THE BEAT OF A COLD HEART (REWRITTEN SCRIPT)
Genres: Supernatural, Fantasy, Action, Drama
SUMMARY: In this World, the one thing that triumphs over the Laws of Nature is a power called the Force of Will. Everyone is born with the power to control the Force of Will, and with rigorous training, they can hone their skill to accomplish nearly any feat with this power. Some display a particular affinity to a certain path in the Force of Will,and in time, they may evolve their Path into their Gift. But beyond even this, are the coveted Three Treasures of Royalty, said to grant one who has gathered all three, the power of "Might".
In this World, a great nation exists, the Noblesse Gardenia, and its "Ruling Families" wish to obtain "Might" in order to restore peace to their secretly deteriorating society, but within their ranks, not everyone is as noble as they seem …
Author's Note: There's one more thing I forgot to mention in the Part 1 of the Prologue: The main characters haven't exactly been formally introduced yet, though they have been hinted upon. The purpose of the prologue is not only to jump-start the story but to lay the foundations of the hierarchy, infrastructure, and general order of this World. You'll get to see the main characters in Chapter 1 :P.
PART 3: BLOOD OF ANOTHER
"We have a slight issue, sir," Alec Moonflower said as he and the Supreme Commander stepped out of the vehicle.
The Supreme Commander sighed. "Alright, give it to me."
"As I reported previously, Ollivar Medallin, Twelfth Keeper, has not checked into our system. It's been twelve hours since he completed his mission but he hasn't checked in since. No sign of him re-entering his residence or any of our military facilities."
"The fool's probably off playing with girls again. We'll do another check later. Here we are."
The scene was nothing short of gruesome. True to Alec's earlier report, there were human body parts, all severed and cut up, scattered across the area. Blood still dripped from the branches of the trees within the direct vicinity of the victim's apparent death and splotches of its crimson essence were splattered over the trunks of those trees.
A man in a beige long-coat stood over a pool of blood that had gathered where the most vicious part of the assault seemed to have taken place. There was still a piece of what appeared to be part of the victim's torso lying dead centre of the sanguine pool. Needless to say, it barely retained its original shape, and seemed as if it were ripped open from the inside and then grinded in a brutal fashion.
"Morning, Exodia," The man said without looking up. He looked like he was in deep thought.
"Morning, Arthur. Where's Luther?" The Supreme Commander walked up to stand next to the man, nonchalant, almost as if old friends.
"Ahh, he headed back to Froeze. Said he still can't stand the rain."
"I don't blame him," the Supreme Commander placed a hand on the back of his neck. "He's been like that since that incident two years ago, with the Lost Generation. As their primary instructor since their second year, he must've suffered the greatest blow."
The man whom the Supreme Commander called 'Arthur' nodded solemnly. "Even though they call me the Hundred-Handed Medic, I could do absolutely nothing to heal that wound in his heart."
The two shared a moment of silence as a light rain began to fall. Arthur finally spoke again.
"Anyways, the forensics team from Froeze that first arrived on scene seemed to have made a major slip-up. My team and I redid all the DNA tests, just for insurance, as you know I usually like to do. I don't trust anyone else's work. And you know what we found?"
"Don't tell me Brant Quesalliad escaped even with these injuries—?" The Supreme Commander did not look pleased.
"Well — we can't be sure of anything at the moment. Actually … a majority of the blood samples, skin tissue, and generally, uhh, other parts of the body tested positive not for Brant Quesalliad's but for Ollivar's DNA," Arthur Cressideon's eyes never left the blood on the ground.
"What?! Have you any samples of Quesalliad's DNA then?" the Supreme Commander asked.
"Yes, a few, but we can confirm that most of this … this unfortunate situation, belongs to Ollivar Medallin," Arthur answered.
The Supreme Commander stroked his chin. "Is there any chance that Ollivar Medallin survived this encounter?"
"It's possible," Arthur said slowly. "He's proven to be quite the … resilient man. That part of his torso lying in the middle of this pool of blood — using his, for lack of better words, magic, he could probably have regenerated it before the exposure of his inner organs and severe blood loss could kill him."
"And the other severed body parts?" The Supreme Commander pressed for more details.
"Same applicable concept. The only part of his body he can't protect from a lethal blow is most likely his head. Fortunately, we found no traces of tissue from his head," Arthur answered.
"Hmm, what are Brant Quesalliad's potential injuries after this encounter?" The Supreme Commander asked.
"Most likely only flesh wounds," Arthur said. "We couldn't find anything on scene that indicated otherwise."
"Mmm …" The Supreme Commander grumbled disappointedly.
Alec cleared his throat.
"Sir — Lieutenant General Cressideon, Eleventh Keeper, I'm sorry—" Alec interrupted, "But may I offer my humble insight? It might just be something insignificant or just a silly speculation on my part—"
"No, just tell us what's on your mind, Officer," The Supreme Commander waved his hand. "Don't need to hold anything back."
The Lieutenant General Cressideon raised an eyebrow but the Supreme Commander simply nodded. The look in his eyes spoke for him. Just wait and see, they said.
"Alright," Alec steadied his breath. "I believe there was a third individual at the scene. An accomplice of Brant Quesalliad's."
The Lieutenant General raised an eyebrow. "How did you come to that conclusion?"
"While you and the Supreme Commander were examining the focus of all the damage, I was curious so I circled around the area, beyond the perimeter set up around the area of the encounter. Nothing out of the ordinary — at least not on the ground. Approximately 70 metres from this point of contact, starting right here—" Alec pointed at the pool of blood, "—I found scrape marks on the trunk of one of the thicker trees. And the branches above, starting from the more brittle ones nearer to the top, all either displayed signs of damage or complete dislocation, and the source of damage was evidently some sort of sudden impact. The scrape marks looked like the marks the rubber sole of a combat boot could make and they seemed meticulous and intentional, so the wearer might've attempted to climb the tree for what probably was a better vantage point. The broken branches were probably caused when the individual fell while carrying something heavy. The individual most likely only suffered from minor injuries, seeing that I couldn't find any traces of blood."
"And assuming you're right," the Lieutenant General said slowly, "The accomplice made an attempt on Medallin's life using some sort of long-range weaponry while our Twelfth Keeper tried pursuing the escaping target."
"Do you mean to say that the accomplice saved Brant and that Brant is still alive?" said the Supreme Commander.
"In contrast, sir, I believe that these body parts belong to Brant Quesalliad. He's dead, sir,"
"But the DNA testing my experts conducted—?" Arthur Cressideon sounded skeptical.
"Forgive me for suggesting an alternative, Lieutenant General, I do it with complete respect for you and your men," Alec spoke nervously. "But there are first, a few discrepancies between the body parts and Lieutenant General Ollivar Medallin's own. The Twelfth Keeper was known to have a small black spade tattooed in his left palm and another tattoo of a red joker from the playing cards they sell in convenience stores located somewhere on the lower half of his torso. Neither hands we found on scene had spades in their palms and the joker tattoo that should've been right there, the undamaged part of his torso, is missing. I believe the accomplice tried to make it look like our Twelfth Keeper had been killed and attempted to recreate the details on Lieutenant General Medallin's body but failed to notice a few subtle intricacies."
"But the DNA testing?" the Eleventh Keeper repeated.
"Like I said, he meddled with the crime scene. I—I wrote a research paper on this during my last year at the Military Academy: Genetic Transfusion. It's possible through the use of a hypothetical fusion of known Corrupt Techniques. One drop of blood from an individual is enough to change the entire genetic structure of another individual's body for a finite period of time. This accomplice probably went through great lengths to cover up his intentions."
Lieutenant General Cressideon had caught on. "So Brant Quesalliad was used as disposable bait to lure one of our Keepers out, and then once he was defeated, our Keeper's guard would lower, allowing for a small window to open, enough for the accomplice to incapacitate Medallin from a distance."
"At least that's what I hypothesize," Alec said. "Lieutenant General Medallin is probably still alive. The accomplice most likely used a type of non-lethal ammunition rendering Lieutenant General Medallin unconscious and is now holding our Twelfth Keeper captive. After all, I would assume that the extraction of military intel from one of our Twelve Keepers would be significantly more valuable than his immediate death. From this, I would … I would even dare to speculate that there might be a greater authority behind this plot. Of course, forgive me if I'm sounding too far-fetched. My imagination tends to get ahead of itself."
Lieutenant General Cressideon laughed aloud and patted Alec on the back, but this friendly gesture only seemed to intimidate the young Officer.
"Not at all. In the big scope, everything you've speculated sounds plausible. You're quite a sharp one. Officer Alec, wasn't it?" Arthur Cressideon grinned, despite the presently grim circumstances.
"Yes, sir. Thank-you sir."
"Agh, Exodia, my old friend, you've snagged yourself a good assistant! I have to say, I'm slightly envious."
The Supreme Commander retained a professional, stern expression but the edges of his lips hinted at a smirk.
Alex spoke up. "Sir, I apologize for interrupting, but I'm not our Supreme Commander's assistant, only a lowly Officer acting as a messenger between the field and Management."
"You know what — you could be, though," the Supreme Commander suddenly said.
"Officer Alecant Moonflower, how would you like a promotion to a position as my very own Advisor? This will permit you to accompany Lieutenant General Arthur Cressideon on this investigation and will also allow you to report directly to me."
The Officer's jaw dropped.
"S-sir—I would be honored! But I don't know if I'd be of much help …"
"Have more confidence, Officer. You're much more capable than you think you are. With all the brawn we have, we need a little brain to balance out the equation. Someone like you," the Supreme Commander commended.
"Supreme Commander … thank you for your faith in me," Alec said meekly.
"Then it's settled. Best of luck, Advisor Moonflower."