1Where the Lonely Ones Roam
She was walking behind the Viscera grunt with a sure step, not as distressed as the mortals who no doubt had trudged the same path before her. No, she had been in this situation dozens of times before. The man in charge, Vilenov, or Mr. Not-so-evil as she liked to refer to him in her mind, wanted her to seek out the future with her seer gift. Ophelia had never really thought much on her innate gifts; clairvoyance, empathy, and minor telepathy being the chief among them, but she knew she was valued by this organization which was currently dying off as a renegade group known as TrayceOne and a lost Viscera asset sought their end.
To be honest, she was only here for one reason and one reason only- her mother had told her that this was how she would meet her father.
Her mother, in her overall form as the Morrigan, had been vague as she always was, saying only that Ophelia would know him by his eyes.
That didn't surprise her, occlumency was a skill she had developed easily as a child.
Her own eyes were a crystalline baby blue- the only characteristic she had seemed to inherit from her father, or so she had been told, her other features taking after her mother in her form as Nemain. Sleek pin-straight dark red hair that reached her waist and pale skin that never freckled no matter how long she stayed beneath the sun. Sadly, her ears had been almost demi-elven in appearance- but they took a smidge more after the royal sidhe than anything else, barely pointed but enough so that it garnered a few looks. Her face was delicate with full lips and a small nose, but her eyes seemed almost always to be narrowed as if to dare someone to cross her.
Mother had always loved that- she said it had been her domain made manifest in her daughter's physical form.
The grunt stopped before a tall thick wooden door and knocked twice.
They were invited in and the guard was quickly dismissed, leaving her alone with Vilenov.
She bit back the urge to snicker as he stood, his painfully white suit clashing with his reddened skin. How he got to be so red in the cold fog of the mountaintop hide-away she never knew.
"Fraulein, I am glad you have come to grace me with your presence."
That was another thing- he was full blooded Russian but favored German dialect which he made accented english for her.
Guess he didn't know irish, but then again, not many people do.
Ophelia grinned, "I wouldn't miss our time together for the world."
That actually wasn't sarcasm for the record. She actually did like Vilenov- he was a charming man and he appeared to treat everyone well, especially if he valued them. It was why she had stayed so long as opposed to seeking out her father on her own.
Don't get her wrong, he was still a leader within Viscera and everyone knew just how terrible Viscera could be, but for some reason the man had avoided being kissed by the malevolent bug. Well, you attract more flies with honey, or so that's what she heard.
Viscera dated back to the medieval church or at the very least had been a group since then. She had traced it back hundreds of years via old journals and middle english manuscripts, many of them diverging back to formal latin.
They had their hands in many different cookie-jars over many years, swaying kings, upending nations, killing thousands, if not millions in its long lifetime.
By all logic, anyone that could work for such an organization must be wrong- must be evil- but for some reason Vilenov defied her expectations.
She hadn't been on this plane for long- maybe five or six months.
She had been raised in the Otherworld with her mother and the rest of the Tuatha De Danann. She was a demigod, of course, mixed with dormant faerie blood from her father's side which was made active when she grew into her magic. It gave her an attractive quality that most humans would fall for.
She had never been well liked by humans, however. She was too dark for that, it was her mother's domain reaching out and surrounding her in a pleasant cold that scared humans away. So while they were attracted to her on a conscious level, she screamed 'danger!' to their subconscious senses. It wasn't just that though, she had been told by quite a few changelings that she was easy to dislike just by being herself.
That was fair, she did have a faerie's sense of superiority and mischievousness and her wit could come off as cutting in a mean way- she could admit to it all objectively.
Mother had always said it would come to help her in the end- whatever that meant.
By the end, Ophelia had always assumed she had been referring to her betrothal to the Welsh Aeron, a god of slaughter.
Ophelia quite liked Aeron, she didn't love him,at least not yet, but she did care for him as he had taken great pains to win her favor since she was a child. He was a fun deity- clever, intelligent, and witty- all things she could want in a spouse. He was also funny and always seemed to know how to make her burst into a fit of giggles.
No, she had been halfway in love with someone else for as long as she could remember- his ghost in her ancestral memory never leaving her but for once- a miserable time she cared not to remember.
She could thank her mother's godly gifts that she could remember all her ancestor's memories.
It was a handy little gift, one that helped her immensely in her training with others of the Tuatha, and then among the Unseelie Fae- and let her tell you, faeries take fighting seriously (and they should, given that they were almost always at war among themselves), beside that, fae were notorious for pitting their young against each other in a fight to the death.
Ophelia had thrived in all matters concerning war- and she could thank her ageless blood for her quick healing, which had saved her immortal life a dozen times.
She had stopped aging somewhere around the human age of sixteen, but looks-wise she could be compared to a twenty-something.
All fae stopped aging at the peak of their youth and it had surprised even the Dagda and Lugh that she had taken after her thin fae ancestry. Outside her not-aging situation, she had abilities from each of her mother's forms- abilities that she controlled with a tight leash but had limited skills using. No, her natural abilities like seeing came much easier (unfortunately, as it caused her to have a near constant headache as a child).
"Fraulein, I trust there has not been another situation with an unruly guard?" Vilenov asked, his German accent thick, but casual despite the nature of the 'situation'.
Suffice to say it had been a guard who had transferred to the base whereupon he had attacked her for being an 'insolent brat'. Said brat had impaled him with her favorite lance in reparation.
"No," She replied sweetly as she took a seat across from him at the table.
Tea was set up at the table and he served her favorite- chamomile with lemon and a pinch of sugar. It was quiet for a moment as they sipped their tea and enjoyed the momentary peace.
"What do you wish for me to search for, mo chara?"
He smiled at the soft endearment.
She knew he was technically the 'enemy' and all, but she did consider him a friend, even if an odd one.
He placed his tea cup on its small plate and leaned back, crossing his legs with his hands in his lap.
"I want you to search for them. TrayceOne. I want to know when they are to raid our home."
Home. This was not her home by any means, but whatever. Semantics.
"Alright," She clipped and placed her cup down as well- she had broken quite a few dishes in her time so it was safe to say that she had eventually learned her lesson of scouring the future without delicate glassware.
She relaxed and let her eyes fall closed, evening out her breathing and focusing on her breath for a few silent minutes, eventually sensing her mind slipping away into the mist of a vision.
She was in a car, heading up through misty roads along a mountain range. She was in the back, in an empty seat beside a pale redheaded woman and a tanned short man who was fiddling with a bow, his mouth teased into a wry grin as the redhead shook with laughter behind a dark skinned man who was smiling broadly as he joked casually.
The redhead's laughter died off and for a moment, Ophelia thought she had been discovered.
"So where exactly is this other base?" The archer asked and an ash brown haired man in the front passenger seat answered.
He was their leader, Ophelia recognized, staring at the back of his head as she listened in.
"Hidden in County Kerry, apparently. Cas, where was it again?"
The black haired man driving was strung tight as he answered and she briefly spotted his eyes in the rear view mirror.
They were an unforgiving steel grey, and a storm brewed within them.
"It's hidden away in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range. It's hidden away by some sort of mist- not a normal mist by any means. It's some sort of advent of theirs- it distorts the mind, turns away anyone who doesn't know where to look even on the sunniest of days. It's located in a set of caverns, though I can remember there being some windows in some areas of it. We're headed for a side entrance- a garage on the west side."
They all nodded and Ophelia searched the car windows to get a sense of how far away they were.
They passed a sign for a tourist trap and Ophelia nodded to herself.
They would be in the area within the next few hours and would probably require a few hours to prepare for their attack. She withdrew from the vision as another joke broke the silence.
Ophelia blinked her dry eyes as she came out of it and quickly downed the rest of her tea, which Vilenov refilled.
She took a moment to relax and even her breathing back out before looking up from her cup.
"They're coming. They'll be ready within a day or so."
Vilenov nodded, like he expected it- he probably did, they had hit the British bases a week ago and the Scottish a few days before that. They were the only base in Ireland, and quite solitary, so it made sense that they would have settled the others first.
Vilenov narrowed his eyes on her, "What would you suggest, Fraulein?"
Ophelia's eyes widened a fraction, "Me?"
She released a small breath, "I'd suggest evacuation, but that just delays the inevitable. But all the information Viscera has acquired here should be destroyed."
Vilenov nodded in thought, "And what about you, Fraulein? What will you do?"
Ophelia sighed, "Perhaps it is my fate to encounter them- it would make sense if my mother's words were true."
Vilenov nodded once more and they stood.
"Perhaps we are meant to go down with this ship, Fraulein. I know what I must do, and I suspect you know what I plan as well. Will you follow me down the rabbit hole, I wonder?"
Ophelia shook her head, "We both know the likelihood of me dying of any poison is very low, mo chara. No, that is a path you must take alone."
Vilenov gifted her with a wry smile.
"Perhaps we will meet again in your Otherworld? I have long admired your stories of it and if I could I would like to go there when I die."
Ophelia smiled sadly.
He sighed and escorted her to the door with a few parting words, "Arm yourself, my dear. I will give the destruction orders and then you will be alone yet again."
Ophelia nodded, and they parted ways for the last time.
Within five hours Ophelia was alone in the base, the bodies all in the antechamber in the deepest cavern, hidden away in the chamber which she had sealed tightly with a simple spell, the metal door welded shut.
She carried her dear lance, Cinniúint, in her right hand. It had been blessed by her mother, named by her as well, 'fate'. The lance would wound with its first strike but its second strike was always a killing strike, whether it happened within the next moment or the next century.
Final End was in her other hand, known as Deireadh Deiridh to her, a shorter lance gifted to her by Aeron- a blade that could lay to rest even an immortal. He had gifted it to her with a wry smile and a joke of 'just don't use it on me' and she treasured the gift dearly, one of the weapons that would never part her side.
Galar, Disease, was given to her by Aine when another mortal had crossed her and Ophelia had aided her in tormenting the poor sod. It was a sharp silver dagger inlaid with its name in ornate font along the blade. Aine had imbued it with her fury and Ophelia's mother had given it power with her magic to infect its victim with a tortuous plague that would only come to an end when healed by Ophelia's own blood.
She strapped her dagger to her thigh and sent away her prepared lances to be summoned should she need them.
Her armor was light and fit close to her body, allowing for easy movement and swift changes between fighting styles that she had morphed into her own.
It was made of dragon hide, thin but impenetrable to unblessed weapons- like the guns mortals were so fond of- a body hugging suit with a covered zipper along her right side, leaving no openings for a wayward soul to truly harm her.
Ophelia tied her hair up into a braid and then into an elaborate bun with a few well-placed pins and slid on the rest of her blades, the rest being made of mortal metals.
One of them had been a gift from Vilenov- he had explained to her that the short sword was made of a metal called midvarium and that it was highly treasured by humans for its durability and strength.
She paired it with another short sword and slid them into her back holsters before tightening her arm braces and sliding on the matching gloves to her suit before departing her small room, the other stuff she had acquired in her short time on the mortal plane sent off to the hole in her mind where she had stored her lances.
She cast out her senses then, searching the base for any disturbances before making her way down the corridors and empty halls to the garage entrance where she awaited the arrival of the TrayceOne.
Apprehension fell over the group as they scanned the base for any life but they had discovered none except for one solitary figure sitting at their desired entrance, almost like they were waiting for them.
Finn Kelly didn't like it, not one bit.
"I don't understand, I can't hear anything coming from anyone except for us." Jules stated, confusion glaring out from her brown eyes.
Baptiste had sent out his birds to scout the mountain, but it had proven worthless- the fog was too dense and technology couldn't seem to handle the brunt of it.
One of his birds clung to his shoulder, it's bold red eyes flashing with irritation.
Finn almost regretted telling Dash that they could handle it alone. TrayceTwo would have been better at handling this one- they were more covert while One usually dealt with firefights.
It would have been uncomfortable had Cas been forced into the other team, if only for one mission- there was an almost egregious amount of distrust between Two and the former Viscera asset.
So Cas had been put on his team, which was fine by him since he had known the man since they were children- which had been a long time ago for both of them.
It had been a surprise when they had met again.
The last time they had met was near a century ago- 1922 in Boston where their dates had disappeared and they had gotten wine drunk at an expensive shindig for a casual acquaintance.
A year late Finn had been turned in a vampire and he had purposely avoided anyone from his prior life. The last he had heard about Cas was that he had rejoined the military.
Cas was a different person than he'd been before- that much was clear.
He didn't know how the man had done it, but he hadn't aged a day in the time they'd been apart and Finn knew the other man was not a vampire like he was.
Not like they had discussed it, Finn kept it all a secret.
Something he had his excellent control to thank for.
No, Cas was something like a human and not at the same time. Finn didn't think the man knew himself what he really was.
He had been his best friend once upon a time.
His other team members were easy to identify.
Jules- a mortal witch who would one day be unmatched in skill no doubt. Baptiste- a Mech- an immortal human with unparalleled skill when it came to all things technical, all things mechanical. Thorn, a marksman skilled in all sorts of ranged weapons but with a penchant for archery- he had never missed, or at least that was the rumor any way.
When they decided to go after Viscera after Cas had stumbled into their main hideout and revealed their secrets to them, Cas had demanded a spot on a team to help them take Viscera down personally. He had a vendetta that was no doubt severely unhealthy- but no one would deny him the chance.
He had refused to talk about what drove him away from the organization but Finn knew it had to have been disastrous.
He refused to talk about his past for the most part- always waving off any of their concern.
It was clear he needed this, and so they had gone base by base to eliminate Viscera and the ones that any intel had given away.
This base was among the last in western Europe- the others were hitting the ones in the east and they were to head to South America after they finished up here.
Intel had said that this base was covert and active in working to create enhanced weaponry. Intel also said they hadn't succeeded, but seeing only one heat signature had caused alarm to rise in each of them, especially since the signature was not moving, appearing to be waiting for something.
"Someone is reaching out." Jules grimaced, her hand reaching up to cradle her head.
Aren't you going to come in? A lady doesn't like to be kept waiting, you know.
"What do you think?" Baptiste asked and Cas leaned back on his heels from his kneel and stood.
"Cas and I will head in first. Baptiste, Thorn, watch our backs from the trees. Jules, try to get a sense of the unknown."
They nodded and Cas and Finn walked out of the trees in the direction of the heat signature.
A shudder broke through the air and the sound of metal creaking stilled them as the snow appeared to fold up to unveil an entrance to a garage.
A woman was revealed to be sitting in the back of a pickup truck, perched on a tool box, her elbows leaning on her knees as she waited for them. The lights above her flickered faintly, casting shadows on her heart shaped face, an impassive look fused onto her eerily perfect features.
She was young, maybe early twenties, a little older than Jules then.
It was too dark to say, but her dark hair was slicked out of her face, the little light offered making her roots shine a burgundy red. Her bright eyes were shining brightly as they scanned them, mischief glowing beneath the surface as she trailed her eyes over the two of them.
She was dressed for a fight, a bodysuit of some form of animal hide protecting her, a matching pair of gloves over her thin hands with braces protecting her forearms in a way not unlike Thorn's, although his were meant for bow-wielding.
She was short and petite, maybe five three, but that seemed to be pushing it. The little weight she seemed to have was pure muscle and they stood still as she stood from the toolbox and swung her lithe form over the backgate of the truck to meet them.
She approached them slowly and stopped a little too close for comfort, like she didn't know the proper distance to stand from someone else. She angled her head to look Finn in the eyes and he met her own, frowning when he got a closer look at her face.
He could swear that he had seen her before, though the woman he was thinking of had wine colored eyes. No, a mere copy of his own eyes narrowed on his own.
Her head cocked to the side as she stared him down despite the clear height difference.
"You know my mother." She stated and he frowned at her.
It was not a question but a matter of fact and for a moment he was silent.
"There's no way-" She shook her head and he stopped talking.
"My mother takes the name Neve Abernathy when she walks among humans."
He froze and Cas drew her attention.
"That would make you how old?"
She blinked at him and turned her gaze to his.
"I was born in 1923." She paused, "But time works differently where I was born. I aged a little faster than a human and stopped aging when I reached physical maturity."
Cas turned his eyes to Finn who was frozen stock still as he appeared to be trying to do the match. Cas glanced back at the petite woman and their eyes met. Her head cocked to the side again and she stared at him and a wave apprehension washed over him- her eyes so like his friend's- her looks almost a mirror of Finn's own in female form. Her eyes seemed to pulse with power as if she was gazing into his whole self, penetrating his mind without a touch.
She blinked and the moment was over.
Finn relaxed slightly and stared down at her with shock echoing in his wide blue eyes.
"You're my daughter?"