|The Darkwater Chronicles 2: Servants of the Night
Author: TyranicFish PM
About a month after the events in book one, Alex Walker finds herself in the middle of a greater conflict between forces so far beyond her, and she's not sure if she wants any of them to win. With cryptic warnings from a voice in her head, and nothing more than a sorcerer and a shape shifter to help her survive, she must protect one thing; the book that started this whole mess.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 17 - Words: 28,468 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-07-13 - Published: 02-05-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3098535
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 6: Advice
Sam and David are here. I can barely see them, but I know it's them. Silver hair. That one's Sam. Brown-black hair. David. Sam goes over to Hannah first. Says...something, then he and David both come over to me. They...say something, but...I'm out again.
I wake up on the floor of the study again, red light shining in from the large, unbroken window. My refuge. Well, at least I woke up in it this time. Maybe Terrence has some advice. Haven't seen him in a while. Might just say hey and talk until everything up stairs is fixed.
He's staring out the window like he always does. "Terrence?" I start. He turns around, not surprised to see me in the slightest. Not sure how to take that.
"Alexandria, you've been getting into trouble, I see?" he smiles.
I push myself off the ground and stand beside him. "Hey, it's not like I'm looking for trouble. And it's Alex, remember?"
"Of course, Alex. The Arcanum was locked away for a reason, you know," he tells me.
"Yes yes, I know..." I sigh. "So I'm not dead yet?"
"Not yet," he says. "You will be, if you continue to keep that book near by. You put yourself and everyone around you at risk, Alex." Like I need scolding from a dead guy.
"Well what am I supposed to do? Hand it over to whoever asks? I thought people having it was what you were trying to avoid," I argue.
"...There's only one thing you can do. The Arcanum must be destroyed before it falls into the wrong hands." Easy enough. My house has a pretty big fireplace.
"Alright, I can do that," I tell him.
"It's not so simple, Alex," he says grimly, turning around to face me head on. "The Arcanum is a thing of magic. I have no idea what could happen if you simply set fire to it or tear the pages."
"Then what do I do?" I ask.
"I don't know..." he sighs, "but there are those that might."
"You will meet them soon enough, at least, if your friend is to survive," he answers. Hannah. Shit, I just about clean forgot about her. That should make me feel guilty for a while. Though to be fair, I am in a somewhat injured state myself. "Now they may have the knowledge we seek, but trust no one, Alex. The temptation of limitless power is too great."
"Got it," I say. "Hey, why are you still here? In my mind, I mean. I thought you'd be at peace or something after Edmund died."
"I am," he starts, "but I cannot leave. Not without damning myself to an eternity of servitude. You saw my sister. That is what awaits me outside the refuge of your mind."
"Oh..." That's comforting. "Why my mind?"
"That would take more time to explain than you have, I'm afraid," he says. I'll be damned, he's right. Everything's starting to fade into darkness again. "Good luck, Alex," Terrence says just before he and the entire study all vanish and I'm left alone again in darkness.
My vision's fuzzy, I'm feeling a little groggy but over all I think I'm okay. The cold pain is gone. I can vaguely make out a small light bulb dangling over head. And voices. Voices talking in the background. Don't move. Pretend to still be out cold.
"How are they?" I hear a younger voice ask. David. I could recognize his voice anywhere.
"Well, your girlfriend is fine. Shade wounds are relatively easy to deal with. The shape shifter though..." the older voice trails off. Sam.
"What is it?"
"I've never seen anything like that before," Sam says grimly. "I tried my best but it's beyond my magic. I know some people who can help her though."
"Who?" David asks eagerly.
"There's a tribe of Ardi'Shakri nearby. They'll know what to do," Sam answers. "Now what the hell is going on, kid?" Sam's voice suddenly drops to an angry low.
"I don't know, Alex-"
"Alex? This is all to do with her?" Sam snaps.
"Sort of, more to do with the book she has-"
"David, what did I tell you? What rules did I give you? What two simple rules?!" Sam shouts.
"Safety and secrecy," David replies, suddenly sounding more like a student than a son. Which he very well could be, his dad does magic after all.
"Safety and secrecy! This girlfriend of yours has pulled you and this young lady here into trouble before, now look what's happened!"...He is right.
"She didn't have a choice in any of it, Sam-"
"Is that what she told you?!" Sam yells. I don't dare turn my head to see if David nodded or not. "I sensed a power in her that I've never sensed before. She's dangerous, David." Dangerous? How can I be- "We have to leave right away, get your friend here to the Ardri'Shakiri. After that, I want you to stop seeing this girl. Are we clear?"
David doesn't say anything at first. Then, "She's not-"
"Are we clear?!" Sam repeats, louder this time.
"...We're clear," David says a bit shakily. Wow. Tears start to pool in my eyes.
"Good, come on, get her in the car."
"What about Alex?" David asks. "We can't just leave her in our basement."
Sam sighs angrily. "Fine, bring her too. Just remember what I said."
Sam must have grabbed Hannah because David grabbed me. I could just stay in his arms forever. He feels safe, secure. I'm putting him in danger. I put Hannah in danger, and now...now I don't know if she'll make it. Maybe I should keep my distance.
I must have fallen asleep for most of the drive, because next thing I know it's sunrise. I get up slowly in the back of the van. Hannah's beside me, out cold. Black veins streaking from the wound Fargrave gave her. Shit. Sam and David are in the front seat. Sam looks back at me.
"You're awake. Good," he says. Somehow I feel it's less than sincere.
"Yeah..." I sigh. My book bag is beside me. I can feel the Arcanum's power resonating within it. "Where are we?"
"We're going to see the Ardri'Shakiri, see if they can clean up your mess," Sam answers, not taking his eyes off of the road. Responsible driver. That's good. Though I don't appreciate the guilt trip. David looks back at me. He knows I know. I can tell. He turns away from me quickly. The Adri'Shakiri. Maybe they're the ones who know how to destroy the Arcanum. Maybe after I destroy it, it'll be safe to be around me again...
There aren't any seats back here. Me and Hannah were just lain out on the floor. Not entirely legal, but when life gives you lemons...smash them and throw them in everyone's face so they have to be put into the back of a van to be driven to a mystical tribe of shape shifters. Fuck.
The van comes to a stop. Sam and David unbuckle their seat quickly and jump out of the car. Sam opens the door and picks up Hannah like a rag doll, holding her in his arms. I climb out. We parked outside of a forest. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a tribe of shape shifters, shape shifters which Hannah described as "park rangers", live in a forest. Or at least set up shop in one.
Sam leads the way, Hannah in hand. David walks with me. It's awkwardly silent. I want to say something, I want to protest against what Sam said, but...he's right. This is all my fault. If I'd never moved to Darkwater then...
"Hey," David says, slightly awkwardly. I nod at him. "Mind telling me what happened?"
"Um," I mumble, "sure. Nathaniel was there. At the fishing hut or shed or whatever. He met up with this thing, this gargoyle, named General Fargrave," I pause. Sam almost looks back at me, but not quite the entire way. "He wants the Arcanum for some...dark master or something. Then he sort of...sniffed out Hannah and that's when everything went to hell. She went wolf, he scratched her, I told her to run, went in the shed, grabbed the book, got stabbed by a shadow thingy."
"It's called a shade," Sam intervenes. "They're souls enslaved by magic, like a revenant or a-"
"Banshee?" I finish.
"Yes," Sam confirms.
"Anyways, I...I'm sorry I got you caught up in this."
David looks at me in that way guys look at their girlfriends when they're about to say something really sweet and sincere. "Hey, it's not your fault, okay? It's not like you forced Hannah or me to join you a month ago. Hell, you tried to keep us out of it, remember?"
"...Yeah, I guess," I sigh. Sam looks back at me briefly, then ahead again. This forest is obviously well travelled. We've been following a pathway. The Ardri'Shakiri aren't as stealthy as you'd think, apparently. An observation rendered entirely false when a lion lands in front of us, and all around men and women with guns of all sorts appear out of nowhere.