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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zhelir Darkfall on Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:03 am

(This is the story of how the Rain ya'll know and love came to be. This is a work in progress, and I appreciate all feedback.)

Chapter One

Serini sighed, his head hung low, his shoulders hunched, as he and the rest of his squad made their way up the freezing mountain path.

"What the hell did I do to get stuck with this crap...?" Captain Noris wondered aloud, pulling his cloak tighter. "Mana vein in the mountains, my ass. I think they sent us out here just to keep us busy."

Serini grinned at the ground, the bitter cold biting at the back of his neck. "Relax, Noris. They wouldn't want to cause a panic amongst the troops by having us return without having found the vein. It'd cause a riot, people thinking some unknown nation found it before us."

If Noris had any further argument, he didn't say so. The squad went quiet again, continuing their march through the mountains.

Serini stopped dead in his tracks, his emerald eyes filling with terror.

"What is it?" Noris asked his second in command, fearful they had stumbled across an enemy patrol, or something of that nature.

"Didn't you hear that, just now?" Serini asked incredulously, "I just heard some chick scream bloody murder!"

"No one screamed, man," Noris replied, "It must've been your imagination."

"Not a chance..." Serini replied, tilting his head in the direction he'd heard it from, in case the sound came again, "You guys go on ahead. I'm going to go check it out. I'll meet up with you on your way back."

Noris gave him a doubtful look, but shrugged, and ordered the rest of the squad out.

Serini began to ascend the mountain face, as he had heard the scream from a cave not too far up. His pace was quick, for fear of not arriving in time, should their be any danger in the cave.

After a few minutes of climbing, he reached the cave, and his jaw dropped. In front of him was the largest mana vein he'd ever seen. A massive pillar of blue- likely water- mana ran from the floor to the ceiling.

But something was very wrong. Within the pillar, a form hung, suspended in time, it seemed. Serini approached the pillar and let out a low whistle. The form was a demon, or something close to it. It looked dead, but one couldn't tell what being submerged in mana could do to a being.

Serini couldn't help himself. He slowly lifted his hand, towards the pillar. It was a truly fascinating sight, this pillar. As his hand grazed the pillar, a sudden influx of knowledge hit him. The being's name was Rain. But more than that, he WAS this being. In utter horror, he looked at himself. His body was shifting between this demon form and his own body. And, oddly enough, a third form, of a person Serini'd never met before. This is Rain's true body. The words echoed in his mind. He no longer had any clue as to what was going on. Was this the work of the mana? The demon? Both?

Meanwhile, Noris sprinted down the mountain path, back towards where he'd left Serini. His squad wasn't far behind. They had heard an ear-piercing scream, which sounded vaguely of Serini's voice. "I knew I shouldn't have left that prick!" He growled, his feet hammering into the mixture of dirt and stone beneath him.

The creature in the cave no longer had a sense of identity. It leaped from the depths of the mountain crevice, spreading its massive, boney wings. Its first sight, through the blinding pain, was of a small gathering of creatures. It descended quickly hurtling toward them. They began to launch small lead objects at the creature, but it didn't care. It came down on the first one, spreading its claws. Before the animal could react, it had been cleaved clean in half. Blood spewed from its body, as the creature continued to chew through the forms of the animals.

Finally, its blood lust sated, the creature touched to the ground. It began to splash the blood of the animals in various directions, until it was satisfied with its artwork. With a final, horrible shriek, it leaped into the air, gliding off into the darkening sky.

Noris lifted his head, his body unscathed, but drenched in blood. "What in God's name was that...?" He asked himself, climbing to his feet. But his answer didn't take long to arrive. A quick examination of the ground made him realize he was standing on a word, formed in blood. His terror-stricken eyes filled with one single word, written in red.


-------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Chapter Two

The being now known to himself and to others as "Rain" sat calmly in the very cave where he had been born, in the very mana vein that had caused Rain and Chrono to meld together. Every second he spent within the vein strengthened his bond with water, as he had discovered the first time he returned to the cave a year and a half ago.

His ice-blue eyes were covered by his closed eyelids, his mind caught in a memory of Chrono's past; the first time he'd ever encountered a mana vein...

"Dad, what is it?" Called a young boy, whose long auburn hair nearly covered his emerald eyes. He was short and thin, as most young boys were, and was dressed in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. He was staring into a bright green pool, about 3 feet in diameter.

"That's a mana vein, Serini. It's what the Empire's best soldiers use to ward off anyone that tries to take over our country." Replied an older man, who looked very similar to Serini, aside from a mop of blond hair atop his head, now starting to fade. He knelt down next to the pool, as did Serini, and continued, "You see its green glow? That's the mark of Nature Mana. It allows the right person to manipulate the forces of nature."

The boys face took on a look of awe. "You mean like make it rain or make fire or-" but his fathered cut him off with a chuckle.

"No, son. I suppose this type of mana is improperly labeled. Fire and Water have their own types of mana. Natural mana allows you to alter the ground, the trees, anything part of the ground we walk on. Like this."

The man dipped his finger into the mana and closed his eyes. After a moment, the base of a tree about 10 feet to Serini's right gave a small explosion, sending bits of bark across the vicinity. The tree toppled over, in the opposite direction of the father and son.

Without even being able to bring about words to describe how incredible Serini found this power, he leaped forward, reaching for the vein, but his father caught him.

"Serini Chrono! You ought know better than that, living around here." His father said, his voice a mixture of worry and amusement. "Every person has a specific type of mana that their body can manipulate. Touching mana of a different nature can cause them great harm. We do not yet know yours, and therefore, you musn't touch a mana vein until we do." The elder Chrono explained to his son.

The boy looked slightly put out, but curious all in the same. "What types of mana are there?" He asked, clearly eager for more information.

With another soft chuckle, his father replied, "Far more, I expect, than we know of. And even of the known ones, I only know a few. There's Nature, as you see here, Fire, Water, Wind, and there's a rumor of some kind of Time mana. I doubt such a thing exists, though. Just the product of excessive rumors."

The boy nodded, but said nothing. His mind was flooded with questions. What kind of mana was he to use? What other kinds were there? How good would he turn out to be with it?

Rain snapped his eyes open, but as they opened, they were not the normal ones for his body. They had turned a brilliant shade of green, far outshining that of the mana pool he had seen in the memory. He burst from the depths of the cave, his body rapidly shifting into the form of the horrible demon he had become on his first night. His pale skin shifted into a deep indigo, his incisors grew down almost to his chin, his lower jaw shifted back, two massive wings burst from his back, his body thinned and his muscles toned. By the time the change had completed, he had already leaped from the cave's entrance, the battle in his mind reflected in the slaughter he would soon inflict upon the nearby town; his home town.

-------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Chapter 3

The winged beast drifted lazily to the ground, its leathery, bat-like wings folding in in the last few feet of the descent. A beautiful night had fallen on the small village during his flight. The even the stars, which received no insult of cloud coverage this evening, were no comparison to the blazing white glow of the moon. One more poetic, as the Chrono side of the beast was, would say it was a beautiful night for a kill. One more beastly, as the Rain side of him was, would merely remark that there was more light for its prey to spot him by.

Fortunately for the beast, and unfortunately for the village, it was the latter of these two that held control. Though the night was late, the men of Shoris wasted no time in locating the thing that had dropped into their village. Within a minute of his arrival, Rain found himself surrounded by more of the animals that had thrown bits of metal at him outside his home.

"Identify y'self," spoke the largest of the herd -- a big creature wielding the same type of invention that he'd found on the animals outside the cave. Though it came as something of a shock that these animals could speak, it did nothing to deter his thinking that they were just that -- animals.

As opposed to answering its question, Rain instead swung back his left hand. Could these things be so stupid as to not realize he didn't need to see them to know they were moving? It appeared to be just that, for one had approached on his left; one that now uttered a blood-chilling shriek as five long claws buried themselves in his face. Without further adieu, the alpha of the herd raised that peculiar metal object. Rain had learned from his first encounter, however, exactly what that meant. With reflexes that far outmatched those of the man -- was that what it was called? A man? -- Rain dropped to all fours. He wasted no time in gathering his surroundings, and instead threw himself forward, at the alpha-man's legs. The man traced him downward with his weapon, but not in time to stop his legs being shattered at the shins. He toppled forward, roaring out the most guttural curses and insults he could muster.

The beast's massive wings thrust outward, propelling him onto his clawed feet. There was no time to waste, now; from the looks of the ground where he'd been standing, those metal-throwers could do damage at close range. In a heartbeat, he was upon the next, this one having come in at his right. He placed his clawed hands on the man's neck, used it as leverage to propel his legs upward, and plowed them into the man's torso as hard as his considerable muscle range would allow. Having released at this instant, he moved in a fluid backflip, his course steadied by slight twitches of the wing, and landed behind one of the last four men. He'd had the good fortune of landing with it between himself and the others. Without a moment's hesitation, he thrust his hand forward -- right, this time, for they both craved for blood -- and buried it into its back. The man shrieked to the heavens, though the rest of his body was motionless, as though he'd died from the neck down.

Sudden realization hit Rain, so hard that he almost lost his hold on their shared body. These beasts carried water in their blood! He hurled the dead-body man to his left and advanced on the last three, his already blazing blue eyes seeming to double in intensity.

"Fi-!" Was as far as the foremost of the three got. He uttered an odd sort of choking sound, which pleased to beast. It told him things were going just how they ought. Water began to double out of his throat and trickle down his mouth, and his skin began to wrinkle and gray. This gave him the peculiar look of an old man with little control over his muscles. He dropped to the ground unceremoniously as his cowardly companions turned to run. Rain took another step forward, before a searing pain filled his left side, followed by what looked like three needles bursting from said side, and carrying across the street. He'd been wounded in the past, but this was different. The wound burned and raged, and the pain spread rapidly through his body, siphoning off his energy as it did so. It was just as he dropped to his knees that he lost control of the body. The blue hair receded a bit, to be replaced by brown, and the wings vanished. His skin turned a tanned shade of white, and his claws resumed their appearance as regular hands and feet. This was the last thing either Rain or Serini understood, before the poison in their body consumed the last of the consciousness.

"Welcome home, Serini..." Whispered a man by the name of Noris.
Last edited by Zhelir Darkfall on Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zhelir Darkfall
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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Je Suis INSANE on Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:56 pm

Nice...very nice.

I really, reeeaally enjoyed how you did not introduce every one of your characters with "the story of their lives" bit that so many of us get sucked into when we aren't taught a more sophisticated way to do it. You made it short and sweet.

There were a few cliche remarks that were placed correctly and sparingly.

Are there going to be installments as you write or is this already constructed and written out?
You might want to leave the reader with a little stronger hook, either way.

Great job. Really.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zhelir Darkfall on Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:32 pm

Installments. I've always had a vague outline of how Rain got from his home to Metro, but there were never any details, so I write it as they come to me.

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