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The Ruins of Terran

Earth 2011

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a part of The Ruins of Terran, by MercyKilling.

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MercyKilling holds sovereignty over Earth 2011, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for The Ruins of Terran.
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Earth 2011

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Earth 2011 is a part of The Ruins of Terran.

15 Characters Here

Nathan Zachary Thomas [2] A emotionally and physically scarred fugitive, Also one of the Lucky Draw.
Iris Bellefleur [0] The Dancer
Ezreal Jaeger [0] Of The Lucky Chosen, Wildlife biologist
Madalene D'Abenville [0] Freelancer , one of the Lucky Drawn
Elise Burn [0] Artist - One of the Lucky Draw
Seamus Callahan [0] The Rude Reporter
Eillot Gates [0] Who considers musc to be above everything
Demetrius Florentia [0] Writer, thinker, problem-drinker
Nuram Rihat [0] For chaos, he thrives
Rea Agnimitra [0] Gymnast chosen in the lucky draw, who has travelled across the world to be there.

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Elliot sat nervously trapping her fingers on the bar table. The recent events had her on edge. Ezreal and Elise had arrived back at the house, both in horrible conduction. Elise had showed up calling for help. Elliot had followed the others outside, they had managed to find ezreal ad get him back to the house. They weren’t the only ones who had ran into problems , another group of three, the ones she had first gotten separated from , had also been brought back to the house quite a state.

Anyone would be nervous in there position, it almost seemed as someone or something wanted them gone. the voices whispered in the back of her head. Calling her out into the rain, that had begun to fall. She thought about doing what they suggested and going back to that pool, slipping to the water and this time staying there. It would be a lot easier then handling this dangerous situation they had gotten themselves into here.

Everyone had seemed to settle back into their pervious seats from before. Elliot’s drink which she had ordered remained untouched beside her. She didn’t’ know why she had gotten it. She had never been much of a drinker, yet she felt the need for something to wash away all the anxiety she was feeling.

Elliot got up deciding on sitting with the girl and making conversation if she felt like it. As she was making her way over, the reporter Seamus from earlier arrived; he ordered a drink, gulping it down, before ordering another one. He going to regret that later she thought to hers elf. He seemed to be warning iris telling her to leave. Elliot stopped in front of them

“Excuse me, I wasn’t meaning to ease drop but, well I have been seeing same strange things as well and have been hearing.” Elliot paused embarrassed by what she was about to say. “Voices ever since.”

She looked at the others her calm demeanour slipping thinking about it all this time was one thing, but saying it out loud to others made it all the more real. Suddenly a large crashing and loud screaming sounded, bringing the steady conversation and noise around them to a halt. Elliot wasn’t sure but the voice sounded like that of Demetrius.

That voices that had once been whispers grew in volume until they were almost screaming at her. Elliot clutched her head. “SHUT UP” She demanded loudly, the voices ignored her , no they weren’t even voices anymore . Any legible words were gone replaced with strangled moans and scratching noises. Elliot vaguely remembered for a moment the people who in trouble up stairs. She forced herself to come back to her surroundings. One hand clutched miserably on her head. The others seemed to be in danger, the voices could wait.

~

Nim sat hands fiercely working way at the puzzle. Nuram words hadn’t been entirely misplaced. Nim knew she wasn’t much of a fighter or even one at all really. If faced with a situation required such skills she would be at a loss. For a moment she considered taking Nuram’s offer. She wasn’t an overly proud the ing but at the same time felt a little displeased at having to ask of the Girtablilu for help.
She stood there debating on her course of action. A sound penetrated the peaceful quit that surrounded her. It was a human, followed by the crashing and banging. Nim quickly slipped the puzzle back into her pouch and scurried along the branches towards the sound. As she got closer she knew what it was.

She stopped as An evil presence, something that made her short fur stand on end, her ears alert. Nim’s eyes narrowed. Although she kept heading in its direction, Nuram’s words made it back into her head. with her small body and lack of fighting process, what would she hoped to accomplish. It didn’t matter she thought, I can’t just let innocent beings get hurt weather I would make a difference or not, it not in my nature. Her expression became more determined

Nim had made a decision ithat, she would put aside any pride she had, and accept Nuram’s offer, to help her out with her lacking offence skills

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Elise could hear a commotion behind her, but her attempts to take a look were futile. The carer holding onto her elbow kept a firm grip upon her and refused to let go, let alone allow Elise to turn around. It seemed as though she was intent upon getting Elise into the house before true darkness fell around them. She couldn't help but wonder why this was and what could possibly linger in those woods that would be of danger to her and the others. She was being led up the high steps at the front of the house when the exclamation made her jump and spin around, breaking the grasp of her capture. Ezreal faced her looking a little worse for wear, but most definitely alive. A gasp of shock and relief left her pale lips as she closed the distance between them and threw her arms around him. It was perhaps a gesture that was too intimate but at that moment Elise didn’t care. Ezreal was safe and that was all that mattered. Her damp camera bounced harmlessly against her stomach and his thigh, making her realise with a jolt that she was extremely short in comparison. Sweeping it to one side, she released Ezreal from the hug, only to hug him again, her mood elevating due to his sudden return. She was glad that he was even alive, let alone with her. Doubt had begun to form in her mind as to whether or not he would return safely and she still held that same doubt for Nathan’s welfare as well. Not everything was as it seemed when it came to this house and the grounds that surrounded it and although it frightened Elise beyond belief, she had every intention of finding out exactly what was going on.

"I am so glad to see you," Elise gushed, shaking her head as she stepped back to look at him, concern instantly glinting in her eyes. "I got distracted...well I was curious actually and I got lost. Something...That doesn't matter. What happened to you-" Before the question had fully left her lips, a shrill noise filled her ears, unbearable and completely unpleasant. It sounded like the call of a bird, without the sweet note to it. Covering her ears, Elise looked wildly around, eyes wide, as she searched for her source of the hideous noise. It was then that she realised the noise was inside of her head, loud and as clear as anything. As soon as it had begun, the noise vanished, leaving her dazed and a little confused. Her head was spinning and her eyes were watering after the mental assault. Glancing at Ezreal, her next words never even left her mouth before she heard the shattering glass.

Jerking her head upwards, Elise seized Ezreal's hand, in fear and anticipation. Quickly, she tugged him into the mansion at a jog. Her eyes held something different now, almost a morbid curiosity. She wanted to know what was going on and with Ezreal she was going to find out exactly what was happening. The noise in her head, the laugh she had heard earlier, the splitting headache and now the broken glass were all linked. Elise was going to find out how. "Let's find out what's going on..." She whispered, pushing her way through the crowd of staff that looked almost as confused as they did. But many of them had already set about getting into action. She watched them hurrying around as she pulled Ezreal to the grand stairs that led to the rooms above...

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Iris looked at Seamus dumbfounded. Not because she didn’t believe a drunk man’s words, but because she found his warnings to make perfect sense. Yet, she wouldn’t heed them, not after what she had been through, the biggest adventure of her life. Running away from the very place she has been dreaming all her life just because they had seen or heard something didn’t seem a valid option. It would be just like Batman leaving Gotham City and moving to Florida or Hercules suddenly deciding to become a hippie. Well, no one actually depended on her, here at the Ruins, but she owed it to herself. After all, this was her story.

By now, staying at the Ruins for only a day seemed to be impossible or out of the question. Iris couldn’t figure out exactly how Mr. Thatcher would send them back home after he would hear all of their stories. And then there were the forest and the Ruins calling out to her and she was sure that the others heard that calling as well. No, they would definitely stay here more than they had bargained for. And if things came to worse, she had an idea on how she would “get lost” on the grounds for a couple of days. Leaving this place wasn’t an option. As she would soon find out, this wasn't something to be desired.

“Excuse me, I wasn’t meaning to ease drop but, well I have been seeing same strange things as well and have been hearing ..voices ever since.”


Iris turned around and saw the beautiful singer standing in front of them. Her previous thoughts dispersed and the girl gave a wide smile embracing Eillot without thinking her actions.

“I am so happy to see you! You have no idea how much I’ve been looking for you.”
She stepped back a bit, embarrassed by her enthusiastic sign of affection.

Then she heard Demetrius’ shouts and the staff rushing again, this time upstairs. She saw Elise and Ezreal going the same way before Eillot’s voice startled her. “SHUT UP” the girl screamed, her hand clenched on her white hair.

“Let’s go!”

Iris took the singer by the hands and looking straight into the Irishman’s eyes as if saying
“Are you coming or not?” she rushed towards the stairs followed by Eillot. She literally forced the girl to keep close, not wanting to lose sight of her again.

“I don’t know your name.” Iris whispered at Eillot as they were running behind Elise and Ezreal mingled with members of the staff. Loud bangs and screeching sounds came from one of the rooms on the corridor.


Seamus didn’t move a muscle when the dancer asked him to tag along. He has been waiting far too long for that drink and he wouldn’t give up on it now. As far as he was concerned, nothing really important happened. Maybe they had a fight and someone smashed the window in anger. It might have been Rea with her short temper. Serves her right. And even if something else had caused the incident, everybody else was already heading upstairs and there was little he could do to help.

Seamus emptied another glass before his eyes went blurry. The girl at the counter decided not to give him another shot and fearful that he might get violent, asked her colleague over at the buffet to take over. The reporter would normally make a big deal out of it, smash some bottles and hit the bartender before heading home to sleep or visit another pub, but this time it was different. He was different; Sad and lost, confused, angered…downcast, any of these words fit him like a glove. He took his lighter and smokes from the counter, shoving them back in his pocket and headed gawkily upstairs, walking slowly.

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Demetrius had no idea why he had run to the window and shouted for the strange creature he had encountered earlier that day in the ruins, his only plausible reason being that he doubted the three people in the room had the ability to defend themselves against such an animal as the one which had leaped through the window. In reality they need not fight at all, the possibility of running would not be cowardly in the fact of such unimaginable odds. But there was something in the room, something that seemed to hum as the forest had, that spoke of courage and determination, something divine and wonderful that had come with them from within the trees. Whatever it was wasn't working on him though, his attempt at attacking the creature, only out of instinct, was fruitless. He managed more damage to himself, in the form of two long, deep cuts across his palm, than he did to the huge, black dog from hell and so he stepped back, completely unsure of what to do and utterly terrified that he had managed no more than a scratch to the beast, as well as terrified for Rea's safety, he could see the strain put on her.

But that was the last he saw for a few seconds, a bright flash illuminated the room and temporarily blinded the man, causing him to stumble backwards without sight to come to an ungraceful rest against the wall. When his vision cleared he saw a great, white wolf assaulting the leg of the attacking creature, only adding to his fear at this point. He was on the wrong side of the room to make a run but he managed to peer past the pitched battle and saw that Ulva was now gone. The realisation that what she had been saying before, what he had not had time to reflect upon as works of fiction, dream or reality, had been true.

And then many more things happened, so fast he could barely believe it. The creature, wounded by the wolf (Ulva, he thought, it's Ulva though all logic screamed against it) stepped a little away and Rea was out and on her feet in a flash, all four of them. Wait, what?

Yes, though he could scarcely believe his own eyes, Demetrius had just witnessed the muscled woman fling herself towards the wall and transform into a small wolf or dog. All he could do was inch his way towards a corner as far away as he could find and hope that someone had slipped a wild hallucinagenic into a drink at some point that day and this was all in his head.

As this was happening he had been vaguely aware of a banging at the door but now his attention was brought to that door flying open on it's hinges to reveal the charging form of the sweet twins who had greeted them all and showed them each to their rooms. Only now they were not so sweet, all traces of childish innocence was gone and it's place was a burning power and a furious determination. They ran, eyes glowing, towards the beast with not so much as a hint of fear holding them back.

As one cut the other pushed and in seconds they had the creature back through the window it had come through, tumbling down to the ground with one of them caught in it's grasp. The scream from the other girl was unbearable, anger and sorrow incarnate, an auditory temple to loss. Demi was overwhelmed by it. It tore at every fibre of humanity he had and he felt the tug of protective instinct for the first time in his life, stronger than he could ever imagine. Though he held no friendship, nor relationship of any kind, with these children, they had saved both his and the women's lives. So he ran, as fast as he could, towards the door through the room which was now clear.

Pushing past people, seeing no faces, the writer sprinted his way to his own room and bounced off the doorframe as he went, not feeling the wood driving into his shoulder. He leapt at his bag and tore it open, breaking the zip, flung his clothes into the room and rooted around at the bottom until he found what he had been looking for. The knife his father had given him. He had only brought it along for sentimental reasons but it was as sharp as any blade he had come across and would prove to be a far greater weapon than the piece of glass that had cut into his hand and caused a trail of blood-drops down the corridor.

His mind was clearer than he could ever remember it being. Not a thing occupied it but the fight that he knew he was delving in to. He unwrapped the cloth that concealed the dagger and ran from the room with it clutched in his bloodsoaked hand, dodging between people, some of whom were clearing a way for him after seeing him holding a bloodsoaked knife. He headed for the stairs, taking them three at a time, then down a hallway and round a corner. He didn't know his way very well and the manor was like a maze. The door could have been anywhere at this point but he had no time for trivialties such as those. Going in the general direction he needed he soon reached an open window and dived through, throwing the weapon ahead of him before landing in an uncomfortable roll.

He could see the animal, if that was indeed a classification to be used for such a thing, now grappling with the twins ahead of him in the light that was cast from Rea's room to brighten the area like an arena and he picked up the blade once more to take off at a run across the grass towards it.

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Elise kept a firm hold on Ezreal's hand, not wanting to release it for fear that she would lose him in the gathering crowds. Without question she allowed him to take the lead and push his way through people who looked panicked and frightened, whilst she followed, apologising to those that they shoved out of the way. When he suggested that she should stay put, she gave him a withering look that said it all. She was staying. He still held her hand, which indicated that he knew she would stay with him. "There is no chance that you're getting rid of me that easily," She told him with a small smile, before she hurried up the last of the steps. Chaos erupted around them as soon as they reached the top and a scream made Elise's eyes widen in shock and surprise and they widened further when the light could be seen. Her hand tightened on Ezreals' for a moment before they entered the room. The crunch of glass underneath her feet made Elise wince and the sight of the blood made her head swim, but she gulped back her fear. Ezreal's hand was no longer in hers and somehow, she felt vulnerable as he walked into the depths of the room. Hesitating in the door, she watched, though from her vantage point she could not see the wolf that lurked there. By the time the human-like eyes of the wolf appeared, it was too late for Elise to do anything. The door slammed shut in her face. Shock flickered there, but it vanished as she slammed the palm of her hand against the wood, calling for Ezreal. Whatever was in that room wasn't human and now Ezreal was alone with it.

Casting an urgent look around, she noticed the next door along was ajar, abandoned in the panic. She rushed towards it, pushing the door roughly open. A discarded chair tripped her and she tumbled to the ground painfully, but as soon as she had touched the ground, she was back on her feet, aiming for the balcony that adjoined the one in the next room. Already she could see the large form silhouetted there and hoped that whatever it was, it hadn't harmed anyone within that room, including the wolf, because something told her that the wolf wasn't all it seemed. Throwing the door open to the balcony, she stepped out, intending to call to Ezreal, ignoring whatever it was stood on the balcony. "Ezreal, what is going-?" The words caught in her throat as her eyes adjusted to the darkness and fell upon his form. But it wasn't Ezreal. No, it was Ezreal, but a grotesque image of Ezreal, not the one she had grown to know over the last few hours. It was his face, stretched onto a body that did not belong to him, it was not his own. Beneath his hands, the balcony had crippled, like scrunched up paper. It held no resistance to his touch. Reality had put itself on pause. This wasn't the world that she knew. This wasn't Elise's world, it wasn't what she knew. Everything about this screamed that something was wrong. A fear bubbled in her chest as she stepped back away from Ezreal, who was preparing to jump to the ground below. Paling dramatically, she lent over to see if he had made it. Her knuckles were white against her skin as she held the balcony rail tightly. A breath was released from her chest, that she didn't even realise she was holding until then.

Sinking to the ground, she placed her head in her hands, breathing deeply to regain her calm. Ezreal. The wolf. The sounds in her mind. The shattering glass. What was going on? What was this place? All this and so much more whirled endlessly through her thoughts, causing her to grip her hair madly, a headache thudding rapidly at the back of her skull. Everything screamed that all of this was unreal, just a dream, but something small, a voice, piped up that this, this was real and it was happening right before her.

Why is this happening? That was Ezreal, but it wasn't...
It was Ezreal. Don't be thick Elise, of course it was.
So what had happened to him?
The forest of course...
The forest?
Something in that forest...
...Is wrong! Messed up...
No Elise, not wrong. Right, oh so very right.
But this can't be real...
Of course it's real. This is all real. And now, it's your time to shine. Well, my time to shine.

Elise frowned at her own thought processes, resting her chin on her knees. As she did, a sharp pain exploded through her skull. With a scream, she doubled over, rolling onto her side, clutching at her head. Eyes watering, she scrunched them closed, praying that the pain would stop. A metallic taste filled her mouth, like blood. She could feel every ache, every pain with surprising clarity, but her head was throbbing. Nothing made sense. Words wouldn't form properly within her mind, they were just a jumble of meaningless things that were of no relevance. A warm trickle told her that her nose was spurting blood once again. And just like, everything went black...

Elise slowly got to her feet, stretching and testing her muscles. A smirk formed on her lips, a cruel, evil smirk, so unlike Elise's natural smile. Wiping the blood roughly from her face, she looked down at it, where it glistened on her fingertips. The smirk widened. "Soon to be someone else's blood," She whispered, in a tone that screamed danger. It was malicious, brutal. Making her way through the room, she stumbled like a child on their first legs, but once she reached the door, she had mastered the step. Striding down the corridors, her posture held a confidence that had never been portrayed before. A glint in her eyes, warned those approaching to beware of her, for this girl was on the warpath. A brutal change from the soft, gentle personality of Elise, to the darker side of the whatever lay within the forest. Something demonic was held in Elise as she hurried down the stairs, heading towards the grounds to join in the fray that was ensuing there...

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Demetrius charged forward, seeing the creature struggle off it's back and clasp one of the twins to it's chest like a prize at a fairground. It was a monstrous sight and the sound was no better, if not worse, the sound of the other twin, her who was free of the creature's grasp, letting loose a constant call of sorrow and pain. It was awful and would likely have stopped the man in his tracks any day previous but tonight he knew was different, tonight he knew he was not the same man he had arrived as. Everything about him felt somehow different, his insides felt larger, as though his body could not hold it any more. His skin felt tight on his muscles as he ran and his entire body prickled as though in the initial stages of sunburn. If he had looked down he'd have seen his jeans growing steadily tighter around his thighs and calves as the flesh beneath seemed to grow with each and every stride, the same was happening beneath the folds of his baggy tee-shirt and tiny, coarse, golden hairs began poking from every pore, standing on end, but he noticed none of these things. He noticed only the lack of fear he felt, the total calm that slowly enveloped him, the killer instinct that had forever eluded him rising to the surface. He saw the creature struggling to keep itself from being surrounded, he could see the slightest movement in each muscle, in it's eyes, in the pounding veins beneath it's hide. He could almost hear the rushing blood through it's body as he closed the gap at a speed never before acheived by the novelist without the aid of a vehicle.

To his side he saw the wolf that had been Rea, now not thinking of the impossibility of the situation. Instead he thought how one more ally could help turn the tides and defeat the creature, saving the girl it grasped. His thoughts no longer seemed his own; there was no paranoia or neurotic ramblings, nor the presistent battle of information at any given moment, yet he had perfect control. Though he didn't slow in his ridiculous assault he knew that if he chose he could turn tail right then and there. But there was no desire to do that. The only desire was to free the girl and, dare he admit to it, slay the beast. The first taste of bloodlust boiled up and flared in his soul, spurring him on even more and causing him to drop forward and lean against the wind as he legs propelled him through speeds he would never have dreamed of reaching on foot. It wasn't long before he reached the site of the conflict, steps close to silent on the wet grass, and he slowed to allow himself the chance to attempt to circle the threat ahead.

"We need the help of the guardians"

Words which managed to stop the man in his tracks. Guardians?[i] he thought. There's more than one?[/i] He had tried calling for Jinan, assuming he was indeed one of the guardians they referred to, and recieved no reply yet, not in sound or sight. We're on our own.

Moving to the side now, knife still raised in a surprisingly natural stance, Demi tried to make his way clockwise to the side of the dark creature, only to be greeted by a massive paw swinging at him with ferocious speed. He dropped to the ground and ducked beneath it with uncanny speed of his own, pushing himself back up with his hands to back away, seeing a glint beyond the treeline as he did. A frown creased his pale face (Which now held a crimson tint high up on his cheeks as his blood pressure rose) as the seemingly animalistic, primal sense he'd gained processed the information rapidly and coupled it with his human knowledge. The conclusion he came to was that he'd seen the light reflecting from a blade of some description in the forest but he had next to no time to wonder if it had been true as the paw swept back, lower this time, and he was forced to fling himself backwards to land hard on his back out of the thing's range.

~~~~~~~~~

Nuram took no heed of the human's call for Jinan, they had to prove themselves, they had been chosen by the ruins so would have to win alone. Still, he was now fully clothed in thick, metal padding and needed to know what these people were capable of. Someone was also needed around should they fail in this test, to destroy this shadow creature. So after a few rolls of the shoulders and stretching of his huge pincers he started off towards the sound of the commotion, looking more like a demon than that he went to witness.

Walking with chin up and head held high, but no real purpose in his stride, the scorpion man set off on his slow way to the manor house, ears atuned to the battle which had begun. He was almost amused by the sounds and contentedly twirling his spear in his hand until shortly after the shattering of wood. Then he heard the call of one of the twins, the only other humans other than Thomas he had ever held respect for, and the violet orbs that burned within his skull flared with rage. The idea of this thing attacking them, they who were now as much a part of the forest as himself, made him run until he found a place near the forest edge where he could take a place without being seen. Hopefully the beast of the night would be too occupied with fighting to notice him and the humans would not be adapted enough to their changes to see him.

And so he watched, unmoving in the shadows of the trees, as the fight grew closer, reflecting on how generous the ruins had been in granting such gifts on the humans. Wasted. They have not the slightest idea what to do with such wisdom and power. Perhaps it was true, perhaps they simply needed time. Unfortunately time was not a luxury they had. If the actions of these fools were to result in any harm coming to Zosia they would have more than just a hound of the shadows to deal with.

He stood sentinel a little way along the trees from the fight, ready to jump in the slightest sight of anything going wrong, but still out of sight. Then one of the stupid men out there tried in vain to circle to beast and forced him further back into the shadows to avoid detection but something must have shown because he saw with perfect clarity the eyes of the man dart in his general direction. He knew it wasn't the sound, he was only too careful about muffling every step and it wasn't intuition because he was well out of range of even the creature's ability of detection. It didn't matter anyway, the fight continued and the focus was immediately taken from him.

It seemed to Nuram that humans worked in packs, though this was something he had never been told, because a more or less constant stream of them were making their way out here to the fight, all consumed by whatever drives they each held within their own mind. And then around the corner, completely unexpected, strode a female of the species that sparked hope deep within the recesses of the Girtablilu's fractured heart. This one was unlike the others, this one throbbed with power that seemed unconfined by the limits of mere human desire. On her face was a grin of pure chaos seen only on one face before - His own.

An exception to the rule, I believe they say. One of Nim's useless pieces of information regarding the species finally made sense to him. If there was a human alive that could help him, he was staring straight at her.

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“Elliot.” She mumbled. “My names Elliot”

Elliot stood up a little straighter, lengthening her stride. Iris stayed close beside her as they hurried to the source of the violent noises. When they reached their destination, coming in beside the other people who had been drawn to the noise. A man was trying to break into the door ahead of them, it was then the twins arrived passing everyone, they easily downed the door the man could not, entering he room with no hesitation. Elliot admired them for it.Soon a louder crash echoed out of the room and out into the hall, Elliot pushed ahead a little , she managed to get a quick glance into the room ; there was glass everywhere many pieces of furniture sat broken from the struggle that was taking place. Elliot did not see the culprit. Demetrius come out ,easily making his way through the crowd ,pushing past both girls ,a blood soaked knife clasped in his hands. Whether it was his blood or not she was unsure.

“Come on.” Elliot urged tightly taking iris hand in her own.

She broke into a run pulling the girl behind her. She kept Demetrius in sight as they made their way down the twisted halls. She finally saw him duck though a open window. She followed coming to a quick halt in front of it. He eye widened in a realization at what she was witnessing in front of her. There in the midst of the lawn, was a creature. Around and Demetrius fought along with the twins. A wolf was also present snapping its teeth at the creature. Elliot looked around for anything they could use to help them out. “We need weapons.” She breathed. Panic at the situation made her mind hazy as she looked around. She stopped took a deep breath and looked again. There was a small table close by holding a vase, they could break off the legs and use them, but she doubted they would do much good. She glanced up noticing the curtains which were pulled back the metal rode keeping them up was long, there were some points at each end. It would due.

She turned to iris explaining quickly, “I need you to give me a small bust.” She grabbed at the pole when iris gave her a hand. She quickly tore of the curtain. Grasping the pole by its middle, she climbed out the window. Taking in the scene before her, Demetrius had charged the creature quickly dogging as it took a swipe at him. Elliot made her way over, not sure of what she could do to help but not staying in the sidelines to watch ether.

~
Nim quickly arrived at the mansion. She took in the scene in front of her . The humans were fighting the creature, alongside the twins; she glanced at the wolf, surprised by how fast the transformation had taken over the girl. She was angry how dare that creature make a mess of the peace of this place and attack there guests and the twins. How much the transformation had taken over them, they were hardly human now and on the brink of being something else entirely. She would make sure that thing got what it disserved.

Although she thought this Nim was still unsure how to handle the situation, part of her wanted to jump in and to help in any way she could. However another part of her, the part that had seen many centuries knew that that was the last thing she should do. Not because she was afraid of the creature or because of her size. Nim was not a coward, but she wasn’t a fool ether. The humans would be facing a lot worse than this soon, and they wouldn’t learn if the guardians were to come to their rescues whenever there was trouble. This was a necessary lesson they needed to learn in order to survive the ruins and what was still to come. The needed to learn to defend themselves, something hat is best gained by experience.

However if things were to get to out of hand she couldn’t predict her actions. She was nervous, so nervous in fact she hardly noticed the presence of nuram come into focus. She took another glance into the yard before she made her way over to the guardian. She settled on a branch close to him. “Nuram.” She said her voice sounded almost distant in greeting, her attention to the fight. She thought about her previous decision, concerning the Girtablilu and his last words to her.

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Elise strode out into the darkness that had befallen the grounds of the grand house. Flicking her hair over her shoulder, an evil smirk crept onto her lips. The grounds were in as much turmoil as they house was. People were running everywhere. Some were crying, others screaming. Elsewhere, she knew a battled raged. She could feel it. No, she couldn't feel it. The real Elise could feel it and this Elise could sense it through her. If Elise had been herself, then she would have been rushing to assist the others in the fight, with a new-formed body and mind beyond her imagination. But instead, she was heading towards the tree-line, her stride powerful and intent on reaching her destination. There were other matters at hand that had to be dealt with, because if they escaped then this would be the end. Holding no interest in the fight that was ensuing with the other chosen, there was one thing that she intended to do and she would not stop until it was done. Bright eyes flickered around quickly as she walked, scooping out the area. They were close. So very close. If only she could get her hands on it.

Flashes of images. That was all Elise could see. Other than that it was completely black. Darkness filled her mind. What was happening to her? She felt slow, restricted. Nothing felt the same. Her body was heavy. No, moving of its own accord. Was she controlling it? No, she couldn't remember telling herself to walk forwards. The feeling faded and once again she was floating in nothingness, just holding on by sheer willpower. Reaching out, she tried with desperation to make sense of all of this, but she couldn't think. Nothing matter. Nothing made sense. This blackness was all there was. It was never-ending. It reached out forever and would never release her. Not ever.

Roughly, Elise pushed a maid out of her way as she ran across the damp grass. she slid slightly, but regained her balance, holding her straight posture. There is was. She could sense it. Somewhere close. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted movement. Skidding to a halt, she watched a dark figure making a break for the trees. A sly smirk spread over her face and she took off towards it at a fast pace. Gaining on the figure, she took short sharp breaths as she pumped her arms. They were not getting away. Not this time. All of this had to stop and it had to stop now.

Stretching out a hand, she shouted, her voice echoing around the grounds. "Stop!" It was full of force, of power. To her left, something else moved. Between the trees, something swirled, whirled, moved with a smoothness. It crept close to the ground, slithering with a clear grace. Tendrils snaked and snatched, moving forwards towards the running figure. Elise kept going, never taking her eyes off the bird that flew alongside the human. They glinted with a deep, dark hatred and anger bubbled inside of her.


Anger. Why was she angry? She had no reason to be angry. Nothing made sense. The anger faded, replaced with a dull throbbing of nothingness.

A sudden burst of movement ripped a laugh from Elise's mouth. The shadow lurked forwards, snarling at Ulva's ankles, taking a tight hold of it. Wrapping its way steadily up her leg, it attempted to trip her. It didn't have to. Elise came up from behind, pushing the girl roughly, intending for her to fall, whilst the shadow wrapped itself around her torso. Another laugh left her lips as she stood over Ulva, her eyes searching for the bird.

Everything in told Elise to protect this girl she was getting flashes of. But she could do nothing. The bird. The girl. Herself attacking the girl. None of this should have been happening. Who had taken control of her body? Why was she acting this way? Elise didn't understand. She felt disconnected from her own body, like she held no attachment to any of it. Only flashes, only thoughts that weren't her own. Nothingness. That girl. She was going to die if Elise didn't stop herself. It would happen. This self would destroy all of the chosen, one by one. But why? Why had this demon taken over her body, her mind, her everything? "Nooo!" For just a moment, the true Elise broke through. The thought of this thing controlling her body was just too much for her. She would allow it. There was no way she would give up her body to this demonic creature. The shadows shrunk back, away from Ulva, back towards the trees like a scolded dog. Panting, Elise doubled over, trying desperately to catch her breath. A headache thumped painfully in the back of her skull, reminding her of the offending headache earlier. Clutching her head, she groaned in pain, before remembering the girl. "I-I'm sorry..." She whispered, looking up with pleading eyes, shaking her head. "Th-That wasn't me. I promise...Can I help you?

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Elise watched Ulva with despair written across her face as she shook her head sadly. Only faded memories resided in her mind of what had just transpired whilst she was out of her body, but it was clear that she had intended harm upon the young girl. Even death, as it was suggested by her. That was not who Elise was. She meant no harm to anyone or anything. It was not in her nature to be vicious or hurtful and it never had been. Even whilst on the drugs, she had not turned violent towards anyone at any point. It caused her great sadness and despair to believe that she had threatened another person's life. But it hadn't been her. No, something else was hiding in the depths of her mind. Something dark and dangerous had been confined in her thoughts for now. Elise didn't dare think of it, for it could take control of her at any moment. What would she do if it did? She'd have no choice, even if it were the case. There was no control over this, she had already established this and it had only taken her over once.

Taking a step after Ulva, she called out once again. "Look, I can help you. I don't really know what happened, but..." She stopped dead. How was she supposed to explain it? All Ulva had seen was Elise attempting to kill her by the sounds of it. Any attempt at trying to convince her otherwise was going to be completely pointless. It would just be seen as a trap. She wouldn't trust someone who had tried to kill her, no matter how much they tried to reason. Even if it hadn't been Elise, then the girl wasn't going to believe that ridiculous story. Then again, was it so ridiculous? Everything here seemed completely ridiculous and unbelievable. It was a place of nightmares, for Elise at least. Since she had arrived there had been nothing but trouble for her, putting herself in danger at every turn.

Closing her eyes, she rubbed her eyes with the palm of her hands trying to stop the dull thudding that had erupted over the back of her skull. As she did, a low voice could be heard from between the trees. Slowly, she raised her head, frowning. Everything told her she should run, or at least distance herself. With the wind, the voice could barely be heard, but she caught words. He was accusing her of something that she didn't quite understand. She meant no-one any harm and yet deep down she knew part of her was extremely dangerous. "Please, I didn't mean to harm her. I just want to help." She whispered, stepping further backwards. As she did, she tripped, her back smashing against the tree behind her. She winced, sliding down it until she was sat on the floor. The headache was beginning to get too much for her, but she persisted to try and reason with whatever it was accusing her. All she could see was the eyes in the darkness. "This had nothing to do with me. It's not me. I can't control it." It was a babble. A wild babble. Nothing made sense. Her voice was slurred and even she couldn't understand her words.

"Don't be foolish Jinana. You wouldn't harm this chosen one to save me. I have merely taken her body and mind. She was a good choice as it turns out. The powers she obtained from this stupid place were somewhat....helpful to my cause. You know I'm going to destroy you all and take this place for my own." A harsh laugh left her lips as she shook her head.

The words escaped Elise's mouth before she could even stop them. She clasped her hands to her mouth, looking surprised. "That-That wasn't me." She gasped, her eyes widened from shock and surprise. Even though the demon hadn't shown itself fully, it had spoken through her lips.

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Circling the creature turned out to be a waste of time as Demetrius pushed himself back to his feet and found himself turning his gaze away, somewhat blinded by the fiery glow coming from the snow-white pelt of the dog, or wolf perhaps, that had once been the heavily muscled form of Rea. His eyes were sharper than he had ever known them and the force of such intense light in the face of the darkness he was growing used to ripped through his head like the dagger he held.

By the time he had gripped the dark creature in his sight once more the animal-Rea had taken to the floor and the captive twin screamed with the agony of four deep wounds scratched across her torso. The bloodlust, the power, the unexplainable change, it all began to seep away and in seconds he was left with only a growing sense of horror as the huge shadowed dog took off into the forest, pursued by Rea. His vision was once more impaired by the lack of light and the strength in his legs started to wane. His blade fell to the grass and sliced easily through the wet dirt, leaving it stood with the hilt pointing to the starry sky. The effect of his dash across the open ground took it's toll, his breath quickened and deepened and soon he was panting and his legs were shaking as he made his way in an almost blind, meandering stumble to where the poor girl lay seeping blood and sparks of brightest gold across the grass.

And he was not the only one on the scene. Already rushed to her aid were some familiar faces. The dancer and the musician from the entertainment drafted in. If he'd ever been more glad to see a pair of artists he could not think of such a time. Help was help and was probably more than he himself could offer. And there, stumbling even more than himself, was the reporter he had taken such a shining to. Drunk. Mumbling. In the way.

With uncharacteristic force, Demi used what little of his energy remained to plant a hand firmly in Seamus' chest and push him out of the way, noting the glazed eyes and slurred words. They were symptoms he was far too familiar with. He finally fell to his knees beside the frail girl, all thoughts of the battle now out of mind and well as sight.

"Oh Jesus..." It was little more than a whisper but he couldn't help it now he was close enough to see the extent of the damage. The dancer had made a rudimentary bandage and started applying pressure to the wound. It was as much as he himself could have done and he was at a loss of what more there was. He wished he had the strength to get back to the house and find some help but he knew making his way to his feet was no longer a possibility, his legs were jelly. And to top it off he was confused. Well, he'd been confused since arriving but now it was worse. Adding to the gore was a display of shining, glistening showers of golden sparks that was, even in the circumstances, truly beautiful to behold. He knew it was some kind of life-force other than blood, though how he knew was, as ever, a mystery.

With nothing more to do to help he placed one of his hands over the bandage that was left uncovered and the other over the dancer's own hands to help apply more pressure. He was a fiction writer, as far away from a doctor as you could get, but even he could see the outcome was not destined to be good. He looked up at the woman across the frail body from him, looking her in the eyes wordlessly as though pleading her to disagree with his thoughts and put him at ease.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nuram raised only a finger to his lips to indicate they be silent as Nim settled and gave a nervous greeting. For once the presence of the creature did not fill him with a tedious irritation because he knew now he did not have to stay in place. And he knew where he wanted to go, his eyes were following the path he would set himself onto shortly, the path that was being taken by the entrancing human female who was at the same time no more human than he himself. Whatever her goal was, he knew that she would be the one, and likely the only one, he would watch out for. He could feel such power, such unrelenting and unforgiving malice, such a desire for control. It was almost intoxicating, the idea of a creature he could empathise with. Without a sound he took a step to follow her into the forest and simply watch, perhaps even step out of line and speak to her, but a sound from the battle stopped him in his tracks. It was the unmistakable sound of tearing flesh.

The Girtablilu had no more desire to expose himself now than he had to befriend each and every human on the planet. But that sound, and the cry of despair that follwed, caused a knot in his stomach that grew so rapidly into a feeling that consumed him and polluted his thoughts like a pyschological bile that corroded his mind, drowning out his natural patterns of thought. True, there were no rules in war but to attack the twins was to attack the forest itself. And to attack the forest was to incite the wrath of the guardians.

As the creature backed up and bounded off into the forest, Nuram had already whispered to Nim, "Keep watch here," and took off on his own path, running parallel with the shadow through the trees, vaguely aware but still uncaring about the presence of one of the chosen behind them. He matched the creature for speed but eased slowly ahead only through his knowledge of the forest and the fluidity he achieved through galloping into familiar territory.

He kept running, knowing where he was going, knowing it would be to the site he had witnessed the desecration of power by one of the humans, and as the unholy beast came into the clearing he leapt to the side, enveloping it in his huge claws and tackling it, mid-air, to the ground. The impact on the forest floor left a deep trench in the soft ground where they slid along, Nuram managing to raise his spear as they went. He jabbed it into the ground and used the momentum of them both to fling himself off and onto his feet in the path on the incoming opponent, twisting in the air with a surprising grace for one as large and heavy as himself.

In a fluid movement that followed his landing perfectly he ached his back and let fly with his tail, striking with deadly accuracy at the hound's throat. But it was quick, despite the sudden fall, and two paws came together to clasp around the point and knock it aside, unbalancing the scorpion-man and sending him tumbling to the ground, all actions blinding by rage. In seconds the chase was back on.

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#, as written by echored
Ulva took a quick look over her shoulder as she pushed herself to keeping going. Her feet were bare but the earth below was soft which made up for it. The winding path towards the hilltop clearing was about at its wit end. Her breathing was heavy after running at such a fast pace from Rea’s room all the way to this current spot. Her look behind caught eye of the woman who was trying to kill her and nearly succeeded. But she wasn’t alone anymore. Something was confronting her from out of the trees, a tall, magnificently built creature walked towards her. Ulva wasn’t sure what it was, it was nothing like she had ever seen before. Then again, nothing here was anything familiar. The creature could be there to help that woman, or maybe not- Ulva hadn’t the slightest clue. All she could tell was that he.. it... was doing a good job distracting the woman from following after her.

“How are you doing, Stitch?” Ulva asked swiftly as she looked at the small creature on her shoulder. It chirped softly, pointedly.. as if it knew the situation and the risk they were taking.

“I can see some people up at the top of the hill, I think... they must be setting up,” Ulva continued to say as she jumped over roots casually and avoided random branches. She was a clumsy woman to say the least but right now she felt more graceful than ever. Maybe it was the adrenaline. Her pace finally slowed when they arrived at the cusp of lit field. It was filled with stages and circus supplies. So much for entertainment tonight though. “Okay, where to? We’ll be safe here, right?” she whispered to the bird, the questions more for herself. She could feel the claws releasing from the grasp it had in her skin, it’s wings flapping slowly at first but then gaining speed as it took flight off her shoulder. It hovered at Ulva’s eye level for a brief moment before taking off to the right towards the treeline.

“No!” she cried, not wanting to loose sight of it. She picked up pace again, following the tiny creature the best she could. Her eyesight was impeccable for this time of night which was useful, but slightly disorienting. Colors still held their lustful greens and browns even in the shadows of night. The lights set up in the field weren’t stretching this far out and a part of Ulva wondered if this was a bad idea to leave the clearing so soon.. Yet the creature had another mission it seemed, and the agenda was set to follow it. As Ulva neared the line of dark trees, she could hear them thumping again, like heartbeats. Any second now she wouldn’t be surprised to hear them whisper. The scent of the surrounding area was growing potent, and she took her first step. There was an animalistic instinct beginning to bubble at the core of her soul, now stained with markings of wolf. She could feel the uncontrolled muscles tensing, wanting to shift forms. But she didn’t want to shift, she wanted to stay human. It wasn’t natural to feel these urges, it wasn’t natural an any level. Stitch was a few yards ahead, waiting for her to follow.

The two squeezed through overgrown brush and down a trail before finally coming to a stop. In front of her was...simply amazing. Two very large trees stood before her with doors. Above were clocks that looked to be apart of the trees, grown in place from years upon years of being there. It looked to be like an abandoned area, like it was a home for something at some point in time. It was calm here, peaceful. Even the dark of the night couldn’t tarnish the beauty of the old wood. She had to check out the inside of the tree, she just had to. Not to mention, Switch flew inside the door like it was no issue. Maybe he knew what was inside, maybe this was the creature’s safe house. The first step in the door caused a loud squeak against the aged floorboards. Ulva bit her lip, holding the doorframe cautiously before allowing herself to walk completely inside. It was empty except for a few broken chairs on the ground. Grass and other plants were growing along the floors and the walls. And then there was a staircase. Stitch flew up it and Ulva followed after. If a step broke she’d easily be in trouble, no one would know where she was or how to find her if she was hurt. But then again, she had to check and see what was up there.

“Stitch? she mumbled, opening up a trapdoor that the stairs led to which was so worn down Stitch had already managed to fly through a hole. On the floor above there was nothing but a small window. And a nest. Stitch chirped happily for the first time since it had been with Rea earlier. Clearly the creature knew what lived here or maybe even lived here itself. Ulva allowed herself to sit next to the window, looking out below. For the first time she was actually able to take a deep breath and relax. The fact that she didn’t have a clue what was going on was pushed to the back of her mind. How long this would last was only a question now.

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Iris felt hope leaving her body with every drop of blood that fell on the grass or filled the bandage under her hands. The Irishman found his way near them, but how and why Iris had no idea. He was drunk and useless. After getting Seamus out of the way, Demetrius crashed on his knees besides her.

"Oh Jesus...".
he whispered and put one hand over the bandage and the other on top of her own. She could see him looking at her before her vision got blurry, tears filling her eyes. She shook her head twice from left to right and back again as an answer to his plead. How could she put him at ease when she had no hope left and no idea how to save the girl?
The Irishman disturbed the silence with his hoarse voice.

“What the hell is going on?! What in the name of all saints IS GOING ON??” he yelled staring at the wounded twin and at the pool of blood and golden sparks laid in front of him. “Where is Thatcher?” he shouted at the other sister “Where’s dat old bastard? Is dis what he hoped for?” Rage filled him and Seamus lost his senses. He dashed forward like a mad man and took the girl from the dancer’s arms pushing Demetrius aside with his free arm. With the twin in his arms he ran towards the ruins where he last seen Thomas shouting as hard as his lungs allowed him, yet his voice wasn’t his anymore.
“Is dis what ya wanted old man?!! Look at her! How did it come to this?!” the man let out a devilish laughter and his new voice echoed like thunder on a storm. “Come here old man!” he shouted like a beast and his emerald eyes turned into a black void. His long hair also changed color. The fallen angel had taken over. He lifted the twin above his head like a prize “Are you coming to save her or should I take her instead?”

“No!” Iris screamed when the Irishman took the girl from her arms and ran to the Ruins. She went after him asking Demetrius to do the same. The man stopped on the crest of the hill in the ruins calling out for the one who invited them. But it wasn’t the reporter she saw holding the girl up in the air. It was someone else, with long black hair and a muscular build. The man looked right into her eyes smiling with mischief and Iris felt her head spinning all of a sudden.

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The dancer's shake of the head was unnecessary, Demitrius could see just how hopeless the situation was with every passing second. Through his fingers he felt the blood flowing, he could see it in the darkness thanks to the brilliant sparks leaping out to join the constant stream of lifegiving fluid. His head swam, the impact of what was happening really started to sink in.

This isn't how things were supposed to be he thought. This was supposed to have been nothing more to him than a chance to rejuvenate, to relax and cleanse himself of the stresses of everyday life, maybe give a little boost to his career while he was at it. This was supposed to be fun. Yet now he knelt in the grass trying in vain to hold off Death from taking a young girl into his waiting arms. And there was no doctor in sight, just a few people, people that were somehow no longer human in their own ways, people who he doubted had any way to help here. And of course, deserving a mention for outstanding dedication to appearances, a drunk reporter, who had now decided to make his way over. It was Demi's intention to completely ignore him until all this was over but that, the same as a peaceful evening, was not to be.

Seamus rushed over, the vague smell of alcohol instantly available for all to smell, and he returned the shove that had shortly before been given to him. He had not been expecting it and fell to the floor on his side, head bumping off the ground with some force and long hair splashing across his pale face. The dizziness that he had been feeling started to ebb away like the twin's blood and soon was replaced, once again, with rage.

God no, not again... He had felt the same on his charge across the grass, he knew what was coming. The heightened senses, the unnatural speed, the reaction time, the lust for fighting, the thrill of the chase, it would all too soon take over him again and he knew where he wanted to direct it but could not be sure his mind would still be his own. The last time had been strange, his intentions were good but the darkest places in his subconscious had risen up and driven him. And he was tired, so tired now after last time. His body was aching, his lungs were heaving and his hand still stung from the self-inflicted slash back in Rea's room, an event that already seemed so long ago.

The tiredness evaporated and again his muscles began a subtle tranformation as he heard the reporter yelling through the forest with a deep roar of a voice that was far from his own. He had the girl, Demi did not even need to look up to see that, and would not get away with her. He stood, instantly back on balance. His eyes were narrowed and his vision was clear as day. His ears picked up the sound of Iris calling him easily in the darkness. He walked to where his knife protruded from the ground and reached down to grab it, eyes now taking in the larger muscles of his legs, and in a few seconds he was by her side, running through the forest, picking his way across roots and beneath branches with ease. It was only now as he ran that he realised his glasses were gone, yet his vision remained better than it had ever been before. His thoughts clouded and left the previously mild man with little of his regular personality but with intelligence nonetheless, whoever's it may have been.

The forest opened up to the bottom of the hill. He was back at the ruins, back at the site that had started all this. And here he would end it if he could. And 'if he could' had never been a more legitimate way to describe his odds. What awaited him was no longer a crude, inebriated Irishman but a broad, muscular form raising the injured child above it's head like a sacrifice.

"Put her down Seamus!" he shouted up, voice deeper and louder than usual. "You have taken this too far already." He snarled these words and punctuated them by raising his knife, determined to let him know that he would get no further without a fight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Far away in the forest from there, now just past the clearing, the chase between the guardian and the shadow creature continued, one relentlessly persuing the other, again gaining ground slowly thanks to his knowledge of the forest. Nuram knew the route they were following and knew the beast would need to either slow and turn or take a leap. Either way he had his plan and they ran onwards.

It was only a few seconds before the dog sprung into the air amd the guardian took his chance. With deadly accuracy he flung his spear, watching as it sliced through the air beneath the jumping creature and embedded itself cleanly in a tree ahead. The flying form had no way to avoid crashing into it face first and soon found itself twisted backwards with his gaze looking right into Nuram's path as he leapt the same obstacle and closed a vast, powerful pincer around the thing's neck. It made no sound of pain, only a screech of anger as teeth gnashed and claws swiped.

Nuram's own rage would not let him end this quickly and his other crushing limb grabbed a flailing leg, pinning the beast to the floor. While it was held down his human arms grabbed hold of his spear and wrenched it free of it's target, only to flip it around and thrust it directly into the ground beneath his opponent with a gruesome sound of snapping ribs and tearing flesh as it passed through. This managed to bring out a whine that cut through the forest's atmosphere and brought a flicker of a smile to it's assailant's dark lips. The struggling shadow was now pinned through the chest and held fast to the ground. His pain had only just begun.

For almost a mile in any direction the sound carried. The howling and whimpering spread throughout the trees to any ears near enough to hear it's mournful cry as the spear was turned and pushed, twisted and pulled in an expert manner designed to inflict as much burning agony as possible.

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Rea was fast, that was sure, but still she soon lost sight of the creature. She had heard other things in the for a moment before it took off at a true speed, she supposed something that threatened it, so it no longer wanted to tease along her slight form and she wondered what it could be that scared it so. She would have shuddered had she not been running, but as it was her small lungs heaved, she was soon to run out of breath. She paused, her fur burning the sweat away lightly, she barely noticed, far to caught up in the hunt to do much more than stare with her bright blue eyes in the direction she knew it to be. She bought her nose to the ground, taking in a deep breath of dirt. She sat down for a moment, her tail curling around her in an absent minded way. Slowly her lungs were slowing and she lay down, huffing a breath out, trying to smell the beast, hear it, if she could then their would be no problem. The ground smelled of sweet rich earth, rotting leaf matter from her left around the base of the tree. Then for perhaps the first time she really looked around, the ground where things could not grow, was completely clear, all the rotting mulch was at the base of the tree, not scattered everywhere. The ground smelled of animals, birds, humans and… creatures. She growled slowly to herself, what was this place that every inch was so well looked after?

The sound of a crashing bush caught her ears, quite some way off and she stood slowly, her breath more even, the fire glow having fallen form her pure white pelt. She tilted her head, looking up at the big tree before her, in it clocks hung and she could smell the sent of her friend. She took a slow step forward, was Ulva out here, how had she got here in the dark, even with her canine eyes, sharp ears and keen sense of smell, she found it hard to navigate here way here. She raised her paw, intending to go and see what was going on, but the crash of feet was heard again, her pray, hers. She growled, it was closer now and her head turned without thought and she was off. This time she stayed at a gentle trot, the noise was a struggle and she knew their was no rush to be there, plus she did not want to attract the attention of anything that had frightened the beast that had attacked her and her friends. Trees passed her overhead, their broad leaves shutting out the starry and full moon. Around her the vegetation became thicker and despite being close, she had to slow, quietly picking her way over the hidden root and low hanging branches. Their was less noise now, but she knew they were there.

Slowly and somewhat unsure what her feet had carried her to, she poked her head out of a thick bush, careful to make as little noise as possible. There she was greeted by the somewhat obscured image of the beast and.. something else. She did not move from her position, the second beast must have only attracted seconds before, for the dark creature seemed shocked to have been pinned. It looked back at it’s attacker and she too followed the movement to look at the creature. It was strong and unlike anything she had ever seen, it was for lack of a better word ugly. It was covered over what she assumed was a human torso in thick plated amour and it’s underside, she shivered. She supposed it was most like an insect, it’s large claws clamping down on the now bleeding evil thing, it’s hind legs were many and she could hardly bare to count, still she did. It was a scorpion in lower shape, it had a long tail that arched out and and and, it was pointed at the tip. She wondered if what they said about scorpions was true, the bigger they were the less piousness and felt the rule most defiantly did not apply here. She tilted her little head, trying to see its face and what it might be thinking.

It moved with great strength, precision as it hurt the beast, her eyes went wide and became for lack of a better word, hungry. Yet she could not come out like this, the creature could cut her in two without so much as a breath of effort, no she needed to be able to reason with it, to show it that she wanted part of the creatures demise. She licked her sandpaper tongue over her nose, she needed to be human, it was the only way. She thought slowly of her old form and caught the image in her minds eye, her nude body licked in flame, decent for the swirling color. She ignored her own body as it changed, telling herself this was who she was, the woman. Images of herself in flight filled her, how her muscles stretched and how strong she felt, far stronger than any dog. Her fur shrank back into her pores, the almost unbearable noise grating on her sense greatly, her body twisted, once more becoming focused on two legs, her dark hair grew back, long and trailing down her back. She stood slowly as her transformation came close to its end and felt the urge to howl for the loss of it. Sharp teeth bit across a now soft plum tongue and her ears slid down the side of her head. A soft red dress, ruminant of a volcanoes glow to almost black red climbed across her form. Her eyes were red and for any who might have known her before, she did not stand like herself.

“We can not have you walking around naked, now can we.” A voice spoke from her own mouth and she covered it, not wanting the creature to hear her. “I will not have you shame my name, my people would not hear of it. Heed the name Pele, for though I look after you, you have yet to be judged.” The words were muffled but hearable. The straps of the dress twined together, giving her support, it fell to her knees and was of a modest cut, that did nothing to hide her rich supple muscles. She cursed herself. The creature must have heard, shaking her head she stepped out from behind the bush and stood in plain sight. She moved with confidence, her bare feet not touching the ground and gave a low bow to the creature, hoping that it understood human values of respect. Her once brown eyes burnt bright with flames, her long hair lose and flowing, making her silhouette hard to disconcert. She did not raise from her bow, staying low and waited to see if it attacked her, though she suspected it would not as it would mean losing its prey.

“I would like to have part of the kill, I have chased this beast, have followed it and been lead here.” She spoke in soft tones of respect. “Do you understand?” She asked, tilting her head, slowly raising to stand strait.

******************************************************

“I am sorry little one, but I can not let you pass.” Jinan spoke with genuine regret. His paws flickered, his usually retracted claws flicking out, sharp as knives. He did not look at the floor though he wished too. The forest around him was screaming what was happening and he could hardly bare it. He sniffed at the smell of blood, yet still his eyes did not move from the little form before him. His tail twitched behind him, agitated by the turn of events. Of course their would be a demon, he was stupid not to have thought of it before, how could he not have, they wanted to destroy the peace on the other side. He removed his head dress and it disappeared in his hand, he also unwound the sarong about his hips, leaving him in nothing but his own fur, it was rare for him to go this way, but he would not have the demon creature tear at his worldly possessions. He shifted his feet, for he was standing his hind two and lowered himself into a crouch, his arms hanging lose below him.

“Know I did not want this, but unless you can gain control, I will immobilize you.” He shook his head, trying to shake it free of the guilt over hurting something innocent. “It is right, I do not wish to hurt you, but I will. I have been guarding this place through the ages and I will let no one unworthy enter the gate.” He paused looking into the girls eyes, almost pleading her, though he knew she could do very little now that she was under the creatures deep grip. He watched her for signs that the creature was coming through, showing his ugly face in her sweet soft features. Moving with grace not possessed by any human, he came on to all fours, feeling the soft soil give beneath his long talons. He wondered what punishment he would gain from the forest for doing this, for hurting her, but he knew he had no choice and even though she was to be protected, he could not let her go on.

“Demon, I’m sure we have met before, you know of me if not from your kin, how dare you deify the rules of this place.” His sharp teeth flashed and eyes in the almost pitch black losing their glow and became flat emotionless disks. “I ask you to leave the girl, leave her now and never return here. You can not flee this place unless the forest lets you and it will not unless I say so. This place is the only mother I have and I will not let you defile her. If you choose to stay, I will make it so your hell, your home looks warm and inviting.” Without saying a word more he began to stalk across the floor, his movements quick and smooth. Then he was gone from her sight, in the dark he could blend, he had of course not gone, but was giving the creature a moment to decide without haste, if he saw the girl move so much as an inch towards the ruins, he would make sure that it never reached its destination. He wished for a moment he knew more about the girl and how he might help her be rid of the beast, but he knew that was not the way, she would have to be rid of it herself or he would deal with what was left.

“Girl, tell me your name.” he whispered from the trees above her.

*********************************************************************

Zosia lay in arms, she had been dumped on the floor and she could feel the rich soil beneath her, how it echoed up through her body, like something half forgotten. She couldn’t feel much now, the only thing she could really feel was her twin and her thoughts echoed about her head they were not at all comforting. She was picked up by someone who was not her sister and she felt somewhat unhappy about this, though she did nothing to show her displeasure, moving was to hard at this moment. Never before had the twins had to fight something of such malevolence or size, maybe something the size of a rat, but never this. Her muscles were limp and her head lolled to one side in the mans lap, she could see her sister, how tears streamed down her face, once so proud and strong, brought to tears by her own sister. She wished to go to her, to comfort her, but now all she could do was murmur and that too was a great effort. Still she was glad the others were safe, she had saved the chosen few, even if it only meant that they lived for a few more short hours. Her eye lids fluttered, going to the woman next to her, the dancer and she smiled, she had always wanted to be a dancer, but alas she had never really made it out into the ‘real’ world.

“Don’t no, don’t come here.” Sasha’s ears had pricked when she heard the drunk approaching, only two steps from sweeping her sister up into her arms. “Leave us alone!” She keened, her voice high as she could feel her sister slipping away. She watched as the man pushed Demetrius over, eyes flashing with anger, their pale color once more starting to awaken. She could do little more than stare as the man picked up her wounded sister and ran off with her. The air roiled thick around her, had anyone been close, they would have felt a sharp sting, like glass dust in a storm. She watched the others run off but did not move, beneath her feet was her sisters spilled blood, the golden sparkles glittering on the floor, before winking out, one by one. The ground shook beneath her, the earth moving beneath her small feet. Her eyes flickered to Nim, but their was no love their, only hatred, why hadn’t she helped, why hadn’t any of the guardians helped? She spat at her feet, the motion seeming unnatural in the delicate girl with long yellow hair and their mothers dress. Her blur glowing orbs shone her way and she did not turn to look at the little sylph again.

Her feet were swift beneath her, she did not even look at them as she sped through the forest with all its eyes, all its strength, all its power and none of its wisdom behind her. Her hair became a sheet of shimmering gold behind her, like spun gold in the darkness, metallic in her rage, it glittered. She could smell her sister on the air, her ears now deaf to anything but the call of the forest, its voice streaming through her like a chant without words only meaning. A metallic twang touched the air, blood, her sisters and she put on even more speed, she would not let this man hurt her, would not let him take her last breath, would not could not. A scream burst from her lips, it was not the scream of the frightened, this was the voice of madness and it was heading to the top of the hill, to the gate and to where she and her sister belonged. Roots, leaves and insects passed beneath her, if barely felt like she was running now, her feet almost didn’t touch the ground and soon enough, they didn’t, she had run to hard and without thinking or knowing, she left her body behind, retaining her self in a blue and yellow form, great wings flickering out behind her and a burning sword at her hip.

“NO!” She yelled, bursting from the trees at almost the exact same moment as the second creature appeared, seeming to slip sideways through a seam that had not been there before and was not after. Her eyes were caught on her sister for a second, no more before she barreled into the creature. She would not let it harm her, she would deal with the man afterwards, to hell with the consequences but now was her time for revenge. The already fast girl was a stream of light, her thoughts barely holding her form together as she ran. She hit the beast, its heavy flank taking the weight as she slammed into it, blue flames licking around the edge.
(unedited enjoy)

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The man was holding Zosia and her blood left trails on his shoulders and back, staining the Irishman’s t-shirt with gold and red. The angel felt empowered and overjoyed, finally his time arrived and he already got his first victim without having to move a muscle for it. He wanted the old man to see him like this, having a body of his own, taking over one of the guests. It did not matter that Seamus wasn’t one of the Lucky Draws, he had enough physical strength to handle the fallen angel’s spirit and too little willpower to resist him. Still, he needed the girl’s vital energy filled with the Ruin’s blessings and the forest’s power to survive in a human body. After this task was complete, he would have enough strength to succeed were the Irishman failed. He had to kill every woman that didn’t reach the age of forty so that the Muse wouldn’t incarnate. The angel had no idea who was the chosen one, but he knew it had to be one of the Lucky Draws. He had to make sure none of them survived if they refused to join him because only the untainted ones who deliberately chose to be on the side of the light were suitable vessels for the Muse. He was surrounded by darkness, the night’s air filled his lungs and the lack of light favored his actions.

Instead of the old man the angel saw Iris running over to him and stopping a few yards away. He pierced her with his gaze, the urge to kill taking over.

"Put her down Seamus! You have taken this too far already."

The man was calling the Irishman’s name in a deep, guttural voice and looked like he was prepared for a fight.

“You think you can take me on, writer?” A grin curved his crimson lips. “My affairs are with the old man, not with you!” He looked at the dancer once more and Iris fell to her knees unable to breathe. She put her hands to her neck and opened her mouth, but to no avail. Her lungs simply refused to take in the air.

The angel lifted the twin higher, clearing his throat for another call. His war cry merged with Sasha’s desperate scream in a piercing sound that made the earth tremble.
“Dissonance.” Iris remembered what the Muse had told her just before passing away.

The angel saw the other twin coming closer and then a creature of the dark dashed forward to welcome her. The creature got hit by what looked like a blue and golden ethereal form with a solid composition. He caught a glimpse of the wings and the sword and memories of the Archangel that gave him his punishment started to emerge from the depths of his memory.

Knowing very well that time was not on his side, he laid Zosia at his feet and bend over as if he wanted to kiss her. A golden mist came out of her lips and the angel used his own mouth to sip it, draining the girl’s energy. He felt her thoughts, her memories, her innocence and love for her sister, for her mother, for the forest. He felt the power bestowed upon her by the Ruins filling his veins straight to his core.
“Finally!”
The transformation was almost complete now and not a trace of the Irishman’s unique constitution remained. His belly tucked itself in, his hands stretched out full of lean muscles and his chest broadened. Seamus’ once beautiful red hair was now as black as coal.

He let go of the girl and stood straight. Huge black wings ripped his shirt from the back, leaving his chest bare. Gazing at Iris, he smiled. She would be next and after he got her last breath he would go after the other sister. Invincibility awaited him.

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“You think you can take me on, writer? My affairs are with the old man, not with you!”

Demetrius looked up at the man, if he could still be called such, with a look of hate fixed on his face. Eyes narrowed, teeth bared and free hand clenching into a fist, he regarded the sickening grin the reporter held. Of course, it wasn't actually Seamus, but Demi could not be sure he wasn't still in control. He felt ready to charge, ready to attack, ready to kill if need be. He actually welcomed the feeling, it empowered him in a way he'd never before known, lending him strength in ways he had never imagined. But before he could reply and ready himself for a fight the twisted man on the hill turned his gaze to the dancer beside him and she instantly fell to her knees, clutching at her throat desperately.

The writer dropped to his own knees instantly, fastening a hand around her shoulder and looking into her eyes. Whatever was causing her to choke was not a physical entity but there had to be some way to help her, though he had no idea what it could be. He turned and shouted up to the dark man on the hill, who now bent over to put all the characters in this bizarre scene on the ground.

"What have you done? Let her go dammit, and come fight like a man!" Words he had never spoken and never predicted he would utter.

He turned back to Iris, feeling her going limp beneath his grip.

"Bastard!" He shouted as he spun around and ran off towards the foot of the hill, intent on tearing the throat out of him. As if enough life hadn't been lost tonight he was now leaning over the mortally wounded twin and- He stopped in his tracks, staring in astonishment as the Angel seemed to drain something out of the frail child's body, more than likely bringing her closer to death.

Before he even had a chance to continue his possibly suicidal mission, Demi was forced backwards by the force of a flying figure shooting out of the trees beside him, glinting gold and blue in the darkness, a rod of flame swinging from it's hip. The beating wings created a downforce that knocked the writer to the ground as though he'd been standing beneath a landing jet. He barreled down the hill, moving too fast to bring himself to his feet for more than a moment, and crumpled in a heap at the bottom before sliding along the damp grass and into the trunk of a tree, his back cracking audibly on contact.

He must have lost consciousness for a second or two because when he looked back up at the top of the hill he could see whatever unreal creature had knocked him back wrestling with another creature, though his vision started to blur, he could feel the strength pouring out of him again and his human weakness was coming back.

"No..." he whispered. "Not now!" With all the willpower he could muster he pushed himself up onto all fours and focused on doing his bit to help those around him, as well as save himself. As his normal self he'd never stand a chance of fighting ... Whatever it was on the hill. And whatever it was was still changing. It stood and revealed a heavily muscled chest as the clothes on it's top half were torn from it's body with the opening of vast, black wings.

Knowledge is power, do not fight until you know enough.

The voice came from inside his own head but he could not tell whose voice it was. It was deep, rumbling. The voice of something infinitely more powerful than himself.

"Wh... What are you?" he shouted up, pain tearing through his back as he attempted to stand.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The rustling in the bushes behind Nuram was no doubt whatever form had been chasing the creature he now had impaled and writhing on the ground. It sounded tentative so he did not bother to look around, instead keeping his fierce gaze fixed firmly upon the eyes of the beast that still tried to struggle away.

“We can not have you walking around naked, now can we."

It was definitely a human that spoke from behind him and it was a puzzling enough statement to make him pause his torture for a moment and listen.

“I will not have you shame my name, my people would not hear of it. Heed the name Pele, for though I look after you, you have yet to be judged.”

Pele... It was not a name the guardian was familiar with, nor was the tone of voice used to speak such a name. It was almost forced, as though whoever was speaking was doing it against their will. He guessed that the human had been driven insane by the presence of immense power inside her and resorted to talking to herself. They were weak beings, not worth the gift bestowed upon them, nor worthy of his attention during such a time.

“I would like to have part of the kill, I have chased this beast, have followed it and been lead here. Do you understand?”

Nuram had been subjected to many things in his long life, but to be spoken to by a human as though he were inferior, stupid even, was a disgrace to everything he knew. At the question his head snapped around lightning quick, violet orbs wide with rage and flaring through the gap in his helmet. His hands and pincers remained where they were, the hands twisting the spear as his attention was turned, bringing a squeal from beneath it. Whether it was the sound of the shadow-dog or the cacophony of metal on stone was impossible to tell.

Although what he saw when turning around was not what he had expected. It was not the sight of a condescending human at all. He had been clearly mistaken by what he heard, for he saw a human form bent over in a deep bow with a look on her face that showed no fear, no confusion and no disrespect. It showed only desire, the aching to kill that he could so readily relate to. And this in turn showed him he had been wrong twice. There was more potential for him with these visitors than just the one woman he had seen, the one with a soul as black as coal, and there may yet be more, if only he played things right. And of course, the first step was trust.

After regarding the woman for a few seconds he seemed to come to a conclusion and stepped to the side, keeping a firm grip on his spear lest his prey escape, revealing the bloodied creature on it's back on the floor, a thick rod of wood extending from it's chest. He waited a moment before speaking, choosing his words as carefully as he could.

"Do what you must. But if he escapes," again emphasised by a twist of the spear and a cry of agony, "this weapon will take life from something else."

He reached up with one hand and removed his helmet, showing his elegant, slender face to a member of the Lucky Draw for the first time, a devilish grin revealing stark white teeth between pure black lips. The garment fell to the floor and rolled away as his free arm drifted a hand through the air, indicating she come closer.

"Do you have a name, human?"

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“Girl, tell me your name.”

Elise chewed her bottom lip, almost hesitating on her words. She lifted her head to the sound of his voice and whispered, though it was barely audible. "My name is Elise Burn." The final word caught in her throat and she dropped her head down once again. Lowering herself down, she sat on the rough ground below, resting her head on her knees, which she pulled up to her chest. Her cascade of red hair fell around her face, shielding it from view. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath. The warmth of tears could be felt on her cheeks. The young girl had no idea what was happening to her. Everything was wrong. Her mind was twisting and turning, creating even more confusion. She couldn't concentrate on one thing for longer than a few moments. And she feared that the voice would return in her mind. It deeply frightened her that something had penetrated her mind and was changing her way of thinking and feeling. How was she ever going to get rid of it?

Her mind lingered on the creature that she had not seen, but had heard amongst the trees. What was he? And why was he threatening her? As far as she was aware she had done nothing wrong. It was the demon that was creating the issues. Surely there was some way to stop it. Perhaps he could help her. However, as far as Elise could see he was no the sort who would willing help her. He seemed to despise the thing that was inside her and although she could not help that, he seemed to show no sign of caring.

"Can you not help me?" There was a hint of desperation in her voice, as she raised her head only a little. Her chin was now resting on the top of her knees. "There must be something I can to get rid of this...this thing inside of my head. You must know how. Please help me." Her pleading tailed off as she shook her head, more tears falling down her cheeks. She could feel the building pain in the back of her skull, thudding over and over again. Already she had realised what was to come and she braced herself for it. Would this creature kill her the moment the demon showed itself again? She surely hoped not. More than anything she wished Joel were with her. He would be able to help and comfort her. But he was far away on a business trip, unable to come with her and protect her. It made her heart even heavier than before.

[b]"There is nothing you can do for her Jinan. And you know there isn't. She must find it within herself to rid her mind of me." A sharp laugh followed the words, one that was not Elise's. For the moment, the young girl was lost.

****

Stepping down from the coach steps, Joel halted where he stood, his eyes widening. With a sweeping hand, he brushed his blonde locks from his eyes. Chaos had erupted over what would usually be a beautiful place. There was shattered glass and broken furniture strewn over the floor. A door had been thrown off the hinges and was hanging at a peculiar angle on its frame. People were crying, or panicking, or worse. There were many running about, shouting instructions or trying to clean up the mess that had been left for them. It was havoc and Joel looked blankly around in surprise. What had caused such destruction. And where was Elise? His heart skipped a sudden beat.

If Elise was injured or harmed in any way then he would seriously flip. Elise was effectively his life. He had lived with her for some years and she had become extremely close to him. They were like family that weren't related and he would do all in his power to protect her if he could. And now he had left her without protection and look what had happened. She had been sent to this place and it looked to be dangerous. Already something had happened and she'd barely been there a few hours. Joel though he'd surprise her by arriving after her. It had turned out that he could have gone with her after all. But instead of letting her know that, he'd arranged other means of getting there to provide a surprise. Now he wished he'd come with her in the first place...

Calling out to a women who looked to be in charge, he asked after his friend. When she could provide him with no answer, he described Elise instead. This seemed to get her to remember and a feeling of fear shot through Joel for a moment. Pointing towards the forest, the woman directed him to where she had seen Elise running. Another jolt of fear shot through Joel as he looked towards the darkening woods. But after a slight hesitation, he started off towards them.

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#, as written by echored
Ulva’s head laid upon a thin piece of moss that acted as a pillow against the worn planks of wood that made up the interior of the hollow tree. It was so quiet... she was sure she could hear a pin drop. Her legs hung out of the window which was at floor level to the planks, positioned right below the clocks that didn’t tick anymore. Fresh cuts and droplets of blood on her legs leaked slowly from tiny open wounds given to her by the demon woman that nearly took her life. With all her adrenaline pumping she could barely feel the cuts, her legs swinging freely, the damp breeze only making her feel more alone. Well, besides being here with Stitch. Stitch, Ulva thought, letting her head roll to left, cheek resting against the earthy moss. Her long blond hair was tucked beneath her in a tangled mess from the few hours events. Stitch was laying in a makeshift nest, tiny black eyes gazing back at Ulva with a look of wisdom and thanks.

“Why was that ugly beast after you, I wonder?” Ulva asked the creature softly, her voice no higher than a whisper. Almost softer than the whispers she was hearing from the tree. None of the words made any sense, or sounded like any language that she knew of. It was somewhat unnerving but she was beginning to accept the fact that it wasn’t something she should get stuck on. She had to think of what she needed to do next. Stitch was safe for now and probably the next few hours, though it would really help out if she knew the significance of the tiny creature. Obviously the black monster wanted it for a reason, and completely avoided all the humans until they started to fight back.
“One would think you’re the key to something, am I right?” Ulva asked Stitch, but it only chirped half-heartedly and got quiet again, hiding in the nest as best it could. Surprisingly if you gave the nest a quick look over, Stitch would have entirely blended in. Hiding was what both of them were doing right now. There was a flint of guilt for being safe here in this hollow home though, while who knows what else might be going on further away.

The thing that was making Ulva the most anxious was the growing silence of the area, like a calm before the storm. One could just sense that it was only a brief moment of rest before they were on the move again. It was the others she had to worry about now. Her heart sank as she thought about those back at the mansion, Rea and the rest who stayed to fight the demon creature. Then there was that woman that just tried to kill her, and gave her a decent run up until the hill path. Ulva would have been dead if it wasn’t for that cat like creature that emerged from the trees, whose massive size and color left a mark in her mind despite the darkness in the area. She hadn’t learned the woman’s name who attacked her, but she was indeed one of the lucky draws. Something very wrong was going on, it just didn’t seem right. Thomas couldn’t have planned for such a violent mess, he wouldn’t have brought them there just to see who could survive in this land of killer beasts. Maybe it was Ulva’s hope that the old man had some answers to help them out, or maybe she was being too naive.

And then there was the noise of all noise, the storm that she was afraid wouldn’t be here so soon. It was a sound that manifested out of no where. It reverberated in echos and when it finally had reached Ulva’s ears, she could feel her body freeze. She pushed herself up quickly, reflexes sharper and more agile the longer she was in the forest. Her legs wrapped back inside the window, shielding herself back into the shadows of the night. Unbeknown, her eyes shifted to black, but the side effects were instantly noted. This was the feeling of her trying to shift, trying to revert back to a wolf.

”No..” It leaked between her tense lips, holding back the urge to let in the energy, the power she had felt in the mystical form she had taken on. It wasn’t time to change but the desire was there. It was sparked by the sound of a crash, indeed maybe the beast that was after Stitch. The natural instinct to hunt was pulsing through her blood which felt hot beneath her skin now. “Why is this happening to me, Stitch? I can feel it...” Ulva said while crawling over to the nest. As Ulva moved further into the room, she inconveniently missed the flash of white pelt from another canine below on the forest floor.. it was Rea in her dog form.

Stitch was dead quiet. No thrilling shriek like it did before in the mansion, or even a flap of its wings. Its eyes were focused on something beyond Ulva. She followed the trail of sight to the hatch door the hung open above the staircase. Before her was the ethereal wolf she saw earlier, whose body was only a ghost but whose color lit up like millions of tiny fireflies. For a fair enough reason Ulva gasped, scooting backwards until her back hit the wall. No words or thought processes could take shape as she gawked at the glorious wolf before her, bigger than her as she sat against the floot. She turned to Stitch who wasn’t showing any sign of fear. The wolf moved closer, its paws appearing to hover about an inch above the ground. Ulva barely could twitch as the urge to shift clenched her muscles tighter. The presence of the force before her was calling it out,

Don’t fight the gift bestowed on you, little one,” the spirit voiced, its words not just in her head but loud enough for the whole tree to listen to.

Ulva bit her lip and tried to get further away but her back was already pressed as much as it could up against the tree’s inner barrier. “This isn’t a gift I asked for... I’m human!” she finally managed to say in a raised voice, nails scratching into the wooden boards. The wolf stopped about 2 feet away, looking down at her with yellow eyes that glowed brighter than fire.

”For at midnight brake forth a Light,
which turn'd the night to day,
And speedily a hideous cry
did all the world dismay.
Sinners awake, their hearts do ake,
trembling their loynes surprizeth;
Amaz'd with fear, by what they hear,
each one of them ariseth.

They rush from shadows with giddy heads,
and to their vision run,
Viewing this light, which shines more bright
than doth the Noon-day Sun.
Gateway appears (they see 't with tears)
the Death of dark Angels, they dread;
Who with his plight comes on amain
to Save the Living from the Dead.


It’s words cut sharply through the thick air, Ulva’s black eyes as wide as an owl’s. What was it saying? It sounded too much like a riddle or some crazy prophecy and she couldn’t help but feel like a child cowering in a corner. She didn’t want to be here, she wanted to be back home in Russia, cuddling in her Babushka’s arms. There was so much weight she felt was being placed upon her by the wolf.

“Can you at least give me a straight answer! What am I supposed to do!” she cried, so restless that it was more of a whimper. The wolf nodded its head down, getting closer to Ulva’s face.

Stop being afraid. The Light is your weapon. Find it inside those brought here and bring it out, or else Darkness will ruin this land. There are Demons amongst us,” the wolf explained, the words quicker now.. and then the wolf’s tiny lights began to fade.

“No, don’t leave now..” Ulva said while reaching out for the spirit, but her hand traveled right through its form until it all but disappeared into the darkness again. Stitch chirped happily as it popped its head from the nest, but the feeling in the room was still ominous. Ulva cupped her hand above her mouth, the heat of her breath growing in temperature. Her body was forcing itself slowly to morph, change back into a wolf. But she wouldn’t, not now. She had to get out of this tree and follow the sound of the crash. “Stitch, stay here,” she huffed through a weak pant, more courage than she would ever know pulsing under her skin. Her face read fear but her body moved forward, crawling down the steps backwards and then taking foot at the tree’s doorway. To the right she could her voices, muffled under heavy bush and overgrown grass. Ulva crept silently, making sure to keep her body crouched low in the greenery. She took refuge in a large leafy covering that hung like a curtain from a tree branch. Through it, she could see a makeshift clearing... where the black beast lay pierced with a spear by.... a massive scorpion type of creature who looked just as dangerous.. and then there was what looked to be Rea, yet even more muscular and regal than before in a red gown. Ulva had to rub her eyes to make sure she was seeing things correctly. Rea was willingly putting herself in the wake of harm, and in a choice of attire that wasn’t fit at all for running in a forest. Ulva could feel her teeth grow larger, sharper. A low growl rumbled in the base of her throat, directed towards the beasts before her. And then Rea spoke,

I would like to have part of the kill, I have chased this beast, have followed it and been lead here. Do you understand?

Alright, so Rea had chased after the beast and now wanted to take part in the kill. But who was to say that the beast baring the spear wouldn’t as quickly pierce it through Rea’s heart. Ulva could barely stand the seconds behind this cover, feet etching to burst through and run in front of Rea as a shield.

The large monster of a creature paused for a while but soon answered Rea. It could speak? That THING could speak? Ulva stood her ground while she listened.

Do what you must. But if he escapes this weapon will take life from something else,” and it was those final words stung the air like bee stings. Its hand moved to its face to reveal under a helmet the most eerie, creepy face below. His other arm reached out forward, offering Rea a hand.

Do you have a name, human?”

Ulva couldn’t stay quiet any longer despite the part of her that already was regretting what was about to happen next.

Bursting through the wall of growth, Ulva tumbled into the ground of the clearing. Of course I’d still be clumsy in my human form.. she thought sarcastically as she regained her balance and ran towards the group of three.

“Rea! Don’t!” Ulva shouted, already at arms distance behind her companion. Ulva’s pale fingers reached forward, brushing Rea’s back softly with the pads of her fingers before drawing her arm back in. “Lets not rush into things,” Ulva then said, eyes looking upwards to refer to the massive scorpion-type animal beckoning Rea. Ulva stool tall, her back straight. Her hair was now the color white, as white as her pelt of fur was in wolf form. She glared up at the Guardian, black eyes watching its every move. Not even the dying sound of the monster to her right could make her flinch.

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Nim bared its teeth. The phooka placed its hand on the branch underneath and called on the spirit of the tree for help, pumping energy to encourage its wake. Nim’s call sounded like church bells on a wedding day, loud and harmonious. Below the man, if he could be called a man, the ground quaked, roots dug their way out from the ground wrapping around his legs and soon around his torso, pulling and pinning him to the ground. The ancient roots wrapped gently around the twin and pulled her into the trunk of a nearby tree. She sunk into it as if she was air, becoming one with the tree where she would be safe, at least for now.

Nim knew this would only prolong the girl’s death. It would merely give her time.
The angel felt his new gained power disappearing along with the girl from under his sight. He tossed and squirmed under the roots and his wings decreased until there was no trace of them in his body. His hair started to turn red again. He let one last beastly roar before falling to the ground on his back, devoid of his own energy and the girl’s, merely having enough to stand on his feet. What lay on the dark grass was the run-down figure of the reporter, having his eyes closed.

Nim came over him to take a closer look, approaching with caution. Its tail was wiggling slowly and its ears were up, ready to pick any sign of hostility. Seamus let out a snore so suddenly, it made the phooka jump back a few steps, flapping its small wings. With a quick glance at him and a frown, he went over to Iris and set its hand on her throat. Nim was now humming in a low voice, like a priest in prayer, with its eyes closed.
Iris saw the Muse wrapping her in her arms like a mother holding a child. She started to sing, deep and low at first, quickly and joyful towards the end of the ancient lullaby. The dancer let out a strangled gasp as air filled her deprived lungs, waking up to Nim’s humming.

The phooka looked at her and smiled. “If you want to run, now’s your chance” the creature said and let her go. Iris was grateful to the little guardian, but she had no time to thank the phooka properly. Standing on her feet she searched for Demetrius and the twin only to find the figure of the reporter bundled up under a mass of roots, a red flare of hair coming out from under the wood. Zosia was nowhere in sight, but Nim assured her of the girl’s safety with a nod of the head. Just a few yards on the right she saw two creatures fighting one another in a mass of flames and shadows.

Her eyes searched for Demetrius and she turned backwards only to see the man standing near the hill on his hands and legs, trying hard to push himself up again, shouting something. Above him, standing proud and holding its body like as if sheltering the man, was a marvellous creature. It had the body of lion, the head and the chest of a woman and the wings of an eagle. Iris saw it as an ethereal form and she couldn’t be sure if anyone else was able to see it. She looked at Nim pointing to the huge apparition.

“Yes, I know. I saw yours too. Let’s go!” Nim shouted and tumbled in the air, landing on its feet with its back on the girl.

“Don’t be afraid of what your eyes will tell further” the Muse whispered to her. “It is only the beginning.” They ran to Demetrius and Iris stopped right in front of him, looking up with widened eyes. The creature didn’t move nor give any sign that it acknowledged their presence.
Iris wrapped her hands around Demetrius trying to hold him up. He was in terrible pain, she could tell by his twisted expression.

“Come on, there is something above you!” she said. The dancer knew from the sphinx’s stance that it wasn’t there to hurt the man, but to protect him, yet she had no idea what was causing his extreme pain. They were standing just beneath its chest and Nim was a few steps behind them, looking at the creature with intense curiosity.