Chapter Eight-My Artefact

I could hear it, a voice. It came out from the darkness that should have been my dreams and prised me from its nothingness. "It's time to wake up." My eyes opened and I sat up to meet the welcoming sight of my teacher standing in the corner of the room that was closest to the door. And I hadn't even heard him enter, that either meant that I slept too deeply or my master really stealthy. The second explanation seemed better to me.

I disconnected my body from the warm arms of my bed and stood up with a yawn that reverberated around the room. My teacher in a couple of sharp moves moved from leaning on the wall to flinging open my room's door and then vanishing through it. I shook remainders of sleep from my head and then moved through the door to join him.

But along with him there it was again, the door. As I followed my tutor towards the elevator of yesterday, I couldn't help but take lustful sideward glances at it. I wanted; no I needed to know what lay just behind it. After all the secret to the Darkfinders strength could right there mere metres away from me. And then I felt it, a prickling feeling that ran along my finger tips and the rising of the hair on the back of my neck. By now I was almost completely certain of what was happening, it was my teacher, he had caught me looking.

"Ask then," He said with an anger that I hadn't seen from him before, "ask what's behind the door."

"w-what's behind the door?" I said after an unusual stammer in the face of my masters growing rage.

"Things that neither you nor any Darkfinder apart from me will ever see or know about." He said. He was now walking back and forth across the width of space that was positioned in front of the elevator. "I bet Alex put you up to this, well tell him that the door ad that room is a responsibility that was put upon none other than me. Tell him that I've guarded it successfully for fifty years and that I will continue to do so until I die." As he finished his words he turned towards me with a murderous glare that was positioned where a smile once called its home and an accusing finger that was pointed straight at me.

This was a different teacher to the one that I had met earlier, this one was volatile and aggressive, and I had to admit that I didn't like him very much. "It's alright chill," I said as calm as I could "no one put me up to anything, I was just curious."

The ward swivelled around leaving the corridor behind for the elevator but the malicious mood followed him in there, for a second I didn't want to follow him in there and then I realised that I had to.

"We're going to the thinking room." He muttered just loud enough for me to hear. The journey took a few minutes but the atmosphere made it feel like a few years. When we reached the correct floor he strode out into the room where two chairs that faced each other were set up. I silently followed him and took a seat in an uninhabited chair.

"Listen kid, I only have three rules in this place. "He said with the same anger that he had shown before. "One is that you never associate with any humans, two is that you never speak about or go near that door ever and the third one is that whatever I say goes." I nodded submissively; if this was the price of reaching my goals then it didn't look like it would be that costly.

"Okay then let's start with the topic of Darkfinders. The first one of us was a man called Sebastian Aldrich; he was an English soldier during the crusades. At that time the Saracens weren't their only problem, a book on his exploits is in the library I expect you to have read it by the end of the week" his tone of voice had lost most of the anger it had retained; now it sounded like he was thinking deeply.

"Our group have been around for centuries fighting MODs and our survival has mostly been down to our abilities. We're faster, stronger and more intelligent than the human race, a group that all of us once belonged to, you see we're actually are dead humans who have brought back to life without memories."

"Why without memories?" I asked while half expecting a glare to meet my question but one didn't come, it seemed that when he was teaching he was too engrossed in it to let his recent feelings interfere with his student's learning.

"Memories interfere with us; the truth is that if you had your memories instead of coming here you would have probably gone home to whatever family awaited you. Anyway it is being called 'our friend' who is our creator. Our makeshift god."

"I don't trust him." I said quietly, our friend's techniques didn't seem right to me even if they did make sure that we were around to save lives, I couldn't help but feel that we should have been given a choice.

"You don't have to; you just have to do your job which he provides to us and also whereabouts of our newly rising recruits. We of course find our own MODs to fight but every once in a while we get a letter which informs us of a mission that we can't turn down. And also he tells us of any artefacts that may be in the area. "

"Artefacts...I don't have one yet."

"I know, I got a letter a few days ago about a guy called Stevie and an artefact that I should give him." I stood up in surprise; it seemed that finally I was going to be given the tools that I needed to reach the next level.

The ward got up and then began to talk. "I guess that's enough theory for now. Let's go to the sparring room where I will show you your artefact."

Moments later we where there and all the while my heart threatened to burst out of its chest with excitement, finally I was going to see the weapon that I would use against my rival, the one person I truly hated.

The room was just as it was before except for one seemingly tiny but major difference, a long rectangular dark coloured wooden box with a golden latch that kept its lid closed lay on the floor and in a few long strides the ward had moved there. And then just as I thought he was going bend down and open the latch he turned around in a movement that was as sharp as a knifes edge.

"So you want to be a Darkfinder? You want to have an artefact? Well prove to me that you're worthy. Fight me!"