off where you live and have an officer follow us back in your car,” he looked genuinely worried for her safety, so she identified the black Mazda as hers, then allowed the officer to drive her home.
As the flashing lights of the cop car cleared the streets allowing Officer Breylin to speed, Joey pulled out her cell phone and tried to call Greg. The phone ringed for an odd twenty seconds before allowing the phone’s voicemail to answer instead of its owner. That’s when Joey realized she had never tried to call her sister’s cell phone. She hung up before the beep had even sounded alerting Joey she could now speak. Immediately after pressing talk, Marie’s voice started narrating her mailbox, forcing a tear down Joey’s cheek. Unable to stand hearing anymore, she closed her phone and easily returned it safely to its place in the front pocket of her dark blue jean shorts.
Finally regaining control of her emotions, Joey noticed the cop car was turning onto McGrublin Drive which instantly put her house in line of sight. She raced from the car to the front door, she hadn’t even made it to the welcome mat declaring her family’s hospitality when she spotted the note pinned to the front door.
It was written in some other language.
“I know I skipped a few foreign language classes, but that doesn’t look like any language I’ve seen.” Joey explained, as she handed Breylin the letter upon his request.
“It’s Latin.” He began translating, “It says, ‘Inside you will find neither your father or your brother. As you know your sister, Marie, is missing. I have taken all these people from you in hopes you will come to us. Queen Algera and I await you. Best wishes, Terry.’” Without another word he stuffed the note into his pocket, “I’ll take this to the station, and see if I can get any prints off it. You better let me make sure the house is clear before you go in.”
As soon as Joey unlocked the door Breylin drew his pistol. All through the house she stayed right behind the officer‘s back, allowing him to take point. When they had gone through every room the termite eaten house had to present, Officer Breylin finally declared it empty.
“Would you like me to call someone to come down here with you?” Now that he was facing her, Joey took note of his oddly yellow-brown eyes and dirty blonde hair.
“Er, no I don’t really have anyone, and I think I prefer being alone with my thoughts for now.” Joey started to tear up again.
“Well, because you’re a minor I have to let child services know about you, and I’m going to post the officer driving your car back, in the living room. His name is Officer Syne, and he’s going to take very good care of you until child services picks you up.” He turned on his heel and walked out the front door just as the familiar Mazda lurched into the driveway.
The two officers stood by the police car talking for a few dragged out moments. Then, who Joey guessed was Officer Syne turned and walked towards her with his eyes intently gazing at his shoes. When he reached Joey the officer politely asked for permission to enter, she obliged with the same courtesy.
Joey presented the location of the pillows and blankets, then bade Officer Syne goodnight as she trodded up the stairs to her room. Before laying down, she spotted a single black rose with the stem neatly tucked under the bedspread. How this had evaded Officer Breylin’s detection she was unsure. Joey pricked her finger on a thorn as she lifted the rose up to eye level. A drop of blood trickled from her index finger, finding a place to rest on her pillow.
She recognized the flower from a specimen in a science class she actually stayed awake for. Joey also knew that a black rose was only indeginous to deep within the Forest of Glen. At this Joey snuck back down the stairs, upon finding Officer Syne asleep she allowed her hand to slip past the Mazda keys instead placing her fingers on the motorcycle’s. She snuck into the garage, carefully opening it’s door by hand rather than risking it’s obnoxious humming waking up the officer.
Stumbling from the weight, she gradually pushed the motorcycle stopping only when it’s front wheel had reached the border between the driveway and street. Joey sat herself on the motorcycle, she had only driven it a few times yet she knew every lever, peg, and quirk her motorcycle possessed. Without a second thought, she twisted the right hand grip and rode into the desolation of the dark night.