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The spinning, spiraling blue waves emitted a dark, radiating blue, as though nothing tainted had ever touched it. He reached down, running his hand through the water as he floated downstream towards the tribal area. It would take him all the way back to the middle of the piece of land before he would hop off.
His mother would call his name and call him a nuisance, telling him that he should never be so ridiculous, but he didn’t really care. The person he really cared hearing it from was his father, whom was gone on a trip with a few of the other men of the village. They had left a few nights before; leaving just the few boys left after the disease had spread through.
The tribe had been reduced quite a bit from that. Only four men remained, including his father. Only one remained here now. It was up to him to protect the children and women.
“Luka, what have I told you about revealing yourself like that!”
He looked up from the stream, thoughts dispersing. His mother held his gaze with her dark, green, disdain filled eyes. Her brown hair fell into her eyes in a mess. She pushed it back with the back of her golden brown skin.
“It’s not like we live in the Mainland, they’re not going to be searching for us anytime soon!” he exclaimed.
She shook her head, pointing towards the shelter ahead. Its cement walls kept them safe at night when the creatures came rummaging through the land. The drawbridge made sure of that, but yet, the tribe still worried about being found out.
“That doesn’t matter, Luka! You heard about…”
“Yeah, yeah! She said, ‘your eldest boy will be sought out for his acquired ‘traits’ and there will come a time when he will be exploited.’” He exclaimed, throwing out a BOO! at the end.
“Luka, you need to stop taking this like it is a joke! You could be in huge danger sometime in the immediate future!” she snapped.
Luka sighed, and got out of the water, stomping past her. She grabbed his arm, right around the bicep before he left.
“I know that you don’t like not being able to be seen, but we don’t want to see you hurt. I love you, Luka.” She said.
He glared down at her hand, trying to keep from bursting into exasperated tears.
“I know, Mom. I’m a nobody, invisible, never born.” He spat, pushing past her.
He could hear his mother’s deep sigh from behind him as he stomped off. They’d been over this many times before, but neither seemed to get their points across to the other.
His father was the only one that actually listened to him. Listened to the boy that was never supposed to be born. That was what everyone thought anyway. The only person besides his parents that actually talked to him was his best friend, Nessa. She was the same age as him, naturally.
“Rough talk, huh?”
Speaking of which. He turned to Nessa, his white-blue powdered eyes gleaming. Her auburn hair glowed in the fiery sun, bringing her freckles out more than usual. The rays highlighted every dead cell in perfect light.
“Just the usual. But no worries, once the sun goes down and our fathers’ return I’ll be exploring the near islands.” He smirked.
Nessa snorted, “and I don’t suppose you’re just going to leave me?”
He raised a brow. A new proposition. Maybe she was getting tired of the constant hiding too.
“Not if you don’t want to.” He grinned. He held the wooden door open for her, strolling through the hall to his room.
Of course, since no one wanted to see him, his room was excluded from all the others, far in the back of the fortress.
“So, heard anything about the men coming back?” she questioned.
He shook his head, the fear of losing another person engulfing his heart. He had gone through many friendships and loves within the past few years. Most of them were lost on Roanoke from the raid. They had gone from 200 to 50 that night.
“I tried listening in on my mother and the Chief. No contact. It’s as though they have disappeared off the face of the Earth. The Chief said that even our contacts haven’t seen or heard from them.” He frowned.
Nessa laid her head on his shoulder, partly comforting herself, as well as Luka. He huffed a big one then collapsed onto his bed. Nessa studied his eyes, the ice blue in his eyes almost completely disappearing. She could tell he was upset. His eyes always seemed to reflect the mood he was in. The color always changed with his mood. Right now, they were almost completely white. That meant depression.
It almost made her think of a blizzard on a nasty winter day.
“We both know that the day will come when they’re going to be gone, Luka. You know what the woman foretold.” She gulped.
Luka held back a cry of frustration. Why did everyone keep referring to that? Why did everyone have to die because of him?
“In attempt to get to the eldest boy, there will be a great war, bringing the extinction of the rest of his people. Only one other will survive, protected by the boy…” she recited.
“But that doesn’t define us! Besides, that woman was delirious! I bet she wasn’t even a prophet!” Luka snapped, throwing his arms up in the air.
Nessa had anticipated this. Therefore, she threw her arms around his neck, pulling him into the bed.
“Then don’t worry about them coming back. They’ll be back soon enough. They probably just got lost somewhere along the way. We haven’t been here for fifteen years.” She hushed.
He clenched his jaw. That was how everyone defined him. The destroyer of their kind. The mass murderer of hundreds of people. That was why he was an outcast within his own people. They were too afraid to have anything to do with him. Plus, there were the numerous traits that even made his mother become petrified.
For starters, his eyes were almost completely white and his skin a natural ghostly pale. He was impossibly great with climbing and blending in. He could also hear things from at least a mile away.
He’d learned long ago that whatever humans weren’t sure of, they destroyed or toyed with until the unknown was no longer one piece. All of his weird qualities made him scary to the eye, which is why he was forced into hiding.
He just wished that they would let him see the Mainland for once. He cherished for the day when he would be able to walk amongst his people. As of right now, he didn’t even exist within his own people.
“Goodnight, Luka.” Nessa whispered into his ears.
He wrapped his arms around her torso, pulling her closer.
“Goodnight, Nessa. I’ll wake you nearing the morning.” He replied.
“The prodigal son is here. I can feel him. His presence is strong. The ten year search is over.”
Luka’s eyes snapped open, his heart speeding faster than he had ever felt before. He immediately flipped over off his bed, pushing those thoughts out of his head.
Not another one.
His eyes focused on the movement in front of him. The dark made it harder than usual to spot things, but with his strong vision he could see better than anyone else in his village.
“You’re here right now, aren’t you? I can feel your fright, your anger.”
He pounded on his temples, trying to slam out the voice that patronized him. The voice infuriated him, made him want to dig out his brains. To slash out his eardrums.
“I see lights in the distance. A fortress covered in a deep, dark shroud. That is not enough, boy.”
He pounded his head against the floor, pushing all his weight down into the floor in hopes of escaping the voice.
“We found your fathers’, the men sent out to divert our attention. You wouldn’t believe how fickle people are when their lives are in danger. It seems that the tribe would rather have you gone than the extinction of their people.”
He stood up, anger overwhelming him. He needed to get out of there. He needed to protect his people. There was no use in wishing away his problems. If they knew about their men then they had to know about the tribe.
He’d thought of this many times. As much as he wanted to believe that all of this was just a story, a legend never come true, he knew that he would have to prepare for it.
His mind reeled at all the possibilities. They would be here soon if they already knew where the fortress was. Maybe he could sneak off towards the waterfall and convince them to follow. Perhaps his tribe could get away then.
“Luka, what’s wrong?” Nessa groaned, stretching her legs.
He swore under his breath. He’d hoped that she would stay asleep.
“Nessa, I need you to alert the Chief. Tell him Code Red. Get everyone out of here!” he hissed.
Nessa’s eyes widened, then a frown spread across her face, completely distorting her pretty face.
“But what about you, Luka? What are you going to do?” she questioned.
“That’s for me to know. J-just get out of here.” He stuttered.
With that dreadful moment, she took off like they had rehearsed. He knew he could always count on her. He just hoped for his sake that they would make it in time.
He grabbed ahold of the spear he had carved long ago and the amulet given to him by the same woman that cursed him.
The green gem began glowing at his touch. The woman said that would happen when the time came for his life to change. He threw the iridescent chain around his neck and shot out the door.
They would be here any minute. He wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to his mother. Or his father for that matter. He didn’t know that he’d ever see either of them again.
“I’ll miss you, both.” He thought to himself.
“This child will look very different from the other children. Be wary, he’ll also hold great power.”
Yeah right, great power. That was so what he had! If you called being able to blend in and super hearing great power.
Luka slipped down the tree he had climbed onto a few minutes ago. He had watched, his skin turning a thick, brown bark color as they roamed up the side of the treacherous path ahead. If he hadn’t lived there for most of his life he wouldn’t have been able to figure out where to go. It was a miracle for the men to have gotten this far up the side of the island.
“Yoo hoo! Mr. Mysterious Man, I’m over here!” Luka shouted, jumping off the side of the rocks.
He watched as a man rose from the group of six men and stared deep into his soul. Luka raised a brow, bowing.
“One cursed boy at your service!” he shouted.
The man pushed back several strands of blonde hair into a ponytail and pulled something out of his pocket, pointing it towards him.
“That’s him; must be dumber than I thought.” The man muttered.
“Why have you come? I expected more fight from a boy that’s been hidden for more than ten years.” The man questioned.
“I think the better question is why you are here. Or maybe why you haven’t come at me yet.” Luka responded aloud.
The man turned to one of the men gathered around him, whispering something.
Luka listened intently, catching a bit of the sentence, “…circle around and surround…before he’s…”
He smirked. Good thing he had also anticipated a fight.
He leapt over the rocks, cartwheeling over the group of men and partly blending in with his surroundings. But, he made sure that they could see him just a bit, well enough to follow him.
“He’s getting away, hurry, and throw up the nets!” the man shouted from behind him.
Luka gulped, catching every word that he’d said this time. They had come well prepared for a chase. If they had nets that meant that, they surely had a plan B.
“Slow it down, boy! You’re not going anywhere!” he shouted.
Luka took a deep breath and pushed through the thick mud, hoping that he could lose some of them there. His thighs ached with exhaustion by the time he got halfway through. He forced a glance behind him, only catching part of the group behind him. Where did the other half go?
He soon found out, running head first into the chest of one of the men cloaked in black. The man sneered with rotting teeth peering out at him.
Luka spit up in his mouth and tried pulling away, only getting away for a second before he tripped over a loose root running through the ground.
He flipped over to his back, backing away. The group surrounded him, holding nets and rope.
He gasped, thinking of what they were going to do with them. Was he going to be trapped like a caged animal?
He felt his skin begin to tingle, the odd sensation of his skin flickering and blending in with the things around him.
“Where’d he go?” the man nearest to him gasped. The man from earlier, the man with blonde hair threw his arms in frustration.
“He’s there you idiot! It’s just his trick. Hurry and throw the net before he gets away!” he snapped.
Luka rolled to the side, scrambling to get away before the net caught him and pulled him in. He’d seen this many times before. He had watched it happen to his closest friends during the raid on Roanoke.
The breath was knocked out of him, his lungs gasping for hair. A sharp wheezing erupted throughout his body, trapping him.
His body lurched backward, slamming into the ground as the net caught his ankle. His head felt as though someone had taken a hammer to part of his brain. He didn’t doubt that an immense amount of brain cells had been destroyed.
“There he is!”
Luka gazed up, his eyes landing on the man that had been holding him a moment ago. The man pulled him up from the dirt, dragging the net behind him. He felt his body plow into numerous things before he finally dropped with an ungraceful thud against something hard.
“The Child of Prophecy, how long we have been waiting for you. Searching for ten years. Your tribe kept you well hidden, but not hidden enough. Your trips to the near islands also helped pinpoint your location.” The blonde man said.
Luka shrunk down, trying to make himself look as little as possible. Maybe the man then wouldn’t beat down on him or whatever he was going to do to him.
“Why have you been looking for me? What am I to you?” Luka questioned.
The man smirked, holding out a hand for Luka to grab. He didn’t take his hand.
“It’s not just me looking for you, boy. The whole world is looking for you!” he exclaimed.
Luka’s jaw dropped, smashing into the dirt floor beneath him. Him? The whole world was looking for him? He had to be lying! Why should he trust him? He was trying to kidnap him!
“Yes, that’s right, it’s a futile fight, boy! If you give up now we won’t destroy everyone. We’ll just kill most of the clan.” He responded to his hesitance.
Luka gazed down at his knee, blistering with black, blue, and a faint shade of purple.
Think. Think! What was he going to do? His clan, had they gotten away? Had they survived the raid? Or were they now just the dying embers left of a fire, only emitting a flicker of light with him.?
Luka pictured Nessa’s fruitful smile, the gleam in her eyes. He pictured her fiery red hair, his last moments of bliss before they came at him.
They shoved him up against the rocks, folding his arms and encasing them into some kind of restraint. A sure sign of the prison to come.
His chest tightened. Something deep inside of him was welling up, something harsh, evil, deafening. His emotions balled up into one whirlwind of destruction.
“No! I will not be contained!” He shouted. Something erupted from his chest, bouncing electromagnetic waves off his chest and into the island barriers. Static bolts coursed through his hands, only merely restrained by whatever covered them.
He fell to his knees and gazed around. The two men that had been holding him up were five feet away, lying on their backs.
“How interesting.” The man said, lifting his chin.
Luka was too exhausted to try anything. It was as though all the energy, all the sugars in his body had been wiped out in a single swipe.
The man tightened whatever was around his hands and then bent down to his height.
“You are going to be a great one, aren’t you? A feisty one. We’ll see how feisty you are in a few years.” He smirked. He turned to the others.
“Let’s get out of here before that nasty power of his comes back.” He said, snapping his fingers.
Well, his plan had worked. He had diverted their attention from his clan.
Four Years Later
“You know your objective, Luka. Get them out of the building. Eliminate all of them.”
He pushed hard on his temples, convincing his vision to zoom in about three hundred yards away.
There, his targets sat along the long, elongated table in the puny office. They tried to hold composure, Luka could tell this, but none of them succeeded. Just like he had anticipated, the meeting dispersed within fifteen minutes.
He leapt from his ledge out on the opposite building and crashed into the window. The glass gave way easily. He figured that the window would at least be a little more durable than that, but there would always be surprises, wouldn’t there?
“Back away, you fiend! We haven’t done a thing! We have paid our debts to McKenna in full!” a man shouted, holding out pepper spray. As if that would do anything. He’d be better off holding out paper in risk of him getting a paper cut!
“McKenna doesn’t want your money! Sit down!” he shouted, shoving the man back into his seat.
He scanned the room. The other eleven men seemed to be paralyzed. Good, that would make his job easy.
“If any of you make a move for the door you’ll be dead instantly. See this,” he said, the static crackling through his hands.
The man he’d just recently offered a seat to sank lower into his chair.
“No one? Good.” He replied.